Daily Archives: May 19, 2015

Christopher Hitchens debates William Lane Craig at Biola U: Does God Exist?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Here is the video of the debate has been posted:

TOPIC: DOES GOD EXIST?

MY NOTES ON THE DEBATE: (WC = William Lane Craig, CH = Christopher Hitchens)

WC opening speech:

Introduction:

WC makes two contentions:
– there are no good arguments for atheism
– there are good arguments for theism

These topics are IRRELEVANT tonight:
– social impact of christianity
– morality of Old Testament passages
– biblical inerrancy
– the debate is whether god (a creator and designer of the universe) exists

1. cosmological argument
– an actually infinite number of past events is impossible
– number of past events must be finite
– therefore universe has a beginning
– the beginning of the universe is confirmed by science –  universe began to exist from nothing
– space, time, matter, energy began at the big bang
– the creation of the universe requires a cause
– the cause…

View original post 2,765 more words

May 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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May 19, 2015

BLOOMBERG

About 55,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s State Department e-mail would be made public in January under an agency proposal.

Additional restrictions on pesticides may be needed to save honeybees and other pollinators crucial to agriculture that have been devastated over the past decade.

Islamic State’s seizure of the Iraqi city of Ramadi threatens to unravel President Obama’s strategy for defeating the Sunni extremist group without sending U.S. ground troops back to Iraq.

New residential construction in the U.S. surged in April to the highest level in more than seven years, indicating the industry regained its footing after the soft patch at the beginning of the year. Housing starts jumped 20.2 percent to a 1.14 million annualized rate, the most since November 2007.

A U.S. combat ship used agreed codes for unplanned encounters when it met a Chinese vessel during a recent patrol of the contested South China Sea, according to the vice chief of naval operations.

Greece will probably struggle through June before finally running out of money in early July.

The U.S. is about to change the global LNG market forever. When the first tanker carrying liquefied natural gas from shale fields leaves the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana in December, it will turn consumers into traders with more bargaining power. That will transform a market dominated by long-term contracts into one where spot trading gains prominence, similar to oil.

Some 61 million fewer people were employed in 2014 than there would have been had pre-crisis employment growth trends continued. The global financial crisis of 2008-10 had a big impact on jobs. Employment growth has stalled at a rate of about 1.4 percent per year since 2011. While this compares favorably with the crisis period when that rate averaged 0.9 percent, it is below the 1.7 percent annual rate between 2000 and 2007.

AP Top Stories

The remains of an American pilot who died in a plane crash in Cameroon last year are still in the cockpit even though villagers discovered the wreckage of his anti-poaching aircraft more than a month ago, officials and the pilot’s family said.

Saudi Arabia advertised vacancies for eight executioners after beheading nearly as many people since the start of the year as it did in the whole of 2014. The civil service ministry said that no qualifications were necessary and that applicants would be exempted from the usual entrance exams. It said that as well as beheadings, the successful candidates would be expected to carry out amputations ordered by the courts under the kingdom’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Funeral services were set for Monday for three victims of the deadly Philadelphia train derailment last week, as Amtrak commuter service resumed on the busy Northeast Corridor.

A 10-year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship off the Carolinas and the ship immediately sailed to a nearby port in Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A schoolteacher who gained permission to have an additional child in her hometown in one Chinese province has been ordered to have an abortion because the province where she is teaching has different rules, a family planning officer confirmed.

Facing a $1 billion budget deficit, Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature has reduced the lifetime limit for welfare recipients to the shortest window in the nation. Low-income families on welfare will now have their benefits cut off after just 12 months.

A French court has acquitted two police officers who were accused of contributing to the deaths of two teenagers in a blighted Paris suburb a decade ago.

Scientists have figured out all the steps to make morphine and similar painkillers without using opium poppies, opening the door for home-brewed drugs and even wider abuse.

An Oklahoma woman accused of slashing the corpse of her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a funeral home viewing last month was taken back into custody Monday after bond was set on an additional charge accusing her of removing body parts of the dead woman.

Federal water managers released a report Monday projecting that Lake Mead’s water levels will fall below a point in January 2017 that would force supply cuts to Arizona and Nevada.

About half of students expect to be supported financially by their parents for up to two years after graduation, according to a new survey.

BBC

Eleven Afghan policemen have been sentenced to one year in prison for failing to protect a woman beaten to death by a mob after being accused of burning a copy of the Koran in the capital Kabul in March, although witnesses said she did not.

Egyptian security forces are using sexual violence against detainees on a massive scale, according to the International Federation for Human Rights. A report by the organization suggests men, women and children are being abused “to eliminate public protest”.

A general election in Thailand is to be delayed following a decision by the military government to hold a referendum on a new constitution.

Teachers across France are going on strike against government reforms to the education system. The government wants to reduce teaching of Latin and ancient Greek, scrap an intensive language scheme and change the history curriculum.

WND

Government schools are warring on Christianity and real education, warns an education expert and one of America’s most influential Christian authors.

Researchers have figured out how to get yeast to produce morphine, codeine and other similar drugs and have immediately urged regulators to control these drug-brewing yeasts before people start trying to make them at home.

An estimated 100,000 Christians are killed each year around the world solely because of their faith, one bishop found.


Top News – 5/19/2015

Police cash confiscations still on the rise
The case of an aspiring Michigan businessman has reignited the debate over limits to the federal government’s ability to seize property of those it suspects of being involved in criminal activity.

While US scales back Mideast peace goals, Europeans talk of re-launching diplomacy
On eve of regional visit, EU foreign policy chief says coming with message that European Union is ready to support a restart of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Ollie North: Obama Invites Iraq ‘Bloodbath of Biblical Proportions’
Despite White House assurances to the contrary, the loss of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State (ISIS) forces is not a minor setback, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North says. U.S. forces fought “every day” in Ramadi between 2004 and 2007 because of the city’s strategic importance, North said Monday on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

What IS this strange sound from the sky? Noise heard across the globe for nearly a DECADE – but nobody has an explanation
Sounding like a trumpet….from a brass section of an orchestra.

Stranded sea lion pups fall victim to California’s ‘ocean deserts’
In an environment without easily accessible nutrients, sea lions are forced to forage farther afield to find food for their pups, and the results can be fatal. Mothers may be gone for up to a week, leaving pups to strike out on their own in search of food, with many arriving on shore.

Netanyahu: Protecting Israel against enemies is new government’s top priority
He said that the first task of the new government will be to protect the country against threats from Israel’s enemies in the region. Netanyahu also said that lowering the cost of living is a top priority.

Jeb Bush sees no constitutional right to gay marriage
Republican Jeb Bush said in a weekend radio interview that he does not believe the Constitution grants a right to gay marriage, emphasizing his support for “traditional marriage.”

Illinois Passes Anti-BDS Bill
Bill requires State of Illinois to divest from all companies that boycott Israel.

The Hasmoneans and the Pope
To understand the position of the church, one needs to consider the Hasmonean period. ..the Hasmoneans ushered in the eventual demise of the Commonwealth of Israel. Our rabbis teach us this negative aspect of their rule was a direct result of their assuming the “crowns” of both kingship and priesthood.

Greek Debt Settlement Deal Within Reach – Finance Minister
“We are almost there now… I would say this is a matter of just one week,” Bloomberg quoted Yanis Varoufakis as telling the Greek Star TV channel on Monday.

UNSETTLED SOLAR WIND
Earth is passing through a stream of unsettled solar wind, and this is causing intermittent geomagnetic storms around the poles. May 19th began with a G2-class storm that is subsiding now, but could flare up again in the hours ahead.

The oil price war has just begun
The first, issued on May 12 by OPEC, says, in essence, that Saudi Arabia’s effort to keep its own oil production at near-record highs is succeeding in wresting market share back from US producers of shale oil, also called “light, tight oil” (LTO). The second, issued a day later by the International Energy Agency (IEA), agrees, but only up to a point.

IS says German carried out Iraq suicide mission
A German national carried out a suicide bombing against Iraqi security forces near the city of Baiji Monday, the Islamic State group claimed in a statement posted on jihadist forums.

Iran uses maritime confrontations to project power in Gulf
Iran is using its sea power in the Gulf to show it will not be cowed by Washington’s newly assertive Arab allies, prompting critics to accuse Tehran of destabilizing the region. Iranian ships fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker which it said damaged an Iranian oil platform, causing the vessel to flee, and seized a container ship in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil route, over a debt row.

Greek debt deal within next week, says Varoufakis
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said he expects an agreement with the country’s international creditors within the next week. Greece is fast-approaching bankruptcy and is due to make a payment of €1.5bn (£1.09bn) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 5 June.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz to leave magazine
Charlie Hebdo cartoonist “Luz” who designed the magazine’s cover image of Muhammad after the Paris attacks has said he is leaving the publication. Renald Luzier told the French newspaper Liberation that his job had become “too much to bear” following the deaths of his colleagues. Twelve people were murdered when two Islamist gunmen burst into the Charlie Hebdo offices on 7 January.


Top Headlines – 5/19/2015

Netanyahu says he wants talks with Palestinians to resume, sources claim

While US scales back Mideast peace goals, Europeans talk of re-launching diplomacy

‘No alternative’ to Saudi peace plan, says expert

‘Netanyahu’s exclusionary rhetoric on Jerusalem will only ignite further strife’

Minister Ariel: Jerusalem Will be Rebuilt, Not Divided

Palestinian Authority advances bid to file lawsuits against Israel at ICC

PM to meet FIFA head as Palestinians try to kick Israel out of world soccer association

Israeli-Ethiopian protesters return to Tel Aviv to rally against police brutality, racism

IDF arrests 17 suspects – including 7 Hamas members in security sweeps across the West Bank

Palestinian Authority continues crackdown on Hamas supporters

Turkey to Help Hamas Rebuild 19 Destroyed ‘Missile Mosques’

Warm Vatican welcome for PA president sparks ire in Jerusalem

US calls death sentence for former Egyptian president Morsi’s ‘unjust’

It’s Not Just Boko Haram, Fulani Muslim Herdsmen Are also Killing Christians in Nigeria; More Than 70 Murdered in One Month

ISIS now controls a supply route from Syria’s largest city to Iraq’s capital

ISIS capture of Ramadi renews concerns about US troop pullout, weapons left behind

UN: Nearly 25,000 Iraqis have fled ISIS-controlled Ramadi

Islamic State advances east from Iraq’s Ramadi towards army base

ISIS Fighters Seized Advantage in Iraq Attack by Striking During Sandstorm

IS says German carried out Iraq suicide mission

Yemen conflict: Saudi-led air strikes resume as truce ends

Iran uses maritime confrontations to project power in Gulf

Iran eyeing full-force return to oil market once nuclear deal passes

Officials say US drone strike kills 3 militants in Pakistani tribal region near Afghanistan

British ‘White Widow’ rises in Al-Shabaab, reportedly had role in 400 murders

‘Innocence of Muslims’ Ruling Reversed by Appeals Court in Favor of Google

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz to leave magazine

Ukraine says it will prosecute captured Russian soldiers for terrorist acts

Organized crime charges filed against 170 motorcycle gang members after Texas shootout

Bikers put out ‘green light’ against officers following Waco shooting

NYPD Commissioner Considering Granting Amnesty To 1.2 Million Low-Level Offenders

Obama seeks to end immigration enforcement by local, state police

Obama restricts police military gear, says it can alienate

Rand Paul: ‘I Call For The President to Obey the Law,’ End NSA’s Unlawful Spying on Americans

Kerry: Internet ‘Needs Rules to Be Able to Flourish and Work Properly’ – Calls for more international Internet laws

Senate fight looms as law allowing NSA to collect Americans’ phone data set to expire

Skyrocketing Medicaid signups stir Obamacare fights

Dow, S&P close at record highs as rate-hike angst abates

Greek debt deal within next week, says Varoufakis

The oil price WAR has just begun

ISS may gain a laser cannon for blasting space debris

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Champerico, Guatemala

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

Minor 4.3 magnitude quake felt in several Alaska communities; no damage

Dallas Area Has 3.3 Magnitude Earthquake; Nobody Hurt

More earthquake monitors being deployed in Ohio

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,500ft

Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Heading Towards Eruption?

Fierce flood turned mudslide kills 58 in Colombia

Record-Setting Drought Forces California Salmon to Take to the Highway

Bill Nye Paid $35K To Tell Students To Dismiss Global Warming ‘Skeptics’

New Study Threatens To Unravel Obama’s Global Warming Agenda

World population-food supply balance is becoming increasingly unstable

World Trade Organization rules to remove ‘country of origin’ meat labels

Mystery over 1,300 birds found dead on Chilean beach

WHO chief announces shake-up of organisation after Ebola crisis

Terminal Single Mother Fights To Validate ‘Die With Dignity’ Law In California

On International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Obama Vows to ‘Keep Fighting’ for LGBT Rights

Hundreds of Kenyan pastors to Obama: Stop preaching homosexuality

High school students watch ’50 shades’ in class as a reward

Virtual reality porn? We’re cool with it, Oculus exec says


 

In Iraq, ISIS Is Winning And The United States Is Losing

ISIS Takes RamadiDuring the Iraq war more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers died, countless others were severely injured, and the total cost to U.S. taxpayers was more than 2 trillion dollars.  But now whatever the U.S. military accomplished during that war is being completely undone by ISIS.  On Monday, we learned that ISIS had fully taken control of the strategically important city of Ramadi.  Despite nine months of airstrikes by the U.S. military, ISIS continues to move forward and take new territory.  Just a few years ago, American soldiers fought some incredibly bloody battles on the streets of Ramadi, but now that city is in the hands of the most ruthless terror organization on the entire planet.  And since it is only about 70 miles from Baghdad, Ramadi is going to make a fine staging area for an all-out assault on the capital.  No matter how you cut it, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that the United States is losing in Iraq and ISIS is winning.  So what will the U.S. do if ISIS actually takes control of the entire country? (Read More…)


Are They About To Confiscate Money From Bank Accounts In Greece Just Like They Did In Cyprus?

Euros - Public DomainDo you remember what happened when Cyprus decided to defy the EU?  In the end, the entire banking system of the nation collapsed and money was confiscated from private bank accounts.  Well, the nation of Greece is now approaching a similar endgame.  At this point, the Greek government has not received any money from the EU or the IMF since August 2014.  As you can imagine, that means that Greek government accounts are just about bone dry.  The new Greek government continues to insist that it will never “violate its anti-austerity mandate”, but the screws are tightening.  Right now the unemployment rate in Greece is over 25 percent and the banking system is on the verge of collapse.  It isn’t going to take much to set off a panic, and when it does happen there are already rumors that the EU plans to confiscate money from private bank accounts just like they did in Cyprus. (Read More….)


More Crony Media: The protected, connected liberal media elite

Cocktail party cc cc

I hate the term “elite.” This implies some sort of extraordinary skill, which in my experience in Washington, at least with the media and definitely in politics is not apt. But you get the point. Statist, entitled, usually wealthy (though typically not rich) folks who like to frequent the Georgetown cocktail circuit and get a thrill when Politico comes calling. The folks who actually care about Washingtonian Magazine.

They aren’t elite, but they are the political class. And they are protected. The Stephanopoulos kerfuffle is a great example. Why does this guy still have a job?

Read More


The Briefing

1) Irish same sex marriage referendum shows division between radical Catholics and evangelicals

Ireland’s Marriage Equality Moment, New York Times (Fintan O’Toole)

‘New Irish’ Christians mobilise to vote no to gay marriage, The Guardian (Henry McDonald)

Ireland could be first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, Washington Post (Griff Witte)

Pope Francis and the Art of Joy, New York Times (Timothy Egan)

2) Protestant church distinctives affirmed by political disasters made by Vatican

Castro: Pope Francis so impressive I might return to church, Washington Post (AP)

Vatican Officially Recognizes State Of Palestine, NPR (Krishnadev Calamur)

3) Luxembourg Prime Minister becomes first European leader to marry same sex partner

Luxembourg Premier Is First E.U. Leader to Marry Same-Sex Partner, New York Times (Aurelien Breeden)

4) Justice Ginsberg presiding at same sex wedding affirms view of gay marriage as constitutional

Presiding at Same-Sex Wedding, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Emphasizes the Word ‘Constitution’, New York Times (Maureen Dowd)
In other news…

Daily Digest

May 19, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.” —James Madison, Federalist No. 37, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

State Dept. Knew Terrorists Were Planning Benghazi Attack

The State Department knew that al-Qaida-backed jihadists perpetuated the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the Benghazi consulate the day after the attack that killed four Americans. On Sept. 12, State released a secret memo including “not finally evaluated intelligence” that had none of the Obama administration’s false narrative about a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video. “The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012,” the memo said. “The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killings of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.” The document was pried loose from State by Judicial Watch, which also released documents showing the Obama administration knew of the looming threat of Syrian violence before the civil war broke out. Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton asserted that if the public knew in 2012 what it knows now regarding the Obama administration’s conduct surrounding the Benghazi attack, “Mitt Romney might very well be president.” More…

‘Dead Broke’? Hardly

Last year, Hillary Clinton bemoaned her impoverished state upon leaving the White House at the end of Bill’s second term. “[W]e came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt,” she lamented. “We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education — you know, it was not easy.” Even if that were completely true, they didn’t waste much time winning, as Barack Obama recently put it, “society’s lottery.” The Associated Press reports, “Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton reported Friday that they earned more than $30 million combined in speaking fees and book royalties since January 2014.” That’s more than $1 million per month. Nice work if you can get it. Bill justifies it all, saying, “I gotta pay our bills” — they did pay off a mortgage of up to $5 million — and that he gives most of his income to the Clinton Foundation anyway. Never mind that the Foundation’s pay-to-play setup is grossly corrupt. Meanwhile, Hillary complained in Iowa, “There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the American worker.” She might not be the best messenger for that one.

A Bloody Weekend in Chicago and Baltimore

In what has become an all-too familiar story, more blood was spilled on the streets of Chicago over the weekend after a barrage of shootings claimed nearly 50 victims, two of whom succumbed to their injuries, according to the latest available data. The Chicago Tribune reports that felonious shootings were already up 22% compared to 2014 before this latest episode: “Through May 10, there were 627 shooting incidents, up from 516 for the same year-earlier period, the police department said. Last year saw shooting incidents rise to 2,084, up nearly 12 percent from 1,866 in 2013.” In all, 49 residents were shot between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, and at least one of the victims was a 14-year-old. Even more sadly, the escalation in violence is not confined to Chicago. According to The Baltimore Sun, four more people also were murdered in Freddie Gray’s hometown over the weekend. All told, “At least 87 people have been killed in Baltimore this year, 22 more than at this time last year,” the Sun reported. “Nonfatal shootings are up nearly 50 percent across the city.” Both of these cities, and other megalopolises for that matter, have two identical themes: tight gun control laws, and deep-rooted poverty. But as we’ve seen over and over again, no number of laws on the books will alleviate the broader symptoms that culminate in lethal urban mayhem.

Don’t Miss Patriot Humor

Check out Ban Motorcycles.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Politics and Policy: Obama’s ‘Ban’ on Military Supplies for Police

By Paul Albaugh

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On Monday, Barack Obama announced a ban on some of the surplus military style gear that has been transferred to police departments over the last several years. The announcement is surprising, given Obama’s track record of being on the wrong side of almost every policy. As with all of his policy decisions, though, this move is entirely for political reasons.

We have previously expressed concern about the militarization of police forces across our nation. Is it really necessary for local police forces to use military gear and vehicles in their duties to serve and protect? Perhaps one might point to violence and rioting in Ferguson and Baltimore as a reason for this military equipment, but it’s also arguable that — at least in Ferguson — it only made things worse.

None of this is to say there aren’t legitimate concerns for officers who seek protection from violent criminals. “We need to only look back to Baltimore to see what happens when officers are sent out ill-equipped in a disturbance situation,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, in response to Obama’s order. “Because you don’t like the optics, you can’t send police officers out to be hurt or killed.”

Indeed, our society has devolved in dangerous ways and law enforcement officers are on the front lines. That said, this escalation and war-like view of civilian law enforcement is troubling for those who love Liberty.

Police departments have been able to arm themselves in recent years through the Defense Department’s 1033 Program for excess property. Since its inception in 1997, more than $4.3 billion worth of equipment has been transferred to local police departments with at least half a billion dollars’ worth transferred in 2013 alone.

We can’t blame police departments for accepting surplus military gear. Think about it; in an era of budget constraints amongst police forces across the nation, who wouldn’t accept such a sweet deal? On another note, at least some of the military gear was staying in our own country instead of being sold or given to our past, future or even present enemies. Oh, wait, that’s still happening.

The Washington Post highlights that “banned items are tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, ammunition of .50-caliber or higher and some types of camouflage uniforms. … Other equipment, including tactical vehicles [such as MRAPs], explosives and riot equipment, will be transferred only if local police provide additional certification and assurances that the gear will be used responsibly.”

Two points: First, other than bayonets, everything on this list was already banned. Second, as Reason’s Scott Shackford notes, however, the layer of certification is merely “another layer of bureaucracy.” And with a federal bribe to the tune of $163 million to get law enforcement agencies on board, who will be first in line?

Speaking before a crowd in Camden, New Jersey, Obama stated, “We’ve seen how militarized gear sometimes gives people a feeling like they are an occupying force as opposed to a part of the community there to protect them. … Some equipment made for the battlefield is not appropriate for local police departments.”

In the wake of protests against police across the nation, Obama’s remarks reveal his political motivation. He’s saying, “I’m with you, the people of these cities who are the victims of out of control cops, and I’m going to do something about it.”

But, per his standard divisive tactics, he’s pitting the police against the people. That only exacerbates the problem. Is it really out of control cops with military gear that cause lawlessness, or is it failed government policies that stifle economic opportunities and prevent people from leaving poverty plantations and drug zones?

Again, we aren’t disputing Obama’s executive action to demilitarize police forces, as it may open the door for further action to be taken through Congress. But it’s his intentions behind doing it now that cause concern. Recently, several on the far Left, most notably Al Sharpton, have called for federalizing police forces, an unconstitutional idea that Obama had floated on the campaign trail in 2008. Let’s hope his effort to supply or not supply local police isn’t a step toward that goal.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

Cal Thomas: “Many of today’s ‘journalists’ do not have to run the gauntlet I and others of my generation had to run. Many don’t have to pull all-nighters on a stakeout, cover local school board and city council meetings, or rush to the ER to report on the aftermath of a gun or knife fight, all while earning low pay. These assignments honed our talent and judgment; they forced us to grow up. These qualities were once considered vital for creating good journalists, but today, it appears that if you are blonde, have great legs, or worked in the White House and can read a teleprompter, bammo, you are a journalist. George Stephanopoulos had no journalism background when he joined ABC News. He has a degree in theology, which might be appropriate given the media’s self-worship and sense of its own importance. If he had come up through the ranks, he might have been more attuned to the ethical problem of donating money to a foundation headed by people for whom he used to work and whose policies he promoted as a top White House aide, and then not disclosing the donation while engaged in an interview with someone critical of that foundation. Most media outlets have printed codes of ethics. It would be a good idea for journalists and journalistic pretenders to re-read and practice them.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” —John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Alpha Jackass: “We have almost 7.3 billion people breathing and burning an atmosphere, which is, in the planetary scheme of things, quite shallow. We all share the same air. That’s why our climate is changing. Denying it is in no one’s best interest. If you know any climate deniers, I’m sorry. But, try asking them this question: ‘Do you believe that it’s a conspiracy of health professional that is duping the world into believing that cigarette smoking causes cancer?’ The scientific consensus on climate change is at least as strong as the consensus on smoking. Climate change is a real deal. So, hey deniers — cut it out, and let’s get to work.” —Bill Nye to Rutgers University graduates

Class warfare: “Look, the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. We know that, and so we have to be especially focused on how we’re going to bring about the changes that will ignite opportunity for everybody willing to work hard for it.” —Hillary Clinton

Non Compos Mentis: “Members deserve to be paid, staff deserves to be paid and the cost of living [in DC] is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to serve in this institution. … We aren’t being paid properly.” —Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) complaining about his roughly $174,000/year salary

Late-night humor: “Former New York Governor George Pataki may enter the race for president. It’s not definite, but he tweeted that he’ll announce his 2016 plans on May 28 in New Hampshire. Well, what’s he gonna do, go to New Hampshire to say he’s NOT running? That’s like getting down on one knee and saying, ‘I think it’s time to see other people.'” —Jimmy Fallon

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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How Obama Lost Ramadi :: Spyer in PJ Media

by Jonathan Spyer
PJ Media
May 18, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5247/how-obama-lost-ramadi


Vienna’s gay-themed traffic lights

by Berean Researcher

In Austria, city officials in its capital, Vienna, are striving to be the leader in progressive tolerance. So for the next few weeks, motorists and pedestrians will be treated to homosexual-themed traffic lights. Two guys, two gals, and heart-shaped symbols tell people when to go and stop: The Austrian capital, Vienna, has replaced dozens of the […]

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“Q” Is Cool

by Marsha West

Respected Bible scholar Peter Jones of truthxchange has written a piece that every Bible believing Christian should read. In it he reveals the reasons the Evangelical movement is in theological crisis mode right now. In April 2015 1,300 Christian leaders sat through teaching by “Q” founder David Gushee and homosexual activist Matthew Vines defending the “Christian Gay” movement. One of […]

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French, Scottish churches cave in on gay marriage

by Marsha West

PARIS – Two years after France legalized same-sex marriage, the United Protestant Church of France (EPUF) has authorized its clergy to bless same-sex marriages, the French news service RFI has reported. The EPUF, formed from the union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in France in 2013 and currently the nation’s largest Protestant group, is the […]

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School district awaits Supreme Court after Walmart attorney pushes transgender “rights”

by Marsha West

According to ChristianExaminer:

In the Northwest Arkansas seat of Walmart’s home office, a company lawyer has engaged the local school board in the gender identity/sexual orientation debate in a way that Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver said in a letter could mean more that what appears on the surface. The school board is considering adding clauses to its nondiscrimination policy – but according to a local news report will await the Supreme Court’s announcement on same sex marriage next month. So, when the Supreme Court announces it decision on marriage next month, not only will it define marriage, “it will affect how children as young as kindergartners are taught, how Christian businesses are run, and even whom churches and Christian schools can hire,” Liberty Counsel said in a news release.

Read more


The McAvany Intel Memo

[Continued from last week.] Many (perhaps most) of the readers of MIA are unofficial members of the Remnant: conservative, God-fearing, pro-family, pro-sound money, pro-Constitution, pro-traditional values individualists who see the socialist/secular humanist/globalist juggernaut that is descending on America and who hate it and will oppose it with every fiber of their being. Many MIA readers have written to describe how they feel that they are like “a voice crying in the wilderness” at home, at school, at work, and how friends or family either ignore or laugh at their concerns about the country and its direction. Many have described the flak they have received from people to whom they have given copies of MIA.

If you ever feel alone and get discouraged about the direction of the country, or your friends’ or family’s indifference to it, the following article by the late Albert Jay Nock, originally published by the Foundation for Economic Education, should pick you up a bit, as it does this writer when he reads it. The message is: You are not alone!

[An annotated and abridged version of Nock’s article was published in the February MIA. You can read the entire original article without Don’s annotation here.]

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, February 2015


The Debt To GDP Ratio For The Entire World: 286 Percent

Did you know that there is more than $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet? And since close to 3 billion of those people survive on less than 2 dollars a day, your share of that debt is going to be much larger than that …………. Click here for full story


Push To Court-Martial General For Thanking God

A civil-liberties group is demanding a two-star Air Force general be court-martialed for mentioning God at a National Day of Prayer Task Force speech on May 7 …………. Click here for full story


Christian Churches And Schools Better Prepare For The End Of Tax Exempt Status

Justice Alito posed a predictable, but revealing question to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., in the recent Supreme Court same-sex marriage oral argument: “In the Bob Jones case, the court held that a college was not entitled to tax exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?” ………… Click here for full story


Town Installs License Plate Scanning Cameras In Cactuses

The town of Paradise Valley in Arizona has installed license plate scanning cameras in fake cactuses with no public consultation whatsoever, just days after the DHS announced its intention to revive a nationwide version of the program ……….. Click here for full story


Maybe Christianity In America Is Dying Because It’s Boring Everyone To Death

I recently attended a service that might help solve the riddle of the fantastic decline of American Christianity……….. Click here for full story


Movieguide props up profane preacher

Marsha West

May 19, 2015

Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly. What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian. Don’t stop reading here. This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber. What it’s about is his pastor, Judah Smith, who is a rising star in Christendom . . . [Click for more]


SBC’s International Mission Board will no longer disqualify candidates who speak in tongues

by Marsha West

According to ChristianExaminer:

The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, which selects and trains missionaries for the denomination and has more than 4,700 field personnel under appointment, has changed its personnel qualifications to allow “new pathways” for service to those who previously could not be assigned to long-term overseas posts, Baptist Press, the convention’s news agency, has reported.

David Platt, elected IMB president in August 2014, told the mission board’s trustees earlier this week that the organization’s changes to its appointment policy represent a new “unified statement of qualifications” that will apply to all new applicants.

“We’re talking about limitless possibilities that God has providentially arranged for His people to go around the world with the gospel. And as the IMB, we want to send Southern Baptists through as many pathways as possible, which necessitates that we open up the pipeline for people to come through those pathways,” Platt said, according to Baptist Press.

Read more


Where is the Promise of His Coming?

I can imagine the leading liberal scholars of the day completely dismissing the very thought of Israel becoming a nation again. I can just imagine them mocking “dispensationalists” and others who took the bible literally. I can just imagine the endless teachings and preachings from these Ivy League seminary professors poo-pooing the very thought of a national Israel again, after 1,900 years of diaspora. They mocked men like C.I. Scofield, Clarence Larkin, and James Inglis, who were a just few that publically declared that Israel would become a nation again. Clarence Larkin, in his Magnus Opus “Dispensational Truth”, (written in 1918), not only foretold that Israel would be gathered together back as a nation, but that they would be gathered back in unbelief. Mr. Larkin didn’t come to that conclusion based on his own mental prowess, but because he took seriously the prophetic Scriptures in what they had to say about the subject.

View Article


Are mystery ‘trumpet blasts’ in sky from God?

No one has solid explanation for sounds heard since 2008

In the final book of the New Testament known as the Book of Revelation, angels are shown to be sounding trumpets, accompanied by a variety of supernatural plagues upon Planet Earth.

And now, mysterious, unexplained sounds in the sky that some are likening to trumpet blasts are puzzling people all over the world, including the United States.

View Article


Christians called to resist feds’ grip on schools

‘It’s going to get a lot worse if Americans don’t rise up, put a stop to this lunacy’

Government schools are warring on Christianity and real education, warns an education expert and one of America’s most influential Christian authors.

Pastor Carl Gallups and educator and author Alex Newman charge there is a deliberate and unified agenda to dumb down U.S. school children and remove Christianity from schools and public life.

View Article


The ISIS Crisis

OUR CURRENT RADIO PROGRAM

Jan Markell and Eric Barger spend the hour talking to terror analyst Erick Stakelbeck as he unravels the ISIS crisis. Stakelbeck feels America is totally unprepared for what might be coming upon us. Our southern border is a disaster waiting to happen he says; our shopping malls are sitting targets; sleeper cells may be awaiting orders. What can be done? If terror visits a neighborhood near you, you need this vital, though disturbing, information. Find his new book in any book store. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Explaining Our Disappearance

Q. When the Rapture happens and people are left behind, how is the disappearance of so many explained? Won’t people realize that the prophecy of end times has begun, and won’t it create a breakdown on the economy?

A. The Rapture will be a chaotic event for the world, especially in the USA where Christians make up a big portion of society.

View Article


French Mayor Forced Into Mental Institution For ‘Islamophobic’ Comments?

Posted: 19 May 2015 06:47 AM PDT

If this story turns out to be accurate, it appears as though the spirit of “Je Suis Charlie” is very much dead in France. A French Mayor was reportedly committed to a mental institution against his will after he posted ‘Islamophobic’ comments on Twitter. The story began when Robert Chardon, mayor of the southern French town of Venelles, became embroiled in a Twitter debate with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Chardon insisted that France “ban the Muslim faith in France” and instead “promote the practice of the Christian faith.” While Chardon’s remarks may be seen as bigoted and offensive to many, what reportedly happened next was infinitely more shocking. A translated version of an AFP story states that Chardon was “forcibly hospitalized” as a result of “incoherent statements” made on Twitter. Press reports about Chardon’s comments in English-language media contained no details of Chardon being detained in a psychiatric ward. Local officials subsequently denied the AFP report and claimed that Chardon had been hospitalized for cancer treatment, although the mayor had been undergoing such treatment for months. FULL REPORT

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Atlanta Woman spots mysterious drone hovering outside high-rise windowPosted: 19 May 2015 06:39 AM PDT

A channel 2 action news viewer says she has privacy concerns concerns after seeing a drone flying near her residential building in midtown Atlanta. Charlie Rose grabbed her cell phone and recorded video of a drone. She saw it the night of April 22 outside her apartment on Spring Street.“Not exactly sure why it was there but it didn’t look like it had any other purpose other than to look into our units,”

Rose told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri A Channel 2 Action News employee also recorded video of a similar looking drone earlier this month, flying through midtown. Rose told Viteri she’s not against legitimate uses for drones, but this sighting left her uneasy.“I don’t want them encroaching on my privacy so there has to be some balance and regulation,” Rose said.  State Rep. Patty Bentley was one of several sponsors of a bill introduced last legislative session related to drones. It would make it illegal for unmanned aircraft to capture images considered an invasion of privacy. FULL REPORT

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Are They About To Confiscate Money From Bank Accounts In Greece Just Like They Did In Cyprus?Posted: 19 May 2015 06:30 AM PDT

Do you remember what happened when Cyprus decided to defy the EU? In the end, the entire banking system of the nation collapsed and money was confiscated from private bank accounts. Well, the nation of Greece is now approaching a similar endgame. At this point, the Greek government has not received any money from the EU or the IMF since August 2014. As you can imagine, that means that Greek government accounts are just about bone dry.

The new Greek government continues to insist that it will never “violate its anti-austerity mandate”, but the screws are tightening. Right now the unemployment rate in Greece is over 25 percent and the banking system is on the verge of collapse. It isn’t going to take much to set off a panic, and when it does happen there are already rumors that the EU plans to confiscate money from private bank accounts just like they did in Cyprus. Throughout this entire multi-year crisis, things have never been this dire for the Greek government. In fact, Greece came thisclose to defaulting on a loan payment to the IMF back on May 12th. And with essentially no money remaining at all, the Greek government is supposed to make several large payments in the weeks ahead…FULL REPORT

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Giant Sinkhole Opens in Turkey, Terrifies localsPosted: 19 May 2015 06:27 AM PDT

Residents of Konya Province in southern Turkey have spoken of their terror when a giant sinkhole suddenly appeared in a local field. “We are very afraid (for) our lives.

It is luck that no one fell into it,” said one local farmer. Measuring 10 metres wide and 90 metres deep, the crater is thought to have formed in the space of 24 hours. No one was injured as a result of the ground caving in. FULL REPORT

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Ocumetics Bionic Lens could give you vision 3x better than 20/20Posted: 19 May 2015 06:22 AM PDT

Imagine being able to see three times better than 20/20 vision without wearing glasses or contacts — even at age 100 or more — with the help of bionic lenses implanted in your eyes. Dr. Garth Webb, an optometrist in British Columbia who invented the Ocumetics Bionic Lens, says patients would have perfect vision and that driving glasses, progressive lenses and contact lenses would become a dim memory as the eye-care industry is transformed.

Webb says people who have the specialized lenses surgically inserted would never get cataracts because their natural lenses, which decay over time, would have been replaced. Perfect eyesight would result “no matter how crummy your eyes are,” Webb says, adding the Bionic Lens would be an option for someone who depends on corrective lenses and is over about age 25, when the eye structures are fully developed. “This is vision enhancement that the world has never seen before,” he says, showing a Bionic Lens, which looks like a tiny button. “If you can just barely see the clock at 10 feet, when you get the Bionic Lens you can see the clock at 30 feet away,” says Webb, demonstrating how a custom-made lens that folded like a taco in a saline-filled syringe would be placed in an eye, where it would unravel itself within 10 seconds. FULL REPORT

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Leaders call on Boy Scouts of America to end ban on openly Gay AdultsPosted: 19 May 2015 06:17 AM PDT

Were all the merit badges for naught? For Brian Peffly, a life teaching eager Boy Scouts to tie knots, start fires and build their character ended with a phone call. The vague communique told him that the Boy Scouts of America didn’t want a gay man in their midst. “I didn’t learn that discrimination was a scouting value when I was growing up,” said Peffly, 35, who has been both scout and scout leader for the better part of 20 years. “Being told I can’t be a part of my family is very devastating,” Peffly said of Troop 192, the Westerville, Ohio, group with which he has been active for much of his life.

Two years after the storied organization amended its standards to prevent the expulsion of any youth member on the basis of his sexual orientation, openly gay adult members and volunteers are still in a bind. The organization made an explicit distinction between youth and adults, and leaders from the Boy Scouts of America have said there were no plans to subject the membership standards to further review. FULL REPORT

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Bird flu could cost nearly $1 billion in Minnesota and IowaPosted: 19 May 2015 06:13 AM PDT

Bird flu could cost nearly $1 billion in the economies of the two states hardest hit, Minnesota and Iowa, agricultural economists said Monday, and the virus is still spreading. Iowa, the nation’s leading egg producer, has lost about 20 million chickens that lay eggs for food use, more than a third of the total. Minnesota, the top turkey state has lost more than 8 million birds. So far the U. S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the bird flu has claimed nearly 37 million birds in 15 states but the number is significantly larger because additional farms in Iowa and Minnesota recently discovered are not yet on the list.

The figures include birds killed by the virus as well as those killed to prevent its spread. On Saturday, Rembrandt Foods announced that chickens at its second farm, an egg facility in Renville, Minnesota, had tested positive for the virus. About 2 million chickens will be euthanized. The company, one of the largest egg producers in the U.S., had to destroy 5.5 million chickens on its Rembrandt, Iowa, farm after the flu turned up there last month. FULL REPORT

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China could crash US dollar with 30,000 tons of goldPosted: 19 May 2015 06:08 AM PDT

China has the ability to crash the unstable US dollar with 30,000 tons of gold reserves, says Chinese economic observer Jin Zihou. In a commentary posted online, Jin noted that former US Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan once said that the renminbi could become unexpectedly powerful in today’s financial system if Beijing would convert its US$4 trillion in foreign reserves into gold. With the US dollar growing more unstable and China being America’s largest creditor, Beijing could potentially crash the US dollar with 30,000 tons of gold, Jin said.

The US dollar still accounts for 60% of global foreign reserves, though there are many countries hoping to become less reliant on the US dollar. If China really wants to challenge America’s place in the global trade and finance markets, it will have to do so via a significant amount of gold, Jin said. Bloomberg estimates that since the last official announcement in April 2009, gold reserves held by China’s central bank may have doubled to 3,510 tons. This would make China the second largest keeper of gold in the world behind the United States’ 8,133.5 tons. FULL REPORT

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Yellowstone Magma chamber earthquake activity — Sign of Western US pressurePosted: 18 May 2015 07:21 PM PDT

Two volcanic earthquakes have struck Idaho , and Wyoming over the past 12 hours. Both earthquakes related to the volcanic chambers below the famous Yellowstone Super-Volcano. Both seismic events registered in the 3.0M+ range, and occurred directly along the line of the Yellowstone Magma chamber.

One of the earthquakes struck directly inside of Yellowstone national park. The underground magma chamber for the Yellowstone Supervolcano has now been confirmed to reach far West into Idaho, and North into Montana. FULL REPORT

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United Methodist Lobby Proposes Divesting From Israel, Investing In North Korea, Legalizing ProstitutionPosted: 18 May 2015 06:58 PM PDT

The world’s lone Jewish state must be singled out for punitive divestment campaigns, while we should at the same time promote economic investment in North Korea, whose government has done absolutely nothing in the area of human rights worthy of specific criticism. And we should take our broad support for sex outside of marriage one step further by advocating legalizing prostitution. This was the moral vision offered by our United Methodist Church’s apportionment-funded D.C. lobby office, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) at its Spring 2015 board of directors meeting.

The main business of this semi-annual meeting was adopting, rather hastily, dozens of petitions and resolutions that will be submitted for consideration at our denomination’s 2016 General Conference. The GBCS’s head staffer, since early 2014, is the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, while its board president is Bishop Robert Hoshibata of the Desert-Southwest Conference.

A resolution they adopted on the ongoing conflict in the Korean Peninsula manages to run over 3,000 words while awkwardly avoiding any specific acknowledgement of the brutal human-rights abuses by the world’s most repressive dictatorship, the North Korean regime. The statement purports to “adequately acknowledge the Korean people’s long suffering” but places the blame entirely on “external powers fighting for colonial expansion and military hegemony,” while avoiding acknowledgement of the suffering inflicted by the North Korean government. FULL REPORT

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Facebook-Owned Oculus VR Set To Launch Into The Virtual Porn Industry

Facebook-owned Oculus VR has no plans to prevent the adult entertainment industry from using its Rift virtual reality headset, which is scheduled to launch as a consumer product within the first quarter of 2016, according to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey.

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” Colossians 3:5 (KJV)

Asked about plans to block any X-rated content or apps during a panel at the first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Luckey responded: “The rift is an open platform. We don’t control what software can run on it,” adding: “And that’s a big deal.”

facebook-set-to-join-online-porn-business-with-oculus-vr

Luckey’s remarks stood out as most of his fellow panelists tried to dodge controversial questions around topics like adult entertainment as well as motion sickness and other side effects of using virtual reality headsets.

If you think that crack is bad and destroys lives, just wait until 3D virtual porn gets a hold of people. If Facebook was really so concerned about “creating safe communities” they could easily block porn from being run on their new device. But they don’t want to do that. They will not allow photos of breastfeeding mothers on your Facebook page, but 3D porn fed directly into your brain from a futuristic new device? No problem.

Facebook is sliding into the porn business passively. They are not actively doing it, but “hey, if you want to use our new platform for porn we throw our hands up in the air and claim helplessness.”

Hopefully, Oculus VR, like Google Glass before it, will be a spectacular failure that people reject. Pray that it is.

The post Facebook-Owned Oculus VR Set To Launch Into The Virtual Porn Industry appeared first on Now The End Begins.


John Kerry Calls For The Internet To Be Placed Under The Authority Of The United Nations

In a speech today in South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Internet “needs rules to be able to flourish and work properly.” This, according to Kerry, is necessary even for “a technology founded on freedom.”

Kerry made his remarks in the context of talking about how international law is applicable to the Internet. “As I’ve mentioned, the basic rules of international law apply in cyberspace. Acts of aggression are not permissible. And countries that are hurt by an attack have a right to respond in ways that are appropriate, proportional, and that minimize harm to innocent parties. We also support a set of additional principles that, if observed, can contribute substantially to conflict prevention and stability in time of peace. We view these as universal concepts that should be appealing to all responsible states, and they are already gaining traction,” said Kerry.

john-kerry-calls-for-united-nations-regulation-to-control-internet

“First, no country should conduct or knowingly support online activity that intentionally damages or impedes the use of another country’s critical infrastructure. Second, no country should seek either to prevent emergency teams from responding to a cybersecurity incident, or allow its own teams to cause harm. Third, no country should conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, or other confidential business information for commercial gain. Fourth, every country should mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from its soil, and they should do so in a transparent, accountable and cooperative way. And fifth, every country should do what it can to help states that are victimized by a cyberattack.

“I guarantee you if those five principles were genuinely and fully adopted and implemented by countries, we would be living in a far safer and far more confident cyberworld.

“But even with these principles, ensuring international cyber stability will remain a work in progress. We still have a lot of work to do to develop a truly reliable framework – based on international law – that will effectively deter violations and minimize the danger of conflict.

“To build trust, the UN Group of Governmental Experts has stressed the importance of high-level communication, transparency about national policies, dispute settlement mechanisms, and the timely sharing of information – all of them, very sound and important thoughts. The bottom line is that we who seek stability and peace in cyberspace should be clear about what we expect and intend, and those who may be tempted to cause trouble should be forewarned: they will be held accountable for their actions. The United States reserves the right to use all necessary means, including economic, trade and diplomatic tools, as appropriate in order to defend our nation and our partners, our friends, our allies” source

The post John Kerry Calls For The Internet To Be Placed Under The Authority Of The United Nations appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, May 19, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Boko Haram, Fulani Muslim Herdsmen Target Christians in Nigeria Attacks

Air Force General Who Credited God for Success Should be Court-Martialed, Group Says

Pastor, More than 70 Christians Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria

Two South Sudan Pastors Face Death Penalty in Khartoum

Homeschoolers Win Televised Quiz Bowl Against Michigan Schools

Mark Driscoll Speaks at Seattle Church while Protesters Picket Outside

Jeb Bush Says Christian Businesses Should be Allowed to Refuse Gay Weddings

Southern Baptists to Open Their Ranks to Missionaries Who Speak in Tongues

Pew Study: Highly Educated Women are Having More Children

Ireland Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Sets Government Against Church

Opinion

The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age

Are Computer Tattoos in Our Future?

What the Intellectually Disabled Have to Give

104-Year-Old Man Hasn’t Used Soap in 50 Years

How Christianity Made Children Human


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

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

May 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Sacraments Are No More Or Less Than Gospel Signs And Seals (Part 1)

“By their nature and divine intention and institution, the sacraments are supports for the preaching of the gospel. They are visible and tangible representations and testimonies to the gospel. They are also and promises or seals that what the gospel declares is really true for the believing recipient. Through the history of the church we have tended either to make them more than or less than that.”

Read more


Drinking It Straight

“My mind drifted back to the days when Aileen and I were in churches where the preachers had treated the Bible kind of like my friends had treated coffee. Somewhere they must have lost their confidence in the Bible just a little bit, and they began to believe that it was unpalatable or distasteful to those who hadn’t encountered it before, to those who weren’t used to its flavor.”

Read more


On Roman Rioting, Lutheran Graffiti, and Popish Beards

“In protest to the indignities suffered by both pope and city, Clement, breaking tradition with earlier popes, let his facial hair grow. Or, at least, protest over said indignities was the rationale he gave for his sudden reluctance to shave.”

Read more


Fourteen Key Reasons for the Breakdown of Church Unity

“I recently heard of a church personnel committee and a few church staff members who worked in darkness to fire a pastor without ever meeting with him first or giving him reasons for his dismissal. Then they refused to respond to church members who were asking questions.”

Read more


If Grace Is So Amazing, Then Why Do We Struggle With It?

“Since in Adam we’re wired to think that everyone should get what they deserve and that we have the innate ability to fix whatever we’ve broken, we’re not naturally inclined to accept any outside help. But the Scriptures tell us this is foolishness.”

Read more


The Problem with Good Advice

“The problem comes when our advice sounds no different from the advice a counselor from another religion or even no religion at all would give. If an atheist would suggest the same child-rearing techniques or a Buddhist the same stress-management strategies as we do, then there is something missing from our counsel.”

Read more


Fear and Sonship

“When we fail to understand or believe the doctrine of adoption we live as orphans and slaves. The fear that we will exhibit will necessarily be servile or slavish fear. The heart that has come to know that the Father has loved us and has “received into the number,” and had given us “a right to all the privileges of the sons of God (WSC 34), is a heart that will fear God with that precious gift of “filial fear.”

Read more


Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

“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?”

Read more


Five Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God’s Word

by Michael Kruger

Psalm 119 is an amazing Psalm. Not only is it the longest Psalm (176 verses!), but it is also the Psalm that deals the most directly with the topic of Scripture. Virtually every verse, in one way or another, refers to God’s Word.

David (who is most likely the author) uses a variety of terminology to describe God’s Word: commandments, law, statutes, precepts, ordinances, rules, words, testimonies, etc. These all refer to the Scriptures as they existed in David’s day (essentially the Pentateuch).

Thus, Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture. It is the Word about the Word.

And in it, we find David interacting with the Word of God in five ways that should be paradigmatic for all believers:

Read more


Consecration, Conformity to Christ and Private Worship

by David de Bruyn

True worship never leaves the worshipper unchanged. To behold glory is to be transformed by it. An encounter with God in his Word will certainly lead to responses of adoration, thanksgiving and confession, but it will necessarily lead to prayers of consecration and supplication as well. As we agree with God regarding what we need to put off, we agree with God regarding what we need to put on (Col 4:22-24). We pray prayers of dedication, commitment, consecrating ourselves to consciously please God in word, thought and deed.

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The evidence of good fruit

As Christians, are we proud, or self reliant? Is this the evidence of our fruit? If we trust in ourselves, there is little room for trusting God and being humble. Joining us for today’s discussion is our friend Dave Wager. Dave is president of Silver Birch Ranch and Nicolet Bible Institute in northern Wisconsin. Dave is also co-hosts a radio […]

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Boys: slip on a dress and you can join the Girl Scouts!

Girl Scouts isn’t just for girls anymore. But then again the Feminist Movement has been trying to blur and eliminate gender lines for decades. Now the Girl Scouts of America has changed its policy: Boys dressing as girls can join them for weekly meetings, campouts, changing, sleeping arrangements, and other travel-related activities and any other […]

The post Boys: slip on a dress and you can join the Girl Scouts! appeared first on Berean Research.


The Next Grand Idiocy: ‘Microaggression’

Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, gives us a heads up on what the future holds for conservatives and Bible-believing Christians if liberals have their way.  Unfortunately they often do these days.  It has become clear that liberals, academics and unions are hell bent on destroying the lives of anyone who refuses to adopt their warped belief system. In this piece Duigon […]

The post The Next Grand Idiocy: ‘Microaggression’ appeared first on Berean Research.


Tim Keller, Catholic Mystics, and Genesis I as a poem?

A lot of well-known pastors are promoting Lectio Divina, and many churches are taking that to mean that surely, this ancient prayer practice of emptying the mind is A-OK. In his recent research article, Tim Keller promotes Catholic mystic, rejects Genesis 1 as literal truth, John Lanagan notes that Keller has advocated Catholic contemplative  prayer practices. Here on […]

The post Tim Keller, Catholic Mystics, and Genesis I as a poem? appeared first on Berean Research.


God showed Cindy Jacobs The Lord’s Prayer is really about Dominionism

John Lanagan shared a video on My Word Like Fire of New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) “Prophet” Cindy Jacobs teaching on The Lord’s Prayer. Our aim at Berean Research is to warn people about dangerous movements within Christendom.  The NAR is as bad as it gets!  Be sure to download our White Paper on Dominionism/NAR. Did you know The Lord’s […]

The post God showed Cindy Jacobs The Lord’s Prayer is really about Dominionism appeared first on Berean Research.


Call it ‘gender fluidity’: Schools to teach kids there’s no such thing as boys or girls

Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary, reports that America’s public school indoctrination centers are teaching our children that sexuality is a “broader spectrum”: One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on sexual fluidity and spectrum – the idea that there’s no […]

The post Call it ‘gender fluidity’: Schools to teach kids there’s no such thing as boys or girls appeared first on Berean Research.


Sex Education Today

I’ll bet many parents are unaware of the questions their kids must answer on public school surveys.  According to Renew America columnist Alan Caruba, surveys were given to children in Massachusetts and schools across America with questions such as: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse (oral, anal, vaginal?)” “How old were you when you had […]

The post Sex Education Today appeared first on Berean Research.


U.S. Government Drops Remaining Charges Against Evolutionary Foe Kent Hovind

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Federal prosecutors have filed a motion to dismiss the remaining criminal charges against an imprisoned creation science evangelist after a jury deadlocked on the matter and was not convinced of his guilt. As previously reported, Kent Hovind, the founder of Creation Science Evangelism out of Pensacola, Florida, has been fighting charges of mail fraud […]

The post U.S. Government Drops Remaining Charges Against Evolutionary Foe Kent Hovind appeared first on Berean Research.


Pope Canonizes 2 Saints From 19th-Century Palestine

On Sunday Pope Francis decided to canonize two nuns who lived in Palestine for reasons you’ll see in the article. Evidently these women were examples of “mercy, charity and reconciliation” which means they were “good people.” To canonize someone is to make him/her a saint.  The article brings to light that one of them “is said to have received the “stigmata” […]

The post Pope Canonizes 2 Saints From 19th-Century Palestine appeared first on Berean Research.


MOVIEGUIDE Props Up Profane Preacher

Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly.  What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian.  Don’t stop reading here.  This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber.   What it’s about is his pastor, Judah Smith, who is a rising star in Christendom.  Smith […]

The post MOVIEGUIDE Props Up Profane Preacher appeared first on Berean Research.


SBC’s International Mission Board no longer to disqualify candidates who speak in tongues

Many Southern Baptists will find the policy recently approved by the denomination’s International Mission Board deeply troubling, as the practice of speaking in tongues is associated with Pentecostalism. Many, but not all, Pentecostals believe that speaking in tongues is the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit while Southern Baptists have held to the view that speaking in […]

The post SBC’s International Mission Board no longer to disqualify candidates who speak in tongues appeared first on Berean Research.


On American Decline

by Bill Muehlenberg

I have now lived outside of America for as long as I have lived in it. With five years in Europe and almost 27 in Australia, I have been able to look at America with a bit of perspective that those who never leave the country may not so readily obtain. And I see a lot which troubles me greatly about my home country.

During my lifespan there have been plenty of changes to this nation. Being back in the US right now for a few weeks, it becomes even more apparent how much things have changed, and often for the worse. While there still are plenty of wonderful, friendly and terrific Americans, the cultural, political and religious decline is shocking to behold.

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Evolutionists on the Bible

Philosophical naturalism sought to ‘explain away’ the supernatural in the Bible. Unfortunately Christians who accept their uniformitarian deep time, inadvertently also undermine the authority of God’s Word.


 

Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

“[C]ount it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3 By Berit Kjos Kjos Ministries This chart is an attempt to answer those who judge Christians by the atrocities committed in the name of “Christianity” through the ages — including our own times. Those […]


Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite

Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite. But thank the Lord Jesus Christ, in His great love for sinners, came to fully absorb the wrath of God for us upon His own Person; the wrath that sinners like us deserve, so that all who are united to Him will receive His bountiful mercy.


“Are You Living in a Bubble?”

A number of years ago, a Lighthouse Trails editor was talking on the phone to an Oregon Calvary Chapel pastor, attempting to warn the pastor about the contemplative prayer movement.


Apologetics Unplugged: Christians Think They Are So Superior

Join our hosts C. Michael Patton, Clint Roberts and Carrie Hunter as they continue their discussion surrounding potential problems with religion. In this episode they discuss Christians thinking or acting as though they are morally superior to everyone else.


Apologetics Unplugged: Christians Think They Are So Superior, Part 2

Join our hosts C. Michael Patton, Clint Roberts and Carrie Hunter as they continue their discussion surrounding potential problems with religion. In this episode they continue the discussion surrounding Christians thinking or acting as though they are morally superior to everyone else.


Pope’s powers have expanded to forgive abortions. Sweet!

Source

Did you know that priests in the Catholic Church are called alter Christus? It means another Christ. They have been granted certain powers by the church to forgive sin. This is called “absolution.” According to the Catholic Encycolopedia,

Absolution is the remission of sin, or of the punishment due to sin, granted by the Church. (For remission of punishment due to sin, see CENSURE, EXCOMMUNICATION, INDULGENCE.) Absolution proper is that act of the priest whereby, in the Sacrament of Penance, he frees man from sin.

It’s nice for the priests to have the powers to be “another Christ”, including being able to remit sin. Did you know that though priests can forgive run-of-the-mill sins, there are some sins so heinous that only the Pope can absolve?

[S]ince 1179, a Vatican tribunal has met in secret to evaluate sins so grave that they can be absolved only by the Pope. The sins in question involve defiling the Eucharist; attempting to assassinate the Pope; a priest abusing the confidentiality of the confessional by revealing the nature of the sin and the person who admitted to it; a priest who has sex with someone and then offers forgiveness for the act; and a man who directly participates in an abortion – even by paying for it – who then seeks to become a priest or deacon. Only the Pope can lift the excommunication incurred by these sins,

The Pope is called ‘vicar of Christ’ which means Christ’s substitute. The Catholic Encyclopedia again,

the title Vicar of Christ is more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from Him.

Wow, so nice of Jesus to bestow some of His powers to the pope so that the pope can be Christ’s agent on earth. In his “powers” the pope decided last week that the heinous, pope-forgiving-only sin of abortion can now be forgiven by priests and will not necessarily include an excommunication from the Catholic Church. How terrible for the Catholic Church to withhold what Jesus freely offered.

Pope Francis has decreed that priests may absolve women of the “sin of a procured abortion” during Holy Year next year. In Catholic teaching, it is normally only bishops or the Pope himself who may absolve the faithful of the sin of abortion, which leads to excommunication from the Church. In keeping with his ministry of mercy, however, Pope Francis has extended his powers of forgiveness to those “missionaries of mercy” priests who will visit Catholic dioceses and parishes during Holy Year.

Of course, all the above is nonsense. Any believer is the same as any other believer, we are all priests of the faith. (1 Peter 2:5-9). The pope does not have special powers from Jesus and charged by Him to act in his vicarious stead on earth. The pope is not the head of the church. The Catholic Church isn’t even IN the church.

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Richard Foster’s Contemplative Prayer or Contemplative Terror?

By Roger Oakland Proponents of contemplative prayer say the purpose of contemplative prayer is to tune in with God and hear His voice. However, Richard Foster claims that practitioners must use caution.


Understanding the New Calvinism: Charismatic Gifts

Read the series so far.

If there is one distinguishing mark that separates the New Calvinist from traditional Calvinists it would be the openness of the newer variety toward the charismatic gifts. While many, if not most, would not see themselves as charismatics in the conventional sense, they believe that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are operational today, including the sign gifts such as miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healings, and prophecy.

While most draw the line at apostleship, seeing it as an office reserved for a handful of appointed New Testament leaders who founded the church (Eph 2:20), strangely they see the gift of prophecy as still viable. Following the leadership of Wayne Grudem, in his landmark book, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament Today, as well as his Systematic Theology, many have been convinced that New Testament era prophecy is not held to the same standards as Old Testament prophecies and prophets. Whereas Old Testament prophecy was to be without error, with the consequence of the execution of the prophet if one prophesied falsely (Deut 18:20-22), church age prophecies can often be a mixture of truth and error. Read more about Understanding the New Calvinism: Charismatic Gifts


Depression: Is It All in Your Mind?

Is depression purely a physiological condition of hormones or chemicals out of balance, or is there a heart/mind connection, or do both play a role?

 


Walking that pastoral tightrope

by Dan PhillipsIt has been remarked that I’m fond of creating lists. Like —

  1. This one
  2. This one
  3. And this one.

And that was another!

I could list out a bunch of reasons why that is true (see what I did there?)… but, instead, let’s just make one more!

You know I’m not overfond of literary overwordiness, so I’ll let the list expound itself. Ahem:

  1. Pastor, if you see a largely empty auditorium and don’t care, then outreach and effectiveness can’t matter much to you (pace Matt. 28:18-20). But if you care too much, it will crush you…making you worthless for outreach, and ineffective!
  2. Pastor, if you preach the Gospel with all the passion and power that you can plead down from Heaven, and yet not a single soul responds, and you don’t care…then your faith and your ardor may be defective. But if you care too much, it will crush you, and end you as a pastor.
  3. Pastor, if you preach all corners and angles of the Word of God to your congregation, knowing that they would change visibly (some of them dramatically so) if they took it to heart — and then you don’t care or hardly notice when nothing whatever seems to happen in lives needing change, then you aren’t much of a shepherd (Prov. 27:23; Ezek. 34). But if you care too much, it will crush you, and you will either leave the pastorate, or start crafting sermons that are bitter and petulant, or so edgeless and general that looking for response is no longer a painful issue.
  4. Pastor, if you never lay out specific applications of how to show love for God or practice the priesthood of the believer or live out the doctrine of the church (e.g. church membership, church involvement, coming on-time so the whole assembly can start together, etc.), you may be playing it safe to protect yourself from disappointment or hostility, and you’re failing to provoke your folks to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). But if you do get specific… you risk disappointment (in yourself) and hostility (in your hearers)!
  5. Pastor, if you care too much what folks think of you, and modify your message and ministry to make sure you stay popular, you’re no servant of Christ (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:4). But if you don’t care at all about others, shut out their feelings and cares and needs and failings, and never consider the impact of your words or actions — you’re just a loveless, self-absorbed jerk (Matt. 7:12; 1 Cor. 10:33; 13:4-8a).

So, there it is. To care, as a pastor, is to live with constant pain, to deal regularly with self-reproach, self-recriminations, self-doubt; with disappointment, with frustration, with temptations to depression and despair. It is to be moved with concern, deeply and painfully (Matthew 9:36; 14:14). It is to be in constant, daily anxiety (2 Corinthians 11:28; Philippians 2:20). It is to hurt and ache along with every temptation and failure in the flock (2 Corinthians 11:29).

But not to care is to fail of our calling just as surely. There is no escaping this life of joy-and-pain without at the same time fleeing from our pastoral call.

So we must care, we must care constantly and deeply… but we must not care too much!

So, there you go! On “three,” now: One… two…

Source


4 Purposes of Godly Friendships

In the last post, we looked at a friendship gone wrong, seeing how idolatry can infect and destroy a friendship, even a Christian one. Now, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about our friends and their purpose in our lives.

By no means exhaustive, below are four specific purposes that friends should serve in our lives.

1. Friends Help Us Fully Enjoy God

“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:18–19).

Things are best enjoyed in community. Your favorite movie is good when you watch it alone. It’s even better with friends. A great meal is enjoyable. But it’s even more satisfying when you share it with friends. We’re wired to share our joys with others. The best experiences in life are the ones we try to drag our friends into: “You have to see this movie!” “You have to come with me to this restaurant!”

Of all the things we have to enjoy, God is the greatest! We were created to enjoy Him and center our lives around Him! And we enjoy God most fully with other people. Friends help us enjoy God by enjoying Him with us.

Let us not invert this concept by allowing God to become our means to enjoy people more, only going to Him to ask for more people (husband, friends, kids). He is not the means, but the end Himself.

2. Friends Expose Sin That Keeps Us from God

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov. 27:6).

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal. 6:1).

Sin deceives us. It darkens our understanding and makes us fools. So much so that we can be walking in sin and convinced that God is pleased with us. This is why we desperately need friends who are willing to point out our sin. We need friends to help us see our blind spots. We need friends to speak truth in love. (see Eph. 4:15)

Good friends tell you the truth about yourself. These friends are a grace. But an uncomfortable grace, for sure. Who enjoys being told they’re wrong? Who enjoys being caught in sin? No one. But on this earth we will struggle with sin. And if we welcome this uncomfortable grace, it will lead us into abundant life, into freedom, and into deeper joy in God.

Good friends tell you the truth about yourself.

This is a function of community that few people want. We’d much rather have friends who always tell us what we want to hear, who show us the false grace of excusing sin and give us false hope that we can grow closer to God without repentance. But because sin is a poison to our soul and a thief of joy in God, this is a function of community we cannot afford to forsake.

3. Friends Encourage Us to Obey God

“Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today’ so that none of you would fall into the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24).

While it’s true we need friends to help us see our disobedience, we also need them to spur us toward obedience. Without the cheerleading of Christian friends, we can become lazy and stagnant, not just by doing wrong things, but also by not doing the right things.

Encouragement is giving someone a bigger vision of why her obedience matters in the Kingdom.

Encouragement is giving someone a bigger vision of why her obedience matters in the Kingdom. It is the affirmation that her obedience honors God and the push to keep doing it. Whatever form it takes, encouragement motivates someone to continue running the specific race marked out for her.

4. Friends Bring Us to God

“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

“As those who have been chosen of God . . . bear with one another and forgive each other” (Col. 3:12–13).

Walking with God in a sin-stained world with our sin-ridden flesh with a hell-bent enemy is too hard to do alone. Alone, we are susceptible to believing the lies of the enemy. Alone, we buckle under the weight of our sin. Alone, we are discouraged and weary in fighting sin. We need the ministry of other believers to bring us to God when we are too weak.

Here are just a few ways friends can bring us to God:

Confession and Prayer
James commands us to confess our sins to other people and have them pray for us so we can be healed. When we confess to others, we feel the weight of our sin to a greater degree, and we experience the gracious embrace of God through a friend who reminds us we are already forgiven through the life and death of Jesus.

Burden-Bearing
Bearing each other’s burdens means sharing the load. That may mean regularly listening and praying for a friend who’s in a hard season or helping in practical ways. We are called to enter into one another’s suffering and speak truth about who God is and who we are.

Intercession
Mark 2:3–5 is a great visual of intercession. What the paralytic man couldn’t do for himself, his friends did for him: they brought him to Jesus. Through intercessory prayer, we can bring our friends to God, asking Him to do greater things in their lives than they would have the boldness to pray for themselves.

Friendship for the Glory of God

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

Like everything else, the purpose of our friendships should be about God. Let’s stop making God a servant of our friendships and allow our friendships to serve Him and His Kingdom. We cannot glorify God alone, we cannot live for His glory alone. We need each other!

Below is a chart to help you compare unhealthy, idolatrous friendships to healthy, God-centered friendships.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “I Want a Friend Like That!

Source


Surviving a Moral Failure on Church Staff – Rainer on Leadership #125

Podcast Episode #125

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio


Moral failures can be devastating to a church and to a church staff. Today, we cover nine specific ways to deal with this often cataclysmic event in the life of a church.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • There is an inclination to keep quiet when things go wrong in a church, but that often hurts more than helps.
  • Christ-like grace is forgiving but it understands that sin has its consequences.
  • The transition from denial to anger is often quick in the wake of a crisis.
  • It typically takes at least a year for a church to recover from a moral failure on staff.
  • The pastor can become an easy target for misdirected anger after a crisis in a church.
  • Once a moral failure has occurred on a church staff, the church’s character is redefined.
  • There are few occurrences in the church which require greater leadership than when dealing with moral failure on staff.

The nine keys to surviving a moral failure on church staff are:

  1. Be as transparent as possible.
  2. Understand the different parties impacted by the failure.
  3. Demonstrate grace in the midst of fallenness.
  4. Understand that the church will go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
  5. Be prepared to be the object of anger.
  6. Recovery and acceptance is usually longer than we anticipate.
  7. The church will likely lose members.
  8. The church’s character is redefined.
  9. Strong leadership is required.

Resources

The post Surviving a Moral Failure on Church Staff – Rainer on Leadership #125 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Grace for Sin and for Suffering

Here’s a problem that we’re all familiar with in ministry to people: how do you deal with a person who has been badly sinned against, but is now acting out in response? Continue reading →


What Should Christians Believe about Capital Punishment?


Are You Tired of Trying to be Perfect All the Time?


7 Sure-Fire Ways to Recognize False Teachers


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The Pastor’s Dilemma: How Pastoral Debt is Destroying Churches (And What You Can Do to Help). | Scribblepreach.com

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The Daily Discovery (May 19, 2015)

The Myth of Mary Magdalene – “Who is Mary Magdalene? What it is about her that garners so much attention? Was she a prostitute, a disciple, or even the wife of Jesus Christ? The legends surrounding this woman range from the innocuous to the blasphemous. The real tragedy, however, is how such myths distract us from the reality of God’s grace in this woman’s life.”

The Evidence of Good Fruit – “As Christians, are we proud, or self reliant?  Is this the evidence of our fruit?  If we trust in ourselves, there is little room for trusting God and being humble.”

Ravi Zacharias on Buddhism, Christianity, and Suffering – “According to Buddhism, the source of suffering is desire. Eliminate desire, and you eliminate suffering. The goal, then, is complete detachment.  When his son was born, the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) famously declared: ‘A fetter has arisen.’ That is, he perceived his son as an obstacle to his enlightenment. The Buddha then abandoned his wife and child in order to pursue detachment.”

A Testimony of a Church is the Godliness of Its Youth – “I had the pleasure of attending the graduation at Liberty Christian School, here in Sidney. A number our church children attend the school that’s organized and operated by Bible Baptist Church, and one of our young ladies was graduating. With her, were four other young ladies. It was the second-largest senior class in the small school’s history. It was typical for what you might expect at a small Christian school. There was a hymn. There was a short sermon from various Bible verses picked by the graduates. There were speeches full of thanks and appreciation to parents and teachers. In some ways, it was just so ordinary.”

Does R.C. Sproul Believe in Miracles? – “I get this question all the time, ‘R.C., do you believe that miracles happen today?’ If you want me to give the simple answer, the answer is no. Today, you can go into a pastor’s office and see a sign that says, ‘Expect a Miracle.’ But if you expect a miracle—if miracles are expectable—there’s nothing miraculous about them. If they’re ordinary then they carry no certifiable weight. It’s by their extraordinary character that they have sign power: sign-ificance.


SERMON:

John MacArthur – The Saving Power of Scripture


VIDEOS:

What Is Habitual Sin?

Exploring the Tension Between Calvinists and Arminians


“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


More On Post Church Salvation

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I was wondering if you could provide some clarity for me regarding the possibility of a period of time existing between the rapture and the start of Daniel’s 70th week.

I had never considered this before but have recently read this on some websites by prominent end times teachers. My understanding (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that the rapture will occur when the ‘full number of the gentiles has come in’. This, I would assume, would mark the end of the age of grace. Daniel’s 70th week would then begin when the treaty is confirmed by the anti-christ, which would in turn mark the re-commencement of the age of law.

If there is a gap of time between the rapture (end of age of grace) and the start of Daniel’s 70th week (recommencement of age of law), into which age do those who are saved during this gap period fall and how does that affect their salvation (ie do they rely on God’s grace, are they required to maintain their salvation or is it something else)?

continue reading


Was Melchizedek Really Jesus?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Recently in a bible study at my church my pastor and I had a disagreement on who Melchizadek was. I believe he was Christ appearing before his incarnation, my pastor does not and seemed to get agitated for me saying that. But if you look at how the book of Hebrews describes him, to me it’s just too obvious. Am I wrong in my thinking?

continue reading


Searching For A Church Home

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I have a question about attending a church whose teachings are contrary to my beliefs.  I am recently remarried, and while my husband is a believer in Christ, and has trusted Him as his savior, he is still more liberal in his spiritual beliefs, whereas I come from a conservative background.   Lately, we have been attending both a Baptist church and a Methodist church, alternating between them.  He says he likes the Methodist church because it allows him to see a relative who attends there, but some of their doctrinal positions are absolutely contrary to the Bible.  I prefer the Baptist church because I can be fed there.  My questions is, should we even attend a church whose teachings are in such conflict with scripture?

continue reading


Featured Blogs


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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Miley Cyrus May Not Care, But We Should

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

miley cyrus then and now

She’s losing it, but who will tell her the truth? Miley Cyrus is cussing, partying, and twerking in dangerous territory; openly rebelling in the face of the God she once claimed to believe in. Tragically, she may be taking millions of young kids with her. I just saw a concert video clip of her that is too offensive to describe.

Rather than be an enabler or a “yes man,” will someone speak up and warn her before it’s too late? Miley may not care and those closest to her may not care, but I hope they don’t end up regretting it one day. All you and I can do is pray for her from a distance that she will turn to Jesus Christ.

Some may claim I am judging her because I “don’t know what’s in her heart.” Sorry, that’s a cop-out. Whether she believes it or not, she will…

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May 19, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Nervous Wait for Ethiopians After Baptism Arrests

ICC Note: Anyone who thinks Christians don’t face persecution in majority-Christian Ethiopia should look again. Seven Christian men have been released on $250 bail after being baptized and holding “illegal meetings in secret locations.” The Christians say they complied with the law, so they deny the charges.


Daily Prayer – Monday 18 May 2015

A senior Kenyan Christian leader explains, the aim of the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab for Kenya (a nation which is 80% Christian) is to make it ungovernable, to make the Church fearful, and to prevent Christians from doing outreach in Muslim areas of the country.


Five Attacks on Christians in India in Just Five Days

ICC Note:

Christians in India, specifically in the state of Madhya Pradesh, have been attacked on five separate occasions in just as many days. This most recent series of attacks on Christians comes at a time when the government of India is denying Christians are facing persecution.


Pakistani Christians Suffer Whilst Seeking Asylum in Thailand

ICC Note: Admittedly, the granting of asylum to someone who is being persecuted for their religious beliefs is a complex issue. The fact remains that Christians around the globe have no real choice but to flee their homes out of fear for their lives.


The Plight of the Middle East’s Christians

ICC Note: The latest series of conflicts in the Middle East are driving Christians from their homes by the tens of thousands, but this is just the latest in a long history of attacks on the Christian minorities of the Middle East.


State Department Says No To Iraqi Christians

ICC Note: As Christians in Iraq and across the Middle East are facing specific targeting from ISIS and other terrorist groups as a result of their faith, they continue to face international challenges in receiving aid or asylum.


Hereditary Martyrs: The Christian Victims Of ISIS’s Massacres

ICC Note: The martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East today has shocked the world as we’ve witnessed people brutally executed for their faith. The reality is that this is not a new atrocity, but one that has a legacy stretching back hundreds and even thousands of years.


Authorities in 2 Zhejiang Cities Order All Churches to Remove Crosses

ICC Note: This is the latest of several Zhejiang provincial government actions which appear aimed to intimidate and control the growth of the Christian church in eastern China.


Boko Haram: 10 Hideouts Destroyed, Suicide Bomber Kills 7, Militants Retake Town

ICC Note: Militant Islamist terror group Boko Haram is proving they still pose a major threat to Christians in northern Nigeria. While the Nigerian military has successfully reclaimed most of the territory Boko Haram originally captured in their quest to create an Islamic State in Africa, the militants have re-surged with recent suicide attacks.


Two South Sudan Pastors Could Face Death Penalty in Khartoum, Trial Begins Tomorrow

ICC Note: Two South Sudanese pastors who have been imprisoned in Khartoum, Sudan since December and January, respectively, could face the death penalty for charges related to their Christian faith.Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith have been charged with undermining the constitutional code, waging war against the state, and spying.


Atheist Seeks to Use Religious Freedom Law to Remove “In God We Trust” from US Currency

ICC Note: The widely recognized atheist Michael Newdow is once again on a mission to remove the phrase, “In God We Trust,” from U.S. currency. Newdow initially tried to claim in 2013 that the phrase was a violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause; however, the court ruled against him.


Your Support and God’s Faithfulness Have Set a Man Free!

Alemayehu was a Bible school student when he was arrested and imprisoned in Ethiopia for trying to photocopy an article that explored Islam from a Christian perspective.


Christian Businessman Builds 14-Story Cross in Pakistan’s Largest City

ICC Note:

Pakistan continues to rank among the world’s worst violators of religious freedom. Religious minorities, including Christians, are often targeted by terrorist groups and are widely discriminated against by Pakistan’s majority Muslim population.


Christians in India’s Madhya Pradesh State Call on Federal Government for Protection

ICC Note:

The Christian community in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have appealed to the federal government for protection following a series of anti-Christian attacks. Reports claim that Christians in Madhya Pradesh were attacked five times in as many days.


Xinjiang Christians Sue Authorities after Detention for Singing Hymns

ICC Note: As has been noted in previous reports, China’s Christians are learning about their rights under Chinese law and are challenging some of the illegal actions taken by local authorities.


Bomb Explodes Near Church In Fayoum, Egypt

ICC Note: A church in Fayoum was the site of a bomb attack on Saturday, May 16. While no one was injured, the church was severely damaged from a bomb placed outside its walls.


Armenian Church Leader Speaks on Suit to Reclaim Seized Property

ICC Note: Christians who make up just a tiny fraction of modern day Turkey just a century ago were nearly 20 percent of the country. Much of their property has been confiscated, but now they are trying to get some of it back.


Nigeria: Group Rejects Abortion Option for Pregnant Chibok Girls

ICC Note: The debate in Nigeria is beginning to rage about whether or not girls rescued from Chibok should be allowed to abort the babies that were conceived by rape from Boko Haram fighters.


In Myanmar, Christian Rebels Are in Double Trouble

ICC Note: The political situation in Burma is complex, but it is nonetheless very clear that ethnic minorities, including a large number of Christians (particularly among the Kachin, Chin and Karen) are suffering in the current internal conflict with the government of Myanmar.


Horrific Details Emerge: Boko Haram Militants Raped Hundreds of Female Captives in Nigeria

ICC Note: As the hundreds of women and girls who were once captives of Boko Haram begin to tell their story, appalling details are emerging about the heinous treatment that they received.


Remembering the 21 Martyrs

On February 15, social media accounts linked with the Islamic jihadists known as ISIS (also ISIL, or Islamic State) released a highly produced video showing the brutal execution of 21 Christians, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians and one believed to be from Ghana, along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in northern Libya.


Christian migrants and refugees in Libya at serious risk, says Amnesty International

In a report published on 11 May, Amnesty International highlights the extreme dangers facing Christian migrants and refugees in Libya in light of the rising threat of violence from armed Islamist groups, in particular Islamic State (IS) militants.


A night of violence sees three churches and a Christian centre attacked in one Indian state

Shattering windows and destroying the interiors of the buildings, Hindu radicals attacked three churches in Indore, in India’s Madhya Pradesh state, during the night of 12 May.


Pakistani Christians Speak Out Against Religiously Motivated Killings

ICC Note:

Pakistani Christians have spoken out against religiously motivated killings in their country saying the killing of innocents on the basis of their faith is unacceptable.


Ten Christians Released on Bail by Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan

ICC Note:

Ten Christians accused of being involved in the lynching of two Muslim men following two church bombings have been released by a court in Pakistan.

A Harvard University student explains how evidence changed her mind about God

WINTERY KNIGHT

Harvard University student discovers apologetics Harvard University student discovers apologetics

Here’s a must-read article  about the effectiveness of apologetics on college campuses in Christianity Today.

Excerpt:

I don’t know when I first became a skeptic. It must have been around age 4, when my mother found me arguing with another child at a birthday party: “But how do you know what the Bible says is true?” By age 11, my atheism was so widely known in my middle school that a Christian boy threatened to come to my house and “shoot all the atheists.” My Christian friends in high school avoided talking to me about religion because they anticipated that I would tear down their poorly constructed arguments. And I did.

As I set off in 2008 to begin my freshman year studying government at Harvard (whose motto is Veritas, “Truth”), I could never have expected the change that awaited me.

It was a brisk…

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On Neglecting Public Worship

The Reformed Reader

(This is a re-post from November 2012.)

In 1781 John Newton wrote a letter to the members of his church in London.  One of the main reasons he wrote this letter was to address a burden he was facing as a pastor: his parishioners were not coming to worship services.  This is something that pastors still face today.  Some Christians miss worship services for valid reasons (illness, emergencies, etc.).  But many Christians simply neglect worship services.  In other words, they don’t really have a good, biblical reason for not assembling with the saints.  In the following paragraphs, I’ve summarized and edited Newton’s letter in which he pastorally addresses this problem.  (Note the lines on entertainment.)

“The only cause of grief that you have given me is that so many of those to whom I earnestly desire to be useful refuse me the pleasure of seeing them at church every Sunday. …

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William Lane Craig debates James Crossley: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

WINTERY KNIGHT

This is my favorite debate on the resurrection.

You can watch the debate here:

The MP3 file can be obtained from Apologetics 315.

There is not much snark in this summary, because Crossley is a solid scholar, and very fair with the evidence. He’s also done debates with Richard Bauckham and Michael Bird. You have to respect him for getting out there and defending his views in public.

SUMMARY

William Lane Craig’s opening speech

Two contentions:

  • There are four minimal facts that are accepted by most historians
  • The best explanation of the four minimal facts is that God raised Jesus from the dead

Contention 1 of 2:

Fact 1: The burial

  • The burial is multiply attested
    • The burial is based on the early source material that Mark used for his gospel
    • Scholars date this Markan source to within 10 years of the crucifixion
    • The burial is also in the early…

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The one who practices sin is of the devil

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:7-8 NASB)

Relativism is the fatal disease of the unregenerate heart. Of course, it is a self-focused relativism. Everyone is unique, of course, but we have this built-in sense of ‘fairness’ that is antithetical to God’s Sovereignty. Several years ago, before our brother Ken Silva died, he came under attack from some “emergence boyz” in a satirical article portraying him killing a beast on the beach. The creature was called an EvanJellyFish. Ken killed it even though every now and then the beast said something that might be considered edifying. Ah, now…

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