Daily Archives: September 6, 2015

The “visible church” is under the curse of mediocrity

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one…

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September 5-6, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Top News – 9/6/2015

Iraq: Woman Kills Isis Commander in Mosul for Forcing Her into Sex Slavery
The commander, identified by his nom de guerre Abu Anas, was murdered by the woman in Tal Roman district, located to the west of Mosul, Press TV reported. …keeping a woman as slave in fact is a “great prophetic Sunnah (way of life prescribed by Prophet Mohammad) containing many divine wisdoms and religious benefits”.

Egyptian billionaire offers to buy Mediterranean island to accommodate refugees
Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire and philanthropist from Egypt, has announced a bid to purchase land in the Mediterranean which would be used to provide refugees a new home, CNN reported on Friday. “Greece or Italy, sell me an island,” Sawiris tweeted. In another tweet, he suggested calling the island “Aylan” after the Syrian boy who made international headlines after pictures surfaced of his drowned body washed ashore in Turkey.

Pope calls on every European parish to host one migrant family each
“I appeal to the parishes, the religious communities, the monasteries and sanctuaries of all Europe to … take in one family of refugees,” he said after his Sunday address in the Vatican. The pope’s call goes out to tens of thousands of Catholic parishes in Europe as the number of refugees arriving over land through the Balkans and across the Mediterranean to Italy and Greece hits record levels.

When it comes to earthquakes, only Alaska surpasses Oklahoma
With its volcanoes, glaciers and mountains, Alaska’s landscape may be different from Oklahoma’s. However, the two states have frequent earthquakes in common. but of all the states in the nation, Alaska is the only state surpassing Oklahoma when it comes to earthquakes, U.S. Geological Survey records indicate. As of Aug. 31, more than 600 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes had been recorded in Oklahoma

Pope Francis prepares for most political trip yet
Pope Francis is gearing up for potentially his most politically charged trip yet, an eight-day whirlwind visit which will take him from Havana’s Revolution Square in Cuba to the headquarters of the United Nations. …His environmental encyclical and …speeches…against the free market system, blind capitalism and rabid exploitation…of natural resources, have seen him accused of Marxism.

Russia ‘is building military base in Syria’
Russia is building a military base in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s heartland, according to American intelligence officials… The anonymous officials say Russia has set up an air traffic control tower and transported prefabricated housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to an airfield serving the Syrian port city of Latakia.

Netanyahu: Israel not indifferent, but can’t absorb Syrian or African refugees
…“We have conscientiously treated thousands of wounded from the fighting in Syria, and we have helped them rebuild their lives,” Netanyahu said. “But Israel is a very small country, with neither demographic or geographic depth, and therefore we must control our borders.” …In order to secure the country’s border…work will begin Sunday on building a security barrier…on the country’s eastern border with Jordan.

US warns Russia against more aid to Assad amid new violence
BEIRUT — Anti-government violence erupted Saturday in a southern Syrian province that had largely stayed on the sidelines of the country’s civil war. Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggesting that Russia was planning to expand its military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad prompted a warning from the U.S. that such actions could lead to a confrontation with coalition forces.

Climate Propaganda Paves Way for “Pig Power”
Having been bamboozled into passing a mere bill to thwart the Iran deal, rather than treating the agreement as a treaty, the Republican-controlled Congress is on the verge of being taken to the cleaners again. This time, President Obama is maneuvering to authorize U.S. participation in a United Nations climate change treaty through an executive agreement. The treaty is expected to come out of the December meeting in Paris of parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Syrian refugee crisis
“As Amnesty International recently pointed out, the “six Gulf countries—Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain—have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.” This claim was echoed by Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.” In regards to the Syrian refugee crisis, it is important to note that the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, , Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain have done nothing to assist Syrian refugees, or any other refugees within their geographic proximity.

Historian Neagu Djuvara Discusses the “Muslim Refugee” Problem
Neagu Djuvara, writer, historian, philosopher, journalist, and diplomat, was interviewed on his 99th birthday by Radu Turcescu from Evenimentul Zilei. Born in Bucharest on August 18, 1916, Djuvara studied at Sorbonne in Paris, lived in France, Niger, and Romania.

Judge Who Jailed Kentucky Clerk Has History of Imposing Homosexual Agenda in Public Schools
The federal judge who held Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt and ordered her to jail for refusing to sign marriage licenses has on two occasions denied Christian students in Kentucky public schools their First Amendment rights by ordering them to undergo re-education training promoting the homosexual lifestyle against their religious objections.

Madonna’s Brother Defends Jailed Clerk Who Refused Marriage Licenses for Gay Couples
Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone, is speaking out in defense of the county clerk in Kentucky who was recently jailed after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ciccone, who is openly gay, posted a message to Facebook on Friday in which he said that Kim Davis should be granted the right deny the licenses, with Ciccone citing her “religious freedom.”


Top Headlines – 9/6/2015

Tehran brags at superpowers’ ‘surrender’ in nuclear deal

Saudi Arabia backs Iran deal after Obama’s assurances

Lapid says Netanyahu must ‘admit failure’ for not thwarting Iran nuclear deal

Abbas: Israel should let Palestinian refugees from Syria into West Bank, Gaza

Boycotts are not the answer, says Palestinian peace activist

EU close to decision on labeling products from Israeli settlements

Israel to build smart fence on Jordan border

Russia ‘is building military base in Syria’

Kerry tells Lavrov of US concern over Russian moves in Syria

US warns Russia against more aid to Assad amid new violence

Britain signals move towards air strikes in Syria

47 killed in clashes between Islamic State and Syrian rebels

In Syria, Assad’s forces blamed for more killings than IS

‘Evil’ Assad, ISIS must be dealt with to address migrant crisis, UK says

Wave of misery: EU-bound refugees bring Balkans to breaking point

Europe’s refugee crisis is darkened by the shadows of WWII

Pope calls on every European parish to host one migrant family each

Wealthy Gulf Nations Are Criticized for Tepid Response to Syrian Refugee Crisis

Netanyahu: Israel not indifferent, but can’t absorb Syrian or African refugees

Commentary: The Syrian Refugee Crisis is Not Our Problem

At least four die as violence flares in eastern Turkey

Saudi-led coalition renews attacks on Yemen capital after soldiers killed

Boko Haram Slaughters 1,000 Christians and Muslims in First 100 Days of New Nigerian President’s Reign

LAX terminals evacuated due to bomb threat

G20 proclaims a currency peace pact as China sets out bubble cleanup

G20 eyes faster economic reforms as cheap credit not enough for growth

Obama already blaming Republicans for potential government shutdown

Clintons personally paid State Department staffer to maintain server

Japan lifts evacuation order for town near nuclear reactor disaster site

Conspiracy theorists rejoice – Planet X may be real

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Severo-Kuril’sk, Russia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Amsterdam Island, France

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near El Galpon, Argentina

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Fiji Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Anatahan, Northern Mariana Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Hachijo-jima, Japan

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 27,000ft

Nishinoshima volcano south of Japan erupts to 20,000ft

Tropical Storm Grace forms over the far eastern Atlantic

Tropical Depression Fred – the storm that won’t give up

Hurricane Jimena a Threat to Hawaii?

Tropical Depression Fifteen-E Forms Off Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Beijing air back to filthy gray after temporary blue skies for WWII parade

Pentagon halts work with bioterror germs at 9 labs

Is needle-exchange program stopping HIV?

Kentucky clerk’s same-sex marriage refusal divides 2016 GOP field

Hundreds gather at jail for Kentucky clerk held in gay marriage dispute

Gay rights advocates: Jailed Kentucky clerk is no martyr

Madonna’s Gay Brother Defends Jailed Clerk Who Refused Marriage Licenses for Gay Couples

Sexual predator jailed after claiming to be ‘transgender’ in order to assault women in shelter


Top News – 9/5/2015

Pope Francis prepares for most political trip yet
Pope Francis is gearing up for potentially his most politically charged trip yet, an eight-day whirlwind visit which will take him from Havana’s Revolution Square in Cuba to the headquarters of the United Nations.

China’s Central Bank Chief Admits “The Bubble Has Burst”
In a stunningly honest admission from a member of the elite, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, exclaimed multiple times this week to his G-20 colleagues that a bubble in his country had “burst.”

New York 2015 – FOUR THOUSAND sleeping on the streets…
…New York is in the grip of a homeless epidemic so bad that it has raised fears of the city slipping back into the disorder of the 1970s and 1980s. The city’s police chief this week said that as many as 4,000 people are now sleeping rough in the city, in a crisis which even the city’s ultra-liberal mayor has finally acknowledged after months of denials.

Saudi Arabia: Iran deal will contribute to Middle East security and stability
Saudi Arabia is satisfied with assurances from US President Barack Obama about the Iran nuclear deal and believes the agreement will contribute to security and stability in the Middle East… Saudi King Salman met with Obama at the White House on Friday to seek more support in countering Iran, as the Obama administration aimed to use the visit to shore up relations after a period of tensions.

The Dead Sea: From world wonder to sinkhole nightmare
They covered the first sinkhole with gravel and hoped it was a one-time occurrence. But then a cleaner fell into a three-meter-deep hole with her cleaning cart. The camping site was closed down that same day. They surrounded it with barbed wire and no one has gone inside for 17 years.

Russia may be escalating military role in Syria
U.S. intelligence has captured evidence of a significant escalation of Russia’s military engagement in Syria’s civil war, including satellite images of an apparent Russian base for staging troops and heavy equipment under construction near a port city that is a stronghold for Syrian President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say.

45 United Arab Emirates troops killed in Yemen in deadliest day for the nation’s military
Forty-five troops from the United Arab Emirates were killed in Yemen while taking part in Saudi-led operations against Shiite rebels, the Gulf nation said Friday, in the deadliest day for its military in its 44-year history.

Bolivia: Air Force captain found with large load of cocaine
A senior Bolivian official says an air force captain has been detained as he tried to take off from near the Peru border with 362 kilograms (796 pounds) of cocaine in his plane. Government Minister Carlos Romero identifies the pilot as 34-year-old Yimy Jose Urzagaste.

Greek polls show Syriza, conservatives neck-and-neck
Former Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist Syriza party is running neck-and-neck with its main conservative rival, New Democracy, ahead of national elections on Sept. 20, according to three polls published on Friday.

Pentagon chief says Iran deal strengthens US military option
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter offered assurances Friday that the Iran nuclear deal will leave Washington with a “more effective” military option if that


Top Headlines – 9/5/2015

EU initiative: Arab countries to join Quartet in bid to restart Israel-Palestinian talks

Iran’s supreme leader: No nuclear deal unless sanctions fully lifted

Pentagon chief says Iran deal strengthens US military option

Saudi Arabia: Iran deal will contribute to Middle East security and stability

Vanunu: Israel’s nuclear program a danger to the world

In setback for Obama, top Jewish Democratic senator says will oppose Iran deal

PM vows to rail against Iran deal, even after proverbial ‘fat lady’ sings

‘Jimmy Carter’s cancer is God’s punishment for his behavior toward Jews’

German politician: Israel’s security fence is worse than communist Berlin Wall

French voters compare Zionism to ‘Nazism, Jihadism’

43 years ago today – Israeli athletes murdered in Munich by Palestinian terrorists

Russia may be escalating military role in Syria

France considers air strikes on Islamic State in Syria

ISIS blows up more monuments at Syria’s Palmyra

ISIS Issues 11 Commandments for Christians to Obey If They Want to Live in Their Ancestral Homeland

Four Libyan soldiers killed in clashes with ISIS

‘Nothing to stop ISIS’: Attack underscores threat facing US force in Egypt

Egyptian billionaire offers to buy island for refugees

Israel should take in refugees fleeing Mideast carnage, Yesh Atid lawmaker says

Dozens of African migrants drown after dinghy deflates off Libya

Clashes in European cities as Mideast refugee crisis erupts

EU’s Mogherini sees military action against migrant smugglers within weeks

Refugee crisis: European leaders preparing EU-wide protection force to deal with unfolding humanitarian catastrophe

Migrant crisis: EU ‘must accept 200,000 refugees’, UN says

Germany, Austria give green light to refugees in Hungary

At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves

Hindu Extremists Threaten to ‘Cut Christians Into Pieces’ If They Continue to Worship Christ

45 United Arab Emirates troops killed in Yemen in deadliest day for the nation’s military

Iranian official hints at possibility of prisoner swap with US to free journalist

Obama Makes Excuses for Chinese Warships in U.S. Waters

Renewed calls for gun control laws spurring gun sales

Florida gunmaker produces assault rifle ‘never to be used by Muslim terrorists’

Clinton says ‘sorry’ for email confusion, says she wasn’t thinking

Why’s IBM Investing $3 Billion In Quantum Computing & Synth Brains? Trillion Dollar Humanoid Market

A Benefit Or Big Brother? NYC Unveils Pilot Program To Track Driving Habits

For these ‘cyborgs’ [chip implants], keys are so yesterday

Crashed drone interrupts Pennetta-Niculescu match at U.S. Open

Stocks drop about 3% for week; China, Fed eyed

Dow posts triple-digit drop, caps second worst week in 2015

Dow tumbles 273 points on jobs report

European Central Bank ready to give eurozone more stimulus

Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Stuck at 38-Year Low for 3rd Straight Month

Putin’s China Energy Deals May Hide Paper Tigers as Growth Slows

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits Atka, Alaska

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Kebonkopi, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Tanaga Volcano, Alaska

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 29,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Tropical Storm Jimena May Recurve Toward Hawaii Following Labor Day

Tropical Storm Kevin Streaming Moisture into the Desert Southwest

Floodwaters Roar Down Mexico City Streets

The Dead Sea: From world wonder to sinkhole nightmare

Obama Pushes Solar Power – In Arctic Town That Sees Little Sun in Winter

Sierra Leone village in quarantine after Ebola death

DEA chief says heroin ‘back with a vengeance,’ drugs a national security threat

Lawmaker: Synthetic weed leaving streets full of ‘zombies’

Washington state Planned Parenthood fire caused by arson, officials say

Deputies of Kentucky clerk jailed over gay marriage stance will issue licenses

Dozens of N.C. magistrates refuse to perform gay marriages

Oregon judge refuses to perform same-sex marriages, cites First Amendment right to religious freedom

Hamilton County Judge Rules Against Couple’s Divorce, Cites SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

Navy exonerates chaplain accused of being anti-gay

Same-sex couples issued marriage licenses in Rowan County; jailed clerk claims licenses are void

Judicial tyranny: Kentucky judge does with a gavel what Bull Connor did with dogs and fire hoses

Polish government backs down on explicit sex ed after massive parent protest


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Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force;

A record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — 261,000 more than July — and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the nation heads into the Labor Day weekend.

The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce.

In August, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,096,000. Of those, 157,065,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 157,065,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.6 percent of the 251,096,000 civilian noninstitutional population — the same as it was in July and June. Not since October 1977, when the participation rate dropped to 62.4, has the percentage been this low.

Historical perspective

In January 1948 — the first year the data was recorded — 88.7 percent of men, aged 20 and older, were participating in the U.S. labor force. The rate first dipped below 80 percent in November 1975 (79.9%), spiraling steadily downward through August 2015, when 71.5 percent of men 20 and older were participating in the labor force.

It’s the opposite story for women 20 and older: In 1948, a time when one-earner incomes were generally sufficient to support the family, only 31 percent of  women participated in the workforce. In May 1966, the rate climbed above 40 percent for the first time; it broke 50 percent in October 1978; and 60 percent in July 1996.

When Barack Obama took office in January 2009, 60.9 percent of women were particiating in the labor force, but after rising somewhat in that economically turbulent year, the particpation rate for women started heading down. Last month, it stood at 58.2 percent.

Other notes from Friday’s jobs report:

— In August, the economy added 173,000 jobs, and the uemmployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent. Job gains occurred in health care and social assistance and in financial activities. Manufacturing and mining lost jobs.

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Three years ago, we noted the dumbification of America was accelerating as SAT scores hit record lows. It appears the need for the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too has never been greater as Bloomberg reports that students in the high school class of 2015 turned in the lowest critical reading score on the SAT college entrance exam in more than 40 years, with all three sections declining from the previous year.

The mean score on the math portion of the SAT, 511, is the lowest since 1999. The highest possible score on each section is 800.

The reading score of 495 is the worst since 1972, according to data provided by the College Board.

The test administrator reported the lowest score for the SAT’s writing section since it began in 2005. 


Thousands of ISIS fighters could use migrant crisis to ‘flood’ into Europe, Nigel Farage warns

Thousands of Isil jihadists could use the migrant crisis to “flood” into Europe, Nigel Farage has claimed as he warned Britons not to “allow our compassion to imperil our safety”.

The UK Independence Party leader said there was a “very genuine fear” the extremists were exploiting the refugee crisis to get onto the Continent undetected.

He also appeared to blame Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, over the deaths of refugees by saying she has “compounded” the problem by being so open to asylum seekers.

Mr Farage criticised her “very dangerous” stance and said she has helped create “huge incentives” for Africans to cross the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe.


Pope calls on Europe’s Catholics to help shelter Syrian refugee families

Issuing a broad appeal to Europe’s Catholics, Pope Francis on Sunday called on “every” parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary to take in one refu­gee family — an appeal that, if honored, would offer shelter to tens of thousands.

Francis delivered his call as thousands of migrants blocked for days in Hungary continued streaming into Germany and Austria, and as a small but rising number of people are offering to take refugees in. Addressing a crowd Sunday in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square, the pope’s call brought a rousing round of applause.

“Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope,” Francis said, as reported by the Associated Press.


Pope Francis Orders All EU Churches To Shelter Muslim Migrants With Terror Ties

 

Pope Francis called on Sunday on every European parish and religious community to take in one migrant family each in a gesture of solidarity he said would start in the tiny Vatican state where he lives

“I don’t think you can overstate the importance that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism will have to the rest of the world in the century ahead-especially if, as seems possible, its most fanatical elements get their hands on nuclear and chemical weapons and the means to deliver them against their enemies.”  – Ronald Reagan

Right now, the European Union states are being besieged by a virtual sea of immigrants seeking asylum in their counties. The vast majority of these people are undocumented Muslims with terror ties to Al Qaeda and ISIS. This type of jihad is known as biological jihad and it is highly successful in changing the makeup of a non-Muslim country into a Muslim majority country. And who is demanding that all of Europe blindly take in these tens of thousands of undocumented Muslim immigrants with ISIS terror ties? Why, it’s our old friend Pope Francis, the False Prophet. What a shock.

muslim-migrants-with-terror-ties-invade-europe-pope-francis-calls-for-shelter

Hijrah is the Islamic doctrine of migration, which is a form of stealth jihad.

The Huffington Post reports today that Pope Francis said “I appeal to the parishes, the religious communities, the monasteries and sanctuaries of all Europe to … take in one family of refugees,” after his Sunday address in the Vatican.

The pope’s call goes out to tens of thousands of Catholic parishes in Europe as the number of refugees arriving over land through the Balkans and across the Mediterranean to Italy and Greece hits record levels.

But Muslim expert and author Robert Spencer wrote Sept. 4 in Front Page Magazine, “This is no longer just a ‘refugee crisis.’ This is a hijrah.”

Hijrah is the Islamic doctrine of migration, which is a form of stealth jihad.

To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act,” Spencer wrote. He cited the following Quranic text:

“And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance,” says the Quran. “And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful” Quran 4:100

And now, looking at Europe and America, a migration invasion of a much greater magnitude is underway.

Evidence of that invasion came in February when an ISIS operative confirmed what many already suspected – the Islamic State is using the refugee crisis to form a fifth column of Muslim fighters inside Western nations.

The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 trained ISIS gunmen have already been smuggled into Europe – hidden among innocent refugees, reported the Express, a British newspaper.

Hungary’s prime minister, Victor Orban, was lampooned in the European media Thursday for writing an op-ed in which he stated Hungary was blocking the Muslim migrants to preserve its Christian heritage. But more European leaders should be as astute as Orban, says Clare Lopez, a senior Middle East analyst for the Center for Security Policy.

Today, it is the nation-state system and any concept of national sovereignty that is under concerted attack by the forces of the global jihad movement,” Lopez told WND. “Jihad is not only a violent phenomenon but can be pursued by many other means, including hijra.”

The ISIS smuggler, in his 30s with a neatly trimmed black beard, revealed to BuzzFeed that the ongoing clandestine operation has been a “complete success.”

“Just wait,” he smiled. “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world and we will have it soon, God willing.” “They are going like refugees,” he explained. “Others just go to Europe to be ready.”


Russia ‘is building military base in Syria

Russia is building a military base in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s heartland, according to American intelligence officials, in the clearest indication yet of deepening Russian support for the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The anonymous officials say Russia has set up an air traffic control tower and transported prefabricated housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to an airfield serving the Syrian port city of Latakia.

Russia has also requested the rights to fly over neighbouring countries with military cargo aircraft during September, according to the reports.

Mr Obama on Friday met King Salman of Saudi Arabia to repeat their demand that any lasting settlement in Syria would require an end to the Assad regime.

It leaves the US and Russia implacably opposed in their visions for Syria.


US warns Russia against more aid to Assad amid new violence

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, right, discussed the war in his country with the Russian deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, during a meeting in December 2014 in Damascus, Syria. Credit Uncredited/SANA, via Associated Press

In Washington, the State Department issued a statement after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express concern over unconfirmed reports “suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military build-up” in Syria.

While not elaborating on or confirming the accuracy of those reports, the State Department said Kerry made clear to Lavrov that such actions “could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation” with the anti-Islamic State coalition operating led by the U.S. that is carrying out strikes in Syria.

Russia has been a stalwart ally of Assad throughout Syria’s civil war and has provided diplomatic support and weaponry to help the Syrian leader maintain his grip on power. Moscow also maintains a small naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean Sea.


West to blame for Europe’s migrant crisis, say Erdogan, Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they meet each other during the opening ceremony of the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, Friday, June 12, 2015. AP Photo

Who’s to blame for Europe’s deepening refugee crisis? To hear Erdogan and Putin tell it, it’s the West.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian leader Vladimir Putin both point the finger at Europe and the United States for what has now become one of the biggest mass migrations of people in modern times.

“To be honest, the whole Western world is to be blamed in my opinion on this issue,” Erdogan told CNN on Thursday.

Putin, talking to reporters Friday, said it’s the West’s wrong-headed foreign policy in the Middle East and Northern Africa that’s at the root of the crisis.


European migrant crisis: A country-by-country glance

Europe is in the midst of an unprecedented human migration. Fleeing war, fearing for their life and dreaming of a better life far from the poverty and upheaval of their unstable nations, hundreds of thousands are flocking to Europe’s shores. The migrants and refugees risk their lives in rickety boats and cramped trucks — only to be greeted by governments that can’t agree on how, or if, to welcome them.


An Anti-American White House

An Anti-American White House

Posted on September 5, 2015 by Tru News

This week President Obama won the 34th vote in support of his nuclear deal with Iran. The vote, from Senator Barbara Mikulski, guarantees that the deal will survive a rejection by Congress. The fact that the deal will be made despite such opposition—something a few of us predicted months ago—is, in the words of the …

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Not the law of the land

The Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage was based on judicial review. That’s a contentious issue in American jurisprudence, with a very checkered history. To say, without further ado, that judicial rulings are “the law of the land” is not a given:

http://www.firstthings.com/article/1999/01/001-how-the-court-became-supreme


Religious accommodation

Many critics of Kim Davis who ignorantly accuse her of breaking the law are oblivious to the fact that the law requires employers (including the gov’t) to make reasonable religious accommodations.
Although he’s clearly unsympathetic to Davis, this prominent law prof. makes some useful points about religious accommodation:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/09/04/when-does-your-religion-legally-excuse-you-from-doing-part-of-your-job/


Revolution from within

Interesting observations from a law prof who’s unsympathetic to Davis on the merits, but can still see a principled argument for civil resistance:
—————————————————————
If disobedience or some form of revolution were acceptable here, why should it be off-limits to keep my job while undermining it? Why isn’t undermining one’s job from the inside, in the service of a larger moral goal, an acceptable form of revolution? The “quit or do your job” folks, to the extent they hold out the extreme option of revolution, seem to be all implying that revolution must, at a minimum, require quitting. But if gay marriage justifies revolution, it’s hard for me to see why a form of revolution can’t be fifth-column undermining on the job.
Scalia and others have an answer: public officials have a duty not to engage in this form of revolution because of their oath. But that assumes that the oath is really valid in immoral conditions. Surely there can be oaths that, while not immoral on their face, cease to be binding once it’s clear that they require one to engage in immoral acts. Imagine you’re a public official in  Nazi Germany — I don’t know what kind of oaths they took, but suppose you took an oath when it wasn’t clear that you were serving an immoral regime, and the regime gives you orders that are more and more immoral. And suppose there’s nothing to prevent you from resigning — and, if you like, joining the Allied armies or the armed resistance. Are you required to do that rather than keep your job and seek to undermine the regime? I don’t think so.
Admittedly, I don’t think that all resistance that’s justifiable in Nazi Germany is also justifiable in the contemporary United States. As Dale Carpenter says in his recent post, “ not every moral problem is like slavery.” I agree: in fact, Dale and I think Davis is wrong on the merits, so of course we don’t think this is comparable to slavery (or Nazi Germany). But it’s tough to put ourselves in the position of people who believe differently: I’ve observed some hard-liners who really do think that gay marriage is a comparable evil. Not that we have to agree with that view, but the question is whether the (possibly oath-based) proceduralist argument (“do your job or engage in revolution, but if you do that you have to quit, because OMG the oath”) should carry any logical weight with adherents of that view. While I think acceptable resistance against Nazis differs from acceptable resistance against liberal democratic governments, the reason I think that has nothing to do with oaths, and it’s not clear to me how an oath-based theory would successfully distinguish between the two situations.
Bottom line: I’m fine continuing to criticize Davis on substantive moral grounds. And I’m fine showing why Davis’s actions are illegal under the positive law; but once you get to the point where you’re making the illegality serve a normative goal, you have to confront issues of legitimate disobedience, and I’m not sure that a purely procedural (“quit or do your job”) argument will work to exclude Davis’s “keep your job but follow your ideals” strategy of disobedience.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/09/04/kim-davis-and-the-limits-of-disobedience/


The Law Doesn’t Say You Must Quit Your Job

A common response to the Kim Davis situation (see yesterday’s post) is to say, “If you can’t do your job, you need to quit.” Perhaps that’s the way it should be in some cases, but it’s important to know that’s not what the law demands, apparently not even for public officials.

Eugene Volokh explains “the American legal rule as it actually is, and as it has been for over 40 years (since the religious accommodation provisions were enacted in the 1972 amendments to Title VII)” in “When Does Your Religion Legally Excuse You from Doing Part of Your Job?

Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, both public and private employers have a duty to exempt religious employees from generally applicable work rules, so long as this won’t create an “undue hardship,” meaning more than a modest cost, on the employer. If the employees can be accommodated in a way that would let the job still get done without much burden on the employer, coworkers, and customers — for instance by switching the employee’s assignments with another employee or by otherwise slightly changing the job duties — then the employer must accommodate them….

Thus, for instance, in all the cases I mentioned in the numbered list above, the religious objectors got an accommodation, whether in court or as a result of the employer’s settling a lawsuit brought by the EEOC. Likewise, the EEOC is currently litigating a case in which it claims that a trucking company must accommodate a Muslim employee’s religious objections to transporting alcohol, and the court has indeed concluded that the employer had a duty to accommodate such objections….

Volokh says Kentucky’s RFRA allows for religious exemptions for elected officials:

Title VII expressly excludes elected officials. But Kentucky, like about 20 other states, has a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) statute that requires government agencies to exempt religious objectors from generally applicable laws, unless denying the exemption is the least restrictive means of serving a compelling government interest. The federal government also has a RFRA, which may apply to federal court orders issued to state elected officials…. Nothing in them exempts accommodation claims by elected officials….

The terms of these RFRAs actually seem to offer greater protection for claimants — to deny an exemption, the government must show not just “undue hardship” but unavoidable material harm to a “compelling government interest.”

He then applies the law to Kim Davis as a public official, saying he thinks “she’d have a good case” under state law:

[I]t’s very likely that (1) the Kentucky RFRA, by its terms, would apply to religious exemption claims brought by elected officials, and (2) it would provide at least the protections offered to ordinary employees by the Title VII religious accommodation regime, and possibly more….

[B]esides her losing claim in the federal lawsuit, it seems to me that Davis has a much stronger claim under state law for a much more limited exemption. Davis’s objection, it appears…is not to issuing same-sex marriage licenses as such. Rather, she objects to issuing such licenses with her name on them, because she believes (rightly or wrongly) that having her name on them is an endorsement of same-sex marriage….

Now this would be a cheap accommodation that, it seems to me, a state could quite easily provide. It’s true that state law requires the County Clerk’s name on the marriage license and the marriage certificate. But the point of RFRAs, such as the Kentucky RFRA, is precisely to provide religious objectors with exemptions even from such generally applicable laws, so long as the exemptions don’t necessarily and materially undermine a compelling government interest.

Please read the rest of “When Does Your Religion Legally Excuse You from Doing Part of Your Job?” The existence of RFRAs doesn’t mean one must always litigate rather than quit (that decision requires wisdom and prudence), but it corrects a knee-jerk reaction I see happening out there that assumes one must always quit. That’s not how America works. The way we’ve worked this out in the past is by using the least restrictive means to achieve the government’s compelling interest (see here and here). If a reasonable accommodation is possible, it should be, and often is, given.

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Hillary Clinton: National Security Disaster

How Hillary’s contempt for protocols has endangered the entire nation.

For an army of ethically compromised defenders in politics and the media, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is being framed as little more than a political attack aimed solely at derailing her presidential candidacy. Yet while each new revelation makes it harder to dismiss Hillary and Bill’s seemingly endless effort to monetize the Clinton Foundation by virtually any means possible, most of it is beside the point. What’s not beside the point is the reality that Hillary Clinton is a walking, talking national security disaster.

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Quote of the Week

“Right now we have a president who just flew 4,200 miles from Washington, D.C., to Alaska to rename a mountain, who sits down for interviews with internet stars famous for bathing in cereal, and prances all over the White House with a selfie stick. Is a Kanye [West] presidency really that much of a step down for us and our culture?” —IJReview’s Stephen Miller


Over 10,000 People Have Now Received A Permanent Human RFID Microchip Implant

Those who have joined the “cyborg” club believe that getting in early allows them to secure a place at the forefront of a potentially life-changing development.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Bible teaches that the Rapture of the Church comes before the Tribulation, and that certainly is true. So what we are seeing now is what we call the “overlap” between the closing of the dispensation of the Age of Grace and the warmup of the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Great Tribulation. An unsaved world is preparing themselves to go through the Tribulation, and to receive the Mark of the Beast from the Antichrist when he arrives. As this story clearly shows, the arrival of a world leader who demands people take a Mark won’t raise any eyebrows at all. In fact, they’re gonna love it…for a little while.

Berlin, Germany – Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago. “When I walk into my studio, I just wave my hand at the alarm, and the alarm turns off,” the tattoo artist said. “Whenever someone shows up with security clearance, he will wave and the alarm is deactivated, the lights are turned on… it will start up the computer, the cash machine and so on,” he added.

human-injectable-rfid-implantable-microchip-kit-set-dangerous-things-mark-beast-666-end-times

Everything you need to microchip another human being is all contained in this one kit from DangerousThings.com for a mere $99.00. How about YOU, ready to step up and be chipped?

Oesterlund is one of the small but growing number of people around the world who has a grain-sized NFC (Near Field Communications) chip embedded in him. In fact, so convinced is he that “this is the future” that he has two of them, one in his hand and the other in his arm. “One year ago it was ‘that’s just stupid’, or ‘wow that’s just awesome’. But now multinational companies are looking into it,” he said, pointing to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky as an example.

The renowned cybersecurity company had brought in Oesterlund to carry out a live demonstration of chip implantation at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin which opens to the public Friday.

See the implant of an xNT NFC chip into the back of the right hand: GRAPHIC WARNING

The nervous volunteer is Rainer Bock, who works at Kaspersky. After Oesterlund used a needle to put a chip under Bock’s skin, the new member of the “cyborg” club said: “It didn’t hurt.”

With a memory of just 880 bytes, the chips are far from the science fiction equivalent of data powerhouses carrying billions of encrypted secret documents. Rather, they tend to have specific functions, such as unlocking a door or hooking up to an app on a smartphone.

Despite the limited uses, human chip implant manufacturer Dangerous Things told AFP that there are now around 10,000 “cyborgs” — or humans with digital chips in them — across the globe.

The phenomenon is not new, with a club in Barcelona offering such implants to its members as early as 2004, allowing them to gain entrance and pay for their drinks with it. But its popularity has now accelerated with the ubiquity of smartphones, which can communicate with the chips.

Those who have done the procedure admit that for now, novelty is its key draw.

Evgeny Chereshnev, who also works for Kaspersky, got his chip about seven months ago. “It felt weird for a couple of weeks… Then I started to understand that I’ve forgotten what it is to carry a badge to work, I’ve forgotten what it means to open a door with a key,” he said, describing how with a simple wave of his hand, he now enters a secure office building without punching in codes or tapping a security card at the entrance.

But such implants are not without risks, warns Kaspersky’s European research director Marco Preuss, saying that a smartphone placed close to the chip for instance, could easily pick up data. Oesterlund said he had also weighed up the risk of someone trying to steal his chip through extreme violent means, but concluded that criminals were unlikely to go that far.

“Chopping off a hand is a really amateur way to steal something,” he said.

Those who have joined the “cyborg” club believe that getting in early allows them to secure a place at the forefront of a potentially life-changing development. “Curiosity is a factor,” said Hannes Sjoeblad, who also has a chip implanted.

But he added that a key aim is “to explore this technology before the government starts doing this”. “We want to contribute to the discovery of this platform. That is very exciting in itself.” source


As More Cops Die On The Streets, Louis Farrakhan Calls For War Against America

FARRAKHAN: THE AMERICAN SYSTEM HAS TO BE TAKEN DOWN

EDITOR’S NOTE: Obama and the Race Baiters have been planting the evil seeds of racial hate for the past 7 years now, and it’s beginning to bear it’s evil fruit. George Soros spent 33 million dollars last year to keep the Ferguson race riots going at a fever pitch, and outbreaks have spread to many major cities across America. This is what Obama and the Left dearly want, civil war between Americans and the blood running in the streets. Do not allow the Left to twist your thinking and inspire you to commit acts of racial hatred, be better than that. The vast majority of police officers across this nation do a great job, and we need them on the front lines to protect us. Next time you see a cop, go tell them “thank you” for risking their lives to keep us safe on a daily basis.

A Madison police officer was confronted by a crowd and punched after a street fight on Prairie Road Wednesday night, according to a release from Madison police.  The officer stopped in the area of Prairie Road and Jacobs Way around 6:20 p.m. after spotting a large number of people in the street. He said that as he approached he saw a woman punch a man in the face, and he could see that the woman had a can of pepper spray. The officer said that as he went to arrest the woman he was surrounded by a crowd that was voicing anti-police sentiments, including “We need to start killing these officers.”

black-lives-matter-louis-farrakhan-justice-or-else-take-america-down-obama-race-baiters

Friday in Cleveland, OH at a “Justice Or Else!” rally for “10.10.15,” the 20th anniversary of The Million Man March gathering being held in Washington, D.C. on October 10, 2015, Louis Farrakhan said for real racial justice to occur the way God intended the whole American system “has to be taken down” as evidenced by President Barack Obama being elected and still not being able to change anything.

Farrakhan discussed the case in Cleveland on November 29, 2012 after a 25-minute high speed car chase, 13 police officers fired 137 rounds into the car killing Melissa Williams and the driver Timothy Russell.

Farrakhan said, “No man has the right to take your life and then deny you due process for the address of your grievances. I watched that judge with Melissa Williams Mr. Russell. Shot at a vehicle a 137 times. That’s a hell of a lot of shooting. Now these people are supposed to be marksmen. Any of you that hunt when you go to hunt a deer, when you get him in your site you know exactly where to put the bullet so it drops him. And as he’s bleeding out you catch him, go get it because you are going to eat him. But if you shot him a 137 times ant no sense in trying to eat that one.”

He continued, “See this man is a hunter, but he is a liar and a murderer and the whole system backs him up – the whole system.  See this is a system that has to be taken down in order for the people, black, brown, red yellow and white to experience what God wants every human being to experience. This system can’t bring it. It’s just not constructed that way. So how many generations more are we going to sit around saying ‘things are getting a little better now. The Lord done bless us. We has a black president.’ Over a white corporation that he probably don’t own no stock in. He has to maneuver the country for the stock broker, for the real power.”

“When you vote a black man in office thinking he is your savoir within a short while he will show you ‘I’ll do the best I can but that is very little,’” he added. source


The World’s First Blood Rave To Be Held In Amsterdam On Halloween Night

The world’s first ‘Blood Rave’ is to be held in Amsterdam on Halloween

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The tide is darkness has been steadily on the rise since 2008, in America and around the globe. As the Antichrist gets ready to make his appearance on the world stage, an unsaved world is preparing to receive him. These are the days of prophecy in the last moments before the Rapture of the Church which will usher in the time of Jacob’s Trouble. The Devil knows that he will have but a “short time”, and he plans on making every minute count.

A rave scheduled to take place on Halloween in Amsterdam is planning to shower clubbers with sprinklers filled with gallons of blood. The secretive event, posted on Facebook, does not specify whether the blood will be real or synthetic, but is said to be inspired by the graphic opening scene from the horror film Blade.

amsterdam-to-hold-worlds-first-blood-rave-halloween-satanism

Satanism is on the rise both in America and around the world. Click to see more info.

Unsurprisingly the organisers of the graphic event are remaining anonymous, and have even listed the place of the event as ‘a discrete location in Amsterdam.’  According to the event page, Blood Rave is a nightlife community for like-minded individuals, with the rave description ending with the question, ‘thirsty?

The event has attracted a great deal of attention. with over 4,100 currently attending, according to the page. But some have misgivings about what kind of blood will be used for the deluge. One user posted on the event: ‘What kind of blood will you use? Pig or cow? Because pig might be a problem for several kinds of people (religious/cultural reasons).’

According to the NL Times, which claims to have spoken to the event organisers, what will be showered on clubbers is still being decided.

‘After a long search we have developed a special sprinkler system with pipes running across the ceiling and thus making us able to spray blood over the crowd,’ the newspaper was told.

We’ve already tested it a number of times with a substance resembling blood. It is pushing the borders, but we want to see how far we can go.’ Some have voiced their misgivings about the controversial theme. One said: ‘I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ but this has disaster written all over it.’

The event has links to an opening scene from the 1998 vampire film Blade, where blood pours from the ceiling in a club.  Tickets are currently listed at €24.50 (£17.93). source

“…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 (KJV)


Pope Francis And The Birth Of The Vatican Political State Kingdom

Pope Francis prepares for most political trip yet

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.” Revelation 17:5, 19:9,10 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Bible declares that the Whore of Babylon is the Vatican system that rules over the kings of the earth in the last days. So the fact that we are now seeing Pope Francis making such bold moves into the political realm comes as no surprise. The Roman Empire never ended, it simply went from being a political kingdom to a religious one, and now in the end times the Vatican will again seize political power to create one, single religious and political kingdom from which the False Prophet will pave the way for Antichrist. We believe that Pope Francis is indeed that False Prophet.

Vatican City – Pope Francis is gearing up for potentially his most politically charged trip yet, an eight-day whirlwind visit which will take him from Havana’s Revolution Square in Cuba to the headquarters of the United Nations.

The Argentine, who will become the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, has taken advantage of a summer lull at the Vatican to fine-tune his hotly awaited speeches, sources at the Holy See say.

pope-francis-false-prophet-revelation-17-political-kingdom-vatican

Asked in July how it felt to have been termed by one American television presenter “the most dangerous man on the planet”, Francis merely replied that “every criticism must be received, studied, and then dialogue must ensue”.

For his three-day visit to Cuba, beginning on September 19, Francis can expect a warm reception from the Castro regime following recognition of the key role he played in Havana’s reconciliation with the United States this year.

But anticipation ahead of the US leg of the trip, which will kick off in Washington on September 22, has already sparked conflicting reactions — as well as a boom in Francis-themed souvenirs and trinkets.

The welcome from some American politicians is expected to be chilly. The 78-year-old’s decision to visit Havana before Washington has not gone down well, particularly as Congress has yet to lift the embargo against Cuba.

His environmental encyclical and recent impassioned speeches in Latin America against the free market system, blind capitalism and rabid exploitation by multinationals of natural resources, have seen him accused of Marxism.

Asked in July how it felt to have been termed by one American television presenter “the most dangerous man on the planet”, Francis merely replied that “every criticism must be received, studied, and then dialogue must ensue”.

His speech to Congress will be a historic moment, and the outspoken pope will likely make no bones about the superpower’s responsibilities in leading the way on tackling pollution and embracing renewable energy.

The fifth visit by a pope to the UN, dubbed the “Glass Palace”, will see the Argentine hold forth on the social and ecological themes most dear to him, particularly ills such as the “culture of waste” and “globalisation of indifference”.

Francis is expected to urge member states to make concrete commitments at the Paris climate change summit in December. He is also likely to call for renewed efforts towards securing peace in the Middle East and greater dialogue with Islam, as well as insisting on the need to defend persecuted Christians around the world. source


Over 10,000 People Have Now Received A Permanent Human RFID Microchip Implant

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

Everything you need to microchip another human being is all contained in this one kit from DangerousThings.com for a mere $99.00. How about YOU, ready to step up and be chipped?

Everything you need to microchip another human being is all contained in this one kit from DangerousThings.com for a mere $99.00. How about YOU, ready to step up and be chipped?

THOSE WHO HAVE JOINED THE “CYBORG” CLUB BELIEVE THAT GETTING IN EARLY ALLOWS THEM TO SECURE A PLACE AT THE FOREFRONT OF A POTENTIALLY LIFE-CHANGING DEVELOPMENT.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Bible teaches that the Rapture of the Church comes before the Tribulation, and that certainly is true. So what we are seeing now is what we call the “overlap” between the closing of the dispensation of the Age of Grace and the warmup of the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Great Tribulation. An unsaved world is preparing themselves to go through the Tribulation, and to receive the Mark of the Beast from the Antichrist when he arrives. As this story clearly shows, the arrival of a world leader who demands people take a Mark won’t raise any eyebrows at all. In fact, they’re gonna love it…for a little while.

Berlin, Germany – Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago. “When I walk into my studio, I just wave my hand at the alarm, and the alarm turns off,” the tattoo artist said. “Whenever someone shows up with security clearance, he will wave and the alarm is deactivated, the lights are turned on… it will start up the computer, the cash machine and so on,” he added. FULL REPORT

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Oregon Judge Refuses to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 06:42 AM PDT

Oregon Judge Refuses to Perform Same-Sex MarriagesIt appears that the Clerk refusing to wed same sex couples in Kentucky may have started a fire that will spread around the Nation, Now according to a new report a Marion County Judge Vance Day is being investigated by a judicial fitness commission in part over his refusal to perform same-sex marriages on religious grounds, a spokesman for the judge said. When a federal court ruling in May 2014 made same-sex marriage legal in Oregon, Day instructed his staff to refer same-sex couples looking to marry to other judges, spokesman Patrick Korten said Friday.

Last fall, he decided to stop performing weddings altogether, aside from one in March that had long been scheduled, Korten said. “He made a decision nearly a year ago to stop doing weddings altogether, and the principal factor that he weighed was the pressure that one would face to perform a same-sex wedding, which he had a conflict with his religious beliefs,” Korten said.

In an email, Day declined to comment and referred questions to Korten. The issue of same-sex weddings is “the weightiest” of several allegations against Day that are being investigated by the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, Korten said. He declined to detail any of the allegations, saying he didn’t want to defy the commission, which considers complaints confidential until it is ready to make them public. FULL REPORTThe post Oregon Judge Refuses to Perform Same-Sex Marriages appeared first on .


Attorney for jailed Kentucky clerk claims gay marriage licenses are void

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 06:27 AM PDT

Attorney for jailed Kentucky clerk claims gay marriage licenses are voidUPDATE: James Yates and William Smith Jr. paid $35.50 and filled out paperwork early Friday to become the first couple to get a marriage license in Rowan County since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage June 26. More couples soon followed.

With Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in jail on civil contempt charges for defying a judge’s order to resume issuing licenses, deputy clerk Brian Mason ended the office’s two-month license ban by politely serving Yates and Smith on Friday, even congratulating them and shaking their hands afterward. Hours later, however, attorneys for Davis said the marriage licenses issued by her office Friday were void because only Davis has the authority to authorize a marriage license, and she refuses to do so. FULL REPORT

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Days numbered for barcodes as shoppers demand more Data, Setup For Mark of the Beast?

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 07:43 PM PDT

Days numbered for barcodes as shoppers demand more Data, Setup For Mark of the Beast?Growing demand for more information about the products we buy could mean the end of the simple barcode – the blocks of black and white stripes that adorn most objects for sale and are scanned five billion times a day. First used on a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum in 1974 in a store in Ohio, barcodes have revolutionized the retail world, allowing cashiers to ring up products much faster and more accurately, while also streamlining logistics.

But shoppers are now demanding far greater transparency about products, and store owners need more information to help with stock taking, product recalls and to fight fakes. The basic barcode is just not up to the job.

That could mean a costly upheaval for retailers and brands to change packaging and invest in new systems and scanners. But it should also bring benefits as more data helps them manage the flow of goods better. “The barcode did a great job, but it is now time for succession,” said Capgemini consultant Kees Jacobs, who is working with the world’s top retailers and food manufacturers to try to agree new global standards for labels and product data. Could this growing demand for more data and information pave the way for the coming “Mark of the Beast” System mentioned in the Book of Revelation in Chapter 13? FULL REPORT

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Move over Kim, Another KY clerk vows to not issue same sex marriage licenses

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 07:36 PM PDT

Move over Kim, Another KY clerk vows to not issue same sex marriage licensesCasey Davis vows to join his now famous colleague from Rowan County, Kim Davis. ‘I’m trying to help a woman that does not deserve to go to jail,” Casey Davis said. “This woman has done nothing wrong.” Using vacation time, he will cross the state on a 400-mile bike trip from Pikeville to Paducah to protest against what he considers a public prosecution of a Christian. This as Kim Davis is confronted by the very people she turned away.

“Is this what you want to remember?” yelled David Moore, one of the gay men trying to get a marriage license from Kim Davis Tuesday. “That you stood up for this? That your children have to look at you and realize that you’re a bigot, and you discriminated against people?” Kim Davis asked them to leave. She did not issue any marriage licenses even after a Supreme Court Ruling. FULL REPORT

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Tennessee judge refuses to grant straight couple a divorce because … Gay Marriage

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 07:29 PM PDT

Tennessee judge refuses to grant straight couple a divorce because … Gay MarriageIt was the judicial equivalent of a high school student tearing up his term paper because he got a bad grade. Or, more accurately, throwing it back at his teacher and telling her to revise it herself. Last week, a Tenn. judge refused to grant a straight couple a divorce because the U.S. Supreme Court allowed gay marriage. Many readers may be scratching their heads right now, wondering how the legalization of gay marriage could possibly disrupt straight divorce proceedings.

But spare a moment to hear out Jeffrey M. Atherton, if for no other reason than that the judge’s argument is an increasingly common one as conservatives across the country claim the Supreme Court overreached with its June 26 watershed ruling.Today’s study in legal reasoning begins in Chattanooga, Tenn., and inside Atherton’s Hamilton County courtroom. FULL REPORT

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Dozens of N.C. magistrates refuse to perform gay marriages

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 07:22 PM PDT

Dozens of N.C. magistrates refuse to perform gay marriagesThe number of North Carolina officers recusing themselves from performing “Same Sex” Marriage under another law has dramatically multiplied in late weeks.The state court framework says it’s gotten 32 notification from justices since the law produced results June 11. That is up from 14 in right on time July and speaks to about 5 percent of the state’s officers.

The law exempts court authorities with earnestly held religious convictions restricting gay marriage. The law additionally gave the recusal choice to some register of deeds specialists issuing marriage licenses. Chosen authorities would perform the obligations if all else fails. Sen. Phil Berger supported the bill. Berger says the law is presumably counteracting circumstances like the one in Kentucky, where an assistant has declined to issue licenses. Utah has a comparable recusal law. Source

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United Nations set to back Palestinian flag-raising

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 07:13 PM PDT

United Nations set to back Palestinian flag-raisingA Draft resolution on raising the Palestinian flag at the United Nations will be adopted next week in time for PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to New York, the Palestinian envoy said Thursday. The UN General Assembly will vote on September 10 on the measure that is almost certain to garner a majority of votes in the 193-nation forum. “We have the votes and we are working to get as many votes as we can,” said Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations.

Once adopted, the UN will have 20 days to carry out the decision, which would be in time for Abbas’s visit on September 30. Mansour declined to say whether a formal flag-raising ceremony would be held during Abbas’s visit, an event that would highlight the Palestinians’ aspirations for statehood. “It is a symbolic thing but it is another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena and give our people a small hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine,” Mansour told reporters. FULL REPORT

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The 2030 Agenda: This Month The UN Launches A Blueprint For A New World Order With The Help Of The Pope

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 06:57 PM PDT

The 2030 Agenda: This Month The UN Launches A Blueprint For A New World Order With The Help Of The PopeDid you know that the UN is planning to launch a “new universal agenda” for humanity in September 2015?  That phrase does not come from the source of this article – it is actually right in the very first paragraph of the official document that every UN member nation will formally approve at a conference later this month.  The entire planet is going to be committing to work toward 17 sustainable development goals and 169 specific sustainable development targets, and yet there has been almost a total media blackout about this here in the United States.

The UN document promises that this plan will “transform our world for the better by 2030“, and yet very few Americans have even heard of the 2030 Agenda at this point.  Instead, most of us seem to be totally obsessed with the latest celebrity gossip or the latest nasty insults that our puppet politicians have been throwing around at one another.  It absolutely amazes me that more people cannot understand that Agenda 2030 is a really, really big deal.  When will people finally start waking up? As the American Dream discussed in a previous article, the 2030 Agenda is taking the principles and goals laid out in Agenda 21 to an entirely new level.  Agenda 21 was primarily focused on the environment, but the 2030 Agenda addresses virtually all areas of human activity.  It truly is a blueprint for global governance. FULL REPORT

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PERSECUTION RISING – Kim Davis, Will Revival Come?

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 06:49 PM PDT

In this Message I am joined with special guests from "Awakening TV" Ryan Lestrange and Jennifer Leclaire as we discuss the recent story concerning the jailing of a Kentucky Clerk from her stance against "Same Sex Marriage" and the possible repercussions that could come that could change the face of Ministry and Church as we know it. Could this event awaken the sleeping Church and spark Revival in the Nation?In this Message I am joined with special guests from “Awakening TV” Ryan Lestrange and Jennifer Leclaire as we discuss the recent story concerning the jailing of a Kentucky Clerk from her stance against “Same Sex Marriage” and the possible repercussions that could come that could change the face of Ministry and Church as we know it. Could this event awaken the sleeping Church and spark Revival in the Nation?

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US warns Russia against more aid to Assad regime

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 06:29 AM PDT

US warns Russia against more aid to Assad regimeReports about Russia possibly planning to expand its military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad has prompted a warning from the U.S. that such actions could lead to a clash with coalition forces. The State Department issued a statement after Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express concern over the rumors “suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military build-up” in Syria.

The State Department said Kerry made it clear to Lavrov in their conversation that such actions “could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation” with the anti-Islamic State coalition led by the U.S. that is carrying out airstrikes in Syria. However, the State Department didn’t elaborate or confirm the accuracy of those reports. Russia has been an ally of Assad throughout Syria’s civil war and has provided diplomatic support and weaponry to help the Syrian leader maintain his grip on power. Moscow also maintains a small naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean Sea. FULL REPORT

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Russia building a military base with up to 1000 personnel and on verge of deploying thousands to support Assad

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 06:24 AM PDT

Russia building a military base with up to 1000 personnel and on verge of deploying thousands to support AssadRussia is building a military base in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s heartland, according to American intelligence officials, in the clearest indication yet of deepening Russian support for the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad. The anonymous officials say Russia has set up an air traffic control tower and transported prefabricated housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to an airfield serving the Syrian port city of Latakia.

Russia has also requested the rights to fly over neighbouring countries with military cargo aircraft during September, according to the reports. The claims, which will raise fears that Russia is planning to expand its role in the country’s civil war, will ratchet up tensions between Moscow and Washington over the future of Syria and its brutal ruler. Mr Obama on Friday met King Salman of Saudi Arabia to repeat their demand that any lasting settlement in Syria would require an end to the Assad regime. It leaves the US and Russia implacably opposed in their visions for Syria. FULL REPORT

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ACLJ Launches Massive Letter-Writing Campaign at the UN for Pastor Saeed

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 06:18 AM PDT

ACLJ Launches Massive Letter-Writing Campaign at the UN for Pastor SaeedAmerican Pastor Saeed Abedini needs your help more than ever before. Today, we are launching a letter-writing campaign to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. For nearly three years, Pastor Saeed has been languishing in a deadly Iranian prison. His crime? Being a Christian. Suffering and alone, Iranian guards targeted him yet again with another aggressive raid on his prison cell. President Obama has abandoned him, leaving Pastor Saeed and the three other American hostages in Iran, signing the now infamous nuclear deal with Iran.

For far too long, our innocent brother in Christ has unjustly suffered at the hands of the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and for far too long Pastor Saeed has been relegated to the sidelines of international negotiations with Iran. In just a matter of days, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be in New York along with Iran’s President for major U.N. meetings. This presents a new opportunity for the international community to act on Pastor’s Saeed’s behalf and demand his release. FULL REPORT

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DC Circuit Court Rules Against 1st Amendment

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 06:09 AM PDT

DC Circuit Court Rules Against 1st AmendmentWhile we are being distracted by political party games and race baiting, the Courts are opining away our Rights and establishing with greater fortitude every day their Oligarchy Rule. On Friday, the DC Circuit Court claimed that we have no freedom of speech on their “front porch.” The “front porch” we built and paid for does not belong to the people. It belongs to the royalty inside. May I remind this court that this porch was built by the people–with the people’s money–and is the property of the people, not the royalty inside? 

The DC Court claims that you are not allowed to show your dissatisfaction with their opinions on their “front porch,” that platform between the sidewalk and the steps to the court house, because it will “compromise the decorum and order it seeks to maintain in the Court’s grounds.” And Freedom of Speech dies by a thousand cuts. Are we really supposed to believe that “decorum and order” are the natural limitations of freedom of speech? Oh, quite the contrary. The purpose of freedom of speech is to violate decorum and disrupt order! What good is freedom of speech if you never say anything unpopular or disruptive? Kind, orderly, and polite speech needs no protection. FULL REPORT

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Read the Contract the Islamic State Group Is Forcing Christians to Sign in Syria

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 06:01 AM PDT

Read the Contract the Islamic State Group Is Forcing Christians to Sign in SyriaThe Islamic State group forced Christian men in a Syrian town to pay a sharia-mandated tax known as jizya and abide by a long list of restrictions, according to new photos posted by the Islamist group.

In addition to the tax which was calibrated by income level, the jihadists forced the Christians to sign a contract pledging an array of curbs on their faith and self-defense, including promising they will not own guns, build churches, display crosses, worship in public or ring church bells.The photos show dozens of men gathered for the signing in Qaryatain, a town that once had a Christian population of thousands. They sat in a theater, apparently waiting their turn, as a man joined a militant onstage to sign the document. FULL REPORT

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Judge Who Jailed Kim Davis Ordered Students Who Opposed Homosexuality to Be Re-Educated

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 05:54 AM PDT

Judge Who Jailed Kim Davis Ordered Students Who Opposed Homosexuality to Be Re-EducatedNew information is surfacing regarding the jailing of a county clerk for stating that it is not possible for her to obey an order to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals against God’s law, it is now being noted that the same federal judge also once ordered Kentucky students to be re-educated about homosexuality despite their objections.

In 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—the same group that filed suit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis—sued the Boyd County Board of Education to force it to agree to allow a “gay-straight” alliance club to meet at Boyd County High School. A number of parents had strongly opposed the group following its initial formation, with approximately 70 attending a school council meeting to speak out on the matter.

The school board temporarily suspended the meeting of all student groups due to controversy over the matter, but the Bible and drama clubs allegedly continued to meet despite the ban. Students with the alliance subsequently contacted the ACLU, which filed suit over the matter. Bunning then ordered Boyd County education officials to allow the alliance to meet on campus, declaring that they must be granted the same privileges as other groups, including using the intercom during school hours. FULL REPORT

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Troubled Waters

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 09:51 PM PDT

Troubled WatersIn this Saturday Edition of ETH Viewpoint I discuss the recent Activity regarding China and Russian Vessels seen off US Shores. Are we witnessing the mobilizing of a coordinated attack against the US? Watch the Video Below for more information.

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Get Ready For Persecution! ‘Today it’s a county clerk. Tomorrow it will be pastors’

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 09:16 PM PDT

http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/get-prepared-for-persecution-its-here/The subtitle to my new book new book, “Be Thou Prepared,” is “equipping the church for persecution and times of trouble” for exactly the reason we see Kim Davis imprisoned today.

John 15:18-19 – “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

The imprisonment of Kim Davis won’t be the end of the insanity infecting America. We have been given over to a depraved mind, and the travesty inflicted upon this brave believer is unprecedented in American history as far as I know. I do not believe that anyone, public official or private citizen, has ever been jailed simply because of his or her firmly held faith-belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and not between two men or two women.

Not only is this legal sham unparalleled in American history, it flies in the face of the Word of God and almost 6,000 years of human history. Christians are often mocked for uttering the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” Well, here’s a different phrase for our legal system: What would our Founding Fathers say about this monstrosity that is being called a “legal ruling”? FULL REPORT

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China begins arresting journalists for reporting on global market crash

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 09:09 PM PDT

China begins arresting journalists for reporting on global market crash The Chinese government is known for its authoritarianism and secrecy, which helps explain why there has been a crackdown of sorts on any journalists seeking to report the truth surrounding China’s stock market plunge and economic disorder. As noted by Zero Hedge, Chinese authorities have been working for two months to control not just the country’s stock market but also the narrative surrounding the market’s recent negative performance.

“After an unwind in the CNY1 trillion back alley margin lending complex sparked a late June selloff, China cobbled together a plunge protection team run by China Securities Finance (an arm of CSRC [China Securities Regulatory Commission]) and began intervening in the market,” Zero Hedge reported. “That effort has cost an estimated CNY900 billion so far.” FULL REPORT

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GoFundMe Bans Fundraiser for Kentucky Clerk

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 05:55 PM PDT

GoFundMe Bans Fundraiser for Kentucky ClerkThings just go a lot more interesting regarding the Kentucky Clerk, as new reports indicate that the the left-leaning fundraising site GoFundMe has declined to accept a fundraising campaign for jailed Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis. Davis was jailed on Thursday for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in June. She was ordered detained for contempt of court and later rejected a proposal to allow her deputies to process same-sex marriage licenses that could have prompted her release.

She has become the symbol of religious opposition to the heavy-handed tactics of the “gaystapo” who are ramming same-sex marriage through at the federal level across the nation in opposition of religious conservatives.U.S. News and World Report noted, “In sending her to jail, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ignored the American Civil Liberties Union’s request that Davis be fined to compel compliance with orders that she issue marriage licenses. ACLU attorney Heather Weaver, who is working on the case, said there was testimony about fundraising efforts on Davis’ behalf, apparently a factor in the judge’s decision not to impose financial penalties.” FULL REPORT

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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


Resource Links

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.

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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

September 5-6, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Good Works And The Christian Life

“While good works aren’t meritorious of salvation, they are a necessary component of Christian faith. As James states, “faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26). Paul makes this same point when he contends that we are not saved by good works but that we are saved for good works.

Read more


The Next Front in the War on Religious Freedom

“Citizens and elected officials have every right to work to cut off taxpayer funding to businesses and institutions they find morally distasteful. But if the city council of Anytown, USA, were to concoct reasons to deny permits to gay business owners who support same-sex marriage, many Americans would find that rightfully appalling.”

Read More


Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Never Measure Up To The Real Thing

“Marriage produces longer life spans, especially for men. In 2011, a survey of 90 studies found that single men die eight to 17 years earlier than married males. Life spans for single women decrease by seven to 15 years compared with their married counterparts.”

Read More


The Narnia Church

“Lewis is Mr. Mere Christianity. He does not talk about the Church a lot, although he does so more than many seem to remember. The Screwtape Letters is a great place to look for it. But fair enough. When Lewis set out to champion the Christian faith in his highest profile setting, he explicitly (almost) left ecclesiology out.”

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Can the Church In Scotland Rise Again?

“We are also seeing the first signs of a renewed and reinvigorated Presbyterianism in Scotland in my own denomination, the Free Church. New churches are being planted, people are being converted and membership is increasing. The Free Church College has been relaunched as Edinburgh Theological Seminary, and there is a new leadership rising.”

Read more


John Oliver’s Target Isn’t Crooked Televangelists — It’s Conservative Churches

“Earlier this month, Oliver did a segment on televangelists. He can be forgiven for being late to the topic since he was still a teenager in England when America got bored of talking about predatory preachers on television. The “prosperity gospel” frauds are still a problem, of course, and should be called out for it. But Oliver (or whoever writes for his teleprompter) isn’t really concerned about televangelists.”

Read More


Most Of Our Children Are Average

Why do parents long to have above average children? And why are children willing to go along with their Herculean efforts to achieve such status? According to Time, and a similar story from aeon.com, “You Can Do it Baby!”, it has everything to do with our drive for success.

Read More


AF Colonel to Get Double Promotion to 2-Star General For Top Chaplain Post

“The 1986 Air Force Academy graduate said he came from a devout Baptist home in North Carolina and felt a call to the ministry in high school but was afraid of public speaking and became an industrial engineer in the service instead. He finally switched to the chaplaincy in 1996 and said he has loved having the spiritual role ever since.”

Read More


What Grace Isn’t

Finding loopholes around church discipline–whether by leaving one church or another or by some other way–demonstrates a heart that fails to grasp that God disciplines sons and daughters. In other words, grace and steadfast love grounds discipline; hatred avoids discipline.

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The Pointless Campaign to “Save Marriage”

We face an extremist political ideology, akin to communism or fascism, where in fact it originated. But its political currency is not social class or national identity or race: It is sex. A radical sexual ideology that began with feminism but now includes homosexualism and perhaps other sexualities has wheedled its way to the commanding heights of political power. At stake are no longer simply abstract values; basic civil liberties and constitutional rights have already been lost for many, and the jails are already filling, though this is off the radar screen of most Christian leaders.

Read More


Five Ways To Critique Without Crushing

A critique should not be a monologue but a dialogue. Work with the person to discuss action items and next steps. Without action steps, the team member leaves your office crushed with uncertainty about what is next. Actions steps provide a sense of closure to the issue and a path forward.

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Ashley Madison Is Just the Beginning

The brokenness of sexuality all around us demonstrates something far deeper than a crisis of culture. The brokenness of sexuality around us demonstrates a crisis of worship. We will not get out of this with better Internet filters or more accountability groups. We must recognize that technology will continue to offer fallen humanity what it thinks it wants—the illusion that we can transgress God and not surely die. Our only hope starts with the kind of vision which sees that, no matter the technology, we are never anonymous to God.

Read more


Tullian Tchividjian Bounces Back?

How is the biblical standard of the peace and purity of the church upheld and strengthened by this move? How can the staff and people of Willow Creek PCA work with Tchividjian in an air of normalcy without turning a deaf ear to his history? And how will this ministerial culture affect people’s attention to the “peace and purity of the church?”

Read more


Trump, the Power of Positive Thinking and American Evangelicalism

Trump doesn’t speak to the thin veneer of compulsory sensitivity training we’ve all endured. He speaks to the bones of who we are: people who love the Bible, are Protestant, and went to Sunday School. It doesn’t matter so much that he does not live a Biblical ethic in his personal nor professional life. It doesn’t matter that he fails to treat people as if they are all equally made in God’s image. What matters is that it satisfies the appetite developed by a cultural “can do” mantra.

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The Church’s Hummingbirds

The hummingbird in a nearly worshipful pose surveys the tower that by his efforts he has prevented others of lesser strength or cunning from drinking their fill and becoming renewed.  When the Church allows its main focus to shift to solving the ills of society, however noble and compassionate, without a foundation of the Living water that Jesus Christ provides, we become the hummingbirds who take satisfaction in guarding traditions, only allowing the ‘worthy’ to come in, and placing our righteousness on display as we tolerate the sin rather than engage those with the Gospel that heals all of mankind’s afflictions.

Read more


Packer on Preaching

“Systematic theology is taxing intellectually and spiritually, but preaching consistently well is in many respects more so, because it combines deep biblical-theological knowledge with sharp historical awareness, cultural sensitivity and unvarnished spiritual stature. Only thus will preaching impact the hearts, habits, opinions, affections, and lifestyles of individuals and communities with moral force and intellectual persuasion.

Read More


At A Berlin Church, Muslim Refugees Converting In Droves

Muslims have converted in Germany in recent years — and they are a tiny minority compared to the country’s overall 4 million Muslims. But at least for Berlin, Martens describes the number of conversions as nothing short of a “miracle.” And he says he has at least another 80 people — mostly refugees from Iran and a few Afghans — waiting to be baptized.

Read More


God Bless Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis

Thus today, even when the people disagree with the decisions of the Supreme Court there is no remedy.  The people were misled into thinking that power was in their hands.  The people were flattered, but the people were deceived.  This seed of “We the Supreme Court” was planted in 1789 in Philadelphia, and it was solidified in 1865 at Appomattox. It was set in stone with the passage of the fourteenth amendment in 1868.

Read another opinion article: When does your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job?

Read more


Muslim family shoots Christian daughter & kills son-in-law

Muslim family shoots Christian daughter & kills son-in-law

Posted on September 5, 2015 by Christian Examiner

After hearing of their conversion, a Muslim family shoots their daughter and leaves her for dead after beating fatally shooting her husband.

Read Full Article »


Mercy, Grace and Learning From Mistakes

We all continually fall short of the glory of God and fail to be who He wants us to be.  With sexual sin rampant in the world, all of us are in a constant spiritual battle to please God rather than feed our flesh. Word is coming out that several Christian leaders contact information was […]

The post Mercy, Grace and Learning From Mistakes appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Mercy-Grace-and-Learning-From-Mistakes.mp3 21.9 MB


The Danger of Islam and “Chrislam”

According to the 1 John 4:3 Islam is a religion of anti-christ.  Islam denies that Jesus Christ is God, instead referring to him as a prophet who is less than Muhammad. Muslim terrorists and fanatics continue to murder innocent Christians and others in the Middle East.  And yet the Bible teaches us to love and […]

The post The Danger of Islam and “Chrislam” appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The-Danger-of-Islam-and-Chrislam.mp3 21.7 MB


Serving Two Masters

Jesus warned us sternly that no man can serve two masters–God and money.  That ultimately a man would choose to love one and hate the other.  And as Christians we can easily fool ourselves into thinking we are keeping money in its correct biblical perspective. There are Word Faith televangelists racking up millions of dollars […]

The post Serving Two Masters appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Serving-Two-Masters.mp3 20.9 MB


It’s Turning Ugly Out There

Bolstered by the sad decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized homosexual “marriage”, secular progressives are pressing their temporary advantage, doing all they can to suppress and silence the voices of Christian churches and ministries.  They’ve found an ally in the court system and an opponent (Christians) who seem apathetic as a whole. Are […]

The post It’s Turning Ugly Out There appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Its-Turning-Ugly-Out-There.mp3 23.6 MB


Not the law of the land

The Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage was based on judicial review. That’s a contentious issue in American jurisprudence, with a very checkered history. To say, without further ado, that judicial rulings are “the law of the land” is not a given:

WHI-1274 | Brand Me

In September we will be looking at issues of authority on the White Horse Inn. To better understand the world in which we live and how to bring the gospel to our culture, it is vital to understand how our culture has come to shape our values, our beliefs, and practices through mere participation in consumer habits and transactions. Unknowingly, we often erect idols which we come to confuse with Christ Jesus.

In today’s consumer culture, the customer is king. But do all our consumer preferences end up determining our identity? What if our desires and preferences have been shaped and manipulated by a culture of marketing? Who are we then? On this program the hosts will introduce this new White Horse Inn series as they explore issues related to personal identity in an age of consumerism and self-expression. Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we seek to bring the gospel to a world that constantly seeks to fashion Jesus in its own consumer-friendly image.

HOST QUOTE
“It’s really interesting when you see people say, ‘Well, this is where I am. This is my unique niche. I am …’ and they start bullet-pointing the things that identify them and you say, ‘you know, actually that is the major demographic of your age group. You’re not unique. You haven’t chosen anything except to be just like everybody else your age, your socio-economic, ethnic background. Basically, everybody who has the same playlist that you have, kind of dresses like that, kind of has certain characteristics like the ones you have.’
“On the one hand there’s this insatiable desire of all of our generations, especially in America, kind of a narcissistic culture, of being so unique, utterly different, and yet at the same time being passionately concerned about not being left behind, being part of the demographic you want to identify with. That’s kind of a weird irony in our culture.”
– Michael Horton
TERM TO LEARN
Consumer Culture
Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. A consumer culture can broadly be defined as a culture where social status, values, and activities are centered on the consumption of goods, services, and experiences. A large part of what you do, what you value and how you are defined revolves around consumption. Some theorists have regarded consumer culture as oppressive and manipulative, and some argue that it is a model of “consumer sovereignty.”
After World War II, consumer spending no longer meant satisfying an indulgent material desire. The American consumer was praised as a patriotic citizen in the 1950s, as someone contributing to the ultimate success of the American way of life. “The good purchaser devoted to ‘more, newer and better’ was the good citizen,” historian Lizabeth Cohen wrote, “since economic recovery after a decade and a half of depression and war depended on a dynamic mass consumption economy.”
Historian Elaine Tyler May argues that the new consumerism was a way to deemphasizing class differences while stressing traditional gender roles. The federal government and the American people saw that what had become defined as “the good life” was now within economic reach. For the working-class people could achieve the upward mobility they craved.
Consumerism has become one of the dominant global social forces that seeks a life of uninhibited consumption of goods, services, and experiences with almost total disregard for the global effects of such lifestyles. It is the pursuit of a good life narrated and marketed to through such practices which has cut across natural differences of religion, gender, class, ethnicity, and nationality. It is central to what Manfred Steger calls the new ‘global imaginary.’ This market driven vision of life has seeped into all aspects of life, turning even rebellion against the status quo into a new market niche ready for branding and consumption, wedding itself to the politics of uninhibited desire.
(Adapted from Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer’s Republic, p. 119; James, Paul; Szeman, and Imre Globalization and Culture, Vol. 3: “Global-Local Consumption,” p. x; and “Consumerism” from the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia [2008])

Read More


When You Can’t Find a Church

Jan Markell’s first guest is Dr. Ed Hindson. They discuss his newest book, “Target Israel: Caught in the Crosshairs of the End Times.” Find it here. Never has Israel been so marginalized, even by America. Then Jan Markell and Eric Barger talk to Dr. Randy White who says even as a Baptist pastor, he would have a hard time finding a church to attend. What has gone wrong and what is the answer to the church dilemma? We use the mobile app found at www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


The relevance of millennial marketing

Jim Fletcher warns about young evangelicals being led astray

Tickle has been a key pied piper for fellow writers Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones (who announced two years ago that he simply no longer believes in original sin).

This is what is being pumped into the bloodstream of young evangelicals in America. Of course, the left loves to distort labels for their own disingenuous purposes, and many call themselves “evangelical,” all the while knowing they are nothing like traditional evangelicals.

View Article


Criminalising Christianity, and Resisting Unjust Laws

Political prisoner Kim Davis knows all about unjust laws, and the criminalisation of Christianity. She is not the first, nor will she be the last to experience this firsthand. The homosexual militants, and the secular extremists and statists in bed with them, are now waging a full-scale war against all dissenters, and what we are now witnessing is just the tip of the iceberg.

The nearly 200 examples of Christians being jailed, fined and fired from their jobs documented in my latest book is only a smattering of the cases of persecution and anti-Christian bigotry. As more and more anti-Christian legislation is passed, and unjust laws become the norm, increasingly believers will need to revive the noble tradition of civil disobedience.

civil_disobedienceTo understand more clearly the biblical and theological rationale for such civil disobedience, please refer to this piece: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/02/christians-and-civil-disobedience/

While such disobedience is part of the Christian heritage, incredibly I keep hearing rather confused Christians insisting that we can never break a bad law or resist unjust government edicts. These folks need to go back and read their Bibles and study some church history. The truth is, this has been a long-standing tradition in Scripture and in Christian history.

Simply consider some of those who defied the state, resisted unjust laws, and suffered the consequences. In Exodus 1:15-22 we read about the Hebrew midwives who chose to fear God while disobeying Pharaoh. They are even listed in the ‘Heroes of the Faith’ chapter in Hebrews 11 for their actions (v. 23). And in Jeremiah 38:1-6 we learn about how Jeremiah defied the Jewish officials, and ended up being chucked into a miry pit as a result.

We have of course Daniel, a government official in Babylon, defying the king and his unjust laws, as found in Daniel 6. Also, Daniel’s friends Shadrach Meshach and Abednego did the same thing, as we read about in Daniel 3. Peter of course went to jail rather than obey a law which violated the higher law of God.

As we read in Acts 4:18-20, Peter said to the authorities, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God” (v. 19). And in Acts 5:27-29 we find the apostles jailed for disobeying the authorities. Peter and the other apostles made it clear where they stood, “We must obey God rather than man”.

Throughout human history both Christians and non-Christians have appealed to the right to disobey tyrannical regimes, and to disobey unjust laws. Plenty of quotes can be provided in this regard. Here are just a few:

“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? -Henry David Thoreau

But now what? Why, now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very dirt! And why? Because, he says, I forgot who I was; he says, to teach me that I am only a nigger! After all, and last of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another woman. And all this your laws give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, look at it! There isn’t one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your laws allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay! Do you call these the laws of my country? Sir, I haven’t any country, any more than I have any father. But I’m going to have one. I don’t want anything of your country, except to be let alone, to go peaceably out of it; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, let him take care, for I am desperate. I’ll fight for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it; if it was right for them, it is right for me! -Harriet Beecher Stowe

The famous German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer knew all about resistance to tyranny, and he knew all about paying the price for doing so. As he wrote: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Of course Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his now famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in April 16, 1963. In it he said:

One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

And again:

How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

One more: “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”

Resistance to tyranny

Indeed, America of course is built on the notion of resistance to tyranny, and the obligation of free men to resist oppressive states. The Founding Fathers, and others, spoke to this often:

“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” -John Hancock, the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” -Thomas Jefferson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” -Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” -Thomas Jefferson

“Disobedience to tyrants is Obedience to God.” -Benjamin Franklin

“It is because men are sinners that justice can be achieved only by a certain degree of coercion on the one hand, and by resistance to coercion and tyranny on the other hand.” -Reinhold Niebuhr

More recently Walter Williams put it this way:

Decent people should not obey immoral laws. What’s moral and immoral can be a contentious issue, but there are some broad guides for deciding what laws and government actions are immoral. Lysander S. Spooner, one of America’s great 19th-century thinkers, said no person or group of people can “authorize government to destroy or take away from men their natural rights; for natural rights are inalienable, and can no more be surrendered to government — which is but an association of individuals — than to a single individual.”
French economist/philosopher Frederic Bastiat (1801-50) gave a test for immoral government acts: “See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” He added in his book “The Law,” “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

The late great Francis Schaeffer spoke about this often, including in a talk delivered in 1982 to the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida. He is worth quoting at length:

Throughout the whole history of the Christian Church, (and again I wish people knew their history. In A Christian Manifesto I stress what happened in the Reformation in reference to all this) at a certain point, it is not only the privilege but it is the duty of the Christian to disobey the government. Now that’s what the founding fathers did when they founded this country. That’s what the early Church did. That’s what Peter said. You heard it from the Scripture: “Should we obey man?… rather than God?” That’s what the early Christians did.
Occasionally – no, often, people say to me, “But the early Church didn’t practice civil disobedience.” Didn’t they? You don’t know your history again. When those Christians that we all talk about so much allowed themselves to be thrown into the arena, when they did that, from their view it was a religious thing. They would not worship anything except the living God. But you must recognize from the side of the Roman state, there was nothing religious about it at all – it was purely civil. The Roman Empire had disintegrated until the only unity it had was its worship of Caesar. You could be an atheist; you could worship the Zoroastrian religion… You could do anything. They didn’t care. It was a civil matter, and when those Christians stood up there and refused to worship Caesar, from the side of the state, they were rebels. They were in civil disobedience and they were thrown to the beasts. They were involved in civil disobedience, as much as your brothers and sisters in the Soviet Union are. When the Soviet Union says that, by law, they cannot tell their children, even in their home about Jesus Christ, they must disobey and they get sent off to the mental ward or to Siberia. It’s exactly the same kind of civil disobedience that’s represented in a very real way by the thing I am wearing on my lapel tonight.
Every appropriate legal and political governmental means must be used. “The final bottom line”- I have invented this term in A Christian Manifesto. I hope the Christians across this country and across the world will really understand what the Bible truly teaches: The final bottom line! The early Christians, every one of the reformers (and again, I’ll say in A Christian Manifesto I go through country after country and show that there was not a single place with the possible exception of England, where the Reformation was successful, where there wasn’t civil disobedience and disobedience to the state), the people of the Reformation, the founding fathers of this country, faced and acted in the realization that if there is no place for disobeying the government, that government has been put in the place of the living God. In such a case, the government has been made a false god. If there is no place for disobeying a human government, what government has been made GOD.
Caesar, under some name, thinking of the early Church, has been put upon the final throne. The Bible’s answer is NO! Caesar is not to be put in the place of God and we as Christians, in the name of the Lordship of Christ, and all of life, must so think and act on the appropriate level. It should always be on the appropriate level. We have lots of room to move yet with our court cases, with the people we elect – all the things that we can do in this country. If, unhappily, we come to that place, the appropriate level must also include a disobedience to the state.
If you are not doing that, you haven’t thought it through. Jesus is not really on the throne. God is not central. You have made a false god central. Christ must be the final Lord and not society and not Caesar.
May I repeat the final sentence again? CHRIST MUST BE THE FINAL LORD AND NOT CAESAR AND NOT SOCIETY.

Not only was America founded by civil disobedience and resistance to tyrannical laws, but this has been part and parcel of the case for liberty over many centuries. Biblically and historically, we have sound precedence to disobey unjust laws on occasion, and as a last resort, and to be willing to face the consequences for doing so.

This must be done prayerfully and carefully of course. As I explain in more detail in the article I link to above, rebellion and disobedience in themselves are no virtues, and are normally great evils. So civil disobedience is something that must be done only in extreme circumstances, and must be undertaken with the greatest of caution and prudence.

But when it becomes necessary to so, then we must thus engage. Kim Davis, who broke no laws, but in fact faithfully upheld the laws of the state of Kentucky, is now suffering for her obedience to Christ. May God raise up millions of other committed Christians who will remain true to Christ, and stand against evil wherever it is encountered.

And if need be, who will pay the price to resist evil laws and tyrannical governments.

http://www.peopleforlife.org/francis.html


Pope Francis U.S. Visit 2015 Schedule and Dates: Pontiff Invites Rick Warren to Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family

According to The Gospel Herald Ministries:

Rick Warren and Pope Francis

Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, has announced he will be speaking in Philadelphia later this month at the World Meeting of Families event to commence Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United States.

Warren announced his plans to attend the event during the Sunday morning worship service at the Lake Forest, CA church.

“Next month, Pope Francis is coming to America for a world gathering on families,” he told the congregation. “I’m not a Catholic, and we have many differences with Catholics. But they love the Lord and we have much in common with that – we believe in the Bible, and the Trinity, and in Jesus and the resurrection.”

“There are probably going to be a million people in Philadelphia at this final event with Pope Francis, and he’s asked me to be the final speaker,” the Purpose Driven Life author continued amid cheering and applause.

http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/57540/20150901/pope-francis-visit-2015-schedule-and-dates-pontiff-invites-rick-warren-to-speak-at-philadelphia-conference-on-family.html


Heidelberg 123: The Second Petition—Your Kingdom Come (2)

We have already seen some of the difficulties that come with both an over-realized and under-realized eschatology. In contrast to both we should see that the Gospel of Mark presents our Lord Jesus as proclaiming neither a fully realized, earthly kingdom nor a purely future kingdom. “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, […]

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Harvard allows students to register with gender neutral pronouns

Boston.com reports:

Students registering at Harvard University now have the option to choose their preferred gender pronouns, including gender neutral terms like “ze, hir, hirs,” and “they, them, theirs.”

The Harvard Crimson reports that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ registration tool, which typically asks students to write down their gender marker in terms of “male,” “female,” and “transgender,” now for the first time allows students to write in their preferred pronouns when they registered this week.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2015/09/03/harvard-allows-students-register-with-gender-neutral-pronouns/IM40t3nOzXT8kcvN40RHeO/story.html


The Timid Sheep

It does not take much reading in the newspaper or media sites to realize that our culture is rapidly changing. I am not saying that our culture is going from Christian to secular (that’s another discussion);  but I do believe that we are seeing less toleration of Christianity, especially among the self-proclaimed tolerant.

Fear sets in, doesn’t it? Timidity replaces trust at times. Will the church press on courageously, trusting in Christ’s purposes or will we retreat due to the fear that overwhelms us?

This is going to prove to be a pastoral problem in the church. As the church faces this new age of forced-toleration, how ought we respond to those who who suffer under the fear and timidity that may plague our souls?

Martin Bucer (1491-1551), gives us wisdom here. He writes:

Those who become timid, so that the cross and tribulation become too heavy for them, must be addressed kindly and comfortingly, faithfully impressing on them the goodness of God and the salvation of Christ, so that they may recognize and believe that our dear God’s intentions towards them are entirely fatherly and faithful in all the sufferings he sends them. They are always to be dissuaded from thinking about their sins and all unhappiness, and to be uplifted into the mercy of God and the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Friends, you will have conversations in the next several weeks and months that will include a confession of fear and timidity from a sincere brother or sister in Christ. This is our time. As those anxieties are brought forth, we must remember to be as shepherds who strengthen the sheep, not disciplining or harsh in our care and speech, but pointing those with a lack of courage or strength to the one whose intentions are always fatherly and faithful. We must respond with kindness and comfort as we point them to the Chief Shepherd of their souls.

Use wisdom in your conversations and discernment as you comfort the lambs of God. Point them to the one who has overcome the world.


Why I do not recommend Kendrick Brothers’ new movie, “War Room”, part 1

Elizabeth Prata of The End Time reviews the Christian film “War Room.”  In part 1 she sheds light on some of the glaring theological problems with the film and also deals with other Kendrick brothers’ productions, such as “Fireproof” and “Courageous.” The brothers may have good intentions in making “Christian” films, however in so doing they […]

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The Cost Of Social Collapse

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What we can learn from the arrest of Kim Davis

Kim Davis made a choice to follow her religious conviction instead of obeying man.  Is this the beginning of the end of religious conscience and freedom? From The Christian Post’s Michael Brown: It is jarring to write the words “the arrest of Kim Davis,” speaking of the Kentucky clerk who was remanded to jail for […]

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Church Discipline, Contemporary Grace Style

Rick Phillips of Reformation 21 weighs in on the Tullian Tchividjian affair.  Many of Tullian’s supporters are unaware that he is a leading voice in the  Contemporary Grace Movement (hypergrace). Phillips addresses it here. Billy Graham and his grandson Tullian Tchividjian I have so far refrained from public comment on the resignation of Tullian Tchividjian in […]

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Tradionalism Was Never Going To Hold

Many years before Obergefell, same-sex marriage activists accurately identified the underbelly of their opponents’ political and cultural position: Most support for “traditional marriage” was not based on a sophisticated and principled conviction, but rather the social intuition that supporting marriage-as-it-has-always-been was the safe, respectable opinion. What LGBT activists needed to do, then, was not so […]

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God’s Crime Scene: Following the Evidence of Creation

by John Stonestreet

Standing on the porch of a locked house, rookie homicide investigator J. Warner Wallace peered into the living room. He could see a man on the floor in a pool of blood, gun by his side.

Now the question he had to answer: Was this a murder, an accident, or a suicide?

Entering the room with other detectives, Wallace, quickly surmised that the man had killed himself. But he hadn’t looked closely enough. Wallace’s more experienced team leader found clues indicating someone had come in from outside the room: a piece of mud on the floor, footprints, and the fact that the murder weapon was lying on the left side of the victim even though he was right handed.

The more evidence amassed, the more it became clear that the man was murdered.

As a detective, Wallace learned to follow the evidence wherever it led—to put aside his assumptions and his pre-conceived ideas. And in his fabulous new book, “God’s Crime Scene,” Wallace uses his detective skills and his training as an apologist to examine whether the universe was created by a divine intruder outside the room of natural existence or not.

For years, Wallace was a committed atheist. “I really had a sense,” he said, “that eventually science would have an answer for every important question we could possibly ask about our existence, about the nature of the universe, about how the universe got here, and about how biological creatures like humans evolved on the planet.”

Then Wallace cracked open a Bible…

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

God’s Crime Scene: Following the Evidence of Creation


Judge Who Jailed Kim Davis Ordered Students Who Opposed Homosexuality to Be Re-Educated

According to Christian News Network:

Following yesterday’s jailing of a county clerk for stating that it is not possible for her to obey an order to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals against God’s law, it is now being noted that the same federal judge also once ordered Kentucky students to be re-educated about homosexuality despite their objections.

In 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—the same group that filed suit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis—sued the Boyd County Board of Education to force it to agree to allow a “gay-straight” alliance club to meet at Boyd County High School. A number of parents had strongly opposed the group following its initial formation, with approximately 70 attending a school council meeting to speak out on the matter.

http://christiannews.net/2015/09/04/judge-who-jailed-kim-davis-ordered-students-who-opposed-homosexuality-to-be-re-educated/


Tullian Tchividjian’s Hiring as Ministry Director Shortly After Affair, Divorce Raises Concerns

Christian News Network has the latest in the Tullian Tchividjain saga. Tullian landed a job with Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Florida! For those who are wondering, WCPC has no connection to Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and its senior apostate pastor Bill Hybles.

Less than three months following his resignation as senior pastor of a megachurch over his admission to having an affair, and less than two weeks after he filed for divorce from his wife, Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, has been hired by Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Florida to serve as director of ministry development.

As previously reported, Tchividjian, 42, the son of Virginia Graham, took over the pulpit of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 2009 following the passing of founder D. James Kennedy. However, the selection divided the congregation, as some approved and others disapproved of his leadership. Several months after he accepted the job, Kennedy’s daughter and others began calling for his removal.

http://christiannews.net/2015/09/03/tullian-tchividjians-hiring-as-ministry-director-shortly-after-affair-divorce-raises-concerns/


Judge Who Jailed Kim Davis Ordered Students Who Opposed Homosexuality to Be Re-Educated

(CN) — Following yesterday’s jailing of a county clerk for stating that it is not possible for her to obey an order to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals against God’s law, it is now being noted that the same federal judge also once ordered Kentucky students to be re-educated about homosexuality despite their objections.

In 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—the same group that filed suit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis—sued the Boyd County Board of Education to force it to agree to allow a “gay-straight” alliance club to meet at Boyd County High School. A number of parents had strongly opposed the group following its initial formation, with approximately 70 attending a school council meeting to speak out on the matter.

Federal Judge Orders County Clerk to Jail Until She Agrees to Issue ‘Gay Marriage’ Licenses

(CN) — A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to be placed behind bars until she complies with his order to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals despite her Christian identity.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning, appointed to the bench by then-president George W. Bush, declared Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court this morning after she explained in tears that it is not possible for her to comply with the order because of her Christianity.

Missouri Students Protest ‘Transgender’ Teen’s Use of Girl’s Locker Room, Restroom

(CN) — Students at a public high school in Missouri walked out of class Monday in protest of a male student who is being allowed to use the girls’ locker and restrooms.

According to reports, approximately 150 students at Hillsboro High School spent two hours expressing concerns over the permissions granted to a 17-year-old senior who identifies as “Lila Perry.” Perry, born a male, says that he began having female inclinations at age 13. He had been living as a homosexual male up until last year, when he donned a wig and female clothing.

‘You Have to Do It’: Texts Surface in Case of Teen Charged with Urging Boyfriend to Commit Suicide

(CN) — Text messages have been released in the case of a teenage girl who is facing involuntary manslaughter charges for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide, and staying with him on the phone until he went through with it.

Michelle Carter, 18, was officially charged in February in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, also 18, who struggled with depression. He died by carbon monoxide poisoning after gassing himself in his pickup truck in the parking lot of the Fairhaven, Massachusetts Kmart.

Other Top News Stories of Interest:


The ‘Before and After’ for This Little Girl in Just One Year Will Blow You Away

Sometimes we can be guilty of consuming the news but not processing the pain, terror and loss of others. For most of us, the horror is happening far away, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Laughter can turn to tears so quickly. Step into another’s shoes just for a moment. Watch this. It’s powerful.

As the Syrian crisis worsens, learn how you can help today wherever you are.

May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger,
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Amen
– Franciscan Benediction

The post The ‘Before and After’ for This Little Girl in Just One Year Will Blow You Away appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Pope Francis U.S. Visit 2015 Schedule and Dates: Pontiff Invites Rick Warren To Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family

LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes. Courtesy Understand the Times By Leah Marieann Klett The Gospel Herald Ministries Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, has announced he will be speaking in Philadelphia later this month at the World Meeting of Families event to commence Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United […]

The Line between Rule of Law and Civil Disobedience

Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who objects to same-sex marriage, stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether, was ordered by a federal judge to resume her duty, refused to comply, and now is in jail for contempt of court. (Take a moment to read Joe Carter’s explainer on this story to catch up.)

I’m still working through what I think about this situation. It’s difficult because there are so many issues involved and goods to weigh, and I’m still trying to separate my feelings about the unfairness of singling out Kim Davis (as opposed to other officials who refuse to do their job) from the question of what Kim Davis should do. To help you think through this, there’s a symposium discussing these issues over at Breakpoint:

[B]ecause Davis is a government employee, it’s a complicated situation with many angles. Christians are divided on Davis’ actions, and the response by authorities. At issue are questions about the nature of religious liberty, the duty of Christians in government, and what godly civil disobedience looks like.

Here are a few excerpts from the symposium:

From Andrew Walker (this one most closely mirrors where I stand as of now):

The Supreme Court is where ultimate blame rests involving Kim Davis. Court rulings that are truly rooted in justice should seamlessly integrate into a state’s laws. Rulings should not circumvent the democratic process, pre-empt state action, and leave civil society in a state of fractious tumult. Unfortunately, that’s what Obergefell did, and now we’re seeing its disastrous effects in state jurisdictions such as Kentucky. That, and needless escalation in terms of incarceration, coupled with government inaction has brought us to the situation we’re in.

We must recognize the crucial difference between the religious liberty claims of private citizens and government officials. While government employees don’t lose their constitutional protection simply because they work for the government, an individual whose office requires them to uphold or execute the law is a separate matter than the private citizen whose conscience is infringed upon as a result of the law. It means the balancing test is different when it comes to government officials because of their roles as agents of the state. Government officials have a responsibility to carry out the law. When an official can no longer execute the laws in question due to an assault on conscience, and after all accommodating measures have been exhausted, he or she could work for change as a private citizen, engaging the democratic process in hopes of changing the questionable law.

From Shane Morris:

[W]e do and should discriminate when it comes to right and wrong, and natural law, which supersede the power of government, contrary to what Judge David Bunning says. This is the very concept that inspired the American Revolution, and a Civil Rights activist generations later from a Birmingham jail cell: There is a Law above the law. And any manmade law in contradiction to it is “no law at all.”

A Christian woman is in jail for upholding the definition of marriage set in place at creation against one just invented by Anthony Kennedy. I don’t feel comfortable telling her she’s wrong, or that she should just do her job. She’s standing on the side of reality, of natural law, and God, against a depraved fantasy.

From Michael Brown:

[W]hat cannot be debated is that the national outrage against Kim Davis has nothing to do with her refusing to obey the law and everything to do with her Christian beliefs. Had she found herself on the opposite end of the conflict and had she stood for “gay rights,” refusing to obey a law that she felt discriminated against them, she would be praised from coast to coast.

I encourage you to read everyone’s full comments over at Breakpoint. At the end of the post, there are links to several articles from different viewpoints that I’ve also found helpful, and there are plenty more out there. Ryan Anderson recommends a way forward where beliefs are accommodated and licenses are still obtained. Rod Dreher comes down hard on Davis and warns her actions will bring about serious consequences for religious liberty. Douglas Wilson takes the opposite position, saying Davis should not back down.

This is not a simple issue. Rule of law is what makes a good society possible, and the value we place on it should be great—it should never be compromised as part of a regular strategy for getting what we want. (I suspect the fact that we don’t believe the other side feels this way is fueling a lot of the support for Davis’s actions.) But there is also a time and place for civil disobedience, grounded in a Law higher than man’s, against an unjust law. Determining where the line should be drawn between them is not a simple task, and it deserves careful thought.


The Promise of God in Threatening Pain

The Promise of God in Threatening PainWe live in a society that is petrified of suffering. Each day starts with a thousand moments of flinching at pain — at our alarm clocks, at the shower’s cold water, at missed emails that threaten loss and tragedy. We resent suffering, and what it could mean for us. Job bewails that suffering looms with the shadow divine disappointment: “I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not hold me innocent” (Job 9:28).

Last night, I bolted onto the football field to face the Miami Dolphins. I was eager, surging with life, energy, and strength. It was the last preseason game of my third season in the NFL. The ball snapped, and with a snap of his fingers, God mercifully showed me how small and weak I am compared to his grand and glorious sovereignty over all creation.

As I was hit from the side in my knee, I felt the pop, fell to the ground in excruciating pain, and knew my year was over before it had even begun.

In the NFL, it’s easy to publicly thank God when we win, when we are victors, when we feel like gods. I want to take the opportunity to thank God when I am afraid — I want to thank him for three things:

  1. his promise to care for me in the midst of threatening pain;
  2. his meaning, which he spins out of the thread of suffering; and
  3. his joy, which resonates most beautifully when superficial pleasures fade.

God’s Sovereign Care

A few wrong angles, and I was hit, falling to the ground in pain. All of a sudden, five people ran out to me. My flesh and Satan would have me believe a thousand stories in that moment. “You’re done.” “You’re worthless.” “You’re going to lose everything.” “You can’t keep up.” “You’re pathetic.” But the more real story echoed through my heart. As I lay on the field, God’s Spirit through the word whispered in my ear, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).

That verse was a promise to me. God works all things together for good. It was like the Holy Spirit was repeating it in my heart, over and over again, with each surge of pain through my knee, “For those who love me, I work all things together for good.” God cares for his people. We can’t bank on prosperity-gospel promises. They can’t stand the test of God’s curse over the world. But God promises to care for us better than any worldly shepherd.

When we trust in the richest powers of the world, God says through Jeremiah, “All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you” (Jeremiah 30:14). But God still works to move the gospel into our lives through people who delight in Christ: “I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:4).

“Neither shall any be missing.” Not even me. Not even when I fail. Not even when I have nothing to offer. “Declares the Lord.” It’s his decree: Garrett shall not be left outside his care. Praise Jesus.

God’s Meaning-Making Sovereignty

In that moment of pain, I had a strange “peace of God that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). I had heartfelt assurance that everything was going to be okay. But I was assured of something more important:

This season of suffering, this injury, is a gift.

Not only was I reminded of Romans 8:28, that all things work for good, but also that what happened was a gift in so many ways. Suffering is always another opportunity for God to be glorified, and for his satisfying gospel to be made known. King David holds the two in clear tension: “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. . . . You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:14, 16). David isn’t saying that God will never let us suffer. He is saying that God fulfills the longing which our suffering brings to the surface.

God makes meaning out of our suffering, because he is sufficient in it. Through suffering, I see in my own heart these desires given to the throne. That’s God’s biggest gift in suffering — to have something taken away from you, and still find joy. A family member. A job. An idol. God satisfies us, not in spite of our unwanted circumstances, but in and through them.

God’s Joy Deeper Than Worldly Pleasures

How does God satisfy us in suffering? Through joy.

If God’s existence has ever been affirmed to me, it has been affirmed in suffering. Like we said above, when God gives us peace, it is peace that transcends understanding. But when God gives us joy, it is “that I may know the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10). The suffering that we experience with Christ is not the searing pain of a physical experience. It is the emotional pain of suffocating our parasitic idols — the labor pains of joy.

Our natural inclination is to experience fear. Our hearts by instinct respond to suffering with fear, frustration, and questioning God’s sovereignty.

That’s what God is already showing me in this and through this. He is not only showing me peace, but delight and joy. It’s a gift, and it shows me the joy of an intimate and loving and compassionate God.

Sufferers, Wait for God

Return with me to Job. We saw him in Job 9, on the ropes, getting beaten up, wondering whether God was the one wearing the gloves. But James called him steadfast. That’s an odd description for Job. How was Job steadfast? He hung in there long enough to joyfully rest in God’s love for him. “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).

Sufferers, wait for God. More than that — wait with me for him. Let’s see what the Lord’s purpose is for us, the one who is compassionate and merciful to his sheep whom he will not forget.


Related Resources


Judicial supremacy

According to Princeton law prof. Robert P. George,

Judicial supremacy is an anti-constitutional doctrine, not a constitutional principle. Cases such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, Roe v. Wade, and Obergefell v. Hodges are unconstitutional usurpations by the judiciary of the constitutional authority of the American people acting through their elected representatives in the Congress and state legislatures. The edicts handed down in these decisions are not “the law of the land” and should not be treated as such by the people or other public officials. What Abraham Lincoln said in rejecting the Court’s lawless and usurpative ruling in Dred Scott remains true: to accept judicial supremacy would be for the American people to “resign their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.” In the debate between Abraham Lincoln and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, the author of the Dred Scott opinion, we should side with the Great Emancipator. To do otherwise is to abandon republican government and accept, to quote Thomas Jefferson, “the despotism of an oligarchy.”

https://www.facebook.com/robert.p.george.39/posts/884217818313444?pnref=story


For an Example of Lawlessness, See the Supreme Court, Not Kim Davis

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423579/kim-davis-jail-supreme-court-lawless

Do You Want More Joy? Practice These Two Things

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein

Six months ago, a man came to me looking for help. While his life looked blessed and rich from the outside, inside his soul had grown hollow and numb. He had no joy. Nothing moved him. Though he knew many things were still important to him, like his work and his family, it had all become abstract and academic. Nothing he did seemed to mean anything, or make any difference in his soul.

I know his story is not uncommon among men, and women too. We think we want a life that looks a certain way: to have a certain level of income, to live in a certain kind of home, to have this many kids or that many toys.

But what we really want is a life that feels a certain way: to feel our souls alive and truly free, to feel connected in deeply meaningful ways to others in love, to feel our lives matter and that what we do makes a difference for good in the world.

But after spending years trying to accomplish “A” (a life that looks a certain way), we’re devastated to discover it fails to produce “B” (a life that feels as we desire). Our joy is sucked away like oxygen from the air, and we find ourselves gasping for relief, wondering where we went wrong, and desperate to fix it.

Thankfully, the beginning of recovery doesn’t require a massive overhaul of the life you’ve built. It doesn’t mean quitting your job, or going back to school for a different degree, or moving to some exotic location where you’ve always wanted to live. Some of these changes may (or may not) come in the course of time, but at the beginning such drastic moves are generally not necessary or wise. (The best thing is to get your joy back first, then decide where you want to go from there.)

The Recovery of Joy requires only two things, and both of them are daily practices you can start doing today. They are:

GRATITUDE: The practice of gratitude produces joy. How? It shifts your focus from what’s missing to what’s already here and activates your capacity to enjoy it (“en-joy” … get it?). The practice is simple. Before you go to bed each night, write down three things you are grateful for that day, and spend a minute thanking God for them. That’s it. Do this every day for six months, and your joy will multiply a thousand fold.

WONDER: Remember what it was like to be a kid watching fireworks on the Fourth of July? That’s what wonder is like, and despite what you may think, you haven’t lost the capacity to do it. You’re just out of practice. So practice! All it takes is a spare moment a few times each day, and something beautiful or mysterious on which to focus your attention. For example, the clouds, the wind, the warmth of the sun, the beauty of trees, the wonder of breath, the love of God, the stars, the magic of fire, a beautiful song, your children’s laughter, the beauty of mountains and oceans and meadows and deserts, and … you get the idea. The opportunities for wonder are all around you every day. So practice wonder a few times each day. Marvel at life. Marvel at your life, and before long you’ll find joy has moved back into your house like a long lost best friend who’s returned home for good.

How else do you like to cultivate gratitude and wonder in your daily life? Share your ideas in the comments below.  

The post Do You Want More Joy? Practice These Two Things appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


How Long Will It Take for My Church to Really, Actually Change?

One of the most common questions I hear from church leaders is, “How long will it take my church to permanently change?”

It’s such a great question because change sometimes feels, well, impossible.

You hear a constant stream of complaints

You’ve run into too many people who like things the way they are now (or the way they were a long time ago).

https://www.churchleaders.com/article-headlines-widget.html

You’ve got too many friends who got hurt badly trying to lead change.

The committees keep meeting and they keep stalling.

You’re starting to feel like Moses in the desert with no Promised Land in sight.

I get that, I’ve been there.

But don’t get discouraged. Change—even radical change—is possible.

The bottom line? Don’t overestimate what you can accomplish in one year. Don’t underestimate what you can do in five years.

Our Story: From Slow Death to Radical Transformation

I’ve led change in a local church for 20 years with the many of the same core group of people I started with when I was a seminary grad.

I began ministry with three small mainline churches whose total average attendance was less than 50. They churches were about as traditional as churches get: century old buildings, organs, choirs, committees, few kids and zero growth.

Within five years we had sold all three buildings and merged the three churches into a new church with a new name and a new mission. In the process, we changed the structure of leadership, engineered a radical overhaul of the style of worship, moved to an elementary school and launched a building campaign. In the process, we grew to over 10 times our original size.

Then seven years ago, a core of us left the denomination we were a part of. We left a nearly paid for building to start again in neighboring communities as Connexus, launching two locations at once. We moved from a permanent building to rented facilities and planted as a North Point Strategic Partner. Now, we see over 1,000 people on weekends, 60 percent of whom have little to no regular church attendance in their background. This has helped us realize our vision to be a church that unchurched people love to attend.

I realize, that’s a lot of change. Have we lost people? Of course.

The post How Long Will It Take for My Church to Really, Actually Change? appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


6 Requirements for Cultivating Community in a Church

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. … Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Luke 10:27 (NCV)

Cultivating community requires commitment.
If you’re tired of fake fellowship and you would like to cultivate real fellowship and a loving community in your small group, Sunday school class and church, you’ll need to make some tough choices and take some risks.

Cultivating community takes honesty.
Real fellowship depends on frankness. In fact, the tunnel of conflict is the passageway to intimacy in any relationship. Until you care enough to confront and resolve the underlying barriers, you will never grow close to each other.

https://www.churchleaders.com/article-headlines-widget.html

Cultivating community takes humility.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others. Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don’t think of themselves.

Cultivating community takes courtesy.
The truth is, we all have quirks and annoying traits. But community has nothing to do with compatibility. The basis for our fellowship is our relationship to God: We are family.

Cultivating community takes confidentiality.
Only in the safe environment of warm acceptance and trusted confidentiality will people open up and share their deepest hurts, needs and mistakes.

Confidentiality does not mean keeping silent while your brother or sister sins. It means that what is shared in your group needs to stay in your group, and the group needs to deal with it, not gossip to others about it.

Cultivating community takes frequency.
You must have frequent, regular contact with your group in order to build genuine fellowship. Relationships take time.

When you look at the list of characteristics, isn’t it obvious why genuine fellowship is so rare?

But the benefits of sharing life together far outweigh the costs, and it prepares us for heaven. 

The post 6 Requirements for Cultivating Community in a Church appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


5 Reasons Even Church Leaders Don’t Pray as We Should

Let’s just put this reality on the table: many church leaders struggle with prayer. We know we should pray, but our “oughtness” doesn’t always lead to action. I’m sure the reasons for our failure are many, but here are a few.

  1. Nobody taught us to pray. Sure, our churches told us to pray, but they didn’t always teach us to pray – and there’s a big difference between the two. Telling without teaching results only in frustration and disobedience. Even Jesus’ disciples wanted Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1).
  2. We ignore the reality of spiritual warfare. Our very real enemy, Satan, and his forces don’t want us to pray. The Puritan writer William Gurnall put it this way: “Satan hath such an impression of dread upon him— from the remembrance of what he hath suffered from the hands of prayer— . . .  he will turn every stone, and try every way, to obstruct thee in it.”
  3. We don’t see prayer as part of a relationship. Instead, we see it like a transaction at a candy machine or a cell call to 911: we go to God only when we want something or desperately need His help. By definition, then, prayer is not lifestyle.
  4. Sin haunts our life. Any time we still have recurrent sin in our life, we won’t pray like we should (and then the pattern just continues, because prayerlessness is itself a sin). A prayer of repentance is in order, but even that’s difficult.
  5. We can do too much without prayer.  I believe this reason is a primary one, so please hear me out here. I know we can’t do anything of eternal significance apart from the power of God. I’m not talking about making an eternal dent in the darkness; I’m talking about living the daily grind of leading God’s church in our own power.

With that in mind, let’s be honest: we can do a lot without praying. We shouldn’t, but we can. We can teach, preach, sing, lead, counsel, visit, minister, serve, care, enlist, train, direct, employ, mentor, guide, organize, envision, study, write, record, build, travel, plant, etc., etc., without praying.

Many of us know we can because we have. Or maybe we are.

Or maybe we pray without really praying, convincing ourselves that this post doesn’t apply to us. Of course we pray, but it’s five minutes before the next ministry activity – and the words sound strangely like every other prayer we pray. Those prayers are more repetition than relationship, more perfunctory than powerful, and more routine than radical.

And that’s not really praying.

But still, the church work goes on . . . .


How and Why We Need To Live Out The Golden Rule

We all know the Golden Rule. It is found in Matthew 7:12. There Jesus says,

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

While we have all recited this rule throughout our life, do we know what it really means?

For this is the Law and Prophets

In order to answer the question, we have to start with the last phrase, “For this is the Law and Prophets.” Later on in Matthew we come across a conversation Jesus has with a Lawyer who asks Him, “What is the greatest commandment?”

In response to the question, Jesus says,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-40)

It is important we start with this phrase because Jesus’ commandment in verse 12 is another way to summarize the command. We can’t do unto others as we would have them do unto us without first loving God and then loving others.

The reason we need to love God before we can love others has to do with our heart. Before our heart is penetrated by the gospel, we are enemies of God. We don’t love Him; we hate Him.

After our heart is pierced by the gospel, a change takes place. We no longer see God as our enemy. Instead we love Him, which is crucially important because only after we love God, will we obey His command to love others and practice the Golden Rule.

Positive, Not Negative

The second thing we need to look at in order to understand the Golden Rule is the nature of Jesus’ command. His command is given in the positive, not the negative.

Instead of not doing what we don’t want done to us, Jesus tells us we are to do to others what we would want them to do to us. In other words, if you want others to…

Serve you

Love you

Care for you

Give to you

Be nice to you

Respect you

Honor you

Listen to you

Learn from you

Hold you accountable

Comfort you

Counsel you

etc

…then you do these things to them. In the way we want to be treated, we are to treat others, which is the Golden Rule.

Easier Said Than Done

I know it is easier said than done. It is easy to not do what we don’t want done to us. For instance:

If we don’t want others to steal from us, we don’t steal from them.

If we don’t want others to hurt our families, we don’t hurt theirs.

If we don’t want others to aggravate us, we don’t aggravate them.

It is much easier for us not to do what we don’t want done to us because of the benefit we receive.

It is much harder, however, to do what we want others to do for us because we don’t always benefit. We may do and do, but never see any return. Here is why love is necessary:

True Love

True love is not built around our emotions, getting what we want, or what makes us happy. The culture defines love in that way. The Bible, however, defines love as self-sacrifice, which means we don’t always get what we want. When we are not getting what we want, it is harder to live by the Golden Rule.

The golden rule, however, isn’t about us getting what we want. Jesus doesn’t give it so we can be selfish. He gives it because He wants us to understand what it looks like to truly love one another.

Salt and Light

When we live out the golden rule, truly love others, we live as salt and light to the world. We are a witness for the gospel because we live in a way the world doesn’t because the world doesn’t give without getting.

Not only are we a witness to the power of the gospel when we live out the Golden Rule, but we also promote peace and societal flourishing. In other words, we make the world a better place, and give others a glimpse of what the world to come will look like simple by doing unto others what we would have them do to us.


The Trinitarian Gospel Deeps

First, from Octavius Winslow’s Morning Thoughts:

The doctrine of the Trinity is to the Christian the key of the Bible. The Spirit imparting skill to use it, and the power, when used, it unlocks this divine arcade of mysteries, and throws open every door in the blest sanctuary of truth. But it is in the light of salvation that its fitness and beauty most distinctly appear—salvation in which Jehovah appears so inimitably glorious—so like Himself. The Father’s love appears in “sending” His Son; the Son’s love in “undertaking” the work; the Holy Spirit’s love in “applying” the work. Oh, it is delightful to see how, in working out the mighty problem of man’s redemption, the Divine Three were thus deeply engaged. With which of these could we have dispensed? All were needed; and had one been lacking, our salvation would have been incomplete, and we would have been eternally lost. In bringing to glory the church they thus have saved, the sacred Three are solemnly pledged.

And this from Jared Wilson’s Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus:

Do you see how the Trinity hems us in? We have no defense against this brilliant triangle offense. Praise Jesus! “The salvation that was planned by the Father has been procured by the Son and is now presented and protected by the Spirit” (Ryken and LeFebvre, Our Triune God).

The glory of God is exponentially and eternally magnified by God’s triune self. “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8). His holiness is threefold-perfection deep and wide and high and long. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isa. 6:3). One day the knowledge of God’s glory will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14). He will have the universe covered from every angle—it’s divine geometry—as he has us covered now.

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”

The Trinitarian gospel is immediately practical because it entails that Christ is our advocate (1 John 2:1) and intercessor (Heb. 7:25) at this very moment and that the Spirit also is buttressing our prayers (Rom. 8:26).
With salvation’s rapture into the life of the Trinity, God isn’t just commanding us to grace and peace, he is praying for it himself to himself, he is bestowing it himself through himself, he is declaring it himself through himself authoritatively. The result of salvation is that “those who are elect exiles according to God’s foreknowledge, the Spirit’s sanctification, and the Son’s atoning work” receive grace and peace in multiplying (by threes?) abundance. This is incredibly good news.

We are saved from God to God by God through God for God. The godhead works in concert so that salvation will engulf you in God. (pp. 74-75)


09/05/15 For I Have Spoken

READING: Ezekiel 28-31

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Today’s reading focuses on God’s judgment on the nations, including Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and Assyria. Within these four chapters, though, is a continuing pattern of God’s making Himself known both to Ezekiel and to the nations. Notice the recurrent phrases that show God to be a God who speaks to people:

  • “The word of the Lord came to me” [Ezekiel] occurs eight times.
  • “This is what the Lord God says” (or a similar phrase) occurs sixteen times.
  • “For I have spoken” (or a similar phrase) occurs  two times.
  • “This is the declaration of the Lord God” occurs four times.
  • “Then they will know that I am the Lord” (or a similar phrase) occurs twelve times.

Our God is a communicating God. He raises up His spokesmen who declare His message. He initiates the message, confirms the message, and uses the message to make Himself known. Whether He speaks through judgment on the nations or restoration of His people, He declares His name to the world. I am reminded again that He is so much different from idols that have mouths but cannot speak.

Even today, God speaks to us through His Word. Thus, many of us are doubly blessed: our God communicates through His Word, and we have copies of that Word in its entirety in our language. We must not take either gift lightly.

PRAYER: Father, thank You that You speak. Thank You that the words You speak are true. Thank you that through Your Word, we learn that You are the Lord. And thank you that we have Your Word in our language. We are blessed indeed.”

TOMORROW¹S READING: Ezekiel 32-34


The Methods vs. The Message

Many Christians go their entire lives without being used by God to be the human instrument and means by which a person comes to Christ. My own calling is not as an evangelist, but seeing another human being come to Christ is the most meaningful ministry experience I’ve ever had.

I once was hired by a church to be the minister of theology, which meant that my job was to teach. They also added to my job description “minister of evangelism.” I said I didn’t know anything about evangelism. So, they sent me to a seminar to train in evangelism.

The minister leading the seminar talked about how to memorize an outline, how he uses key questions to stimulate discussion, and how there’s a pattern to the way in which evangelism is to flow. The idea behind the method he used was to focus attention on the ultimate issue of a person’s individual redemption—how can he justify himself before God? Most people will say that they have lived a good life; very few will say that they have been justified by faith alone in Christ alone.

Methods such as these have much to recommend them. They are easy to learn, and they make it possible for people to engage in discussions about Christianity, though care must be taken that one is not simply reading a script but rather is really connecting with the other person.

Ultimately, evangelism is less about the method one uses and more about the message one proclaims. Evangelism, remember, is the proclamation of the gospel—telling the story, announcing the news. Some fear that they don’t know enough to evangelize. I say, “Tell them what you do know.” Leave the defense of the truth claims to the apologist and hold forth the simple message of the gospel. Anyone who has the ability to speak about three or four simple principles can become an effective evangelist. This is where evangelism programs and training can help.

This excerpt is taken from What Is the Great Commission? by R.C. Sproul. Download more free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series here.


Notable Voices: September 5, 2015

7 Ways to Be a Best Friend to a Pastor — Ron Edmondson

Pastors often have a tough time truly befriending church members—often because they have been burned by church members in previous churches. Here are seven ways to be a best friend to your pastor.



6 Ways to Improve Your Church Bulletin
 — Rachel Blom

Church bulletins are often an amalgamation of announcements, schedules, and random information. They often lack what this article points to: strategy.


Research Finds Few Pastors Give up on Ministry — LifeWay Pastors

LifeWay Research released some new findings this week on pastors and longevity the ministry. These results correct random stats from around the internet that have been erroneously cited for years.


9 Vision Blockers for Church Leaders — Chuck Lawless

Number one might be the most obvious of this group, but number eight probably is the most common vision blocker.


5 Rarely Talked About Tips for Every Communicator and Writer — Carey Nieuwhof

Pastors, these five points will help your sermons.


3 Things to Remember Before You Criticize Someone’s Theology — Justin Taylor

These are helpful reminders from Justin which come straight from Scripture.


The post Notable Voices: September 5, 2015 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Weekend A La Carte (September 5)

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the end of summer and the return of normalcy. In these parts, that transition always happens on Labor Day (or Labour Day for my fellow Canadians). Summer has been beautiful and brilliant, but I’m ready for fall.

Here are today’s links.

The Promise of God in Threatening Pain

Garrett Gilkey: “Last night, I bolted onto the football field to face the Miami Dolphins. I was eager, surging with life, energy, and strength. It was the last preseason game of my third season in the NFL. The ball snapped, and with a snap of his fingers, God mercifully showed me how small and weak I am compared to his grand and glorious sovereignty over all creation.”

Church Discipline, Contemporary Grace Style

A couple of days ago Rick Phillips posted an article in which he made some public comments about Tullian Tchividjian and the unfolding of his situation. Ray Ortlund replied with Can a label edify?. I count it as a helpful interaction.

How I Learned to Live Joyfully

J.I. Packer lets us in on how he learned to live with joy.

What the Duggars Get Wrong About Chastity

This article comes from a Roman Catholic perspective (judging the he quotes from the Catholic Catechism). It helpfully outlines some concerns with elevating chastity and making it an ultimate virtue. “Chastity allows the soul to govern the body so that a person can give of him or herself to others properly in every context. A sexual ethic based on fear, on the other hand, keeps us away from others. Love and fear are mutually exclusive.”

This Day in 1651. Obadiah Holmes received the punishment of 30 lashes for holding a Baptist service in Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, he would move to Rhode Island and, for 30 years, serve as pastor at Newport Baptist Church, America’s second-oldest Baptist congregation. *

How Many Trees Are There?

Apparently all of our past guesses have been wrong. There are a lot of trees on earth!

Should Adulterous Pastors Be Restored?

The North American church is seriously vexed by the question, “What shall we do with an adulterous pastor?” Kent Hughes and John Armstrong provided a strong answer at Christianity Today.

Do You Pray For The President?

Sure you do. But do you pray for him as much as you complain about him?

The Line between Rule of Law and Civil Disobedience

If you want to catch up a bit on the situation in Kentucky with Kim Davis, and if you would like to know how Christians are responding, Amy Hall’s article will help.

The Myth of Faith Versus Reason

Thanks to PilgrimsRock for sponsoring the blog this week. Sponsorships keep the site’s doors open and lights on!


Links I like (weekend edition)

Links

We Don’t Get to Choose our Martyrs

David Murray:

We all knew the moment was coming when Christians, including those in public office, would begin to suffer for their convictions about marriage, and we all readied ourselves to rally in support of them. But now that it’s happened, many Christians are picking holes in Mrs Davis, her arguments, and her actions.

Can a label edify?

Ray Ortlund:

Labels are a kind of verbal barcode, and that risks coming across as simplistic and even dismissive.  Labels can diminish openness.  Labels can discourage listening.  If they catch on as negative rallying points, labels can become divisive among true brothers in Christ.

The Most Timeless Songs of All Time

As a music nerd, this was really interesting. Data nerds will also love it because it shows the power of data.

Being Biblical and unChristian

Erik Raymond:

We all have blind spots. We have our issues. Whether we are talking about personal, social, or theological blind spots, we have them. And to say you don’t, is to, well, make my point.

The important thing for us to look for said weaknesses, identify them and replace them. This is living life as a fallen sinner it is reality.

But sometimes our blind spots are our hobby horses. And this is a problem.

The Counterintuitive Beauty of the Beatitudes

Timothy Chapman:

No preacher today is likely to open a sermon with a list of aphorisms, but in the Sermon on the Mount this is precisely what Jesus did (Matt. 5:2–12). Maybe it’s because these rich statements—these “Beatitudes”—sound more like Confucius than the Jesus we’re used to—and particularly unlike the theological elaborations of Paul or John—that we simply find it easier to avoid elaborating on them in depth.

And lastly, today’s the last day to get these two excellent books on biblical theology from Crossway on sale:


The Daily Discovery (September 5-6, 2015)

headerImage-dailyDiscovery

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

What You Should Know About the Kentucky Clerk Marriage License Controversy – “When the Supreme Court handed down the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, it made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States and required every state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Kim Davis, the county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, said she could not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her religious objections. To avoid claims that she was discriminating, Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses—to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.”

Inequality Trap – “In a forthcoming book on The Inequality Trap, William Watson argues that the contemporary obsession with inequality is both an error and a trap. An error because ‘inequality, unlike poverty, is not the problem it is so widely presumed to be. Inequality can be good, it can be bad, and it can be neither good nor bad but benign.’ While we may need ways of addressing various kinds of inequality, ‘we do not need, and it would be a mistake to adopt a single perspective or policy for inequality writ large.’ Ignoring the varieties inequality is not only lacks finesse, but can produce injustices: ‘A one-size-fits-all perspective or policy would involve us in meaningful and costly injustice, even, in the now ubiquitous but not always meaningful term social injustice’.”

We Don’t Get to Choose our Martyrs – “All reasons I’ve heard and read in the past few days as to why Kim Davis should either resign from her County Clerk position or else just get on with issuing gay marriage licenses (latest news report here). And that’s coming from Christians, some of whom have been mighty with the pen in arguing against gay marriage, but are now wilting before the sword of the secular State.”

Two Bedtime Prayers for Weary Parents – “God has called parents to a difficult task. We are called to prevent the giant pile of children’s laundry from overtaking the house, cook meals for picky eaters, and clean up never-ending messes. But most importantly, we are given the eternally significant duty to ‘bring [our children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4).”

What a good sermon is like – “What should a sermon be like? Should it be the equivalent of a lecture, or a family chat, or feel like a stand up routine? Should it include ten tips, five tricks or three steps, each beginning with the letter ‘p’?  A sermon may be all of these things—or it may be none of them. But a good sermon does not try to be any of them. It is not mere entertainment, any more than mere intellectualism. A good sermon intrigues the mind and stirs the heart—but not through the efforts of the preacher, but through the Word of God.”


SERMON:

Charles Spurgeon – True Prayer, True Power!


VIDEOS:

Sye Ten Bruggencate Debates an Atheist

Selling Jesus: “Christian” Consumerism


“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 (September 5-6, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Christian Headlines Daily – Saturday, September 5, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Islamic State Issues 11 Mandates for Citizens of Captured Syrian Town

KY Clerk’s Office Will Issue Marriage Licenses Friday — without the Clerk

Court Rules to Keep Statue of Jesus on Montana Mountain

Oklahoma Attorney General Fights to Keep Ten Commandments Monument

Christians Provide Aid to Displaced Syrian Refugees Facing Persecution

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Jumps into Bible, Pot Debate

Charleston Church Shooter Gets Death Penalty Sentence

Christian Rapper and Former Lesbian Speaks about Her Conversion

High School Baptisms on Football Field were Voluntary, Pastor Says

KY Clerk Who Refuses to Issue Same-sex Marriage Licenses Found in Contempt of Court

Opinion

Margaret Sanger: Busted

‘In this World You Will Have Trouble’ — Welcome to Rowan County

Comic Rebukes Comedian for Bashing Bible

Yahoos on Campus: What Did You Expect?

Policeman Murdered: Schools Locked Down


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


Resource Links

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.

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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

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GodLife: Why Do Wicked People Prosper?

Scripture: Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but those whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on this law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do prospers.”

The Bible says people who delight in God’s law prosper. So, why does our experience not always match this picture? Its all about perspective. When you look too closely at a painting it can become a confusing mixture of colors that make no sense. In the same way, taking one verse out of context of the whole message of God’s Word can cloud our understanding.

Click here to keep reading and get a better persepctive.