Daily Archives: August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Aug. 26, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Investors sent a surprising message to U.S. shale producers as crude fell almost 20 percent in August: keep calm and drill on. While most oil stocks have fallen sharply this month, the least affected by the slump share one thing in common: they don’t plan to slow down, even though a glut of supply is forcing prices down.

Prices for new college textbooks have risen steadily since the 1970s, but students have started to spend less on them. College students spent an average of $563 on books in the 2014-15 school year, 20 percent less than in 2007-08, a study released last month by the National Association of College Stores shows. “Our research indicates that students-46 percent-still prefer print over other formats,” says NACS spokesperson Laura Massie. Nonetheless, she adds, they’re finding ways to get course materials cheaper. “Many are acquiring used copies, or rentals rather than purchasing new, and others are moving to digital versions.”

The record price for a Brooklyn home broke the $15 million threshold this summer, and by now it’s widely accepted that New York’s outer boroughs are not much of a bargain, growing further out of reach for the aspiring homeowner. The average price of a condo in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens, rose 28 percent, to $1.06 million; in Brooklyn, the average sales price rose to $788,529.

Wall Street banks have been bleeding talent to hedge funds, buyout firms and technology companies. Now they’re facing another predator: smaller lenders in states like Ohio and Rhode Island.

Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and gas explorer, posted a 56 percent decline in profit for the first half of this year.

Bond investors in Mexico’s largest construction company are starting to sense desperation. Empresas ICA SAB’s debt due 2021 has lost 43 percent this month, the most in emerging markets. The decline to a record low is remarkable even by the standards of developing nations, which are suffering one of the worst selloffs since the financial crisis.

There Aren’t Enough Firefighters to Stop America’s West From Burning. An unprecedented 32,000 men and women are fighting blazes in what could be the most destructive fire season in history. “This thing’s going to burn until the snow flies,” Joe Flores, a Forest Service firefighter from Vernal, Utah, says. “100 million people in the West can no longer expect to just pick up the phone, dial 911, and have a Hotshot come and save them.”

China’s stocks extended the steepest five-day drop since 1996 in volatile trading as lower interest rates failed to halt a $5 trillion rout.

AP Top Stories

Two journalists for a local CBS affiliate in Virginia were shot dead Wednesday during a live broadcast, according to chilling television footage of the incident and their network.

U.S. specialty truck maker Oshkosh Corp has won a $6.75 billion contract to build 17,000 light tactical vehicles to replace the aging Humvees used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, the U.S. Army announced.

Doubts emerged Wednesday over the authenticity of an Italian painting supposedly worth $1.5 million, which hit headlines after a 12-year-old boy punched a hole through it as he tripped and fell during an exhibition in Taiwan.

Consumer Reports recently tested some 300 packages of ground beef purchased in 26 cities nationwide, and every single sample “contained bacteria that signified fecal contamination,” according to the final report.

While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl.

The Philippine defense chief said he asked the visiting U.S. Pacific commander on Wednesday to help protect the transport of Filipino troops and supplies to Philippine-occupied reefs in the disputed South China Sea by deploying American patrol planes to discourage Chinese moves to block the resupply missions.

Kurdish forces attacked Islamic State insurgents in a cluster of villages in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk on Wednesday, bent on securing territory they have gained in the course of rolling back the jihadists since last summer.

A major genetic study Tuesday confirmed a link between low vitamin D and a higher risk of multiple sclerosis, a finding which experts say could lead to better treatment and prevention.

BBC

About 50 people have been found dead in the hold of a boat carrying migrants intercepted off the coast of Libya, the Italian coastguard said. About 430 people had been rescued alive from the boat.

More than 1,000 Colombians who were living in Venezuela have crossed into Colombia as a border spat between the two neighbors intensifies.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Germans to take a stand against “shameful” anti-migrant protests, on a visit to an asylum shelter which was the focus of clashes at the weekend.

The main suspect in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia is reported to have been captured.

WND

Members of the freshmen class at Duke University are refusing to read a summer reading book claiming it conflicts with their religious and moral beliefs. Bechdel’s memoir depicts her relationship with her father, a closeted homosexual, as well as her journey of coming to terms with her own sexuality.

According to CIS, 71 percent of illegal-alien headed households with children received some sort of welfare in 2009, compared with 39 percent of native-headed houses with children.


Top News – 8/26/2015

‘Israel should be annihilated,’ senior Iran aide says
Ssenior Iranian official on Tuesday said Israel “should be annihilated,” and that the thawing relations with the West would not translate into a shift in Tehran’s position concerning the Jewish state.

Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting
Hours after they looted and set fire to a National Guard command post in this sun-baked corner of Venezuela earlier this month, a mob infuriated by worsening food shortages rammed trucks into the smoldering edifice, reducing it mostly to rubble.

Drought-plagued California readies for El Nino storms
While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl.

Obama Threw Clinton ‘Under the Bus’ With Biden Endorsement
Obama was “clearly stabbing Hillary in the back” when he expressed support Monday for Vice President Joe Biden running for the Democratic nomination, political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Tuesday. “To whatever is left of her candidacy, Obama is stabbing her in the back. “What I’m saying is that all of Hillary’s problems to date are self-inflicted wounds,” Morris added. “This one’s not.”

If Assad Falls, West Will Be Unable to Defeat ISIL –French Politician
French politician Nicolas Dupont-Aignan noted that the West’s “ill-conceived neo-colonial policy” of overthrowing secular governments in the Middle East was to blame for the disaster presently being faced by the region and by Europe, adding that if the Syrian government falls, ISIL’s positions will become unassailable.

US may have inflated gains against Islamic State, auditor says
The inspector general probe began after at least one civilian analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency said he had evidence that US Central Command officials were reworking intelligence report conclusions prepared for US President Barack Obama and other policymakers.

Ex-Obama aides: US should give Israel bunker-buster bombs to prevent Iran from getting nukes
The Iran nuclear deal would be far more effective if the United States provided Israel with weapons capable of destroying the Islamic Republic’s atomic facilities, two former high-level officials in the Obama administration wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Vatican and Palestinian Authority Clash over Flag-Raising at UN
The Palestinian Authority is trying to pull a fast one on the Vatican by sponsoring a motion in the United Nations to allow the flags of two non-member states, itself and the Vatican, to wave at the headquarters in New York.

Assad ‘Confident’ of Russia’s Support
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad expressed “strong confidence” Tuesday that Russia will continue supporting his embattled regime, speaking in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television network and quoted by AFP. Assad also described as “legitimate” the presence in Syria of fighters from Hezbollah backing his forces.

Rabbis to March on DC Sept 9 + Expanded Demo Plan!
The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America are sponsoring a massive Rabbinical March on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to demand that Congress vote down the suicidal agreement with Iran. The march is set for September 9th, just 4 days before Rosh HaShana, which is also marks the deadline for Congress to vote on the deal.

Japan Earthquake Today 2015 Strikes East of Tsuma
USGS indicates to news that a 5.3 magnitude Japan earthquake today started just after 3:51 pm PST. The quake was shallow. Reps tell news that the quake was 19.9 miles below ground level. As a result the quake could be felt across the quake.

Prophecy Fulfilled: N. American Jews Return to Israel
“Only think for a moment about your fathers, your grandfathers, your great grandfathers, all those generations of your families who were dreaming and praying next year in Jerusalem and you did it,” Sharansky told the new arrivals.

CORONAL HOLE
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is monitoring a hole in the sun’s atmosphere–a “coronal hole.” Coronal holes are places where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape.

U.S. plans more Asia-Pacific drills to counter China reclamation
The United States plans to increase the number of military and humanitarian drills it conducts in the Asia-Pacific as part of a new strategy to counter China’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea, the Philippine military said on Wednesday. …China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

CBO report forecasts unsustainable debt in long term
The economy is sluggish but growing and inflation remains low, painting a decidedly mixed picture for the federal government, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday, saying the fiscal situation is improving this year but will snap back by 2018 to swelling deficits and unsustainable debt.

US reports unusual spike in human plague cases
An unusually high number of cases of human plague have been recorded by US health authorities since April — 11 in all, with three of them fatal, officials said Tuesday. “It is unclear why the number of cases in 2015 is higher than usual,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC said that having 11 cases in just the past four months is unusual.

Dozens rescued as wild weather lashes NSW south coast
Hundreds of residents south of Sydney have been forced to flee their homes and evacuate from schools because of rising floodwaters. Nearly 70 people have been rescued since the severe weather first lashed Sydney’s southern suburbs on Monday. More than 1,400 calls for help were made to the State Emergency Service (SES).

China market slump: Shares end lower despite rate cut
Chinese shares have closed lower despite a fresh rate cut by the central bank. The mainland’s benchmark Shanghai Composite fell 1.27% to 2,927.29, after veering in and out of negative territory. It had fallen about 16% this week, rocking global markets.

May the force be with you? Turkey fears rise of religion of ‘Jediism’
A Turkish theologian believes…newest threat…may be a brand new religion – “Jediism.” … warning of the rise of a Jedi movement among Christians. “Jediism…is spreading today in Christian societies,” Bilal Yorulmaz, an assistant professor at Marmara University…”Around 70,000 people in Australia and 390,000 people in England currently define themselves as Jedis.”

France train suspect watched jihadi video, prosecutor says
Minutes before he slung an assault rifle across his chest and walked through a high-speed train, the Moroccan suspect in the foiled attack watched a jihadi video on his cellphone, the French prosecutor said in formally opening a terrorism investigation Tuesday.

Dry, windy conditions challenge Washington state firefighters
A return of hot, dry winds hampered ground crews fighting the largest cluster of wildfires on record in Washington state on Tuesday, one of more than five dozen major conflagrations raging across the drought-stricken American West.

‘The wave has reached us:’ EU gropes for answers to migrant surge
A surge in migrants, many of them refugees from Syria, hit Hungary’s southern border on Tuesday, passing through gaps in an unfinished barrier to a Europe groping for answers to its worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

Girl suicide bomber kills 5, injures 41 in northeast Nigeria
Two suicide bombers carried out separate attacks Tuesday that killed five people in Damaturu, a town in northeastern Nigeria, police and witnesses said.

Toll of Syrian air strikes near Damascus rises to 247 in 10 days: monitor
Syrian government air strikes on areas east of Damascus have killed 247 people in the last 10 days, including 50 children, and wounded 1,000 more people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

Hezbollah throws weight behind protests, deepening crisis
The powerful Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah threw its weight Tuesday behind mass protests calling for the government’s resignation, deepening a crisis that started over piles of uncollected garbage in the streets of the capital but has tapped into a much deeper malaise.


Top Headlines – 8/26/2015

Israel should be annihilated, Iranian official says

Iranian Intel chief: Israel’s Mossad plotting to undermine stability in Iran

Iran nuke deal erases Obama’s red lines

Hundreds of US rabbis sign letter against Iran deal

Iran denies plans to swap prisoners with US

Iran’s policy in the Persian Gulf region – ‘charm’ offensive alongside terror

IAEA says Iran sent ‘substantive’ data over its nuclear past

After Parchin report, Iran threatens IAEA over ‘leaks’

Analysis: Focus on a nuclear Iran obscures other developing nuclear threats

Rivlin: Israel has ‘right’ to settle in West Bank

Zahar: Hamas not near a truce with Israel, should focus on taking over the West Bank

Jewish group denies Palestinian claim of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Jerusalem neighborhood

Vatican asks to be removed from Palestinian flag initiative at United Nations

Shin Bet thwarts terror plot hatched in Gaza to attack Jews at Joseph’s Tomb

Report: Israeli weapons being used in South Sudan conflict

Girl suicide bomber kills 5, injures 41 in Nigeria

Hezbollah throws weight behind protests, deepening crisis

Jordan’s king tells Putin he must help find solution on Syria

Syria’s Assad signals little chance of alliance against Islamic State

Rights group: Toll of Syrian air strikes near Damascus rises to 247 in 10 days

Hollande: Turkey needs to do more against Islamic State, talk to Kurds

800 potential Isil terrorists back in Europe ‘prepared to do anything’

German Social Democrats evacuate party HQ after bomb threat

Russia ‘sends more troops to eastern Ukraine’ as leaders get together for crisis summit

Ukrainian filmmaker, who opposed Crimea annexation, gets 20 years in prison

South Korea says willing to discuss North’s demand to lift sanctions

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Takanabe, Japan

3.5-magnitude earthquake shakes West TN

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 18,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Typhoon Goni Cuts Path Through Japan’s Kyushu; Injuries Reported

Hawaii Remains Alert for Tropical Threats as Systems Brew in East Pacific

Tropical Storm Erika is Born in Atlantic, Threatens Leeward Islands at Midweek

California sinking faster than thought, aquifers could permanently shrink

EPA withholds mine spill documents from Congress

Oil Fluctuates Below $40 as U.S. Supplies Seen Worsening Glut

Wall Street rally goes up in smoke, indexes end lower

U.S. stocks stage dramatic reversal, erasing rally and raising new fears

Dow falls 205 points to 15,666.44

China Anxiety Resurfaces to Torpedo Relief Rally in U.S. Stocks

Wall Street ends down after China rate cut fails to calm nerves

Currency volatility upsets Asian growth plans

The World Struggles to Adjust to China’s ‘New Normal’

Obama Calls Economy ‘Stronger’ After Historic Crash On Wall Street

Pat Robertson: Stock Market Crash Is God’s Punishment For Abortion, Planned Parenthood

Born alive? New anti-abortion video focuses on ‘intact specimens’

Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Buyer Laughs About Shipping Severed Heads

Organ Buyer: Happiness is ‘Another 50 Livers a Week’

Planned Parenthood sues to stop funding cuts in Louisiana

Commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals make people angry, violent and more likely to kill, researchers discover

US reports unusual spike in human plague cases

Blood Rave to douse Amsterdam dancers in gallons of blood

What is the devil’s favorite sin? An exorcist responds

IRS Getting Pressured To Crack Down On Televangelists

Clergy sex abuse claims drive Archdiocese of Milwaukee to file for bankruptcy

‘Free the Nipple’ Movement Could Bring Nudity to Assemblies of God Stronghold

Teacher and Students Taken Hostage at West Virginia High School by 14-Year-Old with Gun

Ohio School District Tests Fingerprint Scanners for Lunch Payments

Jason A. Van Bemmel – Killing Sin by the Spirit

Free Download – The Shemitah Myths Exposed

Does Saying an Islamic Creed Deny Our Christian Faith?


The Briefing

1) Threat of National Cathedral collapse parable of religion in postmodern America

National Cathedral’s Repair Work: Finials, Finance and Faith, New York Times (Nicholas Fandos)

Leader at Washington National Cathedral Steps Down, New York Times (Nicholas Fandos)

2) Harvard prof argues no moral imperative in bioethics other than progress

The moral imperative for bioethics, Boston Globe (Steven Pinker)

3) Washington couple will raise child without defining its species for sake of total autonomy

Washington state couple chooses to raise their child species-less, CBC (Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring)

In other news…


Daily Digest

Daily Digest

August 26, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of.” —Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Trump, Ramos Play Reality TV Parts Well

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Univision anchor Jorge Ramos confronts Donald Trump

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was headed for conflict. A few days ago, in response to the recent Black Lives Matter protesters interrupting the speeches of Democrat candidates, Donald Trump said, “I would never give up my microphone.” He kept his word. When Trump called on another journalist at an Aug. 25 press conference, Ramos was on his feet, interrupting with a question of his own. Trump was not about to give up his mic. “Excuse me, sit down, you were not called,” Trump told Ramos. “Go back to Univision.” When Ramos persisted, Trump motioned to security, which escorted the reporter out. Later, Ramos was allowed back to ask Trump a question, which resulted in a debate that Trump ended by mentioning he was suing Univision for $500 million. Ramos carries a huge amount of clout, as he’s been called the Walter Cronkite of Spanish-speaking media, but he’s also a self-admitted activist journalist who has spoken critically about Trump and his immigration policies. Ramos stepped on Trump’s toes, breaking from the dance reporters and sources usually play. The bottom line is both men are type-A “conflict junkies,” and they each played the part their audiences wanted them to play.

Either Lois Lerner’s Dog Can Email, or She’s More Corrupt

What is it with government officials and email? Lois Lerner, the now-retired IRS official who spearheaded the political targeting of conservative organizations before the 2012 election, was among the first whose email was sought in the wave of corruption among Obama administration officials. This week, the IRS finally disclosed that Lerner was using a private email address to conduct government business. According to IRS attorney Geoffrey Klimas, “In the process of preparing this status report and for the August 24, 2015, release of Lerner communications, the undersigned attorneys learned that, in addition to emails to or from an email account denominated ‘Lois G. Lerner’ or ‘Lois Home,’ some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated ‘Toby Miles.'” The name “Toby Miles” appears to be a combination of her husband’s surname and the name of her dog. And she joins at least former EPA Chief Lisa Jackson in having a private email under an alias derived from a dog. When her emails went “missing,” we joked that her dog ate her homework. We were wrong. Her dog was doing her homework.

In Washington, DC, Welfare Is Already on Par With Europe

Normally when it comes to welfare in American the $1 trillion question is when exactly we will devolve into European-level dependency. When it comes to our nation’s capital, however, it seems we’re already there — and then some. In fact, if you live in DC, Denmark is the only country that offers greater benefits on the taxpayer dole, according to a new Cato Institute study. Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes write, “In D.C., a mother with two children under the age of five who participates in six major welfare programs — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), housing assistance, home energy assistance, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and free commodities — would receive a benefits package worth $34,963 per year. Using a similar measure, Cato found that benefits in Europe ranged from $38,588 per year in Denmark to just $1,112 in Romania. In fact, the District’s welfare system can be more generous than every country included except Denmark. The benefits package is higher than in well known welfare states as France ($17,324), Germany ($23,257) and even Sweden ($22,111).” Keep in mind the study excludes Medicaid expenses that would add another $8,140. Tanner and Hughes are also careful to note, “People in these programs are not lazy, but they are also not stupid. Like everyone else, they respond to incentives. If welfare pays better than work, people on welfare will be less likely to work.” Perhaps a good place to begin reform is on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers’ paychecks should be rescinded until they actually get any work done.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

How Two Candidates Are Handling the Trump Effect

By Lewis Morris

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No one ever assumed the Republican presidential nomination was going to be smooth sailing, with 17 announced candidates ranging from all walks of public and private life vying for the prize. But the candidacy, and we use that term loosely, of Donald Trump has changed the landscape in a way few could have imagined.

Trump’s presence thus far has muted the inevitability of establishment star Jeb Bush — a good thing, in our estimation, despite the insistence of some Trump supporters that our criticism of The Donald automatically means we favor the heir to the Bush Dynasty. Unfortunately, it has also flummoxed liberal dragon slayer Scott Walker, and all but neutralized Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry. Interestingly, however, it’s raised the stock of Ted Cruz, the first person to enter the race and — other than Trump — the one most considered to be a thorn in the side of the Republican Party, the Democrats, the Senate, and, well, anyone with a side to stick a thorn in.

That said, just what Trump has done to make all this happen is not the point here. The man has had more than his fair share of ink spilled in the campaign thus far. Our focus is how two candidates in particular, Cruz and Perry, came to find their fortunes reversed, one for the better, and one decidedly not.

Some are now considering Cruz to be a realistic frontrunner for the Republican nomination. This is a pretty good place to be for a man who, when he announced his candidacy in March, was tagged as the Tea Party candidate (a label of shame according to the Leftmedia) who has caused nothing but heartache for his fellow Senate Republicans.

The Leftmedia caricature is unfair and shallow. Sure, Cruz’s tactics have gotten him in trouble over the ObamaCare fight and budget issues. But Senate Republicans need a swift kick in the pants. Furthermore, intellectually, Cruz is no slouch. Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz once called Cruz “off-the-charts brilliant” for the time he spent at Harvard Law. Coming from a liberal like Dershowitz, that’s no small compliment.

Cruz’s short time in the Senate is another key criticism among opponents, despite the fact that he has held a number of public offices and rose to national prominence in the 2012 Senate race when he throttled both his establishment primary opponent and the Democrat general election challenger.

For all of the criticism of Barack Obama’s inexperience, it wasn’t his two years in the Senate before launching his presidential bid that was the problem; it was his ideology. Cruz is on the right path on that count.

Cruz’s stock has risen in recent weeks in large part because he is now well positioned to embrace Trump’s supporters when The Donald’s candidacy implodes. In a race that went from “Bush vs. Not-Bush” to “Trump vs. Not-Trump,” Cruz may be the strongest Not-Trump around. There are many conservative voters supporting Trump who may switch support to Cruz if the reality TV star were out of the picture. Which is why Cruz is playing it smart by not openly criticizing Trump like his fellow candidates. Besides, he doesn’t have to prove his anti-establishment bona fides.

It can be said that Cruz has grown in popularity by virtue of circumstance, even though it is to his credit that he has recognized that and played it well.

Rick Perry, on the other hand, is fading despite running a solid campaign on a good record.

Perry’s troubles began when he was relegated to the happy hour debate, a sad place to be for a candidate who was tracking in the top tier before the Comb-Over King came to town. Then Perry had to stop paying staffers because his campaign ran out of money. Poll numbers drive fundraising, and fundraising drives poll numbers. Neither was going anywhere but down.

On Monday, Sam Clovis, Perry’s Iowa campaign manager, announced his departure because, after all, the man’s got a family to feed. To add insult to injury, Clovis has signed on with none other than Donald Trump, the very man Perry has so harshly criticized.

Admittedly, Perry’s 2012 campaign was not an auspicious introduction to the national political scene, but, since then, he has put together a strong staff and honed his presentation and his platform. And his 14-year record as governor of Texas should by all rights make him perhaps the most attractive candidate out there. His state added 1.5 million jobs between 2007 and 2013 while the rest of the country lost 400,000. He has a proud military record, and he has dealt with the immigration problem and border security firsthand.

Perry still has super PAC support that can help resurrect his campaign, but it’s worth wondering how he could fall so far as to be on campaign-life support before the second debate even takes place. This is yet another reminder of the raw unpredictability of politics and another reason why we need to keep paying close attention to this race. Trump isn’t going away any time soon, but neither is he likely to win the nomination — much less the general election. But his effect on the field will be tremendous.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Mona Charen: “There is all the difference in the world between using violence aggressively and using it defensively. As Bill Buckley used to say: One man pushes an old lady into the path of a truck. Another man pushes her out of the path of the truck. Are we to say there’s no difference between them because they both push old ladies around? … So-called ‘traditional masculinity’ is a major target of feminists on college campuses and elsewhere. That, they teach, is what creates the ‘rape culture.’ The Obama administration has joined in (naturally). A government website urges that colleges ‘promote an understanding of the ways in which traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault and other forms of men’s violence against women.’ In Aurora, Colo., in 2012, when a crazed gunman opened fire on a crowded movie theater, no fewer than three young men covered their girlfriends with their own bodies and lost their lives in the process. That, and not the loutish behavior of some frat boys, is true ‘traditional masculinity’ — or better, manliness. Men have been defamed and devalued in our society for decades. Their high spirits are punished in schools. Their natural protectiveness has been scorned as sexism. The passengers on that French train are surely grateful that some manliness remains indomitable.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper which should have been gold, are a token of honor — your claim upon the energy of the men who produce.” —Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Doubling down: “I’m not going to apologize for making those comments… Maybe he doesn’t say things that are objectionable, but what he does concerns me more than what he might say. Scott Walker should apologize to the African-American community for his policies.” —Rep. Gwen Moore, who refuses to walk back her remark accusing Walker of “tightening the noose, literally, around African-Americans”

Alpha Jackass: “It’s hard for me to express how much I love Harry Reid, but it’s easier to do it in a room of people who love Harry Reid. Harry and I drove over here together and we were doing a little reminiscing, and then figuring out how we’re going to deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems.” —Barack Obama at a fundraiser in Nevada (Deputy Press Secretary Eric Shultz later said, “[Obama] may have been a little flip in his language, but we have seen Republicans do wildly irresponsible things in the past.”)

Non Compos Mentis: “There are certain religious aspects that are extremely difficult to address because [using fetal tissue for research is] a very emotional issue. One has to respect people’s faith and opinions even if one may not share them. But they could slow down scientific progress. There is so much human suffering that could be solved by research.” —Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Ulrich von Andrian on the controversy over Planned Parenthood’s harvesting aborted babies

And last… “A poll shows that if a dead body was found in the trunk of Hillary’s car, 7% of Democrats would then consider her ‘somewhat untrustworthy.'” —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/ )”


It Is Time To Kick Prepping Into Overdrive, Because This Stock Market Crash Is Just The Beginning

Speedometer - Public DomainIf you have not been preparing for what is coming, you need to get off your sofa and you need to start prepping right now.  Just remember what happened back in 2008.  That crisis took most people totally by surprise.  Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and because most of them were living paycheck to paycheck, all of a sudden most of them couldn’t pay the rent or the mortgage either.  Large numbers of families that were once living a comfortable middle class lifestyle suddenly found themselves destitute.  Well, this coming crisis is going to be even worse by the time it is all said and done, and it is not just going to be economic in nature.  Over the past two trading days, the Dow has gone down more than a thousand points.  The shaking that so many have warned about has begun.  As this shaking plays out, you and your family will need cash, food, supplies and a whole bunch of other things.  If you do not already have everything prepared, then you need to kick your prepping into overdrive because we are on a very compressed time frame now. (Read More…)


During Every Market Crash There Are Big Ups, Big Downs And Giant Waves Of Momentum

Tsunami Tidal Wave - Public DomainThis is exactly the type of market behavior that we would expect to see during the early stages of a major financial crisis.  In every major market downturn throughout history there were big ups, big downs and giant waves of momentum, and this time around will not be any different.  As I have explained repeatedly, markets tend to go up when things are calm, and they tend to go down when things get really choppy.  During a market meltdown, we fully expect to see days when the stock market absolutely soars.  Waves of panic selling are often followed by waves of panic buying.  As you will see below, six of the ten best single day gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average happened during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.  So don’t be fooled for a moment by a very positive day for stocks like we are seeing on Tuesday.  It is all part of the dance. (Read More….)


BLACK MONDAY: The First Time EVER The Dow Has Dropped By More Than 500 Points On Two Consecutive Days

New York City Empire State Building - Public DomainOn Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 588 points. It was the 8th worst single day stock market crash in U.S. history, and it was the first time that the Dow has ever fallen by more than 500 points on two consecutive days. But the amazing thing is that the Dow actually performed better than almost every other major global stock market on Monday.  In the U.S., the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both did worse than the Dow. In Europe, almost every major index performed significantly worse than the Dow.  Over in Asia, Japanese stocks were down 895 points, and Chinese stocks experienced the biggest decline of all (a whopping 8.46 percent). On June 25th, I was not kidding around when I issued a “red alert” for the last six months of 2015. I had never issued a formal alert for any other period of time, and I specifically stated that “a major financial collapse is imminent“. But you know what? As the weeks and months roll along, things will eventually be even worse than what any of the experts (including myself) have been projecting. The global financial system is now unraveling, and you better pack a lunch because this is going to be one very long horror show. (Read More….)


The Stock Market Hasn’t Had a Selloff Like This One in Over 75 Years

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Isn’t this fun!?

The good news is the market is up right now. The bad news is the Dow was up yesterday for most of the day but then closed 200 points down.

It should be remembered that even in tumultuous moments like the one we are in the market rarely goes straight down.

Read More


Poll: 46% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Clinton should suspend her campaign, 1 in 4 Democrats

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This is from the most recent Rasmussen poll.

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‘Israel should be annihilated,’ senior Iran aide says

Hussein Sheikholeslam (screen capture: YouTube)

A senior Iranian official on Tuesday said Israel “should be annihilated,” and that the thawing relations with the West would not translate into a shift in Tehran’s position concerning the Jewish state.

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.”

“We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy,” the Guardian quoted Hammond saying.


The Iran Deal: How Christians Choose Sides

Nowhere are the deep divisions within Christianity more apparent than in the current responses to the Obama-Kerry Iran nuclear deal (officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA).

Even before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s appearance on all five Sunday news talk shows on July 19, in which he elaborated on the administration’s position, Christian groups had already lined up for a war of sorts that would focus Christian attention on the political debate to come.

View Article


Beware Of Market Waves

This is exactly the type of market behavior that we would expect to see during the early stages of a major financial crisis. In every major market downturn throughout history there were big ups, big downs and giant waves of momentum, and this time around will not be any different………..  Click here for full story


ISIS Terrorists Return To Europe ‘Prepared To Do Anything’

At least 800 extremists recruited by Islamic State or groups affiliated to the al-Qaeda are prepared “to do anything” to launch attacks in Europe, media reports said today………….  Click here for full story


NFL Player, Wife Will Keep Unborn Baby Despite Defect: ‘Who Are We to Determine a Baby’s Life?’

According to CNS News:

NFL fullback Evan Rodriguez and his wife Olivia are expecting a little girl in December, who has a rare birth defect, anencephaly. The couple has been speaking out about the diagnosis and their decision to keep their baby girl despite the fact that she will not survive long after birth due to the condition.

http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/lauretta-brown/former-nfl-player-wife-keeping-unborn-baby-despite-birth-defect-who-are-we


Obama’s New Peace Partner Iran Says ‘We Reject The Existence Of Any Israeli On This Earth’

“We told them that we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.”

“Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:23 (KJV)

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

hussein-sheikholeslam-says-israel-must-be-wiped-out-jews-muslims-islam-iran

Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.”

“We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy,” the Guardian quoted Hammond saying.

Sheikholeslam told a Hamas news outlet earlier this month that Iran has resisted pressure exerted by the P5+1 world powers during the nuclear negotiations to halt its political involvement in Gaza, Syria and Yemen.

“These powers admitted that the reason for their pressure on us is our position on Israel,” he said. “We told them that we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.” source


Obama’s Pentagon Declares Journalists To Be ‘Unprivileged Belligerents’ With No Rights

In general, journalists are civilians. However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents.

WASHINGTON — New Defense Department guidelines allow commanders to punish journalists and treat them as “unprivileged belligerents” if they believe journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with the enemy.

The Law of War manual, updated to apply for the first time to all branches of the military, contains a vaguely worded provision that military commanders could interpret broadly, experts in military law and journalism say. Commanders could ask journalists to leave military bases or detain journalists for any number of perceived offenses.

“In general, journalists are civilians,” the 1,180 page manual says, but it adds that “journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents.”

department-defense-law-war-unprivileged-belligerents-journalists

Click image to read full PDF of the new DoD Law of War Manual

A person deemed ‘unprivileged belligerent’ is not entitled to the rights afforded by the Geneva Convention so a commander could restrict from certain coverage areas or even hold indefinitely without charges any reporter considered an “unprivileged belligerent.”

The manual adds, “Reporting on military operations can be very similar to collecting intelligence or even spying. A journalist who acts as a spy may be subject to security measures and punished if captured.” It is not specific as to the punishment or under what circumstances a commander can decide to “punish” a journalist.

Defense Department officials said the reference to “unprivileged belligerents” was intended to point out that terrorists or spies could be masquerading as reporters, or warn against someone who works for jihadist websites or other publications, such as al-Qaida’s “Inspire” magazine, that can be used to encourage or recruit militants.

Another provision says that “relaying of information” could be construed as “taking a direct part in hostilities.” Officials said that is intended to refer to passing information about ongoing operations, locations of troops or other classified data to an enemy.

Army Lt. Col. Joe Sowers, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was not the Defense Department’s intent to allow an overzealous commander to block journalists or take action against those who write critical stories.

“The Department of Defense supports and respects the vital work that journalists perform,” Sowers said. “Their work in gathering and reporting news is essential to a free society and the rule of law.” His statement added that the manual is not policy and not “directive in nature.”

But Ken Lee, an ex-Marine and military lawyer who specializes in “law of war” issues and is now in private practice, said it was worrisome that the detention of a journalist could come down to a commander’s interpretation of the law.

If a reporter writes an unflattering story, “does this give a commander the impetus to say, now you’re an unprivileged belligerent? I would hope not,” Lee said.

“I’m troubled by the label ‘unprivileged belligerents,’ which seems particularly hostile,” said Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor. “It sounds much too easy to slap that label on a journalist if you don’t like their work, a convenient tool for those who want to fight wars without any outside scrutiny.” source


3.5 earthquake shakes New Madrid fault north of Memphis

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 06:43 AM PDT

BREAKING NEWS – The USGS reports that a 3.5 magnitude earthquake hit 16 miles northwest of Covington, TN at 8:26 a.m. WREG-TV reports no damage in the area. The New Madrid fault line is about twenty times larger than California’s famed San Andreas fault.

The biggest earthquake in U.S. history happened in the New Madrid seismic zone in 1812.  The fault line has been more active over the last few years. Quakes have rattled residents in Illinois and Indiana over the last year.   Eastern Arkansas felt a quake in late October, making the quake the largest in the NMSZ in several years. FULL REPORT

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Wall Street braces for another wild day as Chinese, European stocks slump

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 05:09 AM PDT

The economic shaking continues as Global markets struggled Wednesday to shrug off fears of a deepening Chinese economic slowdown, which has roiled stocks in recent sessions. European stocks opened lower, tracking a late tumble in U.S. markets Tuesday that dashed hopes of a return to stability.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was 1.5 percent lower midmorning, following a 4.2 percent gain on Tuesday. Germany’s DAX lost 1.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 was down 1.2 percent, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was 1.2 percent lower.

The losses followed another volatile session in Chinese markets, as fresh measures to ease monetary policy late Tuesday failed to settle investors’ nerves. China’s central bank cut interest rates and flooded its banking system with liquidity via a cut to banks’ reserve ratio requirements. The Shanghai Composite Index swung between gains and losses before closing 1.3 percent lower. FULL REPORT

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America Is Racing Toward Judgment

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 04:49 AM PDT

It doesn’t take a prophet to see the shaking. The Dow is volatile, with U.S. stocks rebounding after a punishing spurt even as China’s market continuing to slide. With Asia’s richest man losing $3.6 billion in China’s Black Monday, some financial advisers are telling clients to get everything but operating cash out of the bank and exit the stock market before it’s too late.

I’m praying against a widespread panic, as many voices—some responsible and some irresponsible—are trumpeting the end of the world as we know it in September. Even if the worst happens, panic is not the answer. Our hope and our trust are in God and God alone, not in man and mammon.

Jonathan Cahn, author of The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah, has said (and continues saying) he believes we’re standing at a critical time. He’s not the only one. Many others in many different streams—including Franklin Graham, Rodney Howard-Browne and Rick Joyner—are echoing this statement. FULL REPORT

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‘If internet goes down, half planet will come to standstill’

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 04:44 AM PDT

These days the world is a scary place to live in. If there’s not an asteroid on its way to obliterate us or terrorists plotting our imminent downfall, there’s the dangers of giant online data hacks or complete economic collapse. But when the end does arrive, there are a few people who aren’t just able to cope with the apocalypse – they’ve been actively preparing for it.

These people call themselves ‘preppers’ or ‘survivalists’ and they belong to a vast underground community. When the ATMs stop running or the internet goes down, they’ll be the ones that make it out alive. FULL REPORT

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During Every Market Crash There Are Big Ups, Big Downs And Giant Waves Of Momentum

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 07:21 PM PDT

According to the financial blogsite “Economic Collapse” What we are witnessing in the Stock Market is exactly the type of market behavior that we would expect to see during the early stages of a major financial crisis. In every major market downturn throughout history there were big ups, big downs and giant waves of momentum, and this time around will not be any different. As I have explained repeatedly, markets tend to go up when things are calm, and they tend to go down when things get really choppy.

During a market meltdown, we fully expect to see days when the stock market absolutely soars. Waves of panic selling are often followed by waves of panic buying. As you will see below, six of the ten best single day gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average happened during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. So don’t be fooled for a moment by a very positive day for stocks like we are seeing on Tuesday. It is all part of the dance. FULL REPORT

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Global stocks in freefall mode as economic collapse unfolds

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 07:09 PM PDT

China, the world’s second-largest economy, continues to show signs of a sharp slowdown, unnerving investors everywhere as markets begin falling worldwide. According to Jim Cramer, the Chinese market needs to reset. By his estimation, the Shanghai Composite Index needs to lose 35 to 40 percent of its value.

Before that happens, if it does, he warns that there are U.S. companies with stocks which are vulnerable to China’s decline.[1] Another question to consider is what the Federal Reserve’s ultimate decision will be concerning interest rates. Markets must be stable before an interest-rate hike, but as the Dow continues to fall, that scenario seems unlikely: FULL REPORT

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Top names in Bible studies go public on Wall Street bleeding

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 07:02 PM PDT

Well-known Christian evangelist Pat Robertson was criticized for suggesting the “Black Monday” stock-market collapse was a “taste” of the “judgment of God” for national sins such as abortion. But another Christian leader is adding his voice to the controversy – and he says Robertson is right. “Of course it is judgment!” says Mark Biltz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries and the discoverer of the “blood moons” tetrad. He argues the United States of America has courted God’s judgment with mistaken policies, especially with regard to Israel.

The final blood moon arrives next month, and Biltz noted he predicted “economic judgment” coming upon American in his book, “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.” After observing two major stock-market declines earlier this century, on the day before Rosh Hashanah in 2001 and on the day before Rosh Hashanah in 2008, Biltz wrote: “Could the coming blood moons signal our third strike, and we will be out economically? We already see the signs of economic collapse coming, with America being so much in debt and our government in a comatose condition.” FULL REPORT

 

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Scientists studying mysterious swarm of more than 5,700 earthquakes in northern Nevada

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 06:47 PM PDT

Scientists at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory say there has been a “swarm” of more than 5700 earthquakes in northwestern Nevada since last July. They include 21 4.0 temblors. In 2008, the community of Mogul, west of Reno, also experienced an earthquake swarm. Graham Kent is Director of the lab on the University of Nevada-Reno campus. He says the number of tremors in that swarm pales in comparison to this one. “A magnitude 5.0 was the largest and a couple fours’s and a bunch of three’s and you look back at it and go ‘wow!’ that was hardly anything.”

Kent said this kind of seismic activity is rare anywhere. He says the location of the swarm, which is below an antelope preserve, makes it a perfect place to study earthquake behavior. “This is a great petri dish. So, now we have this kind of gold-medal swarm going and it doesn’t affect a lot of people. So, what we can learn from this, hopefully we can apply the next time there’s a swarm underneath a community.” More than 200 quakes 3.0 and stronger have been measured in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge since last July. Seven of them were 4.5 or stronger. FULL REPORT

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Active volcano in Colima Mexico keeps sending ashes and smoke into the skies

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 06:42 PM PDT

The Colima Volcano sent smoke and ash three kilometers into the sky in a series of eruptions during the weekend. There have been more eruptions at the Colima Volcano this week, sending ash and smoke more than three kilometers into the air. Also known as the Volcano of Fire, it has been active since July 9, when ash falls forced the evacuation of several communities a few days later.

Various eruptions took place on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th. This volcano was previously active during the months of January and February. A state of emergency was declared last month and nearly 700 people were evacuated in five municipalities in the states of Colima and Jalisco. FULL REPORT

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At least 75 injured, man missing after Typhoon Goni wreaks havoc across southern Japan

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 06:38 PM PDT

According to a new report, At least 75 people have been injured and a 70-year-old man is missing after a powerful typhoon wreaked havoc across southern Japan, causing widespread disruptions to flights and train services, power outages and the evacuation of more than 200,000 households. Japan Airlines was forced to cancel about 130 flights and All Nippon Airways canceled 100 flights, mainly to and from airports in Kyushu, while some railway services, including bullet trains on the Kyushu and Sanyo shinkansen lines, were suspended temporarily. Typhoon Goni made landfall near Arao in Kumamoto Prefecture just after 6 a.m. Tuesday and reached the ocean off Kitakyushu by 10 a.m., the Meteorological Agency said.

Although now moving away from the Japanese archipelago, the typhoon is expected to bring heavy rain to western and eastern Japan through Wednesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, warning of further landslides and flooding. The 15th typhoon this year prompted the agency to issue landslide warnings for Fukuoka, Saga, Oita and Kagoshima prefectures on Kyushu, Tokushima Prefecture on the island of Shikoku and Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures on the Honshu mainland. The city of Hiroshima, which experienced a deadly landslide last August, issued an evacuation order to some 67,700 residents, the first such order since last year’s disaster. FULL REPORT

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Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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

Source


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

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

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

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August 26, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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A Brief History Of Covenant Theology

It is clear that, through the 20th century, the great consensus which had been sustained since the Reformed covenant theology since the 1520’s has fragmented. The causes seem to be three: The influence of Barth, even among confessional theologians has been greater than many recognize. Second, in reaction to Modernity, many have become practical fundamentalists, little interested in the Reformed tradition and third, we have forgotten our Protestant ABC’s in the doctrine of justification and salvation. Certainly, a first step toward repairing the consensus is to take a serious look back at our greatest covenant theologians.

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Christian Unity without Doctrinal Indifferentism

This ecumenical streak in Witherspoon was not borne out of doctrinal indifferentism. His desire for unity, for example, did not encompass Socinians, Pelagians, Catholics or any other group holding religious views he deemed antithetical to true biblical Christianity. Witherspoon had no patience for the latitudinarian kind of unity he found among his colleagues in the Moderate Party. In conjunction with the publication of his St. Giles’ sermon before the SSPCK (1758), Witherspoon penned a robust defense for pointing out error entitled “An Inquiry into the Scripture Meaning of Charity.” With characteristic verve, Witherspoon attacked the increasingly popular notion among enlightened clergy that “charity was a far more important and valuable bond among Christians than exact agreement on particular points of doctrine.”

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Accidental Feminist or Vlad the Impaler?

While I have little interest in complementarianism as a social movement myself, I worry at the influence such voices may have on congregations and Christian families.  It would thus be very helpful for groups like CBMW to make it clear where they think the acceptable rightward boundary of their movement is. And, while we’re at it, it would also be useful to have some of the talented women involved in the complementarian movement speaking up on the apparent direction being taken by some of the leadership. 

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Killing Sin by the Spirit

Killing sin is not a one-time, simple procedure. There’s no easy seven-step program of sin killing that you can complete in a week or a month or a year. As long as we remain in this flesh, we will be subject to temptations and we must constantly, vigilantly, diligently and ruthlessly kill sin. We cannot be content to try to control it, handle it, deal with it, manage it or even subdue it. It’s either sin or us, so it must die.

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Bumper Sticker Worldviews: Do They Make Sense?

The other day I pulled up behind a car that contained a litany of bumper stickers expressing their view about all sorts of things.  They were not hiding their worldview (or at least parts of it). But, as might be expected, this individual apparently took very little time to consider whether the content of these stickers made sense or even agreed with one another. So, I decided it would be interesting to evaluate this person’s “bumper sticker worldview.”

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Do Churches Practice Age Discrimination in Hiring Pastors and Staff?

I am seeing many churches experiencing difficulty finding pastors and other staff that meet their criteria. The solution could be in looking at candidates who just might be younger or older than they originally anticipated. Don’t be surprised if you find some outstanding candidates either younger or older than you expected.

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5 Warning Signs of a Spiritual Narcissist

Perhaps the easiest way to identify a Spiritual Narcissist is to see if their works match their words. Many will claim they have nothing but love and compassion in their hearts for those they rebuke, but their actions prove otherwise. Matthew 7 teaches us that we can judge a prophet by the fruit of his labors.

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Ashley Madison, Sin, and Judgment

But before we let this be an occasion for us to point a self-righteous finger, or derive some twisted sense of satisfaction, or luxuriate in the knowledge of these revelations, perhaps we should use it to reflect on the sobering reality of final judgment. Sometimes I hear people blithely say, “God is my judge.” I’ve often wondered if they have any idea what that actually means.

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The Lord’s Day In Eclipse

The earliest reason given for celebrating Sunday is that it is the day of the resurrection (Ep. of Barnabas, 15.9), but in the Jewish understanding of the week the first day commemorated creation and this idea was taken over even by Gentile Christians: “we assemble on the day of the sun because it is the […]

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What the Latest Duggar Scandal Tells Us about Purity and Profit


Can We Ever Truly Imagine Heaven?


Praying As a Family is More Important Than You Realize


Why My Husband Doesn’t Need Another Mom


The Truth About Margaret Sanger

Sanger
Sometimes the truth can be a bit of an annoyance. Sometimes the truth can even get in the way of our best intentions, and in the way of our attempts to right the world’s wrongs.

Over the past couple of months, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as a ghastly business profiteering from the sale of aborted babies. Undercover videos have taken us into secret meetings where deals are struck and even into labs where aborted children are dismantled and prepared for shipping. Some of Planned Parenthood’s high-ranking employees have been exposed as profit-driven and uncaring, concerned more for the well-being of their personal finances than the health of the women who visit their clinics.

Along the way, those who fight for the pro-life cause have been passing along information about Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger. This morning Joe Carter, writing for The Gospel Coalition, offered 9 Things You Should Know About Margaret Sanger. And this seems like as good a time as any to remind ourselves of this: Truth matters, and truth is always better than half-truths or full-out lies. This is exactly why I so appreciate Carter’s article.

When it comes to Margaret Sanger, many people have been passing along isolated quotes that portray her as a relentlessly racist zealot who created her birth control clinics for the express reason of eradicating African-Americans through her Negro Project. Most people draw this from a quote where she says, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…” But as Carter says in his article, “More likely, she feared that if the belief were to spread that the goal of the Negro Project was to ‘exterminate the Negro population’ it would hinder her true eugenic objective: the extermination of the subset of the black population that she considered ‘degenerate’.” So yes, she said those words, but they need to be read in context.

Now listen, there is little moral superiority in attempting to eradicate a subpopulation of African-American “degenerates” in place of an entire population of African Americans. Both are unconscionable and horrific. Really, the fact that her actions were in danger of being construed as exterminating an entire population just shows how abhorrent they were. By no means am I defending Sanger. Rather, I am simply pointing out that Sanger’s views as they have been memed through Facebook may not be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And as Christians, we need to concern ourselves foremost with what is true, even if it seems like the truth won’t serve our cause as much as a half-truth.

The truth, at least as described by Carter’s research, is that Sanger was, indeed, racist, but not to such a degree that she wished to eradicate all African-Americans. Carter does not deny “that Sanger’s views were implicitly—and sometimes explicitly racist—or that the effect of her ideas and organizations did not lead to the destruction of black communities. It is merely to say that it doesn’t appear racial superiority was her primary motivation for advocating sterilization and birth control.” If that is true, it is important, and it is all we should repeat. In Sanger’s case, the truth is plenty disturbing and damning.

Sometimes we want things to be true because it seems like that version of the truth would be more helpful to our cause. But truth always trumps falsehood. We do not serve our cause by making Margaret Sanger “more racist” than she actually was, or by assigning to her motives she did not actually have. When we do that, we open ourselves to reproach and ridicule. But even worse, we show that we are losing confidence in God, who is the source of all truth. We show that we are losing confidence in his ability to bring justice. God does not need our lies or our half-truths to further his cause and to right this world’s wrongs. He just needs the truth because, in the end, the truth will prevail.


Ask R.C.: How Should We Respond to the Recent Scandal Regarding Josh Duggar?

We shouldn’t. Sorry to burst the bubble, but unless you are his family, his employer, his elders or his church, it’s none of your business. I am none of those things. Yet I find myself reading about it, praying about it, thinking about it. I get that people are interested. This, after all, is quite a moral train wreck. Given both the high public profile of the Duggar clan, given their public espousal of counter-cultural sexual ethics, and given the previous scandal it is no surprise that the world is fascinated by this. Indeed perhaps the most discouraging fallout for me has been watching the world dance around Josh’s grave like a pack of hyenas. Some believers, though I have seen precious little of this, seem to be so invested in the Duggars that they are utterly disheartened, or worse, desperately seeking some excuse, some rationalization.

That Josh, as part of his family and to a lesser extent because of his work with the Family Research Council, was something of a “public figure” plays into our interest in the story, but such is not a just reason. It is the titillation of the story that attracts us I suspect, whether we are sheep or goats. For some it encourages a certain smugness-“Josh was a part of this family that served the world as a model of godliness and I haven’t done THAT.” For others it may just be drama for drama’s sake. We wring our hands, while sort of enjoying the fact that, even though it’s bad news, we Christians are in the news.

Sinners sin. Sinners sin spectacularly. Righteous indignation for the victims of our sins is right and fitting. Righteous indignation toward the sinner, however, is far more dangerous, as it carries with it a deep temptation to pride, to, “I thank you Lord that I am not like other men…” When a professing believer sins our hearts are not to be warmed, but warned. There but for the grace of God go we.

The church, including the people of God in the Bible, is littered with adulterers, that which Paul says should not be named once among us. It is a grievous sin, a destructive one, an evil one. But it is born out of our own evil hearts, not out of either the enticements of the world, nor a sheltered upbringing. Speculations on some other cause than the fallen human heart are mere platforms for pride. Perhaps worse still they create a false sense of security- “if I don’t do this, or do do that I will be safe from the scourge of infidelity.” That such a posture is folly doesn’t mean wisdom is of no use, that precautions are not in order. Rather it means we must guard our hearts and pray for fidelity. I’m praying for a deeper passion for fidelity in my own heart, and a deeper compassion for the victims of adultery. Truth be told, “How should we respond to…” can likely always be answered well with, “Pray more.” More often than not, it can also be well answered with, “Mind our own business.”

The post Ask R.C.: How Should We Respond to the Recent Scandal Regarding Josh Duggar? appeared first on R.C. Sproul Jr..


God’s Story on YouTube

We live in a time of biblical illiteracy, but could the internet help correct that? A new inspiring and exciting online resource to know about, next. Listen Now | Download

John Oliver takes on prosperity televangelists: Why does it take a non-believer to say what Christians all know?

HBO’s John Oliver

Yesterday I wrote about a so-called conservative so-called pastor collecting a very large salary. No, it’s not Joel Osteen. No, it’s not Joyce Meyer, though those two are so-called and are definitely collecting a large salary. Who I wrote about was Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham, whose nearly a million dollar salary from combined corporations Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse was raising eyebrows even among secular CEOs.

Today then, it seems fitting to follow that up with a post about excessive money-grubbing from excessively greedy pastors. But it’s really a post about how a pagan is showing us up.

John Oliver is a comedian.You will know him from Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central show “The Daily Show” in past years. He’s British, he’s pagan, and he’s finally had enough of the in-your-face money grubbing televangelists begging for money from gullible people.

A few days ago, Oliver performed a sketch on his show “Last Week Tonight” regarding how some televangelists are blatant about seeking money for money’s sake from people who watch their show- AND call their organization a church. The following article is from Addicting Info. The sketch is still having its effect.

John Oliver May Have Just Forced The IRS To Consider Taxing Greedy Televangelists
AUTHOR: STEPHEN D FOSTER JR AUGUST 24, 2015 10:42 AM

It could be the end of the line for televangelists who fleece their own flocks to make themselves wealthy, and it’s all thanks to John Oliver.
Last Sunday, Oliver spent 20 minutes eviscerating prosperity gospel televangelists who advocate a sort of trickle-down policy when it comes to donations. According to preachers like Creflo Dollar, the more money people donate so that he can be wealthy and own mansions and private jets, the more likely it is that God will favor them and make them prosper in return.

“They preach something called the prosperity gospel which argues that wealth is a sign of God’s favor and donations will result in wealth coming back to you,” Oliver explained the scam.

“That idea sometimes takes the form of seed faith – the notion that donations are seeds that you will one day get to harvest. The argument is ‘sow your money into the ground, you will reap returns multiple times over,’ except as an investment you’d be better off burying your money in the actual ground because at least that way there’s a chance your dog may dig it up and give it back to you one day.”

The scam has resulted in a transfer of millions upon millions of dollars from church-goers who are already struggling while their pastor gets to live a wealthy lifestyle completely funded by the congregation. For years, televangelists have gotten away with this by taking advantage of the tax system by declaring their operations as religious organizations. Current tax law allows churches to be tax-exempt and the IRS largely fails to investigate to make sure that churches are churches and not scams by so-called “pastors” designed to make themselves rich. But all of that could now change. According to a new report by CBS, the IRS is under a lot of pressure to tax televangelists in light of John Oliver’s exposure of the corrupt practice of prosperity gospel.

Someone was brave enough to call it what it is…what we all understand and know that it is: a scam.

Now, this behavior is certainly nothing new. Simon the Magician tried to buy the Holy Spirit for this very purpose.

Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. (Acts 8:17-21)

His heart was not right before God. Why?

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

The motivation of a false Christian is money. It is one way to tell if someone is false. Not the fact they have money, it’s their love of it that is the telling indicator. Many verse speak to this.

[ Qualifications for Overseers ] The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money... (1 Timothy 3:1-3)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7)

Paul prophesied that in the time of the end (the time between Jesus’ ascension and His return) some within the church will be false and godless and because of this, times will be difficult he said to avoid these people. Some few of the behaviors these godless ones will exhibit are listed, and ‘loving money’ is one of the traits.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, (2 Timothy 3:2)

So if all this is laid out in the Bible for us to see clearly, and if it is even prophesied to Christians as a certainty, why is so much of the general Christian population either so undiscerning as not to notice or so cowardly so as not to stand up?

Why does it take a pagan to point this out?

Not that many Christians haven’t been doing their part to sound the alarm. Many have. Even many leaders with a platform almost as influential as Oliver’s have done tremendous works in the name of Jesus to combat the dangerous doctrines and those who bring them.

But too many others don’t wish to “name names”, “make waves”, or “play hardball.” Church discipline has gone by the wayside, or else turned into something the Pharisees would have approved of. (John 9:22)

So how is the Christian to do his or her part to combat creeping prosperity Gospel into their own church? Yes, you. It is up to each individual Christian to do their part with the amount of discernment they have cultivated in and by the Spirit. Though discernment is a spiritual gift given to some, all Christians can and should cultivate a red flag alert by studying the Bible and prayer and constant confession and obedience to Jesus and His commands. Here is John MacArthur in a 2-minute clip explaining “Every Believer’s Responsibility.” (Though the clip looks dead, it isn’t)

It isn’t easy. As MacArthur ended the clip, he said to go to the pastor or leader lovingly, privately, but to do it. Sometimes, often times, as a matter of fact in my experience, the reactions are not of love returned. You might get a “reputation”. You might be asked to leave the church a la Pharisee-style. you might be gossiped about. You might be ignored. You might be patronized like a little girl with a pat on the head and an admonition not to take it all so seriously. In rare, beautiful cases, you might be listened to and the pastor or leader might actually go back and check through his Bible and see that you’re right. The latter case is rare.

So why go through all that if there is a good chance your message won’t be listened to? For 4 reasons. This list is certainly not exhaustive.

First, your message might be listened to. You never know. The goal of correcting someone’s doctrine is restoration, love, and  drawing them back into the fold. The Spirit might graciously draw that person back through your conversation, especially if you stick to the Word.

Secondly, though we do it out of love and concern for the person teaching or preaching the error, ultimately we have an audience of One. Jesus is the Head of the church and has charged us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8)  and to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). We take witnessing seriously. We take discipling seriously. We don’t walk away when a disciple of Jesus Christ begins to wander, or who brings in false doctrine that makes others stumble.

Third, pointing these things out helps to uncover who is true and who is false. A true disciple of Jesus Christ will hear you out and maybe they will become angry. But afterward they will calm down and the message will begin to work in them and they will come back to you in humility to apologize, and to learn more. A false witness of Jesus Christ will perhaps ignore, become dismissive, be angry…but if there is no effect then or later it is a sign that the Spirit perhaps is not in them and it is their flesh doing the driving.

Last, we check against scripture then point out the error so a pagan doesn’t have to.

——————————-

Further Reading

Who Needs Church Discipline When You Can Have Church Growth Instead? — or  — Church growth without church purity


The Mystical New Age Roots Of Jesus Calling

I know that this article is going to upset many people who have come to love Jesus Calling. My job as a Christian writer is to speak truth. I have no control over the readers’ reaction, but I must speak truth; and hopefully I will reach some Christians with this truth. I pray that this piece will help many to see that Jesus Calling is not a book that Jesus would have them read.

View Article


Chick-fil-A Blocked From Opening At Denver Airport Due To Christian Views

A committee of the Denver City Council has stalled what was expected to be routine approval of a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Denver International Airport after at least four council members expressed disapproval of the company’s alleged opposition to same-sex marriage…………  Click here for full story


Miniseries: Something HUGE missing from Last Supper scene

The Bible miniseries on the History Channel is one we cannot endorse. Many have said, “What’s the big deal? It’s getting unchurched people interested in the Bible, isn’t it?” The problem with this is that the complete Gospel – the only message by which the Bible says we can be regenerated to life by the […]

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The Dangers of Contemplative Prayer

One of the continuing snares Christians often encounter in their churches (of almost every denomination) is contemplative prayer. Is it biblical? Why are so many discernment ministries sounding the alarm? After all, doesn’t the Bible say we are to meditate on God’s Word? The answer to that last question is YES! We are to fill […]

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9 Things to Remember When Another Christian Disappoints You

by Erin Davis | 8/26/15

Maybe it’s your pastor.
Maybe it’s someone in your Bible study.
Maybe it’s a famous Christian in the news.

They’ve sinned. They’ve said they believe one thing and lived like they believed something else. Their life is messier than you could have imagined and you feel . . .

Disappointed
Angry
Confused
Disillusioned
Sad

How are we supposed to feel when other Christians miss God’s mark? How can we cope with the chaos other people’s sin creates? What should we say (if anything)?

Here are nine things to keep in mind when another Christian disappoints you.

1. All Have Sinned

Romans 3:23 is a gut punch we all need from time to time: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

All have sinned. As in every single one of us.

The fact that every person on earth is a sinner in desperate need of a Savior never stops being a shock to our systems, but it is a constant reminder of how desperately we need grace.

2. Sin Exposed Is a Good Thing

Ephesians 5:11–14 says:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Although painful, it is a gift when sin is dragged into the light. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). He calls us to live like bright cities on a hill (Matt. 5:14). We have no business keeping parts of our life in the dark. When God exposes dark parts of a person’s life or heart, it is an act of mercy and an opportunity for us to thank Him for His extravagant grace.

3. The Cross Was Built for Heavy Loads

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).

The cross is big enough to carry any sin, “big” or “small.”

From time to time, we need a reminder of what makes us Christians. It isn’t that we have perfect lives. It isn’t that we listen to the right Christian music or say no to certain books or movies. We are Christians because we have put our faith in Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross. The violence of the cross is necessary because of our sin. Jesus did not have to hang on the cross any longer for your disgraced pastor than He did for you. The cross is big enough to carry any sin, “big” or “small.” There’s no sin we can throw at it that the cross is not big enough to handle.

4. Speak the Truth (in Love)

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:14–15).

God’s intention is not that we live our lives in a constant tug-of-war. We are to protect and guide each other by speaking the truth in love.

I once heard someone say, “Whatever ‘speak the truth in love’ means, it means to speak the truth.” What is the truth, exactly?

John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

We need to remind each other what God’s Word says—often. That’s not the same as blasting someone on your Facebook wall or on Twitter. Which brings me to number five.

5. Gossip About Sinners Is a Sin

Romans 1:29 lists gossips among murderers, slanderers, and haters of God. Ephesians 4:29 says unless it builds others up, don’t say it.

Titus 3:2 urges us “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Talking to others about someone else’s sin does nothing to restore their relationship with God or others.

6. Watch Out for Plank-Eye Syndrome

Matthew 7:3–5 says,

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Responding to other people’s sin with disgust or feelings of self-righteousness is like worrying about a little sawdust in a friend’s eye while a two-by-four sticks out of our own. Our sin has a way of blinding us to the ways we are missing the mark and making us hypersensitive to how others fall short.

Our sin has a way of blinding us to the ways we are missing the mark and making us hypersensitive to how others fall short.

While the Bible does teach us to lovingly remind other Christians about how God calls us to live, that’s not our first mission. We must be most concerned with the sin in our own lives.

When you see the impact of sin in the life of someone else, take the opportunity to assess your own life. Repeat the prayer of King David, and ask the Lord to root out all sin in your heart.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Ps. 139: 23–24).

7. Forgive, for Real

In the wake of the horrific Charleston shooting, USA Today published an article that said this:

When Christians are in the news, it’s usually because they have done something wrong — they’ve gotten on the wrong side of a culture war or cheated on their wife, or worse. What the world rarely gets to see is the powerful grace that flows from a deep faith predicated on the belief that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness.

The article went on to tell the story of a man whose wife and daughter were brutally killed. When asked what he would say to the killer if given the chance, he said, “I would say, ‘I forgive you.’ If he kissed me on the cheek, I would kiss him back.”

These are graphic pictures of forgiveness. Forgiveness often feels so gut wrenching that we want to run in the opposite direction. But the Bible reminds us that we can extend forgiveness because we have been forgiven of so much.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Eph. 4:32).

8. The World Is Watching

The article quoted above is proof that the world is watching. Yes, they watch when we fall short, but they also watch when we respond to sin like God has called us to.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

We are the billboard God wants to use to tell the world about Him. What story are you telling with your response to sin in your own life and in the lives of others?

9. Prayer Is a Weapon That Works

When someone sins, we want to do something. God has given us a two-pronged plan of attack.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16).

First, go to war with sin in your own life.
Second, pray for others.

If someone in your world is caught in sin, pray like crazy for them. It really is that simple.

The Silver Lining

As Christians, we will continue to disappoint each other. We will sin in public and in private. We will mess up our lives and hurt each other. We will all fall short of the standard of holiness God has set for us. That’s the cloud, but there is a silver lining.

Jesus died for sinners.

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).

All sin reminds us of our great need and His great sacrifice. How can you respond to others in light of this earth-shaking truth?


Browse Worthy: The Horrors Continue

The eighth video from the Center for Medical Progress has been revealed, and the callousness of those working in the abortion and fetal body parts industry (Did I just say that?) continues to stun me.

Yet my own callousness becomes more clear to me as I watch as well.  How could this wheeling and dealing in dead babies be going on all around us and we have not known its extent until now?

Some important pieces have been written recently on Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, regarding her racial views.  See first “9 Things You Should Know about Margaret Sanger” by Joe Carter, and then a further article entitled “The Truth about Margaret Sanger” by Tim Challies.  As these men point out, in expressing our passion and indignation about what is taking place, we must not lose the truth in the process.


Ministering to the Suffering

Question-About-Suffering1

One of my mentors used to wisely say, “We are either in a trial, about to enter a trial, or coming out of a trial.” Such is life under the weight of the Curse.

Since God’s people are called to be skilled relationally, this means that relating to people in suffering is going to comprise much of our relationships.

Here are a few reminders for Christians as we minister to others in their suffering:

  1. We’re all called to skillfully minister to those in trials.

In many churches, the pastors are viewed as the ministry-putter-on’ers. Church leadership are expected to do all of the ministry while the other 95% of Christians watch. But Scripture commands the contrary: pastors are to equip Christians in local churches to do the ministry (Eph. 4:11-12).

help

Those suffering around us provide great opportunities for our ministry as the physical and spiritual needs can be significant. We can, for example, “love one another with brotherly affection,” “contribute to the needs of the needs of the saints,” and “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:10, 13, 15). Depending on the severity of the suffering, individuals often need help with things like daily chores, shopping, food preparation, kids, finances, spiritual care, visitation, to name a few. One pastor cannot possibly meet these needs for all those suffering in a church at given time. Nor should he since he is not the body, but merely one member.

God’s design for normal Christianity is that every member of local churches would be equipped and eager to skillfully pour out their gifts, skills, and resources for the needs among them.

  1. Be wise with words.

Since we are called to relational skill, then we are called to skill in speaking. Suffering is a time in which that is especially important. Scripture is packed with help here: “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly” (Prov 15:2), “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances” (Prov 25:11), and “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thess. 5:14).

3.  Avoid saying, “I understand…,” unless you really do.

Most of us have probably said careless things to those in a trial. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do or say because of the difficult to identify. Well-meaning individuals often will attempt to comfort the individual by saying something along the lines of, “I understand how this is…”

But we should be slow to say such things. Often we do not understand. We may have experienced a similar struggle, loss, pain, or persecution, but often our circumstances were not identical to theirs. For example, we may have experienced pain, but not in the way the individual is. Or, we may have experienced a miscarriage, and while that is a loss of a child, it is different than the loss of an 8-year old.

So, in an attempt to identify with the individual (which is good), it may be better to say something like, “I understand that pain/sickness is so difficult.” Where we can, we should identify in a sympathetic manner. But, if we cannot, we should not attempt to do so. And it’s OK because we are not called to be others’ great high priest. They have a far better One (Heb. 4:14-16).

4.  Beware of minimizing others’ trials.

Most people are not out intentionally to minimize another’s suffering. But the individual may be in a moment where we see that their response to the suffering seems greater than the actual suffering. Perhaps they are viewing their trials as if the end of the world would be a bad thing (assuming they are regenerate). It’s possible for God’s people to, in our less noble moments, unintentionally view our trials through the eyes of untruth.

So, we may see their suffering and think, “You know, I don’t think it’s really that bad.” And we may be right. In view of the horrors of eternity in hell, and the glories of eternity in heaven, no trial is that bad for the regenerate.

However, God commands us to speak in a way that fits the need of the moment so that the hearer is imparted grace (Eph. 4:29). Doing so involves more than saying to people, “It’s not that bad.” Further, “It is not that bad” is a myopic view of things as it pertains to understanding suffering, the present groaning of this world, and a biblical/true worldview.

More than knowing “it is not that bad,” we need to know/be reminded of God; the sovereignty of God, the redemptive plan of God, the penal substitutionary atoning work of God in our place, the goodness of God, the mercy of God, and the eschatological plans of God. Rather than hearing, “It is not that bad,” we need these God-centered, redemptive realities to inform our understanding of what is, especially in struggle. Certainly it is not that bad, but it is these truths, more than saying, “It’s not that bad,” which equip us to worship and glory in God during trials. We might also observe that God’s approach to our trials is giving us a loads of verses on trials, and not merely one verse that says, “Oh, stop, it’s not that bad.”

In either case, since we are mostly outside of their circumstances, we may not be able to adjudicate the severity of suffering as precise as we think. We are not them, so we cannot experience the loss, pain, or persecution as they are. It may not be that bad. But, it probably is what they are experiencing at that moment. And if we’re certain it’s not that bad, skillfully minister Scripture, erring on the side of compassion in order to comfort as we correct. Let the individual minimize their own trial. As for us, like Christ, let’s avoid breaking a bruised reed.

  1. Bring care from the truth of Scripture.

Recently I saw a quote which said, “Sometimes the best way to honor suffering is with silence. Beware of people who charge into your suffering with certainty and Bible verses.” Now, on the one hand, “Yes, be skilled about timing and wording towards the suffering.” However, that quote has the potential to convey that the certainty of Scripture is not needed in our suffering.

Bible

But, if we are not going to bring the certainty of Scripture into our suffering, then what will we bring? Or own tumultuous thoughts? The despair we battle in trials? The unbiblical thinking that invades us?

If we are to bring anything to bear on our suffering, it must be Scripture. And if the certainty of Scripture has no place in our suffering, then God himself has no place in our suffering. if Scripture is not sufficient in trials, then God is not sufficient in trials.

In a recent bout with post-surgery pain and related physical complications, my mind began reeling into the dangerous waters of despair. Though feeling better was what I wanted in that moment, it’s not what I most needed. I needed certainty because my thoughts and existence was rocked with uncertainty. And I needed another believer to bring God’s thoughts from Scripture to override my out-of-control thoughts consequent from my response to the struggle. As my mind raged in unbiblical despair and panic, I needed someone to firmly admonish me with Scripture.

  1. Learn to weep.

Learning to weep with those who weep is not about manufacturing tears for appearance’s sake. Nor does crying automatically mean that we are obediently ministering to the suffering.

Rather, to weep with those who weep is more about a tender heart which makes an effort to draw close to the individual in an attempt to sincerely share in their pain. It’s about a heart that avoids a stoic or business like involvement, and gets into the struggle as much as possible.

Some of us might say, “Well, I’m not like that.” We need to be. God commands it, not for elite Christians, but every Christian.

  1. Give a thoughtful gift.

Even if they are the type of person who seems to have everything, a thoughtful gift is a way to share and express care in their struggle. And we might consider a gift which will stretch us a bit. Christian giving is sacrificial, as our Savior did for us in his substitutionary work on the cross.

We might give a good book, a gift certificate, help with finances, and time spent cleaning and doing chores. And consider a different approach than, “If you need anything, let me know.” It’s almost a given that they do need something. But it can be hard to ask and figure out what you mean by “anything.” And I can be hard to keep track of who opened himself to meet needs.

  1. Give grace towards unexpected and uncharacteristic behavior.

Suffering is a time during which we experience the weight of the curse in heavier-than-usual ways. As people are pulled and pressed under previously unexperienced pains, people often say and do things spiritually uncharacteristic of how you’ve known them. And as much as we’d like the Spirit to ooze out of suffering’s squeeze, sometime it just doesn’t. Instead, the flesh shows its ugly head. Both physical and spiritual pain can wreak more havoc on the brain and behavior than we might like to think. This is not to excuse sin, but remind us that we need to give sufferers some spiritual breathing room. They are suffering.

“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Prov. 19:11).

  1. Keep the odors to a minimum.

odor-control-icon-oarge

During times of physical suffering, odors can be magnified. For example, individuals undergoing chemotherapy, experiencing post-surgery nausea, or in pain can be extra sensitive to smells. Something like another’s bad breath can send nausea to projectile stage.

But it’s not only bad odors which can do so. Things like perfumes and cologne can multiply nausea. Recently, I had to ask some of my family to exit my hospital room simply because the shampoo smell (something I would hardly notice otherwise) turned my stomach and enlivened my headache. I talked to one individual who said that while they were undergoing chemo even the smell of a certain leather sent them over the top.

Part of our privileged responsibility as God’s people is relational skill. One of the preeminent ways this comes into play this side of heaven is during inevitable suffering. As we competently care for others in this way, Christ’s glory will shine and people will experience something of his love.

What would you add when it comes to ministering to the suffering?


Heidelberg 117: Who Defines True Prayer?

There are few places in religion where subjectivism dominates more clearly than in the matter of prayer. Just try to tell someone that their prayers are not proper and see what happens. One will be met with “who are you to tell me?” and the like.

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Pope to Copeland: Catholics and Charismatics must spiritually unite

We are galloping toward a one-world melding of religions, and the ramifications are staggering. Pope Francis has now sent a video message to Word of Faith father Kenneth Copeland, urging a reconciliation between Catholics and Charismatics. This is undoubtedly one of the most significant developments I’ve reported. Please take the time to see and hear […]

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Colorado 7th Graders, Parents, Required To Take “Righty/Lefty” Survey

I recently received an email from a listener about a very disturbing assignment given in the Aurora Public School District in Colorado: “Attached is an assignment given to my 12-year-old great-nephew in his 7th grade social studies class. It is an outrage, and I’m so proud of my niece (his mom) who was able to […]

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Contemporary Christian Music Pioneer Don Francisco departs from biblical inerrancy

Two-time Dove Award winner Don 30 Francisco is a singer/songwriter best for songs like He’s Alive, Adam, Adam Where are You” and I’ll Never Let Go of Your Hand. Surprisingly, Francisco is now scolding Christians who believe that the Bible is without error. In fact if you believe in the infallibility of Scripture, you are […]

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A “Christian Nation” Turned Pagan?

America was founded upon Judeo-Christian Law, recognizing that all rights come from God alone, and that we were totally dependent on God.  Growing up as a child these beliefs were often reflected in the television and movies we watched, and within society as a whole. These days some of the most popular television shows and […]

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Marriage Wars, Truth Wars, and Tolerance Wars

When you don’t have solid answers, arguments and facts to make your case, then simply demonising and shouting down opposing voices is always a neat way to proceed. And this is the normal operating procedure for the homosexual activists and their supporters.

They have become experts at screaming at opponents, throwing mud and abuse, and treating with utter contempt those who dare to hold to a differing point of view. This is always so much easier than actually dealing with the arguments and the evidence.

angry manI of course get this on a daily basis – as do all those who dare to stand for truth, reality, biology and marriage. We recently had a few North Americans over here to warn about the dangers of homosexual marriage, and they all received their fair share of abuse.

Katy Faust for example was attacked by a Labor Party politician on “our” ABC that she he is a hater for being concerned about the well-being of children. And to stick the knife in even further, he accused Katy of mouthing “evangelical claptrap”. I am not sure what that even means, but it must be pretty bad indeed. As Brendan O’Neil wrote about another critic:

Sinclair Davidson seems to think my main beef with gay marriage is that the people who campaign for it use unpleasant tactics. But this is merely an observation. And it’s the one I made on Q&A last Monday because I had just witnessed the doublespeak of Sam Dastyari, who said, in response to traditional marriage campaigner Katy Faust, that “people are entitled to have different views” (how generous of him) “but this American evangelical claptrap is the last thing we need in the debate”. For me, this summed up the illiberal liberalism of the gay-marriage campaign. “You’re entitled to your view; just don’t express it.”

And the ABC did a “fact check” (giggle, chuckle) on her comments. In this lame rebuttal was the amazing admission that the one doing the fact checking was actually an author of a pro-homosexual parenting study. Mind-boggling. Gotta love all the objectivity there!

So, I can just relax now, knowing how unbiased and fully neutral this fact check was. This is about as helpful as someone employed by the tobacco industry writing a fact check on someone who dares to critique the tobacco industry!

Also last week, one of America’s leading lights on marriage and family spoke to a packed house in Melbourne – and elsewhere – on the important of marriage and why homosexual marriage is no such thing. He too received plenty of flak for daring to offer facts and evidence.

But as he well knows, we just keep on calmly speaking the truth, and ignore all the haters and trolls. So thank you so much for coming down under Ryan. Your input was invaluable. As but one example of how well he performed under fire, see this short interview with another ABC belligerent: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/leading-anti-same-sex-marriage-campaigner-ryan-t/6710298

While she offered all the usual lame criticisms, Ryan did a terrific job answering her. For those wanting more of his expert thinking on this, I highly recommend you get his new book which I recently reviewed here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/08/21/a-review-of-truth-overruled-the-future-of-marriage-and-religious-freedom-by-ryan-anderson/

As always, for daring to speak some truth on my own website about such matters, a received even more sweetness and light from the love and tolerance brigade. The very first comment under my website review was this (obviously unpublished) winner: “Take your gay-bashing Bible, stick it down your bigot throat sideways and choke on it and then wash it down with Jesus Freak Kool-Aid.”

Sweet. But it was only to be followed up by more sweetness and light: “F**k you and the bigoted donkey you rode in on.” And these love bombs were from a female – Sarah! As usual, we can pray for folks like Sarah. So much hatred, bitterness and ugliness is at root a reflection of the demonic hold so many of these folks are under.

When I posted my review on amazon, the very first “comment” to arrive was this: “Mr. Muehlenberg is a professional anti-gay bigot. When he uses the word ‘homosexual,’ the sneer is present in his usage. This is a person who has no concept of gay human beings beyond using them as scapegoats for his bigotry.”

Hmm, a “profession anti-gay bigot”! Wow, I didn’t even know such a job description existed. So I guess I must be a fully paid-up, card-carrying member of a professional society dedicated to such bigotry! As I say, if you can’t deal with the evidence, just throw out more sneers, jeers and abuse.

And when I dared to come on to a site of a pro-homosexual “Christian” asking for thoughts on persecution of Christians by homosexuals, I was howled down mercilessly by his groupies, most of whom also claim to be “Christians”.

When I simply suggested that my books fully document all this, they starting foaming at the mouth. Said one:

Your book is full of lies. The same old strawman arguements are presented in the summary such as SSM will cause families/ parenthood/ family definition will suffer. It will lead to polygamy etc.Christians will be persecuted. This is not based on any facts but fear. I would recommend that anyone considering reading it to give it a miss and read something more factual eg. Anthony Venn Browns’s A life of Unlearning.

Um, OK. Of course this gal has obviously never even read my books. I have hundreds of quotes from homosexuals themselves and others saying these very things. So are they all lying too? And then she wants us to enthuse over a book written by a guy who dumped his wife and kids to take up the homosexual lifestyle. I don’t think so.

But telling lies for the cause is a never ending affair with these folks. One horrifically bad article appeared recently claiming that “Christian Australia is ready for marriage equality”. Yeah right. The only good thing about this article was that a reply was allowed by a real Christian, who quickly set the record straight. Murray Campbell opens his rebuttal as follows:

Rev Dr Peter Catt and Dr Stuart Edser have offered a strange and misleading picture of the Christian faith. Despite claiming an allegiance to Christianity, their thesis has more in common with a late night ‘reality’ television show than with the teaching and work of Jesus Christ.
First of all, Catt and Edser would have us believe that the majority of Australian Christians now support homosexuality and same-sex marriage. However, it doesn’t take much to realise that they have been selective in their presentation of the evidence.
They were able to cite two polls, by Crosby-Textor and Galaxy. The former was commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality (AME), and both failed to make the crucial differentiation between nominal Christians and practising Christians, which is a normal sociological and theological distinction. It is odd that two ‘Christian’ ministers should so glibly assume as Christian any person who identifies with the name in a survey. Even Jesus saw through such superficial clap-trap, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21).

He concludes:

It is clear that Catt and Edser are trying to present to the Australian public a new and progressive face to Christianity, but the same could be said of the novel-looking horse that the Greeks left outside the gates of Troy. The only gift that Christians have to offer is the very same gift that we have received by the kindness of God, and it is a gift, though ancient, which remains powerful and beautiful today.
The Apostle Paul wrote of this gift to a group of citizens in a city whose relativistic contour towards ethics was similar to ours, and to them he said, “you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8).
The Bible speaks of a God who acted beyond helping his friends; he gave his life for people who are disinterested in him and who don’t approve of him. However, God didn’t wait to win a popularity vote before acting to redeem and reconcile, but he took the initiative and in doing so God refused the path of blind relativism and sucking up revisionism. He loves too much to agree with every desire and ambition we ignite.

As I say, ignoring the evidence, squashing the truth, and vilifying all those who dare to think differently is just how the militants operate. This is the standard response from those seeking to redefine marriage and family and crush all opposition.

Thus we must keep on speaking the truth, making our arguments, and providing the facts. Just be prepared for a whole lotta hate if you do.

http://catallaxyfiles.com/2015/08/24/guest-post-brendan-oneill-heres-my-beef-with-gay-marriage/
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/christian-australia-is-ready-for-marriage-equality-20150816-gj0dcf.html
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/christianity-has-no-room-for-homosexuality-20150820-gj3feh.html


“God, Why Am I Still in Debt?”

The Ryle family had gone from riches to rags almost overnight. They had been a strong, vibrant Victorian family during the mid-1800s, but poor management of the family bank by the father, John Ryle, would plummet them into ruin. By June 1841, the business and the family were bankrupt. Ryle was left only with his wife and children, and two horses. The loss would be devastating for the whole family, but the humiliation would weigh especially heavy on their oldest son, John Charles.

John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) had enjoyed the best of life. He had gone to the best schools, attended the finest gatherings, and partook in the luxuries of the elite. He fit the Victorian English model well. He was tall (6’3″), handsome and charismatic, which left him fending off women for most of his young life. John was raised in a religious family, and attended church regularly. But it would be a fateful stint at Oxford that would change his life, and the whole world, for that matter.

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Conservative Christianity: A Reading List

BookCoverImageA friend recently emailed asking for a basic reading list that would introduce an interested individual to conservative Christianity as we articulate it here at Religious Affections Ministries. Here’s what I came with. What would you add?

I would start with our A Conservative Christian Declaration as an introduction to the fundamental ideas we believe are essential to conservative Christianity. David de Brun’s Building Conservative Churches is great as well. Those are good introductions; here are books on specifics:

All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Kenneth Meyers
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
Beauty by Roger Scruton
By the Waters of Babylon by Scott Aniol
Confessions by Augustine
Culture Counts by Roger Scruton
From Passions to Emotions by Thomas Dixon
Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver
No Place for Truth by David Wells
Notes Toward the Definition of Culture by T. S. Eliot
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards
Saving the Appearances by Owen Barfield
The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis
The Aesthetics of Popular Art by Abraham Kaplan
The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis
The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein
Understanding Music by Roger Scruton
Whatever Happened to Worship by A. W. Tozer
With Reverence and Awe by D. G. Hart and Muether
Worship in Song by Scott Aniol


Not In Part But the Whole

Not In Part But the WholeSometimes it is the unexpected things that get you. Sometimes it is the words you have heard or said or sung a hundred times over that suddenly leap off the page—words like “My sin, not in part but the whole.” The words come, of course, from the much-loved hymn “It Is Well With My Soul,” a song that joyfully celebrates the freedom that is found in salvation.

“Not in part but the whole.” Have you ever considered your life, your death, and your eternity if you had to face God with your sins only partially forgiven? Can you imagine singing “My sin, not the whole but in part”?

Thankfully, wonderfully, forgiveness is not a partial thing. Forgiveness does not come in half measures; it is all or nothing. It is either extended or held back, freely offered or completely withheld. To be partly forgiven is to be wholly damned. Partial forgiveness is complete condemnation. The Christian and the Christian alone knows the pure delight of God’s full and final forgiveness.

Christian, you can joyfully accept and proclaim “My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more.” The biggest of your sins is nailed to the very same cross as the smallest. God has forgiven the sins you don’t even remember in the same way and to the same degree as the sins you just can’t forget. He has extended grace for the sins known to the whole world and the ones known only to you and him. And all of this means that you, with the hymn writer, must conclude: “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”


A La Carte (August 26)

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Old-Earth Creationism On Trial by Chaffey & Lisle ($2.99); Mary—Another Redeemer? by James White ($1.99); Read the Bible for Life by George Guthrie ($2.99); Faith and Learning by David Dockery ($2.99).

Another 50 Livers a Week

The Center for Medical Progress has released their eighth video, which shows a meeting with StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer. WORLD has the video and the story along with some analysis.

Pro-Life? There’s An App For That

I think most people on the pro-life side have already understood this. But it is still interesting to consider the vast chasm between the way we speak of an unborn child if we want that child versus if we do not.

When Culture Feels Scary

In the midst of all kinds of bad and scary news in the world, Tim Lane has some genuine encouragement. It came to me like a breath of fresh air.

Which Major Has the Most Expensive Textbooks?

Maybe you want to keep this in mind as you nudge your kids toward college.

This Day in 1708: Ebenezer Erskine was converted. He would soon create, and live by, this covenant: “I offer myself up, soul and body, unto God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I flee for shelter to the blood of Jesus. I will live to Him; I will die to Him. I take heaven and earth to witness that all I am and all I have are His.” *

Should Women Wear Head Coverings?

Writing for The Gospel Coalition, Benjamin L. Merkle offers a helpful answer to the question of head coverings. He argues that there are both cultural and transcultural issues at play, and carefully separates them.

4 Simple Ways Fred Elliot Discipled His Children

Fred was the father of Jim, of course. And this article describes 4 simple but effective ways that Fred discipled his children. “Because the saying is true that disciples aren’t born they’re made, it is difficult to understate the influence Fred had on Jim’s spiritual formation.”


The Daily Discovery (August 26, 2015)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

15 Ways to Fight Lust With the Sword of the Spirit – “It is almost impossible in the Western world to escape sensuality. Sex is on the television, in the movies and in our music, on the side of buses, during halftime shows, in our books and in glossy close-ups at supermarket check-out. Sex is all around us in the mall, dripping off every beer commercial, and two stories high on our billboards. Sexual sin is walking around our high schools, flaunted across our universities, and hiding in our churches.”

Idolatry is dumb. Jesus is not – “Though the word is more-or-less out of style, unless you’re counting reality TV shows that are also increasingly going out of style, the practice of idolatry is still going strong. In saying this, of course, I don’t simply mean putting little statues of wood and metal up in our homes and praying to them (though I do—and we have a store in our local mall that sells tons of them!). Human has this unique ability to worship… well, pretty much anything. And everything. Because we do.”

Not In Part But the Whole – “Sometimes it is the unexpected things that get you. Sometimes it is the words you have heard or said or sung a hundred times over that suddenly leap off the page—words like ‘My sin, not in part but the whole.’ The words come, of course, from the much-loved hymn ‘It Is Well With My Soul,’ a song that joyfully celebrates the freedom that is found in salvation.”

Ministering to the Suffering – “One of my mentors used to wisely say, ‘We are either in a trial, about to enter a trial, or coming out of a trial.’ Such is life under the weight of the Curse.  Since God’s people are called to be skilled relationally, this means that relating to people in suffering is going to comprise much of our relationships.”

Hillsong and the issue of association – “If you’re a church music minister, there’s a lot out there to choose from. It’s overwhelming, in fact. Strike out the songs with weak theology or inaccessible music, and it’s still overwhelming. Since the Reformation, the church has seen such a wealth of songs as to be nearly uncountable (Charles Wesley himself wrote more than 6,000). Even if your church is guilty of chronological snobbery and sings only songs written in the past few decades, you could still make weekly song selection into a full-time job. Part of the reason for such a recent glut of music is that what once was the purview of pastors and trained theologians (that is, writing song texts) has been taken up by musicians, often with little thought for the magnitude of the responsibility they’re assuming. Right or wrong, the songs we sing shape our understanding of who God is and what He does. And there’s plenty of material, both old and new, that’s weak or even heretical. But happily there’s much that is excellent and rich, especially in the past fifteen years.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Ken Fryer – The Duties of an Elder Part 1 “Exposing False Teachers” (Titus 1:10-16)


VIDEOS:

What a Simple Gospel Tract Can Do

Your Sin Will Find You Out


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (August 26, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, August 26, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Josh Duggar’s Brother-in-law Condemns Instant Forgiveness for Adultery

Islamic Terrorists Attack Christians in Burkina Faso

John Oliver’s Mock Church Receives Real Donations

Media Does Not Address Faith in Baylor Sexual Assault Case

U.K. Gives Aid to Countries That Persecute Christians

Pat Robertson: Stock Market Troubles Due to God’s Anger at Planned Parenthood Funding

Planned Parenthood Gave Campaign Contribution to Senators Who Voted Against Defunding

Civil Liberties Group Demands Removal of Jesus Portrait at Kansas School

Duke Students Protest Assignment of Novel They Say Violates Their Christian Beliefs

Kenya Moves Forward with Strict New Church Regulations

Opinion

What Anna Duggar Doesn’t Understand about Christian Forgiveness

New Bible Videos on YouTube Helping Christians Understand God’s Word

Train Heroes Receive France’s Highest Honor

The Court’s Attack on Language

Three Lessons from Jimmy Carter’s Cancer



Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

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What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“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

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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.

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Are same-sex unions the same as heterosexual married unions?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Marriage and family Marriage and family

Note: I am re-posting this post because my friend Papa Giorgio informs me that the post is referenced in a new book on homosexuality and culture, authored by Dr. Michael Brown. Papa Giorgio says it’s a good book so far, so I’m going to get it. In the meantime, here’s the post Dr. Brown linked to.

I’ve written before about the differences between same-sex unions and opposite sex married couples.

Here’s a post from Canon and Culture on the same topic by social scientist Glenn Stanton.

He finds two differences.

First, instability:

[T]he research is strong and numerous enough that a recent and very provocative Atlantic cover story on what straights could learn from gay marriage couldn’t ignore it. Liza Mundy, the article’s author, doesn’t appear to have a conservative bone in her body, yet she is fair and straight-up honest with the research on the nature…

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Early Christianity on Sexual Abuse of Children

Larry Hurtado's Blog

The sexual abuse of children has now become a major and publicly recognized concern (and high time too!).  A recent study by John W. Martens shows that for early Christians, too, it was a major concern, and that this is reflected in what appears to be a distinctive early Christian vocabulary to refer to the practice:  John W. Martens, “‘Do Not Sexually Abuse Children’: The Language of Early Christian Sexual Ethics,” in Children in Late Ancient Christianity, eds. Cornelia B. Horn and Robert R. Phenix (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 227-54.

As Martens notes, there was a whole Greek vocabulary for the practice of having sex with children:  “pederastia” (“child-love”), “pederastes” (“child-lover”), etc.  Indeed, Roman-era poets and others celebrate the practice, and it seems to have been tolerated widely.  It was particularly slave-children who likely suffered the most.  But (and this is Martens’ contribution) in early…

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A Christian View of Knowledge (K. Samples)

The Reformed Reader

One of my favorite books on apologetics and worldview is A World of Difference by Kenneth Samples.  I’ve mentioned it here on the blog from time to time; while I was recently flipping through it again, I re-read a helpful discussion of the Christian, biblical view of knowledge (Christian epistemology).  I’ll summarize it here:

1) Extreme skepticism is self-defeating.  Like the universal denial of truth, extreme skepticism with regard to knowledge is self-defeating and therefore false.  The skeptic’s reasoning (‘one cannot know’) backfires for surely he at least claims to know that he doesn’t know – an assertion which is self-referentially incoherent or absurd.

2) Knowledge is possible with God as its source and foundation.  The Bible indicates that human beings can attain genuine knowledge of God, the self, and the world (Ps. 19:1-4, Acts 17:27-28, Rom. 1:18-21).  The Creator sustains the universe and the mind…

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GodLife: In the World, Not of the World Part 3

Scripture:

“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:14-15

Do you struggle to live for God in an ungodly culture? What does God want you to do when the world around you refuses to follow God’s laws? Jesus tells us to Love: love God and love others as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-38) How do you love others?

Read on to learn more.

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Daily Devotionals: (26th Aug.) Life and Immortality Secured

thinkGOSPEL blog

Reading: Genesis 3:23-24

Mortality in the spiritual realm is all around us. The decline in spiritual virtues and the deadly tendency of the flesh continually bring before us the wretchedness of this life, and with Paul we cry out, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).

Redeemed by the grace of God and made a new creature in Christ, and having become “like God,” Adam knew that life was restored to his soul. However, he was acutely aware of death in the body. The Lord had made it very clear that “change and decay” was going to be his lot in life. Holding on to the promise of a Redeemer for his soul he realizes that his body is still in the grip of death.

The temptation therefore to “put forth his hand and eat of the tree of life” was very real for Adam…

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