Daily Archives: June 10, 2015

GodLife: What is better than life?

Scripture: “Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1

How is your relationship with Jesus today?

Being far from the Lord is like being stuck in a dry land, desperately thirsty with no water to give you life. And the Bible says that His love is better than life! So seek the Lord and ask Him to nourish you and pour His love on you.

Read about Jesus’ love and compassion

June 10, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

IMG_2359


Top News 6/10/2015

Greece: 5.3 Richter earthquake shakes up coast of Crete
An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale occurred at about 00:49 on Wednesday morning, in the area between Kasos and Crete, according to the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Observatory of Athens.

U.S. Debt by President: By Dollar and Percent
Why the Winner Is…Barack Obama. The debt grew the most dollar-wise during President Obama’s term. He added $6.167 trillion, a 53% increase, in six years.

Magnitude-6.0 earthquake strikes northern Chile; no damage reported
SANTIAGO, Chile – A magnitude-6.0 earthquake has struck northern Chile, but authorities say they’ve had no reports of injuries or damage. The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake’s epicenter was 35 miles (57 kilometers) north-north-west of San Pedro de Atacama. It occurred Wednesday at 10:52 a.m. local time (9:52 a.m. EDT; 1352 GMT).

3 Tremors Recorded in Earthquake-Hit Nepal
Kathmandu: Three mild tremors were felt across quake-hit Nepal today after the number of aftershocks decreased over the past week.

US Diplomats Reveal EU Sanctions Assault After Iran Deal
Senior diplomats expose EU sanctions list all ready to force Israel into ‘peace talk’ concessions; Obama is threatening to let it happen.

Shiekh Pronounces Blood Libel During Sermon On The Temple Mount
Palestinian Media Watch translated a lecture that had been published online, in which Mughrabi accused Jews of the age-old European anti-Semitic claim of slaughtering gentile children and draining their blood for use in Passover matzot. Mughrabi went on to say that the reason why the Nazis killed Jews in the Holocaust is that Jews use Christian blood in Matzot.

Climate change: Mr. Obama, 97 percent of experts is a bogus number
Never let facts get in the way of a good story. The paper is a treasure trove of how-not-to lessons for a graduate class on survey design and analysis: the sample was not representative, statistical tests were ignored, and the results were misinterpreted.

‘Fed Up’ Black Voters May Help Elect Republican President in 2016
Obama built up ridiculous expectations among blacks just as he did among Middle East Muslims. The disappointment among blacks towards President Obama is similar to Middle East Muslims’ frustration with the President two years after his “reaching us to Muslims” speech in Cairo, except that American blacks have not reacted with the type of violent Arab Spring rebellions that turned to ashes whatever stability that existed in several Middle East countries.

Pentagon bars discrimination against gays, lesbians in uniform
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday the Pentagon has updated its equal opportunity policy to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation, putting it in the same category as discrimination based on race, religion, color, age and sex.

WHO team urges South Korea to reopen schools as more close in MERS crisis
South Korea’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday two more people had died from MERS and announced 13 new cases, lifting the total number of patients to 108 and prompting President Park Geun-hye to postpone a visit to the United States.

U.S. prepares plans for more troops, new base in Iraq: officials
The United States is expected to announce on Wednesday plans for a new military base in Iraq’s Anbar province and the deployment of around 400 additional U.S. trainers to help Iraqi forces in the fight against Islamic State, a U.S. official said.

Negotiators in talks with Iran clash over ‘undeclared’ nuclear facilities
Over the past 20 months, world powers seeking a nuclear deal with Iran have worked out tentative agreements to monitor and secure the country’s known nuclear facilities to prevent it from building a bomb. But as negotiations head for a June 30 deadline, diplomats are still at odds over a tougher issue: how to keep tabs on military bases and other sites where the Iranians might secretly work on a weapon.

Wi-Fi signals can help count people in a crowd
A Wi-Fi signal can be used to count the number of people in a given space, leading to diverse applications such as energy efficiency to search-and-rescue operations. Researchers from University of California-Santa Barbara…”Our approach can estimate the number of people walking in an area, based on only the received power measurements of a Wi-Fi link,” said Yasamin Mostofi, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Africa to create TFTA – Cape to Cairo free-trade zone
Africa’s largest free-trade zone is to be created, covering 26 countries in an area from Cape Town in the south to Cairo in the north. The deal, to be signed in Egypt, is intended to ease the movement of goods across member countries which represent more than half the continent’s GDP. Since the end of colonial rule, governments have been discussing ways to boost intra-African trade.

Daesh kidnaps 88 Eritrean Christians in Libya
Islamic State’s [Daesh] Libya branch has carried out another kidnapping, targeting a large group of Eritrean Christians who were traveling to Libya in hope of boarding a migrant boat to Europe. The news was confirmed by a US defense official. Local media reports claim the migrants were kidnapped by militants south of the city of Tripoli, last Wednesday.

Pentagon recommends sending 400 additional US troops to Iraq
The Pentagon has recommended sending 400 more U.S. troops to Iraq to aid in the fight against ISIS, a senior U.S. military official told Fox News late Tuesday. The official said that the White House had not made a final decision on the recommendation, which would bring the total number of American troops in Iraq to approximately 3,400. That number includes trainers, advisers, security and other logistical personnel.

Disney Blacklisted Displaced American Workers
The American tech workers Disney laid off in January after forcing them to train their foreign replacements were put on a “black list” that disqualified them from hire by any contractor that works with Disney, emails obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation between one of the laid off workers and a recruiting firm show.

France moves closer to adopting expansive surveillance law
Just a week after President Obama signed a US law dialing back post-9/11 surveillance measures, France has taken a major step toward giving its spy agencies vast new powers in the wake of the deadly Charlie Hebdo attack.

Palestinian poll shows discontent with Hamas, Gaza war
Gaza residents are unhappy with the territory’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers and their war with Israel last summer, a new Palestinian poll released Tuesday shows. The poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research shows that half of Gaza residents want to emigrate, compared to 25 percent in the West Bank.

American Pharoah: What A Perfect Description For The Guy In The White House
A horse named “American Pharoah” just won the Triple Crown. Is this some sort of a sign for America? The office of the presidency was greatly strengthened under previous administrations, but now Barack Obama has grabbed an unprecedented amount of power for himself.

Another clear sign Assad is getting desperate to hold on in Syria
The Syrian civil war has continued unabated into its fourth year, and the Assad regime is beginning to seriously feel the toll of the years of constant conflict. The Syrian army has recently lost territory to rebels in the country’s northwest and to ISIS in the country’s center.


Top Headlines 6/10/2015

Nearly three quarters of Israeli Jews feel that the ‘whole world is against us’

Ehud Barak: Let us not wallow in victimhood: Zionism has allowed Israel “to take our destiny in our hands”

Israel’s regional military edge is safe, top US general assures

Israel’s statesmen must put forward strategy to avoid next war, president says

Northern Command Chief: We must prepare for war in the north

Counter Punch: Hezbollah Seeks to offset recent setbacks with retaliatory offensive

Poll: 63% of Palestinians unhappy with achievements of Hamas-Israel war

Security forces fire at Palestinian attempting to detonate explosive

Netanyahu calls on Palestinians to return to talks

Netanyahu to Czech FM: Palestinians set ‘perfect trap’ on peace talks

‘United Jerusalem is eternal capital of the Jewish people’

Arab-Jewish party declares support for boycotting Israeli companies in settlements

Diplomats: EU has Israel sanctions ready, and Uncle Sam may not be able to help

Netanyahu hails Israel hi-tech innovation during meeting with Google chief

‘Holocaust’ cocktail in Belarus, ‘Hitler’ ice cream in India cause uproar

White House welcomes Jerusalem passport ruling as a matter of presidential prerogative

State Dept: US officials not meeting with Muslim Brotherhood

Suicide bomber in Egypt detonates outside tourist site

Two militants killed, four wounded in suicide attack on ancient Egyptian temple

Egyptian ISIS affiliates fire rockets towards airport used by multinational peacekeepers

Syrian pilot shoots self to avoid fiery ISIS execution

Moderate rebels take key southern base in Syria, dealing blow to Assad

Another clear sign Assad is getting desperate to hold on in Syria – Assad is reaching out to Tehran

Obama weighs sending several hundred more US troops to Iraq

George W. Bush was wrong to impose democracy on Iraq, Rumsfeld says

Iraq: Despite thousands fleeing ISIS, churches are full of new believers

Turkish government accused of deliberately ignoring violence in Kurdish region

ISIS Stages Attacks in Iraq and Libya, Despite U.S. Airstrikes

Libya crisis: UN presents ‘unity’ plan to factions

Saudi summons Iran ambassador over mass poisoning

Heads of CIA and US military visit Israel ahead of Iran deadline

Netanyahu: Those with the most at stake in Iran deal are not allowed at the table

Netanyahu warns of Iran’s five-layered threat

Dempsey: Iran may use some sanctions relief for military, proxies

Former Mossad chief: Iran using Obama’s desire for deal to extort concessions

White House, Senate rooms briefly evacuated over bomb threats

Obama, family not evacuated during White House briefing room threat

Secret Service officers at White House lacked security clearances, officials say

US army shuts website after hacking attack

NSA spying may cost US companies over $35bn & do lasting harm to economy

France moves closer to adopting expansive surveillance law

Forget the G7 summit – Bilderberg is where the big guns go

Big business set to lobby politicians on the future of the EU at Bilderberg Group meeting

4 things we know about the secretive Bilderberg Group and 1 thing we’ll never know

Just who exactly is going to the Bilderberg meeting?

Homeland Security looks for leaker of report on airport-checkpoint failures

SpaceX founder files with government to provide Internet service from space

PayPal wants to replace passwords with brain implants and computers you swallow

Survey: Obama’s Trade Proposal a Tough Sell for Most Americans

Jack Ma: World War III is coming, but in a good way

Greece submits new reform plan to EU and IMF

Growing Body of Law Allows Prosecution of Foreign Citizens on U.S. Soil

U.S. frees hundreds of Cuban criminals because Havana won’t take them back

Kremlin chief of staff: If Western sanctions stay, so will Russian ban on Western food

Everything you need to know about the South China Sea conflict in 5 points

China military says conducted drills near Taiwan, Philippines

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Miyako, Japan

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Palaikastron, Greece

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Volcano on Indonesia’s Sumatra unleashes burst of hot ash down slopes; no injuries reported

Oman Likely Target of Tropical Cyclone Ashobaa

Cuba suspends U.S. chicken imports over bird flu: traders

Bird flu found in Michigan geese, officials confirm

California lawmakers pass vaccine bill amid contentious debate

Nation of Islam Joins Anti-Vaccine Bill Protest in Sacramento

Nearly 50 Indiana students test positive for tuberculosis

South Korea President Park to delay US visit due to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak

Obama makes moral case for preserving his health care law

With legal marijuana, more little kids are accidentially consuming drug

Colorado sees 1st camp resort for pot users

U.S. Abortion Rate Drops 12 Percent due to pro-life laws

Court upholds key parts of Texas’ strict anti-abortion law

Baby born from ovary frozen in mother’s childhood

iOS 9: iPhone will now track sexual activity

UN draft report finds sexual exploitation by peacekeepers underreported

Pentagon bars discrimination against gays, lesbians in uniform

Church Is ‘Not Gay Bashing’ in Sign Denouncing Gay Scout Leaders, Says Florida Pastor

Transgender ‘female’ MMA fighter gives female opponent concussion, broken eye socket

Man dressed as a woman peeps on women in bathroom at Wal-Mart

‘Blessing of the bikes’ helps churches make climate change a local issue

Vatican makes history: Pope allows Islamic prayers, Koran readings

World Elite Gather to Plot Future (God laughs!)

Justice Dept. Orders Website to Turn Over Names of Commenters

Army Gen. Randy Taylor introduces his husband at Pentagon Gay Pride event

Pakistani Christians Threatened With Blasphemy Charges for Refusing to Hand Over Property to Muslims

Why you should care that Robert Prechter is warning of a ‘sharp collapse’ in stocks


Daily Digest

June 10, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The danger is not, that the judges will be too firm in resisting public opinion, and in defense of private rights or public liberties; but, that they will be ready to yield themselves to the passions, and politics, and prejudices of the day.” —Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Unleashes Teleprompter to Defend ObamaCare

In a speech before the Catholic Health Association Tuesday, Barack Obama bent the narrative of history to fit his will. In the days leading up to when the Supreme Court will decide whether it’s legal for the federal government to provide subsidies for health insurance not purchased on a state exchange, Obama is leveraging every rhetorical trick, trying to convince the Court to allow him to rewrite ObamaCare. On Monday, he told a group of reporters that SCOTUS shouldn’t have taken up King v. Burwell. But since it has, he said, “This should be an easy case” because legal scholars side with his interpretation.

The next day, Obama ramped up his attack on the impartiality of the Supreme Court when he used the Bully Pulpit to defend ObamaCare using religious and historical rhetoric, evoking the names of Teddy Roosevelt and Ted Kennedy. In his speech at the Catholic conference, Obama said, “The rugged individualism that defines America has always been bound by a shared set of values, an enduring sense that we’re in this together, that America is not a place where we simply turn away from the sick, or turn our backs on the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. It is a place sustained by the idea: I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper — that we have an obligation to put ourselves in our neighbor’s shoes and see each other’s common humanity.” What Obama left out: This law he says is couched in historical precedent was rammed through Congress with a midnight, party-line vote, and now he’s rewriting it to suit his purposes. As for values, the freedom from coercion is a pretty strong American value, running through the nation since the rebellion against the Stamp Act. More…

Russia Violates Treaty, State Dept. Shrugs

Is this the Obama administration’s “smart power” and “reset,” not embarrassing Russia as it violates nuclear arms treaties? Every year, the State Department releases a report about how the U.S. and other countries are upholding or violating the various treaties governing arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament. In this year’s report, State discloses, “In 2014, the Russian Federation continued to be in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km.” Disturbing news, right? Not to State, which believes the violation is not a big deal. The report continues: “The Administration believes that it is in the mutual security interests of all the Parties to the INF Treaty that Russia and the other 11 successor states to the Soviet Union remain Parties to the Treaty and comply with their obligations.” Obviously, if Russia believed it was in its best interest to stop development of intermediate-range missiles, it would stop. Furthermore, the government knew of the INF violations for three years before disclosing them publicly. U.S. officials lied about Russia and continue to obfuscate the extent of Russia’s violations. Guess it’s easier than, well, wielding power smartly.

Eastwood ‘Mocks’ Jenner, Hollywood Uproar Ensues

Iconic actor Clint Eastwood made the terrible mistake of stepping outside the bounds of political correctness during the taping of Spike TV’s Guys Choice Awards. The self-described libertarian, who has been in Hollywood timeout ever since he eviscerated Barack Obama in his illustrious “empty chair” rendition at the 2012 Republican National Convention, was introducing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson when he made an obscure — or what the Leftmedia is calling “insensitive” — reference to Bruce Caitlyn Jenner. According to HollywoodLife.com, Eastwood “compared the San Andreas star to former athletes who have become actors, like ‘Jim Brown and Caitlyn Somebody.'” The audience didn’t find it very funny, and neither did Spike TV. The network says it “will remove the reference in the version that will air” June 18. Aside from the obvious question — what exactly was so derogatory about Eastwood’s remark? — there lies a double standard. Liberals thought it was hilarious when Barack Obama used the “lipstick on a pig” reference against Team McCain in 2008, and they smirk every time Democrats describe right-wingers as terrorists, to name just a couple. In other words, not only must we call Bruce a girl, but we must not make fun of him or any other protected class; meanwhile, the Right is fair game.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By Nate Jackson

2015-06-10-b07ef031_large.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data. And yet when anecdotes repeatedly fit a narrative, it becomes ever more difficult to separate the two — especially when those pushing the narrative control the media.

The latest story of cops versus minorities comes from McKinney, Texas, where Cpl. Eric Casebolt of the city’s police department took down a black teenage female while being videoed. As the video went viral, the narrative was reinforced: Racist white cops target blacks.

As usual, however, it’s a bit more complicated.

First, a quick rundown of the facts: Residents say a woman invited a group of teens to the neighborhood pool for a birthday party, but the homeowners’ associations limits homeowners to two guests. When 130 unruly teens descended on the pool, hopping fences and engaging in fights, concerned residents called the police. Casebolt was among three officers (at least on film) who responded.

A few of the teens bolted from the officers, who gave chase. Several teens ended up in handcuffs, with others trying to explain themselves and still others jawing at the cops. Most of them largely ignored police instructions, though otherwise presented no perceivable threat.

But the real brouhaha centered on Casebolt’s treatment of one bikini-clad girl, whom he pulled from a group and wrestled to the ground while cursing at her. Several teens rushed forward, prompting Casebolt to briefly draw his sidearm and chase off two large boys. He then held the girl down by kneeling on her back while continuing to curse at numerous other teens.

Second, let it be acknowledged that all we see are seven minutes of footage; we don’t know all the details that prompted the police call or their response. The police department issued a statement indicating they responded to a disturbance “involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.” Beyond that and the explanations of residents and teenagers, the story is hazy. One resident claimed the kids “assaulted” security guards near the pool, and well as accosted a mom and her kids. The teens in the video claim to merely be there for a birthday party.

Now, the lessons. For all of us citizens, follow (reasonable) instructions and don’t run from the police. Officers don’t take kindly to having to chase down even innocent bystanders — who they don’t know are innocent and must assume, based on the behavior of fleeing, may be guilty of a crime. Or, in the not-so-eloquent phrasing of Cpl. Casebolt, “Don’t make me f—ing run around here with 30 pounds of G—d—ed gear on in the sun!”

For officers, assume you’re always on camera and that your actions will be evaluated based on the footage. Casebolt surely knows the rationale for his actions beyond what we see, but it’s hard to come away from the video sympathizing with his severely agitated and bullying response.

In fact, Casebolt resigned Tuesday evening. Announcing that at a press conference, McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley called Casebolt’s actions “indefensible.”

A pseudonymous California officer pondered, “In watching the video, one can’t help but observe that Casebolt is alone among the officers in being exercised about what is happening. Was he aware of facts his colleagues were not? If so, and if these facts somehow warranted his actions, did he share his knowledge with the other officers? And what of the girl in the bikini? What was it that motivated Casebolt to choose her, among all the others, to be detained?

“And as for Casebolt drawing his pistol, in this — and only this — there appears to be some justification. The two young men who rushed forward were both at least equal in size to the officer, and it isn’t unreasonable to suppose they might have been preparing to attack Casebolt had he not reacted as he did. The brandishing of the weapon had the desired effect of making the young men run away.”

It’s easy to assume Casebolt acted with undue force given that no one (on video) was resisting arrest or behaving violently, and his takedown of a girl was preemptive at best. Then again, cops are facing unusually high tension across the nation, especially when dealing with blacks, and that is arguably due to overheated race-bait rhetoric from those who benefit politically from unrest.

Clearly, we have a deep cultural problem: Many citizens feel entitled and aggrieved, and they have no guiding moral standards for encounters with the law. And many cops feel either under siege or overly powerful — or both. Until these variables shift in a better direction, every law enforcement encounter will be magnified.

2015-06-10-ae1257d4_large.jpg

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Walter Williams: “Politicians who fight against school choice behave the way teachers do. Fifty-two percent of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have school-age children have them enrolled in private schools. Thirty-seven percent of members of the House of Representatives and 45 percent of senators who have school-age children have them enrolled in private schools. The education establishment says more money is needed, but more money does not produce higher quality. New York City spent $20,331 per student in fiscal 2013. Washington, D.C., spent $17,953, and Baltimore allocated $15,050. Despite being among the nation’s highest-spending school districts, their education quality is among the lowest. Parents, given vouchers and choice, could do a far superior job in the education of their children — and at a cheaper cost.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “If we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.” —English statesman John Lubbock (1834-1913)

Demo-gogues: “There’s something deeply cynical about constant efforts to roll back progress. I understand folks being worried before [ObamaCare] was passed and there wasn’t a reality there to examine. But once you see folks having health care, you’d think it’d be time to move on.” —Barack Obama, the ultimate cynic

Race bait: “In 2015 America, African-American parents cannot possibly send their children out to play without genuine fear for their safety and lives, from the very authorities tasked with protecting them. … Being a kid is (or should be) one of our society’s most privileged positions, and there are few privileges of childhood more meaningful than the opportunity to play without worries, to enjoy a summer day on its own relaxed terms. This childhood luxury is becoming painfully, unmistakably intertwined with white privilege.” —Fitchburg State University professor Ben Railton

Turning the narrative inside out: “We have a significant population gap among African-American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them.” —New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton

Friendly fire: “It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe Award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play — it’s a tabloid play. In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could’ve found someone … who was much closer actively involved in sports, who would’ve been deserving of what that award represents.” —sportscaster Bob Costas

Late-night humor: “Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton supported raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. She said every American should be able to afford to attend one of her speeches.” —Conan O’Brien

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


The Briefing

1) Opposition to upheld Texas abortion law reveals entrenched nature of abortion movement

Controversial Texas abortion law upheld by federal appeals court, Los Angeles Times (James Queally)

Court Upholds Texas Law Criticized as Blocking Access to Abortions, New York Times (Manny Fernandez)

2) Responses to Campolo statement on homosexuality historic moment for evangelicalism

Evangelicals Open Door to Debate on Gay Rights, New York Times (Laurie Goodstein)

Breaking News: 2 Billion Christians Believe in Traditional Marriage, Christianity Today (Mark Galli)

3) Democratic appeal to party base an overreading of leftward trend in American people

The Mobilization Error, New York Times (David Brooks)

In other news…

Embattled Texas police officer resigns following pool party video, Washingotn Post (Peter Holley)

Iraqi veteran who fled Mosul a year ago: ISIS will never, ever leave my city, CNN (Ben Wedeland)

Woman Charged With Murder After Taking Abortion Pill, ABC News (Russ Bynum)

Hastert Makes 1st Court Appearance in Hush-Money Case, New York Times (AP)

The Search for the Best Estimate of the Transgender Population, New York Times (Claire Cain Miller)


This 1783 Volcanic Eruption Changed The Course Of History

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 06:18 PM PDT

Volcanoes are not an unusual sight on Iceland, but the eruption that began on June 8, 1783 in the southern district of Síða was something that had never seen before. During the next eight months, an estimated 14 km³ (about 3.7 quadrillion gallons) of lava poured out from 135 fissures near the town of Klaustur. The lava from the fissures ended up covering an estimated 2,500 km² (965 sq mi) of land, which threatened to overrun not only many farms, but also the entire town.

Fortunately, the lava flows stopped in time, ending the danger. So it seemed, anyway. It tuned out, however, that the lava wasn’t the only threat to Iceland. Volcanic ash from the eruptionwas carried away by the wind and poisoned the land and sea. Animals suddenly developed “ridges” and “growths” on their legs. Observers also noted they became “bloated” and their mouths swelled. This “pestilence” – a severe fluorine-intoxication from the ash – killed half of the Icelandic cattle population and a quarter of the sheep and horse population. FULL REPORT

 

The post This 1783 Volcanic Eruption Changed The Course Of History appeared first on .

Why is the Pentagon shipping anthrax all over the place in the first place?

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 06:10 PM PDT

In late May, it was reported that the Defense Department had inadvertently shipped a few live samples of anthrax to several labs – most of them in the U.S., but at least one sample to a U.S. military base in South Korea. CNN further reported that the military not only sent live anthrax recently to facilities in the U.S. and South Korea but may have also inadvertently sent live samples to Australia in 2008 or 2009. The shipments all originated from an Army lab in Utah.

However, in recent days, the Pentagon has been forced to admit that it actually shipped live anthrax to dozens more labs in the U.S., in addition to more countries. As reported by the L.A. Times: Officials said… that the labs identified so far are scattered across 17 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Australia and South Korea, suggesting a systemic lapse in the military’s program to study and build defenses against biological weapons agents, including anthrax. FULL REPORT

The post Why is the Pentagon shipping anthrax all over the place in the first place? appeared first on .

Franklin Graham goes to war against ‘Gay’-Friendly companies

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 06:04 PM PDT

World renowned Christian leader Rev. Franklin Graham told his Facebook followers to stop doing business with stores and corporations that advance unbiblical principles – that the power of the purse can be used to advance God’s will. And as example, he announced his own evangelical organization will cut ties with Wells Fargo because of advertising featuring lesbians.

Graham specifically objected to a Wells Fargo TV and online ad that features a lesbian couple learning sign language for their adopted daughter. “Hello, beautiful,” the couple in the ad tell the little girl in sign language. “We’re going to be your new mommies.”He wrote: “Have you ever asked yourself – how can we fight the tide of immoral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and that gay & lesbian community? Every day it is something else!” FULL REPORT

The post Franklin Graham goes to war against ‘Gay’-Friendly companies appeared first on .

Todd Starnes: Army: We Can Provide Honor Guards For Gay Pride Parade, But Not Church Service

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 05:49 PM PDT

For nearly two decades, the U.S. Army has provided an honor guard for an Independence Day celebration at a Baptist church that predates the founding of the nation. But this year – that tradition has come to an end. Officials at Fort Gordon say they will not be able to send an honor guard to a July 5th service at Abilene Baptist Church because it violates a military policy banning any involvement in a religious service.

While the Pentagon won’t allow an honor guard to set foot in a church, they have no problem allowing them to march in a gay pride parade. Last year the Department of Defense gave permission for an honor guard to participate in Washington, D.C.’s gay pride parade – a historic first. An honor guard is also expected to march in the 2015 Capital Pride parade. FULL REPORT

The post Todd Starnes: Army: We Can Provide Honor Guards For Gay Pride Parade, But Not Church Service appeared first on .

Army General Introduces His Husband At 4th Annual Pentagon Gay Pride Event

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 05:43 PM PDT

The Pentagon Queer Pride event kicked off with the National Anthem, sung by the Rock Creek Singers, who are with the Gay Men’s Chorus.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 

A married Army general on Tuesday introduced his male spouse at a Pentagon Gay Pride event that featured lots of top brass, including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as the keynote speaker. What made this seemingly routine introduction noteworthy is that Brig. Gen. Randy S. Taylor introduced his husband, Lucas.

“My husband Lucas is sitting up front here,” Gen. Taylor said of the man in the same row as Mr. Carter, Army Secretary John McHugh and other senior officials. He said Lucas has subjugated his own career to support the general’s frequent moves over an 18-year relationship. FULL REPORT

The post Army General Introduces His Husband At 4th Annual Pentagon Gay Pride Event appeared first on .

Greece officially starts using term ‘Palestine’

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 05:29 PM PDT

Although they haven’t affirmed full, official recognition of a Palestinian state, Greek officials recently started referring to “Palestine.” The country’s prime minister actually used the term “State of Palestine” in a tweet Monday that was later deleted.“At the Greek Foreign Ministry, we decided to issue instructions throughout the Greek public administration for the uniform use of the term ‘Palestine’ when we refer to our friendly country,” Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Monday during a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki.

“Palestine is a country that is in our hearts, in our minds,” Kotzias said at the Foreign Ministry in Athens. “It has followed us since the years of our adolescence and youth as a dream of freedom, democracy and rights.”During a press conference with al-Maliki, Kotzias referred to his guest as “His Excellency, the foreign minister of Palestine,” and promised to create a “Friends of Palestine” group in the European Union. FULL REPORT

The post Greece officially starts using term ‘Palestine’ appeared first on .

Russia Successfully Test-Fires Defense Shield Anti-Missile System

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 03:41 PM PDT

The Russian military has successfully test-fired a short-range anti-missile system, the Russian defense ministry announced Tuesday. The latest move comes four days after Pentagon officials said that the United States was considering deploying missiles in Europe to counter potential threats from Russia. “The launch was aimed at confirming the performance characteristics of missile defense shield anti-missiles operational in the Aerospace Defense Forces,” the defense ministry said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

According to Lieutenant General Sergei Lobov, deputy commander of the Aerospace Defense Forces, “an anti-missile of the missile defense shield successfully accomplished its task and destroyed a simulated target at the designated time.” The test’s timing is crucial as the U.S. government is considering aggressive moves, including deploying land-based missiles in Europe, in response to Russia’s alleged violation of a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty, the Associated Press (AP) reported. FULL REPORT

The post Russia Successfully Test-Fires Defense Shield Anti-Missile System appeared first on .

Kamchatka’s Zhupanovsky volcano spews ash 6 km above sea level

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 03:35 PM PDT

Zhupanovsky Volcano in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Territory has spewed ash to a height of six kilometers above sea level, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) of the Institute of Volcanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences told TASS on Tuesday. “The ash column reached six kilometers above sea level. The plume of ash has been taken by the wind to a distance of 30 kilometers in the southerly direction,” a KVERT spokesman said.

The volcano poses no threat to populated localities. Nonetheless, it has been assigned an orange aviation color code. It is not ruled out that the volcano may spew more ash up to eight kilometres high. Zhupanovsky Volcano, which takes its name from a river of the same name flowing in its vicinity, is located in eastern Kamchatka, some 70 kilometers north of the Kamchatka capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Zhupanovsky is one of the least studied volcanoes in the region despite its proximity to a large city. It is a complex volcano composed of four overlapping cones aligned on a roughly east-west oriented axis, with the highest cone reaching 2,958 meters high, and the lowest one being 2,505 meters high. The giant mount has been active since October 2013. EP

The post Kamchatka’s Zhupanovsky volcano spews ash 6 km above sea level appeared first on .

Japan struck by 6.1 and 4.5 magnitude earthquakes – no tsunami warnings issued

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 03:28 PM PDT

A magnitude 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck of the eastern coast of northern Japan early Monday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck at 2:01 a.m. ET, and was located around 27.5 miles below ground. Despite the shaking, there have been no immediate reports of damage or injuries. There were also no current tsunami warnings issued from NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center or the Japan Meteorological Agency. Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone nations in the world.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 struck Tokyo and its surrounding region on Tuesday morning, the Meteorological Agency said, No tsunami alert was issued. The 5:44 a.m. temblor occurred in the southern part of Ibaraki Prefecture at a depth of about 50 kilometers, registering 4 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 in Moka, Tochigi Prefecture, and 2 in central Tokyo. EP

The post Japan struck by 6.1 and 4.5 magnitude earthquakes – no tsunami warnings issued appeared first on .

4 things we know about the secretive Bilderberg Group and 1 thing we’ll never know

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 11:32 AM PDT

The Bilderberg Group has long been the subject of speculation. But what do we really know about the secretive international meetings between top politicians and bosses? The location of the meetings is now public. Last year, the Danish capital of Cophenhagen was the venue of choice. This year, the world’s elites will travel to the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in the Austrian Alps.

The group releases a list of attendees. From the UK this year George Osborne and Ed Balls are attending. Other people going to the 2015 meet-up include José Barroso, the former EU Commission President, and executives from firms including Google, BP, Shell, and Deutsche Bank. FULL REPORT

The post 4 things we know about the secretive Bilderberg Group and 1 thing we’ll never know appeared first on .

Why Has NASA Announced That A Meteor Is NOT Going To Hit The Earth In September?

Meteors Apocalypse - Public DomainInternet buzz about a giant meteor that is going to strike our planet in September has become so intense that NASA has been forced to issue a statement publicly denying that it is going to happen.  NASA insists that the agency knows of “no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth”, and that “no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years”.  To be honest, NASA should perhaps hold off on making such bold statements concerning what will happen in the future considering the fact that the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013 took them totally by surprise.  In any event, what we do know is that our region of space is absolutely packed with meteors and asteroids.  At this point, approximately 10,000 major near earth objects have been discovered by scientists, and about 10 percent of them are one kilometer or larger in size.  If any of those big ones were to hit us, we would be looking at another Tunguska event or worse.  Very large meteors have struck our planet before, and they will hit us again.  It is only a matter of time. (Read More…)


Hospitals Are Blatantly Ripping Us Off

Scam - Public DomainMost Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital these days – and it is because of the immense pain that it will cause to their wallets.  If you want to get on a path that will lead you to bankruptcy, just start going to the hospital a lot.  In America today, hospitals and doctors are blatantly ripping us off and they aren’t making any apologies for it.  As you will read about below, some hospitals mark up treatments by 1,000 percent.  In other instances, basic medical supplies are being billed out at hundreds of times what they cost providers.  For example, it has been reported that some hospitals are charging up to 30 dollars for a single aspirin pill.  It would be difficult to argue that the extreme greed that we see in the medical system is even matched by the crooks on Wall Street.  These medical predators get their hands on us when we are at our most vulnerable.  They know that in our lowest moments we are willing to pay just about anything to get better or to make the pain go away.  And so they very quietly have us sign a bunch of forms without ever telling us how much everything is going to cost.  Eventually when the bills come in the mail, it is too late to do anything about it. (Read More….)


Franklin Graham’s effort to blacklist LGBT-friendly companies is a quixotic idea (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse are looking for neutral banks. I wouldn’t suggest Chase, Citigroup or Bank of America — all of which scored 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.


Army General Introduces His Husband At 4th Annual Pentagon Gay Pride Event

The Pentagon Queer Pride event kicked off with the National Anthem, sung by the Rock Creek Singers, who are with the Gay Men’s Chorus.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)

A married Army general on Tuesday introduced his male spouse at a Pentagon Gay Pride event that featured lots of top brass, including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as the keynote speaker.

What made this seemingly routine introduction noteworthy is that Brig. Gen. Randy S. Taylor introduced his husband, Lucas.

“My husband Lucas is sitting up front here,” Gen. Taylor said of the man in the same row as Mr. Carter, Army Secretary John McHugh and other senior officials. He said Lucas has subjugated his own career to support the general’s frequent moves over an 18-year relationship.

Gen. Taylor was the master of ceremonies for the Pentagon’s 4th Gay Pride celebration that showcases a month of gay-themed posters and history.

A panel discussion featured a gay Marine officer, a gay Army sergeant who is a criminal investigator, a lesbian chaplain and a transgender, Amanda Simpson, who is executive director of the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives. source

The post Army General Introduces His Husband At 4th Annual Pentagon Gay Pride Event appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 


Bill Maher’s Malignant Mockery of Persecuted Christians is Repugnant to Humanity

Pray for the shameful, deluded, atheistic Left. — OTM

“We’re a long way from them getting eaten by lions in the coliseum”

With the backdrop of a Fox News banner Reading “Christians Under Attack” and “War on Christians Around World,” Bill Maher sprays his vitriolic venom for Christians, running his own headline, “Witless for the Persecution.”

While I can take a good (even bad) joke and Maher’s (speaking of witless) attempts to get a cheap laugh while proselytizing his leftist, elitist brand of angry atheism don’t send the Christian community into a fit of rage, his hostile hypocritical vile rancor went far beyond his HBO reputation for insolence.

View Article


Why Would “Christ at the Checkpoint” Compare Israel to ISIS?

The attempt at drawing a parallel between ISIS and Israel shouldn’t be missed AND shouldn’t be dismissed either. It is a new low in Christian Palestinianism. To be sure, the parallel was already attempted by CaTC superstar Stephen Sizer, when he compared Israel to ISIS and even said that Christian Zionists were Christian Jihadists.

View Article


No Surprises Here: Campolo, Another Sell-Out

We should not be surprised in the least.

Some 2000 years ago Jesus and the disciples warned us quite clearly that many would fall away, many would sell out on the faith, many would fall for lies and deception, and many would seek to lead others astray.

They made it so very plain that false prophets, false shepherds and false apostles would freely roam among believers, leading many away from the Word of God and biblical morality.

View Article


How Has “Charlie” Demon Sent Teens Into Panic Around World?

The four Colombian high school students were brought to the emergency room two weeks ago screaming and babbling.

There was nothing physically wrong with them. Instead doctors diagnosed a case of ‘mass hysteria’.

The cause? They had been trying to summon a ‘Mexican demon’ with two pencils balanced on a piece of paper, like a modern version of the ouija board.

View Article


Graham: You promote sin, we’re outta here

Franklin Graham is doing his part in calling on his fellow believers to stop doing business with companies that feature homosexual relationships in their commercials.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has decided to close its accounts at Wells Fargo, following the bank’s decision to feature a same-sex couple in a television ad. The one-minute commercial (see below) features a lesbian couple learning sign language in preparation for adopting a young girl who is deaf. At the end of the ad, one of the women – using sign language – tells the child: “We’re going to be your new mommies.”

View Article and Commercial


Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, June 10, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Benjamin Netanyahu Blasts World’s Silence on Gaza Rocket Attacks

Man Saves 2 Million Babies through Plasma Donations

U.S. Abortion Rate Drops 12 Percent

Court Rules Disabled Patient Can be Starved to Death Against His Will

Missionaries Hope to Revolutionize Chinese Church with Old Translation of Bible

Israeli Court Rules ‘Jesus Tomb’ That Shows Jesus was Married and Had Children is Not a Fake

China Demolishes Multi-Million Dollar Church

Tony Campolo Calls for Acceptance of Gay Couples in Church

Asia Bibi is So Weak She Can Barely Walk, Family Says

Christian Schools Seek Legislation to Protect Traditional Marriage Views

Opinion

Why Christian Denominations Aren’t Going Away

ISIS Fighter Who Enjoyed Killing Christians Dreams of Jesus

Commencement Speaker Dares to Condemn Communism and the West

For Summertime or Anytime: A Summer Reading List for 2015

Scientist Sneaks Marriage Proposal into Publication


“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


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.

June 10, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

IMG_2363


Shepherds or Shamers? The Rise of Church Discipline in America

Those who promote rigorous church discipline say they have history on their side. And they are at least partially correct. But when Christians speak of church discipline today, they may not be referring to the practices of yore. Even the most stringent adherent would not condone behaviors reminiscent of American witch hunts or the Spanish Inquisition, for example.

Read more


4 Reasons To Be Still {& Calm Your Anxious Heart}

The command to be still and know that the Lord is God is a direct assault on our tendency to worry and fear. In the midst of pain or uncertainty our minds are quick to go in a million directions making up one worst-case scenario after another. It is exhausting. It’s easy to take our eyes off of Jesus when we find ourselves in hard circumstances or see the potential for difficult times. As Peter discovered this guarantees our sinking.

Read more


Three Observations About Tony Campolo’s Acceptance of Committed Gay Relationships

Like many others before him, Campolo’s conscience seems to have been moved not by scripture but by relationships he’s had with gay friends. He writes: “One reason I am changing my position on this issue is that, through Peggy, I have come to know so many gay Christian couples whose relationships work in much the same way as our own. Our friendships with these couples have helped me understand how important it is for the exclusion and disapproval of their unions by the Christian community to end.”

Read more


Are Christians Really the Arrogant Ones?

When religious matters are debated in our culture–e.g., the existence of God, what God is like, morals and ethics–there is an implicit set of rules that everyone is obligated to follow. Number one on this list of unspoken rules it that you can never claim to know anything about God with any level of certainty.

Read more


Theological Fitness: A Review

If you are looking for a good study for yourself or a group, I highly recommend Theological Fitness. There are even study questions that can be used in a small group setting. It may not popular these days to be serious about holiness and piety (not to be confused with pietism), but we are in a very real struggle and need to be encouraged in our own fight and to encourage others. This book helps us do that. I am very thankful for Aimee Byrd and her work.

Read more


10 Reasons I’m Thankful for the Presbyterian Church in America

Standards. Although there are differences regarding certain articles in the Westminster Standards, I’ve found that nearly everyone I know in the PCA takes them very seriously. The only thing worse than a denomination always arguing about theology is a denomination that never argues about theology.

Read more


We Are Always Free to Follow Christ

by Chris Pappalardo

Years ago, while living in an overwhelmingly Muslim country, I (Chris) was privileged to hear a talk from Nik Ripken about the persecuted church throughout the world. That talk was both challenging and encouraging, and kept me hopeful during some dark trials of faith.

Ripken has shared many of those stories in his Insanity of God, an appropriately named title for some of the downright crazy things God is doing today. One theme that comes up—again and again and again—is the possibility of freedom even in the midst of persecution. We are always free to follow Christ. That’s a lesson we need to cling to, even here in the United States.

Here is an excerpt:

The communists [in China] were not concerned with what Christians believed. What they cared about was political allegiance. And they understood clearly the threat from those who declared the Lordship of Christ, a Lordship that would not be shared with the State or with any other power.

I asked whether, when, and how the oppressed could truly threaten a totalitarian oppressor. They offered this scenario in response:

Read more of this post


How to attract goats to your church

by A. Spreeman

Is church about saints (those who are saved), or sinners goats? Look, we’re all sinners; we need to use our words correctly. Those who have repented and put their trust in Christ alone for their salvation are saints. Another great word we can use here is sheep. The opposite term in the Bible is goats. […]

Read more of this post


Our message to “Christians” advocating gay marriage: “Repent and believe.”

by Denny Burk

Fr. Lawrence Farley, an Orthodox priest, says that those “Christians” who revise the church’s teaching on marriage are preaching another Jesus, not the Jesus of the Bible. He writes:

Groups that preach another Jesus and another Gospel are rightly regarded by us now as heretically non-Christian, and thus the Orthodox Church does not have an official ecumenical dialogue with Mormons (that I know of) or with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Our message to them is simply “Repent and believe”; we do not meet with them for wine and cheese to discuss Christology at conferences or produce scholarly papers at symposia about the thought of Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell. In the same way, any church group or denomination which officially commits itself to blessing homosexual activity or gay marriage is preaching another Jesus, and Orthodoxy should also suspend any official ecumenical dialogue with them. We badly misread the homosexual debate if we regard it simply as another moral issue (like abortion), and a debate over whether or not a particular activity is sinful. It is more basic than that. It is not simply a moral issue; it is a Christological one. If we continue ecumenical dialogue with groups that bless homosexuality, at best we are wasting our breath. At worst we are adding credibility to what Paul called “another gospel”.

This is a man who understands what is at stake when churches succumb to false teachers tempting Christians to forsake what God’s word says about sexuality and marriage. We are not disputing about trivialities but about the essence of things. Read the rest here.


The Form of the Liturgy

by Scott Aniol

Behavior is shaped by liturgies because, as Lewis stated, our inclinations are organized through trained habits, and habits are formed through rituals. And it is the shape of those rituals that cultivates the habits, because the form of the liturgy embodies certain values.

Read more


How To Know How Satan Is Tempting You

Martin Luther once compared the Christian to a drunk man trying to ride a horse. It’s a comically apt comparison. This man scrambles up one side of the horse, and promptly falls off the opposite side. So then he climbs up from that side, and falls right off the other. Luther meant to say that as Christians, we are prone to extremes. When we are not veering too far in one direction, we are swerving too far in the other.

One of the areas in which we are given to extremes is the area of Satan and his demons, and their work in this world. Some Christians are so obsessed with Satanic activity that they can hardly talk about anything else. Other Christians are so oblivious to it that they would rather not talk about it at all. Yet, as is so often the case, the Bible directs us to a much better middle ground where we are aware but not obsessed, where we are mindful of Satan’s activity but equally convinced of Christ’s victory.

Read more


Cold Case Christianity: How Can We Reasonably Examine The Evidence For Christianity? (Video)

J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold-Case Christianity, was interviewed by Bobby Conway (The One Minute Apologist) and discussed the important distinction between “possible” and “reasonable” when examining explanations. (For more information related to Bobby’s great ministry, visit: http://oneminuteapologist.com/)


Madeleine L’Engle’s foundation awards grant to LGBT group at Wheaton College

by Marsha West

Religion News Service reports:

The foundation of Madeleine L’Engle, the late National Book Award-winning author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” has awarded OneWheaton, an independent community of LGBT students and alumni from Wheaton College, a $5,000 grant.

OneWheaton is committed to affirming LGBT students but is not officially recognized by the prominent evangelical school, which can expel students caught in homosexual behaviors.

The group plans to use the money to fund public discussions and forums about LGBT issues and evangelical culture.

“We couldn’t be happier to receive this grant from L’Engle’s Crosswicks Foundation,” said Paul Canaday-Elliott, a OneWheaton board member.

“Wheaton tells a very one-sided narrative about LGBT persons without making room for dialogue,” he added. “So this will help us continue to supply something that the college isn’t.”

Read more


How to Encourage Others Without Even Trying

by Paula Hendricks | 6/09/15

I really appreciated Elizabeth’s insight on last week’s post, Three Epic Reasons to Encourage Others. I asked,

“Who do you know who could use a good dose of encouragement right about now?”

And she responded,

“There isn’t anyone who doesn’t need to be encouraged!”

True that! And here’s the thing: it doesn’t take much to become a continual encourager.

I like how J.R. Miller says it,

“[Jesus’] inquiry concerning every person was, ‘Can I do anything for you? Can I share your burden? Can I relieve you of your sufferings?’”

Now we have the privilege of being Jesus’ ambassadors in our neighborhoods, of housing the Spirit of Christ within us and allowing Him to love through us. That said, here are four simple (but meaningful!) ways to encourage others:

Read more


Liberalism and the Church

A century ago the Protestant churches in North America were divided between those who sought to defend the confessional integrity of their churches and those who believed that some form of compromise with the modern worldview was inevitable and desirable.


An open letter to worship leaders (Scott Swain)

Dear Comrades in Pursuit of the Chief End of Man,

I have rarely (alright, never) been asked to give input regarding the weekly “worship set.” However, having witnessed Christian worship in local churches, Christian camps, seminary chapels, and other venues over the past 43 years, I have come to the conclusion that you could use some help.


God Wrote A Book – Powerful New Video

In this powerful new video from Desiring God, John Piper helps to fill us with awe and longing for God’s Word. Video Transcript: God wrote a book.


Aslan Is on the Move

Even while the West turns its back on the faith, Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds. Some good news, and a prayer request, next on BreakPoint.
Listen Now | Download


Nine Thoughts for Pastors Who Are Considering Quitting

The question almost made me laugh. The pastor asked me if I ever considered quitting when I was a pastor. My response was quick and truthful: “Yes. On the average about once a week.”

If you are a pastor who has not considered quitting, you are likely in the minority. And certainly there are times when we should leave. But, if your desire to quit is the result of the typical challenges of pastoring, allow me to share nine thoughts that may lead you to reconsider.

  1. Many storms pass quickly. I can remember times when I thought the world was crashing in on me. But, in a matter of a few weeks, the storm had passed. Many of the crises of the moment will become faded memories of the past.
  2. It’s probably not you. Those critics and dissidents see you as a convenient target. They may not really be frustrated at you. But you are the most visible place to unload. It’s probably another issue, and not you.
  3. The vast majority of the congregation supports you. I know. I’ve seen travesties where a pastor has been forced out by vengeful staff members and misguided personnel committees. But most of the time the minority does not have that power. Remember that the majority of the church members love and support you.
  4. Remember your call. You likely have a clear recollection of the time God called you to ministry and to this church. Remember that call. At times, it’s what you need to hang in there.
  5. Longer-term pastors see better days. Sometimes it takes years to earn the leadership trust of the congregation. One of the gifts many pastors need is the gift of perseverance.
  6. Hurting church members often hurt others. Among those “others” are you, their pastor. Their grief and pain can unfortunately be directed at you.
  7. It’s not better in other churches. Many pastors get the green grass syndrome. They move from church to church trying to find the church without problems, critics, and challenges. That church does not exist.
  8. The changing culture frustrates many church members. They remember the “good old days” where almost everyone went to church and change was minimal. They are frustrated and fearful, and they often see you as the problem.
  9. God is with you. I know you grasp this truth theologically, but you may need to pause to assimilate it experientially. God called you. God loves you. He will not abandon you.

While I focused on the pastor for these nine thoughts, it applies to all of you in vocational ministry. Serving a church can be tough. But you have been called to a ministry of service even to the “least of these.” And the least of these can include those who are giving you the biggest headaches.

What do you think of these nine thoughts? What would you add? Let me hear from you.

The post Nine Thoughts for Pastors Who Are Considering Quitting appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


How Younger Preachers Can Help Their Hearers

we'll seeOne of the more amazing things about God’s redemptive plan for the world is that he uses human beings to further it. Even more amazing is that he uses men. And still more amazing is that he often uses young men. Truly all the applause for redemptive history rises to God.

Young men are often raised up by God to take the baton in various ways to faithfully follow previous generations. One of those ways in the privileged and sacred task of feeding Christ’s flock through biblical preaching.

However, as you read Scripture and spend time ministering to God’s people, one thing becomes clear: it is not always easy for people to readily receive the ministry of a young man. A young preacher’s hearers sometimes need help.

Why? Like a young tree, it remains to be seen if we will endure the elements. We have yet to establish the bond of trust with the congregation which often takes years. We may not have the much-needed seasoning of sanctification. Our lives lack the testing and refining brought by the sovereignty of God over time. Younger preachers often have fewer years in the necessary school of suffering. Simply because we have not lived long, we have not been as sanctified, tamed, and tested through struggle. Our doctrinal beliefs, convictions, and philosophy of ministry have been tested by little more than red ink and like-minded friends. It’s easier when we’re green to march up to the pulpit and confidently proclaim our convictions. It’s quite another thing having done so through a measure of blood, sweat, and tears. We’ve yet to personally feel the pounding resistance of the world, the flesh, and the devil against long-held biblical convictions. For those reasons, and more, there can be an understandable hesitancy towards younger pastors. And we fledgling preachers need not resent that, but humbly do our part to assist in our audience’s receptivity and help our hearers.

By “help our hearers,” I mean doing what we can, as younger and less experienced preachers, to be as useful of an instrument as possible in Christ’s hands to bring his transforming power to the congregation.

Here are a few ways that younger preachers can help their hearers:

Read more


Blogs

Pastors and Time in Sermon Preparation
Significant increase over last ten years. Thom Rainer comments:

I am encouraged. In past studies, I have found a correlative relationship between time in sermon preparation and church health metrics. The greater the time in sermon preparation, the more likely the church is to be evangelistically effective, have a higher retention rate of members, and have a higher weekly per capita giving. Simply stated, when the pastor spends more time in the Word, the church tends to be healthier.

Not Your Average Paedobaptism – The Gospel Coalition
“No way will anyone pour water on my kid’s head,” my recently converted dad said to our seminary-trained pastor. As this opening line suggests, Jared Oliphant takes a different approach to an old debate.

Serving, Struggling, and Thriving as a Pastor’s Wife – The Gospel Coalition
TGC/Crossway partnership produces a brief but helpful interview with Gloria Furman about her new book.

People Over Profit: Easier Said Than Done | Her.meneutics | Christianitytoday.com
A review of a book that presents seven principles the author believes all companies should adopt: people matter, truth wins, transparency frees, authenticity attracts, quality speaks, generosity returns, and courage sustains.

An Anchor in Unfamiliar Place – Borrowed Light
Mike is on the move and finds a reliable anchor in the midst of change.

How Should Christians View World History? by R.C. Sproul | Ligonier Ministries Blog

8 Lessons Learned from a Long Battle with Spiritual Depression | The Gospel Coalition
NB: It says “spiritual” depression.

Culture

Are Christians Really the Arrogant Ones? | Canon Fodder

Can Gays And Christians Coexist In America? Part II: Slavery
Important series (Part I)

Could Facebook Be Helping to Reduce Abortions? – The Gospel Coalition

Researchers Say They’ve Cracked The Code To Being Happy « CBS New York
Among some rather predictable findings is this one: “One of the biggest hindrances to being happy is too much thinking about one’s self.”

The Commencement Speech as Cultural Barometer | TGC

Why Christian Denominations Aren’t Going Away
Trevin Wax, Religion News

The Gospel According To the ‘Nones’
Elizabeth Drescher, America

Has Preaching Changed Since the Early Church?
Peter Sanlon, 9Marks.org

If God is Sovereign, What is the Point of Prayer?

20 Wise Quotes from G.K. Chesterton


Letter to the Editor: False Unity Growing Among U.S. Pastors – Say “Unity” is Key to Revival

Dear Lighthouse Trails: I am writing because of my great concern for what seems to be a false “unity” growing amongst pastors in Sacramento, CA. The concern I have is not only on the local level but on a national level as well.


See what love the Father has for us!

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

The words ‘what kind’ in the Greek indicate an otherworldly or supernatural love. It is a kind of love that the Holy Trinity has for His children but one that we do not understand fully…because it comes from another place than from men, or on earth. It’s astounding to think of this love! It is so deep and so perfect. It’s abstract because it comes from the fountain of the Father’s heart but it is real because He demonstrates it-

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Warren Wiersbe explains that in the 1 John 3:1 verse and onward, John gives us three reasons for a holy life.

God the Father Loves Us (1 John 3:1–3)

God’s love for us is unique. First John 3:1 may be translated, “Behold, what peculiar, out-of-this-world kind of love the Father has bestowed on us.” While we were His enemies God loved us and sent His Son to die for us!

The whole wonderful plan of salvation begins with the love of God.

Many translators add a phrase to 1 John 3:1: “That we should be called the sons of God, and we are.” “Sons of God” is not simply a high-sounding name that we bear; it is a reality! We are God’s children! We do not expect the world to understand this thrilling relationship, because it does not even understand God. Only a person who knows God through Christ can fully appreciate what it means to be called a child of God.

First John 3:1 tells us what we are and 1 John 3:2 tells us what we shall be. The reference here, of course, is to the time of Christ’s coming for His church. This was mentioned in 1 John 2:28 as an incentive for holy living, and now it is repeated.

God’s love for us does not stop with the new birth. It continues throughout our lives and takes us right up to the return of Jesus Christ! When our Lord appears, all true believers will see Him and will become like Him (Phil. 3:20–21). This means, of course, that they will have new, glorified bodies, suited to heaven.

But the apostle does not stop here! He has told us what we are and what we shall be. Now, in 1 John 3:3, he tells us what we should be. In view of the return of Jesus Christ, we should keep our lives clean.

All this is to remind us of the Father’s love. Because the Father loved us and sent His Son to die for us, we are children of God. Because God loves us, He wants us to live with Him one day. Salvation, from start to finish, is an expression of the love of God. We are saved by the grace of God (Eph. 2:8–9; Titus 2:11–15), but the provision for our salvation was originated in the love of God. And since we have experienced the love of the Father, we have no desire to live in sin.

(Source: Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 504). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

This heavenly love is given to us that we are children of God. This God, this holy and loving and just and perfect Father, revealed Himself to us in His word. His word is where we learn more about Him, His love, His plan for us.

His word is edifying and instructive and all sufficient. (2 Timothy 3:16). It pierces, transforms, convicts. I read Dr Albert Mohler’s comment yesterday when he put up this link to Dr John Piper’s video regarding the importance of reading the Bible:

Albert Mohler ‏@albertmohler 20h20 hours ago

My heart was really moved by this new video from @JohnPiper — “God Wrote a Book.” Please see it and share it. http://ow.ly/O366H

I did view it and I did share it. I encourage you to watch, it is 5 minutes.

The love the Father has for us brings peace and gratitude. It is a refreshing and wonderful feeling, knowing by His grace I am a child of God. What further joys await when I am lifted to His holy habitation to see Him as He is. That is where the 1 John 3 verse goes, it says in vv. 2-3,

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Pure. Brothers and Sisters, we will see Him as He is. Read John 17 if you want to fall on your face in gratitude in being a recipient of this great love the Father and the Son have for each other and which  Jesus opened that circle to include us within it. We are secure in the bosom of the holy and loving Trinity, and someday, we shall see Him as He is.

GOD WROTE A BOOK by Dr John Piper

Source


Documenting the Rise of Big Brother and More of Anjem Choudary

First 45 minutes drew on a number of articles I’ve clipped over the past week on the rise of the Big Brother state. Big Brother is here…but who knew he’d be gay?


The Prosperity Gospel Majors on Minors

In two minutes, Conrad Mbewe shows that when we’re honest with the Scriptures, the prosperity gospel makes too much of temporal riches and too little of eternal joys.

Watch Now


The Double-Edged Sword of Sentimentalism

At the March for Life this past January, I saw a teenage girl holding a sign that read, “She could be the next Beyoncé!” the “she” referring, of course, to the baby inside the womb.


How to Persevere in Prayer When You’re Really Stressed Out

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can’t shake your anxiety? No matter what you do, you can’t get your mind off of what is bothering you.


Church discipline gone wrong: more common than you think (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) There is an epidemic of mishandled church discipline cases. I was a victim of one 13 years ago.

The post Church discipline gone wrong: more common than you think (COMMENTARY)


2 Keys to Understanding the Heart of God

There are two ideas I have been mulling over the last couple years which are central to understanding the heart of God, and which most Christians do not seem to understand.


Anti-Jew, Anti-Israel, Replacement Theology Movie

LTRP Note: The following article by LT author John Lanagan is about a recent anti-Semitic anti-biblical film called Marching to Zion. Our thanks to John for writing this needed warning.


The Battle of the Mind

Pulling Down Strongholds

By Pastor Anton Bosch

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…


How Should Christians Respond to Cultural Decline?

What advice would you give Christians facing such rapid cultural marginalization?

In the great battle that is the culture war Christians are in rapid and chaotic retreat.


Guidelines for Counseling in the Church – Rainer on Leadership #131

Podcast Episode #131

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio


Today on the podcast we cover an often overlooked aspect of ministry: counseling. Most, if not all, ministers will be needed for counseling at some point in their ministry. So it is important to establish guidelines for counseling for the benefit of both the minister and those seeking the counseling. We also discuss premarital counseling and whether or not ministers should perform the weddings of those who do not go through premarital counseling.

  • It is absolutely necessary to have safeguards in place for opposite gender counseling.
  • Pastors should be available to counsel members because many issues are specifically spiritual in nature.
  • Counseling is a great need in many churches.
  • Counseling policies should be in writing for the protection of the church and the minister.
  • Staff who enjoy counseling sometimes unknowingly neglect other duties by spending too much time counseling.
  • Premarital counseling was required for all couples for whom I performed the wedding ceremony.

The eight guidelines for counseling we discussed are:

  1. Be careful with opposite gender counseling.
  2. Know your limitations in counseling.
  3. Have a system of referrals for outside counselors.
  4. Get to know other professional counselors in the area.
  5. Know your local rules and regulations regarding counseling.
  6. Know the boundaries of your counseling abilities.
  7. Get to know other staff in the area to learn localized counseling issues.
  8. If illegal activity is discovered, immediately go to legal authorities.

Resources

The post Guidelines for Counseling in the Church – Rainer on Leadership #131 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Evil as Evidence for God’s Existence

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

2. Evil exists.

3. Therefore, objective moral values exist (some things are evil!).

4. Therefore, God exists. [1]

For those interested in learning about what makes a good argument, see here.

If you are interested in learning more about how to answer the objection of problem and suffering, go here.


Hustling the Church

The seeker-sensitve church, too often, loses her identity, ceasing to be the Church.

First, I want to applaud the motive. Who could possibly be against the desire to see those outside the kingdom being brought into the kingdom, to see souls rescued?


How Should Christians View World History?

R.C. Sproul:

It is also important for us to understand that in terms of biblical eschatology, the end of the world does not indicate an annihilation of the world but a renovation and redemption of it. The New Testament makes it evident that the final renovation of creation is cosmic in scope, that the whole universe groans together in travail waiting for the redemption of the sons of men (Rom 8:18–23). Questions of our future, personal and cosmic, are all subject to the inquiries associated with eschatology. The question of life after death—the issues of heaven, hell, and resurrection—are all integral to our study of eschatology. An understanding of the last judgment also falls under the scope of this consideration.

The Rise of the Selfie Generation

Nathan Bingham:

We all know the Greek myth of Narcissus—the attractive man who was lured by Nemesis to a pool. Narcissus, fatally falling in love with his own reflection, drowned. But what would a 21st-century Narcissus myth involve? I suspect it would include a smartphone, selfies, and crossing the street without looking.

The Lost Sermons of Spurgeon

Brandon Smith interviews Christian George on the previously-unpublished sermons of Charles Spurgeon.


Faith Test: Sin

1 John 1:5-2:2

Introduction

What does it mean to be a Christian? Well, that is easy, you just believe in Jesus. Yes, faith in Christ is the foundation of the protestant church. People become Christians by faith alone. Read through Romans, the Apostle Paul goes through it over and over again. It is not be works, it is only be faith. We cannot earn our way into God’s family. You become a Christian by faith alone.

But that is not what I originally asked. What it means to be a Christian is different than the means by which one becomes a Christian.

This is a difficult distinction for many people. I have been challenged before by people who objected to me preaching on passages of the Bible that talk about what God expects of us. Because of past issues, they see any expectations as strict legalism. But what is legalism? One dictionary defined it as “excessive adherence to law or formula.” It added that in the realm of theology, it meant “dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.”

These are all good, but we must take them with knowledge that moral law is not bad, the New Testament does provides lists of things to do and not do and that the most primitive Christian creed is Jesus is Lord. The personal religious faith that we have is Jesus as Lord, and Jesus as Lord means that we are committing ourselves to follow his will.

So how do we avoid legalism? Legalism is more of a culture than anything. Legalism is when leaders or others try to dominate other Christians by enforcing rules that are often not even found in the Bible. The point of legalism is to control people and not to help people get closer to God.

So rejecting legalism, there are still some expectations for the Christian life. This does not contradict salvation by faith. My wife and I married each other because of love and not for what we were able to do. But being married, there are certain expectations of what being a husband or a wife is like.

John’s first letter is a place that we can delve into the Christian life. Much of the book is really a faith test, a reflection of what the Christian life is supposed to look like. As you will see, what John has to say is far from modern concepts of legalism. Taking this faith test will only strengthen our relationship with God.

Sin is Unacceptable

SnakeThe first test that we will look at is about sin. Sin is something we do not like to talk about. For one thing, it makes us feel guilty. No one likes to be reminded about how much we miss the mark. But the other reason is that many of us have not reflected on what sin means for the Christian. Do we lose our salvation the moment we sin? Some people in the early church believed that baptism washed away all sin committed before the baptism and anything after was unforgivable. Some would wait until their deathbed until baptism so that they could be assured to be righteous when they met God. While that may not be our problem today, there is still much confusion. What we can be clear about is that sin is bad. Really bad. If sin wasn’t bad, then there would not have been a reason for Jesus to die on the cross.

Not only is sin bad, according to John, it is unacceptable. Which sins are unacceptable? All of them! Paul, in one of his sin lists says this:

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19–21 ESV)

We can point to some of these sins as being absolutely unacceptable, in fact we would be shock if they were taking place. But jealousy, rivalries and envy? That is just a part of being human. Except neither Paul nor John gives us those options.

John explains it clearly, God is light and therefore we should walk in the light. It is simple as that. Later in this letter we will see the theme of family resemblance. Children should resemble parents in some way and in this case, that means are our attitudes toward sin. But what is sin? Sin means to miss the mark, like archery when instead of hitting the bulls eye, you hit the instructor. What kinds of sin are there? Sins of commission and sins of omission. A sin of commission is doing the wrong thing. If you punched the person beside you right now, that would be a sin of commission. If the person you punched received a bloody nose and you refused to give them a tissue, even though you had an entire box, that would be sin of omission. To be honest, I find sins of omission to be the hardest. I am disciplined enough to keep pretty straight and narrow but there are times that I feel God wants me to do something and I too often let the opportunity pass.

The point is that sin, of either type is completely unacceptable.

Sin is Inevitable

Are you depressed yet? It’s going to get worse. Not only is sin unacceptable, it is inevitable. If anyone says that they are without sin, they are a liar. Look at the heroes of the Bible. Noah was a drunk. Abraham lied. Moses murdered. David committed adultery. Peter denied Jesus. And these are the people who we are supposed to look up to! The human race is fallen and tends to sin. Paul says it clearly, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19 ESV) We can all feel its draw in some way. Whenever I see a sign that says do not touch or do not enter, I feel a temptation to do it. It is not that I want something, I just want to test the boundaries. We have some ongoing issues with one of our children. He has explained to us that he never wants a no. He tells us that good parent would always say yes. It seems completely unfair to ever encounter a no. In God, we find that there is a divine no. Some things are not meant to be. As children, this seems unfair and so we reach out and take it any way. No matter how dedicated to God we are, there will always be some sin getting through. We may look completely holy on the outside, but God sees the corruption on the inside. I find that even when I try to do something good, there is that little part of me that hopes that people will notice. I want to pride myself at how unprideful I am. I want an award for being the most humble person in the world. No matter how hard I try, there will always be something sinful there. That is not to say that I shouldn’t try, I just need to be honest that I will never be perfect. Sin is inevitable.

Sin is Forgivable

So far things seem pretty grim. Sin is unacceptable and sin is inevitable. God will not tolerate sin and yet he knows that we will always sin. That hardly seems fair. If God is good, he must provide some way out of this problem. He has and his name is Jesus.

Through Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins. The image that John gives us is that of Jesus as a defense lawyer. There we are expecting to be condemned for our sins and Jesus speaks on our behalf. But there is a twist here. Normally the lawyer would speak about our redeeming qualities. However, we have no redeeming qualities when we are in sin. The redeeming qualities that we rely on are Jesus. Notice that John described Jesus as the Righteous One. That is because it is his righteousness that we rely on and not our own. Jesus speaks to the Father and announces that he has already paid for us. Have you ever gone through the Tim Horton’s drive thru only to find out that the person before you has already paid for your order? It feels nice. Multiply that by a billion and you have a glimpse of what is going on with the atonement.

When it comes to forgiveness of sins, there are two things we need to talk about. There is the initial forgiveness of sins that takes place at conversion. That only takes place once. Once that happens, we are children of God, we are saints, we are holy and righteous, aside from how we feel about ourselves.

But John also is talking about an ongoing forgiveness of sin. This is not about being resaved. You do not stop being a Christian once you commit a sin. It is not as if you looked at a person with envy and then were killed before confessing your sin that you would go to hell. There is not stepping in and out of salvation, despite what some may think.

But if committing a sin as Christian does not send us to hell, why do we need to confess? Let me use my relationship with my wife as an example. I do the wrong thing many times a day. My wife asks me to do something and I agree but quickly forget about it. My wife does something really nice for me and I neglect to thank her. She takes on a huge load when I go away for a few weeks either for study or for army training and I don’t always show the proper appreciation. I won’t tell you what, but I frequently say the wrong thing. It makes sense in my head but as soon as it leaves my lips, I know I have made a big mistake. Even so, my wife does not hang the threat of divorce over me. I apologize, not out of fear of divorce but because I love her and that is what is needed for a healthy relationship.

The ongoing confession of sins to God is not legalism, nor is it fear of hell. We confess because the Father hates sin so much that he allowed his only Son to die for that sin. We confess because we are in relationship with God and when we sin, confession is the loving thing to do.

Conclusion

So here is the situation we have. Sin is unacceptable. If we follow the God who is light, then we walk in the light. We are not given the option of walking in the darkness. Sin is unacceptable. But sin is also inevitable. There is no way that we are not going to sin. If someone tells you that they no longer sin, they are lying and therefore a sinner. If these were the only two truths, we would be in big trouble. But there is a third truth. Sin is forgivable. God forgives our sins when we come to Jesus for the first time at our conversion. But God also forgives us during our Christian walk as we continually stumble.

We started off by asking about what it means to be a Christian. Here it is: 1) we have no tolerance for personal sin, 2) we are humble in understanding our weakness living in a fallen world and 3) we rely on our defense lawyer, Jesus Christ, who speaks to the Father on our behalf. That is the faith test.

 

If you would like a free copy of my eBook, The Faith Test, email me here.

The post Faith Test: Sin appeared first on Stephen J. Bedard.


Video: God, Science & the Big Questions- Leading Christian Thinkers Respond to the New Atheism

In this video, William Lane Craig, John Lennox, J.P. Moreland and Hugh Hewitt sit down and discuss a variety of topics including:
  • science
  • Christianity
  • radical Islam
  • Darwinism
  • the Gospel

The Daily Discovery (June 10, 2015)

Jesus’ Tomb and God’s Sovereign Rule – “When you think of seeing God’s hand at work in one’s life, we tend to always think of God working through miraculous/ostentatious activity, right? I’m thinking of example like a sick person being instantly healed against all odds, someone surviving a horrible traffic accident without a scratch, etc. If we were being honest, we don’t tend to think of God’s hand in the common. You know, the regular things of life that happen all the time: eating a sandwich, going to work, etc. Yet, as Christians we understand (hypothetically) that God is sovereign; he rules over all creation including events both magnificent and microscopic. Allow me to say that another way: God is in charge of all the common and miraculous occurrences in every life; he orchestrates both the miraculous and the common equally.”

Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme – “The idea that one’s sex is a feeling, not a fact, has permeated our culture and is leaving casualties in its wake. Gender dysphoria should be treated with psychotherapy, not surgery.”

Nobody’s Perfect – “Nobody’s perfect. That truth, which ought to make us tremble before a God who is holy, holy, holy, is usually invoked to excuse sinful behavior. How often do we hear people brush aside their own wrongdoing with the casual words, “Well, after all, nobody’s perfect”? There is accuracy in the statement, but it should be a timid confession, not a flippant means of justifying sin.”

The Eyewitnesses – “In I Corinthians 15, Paul lists six specific individuals or groups who are reported to have been eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus. But are these reports credible? A brief assessment of each account seems to provide good reasons to think that these reports are reliable.”

You must first believe in order to abide – “In John 5:30-47 the apostle gives us several witnesses to establish the truthfulness and genuiness of Jesus Christ and His ministry. Our Lord Jesus presented these witnesses who testified to His identity as the Son to those who opposed Him. The first witness given is John the Baptist in vv32-35. The second witness is our Lord’s own words in vv 35, 36. The third witness is the Father in vv 37, 38. The fourth witness is the Old Testament Scriptures in vv 39-47. However, as is the case from this point to the end of John, those who most vehemently opposed our Lord and His ministry, refused to believe.”


SERMON:

Charles Spurgeon – Indwelling Sin


VIDEOS:

The Church Is One. False Prophets Will Pay

Church Leaders Casually Texting Single Sisters?


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

Source


In The Clouds?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Paul said that Born Again believers would be caught up with Jesus in the Clouds. My thinking is that at the time of the Rapture the whole Earth can’t be full of clouds at the same time of the day!! Can you tell me what exactly are these Rapture Clouds?

continue reading


Remembering Our Past

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I have read your explanations of how when we see the Lord we will know as we are known, meaning we will understand all things.  So, does that indicate that Christians who have wrongly believed in faith-based evolution, or incorrect eschatology will find out that they did, in fact have it wrong?  I hear lots of people say that God will wipe our memories, but since it matters to Him what we believe, I can’t believe that we will suddenly have no recollections of our beliefs and actions here on earth.

continue reading


God’s Will Or Ours?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Hi, I have a friend who watches a lot of TV “preachers”.  He told me that when we pray, if we say, “let Your will be done” after we have made a request of God, that will ultimately cancel our prayer. He learned this from one of those televangelists.  Where does this teaching come from?? Aren’t we supposed to pray in God’s will? If it isn’t within God’s will for us, why would we want it anyway?

continue reading



“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


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.

Albert Mohler Blog: “Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide”

In this blog essay, “Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler’s responds to Tony Campolo and David Neff’s recent statements supporting same-sex marriage. Mohler writes:

“This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide. The forces driving this revolution in morality will not allow evasion or equivocation. Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution. That revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there. But marriage is the most urgent issue of the day, and the moment of decision has arrived.”

Click here to read more

GTY Blog: Nobody’s Perfect

Philippians 3:12-14

Code: B150610

by John MacArthur

Nobody’s perfect. That truth, which ought to make us tremble before a God who is holy, holy, holy, is usually invoked to excuse sinful behavior. How often do we hear people brush aside their own wrongdoing with the casual words, “Well, after all, nobody’s perfect”? There is accuracy in the statement, but it should be a timid confession, not a flippant means of justifying sin.

Lingering Imperfection

Despite God’s transforming work in salvation, and the new nature we enjoy as His children in Christ, we still fall short of His righteous standard. Scripture recognizes our lingering imperfection. Even the apostle Paul wrote,

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12‑14, emphasis added)

We all fall short of perfection. Paul teaches us that our own imperfection should only spur us on toward the goal of complete Christlikeness. When we begin to use our human frailty as an excuse from guilt, we are walking on dangerous ground. We must continue to press on toward the goal: “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). It is folly to think that being imperfect somehow provides us with a legitimate excuse to exempt us from God’s perfect standard.

Futile Striving and Spiritual Distractions

Ironic as it may seem, however, it is equally dangerous—and possibly more so—to think spiritual perfection is something attainable by Christians in this lifetime. Church history is littered with examples of sects and factions who taught various versions of Christian perfectionism. These groups have either made utter shipwreck of the faith or been forced to modify their perfectionism to accommodate human imperfection.

Every perfectionist inevitably comes face‑to‑face with clear and abundant empirical evidence that the residue of sin remains in the flesh and troubles even the most spiritual Christians throughout their earthly lives. In order to hang onto perfectionist doctrine, they must redefine sin or diminish the standard of holiness. Too often they do this at the expense of their own consciences.

The Bible clearly teaches that Christians can never attain sinless perfection in this life. “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?” (Proverbs 20:9). “For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well” (James 3:2). “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:17). “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

All perfectionism is essentially a disastrous misunderstanding of how God works in sanctification. Sanctification is a process by which God—working in believers through the Holy Spirit—gradually moves them toward Christlikeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). That the transformation is gradual—not instantaneous, and never complete in this lifetime—is confirmed by many passages of Scripture.

As we noted earlier, Paul wrote near the end of his ministry that he was not yet perfect (Philippians 3:12). He told the Romans, “Be [constantly being] transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). And to the Galatians he wrote that he labored with them “until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Sanctification will not end “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). He urged them to stop being children, susceptible to error and trends. How were they to do that? By seeking a sudden experience? No, he wrote, “Grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:14‑15, emphasis added).

Likewise Peter instructed believers to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). He wrote, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).

How Does Sanctification Work?

Sanctification is not doctrine for advanced Christians only. Nothing in the Christian life is more practical than a right understanding of how the Holy Spirit works to conform us to Christ’s image. Conversely, it is hard to imagine anything that undermines spiritually healthy Christian living more disastrously than a misunderstanding of sanctification.

The word sanctify in Scripture comes from Hebrew and Greek words that mean “set apart.” To be sanctified is to be set apart from sin. At conversion, all believers are disengaged from sin’s bondage, released from sin’s captivity—set apart unto God, or sanctified. Yet the process of separation from sin is only begun at that moment. As we grow in Christ, we become more separated from sin and more consecrated to God. Thus the sanctification that occurs at conversion only initiates a lifelong process whereby we are set apart more and more from sin and brought more and more into conformity with Christ—separated from sin, and separated unto God.

Maturing Christians should never become self‑justifying, smug, or satisfied with our progress, because the more we become like Christ, the more sensitive we are to the remaining corruptions of the flesh. As we mature in godliness our sins become more painful and more obvious to ourselves. The more we put away sin, the more we notice sinful tendencies that still need to be put away. This is the paradox of sanctification: The holier we become, the more frustrated we are by the stubborn remnants of our sin. The apostle Paul vividly described his own anguish over this reality in Romans 7:21‑24:

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

The Wrong Response

Not all believers respond to the growing realization of their sinfulness in a biblical way. Though some are driven to despair over their inability to discipline and will themselves to holiness, there is a growing tendency to depreciate the seriousness of sin. They embrace their imperfections and are cavalier about their sin.

Next time we’ll consider how that attitude abuses God’s grace.

(Adapted from The Vanishing Conscience.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150610
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

You must first believe in order to abide

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

38 καὶ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔχετε ἐν ὑμῖν μένοντα, ὅτι ὃν ἀπέστειλεν ἐκεῖνος, τούτῳ ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετε. (John 5:38 NA28)

38 “And His Word you do not have abiding in you because He whom He sent, this one you do not believe.” (John 5:38 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In John 5:30-47 the apostle gives us several witnesses to establish the truthfulness and genuiness of Jesus Christ and His ministry. Our Lord Jesus presented these witnesses who testified to His identity as the Son to those who opposed Him. The first witness given is John the Baptist in vv32-35. The second witness is our Lord’s own words in vv 35, 36. The third witness is the Father in vv 37, 38. The fourth witness is the Old Testament Scriptures in vv 39-47. However, as is the case from this point to the end of John…

View original post 1,242 more words

Big government working with gay rights groups to punish Christians

WINTERY KNIGHT

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

Here is a story from The Daily Signal about the Christian bakers who are being sued for $135,000 for refusing to bake a gay couple a wedding cake.

Excerpt:

The Daily Signal has exclusively learned that the government agency responsible for enforcing Oregon’s anti-discrimination law appears to be working closely with a powerful gay rights advocacy group in its case against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

Communications between the agency, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and the LGBT organization, Basic Rights Oregon, raise questions about potential bias in the state’s decision to charge the Kleins with discrimination for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

In April, a judge for the agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000.

Communications obtained through a public records request show employees of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries—which pursued…

View original post 674 more words

%d bloggers like this: