Daily Archives: July 9, 2015

Calvin on the Great Usefulness of the Law

The Reformed Reader

Institutes of the Christian Religion, Beveridge Translation In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin talks about three parts, or uses, of the law (I.II.VII.6-12).  First, he said, the law “warns, informs, convicts, and lastly condemns, every man of his own unrighteousness. …The law is like a mirror.  In it, we contemplate our weakness….”  Second, Calvin said the law restrains people by the fear of punishment: “The law is like a halter to check the raging and otherwise limitlessly ranging lusts of the flesh.”  What did he say about the third use of the law?

“The third use of the Law (being also the principal use, and more closely connected with its proper end) has respect to believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and reigns. For although the Law is written and engraven on their hearts by the finger of God, that is, although they are so influenced and actuated…

View original post 286 more words

July 9, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

IMG_2349


Jul. 9, 2015

BLOOMBERG

There are now 17 announced, or soon-to-be-announced, Republican candidates for president. And to the degree that they’re serious about winning the White House (an open question in some cases) they’re all trying to accomplish contradictory, if not mutually exclusive things: They have to sell themselves to the passionately partisan voters and caucus-goers in the early primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada), while simultaneously making the all-important case that they would be the strongest candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton, before a very different electorate than that of the GOP primaries, in November 2016.

The U.S. House passed its version of a reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind education law after Republican leaders shifted strategy to allow votes on amendments sought by conservatives.

The South Carolina House voted early Thursday to remove the Confederate flag from the state’s capitol grounds, the Associated Press reported.

A Republican-led House committee subpoenaed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday for documents relating to his department’s review of the Keystone XL pipeline.

U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, the chief Republican vote-counter in the House, has signed-on as a co-sponsor of legislation described as an effort to protect people opposed to gay marriage from being penalized by the government.

In 2009, the contest’s first year, it drew 30 shooters. In June there were 5,134, more than 20,000 spectators and sponsors including Benelli Armi SpA and SKB Shotguns. Trap shooting is the fastest-growing sport in Minnesota high schools, and was recently introduced in neighboring Wisconsin and North Dakota. While it may make anti-gun activists uneasy, it’s a boon for manufacturers and retailers that have stoked its growth.

There’s no indication so far that a cyberattack caused the computer malfunction at the New York Stock Exchange, President Barack Obama’s spokesman said.

United Airlines is resuming flights after a computer fault halted all U.S. departures for about two hours, disrupting travel for thousands of passengers in the second such setback since early June.

The IMF cut its forecast for global growth this year, citing a weaker first quarter in the U.S. and warning that financial-market turbulence from China to Greece clouds the outlook.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. eased last week from its highest level since the end of April, reflecting subdued views of the economy and buying climate.

More Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, representing a pause in the pace of labor-market improvement. Jobless claims climbed by 15,000 to 297,000 in the week ended July 4.

AP Top Stories

Fanatical and disciplined, the unit of Islamic State group fighters infiltrated the Syrian border town of Kobani and unleashed mayhem, battling Kurdish forces. In the end, the militants were all killed, but not before they had accomplished their mission of spreading fear by slaughtering more than 230 civilians, nearly half of them children.

A legal decision in Oklahoma to bar a Ten Commandments monument from its statehouse has a group of Satanists seeking a new home for a huge horned-goat statue of Satan.

Young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has executed 70 officials since taking power in late 2011 in a “reign of terror” that far exceeds the bloodshed of his dictator father’s early rule, South Korean officials said Thursday.

The Afghan intelligence agency on Thursday said a third top Islamic State commander in Afghanistan was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the

American Express unveiled an online checkout system Thursday that lets customers use their account passwords to order clothes, flowers and concert tickets from a roster of retailers. Shoppers don’t need their cards: It automatically fills in payment information all the way down to the billing address so they can click “complete order” faster. The biggest credit-card issuer by purchases is following MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. in offering a so-called online wallet.

BBC

Heroin use in the US has surged in the past decade as experts say people using opioid painkillers are increasingly turning to heroin as a cheaper high. The number of heroin users rose by 63% between 2002 and 2013.

Pope Francis is visiting Bolivia, on his tour of Latin America’s three poorest countries.

Australian house prices are 30% undervalued compared with the cost of renting.

At least 22 people have died in clashes between Arab and Berber communities around the Algerian oasis city of Ghardaia, the state news agency said.

Mainland Chinese shares rebounded on Thursday after regulators took further steps to try to calm the stock market. The Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses to close up 5.76%, its biggest percentage gain since 2009. A move to ban big investors from selling stocks may have helped to support the market, analysts said.

Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala have arrested the mother and stepfather of a teenage girl for allegedly forcing her into the sex trade for two years.

More than four million Syrians – a sixth of the population – have fled abroad to escape the conflict in their country, the United Nations has said.

WND

While the White House says there is “no indication” of malicious intent regarding the technical issues that shut down the New York Stock Exchange, an Egyptian official told WND his country had information indicating the exchange was hit by a cyberattack.

The White House has announced the revival of a proposal that almost put an end to passage of Obamacare – the widely criticized “death panels” that press physicians to have talks with their patients about end times, and to advise accordingly.


Top News – 7/9/2015

Israel says 2 of its citizens are being held in Gaza
. View gallery . . JERUSALEM — Two Israeli citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip, at least one of them by the Palestinian militant Hamas group, Israeli authorities said Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he held Hamas responsible for the men’s well-being.

Support for a Young Earth? Scientists Baffled by Preserved Dinosaur Blood Cells
The discovery of well-preserved blood and proteins in a supposedly 75-million-year-old dinosaur fossil has stumped secular scientists and led one Christian apologist to herald the findings as evidence of a young Earth.

Linfa Batters Southeast China With Flooding and Wind
Tropical Storm Linfa made landfall in southeast China on Thursday as a severe tropical storm. Linfa will continue to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the region, including Hong Kong and Guangzhou into Friday.

After Gay Marriage Decision: Surprise Blood Moon Displays in Sky Only Over America
On June 30, 2015, a surprise blood moon appeared in the sky, that was only seen in the United States. According to the National Weather Service, large wildfires in Canada have been burning. Due to extremely high winds, smoke from these fires have traveled into the United States. This ironically occurred right after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize homosexual marriage nationally.

10 Very Strange Things That Have Happened In Just The Past Few Weeks
Have you noticed that events have begun to accelerate? Over the past few weeks, things have officially started to get very weird. Chinese stocks are crashing, the Greek debt crisis is spiraling out of control, the New York Stock Exchange was down for about four hours on Wednesday thanks to a “technical glitch”, and global politicians have been acting very strangely. After several years of relative calm, could it be possible that the second half of 2015 will usher in a time of chaos and confusion on a worldwide scale?

Italians shoot powerful tornado near Venice from their car
A powerful tornado ripped through the Mira community in northeastern Italy, a couple of miles west of Venice, near the Adriatic Sea. Unaccustomed to the phenomenon, the Italians were shocked, disconcerted and alarmed by the event.

Judge orders Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security chief, others to court
A federal judge in Texas has threatened to hold Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other top immigration enforcement officials in contempt of court for not fixing problems that led to work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action after the judge had put the plan on hold. The Justice Department had said about 2,000 individuals had been sent three-year work authorizations after U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, temporarily blocked the immigration action on Feb. 16.

Activity at Sabancaya increases in Arequipa
The Geophysical Institute of Peru reports that in the period of July 1 to July 6, the volcano has registered an average of 13 events per day. And it has reached a peak of energy of 601 MJ as observed on July 2.

China to gamble on Greece to ‘seize’ European market: Russian experts
Cheng expressed optimism that the Greek debt crisis would be “appriopriately resolved” and that the Greek economy would recover with the hard work of all parties involved, noting that whatever happens will have an “important impact” on not just Greece and its people but the entire world.

CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 10th when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving solar wind streams.

China and Russia may assist Greece through BRICS
China and Russia could use this week’s BRICS summit and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conference to formulate a BRICS-based rescue plan to tackle the Greece debt crisis, writes Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.

Obama administration revives plan once criticized as ‘death panels’
Six years after end-of-life planning nearly derailed development of the Affordable Care Act amid charges of “death panels,” the Obama administration has revived a proposal to reimburse physicians for talking with their Medicare patients about how patients want to be cared for as they near death.

End of US oversight role ‘strengthens’ Internet
The US government’s stepping away from a key oversight role of the Internet will strengthen its governance and ease political pressures, the top Internet administrator said Wednesday. Fadi Chehade, president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), said the end of the US role is now set for mid-2016…to allow time for input from the Internet community and review by the US government and Congress.

U.S. Offers Billions in Arms to Ease Mideast’s Iran Anxiety
An agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program could create a bonanza for U.S. defense contractors…as the Obama administration…by cutting deals for more than $6 billion in military hardware. The details of a potential deal being negotiated between Iran and six world powers — China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and U.S. — would determine what steps the U.S. takes to help its allies.

Greece debt crisis: Deadline day for new proposals
Greece has until the end of Thursday to present new proposals to secure a third bailout from creditors and prevent a possible exit from the eurozone. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the “next hours will be crucial”. The new proposals will be studied by eurozone finance ministers on Saturday and a full EU summit on Sunday.

China stock market surges in volatile session
Mainland Chinese shares rebounded on Thursday after regulators took further steps to try to calm the stock market. The Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses to close up 5.76%, its biggest percentage gain since 2009. A move to ban big investors from selling stocks may have helped to support the market, analysts said.

Tehran’s anti-Israel Quds day falls on date of new Iran deadline
Regardless of whether the world powers and Iran sign a nuclear deal by the new Friday deadline, chants of “Death to Israel” are expected to reverberate throughout Iran that day as it happens to fall on the anti-Israel Quds day. Quds day – initiated in 1979 by the Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Khomeini – is an annual event of fiery anti-Israel protests in Iran on the last Friday of Ramadan that attracts tens of thousands of people.

‘Never threaten an Iranian’: nuclear talks get feisty
A top-level meeting at the Iran nuclear talks this week was a stormy affair, Iranian media reported Wednesday, with the country’s foreign minister warning: “Never threaten an Iranian.”

40 QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIANS NOW WAVING RAINBOW FLAGS
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.

Greece seeks new EU loan deal in race to avert collapse
A race to save Greece from bankruptcy and keep it in the euro gathered pace on Wednesday when Athens formally applied for a three-year loan and European authorities launched an accelerated review of the request.

Iran ‘Shouts Hatred’ for Israel, Backs Palestinian Terror
VIENNA—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the entire country to “shout its hatred for the Zionists” and back Palestinian efforts to seize territory from Israel, according to comments made Wednesday in celebration of Quds Day, which marks the last Friday in Ramadan and has historically been used to tout Palestinian violence against the Jewish state.

Establishing an IDF Cyber Command
On June 15, 2015, the IDF Spokesperson announced that in light of the substantial challenges facing the IDF in the cyber realm, the Chief of Staff decided to establish a cyber command to lead the operational activities in this emerging field. The cyber command will be established within two years, in the first stage both within the Military Intelligence Directorate (DMI) and the C4I Telecommunications Directorate of the IDF.

Murdered by the Left: Time for a campaign against “sanctuary” cities
On Monday, illegal alien Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old repeat drug offender who had been deported five times, was charged with killing Kathryn Steinle, 32, at Pier 14 in the “sanctuary city” of San Francisco. The details surrounding this case are a testament to the multi-layered bankruptcy of progressive ideology.

The Media vs. Trump’s Patriotic Appeal
Donald Trump may be the most politically incorrect candidate on the Republican side. He openly mocks the news media and addresses the problem of illegal immigration. But even more importantly, he attacks the trade policies that benefit our enemies and adversaries. By doing so, he challenges what radio talk show host Jeffrey T. Kuhner calls the bipartisan “ruling establishment,” whose dominance “is based on the complicity of the mainstream media.”


Top Headlines – 7/9/2015

France not backing away from plans to submit UN resolution on two-states

Hamas announces 2 new missile systems dedicated to commanders killed in Gaza war

Hamas Displays New Missiles at Gaza Rally

IDF officer: Hamas is deterred and unable to rebuild tunnels

One year on: IDF releases classified recordings from Gaza war

Hamas leader: Israel negotiating to get back soldiers’ bodies

Hamas: ‘We won’t return soldiers’ bodies until prisoners from Schalit deal released’

2 Israeli Citizens Held in Gaza

The Troubling Question in the French Jewish Community: Is It Time to Leave?

US mayors call on European counterparts to condemn anti-Semitism

Boycott Call: Lufthansa Omits Israel from ‘Free Baggage’ List

Knesset speaker to Zuckerberg: Keep incitement off Facebook

Father enlists 4 kids to unearth ‘treasure’ from Second Temple period protected by ‘demon’

Iran: We will not show flexibility regarding our red lines

Is Iran seeking to foment chaos in Jordan?

US House of Representatives passes US-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act

Tehran’s anti-Israel Quds day falls on date of new Iran deadline

Iran ‘Shouts Hatred’ for Israel, Backs Palestinian Terror

‘Never threaten an Iranian’: nuclear talks get feisty

US team negotiating with Iran ‘insulted’ by accusations of politics

Obama Thinks Chances of Deal with Iran Are ‘Less Than 50-50’

Expecting an Iran deal, White House and Congress prepare to do battle

Saudi Arabia Casts Wary Eye on Iran Deal

Syria ratifies billion dollar credit line from Iran

Suspected US drone kills Islamic State figure in Syria – monitor

Syria’s neighbors now host four million of its refugees, U.N. says

‘Only about 50 Jews left in Syria’s main cities’

ISIS Crucifies Dozens for Breaking Ramadan Fast

24 suspected Islamic State militants sentenced to death for Tikrit massacre

FBI chief: Radicalization of Americans by ISIS is a top concern for the agency

FBI chief warns encryption makes Islamic State attacks more likely

US Army Warns of Defeat With New Cutbacks

Yemen critically short of food, fuel imports as war cuts supply lines

At least 18 killed in Algerian ethnic clashes

Tunisia ramps up security in face of further terror attacks

Seoul: North Korean Leader Has So Far Executed 70 Officials

Obama, Vietnam leader discuss South China Sea in landmark meeting

Russia may ban Soros charity in NGO crackdown

Pope wraps Ecuador leg of South America trip after calling for new ecological, economic order

U.S, UK, China economies weakening further, OECD says

Fear China’s stock-market earthquake

China stocks hammered as market crash continues

Stock bubble in China is bursting: Stephen Roach

Over 20% of listed China stocks now in trading halt

China Bans Stock Sales by Major Shareholders for Six Months

China’s retail investors give up hope as exodus intensifies

If China loses control, look out oil: Dan Yergin

China stock market surges in volatile session

The really worrying financial crisis is happening in China, not Greece

The Fed is Worried About Greece and China Even if the White House Isn’t

Greek banks will not open this week: State TV

Greece seeks new EU loan deal in race to avert collapse

Greece Submits New Loan Request as Tsipras Takes Defiant Stance

Merkel faces party revolt over aid for Athens

Flood of Londoners take to boats to escape rising housing costs

Glitch halts trading on NYSE; other exchanges unaffected

NY Stock Exchange trading resumes after 3-hour outage

Dow ends down 261 as NYSE shutdown stuns markets

Apple investors see $69B vanish

White House says no indication of malicious actors in NYSE problems

Report: Software update may have triggered NYSE trading halt

Technical glitch disrupts United flights nationwide

Wall Street Journal hit with tech woes too

NYSE, United, WSJ.com outages expose digital vulnerabilities

Cybersecurity Stocks Surged on the Back of the Big NYSE Trading Halt

China’s new cybersecurity law sparks censorship concerns

Researchers: Computers May One Day Perceive Reality Just Like Humans

Wisconsin State Capitol Building Briefly Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

House moves to ban Confederate flag in federal cemeteries

South Carolina House approves removal of Confederate flag

Illegal Immigrants Accounted for Nearly 37 Percent of Federal Sentences in FY 2014

Starnes: Illegal Accused of Killing 18-Year-Old, Burning 3-Year-Old Alive

Mysterious streaking light seen on Mexican volcano webcam

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 17,000ft

Volcano ash grounds Bali flights

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

Millions of acres burn as Alaska sweats one very hot summer

Rare parasite threat grows with third Minnesota case

Study: New Strain Of Polio-Like Virus Leading To Paralysis In Children

People are now getting themselves branded because tattoos weren’t permanent enough

Wheaton College May Have to ‘Outsource Sin’

First Tampon For Transgender Women To Hit Shelves Next Month

Gay Teacher Promotes Homosexuality to Little 3rd Graders, Says He Didn’t Care What Parents Thought

Hillsong New York pastor Carl Lentz: ‘We have a lot of gay men and women in our church and I pray we always do’

The Only Priesthood That Is Recognized By Almighty GOD!

T.B. Joshua organization to be prosecuted for criminal negligence over building collapse

Christian Colleges Falling Deeper into Apostasy As They Cave in to Supreme Court Ruling

Will Thor join the Army? US Armed Forces Pressured to Accept ‘Heathen’ as Valid Religion


Daily Digest

July 9, 2015   

THE FOUNDATION

“No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” —James Madison, Federalist No. 47, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Political Winds Shift Against Obama’s Immigration Policies

The death of Kathryn Steinle has galvanized the political opposition to Barack Obama’s non-enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. Congressional Republicans are heavily criticizing the Obama administration’s tolerance of sanctuary cities that protect illegal aliens from deportation. In going after these “safe” havens, GOP lawmakers are going after the culture in the upper levels of the administration. In March, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldana was asked in congressional testimony if she would support a law requiring local governments to cooperate with ICE. “Thank you — amen,” was her reply. But she must have received a call from the White House, because the next day ICE released a statement “clarifying” her remarks to say she supported sanctuary cities.

Meanwhile, in the suit against the federal government over Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Judge Andrew Hanen ordered Obama’s bureaucrats to court Aug. 19. He wrote, “Each individual Defendant must attend and be prepared to show why he or she should not be held in contempt of Court. … The Government has conceded that it has directly violated this Court’s Order in its May 7, 2015 Advisory, yet, as of today, two months have passed since the Advisory and it has not remediated its own violative behavior.” Say, here’s a novel idea: What if there were sanctuary cities from the federal government?

Hillary: Check Your Subpoena Folder

In her first interview on national television news since she announced her candidacy, Hillary Clinton told CNN Tuesday, “I think it’s kind of fun” that she’s releasing 50,000 pages of her emails. When interviewer Brianna Keilar pressed Clinton about Congress’ subpoena of her emails, Clinton responded by attacking the reporter and catching herself before she gave us a really juicy quote: “You’re starting with so many assumptions that are — I’ve never had a subpoena. There is no — Again, let’s take a deep breath here. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation” There are two lies right there. In response to the interview, Benghazi Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy wrote, “[S]he was personally subpoenaed the moment the Benghazi Committee became aware of her exclusive use of personal email and a server, and that the State department was not the custodian of her official record. For more than two years, Clinton never availed herself of the opportunity, even in response to a direct congressional inquiry, to inform the public of her unusual email arrangement designed to evade public transparency.” Either Clinton doesn’t care when she’s caught in a lie, or her web of lies have become so complex that she can’t keep her story straight anymore.

Racist Republicans Hate Children

“GOP has knives out for school lunch rules,” headlines The Hill. “First lady Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch regulations are … a pillar of the first lady’s initiative to curb childhood obesity in the United States,” The Hill informs us. And who could be against healthy kids? Or the first lady? Evil Republicans, that’s who. Never mind that top-down regulation virtually never works, or that kids universally hate the new lunches to the point that schools are dropping them and/or demanding changes. The bottom line is that the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) expires on Sept. 30, and Republicans are holding hearings to determine if it’s worth more than the $3 billion already spent to dump unwanted food in the trash. In 2014, Michelle lectured, “The last thing that we can afford to do right now is play politics with our kids’ health.” But playing politics is the name of the game. The first lady — an honorary and not official position, by the way — can’t federalize school lunches and then insist it’s not political.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read A ‘Gay Parody’ of Marine Sacrifice, on how two pictures side by side speak a million words about “gay culture.”

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Welcome to Mr. Obama’s Neighborhood

By Allyne Caan

2015-07-09-fcdbda97_large.jpg

Having spent years perfecting the art of inciting race warfare, Barack Obama and his administration released new housing rules that will define, qualify and categorize every community across the country by race, with the aim of forcing every neighborhood to comply with government race quotas.

It sounds ominous because it is. But it’s hardly surprising from the narcissist who pledged to “fundamentally transform” America.

Under the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (AFFH), announced by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro this week, the federal government will amass and centralize nationwide public data on communities, including “patterns of integration and segregation, racially and ethically concentrated areas of poverty, disproportionate housing needs, and disparities in access to opportunity.” Big Brother doesn’t just want to look over your shoulder; he wants to move into your home.

HUD claims the rule will “equip communities that receive HUD funding with the data and tools that will help them to meet long-standing fair housing obligations.” In truth, however, AFFH is a stealth move to socially engineer every street in America and to force compliance with what Obama thinks communities should look like — namely, more “affordable” housing in affluent neighborhoods.

But as political analyst Marc Thiessen noted, “[W]e believe in diversifying communities, too, as conservatives. The way you do that is through economic opportunity. … It’s not by building more affordable housing in the affluent communities. It’s by helping more Americans afford housing in affluent communities. And right now the problem is that people at the bottom of the Obama economy can’t get ahead.”

Still, Washington wants to take over local zoning authority to impose racial quotas on communities. And as Ethics and Public Policy Center Senior Fellow Stanley Kurtz warns, “Once HUD gets its hooks into a municipality, no policy area is safe. Zoning, transportation, education, all of it risks slipping into the control of the federal government and the new, unelected regional bodies the feds will empower.”

Nevertheless, Liberty aside, The Washington Post’s Emily Badger heralded the new rules as a way to “repair the [Fair Housing Act’s] unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore.” Funny she mentions those particular cities. While she points to Chicago’s “decades” of segregation as evidence that AFFH is needed, Badger fails to note those same decades were spent under solely Democrat leadership. Similarly, Baltimore has been led by the Left since Lyndon Johnson was president. Coincidence? We think not.

Also not coincidental is the way the government and media have remained largely mum on what the administration’s real plan is. Kurtz notes, “Obama has downplayed his policy goals in this area and delayed the finalization of AFFH for years, because he understands how politically explosive this rule is. Once the true implications of AFFH are understood, Americans will rebel.”

And rebel they should. As if Washington putting on a lab coat and stethoscope weren’t bad enough, now Obama wants to become zoning authority, landlord, realtor and public transportation chief combined. He’s is leaving no racist rock unturned in his quest to undermine Liberty.

Making matters worse, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Texas Fair Housing case — in which a liberal majority said groups claiming housing discrimination no longer need to prove their case on the merits but only to claim “intent” to discriminate — means the real implications of AFFH will be a racially charged free-for all, with no gray areas and everything defined in black and white (pun intended).

Forget Martin Luther King’s noble notion of judging people by the content of their character. Obama wants to judge entire neighborhoods by the speciously calculated color of their skin. This is not the way of Liberty or of opportunity; it’s another giant leap down the road to statism, and it has no place in a nation that promises equal opportunity, not equal results, for all.

2015-07-08-f09a0a59_large.jpg

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “Barbarians at the gate usually don’t bring down once-successful civilizations. Nor does climate change. Even mass epidemics like the plague that decimated sixth-century Byzantium do not necessarily destroy a culture. Far more dangerous are institutionalized corruption, a lack of transparency and creeping neglect of existing laws. … Mexico is a much naturally richer country than Greece. It is blessed with oil, precious minerals, fertile soils, long coastlines and warm weather. Hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens should not be voting with their feet to reject their homeland for the U.S. But Mexico also continues to be a mess because police expect bribes, property rights are iffy, and government works only for those who pay kickbacks. The result is that only north, not south, of the U.S.-Mexico border can people expect upward mobility, clean water, adequate public safety and reliable power. In much of the Middle East and Africa, tribalism and bribery, not meritocracy, determine who gets hired and fired, wins or loses a contract, or receives or goes without public services. Americans, too, should worry about these age-old symptoms of internal decay. … Ultimately, no nation can continue to thrive if its government refuses to enforce its own laws.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” —Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Politically correct national security: “Here in the United States we have seen all kinds of homegrown terrorism, and tragically, recent history reminds us how even a single individual motivated by a hateful ideology with access to dangerous weapons can inflict horrendous harm on Americans. So our efforts to counter violent extremism must not target any one community because of their faith or background.” —Barack Obama on the Islamic State (So he’ll just target Christians who oppose same-sex marriage.)

Braying Jenny: “When people diss the government, we’re really dissing ourselves and dissing our democracy.” —Hillary Clinton

The BIG Lie: “I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system. And now I think it’s kind of fun. People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about, and what I was communicating about.” —Hillary Clinton

Race bait: “As a nation — I don’t think as a president — but as a nation, we have got to apologize for slavery.” —Bernie Sanders

And last… “A Mexican national shot a 32-year-old woman in San Francisco. It’s a gun free zone and a sanctuary city. I know — let’s focus on banning the Mexican flag.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


10 Very Strange Things That Have Happened In Just The Past Few Weeks

10 SignHave you noticed that events have begun to accelerate?  Over the past few weeks, things have officially started to get very weird.  Chinese stocks are crashing, the Greek debt crisis is spiraling out of control, the New York Stock Exchange was down for about four hours on Wednesday thanks to a “technical glitch”, and global politicians have been acting very strangely.  After several years of relative calm, could it be possible that the second half of 2015 will usher in a time of chaos and confusion on a worldwide scale?  Personally, I have never been more concerned about a period of time as I am about the last six months of 2015.  And if I am right, what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.  The following are 10 very strange things that have happened in just the past few weeks… (Read More…)


What In The World Just Happened To The New York Stock Exchange?

New York Stock Exchange - Public DomainDo you believe that the New York Stock Exchange shut down because of a “technical glitch” on Wednesday?  At 11:32 AM on Wednesday morning, trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted due to “internal technical issues”, and it did not resume until 3:10 PM.  Officials insist that there is no evidence that a cyberattack caused the technical problems even though hactivists had hinted that something may happen the night before.  Adding to the suspicion is the fact that United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal also experienced very serious “technical glitches” on Wednesday.  Others found it very curious that trading on the NYSE was halted just after Chinese stocks had absolutely plummeted the night before.  In fact, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index experienced the largest one day decline that we have witnessed since November 2008.  So is there more going on here than meets the eye? (Read More….)


Financial Times: Chinese indices are removed from reality

PRC cc

You want to know why Chinese stocks bounced today? The Chinese government outlawed the selling of stocks for many people and just stopped trading for over half of listings.

That my friends is crony craziness on a massive scale. A Chinese scale.

Read More


IDF Readies Iran Strike Team Should Nuclear Talks Fail

A self-imposed deadline has come and gone without a nuclear deal, but Israel is not waiting around to see how the US and five other countries secure the world from the threat of Iran. Instead, Walla! reported, the Israel Defense Force has appointed a special team to plan for a potential strike at the Islamic Republic’s nuclear targets if needed.

View Article


Map Reveals Vast Network of ‘Sanctuaries’ for Dangerous Illegal Aliens

Days after Mexican illegal alien Francisco Sanchez confessed to murdering Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, the Center for Immigration studies published a highly-detailed map revealing the counties, cities, and even entire states where officials defy U.S. immigration law.

View Map


Iran President Hassan Rouhani Announces Support For Palestinians To ‘Seize The Land’ From Israel

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the entire country to “shout its hatred for the Zionists” and back Palestinian efforts to seize territory from Israel, according to comments made Wednesday in celebration of Quds Day, which marks the last Friday in Ramadan and has historically been used to tout Palestinian violence against the Jewish state.

“Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.” Psalms 129:5 (KJV)

As Iranian and Western negotiators in Vienna meet around the clock in a bid to strike a final nuclear accord, the Iranian president expressed his support for the Palestinian cause and urged the Islamic Republic to unite in its hatred of Israel.

iranian-president-hassan-rouhani-quds-day-says-palestinians-should-take-israel-from-jews

“People will tell the world on the Quds Day that the Muslim nations will never forget Palestine and occupation of this territory,” Rouhani was quoted as saying on state-run television by the Fars News Agency.

Rouhani went on to state “that the Iranian nation will shout its hatred for the Zionists on the Quds Day,” according to Fars’ report.

“The Islamic Ummah will actually shout the call of unity on the Quds Day,” the leader added. Iran’s Foreign Ministry—the head of which is currently in Vienna leading efforts to strike a nuclear deal—also released a statement explaining the need to confront “the Zionists.”

“Reaching this goal” of retaking Jerusalem from the Israelis “needs confronting the Zionist regime’s aggression and expansionism and empowerment of Palestinians to resist against such measures, since resistance is the only way to restore their rights and free the Palestinian territories and the Holy Quds,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

“Based on the guidelines of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that peace and tranquility will not be established in the Middle-East region but by full restoration of the oppressed Palestinian people’s rights, and the Palestinian nation will continue its legitimate and legal fight to restore its rights,” the statement added.

In related remarks, the General Staff of the Iran’s Armed Forces vowed to continue backing terror organizations and remain aggressive in fighting Israel. “The Iranian nation will remain in the frontline of support for the Islamic resistance and freedom of Quds [also known as Jerusalem],” the official was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official who briefed reporters in Vienna on Tuesday indicated that the talks could end in a stalemate.

“Quite frankly, I’m astonished by the speculation in the press about the likelihood of getting to an agreement soon,” the official told reporters. “I just put that down to the fact that you all would like to go home.”

Differences still remain on several key issues, including the extent of Iran’s future nuclear work and the timing of sanctions relief. If decisions on these issues are made in the coming days, “we’ll get a deal. If they’re not, obviously we won’t,” the official said. source


Happy Ramadan 2015 From The Religion Of Peace

Thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims are killed each year during the month-long holiday of Ramadan

“Mohammed is Allah’s apostle.  Those who follow him are harsh to the unbelievers but merciful to one another”  Quran 48:29

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44,45 (KJV)

We are officially 21 days into the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, so let’s take a look at the numbers for the “missionary work” of the Religion Of Peace. To date, there have been 214 terror attacks and 43 suicide bombings by Muslims in the name of Allah which have resulted in 2,089 dead bodies with 2,615 wounded. Number of similar attacks in the name of any other religion are zero, and the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes is also at zero.

religion-of-peace-ramadan-kareem-isis-islam-muslim-terror-attacks-2015

Just to put it in perspective, more people are killed each year by Muslims than is all of the 350 years of the Roman Catholic Spanish Inquisition combined. Islamic terror attacks murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 70 years. More civilians were killed on 9/11 by Muslims in two hours than in all the 36 years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Muslims kill more people every day than were killed in the entire Salem Witch Trials. Please visit religionofpeace.com for more fascinating facts and figures.

Devout Muslims claim that the Qu’ran is a holy book and on an equal footing with the Bible, but is that actually so? Take a close look at the verses at the top of this article, and you will see an immediate difference between the two books. And speaking of inspiration, here is an interesting nugget to chew on. During the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, Allah commands all Muslims around the world to fast from sun up to sun down. But what Allah did not know is that the Earth is round, and that this time of the year in Alaska the sun does not set. So any Muslim attempting to fulfill Ramadan in that part of the world would starve to death. In Barrow, the state’s northernmost community, the sun does not set for more than two and a half months—from May 10 until August 2. Lol, guess that explains why there are so few Muslims in Alaska! So much for the accuracy of the “holy” Qu’ran.

During the month of June 2015, there were 262 jihad attacks in 29 countries, 48 of which were preceded by the shouts of “Allahu Ackbar!” and resulted in 2,426 dead bodies and 2,582 critically injured. Does that sound crazy high to you? Nope, just a typical month for the Religion of Peace as they “preach” on the streets. Barack Obama said just this week that “We’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam,”. He also said that the only way to defeat ISIS is  by having “better ideas” than they do, and not through the use of force.

We may not be at war with Islam, but they certainly are at war with everybody else. Happy Ramadan!


Jade Helm 15, heavily scrutinized military exercise, to open without media access

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 07:07 AM PDT

Jade Helm 15, the controversial Special Operations exercise that spawned a wave of conspiracy theories about a government takeover, will open next week without any media allowed to observe it, a military spokesman said. Embedded reporters won’t be permitted at any point during the exercise, in which military officials say that secretive Special Operations troops will maneuver through private and publicly owned land in several southern states. Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a spokesman for Army Special Operations Command, said his organization is considering allowing a small number of journalists to view selected portions of the exercise later this summer, but nothing is finalized.

“All requests from the media for interviews and coverage of U.S. Army Special Operations Command personnel, organizations and events are assessed for feasibility and granted when and where possible,” Lastoria said in a statement released Wednesday to The Washington Post. “We are dedicated to communicating with the public, while balancing that against the application of operations security and other factors.” The exercise is scheduled for July 15 through September 15 and is expected to include more than 1,200 troops. Army Special Operations Command announced the exercise in March, saying its size and scope would set it apart from most training exercises. For months, some protesters have said Jade Helm is setting the stage for future martial law. Those fears have been mocked by comedians such as Jon Stewart and others, and the U.S. military has tried to reassure people about the exercise. FULL REPORT

The post Jade Helm 15, heavily scrutinized military exercise, to open without media access appeared first on .

Detroit Has Fewest Cops Patrolling Streets In 100 Years

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 07:02 AM PDT

The Detroit Police Department is suffering from its worst manpower shortage in nearly a century. There are currently fewer officers patrolling the city than at any time since the 1920s. At one point, the Detroit police force was over 5,000. Today, the force is just 1,590 officers strong — and not all of those are on the street.
The city has lost nearly half its patrol officers since 2000 and ranks have shrunk by 37 percent in the past three years alone, according to the Detroit News.

It’s so bad that precincts are reportedly left with only one squad car at times. “This is a crisis, and the dam is going to break,” Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, told the newspaper. “It’s a Catch-22: I know the city is broke, but we’re not going to be able to build up a tax base of residents and businesses until we can provide a safe environment for them.” FULL REPORT

The post Detroit Has Fewest Cops Patrolling Streets In 100 Years appeared first on .

Federal judge orders cancellation of Washington Redskins trademark

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 06:55 AM PDT

A federal judge in Virginia has ordered the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to cancel six of the Washington Redskins’ registered trademarks because their depiction of an Indian brave is considered offensive to Native Americans. “The evidence before the Court supports the legal conclusion that between 1967 [when the first Redskins’ trademark was registered] and 1990, the Redskins Marks consisted of matter that ‘may disparage’ a substantial composite of Native Americans,” U.S. District Judge Gerald Lee wrote in his July 8 ruling in Pro-Football Inc. v. Blackhorse.

In his 70-page decision, Lee rejected the Redskins’ argument that the trademark cancellation was an infringement of the teams’ First and Fifth Amendment rights. “The federal trademark registration program is government speech and is therefore exempt from First Amendment scrutiny,” he ruled, adding that “a trademark registration is not considered property under the Fifth Amendment.” The order does not prevent the pro football team from continuing to use the logo. However, the loss of federal trademark protection could jeopardize some of its commercial and licensing activities. FULL REPORT

The post Federal judge orders cancellation of Washington Redskins trademark appeared first on .

New MTV Show Publicly Shames White People For ‘What They’ve Done in America’

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 06:51 AM PDT

MTV will air a show later this month entitled White People which shows young white Americans crying on camera over their “white privilege” and publicly shaming them for “what they’ve done in America”. No, this is not a joke. The documentary is hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, an illegal immigrant and amnesty activist who has worked for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post. The trailer for the show, which has been widely criticized by YouTube respondents, features white people expressing angst about how they are desperate not to appear “racist” or “offend people.”

According to Kimberly Ricci, the documentary forces the participants “to internalize what they’ve done in America” – in other words, this a huge exercise in white guilt tripping for public consumption. An MTV write up of the show also explains how Vargas talks to young Native Americans who feel that European settlers did not ‘save the country’. “They are the ones who invaded. They are the ones who took,” says Vargas. In the interests of balance, when will Vargas be fronting a show called Black People that collectively blames all black people for black crime statistics, including the fact that black people in America commit over half of homicides despite making up only 13 per cent of the population? FULL REPORTThe post New MTV Show Publicly Shames White People For ‘What They’ve Done in America’ appeared first on .

Easier terms for Greece could open a can of worms in Europe

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 06:34 AM PDT

Eurozone governments taking a tough line on Greece’s demand for debt relief and easier bailout terms fear opening a can of worms. Ceding too much ground to Athens could ignite a broader political crisis by infuriating people in other bailed-out countries in the currency bloc which, unlike Greece, have obediently complied with the demands of creditors and largely restored their financial health through painful – and politically costly – austerity measures.

Governments in Spain, Portugal and Ireland, which all face elections within the next nine months, fear losing power to parties that, like Greece’s radical left Syriza, are calling for an end to budget cuts and easier terms on debt. FULL REPORT

The post Easier terms for Greece could open a can of worms in Europe appeared first on .

House moves to ban Confederate flag in federal cemeteries

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 06:27 AM PDT

The House has voted to ban the display of Confederate flags at historic federal cemeteries in the deep South. The low-profile move came late Tuesday after a brief debate on a measure funding the National Park Service, which maintains 14 national cemeteries, most of which contain graves of Civil War soldiers.

The proposal by California Democrat Jared Huffman would block the Park Service from allowing private groups from decorating the graves of southern soldiers with Confederate flags in states that commemorate Confederate Memorial Day. The cemeteries affected are the Andersonville and Vicksburg cemeteries in Georgia and Mississippi. Pressure has mounted to ban display of the flag on state and federal property in the wake of last month’s tragic murders at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. FULL REPORT

The post House moves to ban Confederate flag in federal cemeteries appeared first on .

Council begins process of removing Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains, Deemed Offensive

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 06:21 AM PDT

On Tuesday evening the Memphis City Council unanimously passed a resolution to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains from under his statue in the Health Sciences Park on Union Avenue. However, there is still a long road ahead before the remains would be moved to a new location. According to the city council’s attorney, Chancery Court would also have to sign off on the removal of the remains and the family of Forrest would be involved in the decision as well.

The removal of the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest is a separate issue. The removal of the statue has been proposed as an ordinance before the council which will have to be read before the council three times before it can be approved. From there it will be presented to the Tennessee Historic Commission but there is no timeline for when they will make a decision. The next time the commission is scheduled to meet is in October. On Tuesday officials with Elmwood Cemetery said they would be willing to help with the moving of Forrest’s and his wife’s remains to the cemetery in Memphis but said they did not want to become the new home of the statue. FULL REPORT

The post Council begins process of removing Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains, Deemed Offensive appeared first on .

The really worrying financial crisis is happening in China, not Greece

Posted: 08 Jul 2015 06:50 PM PDT

While all Western eyes remain firmly focused on Greece, a potentially much more significant financial crisis is developing on the other side of world. In some quarters, it’s already being called China’s 1929 – the year of the most infamous stock market crash in history and the start of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression. In any normal summer, a 30pc fall in the Chinese stock market – a loss of value roughly equivalent to the UK’s entire economic output last year –

after an ascent which had seen share prices more than double within the space of a year would have been front page news across the globe. The dramatic series of government interventions to stem the panic – hitherto unsuccessful, it should be added – would similarly have been up there at the top of the news agenda. Yet the pantomime of the Greek debt talks, together with the tragi-comedy of will they, won’t they leave the euro, has relegated the story to little more than a footnote – even though 940 companies, more than a third, have now suspended trading on China’s two main indices. FULL REPORT

The post The really worrying financial crisis is happening in China, not Greece appeared first on .

Hollywood Is Already Fast at Work on a Movie About the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling

Posted: 08 Jul 2015 11:24 AM PDT

Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the contentious Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, Variety is reporting that there’s a feature film in the works about Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case. The movie is being developed by Fox 2000 Pictures, with the company purchasing the rights to Obergefell’s story as well as the life story of his attorney Al Gerhardstein.

The company also purchased the rights to a book proposal by Obergefell titled, “21 Years to Midnight,” the outlet reported. Producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are being brought in to work on the film, with their past credits including “Twilight” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” among other well-known films. FULL REPORT

The post Hollywood Is Already Fast at Work on a Movie About the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling appeared first on .

Oregon Plan To Tax By The Mile Means Tracking And Storing Your Car’s Every Move

Posted: 08 Jul 2015 11:19 AM PDT

David Hastings is a rare American. This long-time hybrid car owner from Oregon wants to pay higher taxes for roads and bridges and says the current 30 cents per gallon state gas tax barely affects him. “I’ve been free-loading on the highways for 20 years driving electric cars or hybrid cars, getting at least 40 miles to the gallon. So I haven’t been paying my share,” Hastings said. Now, Hastings will pay more thanks to OReGO — the first pay-by-the-mile program in the U.S.

Oregon’s Department of Transportation has been working on it for 15 years as a way to eventually replace the gas tax, which has been flat due to an influx of high mileage vehicles and people driving less. Right now the program is voluntary and being capped at 5,000 participants, but an ODOT official told Fox News the ultimate goal is to make it mandatory and change the way states pay for roads — forever. FULL REPORT

The post Oregon Plan To Tax By The Mile Means Tracking And Storing Your Car’s Every Move appeared first on .

Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, July 9, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Scientists Introduce Worlds’ Smallest Bible

World Cup Winner Tobin Heath Thanks God

Baylor University Drops Ban on Homosexual Acts

Kansas Governor Protects Pastors from Lawsuits over Gay Weddings

TIME Columnist Suggests Ending Tax Exempt Status for Churches

YouTube Reinstates Ray Comfort’s “Audacity” Trailer

Men and Women Open Up about Spouses Who Left to Pursue Homosexual Relationships

Russell Wilson Says He is Practicing Abstinence with Girlfriend Ciara

Christians Launch ‘Sin-Free’ Facebook Alternative

Boko Haram Unleashes Bloodshed in Attacks in Nigeria’s Central, Northeastern States

Opinion

5 reasons Why Christians Should Stay in the Middle East

Bill Cosby and the Enemy Within

How to Talk to Teens and Young Adults about Gay Marriage

What You Probably Don’t Know about Obama’s Faith

The Greek Crisis: Who’s to Blame?


What is The Gospel?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

July 9, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

IMG_2454


“I Hate You” – Do You Actually Believe This, or Do You Just Keep Repeating It Because it Works?

It’s true that we preach repentance. Holiness. Obedience. That we must change when we come to Him. But to characterize that as “hate,” well that’s just an old-fashioned, damnable lie. It’s slander and you know it.

So do you actually believe it, or do you just keep repeating it because it works? 

Read more


Our Problem With Princes

The Westminster Confession of Faith tells us God governs even over the sins of men, ordering and governing them to his own holy end (See WCF 5.4). God is not in heaven wringing his hands over these disorderly justices. He turns their hearts whichever way he wills. We do not know the final destination of this chapter of history, but we know God is in control of it.

Read more


Court Upholds Law Society’s Decision Not To Accredit Trinity Western University

“Simply put, in balancing the interests of the applicants to freedom of religion and of the respondent’s members and future members to equal opportunity, in the course of the exercise of its statutory authority, the respondent arrived at a reasonable conclusion,” reads the decision.

Read More

Read an opinion response to this action.


David and Achish: The Minority Report (Part I)

I argue: that David was doing what he could to serve God in desperate circumstances.  And in doing so, he continues to act as a type of Christ.  In this story then, David is the king in exile with nowhere to lay his head.  He is an alien king, a stranger to his own land – one already inaugurated as king, but whose kingship is not yet fully consummated.  In this, he models the ministry of Christ, who also lived among us as an alien and exile, rejected by His own, and received by Gentiles.

Read more


Hope College and Belmont University to Offer Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

“Here at Hope College we are a family of Christians who hold diverse and often conflicting points of view,” Knapp wrote. “We understand that the new legal definition of marriage is an intensely heartfelt matter for many. We also recognize that not everyone will agree with decisions that have been made; that is to be expected.”

Read More


Gay Marriage: What the Church and God’s People Need to Do Now

We must not be cowed into silence in speaking about further societal consequences and about the future of religious liberty, two major issues embedded in this controversy.  But, again, we should not place our faith in any human political or legal structure as our ultimate protector or savior.  Jesus said that his kingdom was “not of this world”—neither is ours. The mission of the church continues.  The church cannot be either dismissed or destroyed.  It remains God’s vehicle of redemption, worked out through his people. That mission will endure until he returns.

Read More


Trusting Christ to Provide

He was showing them that He would supply what they needed for minister. Like the symbolic act of washing their feet in the Upper Room, the miraculous feeding of the multitude was a symbolic lesson for the disciples. Astonishingly, the lesson culminated, not in Jesus supplying the provisions to the disciples to minister to the multitude, but in his provision for the disciples themselves. Luke tells us, “They all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them” (9:17). Twelve baskets of leftovers! Jesus provided one basket for each of the disciples.

Read More


Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice

This particular brand of social justice advocacy assaults reason in a particularly frightening way — by outright denying it and utilizing fear-mongering to discourage dissent. There is no gray: only black and white. One must mimic the orthodoxy or be barred forcibly from the chapel and jeered at by the townspeople. To disagree with the millennial social justice orthodoxy is to make a pariah of oneself willingly. Adherence to the narrative is the single litmus test for collegiate (and beyond) social acceptance these days.

Read More


Demythologizing Adam: Case Unproven

If scientific plausibility should guide the expectations we bring to Scripture, then why would we be Christians? Why would we believe that the Son of God became a man? That he died and rose again after three days? That he ascended into heaven? These fundamental Christian beliefs contradict everything we know from mainstream science. If we can no longer believe Adam was historical, then why should we believe in the resurrection?…We’re told that we can’t affirm a historical Adam because it’s scientifically unbelievable, but why trust Paul on the resurrection when that, too, is scientifically unbelievable? Or, to flip the script, if we believe the resurrection, then a historical Adam is no biggie.

Read More


Baylor: The Winnowing Fan at Work

The what!? OK, for those of you not fully up on their biblical terminology, I refer of course to something found in the gospel accounts. In Matthew 3:1-12 we read about John the Baptist, how he is preparing the way for Jesus, and what he says of his work. As we read in verses 11-12:

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Here John says that a major work of Jesus will be one of separation and division. He will separate the wheat from the chaff. As we read the biblical account of Jesus we find this happening all the time. There will always be a separation of those who are truly his from those who are not his.

And as I have written so often now, in one sense the push for all things homosexual may be a blessing in disguise. This is doing a terrific job of making a clear separation in our ranks: those who remain true to the word of God and all that it teaches about human sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular versus those who are wilting under the pressure, succumbing to the world and its agenda, and effectively showing us what their true colours are.

So in that sense the homosexual juggernaut crushing everything in its path in the West may be performing a very helpful service here. We are rather quickly and decisively learning who are truly Christ’s and who are not. If we in effect call God a liar on these issues and tell him he and his Word are wrong on this, then that tells us pretty much all we need to know about such folks.

Those persons are tares or goats. They are not wheat or sheep. Something this basic is a great way to separate the men from the boys when it comes to biblical Christianity. So I am sort of grateful that this is now happening. It tells me rather simply and easily who is a real disciple of Christ and who is just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Examples of this are occurring every day. And it is not just with individual believers either. There are churches and entire denominations going down the path of pro-sodomy apostasy. Just the other day the Episcopalian Church in America approved of homosexual “marriage”.

And we also have parachurch groups and other Christian institutions now declaring their hand on these matters. Thus we have Bible colleges and seminaries which used to be strongholds of biblical orthodoxy now utterly collapsing and caving in when it comes to homosexuality.

Consider this very recent and very tragic case. Baylor University in Texas, the largest Baptist college in the world, has now decided that homosexual acts are just peachy. Yep, you heard me that right. As one report says:

Read more


What Happened to the Emerging Church?

http://credohouse.org/blog/what-happened-to-the-emerging-church


Is the Visible Church Surrendering on the Homosexual Issue?

Fresh off the SCOTUS ruling legalizing homosexual marriage, activists are pressing their advantage and seeking to silence anyone who disapproves of an act that the Bible clearly calls sinful.  Businesses are being threatened, and churches and Christian ministries are being warned that any public statements disapproving of homosexual marriage will be costly.  The battle for […]

Read more of this post


“The View” talks about Christian bakers in Oregon

I think it’s helpful to remember how the average person is processing the national debate over legal gay marriage and religious liberty. It is very clear that many people aren’t even aware of what exactly the dispute is about.

A recent discussion on “The View” is a case in point (see video above). The panel was discussing the Christian bakers in Oregon who were recently fined $135,000 for refusing to participate in a lesbian wedding. Read more of this post


Exposing Hollywood pedophiles

Director Amy Berg exposed the cover-up of pedophilia in the Catholic Church in her 2006 Oscar-nominated documentary, “Deliver Us from Evil.” On Friday night, July 3, New Yorkers can see her explosive new documentary on how pedophiles operate in Hollywood and cover up their crimes. Her film “An Open Secret” is being shown at the […]

Read more of this post


YouTube Reinstates Ray Comfort’s “Audacity” Trailer

Christian Headlines reports:

When the trailer for “Audacity,” Ray Comfort’s new movie on homosexuality, was removed from YouTube over the weekend, he suspected foul play.

“The trailer had been removed ‘as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content,'” said Comfort. “But since we found nothing in it that fit that description, we naturally concluded that YouTube didn’t like the content and yanked it.”

In attempting to get the trailer back online, however, Comfort did receive an explanation.

Read more


Baylor University Drops Ban on Homosexual Acts

Christian Headlines reports that so-called Christian university, Baylor, bows to political correctness:

Baylor University, the world’s largest Baptist college, has lifted its ban on “homosexual acts” in the school’s sexual conduct policy.

“These changes were made because we didn’t believe the language reflected Baylor’s caring community,” spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said in an email to the Houston Chronicle.

Students, alumni and others had appealed for years to the private Texas-based university to drop the ban on gay sex, according to the Houston Chron.

Under the new policy, which was approved by Baylor’s board in May, the university will be guided by “the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God.” Sex “is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity.”

Read more


Life In Post-Christian America

For the greater part of our history, a Judeo-Christian worldview has been predominant in the USA. About 100 years ago, the modernist controversy hit both church and society. In some early battles, the Biblical values of a created order and a fallen man won the day (the scopes trials, for example). In the end, however, these values slowly gave way to a completely modernist worldview which is materialistic and humanistic.

View Article


Dark Days

Hitler marginalized, vilified and then openly persecuted the Jews; a process that led directly to Auschwitz.

July 2015:

Christian business owners, lawyers, parents, judges, county clerks, organizations, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies and other individuals and groups now stand marginalized, openly vilified.

Persecution is coming.

View Article


Jimmy Carter on ‘Gay Marriage’: ‘I Think Jesus Would Encourage Any Love Affair’

“I believe Jesus would. I don’t have any verse in Scripture,” he told the Huffington Post on Tuesday. “I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else.”

View Article


I Told You Things Are Getting Crazier – David Limbaugh

The world is upside down, inside out, sideways, crazy, nutso. Bad is good; up is down. Left is right; right is wrong. Evil is good; insanity is sanity. Abnormal is normal. Circles are squares. Hot is cold. Luke warm is red hot — among Republicans, anyway. Common sense is uncommon. The world is otherworldly. Dissent is “hate.” Diversity means conformity. The good guys are the bad guys; virtue is vice; sophistry is intellectualism; jerks are celebrated; debauchery is glorified; the holy is debauched. Let me share some of these headlines, which speak for themselves — loudly and depressingly.

View Article


Pope Francis calls for new ecological, economic world order

With his usual emphasis on social justice, the Jesuit pope called for the goods of the world to be shared by everyone, not just “exploited by the rich.” According to a Fox News report:

Francis will visit the elderly and give a pep talk to local priests before flying to Bolivia, where the environment, ministering to the poor and the government’s tense relations with the Catholic Church are high on the agenda.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian known for anti-imperialist and socialist rhetoric, will greet Francis at the airport and join him for a speech to local officials and diplomats before the pontiff goes to the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. The stop in La Paz is being kept to four hours to spare the 78-year-old pope from the taxing 4,000-meter (13,120-foot) elevation.

Read more

Check out CRN’s research paper on Roman Catholicism


World’s Largest Baptist University Drops ‘Homosexual Acts’ From Sexual Misconduct Code

“You can’t continue to have a college that is seen as hateful, that is seen as discriminatory toward gay people, regardless of whether that college be Christian or otherwise,” said Shane Windmeyer, the executive director of Campus Pride, which promotes LGBT life at universities. Charisma News reports that the world’s largest Baptist university, Baylor, has […]

Read more of this post


Christian Colleges Falling Deeper into Apostasy As They Cave in to Supreme Court Ruling

Lighthouse Trails has been tracking Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries for many year now, documenting the steady decline into apostasy as the majority of them have now begun to embrace contemplative spirituality through their Spiritual Formation programs.


Video: Responding to Same-Sex Marriage

This is one of the best responses to same-sex marriage I have seen.  You can find the text of the video content here.

For more great resources, visit Stand to Reason.


Four Leadership Lessons from a King Who Finished Poorly

Unfortunately, we don’t have to look far to see failure in leadership. All leaders need to know what God wants them to do and not to do.

The books of 1 and 2 Kings share many lessons on life and leadership from Israel’s many kings – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Each king’s legacy is typically summarized in a statement describing if the king lived a life pleasing to the Lord or if he followed the way of other wicked kings. The portrayal of King Jehu’s story in 2 Kings 9-10 recently struck me. Here is a brief summary:

  • Jehu was chosen by God and anointed by Elisha to be king of Israel and destroy the wicked house of Ahab, which was filled with Baal worshippers, as the Lord had promised him earlier. Jehu had a divine calling by God to destroy the house of Ahab.
  • Jehu then made quick work of assassinating the current king of Israel, as commanded, but didn’t stop there — he also assassinated the king of Judah, something not commanded.
  • Then Jehu exterminated Baal worshippers from the land by gathering them all together in the house of Baal — and sending in men to slay them. He even ensured that worshippers of the Lord were spared. This was to fulfill his calling and the word God spoke against Ahab earlier in Kings. 2 Kings 10:28 summarizes this event: “Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.” (That’s good!)

Then something caught my attention. Verse 29 says,

But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin — that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.

Even though Jehu obeyed the Word of the Lord by successfully campaigning against one type of idol worshippers, he did not give up the idols that he himself treasured. Even so, the Lord both rewarded him for his good actions (2 Kings 10:30) and punished him for the bad (2 Kings 10:32).

Verse 31 provides a biting summary of the rest of Jehu’s life,

But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.

Like many kings mentioned in the Bible, Jehu is a mixed bag. I don’t want to leave a legacy like that. Here are a few leadership lessons we can glean from Jehu:

1. God wants your whole heart.

This is a continual theme in 1-2 Kings and in the whole Bible. God doesn’t want a share of your affections and love — he wants 100%. Just because we forsake one idol in the name of the Lord doesn’t mean we don’t have others to forsake. Our goal must not be to solely destroy idols but to replace idol worship with the worship of the One True God.

As we pursue him with greater fervency and intensity, God will expose idols by his grace and help us forsake them. As Calvin said, our hearts are “idol factories,” constantly churning out false gods to worship. We must constantly be on watch of worshipping something or someone other than God alone.

2. A divine calling doesn’t ensure a life pleasing to God.

Jehu had a divine calling and was given a very specific task — to eliminate Ahab’s house and destroy Baal worshippers. He did that, but he did not take care to walk in the law of the Lord as the kings of God’s people were commanded to do (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Jehu’s story, which started with a divine anointing and prophecy, teaches us that a great start doesn’t mean a good finish. We may feel a divine calling on our lives, but we need to continually submit ourselves to the Lord and his Word with all of our hearts.

3. God rewards justly.

God rewarded Jehu for the good things he had done and punished him for others. For those who are in Christ, we know that Jesus took our sins upon himself and that we will not be punished eternally for them. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have consequences for our actions here on this earth. Our sin might affect us, those close to us, or possibly an entire nation, like we so often see evidenced in the kings of Israel. At the Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), God will reward believers according to their works. Our eternal rewards should push us to live lives that honor God in every detail.

4. Success can make us complacent.

After we succeed, we can become overconfident and think our jobs are done. Jehu took care of part of his assignment from God by destroying Baal worshippers — but he didn’t take care to walk in God’s ways or forsake his own idolatry. Success can lead to pride and complacency if we are not careful. Jehu should have humbly thanked God for his help and rededicated himself to his service. When we succeed, let us take heed that we don’t fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).

I have noticed in my own heart that after God uses me, I am susceptible to coast spiritually and pat myself on the back, not continuing to seek the Lord like I should. Just because he did use me doesn’t mean I’m done needing him!

Thankfully, the Old Testament provides good examples of kings, along with the bad ones. It also points us forward to the only King, Jesus Christ, who did walk perfectly in the law of the Lord with all of his heart — the One who will reign perfectly forever and ever.

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

RELATED POSTS:

 

The post Four Leadership Lessons from a King Who Finished Poorly appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


Supreme Court’s Re-definition of Marriage

Q: Hello Dr. Craig,

With the recent Supreme court decision regarding same sex marriage I reread some of your Q/A response regarding homosexuality. In a question regarding the connection between interracial marriage and same sex marriage you said “Once we start down that route, anything goes: a man and two women, a man and a child, two men and a goat, etc. I see no reason at all to start down that road.” with regards to same sex marriage. My question is does this statement constitute a slippery slope fallacy? My concern is that non believers would easily dismiss it.

Thank You,

R.C.

United States

Dr. Craig’s Answer: I’m going to use your question, R.C., an excuse for addressing the Supreme Court’s tragic and misguided decision to re-define marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

We need to understand clearly that that is exactly what the Supreme Court has done. By ruling that same-sex unions can count as marriage the Court has implicitly redefined what marriage is. Marriage is no longer taken to be essentially heterosexual, as traditionally conceived, but has been implicitly redefined so that men can be married to men and women to women.

The Court’s majority opinion, written by Anthony Kennedy, shows a clear consciousness of what the Court is doing. Referring to the traditional view, Kennedy writes, “Marriage, in their view, is by its nature a gender-differentiated union of man and woman. This view long has been held—and continues to be held—in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world” (my emphasis). It is this view which Court’s majority declares is now obsolete.

What is ironic about Kennedy’s opinion is that he eloquently extols marriage as foundational to American society and to civilization itself. He writes,

From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life. Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.

The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together.

One would think that this provides good reason for preserving the traditional concept of marriage, rather than radically redefining it! Instead, the Court throws caution to the wind and has decided to revise this fundamental cultural institution.

In the Court’s view, marriage should no longer be considered to have an essence or nature but is a mere social convention, indeed, whatever the Court declares it to be. The majority opinion justifies this move by pointing out how marriage has evolved: for example, marriage was once viewed as “an arrangement by the couple’s parents” but no longer is so today. Such examples, however, concern only contingent properties of marriage, not its nature or essence (indeed, arranged marriages are still common in parts of the world today). Such contingent changes provide no grounds for the fundamental, essential change wrought by the Court.

By redefining marriage the Court has handed homosexual activists what they have aimed and worked for: the deconstruction of marriage itself…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Supreme Court’s Re-definition of Marriage | Reasonable Faith


Former atheists speak: 44 Quotes

by James Bishop

Here follows a list of quotes I’ve collected and compiled from over the last two or so years (my digital quote library is bursting at its edges!). There is no particular form that these quotes take, rather each is from the unique story of each former atheist. Where possible, I’ve left links that readers can follow to find out more about each conversion testimony, or articles that they’ve authored. The others are predominantly from books that i’ve read.

Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, assistant professor of apologetics at Biola University, Christian case maker and author. He was once a vocal atheist.

  • “In the end, I came to the conclusion that the gospels were reliable eyewitness accounts that delivered accurate information about Jesus, including His crucifixion and Resurrection. But that created a problem for me. If Jesus really was who He said He was, then Jesus was God Himself. If Jesus truly did what the gospel eyewitnesses recorded, then Jesus is still God Himself. As someone who used to reject anything supernatural, I had to make a decision about my naturalistic presuppositions.

-Warner Wallace (Jesus Is Evidence That God Exists.’)

  • “If skeptics were willing to give the Gospels the same ‘benefit of the doubt’ they are willing to give other ancient documents, the Gospels would easily pass the test of authorship.”

-Warner Wallace (‘Cold Case Christianity.’)

Frank is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.

  • “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”

-Frank Tipler (‘The Physics Of Immortality.’)

Alister is theologian, scientist, and a priest. He has delivered various lectures and presentations on God, faith, and science.

  • “Atheism, I began to realize, rested on a less-than-satisfactory evidential basis. The arguments that had once seemed bold, decisive, and conclusive increasingly turned out to be circular, tentative, and uncertain.”

-Alister McGrath (Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond.’)

  • “Christianity offers a worldview that leads to the generation of moral values and ideals that are able to give moral meaning and dignity to our existence.”

-Alister McGrath (Christian Quotes: Alister McGrath.’)

Lee was once a self-described militant atheist who worked at the Chicago Tribune. He is now a widely known Christian author, journalist, apologist and pastor, as well as author of the book Case For Christ

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Former atheists speak: 44 Quotes | Historical Jesus studies


We Are Friends, Not Slaves

We Are Friends, Not SlavesIf you believe in, follow, and treasure Jesus Christ, he calls you his friend. Last time, we asked how we know if we are his friends. In this lab, John Piper reveals five one-sided ways Jesus befriends and loves us that we could never reciprocate.Watch Now


Contemplative Prayer or the Holy Spirit

By Ray Yungen Two authors from Great Britain portray a stunningly clear picture of New Age spirituality. They explain: [T]he keynote of it appears to be a movement for synthesis derived from an understanding of the underlying unity behind all things and the sense of oneness that this brings.


Preachers on Preaching

Here are ten reminders for those who preach and teach the Word of God, as articulated by some of history’s greatest preachers.


Protecting your church from SSM lawsuits

Part of stewardship is caring for what the Lord has entrusted to us. Elders and pastors have a stewardship to shepherd their people, and they also have a stewardship to protect their church’s property and resources (building, finances, etc.) from lawsuits.

When the same-sex marriage case was argued before the Supreme Court this year, the US Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, said that if the court rules for same-sex marriage (which they did) then tax-exempt status for churches “is going to be an issue.”

With that kind of clarity, churches really have no excuse for being unorganized.

[As a side note, I’m old enough to remember when the mantra of the gay-rights movement was “don’t like gay marriage? Don’t have one!” Ha. Those were the good old days].  

So what can churches do to protect themselves?  Well, it is interesting that in God’s providence the main way churches can protect themselves is by doing things that good ecclesiology suggests anyway. In other words, many of the things we can do to protect ourselves (codifying membership, having a clear statement of faith, having standards for elders, by practicing church discipline, etc.), also serve to make our churches more spiritually mature.

In order to appreciate these steps, you first have to understand the threat and how a lawsuit would likely play out. Most churches do weddings, and many churches allow outside groups to rent/use their building. Suppose a same-sex couple calls your church and asks if you could host her wedding. You decline. You are sued for discrimination (and if you don’t think this kind of thing happens, read this).

To win their case, the couple would likely have to demonstrate a few things: that your church is open to the public, that your church lets others use your facility, and that you refused their wedding because of their sex. Even in states with religious protection laws, there is serious liability for churches under these circumstances.

Here are some practical steps that every evangelical church should follow to protect themselves from such a scenario:

Read more


What Does God Say About Rage?

Rage is anger run amok. It rears up in domestic violence and in other horrible scenarios. Listen to the culture’s handling of anger and the biblical answers.


Gagging the FDA

The FDA believes it has the authority to tell you what you can eat. It is mistaken.

Imagine for a moment that you lived in a tyrannical nation.


Is Your Church a Worshiping Church? (Part 2)

As I write tomorrow’s daily devotion available on this site, it occurs to me that this devotion applies much to our church assessment question for today: Is your church a worshiping church?


07/09/15 Rituals of Religion and Futility of Prayer

READING: Isaiah 1-4

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: The prophet Isaiah ministered during the reigns of four kings of Judah, beginning with Uzziah (Isa. 1:1). It is the prophet’s words about worship that give me much pause today. God’s people were apparently faithful in their rituals before God, but faulty in their relationship with God. Listen to the condemnation expressed through the prophet:

Isa. 1:11-15 “What are all your sacrifices to Me?” asks the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle; I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires this from you—this trampling of My courts? Stop bringing useless offerings. Your incense is detestable to Me. New Moons and Sabbaths, and the calling of solemn assemblies—I cannot stand iniquity with a festival. I hate your New Moons and prescribed festivals. They have become a burden to Me; I am tired of putting up with them. When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.”

How much this text says to our churches today! Our people—beginning with me, I’m sure, at times—go through all the motions of worship. We establish our rituals and follow them as if they were written in a concrete worship bulletin. We give our offerings and celebrate our fellowships. What we do not do is deal with the sin in our lives. Like the Hebrews, we assume our worship rituals equal a strong relationship with God — and we fail to see that God “cannot stand iniquity with a festival.”

Our worship rituals without repentance become nothing more than trampling on the court of God; we might wear out the carpet of a worship center, but we give God no room to wear out our heart in contrition.

Then, we wonder why God does not respond to our prayers with our hands lifted high. The answer should be clear . . . .

PRAYER: I want to know that my individual worship and the corporate worship of my church are pure offerings before God. Pray our worship would be genuine and our prayers would consequently be heard.


10 Fine Lines of Church Leadership Tension

SPECIAL NOTE: Dr. Lawless has launched a site of his own at ChuckLawless.com with daily posts as well as a daily Bible reading devotion. He will continue to write weekly here at ThomRainer.com, but if you would like daily content from him, be sure to visit ChuckLawless.com.

By Chuck Lawless

Dr. Rainer recently wrote on “Nine Common Tensions Pastors Face.” Today, I add ten tensions to that list – tensions often separated by a fine line:

  1. Vision vs. ego. I want church leaders to long for God to use them to do something significant for His glory. I want them praying for God to mark history through them so the nations might know His name. There’s a fine line, though, between “God, use me mightily” and “God, make sure the press knows how much You’ve used me.”
  2. Full effort vs. self-dependence. Frankly, we don’t need any more lazy ministers of the gospel. We need leaders who give their absolute best – learning well, planning fully, working diligently, assessing honestly, taking their paycheck without shame. There’s a fine line, though, between giving full effort and depending on self rather than on God.
  3. Faith vs. recklessness. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). By faith, the heroes of Hebrews 11 did some phenomenal things – including dying for the sake of the gospel. There’s a fine line, though, between living by faith and making reckless choices that we claim as faith steps.
  4. God-centered pragmatism vs. man-centered pragmatism. It’s right to ask the questions, “Is God using our church to make disciples – and if not, why not? Might we need to change something to do God’s work more effectively?” There’s a fine line, though, between asking these questions and making changes that lose a Godward focus.
  5. Disciplemaking church vs. classroom. Few people would deny that several generations of church leaders have failed in discipleship. We’ve taught too little doctrine and expected too little accountability. There’s a fine line, though, between addressing this problem biblically and turning the church into a classroom where information transfer is assumed to be enough.
  6. Burden vs. discouragement. I long to see church leaders who are broken over their communities. We need leaders who grieve the unreached living in their ministry area and around the world – leaders who cannot help but weep over the lost. There’s a fine line, though, between bearing that Great Commission weight and getting discouraged and defeated if few people respond.
  7. Corporately evangelizing vs. not personally evangelizing. Here, I’m thinking primarily of preaching pastors. Gospel-centered preaching should always point to the cross and call hearers to respond in faith and repentance. There’s a fine line, though, between evangelizing through this means and granting oneself permission to ignore personal evangelism.
  8. Contextualization vs. compromise. Contextualization may be as simple as speaking the gospel in the language of the hearers or as complicated as understanding the worldview of an unreached people group – and is, in my opinion, a necessary task in sharing the gospel. There’s a fine line, though, between legitimate contextualization and compromise to reach more people.
  9. Building God’s kingdom vs. building our own kingdom. Building God’s kingdom includes reaching non-believers, equipping believers, and addressing social issues. “Success” might even bring legitimate opportunities for more godly influence in His kingdom. There’s a fine line, though, between using our gifts fully for God’s kingdom and thinking God’s kingdom needs us.
  10. Global focus vs. “Jerusalem neglect.” I am deeply grateful for churches that engage the nations, pray for unreached people groups, and send their own to the ends of the earth on short-term or long-term commitments. There’s a fine line, though, between prioritizing the nations and ignoring the local community (and vice-versa, for that matter).

Here’s the point: we need to live on the fine line that separates these tensions. For example, the enemy would not want us on the line of vision vs. ego; he would want us to have no vision at all or be arrogant about our vision. He would want us to be lazy or self-dependent, faithless or reckless, unconcerned or discouraged. We counter his calls to the extremes by living on the line – and trusting God to empower us and guard us there.

What other tensions come to mind for you?


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

The post 10 Fine Lines of Church Leadership Tension appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Forget the First Amendment

Adding tyranny to injustice, an Oregon official not only fined Christian bakers for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, he has ordered them not to speak about it.
Listen Now | Download


Is Your Church an Evangelizing Church?

During this blog post series, I am trying to help you assess your church by providing ten questions to evaluate your church’s approach to each of the purposes of the church: worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, prayer, and fellowship.


Featured Image

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Christians are often divided because we are by nature defensive. Too many divisions in the church — specifically in personal relationships — stem from insecurity and defensiveness in the face of accusation, whether real or imagined.


The Persecution You Don’t Know About

Christianity has grown significantly in Mexico over the last few decades, especially among Mexico’s indigenous population who suffer discrimination and oppression, and typically live as second class citizens.


A Self-Righteous Wife

I’ve been married for eleven years. Eleven years for some seems like forever and for others like just a beginning. In our short (or long?) years of married life, I have struggled off and on with a fear of not measuring up to the ideal wife. You know what wife I’m thinking of: the one who is “far more precious than jewels.”

Not a Measuring Stick

This woman apparently wakes up super early—it’s still dark outside, and she has already taken care of her children. She’s business savvy and also sews clothing. Who does both? Well, apparently she does. She is generous to the poor and caring. The woman is careful with her time; she will have nothing to do with idleness. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m writing about the Proverbs 31 woman. This beautiful character in Scripture is not intended to be a mandate or to pressure women. But how often have we gone to this list of virtues and despaired or lamented? She does good and not harm to her husband all his life? we think. Well, I’ve failed. I was sinfully angry just yesterday.

Even when I fell into the temptation to judge my husband and attempted to meet the perceived standards of those around me, God remained unswervingly committed to forgiving me.

My first year of marriage was a mixture of trying to be this perfect wife and trying to change my husband. I struggled greatly with self-righteousness. I wanted us to fit a certain mold. I had a fear of not measuring up to this ideal—you know, the “godly couple.” My fear mounted that we wouldn’t be good, godly examples, while I was also judging my husband almost relentlessly.

And I know I’m not alone in this temptation.

I’ve spoken to newly married girlfriends who have told me of their frustrations with their new spouse. There is generally some area in which these women wish their husbands would improve, and they are growing weary waiting. While their husbands may need to grow, it’s easy and common for the wives to struggle with being judgmental and self-righteous. We can look at our men, see sin, and be too quick and eager to point it out. Worse, we can look at them and not see the grace so evident in their lives and our own sinfulness.

I relate. That was me.

A Redwood-Sized Plank

I remember my wedding like it was yesterday. It was a cold yet beautiful December day. All of our decorations were red, white, and green to reflect the season. It was exactly what we hoped it would be and more.

After the honeymoon (which was all but magical), we returned to our home eager to start our new lives together as one. But soon the fairy tale ended, and real life began. It didn’t look quite like I had imagined. There were no glaring problems. No deep-rooted sin issues. Yet I was extremely aware of my husband’s shortcomings, and I wasn’t holding back on sharing my thoughts.

I was quick to point out sin and eager to share “observations” about how he could change or grow as a leader, all under the pretense of being his helper. I judged my husband harshly our first year of marriage. I thought I was right, and I played the role of his “holy spirit.” Like I said, I masked it as being his helper. Wrong!

But wasn’t I helping him by sharing my wisdom and insights into every single part of his life? I mean, surely he needed my help to become a godly man, right? Let’s just say that there was a plank in my eye the size of a California redwood, but all I could see was the speck in his (Matt. 7:3).

I was filled with self-righteousness and self-absorption.

Behind all this nagging was a desire to have it all together. Also, so much of my corrections stemmed from a desire to fill some perceived need of mine and had little to do with his sanctification. My desire was that he would change for me, not to please and glorify God. My observations were generally (though not always) selfish.

Learning to Enjoy

I’m so very thankful the Lord has given my husband and me more years to grow. Now, eleven years after our wedding day, I’m still learning how to lovingly help my husband, but even more, I am learning how to enjoy him. I’ve learned that God has designed us both for a purpose, and we do not need to live up to the standards we set for ourselves or the pressures we think we may experience from outside of us. I have grown in looking for areas of grace and for gifts. God has helped me use my tongue to encourage, build up, and praise my husband for how God has made him rather than to tear him down for how God didn’t make him.

And just as I’m not surprised by my sin, I’m equally unsurprised that God would help me grow in this area. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). He provides a way of escape for our sinful self-righteousness (1 Cor. 10:13). He promises to finish the good work He began in you and in me (Phil. 1:6). This is good news for us! God is faithful.

Amazingly, even when I fell into the temptation to judge my husband and attempted to meet the perceived standards of those around me, God remained unswervingly committed to forgiving me, because my sin—not in part but the whole—is covered in the blood of Jesus Christ. And, sister, so is yours.

Has fear of not measuring up ever caused you to judge others? How might God want to grow you in this area?

This post was excerpted from Trillia’s book Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “The Weight of Perfection in Marriage.”

Source


Why Objective Moral Truth Is Best Explained by the Existence of God (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #36)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace examines the nature and existence of objective, transcendent moral truths. If such truths truly exist, how can we account for them? Is there a naturalistic explanation for moral truth or is the best explanation the existence of an objective, transcendent moral law giver? Here is part 1 of this week’s broadcast:

Here is part 2 of this week’s broadcast:

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

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3637401/height/50/width/580/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/


Stop Calling Yourself a Christian

love like JesusI think all of us “Christians” should stop referring to ourselves as “Christians.”

Nor should we ask other people if they are a “Christian.”

I have two lines of reasoning for why we should stop saying we’re Christians.

1. They were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26)

When the term “Christian” was first invented, it was coined by an outside group of “pagans” who observed the way Jesus-followers behaved and recognized the similarity between what they were doing and what Jesus did. And so they called these Jesus followers “Christians.”

In other words, the first “Christians” did not take this title for themselves; it was given to them.

The term means “little Christ,” and while some scholars think that it was maybe intended to be a derogatory term (sort of like Yankee Doodle), I do not think so. I think the people of Antioch noticed how “Christ-like” the people were who claimed to follow Him, and so they started to referring to this Christ-like followers of Jesus as “Christians.” It was a way to identify them and talk about them.

they will know you are christians by your loveThe Christians of Antioch were not known for their hate, venom, judgmentalism, or religious pride, or even for their good theology, pious life, and vast Bible knowledge. Instead, They were knowing for looking and acting and behaving like Jesus Christ, and as a result, they were “called Christians” by those who were not Christians.

If the watching world started giving titles and nicknames to those who proclaim to follow Jesus today, what sort of titles do you think they would give us?

I am not sure I want to know … but I doubt it would be “Christian.”

But this leads me to the second line of reasoning for why we should stop calling ourselves “Christians.”

you keep calling yourself a Christian

2. They will know you are Christians by your love (John 13:35)

If you truly are a “Christian” you don’t have to tell people. They will know it. How? By your love.

Those who truly act like a “Christian” do not have to tell people they are a “Christian” because people already know it. They know it by your love.

I follow Jesus t-shirtI walked by two guys in the store the other day who were both wearing Christian t-shirts. One was saying to the other, “Yeah, they all hate me at work, but that’s okay, because I’m standing up for Christ.”

Now, I cannot say for sure, but I imagine that since I heard this about five days after the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, that this man’s idea of “standing up for Christ” consisted of telling his coworkers that LGBT people were headed for hell, were destroying our country, and were signs of the collapse of modern society and traditional marriage.

Some religious people think that “standing up for Christ” in today’s culture means telling others that God hates gays. Just check out some of the comments on my post from two days ago.

Look, I don’t know where you stand on the gay marriage issue. I don’t care.

What I do know, however, is that wherever you stand on gay marriage, the proper response to gay people is love. This is the proper (and only) response to ALL people, if we are followers of Jesus.

If you want to represent Jesus to people, don’t do it by hating or condemning them. (And don’t use the line about how you “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.”)

Anyway, back to the conversation I heard in the store, I wanted to tell this guy who was proud of his “stand for Christ” that just because people hate you for what you say doesn’t mean that you are standing for Christ.

In fact, in the Gospels, the only people who really hated Jesus were the religious people. Those who were condemned and judged by the religious people loved Jesus and hung out with Him and were accepted by Him.

So if the world hates you but religious people love you, you might not be following Jesus.

Also, if, like this guy in the store, you have to tell people you are a Christian by broadcasting it on your t-shirt, you’re doing it wrong.

If we want to tell people we are followers of Jesus, we do it by loving them. Just as He loves us. Unconditionally. That’s what Godly love is.

I am convinced that the person who loves others unconditionally but doesn’t claim to follow Jesus is closer to the Kingdom of God than those who claim to follow Jesus but doesn’t love others unconditionally.

love is of GodIf love is of God, and everybody who loves is born of God and knows God because God is love (1 John 4:7-8), then it only makes sense that love will be the prevailing characteristic of one who is born of God and know God!

It is not a person’s words that make him or her a Christian, or what they post on Facebook or wear on their t-shirts, or even how many Bible verses they can quote, or how often they attend church and Bible studies, or whether they can “take a stand for Christ.”

They will know we are Christians by our love, and if you have not love, they will never know you are a Christian, no matter how much you tell them you are.

Or maybe I should put it this way: If you have not love, you can never properly act like a Christian, no matter how much you tell people you are one.

The REAL Question We Should be Asking Ourselves (and others)

So the question we should be asking is not “Am I a Christian?” but rather, “Am I Christ-like?”

“Do my words sound like words Jesus might say?”

“Do my actions look like things Jesus might do?”

“Do I love unconditionally, forgive freely, serve sacrificially, and accept all?”

“Do I challenge the religious status-quo for setting up barriers to God and creating groups of us vs. them?”

“Do I break down the walls of religion by eating with the so-called ‘tax-collectors and sinners’?”

If so, then keep living in love and looking like Jesus, and maybe, just maybe, someone might call you a “Christian.”

The post Stop Calling Yourself a Christian appeared first on Redeeming God.


Charles Spurgeon Addresses Church Shoppers

Charles Spurgeon

I once read that if you really love books, you don’t just love the best sellers. Anyone can find something to love in a best seller. If you really love books, you can find something to love within a book you snagged at the dollar store. You love watching narratives unfold, characters develop, and ideas take shape so much that you can appreciate those things even within the most convoluted, clumsily articulated books.

What if we loved Jesus so much that we could recognize and appreciate his qualities in even the worst of his followers?

It doesn’t mean you should cringe your way through sermons or clench your teeth through worship or prayer to prove your love for Jesus.

It means you can find something to appreciate among the flaws: that’s what Jesus does every time he looks at us. Seek the pieces of truth and glimpses of glory, wherever you find yourself in the global body of Christ.

Seeing the cup as half full instead of half empty doesn’t make you delusional. You know the cup isn’t full. But you appreciate what’s there more than you criticize what’s not.

This doesn’t mean that we simply ignore the faults in our churches and fellow believers. On the contrary, the more we love who Jesus is, the harder it is to tolerate misrepresentations or distortions of his character.

But no matter where you look within a church, and no matter how many churches you visit, you’ll always find something that’s not quite right or that could be better.

You will never find the perfect church

Flawed individuals cannot form a flawless group of people.

When you have the freedom to choose between multiple churches, countless reasons arise to choose one over the other. Some differences are theological and some are superficial.

“This church has a better teaching pastor.”

“That church has better child care.”

“I don’t like the way [insert church name] handled [insert situation].”

These may be deeply personal reasons. They may be completely valid concerns. But if you can’t find a church that satisfies you, consider these words from Charles Spurgeon, The Prince of Preachers:

You that are members of the church have not found it perfect and I hope that you feel almost glad that you have not. If I had never joined a Church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all! And the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect Church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.

In his sermon, “The Best Donation (No. 2,334),” Spurgeon goes on to say,

. . .the Church is faulty, but that is no excuse for your not joining it, if you are the Lord’s. Nor need your own faults keep you back, for the Church is not an institution for perfect people, but a sanctuary for sinners saved by Grace, who, though they are saved, are still sinners and need all the help they can derive from the sympathy and guidance of their fellow Believers.

What if we loved Jesus
How do you respond to the imperfections in your church?

Source


The Daily Discovery (July 9, 2015)

Why Philippians is the Best Book in the Bible – “Do you struggle with anxiety and depression? Does it ever feel like joy is fleeting and impossible to maintain? Are you beaten down by your own desire for ‘things’, unable to find contentment? Do you wrestle with how to follow Christ’s example in the midst of trials and suffering? If so, Philippians is for you.”

Living with a Sense of Eternity – “It is commonplace today in Reformed theology to recognize that the Christian lives ‘between the times’—already we are in Christ, but a yet more glorious future awaits us in the final consummation. There is, therefore, a ‘not yet’ about our present Christian experience. John Calvin well understood this, and he never dissolved the tension between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’ But he also stressed the importance for the present of a life-focus on the future.”

The hypocrisy of “Judge Not” – “There are two common expressions I hear from people used to defend a belief or action. In fact, most of us have probably encountered it, if not used it at one point in our life. For instance, your sibling is cheating on her husband and you tell her it is a sin and she needs to repent. What is the common response? ‘Stop judging me.’”

What are our options in post-Obergefell America? – “David Gushee has a stimulating column at RNS arguing that ‘strident’ calls for civil disobedience in the wake of Obergefell are empty. Yes, federal policy now disfavors those who adhere to a traditional definition of marriage, but there really isn’t any relevant way for Christians to disobey the government—at least not where things stand now. Instead, he argues that Christians will have to face the crushing consequences of their views and that they have no appropriate way to ‘disobey’ in order to resist…”

I Pledge Allegiance to My Flag – “Another day, another flag story. Recently, a pastor in North Carolina raised a Christian flag high upon a pole outside of his church. Under that, the Stars and Stripes. The pastor is making a plea for religious freedom and is encouraging people to recognize of the primacy of obedience to God over national allegiance.”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – Arminianism Debunked


VIDEOS:

A word for 4th of July

Persecution Is It Coming, How Do We Prepare


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

Source


Right To Die

Could you tell me where you stand on the topic of “right to die?” And also what might be in the scriptures to support or deny this kind of choice someone could be facing in their terminal illness. Thank you and God bless you and all that you do in teaching others the Lord’s word.

continue reading


More On The Mark of the Beast

There are some well known bible teachers that say salvation is possible even after one has taken the mark of the beast. I believe that scripture teaches that once someone takes the mark, they have sworn allegiance to the antichrist and their end is eternal separation from God. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you

continue reading


When Do We Begin Counting?

If the 6000 year old creation theory is correct when do we begin counting? Do we begin with creation or when Adam left the garden?   Did Adam start counting his age when he was created or rather when he lost immortality.

continue reading


The Essentials of Salvation

The Essentials of Salvation

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

What is Salvation and what does it take to get it?

continue reading



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.

Bobby Jindal: policies of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the same as Greece

WINTERY KNIGHT

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Here’s an excellent editorial by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal in left-leaning Time magazine.

He writes:

It’s simple math to understand what is happening in Greece right now. When Greece joined the euro, it benefited from the financial support of its more fiscally responsible neighbors in the euro zone. Rather than taking the opportunity to enact the structural reforms that could have increased growth — reforms that it still has not undertaken — Greece instead went on a spending spree funded by other people’s money.

Greece has been cooking the books with complicated financial instruments for years. But the problems don’t stop there. Greece’s Rubik’s Cube tax code and rampant corruption make tax evasion widespread. Golden parachute public pensions that allow public sector workers to retire as early as 45 drain dollars out of the government coffers while incentivizing a still healthy and work-age workforce to live…

View original post 462 more words

GTY Blog: Our Mighty Fortress

Code: B150708

by Jeremiah Johnson

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.

Martin Luther wrote those stirring words during the height of the Reformation, as he and his friends faced fierce physical persecution—and even death—for their faith. For almost five hundred years, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” has been a rallying cry for the church, buoying heavy hearts in the midst of Satan’s attacks.

And while we don’t often encounter the same level of persecution Luther did, his words remain a powerful encouragement to this day. They’re a helpful reminder of the Lord’s sovereignty, especially in the face of institutionalized immorality and the aggressive perversion of God’s design.

We shouldn’t be surprised when a government full of unrepentant sinners institutes sinful laws and policies. We shouldn’t be shocked when immorality is celebrated and purity is ridiculed. And we shouldn’t be scared when the church is vilified as the enemy of progress, science, or society at large.

In fact, no persecution, in any form, should surprise us. Christ Himself warned His followers that they would face fierce opposition: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The apostle John echoed that warning in 1 John 3:13: “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”

In fact the surprise is not that Western society has turned against the church in America, but that it ever tolerated the influence of the church in the first place.

This is where we remind ourselves of the great comfort and freedom we know in serving a sovereign God. While the appetite for His Word and tolerance for His people may wax and wane in society, the light of His truth cannot be extinguished. He is still on His throne, and nothing that happens to us is outside of His plans or His control.

The true danger for the church, then, is not any external threat that the culture presents to us. They can mock us, fine us, outlaw us, and even kill us—God’s truth will march on.

Instead, the true danger facing the church is the internal threat that comes from loving and following the world. In terms of halting the progress of the gospel and tarnishing its testimony, persecution has nothing on compromise and corruption. For too long the church has sought to pacify, mimic, and attract the world, hewing as closely as possible to its interests, trends, and appetites, and inevitably ending in spiritual shipwreck.

But when those trends are overtly sinful and the appetites only for immorality, how does the seeker-friendly church manufacture and maintain its relevance? Sadly, it seems those who prize the cultural relevance of the church are content to continue their pattern of compromise.

Twenty years ago, in his commentary on the book of Titus, John MacArthur described how the church was giving in to the corrupting influence of another worldly movement, and the danger it represented.

As with many worldly influences, the feminist movement has made great inroads in the church, including the evangelical church. In the name of women’s rights, the Word of God is dishonored as being sexist, chauvinistic, and unfairly limiting. Some feminists maintain that standards set forth in these and similar passages were culturally oriented to New Testament times or were simply Paul’s personal beliefs. In either case, they are considered irrelevant and non-binding for Christians today.

The God-ordained institutions of marriage and family, which are the primary foundation of a healthy society, are attacked as archaic and outrageous or, at best, unnecessary. Tragically, many unthinking, poorly taught Christians are seduced by feminist rhetoric into believing that traditional roles of women—in the family, in society, and in the church—are outdated and oppressive. The phrase “women’s liberation” has an attractive, democratic ring, which, on the surface, seems reasonable and justified.[1]John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Titus (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996), p. 79.

Those arguments might sound familiar—they’re some of Satan’s oldest lies, simply updated to fit a new immoral cause. The homosexual movement has merely picked up where previous attacks on God’s Word had left off. And you can be sure that another movement will soon come along to deepen and extend those same attacks.

Faced with intense and growing pressure from outside and inside the church, what are believers to do? How do we remain salt and light in a world that has no interest in either? And how do we protect our testimony from a savorless, dim church bent on compromise and capitulation?

In the book of Titus, Paul gives clear instructions to believers on how they should live lives set apart from the world for the sake of adorning the gospel. In the coming days we’ll consider his practical teaching, and how purity is the best response to persecution.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150708
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

The Word ‘Evangelical’ Has Been Emptied of All Meaning

Zwinglius Redivivus

It’s time to abandon it as an utterly meaningless Rorschach / Chameleon like word which only takes on the appearance of its surroundings.  It CERTAINLY no longer means what Luther meant when he called himself and other protesters ‘Evangelische’.  There are virtually no Evangelische among American ‘Evangelicals’ because rather than protesting against heresy and embracing the Gospel, they have abandoned the Gospel and embraced the world.

View original post

Hillary Clinton lied to CNN about not receiving a subpoena

WINTERY KNIGHT

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

Hillary Clinton finally agreed to do an easy interview on CNN, but even though the questions were were easy, and the audience friendly, she still got caught in an obvious lie.

Here she is claiming she never was received a subpoena regarding her private, unsecure e-mail server:

Now here’s Trey Gowdy explaining to CNN that she in fact did receive a subpoena:

Former Congressman John Campbell interviewed Trey Gowdy on the Hugh Hewitt show – a national radio show. The audio and the transcript have been posted.

The MP3 file is here.

Here’s the interesting part of the transcript:

JC: We have with us on the line now Congressman Trey Gowdy and chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Hey, Trey, great to have you on the show.

TG: Congressman, we miss you, and thank you for having me on.

JC: Well, thank you…

View original post 982 more words

What is the evidence of being a genuine disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond- servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow…

View original post 2,390 more words

%d bloggers like this: