Daily Archives: September 8, 2015

Greg Koukl explains how to be a consistent moral relativist

WINTERY KNIGHT

A conflict of worldviews A conflict of worldviews

The absolute easiest way to get into a good apologetics conversation with someone is to ask them what makes something right or wrong on their view.

Here’s a paper by Greg Koukl from Stand to Reason, in which he critiques moral relativism. His paper is called “Seven Things You Can’t Do as a Moral Relativist”. First, let’s see the list of seven things.

  1. You can’t make moral judgments about other people’s moral choices
  2. You can’t complain about God allowing evil and suffering
  3. You can’t blame people or praise people for their moral choices
  4. You can’t claim that any situation is unfair or unjust
  5. You can’t improve your morality
  6. You can’t have meaningful discussions about morality
  7. You can’t promote the obligation to be tolerant

You’ll have to read the paper to see how he argues for these, but I wanted to say a brief word about number 1.

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YOUR SINS SHALL FIND YOU OUT

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

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There is a story by Rev. Thomas English, where he tells a story about when he was once confronted by a stranger. It was in a place where he had been laboring for a few Sabbaths only, when he received a letter which finally culminated with the character standing before him…

I looked at the man, and pitied him, and coolly replied: “It would be a breach of the common principles of society to, show confidential letters, written to us, for the purpose of our doing people good.” He retorted in an angry tone, “–I demand a sight of it, sir, as an act of Justice due to an injured man.”

I replied, “How did you know that I had received a letter concerning you?” “Know,” said he; “it was impossible not to know it, your language and manner were so pointed, that it was impossible that I should be…

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September 8, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 8, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama signed his latest executive order on Labor Day, which extends the number of paid sick leave days mandated for federal contractors. The executive order means that federal contractors will now earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, with a cap at seven days of paid time off per year. In total, the new regulations will extend paid sick leave to 300,000 federal contractors who currently do not have such benefits.

As divisive as the U.S. congressional debate on the Iran nuclear deal has been, all sides can say they got something they wanted. President Obama has locked up enough Senate votes to keep lawmakers from scuttling the accord. Republicans may end up voting it down in both chambers, even if they can’t override Obama’s veto. And Democrats can show their pro-Israel supporters they don’t all love the deal either — without endangering a key foreign policy initiative.

China’s government has spent $236 billion trying to shore up its stock market since a rout began three months ago, according to Goldman Sachs Group.

Moscow Exchange PJSC, Russia’s main bourse, said stocks and bonds trading will resume at 4:50 p.m. Moscow time after a nearly two-hour outage. Equities, ruble, bonds and derivatives trading was shut down due to a network equipment failure, the bourse said.

Google will start testing a delivery service for fresh food and groceries in two U.S. cities later this year, stepping up competition with online retailer Amazon.com and startup Instacart.

Harvard University’s endowment, the largest in the world, had the worst performance of any of the eight Ivy League schools in 2013. Its chief executive officer at the time, Jane Mendillo, got the biggest raise.

Oil and financial sanctions on Iran will probably be lifted within the first three months of 2016, according to four western diplomats familiar with the nuclear monitoring process.

China is considering a circuit breaker tied to shares of the nation’s biggest companies, following an equities rout that wiped out about $5 trillion. Trading of stocks, stock options and index futures would halt for 30 minutes when the CSI 300 Index rises or falls 5 percent, according to a statement.

AP Top Stories

Pope Francis revolutionized the procedure for Roman Catholics to get marriage annulments, making them faster and simpler and calling on bishops to provide greater help to divorced couples. The most substantial changes to Catholic marriage annulment procedures in centuries again showed Francis’ desire for the Church to be more merciful to Catholics in difficulty. The 1.2 billion member Church does not recognize divorce.

Syria has denied reports of increased military activity by Russian troops on its soil, after Washington said it was following up on claims of ramped up support from Moscow.

Police in Chicago have confirmed the discovery of a child’s head, hands, and feet in the waters of Garfield Park. According to local authorities, the victim is believed to be between two and four years old.

Around 700 refugee children are arriving every week without their parents in Sweden, many injured in accidents and some bearing the physical and psychological scars of beatings or rape by their smugglers.

Authorities in Colombia said they seized over 1 metric ton of cocaine disguised as printer ink and bound for Mexico.

Indications of increased Russian involvement in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad are prompting a reassessment in Israel about how to handle fall-out from the conflict without risking a clash with Moscow.

Police are searching a river in Nepal where the body of a 27-year-old teacher from Austin, Texas, was thrown after she was hammered to death, an official said Tuesday.

A court in Mexico formally charged four criminal justice workers for their alleged role in the July prison escape of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Turkish warplanes launched a massive air operation early Tuesday against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, killing as many as 40 rebels.

Last Friday when NYPD officers got in a gun fight with an attempted murder suspect in Bushwick. As the Huffington Post reports, out of the 84 shots fired at the man, only one actually hit him.

BBC

Germany can cope with at least 500,000 asylum seekers a year for several years, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said. Germany expects more than 800,000 asylum-seekers in 2015 alone – four times the 2014 figure.

Thousands of Australians have held candlelit vigils for Syria as pressure mounts for Australia to offer to take in more refugees.

The world is running out of one of the most effective snakebite treatments, putting tens of thousands of lives at risk, warn experts.

Police in Afghanistan are investigating the suspected poisoning of hundreds of schoolgirls in Herat province. About 600 students from different schools have been taken to hospital in the past two weeks, complaining of nausea, pain and shortness of breath.

WND

Colorado police departments in Aurora and Denver are on high alert after a mystery caller telephoned 911 with a chilling warning, threatening to “start striking fear” and shooting “all the cops” caught alone in the community.

U.S. intelligence agencies, worried about the growing Chinese and Russian presence in the northern hemisphere, have now sent in scores of analysts to determine how best to defend the Arctic space from those nations least friendly to America.

Almost a full year of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes couldn’t stop Syria’s last major oilfield from falling into the hands of the Islamic State group.


BREMMER: Putin is serious about entering Syria — and not to go after ISIS
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday inspecting reconstruction of houses for people who suffered from wildfires in the village of Krasnopolye at the Siberian Khakasiya region in Russia. The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is weakening, and one of Assad’s primary backers — Russian President Vladimir Putin — is upping the ante. “Assad has lost significant territory over the past months; Putin is not about to tolerate his ouster,” geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, told Business Insider in an email. The regime has recently lost significant territory to Al Qaeda-led rebels in the north, Islamic State militants in the country’s center, and nationalist rebels in the south.

Iranian Warships Confront U.S. Navy On ‘Daily Basis’
U.S. naval forces operating in and around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping lane, are “routinely approached by Iranian warships and aircraft” on a “nearly daily basis,” according to a Pentagon official familiar with operations in the region.

US agencies plan research-ethics overhaul
On 2 September, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposal to address concerns that have emerged since the regulations — known collectively as the ‘Common Rule’ — took effect more than two decades ago. These issues include the need for overlapping ethics reviews of studies conducted at multiple sites, and the rise of genomic technologies that can identify the donors of anonymized samples.

Refugees in Europe: Christians welcome – Muslims keep out
More and more European countries have abandoned the continent’s famous policy of political correctness in recent days, and admit unabashedly: They are willing to take in only Christian refugees, not Muslims.

Two 5.5 earthquake close to New Zealand and Mexico rocked Pacific region
Two strong 5.5 earthquakes hit within the last hour. The first quake was measured in the L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand region in the Pacific Ocean.

UN chief seeks to breathe fresh life into peace talks
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a ministerial meeting of key global players trying to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Sept. 30 during the annual high-level session of the General Assembly, the United Nations announced Friday.

Hell of a hail! 9 injured as storm ravages Kazan, Russia, damaging cars & buildings
Hell of a hail! 9 injured as storm ravages Kazan, Russia, damaging cars & buildings A heavy hail storm hit the city of Kazan on Monday, causing considerable damage to the city’s infrastructure.

At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves
Hundreds embrace Christianity in possible effort to boost chances of winning asylum, although most claim to be true believers. “Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds?” pastor Gottfried Martens asks the Iranian refugee. “Will you break away from Islam?” “Yes,” Zonoobi fervently replies. Spreading his hands in blessing, Martens then baptizes the man “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.” Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian.

Planned Parenthood faces unexpected challenge from Obamacare
“Some people relied on us because they were uninsured prior to the Affordable Care Act. Now they can go anywhere for care, and some of them have been,” expects to treat 58,000 patients in 2015, down about 15 percent from the 68,000 it treated in fiscal 2012, before major parts of the law went into effect.

Israel shrouded in dense sandstorm
Officials ask Israelis — especially the elderly, young, sick and pregnant — to remain indoors; heatwave predicted. The storm has been making its way to Israel from Iraq and Syria over the past week. It is expected to remain in Israel’s skies throughout the day, and possibly until Wednesday morning, according to meteorologists.

Modern Revival of Lost Biblical Commandment Paving theWay for the Third Jewish Temple
Every year, each Jewish male over the age of 20 was obligated to give a compulsory donation of half a shekel (Exodus 30:15). Regardless of status or wealth, the same amount was given by each man. Since it is forbidden by Torah law to actually count Jews, counting the coins took place of a national census. The half-shekels that were collected were used as a form of tax to support the Jewish Temple.

Heavenly Warning of Imminent War in Israel a WakeupCall from God to Repent
Breaking Israel News reported Rabbi Vaknin’s warning, leaving many frightened and wondering what can be done to avert the decree of war. Speaking with Rabbi Vaknin’s English spokesperson, Gil Nachman, Breaking Israel News followed up on the rabbi’s heavenly message, wanting to know how people around the world should respond to the threat of war. “When Hashem (God) doesn’t see that people are waking up, He has to wake them up,” Nachman explained to Breaking Israel News. “The rabbi is here to ensure that the message comes in rachamim (mercy), not din (strict judgement).

Bulgaria denies airspace use for Russian supply flights to Syria – Reuters
Bulgaria has denied use of its airspace for Russian aid flights to Syria due to doubts about the nature of the cargo Moscow sends to the war-torn country, Reuters reported. It comes on the heels of a similar Washington request to Greece.

Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake Hits Near Hawthorne and Yerington
The Nevada Seismological Laboratory is reporting a 4.5 magnitude earthquake hit near Hawthorne, Yerington and Schurz at 7:15PM on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. The laboratory, located at the University of Nevada Reno, reported the earthquake’s epicenter was about 29 miles southeast of Yerington and 13 miles northwest of Hawthorne.

5.5 magnitude quake strikes off Mexican coast
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 on the Richter scale has struck off the Pacific coast of Mexico, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake occurred near the towns of Pijijiapan and Mapastepec.

U.S., tech industry fight over email privacy heads to appeals court
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday will consider whether U.S. law enforcement can make American technology companies hand over customers’ emails held overseas… Microsoft Corp is challenging a U.S. search warrant seeking the emails of an individual stored on a server in Ireland as part of a drug investigation. Details of the probe, including the identity of the person, have not been made public.

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican
…A staunch conservative and Vatican bureaucrat, Burke had been demoted by the pope a few months earlier, but it did not take the fight out of him. Francis had been backing…progressive voices on divorced Catholics as well as gays and lesbians. In front of the camera, Burke said he would “resist” liberal changes — and seemed to caution Francis about the limits of his authority. “One must be very attentive regarding the power of the pope,” Burke told the French news crew.

Apple and Other Tech Companies Tangle With U.S. Over Data Access
In an investigation involving guns and drugs, the Justice Department obtained a court order this summer demanding that Apple turn over, in real time, text messages between suspects using iPhones. Apple’s response: Its iMessage system was encrypted and the company could not comply.

Conservatives prepare to make stand on Planned Parenthood
The make-or-break moment for House conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood is here. Outraged by undercover videos on fetal tissue donation, conservatives are pushing to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood as part of legislation that would avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Iran, budget, highways and national debt on tap for Congress
Congress returns on Tuesday with a critical need for a characteristic rarely evident through a contentious spring and summer – cooperation between Republicans and President Barack Obama. Lawmakers face a weighty list of unfinished business and looming deadlines, including a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open beyond Sept. 30.

Turkey ‘bombs PKK in northern Iraq’ after Hakkari attack
Turkish warplanes have launched a wave of air strikes on Kurdish PKK rebel bases in northern Iraq after a deadly attack on the army in south-east Turkey, reports say. Dozens of jets were involved in six hours of bombing in the early hours of Tuesday, Anadolu news agency reported. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged to “wipe out” rebel strongholds in response to Sunday’s PKK attack.

US weighs refugee response, including ‘resettlement’, as criticism mounts
As Europe grapples with a flood of refugees from the Syrian war and the pope urges Catholics to help them, the US government may lack the political appetite to offer American soil as a safe haven to more than the current trickle of Syrians. Refugee and immigrant groups had urged the United States to admit more Syrian refugees long before the crisis erupted this summer in Europe.


Headlines – 9/8/2015

Winston Peters: New Zealand should take only women and children refugees from Syria and tell the men to return home and fight

VIDEO: Muslim “Refugee” Makes Throat Slitting/Beheading Gesture to Television Cameras

Iran sanctions relief will feed Europe’s Syrian refugee crisis

A Steady Flow Staggers Into Europe, Outpacing Pledges of Shelter

Hit by new wave of refugees, Germany warns EU partners

Hundreds of refugees surge past police along Hungary border as PM slams EU quotas

US weighs refugee response, including ‘resettlement’, as criticism mounts

Holocaust refugee: We owe it to mankind to allow Syrian refugees into Europe

Syrian Priest, 270 Christian and Muslim Hostages Kidnapped by Islamic Militants Reportedly Alive

NYT: US rethinks strategy for battling Islamic State in Syria

Iraqi team to probe alleged IS chemical attacks on Kurds

Islamic State takes Syrian state’s last oilfield: monitor

Drone killing of British citizens in Syria marks major departure for UK

Russia Dismisses American Concerns Over Presence in Syria

Iran’s covert general reeled in over loose lips – report

Iranian defense minister: US still ‘Great Satan’

Former Mossad chief slams Netanyahu: ‘The problem is Iran, not President Obama’

Much work remains on past Iranian work, UN nuclear agency says

Israel develops palm-sized flying nuclear detectors

Turkey to rebuild 9 Gaza mosques in effort to insert itself into Palestinian cause

Israel unfazed by PA threat to end Oslo accords, declare Palestine occupied state

PLO delays leadership elections at last minute

Palestinians call for ‘day of rage’ after third Duma arson victim dies

Fear of Inter-Religious Tension as Jewish and Muslim High Holidays Coincide This Year

Israel to EU team: Labeling settlement products is unfair

Israel struggles to crack down on Jewish extremists

Two dead in Egypt as regime struggles with anti-terrorism strategy

Afghans say police killed by US led coalition air strike

Pakistani military says its drone killed 3 suspected militants

North Korean defector: Kim Jong Un’s days are numbered

Rival Koreas agree to hold October reunions for war-torn families

Clinton says no email apology: ‘What I did was allowed’

Obama: world economy is volatile right now, U.S. is bright spot

Asian stocks hold gains after China data in volatile trade

Japan Economy Flashes Warning as Inventory Gain Holds Up GDP

China, Trying to Bolster Currency, Taps Foreign Reserves

Greetings From Bitcoin Island – No place on the planet has welcomed digital currencies as warmly as the Isle of Man

Mystery fireball lights up sky over Bangkok

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

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

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

USGS confirms STL area earthquake

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Gamalama volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Storm Grace Tracks Westward Through Atlantic

Longest Polish river reveals secrets amid drought

Hundreds of flamingos killed in violent hailstone storm in Spain

Glowing in the dark, GMO chickens shed light on bird flu fight

Congress returns to tight deadlines, key votes on Iran deal, Planned Parenthood

Conservatives prepare to make stand on Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood faces unexpected challenge from Obamacare

Chinese woman must choose between aborting 2nd child or her husband’s job

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican

Stonehenge ‘on steroids’ found 2 miles away

Burning Man 2015: Katy Perry falls off a Segway and dust storms galore

Android ransomware lures with porno, takes your picture and then ‘fines’ you

Judge Rules Transgender Born a Girl Cannot Use Boys’ Restrooms


 

Frontrunning: September 08

  • Sure, why not: China Rebounds as Trade Data Disappoints (Read More)
  • Oh, that’s why: China’s Stock-Rescue Tab Surges to $236 Billion, Goldman Says (Read More)
  • Can’t make this up: German finmin says must avoid reliance on debt, cenbank stimulus (Read More)
  • Stocks rise after contrasting China, Germany trade data (Read More)
  • Euro zone second-quarter GDP revised up as Italy grows faster (Read More)
  • Brent oil rises on European, Chinese data; oversupply weighs (Read More)
  • Corporate Prosecution Deals Headed for a Legal Test (Read More)
  • Fallon Says U.K. Will Carry Out More Syria Strikes If Necessary (Read More)
  • UK says more deadly drone strikes possible, despite criticism (Read More)
  • 4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett’s Warning – You’ll probably be surprised to learn what Warren Buffett recently called a “real threat”. View our FREE report to see if you’re heeding Buffett’s warning, and see how you could actually profit from it! (Click Here to Automatically Subscribe)
  • Liar Loans Redux: They’re Back and Sneaking Into AAA Rated Bonds (Read More)
  • Rate Worries Pose Obstacle for Banks (Read More)
  • Surge In Mobile Startups Valued at Over $1 Billion Signals a Bubble (Read More)
  • Struggling Germany urges neighbours to do more to ease refugee crisis (Read More)
  • Spanish Home Prices Jump Most Since Crisis Bolstering Recovery (Read More)
  • Microsoft Email Case Tests Power of Search Warrants (Read More)
  • As Overdose Deaths Climb, So Does Demand for Their Antidote (Read More)
  • Whitbread eyes savings, price rises to offset wage rises (Read More)
  • The Top Things to Watch for at Apple’s IPhone Event (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Waves of migrants fleeing to Europe overwhelm Europe, world

Shocking image of drowned boy crystallises Europe migrant crisis, Financial Times (Erika Solomon)

Hundreds Surge Past Police Near Hungary Border, March North, New York Times (AP)

Exodus of Syrians Highlights Political Failure of the West, New York Times (Anne Barnard)

Who Failed Aylan Kurdi?, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

The Burden Carried by ‘Refugee’, Wall Street Journal (Ben Zimmer)

Europe Must Reform Its Deadly Asylum Policies, New York Times (Editorial Board)

2) Judge’s ruling on Kim Davis denies natural law higher than rulings of courts

Legally, ‘God’s authority’ is a tough issue, Washington Post (Robert Barnes and Katie Zezima)

God, the Founders, and George Will Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/337132/god-founders-and-george-will-conrad-black, National Review (Conrad Black)

3) Celebration of marijuana legalization leads to college pot consumption exceeding tobacco

Study: Pot More a Habit for College Students Than Cigarettes, New York Times (AP)

In other news…


Daily Digest

September 8, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Men, to act with vigor and effect, must have time to mature measures, and judgment and experience, as to the best method of applying them. They must not be hurried on to their conclusions by the passions, or the fears of the multitude. They must deliberate, as well as resolve.” —Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Another Shooting Prompts Gun Control Push

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Some of the most recent violence in New York City hit close to home for the Empire State’s governor. On Monday, one of Andrew Cuomo’s lawyers, Carey Gabay, was in a crowd when probable gang members fired into the crowd, hitting Gabay in the head. According to the New York Daily News, Gabay is hospitalized, but he doesn’t have any brain activity. It was from the hospital where Cuomo gave his knee-jerk reaction by calling for more gun control. “We passed the toughest gun control law in the nation, called the SAFE Act, and I am proud of it,” Cuomo said. “Anyone who doesn’t believe we need to do something about gun control is delusional.”

Not simply satisfied with their own tough gun control laws, some New York politicians are calling for similarly strict measures nationally. The Daily News reported that New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton blamed gun laws in the South, which actually respect the Second Amendment, for NYC’s crime problems. But if you take drug and gang violence out of national murder statistics, the numbers drop nearly as low as those in European nations where guns are incredibly rare. Clearly, it’s not a gun problem. And then there’s the law of unintended consequences — if an individual doesn’t have a semiautomatic rifle with which to kill three or five people, the next step is to use a pipe bomb to kill 50. If government were to take away all guns, we would simply see other means of committing mass murder. Furthermore, gangs have festered in part because of Barack Obama’s open borders policies — something the Big Apple, which has declared itself a sanctuary city, might do well to remember.

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No One Died Looking for Bergdahl?

Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan only to be held captive by the Taliban until Barack Obama traded five jihadis for his release last year, was charged with both desertion and now also a rarer crime — misbehavior before the enemy. CBS News explains the significance: “Bergdahl could face a life sentence if convicted of the charge, which accuses him of endangering fellow soldiers when he ‘left without authority; and wrongfully caused search and recovery operations.’ Observers say the misbehavior charge allows authorities to allege that Bergdahl not only left his unit with one less soldier, but that his deliberate action put soldiers who searched for him in harm’s way.” That is indisputable as far as we’re concerned. But the next sentence in the CBS report is astounding: “The Pentagon has said there is no evidence anyone died searching for Bergdahl.” That’s preposterous. Beyond the soldiers who died fighting and capturing the Taliban Five, at least six Americans lost their lives in operations to recover Bergdahl. Their names are PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Chance Murphrey and 2LT Darryn Andrews. Perhaps these men weren’t killed directly by the jihadis holding Bergdahl, but they were on missions related to the search. Operations were put on hold and resources diverted to find Bergdahl. Lives were lost. And for someone at the Pentagon to be giving political cover to Obama in such a way is despicable.

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Green Gurus Caught in Dirty Ponzi Scheme

We’re not sure what’s less surprising: That a renewable energy endeavor turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, or that it has ties to the Clintons. The Associated Press reports, “Three people were charged Thursday with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel and ‘carbon-negative’ housing developments, neither of which were ever fully developed, federal prosecutors said. … Prosecutors said the trio lied to investors that their ‘biochar’ technology and ‘carbon-negative’ housing in Tennessee made millions, but they had almost no earnings and used the money to repay earlier investors and for themselves.” According to U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger, “The scheme alleged in this indictment offered investors the best of both worlds — investing in sustainable and clean energy products while also making a profit. Unfortunately for the investors, it was all a hoax and they lost precious savings. These defendants preyed on the emotions of their victims and sold them a scam.” Sounds like the entire Obama climate change charade. The criminal charges come years after a separate civil lawsuit. “The scam allegedly ran from 2005 until 2009, even after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Wragg and Knorr’s Mantria Corp. They were ordered in 2012 to pay $37 million each,” the AP adds. The kicker? “Two months before the SEC civil lawsuit, the company was publicly recognized for its stated commitment to ‘help mitigate global warming’ by former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative. The company was cited for its plans to develop the biochar technology that it said would sequester carbon dioxide and reduce emissions in developing countries. Wragg appeared on stage with Clinton at the event in September 2009.” Envirofascists slam Big Oil for ostensibly putting profits before principle, yet that’s exactly what happened in this case. And wouldn’t you know it? The defendants are in good company with the Clintons.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Obama’s Fast and Furious Arms Trade Treaty

By Lewis Morris

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The signatories of the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) held their first annual meeting at a spa in Cancun, Mexico, at the close of last month. First item on the agenda: Put pressure on the United States to pony up and support the largest international gun grab in history. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is sweeping under the rug its role in running guns to Mexican drug cartels.

The ATT, as you may recall, is the United Nations’ effort for a global gun control treaty in which the world body would monitor and regulate the international trafficking of firearms. The UN, and fellow gun grabbers in the U.S. like Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, sold the treaty as a way to stop criminal gangs and terrorists from obtaining weapons. Thankfully, Liberty-loving Americans who support the Second Amendment saw through this ruse.

As we stated last week, restrictive gun control laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining guns; they only prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves. This is true in the United States, and it is most certainly true overseas, where Rule of Law is rarely spoken of or practiced.

Let’s not forget that the ATT was put together by an international body that includes rogue and terrorist states whose principal goal is the reduction of U.S. power and sovereignty. Research by the UN’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms stated that guns have been “misused by lawful owners” and held that “arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would … minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”

Obama and Kerry lamented America’s rejection of the treaty, but they’re more than willing to subvert U.S. sovereignty to see their gun grabbing agenda to fruition. They continue to maintain that the treaty won’t impact domestic American laws, but there is no reason to believe them given their contempt for the Second Amendment.

There are currently 72 nations signed on to the ATT, and their meeting in Mexico — closed to the prying eyes of the public — was the first attempt to hammer out an agenda for getting control over the international arms trade. Its interesting that they choose to put pressure on the U.S. in this regard when the trafficking of illegal weapons in Asia, Africa and the Middle East is where the real problem resides.

Mexico has taken the position that since it shares a border with the U.S., all American guns need to be controlled for the sake of the ATT. Of course, the twisted irony of this view is that the federal government under Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder played no small part in trafficking illegal guns into Mexico during the nefarious Fast and Furious operation.

The U.S. government is now trying to pretend that ATF’s ridiculous plan to let illegal guns slip into the hand of drug cartels to track their movement never happened.

Two drug dealers are on trial for the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in Arizona in 2010. Guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene, but the Justice Department is attempting to block any mention of its operation in the trial.

Federal prosecutor Laura Duffy states, “Informing the jurors in this case of the connection between the firearms and the ‘Fast and Furious’ investigation will serve no legitimate purposed because that connection is irrelevant to the charges against the defendants.”

In investigating a murder, when is the murder weapon and the question of how it was obtained ever deemed irrelevant?

The real reason for keeping that information from jurors is to bury the fact that Obama and his underlings were both incompetent and malfeasant. In addition, it doesn’t fit their larger narrative that gun control is best left to the federal government.

Fast and Furious was crafted specifically to further that narrative. The idea was to demonstrate that there were all these deaths from guns going across the border. That was followed by a push to lock down gun sales within 50 miles of the border. And the ultimate objective in this progression was setting a precedent for “appropriate” gun restriction measures to stop violence in various areas.

Some 1,400 guns were lost during the Fast and Furious debacle, and a U.S. law enforcement officer wasn’t the only person killed by these weapons — ICE agent Jaime Zapata, as well as hundreds of Mexicans, lost their lives too. Of course, Holder was never held accountable for his raw stupidity in the matter, or the fact that he lied on several occasions about what he knew of the operation.

So, the hypocrisy continues, as does the fight to protect the Second Amendment.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Michael Barone: “I’ve seen this movie before. And for the last 25 years, I thought I’d never have to watch it again. But now it’s playing, not in theaters, but all over mainstream media, with something like rave reviews from the president and his administration. The theme of the movie is that there is an epidemic of racist white policemen, gunning down innocent black people. The movie’s message, implicit but unambiguous, is that the police must be restrained from vigorous enforcement of the law. That was the message of the Black Power movement half a century ago, and it is the message of the Black Lives Matter movement today. … [T]he most important BLM demand is the first: ‘end “broken windows” policing.’ The evidence is that this is already happening — at the cost of black lives. Even The New York Times has noticed. So far this year, murders are up 76 percent in Milwaukee, 60 percent in St. Louis, 56 percent in Baltimore and 44 percent in Washington, D.C. While murders are up, arrests are down. … The tragedy is that the ‘broken windows’ policing BLM decries has saved thousands of black lives. From 1990 to 2014, murders declined from 2,262 to 333 in New York, from 987 to 251 in Los Angeles, from 943 to 413 in Chicago. Now they’re up again. I’ve seen that movie before, when violent crime tripled between 1965 and 1975. I hope its ends differently this time.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Dignify and glorify common labor. It is at the bottom of life that we must 
begin, not at the top.” —Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Alpha Jackass: “In [Republicans’] world, the only way to help the country grow and to help people get ahead is to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, loosen up rules on big banks and polluters, and then you just wait and you look up at the sky and prosperity will come raining down on us from the top of the whatever high rise is in your city.” —Barack Obama, in whose world “prosperity” rains down from government

The BIG Lie: “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that. I did not send or receive any information marked classified. I take the responsibilities of handling classified materials very seriously and did so.” —Hillary Clinton

Upright: “Europeans who dislike an America they think is overbearing should note what happens when the world’s policeman decides to take a vacation and let the neighbors fend for themselves. In the modern world of instant communications and easy transportation, the world’s problems will wash up on the wealthy West’s shores one way or another. If Europe isn’t prepared to handle nearby crises, militarily if necessary, be prepared to accept the refugees.” —The Wall Street Journal

Observations: “It may be no accident that President Obama is up in Alaska, talking about changing the name of Mount McKinley, while this massive human tragedy is unfolding in the Middle East and in Europe. … Obama does not want to get involved in the refugee crisis that his own policies did so much to create. Talking about renaming Mount McKinley seems far safer politically.” —Thomas Sowell

And last… “This has always been the anecdote in Obama’s foreign policy: 1) show up 2) demand the world follow him 3) world leaders balk at his demands 4) he shrugs his shoulders and goes and plays with his selfie stick somewhere.” —Stephen Miller

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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September 7, 2015
ALAN KEYES — Has there ever been an era in the history of U.S. politics when people did not associate the words “politician” and “political candidate” with the likelihood of lying and deception? That’s why the legendary pundit Will Rogers expected a wry smile from readers of his syndicated column when he wrote: “If you ever injected truth into politics you’d have no politics.”… (more)

September 7, 2015
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — If you are puzzled that millions of mainstream Americans have been steamrolled into accepting same sex marriage, this is a book you will want to read. Moreover, if you can’t understand how it is that the same America where 36 of 50 states had enacted laws banning same sex marriage pulled a dramatic flip-flop in little more than a decade, again Paul Kengor’s “Takedown” traces that radical change… (more)

September 7, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — 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… (more)

September 7, 2015
NEWSMAX — Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis has been jailed without bail since Thursday for refusing to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her attorney, Matthew Staver, says that even some people accused of murder are allowed to be free on bail while their trail is pending…. (more)

September 7, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — An appeal was filed Sunday afternoon for Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk who is sitting behind bars for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples…. (more)

September 7, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — As you read this column, Kim Davis is sitting in jail. What crime did she commit? Actually, no crime. The Rowan County Kentucky clerk is in jail for contempt of court because she refused, on the basis of her First Amendment rights, to issue a same-sex marriage certificate…. (more)

September 7, 2015
ROBERT KNIGHT — If you have that sinking feeling that we’re living in a period of lawlessness, you’re not alone. Something is very out of whack in America…. (more)

September 7, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Democrats appear to have cinched the votes needed to declare victory on the Iran nuclear deal, yet Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to swallow back tears Sunday as she described her “gut-wrenching” decision to back the agreement…. (more)

September 6, 2015
BREITBART — Speaker Rep. John Boehner’s worst nightmare is on the rise here in rural North Carolina. Rep. Mark Meadows is gaining steam, as a clearly coordinated, highly orchestrated effort to remove Boehner as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – -and fix a broken Congress that no longer represents the wishes of the American people – -comes into much clearer focus…. (more)

September 6, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will try to prevent the Senate from voting on President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. In a statement issued on Saturday, Reid said that Democrats would attempt to use the filibuster to prevent the Senate from holding even a symbolic vote on the issue, which would likely result in an embarrassing outcome for Democrats…. (more)

September 6, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — 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…. (more)

September 5, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — To undermine President Obama’s atrocious Iran deal despite the Republican-controlled Congress’s irresponsible Corker legislation, it will be necessary to follow, of all things, the Corker legislation…. (more)


September 5, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — A lawyer who sued President Obama and Congress members from his home state of Florida, alleging the Iran nuclear deal is unconstitutional, is asking for a ruling as soon as possible…. (more)

September 5, 2015
NEWSMAX — After President Barack Obama received the number of votes in Congress he needed in order to make the Iran nuclear deal a reality, Sen. Ben Cardin announced Friday that he will oppose the pending nuclear agreement with Iran, The Baltimore Sun reports…. (more)


September 5, 2015
BOB UNRUH — The Kentucky county clerk jailed by a federal judge for standing by her Christian faith and refusing to hand out “same-sex marriage” licenses headed into the holiday weekend fully prepared for a long fight, according to her attorney…. (more)


September 5, 2015
CHRISTIAN NEWS — 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…. (more)

September 5, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — As the migrant-train standoff entered its second day in Hungary, with thousands of mostly Syrian refugees seeking passage to Germany, it’s time the West recognized this shift in Muslim populations for what it is, say American activists who have been warning of a “fifth column” for years…. (more)

September 5, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — Next week, as rumors swirl of his possible entry into the 2016 presidential race, Vice President Joe Biden will appear on liberal comedian Stephen Colbert’s new late-night CBS show. The host is a professional clown. The VIP guest is a political clown with more baggage than the Kardashians during Paris fashion week…. (more)

September 5, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — With all of the news sources we have in the world today – – from big corporate entities to individual bloggers and watchdogs – – why does the federal government continue to subsidize with taxpayer dollars PBS and NPR?… (more)

September 4, 2015
GARTH KANT — Why won’t Republican leadership in Congress fight President Obama? It’s the question that frustrates 75 percent of GOP voters and an issue that has likely helped Donald Trump skyrocket in the polls. Now, WND has obtained a revealing look into the thought process of the congressional Republican elite during a candid email exchange with a Senate leadership aide…. (more)


September 4, 2015
NEWSMAX — A Kentucky county clerk was jailed on Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and a full day of court hearings failed to put an end to her two-month-old legal fight over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding same-sex marriage…. (more)

September 4, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — GOP president hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz, on Thursday accused U.S. District Judge David Bunning of “judicial tyranny” for jailing a Kentucky county clerk who refused to violate her Christian faith and issue licenses to same-sex couples…. (more)

September 4, 2015
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama has become childish, petty and vengeful against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax TV…. (more)

September 4, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — In 1965, I was 11 years old. I was becoming aware of what was going on in the world. My favorite news guy was Paul Harvey. What was special about Paul Harvey, besides his cadence, his story-telling ability, his voice and his likeability, was his news judgment. He was the Matt Drudge of his day… (more)

September 4, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — Graphic scenes out of Hungary today show thousands of migrants pushing and shoving their way into a train station, yelling and chanting “No camp! No camp!” as dozens threw their bodies onto the railroad tracks in protest of the government’s refusal to let the trains roll into central Europe and their final hoped-for destination – – Germany…. (more)


Egypt’s Two Years Under Sisi :: Stock audio lecture

by Raymond Stock
September 8, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5476/egypt-sisi

Multimedia for this item

Audio Recording

Raymond Stock, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, is a Middle East political analyst and scholar. A resident of Cairo for two decades, he has written extensively about Egypt and the Middle East in the Middle East Quarterly, The Financial Times, and International Herald Tribune, among many other venues. Dr. Stock briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call August 27, 2015.

The Islamists have enabled Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Sisi to consolidate his domestic standing and gain widespread international legitimacy.

Though no more tolerant of political dissent than his predecessors, Sisi is a liberal in the sense that he wants a more open, tolerant, and religiously equal Egypt as evidenced by his uncompromising fight against Muslim Brotherhood violence. The only Egyptian president to demand that Al-Azhar clerics end their militant interpretation of Islam and societal discrimination of non-Muslims, Sisi made overtures to the Coptic Christians and toned down religious extremism in the education curriculum.

Pro-Sisi demonstrators celebrate the third anniversary of Mubarak’s overthrow, January 2014.

The president’s success in restoring order has been eroded by the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the resurgence of Muslim Brotherhood violence, and spreading lawlessness in Sinai. The recent opening of the new Suez Canal and encouragement of foreign investment are attempts to revive Egypt’s economy and boost its international standing.

Yet American involvement with the regime has been minimal due to President Obama’s affinity with the deposed Muslim Brotherhood government; and while Washington has lifted the freeze on aid to Egypt, it no longer extends credit for military aid and strategic assistance, which in turn forced Sisi to turn to Russia and France for armaments and warships.

It was a strategic and moral mistake for the Obama administration to abandon Mubarak without attempting to arrange an adequate successor who would arrest Egypt’s slide to anarchy, from which it has only partially recovered; and just as it supported the Islamist Morsi after Mubarak, it should have endorsed the more moderate and pragmatic Sisi after the latter’s downfall. At a time when ISIS spreads its tentacles across the region, the Egyptian president presents an opportunity to influence the debate by promoting a more traditional Islam, albeit at great risk to himself.

Summary account by Marilyn Stern, Middle East Forum Board of Governors


Revolt Brewing Inside Vatican As Cardinal Conservatives Seek To Stop Pope Francis Power Grab

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:1,4,5 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Church has long bragged that since it’s creation in 325 AD it has “never changed”. Maybe that’s true, right up until the moment that Francis became Pope. Since then, the winds of change have blown so hard that many Conservative Cardinals can barely recognize it anymore. What they fail to realize is why Pope Francis is making so many changes so quickly. He is fulfilling end times bible prophecy. Revelation 17 and 18 firmly declare that the Vatican is the “Mother of Harlots”, ruled over by a False Prophet who prepares the way for Antichrist. 

VATICAN CITY On a sunny morning earlier this year, a camera crew entered a well-appointed apartment just outside the 9th-century gates of Vatican City. Pristinely dressed in the black robes and scarlet sash of the princes of the Roman Catholic Church, Wisconsin-born Cardinal Raymond Burke sat in his elaborately upholstered armchair and appeared to issue a warning to Pope Francis.

A staunch conservative and Vatican bureaucrat, Burke had been demoted by the pope a few months earlier, but it did not take the fight out of him. Francis had been backing a more inclusive era, giving space to progressive voices on divorced Catholics as well as gays and lesbians. In front of the camera, Burke said he would “resist” liberal changes — and seemed to caution Francis about the limits of his authority. “One must be very attentive regarding the power of the pope,” Burke told the French news crew.

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Papal power, Burke warned, “is not absolute.” He added, “The pope does not have the power to change teaching or doctrine.”

Burke’s words belied a growing sense of alarm among strict conservatives, exposing what is fast emerging as a culture war over Francis’s papacy and the powerful hierarchy that governs the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet as he upends church convention, Francis also is grappling with a conservative backlash to the liberal momentum building inside the church. In more than a dozen interviews, including with seven senior church officials, insiders say the change has left the hierarchy more polarized over the direction of the church than at any point since the great papal reformers of the 1960s.

The conservative rebellion is taking on many guises — in public comments, yes, but also in the rising popularity of conservative Catholic Web sites promoting Francis dissenters; books and promotional materials backed by conservative clerics seeking to counter the liberal trend; and leaks to the news media, aimed at Vatican reformers.

In his recent comments, Burke was also merely stating fact. Despite the vast powers of the pope, church doctrine serves as a kind of constitution. And for liberal reformers, the bruising theological pushback by conservatives is complicating efforts to translate the pope’s transformative style into tangible changes.

At least we aren’t poisoning each other’s chalices anymore,” said the Rev. Timothy Radcliffe, a liberal British priest and Francis ally appointed to an influential Vatican post in May. Radcliffe said he welcomed open debate, even critical dissent within the church. But he professed himself as being “afraid” of “some of what we’re seeing

We have a serious issue right now, a very alarming situation where Catholic priests and bishops are saying and doing things that are against what the church teaches, talking about same-sex unions, about Communion for those who are living in adultery,” the official said. “And yet the pope does nothing to silence them. So the inference is that this is what the pope wants.” source


Global Media To Broadcast Pope Francis New World Order Agenda On 24-Hour Cable Channel

It’s all Pope Francis, all the time.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have been reporting for months now that Pope Francis American trip will be a political one as he pushes his New World Order agenda. Now global news conglomerate Time-Warner Cable is launching a 24-hour Pope channel to drive his message home. 

Time Warner Cable is unveiling a 24-hour channel devoted to Pope Francis’ impending visit to the U.S., which will broadcast to 15 million households from Sept. 20 through Sept. 27. It will be available for most subscribers on Channel 199, and also online and on the TWC News app, according to the New York Times.

time-warner-cable-launching-24-hour-pope-francis-cable-channel-catholic-church-vatican

On September 23, Pope Francis will make his boldest move yet when he addresses Congress. A feat never been done by any pope in the entire history of the United States.

The papal network will feature analysis and commentary on the Pope’s visit, plus a twist on NY1’s call-in show and a nightly 10 p.m. news broadcast. When the Pope isn’t speaking, TWC will air papal coverage repeats.

One Time Warner exec said that many people want to watch the Pope, but only to an extent. Those who don’t want to miss a papal moment can switch to the new channel.

“At a certain point, when you’re a news channel, you still want to be giving weather on the 1s and providing the coverage people want,” Steve Paulus, Time Warner Cable’s senior vice president for news, told the Times. source

Here are some of Pope Francis talking points that the new Pope cable channel will be running night and day:

As he travels all over the world, at each stop he is building his political power base, using Vatican influence to grant favors, and seducing gullible American Christians back into the tent of the Harlot herself, Mother Rome. Even Chrislam founder Rick Warren calls Francis “our pope”. On September 23, Pope Francis will make his boldest move yet when he addresses Congress. A feat never been done by any pope in the entire history of the United States. Here is a preview of what you can expect he will talk about:

FORCED IMMIGRATION

Pope Francis is a Socialist, with Communist overtones, and as such he will chastise America for not allowing more illegal aliens through our borders. Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a top adviser to Francis, told an audience at Georgetown University, that Francis would have liked to enter the U.S. by crossing the border with Mexico to make a point about welcoming immigrants, not building walls to keep them out. He said that while time did not allow for a border stopover, the pontiff was certain to raise the issue on Capitol Hill.

REVERSING CAPITALISM

“Capitalism is not a god. It is not a divinity. It is not a system that is perfect and does not need any modification,” he said during a luncheon meeting. “This system is fostering tremendous inequalities.” Socialism is not compatible with Capitalism because you cannot have successful people in the New World Order. Everyone needs to be dragged down to the same level of mediocrity, while the ruling elites live like kings.

WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION

“The free market economy is not complete. We need a social market economy. This is the big contribution of the Catholic faith to the system — to try to have this social component that will bring more justice to the system,” he said. “It is not fair that a system that is producing so much richness could walk side by side with so much poverty.”

FORCING THE CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA

To deal with climate issues, he has also called for an “Earth Constitution that would transcend the UN Charter” along with the creation of a “Global Council…elected by all the people on Earth” and a “Planetary Court..a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.” The two main issues of “protecting the earth” are climate change and global depopulation. Expect Francis to bring out all the big guns on this favorite hobby horse of the Liberal Socialists who run America. source


Germany Just Spent $6.6 Billion Dollars To Become A Muslim Nation

ISIS terrorists are arriving in Europe hidden among migrants crossing the Mediterranean on boats, warns EU’s top prosecutor

You have to hand it to the Muslims, they crafted an excellent plan of attack, have stuck with it no matter the opposition, and now they have been rewarded for their efforts with the grand prize they have sought. Germany just became a Muslim nation, and all they had to do was to execute biological jihad by swarming the borders. For every 6 legitimate Muslim “migrant refugees”, you have 4 ISIS terrorists in hiding slithering alongside with them. So out of a group of 800,000 migrant refugees, approximately 360,000 of them have terror connections.

It will only be a matter of months, maybe even mere weeks before this teeming sea of Muslim migrants begin to demand concessions to Islam, halal foods, and eventually Sharia Law within the German court system. Germany just sealed their own doom with a stroke of the pen. Peace in our time.

germany-spending-6-billion-muslim-migrants-isis-terrorists

The European Union’s top prosecutor says she has been told that Islamic State terrorists are being smuggled across the Mediterranean hidden among migrants.

Germany will spend around $6.6 billion to cope with some 800,000 mostly Muslim migrants and refugees expected to have crossed into the country by the end of 2015, the government said early Monday. The announcement by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government came after Germany and neighboring Austria threw open their borders to the wave of refugees making their way north and west from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. Hungary has been letting the human tide move on after holding it up for days.

“We had to give a strong signal of humanity to show that Europe’s values are valid also in difficult times. Hungary’s handling of the crisis is unbearable,” said Germany’s Secretary-General Yasmin Fahimi.


The McAvany Intel Memo

With Obama’s blatant disregard for the American system and Constitution, it’s apparent that he has no desire to simply regulate the Internet. Indeed, the overreach by the President in this case is unparalleled in presidential history. The FCC is supposed to be an independent agency. However, that is rapidly changing because of Obama’s demands. According to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, “I think the White House changed the landscape dramatically with the president’s announcement shortly after the midterm elections that he wanted the FCC to adopt Title II regulations and said – and it’s still on his website – ‘I ask the FCC to implement this plan.’

“It is a break (with past presidential protocols) in my experience. I’ve served under a number of different chairmen during administrations of Republican and Democratic affiliation. I’ve never seen anything as high profile as this. There have been other examples of presidents weighing in with a letter or a phone call, that kind of thing. But creating a YouTube video on a website with very specific prescriptions as to what this agency should do, followed by the agency suddenly changing course from where it was to mimic the president’s plan, I think suggests that the independence of the agency has been compromised.”

The reason President Obama pushed the FCC so hard to change its course is now obvious. He doesn’t want an open or free Internet. He doesn’t want a fairer Internet for the people. He doesn’t want to make sure the Internet runs the same for everyone. As we’ve seen in so many other areas, he wants fascism to reign – he wants complete control and censorship of all information on the Internet.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, April 2015


America’s Eerie Parallels To Downfall Of Rome

The fall of Rome was a culmination of several external and internal factors. Now it seems America is falling down the same path ………..  Click here for full story


Russia Is Going To Pass A Law Formally Dumping The U.S. Dollar

Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced legislation that would deal a tremendous blow to the U.S. dollar. If Putin gets his way, and he almost certainly will, the U.S. dollar will be eliminated from trade between nations that belong to the Commonwealth of Independent States…………  Click here for full story


Russia Gearing Up To Be First World Power To Insert Ground Forces Into Syria

Despite strong denials from Moscow, Russian airborne troops are preparing to land in Syria to fight Islamic State forces. The surprise attack on Monday, Aug. 31, by ISIS forces on the Qadam district of southern Damascus, in which they took over parts of the district – and brought ISIS forces the closest that any Syrian anti-Assad group has ever been to the center of the Syrian capital – is expected to accelerate the Russian military intervention……..  Click here for full story


Another Sept Event – UN Chief To Meet Global Players For Israel/Palestinian Peace Push

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a ministerial meeting of key global players trying to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Sept. 30 during the annual high-level session of the General Assembly, the United Nations announced Friday ………..  Click here for full story


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

It’s a new city pilot program to track how you drive, when you drive, how fast your drive and how much gas you use. The Department of Transportation says it will help fix street problems. Others say its like Big Brother is watching you.……  Click here for full story


US Gov’t demanding the owners of the property around Area 51 surrender it immediately?

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 10:25 AM PDT

US Gov't demanding the owners of the property around Area 51 surrender it immediately?AIR FORCE WANTS OWNERS TO GIVE UP PROPERTY NEAR SECRET AREA 51

EDITOR’S NOTE: We all know that the top-secret government development facility known as Area 51 has nothing to do with space aliens or UFO’s, right? It’s all just propaganda from conspiracy theorists, right? So why, pray tell, is the US Gov’t demanding the owners of the property around Area 51 surrender it immediately? Hmmm…

The U.S. Air Force is giving an ultimatum to owners of a remote Nevada property that over time has been surrounded by a vast bombing range including the super-secret Area 51. They’re being told to take a $5.2 million “last best offer” for their property by Thursday — or the government will seize it through condemnation. The owners include descendants of a couple who lost their hardscrabble mining enterprise after the Air Force moved in in the 1940s. Nuclear tests then began in 1951, their mine mill mysteriously exploded in 1954 and they ran out of money to seek reparations from the government in 1959. FULL REPORT

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Ohio School District Allows ‘Transgender’ Female Student to Use Boys’ Restroom

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 06:35 AM PDT

Ohio School District Allows ‘Transgender’ Female Student to Use Boys’ RestroomA non-profit legal organization is urging an Ohio school district to reverse its recent decision to allow “transgender” students to use restrooms for the opposite sex. Late last month, a female student at Troy Junior High School, asked if she could use the school’s male restroom, claiming that she identified as a male.

After meeting with the student’s parents and discussing the matter with the board of education, the school district’s superintendent, Eric Herman, announced that students would be allowed to use the restrooms of their choice, based not on sex but rather “gender identity.” “Troy City Schools is committed to providing a safe learning environment to all students, including an environment free from sex discrimination,” Herman explained in an automated phone call to all parents in the school district, according to local reports. FULL REPORT

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15 minutes on your cell phone can alter brain structure and function, new study reveals

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 06:19 AM PDT

15 minutes on your cell phone can alter brain structure and function, new study revealsA new clinical study has found that just 15 minutes of cell phone talk time radiation exposure can alter the structure and function of the brain, including brain wave activity that is connected to cognition, mood and behavior. Thirty-one healthy females took part in the study, published in PLOS ONE; all participants were measured twice. On one of the days, the mobile phone was attached to the women’s ears with a sham phone being placed on their chests. On the other day, the mobile phone was attached to the chest and the sham phone to the ear. During each assessment, EEG activity and radio-frequency radiation were recorded.

The study found significant results when the cell phone was placed next to the ear. The studies authors concluded that “the results support the notion that EEG alterations are associated with mobile phone usage and that the effect is dependent on site of placement.” This is the first placebo-controlled, single-blind study of its kind to show that as little as 15 minutes of 3G cell phone exposure directly to the ear “is associated with increased activity of the alpha, beta, and gamma frequency bands in nearly every brain region.” FULL REPORT

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DEVELOPING: US Scrambles to Defend Arctic from Russia and China

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 05:57 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: US Scrambles to Defend Arctic from Russia and ChinaIt appears that the presence of Chinese and Russian vessels outside of U.S Shores has rattled the nerves of the White House as a new report indicates that, U.S. intelligence agencies, worried about the growing Chinese and Russian presence in the northern hemisphere, have now sent in scores of analysts to determine how best to defend the Arctic space from those nations least friendly to America. The Arctic Newswire reported that in the past 14 months, fully 16 U.S. spy and intelligence agencies have dispatched full time analysts to study the region.

On top of that, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put together a “strategy board” so these analysts would have a formal meeting place to discuss their findings, the newspaper reported. The analysts are tasked specifically with taking the raw intelligence that comes from a newly configured Canadian listening post by the North Pole, and the intel from the Norwegian spy ship, Marjata, and processing it for use. They also tap into U.S. spy satellites and Navy sensors that are located beneath the ocean waters, and process and disseminate that data. FULL REPORT

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Iranian Warships Confront U.S. Navy On ‘Daily Basis’

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 05:47 AM PDT

Iranian Warships Confront U.S. Navy On ‘Daily Basis’U.S. naval forces operating in and around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping lane, are “routinely approached by Iranian warships and aircraft” on a “nearly daily basis,” according to a Pentagon official familiar with operations in the region.

During these interactions between U.S. and Iranian forces, American aircraft and ships are routinely photographed by the Iranians for intelligence purposes, according to the official, who said that most confrontations between the sides are “conducted in a safe and professional manner.” The disclosure of these daily run-ins comes following the release of footage by the Iranian military purporting to show a reconnaissance mission over a U.S. aircraft carrier station in the Strait of Hormuz. FULL REPORT

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Lightning Kills 22 As Monsoon Storms Lash India

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 08:01 PM PDT

Lightning Kills 22 As Monsoon Storms Lash IndiaLightning has killed at least 22 people – most of whom were farm labourers working in fields – in southeast India. The people were killed on Sunday evening as the state of Andhra Pradesh was lashed by thunderstorms and heavy rain. Among others who had a narrow escape were two women’s cricket teams who were playing when a tree nearby was hit by lightning.

A district cricket official in the town of Guntur, where the women were playing, said: “It was a miraculous escape for the players and the people at the grounds.”  The deafening sound caused by the strike left players and spectators fleeing the ground in panic, the official said. The friendly match between the women’s teams Andhra and Tripura was abandoned, The Hindu newspaper said. Among those who died were Satish Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, who was killed while he was drilling a borewell in a farm, The Hindu said. FULL REPORT

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Naples hammered with fist-sized hailstones

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 07:51 PM PDT

Naples hammered with fist-sized hailstonesThe Italian city of Naples was pounded with a storm of massive hailstones on Sunday, many of which were the size of fists. The huge chunks battered cars, smashed windows, and injured several people and animals.


The “baseball size hailstones” fell from thunderstorms at a speed of “at least 75 miles per hour,” according to Jonathan Erdman, a senior meteorologist for the Weather Channel. “It’s no wonder you can see the magnitude of smashed windshields and structural damage,” he added. Video footage shows the gigantic hailstones pummeling a car windshield, shattering the glass. FULL REPORT

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The Numbers Are In: China Dumps A Record $94 Billion In US Treasurys In One Month

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 12:33 PM PDT

The Numbers Are In: China Dumps A Record $94 Billion In US Treasurys In One MonthA fresh report by Zero Hedge will definitely give a sobering reality to the attempt to dump the US Dollar by China! According to reports, Shortly after the PBoC’s move to devalue the yuan, we noted with some alarm that it looked as though China may have drawn down its reserves by more than $100 billion in the space of just two weeks. That, we went on the point out, would represent a stunning increase over the previous pace of the country’s reserve draw down, which we began documenting months ahead of the devaluation (see here, for instance).

We went on to estimate, based on the projected size of the RMB carry trade unwind, how large the FX reserve liquidation might need to be to offset capital outflows and finally, late last week, we suggested that China’s official FX reserve data was set to become the new risk-on/off trigger for nervous, erratic markets. In short, the pace at which Beijing is burning through its USD assets in defense of the yuan has serious implications not only for investors’ collective perception of market stability, but for yields on core paper, for global liquidity, and for US monetary policy. FULL REPORT

The post The Numbers Are In: China Dumps A Record $94 Billion In US Treasurys In One Month appeared first on .


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 8, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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The Church’s Most Dangerous Doctrine

‘Easy Believism’ also damages the souls of men and women by suggesting that no ongoing faithfulness to Jesus is required for salvation – that He does not demand we endure to the end. That could not be further from the truth.

Read More


Uncommon Grace, Uncommon Love

“In addition to this common grace and common love shown to all men, there is an uncommon grace and uncommon love poured out from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit upon some. And just like men have not earned his common grace and common love, so they have not merited in any way this divine intimacy, affection, and attention.”

Read more


The College That Hates ‘Americans’

Instead of referring to the elderly as senior citizens (or even as the elderly), members of the UNH community are encouraged to embrace the most up-to-date politically-correct terminology: “people of advanced age” in this case, according to the guide. This is supposed to be somehow less derogatory than “senior citizen,” which of course was once the politically correct of saying “old.”

Read More


Why Are Anti-Judgmental People So Judgmental?

“There’s a growing trend I’ve noticed and have become concerned about: namely, that people who are anti-judgmental are SO judgmental of anyone else they perceive to be passing judgment. One, they’re often wrong; two, they’re just as harsh as those they condemn and continuously assume the worst.”

Read More


10 Counterfeit Christ Figures We Should Stop Worshiping

“What are some ways we are tempted to mold Jesus, like clay, into whatever we want him to be? Here are 10 partial Jesus’ popular in Christian culture.”

Read more


Being Biblical and unChristian

“But here is the irony: too often the most ‘biblical’ folks are the most ‘unbiblical’. What do I mean by this? I mean that if the whole point of the Bible is the person and work of Jesus and you fail to make this your whole point in your life, preaching, writing, conferences, etc…then you have missed the point! And, in this case, your blind spot is glaring.”

Read More


Three False Gospels You May Not Realize Are in Your Church

“While the Scriptures do teach us to be kind and compassionate towards others, it does not teach us to do so at the expense of truth. This is where the gospel is compromised, and becomes a false gospel. We don’t want to offend people. It’s okay to talk about the positive things in Christianity, but we don’t want to upset anyone by telling them they’re a sinner.”

Read More


Faith Has Its Reasons

“We live in the most anti-intellectual age of history, and even many Christians believe we can compartmentalize faith as a way of knowing completely separate from sense perception and reason. Yet as Augustine told us centuries ago, how could we receive knowledge from God if it were not accessible to the human mind?”

Read more


“The Subordinate Place of Supreme Honor”

For all of Wilson’s assurances to the contrary, the language choices that he consistently makes reveal that for him, a wife is, ultimately, a passive receiver/responder in his view of marriage. She is an object and not a person. Her identity, calling, vocation, and her very self have been subsumed under her husband. She exists to serve and glorify him. Consider that the word ‘listen’ fails to appear even once in the exhortations to husbands. For Wilson, the wife has no self and, it seems, no voice. Far from the glorious picture of honor that Wilson paints, the reality is that she is not on a pedestal. She is the pedestal.

Read More


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 […]

The post Church Discipline, Contemporary Grace Style appeared first on Berean Research.


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 […]

The post Why I do not recommend Kendrick Brothers’ new movie, “War Room”, part 1 appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Anatomy of an evangelical scandal

Popular radio talk show host Janet Mefferd has put together the common chain of events that more often than not come about after a Big Christian Name finds himself caught up in controversy.  The picture Janet paints is not a pretty one; nevertheless her assessment is dead on. A must read. In recent years, evangelicalism has […]

The post Anatomy of an evangelical scandal appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Seances, Spirits and 12 Steps

John Lanagan of  My Word Like Fire brings to light what most people are unaware of: the occult origin of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. is not a Christian organization, brethren: “[He] knew little of psychics and had heard nothing before this of my adventures.”–A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, from his official A.A. biography, Pass It On, pg.277 […]

The post Seances, Spirits and 12 Steps appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Demystifying the Popular Prophecies About Jewish Sabbaths and Blood Moons

Gaylene Goodroad of Herescope has written a book review of  David James’ new book “Biblical Guide to Shemitah and the Blood Moons: Discerning Popular “Prophecies” in the Light of God’s Word.”  In the book Dave James lays to rest the notion that Jonathan Cahn (The Harbinger; Shemitah) and John Hagee (Blood Moons) are modern day prophets, […]

The post Demystifying the Popular Prophecies About Jewish Sabbaths and Blood Moons appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Down the Decadent “Ashley Madison” Avenue

Dr. Peter Jones of truthXchange explores the ways in which our debased culture continues to take a toll on the Church. TruthXchange is a ministry that seeks to understand the culture, as Paul did in his day, so that we will know how share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors and friends.  Because of the research […]

The post Down the Decadent “Ashley Madison” Avenue appeared first on Berean Research.


400 Pastors Resigned Last Sunday

(Christian Headlines By Jim Denison) Fallout from the Ashley Madison scandal continues. The company’s CEO has resigned; several people who used the adultery website have committed suicide. And some 400 clergy resigned publicly from their ministries last Sunday.Let’s put that number in perspective.One pastor who seeks to have an affair is one too many. Infidelity shatters the spouse, devastates […]

The post 400 Pastors Resigned Last Sunday appeared first on Berean Research.

 

 


Could It Happen in Your Church?

We all want security.  And as Christians committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are blessed by the security of knowing our destination after this life passes. But what about security and safety in this lifetime?  Eleven Christians were murdered recently during a time of prayer when a stranger walked in and opened fire.  […]

Read more of this post


Church Leaders: Time To Lock and Load?

Christians are called to be people of peace. But does that mean we should sit back and not defend those we love? There’s no doubt Christianity is facing headwinds in America these days – just look at the case of the Kentucky clerk ordered by Judge David Bunning to jail over standing by her Christian […]

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Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican

According The Washington Post’s Berlin bureau chief Anthony Faiola, there’s a theological slugfest going on between the RCC’s conservative and liberal hierarchy with Pope Francis, a liberal, at the center of the fray. Faiola has the story:

On a sunny morning earlier this year, a camera crew entered a well-appointed apartment just outside the 9th-century gates of Vatican City. Pristinely dressed in the black robes and scarlet sash of the princes of the Roman Catholic Church, the Wisconsin-born Cardinal Raymond Burke sat in his elaborately upholstered armchair and appeared to issue a warning to Pope Francis.

A staunch conservative and Vatican bureaucrat, Burke had been demoted by the pope a few months earlier, but it did not take the fight out of him. Francis had been backing a more inclusive era, giving space to progressive voices on divorced Catholics as well as gays and lesbians. In front of the camera, Burke said he would “resist” liberal changes — and seemed to caution Francis about the limits of his authority. “One must be very attentive regarding the power of the pope,” Burke told the French news crew.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-conservative-revolt-is-brewing-inside-the-vatican/2015/09/07/1d8e02ba-4b3d-11e5-80c2-106ea7fb80d4_story.html


Homosexual Activist Human Rights Campaign Buys FreeKimDavis.com to Deceptively Raise Funds

According to Christian News Network:

A group co-founded by a man who is currently facing child sexual abuse charges and is a friend of Barack Obama has purchased the domain FreeKimDavis.com to deceptively trick Davis’ supporters into giving money to the homosexual activist organization.

When the domain is entered, one is redirected to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) website, specifically its donation page.

“Donate to HRC today. Or give the gift of equality to a friend or loved one,” the page reads. “Please note: An HRC sticker is included as part of your donation.”

http://christiannews.net/2015/09/08/homosexual-activist-human-rights-campaign-buys-freekimdavis-com-to-deceptively-raise-funds/

Apostate Pastor Rick Warren And Elton John Hold Hands In Congress, Joke About Kissing Each Other
by Geoffrey Grider, 8/21/15

Laodicean church pastor Rick Warren appeared in Congress with pop icon and outspoken homosexual Elton John on Wednesday to ask for more money for AIDS research. They were clearly having such a good time that they started holding hands as you see in the photo below. After taking their seats at the witness table, the pair laughed and smiled as they held hands, with Warren saying “Amen” and cautioning John that if they kissed it would be “the kiss heard ’round the world.” Is Rick Warren trying to tell us something here, is there a “coming out” moment in his future? Hard to say at this point, but sure looks like it.

Click here to read this article!

Heidelberg 124: Not My Will But Yours But Yours Be Done

One of the most striking moments in the gospels is our Lord’s prayer in Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42; Luke 22:39–46). For one thing, in those moments we are given compelling evidence of our Lord’s true humanity. This is not a story the Gnostics could tell. It is not a story the Gnostics […]

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I am a Christian, but I don’t follow Christ

http://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=1816363428504531

By now many of you have no doubt seen the viral video “I’m a Christian, but…” (click the image above to view it). Not only has the video been making the rounds, but the hashtag #IAmAChristianBut is ubiquitous on social media right now.

After you watch the video, it’s obvious that this is a propaganda piece for a version of Christianity that is Christian in name only–a progressivist vision of the faith that has more to do with maintaining street cred with Christianity’s cultured despisers than with the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). It is what the apostle Paul called a “form of godliness” while “denying its power” (1 Timothy 3:6). It is gutless–literally, a hollowing out of everything essential to the faith. Read more of this post


Get Ready! Christians Are Going To Be Banned From Holding Many Jobs In America

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 12:47 PM PDT

Christianity is being criminalized in the United States. No, I am not talking about the kind of Christianity that is so prevalent in America today where “Christians” just ignore what the Bible says and do whatever they wanted to do in the first place anyway. Rather, I am talking about the kind of faith that Kim Davis has demonstrated. Christians all over this country are being put into positions where they must choose to either submit to the “new morality” or potentially lose their jobs.

For Kim Davis, deciding to take a stand meant that she was thrown into prison. The radical judge that threw her into prison has said that she will stay there until she is willing to change her mind. The pace of which our nation is circling the toilet is absolutely breathtaking. Just eleven years ago, a state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage in Kentucky received support from 75 percent of the voters. Now, Kim Davis has been locked away, and more county clerks may be next.  There is news that another county clerk named Casey Davis has stepped forward to say that he won’t issue any same sex marriage licenses either. What in the world has happened to America? FULL REPORT

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Six Bible Defenses for Kim Davis Defying Supreme Court

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 06:41 AM PDT

Six Bible Defenses for Kim Davis Defying Supreme CourtAmerica’s attention right now is focused on Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses and was jailed for her stance. Should she have obeyed the law, stood her ground or just resigned? When President Obama defied the Defense of Marriage Act that was passed into law by Congress in 1996 and vowed not to defend it in court, he was applauded for his courage. But when an unknown county clerk defies a law because of her religious beliefs, she is condemned and mocked. Talk about double standards.

If every Christian in America resigned from their jobs instead of standing for their religious beliefs, what would happen to our nation? As Edmund Burk famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” When man’s laws violate God’s laws, Christ-followers have a moral obligation to obey the higher law. Peter and John declared in Acts 4:19, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” There is a long history of people who disobeyed man’s laws because they answered to a higher law. FULL REPORT

The post Six Bible Defenses for Kim Davis Defying Supreme Court appeared first on .

My (Not So) Proud Moment

by Beecher Proch

I walked on stage, grabbed the mic, and forgot the lyrics. Suddenly, I was face to face with my pride problem.

Why You Should Stop Trying To Get Everyone To Like You

by Bethany Baird

Sooner or later, you’ll have to choose how you’ll handle your beliefs/convictions and the people and peer pressure around you. When it comes down to it, you really only have three options.

Ripping Off the Labels Stitched onto Our Hearts

by Erin Davis

The trouble with labels is we tend to believe them. In fact, we obsess over them. Eventually they cover over who we really are. We end up confused about why we have value and become desperate for people to see the real us. But Jesus is in the business of replacing our labels.

How Could He Choose HER?

by Paula Hendricks

It’s too late for me to try to encourage my younger self walking down that cracked sidewalk with cracked insides, but maybe I can encourage you.


U.S. and West Victimize Christians Fleeing ISIS

While welcoming Muslim asylum seekers with open arms.

Such “unfathomable mysteries” are reminiscent of the U.S. State Dept.’s habit of inviting Muslim representatives but denying visas to Christian representatives. Since the start of 2015, 4,205 Muslims have been admitted into the U.S. from Iraq but only 727 Christians. For every one Christian the U.S. grants asylum, it grants asylum to five or six Muslims—even though Christians, as persecuted “infidel” minorities, are in much greater need of sanctuary, not to mention more assimilating to American culture than Muslims.

View Article


Churches: Stand up now, or be destroyed

The Obama administration, like all totalitarian regimes, has been at odds with Christianity from the start. Now that Obama is at the tail-end of his occupancy of the White House, the administration has thrown all caution to the winds and is attacking the Christian faith on every front.

View Article


Pope Francis Invites Rick Warren to Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family

“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.

View Article


Russell Moore Speaks Out on Ashley Madison, Says Christians Who Imbibe in Sexual Sin 'Are Never Anonymous to God'

Russell Moore Speaks Out on Ashley Madison, Says Christians Who Imbibe in Sexual Sin ‘Are Never Anonymous to God’

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Christian Post

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics Religious Liberty Commission, says the anonymity Ashley Madison claimed to provide its clients allowed Christian &cultural warriors& to speak out against an immoral secular culture while many secretly imbibed in it.

Read Full Article »


5 Healing Bible Verses for You and Your Family

5 Healing Bible Verses for You and Your Family

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Crosswalk

There’s nothing like a little edification from God’s Word to lift our spirits when we are hurting! These 5 passages will remind you (and yours) why we need to keep on standing… EVEN when we’re in the midst of suffering!

Read Full Article »


3 Lessons Depression Teaches Us

3 Lessons Depression Teaches Us

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Crosswalk

Depression will teach us valuable lessons if we are open to learning.

Read Full Article »


How Do I Keep from Drifting in a World That Rejects God?

How Do I Keep from Drifting in a World That Rejects God?

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Crosswalk

Our society is drifting away from our godly heritage and is turning its back on God’s dealings with mankind.

Read Full Article »


 Hundreds of Muslim Refugees convert to Christianity in German church

Hundreds of Muslim Refugees convert to Christianity in German church

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Christian Today

Pastor Gottfried Martens has seen his congregation at the evangelical Trinity Church in Berlin grow from 150 to more than 600 in just two years.

Read Full Article »


John Calvin’s 6 Reasons Why We Should Evangelize

John Calvin’s 6 Reasons Why We Should Evangelize

Posted on September 7, 2015 by Church Leaders

John Calvin: “It is a sacrifice well-pleasing to God to advance the spread of the gospel.”

Read Full Article »


The will of the elites

First, progressives can never be taken seriously when they lecture about the “rule of law.” They couldn’t possibly care less about it. If they want “the law” to be obeyed, then why are they crucifying some clerk in some county in Kentucky while celebrating sanctuary cities? And why are they cheering her imprisonment for not signing her name to a piece of paper, yet remaining silent on the multiple felonies committed by Hillary Clinton? Why do they throw stones at a clerk who inconvenienced a few homosexuals, but defend a secretary of state who put our national security at risk by conducting classified business using a private server stored in a bathroom closet?

I mean, the rule of law? THE RULE OF LAW? Sorry for screaming, but I’m afraid my head might explode if I see or hear one more leftist use that term. Where were these progressive proponents of “law” when Barack Obama was illegally enacting the DREAM Act? Where were they when this administration unilaterally and illegally changed Obamacare repeatedly and without congressional consent? Where were they when the IRS was targeting conservative groups? Or when the Department of Justice was prosecuting journalists? Or when Obama was assassinating American citizens?

As a matter of fact, forget all of this, where were they — where was anyone — when this government was running weapons to Syrian terrorists through the consulate in Libya, which led directly to the assassination of an American diplomat, which the administration then lied about in front of the American people? We don’t even talk about that, do we? No, we’re too preoccupied with our mission to hunt down rogue pencil-pushers.

And I wonder how many of these solemn believers in “law” were the same ones making excuses for riots a few months ago? How many are offended by a woman refusing to file paperwork, but were sympathetic to barbarians who burned half a city to the ground?

The hypocrisy is absolutely staggering. These pious little preachers of “law” couldn’t actually give less of a damn about the law. This is about dogma. It always has been.

Second, speaking of whichthe Obergefell v. Hodges decision had absolutely nothing to do with the law. Gay “marriage” was forced upon the states by five human beings in black robes sitting in a big stone temple in D.C. The Constitution, which clearly says nothing about gay “marriage,” was ignored. The consent of the people — many of whom live in states, like Kentucky, where the Constitution expresslydefines marriage as between a man a woman — was not respected or even considered. If Kim Davis is a government official making up her own laws as she goes along, she’s only following the precedent of the federal government. The only difference is that her “made-up” law is the one that existed before a handful of federal judges made up a new one. So who is the lawless anarchist here?

Gay “marriage” is itself nothing but the will of the elites. It is as much a legal abomination as a moral one. Many people have said, “Well, gay ‘marriage’ is the law of the land, so that’s that,” but what they mean is, “Well, five people in Washington support gay ‘marriage,’ so that’s that.” No, that isn’t that. That’s tyranny. That’s injustice. That’s illegal. It might be true that the Supreme Court has, over time, seized the power to write laws and reshape ancient human institutions according to their radical liberal ideologies, but that doesn’t make it law. It might be “law,” but it isn’t law. Just as gay “marriage” might be “marriage,” but it can never be marriage. The whole thing is a travesty, a sham, an outrage.

So are we morally obligated to cooperate with the evil agendas and the rampant tyrannies of the federal government? Is a clerk in Kentucky, elected by the people of her county and subject to the Constitution of her state, morally required to respect the drunken dictates of judicial activists in Washington? Kim Davis says no. And I think it might be time for the rest of us to come to that same conclusion.


This Is the Best of Times, And the Worst of Times

This Is the Best of Times, And the Worst of TimesPerhaps this is true at every point in the history of a God-ruled, sin-pervaded world. It was true in 1859, and it is true today.

Charles Dickens wrote The Tale of Two Cities in 1859. It begins,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

He was referring to 1775, the time of the French Revolution. But his point was that period was like the present period in 1859. In the mid-nineteenth century, “it was the best of times and the worst of times.”

In 1859 Charles Spurgeon was 25 years old, George Müller was 54, Hudson Taylor was 27. And Charles Darwin was 50 years old, John Stuart Mill was 53, and Friedrich Nietzsche was 15.

Rebellion and Revival

God was mightily at work in 1859. In China’s Millions, the most thorough history of the China Inland Mission, Alvyn Austin wrote,

In 1859, while Hudson Taylor was still in China [on his first missionary term before founding the China Inland Mission], a revival broke out in Northern Ireland that led to a religious movement so pivotal in British religious history that it came to be called the Revival or “Awakening of ’59.” . . . Although Taylor missed the first phase of the revival, he arrived in Britain in time to reap its benefits. As J. Edwin Orr noted, “there is reason to believe that the whole [of the China Inland Mission’s first] party [of 1866] was made up of converts and workers of the 1959 Awakening. . . . It is generally agreed that “something happened” in 1859–60, and that its ripples continued to reverberate for the rest of the century. (82–83, 85)

The astonishingly fruitful ministries of Spurgeon, Müller, and Taylor were riding the wave of God’s great work in their day. It was the best of times.

But other things happened in 1859. Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, and John Stuart Mill, the atheist and utilitarian, published his essay “On Liberty.”

So alongside growing secularism in science and politics, growing materialism in the industrial revolution, and growing self-reliance, as God was rejected by many, there was a great spiritual awakening and a great global advance of the gospel of Jesus. It was the worst of times and the best of times.

The Good

The same is true today: It is the best of times and the worst of times.

For example, historian Mark Noll points out, “In a word, the Christian church has experienced a larger geographical redistribution in the last fifty years than in any comparable period in its history, with the exception of the very earliest years of church history” (The New Shape of World Christianity, 20). He fleshes it out with concrete examples:

  • At the beginning of the twentieth century, about 71 percent of professing Christians in the world lived in Europe. By the end of the twentieth century, that number had shrunk to 28 percent. Now 43 percent of the Christians lived in Latin America and Africa.
  • In 1900, Africa had 10 million Christians, which was about 10 percent of the population. By 2000, the number of Christians was 360 million, about half the population of the continent. This is probably the largest shift in religious affiliation that has ever occurred, anywhere.
  • There are 17 million baptized members of the Anglican church in Nigeria, compared with 2.8 million in the United States.
  • The number of practicing Christians in China is approaching the number in the United States.
  • Kenya has more people in Christian churches on Sunday than Canada.
  • This past week in Great Britain, at least fifteen thousand Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the locals. Most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia.

It is the best of times in the history of world Christianity.

The Bad

Or is it? Noll concludes,

Doesn’t the recent history of Christianity spell out the obvious: God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world? Not exactly. If our era has become the best of times, it remains also the worst of times. . . . The ever-expanding numbers who are turning to Christ in the Global south constitute the great marvel of recent history, but . . .

Global terrorism, ISIS, hypocrisy, colonial imperialism, racism, materialism, and a kind of decadence in the West that turns our shame into our glory with historically unprecedented audacity: calling marriage a union between two men, calling a man a woman because he wants to be one, and calling a baby’s legs and arms and hearts “fetal tissue” for the taking.

It is the worst of times. And the best of times.

The Best and Worst Today

In my lifetime I have seen a glorious and surprising revival of love for the God of sovereign grace and for his mighty gospel. Thousands of churches, seminaries, colleges, discipling centers, publishing houses, magazines, books, videos, websites, radio programs, global missions, music artists (from classical to rap), campus ministries, urban ministries, counseling centers, prolife efforts (and more) have come into being with a dynamic of God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated joy and missional courage (what we used to call evangelism) and passion for racial harmony and robust Reformed theology. And none of this is limited to one ethnicity or nation. It is the best of times.

On the other hand, I have witnessed with sometimes depressing heaviness the evisceration of the historic name “evangelical” to a meaningless conglomerate of people whose “evangelical” identity is that they all had grandparents who once believed what the reformers did. I have seen the mainline Protestant denominations collapse from gospel influence to faint cultural echoes. I have watched the rise of enormous churches and ministries who preach and export to poor nations a prosperity “gospel” that mutes the biblical teaching on suffering and reduces the glorious gospel to earthly betterment rooted in human attitudes, not the glory of Calvary.

And to mention just a few more of the many sorrows: the rise of a generation that knows little of the Bible, the disappearance of the weight of God’s awesome presence in worship, the glorification of immorality in entertainment, the explosion and ubiquity of pornography, the indifference in churches to justice for all ethnic groups, the decimation of whole neighborhoods through a dominant drug culture, the collapse of the family with the prevalence of premarital sex and easy divorce and the absence of responsible fathers. And the rise of civic leaders who, instead of standing against the disintegration, function as cheerleaders.

It is the worst of times, and the best of times.

How to Live in a Day Like Ours

What then shall we do?

1. Don’t assume any specific historical trajectory of good or evil is fixed and unchangeable. God evidently loves to do his surprising work in hard and unlikely times.

Surely, this is one of the implications of the history of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament. Even great and good kings are sometimes followed by monsters. And wicked kings have godly sons. Josiah was the son and grandson of two of the most wicked kings (Manasseh and Amon). He became king at eight years old. At sixteen he turned the nation on its head with a righteous reformation (2 Chronicles 34:1–4). It is unpredictable. It could happen at any moment, because God is sovereign.

2. Trust the sovereignty of God to turn the insanity of the nations to serve his purposes.

In the face of deadly opposition, the early church prayed with the words of Psalm 2, “Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?” (Acts 4:25). In vain? They succeeded in killing Jesus!

Yes. But what had they really achieved? The praying Christians make it clear:

Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27–28)

They plotted in vain against the Lord and his anointed. Because, in all their fury, they simply fulfilled what the Lord had planned: the salvation of the world.

3. Let us labor to bind the minds and consciences of our young people to the word of God as infallible, and glorious, and utterly timely, and penetrating, and invincible.

The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! (2 Timothy 2:8–9)

4. And, as the apostle Peter says, “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19).

Ready to suffer — for Christ’s name. Full of trust — in Christ’s grace. Doing good — by Christ’s power. He reigns over this sin-ravaged world. Therefore it is the worst of times and the best of times.


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Help Kids to “Taste and See” How Good God Is

You and I probably have a lot in common. As a parent and kids’ pastor, I want kids to taste and see how good God is, awakening them to run after Him for a lifetime. Psalm 34:8 says, “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good GOD is, Blessed are you who run to him” (MSG).

The Bible helps kids see and taste who God is. It’s vital we make learning from the Bible a priority for boys and girls while also showing them why it’s important. How can we do that?

1. Lead by example.

You’ve heard the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Now, we all know that’s a terrible philosophy to have. But often parents inadvertently lead that way by their actions. If we want our kids to fall in love with God’s Word and be excited to learn from it, then we must lead by example. We must be excited to learn from it and continue to grow in our relationship with God because of how His living Word speaks to us.

Let your kids see you reading your Bible. Use an actual physical Bible, one that’s not on your phone or tablet so they don’t think you’re on Facebook or looking at Pinterest. Read together with your kids from various books of the Bible. Make it fun and exciting for them!

2. Inspire them to discover.   Kids are inundated with do’s and don’ts. “Don’t touch that; go do your homework; don’t act like that in public.” Kids don’t want to read and hear about more do’s and don’ts. God didn’t intend the Bible to be a book of do’s and don’ts, so we shouldn’t make it that. It does guide us but it also inspires us! Help kids understand that the Bible is a written account of connected events that tell a true story—a story of hope, redemption, and an amazing future.

It’s the story of God’s love for them and of His son Jesus who wants to have a relationship with them. When we’re able to shape kids’ perspective of what the Bible is, they will approach it differently and will have a desire to learn from it!

My favorite Bible for kids is the Fire Bible for Kids. It allows kids to discover God’s Word in an interactive and engaging way. I love how it brings Bible stories to life with kid-friendly study notes, book introductions at the beginning of all 66 books, and colorful illustrations. There’s also a free companion app that has 3-D characters, games, puzzles, and quizzes that keep kids engaged in learning. Pair it with the Fire Bible for Kids Devotional that includes a daily devotion and also has a free companion app. You can sample a week of free devotions at http://www.MyHealthyChurch.com/firekidsapp.  

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7 Ways to Use Facebook in Student Ministry

[Editor’s note: It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the total dominance of Facebook in our society. Everyone is on it! But it doesn’t have to be scary. Here are seven ways you can leverage this powerful social media platform in your student ministry. Have other ideas? Weigh in in the comments section!]

1. iPray. It’s a closed group that students have to request to join. They can post what they need prayer for and pray for each other.

2. Groups. Before or after almost every event there seems to be a group started for it. Before-the-event groups are started to promote the event. After events like camp, groups are started to help students find each other on Facebook and stay connected.

3. Pictures. EVERY week I take pictures (even if it’s just a few) at our weekend service or at Chick-fil-a afterward and throw them up on Facebook. Students love it. Not everybody can get away with that, though. It’s kind of funny. A friend dressed up as me at our Halloween party last year and was taking tons of pictures. People kind of freaked out a little until they realized he was just being me for Halloween. I don’t know how to explain that, but there’s something to be learned about having a person known for taking pics in your ministry. We’ve never made me an “official” photographer, people have just gotten used to me doing it.

4. Tag. I usually tag at least one student in each picture and they usually tag each other from there. Always tag your ministry in each picture. As students tag each other, they might see your ministry tagged. That’s just one more door for people to check you out.

5. Open profile. Have your ministry’s profile open to the general public. People should be able to see everything there is to see without being friended with your ministry. I suggest having a profile instead of a page for your ministry. There’s more stuff you can do that way.

6. Daily activity. Go on once a day and wish people happy birthday. That’s a great way for friends of friends to see your ministry. It’s also a great way to have an extra touch in the lives of students … especially students who have stopped coming.

7. Troubleshooting. Look for concerns. If you see students who post status updates that show they are hurting or are posting inappropriate content, shoot them a Facebook email to touch base, encourage or invite them out for a Coke. Be careful not to jump on their case if they’re posting inappropriate content. Address it in a redemptive way.  

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4 Ways to Keep Millennials in Your Small Groups

Over the past few years, you’ve probably heard rumblings about millennials—Americans between the ages of 18 and 33 who are giving churches a myriad of puzzling behaviors to understand and minister to. Church leaders are scratching their heads and trying to determine how to bring back the 43 percent of once-active church attenders who have stopped attending church altogether. That’s eight million twenty- and thirty-somethings who have stopped attending church.

For a group that’s naturally distrusting of anything institutionalized and who rarely sets down roots (according to PewSocialTrends.org, only 26 percent of this demographic is married—that’s down 22 percent from their Baby Boomer parents) creating a church that makes them comfortable and motivated enough to stay is an ongoing challenge. But recent research from the Barna Group demonstrates one fact that might help churches reach this group in a new way—when 78 percent of millennial Christians described their vision for the ideal church, they chose the word “community.”

It makes sense. Millennials love to be connected—while their well-documented smart-phone reliance might make them seem more distant to the world around them, to millennials, it’s a way of constantly connecting and sharing their experiences with their friends. Every day, new apps are created with the specific purpose of giving young adults new ways to connect with one another in fun and creative ways. They live and breathe constant connection, and because many millennials are waiting to start families (partly because many emerged from college right in the heart of the Great Recession of 2007-2009, putting them significantly behind financially) they have to create this connection and community themselves. They crave it.

How can churches become a place for millennials to feel like they’re part of a community? A thriving small-group ministry is a great place to start.

It seems easy—start more small groups, draw more millennials. But millennials can smell disingenuousness from a mile away, and if they feel out of place or awkward in a small group, they won’t engage. If they feel like your church is “using” small groups to sell your churches’ brand or mission, they’ll run for the hills. And if your church is using study material that barely even glazes over Scripture, chances are good that you’ll see your millennial attenders drop out quickly.

Here are the top four things small-group pastors need to do to successfully minister to millennials:

1. Study the Bible In-Depth.
For the proud and the few young adults who grew up and then remained in the church, there is no higher authority than the Word of God—and no more important spiritual discipline than Bible study. Remember, this is a group of young adults who were raised in the boom of Christian commercialism, who were handed CCM CDs, magazines, and cartoons with Bible-based moral messages wrapped in cool packaging. They attended big, hyped-up youth conferences and felt the excitement acutely—and then they went home and felt, just as acutely, the confusion that arrived when that excitement stopped a week after the conference. They’ve read about famous Christian pop stars checking into rehab, and they’ve seen famous pastors fall. This group knows things are more complicated than they seem.

For those who’ve survived this crash course on discerning what makes real faith, reliance on the Bible for truth is the only thing they’re really interested in. Millennials are looking for an in-depth study on the life of Jesus, not a study on how to become a better person. Create or use content that goes deep into God’s word and avoids “the moral of the story” layouts.  

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4 Myths Christians Should Stop Believing About Depression

“True believers don’t suffer from depression.”

His false statement rang in my ear like a noisy gong—and then hung in the air like smoke, waiting to be cleared away. I wasn’t exactly sure how this conversation had started, but one thing led to another and I here I was with this visitor and a small group of men and women discussing the existence of depression among Christians.

It would have been a hard conversation for anyone to have, but for me—it was even harder still. Because little did this visitor know that I was only now emerging from the terrible pit of depression myself. Little did he know, that for me, this conversation was personal—because I’d felt like I’d just been to hell and back. Little did he know that my heart had wrestled, and my body had collapsed, under the pressure of depression  But that Jesus had held me the whole way through.

As a professional counselor, this was a conversation that I was glad to be a part of. For over a decade, I’ve worked with men, women, children and teens struggling with mild to severe depression. I’ve seen first-hand the pain and paralysis it can bring. But more so, I’ve experienced it in my own life. I know the sinking quicksand that can drain your body, burden your heart and eat away at your mind.

It breaks my heart to hear the myths and lies that Christians believe about depression—and the shame that can be felt surrounding this topic. As I’ve interacted with more and more people on this topic, I’ve noticed that there are a few false ideas that continue to be perpetuated among believers.

Depression Is a Faith Issue. Like the visitor had falsely said, “true believers don’t suffer from depression.” I think this is the worst of all the lies, because not only is it false, but it’s the antithesis of the entire message of Christ. As believers, we are never promised a pain-free, disease-free, struggle-free life. But we’re promised a Savior, a Comforter and a Friend. I look back at the hardest moments I have faced with depression and I see Jesus right by my side. I remember crying out one night and feeling all alone, and just then—God’s presence overwhelmed me in that moment. Just when I needed it the most. Depression has nothing to do with lack of faith, in fact, for me—it has been the catalyst for even deeper faith. Because some days, in the hardest moments, faith was the only thing I had.

Depression Can Be Prayed Away. I prayed more during the days and months of my depression than I ever did in my entire life. But my depression didn’t magically disappear. I believe in prayer, and I believe in a God who can heal all things—in fact, I genuinely believe it was HIS hand that lifted my depression. But freedom from depression requires prayer AND treatment. Whether in the form of support, therapy or medication—as believers we have to have a “next steps” approach as we interact with people struggling with depression. God has given us wisdom, and loads of research, to help us understand the multifaceted disease of depression. It’s time for us to pray—but to also be prepared.

Depression Isn’t Physical. Just as we would never shame a cancer patient or a diabetic for their hurting bodies, we need to shift our perspective to see depression as a struggle of the brain. Only then will we be able to treat it in a proper way. Depression is a disease of the body, that in turn impacts our emotions, our thoughts and even our spirit. There are many causes to depression, and whether it’s rooted in trauma, hormones or stress—it almost always effects our body. Our perspective of depression needs to change so that we can learn to embrace and support those in it, instead of pushing them away.

Depression Shouldn’t Be Talked About. Though I still see hints of this myth among Christians, I am grateful to see this myth slowly dying in the church. There is no shame in feeling depressed, and we should learn to talk about it, to preach about it and to sing about it when it’s all said and done. Scripture is filled with passages of men and women who have struggled through the pit of depression, and their response was to cry out! And crying out is always the first step to healing—because depression is a disease that THRIVES in isolation. It wants to pull us into the prison of loneliness, where it can break us down in weakness. By talking about depression, we slowly begin loosening its grip—allowing us to move in the direction of treatment, of support and of healing.

My deepest prayer is that as a body of believers, our attitudes would shift and our hearts would change as we work through this important issue. May we create an environment where we embrace those who are struggling and in pain—rather than push them away. May we learn to be transparent—but more so, to accept the transparency of those around us. Because at the end of the day, our weakness will always, always, always point us to the one who can make us strong. And isn’t that what Christianity is really about?

*About this time last year, I wrote about the Darkness of Depression and The Christian Response after the heart-breaking suicide of Pastor Rick and Kay Warren’s son. This tragic event caused a ripple effect of awareness in the body of Christ, and has opened the doors to some really meaningful conversations. May God continue to change our hearts and open our minds.  

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Know the Power of Jesus’ Name!

Today’s guest blogger is Lynn Mosher — who writes inspirational devotions to encourage hearts and uplift souls at her website and at many other sites including The Mom Initiative — discovers the power of Jesus’ name. In counseling, as hurting folks learn who Jesus truly is, the deeper their healing. –Ed.
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Have you ever looked up the meaning of your name?
When I looked up the meaning of my name, I found varying version of the origin: pond, waterfall, pool, lake, ruddy-complexioned, dwells by the torrent. But mine, or yours, can never compare to the name of Jesus. What do we know about Him? Wouldn’t you like to know the meaning of His name and its power?
 

In His Name…

Demons bow, evil flees.
Our covenant with God was cut.
Our hunger and thirst are quenched.
The Word goes to work and miracles happen.
The universe was created and all held together.
Our names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
The gospel is preached, doors are opened and shut.
The lame walk, the blind see, the deaf have their ears opened.
The sick are healed, the dead arise, mighty storms are calmed.
Help is summoned, temptations are averted, captives are set free.
We have an intimate relationship and our loneliness turns to fellowship.
Marriages are healed, minds are set free, forgiveness of our sins is given.
Which of these power truths touch your heart?

In His Name, We…

live by faith.
take our delight.
offer our prayers to the Father.
have the anointing of the Spirit.
receive His power and authority.
receive salvation and newness of life.
find compassion and grace in time of need.
have a companion, hiding place, strong tower.
were chosen, made holy, righteous, and sanctified.
fight our battles, are made royal heirs, sit at the King’s table.
know and are set free by the Truth, know the Way, know the Father.

How has knowing the power of His Name changed your life?

 

He…

is Love
is Emmanuel, the Messiah.
offers “healing in His wings.”
supplies joy for our mourning.
lives within us and walks with us.
gives beauty to replace our ashes.
has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
replaces our failing spirit with a garment of praise.
meets our needs, secures our safety, rebukes the enemy.
guides our footsteps, anchors our soul, rewards our obedience.
was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.

What is your response the power truth of Jesus’ care for you? 

 

His…

Joy is our strength.
Grace is our sufficiency.
Presence is brought near.
Peace replaces our stress.
Light dispels our darkness.
Strength replaces our weaknss.
Favor, grace, and mercy pursue us.
Yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers in accordance with God’s will.

Which of these power truths comfort you?  

 

Through and in Him, We Are…

refined and molded in His likeness.
led to still waters and green pastures.
given a banquet table in the midst of our enemies.
made whole, given revelation, preserved, blessed.
delivered from evil, cleansed, comforted in our sorrows and trials.
rewarded, restored, purified, and sanctified, upheld from stumbling, instructed in the ways of life.
Aren’t you sensing Jesus’ power and love for you?

He Is Our…

Joy, hope, rest, sufficiency.
Mighty Warrior, Shepherd.
Father, Brother, Best Friend.
Sacrifice, Mediator, Advocate.
Life abundantly on earth, life everlasting.
Eternal and never-changing love of the Father.
Example of giving, sharing, caring, compassion.
Helper, Teacher, Example, Shield, armor of God.
Encourager, Comforter, Counselor, Sustainer, Provider.
Roadside marker, footprints to follow, a final destination.
Fountain of Life, streams of Living Water in our desert places.
Foundation, our refuge, our Rock, our home, our dwelling place.
Heavenly Bridegroom, Kinsman Redeemer, Counselor, an eternal home.
Sure hand of guidance, a Vine of Life, wisdom, understanding and discernment.
Final sacrifice, our Ark in the flood-have our sanctuary, our victory, a teacher, our Treasure.
Deliverer, Captain, Commander in Chief, Leader, Governor, blessed and only Ruler, Lawgiver.
Wow!

He Is the…

Master of our soul.
Bright Morning Star.
Gift of God, the Holy One.
Head of the body, the church.
Amen, Prophet, Passover Lamb.
Author and Finisher of our faith.
Firstborn of the dead and many brothers.
Apostle and High Priest of our profession.
Bread of Life, Living Bread, Living Water.
Rock, the Living Stone, Chief Cornerstone.
Dayspring, Elect of God, Heir of all things.
Root of David and Jesse, Branch of the Lord.
Alpha and Omega, Life, Door, Lamb of God.
Lion of Judah, Righteous Judge, King of the Jews.
Image of the invisible God, Brightness of His glory.
Light of the heavenly city, True Light, Faithful Witness.

Jesus is the…
Great I AM
Word of God
Everlasting God
Savior of the world
King of kings
Lord of lords
Prince of Peace!

LynnMosher-round-2Yeah, He’s the One! That’s the Name that does and says it all! The Name above every name!
So, what did I leave out?

The post Know the Power of Jesus’ Name! appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


Praying in the Spirit

Romans 8:26-27 might be the most comforting passage in Scripture. It reads,

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

This is so comforting because, more often than not, prayer is a frustrating endeavor for me. I vacillate between not knowing what to pray, battling wandering thoughts, and not having words for the deep needs of my soul.

praying in the SpiritSo naturally, Colin Smith’s new booklet on prayer, Praying in the Spirit, caught my attention. This short book of only 15 pages is a Mary Poppins’ bag of wisdom. Though not a comprehensive study of prayer, it is brimming with big truth and solid teaching. Smith sets out to teach us to pray in the Holy Spirit and, in doing so, answers many of the issues that hinder the work of prayer in our lives.

In an effort to not copy down the full text of the book for you (because it is all so good), I’ve sifted out four summarizing ideas that will hopefully encourage you to check out Praying in the Spirit.

Pray like the Spirit to pray in the Spirit.

Smith begins to reorient us to prayer by reminding us that Scripture is “directly breathed out by the Spirit of God” (6). Big chunks of the Bible are prayers, namely the Psalms, so why not use them to shape our prayers? He says,

As you learn to form your prayers from the Bible, you will be praying in the Spirit because you are praying in a way that reflects the heart and mind of God. (6)

After including some examples, Smith adds that using Scripture to pray has three key benefits that address three big prayer problems. It keeps our prayers from becoming “dull and repetitive,” as well as “self-centered” (7). And it enables us to pray confidently, knowing that we are asking “in line with the mind and heart of God” (7).

Don’t let yourself get in the way.

Prayer is like a narrow path, with two ditches, one on either side. One ditch is called pride, and the other is called despair. Both are equally dangerous, and the way to avoid them is to get your eyes off yourself. (7)

Goodness, that’s helpful. Smith cautions us to focus on God rather than our successes or failures in prayer (6-8). To that end, he also encourages us to maintain the posture of a servant, remembering that we come to God to receive direction, not to give it (8).

Transform your “what ifs.”

For some of us, worry is our downfall in prayer. Since worry-doused prayers are not reflective of the heart or mind of God, Smith offers a new perspective. He suggests that we switch from “the ‘what ifs’ of worry to the ‘what ifs’ of faith” (11). We’re to think on what God has already done for us and let that inform our thoughts of the future.

Instead of negative “what ifs” about potential harm, we should be offering “what ifs” of thanksgiving in prayer. “What if God were not with me? What if Christ had not died for me?” (11). Smith affirms that “confidence in what Christ has already done builds expectation of what he will do” (12).

Affirm and ask.

“We move forward as we grow in asking for what we need and affirming what God has done” (12). Smith views asking and affirming as key components to prayer. He cautions against only asking or only affirming, warning that the former will lead to defeat and the latter will lead to denial. But using both in equal measure will lead to deliverance (12). Spirit-led prayer is characterized by faith in both the good that God has done, and the good that he is able to do.

In On Writing Well, William Zinsser advised, “Decide what corner of your subject you’re going to bite off, and be content to cover it well and stop.” That is precisely what Smith has done with Praying in the Spirit. He has taken a corner of the extensive subject of prayer and unfolded it to cover a whole area of discipleship.

Prayer directly affects our understanding of the gospel and vice versa. In Praying in the Spirit, Smith reminds us that one of Christ’s gifts to us through salvation is the indwelling of his Spirit. His Spirit is the heart and mind of God, so it only makes sense for us to learn to align our prayers accordingly.

Get a free download of Praying in the Spirit when you sign up for our emails!

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Persecution, Perseverance, and Hope

Foxe's_Book

Recent events suggest that our society is growing increasingly hostile to genuine Christianity. Consequently, more intense forms of persecution may be on the horizon for the American church. In the face of that reality, believers can be encouraged by reflecting on the faithfulness exhibited by previous generations of Christians, and by resting in the promises of God. Hence the re-posting of today’s article…

Fox’s Book of Martyrs is a must read for every Christian. Written by John Fox over 350 years ago, it catalogs the lives of hundreds of believers who, throughout church history, were willing to give their lives for the cause of Christ. When it comes to contagious courage, I can think of no greater testimony than reading about those who embraced their Lord to the point of embracing death.

One such account concerns the lives of Jerome Russell and Alexander Kennedy, two English Protestants who took a daring stand for what they believed. Because of their biblically-sound doctrine, the pair was arrested and imprisoned. Kennedy was only eighteen years old. After some time, the two men were brought before religious officials for questioning. Russell, being older, gave an articulate defense, usI ing the Scriptures to support his belief in salvation through faith alone. Yet, in spite of the evidence, the men’s accusers prevailed and Russell and Kennedy were deemed heretics.

In keeping with the jurisprudence of the times, they were condemned to death—their sentence to be carried out the following day. Early the next morning, Russell and Kennedy were led from their prison cells to the place of execution. They could have denied their Lord, right then and there, and been spared. But when Kennedy, being but a young man, began to display signs of fear, Russell quickly encouraged him to stand firm:

Brother, fear not; greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. The pain that we are to suffer is short, and shall be light; but our joy and consolation shall never have an end. Let us, therefore, strive to enter into our Master and Savior’s joy, by the same straight way which He hath taken before us. Death cannot hurt us, for it is already destroyed by Him, for whose sake we are now going to suffer.

In this way, the two men came to boldly face execution without compromise. John Fox finishes the account with this.

When they arrived at the fatal spot, they both kneeled down and prayed for some time; after which being fastened to the stake, and the fagots [kindling] lighted, they cheerfully resigned their souls into the hands of Him who gave them, in full hopes of an everlasting reward in the heavenly mansions.

How could these men calmly submit to being burned alive? Why did they willingly undergo severe suffering and death? The answer begins with the biblical doctrine of hope. By focusing on God and His unwavering faithfulness, they stood firm as a testimony to the truth.

Here are two reasons why:

a. Hope sees death as a beginning, not an end.

For believers death is the beginning of eternity in heaven. Death is not termination but initiation—the start of an existence far better than anything we can imagine. The apostle Paul knew this to be true. The book of 2 Timothy is the last letter he wrote before his execution—chapter 4 indicates that he realized his death was imminent (see v. 6). As he looked back on his life, he realized that his life was almost over (v. 7). Yet, he now looked forward to something far greater: namely, the reward of Jesus Christ and an eternity spent together with Him (v. 8). Paul looked beyond the grave and saw his God. Because Christ had conquered death (1 Corinthians 15:20–28) there was nothing to fear.

It was John Owen, the great Puritan, who wrote on his deathbed: “I am yet in the land of the dying, but I hope soon to be in the land of the living.” Like Paul, he too understood that true life, in its fullest measure, begins where this life ends. In stark contrast, many in the contemporary church live as though this present life is better than the life to come. Tenaciously, they hold on to their short stay on this earth. Some follow every health fad, taking whatever supplement will reduce the risk of a heart attack. Others avoid airplanes, fearful that their trip could end in an unexpected dive.

Our quest for longevity has affected our eating habits, our exercise routines, our travel plans, and even the type of sunscreen we buy. While there is nothing inherently sinful in enjoying the earthly life that God has given, Christians sometimes need to be reminded that the next life is far superior. Death is a doorway, not a dead end. And for God’s children, death’s door opens into heaven.

b. Hope sees the Shepherd through the shadows.

A second reason Christians need not fear death is because our Savior has already conquered death. He is not asking us to go anywhere He has not already been. And, because He arose from the grave victorious (Acts 2:32–33), we can be confident that we also will be resurrected one day (1 Corinthians 15:20). In Psalm 23:4, the writer says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” For David, whose life was often in danger, comfort came in looking to his Shepherd, even when thinking about death.

Just over 1,000 years later, an early Christian leader named Ignatius shared David’s confident perspective. According to church tradition, Ignatius was arrested by the Roman government and executed because he professed Christ. Shortly before his death, he wrote the church of Rome, saying:

I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus.

Even in being thrown to hungry animals and torn limb from limb, Ignatius’ commitment to his Lord remained firm. He was willing to endure death because of the Master he sought to please, the Master he knew he would soon see face-to-face.

In considering death, these men focused on the One who was waiting to meet them there. They did not fear death, because they rested in the promises of their Savior. What comes into your mind when you think about death? A biblical perspective thinks first about Christ. And for the soul that loves Jesus, nothing is more exciting than the thought of going to be with Him. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and not even death can separate us from that love (Romans 8:38–39).

Death is the doorway that brings us into the presence of Christ. That is why Paul could triumphantly tell the Philippians, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” For those who know the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul’s words summarize both our purpose in this life and our hope for the next.


Known by God Before You Were Born

Known by God Before You Were BornWhen did God know you would be his adopted son or daughter? Peter says that our election is “according to the foreknowledge of God.” In this lab, John Piper asks what it means for God to foreknow us, and then explores the relationship between our election and God’s foreknowledge.

Watch Now


A La Carte (September 8)

Today’s Kindle deals include Recovering Redemption and Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler ($2.99). The excellent New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology series is on sale: Believer’s Baptism, The Lord’s SupperThat You May Know, Lukan Authorship of Hebrews, The End of the Law, God’s Indwelling Presence, The Ten Commandments, Future Israel, Sermon on the Mount, Enthroned on Our Praise. (If you weren’t online yesterday, be sure to check out yesterday’s big list of deals.)

The Public Reading of Scripture in Corporate Worship

Few things irk me more than a very poor public reading of Scripture. This article offers really helpful pointers on doing it right (and explains why we ought to make the effort).

Rosaria Butterfield on Sexuality and Identity

In this short video (less than 3 minutes) Rosaria Butterfield explains why we should not accept sexuality as a category of identity.

The Myth of Quality Time

I enjoyed this reflection on the importance of quantity, not merely quality, of time. “We delude ourselves … when we invoke and venerate ‘quality time,’ a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour.”

Faithfulness in Small Places

“As I speak in other churches, I find few that are impressive. Again, the people are great, and the ministry significant, but it always seems that things are humble, and that the real action’s taking place somewhere else. It’s tempting to wish that we were there, rather than in the small, humble places where we serve.”

HappinessPre-order Worthy: Randy Alcorn’s next major work, Happiness, releases on October 1. “In Happiness, noted theologian Randy Alcorn dispels centuries of misconceptions about happiness and provides indisputable proof that God not only wants us to be happy, He commands it.” Pre-order at Amazon.

The Drifters

Christianity Today has a neat article and photo gallery celebrating God’s hand in giving us phytoplankton. Yes, you read that right: phytoplankton.

How to Spot a Liar

It turns out that most of the old methods you’ve heard about are pretty much useless at spotting liars. “Forget body language or eye movements. There are much better ways to identify the deceitful.”

Un Petit Enfant

Sometimes I enjoy listening to worship music in other languages. Recently I came across Kim Tran (Faculté Jean Calvin) and have enjoyed his French worship songs.


The Daily Discovery (September 8, 2015)

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

The Curse of a Godly Wife – “I have seen him far too often. He is the man who rarely takes the lead in his home. He is the man who almost never calls the family together for devotions. He is the man who feels dumb when asking his wife if he can pray for her, or when asking if she would like to sit and read the Bible with him. He is the one who seems almost afraid of being godly.”

Why Kim Davis Was Right Not to Resign – “Should Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who is jail for refusing to issue marriage license, have resigned?  Over the past week many people, including many Christians sympathetic to her cause, have said Davis should resigned from her elected position as Rowan County Clerk if her conscience won’t allow her to do the job as required. While I understand the reasoning, and am even partially sympathetic to that view, I think it misses the reason Davis acted as she did and how her choice does not necessarily conflict with the rule of law.”

God Made All of Me – “Like all little boys between the ages of two and five, my son is fascinated with his boy parts. At least, I think he’s fascinated, considering how he runs around without his pants on. Maybe he just likes to gross out his sisters.”

Persecution, Perseverance, and Hope – “Fox’s Book of Martyrs is a must read for every Christian. Written by John Fox over 350 years ago, it catalogs the lives of hundreds of believers who, throughout church history, were willing to give their lives for the cause of Christ. When it comes to contagious courage, I can think of no greater testimony than reading about those who embraced their Lord to the point of embracing death.”

Don’t Underestimate the Doctrine of Providence – “I shifted uncomfortably in my chair, conscious of the tension in the little room. I’d guessed this conversation was coming, since the people now sitting in front of me had seemed unhappy with my pastoral leadership for a good long time. I wasn’t sure what would happen now, but I was afraid it might end badly, with hurtful words spoken and their bitter departure from our church. I mention this moment not because it’s unusual in pastoral ministry—every pastor experiences such meetings sooner or later—or because it had a miraculous and uplifting outcome, but because I recall my own heart in that conversation. I claimed to be Calvinist, but I wasn’t living like one. I was thinking little of God’s role in this conversation—and much of the people sitting across from me.”


SERMON:

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Nate Pickowicz – Love & Obedience (John 14:15)


VIDEOS:

Calvinists are Not Christians?

Should Gays Be Stoned?


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



Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, September 8, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Tebow Responds Graciously to Being Cut from Eagles Roster

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

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

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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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CultureWatch: Clear – and Compassionate – Thinking on Refugees

This may be news to a lotta folks, but compassion is not a synonym for being brainless. Caring should not involve throwing away your brains and simply running on feelings. Emoting is no substitute for compassionate reasoning. If you really want to care and be compassionate, then start using your mind and ease up on all the emotionalism.

When it comes to Western nations taking in refugees and asylum seekers, there is so much irrational moralism out there, especially from Christians, that it leaves me quite bewildered to be honest. How can so many minds simply turn to mush when it comes to important and complex issues such as this?

Far too many clueless Christians think we should just open our doors wide open and let in every single person who demands to come here, no questions asked. Yeah right, that will do a lotta good. Very soon our nations will look exactly like the ones these folks are fleeing from. Then where will they go?

Just as every home-owner has a clear obligation to wisely and critically assess who, if any, folks might be allowed to move in, so too every nation must think in these terms. That is simply being responsible with what one is given. Households and nations both must act this way.

syria 8Just as there are many queue jumpers, criminals, jihadists and others who are actively exploiting the refugee process for their own nefarious ends, so too in the domestic scene. No genuine father – Christian or otherwise – would just allow anyone into his home without first doing at least a basic background check into the person asking – or demanding – to be let in.

If his wife ends up being raped and his kids killed and his house destroyed – all because of a misplaced and unbiblical “compassion” – he of course was not being a good Christian at all, but an irresponsible steward of what God entrusted him with.

Governments have exactly the same biblical responsibility to look after their own, and make sure only those who are genuine refugees be considered. And they have the God-given right to determine how many people can be safely and appropriately taken in, and why. Undiscerning border polices based on mere emotion are a breach of this. There is nothing Christian about it.

Yes real refugees can and should be considered. But home owners and nation states have no obligation whatsoever to just have open slather border and intake policies because of emotive kneejerk reactions, instead of using our God-given brains to think carefully and wisely about how to best proceed.

And I think no better case can be made at the moment than to allow the real suffering refugees in – Christians being persecuted in the Middle East. I am not alone in thinking this. As Lord Carey wrote in a recent piece, Syria’s Christians should be at the top of our lists:

It would be a mistake to give way to bullying calls to immediately open our doors to tens of thousands of refugees. We are a small island and recent immigration figures are highly disturbing. Last year, a net figure of 330,000 people settled among us – more than the population of Sunderland. Imagine this continuing, year after year.
Alas, the signal that Germany is opening its doors to this influx will make Europe into an even more attractive magnet for those who are genuine refugees – but also to floods of economic migrants, most of whom are young men travelling alone. We don’t even know how many of these have been combatants in the civil war.
If some of what I say sounds harsh or, heaven forbid, a touch unchristian, let me make it clear that I welcome David Cameron’s announcement to allow thousands more to enter Britain through refugee camps in Syria’s neighbouring countries. In the long term, this strategy will cut out the traffickers and reduce the risk of the sea and land journeys.
But the frustration for those of us who have been calling for compassion for Syrian victims for many months is that the Christian community is yet again left at the bottom of the heap.
According to the Barnabas Fund, a charity which recently resettled some 50 Syrian Christian families in Poland, Mr Cameron’s policy inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State. Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them. They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbours and family.
They are the most vulnerable and repeatedly targeted victims of this conflict. Indeed, a hundred years after the Armenian and Assyrian genocide, in which over a million Christians are estimated to have been killed by Ottoman Muslims, the same is happening today in the form of an ethnic cleansing of Christians in the region. Christians have been crucified, beheaded, raped, and subjected to forced conversion. The so-called Islamic State and other radical groups are openly glorifying the slaughter of Christians.
Britain should make Syrian Christians a priority because they are a particularly vulnerable group. Furthermore, we are a Christian nation with an established Church so Syrian Christians will find no challenge to integration. The churches are already well-prepared and eager to offer support and accommodation to those escaping the conflict.
Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws. Isn’t it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict? Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.
It is, of course, quite right that Europe has woken to the sheer scale of human suffering in Syria. It is equally right that our compassionate instincts will drive us to fund-raise and campaign for the innocent victims of the conflict. But that compassion must be realistic and clear-headed.
As a European Union, we should be prepared to close the doors to large numbers of economic migrants and return them to their countries. A proper process of registration must be conducted, ideally in refugee camps on the borders of Europe. And if the numbers get too large, we should be prepared to admit refugees on a provisional and temporary basis, reviewing their status periodically until they can return home.

I have criticised Carey in the past for some of the things he has said, but he is spot on here. Indeed, he makes even more sense on these issues, as another article reports;

David Cameron is facing growing pressure to extend RAF air strikes into Syria as the worsening conflict threatened to drive increasing numbers of desperate refugees to seek sanctuary in Europe. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey became the latest senior figure to call for a renewed military effort to “crush” Islamic State in its Syrian heartlands.
He also backed calls for British military intervention to help create “safe enclaves” within the country where civilians would be protected from attack by the warring parties in Syria’s bloody civil war. His comments echoed the growing impatience among some Conservative backbenchers, with the former defence secretary Liam Fox saying “handwringing” about the plight of the refugees was not enough and action was needed to deal with the “root of the problem”.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Carey said: “I do not consider it enough to send aid to refugee camps in the Middle East. Rather, there must be renewed military and diplomatic efforts to crush the twin menaces of Islamic State and al-Qaeda once and for all. Make no mistake: this may mean air strikes and other British military assistance to create secure and safe enclaves.”

Now that is more like it: a bit of tough thinking, instead of useless emoting. And according to this headline, some countries are already getting into the act: “Poland to the rescue: Opens safe haven for Christian refugees from Syria, which country will be next to help?” The article begins:

Polish charity Fundacja Estera says that the refugees are among the thousands of Christians facing murder in Syria. Of those that the foundation says should be granted asylum in Poland, more than half are children.(Photo: Syrian refugees granted asylum in Poland/via Gospel Herald) The European country of Poland announced on Tuesday that it has decided to accept 60 Syrian Christian refugee families. The country has previously voiced opposition to European Union plans for binding quotas on asylum seekers.
According to a report from Agence France-Presse, Polish non-governmental organization Estera asked Poland’s government to allow around 1,500 Syrian Christians to live in the country. Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz made the announcement to reporters in Warsaw. “We’ll welcome 60 families for a start,” Kopacz said. “Today Christians who are being persecuted in a barbaric fashion in Syria deserve Christian countries like Poland to act fast to help them.”

One writer heads an important article with these words: “Christians, before you rush off to Calais to help the refugees ask yourself: what would Jesus do?” She writes:

What would Jesus do? John 5 tells the story of a man who Jesus found by the pool of Bethesda, by the gates of Jerusalem. The pool was surrounded by disabled people, blind, lame, paralysed, waiting for the waters to be stirred by angels, whereupon they would dash into the pool and the first in would be healed.
One man, who suffered from lameness, had lain by the pool for 38 years waiting for a chance to be healed. Jesus strides up to him and asks “do you want to get well?” The man replies “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
How many people with less serious conditions must that man have seen healed over his four decades by the pool? How many people younger than he, fitter than he, more capable than he were able to jump ahead of him, time and time again, to take for themselves the healing that he so craved?
Jesus bypassed those people and went straight to him, the man at the back of the queue. Jesus is not concerned with helping those who can help themselves. In fact, the Bible exhorts us to enjoy our ability to do so. In Ecclesiastes 3:22, King David notes: “I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot.” Jesus is concerned with helping those who cannot help themselves. Those who lie quietly on mats at the back of the queue, elbowed past, with no-one to help them step forward.
In this week’s Spectator Paul Collier describes the migrants making their way across Europe, packing themselves into trains and lorries, and when that fails, simply walking, the hope of prosperity in the rich West before them.
“Of Syria’s 20 million people,” he writes, “around half are now displaced. This ten million are the submerged iceberg: the group to whom we have some duty of rescue. They are displaced through circumstance rather than choice.
“The tiny minority (about 2 per cent) in the sea and camped on our doorstep are part of our duty of rescue, but they should not be allowed to crowd out the needs of others: for one thing, they tend to be richer and more resourceful.”…
Sure, it’s not fun being a Christian in our society. No one wants to be the adult, having to say ‘No’ all the time. And yes, the Bible calls on us to help those in need, to love our neighbours as ourselves. But it says nothing about making ourselves feel better by jumping on a bandwagon fuelled by unthinking emotion, nor of helping the first person in the queue, rather than the person most in need. So, when it comes to the refugee crisis, what would Jesus do?

Finally, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neil offers some level-headed sense here:

Spiked has long been at the forefront of calling for a generous, liberal approach to migration. Our take is that there should be as few restrictions as possible on the movement of people across borders as they search for stability or work, and the makings of a new life. However, we won’t be getting behind the hyper-moralism of the pitying political narrative around the refugees arriving from Syria. This media-orchestrated moral drama, complete with invasive photos of dead children, highly inappropriate comparisons with the Holocaust, and the performative piety of politicians and the Twitterati holding up pro-refugee placards or promising to open their homes to migrants, confirms that what ought to be a democratic discussion — the question of what caused this crisis and where refugees should go — has been reduced to an opportunity for virtue-advertising in which rational thought and public engagement are positively frowned upon.
The most striking thing about the outburst of ostentatious concern for the refugees is its bad faith. What is presented to us as a sad humanitarian disaster that somehow materialised over the past seven days is in fact traceable to the disintegration of the Middle East over the past five years and the hollowing-out of 50 years worth of state structures in Libya and the knock-on destabilising effect that had across north Africa — globe-shaking events which our governments in the West played no small part in bringing about. The same governments whose officials now make sad-eyed promises to take in a Syrian orphan or provide clothes to victims of this allegedly sudden humanitarian upheaval. The hyper-moralism of the sad-for-refugees narrative wrenches this large-scale movement of people from its political, global context, meaning even some of the contributing authors to the exodus from Syria (Western governments), and those who have traditionally been cagey about migration (the Labour Party, tabloids, trade unions), can assume the role of humanitarian saviours. The bad-faith depiction of this swell of humanity as a kind of politics-free natural disaster, or something whose origins lie entirely Over There, means it can be casually moralised, turned into a platform for posturing by the concerned classes….
The Syrian refugee crisis is unique to our times and has nothing in common with the extermination of Europe’s Jews. However, when it comes to orchestrating a morality tale to benefit a morally confused Europe, it seems history can be casually plundered, its imagery and crimes exploited by those in desperate need of a political adrenaline shot today.

I will happily take an atheist who thinks straight on these issues over a clueless Christian who simply emotes his way through matters. People are dying, and they won’t be saved by misplaced compassion and mindless moralism. Careful and discerning rationality based on reality will be of much more use instead.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11846651/Lord-Carey-Britain-has-a-duty-to-rescue-Syrias-Christians.html
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/06/syria-air-strikes-lord-carey-adds-to-pressure-on-cameron-with-call-to-crush-isis
http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=16036
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/09/07/christians-before-you-rush-off-to-calais-to-help-the-refugees-ask-yourself-what-would-jesus-do/
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/dont-make-a-moral-melodrama-out-of-the-migrant-crisis/17409#.Ve2-4RHBzRY

Learning about the importance of courage from the Bible

WINTERY KNIGHT

pg-42-happy-two-2-bbc

Here are some of my favorite verses from the Bible on the topic of courage.

“In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you…”
(1 Pet 4:4)

“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled…”
(1 Pet 3:14)

And a longer one:

1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.

2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is…

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Intelligence review finds Hillary e-mails contain “highly classified information”

WINTERY KNIGHT

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

This is from the radically leftist New York Times.

It says:

A special intelligence review of two emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton received as secretary of state on her personal account — including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — has endorsed a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the emails contained highly classified information when Mrs. Clinton received them, senior intelligence officials said.

Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the inspector general’s finding last month and questioned whether the emails had been overclassified by an arbitrary process. But the special review — by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — concluded that the emails were “Top Secret,” the highest classification of government intelligence, when they were sent to Mrs. Clinton in 2009 and 2011.

On Monday, the Clinton campaign disagreed with…

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History will remember what Senate Majority Leader McConnell does now. Will he handle the Iran deal as a foreign treaty in keeping with the Constitution? Or will he surrender?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Iran-Nuclear-Deal-CongressThis is one for the ages.

On the table is the most dangerous agreement with an avowed enemy of the United States and our most faithful allies to come before the U.S. Senate in a generation. In the White House is a President who fundamentally believes that the apocalyptic Iranian regime can be trusted to keep their word. At stake is no less than the national security of the American people today and throughout future generations.

History will remember what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does right now.

Will he follow the U.S. Constitution, handle the Iran nuclear deal as a foreign treaty as required, hold an up-or-down vote on the President’s accord, and then dismiss the treaty as null and void when it does not garner 67 votes?

Or will he surrender and allow this insane agreement to be implemented without a real fight?

In recent days, Andrew McCarthy of National Review, among others, has laid out the case for exactly why and…

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The Church’s Most Dangerous Doctrine.

Roderick Cyr

If one of the Church’s primary purposes is to fulfill God’s plan by leading a fallen world into right relationship with Him, then any doctrine that undermines that objective poses a danger to not only the Church’s mission but also to the world that so desperately needs God’s love. And while any Church teaching that contravenes Scripture is both deceitful and heresy, the most dangerous are those that send adherents down a path that leads to eternal suffering and separation from God.

Applying that standard, the most dangerous doctrine taught by many churches is that of ‘Easy Believism’. It offers all the benefits of salvation without requiring any of the costs of discipleship, asserting that eternal salvation is available to anyone who recites a handful of words proclaiming Jesus as Lord and imploring God’s forgiveness. Especially popular in evangelical churches and referred to as ‘The Sinner’s Prayer’ in other circles…

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Kim Davis – State Criminal? Church Discipline?

In Perspective

“I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage. To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word.”

The questions which have come to me personally and pastorally over the past week have been both insistent and incessant—is Kim Davis a criminal and/or an out of control Christian who should be the subject of church discipline? This post is my answer.

Her name is Kim Davis…

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Jesus Loves Me … A Different Way of Looking at 1 Corinthians 13

Unfathomable Grace

In our culture, much is made of the Greek word eros. This is the “love” portrayed on soap operas and in rock videos. It is that sensual and erotic beautifully experienced in the bedroom and blasphemed in 50 Shades of Grey and The Bachelor. Eros-love is a wonderful act of worship when properly expressed within the bounds of marriage; it is a good gift of God. However, eros-love is not the fundamental definition and expression of love. Eros-love comes and goes.

In our culture, much is made of the Greek word phileo. This is the “love” expressed between friends as they show kindness, courtesy, helpfulness, and graciousness one towards the other. Phileo-love is also found in the healthy marriage. It is a wonderful thing when a husband and wife are best friends. However, this too is not the fundamental definition and expression of love. For even in the best of marriages, phileo-love comes and goes.

In our…

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For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

34 ὃν γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ θεοῦ λαλεῖ, οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου δίδωσιν τὸ πνεῦμα. (John 3:34 NA28)

 34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God for he gives the Spirit without measure.  (John 3:34 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In John 3:1-21 our Lord spoke the words of God to “ a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.” In this passage our Lord clears the table and tells it like it is. He tells Nicodemus in v3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Of course, Nicodemus doesn’t “get it at first and asks, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” in v4…

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