Daily Archives: May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

Every christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it. —John Stott

May 11 Quotes


May 14, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. House passed a rewritten version of a bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — the second Republican attempt at advancing the measure.

U.S. Senate leaders agreed on a deal to move forward with President Barack Obama’s legislation to speed approval of trade agreements following a one-day rebellion by Democrats.

With the U.S. and NATO no longer fighting alongside them, Afghan security forces are struggling. Their spotty performance against an insurgency that shows no sign of flagging threatens President Obama’s promise to end America’s longest war before he leaves office.

The New York-bound Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia, killing seven and injuring more than 200, was traveling 106 miles per hour just before the accident; more than double the speed limit, according to U.S. regulators.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, pushing the average over the past month to the lowest level in 15 years and underscoring labor-market strength. Jobless claims decreased by 1,000 to 264,000 in the seven days ended May 9.

Since New York’s spring sales started last week, at least $2.1 billion of art has been sold at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, with the top 10 lots accounting for almost $800 million.

Wholesale prices in the U.S. unexpectedly declined 0.4 percent in April from the prior month, indicating inflation is well-contained as Federal Reserve officials weigh when to raise the benchmark interest rate.

In the more assertive Saudi Arabia that’s emerging after the Arab Spring, war is no longer taboo as an instrument of policy and Washington’s approval isn’t required.

College enrollment in the spring semester dropped 2 percent from the year before, to 18.6 million. The steepest drop was among students in their mid-20s and older who are re-entering the workforce.

President Vladimir Putin is stockpiling dollars again, suggesting Russia’s first recession in six years can’t keep him from rebuilding his war chest. The Bank of Russia said it plans to buy $100 million to $200 million a day to replenish its reserves after last year’s plunge.

AP Top Stories

A Michigan couple who already had 12 sons has kept the all-male streak alive with the birth of boy No. 13 on Wednesday.

Poland and the Baltic states said on Thursday they were seeking permanent NATO deployments on their soil to counter increased Russian military activity, and a Polish internal document suggested the matter may be raised at a Warsaw summit next year.

Pakistan’s biggest city of Karachi was brought to a standstill Thursday following the massacre of 44 minority Shiite Ismaili Muslims in the first attack officially claimed by the Islamic State group in the country.

Beijing police are patrolling the city’s subways and trains to stop people wearing face masks, strange costumes and forming flash mobs, warning commuters that such actions could jeopardize public safety by causing stampedes.

The family of a 19-year-old Indian girl has been ostracized and fined 1.6 million rupees ($25,000) by a village council after she rejected a marriage arranged when she was a baby, the girl and her parents said on Wednesday.

The search continues for the six Marines and two Nepalese who had been delivering supplies after the fatal earthquake.

BBC

About 350 Myanmar migrants on a boat stranded for a week in the Andaman Sea with no food or water say 10 people have died, while some are resorting to drinking urine.

Islamic State (IS) militants are reportedly mounting an assault on the Syrian town of Tadmur, where Palmyra – one of the greatest archaeological sites in the Middle East – is located.

The US House of Representatives has voted to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

Rescue workers are trying to reach at least 15 miners trapped in a flooded gold mine in north-western Colombia.

Aid agencies are attempting to reach areas of Yemen hardest hit by seven weeks of air strikes and fighting, as a humanitarian ceasefire largely holds.

The Vatican will formally recognize Palestinian statehood in a treaty that will be signed shortly, officials say.

WND

The engineer who sped around a train track curve at 106 miles per hour, resulting in the derailment of seven cars and death of seven, says he doesn’t remember a thing – and he’s now hired an attorney to represent him. Brandon Bostian’s also a noted “gay”-rights activist who once lived in San Francisco.

The U.S. is bringing in 100,000 Muslims from Somalia and other African nations every year through legal channels such as the United Nations refugee program and various visa programs, but new reports indicate a pipeline has been established through the southern border with the help of the federal agency whose job it is to protect the homeland.

Days of rioting in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death caused an estimated $9 million in damage to homes and 284 businesses.

More than two out of five (42.1 percent) American honeybee colonies died in the past year, and surprisingly the worst die-off was in the summer, according to a federal survey.

A Florida Democrat in Congress is proposing legislation that would require all public-school students in America to be vaccinated, preventing parents with religious or other objections from opting out their children.


Top News – 5/14/2015

Mayday! Mayday! A Distress Call For Prayer

In these days of desperation and confusion, hopelessness and helplessness, when mountains are collapsing, nations are warring, people are rioting, the earth is quaking, and the enemy is threatening, it’s time to cry out to the Lord! Now!   

Iranian official says Saudi king ‘traitor to Islam,’ iterates support for Assad
A senior Iranian official branded Saudi Arabia’s King Salman a traitor to Islam on Thursday and equated the Gulf state’s military assault on Iranian-allied fighters in Yemen with Israeli actions against Palestinians. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran’s national security and foreign policy committee, speaking in Damascus, also reiterated his country’s support for the Syrian government, which is battling an insurgency backed by Saudi Arabia.   

Japan Set to Launch Iris-Scanning Smartphone
Japanese cellphone manufacturer NTT Docomo is set to launch a new smartphone later this month complete with iris-scanning authentication.   

PLO Rejects American Mediaton in ‘Peace Talks’
A senior official of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the senior body of the Palestinian Authority, declared Thursday that there will be no return to talks with Israel without a declared date on “ending the occupation.” Wassal abu Yousef said that the Palestinian Authority “will not be satisfied with American mediation” because the Obama administration is biased towards Israel.   

DHS caught busing in illegal Somalis from Mexican border
new reports indicate a pipeline has been established through the southern border with the help of the federal agency whose job it is to protect the homeland. They are coming from Somalia and other African nations, according to a Homeland Security official who was caught recently transporting a busload of Africans to a detention center near Victorville, California.   

Your Life, and Your Future, Predicted by Data
Just a decade ago, it would have been unthinkable to use data to make everyday decisions. Now, such “predictive analytics” are the norm: Simply type a query into Google and it magically suggests what you were searching for.   

Pope Francis to Canonize First ‘Palestinian Saints’
Pope to canonize two Arab nuns who lived in Israel under Ottoman rule as ‘Palestinian’ saints in the Vatican this month.   

New Netanyahu gov’t stresses desire for peace with Palestinians
Coalition guidelines presented to Knesset include emphasis on Jewish people’s ‘indisputable right to sovereign state in Israel’ and intent to ‘advance the diplomatic process.’   

Op-Ed: The Vatican Against the Jews
The Vatican’s decision should be read as an historic stance against the rights of the Jewish people to their own land. For over forty years after the Jewish State won independence in 1948, the Vatican adopted a diplomatic policy copying that of Israel’s enemies: total non-recognition of the Jewish statehood.   

Vatican officially recognizes Palestine, while Israel fumes
The Vatican has become the latest country to recognize the state of Palestine, after a new treaty was finalized on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly Israel has hit out at the move, saying that it damages prospects for peace in the region.   

Saudi Arabia prepares to hang opposition Shia cleric amid large protests
Human rights activists worldwide are demanding clemency for cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for taking part in Shia Muslim minority protests in 2011. They warn the execution could inflame the whole of the Middle East.   

A woman claiming to be an ‘Ambassador for God’ is suing all gay people
An American woman who claims to be an “ambassador for God” has filed a lawsuit against all the world’s gay people for allegedly breaking religious law. “I’m 66 years old and I never thought that I would see the day in which our great nation or our great state of Nebraska would become so compliant of some people’s lewd behaviour,” she wrote.   

Jerusalem Day: March of the Faithful Movement Commemorating the Greatest Moment in History
On Sunday, May 17, 2015 / 28 Iyar, 5775, the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will conduct an historical event that will on one hand commemorate the greatest moment in the history of Israel and the entire world. It was the great victory that G—d gave to His people Israel in June 1967 when G—d, together with His brave Israeli soldiers, liberated the Holy Temple Mount and biblical Jerusalem.   

HSBC WARNS: The world economy faces a ‘titanic problem’
HSBC chief economist Stephen King is already thinking about the next recession. In a note to clients…Whereas previous recoveries have enabled monetary and fiscal policymakers to replenish their ammunition, this recovery — both in the US and elsewhere — has been distinguished by a persistent munitions shortage. This is a major problem.   

Obama trade bill revived after bipartisan deal sets new votes
Senate leaders reached a deal Wednesday to revive trade legislation…though House Democrats vowed a tougher fight still awaits. The new agreement paves the way for passage of the deal through the Senate, but Mr. Obama’s own troops in the House said their opposition is intensifying, and they blamed the president for mishandling the politics of his top second-term priority.   

Nicaragua volcano Telica spews ash
The Telica volcano in north-west Nicaragua has been spewing large clouds of ash. There have been more than 60 explosions since it started erupting on Thursday, covering nearby towns in a dusting of ash. The 1,061m-high (3,475ft) volcano, one of Nicaragua’s most active, is located 110km (68 miles) north-west of the capital, Managua.   

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins key China visit
Indian PM Narendra Modi has begun a three-day visit to China as the two countries seek to boost economic co-operation. Mr Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xian, capital of Mr Xi’s home province of Shaanxi, and will later travel to Beijing and Shanghai. The leaders of the world’s two most populous nations are expected to sign deals worth billions of dollars.   

PLO: We will not resume negotiations until a deadline for end of Israeli ‘occupation’ is set
Wasal Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO leadership, said Thursday that Palestinians would not return to the negotiation table with Israel unless a deadline for the end of the Israeli “occupation” is set, London-based newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. He also said that, should negotiations resume, Palestinians would not rely solely on American mediation due to their “bias” towards Israel.   

Israel says Egypt buying advanced Russian air defense system
TEL AVIV – A senior Israeli intelligence official who tracks the regional arms balance said on Wednesday that Egypt was buying Russia’s advanced S-300 air defense system, a deal reported in Russian media but not confirmed by Cairo.   

Lava lake drops, earthquakes increase at Kilauea
The deflation at Kilauea began Sunday and the lava lake dropped about 10 yards below its rim on Monday and receded further Tuesday. The drop in the lava lake level was accompanied by a higher frequency of earthquakes in the upper Southwest Rift Zone, including a magnitude 3.1 event at 3:40 p.m. Monday   

Strong Quake That Hit Japan Is Aftershock of Devastating 2011 Temblor
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake that shook northeast Japan on Wednesday was an aftershock of the devastating 2011 quake that triggered a massive tsunami and nuclear power plant meltdown. “We consider this morning’s earthquake to be an aftershock of the 2011 Northeastern Pacific Earthquake,” said Yohei Hasegawa, an official at the Japanese meteorological agency.   

UN Watch Condemns Saudi Bid to Head UN Rights Council
GENEVA, – The fundamentalist Saudi monarchy is seeking to head the world’s top human rights body, a move liable to be “the final nail in the coffin for the credibility of a body that already counts dictatorships like China, Cuba, and Russia as members, and whose top advisor is co-founder of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group.   

Obama’s Middle East Debacle
I had to laugh when I heard that the new King of Saudi Arabia, Salmon, told the White House he wasn’t going to attend Thursday’s photo-op get together of Arab leaders. Some lesser Saudi officials will attend. The message is clear enough, so long as Obama continues to make nice with Iran, the center of the problems in the Middle East, the Saudis and the others are going to be wary of any proposal that comes out of the White House.   

Former Pentagon Official: U.S. Subsidizing Russia’s Nuclear Weapons Buildup
In an interview with Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman revealed that the United States is, in effect, subsidizing Russia’s increasing nuclear weapons capacity—weapons that could be used against the U.S. in any major war with the West. Gertz’s report describes how the “Energy Department plans to spend more than $60 million in Russia for nuclear security activities at the same time U.S. and European Union sanctions are punishing Moscow for aggression against Ukraine.”   

Arab Leaders Revolt Against Iran Nuke Deal
There appears to be a small problem with President Barack Obama’s summit of Persian Gulf states taking place at Camp David on Thursday: Arab leaders want virtually nothing to do with it. Only the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait, two out of the six leaders of countries that comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), will attend.   

Barack and Michelle the Poverty Pimps
The picture of Barack Obama when he was still Barry Soetoro on his tricycle, age 4, circa 1965, tells the true-life story about Obama and his claim of knowing what it’s like to be poor. Obama was never poor. He lived a charmed and privileged life, including the photographed chapter where he was the spoiled and spiffy little darling of his well-heeled maternal grandparents.   

Pope Ponders Paganism
Not since the rule of Emperor Constantine, during the Roman Warm Era, have pagan gods been tolerated in Rome. Before Constantine, Romans worshipped 12 main gods including Apollo (the Sun), Diana (the Moon), Flora (the plants), Uranus (the sky), Ceres (the crops), Gaia (the Earth) and of course Bacchus (wine), Venus (love) and Mars (war). Some of these gods demanded tribute and sacrifice.


Top Headlines – 5/14/2015

Vatican Officially Recognizes Palestinian State In New Treaty

Israel ‘disappointed’ Vatican reached agreement recognizing Palestinian state 

Obama calls on new government to pursue two-state solution

Obama: Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation

Senior Israeli Official: ‘US pressure will be vengeful, require IDF to cease operating in area A’ 

Americans in Israel warned ahead of Nakba Day

PA : Nearly half of world’s Palestinians are still refugees

‘EU must reassess Mideast policy, hold Israel to account for settlements’ 

Israeli official reveals Hezbollah ‘strongholds’ built into Lebanese villages 

Hezbollah hiding 100,000 missiles that can hit north, army says

Report: Israeli intel official says Egypt buying advanced Russian S-300 missile system

Egypt media criticism of Sisi raises questions on allies’ support 

White House says concerned about chemical weapons allegations in Syria 

ISIS ‘second in command’ killed in Iraq 

Iraqi Christians plead for help from Congress

Christian Leaders Receive Death Threats From Muslims in Pakistan for Building Churches and Not Converting to Islam

U.S. State Dept. Invites Muslim Leaders, Denies Christians

Obama seeks to reassure Gulf allies on Iran, security at summit 

Iran complains to UN of foiled Yemen aid as ship standoff looms 

UN Watch Condemns Saudi Bid to Head UN Human Rights Council

Poll: 59 Percent Of Russians View US As Threat

Amtrak engineer becomes focus after NTSB reveals train’s high speed before crash

Japanese smartphone gets iris-scanning for mobile payments

US trade deals with Europe and Asia face setback

The world economy is starting to look a lot like the Titanic, HSBC chief economist warns

How to end boom and bust: make cash illegal 

Saudi Arabia Winning War on US Oil

Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning: IEA

Mile-Wide Asteroid 1999 FN53 Will Zoom Pass Earth: Should You Be Concerned? Yes. Worried? No

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near the North Island of New Zealand

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kodari, Nepal

More quakes are coming for Nepal, scientists say, they just can’t predict when

Lava lake drops, earthquakes increase at Kilauea

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 15,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 13,000ft

Typhoon Dolphin Threatens to Make Direct Hit on Guam

Pope’s top adviser blasts US climate skeptics

Survey: More than 40 percent of bee hives died in past year 

Engineering bacteria to design vaccines

Embryo engineering a moral duty, says top scientist

US House votes to ban most abortions after 20 weeks 

Texas Considering Measures to Defy Possible Supreme Court Ruling Legalizing Gay Marriage

She Who Rides on the Beast

Cliff Kincaid – The Catholic Church Has Gone Socialist

‘Is Christianity Dying?’ Russell Moore Says Rise of Nones, Decline of Christians in America ‘Good News’ for Church

136 Nations Recognize A Palestinian State – Only Obama Stands In The Way Of Full Global Recognition

 

Countries That Officially Recognize A Palestinian State - Photo by Night wWill a UN Security Council resolution formally recognizing the establishment of a Palestinian state be passed by the end of 2015?  Now that the Vatican has formally recognized a Palestinian state, there is a tremendous amount of international momentum for precisely such a UN Security Council resolution.  In fact, France plans to push really hard for one by the end of this year.  At this point, the only thing that could derail those plans is Barack Obama.  For years, the threat of a Security Council veto has been the one thing stopping a resolution from moving forward.  But now that Benjamin Netanyahu has been re-elected and has put together a cabinet that does not seem inclined to negotiate with the Palestinians, the Obama administration is pledging to “reevaluate our approach” and says that it will not “prejudge” what it will do if a vote comes up at the United Nations.  And as you will see below, one news source is now reporting that behind the scenes Barack Obama has already given the “green light” for France to go ahead with a resolution on a Palestinian state at the UN.  If this is truly what Obama plans to do, it will absolutely shatter U.S. relations with Israel and plunge the entire Middle East into chaos. (Read More…)


Daily Digest

May 14, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[T]he government must be a weak one indeed, if it should forget that the good of the whole can only be promoted by advancing the good of each of the parts or members which compose the whole.” —John Jay, Federalist No. 64, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Democrats Exploit Train Wreck to Derail Republicans

Regarding the Philadelphia train crash, the blood of the seven dead was not dry on the tracks before Democrats attempted to convert this tragedy into political capital. Congress was deliberating Amtrak funding and, in keeping with Rahm Emmanuel’s maxim to “never let a good crisis go to waste,” Democrats immediately asserted that the crash was related to an “infrastructure failure.” Obama’s White House mouthpiece Josh Earnest got in on the act, saying, “The president has been a leading advocate … for investing in our infrastructure.” He added, “Unfortunately, we have seen a concerted effort by Republicans for partisan reasons to step in front of those kinds of advancements.” According to investigators, the train was traveling over 100 mph, or twice the posted track speed. Notably, this was very similar to the crash in Spain last year, when another train was traveling into a leftward turn at twice the posted track speed. Fortunately, Republicans have not (yet) bowed to Demo tactics, and Amtrak, which is as inefficient and bankrupt as the Post Office, has not yet received even more taxpayer funds. Isn’t $1 billion a year enough?

Congress Takes NSA Hot Potato

The NSA’s mass metadata collection efforts have come to a head. Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the program violated the Patriot Act, despite the NSA claiming Section 215 authorized it. Indeed, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), primary author of the original Patriot Act, said, “That program is illegal and based on a blatant misinterpretation of the law.” But the law is up for renewal by June 1, so Congress has to act. The House on Wednesday voted 338-88 to pass the USA Freedom Act, which specifically ends bulk data collection. That sets up a fight with the Senate, where Republicans are more eager to actually authorize the NSA’s phone metadata program. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the House bill would put undue limits on intelligence collection and said the Senate won’t vote on it. House Speaker John Boehner promised not to let the Patriot Act expire because it’s “critically important to keep Americans safe.” But the fundamental debate is how much power the government needs to do that. How much Liberty do we give up for security?

UVA Dean Sues Rolling Stone Over Rape Story

It’s devilishly hard for someone in America to successfully sue a publication for libel. Not only does the plaintiff have to convince the court that what was published was false and caused harm, but the plaintiff also has to prove that the publication acted with malicious intent. In response to Rolling Stone’s grossly irresponsible false report on a supposed rape on the University of Virginia campus, the college’s Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo filed a $7.5 million suit against the magazine and the author of the story, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. Based on the complaint, it appears Eramo has a case. She alleges Erdely never attempted to get documents that would have disproven “Jackie’s” story. And the reporter hid her work by using pseudonyms to describe people in the story she didn’t talk to and dismissed concerns by a Rolling Stone copy editor who wondered why Erdely didn’t talk to the accused. The complaint alleges even Jackie was uncomfortable with how the magazine portrayed Eramo. But Erdely was trying to fit this story into a template, the one she used in the past when writing about rape — a template that produced several factually challenged stories. As Jonah Goldberg wrote last month, journalistic ethics are “all based on a very simple rule: Tell the truth.” More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Armed Forces Day 2015, a fitting tribute to American Patriots in uniform.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Left’s Twisted Concern for Premature Black (Voter) Deaths

By Nate Jackson

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“Blacks die sooner than whites. How many votes has this cost Democrats?” So headlined The Washington Post over the weekend. It’s not so much that black lives matter, you see, as black votes matter to Democrat politicians.

Writing in the Post, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Professor Dean Robinson takes a look at the research of Javier Rodriguez, Arline Geronimus, John Bound and Danny Dorling, four university professors who attempt to calculate how different election outcomes might have been if the voting-age blacks who died between 1970 and 2004 had lived and voted (Democrat).

According to Robinson, “Rodriguez and colleagues estimate that excess deaths among blacks totaled 2.7 million between 1970 and 2004, that 1.74 million would have been of voting age, and that 1 million would have voted in the 2004 election. Combining excess mortality with the consequences of felon disenfranchisement, they find that about 1 in 7 blacks (15 percent) did not have the opportunity to vote in 2004 for one of these two reasons.”

While the study authors conclude the 2004 presidential election would not have turned out different, they assert the “[o]utcomes of 7 senate and 11 gubernatorial races could have been reversed.”

Then Robinson lays out the familiar narrative about racial inequality. “Research has shown that blacks are not dying in excess because of differences in genetic endowment or health behavior,” he says. “Instead, health disparities reflect racial and class inequality and an accumulation of stressors, including segregation, discrimination, exposure to pollution and unequal access to health-care resources, to name a few.”

He didn’t get into the disparity in incarceration rates, but that’s been a bugaboo of the Left for years, too. Never mind that blacks commit crime at a rate far higher than other races, and that the overwhelming majority of crime is intra-racial, not interracial.

We certainly would not argue that there hasn’t been any racial inequality. Slavery was a horrific thing, and, ever since its end, the nation has endured 150 years of racial discrimination and bitterness.

But blacks have been a monolithic voting bloc for Democrats — the party of slavery and Jim Crow, by the way — for half a century. Particularly in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson, to pick three at random, Democrats have been running the show for at least that long. And blacks in those cities remain mired in failing schools, poor housing and low-wage jobs.

Might there be not just correlation but causation?

Yet according to Political Research Quarterly, “Historical legacies provide deeply rooted ties between blacks and the Democratic Party. These ties may simply render it impossible for Republicans — black or otherwise — to move public opinion or mobilize among blacks.” Translation: Blacks aren’t going to vote GOP any time soon, no matter what.

Robinson concludes, “The tragic deaths of unarmed black men have again generated conversations about racial inequality in the United States.”

He neglects, of course, the thousands of tragic deaths of armed black men at the hands of other armed black men through gang violence in inner cities. This social breakdown and family collapse is largely the result of subsidizing fatherlessness through the Democrats’ “Great Society,” which left blacks enslaved on urban poverty plantations.

Nor did Robinson mention that 37% of aborted babies are black. If blacks, at 12% of the population, accounted for a similar percentage of all abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973 — not even as far back as the researchers go — that’s roughly 21 million people who never had a chance at life, never mind voting. Yet abortion is a sacred plank of the Democrat platform.

Do black lives matter only when taken by police officers?

The ugly truth is that Democrats need blacks to win elections, and this demographic decline is worrisome to leftist politicos. Perhaps that’s why they seek to flood the country with immigrants.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

Tony Perkins: “This President is accusing the church — the most effective social outreach program in the history of America — of ignoring the poor to fight a war on social issues that, oh by the way, he started? That’s not only ignorant of the church’s activities — it’s insulting. The religious community hasn’t ignored the poor. On the contrary, there’s no more generous segment of society than Christian conservatives and the ministries that their giving makes possible. … If the President cares more about poverty than his social agenda, why did he sacrifice a program for thousands of sex trafficking victims on the altar of his radical abortion policy? Or make allegiance to same-sex ‘marriage’ a condition of nonprofits’ tax exemption? In the hostile environment created by this administration, Christians are spending precious time defending their faith, when they could be putting it in practice. Frankly, we’d love to focus on strengthening families and ending poverty — but the President won’t lay down his weapons of sexual radicalism long enough for us to try.”

SHORT CUTS

On this date in history: The State of Israel is formally recognized in 1948.

Upright: “If all whites tomorrow were to move to Canada and Europe, tell me how it would affect the black on black crime rate, how would it affect the out-of-wedlock births, how would it affect the spread of AIDS. How would it affect those issues? What I’m saying to Black America [is that] we must stop victimization. We must stop complaining about what white folks have done to us in the past. … There’s nothing more lethal than a good excuse for failure — institutional racism, whatever that means.” —Center for Neighborhood Enterprise President Robert Woodson

Dezinformatsia: “The shock and tragedy of what happened in Philadelphia made a long-standing battle over Amtrak funding more raw and emotional. … Democrats had asked for $2.5 billion, Republicans actually approved a cut to $1.1 billion.” —NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell (“Maybe if the train had been weighed down with big piles of taxpayer money, it wouldn’t have been able to go so fast…” —National Review’s Jim Geraghty)

Non Compos Mentis: “The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me — roads, airports, bridges. I know how to build, pols only know how to talk! … TRAIN WRECK just the beginning. Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid — all falling apart. I can fix for 20% of pols, & better.” —Donald Trump on Twitter

Race bait: “If police were being killed with any type of routine sanction by the system or, worse off, being killed by the system, asking why people aren’t protesting their deaths would be an entirely fair and morally urgent question. But, of course, they’re not.”—Adam Johnson in a Salon article titled, “Dear Facebook ‘friends’: No, we shouldn’t protest when police are killed”

And last… “Obama’s solution for the Baltimore rioters: ‘making investments so they can get the training they need to find jobs.’ Yes. For example, training them not to loot the businesses where the jobs are.” —Fred Thompson

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) Utah anti-discrimination law already considered insufficient compromise by LGBT community

Some LGBT residents critical of Utah anti-discrimination law, Associated Press (Michelle Price)

2) Concerns over religious liberty rise as liberals urged to be magnanimous in victory 

The new culture war, The Economist

3) Attack on conservative view of marriage conflates historic shifts with radical redefinition

Conservatives say marriage has always been between a man and a woman. They’re wrong., Washington Post (Trevor Burrus)

4) Silicon efforts to solve mortality right recognition of death as the Last Enemy

Tech titans’ latest project: Defy death, Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
In other news…


The Saudi-Iranian Proxy War in Yemen :: Spyer audio lecture

A briefing by Jonathan Spyer
April 30, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5238/saudi-iran-yemen


IW News Brief: French Food Fight, CAIRless Lawmaker

by David J. Rusin • May 13, 2015 at 11:04 am
http://www.islamist-watch.org/blog/2015/05/iw-news-brief-french-food-fight-cairless-lawmaker


Economist: Force Everyone to Have a Government-Controlled Bank Account

(INFOWARS)—A former Bank of England economist has called for a total ban on cash and its replacement with credit accounts controlled directly by governments.In a column for the London Telegraph, fund manager Jim Leaviss all but advocates economic fascism as a means of enabling authorities to…

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Why The Trans-Pacific Partnership is Dangerous

Author(s): Phyllis Schlafly

Congress, led by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), is preparing to betray American workers, and the grassroots 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. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the few Members of Congress who have actually read and studied Fast Track plus its companion trade bill called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has compiled a list of objections to it that are downright…

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Psychiatric Drugs Kill 500k+ Western Adults Annually, Few Positive Benefits

Research director at Denmark’s Nordic Cochrane Centre, Professor Peter Gøtzsche, says the use of most antidepressants and dementia drugs could be halted without inflicting harm on patients. The Danish scientist’s views were published in the British Medical Journal on Tuesday.

His scathing analysis will likely prove controversial among traditional medics. However, concern is mounting among doctors and scientists worldwide that psychiatric medication is doing more harm than good. In particular, they say antipsychotic drugs have been overprescribed to many dementia patients in a bid to calm agitated behavior.

Gøtzsche warns psychiatric drugs kill patients year in year out, and hold few positive benefits. He says in excess of half a million citizens across the Western world aged 65 and over die annually as a result of taking these drugs.

Read Full Story


Hillary hath spoken: Change your beliefs!

Yes, you read that right. Your “deep-seated religious beliefs,” where they do not conform to liberal and progressive narratives of victimhood and unfairness, must be “changed.” No woman in the United States is being “denied access” to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. There is no “war on woman,” despite how hard liberals work to perpetuate this myth and hang it around the necks of conservatives. Yet these fictional crimes are all the justification Hillary Clinton needs to tell you to your face that you bitter religious fanatics desperately clinging to your guns and religion (to paraphrase His Eminence, Lord High Emperor Barack Obama) must change your ardently held beliefs.

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Krauthammer explains Arab leaders’ snub of Obama

A renowned author and conservative commentator says it’s understandable why Saudi Arabia’s king is not attending a “summit” hosted by President Obama.

“That’s a real slap in the face to Obama when King Salman said, No, I’m not coming,” Charles Krauthammer tells OneNewsNow.

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Ann Graham Lotz: Judgment Has Begun–We are in the Days of Noah

According to Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, the United States – and the world in general – is actively incurring the wrath of God in much the same way as it did prior to the great flood of the Old Testament.

During a recent speech, Lotz paraphrased Jesus Christ’s prophesy regarding the state of a sinful world during its final days:

View 1 1/2 min video


The Catholic Church Has Gone Socialist

by Marsha West

Berean Research has been reporting on Pope Francis’ move into socialism with articles such as Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty and Catholic Church Warms to Liberation Theology as Founder Heads to Vatican. Now Cliff Kincaid, Director of Accuracy in Media, offers compelling reasons for why he believes that the Catholic Church has gone […]

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FDA proposes 1-year abstinence for gay, bisexual men to donate blood

by Marsha West

According to The Washington Times:

The federal government on Tuesday proposed its plans to permit gay and bisexual men to donate blood if they have abstained from sex for a year.

The policy is aimed at safeguarding the blood supply for hemophiliacs and other users. It is similar to those of several nations, which also have a one-year or multiple-year sexual abstinence policy for men who have sex with men (MSM).

The policy is denounced by gay-rights groups who say MSM who are married or in monogamous relationships have less risk for transmitting diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis than heterosexuals who have multiple female sex partners.

Read more


New Pew Research Poll: Apostate “Christians” Leaving Church

by Marsha West

Christian News Network (CNN) informs us that the current Pew Research Center report stated that mainline groups have experienced the greatest drop in numbers and “may have fallen by as few as 3 million or as many as 7.3 million between 2007 and 2014.” According to CNN, these groups include the “United Methodist Church, the American Baptist Church (U.S.A.), the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Episcopal Church— denominations that have largely been considered to be apostate by evangelical Christians because of their liberal and unorthodox stances on abortion and homosexuality.” The good news is that those who identify as evangelical Christians have declined less than one percent.

Read more


Countdown To ‘Disaster’: 4 Months To Shemitah

As the climax of the “Shemitah” year draws near, the man who popularized the once-obscure Hebrew word sees more cause than ever for concern. The Shemitah year began on Sept. 25, 2014, and will hit its climax on Sept. 13, 2015. That is exactly four months away, when the Hebrew calendar lands on Elul 29, the same biblical day of reckoning that brought record stock-market crashes in September 2001 and September 2008. …………. Click here for full story


Temple Mount Faithful To Commemorate Jerusalem Day With March For Rebuilding Third Temple

On Sunday, May 17, 2015 the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will conduct an historical event that will commemorate the great victory that G-D gave to His people Israel in June 1967 when G-D, together with His brave Israeli soldiers, liberated the Holy Temple Mount and Biblical Jerusalem. …………. Click here for full story


America Going Secular? Survey Says – Yes

Christianity is still the dominant religion in America, with seven in 10 claiming affiliation with the belief, but those touting no particular religion – the “nones” – are rapidly taking over the country ………… Click here for full story


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

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 ……….. Click here for full story


North Korean Submarines ‘Could Fire Nuclear Missiles At America Within TWO YEARS’

Dictator Kim Jong-un was pictured watching the offshore test launch at the weekend, which came just days after the volatile and secretive nation threatened to attack sworn enemy America with nuclear weapons ……….. Click here for full story


Christians Lose Ground, ‘Nones’ Soar In New Portrait Of U.S. Religion

The percentage of people who describe themselves as Christians fell about 8 points — from 78.4 to 70.6. This includes people in virtually all demographic groups, whether they are “nearing retirement or just entering adulthood, married or single, living in the West or the Bible Belt,” according to the survey report.

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Academy Award-Winning Actor Gives College Grads His No. 1 Piece of Advice: ‘Put. God. First!’

During the rest of his brief commencement address — just over 10 minutes long — Washington urged graduates to “fail big” and take chances. But in regard to material things, he cautioned that “you will never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.” “I pray that you put your slippers way under your bed tonight,” the actor noted toward the end of his time behind the podium, “so that when you wake up in the morning you have to get on your knees to reach them.

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Senate Breaks Gridlock, Passes Human Trafficking Bill

“Help is finally on the way for the thousands of enslaved victims who suffer unspeakable abuse in the shadows,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act boosts law enforcement’s ability to pursue perpetrators, strengthens penalties, and establishes a domestic fund to help trafficking victims.

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Liberal speakers dominate college commencements, conservative group says

by Marsha West

Fox News Reports:

Northwestern UniversityAs cap-and-gown season gets underway at American colleges and universities, graduates and their loved ones will be getting an earful from left-wing commencement speakers, according to a report.

Liberal speakers will outnumber conservatives by at least 6-to-1 at the nation’s top 100 schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, according to conservative watchdog group Young America’s Foundation. Among the top 10 of the list–which includes schools such as Princeton, the University of Chicago and Duke–none is hosting conservative speakers.

“Our 2015 survey shows the conservative blackout on college campuses has only gotten worse,” Ron Robinson, president of Young America’s Foundation, said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “While conservatives won the national elections by a wide margin, campuses have doubled down on liberal speakers–with zero elected conservative officials scheduled to speak at our nation’s top schools.”

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Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty

by Marsha West

According to Berean Research:

The Vatican said Wednesday that it had concluded a treaty to recognize Palestinian statehood, a symbolic but significant step welcomed by Palestinians but upsetting to the Israeli government.

Formal recognition of a Palestinian state by the Vatican, which has deep religious interests in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories that include Christian holy sites, lends a powerful signal of moral authority and legitimacy to the efforts by the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, to achieve statehood despite the long paralyzed Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty

ROME — The Vatican said Wednesday that it had concluded a treaty to recognize Palestinian statehood, a symbolic but significant step welcomed by Palestinians but upsetting to the Israeli government. Formal recognition of a Palestinian state by the Vatican, which has deep religious interests in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories that include Christian holy sites, lends […]

The post Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty appeared first on Berean Research.


Pope Francis Signs Treaty From The Vatican Officially Recognizing The State Of Palestine

The Vatican said Wednesday that it had concluded a treaty to recognize Palestinian statehood, a significant step welcomed by Palestinians but upsetting to the Israeli government.

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 17:15-17 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pope Francis is almost certainly the False Prophet mentioned in the book of Revelation. From a prophetic stand point, he has accomplished more in the last two years than the last 20 popes combined. And like all popes before him, he is absolutely the enemy of the state of Israel. As shocking as this is, it is only a warmup for the 7 Year Peace Treaty that will be brought by the False Prophet’s buddy, the Antichrist. The signing of today’s treaty advances the prophecy time clock forward by a huge leap.  Achtung, Juden.

ROMEFormal recognition of a Palestinian state by the Vatican, which has deep religious interests in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories that include Christian holy sites, lends a powerful signal of moral authority and legitimacy to the efforts by the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, to achieve statehood despite the long paralyzed Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

pope-francis-signs-treaty-from-vatican-recognizing-state-of-palestine-israel-disappointed-may-13-2015-end-times-prophecy-catholic-church

Israel has grown increasingly alarmed about the increased international acceptance of Palestine as a state since the United Nations upgraded the Palestinian delegation’s status in 2012 to that of a nonmember observer state. A number of European countries have also signaled their acceptance of Palestinian statehood.

A statement from a joint commission of Vatican and Palestinian diplomatic officials, posted on the Vatican news website, said “the work of the commission on the text of the agreement has been concluded,” and that it would be submitted for formal approval and for signing “in the near future.”

Hanna Amireh, head of a Palestinian committee on church affairs, said the treaty was a broad one regarding the Vatican’s interests in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, including the standing of churches and church courts and taxes on church charities, institutions and lands, as well as other cultural and diplomatic matters. He said it had been under negotiation for about a year.

The Vatican is the spiritual capital of the Catholics, and they are recognizing Palestine, that’s the chief importance,” said Mr. Amireh, who is also a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee. The move counters an image of Palestinians as militants or terrorists, he added, as a “recognition of the Palestinian character that has a clear message for coexistence and peace.” source

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Coincidence or Divine Providence?

Posted: 14 May 2015 06:36 AM PDT

This week, Israel celebrates two separate milestones of events that took place a generation apart, but which are interrelated and part of God’s promise being played out before our eyes. Or maybe they are simply interesting coincidences. See what you think. First, on May 14 1948, the day Israel declared independence, Israel’s modern founding fathers anchored the rebirth of the Jewish state in God’s promise, the voices of our prophets, and our history in a document that included this passage: “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books… 

The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations Placing our trust in the Almighty, we affix our signatures to this proclamation at this session of the provisional Council of State, on the soil of the Homeland, in the city of Tel-Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the 5th day of Iyar, 5708 (14th May, 1948).” MORE

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7 Traits of False Prophets in Sheep’s Clothing

Posted: 14 May 2015 06:30 AM PDT

A false teacher can be anyone in a position of spiritual authority or claiming to be. Wolves don’t often attack wolves, but they do go after sheep. They bring destructive teachings and lies into the church, often, by telling people what they want to hear (cf. Jer. 23). They provide layers of truth mixed with error, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15-16b).

“Beware” means to be on alert … to discern what is being said. False teachers take advantage of the fact that many people are not well educated in fundamental biblical truths. To detect a counterfeit, one must first know what the original looks like. It’s impossible to gain a clear picture of absolute truth without going directly to God’s Word. Unless one is firmly grounded in God’s Word and led by His Spirit, one can easily be led astray.

Wolves don’t advertise, instead, they “look” like sheep. False teachers aren’t dressed in red holding a pitchfork. They often look the same as everyone else. They subtly challenge the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, and they add to salvation … it’s not in Christ alone. Legitimate teachers recognize the deity of Christ. False teachers promote salvation through works and not through faith alone. One must belong to their Society, Institution or Church in order to be saved. This is a false gospel.

Jesus encourages His followers to be fruit inspectors. I came across a great article from the Gospel Coalition written by Colin Smith entitled, “7 Traits of False Teachers.” This precise article identifies the fruit of false teachers. The link is at the bottom for those who want to read Colin’s complete piece. I’m going to spend the next few minutes quoting directly from it. He compares the authentic with the counterfeit from 1 and 2 Peter. Colin wrote … FULL REPORT

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Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here

Posted: 14 May 2015 06:24 AM PDT

An officer pulls someone over on the side of the highway. The cop sits in the car a moment, runs the plates—they’re fine—and gets out of the car. As he or she approach the driver’s side window, the driver pulls out a gun, shoots the officer, and flees. This is something close to what happened in Long Island earlier this year, when a Suffolk County police officer was shot during a traffic stop. Unlike the recent traffic-stop shooting in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the suspect in the New York case, police told CBS, was a “known gang member.”

Marios Savvides, a Carnegie Mellon engineering professor, says he’s invented the fix: a long-range iris scanner that can identify someone as they glance at their rear-view mirror. In other words, it’s technology that could potentially identify a dangerous suspect before the cop even gets out of the car. It is the first effective long-range iris scanner, he says. MORE

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China launches ‘mystery object’ into space

Posted: 14 May 2015 06:20 AM PDT

In what could ring alarm bells for the Indian security establishment, a report of the United States Department of Defence (DoD), has warned about China “destructive” space programme of stalling or destroying satellites of other countries and how its nuclear-powered submarines now make forays into the Indian Ocean.
Released on May 8, the DoD’s annual report to the US Congress on ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015’ talks about a mystery ‘object’ that Beijing had launched in space on a ballistic trajectory with a peak altitude above 30,000 km. This trajectory took it near geosynchronous orbit, where many nations maintain communications and earth-sensing satellites.

The “object” re-entered Earth’s orbit 9.5 hours after launch. The US report failed to indentify it and stated: “The launch profile was not consistent with traditional space-launch vehicles, ballistic missiles or sounding rocket launches used for scientific research. It could, however, have been a test of technologies with a counterspace mission.” “China continues to develop a variety of capabilities designed to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by adversaries, including the development of directed-energy weapons and satellite jammers”, the US report warned. The US expressed concern “China’s continued development of destructive space technologies represented a threat to all peaceful nations”. FULL REPORT

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Japan Set To Launch Iris-Sanning Smartphone

Posted: 14 May 2015 06:15 AM PDT

Produced in conjunction with fellow technology manufacturer Fujitsu, the Arrows NX F-04G smartphone will utilize a user’s iris pattern to carry out a multitude of tasks. Captured using both the phone’s infrared camera and LED, the iris scan will allow a user to unlock their device, confirm payments, and access several built-in Docomo services. A promotional video from Docomo featuring disgruntled password attemptees boasts the phone’s convenience and security. “Have you had trouble with a password?” the video asks. According to the International Business Times, the feature gives users greater peace of mind than fingerprint scanners used on other leading smartphones.

“Unlike fingerprint scanners such as those found on the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6, the iris scanner lets users unlock their phones without the need to take off their gloves or worry about unsavory characters making copies of their fingerprints,” the Times reports.

Although security researcher Jan Krissler was able to successfully recreate the thumbprint of Germany’s federal minister of defense last year using publicly-available photos, a more recent hack by Krissler also produced a similar method for bypassing iris scans as well. MOREThe post Japan Set To Launch Iris-Sanning Smartphone appeared first on .

Tracking Kids Via Microchip ‘Can’t Be Far Off,’ Says Expert

Posted: 13 May 2015 08:18 PM PDT

It’s a thought that is just a little too Orwellian for most people — putting a microchip inside your body. But there are people who are doing just that already. For most of those who have, it’s a matter of convenience. Now, they can log onto their computer, lock or unlock their front door, or even start their car with a wave of a microchip implanted in their hand. Now let’s take the technology one step further. What if you could implant a chip in your child which could help bring him or her home in the event they were lost or worse — kidnapped?

Experts are working on that possibility right now. There are already working on products you can buy, like watches or bracelets or tracking bug,s to drop into a backpack which can be tracked by GPS. But tracking a microchip, placed inside a human body is another matter. “I just might be one of those mothers who would do it”, says Trish Dickerson. Her 3 and a half-year-old son, Elliott, never stops. “He has no fear, of anybody or anything. He has no stranger danger,” Dickerson said. Are human microchips in our future? Dickerson said she though one day, “I microchip my dog, why couldn’t I microchip my son?” Stewart Lipoff said that’s the “ick factor” most people cannot get over. MORE

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Planet reeling from a series of earthquake strikes – may be indicator more quakes are on the horizon

Posted: 13 May 2015 08:04 PM PDT

As the above map indicates, seismic stress factors appear to be building along the Alpide Belt and across the ever-volatile Pacific Ring of Fire. 97% of the earthquakes on the planet occur in these two densely-populous regions.

The occurrence of large earthquake events could continue, as tectonic plates across the globe readjust to the recent flurry of seismic unrest. People living in the regions of Mexico and Central America should also remain alert for the outbreak of moderate to large-scale seismic events that could come on the heels of these recent events. EP

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Molten lava gushes out of Sicily’s Mount Etna volcano

Posted: 13 May 2015 07:59 PM PDT

Molten lava is seen spewing from Mount Etna in Sicily in this dramatic photo that captured one of the most active volcanoes on Earth acting up again. The Strombolian activity – in which incandescent matter is propelled in relatively low-level eruptions – occurred at the New SE crater, according to volcanodiscovery.com. The event, captured in the photo by Barcroft Media, was accompanied by a “rising tremor,” the site reported.

“The current pattern is very similar to many past episodes which often culminated in violent explosive (lava fountain) and effusive (lava flow) paroxysms and could very well build up to a new one,” the site said. Mount Etna is the largest and most active volcano in Europe, with frequent eruptions that are often accompanied by large flows of lava – though they rarely endanger inhabited areas. The volcano, which towers above the city of Catania, has been erupting periodically for the past 2,000 years. EP

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Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano lava lake drops out of public view – earthquakes continue

Posted: 13 May 2015 07:54 PM PDT

As the summit of Kilauea volcano continues to deflate, the lava lake is dropping out of view. Over the past few weeks, the volcanic spectacle of the rising lava lake has been drawing thousands of visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where for the first time the lava could be seen from the Jaggar Museum overlook.

Before that, the lava could only be observed on USGS webcams stationed around Halema’uma’u crater. The rise – and occasional overflow – of the lava lake coincided with a steep inflation at the summit, as recorded by continuously operating electronic tiltmeters. But this weekend, that inflationary trend reversed, and the lava lake began to recede. MORE

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Why Are Exchange-Traded Funds Preparing For A ‘Liquidity Crisis’ And A ‘Market Meltdown’?

Posted: 13 May 2015 07:48 PM PDT

Some really weird things are happening in the financial world right now. If you go back to 2008, there was lots of turmoil bubbling just underneath the surface during the months leading up to the great stock market crash in the second half of that year. When Lehman Brothers finally did collapse, it was a total shock to most of the planet, but we later learned that their problems had been growing for a long time. I believe that we are in a similar period right now, and the second half of this year promises to be quite chaotic. Apparently, those that run some of the largest exchange-traded funds in the entire world agree with me, because as you will see below they are quietly preparing for a “liquidity crisis” and a “market meltdown”.

About a month ago, I warned of an emerging “liquidity squeeze“, and now analysts all over the financial industry are talking about it. Could it be possible that the next great financial crisis is right around the corner? According to Reuters, the companies that run some of the largest exchange-traded funds in existence are deeply concerned about what a lack of liquidity would mean for them during the next financial crash. So right now they are quietly “bolstering bank credit lines” so that they will be better positioned for “a market meltdown”…MORE

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Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, May 14, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Report: At Least 5,000 Catholics Killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria

Lecrae Writing Book about Struggles with Drugs, Alcoholism

College President: Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage May Lead to Christian School Closings

Carly Fiorina: If Supreme Court Legalized Gay Marriage, I Wouldn’t Reverse It

House to Vote on 20-Week Abortion Ban

Human Trafficking Thrives in Thailand

Seattle Student Uncovered as Prominent ISIS Recruiter

Judge Rules Dementia Patient Must be Euthanized

Senate Votes to Save Saeed Abedini

Boston Bomber Expresses Remorse to Catholic Nun

Opinion

Good News for Born-Again Christians

What the Western Church Can Do about ISIS

Can You be a Christian without Believing in Christ?

Tom Brady and the ‘Win at All Costs’ Mentality

How Did We Come to the ‘Me First’ Culture?


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 14, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blogroll Collection

Every christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it. —John Stott

May 11 Quotes


The Sexualization Of The American College…

Mary Ann Glendon, a Roman Catholic law professor at Harvard University, wrote a review of Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons in which she said that his book should be mandatory reading for all parents sending a child to college. Much of her review can be summed up by two equally damning points: “Not only have institutions of higher education decisively rejected the role of shaping character.” “They are increasingly populated by students whose parents have abdicated their own responsibility.”

Read more


How To Restore A Culture In One Easy Step

Imagine what might happen, though, if we took a different approach. Imagine if we treated the Bible as if it were an actual book that we read from beginning to end. Imagine that instead of reading a chapter a day (as proscribed in our devotionals) that we hunkered down and read large chunks, the way we would read Melville, Dostoevsky, or Stephen King. Imagine if we stopped treating it solely as a reference work, to be pulled off the shelf when we need some advice, but as a coherent narrative, a work of literary art co-produced by the very Creator Himself.

Read more


A Call for the Church in Scotland to Return to Biblical Roots

Do we want to spend our time remembering the Christendom of the past, and moaning about the secularism and spiritual confusion of the present? Or do we want to see Scotland return to its spiritual roots? Do we recognise that a renewed Scotland needs a renewed Church? If we do, then we need to be much more radical. The term comes from the Latin “radix” meaning “roots”. The Church needs to return to its biblical roots.

Read more


Church Membership Obligations

This is why the Lord’s Day became so important in the early Christianity. It was the time for the formal, public gathering of Christians to worship. In Acts 20:7 we read: “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them.” Had they not gathered together, they would not have heard Paul’s message and would not have been instructed in the things of God properly.

Read more


Socialization as a Religious Phenomenon

Religious practice creates a community that encourages social interaction and fosters positive youth development, so much so that it overwhelms differences in schooling choice. There is no evidence that home schooling youth are poorly socialized. However, there is evidence that we are asking and addressing the wrong question. Instead, the data suggest that children and teens in our churches and other religious institutions are engaged in more social interaction and are being better socialized.

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Reformed Women Speak: A Call to Attend the OPC General Assembly

The upcoming appeal to the trial decision, which will be heard at OPC General Assembly in June, is a opportunity to show to the OPC community and beyond that women’s bodies matter, that women themselves matter, that a man who protects his chronically ill and disabled wife, acting towards her in accordance with his conscience before God will be supported and embraced, not condemned.

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The Continued Rise of the Nones – Church & Culture Blog

When I wrote The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, the most recent data revealed that the “nones” made up one out of every five Americans, which made them the second largest religious group in the United States – second only to Catholics. They were also the fastest growing religious group in the nation.

And when I wrote about it being fast, I meant fast.

As you see in this graph, the number of “nones” in the 1930’s and 1940’s hovered around 5 percent. By 1990, that number had only risen to 8 percent, a mere 3 percent rise in over half a century. Between 1990 and 2008 – just 18 years – the number of “nones” nearly doubled leaping from 8.1 percent to 15 percent. Then, in just four short years, it climbed to nearly 20 percent, representing one of every five Americans. And when you studied only those adults under the age of 30, it went to one out of every three people.

But hold on – it’s gotten worse.

First came the figures released in March from the General Social Survey, filling in the gap between 2012 and 2014. Then, this week, the Pew Research Center released its latest findings. Both are considered the “gold standard” of research.

In just two years, the “nones” have climbed from 19 percent to nearly one out of every four adults.

(*The GSS charted the rise to around 21 percent, the Pew study at around 23 percent).

The “nones” are no longer the second largest religious group in the United States, but the largest. And still, by far, the fastest-growing.

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They’re Back….

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was were no deceptive movements disguising themselves as Biblical Christianity these days? If we could turn on Christian television and not worry about deception disguised as “truth”. If we could enjoy a Saturday morning without that knock on the door bringing another religious cult member wanting to tell you […]

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Replacement Theology

Last week our guest Pastor David Hocking had some stern warnings against the doctrine of “Replacement Theology” which states the Church has replaced Israel and God’s promises to Israel no longer apply to the final days. What are your views when you read what Paul wrote in Romans? What does your church teach or believe […]

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Dear Bryan: Replying to “The State of the PCA”

When confessionalists hear that gender accommodation, positive engagement over homosexuality, and the acceptance of the secularist theory of evolution are necessary to our cultural success (you didn’t mention this, but it is a looming issue in our division), we scour our Bibles in vain to discover valid precedents. In the spirit of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, we admit that we have no confidence in sociological leverage but rely completely on the supernatural blessing of a merciful and sovereign God on the ordinary means of grace he has given to his Church.

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Tired of the Church Being Down on Millennials? Here are 7 Bits of Good News


You Need Help to be a Proverbs 31 Woman


Bible Video: Soar on Eagles Wings with This Version of Isaiah 40!


23 Guidelines to Protect Your Purity in Dating

First of all, remember that if you plant purity today, you will reap a rich harvest, free from shame and guilt. And, by the grace of God, you’ll look back on your life not with regret, but with joyful gratitude.


Defying ISIS

ISIS must be stopped. And author Johnnie Moore wants the Western Church to wake up before it’s too late.
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13 Mistakes People Make in Social Media Bios

Barnabas Piper shares a few of the common errors he sees in Twitter bios.

Charles Spurgeon, Susannah, and The Pilgrim’s Progress

Ray Rhodes Jr:

Why did Spurgeon give a copy of Bunyan’s book to Susannah instead of a copy of the Bible with passages highlighted to address her particular situation? Growing up in a Christian home, Susannah had long enjoyed access to the Bible. She had also heard the Scripture expounded numerous times at New Park Street. What Susannah most needed was not another Bible, but instead, biblical counsel. Understanding Spurgeon’s attitude towards John Bunyan generally and The Pilgrim’s Progress specifically provides hints as to why he chose this classic work for Susannah.

The Unfortunate Triumph of Clickbait Christianity

Aaron Earls:

Because the decline in “Christians” is overwhelmingly the result of these nominal believers dropping the name and embracing their practical lack of religion, what this really should lead to is a collapse of clickbait style religion reporting.

But nuance takes work and doesn’t fit well in a tweet. “Well, it’s kinda complicated” doesn’t naturally elicit Facebook shares or garner viral style page views. Yet that doesn’t make it any less true.

Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

R.C. Sproul:

Over the years I’ve had many young Christians ask me how to he more spiritual or more pious. Rare has been the earnest student who said, “Teach me how to be righteous.” Why, I wondered, does anybody want to be spiritual? What is the purpose of spirituality? What use is there in piety?

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Why we’re drawn to podcasts—and why they’re good (and bad) for us

podcast-church

Podcasts are not your pastor.

I realize this is ridiculously obvious, yet it is so necessary for us to remind ourselves of this fact. We have more podcasts being created by more people than ever before (including one, eventually, by me). Some are completely separate from what happens in the local church on a Sunday morning—their goal is not to replace church, but to enhance, which is a good thing (but I’m getting ahead of myself). Others tend to be limited to the Sunday morning message from a given local church.

None of these are bad, obviously. And to be clear, we should never have to choose between podcasts and our pastors—instead, we should always see podcasts as being a beneficial addition to the teaching we receive in our local churches. Yet, I sometimes I wonder if they’re contributing more to the consumerist mentality that plagues the Christian life in North America.

When podcasts supplant pastors in our hearts and minds, we should be gravely concerned. But what concerns me is not entirely the consumerist mentality, or the continued perpetuation of Christian celebrity. Instead, I want to know why people turn to podcasts and perhaps too frequently looking to them as their source of biblical nourishment? Here are two reasons I’d suggest:

1. An inability of church members to submit to the leaders placed over them. The reasons for this are twofold: First, we lack a proper understanding of that there is even such a thing as objective truth. This is fundamentally a worldview issue—if truth is relative, then I am the arbiter of truth, so I’m ultimately my own authority. At best, everyone else has an opinion, but it’s not something I need to listen to. The current generation’s attitudes toward leadership is fruit of decades of mistrust and skepticism. We expect politicians to lie to us. We assume our bosses are going to throw us under the bus in order to save their own skin. And we have wrongly projected that onto our church leaders. This unhealthy attitude must be countered and corrected.

2. Pastors are failing to preach. To not put too fine a point on it, if pastors are not preaching the Word, they are failing their congregations. As Jared Wilson once put it so succinctly, “Putting some Bible verses in your message is not the same thing as preaching the Scriptures.” Christians who are starving for the nourishment that only comes from the preached Word will inevitably seek it out elsewhere, and if that’s a podcast, so be it. But here’s the thing: if you’re in a church where you truly never hear the Bible preached, you seriously need to leave and join one where it is. Podcasts might be a benefit in the short term, but they shouldn’t replace sitting under the faithful preaching of a pastor who knows and loves you.

So those are my concerns. And yet, as I have already said, podcasts can be (and often are) hugely helpful for many people. After all, that’s what they’re intended for. So here are a few positive benefits:

1. Podcasts can prevent you turning your pastor into an idol. Listening to other pastors offers you different perspectives as well as opportunities for discussion with your pastor and can help keep you from viewing him as your sole source of truth. In other words, it can help prevent you from turning him into an idol. We naturally attempt to put anyone and anything in the place of God. But to put any person in that position is not only unfair, it is evil. Podcasts can help remind you that your pastor is a regular person, just like you. Every pastor, no matter how excellent a student of the Word, is imperfect. He can and will make mistakes. And a good pastor is never afraid of his congregation hearing the Word from other sources, provided those sources hold fast to the truth.

2. Podcasts can help you recognize false teachers and doctrine. This one is a bit touchy as there is a greater possibility of exposure to false teachers and doctrine through podcasts; iTunes doesn’t check for doctrinal fidelity. So when you subscribe you might find yourself listening to something terrible—but that podcast might also help you identify and counter false teaching within your own congregation, whether it’s found in your small group discussions (which happens), or—God forbid!—from the pulpit or platform at your local church.

3. Podcasts can help you redeem your commute. Rather than listening to smutty and/or irrelevant morning-drive shows, a podcast can help you prepare for your day on a positive note, using the time that has been given to you to hear the truth expounded. This is a wonderful and necessary thing. Prior to selling our house and moving, I had a roughly 30 minute commute (round trip) each day, which I used to listen to audiobooks and podcasts such as Ligonier’s Renewing Your Mind. This was hugely beneficial not only to my ability to do my job well, but to prepare myself for the second half of my day—being “dad,” helping my wife and writing.

4. Podcasts can help you become a better preacher. Don Carson has often said that if you listen to one person, you’re going to be a bad copy, if you listen to 10, you’ll be boring, and if you listen to 50, you’ll start to develop your own voice. Podcasts allow preachers to hear how others communicate, learn helpful techniques and grow in the role to which God has called them.

The important thing for us to note (again) is that podcasts can be very valuable to our spiritual health and growth provided they maintain their proper position in our lives—that is serving as a supplement and complement to the instruction we receive within our local churches and in our personal study. So give thanks for their existence, encourage others when you find worthwhile ones to listening to and enjoy.

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Five Reasons Some Pastors Are Loners—And Why That’s Not Good

By Chuck Lawless

I admit it. I have a tendency to be a loner. I like my personal space and my private time. I recognize, though, that my tendencies aren’t always the best for a pastor. Here are my reflections on others like me:

Why Some of Us are Loners

  1. Some of us are naturally introverts. In fact, I’m convinced many pastors are introverts, but we’ve learned how to manage the public responsibilities of shepherding a church. Fellowship gatherings drain us, but we go anyway because we know we need to. If we don’t have our alone time, however, we’d never rejuvenate.
  2. Some have been hurt in the past. It doesn’t take many experiences of sharing ministry with others, becoming best friends with your staff, opening up to members . . . and then getting wounded . . . before you become a loner out of self-protection.
  3. It’s easier to do ministry alone. It takes less time to make a visit if I go by myself. I don’t have to worry about anybody’s schedule. Lunch takes less time if it’s not connected to hanging out with another believer. We even spiritualize our thinking: “we can get more done for God’s glory this way.”
  4. It’s risky to be vulnerable. If I never invite others into my life, I never need to talk about my fears, my weaknesses, my failures. Nobody learns that I sometimes struggle as a spouse or a parent. Nobody knows that my confidence sometimes masks my insecurities.
  5. It’s the only model we know. Too few of us had someone pour into our lives when we were young pastors. We have learned the lessons of ministry the hard way – by ourselves – and we’ve learned how to survive on our own.

Why that Pattern’s Not Good

  1. It misses the point that God created us to be with others. When God said in the Garden, “It is not good for man to be alone,” He was not talking about a consequence of the fall. He spoke prior to the fall – showing He created us to be in relationship with others. He did not intend us to do ministry by ourselves.
  2. It misses the way Jesus did ministry. Jesus always got it right: He knew how to balance His time with the Father and with others. He called individuals, preached to the hundreds, and fed the thousands – all while also patiently investing in a few men. Even in his toughest moments (like the Garden of Gethsemane), He wanted men with Him.
  3. It’s dangerous. Let’s be honest: we often make our dumbest decisions when we are alone. Isolation breeds trouble, and that trouble sometimes costs us our ministry. I have met very few leaders who fell when they were sharing life and ministry with others.
  4. It can be self-centered. It sounds odd to say that my desire to work alone can somehow be self-centered, but it can be. It’s my My space. My plans. My ministry. Meanwhile, I share little with others who might long to learn beside their pastor.
  5. It’s not good leadership. Most of us know this truth intellectually, but we don’t practically live it out. If my departure from a church leaves a hole that seriously slows the congregation’s work, I have not been the best leader. I’ve probably, intentionally or unintentionally, built a kingdom around me – and that’s not good.

What Should We Do?

Admit our tendencies. Ask God for courage and wisdom to invest in someone else. Find 1-3 other believers into whose lives we might invest ourselves. Then, do something with these other leaders. Each step will help you break the pattern of being a loner.


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

photo credit: Decaffeination ! via photopin (license)

The post Five Reasons Some Pastors Are Loners—And Why That’s Not Good appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


8 Recommendations “When Counseling Hits a Dead End”

As a counseling pastor, one of the most frequent questions I receive from our lay counselors and caregivers is what to do when you’ve done all the “right things” and nothing seems to be working. Here are eight recommendations I share with them by way of encouragement even when counseling seems to have hit a dead end. Continue reading

How to Poison Your Marriage in 3 Easy Steps

5 Things Christians Should Stop Saying on Facebook

Christianity’s Dying… and That’s Good News?


 It’s What We Say, Not How We Say It

Making our arguments winsomely is important. But it won’t carry the day. That’s because, in the end, Christianity will remain a scandal in the world’s eyes.
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Hillsong Church Leader Christine Caine Proudly Admits To New Age Practice Of ‘Impartation’

“Oh yes, I did lay my own hands on Joyce Meyer’s bible & teaching notes & prayed for an impartation of that teaching anointing & revelation.”

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV)

One reason for the rapid growth of the Hillsong “church” corporation has been it’s willingness to make their church services indistinguishable from your average rock concert and laser light show. Start with 45 minutes of Christian rock “worship”, sprinkle a few minutes of heart-felt “easy believism” and “come get your blessings” emotional manipulation, close with using the Old Testament tithing command to the Jews only to drain their wallets, and viola! Thanks for coming to Hillsong, see you next week. But it doesn’t end there.

christine-caine-hillsong-bible-teacher-joyce-meyer-laodicean-paganism-church

Christine Caine, a Hillsong bible teacher and evangelist, was recently speaking at the same event as bible perverter Joyce “ye are little gods” Meyer. Caine laid hands on Joyce Meyer’s bible and speaking notes, and asked the universe to magically transfer the same (demonic) anointing that’s on Meyer to herself. This is not Biblical Christianity, this is New Age spiritualism. Her exact words were:

““Oh yes, I did lay my own hands on @joycemeyer bible & teaching notes & prayed for an impartation of that teaching anointing & revelation. It was a privilege & honor to shadow her this past week. Far more is “caught” than is ever “taught” in life!” source Instagram

Now, in case you are not aware, this is more in line with witchcraft and spell casting then it is with old-fashioned Bible teaching. In fact, the idea that you can impart this sort of thing was tried in the book of Acts, and roundly rebuked.

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Acts 8:17-20 (KJV)

When Christine Caine Met Joyce Meyer:

Contrary to the Charismatic teaching that faith is more “caught than taught”, a real and abiding faith in God’s word comes from daily study of His word, as commanded in 2 Timothy 2:15, and then a prayerful application of what you have read and believed. If any Bible teacher that you listen to or follow is engaging in this type of New Age “christianity”, then you need to stop following that false teacher and get back to someone who will give you Bible doctrine.

The fact that Hillsong allows this type of quackery to go on within it’s church tells you everything you need to know about what and how they believe. I will close with this now-prophetic quote from the great 19th century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who saw this day coming:

“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Amen, brother, though thou be dead you yet speaketh. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

 

The post Hillsong Church Leader Christine Caine Proudly Admits To New Age Practice Of ‘Impartation’ appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Blind guides

Rev. Andy Stanley (pastor of reputed Atlanta megachurch North Point Ministries; son of famous conservative pastor Charles Stanley) is seriously misguided in a number of his comments on homosexuality. He comes across as someone who supports homosexual unions but can’t come out and say it directly for fear of losing members. If Stanley can’t clearly support Jesus’ teaching on the male-female matrix for human sexuality, it is time for members of his church to consider a different church home.
(1) He finds it “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas [religious freedom] law.” He said, “Serving people we don’t see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn’t see eye to eye…. Jesus taught that if a person is divorced and gets remarried, it’s adultery. So if (Christians) don’t have a problem doing business with people getting remarried, why refuse to do business with gays and lesbians.”
Stanley confuses baking a generic cake (which Christian bakers have not refused to do) with producing a “gay wedding” cake, replete with lettering (which Christian bakers have rightly refused as immoral). The fact that Jesus died for a sinful world in no way suggests that Jesus would produce goods and services that directly celebrate immorality. “Repent” was a staple of Jesus’ message, as were judgment warnings for those who did not (for example, the warnings against Galilean cities in Matt 11:20-24; Luke 10:10-15). By Stanley’s reasoning, Jesus would have carved a wooden plaque for the adulterous woman, inscribed with the words “We support your adultery.”
Yes, Jesus regarded remarriage after divorce as a form of adultery (probably a weakened form since there is no evidence that he told divorced-and-remarried persons in his audience to separate). Yet his position on remarriage after divorce is extrapolated secondarily from a foundational male-female requirement for sexual relations, which foundation is directly overturned in the acceptance of homosexual unions. Stanley is adopting an approach that an action taken in a lesser offense would apply equally to a greater offense, which is bad logic. The closest parallel to homosexual practice in terms of severity would be a case of adult-consensual incest, not remarriage after divorce. Does Stanley believe that Jesus or Paul would have lettered a celebratory cake for an incestuous union between a man and his mother? How ridiculous.
Michael Brown nicely states: “The issue here is not one of serving a gay couple but of participating in something that causes us to violate our conscience, like a Christian photographer asking two men to pose in a romantic kiss for their “wedding” pictures, or that same photographer doing a porn shoot in order to serve the world, or that same photographer shooting a fund raiser for a new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.”
(2) Stanley also thinks that Christians should “take a break” for one year from the culture wars. Oddly enough, though, Jesus did not “take a break” from speaking out against material exploitation of the poor and sexual sin (what little there was in first-century Jewish Palestine) when he reached out to exploitative tax collectors and sexual sinners. He rather ratcheted up God’s demand, removing any existing loopholes.
Again, Michael Brown has a good response: “Would this include our fighting for the lives of the unborn? Or combatting human trafficking? Our seeking to improve the education system? Or is it only issues having to do with homosexuality, in which case we should sit idly by if the Supreme Court makes a disastrous decision on marriage in June, or when our kids come home from school crying because of the latest gay indoctrination assembly they had to sit through, or when yet another believer is fired from his or her job for having a politically incorrect viewpoint? Take a year off? Perhaps the same counsel could have been given to Christians fighting against other social ills in the past, including slavery and segregation?”
(3) Stanley infers that it is not proper for him to take a clear stand on homosexual practice in view of the absence of “consensus” in his church, as though poll-taking rather than Scripture were the basis for morality. He says: “There is not consensus in this room when it comes to same-sex attraction; there is not consensus in this room when it comes to gay marriage.” Would he decline to take a stance against racism and anti-Semitism, incest and polyamory, rape and domestic violence, if he lacked a consensus in his congregation?
Stanley adds: “We just can’t continue to look into the filter of our politics at our spirituality. It’s got to be the other way around — and specifically when it comes to this issue.” Yet it is Stanley who is inserting his politics into his spirituality by letting his politics of civil support for homosexual unions alter what Scripture says. Brown is right: “The reason we stand against the redefining of marriage and the normalizing of homosexuality is not because we are bringing our politics into our spirituality but because we are bringing our spirituality into every area of life.”
(4) Stanley states that regardless of one’s views on homosexual relations we can all agree that the church should be a “safe place” for persons who identify as “gay.” “We just need to decide from now on in our churches when a Middle School kid comes out to his small group leader or a high school young lady comes out to her parents. We just need to decide, regardless of what you think about this topic — no more students are going to feel like they have to leave the local church because they’re same-sex attracted or because they’re gay. That ends with us.” I fully agree that no one should be made to feel out of place in the church for the mere experience of same-sex attractions. Yet, as with everything else, it is a matter of what one does with what one feels.
Does Stanley think that Paul created a “safe place” for the unrepentant incestuous man in 1 Cor 5? Paul didn’t create a circumstance where the incestuous man felt that he had to leave; rather, he insisted that the offender be put aside of the community so as to bring him to his senses. A person engaged in egregious sexual immorality, in a serial-unrepentant manner that celebrates the behavior, should of course be safe from violence or genuine verbal abuse but should not be given a complete pass from gentle correction and, if need be, admonition and rebuke. The reaction of the church should be conditioned by particular circumstances: for example, whether the offender is a professed believer or not, is struggling with sin or self-affirming of the sin.
Let’s get one thing clear: Jesus’ call to discipleship was never “safe.” It demands that we take up our cross, deny ourselves, and lose our lives. Jesus included rebuke and church discipline among the acts of love in which the community of believers ought to engage, as well as a certain ‘holy gullibility’ about the genuineness of a confession of repentance after numerous offenses (Luke 17:3-4; Matt 18:15-35; in Lev 19:17-18 the command to love one’s neighbor includes reproof of neighbor who is doing harm to his relationship with God or with others). If I am struggling with sin, I want fellow believers neither to dismiss me as hopelessly reprobate nor to make me feel comfortable in the continuance of my sin. C. S. Lewis got it right about Christ-image of the lion Aslan: “’Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver; ‘Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

 


The Good Samaritan

jesus40days

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

On one occasion an expert in the Law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law,” Jesus replied, “How do you read it?” He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind [Deut. 6:5] and love your neighbor as yourself [Lev 19:18].” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied, “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself and so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29).

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The “least of these” are not the poor but the Christian baker, photographer, and florist


Understanding Racial Discrimination and Why LGBT Activists Are Out of Line

by Dr. Andrew Corbett

Those supportive of a “Gay” lifestyle like to argue that their case is the same kind of unfair discrimination experienced by African Americans up until the 1960s. By doing this, they make their case sound ‘obviously’ unfair. It’s worth noting that this has outraged many in the Black community who can immediately and clearly see that there is just no comparison between the two issues.

Racial discrimination is insidious! It demeans a human being on the basis of their ethnicity, skin colour, or even nationality by considering them less than human. Demeaning another human as being less than human – on the basis of gender, race, status, professional, ability, is intolerable! Christians were at the forefront of confronting this in England during the campaign of William Wilberforce M.P., and the American Civil Rights Movement of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. But for the LGBT (Lesbian / Gay / Bi-Sexual / Trans-gendered) activists to claim that their campaign is exactly same “human rights” “discrimination” violation as that which the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King was involved in confronting is going too far and has caused many to realise that the LGBT’s campaign for “sexual-anarchy” has nothing to do with the Civil Rights movement.

“The hijacking of the civil rights movement by homosexuals, bisexuals and gender-confused people is unacceptable. There is no legitimate comparison between skin color and sexual behavior”
– Rev. William Owens, C.A.A.P. (The Coalition of African-American Pastors) [Source]

1. Being treated unfairly as a human being because of your skin colour has to do with what it means to be human.

Human rights begins with the right to be. That is, being human starts from the moment you exist as a zygote. Your human rights are not subject to your size, your location, your environment, your location (S.L.E.D.). This means that human rights begin the fundamental right of existence (“life”). The colour of a person’s skin has nothing to do with this. On the other hand, the assertion by LGBT activists who advocate for sexual anarchy (no moral restrictions on sexual conduct) logically violates this fundamental principle…

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Understanding Racial Discrimination and Why LGBT Activists Are Out of Line


Tempted On All Points?

Here’s John Piper’s answer to Justin Taylor’s question based upon Hebrews 4:15.

Can Jesus really identify with me when he doesn’t know the experience of indwelling sin raging war against the Spirit?


The Daily Discovery (May 14, 2015)

Lecrae, Sadie Robertson, and the Devil Went Down to Georgia – “So goes the story in Meansville, Georgia as reported by the Christian Post. According to Marc Pritchett, founder of RUSH Ministries, these commitments took place during a ministry event put on by his organization on May 9th, 2015. Pritchett claims that ‘10,000 souls’ have been reached through Rush Ministries since its founding over a decade ago. Pritchett estimated that approximately 7,000 young people attended his May 9th event in Meansville.”

Ed Young at Code Orange – Revisited – “For those of you who are newer to Falsified Ministries, you may not be aware of a video we put together a few years ago of Ed Young’s antics at the Code Orange Revival hosted by Steven’s Furtick’s Elevation Church back in January of 2012. We thought it might be helpful for you as a follow up to “Ed Young is ‘Donkey Wrong’ with ‘Hee Haw’”, in order to understand just how much deception into which people at Fellowship Church are caught up.”

First Video of Romans 9 Debate Posted – “Well, this really wasn’t supposed to be how this was done, but hey… I am really desirous of putting this whole experience in the rearview mirror. I am looking forward to my debate with Shaykh Mustafa Umar in SoCal on the 23rd, so I would really like to get this situation wrapped up. Leighton Flowers has posted his crew’s video of the debate.”

5 Reasons to Be Silent -“Silence is not highly valued in modern culture. When it comes to communication, it seems that we value quantity above all. And in our digital world it only gets easier to add your own voice to the cacophony. I recently read about a new book that suggests the act of writing is outstripping the act of reading in the digital age.”

Refreshed In Repentance – Hear Trevin Wax’s story.


SERMON:

Voddie Baucham – Adapting to the Culture…Or Not


VIDEOS:

Ten Effects of Romans 9 on My Life

How Does the Old Testament Point to Jesus?


“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


Blogs

5 Reasons Why I Love Preaching Psalms | Biblical Preaching

Stephen Curry and the Culture of Self-Trust | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

13 Tips For Leading The Congregation In Prayer

“Whoever Would Save His Life Will Lose It” — A Charge for Graduates – AlbertMohler.com

4 Guidelines for Addressing “Mindfulness” | Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs

Helping Deaf Students to Flourish | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

Dear Class of 2015, You’re in Big Trouble – WSJ

Jeb Bush’s eloquent defense of Christianity – The Washington Post

You’re Drinking Caffeine All Wrong: How That Daily Coffee Ends Up Making You More Tired | RealClearScience

Our attention span is now less than that of a goldfish, Microsoft study finds – Science – News – The Independent

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God Our Healer

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. In Isaiah 53:5 I believe ” and by his stripes we are healed”, Is speaking of a spiritual healing not a physical healing. It sounds like you believe it is a physical healing. (A well known commentator) says it is not a physical healing. I’m confused…Can you help me?

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Where Is Babylon, Really?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I know you have answered this in the past but one again the “America is Babylon” scenario is being offered up.   I’ve been pretty much on board with your thinking that America is not Babylon the Great  Nevertheless, there are some valid points to consider especially about the seeming lack of time to build it along with all the infrastructure that needs to be put in place. It seems to be less and less plausible the nearer we get to the rapture.  Do you still hold to your position?

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Are We Literally And Individually His Bride?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  As members of the Church, are we going to marry the Lord in the literal sense? The Bible mentions a marriage supper and the Church is currently the Bride of Christ and we are brides individually not just parts of the Bride, at least that’s what I believe.   Does that mean that in Eternity Jesus will be our Husband on an individual level too?

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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


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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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Of Lawful Vows

The Reformed Reader

The Christian's Reasonable Service, 4 VolumesVows are probably not on the radar of many Christians today.  Perhaps there isn’t a specific reason why we don’t think much about vows, or perhaps we’ve heard of crazy or unbiblical vows which has made us shy away from them altogether.  However, there are proper vows that Christians can voluntarily make to God.  Scripture has more than a few examples (e.g. Deut. 6:13, Ps. 50:14, 119:106; Eccl. 5:4-6, etc.).  So what is a biblical vow to God?

W. a Brakel defined a vow like this:

“[It] is a commitment toward God.  It is a voluntary commitment either to perform a good deed or to refrain from something, either as an expression of gratitude or to promote our spiritual well-being.”

Similarly, the Westminster Confession of Faith says a vow is only to be made to God voluntarily out of faith and Christian duty, to show God thanks for mercy, for…

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More Blowback From the Pew Report: Who is Leaving the Church? Apostates

Zwinglius Redivivus

A report released this week by the Pew Research Center states that the number of professing Christians is in decline in America, but largely in denominations held to be apostate.

The organization released its report “America’s Changing Religious Landscape” earlier this week, claiming that “the Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing.”

From June 4 through Sept. 30 of last year, the organization surveyed 35,071 Americans about their religious beliefs, and found an eight percent drop over the past seven years in those who identified as Christians.

The research group also found that those who identify as atheists or agnostics, or didn’t have any interest in religion “in particular” rose six percent. Growth of Muslim and Hindus in America rose less than two percent.

#Bam.  Buh bye, ya bloody apostates.  And

“[E]vangelical Protestants…

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Studies in Eschatology [5]

hipandthigh

tabernacle1The Israel/Church Distinctive

I began a study looking at eschatology by considering the basic hermeneutics, or those principles of Bible study that are foundational for the various eschatological systems.   With this article, I want to touch briefly on a significant principle of hermenuetics, The Israel – Church Relationship.

The Israel – Church relationship is without a doubt the most significant disagreement between all the adherents of each eschatological system. Moreover, nearly all the other hermeneutical principles are shaped by how one understands the differences and similarities between the national, ethnic group Israel, or the Jews, with the NT Church, which is defined as being comprised of both Jews and gentiles united in one body in Christ.

With all the literature I have read on the subject, those who hold to a Reformed Covenant view of Scripture practically make any dissenting position from their understanding of Israel and the Church a…

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Albert Mohler Blog: “Children of the Day”

In this blog post, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. gives his charge to this semester’s graduates of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mohler writes:

“The calling of the Christian ministry is a call that comes to a child of the day to serve the children of the day. We cannot call ourselves, gift ourselves, transform ourselves, or even keep ourselves. But we are children of the day by God’s grace and for God’s glory, and we are called to serve the children of the day by the light of Christ. Our identity is clear — to belong to Christ is to be children of the day, so let us minister as children of the day.”

Click here to read more

William Lane Craig answers: why choose Christianity over Judaism or Islam?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

This is the latest question on the Reasonable Faith Q&A section.

It says:

Hello Dr. Craig,

I have always wondered about your claim that Christianity is the only true religion (based on historical evidence as you say). But how can you be so sure when Islamic and Jewish scholars claim the same claim?

As a former atheist and now an agnostic, the question of which religion to choose is essential. I’m very well acquainted with Islamic Theology and unlike your claim. Islam affirms that Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same god (“Allah” is not a special god for Muslims rather it’s the term for god in Arabic).

So what is your position on Islam? (And I would really like to know from who do you get your information on Islamic theology).

I also would to invest some time in Christian theology, would kindly recommend…

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Dear Hand Wringers and Lamenters of the Pew Religion Survey Conclusions…

Zwinglius Redivivus

Stop it.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out , that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us. – 1 John 2:19.

Why would the Church – or Christians – wish people in the fold who cared nothing for it and simply wished to use it for their own ends?  If they leave, they never belonged in the first place.  And you can’t miss something that was never there.

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GTY Blog: Giving the Gospel to Your Children

Selected Scriptures

Code: B150513

by John MacArthur

What are the bare-bone facts of the gospel? What is the minimum information needed to believe and be saved? While those questions may foster interesting discussions, they are not valid questions for developing evangelistic programs. Sadly, too many evangelistic efforts are based on answers to those questions.

In fact, many of the formulaic approaches to the gospel deliberately omit important truths like repentance and God’s wrath against sin. Some influential voices in modern evangelicalism have actually argued that those truths (and others, including Christ’s lordship) are extraneous to the gospel. They say such matters should not even be brought up when talking to unbelievers.

Other evangelical leaders, desiring ecumenical unity with Catholic and orthodox churches, suggest that important doctrinal issues such as justification by faith and substitutionary atonement are not really essential to the gospel. They’re in effect calling for a bare-bones approach to the gospel. Their ecumenical openness implies that virtually any kind of generic faith in Christ may be regarded as authentic saving faith. They ignore the fact that the New Testament condemns those who profess to believe in Christ while rejecting or twisting the doctrine of justification (Galatians 1:6–9). It seems many evangelicals are obsessed with finding out how little of God’s truth a person can believe and still get to heaven.

Parental Evangelism

Applied to parenting, that approach has potentially eternal consequences. That’s why parents should resist the temptation to think in such terms. The sort of constant, faithful, diligent teaching required by Deuteronomy 6:6–7 is incompatible with a minimalist approach to the gospel.

The gospel is the good news about Christ. There is a sense in which the gospel includes all truth about Him. There’s no need to think of any aspect of biblical truth as incompatible with or extraneous to the gospel. In fact, since Christ is the sum and the summit of all biblical revelation (Hebrews 1:1–3), every truth in Scripture ultimately points to Him. And therefore none of it is out of place in evangelistic contexts. One could accurately say, then, that parents who want to be thorough in evangelizing their children need to teach them the whole counsel of God, taking care to show the gospel ramifications in all that truth. That, I believe, is the true spirit of what Deuteronomy 6:6–7 calls for.

No single formula can possibly meet the needs of every unregenerate person anyway. Those who are ignorant need to be told who Christ is and why He offers the only hope of salvation (Romans 10:3). Those who are careless need to be confronted with the reality of impending judgment (John 16:11). Those who are fearful need to hear that God is merciful, delighting not in the death of the wicked but pleading with sinners to come to Him for mercy (Ezekiel 33:11). Those who are hostile need to be shown the futility of opposing the will of God (Psalm 2:1–4). Those who are self-righteous need to have their sin exposed by the demands of God’s law (Romans 3:20). Those who are proud need to hear that God hates pride (1 Peter 5:5). All sinners must understand that God is holy and that Christ has met the demands of God’s perfect righteousness on behalf of sinners (1 Corinthians 1:30). Every gospel presentation should include an explanation of Christ’s sacrificial death for sin (15:3). And the message is not the gospel if it does not also recount His burial and the triumph of His resurrection (vv. 4, 17).

Highlight the Crucial Gospel Doctrines

Along with a commitment to be thorough, however, parents must also take great care to highlight certain truths that are particularly crucial to a correct understanding of the gospel. Here are some pointers that will help keep you on course:

Teach Them About God’s Holiness

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). That is not speaking of a craven fear. It is not the kind of fear that regards God as capricious in His anger. Rather, it is a devout, reverential fear of offending God’s holiness, based on a true understanding of God as One whose “eyes are too pure to approve evil, and [One who] can not look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13).

Show Them Their Sin

Be sure to teach your children from the youngest age that misbehavior is not merely an offense against Mom and Dad; it’s also a sin against a holy God, who demands that children obey their parents (Exodus 20:12).

Help educate your children’s conscience so that they understand they are accountable to God first, and then their parents. Teach them this with love and genuine compassion, not in a browbeating manner.

Teaching them they are sinners does not mean belittling them or tormenting them with constant verbal battering about their failures. The goal is not to trample their spirit by continually berating them. Instead, you need to instruct them tenderly and help them view their own fallenness from God’s perspective. They need to appreciate why they are drawn to sin, and ultimately they must sense their own need of redemption. Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). How will your child turn to Christ if he doesn’t realize he’s sick?

Instruct Them About Christ and What He Has Done

Teaching your children about their own sin is by no means an end in itself. You must also point them to the only remedy for sin—Jesus Christ. He is the heart of the gospel message, so instructing them about Jesus Christ should be the ultimate focus and the design of all your spiritual instruction.

Explain Christ’s deity (John 1:1-3, 14) and His Lordship (Philippians 2:9-11). Explain that He became a man (Philippians 2:6-7), but maintained His sinless purity (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22-23) and became the spotless sacrifice for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21), shedding His blood as an atonement for our sin (Ephesians 1:7). Explain how His death on the cross purchased our salvation (1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:20), and that He triumphantly rose from the dead (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). And explain that He freely justifies those who trust in Him (Romans 5:1-2; Galatians 2:16), and that His righteousness is imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:5-6; Philippians 3:8-9).

Tell Them What God Demands of Sinners

God calls sinners to repentance (Acts 17:30). Genuine repentance is not self-reformation or the turning over of a new leaf. It is a turning of the heart to God from all that is evil.

It’s helpful to stress that repentance is a heart-turning and should not be equated with any external action on the child’s part. In many modern evangelicals’ minds, the act of praying to invite Jesus into the heart has become practically a sacramental means of salvation. The same thing is true of lifting a hand in a meeting, or coming forward to the altar. But such external actions have no intrinsic saving efficacy. They are all works, and works cannot save. Faith—a repentant trust in Christ alone for salvation—is the one true instrument of our justification, according to Scripture. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

It’s best to avoid all such emphasis on external actions, and keep focusing instead on the response Scripture calls for from sinners.

Advise Them to Count the Cost Thoughtfully

Don’t downplay the hard demands of Christ. Don’t portray the Christian life as a life of ease, free from difficulties and dilemmas. Keep reminding your kids that the true price of following Christ always involves sacrifice, and the prelude to glory is suffering. It’s true that Christ offers the water of life freely to all who will take it (Revelation 22:17). But those who do are making an unconditional commitment to follow Him that may literally cost them their very lives.

Here is why all the central truths of the gospel focus on the cross: It reveals how heinous our sin is. It shows the intensity of God’s wrath against sin. It reveals the great love of God in paying such a high price for redemption. But it also serves as a fitting metaphor for the cost of following Christ. Jesus repeatedly stated that the cost of following Him involves a willingness to sacrifice all.

Urge Them to Trust Christ

We began by noting that regeneration is the Holy Spirit’s work in the heart, and we cautioned parents not to employ artificial means or external pressure to coax a shallow profession of faith from the child. Nonetheless, there is an urgency inherent in the gospel message itself, and it is right for parents to impress that urgency on the child’s heart.

God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

(Adapted from What the Bible Says About Parenting.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150513
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control; against…

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