Daily Archives: May 23, 2015

May 23-24, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend News/Commentary Collection

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Top News – 5/24/2015

Saudi-led warplanes launched a fresh wave of air strikes across Yemen
Saudi-led warplanes launched a fresh wave of air strikes across Yemen targeting Iran-backed rebels as fighting raged on the ground in the south of the country, witnesses said. The air raids pounded arms depots under the control of the Shiite Huthi rebels in the locality of Ghula, in Omran province north of Sanaa, residents said.

Syrians try to build case against Assad in chlorine attacks
With only a cloth mask for protection, Firas Kayali rushed to try to rescue the residents of a house in a village in rebel-held northern Syria after a barrel bomb, suspected to be filled with chlorine gas, hit nearby.

Ukraine crisis: Rebel commander Alexei Mozgovoi ‘killed’
One of the top rebel commanders in eastern Ukraine, Alexei Mozgovoi, has been killed in an attack on his car, Russian and Ukrainian media report.

UN nuclear weapons talks fail ‘over Israel row’
A UN conference aimed at preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons has ended in failure after a row over a nuclear-free Middle East proposal. The Egypt-backed plan had envisaged a regional forum which analysts say might have forced Israel to reveal whether or not it has nuclear weapons. The proposal was blocked by the US, the UK and Canada. The next review is set for 2020.

US ‘deeply troubled’ by Russia’s NGO law
The United States said it was “deeply troubled” after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially enacted a controversial law banning what Moscow deems to be “undesirable” non-governmental organizations.

Isis claims it could buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year
Isis has used the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq to suggest the group is expanding so rapidly it could buy its first nuclear weapon within a year. The hyperbolic article, which the group attributes to the British hostage John Cantlie, claims Isis has transcended its roots as “the most explosive Islamic ‘group’ in the modern world” to evolve into “the most explosive Islamic movement the modern world has ever seen” in less than twelve months.

Israeli Arabs rally against Morsi death sentence
Thousands of Arabs marched in northern Israel on Saturday to protest the death sentence issued in Egypt against ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Organisers said 5,000 people took part in the demonstration led by Sheikh Raed Salah, a firebrand preacher who heads the Islamist Movement’s radical northern wing.


Top Headlines – 5/24/2015

UN nuclear weapons talks fail ‘over Israel row’

Netanyahu thanks Kerry for US blocking of anti-Israel nuclear resolution

Obama Stresses Support for Israel, but Refuses to ‘Paper Over’ Discord

Abbas Reaffirms Commitment to Two-State Solution, Blames Israel for Blocking Peace

Opposition MK vows to ‘make life hell’ for Netanyahu government

Israeli public official commits suicide after accusation of racism goes viral

Thousands of Israeli Arabs protest Morsi death sentence in North

Nasrallah: Hezbollah in worst state since 1982 onslaught by Israel

Hezbollah shows off its tunnels, claims it is prepared for war with Israel

Syrians try to build case against Assad in chlorine attacks

Isis claims it could buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year

British journalist John Cantlie held hostage by Isil claims ‘infinitely’ greater threat of nuclear attack on US

White House Wants ‘Wiggle Room’ For U.S. Combat Ground Troops In Iraq

Common enemy: Israel, Hamas face threat of ISIS in Gaza

Islamic State group radio claims Saudi mosque suicide attack; promise more ‘black days’ for Shiites

Arab air strikes hit military bases in Yemen

City in the sky: world’s biggest hotel to open in Mecca

Iran’s oil minister says OPEC unlikely to change output ceiling

Iran likely to abolish fuel subsidies which could drive inflation and cause protests

Somalia: Militants Kill Lawmaker in Capital, Attack 2 Towns

Czech reality show lets family experience Nazi occupation

Putin signs Russian law to shutdown ‘undesirable’ organizations

US ‘deeply troubled’ by Russia’s NGO law

Chinese Military Using Jamming Against U.S. Drones

Justice Department releases guidelines on domestic drone use

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

Final votes on Patriot Act, trade deal bill set dramatic stage for Congress’ return

Protests erupt in Cleveland as officer cleared of fatal shooting

US government to review mystery of slow 1st quarter growth

Venezuelans look to unload bolivars as currency continues to tumble

Nigerian airlines ground flights over fuel crisis

NY fracking ban poised to take effect, critics say state giving up thousands of jobs

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Putre, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 20,000ft

Nepal landslide blocks river, raises fears of flood reaching India

Rain breaks records, soaks Oklahoma, Texas Panhandle

Torrential rains flood Oklahoma City, force evacuation orders in two town

A Taste of Winter on Memorial Day Weekend for New England

At least 230 have died in last 5 weeks during India heat wave

Cannes closer is call to arms on climate change

Egg Prices Surge To Record 238% Due to Bird Flu

Adult dating site hack exposes sexual secrets of millions

Irish voters back gay marriage in ‘social revolution’

Official results in Ireland gay marriage referendum show 62 percent voted in favor

US politicians pay tribute to Ireland’s vote on same-sex marriage

Americans Vastly Overestimate Size of Gay and Lesbian Population

‘Pastor protection’ bill wins almost full support in House

Mormon LGBT group denied bid to join Utah parades for second time

Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?


Top News – 5/23/2015

Irish voters back gay marriage in ‘social revolution’
Irish voters backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum marking a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country, government ministers and opponents of the bill said on Saturday.

Hezbollah shows off its tunnels, claims it is prepared for war with Israel
A rare glimpse into Hezbollah’s underground tunnels was provided on Friday by Lebanese publication As-Safir, which is associated with the militant organization. The report praised Hezbollah’s activities and painted it as a strong army ready for battle. While it is difficult to verify the claims in the article, it contained a rare discussion of the tunnels by Hezbollah members.

Chinese Military Using Jamming Against U.S. Drones
China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said. Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.

The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims
Meditation and mindfulness is promoted by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Brand, who boast of its power to help people put stress out of their minds and live for the moment. But the treatment can itself trigger mania, depression, hallucinations and psychosis, psychological studies in the UK and US have found. The practice is part of a growing movement based on ancient Eastern traditions of meditation.

US Senate blocks bill to end NSA phone data collection
The US Senate has blocked a bill that would have ended the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records by the National Security Agency (NSA). It also failed to authorise a temporary extension of the current legislation. Senators are to meet again on 31 May – a day before the bill is due to expire. A US appeals court has already ruled the bulk collection illegal.

Cholera outbreak hits 3,000 Burundi refugees – UN
Cholera has infected about 3,000 people in Tanzania, the UN has said, where many Burundians have fled seeking refuge from their country’s unrest. Up to 400 new cases are being seen each day, the UN’s refugee agency said. Over 100,000 have left Burundi in recent weeks, escaping violence sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term.

Report: Israel offered Saudi Arabia use of its Iron Dome technology
Arabic-language newspaper Rai al-Youm reported on Saturday that Israel has offered Saudi Arabia to use its Iron Dome anti-rocket technology. The offer was made to the Kingdom to defend its border with Yemen that has come under numerous rocket attacks. …Saudi Arabia reportedly rejected the offer, according to the London based newspaper.

ISIS expands its ‘state’
Almost a year after Islamic State’s shock capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, the black flags of the jihadis have been raised over Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, seat of Iraq’s increasingly theoretical central government. …Now it is all about the fall of Ramadi, the neighboring ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in central Syria…the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

US officials: Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery
Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops — including some operating artillery and other heavy weapons — in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S. defense officials said Friday.

Cameron launches diplomatic offensives for EU reform
British prime minister David Cameron is to embark on a series of diplomatic offensives in the coming weeks to seek political support for renegotiating Britain’s membership of the European Union. He pledged to give British people a “proper choice” in the forthcoming EU referendum.

Netherlands backs veil ban plans
The Dutch government yesterday agreed to introduce a partial ban on the wearing of the full-face veil in public places, the Home Affairs Ministry said.

Deadly suicide blast at mosque in Saudi Arabia kills 21
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest during Friday weekly prayers at a Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 21 people and wounding several others, a hospital official said. The official reached by telephone said more than 90 other people were wounded, including some who are in serious condition.

Senate approves trade bill in major win for President Barack Obama
In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration’s hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House. The vote was 62-37 on the bill, which would let Obama complete trade deals that Congress could approve or reject, but not change. A total of 48 Republicans supported the bill, but only 14 the Senate’s 44 Democrats backed a president of their own party on legislation near the top of his second-term agenda.

43 killed in Mexico shootout
A three-hour shootout between Mexican security forces and unidentified gunmen Friday left 42 of the gunmen dead, as well as one federal police officer, officials said.

US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to “cynically manipulate” the process by setting a deadline for Israel and its neighbors to meet within months on a Middle East zone free of such weapons.

Russia Issues Travel Warning Over U.S. ‘Hunt’ For Russians
Russia’s foreign ministry has warned its citizens traveling abroad of the risks posed by U.S. law enforcement bodies and special services, which it said were hunting for Russians around the world. In a statement on Friday it also accused Washington of kidnapping Russians, citing cases such as that of Vladimir Drinkman, who was extradited to the United States from the Netherlands earlier this year.

Time is running out for struggling oil companies
Low oil prices are endangering an increasing number of exploration and production companies. According to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, the oil and gas industry could see the rate of defaults rise over the next year. The companies in danger of going belly up, not surprisingly, are the ones that already have low credit ratings.


Top Headlines – 5/23/2015

Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban set to torpedo UN meeting

US president signs Iran nuclear review bill into law

Obama sells Iran deal directly to US Jews

Policy disagreements don’t equate anti-Israel sentiments, Obama says

US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns

Vatican recognition of Palestine builds on years of sympathy for the Palestinian cause

Abbas: Israeli settlement activity preventing peace talks

How Israel plans to evacuate Gaza border towns during next war with Hamas

Dutch restaurant says it erased Israel from map for culinary reasons

Mideast youth unemployment rises amid post-Arab Spring chaos

Hezbollah sees no end to Syria war, Mideast at risk of partition

Suicide bomber kills 21 at Saudi Shi’ite mosque, Islamic State claims attack

55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May: UN

Islamic State purges Palmyra of Assad loyalists

Caught between rebels and Islamic State, Assad losing more ground in Syria

France’s Hollande calls for new push on Syria political settlement after ISIS gain

US officials: Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery

2 ‘homegrown’ jihadists nabbed in California on way to join ISIS, say officials

Hundreds of Muslims riot, set Shariah court ablaze over alleged insult to prophet Muhammad

Dutch cabinet backs partial Islamic veil and burqa ban

43 killed in Mexico shootout

Violent crime surges as arrests drop in Baltimore post-riots

Justice Department says domestic use of unmanned drones must not violate privacy, civil rights

Pentagon plans long-range missile defense radar in Alaska

US Senate votes to grant Obama fast-track trade power

Bill to reform domestic surveillance is blocked in US Senate

US State Department to post set of Hillary Clinton emails online Friday

Merkel says more work needed on Greek loan talks

EU agrees 1.8bn-euro loan to cash-strapped Ukraine

Fed on track to hike rates as economic headwinds wane – Yellen

Yellen tone suggests choppiness for markets ahead

Clock Running Out For Struggling Oil Companies

Two 6.8-magnitude quakes strike off Solomon Islands: US Geological Survey

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

Magnitude 5.4 earthquake hits Nevada, close to Las Vegas

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Iquique, Chile

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Naze, Japan

Severe Flooding Washes Vehicles Down Street in Turkey

Texas braces for severe flooding

50 million gallons of water lost after California dam vandalized

Antarctic Peninsula in ‘dramatic’ ice loss

Egg prices surge to record on shortage caused by bird flu

Tick Populations Explode in Northeast, Mid-Atlantic Following Snowy Winter

Cholera epidemic hits 3,000 Burundi refugees in Tanzania: U.N.

Ireland Gay Marriage Referendum: Count Begins After High Turnout

Irish voters appear to have voted heavily in favor of allowing gay marriage

Ireland gay marriage referendum: young and old alike say ‘Yes’

Scouts urged: Adapt to changing world on gays

Franklin Graham Urges Parents to Withdraw Support From Boy Scouts of America Following Call for End to Ban on Gay Leaders

Christian schools will have no choice about gay marriage

School apologizes for banning Jesus


‘Fix It, Jesus’: Student Takes Podium to Pray as Medical Emergency Unfolds During Graduation

(CN) — A high school student in Alabama jumped to his feet and took the podium Thursday night to lead those gathered for the senior graduation ceremony in prayer as a medical emergency took place in the stands.According to reports, a family member of a graduating student fell ill as the Clay-Chalkville High School graduation ceremony was underway on the grounds of the Cougar Stadium.

‘Everybody Cried’: Five-Year-Old Feeds, Prays With Homeless Man at Alabama Waffle House

(CN) — A five-year-old boy from Alabama is making headlines after he moved patrons at a waffle house to tears while feeding and praying with a homeless man inside of the restaurant.

Ava Faulk of Prattville told local television station WSFA that she and her son Josiah visited the waffle house a few weeks ago, and saw a homeless man outside of the building.

Atheist Seeks to Use Religious Freedom Law to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. Currency 

(CN) — A prominent atheist is again on a quest to remove the motto ‘In God We Trust’ from American currency after losing attempts to do so thus far, and is now seeking to use the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in his strategy.As previously reported, atheist Michael Newdow, who has filed numerous suits challenging the mixture of God and government, first submitted a complaint in the Southern District of New York in March 2013, asserting that the motto violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution as it serves to proselytize unbelievers.

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

(CN) — 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 and contempt for contesting liens against a number of properties that had been seized by the government several years ago.

Other Top News Stories of Interest:

Matt Drudge Rips Boehner and GOP ‘Deception,’ ’Disrespect for Voters’ on Twitter

Matt Drudge voices the frustration of millions of people regularly, but particularly after the TPP vote.

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Krauthammer: Hillary Email Dump Is ‘Farce,’ We Saw What She Wanted Us To See

Hundreds of Hillary Clinton’s emails were released today, something Clinton herself said she wants, but Charles Krauthammer doesn’t really buy this…

View Short Video


Christian witness to Muslims surges after ISIS executions

Quite the contrary, she said, “the declarations of faith uttered by the men only moments before their death have created fertile soil for conversation between Muslims and Christians.”

Her report appeared on the VOM blog site this week as a followup to a trip to the Middle East. The Christians killed by ISIS in February were mostly Egyptians who had gone to Libya for various jobs.

The ISIS video shows black-clad executioners leading a line of Christians down onto a beach then executing them.

View Article


Marines Sing Glorious Version Of ‘Lord, I Lift Your Name On High’

Take a break from bad news and enjoy our Marines praising God.

View Short Video


The Problem with Jade Helm

While some of the concern over Jade Helm might be misguided, none of it has occurred in a vacuum. It arises from more than six years of an administration that has demonstrated an overt willingness to squander the trust of millions of Americans in pursuit of its agenda—by any means necessary. Americans would much prefer to see the military training to defend the homeland against ISIS rather than engage in insulting exercises against the “hostile” heartland of liberty.

View Article


Why So Many Christians Are Just Done With Church

Comparing those who leave the church to political refugees, the authors write, “Refugees are people who’ve been forced from their homes—for fear of persecution. That describes the dechurched. If they stayed they would risk further estrangement from their spiritual selves, from God, and from a religion they still believe in.”

View Article


Legitimizing Censorship: ‘Islamophobia Studies’ at Berkeley

by Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
Jihad Watch
May 23, 2015

Legitimizing Censorship: ‘Islamophobia Studies’ at Berkeley

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/14794


The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims

by Marsha West

For those who have never heard of “mindfulness,” it is a Buddhist meditation practice that’s emphasized in Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism. Practitioners claim that mindfulness is spiritually neutral. Right. And I’m Tinkerbell. In her piece “Mindfulness For Children: Buddhism For Tots” former New Ager and long time astrologer Marcia Montenegro, explains […]

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Gay Ireland hails “a new Republic” as same-sex marriage approved

by Marsha West

Reuters reports:

Gay marriageGay couples flocked to central Dublin to celebrate a “historic watershed” on Saturday as a large majority in the traditionally Catholic country voted to allow same-sex marriage, the culmination of a four-decade struggle for gay rights.

Waving rainbow flags, embracing and crying, two thousand people gathered to watch the official results in the courtyard of Dublin Castle after voters, young and old, accounted for one of the highest turnouts in a referendum for decades.

“The amount of people who came out to vote is just such an emotional thing for us,” said Fred Schelbaum, 48, standing with his civil partner Feargal Scott, 43, who he said he intended to marry.

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Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S.

by Marsha West

The radical homosexual lobby has been successful in brainwashing Americans into believing that more than one in five Americans are gay or lesbian. Not even close. According to Gallup the latest estimate shows that 3.8% actually identify as LGBT. Take a look at the Gallup report: The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are […]

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Gay Ireland hails “a new Republic” as same-sex marriage approved

by Marsha West

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Gay couples flocked to central Dublin to celebrate a “historic watershed” on Saturday as a large majority in the traditionally Catholic country voted to allow same-sex marriage, the culmination of a four-decade struggle for gay rights. Waving rainbow flags, embracing and crying, two thousand people gathered to watch the official results in […]

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Church daycare must pay lesbians a huge fine after couple violates employees’ moral clause

by Marsha West

A church daycare must pay a lesbian couple more than $28,000 after the women violated an employee agreement to live in celibacy as long as they taught at the Christian educational facility. As part of the settlement, the church must also meet with homosexual activists. When Jaclyn Pfeiffer and her partner Kelly Bardier went to […]

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Appeals Court Rules New York May Ban “Choose Life” License Plates for Fear of Road Rage

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a right to decline to make “Choose Life” specialty plates if the commissioner deems the message as being “patently offensive.”

The Children First Foundation, which raises funds to support adoption and safe havens for babies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and D.C., had first petitioned the DMV for the plates in 2002. However, the request was rejected as the DMV stated that it had a “policy not to promote or display politically sensitive messages” on license plates.

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Trail Life USA reacts to Boy Scout president on gay leaders

by Marsha West

Berean Research reported on the Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates’ comment that the status quo on not allowing homosexual Scout leaders cannot be sustained. Seems the Scouts’ board chairman disagrees with Gates. According to the Christian Examiner: Responding to an announcement yesterday that Boy Scouts of America legal position on banning gay Scout leaders has […]

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TLC Pulls 19 Kids Over Josh Duggar Misconduct Scandal

In a statement released late Thursday, Duggar admitted to misconduct when he was 14 years old, calling his actions “inexcusable.” “I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said in a post on his family’s official Facebook page. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”

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Trail Life USA reacts to Boy Scout president on gay leaders

by Marsha West

According to Christian Examiner, the Scouts reaffirms its own commitment to “timeless Christian values”:

Responding to an announcement yesterday that Boy Scouts of America legal position on banning gay Scout leaders has weakened and is “unsustainable,” Trail Life USA board chairman John Stemberger today reaffirmed its own commitment to “timeless Christian values.”

BSA President Robert Gates made the remarks to leaders in the group’s annual meeting yesterday, indicating the organization “cannot ignore growing internal challenges” and even “open defiance” to its membership policy.

“We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” Gates, who previously served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Secretary of Defense said.

Read more


 

Martial Law? Jade Helm Lists ‘Hostile’ US States

Posted: 23 May 2015 08:38 PM PDT

This summer, the U.S. military is planning an unprecedented training exercise, happening across seven states on private lands and towns in the Southwest. The Jade Helm 15 operation is making many residents feel uneasy. Speculation about why the military wants to train in American communities instead of on military bases is fueling a growing number of theories across the Internet and social media. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has even asked his National Guard to monitor it. So what is Jade Helm 15?

According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, it’s “realistic military training” taking place simultaneously in seven states from Southern California to Texas. Over eight weeks, America’s elite Special Forces will practice “unconventional warfare” by practicing operating outside their normal support systems, adapting to new terrain, and working with civilians to gain their trust. FULL REPORT

The post Martial Law? Jade Helm Lists ‘Hostile’ US States appeared first on .

Earth May Be Ripe For Massive Solar Storm

Posted: 23 May 2015 08:18 PM PDT

Though we typically think of hurricanes and tornadoes as the most destructive weather forces, there’s another threat hovering just outside Earth’s atmosphere that could cause far more damage: solar storms. Estimates based on historical space weather patterns show that Earth may be due for a massive solar storm — an eruption of magnetically charged gas from the Sun’s surface — that could leave millions of people without power for up to two years and cost between $1 and $2 trillion. The impact would be disastrous in today’s technologically dependent society, disrupting everything from power grids and air traffic control to water purification systems.

“[A solar storm] is not something that will happen often, not as often as hurricanes, but the effect could be even more damaging,” Therese Moretto Jorgensen, program director for the National Science Foundation, told Mic. Thanks to an increased presence in space and improved exploration and observation technology, our ability to anticipate large storms and prepare accordingly is improving. But if we want to prevent widespread damage effectively, we’ll need to do more to anticipate it. FULL REPORT

The post Earth May Be Ripe For Massive Solar Storm appeared first on .

Ireland legalizes gay marriage in historic vote

Posted: 23 May 2015 08:08 PM PDT

Ireland became the first country Saturday to legalize same-sex marriage by national referendum, a result that highlights the dramatic pace at which this traditionally conservative Catholic nation has changed in recent times. Just 22 years after decriminalizing homosexuality, 62.1% of voters approved the measure changing the nation’s constitution to allow gay marriage, according to official results by Ireland’s referendum commission. National turnout in Friday’s poll was 60.5% of 3.2 million eligible voters.

“With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people,” Prime Minister Enda Kenny said, welcoming the outcome Saturday, according to the Associated Press. Emily Neenan, a physics student at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, was holding a large rainbow-colored umbrella in the forecourt at Dublin Castle, where “Yes” supporters gathered to celebrate outside the Irish government complex. “I am absolutely thrilled and I didn’t think it would pass with such a resounding yes,” she said. “Even in more traditional rural areas, it looks like we have done a lot better than we thought we would.” FULL REPORT

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Leading Islamic voice calls for reconquering Jerusalem

Posted: 23 May 2015 07:55 PM PDT

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on his countrymen to refocus on the Ottoman goal of re-conquering Jerusalem for Islam and uniting Shia and Sunni tribes for that same mission. In a speech that got almost no coverage in the Western media, Erdogan talked about invading and reconquering Jerusalem, according to an article in the Anadolu Agency of Turkey.

“We Muslims lost our way toward Jerusalem,” he told throngs of adoring Turks while in the state of Erzincan in central Turkey. “The water of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that was destined to beat for Jerusalem is now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.” Erdogan was in the city to promote numerous service projects, but the speech focused on Jerusalem. “When you mention the worse ascension, the first thing that comes to mind is Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said, referring to the mosque that sits on the Temple Mount. The Mount is controlled by Arab Muslim Waqf officials, who do not allow Jews to pray accept at the Western Wall. But apparently Erdogan is not satisfied with this arrangement. He told his countrymen to “ask Allah to restore the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the infallibility of the Muslims.” FULL REPORT

 

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24 hours of Major Earthquake Unrest showing Globally — From Las Vegas to England.

Posted: 23 May 2015 07:39 PM PDT

Major seismic unrest is currently showing in multiple areas around the planet. The past 24-48 hours (up to 200am CDT May 23, 2015) has seen a serious uptick in earthquake unrest. The unrest has spread to multiple locations including several rare areas which don’t normally see noteworthy movement, such as the M4.0 which just struck South England (along the English channel), or the 5.4 magnitude earthquake which struck near Las Vegas Nevada.

In addition to the rare movement in Nevada, and the UK, a large borderline 7.0M struck near Papua New Guinea, as well as additional movement across the Philippines, South Japan, and the coast of China. This is a tremendous amount of activity to see in one 24 hour time period. The areas which have seen movement need to be on watch for additional nearby activity, in the case of Nevada we should be watching the West coast for movement in the watch zones over the next 5-6 days. FULL REPORT

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Papua New Guinea hit again — 5.9M (6.0 revised) earthquake after deep Asthenosphere movement

Posted: 23 May 2015 07:04 PM PDT

Yesterday (May 22, 2015) I issued a new nearterm watch for the area East of Papua New Guinea for a 6.0M range earthquake to strike due to a deep 4.7 magnitude which struck near Fiji.

Today (May 23, 2015) a 5.9M (6.0M revised) earthquake struck directly East of Fiji, in the Soloman Islands. The earthquake which struck is a direct follow up to the deeper earthquake yesterday in the adjacent area to the Southeast of Papua New Guinea (which is Fiji). FULL REPORT

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Two Earthquakes Shake Up South-Central Kansas

Posted: 23 May 2015 07:00 PM PDT

Two earthquakes, one a magnitude 4.0, rattled south-central Kansas on Saturday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first quake occurred just before 10:15 a.m. The magnitude 3.3 was centered about 17.3 miles southwest of Pratt and had a depth of 5.2 miles.

The larger of the two earthquakes, a 4.0 temblor, shook the same area at 1:45 p.m. It had a depth of 3.1 miles. It was originally reported as a 4.6.  Numerous KAKE views called to report feeling both quakes. So far, no damage or injuries have been reported. kake.com

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Indonesia’s Lokon-Empung volcano shaken by violent eruption

Posted: 23 May 2015 06:54 PM PDT

An explosion occurred Wednesday (20 May) at 15:22 local time and produced an ash plume of approx 1.5 km height. The eruption was accompanied by strong explosion sounds, which caused concern in nearby villages and the town of Tomohon.

After the initial explosion, mild ash venting continued for a while. The eruption came from two vents, both the Tompaluan crater and the new crater west of it that had formed in October last year. EP

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Awakening again? Alert level raised to “yellow” on Chile’s Chaitén volcano

Posted: 23 May 2015 06:49 PM PDT

The alert level of the volcano was raised to “yellow,” after an increase in seismic activity was detected.

Chaitén had a famous catastrophic plinian eruption in 2008, which followed centuries of quiescence and ended in the construction of a new lava dome. EP

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Scientists worry Vegas Earthquake may be a precursor to a Bigger Event

Posted: 23 May 2015 06:39 PM PDT

After an earthquake prompted the closure of several flyover ramps in Las Vegas’ Spaghetti Bowl interchange on Friday, transportation engineers said the bridges remain safe for travel. The magnitude-4.8 earthquake happened at 11:47 a.m., and was centered in Caliente, NV, about 150 miles north of Las Vegas. The earthquake was later downgraded from a 5.3 to a 4.8 magnitude earthquake by the USGS. Immediately after the temblor, emergency crews shut down the ramps from U.S. Highway 95 southbound to both directions of Interstate 15. The Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard ramp to I-15 southbound was also closed. This allowed crews to inspect a gap that appeared in the 95 ramp to I-15 southbound after the quake.

According to Mary Martini, District I engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation, the gap existed before Friday’s earthquake, but the tremor shook loose a protective rubber casing that was covering the seam of the bridge, making the damage appear worse than it really was. “We’re issuing an emergency contract to repair the seam,” Martini said. “Meanwhile, the ramps remain structurally sound and safe for travel.” The ramps, which Martini said are made of cast-in-place concrete and steel reinforcements, reopened just after 4 p.m. They will remain open through Memorial Day, Martini said. FULL REPORT

The post Scientists worry Vegas Earthquake may be a precursor to a Bigger Event appeared first on .


Isis claims it could buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year

Posted: 23 May 2015 07:30 AM PDT

Isis has used the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq to suggest the group is expanding so rapidly it could buy its first nuclear weapon within a year. The hyperbolic article, which the group attributes to the British hostage John Cantlie, claims Isis has transcended its roots as “the most explosive Islamic ‘group’ in the modern world” to evolve into “the most explosive Islamic movement the modern world has ever seen” in less than twelve months. Photojournalist Cantlie is regularly used in the terror group’s propaganda and has appeared in a number of videos, including a YouTube series called “Lend Me Your Ears”. He has been held a hostage by Isis for more than two years.

The piece, entitled “The Perfect Storm”, describes militant Islamist groups such as Boko Haram, which recently pledged allegiance to Isis, uniting across the Middle East, Africa and Asia to create one global movement. The article claims this alignment of groups has happened at the sane time as Isis militants have seized “tanks, rocket launchers, missile systems, anti-aircraft systems,” from the US and Iran before turning to the subject of more extreme weapons the group is not in possession of – such as nuclear weapons. FULL REPORT

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EU signs new €1.8bn bailout for UkrainePosted: 23 May 2015 07:25 AM PDT

The European Union and Ukraine have signed a third loan agreement for Ukraine worth €1.8 billion. The EU says helping Ukraine’s ailing economy is now one of the biggest challenges for Europe. The bailout is part of a broader package for Ukraine, which includes €25 billion from the IMF and €15 billion from the EU, according to the European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.

The EU stressed the money released is aimed at supporting reforms in Ukraine. “Helping Ukraine to achieve peace and transform the country into a modern, stable and prosperous economy is one of the most important tasks Europe faces today,” Dombrovskis said in the EU statement published Friday. The first €600 million installment will be transferred after the agreement is ratified by the Ukrainian Parliament, he added. FULL REPORT

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Early indications suggest Ireland voters back same-sex marriage referendumPosted: 23 May 2015 07:21 AM PDT

Early indications are that Ireland has voted in favor of same-sex marriage, Irish media reported Saturday, as the process of counting votes in the landmark referendum continues. Its passage would make Ireland the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. The Irish Times newspaper said turnout in Dublin was as high as 65%, raising the hopes of “yes” campaigners that high engagement by young voters and those in urban areas could carry the result overwhelmingly their way.

There was speculation that opposition to the measure might have been understated in the run-up to the poll because, amid the heated debate, people have been shy of saying they plan to vote “no.” But public service broadcaster RTE and other media outlets reported that early indications were that the “yes” vote would win out. FULL REPORT

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School apologizes for banning JesusPosted: 23 May 2015 07:17 AM PDT

UPDATE: Somerset Academy issued a formal written apology to 12-year-old Mackenzie Fraiser late Friday for denying her the right to use a Bible verse in a class assignment. School officials have now agreed to allow the sixth-grader to resubmit her original project, this time with her favorite Bible verse — John 3:16 — included. Mackenzie Fraiser is 12-years-old. She’s a sixth grader at Somerset Academy, a charter school in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mackenzie is also a Christian. In February, she was instructed by her technology teacher to create a PowerPoint demonstration about her life. One of the requirements was to include a slide with an inspirational message. So Mackenzie decided to use a Bible verse – specifically John 3:16. That familiar passage reads: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” But the teacher had a problem with Mackenzie’s inspirational message. She explained to the class that none of the students would be allowed to use any Bible verses or quotations from the Book of Mormon. FULL REPORT

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Nepal quake aftermath: at least 200 Buddhist nuns and monks dead, 1,000 monasteries flattenedPosted: 22 May 2015 06:11 PM PDT

An estimated 200 Buddhist nuns and monks died after more than 1,000 monasteries collapsed in the 14 districts hit hardest by the earthquake s, according to the Buddhist Philosophy Promotion and Monastery Development Committee (BPPMDC). The committee, under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, said that all 215 monasteries in Sindhupalchok district were flattened by the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks. Six monks have been reported dead in the district so far. A total of 150 Buddhist monasteries collapsed in Gorkha, 105 in Dhading, 60 in Rasuwa and 60 in Solukhumbu. There are reports of them destroyed in Nuwakot, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Makwanpur, Lamjung and Syangja as well. “What we have is a preliminary report of damages caused by the quake,” said Bhadra Bahadur Golay, under-secretary at the BPPMDC.

The devastating earthquake has destroyed many well-known monasteries including Seto Gumba in Ramkot; Rato Gumba in Sitapaila; Khumchey Gumba in Gorkha; Chrighyang Gumba in Dolakha and Chirite Gumba in Sindhupalchok. Karma Tsering Tashi Lama, president of the BPPMDC who recently visited many of the earthquake -affected areas in Sindhupalchok and Rasuwa with an inspection team, said he did not see a monastery that stands straight. “The monasteries we visited had either fallen or were on the verge of collapse,” said Lama. “Of those that remain, there is eerie silence.” With the collapse of monasteries along with their houses in the area, most Buddhist disciples said they feel helpless. “If only the monastery had remained, people would have gone to pray for the departed souls,” said Udar Man Tamang, 37, of Baskharka Village Development Committee. All the eight monasteries in the VDCs have been destroyed by the quake. “People here have nowhere to go,” he said. FULL REPORT

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Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego growing increasingly restlessPosted: 22 May 2015 06:05 PM PDT

Belching of ash and vapor, Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego (fire volcano) prompted officials to warn air traffic and nearby residents that the mountain could produce a significant eruption at any time. The volcano reawakened in February with eruptions that brought a rain of ash and volcanic debris to adjacent towns. That eruption forced the main international airport in Guatemala City to halt operations until workers could clear the runways of ash.

A more powerful eruption of Fuego in 2012 forced several thousand people to flee the volcano’s slopes. Volcán de Fuego sits on the border of the Guatemalan states of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango. It’s located about 10 miles to the west of the colonial capital of Antigua and rises to 12,346 feet above sea level. EP

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UK rocked as 4.2 magnitude earthquake hits near LondonPosted: 22 May 2015 05:59 PM PDT

A “DRAMATIC, violent, jarring and jolting” earthquake has struck the UK near Kent, waking residents in the middle of the night with the shock of their lives. The unexpected tremor was felt across Britain. The British Geological Survey confirmed the quake struck at 2:52am British Standard Time with an epicenter 7km south of Ramsgate near Kent. It measured 4.2 on the Richter scale. Residents woke in shock as windows rattled, furniture shook and some reported that the quake sounded like a ‘door was being kicked in.’

The site of the quake was near another quake that hit the region in 2007 as a 4.3. Kent Police were inundated with calls about the event. A spokesman toldmirror.co.uk they began to take calls just before 3am. “It has now been confirmed parts of East Kent has been affected by an earthquake measuring just 4.3 on the Richter scale,” they said. A resident in the area, Simon Moores, toldexpress.co.uk there was “dramatic, violent, jarring and jolting of the house for about 10 seconds. “The seagulls launched into air with tremendous noise outside, dogs started barking, crockery moving, furniture jarring about a bit.” FULL REPORT

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Researcher says drought could get worse in Washington STPosted: 22 May 2015 05:54 PM PDT

The drought conditions in Washington that prompted Gov. Jay Inslee last week to declare an emergency are likely to grow worse because of a strengthening El Nino tropical weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean, a weather researcher for Washington State University said Thursday. El Nino, an ocean-warming phenomenon, may bring some relief in drought-stricken California, but it’s more likely to bring more heat and dryness to the Northwest, researcher Gerrit Hoogenboom said. El Nino typically brings rainfall to central and southern California, but leads to warmer weather and less precipitation in the Pacific Northwest.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that El Nino has been building strength since March, and that there is a greater than 80 percent chance its climatic conditions will persist through the rest of the year. “El Nino probably has not yet hit its peak,” Hoogenboom said. “It’s likely that it will be stronger in autumn and winter.” That’s bad news for a state facing an already historically low mountain snowpack and depleted water levels in rivers and reservoirs, mainly east of the Cascade Range. FULL REPORT

The post Researcher says drought could get worse in Washington ST appeared first on .

Huge sinkhole in Missouri swallows part of Top of the Rock golf coursePosted: 22 May 2015 05:39 PM PDT

A large sinkhole opened up Friday morning and created a new playing hazard on the Top of the Rock golf course. At about 6:30 a.m., grounds crews noticed the ground gave way between the practice driving range and the entrance pond to the course, according to Tammy Sapp, director of communications at Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris developed Top of the Rock and has operated it since the course opened a little more than a year ago.

The size of the sinkhole is not clear, but the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and geological engineers are on the scene to inspect and measure it. Bass Pro Shops is waiting to see what the experts find before deciding how to best repair the course. Golfers are still able to play. No tee times have been postponed so far. KY3

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Seismic Plate Pressure Building along Faults on East, West and Southern USPosted: 22 May 2015 05:31 PM PDT

After issuing a forecast for the United States to begin showing major seismic movement, we now see the movement has begun. A series of 4.0M+ earthquakes began to occur up the West coast of the United States over the past day (May 21-22) , multiple events in a short amount of time across California, Oregon, into Canada.

The West coast movement has now been followed by movement along the edge of the craton extending across the United States (as we would expect – seismic pressure is transferring EAST across the plate edge). Since issuing the earthquake forecast, we have now seen a 5.4 magnitude earthquake strike South Nevada, and several smaller events strike the Southern, and Eastern portion of the craton across Alabama, South Carolina, and up the East coast in Maine. FULL REPORT

The post Seismic Plate Pressure Building along Faults on East, West and Southern US appeared first on .

The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims

For those who have never heard of “mindfulness,” it is a Buddhist meditation practice that’s emphasized in Zen Buddhism.  Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism.   Practitioners claim that mindfulness is spiritually neutral.  Right.  And I’m Tinkerbell. In her piece “Mindfulness For Children: Buddhism For Tots” former New Ager and long time astrologer Marcia Montenegro, explains […]

The post The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims appeared first on Berean Research.


Christian Headlines Daily – Sunday, May 24, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Boy Scouts President Calls for Withdraw of Ban on Gay Leaders

State Department Denies Visas for Assyrian Christians

Nigerian Army ‘Relocates’ 260 Boko Haram Survivors

Christian Rock Band U2 Show Support for Equal Marriage on Instagram

Mother Teresa to be Canonized as Early as Next Year

United Methodists: Practicing Homosexuality Doesn’t Contradict Christian Doctrine

Josh Duggar Sex Abuse Scandal Emerges

Church of England to Consider ‘Transgender Baptism’ Service

Castro Regime Heightens Christian Persecution in Eastern Cuba

Franklin Graham’s Facebook Prayers Target Supreme Court Justices on Gay Marriage

Opinion

Yoga Pants and What the Bible Really Says About Modesty

Seeking the complete financial ruin of a Christian family

Josh Duggar and the Problem of Easy Forgiving

Are Smartphones the ‘Electronic Enemy of Love’?

Why Do We Call Evil Good?


Christian Headlines Daily – Saturday, May 23, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Boy Scouts President Calls for Withdraw of Ban on Gay Leaders

State Department Denies Visas for Assyrian Christians

Nigerian Army ‘Relocates’ 260 Boko Haram Survivors

Christian Rock Band U2 Show Support for Equal Marriage on Instagram

Mother Teresa to be Canonized as Early as Next Year

United Methodists: Practicing Homosexuality Doesn’t Contradict Christian Doctrine

Josh Duggar Sex Abuse Scandal Emerges

Church of England to Consider ‘Transgender Baptism’ Service

Castro Regime Heightens Christian Persecution in Eastern Cuba

Franklin Graham’s Facebook Prayers Target Supreme Court Justices on Gay Marriage

Opinion

Are Smartphones the ‘Electronic Enemy of Love’?

Why Do We Call Evil Good?

David Letterman and the Death of the Talk Show

5 Myths About Christian Persecution

Should Christians Prepare for a ‘Dark Age’ in the Church?


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

Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


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 23-24, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Launching A Missions Movement: Acts 1:8

What could be more unnatural than the act of leaving your comfortable home to go to a place you’ve never been, to speak a language you don’t know, to love a people you’ve never met. Acts 1:8 is not a story of super-disciples, but a story of a bunch of sinners, just like you and me, who through the power given to them by the Holy Spirit, did the unthinkable to glorify their Lord.

Read more


Kirsten Powers Gets Its Dangerously Wrong on the Bible and Homosexuality

We are called to holiness more than to heterosexuality, and from Genesis to Revelation, from Moses to Jesus to Paul, the consistent witness of Scripture is that holiness can never be found in a homosexual union. No amount of Scripture twisting can make sexual relationships between two men or two women holy in God’s sight.

Read more


Baptism and a Box of Corn Flakes

Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.

Read more


On Conservative Religious Activism, The Numbers Speak For Themselves

In 2009, overseas relief and development supported by American churches exceeded $13 billion, according to path-breaking calculations by the Hudson Center for Global Prosperity. (This includes not just evangelical churches but also Catholic and mainline Protestant congregations, and covers both direct missions work and donations to private relief groups.)

Read more


Qualifying ‘The State of the PCA’

If I am to be classified as a traditionalist, here is my definition of it: I believe in a tradition that is derived from the Scripture and has been held by great names in church history. This Scriptural tradition has found its way into the great creeds and confessions of the Church, particularly the Westminster Confession of Faith. I hold to such creeds and confessions as secondary standards and as faithful expositions of the fundamental teachings of Scripture.

Read more


United Methodist Body Votes to Change the Church’s Position on Homosexuality by Allowing Clergy to Be ‘Practicing Homosexuals,’ Perform Gay Weddings

The Discipline also says that clergy can neither bless gay weddings nor can non-celibate homosexuals be ordained.

At the UMC’s most recent general conference, held in 2012 in Tampa, Florida, a resolution introduced to change the Discipline’s language on these positions was voted down. But the controversy over the Mainline Protestant denomination’s position on homosexuality continued.

Read more


8 Features of the Best Kind of Calvinism

The experiential Calvinist cultivates communion with God. … Experiential Calvinism cherishes communion with God and understands that this communion requires two things: that we “receive” His love and that we “make suitable returns unto him.” The Father’s love is received “by faith” through Christ. “The soul being thus, by faith through Christ, and by him brought into the bosom of God, into a comfortable persuasion and spiritual perception and sense of his love, there reposes and rests itself.”

Read more


Lecrae Makes Music Concerned With The Soul

On embracing his faith within hip-hop: It’s interesting, because it’s such a phenomenon for a hip-hop artist to fully embrace his Christian roots and his faith. That becomes something that people almost need you to justify. What we’re communicating in our music is love and justice and service and community. But it’s rare that we’ll turn the tide and say, “Hey, justify why violence and misogyny and drug abuse is okay within hip-hop.” I think that’s tragic to some degree.

Read more


Scouts President: Gay Leader Ban Unsustainable

Gates’ speech and his call for change is not a surprise. When the Boy Scouts decided in 2013 to allow homosexual youth into the program, critics of the change said then the decision was unsustainable. John Stemberger, who ultimately left the Scouts to found a group called Trail Life USA as a Christian alternative to the BSA, said then the new policy “creates a myriad of problems” for the Boy Scouts. Andrew Walker of the Heritage Foundation said the BSA’s 2013 policy of allowing gay boys but prohibiting gay men displayed “willed naiveté on this issue.”

Read more


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

“Jesus always got it right: He knew how to balance His time with the Father and with others. He called individuals, preached to the hundreds, and fed the thousands – all while also patiently investing in a few men. Even in his toughest moments (like the Garden of Gethsemane), He wanted men with Him.”

Read more


Commemorating the Burning of Jan Hus

“Hus was an heir to the English church proto-reformer John Wycliffe, whose themes of personal holiness and direct reading of Scripture in native language he reiterated. Wycliffe died a natural death, but a quarter century later he was condemned at the Council of Constance, where a still very much alive Hus was tried for heresy, defrocked and sentenced to death.”

Read more


The God of Typological Recapitulation

“Even though the prophets promise a time of restoration for Israel, theocratic Israel never experiences it. That’s precisely because it would only be realized in Christ. This has massive implications for our understanding how to read the Old Testament in a spiritually applicable way to ourselves today.”

Read more


Learning Contentment

“Christian contentment means that my satisfaction is independent of my circumstances. When Paul speaks about his own contentment in Philippians 4:11, he uses a term commonplace among the ancient Greek philosophical schools of the Stoics and Cynics. In their vocabulary, contentment meant self-sufficiency, in the sense of independence from changing circumstances.”

Read more


Duggars Reeling From Son Josh’s Sex-Abuse Scandal

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh Duggar, 27, said in the statement posted on the family’s Facebook page. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling,” the statement said. “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

Read more


The Episcopal Church: Undermining the USA from Within

“Refugees designated to migrate to the United States are advanced travel money by an arm of the U.S. State Department. They land here, and are placed in the hands of (among other agencies) Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), which helps them relocate into specific communities.”

Read more


International Mission Board Drops Ban on Speaking in Tongues

“Under the previous rules, candidates who spoke in tongues or had a “private prayer language” were barred. Under the new rules, speaking in tongues does not disqualify missionary candidates. Too much emphasis on charismatic gifts, like speaking in tongues, could still lead to discipline.”

Read more


Definite Atonement and The Triune God

“Christ’s death is not limited in power, but limited only in its scope. Rather than making salvation possible for all people, Christ’s death actually saves certain people. Christ’s shed blood purchases and fully redeems the elect and there is no possibility that the atonement will not powerfully secure salvation for them.”

Read more


The God Who Justifies (Book Review)

“The book is technical but it is not too difficult. One might be tempted to be discouraged by the number of times White quotes Greek or seems to split exegetical hairs to make a big point, but we shouldn’t be. He is doing the heavy lifting and careful reasoning to make us more confident in the doctrine of justification so that we may be better equipped to delight in and defend this glorious truth.”

Read more


Why So Many Christians Are Just Done With Church

Comparing those who leave the church to political refugees, the authors write, “Refugees are people who’ve been forced from their homes—for fear of persecution. That describes the dechurched. If they stayed they would risk further estrangement from their spiritual selves, from God, and from a religion they still believe in.”

View Article


New Book Sheds Light on Rifqa Bary’s Terrifying Conversion Journey

Sixteen-year-old Rifqa Bary made international headlines in 2009 when, newly baptized as a Christian and fearing her Muslim parents’ reaction, she ran away from her Ohio home and took refuge with a pastor in Florida.

Fearing a so-called honor killing, a controversial practice in some Muslim communities which calls on the family of someone who has in some way “dishonored” her family name or Islam itself—

View Article


Apostate Churches Promoting Sin

by Bill Muehlenberg

I know I should no longer be surprised about these sorts of things happening, but it still leaves my head and spirit reeling: I will write about something so utterly clear in Scripture that no biblical Christian could differ, yet that happens anyway.

I will get bus-loads’ full of so-called Christian pastors, leaders and others absolutely foaming at the mouth at me and what I write. Instead of agreeing with God about clearly defined sin, they will blast me for daring to affirm biblical truth and morality.

They have imbibed of the world and its values for so long that they actually think they are doing God a favour when then effectively promote sin and unrighteousness, and attack those who dare to sound the alarm. Indeed I have now become convinced of this truth (paraphrased from something Dennis Prager recently said):

When you cease to resist evil, you will start to hate those who do.

We of course get this from the world all the time. But the really shocking and frightening thing is when people calling themselves Christians do this. I have had heaps of hate and abuse from “Christians” over the past two days because I have dared to challenge a “Christian” icon and a trendy social cause.

I committed the PC crime of daring to question the Christian credentials of Bono and U2 as they pushed the diabolical line that there is nothing wrong with sodomite marriage, but in fact is a good thing, and Jesus would fully support it, because it is all about “lurve baby”. That piece appeared here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/05/23/fake-christians-fake-marriage/

But the number of people in Christian leadership who have attacked me on this, and who have defended Bono and U2 and homosexual marriage has just boggled my mind, grieved my spirit, rattled my soul, and reminded me once again how utterly apostate, compromised and carnal so much of the church has become.

When you have Christian leaders defending sin and attacking those who speak against it, then you know that we are in a very bad way. And of course I have lost count over the past few days of the number of times ‘Christians’ have accused me of every evil in the world, all the while telling me how sinful it is for believers to judge someone!

Read more


Is the Christian Church in America Losing Its Influence?
May 22, 2015 06:48 am | Mike

Is the Christian Church in America losing its identity and influence?  Or simple learning to better relate to the secular world around us? Jesus commanded us to reach out into the sinful world and share the good news of the gospel of salvation.  But He also warned us to not conform to the deception and […]

The post Is the Christian Church in America Losing Its Influence? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Heaven Is Fo Reals! (And other extra-biblical “revelations”)
May 21, 2015 09:08 am | Scott Alan Buss

People inherently love to learn about Jesus and Heaven. Not the real Jesus or the real (purged of sin and unrepentant sinners) world to come, of course, but the happy, fluffy, man-affirming versions that they’ve made up in their self-referential little heads. You know, smiling, happy, uncritical Jesus, and “everybody but Hitler will be there” Heaven. As for learning […]

The post Heaven Is Fo Reals! (And other extra-biblical “revelations”) appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The Curse of Magic Christianity
May 21, 2015 09:04 am | Scott Alan Buss

Praying that God will do miraculously what we refuse to do through obedience Why do we pray for God to “magically” do what He has commanded and equipped us to do through His Spirit and Word? Why do we pray for God to “do something” to protect our children from the consequences of the very things […]

The post The Curse of Magic Christianity appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Christians Should Be Seen But Not Heard?
May 21, 2015 07:07 am | Mike

When I was a child one thing I would hear too often from my parents was “Children are to be seen, but not heard”.  We were to be submissive and obedient children but not express opinions when adults were in the room. Are we seeing this philosophy imposed on Bible-believing Christians these days?  Christians around […]

The post Christians Should Be Seen But Not Heard? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Christians-Should-Be-Seen-But-Not-Heard_-guest-William-Murray.mp3 23.7 MB


Articles, Resources, and More . . . Oh My! (05/22/15)

23 Guidelines to Protect Your Purity in Dating

Randy Alcorn equips us with some wise advice as those of us who are single date and as all of us disciple others in this area.

How to Prevent Brotherly Love

Erik Raymond lists five big main things that hinder Hebrews 13:1 in the church: “Let brotherly love continue.”

10 Unforgettable Lessons on Fatherhood

Ray Ortlund wrote a moving tribute to his dad that has stirred the hearts of many in the Internet world.

I’m Divorced: How Does God See Me Now?

J.D. Greear: “I feel the need to be abundantly clear on this: divorce is not the unforgivable sin. As a Christian, the only scarlet God sees on you is the blood of Christ, which covers your sins and presents you before God as His blameless child.”

4 Principles for Finishing Well

The older I get, the more I’m learning that it’s truly not about how I started but how I finish. May we be found faithful to the Lord.

Source


Practice true spirituality

 

In our quest for a more simple spirituality it’s important to define the term. I’m writing from the belief that spirituality is the pursuit of God and the things of God, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance with God’s self-revelation (that is, the Bible).

The words of the apostle Paul in Colossians 2:16-3:2 provide inspired guidance on true spirituality. False teachers in Colossae were saying that spirituality involved not only the pursuit of God through Jesus, but also included the worship of angels and other types of mystical experiences. They taught a number of elaborate rituals and ascetic practices which anyone serious about spirituality was required to observe.

Paul admits that while “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion,” in reality “they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (2:23). In other words, these activities may look like marks of true spirituality, but they’re worthless for changing one’s heart or relationship with God.

But then Paul directs us to the basics of biblical spirituality—“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that on earth” (3:1-2).

Related: In season and out of season – expository readiness by Don Whitney

Unlike the common belief that many people are “spiritual” by nature, notice Paul’s teaching that spirituality has a definite starting point—“If then you have been raised with Christ.” This is biblical language for being united by faith to Jesus Christ in His life, death and resurrection. Until a person comes to the place where spirituality begins and receives the benefits that flow from this union with Christ—namely eternal life and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit—that person has no real spirituality, regardless of his effort or desire.

Notice also that genuine spirituality seeks the things of God, or more specifically, “things that are above, where Christ is.” Any spirituality that does not seek things like the will and glory of God in everything, intimacy with and conformity to Christ, and love—and does not seek them above all other pursuits—is a false spirituality.

But true spirituality doesn’t just propel the heart toward the right activities; it also pulls the mind in the right direction. For in verse 2 Paul continues, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” True spirituality is characterized by a mind preoccupied with “things that are above.” And not “things that are above” merely as we might imagine them, but rather as God has revealed them in Scripture. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about earthly things, for Paul himself gives lengthy counsel about such matters just a few verses later, from 3:18 to the end of the letter. Rather the spirituality that flows from Heaven causes “things that are above” to become a magnet for the mind. So that no matter what we think about, eventually we relate it somehow to “things that are above.” For instance, we often find ourselves asking questions like, “What would the Lord have me do in this situation?” or “What is God’s view of this?”

Don’t be deceived by a complex spirituality that gives the appearance of wisdom but doesn’t start with “Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). And don’t become entangled in any spiritual practices that sound good but incline your mind and heart away from the “things that are above.”

___________
Donald S. Whitney serves as associate professor of biblical spirituality and also as senior associate dean of the School of Theology at Southern Seminary.  He is the author of six books, including Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian LifeYou can connect with Whitney on TwitterFacebook and through his website The Center for Biblical Spirituality. This article originally appeared at BiblicalSpirituality.org.


Articles of the Week

What Is Marriage, Exactly? Jen Pollock Michel. As a country, we’re asking this question a lot in terms of same-sex marriage. But that’s not Michel’s question (though her answer is relevant to that debate). Instead, she reflects on her own experience of marriage, and tries to counter a bevy of popular myths about what makes marriage, marriage. Here’s a hint: contrary to the wisdom of the Beatles, love isn’t all you need.

Clickbait Headlines Are Killing Your Soul, Stephen Altrogge. Journalism has always thrived on a quick pitch, and it’s nothing new for a quick pitch to become a deceptively sensationalized pitch. But the internet seems to have created space for something quite new: clickbait headlines. You know, “He asked Robert Downey, Jr. for his autograph. What happened next will leave you breathless.” We all know they’re annoying. But Altrogge points out that they’re also pretty damaging. After all, when everything is spectacular, nothing is.

Four Words Leaders Must Say Often, Eric Geiger. It’s not, “I love you, man” (though that may not be a bad idea…sometimes). Geiger boils down four traits of wise and effective leaders into a word apiece. These are about as simple as they are difficult. If you’re a leader, memorize them. After all, we’re just talking about four words, here.

Diagnosing Ethnic Fever, Bryan Loritts. “There’s a low grade fever running among many of our minority brothers and sisters working in white evangelical environments, and their fever is a result of varying factors that have left them vulnerable and exposed.  I cal this fever “low grade” because they can still function, yet if left undiagnosed and untreated, this ethnic fever will only escalate into a toxic sickness.  If we want to treat their condition, I find it helpful to look at the factors contributing to their ailment.”

Source


“Moore” fellowship with darkness.

By now, everyone knows that Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, leans socially progressive. Moore has, on multiple occasions, partnered with left-leaning organizations on behalf of the SBC in order to advance political, as well as theological, positions through government. Moore is well known for his collaboration with the apostate Roman Catholic church in his endeavors to promote traditional marriage, anti-abortion legislation, and more. So it comes as no surprise that Moore is now joining forces with the liberal Baptist denomination, The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, in order to push for legislation banning predatory lending habits by pay-day lenders.

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Letter to the Editor: Does Lighthouse Trails Believe Beth Moore is Going in an Emergent Direction?

To Lighthouse Trails: Good morning: this question is asked in sincerity, not contention. I believe I once read in one of your posts that Beth Moore was headed in the emergent church direction (or, perhaps it was in some sort of false teaching).


This Week in Calvinism – May 22, 2015

  • It seems we Calvinists follow a God who is “false, capricious, and arbitrary.” So says Tim Alleman, a guy who sounds like he has never spoken to a Calvinist in his life. Please, if someone can make sense of his rambling, let me know.
  • Identifying marks of New Calvinism, according to Gary Gilley at SharperIron.org
  • Henry Volk isn’t a Calvinist, but he thinks “we can expect more good things from the New Calvinism. God willing, it may even be the savior of American Christianity.”
  • Eight features of the best kind of Calvinism.
  • Jesus poured out his joy for you.

Source


Born Captive to Sin, Rescued by Grace

I was born into this world with certain sinful dispositions and inclinations, and neither therapy nor willpower could produce real change to my fallen human nature. God’s holy laws could only expose to me, as a fallen creature, my utter moral impotence and accountability to God (Rom 3:19, 20) but gave me no ability to obey them. The gospel, on the other hand, is not a simple call to behavior modification, but instead, the granting of a renewed heart, a new nature, which loves God’s commands (1 John 3:9, 5:1-4; Deut 30:6; Ps. 119:97; Ezek 36:26). And by grace I was declared righteous for Jesus’s sake, who fulfilled God’s law for me, not because I brought anything of my own to the table. As a result the gospel of grace awakens me to the fact that other sinners are also fallen human beings. So how can I look down on anyone, when God had such amazing mercy on a great sinner like me? I now only want to point others to the light of the gospel of Christ that they might also know Him.

Source


Falsified Radio – How Should We Respond to Josh Duggar?

Falsified Radio - How Should We Respond to Josh Duggar?

“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions…I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.” – Josh Duggar

How should we respond?

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What should the Duggar scandal teach the church?

Russell Moore:

…sexual abuse in the context of the church must be handled in terms of both authorities responsible—both the church and the state. The state has been given the sword of justice to wield against those who commit crimes (Rom. 13:1-7). The church has no such sword (Matt. 26:51-53). This means that the immediate response to allegations of sexual abuse is to call the civil authorities, to render unto Caesar the responsibility that belongs to Caesar to investigate the crime. The church may or may not know the truth of the allegations, but it is the God-ordained prerogative of the civil authorities to discover such matters and to prosecute accordingly. When faced with a question of potential sexual abuse, call the authorities without delay.

A word to the journal writers and bloggers

Kim Shay:

For those who write in journals (and for those who blog with a lot of transparency), beware. Every thought does not need to be recorded. Instead of recording negative thoughts, write things that are good. Write about how proud you are of your kids, how much you love your family, the daily provision of God, the joy He gives. I can toss my journals aside in the garbage if I feel like they contain nothing edifying. Sure, pour out your thoughts to God, like the Psalmist did, but write with kindness and grace. Don’t be harsh.

More real

Great stuff from Ray Ortlund.

When You Fear the Future

Trillia Newbell:

I’m not sure if there is a greater fear for women than the fear of what’s to come (or what won’t come). You and I rightly pray for our husband, children, schools, and whether to pursue a career, but we don’t often come to God in peace. Instead we come anxiously awaiting our fate. Goodness will follow all the days of her life, or her life, or maybe her life, we might think, but surely not my life. It’s hard not to have control, and one thing that we can’t ever determine is what lies ahead. Thankfully, God’s Word is packed with sweet promises that smash all our fearful thinking.

Charles Spurgeon’s 9 Tips for Christian Readers

Grateful Kevin Halloran compiled these quotes.

Source


Why Christians Should Be Involved in Politics

In this brief video apologist Frank Turek makes that case that if you don’t think being involved in politics is important then you don’t think preaching the gospel is important.

Source


This ‘n’ That

  • There is no other gospel.
  • Michael Kruger looks at Psalm 119 and shares five things every Christian should be doing with the Word of God.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable. (Thanks, Paula!)
  • Seriously, just call me when Driscoll does something that actually surprises us. Let’s be honest, we all knew this kind of thing would start happening, didn’t we?
  • And, this does not surprise me either.
  • Christine Caine must be using the Hillsong Revised Version of the Bible.
  • This is exactly why I am not a potluck person.
  • You’ll want to add this to the back of your Bible.
  • So, this is in the news.
  • Check out the latest issue of Credo magazine.
  • I don’t necessarily share the viewpoints here, but this is an interesting interview about the death penalty.
  • So if I want to blend in with my candy addiction, I need to move to Utah. Got it.
  • The real Mary Magdelene.
  • Fact: this is a bunch of bunk.
  • Why does evil dominate the world?

Source


Fake Christians, Fake Marriage

by Bill Muehlenberg

One good way to spot a phony Christian is when some crucial moral or social issue comes up. When they declare their hand, that usually tells us all we need to know about a person’s supposed Christian credentials. For example, if you get some guy claiming to be a Christian yet fully supports something like baby killing, you can call his bluff real quick.

Another clear-cut acid test of Christian commitment has to do with the issue of homosexuality. If you get someone trying to tell you that homosexual marriage is just peachy and Jesus would be fully supportive of it, then you know you got a religious fraud on your hands, and you should give him a very wide berth.

One so-called believer who has worried me greatly for years has in my eyes nailed his coffin completely by his recent support of sodomite marriage. Bono and U2 are going utterly brain-dead in supporting the Irish vote on homosexual marriage.

So if you think Bono is some sort of great Christian, you better think again. This comes from the U2 website:

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3 Ways Rising Secularism Affects Evangelism

by Daniel Darling

There has been no shortage of discussion and debate on the results of the latest Pew Research survey on the changing religious composition of the United States. Most researchers agree the data shows that Christianity as an identity is declining while confessional evangelicalism is either holding steady or increasing. While the number-crunchers debate the health of evangelicalism, we can all clearly see that secularism is on the rise. The old social compact that saw Christianity as good for the common good has been broken. While evangelical Christianity might continue to grow as Christ builds his church, it will also start to look even stranger to the rest of the world.

Much has been written about what this trend means for the shape of our public witness, but we haven’t given enough thought to what it might mean for personal evangelism. Here are three ways I think our evangelism strategies will change in a post-Christian age.

1. We need to assume less about people’s biblical literacy.

Many of our evangelism methods over the last several decades assumed an essentially Protestant or Roman Catholic understanding. Evangelism pursued a contrast between a works-based dependence on religion and a grace-based faith in the finished work of Christ. Evangelists could skip much of the Christian story and get right to a few verses in the Gospel of John or in Romans and clear up confusion about the biblical gospel. This may be why methods such as Evangelism Explosion or the Romans Road or the Four Spiritual Laws were so effective.

In a secularized society, though, core Christian beliefs can’t be assumed. We must still preach justification by faith through the death and resurrection of Christ, but we may start in Genesis rather than Romans. Increasingly, the people to whom we are delivering the gospel will not be former Roman Catholic altar boys or lapsed Lutherans, but people for whom the entire Christian story is foreign. Before we tell them what Paul says about their sin, we my need to tell them what sin is and why Paul matters.

In some ways this change is freeing. It allows us to do what we should have been doing all along…

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

3 Ways Rising Secularism Affects Evangelism | The Gospel Coalition


WHY I’M CONCERNED ABOUT AMERICA’S YOUTH GROUPS

by Rachel Marron

Pew’s latest religion poll is out and while many headlines claim Christianity is declining in America, further scrutiny of the data suggests otherwise. The survey shows that nominal Christians (that is Christians in name only) are relabeling themselves as ‘no religious affiliation’ particularly from within the Catholic and mainline Protestant denominations. However, it appears evangelical Christianity is on the rise.

As an evangelical ‘science-rejecting, sexist, homophobic, right wing crazy’ who is looking for the best way to indoctrinate her children, this is good news. Since we’ve got 4 sons, my husband and I want to be sure the odds are in our favor.

But, if I’m honest, I’m a bit concerned with the where ‘youth programs’ in churches all across America are heading.

If you look around, churches everywhere are trying to figure out how best to reach the next generation. With an apparent goal of making church ‘fun’, the most popular tactics appear to be:

Change up the music; exchange the dull dirges for some R&B and alternative rock.
Give the youth someone they can relate to. Rather than an old white guy, try a young lumber-sexual, especially if they have tattoos to demonstrate they have a “past.”
Lots of trips are needed. Whether they are lock-ins or mission trips, kids love to vacation to the beach or a big city.
Here’s the problem. God already told us the instrument He wants to use to reach the next generation, and it’s not a youth program. It’s the family…

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Why I’m Concerned About America’s Youth Groups :: The Renewed Way


Why College students are Really Leaving the Church

Life in Progress Ministries

I’ve read several articles on the subject of “Why the youth leave the church.” Usually the articles give reasons such as, “They were never really saved,” or “they were never taught the importance of fellowship,” or “they weren’t discipled,” and the lists go on.

While I don’t think the points made in the articles are incorrect, I do believe most of the lists are incomplete and do not adequately address one of the biggest reasons people leave the church after high school.

It may be that, because they grew up in a culture that was friendlier to Christianity, church leaders don’t realize the need to prepare students for the intellectual challenges to Christianity in a deep way. Regardless, as someone who is much closer to college age than middle age I need to point out a harsh, possibly offensive reality:

Most churches — probably yours — have done and are doing a terrible job teaching people, especially youth, why they should believe Christianity is true. A lot of churches do a great job of teaching what the Bible says, but that does no good if a person does not believe or is later convinced that the Bible is not a supernaturally inspired book!

Now, this is article is no attack on my pastors or youth pastor. I imagine they did what they knew how to do and taught what they thought was important and followed the examples that they had. I would imagine that a lot of what I will say might be “greek” to you. But times have changed and I promise you that your under-30 crowd is dealing with these issues.

Your youth-group kids are going to enter a college-world (if not a high school) that is openly hostile to the Christian faith. Be assured, your students will be challenged to defend — using evidence — every aspect of their faith. And most Christians, regardless of age, don’t know what the evidence is; and many of those who do, don’t know how to explain it.

As I see it, there seem to be two options which are regularly tried:

1. Try to convince students and parents (for those youths in your church who are lucky enough to have Christian parents) to go to private Christian high schools and colleges where they will be sheltered for a few more years or home-school.

2. Try to convince the youth of your church who choose to go to secular schools to avoid the parties and find a church. Hope and pray for the best even though statistically 60–70% won’t be seen in a church again.

I would like to suggest to you a third option…

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Why Youth Really Leave | Life in Progress Ministries


Changed Quickly, Depart Slowly?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  1 Corinthians 15:52 states we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye.  Growing up, the preachers I listened to all taught we would disappear this quickly.  In studying this verse closely, it seems our bodies will transformed in an instant and we will put on immortality in the twinkling of an eye, but the verse doesn’t state we will be removed this fast.  My question is this;  Will our disappearance be as quick, or will those left behind visibly watch us depart?

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Eat My Flesh And Drink My Blood

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I know that we are saved by the blood of Christ that was shed to pay the penalty for our sins. But what did Jesus mean in John 6:53 when he said if we eat His flesh and drink His blood we would have eternal life? I know we are saved by grace through faith. Was this intended for the Jews and not the Church?
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More On Hearing The Voice Of The Lord

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  In your recent post “Hearing The Voice Of The Lord”, you referenced Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13, but Elijah was a prophet who heard regularly from God.  I am not sure that would apply to believers in general.  As far as you know, are there any instructions or similar examples for us in the New Testament about God speaking to a believer’s heart, other than to apostles, prophets, etc?  And if so, how would we know if an inner voice telling us something (like buy a new house, confront this person, look for a new job, etc) is actually coming from God, or merely us just having an idea and thinking about it?

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Don’t Eat The Forbidden Fruit!

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I have a question, that has been on my mind for quite some time. Since God knows all, he knew Adam and Eve would not stay away from the tree of knowledge and that they would eat from it even though God told them not to. So why did he put the tree there in the first place? I don’t mean to be disrespectful toward God or even question what he does, because I believe he knows exactly what he is doing. I just wonder about things like this.

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Can’t Make It To Church?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Is it true that a committed Christian can go to hell if he or she does not attend Church every Sunday? When I say “committed Christian” I mean someone who has accepted Jesus as their personal lord and savior and who also refrains from sinning. I was wondering about this because I know a lot of committed Christians who don’t go to church because they lead very busy lives.

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The Harvest Of Rev. 14

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. In Revelation 14 it talks about reaping, but it appears to be two separate things. Verses 14 through 16 seem to be Jesus harvesting. Verses 17 through 20 are God’s wrath poured out. Is this first part (14-20) the rapture maybe, since the second part speaks of God’s wrath and I know we are not appointed unto wrath. What is your understanding of these scriptures and the difference of the man (Jesus?)on the cloud reaping the harvest versus the angel gather grapes to be crushed under the wrath of God? Thank you for your help.

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


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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Islamic State burns a woman alive for refusing to engage in extreme sex act

WINTERY KNIGHT

Jay Richards tweeted this appalling story from the leftist Washington Post.

It says:

Zainab Bangura, the U.N.’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, recently conducted a tour of refugee camps in the shadow of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, war-ravaged countries where the Islamic State commands swaths of territory. She heard a host of horror stories from victims and their families and recounted them in an interview earlier this week withthe Middle East Eye, an independent regional news site.

“They are institutionalizing sexual violence,” Bangura said of the Islamic State. “The brutalization of women and girls is central to their ideology.”

Bangura detailed the processes by which “pretty virgins” captured by the jihadists were bought and sold at auctions. Here’s a chilling excerpt:

After attacking a village, [the Islamic State] splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over. The women and mothers are separated; girls are…

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If Andy Stanley Really Said This, He Doesn’t Know What Exposition Is

Zwinglius Redivivus

foolish

Via.

Andy must use sermon books written by others or jump, hop, and skip around, decontextualizing passages and twisting their meaning so horrifically that the biblical writers wouldn’t even recognize what they wrote.

Expository preaching isn’t easy, it’s extremely difficult because it is duty bound to deal with the text and not USE the text to say whatever one wishes to say.

And yes, that’s exactly how people grow in the faith, Mr Stanley- because Scripture and the Spirit are the sine qua non of spiritual growth.

And finally Mr Stanley’s dreadful ignorance of Scripture makes it self most firmly known in his suggestion that the persons in Scripture preached willy nilly crazy skipping and jumping like he did.  What he doesn’t know, tragically, is that that is exactly what they did NOT do.  The writers of Scripture were supremely theological.  Mr Stanley could learn something from them.  If…

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15 Questions Every Facebook User Should Think About

Which do you really like the most?

Facebook-logo-PSD

  1. Opening God’s Holy Book or opening your Facebook?

  1. Checking your spiritual life’s status or checking who likes your Facebook’s status?

  1. Knowing your best friend Jesus more or knowing your Facebook friends more?

  1. Inviting people to church or inviting people to like your new Facebook page?

  1. Thanking God for loving you in Christ or thanking those who like your picture?

  1. Joining prayer meeting or joining Facebook wrangling?

  1. Commenting on God’s Word or commenting on a friend’s post?

  1. Being cleansed from sin or being cleansed from Facebook spam?

  1. Being delivered from the Devil or being delivered from a hacker?

  1. Being more excited to be in church or being more excited to be on a Facebook page?

  1. Enjoying God’s promises more or enjoying your news feed more?

  1. Seeking God’s approval or seeking your Facebook friends’ likes?

  1. Communing with God or chatting with your Facebook friends?

  1. Sharing…

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Digital Media, Screen Time, and the Christian Home

The Reformed Reader

9780801015298_p0_v3_s260x420.JPG I have to admit that I often wish my wife and I were raising our children before the digital age – before there were 6+ screens in each home, before people spent 7+ hours in front of a screen each day, before people’s conversations always got interrupted by the cell phone.  I’m not at all against digital media, and I realize there have always been difficult areas of parenting, but digital media sure makes parenting tough (especially when “everyone else’s” kids have the best tablet, IPhone, or gaming system)!

On this topic, I’ve mentioned The Digital Invasion before here on the blog.  This is an excellent resource for those of us trying to handle digital media in a wise, Christian way.  Here’s one helpful section on how to keep a home from being consumed by digital media; in other words, here are some tips on helping avoid screen addiction in…

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Unless You Convince me by Scripture and Sound Reasoning…

Zwinglius Redivivus

And unless you can persuade me thereby that Paul was saying something other than what he said…

They knew God and yet they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but their arguments became futile and their uncomprehending minds were darkened. While they claimed to be wise, in fact they were growing so stupid that they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an imitation, for the image of a mortal human being, or of birds, or animals, or crawling things. That is why God abandoned them in their inmost cravings to filthy practices of dishonouring their own bodies because they exchanged God’s truth for a lie and have worshipped and served the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  That is why God abandoned them to degrading passions:

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So, do, show me that Paul didn’t mean what he said.

[NB-…

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May 23, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

“Remember My Chains” – One Eritrean Woman’s Suffering and Ministry in Prison for Christ

Although she no longer lives in a cell, “Alice” is still not free. She spent more than six years locked in a cage in an Eritrean prison for her faith in Christ under one of the most repressive regimes against Christians on the globe.


Street clashes in Burundi over upcoming elections cause thousands to flee

“We are facing a terrible security situation,” a Burundian church leader told Barnabas as demonstrations against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to serve a third term continue.


Tanzanian pastor attacked at home as tensions rise over Islamic courts bill

Breaking into his home during the night of 14-15 May, armed men attacked a Tanzanian church pastor, slashing his head with a sword.


Iraq’s Christians wonder where to flee after Islamic State militants take Ramadi city

Christians in Baghdad are filled with fear now that Islamic State (IS) militants have captured the geographically strategic city of Ramadi.


Religious Intolerance Continues to Grow at a Critical and Alarming Rate in Pakistan

ICC Note:

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has labeled Pakistan as one of the worst violators of religious freedom in the world in its most recent Annual Report.


Kenyan Mosque in Garissa Briefly Taken by al-Shabab

ICC Note: The same Muslim terror group that perpetrated the devastating attack April 2 in Garissa Kenya that killed nearly 150 mostly Christian students took over a mosque in the same county for two hours, preaching against the Kenyan government.


India’s Christians Concerned by Government’s Attempt to Deny USCIRF Annual Report

By ICC’s India Correspondent,

5/21/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “We are the sufferers,” said Pastor Christopher, a victim of religiously motivated violence that took place last month in India’s Telangana state.


Court Indicts 106 Suspected of Burning Alive Christian Couple in Pakistan

ICC Note:

In November last year, a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan, Pakistan was accused of blasphemy, brutally beaten by a mob of enraged Muslims, and burned alive at the brick kiln where they worked.


Egypt’s Religious Freedom Farce

ICC Note: Egypt’s President Sisi has been promoting calls for reform on Egypt’s religious freedom laws, but so far the record under his leadership has not been good.


Christians flee Aleppo in their thousands after fresh fighting in Syria

After violent attacks on Christian neighbourhoods in the Syrian city of Aleppo last month, the number of Christians remaining in the city has plummeted as thousands flee in search of safety.


Iran’s Persecuted Converts

ICC Note: American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains in prison in Iran, serving an eight year sentence for his faith. He is just one victim of the Iranian regimes intense war to crack down on Christian converts from Islam.


Mob of Muslims Defy Courts to Forcibly Build Mosque on Christian’s Land

Government and police officials are complicit to land grab, intimidation, and infringement upon family’s religious freedom

By Troy Augustine

5/21/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Muslim mob in Deder, Ethiopia, has attacked a Christian man and forced him out of his home on the threat of death.


Daily Prayer – Friday 22 May 2015

Twen is a 32-year-old Eritrean Christian, who has been in prison since she was arrested at a prayer meeting in January 2005.


Pakistani Court Charges 106 with Slaying of Christian Couple

ICC Note:

An Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan has charged 106 individuals in connection with the murder of two Christians killed for allegedly committing blasphemy last year.


Christian in Pakistan Builds Asia’s Largest Cross as Symbol of Hope

ICC Note:

In the heart of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, a Christian businessman has built the largest cross in Asia. When asked why he built this cross, the Christian businessman said he hoped it would be a symbol of hope for Christians in Pakistan.


Al Shabaab Attacks Village in Kenya’s Garissa

ICC Note: The same terror group that killed 148 people, mostly Christians, in the April 2 attack on Garissa University College, has recently made similar incursions into Garissa County, thankfully without piling up such devastating casualties.


Crosses Removed in Zhejiang, 3 Churches Re-install Crosses After Authorities Leave

ICC Note: Chinese churches in Zhejiang, China remain unashamed of the gospel. Despite authorities forcing many churches to take down their crosses, three churches re-installed them the same day and one church did it three times before the last time the cross was removed.


Assyrian Villages Taken By Islamic State Have Been Liberated

ICC Note: A series of Assyrian villages that were captured by ISIS militants during raids in February have been recaptured by Kurdish and Assyrian forces. Church leaders have returned, but demining operations are still under before they will encourage residents to return.


Egypt Police Rescue Kidnapped Copts Leaving Marian Pilgrimage Site

ICC Note: Police forces in Minya Egypt were able to rescue four Christians who had been abducted by armed men while returning home from a Christian pilgrimage site.


Priest Abducted from Monastery in Homs, Syria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Father Jacob (Jacques) Murad, Superior of the Mar Elian Monastery Abducted by Militants

05/22/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Father Jacob Murad, a Syriac Catholic monk and Superior of the Mar Elian Monastery, was abducted by Islamic militants.


BREAKING NEWS | Priest Abducted from Monastery in Homs, Syria

ICC has learned that Father Jacob Murad, a Syriac Catholic monk and Superior of the Mar Elian Monastery, was abducted by Islamic militants. At least three armed militants arrived at the monastery by motorcycle and at gunpoint abducted Murad and another Christian, believed to be Boutros Hanna, a deacon in the church, La Croix reported.


Nigeria Boko Haram Conflict: People Have Lost Everything

ICC Note: The cost Boko Haram has inflicted upon northern Nigeria is uncountable. Christians, in particular have paid the dearest price as the Muslim militants have targeted them specifically for murder, sexual violence, kidnapping, and forced conversion.


Daily Prayer – Saturday 23 May 2015

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a Christian audience on 17 February saying, “My government will not allow any religious group belonging to the majority or the minority to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly.” This was a welcome message, especially given that Mr Modi is a Hindu nationalist and leader of the BJP party, which has strongly anti-Christian elements within it .


Despite Support From Their President, Egypt’s Christians Are Attacked By Their Neighbors

ICC Note: While Egypt’s President has showed greater support for the Christian minority, the reality of daily persecution for Egyptian Christians remain. From church bombings, abductions, to discrimination and exclusion from high level civil service jobs, persecution takes a variety of forms in Egypt and is driven by deeply ingrained prejudices that continue to divide the country.


“Kill Them, Or Else…” Ethiopian Christian Jailed, Then Told to Murder Pastors

By Troy Augustine

5/22/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Aman Kuni was crammed into a tight jail cell with barely enough room to sleep on the floor, but that was only the beginning of the terror that he would face for his faith in Christ.

Study explores whether atheism is rooted in reason or emotion

WINTERY KNIGHT

Navy SEAL Matthew "Axe" Axelson Image of Navy SEAL Matthew “Axe” Axelson from the movie “Lone Survivor”

From First Things, based on research reported by CNN.

A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and the lead author of this recent study, has examined other data on this subject with identical results. Exline explains that her interest was first piqued when an early study of anger toward God revealed a counterintuitive finding: Those who reported no belief in God reported more grudges toward him than believers.

At first glance, this finding seemed to reflect an error. How could people be angry with God if they did not believe in God? Reanalyses…

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