Daily Archives: May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

It is not the doctrine of justification that does my heart good, it is Christ, the justifier. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 11 Quotes


May 12, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Barack Obama made it official Tuesday: His presidential library and museum will be built in Chicago while his foundation will have a presence at Columbia University in New York.

Two-thirds of likely general-election voters in the state that holds the nation’s first presidential primary, including about half of Republican primary voters, say same-sex marriage should be legal in every state, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire Poll.

The record drought plaguing California isn’t limited by lines on a map. Arid conditions caused by dwindling rainfall and snowpack are stretching across the West. A severe drought grips almost 40 percent of the West. Outside California, conditions are at their worst in neighboring Nevada. That state is followed by Oregon and Washington.

Telsa’s new line of big, stackable batteries for homes and businesses started with a bang. The reservations reported in the first week are valued at roughly $800 million. If Tesla converts even a fraction of those reservations into actual sales, the battery roll-out could measure up as one of the biggest ever for a new product category.

Count Bill Gross among the world’s biggest philanthropists. The bond investor has already given away as much as $700 million and eventually will donate his remaining $2 billion fortune, a figure that’s “staggering, even to me,” Gross said.

The Spanish government told Airbus Group to cease flying new A400M transport planes following Saturday’s fatal crash, halting deliveries from Europe’s costliest defense program.

Russia has 8,000 to 10,000 soldiers in eastern Ukraine as the numbers swelled this year amid denials from Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a report

Pablo Picasso’s dynamic 1955 painting, “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ”O”),” fetched $179.4 million, the highest price paid for any artwork at auction.

Job openings in the U.S. fell in March from a 14-year high, a sign companies may have held off on posting vacancies amid slowing growth in the first quarter. The number of positions waiting to be filled decreased by 150,000 to 4.99 million in March from a revised 5.14 million the month before.

AP Top Stories

A major earthquake hit a remote mountain region of Nepal, killing at least 37 people while triggering landslides and toppling buildings less than three weeks after the Himalayan nation was ravaged by its worst quake in decades.

Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion, advancing the telecom’s push in both mobile and advertising fields.

At least 220 Russian soldiers have been killed in east Ukraine, opposition activists said on Tuesday in a report offering what they called “ample evidence” to rebut President Vladimir Putin’s denial his troops are fighting there.

The remains of at least four more victims have been found in a wooded area behind a strip mall that police described Monday as the dumping ground for a serial killer suspected in seven deaths.

The leader of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, Massud Barzani, said on Monday his forces had “broken the spine” of the Islamic State (IS) group with the help of international allies.

Growing sea ice surrounding Antarctica could prompt scientists to consider relocating research stations on the continent.

The number of Americans who don’t affiliate with a particular religion has grown to 56 million in recent years, making the faith group researchers call “nones” the second-largest in total numbers behind evangelicals, according to a Pew Research Center study. At the same time, Christians dropped from about 78 percent to just under 71 percent of the population. Protestants now comprise 46.5 percent of what was once a predominantly Protestant country.

Brent crude futures rose towards $66 on Tuesday, lifted by a weaker dollar and the Yemen conflict, but concerns of oversupply weighed on prices amid news of record high output from Saudi Arabia in April and Iraqi plans for record exports in June.

BBC

French President Francois Hollande has met Cuba’s 1959 revolutionary leaders Fidel and Raul Castro on a historic trip to Havana. Mr Hollande also called for an end to the decades-long US trade embargo against Cuba.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby has said the fight against Boko Haram militants is being hampered by poor co-ordination between his country and Nigeria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting President Vladimir Putin during his first visit to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began in early 2014.

Greece was forced to tap into an emergency account to make a debt interest payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it has emerged.

Many Gulf heads of state have said they will not attend this week’s summit of US and Arab leaders at Camp David.

WND

One-hundred and thirteen members of Congress – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith – are telling a federal court that President Obama’s amnesty-for-illegal aliens program is unacceptable and violates the U.S. Constitution.

Ann Graham Lotz, the daughter of America’s most famous evangelist, Billy Graham, says God is “clearly warning that His judgment is coming on America, and it’s going to be ugly.”

South Korean officials claimed the communist country could perfect the devastating ballistic missile technology – with capability of reaching US mainland from an undetectable distance – within two to three years.


Top News – 5/12/2015

Weather Around The World, Week Of 5/12: Killer Tornadoes In Texas; Super-Typhoons In The Pacific

Weather Pattern Government, which has persisted since last Wednesday, has brought a variety of unpleasant weather from the Rocky mountains to the Atlantic Coast.   

Why China Is Taking Control of Physical Gold Pricing
The country is currently lobbying to be including in the International Monetary Fund’s reserve currency and gold has a lot to do with that process. Estimates say China has amassed thousands of tons of gold reserves that could rival the United States in the future.   

Top Arab Generals Plan Libyan Intervention; Will France & Italy Join?
As world leaders continue to grapple over how to resolve the chaos left in post-Qaddafi Libya, high-ranking military personnel from Arab countries will discuss the matter in Cairo on May 18. The talks could also include France and Italy, which played key roles in the coalition’s bombing campaign.   

Worst drought in 1200 years drains America’s biggest reservoir
IF CALIFORNIA’S prolonged dry spell is eventually recognised as a megadrought, no one can say we weren’t warned. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US, has hit its lowest level ever. Feeding California, Nevada and Arizona, it can hold a mind-boggling 35 cubic kilometres of water. But it has been many years since it was at capacity, and the situation is only getting worse. “We’re only at 38 per cent full. Lake Mead hasn’t been this low since we were filling it in the 1930s,” said a spokeswoman for the US Bureau of Reclamation in Las Vegas.   

First baby born with IVF that uses stem cells to pep up old eggs
He has been called the world’s first stem cell baby. Zain Rajani was born three weeks ago in Canada after his parents opted for a new type of IVF marketed under the name Augment. The procedure is supposed to enhance the quality of a woman’s eggs by injecting them with mitochondria taken from her ovarian stem cells.   

ISIS goes undercover to catch homosexuals
ISIS terrorists have taken to subterfuge to root out homosexuals, get them to admit their homosexual tendencies – and then kill them.   

Federal judge agrees to reopen Hillary Clinton email lawsuit
Judge Reggie B. Walton’s decision Friday came after the State Department and Judicial Watch, which brought the lawsuit, agreed that the documents that Clinton kept on her own email server separate from the government should be turned over. “This is the first case that’s been reopened,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch told The Washington Times. “It’s a significant development. It points to the fraud by this administration and Mrs. Clinton.”   

Nicaraguan volcano dusts towns in ash
The volcano has registered 30 small eruptions since it rumbled to life on Thursday, the strongest yet occurring on Sunday night, according to the Nicaraguan Geological Institute. ‘It spat hot rocks, gas and ash, reaching a height of 400 metres,’ the agency said in a statement.   

Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemen capital hours before ceasefire
Saudi-led air strikes pounded the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday, hours before a five-day truce was set to begin between the alliance of Gulf Arab nations and the Iran-allied Houthi militia which controls much of the country.   

FBI: Number of Police Officers Killed On-Duty Up By 89 Percent In 2014
Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 51 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2014. This is an increase of almost 89 percent when compared to the 27 officers killed in 2013. (Note: From 1980–2014, an average of 64 law enforcement officers have been feloniously killed per year.   

Nepal rocked by 7.3-magnitude earthquake near Mount Everest
Nepal has been hit by another strong earthquake, causing widespread panic and casualties just over two weeks after a devastating tremor killed more than 8,000 people, injured 18,000 and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.   

BREAKING: 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal
A powerful earthquake, 7.3 in magnitude, struck Nepal on Tuesday, just weeks after an even stronger quake devastated large areas of the country. The epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake was located 76 km (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.   

Drought Transcends State Lines as U.S. West Turns Ever-More Arid
The record drought plaguing California isn’t limited by lines on a map. Arid conditions caused by dwindling rainfall and snowpack are stretching across the West. In Washington’s Yakima Valley, popular for growing wine grapes and beer hops, officials are cutting off water to about 1,700 farmers for three weeks starting today. At Lake Mead…water sinks to the lowest since the reservoir was filled in 1937.   

Drug-resistant typhoid ‘concerning’
Antibiotic-resistant typhoid is spreading across Africa and Asia and poses a major global health threat, warn experts. Researchers from the Wellcome Trust, who have been tracking the hard-to-treat infection, say it is replacing regular typhoid in many countries.   

‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted
The El Nino weather pattern, which can drive droughts and flooding, is underway in the tropical Pacific for the first time in five years, say scientists. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could be a “substantial” event. The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures and can have big impacts on global weather.   

Gulf leaders back out of Camp David summit in ‘snub’ to Obama
Many Gulf heads of state have said they will not attend this week’s summit of US and Arab leaders at Camp David. Their substitution with more junior leaders is seen by some analysts as a rebuff to President Obama’s talks with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. Saudi officials denied this, saying King Salman said he needed to stay home to oversee a ceasefire in Yemen.   

Ukraine crisis: John Kerry to meet Putin in Russia
US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his first visit to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began in early 2014. Mr Putin’s spokesman called the visit a “positive step” and said the Russian leader was prepared for “extensive” discussions at the meeting in Sochi. Mr Kerry is also meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.   

China-Russia drills in Med show shifting strategies
The Russian and Chinese navies have begun their first joint exercises in the Mediterranean that will last for about a week. Though small scale, it is a signal of growing defence ties between Beijing and Moscow and a demonstration that China’s maritime horizons are broadening.   

Nepal earthquake, magnitude 7.3, strikes near Everest
A major earthquake has struck eastern Nepal, near Mount Everest, two weeks after more than 8,000 died in a devastating quake. At least four people have been killed and an unknown number injured, according to aid agencies. The latest earthquake hit near the town of Namche Bazaar, near Mount Everest.   

Yesh Din petitions High Court to return land to Palestinians
Yesh Din on Monday filed a petition to the High Court of Justice seeking to return to the Palestinian village of Anata several hundred dunams of land, which the IDF seized in 1975 primarily for the creation of the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. The actual 1975 seizure order was for 30,000 dunams…but the court case has focused only on those dunams which the Ma’aleh Adumim Municipality never used.   

This is what it’s like when ISIS takes over your city
By the time Iraqi forces liberated Tikrit, Al-Ali reports, the city’s prewar population of 200,000 had been reduced to “a few hundred locals in the city, and few thousand in the surrounding countryside.” It’s easy to see why. Al-Ali’s account of life in ISIS-occupied Tikrit depicts a parable of horrors, ranging from the total collapse of basic social services to brutal summary executions.   

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un commanded aunt’s killing by poison: report
North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un directed senior officials in his autocratic government to poison his own aunt last year, a defector from the regime told CNN on Monday. The so-called “Supreme Leader” ordered the death of Kim Kyong Hui in May 2014, only months after Kim executed her husband Jang Song Thaek, said the former high-level government official whose identity the news channel concealed.   

TPP means Congress giving away its authority to ‘global busybodies’
Congress, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is preparing to betray American workers, and the grass roots should rise up and say, “No, you don’t.” The secretive underhanded deal is called “fast track,” and that’s an appropriate title because, indeed, it puts Americans on a fast track to lower wages and fewer available jobs.   

n Yemen, children — possibly thousands of them — join fight
Abdullah Ali’s 15-year-old son disappeared from home one morning three months ago. A week later, the boy called his horrified family to say he had joined the Shiite insurgents known as Houthis — becoming one of a growing number of underage soldiers fighting in Yemen’s civil war.   

72 dead as Syria army battles to free loyalists: monitor
At least 72 fighters were killed in a single day as the Syrian army battled to relieve some 250 besieged regime loyalists under rebel assault, a monitoring group said Monday.   

China is destined to intervene in the conflict between Israel and Palestine
In June 1954, the leaders of China, India, and Burma (now Myanmar) issued a joint statement affirming the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence—mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence—as the basis for conducting international relations. Since then, China has adhered strictly to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ domestic turmoil, as displayed prominently over the past several years in Beijing’s response to the Syrian civil war.  


Top Headlines – 5/12/2015

Yesh Din petitions High Court to return land to Palestinians 

High Court allows Jerusalem Day march through Old City’s Muslim Quarter 

Israel says unauthorized boats will be denied entry as Gaza flotillas begin again 

19-year-old stabbed in West Bank in suspected terrorist attack 

Iran Holds Holocaust Cartoon Contest, Draws Nearly a Thousand Entries

Bnei Akiva calls for emissaries to combat global rise in anti-Semitism 

Why does Germany’s young generation hold negative views of Israel? 

Major deal: Israel to purchase four patrol ships from Germany to defend gas rigs

China is destined to intervene in the conflict between Israel and Palestine

Israel’s new government is built on a foundation of bribery

Once untouchable, Egypt’s Sisi faces media attacks 

1 killed, 5 injured in Boko Haram suicide bombing in Nigeria college

E.U. seeks U.N. authority for military action against migrant smugglers

Libyan military shells Turkish cargo ship, crew member killed 

Sea Attack Deepens Turkey-Libya Dispute

Syria crisis: Turkey and Saudi Arabia shock Western countries by supporting Anti-Assad jihadists

72 dead as Syria army battles to free loyalists: monitor

Rare footage shows IDF soldiers saving life of Syrian rebel on Golan Heights

‘Assad puts intelligence chief under house arrest for planning coup’ 

Rulers of most Gulf nations to miss US summit, administration denies ‘snub’

Persian Gulf leaders to press Obama to strengthen U.S. security relationship

Report claims thorough deception from White House on bin Laden raid 

Afghan clerics uneasy as civil rights movement gains momentum

In Yemen, children – possibly thousands of them – join fight

Kerry, Putin to meet in Sochi to discuss Iran, Syria, Ukraine 

NATO: Russia has equipped Ukraine rebels to attack at short notice 

First Russia-China naval war games underway in Mediterranean 

China launches ‘mystery object’ into space

Georgia hosts joint military exercises with US 

US admits at UN: We crossed line on interrogating detainees 

Ex-CIA leader Morell critical of Obama administration colleagues

Sweden’s Supreme Court upholds WikiLeaks founder Assange detention order 

Greece says deal will be ‘difficult’ at Eurogroup meeting

China cuts interest rates to 5.1% as economy slows

Google acknowledges 11 accidents with its self-driving cars 

Aeromobil flying car crashes during critical test

Does Artificial Intelligence Pose a Threat?

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Mid-Indian Ridge

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ternate, Indonesia

Early morning Alaska Range quake felt from Fairbanks to Anchorage

Rumbling from ocean trenches could be sign that Japan faces mega earthquake

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 16,000ft

Karangetang volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Nicaragua’s Telica volcano spews fiery rock and ash into night sky

Small glacier flood from Grimsfjall volcano caldera

Noul Racing Toward Japan’s Mainland After Slamming Its Southernmost Islands, Breaking Wind Records

Tornadoes kill at least 5 in Texas and Arkansas

California Drought Transcends State Lines as U.S. West Turns Ever-More Arid 

Bird flu found in Indiana; 15th state to report it

New bird flu cases suspected in Western Galilee 

Drug-resistant ‘superbug’ strain of typhoid spreads worldwide

Drug-resistant typhoid now ‘epidemic’ in Africa

2 Babies Die, 29 Sickened From Bad Vaccines in South Mexico

California Vaccine Bill Fast-Tracked, Could Go Before Full Senate This Week

Microbiomes raise privacy concerns

Obama administration says health insurers must offer free contraceptives

Texas Senate OKs bill allowing clergy to refuse gay marriage

Christians schools will have no choice about gay marriage: Column

Feds Forcing Schools to Add ‘Gender Identity’ Protections for Transgender Students and Teachers


The Bin Laden Raid Was A Work Of Fiction, And Barack Obama Should Immediately Resign

Bin Laden Raid - Public DomainPulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has uncovered one of the biggest lies in modern American history.  It turns out that much of what the American public was told about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was a blatant lie.  According to Hersh, Osama bin Laden had been captured by Pakistan all the way back in 2006, and he was being held by the ISI as a prisoner at the Abbottabad compound that the Seals ultimately raided in 2011.  In addition, Hersh says that the ISI and Pakistan’s military knew about the Seal raid in advance.  Arrangements were made so that the Black Hawk helicopters could travel through Pakistani airspace safely, and the ISI guards at Osama bin Laden’s compound were pulled away before the Seals got there.  And by that time, Osama bin Laden was reportedly in such bad health that he was essentially a cripple.  There was no “firefight” at all – only a turkey shoot.  Afterwards, Osama bin Laden’s body never made it to the USS Carl Vinson for a “burial at sea”.  That was all just part of the cover story according to Hersh.  Of course the White House and Obama’s lackeys at CNN are strongly denying all of this, and they will continue to deny the truth for as long as they possibly can.  But there are individuals in the U.S. military and in the U.S. intelligence community that can come forward and tell us what really happened.  Let us hope that at least some of those individuals still care enough about this country to do that. (Read More…)


In September, The UN Launches A Major Sustainable Development Agenda For The Entire Planet

United Nations General Assembly.The UN plans to launch a brand new plan for managing the entire globe at the Sustainable Development Summit that it will be hosting from September 25th to September 27th.  Some of the biggest names on the planet, including Pope Francis, will be speaking at this summit.  This new sustainable agenda focuses on climate change of course, but it also specifically addresses topics such as economics, agriculture, education and gender equality.  For those wishing to expand the scope of “global governance”, sustainable development is the perfect umbrella because just about all human activity affects the environment in some way.  The phrase “for the good of the planet” can be used as an excuse to micromanage virtually every aspect of our lives.  So for those that are concerned about the growing power of the United Nations, this summit in September is something to keep an eye on.  Never before have I seen such an effort to promote a UN summit on the environment, and this new sustainable development agenda is literally a framework for managing the entire globe. (Read More….)


Daily Digest

May 12, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[T]he most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.” —James Madison, Federalist No. 35, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

DHS Secretaries Warn of Increased Jihadi Threat

How’s Barack Obama doing on the counterterrorism front? Not very good, according to his own DHS secretary. Jeh Johnson warned Sunday that the U.S. faces an increased threat from so-called “lone-wolf” terrorists, who he says could “strike at any moment.” He added, “We’re very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL’s effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others. Because of the use of the Internet, we could have little or no notice in advance of an independent actor attempting to strike.” Tom Ridge, the first DHS secretary, agreed, saying, “The threats are much more serious and much more complicated than on Sept. 12, 2001.”

But it’s worth repeating what Mark Alexander wrote: “Describing Islamist assailants as ‘lone wolf’ actors or ‘radicalized’ constitutes a lethal misunderstanding of the Jihadi threat.” That’s because “these attacks and those to come were and will be directly tied to worldwide Jihad by way of the Qur’an, the foundational fabric linking all Islamist violence.” As long as Obama continues to be more concerned about the Crusades than radical Islamic terrorism, however, this threat won’t be effectively countered.

Saudis Snub Obama Summit

What happens when a president holds a summit and no one comes? That wasn’t entirely the case with Barack Obama’s Middle East powwow at Camp David this week, but four of the six invited leaders declined to attend, including one particularly notable absence: New Saudi King Salman, who took power earlier this year. The New York Times reports, “Both countries insisted on Monday that the king’s absence was not a snub, even as it was hard to ignore four powerful factors that have led to rising tensions between the two nations: the administration’s pursuit of a nuclear accord with Iran, the rise of the Islamic State in the region, the regional unrest that came to be known as the Arab Spring and the transformation of world energy markets.” At least two of those things could be translated as Obama mucking things up with an ally, and the Times might add Obama’s Yemen “success” story to that list since the Saudis are trying to stop Iranian terrorist proxies there. His foolish nuclear deal with Iran even has the Saudis promising to pursue nuclear weapons themselves as a deterrent. Obama might be content with increasing Iranian hegemony in the Middle East, but the Saudis are not. And they know that as long as Obama is “leading from behind,” they’re on their own.

Forget Taxes, Obama’s Regulations Are Strangling the Economy

The wild creation of regulations by the Obama administration has stalled economic growth and made the nation’s rulemaking the responsibility of unelected bureaucrats. Two reports released this week show the staggering extent of how debilitating these regulations are. Every year, the Competitive Enterprise Institute releases its report on the nation’s “Ten Thousand Commandments”. This year, Clyde Wayne Crews, the vice president for policy for CEI, reports that the regulatory burden averages out to $14,976 per American household. If America’s regulations were a country, it would have the 10th largest economy, beating out India. Barack Obama has tied the country in red tape because, while 224 laws were passed in 2014, the government plastered up 3,554 regulations. Furthermore, “A problem with cost-benefit analysis is that it relies primarily on agency self-reporting. Having agencies audit their own rules is like asking students to grade their own exams. Regulators are disinclined to emphasize when a rule’s benefits do not justify its costs,” CEI’s study says.

These regulations make the federal deficit unmanageable, and The Wall Street Journal pins the problem of America’s stalled economy on too much regulation in the system. Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation study finds that Obama’s major regulations cost Americans $80 billion a year — and there’s more regs in the works, such as another redesign of the light bulb. To fix the problem, Congress needs to insist that it is the lawmaking body of the country, not nameless bureaucrats in the executive branch.

Don’t Miss Patriot Humor

Check out Obama’s Project.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Trouble With the NSA’s Haystack

By Paul Albaugh

2015-05-12-6e643a64_large.jpg

Terrorism has again become one of the foremost concerns for Americans today. People are generally worried about the increased jihadi threat and look to government to ensure safety and security. While the Constitution certainly empowers the federal government to provide for the common defense of our nation, including counterterrorism measures, what it should not do is infringe on the rights of American citizens — specifically, the Fourth Amendment.

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the National Security Agency’s massive telephone metadata collection efforts are not authorized by the Patriot Act. However, the court did not rule the NSA’s actions are unconstitutional and it did not issue an order for the NSA to stop its data collection because the Patriot Act’s Section 215, which the NSA cites as its authority, is set to expire June 1. In other words, Congress must act soon anyway, and a vote is expected by May 22.

That the NSA is collecting phone records on all Americans may not seem terribly important — especially the more the public becomes accustomed to the idea — but it’s a critical issue. Like so many other things during this administration’s tenure, it pertains to the very real potential, if not actual, abuse of power.

Recall that the Patriot Act was passed following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The law was sold as a necessary counterterrorism measure to provide for better security. By and large, the law is a good one, aimed in the right places. But as with so many other laws, sometimes the consequences are less freedom and more government overreach.

There has already been squabbling in Congress over the NSA’s data collection, and the Patriot Act debate is sure to resemble a hornet’s nest. It will also pit Republicans against each other.

Already, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who had hoped to avoid defending the NSA, announced his unwavering support for the Patriot Act. He touted Section 215 in particular as “an important tool to prevent the next terrorist attack.” He also said, “Section 215 helps us find a needle in the haystack. But under the USA Freedom Act [which ends bulk metadata collection], there might not be a haystack at all.” He is hoping for a short-term extension that will allow the Senate to negotiate reforms.

Joining McConnell will be several other Republicans, led by the “nobody out-hawks us” John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham is expected to announce his candidacy for president on June 1, and may very well use his support of the Patriot Act as a launch pad for his national-security-based campaign.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), another 2016 presidential candidate, staunchly opposes the NSA surveillance program. In fact, after the Second Circuit’s ruling, he declared, “Congress should immediately repeal the Patriot Act provisions and pass my Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act.” He intends to mount a filibuster against reauthorizing the Patriot Act.

Paul won’t be alone, as other conservatives are likely to join the fight and at least one Democrat, Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon, has voiced opposition to the NSA surveillance program as well.

In 2013, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chief author of the Patriot Act, explained the difference between the law itself and the NSA’s interpretation: “This is the difference between using a rifle shot to get the phone records of somebody that we have great suspicion is involved in terrorist activity [and] using a blunderbuss to grab the whole haystack and to try to find the needle in it.” His metaphor wasn’t the best, but he clearly never intended the NSA’s broad reading of Section 215.

After all, as Reason’s Jacob Sullum notes, “Usually when someone says a proposal is like looking for a needle in a haystack, he is not recommending it; he is suggesting the idea is misguided and bound to fail.”

While we don’t like to see GOP infighting, at least they will be wrestling over an issue that pertains to the Constitution.

With all of the Obama administration’s scandals and abuse of power, why should Congress trust that the NSA surveillance program won’t be abused for political means? There is certainly a place for tough counterterrorism measures, but such sweeping collection of phone records when there is no relevance or reasonable grounds to believe a call is linked to terrorism is unwarranted, unconstitutional and unwanted by those of us who cherish Liberty. The Patriot Act has its place, but the balance between Liberty and security is paramount.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “What can be done to rescue families trapped in an inner-city culture of violence, despair and joblessness? There are no easy answers, but down the road from Baltimore in Washington, D.C., an education program is giving children in poor neighborhoods a big lift up. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2004, has so far funded private school tuition for nearly 5,000 students, 95 percent of whom are African-American. … These families have now pulled together to brace for a David vs. Goliath fight to save the program. For the seventh straight year, President Obama has proposed eliminating this relatively tiny scholarship fund, which at $20 million accounts for a microscopic 0.0005 percent of the $4 trillion federal budget. … [W]hen the Opportunity Scholarship Program was created, the feds gave $20 million for the vouchers and an extra $20 million for the public schools. This meant more money for the public schools — and unionized teachers still opposed the program. … The left’s rote response to rotten schools is to call for more money, but the D.C. scholarship program shows that a quality education can be had for less money. … Democrats say they want to make the 2016 election about income inequality, but they stand united in opposition to one of the most effective ways of reducing the gap between rich and poor: better education.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.” —American writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988)

Upright: “Unfortunately, Eric Holder, the previous attorney general, had a war on police. He spent more time investigating police departments than he did investigating criminals.” —former NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir

Dezinformatsia: “Senator [Cruz], people are really interested in you and your identity. … Do you have a favorite Cuban food? Do you like Cuban music? Do you have a favorite Cuban singer? I wanted to give you the opportunity to welcome your colleague Senator Sanders to the race, and I’d like you to do it, if you would, en Español.” —Bloomberg News’ Mark Halperin race baiting Ted Cruz (Halperin later reneged, claiming, “In no way was I asking Senator Cruz to ‘prove’ he was an ‘authentic’ Latino.”)

Demo-gogues: “We’re going to have to tackle climate change. We’ve got some folks in the center right now who think because we get a snowy day, they bring in snowballs into the chambers and think that’s science. I’m not a scientist, but I know a lot of scientists. I can understand science. And what the science says is that our planet is warming.” —Barack Obama (“After all, you hang out with scientists all day. You know… scientists like Bill Nye and Neil Tyson. Just because one is a washed up host of children’s shows and the other is a cosmologist who seems a bit out of his lane when speaks about climatology, don’t let that bother you.” —Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw)

Race bait: “The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me… We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety. The clerk who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores. The people at formal events who assumed we were help.” —Michelle Obama

And last… “Hillary would be indicted already If the press used the same standard of circumstantial evidence against her it’s using against Tom Brady.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


The Briefing

1) In opposition to abortion restrictions concept of ‘baby’ disappears

Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated, Study Finds, New York Times (Pam Belluck)

State Legislatures Put Up Flurry of Roadblocks to Abortion, New York Times (Frances Robles)

2) Gender neutral title proposed presents impossibility of honorific titles in such a society 

What’s it like to be a Mx?, Telegraph (Olivia Goldhill)

3) Amazon removal of gender specific toy categories will not pass muster with children

Amazon appears to remove its ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toy categories, The Telegraph (Radhika Sanghani)

Amazon drops gendered listings for toys, customers can no longer search for items for ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, The Independent (Andrew Griffin)

4) Reality TV industrial complex creates redefinition of celebrity and reality

Where Would the Kardashians Be Without Kris Jenner?, New York Magazine (Taffy Brodesser-Akner)

5) Sexuality statistics used by media often unreliable due to nature of subject matter

The problem with sexed-up statistics, Financial Times (Tim Harford)
In other news…


 

Expert Warns of “Cycle of Race Riots” Coming to America

Posted: 12 May 2015 06:37 AM PDT

Urban unrest expert Dr. Max Herman says that the United States is on the “cusp” of a wave of domestic disorder and that the country will see more race riots. Herman, Assistant Professor of Sociology at New Jersey City University, told the New Republic’s Joel Gillin that the economic downturn, in addition to incidents of police brutality, have provided fertile conditions for civil unrest. He sees the re-emergence of a 60’s-style “protest ideology” amongst black communities which will lead to more disorder. “It’s very clear from studying history that these things tend to run in cycles,” said Herman, adding, “I think we are at the cusp of another cycle.”

Herman’s verdict correlates with a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month which found that a whopping 96 per cent of Americans said they expected to see more racially-driven unrest this summer. Dan Braha, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, also said that such riots are foreseeable based on social media trends, arguing that a “prediction regarding ‘when’ and ‘where’ becomes more precise on short time scales.”

The article points to numerous different studies which suggest that the numerical size of an area’s black population is a key determining factor as to where riots will take place, taking precedence over other factors such as income differences, the unemployment of blacks compared to whites, and the responsiveness of the political system towards blacks. MORE

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Cashless Denmark: Should total e-commerce be embraced?

Posted: 12 May 2015 06:30 AM PDT

With Denmark moving towards a completely cash-free economy there has been a heated debate between the experts who think it’s a natural thing caused by technological development and those who warn that total traceability has a dark side. The Danish government has proposed that certain businesses such as petrol stations, restaurants and clothes retailers should no longer be legally required to accept cash. Moreover, a third of the Danish population already uses a mobile payment app when making transactions. Is this trend a natural pace of progress or are officials blinded by seemingly posh perspectives?

RT has spoken to George Harrap, CEO of Bitspark, a Bitcoin startup, and Robert David Steele, IT strategic analyst and innovator, whose biography can be found on robertdavidsteele.com. “Most countries these days already have an electronic money supply. Ninety percent of the currencies are actually electronic. I think it’s already there in some respect. However it’s all about user adoption. So it seems like [in] Denmark and Sweden, there is a large percentage of the population using electronic money. So it all comes down to getting users on board, getting people familiar with using that sort of form of currency and also getting businesses on board. FULL REPORT

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Iris Scanners, Widely Used By US Military, Could Be Coming To A Police Department Near You

Posted: 12 May 2015 06:24 AM PDT

Iris scans could become part of a routine traffic stop, thanks to technology being developed by researchers at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University that can grab an image from a distance of 40 feet. The technology would allow police to take an image the second a driver glances into the rear-view mirror. “It’s no different than a camera taking a picture of you,” said Marios Savvides, a research professor at CMU’s computer engineering department and the director of the CyLab Biometrics Center. “You could be anywhere within a 6- to 12-meter radius and it will find you and zoom in and capture your iris.” The technology would be a major development for iris biometric scanners, which have been hampered for years by accuracy at long distances. But adoption also would create legal questions by relying on technology that’s similar to the local license plate databases that have been in use in Virginia, California and other municipalities.

“It could be used surreptitiously,” said Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is monitoring the development of the technology. “That could lead to the ability of law enforcement officers to collect a person’s biometric information without their knowledge.” The U.S. military has been using iris scan technology for more than a decade in the Middle East, in part to help determine who is authorized to enter military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. soldiers in combat zones often take a snapshot of an individual 6 inches from their face, at which point the data is uploaded to a wide-ranging database that includes everything from scar information and mug shot images to height and eye color data. FULL REPORT

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New Report Reveals Chinese ballistic missiles can target nearly the entirety of the US

Posted: 12 May 2015 06:16 AM PDT

China now has dozens of nuclear-capable missiles that could target almost the entirety of the US, according to the Department of Defense’s 2015 report on the Chinese military. The annual report to Congress focuses on China’s military modernization, possible invasion plans for the self-governing and US-allied island of Taiwan, advances in space technology, and Beijing’s rapidly advancing missile capabilities.

China’s conventional capabilities are improving. But Beijing also now has what could be considered the ultimate military asset for a rising superpower: the ability to deliver nuclear warheads nearly anywhere on earth (outside of South America, at least). The following map from the report highlights the maximum missile ranges of China’s medium and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The longest-ranging of the missiles, the CSS-4, can target almost the entirety of the US (except for Florida). FULL REPORT

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2015 El Nino to Produce Deadly and Costly Climate Extremes

Posted: 12 May 2015 06:09 AM PDT

Australian scientists on Tuesday forecast a “substantial” El Nino weather phenomenon for 2015, potentially spelling deadly and costly climate extremes, after officially declaring its onset in the tropical Pacific. El Nino had been expected last year when record-breaking temperatures made 2014 the hottest in more than a century. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said while the thresholds were not met until now it was expected to be a significant event. The Japan Meteorological Agency also confirmed the phenomenon had begun and forecast it would continue into late 2015.

“There’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event,” David Jones, from the bureau’s climate information services branch said. “Certainly the models aren’t predicting a weak event. They are predicting a moderate-to-strong El Nino event. So this is a proper El Nino event, this is not a weak one or a near miss as we saw last year.” The El Nino phenomenon — which is associated with drought conditions in Australia — can cause havoc for farmers and global agricultural markets, hitting economies heavily dependent on the land. FULL REPORT

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Denzel Washington Tells Graduates to Put God First

Posted: 12 May 2015 06:04 AM PDT

With graduation season upon us, commencement speakers are lauding those who have taken the final steps in their education. Speeches are filled with advice and woes, but one speech is particularly stirring: Oscar-winner Denzel Washington giving sound wisdom to the graduates of Dillard College.

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand to indicate that it’s yours already,” Washington says in the speech. “When you get it, reach back [and] pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.” Charisma

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UK’s version of Obamacare nears breaking point, finances ‘cut to the bone’

Posted: 12 May 2015 05:58 AM PDT

It ought to be “Exhibit A” in the case against transforming the American healthcare system into a single-payer version of Obamacare: The collapsing state of Britain’s National Health System. As reported recently by the Daily Mail, the pride of Britain — it’s healthcare system — is close to total disintegration, and officials who run it have had to cut services “to the bone” in order to keep it afloat. That, they say, will only work for so long. The Mail quoted from an open letter published in the country’s most prestigious medical publication, the British Medical Journal, by Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the magazine, and her colleagues.

The NHS is “stretched close to [the] breaking point,” as its finances have been “cut to the bone,” the letter noted. The doctors said that the public’s safety is increasingly at risk and the next five years will prove to be the “most challenging” to NHS that England has ever faced. The blame game begins, but the fact is the system is collapsing The letter came a day after The BMJ published a piece stating that efforts to cut the amount of salt in food have been “derailed” by ministers in a way that may have cost 6,000 lives; the article apparently said nothing about the fact that the government wanted to mandate food content in the first place, and therefore mandate personal behavior (which is what governments do when they are fully in charge of services and have limited resources). FULL REPORT

 

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Rainwater collection being criminalized in U.S. to solidify total government dependence

Posted: 12 May 2015 05:53 AM PDT

You might be aware that it is illegal to collect rainwater on your own property in some states, but did you know that doing so could actually land you in jail? That is exactly what is happening to Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon. He is now facing a 30-day jail sentence and fines of more than $1,500. His crime? Harrington has been collecting rainwater in three reservoirs on his property, and the government doesn’t like it. In Oregon, all water is considered property of the state whether it flows from the tap or falls from the sky.

Collecting, storing and using rainwater is permitted if you obtain a permit from the state, but Harrington’s permits were revoked. The reasons why are not clear. Harrington has been wrangling with Oregon’s Water Resources Department for more than ten years. In 2002, the state informed him that they had received “complaints” regarding three reservoirs located on his property. The reservoirs were used to collect and store rainwater and snow melt. One of the reservoirs has been on the property for nearly four decades.

When Harrington received notice from the Water Resources Department, he applied for the appropriate permits required to house storm and snow water runoff. In 2003, the permits were granted, but the state later reversed the decision. Harrington told CNSNews.com:

They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically. They took them back and said ‘No, you can’t have them,’ so I’ve been fighting it ever since. Harrington is planning to appeal the conviction, which consists of nine misdemeanor charges against him for having “three illegal reservoirs” on his property. He maintains that the charges are based on a 1925 law that says that the city of Medford owns all of the water in the Big Butte Creek watershed and its tributaries. FULL REPORT

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In September, The UN Launches A Major Sustainable Development Agenda For The Entire Planet

Posted: 12 May 2015 05:43 AM PDT

The UN plans to launch a brand new plan for managing the entire globe at the Sustainable Development Summit that it will be hosting from September 25th to September 27th. Some of the biggest names on the planet, including Pope Francis, will be speaking at this summit. This new sustainable agenda focuses on climate change of course, but it also specifically addresses topics such as economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. For those wishing to expand the scope of “global governance”, sustainable development is the perfect umbrella because just about all human activity affects the environment in some way.

The phrase “for the good of the planet” can be used as an excuse to micromanage virtually every aspect of our lives. So for those that are concerned about the growing power of the United Nations, this summit in September is something to keep an eye on. Never before have I seen such an effort to promote a UN summit on the environment, and this new sustainable development agenda is literally a framework for managing the entire globe. If you are not familiar with this new sustainable development agenda, the following is what the official United Nations website says about it…

The United Nations is now in the process of defining Sustainable Development Goals as part a new sustainable development agenda that must finish the job and leave no one behind. This agenda, to be launched at the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, is currently being discussed at the UN General Assembly, where Member States and civil society are making contributions to the agenda.

The process of arriving at the post 2015 development agenda is Member State-led with broad participation from Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders. There have been numerous inputs to the agenda, notably a set of Sustainable Development Goals proposed by an open working group of the General Assembly, the report of an intergovernmental committee of experts on sustainable development financing, General Assembly dialogues on technology facilitation and many others. FULL REPORT

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Nearly 6 million hear warning to Supreme Court

Posted: 12 May 2015 05:37 AM PDT

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s warning to U.S. Supreme Court justices not to judge God has become viral, with nearly 6 million people having watched a video of his remarks. Cahn, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Harbinger” and the inspiration behind the “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” movie, spoke at the recent 2015 “Washington: A Man of Prayer” service at the U.S. Capitol. “If a nation’s high court should pass judgment on the Almighty, should you then be surprised God will pass judgment on the court and that nation?” he asked.

The speech came only hours after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether to mandate same-sex “marriage” nationwide in opposition to voters in dozens of states who affirmed in ballot measures that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. If the court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, it would be, as James Dobson wrote last week, the first time it “elevated to a constitutional right that which Christianity and all major religions consider to be a sin.” Dobson is founder of the the highly influential groups Focus on the Family and Family Research Council and now runs Family Talk. Cahn said: “The justices of the Supreme Court took up their seats [in a hearing] on whether they should strike down the biblical and historic definition of marriage. That the event should even take place is a sign this is America of [George] Washington’s warning … a nation at war against its own foundation.” FULL REPORT

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The Revolution Will Be Digitized

The Washington Post has a story on extreme tracking devices that are coming for “ordinary people to ‘quantify’ themselves using wearable fitness gadgets, medical equipment, headcams, traditional lab tests and homemade contraptions, all with the goal of finding ways to optimize their bodies and minds to live longer, healthier lives — and perhaps to discover some important truth […]


CASTRO: POPE FRANCIS SO IMPRESSIVE I MIGHT RETURN TO CHURCH

Seems the Cuban dictator was all enamored with Pope Francis. Castro told reporters that the pope “is a Jesuit, and I, in some way, am too.


Nero’s Fiddle

I think God has allowed it, because America has already collapsed, we just don’t know it yet. This would be why our world seems is becoming more upside down and lawless. It is why we keep anticipating some calamitous event to transpire, yet, we trudge on mysteriously. As if something, or rather, SOMEONE, is restraining events until the Father deems fit. (2 Thess. 2:7-8) In other words, we are living in borrowed time.

View Article


How Obama’s Made Sure to Leave Every Part of the World More Dangerous than He Found It

The bottom line: The president has never been a comfortable commander-in-chief when placing American lives and military assets in harm’s way; yet, the reflexive peace candidate seems ever-ready, willing, and able to negotiate with the world’s most notorious bad guys — always from a position of weakness, always leaving the world just a bit more insecure than he found it.

View Article


‘Prophetesses’ Who Claim They Can Predict the Future and Heal the Sick Are the Focus of New Lifetime Reality Show Titled ‘Preach’

Apostate Christianity never takes a vacation . . .

Lifetime network has announced the premiere date for a new reality show, or “docuseries” featuring four Christian women who believe God has given them powers “to heal the sick, see the future and rid people of their addictions.”

View Article & Video


Obsession: Today’s Technology

In segment one, Jan Markell and Eric Barger respond to the overwhelming outpouring of condemnation due to the program’s interviews with Michele Bachmann a few weeks ago. Then Jan talks to a young woman who was obsessed with social media. When it was taken away, she threatened to take her life. How can technology that has a bright side turn so evil as it addicts tens of millions? Mariah shares how she was set free. A must-hear for anyone growing too close to today’s electronic world—and too far away from God. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Christians drop, ‘nones’ soar in new religion portrait

The shrinking numbers of Christians and their loss of market share is the most significant change since 2007 (when Pew did its first U.S. Religious Landscape survey) and the new, equally massive survey of 35,000 U.S. adults. (Grossman, Religion News Service/USA Today)

Full Story


The McAvany Intel Memo

In every declining civilization there is a small “Remnant” of people who adhere to the right against the wrong; who recognize the difference between good and evil and who will take an active stand for the former and against the latter; who can still think and discern, and who will courageously take a stand against the political, social, moral, and spiritual rot or decay of their day.

Members of the Remnant in every declining civilization are always a small minority; they are defined by quality, not quantity. They are often unpopular or ridiculed for the stands they take and the principles they adhere to. They often feel alone in the context of where they live, work, go to school, etc., like “a voice crying in the wilderness.” This writer has spoken and written for 40 years on many of the topics that are regularly analyzed in MIA, addressing over 1,500 audiences around the world on the political, financial, and spiritual decline of America.

For a long time it bothered this writer that only a small percentage of the people he addressed understood the message, felt a sense of urgency, and acted upon it. However, as the idea “the majority is always wrong” began to sink in, that there is only a small minority of thinking people who will take a stand for good and against evil (i.e., the Remnant) in any country or civilization, then this writer began to forget the numbers (the masses) and to concentrate on reaching the Remnant. [To be continued next week.]

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, January 2015


FBI Director Says Islamic State Influence Growing In U.S.

In a dramatic assessment of the domestic threat posed by the Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said today there are “hundreds, maybe thousands” of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S. …………. Click here for full story


China Preparing For Drone Warfare

China’s military plans to produce nearly 42,000 land-based and sea-based unmanned weapons and sensor platforms as part of its continuing, large-scale military buildup, the Pentagon’s annual report on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) disclosed Friday …………. Click here for full story


Our Goal Is An EU Army Says Germany’s Defense Chief

An EU army is Germany’s ‘long term goal’ according to one of its ministers. Ursula von der Leyen called for defence cooperation to be strengthened so that the continent can respond quickly to international crises ………… Click here for full story


Concerns Of Muslim Immigration Surge Into Western World Come Into Focus

The Muslim immigration warnings offered by Dutch politician Geert Wilders—who was in the facility in Garland, Texas, that was attacked by terrorists last weekend—seem to be coming true ……….. Click here for full story


Christians Who Have Avoided The Culture Wars May No Longer Have A Choice With Religious Freedom In Jeopardy, Legal Scholar Says

Christians who have so far avoided controversial “culture war” issues will likely be pulled into those battles as their religious freedom becomes threatened due to gay marriage, Dr. John Inazu warned Monday ……….. Click here for full story


Gay-themed traffic lights get Vienna into mood for Eurovision Song Contest

by Marsha West

Reuters reports:

Gay-themed traffic lights are getting Vienna into the mood for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, one of the world’s most popular kitsch cultural events which this year is being hosted by the Austrian capital.

Dozens of traffic lights in central Vienna have been programmed to show male or female gay couples with hearts — in red for stop and green for go — replacing the usual single, gender-neutral figure.

Read more


Founder of Liberation Theology Will Be Welcomed at the Vatican

by Marsha West

Pope Francis is once again up to his eyeballs in controversy. This time for inviting the founder of liberation theology to the Vatican. Evidently he’s warming up to it, even though it’s theology is steeped in Marxism. Those who are unfamiliar with liberation theology can visit Berean Research to find out what the brouhaha is all about.

Read more


Report: Christianity Most Persecuted Faith Worldwide

Christians continue to be the most persecuted faith, though the gap has dropped over time. In 2007 Christians were penalized or harassed in various ways in 107 countries. That peaked at 111 in 2010, dropped and then rose again to 110 in 2012, and dropped to 102 in 2013. Muslims were mistreated in the second most number of countries. They were at 96 in 2007, peaked at 109 in 2012, and dropped to 99 in 2013. Jews suffered in 51 nations in 2007 and have steadily increased, with a large jump from 71 in 2012 to 77 in 2013. Persecution of others stood at 38 in 2013; Buddhists were at 12 and Hindus at 9. The second group facing persecution in more countries in 2013 than 2012 was folk religions, rising from 26 to 34. What makes Jewish persecution numbers so striking and frightening is that Jews make up just .2 percent of the world’s population.

Click here to read this article!


Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, May 12, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Good News in Nigeria, But Not for Chibok Girls, Yet

Meriam Ibrahim Says Unauthorized Book about Her Life is ‘a New Persecution’

Denzel Washington Tells Graduates: ‘Put God First’

In This Modern Family, Exes Battle for Custody of Frozen Embryos

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Kicks Off Presidential Campaign

Ben Carson Proposes Tax Plan Based on Biblical Tithing

Boko Haram Survivors Face Severe Food Shortages

Pro-Life Groups Work to Keep Millennials Involved after College

For-Profit College Collapse Could Create Massive Bill for Taxpayers

Huckabee Opens Campaign with Strong Stances on Marriage, Abortion

Opinion

Washington and Jefferson: America Needs God

Do We Have Freedom of Religion or Freedom of Worship?

A Challenge for Christian Graduates

Celebrate All Women This Mother’s Day

Why Mothers Need Encouragement

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

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?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist). “A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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May 12, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blogroll Collection

It is not the doctrine of justification that does my heart good, it is Christ, the justifier. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 11 Quotes


The Curious Case of Psalm 37:3

“Ordinarily, the context will be sufficient to determine which of the two verbs is intended. But in Psalm 37:3, the context is sufficiently vague that it is not clear at first which verb might be intended.”

Read more


New Life in an Old Prayer?

J. C. Ryle commented: “Thousands who never read Bibles are familiar with it. It is often the first prayer that children learn. Yet it contains the germ of everything which the most advanced saint can desire. Happy would it be for the world if this prayer was as well known in the spirit as it is in the letter.”

Read more


Why Clergy Get Kicked Out

“Southern Baptists, who have been tracking this for over 15 years, show that 4 of the 5 top reasons clergy are let go is related to the leadership style of the pastor. Too strong a style is cited twice as often as too weak a style. But one thing that is consistent no matter the style is poor people skills.”

Read more


Recovering the Family Dinner Table

“In our lives we tend to ignore important things to focus on urgent things. Practice, homework, and squeezing in an extra thirty minutes at work feel urgent. It seems as if these things must be done and they must be done now. Taking the time to share a meal together does not invoke the kind of urgency other tasks do, but its importance cannot be overstated.”

Read more


Atheists Anonymous

“We might like to view ourselves as gods. We might like to reason we have no divine law to keep. It might make us happy to conclude we have no one to whom we must answer for our conduct. However, this is but a mere rebellious, human fantasy. There is one God.”

Read more


“Whoever Would Save His Life Will Lose It” — A Charge for Graduates

“Jesus is not looking for mere believers, though belief is the first command. Christ has called for those who believe in him to serve him and follow him and obey him — even to take up our own cross as his disciples.”

Read more


Where Sometimes Is Heard a Realistic Word

“I tend not to find Catholic political thinking especially helpful for guiding us through the most fundamental problems of our time. One of those problems is how to conceive of a society that no longer shares a common culture — that’s “centerless,” as I’ve sometimes put it in my writing. Catholic thought always seems to presume that political communities are unified moral wholes.”

Read more


The “Nones” and the “Buts”

“The use of the category of “Nones” in surveys pertaining to religion should be replaced with “Buts”—that is a category for those who will say something like “I am Catholic, but…” The results of such surveys would be much more enlightening.”

Read more


Upholding Polity out of Christian Love

On the Lord’s Day when our congregation celebrates the Lord’s Supper, we read the following statement:

The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or “communion” is a blessed privilege given by Christ to the people of His Church, for those who have a saving interest in His body and blood. It is not intended for those outside the faith. We believe the sharing of the bread and cup is intended for believers who are walking in obedience to Christ. That is, those who have testified of their faith, been baptized and joined themselves to and are in good standing in a Bible-believing church. To eat of the bread and drink the cup inappropriately incurs God’s judgment (1Cor. 11:29.) If you are unsure as to whether you should partake it would be best to abstain.

In past eras of church history, Christians understood this to be a wise and necessary practice. It was called “fencing the table,” purposefully excluding from the Lord’s Supper those who made a profession of Christian faith that lacked credibility. In other words, people who professed faith in Christ but who’d not yet followed the authoritative pattern of repentance and faith that Christ Himself has given His disciples in the New Testament.

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Just Ask Cain and Abel.

by Christopher Ames

Then ask Aaron and the members of the congregation who were on hand for the Golden Calf episode. Ask Nadab and Abihu. Ask Hophni and Phineas. Consult the whole litany of kings of Israel and Judah whose faithfulness was judged in part on how they handled the idol groves and high places. Ask Isaiah whether it was an arbitrary decision to fall on his face in the presence of the Enthroned One rather than jump up and down like an idiot. Then ask Jesus why He cleansed the Temple twice. Ask Paul what the big deal was about “will-worship” in the church of Colossae. Finally, ask John the Beloved whether, in the age of grace, it ought to be at all instructive to the reader that he fell on his face in the presence of the risen Christ rather than jump up and down like an idiot.

Then read this article and ask yourself: are we talking about the same religion?

Relevant Magazine | The Worship Wars Are Hurting the Church

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Christian Pastors and Leaders – Exchanging the Word of God for a “New” Way of Doing Things

by David Dombrowski, 4/13/15 LT Publishing

The church of today is very much astir. Everywhere we turn, embellishments are being added to Christianity as if to improve it. The old ways do not seem to satisfy anymore. A great influx of new teachings and practices have exchanged the God of old as depicted in the pages of the Bible with a deity much more palatable to the post-modern mind. Brennan Manning illustrates this when he stated in one of his books, ” . . . the god who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ. And if he is not the God of Jesus, he does not exist.” This “progressive” contemplative/emerging church has gone so far as to place in pulpits men who blaspheme God and who deny the atonement. But let us step back for a moment to see how emerging thought has developed. Such a statement did not come out of the blue, but as Ray Yungen suggests, a “creeping” effect made it all possible.

Click here to read this article!


Mennonites Walk Ruth Haley Barton’s Mystical Bridge

by Lighthouse Trails, 4/15/15 LT Publishing

Ruth Haley Barton, founder of The Transforming Centre[1], was trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation which teaches: “This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality … It is no accident that the most active frontier between Christian and Eastern religions today is between contemplative Christian monks and their Eastern equivalents.” -Tilden Edwards, Shalem Founder[2] Barton, who could not find peace or direction in her Baptist roots or through reading the Bible and praying, found fulfillment through spiritual direction. Now she incorporates a blend of Eastern and Roman Catholic contemplative spirituality and monastic practices in her retreats and books on practicing the presence of God in the silence and sacred rhythms of prayer. Lately she has been very instrumental in leading entire Protestant and Anabaptist church congregations and their leaders into these same practices through spiritual direction and discernment seminars.This year, the Mennonites have once again[3] brought in Ruth Haley Barton to help them make decisions in the silence regarding some very important upcoming issues that include LGBTQ and anti-Israel BDS resolutions. How tragic to see an entire church delegation over looking all that is necessary in their discernment process (the Bible), thereby shunning to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) in seeking guidance from an apprentice of Thomas Merton and Tilden Edwards.

Click here to read this article!


God’s Not Done With the Jewish People

Originally published by Gary H. Kah and shared with permission: It’s no secret. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, despises Israel. But what is even more apparent is his hatred for Israel’s leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We now know that Obama did everything possible behind the scenes to sabotage Netanyahu’s recent re-election. […]

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Gary Kah one world religion

The Bible tells us that there will come a day when we will have just one religion, united together in common ground. But it also tells us that this will be a false religion, and that many Christians will be deceived into following its leaders and its doctrines. Along with this great deception will be […]

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Clueless Christians and Abortion

by Bill Muehlenberg

Whether clueless, wilfully ignorant or deceived, or simply wolves in sheep’s clothing, I continue to be amazed by the number of people who claim to be Christians yet simply parrot all the usual discredited arguments for abortion. It bothers me greatly that those claiming to be followers of Jesus can get it so very wrong on something so important as the sanctity of human life.

I am constantly debating these folks, and find their ignorance or inability to think morally and logically to be quite shocking. All they have done is picked up what the world has to say about abortion, and think they are somehow being good Christians.

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The New Totalitarians

If you think the era of totalitarianism is over, you haven’t been paying attention to the headlines.
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Feel the Love Tonight? Rick Warren, Elton John Hold Hands, Joke About Kissing Before AIDS Panel

By Heather Clark Christian News Network WASHINGTON — Controversial megachurch leader and author Rick Warren raised concerns Wednesday after joining hands with homosexual singer Elton John during a speech before a congressional hearing on AIDS funding, and joked what would happen if the two kissed.


Why Christianity rather than Judaism or Islam?

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/why-christianity-rather-than-judaism-or-islam


Lutheran pastor on Beth Moore: “She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to destroy my flock”

In 2012, thanks to Sola Sisters, some of us became aware that a pastor named Jim Murphy of First Baptist Church in Johnson City NY spoke to his congregation sternly about their lack of effort in applying biblical discernment. He said this after he repented in front of them himself, for not guarding them from false doctrines as he should. He led the people through a history of post-modernism and biblically showed how and why false teachers from ‘out there’ can and do get ‘in here’ to their church. If not through the pulpit, false doctrines can come in through Ladies Ministry studies, Sunday School Curricula, and/or the church library.

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Even if the pastor himself is solid and would never think to quote a Beth Moore or a Sarah Young, these false teachers enter the church by other means. Pastor Murphy said he was sorry for not having provided enough oversight in the aforementioned areas, and said the tentacles of satan had so far reached far and deep. He went on a mission to overhaul all the aforementioned areas. In addition, he promised to name names in warning his flock away from certain teachers who have shown by their fruit they are dangerous.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16a)

Many of us who listened to Pastor Murphy’s online sermon applauded it and were thrilled to see one faithful shepherd executing the biblical command to guard the sheep. (Acts 20:28-31)

Additionally, we know that there are other pastors out there doing the same, even when we can’t see or hear them. We trust the Lord who has raised up faithful shepherds to empower them with discernment, courage, and fortitude to withstand the tsunami of falsity attempting to sweep into the church and to speak against it. We can’t see them, but we know they’re there and doing it. We live by faith, not by sight, knowing that doctrinal protection by good under-shepherds is occurring. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

But it is still thrilling to see when it happens, it’s a visible demonstration of the Goodness of the Holy Spirit.

Well, here is another example. Also in 2012, a Lutheran named Chris Hull, who is Senior Pastor of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Normal, Illinois, was interviewed on a Lutheran radio show called Issues Etc. He noticed several of the ladies of his flock were doing Beth Moore studies, so he set about researching what they were consuming. He was aghast at his findings.

To Beth Moore, Jesus is more sympathizer than Savior. ~Pastor Chris HullHis talk is linked here, and below is posted a lengthy excerpted transcript of his interview. There are a few things he speaks of through the lens of being Lutheran that I do not agree with, for example, the sacraments being more than representational, and of being their ‘father’, but despite these few things, his opposition to Moore is worth a read. He takes it from a theological point of view, speaking of the false things Moore teaches that I haven’t heard before, or at least, in my opinion speaks of them in such a way as to bring new light on why Moore is false. It’s a new perspective, even though this interview is surfacing now (thanks to an eagle eyed and thoughtful reader who sent it to me).

In this essay, I’m showing you three things. First, the different perspective that the pastor brings to the table regarding Moore’s theology. Second, if you read the excerpts below or better yet, listen to the half-hour interview linked above, you will see HOW the pastor went about assessing Moore’s theology and how he considered whether she was good for his flock. Third, once he came to his conclusions, note the kind of language he uses to definitively state them. He didn’t apologize, back-pedal, or waver when explaining exactly what the problem was. Too many teachers, pastors etc seem almost apologetic when saying that so-and-so is a false teacher. Many hesitate to say even that, claiming that gentleness, caution, and tolerance are called for.

I say no.

“Guilty Spirit” EPrata collage
w/digital overlay

If a person, by their fruit and/or lifestyle has demonstrated that they are false, we are beyond caution and tolerance. We are at war with the false teaching they bring! If they have proven themselves false (and Moore certainly has) it means they are against Jesus and operating for satan. It means they are out for your destruction. It means they are a liar, seeking filthy lucre. We don’t have to be mean, but we need to be clear! We do NOT need to say, “Well, gee, in some ways this teacher has helped me, and I don’t agree with everything they say, but…” No, sir. Paul was clear:

So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor 11:15)

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.  (2 John 1:11)

See the Apostle of Love calling false teachers wicked, as not having God in them, and for believers to refuse them hospitality! Therefore note the clarity and conciseness with which Pastor Hull expresses his findings. You definitely know where he stands. He stands with Jesus. He guards His flock.

Here are excerpts from Pastor Chris Hull’s interview on Issues, Etc. regarding Beth Moore.

Q. What role does Jesus play in Beth Moore’s Theology?

Pastor Hull

Pr. Hull: I’d say it’s mainly example. Christ is our example. Lutherans have fought that mindset for many years, this ‘what would Jesus DO mentality.’ Worse, and I hate to say this because it sounds silly, but to her, Jesus is more of a lover, even. He’s the man who understands me. He’s the man who gets me. No other man in my life gets me, but Jesus does. That’s a big problem. Yes, He does get us all, because He died for us. So I would agree with her there, yes He gets you. But He gets you because He takes your sin upon Himself and dies your death. But she never gets to that point. It’s more of a ‘He’s there for me in my need.’ It’s a very abstract ‘there’. He’s never there in concreteness in the means of grace, but rather, just there. Like a spiritual life coach giving me a pat on the back when I need it. And that’s Jesus in her book. Jesus is more sympathizer than savior. … It’s very, very shallow spirituality.

What you get with Beth Moore’s bible studies is emotionalism. You know, getting into how I feel and things of that nature. Her main appeal to women in her studies is getting into the mind-set of people in the bible. For example, in her study, “Jesus the one and only”, she gets into: How did Mary feel? or what was Joseph thinking? There is no actual theology here, it is all, what do I think they were feeling and does that relate to my feelings today. The best part is, she will quote like 20 bible verses, that have nothing to do with that actual passage in scripture in order to support your emotion, she is using the bible to tell you the feelings you have are natural and good and you should feel comforted in that, and therefore powerful. It’s all about God respects you, that is one of the main appeals to women is that God respects them in their feelings, in their stage in life.

Q. How would you summarize her message?

Beth Moore

Pr. Hull: A typical evangelical one of free will. She is a lazy Arminian, who says that our greatest gift God gives us is our free will to choose Him. How can that comfort people? If that’s the gift God gives us is free will, saying and you have to get into the bible to read more of the bible, and the more you read the bible the more you will know about God and the more you know about God, the more God will love you. And then, once God loves you He will respect you as a human being.

Her bible studies are mostly prose, not much doctrine, a lot of fill-in-the blanks type of questions. Here’s a question, read this one bible verse, and fill in the blank. It’s like reading a Dan Brown novel the Da Vinci Code, you feel smart after because it’s short chapters.

Q. What view of man in his fallen state does Beth Moore promote in her popular books and bible studies?

Pr. Hull: Her view of man is that man has problems, man is sinful but only because of what he does. You’re born in a state of neutrality, like Adam (she doesn’t knock Eve as much) and will I take the forbidden fruit or will I do good? This is the Christian life a neutral state and which one will I choose. It’s Arminian theology. If I choose good, God will be pleased. You see this especially in her books. There is this one book about getting out of the ditches, how do I get out of despair, and you don’t see things like “From depths of woe I cried to Thee“, you see ‘What can I do to get out of this problem in life.’

Expulsion of Adam and Eve
from the Garden, Masaccio,
1426-7

My wife went to one of the bible studies and she walked out saying ‘I had no comfort in the Gospel. It was all about what I need to do.’ She made the comment that if someone with clinical depression came in they’d probably want to go home and do something to themselves. Because it is just depressing to read, it gives no hope in Christ Jesus. Whatsoever.

[A clip is played with Moore emphasizing self-improvement, using the phrase “we are God’s masterpiece” and emphasizing change in terms of self-improvement].

Pr. Hull: Self-improvement is contrary to scripture. Romans 6 talks about that. We died with Christ so we shall also rise with Christ. You must die in this world. How can you progress in self-improvement if the point of the faith is to actually die to self? Beth Moore takes scripture out of the equation and replaces it with emotion and human reason.

Q.: Beth Moore had a little foothold on the congregation you currently serve when you arrived as its new pastor, how deep did it drive you into researching what Beth Moore believes and teaches?

Don’t believe the propaganda!

Pr. Hull: They did 2 Beth Moore studies the first year I was here, so I read both of those. I read 4 of her books, I watched a bunch of her Youtube videos…I spent way too much time with Beth Moore. But the problem is, and I guess I can say this on the radio: she is a wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to destroy my flock. The only way I could get her out was knowing her. Knowing her abilities, knowing how she gets in and twists. And I learned it.

But getting rid of it was the problem. Because Beth Moore becomes a friend with the church, she becomes good friends with people. How do you get rid of a friend? You have to say this ‘friend’ is no good for you. This friend wants to hurt you. This friend desires your death. She wants to give you this poisonous loaf of bread covered in sugar and tell you it’s good for you. And all it’s going to do is kill you over time and you won’t even recognize it…the problem is to compassionately say to your blessed flock that not only will this harm you, but it will be your end if you continue to place trust in this propaganda.

All Beth Moore Critiques Here in One Place

Beth Moore Confronts Young Pastor’s Wife for Criticizing Her Direct, Divine Revelation

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Letter to the Editor: Devastated in the Bible Belt Over Churches and Pastors Lack of Discernment—And Charisma Magazine’s Blatant Promotion of Emergent/Contemplative

Dear Lighthouse Trails: I wanted to thank you for your tremendously exhaustive efforts to uncover the dangerous deception happening in and to the Church. I was all too aware of the New Age movement, having been seduced into it through massage school, persuaded by my very New Age instructors that it was completely cohesive with […]


Letter to the Editor: Oprah Winfrey Becomes Stanford University’s “Office of Religious Life’s 2015 Rathburn Visiting Fellow”

To Lighthouse Trails: I’m writing this because of Oprah Winfrey’s influence in areas most Christians would never suspect: in the top universities in the U.S. Oprah agreed to be Stanford University’s Office of Religious Life’s “2015 Rathburn Visiting Fellow.” See link: …


What Does God Say About Pride?

Pride is a heart-attitude sin that overflows into a person’s motivation, decision-making, and activities. Pride is at the root of nearly every problem we struggle with in counseling!


Expository Preaching: Cheating & Easy?

At least that is what Andy Stanley said in a recent interview

when asked what he thought about preaching verse by verse through books of the Bible.


When Trials Steal Your Joy

The date was June 20, 2013. My doctor gave me a diagnosis I did not want to hear. I thought autoimmune diseases only affected obscure, sickly people. Suddenly, I was that person. I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it. My doctor said I could go into remission, stay the same, or, worst case scenario, die. But no one could predict the outcome.

Christians will experience trials, yes, but this is not the end of the story.

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From Serving Others to Serving Self

Like the earth itself, we can identify tectonic shifts in cultures too. And when they shift, they can leave quite a trail of destruction.
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5 Things We Believe about Hell That are Not in the Bible


What The Avengers Gets Wrong about God


8 Little Ways to Remind Yourself to Love with Integrity


Blogs

Nancy Leigh DeMoss announces her engagement to Robert Wolgemuth

This is really great news.

Why the missional movement will die in the next five years

Matt Adair:

Several years ago, Mike Breen predicted that the missional movement would fail because it is a mission devoid of discipleship. I wholeheartedly agree. We have disconnected our life for God from our life with God.

But there’s another reason why the missional movement will fail. The people in your church do not care about the missional movement. Look, I know you’ve preached on missional living and wired your small groups to reach your city. And my guess is that you have some pretty cool stories about ways your church has served the city. You very well might have seen a person here or there come to faith in Christ.

9 Stupid Things I Did as a Pastor

Thom Rainer:

I served as pastor of four churches. It was only by the grace of God and the graciousness of the congregations that I was called and allowed to stay at those churches. I absolutely love the members of those four congregations, and I will forever be grateful to them and for them.

Frankly, I’m not sure I would give myself a passing grade as a pastor. I messed up quite a bit. I would do several things differently today. And as a point of full disclosure, my list of nine is not close to being exhaustive.

7 Truths About Hell

JD Greear:

Concerning hell, C. S. Lewis once wrote, “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power.” In many ways, I agree with him. No one, Christians included, should like the idea of hell. Those of us who believe in hell aren’t sadists who enjoy the idea of eternal suffering. In fact, the thought of people I know who are outside of Christ spending eternity in hell is heartbreaking. As a young Christian, when I began to learn about hell and its implications, I almost lost my faith. It was that disturbing.

Hell is a difficult reality, but it is something that the Bible teaches, and we can’t fully understand God and his world unless we grapple with it. These seven truths should frame our discussion of hell.

New research on the landscape of Christianity in America

The short version: mainline denominations and Roman Catholics are in substantial decline. Unaffiliateds are rising sharply. Evangelicals are holding more-or-less stable.

There Is No Pointless Suffering

Randy Alcorn:

As a child, before my mom baked a cake, she’d lay the ingredients on the kitchen counter. One day I tasted each ingredient. Flour. Baking soda. Raw eggs. Vanilla extract. I discovered almost everything that goes into a cake tastes terrible. But a delicious metamorphosis took place when my mother skillfully mixed the ingredients in just the right amounts and baked them at the perfect temperature. The final product was great!

Similarly, the individual ingredients of trials and apparent tragedies taste bitter to us. No translation of Romans 8:28 says “each thing by itself is good,” but “all things work togetherfor good,” and not on their own, but under God’s sovereign hand. I needn’t say, “It’s good,” if my house burns down, I’m robbed and beaten, or my child dies. But God, in His wisdom, measures and mixes our circumstances, then regulates the heat in order to produce something wonderful—Christlikeness—for his glory and our ultimate joy.

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Did Jesus become a Sinner on the Cross? (Reprise)

Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary? I was asked a variation of that question some time ago, which prompted the response in today’s post.

crown_of_thorns

The heart of the question centers on Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

In what sense did Jesus become “sin on our behalf”? Does that phrase mean that Jesus literally became a sinner on the cross?

There are some today who teach that Jesus became a sinner (or took on a sin nature) at the cross. Benny Hinn is one such advocate. In a TBN broadcast, Hinn exclaimed:

“He [Jesus] who is righteous by choice said, ‘The only way I can stop sin is by me becoming it. I can’t just stop it by letting it touch me; I and it must become one.’ Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan when he became sin!” (Benny Hinn, Trinity Broadcasting Network, December 1, 1990)

Prosperity-preacher Kenneth Copeland echoes those same teachings. In Copeland’s words:

“The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, ‘Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there; the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on that pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’ He said, ‘I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.’” (Kenneth Copeland, “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne,” 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 2)

On another occasion, Copeland reiterates that same teaching:

“How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God’? Because God was not His Father any more. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory,” Trinity Broadcasting Network, April 21, 1991)

But do assertions like these accurately reflect Paul’s teaching that “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf”?

To come back to the original question: “Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary?” My answer to that question is a resounding no.

Here are five reasons why:

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God loves you? No … God LIKES You

Recently I wrote a post on the All About Eve blog that the theological invitation “Believe in Jesus for eternal life” is more concretely summed up with the statement “God loves you.”

I wrote that many people have trouble understanding what it means to believe in Jesus for eternal life. And while this invitation is referred to over and over in the Gospel of John (e.g., John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47), this offer of eternal life is often equated with the fact and foundation of God’s love for humanity.

So I believe that if we really understand God’s love for us, we will have also understood that He gives us eternal life freely through Jesus Christ.

Therefore, when someone says, “I don’t know if I have believed enough, or believed the right thing,” one way to help people sort through this is to ask if they know that God loves them.

God loves youAnd I mean REALLY loves them. No conditions. No limits. No ifs, ands, or buts.

This sort of understanding of God’s love is so radical, it revolutionizes everything we think about God, Scripture, ourselves, and the church.

Understanding that God loves you infinitely and completely no matter what you have done in the past or what you do in the future, whether you change or not, this is equivalent to understanding that God gives you eternal life freely by His grace.

This sort of teaching about love is what grants people freedom from sin, freedom from religion, and freedom from fear.

I have previously written about this on numerous posts in numerous ways.

But here’s the thing that I have come to realize in the last couple of days:

The church has bastardized the biblical concept of love. ⇦ Tweet that!

I doubt you could find a church in the world which does not preach the message that “God loves you.” But so few churches and Christians actually understand it or believe it.

Yet rather than try to fight this misunderstanding about love, I think might be best to start saying something else instead.

Rather than saying “God loves you” to people, maybe we should start saying “God likes you.” ⇦ Tweet that!

Yes, yes, I know. “Like” is a much weaker word than “love.” But there are countless millions of people who would agree in a second that God loves them, but who do not for a second believe that God likes them.

God likes you

To understand what I’m talking about, let’s back up a bit. In Christian circles, it is not uncommon to hear someone say this: “I love my neighbor … but I don’t like them.” Or maybe instead of your neighbor, you have said this about an in-law, the church gossip, or a rude deacon.

When we say we love someone but don’t like them, we mean this: “I love them (because I know I am supposed to), but I don’t want to hang out with them or be their friend.”

This sort of idea is often preached in our pulpits as well. Again, you will sometimes hear pastors say this: “As Christians, we are supposed to love everybody, just as God loves us. But even though you love them, you don’t have to like everything about them. Remember, we love the sinner and hate the sin!”

Do you see? We have this attitude toward others because we think this is God’s attitude toward us. We think God loves us, but doesn’t really like us. At least, He doesn’t like us the way we are now. He likes some future version of us where we have cleaned up our lives, gotten rid of sin, read our Bibles and pray more faithfully, and witnesses regularly to our friends and neighbors. That future “fixed” person is the one God wants to be friends with and hang out with; not the “broken” and sinful person we are now.

So you see? Though we believe God loves us, we don’t really think He likes us.

But here is the Gospel truth as revealed in Jesus Christ: GOD LIKES YOU! ⇦ Tweet that!

Let me bring this down to earth a little bit more.

Think of a famous author, actor, or musician you would love to be friends with.

For me, I think of people like N. T. Wright, Brad Paisley, and Keanu Reeves. I think it would be awesome to be best friends with these guys. You know … to have such a good friendship that it became informal … that they just drop by my house to see what’s going on, and I could do the same for them. It would be assumed that we watch football together on Monday nights. That when we went camping, we would invite the other along. That if we just wanted to chat about life and theology, we would call up the other person first.

Do you have someone in mind who is like that? Someone you would love to get to know, hang out with, and have “inside jokes” with?

God likes youUsually, when we think about God, we tend to put God in the place of these famous people we want to know. We think, “It would be so cool if God and I were on a first-name basis. If I could call God any time I wanted. If we could hang out like best friends.”

But here is the actual truth: When God thinks about you, He thinks about you the way you think about the famous people you want to know. The way I think about being friends with N. T. Wright, Brad Paisley, and Keanu Reeves, that is how God thinks about me.

God likes me so much, He dreams about being on a first-name basis with me! He dreams about hanging out with me to watch a football game. He dreams about just showing up at my house with no other purpose than to say, “What’s happening?”

And this is the same way God feels about you.

More than anything else, He wants to hang out with you. He wants to be your friend. You are the famous person He would “name drop” to all the angels when He talks about what He did over the weekend. More than anything, God wants to be on a first-name basis with you. He wants to be the one you think of calling when things are going great, and the one you call when things are going bad.

God likes you so much, He wants to even hang out with you when you are weeding your garden, filling your car with gas, and running errands to Sears.

And best of all, God likes you just as you are. He doesn’t want to be friends with some “better and improved” version of you. He wants to be friends with you … as you are right now.

God likes YOU.

This is the truth about God that many people do not believe and cannot accept. They cannot believe that the God of the universe is so madly in love with them, so infatuated with them, so in awe of who they are and what they like and the sorts of things they do, that He would “like” every single one of your Facebook posts, would “Favorite” every single Tweet, and would “Repin” every single picture on Pinterest.

God is your biggest fan, and He dreams of just being in your presence. ⇦ Tweet that!

God likes you.

This is the Gospel message. This is what Jesus came to reveal.

Do you believe this?

The post God loves you? No … God LIKES You appeared first on Redeeming God.

 


Blogs

What’s the Point of a Professor? – NYTimes.com

Reflections on 40 years in theological education « School of Christian Thought

The One Sure Mark of Christian Maturity | Challies Dot Com

The mother of an aborted child speaks-out | Denny Burk

The death of prayer meetings – Reformation21 Blog

If You See Something, Say Something | Christianity Today

Ministerial Friendships and Longevity | The Christward Collective

Will the American Church Be a New Smyrna? – Reformation21 Blog

How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Christian Schools | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

Christian schools to lose tax-exempt status over gay marriage | Denny Burk


The Daily Discovery (May 12, 2015)

Good News for Your Kids – “There’s only one remedy for a child’s inborn depravity: The new birth. Regeneration. As Jesus said to Nicodemus, ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. . . . [Therefore,] you must be born again’ (John 3:6–7).”

Six Lies Grads Will Be Told – “It’s graduation season. And as such, scores of graduating students and their doting family and friends will be exposed to the senseless drivel known as a graduation speech. This speech is supposed to prepare the students to face the real world—or perhaps the “real world” of going to college. One last shot at making something out of these thugs.”

Don’t believe gay-friendly version of Georgia pastor Andy Stanley – “Andy Stanley’s ability to saran wrap the old Baptist doctrines is magical. To say that his sermons ignore the elephant in the room would not give Andy Stanley enough credit. He ice-skates around them. The heavier the question, the more balloons need only be attached for it to float away.  To say that the apex of your faith condemns someone to eternal damnation is not something to be taken lightly, for some, such a God would be a monster unworthy of worship. Members of Stanley’s church troubled by this must leave the rock on that ant-mound undisturbed, or become pariahs for asking.”

4 More Ways to Raise Egalitarian Children – “Some may define egalitarianism as ‘belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, social, or economic life,’ but a more precise definition for the contemporary parlance would be ‘belief that every person should have equal access to every opportunity in every circumstance imaginable.’ To provide such a society for our children, to build them a shining egalitarian city on a level playing field, one major progress-impeding super villain needs defeating.”

Joni Hannigan and the Bullying of Baptist Pastors – “Joni Hannigan has repeatedly been used by certain individuals in the Jerry Vines/Connect 316 wing (for lack of a better term) of the SBC to post propaganda at the Christian Examiner in the name of ‘journalism.’ Repeatedly, Hannigan does not do her research. We pointed this out in the first post last week, in response to her online article lamenting bloggers “bullying” the SBC Pastor’s Conference into uninviting Seventh Day Adventist and anhilationist, Ben Carson, from speaking. This isn’t the first time Hannigan has resorted to the “bullying” charge, saying essentially the same of Pulpit & Pen contributor (prior to him being a contributor), Seth Dunn, last Fall. To defend Hannigan, Caner’s former spokesman, Peter Lumpkins, put up a post on his blog, Synergism Tomorrow, accusing P&P of ‘character assassination’ for pointing out that Hannigan repeatedly doesn’t check her facts and does so for the political advantage of a certain wing of the SBC.”


SERMON:

Mike Abendroth – How Sovereign is the LORD? (Jonah 1:4-16)


VIDEOS:

The Myth of Freewill

I was not led!


“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


Don’t Believers Have a New Heart now?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  After reading your response to the question “Do We Have Our New Heart Yet?”, you stated that we will not get a new heart until after the rapture when we are changed. What about 2 Corinthians 5:17? It states that we are made new creatures the moment we believe and are saved. Doesn’t that include a new heart?

continue reading


Is Remembering The Day Important?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Many people I have come in contact with over the years in the church I go to say ” I  can remember the exact date I was saved”.  I personally remember walking the aisle as a young boy of about eight are nine then getting baptized when I was around thirteen years old when I became aware of right and wrong but I can not remember the exact dates. My question is how does knowing the exact date and time matter?

continue reading


Why Do We Still Sin?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. If we are to walk in the spirit so as not to sin, why do we still fall prey to sin? I try hard not to sin but I find that I keep slipping up, letting temptation get the better of me. I’m afraid God will just give up on me. What can I do?

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

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?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist). “A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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May 12, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Standing as One

I’m often asked why I prioritize the global persecuted church when there’s so much suffering in our own backyard. I understand the question. I serve a local community with pressing needs and issues. How should we regard the global persecution of Christians alongside our local pressing social, cultural, doctrinal, and personal matters?

Let’s crunch some numbers.

The story of global Christian suffering is often reported numerically. In just the last few weeks, grisly statistics have filtered into our homes and social media feeds:

30 — the number of Ethiopian Christians in Libya publicly executed on video by ISIS.

371 — the number of days (as of this writing) since more than 250 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, were kidnapped by the insurgent group Boko Haram from their mostly Christian families.

148 — the number massacred by Al Shabaab in a 15-hour siege on Garissa University, a predominately Christian college in Kenya; an additional 104 were injured.

21 — the number of Copts publicly beheaded by ISIS earlier this year, many of whom cried out to Jesus with their final breath.

Numbers tend to draw media attention. Mainstream media, however, rarely discuss the numerous Christian populations who suffer systemic discrimination, economic pressure, cultural oppression, forced exile, reputational ruin, international human rights violations, and the like due to their Christian faith. We have seen rampant church bombings. By some estimates, the number of Christian refugees forcibly removed from their homes in Southeast Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries is now inching toward seven digits.

Each number we hear about represents a life with a story. Each number also represents rising degrees in the thermometer of global hostility toward people of the Christian faith.

Read more


In Ethiopia, Mothers are Victims of ISIS Too

By Troy Augustine

5/10/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Our mothers are truly gifts from God. Today, on Mother’s Day, we pause to honor their selfless sacrifice in dedicating their lives to raise us.


‘They Turned Me Into a Sex Machine;’ 214 Women and Children Rescued From Boko Haram Are Pregnant

ICC Note: The testimonies coming from the hundreds of women rescued from Boko Haram captivity in the Sambisa Forest are horrific. More than 200 of the almost 700 women and children rescued in the past weeks are pregnant.


Government of Pakistan To Take Measures to Protect Religious Minorities

ICC Note:

Minister of the State for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan has said that the government is to undertake new measures to protect the country’s religious minorities.


Hindu Radical Claims Reports on Church Attacks in India Are Sensationalized

ICC Note:

A leader of the Hindu nationalist organization RSS claimed that reports on attacks on churches in India have been sensationalized and have affected India’s image abroad.


Government Crackdown on Religious Freedom in Cuba

ICC Note: According to reports, the government in Cuba has increased pressure on Protestant Christian groups in the eastern region, including both registered and unregistered denominations.


Egypt Arrests Five Christian Children For Blasphemy

ICC Note: Five Egyptian Christians are on trial for alleged blasphemy after a video made mocking the jihadist group ISIS was found by some local Muslims.


Nigeria: Military Recovers Boko Haram Video of ‘Heinous Crimes’

By Adulkareem Haruma

ICC Note: As the Nigerian military continues to pursue Boko Haram militants and defeat the militant Islamist group’s strongholds, Nigeria has discovered videos Boko Haram recorded showing stonings, floggings, and other disturbing cries committed against captives.


The Lives Of Assyrian Christians-Can We Imagine?

ICC Note: What is it like to be a Christian from the Middle East today? To be an Assyrian, Syriac, or Chaldean? Can you imagine the realities that they are facing on a daily basis?


Church Attacks Continue as India’s BJP-Led Government Attempts Cover Up

By ICC’s India Correspondent

5/11/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – As the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) slammed India for its record of growing religious intolerance, Christian communities in India have been disturbed by the BJP-led government’s deliberate attempts to cover up the truth about the religious and communal nature of the attacks on Christians and their places of worship.


Kenyan Clergy Call for Religious Tolerance Despite Garissa Attack

ICC Note: Religious leaders from different denominations in Kenya urge citizens to respect religious differences in commemorating the victims of the April 2 al-Shabaab attack in Garissa, Kenya that killed 148 people, mostly Christians.


YES, WE ARE CHRISTIANS

A member of ICC’s staff stands with an Egyptian brother who narrowly escaped death in Libya. He was working in Libya when Islamic militants came to the door asking whether he and his family were Christians.


Daily Prayer – Tuesday 12 May 2015

Around 300 Muslim students, armed with iron bars and sticks, ransacked Panel High School in Bannu, north-west Pakistan, on 23 January, having jumped over the perimeter walls and forced open the gates.


Pakistani Christian Refugees Continue to Suffer Abuse in Thailand

ICC Note:

Many Pakistani Christians are fleeing intense persecution from Pakistan to Thailand. Unfortunately, these asylum seekers are finding more hostility upon arrival in Thailand. Thai authorities has arrested many Pakistani Christian refugees and held them in terrible prison conditions.


Nepali Christians Being Overlooked in Distribution of Aid Following Earthquake

ICC Note:

Christians in Nepal have claimed they are being overlooked in the distribution of aid following an earthquake that has devastated the entire country. Nepali Christians have long been discriminated against due to their religious identity.


Zhejiang: Hangzhou Church Forcibly Demolished

ICC Note: The campaign against the Christian church in Zhejiang continues unabated. Please pray for the strength and resolve of the Christians there, that they may be able to persevere, and even prosper, in the face of this blatant persecution.


Religious Freedom in China: ‘alarming increase in systematic, ongoing abuses’

ICC Note: Several credible sources have documented the recent increase in the persecution of Christians in China. We find encouragement, however, from the news of continued church growth there.


Muslim Members of Kenyan Parliament Join Kenyans in Churches to Remember Garissa

ICC Note: Kenyans are trying to move forward more than a month after the deadly Garissa attack April 2, united along religious and ethnic lines. Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho joined Muslim members of the Kenyan Parliament with Christians to remember the victims and multiple churches.


Christian leaders in India protest recent spate of attacks after yet another incident

Over 400 Christian leaders and social activists gathered together in Hyderabad, in India’s Telangana state, on 2 May, to hold a peaceful protest against a recent spate of attacks against Christians.


Christians and other religious minorities mentioned in Pakistan school textbooks for first time

In a landmark triumph for the country’s religious minorities, Pakistan’s history school textbooks will include the role of Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in the formation of the country in the years following independence.


Boko Haram Survivors Now Face Severe Food Shortages

ICC Note: As Christians displaced by Boko Haram return to their homes in places such as Yola, Nigeria, their trials are only beginning. Where they once faced threat to life and limb, they are now looking down the barrel of starvation.


Mark of the Cross

We met this young boy (left) in Cairo’s “Garbage City” just after he received a tattoo of the cross on his wrist. Despite persecution and ostracism for their faith, nearly all of Egypt’s Christians take this as an outward sign of their faith.

Barna Update | Election 2016 Preview: The Faith Factor

Election 2016 Preview

With a steady stream of candidates announcing their intention to pursue their party’s presidential nomination, the American public is beginning to watch the parade and make up its mind about what they are seeking from prospective candidates. A new national survey among adults conducted by Barna Group illuminates some of the distinctions among different voter segments, including faith groups, as the 2016 race begins to take shape.

There are three factors that at least one in five U.S. adults will consider when they evaluate the candidates. Out in front are candidates’ stances on the key issues, which 71% of Americans say they will pay close attention to. A distant second on voters’ radar is the character of candidates, deemed critical by 41% of adults. The third most common consideration is a candidate’s political experience, listed by 22%.

The Barna study highlights, however, that various segments of voters have different priorities. For example, find out how the generations prioritize candidate selection and what issues are most important to American voters—plus, download Barna’s FREE Election 2016 Preview!

Read the new research here >

FREE Digital Report
Download the Full Report—FREE

What are voters looking for in a 2016 presidential candidate? Do they care more about the economy or health care? A candidate’s character or their political experience? Do evangelical voters have different priorities, or are they similar to the rest of the nation? Download Barna’s “Election 2016 Preview” for FREE and get the latest data on American voters’ perspectives.

Download now >

One Takeaway From the Pew Study- Pandering to the Millennials Doesn’t Work

Zwinglius Redivivus

So Churches that have made making the precious Millennials ‘feel at home’ have only succeeded in watering down their faith to the point of meaninglessness and still not managed to convince the laziest generation of its need for faith.  Who could have guessed that would be the result… I mean besides anyone with any theological sense.

You can write little books for them and you can throw pizza parties for them and you can make Christianity into a sort of spiritualism and journey of self discovery all you want.  It won’t change the nature of the beast.

Zwingli was right-

[The church consists of] the elect, who have been predestined by God’s will to eternal life. Of this church Paul speaks when he says that it has neither wrinkle or spot [Eph. 5:27]. This is known to God alone, for according to the word of Solomon [Prov. 15:11], He alone…

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Haggai and God’s Instrumental Word

The Reformed Reader

Minor Prophets, The: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary One of the big themes of Haggai is the power and efficacy of God’s word in the lives of his covenant people.  In BC 520 Yahweh, through his prophet Haggai, rebuked Israel for procrastinating and neglecting to rebuild the temple.  He also called them to renewed obedience.  And the Jews (both leaders and laymen) responded with reverence, repentance, and obedience – attitudes and actions that God’s presence and “stirring” produced in them (see Hag. 1).  Alec Motyer summarizes this well in his commentary on Haggai:

“The call to fetch timber (1:8) and build the house [temple] has met with a positive response.  The disinterested people have become the listening, obedient people.  It is to such that the Lord came with quickening power (1:14) – a quickening that promoted active obedience to the word they had begun to heed.”

“Thus a new pattern emerges: a) responding to the Word (v 12),

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Most Americans Who Consider Themselves Religious Declare themselves Christian

Zwinglius Redivivus

The latest Pew survey

religionGiven, however, the moral and ethical decline in America, one has to wonder what the majority of nominal Christians think Christianity is.  It’s not anything recognizable historically as Christianity and in fact it’s simply more akin to ‘spiritual’ thought.

Which means that I can only give the survey this look:

le4rs

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Pride, proud, arrogant, puffed up

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. (Proverbs 16:18 NASB)

At the root of hypocrisy is, of course, pride. Pride is the antithesis of humility, which is exemplified for us by Paul’s attitude to the Ephesian church in the following passage.

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in…

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