Daily Archives: March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Collection

Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. —C.S. Lewis

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Mar. 30, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from white high school students who sued after an assistant principal asked them to turn their American flag T-shirts inside-out to prevent fights from breaking out on Cinco de Mayo.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has failed to produce any new documents in response to a congressional subpoena related to the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, and has also wiped her e-mail server clean, said a Republican lawmaker.

Shiite Houthis fought forces loyal to Yemen’s embattled president for control of his government’s last stronghold as Saudi Arabia led air assaults on rebel positions and held out the possibility of a ground invasion.

Consumer purchases rose 0.1 percent, less than projected in February, indicating the biggest part of the U.S. economy will find it hard to sustain momentum after the best quarter since 2006.

Volvo Car Group plans to build its first auto factory in the U.S. in a $500 million investment to revive sales following a plunge in demand over the past decade.

On Thursday morning, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke at a prayer breakfast inside the Capitol Hill Club, right between the House offices and the Republican National Committee. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody had exclusive access to the meeting, and had a camera right on Paul as he urged ministers and activist to battle the “moral crisis” that has led to mass acceptance of gay marriage.

Banks face a push from international regulators for stiffer rules on the capital needed to handle an increase in interest rates.

AP Top Stories

Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program entered a critical phase on Monday with substantial differences still remaining less than two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted Monday of unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter in a retrial on corruption charges, the latest chapter in the downfall of a man who only years earlier hoped to lead the country to a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Eight people were killed and 10 injured early Monday after a van drove through a stop sign and careered off a Florida highway into a canal, officials said.

Saudi Arabia accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of hypocrisy on Sunday, telling an Arab summit that he should not express support for the Middle East while fuelling instability by supporting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

South Korea on Monday selected Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and partner Lockheed Martin for a multi-billion-dollar contract to develop 120 “indigenous” fighter jets to replace Seoul’s ageing fleet.

A third of Republicans believe President Obama poses an imminent threat to the US, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A month long Philippine offensive against hardline Muslim rebels ended Monday after 139 insurgents were killed, 12 others were captured and bomb-making strongholds were seized by troops, the military chief said.

Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Myanmar’s second biggest city of Mandalay and heads for China’s Chongqing, the fifth flight of a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun.

Twenty-three people were injured when an Air Canada jet struck an antenna and crash landed as it attempted to touch down in heavy snow at Halifax airport early Sunday. Like the doomed Germanwings flight, the Air Canada plane involved in Sunday’s incident was an Airbus A320.

A major earthquake with a magnitude 7.7 struck off Papua New Guinea on Monday, official monitors said, and a tsunami warning was issued soon after.

Iran is trying to expand its empire much like Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the lead up to World War II, former CIA Director James Woolsey said Monday.

Failing to repay student loans has all sorts of terrible consequences, but in some states, more than just your financial well-being is at risk – student loan default could cost you your professional certification or even your driver’s license.

BBC

The passport numbers and Visa details of 31 world leaders were accidentally emailed to the organizers of the Asian Cup in Australia before the G20 summit in Brisbane in November 2014. Those affected included President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Guinean President Alpha Conde has declared a 45-day “health emergency” in five regions in the west and south-west of the country over Ebola. The restrictions included the quarantining of hospitals and clinics where new cases are detected, new rules on burials and possible lockdowns.

The heads of Arab League meeting in Egypt have agreed to create a joint Arab military force.

More than 1,000 men have reportedly been arrested in India’s Bihar state for impersonating candidates in physical fitness tests for the police. The men had been hired to pass themselves off as the candidates.

WND

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group is attempting to restrict the delivery of babies by caesarean, deeming the practice Western and “un-Islamic.”

If the U.S. and international community do not intervene, Christians may be driven out of the Middle Eastern Arab countries within two years, warned Lebanese parliamentarian.

Resistance to militarization of local police has been enacted with a bill signed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that bans local law-enforcement agencies from obtaining such equipment without authorization from their local government.


Iranian Defector: US Working ‘On Behalf’ of Iran
An Iranian journalist and top media aide to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani defected while covering the nuclear talks in Switzerland and has accused the United States’ team of acting on Iran’s behalf in the negotiations.   

Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s
A new video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday shows its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men said to be Shiite Muslims. The video posted on social media said the men were beheaded in the central Syrian province of Hama.   

Situation Normal: Hillary Clinton obstructs justice and operates outside the law
You’d think an elderly harridan and grandmother would find lower risk hobbies. What we do know for a fact is that Hillary Clinton has not produced all the emails requested by the Benghazi committee and she has not turned over all of her work related emails to the State Department.   

Germany says Greece must flesh out reforms to unlock aid
Greece’s biggest creditor Germany said on Monday that the euro zone would give Athens no further financial aid until it has a more detailed list of reforms and some are enacted into law, adding to scepticism over plans presented last week.   

No more Christians in the Mideast within 2 years
Lebanese MP Samy Gemayel gives dire warning. “Today all the moderates in the region are taken between two big extremists powers. On one side you have ISIS and on the other side you have the Islamic state of Iran.   

Bishop names late Tory MP Enoch Powell in child sex abuse, satanic worship scandal
Allegations of satanic worship and child abuse involving the late firebrand Tory MP Enoch Powell have been handed to staff investigating the VIP pedophile sex ring alleged to have operated in Westminster in the 1980s. Powell, who died in 1998, is one of a series of high-profile figures named in a Church of England (CofE) review into historic sex abuse, which was given to Scotland Yard by the Bishop of Durham Paul Butler.   

Americans see Putin as only slightly more imminent threat than Obama, poll says
when asked about both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was a pretty darn close call — 20 percent saw Putin as an imminent threat compared to 18 percent who said the same about Obama.   

Setbacks and progress as Iran, six powers meet to end nuclear impasse
The foreign ministers of Iran and six world powers met on Monday in a final push for a preliminary nuclear accord less than two days before their deadline as Tehran showed signs of backing away from previous compromise offers.   

The battle for the Middle East’s future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Unprecedented in modern Arab history, a Sunni Muslim coalition of 10 nations – including non-Arab Pakistan – has attacked another Arab nation. The Sunnis and the Shia of the Middle East are now at war with each other in Iraq, in Syria and Yemen. Pakistan is a nuclear power. The armies of Bahrain and the Gulf states include Pakistani soldiers. Pakistanis were among the dead in the first great battle against Iraqi troops in the 1991 Gulf War.   

Strong earthquakes strike South Pacific
A pair of strong earthquakes struck off the South Pacific nations of Tonga and Samoa on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued. The U.S. Geological Survey said the first quake had a magnitude of 6.4 and a depth of 11 kilometers (7 miles), striking 109 kilometers (68 miles) northeast of Tonga’s Hihifo district Monday night.   

Major 7.7 Quake Strikes Off Papua New Guinea, Tsunami Warning Issued
A major earthquake with a magnitude 7.7 struck off Papua New Guinea on Monday, official monitors said, and a tsunami warning was issued soon after.   

Bashar al-Assad says US air strikes are not easing jihadist threat
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria claims the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has recruited followers and gained in strength despite a US bombing campaign. In an interview with CBS television, he said he was open to talks with the US, insisting that he retained the support of much of the population But he also accused Washington of exaggerating the impact of air strikes.   

Kashmir floods: Srinagar residents told to move to safety
A flood alert has been issued in Indian-administered Kashmir following torrential rain and a surge in the water level of the Jhelum river. Authorities have asked people living near the river to leave their homes and move to safer places. At least 10 people are missing after landslides buried a number of houses.   

Poll: Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin, Assad
A third of Republicans believe US President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Assad. A Reuters/Ipsos online poll this month asked 2,809 Americans to rate how much of a threat a list of countries, organizations and individuals posed to the United States on a scale of 1 to 5…   

Obama does it again
The Muslim Marxist in the White Mosque continues, on a daily basis, to exceed our expectations. Just when you think he can’t get any more lawless, or corrupt, or incompetent, or traitorous, he does. But like he claims to be the case with American’s achievements, he doesn’t do it alone. He’s had massive assistance from the “mainstream” media, the Democrat Party, and to the disgust of patriotic Americans nationwide, the Republican Establishment.   

Iranian Defector: ‘U.S. Negotiating Team Mainly There to Speak on Iran’s Behalf’
An Iranian journalist writing about the nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran has defected. In an interview Amir Hossein Motaghi, has some harsh words for his native Iran. He also has a damning indictment of America’s role in the nuclear negotiations. “The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” Motaghi told a TV station after just defecting from the Iranian delegation while abroad for the nuclear talks. The P 5 + 1 is made up of United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, plus Germany.   

American-Israeli Rabbi compares Obama to Haman
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, on Saturday night compared US President Barack Obama to Haman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Mordechai. Speaking at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, the American-born Riskin said that he could not understand what was going through Obama’s mind. “The president of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews,” he said. “I’m not making a political statement,” he clarified, “I’m making a Jewish statement.”   

Big Brother Is Here: Facebook Reveals Its Master Plan – Control All News Flow
In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.   

Does Iran Have Secret Nukes in North Korea?
In October 2012, Iran began stationing personnel at a military base in North Korea, in a mountainous area close to the Chinese border. The Iranians, from the Ministry of Defense and associated firms, reportedly are working on both missiles and nuclear weapons. Ahmed Vahidi, Tehran’s minister of defense at the time, denied sending people to the North, but the unconfirmed dispatches make sense in light of the two states announcing a technical cooperation pact the preceding month.   

French local elections: Exit polls suggest Conservative win
The UMP, led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, appeared set to secure at least 65 local councils, exit polls suggested, up from 41. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front also appeared to have made gains, while the ruling Socialists and their allies may lose about 30 departments.   

Major 7.7 quake strikes off Papua New Guinea, tsunami warning issued
A major earthquake with a magnitude 7.7 struck off Papua New Guinea on Monday, official monitors said, and a tsunami warning was issued soon after. The epicenter of the 33 km (22 mile) deep quake was near the town of Rabaul in the northeast of Papua New Guinea, The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.   

Syria’s Assad says Islamic State has expanded since start of U.S. air strikes
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a U.S. television interview that Islamic State, which has seized swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, has been gaining recruits since the start of U.S.-led air strikes against the militant group.   

Israel premier expresses ‘deep concern’ on pending Iran deal
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he has “deep concern” over a pending nuclear deal the West appears close to signing with Israel’s arch-enemy Iran.  


Daily Digest

March 30, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[A] constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” –John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1775

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Bergdahl’s Defense May Say He’s a Whistleblower

The whispers coming out of the Pentagon are that Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl may defend himself against charges of desertion by arguing he left his unit at an observation post in 2009 to report on his fellow soldiers’ lack of discipline and strife with his commanders. For some reason, Bergdahl thought the best way to do that was to leave for another U.S. base in the dead of night, days before his unit was to head back, leaving his uniform and firearm behind. CNN reports, “Bergdahl was planning to report what he believed to be problems with ‘order and discipline’ in his unit, a senior Defense official tells CNN. A second official says Bergdahl had ‘concerns about leadership issues at his base.’ … ‘This was a kid who had leadership concerns on his mind,’ the second official said. ‘He wasn’t fed up, he wasn’t planning to desert.'” So six soldiers are dead and five Taliban jihadis will soon rejoin the battlefield because Bergdahl wanted to take a walk to another base and file a complaint? Yeah, right.

Chuck Schumer Is No Better Than Harry Reid

Sen. Harry Reid hasn’t even taken a step out the door and some people already miss his “leadership.” After Reid announced his retirement, the Democrat senator next in line is Chuck Schumer. And looking at Schumer’s track record, the New York Democrat is probably the worst of two evils. He has said he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s definition of religious liberty, he wants to tax the snot out of “rich” people, and he’s as gun-phobic as they come. Political analyst Charles Krauthammer argued that Reid “emasculated [the Senate] in the name of protecting the president and trying to re-elect Democrats.” It always seemed like Republicans only had two years before the game would change again. Depending on how the 2016 elections go, it may get a lot harder. With Schumer holding the reins of Democrat leadership, he would be fully guided by the far-Left ideal. And if he controls the Senate, he may do the chamber more harm than even Reid managed. More…

Weekly Address: Tax the Rich!

Barack Obama never lets a week go by without waging class warfare. This time, he hit the Republican budget in his weekly address. “Protecting working Americans’ paychecks shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” he said, making it a partisan issue. “But the budget Republicans unveiled last week would make it harder, not easier, to crack down on financial fraud and abuse. And this week, when Republicans rolled out their next economic idea, it had nothing to do with the middle class. It was a new, more-than-$250 billion tax cut for the top one-tenth of the top one percent of Americans. That would mean handing out an average tax cut of $4 million a year to just 4,000 Americans per year, and leaving the rest of the country to pay for it.” Sometimes we tire of correcting him, but a tax cut is not a “hand out.” The money first belongs to the earner, not the government. Obama and his ilk have it backwards. He continued yammering about “everyone [doing] their fair share” and “middle-class economics,” but the message was the same old leftist redistributionist drivel.

Hillary Clinton Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del on Her Email

The House committee investigating the 2012 attack on Benghazi learned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed the reset button on her private email account that held all her communication from her time in office. Her emails are gone. In a statement, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said, “We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server. While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.” It is thought Clinton’s homebrew email account was built to be permanently deleted, not for critical concerns like security. And she put that design to use when people started investigating. Now, the question is, will Clinton get away scot-free from willfully destroying government records that rightfully belong to the American people? In the meantime, perhaps Gowdy and his committee can ask the NSA and the Russians if they could forward them copies of Clinton’s communications. More…

What Time Is It? Time to Start Arctic Drilling

While the U.S. is enjoying a boom in oil production, it has been no thanks to Barack Obama’s policies — as federal lands remain closed, the growth is almost entirely on private lands. Yet no good thing lasts forever, and even the government says we should be prepared. The Associated Press reports, “The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council says in a study submitted Friday.” It takes years from exploration to first barrel on the market, so best to get started. Thanks to economic growth in China, India and elsewhere, fossil-fuel demand is expected to grow — in spite of leftist climate alarmism. So why the Arctic? The AP says geologists estimate it “holds about a quarter of the world’s undiscovered conventional oil and gas deposits.” More oil drilling has never been a policy goal for the Obama administration, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. That said, an Energy Department study is hardly going to persuade Obama to open up the spigots.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Left Defends Individual License, Not Rights

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Mike Pence

Indiana is ground zero for the latest in a long line of protests now mandatory in the standard operations of the Left. At issue is the Hoosier State’s new religious liberty law, which most of the Leftmedia are inclined to put in scare quotes — as if “religious liberty” is a made-up fantasy. And that’s exactly why such laws are needed.

All the ingredients are present to cook up a hyper-responsive framework to marginalize targets — celebrities and corporate CEOs yammering about discrimination and “hate,” raving partisans calling for resignations and activists organizing boycotts. The leaders of the Left, including Saul Alinsky disciple Barack Obama, must be very proud of the kerfuffle. Indeed, Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest said the law appears to “legitimize discrimination.”

Last week, Indiana’s state house, senate and governor all supported legislation based upon current federal law to protect religious liberty. Republican Governor Mike Pence’s signature placed the state in the same category of 19 others in modeling legislation on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. That law was signed by Bill Clinton after Democrats led by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer supported religious liberty.

Oh, and by the way, Illinois is one of those 19 states, and its law passed with the vote of a then-state senator by the name of … Barack Obama.

Just prior to signing the 1993 federal law, Clinton described its scope: “What this law basically says is that the government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that … we can never be too vigilant in this work.”

But Democrats’ support for religious liberty completely evaporated when they literally booed God at the party’s convention in 2012.

The Indiana law, named the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (sound familiar?), does not institutionalize discrimination as those on the “tolerant” Left declare. Instead, it protects the likes of businesses in the well-publicized cases of bakery owners, florists and wedding photographers attacked by the Left for standing by the teachings of their faith.

Simply, business owners whose faith says the same thing as God does about homosexuality — that the act is a sin — have their rights protected to observe their faith and not be forced to endorse, for example, a same-sex wedding ceremony.

We know that’s brutal, calling homosexuality a sin — just as it is to call abortion the murder of an infant. Operating a business on principles of faith where the observant says the same thing about love, goodness, mercy, sin, judgment and righteousness as the God being worshipped… It’s simply brutal to some.

Appreciate that in the world of the unicorn-riding Left, the only rights that exist are awarded by the state based on secular whims of division by constituency. It’s where sexual preference is celebrated, the acceptance of destructive behavior is applauded and antagonism of politically incorrect faith is the ideal.

The Left does not fight for the rights of individuals. They fight for the license of individuals, or the freedom to act upon one’s instincts, rather than rights and responsibilities.

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the laws of the other 19 states have not conjured up or encouraged discrimination. On the contrary, we’re watching a “hands up, don’t shoot” moment in the making where the false narrative of the activist Left is parroted and crafted into “fact” by the presstitutes in the media. It’s awfully difficult to articulate a stance based on reason, precedent and true rights to a group inflamed by emotion and invested in the movement-of-the-moment.

This effective tactic employed by the Left — of marginalizing those with standards and a moral compass — is destroying our society’s foundations and, dangerously, the truth itself.

Will you be forced to participate in an act that violates your faith? Asked another way: Will one’s politics and cultural conveniences determine one’s god, or will God determine one’s politics and culture?

Outing Israel’s Nuke Program

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No doubt by command of a president with the impulses of a passive-aggressive teenager, the Obama administration recently declassified a formerly top-secret Department of Defense document illuminating the details of Israel’s nuclear program.

The betrayal occurred early last month, when the release of the 1987 report, “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” breached a longstanding mutual silence aimed at preventing a Middle East arms race. Released just prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 address to Congress, the 386-page report reveals critical details regarding how Israel advanced its military technology and its development of a nuclear infrastructure during the 1970s and 1980s.

The document reveals that the Jewish State’s nuclear infrastructure is “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at [U.S.] National Laboratories,” and that Israeli research efforts “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.” It further revealed that, in some cases, Israel’s military prowess “is more advanced than in the U.S.”

Israeli news site Arutz Sheva, highlighting this story with an intensity that stands in stark contrast to an American mainstream media that ignored it, says Israel was singled out: “[W]hile the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel’s sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.”

The document release was an ostensible effort by the Obama administration to comply with a three-year-old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by anti-Israel activist Grant F. Smith. His group, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, in conjunction with anti-Israel groups If Americans Knew and the Council for the National Interest (CNI), holds an annual Israel-bashing conference in Washington, DC. During last year’s conference, San Francisco radio host Jeffrey Blankfort referred to our nation’s capital as “Israeli-occupied territory” and spoke of “AIPAC’s occupation of Congress.” Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) opined that “the pro-Israel lobby usually has a whole lot of money and those of us who act of conscious generally don’t. … [T]hey can buy and intimidate people.” And CNI Executive Director Philip Giraldi offered up an Israeli-based truther narrative with regard to 9/11: “The existence of a large scale Israeli spying effort at the time of 9/11 has been widely reported incorporating Israeli companies. … Five Israelis from one of the companies were observed celebrating against the backdrop of the Twin Towers going down.”

It’s useful to point out the same administration eager to get this information in the public domain is the one that has routinely stonewalled FOIA requests. The administration recently announced it would simply ditch regulations subjecting substantial portions of White House correspondence to FOIA requests, reversing a 30-year-old policy. And in a testament to the administration’s Orwellian instincts, the reversal was announced during “Sunshine Week,” the annual celebration of the Freedom of Information Act.

Yet when it comes to undermining Israel, the Most Transparent Administration in History™ is apparently up to the task.

A senior Israeli official who wished to remain anonymous offered the Times of Israel his take on Obama and company. “The White House is driven by three main motives,” he contended. “The first is revenge [for Netanyahu’s congressional speech]. The second is frustration: It’s no secret that they were involved in an attempt to bring down the Netanyahu government — something that we have clear knowledge of — and failed. The third [motive] is the administration’s attempt to divert attention from the negotiations with Iran to the Palestinian issue.”

The Times report also details Israel’s foray into hydrogen bomb-making — as in “developing the kind of codes … which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”

Jewish Daily Forward blogger Michael Karpin puts that revelation in perspective, explaining, “It should be emphasized that in the history of the relations between the two countries there is no other published official American document that mentions in any way the Israelis’ development of hydrogen bombs.”

That’s because no other administration in American history has harbored as much animosity for Israel as this one. The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin exposes Obama’s despicable level of petulance, saying he is “paving the way for an Iranian nuke” and “hinting he’ll also let the other anti-Semites at Turtle Bay have their way.” Goodwin also notes why this is occurring: “Whatever form the punishment takes, it will aim to teach Bibi Netanyahu never again to upstage [Obama]. And to teach Israeli voters never again to elect somebody Obama doesn’t like.”

And if such petulance engenders a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, much as Saudi Arabia has already indicated?

So be it.

Furthermore, Americans should be clear that, despite protestations to the contrary, Obama’s contempt for Israel resonates within his party. It was Democrat delegates attending their 2012 National Convention who heartily booed the idea that Jerusalem should be the capital of the Jewish State. And it was Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough who told an adoring crowd of J Street leftists that Israel must end its occupation of the West Bank.

No doubt many in the White House are thrilled with the “outing” of Israel’s nuke program — courtesy of the same administration that will bend over backwards to keep any details of Iran’s efforts from being publicized, even after they reach a “historic” agreement. For those who believe such pie-in-the-sky diplomacy will be successful, it is worth remembering the equally “historic” Agreed Framework of 1994 that was trumpeted as a success in preventing North Korea from obtaining nukes.

Unfortunately, with the current gaggle of clueless Obama administration officials in charge, history gets to repeat itself — and Israel becomes target Numero Uno for an Islamofascist Iranian regime. For those aligned with Obama and his thoroughly twisted worldview, that’s known as a “twofer.”

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “I’ve learned in Washington that that’s the only place where sound travels faster than light.”

Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Perhaps Netanyahu should be flattered that Obama holds him to such a high standard of constancy. The president has certainly never demanded it of himself. On a whole slew of issues, Obama has adamantly taken one position, then cast it aside when it was politically advantageous to do so. He stoutly told AIPAC that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel. Then he took it back. He endlessly promised voters that if they liked their existing health plan, they could keep it. Then he took it back. He repeatedly explained that he didn’t have the authority to unilaterally change or ignore immigration law. Then he took it back. He coldly warned Syrian dictator Bashar Assad that any use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” calling for a military response. Then he took it back. He firmly asserted that he was not in favor of same-sex marriage. Then he took it back. … Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama.”

Columnist George Will: “As Hillary Clinton begins her campaign to again reside with the White House furnishings, remember an episode perhaps pertinent to the family penchant for secrecy and to her personal email server. Sandy Berger, who had been President Clinton’s national security adviser, was Clinton’s designated representative to the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks that occurred less than nine months after Clinton left office. While representing Clinton, Berger frequented the National Archives. Later, he was fined $50,000 for surreptitiously taking highly classified documents from the Archives and destroying some of them. Another Clinton presidency probably would include a reprise of the couple’s well-known patterns of behavior. Voters will make an informed choice.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama played host to high school science students from across America at the annual White House National Science Fair. The president surveyed some projects that are silly and would never work. And after he left his foreign policy meeting, it was on to the kids’ work.”

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.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


False Teachers and True Revival vs. False Fire

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 06:24 AM PDT

False Teachers and True Revival vs. False FireChristians are called to discern truth from error, light from darkness, and right from wrong … but how? Jeremiah 23:17 offers one answer, “They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, You shall have peace;’ And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’” False teachers often don’t warn, confront or convict. They offer comfortable messages and a false sense of peace, or they mislead with rules and regulations as found in 1 Timothy 4:2-3—”speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 that “false Christs and false prophets will appear and deceive many.” Deception comes in many forms but centers around false hope or legalism. Not all leaders in experience-oriented movements are false and misleading. Many are sincere and open to the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word is the foundation on which all truth stands (cf. 1 Tim. 3:15). FULL ARTICLE

The post False Teachers and True Revival vs. False Fire appeared first on End Time Headlines.

‘No more Christians in Mideast within 2 years’

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 06:19 AM PDT

'No more Christians in Mideast within 2 years' A Chilling report is coming out of the Mideast that is predicting that If the U.S. and international community do not intervene, Christians may be driven out of the Middle Eastern Arab countries within two years, warned Lebanese parliamentarian Samy Gemayel during a radio interview Sunday.  Gemayel, a senior member of the Phalange Party, descends from a historic Lebanese Christian family. His father, Amin, was the country’s president, while his brother, Pierre, was a member of parliament and a government minister before his assassination Nov. 21, 2006. Samy Gemayel’s uncle, former president-elect Bashir Gemayel, also was assassinated. Speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990, Gemayel warned Christians and moderate Muslims are victims of two extremist forces fighting each other. He stated: “Today all the moderates in the region are taken between two big extremists powers. On one side you have ISIS and on the other side you have the Islamic state of Iran. “So you have two Islamic states with two very extremist ideologies fighting against each other. And the moderates are stuck in a sandwich between these two powers.” FULL REPORT

The post ‘No more Christians in Mideast within 2 years’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Mysterious ‘Sleeping Sickness’ Baffles Researchers

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 06:14 AM PDT

Mysterious 'Sleeping Sickness' Baffles ResearchersAccording to a report from WND A mysterious illness is leaving scientists scratching their heads. In the remote Russian village of Kalachi in Kazakhstan (central Asia), a mysterious illness is baffling scientists around the world. Dubbed the “sleeping sickness,” it causes people to suddenly fall asleep for anywhere from two to six days, accompanied by “startling” memory loss, blinding headaches, back pain, dizziness and general “edginess.” Intensity can range from full sleep to a deep, sluggish drowsiness. “Whatever they are doing,” reported the Telegraph, “whoever they are, and at any time or day, a resident of this remote settlement on the central Asian steppe lives with the knowledge they may suddenly fall asleep – and remain unconscious for days.” Victims say one moment they’re walking, talking or reading … and the next they’re asleep. Some people have been hit with sleeping episodes no less than eight times. Certain victims, particularly children, report terrifying hallucinations. One toddler survived in utero his mother’s bout of sleeping sickness. The affliction even affects animals. One woman reported her cat had fallen asleep after a “bizarre outburst of hyperactivity.” First reported in early 2010 in the town of 600, the number of people afflicted has been steadily rising since March 2013. “The sleeping epidemic has appeared in definite waves among locals who are mainly ethnic Russians and Germans,” reported the Siberian Times almost a year ago. “The second came in May 2013, around Easter time. Since then there were three move waves of this sleeping epidemic – around New Year 2014, after the winter school holiday and this month, in May 2014.” FULL REPORT

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China’s Potential Deflation Threatens to Overthrow Global Monetary Order

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 06:09 AM PDT

China’s Potential Deflation Threatens to Overthrow Global Monetary Order People’s Bank of China (PBOC) governor Zhou Xiaochuan, speaking at a forum of the nation’s high-ranking officials and top businesspersons on the Chinese island of Hainan in Sunday, admitted the Communist nation is falling into the mire of deflation at a faster pace than might be expected. Coupled with the dramatic slowdown in the nation’s real economy, the threat of deflation might prompt the Chinese central bank to implement a full-scale stimulus, also known as ‘quantitative easing’ or QE, in the nearest future. Despite the fact that stock markets would eagerly welcome such a scenario, the Chinese QE, coming against the background of similar policies in Europe and Japan, might have dire effects on the global economic outlook, significantly impairing living standards all across the globe. Despite this, Beijing has undertaken several limited-effect policies of monetary easing, such as allowing more renminbi-denominated liquidity in the economy by lowering the reserve ratio requirements (RRRs) for certain banks, the deflatory pressure has eased only somewhat with prices at the factory gate still declining and the overall economy slowing far below the demographically-dictated minimum growth threshold of 8%. The PBOC even cut its base interest rate twice since November, but, as the economy weakens further, full-scale QE is looming as the only solution. FULL REPORT

 

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Influx of advanced weapons flowing into Syria and Lebanon “Unprecedented”

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 06:05 AM PDT

Influx of advanced weapons flowing into Syria and Lebanon "Unprecedented"Advanced weaponry, much of it supplied by Iran, is flowing into Syria and Lebanon, a senior Israel Navy source warned on Sunday. The Navy is spending a large chunk of its operational time dealing with advanced weapon smuggling, according to the source, who added, “Such weapons pose a challenge to all Western navies in the area.” He said the northern front has become unified, and that Lebanon and Syria can not be viewed as separate entities anymore. “What happens in Syria, happens in Lebanon [in terms of weapons availability], and vice versa. I’ll go a step further and say that everything that happens in Iran can end up in Syria, which can then end up in Lebanon,” the source stated. “In the event of war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, I’m not sure Syria will remain on the sidelines. Hezbollah assists the Assad regime, and the help is mutual.” Describing the quantity and quality of surface-to-sea missiles in Hezbollah’s possession as “unprecedented,” the source said there are dozens of such weapons in its keeping, covering around 10 different kinds of such missiles. “The types of warheads and their ranges are many,” said the source. “We are in a completely different situation. The sector has changed.” FULL REPORT

 

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Does Iran Have Secret Nukes in North Korea?

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 06:00 AM PDT

Does Iran Have Secret Nukes in North Korea?In October 2012, Iran began stationing personnel at a military base in North Korea, in a mountainous area close to the Chinese border. The Iranians, from the Ministry of Defense and associated firms, reportedly are working on both missiles and nuclear weapons. Ahmed Vahidi, Tehran’s minister of defense at the time, denied sending people to the North, but the unconfirmed dispatches make sense in light of the two states announcing a technical cooperation pact the preceding month. The P5+1—the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany—appear determined, before their self-imposed March 31 deadline, to ink a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding its nuclear energy program, which is surely a cover for a wide-ranging weapons effort. The international community wants the preliminary arrangement now under discussion, referred to as a “framework agreement,” to ensure that the country remains at least one year away from being able to produce an atomic device. FULL REPORT

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TB outbreak confirmed in South Devon

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 05:56 AM PDT

TB outbreak confirmed in South DevonAccording to sources Health chiefs have moved to reassure Plymouth people after an outbreak of TB was confirmed in Devon, with at least four people catching the infectious disease. A south Devon School pupil and two former pupils at the same school have all been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB), following an earlier case in Torquay at the beginning of the month. The three new cases are all linked to Teign school at Kingsteignton. Public Health England is working South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Devon County Council following the latest cases. As a precautionary measure, TB screening is being offered to pupils and staff who have shared lessons with the cases. The latest pupil is currently away from school, receiving treatment and is recovering well, a health service statement confirms. TB is a bacterial infection, which is treated with antibiotics. Fortunately, it is not easily passed from person to person and generally the risk to others is low. and staff at the school who have not been identified as close contacts are at a much lower risk from catching the disease and therefore do not need to be screened. FULL REPORT

 

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Fears of a new global crash as debts and dollar’s value rise

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 05:51 AM PDT

Fears of a new global crash as debts and dollar’s value riseGreek ministers are spending this weekend, almost five grinding years since Athens was first bailed out, wrangling over the details of the spending cuts and economic reforms they have drawn up to appease their creditors. As the recriminations fly between Europe’s capitals, campaigners are warning that the global community has failed to learn the lessons of the Greek debt crisis – or even of Argentina’s default in 2001, the consequences of which are still being contested furiously in courts on both sides of the Atlantic. As Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates, boosting the value of the dollar, while the plunging price of crude puts intense pressure on the finances of oil-exporting countries, there are growing fears of a new debt crisis in the making. Ann Pettifor of Prime Economics, who foreshadowed the credit crunch in her 2003 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis, says: “We’re going to have another financial crisis. Brazil’s already in great trouble with the strength of the dollar; I dread to think what’s happening in South Africa; then there’s Malaysia. We’re back to where we were, and that for me is really frightening.” FULL REPORT

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Flood Alerts Issued in Kashmir as Rivers Cross Danger Mark

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 05:48 AM PDT

Flood Alerts Issued in Kashmir as Rivers Cross Danger MarkHundreds of Kashmiris in both India and Pakistan moved to higher ground Monday as rain-swollen rivers swamped parts of the disputed Himalayan region placed under an emergency flood alert just six months after some 600 people died in flooding that left the region in shambles. Officials ordered residents along the banks of the Jhelum River to move to relief camps as the water crossed the danger threshold in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir. More than a dozen people were trapped inside two houses that partially sank into the ground after a landslide hit Laden village in Budgam district, police said. Rescuers pulled out the bodies of four men from the huge piles of mud that buried the houses, said Manoj Pandit, a police spokesman. Rescue workers were searching for at least 10 others who were in the buildings when they were hit by the landslide, he said. The flooding after three days of heavy rain renewed fears among the tens of thousands who have struggled to rebuild after flooding in September destroyed thousands of homes and infrastructure worth $17 billion. For days in September, many residents were left stranded on rooftops or the upper floors of buildings as bloated livestock carcasses floated by. For weeks, heaps of garbage piled up in the waterlogged city. FULL REPORT

The post Flood Alerts Issued in Kashmir as Rivers Cross Danger Mark appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Church is Facing a Dietrich Bonhoeffer Moment

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 05:41 AM PDT

Church is Facing a Dietrich Bonhoeffer MomentTo those trying to convince us that these are America’s greatest days and revival is breaking out, I humbly challenge this perspective.  Granted, there are “pockets” of some encouraging spiritual activity but by and large the Church is successful numerically but unsuccessful influentially. How we need to take seriously the 2 Chron. 7:14 promise:  “(If) My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from heir wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” In the meantime, opposition to Christianity is becoming more aggressive and hostile.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the areas of natural marriage and sexual purity. Who could have fathomed just a decade ago the ABC family network would feature a primetime show, “The Fosters”, with 2 lesbian “parents”, a transgender teen and 2 thirteen-year-old boys kissing? How about rampant perversion and pornography a “click” away on kids’ and youths’ smartphones?  Should it surprise me when our state newspaper,  “The Tennessean”, features a front-page article that our college rape reports are up 77 percent? How about laws being passed allowing men to share public restrooms and showers with our 10 year-old daughters because they identify themselves as a “transgender”? One more… After 5000 years of Western civilization defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, we are on the precipice (barring miraculous intervention) of the Supreme Court imposing homosexual “marriage” on all 50 states.  Marriage referendums passed by the overwhelming majority of citizens in state after state are probably going to be obliterated in this watershed moment and the floodgates opened for homosexual “marriage”, polygamy, polyamory and whatever. FULL REPORT

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Michelle Obama Keeps Racism Alive With Speech At ‘Black Girls Rock!’ Event

Celebrating people for the color of their skin is racist, is it not?

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For the Liberal Democrat race baiter, fostering racism is a key rung on their ladder of political success. They desperately need the whites and the blacks to be separate, angry and at each other’s throats. On one hand, they decry racism at the hands of “elite white males” who rule society, and on the other do everything they can to draw distinctions between the races. Would Michelle Obama have been the keynote speaker at a “White Girls Rock” event? Could such an event even be allowed to take place in America? I think you know the answer to that one. A much better name for a group like this would be “Young Girls Rock!” which would include everyone and draw attention to no one in particular. That’s how you begin to end racism in America. But who wants to do that?

NEWARK, N.J. — First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated the beauty, power and tenacity of black women while spreading her own message of education for girls at Black Girls Rock!, an annual event honoring trailblazing women of color from all walks of life.

michelle-obama-keeps-racism-alive-black-girls-rock-race-card-baiters

“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful,” Obama told the crowd, which included many young black girls.

Obama got arguably the night’s loudest ovation as she came on stage and declared “Black girls rock!” – the slogan and name of the organization founded by Beverly Bond. It is designed to uplift young black girls, a group that often has difficulty finding positive and reaffirming images of themselves in the world.

Obama’s speech was just one of many highlights of the nearly four-hour event, which will be shown Sunday, April 5, on BET.

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ISIS Terror School Graduates ‘Class Of 2015′ Jihadis In Northern Syria

New images have emerged showing dozens of black balaclava-wearing extremists graduating from an ISIS terror school in northern Syria.

Brandishing AK47 assault rifles and waving flags carrying the sinister black and white ISIS logo, the photographs showing the jihadi ‘Class of 2015′ are believed to have been taken in Raqqa city.

isis-jihad-terror-school-raqqa-syria-islamic-state

Although the are dressed in head-to-toe black and wear balaclavas that cover most of their faces, it is clear that the majority of the graduates are teenagers who have been brainwashed into thinking they are holy warriors, when the reality is they will be used as little more than cannon fodder.

The images are believed to have been taken somewhere in the city of Raqqa – the eponymous capital of the province and a stronghold of the terrorists’ self-declared caliphate, which covers vast swathes of land in northern Syria and western Iraq.

The photographs show dozens of militants sitting on seats in what appears to be a school hall, while chilling black and banners carrying the ISIS logo are seen been waved.

Read the rest of the story on Daily Mail UK…

The post ISIS Terror School Graduates ‘Class Of 2015′ Jihadis In Northern Syria appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 


On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Media skews Indiana’s religious liberty law as anti-gay, showing extent of moral revolution

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says Controversial ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Won’t Change, ABC News (Stephanie Ebbs)

Indiana Law Denounced as Invitation to Discriminate Against Gays, New York Times (Michael Barbaro and Erik Eckholm)

Indiana Religious Freedom Law Sparks Fury, Wall Street Journal (Mark Peters and Jack Nicas)

Gov. Mike Pence signs ‘religious freedom’ bill in private, Indianapolis Star (Tony Cook)

Keeping them safe from gay marriage, Washington Post (Editorial Board)

Why the backlash against Indiana and not other states with similar laws? Timing., Washington Post (Philip Bump)

Controversial Indiana Law Puts Pressure on N.C.A.A. and Other Leagues, New York Times (Marc Tracy)

2) Nicholas Kristof reminds liberals Christian caricature shouldn’t be mocked

A Little Respect for Dr. Foster, New York Times (Nicholas Kristof)

3) Debate over motherhood as a job exposes shallow understanding of parenthood

Motherhood is tough and intense but it is not a job, Financial Times (Lucy Kellaway)
In other news…


Google controls what we buy, the news we read — and Obama’s policies

A former Google officer is the president’s chief technology adviser. Google employees contributed more to President Obama’s re-election than did employees of any other company except Microsoft. Google lobbyists met with Obama White House officials 230 times. By comparison, lobbyists from rival Comcast have been admitted to the inner sanctum a mere 20 or so times in the same period.

View Article


UN says Israel, not Iran, North Korea or Syria worst violator of human rights

We are in an Isaiah 5:20 world: good is called evil and evil is called good. — OTM

What country deserves more condemnation for violating human rights than any other nation on earth? According to the U.N.’s top human rights body, that would be Israel.

Last week, Israel was the U.N.’s number one women’s rights violator. This week it is the U.N.’s all-round human rights villain.

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Award-Winning Teacher Trashes Common Core

Western Journalism has extensively reported on Common Core and those who oppose it, but this most recent public trashing comes from the education department itself.

First-ever Global Teacher Prize winner Nancie Atwell joined CNN’s New Day panel and spoke her mind about the Common Core system and those wanting to pursue a job in teaching.

View 40-second video about Common Core


Obama funds left-wing hit squad with your tax dollars

The Obama administration is using your tax dollars to back a super-wealthy, left-wing charity that cuts checks to a myriad of avowedly “progressive” causes, including the notorious Media Matters for America, founded by Hillary Clinton ally and Fox News nemesis David Brock.

It’s just one of many examples of how in the Obama era, government is handing out money to nonprofits that share the ideology and political inclinations of a president who looks back warmly on his time as a community organizer in Chicago.

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Mark Levin: Obama Is ‘The Greatest Threat the Jews Face … Since the 1930s’

Access 2-minute audio


Heading East on the West Bank

On the minds of prophecy students now, at a fever pitch, is the question of the famed “Gog-Magog War” mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39, and also related is the question of whether Scripture mitigates against a Palestinian state. I read recently an email exchange on this between prophecy students/teachers, and at least one dogmatically claimed that a Palestinian state could never be established, according to the Bible.

View Article


The Blood of the Martyrs

Why is God allowing so many Christian to die? Jan Markell and her guest, Tom Doyle, discuss that and much more. Doyle also shares remarkably uplifting stories from the midst of the persecution of Christians in the Mideast. Doyle has a new book, “Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where it’s Not Safe to Believe.” Find it here. The depth of oppression Jesus followers suffer is unimaginable to most Western Christians. Yet, it is an everyday reality for those who choose faith in many parts of the world. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Can Saudi Arabia Feed Its People? :: Yossi Mann in Middle East Quarterly

by Yossi Mann
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2015 (view PDF)
http://www.meforum.org/5098/can-saudi-arabia-feed-its-people


Rise Of The Islamic Beast? 10 Sunni Nations Unite

Unprecedented in modern Arab history, a Sunni Muslim coalition of 10 nations – including non-Arab Pakistan – has attacked another Arab nation. The Sunnis and the Shia of the Middle East are now at war with each other in Iraq, in Syria and Yemen. …………. Click here for full story


Netanyahu Says Looming Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Worse Than Feared’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said the deal currently under discussion between Iran and world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program is even worse than he had feared. The PM’s statement comes after a close aid to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defected while in Switzerland for talks – and revealed that the US negotiating team was essentially advocating on behalf of the Iranian regime’s position………… Click here for full story


Obama’s War Against Israel

Many Arabs and Muslims are rubbing their hands in joy as they watch U.S. President Barack Obama declare war on Israel after the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in last week’s general election. They do not see the rising tensions between Obama and Netanyahu as the result of a personal dispute between two leaders. Instead, the dispute is seen by many Arabs and Muslims as part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to undermine Israel and force it to make territorial concessions that would pose an existential threat to Israel………… Click here for full story


Americans No Longer Trust The Church – 1 In 4 Americans Now Reject God

Barna Group has released its 2015 study on the state of atheism in America, and has revealed that one in four unchurched adults in the country now identify as atheists or agnostics. The study also found that rejection of the Bible and lack of trust in the church are two main reasons why people are turning away from faith.. ……….. Click here for full story


Why Evangelicals Are Divided by Afterlife Testimonials

Earlier this week, LifeWay Christian Resources announced it would no longer carry “experiential testimonies about heaven,” such as Don Piper’s popular “90 Minutes in Heaven.” Books and films in this vein report people’s various brushes with the afterlife (usually heaven, but sometimes hell) experienced during traumatic moments like surgery or car wrecks. ……… Click here for full story


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 post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist)

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 30, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. —C.S. Lewis

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Constructive Criticism at Work

Does our work now reflect our grateful response? Do we labor with both humility in ourselves and confidence in the One who is transforming us into his own likeness? He’s the one who took it personal. And he is the one who will personally be the advocate for his people on that last day. For this reason, those who look at our work should be able to see our joy in the artist behind it.

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Avoiding a Spirit of Lethargy

Christ knew that there is a gravity to evangelism and we do well to take it to heart. We are not offering membership to a political party, or a social club, or a retreat center; we are offering life and death. Those who hear the gospel and reject it or receive it insincerely heap condemnation on themselves. Those who receive the gospel with faith and repentance receive an inheritance that the world cannot contain.

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Monday Morning Ministry Blues Should Fade Fast

Monday has come again. I have worked hard last week, praying and preparing. I worked hard yesterday preaching God’s word. Now I wake up today and am reminded that it is God that gives the increase (1 Cor. 3.6-7). He DOES give the increase. He has grown his people and He will continue to grow his people. And, to be humbled and encouraged again, he will continue to do it through means. The means in the local church are often times through a praying, hard working, faithful pastor. This exercise has a way of revealing pride and fostering humility. And I think that sounds about right.

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Ministers, not Masters

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.

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5 Reasons Your Church Should Be Smaller

When Jim Collins wrote his renowned leadership manual Good to Great, church leaders ate it up. His central thesis, “Good is the enemy of
 Great,” contends that leaders who become satisfied with a good organization will cease to press toward greatness. My thesis is a complete reversal of Collins’s. I say that Great is the enemy of Good in Christian leadership. The drive to be great is crowding out goodness and virtue as the central focus. Christian leadership has become too pragmatic, while faithfulness has taken a backseat. Pastors have morphed into CEOs, and the worth of the leader has become intrinsically tied to the size of their congregation.

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My 2 Cents: Feminism, Stereotypes, and Experiences

When we move past experience and stereotypes to biblical truth, we find that there are some things that are absolutes on which we should not budge. And there are other things that are matters of discernment and liberty. We should be kind but firm on the one, and gracious and flexible on the other.

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Discrimination against gay people in Indiana?

by Denny Burk

http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=29987447

I applaud Indiana Governor Mike Pence for taking a courageous stand in defense of our first freedom—religious liberty. Gov. Pence has been on the hot-seat ever since he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into Indiana law last week. Not only did he sign the bill into law, but he also had the moxie to go on national television to defend the law in the face of scurrilously unfair criticism (see video above).

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God The Savior Of All?

If God saves such a great number of people, such a great diversity of people, with such a great salvation – from sin, guilt, death, and hell – but they must put their faith in Christ to experience this, that will get us out of bed in the morning, that will fuel evangelistic passion, and that will make us willing to endure suffering and hardship for the sake of getting that message out.

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Children’s Ministry – A Litmus Test Of Biblical Faithfulness In The Church…

Is your Children’s Ministry predominantly teaching the kids about Christian principles and values? What kind of lessons are being taught? Is it mostly about being more kind, honest or obedient? Do they teach the full counsel of God? Are they telling kids about who God is? Is Christ and His grace at the center of the teaching? Do children have Bibles in their hands at church? Do they open those Bibles when they are in Sunday School?

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Does Christening and Confirmation Count?

baby being dabbedAs the pastor of a Baptist church I frequently encounter this recurring couplet of questions posed by prospective members:

“Since I was baptized as an infant, and then later (in my denomination’s confirmation ceremony) confirmed publically that I trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, why do you believe I should be re-baptized? Is this re-baptism not a renouncing of my previous confirmation ceremony, which to me was a precious and public expression of my personal trust in Jesus?”

Here is the essence of a letter I recently wrote to answer the question. Let’s call the inquirer something that rhymes with dunking.

Dear Duncan,

Your questions are good and show a commendable desire to reconcile what you have been taught with what you are learning now. Here are four handrails for our thoughts to grip as we wade through the issue.

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Strengthen Your Assurance

“Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2:9 (NIV)

A lot of believers lack confidence in what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing in their lives, “If my salvation boils down to my decision to follow Jesus, how do I know that I can keep it up? The best I could do is to say ‘I’ll give it my best shot, and I hope I make it.'” Thank God the Bible doesn’t say, “Salvation comes from me.”

Salvation comes from the Lord! If God is saving me, I can have confidence in his ability to keep me. Augustus Toplady wrote this hymn in the 1700s, but it is still very relevant to us today:

The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’
And never was forfeited yet.

Things future, nor things that are now,
Nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo,
Or sever my soul from His love.

My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.

Yes, I to the end shall endure
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
the glorified spirits in heaven.

When you grasp more clearly that salvation comes from the Lord, then your confidence in the Lord, who died to save you and lives to keep you, will soar. And so will your assurance that he will never let you go.

Do you struggle with confidence in what the Lord is doing in your life?

That’s this week’s LifeKEY!

Colin S. Smith

This devotional is taken from the sermon series “How to Avoid a God-Centered Life” by Pastor Colin S. Smith. CLICK TO BUY THE SERMON SERIES


Nine Traits of Church Bullies

Church bullies are common in many churches. They wreak havoc and create dissension. They typically must have an “enemy” in the church, because they aren’t happy unless they are fighting a battle. They tend to maneuver to get an official leadership position in the church, such as chairman of the elders or deacons or treasurer. But they may have bully power without any official position.

Church bullies have always been around. But they seem to be doing their work more furiously today than in recent history. Perhaps this look at nine traits of church bullies can help us recognize them before they do too much damage.

  1. They do not recognize themselves as bullies. To the contrary, they see themselves as necessary heroes sent to save the church from her own self.
  2. They have personal and self-serving agendas. They have determined what “their” church should look like. Any person or ministry or program that is contrary to their perceived ideal church must be eliminated.
  3. They seek to form power alliances with weak members in the church. They will pester and convince groups, committees, and persons to be their allies in their cause. Weaker church staff members and church members will succumb to their forceful personalities.
  4. They tend to have intense and emotional personalities. These bullies use the intensity of their personalities to get their way.
  5. They are famous for saying “people are saying.” They love to gather tidbits of information and shape it to their own agendas. See my previous post on this one item.
  6. They find their greatest opportunities in low expectation churches. Many of the church members have an entitlement view of church membership. They seek to get their own needs and preferences fulfilled. They, therefore, won’t trouble themselves to confront and deal with church bullies. That leads to the next issue, which is a consequence of this point
  7. They are allowed to bully because church members will not stand up to them. I have spoken with pastors and church staff who have been attacked by church bullies. While the bully brings them great pain, they have even greater hurt because most of the church members stood silent and let it happen.
  8. They create chaos and wreak havoc. A church bully always has his next mission. While he or she may take a brief break from one bullying mission to the next, they are not content unless they are exerting the full force of their manipulative behavior.
  9. They often move to other churches after they have done their damage. Whether they are forced out or simply get bored, they will move to other churches with the same bullying mission. Some bullies have wreaked havoc in three or more churches.

Church bullying is epidemic in many of our congregations. They must be stopped. In my article on Wednesday, I deal with the topic of preventing church bullying. In the meantime, let me hear from you.

The post Nine Traits of Church Bullies appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Always Care, Never Kill

It starts under the pretense of alleviating suffering, but it ends up killing the most vulnerable among us. I’m talking about physician-assisted suicide.
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Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons

Jared Wilson:

I first began thinking about note-taking in relation to what preaching is when I heard Tim Keller, echoing Lloyd-Jones, say in a sermon, “I don’t mind if you take notes at the beginning of a message, but if you’re still taking notes at the end, I feel like I haven’t brought it home.” I thought to myself then, “Hmmm.” It resonated with me and how I both was experiencing the kind of preaching I found to exalt Christ and the kind of preaching I was trying to get better at.

How much business is your profanity costing you?

Michael Hyatt:

I’ve made huge gains in my personal and professional life from people who could make sailors blush. But here’s the thing: I don’t always feel comfortable directing my audience to do the same. It’s just not worth offending them.

That means great content providers are losing potential audience growth, and potential audiences are missing some great content. So is cussing really worth it?

Unfortunate beard facts

Take that, hipsters (or something).

If You Are Boycotting Indiana, Here’s Where Else You Need to Boycott

Enjoy some good old-fashioned common sense in this post. Sadly, most of the folks who need it won’t read it. Joe Carter also provides some insight into what Indiana’s RFRA actually means here, and Mollie Hemingway slams the botched and biased reporting on the act here.

The Spiritual Stages of a Believer’s Life

Nick Batzig:

1 John 2:12-14 gives us one of the most wonderful prose-like theological structures in Scripture. The Apostle, writing about the benefits that believers have in Christ casts it under the figure of little children, young men and fathers. His intention was to explain the benefits that believers have that come to us by means of the Scriptures. On the surface, it appears that John may simply have been seeking to address the children, young men and older men in the congregations to whom he is writing; but, a consideration of what he says, namely, that all the saving benefits belong to all believers who are united to Christ–leads to a very different conclusion.


This is What the Brave New World Looks Like

by Bill Muehlenberg

Imagine a world where children are treated as mere commodities and where those who seek to defend children are treated as villains and outcasts. And imagine those who seek to use children for their own selfish ends are treated as heroes and saints.

Imagine a dangerous and high-risk lifestyle which nearly everyone considered to be socially unacceptable until just recently now becoming the most celebrate, promoted, protected and privileged lifestyle in the West, with anyone daring to disagree with it treated as a criminal.

brave new worldImagine our elites and most of the mainstream media doing everything they can to promote this lifestyle, and doing everything they can to demonise, vilify and punish those brave voices who dare to stand against this downward trend to depravity and wickedness.

Imagine our sons going overseas to fight and die for freedom, only to find that today freedom is really only reserved for the militant lobby groups and their supporters, while actively taken away from those who refuse to go along with them.

Imagine censorship of anything which goes against the reigning political correctness. Imagine media outlets refusing to carry pro-children and pro-family advertisements. Imagine those concerned about the state of our society and the wellbeing of our children being viciously attacked and vilified for their efforts.

Read more


The “Empire” Strikes Back

Is the “Persian Empire” getting bigger, or is that just your imagination? If you’ve been paying attention to the news headlines lately, you might have noticed that Iran is tightening its grip on Arab states, from Iraq to Lebanon, and Syria to Yemen, all ahead of a nuclear deal. Who is the man behind what […]

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It’s the justices, stupid

by Denny Burk

Rod Dreher might be accused of being a “Debbie Downer” for his dire predictions about religious liberty, but I think his analysis is spot-on. In an essay posted this morning, he argues that the take-away from the Indiana RFRA is not the law itself, but the media “freak out” that happened in response. It reveals just how deep our nation’s indifference is to religious liberty and just how willing some of our elites are to stamp it out. And it won’t stop with RFRA’s. He says that churches that support traditional marriage will soon face attacks on their tax-exempt status. If you think this isn’t coming, you aren’t paying attention.

You need to read Dreher’s entire piece, but here are the political implications he draws in the conclusion:

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The Abortion Spa: Rebranding Infanticide

by Denny Burk

What do abortionists do when they are losing the abortion argument? When their “blob of cells” trope has collapsed under the moral weight of ultrasound images? When everyone can now see that the humanity of the unborn is as plain as the nose on their face? What do they do? They double-down on deception.

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Equipping Eve: Christ-less Checklists and Holiness (Part 2)

In this episode, we continue our discussion from J.C. Ryle’s book, Holiness, on growing in grace. What are some of the marks of growing in grace, as revealed to us in Scripture? Most importantly, why do we strive for holiness? Click here to listen to the latest episode of Equipping Eve. Click here to listen to ‘Christ-less Checklists and Holiness (Part 1). Further Listening/Reading

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Revenge, Abandonment, Betrayal
By Jan Markell

Did you ever expect to see those three words linked to the U.S.-Israel relationship? Have we fallen down a hole and we now are in an “Alice-in-Wonderland” world? America embraces her enemies and lifts sanctions on Iran. She will likely place sanctions on Israel. It is an upside down world. Is the Mad Hatter in charge?

Things aren’t falling apart–they’re falling in place.

The entire world is in the process of abandoning Israel which the Bible foretells in Zechariah 12:3. It is ultimately fulfilled in the Tribulation but the process begins much sooner.

Here’s what some are saying.

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The Daily Discovery (March 30, 2015)

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

Never Sorry Enough – “I am not easily offended. People will sometimes apologize to me for something they have said or something they have done, concerned that I was offended at their behavior. But I rarely am. It usually doesn’t even occur to me to be offended. But then there is that one situation with that one friend.”

Culture War — Now More Than Ever – “In 1992, Pat Buchanan put the phrase “culture war” on the map with his speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention. Since that time, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge, but — we should be careful to note — it is all the same river.”

“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” – “It is noon, and Jesus has been on the cross for three pain-filled hours. Suddenly, darkness falls on Calvary and “over all the land” (v. 45). By a miraculous act of Almighty God, midday becomes midnight.  This supernatural darkness is a symbol of God’s judgment on sin. The physical darkness signals a deeper and more fearsome darkness.”

Discrimination against gay people in Indiana? – “Critics allege that this law allows citizens to “discriminate” against gay people. The accusation is completely misinformed, and the media have played a big part in the dissemination of ignorance about what this law actually does and doesn’t do. I won’t rehash the law here, but I will direct you to Joe Carter’s helpful explainer as well as that of John McCormack who puts the Indiana law side-by-side with the nearly identical federal law which was signed into law by Pres. Clinton in 1993.”

Contend Mondays: Our Heart Attitude and the Gospel – “Answers In Genesis posted some handy acronyms to help us remember the attitude of our heart while we share the gospel.  I’m not the best when it comes to remembering acronyms, especially when I create them like this…”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – What the Cross Means to God


VIDEOS:

Why Ray Comfort’s Bible is so Big

Challenge Response: You Can’t Trust the Christian Authors of the Gospels


“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



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


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The World’s Most Important Thinkers – Church & Culture Blog

The “intellectual” magazine Prospect has put forward its list of the world’s most important thinkers.

Comedian Russell Brand was voted fourth.

No, that was not a misprint.

Russell Brand.

Fourth most important thinker in.the.world.

Above Indian writer Arundhati Roy, German philosopher Jurgen Habermas and U.S. economist Paul Krugman.

The magazine described Brand as “the spiritual leader of Britain’s disaffected anti-capitalist youth,” adding, “Dismissed by his opponents as a clownish opportunist, he is nevertheless the most charismatic figure on Britain’s populist left.”

Number one on the list?

French economist Thomas Piketty.

Okay, at least that one I get.

But I will give the magazine credit for one thing: Never before has the “habits of the mind” mattered more. As Winston Churchill presciently stated in his address to Harvard University in 1943, “The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, reflecting on Churchill’s address, notes that Churchill’s point was that a great transition was taking place in Western culture with immense implications for all who live in it. The powers of the new world would not be nation-states, as with empires past, but ideologies. It would now be ideas, not nations, which would captivate and conquer in the future. The starting point for the conquest of the world would now be the human mind.

But will Christians ever be found on any list of important thinkers?

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GTY Blog: The Seven Last Sayings of Christ: A Petition to the Father

Matthew 27:45-46

Code: B150330

by John MacArthur

Famous last words can be tragic or inspiring. Not everyone has the opportunity to choose their last words carefully, but for those who see death coming, what message of wisdom, love, confession, or summation do they deliver with their final breaths?

In preparation for the celebrations of Christ death and resurrection later this week, we’ve been considering Christ’s last words from the cross. What did the Lord have to say to those gathered as He suffered the punishment of countless sins He hadn’t committed? As we’ve seen already, His words pointed forward to God’s redemptive purpose in His suffering, and illustrated His love and compassion.

Christ’s fourth saying from the cross is by far the richest with mystery and meaning. Matthew writes,

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45–46)

It might seem at first glance that Christ was merely reciting the words of Psalm 22:1 (“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning?”). But given the fact that all of Psalm 22 is an extended prophecy about the crucifixion, it might be better to see the psalm as a prophetic anticipation of the cry of Jesus’ heart as He bore the sins of the world on the cross. It was no mere recitation.

Corrupting the Cross

Some commentators have gone to great lengths to explain why Jesus would utter such words. To them, it seems unthinkable that Jesus would actually feel abandoned on the cross—and even more unthinkable to surmise that God in any sense abandoned His beloved Son. And so they insist that Jesus was merely reciting Scripture, not expressing what He truly felt in His heart.

But that betrays a serious misunderstanding of what was taking place on the cross. As Christ hung there, He was bearing the sins of the world. He was dying as a substitute for others. To Him was imputed the guilt of their sins, and He was suffering the punishment for those sins on their behalf. And the very essence of that punishment was the outpouring of God’s wrath against sinners. In some mysterious way during those awful hours on the cross, the Father poured out the full measure of His wrath against sin, and the recipient of that wrath was God’s own beloved Son!

In this lies the true meaning of the cross. Those who try to explain the atoning work of Christ in any other terms inevitably end up nullifying the truth of Christ’s atonement altogether. Christ was not merely providing an example for us to follow. He was no mere martyr—a victim of the wickedness of the men who crucified Him. He wasn’t merely making a public display so that people would see the awfulness of sin. He wasn’t offering a ransom price to Satan—or any of the other various explanations religious liberals, cultists, and pseudo-Christian religionists have tried to suggest over the years.

Divine Substitution

Here’s what was happening on the cross: God was punishing His own Son as if He had committed every wicked deed done by every sinner who would ever believe. And He did it so that He could forgive and treat those redeemed ones as if they had lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness.

Scripture teaches this explicitly: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. . . . He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief . . . as a guilt offering. (Isaiah 53:4–5; 9-10)

“What the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2).

Propitiation

That word propitiation speaks of an offering made to satisfy God. Christ’s death was a satisfaction rendered to God on behalf of those whom He redeemed. “The Lord was pleased to crush Him” (Isaiah 53:10, emphasis added). God the Father saw the travail of His Son’s soul, and He was satisfied (v. 11). Christ made propitiation by shedding His blood (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17).

It was God’s own wrath against sin, God’s own righteousness, and God’s own sense of justice that Christ satisfied on the cross. The shedding of His blood was a sin offering rendered to God. His death was not merely a satisfaction of public justice, nor was it a ransom paid to Satan. Neither Satan nor anyone else had any right to claim a ransom from God for sinners. But when Christ ransomed the elect from sin (1 Timothy 2:6), the ransom price was paid to God. Christ died in our place and in our stead—and He received the very same outpouring of divine wrath in all its fury that we deserved for our sin. It was a punishment so severe that a mortal man could spend all eternity in the torments of hell, and still he would not have begun to exhaust the divine wrath that was heaped on Christ at the cross.

This was the true measure of Christ’s sufferings on the cross. The physical pains of crucifixion—dreadful as they were—were nothing compared to the wrath of the Father against Him. The anticipation of this was what had caused Him to sweat blood in the garden. This was why He had looked ahead to the cross with such horror. We cannot begin to fathom all that was involved in paying the price of our sin. It’s sufficient to understand that all our worst fears about the horrors of hell—and more—were realized by Him as He received the due penalty of others’ wrongdoing.

And in that awful, sacred hour, it was as if the Father abandoned Him. Though there was surely no interruption in the Father’s love for Him as a Son, God nonetheless turned away from Him and forsook Him as our Substitute.

The fact that Christ—suffering from exhaustion, blood loss, asphyxia, and all the physical anguish of the cross—nonetheless made this cry “with a loud voice” proves it was no mere recitation of a psalm. This was the outcry of His soul; it was the very thing the psalm foretold.

We should keep Christ’s suffering in mind, not just this week but always, and remember that He willingly endured the physical and spiritual horrors of the cross for the sake of our redemption. His immense sacrifice on our behalf is humbling.

(Adapted from The Murder of Jesus.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150330
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

With March 31 deadline fast approaching, growing number of experts warn against deal with Iran. Here’s the latest.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Officials of Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union, the United States and Iran wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015. Negotiations are entering a critical phase with differences still remaining just two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool) Officials of Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union, the United States and Iran wait for the start of a meeting on Iran’s nuclear program at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015. Negotiations are entering a critical phase with differences still remaining just two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

(Central Israel) — Less than 48 hours remain for a nuclear deal to be worked out with Iran before the March 31st deadline is reached.

Details of a potential deal are leaking out of the marathon talks being held in Lausanne, Switzerland, but they are far from encouraging.

In fact, a growing number of highly respected leaders, nuclear experts and Middle East analysts — both Democrats and Republicans — say they are deeply troubled by the apparent concessions being made to Iran, as well as Iran’s increasingly aggressive actions…

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The Three Uses of God’s Law

The Reformed Reader

Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (NOTE: this is a repost from March, 2009)

When the Reformed and Lutheran scholastics talked about God’s moral law (lex moralis), they taught that there are three basic uses of the law (usus legis).  According to Richard Muller’s helpful research, they are:

1) The civil use (usus politicus sive civilis).  That is, the law serves the commonwealth or body politic as a force to restrain sin.  This falls under the general revelation (revelatio generalis) discussion in most of the scholastics as well as natural law (cf. Rom 1-2).

2) The pedagogical use (usus elenchticus sive paedagogicus).  That is, the law also shows people their sin and points them to mercy and grace outside of themselves (e.g. Rom. 3:20).  In Richard Muller’s summary, this is “the use of the law for the confrontation and refutation of sin and for the purpose…

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Adult children of gay parents testify against same-sex marriage at Supreme Court

WINTERY KNIGHT

Marriage and family Marriage and family

This story is from the Washington Times. (H/T William)

They write:

Six adult children of gay parents have filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court to dissuade the justices from legalizing same-sex marriage, citing their childhood experiences.

The group and their attorney — David Boyle of Long Beach, California — were in Washington on Friday to visit congressional offices and meet with scholars and advocacy groups. Mr. Boyle and five of the adult children sat for a short interview with The Washington Times.

“We don’t have childhoods,” said Dawn Stefanowicz, who grew up with two brothers in a chaotic world dominated by their gay father and his many lovers.

“There were no safe boundaries in my home,” said Denise Shick, who explained in her amicus brief how her transgender father spied on and fondled her, stole her clothes and tried to step into her shoes because…

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A Look at the Evidence for the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

When it comes to the formation of the early Jesus movement, 1 Corinthians 15: 3-7  is a crucial element to the proclamation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. In relation to early testimony, historian David Hacket Fisher says, “An historian must not merely provide good relevant evidence but the best relevant evidence. And the best relevant evidence, all things being equal, is evidence which is most nearly immediate to the event itself.” (1) One key in examining the early sources for the life of Christ is to take into account the Jewish culture in which they were birthed. As Paul Barnett notes, “The milieu of early Christianity in which Paul’s letters and the Gospels were written was ‘rabbinic.’” (2)

Paul’s usage of the rabbinic terminology “passed on” and “received” is seen in the creed of 1 Cor. 15:3-8:

For what I received I passed on to you as…

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DEATH AND JUDGMENT – Jonathan Edwards (1752)

Veritas et Lux

Jonathan_Edwards_engraving“All men of all nations all over the world must die,” writes Jonathan Edwards.  He strikes an immediate chord as he preaches the Word of God to the Stockbridge Indians in March, 1752.  Edwards not only appeals to commonsense experience; he appeals to his text, Hebrews 9:27.

Doctrine

After death comes the judgment: when men die, they go to appear before God to be judged.

Edwards makes it clear that God will call all men to account as the text indicates: “God is a just and righteous and holy God; and therefore, there certainly is another world where God will do right and will make good men happy, and will destroy the wicked … He will [hold] them to an account that have heard the gospel preached; [he will ask] whether or no they have repented of their sins and have in their hearts accepted of Jesus Christ as their…

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40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Six: Monday)

Monday

Day 35: Does the resurrection account for the origination of baptism?

Confession: Psalm 119:169–76

Let my cry come before you, O Yahweh;

give me understanding according to your word.

Let my plea come before you;

Deliver me according to your word.

Let my lips pour out praise,

because you teach me your statutes.

Let my tongue sing of your word,

because all your commands are right.

Let your hand be my help,

because I have chosen your precepts.

I long for your salvation, O Yahweh,

and your law is my delight.

Let my soul live that it may praise you,

and let your ordinances help me.

I have wandered like a lost sheep; seek your servant,

because I do not forget your commands.

Reading: Mark 15:6–20

Now at each feast he customarily released for them one prisoner whom they requested. And the one named Barabbas was imprisoned with the rebels who had committed murder in the rebellion. And the crowd came up and began to ask him to do as he customarily did for them. So Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?” (For he realized that the chief priests had handed him over because of envy.) But the chief priests incited the crowd so that he would release for them Barabbas instead. So Pilate answered and said to them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one whom you call the king of the Jews?” And they shouted again, “Crucify him!” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”

So Pilate, because he wanted to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas. And after he had Jesus flogged, he handed him over so that he could be crucified. So the soldiers led him away into the palace (that is, the governor’s residence) and called together the whole cohort. And they put a purple cloak on him, and after weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on him. And they began to greet him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they repeatedly struck him on the head with a reed, and were spitting on him, and they knelt down and did obeisance to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him, and they led him out so that they could crucify him.

Reflection

Socrates, having expressed his idea of a perfect character—a truly virtuous man—ventured to predict the reception such a person (if such a one could ever be found) would meet with from the world. He thought that this man’s practice would be so dissimilar to others, his testimony against their wickedness so strong, and his endeavours to reform them so importunate and unwelcome that—instead of being universally admired—he would be disliked and hated. Humankind was too degenerate and too obstinate to bear either the example or the reproof of such a person, and would most likely revile and persecute him and put him to death as an enemy to their peace.

In this instance, the judgment of Socrates accords with the language of the Old Testament and the history of the New Testament. Messiah was this perfect character. As such Isaiah describes Him. Isaiah likewise foresaw how He would be treated, and foretold that He would be “numbered with transgressors.” He would be despised and rejected by the very people who were eye-witnesses of His upright and benevolent conduct. And thus, in fact, it proved. When Jesus was upon earth, true virtue and goodness were visibly displayed, and thereby the wickedness of humankind became conspicuous. For those He knew “preferred a robber and a murderer to him.” They preserved Barabbas, who had been justly doomed to die for enormous crimes, and in his stead they nailed Jesus to the cross.

—John Newton

The Works of John Newton

Response

Jesus’ perfection and sacrifice affects sinful people in one of two ways: It drives them away or it changes them. How has it changed you?[1]

 

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

But we have the mind of Christ

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him? (Isaiah 40:13 NASB)

When we observe Christian leaders operate according to the world’s standards and methods with pastors taking on roles other than shepherd of the sheep then responding to righteous criticism with further deception, what we are actually witnessing are professing Christians not walking within the wisdom that is available to all true believers via the Mind of Christ. This same situation is seen in all who have been deceived by and drawn into the “Innovation Cult” as well. That would include those proponents of easy-believism in all its forms. We see it in “church organizations” that are built around a personality rather than following a shepherd of the sheep who is obediently following the Lord as he should. When a Christian leader becomes the focus rather than Christ in a…

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