Daily Archives: June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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Jun. 18, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The fatal shooting by a white gunman of nine people in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, will be investigated as a possible hate crime by federal authorities. Police Chief Greg Mullen said three men and six women were killed Wednesday night, and there were three survivors inside the church.

The U.S. plans to feature a woman on its currency for the first time since Martha Washington adorned silver certificates more than a century ago. Treasury Secretary Lew and his advisers will solicit public comment at town hall meetings and other events in coming months about the planned redesign of the $10 bill and announce the selection later this year,

Republican Senator Rand Paul’s plan to overhaul the U.S. tax system calls for a 14.5 percent federal flat tax for consumers and companies, the elimination of almost all deductions and the abolition of several other levies. “My tax plan would blow up the tax code and start over.”

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said Greece won’t be given a grace period if it fails to make a payment at the end of the month as Chancellor Angela Merkel said there’s still time to reach a deal on aid.

Consumer confidence stabilized after falling a record nine straight weeks as Americans became less downbeat about the economy.

The IRS recently released its latest income data on U.S. households. The numbers, which go through 2012, show that the top sliver of taxpayers recovered quickly from the recession. That’s not what happened for everyone else.

The cost of living in the U.S. excluding food and fuel rose less than forecast in May, a sign inflation may take time to meet the Federal Reserve’s goal. The so-called core measure increased 0.1 percent, the smallest gain this year.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, a sign labor market momentum continues to strengthen. Jobless claims declined by 12,000 to 267,000 in the period ended June 13, the lowest since the week ended May 9.

Candidates had to wait about 22.9 days for an offer or rejection in 2014, up from 12.6 days four years earlier, according to survey data from online job-search network Glassdoor Inc.

AP Top Stories

The Philippines is to hold simultaneous naval drills next week with key allies the United States and Japan, the military said Thursday, as Chinese building continues on the disputed South China Sea reefs.

R.I. – More than a dozen children at a day care have been given preventative antibiotics as a precaution after a toddler there died of a suspected bacterial infection.

The United States and its allies are weighing the possibility that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may soon narrow his focus on defense of more limited areas of the country.

Chad said its warplanes bombed Boko Haram positions in neighboring Nigeria to avenge twin suicide bombings in the capital this week blamed on the jihadists.

Despite White House veto threats, the House is ready to vote to repeal taxes on medical devices and kill a Medicare advisory board that foes say would ration health care as the chamber aims its latest whack at President Barack Obama’s health care law.

China’s government has passed new guidelines requiring civilian shipbuilders to ensure their vessels can be used by the military in the event of conflict, state-run media said on Thursday.

A Catholic church near the Sea of Galilee frequented by religious pilgrims and tourists was heavily damaged by fire Thursday in a possible attack by Jewish extremists.

Bank repossessions rose last month, driving overall U.S. foreclosure activity to a 19-month high on an annual basis. A total of 126,868 homes across the country were in the foreclosure process in May, up 1 percent from April and up 16 percent from the same time last year

U.S. consumer prices in May recorded their largest increase in more than two years as gasoline prices surged, suggesting an energy-driven disinflationary trend had probably run its course.

BBC

Police in the Mexican city of Reynosa in north-eastern state Tamaulipas state have dismantled 39 surveillance video cameras installed by a local gang. The cameras were used to monitor the movements of the security forces.

Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Farc, has blown up a pipeline leaving at least 16,000 people without water, authorities said.

An attack by suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters in Niger has killed at least 38 people.

Pope Francis has blamed human selfishness for global warming in his long-awaited encyclical calling for action on climate change. He urged the rich to change their lifestyles to avert the destruction of the ecosystem.

WND

A former Boy Scout confessed in emotionally charged Newton, New Jersey court testimony to killing his former troop leader, but said it was due to the repeated sexual abuse and rape he suffered at the hands of the man, beginning at the tender age of 8.

A few congressmen are fighting to block the planned importation of thousands of Syrian refugees into American cities and towns, arguing that they present a grave security risk because many Syrians have ties to the Sunni rebel groups ISIS and al-Nusra Front.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, donated $5 million to help illegal immigrants living in the San Francisco Bay area attend college.

UK – Traditional Christian teaching could effectively be “criminalized” in some settings under David Cameron’s plans for new anti-extremist banning orders, a top Anglican theologian warned.

Eating up to 100 g of chocolate every day is linked to lowered heart disease and stroke risk, finds research published online in the journal Heart.


Top News – 6/18/2015

Villagers fear earthquake gods still angry after ‘blue lights’ appear over Mount Kinabalu
“The sky was bright as if there was a rainbow, but unlike a rainbow, it was all striking blue. We have not seen anything like this before.” The blue rays are known as the ‘blue rainbow’ and are believed to be a phenomenon that is usually associated with areas recently hit by earthquakes.

The Next Great European Financial Crisis Has Begun
The Greek financial system is in the process of totally imploding, and the rest of Europe will soon follow. Neither the Greeks nor the Germans are willing to give in, and that means that there is very little chance that a debt deal is going to happen by the end of June.

7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mid-Atlantic Ridge
The U.S. Geological Survey says a strong earthquake struck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday morning, but a tsunami is not expected.

Army shipped live anthrax for 10 years, couldn’t effectively kill bacteria – CDC
A US Army research facility mistakenly shipped live anthrax to labs in the US and abroad for more than 10 years because of ineffective sterilization methods for killing the deadly bacteria, according to a federal report obtained by USA Today.

SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION MISSES EARTH
Departing sunspot AR2365 erupted on June 18th at 0130UT, producing a spectacular prominence on the sun’s western limb. Debris from the explosion flew away from the sun in the form of a massive CME. The storm cloud is moving well off the sun-Earth line, however, and is not expected to hit our planet.

US to abandon Chinese-owned Waldorf at UN General Assembly
The State Department is bailing out on a decades-long tradition of putting up US diplomats at The Waldorf-Astoria only months after it was sold to a Chinese company.

What happens when an entire country becomes infested with demons?
Can a country with deep Christian roots like Mexico find itself at the mercy of demons? Some in the Church fear so. And as a result, they called for a nation-wide exorcism of Mexico, carried out quietly last month in the cathedral of San Luis Potosí. High levels of violence, as well as drug cartels and abortion in the country, were the motivation behind the special rite of exorcism, known as “Exorcismo Magno.”

Inside Islamic State group’s rule: Creating a nation of fear
Inside the Islamic State’s realm, the paper testifying that you have “repented” from your heretical past must be carried at all times. Many people laminate it just to be safe. It can mean the difference between life and death.

Number displaced worldwide hits record high – UN report
The number of people displaced by war, conflict or persecution reached a record high of nearly 60 million around the world in 2014, a UN report says. The document by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says the number of people forced to flee their homes rose by 8.3 million from the previous year.

Islamic State car bombs kill or injure 50 in Yemeni capital
Car bombs killed or injured at least 50 people near mosques and the headquarters of Yemen’s dominant Houthi group in Sanaa on Wednesday, in coordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State.

Southern Baptists urged to reject any laws legalizing gay marriage
Prepare for civil disobedience. That’s the message one prominent pastor is sending to some 16 million members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas, said American Christians should be prepared for massive fallout if the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex unions.

Iranian women are taking to social media to declare freedom from hijab
What began as a humble post by a journalist online is sparking a quiet movement in Tehran. “My Stealthy Freedom,” a Facebook page created by an Iranian journalist and activist, is being amplified by the public support of Iranians who are taking part in its powerful message: shed the compulsory hijab in a country where it is illegal to do so.

An Overstretched Hezbollah Facing an Israeli Preemptive Strike?
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says his group is currently involved in an “existential battle” against insurgents inside Syria. While reports maintain that Hezbollah is currently winning the decisive battle in Qalamoun, on the Lebanese eastern border, analysts believe they are showing signs of being stretched thin. This situation can only worsen, as the group plans to expand and intensify its operations deep inside Syria, from the Lebanon-Syria border as far as Aleppo.


Top Headlines – 6/18/2015

Peres: We shouldn’t go it alone against Iran

Kerry raises eyebrows with remarks on Iran’s past military work

AIPAC calls Kerry’s Iran remarks ‘disturbing’

Israel accuses UN children’s rights envoy of bias

Palestinian unity government resigns, Abbas adviser says

Hamas denies reaching long-term ceasefire agreement with Israel

US, Israel to cooperate on tunnel warfare research and development project

New video exposes provocation leading up to IDF soldiers beating Palestinian man

Police heighten security in Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan

Extremists threaten to burn Talmud, rip Israeli flag, at London march in Jewish neighborhood

Galilee church where Jesus ‘fed the 5000’ gutted in arson attack

‘Christian pilgrims reconsidering visits to Israel after suspected church arson’

Rabbi Eckstein: Church arson a result of xenophobia which increasingly dominates society

Michael Douglas: Israel has every reason to be paranoid

Swedish supermarkets back out of Israel boycott after media campaign

Syrian rebels surround Druze village on Israeli border

DIA Director sees Iraq as ‘quagmire,’ but strikes term from testimony

FBI in Midst of Broad Campaign to Disrupt ISIS, Sources Say

Islamic State says shot down Iraqi fighter plane

UN calls for Yemen food imports to resume as half of population go hungry

Al Qaeda reportedly executes 2 accused spies in Yemen after U.S. attack

Dozens of casualties as Yemen car bombs hit mosques, Houthi HQ

Islamic state in Yemen claims responsibility for car bombs in capital

Bahrain says seizes explosives intended for use in Saudi Arabia

Qatar calls for release of Mursi

Mursi’s death penalty a blow to democracy

Chad bombs Boko Haram bases in Nigeria after suicide attacks

Security forces foil suicide attack in Somali town

EU Commission Critical of Hungary’s Anti-Migrant Fence

Serbia ‘shocked’ by Hungary’s plans to build border fence

Russia may toughen counter-sanctions over Ukraine – Kremlin aide

Russia not acting like responsible nuclear power, NATO commander says

Khodorksovsky: Putin’s confrontation with West ‘artificial’

Kremlin officials say Russian nuclear buildup is forced by West

Report: Russian Military Developing Anti-Drone ‘Microwave Gun’

World’s displaced hits record high of 60 mln, half of them children – UN

9 dead in ‘hate crime’ shooting at historic African American church in Charleston

Manhunt on for gunman who killed 9 at South Carolina church prayer meeting

Police: Shooter at South Carolina church sat with churchgoers before opening fire

Bomb threat reported near scene of Charleston church shooting

Self-driving cars may have to be programmed to kill you

Australia’s robot-led future puts squeeze on humans

Delivery by drone in 30 minutes? Amazon says it’s coming

Canada government websites taken down in cyber attack

IG: IRS failed to upgrade security ahead of cyberattack

N.Y. State Senator Proposes Using GPS Implants To Track Violent Convicts

Who owns your face? Weak laws give power to Facebook

Utah University Adds Texting and Walking Lane to Its Stairs

GOP leaders vow to resurrect Obama trade deal

Jeff Sessions on Obamatrade’s ‘New Pacific Union’ Like the EU: Something America Has ‘Never Seen’ Before

Hannity On Trade: GOP Leadership ‘Selling Out American Sovereignty’

Sessions: Fast Track Would Lead to 3 Pacts Encompassing 90% of World GDP

U.S. foreclosure activity up in May as bank repossessions rise

‘Foreign shocks’ could harm US financial stability: Lew

Greek debt crisis: Battle of nerves as rhetoric spirals

Swiss central bank holds fire on rates, cautions on Greece

Jimmy Lee, Key Banker for Media Deals, Dies Suddenly at 62

Spectacular solar explosion from departing sunspot misses Earth

Look to the evening sky as Venus and Jupiter converge over the next two weeks

7.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits Tobelo, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Little Sitkin Island, Alaska

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Farallon de Pajaros, Northern Mariana Islands

Origins of Red Sea’s ‘cannon earthquakes’ revealed in new study

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Restless Volcano Cotopaxi Puts Ecuador on Edge Once More

Midwest braces for tropical storm remnants; Texas spared brunt of system

Father’s Day Outlook: Storms to Drench Northeast; Record Heat to Blast South

Community, farmers face water cut-off after California drought decision

Cleaner air would save two million lives a year: study

Pope Francis: ‘Revolution’ needed to combat climate change

Largest Toxic Algae Bloom recorded along West Coast in 15 years

What to do with all the dead fish? Officials scramble for solutions in the wake of another fish kill

EU lawmakers back animal cloning ban

WHO tells South Korea public risk to MERS is low as death toll hits 23

Thailand confirms first MERS case: health ministry

Activists struggle to replace state in fight with Russian AIDS epidemic

Report: Drug overdose death rates increase in 26 states

Jeb Bush says he would witness gay wedding if asked

Southern Baptists urged to reject any laws legalizing gay marriage

Americans’ confidence in religion hits a new low

In Uganda, desire for money, power behind child sacrifices

9 dead in ‘hate crime’ shooting at historic African American church in Charleston

For God so loved the world that he gave us TB Joshua

How To Hire A Pastor: The Best Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Pastor

Southern Baptists urged to reject any laws legalizing gay marriage

Americans Are Less Confident In Organized Religion Than Ever Before: Gallup Survey

Facing backlash, US Muslims counter with new advertising campaign


Daily Digest

June 18, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” —James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

EPA Causing This Summer’s Rising Electricity Rates

Due to EPA regulations, you’ll start to notice that your electricity bill is more expensive this summer. The Energy Information Administration predicted that Americans will spend 4.8% more on electricity this year than the last. Is global warming causing air conditioners to run more? Nah, it’s just EPA regulations that are causing power plants to close because they are not deemed green enough. “Consumers are receiving the dim news as utilities take tens of thousands of megawatts of coal-generated power offline to comply with a host of EPA regulations and because of the sharp increase in cheap, domestic natural gas,” The Washington Times reports. “Regulations such as the EPA’s mercury and air toxic standards already are having an effect on the power sector, utilities and analysts say, and the impact will be greater after the agency releases further limits on carbon emissions from power plants this summer.” The EPA argues the effects will be minuscule — people will hardly notice the bill. It’s all part of a fight against the boogey man of “global warming,” and old electricity plants must shutter to make way for politically correct plants — an expensive undertaking. But when has the EPA ever acted in the best interests of U.S. citizens?

Donald Trump Brings Levity to Presidential Race

Donald Trump would be a mere sideshow curiosity in the 2016 elections if it were not for his name recognition and entertainment factor. According to Real Clear Politics, Trump is polling higher than Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and Bobby Jindal. But even if he’s fired in the end — and we hope he is — he will provide some much-needed humor. After Tuesday’s announcement, Politico pulled Trump’s 10 best lines. Notably, however, Politico missed the best one: “When did we beat Japan at anything?” Well, there was that whole WWII thing in the Pacific… But to put things in perspective, as absurd as the Trump vanity campaign is, he is far more qualified than Barack Obama was in 2009 — or today! For example, Obama put Joe Biden on his ticket. When Trump was asked who he wanted as a running mate, he replied, “I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah.” Frankly, presidential elections could use a little levity. It’s been a long time since the last billionaire vanity campaign kept us amused, compliments of Ross Perot!

White Male Targets Blacks in Charleston

A young white male in his early 20s murdered nine blacks who were attending a Wednesday night prayer service in Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It’s still a developing story, as the murderer has not yet been apprehended and the names of the victims have not yet been disclosed, but according to Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, “We believe this is a hate crime; that is how we are investigating it.” But already some anti-Second Amendment crusaders are exploiting the tragedy to advance their pet policy proposals. Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley was the first to do so, wasting no time advocating for greater gun control as a diversionary ploy. “I personally believe there are far too many guns out there, and access to guns, it’s far too easy,” he said. “Our society has not been able to deal with that yet.” Make no mistake: This story is newsworthy. But it’s also worth noting that, on average, there are between 30 and 40 homicides every day in America, most of which are black-on-black. If “black lives matter” to the Leftmedia, why aren’t these other victims covered in the news?

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Fathers and Freedom: Irrevocably Linked, a treatise on fathering, children without fathers, and the Left’s agenda to undermine marriage.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

EPA Thinks Regulation Leads to Economic Growth

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In the early days, fighting “global warming” was environmentally responsible; fast-forward a few years, and addressing “climate change” was socially just. Now, with only so much rhetoric left in the eco-friendly arsenal, battling supposed anthropogenic climate change has become economically advantageous.

At least, that’s what EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy argues in a piece published this week on Medium, in which she claims the administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) — a pleasant sounding name for sweeping additional government regulations of carbon emissions — is important to America’s economic strength. Notwithstanding the fact this administration doesn’t have the best track record on policies leading to economic robustness, McCarthy points to a study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute that found “the CPP is likely to lead to a net increase of roughly 360,000 jobs in 2020, but that the net job creation falls relatively rapidly thereafter, with net employment gains of roughly 15,000 jobs in 2030.”

Those jobs are the new regulators who will be hired to enforce the new regulations, nothing more.

In other words, forget hoping a free market will drive economic growth; what’s really needed is new regulations on carbon emissions! As McCarthy writes, “When we set ground rules to limit carbon pollution, we send a long-term market signal that propels innovation and investment in cleaner energy technologies, expanding new industries and creating good-paying jobs.” She’s right that the administration is sending a market signal, but it’s not the one she claims.

Indeed, according to labor union leader Cecil Roberts, president of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), “The proposed rule … will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.” The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers echoed this concern, cautioning against “focus[ing] solely on the environmental aspect of public policy at the expense of balancing our nation’s economic and energy needs” and noting, “The jobs of thousands of working men and women and the well-being of their communities are also worthy of saving.”

Furthermore, per a study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, CPP’s regulations “threaten to suppress average annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $51 billion and lead to an average of 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs every year through 2030, relative to baseline economic forecasts.” And according to The Heritage Foundation, the economic impact would be even worse, with EPA regulations eliminating an average of $155 billion annually in GDP through 2030.

Of course, before the EPA rams regulations down the nation’s throat, the administration wants to hear from Americans — sort of. When the public comment period opened regarding the then-proposed regulations on coal power plants last year, McCarthy wrote, “We expect great feedback at these sessions. And unfortunately, we also expect a healthy dose of the same tired, false and worn out criticism that commonsense EPA action is bad for the economy.” Ah, yes, agree with us or else you’re wrong.

But as Brooking Institution Fellow Phil Wallach wrote in Newsweek, by the time the comment period closed in December 2014 more than four million comments had been submitted. By comparison, Clean Air Act regulations usually garner a few dozen to a hundred. Instead of ceding that millions of Americans may have serious concerns with CPP, however, Wallach proposed that the “barriers to ‘participating'” in commenting might be a “bit higher, thereby saving our public servants a great deal of unnecessary work.” Yes, nothing like wasting the government’s time addressing the people’s tired, false and worn out petitions.

Public concern notwithstanding, the administration is plowing ahead with CPP, effectively claiming that by picking winners (solar and wind energy) and losers (fossil fuels, including petroleum, coal and natural gas) Washington regulators can create a strong economy. Because, you know, this approach has worked oh so well before.

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “In 1945, after some 60 million had perished in World War II, the Western democracies blamed themselves for having appeased and empowered fascist empires. That sadder but wiser generation taught us two lessons: Small sacrifices now can avoid catastrophic ones later on, and dictatorial regimes on a roll never voluntarily quit playing geostrategic poker. If the present trajectories continue, a reconfigured Middle East will be bookended by radical Islamic empires — the Islamic State caliphate and a new Persian empire. China will control most of the Pacific and adjudicate trade, commerce and politics west of Hawaii and to the south and east of India. The client states of a new Russian empire will border central Europe and be under constant pressure to leave the EU, NATO or both. How does all this end? One of two ways. America and its allies can reawaken, gradually restore deterrence and re-establish the old postwar order without a global war. Or the United States will not be bothered — at least until this new generation of dictators bothers us at home.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.” —American journalist William Allen White (1868-1944)

Upright: “The Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority nor is the culture itself.” —Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, on the church’s resolution on same sex marriage: “Resolved, that Southern Baptists recognize that no governing institution has the authority to negate or usurp God’s definition of marriage; and be it further resolved no matter how the Supreme Court rules, the Southern Baptist Convention reaffirms its unwavering commitment to its doctrinal and public beliefs concerning marriage.”

Alpha Jackass: “As hard as it is to believe, [Republicans] continue to deny the reality of climate change. They also deny gravity. But they also deny there is such a thing as climate change. That’s the problem. The point is the safety and security of the United States of America and every community across the country.” —Joe Biden

Non Compos Mentis: “I finally had a chance to read Caitlyn Jenner’s piece in the magazine. … I cried. Because I resonated with some of the themes of isolation, of being misunderstood — to not know if you have a conversation with somebody, will that relationship then end because they have seen you as one way.” —Rachel Doleful

Annals of the absurd: “[W]e’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what [it] did at one point in time or another. … What we’re concerned about is going forward. It’s critical to us to know that going forward, those activities have been stopped and that we can account for that in a legitimate way.” —John Kerry

Village Idiots: “I hope that at the end of my two terms as president, I will have overseen an even bigger peacetime expansion of the economy than my husband did.” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “We’re coming up with new things to be offended by at a much quicker rate than we’re retiring old things. This is not sustainable.” —Frank Fleming

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


The Briefing

1) Culture no longer asks ‘whether’ but ‘when’ gender reassignment should occur

The New Girl in School: Transgender Surgery at 18, New York Times (Anemona Hartocollis)

Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution, Wall Street Journal (Paul McHugh)

2) Rachel Dolezal furor reveals race as far more fixed than gender in modern society

Rachel Dolezal, in Center of Storm, Is Defiant: ‘I Identify as Black’, New York Times (Kirk Johnson, Richard Pérez-Peña, and John Eligon)

Black Like Who? Rachel Dolezal’s Harmful Masquerade, New York Times (Tamara Winfrey Harris)

3) 200th anniversary of Waterloo reminder of the sin of hubris

Battle of Waterloo, Wikipedia

In other news…

How Contraception Transformed the American Family, The Atlantic (Martha J. Bailey)

Meet the New Common Core, New York Times (Jordan Ellenberg)
Benedict Option Baptists, American Conservative (Rod Dreher)

California Has Never Experienced A Water Crisis Of This Magnitude – And The Worst Is Yet To Come

U.S. Drought Monitor June 9Things have never been this dry for this long in the recorded history of the state of California, and this has created an unprecedented water crisis.  At this point, 1,900 wells have already gone completely dry in California, and some communities are not receiving any more water at all.  As you read this article, 100 percent of the state is in some stage of drought, and there has been so little precipitation this year that some young children have never actually seen rain.  This is already the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state of California, but this may only be just the beginning.  Scientists tell us that the amount of rain that California received during the 20th century was highly unusual.  In fact, they tell us that it was the wettest century for the state in at least 1000 years.  Now that things are returning to “normal”, the state is completely and total unprepared for it.  California has never experienced a water crisis of this magnitude, and other states in the western half of the nation are starting to really suffer as well.  In the end, we could very well be headed for the worst water crisis this country has ever seen. (Read More…)


The Economic Depression In Greece Deepens As Tsipras Prepares To Deliver ‘The Great No’

No Cards - Public DomainAs Greece plunges even deeper into economic chaos, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that his government is prepared to respond to the demands of the EU and the IMF with “the great no” and that his party will accept responsibility for whatever consequences follow.  Despite years of intervention from the rest of Europe, Greece is a bigger economic mess today than ever.  Greek GDP has shrunk by 26 percent since 2008, the national debt to GDP ratio in Greece is up to a staggering 175 percent, and the unemployment rate is up above 25 percent.  Greek stocks are crashing and Greek bond yields are shooting into the stratosphere.  Meanwhile, the banking system is essentially on life support at this point.  400 million euros were pulled out of Greek banks on Monday alone.  No matter what happens in the coming days, many believe that it is now only a matter of time before capital controls like we saw in Cyprus are imposed. (Read More….)


Author(s): Phyllis Schlafly

 
On Friday, Congress disrupted President Obama’s plan for a sweeping transfer of U.S. sovereignty to an unaccountable group of foreign busybodies. Hurray for the stalwart Americans who resisted the demands of Obama, the Republican leadership, and the big-donor claque, but Speaker Boehner plans to give Congress another chance this week to make this dangerous mistake. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would turn over to globalists the power to issue regulations about U.S. trade, immigration, the environment, labor and commerce. It’s called a “living agreement” which means the globalists can…
 


Americans’ confidence in religion hits a new low

Americans have less confidence in organized religion today than ever measured before — a sign that the church could be “losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture,” a new Gallup survey finds. (Grossman, Religion News Service)

Read more


Michael Oren sees a US alliance in tatters, and Israel ‘on our own’

Obama is one challenge. The press is another challenge. The American Jewish community is another challenge. What isn’t a challenge? There are objective challenges. There is America that is starting 2009 in the depths of the worst financial crisis since the Depression. There is America that is bogged down in political polarization such as they’ve never experienced. Nothing can get done. There is America that is traumatized by two wars in the Middle East, exhausted. It doesn’t like to hear about the Middle East. It’s sick of us, wants to go home.

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Study Marxism to Understand Hillary

I interviewed Olson on December 8, 2000, when I hosted a radio show in the Washington, D.C. area. What follows is an edited transcript of that interview.

Q: Do you believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Marxist?

A: I believe she has a political ideology that has its roots in Marxism. In her formative years, Marxism was a very important part of her ideology…But when you look at her ideas on health and education, you see more government and less individual control. You see very little regard for families…

Q: Do you see Hillary as in favor of Socialist-style thinking at the global level?

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Global Trends 2020

In Mr. Bremmer’s estimation, there were really only three options left for the United States, and we must decide which of the three the collective we, need to choose if we want to retain the title, superpower. So boiling down Mr. Bremmer’s three estimations into bite-sized reading, we ultimately come down to these three options, plus adding the bottom line pros and cons of each position.

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10 Ways the World is Biased Against Israel

It’s appalling to see how Israel is treated by a totally different standard than other countries in the international system. Of course, Israel deserves scrutiny, as does every other nation. But it also merits equal treatment — nothing more, nothing less.

First, Israel is the only UN member state whose very right to exist is under constant challenge.

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Pope Francis Calls for a New Global Political Authority

Pope Francis says that global warming is a fact and that a new global political authority is necessary in order to save humanity from utter disaster. The new encyclical that was scheduled to be released on Thursday has been leaked, and it is being reported that this new global political authority that Pope Francis envisions would be in charge of  . . .

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Imported Muslims arriving now in these U.S. cities

Since January, more than 70 U.S. cities have been on the receiving end of a Syrian visitation.

WND has compiled a complete list of cities (see chart below) that received Syrian refugees since Jan. 1. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has as many as 11,000 Syrians in a pipeline waiting for admission into the U.S., which is responsible for screening them for criminal and terrorist activity.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, wrote President Obama warning that the Syrian refugee program could become a ‘back door for jihadists” to enter the U.S.

And therein lies the problem.

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Former Israeli Ambassador: Obama Has a Problem–with America

Struggling to understand how Obama, Oren says–could adopt policies and postures so hostile to the Jewish state, Oren turns to Obama’s first memoir, Dreams from My Father.

What he reads shocks him:

More alarming for me still were Obama’s attitudes towards America. Vainly, I scoured Dreams from My Father for some expression of reverence, even respect, for the country its author would someday lead. Instead, the book criticizes Americans for their capitalism and consumer culture, for despoiling their environment and maintaining antiquated power structures.

View Article


The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide and Brainwashing

http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/08/how-to-escape-the-age-of-mass-delusion/


Conservative Betrayal: Republican Leadership Now Doing Obama’s Dirty Work For Him

The House is on the brink of scheduling a standalone vote on giving President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority without accompanying worker assistance legislation, according to multiple sources familiar with the plan.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When voters handed the GOP a November Surprise landslide victory last year, it was on the mandate of stopping the current damage and working to undo previous damage foisted upon this country by Barack Obama. In a stunning betrayal, not only is the GOP-controlled Congress not working to stop Obama, they are working feverishly to enable and empower him to receive more raw power than any other president in American history. 

The House could vote on Trade Promotion Authority as early as this week, the sources said. The House Rules Committee, which sets parameters for the consideration of legislation, meets late Tuesday afternoon. A final decision has not been made, and top Congressional aides are in negotiations to chart a course forward. Boehner was set to meet with pro-trade Democrats at 3 p.m.

gop-handing-obama-unprecendented-power-on-fast-track-TPP

Under the current plan, House Republican leadership would likely use an already-approved Senate bill to move fast-track authority, which would allow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) chamber to avoid a round of votes.

The Senate would amend a trade “preferences” bill with Trade Adjustment Assistance, a job-training and worker aid program, and send it to the House. This would serve to separate the two key priorities, and allow them to be sent to Obama’s desk separately.

The vote would certainly be a gamble. House Republicans would need Democrats to pass the legislation, and it’s not clear how many of them would vote for a fast-track bill without a measure to help workers who lose their jobs to trade directly attached. TAA failed last week after 144 Democrats voted against it.

“It’s going to be shared responsibility to get this done,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), a leading Democratic supporter of TPA. “It’s going to require bipartisan effort, both sides willing to cooperate a little bit more than what we’ve had so far. I know there’s all eyes on the [Democratic] Caucus right now on TAA, but last time I checked, 48 Senate Republicans voted for TAA when it came up with TPA. So there’s a strong Republican support, at least in the Senate, of getting TPA passed with their votes.”

It’s not clear, however, that fast-track authority can muster enough support in the Senate without the job-training legislation

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who sees the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement as crucial, said he and Obama spoke “several” times Monday about a path forward. He is weighing how to proceed.

“There are a lot of options on the table,” Boehner said Tuesday, when asked about moving TPA on its own.

Meanwhile, the House moved Tuesday to preserve last week’s fast-track vote. Embedded in a procedural vote Tuesday was language that allows Boehner to bring up the TAA vote any time before July 30. That resolution passed, 236-189, with six Republicans voting no. source

 

The post Conservative Betrayal: Republican Leadership Now Doing Obama’s Dirty Work For Him appeared first on Now The End Begins.


S.C. massacre “demonic,” Baptist pastor says

by Marsha West

Baptist Press reports:

Christians are uniting in prayer and benevolence across racial distinctions in Charleston, S.C., after a 21-year-old man massacred nine Christians in a June 17 prayer service at historic Emanuel AME Church, said neighboring Southern Baptist pastor Keith Biggs.

“Everyone together — white, black, Hispanic, everybody — we’re coming together in unity to see this not only [as] an attack on people, but an attack on the body of Christ,” said Biggs, associate pastor of Citadel Square Baptist Church, which neighbors the site of the crime. “I mean, who can walk into a church and sit for an hour and have prayer, and then just begin to kill everybody?”

The FBI identified the shooter as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Columbia, S.C., whose uncle told police he believes Roof received a .45-caliber handgun as a birthday present, Reuters reported. Roof was arrested late Thursday morning in Shelby, N.C.

Read more


Teacher Who Read Homosexual Book to Third Graders Resigns Following Parental Outrcy

by Marsha West

As previously reported in Homosexual teacher reads “gay fairy tale” to 3rd graders a gay teacher in Efland S.C. read King & King, a book promoting homosexuality, to his class without the consent of parents, a decision he now regrets.

Christian News Network reports:

An elementary school teacher who read a book about homosexuality to third graders has resigned following outcry from parents who were upset that their children were exposed to the material.

Both teacher Omar Currie and Assistant Principal Meg Goodhand have resigned from their positions at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School following the incident, which occurred in April of this year.

According to reports, Currie decided to read the book to his class after a student chided a male classmate during gym class and told him that he was acting like a girl. Currie, a homosexual himself, said that because “the word gay was used in a derogatory way,” he believed that students should be taught a lesson.

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Bible Teaching Could Soon Become A Crime With ‘Anti-Extremism Banning Orders’

Traditional Christian teaching could effectively be “criminalized” in some settings in Britain under David Cameron’s plans for new anti-extremist banning orders, a top Anglican theologian and former Parliamentary draftsman has warned……….. Click here for full story


The Next Great European Financial Crisis Has Begun

The Greek financial system is in the process of totally imploding, and the rest of Europe will soon follow. Neither the Greeks nor the Germans are willing to give in, and that means that there is very little chance that a debt deal is going to happen by the end of June. So that means that we will likely see a major Greek debt default and potentially even a Greek exit from the eurozone………… Click here for full story


Pope Francis Calls For A New Global Political Authority To Save Humanity

Pope Francis says that global warming is a fact and that a new global political authority is necessary in order to save humanity from utter disaster. The new encyclical that was scheduled to be released on Thursday has been leaked ……… Click here for full story


China And US On Collision Course Over South China Sea

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……….. Click here for full story


Got Tattoos? Government Could Soon Track You Down

The government is working on ways to identify people by their tattoos. “People are being identified remotely without their knowledge—and right now the Fourth Amendment doesn’t really say anything about that,”……. Click here for full story


Does CAIR Represent American Muslims?

by Johanna Markind
PJ Media
June 14, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5334/does-cair-represent-us-muslims


Miley Cyrus: Belief in Noah’s Ark is ‘Insane’

by Marsha West

Hannah Montana has completely changed her tune about Christianity and the Bible. The popular child star once declared herself a born again Christian but has recently become vocal about her rejection of the Bible’s teaching — especially when it comes to what it says about issues such as sex, homosexuality, and God’s plan for marriage. When it comes […]

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Alaska’s Cleveland volcano ‘reentering renewed period of unrest’

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 08:19 AM PDT

Alaska’s remote Cleveland volcano is growing restless again, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Satellite images have detected elevated surface temperatures on Cleveland’s summit for the past week, and a light dusting of ash was visible in an image taken Sunday, the agency wrote on its website. “The volcano has entered a renewed period of unrest,” AVO reported, prompting the agency to raise its alert level to advisory and its aviation code to yellow.

The increased temperatures are “consistent with renewed growth of the small lava dome within the summit crater,” and “the possibility of sudden explosions has increased,” AVO said. Roughly 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, the volcano forms the west part of uninhabited Chuginadak Island in the east-central Aleutian chain. Cleveland is one of Alaska’s most active volcanoes and has been in a near-constant state of eruption since 2006, AVO geologist Tina Neal told Alaska Dispatch News in September. FULL REPORT

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Indonesian volcano set to blow but thousands of villagers refuse to flee

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 08:15 AM PDT

Thousands of villagers are refusing to leave their homes on the slopes of one of Indonesia’s most volatile volcanoes despite warnings that it is poised for a powerful eruption. Mount Sinabung, one of about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, has been at the highest alert level for nearly two weeks. On Tuesday, at least 48 avalanches of hot ash barreled down its slopes, with the biggest reaching 2.5 km (1.5 miles) southeastward. The volcano in northern Sumatra, one of Indonesia’s main islands, has also been shooting smoke and ash more than 700 meters (2,300 feet) into the air. Several thousand people, including women carrying babies in slings, have left the mountain in police trucks since Monday after the volcanic activity intensified over the weekend. Some streamed down the scorched slopes on motorcycles, their faces caked in ash.

But Subur Tambun, who heads the local disaster mitigation agency, said only 10,000 of about 33,000 people living within the main danger zone have moved into tent camps or government buildings a safe distance from the volcano. No injuries have been reported from the recent eruptions. “The villagers insisted on tending crops,” Tambun said. “They are confident of being able to escape a major eruption. All we can do is ask them to leave.” The 2,460-meter (8,070-foot) Mount Sinabung has erupted sporadically since 2010, when it caught scientists off guard and blew after being quiet for four centuries. Last year, a powerful explosion heard hundreds of kilometers (miles) away destroyed villages around its slopes and killed at least 17 people. For days, authorities have pleaded with villagers in the main danger zone, which stretches 7 km (4 miles) to the south and southeast of the peak, to move to the temporary shelters, but have faced resistance. FULL REPORT

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Stephen Curry: I Knew God Was Preparing Me for a Bigger Stage to Be a Witness for Him

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 08:04 AM PDT

Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors captured their first NBA title since 1975 last night in a 105-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry and Andre Iguodala, the Finals’ MVP who called the Warriors a “team of believers” in post-game interviews, teamed up for 50 points, while the Cavs’ LeBron James added 32. Even after the greatest achievement in basketball, Curry knows there’s a much bigger prize in life, long after the buzzer sounds. In 2013, Curry talked to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the March issue of its bi-monthly magazine, writing that his faith identifies him more than his jersey.

“Congratulations to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on an incredible season and an amazing playoff run—and to LeBron James and the Cavaliers for a stellar season as well,” said FCA President and CEO Les Steckel. “We are so elated for Steph and his commitment to his team, his fans, his family and his Savior. Steph gave God all the glory last night. He is a wonderful role model to young athletes, who we hope will learn that when God is in charge of their life, they’re always undefeated because God never loses.” FULL REPORT

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Amazing 1927 Smith Wigglesworth Message

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 08:01 AM PDT

On Aug. 11, 1927, Smith Wigglesworth stood in Angelus Temple to preach on preparing for the Second Coming of Christ. He told the audience that liquid fire was consuming him. Then Wigglesworth made this opening statement: But there will be things that will happen prior to His coming that we shall know. You can tell. I am like one this morning that is moving with a liquid, holy, indispensable, real fire in my bosom, and I know it is burning and the body is not consumed.

It is real fire from heaven that is making my utterances come to you to know that He is coming. He is on the way. God is going to help me tell you why you will know. You that have the breath of the Spirit, there is something now moving as I speak. As I speak, this breath of mighty, quickening, moving, changing, desirable power is making you know and it is this alone that is making you know that you will be ready. FULL MESSAGE

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‘Supernatural’ Prophetic Voice Points Toward End-Time Revival

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 07:57 AM PDT

A crowd of 550 people sing, clap and even dance in rhythm to the upbeat Jewish melodies played by LaDonna Taylor, a gifted violinist. The venue, an auditorium in the heart of Jerusalem, is filled nearly to capacity with local Jewish people who have come, not only to hear the 30-minute violin concert, but also a lecture on the topic of, “The Supernatural.” What they don’t realize is that tonight most of their lives and destinies will forever be changed.

There are no outward religious trappings of banners, flags, shofars or Bibles, but the atmosphere of heaven begins to invade the auditorium. The lecturer, an American-born Jew named Sid Roth, takes the stage and begins to speak out “words of knowledge” of healings that are taking place. Many in the auditorium stand to confirm that they have been healed of pain in their back, neck or other parts of their body.

Roth then begins to speak on the promised topic of the supernatural. He shares his personal testimony of how he was deeply involved in the occult, the counterfeit supernatural of Satan, and how he received total deliverance and freedom through a supernatural encounter with Yeshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ. Most who have come to the lecture have never heard the gospel before, but when Roth gives an altar call, 525 of the 550 people in the auditorium stand, almost in unison, to boldly proclaim Yeshua as their Messiah and Lord. FULL REPORT

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The Economic Depression In Greece Deepens As Tsipras Prepares To Deliver ‘The Great No’

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 07:51 AM PDT

As Greece plunges even deeper into economic chaos, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that his government is prepared to respond to the demands of the EU and the IMF with “the great no” and that his party will accept responsibility for whatever consequences follow. Despite years of intervention from the rest of Europe, Greece is a bigger economic mess today than ever. Greek GDP has shrunk by 26 percent since 2008, the national debt to GDP ratio in Greece is up to a staggering 175 percent, and the unemployment rate is up above 25 percent.

Greek stocks are crashing and Greek bond yields are shooting into the stratosphere. Meanwhile, the banking system is essentially on life support at this point. 400 million euros were pulled out of Greek banks on Monday alone. No matter what happens in the coming days, many believe that it is now only a matter of time before capital controls like we saw in Cyprus are imposed. Over the past several months, there have been endless high level meetings over in Europe regarding this Greek crisis, but none of them have fixed anything. And even Jeroen Dijsselbloem admits that the odds of anything being accomplished during the meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday is “very small”… FULL REPORT

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Time is running out! It’s Deal or Default For Greece!

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 07:47 AM PDT

Greek officials essentially have told creditors who are owed billions of euros that they need to be given a deal, or they’ll simply default. The development came Wednesday, according to a report in the Guardian, when Athens announced it had no money and would not pay the 1.6 billion euros due to the International Monetary Fund by the end of the month. The remaining option appeared to be a meeting of eurozone finance ministers that was looming, but analysts held little hope a sudden solution would be found.

The economic crisis has been developing for years, following the high expenses, massive borrowing and lavish spending by Greece over time. Despite new austerity measures that have been demanded by lenders in recent years, the light at the end of the tunnel now appears to be an oncoming train for the nation. The Guardian reported the governor of the Greek central bank warned of an “uncontrollable crisis” and said it could even leave the eurozone as well as the European Union. FULL REPORT

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UK Police Scanned The Faces Of 100,000 People At A Music Festival

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 07:40 AM PDT

Leicestershire Police used this weekend’s event to do a test run of their new facial recognition tech, trying to catch “organised criminals” who specifically target music festivals to “steal mobile phones,” according to a report in Police Oracle. The collected footage is compared against a database of custody images to identify the criminals — in this case, an alleged musicfest phone robbing crime ring.

Facial recognition is increasingly being used by law enforcement. In the US, it’s used by the FBI and a spattering of local police departments, though generally in a more limited setting — specific to an ongoing investigation or in a controlled environment like a store. Scanning a throng of faces at an outdoor public event is taking it to a new level, which is why the local Police Oracle article got the attention of Noisey, TechDirt, and the BBC. FULL REPORT

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A Restless Volcano Puts Ecuador on Edge Once More

Posted: 18 Jun 2015 07:34 AM PDT

Cotopaxi, located only ~60 kilometers from Quito in Ecuador, has been silent for almost 75 years. Prior to this three-quarter century quiescence, the volcano was vociferous, producing dozens of potent eruptions over the two centuries. Most of these explosive eruptions where fairly small. However, in 1744, 1768 and 1877, the volcano unleashed larger eruptions that were on the same scale as the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull or Pelée in 1902 — in other words, big.

The 1877 eruption sent volcanic mudflows (lahars) over 100 kilometers from Cotopaxi. Then, after 1940, Cotopaxi went quiet*, and since has been a sentinel looking over the valley were Quito lies. However, Cotopaxi is starting to show signs of restlessness. Now, it is unclear whether this restlessness might be the prelude to a new eruption, but in any case, Ecuador isn’t taking any chances in preparing for the eventual awakening of Cotopaxi. FULL REPORT

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US sees ‘New World Order’ as Bird Flu goes global

Posted: 17 Jun 2015 09:08 PM PDT

The global poultry industry is facing “a new world order” as avian influenza continues to spread within the US, and further afield. In an interview with sister publication World Poultry, James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, says that no country is immune from high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), with the virus now mixing in the wild bird population.

“It will eventually find its way into all migrating flyways and this is what we fear the most,” he said. “Our global poultry industry has to learn how to coexist with avian flu continuously present in the environment.” The arrival of HPAI had taken the US poultry sector by surprise, he said. “The country which has probably the best biosecurity in the world is now being ravaged by this virus. FULL REPORT

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Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, June 18, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

9 Killed in Horrific South Carolina Church Shooting

Franklin Graham Urges Obama to Secure Saeed Abedini’s Release

Evangelicals Remain Committed to Traditional Marriage, Despite Tony Campolo’s Gay Marriage Statement

Southern Baptist President: God, Not Supreme Court, has ‘Final Authority’

Donald Trump Says He Collects Bibles and Distributes Them to Others

Florida Sheriff Under Fire for Speaking at Church in Uniform

Democratic Foundations Spend Millions Peddling ‘Climate ‘Action’ Message to Young Evangelicals

5 Things Christians Should Know about Donald Trump’s Faith

Anne Graham Lotz: God Allows Terrorism because We Don’t Turn to Him until We’re Desperate

New Michigan Law Protects Christian Adoption Agencies from Gay Adoption

Opinion

CEO Will Pay College Tuition for Employees’ Kids

Why Abortion is Really Declining

What to Make of Southern Baptists’ Declining Numbers

Does Being Pro-Life Cost Votes?

Miley Cyrus: Belief in Noah’s Ark is ‘Insane’


What is The Gospel?


“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 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

June 15 Quotes


Christians Need To Stop Playing The Self-Flagellation Game

When Christians play the self-flagellation game and insist that all of Jesus’ disciples need to spend some time reflecting on their own sins, they tend to forget that the secular world is made up of sinners, too—sinners who enjoy fornication and cruelty and selfishness and who will gladly enact laws that allow them to feast on these transgressions the second the church doesn’t frighten them anymore.

Read more


Is Rachel Dolezal a New Caitlyn Jenner?

Even if we were to fault Dolezal for lying, would we fault a transgender woman for identifying herself as a woman if she moved to another state, checking the “female” box on forms or using the women’s restrooms, or would we expect her to reveal her old gender in every conversation? Would she be lying for talking about herself as a woman even though every chromosome in her body screams she’s a man? Are we saying that transgenderism is OK but transracialism (if there is such a word) is not? Who gets to define what is and is not acceptable?

Read more


In Defense Of Church Discipline

In the Reformed churches our process is laid out in church orders that have their roots in the 16th century. I don’t know much about the polity of the Acts 29 churches but in the Reformed churches officers are accountable to broader (or higher) assemblies and courts. Our process to excommunication takes months and years. Before one may be excommunicated the case must go to the regional assembly of pastors and elders (classis) and the procedure reviewed. Sometimes classis says, in effect, “Not yet. Keep trying.” In other words, in a Reformed church there are checks and balances.

Read more


5 Things I Wish Every Congregation Knew

Beware what you are asking for when you run off men who faithfully preach God’s word. You are asking for God’s judgment. He will gladly give you someone to preach nonsense to you if you keep demanding it. This is the worst form of judgment, since you have tasted of the things of God, but rejected them. He will give you over to your base nature.

Read more


Christianity’s Revolutionary Recognition of Women as Equals

Thus, the progressive narrative upon which contemporary, anti-family policies rest, is false. Only through Christianity did women receive full marriage rights and gender equality in fidelity. The private, monogamous family has served the human needs for love and companionship, economic and social well-being, and the rearing of children.

Read more


Guiding the Church in Challenging Times

The first century Christian Church faced a variety of threats from outside and within. Roman and Jewish persecution of believers and an influx of false teachers inside causing people to stray from the true faith were constant challenges the apostles wrote about to the early churches. God’s Word also wrote of the final days when […]

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We Pay for This ABC Bias and Bigotry

Imagine having a television “debate” show with five panellists and the great majority of the audience who are all Liberal Party members, and just one panellist from the Labor Party, yet it claims to be objective and neutral.


Zero Tolerance – Church & Culture Blog

Get a group of pastors together, at least any who have been pastors for very long, and ask them what has caused them the most heartache, the most grief, the most pain and the most discouragement.

They’ll say, “People.”

Push them further, and these “people” will fall into two categories: the ones who are draining, and the ones who are damaging. Not disagreeing – there’s plenty of room for that. But those who are intentionally damaging. And I have one big piece of advice. It might startle you. It may even seem radical.

Do what the Bible says to do.

Read more


How Do I Love My Gay Friend?

This is the fourth 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”), part 2 (“Is same-sex attraction wrong? If so, why?”), and part 3 (“What do I do if I’m attracted to people of the same sex?”), … and to check back in tomorrow for part 5 (“Concluding Thoughts”).

There’s an old saying: “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” And it’s probably the most helpful way to answer this question. How do you love your gay friend? By remembering how lost you were when Jesus found you. You start by remembering that you are a sinner and they are sinners.

Beyond that, I see three ways we can practically love our gay friends and neighbors:

Read more


The Trans Flight From Reality

by Bill Muehlenberg

In the eerily prophetic novel 1984 by George Orwell, the hero Winston Smith is being tortured in the ‘Ministry of Love’. His interrogator is trying to ‘cure’ him of his belief that reality is what is real, as opposed to what the State says it is. As he informs Smith:

You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes; only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.

The scary thing is, although written 66 years ago, it seems to be coming about before our very eyes. There is a move to make insanity normal, and to punish those who don’t go along with all this. We used to have mental asylums filled with people who could not live with reality and were making up their own realities.

Read more


The Benedict Option for Baptists has 9Marks. @9Marks

by Denny Burk

I am a Baptist by conviction. That means that I not only hold to believer’s baptism but that I also adhere to congregational polity. I believe in these not for pragmatic reasons—though I do think they “work” the best—but for biblical reasons.

Without question, my understanding of scripture on these matters has been decisively shaped by Mark Dever and the ministry of 9Marks. For me, this influence began when I was still a seminary student in a conversation with Mark Dever in the hallway at Southern Seminary. It was actually more of a debate. But over time after doing more reading and study, I became persuaded that he was right about what the Bible teaches.

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Franklin Graham Just Boldly Stood Up To Obama- And It Could Save Someone’s Life

Image credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

Sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence nearly three years ago and behind bars in Iran ever since, calls urging Barack Obama to secure American pastor Saeed Abedini’s release continue. Western Journalism covered remarks Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, made at CPAC earlier this year.

She said her husband has been abused and her family torn apart while the current administration remains inactive.

“What message are we sending to the world?” she asked. “When we don’t speak, we are doing the same thing the persecutors are doing to my husband.”

The latest to weigh in on Abedini’s behalf was prominent evangelist Franklin Graham. In a recent open letter to Obama, he explained the imprisoned pastor “suffered another severe beating” by fellow inmates last week.

The letter went on to lament the fact that the Obama White House worked to free an Egyptian-American accused of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood while not intervening to assist Abedini.

“Mr. President,” Graham concluded, “I hope you’ll do the same to help Saeed Abedini – who is guilty of nothing, was sentenced to 8-years in prison, and whose only affiliation is with the Lord Jesus Christ.”


Lotz to Markell: ‘God Allows Terrorists to Strike’ Because ‘We Don’t Give Him Our Attention Until We Are Desperate

Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, has claimed that the reason God allows terrorists to attack the United States and tornadoes to destroy cities is because Americans don’t pay God any attention until they are truly desperate and are seeking His mercy.

The 67-year-old Lotz, who has previously claimed that the rapture will happen during her lifetime and God’s judgement will soon come upon America, recently spoke with Jan Markell on the “Understanding the Times” radio program where she compared Americans’ apathy toward the Gospel to the times of Noah, when God unleashed his judgement by flooding the Earth.

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Listen to Jan’s interview of Anne here


Christian booksellers’ implosion

Jim Fletcher notes slow destruction of industry

What was once a fine idea – the first five minutes someone had it 60 years ago – has become one of those classic scenes you want to look away from, but can’t.

I’m speaking of the slow destruction of the American Christian book industry.

From scandalous books offered in Christian bookstores, to the recent bankruptcy of Family Christian Stores, the whole affair reeks of mismanagement and greed.

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How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution—Chapter 1: Understanding the Times

By Maria Kneas (From her newly released book, How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution | June 2015 | Lighthouse Trails) I was the first Christian in my family.


12 Questions for a Six-Month Spiritual Checkup

By Chuck Lawless

At this time last year, I wrote a post on “10 Questions for a Six-Month Spiritual Checkup.” If you haven’t done a spiritual self-reflection yet this year, I encourage you to take time to read those previous questions and analyze your spiritual life today. Then, review the questions in this post to look at your life at an even deeper level.

  1. Do you need to forgive someone? Jesus is clear that if we don’t forgive others, the Father does not forgive us (Matt. 6:14-15). So, while we may think our anger is justified, it only hurts us to stay bitter. The cost, in fact, is serious as it harms our relationship with God.
  2. Does your daily talk reflect godliness? It’s hard to read Ephesians 5:4 (“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving”) without evaluating our daily conversations. If other believers heard everything you said last week, would your witness be strengthened or harmed?
  3. Does your budget reflect a commitment to God’s work? I know it sounds trite, but what we give toward God’s work really does have eternal dividends. Any sacrifice so others may know Jesus is no sacrifice at all. Would your checkbook show you prioritize God’s kingdom?
  4. Do you know your neighbors and co-workers? It’s easy to be so “on the go” that we know our neighbors and co-workers on only a superficial basis, if we know them at all – which makes it difficult to share Christ with them. Even our prayer for them is surface-level if we don’t know them.
  5. Do you pray regularly for leaders? Regardless of our political positions, we are mandated to pray for those in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Think about those for whom you might pray: school officials, bosses, mayors, governors, the president. Obedience here is especially important in this election season.
  6. Do you read more blog posts than you do the Bible? Obviously, I tread softly here, as I’m deeply grateful you’re reading this post. On the other hand, what bloggers have to say is nothing compared to the Word of God.
  7. Do you pray only when you have to? Many of us pray more reactively than proactively. Prayer is not in our DNA; it is only our response when we face something we can’t handle. That kind of praying misses the point of being in a relationship with God.
  8. If you’re married, does your marriage reflect the love of Jesus for His church? Do you love your spouse sacrificially (Eph. 5:25), to the point of being willing to die? Would your spouse agree with your response to that question?
  9. Are you hiding anything? Hiddenness is usually a sign the enemy is winning in one’s life. Then, the anguish of such sin is only deepened by the efforts we expend trying to keep it covered up.
  10. Do you really love God’s church? Paul thanked God for the Corinthians at the beginning of his letter to them (1 Cor. 1:4-9) and expressed his love for them in his closing (1 Cor. 16:24). In between, though, he described them as a mess. Only God can give us this kind of love for His bride, especially when the church is problematic.
  11. Are you ready to quit? Maybe your church role has drained you to the point you wonder if it’s worth the effort. If your faith is being stretched to its limit, I encourage you to gather prayer partners and talk with friends before giving up.
  12. Where do you most need to strengthen your walk with God for the rest of this year? Reading this post will make no difference unless you make an intentional plan to change. Tell us what commitments you are making, and give us the privilege of praying for you.

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

 

photo credit: stethoscope via photopin (license)

The post 12 Questions for a Six-Month Spiritual Checkup appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


When Christian Parenting Leaves Out Jesus


Our Latest Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Psalms?


Polk County Sheriff Attacked By Atheist Group For Giving Sermon While In Uniform

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is under fire after a group says he broke the law by giving a sermon in uniform.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2 (KJV)

LAKELAND, Fla. – Judd spoke from the pulpit of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland two months ago. “Wouldn’t the world be better if everyone behaved like a Christian?” Judd said as part of his speech.

polk-county-florida-sheriff-under-fire-for-preaching-sermon-in-uniform

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent Judd a letter accusing him of “excluding other religions and making non-believers feel like outsiders in their own community.”

Judd says he was invited to the church and that his message was “clear and uplifting.”

However, the Freedom from Religion Foundation says if the sheriff continues to speak about religion while wearing his uniform, it will consider filing a lawsuit. source

The post Polk County Sheriff Attacked By Atheist Group For Giving Sermon While In Uniform appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Why Abortion is Really Declining

“The right to choose” came in with a bang of Chief Justice Burger’s gavel, but it’s going out with a whimper.
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In the fulness of time…

One of my favorite attributes of God is His sovereignty. One of my favorite doctrines is the Doctrine of Providence. And one of my favorite themes which neatly expresses them is the phrase, “In the fullness of time…” Here are just a few New Testament examples showing God in charge of all things, including events He wants to occur at a certain time.

Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,”

Mark 1:15, “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!

Romans 5:6, You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

1 Timothy 2:6, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

Let’s go back to Galatians 4:4, the fulness of time. In the John MacArthur Commentary on Galatians, we read,

The fulness of time refers to the period of preparation in God’s sovereign timetable of redemption. When the Law had fully accomplished its purpose of showing man his utter sinfulness and inability to live up to God’s perfect standard of righteousness, God ushered in a new era of redemption. When He sent forth His son, He provided the righteousness for man that man could not provide for himself.

On a spiritual level, we can intuitively understand this is what is meant by the fulness of time, even if our lesser scholarly minds don’t articulate it as well as Dr MacArthur. But in Providential terms, widening our look at the sweep and scope of all redemptive history, the phrase “the fulness of time” takes on even greater and deeper significant implications regarding the sovereignty of God and His divine Providential outworking of all things to His glory. MacArthur again,

When Jesus was born, everything was right for the coming of the Messiah. First of all, the time was right religiously. During the Babylonian captivity, Israel once and for all forsook the idolatry into which she had often fallen. Despite their many other sins and failures, including national rejection of their own Messiah, no significant number of Jews has ever again turned to idolatry.

Also during the Exile, Jews developed synagogues, which they used as places of worship, as schools, and as courts. In addition to that, they at last had the completed Old Testament, assembled by Ezra and others after the return from Babylon. Those features facilitated the proclaiming of the Messiah’s gospel among the people of Israel.

Second, the time was right culturally. Christians who propagated the gospel during the first several centuries had a common language with those to whom they witnessed and with whom they worshiped. Alexander the Great had thoroughly established Greek culture and language throughout the known world, and these continued their dominating influence long after Rome succeeded Greece as world ruler.

Third, the time was right politically. Rome had instituted the pax Romana (Roman peace), which provided economic and political stability. The apostles and other early preachers and teachers cold travel freely and safely throughout the empire and do so on the magnificent system of roads built by the Romans.

Each of those factors was in some unique way a key to the spread of the gospel. God’s timing was perfect.

It is such a comfort to understand everything is in God’s hands.

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Can Christians Swear?

Is swearing inherently sinful?

As I read Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle, this question crossed my mind. Scattered throughout Boyle’s inspiring narrative of his more than 20 years of working with gangs in Los Angeles were numerous instances of explicit language.



What is The Gospel?


“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


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GTY Blog: Abusing Grace

Code: B150617

 

by Jeremiah Johnson and Wayne de Villiers

You’ve likely heard the phrase too much of a good thing applied to junk food feasts, chocolate binges, and all-night movie marathons. But what about theology? Is it possible to put too much emphasis on an aspect of biblical truth? What is the cost of theological tunnel vision?

The Hypergrace movement offers us a compelling case that it’s possible (and detrimental) to overemphasize an aspect of God’s truth. They are sound enough on the doctrines of man’s sinfulness, God’s sufficient grace, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. But they tend to ignore (and sometimes overtly deny) other vital aspects of gospel truth—and thereby their teaching undermines the work of sanctification in the Christian life.

As we saw last time, they overstress the principle of remaining sin in believers, and they caricature God’s grace. They ignore or downplay God’s transforming work of regeneration and the believer’s new nature in Christ. In fact, it’s hard to spot any difference in their descriptions of sinners before and after salvation. Shying away from any exhortations to obedience, they prefer to speak only of the application of God’s grace. Such a view of grace effectively becomes little more than an unlimited “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

Distorted Good Works

But it’s not just their understanding of regeneration that is skewed—their overemphasis on grace also distorts practical matters like holiness and obedience.

Here’s Tullian Tchividjian, one of the leading voices in the movement, describing what prompts him to stop sinning:

If I’m being unkind to [my wife], and she reciprocates my unkindness with kindness, that doesn’t make me want to be more unkind! It convicts me for being unkind and makes me want to be kind. . . . What happens to your heart when you are on the receiving end of forgiveness and you don’t deserve it? . . . It does something inside of you that makes you love God and others more. It unleashes an other-worldly love that comes one way from God and spills out from our lives into the lives of other people. [1] “Romans, Part 8”, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, March 16, 2014

True enough, but in the Hypergrace model, no motive other than unmerited grace is ever seen as a legitimate reason to call people to repentance or obedience. Tchividjian makes that same point in the foreword to Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book, Give Them Grace.

It’s the gospel (what Jesus has done) that alone can give God-honoring animation to our obedience. The power to obey, in other words, comes from being moved and motivated by the completed work of Jesus for us. [2] Tullian Tchividjian from the Foreword (Elyse Fitzpatrick, Give them Grace (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), p. 13)

Fitzpatrick has also emerged as a vocal proponent of the Hypergrace movement, and she echoes some of the same sentiments in her own teaching. “How can you think about all that Christ has done for you, about your Father’s steadfast, immeasurable, extravagantly generous love and still live [in sin]?” [3] “An Open Letter to Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian”, The Gospel Coalition, June 21, 2011

While it would be foolish to argue against the value of sincere responses to God’s grace, or that the Spirit is unable to work through such responses, it’s biblically invalid to say gratitude is the only possible response to the gospel, or that it is the only proper motive for obedience in the believer’s life. Obedience to Christ might be provoked by any number of legitimate motives—including fear of God’s displeasure or the sheer abhorrence of evil (Jude 23). Above all, we must not shy away from encouraging one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). Christians are supposed “to do good, to be rich in good works” (1 Timothy 6:18). Indeed, we should be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).

As we saw last time, good works are what we were regenerated for. The new birth equips and enables us for righteousness:

Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). . . . For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:5, 10)

Our obedience is the fruit of the work God accomplished in us. He has transformed us for the sake of godliness.

And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

The good works believers do are not merely an optional response that has to be worked up within us. They are the inevitable proof of God’s ongoing work in us, sanctifying and refining us in the image of His Son for the testimony of His Word.

Skewed Sanctification

Of course, overemphasizing the role of grace also distorts your understanding of sanctification. Here’s one example from Tchividjian.

One of the insinuations whenever the doctrine of sanctification is discussed is that my effort, my works, my pursuit of holiness, my faith, my response, my obedience, and my practice of godliness keep me in God’s good graces. This, however, undermines the clear Biblical teaching that things between Christians and God are forever settled because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross. . . . When we imply that our works are for God and not our neighbor, we perpetuate the idea that God’s love for us is dependent on what we do instead of on what Christ has done. [4] “God Doesn’t Need Your Good Works . . . But Your Neighbor Does”, The Gospel Coalition, December 10, 2012

That’s a false dichotomy. Jesus said good works that serve our neighbor also serve and honor Him (Matthew 25:40). Many critics have pointed out that Tchividjian’s teaching seems to lean decisively toward antinomianism—the belief that God’s law doesn’t apply to Christians. Tchividjian denies those claims, but as you can see above, his teaching on sanctification raises more questions than it answers. Is pursuing holiness always a legalistic attempt to win God’s favor? And is there any effort the believer puts into his spiritual growth that isn’t immediately dismissed as works righteousness?

The apostle Paul says there is: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul makes it clear that he has not arrived spiritually, but he’s always disciplining himself for greater godliness.

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

Was he guilty of pursuing righteousness by works? It’s hard to imagine that such a statement would escape the Hypergrace teachers’ scorn if anyone other than an inspired apostle said it. And while they may not wish to argue with the apostle, no Hypergrace teacher is likely to give much emphasis to that text or others like it.

Underestimating Sin

The difference between Paul’s teaching on sanctification and Hypergrace doctrine is that while Paul recognized and confessed his sinfulness, he didn’t embrace it or use it as an excuse for his failures. He was in anguish over it (Romans 7:21-24). There is great value in that kind of grief. In fact, it is yet another valid motive for repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9).

The Hypergrace movement has a somewhat lower view of sin and repentance. Here’s an illustration of repentance from Elyse Fitzpatrick, “Lord forgive me for my sin today. Thank you that you love me in spite of all my failures.” [5] Give Them Grace, p. 55

That is not repentance. There’s not a hint of godly sorrow or true remorse—just another invocation of casual pardon.

Contrast that to the pleading of David in Psalm 51.

Be gracious to me, O God,
according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge. (Psalm 51:1-4)

That ought to be the response of every believer to his or her sin. We need to be broken and contrite over our sin. After all, sin is contrary to our new nature, indicative of our old corruption, and a blight on the testimony of God’s Word and His church. We need to repent of it earnestly—not sweep it thoughtlessly under a rug, and call that “grace.”

In his commentary on Romans 7, John MacArthur writes this about the believer’s reaction to his sin:

Every well-taught and honest Christian is aware that his life falls far short of God’s perfect standard of righteousness and that he falls back into sin with disturbing frequency. He is no longer of his former father, the devil (John 8:44); he no longer loves the world (1 John 2:15); and he is no longer sin’s slave—but he is still subject to its deceit and is still attracted by many of its allurements. Yet the Christian cannot be happy with his sin, because it is contrary to his new nature and because he knows that it grieves his Lord as well as his own conscience. [6] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991) p. 382

Yes, we need to have a proper understanding and appreciation for God’s grace, and the comfort and security it provides. But we also must have a biblical, balanced view of our sin—and particularly how to deal with it for the sake of greater spiritual growth and godliness. Failing to understand how the two correspond in God’s sanctifying work distorts your entire view of the Christian life.

For more information on the Hypergrace movement, and in-depth discussion on their teaching, we recommend the following resources.

Elements of a Living Sacrifice” by John MacArthur

The Misleading Refrains of the Hyper-Grace Movement” (Part 1 and Part 2) by Wayne de Villiers

The New Antinomianism” by Jerry Wragg

Grace, Good Works, and the Gospel” by Jerry Wragg

Sanctification: The Christian’s Pursuit of God-Given Holiness, by Michael Riccardi


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150617
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide

Reformedontheweb's Blog

by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.

The very first issue of Christianity Today is dated October 15, 1956. In his first editorial, Carl F. H. Henry set his course for the magazine: “Those who direct the editorial policy of Christianity Today unreservedly accept the complete reliability and authority of the written Word of God. It is their conviction that the Scriptures teach the doctrine of plenary inspiration.”

Henry also affirmed continuity with the great orthodox tradition of biblical doctrine and moral principles: “The doctrinal content of historic Christianity will be presented and defended. Among the distinctive doctrines to be stressed are those of God, Christ, man, salvation, and the last things. The best modern scholarship recognizes the bearing of doctrine on moral and spiritual life.”

In that same issue, Billy Graham stressed the authority of the Bible in evangelism. “I use the phrase ‘The Bible says’ because the Word of…

View original post 47 more words

Sola Sisters: How Should A Christian Live In A Culture Given Over To A Depraved Mind?

by Marsha West

Good question. Christine Pack of Sola Sisters offers some helpful advice. But first she reminds us that:

we’re living in a time and a world in which every kind of sexual sin is being mainstreamed and normalized. I feel for those ensnared in sexual sins who are being relentlessly told by the culture and the media that what they are doing is good and right, when in fact, sexual sin, ALL sexual sin, is wrong and is a sin against God, because it is God alone who gave us the proper framework by which our sexual appetites are to be satisfied, and that is in a faithful marriage between one man and one woman. Those who reject this truth are believing a lie.

… Before I was born again, I had a number of homosexual friends, and for some reason, I often ended up being a sympathetic ear for them. This was before homosexuality was accepted as normal, as it is today, and many of them expressed to […]

Toward the end of her piece, Christine has posted several links to resources by others in the Christian community who have raised questions to think through as we endeavor to live among a people who have been given over to a depraved mind.

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Was atheism or Christianity more responsible for the Scientific Revolution?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Apologetics and the progress of science Christianity and the progress of science

First, here’s an article from the blog of the peer-reviewed journal Nature, probably the best peer-reviewed journal on science in the world.

The article is written by Dr. James Hannam. He has a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and is the author of The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (published in the UK as God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science).

Excerpt:

Few topics are as open to misunderstanding as the relationship between faith and reason. The ongoing clash of creationism with evolution obscures the fact that Christianity has actually had a far more positive role to play in the history of science than commonly believed. Indeed, many of the alleged examples of religion holding back scientific progress turn out to be bogus. For instance…

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A Christian Response to the Parents of a Transgendered Kid

hipandthigh

Dear Mrs. McLaren,

My name is Fred Butler and I recently read your open letter to Christians posted at Huffington Post. I am one of those “Christians” you attempt to shame regarding how your gender confused son has allegedly been treated.

Honestly, I am not someone who frequents HuffPo. I was linked to your article from a different page.  I don’t visit HuffPo primarily because many of their posts are on topics I find sophomoric and immature, if not troubling and at times demeaning. For instance, the day I read your letter, linked in the sidebar was an article called “19 Women on the Best Things about Their Boobs.”

Really?

I hope you can appreciate the irony of your letter demanding Christians respect your transgendered kid’s sexual orientation linked along side another article sexually objectifying women’s breasts. And that on a leftist website that pretends to champion women’s rights…

View original post 1,464 more words

GodLife: How can you get to know God?

Scripture: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” – Mark 1:35
How did you get to know your best friend?

You probably spent a lot of time together and spoke to each other often about your lives. You can get to know God in the same way. By praying, talking to God and reading His Word, you are forming a close relationship with him – learning about His love, character, and grace. Not sure where to start in the Bible or what it means to talk to God?

Read more here about Loneliness

Sermon against Word Faith Movement: Another Jesus, A Different Gospel

The Domain for Truth

Prosperity Gospel

It is a problem all around the world that the church faces.  The Prosperity Gospel.  The Word of Faith movement.  It’s in Africa.  It’s in Eastern Europe.  It’s in Asia.  It’s in the West and imported overseas.

It is not the Gospel and it feeds our flesh.

It’s from Satan himself because it’s a false gospel.

Jason Vicente spoke against the Word of Faith in this message:

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Why doesn’t God make his existence more obvious to people?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson about to do philosophy Sherlock Holmes and John Watson about to do philosophy

Have you ever heard someone say that if God existed, he would give us more evidence? This is called the “hiddenness of God” argument. It’s also known as the argument from “rational non-belief”.

Basically the argument is something like this:

  1. God is all powerful
  2. God is all loving
  3. God wants all people to know about him
  4. Some people don’t know about him
  5. Therefore, there is no God.

In this argument, the atheist is saying that he’s looked for God real hard and that if God were there, he should have found him by now. After all, God can do anything he wants that’s logically possible, and he wants us to know that he exists. To defeat the argument we need to find a possible explanation of why God would want to remain hidden when our eternal destination depends on our knowledge…

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Three Kinds of Skeptics

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

Ever since the beginning, Christianity has been a religion of the supernatural.

Christianity started with some rather amazing claims regarding healings and resurrections, and those claims continued throughout the New Testament era (and writings).  All Christians are open to believe claims made in contemporary times regarding miraculous events, since Christians are, by definition, supernaturalists.  The real debate revolves around the legitimacy of modern claims, and what sort of evidence is required to authenticate modern claims of supernatural events (like a miraculous healing).

There are those who claim to be skeptical believers but blindly swallow anything as evidence; all claims made by anyone are equally reputable and true until proven otherwise.

sid_roth_pr

There are those who are skeptical believers and look for some reason to believe the claims; not all evidence is equally compelling, and the Bible should provide a framework for evaluating claims of supernatural events.

Albert-Mohler

Then, there are those who…

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