Daily Archives: March 27, 2015

March 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Collection

You must either give up your sins or give up all hope of heaven. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 23 Quotes


Mar. 27, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Top U.S. Senate Democrat Harry Reid won’t seek re-election next year, ending a congressional career that spans more than three decades.

The U.S. Senate adopted a fiscal 2016 budget that calls for $5.1 trillion in spending cuts to achieve balance in 10 years, while avoiding proposals to partially privatize Medicare as many Republicans brace for re-election.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation issued a change of policy Wednesday that will allow some sex offenders in the state to live within 2,000 feet of a school or a park, a reversal of a provision of Proposition 83, or “Jessica’s Law,” which voters passed in 2006.

Within hours of signing the so-called “Religious Freedom Bill” into law in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence learned that there would be a price to pay for enacting what critics say is a brazenly anti-gay piece of legislation. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced that the San Francisco-based company would cancel all travel to Indiana, effective immediately. The law allows businesses the right to refuse serving gays and lesbians on religious grounds.

The U.S. economy expanded at 2.2 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter, led by the biggest gain in consumer spending in eight years.

The slowdown that North American railroad companies had been bracing for in crude oil shipments has turned into a rout, with volumes falling faster than executives had predicted.

AP Top Stories

Indonesia is preparing to move a Filipina death row inmate for execution after she lost her appeal in the Supreme Court earlier this week. The planned executions of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso and nine other mostly foreign drug traffickers has drawn international criticism after repeated pleas for mercy from the United Nations and various governments have gone unheeded by President Joko Widodo.

Arab coalition warplanes bombed rebel camps in Yemen on Friday in a second straight day of strikes led by Saudi Arabia, which accused Iran of “aggression” across the region.

Russia has unveiled ambitious plans to build a superhighway that, in theory, could make it possible to drive from London on one end to New York on the other.

A 22-year-old Oklahoma man committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at a Colorado ski resort after witnesses said he ate “a large amount” of marijuana-infused edibles, the local coroner said on Thursday.

Syria would welcome an increased Russian military presence at its sea ports, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian news channels published Friday.

Singaporeans hoping for a glimpse of long-time leader Lee Kuan Yew’s coffin are being urged to stay away from the sprawling queue as waiting times reach 10 hours.

A maligned monarch found under a parking lot was buried in pomp Thursday, as Britain embraced comeback King Richard III, a long-reviled ruler who is experiencing a remarkable posthumous renaissance.

At least one person was killed and several others injured when a truck hit a beam on a highway bridge under construction above Interstate 35 in central Texas, causing a collapse that rained debris on vehicles, officials said.

Arab leaders meeting this weekend in this Egyptian Red Sea resort are moving closer than ever to creating a joint Arab military force, a sign of a new determination among Saudi Arabia, Egypt and their allies to intervene aggressively in regional hotspots, whether against Islamic militants or spreading Iranian power.

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. left federal prison in Montgomery, Alabama, early Thursday morning.

A woman accused of decapitating her 3-month-old daughter with a chef’s knife was indicted Wednesday on a charge of aggravated murder.

U.S. resistance to a Chinese-led Asian regional bank has left it isolated among its Asian and European allies and given some heft to China’s frequent complaints that Washington wants to contain its rise as a world power.

BBC

The Nigerian army said it has retaken the north-eastern town of Gwoza, believed to be the headquarters of militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

US drug enforcement agents attended sex parties funded by drug cartels, a new report has alleged.

Brazil, the world’s seventh largest economy, narrowly avoided contracting in 2014 with a growth rate of just 0.1% for the year.

An Argentine appeals court has upheld a decision to dismiss a controversial case against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

The authorities in Sierra Leone are enforcing a three-day lockdown to curb the spread of Ebola, with the entire population ordered to stay at home. There is a two-hour exemption on Friday to allow Muslim prayers and a five-hour window for Christians on Sunday.

Australia has passed a controversial security law that will require its internet and mobile phone providers to store customer data for two years.

WND

The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days.

Two major federal law enforcement agencies have spent millions of dollars on 23 drones that for some reason are not operational.

The Seattle Police Department offers its precinct lobbies as a safe place to exchange cash or valuables with a [Craigslist] stranger.


 Daily Digest

March 27, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“If men … give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.” –Samuel Adams, Rights of the Colonists, 1772

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

A Broken Reid Retires

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It’s the end of an error, er, era. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term in 2016. The New York Times epitaph says his retirement “bring[s] an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.” Of course, the point there is that Reid’s pushing Obama’s agenda is what put him in the minority, and after all his black eyes (real and metaphorical) he probably just doesn’t care to continue there. Naturally, he denies it, saying, “The decision that I’ve made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, it has nothing to do with my being minority leader, and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected, because the path to re-election is much easier than it probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election.” But it’s hardly unusual for a powerful member of Congress to call it quits upon returning to the minority. And Republicans nearly unseated him in 2010 with a B-list candidate, meaning his re-election in 2016 is far from a sure bet. “I want to be able to go out at the top of my game,” he said. Indeed, he’d rather not run than lose his last election. He gave that away when he said, “I think it is unfair for me to be soaking up all the money to be re-elected.” If his path is “much easier” and he’s “at the top of [his] game,” why would it take so much money to win?

Creating a Budget Is the Best Thing This Congress Has Done

After a grueling 18-hour session, the Senate adopted a budget proposal around 3 a.m. Friday through a 52-46 vote that split along party lines. The budget is different than the House’s spending plan, as it doesn’t defund ObamaCare and reform Medicare. Yet, this measure shows the Republicans in Congress actually beginning to lead. Think about it this way: If the federal government was an average American household, it hasn’t worked with a budget since 2009 and instead used credit cards and managed money on a month-to-month basis (relatively speaking). In the coming weeks, Congress will use the two spending plans to create a resolution both chambers can approve. Yesterday, Barack Obama gave an audience in Alabama his hard-hitting analysis on the GOP’s budget: “It represents the opposite of middle-class economics.” We hope so. He went on to attack Congress’ budget, saying that a little deficit is okay. He’s one to talk. Earlier this week, Obama’s proposed budget failed in the Senate on a 98-1 vote, which tells us what even Democrats think of his fiscal “leadership.” More…

Two IL National Guardsmen Planned ISIL Attack in U.S.

While Army National Guard Spc. Hasan Edmonds flew to Egypt to defect to ISIL, his cousin, Jonas Edmonds, who was also in the National Guard, was going to use his uniform and training to attack a U.S. military base in northern Illinois. That was the duo’s plan at least, before the FBI arrested Hasan at Chicago Midway International Airport and Jonas at his home. In a statement, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said, “According to the charges filed today, the defendants allegedly conspired to provide material support to ISIL and planned to travel overseas to support the terrorist organization. In addition, they plotted to attack members of our military within the United States. Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack.” While the two may have worn the same uniform that today’s Patriots also wear, the two terrorists were part of the worldwide jihadi terror network. In the words of Mark Alexander, “These attacks and those to come were and will be directly tied to worldwide Jihad by way of the Qur’an, the foundational fabric linking all Islamist violence.” More…

Half of ObamaCare Users Owe the IRS

Goodbye refund. Half of the Americans who received a subsidy for health insurance will never see their refund materialize, as they owe the government because it gave out too much in ObamaCare subsidies. In other words, Americans are paying for the government’s mistake. “Nearly all families that received tax credits will either owe money or receive extra money because their tax filings had changed after they calculated their ObamaCare subsidies, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation,” The Hill reports. “Only 4 percent of households received the correct subsidy, according to the report, which uses data from the national Survey of Income and Program Participation.” While it’s not a good way to manage personal finances, many Americans count on a sizable IRS refund to make big purchases like furniture or a new vehicle, or to pay down some debt. Instead, Americans who couldn’t afford health insurance will be farther in a financial hole. More…

Quietly, Defense Officials Oppose Transgendered Soldiers

While Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wants to explore the idea of allowing transgendered people to openly serve in the U.S. military, Defense officials under him are not so sure. But the situation is so politically charged they asked that their names not be published along with their comments. “The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly,” the Associated Press reports. “Much of the opposition centers on questions of where transgender troops would be housed, what berthing they would have on ships, which bathrooms they would use and whether their presence would affect the ability of small units to work well together.” Because the policies of the U.S. military can be changed depending on who is commander in chief, progressives can view it as a petri dish for their favorite social experiments. What Carter and Barack Obama seem to have forgotten is that the U.S. military was founded, like, to actually fight our enemies and defend our homeland. Instead, they’ve created a culture that quashes dissent and cares more about “diversity,” “inclusion” and “tolerance” than winning wars. More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Congress Asserts Itself in Iran Dealings

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As Barack Obama races headlong toward whatever nuclear deal he can get with Iran, Congress has repeatedly reminded the former college lecturer and “constitutional scholar” that the Constitution does not grant him divine powers — that he is not an emperor, but merely the head of the executive branch of government. That same Constitution charges the Senate to approve or reject foreign treaties through its advice and consent role. And the Congress as a whole is the sole authority for passing legislation, including the legislation that put U.S. sanctions in place against Iran in recent years. Obama’s disdain for our system of checks and balances is well documented, and his “trust me” approach to the Iran negotiations is simply more proof of it.

Finally, it appears that both congressional chambers and both parties have had enough. Three recent events demonstrate the legislative branch’s distrust of the executive when it comes to a deal with Iran.

First, it was 47 Republican senators and their open letter to Iran, making clear that any non-binding deal could be negated at a moment’s notice by a future president. Because of the letter’s 100% Republican backing, it was easy for Obama and his fellow travelers to dismiss its authors as partisans and even “traitors.” As we said at the time, the letter would have been better addressed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue than to Iran, but it was a significant and perfectly legal warning shot all the same.

Then, earlier this week, 367 members of the House, from both sides of the aisle, signed a letter to Barack Obama reminding His Eminence that Congress enacted sanctions on Iran and any relief of those sanctions as part of a deal would require new legislation — not just a wave of his hand. With a veto-proof majority of House members signing this letter, it will be impossible to spin as partisan politics, although we fully expect Obama and his sycophants to try.

Finally, on Thursday, the Senate unanimously endorsed an amendment to its budget that would make it easier to restore sanctions if Iran is caught cheating again. We repeat, a unanimous, 100-0, un-spinnable, no wiggle-room vote of the entire Senate.

California’s Barbara Boxer, not generally known as a foreign policy hawk, endorsed the amendment, saying, “I hope we can all vote for this because it doesn’t do anything to cause disarray in the negotiations. What it says is if there is a deal and there’s a break-out by Iran, we’d have a very quick way to restore sanctions.” The vote was held by roll call at the insistence of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and thus puts all 100 senators on record in favor of the amendment.

It’s unfortunate that the White House and Congress are having this food fight during such a critical moment in U.S. foreign policy, but Obama has only himself to blame. His treatment of Congress, his record of lies and his “we have to get a deal before we share the details” approach have finally exceeded the limits of congressional goodwill. It remains to be seen if Obama will press ahead anyway, but Congress has now drawn its own line in the sand. Let’s hope they stick to it.

Saudis Clean Up Obama’s ‘Success’ in Yemen

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Disaster = success?

Remember when Yemen was a model of success for Barack Obama’s foreign policy? That’s what he called it last September before the Yemeni government fell to Iranian backed rebels. Among other things, U.S. intelligence in the region is seriously compromised after having had to pull its personnel from the country. Undeterred by this dramatic change in events, however, Obama still insists Yemen is a great example of a “successful counterterrorism strategy.”

After learning earlier this month about Saudi Arabia’s efforts to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions through a deal with South Korea, we now know the Saudis are countering Tehran on another front: They’re leading a counterattack against Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen.

On Wednesday, the kingdom made it official, leading a coalition of at least 10 allied nations with airstrikes against its southern neighbor, reserving ground troops as needed. The U.S. is playing a small role, with a Joint Planning Cell to provide military and intelligence support.

As is often the case in these conflicts, the players are divided along sectarian lines. The Saudis and their Sunni allies are pitted against the Iranian Shiites in the latest chapter of an age-old conflict. Yet these religious alliances do not necessarily extend to the Islamic State, which is also engaged in a struggle with Iran over various cities in Iraq, most particularly Tikrit. The U.S. is part of a coalition to push the Islamic State out of Iraq — whose ascendance was enabled by Obama’s disastrous decision to withdraw American forces in 2011.

Among the factions trying to push ISIL from Iraq, though, are Iranian-backed militia groups. So, as National Review’s Jim Geraghty put it, “[W]e’re offering logistical help to our allies to help them fight Iranian proxies… while we’re helping Iranian forces in Iraq against ISIS… while we’re attempting to reach agreement with the Iranians on their nuclear ambitions.”

If you’re confused, join the club: As FP Group CEO David Rothkopf quipped on Twitter, “I’m pretty sure appointing a Magic 8 Ball as National Security Advisor would produce better results than we’re currently getting.”

You have to hand it to the Saudis, though: When they saw their national interest was threatened, they put together a working coalition to deal with the problem. Unfortunately, the original U.S.-led effort to deal with Islamist terror — what we in our humble shop call the Long War — has dissipated due to Obama’s lack of resolve and compulsory aim for political expediency. For their part, the Saudis will likely fight until they get what they want, so the real question is just how much wider this Arabian Peninsula skirmish will grow, and what other strange bedfellows get together.

Challenging the EPA Steamroller

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The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in Michigan v. EPA, a case that has the potential to either check the Environmental Protection Agency’s runaway abuse of power or give it unchecked authority to bankrupt any industry it sees fit.

At issue is the agency’s duty to adhere to the Clean Air Act’s “appropriate and necessary” standard when issuing and enforcing regulations. The EPA published mercury and air toxin standards in 2012 that, by the agency’s own estimates, would cost the economy close to $10 billion annually. The public health benefits supposedly to be gained from the rules would amount to $6 million annually at the most, meaning that every $20,000 of regulatory fees that the energy industry pays would lead to only $1 in public benefit. What a deal.

The EPA argues economic cost is not a factor when considering whether regulations are appropriate and necessary, claiming environmental benefits alone are what concern the agency.

When the case was before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent took the EPA to task: “Your only statutory direction is to decide whether it is ‘appropriate’ to go forward with the regulation. Before making that decision, what information would you want to know? You would certainly want to understand the benefits from the regulations. And you would surely ask how much the regulations would cost. You would no doubt take both of those considerations — benefits and costs — into account in making your decision. That’s just common sense and sound government practice.”

The EPA, though, is not concerned with common sense or legality. Its goal with the mercury regulations, among the costliest in history, is to drive coal-fired power plants out of business. And it’s all part of Barack Obama’s strategy to make sure electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the Obama administration’s most loyal water carriers, tried to justify the EPA’s position. He suggested that the agency would consider the appropriateness of costs at some later point when enforcing the mercury rule since, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the power to apply rules in an “appropriate and necessary” manner.

It’s hoped that the legal minds of at least five Supreme Court justices will be sharp enough to recognize the contradiction of such an argument. If the EPA wasn’t concerned about whether its measures were appropriate at the regulatory rulemaking phase, then where’s the incentive to revisit the appropriate cost later on? Furthermore, if the EPA has the ability to decide whether the regulatory cost was appropriate at a later date, then it’s engaging in an action that it has stated in this case it need not do.

In Michigan v. EPA, the agency argues Rule of Law is irrelevant. If the Supreme Court rightly disagrees, then it will rule against this rogue EPA.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

Political activist Angelina Grimke (1805-1879): “The doctrine of blind obedience and unqualified submission to any human power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism.”

Columnist Mona Charen: “Throughout the protracted negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, the Obama administration has assured Congress that ‘no deal’ was ‘better than a bad deal.’ They’ve offered pledges that Iran’s centrifuges would be limited to 500, that the PMDs (possible military dimensions) of its nuclear research would be fully disclosed, that the facility at Fordo (built into a mountain) would be shut down, and that snap inspections would be part of any agreement. … The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. negotiators are scaling back their demands for disclosure of PMDs (something the International Atomic Energy Agency had also demanded). … The French government has protested that the U.S. is retreating (think that one over for a minute). France’s foreign minister is reported to have said that ‘the United States was really ready to sign just about anything with the Iranians.’ … Each and every news leak out of Lausanne depicts the U.S. walking back its demands. Just watch the faces of the Iranian negotiators. Their smiles tell the tale. … It is impossible to recall a more dangerous or foolish set of assumptions by an American president in modern American history. Death to America might become more than a chant.”

Columnist Michael Reagan: “When my father ran in the 1980 primaries he was lucky. He was a lone conservative in a sea of moderate and liberal Republicans. The moderates split the moderate vote and he won the nomination. Today the situation is reversed. Conservatives are splitting the conservative vote in the primaries and moderates like McCain and Romney are winning the GOP nomination. Conservatives better watch out. If what happened in ‘08 and ’12 happens in ’16, we are going to blow our chance to regain the White House once again. … When I tweeted that Cruz said something I agreed with in his speech, I got a flurry of tweets from Rand Paul people. ‘Why do you hate Rand Paul?’ When I tweeted something nice about Rand Paul, I got a flurry of tweets from Cruz’s people. ‘Why do you hate Ted Cruz?’ This is one of the worst problems with conservatives. Liberals are led by ideology and they’ll always support their nominee in the general election because of that. … [N]o matter who Republicans nominate, to win back the White House they’ll all have to follow my father’s 11th Commandment and fully support their party’s presidential nominee — no matter who it is.”

Climate blogger Steve Goddard: “What ‘Earth Hour’ tells us is that people can’t go very long without fossil fuels.”

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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March 26, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — President Obama’s interview with The Huffington Post (HuffPost) has been treated as if the on-line publication is somehow respectable and legitimate. The topics of the interview included budget sequestration, the Iran nuclear talks, presidential pardons, overtime pay, athletic scholarships and sleep…. (more)

March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015
NEWSMAX — A top administrator at Cornell University has said that the institution would be open to the creation of a group supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) and to hosting a training camp for militants on campus…. (more)


March 26, 2015
SUSAN FERRECHIO — The House on Wednesday approved a $3.8 trillion spending plan for fiscal 2016 that balances the budget in a decade, reforms Medicare and Medicaid, and eliminates Obamacare…. (more)

March 26, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — As the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the role of attorney-general nominee Loretta Lynch in allowing HSBC to avoid criminal charges in a massive money-laundering scheme, the banking giant is facing a possible shutdown or splitting of its U.S. operations under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act…. (more)

March 26, 2015
CHERYL CHUMLEY — Megyn Kelly of “The Kelly File” quizzed Sen. Ted Cruz on Fox News about his Capitol Hill record, asking him bluntly at one point: What have you done?… (more)

March 26, 2015
THE HILL — The conservative group Freedom Watch has filed a racketeering lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that accuses her of failing to produce documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)…. (more)

March 26, 2015
ANN COULTER — When “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams crashed and burned over all the tall tales he had told, there must have been mirth in the hallways at ABC…. (more)

March 26, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Less than a third of Americans are now concerned about global warming and climate change: 32 percent fret about those environmental factors says the annual Gallup Environmental survey, released Wednesday… (more)

March 25, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — When a group of imams tried to bring a form of “Shariah light” to Texas, they met an unlikely foe – – Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. Now, Van Duyne has been thrust into the national media spotlight, and her city is being called “ground zero” in the battle to prevent Islamic law from gaining a foothold, no matter how small, in the U.S. legal system…. (more)

March 25, 2015
AARON KLEIN — Lost in much of the news coverage of alleged Israeli espionage activities reported Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal is that the same newspaper report revealed the U.S. actively spied on the Jewish state…. (more)

March 25, 2015
POLITICO — A Department of Homeland Security watchdog report issued Tuesday blasted the agency’s No. 2 official for repeatedly intervening on behalf of well-connected participants in an investor-visa program, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and Tony Rodham, a brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…. (more)


March 25, 2015
BOB UNRUH — A federal judge who earlier determined that President Obama’s amnesty-by-executive-memo strategy likely is illegal and suspended work on it now is being asked by a popular leader in America’s law-enforcement community to sanction the president’s administration for lying in court…. (more)

March 25, 2015
CHERYL CHUMLEY — Ben Carson, an emerging presidential candidate for the Republican Party, was captured in an unguarded moment by a GQ reporter calling President Obama a “psychopath” for the seeming ease with which he lies to the American public…. (more)

March 25, 2015
NEWSMAX — Google executives and lobbyists have met with top Obama administration officials as many as 230 times since President Barack Obama took office in 2009 – – including visits as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated the Internet giant for antitrust violations…. (more)

March 25, 2015
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — Since the costs will come due only after Obama has left the White House, I guess he doesn’t care how high are those costs. But the costs are horrendous, as just added up by our country’s foremost authority on such things, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation…. (more)

March 25, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — They just can’t help themselves – – and their agenda-driven media enablers never, ever learn. This week, the NAACP made national front-page headlines with a local press release demanding that the feds investigate the hanging death of a local man in Port Gibson, Miss. Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference, immediately invoked the specter of a “hate crime.” In response, the Obama Justice Department flooded the zone with a whopping 30 federal agents…. (more)

March 24, 2015
CHERYL CHUMLEY — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, the fiery tea party Texan, followed his near-midnight Twitter announcement to seek the White House in 2016 with a hearkening at Liberty University to what he described as the greatness of America: that our rights come from God…. (more)


March 24, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — It’s been a long time since I’ve heard any political figure do what Sen. Ted Cruz did yesterday in his announcement he is seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency. He delivered an electrifying, motivational, rousing case for liberty – – explaining why it’s not too late, why Americans don’t need to lower their expectations, how this country has overcome greater odds in its history…. (more)

March 24, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — A seismic shift? Things will change now that Sen. Ted Cruz has entered the White House race, some say. “Every Republican candidate for president will have to move significantly to the right, starting with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker… (more)

March 24, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Sen. Ted Cruz announced a bid for the White House on Monday, drawing praise from grassroots conservatives but a fierce backlash from Hispanic groups that said they were appalled at the prospect of the first Hispanic to announce for president this cycle being such a firm champion of a crackdown on illegal immigrants…. (more)

March 24, 2015
PAUL BEDARD — Democrats reacted swiftly to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s entry into the 2016 presidential race, dubbing him the epitome of what they hate about Republicans… (more)

March 24, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — What I most appreciate about Ted Cruz is his willingness to deal with the actual causes of the problems that our country confronts. Before announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday, he re-introduced an Iran-sanctions bill last week. Unlike other proposals aimed at derailing President Obama’s disastrous plan to enable the mullahs’ nuclear-weapons ambitions, Senator Cruz’s proposal takes aim at the actual challenge: the Iranian regime itself…. (more)

March 24, 2015
AARON KLEIN — Egypt provided the United States with information that ISIS is attempting to purchase chemical materials such as chlorine gas that can be utilized in terrorist attacks, an Egyptian intelligence official told WND…. (more)

March 24, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Attorney Larry Klayman, who won a court judgment that the National Security Agency’s spy-on-Americans program likely is unconstitutional and should be halted, now is asking the judge to question a witness in secret…. (more)


Is the 1939 Flag Of Palestine Further Proof That All Israel Belongs To The Jews?

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:52 AM PDT

Is the 1939 Flag Of Palestine Further Proof That All Israel Belongs To The Jews?THE MUSLIM WORLD, AND EVEN MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD, WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE THAT ISRAEL DOES NOT BELONG TO THE JEWS – BUT TO THE SO-CALLED PALESTINIANS. IT’S A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL.

“In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” Genesis 15:18 (KJV)

The land of Israel was given to the Jews thousands of years ago, by God:

“From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.” Joshua 1:4 (KJV)

THE FACT IS THAT PALESTINE IS ISRAEL – THE JEWISH HOMELAND.

After the Romans conquered the Jews in the Jewish-Roman wars, the Romans renamed Israel after the Jews’ worst enemies — the Philistines — in order to further humiliate them. The term was first used to denote an official province in c.135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the [Jewish] Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form “Syria Palaestina”.

IT WAS A ROMAN EMPEROR WHO FIRST COINED THE NAME PALESTINE

In AD 135, the Emperor Hadrian blotted out the name “Provincia Judea” and renamed it “Provincia Syria Palaestina”. This was the Latin version of the Greek name and soon became a name to be used as an administrative unit. This name was shortened to Palaestina and the name “Palestine” was derived from it as a modern and anglicized version. In other words, it was always Jewish. FULL REPORT

The post Is the 1939 Flag Of Palestine Further Proof That All Israel Belongs To The Jews? appeared first on End Time Headlines.

The Surprising Way Japan’s 2011 Earthquake Is Still Changing the Climate

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:44 AM PDT

The Surprising Way Japan's 2011 Earthquake Is Still Changing the ClimateNot only did the Mega-Quake that struck Japan back in 2011 shift the earth’s axis but apparently consequences of the Earthquake are still being felt today. According to a new report, The 9.0 Tohoku earthquake damaged thousands of buildings when it ripped through Japan four years ago. Much of that debris is gone now, but the broken buildings had an invisible effect, too: The earthquake released thousands of tons of ozone-destroying greenhouse gases into the air. The chemicals, called halocarbons, came from old insulation, refrigerators, and electrical equipment damaged in the quake. Air quality monitoring stations recorded a major spike in halocarbon emissions in 2011. In apaper published in Geophysical Research Letters, scientists estimate that these “extraordinary halocarbon emissions” from the earthquake added up to 6,600 metric tons of gases. The emissions included chemicals that had been phased out, demonstrating the long lingering effects of actions from decades ago. The American Geophysical Union’s press release ticks down the list of dangerous chemicals: FULL REPORT

The post The Surprising Way Japan’s 2011 Earthquake Is Still Changing the Climate appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Indiana governor declares public health emergency due to HIV epidemic

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:37 AM PDT

Indiana governor declares public health emergency due to HIV epidemicIndiana is declaring a public health emergency in one county due to an epidemic of HIV. Gov. Mike Pence issued the order Thursday for Scott County, which has 79 confirmed cases of HIV since mid-December. The county averages about five new cases a year. “Scott County is facing an epidemic of HIV, but this is not a Scott County problem; this is an Indiana problem,” Pence said in a news release. All the cases in the current outbreak are linked to injection drug use, primarily of the prescription opioid opana. The declaration requires law enforcement, emergency agencies and health officials to develop a response plan that also includes hospitals and health care providers. A team from the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention arrived Monday and is working with local and state health officials to stop the outbreak. Their recommendations include a short-term needle exchange program and public awareness campaign focusing on safe sex, needle disposal, addiction services, and HIV testing and treatment. HIV can take up to three months to appear in a person’s system after they are infected. Health officials recommend people who have participated in risky behavior, such as needle sharing and unprotected sex, to be tested for HIV now and again in three months. FULL REPORT

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Russian superhighway could connect London to New York

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:31 AM PDT

Russian superhighway could connect London to New YorkTalk about a “Short-Cut”! According to a report by The Siberian Times, the head of Russian Railways is asking the government to seriously consider his project dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, the first modern transportation corridor that would link up the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Plans call for the construction of a new high-speed railway and the development of major roads that would span the length of Russia, link up with existing transportation networks in Europe and Asia — and cross the Bering Strait. A network that would run about 20,000 km (12,400 miles) in length. The proposal was presented at a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science and was touted, not only as a major transportation route, but as a means to create new cities and jobs in parts of Russia and Siberia that are woefully underdeveloped, and experience the hemorrhaging of young talent who leave the region for better opportunities abroad. The new network could also be used to build pipelines for oil and gas as well as infrastructure for electricity and water supplies, said Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin. The lofty proposal, however, comes with an equally sky-high price tag that could be trillions of dollars. FULL REPORT

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How oil is preparing for a New World Order

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:28 AM PDT

How oil is preparing for a New World OrderToday many are preparing for the coming “New World Order” and it appears, that even means the Oil Industry! A new oil order has arrived and it will be marked by greater uncertainty and generally lower oil prices as the oil industry frantically re-prices as costs decline and gains in efficiency are made, strategists say. As investors continue to weigh up the fallout of a rout in oil prices since June last year, Goldman Sachs has warned that the “level of uncertainty cannot be underestimated as these dynamics spill over into the price of commodities, currencies and consumption baskets around the world, with far-reaching market and economic implications.”  And amid heightened uncertainty, oil prices can swing sharply in either direction as developments this week have shown with a crisis in Yemen triggering a spike in crude. “Oil has been sideways for about four months, in a $15 range; it hits a bottom, bounces up, hits the top comes back down,” Sean Corrigan, founder of True Sinews Consultancy told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box” Friday. “We’re all waiting for the next break and trying to find the signal that will push us from this range,” he added. FULL REPORT

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Indiana Governor Signs State Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:21 AM PDT

Indiana Governor Signs State Religious Freedom Restoration ActThe governor of Indiana signed the state “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” into law on Thursday, resisting critics who asserted that the legislation would allow people of faith to “discriminate” against homosexuals. Gov. Mike Pence signed SB 101 into law in a closed ceremony, with an estimated 70 t0 80 invited guests attending the event. “Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith,” he said in a statement. “The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.” The bill mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law in the 1990’s by then-President Bill Clinton. The legislation prohibits the government from “substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion,” unless there is a compelling government interest and the least restrictive means is used in furthering the interest. FULL REPORT

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Christian School Wins Legal Battle Against Teachers Fired for Refusing to Affirm Their Faith

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:18 AM PDT

Christian School Wins Legal Battle Against Teachers Fired for Refusing to Affirm Their FaithAccording to a new update from Christian News Network, A Christian school in California has won a complicated legal battle regarding two teachers who sued the school after their contracts weren’t renewed as they refused to provide proof of their Christian faith. Little Oaks Elementary School is a pre-k through 5th grade institution owned by Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks. As previously reported, the church purchased the school in 2009, and in 2012, required all teachers to complete a form affirming their faith in Christ as a part of the renewal of their teaching contract. However, two of the teachers, Lynda Serrano and Mary Ellen Guevara, refused to submit the document, which in addition to outlining a statement of faith, mandates that a pastor attest to their church attendance and Christian beliefs. Because the women would not obtain the required pastoral reference as a part of the renewal process, they were both dismissed from their jobs. One of the teachers had been hired prior to Calvary Chapel’s purchasing of the facility. FULL REPORT

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Chinese Pastor Sentenced to One Year in Prison After Defending Churches Against China’s Crackdown on Crosses

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:14 AM PDT

Chinese Pastor Sentenced to One Year in Prison After Defending Churches Against China’s Crackdown on Crosses A Christian pastor in China was sentenced to one year in prison on Tuesday night by a local court after he defended local churches when the Chinese authorities removed church crosses. Pastor Huang Yizi was sentenced by the People’s Court in Pingyang County after being convicted of “gathering crowds to disturb social order,” Yizi’s lawyer, Zhang Kai, said, according to The New York Times. His lawyer said that he would appeal the court’s verdict. The pastor was originally detained in early August after officials attempted to remove a cross from his church in Wenzhou. Yizi criticized the Chinese authorities and had encouraged his congregation to continue to display crosses after they have been removed. He was arrested when authorities believed he was responsible for a crowd of more than 50 citizens clashing with the police. The Telegraph reported that Yizi has been seen handcuffed in a yellow jumpsuit with the words “Pingyang County Detention Centre.” Though his lawyer did not provide additional details on Yizi’s current state, he believes he is innocent. FULL REPORT

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Islamic State attack on Italy coming

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:09 AM PDT

Islamic State attack on Italy comingAn alarming report is coming out revealing that The Islamic State terrorist group likely will launch an attack on Italy within weeks, not months, according to a senior Libyan government official. Aref Ali Nayed, Libya’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, said in an interview that one likely method of attack would be to use stolen Libyan airliners now believed to be in the hands of Islamists in Libya. “The horrific video showing 21 Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya contained a direct threat from ISIS to Rome,” said Mr. Nayed, using an acronym for the terrorist group. “The threat of ISIS to Italy could become a reality in a matter of weeks rather than months.” The Islamic State could use two attack methods, the ambassador said. The first would be for Libya-based terrorists to infiltrate Italy by using one of the many boats carrying undocumented Libyans to Italy. Once in Italy, the terrorists could regroup and carry out an attack. FULL REPORT

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U.S. caves to key Iranian demands on nuke deal

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:06 AM PDT

U.S. caves to key Iranian demands on nuke dealWell it’s now official! The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations. U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran. Until recently, the Obama administration had maintained that it would guarantee oversight on Tehran’s program well into the future, and that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that oversight would be effective. The issue has now emerged as a key sticking point in the talks. Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities. FULL REPORT

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Saudis vs Iran; Sunnis vs Shia

According to Stratfor, Yemen’s deteriorating security situation has created another Saudi-Iranian geopolitical struggle “that will last for the foreseeable future”.

From a geopolitical perspective, I think that the adversaries are lining up in a way that will enable “the west” to avoid military entanglements in that region of the world. To be sure, I believe that the US should continue to keep a watchful military presence “around the edges” of this struggle. But we have heard that the problems related to Islam are internal problems – largely Sunnis vs Shia, and within those groups, those who are radicals vs those who are deemed “not radical enough”.

Now we are seeing the geopolitical lines take shape in such a way that all of these groups who are natural enemies are fighting among themselves, and largely leaving the rest of the world alone. The Washington Post has already noted, for example, that radicalized Muslims are traveling en masse TO Syria to participate in the Jihad.

This frees up the rest of the world (to a degree, and for the time being) from having to contend with “terrorists” who are distributed around the globe. This intramural fight is one that Islam needs to have, and it’s one that they need to have until they decide it’s not worth it any more.

Source


Was Killer Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Of Germanwings Flight 9525 Also A Muslim?

Was mass-murdering co-pilot Andreas Lubitz a Muslim?

The Germanwings flight #9525, which crashed Tuesday in the mountains, near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, was today ruled to have been deliberately brought down at the hands of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

was-crashed-germanwings-flight-4u9525-copilot-andreas-lubitz-muslim

Just as the horror of that thought was settling in, reporters began to question what the religion of Lubitz was. Yes, he was German by nationality, but that does not mean he was a Christian. In Germany live many non-Christians such as Jews and Muslims.

Germany, in recent years has experienced a huge spike in Islamic extremism and in Muslim immigration. Is it possible that Lubitz had been radicalized at some point in the past few years? Internet chat rooms burned up today discussing it, and experts in Germany say it’s quite possible.

Back in January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German citizens “must accept Islam” or pay the price. The chancellor used unusually direct words in her New Year’s speech for the rallies organized by a group calling itself Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA which have been attended by thousands. When the protesters chant “we are the people,” they actually mean to say “you don’t belong — because of your religion or your skin color,” Merkel said.

When a reporter asked French Prosecutor Brice Robin of Marseille, during a news conference Thursday, whether he knew Lubitz’s religion, Robin said he did not know and added, “I don’t think that’s where the answer to this lies.”

The question suggested that Lubitz’s religious background was relevant to the investigation behind the pilot’s alleged deliberate downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 on Tuesday. Robin said the crash did not show any signs of terrorism. Some were appalled by the reporter’s inquiry.

Prosecutor Brice Robin gave a disturbing account of the data extracted from black box which records sounds in the cockpit. He said Lubitz locked his captain out after the senior officer left the flight deck. At that point, Lubitz used the flight managing system to put the plane into a descent, something that can only be done manually – and deliberately.

He said: ‘The intention was to destroy the plane. Death was instant. The plane hit the mountain at 430 mph. ‘I don’t think that the passengers realized what was happening until the last moments because on the recording you only hear the screams in the final seconds’.

This is what we know for sure at this point:

  • The co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane
  • He was very calm in the moments preceding the crash
  • He killed all 150 passengers on board
  • He committed this mass murder with an airplane
  • His religion remains unknown at the time of this publication
  • Muslim terrorism cannot be ruled out

We will keep you updated as more is learned…

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Arab Foreign Ministers Meet In Egypt And Draft Resolution To Create A United Muslim Army

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt agreed a draft resolution on Thursday to form a unified military force, in a move aimed at countering growing regional security threats.

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.” Psalm 83:4-8 (KJV)

Is The a Prelude To The Coming Psalm 83 War?

The bible says that in the last days, there is a great Muslim confederacy created, a united army, that eventually comes against Israel as a group. So it is with great interest that we see today, in Egypt, an historic resolution drafted by Arab leaders to create a first-ever United Arab Muslim Armed Forces.

The agreement came after warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck Shi’ite Muslim rebels in Yemen on Thursday, in an effort to check Iranian influence in their backyard without direct military backing from Washington.

arab-foreign-ministers-egypt-draft-resolution-to-create-unified-military-force

The Arab ministers agreed on adopting an important principle, which is forming the unified Arab military force,” Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby told reporters after the meeting in the resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

“The task of the force will be rapid military intervention to deal with security threats to Arab nations,” Elaraby added.

The draft resolution will be referred to the Arab leaders during their March 28-29 summit in Egypt.

Egyptian TV reported earlier that the ministers asked Elaraby to coordinate with Arab armies’ chiefs of staff within one month to begin forming the unified force.

The Arab league chief described the resolution as “historic”. source

 

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While The World Watches, Obama Gives Green Light To Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program

The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

“For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” Jeremiah 30:5 (KJV)

Obama is giving away the store, and the whole world knows it. He has no intention of stopping the Iran nuclear weapons program, as we see in the progress of this week’s “negotiations” with the terror state. Iran will soon have long-range nuclear weapons with which to attack Israel, and Obama is grinning like the Cheshire Cat from ear to ear.

Benjamin Netanyahu was 100% right in his speech to Congress, and now the whole world knows that, too.

LAUSSANE, Switzerland – U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

Until recently, the Obama administration had maintained that it would guarantee oversight on Tehran’s program well into the future, and that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that oversight would be effective. The issue has now emerged as a key sticking point in the talks.

iran-bushehr-nuclear-reactor-russian-built-power-plant-missile-weapons

Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.

This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.

“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source.  “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

The United States is now willing to let Iran keep many of its most controversial military sites closed to inspectors until international sanctions pressure has been lifted, according to sources. source

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The New ‘Radically Inclusive’ Mega-Church Says Bring Your Own God

“I Don’t Know is the required confession needed to be granted admission to the path of enlightenment and to The Way of Knowing.” DE Paulk

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” 1 John 2:3, 1 John 3:23 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we get deeper into the Laodicean church age, God is being replaced by many gods, with no one way or one path to truth. Jesus in Revelation 3 says that last church is “blind and naked”, spiritually confused and stumbling around in the dark and groping for answers which become more and more elusive. The Spirit and Truth Sanctuary is just one of many hundreds of contemporary mega-churches who have abandoned the clear teachings of the Bible.

People have always tried to increase the number of church members. Well, there is a new trend, and they are packing in people like never before! Here is the catch: They advertise that ALL beliefs are welcome. You just have to believe in something, and I suppose that means you can be an atheist too!

They are calling themselves “Radically Inclusive” churches. They even have a slogan: BYOG. That stands for “Bring your own god.” If these churches stand for anything and everything, then what is their purpose?

spirit-truth-sanctuary-radically-inclusive-de-paulk-bring-your-own-god-seeker-sensitive-byog

One such church that has gotten quite a bit of attention lately is led by D.E. Paulk.  The son of Earl Paulk, he was once considered to be the “heir apparent” at one of the largest mega-churches in America.  But these days he leads worship at a church that recognizes “all gods and prophets, including Mohammed”.

The Spirit and Truth Sanctuary, which D.E. founded in 2012, welcomes everyone from Wiccans to atheists, Hindus to Muslims, recognizing all gods and prophets, including Mohammed.

‘All you have left is who you are. The games are gone… If there was anything I wanted to say I thought would be unacceptable to the church, now is the time to say it.’

After much soul searching, D.E. established his church based around one principle: ‘Christ cannot be, and will not be, restricted to Christianity‘. Paulk insists that there is “no hell except what one creates with one’s own actions“, and he is very proud of the diverse group of people that currently attends his service

Today, the church is a rarity on many levels: interfaith, interracial, a mosaic of people deep in the Bible Belt where many churches remain segregated. The church has gay couples, college students, agnostics, some Muslims and even a Wiccan priest. Pictures of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi adorn the walls.

A stained glass window looming over the pulpit captures the spirit of the church. It’s a design that contains a Christian cross, ringed by symbols from Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. In the middle is a dove, which symbolizes the spirit of peace that binds them all together.

Pastor Paulk has written a book called “I Don’t Know”, and in it says this:

“All Truth flows to us from One Divine River. From that One River many wells form and are fed. We might call these wells religions, cultures or philosophies. All wells sustained by the One River contain beauty and truth. However, we make a grave mistake when we declare any particular well as being the One River.” source

Jesus, on the other hand, says this:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV)

Here is how a CNN reporter described a service at the Sanctuary:

The service then started to feel like a Pentecostal tent-revival but with an unusual twist. A group of singers took to the stage and opened with a hypnotic Tibetan Buddhist chant that evoked the spirit of compassion: “Om Mani Padme Hum.”

The chant segued into “Shanti, Shanti Om,” a Hindu prayer for peace. Then as the chanting grew louder, the drums and bass kicked in as the singers switched to a Muslim chant about the sovereignty of God: “La ilaha, Il Allah.”

This person really summed it up clearly for us:

“After years of spiritual reflection and inquiry, I am at a place where I don’t want to feel guilty, hypocritical, judgmental, closed-minded or arrogant. So, where do I stand now — 30 years after “finding God,” questioning my faith, committing sins, seeking hazardous adventure and trying to love life and people to the best of my ability? I am a “seeker.” A constant seeker within this world, among people and, of course, for spiritual enlightenment of all kind. Because if I did possess the truth — the “final answer” — I am convinced I would spend the rest of my years missing out on the enrichment and surprise of seeking it.” source

Remember “Seeker Sensitive churches?” Well, there you go. That slippery slope has finally hit the bottom!!

MARANATHA!

Oh Lord, please come quickly

 

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Why the 14th Amendment Can’t Possibly Require Same Sex Marriage

This article, written by Frank Turek for the American Family News Network (AFN), gives five reasons why the Supreme Court should not require states to redefine marriage to include same sex relationships.


John Bolton: Bomb Iran Before It Gets the Bomb
There is only one way to block the Iranians from building a nuclear bomb, according to former ambassador John Bolton: Bomb them first. “The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times on Thursday. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure.”   

Was mass-murdering co-pilot Andreas Lubitz a Muslim?
This is what we know for sure at this point: The co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane. He was very calm in the moments preceding the crash. He killed all 150 passengers on board. He committed this mass murder with an airplane. His religion remains unknown at the time of this publication. Muslim terrorism cannot be ruled out.   

‘Huge surge’ of ‘unscreened’ Muslims flooding U.S.
Feds ‘admit, under oath, that they have no idea who these people are’. “It’s a huge surge under Obama. In the last three years, he’s averaged 100,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations a year. That is very alarming. It’s more than we’re importing both from Central America and Mexico combined. This is a big shift in immigration flows,”   

Congressmembers: No More Money for Talks With Iran
In a letter sent on Thursday, March 26, to the Chair and the Ranking member of the subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the House Appropriations Committee, several members of Congress, spearheaded by Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), sought the insertion of language in the upcoming foreign operations appropriations bill that would prohibit the inclusion of funding for continuing talks with Iran by the U.S. with the P5+1 member nations.   

With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S.
Saudi Arabia kept some key details of its military action in Yemen from Washington until the last moment, U.S. officials said, as the kingdom takes a more assertive regional role to compensate for perceived U.S. disengagement.   

CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION
NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on March 27th when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving solar wind streams.   

Pentagon Declassifies Documents Confirming Israel Has Nukes
In the latest example of the strained relationship between the United States and Israel, the Pentagon has quietly released a classified document which reveals the extent of Israel’s nuclear program. A program the Israeli government has long denied even exists.   

Feds Gone Wild! …Yes, I mean sex parties and whatnot.
See if you can detect the common thread of this Department of Justice report:   

Champ- lights out
A recent weapons flight test in the Utah desert may change future warfare after the missile successfully defeated electronic targets with little to no collateral damage.   

Photos of Baby Walter, Miscarried at 19 Weeks, Help Save Children from Abortion
Photographs of a baby boy that was born at 19 weeks have been making an impact around the world for life as they demonstrate to viewers the humanity and perfection of the unborn child. “I shared these photos so my friends and family could see my perfect child,” Lexi Fretz of Greencastle, Pa. wrote in a blog post. “I never, ever could have imagined that it would spread across the world like this.”   

Top violator of women’s rights around the world? It’s Israel says UN
At least that is the view of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women’s rights – Israel.   

Army Special Operations Command pushes back against alarmist claims about upcoming exercise
U.S. Army Special Operations Command is pushing back against alarmist claims that an upcoming U.S. military exercise is a preparation for imposing martial law or subduing right-leaning groups and individuals. Conspiracy theories about the exercise, known as JADE HELM 15, appeared online this week.   

Egypt poised to join Saudi assault on Yemen rebels
Saudi jets pounded neighboring Yemen on Thursday and Egyptian warships steamed toward its coast in the start of an Arab-led offensive against Shiite rebels that has become a showdown between the major powers in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies plunged into the Yemen crisis after …Houthis, pushed from their power base in the north into the south…   

Australia passes controversial new metadata law
Australia has passed a controversial security law that will require its internet and mobile phone providers to store customer data for two years. The government bill got Senate approval by 43 votes to 16, with the support of the opposition Labor party. Internet providers and and mobile phone networks will now be required to store customers’ metadata – the sender, recipient and time of emails and calls.   

Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone in lockdown
The authorities in Sierra Leone are enforcing a three-day lockdown to curb the spread of Ebola, with the entire population ordered to stay at home. There is a two-hour exemption on Friday to allow Muslim prayers and a five-hour window for Christians on Sunday. Volunteers are going door-to-door, looking for people with signs of the disease and reminding others how to stay safe.   

U.S. Caves to Key Iranian Demands as Nuke Deal Comes Together
The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.   

Syrian government shells kill 18 in south, activists say
Syrian government airstrikes and shelling in the country’s south killed at least 18 people on Thursday, including three children, opposition activists said.   

North Korea ‘arrests two South spies’
North Korea says it has arrested two South Korean men who it accused of spying for Seoul. In a statement late on Thursday, state media said the two men, based in the Chinese border city of Dandong, were working to smear North Korea. South Korea described the allegations as “groundless”.   

With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S.
Saudi Arabia kept some key details of its military action in Yemen from Washington until the last moment, U.S. officials said, as the kingdom takes a more assertive regional role to compensate for perceived U.S. disengagement.   

Palestinian rockets killed more Gazans in 2014 war: Amnesty
Amnesty International said Thursday Palestinian rocket fire during the 2014 summer war in Gaza had killed more civilians in the Gaza Strip than in Israel. Such deadly attacks on civilians on both sides constituted “a war crime,” it said.  


In Yemen, It’s The Bad Guys Vs. The Bad Guys

Saudi Arabia and Egypt stand poised to conduct a massive ground invasion of Yemen, and the western media will be full of tales about how “Operation Decisive Storm” is liberating that country from the evil Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. And without a doubt, the Houthis are bad guys and so are their Iranian benefactors. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the war in Yemen is a battle of good vs. evil. The truth is that the conflict in Yemen is actually a proxy war between two sets of bad guys that both ultimately plan for Islam to take over the entire planet. On one side, the Iranians are very honest about the fact that they view us as an enemy, and they plan to impose their version of radical Shia Islam worldwide as soon as they can. On the other side, the Saudis pretend to be our friends, but they don’t hide the fact that they believe that their version of Sunni Islam will eventually rule the world. And their version of Sunni Islam includes constant beheadings, the destruction of all churches and the death penalty for anyone caught smuggling a Bible into Saudi territory. At the end of the day, there is very little difference between the Saudis and ISIS. In fact, ISIS gets a lot of funding from Saudi sources, and there is more support for ISIS on Twitter from Saudi Arabia than from anywhere else. Saudi Arabia is a horribly repressive regime where women are treated like dirt, where the secret police conduct a never ending reign of terror and where even a minor deviation from sharia law can mean the loss of a limb. But because our politicians and the mainstream media constantly tell us that they are “our friends”, we cheer them on. (Read More….)


Google: Our New System For Recognizing Faces Is The Best One Ever

New advances in facial recognition are a step forward for an artificial intelligence technique called deep learning. “I never forget a face,” some people like to boast. It’s a claim that looks quainter by the day as artificial intelligence research continues to advance. Some computers, it turns out, never forget 260 million faces …………. Click here for full story


Iran Expands Regional ‘Empire’ Ahead Of Nuclear Deal

With Iran moving closer to a deal with world powers to constrain its nuclear program in return for an end to sanctions, Arab analysts and leaders are focused more on how Tehran is working unconstrained to tighten its grip on Arab states, from Iraq to Lebanon, and Syria to Yemen……….. Click here for full story


No Bias Here – UN Condemns Only Israel As Violator Of Woman’s Rights

Guess who is the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today? Israel. At least that is the view of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ended it’s conference by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women’s rights – Israel……….. Click here for full story


Preacher Fined For ‘Emotional Harm’ Caused By Quoting Levitical Law Against Homosexuality

A street preacher in the UK who was charged with making “homophobic” remarks has been declared guilty of breaking English law and must pay a fine for his speech, including to a man to whom he quoted Scripture from the book of Leviticus. ……….. Click here for full story


Photos Of Baby Walter, Miscarried At 19 Weeks, Help Save Children From Abortion

Photographs of a baby boy that was born at 19 weeks have been making an impact around the world for life as they demonstrate to viewers the humanity and perfection of the unborn child ……… Click here for full story


Congress Pushes Obama-backed National Biometric ID for Americans

Congress Pushes Obama-backed National Biometric ID for Americans
After largely failing to prod state governments into developing a national identification system known as “REAL ID,” Republican lawmakers in Congress are yet again quietly pushing another Obama-backed scheme that…

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US Declassifies Document Revealing Israel’s Nuclear Program

Obama revenge for Netanyahu’s Congress talk? 1987 report on Israel’s top secret nuclear program released in unprecedented move.

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

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Number of Americans Who Say They Have No Religion Hits Record High, Survey Finds

Major Christian denominations have in general been reporting a decline it church attendance and membership, which was reflected in the 2014 Gallup poll.

In that survey, a record low of 37 percent of Americans said that they were part of Protestant denominations, while 23 percent said they are part of the Roman Catholic Church.

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For Obama: it’s time to eat crow

From the moment Obama was elected as U.S. President in 2008, he has made it evident to those with eyes to see and ears to hear that he is a Muslim Brotherhood apologist, an extreme left wing ideologue, a despiser of the United States Constitution and of American exceptionalism and, in particular, a man with a pathological animus towards the only democracy and true ally of America in the Middle East: Israel.

Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, was Obama’s target from the get go. Bibi’s government came under intense pressure from the Obama administration to take suicidal measures in order to induce the Palestinian Authority to enter negotiations.

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Alone But Not Forgotten

There are a lot of lonely people in this world, adults and children alike. Have you ever been lonely? I mean, really lonely. Maybe you’re lonely now.

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U.S. Caves to Key Iranian Demands as Nuke Deal Comes Together
Limited options for Congress as Obama seeks to bypass lawmakers

The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

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Controversy Stirs as ‘Prophet’ Chuck Pierce Bestows ‘Mantle’ on Mormon Glenn Beck

Controversy is stirring over reports that “prophet” and speaker Chuck Pierce of Glory of Zion International Ministries ceremonially gave a “mantle” to popular radio host, author and speaker Glenn Beck, who identifies as a Mormon.

Beck appeared at Pierce’s Global Spheres Center in Corinth, Texas this past Sunday, as Falma Rufus, a black civil rights speaker, had reportedly asked Pierce if he would host her family and Beck’s. Pierce posted a photo of Beck’s appearance later that day, which showed Beck being imparted with a spiritual “mantle” as a Jewish tallit was wrapped around him and his wife.

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Levin: Obama Believes Israel Is ‘Illegitimate’

Talk radio host and author of “The Liberty Amendments,” Mark Levin argued that President Obama believes “Israel as presently formed, as presently exists, is illegitimate” on Thursday.

“This leak means that Obama has decided that Israel has to go, that Israel as presently formed, as presently exists, is illegitimate. That’s why his Chief of Staff spoke to a leftist, Israel-hating group filled with Jews and went on about how Israel has been occupying land for fifty years…not 1967 borders Obama said, pre-1967 borders, which means Israel cannot survive.

Hear 2-minute audio of Mark Levin


Has the Tide Turned?

The response of the United States government has been scathing. Instead of the customary congratulations and well-wishing we have been met with a barrage of media headlines relating how disgusted the Obama Administration is with Netanyahu for abandoning his commitment to a two state solution and for what the White House described as “divisive” campaign rhetoric towards the end of this election.

The Israel that exists today under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu is on a direct collision course with the Obama Administration over a number of key issues.

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Did He Convert to Islam?

“All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of ‘radical’, i.e. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder.

“As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York – received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.”

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WVW-TV Presents: Rick Warren & Catholics Together & Exposing the Lie of Purgatory with Host Mike Abendroth

Author(s): Worldview Weekend News Team

WVW-TV Presents: Rick Warren & Catholics Together & Exposing the Lie of Purgatorywith Mike Abendroth. Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room. Click here to watch now:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/rick-warren-catholics-together-…

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WVW-TV Presents: When Sharing The Gospel Use the Sole Source of Truth and Authority with Host Mike Gendron

Author(s): Worldview Weekend News Team

When Sharing The Gospel Use the Sole Source of Truth and Authority with Mike Gendron. Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room for memeber only. Click here to watch now:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/when-sharing-gospel-use-sole-so…

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The Many Costs of Obama’s Amnesty

Author(s): Phyllis Schlafly

Since the costs will come due only after Obama has left the White House, I guess he doesn’t care how high are those costs. But the costs are horrendous, as just added up by our country’s foremost authority on such things, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. Rector told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week that the lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits paid to the millions of illegal aliens to whom Obama is granting legal status will be about 1.3 trillion dollars. Rector’s calculation is based on his assumption that at least 3.97 million illegal…

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Children’s book about abortion: my sister is “happy ghost”

by Marsha West

Here we have another abomination from a far-left advocate of abortion on demand, this time in a children’s book by Mary Walling Blackburn, assistant professor of art at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. In her book, Blackburn portrays an aborted child as a “happy ghost.” News Busters columnist Katie Yoder writes:

The story follows Lee as he (or “she,” as the author stressed) searches for his sister – who might be an apple, a pig, or somewhere in a tree. Lee later decides “Sister is a happy ghost!” and explicitly says he’s glad Sister isn’t around to inconvenience his parents.

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Christian book chain pulls “Heaven visitation resources” over sufficiency of Scripture resolution

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

One of the nation’s largest Christian bookstore chains has announced that it has pulled all of its “Heaven visitation resources” following the passage of a Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) resolution surrounding the “sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife.”

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Discovery Germanwings copilot crashed plane exposes inability to know the mind of others 

French prosecutor: Co-pilot took doomed flight on deliberate dive, Washington Post (Stephanie Kirchner and Anthony Faiola)

Inside a Pilot’s Mind, New York Times (Andrew B. McGee)

Police find ‘clue’ at home of Germanwings’ co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, The Telegraph (Josie Ensor)

2) Triumph of erotic liberty over religious liberty evident in outcry over Indiana religious freedom bill

Indiana Governor Defends Signing of Religious-Objections Bill, TIME (Tom Davies)

Disciples look to pull convention from Indiana over religious freedom bill, Religion News Service (Lauren Markoe)

Hundreds of companies urge the Supreme Court to back gay marriage, Fortune (Reuters)

Keeping them safe from gay marriage, Washington Post (Editorial Board)
In other news…

I Am Not India’s Daughter The Atlantic (Tanvi Misra)
Why are people so mean to each other online? BBC (Jane Wakefield)

Defending Darwin, Slate (James J. Krupa)

Rare video of Chinese Christians meeting in caves, houses, farms, and secret locations..

How to Find A Good Bible part 2

The Surprising History of Harvard

Israel – Religious Parties Pressed to Pass Anti-Missionary Law

Gay rights activists to Christians: Surrender – or else


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

You must either give up your sins or give up all hope of heaven. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 23 Quotes


How Many Millennials are Evangelical in Name Only?

Liberal Evangelical authors tell young Evangelicals that if they accept abortion and same-sex marriage, then the media, academia and Hollywood will finally accept Christians. Out of fear of being falsely dubbed intolerant or without compassionate, many young Christians are buying into theological falsehoods. Millennials are forgoing the authority of Scripture and embracing a cafeteria-style Christianity — all in the name of tolerance and compassion.

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Our Fundamentalist Founders?

Locke’s influence on the American founders can hardly be denied. When he writes of life, liberty, and the pursuit of private property—he repeatedly used the expression “life, liberty, and estate” or variants—it sounds almost as if the Founders retroactively wrote some Lockean passages. It’s a good reminder of our national cultural, political roots.

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Being Soul Sad for My Church

Last week it became our Presbytery’s time to vote, not that our vote would matter, the manipulators and schemers had, during the General Assembly Meeting last July, already put into effect the Authoritative Interpretation that negated any real power to divert or correct the plunge of the Presbyterian Church USA into apostasy. However, it was the final shot we could fire in the war against those determined to steal the church, denying its history, and corrupting its faith. We had to try, but sadly when the time to fight came, only two pastors stood to raise the flag of objection.

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In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas

The confusion is telling, though. It shows that while keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled.

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“Righteous” Reputations of Churches That Don’t Care

What is the right thing to do when a church learns that one of its own has been accused of victimizing a child? First and foremost, it must immediately turn its focus and care away from institutional reputation and towards the victimized and the vulnerable. Though there are multitudes of ways this can be done, let me suggest three basic first steps for a church that cares:

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Sing Your Heart Out

Much of the scriptural teaching about the beauty of loud congregational singing has been lost by the injuries that have been sustained by both sides in the worship wars. In many performance-driven congregations worship teams overpower congregational singing and the singing that happens is akin to the drowned out admiration singing at a concert. In more traditionalistic churches, a perceived abuse of experience in the performance-driven churches has fueled a pushback that results in a dry and lifeless singing.

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Is the Church Failing Gay Christians?

Even though the conversation was polite and civil, it was rather awkward on this point. Their discussion reveals that there can be no underlying evangelical unity when people differ over this issue. It’s impossible to construct a “pastoral” response that includes deeply unfaithful, harmful, unbiblical, and unchristian perspectives. Biblical truth is the foundation of any faithful pastoral response, and this conversation illustrates that in spades.

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5 Reasons to Rejoice in Persecution

It is still remarkably easy to be a Christian here in North America. We have never faced systemic persecution. We have laws that protect our freedom to worship and our freedom to believe what we believe. That’s not to say, though, that we never suffer. We still do face scorn and mockery, and especially so as the culture around us proceeds farther and deeper into paganism.

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Grounding our youth in truth

We often cite statistics and studies that show up to 80% of youth who call themselves Christians will probably leave the church once they go off to College. While this is a sad and alarming finding, what is being done about it? Who is trying to help parents and the church keep our Christian youth […]

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Another Brave Female Champion

by Bill Muehlenberg

It seems that as I write about great culture warriors and real heroes who are making a difference, increasingly I am writing about women. Nothing wrong with that at all of course, although it does raise the question: where are all the men?

Why is it so often that when we have some major battle on our hands, or a real crisis to deal with, that it seems that brave women come to the plate and stand strong, yet on so many occasions all we get is crickets chirping from the men? Is our culture so wimpified, and our men so feminised?

How have we gotten to such a place? Our emasculated men sit around watching TV and wasting their time, while so many strong and fearless women are standing up to the various challenges which threaten our very societies. Why is that?

Yet another example of a courageous female warrior doing battle comes Texas. I refer to a politician by the name of Beth Van Duyne. She has led the charge against creeping sharia, and is now being hailed as a hero by some, while course being demonised by others. This is how one report describes the situation:

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The so-called “Family Values” Christians

by Marsha West

(“Pitiable Capitulating Pro-Family Leaders, Part II”) Before the term pro-family was hijacked by liberals (evangelical was also hijacked) supporters were largely made up from conservative Protestants, Roman Catholics, Mennonites, Mormons, Muslims, and Jews, naming just a few. For the sake of the country, religious conservatives agreed to set aside their differences and pull together a […]

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The power of the Resurrection vs. the Stupidity of Easter

I work as a teacher aide in a kindergarten. I was working in my small group, and they noticed that some new decorations had gone up. In the room I share there was a large chick coming out of an egg hanging on the door, and around the room were other eggs, in pastel colors and with some rabbits too. One girl asked about it and I said it’s Easter decorations.

That got them talking about Easter and of course Easter egg hunts. They burbled and chatted.

Not my kids in kindergarten. This is an old picture I had taken

When’s Easter anyway? asked a girl.
April 5th! answered a boy.
I asked “What is Easter about?”
They all explained “It’s when you hide eggs with candy in them and hunt for them all around”.
But what else is Easter for?
Again they explained that the “Easter Bunny comes and you find candy and eggs in a basket”.
Anything else?
One girl explained, “When you go to church…”
Yes, yes? I eagerly leaned forward.
“…and you hunt for eggs and find candy.”
But isn’t it about Jesus?
The girl said, “Of course. He lays out the eggs.”

The most beautifully decorated egg
pales in comparison to the beauty of Jesus

It’s charming and sad all at once. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is always funny and they say unexpected things but they also have more truth in them than we like to think. To a kid life is all about getting to the next candy bonanza. To them, Easter is just another fairy tale that has fantastical, magical creatures like a rabbit that delivers candy and eggs in a basket filled with fake grass. Jesus doesn’t figure into it at all or if He does it’s messed up. We certainly give out mixed messages.

In his sermon, “The Power of the Resurrection“, John MacArthur preached about the pagan mixture of Easter myths with the wonder and eternal glory of the Resurrection.

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Luther on the Christian Life

Dr. Carl Trueman joins us to speak about his book Luther on the Christian Life, in which he paints a portrait of Martin Luther through his historical context, theological system, and approach to the Christian life. Luther is often treated in a black-and-white fashion or exclusively through his succinct theological quips and mottoes. Trueman helps us to see the practical and pastoral context in which Luther lived and ministered and thereby grants to us a better understanding of both the man and his theology.

Participants: , ,

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Ministers, not Masters

“Not that we lord it over your faith . . .”
– 2 Corinthians 1:24 –

Heavy HandednessSecond Corinthians is a book about ministry. Many commentators call it the fourth pastoral epistle, adding it to First and Second Timothy and Titus, because it focuses so much on the true character of Christian ministry. And it teaches us the lessons that it does by looking at the life of the Apostle Paul, the archetype of the minister of the Gospel.

In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul explains why he had delayed coming to them after promising another visit. The false apostles were using his change of plans as fodder for slandering him (2 Cor 1:15–17). But he affirms to the Corinthians that it was out of consideration for them; he postponed his visit in order to spare them the pain of judgment (2 Cor 1:23). But he knows that his opponents will seize on that confession of love and consideration, and twist it to suit their own ends. “It was to spare you that he didn’t come?” they would ask incredulously. “That’s nothing more than a veiled threat! He might as well say, ‘Don’t make me come and destroy you!’ Don’t you see what a tyrant this Paul is?!”

So to make sure that he’s not misunderstood, he adds this qualification: “Not that we lord it over your faith.”

In this phrase is a lesson for all those in ministry: the faithful minister of the Gospel is a servant. There is a wholesale repudiation of a domineering spirit. The truly loving shepherd of Christ’s sheep renounces all forms of despotism, domineering, and dictatorial power. Paul has absolutely no interest in lording his apostolic authority over the Corinthians. He has no desire to micromanage and domineer and control people’s thinking and behavior.

Now of course, Paul didn’t have a problem with any and all authority structures in the church. He recognized differing roles and prescribed submission of the people to the headship of their elders. But Paul did have a problem with lords in the church. There is only one Lord in the church, and that is Christ. In 2 Corinthians 4:5, Paul put it plainly: “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.” In other words, “We are not your lords; Christ is Lord. We’re just your slaves.” This is a spirit of servanthood. Just as was our Chief Shepherd (Isa 49:3; Mark 10:45; John 13:13–15), the undershepherd of Christ’s flock is to be a servant.

Jesus vs the WorldIn Luke 22, as the disciples argue about which of them was the greatest, Jesus says,

“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.”

You see the point? That heavy-handed, domineering spirit—that’s what marks the rulers of the world’s system. But in the kingdom of God, true greatness displays itself in the humility of servanthood.

In 1 Peter 5, the Apostle Peter writes, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your Pope….” Wait, no. That’s not it. “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as the Head of the Church….” No, that’s not it either. “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.”

We who would claim to be ministers of the Gospel in the service of Christ’s flock need to be on guard against that domineering spirit in our own hearts. It is so easy for those who are naturally gifted as leaders to fall prey to this temptation. You give a prideful and insecure man a title, a little publicity, and a bit of a following, and he immediately starts kingdom-building. He likes being the guy in charge. He likes being the one to make decisions. He likes being the one that everyone looks up to, and respects, and reveres. And before long he becomes enamored with the glory of himself, and his ministry becomes less and less about the magnification of Christ, and more and more about the preservation of his ego. EgoNow, if anyone dares to contradict him, he takes it as a personal assault to the personal kingdom that he’s building. And so all of his energy goes into micromanaging and controlling every little decision, to increasing his power and broadening his influence, to making sure everyone toes the line. That sort of cultish authoritarianism is the beginning of spiritual rot in the church.

That is the very last thing in Paul’s mind when he speaks about sparing the Corinthians the sorrow of another painful visit: “Not that we lord it over your faith.”

Martin Luther expresses this concept well, in typical Luther fashion. He was discovering that a number of the Protestants who were following his example and leaving the Catholic Church began to call themselves Lutherans. And he wrote this:

“What is Luther? Is it not true that the teaching is not mine! In the same vein, I have been crucified for no one. Saint Paul would not allow it that the Christians would be called Pauline or Petrine, but just Christians [1 Cor 3:4]. How did it happen to me that I, a poor, stinking sack of maggots, should have someone call the children of Christ after my unworthy name? Not so, beloved friends! … I am and wish to be master of no man. I have, along with the community, the one, universal teaching of Christ, who alone is our Master [Matt 23:8].” (Cited in Bayer, Martin Luther’s Theology, 8)

Luther understood this principle of servanthood—that we are not in the ministry to make a name for ourselves, but to make Christ’s name famous. George Whitefield wrote in a letter, “Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified.” The true minister of the Gospel delights to make the confession of John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

John MacArthur calls that confession “The First Law of Ministry.” May we who propose to serve Christ’s Church in ministry—whether in the pulpit or in the pew—never forget that we are ministers, not masters.

Source

 


Sit on Me Jesus?

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Program segments:

• Jentezen Franklin Passes Along Blood Moon Nonsense
• T.D. Jakes’ Sit on Me Jesus
• Sermon Review: Miracle Offering by Peter Mortlock of City Impact Church, New Zealand

Source


The Daily Discovery (March 27, 2015)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Biblical Case For Satire And Snark – A wonderful sermon by Pastor Hans Fiene.

The So-Called “Family Values” Christians – “Before the term pro-family was hijacked by liberals (evangelical was also hijacked) supporters were largely made up from conservative Protestants, Roman Catholics, Mennonites, Mormons, Muslims, and Jews, naming just a few. For the sake of the country, religious conservatives agreed to set aside their differences and pull together a grass roots movement of concerned citizens. These folks put their money where their mouth is in an all out effort to win elections. Their hope was that the politicians they elected would return America to “one nation under God.”

The regenerate believer’s incompatibility with sin – “It is imperative that Christians have a correct and viable theology of suffering. These health, wealth, and prosperity preachers in our time will disagree of course, but let them. We have God’s Truth, His Word, held in objective context held up against their subjective, ear-tickling smoke and mirrors false religion. Oh, there may indeed be some ‘spirituality’ going on in there, but to proclaim, ‘God is here!’ or ‘God is in this!’ or ‘We are having a Revival, come and join us!’ is the very act of man elevating himself above God, telling Him what to do and when.”

Steeped In “Tolerance” Makes for A Strange Brew – “Did you hear the one about the university dean who said it’s no problem at all if students want to bring in a pro-ISIS speaker to train young people? (Cornell dean says ISIS welcome on campus in undercover video.) It’s one of many news stories we’re covering today as we watch the aftermath of the ‘Tolerance’ trainwreck.”

William Seymour, textual critic? – “Throughout the last century or so of church history, there have been continual debates about various issues to textual criticism and whether or not a few passages (namely John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20) have been rightly included in English translations of the Bible. For all the ink that’s been spilled on the issue, there’s still no resolution in sight. People disagree about the facts (though most simply don’t know and don’t really care) and therefore also disagree wildly about the right understanding of the facts. Beyond that, most people lack the skill set to evaluate the arguments so they either have no opinion or arbitrarily choose an expert and trust them (hoping for the best).”


SERMON:

Emilio Ramos – The Total Depravity of Man


VIDEOS:

Pastor Emilio talking with Alex at #UNTDenton

How Do You Handle Name Calling in a Winsome Way?


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

Source


If It Causes You to Stumble, Avoid It!

Perhaps an appropriate 21st-century addition to Jesus’ warning in Matthew 5 would go something like this: “If Twitter causes you to sin, log off.”
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Overcoming the 12 Most Frequent Burdens Pastors Face – Rainer on Leadership #110

Podcast Episode #110

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio


Today on the podcast, we cover a recent post from Chuck Lawless on pastoral burdens.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • 70% of churches in America are declining.
  • Many times pastors determine their self-worth by how their church is doing numerically.
  • Pastors are often unfairly blamed for the moral failure of a staff member.
  • It’s hard for pastors to have friends in the church because friends are perceived as favorites.
  • The “arms race” regarding church facilities over the past few decades has been counterproductive in many ways.
  • Overcoming burdens in ministry and life heavily depends on where your focus lies—on Christ or on something lesser.

The 12 most frequent burdens pastors face are:

  1. Declining church growth.
  2. Losing the support of friends.
  3. Grieving a fall.
  4. Sensing that the sermon went nowhere.
  5. Losing vision.
  6. Being lonely.
  7. Dealing with unsupportive staff.
  8. Remembering failures.
  9. Dealing with death recurrently.
  10. Facing personal jealousies.
  11. Balancing family and ministry priorities.
  12. Responding to criticism.

Feedback

If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at ThomRainer.com. If we use your question, you’ll receive a free copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church.

Resources

The post Overcoming the 12 Most Frequent Burdens Pastors Face – Rainer on Leadership #110 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.

 


Old Testament Promises. Follow Up

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Re:  Old Testament Promises.  You raise a valid and interesting point. Question is why the church fathers chose to include promises made to Israel in the canon to be read by the church.

continue reading


New Bodies For Unbelievers?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I had a discussion today about the bodies of the wicked-dead.  After reading Revelation 20, it wasn’t clear to me whether they receive bodies (some kind like our glorified ones?) or not, in which to spend eternity in the “lake of fire”.  Perhaps I have missed other locations of Scripture that deals with this topic.  In any event, thank you so much for your help.

continue reading


The Holy Spirit As The Restrainer

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. The Biblical translations that I’m aware of all capitalize pronouns referring to God in the New Testament no matter if the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit is in context,   except for 2 Thes. 2:6-7.  The restrainer, I do believe, is the Holy Spirit but why isn’t the pronoun “he” capitalized?

continue reading

 



Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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.

If you accept Jesus and become a Christian, will God make you happy?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Navy SEAL Matthew "Axe" Axelson Navy SEAL Matthew “Axe” Axelson

This is a wonderful, wonderful post from Amy Hall, who writes for the Stand to Reason blog.

She writes:

I had a brief interaction with an atheist on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that unexpectedly turned to the issue of suffering when she said:

You clearly never had a time you were hurt. I don’t mean sick. I don’t mean heart broken. I mean literally a near death experience or rape or abusive relationship…. You can keep floating on a [expletive] cloud thinking Jesus will do everything for you but it’s a lie. What makes you so special?

That surprised me at first because it didn’t seem to have anything to do with the tweet she was responding to, and I was confused as to why she would assume I’d never been through anything traumatic. But then in subsequent tweets, when she revealed…

View original post 790 more words

Mounting evidence suggests President Obama preparing to “divorce” Israel. What are the implications if he does?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

MEME-ObamaAbandonIsraelUPDATED: (Central Israel) — Is a divorce coming between the President of the United States and the State of Israel?

Once, it would have been almost preposterous even to ask such a question. Today, however, it feels like it’s a matter of “when,” not “if” Mr. Obama will formally abandon American support for the Jewish State. And the situation is rapidly going from bad to worse.

Readers of this blog may recall that I posted this column on January 14, 2015: “Will President Obama abandon or fully turn against Israel in last two years in office, amidst ISIS & Iran threats? Exclusive poll results.” According an exclusive poll I commissioned late last year, a remarkable 47.4% of Americans fear the President will turn against Israel soon given that he won’t ever face the voters again. I suspect the number would be much higher today

As I traveled through the U.S. in January and February on The Third Target

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New SRN Podcast: Jesus Calling Messages Compared to Channeled Spirit Messages

This audio is meant to help people who have been troubled and/or adversely affected by the books God Calling, Jesus Calling, A Course in Miracles, The Freedom Diaries, and all other material that is penned as a result of allegedly hearing from “God,” “Jesus,” “Angels,” “spirits,” etc.

NEW PODCAST: Jesus Calling Messages Compared to Channeled Spirit Messages – Examining Sarah Young’s “listening prayer” method and her own words

Read full description here!
Download/Play MP3

JAS: Why do Christians celebrate death?

This week Christians celebrate Palm Sunday and reflect on the death of Jesus on the Cross. Is it strange to refer to this as a celebration? Why would one celebrate death, especially the death of the one who came to be the Savior of the World and claimed to be God?

Dr. Norman Geisler says “The death of Christ is the necessary prerequisite to his resurrection, which is the crowning proof of Jesus’ claim to be God.”

Many argue the facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. One theory is that Jesus did not die on the cross but that a drug put Jesus in a coma-like state so that He later revived in the tomb. Is that true or is Matthew’s narrative true? Matthew says Jesus refused the drug customarily offered to the victim before crucifixion to deaden pain (27:34), and He accepted only vinegar later (vs. 48) to quench his thirst. Learn more as you reflect on the death of Jesus this year with this article by Dr. Geisler.

Read the article “The Death of Christ

“ In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us all…” Ephesians 1:7

We pray you revel in the awareness of His forgiveness because of the cross and anticipate Resurrection Sunday with great joy!

GTY Blog: The Seven Last Sayings of Christ: A Provision for His Mother

John 19:25-27

Code: B150327

by John MacArthur

In the midst of His greatest anguish, Christ’s attention was not on Himself and His needs. Even as He hung on the cross, beaten and bleeding to death, His focus was on all that His Father was accomplishing—we see that illustrated in each of His seven last sayings. Today we’ll see how He made provision for His earthly mother.

A Scene No Mother Wants to See

Jesus’ enemies were not the only spectators at the cross. As word got around Jerusalem that morning that Christ was under arrest and had been condemned to death by the Sanhedrin, some of His closest loved ones came to be near Him. John 19:25 describes the scene: “Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”

Some interpreters believe John mentions only three women, and that “His mother’s sister” is the same person as “Mary the wife of Clopas.” But that would mean these two sisters were both named Mary, and that seems highly unlikely. Instead, it seems John was saying there were three women named Mary present (Jesus’ mother, Mrs. Clopas, and Mary Magdalene), as well as a fourth woman (Mary’s sister) whose name is not given—but she might have been Salome, the mother of James and John. John also indicates in verse 26 that he himself was present, referring to himself the way he always did in his gospel, as “the disciple whom [Jesus] loved” (cf. John 21:20–24).

The pain of watching Jesus die must have been agonizing for His loved ones. But for no one was it more difficult than Mary, His earthly mother. Years before, at His birth, the elderly prophet Simeon had told her,

Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end, that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34–35, emphasis added)

The sword Simeon spoke of was now piercing her heart as she watched her firstborn Son die.

She had reared Him from childhood. She knew His utter perfection better than anyone. And yet as she watched, crowds of people poured contempt on her Son, cruelly mocking and abusing Him. His bleeding, emaciated form hung helplessly on the cross, and all she could do was watch His agony. The sorrow and pain such a sight would cause His mother is unfathomable. And yet instead of shrieking and crumpling in hysteria, turning and fleeing in terror, or falling into a faint at the horrible sight, she stood. She is the very model of courage.

Jesus saw her standing and grieving there, and His third saying from the cross reflects the tender love of a Son for His mother.

When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. (John 19:26–27)

When Jesus said, “Behold, your son,” He was not referring to Himself. He probably nodded at John. He was making a gracious provision for Mary in the years to come. He was delegating to John the responsibility to care for Mary in her old age.

A Unique Relationship

This was a beautiful gesture, and it says a lot about the personal nature of Jesus’ love. Although He was dying under the most excruciating kind of anguish, Jesus, the king of love, selflessly turned aside to care for the earthly needs of those who stood by His side. Although He was occupied with the most important event in the history of redemption, He remembered to make provision for the needs of one woman, His mother.

He addresses her as “woman.” Nowhere in the gospels does He ever call her “mother”; only “woman.” The expression conveys no disrespect. But it does underscore the fact that Christ was much more to Mary than a Son. He was her Savior, too (cf. Luke 1:47). Mary was no sinless co-redemptrix. She was as dependent on divine grace as the lowliest of sinners, and after Christ reached adulthood, her relationship to Him was the same as that of any obedient believer to the Lord. She was a disciple; He was the Master.

Christ Himself rebuked those who wanted to elevate Mary to a place of extraordinary veneration: “One of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.’ But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.’” (Luke 11:27–28). Mary was blessed because she was obedient to the Word of God—the same as any other believer. Her position as Christ’s mother did not carry with it any special titles such as co-mediatrix, queen of heaven, or any of the other forms of deification medieval superstition has attached to the popular concept of Mary.

Let’s be perfectly clear: It is a form of idolatry to bestow on Mary honor, titles, or attributes that in effect give her a coequal status in the redemptive work of her Son or elevate her as a special object of veneration.

Nonetheless, Christ loved and honored His mother as a mother. He fulfilled the fifth commandment as perfectly as He fulfilled them all. And part of the responsibility of honoring one’s parents is the duty to see that they are cared for in their old age. Christ did not neglect that duty.

It is perhaps significant that Jesus did not commit Mary to the care of His own half-brothers. Mary was evidently a widow by now. Nothing is said of Joseph after the gospel narratives about Jesus’ birth and childhood. Apparently he had died by the time Jesus began His public ministry. But Scripture suggests that after Jesus’ birth Mary and Joseph had a marital relationship that was in every sense normal (Matthew 1:25). Despite the claims of the Roman Catholic Church, Scripture does not allow us to believe Mary remained perpetually a virgin. On the contrary, the gospels clearly state that Jesus had brothers (Mark 3:31–35; John 2:12; Luke 8:19–21). Matthew even names them: “James and Joseph and Simon and Judas” (Matthew 13:55). They would have in fact been half-brothers, as the natural offspring of Mary and Joseph.

Why didn’t Jesus appoint one of His own brothers to look after Mary? Because, according to John 7:5, “His brothers were not believing in Him.” They became believers when Jesus rose from the dead, and therefore Acts 1:14 records that they were among the group meeting for prayer in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost: “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (emphasis added). But they were evidently not believers yet when Jesus died. So as He was dying on the cross, He committed His mother to the care of His beloved disciple, John.

(Adapted from The Murder of Jesus.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150327
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Cold Case Christianity: Jesus Is Evidence That God Exists

28Ever try to make a case for God’s existence with a non-believing friend or family member? I have. For some reason, I usually find myself beginning with the broader evidence for God’s existence. From the cosmological argument to the evidence from the fine-tuning of the universe, to evidence from teleology or the existence of transcendent moral laws, I usually begin by making a case for the existence of any God before I focus in on the evidence for the Christian God of the Bible. I typically take an “outside-in” or “macro-to-micro” approach: first argue for God generally, and then argue for Jesus specifically.

The Gospels Make A Case For God’s Existence
But that isn’t how I came to faith. I first became interested in the existence of God after reading the gospels. I read them as a curious atheist. A local pastor aroused my curiosity by providing a few choice samples of Jesus’ teaching, and I was simply curious to see if the gospels contained any additional wisdom. I was no more committed to Jesus as an ancient teacher than I might be to Buddha, Socrates or any other ancient sage.

But the gospels resonated with my experience as a detective and demonstrated many characteristics of eyewitness testimony. I was quickly engaged in a forensic statement analysis of the gospel of Mark and it wasn’t long before I was taking what the gospels said seriously. I discovered:

1. The gospels were written very early
2. The gospels were transmitted carefully
3. The gospel information was protected and preserved
4. The gospel claims about Jesus were consistent with non-Christian sources
5. The gospel accounts were testable

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Just days before nuclear talks end, Iran seizes Yemen. U.S. evacuates, but Saudis & Arab coalition launch war to retake Yemen. Where will this lead?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(source: Al-Arabiya) (source: Al-Arabiya)

In just a few days, we will reach the March 31st deadline to complete nuclear negotiations with Iran.Yet rather than conclude a deal that would truly stop Iran from getting The Bomb and constrain Iranian aggression in the Middle East, consider the surreal events presently unfolding:

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He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it…

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40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Five: Friday)

Friday

Day 33: In what way are the issues of heaven and hell, good and evil, problems for someone in coming to faith in God?

Confession: Psalm 107:10–15

Those who sat in darkness and gloom,

prisoners of misery and iron—

because they rebelled against the words of God

and spurned the counsel of the Most High,

he therefore humbled their heart with trouble.

They stumbled and there was no helper.

Then they called to Yahweh for help in their trouble;

he saved them from their distresses.

He brought them out of darkness and gloom,

and tore off their bonds.

Let them give thanks to Yahweh for his loyal love

and his wonderful deeds for the children of humankind,

for he shatters the doors of bronze,

and cuts through the bars of iron.

Reading: Mark 14:66–72

And while Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the female slaves of the high priest came up. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean!” And he went out into the gateway, and a rooster crowed. And the female slave, when she saw him, began to say again to the bystanders, “This man is one of them!” But he denied it again. And after a little while, again the bystanders began to say to Peter, “You really are one of them, because you also are a Galilean, and your accent shows it!” And he began to curse and to swear with an oath, “I do not know this man whom you are talking about!” And immediately a rooster crowed for the second time. And Peter remembered the statement, how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times,” and throwing himself down, he began to weep.

Reflection

We recognize in the apostle two acts of will: the one, by which he willed not to die, a thing wholly free from blame; the other, by which he delighted to be a Christian, which was highly praiseworthy. In what then was the apostle blameworthy? Was it in that he preferred to lie rather than to die? Plainly this act of will was deserving of blame, for he willed to preserve the life of the body rather than that of the soul.…

He sinned, therefore, and not without the consent of his own will, which was feeble indeed and wretched, but certainly free. He did not sin by rejecting or hating Christ, but by loving himself too much. Nor did that sudden fear of death forcefully compel his will to this perverse self-love, but it proved it to exist. He was, without doubt, already such a man as this, but he knew it not—even though he heard Christ, from whom the truth could not be hidden, say: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times” (Matt 26:34 nrsv). That weakness of will—which was revealed, but not caused. It was by fear inspired. And it made known the extent to which he loved himself, and the extent to which he loved Christ. It was made known however, not to Christ, but to Peter.

—Bernard of Clairvaux

Concerning Grace and Free Will

Response

Do you love yourself—your comfort, your safety, your reputation—more than you love Christ? Are you defensive when challenged about these things, or are you repentant like Peter?[1]

 

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

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