Daily Archives: July 3, 2015

July 3, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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Jul. 3, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Two Republican presidential candidates with family ties to Cuba are vowing to block the appointment of the first U.S. ambassador to the Communist island nation in more than 50 years.

Law enforcement officials declared the Washington Navy Yard safe after a security lockdown prompted by a report of gun shots that later proved unfounded.

Foreign ministers will reconvene in Vienna on Sunday to try and hammer out on the final sticking points separating six world powers from concluding a nuclear agreement with Iran.

The head of Vietnam’s Communist Party will meet President Barack Obama next week, the first party chief to visit the U.S. as the two countries seek closer ties 40 years after they fought a war.

Aetna Inc.’s agreement to buy Humana Inc. for $37 billion is another link in a chain of U.S. health insurance acquisitions spurred by Obamacare.

AP Top Stories

Islamic State group militants have destroyed six archaeological pieces from the historic town of Palmyra that were confiscated from a smuggler, the group said.

President Obama’s Kenyan grandmother vowed Friday to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday defended a weekend referendum he hopes will reset bailout negotiations and demanded creditors forgive a third of the country’s debt and allow delayed repayments for the rest.

Goodbye Washington, hello Moscow? Saudi Arabia finds friendly face in Putin. The two oil-producing giants seem to have made a breakthrough last month in their often adversarial relationship, signing several cooperation pacts. But incompatible foreign policies may yet cool the new warmth.

A senior Islamic State leader who coordinated suicide bombings and recruited funds and fighters for the jihadists has been killed in a coalition air strike in Syria, the Pentagon said Thursday.

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed anger after the Pentagon’s updated National Military Strategy slammed Chinese claims in the South China Sea as aggressive and inconsistent with international law.

Google’s new image-recognition program misfired badly this week by identifying two black people as gorillas, delivering a mortifying reminder that even the most intelligent machines still have lot to learn about human sensitivity.

An experimental Johnson & Johnson vaccine completely prevented HIV infection in half of monkeys that got the shot and then were exposed to high doses of an aggressive virus, results that spurred the company to test the vaccine in people, academic and company researchers said.

Several mysterious dark spots on the surface of Pluto have caught the attention of NASA researchers as the New Horizons probe makes its final approach to the dwarf planet.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nearly 150 people in northeastern Nigerian villages, mowing down men and children while they prayed in mosques and shooting women preparing food at home, witnesses said Thursday.

Winning admission to the prestigious University of California was harder for California students this year than it was for international applicants, according to data released on Thursday likely to further fuel debate over the system’s mission.

Palestinian forces have arrested around 100 Hamas members in the West Bank, a security official said Friday, raising tension between the Islamist movement and its Ramallah-based rivals.

Chinese stocks tumbled again on Friday, taking the week’s losses to more than 10 percent, as the securities regulator said it was investigating suspected market manipulation and announced a slew of measures aimed at heading off a full-blown crash.

BBC

Iceland’s parliament has abolished its blasphemy laws, despite opposition from some of the country’s churches. The bill said it was “essential in a free society that the public can express themselves without fear of punishment”.

Oil and gas giant Shell is expected to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic within the next two weeks. Thirty ships left Dutch Harbor in Alaska on Thursday for the Arctic to support two initial exploratory wells.

The area used for the coca cultivation in Colombia increased by 44% last year. Most of the rise in the cultivation of coca leaves – the raw ingredient for cocaine – comes from southern areas controlled by left-wing Farc rebels.

Australia’s national carrier, Qantas Airways, will pay a one-off bonus payment of about $68m to employees affected by an 18-month wage freeze.

WND

The White House has issued an ultimatum of sorts to the Redskins football operation, telling the powers-who-be they can’t buy the land they want for a new stadium unless they first change the Washington team’s name.

School-based health clinics in at least 13 Seattle-area middle and high school students can’t get a Coca-Cola or a candy bar at 13 Seattle public schools, but they can get a taxpayer-funded intrauterine device (IUD) implanted without their parents’ consent.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision mandating that states reward same-sex marriages throughout the nation, churches across the country prepare for the inevitable assault on their tax-exempt statuses.

Anti-gay comments could ‘trigger a thought’ in teachers’ minds about possible radicalization said Nicky Morgan, U.K. education secretary, as she outlines anti-terror plans.


Top News – 7/3/2015

North Korean farmers face dry fields, drought
North Korean farmers work to pump underground water into parched fields. Instead of rice seedlings standing in flooded paddies, the baked earth is cracked. A big lake that used to supply surrounding farmland with water is almost completely dry. …While the situation in this area visited by the AP looks grim, it is unclear how severe the drought is in the rest of the country.

Schools Implant IUDs in Girls as Young as 6th Grade Without Their Parents Knowing
Earlier this month, LifeNews.com reported on a high school in Seattle, Washington that is now implanting intrauterine devices (IUD), as well as other forms of birth control…without parental knowledge or permission. …So, a young teen in Seattle can’t get a coke at her high school, but she can have a device implanted into her uterus, which can unknowingly kill her unborn child immediately after conception.

CDC Official Calls Obama Worst President, Amateur, Marxist After Influx of Illegal Alien Minors
Following the influx of illegal immigrant minors from Central America, an official at the federal agency charged with protecting public health describes Barack Obama as “the worst pres we have ever had,” an “amateur” and “Marxist,”… Tens of thousands of Central Americans came into the United States…and contagious diseases—many considered to be eradicated in the U.S.—became a tremendous concern.

MOD to release UK’s top secret UFO ‘X-Files’ that ‘could prove aliens exist’
…UFO researchers, backed by House of Lords peer, have been fighting for the release of 18 top secret Ministry of Defence (MoD) files about UFO sightings from more than 30 years ago. …Lord Black of Brentwood, who asked the Government for an update through a Parliamentary question, was assured yesterday – the day before World UFO day – the files would be released by the MoD to the National Archives by March next year.

CO2 emissions threaten ocean crisis
Scientists have warned that marine life will be irreversibly changed unless CO2 emissions are drastically cut. Writing in Science, experts say the oceans are heating, losing oxygen and becoming more acidic because of CO2. They warn that the 2C maximum temperature rise for climate change agreed by governments will not prevent dramatic impacts on ocean systems.

Israel to temporarily close southern Highway 12 amid Sinai tensions
During a security assessment Thursday night, Israel’s defense establishment decided to temporarily close Highway 12 in the South…amid tensions in the nearby Sinai Peninsula. The IDF has increased vigilance in light of fighters linked to Islamic State having taken control of an Egyptian military armored vehicle and tank, creating concern that the Islamists in the volatile region might attempt to break into Israeli territory.

Police boost security in Old City and at checkpoints
Against a backdrop of lonewolf terrorist attacks…police said extra units will be on hand for Friday prayers in the capital. Prayers will proceed as planned as thousands of Palestinians are expected to convene at al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount for the third week of Ramadan, though with a greater police presence,” Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Thursday.

Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Nathan Collier said he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision that made marriage equal. He said he was particularly struck by the words of dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts who claimed giving gay couples the right to marry, might inspire polygamy.

China’s stocks hit critical low despite government lifelines
A series of lifelines from Beijing failed to stop the slide in the mainland’s stock market on Thursday, with the key Shanghai Composite Index closing below the critical 4,000 mark for the first time in almost three months. Analysts warned that the nation’s leadership would pay dearly if it failed to stabilise the market and prevent millions of small investors from losing their life savings.

Syria conflict: ‘Massive rebel assault’ to take Aleppo
Syrian rebels led by Islamist groups have begun a massive assault that aims to take full control of the northern city of Aleppo, monitors report. Rebels fired hundreds of rockets and missiles into government-held areas in a multi-district attack, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

No breakthrough at Iran nuclear talks, ministers push for deal soon
Tehran and world powers were still shy of a breakthrough at nuclear talks on Thursday as foreign ministers flew in to help push for a swift deal and resolve disputes over how sanctions could be lifted and how Iran’s compliance would be monitored.

Greece ‘No’ voters in lead ahead of bailout referendum
Almost half of Greeks intend to vote ‘No’ in a weekend referendum on the terms of its bailout, but capital controls are boosting the ‘Yes’ camp, a poll showed Wednesday.

Cash-strapped UN food agency reduces help to Syrian refugees
The United Nations’ food agency is cutting back on assistance to thousands of Syrian refugees after an appeal for a ceasefire to enable Syrians feed themselves went unheeded, World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said on Friday.

Boko Haram guns down 97 people praying in mosques in Nigeria
Boko Haram extremists gunned down nearly 100 Muslims praying in mosques in a northeast Nigerian town during the holy month of Ramadan, a government official and a self-defense fighter said Thursday.


Top Headlines – 7/3/2015

Europe’s leadership says final Iran deal not yet secured

France’s Fabius hopes powers, Iran can move towards nuclear deal by Sunday

China says ‘high possibility’ of nuclear deal with Iran soon

Iran says it will comply with UN protocol on access

Iran Violates Past Nuclear Promises on Eve of Deal

Russia’s deputy FM reportedly leaves Iran’s talks in Vienna

Kremlin: Russia’s Putin to meet Iran’s Rouhani next week

Congress Demands Obama Step Back From Iran Nuclear Deal

Netanyahu: ISIS brutality will seem like nothing compared with a nuclear-armed Iran

Analysis: Egypt is losing its war against ISIS in Sinai

Hamas aiding ISIS-affiliated group that carried out terror attack in Egypt, IDF says

Netanyahu: We see ISIS at the gates in Sinai and Golan

For Egypt, avenging Sinai attack may include striking Gaza

Ariel Sharon’s son: My father would have responded to Gaza rocket fire with full force

In major crackdown, Palestinian forces arrest dozens of Hamas men in W. Bank

Poll: Majority wants to remove leniencies on Palestinians

Iron Dome gets mysterious upgrade

Expert warns on Daesh terror threat to European Jews

Obama administration will ignore ‘Israel-controlled territories’ in anti-BDS law

Cruz blasts Obama for opening embassy in Havana before Jerusalem

Temple Mount Activist Yehudah Glick Travels to Turkey for Ramadan Peace Mission

Watch: In twisted revenge, Syrian rebels execute Islamic State fighters in orange jumpsuits

Syria rejects UN criticism of barrel bombs, says ‘technical’ issue

Syrian Islamist insurgents launch battle to seize government-held Aleppo

Iraqi forces say most of Baiji town recaptured from Islamic State

UNESCO: Islamic State looting Syrian, Iraqi sites on industrial scale

Islamic State takes sledgehammer to ‘irreplaceable’ ancient Palmyra ruins

Turkey ‘planning to invade Syria’

Turkey reinforces Syria border, Davutoglu says no incursion planned

Morocco breaks up militant cell linked to ISIS

Lost boys: Moms of radicalized Western jihadists form support group

Cash-strapped UN food agency reduces help to Syrian refugees

Eight dead in new Saudi-led strikes on Yemen’s Sanaa – agency

Car bomb explodes near Yemeni mosque in downtown Sanaa

US calls for Ramadan pause in Yemen conflict

Boko Haram guns down 97 people praying in mosques in Nigeria

Terror-struck Tunisia Fears Fighters Coming From Libya

Putin’s Recipe for Power

Despite past quarrels with Russia, Georgians are returning to its orbit

Meditating Portuguese actor mistaken for terrorist on Paris plane

Potential Holiday Threats Assessed With Focus on ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists

Washington Navy Yard on lockdown amid reports of shots fired

Soros helps pro-Clinton Super PACs to $24 million haul

BP settlement: States to accept $18.7 billion in damages

Labor Market Runs in Place; More Jobs, Participation Lowest Since 1977

Record 93,626,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Declines to 62.6%

Mixed U.S. jobs report dampens September rate hike bets

Greece debt crisis: Country on course to hold EU referendum as eurozone leaders reject new bailout request

Hopeful Start to Greek Debt Negotiations Quickly Soured

Tsipras urges Greeks to defy creditors’ ‘blackmail’

Greece ‘No’ voters in lead ahead of bailout referendum

Greek banks down to 500m Euros in cash reserves as economy crashes

Young Greeks flee abroad as crisis deepens

China’s stocks hit critical low despite government lifelines

Woman jumps to her death in Shanghai’s IAPM mall after stock market dive

Economic exodus means two-thirds of Puerto Ricans may soon live in US

128 Unaccompanied Alien Children Caught at Mexican Border Per Day in May

Man tracked down by drone charged with robbery, auto theft

Black ‘flying saucer’ UFO is captured hovering over Stonehenge

China Says 6.5 Quake in Far West Kills 6, Collapses Homes

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Santa Monica, Philippines

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Port Blair, India

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Lae, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Two Hundred Earthquakes off Southwest Iceland

Iceland Earthquakes Die Down, Eruption a Possibility in Volcano Eldey

Fear of Volcano eruption in Ukhrul

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Cyclone Raquel forms as earliest big storm recorded off Australia’s north-east

Typhoon Chan-hom: Guam Fourth of July Threat

Strengthening Tropical Depression Poses Risks to Philippines

Countries must deal with health risks of more frequent heatwaves: UN

Unprecedented wave of shark attacks causes terror in North Carolina

Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life

Measles kills first patient in 12 years

Scientist Sentenced To Prison For AIDS Research Fraud By Spiking Vaccine With Rabbit Blood

Seattle 6th Graders Can’t Get a Coke at School, But Can Get an IUD

Sex Offenders Sue, Cite Indiana’s Religious Objections Law

Forget gay marriage: ‘Fornicators and adulterers’ in church a bigger issue, says actor Kirk Cameron

Country’s First Gay Divorce Firm Opens In Philadelphia

Kentucky couples sue for marriage licenses after gay marriage ruling

Entire Tenn. county clerk’s office resigns over same-sex marriage licenses

Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives

Child’s Right to Have a Relationship With Both Mother and Father Totally Ignored by Supreme Court, Ryan Anderson Proclaims

Trouble Brewing in South Carolina? Black Panthers Plan Rally to Counter KKK

‘Dukes’ star compares TV Land decision to Nazi Germany

Google unit sorry for including concentration camps in game

Couple calls ghostbuster after claiming demons molest them in their sleep

Joel Miller – Why the gay marriage debate was over in 1950

Video – Very good teaching on homosexual sin and what it means for society

Glenn Beck, ‘Born-Again Mormon Christian’, Defends Pastor Ed Young Jr. Amid ‘Attacks’

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee puts Sentosa Cove home for sale for $10m

‘Disturbing and upsetting’ Jews For Jesus shop opens in Hendon UK


July 2, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — “Homo is Healthy” was one of the signs on the official gay pride website for the big march celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage on Sunday, June 28, in New York City. It was brought to you, in part, by Walmart, a high-level Platinum sponsor that happens to be America’s largest private sector employer…. (more)

July 2, 2015
JOE KOVACS — A New York mother is at the center of an online firestorm after letting her 8-year-old son dress up and dance in the city’s Pride March on Sunday. Young Desmond Napoles, of Brooklyn, stole the show, according to some parade watchers, as he strutted his way down Fifth Avenue in a rainbow-colored tutu and gold sequined cap…. (more)

July 2, 2015
CHERYL CHUMLEY — Radio host Glenn Beck took to airwaves with harsh words for the Walt Disney Company, saying its recent decision to light its signature Cinderella Castle at Disney World in rainbow colors was hardly a family-friendly move…. (more)

July 2, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Franklin Graham’s word is respected worldwide, through his work with Samaritan’s Purse and the organization his father founded, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and now he’s begun warning America of God’s looming judgment…. (more)

July 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — With his decision to legalize same-sex marriage, Catholic Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy betrayed Christ similarly to Judas, a Catholic activist said Wednesday. “Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Anthony Kennedy betrayed him with a vote,” Hugh Brown of the American Life League said at a press conference on the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide…. (more)

July 2, 2015
CBS NEWS — A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife…. (more)

July 2, 2015
THE TELEGRAPH — 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…. (more)


July 2, 2015
AARON KLEIN — Marking a significant development in Mideast affairs, Salafists in the Gaza Strip plan to officially pledge allegiance to ISIS and openly fight under its banner, a senior Salafist militant in Gaza told WND in a phone interview…. (more)

July 2, 2015
CBS NEWS — 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…. (more)

July 2, 2015
KOAT.COM — A former CNN correspondent was shot three times late Tuesday night during an attempted robbery at an Albuquerque motel…. (more)


July 2, 2015
BOB UNRUH — In a move described as a “stunning repudiation” of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his “anti-gun Democrat allies,” residents of the state have issued a “veto” of a new gun regulation. By simply ignoring it…. (more)

July 2, 2015
POLITICO — In her early months in office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in contact with unofficial adviser Sidney Blumenthal more often and on a wider range of topics than was previously known, a set of about 3,000 Clinton emails released Tuesday night by the State Department revealed…. (more)

July 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The big find in the first dump of emails from Hillary Clinton’s secret email server, aside from a few insulting comments about Cuban Floridians, is the fact that The New York Times was on to a much bigger story in May than it realized…. (more)

July 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Obama announced the opening of embassies in Cuba and the United States, formally beginning the process to establish diplomatic relations with the communist island nation after 54 years of American isolation…. (more)


July 2, 2015
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Jim Carrey is speaking out against new legislation requiring all public school children in California to be vaccinated starting in 2016. Carrey, who has been an outspoken critic of vaccinations, said Gov. Jerry Brown needed to be stopped…. (more)

July 1, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Was June 2015 the biggest news month of our generation? I would argue it was right up there with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Two stories broke this month that taken together or separately will have ramifications and reverberations every bit as momentous as the aftermath of Dec.7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001…. (more)

July 1, 2015
BREITBART — White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett was one of the mobilizing forces behind the decision to light up the White House with the colors of the gay pride movement to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage…. (more)

July 1, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Millennials in San Diego signed a petition to ban and replace the American flag, as seen in a video published on Monday. Mark Dice, a media analyst, started a fake petition that called for the removal of Old Glory and then filmed himself as he walked around San Diego asking young adults to sign it. Even with the approach of Fourth of July weekend, a surprising amount did…. (more)

July 1, 2015
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON — Iran will be permitted to operate more than 5,000 nuclear centrifuges under any final deal secured in the coming days, according to Western sources who fear that the Islamic Republic could use such technology to continue building a nuclear weapon…. (more)

June 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — The Supreme Court acted Monday to keep Texas’ 19 abortion clinics open, amid a legal fight that threatens to close more than half of them. The justices voted 5-4 to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new clinic regulations and refused to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court…. (more)

June 30, 2015
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — Justice Kennedy’s opinion for a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court has rightly been condemned for its lack of grounding in the constitutional text he is sworn to uphold. Unable to find “gay marriage” in either the due process clause or the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, Kennedy ultimately rests his case on what Justice Clarence Thomas sarcastically called the “dignity clause” of the Constitution…. (more)

June 30, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Barack Obama pondered the Supreme Court edict pronouncing as discriminatory the institution of marriage, as it has been known for 6,000 years of human history – – with men and women joined together in sacred unions…. (more)

June 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — To no one’s surprise, the nuclear talks with Iran that were supposed to produce an agreement by tomorrow have been extended. Critics of the nuclear deal sought by President Obama fear that this will be a dangerous deal because of too many one sided U.S. concessions to Iran…. (more)

June 29, 2015
ALAN KEYES — Note: In a column published this week on my blog, I began a discussion of the demand that South Carolina cease its display of the Confederate battle flag. In my column today, I conclude that discussion…. (more)

June 29, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Commentators have missed the real significance of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the gay marriage case. He calls the decision a judicial “Putsch,” an attempt to overthrow a form of government – – ours. His dissent, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, was written “to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.”… (more)


They Want To Use ‘Hate Speech Laws’ To Destroy Freedom Of Speech In America

Censored - Public DomainHate speech laws are going in all around the world, and progressive activists in the United States want to use these kinds of laws to destroy free speech in America.  You see, the truth is that these hate speech laws that are being implemented all over the planet are not just about preventing speech that promotes violence or genocide against a particular group of people.  Instead, these laws are written in such a way that anyone that says something that “offends” or “insults” someone else is guilty of “hate speech”.  Even if you never intended to offend anyone and you had no idea that your words were insulting, in some countries you can be detained without bail and sentenced to years in prison for such speech.  Today, there are highly restrictive hate speech laws in Canada, in Mexico and in virtually every single European nation.  The United States is still an exception, but the truth is that our liberties and freedoms are being eroded every single day, and it is only a matter of time until “hate speech laws” are used to take away our freedom of speech too. (Read More…)


Guess What Happened The Last Time The Chinese Stock Market Crashed Like This?

Question Button - Public DomainThe second largest stock market in the entire world is collapsing right in front of our eyes.  Since hitting a peak in June, the most important Chinese stock market index has plummeted by well over 20 percent, and more than 3 trillion dollars of “paper wealth” has been wiped out.  Of course the Shanghai Composite Index is still way above the level it was sitting at exactly one year ago, but what is so disturbing about this current crash is that it is so similar to what we witnessed just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 in the United States.  From October 2006 to October 2007, the Shanghai Composite Index more than tripled in value.  It was the greatest stock market surge in Chinese history.  But after hitting a peak, it began to fall dramatically.  From October 2007 to October 2008, the Shanghai Composite Index absolutely crashed.  In the end, more than two-thirds of all wealth in the market was completely wiped out.  You can see all of this on a chart that you can find right here.  What makes this so important to U.S. investors is the fact that Chinese stocks started crashing well before U.S. stocks started crashing during the last financial crisis, and now it is happening again.  Is this yet another sign that a U.S. stock market crash is imminent? (Read More….)


Obamacare Bonzanza: Fat times in the health insurance industry

The more complicated a government program, the more crony it is.

So let’s see…Obamacare has infused the health insurance companies with heaps and heaps of taxpayer dollars. Big Pharma has done almost equally as well under the cronycare regime. Premiums for terrible policies – which as I see it could largely be bought for the same or lower prices before Obamacare – are going up.

Yup, this thing worked out great.

Read More


Has the world learned nothing from History?

Indifference is never an option  . . .

View important 2 1/2 minute video


The biggest news month of our lives – Joseph Farah

Was June 2015 the biggest news month of our generation?

I would argue it was right up there with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

Two stories broke this month that taken together or separately will have ramifications and reverberations every bit as momentous as the aftermath of Dec.7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001.

What are those two stories?

View Article


Don’t give up on America – David Limbaugh

Leftists are not about live and let live. They are about wholesale control. Their movers and shakers see society as their project, and they can change everything and everyone through government and their domination of the culture. There is no live and let live in their bones.

In view of all this, it is amazing that so many conservatives, traditionalists and Christians are blind to the hostile, aggressive and unquenchable appetite of the leftist movement. It is chilling to me that they don’t realize this trend is going to continue until there is either a cultural or legal confrontation or the left stamps out all dissent.

View Article


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


Greek Banks Down To Nearly No Cash Reserves As Their Economy Crashes

The daily allowance of cash from many ATM machines has already dropped from €60 to €50, purportedly because €20 notes are running out

Greece is sliding into a full-blown national crisis as the final cash reserves of the banking system evaporate by the hour and swathes of industry start to shut down, precipitating the near disintegration of the ruling coalition.

Business leaders have been locked in talks with the Bank of Greece, pleading for the immediate release of emergency liquidity funds (ELA) to cover food imports and pharmaceutical goods before the tourist sector hits a brick wall.

greek-economy-crashes-as-bank-cash-reserves-vanish-alexis-tsipras-eu-july-2015

Officials say the central bank will release the funds as soon as Friday, but this is a stop-gap measure at best. “We are on a war footing in this country,” said Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister.

The daily allowance of cash from many ATMs has already dropped from €60 to €50, purportedly because €20 notes are running out. Large numbers are empty. The financial contagion is spreading fast as petrol stations and small businesses stop accepting credit cards.

Constantine Michalos, head of the Hellenic Chambers of Commerce, said Greek Banks are simply running out of money. “We are reliably informed that the cash reserves of the banks are down to €500m. Anybody who thinks they are going to open again on Tuesday is day-dreaming. The cash would not last an hour,” he said.

We are in an extremely dangerous situation. Greek companies have been excluded from the electronic transfers of Europe’s Target2 system. The entire Greek business community is unable to import anything, and without raw materials they can’t produce anything,” he said. source


Rocket Alert Sirens Shatter Otherwise Calm Friday In Southern Israel

Rocket alert sirens sounded Friday afternoon in southern Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council in light of an apparent single rocket launching.

According to initial indications, there was a possibility that a projectile emanating from the Sinai Peninsula had triggered the alarms. The IDF said it was looking into the incident. No injuries or damage were initially reported.

rocket-fired-into-southern-israel-from-sinai-peninsula-july-3-2015
Searches for possible remnants of a projectile were being conducted in the area.

On Sunday, sirens rang out in the Hof Ashkelon area sending Israelis running for shelter. The IDF said no rockets fell inside Israel and later determined that the sirens had falsely been alarmed.

Sunday’s occurrence comes after multiple recent rocket launchings toward Israel by terrorists in Gaza have broken the relative quiet since last August’s cease-fire ending a 50 day conflict between Israel and Hamas. source


Independence Day 2015

July 2, 2015

Independence Day

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” —John Adams (1813)

And thus it remains “in the minds and hearts” of Patriots to this day.

On this, our nation’s 239th Celebration of Independence, I invite you to read our primer on Independence Day and our concise exposition on the Unalienable Rights of Man. For further reading, see our Essential Liberty selection of essays.

As always, join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — and all who stand in harm’s way in defense of Liberty. Pray also for their families.

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


They Want To Use ‘Hate Speech Laws’ To Destroy Freedom Of Speech In America

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:23 AM PDT

Hate speech laws are going in all around the world, and progressive activists in the United States want to use these kinds of laws to destroy free speech in America. You see, the truth is that these hate speech laws that are being implemented all over the planet are not just about preventing speech that promotes violence or genocide against a particular group of people. Instead, these laws are written in such a way that anyone that says something that “offends” or “insults” someone else is guilty of “hate speech”. Even if you never intended to offend anyone and you had no idea that your words were insulting, in some countries you can be detained without bail and sentenced to years in prison for such speech.

Today, there are highly restrictive hate speech laws in Canada, in Mexico and in virtually every single European nation. The United States is still an exception, but the truth is that our liberties and freedoms are being eroded every single day, and it is only a matter of time until “hate speech laws” are used to take away our freedom of speech too. If you don’t think that this could ever happen in America, you should consider what the American Bar Association has to say on the matter. This is the national organization that represents all of our lawyers, judges, etc. So when the ABA speaks on legal matters, it carries a significant amount of weight. The following is how the American Bar Association defines “hate speech”… FULL REPORT

The post They Want To Use ‘Hate Speech Laws’ To Destroy Freedom Of Speech In America appeared first on .

The Sanctified Sin in the Church

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:19 AM PDT

Ownership of our sugar or food addiction is a huge part of the process of not only weight loss, but total transformation and getting a REAL life. If there is one pivotal moment in our healthy living LIFEstyle journey, it is the moment we own our issue. I don’t watch much television, but I do watch a few shows I DVR. Recently I watched two shows that depicted polar opposite reactions to their weight issues.

On one show two individuals went all out and reached their goals six months early. One lost 123 pounds and the other over 247 pounds. Both ended up fit and healthy. On the other show, a woman had weight loss surgery and lost 150 pounds, but could never get past that. She was stuck weighing over 520 pounds and in danger of death. What was the difference? Two owned their issue and changed. The other never owned her issue. She had decided she could eat what she wanted, just less at one time, and not move. Her weight loss all happened in the hospital. Outside the hospital her weight never moved. FULL REPORT

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“Strange” spike in shark attacks puzzles experts

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:13 AM PDT

Andrew Costello was attacked by a shark Wednesday in North Carolina, becoming the eleventh person to be bitten by a shark since mid-May. Costello, 67, suffered wounds to his rib cage, lower leg and hip. He was waist deep about 30 feet offshore near Ocracoke Island when the 6 to 7 foot shark pulled him under. Costello, the former editor of the Boston Herald, was airlifted to an area hospital, where he is listed as being in good condition.

The recent spate of shark attacks has left many beachgoers nervous. Dr. Samuel Gruber, the director of the Bimini SharkLab research facility in the Bahamas, says the spike in attacks suggests something strange is going on. “The trend is normally zero or one attack in that area in any one year,” said Gruber. Theories as to why this is happening range from time of day, to bait fishing, sea turtle migration, lunar cycles and global warming. FULL REPORT

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Officials Warn of ‘Lone Wolf’ Attacks on July 4 Holiday

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:04 AM PDT

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, American counterterrorism officials have increased security at national landmarks and large public events ahead of major holidays or significant anniversaries, and issued bulletins calling for increased vigilance by the public. But this Fourth of July weekend has spawned particularly strong warnings about a potential attack as the federal authorities and national security experts say the United States is more susceptible now because of tactics chosen for recent terrorist strikes by the Islamic State.

Officials cite an increased effort by the Islamic State to galvanize its sympathizers in the United States and elsewhere since Memorial Day and during this Ramadan season to carry out acts of violence on their own — so-called lone-wolf attacks. Those potential plots by individuals are harder for the authorities to detect and disrupt, senior American officials say, and have led the F.B.I. to put more Americans under investigation for suspected ties to terrorist groups than at any point since Sept. 11. FULL REPORT

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Tom DeLay: Justice Dept. Wants to Legalize 12 ‘Perversions’

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 06:59 AM PDT

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay claims the Justice Department has drafted a memo that spells out a dozen “perversions,” including bestiality and pedophilia, that it wants legalized. “We’ve … found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department. They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions.

Things like bestiality, polygamy, and Phedolphilia making that legal,” DeLay said Tuesday on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. “Not only that, but they have a whole list of strategies to go after the churches, the pastors and any businesses that try to assert their religious liberty. This is coming and it’s coming like a tidal wave.” The Texas Republican’s bombshell claim comes four days after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states — a landmark decision DeLay strongly opposes. FULL REPORT 

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

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 08:19 PM PDT

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. FULL REPORT

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Michigan government seizes kids to punish family for off-grid camping trip

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:59 PM PDT

Is there a concerted effort on the part of authorities on the state and federal level to find ways to criminalize individual preparedness and any exercise of liberty? Some Americans might think so after the nightmare a Michigan family has endured, and all for the crime of camping. According to various reports, the family had their six children seized by Michigan state officials after they learned that the kids (and the adults) were living in tents.

The experience began for Christopher and Antonia Hernandez May 19 when Otsego County Sheriff deputies and an official from the state’s Children’s Protective Services initially confiscated the children; it ended June 10 when the kids were returned to their parents following a court victory in which the Hernandez’s successfully argued that their kids are eligible for enrollment in the Tlingit Native American Tribe. “The federal Indian Child Welfare Act makes it more difficult for state officials to separate Native American families. Michigan has a similar state law,” said a report at Off the Grid News. FULL REPORT

 

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Millennial Republicans Urge GOP to Support “Gay Marriage”, Time to get with the Times

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:53 PM PDT

Millennials in the Republican Party are telling their GOP elders to shape up or be prepared to ship out – gay marriage isn’t going anywhere and they need to embrace the issue or face voter backlash. “This issue is not going away – it’s not a fad,” said S.E. Cupp, a self-described conservative who contributes to CNN. She gave a near-tearful commentary on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, praising the decision as a boon for America.

“I didn’t get emotional because of the politics,” she said, the Hill reported. “It’s about millennials watching their friends come out, this is about parents who have seen their gay teens commit suicide. … This is personal for people.” Now those of the millennial generation – defined as between the ages of 18 and 34 – who also tout conservative politics are pressing their Republican colleagues to back gay marriage. FULL REPORT

 

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Final order! Christian bakers must pay $135,000

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:41 PM PDT

The Christian owners of a former bakery were officially ordered Thursday by the Oregon labor commissioner to pay $135,000 in fines to a lesbian couple after the bakers declined to bake a wedding cake for the couple due to their religious beliefs. The ruling, issued by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, upheld an earlier finding by administrative judge Alan McCullough, who determined that Sweet Cakes owners Aaron and Melissa Klein had discriminated against the women based on their sexual orientation.

The Kleins said their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage had prevented them from complying with the cake request. The Kleins were forced to close their storefront in Gresham, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, in 2013 shortly after the lesbian couple filed a civil rights complaint against them. At that time, same-sex marriage still wasn’t legal in Oregon. The lesbian couple will receive the funds for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.” FULL REPORT

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DOMINO EFFECT – Montana man requests right to marry two wives!

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:36 PM PDT

Nathan Collier said he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision that made marriage equal. He said he was particularly struck by the words of dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts who claimed giving gay couples the right to marry, might inspire polygamy. And so this week, Mr Collier and his two wives, Victoria and Christine, entered a courthouse in Billings, Montana, and sought an application to legalise the trio’s polygamous union,

“Right now we’re waiting for an answer,” Mr Collier told The Independent. “I have two wives because I love two women and I want my second wife to have the same legal rights and protection as my first.”He added: “Most people are not us. I am not trying to define what marriage means for anybody else – I am trying to define what marriage means for us.” FULL REPORT

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Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, July 3, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

How Gay Marriage Ruling May Impact Christian Colleges

What One Israeli Couple Found while Undergoing a Home Renovation

Survey: 53 Percent of Americans Believe God has ‘Special Relationship’ with US

Man Known as British ‘Schindler’ Dies

Ebola Back in Liberia 2 Months after Being Declared Free of Virus that Killed Over 11,000

Once Patrons, Now Landlords — Churches Rehab Buildings for Artist Spaces

Report: Fire at Black Church in S.C. was Not Arson, Feds Say

California Governor Signs Vaccination Law for Students Forcing Parents to Homeschool

Homeless Man Who Returned Found Money Donates Reward

Pastors Arm Churches after Charleston Shooting

Opinion

Is Involuntary Euthanasia in Our Future?

America’s Slippery Slope to Physician-Assisted Suicide and Polygamy

After Same-Sex Marriage, is Polygamy Next?

Why We Don’t Have to Worry about Overpopulation

Will Religious Organizations Lose Tax-Exempt Status?


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 3, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Why Good Works?

In our time, of course, we’ve seen the same sort of ping-ponging. We have the self-described, so-called Federal Vision movement arguing essentially the Arminian doctrine of salvation and calling it Reformed. Among the evangelicals there are antinomians arguing that the moral law no longer applies to Christians and then there are moralists (nomists) who teach that  we are justified and saved because we cooperate sufficiently with grace. So, we are not much better off in the early 21st century than we were in the mid-sixteenth century.

Read More


Working Out What God Has Worked In

Someone once said, “We must work out what God has worked in.” Jesus saves us as a gift, and “sanctifies” us, or sets us apart for himself. We then must begin to walk out that “sanctification,” in which the Holy Spirit moves and empowers us to cooperate with him to become like Christ. Someday we’ll be as much like God as any creature can possibly become. We won’t be gods, but we’ll be more like God even than the angels! He’s changing us to think, act and reflect the glory of Christ.

Read more


4 Perfections of God’s Transforming Word

Third, God’s Word is right, pure, and clean. Here is the Old Testament statement of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. The Word is said to be right or straight because it does not deviate from perfect conformity to any just standard by which truth is measurable. The Word is pure as a pure light is clear and bright.

Read more


How Should You Talk to Your Children About Same-Sex Marriage?

The Bible isn’t nearly as antiseptic as Christians sometimes pretend to be, and it certainly doesn’t shirk back from addressing all the complexities of human life. If we are discipling our children, let’s apply the Scriptures to all of life. If we refuse to talk to our children about the reality of the world they live in, our children will assume we are unequipped to speak to it, and they’ll eventually search out a worldview that will.

Read more


Dear Christian Friends: Remember You Are Not Home

Finally, remember that Jesus never called the church to redeem culture or create a Christian America. Our job is to glorify God by declaring and demonstrating the gospel. The church is an embassy of grace on foreign soil. And we must remember that this church has been, is being, and will be built by Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:18). The gospel will advance and the church will be built whether the cultural wind at our backs or in our face. Our death-conquering King ensures it.

Read More


Since It Is God’s Law…

Watson goes on to say that in a legal sense no one can obey the law because of the fall and our sinful nature.  However, he notes, in a gospel sense we can obey the law.  “Gospel obedience consists in a real endeavor to observe the whole moral law (Ps. 119:166):”

Read more


40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

Read more


Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

Bradley said many Christian leaders have inadvertently encouraged the radical message by calling young people to make a difference and change the world. A growing disdain for American suburbs in favor of the inner city has also contributed as has the missional church movement, which encourages people to be missionaries in their own communities.

Read More


Marsha West: “Are you a member of the HFIB Club?”

Many Bible believing Christians are members of the HFIB club. The acronym stands for hate, fear, ignorance and bigotry. To be inducted into HFIB all one has to do is oppose homosexual “marriage” or – gasp! – proclaim that homosexuality is a sin against a holy God . . . [Click for more]


Where is Our Allegiance?

As we prepare for another 4th of July celebration in the United States, I notice a change in how I feel this time every year.  I used to feel a sense of pride when I was younger, placing my hand on my heart and pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  […]

Read more of this post


Homosexuality: What Believers May Rightly Hope from Their Government

I cannot compete with the vast onslaught of blog heavyweights who have all, it seems, trained their guns on last week’s SCOTUS decision. But I’d like to chip away at one question that seems to be less than fully addressed, viz., the precise nature of government’s role in this question and what our expectation of government should be as we pick up the pieces and move forward.

Most Christians recognize that the government is at times too heavy-handed and at times too laissez-faire in fulfilling their God-given role. But we don’t always draw our lines at the same place, because we don’t agree on a standard by which those judgments are made. Let’s look at the following scenario, involving two situations on which there is fairly broad agreement among believers:

The Offense Violation of the first and greatest command to love God exclusively Violation of the sixth command to not murder
The Theocratically Mandated Response Purge the offender from the land with up to and including capital authority (Exod 22:20; 34:10–16; Deut 6:14–15; 7:1–6; 13:6–11) Purge the offender from the land with up to and including capital authority (Exod 21:12, etc.)
The Church’s Anticipated Response Remove the offender from the Church but tolerate him in civil society (Matt 18:15–18), praying that the State will fulfill its mandate to… Remove the offender from the Church but tolerate him in civil society to the degree required by the State, praying that the State will fulfill its mandate to…
Government’s Anticipated Response Establish a society where those who embrace this command and those who reject this command can live together with mutual respect and toleration (1 Tim 2:2) Punish the offender with up to and including capital authority (Gen 9:6; Rom 13:4)

In the Mosaic economy, the first and sixth commands are treated more-or-less the same: the Jewish collective were to remove violators of both commands alike from society with expulsive or capital force. But with the dissolution of that economy and arrival of the New Testament arrangement and its separation of powers (Caesar and Church—Matt 22:21), surprising changes occur, especially when we get to the role of human government. The government is to take a rather ambivalent approach to violations of the “first and greatest commandment,” assuming at best the role of civil peacekeeper, but is to move swiftly and savagely to address violations of the sixth and not-the-greatest commandment. How do we explain this?

Read more of this post


Distinguishing the Spirit from the Serpent – Sinclair Ferguson: “How do we distinguish the promptings of the Spirit of grace in His guiding and governing of our lives from the delusions of the spirit of the world and of our own sinful heart?”


The Top Five Forgotten Founders

Lemuel Haynes: born in Connecticut to a white mother and black father, Haynes worked as an indentured servant prior to enlisting in the Massachusetts militia, and then the Continental Army. Haynes also experienced evangelical conversion and came under the tutelage of local Calvinist pastors. Shortly after the Declaration of Independence, Haynes wrote “Liberty Further Extended,” possibly the most powerful argument against slavery from the Revolutionary era.

When Americans speak of the “Founding Fathers,” they usually have a group of about six men in mind: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams, for sure, and maybe Alexander Hamilton or Samuel Adams. These Founders are endlessly fascinating, but if all we do is focus on this short list, we get a skewed view of the Revolution.

I recently contributed an essay on Patrick Henry to Mark David Hall and Gary Gregg’s America’s Forgotten Founders (now in its 2nd edition, from ISI Books), which introduces readers to some of the lesser-known Founding Fathers. As I also discuss in my biography, Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, Henry is probably one the best known of those forgotten Founders, but he is not quite in the top tier of those we remember….

John Witherspoon: a Scots Presbyterian minister, president of Princeton, and teacher of James Madison, Witherspoon was elected to serve in the Continental Congress, and signed the Declaration of Independence (the only clergyman to do so)….

Lemuel Haynes: born in Connecticut to a white mother and black father, Haynes worked as an indentured servant prior to enlisting in the Massachusetts militia, and then the Continental Army….

Roger Sherman: another devout evangelical from Connecticut, Sherman was the only Patriot to sign all four of the great American founding documents….

David Avery: converted under George Whitefield’s preaching, Avery worked as a pastor in Vermont until the outbreak of the Revolution, when he became one of George Washington’s key chaplains….

John Zubly: the wildcard of the list, this Swiss Presbyterian pastor of Savannah, Georgia, became perhaps the most fascinating American Loyalist of the Revolution….

Read More


 

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

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 considered 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, a number of people who held him in high esteem have become disenchanted with him. Even so, there are people who still want to hear from Dr. Piper on issues pertaining to the Church and the culture, particularly those who share his Reformed views.

ChristianExaminer has a piece with Dr. Piper’s reaction to the High Court’s ruling and also informs us what one high profile Canadian pastor has to say on the subject.

Read more


Paving the Way for the Antichrist – Hal Lindsey

This may help pave the way for the Antichrist because he cannot sweep to power without imperial authority or the judicial ratification of his authority. He’ll have no time for confirmation of his sweeping initiatives through drawn-out legislative processes. He needs a body of authority that acts quickly. He needs an easily controlled, small body of people with the ultimate power to make laws. Laws that favor him.

Until recently, that did not describe the Supreme Court. But now it does.

View Article


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.

View Article


Rick Warren will speak at Papal Mass in Philadelphia

Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren will be a part of the ecumenical and interfaith gathering this September where Pope Francis himself is expected to appear. In the Catholic Herald piece we learn that the most important thing that can happen at the week long congress is conversion so that “families can become a force of change for good.” Obviously the conversion they’re referring to is placing their faith in Roman Catholicism. So it’s doubtful that the purveyor of pragmatism, Rick Warren, will share the true gospel of Jesus Christ during his speech, as that would certainly be viewed as divisive. But we shall see.

The Catholic Herald’s report begins:

More than 1.5 million people are expected for the Mass with Pope Francis in Philadelphia this September, said organisers of the next World Meeting of Families.

A high-level delegation from Philadelphia, led by Archbishop Charles J Chaput, was in Rome as of Monday to meet Vatican officials, review some of the planning and promote the week-long congress.

Read more


Patriotism: Remembering the Dead

While our nation’s fathers blessed us and gave us virtues worth defending, we have failed and live in a nation over which we should be ashamed.


Loving and Celebrating a Defective Nation

July 4th is the day we Americans set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation, the ideals it represents, and the freedoms we enjoy.


New Radio Interview with Jan Markell and Caryl Matrisciana

Jan Markell recently interviewed Caryl Matrisciana, talking about Caryl’s new documentary film, Wide is the Gate, Volume 3. Jan is founder and director of Olive Tree ministries and a Lighthouse Trails author; Caryl is director and founder of Caryl Productions and a veteran Christian film maker.


SEEKER FRIENDLY TO CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY

By Roger Oakland Understand the Times International 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.


Letter to the Editor: Rick Warren to Co-Preach Keynote Address at Pope’s U.S.A. Visit in September

Dear Lighthouse Trails: I thought you might want to know that Rick Warren is going to co-preach the Keynote Address with a priest for Pope Francis’ visit in September 2015.


The Origins of Children’s Church (Or Not) (Aaron Denlinger)

The fine team of scholars working around the clock at Lutheran Satire have unearthed footage detailing the late Victorian era origins of Children’s Church.

If you’re not already familiar with Lutheran Satire, you probably should stop whatever you’re doing and bring yourself up to speed on their work. Their slogan says it all: “teaching the faith by making fun of stuff.” True to Lutheran form, they’re a bit unfair when they take on historic Reformed teaching. But they’re spot on when they target the philosophy driving much modern worship or bad analogies for the Trinity. Regardless, they never fail to deliver on the comedy front.

Source


How Should Christians Respond to the Homosexual Movement?

If you’ve been watching the headlines over the last couple years (and especially the last few days), you have undoubtedly noticed the incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality.


Public, Grievous Sins: The Good & The Bad (Mark Jones)

I find that there are two important biblical perspectives we ought to keep in mind when a Christian or Christians commit a grievous, public sin. These perspectives are sometimes lost, or at least fade into the background, when in fact they should be uppermost in our thinking.


The Sermon on the Mount according to Congressional Jesus

Jesus sermon on the mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For they can get a job at minimum wage.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they made their bad decisions and must suffer the consequences.
Blessed are the meek,
For we can take advantage of them.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For we can promise them free food to get them to vote for us.
Blessed are the merciful,
For we will remove them from their positions for not being “tough on crime.”
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they are the most gullible.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they know how to make peace through war.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,
For they will turn over secrets about their terrorist activities.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for this proves that you are standing up for the right things in the right way.

You are the salt of the earth. That is why old white guys must rule you. We must preserve our society and culture the way it has always been. If we allow the pepper to rule, they will only trample us underfoot.

You are the light of the world. That is why we need incandescent lightbulbs instead of those energy-saving fluorescents. We don’t want our light to be hidden. We like using a lot more electricity to light a room. This is what glorifies the freedom our Father in heaven gave us.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution. It is the most perfect document ever written, and our interpretation of it is the only right one. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle (that word always makes me laugh) will by no means pass from the Law until the whole world follows it.

Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be stripped of his freedoms and liberties and given a life sentence in prison. But whoever does and teaches them, he shall be given special privileges and favors in my Kingdom. For I say to you do exactly what I tell you all the time, you won’t ever get a seat at the table.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder,” and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother has just cause to do so if that brother is a liberal, a gay, or a Muslim. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!” will not be understood, because nobody says that anymore. But whoever says, “You fool!” shall be called a sissy-ninny for not using stronger language.

Therefore if you are bringing your gift as a donation to my re-election campaign, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift with my campaign manager, and then go away to your brother, and blackmail him into also donating to my campaign. This way, you will shut him up, and if your gifts are large enough, both of you will receive favors from me later on.

But if he takes you to court, get your own lawyer quickly, and counter-sue the pants off him. Otherwise, he will deliver you over a judge who has probably been bribed, and you could end up in prison. Then all that you worked so hard for will go to your enemy who put you in prison. It is much better to sue him and take his money first. This way, you can give it to me.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that it is perfectly normal for a man to look at pretty young women who are on their staff, and that what your wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. So go to the strip clubs and have fun. Hire the prostitutes on your trips to Europe. Take your girlfriend with you South America. After all, adultery for real is much more fun than adultery in the heart.

If your right eye starts to look at a beautiful woman as she walks by, let your left look also. You get better depth perception that way. It is more profitable to take a good look, and then later to ask her out for drinks, than to let your member burn with passion. And if your right hand causes you to sin, make sure you use lotion.

Jesus politicsFurthermore, it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that it looks bad to divorce your wife, so stay married for appearance sake, while you sleep around as much as you want. If you can get your wife to agree to this, even better, for it’s not adultery if your wife knows what you’re doing.

Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.” But I say to you, say whatever it is you need to say to get the deal done, and then feel free to do exactly the opposite later on. Let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No,” “No” when the person is in front of you, but after they leave, go ahead and renege on everything you said.

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I tell you to not resist an evil person; just kill him. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, pull out your .357 and let the bullets fly. If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, sue him first and take his tunic and his shoes. And whoever compels you to go one mile, drag your feet and go as slow as possible so it wastes their time. Give to him who asks you, but at a decent return, and from him who wants to borrow from you, make sure you charge a high percentage rate.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you to walk softly and carry a big stick. Strike hard and strike fast before your enemy can strike you. Remove the threat before you yourself are threatened. Bomb your enemies, sue those who curse you, do harm to those who hate you, and picket those who spitefully use you or persecute you. This is how you will be sons of your Father, for He sends AIDS on gays, tsunamis on Indonesian Muslims, hurricanes on New Orleans, and famine on lazy Africans.

For if you love those who love you, you will be able to reward each other’s good health and prosperity. That’s how tax collectors get so rich. Therefore, you shall be perfect, and everybody else in the world can be despised as ignorant scum.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them, unless there is a camera crew nearby who can print their pictures in the newspaper and post them online. Otherwise, your good deed is wasted. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound the trumpet before you, because everyone will just thank you’re strange. Instead, send out a press release to the local newspaper, or allow a staff member to leak your plans to the local press. This will get you the glory before men that you need.

But when you do your charitable deed, do not try to type your Tweets and Facebook updates into your iPhone with your left hand, for this is how many unfortunate typos have brought scorn upon others. A good deed with an embarrassing typo ruins the good deed. This way, your charitable deeds will look unplanned and ordinary, but everybody will see you do them and will think you’re a great guy, and you will receive your reward openly from all.

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. They love to pray standing in front of churches and religious people that they may be seen. But nobody in church takes pictures. So you, when you pray, go onto the floor of the Senate, or stand before the National Prayer Breakfast, and say your prayers there. People will take pictures and write down your prayers for publication in the newspaper, and everybody will see what a devout person you really are.

When you pray, do not try to pray off the cuff. This will only cause you to repeat yourself and babble like an incoherent idiot. Instead, have a team of professional writers draft your prayers. Make theme eloquent and poetic, so that everybody will praise you for how in touch with God you must be to utter such beautiful prayers.
In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come through me and my political platform,
Your will be done through the bills I want to pass,
Since our plans for this earth match your plans from heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, along with prime rib and fancy French wine,
And forgive us our debts, because you know we’re never paying off $14 Trillion.
But we won’t forgive our debtors, because they owe us money.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil gays, Muslims, and Liberals.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, and we want some of it for ourselves.
Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, you are letting them take advantage of you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, you will have the power to control and manipulate their lives.

Moreover, when you fast … on second thought, just don’t fast. Why would you do that to yourself? If you are overweight, you might want to go on a diet, but who can diet when there is fried chicken to eat, and 64-oz Cokes to drink? I can’t believe Bloomberg outlawed large sodas in New York and Hillary is trying to make school lunches healthy! What happened to our Constitutional freedom to slowly kill ourselves and our children by eating too much unhealthy food? But you should wash your hands before you eat. If you don’t, that just gross.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. Instead, put your treasures in a bank or a 401(k) where your money is FDIC insured and you can invest it. This will allow you to lay up even more treasure for yourself, and best of all, the government only taxes investment income at 15%, which is less than they tax the poor schmuck who works at McDonalds. Best of all, if you get rich enough, you can make horrible decisions with your money, and the government will bail you out because you are too big to fail. In this way, moths and rust will never destroy what you have and thieves can never steal it. For where your treasure is, there is your future security.

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore you eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, go get Lasik surgery. It’s come a long way and wearing glasses makes you look old and weak.

sermon on the mount Jesus politiican

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despite the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon. The best route is to act like you are serving God so that everybody who does serve Him will give you money.

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, not about your body, what you will put on. If you become rich enough, restaurants will let you eat for free and clothing chains will give you clothes to wear if only you announce that they are your clothing line of choice. Look of the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. Instead, they steal seed from farmer’s fields and kill worms for their breakfast. Are you not more important than birds? So don’t worry about where your food and clothing will come from; just take it from others.

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. That’s because Solomon had silks and jewels, which is better by far than any flower I’ve ever seen. Besides, those flowers wither away and get burned up in the sun. Solomon’s reign, with his nice clothes and good food, lasted quite a bit longer than that.

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness by donating to my campaign, and I will see what you have done, and will make sure to reward you later on.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Give me your money, and let me take care of tomorrow for you. Each day has enough trouble of its own, so come to me and let me provide for your future.

Judge not, that you not be judged. Unless you have the legal standing to make your judgment, and can defend your case before a court of law. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, unless the judge is a friend of yours and owes you a favor. For with whatever measure you paid him off, he will measure back to you with an important court decision.

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? The reason is because we must never admit we are wrong, even when it is obvious to everyone else. Deflect the blame by pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye. Don’t say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye,” because then there won’t be anything you can blame him for. You can get people to stop focusing on the plank in your own eye by pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye. The people will believe this, because they are like dogs and swine. Their attention simply needs to be diverted to someone else before they trample you under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him to knocks the door will be opened, so that whatever favor I give to you will be returned to me when I call upon you later on. What man among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? Give people “bread and circus,” and you can do anything you want. If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to those who back you, how much more can you expect good gifts from those who need your support? Therefore, whatever you want men to do for you, do also for them, but in a way that puts them at your mercy and in your debt.

Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that everyone else enters by, and I don’t want them to see you visit me late at night. The narrow gate is out behind the house. I’ll give you the passcode for the keyless entry lock on the door. This gate is narrow and it is difficult to find, but this way we can do our business without prying eyes.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. It is essential you teach your immigrant workers the difference between the good fruit and bad fruit, or you will never get any profits from your vineyard. Tell them that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. They might be able to understand that.

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall be able to work for me. It’s not what they say that matters, but what they are willing to do for me. Many come to me and promise to bring me large profits, to cast out the illegal immigrant demons from our country, and create many jobs in my name, but when they fail to do what was promised, I cast them away from me, and get them fired from their jobs or sent to prison for lawlessness.

Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock. It was high up on a hill and very beautiful. We had many great parties there where he introduced me to many large donors. When the economy descended and the political flood rose, and the media winds blew and beat against his house, I was able to pull some strings and protect him. He did not fall from his position, for he was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. He had an oceanfront home near Santa Barbara. It also was very nice, but did not do what I asked him and so when the economy fell and the political flood rose, and the media winds blew and beat against his house, I stood back and watched is fall with a grin on my face. It was a great fall and the man is now in prison.

The post The Sermon on the Mount according to Congressional Jesus appeared first on Redeeming God.


50 Resources for Equipping the Church on Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

The Gospel Coalition exists to serve the church. To help fulfill this mession, TGC has joined with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention on Equip, a project to provide a broad range of resources on homosexuality and same-sex marriage issues to prepare your church for a changing culture.


Bread, Circuses, and the Coliseum

While the Christians who went to their deaths under the empire of Rome died for their faith, I fear they did not die for our faith. First, we must understand what Rome had against these saints. Part of the genius of the Roman empire was their “broad-mindedness.” They did not roll into town after their phalanxes had left not one brick upon another and rebuild from scratch. Instead it was their habit to assimilate. As they did with the Pharisees, they cut a deal. We will rule over you, but you can, by and large, keep doing what you were doing.  Keep your temple. Worship there. Keep your traditions, your way of life.  All we ask of you is that you pay your taxes, acknowledge our authority, and then this one other little thing- we need you to acknowledge that Caesar is Lord. Burn a pinch of incense, bow the knee, and then go back to what you were doing. You don’t even have to mean it.

The Christians’ problem was more political than narrowly theological. You see the very first creed of the church was just three words long, but managed to confront Rome at its heart. Christians were those who confessed Christ is Lord. They died by the thousands because they would not confess that Caesar is Lord.

Which brings us to our faith. We’re like the Pharisees. We have our worship services, our private convictions, and that’s where our faith ends. The rest of our lives are committed to the authority of the state, and to the diversions and distractions the broader culture provides. We are in no danger because we are no danger. When the world calls our convictions “hate” we simply change them, insisting that our response to the wholesale turning over of God’s created order is more love, more appeasement, more assurance that we are not a danger. Some of us reinterpret our Bibles to get with the times. Some simply look away awkwardly when the Bible embarrasses us. We conflate the Biblical notion that all sin is rebellion against the living God and deserving of His judgment into the much safer notion that all sins are equal, making all of them innocuous, not worthy to be mentioned.

When the Supreme Court made its most wicked ruling, upending the natural, God created order of things, we ignored it. When we finally woke up, we found safe, reasonable, Rome approved ways of “fighting” it. 42 years later and still three thousand little babies are murdered every day, right in our own neighborhoods. And we are more interested in our favorite football team.

We worship a Jesus who will save us from our sins, but whose reign we’re willing to negotiate. We worship a state that simply requires of us that we be nice and keep our convictions to ourselves. We worship distraction, so that we won’t have to face our idolatry. We worship the acceptance of the broader culture, and sacrifice all else to get it. We’re not like our fathers who died for Jesus, but like our fathers that killed Him and the prophets God sent to call us to repentance, because they, like we, worship the god of this age.

Until we stop repenting to the god of this age for the plain teaching of the living God, and start repenting to the living God for bowing before the god of this age, we will be trodden underfoot. Until we weep for our sin, until we tear down the high places, until we cease to hand our children over to Moloch we will burn with Rome. Lord be merciful to us, sinners.

The post Bread, Circuses, and the Coliseum appeared first on R.C. Sproul Jr..


Greasing the Slippery Slope

I can’t get the Cole Porter song “Anything Goes” out of my head. Even worse, I hear Justice Kennedy singing it.
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13 Truths about Spiritual Warfare for Leaders

By Chuck Lawless

Over the past twenty years, I have studied, written, and taught about spiritual warfare. Based on that work, here are some warfare reminders for church leaders:

  1. The Bible is not a book about the devil. The Bible is about God. This truth matters, as many people interested in spiritual warfare give the devil more attention than the Bible does. That approach simply distorts the biblical picture of warfare.
  2. The enemy is real. Paul was clear that we wrestle against principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12). Peter knew an enemy seeks to devour us like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). No hermeneutical gymnastics can legitimately erase this spiritual reality.
  3. The battle is not ours. David recognized that when he fought Goliath (1 Sam. 17:47). Jehaziel reminded Jehoshaphat of that truth (2 Chron. 20:15). God is our warrior (Exo. 15:3). He always has been and always will be.
  4. People are not the enemy. Paul was equally clear that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Even when people frustrate and anger us, they are not the enemy. When we remember this truth, we will love, shepherd, and pray for people differently.
  5. Leaders are a primary target for the enemy. That truth shouldn’t surprise us. The enemy knows that when leaders fall, followers are wounded in the process. I doubt I need to spend time listing the prominent Christian leaders who have fallen in the last few years.
  6. The enemy strikes at marriages. Satan sought to divide Adam and Eve (Adam turned on Eve and blamed her after their sin in Gen. 3), and he has attacked marriages since then. When marriages are destroyed, their witness to the gospel (Eph. 5:25) gets distorted – and, future generations are harmed in the process.
  7. Self-dependence is evidence of the enemy’s work. Satan is not alarmed by church leaders who operate in their own ability. All of our training and experience is no match for the subtle schemes of the enemy.
  8. Hiddenness is a warning signal. The enemy often operates in the darkness. He delights when we sin and choose to keep our sin in the secret places of our lives. In no way does he want us to confess our sin.
  9. Leaders often fight their battles alone. Sometimes leaders must stand alone, but too often they have no close team around them to help them win spiritual battles. Loners are by nature vulnerable to attack and defeat.
  10. Sometimes leaders take on the enemy with too little prayer. Self-confident leaders are like Jesus’ disciples who tried to cast out a demon without praying (Mark 9:14-29). They do not pray, pray only superficially, or pray only after the battle has been lost.
  11. Even the best leaders may find themselves in non-stop warfare by God’s design. The Apostle Paul was God’s uniquely called apostle, but still he dealt with an ongoing thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-10). God left Paul in the battle so he would always recognize God as his strength.
  12. Spiritual defeat need not be final. Simon Peter failed miserably when he denied knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-61), but the story was not over. Jesus welcomed him back into His band of disciples and then used him to preach the gospel to Jerusalem (Acts 2).
  13. The enemy will not ultimately win. He will spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). Whether planting churches or revitalizing established congregations, church leaders can know they are ultimately on the winning side. Hell will not defeat the church.

Take time now to thank the Lord for victory in the battle.

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.The post 13 Truths about Spiritual Warfare for Leaders appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


10 Cross-Focused Principles Versus 10 Horizontal Strategies for Dealing with Anger

You’re reading Part Three of a three-part BCC Grace & Truth blog miniseries on Biblical Counseling and Anger. In today’s post, Tim Allchin contrasts 10 Cross-Focused Principles Versus Horizontal Strategies for Dealing with Anger. Continue reading →


The Glorious Privilege of Freedom in Christ

There’s no such thing as freedom — at least not in the sense that we can do whatever we please without restraint or consequence. That’s been Satan’s lie since the Garden of Eden: “Sure, Eve, you can eat the forbidden fruit.


What Does God Say About Abuse?

What does God say about abuse, specifically emotional abuse in marriage? Today’s guest blogger is Lilly Park. Lilly is Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, IN. This article (Responding to Emotional Abuse in Marriage) first appeart on the Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission.

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This post is dedicated to the women I’ve met who have inspired me by their faith and strength in the midst of painful marriages.

I’ve seen marriages that reflect Christ and the Church: husbands lovingly leading their homes and wives lovingly submitting to their husbands. How good (and hope-filled!) it is to see real life examples, especially at a time when marriages are being attacked from pornography, homosexuality, and cohabitation. I’ve also seen broken marriages and emotionally abusive relationships, which has taught me a lot about faith.

The women I’ve met believed in submitting to their husbands and tried to do so. At some point, however, they began to change negatively without knowing it. They isolated themselves. They questioned themselves. They started to make excuses for their husbands’ sins.

What do you do when your husband emotionally abuses you? Some might say that you should continue to submit to his leadership, pray for him, and trust God. Is it acceptable to seek help and possibly even separate, if necessary? When I think of marriage, “protection” is one of the concepts that comes to mind. Perhaps that’s why emotional abuse, or any kind of abuse for that matter, in marriage saddens me in a different way.

My desire is that God might use this blog post to encourage those who are weary, to challenge those who are not trusting God or seeking counsel, and to provide some help to those who are not sure how to help women in emotionally abusive relationships. I’ve also met men who have been abused by their wives, so I certainly do not believe that only women are abused.

The Bible doesn’t use the label “emotional abuse,” but it does prohibit it. First, we are not to curse people who have been created in the image of God (James 3:9). Second, emotional abuse violates the two greatest commandments: love God and love others as yourself (Matthew 22:35-40). Third, emotional abuse violates God’s design for marriage where the husband lovingly leads and the wife lovingly submits (Ephesians 5:21-33). Fourth, it violates Christian living by denying yourself (Mark 8:34) and speaking wholesome words (Ephesians 4:29). Fifth, it displays pride and a lack of fear of God, which leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). A husband who commits emotional abuse deceives himself to be a king who deserves glory, honor, and praise. Sixth, emotional abuse is betrayal to God and people by trying to be like God and deceiving others.

The Nature of Emotional Abuse

A common term found in the definition of emotional abuse is control. Emotional abuse occurs when someone tries to control you through actions or words. They might not physically hurt you, but they know how to instill fear through intimidation and manipulation. If emotions are produced by your evaluations or perceptions,[1] then emotional abuse involves hurting how you view yourself and others. Over time, you negatively view yourself. You might question yourself, blame yourself, or not see the severity of the situation. You become a weary person, trying to please your husband’s unreasonable demands but rarely is he pleased.

Emotional abuse is more deceitful than physical abuse. The women I’ve met endured emotional abuse for years and no one knew about it. They didn’t even know until they finally talked to someone. (Of course, the same could happen with physical abuse.) Emotional abuse is unacceptable and sinful. It is slowly killing a person. It is also not the same as occasional arguments in marriage; it occurs frequently.

Common Themes in Emotional Abuse

Anger. Emotionally abusive anger is a sin (Colossians 3:8). In this case, it reveals a desire for control. For example, a husband sends texts or calls throughout the day from work and gets angry if the wife responds too slowly. Or, he gets angry if she disagrees with him.

Manipulation/hypocrisy. This sin is revealed in different ways:

  1. The husband is a different person in front of a church leader and others. He knows how to blame the wife.
  2. The husband starts crying in the counseling session and convinces the pastor or friends. Then, everything that the wife had shared in the past carries little weight. After all, he cried. The wife trusts people even less.
  3. The husband meets with other family and friends to win them over.

Fear/Threats. In some cases, this involves finances or child custody if the couple is in the process of a divorce.

Blameshifting/Denial. “If you did what I told you to do, then I wouldn’t have been angry.” “When did I say that to you?”

Isolation. The wife spends less time with family and friends because her husband does not want to see them or another argument happened.

Minimizing the problem. The husband says that the wife is exaggerating. Sometimes, the wife minimizes the problem. Another instance is when the person trying to help is deceived or doesn’t know how to help. “Every marriage has problems.” “Both the husband and wife have issues.”

In-laws. Leaving and cleaving never happened in the marriage. The in-laws are the leaders in the marriage, not the husband. The in-laws believe that their son is perfect or they see their son’s faults but place the blame on his wife.

What to Do For the Wife

It is not uncommon for emotional abuse to lead to physical abuse, so seek counseling as soon as possible. We might think that emotional abuse would not happen in Christian marriages. I’ve seen cases where the husband was a church leader.

Don’t keep it private. You think that your spouse will change or won’t get angry again if you’re more obedient. Be careful of such thinking. In a way, it deceives you to think that you’re in control of the situation.

Find someone who will believe you. Sometimes, church leaders are deceived or don’t want to get involved in messy problems. Don’t give up until you find a godly person who knows how to help.

Biblical submission. This is not obedience at all costs. Yes, wives are to submit to their husbands, but not to sin or sinful treatment.

Prayer. Pray for the spouse’s repentance. If the spouse is not saved, pray for his salvation. Pray that God would protect your heart from anger and bitterness.

Trust God. It is so hurtful when family or friends don’t believe you or desert you, but God knows the truth. You can rest in His care and know that vengeance belongs to Him.

Remember God’s character. He is faithful. He is all-knowing. He will never desert you.

If someone shares about any kind of abuse with you, know that a lot of courage and trust were involved. Be careful of shattering it! Most likely, this person is vulnerable and fearful. As I often tell people, good intentions are not enough. I’ve seen friends get involved by meeting with the husband and then they are left more confused.

Watch out for complaining and gossip. Use wisdom in determining how much the person should share with you. In the end, our effort to minister shouldn’t have enabled a venting session, but a return to God’s perspective session, which gives hope and honors God.

One woman said to me: “If God allowed this pain to happen so that my husband might know Christ, then it was worth it.” She also recognized that God used the trial to draw her closer to Him. At that moment, this person who never completed college taught me about faith in a way that I didn’t learn from books and lectures.

It’s easier to submit to a loving leader in the home, but to love a husband who constantly questions you, belittles you, and lies to you is a powerful display of faith in God.

Join the Conversation

What additional biblical counsel would you give to an emotionally abused wife?


[1]Brian Borgman, Feelings and Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2009), 26.

Resources for YOU!

COUNSELING: Are you or a friend in an emotionally abusive relationship? May we encourage you to seek help from a trust-worthy person at your church or from one of our biblical counselors? Please contact us.

DOWNLOAD: Here’s a helpful reminder of who you are in Christ. Click here to get it.

 

The post What Does God Say About Abuse? appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


Suffering for Christ: A Gift of Divine Grace

“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake,
not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
– Philippians 1:29 –

Phil 1;29This text, along with the rest of the New Testament (cf. John 16:33; 2 Tim 3:12; Jas 1:2–4; 1 Pet 4:12–16) establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that suffering inevitably comes to the true believer in Christ. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which mandated all 50 states to redefine marriage, is a loud and clear statement that all who do not conform to the new (im)moral orthodoxy will not be tolerated in contemporary society. For those who submit to the authority of the Word of God, suffering, in one form or another, is sure to come.

But a question we need to ask is: Where does it come from? Does suffering originate merely in the hostility of the opponents themselves? Does it come from a random, chaotic, uncontrolled universe, so that we’ve simply drawn the short straw and need to make the best of things? Does it come from some impersonal governing force like fate, so that we just have to grin and bear it? Does suffering ultimately come from Satan or demons?

Ultimately, we have to answer, “No,” to all of those questions. Ultimately, suffering comes from God. You say, “How do you know that?” Well, for a couple reasons. One is that Scripture calls God the one “who works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11). “And we know,” Romans 8:28, “that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.”

All things. Not just the good things. And not: “God turns all the bad things into good things for those who love Him.” God doesn’t just make the best of a bad hand He was dealt. He ordains all things for His purpose to glorify Himself. Joseph said that in Genesis 50:20: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Job says the same thing: “The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity” from Him as well (Job 2:10)? And as Jeremiah stands in the rubble of the ravaged city of Jerusalem at the time of the Babylonian invasion, he asks, Lamentations 3:37, “Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?”

A Gift of Grace

But even if I didn’t have all those verses to turn to, Philippians 1:29 says that it has been granted to us not only to believe, but to suffer. Who has granted that we believe? Certainly not our opponents of the Gospel. And certainly not Satan! It’s God who has granted us faith (Eph 2:8–9). And in the same way, it is God who grants us to suffer.

And He grants us to suffer. This word “granted” is the Greek verb charizomai, from charis, which is the word for grace. It means “to give as a gift,” or “to give freely.” It’s the same word in Romans 8:32, where Paul says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” What Paul is teaching us here is that the suffering that comes upon the people of God as a result of our faithful obedience to Christ in a hostile world is nothing less than a free gift of sovereign grace.

Now, does God give poor gifts? Does He give gifts that are without purpose and without wisdom? Does He ever give gifts that are not beneficial and for the greatest good of those He gives them to? Of course not! You know all of God’s gifts to His children are good for us. Well, this text tells us that He gives us suffering, for Christ’s sake, as a gift of His loving, unmerited favor.

Keep on Rejoicing

Now if some of you are thinking, “What kind of favor is that? Suffering?!” If you’re thinking that, I want you to know that the apostles would have had absolutely no idea where you were coming from. In Acts 5, the Sanhedrin had already thrown the apostles into prison for violating their command not to preach any longer in the name of Jesus. But the angel of the Lord came in the middle of the night and freed them. And the next morning they were back in the temple preaching, and so the Jews called them before the Council again. And after some discussion about what should be done to them, it says “they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:40–41).

This generation of professing Christians seeks to run from shame as far and as fast as possible, as if it were a pure, unmixed evil! The apostles’ generation rejoiced that they had been considered worthy to receive the divine favor of suffering shame for the matchless name of the Lord Jesus Christ. May God grant that we see the glory that they saw—that we would be so satisfied by Christ that we would count it a privilege to meet the world’s shame if it means that we can put His glory on display.

Years after being flogged that day, Peter would write, “To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing,” and, “if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but to glorify God in this name” (1 Peter 4:13, 16).

Glorify God in This Name 

See, suffering for Christ’s sake provides us a wonderful opportunity to put the worth and sufficiency of Christ on display. It gives us an opportunity to magnify Him by being more satisfied in Him than by all that this world can offer and by all that death can take.

To illustrate, the third verse of that great hymn, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, says, “His oath, His covenant, His blood / support me in the whelming flood. / When all around my soul gives way, / He then is all my hope and stay.” Commenting on that line, John Piper writes, “If we hold fast to Him ‘when all around our soul gives way,’ then we show that He is more to be desired than all we have lost” (Desiring God, 266). And magnifying Christ—showing that He is more to be desired than all that we could lose—is the very thing that we were created to do (Isa 43:7; Phil 1:20–21). If we understand this, it’s clear to see that it’s a divine gift to suffer on behalf of Christ. It is a gracious gift of unmerited favor to be given the privilege of being prisms to reflect the glory and sufficiency of Jesus to the world.

Jesus Doeth All Things Well

And so when suffering and persecution come from those who would oppose Christ and His Gospel—when it gets hard, and starts to hurt, and threatens those things and those people whom you most treasure—don’t try to save God from His sovereignty by supposing that those trials originate from someone other than your Father. Don’t cut the legs out from under the theology of sovereign grace upon which you stand. You would destroy the very comfort you seek if you did that.

Another great hymn says, “Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort / Here by faith in Him to dwell / For I know whate’er befall me / Jesus doeth all things well.” Where do heavenly peace and divine comfort come from? From the knowledge that whatever happens, Jesus the sovereign Lord is doing it, and He doeth all things well. So when suffering comes—and it’s coming, if it’s not already here—don’t try to save God from His sovereignty, and in the same breath steal your heavenly peace and divinest comfort. Instead, count that suffering as a gracious gift, direct from the loving hand of your Father, of the opportunity to magnify the worth of Christ in your response to it. Then, you would suffer in a manner worthy of the Gospel.

Source


The Daily Discovery (July 3, 2015)

My Open Letter of Apology to the Gay Community (From A Christian) – “I’m seeing quite a few open letters of apology from Christians to the gay community in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. At first, I was angry. ‘What are we apologizing for again?!?,’ I thought. As a conservative Christian, I was annoyed. It seemed – at first – to be capitulation on a very important issue. After reading more than a few of these open letters of apology, however, my heart has softened on the issue. I realize that conservative Christians like myself are in the clear minority. The Supreme Court has ruled. Other churches, like the Episcopalians just yesterday, have found it in their heart to soften from their historic, traditional opinions. And as much as religious people love the past, I’ve had to come to grips with the reality that this – gay marriage – is our present and no doubt, our future.

Abusing Freedom – “Our culture is changing fast. Things that would have seemed absurd to most people’s moral intuitions are now championed. Even some things that still seem odd are accepted because our culture accepted a definition of freedom some time ago that is playing out.”

America Is Not Great – “Happy Fourth of July. America is not great. Not anymore. America is a land where babies are murdered, the family is disintegrating, marriage is perverted, and every institution is dominated by nihilists and self-worshiping liberals. That’s America. It has betrayed God, and any true patriot should feel a deep and profound anger, not false confidence in our alleged greatness.”

Matthew Vines’ Precommitments in His Case for Gay Christians Part 1: Humanistic Consequentialist Ethics – “Matthew Vines has written a book titled God and the Gay Christian in which he argues that ‘Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationship’ (Page 3).   Al Mohler and the faculty at Southern Seminary has published a book-length response titled God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines, which they have made available as a free e-book.  In their responses Al Mohler, James Hamilton, Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Heath Lambert addressed the biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral issues raised by Vines’s best-selling book.”

Gurnall on the “heroic impulse,” and how it is not a good thing – “It is an erratic spirit, that usually carries men out of their place and calling. I confess there is an heroicus impetus, an impulse which some of the servants of God have had from heaven, to do things extraordinary, as we read in Scripture of Moses, Gideon, Phineas, and others.”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – Hope for a Doomed Nation


VIDEOS:

The Slavery of Serving Worldliness

The cure for Transgenderism and Transsexualism


“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



More On Eternal life

John 17: 3 gives the meaning of eternal life as defined by Jesus. “And this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” In my study I looked up “know” and it means to know absolutely, completely, not limited, “life” means to live, breathe, rational immortal soul,  and “eternal” means perpetual, past present future..forever. Do you believe we know God absolutely when we become His?

continue reading


Jews In The Holocaust

Why do you believe that God allowed so many Jews to be killed in the holocaust?

continue reading


Thinking You Are Saved But Aren’t?

In one of your recent posts, you said some people who think they are saved will learn that they really aren’t. This really concerns me because I do not understand how one can believe they are saved but really aren’t.  I do not want to be one of those people. I confessed Christ as my savior and asked him to save me and I want salvation and his kingdom more than anything and was sincere when I asked him.  What does it mean for someone to believe they are but really aren’t?

continue reading


Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, July 3, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

How Gay Marriage Ruling May Impact Christian Colleges

What One Israeli Couple Found while Undergoing a Home Renovation

Survey: 53 Percent of Americans Believe God has ‘Special Relationship’ with US

Man Known as British ‘Schindler’ Dies

Ebola Back in Liberia 2 Months after Being Declared Free of Virus that Killed Over 11,000

Once Patrons, Now Landlords — Churches Rehab Buildings for Artist Spaces

Report: Fire at Black Church in S.C. was Not Arson, Feds Say

California Governor Signs Vaccination Law for Students Forcing Parents to Homeschool

Homeless Man Who Returned Found Money Donates Reward

Pastors Arm Churches after Charleston Shooting

Opinion

Is Involuntary Euthanasia in Our Future?

America’s Slippery Slope to Physician-Assisted Suicide and Polygamy

After Same-Sex Marriage, is Polygamy Next?

Why We Don’t Have to Worry about Overpopulation

Will Religious Organizations Lose Tax-Exempt Status?


What is The Gospel?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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GTY Blog – John: Willingness to Suffer for God’s Glory

Code: B150702

 

By John MacArthur

The modern aversion to any form of human suffering is nothing new. The idea of suffering was not an enticing prospect for Jesus’ apostles either—they all forsook Jesus and fled on the night of His arrest (Mark 14:50). They were completely unable to reconcile suffering with God’s sovereign purposes. John, in particular, not only had an aversion to suffering, he had also harbored strong ambitions for glory.

Both desires are perfectly understandable. After all, John had seen Jesus’ glory firsthand on the Mount of Transfiguration, and he treasured Jesus’ promise that he would share that glory (Matthew 19:28–29). How could he not desire such a blessing? On the other hand, suffering is a hallmark of hell and absent in heaven—why would anyone want to embrace it now?

There was nothing inherently sinful about John’s desire to participate in the glory of Jesus’ eternal kingdom. Christ had promised him a throne and an inheritance in glory. Moreover, it is my conviction that when we see Christ’s glory fully unveiled we will finally understand why the glory of Christ is the greatest reward of all in heaven. One glimpse of Jesus in the fullness of His glory will be worth all the pain and sorrow and suffering we have endured here on earth (cf. Psalm 17:15; 1 John 3:2). Participation in Christ’s glory is therefore a fitting desire for every child of God.

But if we desire to participate in heavenly glory, we must also be willing to partake of earthly sufferings. This was the apostle Paul’s desire: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10). Paul wasn’t saying he had a masochistic lust for pain; he was simply recognizing that glory and suffering are inseparable. Those who desire the reward of glory must be willing to endure the suffering.

Suffering is the price of glory. We are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17). Jesus taught this principle again and again:

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:24–25).

Suffering is the prelude to glory. Our suffering as believers is the assurance of the glory that is yet to come (1 Peter 1:6–7). And “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). Meanwhile, those who thirst for glory must balance that desire with a willingness to suffer.

All the disciples needed to learn this. Remember, they all wanted the chief seats in glory. But Jesus said there is a price for those seats. Not only are those seats reserved for the humble, but those who sit in those seats will first be prepared for the place of honor by enduring the humility of suffering. That is why Jesus told James and John that before they would receive any throne at all, they would be required to “drink the cup that I drink” and “be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized” (Mark 10:38).

How eagerly and how naively James and John assured the Lord that they would be able to drink of the cup He would drink and be baptized with a baptism of suffering! “They said to Him, ‘We are able’” (Mark 10:39). At that moment they had no real clue what they were volunteering for. They were like Peter, boasting that they would follow Jesus to the death—but when faced with the opportunity, they all forsook Him and fled.

Thankfully, Christ does not regard such failures as final. All eleven of the disciples fled on the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. But every one of them was recovered, and every one of them ultimately learned to suffer willingly for Christ’s sake.

In fact, all of them except John suffered and ultimately died for the faith. They were martyred one by one in the prime of life. John was the only disciple who lived to old age. But he suffered, too, in ways the others did not. He was still enduring earthly anguish and persecution long after the others were already in glory.

On the night of Jesus’ arrest, John probably began to understand the bitterness of the cup he would have to drink. We know from his account of Jesus’ trial that he and Peter followed Jesus to the house of the high priest (John 18:15). There he watched as Jesus was bound and beaten. As far as we know, John was the only disciple who was an actual eyewitness to Jesus’ crucifixion. He was standing close enough to the cross for Jesus to see him (John 19:26). He probably watched as the Roman soldiers drove in the nails. He was there when a soldier finally pierced his Lord’s side with a spear. And perhaps as he watched he remembered that he had agreed to partake of this same baptism. If so, he surely realized then and there how awful the cup was he had so easily volunteered to drink!

When John’s brother James became the church’s first martyr, John bore the loss in a more personal way than the others. As the other disciples were martyred one by one, John suffered the grief and pain of additional loss. These were his friends and companions. Soon he alone was left. In some ways, that may have been the most painful suffering of all.

Virtually all reliable sources in early church history attest to the fact that John became the pastor of the church the apostle Paul had founded at Ephesus. From there, during a great persecution of the church under the Roman Emperor Domitian (brother and successor of Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem), John was banished to a prison community on Patmos. He lived in a cave there. It was while there that he received and recorded the apocalyptic visions described in the book of Revelation (cf. Revelation 1:9).

I have been to the cave in which he is thought to have lived and in which he is believed to have written the book of Revelation. It was a harsh environment for an aged man. He was cut off from those whom he loved, treated with cruelty and reproach, and made to sleep on a stone slab with a rock for a pillow as the years passed slowly.

But John learned to bear suffering willingly. There is no complaint about his sufferings anywhere in his epistles or the book of Revelation. It is certain that he wrote Revelation under the most extreme kind of hardship and deprivation. But he makes scant mention of his difficulties, referring to himself as “your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (Revelation 1:9).

Notice that in the same breath he mentioned “tribulation,” he speaks of the patience that enabled him to bear his sufferings willingly. He was looking forward calmly to the day when he would partake in the promised glory of the kingdom. That is the right balance and a healthy perspective. He had learned to look beyond his earthly sufferings in anticipation of the heavenly glory.

As we have seen in this series, the changes in John’s character as he matured form a worthy pattern for our lives. Zeal for truth must go hand in hand with love for people in order for both traits to bring glory to God. Likewise, our ambitions must be tempered with Christlike humility. And suffering should not surprise or discourage us, but encourage a sanctifying expectation for the glory to come. Believers have much to gain from the careful study of John’s teaching and his life. His theology is rich, revealing a man who was profoundly transformed by His relationship with Christ.

(Adapted from Twelve Ordinary Men)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150702
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Governments Around the World Deserve Contempt, Not Respect

Zwinglius Redivivus

This is why people despise their governments. The policies enacted by the oligarchs ALWAYS hurt the people and ALWAYS enrich the powerful.  What is happening to Greece can happen to any country where the wealthy are allowed to freely set the course.  This will be what happens to America when the Koch Brothers finally have everything they want.

An elderly man is crying outside a national bank brunch as pensioners queue to get their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki on 3 July, 2015. Greece is almost evenly split over a crucial weekend referendum that could decide its financial fate, with a 'Yes' result possibly ahead by a whisker, the latest survey Friday showed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government is asking Greece's voters to vote 'No' to a technically phrased question asking if they are willing to accept more tough austerity conditions from international creditors in exchange for bailout funds. AFP PHOTO /Sakis MitrolidisSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images An elderly man is crying outside a national bank brunch as pensioners queue to get their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki on 3 July, 2015. Greece is almost evenly split over a crucial weekend referendum that could decide its financial fate, with a ‘Yes’ result possibly ahead by a whisker, the latest survey Friday showed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government is asking Greece’s voters to vote ‘No’ to a technically phrased question asking if they are willing to accept more tough austerity conditions from international creditors in…

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Polygamy is next: Montana throuple applies for wedding license

WINTERY KNIGHT

Marriage and family Marriage and family

The Supreme Court redefined marriage so that it no longer means one man, one woman, for life. What follows from attaching the word “marriage” to people who have temporary feelings of love for other people?

Here’s the story from MSN.com.

Excerpt:

A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.

“It’s about marriage equality,” Collier told The Associated Press Wednesday. “You can’t have this without polygamy.”

[…]The Supreme Court’s ruling on…

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Constantine the Damned, the Puritans, and the Culture Wars

Zwinglius Redivivus

When the servant of Hell baptized pagan Rome, pagan Rome remained pagan.  Baptizing pagans only makes for wet, damned, pagans.  But these wet damned pagans took up their alloted spaces in the Church hierarchy and from thence the Church was little more than a slave of the State.  “Instead of the Church going into the world, the world came into the church” (von Harnack).

Centuries pass and the Puritans attempt to purify the Church but they lose the culture war because they still had to do with wet, damned, pagans.

And so we come to today when too many still view the Church as something with which the world is at peace and which should itself be at peace with the world.  Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth but the sad fact remains, the Church is still heavily comprised of wet, damned, pagans who are as unregenerate…

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Couple fined $135,000 for declining to participate in gay marriage

WINTERY KNIGHT

States with non-discrimination laws States with non-discrimination laws

How much does it cost to be an authentic Christian? You might think that in America, the land of religious freedom, that being a Christian would be free.

And you’d be wrong.

Here’s the story from Oregon Live.

Excerpt:

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian on Thursday ordered the owners of a former Gresham bakery to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake.

Avakian’s ruling upheld a preliminary finding earlier this year that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against the women on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Bakery owners Melissa and Aaron Klein cited their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage in denying service.

[…]Avakian’s final order makes clear that serving potential customers equally trumps the Kleins’ religious beliefs.

[…]The commissioner ordered the Kleins to pay $75,000 to Rachel Bowman-Cryer and $60,000 to…

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A Good Conscience

The Reformed Reader

A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life One aspect of being created in God’s image is the fact that humans have God-given consciences (cf. Rom. 1:19-20).  Our consciences are a sort of moral compass to help us know the difference between right and wrong.  Since sin has entered the world, the conscience does not function perfectly, although we still have them and they work to some extent by God’s common grace (Rom 2:15-16).  As Richard Sibbes said, “Conscience …is either the greatest friend or the greatest enemy in the world.”

When God regenerates a sinner, his conscience is also affected in a good way.  He knows his sin, repents of it, and trusts in the blood of Christ to cleanse him from all unrighteousness.  The healed (or renewed) conscience tells the person that he is justified, loved by God, and no longer guilty before the Lord.  Here’s a sample of what the Puritans said about a healed…

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Christian, You are a Citizen of Heaven

airō

citizens-20of-20heaven_t_nv-1040x780Christian, not only are you a pilgrim residing in a foreign land (the common kingdom), but you are a citizen of heaven.

Jesus tells us His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) – we are citizens of that kingdom, and that kingdom is not on this earth except in the hearts of God’s people. After calling out the antinomian or Judaizing false teachers of verse 19, Paul tells us in Philippians 3:20:

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…

Paul is contrasting the difference between people of two different kingdoms. While we are living in the common kingdom alongside false teachers and all sinners pursuing the gratification of the lusts of their flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), our true or ultimate citizenship is in heaven. We are on a journey to that better place, where our names…

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