Daily Archives: June 16, 2015

June 16, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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Jun. 16, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The White House has secured at least $4 billion in commitments from private companies and foundations to invest in clean energy technology, double the goal it set in February.

Artificial trans-fat will be banned from the U.S. food supply over the next three years under a ruling by regulators that the products pose health risks that contribute to heart disease, the leading killer of Americans.

California’s Democrat-controlled legislature approved a $117.5 billion budget Monday even though Governor Jerry Brown has said the spending plan relies on overly optimistic revenue projections.

For the top U.S. House lawmaker on transportation to succeed in turning the government-run air-traffic-control system into a nonprofit corporation, he will have to overcome decades of opposition from private pilots and some Democrats.

The Federal Open Market Committee meets this week to discuss the path of monetary policy. Any possibility of a rate hike at the meeting’s conclusion on Wednesday was already crushed under the weight of weak data early in the year. To be sure, the data support the transitory nature of the weakness, justifying Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s optimism last month, but it remains too little, too late.

The U.S. home-building industry enjoyed its best two months in more than seven years as it headed into its busiest season, even as it began work on fewer houses last month following an April surge.

Almost seven years after the financial crisis, bond investors are rediscovering their appetite for new debt tied to the U.S. housing market. Issuance of home-loan securities that don’t have government backing has accelerated this year to more than $32 billion from $18 billion a year ago

The U.S. Department of Justice actually has two separate counts of deaths in police custody — one by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and one by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Each count misses half of all deaths; the department hoped that by combining them, it would get a reasonably accurate number. Its hope was misplaced. The department pretty much acknowledges that its number — arrived at through complex algorithms — is unreliable.

AP Top Stories

A U.S. airstrike has killed Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader, who commanded its powerful Yemeni affiliate, dealing the global network its biggest blow since the killing of Osama bin Laden and eliminating a charismatic leader at a time when it is vying with the Islamic State group for the mantle of global jihad.

Young people who use marijuana and are looking for a new way to get high may be increasingly turning to “dabbing,” a new paper suggests. Dabbing is inhaling the vapors from a concentrated form of marijuana made by an extraction method that uses butane gas. Dabs, also known as butane hash oil (BHO) – which are sometimes called “budder,” “honeycomb” or “earwax” – are more potent than conventional forms of marijuana because they have much higher concentrations of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than is found in regular cannabis

The Taliban warned the leader of the Islamic State group against waging a parallel insurgency in Afghanistan, after a string of defections and reported clashes with militants loyal to IS.

North Korea has been hit by its worst drought in a century, state media said Tuesday, sparking fears of worsening food shortages in the impoverished communist country.

Kurdish militia, backed by Syrian rebel forces, seized full control of a key border town from Islamic State group jihadists early on Tuesday, a monitoring group said.

A Finnish court on Monday sentenced a 36-year-old woman to life in prison for killing her five newborns between 2005 and 2013 and hiding them in a freezer.

A California judge has ruled the state is obligated to pay $331 million in mortgage relief funds it used to bolster its finances, but stopped short of ordering that the money be turned over to homeowners hard hit by the mortgage and foreclosure crisis.

China had four million millionaire households in 2014, the second-highest in the world after the United States, as the country’s stock market boom boosted private wealth, an independent survey showed.

BBC

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will put more than 40 new, inter-continental ballistic missiles into service this year.

Venezuela and the US on Monday praised diplomatic talks aimed at reducing tension between the two countries.

The US said it will give $5m towards a multi-national task force being set up to fight Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

South Korea will begin trials of an experimental plasma treatment for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) which has now killed 19 people.

WND

Democrats are pushing a ban on all guns at airport areas – even those areas that are located before travelers hit the specified security check-in spots – and say it’s nonsensical to think anyone but police could carry firearms around airplanes.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday against strengthening marriage rights for binational couples who wish to live together in the United States.

Saudi Arabia has reportedly taken its number of executions for the year to 100, far exceeding last year’s tally and putting it on course for a new record.

A new documentary airing in the United Kingdom called “Exposure: Jihad” is putting a new twist on the reasons young men join ISIS, alleging many are simply the products of too-strict parents, sexually frustrated and seeking the love and concern they didn’t find at home.


Pope Francis Ready To Talk About Climate Change, Global Depopulation And World Government
Pope Francis has been working on his “sermon” all year, and it’s one that will thoroughly delight Bible prophecy watchers. Francis is going to preach on the need to massively reduce the world’s population, stopping climate change, and having a One World Government to rule the planet.

Ebola cases increase in W Africa
The pattern was similar in Sierra Leone, where 12 new cases were found in the last week of May compared to only three the previous week. However, with continuous increases in Ebola cases, Sierra Leone and Guinea are unlikely to be declared Ebola-free in the coming months, the Agence France Presse reported.

Rare Inscription from King David Discovered in Jerusalem Hills
A rare inscription from the time of King David was discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafain the Elah Valley, southwest of Jerusalem and near Beit Shemesh.

Greek standoff saps Europe, dollar swings ahead of Fed
European shares hit a near four-month low and yields on lower-rated euro zone sovereign debt climbed to their highest point since November, as financial markets braced for the possibility of Greece defaulting on its debt.

Far-right parties form group in EU Parliament
The far-right parties in the European Parliament announced Tuesday they have mustered enough unity to form a political group under the leadership of France’s National Front of Marine Le Pen.

Average American woman now weighs as much as average 1960s man – CDC
New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that American women are heavier than they have ever been before.

MERS patient dies in Germany, 1st case in more than 2 years
The 65-year-old man, who died of MERS-related complications in a hospital in Lower Saxony on June 6, was infected during a trip to Abu Dhabi in February.

Philippine volcano spews ash, no violent eruption expected
Mount Bulusan ejected ash up to a kilometer (0.6 mile) high for about 10 minutes and a smaller explosion hours later lasted a minute, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum said. There were no indications that the activity involved magma rising from below, he said.

US Lawmakers Call on Obama to Recognize Jerusalem as True Capital of Israel
Lawmakers belonging to the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus (CIAC) criticized the decision and lambasted the president’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital. “The sad and unfortunate truth is that this president has done all he can to diminish the standing since he walked into office,”

Earthquake jostles Belu regency
An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked Timor Island, in the Belu regency in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) on Tuesday, Sudaryono, the head of the Kupang office of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BKPMD) said.

Rabbi Receives Heavenly Message in the Cave of Elijah the Prophet
The rabbi received a message for the Jewish people from Eliyahu haNavi (Elijah the Prophet) that there is a decree from Heaven that war will be starting in the south of Israel, will move to the north of Israel and will continue inside of Israel. Thousands of people will die, God-forbid.”

Mount Asama volcano erupts near Tokyo
A volcano near Tokyo erupted early on Tuesday, the latest in a series of volcanic incidents to hit Japan in recent months. …A warning against the dangers of falling rocks within a mile radius of the mountain, which is located 87 miles northwest of the capital, was subsequently issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Navy to Accelerate Artificial Intelligence Development for Warfighting, Support Roles
The Navy wants to integrate robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) into more of its workload, from warfighting missions to non-combat support roles, and is seeking fleet input on what types of AI research are worth investing in. …Kozloski’s office released a memo on June 5 outlining the path forward in identifying opportunities to integrate robotics and AI into Navy operations…

Obamacare Database Keeps Personal Info “Forever”
In the wake of a security breach last month…of personal taxpayer data, experts are now raising concerns over a government data warehouse that keeps the information of Obamacare enrollees forever. The system, known as the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System, or MIDAS is vaguely described…as a “perpetual central repository.” When asked…how many people have direct access to the database, officials refused to say.

Alaska wildfires: ‘Explosive’ flames force evacuations
Thousands of people have been urged to leave their homes as “explosive” wildfires rage across Alaska in the United States, officials have said. Fire crews are battling flames on the Kenai Peninsula and around the city of Anchorage, with emergency shelters set up for evacuees. About 500 sled-dogs have also been rescued, Associated Press reports.

Mexico’s south-west braces for Tropical Storm Carlos
Residents of south-west Mexico are preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Carlos. Schools were ordered to stay closed and shelters have been set up in the states of Guerrero and Michoacan. Carlos was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday, but meteorologists said it could again reach hurricane-level strength by Tuesday.

China to ‘complete’ South China Sea land reclamation
China will complete a series of controversial land reclamation projects in the South China Sea “soon”, the foreign ministry says. The US and countries with competing claims in the area maintain that China is creating artificial islands to use as military bases. The ministry says they are for defence, but also maritime search and rescue, disaster relief and research.

Report: Islamic Jihad threatens to break Gaza ‘cease-fire’ if Israel stops new flotilla
A senior official from the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad has reportedly threatened to break the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended last summer’s conflict in Gaza if Israel stops any new flotillas attempting to break the naval blockade of the Strip. …Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batash said his group was closely monitoring a Swedish ship that has set sail toward the coastal Palestinian enclave.

Bird flu prompts first shipment of EU eggs to US in decades
It has lost about 35 million laying hens – 10% of its national flock – to avian influenza since January, creating an acute supply shortage. As a result, it has granted access to the Netherlands for egg product sooner than expected. It is understood that Germany may also be sending egg to the US. On 1 June, the United States Department of Agriculture granted approval for five Dutch companies to export their egg for the first time since 1987.

Israel’s Netanyahu says boycott efforts recall Nazi Germany
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a Palestinian-led campaign to boycott Israeli goods was reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s campaign against Jews.

Marijuana ‘Dabbing’ Is ‘Exploding onto the Drug-Use Scene’
Young people who use marijuana and are looking for a new way to get high may be increasingly turning to “dabbing,” a new paper suggests. Dabbing is inhaling the vapors from a concentrated form of marijuana made by an extraction method that uses butane gas. Dabs, also known as butane hash oil (BHO) are more potent than conventional forms of marijuana because they have much higher concentrations of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than is found in regular cannabis, according to the paper.

ATF To Join NYPD In Fighting New York City Gun Crimes
Bullet-riddled windows, yellow crime scene tape, and evidence markers denoting where shell casings fell on the sidewalk are becoming all-too-familiar sights on New York City streets. Now in an unprecedented move, a federal agency is joining the effort to get gun crimes under control, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday.

90 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000
The portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed Thursday, June 11, at $18,112,975,000,000, according to the latest Daily Treasury Statement, which was published at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. That, according to the Treasury’s statements, makes 90 straight days the debt subject to the limit has been frozen at $18,112,975,000,000.


Headlines – 6/16/2015

White House reiterates its will to walk away from bad Iran deal as Corker calls for ‘courage’

Oren: Obama intentionally abandoned core principles of Israel’s alliance with America

Global military leaders laud Israel’s restraint in Gaza clash ahead of UN report

Ambassador to UNHRC: ‘Israel does not behead people, we use our heads’

Livni in London: We expect UNHRC report to be ‘twisted and anti-Israel’

UN official: ‘Those who violated human rights in Gaza should be prosecuted’

Israel stops UN rapporteur from visiting Palestinian territories

Latest Flotilla Leaves Sweden for Gaza, Will Attempt to ‘Break Israel’s Blockade’

Report: Islamic Jihad threatens to break Gaza ‘cease-fire’ if Israel stops new flotilla

Hamas officials arrive in Qatar to discuss 5-year truce plan with Israel

Israel steps up social media fight with satire on Gaza under Hamas

Israel’s Netanyahu says boycott efforts recall Nazi Germany

Coca-Cola Palestine CEO Urges Boycott of Israel

Israeli NGO urging Coca-Cola to drop Palestinian franchise after support for BDS

Amid Israel debacle, Orange CEO files complaint with court over death threats

White House, PMO, deny report of Obama invitation to Netanyahu in July

MKs want security beefed up for Jewish visitors to Jerusalem’s mount of olives cemetery

US’s Orthodox Union supports freedom of prayer for Jews on Temple Mount

Rabbi Receives Heavenly Message in the Cave of Elijah the Prophet

Israel Hopes to Use Current Lull to Prepare for Radical Islamic Storm

IDF establishes new cyber branch

IDF Northern Command chief: We are busy with Hezbollah in Syria

Cypriot FM: Cyprus likely thwarted Hezbollah bomb plot against Israelis

Israel sends message to Nusra Front: Cease attacks on Syria’s Druse

Thousands of Israeli Druze rally for Syrian brothers

Oren: Israel helped Obama avoid bombing Syria after chemical attack

Nusra Front: ISIS planning attack in northern Lebanon

Monitor: Kurdish forces seize most of Islamic State-controlled border town

Al-Qaida confirms top leader killed by US in Yemen

Egyptian court sentences former president Morsi to death

Boko Haram crisis: US to fund Nigeria-led force

Sudan’s President, Who Has Persecuted Christians ‘Under Shariah Law,’ Is on the Run After UN Calls for His Arrest for War Crimes

Naghmeh Abedini: Saeed Refuses to Deny Christ

Former CIA operative: Bergdahl was ‘high’ when captured in Afghanistan

French PM calls on France’s Muslims to ‘name the enemy’

Russian security company says Iran talks spyware masqueraded under Foxconn name

Putin: Russia will add 40 ballistic missiles to nuclear arsenal in 2015

China to ‘complete’ South China Sea land reclamation

Navy to Accelerate Artificial Intelligence Development for Warfighting, Support Roles

You Don’t Have to Watch ‘Jurassic World’ to See Bioengineered Animal Weapons

Obama’s trade plan in critical condition

90 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000

Greece, creditors dig in after debt talks founder

Millionaires now control an even bigger share of the world’s wealth

Perhaps the world’s conspiracy theorists have been right all along

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Leof, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Sarangani, Philippines

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 16,000ft

Mount Asama volcano erupts near Tokyo; officials warn activity may increase

Philippine volcano Mount Bulusan spews ash, no violent eruption expected

Thousands Evacuated in Indonesia After Mount Sinabung Volcano Starts Spewing Ash and Toxic Gas

Tropical Storm Bill threatens Texas, Oklahoma with flooding rains

Mexico’s south-west braces for Tropical Storm Carlos

Alaska wildfires: ‘Explosive’ flames force evacuations

Thousands of tiny red crabs invade Southern California beaches

Pope warns of ‘unprecedented damage’ from climate change in leaked encyclical document

Milk-free cheese made using human DNA strands

Bird flu likely spread on equipment, workers, rodents, wind

South Korea begins plasma treatment trial for Mers

MERS patient dies in Germany, 1st case in more than 2 years

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case on Pre-Abortion Ultrasounds

First Woman Charged on Controversial Law that Criminalizes Drug Use During Pregnancy

Miley Cyrus launches transgender youth social media campaign

US archbishop quits, Vatican indicts ex-Dominican ambassador in Pope crackdown on sex abuse

Queens Man Left Father’s Body In Morgue For Over A Year To Steal His Social Security

ATF To Join NYPD In Fighting New York City Gun Crimes

Rare inscription from King David era discovered in the Valley of Elah

A Brief History of Christian Zionism

Youth Pastor Charged With Rape: Claims Innocence Because Child “Consented”….

Pastor and Wife Robbed, Stabbed Multiple Times by Man They Treated Like a ‘Grandson’


The Briefing

1) Jeb Bush unsurprisingly announces candidacy, leaving both parties with question of dynasty

Jeb Bush announces presidential bid: ‘We will take command of our future once again’, Washington Post (Ed O’Keefe)

Full text of Jeb Bush’s presidential announcement, Politico (Staff)

Hillary Clinton’s Silence on Trade Proved to Be Untenable, Wall Street Journal (Peter Nicholas)

2) Journalist argues marriage merely political reality preventing poor from success

Jeb Bush and Single Mothers, New York Times (Charles M. Blow)

3) Ohio legislature considers conversion therapy ban, viewing sexuality as unchangeable

Some Ohio legislators want to ban conversion therapy for gay, transgender teens, Columbus Dispatch (Emily Ockerman)

4) Author presents evolutionary argument for dominance of human species, undermining its uniqueness 

Species succeeds because it can work toward big things, Washington Post (Michael Gerson)

In other news…

Catholic Archbishop and Aide Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal, New York Times (Mark S. Getzfred and Mitch Smith)

Daily Digest

June 16, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[Emigrants] will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

121 Illegal Immigrants Released by ICE Became Murderers

Regardless of how Democrat sympathizers see it, illegally crossing the U.S. border is a crime, but that’s not preventing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from letting unauthorized immigrants back onto the streets — including some who went on to become murderers. According to The Washington Times, “More than 100 immigrants whom the Obama administration released back into the community went on to be charged with subsequent killings, according to government data released Monday that raises more questions about whether immigration authorities are doing enough to detail illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. … All told, 121 immigrants who were held but eventually released by ICE went on to commit ‘homicide-related offenses’ from 2010 through 2014, the agency said.” Those are only known offenders, though, meaning the actual figure is probably even more alarming. ICE said in a statement, “When making custody determinations, ICE performs an individualized review of the individual’s immigration history and criminal history, pursuant to the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). In accordance with the requirements of the INA, not all criminals are subject to mandatory detention and thus may be eligible for bond.” And, thus, eligible to take other people’s lives. America’s lax immigration policies aren’t just ridiculous; they’re proving to be deadly. More…

ATF Teams Up With NYPD to Deter ‘Gun Crimes’

In what CBS New York describes as the “first-ever anti-gun initiative,” federal agencies in collaboration with the NYPD are cracking down on escalating “gun crime” across the City of New York. ATF agent Charles Mulham said, “There’s going to be an increase in federal arrests — no doubt.” He added, “Of course, when the ATF gets involved … we’ll be able to figure out if [any] weapon is part of an interstate trafficking operation.” That’s a bold statement coming from an agency that intentionally put weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. And considering New York boasts lower than average crime rates, why aren’t they asking why violent behavior is increasing instead of positing this as an “anti-gun” initiative? For the same reason the question is being avoided in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore. As Mark Alexander has pointed out, blaming weapons serves an agenda: “The ‘gun violence’ rhetoric comports with the errant Leftist assertion that guns are the problem and the Democrats’ next gun control measure is the solution. Most assuredly, the epidemic of crime in American urban centers is not a ‘gun problem,’ but rather a cultural problem.” Getting the federal government involved in New York, ostensibly to ward off potential offenders, won’t get us any closer to tackling the core problem — especially via an agency embroiled in its own questionable behavior. More…

Killing Al-Qaida Terrorists Is Good, But…

The Obama administration continues to play whack-a-mole with terrorists in the Middle East, using American aircraft as the gavel. Over the weekend, al-Qaida in Yemen confirmed that its number two leader, Nasir al-Wahishi, was killed in a U.S. airstrike. This is the biggest blow against the terrorist group since SEAL Team Six drilled Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound. Meanwhile, U.S. planes dropped 500 lb. munitions in Libya, possibly killing Mokhtar Belmokhtar, “the one-eyed sheik” who split from al-Qaida to form his own terrorist outfit. The implications are that we have some decent intelligence. The strikes are good news, but it’s not a game changer but rather a place-holder by the administration, which has no coherent or comprehensive policy in the region. Obama’s objective is to pass this buck to the next administration. For that reason, GOP candidates better get the history of OIF and OEF right, because, if the next president is a Republican, he is going to have to implement a policy to contain and diminish this metastasizing threat.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Jeb Bush Enters Race Wooing Latinos, Furthering Dynasty

By Robin Smith

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After a six-month “exploratory” window that served as the acceleration ramp up to his real campaign, Jeb Bush — the brother of President George W. Bush — formalized his candidacy for president June 15.

“I have decided,” Bush told a crowd at a community college in Miami, “I am a candidate for President of the United States.”

In his campaign, Bush brings a strong Catholic faith, a credible voice in the Latino community in Florida and the baggage that comes when your brother and father both served as commanders in chief.

Jeb indirectly acknowledged that some conservatives believe he is the “establishment pick” by noting, “It’s nobody’s turn, it’s everybody’s test, and it’s wide open — exactly as a contest for president should be.”

Bush’s candidacy was inevitable. As former governor of Florida, the third most populous state in the U.S., “Jeb!” showed off his gift of policy over politics in a rich vein of electoral votes. In the GOP tribe, however, this inevitability is not without its concerns — the Bush name has been gleefully lambasted by the presstitutes. The liberal media loves to invoke partisan animosity toward previous Bush presidencies, diverting scrutiny from controversies involving Barack Obama and his robotic, scandal-ridden heir apparent — Hillary Clinton.

The Jeb Bush campaign will certainly have plenty of funding. That guarantees a mass-marketed, micro-targeted message integrated across all platforms of media designed to reach a vast range of voters. But his key trait — widespread recognition of his family name — might be a liability among many Republicans and virtually all Democrats, thanks to the negatives of Bush 41 and 43.

But he isn’t just another clone of his brother. Jeb Bush is considered by some as a prominent member of the Latino community. Fellow presidential contender Marco Rubio considers Bush a mentor. Fluent in Spanish, Bush decided to reach out directly to Spanish-speaking constituents in his speech. “Ayúdenos en tener una campaña que les da la bienvenida,” he said, a phrase that’s translated to mean, “Help us to have a campaign that welcomes them.”

According to every poll conducted thus far, the GOP presidential primary is wide open. No frontrunner has emerged to doggedly prevent another Clinton White House. The sheer size of the pool of GOP candidates gives the Democrats a whole lot of cover behind which to hide their lack of effective policies, opposed to the authentic race and political choices found in the GOP presidential primary.

For Bush, the bar is extremely high. His successful tenure as governor in Florida displays his talent for leadership. The crucial task of Jeb and his campaign team will be to remind GOP voters of his effective conservative policies implemented during his time as Florida’s top elected official. These victories include a few issues that are inarguably crowd-pleasers for the Right, even the far-Right:

  • Passed parental school choice and rigorous school reform that raised the reading level of fourth graders by 11 points
  • Enacted tax cuts that totaled $19 billion with an actual reduction in the size of his state’s government by 6.6%
  • Supported parental notification of abortions requested by minors
  • Pushed through Medicaid reforms with private insurance solutions emphasizing personal health and accountability
  • Ended civil service protections of long-time unelected state bureaucrats and eliminated racial preferences in state-government contracting
  • Signed the nation’s first “Stand Your Ground” law
  • Called five special sessions of the legislature to pass medical liability and trial lawyer reforms to eradicate jackpot justice in Florida

Yet to win the eventual party nomination, Bush must explain his post-gubernatorial stances on a few hot-button topics. First, he backs immigration reform that emphasizes assimilation through access to services, not by enforcing existing law and prioritizing a secure border. He has also been a vocal proponent of Common Core, a set of educational standards originally written by our nation’s governors but soon sullied by the federal government, which established massive testing requirements and strings attached for funding access.

Jeb also must consider a few factors about the composition of the GOP that he’s not seen as a candidate before: In his last election, Bush did not face the Tea Party.

But as Politico writes, “Jeb’s stances on immigration and Common Core distance him from the GOP base, but his Catholic faith brings him back into the flock.”

While the Left is arguing that Religious Liberty is a limited right, one that should be eroded for holier rights such as same-sex marriage or abortion, Bush believes the opposite.

“The most galling example is the shabby treatment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Christian charity that dared to voice objections of conscience to Obamacare,” Bush said. “The next president needs to make it clear that great charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing. It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother, and I’m going with the Sisters.”

Governor Bush’s early message and targeted contrasts could make him a heavyweight in the Republican primary, and his name recognition and depth of resources are advantages in the crowded field. Only time will reveal whether we’ll find ourselves rallying to unite against the Left with a nominee declaring, “Third time’s a charm.”

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

 

OPINION IN BRIEF

Cal Thomas: “It doesn’t take a spy novelist to come up with a scenario in which a Chinese government agent approaches someone with a top security clearance and threatens to expose a dark secret in his or her past, possibly destroying family and career, unless he or she cooperates and hands over information to Beijing. The Chinese agent would likely have details about medications his target is taking to ward off depression, or some other malady, possibly making him more vulnerable to pressure. The former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, says another possible use of the hacked information could be to shape fake emails crafted to look legitimate while injecting spyware and other viruses on the networks of government agencies or businesses the Chinese wish to penetrate. … If any humor can come from a serious situation, it was in a statement by OPM spokesman, Samuel Schumach. When asked to provide more details on the damage caused by the hacking, Schumach said: ‘For security reasons, we will not discuss specifics of the information that might have been compromised.’ What possible ‘security’ reasons could there be when clearly there was insufficient security at OPM? Perhaps reporters should ask this of the Chinese, since they now appear to be in possession of all the pertinent information.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “[T]he human mind is seldom at stay: If you do not grow better, you will most undoubtedly grow worse.” —English writer Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

Upright: This country and the left has made it profitable to become a victim of something — primarily a victim of an evil, faceless majority. If you become a member of a minority are automatically a victim, and the victim gets goodies. … The victim gets excused for all kinds of aberrant, weirdo behavior and instead is the recipient of sympathy. So it’s clear that this is a purposeful and studied move that [Rachel Dolezal] made.” —Rush Limbaugh

Friendly fire, part I: “The question is for all politicians, including [Hillary Clinton] today, when you live in a bubble of privilege, surrounded by and marinating in the worldview of elites, business elites, rich donors, can you really connect with the policy concerns of people outside of the bubble?” —New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore

Friendly fire, part II: “The Hillary of a year ago was for the trade deal. The Hillary of Saturday’s announcement was against the trade deal. We’ll have to see what Hillary she is when the trade deal comes up for the next vote. I mean that’s the reality of it, right? This is just political positioning.” —Slate’s Jacob Weisberg

Friendly fire, part III: “[Hillary] has not been consistently saying anything for 30 years. … [A]t some point there has got to be an acknowledgment that there hasn’t been a straight line between [her youth and political career].” —New Republic senior editor Rebecca Traister

Friendly fire, part IV: “Let’s be blunt, the Obama-Clinton foreign policy is not something to brag about, I would argue. The growth of ISIS, the failures in Iraq.” —NBC’s Perry Bacon

And last… “A new report shows that the federal government paid almost $10 million in medicaid benefits to 200 dead people. It really helped, though. Afterwards, most of them were spry enough to vote in Chicago.” —Fred Thompson

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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Pope’s Climate Change Message Leaks; Calls for Urgent Action

by Marsha West

News Max reports that even though a growing body of evidence indicates that climate change is not occurring, Rome’s controversial pope is calling for urgent action on alleged global warming to be taken:

A draft copy of Pope Francis’ eagerly awaited encyclical on the environment calls for urgent action to protect the Earth and fight global warming, which the pope says is “mostly” due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Italian document that was leaked to the Italian newsweekly L’Espresso and published on its website Monday was not the final version and that the official encyclical would still be released as scheduled on Thursday.

The L’Espresso draft, which was published in galley form, makes many of the same points that Francis and his advisers have been making in the months-long rollout of the document.

In the draft, Francis lays out both the scientific and the moral reasons for protecting God’s creation, noting that the poor are already suffering the most from air pollution and toxic dumping and will continue to bear the brunt of rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. The draft says population growth isn’t to blame for ecological problems but rather the consumerist, wasteful behavior of the rich.

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The McAvany Intel Memo

When our Founding Fathers wrote the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which dictates that all powers not expressly given to the federal government would be the responsibility of the individual states, they recognized the states’ authority over education. Gradually, the federal government started taking some of that authority away from the states. (This push for Federal control of education began in the 1960s – today it is complete.) The federal government eventually outlawed prayer in government (public) schools. It outlawed Bibles. It outlawed the 10 Commandments. And in recent years, it has outlawed expressly Christian Christmas songs – and even Christmas itself is prohibited. Various laws enacted by Congress have placed education under the complete authority of the federal government. The creation of the Department of Education was the first step to ensure this.

Then, when President Bush created No Child Left Behind, the socialist push was fully implemented. No Child Left Behind brought in standardized tests for all grade levels, including kindergarten through grade 12. These tests emphasized certain subjects (reading) and de-emphasized others (math and science). However, schools started to realize that No Child Left Behind doesn’t work, largely because it completely ignores how children learn and tries to force a single agenda and way of learning on each child. As a result, our children weren’t learning. So the call came about for another program. This set the stage for the rise of Common Core.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, March 2015


7 Key Events That Are Going To Happen By The End Of September

Is something really big about to happen? For months, people have been pointing to the second half of this year for various reasons. For some, the major concern is Jade Helm and the unprecedented movement of military vehicles and equipment that we have been witnessing all over the nation. For others, the upcoming fourth blood moon and the end of the Shemitah cycle are extremely significant events……….. Click here for full story


Hidden Gold Treasure In Israel To Be Used To Build Third Temple?

A treasure-trove of raw gold worth billions of dollars is believed to be sitting under Mount Eilat in southern Israel. In an exclusive interview, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the Executive Director of The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation in Jerusalem, revealed the news, which had been kept under wraps for the last several years………… Click here for full story


America’s Role In The Coming Geo-Political Order

Anytime I get off into my own speculations, I tend to get it wrong. If I stick with the broad view the Bible presents as the geo-political picture of the last days, I get it right. So here are the Global trends that the Bible states, will come to pass in the last days. In fact, I would venture to say, the US today, is very unrecognizable to the US of September 10th, 2001. Think about that for a second. The US five years from now, will largely be unrecognizable from even today’s standards if we are even still here……… Click here for full story


Biden, Hagel Obsessed With Creating ‘New World Order’

Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have been in the news in recent days for envisioning the creation of a “new world order.”. The two politicians have a long history of using the phrase to advocate a global rebalancing through shared values, diplomacy and participation in international organizations……….. Click here for full story


Christianity Quickly Growing In The Muslim World

In a recent “Breakpoint This Week” broadcast, my colleague John Stonestreet spoke with David Garrison and Paul Filidis about the upcoming “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World,” which starts on June 18. Garrison traveled more 250,000 miles around the Islamic world chronicling what’s probably the most underreported important story of our time: waves of Muslims converting to Christianity……. Click here for full story


Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible?

Looking at the things Bono has said (I’m coming to that) although he professes a belief in Christ clearly he doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Moreover, his social views are decidedly “progressive.” In fact, his religious beliefs blend nicely with emergent gurus such as Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo. These men are leftists who are leading the Church away from Sola Scriptura into what Ken Silva referred to as the “emerging cult of the new liberal theology.” The controversial movement, called the Emerging/Emergent Church (EC), seeks to reach the unchurched with their unbiblical version of the Christian message. In so doing they have cooked up a cauldron of syncretism stew.

View Article


Why Jewish People Can Never Again Rely on the World to Come to Its Defense

This video is well worth the 12 minutes!  View here.


Elisabeth Elliot enters gates of splendor

Elliot became well-known after publishing, in 1957, Through Gates of Splendor, about her husband Jim Elliot’s attempt to take the gospel to an unreached tribe of Auca Indians (now known as the Waodani or Huaorani) in the jungles of Ecuador. Another of Elliot’s popular works, Passion and Purity, described her five-year courtship with Jim.

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Net Neutrality Hits – The Media Misses, Badly

And incredibly Socialistic. Unlimited Internet – no matter how much you use – and the gracious government has mandated that the evil companies can’t charge you more.

Which are price controls. And will lead to where Socialism always leads – everyone having equal amounts of nothing.

View Article


 

Another massive rock that could wipe out mankind ‘flying past Earth tomorrow’

Posted: 16 Jun 2015 08:11 AM PDT

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS – An asteroid that has been hurtling towards earth amid fears it could wipe out all life is due to fly past the planet TOMORROW. Many people around the globe have spent the last week preparing for the ‘asteroid apocalypse’, and this latest rock will reach us tomorrow – but speed right past. The massive space rock has been closed monitored by scientists at NASA as it has the potential to completely devastate the entire world. An internet channel, the Slooh telescope, is monitoring the rock’s movements tomorrow and is planning to show its journey live online.

A Slooh spokesman said: “Slooh will be showing live views of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Icarus, on the day of its closest approach, as it passes within just 5 million miles of Earth. “Like its namesake, this space rock is getting in trouble for flying too close. Join Slooh for a live show to have a look at this 1 km long asteroid and learn why it’s an important object for astronomers to study and understand.” Although this asteroid will miss, there have been claims another is due to hit the Earth in September. FULL REPORT

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Another Possible plague case found west of Caldwell, Idaho

Posted: 16 Jun 2015 08:06 AM PDT

There is another possible case of the plague in southwest Idaho. This one was found near Highway 19, immediately west of Caldwell. This possible case is not connected to the plague found southeast of Boise last month. This newest case involves a different animal. The plague found in the desert southeast of Boise involved ground squirrels. This new potential case of the plague is tied to voles. Voles are also commonly called meadow mice.

State health officials say they tested dead voles found in the area near Highway 19 west of Caldwell and initial results indicate possible plague. They say the case appears to be localized and not widespread. However, people are urged to take precautions. Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents that can cause serious illness to people and pets, if not treated quickly. FULL REPORT

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FBI investigating series of fiber cuts in San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: 16 Jun 2015 08:01 AM PDT

The FBI is looking into a series of deliberate cuts of fiber optic cables in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the past year, there were 10 instances on four separate nights when telecom cables were intentionally cut in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Berkeley and San Jose, the agency said Monday. FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said it’s unclear if the incidents are unrelated or the work of a single person or group, but the FBI is keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious. “We are hoping for anybody that has seen anything out of the ordinary,” he said. The perpetrators may have worn uniforms to make themselves look like workmen, “so even if it looked like normal uniforms, we’d like to hear so we can vet them out.”

The first two cuts occurred on July 6, 2014, when cables were severed at a location in Berkeley, and another at the intersection of Niles Canyon Road and Mission Boulevard in Fremont. The following night, three additional cuts occurred, including one on Niles Canyon Road near Alameda Creek, a short walk from one of the previous night’s incidents. Then on Feb. 24 this year, fiber optic cables were cut again at each of the same Niles Canyon locations. The most recent incidents occurred last week. At 11pm on June 8, a fiber cable was cut near the corner of Danville Boulevard and Rudgear Road in Alamo, then 40 minutes later near Overacker Avenue and Mowry Avenue in Fremont. At 1:38pm the following day, a cable was cut near Jones Road and Parkside Drive in Walnut Creek. FULL REPORT

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North Korea claims it fired anti-ship missile that can hit targets 120km away

Posted: 16 Jun 2015 07:56 AM PDT

North Korea’s desire to play with the big boys seems to be edging closer to reality after fresh claims it has acquired new weaponry. The country’s leader Kim Jong-un announced today his navy fired its first anti-ship missile that is capable of destroying a target 120km away, hailing it as “another fresh milestone” in North Korea’s bid to bolster its naval force.

According to the state-run KCNA news agency, the bizarre leader watched the tests before delivering his verdict. He “noted with great pleasure that it marked another fresh milestone in bolstering up the Juche (self-reliance)-based naval force”, it said. “Ultra-modern strike means of Korean style have been studied and developed one after another recently to completely contain the hostile forces,” Kim was quoted as saying. FULL REPORT

 

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Russia warns will retaliate if US weapons stationed on its borders

Posted: 16 Jun 2015 07:51 AM PDT

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS – A plan by Washington to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO states on Russia’s border would be the most aggressive US act since the Cold War, and Moscow would retaliate by beefing up its own forces, a Russian defence official said on Monday. The United States is offering to store military equipment on allies’ territory in eastern Europe, a proposal aimed at reassuring governments worried that after the conflict in Ukraine, they could be the Kremlin’s next target.

Poland and the Baltic states, where officials say privately they have been frustrated the NATO alliance has not taken more decisive steps to deter Russia, welcomed the decision by Washington to take the lead. But others in the region were more cautious, fearing their countries could be caught in the middle of a new arms race between Russia and the United States. FULL REPORT

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China and US on collision course for war over South China Sea

Posted: 16 Jun 2015 07:45 AM PDT

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS – A quiet battle lingering over the South China Sea just got a whole lot more dangerous after reports China tested hypersonic glide vehicles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The vehicle, dubbed the WU-14, was the fourth test of the missile in 18 months, RT News reports. The weapon is extremely advanced and can travel at 10 times the speed of sound. And it’s ticking off the Americans. The US has labelled the testing as an “extreme manoeuvre” amid tensions in the South China Sea, the South China Morning Post reports.

But China has been quick to dismiss any suggestion the tests were anything other than a normal exercise. “The scheduled scientific research and experiments in our territory is normal, and those tests are not targeted at any country and specific goals,” the ministry told the Post. Tensions between the two military superpowers have been increasing due to a cluster of tiny islands in the South China Sea. And the US and China have been doing a lot of peacocking about them. US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter has previously warned the US would not shy away from confronting Beijing about the continued expansion. FULL REPORT

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

Posted: 15 Jun 2015 07:06 PM PDT

Internet 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. But of most immediate concern to lots of people out there are the various theories that are floating around about September. The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in a British news source just this week…FULL REPORT

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Franklin Graham: Being Gay-Friendly Is Not Optional–Especially for Christians

Posted: 15 Jun 2015 05:50 PM PDT

On Thursday, Franklin Graham clarified his stance on why he’s moving Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s financial accounts to a new bank. Franklin first outlined his position in a short post to his Facebook page on June 5. To date, the post has garnered nearly 100,000 “likes” and tens of thousands of shares but also drew anger from critics. In an opinion piece submitted to USA Today, Franklin Graham explained the thoughts and the heart behind the decision to switch banks:

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association did not decide to move our ministry bank accounts from Wells Fargo simply because the San Francisco-based bank is “gay-friendly.” Indeed, the bank we transferred our accounts to—BB&T based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina—is also widely considered gay-friendly. In fact, it may surprise some to learn that I think every business should be gay-friendly. By that I mean businesses—like individuals—should be friendly to gay customers and citizens. We should be friendly to everyone, even if or when we disagree with them. FULL REPORT

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3 Good Reasons Every Christian Should Close Their Wells Fargo Account Right Now

Posted: 15 Jun 2015 05:43 PM PDT

Wells Fargo already lost a multi-million-dollar customer last week. Now, the bank can expect to lose a few more. American Family Association (AFA) has sent an Action Alert to its hundreds of thousands of friends and supporters, urging Christians to close their Wells Fargo accounts, as the financial institution becomes an even more staunch supporter of the LGBT lifestyle. “For years, Wells Fargo has supported a lifestyle that is not in line with biblical standards, so now it’s time for Christians to pull their business from the bank,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon.

“Franklin Graham said it best. Banks should focus on interest rates and charges, rather than moral and social issues. AFA wholeheartedly agrees, and is calling on Christians to stand for God’s truth with action.” In its alert, AFA reminded readers that in 2003, AFA warned that Wells Fargo was beginning to show public support for homosexuality—one of the first companies in America to do so. Then in 2005, Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family announced it was withdrawing funds from Wells Fargo after the company threw its support behind homosexual activist organizations. FULL REPORT

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Fox News Host Reveals the Biggest Challenge of Her Career: ‘I Never Envisioned the Hate That Would Come’

Posted: 15 Jun 2015 05:35 PM PDT

Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who co-hosted “Fox & Friends” before landing her own daytime show called, “The Real Story,” recently told The Church Boys podcast that her biggest challenge has been overcoming the stereotypes that have surrounded her. “After becoming Miss America at only 22 years old, I never envisioned the hate that would come with that … and, specifically, getting into TV news,” Carlson said.

“It was like my whole resume just fell off the face of the Earth — and being a graduate of Stanford, and valedictorian of my high school class, and an accomplished violinist — it was like … nobody wanted to talk about that.” She continued, “They just wanted to call me a bimbo who had become Miss America.” Carlson, who discusses these subjects among many others in the book, described the wonderful life lessons that she learned growing up in a Minnesota church that her grandfather pastored. FULL REPORT

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Georgia High School Principal Fired For Holding Voluntary Bible Study

A Georgia high school principal says he was fired after he read the Bible and prayed with a group of students during a volunteer Christian group meeting.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Obama has been president, the rise of persecution against Bible believing Christians is off the charts. From bakers and florists who have been bankrupted for not servicing LGBT weddings, to school teachers being fired for reading the Bible, the climate in America has changed. Soon it will be illegal to hold a bible study, even in your own home. This is what the future looks like in Obama’s America.

Manchester High School principal Dr. Michael Lehr reportedly was just filling in for the leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization during a meeting.

Regardless, the school district superintendent put him on indefinite administrative leave just two days after the meeting and informed him that his contract would not be renewed.

“I want prayer in this school,” outraged parent Angila Waddell said. “I am proud to see our football team take a knee and pray before and after games. And also in clubs. And we’re just shocked.”

Lehr is reportedly now focused on finding on a new job in order to support his family.

Meriwether County Superintendent Carol Lane told News 3 in an email, “ I never comment on personnel issues. I’m sorry that I cannot provide you with any information. Possibly at a later date. Thank you for your inquiry.”

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Pope Francis Ready To Talk About Climate Change, Global Depopulation And World Government

He has also called for an “Earth Constitution that would transcend the UN Charter” along with the creation of a “Global Council…elected by all the people on Earth”

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4 (KJV)

On June 18th, just three days from today, Pope Francis and the Vatican State are ready to launch a summer-long campaign which will reach it’s zenith in an unprecedented tour of America. Pope Francis has been working on his “sermon” all year, and it’s one that will thoroughly delight Bible prophecy watchers. Francis is going to preach on the need to massively reduce the world’s population, stopping climate change, and having a One World Government to rule the planet.

 

Meet Professor John Schellnhuber

Professor John Schnellnhuber, founding director of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, is one of three scientists hand-picked by the Vatican to help advance this new tri-fold agenda. Schnellnhuber is also author of what’s called the “two-degree target” that says governments must not allow the temperature to rise more than 2 degrees higher than at the start of the industrial revolution. Any higher, the theory holds, and much life on earth would either perish or be gravely harmed.

To deal with climate issues, he has also called for an “Earth Constitution that would transcend the UN Charter” along with the creation of a “Global Council…elected by all the people on Earth” and a “Planetary Court..a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.” The two main issues of “protecting the earth” are climate change and global depopulation.

The much-anticipated Papal Encyclical

Italian Magazine L’Espresso leaked Pope Francis’ hotly anticipated encyclical on climate change on its website on Monday, breaking an embargo on the document set for Thursday.

The 192-page document is Pope Francis’ first major teaching letter on climate change and its effects on the planet’s poor. Hailed by some as the “pope of the poor,” Francis’ linkage of environmental and economic issues puts the Vatican out front on a closely watched topic.

A Vatican official told Bloomberg News that the leak was a “heinous act.”

The False Prophet of Revelation

Make no mistake about it, Pope Francis has a full-on political agenda, and he is going to use his pulpit to advance it. He is not content to merely be the Pope of the world’s Catholics, he craves raw political power as well. Revelation 17 and 18, talking about the Vatican and the Catholic Church, clearly show her to also be a political force that reigns over the world’s kings. Francis is doing his best to bring that about here and now.

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Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, June 16, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Lindsey Graham Pushing to Ban Late-Term Abortion with New Bill

Nude Trekkers Atop Mount Kinabalu Deported for Offending Religious Sensibilities

5 Faith Facts about Jeb Bush: Catholicism ‘Resonated with Me’

Armed Robber Returns Phone, Wallet When Victim Prays for Him

Most Expect Gay Marriage Will Sweep the US

North Carolina Enacts Religious Protections for Marriage Officials

Chaplain Violated Army Rule in Promoting Christian Book

Rick and Kay Warren Renew Vows after 40 Years, Open Up about Past ‘Marital Hell’

Missionary and Author Elisabeth Elliot Dies at 88

Pope Francis to Open 30-Bed Homeless Shelter a Few Steps from Vatican Walls

Opinion

Jurassic World: One of 30 Sequels This Year

Why We Celebrate the Magna Carta

How Mike Huckabee Fails His Christian Duty

Gay Atheist Rebukes Church for Moral Slide

Americans Substitute Comedy for News


“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 16, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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How Christians Walk in the World

“Christians are in the world in the sense that they occupy the same space, go to the same markets and interact in the same society as non-Christians. They are not people who form their own sub-cultures or ghettos to avoid the world.”

Read more


Are You Serious about Repenting of Racial Sins: Here’s a Place to Start

Over time, because of invitations given by white students in dorms, Black students became involved in the ministry, attending the large group and small group Bible studies. Eventually at least (memory a little dull here) three Black male students became leaders as they became member of our student Core Group. RUF-USM was the only “integrated” RUF group in Mississippi and was the group that “integrated” the statewide Mississippi RUM student conferences. The RUF-USM students were very happy to be part of a group that included Black students. I have no knowledge of a single student who ceased involvement because the group included Blacks.

Read more


Time to Address the Issue of Hatesport

“It also makes me wonder if it is time to abolish the anachronistic distinction in sport between men’s (sic) and women’s (sic) competitions. Given that this rests upon outdated cisgender and heteropatriarchal categories, the very existence of such would seem to go well beyond a mere microaggression and to be a rather hate-filled and oppressive phenomenon.”

Read more


5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel

“Over the years, however, the message being preached in some of the largest churches in the world has changed—indeed, a new gospel is being taught to many congregations today. This message has been ascribed many name, such as the “name it and claim it” gospel, the “blab it and grab it” gospel, the “health and wealth” gospel, the “prosperity gospel,” and “positive confession theology.”

Read more


Decline In Number of Irish Presbyterians Continues

“Between 2013 and 2014 membership dropped by 3,534, or 1,420 families, while there had also been a drop of 1,249 in those who attended at least one Communion between 2013 and 2014, and a drop of 111 in baptisms and of 19 ministers in active duty.”

Read more


Should We Equate Homosexual and Heterosexual Sin?

“The Bible categorizes homosexual sin differently than it does heterosexual sin. While both are contrary to God’s law, only homosexuality is contrary to nature in such a way that it is inherently perverse and shameful. “

Read more


Why Gay Marriage Wouldn’t Surprise Paul

“The suggestion that Scripture doesn’t condemn modern homosexuality is one component of the controversy surrounding Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville, Ala., and its alleged approval of same-sex unions. Weatherly Heights pastor David Freeman asserted in a 2013 sermon that “the Bible does not address” “adult, loving, monogamous, same-sex relationships.”

Read more


Is Same-Sex Attraction Wrong? If So, Why?

by Pastor J.D.

This is the second of a five-part blog series on same-sex attraction. Be sure to read part 1 (“Why we have such a problem talking about same-sex attraction in the church”), and to check back in tomorrow for part 3 (“What do I do if I’m attracted to people of the same sex?”), on Thursday for part 4 (“How do I love my gay friend?”), and on Friday for part 5 (“Concluding Thoughts”).

There are six passages in Scripture that address homosexual behavior directly. And every mention is negative, either prohibiting or condemning such behavior. First Corinthians 6:9–11, for instance, refers to “men who have sex with men” as a vice that would prevent a person from entering the kingdom of God. The two Greek terms he used, malakoi and arsenokoitai, were the common terms of the day to refer to a broad range of homosexual relationships.

Many today object to this reading, insisting that what Paul had in mind was not the same as homosexuality as we know it today. He was, they argue, thinking of male prostitution, rape, or pedophilia. Committed same-sex relationships didn’t exist in Paul’s day, so Paul’s words don’t apply.

This is, simply put, not true. Historian Thomas Hubbard (not a Christian), wrote an exhaustive (and exhaustively long, nearly 600 pages) work on homosexuality in the ancient world, entitled Homosexuality in Greece and Rome. He demonstrates that homosexuality existed in a wide variety of forms, much like today. And that included committed, lifelong, same-sex partners. Had Paul wanted to distinguish between valid and invalid forms of homosexuality, he could have done so.

Read more of this post


Notable Christians: Elisabeth Elliot

by Bill Muehlenberg

One of God’s choice saints has passed away today. Perhaps overshadowed by her late husband Jim at first, she became one of the great Christian statesmen and ambassadors. The 88-year-old was an inspiration to millions through her life story, her books, her public talks, and her steadfast Christian commitment.

Read more


In Memory of Elisabeth Elliot: 30 of Her Most Inspiring Quotes

by Tyler Smith

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

On Sunday, Elisabeth Elliot passed away. In remembrance, we’ve gathered 30 of her most inspiring quotes. Share your favorites to celebrate the life and legacy of a woman who made an incalculable impact on Christianity around the world.

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.

Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.

“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.

God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful—‘severe mercies’ at times, but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts’ desire except to give us something better.

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.

There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.

I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence—easier sometimes than to wait patiently.

The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God . . . or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.

To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.

Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.

One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.

Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship ‘in spirit and in truth.’ Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.

When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love him.

The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it’s going to be a lot better and a lot bigger.

The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived—not always looked forward to as though the ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

We never know what God has up His sleeve. You never know what might happen; you only know what you have to do now.

By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.

It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, he is also at every stopping place.

The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.

It is in our acceptance of what is given that God gives Himself.

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.

Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, his lordship.

If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.

Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in them. Only love is eternal.

Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.

You can never lose what you have offered to Christ.

God has promised to supply our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.

The work of God is done on God’s timetable. His answers to our prayers come always in time—his time. His thoughts are far higher than ours, his wisdom past understanding.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

Source


Elisabeth Elliot 1925-2015: Celebrating Her Life and Legacy

It is with sadness, yet with joy, that we share that Elisabeth Elliot Gren is finally seeing her dear Savior and Lord whom she loved so deeply. We are convinced that much of the blessing God has graciously given this ministry is actually the fruit of Elisabeth’s faithful efforts through Gateway To Joy, the predecessor of Revive Our Hearts.

Long before we started hosting True Woman Conferences, Elisabeth was a living example of a true woman of God. She lived a life of self-sacrifice, surrender, and abandon to Jesus Christ. She had a passion for seeing women’s hearts turn to the Lord through the application of biblical truth—a passion we strive to carry on today.

In honor of Elisabeth and her ministry, we will be airing a special Revive Our Hearts series this Thursday and Friday (June 18 and 19). We hope you will tune in as we celebrate the life and legacy of this true woman and servant of God.

Please keep Elisabeth’s family and friends in your prayers through this difficult time.

With heartfelt gratitude, sadness, and joy,

The Revive Our Hearts Team

PS: See our Elisabeth tribute page which we will be updating throughout the week with memories and thoughts from Nancy and other friends of the ministry.


Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible?

Jun 15, 2015 12:17 pm | Marsha West

 

Any [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I’d ask […]

The post Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible? appeared first on Berean Research


First Transgendered, Now “Transabeled”

Jun 14, 2015 01:15 pm | Marsha West

 

In this disturbing story the writer, Morgan Mayhew, points out that by using the logic of the transgender rights movement, people should be allowed to injure themselves and see themselves as disabled if they so choose — and they are doing that.   What’s really at issue here is that it’s no longer deemed appropriate to […]

The post First Transgendered, Now “Transabeled” appeared first on Berean Research.


Religious leaders ‘Obey God Rather than Men’ in Open Letter to U.S. Supreme Court

Jun 13, 2015 11:30 am | Marsha West

 

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – Setting aside theological differences, 85 Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Jewish leaders joined civic and business leaders in signing an open letter to the U.S. Supreme court published in a June 10 ad in the Washington Post,vowing to disobey any court mandate which would force them to operate from any definition of […]

The post Religious leaders ‘Obey God Rather than Men’ in Open Letter to U.S. Supreme Court appeared first on Berean Research.


Michael Gungor’s “Liturgists” Group Charging 100 People $300 to Question Christian Beliefs

Jun 11, 2015 07:49 pm | A. Spreeman

 

The role model in the Christian music scene who doesn’t believe that the book of Genesis is true, the guy who claims Jesus was not quite being honest with his disciples (or perhaps was mistaken) about the accounts of Noah, Jonah, the flood, Adam and Eve and other Scripture verses our Lord quoted, is among […]

The post Michael Gungor’s “Liturgists” Group Charging 100 People $300 to Question Christian Beliefs appeared first on Berean Research.


Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide

Jun 11, 2015 12:03 pm | Marsha West

 

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressed the same-sex “marriage” debate and comes out swinging: 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. Dr. Mohler’s column is a must read for all Christians. The very first […]

The post Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide appeared first on Berean Research.


Openly gay Willow Creek leader to speak at Matthew Vines’ conference

Jun 11, 2015 07:11 am | A. Spreeman

 

Kicking off today in Atlanta is the Reformation Project conference designed to train and equip leaders to advocate for homosexual Christians. Among those leading: an openly gay worship leader from Willow Chicago, a satellite campus of the well-known Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., pastored by Bill Hybels. The worship leader, Darren Calhoun, […]

The post Openly gay Willow Creek leader to speak at Matthew Vines’ conference appeared first on Berean Research.


Duty, honor, country and gay pride? Pentagon opens “Pride Month”

Jun 10, 2015 04:27 pm | Marsha West

 

Steam is coming out of my ears.  For the first time in 20 years the U.S. Army brass says it will not provide an honor guard from nearby Fort Gordon for Abilene Baptist Church’s annual Independence Day celebration because of a 2011 regulation instituted by the Obama Administration.  The regulation declares that the Army cannot participate in any […]

The post Duty, honor, country and gay pride? Pentagon opens “Pride Month” appeared first on Berean Research.


Saddleback Church raising $71 million for its largest expansion yet

Jun 10, 2015 12:57 pm | Marsha West

 

Pastor Rick Warren is asking people  to donate their hard earned money to open 10 more Saddleback campuses in Southern California. Even teens are getting into the act as you will see in Orange County Register’s piece. They’re called PEACE centers and they’ll provide assistance locally with food, medical help and counseling,  Helping people is what churches do, […]

The post Saddleback Church raising $71 million for its largest expansion yet appeared first on Berean Research.


How to attract goats to your church

Jun 10, 2015 10:58 am | 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.  […]

The post How to attract goats to your church appeared first on Berean Research.


Gay activist Matthew Vines quietly holds private meetings with Christian leaders

Jun 09, 2015 10:33 am | A. Spreeman

 

In his newsletter, Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian and founder of The Reformation Project (to reform biblically-based churches to accepting homosexuality and gay marriage), wrote this: Pretty amazing news: Yesterday, evangelical leader Tony Campolo announced his support for “gay Christian couples” in the church, changing his position in a moving statement […]

The post Gay activist Matthew Vines quietly holds private meetings with Christian leaders appeared first on Berean Research.


10 Steps to Writing an Encouraging Letter

by Paula Hendricks | 6/15/15

Do you know where your local post office is?

How about the cost of a stamp?

When’s the last time you mailed a handwritten letter to someone?

Today I want to challenge you to find your local post office and mail a handwritten letter to someone. (Sure, you can spray it with perfume for kicks if you want!)

Why do I think this is so important? Here are 3 Epic Reasons to Encourage Others. This is why it’s so important.

Last week I shared 4 Ways to Encourage Others Without Even Trying. Today, though, I want to encourage you to be extra intentional about encouraging someone through a handwritten letter. So here are ten steps to writing an encouraging letter:

Read more


What? The Good Guys Are Left Behind?

I have always thought a massive lie or a great deception coming directly from the Antichrist and False Prophet would be required to explain the sudden disappearance of millions of professing Christians who were themselves predicting to the world that is exactly what would happen. All the exposure the Rapture has received in the Left Behind books and movies seemed to make a plausible lie even that much harder to pull off.

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Greg Laurie on What to Expect During Armageddon, Rapture of Believers and the Second Coming of Christ

Sharing the sequence of End-Time events, Laurie said the final battle of Armageddon will take place before the Second Coming, and explained that Armageddon is the name of a place, the Valley of Megiddo in Israel.

Napoleon once said “there’s no place more suited for a war than this place … the most natural battleground on Earth,” the megachurch pastor said.

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Is God Just to Choose Some?

God’s unconditional election causes many to say that he must be unrighteous. He can’t choose some and not others, and be good and just. In this lab, John Piper begins to address this objection by studying the surface structure of Paul’s argument.

Watch Now


Why is God Silent? A New Look at an Old Problem

Silence-of-God

I have never seen, heard, smelt, tasted or empirically experienced God.I have groped for a sign of his presence, love, even his very existence! Angels, Jesus, a sound, or some type of miracle would be sufficient. I remember two years ago when I was going through my depression. . . . Wait. I am getting ahead of myself. . . .

Here is a question I got through an email a while back:

The Question

Mr. Patton,

I have been a believer for quite sometime – since I was eight. It’s a miracle, however, that I believe at all. I grew up in a Oneness Pentecostal home that was very legalistic and rigid. Since then I have changed a great deal in regard to my beliefs. I very much believe in the Trinity, justification by faith, etc. So you could say I’m pretty much orthodox now.


I don’t see the point in prayer because I feel like he doesn’t answer.
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But with all that said, I have been having a bit of trouble with my faith. I’m kinda having a hard time believing in God or praying to him because I just don’t see the point in it anymore because I feel like he doesn’t answer. In fact I feel as if it pointless because he isn’t here – right here, spatially – to speak with me. I dunno I just feel like with all that I have happening in my life a face to face relationship – a person to person to person conversation – is what I need from him. And I can’t have that. I mean it is as if God is a distant uncle to whom I send letters (prayers), and he sends a postcard. Is it enough to just say that God has spoken through his word so he doesn’t need to speak now? I don’t feel like it. Why couldn’t Jesus have just stayed here, albeit in a ubiquitous form? That way I could talk to him. I know he is the Father’s representative to man and for man so why not stay here where he can be physically accessible?


It is as if God is a distant uncle to whom I send letters, & he sends a postcard.
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Response

__________________________________

My friend,

1. Your Problem is not Uncommon

Thanks so much for writing and for your honesty. Your thoughts, it might comfort you to know, are not uncommon. The problem you speak of is called the “hiddenness of God” in theological circles. Why is God so hidden? It is hard to know exactly why, but the fact of his hiddenness is something the Bible speaks to very clearly. In Acts 1 the angels say, “Why do you stare into heaven. . . He will come back just as you have seen him go.” In other words, you will not “see” him again until he comes back. Christ told his disciples in the upper room before his death that it is “better for you if I go because I will send the Comforter.” I often think “it is NOT better for you to go because I cannot see or hear the Holy Spirit.”

2. God is “Silent” in My Life

I believe that naked belief (i.e., without empirical experience) is what God calls on us to have right now. We do have to “limp” through this life without having seen God or Jesus, yet believe in him. I don’t have any perfectly sound theological reason why God is not more empirically evident in our lives (though I will give some thoughts below). My more charismatic friends would disagree, as you probably know. However, I have called and called to God to show himself to me. In my darkest times (and against my better theological judgement), I have groped for a sign of his presence, love, even his very existence! Angels, Jesus, a sound, or some type of miracle would be sufficient. I remember two years ago when I was going through my depression. I stayed up all night crying, sitting in my car in the garage yelling at God, asking him to just do something – anything! The silence at that time was deafening. It was painful. It hurt my feelings at a very deep level that the all-powerful God would not perform the simplest of tasks. I thought, “God, if you are so great and love me so much why are you so silent? Why now? Why when I am this depressed? Just do something!”

3. We Only Have Rumors of Another World

But I think the empirical silence of God is normative for the Christian life. Philip Yancey says that we have to work with “rumors of another world.” In fact, ironically, if God were not empirically silent, the Bible would be in error. Peter says, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:8-9; emphasis mine). You see, Peter here assumes that those in his day – even those so close to the life and death of Christ – have not seen Christ (or God or the Holy Spirit). Peter’s point would be moot if he did not mean to include all other forms of experiencing God empirically. The fact is that when Christ ascended into heaven, that was the last we have seen or heard from him in such a way. The door to the “other side” was shut.

Book Recommendation: Rumors of a Another World by Philip Yancey

4. We Should Never Expect to See or Hear God

If Peter’s statement was not enough, the Apostle Paul also says that the Christian life is a life following after the unseen: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). He goes on by telling us that we “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Christ even told Thomas, who needed to see him before he believed, ”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29; emphasis mine). The “those who have not seen” are us, and we are many. John could not be more clear here: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20, emphasis mine). John does not say, “whom he has probably not seen.” He works under the assumption that everyone reading his letter has not seen God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and (if I can be so bold) the “other side.” Finally, the author of Hebrews defines faith as something hoped for which is not seen: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1; emphasis mine). The very definition of our faith is that we have conviction about truths that cannot be empirically verified. This does not mean that faith is irrational. It just means that we should not expect to have it verified through our senses.


Faith is not irrational; but we should not expect to have it verified through our senses.
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5. We Should Expect to See and Hear God

I am not saying that I have not seen God work in my life. I certainly have. However, my thinking and interpretation of his “movements” is possessed by my belief that he is moving in my life in non-dramatic ways. I see him in everything. I see him even in this email you sent to me. I believe that it is a “God thing.” Why? Because I am convinced of the central truths of Christianity and the reliability of the Bible. I feed off of this (even though I would rather have a periodic conversation with Christ face to face). We work with what we got: trusting God knows what he is doing. So we should expect to see and hear God if it is through his movements.

6. We Need an Empirical Breach from God

However, I do believe that the silence of God serves a definite purpose. God’s silence, ironically, may serve to keep us productive in this life. It may keep us from (and I am getting dramatic here) committing suicide. Let me illustrate (as I have done before) by referencing my favorite show Justice League! It was an episode where Flash went so fast that he actually began to die and cross over to the “other side.” The molecules in his body were completely unstable and he was stuck between this world and the next. When prodded to come back, Flash had a hard time. He said, “But it is so beautiful over here.” Watch it here:

You see, the lines were blurred between this life and the next and Flash wanted to go to the next. He could not concentrate on this world any longer due to his exposure to the next. In other words, he wanted to die due to his empirical experience on the “other side.” He needed to have an experiential breach between this life and the next in order to remain here and accomplish his mission (gettin’ them bad guys). When “rumors of another world” turns into “experience of the other world,” we lose sight of this world.

I don’t think this story is too far from reality. You and I also need an experiential (empirical) breach from the “other side.” We need not to see Jesus. We need not to talk to Jesus. We need not to hear Jesus.

7. The Disciples Knew Jesus (And Wanted to Die with Him)

Let’s look at the example of the Disciples of Christ. The Disciples, understandably, did not want Jesus to die. When he spoke of his death, they were so bold as to desire to die with him. When Thomas – doubting Thomas, of all people! – thought Jesus was going to die, he said to the other disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (John 11:16). I love it! A call for death in the name of the Lord! What a simple faith this expresses. Peter was no different when he said “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”(Lk. 22:33). All who were with Jesus had empirical evidence of the “other side” in the person of Christ and they were not willing to let that go, even to death. In Acts 1:6, they still had hope that Christ had blurred the lines permanently: “Is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” But they had to watch as Christ was taken into the sky, never to be seen again until his second coming (Acts 1:9-11). The point is that the disciples would have gladly gone on a suicide mission with Christ if it meant a continuation of their exposure to the “other side” in the person of Christ.


The disciples would have gladly gone on a suicide mission with Christ.
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7. If God Were Not Hidden, We May Want to Die

You and I would do the same. Were God to show himself in the ways we so often think he should – were he to do things the way we would do them – we would probably never be able to accomplish our mission. We would continually be wanting to die in order to cross over. We would be like Flash, having empirical involvement in the world to come, but still having one foot in the current world. However, unlike Flash (who had Superman and Wonder Woman pulling him back!), we most definitely would cross over. Why wouldn’t we? The mysterious would be unmysterious. The lines between this life and the next would be so blurred that we would not hesitate to take that extra step of death, even by our own hand. At the very least, if God were to talk to us face to face, we would never get enough.


if God were to talk to us face to face, we would never get enough.
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While I don’t claim to have all the answers as to why God does not allow us to experience him in such empirical ways, I suspect there is some truth to what I have said here. It is odd to say, but God’s silence may actually preserve his mission for us. The ability to be stable here in this life is actually facilitated by God’s (empirical) silence. I am not saying this is the only reason God is silent, but it does make sense.

Most importantly, while we should not expect to see God with our eyes nor hear him with our ears, God is not ignoring us. His presence is evident and he is not silent. He just moves in very unconventional ways!

Keep the faith my brother. If Christ rose from the grave, then we will one day see him face to face. Until then we must fight the good fight and run the race with our eyes set on the future.

Book Recommendation: Now that I’m a Christian (my book that has a long section on doubt and suffering)

The post Why is God Silent? A New Look at an Old Problem appeared first on Parchment and Pen Blog.


Blogs

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)
Elisabeth Elliot died yesterday aged 88. As Justin says, “of whom the world was not worthy.”

What’s Up with the Witch of Endor? | The Gospel Coalition
I’m enjoying this series on interpreting difficult passages from TGC. Even when I don’t agree with the conclusions (as in this case), it’s still helpful to see how others wrestle with the biblical text in a God-honoring way.

How pastors save their people (and yes, they really do save them). | Denny Burk
And here Denny goes to the mat with a difficult NT text.

Foot of the Mountain: PCA hotly debates delaying formal acknowledgement of racism and the end is EPIC
Beautiful ending! This kind of thing rarely happens at denominational gatherings.

A Multiplicity of Mentors – Feeding on Christ
Nick Batzig comes back from the same Assembly with an appeal to young pastors (and others) to seek out multiple mentors.

Tweets Set on Fire By Hell | Nathan W. Bingham
Nathan Bingham applies James 3 to social media.

Christians Need To Stop Playing The Self-Flagellation Game
“The solution to a culture that won’t heed the church’s words is simply to keep speaking them, trusting that the same Holy Spirit who created faith in the hearts of tax collectors, prostitutes, and Christ-hating-Pharisees will continue to do so today.”

Happiness Honors the King | Desiring God
David Mathis says “There is no biblical distinction between happiness and joy.” I agree, the biblical distinction is between good happiness (or joy) and bad happiness (or joy).


The Daily Discovery (June 16, 2015)

Christians Need To Stop Playing The Self-Flagellation Game – “Leftists love the self-flagellation game, a fun little exercise where you gather in a circle with people of your tribe, say you’re going to punish yourself for causing some problem in the world, and then whip the tar out of the guy standing next to you. Technically, of course, this is not self-flagellation. But that’s the fun part. As long as you act like you’re tearing up your own flesh, you can give as many lashes as you want to the guy that you think is really guilty of the transgression.”

Outrage! Young Boy at ‘Pride’ Event Praised by LGBTs for Dancing Sexually to ‘Fight Homophobia’ – This is further proof that the homosexual movement is not about equality, but about the normalization of sexual perversion. It also reveals that it is just a matter of time before pedophilia will be promoted under the “LGBT’ banner in the U.S. In many countries it already is.

Regeneration and Hypergrace – “Where does a believer’s obedience come from? How does he shed the grave clothes of his former life—old habits, the pull of persistent temptations, and corrupt patterns of thought and behavior—and live a righteous life in Christ?”

Most Expect Gay Marriage Will Sweep the US – “Most Americans — including people from every major religious group — predict gay marriage will be legalized nationwide when a hotly anticipated Supreme Court ruling is announced later this month.”

Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible? – “There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not Bono, U2 front man and one of the world’s most recognized rock stars, is an authentic Christian, although he states that he is. Many Bible believing Christians have looked at the evidence and have come out and said that, although he professes Christ, he’s not a true Christian.”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – Paul’s Transformation [Part 2]


VIDEOS:

Have you repented enough?

The Cross Preachers Ignore


“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


Saving Satan?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  If Satan was created by God he is one of his children, even though fallen.  If at a certain time, Satan sees he has lost and the power of God’s love prevails, could he not surrender and beg forgiveness and be saved?

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Who or What Is “The Perfect” ?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  With all the debate about spiritual gifts going on in the church. I have a question.  What is the definition of “the Perfect” in 1 Cor 13:10?  Some say the canonized bible, others say the Holy Ghost and still others the Kingdom of heaven.  What is your  interpretation?

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How Long Was A Day?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Thank you for this great site. My question is about the creation. The sun and the moon were created on the 4th day, and this then would establish a day as being 24 hours. How do we know the length of the first 3 days? Could this be a partial explanation of the debate over the age of the earth? I believe that, no matter what, God created the earth and sent Jesus to die for my sins but am curious about if there is some way to know how long a day was before there was a sun or moon. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

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
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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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Praising a Matriarch: The Honoring of Elisabeth Elliot

Unfathomable Grace

It was Jim Elliot, the famous missionary aviator to Ecuador, who said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This he said while a relatively young man before he was tragically killed in 1956 by the Auca indians he hoped to introduce to his Lord.

Following his death, Elisabeth, his wife, picked up the mantel of her husband and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. For the next sixty years she carried the cross of Christ around the world. She was a most profitable writer and speaker. And yesterday, June 15, 2015, at the age of 88, she was taken home to glory where she was able to see the faces of her four husbands — Jim, Addison, Lars, and Jesus.

So, heaven has received a truly beautiful woman, but the church has lost an incredible matriarch. Therefore, in an attempt to be one of her…

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Apologetics 315: Suggested Readings: Recommended Book Directory

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Here is a wonderful resource from Apologetics 315. Want to start learning about apologetics but not sure how to get started? Remember, if you are trying to spend all your time answering memes on the internet, or you are trying to answer someone in facebook discussion groups who haven’t read nor studied any of the major apologetic works, you may be wasting a lot of time. My advice is to pull back and spend more time studying. Also, you may be better off learning the material and discipling others. Also, note that we have our own suggested readings here:   Anyway: Here are some resources:

Beginner Apologetics
Know Why You Believe – Paul Little (review)
*On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision – William Lane Craig
*The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel
*A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics – James Sire…

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Perseverance of the Saints: God Ordains Both the Means and the End

The Reformed Reader

Recently I was asked by a person about the Reformed (and I would argue ‘biblical’) claim that the elect cannot fall away and perish eternally. The Canons of Dort say that though the saints can and do oftentimes fall into grievous sins, suspend the exercise of faith, wound their consciences, and lose the assurance of grace for a time (COD V.5), they will never fall away completely for God promises to renew them to repentance:

For God, who is rich in mercy, according to his unchangeable purpose of election does not take his Holy Spirit from his own completely,even when they fall grievously. Neither does he let them fall down so far that they forfeit the grace of adoption and the state of justification, or commit the sin which leads to death (the sin against the Holy Spirit), and plunge themselves, entirely forsaken by him, into eternal ruin. (COD V.6)

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