Daily Archives: March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Collection

An argument may remove doubt, but only the Holy Spirit can convict of truth. —Ravi Zacharias

quotes


Mar. 19, 2015

BLOOMBERG

At a town hall meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, President Obama discussed the idea of mandatory voting, and said “that may end up being a better strategy in the short term” in helping to diminish the influence that money has on politics in the post-Citizens United era.

The Obama administration continued its less than stellar transparency record in 2014, breaking the previous year’s record for denying and censoring requests under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of the administration’s FOIA data by the Associated Press.

A U.S. drone strike in Somalia killed an al-Shabaab commander connected to the Westgate shopping mall attack more than a year ago in neighboring Kenya, the Defense Department said.

Kaspersky Lab has published reports on alleged electronic espionage by the U.S., Israel, and the U.K.-but it’s yet to look at Russia. In 2012, however, Kaspersky Lab abruptly changed course. High-level managers have left or been fired, their jobs often filled by people with closer ties to Russia’s military or intelligence services. Some of these people actively aid criminal investigations by the FSB, the KGB’s successor, using data from some of the 400 million customers who rely on Kaspersky Lab’s software, say six current and former employees.

Fewer than 300,000 Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits for a second week, signaling the labor market remains resilient even as the economy shows signs of slowing. Jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 291,000 in the seven days ended March 14.

In a world awash with cheap oil and plunging profits, one obscure corner of the energy business is shining brightly: the owners of storage tanks.

“Early signals from this year’s spring selling season indicate that the housing market is improving, and disappointing single-family starts and permits numbers should rebound shortly,” Chief Executive Officer Stuart Miller said.

AP Top Stories

Authorities have arrested nine people in connection with a gun attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 22 people and two alleged attackers.

A 34-year-old woman was accused of stabbing a pregnant woman in the stomach and removing her baby, while the expectant mother visited her home to buy baby clothes advertised on Craigslist, Colorado authorities said.

Auroras around the world were super-charged Wednesday night and are expected to provide an amazing light show for the next few weeks, thanks to a severe solar storm impacting Earth. While there have been no reports of power outages or other issues related to the solar tempest, people have witnessed amazing auroras caused by the storm. The geomagnetic storm was caused by two eruptions from the sun that joined together while flying toward Earth.

US warplanes have bombed a small drone used by Islamic State extremists in Iraq, marking the first time American-led forces had targeted an unmanned aircraft flown by the jihadists.

The head of India’s Catholic bishops, speaking out after a nun was raped in the east of the country, said they should be as concerned about the welfare of its people as it is about cows.

World oil prices jumped as a cautious Federal Reserve statement offset data showing a big increase in US crude inventories.

An unidentified warplane attacked the presidential palace in Aden, after forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi stormed a camp where a renegade commander had barricaded himself.

United States oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is demanding millions of euros in back taxes from Moscow that it believes it overpaid on a project in Russia’s Far East.

Chinese deputy finance minister Shi Yaobin has told the German press his country would welcome a US role in a Beijing-backed multinational lender, hours after state media described Washington as “petulant and cynical”.

BBC

Islamic State jihadists may have committed genocide and war crimes in its attacks on Iraq’s minority Yazidi community, a UN reports said.

Target is set to raise the minimum wage it pays its employees to $9 an hour in April after rival Walmart announced a similar move, according to reports.

Chile’s Villarrica volcano showed renewed activity following an eruption on 3 March which prompted the evacuation of thousands of people.

A three-day curfew will come into force across parts of Sierra Leone to contain the Ebola crisis.

China and Japan are holding their first high-level security talks in four years, following tensions over territorial and historical issues.

Internet giant Yahoo is closing its China office and laid off “around 350” employees as part of a worldwide consolidation aimed at cutting costs.

British military personnel have started training members of the Ukrainian army engaged in fighting against pro-Russian rebels.

WND

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced the agency had released 30,558 criminal illegals in fiscal 2014 – and at least one sheriff in Arizona, Paul Babeu, expressed outrage, accusing President Obama of overseeing one of the “largest prison breaks” in U.S. history. “These were the worst of the worst [criminals] – even the ones that President Obama said at one time needed to be deported.”

A team of prominent Christian leaders is preparing a statement that will inform the public – including justices on the U.S. Supreme Court – that they will engage in civil disobedience rather than follow a ruling that establishes homosexual “marriage” across the United States.

The owners of Little Bokeelia Island, a 104-acre island south of the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, are looking for an immediate sale of their slice of paradise, meaning all offers are being considered. The island is currently listed at $24.5 million.


Daily Digest

March 19, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“All sober inquirers after truth … have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue.” –John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Vows Retaliation Over Bibi’s Campaign Rhetoric

There will be consequences for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heightened national security platform days before the Israeli elections — the Obama administration will make sure of that. Before the Israeli election Tuesday, Netanyahu said he opposed a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine — even though the United States has made that its foreign policy goal for years. Granted, the deterioration in the Middle East has influenced Netanyahu’s campaign platform. For example, there’s the campaign ad featuring ISIL fighters, making the case that only Bibi could prevent the terrorist group from marching upon Jerusalem. But the Obama administration is none too pleased with Netanyahu’s focus on security or his re-election win. Unprompted, Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, “We’ve talked a lot about how our shared values are an important part of what binds our two countries together, and rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning and it is divisive. And I can tell you that these are views that the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.” Not only that, but Barack Obama could very well take his power to the United Nations and lift America’s longtime protection of Israel, in essence injecting more chaos into the pursuit of peace. More…

Left Floats New Idea: Mandatory Voting

Barack Obama told a civic group in Cleveland, Ohio, that it would be “fun” for the United States to amend the Constitution to force everyone in America to vote in elections. Hey, it would solve all the ills the Left touts come election time about dark campaign money, the lack of civic interest, etc. “It would be transformative if everybody voted,” Obama said. “That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.” Obama’s comments come at a time when there is historically low civic knowledge and engagement, and citizens are abandoning their trust in the federal government. But mandatory voting would not help boost meaningful civic engagement. Elections would — even more than they already do — boil down to a popularity contest for who gives the most goodies. More…

Barbara Bush Now Touting Jeb for President

“We’ve had enough Bushes,” said no less than Barbara Bush, the family matriarch, when asked in 2013 if son Jeb should run for president. She was right then, but she’s recently changed her tune. “When the idea of Jeb running for President first came up, I was hesitant,” Mrs. Bush wrote in a letter to supporters. “You may have heard about that. When you see the pounding candidates, their spouses, and even their children take, what mother wouldn’t be? But our problems are so profound that America needs a leader who can renew the promise of this great nation.” Indeed, but there are more than 300 million Americans without the surname “Bush,” and several qualified Republicans are ready to join the presidential field. But never mind that, she says: “Jeb is our best chance of taking back the White House in 2016, and I hope that you will join me in pushing him to run.” It certainly does appear he’s running, but, again, “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

How Is Boehner’s Medicare Plan Reform?

Considering how House Speaker John Boehner negotiates with Democrats, it’s a wonder he attained his position as leader over a Republican House. Congress needs to fix Medicare by March 31 because that’s the deadline to prevent doctors from receiving a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursements. Boehner’s plan is to increase Medicare spending by $200 billion — y’know, in an effort to reform entitlement spending. But not to worry, he says, because that will lead to savings, oh, in about 10 years. In Boehner’s “negotiations,” Democrats are getting nearly all their demands, and the Republican caucus is advancing by baby steps. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said, “I find it very disagreeable that somehow a fix means we just add it to the debt. That’s the fix? That’s not a fix. That’s the same old Washington way of doing things that’s been going on under both parties for decades now. I don’t think that it works with any conservative principles that I hold.” Such a plan shows there’s a disconnect between Boehner’s Potomac-steeped leadership and the fresh conservative lawmakers willing to actually uphold conservative values. More…

Administration Sets New Record Censoring FOIAs

Earlier this week, the White House made it official U.S. policy to exempt the Office of Administration from FOIA requests. During Tuesday’s press briefing, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest rejected critics by insisting the decision doesn’t tarnish the administration’s claim of representing the most open governing body ever known to mankind. The procedural change, he explained, “has no bearing on the Office of Administration and the role that they do play in ensuring that the administration is the Most Transparent Administration in History™.” Then how do they explain this? The AP reports, “The Obama administration set a new record again for more often than ever censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.” Substitute “transparent” for “opaque” and Earnest would be right. And just imagine what a Hillary Clinton presidency would look like. More…

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read BO: I Love Me, I Love Me Not…, on what the GOP must understand about Obama’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Scott Walker and the Children of the Corn

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Only two days ago, the Scott Walker campaign — which is now just a political action committee called Our American Revival — announced it had hired Liz Mair as communications consultant. And then Walker encountered a strange beast known as the “Iowa Republican.”

On paper, hiring Mair looked like a killer choice. She’s a seasoned Republican operative who has campaign experience with the likes of Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Rick Perry.

But Mair’s tenure on the Walker campaign lasted mere hours before the Democrat political machine exploited a weakness in the presidential primary process and doomed Mair’s collaboration with Walker. It dug up tweets Mair posted back in January and showed them to The Des Moines Register.

“In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys,” Mair tweeted Jan. 24. A minute later, she followed up with, “The sooner we remove Iowa’s frontrunning [sic] status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”

Oh boy, when those comments hit the Iowa newsstands, the corn started popping.

Jeff Kaufmann, the GOP chair for Iowa, called Mair’s comments “juvenile” and “ignorant.”

At least Mair wasn’t caught operating a home-cooked email server.

It could have been a tit-for-tat moment, a mere speed bump for the Walker campaign thrown down by Democrat opposition researchers. But next year’s Iowa caucus is a corn-fattened, political sacred cow. And Mair went cow tipping.

For politicians on both sides of the aisle, the path to the presidency begins in the Hawkeye State — not because of any state or federal law, and not because it’s inherently strategically advantageous. A few decades ago, both political parties decided they would kick off their presidential primary races in Iowa. It’s been done that way every presidential election since, and, thus, the political parties birthed a state among states.

Political analyst Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2012, “The real problem with the Iowa caucuses is simply that they confer too much entrenched arbitrary power on one state in perpetuity. For instance, without the Iowa caucuses we would never have wasted billions of dollars on environmentally damaging and economically wasteful ethanol subsidies.”

Naturally, the Iowa political machine likes how candidates make pilgrimages to Iowa to give offerings on the altar of ethanol. It gives candidates a reason for stopping in flyover country.

This is the exact kind of setup the Founders tried to avoid when they instituted the bicameral system in the legislature: states were given both proportional and equal representation. Because Iowa is now always the first state to decide on candidates, Iowa wields outsized influence in presidential contests.

And influence Walker’s campaign it did. Upon hearing the news that Walker’s newest hire once dissed the state, Iowa Republican leaders acted like Mair called their wives fat.

So Walker fired Mair. Well, news reports say she resigned, but Red State’s Erick Erickson (who is a friend of Mair) wrote, “Given Liz’s work history, I will put it to you this way — Team Walker has botched this. There’s just no way Liz Mair resigned with it being her idea.”

In response to the kerfuffle, Mair took to Twitter. Wednesday morning she wrote, “I may not like the result, but as someone who deals with a lot of opposition research, kudos for being quick on the fly…”

Later in the day she wrote about the mail she was getting from Iowan politicos. “It’s a sad commentary that self-described Iowa R[epublican]s are emailing me calling me things like ‘pig,’ ‘bitch,’ and ‘dyke.'” She continued in the next tweet, “I know I offended some folks with my tweets, but I never used that kind of insult. Nor would I. These Iowans are embarrassing the state.”

Welcome to the 2016 political primary: Where the final inning isn’t for a year, but the mud slingers are already at work; where in 49 other states, conservative hopefuls tout lean budgets and decry pork spending, yet they support ethanol just for Iowa; where a man like Walker, who stood firm before teachers unions and a corrupt prosecution, bows before state cronies over comments that expended fewer words than the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

Meanwhile, if another presidential hopeful is looking for a communications consultant…

Obama’s End Run Around Congress

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Kerry has the ball

A nuclear deal with Iran is just around the corner, and it won’t be good for U.S. national security. The biggest clue is that Barack Obama wants an end run around Congress, likely opting instead for UN approval. To reach such a significant arms-control deal without congressional approval would be unprecedented.

The Obama administration expressed phony outrage over the “traitorous” open letter 47 Senate Republicans wrote to Iran, but these senators were merely stating the obvious: A deal struck without Congress isn’t legally binding beyond the current administration. Even the administration admits the deal is “nonbinding.” The only problem with the letter was that it should have been addressed to Obama, who is plotting to avoid the Senate entirely. Instead, Obama may seek approval from the UN Security Council, which would almost certainly prompt Russia, China and Europe to end their sanctions against Iran. That would leave any residual U.S. sanctions essentially toothless.

As early as March 25, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) plans to push legislation asserting Congress’ role in approving any nuclear agreement, as well as a voice on continuing or ending sanctions. March 24 is the administration’s rough deadline for outlining a deal, which it’s being careful not to call a “treaty” so as to better circumvent Congress. Corker’s bill wouldn’t press the “treaty” angle; it would just ensure Congress has a say.

Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman advocated Corker’s approach in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, writing, “The essence of any deal would relieve the Iranians from such sanctions in exchange for certain restrictions on their nuclear activities. The sanctions under negotiation, however, are overwhelmingly the creation of Congress — put in law through bills passed by large bipartisan majorities. Given that Congress built the sanctions against Iran, it is unreasonable to bar it from any review or oversight in how that architecture is disassembled.”

Yet Obama has been directly pressuring Democrat senators against supporting Corker’s legislation, as well as promising a veto. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough wrote a letter to Congress last weekend warning that legislation would “likely have a profoundly negative impact on the ongoing negotiations — emboldening Iranian hard-liners, inviting a counter-productive response from the Iranian majiles; differentiating the U.S. position from our allies in negotiations; and once again calling into question our ability to negotiate this deal.”

We absolutely call into question Obama’s ability to negotiate this flawed deal. It’s why Republicans wrote their letter. It’s why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his speech to Congress. And it’s why Netanyahu handily won re-election Tuesday.

Over the years, Obama repeatedly expressed how important it is to “prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” But his crack negotiation team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, isn’t exactly moving toward that goal. Perhaps that’s why by the end of February Obama was talking about merely trying to “*reduce the possibility* of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon [emphasis added].”

On top of that softened rhetoric, Obama’s intelligence community’s 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment removes both Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, from the subsection on terrorism. Coincidence? Hardly. Yet this happened while Iran is gaining increasing hegemony in the region via its fight against ISIL — to the point that Saudi Arabia is considering its own nuclear arrangement as a counterbalance. So much for non-proliferation.

Obama wants Congress to wait at least until summer to weigh in. McDonough pleaded, “Let us complete the negotiations before the Congress acts on legislation. If we successfully negotiate a framework by the end of this month, and a final deal by the end of June, we expect a robust debate in Congress.” That is, unless Obama’s planned end run around Congress succeeds.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965): “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “Frustrated at their inability to locate evidence of the endemic racism in America we keep hearing so much about, liberals have turned with a vengeance on the kids. Instead of armed policemen gunning down blacks, we got a secretly recorded video of few drunk 19- and 20-year-olds at the University of Oklahoma singing the n-word. (Everyone assumes the students were racists, but my theory is they were trying to record their own rap video.) … Today’s adults are held responsible for nothing. The president and attorney general aren’t held accountable for ginning up frenzied mobs based on a lie, leading to two cops being assassinated in New York City and two cops being shot in Ferguson, in addition to the $250 million in property damage. Hillary Clinton isn’t responsible for Americans being murdered at our embassy in Benghazi as a result of her incompetence. Democratic senators aren’t accountable for passing Obamacare without reading it, and Republican senators aren’t accountable for promising voters they’d stop Obama’s amnesty and then voting to fully fund it. … Instead of judging society by the inebriated songs of 19- and 20-year olds, perhaps we should judge it by how cultural and political elites treat their young people.”

Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint: “Since reimbursement from government programs already favors hospital-based services, more physicians will leave private practice to become employees of large hospital systems. Private physician practices will become increasingly hard to find. If federal and state governments do not change this destructive cycle, America’s health system will increasingly become a two-tier system in which people of means pay for their health care directly while everyone else waits in line for whatever they can get. All the same people who ruined America’s health care system through government intervention will fight to make sure everyone is forced into a government plan. … There are too many short-term thinkers in the health care debate. It’s time for proponents of Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid to understand that they are anything but compassionate. They are dooming many Americans to second-rate health care.”

Twitter satirist @hale_razor: “Same folks who hate Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby because of the owners’ beliefs are totally cool with Starbucks pouring politics with our coffee.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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Mega-Pastor Accused of hijacking ‘Blood Moons’ Discovery

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 08:08 AM PDT

Mega-Pastor Accused of hijacking 'Blood Moons' DiscoveryAccording to a report from WND Mega-Church Pastor and Author John Hagee has been accused of “Hijacking” the Blood Moon discovery, referring to the popular Tetrad Studies on the 4 Blood Moons. According to reports The “blood moons” phenomenon, which has touched off controversy about the end of the world, just got even more contentious with charges an American mega-pastor is hijacking the discovery of the anomaly in a movie debuting in theaters nationwide Monday. The blood moons tetrad is a mysterious astronomical occurrence discovered by a Seattle-area pastor who postulated beginning in 2008 that it might portend spiritually significant developments for Israel and the rest of the world because of its appearance on the biblical “feast” days of Passover and Tabernacles.But, in a new movie called “Four Blood Moons,” San Antonio mega-pastor John Hagee, author of a New York Times bestselling book about the “blood moons phenomenon,” claims he is the discoverer.In the film, based on Hagee’s book of the same name, the pastor best known for his vigorous defense of the nation of Israel makes the statement early in the new film, previewed by WND staff.“The thing that compelled me to write the ‘Four Blood Moons’ was when I discovered the scientific fact NASA was pointing out that it happened in 1492 and it happened in 1948 and it happened in 1967 and it was going to happen in 2015,” Hagee says. FULL REPORT

The post Mega-Pastor Accused of hijacking ‘Blood Moons’ Discovery appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Intensifying California drought sets off alarms

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 08:01 AM PDT

Intensifying California drought sets off alarms

A warning buoy sits on the drying bed of Folsom Lake, near Folsom, Calif., Nov. 17, 2014. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)

Drought conditions in California are now setting of Alarms as a new report indicates that as California’s epic drought continues with no end in sight, it is setting off new alarms about unprecedented water shortages, increased wildfire threats, fewer crops and farmers, higher electric bills and huge economic losses for years — or even decades — to come. “Even if normal precipitation begins to fall, it will take a few years to overcome the massive deficits we’ve been running,” said scientist Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a research organization in Oakland. California and much of the West must cope with the consequences of a drought predicted to intensify in coming months. The negative impact is sure to deepen. Scientists predict megadroughts will set in by mid-century. “It often seems impossible to imagine, but tap water shortages are a distinct possibility if mitigation efforts aren’t embraced and droughts become more frequent and intense in the coming years,” said meteorologist Steve Bowen of Aon Benfield, a global reinsurance firm. California has about one year of water left in its reservoirs, and mandatory rationing should begin now, NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti said last week, the Associated Press reported. FULL REPORT

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Mysterious “Sleeping Sickness” Grips Northern Kazakhstan, perplexes Kazakh scientists

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 07:53 AM PDT

Mysterious "Sleeping Sickness" Grips Northern Kazakhstan, perplexes Kazakh scientistsA mysterious “Sleeping Sickness” has gripped Northern Kazakhstan and scientists are trying to get to the bottom of it. According to reports by The Guardian. One day last summer, Viktor Kazachenko set off across the steppe from his village in northern Kazakhstan. He was driving to the nearest town on some errands, but he never arrived. “My brain switched off,” he says. “That’s it. I don’t remember.” Kazachenko had been hit by the so-called “sleeping sickness” that is plaguing Kalachi, a remote village about 300 miles west of the country’s capital Astana. The mysterious illness has sent residents into comas, sometimes lasting days on end. “I was going to town on 28 August ,” Kazachenko told EurasiaNet.org, still disoriented by the experience. “I came round on 2 September. I understood [on waking up] in the hospital that I’d fallen asleep.” Kazachenko blacked out while driving his motorcycle, with his wife riding with him. “It’s good it wasn’t that foreign vehicle,” he jokes, gesturing at his car standing beside his neat white cottage. “That’s fast – a motorbike isn’t so fast!”. He didn’t complain of any other injuries as a result of his sudden sleep.The motorcycle incident was his second journey in to the land of nod – “the first time I slept for three days,” Kazachenko says, laughing. He maintains a sense of humour about his predicament but it has had serious health implications. FULL REPORT

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Weather Experts Say Mysterious Lights Seen In Skies of Russia is not Natural

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 07:47 AM PDT

Weather Experts Say Mysterious Lights Seen In Skies of Russia is not NaturalWhat was mysterious lights seen in the skies of Russia recently that has stirred controversy? According to a recent report, A mysterious silent flash which lit up the Russian night sky has baffled people and sparked theories of extraterrestrial activity. Experts have said the blue and white burst of light, which illuminated Stavropol in southern Russia, is not natural. The strange glow was not accompanied by any sound, according to witnesses, and made the city’s street lights briefly go out.  It was also said to have caused bulbs inside homes to flicker, according to RT.com. ‘I was very frightened by what I saw, I was already in bed,’ said one woman, according to the website. ‘It looked as if something very bright lit up my ceiling.’   The flash was captured on a vehicle dashboard camera at around 12.39am on Monday morning. FULL REPORT

 

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Landmark gay rights case will challenge homophobic laws in Trinidad & Tobago and Belize

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 07:40 AM PDT

Landmark gay rights case will challenge homophobic laws in Trinidad & Tobago and Belize The battle of “Gay Rights” has now come to the Caribbean! According to report by the Independent, A gay rights activist will challenge the governments of two Caribbean nations to overturn a law that prevents gay people from entering their countries. The current immigration laws in Trinidad & Tobago and Belize bar “undesirable” persons from entering – a list that includes homosexuals, prostitutes and other marginalised groups. In both countries same-sex sexual activity between men is illegal. In Belize it has been criminalised since 2003 and is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. In Trinidad the penalty is 25 years for “buggery offences” and five years for other sexual acts. Despite these sentences, both the anti-buggery laws and those preventing LGBT entry are often unenforced. The case has been brought by Maurice Tomlinson, who will be in court on 17 and 18 March. Tomlinson is a prominent Jamaican LGBT and HIV activist and has taken his case to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). He hopes that a CCJ ruling will declare the laws a violation of his right to freedom of movement in CARICOM, requiring the governments to change them. He contests that the laws restrict his freedom of movement and breach his rights as a Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) national. Both governments dispute his submission. FULL REPORT

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US Plans Show-of-Force Exercise in E. Europe

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 07:34 AM PDT

US Plans Show-of-Force Exercise in E. Europe It appear that America is responding to Russia’s recent Military show of force and with an eye toward Russia’s ability to mass troops quickly, the US plans to demonstrate its own ability to move manpower and heavy vehicles as soldiers begin a 1,100-mile convoy through six countries en route to their home station in Vilseck, Germany. The US Army squadron wrapping several months of training with allies in Poland will take its Strykers through the Baltics March 21 through April 1, stopping in a new community each night. The vehicles are part of an armored brigade’s worth of equipment the Army plans to station in Europe. “It’s helped us further develop our understanding of freedom of movement in Eastern Europe,” said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the Army’s most senior commander in Europe, in an interview with Defense News and Army Times reporters and editors.
The “Dragoon Ride” will take 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, troops from training locations in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland and convoy them through Latvia and the Czech Republic to Vilseck.  “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin exercises freedom of movement all the time” within Russia, Hodges said, and the US plans to demonstrate how it converges people and vehicles, a “tremendous opportunity” to practice and reassure allies in the face of Russian aggression. To pull it off, the Army is navigating diplomatic requirements and assessing infrastructure among Eastern European allies. “This is what the US Army does, we can move a lot of capability a long distance,” Hodges said. “I’ve been watching the Russian exercises … what I cared about is they can get 30,000 people and 1,000 tanks in a place really fast. Damn, that was impressive.” FULL REPORT

 

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Russian companies prepare employees for nuclear war

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 07:29 AM PDT

https://translate.google.com/translate?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&nv=1&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.baltinfo.ru/2015/03/16/Rabotodatelei-gotovyat-k-yadernoi-voine-483354Russia continues to make more preparations of what appears to be a future war! According to recent reports the reason the Minister of Emergency Situations signed Vladimir Puchkov’s order which shall take effect today – the protection of the population in the event of a chemical or radioactive contamination. The whole territory of St. Petersburg is related to a particular (highest) group of civil defense, may be subjected to radioactive contamination in the event of an accident at Leningrad NPP. Therefore, 100 percent of the citizens should be provided with gas masks, nearly one in three from St. Petersburg – as “medical personal protective equipment” (kits with special preparations – AI-2). The primary responsibility for civil defense management Ministry of Emergency Situations holds the employers. They have to buy gas masks to all employees and to create a 5 percent margin. In the absence of necessary warehouses executives have the right to distribute gas masks and kits to the employees themselves, charging them with responsibility for the safety of property. And all this – at their own expense. Any failure to comply with these requirements qualify as sufficiently serious administrative offenses: legal entities can be fined from 100 to 200 thousand rubles, their managers or other officials – up to 20 thousand. Comply with the rules, of course, profitable. After all, the easiest mask on the St. Petersburg market is worth 150 rubles, AI-2 kit – 240 rubles. That is to ensure the collective enterprise of 50 people cost about 12 thousand rubles. Given that, according to the Committee on Labor and Social Protection of St. Petersburg, the city has about 3.1 million people, the total business expenses will exceed 700 million rubles. FULL REPORT

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Growing numbers seek faith-based alternative to ObamaCare

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 04:55 PM PDT

Growing numbers seek faith-based alternative to ObamaCareIt appears that many are opting out of “Obamacare” and looking into “Faith-Based” alternatives instead. According to a report by Fox News, Because of being Faced with the rising cost of insuring their family of five, Lisa and Jonathan Adams canceled their high-deductible health insurance policy and put their faith in Medi-Share, a Christian organization whose members help pay one another’s major medical expenses. Five days later, their 7-year-old daughter fell out of a bunk bed and broke her arm. Medi-Share covered nearly the entire cost of her surgery and rehab therapy and provided something the Adamses had never received from an insurance company — prayer. “When I called to let them know that Jordan had broken her arm, the last thing they said was, ‘Can we pray for you right now and pray for your family?’” Jonathan Adams recalled. “And they did, right there on the phone.” With just over 100,000 members, Medi-Share is part of a small, but growing, movement of health care-sharing ministries. These organizations are not insurance companies and offer no guarantee of payment. But their members are exempt from having to pay penalties for lacking health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as ObamaCare. And that is driving much of the growth of health care-sharing ministries, according to Tony Meggs, CEO of Christian Care Ministry, the nonprofit organization that runs Medi-Share. FULL REPORT

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Bibi Basking In Stunning Miracle Win As Obama’s Plan To Unseat Netanyahu Lies In Ruins

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 12:09 PM PDT

Bibi Basking In Stunning Miracle Win As Obama's Plan To Unseat Netanyahu Lies “A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.” Proverbs 12:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Benjamin Netanyahu’s main opponent, Barack Hussein Obama, suffered a grueling loss in his efforts to unseat the Israeli Prime Minister. As of this time of this writing, the Obama camp had not yet issued a concession speech.

Here is the REAL news: Netanyahu surged to 29 seats and has a 5-seat lead over Herzog! Obama’s minions plan to pull the PM down has gloriously backfired! It’s now 5:30am. The sun will soon be rising here, and as it does Israelis — and the world — will be awakening to a miracle. With 95% of the actual votes counted, Netanyahu and his Likud Party have surged from 20 seats in the final newspaper polls to 29 actual seats in the next Knesset (parliament). That’s a five-seat lead over Isaac Herzog, Tzipi Livni and their Zionist Union opposition party. With 95% of the actual votes counted, Netanyahu and his Likud Party have surged from 20 seats in the final newspaper polls to 29 actual seats in the next Knesset (parliament). That’s a five-seat lead over Isaac Herzog, Tzipi Livni and their Zionist Union opposition party. FULL REPORT

The post Bibi Basking In Stunning Miracle Win As Obama’s Plan To Unseat Netanyahu Lies In Ruins appeared first on End Time Headlines.

White House Snubs Netanyahu After Win, Still No Congrats from Obama

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 12:04 PM PDT

White House Snubs Netanyahu After Win, Still No Congrats from ObamaNo big surprise here but it appears that the White House and Obama Administration isn’t celebrating the recent election victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, In fact according to a report from Arutz Sheva, an Israeli Affiliate’ Obama hasn’t even called to congratulate the Prime Minister for his victory! And now According to reports from Press TV, The White House says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement to block the creation of a Palestinian state runs against US policy, adding President Barack Obama is committed to a two-state solution for Israelis and the people of Palestine. White House spokesman Josh Earnest made the remarks on Wednesday, two days after Netanyahu rejected the idea of a Palestinian state. Earnest stated that “it continues to be the view of the president that a two state solution is the best way to address those tensions.””In the context of the recent election [Israeli] Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated a change in his position, based on those comments the United States will evaluate our approach to the situation. The White House spokesman also said that President Obama had not called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election victory. Netanyahu vowed on Monday that he would not allow the creation of a Palestinian state if he would another term in office. Netanyahu clinched a victory in Tuesday’s Israeli election, final results showed Wednesday. With nearly all votes counted, Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party appeared to have won 30 of the 120 seats in parliament, against 24 for rivals the center-left Zionist Union. FULL REPORT

The post White House Snubs Netanyahu After Win, Still No Congrats from Obama appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Shock As Presbyterian Church Formally Approves Gay Marriage In Church Constitution

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.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV)

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.

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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. source

The post Shock As Presbyterian Church Formally Approves Gay Marriage In Church Constitution appeared first on Now The End Begins.


The Obama Liberal Media Lapdogs Now Calls Netanyahu A “Racist” For Pro-Israel Stance

As soon as Netanyahu emerges victorious in Israel, Obama’s adoring media use their favorite weapon — you guessed it, the race card!

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” Psalm 2:1-3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Obama Administration, having failed in their attempt to disrupt Netanyahu’s reelection campaign, now turns to the only weapon they have left. Personal attacks and smears delivered from the Obama camp through the hands of an ever-so-willing, far left, progressive liberal media fake news machine.

The left wing media is declaring Bibi a racist after the tactical units, sent by Obama, failed in their attempt to sabotage the elections in Israel. It’s bad enough that these left wing Obamanites approve of the White House meddling in another country’s elections, but to call Bibi Netanyahu a racist is incomprehensible.

These same lame stream media nuts refuse to report when rockets are lobbed into Israel, or buses explode, killing many Israelis. Last summer, when Hamas was hurling rocket after rocket into Israel, the president’s cheer leaders would only report on the damage done in Gaza to their homes, and when Hamas used human shields (even children) and there was a loss of life – that is what these news agencies would report — never speaking of Israel having to defend themselves.

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The narrative was clearly given to these people by the White House: report that Israel is killing Palestinians. Report that Israel is doing this with no provocation. And they gladly follow his orders.

The NY Times reported today: He railed against Israeli Arabs — because they had gone out to vote. From the capitals of Europe, to Washington, to the streets of Israel, even while his critics said that he had reaffirmed his reputation as a cynical, calculating politician, it appeared that his approach succeeded in winning votes from other right-leaning parties.

He said that if his Likud Party won Tuesday’s national elections, he would never allow the creation of a Palestinian state, a reversal of a stance he had taken six years earlier. That risked further damaging his already frayed relations with the Obama administration after a confrontation over Iran and increasing European frustration with Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu’s conflict with the White House became a campaign issue, with critics saying that it alone undermined Israel’s security. Washington is Israel’s most important ally, providing crucial financial and diplomatic support.”

In interviews with the Israeli news media that Mr. Netanyahu usually shuns, he complained of a conspiracy of left-wing organizations funded from abroad and foreign governments out to topple him. source

How many times must PM Netanyahu have to reiterate that no peace initiative will ever be considered while the Palestinian Authority repeatedly refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist? Is this hard to understand? I am glad that he took this stance against a two state solution. There are no signs that the Palestinian Authority will ever acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.

The NY Times titled their article about the Likud Party’s win with these words:

“Deep Wounds and Lingering Questions After Israel’s Bitter Race”

It certainly was not “Bitter” to the millions of people who love Israel. Actually, it was rather ‘sweet.’

Am Yisrael Chai!

MARANATHA

The post The Obama Liberal Media Lapdogs Now Calls Netanyahu A “Racist” For Pro-Israel Stance appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Starbucks ‘Race Together’ Campaign Attempts To Cash In On America’s Racial Tensions

A senior Starbucks executive says he was attacked online after the coffee chain began a campaign this week encouraging baristas to talk about race relations with customers.

I felt personally attacked in a cascade of negativity,” Corey duBrowa, the senior vice president of communications at Starbucks, wrote in a post on Medium on Tuesday. DuBrowa blocked several Twitter users Monday before deactivating his account.

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I got overwhelmed by the volume and tenor of the discussion, and I reacted,” he wrote. “Most of all, I was concerned about becoming a distraction from the respectful conversation around Race Together that we have been trying to create.”

“Race Together” is what Starbucks is calling its new campaign. Critics have attacked the campaign on social media, saying Starbucks is trying to capitalize on racial tensions in the US.

Some of those critics tweeted their concerns directly to duBrowa on Monday. And after he deleted his account, critics accused him of stifling the discussion around race relations that Starbucks’ new campaign was said to want to initiate. source

The post Starbucks ‘Race Together’ Campaign Attempts To Cash In On America’s Racial Tensions appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Will Obama Recognize Palestine As Punishment For Netanyahu Reelection Victory?

Does Obama hate Benjamin Netanyahu enough to take the biggest gamble of his presidency and declare Palestine as a nation to spite him?

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

Despite a very diligent effort to marginalize Netanyahu and disrupt his reelection campaign, US President Barack Hussein Obama was unsuccessful in deposing the Israeli Prime Minister. But as president of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, Obama has a few more tricks up his sleeve. One of them is quite nasty indeed.

will-obama-recognize-palestine-to-punish-netanyahu-israel-likud

The AP reports today that the Obama administration signaled on Wednesday it could take a tougher stance toward Benjamin Netanyahu following his decisive Israeli election victory and campaign tack to the right, saying there will be consequences for his sudden reversal on the idea of an independent Palestinian state.

While senior American officials said the administration was still evaluating options, they suggested the U.S. could ease its staunch opposition to Palestinians turning to the UN Security Council to create a state.

There are policy ramifications for what he said,” one official said of Netanyahu’s campaign rhetoric rejecting the creation of a Palestinian state. “This is a position of record.”

The regathered nation of Israel was officially recognized on May 14, 1948 by US President Harry S. Truman, and immediately other nations reluctantly followed his lead. All it would take would be the stroke of Obama’s treasonous pen to gathered the supported needed at the United Nations to recognize the mythical land of Palestine as a nation in 2015.

Does Obama hate Benjamin Netanyahu enough to take the biggest gamble of his presidency and declare Palestine as a nation to spite him? I think you already know the answer to that question.

The plans are already in the works.

 

The post Will Obama Recognize Palestine As Punishment For Netanyahu Reelection Victory? appeared first on Now The End Begins.


The Israeli People Send Stern Warning To Obama With Netanyahu Landslide Win

“The first message is to Barack Hussein Obama – don’t mess with us; don’t mess with our democracy.”

“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4 (KJV)

From Paula Stern in Arutz Sheva: I woke this morning in far off India to the news that Israel had done what I wanted it to do, what India did when the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, tried to interfere in their elections.

As we watch the dust settle over the election results, several things are readily apparent. A much stronger Netanyahu has emerged. The question of how he will form a coalition is as yet unanswered. It will take a few days but it will happen. But even now, as they are counting the final votes, there are two very clear messages that have come out of this election.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Revelation 5:5 (KJV)

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The first is a message to Barack Hussein Obama – don’t mess with us; don’t mess with our democracy. By far, the loudest sound heard from Israel this morning is the sound of Israel spitting in Obama’s face and if that seems too crude, too graphic a message, I’ll remind you that this is what Obama has been doing to Israel for weeks as he mobilized dozens of campaign workers to fight Netanyahu for the will of the Israeli people.

I longed for home; for a land where we do not need non-Jews to preserve us. I prayed not for a political party but for all Israelis to vote. I was ready, I am ready, to accept the will of the people.

And that is what spoke yesterday.

The results were resounding for a simple reason – the second message. Likud is where it is because many voters sacrificed their true voting choice to enable Benjamin Netanyahu to remain in power. The message to Obama is stunning and clear; whether Netanyahu understands the message to him is another matter.

Bennett’s power is far greater than the 8 seats he now commands because he has something more. He has seats within the Likud and those seats, or at least the voters who represent them, will be ready at any moment to pull out if Bibi refuses to now deliver on what he promised to get re-elected.

Netanyahu will spend time now evaluating the very clear message sent to him, but Obama need not take any time. Israel has spoken, roared its message brilliantly.

From the beautiful city of Jerusalem, at the heart and center of Israel, our eternal and united capital, from the streets of Tel Aviv, from the north and from the south, from ancient cities that date back to Biblical times and have been renewed – no Obama, we will not let you choose who will lead us. We will forever be the best friend America will ever have in the Middle East. We will share a common goal – a commitment to freedom, democracy. We will share such important values as loving life, fighting to preserve all that we are. We, little Israel, will continue to reach out to help others in times of crisis, but we will not let you do what you tried so desperately to do.

Israel has spoken. We will choose our destiny and we will, as Bibi told the US Congress, defend ourselves – for the first time in 100 generations, we will not rely on others to defend the Jews.

Israel has spoken.

Geri replies to Paula: First of all, Paula, I offer apologies to you and all of Israel, on behalf of Americans who love Israel. This president does not speak for us. You must understand that Barack Obama was trained to be a Community Organizer, or like Saul Alinsky referred to this job as “An outside agitator.” That’s what Obama has been doing since his days in Chicago. He learned to agitate. Then he became a State Senator and he brought his agitator skills with him to that job. Then he hit the semi-bigtime and became a U.S. Senator and agitated there.

In 2008, he hit the big-time as U.S. President of the United States. Hope and Change really meant “Forget what America has been about, because I’m going to screw you up so badly, you won’t recognize this country in a few years.”

But that wasn’t enough for this man. Now he aspires to be an “International Agitator.” It’s all the man knows how to do, and now he can attempt to screw up other countries. The man is diabolical. He is a Socialist/Communist and his desire is to agitate the entire world until he sees redistribution of wealth in every country on this planet.

You say that Israel roared with this election, and here in America, Paula, we roared with you.

We add our voices to those of Israel. Am Yisrael Chai!

 

The post The Israeli People Send Stern Warning To Obama With Netanyahu Landslide Win appeared first on Now The End Begins.


On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) PC(USA) redefines marriage under growing demand for theological compromise

Largest Presbyterian Denomination Gives Final Approval for Same-Sex Marriage, New York Times (Laurie Goodstein)

2) San Francisco church drops celibacy for gay members, neglects Scripture’s view of harm

Prominent San Francisco evangelical church drops celibacy requirement for LGBT members, Religion News Service (Kimberly Winston)

A Letter from the Elder Board – March 13, 2015, City Church San Francisco

2) Value of confession evidenced as Alabama Baptist church disfellowshipped over gay marriage

Alabama Baptist church dis-fellowshipped over pastor’s gay friendly views, Baptist News Global (Bob Allen)
In other news…

Benjamin L. Corey – When Theology Is So Pro-Israel That It Becomes Anti-Christian

Will Date Setter Mark Biltz Repent When His Prediction of Christ’s Return Fails in 2015?

Hagee Claims Credit for ‘Blood Moons’ Discovery

CNN Video: What Does Pastor Creflo Dollar Do With His Money?

A.A. co-founder knew Christians would see his view of Christ as “terrific heresy”

Identity Politics: Israeli Election Squeezes Arab Christians


College freshmen less religious than ever — just like their parents

Over a quarter of college freshman say that they have no religion. This males them the least religious cohort in four decades of the surveys conducted by UCLA. (Grant, Religion News)

Full Story


UNRWA: The Crux of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

This article surveys several historical issues regarding the involvement of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Arab- Israeli conflict.

 


Israel Has Spoken

The first message is to Barack Hussein Obama – don’t mess with us; don’t mess with our democracy.

I woke this morning in far off India to the news that Israel had done what I wanted it to do, what India did when the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, tried to interfere in their elections.

Bennett’s power is far greater than the 8 seats he now commands because he has something more.
As we watch the dust settle over the election results, several things are readily apparent. A much stronger Netanyahu has emerged.

View Article


White House Avoids Congratulating Bibi

On CNN this morning, White House aide David Simas avoided congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Israeli elections. Instead, he would only congratulate the Israeli people on having an election.

View Short Video


Obama Punishes Israel for Re-electing PM Netanyahu

The Obama administration is now reportedly weighing the option of whether to agree to a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as well as the withdrawal of Israel from Judea and Samaria, with mutually agreed land swaps. The resolution would force Israel to enter immediate talks with the Palestinian Authority, in advance of a final status agreement for both sides.

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Obama may agree to UN resolution on ’67 borders after Netanyahu campaign rhetoric

In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resounding victory in Tuesday’s election… …the Obama administration is now seriously considering agreeing to the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution “embodying the principles of a two-state solution that would include Israel’s 1967 borders with Palestine and mutually agreed swaps of territory,” according to The New York Times.

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Israel’s shield no more?

In the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisive re-election, the Obama administration is revisiting longtime assumptions about America’s role as a shield for Israel against international pressure.

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With Netanyahu holding on, the administration is weighing a turn to the U.N. to help force a deal

After years of blocking U.N. efforts to pressure Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a lasting two-state solution, the United States is edging closer toward supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution that would call for the resumption of political talks to conclude a final peace settlement, according to Western diplomats.

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Israel’s Enemies Respond to Election Results

While Iran and Hamas say it makes no difference, the Palestinian Authority considers ending security cooperation with the Jewish state and pushing ahead with its bid to charge Israel with war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Meanwhile, the European Union is urging Israel to renew peace talks with Palestinians now that the elections are over.

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Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. She and my dad were married for a little while. She knew she was gay before they got married, but things were different back then. That’s how I got here. It was complicated as you can imagine. She left him when I was two or three because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.

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Showdown: Navy Forces Chaplain to Choose Between Faith and Job

Five months ago the Navy called him the “best of the best.” But now, Chaplain Wes Modder could be kicked out of the military over issues of intolerance and insensitivity to other cultures.

View Article


Jeb Bush just hired an adviser with extensive ties to the religious right

by Marsha West

According to Business Insider:

Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise PAC has hired an evangelical Christian legal advocate, Jordan Sekulow, as a senior adviser. The move could be a crucial step in Bush’s outreach to the religious right as he tries to win over dubious voters in the conservative grassroots ahead of the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

Sekulow is the Executive Director of the conservative legal advocacy group American Center for Law & Justice. The group was founded by televangelist-turned-university-president Pat Robertson in 1990 as a conservative alternative to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Megachurch leader drops celibacy requirement for ‘gay’ members – as long as sex is within ‘marriage’

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

The leader of a megachurch in San Francisco has announced that it will no longer require members who struggle with feelings toward the same-sex to remain celibate—as long as the sexual activity is within “marriage”—an announcement that has led to

“Our pastoral practice of demanding life-long ‘celibacy,’ by which we meant that for the rest of your life you would not engage your sexual orientation in any way, was causing obvious harm and has not led to human flourishing,” Fred Harrell of City Church, the largest professing evangelical church in San Francisco, announced in a letter on Friday.

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Pitiable capitulating pro-family leaders, part 1

Marsha West
March 19, 2015

Religious Right, Christian Right, religious conservatives, “values voters” and evangelicals are a few of the titles given to the social and or political groups that wish to hang on to the “traditional family values” (TFV) that are passed on from one generation to the next. These values are defined as “the moral and ethical principles traditionally upheld and transmitted within a family, [such as] honesty, loyalty, industry, and faith.” . . . [Click for more]


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 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

An argument may remove doubt, but only the Holy Spirit can convict of truth. —Ravi Zacharias

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The Grace in Going to Church

Little_country_church_Cedar_Valley_near_Winona,_MNIn my first five years of pastoral ministry, I can look back at a lot of different situations that shock or surprise me. Some people had far more spiritual depth than I thought and others were as shallow as a shower. But one of the simple, surprising blessings in my life is the opportunity to preach the Word of God weekly and to never miss a Sunday gathering.

As a pastor of a smaller church, I don’t get to sleep in, call in sick or take a quick family vacation over the weekend. I’ve heard people say, “it’s your job” or “you get paid to do this.” I understand that, but I want to communicate to them what an awesome blessing it is to be, in a sense, “forced” to go to church week in and week out. I want to encourage other pastors and people to embrace the monotony of weekly attendance by looking at some of the grace that rubs off on us.

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Church Reflections from a 22-Year-Old

By Chuck Lawless

This past weekend, I had the chance to hang out with a 22-year-old for three days. George has been raised in a Christian home. He is a believer. He wants to follow the Lord. He is creative and introspective. His mind races in multiple directions at once, and yet he somehow listens and thinks deeply at the same time. He is not a ministry student; in fact, he’s not yet certain where he’ll land when he finishes college.

God has blessed me to pour into George’s life—but I’m the one who is learning. On the spur of the moment, I asked George what ten things he would like in a church if he could design it. Within minutes, he gave me his response—so quickly, in fact, that I suspect he’s thought about these topics before. Compare George’s responses to the young adults you know.

  1. Sound doctrine that is not watered down – George knows he needs the truth, and he wants the truth. He’s young, but he has so many other options for investing his time that he’s not interested in a church that sugarcoats the gospel.
  2. Genuine opportunities to get involved – Doing insignificant assignments does not grab George’s attention. While he may not yet fully understand the importance of proving his faithfulness while doing the “little things” first, I get his point. Young adults want to make a real difference.
  3. A community for “hanging out” – George recognizes his need to have a community of believers to push him, challenge him – and simply spend time with him. He realizes the importance of Bible study groups, but he sees a need for friends beyond that task. Sometimes believers need friends who gather off the church campus.
  4. A strong commitment to evangelism, particularly locally – He has served on the international mission field – and he’s committed to that responsibility – but George doesn’t want his church to miss the needs in their immediate area. He wants to be sharing the gospel locally, connecting with and influencing the community for God.
  5. Services that are “unrehearsed, naturally flowing, and Spirit-led” – George is a musician, and he knows that preparation and order matter. He simply wants what so many other young adults want: authenticity that validates the message and structure that follows the Lord’s leading.
  6. Hospitality that welcomes complete strangers – The world George has grown up in is much different than my world. The nations live among us. Increasing percentages of non-believers live around us. George would welcome a church that warmly welcomes others – a church that does not cocoon itself around each other.
  7. Bold preaching – This point relates to #1 above. George, like many other young adults I’ve met, wants preaching that “gets in his face” when necessary. He understands his own need to be called to repentance, and he is willing to risk being offended to hear the truth.
  8. A strong worship leader – George’s family is musically inclined, so his background may influence his thoughts here. He wants an effective worship leader who leads the congregation to focus on God – but who also understands that music is not the only component of worship. The worship leader should be strong, yet team-focused.
  9. Variety in worship – Frankly, George admits he is bored easily. Variety (in set up, speakers, worship bands, etc.) would be important to him, if for no other reason than the fact that changes catch his attention. On the other hand, his perspective would also offer opportunities for more believers to be genuinely involved (#2).
  10. Humility and flexibility in facility – Where the church meets would matter little to George; what matters is that the church truly be the church. His ideal church could meet under a tree as long as they truly know God.

George’s responses remind me that I need to have more conversations like this one.

Tell us what you’ve heard from young adults. Better yet, direct some young adults to this site to give their input. Help us all learn.


Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

The post Church Reflections from a 22-Year-Old appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Persecution in Pakistan and Remembering the Christians’ Most Brave Advocate

In a population of 180 million, Pakistan’s Christians only make up two percent. They are a disenfranchised, impoverished, harassed, and persecuted minority, with conditions deteriorating even further in the past few years as the Taliban from Afghanistan has moved into the country next door. But even a tiny, persecuted minority can only take so much! Even Christians can only take so much.

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Are Police Officers a Threat or a Blessing?

Think of all the good God uses our authorities to do for us. They make laws that protect our property and lives. Our military personnel risks their lives so we can enjoy peace and freedom. Things like speed limits, seat belts, sanitary restaurant regulations, requirements for hospitals, food labeling regulations – sometimes they seem like a pain, but they are ultimately for our good. If there were no governments and laws, we’d be in chaos. We’d all have to be doomsday preppers, hunkered down in our bunkers with bazookas, because unrestrained, people steal, kill and destroy. Ultimately God works through the authorities for our good and protection.

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PCA Affirms Biblical Marriage

The PCA in both its doctrinal standards (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24 “Of Marriage and Divorce”) and church polity (Book of Church Order, Chapter 59, “The Solemnization of Marriage”) affirms biblical marriage as being between one man and one woman. Neither the General Assembly nor any of the Presbyteries nor any Session (board of elders) of any congregation that is presently a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has redefined marriage. Nor does the PCA intend to do so.

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Why San Francisco’s City Church is Wrong About Sex

As a church inspired by Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and founded in the Reformed tradition, City Church is supposed to give preeminence to Scripture. Instead, on the matter of homosexual practice, the Pastor and Elder Board gave preeminence to their judgment regarding what conduces more to human flourishing and, oddly, to a scripturally misguided book written by former Vineyard pastor Ken Wilson called A Letter to My Congregation.

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PCUSA’s Definition of Marriage Changed: Same-Sex Marriage is Permitted

Commenting on the vote, LaBerge reaffirmed the statement of protest issued by the Lay Committee following the action of the General Assembly in June 2014 to redefine marriage. She said, “The passage of the amendment is further indication of the erosion of Biblical fidelity within the PCUSA. There is nothing new to say in response. Just as we repudiated the action of the General Assembly in issuing the Authoritative Interpretation we now stand in firm opposition to the passage of this amendment to the denomination’s constitution.”

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My Review of True Woman 101

Let’s go back now to the problem with the language True Woman 101 uses to discuss the essence of gender. My correction is that God didn’t create women to image the Church. He created women to image Himself. In the particular relationship of Christian marriage, the submission of the Church to Christ is a helpful metaphor for understanding submission between husbands and wives. It inspires us to live out our own metaphor in marriage, a noble testimony of the gospel. But, and this is a very big but, women are also called to be like Christ in this very same issue of submission to their husbands (I Peter 2-3).

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The 3 Sieves

I know it is not the perfect standard by which to judge, but I often find myself thinking it: If others speak of me the way I speak of them, I would be devastated. If I could hear what people say about me, and if they could hear what I say about them, I don’t know that I would have a friend left on earth. Why do we do this? Why are we so endlessly cruel?

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Seven Distinguishing Habits of Highly Effective Pastors

They have a gentle spirit. We often forget that gentleness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. In this hypercritical social media world, aggression and negativity have become normative, even in our churches. These pastors, to the contrary, have a calm and gentleness that can only come from the Holy Spirit.

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A Fantastic New Book for Women

Melissa takes moms through an eleven-week devotional Bible study on enormously critical topics such as Understanding Your Purpose, Knowing God’s Word, Entrusting Your Child to the Lord, Ordering Your Home, and much more. If you are looking for a great gift to give at a baby shower, this is it.

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On the Netanyahu Win

by Bill Muehlenberg

One is not sure which is greater to behold: his victory, or the weeping and gnashing of teeth of the lefties. And throughout this campaign, including his appearance before the US Congress, the contrast between the strong, decisive and principled Netanyahu and the weak, vacillating and petty Obama could not have been greater.

Obama did not even try to hide his contempt of Netanyahu and his desire to do all he could to ensure that he lost the election. But despite his attempts, and that of the leftist MSM, Netanyahu has decisively held on to power. And being the juvenile bully that he is, Obama has still not called to congratulate Netanyahu.

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Our Everyday Obedience Is Our Best Witness

by Pastor J.D.

A few weeks ago I reflected on the ways that Titus 2 showed gospel change in four different life stages. (You can read that series here.) As I compiled that series, though, something began to jump out at me. Paul might have been giving different specifics to young women than he did to old men, but they were clearly all on the same team, all headed in the same general direction. A common theme began to emerge: Paul was encouraging each of them to extraordinary obedience, even thought the applications were often seemingly ordinary.

Here are three truths about extraordinary obedience in ordinary situations: Read more of this post


Cultural Enemies – Church & Culture Blog

If you are a true follower of Christ, you will have enemies. A lot of enemies.

This isn’t a popular idea.

Many Christians seem more intent on fitting into culture, or at least getting its affirmation, than opposing it. And the entire idea of being an enemy, or having one, seems out of sync with the Christ life.

But it isn’t.

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If I Had a Million Dollars (Why I’m Not a Feminist)

I read a blog post last week titled, “If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist).” It has 373 comments so far. 372 of the comments are about how powerful and touching it was.
Mine was the other one.
Not that I think it wasn’t powerful or touching; I’m just not a feminist. Here’s why:

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OPRAH WINFREY’S NEW AGE “CHRISTIANITY” (PART 2) Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler

A brand new booklet by Warren B. Smith is available through Lighthouse Trails Publishing, and the editors have kindly allowed us to publish it here. To order copies of the 14-page color published tracts for to give to loved ones caught up in this deception, and for further study, click here. By Warren B. […]

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The New Age & Hitler’s Germany: Wash, Rinse, Smile, Repeat

Today we’re bringing up some oldies but not-so-goodies. You may hear the names Oprah Winfrey, Rodney Howard Browne or Neil Donald Walsh and think, “Oh sure, SUFTT, we know they’re New Age. Nothing new to see here.” But wait. What’s old news is new news again, especially when the fringes become mainstream. And when God […]

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Pitiable Capitulating Pro-family Leaders – Part 1

by Marsha West

Religious Right, Christian Right, religious conservatives, “values voters” and evangelicals are a few of the titles given to the social and or political groups that wish to hang on to the “traditional family values” (TFV) that are passed on from one generation to the next. These values are defined as “the moral and ethical principles […]

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How to Fix a Broken Picker Outer

by Erin Davis | 3/18/15
If he was a loser, I liked him.
If he was going to treat me bad, I had to have him.
If he needed fixed, I figured I was just the girl for the job.

For so many years I liked the wrong guys for all the wrong reasons. I guess my picker outer was broken. And there’s only one result of a broken picker outer . . . a broken heart. Picking the wrong guys led to the wrong expectations and the wrong kinds of relationships.

By God’s grace, I eventually married the right guy, but I still remember the pain of picking the wrong guy over and over (and over) again! Here are some truths I learned along the way.

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“Not all preferences are autonomous and selfish.”

by Scott Aniol

Mark Snoeberger helpfully explains here why some preferences are bad reasons to leave a church, while other preferences may rightfully lead someone to change membership. This can include preference concerning preaching, baptism, communion, and music.

He concludes,

Of course, there will always be occasions in which believers, after careful study, disagree about what the Scriptures teach on several of these issues, or disagree mightily on the best ways to fulfill these revealed functions of the gathered church. In some cases (and perhaps more often than is supposed) the disagreements are small enough to tolerate. But at times churches who err in these matters leave the church’s work incomplete and its worshipers spiritually starved, bruised, dismayed, and discouraged—even angry at the despite they believe has been done to the person and cause of Christ.

In many cases it is quite possible for all involved to amicably and eagerly call each other brothers in Christ. But they eventually will come to worship separately, and should worship separately. And it is not (necessarily) because one party or the other has “made the worship experience about himself and not the God being worshiped.”

via On “Preferences” and Church Membership.


Our Time is Short

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


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Barna Update | God, Family, Country? New Research on American Identity

What Most Influences the Self-Identity of Americans?

Most Americans agree the primary factor that makes up their identity is family. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say their family makes up “a lot” of their personal identity (62%). In a recent study, Barna Group asked adults how much a variety of factors influences their personal identity. While it may not come as a surprise that “family” ranks first, it is perhaps unexpected how much more likely certain groups (Elders, practicing Christians, residents of the Midwest) are to say so and how much less likely other groups (Millennials, people with no faith, residents of the West) are to point to family as a key part of their identity.

What other factors do adults consider central to their identity? And how do faith, age, politics and even area of the country affect people’s self-perceptions?

Read the research here >

Woman raised by two lesbian parents speaks out: I missed my Dad

WINTERY KNIGHT

Heather Barwick Heather Barwick

This is from The Federalist. Just so you know, the author is a former same-sex marriage advocate.

She writes:

Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. She and my dad were married for a little while. She knew she was gay before they got married, but things were different back then. That’s how I got here. It was complicated as you can imagine. She left him when I was two or three because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.

My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.

Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life. My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ‘burbs of a…

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People Who Talk About the ‘Greatest Threat To Christianity’ Make Me Laugh

Zwinglius Redivivus

zwi.jpgThe greatest threat to Christianity?   There is no such thing.  In fact, I laugh at the very notion.   The gates of hell can’t prevail against the Church so RHE and the emergents and Rob Bell and Rick Warren and gay marriage advocates and Ed Young and racists or hatemongers like Westboro not baptist not church nor anything else on earth or in hell can put so much as a dent in its walls.

Feel free to lament the demise of this or that ‘church’ or denomination or congregation.  None of them are the Church.  The Church, the body of Christ, can’t be overcome by any power because it is – well – the body of Christ.

When the angry atheists and their kindred poke fun at Christianity and insist that the Church must adopt cultural morals or it will perish, feel free to laugh in their faces and…

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Mark Dever Preaches on Psalm 119

Steak and a Bible

At the 2015 Shepherds Conference, Mark Dever preached out of Psalm 119. Not a piece of Psalm 119. He actually worked from the entire text. There’s so much in there I’ve been reading sections of the Psalm all week and still have a long way to go. This particular psalm declares over an over his love for the Word of God, points to its faithfulness and truth and much more. I hope you enjoy Dever’s message.

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What are the arguments for the historicity of the empty tomb story?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Investigating the historical Jesus Investigating the historical Jesus

I wanted to go over this article by William Lane Craig which includes a discussion of the empty tomb, along with the other minimal facts that support the resurrection.

The word resurrection means bodily resurrection

The concept of resurrection in use among the first converts to Christianity was a Jewish concept of resurrection. And that concept of resurrection is unequivocally in favor of a bodily resurrection. The body (soma) that went into the grave is the body (soma) that came out.

Craig explains what this means with respect to the fast start of Christian belief:

For a first century Jew the idea that a man might be raised from the dead while his body remained in the tomb was simply a contradiction in terms. In the words of E. E. Ellis, “It is very unlikely that the earliest Palestinian Christians could conceive of any distinction…

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Should blacks vote for Democrats? Do liberal policies help young black men?

WINTERY KNIGHT

I want to quote from two black economists – my two favorite economists – to answer some questions.

First, Thomas Sowell.

Economist Thomas Sowell Economist Thomas Sowell

Is minimum wage good for young blacks?

He writes:

Low-income minorities are often hardest-hit by the unemployment that follows in the wake of minimum wage laws. The last year when the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930, the year before there was a federal minimum wage law.

The following year, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was passed, requiring minimum wages in the construction industry. This was in response to complaints that construction companies with non-union black construction workers were able to underbid construction companies with unionized white workers (whose unions would not admit blacks).

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…

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Godlife: How do you feel about God?

Scripture: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:8

Do you feel like God is distant, or like your problems are not big enough for God to care about?

No matter how often you feel that way, it can’t be any farther from the truth. Your feelings will never change the way God feels about you. He knit you together before you were even born (Psalm 139:13) and He died for you even though you sin.

Read more about God’s love:

Part 5: Jesus Has Love and Compassion

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

Thursday

Day 26: Why is the resurrection of Jesus the only thing that accounts for the conversion of James, Jesus’ brother?

Confession: Psalm 30:1–5

I will exalt you, O Yahweh,

because you have drawn me up,

and have not made my enemies rejoice over me.

O Yahweh, my God,

I cried for help to you,

and you healed me.

O Yahweh, you have brought my life up from Sheol.

You preserved me alive

from among those going down to the pit.

Sing praises to Yahweh, you his faithful ones,

and give thanks to his holy fame.

For there is a moment in his anger;

there is a lifetime in his favor.

Weeping lodges for the evening,

but in the morning comes rejoicing.

Reading: Mark 14:1–2

Now after two days it was the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how, after arresting him by stealth, they could kill him. For they said, “Not at the feast, lest there be an uproar by the people.”

Reflection

Dastardly fear often drives men to the greatest crimes. He who is not brave enough to be master of his own spirit, and to follow the dictates of his own conscience, may do, before long, he little knows what. Because of the fear of the people, the chief priests and scribes were driven to compass the death of Christ by craft, and to bring Him to His death by the cruel betrayal of Judas—one of His own apostles.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons

Response

Are your actions guided by fear? What ways can the good and true fear of God drive out these fears?[1]

 

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

There is only one true Gospel

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond- servant of Christ.
11 For I would have you…

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