Daily Archives: April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Collection

Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell. —C.H. Spurgeon

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Apr. 2, 2015

Our office will closed tomorrow for the observance of Good Friday.

BLOOMBERG

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he won’t sign a religious-freedom law that opponents said sanctions discrimination against gays and lesbians, following pressure from businesses concerned the measure would sully the state’s reputation. Indiana’s Pence was besieged by pressure from businesses, including Indiana-based Eli Lilly & Co., Anthem Inc. and Angie’s List Inc., before he asked lawmakers to revise the law. “We’ve got a perception problem here,” he said. “We intend to correct that.”

The troubled U.S. agency responsible for delivering news around the world is being outgunned in Eastern Europe by Russian outlets unrestrained by notions of fact-based journalism. The unequal competition raises fears among U.S. officials that Moscow is winning the information war about events in Ukraine, even as the Russian economy staggers under economic sanctions imposed after the takeover of Crimea.

Consumer confidence rose for a third straight week, capping the best quarter in almost eight years as greater purchasing power boosted Americans’ views of their finances and buying climate.

Iran said diplomats failed to bridge differences over its nuclear program in a marathon round of overnight negotiations, and may only release a statement that falls short of the blueprint they had sought to end a 12-year standoff.

The fewest Americans in nine weeks filed applications for unemployment benefits, a sign of further strength in the labor market that will continue to support the U.S. expansion. Jobless claims dropped by 20,000 to 268,000 in the week ended March 28.

At least 22 people were killed and hostages have been taken in an attack on a university campus in eastern Kenya claimed by al-Qaeda-linked gunmen, police said. Fifty-six people were hospitalized in the Thursday assault on Garissa University.

The secrecy surrounding Europe’s new capital targets is unsettling some investors and analysts who say they’re being kept in the dark about the health of the region’s banks.

AP Top Stories

The second black box from the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps last week has been found after a nine-day search, prosecutors said on Thursday.

An Atlanta area teenager who said a heart transplant two years ago gave him a second chance at life died this week when he lost control of the car he was driving while fleeing police.

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed anger after two U.S. fighter jets landed in Taiwan, in a rare official contact between the militaries of the United States and the self-ruled democratic island.

A suburban Philadelphia man killed his wife with a chain saw and then turned the machine on himself in a grisly murder-suicide.

A spurned Chinese woman sobbed in court after being accused of killing a four-year-old boy in Australia with garden shears before lying in wait for his grandmother and stabbing her to death.

A Russian fishing trawler sank in minutes early Thursday in the icy waters off Russia’s Far East coast, killing at least 56 of the 132 people onboard, rescue workers and investigators said.

Tens of thousands of American yachts could descend on Cuba if US President Barack Obama authorizes boat travel to the island, which is not ready for the influx, an official said Wednesday.

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a sweeping executive order that imposes mandatory water restrictions across the state as California copes with a historic drought and water shortage.

BBC

Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen have stormed the presidential palace in Aden following heavy clashes, officials said. The rebels pushed through to the heart of the port city using tanks and armored vehicles, despite air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition.

A top US senator, Democrat Bob Menendez, has been charged with 14 counts of corruption.

Home holiday rental site Airbnb has added Cuba to its list of destinations. More than 1,000 properties in the Caribbean nation are already listed, but can only be booked by users in the US.

Australian officials have voiced shock over reports a Canberra school built a cage-like structure in a classroom for a child with special educational needs.

Militants have reportedly killed 17 people in the north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, near the Israel-Gaza border.

Prominent Bahrain human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been arrested over tweets about torture practices in a prison, his wife said. Sumaya Rajab said that more than 20 police vehicles had been sent to detain him.

A major sandstorm has hit the United Arab Emirates, blotting out Dubai’s famous skyline. High winds have whipped up desert sands, severely reducing visibility and causing residents to suffer breathing difficulties. The storm has led to flight diversions from Dubai’s International Airport.

More than 25,000 foreign fighters from 100 nations have travelled to join militant groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS), a UN report said. It said the number of foreign fighters worldwide had soared by 71% between the middle of 2014 and March 2015.

WND

Terrorists with al-Qaida stormed into a southeastern Yemen prison on Thursday, freeing roughly 300 inmates – including one of their leaders.

The Islamic State terrorist group likely will launch an attack on Italy within weeks, not months, according to a senior Libyan government official. One likely method of attack would be to use stolen Libyan airliners now believed to be in the hands of Islamists in Libya.

Militants from ISIS stormed Damascus’ Palestinian neighborhood of Yarmouk Wednesday and took over “wide areas” of the devastated, besieged area from rebel fighters.

The owners of a family-owned and -operated pizza shop in Indiana say they won’t cater same-sex weddings, because the newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act gives them the right to refuse such services.


Daily Digest

April 2, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.” –Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Prosecution of Senator Shows Justice’s Double Standard

Corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) cleared a federal grand jury Wednesday, which itself smacks of political corruption inside the Department of Revenge Justice. According to the DOJ’s allegations, Menendez accepted bribes from a Florida eye doctor. Menendez said it was only a friendship. Former federal prosecutor Adam Lurie told The Wall Street Journal, “I think the government’s real challenge here is going to be overcoming the friendship evidence. Doing something for a friend is not a crime, and doing something because you also have a real policy concern about something is not a crime. And I think the government is going to have to deal with both of those issues here.” Attacking Menendez could solidify the Democrat Party behind Obama, as the senator was a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s diplomatic actions with Iran and Cuba. Meanwhile, former IRS official Lois Lerner, who helped Obama win re-election by targeting conservative groups, will not be charged with contempt of Congress. According to The Hill, a DOJ attorney said it would be “inappropriate.” Indeed, Obama doesn’t send the DOJ after his friends.

America Has Almost Earned Enough to Pay All the Taxes

How much time does it take America to work to pay off taxes? It will take 114 days for Americans to earn enough to pay off their tax debt to all levels of government. Good job, America! You’re almost to Tax Freedom Day. The Tax Foundation named April 24 as the day when taxpayers have finished paying off Big Brother and can get on to actually making money for themselves. The cost of feeding the leviathan is so high that Americans will spend more in paying taxes then they do in housing, clothing and food combined. Tax Foundation economist Kyle Pomerleau told CNS News, “Tax Freedom Day gives us a vivid representation of how much we pay for the goods and services provided by governments at all levels. Arguments can be made that the tax bill is too high or too low, but in order to have an honest discussion, it’s important for taxpayers to understand cost of government.” Of course, different states have different tax burdens, and you can see when you’ll be hypothetically free from taxes in the map below. It’s good news if you live in Louisiana, not so much for people in Connecticut. More…

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Guess Who Just Granted Drilling Rights to Shell Oil

Surprise, surprise. It appears the Obama administration is stopping its all-out war against oil production, or at least putting it on pause. On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior approved the sale of exploratory drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea to Shell Oil Co. The Arctic “is an important component of the administration’s national energy strategy,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “We remain committed to taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to oil and gas leasing and exploration offshore Alaska. This unique, sensitive and often challenging environment requires effective oversight to ensure all activities are conducted safely and responsibly.” Of course, the administration is keeping tight-fisted control over the whole enterprise, still arguing renewable energy sources are somehow better than tried and true methods of energy production. But Obama seems to be listening to the Department of Energy’s advisory council, which recommended the U.S. develop its oil production in the waters off Alaska. And the recent success of America’s shale oil boom, which drove gas prices low and boosted foreign policy, is a powerful argument that shows the black liquid isn’t all that bad. More…

Damning Study Challenges CO2-Temperature Relationship

The ongoing global warming hiatus, per satellite measurements, surprised climatologists because computer climate projections never indicated a short- or long-term reprieve. Scientists anticipated temperatures to move in tandem with steadily increasing levels of CO2 — which didn’t happen — and nevertheless they insist that it’s only a matter of time before warming re-emerges. That’s what the data reveals. According to NOAA, the data also shows that global carbon dioxide measurements for the last seven days average around 400 parts per million, up from 380 ppm during the same period in 2005. Without question, CO2 measurements continue to climb, which begs the question: Why haven’t temperatures? A damning new study reinforces what skeptics have long suspected: The relationship between the two isn’t as clear-cut as we’re led to believe. In what would otherwise be labeled a “game changer” outside the mainstream media, The Daily Caller writes, “A study by scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology found that man-made aerosols had a much smaller cooling effect on the atmosphere during the 20th Century than was previously thought. Why is this big news? It means increases in carbon dioxide emissions likely cause less warming than most climate models suggest.” The study is even listed on the American Meteorological Society website. As significant as the finding is, however, expect the study to receive the same conniving response from man-made global warming evangelists as do skeptics offering their viewpoint.

Obama Submits U.S. Pledge to UN for Climate Treaty

The cost/benefit analysis on Barack Obama’s climate pledge isn’t adding up. The Obama administration introduced its pledge to the United Nations saying that America would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% by 2025 from 2005 levels. The EPA says this proposal will cost the U.S. $8.8 billion a year, but that’s a conservative estimate, as National Economic Research Associates estimates the regulations will cost $41 billion a year. And for what? Chip Knappenberger, a climate scientist at Cato Institute, says for all that effort the U.S. will only prevent the earth from warming 0.001 degree Celsius per year. But Obama wants everyone to think he has everything under control. When asked if Congress should have a say in the United States’ negotiations at the UN over a climate treaty, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said Congress should stay out because they’re stupid. “Well, these are individuals, at least many of them, [who] deny the fact that climate change even exists,” Earnest replied. “So I’m not sure that they would be in the best position to decide whether or not a climate change agreement is one that is worth entering in to.” It’s typical of the Left to frame the conversation thusly: Either you agree with our solution to the problem, or you want the end of the world. Same as Obama and Iran — either you want his deal, or you want war. There is no compromise. More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read The Sum of All Lies, on not whether Iran can be trusted, but whether Obama can be trusted.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Don’t Surrender Religious Liberty to Fascists

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In a race to see who can cave the fastest, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson reneged on his promise to sign his state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), instead sending it back to state legislators with a request to “recall it and change the language.” Perhaps he was upset that Indiana Governor Mike Pence was getting all the attention for wimping out on his own state’s religious freedom protections. Why should Republicans cave once when they can cave twice? Clearly, the beatings have been effective.

The brouhaha in Arkansas stems from the RFRA bill that passed the legislature on Tuesday and dares to assert, “[N]o human authority can, in any case or manner whatsoever, control or interfere with the right of conscience.” Furthermore, the state “shall not substantially burden a person’s right to exercise of religion … unless it is demonstrated that applying the substantial burden … (1) Is essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

Sounds reasonable enough, but when has reason ever stopped the Left? Indeed, to the ever-classy New York Times, such a bill can only be “driven by bigotry against gays and lesbians.”

Never mind that neither Arkansas’ bill nor Indiana’s says a whit about the “LGBT community.” To a hammer, everything is a nail, and to the Left, everything is anti-gay. And leftists have deliberately hijacked the term “religious liberty” in order to redefine it from a God-given right to be cherished and preserved into a smoke screen for hate and discrimination. Indeed, the Times continued, “Religious-freedom laws, which were originally intended to protect religious minorities from burdensome laws or regulations, have become increasingly invoked by conservative Christian groups as gay rights in general — and marriage equality in particular — found greater acceptance nationally.”

It’s all well and good until Christians are protected.

And the Times isn’t alone. The leftist cultural assault on religious liberty has extended from the mainstream media to social media, to the point that laws in no way permitting discrimination are being framed as driven by discrimination.

Corporate CEOs have joined in the hazing, with Apple’s Tim Cook blasting Indiana’s law and Walmart’s Doug McMillon taking on Arkansas’. Both companies, of course, have no problem doing business in nation’s like China that have horrendous human rights records.

Hutchison’s and Pence’s inglorious retreats only give credence to the Left’s claims. By ceding the point that their state’s RFRAs require clarification and fixes, the gubernatorial duo practically endorsed the Left’s claim that the bills are discriminatory and allowed the opposition to define the laws. While the best offense might very well be a good defense, a pathetic defense with no offense is a recipe for loss, and that’s exactly what Republicans offered this past week.

Instead of rushing to retreat, Pence, Hutchinson and Republicans across the country should have gone on an immediate and aggressive offense, publicizing the multiple cases of small business owners who have been penalized, fined and even forced out of business for refusing to participate in same-sex ceremonies in direct violation of their faith and conscience. Republicans should have shown how advocates for the homosexual agenda are working relentlessly to take away 70-year-old grandmother Barronelle Stutzman’s business and are also threatening her home and life savings. Or how the supposed “tolerant” pro-homosexual crowd targeted Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a family-owned bakery that may now have to pay up to $150,000 in fines. Or how the Left cheered when a Catholic couple, Robert and Cynthia Gifford, were fined and ordered to put their staff through sensitivity training (a.k.a., re-education camp) for declining to host a same-sex marriage ceremony at their farm.

But instead of pointing out not only the utter hypocrisy but also the blatant fascism of the “tolerant” Left, Republicans asked, “How high?” when Democrats hollered, “Jump!” With a losing strategy like this, who needs enemies?

Meanwhile, Republicans’ inability to communicate effectively is racking up losses. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, Americans are divided on this issue, with 49% saying businesses should be required to serve same-sex weddings and 47% saying businesses should be allowed to decline service for religious reasons. A public that understands Liberty would never be so evenly split.

Unfortunately, the Left has translated religious liberty — and most other rights, for that matter — into something Americans enjoy at the pleasure of the government rather than something government infringes at its own peril. And this translation is a danger to all Americans.

Just Keep Talking

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Nuclear talks with Iran are still going, as negotiators missed Tuesday’s “deadline.” Who could have predicted that? Clearly, extending the deadline on April Fools’ Day bears some significance.

Yet again, Barack Obama has erased a red line. The New York Times reports Obama instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to ignore the deadline, because, as one senior official put it, “[The Iranians] were turning our own deadline against us to see if we would give ground.”

Wait — the Iranians can’t be trusted?

That’s exactly the point. As Thomas Sowell writes, “Recent statements from United Nations officials, that Iran is already blocking their existing efforts to keep track of what is going on in their nuclear program, should tell anyone who does not already know it that any agreement with Iran will be utterly worthless in practice. It doesn’t matter what the terms of the agreement are, if Iran can cheat.”

Worse, Sowell said, “It is amazing — indeed, staggering — that so few Americans are talking about what it would mean for the world’s biggest sponsor of international terrorism, Iran, to have nuclear bombs, and to be developing intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond the Middle East.”

A nuclear Iran increases the likelihood that al-Qaida or the Islamic State could gain access to a nuclear weapon, which these jihadis would surely love to detonate in an East Coast city.

But as Mark Alexander wrote yesterday, “Make no mistake, this ‘deal’ is not designed to prevent nuclear terrorism, and at best may just delay it.” That threat means no deal is better than a bad deal.

That echoes the warnings of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose nation lives under constant threat of annihilation by Iran. This week, Netanyahu said, “[A]n Iranian general brazenly declared and I quote: ‘Israel’s destruction is non-negotiable,’ but evidently giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to the bomb is negotiable. This is unconscionable.”

Netanyahu added, “Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges and a heavy water reactor. Nor does it square with Iran’s insistence on developing ICBMs and its refusal to come clean … on its past weaponization efforts.”

What the West should be pressing for is simple, Netanyahu says: “Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon.”

Obama’s political agenda — the need for a crowning foreign policy “achievement” — will almost surely override these concerns. He has so badly bungled policy in the Middle East that the entire region is collapsing in chaos. And that’s saying something.

“The central issue,” as Alexander put it, “is not whether Iran can be trusted, but that Obama can’t be trusted.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

British economist Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): “The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature — a type nowhere at present existing.”

Columnist Cal Thomas: “The uproar about Indiana’s law is political theater. It is also a trap set by the Left, which Republicans risk falling into. It works this way: Find a Republican state (Gov. Pence is a Republican and the legislature is overwhelmingly Republican); pick an issue you can twist to your political advantage – and Republicans’ disadvantage; enlist the help of a gay-friendly media; threaten a boycott of the state by prominent individuals and businesses; use this issue in the next presidential campaign to brand Republicans as racists, bigots and homophobes. In this theater of the absurd, any defense becomes indefensible. The die has been cast; the scarlet letter attached. … One potential good has emerged from this, however. Miley Cyrus has announced she won’t be bringing her ‘twerking’ self to Indiana, which is bound to have a positive effect on the state’s moral climate.”

FRC president Tony Perkins: “[L]ost in all of this back-and-forth is the reality that this isn’t about standing up for homosexual rights — it’s about standing up for everyone’s rights. In a civil society, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But that’s exactly the problem. America, under this administration, is less and less civil — particularly to men and women of faith. There’s no room for polite debate or even coexistence. Instead, the LGBT movement that once said they didn’t want the government to tell them how to live, now wants the same government to tell us what to believe and punish those who fail to comply. Where’s the tolerance in that?”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “The White House announced that President Obama will attend a summit in Kenya this July. When asked if he’s ever been to Kenya, Obama said, ‘Of course. I was born — no, bored — over there. There’s nothing to do in Kenya.'”

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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 2015 Hurricane Season Forecast: Start of Less-active Era?
-A hint that this year’s hurricane season will be below average came Tuesday from Phil Klotzbach, of the well-known Colorado State University prognostication team. “It’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty boring year for us,” Klotzbach told a session at the National Hurricane Conference, meeting this week in Austin, Texas.   

USGS: Magnitude 4 earthquake hit near Steele, MO
The United States Geological Survey reports a magnitude 4 earthquake hit near Steele, MO Wednesday night, April 1. The USGS said the earthquake was about 2 miles south-southwest of Steele and occurred around 10:51 p.m.   

Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines
A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend.   

California governor orders statewide water cutbacks to combat drought
Governor Jerry Brown, in his most sweeping action to combat a devastating multi-year drought, ordered residents and businesses on Wednesday to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in California history.   

BIG SOLAR PROMINENCES
The face of the sun is quiet; no sunspots are flaring. The edge of the sun is a different matter. Amateur astronomers are monitoring a network of huge prominences rising above the sun’s western limb.   

Russia threatens to use ‘nuclear force’ over Crimea and the Baltic states
The Russians told the meeting, which took place in Germany last month, that an attempt to return Crimea to Ukraine would be met “forcefully including through the use of nuclear force”.   

Mahdi to return by 2016, followed by Jesus?
In the latest evidence of this messianic fervor, a mainstream Sunni Muslim website has decreed that the Islamic messiah, called the Mahdi, will appear this year or in 2016 and that the Muslim Jesus will return in 2022 to conquer the world for Islam.   

4.0 earthquake slightly rattles Mid-South
Many people in Downtown Memphis felt the earth shake, and calls from viewers around the region flooded the WMC Action News 5 newsroom to confirm what they felt was real.   

Islamic State ‘seizes most of south Damascus Palestinian refugee camp’
Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stormed the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near central Damascus on Wednesday, capturing large parts of the camp and demonstrating the group’s ability to attack the Syrian capital. Isil fighters launched a lightning assault on the camp, said Anwar Abdel Hadi, the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s political affairs director in Damascus.   

Blood Moon With Total Lunar Eclipse & Eerie Biblical Message Rising Over U.S. Easter Weekend
…For the third time in less than a year, the moon will dip into Earth’s shadow, turning its bright white globe a deep coppery red in a matter of minutes. The action begins at 3:16 a.m. PST on the morning of April 4… For the next hour and 45 minutes, Earth’s shadow will move across the lunar disk, ultimately covering the entire moon at 4:58 a.m. PST.   

DHS Launches “Family Reunification,” Refugee Program for Central Americans
To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally…the Obama administration is offering free transportation…and a special refugee/parole program with “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency. Under the new initiative…illegal immigrant minors…will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole…   

US makes climate pledge to UN
The US has pledged to tackle climate change by cutting its carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025. It made the formal offer to the UN as a step towards a global deal in Paris in December. The EU has already promised to cut its emissions by a roughly similar proportion.   

Ukraine agrees cheaper short-term gas deal with Russia
Ukraine has signed a new short-term agreement to buy gas from Russia at a lower price, despite the ongoing conflict in the east of the country. Ukraine will pay $248 per thousand cubic metres over the next three months down from the $329 it had been paying in the first quarter of this year. Talks will continue to find a permanent solution to the long-running pricing dispute.   

Thailand martial law replacement criticised by US
The US says the replacement of martial law with new emergency measures in Thailand does little to restore democracy in the military-run country. Thailand’s army, which took power in a coup in May, declared martial law over on Wednesday after almost a year. But a section of the new constitution has been invoked instead under which the military retains significant power.   

Kenya Garissa students ‘taken hostage’ by al-Shabab
Gunmen from the militant Islamist group al-Shabab have killed at least 15 people and taken students hostage at a university in north-eastern Kenya. Reports say 65 others were wounded when gunmen stormed a university in Garissa. Troops are engaging the gunmen. Witnesses said masked attackers fired indiscriminately and there are fears there could be more casualties.   

The Struggle in Yemen: A Test for the Arab Collective
While the action of the Arab coalition in Yemen may be in its initial stage, it is already possible to draw some conclusions and assess their significance for Israel and the region. One, it has been a long time since Arab countries managed to unite for the sake of taking substantive action, especially military, in order to defend their own interests. However, Iran’s efforts to penetrate various arenas and expand its influence throughout the region are an ominous threat to at least some Arab states.   

Apple CEO: Hates Indiana Christians but does business with countries that execute gays, stone women
Apple CEO Tim Cook is making a particular point this week to attack Christians in Indiana calling them “dangerous” but it seems he has no problem at all selling his products in Muslim-led countries that kill gays for being gay and stone women when they are raped. Nor does he have a problem making his product in China, the world’s leading violator of human rights.   

Obama’s Virtual War on Israel
This is hardly the best week to demonstrate his intense hatred of Israel, but since he has devoted 18 months to a fruitless and foolish negotiation with Iran, one can understand why Barack Hussein Obama is in a bad mood. His foreign policy “legacy” is close to being flushed down the Iranian toilet.   

Obama’s Surrender to Iran Postponed
According to an Associated Press report, the Iranian nuke negotiations have engendered an agreement—to continue taking in hopes of reaching a final agreement by the end of June. As an unnamed senior U.S. official put it, talks between Iran and the P5+1 powers (the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany) would continue past yesterday’s deadline for the outline of an agreement if enough progress was made to justify that extension. By late yesterday that contention was confirmed: talks will continue through today.   

Syrian girl raises hands in ‘surrender’ in heartbreaking photo
The photo of a little girl in a refugee camp with her arms raised in surrender with a look of fear on her face has become a symbol of the human cost of the bloody war in Syria that has entered its fifth year.   

Boko Haram uses children as human bombs, UN says
Boko Haram Islamist militants in northern Nigeria are using children as human bombs and targeting women and girls for particularly horrific abuse, including sexual slavery, the United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday.   

Yemeni rebels gain ground in vital port city of Aden
Shiite rebel forces backed by tanks and heavy machineguns pushed deeper into Yemen’s second-largest city on Wednesday in a bid to strengthen their hold even as Saudi-led air strikes attempt to cut off their supply lines and cripple their capabilities.   

Bulgaria drops $4bn Westinghouse nuclear deal
Bulgaria has dropped a deal with US-based firm Westinghouse Electric to build a new reactor at its only nuclear plant because of financial pressures, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced Wednesday.   

Iranian General: ‘Erasing Israel Off the Map’ Is ‘Nonnegotiable’
The commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said in an interview that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable,” The Times of Israel reported. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi’s comments were made public as Iran and six world powers chose to extend nuclear negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.   

California unveils historic water restrictions over drought crisis
California announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history Wednesday in order to combat the region’s devastating drought, the worst since records began.   

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez indicted on corruption charges
Sen. Bob Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants who rose to become one of the highest-ranking Hispanic members of Congress, was charged Wednesday with accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors. Menendez predicted he would be “vindicated” and, in a defiant statement before reporters and cheering supporters Wednesday evening, said, “This is not how my career is going to end.”


What Would Happen If Martial Law Was Declared In America?

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of concern that an upcoming eight week military exercise on U.S. soil known as “Jade Helm” is actually a dress rehearsal for the imposition of martial law in this country. One of the reasons for the high level of concern is that we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of “urban warfare exercises” conducted by the U.S. military in major U.S. cities over the past decade – including exercises where “dissidents” are hunted down, arrested and hauled away. As our world becomes increasingly unstable, and as our society rapidly decays from within, many believe that it is only a matter of time before the executive branch will have sufficient excuse to use the extensive martial law powers that it has been accumulating since 9/11. When that day arrives, what will our nation look like? What would actually happen if martial law was declared in America? (Read More…)


If Anyone Doubts That We Are In A Stock Market Bubble, Show Them This Article

The higher financial markets rise, the harder they fall. By any objective measurement, the stock market is currently well into bubble territory. Anyone should be able to see this – all you have to do is look at the charts. Sadly, most of us never seem to learn from history. Most of us want to believe that somehow “things are different this time”. Well, about the only thing that is different this time is that our economy is in far worse shape than it was just prior to the last major financial crisis. That means that we are more vulnerable and will almost certainly endure even more damage this time around. It would be one thing if stocks were soaring because the U.S. economy as a whole was doing extremely well. But we all know that isn’t true. Instead, what we have been experiencing is clearly artificial market behavior that has nothing to do with economic reality. In other words, we are dealing with an irrational financial bubble, and all irrational financial bubbles eventually burst. And as I wrote about yesterday, the way that stocks have moved so far this year is eerily reminiscent of the way that stocks moved in early 2008. The warning signs are there – if you are willing to look at them. (Read More.…)


After Indiana Pizzeria Said They Wouldn’t Cater Gay Weddings, the Backlash Was So Extreme It May Not Be Safe to Re-Open

What is America turning into?

Crystal O’Connor, the co-owner of Memories Pizza in Indiana, says it may not be safe to re-open their pizzeria after they said they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding.

“I don’t know if we will re-open, or if we can, if it’s safe to re-open,” O’Connor said on TheBlaze TV’s Dana. “We’re in hiding basically, staying in the house.”

View Article


Anti-Semitism in US Spikes After Nearly a Decade of Decline

Anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. spiked 21 percent last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, unsettling many American Jews who had thought that hatred of Jews and Judaism was on the decline, at least here at home.

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White House: Obama Finds Religious Freedom Laws “Unthinkable”

View 2-minute video


Huckabee: Christians Must Stand Up to Attacks on Religion

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says it is Christians, not gay people, who are being discriminated against in the current religious freedom debate, and he thinks it’s time they stood up for themselves.

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Blood on the Doorposts

The smearing with blood was a one-time ritual. Every Passover thereafter, the blood of the Passover lambs was splashed on the altar in the Tabernacle/Temple as a remembrance of the plague of the firstborn and the blood on the doorposts of Israelite homes in Egypt.

Try to imagine the Passover in the Temple on the day the Master died. While His precious body hung dying on the tree, a short distance outside the city walls pilgrims were flooding the Temple courts, leading their lambs to slaughter. While His blood stained the stones beneath that tree, the priesthood of Israel was splashing basin after basin of Passover blood against the stones of the Temple altar. While the women wept at the foot of the dying Messiah, the Levites in the Temple courts were chanting the songs of the Hallel: Psalms 113-119.

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Warren Buffett: Artificial Intelligence Will Decide Whether Humans Live or Die

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 06:10 AM PDT

Warren Buffett: Artificial Intelligence Will Decide Whether Humans Live or DieBillionaire investor Warren Buffett says that the decision on whether humans live or die will be left to artificial intelligence when self-driving cars become a reality.  Speaking at a forum hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association, Buffett said that he thought self-driving cars wouldn’t be widely adopted for a long time but that when they were, moral considerations in traffic accidents could be taken out of human hands. “There’s some interesting questions. I mean, let’s just say you have got a self-driving car and you are going down the street and a 3-year-old kid runs out in front of the car and there’s another car coming the other direction with four people in it and the computer is going to make the decision as to whether to hit the kid or hit the other car,” said Buffett. “And I am not sure who gets sued under those circumstances, you’re going to kill somebody, and it will be the computer that makes the decision in a nanosecond and it will be interesting to know who programs that computer and what their thoughts are about the values of human lives and things,” he concluded. FULL REPORT

The post Warren Buffett: Artificial Intelligence Will Decide Whether Humans Live or Die appeared first on End Time Headlines.

FBI warns of cyber-attack on Israel

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 06:04 AM PDT

FBI warns of cyber-attack on IsraelThe FBI is warning U.S. companies that cyber terrorists from the Middle East and North Africa are planning to conduct cyber attacks against Israeli and Jewish interests next week. The Bureau stated in a security notice to U.S. industry on Sunday that, as of early March, “several extremist hacking groups indicated they would participate in a forthcoming operation, #OpIsrael, which will target Israeli and Jewish Web sites.” “Given the perceived connections between the government of Israel and Israeli financial institutions, and those of the United States, #OpIsrael participants may also shift their operations to target vulnerable U.S.-based financial targets or Jewish-oriented organizations within the United States,” the FBI warning said. “Based on historical attacks, the FBI assesses that attacks which may spawn from #OpIsrael to target U.S.-based systems will likely constitute only a small percentage of overall activity.” The FBI said members of at least two extremist hacking groups it did not identify are currently working to recruit hackers for the attacks next week, which will coincide with the second anniversary of the first #OpIsrael cyber attacks. Those were launched on April 7, 2013, and timed to coincide with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins the evening of April 15. FULL REPORT

The post FBI warns of cyber-attack on Israel appeared first on End Time Headlines.

‘Blood Moons’ discoverer: ‘More judgment coming’

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:59 AM PDT

'Blood Moons' discoverer: 'More judgment coming'As the world prepares to look skyward to witness a spectacular “blood moon” this weekend, pastor Mark Biltz says judgment is already under way on Earth. And more is on the way.  “The Bible talks of the times we are living in. Here we have the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 and the return of Jerusalem into Israel’s hands in 1967. Now we have the signs in the heavens where the sun is turning to sackcloth and the moon to blood on the biblical holy days, warning both the nations and Israel against a two state solution,” he said. The discoverer of the blood-moons phenomenon, Biltz says there’s no way to get around the fact that Israel is at the center of God’s plans for events to come. In an exclusive interview with WND, the author of the theological blockbuster, “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” suggested astronomical signs show Americans are living in “prophetic times” and the fate of the Jewish state is central to God’s plan. “People need to realize the Middle East problem is not a political one but a religious one. They need to realize that Allah and the God of the Bible are not the same being. One hates and wants to destroy Israel, and the other loves Israel. Until this is understood, you will never have peace in the Middle East.” The “blood moon” occurring this weekend is a lunar eclipse that will make the moon appear blood red for a short time on Saturday morning, April 4. It is the third in a tetrad of four blood moons taking place on Jewish holy days during 2014 and 2015, with this particular eclipse taking place on a date which serves as both Holy Saturday for Christians and Passover for Jews. The Passover blood moon is also occurring on the Shabbat, or the Jewish day of rest. FULL REPORT

 

The post ‘Blood Moons’ discoverer: ‘More judgment coming’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Muslim Cleric Calls for ‘All-Out War’

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:48 AM PDT

Muslim Cleric Calls for ‘All-Out War’An audio recording was circulated online of the man who presides over the holiest site for Muslim around the world. The caption on photo accompanying the recording read, “Imam of the grand mosque in Mecca calls for all-out war against Shiites.” “Our war with Iran, say that out loud, is a war between Sunnis and Shiites,” Sunni preacher Abdul Rahman al-Sudais says in the nearly seven-minute clip. “Our war with Iran…is truly sectarian. If it was not sectarian, we will make it sectarian… The Jews and cross” – meaning Christians – “I swear by Allah that they will have their days…The prophet said that Rome will be conquered …Our disagreement with Rafidha” – another word for Shiites – “will not be removed, nor our suicide to fight them… as long as they are on the face of the earth….” While cursing Jews is part of Friday prayers and speeches in many parts of the Islamic world, most Muslim imams avoid calling for all-out war with Shiites and Christians. Hearing that call from al-Sudais in the grand mosque in Mecca is an unprecedented escalation of hate speech (though, for what it’s worth, Al-Sudais’ page on Facebook didn’t confirm his alleged comments).  FULL REPORT

The post Muslim Cleric Calls for ‘All-Out War’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Israel Warns that “All options including military action open on Iran”

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:44 AM PDT

Israel Warns that "All options including military action open on Iran"Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Thursday that all options including military action were on the table in the face of the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. Speaking to public radio as crunch talks on Iran’s nuclear programme continued in Switzerland, Steinitz said Israel would seek to counter any threat through diplomacy and intelligence but “if we have no choice we have no choice… the military option is on the table.” Asked about possible US objections to Israeli military action, Steinitz pointed to Israel’s unilateral attack against the Osirak nuclear reactor in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1981. “This operation was not carried out in agreement with the United States,” he said. Steinitz, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the Israeli leader had left no doubt as to the country’s response to nuclear-armed Iran. FULL REPORT

The post Israel Warns that “All options including military action open on Iran” appeared first on End Time Headlines.

If Anyone Doubts That We Are In A Stock Market Bubble, Show Them This Article

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:39 AM PDT

If Anyone Doubts That We Are In A Stock Market Bubble, Show Them This ArticleThe higher financial markets rise, the harder they fall. By any objective measurement, the stock market is currently well into bubble territory. Anyone should be able to see this – all you have to do is look at the charts. Sadly, most of us never seem to learn from history. Most of us want to believe that somehow “things are different this time”. Well, about the only thing that is different this time is that our economy is in far worse shape than it was just prior to the last major financial crisis. That means that we are more vulnerable and will almost certainly endure even more damage this time around. It would be one thing if stocks were soaring because the U.S. economy as a whole was doing extremely well. But we all know that isn’t true. Instead, what we have been experiencing is clearly artificial market behavior that has nothing to do with economic reality. In other words, we are dealing with an irrational financial bubble, and all irrational financial bubbles eventually burst. And as I wrote about yesterday, the way that stocks have moved so far this year is eerily reminiscent of the way that stocks moved in early 2008. The warning signs are there – if you are willing to look at them. FULL REPORT

The post If Anyone Doubts That We Are In A Stock Market Bubble, Show Them This Article appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Movie Director Comes to Christ While Filming South Korean Pastor Who Saves Abandoned Babies

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:27 AM PDT

Movie Director Comes to Christ While Filming South Korean Pastor Who Saves Abandoned BabiesThe producer of an acclaimed documentary that recently hit theaters across the country and is currently being shown in churches nationwide is sharing his story of how he came to Christ as a result of his work on the film. Brian Ivie, 24, is the director of the film “The Drop Box,” a documentary that tells the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak, who is credited with saving countless abandoned babies who might have otherwise have died after being left on the streets by their mothers. While facing health issues with his own son, Jong-rak began taking “unwanted” children into his home, and soon built a heated dropbox with an in-home buzzer alert in case other mothers sought to leave their babies in his care. He now operates an orphanage at his home, where he cares for 20 abandoned children, and has made himself available to help save as many babies as he can. Ivie had read about Jong-rak and decided to create a short film about his work. But that the time, he wasn’t a Christian, although he thought he was. FULL REPORT

The post Movie Director Comes to Christ While Filming South Korean Pastor Who Saves Abandoned Babies appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Former Mob Boss Turned Born Again Christian to Share Testimony at California Prayer Breakfast

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:24 AM PDT

Former Mob Boss Turned Born Again Christian to Share Testimony at California Prayer BreakfastA former New York mob boss whose life was changed by the power of Jesus Christ is set to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Santa Clarita Valley Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast in California. Michael Franzese is the son of the underboss of the infamous and violent Columbo crime family, and is considered “one of the biggest money earners the mob had seen since Al Capone,” formerly raking in millions a week from illegal activity. In the 1980’s, he was indicted on over a dozen criminal counts surrounding racketeering, extortion and tax fraud surrounding his involvement in a gasoline sales scheme, and was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay $14 million in restitution. While in prison, Franzese turned from a life of crime and turned to Jesus Christ. “I got convicted [in my spirit]. It’s almost as if God was with me in that 6 by 8 cell,” Franzese told evangelist Greg Laurie in an interview last year. “He said, ‘You know, are your ways really pleasing to Me or is this all a facade for you?’” FULL REPORT

The post Former Mob Boss Turned Born Again Christian to Share Testimony at California Prayer Breakfast appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Gov. Brown orders California to become a water police state as region begins reverting to uninhabitable desert

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:20 AM PDT

Gov. Brown orders California to become a water police state as region begins reverting to uninhabitable desert  For the first time in history, the California government has declared mandatory water restrictions designed to save the state from a water collapse. (But it still won’t work, see below…) An order went out yesterday from Governor Brown’s office, requiring water agencies to “…implement new pricing models that discourage excessive water use,” reports the LA Times. In other words, your water consumption costs are about to get even higher if you live in California. The directive aims to reduce water consumption by 25% across the state — an aggressive restriction that clearly qualifies as an emergency reduction goal. Also included in the directive is:

• A ban on non-drip irrigation systems for all new homes.

• A requirement for golf courses and cemeteries to “reduce water consumption.” (And yet, the very idea of green golf courses in the middle of a California desert is insane to begin with…)

• Force farmers to report more details on their water usage so that the state government can figure out where all the water is going (and where to restrict it even further).

• Outlawing the watering of grass on public street medians.

• Discussions are also under way to throw “water wasters” in jail for up to 30 days, according to another LA Times article. The most likely source of intel for incarcerating water wasters will be neighborhood snitches who monitor water usage of nearby homes and call the authorities if they see too much water being used.

Will California soon fill its prisons with “water criminals?” If a cop drives by a yard where two people are standing around, and one of them is smoking a joint while the other is watering his yard, guess which one will be arrested? FULL REPORT

The post Gov. Brown orders California to become a water police state as region begins reverting to uninhabitable desert appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Sinkhole Swallows up Car in Toronto

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 05:14 AM PDT

Sinkhole Swallows up Car in TorontoMarking the start of “sinkhole season” in Toronto, a car was eaten up by a huge one at a Black Creek Dr. and Eglinton Ave. W. parking lot on Wednesday morning. The driver, who didn’t have time to get out of his vehicle, a black Jaguar, before it sank deep into the dirt, was able to escape unharmed. “He got out through his window and climbed onto the roof of his car,” said Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins. Aikins had sent a crew out to the Todd Baylis Blvd. and Industry St. area to make sure the sinkhole was not caused by nearby construction of the Eglinton Crosstown. The crew was able to confirm the sinkhole was unrelated to the construction. Police are advising drivers to use caution in the area. SOURCE

The post Sinkhole Swallows up Car in Toronto appeared first on End Time Headlines.

 


LGBT Mafia Continues To Terrorize Elderly Female Christian Flower Shop Owner (VIDEO)

In February, I wrote an article about a 70 year-old Christian florist in Washington State named Barronelle Stutzman, who was being sued by a sodomite couple because she had politely turned down their request to furnish flowers for their so-called ‘nuptials.’

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Gov. Brown Imposes Historic First-Ever Mandatory Water Restrictions As California Dries Up

Brown ordered the California Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water usage by 25%. The water savings are expected to amount to 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months.

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Israel Ready To Launch ISS Tanin Submarine With Nuclear-Tipped Cruise Missile Capability (VIDEO)

The Israel Navy’s fourth submarine, the ISS Tanin, is expected to become fully operational in a few weeks and participate in naval operations.

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Russian Military Sciences Expert Says Putin Should Nuke Yellowstone Park And The San Andreas Fault.

The Russian president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems urged Russia’s military to attack Yellowstone Park and the San Andreas Fault.

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The Next-Generation Weapons That Russia Will Use Against The United States In World War III

The Russian military is in the midst of a sweeping modernization program, and it is currently developing some incredibly impressive offensive and defensive next-generation weapons that are designed to be used in a future war with the United States. The key to winning World War III will be to strike hard and to strike fast, and the Russians understand this …………. Click here for full story


Mahdi To Return By 2016, Followed By Jesus?

It’s not only evangelical Christians who are sensing that something has changed in the world, and that we may be entering the very last days. Muslims are also eagerly awaiting their messiah………. Click here for full story


Leaked Document Reveals Upcoming Biometric Experiments At US Customs

The ​facial recognition pilot program launched last week by US Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch ……….. Click here for full story


Is ISIS Building A Drone Army?

As U.S.-led coalition forces confirm they shot down an ISIS drone this week, experts warn the extremists could soon adapt the technology for battle purposes ……….. Click here for full story


I Spy…Then Sell The Data: Orbital’s Bet On Satellites And Drones

Imagine making an investment decision based on intelligence gathered from a satellite or drone image. James Crawford is betting people will do exactly that ……… Click here for full story


Al-Shabab Muslim Terrorists Holding Christian College Students Hostage In Kenya

by Geoffrey Grider

Al-Shabab gunmen have attacked a college campus in the town of Garissa in northeast Kenya, shooting indiscriminately in dormitories and killing at least 15 people and wounding 65 others, police said.

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Christians Attacked at Kenya College

Al-Shabaab reportedly claimed responsibility for an attack at Garissa University in eastern Kenya Thursday that left at least 15 people dead, dozens more injured and hundreds of students unaccounted for.

The National Disaster Operations Center said on Twitter that three of four dorms at the university have been evacuated, with the gunmen cornered in one dorm.

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Separation of powers threatened by increasing influence of Supreme Court

The high court reigns supreme, USA Today (Richard Wolf)

Notable & Quotable: Anthony Kennedy, Wall Street Journal

2) Religious beliefs of Supreme Court Justices affect their interpretations of law

Do the Religious Beliefs of Supreme Court Justices Influence Their Decisions?, Moment Magazine (Rachel E Gross, et. al)

3) Legalization of same-sex marriage will not resolve aims of sexual revolutionaries

What to Do When ‘I Do’ Is Done, Prospect Magazine (Peter Montgomery)

4) Canadian MP quits conservative party, protesting anti-Christian disposition of politics

B.C. MP quits Conservatives to defend views on evolution, Globe and Mail (Steven Chase)

5) Revision of Russian history in exhibitions reveal absence of value neutrality in history

Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible, New York Times (Neil MacFarquhar and Sophia Kishkovsky)
In other news…

Hutchinson calls for changes to HB1228, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Gavin Lesnick)

Arkansas Governor Asks Lawmakers to Recall Religious Freedom Bill, New York Times (Campbell Robertson and Timothy Williams)

The Misdirected Zeal of Same Sex Marriage Converts, The Atlantic (Conor Friedersdorf)

The Pagan Holiday of Easter vs Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb Who Rose From the Dead!

More revealing evidence in the Kong Hee financial scandal and trial

What would Jesus drink? Experts guess what wine was like in ancient times….


Countless crimes.

“The countless crimes committed by religious believers and justified by their beliefs makes it a very real problem for ALL of humanity.” Richard Notizia

The countless crimes (murder, rape, adultery, theft, lust, fornication, etc.) committed by non-religious unbelievers and justified by their unbelief makes it a very real problem for ALL of humanity. But don’t be concerned about injustice. The Day is coming when all those who have violated the Ten Commandments will be judged, and punished for their crimes against God. I hope you will not be one of them. If you are interested in escaping Hell and joining those who have been forgiven and grated everlasting life, see http://www.needGod.com for details.

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


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.

April 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell. —C.H. Spurgeon

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How Do I Endure Through the Difficulties of Pastoral Ministry?

Dear brothers, if you find yourself discouraged, angry, wondering why some of your people do and say what they do and you can’t take it any more…do not forget the debt to mercy you owe. It is a debt greater than you and I could ever payback. It is a debt that should weigh heavier on our joyful hearts than the most difficult person in our church. Apply this truth that I was so powerfully taught to me by this sweet and faithful man and see if you then find the hope and perspective you need for that struggling person or circumstance you face in your ministry.

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How To Wake Up

In the morning we are addressing ourselves to the work of the day, and therefore are concerned by prayer to seek unto God for His presence and blessing. “Pray for God’s presence and blessing…for our families…for wisdom to manage our callings…for opportunities to do good….for preservation from evil.”

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On Muffin Tops, Billboards, and Beauty

We don’t only want to be beautiful for a compliment or a cheap thrill. And we don’t just want to notice beauty from afar. Lewis acknowledges something we all ache for. We want to be known and accepted. And we want to participate in beauty. Beauty isn’t something that we horde, but something we share in an appropriate way in our different relationships. And it doesn’t point to ourselves.

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Helping Children Benefit from the Sermon

This is a question that I really appreciate because it recognizes the importance of the preaching of the Word of God and our reception of it. It recognizes that even the children are to hear, and to best of their ability, understand what is being preached. What follows are some things that I have done as a Dad and also as a pastor.

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Seven Essential Lessons from an Evangelical Scholar in the Secular Academy

There is a perception out there that the academy is a community committed to neutrality, tolerance, and intellectual freedom. Professors are free to have whatever beliefs they find compelling and supported by the evidence. Right? While there are still faculty (and institutions) that share this approach, there are many who do not. And Oden discovered this reality. After changing intellectual directions his colleagues did not respond with tolerance. They did not give him his intellectual freedom. They did not allow him to hold his own convictions. On the contrary, he was vilified, marginalized, and viewed as an intellectual pariah.

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What Opposition to Religious Freedom Really Means

This is particularly problematic when widespread ignorance of religious motivation is joined with a zealotry that can only be called religious: for the stamping out of all dissent against the sexual revolution. The sexual revolutionaries are, by all accounts, winning the public debate in American life on matters of sexual freedom, right down to the redefinition of marriage and family. But that’s not enough. Many of them want not only to win, but to stamp out dissent with all the relish of a Massachusetts Bay Puritan.

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Sunday’s Coming: The Resurrection and Believers

We cannot separate the death and resurrection of Christ, friends. Both are necessary for our justification. Because just as His death was the payment for sin, so was His resurrection the certification and vindication of that payment. If Christ had truly made full payment for sin such that He could ransom His people—if He had truly satisfied the wrath of His Father against the sins of His people—it had to be that the consequences of sin would no longer have power over Him.

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From a Symbol of Fear to a Symbol of Faith

If you want to know the true perspective on the seriousness of sin, however, look to the cross. Look at the extreme nature of the solution to this problem. If sin were “no big deal,” would God have sent His only begotten Son to die a shameful death on a cross to deal with it? And what kind of love is this? What kind of love is displayed when God sends His only begotten Son to die for the sins we commit against Him?

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These Guys Sure Know How to Hate

by Bill Muehlenberg

There are no greater haters than the homosexual activists. Every day we find more conclusive proof that these folks are the most hate-filled, nasty and malicious folks in the West. The demonic rage and fury of these activists is simply frightening in the extreme.

And all their hatred gives lie to the claim that they just want to be left alone to live in peace. They do not in the slightest just want to be allowed to do their own thing in the privacy of their own bedrooms. There are on an unholy crusade to ram their agenda down the throats of everyone else.

No other group that I know of (except for perhaps the angry misotheists – and these two groups overlap to a good extent) can get so utterly enraged and incensed when someone dares to think differently and not fall down and worship their coercive agenda.

The foaming at the mouth over the Indiana religious freedom law is a case in point. These guys have gone absolutely ballistic, showing just how much they are into tolerance, acceptance and diversity – the very things they scream about all the time.

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Everything changes: Religious “freedom,” pizza and the future of America

The operators of a pizza restaurant in Indiana reportedly say they support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence and wouldn’t be willing to cater a gay wedding. Meanwhile, the local police department said it completed an investigation into a threat on Twitter to “burn down” the restaurant. The […]

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Physician-Assisted Suicide and Consistency

by Zak Schmoll

It is interesting to see that society’s preoccupation with unhindered individual choice is continually extending towards decisions to be made at the end of life. As proponents of “Death with Dignity” argue, it is right for people to be able to decide the time and place of their own deaths. However, I would like to […]

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Religious Freedom Laws

Thursday on air we discuss the controversy over Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Law. rather than debate the particulars of a law in progress, we ask you to weigh in on several questions, including: Do you think these laws are necessary? Should there be limitations to the enforcement of Religious Freedom Laws regarding discrimination base on […]

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Religious Freedom, the New un-American Activity?

So, you want religious exemptions from supporting same-sex marriage and abortion? Well, two foundations are spending millions to put an end to your un-American activity.
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The Daily Discovery (April 2, 2015)

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

RFRA Reaction Is Driven by Agenda, Not Principle – “On the show yesterday, nearly every single question Greg was asked had something to do with Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is the law (modeled after* Chuck Schumer’s bipartisan 22-year-old federal law) which states that the government ‘may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion’ only if doing so 1) ‘is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest’ and 2) ‘is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.’”

The testing of our faith – “The man-centered religions that claim to be ‘Christian’ in our time could never take James 1:2-4 literally. No, instead, they must demand from their own man-made Jesus that they have their best life now and that the Sun stand still so that they can fulfill the vision that they claim to have received from him. This whole idea of a faith that is self-renouncing while submitting to Christ as Lord in all things, taking up our crosses, bearing his reproach outside the gates because he bore our reproach to pay the price to atone for our sins is totally alien to those ‘so-called Christians’ in those ‘religions.’”

Open Letter to Bryan Storkel – “I hope this Open Letter finds you well — long time no see. The last time you and I crossed paths was when you released your documentary Fight Church, and you were rather put out that I refused to review it. I was surprised by that because after I reviewed Holy Rollers, I figured that you would not want someone like me talking about your hard work.”

From a Symbol of Fear to a Symbol of Faith – “I sometimes wonder how many Christians stop to think about how incredibly odd it is that crucifixes are used as works of art. Crucifixes adorn church architecture, classic paintings, sculpture, and even jewelry. But consider for a moment what a crucifix was originally. It was a means of execution.”

Celebrating Easter with Kids – “This year, make sure your kids remember Easter for more than pastel colors or candy or hunts in the park. The significance of Easter is so much greater than hollow bunnies. Jesus is so much greater.”


SERMON:

Mark Dever – Lose the Church, Lose the Gospel


VIDEOS:

You Cannot Live The Gospel

Stewards of the Mysteries of God


“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


Rapture References, Part 3 … Conclusion

rapture-references

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

This is the final installment of our three part series on rapture references in the Bible. We concluded part two with Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Written about 20 years after the cross, they were the first definitive teaching on the rapture given on Earth, and as we saw Paul placed it before the End Times judgments, saying the Church was not appointed to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:9).

Shortly after writing the Thessalonian letters, Paul wrote 1 Corinthians and in chapter 15 added more detail to his rapture teaching. We’ll begin the final installment there.

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11 Reasons Pastors Struggle on Easter

By Chuck Lawless

This coming Sunday is Easter Sunday, a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Church buildings will likely be more full than all other Sundays of the year. Songs of resurrection will ring out. Congregations will gather in their finest clothes to worship, often followed by a special Sunday lunch.

And yet, for some pastors Easter Sunday is a difficult day. I know, because I’ve been there. Here’s why this day can be a struggle – and why pastors need our prayers this weekend:

  1. The day is often overwhelmingly busy. From early morning preparation to events throughout the day, pastors are on the go throughout the day. Some churches add services for this special day. For some pastors, the day is so full that they have little time to focus on their own personal worship.
  2. The pressure to “do well” is increased. The crowd is bigger, but many are giving the church only this one opportunity to grab their attention. No church leader wants to mess up on Easter Sunday. Consequently, every small issue – each off note, every stumbled-over word, every unintended delay – gets magnified.
  3. Finding a unique approach to the Easter story is not easy. The story itself is enough, of course, but some pastors sense a need to present the story in a fresh and enlightening way. The task of finding that “new approach” when everyone else is preaching on the same topic can be stressful.
  4. Pastors see members they haven’t seen since last Easter. On one hand, that’s good news. Pastors are typically glad to see members return, hoping they will recommit themselves to faithfulness this year. On the other hand, pastors often end the day wondering why they can’t reach those same folks the rest of the year.
  5. Pastors see “lostness” come in the door . . . and leave unchanged. Yes, pastors trust the Word of God will do its work. Yes, they know that planting a seed is a first step toward others being converted. It’s still agonizing, though, when they see non-believers walk in the door and out the door on Easter with no obvious response to the gospel.
  6. Pastors get a glimpse of what the church could be . . . but typically isn’t. Parking lot attendants are ready, and they even arrive early. Greeters are well dressed and easily identified. The best musicians and singers are enlisted. The sermon is well rehearsed. The church gives its best for this one day – but then returns to mediocrity the following week. That’s frustrating.
  7. Pastors often judge their own sermons more critically on Easter. Many of us review our sermons after each worship service. We think through how we might have re-worded that point, changed that illustration, or clarified that application. That critique is sometimes more intense on Easter Sunday, as no pastor wants to have missed the opportunity to proclaim the gospel clearly and boldly.
  8. Pastors brag about Easter attendance. It happens – pastors excited about Easter attendance often make sure others know about their successes during the weeks following the holiday. Unhealthy, even ungodly, competition develops. Nobody wants to play the game, but few people want to lose the game, either.
  9. Attendance expectations may not be met. To be honest, I always had an Easter Sunday attendance goal in my mind when I served as a pastor. Even when I fought hard to stop worrying about numbers, my mind still went there. Too often I became discouraged because the actual attendance did not meet my goals.
  10. Monday morning letdown can follow Easter. For weeks, a pastor’s energy is devoted to preparing for Easter Sunday. Teams get ready so the church operates as a well-oiled machine on this one Sunday. Everyone is focused, committed – and a bit relieved when it’s all over. Monday morning means a return to the routine.
  11. Some pastors have no resurrection joy themselves. For some, ministry is hard. They serve one church while seeking the next one. Their marriages may be struggling, or their children are wayward. They must proclaim the hope of resurrection when their own hope is dying. Easter Sunday then becomes a chore to endure rather than a day to celebrate.

If you are a pastor, direct your members to this post and ask them to pray for you. As a layperson, invite other church members to join you in prayer. Pray that Easter will be powerful for your pastor this year.


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

The post 11 Reasons Pastors Struggle on Easter appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Maundy Thursday and the Marriage Battle

I keep hearing that if we stand for truth, we’ll alienate people from the Gospel. But today reminds us we need not choose between truth and love.
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Godlife: Remember Him

Scripture: “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Luke 24:6-7

As we get ready to celebrate Easter, reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us by giving up His life for us. And praise Him because we’re given eternal life when we place our trust in Him because Jesus defeated death by coming back to life!

Share the Easter story: One Man’s Death Every Man’s Guarantee

Cold Case Christianity: The Commitment of the Apostles Confirms the Truth of the Resurrection

Many of us, as committed Christians, would rather die than reject our Savior. Around the world today, Christians are executed regularly because they refuse to deny their allegiance to Jesus or the truth claims of Christianity. But their deaths, while heartbreaking and compelling, have no evidential value. Many people are willing to die for what they don’t know is a lie. Martyrdom doesn’t confirm the truth, especially when the martyrs don’t have first-hand access to the claim for which they’re dying. But this wasn’t the case for the disciples of Jesus. They were in a unique position: they knew if the claims about Jesus were true. They were present for the life, ministry, death and alleged resurrection of Jesus. If the claims about Jesus were a lie, the disciples would have known it (in fact they would have been the source of the lie). That’s why their commitment to their testimony was (and is) so compelling. Unlike the rest of us, their willingness to die for their claims has tremendous evidential value. In fact, the commitment of the apostles confirms the truth of the resurrection.

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Barna Update | 5 Popular Perceptions of Jesus

What Do Americans Believe
About Jesus?

Jesus Christ remains a central figure and perennial person of interest in the American religious landscape—especially in the days leading up to Easter. And this year is no exception. This past Sunday, National Geographic Channel premiered its adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus to 3.7 million viewers—the channel’s biggest audience in history. Google searches of Jesus Christ are up 53 percent in the past week—a likely result of both television programming and the forthcoming holiday.

But what do Americans believe about Jesus? Who do they say he is? Here are five popular American perceptions of Jesus, based on new Barna Group research.

Read the study >

GTY Blog: The Seven Last Sayings of Christ: A Plea for Relief & A Proclamation of Victory

John 19:28-30

Code: B150401

by John MacArthur

As the authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient Word of God, we know Scripture tells us everything we need to know about Christ’s suffering and death on the cross. But there is a sense in which we miss the full weight of His sacrifice with just a simple reading of the text. His hours and hours of agony simply cannot be encapsulated in a few short passages.

To help understand the pain He endured on our behalf, we’ve been examining His final statements from the cross. Today we’ll look at two more that illustrate both the extent of His suffering and the purpose for which He was willing to endure it.

A Plea for Relief

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’” (John 19:28). This was Christ’s fifth utterance from the cross. As the end neared, Christ uttered a final plea for physical relief. Earlier He had spat out the vinegar mixed with painkiller that had been offered Him. Now, when He asked for relief from the horrible thirst of dehydration, He was given only a sponge saturated with pure vinegar. John writes, “A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth” (v. 29).

In His thirst we see the true humanity of Christ. Although He was God incarnate, in His physical body, He experienced all the normal human limitations of real human flesh. And none was more vivid than this moment of agonizing thirst after hours of hanging on the cross. He suffered bodily to an extent few have ever suffered. And—again, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled—all He was given to salve His fiery thirst was vinegar. “They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink” (Psalm 69:21).

A Proclamation of Victory

John’s account of the crucifixion continues: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’” (John 19:30). In the Greek text, this sixth utterance of Jesus from the cross is a single word: Tetelestai! Luke 23:46 indicates He made this cry “with a loud voice.”

It was a triumphant outcry, full of rich meaning. He did not mean merely that His earthly life was over. He meant that the work the Father had given Him to do was now complete. As He hung there, looking every bit like a pathetic, wasted victim, He nonetheless celebrated the greatest triumph in the history of the universe. Christ’s atoning work was finished; redemption for sinners was complete; and He was triumphant.

Christ had fulfilled on behalf of sinners everything the law of God required of them. Full atonement had been made. Everything the ceremonial law foreshadowed had been accomplished. God’s justice was satisfied. The ransom for sin was paid in full. The wages of sin were settled forever. All that remained was for Christ to die so that He might rise again.

That is why nothing can be added to the work of Christ for salvation. No religious ritual—neither baptism, nor penance, nor any other human work—needs to be added to make His work effectual. No supplemental human works could ever augment or improve the atonement He purchased on the cross. The sinner is required to contribute nothing to earn forgiveness or a right standing with God; the merit of Christ alone is sufficient for our full salvation.

Tetelestai! His atoning work is done. All of it. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

(Adapted from The Murder of Jesus.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150401
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Reformation Theology Blog: Charismatics and the Word of Faith Movement

globe_az

This last Saturday, March 28, I traveled to Globe, Arizona to attend the the 2015 Bible Conference at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church. The theme was the truth about the Word of Faith Movement / Pentecostalism / Prophecy / Tongues, and Healing on demand. The Guest speakers were Phil Johnson and Justin Peters. It was a rich time together in the word of God and a real privilege to meet host Pastor John Skaggs and the kind people of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church. The teaching sessions were excellent. I recommend them highly – JS.

Session 1: Phil Johnson: Why I am a Cessationist

Session 2: Phil Johnson: Beware the Greed Mongers: An expose of the Prosperity Doctrine

Session 3: Justin Peters: Clouds Without Water (1)

Session 4: Justin Peters: Clouds Without Water (2)

Session 5: Justin Peters: Clouds Without Water (3)

Session 6: Justin Peters: Clouds Without Water (4)

Source

What the reaction to the Indiana religious liberty law tells us about the secular left

WINTERY KNIGHT

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

I surveyed three articles for this post, and we’ll see a little from each.

Jewish conservative Ben Shapiro has more in Townhall. (H/T Pastor Matt)

Shapiro writes:

Same-sex marriage, it turns out, was never designed to grant legal benefits to same-sex couples. That could have been done under a regime of civil unions. Same-sex marriage was always designed to allow the government to have the power to cram down punishment on anyone who disobeys the government’s vision of the public good. One need not be an advocate of discrimination against gays to believe that government does not have the ability to enforce the prevailing social standards of the time in violation of individual rights. There are many situations in which advocates of freedom dislike particular exercises of that freedom but understand that government attacks on individual rights are far more threatening to…

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Manhattan Declaration Director Attacks Christians in the Name of Christian Unity

Polemics Report

Mike Gendron happens to be a good, godly man, a first-class apologist and evangelist to Roman Catholics. He’s also a broadcast partner at Worldview Weekend, where the Pulpit & Pen Program is also posted. Gendron, Brannon Howse and others – including John Macarthur – have spoken out about the ecumenist language used in the Manhattan Declaration. Many have signed the document and reconsidered after hearing their concerns. And their concerns, quite frankly, are legitimate.

John MacArthur gives his reasons for not signing the document at Grace to You:

The Declaration therefore constitutes a formal avowal of brotherhood between Evangelical signatories and purveyors of different gospels. That is the stated intention of some of the key signatories, and it’s hard to see how secular readers could possibly view it in any other light. Thus for the sake of issuing a manifesto decrying certain moral and political issues, the Declaration…

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What Did The Disciples Mean When They Said “Jesus is Risen!”

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

When it comes to the Christian faith, there is no doctrine more important than the resurrection of Jesus. Biblical faith is not simply centered in ethical and religious teachings. Instead, it is founded on the person and work of Jesus. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, we as His followers are still dead in our sins (1Cor.15:7). Explanations try to show how something happened. That is, what is the cause for something that has happened. As I have noted elsewhere, the resurrection story started very, very, early. Also, there is an excellent post on the empty tomb issue over at Wintery Knight’s blog.

Anyway, let’s take a look at what explains the resurrection appearances. First, let’s observe the list of appearances:

• Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, shortly after his resurrection (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18)
• Jesus appears to the women returning from the empty tomb (Matthew…

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Richard Carrier debates Mark Goodacre: Did Jesus exist?

WINTERY KNIGHT

It’s April Fools today, and I have an April Fool for you – his name is Richard Carrier.

Debate topic:

Richard Carrier is the world’s foremost proponent of the “mythicist” view of Jesus – that he never actually existed as a historical person. He explains his theory that St. Paul only ever spoke of Jesus in the spiritual realm and that the Gospels are “extended parables”. Mark Goodacre is NT professor at Duke University. He contends that Carrier’s mythicist view is extremely far fetched and the evidence for the historical Jesus is beyond reasonable doubt.

Here are the participants:

Mark Goodacre is an Associate Professor in New Testament at the Department of Religion, Duke University, North Carolina, USA. He earned his MA, M.Phil and DPhil at the University of Oxford and was Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham until 2005. His research interests include the Synoptic Gospels, the Historical…

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A Code of Conduct for Arguments and Discussions

The Reformed Reader

The Bible teaches that God’s people are to be truth-telling, truth-loving, and truth-promoting people (Ex. 20:16, Eph. 4:25, 6:14, etc.).  Although truth has to do with more than just our words, we are called to be honest, clear, and not deceitful when we talk, discuss, make an argument, or defend a position.

Speaking of this topic, I appreciate T. Edward Damer’s Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments.  Although it isn’t a Christian textbook, there are many common grace insights that can help the Christian speak the truth when defending the faith and explaining biblical doctrine.  This book will also help the reader avoid being duped or tricked by poor arguments and/or faulty logic.  I appreciate Damer’s “code of intellectual conduct” that he explains in chapter one.  Here are his 13 principles for truthful (and logical!) discussions and arguments.  I’ve edited them for length:

1) The…

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April 2, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Ethiopia jails two Christians for distributing Bibles

Two men who were distributing Bibles in Ethiopia’s Melka Belo region were arrested in separate incidents and later released after enduring physical abuse and harassment from authorities.


 International Christian Concern Calls News Conference April 14 to Address Violent Religious Persecution in Pakistan

Experts from the U.S., U.K. and Pakistan will discuss crisis

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2015 — International Christian Concern (ICC) will host a news conference at 9:30 a.m.


2 NYC Women Inspired by ISIS Accused of Bomb Plot

ICC Note: Two New York women have been arrested for allegedly plotting to detonate a homemade bomb within the United States. Evidence reveals that the women had viewed ISIS propaganda online and have since communicated violent radical beliefs and interest in the terror group while speaking with an undercover officer.


ISIS Blows Up 10 Christian Families’ Homes in Nineveh after Demolishing Fourth Century Monastery

ICC Note: According to reports, militants of the Islamic State have demolished the homes of ten Christian families in the northern Nineveh province of Iraq. After looting the houses for valuables, the militants then set off explosives, destroying the homes entirely.


Nigeria Election: Muslim Buhari Wins and Now He Has to Defeat Boko Haram

ICC Note: Nigerians have entrusted the fight against extremist Muslim insurgents Boko Haram to another Muslim, electing Muhammadu Buhari (All Progressive Congress) to the presidency. Buhari is a Fulani from Katsina State in northern Nigeria and is an outspoken supporter of Sharia Law, at least in Nigeria’s north.


Attacking the Cross: Rise in Anti-Christian Violence in India

ICC Note: In the past few months, the rise in anti-Christian violence in India has become particularly alarming. While violence against religious minorities used to be primarily located in remote areas, boldness among radicals has given way to greater violence in the cities


Al-Shabaab Releases ISIS-Style Mass Execution Video Showing Somali Civilians Being Shot to Death While Swimming in the Ocean

ICC Note: Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab has released a video depicting the brutal execution of at least six men forced to swim out to sea and then shot to death in the water off the coast of Somalia.


Congress Defends Navy Chaplain Threatened with Discharge for Preaching his Beliefs

ICC Note: As previously reported, in December of 2014 US Navy Chaplain Wes Modder received complaints and threaten with discharge after voicing his beliefs on sexual morality.


Reports Indicate that Iraqi Forces have Taken Back Tikrit from ISIS

ICC Note: According to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi forces have regained control of the formerly ISIS-controlled city of Tikrit. The city was first taken over by ISIS militants last June.


Commission Demands Pakistan Crackdown on Militants after Suicide Blasts

ICC Note: Following the recent suicide bombings in Lahore that killed 18 in two churches, Pakistan’s Ecumenical Commission for Human Development has recently spoken out against the incident.


Nigeria’s President-Elect Will ‘Spare No Effort’ to Eliminate Boko Haram

ICC Note: Muslim President-elect of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari is pledging to get tough on radical Islamic militants Boko Haram, placing their eradication at the top of his policy priority list.


PRAISE REPORT | Iraqi Forces have Taken Back Tikrit from ISIS

According to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi forces have regained control of the formerly ISIS-controlled city of Tikrit. The city was first taken over by ISIS militants last June.


Pakistan Indicts 16 Christians for Killing Two Church-Bombing Suspects

ICC Note: Following the March 15 Lahore suicide bombings that killed at least 17 churchgoers, mob violence led to the lynching of two suspects believed to be involved in the attack.


 

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

Thursday

Day 38: Does the resurrection account for the origin of the church and worship on Sunday?

Confession: Psalm 141:7–8

As when one plows and breaks up the earth,

so our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

But my eyes are toward you, O Yahweh, my Lord;

I have taken refuge in you. Do not lay bare my soul.

Reading: Mark 15:37–41

But Jesus uttered a loud cry and expired. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion who was standing opposite him saw that he expired like this, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” And there were also women observing from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome, who used to follow him and serve him when he was in Galilee, and many other women who went up with him to Jerusalem.

Reflection

It was God’s love that sent Jesus Christ to die for sinful men, rise again from the dead, and ascend to the right hand of the Father in glory. And it will be God’s love that will send Him back again to earth when the fullness of time for that greatest event in all this earth’s history has come. Heaven and all its glories, Hell and all its horrors both have their origin in the love of God.

Yes, “God is love” is the key note of the Bible, the secret of history, the explanation of nature and the solution of eternity’s mysteries. This manifestation of God’s love is greatest of all. This manifestation of God’s love is stupendous. It seems past believing, but we know it is true.

—R. A. Torrey

The Gospel for Today

Response

Other Gospel accounts record how Jesus’ followers were scattered and afraid after His death. Are there times in your life when you have doubted God’s love and sovereignty?[1]

 

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

Division and factions in churches serve God’s purposes

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19 NASB)

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

In the passage from Galatians, which I placed above, at the end of v20 is the word “heresies.” The NASB translates this same word as “factions.” It is a form of the word αἵρεσις or hairesis

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