Daily Archives: July 4, 2015

Quotes From America’s Founding Fathers

Thomistic Bent

In celebration of July 4, here are some quotes from the founding fathers of the United States

John Adams, July 3, 1776, in a letter to his wife:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.”

In 1780, speaking of setting up the country, John Adams said:

“The debates were managed by persons of various denominations.… [and the] delegates did not conceive themselves to be vested with power to set up one denomination…

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Mr President: If You Can Illuminate OUR Seat of Power With The Pride Colors

Zwinglius Redivivus

You can illuminate it with the colors of the American flag.  We expect you to do it tonight.  Elsewise, your concern isn’t to be the President of the Country, but only of a tiny minority within it.

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July 4-5, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend News/Commentary Collection

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Top News – 7/5/2015

Earthquake recorded in Oman as officials confirm tremor
An earthquake measuring 5.4 on Richter scale was recorded at the Sultan Qaboos University’s earthquake monitoring centre at around 4:45am. “Our centre recorded the earthquake. So far we have not received any report of damage due to the earthquake,” an official from the centre said.

Christian bakers fined $135,000 for refusing to make wedding cake for lesbians
The owners of a mom and pop bakery have just learned there is a significant price to pay for following their religious beliefs. Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, have been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple after they refused to bake them a wedding cake in 2013.

The Chinese government just took drastic steps to save the stock market
China is stepping in to try and save its flailing stock market. According to a Bloomberg report on Saturday, officials are suspending Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) – as many as 28 on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges – to deal with the tumble in stocks. Stopping new companies from going public in IPOs may reduce the flow of cash from existing stocks, Bloomberg notes.

SCOTUS Ignites New Level of Resistance
My sofa felt pretty comfortable. Ninety percent of the time, I’m on the road as chairman of the Conservative Campaign Committee. This was a rare occasion to be in town for the Volusia 9/12 Project monthly meeting. I saw the email reminder about the meeting earlier that day and thought it might be good to attend considering the two devastating outrageous rulings handed down by the Supreme Court (Obamacare and same sex marriage).

Supreme Court Ignores Our Constitution and Wears the Hats of Obama-type Fascists
Many American citizens have been openly questioning and wondering if the recent SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) decisions regarding and Same Sex Marriage are the beginnings of a governmental fascist takeover by self-appointed elitists.

Illegal alien celebrates 4th of July jailed for murdering American woman
At the same time that the news media pile on with negative stories about presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments about illegal alien rapists, killers and robbers, a case in California tends to prove his point. The suspect arrested by police for the murder of a young woman who strolled the waterfront with her father has been finally identified as an illegal alien who had been deported at least five times by the Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement directorate, according to reports on Friday.

Mexican Illegal Alien Francisco Sanchez Proves Donald Trump Correct!
Donald Trump recently committed the unforgivable sin of telling the truth in a media environment where anything but Politically correct babble is routinely rejected as racist, sexist, and otherwise unsuitable for prime time, regardless of how factual.

Happy Independence Day
Every 4th of July, patriotic Americans celebrate the fundamental essence of what Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence (with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston); a commemoration of July 4th, 1776, upon which day the Thirteen Colonies set forth the explanation and justification for a parting of ways with Great Britain and the tyrannical rule of King George III: the legal separation occurred on July 2nd, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.

The real low-down on Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change
Extremely curious at the media allegation that the “scientific Pantheist who advises Pope Francis” and has swayed “Laudato Si” (named so after St. Francis of Assisi’s canticle), “seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God,” I set out to read for myself the climate change encyclical in Italian.

Playing up to Palestinians is Playing with the Fire of God
As reported by The Jerusalem Post, Israel itself has been negotiating with the Vatican over the years but has been unable to reach an agreement on “Catholic life and activity in Israel.” There are other issues of concern to Israel such as Catholic rule over sites considered to be holy in Israel but these are separate from the stated reports of the Vatican’s agreement with the PA.

Poll: 70 percent of Americans believe news media is intentionally biased
Nearly three quarters of Americans believe the news media reports with an intentional bias, according to a new survey. The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today, was released Friday. It shows that only 24 percent of American adults agree with the statement that “overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias,” while 70 percent disagree.


Top Headlines – 7/5/2015

U.S. stockpiles powerful bunker-buster bombs in case Iran nuclear talks fail

Despite progress in Iran nuclear talks, dispute over U.N. sanctions persists

Experts reach tentative agreement on Iran sanctions relief

Iranian FM believes nuke deal could lead to joint fight against extremism

Clinton: Tehran will remain a principal state sponsor of terrorism despite agreement

Israel angrily warns powers caving to Iran in nuke talks

Top Israeli official: Nuke deal will set up Iran to take over Middle East

Netanyahu: What’s happening in Iran talks is a breakdown, not a breakthrough

Liberman: Lack of deterrence in Gaza made world ignore us

Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia: my visit to Israel shall mark the new age of peace and fraternity

Playing up to Palestinians is Playing with the Fire of God

Egypt says kills 12 militants in air strikes as Sisi inspects troops

Islamic State conducts mass execution in Palmyra

Fears Grow of Assad Waging Last-Stand Deadly Chemical Attack

Syria conflict: Mosque blast ‘kills 25 al-Nusra Front rebels’

Tunisian President declares emergency: New terror attack would cause ‘collapse’

Goodbye Washington, hello Moscow? Saudi Arabia finds friendly face in Putin.

Putin reportedly contacts Obama for second time in weeks about unity on global concerns

Putin tells Obama he wants dialogue based on equality and respect

Russia outraged by Poland’s removal of Soviet war memorial

China Moves to Stabilize Stock Markets; Initial Offerings Halted

China arrests man for suicide ‘rumors’ amid stock market rout: state TV

EU warns of Armageddon if Greek voters reject terms

Greece crisis live: ‘no’ vote in referendum would trigger economic meltdown

Greece Referendum Day live: EU tells Greeks they cannot use the euro after a ‘No’ as millions head to the polls

Radical parties seize Greek vote to push eurosceptic agenda

By coincidence, the Greek default fell on the anniversary of the 1985 economic plan that saved Israel from a similar fate

Poll: 70 percent of Americans believe news media is intentionally biased

WikiLeaks: U.S. wiretapped Brazilian presidents

SpaceX Debris Is Floating Off the Coasts of Florida and Georgia; Beachgoers Warned to Stay Away

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

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

4.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Springfield, Oregon

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Scientist claims immortality within reach

Change in LGBT health sparked 50 years ago in Philadelphia

Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

Tylenol’s Pro-Gay Campaign Aims to Change Face of American Family

Burger King sells gay pride Whopper

Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres offer online support for gay child

Justin Bieber Wears Marilyn Manson Anti Christ T Shirt To Church Convention


Top News – 7/4/2015

Fears Grow of Assad Waging Last-Stand Deadly Chemical Attack
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has produced new chemical weapons that U.S. intelligence officials he might use in a last-ditch effort to save his own neck, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and rebel forces have taken over most of Syria.

Connecticut mom balks when son’s kindergarten application gets personal
The application, sought information such as whether Cara Paiuk’s delivery was by C-section or not, whether there were other complications and even if her newborn son had gone home with his parents without delay.

Putin tells Obama he wants dialogue based on equality and respect
Vladimir Putin called for dialogue based on equal treatment and mutual respect with the United States on Saturday in a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama marking U.S. Independence Day. Putin said U.S.-Russian relations remained important for solving global crises. The two countries have disagreements over the conflict in Ukraine, defense matters and democracy.

3RD OF JULY FIREWORKS
Sunspot AR2378 in the sun’s southern hemisphere is increasingly active. On July 3rd at 12:51 UT it unleashed an impulsive M1.5-class solar flare. UV radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a mild radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean. Mariners and ham radio operators might have noticed the disturbance at frequencies below ~10 MHz. The explosion did not produce an Earth-directed CME.

‘It sounded like dynamite’: 16 earthquakes in Greene County since November
The string of tremblors has made Greene County one of the newest epicenters of a national debate among scientists, government officials and other observers over what is behind the massive increase in seismological events across the U.S. in recent years.

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast
Managua: A 4.5 magnitude earthquake rattled cities along Nicaragua’s Pacific coast late Friday, seismologists said, with no reports of injuries or damage.

Two rockets fired from Egypt’s Sinai hit Israel: army
Two rockets fired from Egypt’s violence-plagued Sinai Peninsula exploded inside Israeli territory on Friday without causing casualties, a military spokesman said.

Man arrested in connection with San Francisco killing had been deported several times, officials say
The man arrested in connection with the seemingly random killing of a woman who was out for a stroll with her father along the San Francisco waterfront is an illegal immigrant who previously had been deported five times, federal immigration officials say.

Boko Haram kills nearly 200 in 48 hours of Nigeria slaughter
Boko Haram carried out a fresh wave of massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said, killing nearly 200 people in 48 hours of violence President Muhammadu Buhari blasted as “inhuman and barbaric”.

Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits to avert collapse
Greek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears the country is heading for financial collapse, bankers and businesspeople with knowledge of the measures said on Friday.

Obama to host head of Vietnam communist party
Vietnam s Communist Party will make a first-ever visit to the White House next week, meeting President Barack Obama…

Astronomers Predict Fireworks from Rare Stellar Encounter in 2018
Astronomers are expecting high-energy explosions when pulsar J2032 swings around its massive companion star in early 2018. The pulsar will plunge through a disk of gas and dust surrounding the star, triggering cosmic fireworks. Scientists are planning a global campaign to watch the event across the spectrum, from radio waves to gamma rays.

6.1 magnitude earthquake in China’s Xinjiang: USGS
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck China s far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, the US Geological Survey said. The epicentre was 164 kilometres (102 miles) northwest of the city of Hotan and 131 kilometres southeast of Shache, known as Yarkand in Uighur, the language of the local mainly Muslim minority.


Top Headlines – 7/4/2015

ISIS affiliate in Egypt claims rocket fire toward Israel

Report: ISIS used advanced Russian weapons in Sinai attacks

Netanyahu blasts UNHRC for ratifying Gaza war report as projectile from Sinai hits Israel

Ya’alon blasts ‘absurd’ move by UNHRC to adopt Gaza war resolution

US only country to stand with Israel as UNHRC approves Gaza resolution

Clinton to Jewish donors: “I will be a better president to Israel than Obama”

PA arrests 108 Hamas members in West Bank

IDF source: Commander shoots Palestinian dead after vehicle ambushed

Israeli flags not welcome at London rally against anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitic pejoratives scrawled on London Jewish school

Leading Israeli Rabbi Says the Arrival of the Messiah is Imminent

Senior Western diplomat: No plan to continue Iran nuclear talks long past July 7

Iran nuclear talks could go beyond July 7 if exceedingly close, official says

Iran’s lead negotiator: ‘We have never been closer to a lasting outcome.’

Iran tries last-minute bargaining tactic in nuclear talks

Iran says it will comply with UN protocol on access

Kerry ‘Working Hard’ on Iran Nuclear Talks; His Middle East Legacy, the harder he works the worse things get

Report: Britain delayed action on Iraq chemical weapons partly due to trade interest

Drone attack on al-Qaida in Yemen kills four

Kurds intent on carving new state out of Iraq after ISIS fight ‘whether the US likes it or not’

Syrian army launches most intense attack in years on rebels trying to seize Aleppo

At least 10 dead in explosion at mosque in Syria’s Idlib

US Treasury guarantees $1.5b. bond issue by Jordan, rare form of aid for Syrian refugees

Car bombs explode in Libya’s Derma, at least 6 killed

Boko Haram kills nearly 200 in 48 hours of Nigeria slaughter

UN: Children being killed in Burundi election-related violence

Pakistan police arrest cleric who led mob attacking Christians

Putin biding his time? Evidence shows buildup of Russian tanks, generals in Ukraine

Federal, State Authorities Enhance Security Measures to Avoid Fourth of July Terror

US, UK Air Forces Cancel July 4 Plans Amid Terror Threat

Fort Bragg Soldier Arrested After Carrying AR-15 Into Mall For Photo Shoot

Study: Mass killings, school shootings can be contagious

CDC official calls Obama an ‘amateur’ for allowing diseased illegal aliens into the country

Obama administration scales back deportations in policy shift

Man arrested in connection with San Francisco killing had been deported several times, officials say

San Francisco murder is proof of ‘unsafe border’ with Mexico, says Donald Trump

A summer of trouble and strife awaits markets

China hunts for ‘manipulators’ as stocks tumble

Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis accuses Europe of terrorism

Greek Drama Won’t End With Vote as Polls Show Tight Race

Greek bank closures may deplete supermarket shelves

Protesters loot supermarket in Athens suburb

Greece Debt Crisis: Police Use Stun Grenades in Clashes Ahead of Vote

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 18,000ft

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

After Grazing Guam, Chan-hom May Target Japan, South Korea Next Week

Tropical Storm Linfa to Bring Flood Risk to Philippines

Tropical Depression Nangka forms in the Central Pacific

Cyclone Raquel to give El Nino a major kick along

AP Exclusive: North Korean farmers face dry fields, drought

Dozens of gulls found dead on road in Kuna, Idaho

California woman, 21, killed by brain-eating amoeba

Russian Government Now Wants To Ban The Gay Flag, Saying That “Gay Delirium Is Threatening The Entire Civilized World.”

Hate Wins: Oregon State Issues Gag Order Against Opposing Gay Marriage

State Silences Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple, Fines Them $135K

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

Sex performance at university causes scandal in Argentina

13-year-old charged with raping 7-year-old girl on school bus

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

Iran takes possession of 13 ton hoard of gold

Gold Prices Headed Higher; Scrutiny at Suppliers Says So

Man inspired by U.S. same-sex marriage ruling now challenging court to allow him to marry second wife

Iowa Catholic leaders call on presidential candidates to follow pope’s teachings on climate and equality Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/iowa-catholic-leaders-call-on-presidential-candidates-to-follow-popes-teachings-on-climate-and-equ

Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits to avert collapse


Netanyahu: What’s happening in Iran talks is a breakdown, not a breakthrough

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday expressed alarm at the emerging nuclear deal between western powers and Iran currently taking place in Vienna.

Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that “what’s coming out of the nuclear talks in Vienna is not a breakthrough, it’s a breakdown.”

Netanyahu said that the world powers were conceding more and more with each passing day.

The emerging deal “will pave Iran’s way to produce the cores of many atomic bombs and it will also flood Iran with hundreds of millions of dollars that will serve it in its aggression and its mission of terror in the region and the world,” the prime minister warned.

Netanyahu claimed that the emerging deal with Iran was worse than the nuclear deal that had been signed with North Korea which led to Pyongyang obtaining an arsenal of nuclear weapons.


EU warns of Armageddon if Greek voters reject terms

Greece goes to the polls to decide its fate Photo: AP
Greece risks a collapse of the medical system, power black-outs, and an import blockade, if the Greek people reject creditor demands in a make-or-break referendum tomorrow, the EU’s highest elected official has warned.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the EU authorities may have to prepare emergency loans to keep basic public services functioning and to prevent the debt-stricken country spinning out of control next week.

“Without new money, salaries won’t be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won’t be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay,” he said.


ISIS Teenagers Execute Group Of 25 Syrian Prisoners In Revived Roman Amphitheater (VIDEO)

 

The latest videotaped ISIS atrocity shows the mass execution of 25 men shot point-blank by baby-faced killers just barely in their teens.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: From a Bible prophecy perspective, a story like this is truly both amazing and sickening. The Bible says that in the end times after the Rapture of the Church, a time known as Jacob’s Trouble in the Old Testament and the Great Tribulation in the New Testament will arise. The weapons will be low-tech and barbaric, and the ancient Roman Empire will be revived. So the fact that ISIS has chosen a Roman setting where Christians were once fed to lions to do their slaughter is a huge end times prophecy red flag.

The savage slayings, before a crowd of intent spectators in a newly-revived Roman amphitheater in Syria, shows the group of doomed soldiers on their knees with their hands secured behind their back. A large black Islamic State flag hangs behind the Syrian prisoners, who were simultaneously executed after the reading of a death sentence, the BBC and Al Arabiya News reported Saturday.

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It was unclear when the killings took place in the city of Palmyra, which was captured in late May by ISIS fighters. The youthful executioners appear to be as young as 13 or 14 years oldThe 10-minute video begins with a reading of the Quran before the soldiers, all in chains, are led to a convoy of pickup trucks and driven to their deaths, according to Al Aribaya News.

GRAPHIC WARNING: This video contains scenes that are upsetting to some people

The camera zooms in on the bloody corpses once the synchronized slaughter is done. The youthful killers are all dressed in fatigues with headscarves, each standing behind their intended victims with a handgun. source


What Is an American?

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On this Independence Day eve it’s a good question to ponder. I believe being “American” means that one adheres generally to the values and spirit embodied in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution. We embrace personal liberty, tolerance, respect for property rights, rule of law, and equality under the law.

Ed Hudgins has some more thoughts on the subject.

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Author(s): 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 Fourteenth Amendment, Kennedy ultimately rests his case on what Justice Clarence Thomas sarcastically called the “dignity clause” of the Constitution. There is no such clause, of course, although Kennedy’s majority opinion mentioned “dignity” nine times. But if dignity can be conferred by decisions of the Supreme Court, then…
 

On This July Fourth, America Should Be Weeping And Not Celebrating

Obama’s America in 2015 is a nation that is ripe for Judgment

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” Daniel 9:3-6 (KJV)

The above quoted passage from Daniel is one that spirituality should be be applied to America today. In Daniel 9, the prophet is on his face before God, confessing the sins of his nation and weeping for the refusal to follow Him and His precepts, laws and commandments. Israel is in Babylonian captivity because of their wickedness, and he goes on to say this: “Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.” Daniel totally nails it, and is rewarded by a personal visit by the Angel Gabriel.

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In Obama’s America in 2015, how the mighty have fallen.

In 1776, our first official Independence Day, America was off to a great start. Nearly every, single one of the Founding Fathers was a professing Christian or at least onboard with standing under the banner of the God of Abraham and the King James Bible. The list of God-centric quotes that can be attributed to them is well-known and a joy to read. Listen to the awesome words of Founding Father James Madison:

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” – James Madison

If a lawmakers stood up and talked like this in Obama’s America in 2015, they would be accused of “hate speech” and driven out. Show me where the Ten Commandments of God as given to Moses still stand in our halls of laws and justice. They used to be in nearly every courthouse in America, now it has dwindled down to a precious, lonely few places you will find them displayed. Even our Declaration of Independence itself refers to the Almighty God of the Bible:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Obama Breaks Promise To Not Use Obamacare For Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

In 1776, it was understood that men and women were created, and not a product of evolution, and that there is one Creator with a capital “C”, who brought it all about. In 2015, people who hold to Biblical creation and stand against the Theory of Evolution of mocked and ridiculed. Christians are called “backwards thinkers” and laughed at. There is not one public school in America today that teaches Biblical creation or even acknowledges that there is one God, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.

A total of 730,322 abortions were reported to Centers for Disease Control for 2011, the most recent year numbers are available. We are a nation that calls the process of killing our weak and the helpless pre-born citizens a “right”, and fight viciously to protect it. When Obamacare was being shoved down out throats, he made the promise that taxpayer dollars would never be used for abortion. But like everything else Obama says, that was a total lie. Abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood receive hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year under Title X, which subsidizes their overhead for promoting abortion as they divert more and more resources towards the killing of the unborn.

Obama Fundamentally Transforming the United States of America

In 2012, Planned Parenthood revealed a total income of $1.14 billion.Taxpayers shelled out $542 million to pad the abortion provider’s bottom line through federal and state grants and contracts (or 45% of its entire income).

In June of 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that sodomite “marriage” was equivalent to Civil and Human Rights, and declared it to be the Law of the Land. 2015 is also the year that is seeing a huge spike in Christian persecution against those who oppose the LGBT Movement’s agenda and stand against it. Christian business owners are being hauled into courts all across America and being sued and driven into bankruptcy for their refusal to provide goods and services in support of LGBT “marriages”.

Obama: We are no longer a Christian Nation

American Christians must be prepared for the coming persecution. Churches who will not perform same-sex “weddings” can say goodbye to their tax-exempt status, and pastors who preach against the LGBT agenda must be prepared for jail time. Rod Dreher, writing in an article in Time Magazine, has this to say about the recent US Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage: “LGBT activists and their fellow travelers will be coming after social conservatives. The Supreme Court has now, in constitutional doctrine, said that homosexuality is equivalent to race. The next goal of activists will be a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society.”

President Obama and the Glorification of the LGBT Mafia

I could go on, but will conclude here with simply this. America is no longer a Christian nation or anything even close to it like we were in 1776. In Obama’s America in 2015, we are a resolutely anti-Christian nation who no longer fears God and could not care less about His Commandments. Make no mistake about it, our national Day of Judgment is coming, and the fall is going to be very hard. If our Founding Fathers could spend 15 minutes in the halls of Congress today, they would have no idea where they were. It would be unrecognizable to any one of them.

Where are the street corner preachers today? Where are Christians standing up to proclaim God’s word and call people to salvation and repentance? If you are a Christian, what are you doing about it? The answer is not to join the Tea Party and carry signs against the government. The answer is stand up for the Holy Bible, and proclaim Jesus Christ to the lost and dying nation of these United States of America.

So as you enjoy the sun, fireworks and backyard barbeques today, just remember that while we may have forgotten about God, He has not forgotten about us. In the history of the world, God has never allowed such grievous national sin to go unpunished, and He will not simply sweep America’s many sins under the carpet. Judgment Day for our nation is coming, and I believe, has already started. As distasteful as it is to think about it, American can fall and will fall if we do not do as Daniel did, and get down on our faces and pray for mercy from the Almighty God of Abraham.

Are you ready for what comes next?


Christian Bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein Fined $135,000 Then Silenced From Discussing It

State Silences Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple, Fines Them $135K

EDITOR’S NOTE: Close your eyes for a moment, and imagine a world in which Christians are ordered by a judge to produce a product that is in direct opposition to their faith in God. Then, when they refuse to violate their faith, they are fined $135,000 and driven into bankruptcy. Lastly, when they are interviewed about it the judge then slaps a “cease and desist” order on them so they cannot talk about why they could not bake the lesbian wedding cake. Now, open our eyes…welcome to Obama’s America.

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling today ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian wrote. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”

In the ruling, Avakian placed an effective gag order on the Kleins, ordering them to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs.

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“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed, wrote on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”

The cease and desist came about after Aaron and Melissa Klein participated in an interview with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. During the interview, Aaron said among other things, “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong.”

Lawyers for plaintiffs, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, argued that in making this statement, the Kleins violated an Oregon law banning people from acting on behalf of a place of public accommodation (in this case, the place would be the Klein’s’ former bakery) to communicate anything to the effect that the place of public accommodation would discriminate.

Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough, who is employed by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and was appointed by Avakian, threw out the argument in the “proposed order” he issued back in April.

But today, Avakian, who was in charge of making the final ruling in the case—and is also an elected politician—reversed that decision.

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Avakian wrote.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, called the order “outrageous” and said citizens of Oregon should be “ashamed.”

“This order is an outrageous abuse of the rights of the Kleins to freely practice their religion under the First Amendment,” he said.

It is exactly this kind of oppressive persecution by government officials that led the pilgrims to America. And Commissioner Avakian’s order that the Kleins stop speaking about this case is even more outrageous—and also a fundamental violation of their right to free speech under the First Amendment.

Avakian would have fit right in as a bureaucrat in the Soviet Union or Red China. Oregon should be ashamed that such an unprincipled, scurrilous individual is a government official in the state.

The case began in February 2013 when Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer filed a complaint against the Kleins for refusing to bake them a wedding cake. At the time of the refusal, same-sex marriage had not yet been legalized in Oregon.

The Bowman-Cryers’ complaint went to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which is in charge of defending the law that prohibits businesses from refusing service to customers based on their sexual orientation, among other characteristics, called the Equality Act of 2007.

In January 2014, the agency found the Kleins unlawfully discriminated against the couple because of their sexual orientation. In April, McCullough recommended they pay $75,000 to Rachel and $60,000 to Laurel.

In order to reach the total amount, $135,000, Rachel and Laurel submitted a long list of alleged physical, emotional and mental damages they claim to have experienced as a result of the Kleins’ unlawful conduct.

Examples of symptoms included “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

In their Facebook post, the Kleins signaled their intention to appeal Avakian’s ruling, writing, “We will not give up this fight and we will not be silenced,” already perhaps putting themselves at risk of violating the cease and desist. source


Sex Slavery and the Islamic State :: Durie in On Line Opinion

by Mark Durie
On Line Opinion
July 3, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5361/islamic-state-sex-slavery

Why does Islamic State’s enslavement of women seem to appeal to potential recruits, and why is it not challenged more vigorously by mainstream Muslims?

Jamie Walker, Middle East correspondent for The Australian, asked two critical questions in a recent article that discussed the involvement of two Australian citizens, Mohamed Elomar and Khaled Sharrouf, in Islamic State sex slavery. In 2014 Elomar purchased sex slaves, of whom four, all Yazidis, later escaped to a refugee camp, where the ABC caught up with them and interviewed them. Elomar had also boasted on Twitter that he had “1 of 7 Yehzidi slave girls for sale” at $2500 each.

Walker’s questions were “why this debased appeal seems to be gaining traction with Islamic State’s target audience, which increasingly includes women, and why it’s not challenged more stridently in the public arena.”

The Islamic State has given its own answer to the first question. In the fourth edition of its magazine Dabiq, it aggressively promoted sex slavery as an Islamic practice, arguing that the practice conforms to the teaching and example of Muhammad and his companions.

Many Muslim scholars have upheld the practice of enslaving captives of war.

Does this argument have any wider appeal than among Islamic State recruits?

The reality is that many Muslim scholars have upheld the practice of enslaving captives of war. For example Islamic revivalist Abul A’la Maududi wrote in his influential and widely disseminated tract Human Rights in Islam that for Muslims to enslave their captives was “a more humane and proper way of disposing of them” than Western approaches. Enslavement by Muslims, he argued, is preferable to the provisions of the Geneva Convention because of the value of this policy for fuelling the growth of Islam:

The result of this humane policy was that most of the men who were captured on foreign battlefields and brought to the Muslim countries as slaves embraced Islam and their descendants produced great scholars, imams, jurists, commentators, statesmen and generals of the army.

Islamic revivalist movements that look forward to the restoration of an Islamic Caliphate have repeatedly endorsed the practice of slavery in the name of their religious convictions. For example the (now banned) Muhajiroun movement in the UK announced in an article, “How does Islam Classify Lands?” that once a true Islamic State is established, no-one living in other nations (which it calls Dar al Harb, ‘house of war’) will have a right to their life or their wealth:

[H]ence a Muslim in such circumstances can then go into Dar Al Harb and take the wealth from the people unless there is a treaty with that state. If there is no treaty individual Muslims can even go to Dar Al Harb and take women to keep as slaves.

It is a problem that the Qur’an itself endorses having sex with captive women (Sura 4:24). According to a secure tradition (hadith) attributed to one of Muhammad’s companions, Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, this verse of the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad at a time when Muslims had been ‘refraining’ from having sex with their married female captives. Verse 4:24 relieved them of this restraint by giving them permission to have sex with captive women, even if the women were already married.

Abd-al-Hamid Siddiqui, a Fellow of the Islamic Research Academy of Karachi and the translator into English of the Sahih Muslim, commented on this tradition, saying:

When women are taken captive their previous marriages are automatically annulled. It should, however, be remembered that sexual intercourse with these women is lawful with certain conditions.

There have been many cases reported across the centuries of Islamic armies using captive women for sex slavery, but is this any different from all wars? It is different in one important respect — that the mainstream of Islamic jurisprudence has justified and supported this practice on the basis of Islam’s canonical sources, including Muhammad’s own example and teaching. Islamic sex slavery is religiously sanctioned ‘guilt-free sex’.

Islamic sex slavery is religiously sanctioned ‘guilt-free sex’.

This religious teaching is impacting our world today because the global Islamic community has been deeply affected by a grassroots religious revival, which seeks to purify Islam and restore it to its foundational principles, which include rules for war and the treatment of captives.

This leads us to Walker’s second question: why is the Islamic State’s ‘debased appeal’ not ‘challenged more stridently in the public arena’?

An obstacle that stands in the way of such a challenge is that it would require a sober evaluation of the Islamic character of sex slavery. However, even suggesting a link between Islam and ‘terrorism’ has become taboo to those who are afraid of being judged intolerant. Not only do some impose this taboo upon themselves, but they are quick to stigmatise those who do not partner with them in this ill-considered ‘tolerance’.

It is not a sign of tolerance when free people deliberately silence themselves about the ideological drivers of sex trafficking.

The taboo attached to making any link between Islamic State atrocities and the religion of Islam was apparent in comments by Greg Bearup on his interview with South Australian politician Cory Bernardi. During the course of the interview Senator Bernardi linked the Islamic State with Muhammad’s example, to which the interviewer wrote “Kaboom!”, and called the comment a ‘hand grenade’, ‘inflammatory’ and ‘divisive’.

While it is a hopeful sign that some Muslims, such as Anooshe Mushtaq, have been willing to explore the Islamic character of the Islamic State, non-Muslim opinion-makers should show more backbone by engaging with the issue at hand.

It is not a sign of tolerance when free people deliberately silence themselves about the ideological drivers of sex trafficking. The same can also be said of acts of terrorism, such as the world has witnessed over the past week in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.

Until societies are able and willing to have a frank and free discussion of the ideological drivers which motivate acts of terror and abuse, they should not expect to be able to develop effective strategies to contain or wind back such atrocities.

A state of denial is a state of defeat.

Mark Durie is the pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Founder of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.


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

Posted: 04 Jul 2015 09:35 AM PDT

The debt crisis in Puerto Rico could potentially cost financial institutions in the United States tens of billions of dollars in losses. This week, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla publicly announced that Puerto Rico’s 73 billion dollar debt is “not payable,” and a special adviser that was recently appointed to help straighten out the island’s finances said that it is “insolvent” and will totally run out of cash very shortly. At this point, Puerto Rico’s debt is approximately 15 times larger than the per capita median debt of the 50 U.S. states.

Yes, the Greek debt crisis is larger, as Greece currently owes about $350 billion to the rest of the planet. But only about $14 billion of that total is owed to U.S. financial institutions. But with Puerto Rico, things are very different. Just about the entire 73 billion dollar debt is owed to U.S. financial institutions, and this could potentially cause massive problems for some extremely leveraged Wall Street firms. There is a reason why Puerto Rico is called “America’s Greece”. In Puerto Rico today, more than 40 percent of the population is living in poverty, the unemployment rate is over 12 percent, and the economy of the small island nation has continually been in recession since 2006. FULL REPORT

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On This July Fourth, America Should Be Weeping And Not CelebratingPosted: 04 Jul 2015 09:20 AM PDT

OBAMA’S AMERICA IN 2015 IS A NATION THAT IS RIPE FOR JUDGMENT

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” Daniel 9:3-6 

The above quoted passage from Daniel is one that spirituality should be be applied to America today. In Daniel 9, the prophet is on his face before God, confessing the sins of his nation and weeping for the refusal to follow Him and His precepts, laws and commandments. Israel is in Babylonian captivity because of their wickedness, and he goes on to say this: “Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.” Daniel totally nails it, and is rewarded by a personal visit by the Angel Gabriel. FULL REPORT

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Justin Bieber wears Marilyn Manson’s ANTICHRIST T-shirt to Hillsong Church conferencePosted: 04 Jul 2015 09:15 AM PDT

He’s only been a member of the Hillsong Church for a year. So Justin Bieber might be forgiven for wearing an Antichrist T-shirt to the Church’s deeply religious conference on Thursday. The item of clothing in question is a piece of Marilyn Manson merchandise from the Antichrist Superstar collection, which is also the title of the gothic singer’s second album –

Justin’s blasphemous top is very much a slap in the face to Hillsong’s Christian teachings.  Emblazoned with a three-faced Jesus wearing the crown of thorns, the shirt reads: ‘See No Truth, Hear No Truth, Speak No Truth.’ But that’s not all, the back of the t-shirt reads: ‘BELIEVE’ with the ‘LIE’ printed in white font. FULL REPORT

 

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Scientist claims immortality within reachPosted: 04 Jul 2015 06:58 AM PDT

A visiting American research scientist says he is close to discovering a ‘cure’ for ageing, that he could have a drug ready for testing by the end of next year. Molecular Biologist Dr Bill Andrews told TV ONE’s SUNDAY programme that humans shouldn’t have to suffer from the ravages of ageing. He says that ageing is a disease that should, and could be cured.

His research centres around Telomeres – small caps at the end of our chromosomes that become shorter every time our cells divide. When they become critically short, we age and eventually die. Dr Andrews believes that he can find a small molecule that will trigger the production of Telomerase in the body, which will lengthen the Telomeres and stop, or even reverse the ageing process. If he’s successful, he says we could all end up looking and feeling 24 years old again. FULL REPORT

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Cluster of great white sharks has Monterey Bay scientists in awePosted: 04 Jul 2015 06:53 AM PDT

An unprecedented gathering of baby great white sharks near the Monterey Bay shoreline this week has scientists as curious as the public about what happens next. The arrival of more sharks, perhaps even the giant great whites on the tails of these smaller ones? Or their departure from local beaches to the sites of large elephant seal populations for feeding?

Most of the sharks are 8- to 12-foot juveniles, part of a rookery that has been displaced north by the gathering strength of an El Niño, said Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.  “It’s the same process of dynamics and water currents that has driven sea lions north,” Van Sommeran said. “In Monterey Bay, we’ve seen triggerfish, needlefish (species common off Mexico). The currents are really warm.” FULL REPORT

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6 dead, homes collapse as magnitude-6.5 quake strikes ChinaPosted: 04 Jul 2015 06:47 AM PDT

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook China’s far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, killing six people and damaging or collapsing thousands of buildings, authorities said. The quake hit Pishan county in the Hotan region of Xinjiang at a depth of about 6 miles shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, the China Earthquake Networks Center said. “Buildings were trembling and people rushed to the streets,” said Jin Xingchang, an express courier in Hotan city, about 9 miles from Pishan.

Six people died and about 3,000 houses and other buildings collapsed or were damaged, according to Xinjiang’s Bureau of Civil Affairs. The mostly ethnic Muslim Uighur area of Pishan is at the southern edge of the Taklamakan desert near the border with India, and is abundant in mineral resources including coal, crude oil, natural gas and jade. FULL REPORT

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Rare disease linked to fleas returns to GalvestonPosted: 04 Jul 2015 06:42 AM PDT

GALVESTON, Texas — A disease rarely seen since the 1940s has turned up again in the Galveston area. Murine typhus is spread by fleas on rats and opossums to people. At least 20 people have been treated for the disease at UTMB. Infectious disease expert Dr. Lucas Blanton first noticed its comeback in 2012 when a patient displayed a fever and rash.

“It looked and smelled like it could be murine typhus. Then months later, we diagnosed another one,” Dr. Blanton said. “So when you have one case, it is interesting. When you have two cases, well that gets even more interesting,” Dr. Blanton has worked with Galveston’s animal control officers to take blood and flea samples from opossums. Two out of three tested positive for murine typhus. The disease had been close to eradication since the 1950s thanks to a pesticide called DDT. It’s widely used to kill fleas on rats. FULL REPORT

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Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia: my visit to Israel shall mark the new age of peace and fraternityPosted: 04 Jul 2015 06:29 AM PDT

Daniel 9:26“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. – Are we possibly seeing the Antichrist of the Bible before our eyes? According to sources The Saudi multi-millionaire media tycoon, prince Talal Bin Waleed, has urged all Arab nations to give up their acrimonious stance toward the Jewish nation and instead continue to strive for a more peaceful , prosperous and homogenous Middle-East.

The controversial Saudi prince Talal has openly declared his intention to embark a seven-day pilgrimage to Holy Land and pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque — the third holiest site in Islam located in the Old City of Jerusalem– , reported Okaz , the Arabic Saudi Arabian daily on Thursday.  “All my Muslim brothers and sisters must understand that it became a moral imperative for all inhabitants of war-torn Middle-East, namely Arabs, to desist their absurd hostility toward Jewish people. My sovereign, King Salman has instructed me to open a direct dialogue with Israel’s intellectual building amicable ties with our Israeli neighbors,” Okaz quoted the Saudi prince who lives in one of London’s affluent suburbs. FULL REPORT

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Are Christians Confusing God’s Mercy With His Approval?Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:52 PM PDT

“We have forgotten God, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own” (Abraham Lincoln).

Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God’s Word in several areas, and the aborting of millions of babies. Ironically, many of the men and women who died for our freedoms did not die for what we are becoming today. Many gave their lives in order that we would be “one nation under God,” not above God. A Fifth Division graveyard sign in Iwo Jima, Japan, states it well: “When you go home, tell them for us and say, ‘For your tomorrows we gave our today.’” What a travesty when we fail to honor those who gave their lives for the freedoms we now enjoy. This Memorial Day, let’s remember those who gave their lives and those who continue to defend our freedoms. FULL REPORT

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Will Churches Lose Their Tax-Exempt Status in the Wake of the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling?Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:47 PM PDT

The dust had barely settled on the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling before some critics began ramping up suggestions that churches that are theologically opposed to gay marriage deserve to lose their tax-exempt status — a proposal that conservative attorneys and a charitable giving expert patently dismissed in separate statements to TheBlaze this week.

Calls for houses of worship to lose their 501(c)(3) status are nothing new, though some conservative critics have warned in recent months and years that the legalization of same-sex marriage would possibly revitalize calls for the Internal Revenue Service to rethink the issue, putting churches in a potentially difficult position. The authors of two articles published over the past week have done just that, breathing new life into the controversial subject. FULL REPORT

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Christian Headlines Daily –

http://www.christianheadlines.com/


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:

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(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.

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July 4-5, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Sunday Praise: “Maker” by Third Day


Source


Equipping Eve: True Worship

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “You should visit our church, the worship is amazing!”? Usually when we hear this, the person is referring to the music and worship team, but is this the true definition of worship, or is worshiping God more than merely singing?


America’s Zero-Sum Culture, and How It’s Tearing the Nation Apart

But this contemporary zero-sum culture of winners and losers stands in sharp contrast to earlier political discourse as it was informed by religiously derived notions of divine providence, sin, tragic brokenness, grace, and humility in the face of a world that we do not fully understand. Witness Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, which, while not shying away from moral judgment also recognized that the simplistic and harsh binary logic of winners and losers was inadequate to the tragic situation then facing the nation

Read more


You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Psalm Is About You

In the midst of his discomfort, David is finding comfort in the LORD, and he longs for his children and people to do so as well. All true worshipers should humble themselves before the mighty hand of the Lord. For it is always better for one to humble oneself, than to be forcefully humbled by the loving God of discipline.

Read more


Fragile Foundation of Marriage Equality, Part 3

Damon Linker has “made clear repeatedly” that he supports gay marriage, and yet he is “troubled by the equally stunning lack of charity, magnanimity, and tolerance displayed by many gay marriage advocates.” The problem is that certain “equality” proponents “don’t just want to win the legal right to marry. They don’t just want most Americans to recognize and affirm the equal dignity of their relationships. They appear to want and expect all Americans to recognize and affirm that equal dignity, under penalty of ostracism from civilized life.”

Read Part 1
Read Part 2

Read more


A Crisis Of Existentialism

One might say that Existential Philosophy is diametrically opposed to Ontological Philosophy. The former gives sovereignty to perception, the latter to what is; the former gives precedence to subjective identity, the latter to inherent identity; the former emphasizes what is apparent – feelings, qualities, or the accidents – the latter emphasizes substance…. Perhaps, in no case is the existential philosophy more evident in today’s culture than in the phrase “Perception is Reality,” less frequently predicated as “Perception is Truth!”

Read More


A Flicker of Light In An Increasingly Dark News Feed

The above principles and practices are not given as a “formula” for success, though the Lord has blessed these biblical commitments in our body and I can’t help but think he would do so in any congregation. My intent is to acknowledge publicly the Lord’s immeasurable goodness to us undeserving sinners! And, by extension, to acknowledge what the Lord is doing in many congregations around the world – for Christ is the exalted King of the church and his Kingdom shall have no end!

Read more


The Heresy of Racial Superiority — Confronting the Past, Confronting the Truth

“Throughout history, racial ideologies have been driving forces of war, of social cohesion, of demagoguery, and of dictatorships. Race theory was central to the Nazi regime and was used by both sides in the Pacific theater of World War II. In that theater of the war, both the Japanese and the Americans claimed that the other was an inferior race.”

Read more


Hunger Artists In The Reality TV Age

Our reality is stranger than Kafka’s fiction precisely because it is no longer fiction, and no longer confined to the hunger artist. Our guardians and experts demand that we, the public, are morally obliged to give our approval to each and every authentic choice. It is a matter of human rights.

Read More


5 Common Obstacles Long Term Pastors Experience

The long term pastor faces frustrations, betrayal, weariness, loneliness, disappointments, burnout, depression, marital conflict, criticism, and even contempt. It shouldn’t surprise us at all that there are so many obstacles for long term pastors and one of the greatest obstacles is even surviving to be a pastor long enough to be considered a long term one.

Read More


Where Do You Stop?

“If these accusers don’t stop, they will be yet the latest example of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Earth’s Holocaust,” which recounts the absurd lengths to which reformers go to arrive at a perfect society or institution, so absurd that activists forget to look in the mirror because they threw it into the fire.”

Read more


What Are You Willing to Give Up?

“The somewhat provocative title of this post should not be seen as a call to emotional hysteria. All too often, the conversation is characterized by shrill voices on both sides of the debate, thus creating a climate where no one can listen. Evangelicals are rank with fear. Why? And what kind of fear is it?”

Read more


3 Compelling Reasons Why We Must Deal With Our Sinful Anger

“First, we should deal biblically with our anger for the sake of our personal health. Long before the advent of modern medicine, the Bible described the psychosomatic (or “spirituo-somatic”) connection between sin and sickness, and between righteousness and health.”

Read More


How Do You Read the Bible?

“Read it for its own sake. Read it receptively. Read it the way you would listen to a friend tell you a story. You listen because you want to hear, not because you think what he says is going to change your life, or teach you something you didn’t know before.”

Read more


Eternalizing the Old Testament

“One of the most important biblical-theological matters with which we must wrestle is that of how we are to harmonize the Old Testament teaching about “everlasting” ordinances with the teaching of the apostles as to the abrogation of the command to circumcise (1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:6, 11; and 6:15), the cessation of the Old Covenant festivals and ceremonies (Col. 2:16) and the notable absence of any mention to the land inheritance (of Israel) in the New Testament.”

Read More


The Indispensability Of Preaching

“As inefficient as it may seem to us, God the Spirit has left to the office of preacher the ministry of announcing the good news and it through that act, announcing the incarnation, obedience, righteousness, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Christ that he has promised to bring all of his elect to new life, to faith, and through faith alone to justification and salvation.”

Read More


John Adams and American Independence

Adams’s faith played a vital role in his long and distinguished life. It significantly affected his worldview, determined his moral standards, helped shape his character, and supplied many of his goals. His belief that God governed the world and directed the course of nations and the lives of individuals gave him the courage and confidence to fight passionately and effectively for the causes he valued and to contribute so significantly to the birth and success of the United States.

Read more


Guilt Is Not Just a Feeling

“God often creates a sense of unease in people, which then leads them to a consciousness of sin, and then a deeper sense that they are guilty before God. Then He brings them beyond mere “feelings” of guilt to confess, “I am guilty before God.” As the psalmist says, “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Ps. 130:3).”

Read more


Rebutting the Vines’ Deception

I don’t usually like to draw undue attention to apostates, to wolves in sheep’s clothing, to false teachers, or to those who are clearly demonically deceived. But let me do so here, since some of this deception gets a wide hearing and deserves to be rebutted.

I refer to one big time wolf who is managing to deceive many gullible believers with his pro-sodomy theological revisionism. He of course gets a free run with the secular media, but sadly also with clueless wonders in the Christian world. The Bible warns plenty about the fate of those who engage in lies and deception.

vinesBut his recent piece is getting lots of attention so let me share some responses to it. I refer to Matthew Vines and his quite recent piece, “40 questions for Christians who oppose marriage equality”. It will cause many more believers to stumble, so it deserves a careful response.

But let me provide a quick bit of background first. On July 1 evangelical writer Kevin DeYoung wrote a terrific piece entitled “40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags”. It really is quite an important piece, so please have a read of it (see link below).

As a rebuttal to DeYoung, Vines penned his piece on July 3. On the same day two excellent replies to Vines appeared. I refer to “Time for a Little Q & A” by Douglas Wilson and “A Believing Response to Matthew Vines’ 40 Questions” by James White. Both are superb and deserve a very wide hearing.

Since I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel, let me simply allow these two experts to do the talking, since they have so thoroughly, convincingly and biblically rebutted all his errant nonsense. I could be tempted to add a few remarks of my own, but I will refrain.

I will not feature all 40 questions here. Many of them are real howlers. As one person rightly remarked, “Vines is simply appalling. That he has such a flawed view of the history of slavery and wastes 3 questions on whether the earth revolves around the sun tells us how muddled his thinking is”.

Or as Wilson rightly notes, “What I want to do is either answer Matthew’s questions, or explain why I will not take the bait of answering a particular question. Put another way, I will answer the questions, but not the loaded questions.” Here then are some of Vines questions, with replies by Wilson, White or both:


40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

Rainbow flagPastor and best selling author Kevin DeYoung asks questions of professing Christians such as: When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

De Young begins:

For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.

There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/07/01/40-questions-for-christians-now-waving-rainbow-flags/

Pastor and best selling author Kevin DeYoung asks questions of professing Christians such as: When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding? DeYoung also asks: Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage […]

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Credo Links on Gay Marriage

1. Everything Has Changed, Nothing Has Changed by Albert Mohler

“In a very real sense, everything has now changed. The highest court of the land has redefined marriage. Those who cannot accept this redefinition of marriage as a matter of morality and ultimate truth, must acknowledge that the laws of this nation concerning marriage will indeed be defined against our will. We must acknowledge the authority of the Supreme Court in matters of law. Christians must be committed to be good citizens and good neighbors, even as we cannot accept this redefinition of marriage in our churches and in our lives.”

2. The Church Divorces the Government?

Is it time for the church to divorce itself from civil marriages all-together? One-in-four pastors think so.

For a long time, Christianity has sewn its teachings into the fabric of Western culture. That was a good thing. But the season of sewing is ending. Now is a time for rending, not for the sake of disengaging from culture or retreating from the public square, but so that our salt does not lose its savor.”
~R. R. Reno, editor, First Things

3. Barna finds that 94% of Evangelicals do not support the Supreme Courts decision.

Nearly all theologically defined evangelicals say they are not in favor of the Court’s decision (94%)—more than twice the proportion among the general population (43%) and even significantly more than the practicing Christians segment (66%). Only 2 percent of evangelicals say they support the decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

4. Should Pastors Stop Signing Civil Marriage Certificates?

Should the church separate further from the government and no longer endorse civil marriages at all? In other words, should the church get the government out of the marriage business all-togther? What was the government doing in the marriage business to begin with? I was a bit disappointed that only 1/4 said yes. The rest say we are not there yet.

Here is one who said we are:

“For a long time, Christianity has sewn its teachings into the fabric of Western culture. That was a good thing. But the season of sewing is ending. Now is a time for rending, not for the sake of disengaging from culture or retreating from the public square, but so that our salt does not lose its savor.”
~R. R. Reno, editor, First Things

5. Didn’t I propose this already? Changing Our Thinking About Same Sex Marriage

The entire post is focused on the history of marriage. When did the government get involved? Not until recently and this was for the protection of children. Since then, we have handed the entire institution over to the governmental a very foundational level. So foundational, we believe they define marriage.

6. Which led to this last week: Gay Marriage: 6 Reasons Christians Should Not Be Too Alarmed

The government is not the final line of defense against the culture. We have greater weapons: the church, the Bible, and the conscience, all powerful in the hands of the Holy Spirit. For this reason and many others, Christians should not be too alarmed.

7. Meet the Evangelicals Who Cheered the SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

Though a secular source, this article does bring to the table the question Does one have to oppose gay marriage to remain Evangelical? This is a different question than Does one have to oppose the SCOTUS ruling to remain Evangelical? To the second, I would definitely say No. One can be an Evangelical and say that civil liberty was upheld that day, and, at the same time, be against gay marriage. But the question is Can one be an Evangelical and support gay marriage as a legitimate lifestyle. Don’t know what “Evanglical” means? Glad you asked. In Search of True Evangelicalism.

8. How to Evangelize Gays by a Gay Christian

This is an older post and it is written by a gay Christian who defends homosexuality, yet is an incredibly important post to read. You may not agree with every point, but he understands what it is like to be approached by a Christian who’s goal it is to win them to Christ (i.e. get them to renounce their gayness).

Concerning the whole “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” he writes:

Now take a minute to listen to yourselves. Hate the sin, love the sinner comes across as mean-spirited instead of loving. We hear it as an ill-disguised attempt to seem loving when you really don’t even like us let alone love us.

9. Did you know that sodomy is still illegal in 14 states, including Oklahoma?

So, to my Oklahoma pastors who are scared that they might force you at gunpoint perform a gay ceremony, take heart. At least they won’t consummate (unless they drive out of state, or just break the law!). Let me try to get the exact law . . . awe, here it is:

§21-886.  Crime against nature.

Every person who is guilty of the detestable and abominable crime against nature, committed with mankind or with a beast, is punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding ten (10) years.

10. Some Weird Sex Laws

On a related note, if my source is correct, here are some weird sex laws (parents, cover your children’s ears):

  • Sex toys are banned in some states, such as Alabama.
  • Sexual intercourse between unmarried couples is illegal in Georgia.
  •  In Iowa, you’ve got a five-minute time limit to make out. [These day, I think Kristie and I have a 2-minute limit, so we’re good!]
  • You can’t marry the same man three times in some Kentucky townships. [Has that really been tried?]
  • Women in Dyersburg, Tenn., cannot call a man for a date. [Today, methinks there would be no dates.]
  • Husbands in Willowdale, Ore., can be fined for talking dirty during intercourse, but their wives can say whatever they please.
  • An old Mississippi edict holds that men cannot become sexually aroused in public.
  • Sex with an animal is perfectly legal for men in Washington state, as long as the animal weighs less than 40 pounds.

Read some more.

The Huffington post gives their list of the most unnecessary bans in the U. S.

bans-in-us

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The Ugly Abortion Ethos

Any culture which teaches its people that it is perfectly OK to kill their own babies is a culture that will end up with plenty of hardened hearts and deadened consciences. It is impossible not to. To sink to such a moral low point where we can no longer even question whether killing unborn babies is wrong is to reach the terminal point of society.

Indeed, it is even worse: it is really a hatred of life. It is a pro-death mindset which poisons everything. Those biblically inclined will know this perfectly well. As we read in Proverbs 8:36: “All who hate me [God] love death.” Yes exactly. God is a God of life, so to reject God is to reject life, and choose death.

abortion 50The abortion death cult is sadly not limited to the abortion mills. Those who embrace this culture not only hate life but hate those who do choose life. Thus it is not surprising to see ugly attacks on prolifers occurring all too often. A very recent attack in Australia is a tragic case in point.


Review: “What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?” by Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Wheaton: Crossway, 2015.

Kevin DeYoung is a really smart guy. I don’t just mean that he knows a lot of things really well, but also that he understands how to deliver his message in the most clear, straight-forward and winsome manner. Over the years, he has consistently proven that he is a masterful writer, cogent thinker, and orthodox Christian teacher. This book continues in that same line of well-conceived, carefully delivered books on this controversial topic.

With the recent cultural landscape lighting up like a blowtorch, this book couldn’t have come at a better time. While it is not surprising that the church is facing opposition regarding its stance on homosexuality, the real challenge has come due to the infighting among those who bear the name of Christ. These days, everyone has a blog, therefore everyone has an opinion. With so many words and feelings zipping around cyberspace, it can be hard to wade through the issues.

Enter Kevin DeYoung.

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07/04/15 The Insufficiency of Partial Obedience

READING: 2 Kings 9-11

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Following God means taking drastic steps to eradicate the false gods from our lives. Seldom is that commitment so evident as it was in 2 Kings 10:18-27, where Jehu used a ruse to destroy Baal worshipers and their temple. So complete was the destruction that they turned the Baal temple into a toilet:

2 Kgs. 10:26-27 They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them and tore down the pillar of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrine—which it is to this day.

Still, while Jehu carried out the destruction of Baal, he did not eliminate the worship via golden calves in Bethel and Dan; that is, he committed himself to God only part of the way.

2 Kgs. 10:31 Yet Jehu was not careful to follow the instruction of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.

Sometimes, I think, we rest in the fact that we’ve overcome the “big” sins in our life and neglect dealing with the remaining ones. Regardless of what drastic steps we take to remove false gods, partial obedience is still disobedience.

PRAYER: Pray with me that we will deal with ALL the sins in our lives. On this day when we celebrate freedom, pray we will have true freedom through the Son.


07/05/15 Working with Integrity and Diligence

READING: 2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: How we do the work God allows us to do (whatever that work may be) matters. These chapters address primarily the reign of Joash — a reign that begins well with the restoration of the Temple but ends poorly with a national return to idolatry. Within this story, though, are these words about the managers and workers who restored the Temple:

2 Kgs. 12:15  No accounting was required from the men who received the money to pay those doing the work, since they worked with integrity.

2 Chron. 24: 13 The workmen did their work, and through them the repairs progressed. They restored God’s temple to its specifications and reinforced it.

Integrity and work ethic. Trust and accuracy. Get the job done, and do it well. Do it with complete honesty. Ignore any temptation to misappropriate funds or to take pay for a job poorly done. Whatever our job is, we would do well to follow this model — doing whatever we do for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

PRAYER: Many of us will be preaching the Word today. Pray we will do so with full integrity and complete commitment. Pray that others who will return to their employment tomorrow will be an honest, hard-working witness for Christ.


Where is Our Allegiance?
Jul 03, 2015 09:45 am | Mike

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.  […]

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Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen
Jul 02, 2015 01:05 pm | A. S.

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

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Cowardice in Leadership
Jul 02, 2015 06:14 am | Mike

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

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The Thud of Silence
Jul 01, 2015 05:43 pm | A. S.

“You know, our message is about lifting people up, helping them fulfill their destiny, helping them to forgive in a tough time, how to make it through this life when life tries to push you down.” – Joel Osteen on why he avoids controversial issues, like sin, wrath, repentance… No, we’re not calling J-O a […]

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Socialism isn’t a “right-wing” issue
Jul 01, 2015 09:10 am | A. S.

Free health care sounds like such a great idea, doesn’t it? But there are huge ramifications for Christians. We can talk about coverage for unbiblical practices now – like abortion and sex change operations, but that’s just the beginning. Wait until socialized medicine is free. What happens when the government can’t fund coverage for the […]

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Socialism-isnt-a-_right-wing_-issue-guest-Colin-Gunn.mp3 23.5 MB

Bill Hybels: Coffee With God
Jun 30, 2015 05:13 pm | A. S.

Does God like dark roast or medium blend?  This is what happens when we allow the seeker model to disciple seekers. Or maybe it’s the chair.  God puts thoughts in your mind when you have the right chair, and you’ll feel His presence for sure. Tips for viewing this new slick flick from Bill Hybels: […]

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So why can’t Dolezal be black and Jenner be a woman? Isn’t that the new American way?
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

Okay, so by now we all know that it’s really, really easy to point, mock, and snicker at the raging, babbling insanity of many around us as we shake our heads in disbelief and self-righteously ask, “What is wrong with these people?!” You know the people I mean: People like Bruce Jenner, who recently “came out” […]

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Greece is the word. (That nobody wants to hear.)
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

There are two topics that we write on fairly regularly here that routinely cause site traffic and interest to dive. But we keep writing about ’em anyway because they’re important. One of those subjects is technology. The other is economics. For various reasons – many of which are rooted in lousy “end times” views that fuel […]

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Let’s play the “I identify as…” game! (Spoiler alert: I am Batman…and Spider-man, too.)
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

When I was three, I wanted to be Spider-man. Or an Astronaut. Whichever would be fine. Later in life I came to realize that the Astronaut option pro’ly wasn’t gonna pan out. Even so, I remained hopeful for a radioactive spider bite, so I consoled myself with knowledge that there was always at least an outside shot of […]

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“Supreme Court” Votes for Wrath of God Upon America
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

The “Supreme Court” verdict is in: “Gay marriage” is legit. [insert “U! S! A!” chant here] Of course, in Reality – as in, the unbreakable reality of a universe defined and held together by God – there is no such thing as “gay marriage”. (See: The Eternal Model for Marriage is Christ the King and […]

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Limp Wristed Gospels Make Limp Wristed Cultures
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

How’s that “real world”, “pragmatic political” approach to life working out for you, American Christian? How’s it actually shaping and molding the future of your children and grandchildren here in the “land of the free” and the home of the NSA? How are all o’ those mountains of votes and billions of dollars spent on “good […]

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American Public Schools are Officially Gay
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

On Friday, millions upon millions of American “Christians” were outraged – outraged, I tell you! – at the “Supreme Court” vote in favor of “gay marriage” as the “law” of the land. Then on Monday the vast majority of these very same outraged Christian conservatives freely shipped the delicate, impressionable little boys and girls that […]

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Will America repent or will America be destroyed?
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

Can we stop with the “blame Obama” spiel, please? Can we please stop blaming the Democrats, the Progressives and the homosexual activists for leading the culture to ruin when they’re just doing what we’ve taught ’em to do? Let’s face it: Some version of “Can you believe how wicked and evil President Obama is?!” has become an […]

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Fake it ’til ya break it: What the Greek implosion tells us about America’s future.
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

What would you do if you found out that banks in America were not going to open today – or anytime at all this week – and that all bank-held accounts were effectively frozen, with a $60 daily limit on withdrawals? With the first of the month coming up, how would you pay your mortgage? Or, more […]

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Corporate America’s Big Gay Push (Or: “Mark of the Beast” economics, here we come!)
Jun 30, 2015 04:20 pm | Scott Alan Buss

How much harder is it for a Christian to get a job or keep a job with a major American corporation than it was, say, 15 years ago? What if that Christian has taken clear, public stands in obedience to Christ and out of loving concern for the lost in accordance with the Gospel and […]

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Losing relationships over biblical truth
Jun 30, 2015 11:29 am | A. S.

Has your family been divided over the legalization of same-sex marriage? Many have paid an enormous price for standing on God’s Word as truth. Some are wondering if they are putting a stumbling block of confusion if they bake a cake for a gay wedding, or photograph a celebration of a wedding or new baby […]

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Faith-Based Crisis Management Firm Helps Pastors “Come Out”
Jun 30, 2015 10:34 am | A. S.

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision to make same-sex marriage the law of the land, a few strong pastors are making biblical public statements affirming God’s Word in the matter, and taking a stand based on what He says rather than what the world says. If your church or ministry hasn’t done that […]

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Our Board of Directors on Supreme Court Decision on Homosexual Marriage
Jun 29, 2015 11:29 am | A. S.

Lakeshore Communications, Inc d.b.a. Q90 FM, is saddened by the Supreme Court decision last week legalizing homosexual marriage in the United States. As Christians committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and believing that the Bible is the inerrant, eternally true and sufficient Word of God, we believe that homosexuality—or any sexual act outside of […]

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Same sex marriage: where do Christians go from here?
Jun 29, 2015 08:55 am | A. S.

Couple of questions for today’s program: 1. Should Christian leaders/pastors have a responsibility to respond to legalized homosexual marriage, stating how they will respond if pressured to endorse or perform a same-sex wedding? 2. How are we engage with and respond to professing Christians who are joining in the celebration of “Gay Pride?” Today’s Episode: […]

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Brief Thoughts on Prayer and the Great Commission

I have never met a church leader who would say that prayer is unimportant, nor have I ever heard a congregation affirm a similar statement. I have, though, worked with many churches who practically show that prayer matters little to them.[i]

In those churches, no particular leader is responsible for coordinating a prayer ministry. Prayer lists are dominated by the trials of church members, often to the exclusion of the needs of non-believers. The praying that does occur is more often reactive than proactive; that is, a problem develops, and then the church starts praying.

Great Commission churches, though, stress prayer as a non-negotiable component in fulfilling Matthew 28:18-20. They understand that non-believers are blinded by the enemy (2 Cor. 4:3-4) and are held in the domain of darkness (Col. 1:13-14). These churches know that God alone changes hearts and gives growth (1 Cor. 3:7); thus, they intentionally intercede on behalf of witnesses and non-believers. In most cases, they pray for non-believers by name.

Prayer in these churches is an admission that they cannot accomplish the Great Commission in their own power. Ironically, the churches that best focus on the Great Commission are those that most readily admit their absolute dependence on God to accomplish these tasks. These churches do the Great Commission from their knees.

Is your church a Great Commission praying church? Are you a Great Commission praying leader?

If not, take time right now to spend time with the Lord. Confess any dependence on self. Ask Him to break you and your church over the lostness of the world.

Then, send your church members to this post today, and challenge them to pray before the Lord’s Day tomorrow. You will gather with the people of God differently tomorrow if you’ve been with Him today.


[i] Excerpt from Great Commission Resurgence (Nashville: Lifeway, 2008), 30.


Help for Making Hard Decisions

by Samantha Loucks

Are you trying to make a decision that honors God? Are you stuck and stressed and so not sure what to do? Help is on the way.


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

by Erin Davis

Yes, it’s true that the Court’s ruling and the changes happening right now in our culture are a big deal. But God’s Word allows us to see the bigger picture. Here’s what the Supreme Court’s ruling on “same-sex marriage” isn’t.


“You’re so Innocent!”

by Paula Hendricks

If you’ve ever been made fun of for being too innocent, this post is for you. Oh and, if you’ve ever worried that your innocence is lost forever, this post is for you too.


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. For example, talk show host Montel Williams labeled social conservatives hateful […]

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Praying to “Papa Francesco?”

An astounding ecumenical prayer post by Christian singer Don Moen suggests that people of all faiths are praying to Papa Francesco, or Pope Francis, the “Holy Father.” The artist was invited, along with Andrea Bocelli And Darlene Zschech to sing in Rome at the Vatican in a “Voices In Prayer” event in St. Peter’s Square, […]

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Christian Bakers Who Declined to Make Cake for ‘Gay Wedding’ Ordered to Pay $135,000 to Lesbians  
(CN) — The owners of a Christian bakery in Oregon have officially been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to two lesbians who claimed that they suffered emotionally after they were told that the bakery could not make a cake for their ceremony because of their convictions not to participate in others’ sins.As previously reported, Aaron and Melissa Klein operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, which is now operated from the couple’s home after the Kleins’ shut their doors due to harassment. In January 2013, Aaron was approached by a mother and her daughter as the two were interested in a cake for the daughter’s upcoming wedding—to her lesbian partner.

Homosexual, Transgender Activists Blaspheme Jesus Christ at Brazilian Pride Parade 

(CN) — Images taken at a recent homosexual pride parade in Brazil are raising concern as they show a number of attendees blaspheming Christ and desecrating religious images during the event.

One of the photographs creating the greatest stir is that of “transgender” actor Viviany Beleboni riding in a two million spectator pride parade in Sao Paulo as he hangs from a cross.

Proposed ‘Homage to Satan’ Near Ten Commandments Monument to Be Unveiled
(CN) — A New York-based Satanist group has announced the unveiling of its sculpted “homage to Satan,” which it seeks to place next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.As previously reported, the Satanic Temple issued a news release about its intentions in 2013 following the filing of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which asserted that the presence of the Ten Commandments display on government property violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.

Judge Roy Moore Renews Call for Effort to Amend U.S. Constitution to Ban Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

(CN) — Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, also known as the “Ten Commandments Judge,” says that he plans to keep pressing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex “marriage.”“There is no such thing as same-sex marriage in the Constitution. The words are not there; we’ve never had it in our history,” he told CNN on Friday. “Five judges on the Supreme Court, or justices, have presumed to find a fundamental right which has no basis in the history or logic or tradition of our country.”

Other Top News Stories of Interest:


Fare Well, Liberty Bell

The 350-year marriage of Protestant Christian theology and American popular culture is over. Christianity, it may be sadly said, is no longer the preeminent social influence in American life.


Osteen Says Don’t Waste Your Pain

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Program segments:

• Osteen Says Don’t Waste Your Pain
• Brian Houston on Studio 10
• Rick Warren Interviewed by Brian Houston
• Three Rosebrough Sermons


5 Things to Consider in Light of the SCOTUS Decision

Same-sex marriage is legal in the United States. Many people are happy. Many people are upset. Whatever the reaction, this is a major decision that will have a long lasting impact.


A heartfelt reply to Matthew Vines 40 questions, and an open letter with a personal plea

A few days ago, Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition published “40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags”. It was an excellent and gentle way to approach the subject of same-sex attraction and homosexual marriage.


A Believing Response to Matthew Vines’ 40 Questions

Matthew Vines has posted a series of forty questions, found here. I have written up a fairly brief response. I hope it is helpful.


40 trick questions for Christians

Homosexual activist Matthew Vines has posted “40 questions” for Christians:
 
 
This is in response to Kevin DeYoung. Before I comment on the specifics, a few preliminaries are in order:
 
i) Let’s begin by stating the obvious: Vines is a young man with a young man’s sex drive. He wants to have sex. That’s understandable.
 
Unfortunately, he’s homosexual, so he wants to have sex with other men. And for some odd reason, he feels the need to rationalize his lifestyle in the face of Scripture. There are many homosexuals who are chronologically adults, but emotionally arrested. They feel a childish need for parental approval. They can’t stand the fact that Bible-believing Christians disapprove of their lifestyle.  
 
ii) Vines’ questionnaire is terribly repetitious. Many of the questions are variations on the same question. Perhaps he padded the questionnaire to create an artificial numerical symmetry with DeYoung’s questionnaire. 
 
As a result, in responding to Vines, I’m going to rearrange the order of the questions. I’m going to group some questions topically that are essentially the same question. Then I’ll respond en bloc. That will avoid redundancy. 
 
iii) Vines resorts to the lawyerly debater’s trick of posing deceptively simple questions. In reality, many of his questions contain tendentious assumptions. Likewise, many of the questions don’t have yes or no answers. 
 
As a result, it would be inaccurate or misleading to answer many of the questions as is. We need to unpack tendentious assumptions or discuss the complexities of the issues. 
 
In addition to my response, Doug Wilson and James White have posted responses:
 
 
 
For the record, I wrote my own response before reading theirs.

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“Freedom” in America – 21st Century Style: ‘It’s All About Equality’: Polygamist Applies for “Marriage” License in Wake of Supreme Court Ruling

By Heather Clark Christian News Network HELENA, Mont. — A polygamist in Montana is seeking to obtain a “marriage” license for a second “wife” following last Friday’s U.S.


Yes Sound Doctrine Matters Absolutely

It seems like we can say with certainty that the more the Word of God stresses something, the more the compromised, carnal and trendy church of today will ignore it or downplay it. Happens all the time regrettably. And one thing stressed repeatedly and empathetically in the Bible is the importance of right teaching or sound doctrine.

The New Testament over and over again speaks to the vital importance of making sure we have and believe correct teaching, and warns in the strongest terms against false teachers and false doctrine. These numerous passages make it clear that wrong thinking, like wrong living, can and will exclude people from the Kingdom.

I have written on these matters quite often now, but it seems there is always more need to repeat some of these basic biblical truths, given all the rampant biblical illiteracy which exists – and I am not talking about the world here, but the Christian church!


W4YW: Chesterton’s Fence, Lessons From Roe, & Sending Our Kids

Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Articles of the Week

5 Questions I Wish My Accountability Partner Would Ask Me, Brad Hambrick. I don’t like the word ‘accountability partner’ any more than I like the word ‘diet,’ and I dislike them both for the same reason. They sound like an exception and a punishment rather than a lifestyle and a gift. No one is going to live on a diet or in an accountability relationship. They’ll do it for a little while and then they’ll stop. We know this. So let’s quit saying it. What is the alternative vocabulary to ‘accountability’? It’s friendship. Every instance of accountability that I’ve ever seen endure, did so because the two (or more) people were friends; not because they enjoyed going on a sin-hunt.”

Advice from G.K. Chesterton: Don’t Take Down the Fence until You Know Why It’s There, Amy Hall. It should go without saying that we would all be better off if we took a touch more advice from Chesterton. But this little excerpt appears particularly relevant in light of recent events. An excerpt of the excerpt: “There are reformers who assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease.”

When You Are the One Who Does Not Go, Scott Hildreth. It takes courage to leave for the mission field. But it takes a special kind of courage to send your own children. The strength of our future missions efforts will rely, in large part, on parents having the guts to live out their convictions when it’s their kids—and not them—hopping on the plane.

Five (Honest) Reasons We Don’t Read Our Bible, Erik Raymond. You know the common excuse: I’m just too busy. But busy-ness doesn’t usually keep us from other less-than-critical pursuits—dropping 20 minutes on Facebook or catching up on episodes of Seinfeld. So what’s really keeping us from picking up the Bible? Raymond shows what’s usually standing in the way, as well as providing an action item for each obstacle.

Lessons for the Marriage Debate from the Pro-Life Movement, Russell Moore. In light of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, Al Mohler pithily said that “everything has changed and nothing has changed.” That’s well put, as it reflects both the landmark nature of the political decision and the unchanging nature of the gospel. But as Moore points out, this new decision, while historically novel, harkens back to another landmark case—Roe v. Wade. We’ve been on the “wrong” side of a Supreme Court decision before, and as the pro-life movement has shown us, there is a constructive way forward.


What are the Gates of Hell?

One of the most well known verses in the Gospels is this:

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18 ESV)

Protestants often spend their time arguing about the meaning of the rock and why it does not lead to papal authority. That is fine but what about the “gates of hell”?

GatesWhat does Jesus mean by the gates of hell?

Well, that is easy. I have heard many sermons touch on this. It means that the church is so powerful that Satan and his demonic kingdom of hell cannot vanquish it. Jesus is talking about the powers of evil organized and led by the Devil.

Except that is not what the Bible says.

Yes medieval authors enjoyed using their imagination when it came to hell. They put Satan on the throne and discussed how demons would be used to torture the damned. Modern writers continue to work with the theme.

But what does the Bible say?

The Bible does talk about hell as a place of punishment for those who refuse God’s offer of salvation. But where does the Bible suggest that Satan is the ruler of hell? Where does the Bible even suggest that Satan has ever been to hell?

There is only one passage that makes a connection between Satan and hell.

“And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10 ESV)

Satan goes to hell after Jesus returns and punishes Satan and those who served him. As far as I can see, this is the first time that Satan enters hell.

But what about that gate of hell? That kind of sounds like a demonic kingdom.

Hades, the word used for hell in this passage, refers to the place of the dead. Jesus may be echoing Isaiah 38:10 which speaks of the gates of sheol, sheol referring to the grave.

New Testament scholar R.T. France explains that it means the church “will not die, and be shut in by the ‘gates of death’.” (Matthew, TNTC p. 255) Robert Gundry argues that this is a reference to persecution and martyrdom which will not destroy the church. (Matthew, p. 335) Leon Morris even suggests that this could be speaking of death’s inability to prevent Jesus’ resurrection. (Matthew, PNTC, p. 425)

Whatever Jesus means, he is referring to the power of death and not to Satan’s kingdom. Satan is not in hell yet but according to Revelation, when he does go to hell, it won’t be as a king.

The post What are the Gates of Hell? appeared first on Stephen J. Bedard.


Present trends in religious liberty

http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2015/07/some_updates_on_religious_libe.html


Abusing Freedom

“Freedom is destroyed not only by its retraction; it is also devastated by its abuse.” —Ravi Zacharias

Our culture is changing fast. Things that would have seemed absurd to most people’s moral intuitions are now championed.


Words of Comfort: Bride and cross.

When God draws a sinner to Himself and saves him, he becomes part of the virgin Bride of Christ. The believer who has seen the love of God in Christ will take up his cross and follow Him (see Mark 8:34).


Gurnall on the “heroic impulse,” and how it is not a good thing

by Dan Phillips

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.


Okay, these are crazy times, but let’s not forget why we are here—The Great Commission

In the biblical narrative, the “many stories constitute a single Story” as Stephen D. Dempster has noted (Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible, 231).


Exiles, Yes – But Engaged Exiles

On this Fourth of July weekend, I wonder what advice our old friend Chuck Colson would give to American Christians.
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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.


How to Distinguish the Holy Spirit from the Serpent

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?


Christian Bakers Who Declined to Make Cake for ‘Gay Wedding’ Ordered to Pay $135,000 to Lesbians

 

According to Christian News Network:

The owners of a Christian bakery in Oregon have officially been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to two lesbians who claimed that they suffered emotionally after they were told that the bakery could not make a cake for their ceremony because of their convictions not to participate in others’ sins.

As previously reported, Aaron and Melissa Klein operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, which is now operated from the couple’s home after the Kleins’ shut their doors due to harassment. In January 2013, Aaron was approached by a mother and her daughter as the two were interested in a cake for the daughter’s upcoming wedding—to her lesbian partner.

“My first question was what’s the wedding date,” Klein told television station KTW in Portland. “My next question was [the] bride and groom’s name. … The girl giggled a little bit and said, ‘It’s two brides.’”

Read more


Ignatian Spirituality Conference: Jesuits call for the contemplative silence

This piece is over at at My Word Like Fire. According to Father General Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, “We need the ability to become ourselves silence, emptiness, an open space that the Word of God can fill, and the Spirit of God can set on fire for the good of others and of the Church.”

John Lanagan has provided a video of the interview.

Read more

Read CRN’s research paper on Contemplative Prayer


Baylor drops reference to ‘homosexual acts’ in sexual conduct policy

According to WacoTrib:

Baylor University has dropped language in its sexual conduct policy specifically outlawing sexual relationships between same-sex partners, though the university does not appear to be endorsing gay and lesbian couples or sex outside of marriage.

The university’s sexual misconduct policy previously listed “homosexual acts” among the sexually related conduct that could prompt disciplinary action, along with adultery, fornication, incest, sexual abuse, harassment and assault.

But that clause is dropped under a new sexual conduct policy approved by Baylor’s Board of Regents at its last meeting. The policy now no longer outlines specific actions that would be considered violations.

Read more


Author(s): Worldview News Team

 
Worldview Weekend Foundation 1016 West Poplar Ave #106-228 Collierville, TN 38017www.wvwfoundation.comwww.wvwtv.com/app Dear Worldview Weekend Foundation Friends, We are pleased to announce our new, free, Roku channel was launched June 26, 2015 after more than 220 hours of computer programming. After you see our extremely professional Roku channel, you will understand why a channel like this has a price tag by most programmers of around $20,000. A recent report reveals that 7 out of 10 Americans are now streaming all their programming instead of watching cable or broadcast television. We…
 


Jesse Johnson

 
This past Sunday I spoke to the congregation at my church about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. Above is the 7-minute video, and below are the comments edited and formatted reading. A few years ago the elders at my church asked the pastors to focus on equipping the congregation to deal with persecution. As part of our strategic plan, the elders wanted the members of Immanuel Bible to have a larger understanding of what persecution looks like globally, with an eye toward preparing our church for future persecution here in the United States.   When we started down this road three…
 


Proposed ‘Homage to Satan’ Near Ten Commandments Monument to Be Unveiled

A New York-based Satanist group has announced the unveiling of its sculpted ‘homage to Satan,’ which it seeks to place next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.

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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.

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The Social Justice Gospel: Putting Poverty Above the Cross

Jan Markell and co-host Eric Barger talk about the “social justice gospel” for the first two segments. These folks often put poverty and “equality” above the cross. They will feed the stomach but not the soul. They look at primarily Jim Wallis, a long-time Marxist who has “moderated” to a Socialist and who is an Obama advisor. Joining Jan and Eric are Mary Danielson, author of a product we carry about Wallis, and Mike LeMay from “Stand Up for the Truth” radio. Find info on all our pamphlets here. Then Jan talks to author Jeff Kinley about his book, “As it Was in the Days of Noah: Warnings from Bible Prophecy About the Coming Global Storm.” We are in those “days of Noah”. How are they similar to the former days in the Bible? Find his book here. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

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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.

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10 Thoughts on Our Freedom

Tomorrow, we will celebrate our nation’s independence. The smells and sounds of picnics will reverberate throughout the nation. Parades will make their way down Main Streets. Fireworks will light the sky. Meanwhile, here are few thoughts to consider.

  1. Many of us have more Bibles in our homes than people. We have the entire Scriptures in the English language, a gift available in only 500 of the more than 7000 languages around the world today. We face little threat by having copies in our homes. Yet, we tend to read the Bible only sporadically.
  2. In one sermon, we hear more of the Word than 2 billion people in the world are likely to hear in a lifetime. Not only do we have liberty to hear the Word, but our pastors seldom feel threatened with persecution when they preach. Yet, sometimes we don’t listen well.
  3. Many of our pastors have the freedom and the opportunity to get training. Currently, as many as five million pastors around the world lack basic theological training. Securing funding may at times be problematic for North American church leaders, but at least our pastors have the option for education. Still, many church leaders do not take advantage of this privilege.
  4. It is generally not dangerous for us to initiate a conversation about Jesus and the gospel. That is simply not the case in many places of the world. Yet, our track record suggests that most believers will not tell a non-believer about Jesus this year.
  5. We have little fear that our church buildings will be destroyed this week because we shared the gospel. Again, not every church leader in the world can make such a statement. I’ve heard from leaders in some parts of the world where they risk their building if they choose to evangelize. Meanwhile, we complain because the church building is too hot or too cold . . . .
  6. Most of us have not been persecuted for our faith. We sometimes “feel” persecuted when others don’t listen to us, but what we face pales in comparison to what our global brothers and sisters may face.
  7. We generally have freedom to gather publicly as believers. That freedom is not available in some parts of the world. Still, many North American churches have more members on their rolls than they have in attendance; that is to say, many members do not take advantage of our freedom to gather.
  8. We have access to social media as a means to share the gospel. Whether through Facebook, Twitter, websites, or other means, we can speak truth to people around the world. It’s regrettable that we seldom take advantage of these opportunities.
  9. Many believers wonder how long we will have these freedoms. Indeed, some would argue that we’re already losing some of these freedoms. I’m not an alarmist, but I share these concerns. Because these issues are real, we cannot afford to be complacent about Christ and the gospel today.
  10. TODAY is the day we have to serve the Lord. Regardless of where our nation lands in the future, we serve the Lord today – and today gives us opportunities to tell the story of Jesus and to live out that story in freedom. Don’t miss that opportunity.

This ‘n’ That

  • I am really excited about this Grace to You Bible app, even if it is apparently going to exclusively use the ESV. I love the ESV, I’d just like to see a NASB option too.
  • Joel Osteen should not be a pastor, but this was the wrong way to go about rebuking him. What did it accomplish? Did anyone repent and get saved?
  • I am so thankful God flipped that switch.
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable (thanks, Marti!).
  • Yep, this will be next.
  • There have been many responses and reactions to last Friday’s SCOTUS ruling on homosexual marriage. I have to say that I found one response by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis to be rather…odd. He writes, “Do you know what we need to do in response to the Supreme Court decision on Friday? (Though this is really a symptom of a very sick culture that has shaken its fist at God, and a sad reflection of the state of much of the church that has not stood on God’s Word as it should.) For one, we need to build an Ark—a life-size Ark—as a sign to the world that God’s Word is true and the message of salvation is true.” I agree with the first part of that quote but then I find myself saying, “Huh?” As a response to the SCOTUS decision we need to…build an ark? I have to respectfully disagree in light of the commission to us by our Savior to call people to repentance for forgiveness of sins and salvation in Him alone (cf. Luke 24:47). “Go therefore and build an ark.” Nope. “Go therefore and make disciples…baptizing…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20).
  • In light of SCOTUS, this is good.
  • Here’s a sermon you shouldn’t miss.
  • I just don’t even know what to do with this.
  • This is a sweet and touching story, but I cannot help but wonder where these two are spending eternity. In spite of them never leaving one another’s side in life, they still must stand before Christ alone.
  • John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary have been posting some excellent articles in light of the June 26 ruling. Start with this one and then browse around to catch the rest.
  • Gorgeous. The God who made this is still on His throne.
  • A catechism on forgiveness:

SBC pastor Rick Warren to co-preach with archbishop at Catholic convention in advance of Pope visit

Rick Warren has been chosen to co-preach a keynote speech along with Cardinal Sean O’Malley at Pope Francis’ World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September 2015. [HT Pulpit & Pen]. Every three years the Pope holds this conference in a different city and every three years it has a different theme. This year’s theme is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”Mary Beth Yount is director of content and programming for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. She wrote extensively in ‘Catholic Philly’ of the selection process, the organization of the program, and the background of the Meeting:

The first step is the preparatory catechesis, the foundation on which a World Meeting of Families rests. The host diocese for each World Meeting writes a preparatory catechism that guides the proceedings. It contains a collection of Catholic teachings about the purpose of human life, marriage and the family, and addresses all stages of life.

The criteria for Warren and the others being chosen to speak at this eagerly anticipated, august global Catholic event were:

“We wanted speakers who were engaging and who could offer practical takeaways on how to help change lives,” Yount said.

Because being winsome and teaching practical life skills is what the Gospel is all about.

In addition to the event being an opportunity to preach, promote and affirm Catholic teachings, the speakers and organizers seek intercessory prayer from the august duo of intermediaries in heaven-and if you said Jesus and the Holy Spirit, you would be wrong – it’s Mary and Joseph.

We look forward to gathering with people from around the world in Philadelphia. As we prepare for this event, we particularly ask the intercessory prayers of Mary and Joseph, parents of the Holy Family and patrons of all families. (Source)

This is the environment in which Warren is co-preaching.

Ten years ago a question arose as to whether Warren was distancing himself from the Southern Baptist Convention. At that time, Warren firmly maintained he is Southern Baptist Convention aligned. He said,

“I’m Southern Baptist, our church is Southern Baptist, and we cooperate in SBC missions support at every level both in the United States and with our IMB [International Mission Board] missionaries around the world,” Warren told Baptist Press.

In the ensuing decade Warren has obviously become apostate. I will refrain from enumerating his many questionable statements, partnerships, and activities besides the ones listed in this essay, but suffice to say they are evidence of an unfruitful Christian life. Sadly as of this writing the Southern Baptist Convention remains in friendly cooperation with Warren and his church at Saddleback. Yet the bible says:

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:9-11)

Last year Warren was keynote for the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference,
the largest Protestant denomination in the world.

This year, keynote for the Catholic denomination, the largest apostate denomination on the world.

Rick Warren is busy.

His bio according to the Catholic Organizers of World Meeting of Families, includes of course being

pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, the author of The Purpose Driven Life and 10 other books. He is also founder of the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan (Promote reconciliation, Equip leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation). He established the Purpose Driven Network of Churches, and has trained over 400,000 priests and pastors in 197 countries. [emphasis mine]

The title of the Keynote the duo will deliver is absolutely hypocritically ironic and devastating. Far from being the Gospel of Life, their Gospel is the Gospel of Death. What we should be saying to those captured by satan’s snare in false religion is:

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, [whore Babylon religion] my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:4-5).

Warren is not evangelizing the Catholics and calling for them to depart from their dark schema. Warren says the Pope is “our new pope”, is “doing everything right”. He said he enjoyed a recent headline in the Orange County newspaper, “If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus”, so much that he “saved it to show to a group of priests I was speaking to a while back…”

John MacArthur said,

Reclassifying the Pope, reclassifying Roman Catholics as believers isn’t that simple. It has massive implications. It has implications that literally overturn centuries of missionary effort. It has massive implications that overturn centuries, if not millennia, of martyrdom. In the long war on the truth, the most formidable, relentless and deceptive enemy has been Roman Catholicism. It is an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false Christianity. It is a front for the kingdom of Satan. The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always understood this. And even through the Dark Ages, from 400 to 1500, prior to the Reformation, genuine Christian believers set themselves apart from that system and were brutally punished and executed for their rejection of that system. (source)

The Catholic Church is a false church and teaches false things. From Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry, here is A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic Church

source

It must be stated and re-stated that the Catholic Church is false and those people believing in its teachings are lost and under God’s wrath. It must be stated that “pastors” and others joining with them are perpetuating a gospel-less partnership in which the need to evangelize Catholics is forsaken for the plaudits of men and social works that are as filthy rags to Jesus.

It is important to recognize this because depending on your view of Catholics it changes everything. John MacArthur said that ten years ago, a document called “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” came out and many pastors and professors were signing it. That document stated that Catholics and Protestants celebrated a common faith and a common mission, it said we need to embrace each other and carry out this gospel mission together.

MacArthur said that a great many of the pastors got together and had a discussion, sometimes heated, as to what impact this document would have and whether pastors should sign it. MacArthur was on the ‘No’ side, along with RC Sproul and Michael Horton. He said they discussed things like:

Are they saved because they “believe in Jesus?” It was a very heated discussion at many points. What was at stake? I’ll tell you what was at stake. What was at stake is whether or not we evangelize Roman Catholics. That’s what’s at stake. One billion of them in the world, are they a mission field or are they our co-laborers for Christ? That changes everything. Everything.

When I read things like Rick Warren, a supposed evangelical pastor in good standing with my denomination, partnering with Catholic Archbishops under the umbrella of Catholic dogma and Catholic Catechism to promote and affirm it, I alternately become sick, angry, and heartbroken. Because 1 billion lives are at stake. One billion-plus souls which are in bondage to a works-legalistic scheme of a false religion that is as dung to Christ and will arrive in hell the second they die. And Warren preaches “love” – yet his hate is the most obvious and virulent of all the false pastors out there, because it is more subtle than Osteen and more insidious than Hinn.

The lesson is several-fold, my friends.

1. Prophecy: It is prophesied that in the last of the last days falsity would rise and apostasy would grow.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

2. Discernment: Be warned, stay away from the teachings of the false teachers, lest you be dragged in also.  Shun evildoers.

…if he refuses even to listen to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:17).

3. Encouragement: If you detect and understand that the Catholic Church is false, that Rick Warren is apostate, and the SBC is a dangerous compromiser, then praise our Spirit for delivering this wisdom to you.

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)


Matthew Vines is Promoting a Sin Far More Serious than Slavery

In response to Kevin DeYoung’s questions to rainbow-affirming Christians, Matthew Vines has responded with 40 questions of his own, these directed at Christians who are, as he puts it, “non-affirming.” Douglas Wilson decided to respond to Matthew Vines questions and one if Wilson’s answers stood out to Vines:


Articles, Resources, and More . . . Oh My! (07/03/15)

Of Weddings and Heaven

“I know two young women getting married this summer. They have pretty rings, enjoyed shopping for the dress, had fun at showers, and got the bridal party all lined up. But it’s not enough for them. Pleasant as engagement has been, they want to be married.”

Here We Stand

In light of last Friday’s ruling on same-sex marriage, many evangelical leaders, including Nancy Leigh DeMoss, have come to proclaim that there’s no budging when it comes to how God defines marriage.

How to Complain Without Grumbling

I’m so thankful we have the freedom to complain before God? If you don’t believe that this can be done without being sinful, read Jon Bloom’s helpful post.

Lessons Learned from a Diet of Manna

The daugher of one of our friends at Revive Our Hearts, Linda Green, shares three lessons she’s learned while subsisting on a diet of porridge for a few weeks. And no, one of them is not how much she misses chocolate.

Friendship: You Were Made for it

Shout, “Amen!” if you know this with all of your heart. J.D. Greear supports what we intuitively know to be true in this excerpt from one of his sermons.


O Church Arise! A Biblical Perspective on the SCOTUS decision

Source: The CripplegateThe Cripplegate | for a new generation of non-conformists

Rom. 1:16-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, and Jude 3-25

A Biblical Perspective on the SCOTUS decision

flag america and christianAfter Friday’s landmark SCOTUS decision many shepherds serving in America felt compelled to imitate the example of Jude.  Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.  For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 3-4).  Following in Jude’s footsteps I decided to take a week off from my regular expositional series through the gospel of John in order to address the Supreme Court’s nation changing decision.

These are dark times, there’s no denying it!”  In our own backyard my family often hears beautiful hymns of the faith played on traditional church bells from only a block away.  We often hear great gospel songs like “the Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace.”  Yet when anyone drives by this church they quickly observe a flashing “Gay Pride” rainbow flag that is proudly displayed on St.John’s digital billboard.  St. John Church of Christ wants everyone in Freeport to know that they are leading the way in the “Open and Affirming” church movement that is sweeping through our nation like wildfire.  Dr. Dutcher strongly believes that Lord himself desires every church, not just his own congregation, to join him in this progressive crusade; And they are certainly not alone in this!  Just like week Pastor Tony Campolo issued a statement saying he now “fully supports same sex marriage.”  Add to that, a recent article on Reuters which reports that close to 35% percent of “professing Evangelicals” now support gay marriage. That number represents a sixteen percent increase over a time span of just three years (though around 45% of the nation still believes homosexuality is a sin).

I do not know what it is like where you live but in our “conservative” city the local newspaper has provided free advertisement to Dr. Dutcher more times than I can count.  How is it, that one liberal pastor is given so much free press to repeatedly promote his own religious & personal convictions?  St John’s “Unity Fest” for example was spotlighted three times in the month of June alone.  In sharp contrast, the congregation that I pastor is celebrating its 170th anniversary of ministry in Freeport on July 1st. We did not receive one article.  For all the talk about “dialogue” & “free speech” very few media outlets have given equal platforms for both sides to express their viewpoints concerning this controversial subject.  That’s strange seeing only 3.8% of Americans identify themselves as LGBT (per Gallup).

Needles to say, the moral trajectory of our nation is quite troubling.  I make this assertion on the authority of Scripture.  The goal of this article is to evaluate last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision from a biblical perspective.  As you have no doubt observed everyone these days has an opinion but only Being’s point of view truly matters.

But before we look at what God thinks let me highlight a few of the perspectives that were given over the past few days.  As you know Friday’s landmark SCOTUS case was a split decision (5-4) in favor of legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.  President Obama, who in 2008 told the American public that he believed “marriage is between one man and one woman” celebrated the S.C.’s decision, saying, “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else#lovewins.

God and the Gay ChristianWriting for the Majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The ancient origins of marriage confirm its centrality, but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society. The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution even as confined to opposite-sex relations — has evolved over time.”

As I have demonstrated in an earlier article it came as no surprising to see the majority of celebrities in Hollywood rejoice over Friday’s decision.  Pop icon Madonna twitted, “Finally And at Last! The Revolution Of Love has Begun! #livingforlove #rebelheartsunite”  While former Disney Channel actress turned music star, Demi Levota wrote, “I couldn’t be more proud to be an American today… What an incredible day for equality!!!!”

ESPN sports continue its pro LGBT ways collecting a collection of pro-gay marriage twits from professional American athletes in effort to promote this “new orthodoxy” far and wide.  The Chicago Cubs Dextor Fowler twitted, In 1967, interracial marriages were legalized. If that had not happened, my wife and I would not be able to in union. Love should ALWAYS win.  Olympic figure skater Johny Weir wroteMarriage equality in all 50 states! Congratulations America! Brimming with pride.  While football player Scott Fujita twitted, Resist the urge to engage in debate with those in opposition to equality. There is NO MORE debate. Just rejoice and celebrate this moment.

Not everyone rejoiced over Friday’s historic ruling however.  In fact four of the sitting justices on the Supreme Court wrote dissenting opinions warning the nation of what this ruling represents:  Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “People of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”While Justice Samuel Alito said, “This decision will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”  The most scathing dissent came from the pen of Justice Scalia who wrote, “I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.”  He went on to talk about our new rulers. “Today’s decree says that my ruler, and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.”  Later adding that “a system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

In addition to this, many of Evangelicalism’s most respected theologians were united in lamenting the SC’s decision.  Dr. John Piper quoted Psalm 119:136, “My eyes shed tears, because people do not keep your law.”Adding, “We weep over our sins.  We don’t celebrate them.  We don’t institutionalize them!  Dr. Al Mohler called the SCOTUS decision, “Damaging, devastating,and far reaching.”  While Dr. John MacArthur noted that “the Word of God pronounces judgment on any nation that reclassifies evil as good, darkness as light, and bitter as sweet (Is 5:20).  “As a nation, America continues to put herself in the cross-hairs of Divine judgment!”

What was your reaction to Friday’s Supreme Court decision?  Were you joyful?   Sorrowful?  Fearful?  Concerned?  No matter what any of us think or feel the most important question is what does God think of all this?  In the holy Scriptures we receive a clear and timeless word from the Lord.

Everything we need for life and godliness is found in the Bible.  Please read this next sentence very carefully.  Just because something is super controversial does not necessary mean that it is super complicated.  What God thinks of homosexuality is not complicated.  It’s not.  It’s really not.  The Word of God calls homosexuality sinful, abominable, unnatural, and evil.

I would encourage you to read through Romans 1:16-32 this week.  The trajectory of wickedness in any nation is easy to trace.  First, people give themselves over to sexual immorality, followed by idolatry and homosexual immoralityand it sort of all culminates in a debased, reprobate, depraved mind!  This passage describes America in 2015.  Into this dark context Paul testimony in Romans 1:16-17 shines brightly like a pure diamond!

In this hour will the evangelical church hide the gospel light under a bushel (contra Matt. 5:14-16)?  Will we keep the gospel to ourselves and only discuss it with fellow believers on Sunday ? (contra Acts 1:8)  Will we isolate ourselves from the big bad world or cower in a corner and hope it will all just go away somehow(contra John 17:15-17)  Or will imitate the example of Christ and the apostles and say, “WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES?!?!”

Luther Here I StandMartin Luther was spot on when he said, If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.

Their is second passage that I want to draw your attention.  It will behoove all of us to spend some time in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 as well.  The Corinthian church should have known that no unrepentant sinner would ever enter into the kingdom of God.  As in the first century their are many deceivers out there today who are telling people that “homosexuality is not a sin.”  “You do not need to repent of being LGBT anymore than a black individual needs to repent of his skin color.”  “Gay is the new black.”  “God loves you just the way your are and so do we.”  #truelovewins.  That is why we are “open and affirming.”

There is a third key text that I want to briefly remind you of and that’s the neglected epistle of Jude.  If you have not read the book of Jude lately now would be a really good time to do so.  Notice the apostolic charge that every believer, not just pastors, receives in verse 3 to “contend earnestly for the faith.”  This 911 emergency epistle took on the form it did because certain (false) teachers had crept into the Christian church unnoticed (note Jude 4).  These “ungodly persons” got into the church, in part, because they claimed to believe in God’s “amazing grace.”  

Stop right there.  Does it not trouble your soul when you hear apostate churches playing Amazing Grace on their bells?  Was it not also morally repulsive when the President sang this timeless gospel hymn at the memorial service in Charleston, South Carolina this week only to return to Washington D.C. to celebrate the SCOTUS decision from his rainbow lit White House?

truth warIf you know anything about John Newton’s testimony you understand the profound irony of this!  Like Augustine before him, as an unconverted man John Newton enjoyed sinful pleasures with the best of them  He was an 18th century hedonist and a wicked slave trader!  This is one of the reasons why Newton penned this verse, Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a WRETCH like me.  I once was lost, but now am found.  Was blind, but now I see.  According to God’s mercy, Newton came to see that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  I have read that for the rest of his life brother Newton observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion.  Newton’s timeless hymn celebrates the glorious truth that God’s amazing grace saves and sanctifies sinners – unworthy sinner like you and I!   This is our gospel confession beloved.  It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all (1 Tim. 1:12-17).  This is our testimony of faith (Col. 1:21-23Eph. 2:1-10).

Let’s return to Jude one final time.  Many of the false teachers in the early church were abusing the grace of God as a license for sin (Jude 4)  Talk about RELEVANT.  God’s Word reads like today’s newspaper.  These “godless persons” (that’s God’s description not mine) were literally “turning the grace of God into licentiousness” and in so doing were “denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Into this very context Scripture charges the beloved of God to fight for this nonnegotiable body of objective truth (the faith).  For if we do not we risk losing our common salvation!  Oh that could never happen Caleb?  Why did the Reformer’s refer to 400-1400 as the (spiritual) dark ages?  Post Tenabras, lux anyone?

Amazing GraceThe apostle goes onto reminds believers that sin and judgment goes hand in hand.  Notice carefully what examples Jude uses to illustrate this truth in Jude 4-16, (heterosexual and homosexual sins).

In verses 17-19 Jude exhorts the people of God to remember.  While in verses 20-21, we are commanded to “Keep ourselves in the sphere of God’s love” by building yourself up on the sure foundation, while remaining wholly dependent on God, as we live our life in light of eternity.

Despite the many dangers, toils, and snares we will surely encounter along the way the apostle calls on us to be ministers of mercy as we attempt to rescue doubters, drifters, and defiled ones (note Jude 22-23).  By the grace of God, believers need to Remember, Remain, & Rescue!

In view of this high and holy calling Jude concludes his letter by reminding us of the comforting doctrine of Divine preservation.  YOUR SAFE AND SECURE IN CHRIST- NOW GO TO WAR!  “Onward Christian soldiers!”  “Fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12).”

O Church AriseO Church Arise and put your armor on; Hear the call of Christ our Captain; For now the weak can say that they are strong.  In the strength that God has given.  With shield of faith and belt of truth; We’ll stand against the devil’s lies; An army bold whose battle cry is “Love!”  Reaching out to those in darkness.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, are glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”


How to Distinguish the Holy 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? This is a hugely important question if we are to be calm and confident that the spirit with whom we are communing really is the Holy Spirit.

Pastor, You Should Share The Pulpit

Steve Rahn:

We are not a large church. We don’t have a staff—just me. It’s not a necessity that they fill in. I’m not out of town or anything. It probably even seems a little strange to some folks that I’m at the service but not preaching.

I love to prepare and preach sermons. Love it. It’s easily my favorite part of pastoral ministry.

And these men are not getting paid to preach (whereas I am) and they have fulltime jobs outside of the church (I don’t). So why have them preach?

The Final Break Between God and Country

Thomas S. Kidd:

So here we are, a week after the gay marriage mandate, and the Fourth of July is upon us. What should we do? One appropriate option—one we have always had—would be to politely ignore the Fourth of July in our families, and our Sunday services. Again, what does 1776 have to do with our worship? Around the world, our Christian brothers and sisters from Nigeria to Nepal will not say anything about the Fourth of July. Why should we?

Evangelism in a Culture of Religions Nones

Jonathan Dodson:

Rehearsing a memorized fact, “Jesus died on the cross for your sins”, isn’t walking in wisdom. Many people don’t know what we mean when we say “Jesus” “sin” or “cross.” While much of America still has cultural memory of these things, they are often misunderstood and confused with “moral teacher” “be good” and “irrelevant suffering.” We have to slow down long enough to explore what they mean, and why they have trouble with these words and concepts. Often they are tied to some kind of pain.


I struggle with patriotic worship services

Marty Duren:

My discomfort with patriotic worship services culminated when visiting a church during vacation. The front of the auditorium was covered by an enormous American flag. Beneath the flag was the opening for the baptistry where the pastor baptized a new believer.

Under the American flag. With no cross in sight, I suppose it was covered by stripes. It was not surreal for me; it was troubling. The imagery was all wrong.


BCC Weekend Resource: Gay Marriage, Speaking the Truth in Love, and the United States Supreme Court

Frequently on weekends at the BCC we use our “megaphone” to make you aware of significant happenings in the biblical counseling world. We do so today by alerting you to a new and ongoing endeavor by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Continue reading →


Video: Worst Objection to Theism- Who Created God?

Here is another great video from Inspiring Philosophy.  You can checkout their Youtube Channel here.

Notable Voices – July 4, 2015

How Pastors Can Prepare for Uncertain Financial Times — Art Rainer

Personal finances are important for pastors to manage well because a pastor distracted by money is a pastor who is not totally focused on leading God’s people. Art shares six steps to consider.

 


You’re not a Leader if You Never Say You’re Sorry — Eric Geiger

True leaders are honest. And when they make a mistake, they admit it, apologize, and move forward.

 


5 Ways Your Church Can Adapt to “Digital Natives” — Chris Martin

Millennials know nothing other than life with technology. So when churches or any other group fails to embrace technology, there is a disconnect with an entire generation. Technology is a way churches can connect with America’s largest generation.

 


How Often Should We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper? — Peyton Hill

In many faith traditions, partaking of the body and blood of Jesus is a weekly occurrence. In my denomination, however, there seems to be a hesitancy toward the weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Peyton discusses this and makes a strong case for a more regular partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

 


25 Quick Ideas for Your Church’s Social Media — Darrel Girardier

If you think your church can’t be active on social media, you just haven’t read anything Darrel has written in the last 18 months. These 25 ideas prove that it really can be a simple task if you plan correctly.

 


Facts about the 4th — Gannett


The post Notable Voices – July 4, 2015 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


What Does Mediocrity Look Like in the Church? – Rainer on Leadership #138

Podcast Episode #138

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio


Today on the podcast we discuss a recent post from Chuck Lawless entitled 12 Signs of Mediocrity in a Church.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • It is a sin to be good when God has called you to be great.
  • Churches should evaluate everything they do to determine how it can be done better.
  • Rather than doing several things poorly, do fewer things really well.
  • Without a clear strategy, you will likely not have effective discipleship in a church.
  • The essentials of a church’s vision: a specific plan for a specific church at a specific time.

The twelve signs of mediocrity in a church are:

  1. No plans for evaluation.
  2. Tolerance of mistakes.
  3. Poor maintenance of the church grounds.
  4. Poor upkeep of the building.
  5. No records of attendance, growth, etc.
  6. No clear discipleship strategy.
  7. Toleration of sin.
  8. No class for membership.
  9. Lack of vision.
  10. Little attention to the nations.
  11. No new workers in place.
  12. Lack of “healthy chaos.”

Resources

The post What Does Mediocrity Look Like in the Church? – Rainer on Leadership #138 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Has Stephen Hawking Eliminated the Need for a Creator?

Get William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith (USA) (Canada)

The post Has Stephen Hawking Eliminated the Need for a Creator? appeared first on Stephen J. Bedard.


The Daily Discovery (July 4-5, 2015)

Should We Celebrate Independence Day? Viva La Resistance! – “On July 4, 1776, fifty-six representatives from the British colonies in America signed the Declaration of Independence. With their signatures, the British colonies in America became the United States of America. The document they signed said the following…”

A Believing Response to Matthew Vines’ 40 Questions – “Matthew Vines has posted a series of forty questions, found here.  I have written up a fairly brief response.  I hope it is helpful.”

Book Review: “What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?” by Kevin DeYoung – “Kevin DeYoung is a really smart guy. I don’t just mean that he knows a lot of things really well, but also that he understands how to deliver his message in the most clear, straight-forward and winsome manner. Over the years, he has consistently proven that he is a masterful writer, cogent thinker, and orthodox Christian teacher. This book continues in that same line of well-conceived, carefully delivered books on this controversial topic.”

How Christians Walk in the World – “Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus prayed to the Father on behalf of His disciples what has been called His High Priestly Prayer (John 17). When we consider the content of His High Priestly prayer, we soon discover indicatives regarding the state of His followers in the world as well as imperatives on how they should walk in the world. In the midst of these two aspects of our Lord’s teaching about the relationship between His people and the world, we learn that there is one over-arching purpose for Christians and our relationship with the world. Let’s take a brief look at these three things…”

Time for a Little Q & A – “So in response to Kevin DeYoung’s very pertinent questions to rainbow-affirming Christians, Matthew Vines has responded with 40 questions of his own, these directed at Christians who are, as he puts it, “non-affirming.” Being as I am found in that latter category, let me have a shot at it.”


SERMON:

James White – The Truth and Love Conference [Session 5]


VIDEOS:

Right Response to Sexual Temptation: Flee!

God Saves Bad People


“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

The post The Daily Discovery (July 4-5, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A Letter From James, Part 3

James Chapter 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series A Letter From James

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In part 3 we continue reviewing the instructions James gave to the early church on how to properly live the Christian life. Remember, this letter might have been the first written teaching the Church ever received, predating the Gospels and Paul’s letters, with the possible exception of his letter to the Galatians. This time we’ll cover chapter 3. Let’s begin.

continue reading


Are the Saints higher than Angels?

I’d like to know for sure if the Saints/Saved/Redeemed Children of God are higher than angels and what are some scriptures (if any) that indicate that we are and have authority over Angels. Thank you!

continue reading


Calendar

Why is Sunday the first day of the week? Is it the same in the Old Testament?

continue reading


Material Things In Heaven

Do you think there will be material things in heaven, and if so could you give examples? I have friends in Christ who have hobbies such as sewing, and we were wondering about this. Thank you for your great ministry and help.

continue reading


Christian Headlines Daily –

http://www.christianheadlines.com/


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.

Should Christians seek to help the poor by growing a secular government?

WINTERY KNIGHT

I found a paper (PDF) on the University of Washington web site that makes the case for why Christians ought to care about more than just social issues when it comes to politics and elections.

Here’s the abstract:

What accounts for cross-national variation in religiosity as measured by church attendance and non-religious rates? Examining answers from both secularization theory and the religious economy perspective, we assert that cross-national variation in religious participation is a function of government welfare spending and provide a theory that links macro-sociological outcomes with individual rationality. Churches historically have provided social welfare. As governments gradually assume many of these welfare functions, individuals with elastic preferences for spiritual goods will reduce their level of participation since the desired welfare goods can be obtained from secular sources. Cross-national data on welfare spending and religious participation show a strong negative relationship between these two variables after controlling for other…

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Warnings to an Ungodly Nation

A Ruby In The Rough

Roberts Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem

WARNINGS TO AN UNGODLY NATION

From John Flavel (1628 – 1691)

As Paul had many clear premonitions and fore-notices of the sufferings that should befall him at Jerusalem, that he might not be surprised by them when they came, so it is usual with God (though not in such an immediate and extraordinary a manner) to admonish the world, and especially His own people of great trials and sufferings before hand (Amos 3:7). “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants the prophets.”

Thus, when He was about to bring the flood upon the world, He gave one hundred and twenty years warning of it before it came (Gen. 6:3), and when He was to destroy Sodom, He saith (Gen. 18:17), “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” And the like discovery He made about the same judgment to Lot (Gen…

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Avoiding False Spirituality/Spiritualities

The Reformed Reader

The Christian's Reasonable Service, 4 VolumesThere are many popular quasi- and pseudo-Christian spiritualities in existence today.  The “Christian” bestsellers typically include books about spirituality without a clear explanation of or belief in the gospel.  Some popular “Christian” authors deny key aspects of the historic faith and others talk about being spiritual without much dependence on Scripture.  You can find bestselling books about someone supposedly going to heaven and you can read a book that puts words in Jesus’ mouth.  Most of the time, these spiritualities are quite man centered, focused on internal feelings and emotions.

These things have happened before in history.  For just one example, after the Reformation there were radical reforming groups such as the Anabaptists – some of whom rejected the written Word of God only to focus on the inner voice/word/light (called “mysticism”).  Around 1700, Dutch Reformed pastor Wilhelmus a Brakel even addressed this pietism/quietism/mysticism in his systematic theology, since Quakers…

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Happy Chained America, or “Celebrating Independence”?

Green Baggins

Chain

Our country was founded to be a religiously free country. This was one of the primary goals, if not the primary goal, of the pilgrims in coming over from England. Later on, even the founding fathers who were not Christian still believed in religious freedom. For instance, Thomas Jefferson, hardly a Christian himself, did not believe that civic freedoms depended on one’s religious beliefs. He believed in a complete freedom of religion. Take a good look at the bill that Jefferson helped write and sponsor for the Virginia legislature. Are not the evils mentioned in it precisely those that we see today, and have every right to fear in the future?

Here are the words of the first amendment to our constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or…

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The Fourth of July reminds us to fight for liberty

WINTERY KNIGHT

This is called a Gadsen flag. This is called a Gadsen flag.

John Zmirak is my favorite writer on The Stream. Here’s his 4th of July post.

He writes:

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration, but it’s also a time to recommit ourselves to champion those American principles, and to remember that those principles stand over against some very particular evils:

  • Arbitrary seizure and use of private property by the state in the name of the “common good.”
  • A corrupt bargain between the government and religion, with funds and favors flowing to the churches that toe the government line, and taxes and bans restricting the free exercise of religion.
  • Government micromanagement of the economy, with politically connected companies exploiting their crony connections to legislators and restricting the freedom of commerce.
  • Paternalistic government, which saw the common man as a hapless sheep, to be herded and sheared by elites.
  • The concentration of power…

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Happy Independence Day 2015!

WINTERY KNIGHT

The Stars and Stripes The Stars and Stripes

The Declaration of Independence

Here’s the complete text of the Declaration of Independence here.

And now let’s take a look at an article at The Federalist which talks about what the Declaration of Independence tells us about the character of America.

It says:

The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, was “intended to be an expression of the American mind.” Although not intended as such, it was also an expression of the American character. Woven throughout the text are insights into the minds and virtues of those Lincoln called the “once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors” who fought for the independence we still enjoy.

This aspect of the Declaration of Independence receives scant attention from scholars and citizens, yet it must be understood. The theory of government elaborated in that text presupposes the existence of citizens who know…

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