Daily Archives: July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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Jul. 2, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Security was stepped at U.S. government buildings in the nation’s capital on Thursday after the Washington Navy Yard was shut down while authorities investigated initial reports of an active shooter. There was no confirmation from the Navy or law enforcement authorities of a shooting, a suspect or any injuries.

Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana conceded their court fights to uphold state laws banning same-sex marriage after last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing it in all 50 states. The states asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans to rule in favor of gay and lesbian couples suing the states. The court issued its rulings in favor of the couples on Wednesday.

BP will pay a record $18.7 billion to resolve claims by the U.S. and five states along the Gulf of Mexico related to the 2010 oil spill. The payments will be spaced out over as long as 18 years. A record $5.5 billion will cover federal penalties under the Clean Water Act, topping the previous high of $1 billion. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas will also receive payouts for harm done in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

The U.S. labor market took one step forward and one back in June as job creation advanced while wages stagnated and the size of the labor force receded.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell below the 4,000 level for the first time since April, as margin traders continued to unwind positions amid doubts over the effectiveness of government measures to support equities.

Apartment rents in the U.S., already at record highs, have yet to cool down. Effective rents, the amount tenants pay after concessions from landlords, climbed 1 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months to an average of $1,144.

The share of U.S. home purchases made with cash has fallen to a five-year low as investors pull back from a property market that’s rebounding without them. Fewer than 25 percent of single-family home and condominium purchases were all-cash transactions in May, the lowest level since November 2009 and down from a peak of more than 42 percent in February 2011

AP Top Stories

A robot has killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen’s production plants in Germany. The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate.

America’s new military strategy singles out states like China and Russia as aggressive and threatening to US security interests, while warning of growing technological challenges and worsening global stability.

A seventh shark attack has been reported in North Carolina when a man swimming in Outer Banks’ Ocracoke Island was bitten on Wednesday.

With speculation swirling that Greece might be forced out of the euro and have to print its own money after a weekend referendum, its finance minister on Thursday said the country no longer had the presses to make drachmas. “We don’t have the capacity.”

Egypt’s army said more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed after simultaneous assaults on military checkpoints in North Sinai, in the deadliest fighting in years in the restive province.

North Korea has opened a sleek new airport terminal, hailing it as a showcase of leader Kim Jong-Un’s achievement after its construction had to be stopped halfway and redone at his whim.

The U.S. military is reportedly developing a hypersonic jet plane that could soar at up to five times the speed of sound – faster than a bullet, which generally travels at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week did make gay marriage legal around the nation. Unfortunately for social conservatives, it did not, however, make nullification legal around the nation. Nullification is the historical idea that states can ignore federal laws, or pass laws that supersede them. This concept has a long but not especially honorable pedigree in U.S. history. Its origins date back to antebellum America, where Southern states tried to nullify tariffs and Northern states tried to nullify fugitive-slave laws.

Up to 11,000 Australian dental patients were urged to see their doctors Thursday over fears they may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to hygiene breaches at clinics in Sydney. New South Wales Health advised patients to get blood tests for HIV as well as Hepatitis A, B and C as a precaution.

Confederate flags will continue flying at Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta because Georgia law prevents their removal, the head of a state authority that oversees the park said Wednesday.

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell 1.0 percent, more than expected in May, on weak demand for transportation and electrical equipment, a sign that manufacturing remained mired in a soft patch.

BBC

More than 5,000 residents of Maryville, Tennessee have been evacuated after a freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed and caught fire.

Egypt has vowed to rid its Sinai Peninsula of militants after major clashes with Islamic State fighters there killed more than 100 people.

WND

A married Montana man has taken his wife and his girlfriend to the Yellowstone County Courthouse and told the clerk: Marry us – if the Supreme Court OK’d “gay” unions, then we should be allowed to join together in holy polygamy.

The Defense Department is the latest in a list of federal entities warning America to be on high alert this Fourth of July – terrorists could very well take advantage. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI just issued similar warnings.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed 46.1 million Americans were receiving food stamps as of March 2015, the latest month for which statistics were available. One in five American families were receiving food stamps as compared to the 1970s, when about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.


Top News – 7/2/2015

Ebola Returns to Liberia
Less than two months after Liberia was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization, the virus is back in the country. Over the weekend, a 17-year-old boy died in a small town outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia, The New York Times reports. His family had the burial team swab his body to test for the virus. The tests came back positive, as did a blood test taken by an Ebola response team on Tuesday. According to The Times, a clinic initially diagnosed the boy with malaria, which has similar symptoms to the early stages of Ebola.

Crater expands, ejection of more smoke and ashes reported Panic continues to grip Wahong village
On July 5, a team of Manipur University’s Earth Sciences Department led by Dr S Manichandra will visit the site. They will bring necessary equipment to study the matter.

Turkey ‘planning to invade Syria’
Turkey has sent shock waves through the Middle East by preparing plans to send troops into Syria for the first time, turning the civil war into an international conflict on Europe’s borders.

All-Out War South of Israeli-Sinai Border
The northern Sinai Peninsula south of the border with Israel is engulfed in an all-out war. Egyptian F-16 warplanes attacked Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadists’ positions for several hours Wednesday afternoon and killed more than 90 jihadists following massive ISIS attacks. Most of the 70 Egyptian casualties were soldiers and policemen, and the death toll is not final.

Congress Demands Obama Step Back From Iran Nuclear Deal
Leading members of Congress are pressing US President Barack Obama to abandon his attempts to force through a nuclear deal with Iran, after the deadline for talks was extended on Tuesday to July 7 in a last gasp week-long reprieve.

Analysis: Egypt is losing its war against ISIS in Sinai
Wednesday’s terror attack was the largest ever carried out by the Sinai Province, Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate, since it began its fight against the government in Cairo some four years ago.

Eruption Update: Quake Swarms Hit Iceland, Japan Rumbles
Steam rises from a slope near the hot springs resort of Hakone, Kanagawa prefecture on June 30, 2015. Meanwhile, after a few months of volcanic quiet in the island nation, a new earthquake swarm has started off Iceland’s southwestern coast.

5.8-magnitude earthquake strikes off Solomon Islands
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands early Thursday, US geologists said, but there were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued. The quake hit at a depth of 8.9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 92 kilometres from Kirakira and 334 kilometres from the capital Honiara.

Unprecedented wave of shark attacks causes terror in North Carolina
A seventh person in North Carolina has been bitten by sharks in what is becoming an unprecedented wave of attacks on tourist beaches. The 68-year-old man was flown to hospital after being bitten on his hands and leg as he swam off the shore of Ocracoke Island.

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State
The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt. Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

World’s Jewish Population Approaching Pre-Holocaust Numbers
The world’s Jewish population has almost rebounded to pre-Holocaust numbers, according to a new report. The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) estimates there are currently 14.2 million Jewish people in the world today. That estimate approaches 16.2 million, the number of Jewish people in the world before World War II, when Nazis and their collaborators killed 6.1 million Jews.

Ebola crisis: Liberia’s new outbreak spreads
Two more cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Liberia following the death of a teenager from the virus on Sunday, officials say. The country had been declared Ebola-free more than seven weeks ago. Both of the new cases were in Nedowein, the same village where the boy died, the ministry of information says.

Egypt: Sinai operations will last ‘until IS removed’
Egypt has vowed to rid its Sinai Peninsula of militants after major clashes with Islamic State fighters there killed more than 100 people. Operations will not stop until the area is cleared of all “terrorist concentrations”, the army said. Air strikes continued into the early hours of Thursday.

The Latest: Muslim Brotherhood calls for Egypt ‘rebellion’
The Muslim Brotherhood says its leaders killed in a Cairo apartment were murdered in “in cold blood,” calling for a rebellion against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who it calls a “butcher.”

Oppose Gay Marriage, But Avoid Two Big Mistakes
And just like the U.S. legalization of abortion in 1973, this newest decision has occurred in a Sabbath rest year, a year of spiritual significance that was designed by God for restoration and renewal – for setting things right – not a year to invent new forms of social rebellion against the Almighty. For me, the timing of Friday’s decision seems eerily like a divine setup for some kind of God-ordained response this Fall.

US warns of Russia, China military threat amid growing chaos
America’s new military strategy singles out states like China and Russia as aggressive and threatening to US security interests, while warning of growing technological challenges and worsening global stability.

Iran Repatriates 13 Tons of Gold Under Sanctions Relief
Iranian officials said Monday that the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank has successfully repatriated 13 tons of gold as part of a package of sanctions relief provided to Iran by U.S. and Western powers.

ECB will not increase liquidity lifeline to Greek banks: source
The European Central Bank’s governing council on Wednesday decided not to increase the liquidity lifeline to cash-strapped Greek banks, a Greek banking source said.


Top Headlines – 7/2/2015

Terror in the Sinai: Ongoing battles, police under siege, at least 100 dead

Bodies of dead militants shown on Egyptian TV after terrorist attack

Egyptian Military: We won’t stop until Sinai is clear of terror

The Latest: Muslim Brotherhood calls for Egypt ‘rebellion’

ISIS in Sinai is a serious threat to Israel

Hamas has close ties to IS affiliates in Sinai, say Israel, Egypt

Israel closes crossings with Egypt, Gaza, following ISIS Sinai terror attacks

Netanyahu: We are partners with Egypt in the fight against ISIS that has reached our borders

Report: IDF to okay bolstered Egyptian forces in Sinai after deadly attacks

Bayit Yehudi threatens coalition crisis over terror attack

Analysis: West Bank unrest may not be an intifada, but it poses a serious threat nonetheless

Israelis protest against deadly Palestinian attacks

Abbas outs top PLO official on suspicion of ‘conspiracy’ to undermine PA

Hamas, Hezbollah said to discuss Israel ceasefire

Jewish, Arab, Iranian Believers Prove Peace is Possible

Bennett to Netanyahu: Cancel Ramadan exemptions for Palestinians

Jewish Home Demands Construction in Response to Terror

Opposition joins Netanyahu in lobbying against anti-Israel resolution in UNHRC

Op-Ed: The Vatican Wants the Temple Mount Taken From the Jews

UNESCO Head Warns Against ‘Culture Cleansing’ of Jihadists

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State

Stop calling terror group ‘Islamic State’: Cameron tells media it gives undue credibility to the “poisonous death cult”

74 children executed by ISIS for ‘crimes’ that include refusal to fast, report says

Child labor on the rise among Syrian children as crisis spirals

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after IS bombing

Free Syrian Army: Our struggle is increasingly against Iran

Netanyahu: For Iran’s mullahs ‘Israel is the small Satan and American is the great Satan’

IAEA says Iran uranium stockpile reduced, but questions remain

Iran deadlines swept aside as negotiators settle on moment of truth

Congressional pressure building on Obama as Iran talks drag out

US prepares for ‘staggeringly consequential’ Iran deal

Iran Threatens to Go Nuclear If Talks Fail

Iran Repatriates 13 Tons of Gold Under Sanctions Relief

Iraq, North Korea failures shadow nuclear talks with Iran

US warns of Russia, China military threat amid growing chaos

Two Jews tortured by Ukraine rebels land in Israel

Idaho refugee center targeted by closure campaign over extremism fears

U.S., Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years

Not so fast? Lawmakers poised to fight Obama on Cuba ambassador pick, embargo

Cruz bashes Obama on Cuba embassy opening; calls it ‘a slap in the face’ to Israel

Survey says: 35 percent of Americans would expatriate

Puerto Rico power company forced to sell bonds amid crisis

Greece’s Tsipras defiant as banks shut, markets rocked by bailout referendum

Tsipras offers conditional okay to bailout, creditors skeptical

ECB will not increase liquidity lifeline to Greek banks: source

Moody’s cuts Greece’s ratings after default, following Fitch and S&P

Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves

Carney: UK stability outlook has ‘worsened’ in light of Greece

What If Gold Is Declared Illegal?

China’s role highlighted at global Internet governance meeting

China Approves Sweeping Security Law, Bolstering Communist Rule

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Macquarie Island, Australia

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Muzaffarabad, Pakistan

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Scotia Sea

Earthquake swarm continues on Reykjanes ridge, small chance of eruption

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

D.C. endures worst storm since Derecho 2012 – here’s how it happened

California cities show biggest water use reduction yet in drought

California Communities Ban July Fourth Fireworks Amid Historic Drought

London weather: Highest UK July temperature EVER recorded at Heathrow as capital swelters

Shark Attack: Man Airlifted to Hospital After 7th Reported Incident in North Carolina

Is Global Warming Causing More Shark Attacks?

1 dead after Ebola reappears in Liberia

More than 100 had contact with Liberian teen who contracted Ebola

Starting Wednesday, ObamaCare will punish businesses who help employees with health care

Jim Carrey Brands California Governor ‘Fascist’ Over Vaccine Law

New Zealand: Free contraception suggested for pre-teens

Bill Gates Foundation working on “Birth Control Chip”

Disney Castle Lit up with Gay Pride Rainbow; Social Media Erupts

Kids’ TV needs more gay characters, says Norman Lamb

County Clerk Resigns Instead of Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

Man Applies for Marriage License to Have Two Wives

US Episcopalians vote to let gay couples wed in churches

Mozambique decriminalises gay and lesbian relationships

Officials: Students’ gender identity determines restroom use

TV Land Pulls ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Episodes Amid Confederate Flag Uproar

A Church of Cannabis Tests Limits of Religious Law in Indiana

Smacking must be banned to bring UK into line with international law – report to UN insists

Political correctness 101: Praising America, virtues of hard work dubbed ‘micro-aggression’ on campuses

Caleb Flores – Four Things Jesus Didn’t Die For

Mormon Glenn Beck to headline July 4 Freedom Experience at Ed Youngs Mega-Church

Is Colombia’s Megachurch La Ministerial a profiteering cult?

Joel Osteen Avoids Political, Social Issues: ‘It’s Not What I’m Called to Do, I Lift People Up’

Episcopal leadership votes to allow gay marriages in churches

Montana polygamist family applies for marriage license


Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter

Troll Warning - Photo by GilHave you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll?  Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.  If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse. (Read More…)


Why The Puerto Rico Debt Crisis Is Such A Huge Threat To The U.S. Financial System

Puerto Rico Map On A Globe - Photo by TUBSThe debt crisis in Puerto Rico could potentially cost financial institutions in the United States tens of billions of dollars in losses.  This week, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla publicly announced that Puerto Rico’s  73 billion dollar debt is “not payable,” and a special adviser that was recently appointed to help straighten out the island’s finances said that it is “insolvent” and will totally run out of cash very shortly.  At this point, Puerto Rico’s debt is approximately 15 times larger than the per capita median debt of the 50 U.S. states.  Yes, the Greek debt crisis is larger, as Greece currently owes about $350 billion to the rest of the planet.  But only about $14 billion of that total is owed to U.S. financial institutions.  But with Puerto Rico, things are very different.  Just about the entire 73 billion dollar debt is owed to U.S. financial institutions, and this could potentially cause massive problems for some extremely leveraged Wall Street firms. (Read More….)


Tom DeLay: DOJ wants to legalize bestiality, pedophilia

“We’ve already found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department,” DeLay said. “They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal. Not only that, but they have a whole list of strategies to go after the churches, the pastors, and any businesses that tries to assert their religious liberty. This is coming and it’s coming like a tidal wave.”

View Article


Episcopalians Vote to Allow Same-Sex Weddings in Churches

This will be the first of several denominations. We are in the “days of Noah.”

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop.

View Article


America’s Destiny in the Balance

Over the past fifty years, as the foundation of the United States was being stealthily eroded, the vast majority of the American people slumbered content in unprecedented peace and prosperity. Regardless of who was in the White House or in control of Congress, no one has been able or willing, as by-product of this public apathy, to curtail the incessant spread of so-called Progressivism in the nation’s institutions as well as the exponential growth of government with its tentacles increasingly intertwined in the day-to-day lives of all Americans.

View Article


Daily Digest

July 2, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Every prudent and cautious judge … will remember, that his duty and his business is, not to make the law, but to interpret and apply it.” —James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

June’s Job Gains Are Good, but the Devil’s in the Details

The U.S. economy is like a car that won’t shift from second gear into third: It’s moving forward and that’s great, but we’re not on the road that brings 3% GDP growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its June jobs report this morning and the economy did generally what economists predicted it would do. The economy added 233,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3%. The U-6 measure of labor underutilization dropped to 10.5%. But here comes the frustrating part. The percentage of Americans who are working declined by 0.3% to 62.6%, the lowest since 1977. In fact, 432,000 Americans left the workforce — about twice the number that joined last month. Additionally, wages didn’t rise from last month’s $24.95 average hourly wage. After a couple months in which wages increased, another bump in pay would have indicated that the U.S. economy was healthy. The kinds of jobs added in June were encouraging, as there were increases in architectural and engineering services, health care and computer systems design. Interestingly, BLS reports that the gains in the financial sector increased mostly around insurance carriers. “Commercial banking employment declined by 6,000,” the report read. “Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.” While Americans have been buying more insurance, coerced or otherwise, fewer of them have been frequenting their local bank. Could this be a small sign of the decline of the middle class?

Editor’s Note

Tomorrow we will begin to celebrate Independence Day so there will not be a regular Digest. We’ll be back on Monday. God bless the USA!

Leftmedia: Say, There Are Too Many Guns Out There

A new survey asserts that nearly a third of American adults own a gun. Who knew? Frankly, we wish that number were higher. But as it is, the study’s author and the Leftmedia couldn’t be more concerned. “Considering the presence of deeply rooted gun culture and the estimated number of guns in the U.S. to be 310 million, we (suspected) that social gun culture is associated with gun ownership,” said vexed lead author Bindu Kalesan of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. The researchers’ math depended on a 2013 online survey of 4,000 people from all 50 states and DC, so it’s hardly a conclusive measure. Undeterred, however, researchers and their accomplices in the press insist that more guns lead to more accidents, injuries and homicides. Lefty journalist Ed Kilgore, for one, is downright petrified, and he identifies the problem: conservatives. “[T]here is something fundamentally disquieting about the fact that the Americans most likely to own guns are also the Americans most likely to embrace a political rationale for gun ownership and most likely to believe they’re getting outvoted by people who don’t share their values,” he frets. “Somewhere in these overlapping circles is a hard core of dangerous folks who are being told constantly by Republican politicians that they are losing or have already lost their most fundamental rights. And this is why political extremism is a bad thing even if its devotees lose most elections.” That dreaded “gun culture” may concern leftists, but we prefer to call it Liberty.

Chick-fil-A Keeps Doing It Right

It’s interesting that just days after the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage is a heretofore undiscovered constitutional right Chick-fil-A came out on top in a customer service satisfaction survey. In fact, the Atlanta-based fast-food chain registered the highest score in the history of the survey. What does same-sex marriage have to do with fried chicken? Recall that, in 2012, the company became the Rainbow Mafia’s number one target after Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy voiced his support for biblical marriage. Leftists tried to organize a boycott, but it fell flat as a conservative counter-boycott gave franchises their longest lines ever as people flocked to grab a tasty sandwich on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The lesson: Stand by solid principles and make a great product, and people will come. They’ll like it, too.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Independence Day and the Future of Liberty, a tribute to our Patriot Founders and the Liberty they, and generations since, have fought to sustain.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Hillary’s Email Troubles Reach Beyond Benghazi

By Dan Gilmore

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The Left sees the issue of Hillary Clinton’s emails as a liability for the Right. If Republicans aren’t careful, that may prove true.

In March, Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted, “The email trap: If the Rs make HRC email an obsessive fixation, to the exclusion of larger concerns of people, they will pay a price. Again.”

Thanks, Axelrod. An enemy multiplies kisses. After all, there are concerns about the economy, ObamaCare, immigration and what to do with a Supreme Court bent on making this nation ruled by a five-vote majority of a nine-judge panel. But Hillary Clinton’s emails are the perfect profile of Machiavellian politics that she hopes lead to a Clinton White House 2.0.

On Tuesday, the State Department released 3,000 pages of Clinton’s email from her time as secretary of state. This release is simultaneously huge and insignificant. Finally, after years of failed requests via the Freedom of Information Act, journalists and the public can start reading the email exchange showing Clinton telling retired four-star general John Podesta to “please wear socks to bed to keep your feet warm.”

It’s a massive document dump — 3,000 pages of Clinton scheduling meetings, replying to intelligence reports or firing off curt replies. Yet, it’s only a fraction of the 55,0000 pages of emails the State Department will release over the next few months. And it only happened because a federal judge ordered it after VICE News sued.

When the State Department finishes, it will be January 2016 and well into presidential primary season — long enough to cause Hillary some heartburn, but also long enough to cause the public to tune out.

Unfortunately, Clinton’s lawyers got to the emails first. Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy, notes the emails were “heavily curated,” and so there’s a slim-to-none chance there will be “anything surprising or unexpected, let alone compromising.”

Yet these pages reveal yet again Hillary’s secrecy, dishonesty and incompetence. Here are three examples:

  1. Sidney Blumenthal was more involved in her leadership than she previously disclosed. “Are you still awake?” Clinton wrote to Blumenthal in October 2009. “I will call if you are.” This email alone blows away Clinton’s claim that Blumenthal sent her only unsolicited and un-vetted intelligence reports about Libya. While not serving in any official capacity, Blumenthal was an influential figure in Clinton’s State Department. Blumenthal advised Clinton to stay mum on the issue of torture and he was an intermediary between Clinton and the Northern Ireland peace process. His involvement with Clinton’s leadership team is a lot like a private email server — secret, no accountability and something Clinton alone can control.
  2. However convoluted the issue may seem, Hillary writhed away from transparency. Sending her lawyers to curate the emails? Printing out 55,000 pages of electronic communication and dumping it all on the State Department to re-digitize, vet and release? While Clinton may say she wants her emails out in the public, her actions don’t match what she’s saying. During their investigation into the Benghazi attack, the House Select Committee on Benghazi discovered that Blumenthal gave them 15 emails that were not in the pile Clinton handed to State. In other words, Clinton had been trimming emails that had to do with her involvement in Libya.
  3. Hillary struggles with attending meetings and operating fax machines. Honest question here for the “most qualified candidate ever to run for president.” What is the prerequisite skills needed to become leader of the free world, commander in chief of America’s Armed Forces? In the world of management, politics and communication, you’d think sending a fax would be a necessary skill that’s been around, oh, since at least the ’90s. But there’s Clinton in December 2009 emailing one of her staffers to ask about working the ol’ faxer. And this was the woman who managed to operate a home-brewed email account. Furthermore, Clinton once heard about a cabinet meeting through listening to the radio (just like Barack Obama learns about every scandal on the news). “Can I go?” she wrote. “If not, who are we sending?” These are mistakes you’d expect an intern to make. But by all means, let’s give her the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the nuclear launch codes.

The issue running through all of this is Clinton’s culture of ignoring rules and oversight, dodging transparency. And the State Department is implicated in this. The public wouldn’t have known about Clinton’s secret email server if it wasn’t for the probing of the Benghazi committee.

The State Department has been dragging its feet since the committee asked for some of Clinton’s emails last November. By March, the committee had to release a subpoena.

During a press briefing June 26, State spokesman John Kirby told reporters, “We were in receipt of the email traffic that former Secretary Clinton provided, that she had gone through and decided were official in scope.”

He also explained that the department had an “original mandate,” which was to get the email communication regarding the Benghazi attack, then Clinton’s communication regarding Libya. But the record was incomplete, as at least 15 emails are missing from the State Department’s records. Still, State will do nothing, even knowing that its record-keeping rules may have been violated. Kirby said he knows of no investigation and that it’s “a matter between the select committee and former Secretary Clinton.”

The Left has been trying to make the Clinton emails and the original issue, the Benghazi attacks and cover-up, as big a political trap as they can for the Republican Party. Clinton has already created an attack ad over it. And the ranking Democrat member of the Benghazi Committee has been saying weekly that the investigation is only a partisan attack, and that the Republican House is wasting taxpayer money.

Both her secret servers and her Benghazi cover-up are critically important and, we think, disqualify Clinton from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, Clinton and the Democrats may succeed in dragging things out so long that these stories really are “old news” and voters will care even less than they do now. People expect the Clintons to be corrupt. So when corruption is exposed, they shrug and move on.

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “California keeps reminding us what has gone astray with America in recent years. The state is in the midst of a crippling four-year-old drought. Yet California has built almost no major northern or central mountain reservoirs since the New Melones Dam of 1979. That added nearly 3 million acre-feet to the state’s storage reserves — a critical project that was almost canceled by endless environmental lawsuits and protests. Although California has almost doubled in population since the dam’s construction, its politicians apparently decided that completing more northern and Sierra Nevada water projects was passé. So the parched state now prays for rain and snow rather than building reservoirs to ensure that the next drought won’t shut down the state. Curiously, once infrastructure projects such as the New Melones Dam are finished, few seem to complain about the life-saving water they provide the public in times of existential drought. California has taught the nation its unique hypocrisy. We have stopped the Keystone pipeline for now, but if it gets built eventually, few consumers will complain that it transfers oil at a cheap cost and with greater safety. California has also schooled the nation on mutually exclusively goals. Its lax immigration policies have made for a rapidly expanding population, and yet it expects a sophisticated infrastructure that ensures plentiful, clean water — and dreams of a pristine, green, 19th century paradise in a depopulated state.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of ‘loyalty’ and ‘duty.’ Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute, get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.” —American writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988)

Alpha Jackass: “There are those in politics who seek to demonize the opposition and polarize them. And it’s not helpful to the country.” —Howard Dean, former head of the party that specializes in demonization

Maybe the anti-Reagan: “Obama in many ways has helped start the same kind of political revolution that Reagan did.” —former campaign manager Jim Messina

Village Idiots: “We believe we’re making progress. We have our own sense of deadline.” —John Kerry on the Iran nuke deal

Dezinformatsia: “Although Frank J. Schwartz, a shark biologist with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, says there’s too much natural variability in weather cycles to blame the recent shark attacks on global warming, Burgess says the link is plausible. ‘Clearly global climate change is a reality and it has resulted in warmer temperatures in certain places at certain times,’ says Burgess.” —National Geographic

Sounds suspicious: “Girl Scouts is for every girl, and every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.” —Megan Ferland, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western Washington, who claims she returned a $100,000 donation after the donor requested the check not be used to support “transgendered girls.” She then launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised $100K to replace that donation. (We would like to see the evidence such a check was ever received and the stipulation wording. Otherwise this sounds like a PR stunt to raise some money.)

“If emails show Hillary was dumbfounded by a fax machine, maybe we don’t want her having our nuclear launch codes.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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Obama Authorizes 13 Tons Of Gold Released To Iran As Sanctions Are Stopped

Iranian officials said Monday that the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank has successfully repatriated 13 tons of gold as part of a package of sanctions relief provided to Iran by U.S. and Western powers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After all this time and all the talk, US president Barack Obama and the United States have failed and are failing to stop Iran from obtaining both nuclear power and weaponry. Obama has ordered sanctions, the only thing really preventing a nuclear Iran, to be stopped, and has rewarded the terror-supporting rogue nation by releasing 13 tons of gold back to them. Mission Accomplished.

The gold was transferred to Iran by the government of South Africa, which had been holding onto the assets due to harsh sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to rein in its rogue nuclear program. The gold appears to have been released as part of a sanctions relief package that will have awarded Iran nearly $12 billion in unfrozen cash assets by the time negotiations wrap up next week.

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Iran received $4.2 billion in unfrozen assets under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Tehran committed to the talks.

The State Department calculates that Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hinted this week that Iran would decide to fully pursue its nuclear program in a way “harsher than what they [the United States can] imagine” if Western powers fail to uphold any nuclear agreement expected to be finalized in the coming days.

28 Times Obama Said He’d Prevent Iran from Getting a Nuclear Weapon

Rouhani’s comments come as negotiators in Vienna struggle to solve disagreements over a range of issues concerning the future of Tehran’s nuclear program. The ongoing disputes prevented the sides from finalizing the agreement before a self-imposed June 30 deadline.

Talks are now expected to continue through July 9.

“If the the P5+1 negotiating countries breach the nuclear agreement, we immediately go back to the old path, harsher than what they imagine,” Rouhani was quoted as saying this week in Persian language media reports that were independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon.

Some have interpreted these comments as Rouhani threatening to boost a range of nuclear efforts that Western powers suspect have been used to construct a nuclear weapon.


Obama Blocks Attempts By Arab Allies To Fly Heavy Weapons Directly To Kurds To Fight ISIS

The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq

Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

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They now say they are willing to “go it alone” in supplying heavy weapons to the Kurds, even if means defying the Iraqi authorities and their American backers, who demand all weapons be channelled through Baghdad.

High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.

If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating ISIS, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat,” said a senior Arab government official. “With ISIL making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face.” source


OFFICIALS: STUDENTS’ GENDER IDENTITY DETERMINES RESTROOM USE

 

The AP reports:

The U.S. Justice Department says in a court filing that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The department says in a statement of interest filed Monday that failure to do so amounts to sex discrimination under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. The document is in response to a federal lawsuit filed against the Gloucester County School Board by a 16-year-old transgender student who wants to be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.

Read more


Girl Scouts reject $100G donation over anti-transgender provision

 

According to Fox News:

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington said it refunded a $100,000 donation because it came with a provision that the money couldn’t be used to support transgender girls.

The group said it sent the money back in May after the donor had asked that the gift be returned unless the group guaranteed it would not be used to benefit transgender girls.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl, and that is every girl regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion. Every girl is every girl,” Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said in an interview Tuesday. “It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick.”

Read more


FBI sets up 56 centers to monitor Fourth of July Terror Threat

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:39 AM PDT

The FBI is setting up command centers at all of its 56 field offices across the country ahead of the July 4 weekend, to monitor any potential terrorist threats, law enforcement sources have revealed.
Sources told Fox News that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. will be reporting any information about possible attacks to these command centers – where officials will decide how to respond.

The move comes amid growing fears that the terror group ISIS is working to awaken sleeper cells in Western nations, after sympathizers were linked to three back-to-back attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia last Friday. While the FBI says there has been no specific credible threat so far, it seems to be more active in its warnings and actions ahead of Independence Day this year than previously. Another law enforcement source told Fox that the FBI has even been working to take known sympathizers for groups like ISIS off the streets of America before the symbolic holiday.  That could mean arresting these alleged sympathizers on U.S. soil on lesser charges and building a broader case while they are temporarily in custody over the holiday weekend. FULL REPORT

 

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Kiss the Confederate Flag at Fort Sumter Goodbye!, Ordered to be removed by National Park

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:31 AM PDT

The historic site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired is no longer flying versions of the Confederate flag above it. The U.S. National Park Service ordered all flags except the U.S. flag to be taken down at the Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor.

The banners that were removed are neither the traditional Confederate flag that’s most typically displayed by individuals nor the battle flag version that has been flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia. Instead, the flags taken down were the less frequently seen national banners of the Confederacy. The park service also took down the South Carolina state flag. On April 12, 1861, the Confederate army fired artillery at the federal military installation, which is located in Charleston Harbor, in the first armed conflict of the Civil War. Union forces surrendered 34 hours later, and for four years, the fort remained in Confederate hands. FULL REPORT

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Name Change Considered for Little Rock’s Confederate Blvd

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:24 AM PDT

The remains of more than 600 confederate soldiers are buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery and some believe that’s reason enough to keep the name of the road that runs in front. “I just really believe that it ought not to be changed because that’s a National Cemetery. There’s a lot of dead heroes there,” says Jim Roy Warden. Warden owns a burger joint along Confederate Boulevard. “They don’t even need to consider changing it in my opinion,” Warden says.

But others see the name as a reminder of Arkansas’ painful past. “Having something like a street or the flag its a symbol of slavery and it’s a symbol of oppression and I don’t thin it’s something we need to have,” says Little Rock City Director Kathy Webb. Webb says the time is right to change the name, “It came about partially as a result of the horrible massacre in Charleston but I think it was also something that’s been on people’s’ minds for quite some time.” FULL REPORT

 

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DC Navy Yard on lockdown after report of shots fired

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:16 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: The Washington Navy Yard where a gunman killed 12 people in 2013 is on lockdown Thursday after reports of an active shooter. The National Military Command Center confirmed reports that shots were fired on the installation. U.S. Park Police told FoxNews.com that officers are at the scene. The first-responders on scene are engaged in “a very time-consuming process that cannot be rushed,” Frank Wuco, former Naval Intelligence Officer, told Fox News.

A heavy police and fire department presence begins blocks away from the Navy Yard, with roads blocked off and a helicopter hovering overhead. The scene is unfolding about a half mile from the U.S. Capitol. Lt. Cmdr. Scott Williams, who is stationed at the facility, described a chaotic scene. He said he heard shouting and law enforcement officers told him to exit the facility. FULL REPORT

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Christian Hardware Store Owner Posts ‘No Gays Allowed’ Sign, Then Replaces It With This One After Receiving Threats

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:07 AM PDT

Following the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide, Jeff Amyx got defiant. “They gladly stand for what they believe in; why can’t I?” the eastern Tennessee hardware store owner asked WBIR-TV. ”They believe their way is right; I believe it’s wrong. But yet I’m going to take more persecution than them because I’m standing for what I believe in.”  By “they,”

Amyx was referring to the gay community. And as for the persecution he predicted he’d receive, it all revolved around a sign posted on the front of Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Washburn: “No Gays Allowed.”“The reason I put up the sign is to let the homosexual people know that there are Christian people that are willing to take a stand,” the Baptist minister told WATE-TV. FULL REPORT

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MasterCard will approve purchases by scanning your face

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 05:56 AM PDT

This fall, MasterCard will start experimenting with a new program: approving online purchases with a facial scan. At checkout, you’ll be asked to hold up your phone and snap a photo. MasterCard’s thinking? It’s easier than remembering a password. “The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, who’s in charge of coming up with innovative solutions for MasterCard’s security challenges.

This is MasterCard’s way of cutting down fraud. Currently, customers can set up something called “SecureCode,” which requires a password when shopping online. This stops credit-card-number-stealing hackers from actually using your card on the Web. It was used in 3 billion transactions last year, the company said. FULL REPORT

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5,000 Residents Evacuated From Maryville, TN Train Derailment

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 05:49 AM PDT

More than 5,000 residents were evacuated after a freight train carrying a “highly flammable and toxic gas” partly derailed and caught fire early Thursday just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, officials said. Seven officers were hospitalized after breathing in fumes, Blount County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Marian O’Briant told NBC News. One car of the train derailed and was on fire, railroad officials said.

An evacuation zone is in place over a two-mile radius from the derailment, near Maryville, and could be in place for up to 48 hours, the fire department said. Two shelters were being opened for residents including one at a local high school, according to David Kitchen, senior disaster program Manager for the Tennessee Volunteer Region of the Red Cross. FULL REPORT

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Gay Activists Demanding Churches Lose Their Tax Exempt Status

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:04 PM PDT

The Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn’t be subsidizing religion and non-profits Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay-rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears. FULL REPORT

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Florida dealership forced to remove American flag banners or pay county code violation fine

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 07:38 PM PDT

A local car dealership may be paying a price for patriotism. The Kia car dealership on South Military Trail was issued a code-enforcement violation from Palm Beach County for displaying American Flag banners on its property. The notice cites a Unified Land Development code that prohibits displaying banners, streamers, pennants, balloons or other signage made of lightweight fabric, plastic, or similar material.

The six American flag banners currently wave proudly at the entrance of the dealership. “We’re just trying to show our patriotism,” said Mike Wangle, General Manager of the dealership. The banners are on dealership property. The notice served this week says the banners have to be removed by the fourth of July or there will be a daily fine of up to $1,000. “You would think they they would let us leave it up during the fourth and then say take them down after the holiday,” added Wangle. FULL REPORT

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PBS Now Promoting the Transgender Lifestyle to Children

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 07:22 PM PDT

The Public Broadcasting Service has approved “Growing Up Trans,” which aired June 30. Keep in mind that children and teens stay up later during the summer months. Obviously, PBS is attempting to desensitize America’s youth by airing a program starring children. This alone will entice kids to watch. PBS’ website describes the program: “Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders.

But today, many children are transitioning, too—with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. In ‘Growing Up Trans,’ a 90-minute special airing June 30 on PBS, FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.” The show is attempting to normalize the transgender lifestyle and make it appear OK while using young cast members to lure a young audience. Many families have already discovered that PBS is anything but family-friendly. But 1MM thought a warning should still be sent out for anyone who continues to watch the channel. FULL REPORT

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Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, July 2, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Washington Navy Yard on Lockdown Following ‘Active Shooter’ Report

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Ten Commandments Monument Must Go

Mississippi Court Clerk Resigns Rather than Grant Gay Couples Marriage Licenses

Chibok Schoolgirls Brainwashed to ‘Cut Throats of Christians,’ Witnesses Say

Katy Perry Battles Nuns to Purchase Old Convent

5 Things Christians Should Know about Chris Christie’s Faith

Supreme Court: Obama Admin Can’t Make Religious Groups Obey Birth Control Mandate

Mark Driscoll Interviewed at Hillsong Conference Despite Promise He’d Been Dropped

South Carolina Church Becomes 7th Black Church to Burn after Emanuel AME Shooting

Islamic Militants Threaten to Kill Israeli Christians

Opinion

After Same-Sex Marriage, is Polygamy Next?

Why We Don’t Have to Worry about Overpopulation

Will Religious Organizations Lose Tax-Exempt Status?

How to Protect Your Kids from the Internet This Summer

Everything has Changed and Nothing has Changed — The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage


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.

July 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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When Leaders Fall, All Are Punished

The immorality of leaders has been a reality among God’s people for as long as God has had a people. The temptations for leaders are as real as they are for the rest of us, but the consequences are more severe. When a leader falls, all are punished. Not punished for the pastor’s sin, but by his sin. It’s fair, then, to say they are punished because of his sin.

Read more


Cheers to the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta talks of rights, but these are not Lockean Natural Rights, given to individuals through the unmediated powers of their Creator. Quite the contrary, the opening articles of the Magna Carta clearly assert that rights come from God (not “the Creator”) to the king who then bestows them, not to individuals, but to communities. All these communal, inherited rights come with duties attached to them. If any community failed to uphold their obligations, their freedoms would be jeopardized, and not only for themselves, but for their descendants, too.

Read more


The Multi-Dimensional Love of Christ

One multi-year study did find that over 60% of all songs in the Top 40 were love songs. Not surprising really, given how wonderful an experience it is to love and to be loved. However, a large number of love songs, perhaps the majority, lament the difficulties and disappointments of human love.

Read more


Dear Pope Francis: Here Are Five Times Weapons of War Saved Christians

One the most famous naval engagements in history pitted forces of the Holy League, Christians supported by Pope Pius V, against the invading Ottoman Turks. It was the first major victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet, a victory driven, by, among other things, technological advances in weaponry.

Read More


A Summary of PCA Statements on Homosexuality

In light of recent decisions by some denominations to approve ordaining openly homosexual individuals to the ministry, to allow ministers to officiate and bless same-sex marriages, and because of the public debate on legalizing same-sex marriages, it is appropriate to note that not all denominations have taken these actions. And since one of these denominations in the news recently is “Presbyterian,” it is important to note that there are a number of Presbyterian denominations and that not all of them have taken the above actions. One of these churches is the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Here is a brief overview of actions on sexuality of past PCA General Assemblies.

Read more


Lessons Learned From The Civil Rights Resolution At The 2015 PCA General Assembly

How then do we add feet to our repentance regarding the Civil Rights era, while maintaining this purely spiritual mission and authority?  That is what we will need to work out in the year to come in our sessions and presbyteries.  I might suggest that we begin by looking to the book of Philemon as a patient model of how to urge repentance that stems from sincere love, rather than that which is merely external and formal, which no one wants. 

Read more


Why The Gay Marriage Debate Was Over In 1950

Once self-fulfillment becomes the end towards which individuals are moving, then there is no longer any fixed council or direction to govern any particular individual’s choice—only what a person claims will lead to his personal betterment, as only he is entitled to determine. Individual autonomy and self-indulgence trump all else…. Having enshrined individual autonomy as authoritative, it’s just a question of time and the tide of personal inclination. Justice Kennedy based his opinion on just such an appeal…. The battle wasn’t over marriage. It was over what’s left of the traditional Christian understanding of human design and destiny.

Read More


The Symbolism of the Rainbow

God, by placing the rainbow in the sky, was, in a sense, aiming His weapon of war and judgment at Himself; and, as it was with the cutting of the covenant with Abraham in which God alone passed through the animals that had been cut apart in judgment, God is saying in the Noahic covenant that there will be judgment; but, for those for whom the Father has sent the Son into the world to redeem, that judgment will fall on Himself at the cross.

Read More


Episcopalians Approve Religious Weddings For Gay Couples

On Tuesday, the House of Bishops had approved the resolution, 129-26, with five abstaining, and it was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Deputies, the voting body of lay people and clergy, on Wednesday… The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the global Anglican Communion, and before the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had expressed concern about redefining marriage.

Read More


Clueless Christians are Crippling the Church

Let me offer a brief but tragic history lesson, at least of more recent history. It has to do with self-professed enemies of the church, and how believers have responded to them. It especially has to do with whether or not the church has taken seriously these threats, or simply capitulated and compromised.

Sadly all too often it seems the threats are minimised while ignorant believers side with these opponents. It seems hardly a day goes by when I am not discussing this with yet another Christian who is so very clueless as to the war(s) we are involved in.

clueless 2These folks have their heads in the sand concerning the very real threats which exist to faith, family and freedom. And they seem to take pride in their ignorance and lack of understanding. So let me offer three recent example of this:
-We had clueless Christians siding with the communists during the Cold War.
-We have clueless Christians siding with Islam now.
-We have clueless Christians siding with the homosexual agenda now.

All three groups almost drive me to despair with their inability to think clearly and to perceive danger when it stares them in the face. No wonder the church keeps losing and losing and losing. When the church cannot or will not identify its own enemies, it is asking for trouble.

Read more


Cowardice in Leadership

Today we continue to look at the fall out from the legalization of homosexual marriage and how Christian “leaders” are responding.  Some government employees are refusing to issue homosexual marriage licenses, citing religious conviction.  The response: comply or be fired. And Joel Osteen has weighed in on the decision.  Could he actually have a strong […]

Read more of this post


Cold Case Christianity: Now More Than Ever, It’s Time for the Church to Be a Thermostat

Thermostat Instead of a ThermometerSometimes it feels like we, as Christians living in the twenty-first century, are the first to find ourselves surrounded by a culture that seems to reject much of what we believe. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. The earliest Christians, struggling to survive in the first century, were surrounded by a far more hostile culture. In spite of the obstacles and challenges, this group continued to grow, unlike the present Church in America, which appears to be shrinking each and every year. What’s the difference between these two groups? One important distinction is simply the response each group expressed (and is currently expressing) toward the culture in which they live(d). The first century Church was a thermostat, while the twenty first century Church (in America, at least) is often little more than a thermometer.

Thermostats control the temperature, while thermometers simply reflect it. The first century Church was well trained by its Master. Jesus told the earliest disciples and followers that they needed to resist the temptation to simply reflect the temperature of their culture:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

Jesus told his followers to set the tone for the world around them. To change the flavor of the culture rather than simply adopt the flavor of their first century environment. We are salt. And we are light:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Light guides and exposes. Jesus’ command to be “light” assumes two things. It assumes the world around us is dark and needs light, and it assumes the practices and beliefs of the culture are misguided and need correcting. That’s why we need to be thermostats rather than thermometers. We are called to set the tone, add truth to the culture, shine a light on the darkness and guide people to something better. The Church is at a crucial point of decision. We can acquiesce, shrink in silence, or stand tall in spite of the consequences. Jesus called his followers to do the latter. That’s why he did his best to prepare them for the reaction they would surely receive from the culture:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)

There would be no reason to prepare His followers for persecution if Jesus intended them to either compromise or remain silent. He must want something more from us as His ambassadors. He must want us to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

But we can’t (and won’t) do anything if we aren’t sure about what we believe and why our beliefs are true. Sadly it seems many of us are willing to compromise and reflect the views of the culture (like thermometers) rather than attempt to impact the world for Christ (like thermostats). Thermometers don’t effect change, they simply record it. Jesus never took this approach and He never advocated such an approach for His disciples. Christ followers are called to be uncompromising change agents. That’s why it’s time for all of us to be thermostats rather than thermometers.

Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity


Night Is Falling

From this moment on we will never be as free as we once were in our faith. We will be systemically harassed. I believe that there will be a brief pause now, a moment of calm while people and forces take stock of what has happened and what it means.

Then will come the outright persecution. You are in the crosshairs. You have been warned.

Attend to your God and His Son and be about His work. The night is coming when it is not possible to work. In fact, I think that dusk has already begun to settle on this fallen world.

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Watchman Warning: Troubled Greece – Hal Lindsey

This is more than a global economic event. As a minister and former pastor, it breaks my heart to see such suffering. Think about what it would be like to have your life’s savings in a bank in a country that might confiscate it. Imagine working forty years expecting a certain pension, only to have most of it taken away just as you’re set to retire. Imagine stocking up on toilet paper this week because next week the store shelves could be bare.

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Gay Pride Came Before America’s Fall—Franklin Graham Sounds Off

Franklin Graham has been outspoken about the judgment of God in the wake of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.

Now, he’s quoting Scripture—and one dissenting Supreme Court justice—in his latest comments about the misuse of the rainbow: “Pride goeth before a fall.”

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The US Supreme Court “gay marriage” ruling – how we got to this, and what do we do now?

Supreme Court 5-4MassResistance (MR), a pro-family group based in Massachusetts, admits that the pro-family movement as a whole made huge blunders in their approach to winning the “culture war.” According to MR, the “religious pro-family establishment is as treacherous and opportunist as the national Republican Party establishment.” No surprise there. Many of us in online discernment have reported on the deceptive pro-family movement for years. Our beef with pro-family groups is mainly who they choose to align themselves with. One example is the apostate New Apostolic Reformation. So that you’ll know who these pro-family leaders are and the ways in which they’ve given credibility to the worst sort of false teaching imaginable, we’re including a few eye-opening articles:

The Religious Right uniting with religious renegades, part 1 part 2 part 3

Pitiable capitulating pro-family leaders part 1 part 2

Assemblies of God Exposed to New Apostolic Reformation through Empowered21

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4 Things the “Same-Sex Marriage” Ruling Isn’t

by Erin Davis | 7/01/15

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the historic decision passed down by the Supreme Court last week legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. I don’t know what’s happening in your world, but in mine, people are either over the moon excited or totally freaked out about the ruling. I finally deleted Twitter from my phone because the reactions on both sides were so fast and furious that my head started to spin.

Getting some distance from the hype allowed me to squeeze the Supreme Court’s decision through the grid of God’s Word. Yes, it’s true that the Court’s ruling and the changes happening right now in our culture are a big deal. But God’s Word allows us to see the bigger picture. Here’s what the Supreme Court’s ruling on “same-sex marriage” isn’t.

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Help for Making Hard Decisions

by Samantha Loucks | 7/02/15

I still remember sitting at my youth leader’s kitchen table, a senior in high school, worrying about having to choose a college. A deadline was quickly approaching, and I was frustrated that God didn’t send a messenger who would put me out of my misery by telling me which one to pick.

I was passionate about fulfilling God’s will for my life. I knew He was placing desires and dreams in my heart. But I also thought achieving those big, huge, massive dreams hinged on just a few big, huge, massive decisions in life.

God walks with us, blesses our faithfulness, and directs our hearts when we don’t even realize it.

And I was really scared to make those big decisions. I didn’t want to make the wrong choice, the one that would lead me down an entirely different path, far far away from my dreams and goals. I wanted a sign. Something from God that said: “Pick this one!”

Why doesn’t He give us heavenly road markers? Why did this feel like a guessing game? If I picked Door #1, would I be blessed? If I picked Door #2, would I
be smacked in the face with failure and disappointment?

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Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen

“At the end of the day we’re all on the same side,” says Hillsong celeb Brian Houston of Mark Driscoll’s sudden attack of conscience.  Our friends at Pulpit & Pen have audio of Driscoll’s statement. Here is a snippet, but do go to the site and listen for yourself: Speaking at the Hillsong conference, Mark […]

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Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen

From Pulpit & Pen:

Courtesy Berean Research. Cartoon by Rod Anderson.

Courtesy Berean Research. Cartoon by Rod Anderson.

Speaking at the Hillsong conference, Mark Driscoll repented for a number of things. Praise God. Hallelujah.

Milking the Best-Seller’s List by Improperly Using Church Funds

Asking staff about their wive’s favorite sexual position

Well more than a dozen counts of plagiarism

Porno-graphic discerno-vision

Throwing people under the Mars Hill bus

No. Driscoll didn’t repent for any of that stuff. Driscoll repented for having criticized Joel Osteen.

Pulpit & Pen has the audio.

Read more


“Weeping,” not celebrating, correct response to “shameless” homosexuality, Piper says

Christians are looking to their leaders for guidance and wisdom on SCOTUS’ disastrous ruling on same-sex “marriage.”  Enter John Piper.  Dr. Piper was once looked upon as a leader in the Church. However, in the past couple of years he has been under fire for uniting with and giving his stamp of approval to false teachers.  Thus, many […]

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Cold Case Christianity: Why the Case for Christianity Is More Important Than Ever (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #36)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace returns to the recent Pew Research Poll data and makes an important observation about the state of belief in America. Does this data reveal a unique opportunity for those of us who want to make the case for Christianity? Is America becoming a more secular nation, or does theism still rule the day? Here is part 1 of this week’s broadcast:

Here is part 2 of this week’s broadcast:

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):


What your average evangelical is concerned about after Obergefell

The video above is from a Roman Catholic group, but I can testify that many evangelical Christians are feeling the same way these folks are.

I am a pastor, and the testimonies in this video look very similar to what I have been seeing with the folks in my church. Our members by and large don’t have questions about the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage. They get that. Nor do they have questions about their obligation to love their neighbor, to seek their good, and to be at peace with everyone (Mark 12:29; Luke 6:33; Rom. 12:18). They get all of that. Read more of this post


Resources about the sin of homosexuality for believers, parents, and gay folks wanting to emerge from their sin

With the Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage in every state of the US last Friday, many people have come forward to me and others with questions on how to help those on bondage to it, or how to help parents struggling to come to grips with their child’s sin of homosexuality, or how to respond in apologetics to those Christians waving a rainbow flag in affirmation of the decision, or many other issues concomitant. As I saw good and trustworthy resources come across my laptop, I saved them and systematized them into groupings. I hope any of this may help as you witness to the truth regarding this particular sin.
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Rainbow White House

I write this post not as a partisan, but as an American. The White House should not ever be used as an icon or celebration for any particular political or even social cause or purpose, regardless of our personal belief on the rightness of that cause. It just shouldn’t.

There are many reasons.

Read more


Seven Key Reasons Your Church Attendance May Be Declining

My five-year old grandson asked me how old I was. When I told him I would turn 60 in a few weeks, he responded: “I didn’t realize people got that old.”

Indeed, in 60 years, like any of us who have lived a few years, I have seen change, lots of change. And I am seeing change in local congregations faster than any time in my lifetime. One of the most disheartening changes I am seeing is the declining attendance in a majority of churches. I am asked repeatedly to diagnose and help with these challenges.

Though addressing the issue of declining attendance cannot be covered in a brief blog post, I hope it will be helpful to share some high-level perspectives. See if any of these seven reasons apply to your church.

  1. “Cultural Christians” no longer see the need to attend church. “Cultural Christian” is really an oxymoron. I refer here to those men and women who once attended church for social, political, or business reasons. Most of them no longer feel it is necessary to be in church to be a regarded citizen in the community.
  2. Church members are attending less frequently. I have noted in other articles how I see this development as potentially the greatest contributor to attendance decline. Three decades ago, a very active church member attended three times a week. Today we call those who attend three times a month an active church member.
  3. Expectations are lower for church members. One of the reasons church members attend less frequently is that very little is expected of them in many churches. If we expect little of our members, that is exactly what we will get.
  4. Insufficient emphasis on groups. This reality may be one of the most neglected areas of church life. Groups of all kinds – home groups, small groups, Sunday school classes, life groups, and others – are key to assimilation and greater commitment. The importance of groups must begin with the pastor and all other key leaders in the church.
  5. Inward focus. In too many churches, the emphasis is on “me, myself, and I.” Some members are more concerned about the temperature in the worship center than the eternal destinations of their neighbors. The “me-focused” church is on its way to decline.
  6. No clearly defined process of discipleship. Eric Geiger and I reported on this issue in our book, Simple Church. Growing churches are much more likely to have a clearly grasped and implemented process of discipleship than declining churches.
  7. No strategic plans for multi-venues or multi-campuses. As I noted in my post Monday, the trend of multi-venue and multi-campus churches may be the most significant in church practices in the past three decades. Even smaller churches are now planning for more than one site or venue. Those churches not making such plans are more likely to be declining.

Decline in church attendance cannot be defined in seven simple statements. But these reasons are at least broad explanations of what is taking place in many of our congregations. I would love to get feedback from you on these issues.

The post Seven Key Reasons Your Church Attendance May Be Declining appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


God and Country, Crucified: Why It’s Time to Exchange Our Civil Religion for a Cross

In the video below you can watch my sermon, delivered at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, on 2 Chronicles 7:1-22.


The Rapture And The Anti-Christ

What view do you hold based on Scripture with regard to the amount of time that may lapse between the Rapture and the revealing of Antichrist? Dave Hunt spoke convincingly of a very short duration between the two events. What say you?

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More On Jephthah And His Daughter

We were doing a bible study on book of judges 11 about Jephthah’s daughter.  This caused a debate. Some said that it could have been her virginity that was taken or some other sacrifice, not necessarily Jephthah killing his daughter.  In a recent post you said it was an abomination to the Lord to do that so therefore unlawful. Could you please clarify what actually happened.  Did Jephthah sacrifice his daughter?

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More Forgiveness

This past weekend I heard a wonderful TV sermon on forgiveness. I have been struggling with a certain person and situation for about 15 years and had no desire to forgive him because he continually hurt me emotionally. Praise God, at the end of the program I was able to raise my hands, ask God for forgiveness and then to forgive those I felt had hurt me. The lifting of the burden was instantaneous and I am at such peace. My question is: Do I need to get in touch with the people I have forgiven or is that forgiveness between me and God? Thank you for your insight and God Bless you for your wonderful teaching!

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The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

unmerciful-servant

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.

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understandthetimes.org

Seeker Friendly To Contemplative Spirituality

The seeker-friendly model was the brainchild of Peter Drucker. The concept of finding out what a consumer would like in a church has been a very successful way to get people to come to a church. At least for a while! This consumer-friendly model worked as long as sinners were not faced with the message of the cross, hell, and other convicting things the Bible teaches.

However, as everyone knows, trends come and go like waves on the ocean. The seeker-friendly wave will not last forever. This, of course, is predictable. Fallen man has had a spiritual void since the fall of man. Satan is more than happy to fill that void and has always had a deceptive plan to do so.

This is why I was not surprised when Pastor Bill Hybels, founder of the Willow Creek church-growth model, announced that their church had repented from their seeker-friendly ways and was now moving towards a method that would transform Christianity by introducing spirituality. Here’s how one Christian reporter explained the transition:

Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study’s findings are in a new book titled Reveal: Where Are You? co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking,” and “mind blowing.” And no wonder: it seems that the “experts” were wrong. [1]

Or this is what Bill Hybels said:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for. [2]

Certainly, the results of this survey should not come as a surprise to Hybels and the Willow Creek bunch. Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, predicted the seeker-friendly movement would give way to the emerging church years ago. Postmoderns, you see, want a God they can smell, feel, touch, taste and see. The seeker-friendly movement does not provide this environment. It was only a matter of time for the seeker-friendly wave to crash.

Actually, Bill Hybels’ consultant Peter Drucker had previously informed him what was coming years ago. Faith Undone explains how Hybels was connected to Leadership Network founded by Bob Buford and Drucker. [3] Certainly, Hybels would have known about the next wave coming that Drucker understood. Another influential pastor influenced by Drucker was Rick Warren. He knew this as well! He wrote a foreword to Dan Kimball’s book in 2003 published by Zondervan stating that the emerging church was only what the purpose-driven church would become in the postmodern era. [4]
So what will the Willow Creek spiritual transformation (aka “spiritual formation”) look like? It will be contemplative, mystical, and sensual. It will become the full-blown emerging church. The teachings will pave the way toward Christian Babylonianism, otherwise known as the Last Days apostate church.


The Daily Discovery (July 2, 2015)

Rainbow White House – “I write this post not as a partisan, but as an American. The White House should not ever be used as an icon or celebration for any particular political or even social cause or purpose, regardless of our personal belief on the rightness of that cause. It just shouldn’t.  There are many reasons.”

Love Didn’t Win– It Was Redefined – “‘Love wins’ is the hashtag of choice for those in support of the newest Supreme Court decision that passed that legislative body by a 5-4 vote. If you’re not content with that, you’re just an evil bigot who needs to shut up and support this new legislation. Forget the fact that you have very rational reasons for keeping marriage between a man and a woman. For example, genderless marriage changes the cultural understanding of marriage from the well being of children to merely the romantic desires of adults. Mothering and fathering certainly isn’t genderless. For kids who all deserve a mom and a dad and need a culture to support that, love hasn’t won.

Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen – “Driscoll used the opportunity to publicly apologize for having ever criticized Osteen, and claimed to have asked Osteen permission to send him a private letter of apology. Houston, of course agrees, and says ‘…at the end of the day, we’re all on the same side.’”

Something Dreadful – “‘Hypochondriasis’ was first diagnosed as we understand it today in the 19th century. This debilitating condition is the result of an inaccurate perception of the condition of body or mind despite the absence of an actual medical condition. An individual suffering from hypochondriasis is known as a hypochondriac. “

Socialism Isn’t A “Right-Wing” Issue – “What happens when the government can’t fund coverage for the sick, the disabled and the elderly? Will our government now be in the business of selecting who lives and who dies?”


SERMON:

Tim Conway – God’s Testimony Must Be In Us


VIDEOS:

Are You Clothed With Power?

The Sanctification debate: Holy Water?


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

Source



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.

GTY Blog – John: The Apostle of Godly Humility

Code: B150701

 

By John MacArthur

All of us have desires and ambitions. For the Christian, the challenge is to discern between the desires that are rooted in and feed our fallen flesh and the desires that have God as their source and His glory as their aim. Our conformity to Christ is tied to conforming our desires to His agenda in our lives. And that is precisely the process the apostle John went through as he was personally discipled by His Lord.

John had ambitious plans for himself in his youth. It’s not inherently wrong to aspire to have influence or to desire success. But it is wrong to have selfish motives, as John apparently did. And it is especially wrong to be ambitious without also being humble.

That is an important balance to strike, or else a virtue turns into vice. Ambition without humility becomes egotism, or even megalomania.

In Mark 10, one chapter after the incident where John rebuked a man who was ministering in Jesus’ name, we find Mark’s description of how James and John approached Jesus with their request to be seated on His right and left in the kingdom. Ironically, Jesus had just reiterated the importance of humility. In Mark 10:31, He told them, “Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” Jesus was simply reiterating the same lesson He had taught them over and over about humility (cf. Mark 9:35).

Nonetheless, just a few verses later (10:35–37), Mark records that James and John came to Jesus with their infamous request for the chief thrones. In Matthew’s account of this incident, they actually enlisted their mother to intercede for them (Matthew 20:20–21). Here we discover that they were seeking this favor secretly, because the other disciples learned of it afterward (Mark 10:41).

Coming as it did on the heels of so many admonitions from Jesus about humility, the brothers’ request shows amazing audacity. It reveals how utterly devoid of true humility they were.

Again, there is nothing wrong with ambition. In fact, there was nothing intrinsically wrong with James and John’s desire to sit next to Jesus in the kingdom. The other disciples certainly desired it, and that is why they were displeased with James and John. Jesus did not rebuke them for that desire per se.

Their error was in desiring to obtain the position more than they desired to be worthy of such a position. Their ambition was untempered by humility. And Jesus had repeatedly made clear that the highest positions in the kingdom are reserved for the most humble saints on earth. Notice His response:

Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your servant. And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42–45).

Those who want to be great must first learn to be humble. Christ Himself was humility personified. Furthermore, His kingdom is advanced by humble service, not by politics, status, power, or dominion. This was Jesus’ whole point when He set the child in the midst of the disciples and talked to them about the childlikeness of the true believer (Mark 10:13–16). Elsewhere, He had also told them, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14; cf. Luke 14:8–11).

Again and again, Christ had emphasized this truth: If you want to be great in the kingdom, you must become the servant of all.

It is astonishing how little this truth penetrated the disciples’ consciousness, even after three years with Jesus. But on the final night of His earthly ministry, not one of them had the humility to pick up the towel and washbasin and perform the task of a servant (John 13:1–17). So Jesus did it Himself.

John did eventually learn the balance between ambition and humility. In fact, humility is one of the great virtues that comes through in his writings.

Throughout John’s gospel, for instance, he never once mentions his own name. (The only “John” who is mentioned by name in the Gospel of John is John the Baptist.) The apostle John refuses to speak of himself in reference to himself. Instead, he speaks of himself in reference to Jesus. He never paints himself in the foreground as a hero, but uses every reference to himself to honor Christ. Rather than write his name, which might focus attention on him, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20), giving glory to Jesus for having loved such a man. In fact, he seems utterly in awe of the marvel that Christ loved him. Of course, according to John 13:1–2, Jesus loved all His apostles to perfection. But it seems there was a unique way in which John gripped this reality, and he was humbled by it.

In fact, it is John’s Gospel alone that records in detail Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet. It is clear that Jesus’ own humility on the night of His betrayal made a lasting impression on John.

John’s humility also comes through in the gentle way he appeals to his readers in every one of his epistles. He calls them “little children,” “beloved”—and he includes himself as a brother and fellow child of God (cf. 1 John 3:2). There’s a tenderness and compassion in those expressions that shows his humility. His last contribution to the canon was the book of Revelation, where he describes himself as “your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (Revelation 1:9). Even though he was the last remaining apostle and the patriarch of the church, we never find him lording it over anyone.

Somewhere along the line, John’s ambition found balance in humility. John himself was mellowed—although he remained courageous, confident, bold, and passionate.

(Adapted from Twelve Ordinary Men)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150701
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

All evidence points to Hillary Clinton as source of Internet video lie

WINTERY KNIGHT

What difference does national security make? What difference does national security make?

Investors Business Daily reports on the latest e-mails requested and received by Judicial Watch, a government watch-dog organization. The title for this post is a shortening up of a line from Judicial Watch, by the way.

Excerpt:

History recorded that the White House’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared a few days after the terrorist incident on a number of Sunday television news shows saying that attack, which killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was provoked by an Internet video.

It was just a few Islamic hotheads, she suggested, who took a protest over the video too far. We were assured the violence was in no way connected to President Obama’s Libya policy.

Judicial Watch, however, has been combing through the emails and finds they tell a different story.

They indicate a cover-up occurred. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the…

View original post 512 more words

Christian, You are a Pilgrim

airō

pilgrims-progress

There is an unbiblical idea that America is or was a Christian nation. There is no such thing, never has been and never will be. The idea of a “Christian nation” or establishing one through any supposed dominion mandate goes against every biblical reference of God’s people being pilgrims. If such a nation existed, we would no longer be pilgrims, and Scripture knows no time this side of the Second Coming that that would be so.

You will always be a pilgrim, Christian. Peter uses that very term in 1 Peter 2:11:

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (KJV)

Other translations offer the following: foreigners and exiles (NIV); temporary residents and foreigners (NLT); sojourners and exiles (ESV); aliens and strangers (NAS); strangers and temporary residents (HCSB).

That should paint a clear picture for us. That we are strangers…

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