Daily Archives: September 9, 2015

Two great podcasts from J. Warner Wallace of Please Convince Me

WINTERY KNIGHT

Here’s a podcast from the master of evidence-gathering and case-making himself, J. Warner Wallace. In this episode, he tries to convince Christians to take the questions that young people ask seriously, and explains what is likely to happen to them in college.

The MP3 is here.

Topics:

  • our nation is becoming more and more secular
  • secularism makes it harder for us to defend our faith and values in public and influence the culture
  • why is secularism happening? it’s because young people are walking away from the faith
  • young Christians are leaving the faith in high school and college
  • this is where the real battleground is – and that’s where apologists need to focus
  • we need to be focused especially on junior high school and high school, and to a lesser degree college
  • it’s good that we have lots scholars working physics, philosophy and biology
  • but what we really need is…

View original post 552 more words

September 9, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 9, 2015

BLOOMBERG

U.S. State Department to move 50 workers into temporary jobs to help the office sifting through Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, Reuters said, citing sources it didn’t identify.

Puerto Rico said it faces a $13 billion funding shortfall for debt payments over the next five years even after taking into account proposed spending cuts and revenue enhancement measures outlined in a long-awaited fiscal and economic growth plan.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union’s executive arm, rolled out a proposal on Wednesday to distribute 160,000 refugees from war-torn areas in northern Africa and the Middle East across the EU.

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history today, and while her country might have lost influence in the world, she has ruled over an unprecedented period of wealth creation.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran won’t engage the U.S. in any issue beyond the nuclear program and renewed his attacks on Israel, saying the “Zionist regime” won’t exist in 25 years.

Boko Haram militants have destroyed infrastructure that may cost more than $1 billion to rebuild in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, the main theater of the government’s six-year fight against the Islamist insurgency, according to Governor Kashim Shettima.

A cybercriminal group going by the name “DD4BC” is blackmailing financial institutions, threatening to take down their customer websites unless they pay a hefty bitcoin ransom.

Spot power prices were surging from New York City to Los Angeles on Tuesday as customers blasted air conditioners to keep cool in what’s projected to be the hottest September since 2005.

AP Top Stories

At least three Russian military transport planes have landed in Syria in recent days, US officials said Tuesday, as Washington worries about the sort of assistance Moscow is providing to Damascus.

Scientists will reanimate a 30,000-year-old giant virus unearthed in the frozen wastelands of Siberia, and warned climate change may awaken dangerous microscopic pathogens.

An Oregon judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages is facing multiple complaints in a state ethics investigation, including that he put up a picture of Adolf Hitler in the Salem courthouse, a state judicial commission said on Tuesday.

A US Coast Guard icebreaker has carved its way to the North Pole, becoming the first American surface ship to get to the top of the world by itself, officials said Tuesday.

Lockheed Martin Corp, the maker of F-35 fighter jets, said it would cut about 500 jobs in its IT services unit by mid-November.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, walked out of jail on Tuesday after the U.S. district court judge who found her in contempt said he was satisfied licenses were being issued in accordance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

For years, Pakistan did not put prisoners to death. Then a Taliban attack butchered 150 people, most of them children, and the country resumed carrying out the death penalty and quickly turned into one of the world’s most avid executioners. But instead of killing militants, the campaign is largely executing common criminals, The Associated Press has found. Only one in 10 of the 226 prisoners executed since December was convicted of a terror attack.

The number of possible vehicle shootings along a stretch of freeway in Phoenix has jumped to nine over the last 10 days, the head of Arizona’s state police said on Tuesday.

Nigeria’s military said on Tuesday it had made a number of arrests after intercepting a vehicle allegedly carrying fuel and drugs for Boko Haram Islamists waging a six-year-old insurgency in the northeast.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday told ABC News’ David Muir that using a personal email account while Secretary of State was a “mistake” and that she is “sorry” for it.

BBC

A British Airways plane bound for London has caught fire at Las Vegas airport, forcing the evacuation of 170 people on board on emergency slides.

A Guatemalan judge has ordered the former president, Otto Perez Molina, to stand trial on corruption charges.

Venezuela has extended a partial border shutdown with Colombia and sent another 3,000 troops to the area in a crime crackdown.

A British father and his wife have been reunited with their newborn son after accusing a doctor at a hospital in El Salvador of swapping him.

Child mortality has fallen by more than 50% since 1990, a report by the World Health Organization and UN children’s agency Unicef said.

Three men have been arrested at a shopping Centre in Kenya’s capital with a suspected explosive device, which has since been detonated in a controlled explosion, police said.

The unauthorized occupation by migrants of a Paris secondary school is focusing minds on how the country will cope if the current inrush of asylum seekers accelerates.

WND

The White House is poised to bring criminal charges against China’s spies over a massive hacking scandal that has torn through U.S. businesses and government agencies.

Iran’s mullahs are thanking the Obama administration for agreeing to a nuclear deal – and they’re showing their appreciation by building a new reactor.

An alarming new trend among teens: using e-cigarettes – marketed by the tobacco industry as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes – to smoke marijuana.


Top News – 9/9/2015

Islam’s Conquest of Europe
Burnham predicted that the mindless magnanimity of liberals, who subordinate the interests of their own people and nations to utopian and altruistic impulses, would bring about an end to Western civilization. Was he wrong? Consider what is happening in Europe.

World Bank Economist: Rate Hike Will Spark ‘Panic and Turmoil’ in Emerging Markets
“I don’t think the Fed lift-off itself is going to create a major crisis but it will cause some immediate turbulence,” he was quoted as saying.

Trump: US Must Accept Some Mideast Refugees
Donald Trump says that the United States will have to accept some of the refugees fleeing the chaos in Syria. Appearing Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Trump said he does worry that some in the group could be terrorists and said a screening process will be needed.

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican
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.

Dozens of Emirati Soldiers Beheaded by ISIL in Yemen
ISIL terrorists have cut off the heads of several dozen Emirati soldiers who fled the war in Yemen’s Maarib after a Houthi missile attack killed at least 65 of their comrades along with 240 others from the Saudi-led coalition, Iranian media reports said.

Blood Rave to douse Amsterdam dancers in gallons of blood
The Netherlands will have its first ever “Blood Rave” – a dance party where dancers are sprayed with 5 thousand liters of blood – in Amsterdam on Halloween night. One of the organizers, who want to remain anonymous due to the nature of the event, told the AD that this is will be the first blood party in the world and the demand for it is high.

Deadly strain of West Nile virus hits Israel
Twenty-seven people have contracted a particularly vicious strain of West Nile virus in cities and towns all over the country; Health Ministry is closely monitoring the situation.

Moscow admits Russian military experts on the ground in Syria
Russia’s Foreign Ministry disclosed early Wednesday that Russian military experts are assisting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country’s long-running civil war.

‘Blood moons’ discoverer fires back at ‘end of world’ claims
Mark Biltz, head of El Shaddai Ministries and the author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” says critics who claim he is predicting the imminent end of the world have it all wrong. “My interpretation is that we have at least another 1,000 years. But I do believe these signs portend major changes, including a possible major war involving Israel and an economic collapse.”

Rare deadly dust storm engulfs MidEast, halting hostilities
An unseasonal dust storm has swept through the Middle East, blanketing Beirut and Damascus, killing at least two and hospitalizing hundreds in Lebanon, and halting airstrikes in neighboring Syria where five people have reportedly died due to the freak weather.

Oregon judge accused of blocking gay marriage applicants, hanging Hitler picture
An Oregon judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages is facing multiple complaints in a state ethics investigation, including that he put up a picture of Adolf Hitler in the Salem courthouse, a state judicial commission said on Tuesday.

Major Airbase Falls to Rebels, Syrian Troops Driven from Idlib Province
Syrian government troops have lost control over a major military airbase in the northwestern province of Idlib. The rebels have now secured control over nearly all of Idlib province – but it is still not entirely clear which faction controls the province.

Lawmakers Opposed to Iran Deal Introduce Measures Addressing its Flaws
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) have finally done what so many opponents of the Nuclear Iran Deal have been waiting for. Whether their efforts will achieve the goal of opponents will soon be revealed. The two Republican House members each introduced legislation late on Tuesday, Sept. 8, addressing procedural flaws in the administration’s conduct of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Defense Minister Outlaws Temple Mount Screamers
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon signed an order Wednesday declaring the groups of Islamists who regularly harass Jews on the Temple Mount – the male “Murabitun” and female “Murabitat” – as illegal organizations. The activists regularly riot on the Mount, curse, shout, and throw various objects at the Jews who ascend the Mount, and sometimes attack police as well.

CIA: Yes, Hillary’s Email Contained ‘Top Secret’ Intelligence; Campaign ‘Disagrees’
As Hillary Clinton blithely insists her unsecure email server violated no rules or laws — “what I did was allowed” — the facts beg to differ. The New York Times reports that an intelligence review confirms the existing allegation that Clinton received highly sensitive material on her private server that was, in fact, classified at the time it was sent:

Muslim Refugees Chant “Allahu Akbar,” “F**k You,” Attack Citizens, Throw Feces
Muslim “refugees” in Budapest chanted “Allahu Akbar” and “f**k you” while others in Italy attacked an old lady and threw feces at bystanders as Germany announced that it would be prepared to take 500,000 asylum seekers every year. Although mainstream media coverage of the migrant crisis has focused on happy families and children, footage not broadcast by TV networks shows a different side to some of those crossing into Europe.

U.S. Moves to Block Russian Military Buildup in Syria
The United States on Tuesday moved to head off preparations for a suspected Russian military buildup in Syria as Bulgaria agreed to an appeal from the Obama administration to shut its airspace to Russian transport planes. The planes’ destination was the Syrian port city of Latakia. The administration has also asked Greece to close its airspace to the Russian flights, Greek and American officials said, but Greece has not publicly responded to the request.

Syria conflict: Jihadist rebels seize key Idlib airbase
Syrian rebels linked to al-Qaeda have seized control of a key airbase in the north-western province of Idlib after a long battle, Syrian state TV says. Abu al-Duhur airbase was under siege for nearly two years by the militants, who have captured most of the province. The militants behind the attack are believed to be a coalition of Islamist rebels, including the al-Nusra Front.

Migrant crisis: Australia ups refugee intake and plans Syria strikes
Australia is to take in thousands more Syrians, amid growing pressure to do more to help those displaced by violence in the Middle East. Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday announced that Australia would accept 12,000 Syrians from persecuted minorities.

‘Zionist regime will cease to exist in 25 years,’ Khamenei vows
Israel will cease to exist within three decades, the Iranian supreme leader vowed on his official Twitter handle on Wednesday. Iran’s Supreme Leader said Tehran will not negotiate with the United States on any issue after the landmark nuclear deal with world powers in July, according to his official website on Wednesday.

Despite Iran deal, most Israelis say Obama committed to their security
Two-thirds of Israelis still believe US President Barack Obama’s administration is committed to Israel’s security despite his Iran deal that 72.7 percent of Israeli Jews see as an existential threat to the Jewish state, according to the monthly Peace Index poll of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, which was released Wednesday.

Hungary to Germany: Stop Encouraging Refugees To Travel To Europe
The prime minister of Hungary accused Berlin of encouraging “millions” of refugees to travel to Europe by allowing them to enter Germany without limits. Viktor Orban, Hungary’s conservative PM, reportedly urged Germany to say it will not accept more refugees descending on Europe. He warned that “millions” of people will travel to Europe if Berlin continues to accept more refugees and condemned Austria for permitting migrants to “enter its territory without hindrance.” Hungary is preparing legislation that will allow it to deploy its military to the border it shares with Serbia.

Bishop: ‘Pope Francis Is Wrong, Migrants Are Invasion’
Pope Francis is wrong on the migrant crisis and the wave of Muslim migrants currently sweeping Europe actually represents an “invasion”, a Hungarian Bishop has said. Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, Bishop of Szeged-Csanad in southern Hungary, said the migrants “come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.” He added that Pope Francis “doesn’t know the situation” and that many so-called refugees are actually economic migrants.

United Nations Makes Migrant Crisis Worse with Loose Rhetoric
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insisted…that European nations open their doors to the many thousands of Middle Easterners and North Africans said to be “fleeing war and violence, who have a right to seek asylum without any form of discrimination.”… Notably, there was no…statement calling for the wealthy Gulf State countries…to welcome the refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, for example, to their countries.

Pope Francis seeks Obama while the Christian World Seeks the Lord
The very idea of a pope addressing the United Nations where Gaia and not Christianity is the religion of favor is enough to send shudders down the back bones of people of faith.

Obama and Kerry Must Stop Playing Games Affecting Israel’s Future
Attempting to secure the Congressional vote required to confirm President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran has necessitated Secretary for State John Kerry pledging Obama’s “rock solid” diplomatic support and increased military assistance for Israel—the bitterest opponent of Obama’s Iranian proposal.

Jesus, Hillary . . . what’s the difference? Women’s chorus makes slight alteration to hymn
About the spiritual issues, I’ll just say this: If your life really belongs to Jesus, I don’t have to explain to you what’s wrong with this. If it doesn’t, it’s useless to try because you’ll say something like “Come on, lighten up, don’t take it so seriously, etc.” and I’ll quickly recognize it’s a waste of time explaining it to you.

Second quake today
FOR THE SECOND TIME TODAY, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded off the northeast coast of Barbados.

Christians warned to pull kids from public school
Imagine an America in which all children are educated according to biblical, Christian principles instead of modern, secular, liberal values. Chaplain E. Ray Moore (Lt. Col. USAR Ret.), such a scenario is not just possible, but essential if Christians wish to reclaim the American culture.

Venezuela Expands Anti-Smuggling Crackdown With New Closure
Workers, vacationers and members of a nomadic indigenous community were all left stranded Tuesday as Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro expanded the closure of the border with Colombia as part of an anti-smuggling offensive. Maduro ordered the closure of the main border crossing in Venezuela’s biggest state Monday night, further exacerbating an ongoing diplomatic crisis with Colombia, which is struggling to absorb thousands of migrants who have fled the crackdown.

Huge Russian military planes land in Syria
At least three Russian military transport planes have landed in Syria in recent days, US officials said Tuesday, as Washington worries about the sort of assistance Moscow is providing to Damascus.

Egypt in ‘major operation’ in Sinai, 56 militants killed
Egypt’s army said Tuesday it had launched a “major military operation” against the Islamic State group in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 56 jihadists and losing two soldiers.

Kentucky clerk who opposed gay marriages released from jail
Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, walked out of jail on Tuesday after a federal judge who found her in contempt said he was satisfied licenses were being issued in accordance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Palestinian Leadership Considers Annulling Oslo Peace Accords With Israel at U.N.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is considering opening a “new chapter in Palestinian history” in his U.N. General Assembly speech later this month, with the Palestinian leadership “in favor” of voiding the Oslo peace accords with Israel, a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday. The Oslo Accords, the first signed in 1993 and the second in 1995, outlined a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians with the aim of fulfilling the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”


Top Headlines – 9/9/2015

Netanyahu to EU: Stop pressuring us into agreements that endanger our existence

US to Abbas: Don’t cut security ties with Israel

Palestinian, Vatican flags poised to fly above UN headquarters

Over 100,000 Brits Want Netanyahu Arrested. He is Scheduled to Arrive in London on September 9

Israel slams German bank for hosting talk on destroying Jewish state

Heavenly Warning of Imminent War in Israel a Wakeup Call from God to Repent

Modern Revival of Lost Biblical Commandment Paving the Way for the Third Jewish Temple

Israel saw 35% increase in aliyah last year, stats reveal

US-Israel spat over Iran deal may sideline Palestinians

Senior Israeli Officials: Netanyahu’s Fight Against Iran Deal Not a Failure

Kerry reaffirms US commitment to Israel security in call with Netanyahu

Cheney: Nuke Deal Enables Iran to Eradicate Israel In ‘One Day’

Dick Cheney blasts Iran deal ‘madness’

Actual Iran deal takes backseat to filibuster talk as Senate opens debate – votes expected by week’s end

As Iran deal passage looms, congressional foes take their fight state level

3 more Senate Democrats back Iran deal, clinching option to avoid vote

Governors vow to keep state sanctions in place against Iran, undercutting Obama deal

Pew: Just 21 Percent Support Iran Deal

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

U.S. Moves to Block Russian Military Buildup in Syria

Israel wary of Russian military build-up in Syria

Russia Fumes at Bulgaria for Barring Syria-Bound Flights

Huge Russian military planes land in Syria

Syria denies Russian combat troops fighting alongside army

U.N.: 850,000 Refugees Are Expected to Reach Europe During 2015 and 2016

Australia to take 12,000 refugees, extend air strikes into Syria

Religious groups want US to accept 100,000 Syrian refugees

A New Wave of Migrants Flees Iraq, Yearning for Europe

At choke points on the way to Western Europe, chaos and growing frustration

Hungary to Germany: Stop Encouraging Refugees To Travel To Europe

Lesbos ‘on verge of explosion’ as refugees crowd Greek island

Refugees in Europe: Christians welcome – Muslims keep out

Bishop: ‘Pope Francis Is Wrong, Migrants Are Invasion’

The Christian militia taking on Islamic State in Iraq

Iraqi Woman Shoots Dead ISIS Commander Who Forced Her Into Sex Slavery

Angelina Jolie warns ISIS using rape as weapon of war on unprecedented scale

Deadly sandstorm engulfs Middle East, slows Syria air strikes

Egypt in ‘major operation’ in Sinai, 56 militants killed

Turkish Nationalists Riot Across Country After Attacks by Kurdish Militants

One explosion is an accident; four is sabotage: Fourth industrial explosion rocks China in string of covert attacks on industry

Venezuela extends Colombia border closure, sends 3,000 more troops

U.S. Embassy in South Africa Warns of Terrorist Threat to U.S. Interests

Drones Can be Rendered Invisible With New Teflon Cloaking Technology

North Dakota becomes first US state to legalise use of armed drones by police

Hillary Clinton on Private Email: ‘That Was a Mistake. I’m Sorry’

Senators propose immunity for Hillary Clinton staffer to testify on email server

U.S. to shift 50 staff to boost office handling Clinton emails

U.S., tech industry fight over email privacy heads to appeals court

Cal State data breach hits nearly 80,000 students

Russian stock exchange halts trading over technical issues

Asian stocks jump on optimism over China market stability

Dow up 390, Nasdaq back in black for 2015

3 reasons to still worry about stocks

Federal Reserve rate rise would cause panic and turmoil, warns World Bank

Why Russia keeps pumping crude even as oil prices plummet

Indonesia Set to Rejoin OPEC After Break of Seven Years

End of the world fears sparked by ‘blood moon’ and meteor strike prophecy

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Pijijiapan, Mexico

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

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

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

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 27,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Gamalama volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Storm Etau to Unleash up to Two Feet of Flooding Rain in Japan

Tropical Storm Etau: Over 100,000 Evacuated, Over a Foot of Rain Already

Hurricane Linda Remains a Major Hurricane; Will Bring Moisture to Desert Southwest

Jimena to Fuel Late-Week Flooding Downpours in Hawaii

Is Hawaii Suffering Hurricane Fatigue? Near misses of nine tropical cyclones in two months

Tropical Storm Grace expected to weaken to depression

Naples pummelled by hailstones the size of ping pong balls

Hell of a hail! 9 injured as storm ravages Kazan, Russia, damaging cars & buildings

Climate pact hinges on finance: conference host France

Squirrel tests positive for the plague at Lake Tahoe

Half of American Adults Have Diabetes or Prediabetes

Parents eulogize Jerusalem Pride parade victim: Shira died in battle for more tolerant Israel

Oregon judge accused of hanging Hitler’s picture in courthouse, screening gay wedding applicants

Judge Orders Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Be Released From Jail, Mandates What She ‘Shall Not’ Do

Mike Huckabee on Kim Davis Release and Religious Liberty: ‘God Intervened’ but ‘Who’s Next?’

Franklin Graham Slams Donald Trump on Kim Davis Remarks: ‘Forefathers Gave Us Freedom of Religion at a Great Cost’

Marine Corps’ women-in-combat experiment gets mixed results

Barbershop Fined For Refusing To Cut Woman’s Hair


Frontrunning: September 09

  • Global stocks rally as investors scent fresh stimulus (Read More)
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 Rises 7.7% for Biggest Gain Since October 2008 (Read More)
  • China’s Stocks Advance for Second Day Amid Stimulus Speculation (Read More)
  • Abe Pledges Corporate Tax Cut as Investments Slump (Read More)
  • U.S. to shift 50 staff to boost office handling Clinton emails (Read More)
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Says China Doesn’t Want a Currency War (Read More)
  • One Thing China Got Right (Read More)
  • Apple’s pressure-based screens promise a world beyond cold glass (Read More)
  • FREE Report – Investing In Gold – Get details on the best way to invest in gold, that gives you a greater return on your investment with significantly lower risk. Sign up to access The Sovereign Investor Daily and as a bonus, get your FREE report today. (Click Here to Automatically Subscribe)
  • Citigroup Sees 55% Risk of a Global Recession Made in China (Read More)
  • Khamenei says Iran will not negotiate with U.S. beyond nuclear talks (Read More)
  • Clinton and Trump Descend on Washington to Continue Iran Fight (Read More)
  • Quiksilver Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Delaware (Read More)
  • U.N. says 850,000 to cross sea to Europe this year and next (Read More)
  • More US public debt could help monetary policy in long run (Read More)
  • U.S. Consumers Take on More Debt, Signalling Confidence in Economy (Read More)
  • Cyber-Extortionists Targeting the Financial Sector Are Demanding Bitcoin Ransoms (Read More)
  • Intel to End Sponsorship of Science Talent Search (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Lack of moral authority higher than individual choice evidence in attack on Ohio abortion ban

Does Down Syndrome Justify Abortion?, New York Times (Mark Lawrence Schrad)

2) Supposed popularity of sexual fluidity reveals pop culture as tool for moral revolution

Sexual Attraction and Fluidity, New York Times (Charles M. Blow)

Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and the Rise of Sexual Fluidity, Wall Street Journal (Eric Sasson)

3) ‘Divorce selfies’ and celebration of divorce an undermining of basic significance of marriage

On the viral rise of divorce selfies (and the death of traditional marriage), Washington Post (Caitlin Dewey)

4) Elizabeth II becomes longest reigning British monarch today

Queen Elizabeth: The many world leaders she has outlasted, BBC News

In other news…

My Old Kentucky Double Standard, Wall Street Journal

Kim Davis Freed From Jail in Kentucky Gay Marriage Dispute, New York Times (Alan Blinder)

We Don’t Need Kim Davis to Be in Jail, New York Times (Ryan T. Anderson)

Teachers Aren’t Dumb, The New York Times (Daniel T. Willingham)

The Pointless Banishment of Sex Offenders, The New York Times (Editorial Board)

Pope Francis Announces Measures to Simplify Marriage Annulments, New York Times (Jim Yardley and Elisabetta Povoledo)

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican, Washington Post (Anthony Faiola)
Is the West Dead Yet? , National Review (Victor Davis Hanson)

Daily Digest

September 9, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.” —Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Kim Davis Out of Jail, but the Saga Continues

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Huckabee meets with Kim and Joe Davis

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to be released from jail Tuesday after her deputy clerks issued all the backlogged marriage licenses. A crowd of 5,000 and presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee greeted her on her release. However, little has changed. While she sat in jail for a few days, Davis’ deputies altered the marriage licenses to remove Davis’ name from the form. But now that she’s back, Kentucky law states that Davis is the one who has to issue the marriage licenses, and her lawyers believe she may once again stop her office from doing so. The situation will only change once the state of Kentucky changes its laws to reasonably accommodate clerks who disagree with same-sex marriage. Nuance notwithstanding, the pair of Republican presidential candidates took the opportunity to publicly back Davis. Huckabee told the crowd, “Lock me up if you think that’s how freedom is best served, because folks, I am willing to spend the next eight years in the White House leading this country but I want you to know I’m willing to spend the next eight years in jail.” In reality, this episode is less about a war on Christianity and more about finding the balance between conscience and Rule of Law for a government official.

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Baltimore Settles in Freddie Gray Civil Suit

In an effort to put the whole debacle in the past, the City of Baltimore settled a civil suit brought about by the death of Freddie Gray. The $6.4 million settlement is separate from the criminal trial (or trials, depending on how that legal drama plays out) of the six police officers associated with Gray’s death. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement, “The proposed settlement agreement going before the Board of Estimates should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial. This settlement is being proposed solely because it is in the best interest of the city, and avoids costly and protracted litigation that would only make it more difficult for our city to heal and potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.” And just like that, Gray’s family won this round of the legal lotto. To be clear, the settlements in these cases of alleged police brutality have never been about justice. New York City agreed to pay out $5.9 million for the death of Eric Garner. But where is the settlement for the death of Walter Scott? In the video of that incident, it was clear the police officer leveled his gun against the fleeing Scott, aimed and killed him. Baltimore is helping to set a precedent where if enough frenzy is drummed up over the death of someone in police custody — and in Gray’s instance, he might have been trying to intentionally harm himself — the money will flow soon after to make the issue go away.

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Only 36 Miles of Up-to-Date Fence on the Border

The Department of Homeland Security recently informed the Senate that the border between Mexico and the United States is only properly fenced for 36.3 miles, or 0.02% of its entire length. Two-thirds of the border has no fencing at all, and there are no current plans to build a barrier. “A Senate official said that the 2006 Secure Fence Act required 700 miles of double-layer fencing because Border Patrol members said double layer works best,” the Washington Examiner wrote. “Reports indicated that illegal immigrants can easily scale single fences.” Currently, some sections of the border are simply fenced with metal sheets once used as helicopter landing pads during the Vietnam War. This is not a failure solely of the Obama administration. The DHS Office of Inspector General issued a report in 2009, which said the Border Patrol did not fully staff the project and faced difficulty in getting the land needed to erect the fence — even though it got a waiver to ignore environmental requirements. But the chance that the Border Patrol can restart the construction and bring an increase of law enforcement to the border is fraught with political barriers, thanks to this current administration.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Hillary ‘Apologizes,’ Offers Desperate Redirect

By Nate Jackson

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Hillary Clinton is perhaps the worst “inevitable” presidential candidate in history. It seems the high point for her 2016 run was the day before she announced. And even before that, the scandals surrounding her private email server and the Clinton Foundation slush fund — not to mention her long record of malfeasance — threatened to undermine her appeal. So what’s the would-be first woman president to do to secure her right to the Oval Office? Solve all America’s problems by proposing … more campaign finance limits.

But first, her remarks about her email. In a twist few expected from a Clinton, she finally decided to apologize — sort of. “What I had done was allowed, it was above board,” she first insisted. “But in retrospect, as I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts. One for personal, one for work-related emails. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”

She left out a couple of words, though. We’ll add them: “That was a mistake [to not better cover my tracks]. I’m sorry about [getting caught].”

Indeed, just last week, she said, “I certainly wish that I had made a different choice,” adding that she was “sorry that this has been confusing to people.”

She’s spent months either dodging questions entirely or stubbornly refusing to admit any error. In a Labor Day interview with the Associated Press, Hillary argued, “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.”

Uh, wasn’t she running the State Department at the time? What a relief to know she gave herself permission to run a private email server.

Then she went on more than once to deny wrongly handling classified information: “I did not send or receive any information marked classified. I take the responsibilities of handling classified materials very seriously and did so.” Also, “I’m so careful about classified information. I take classified material very, very seriously.”

Virtually everything she has said about the ordeal, however, is a lie that we’ve recounted extensively. The latest is that a second intelligence review of two particular emails found that both contained “Top Secret” information when they were sent to Hillary in 2009 and 2011, respectively. One email had information regarding North Korea’s nuclear program from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. For intelligence agencies to agree on the classification undermines Clinton’s regular rebuttal that it’s just an inter-agency dispute over the meaning of “classified.”

And not only did she receive information classified by other originating agencies (the only classification that matters is that of the originating agency), but we learned last week that Hillary originated classified emails. So for her to continue her denial is, well, very Clintonesque. But it’s the “drip, drip, drip” of the release of information that might help her most, as Americans tune out and quit caring that she violated multiple laws regarding classified information and obstruction of justice.

Perhaps her apology came because of her plummeting poll numbers. She brings universal name recognition, a sizable war chest, inevitability and first-female president potential … and she’s still struggling. That speaks volumes about just how bad a candidate she really is — all the Clinton baggage with none of Bill’s appeal.

In a pitiful attempt to redirect the conversation to policy — not to mention shore up her left flank against Bernie Sanders — she announced this week a proposal to further limit political campaign donations. Recall that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, universally despised by Democrats, stemmed from an anti-Hillary video during the 2008 election cycle. The Court struck down some donation restrictions implemented in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform” law.

The Wall Street Journal explains, “[S]he would have the government provide matching funds for campaign donations below a certain dollar amount, lower the cap on the amount individuals can contribute to candidates, and force independent groups to disclose their donors. She would also try to rewrite the First Amendment to allow more regulation of political speech.”

Hillary railed against “unaccountable money that is distorting our elections,” though she has no problem putting current law to full use through her Priorities USA Action super PAC, which brought in $15 million in July. Does that super PAC disclose its donors? Please. You see, her campaign says, she couldn’t possibly “unilaterally disarm.”

There’s also that little side venture called the Clinton Foundation, which no doubt will be exempt from any of Hillary’s reform proposals. She’s more than happy to divert a sizable portion of her and Bill’s massive income to her foundation’s slush fund to avoid taxes and questions of influence. As secretary of state, she worked on behalf of people, companies and governments that, lo and behold, had given millions and millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.

The Constitution protects free speech, and part of that speech is through making campaign donations. So until the day when people and companies are free to give to candidates rather than super PACs — and Hillary fully discloses her own operations with the Foundation and email servers — she can spare us the lecture about “transparency.”

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “When the law was the Defense of Marriage Act, the president and attorney general of the United States refused to enforce it. President Obama has routinely refused to enforce various immigration laws or parts of Obamacare. Why were Obama and Holder not held to the same standard as [Kim] Davis? Commentators insist that Davis is violating the law. What law? Congress has not passed a law recognizing same-sex marriage. Neither has Kentucky. In fact, 75% of Kentucky voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Supreme Court’s decision redefining marriage was a narrow five-to-four vote that upended hundreds of years of accepted law, defied the values of the American people and invalidated the votes of millions of citizens. And the court has been wrong before. When it ruled that Dred Scott was the property of his slave master, was the proper response for Christians to promote slavery? When the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal was constitutional, was complying with segregation the proper Christian thing to do?”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The necessity of every one paying in his own labor for what he consumes, affords the only legitimate and effectual check to excessive luxury, which has so often ruined individuals, states and empires; and which has now brought almost universal bankruptcy upon us.” —Josiah Warren (1798-1874)

Upright: “[T]he left has no interest in discussing ghetto pathology. Summer movies like ‘Straight Outta Compton’ are too busy glorifying it, and summer books like Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me’ are too busy intellectualizing it. The Black Lives Matter crowd has become an appendage of the civil-rights industry, which uses the black underclass to push an agenda that invariably leaves the supposed beneficiaries worse off.” —Jason Riley

For the record: “So Hillary Clinton mumbled some kind of apology yesterday: … This raises the question: Who gives a rat’s ass? Were you demanding an apology from Hillary Clinton? I wasn’t. I wanted the facts.” —Jonah Goldberg

Birds of a feather… “Donald Trump and I both agree that there ought to be more taxation of the billionaires, the people who are making their money on Wall Street.” —Elizabeth Warren

Non Compos Mentis: “I felt that I was in the military in the true sense because I dealt with those people.” —Donald Trump on his time in military boarding school

Actually, that’s exactly what he’s doing: “I don’t think Barack Obama has bad motives. I just think he’s wrong on a lot of issues.” —Jeb Bush

Friendly fire: “There is something profoundly wrong when … the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth.” —Bernie Sanders on the Obama economy

And last… “In his weekly address, President Obama said he’d ‘push our economy and the world to ultimately transition off of fossil fuels.’ Uh huh. Still waiting for him to start flying around in that solar-powered Air Force One.” —Fred Thompson

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White House considering ‘resettlement,’ other options for refugee crisis

The Obama administration is “actively considering” options for addressing the global refugee crisis, including the possibility of “refugee resettlement,” the White House said Tuesday.

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How the GOP Pretends Not to Authorize Obama’s Agenda

By Andrew McCarthy

Sadly, in another iteration of the anger that is the wind beneath Donald Trump’s wings, many readers insist that GOP leadership has no intention to block Obama on Iran. If that is so, it is passing strange. The national-security threat here is grave. Plus, how much credibility can Republicans have (maybe I should just end the sentence there) in complaining about Obama’s disregard of federal law if they won’t even follow the law they themselves enacted just four months ago?

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  “Haters are going to hate” is how Shepard Smith of Fox News referred to supporters of Christian clerk Kim Davis on his Tuesday afternoon show. It was another example of the anti-Christian bias that has been rearing its ugly head on a channel that many conservatives had looked to for “fair and balanced” coverage of the issues they care about.   But calls to several Fox News officials, asking for reaction to Smith’s anti-Christian comments, were not returned.   In other controversial comments about a pro-Davis rally being broadcast during his show, Smith ripped conservative Christians for “a…
 
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. In Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was led off to jail on Thursday for disobeying a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to couples that lack a bride or a groom. Kentucky’s marriage law, part of the state Constitution that was put on the books by 75 percent of the voters in 2004, requires one of each sex. Ms. Davis has been roundly denounced as lawless, but as a devout Christian, she regards the Supreme Court’s June opinion legalizing…
 

The Founding Fathers Agree With Kim Davis 100%

Many self-described conservatives are claiming that Kentucky marriage clerk Kim Davis should either “follow the law” and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or “find another job” since, of course, the Obergefell opinion that there is a supposed Constitutional right to so-called “same-sex marriage” is now the “law of the land.” (At least according to the Bush appointee federal judge who threw Kim Davis in jail for not agreeing to violate her oath and also according to all the Judicial Supremacist blond bimbos and talking heads over at Faux News) Jefferson, Hamilton, and Lincoln,…
 

Choir replaces Jesus with Hillary in gospel song

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 07:19 AM PDT

Choir replaces Jesus with Hillary in gospel songIt was quite a spectacle over the weekend in New Hampshire — when followers of Hillary Clinton sang praise songs to their Lord and Savior. “I woke up this morning with my heart stayed on Hillary,” crooned the Voices of the Heart, a “women’s alternative chorus.” The ladies desecrated an old gospel song at an official campaign stop — replacing the word Jesus with the word Hillary. This is just plain creepy — and not just because a bunch of women are waking up thinking about Hillary Clinton.

It’s downright sacrilegious. But it’s not the first time that Democrats have tried to deify their leaders — as I documented in my book, “God Less America.” Anybody remember the Newsweek covers touting President Obama as the “Second Coming” or the artwork depicting him as the crucified Christ? Or what about the time school children were ordered to sing praise songs to the president, “Barack Hussein Obama – mmm mmm mmm.” FULL REPORT

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KHAMENEI: Israel Won’t Exist in 25 Years!

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 07:12 AM PDT

KHAMENEI: Israel Won't Exist in 25 Years! Israel will not survive the next 25 years, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday, making a series of threatening remarks published online. And to think America is backing Iran on this new nuclear Deal while ignoring Israel’s threat coming from the Iranian Regime. In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account, Khamenei addresses Israel, saying, “You will not see next 25 years,” and adds that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed. The quote comes against a backdrop of a photograph apparently showing the Iranian leader walking on an Israeli flag painted on a sidewalk.

“After negotiations, in Zionist regime they said they had no more concern about Iran for next 25 years; I’d say: Firstly, you will not see next 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists,” the quote from Iran’s top leader reads in broken English. FULL REPORT

The post KHAMENEI: Israel Won’t Exist in 25 Years! appeared first on .


General rushes to White House to warn of Taliban surge

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:54 AM PDT

General rushes to White House to warn of Taliban surgeA U.S. general has quietly returned to Washington to brief the White House about a Taliban surge threatening the survival of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan as a result of the withdrawal of U.S. troops, especially from strategic Helmand province, a U.S. military intelligence source in Afghanistan told Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.  Army Gen. John F. Campbell rushed back to Washington this week without publicity to warn the White House that the Taliban is on the verge of taking over the entire Helmand province, the source said.

“I guess somebody’s getting frustrated that we’re over here just spinning our wheels,” the military intelligence source said. “The Taliban planned with our withdrawal to take Helmand, and if they did, it was to be the death blow of the GIROA,” the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The source said the only U.S. troops who appear to be “doing anything” are Special Operations Forces. But some of their camps may be shut down shortly, which would allow the Taliban to fill the vacuum and begin surrounding Kabul itself. FULL REPORT

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Panicked super rich buying boltholes with private airstrips to escape if poor rise up

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:36 AM PDT

Super rich hedge fund managers are buying ‘secret boltholes’ where they can hideout in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality, it has been claimed. Nervous financiers from across the globe have begun purchasing landing strips, homes and land in areas such as New Zealand so they can flee should people rise up.

With growing inequality and riots such as those in London in 2011 and in Ferguson and other parts of the USA last year, many financial leaders fear they could become targets for public fury. Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, told people at the World Economic Forum in Davos that many hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes.  He said: “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.” FULL REPORT

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War expands in Yemen – 10,000 coalition troops in country now battling insurgents

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:29 AM PDT

War expands in Yemen – 10,000 coalition troops in country now battling insurgentsEmirati and Bahraini soldiers who were “martyred” in Yemen will be treated as Saudis “materially and morally,” said Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, SPA reported on Tuesday. He vowed that the blood of “our martyrs will not go in vain,” and added that “the (Saudi-led) coalition will continue its operations with determination to defeat the (Houthi) rebels and their supporters who tampered with the future of the brotherly people of Yemen and who tried to destabilize the region.”

The Iran-backed militia and their allies in the army fired a Soviet-era ballistic missile at an army base in the central province of Maarib on Friday, killing at least 60 Gulf Arab soldiers on Friday. The alliance has deployed 10,000 troops to Yemen, Qatari news channel Al Jazeera said. Yemen’s neighbors ramped up airstrikes on Sanaa on Tuesday and hope to launch a decisive assault soon on the city. “The number of coalition soldiers who have already entered Yemen has risen to 10,000,” Al Jazeera reported. FULL REPORT

The post War expands in Yemen – 10,000 coalition troops in country now battling insurgents appeared first on .


Greek island of Lesbos ‘on the verge of explosion’ with more than 15,000 asylum seekers

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:25 AM PDT

Greek island of Lesbos 'on the verge of explosion' with more than 15,000 asylum seekersThe Greek island of Lesbos is “on the verge of explosion” with the arrival of more than 15,000 mainly Syrian asylum seekers pushing local resources to the limit, the immigration minister said. Yiannis Mouzalas said that boats taking asylum seekers to the Greek mainland would soon be using a second port to ease pressure on the island of 85,000 inhabitants.

“Mytilene currently has 15,000 to 17,000 refugees and this is the official figure from all services,” Mr Mouzalas said. “We are placing emphasis here because the situation is on the verge of explosion.” The minister said the second departure point would open at the fishing village of Sygri in coming days. Lesbos is one of several Greek islands struggling with an influx of thousands of migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, setting sail from the nearby Turkish coast. FULL REPORT

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New Zealand’s Rotorua Geyser erupts after 35 years of inactivity

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:17 AM PDT

New Zealand’s Rotorua Geyser erupts after 35 years of inactivityA geyser which has been dormant for more than 35 years has caught locals off guard after suddenly erupting. The Papakura Geyser is located at the Te Puia Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley in Rotorua, where there are more than 500 geothermal wonders. This particular geyser had not shown any signs of strong life since 1979 – until last week, when intermittent ‘bubbling’ reached boiling point. Staff at Te Puia reported that the geyser erupted continuously for about 36 hours and shot water up to 4m high.

Te Puia’s chief executive, Tim Cossar, said: “We keep a close eye on our various geothermal features to monitor any changes, and to see her suddenly start erupting was extremely exciting. We don’t know when she will start again or how long she will continue to perform for us, but it was certainly fantastic to see it.” GNS Volcano Information Specialist, Brad Scott, said the Papakura geyser was entering a new phase of recovery and experts would be monitoring its progress over the next few months. FULL REPORT

The post New Zealand’s Rotorua Geyser erupts after 35 years of inactivity 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

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

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

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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 9, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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7 Truths to Puncture a Man-Centered Church

This is one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible for faithful ministers laboring in obscurity and anonymity. God does not reward based upon comparisons with other ministers. He does not reward according to talents, gifts, or results. He rewards each pastor “according to his own labor.” God is looking at the hours, the diligence, and the faithfulness of daily unseen and often unappreciated labor, and is piling up heavenly rewards for His laboring servants.

Read more


Youth-Driven Culture

As we need the wisdom of the elderly in the body of Christ, we also need the wisdom of the past. Newer isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s worse; sometimes it’s wrong. As the church, we are a people with a past. The Holy Spirit is not a gift unique to the church in the twenty-first century. We ignore or disdain the past to our detriment.

Read more


Gender, Work, and an Immigrant Family’s Perspective

So can we take off our blinders that keep us from seeing people who are different from us? Can we stop making our experience the norm by which others must follow? Can we stop making assumptions about a person’s choice to work and choice of work when we know absolutely nothing about the back story? Not every woman who works is doing it because she feels entitled to have it all. Not every two-income household is motivated by materialism. Most of the world works because they need to eat.

Read more


I Would Say This Verse Pretty Much Covers All Your Bases

Because I have all of God’s abundant grace at all times I will also have all sufficiency for all things at all times. God himself will give me empowering grace to obey him, love him, trust him, and thank him at all times. This covers everything! Canker sores and cancer, back aches and bronchitis, child birth and child death, retirement and bankruptcy. God’s grace is deeper than the deepest pit and higher than highest mountain. All thing and all times really does mean all things and all times. I don’t have to worry about coming to the end of God’s grace.

Read more


‘Family Values’ and the Way We Never Were

Skirmishes over the family are not the product of blind cultural or historical trends, but instead we must recognize that the family is under assault in every generation, albeit sometimes in craftily veiled ways. And the antidote to our myopic vision of the family, whether myopically nostalgic or myopically apathetic, is not only to focus on the family, but to focus on what’s beyond the family: on the mystery of the kingdom of Christ.

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Heidelberg 123: The Second Petition—Your Kingdom Come

When we pray for the advent of the Kingdom of God we are praying that the Holy Spirit would use his appointed weapons, the Word and church discipline to conquer spiritual enemies. Our Lord never promised a glorious millennium on the earth but he is nevertheless crushing his enemies under his feet (1Cor 15:27). Just as the cross was a paradoxical way to defeat his enemies so to the suffering of the church is a paradoxical, unexpected way to defeat the Evil One and his minions but that is how he has promised to operate, through the foolishness of the gospel (1 Cor 1:21–25). 

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Stripping Down the Gospel: We Must Believe More Than the ABCs

We live in an increasingly pluralistic and pagan age, and so our culture is becoming more like the culture of the ancient Roman Empire. Fifty years ago, we may have been able to rely on a cultural consensus and collective understanding that was generally monotheistic and Judeo-Christian. Today, that’s simply not the case. Unbelievers’ understanding of the nature of truth, the existence and nature of God, the historicity of the Gospels, etc. is all really shaky and unknown. We need to take more time to understand people and their understandings and to carefully explain what it is we believe and why we believe it.

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Encounters With Grace

We’ll know we have encountered God’s grace when we see it. We will feel the conviction of the Spirit and will be prompted to repent. We’ll find a growing distaste for sin. We’ll desire change and feel dissatisfied with where we are. The more we encounter God’s grace the more we’ll want to honor him. The more we’ll want to be like Christ.

Read more



 The ‘Splainer: What’s an Apostolic Christian and why is Kim Davis’ hair so long?

The ‘Splainer: What’s an Apostolic Christian and why is Kim Davis’ hair so long?

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Religion News

(RNS) Apostolic Pentecostals are the strictest of all the Pentecostal groups. They don’t believe in the Trinity, avoid alcohol, don’t watch TV, and ask women not to cut their hair. Oh, and they object to same-sex marriage.

Read Full Article »


 Donald Trump Criticized by Franklin Graham Over Kim Davis Comments: 'Our Forefathers Gave Us Freedom of Religion at a Great Cost'

Donald Trump Criticized by Franklin Graham Over Kim Davis Comments: ‘Our Forefathers Gave Us Freedom of Religion at a Great Cost’

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Franklin Graham has issued a lengthy critique of Donald Trump after the GOP Presidential candidate said that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should follow “the law of the land” and issue same-sex marriage licenses despite her religious beliefs.

Read Full Article »


 Kim Davis’ Pastor Breaks Silence: She ‘Was Robbed of Her Constitutional Rights’

Kim Davis’ Pastor Breaks Silence: She ‘Was Robbed of Her Constitutional Rights’

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Christian News

MOREHEAD, Ky. — In an exclusive interview with Christian News Network, the pastor of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has not spoken to the media since Davis became the subject of national headlines and subsequently disabled the church phone and website, stressed his belief that Americans are being stripped of their Constitutional right to freedom…

Read Full Article »


 Hundreds of Muslim Refugees Convert to Christianity at Church in Berlin, Pastor Says 'Whoever Comes Here Will Not Be Left Unchanged'

Hundreds of Muslim Refugees Convert to Christianity at Church in Berlin, Pastor Says ‘Whoever Comes Here Will Not Be Left Unchanged’

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Hundreds of Iranian and Afghan refugees seeking asylum in Germany have converted from Islam to Christianity at an evangelical church in Berlin, a church leader has revealed.

Read Full Article »


 Why Christians Must Respond to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Why Christians Must Respond to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Crosswalk

It’s tempting for us to remain insulated from this crisis, but this is the hour in which the Church cannot, must not remain silent.

Read Full Article »


 Turning to Christ, teen heals from anger & abuse

Turning to Christ, teen heals from anger & abuse

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Christian Telegraph

Karen Pearce for Baptist Press. Seventeen-year-old Justin Spencer was with a team of Texas Baptists when an unexpected thing happened. Standing on the

Read Full Article »


 A Prayer for the End of the Day

A Prayer for the End of the Day

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Crosswalk

If you’re unsure what to say as you face another evening alone or a challenging tomorrow, pray along with these words and make Him the Lord of your nights!

Read Full Article »


 In Him We Live and Move: Acts 17 Comes to Life

In Him We Live and Move: Acts 17 Comes to Life

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Crosswalk

There’s nothing like stunning images of our vastly vivid universe to put into perspective &the God who made the world and all things in it&! This video really made me stop and revel in the complexity and awesomeness of my relationship with the Cre…

Read Full Article »


10 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Weariness

10 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Weariness

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Church Leaders

&When we’re weary we can find fresh strength, joy and motivation in Christ.&

Read Full Article »


 20 Differences Between the Psalms and Modern Worship Songs

20 Differences Between the Psalms and Modern Worship Songs

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Church Leaders

&Beware of presumption. We serve a holy God not a cuddly best mate.&

Read Full Article »


Willow Creek’s “The Practice” blends New Age & Catholic mysticism

A Catholic priest and a New Ager walk into Willow Creek… No, it’s not a joke waiting for a punchline. It’s an experiment called The Practice, and it’s the brainchild of Pastor Bill Hybels’ son-in-law, Aaron Niequist. Niequist is also the Worship Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, and he calls a Jesuit priest his […]

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North Korea pressured on human rights

The Southern Baptist Convention’s adoption of a resolution this summer on “religious persecution and human rights violations in North Korea” has coincided with what the resolution’s originator calls a renewed international effort to discuss human rights violations in the nation dubbed by persecution watchdog Open Doors the world’s worst persecutor of Christians for the past 13 years.


Fayetteville voters approve LGBT anti-discrimination law

Fayetteville citizens voted to ratify the city’s Uniform Civil Rights Protection ordinance — that now protects the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — by a slim margin Tuesday (Sept. 8).


Family speaks out about professor’s suicide

The family of Baptist professor and pastor John Gibson is calling his death a suicide connected to the Ashley Madison website hack. By openly discussing the circumstances surrounding his death, including a CNN interview aired Tuesday (Sept. 8), the Gibsons hope to help other families find forgiveness and reconciliation.


Prepare for temptation, Ezell says on marriage

Kevin Ezell, preaching on temptation in an adultery-ridden culture, counsels Christians not to take Satan’s bait. “God wants your very best, and Satan wants your very worst,” Ezell said in messages as interim pastor of a Nashville-area church.


‘War Room’ tops Labor Day box office

The faith-based film “War Room,” co-written by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, topped the box office over Labor Day weekend, grossing nearly $2.5 million more than the nearest competitor during its second weekend in theaters.


Boy allowed in girls’ locker room sparks protest

A Missouri high school is in the national spotlight after a transgender student — born male but identifying as female — requested permission to use the girls’ locker rooms and restrooms this year. On Aug. 31, about 150 students walked out of classes to protest allowing the student to use female facilities.

Pope Francis Taps Rick Warren To Sell Vatican Socialist Agenda To American Christians

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

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 5:17 (KJV) 

EDITOR’S NOTE: False Prophet and soon to be global king Pope Francis knows how to build a team, I’ll give him that. He chose Laodicean pastor and Chrislam founder Rick Warren to close his little traveling road show later this month at the World Meeting of Families. In that speech, look for Warren to speak to “all the common ground we have with Catholics“, and how “Pope Francis is our pope“, and all that other nonsense that paid shills get paid to say. Hate to break it to you, Rick, but the Vatican does not believe or teach the Bible, they worship Mary, they pray to idols, they think priests can forgive sins, and they falsely teach that a wafer of bread becomes the body of Jesus. But don’t let that stop you from soaking up the spotlight and fleecing the flock. 

Rick Warren announced his plans to attend the event during the Sunday morning worship service at the Lake Forest, CA church. “Next month, Pope Francis is coming to America for a world gathering on families,” he told the congregation. “I’m not a Catholic, and we have many differences with Catholics. But they love the Lord and we have much in common with that – we believe in the Bible, and the Trinity, and in Jesus and the resurrection.”

rick-warren-pope-francis-catholic-church-false-prophet-vatican-chrislam

CLICK TO ENTER THE RICK WARREN ARCHIVE

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.

According to its website, the World Meeting of Families is a “week-long international event of prayer, catechesis, and celebration that draws participants from around the globe.” The 8th annual event, which organizers say will be attended by up to two million people, seeks to “strengthen the bonds between families and to witness the crucial importance of marriage and the family to all society.”

Rick Warren calls apostate Roman Catholic Pope Francis “our pope”

While acknowledging there are differences between the two groups, Pastor Rick Warren has in the past called on non-Catholic Christians to join with Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in pursuit of common goals, such as the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage. In November, the pastor joined the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and 30 other global religious leaders for an interfaith Vatican conference on marriage and family, where he spoke on the “Biblical Meaning of Marriage.” “It’s great to be with leaders from different streams of Christianity from all over the world,” Warren said at the time. “Although we have some differences, we all love Jesus Christ and we all want marriage and families to be healthy and strong.”

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV)


The Scriptural Reverse-Trajectory of the Sexual Revolution

A fascinating trajectory of the sexual revolution has become obvious this summer in these United States. The trajectory moves backward through Scripture. The pages of God’s design for humanity have been peeled back, as it were, to the first chapter of Genesis.

  • In a host of ways and over many years, we as a culture have defied God’s design for sexual desire and activity as outlined in his law and summarized in the seventh commandment.
  • Next, we reached back to Genesis chapter two and redefined marriage through the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision by the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Now, we are reaching back to Genesis 1:26-28 to redefine the nature of humanity by erasing God-ordained distinctions between male and female through the “gender identity” movement. Bruce Jenner brought the movement to the front page. The University of Tennessee’s now-withdrawn suggested use of newly-created gender-neutral pronouns is one example of the effort to institutionalize the erasure such distinctions. The accelerating push for new SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) laws captures the move to codify and enforce the rejection of the God-ordained male and female distinction.

Having reached the hand of defiance against the Creator back through the pages of Scripture to redefine right sexual behavior, marriage, and human identity, the culture almost seems to sense that it is a mere twenty-six verses from laying its hands on the throat of the Creator himself.

Yet, the Lord reigns!


Real Persecution–Even to the Death

Every day hundreds of Christians are imprisoned or murdered because of their faith in Jesus Christ.  And if we ignore their plight, what does that say of our love of the brethren? This morning, Dave Fiorazo and I are joined by Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, an organization supporting persecuted Christians and educating […]

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The First Worship War

Ivory_Cain_Abel_Louvre_AO4052The very first conflict following the Fall was a conflict over worship.

Genesis 4:3–8 relates how Abel’s offering to the Lord’s was accepted, while Cain’s was not. These offerings were important because they were God’s means for at least temporarily and partially restoring communion with his people. Yet for some reason that is not explicit in the text, God rejected Cain’s offering. At this point in Genesis we do not have any clear revelation as to the content of acceptable worship. It is at least possible that God had demanded an animal sacrifice, and since Cain brought a food offering instead, that is why God rejected him. There is no way to determine this with absolute certainty, however. On the other hand, some assume that the offering wasn’t the problem; Cain’s heart attitude or motivation were deficient, and that is why God rejected him. This conclusions, too, is based on speculation since the text does not fully explain why God rejected Cain.

Revelation in the New Testament, however, does give a clearer picture. The author of Hebrews explains that Abel proved that he was “righteous” through his sacrifice, while Jude 11 describes Cain as one who “abandoned himself for the sake of gain,” and John 3:12 says that Cain’s deeds were “evil.” These descriptions relate most specifically to the inward spiritual condition of the men, yet Hebrews 11:4 also notes that Abel’s sacrifice itself was “more excellent” than Cain’s and that his righteousness was determined by “his gifts.”

Taken together, this information reveals a two-fold emphasis in evaluating worship, an emphasis that appears often in biblical discussions of worship.

First, the inward heart motivation is of utmost importance in true worship. At least part of what led to Cain’s rejection was an evil heart.

But a heart of worship will manifest itself in excellent, obedient offerings to God. Good heart motivation alone does not justify disobedience of God’s clear instructions or worshiping in flippant, casual ways. On the other hand, doing exactly what God has commanded without a heart that desires to please and glorify him is equally deficient.

Both are important.


Blessed Are the Risk-takers

 

The following is a modified excerpt from Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send. If you’d like more, be sure to pick up a copy of the book today!

Jesus once told a story that established risk-taking as a necessary component of true discipleship. It was about a rich boss who left behind sums of money for his servants to invest. To one servant he gave five “talents,” to another two, to another one. A talent was a rather large unit of money: about twenty years’ salary! So, to one man he gave twenty years’ salary (in our terms, about a million dollars); to another double that; and to another, a hundred years’ worth.

“He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.” (Matt. 25:16–18)

The man with two million turned it into four, and the man with five turned it into ten. When the master returned, he commended the first two servants for their wise investment of his resources. But to the one that sat on it, he said:

“You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 25:26–30)

Two things about that parable grip me. First, Jesus commended the first two servants for taking a risk with his money. Investing it means they could have lost it. That’s the nature of investing: no guarantees! Yet, Jesus doesn’t say, “What were you thinking? You could have lost all my money!” Instead, he commended them.

The second thing that stands out is even more startling, however: He called the one who did not take the risk “wicked.”

Wicked?

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Considering the Kim Davis Situation

When the U.S. Supreme Court reached its opinion that homosexual marriage was a constitutional right, many of us knew that rather than the final battle, it was merely the opening salvo in a battle for religious freedom in our nation.  The key question that would unfold is this:  Can a nation force people of religious […]

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How Many Radical Muslims Are There In The World?

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The true spiritual direction of “Spiritual Formation”

A large number of evangelicals are involved in spiritual formation (SF) which are “disciplines” that those who wish to experience spiritual growth must practice.  Where do the disciplines come from? Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox mystics, which should be a big red flag right there.   In this piece Pamela Couvrette tells of how she […]

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SBC Executive Speaking at Muslim-Evangelical Interface Gatherring

Pulpit & Pen reports:

Ed Stetzer

Lifeway – a Southern Baptist entity – will soon have their (arguably) most prominent executive speak at a Muslim-Evangelical interfaith event. Ed Stetzer, Vice President of Lifeway Insights Division and executive director of Lifeway Research, will speak at the upcoming Spreading Peace Convocation. The Convocation is a gathering of Christian pastors and Islamic imams, and is designed – according to their website – to “learn how to relate” and “build bridges” between the various religions.

SBC Executive Speaking at Muslim-Evangelical Interfaith Gathering


Psst. . . I’m Recruiting You For a Secret Mission

by Erin Davis

I’d like to recruit you for a secret mission. I want you to take over the Church.

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.

SBC Executive Speaking at Muslim-Evangelical Interfaith Gathering

Remember when your pastor said that “Glocal” was a thing? You know; a combination of global and local – and how the Church needed to view Glocal as a way to spread unity in the Body. Glocal was indeed a thing in about 2007 for seekermergent churches that pursued a missional, transformational paradigm. It is […]

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One Ex-Lesbian’s Plea to Pastors Across America

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:47 AM PDT

One Ex-Lesbian's Plea to Pastors Across AmericaDear Pastors, There are things I urgently need for you to know. And there are things I desperately need you to tell me. I shudder to think where I’d be today if my pastor had not been bold enough to tell me the truth regarding homosexuality, a lifestyle in which I lived for more than 30 years. Pastors, please take time out of your busy schedule to read my humble plea.

First, I need you to tell me in no uncertain terms that homosexuality is a sin. Show me what the Bible says and tell me that the Word of God is eternal and does not change with the times. Please don’t tell me that you won’t address it or that you don’t have an opinion. Because if you don’t speak up, I am going to think that it’s all right and will be headed for an eternity in hell. Pastors, when I come to you seeking answers, I need you to boldly speak the truth in love. My very salvation depends upon it.

Next, please let me know that Jesus’ death on the cross was enough to cover any sin I have committed, including that of homosexuality. Please tell me that every sin, no matter how minor or major it seems, is an affront to God. If you don’t, I will feel like my sin, because it feels more embarrassing or shocking, is harder for God to forgive than the others and I will be left with the wrong impression that homosexuality is the unpardonable sin. It’s not. FULL REPORT

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9 Reasons God’s Judgment Against Us May Be Inevitable

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 06:42 AM PDT

9 Reasons God's Judgment Against Us May Be InevitableAmerica and the West seem to be sinking into the abyss, and it’s time to ask: Is God’s judgement now inevitable? In contemplating the answer, we should consider some of the obvious reasons why judgment could come soon:

  1.  The blood of millions of innocent lives is shed and body parts are sold for profit in this country, while our government supports and funds such monstrous activity.
  2. God’s purpose in Creation, and His declared purpose for marriage, has been ignored and ruled against by the highest court in the land.
  3. Police authority is devalued by a great many people and undermined by political leaders.
  4. God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians are forbidden by the U.S. administration from saying the name of their God in the military.
  5. European businessmen and government officials cannot wait to do business with Iran—a leading state sponsor of the persecution and murder of innocent people.
  6. Persecuted Christians from the Middle East and elsewhere are forbidden entry visas into the United States and Europe. And yet illegal aliens—terrorists among them—get in and are given support.
  7. News programs report nearly every day on the rape and murder of Christian women and children by ISIS, while our government leaders cannot be bothered to condemn it, let alone do something about it.
  8. A sex change operation can get you a call from the highest office holder in the land to commend you for your “courage,” while families of fallen soldiers receive nothing.
  9. Those who announce their choice to reject God’s created order become heroes, while those who have taken a vow of poverty and serve the least among us are discriminated against.

With those, and many other government decisions made to marginalize righteousness and the righteous, can God’s judgment be far behind?

We can already see the signs of the lifting of God’s hand upon America through the cowardice of today’s politicians. Lying by public officials is rampant (and is even considered a virtue by many). Politicians refer to their political opponents as terrorists, while at the same time, they refuse to label the real terrorists as such. Elected government officials, out of fear of criticism, hide behind parliamentary maneuvers to avoid obeying the Constitution and allowing religious liberty. FULL REPORT

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Christians warned to pull kids from public school

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 07:01 AM PDT

Christians warned to pull kids from public schoolImagine an America in which all children are educated according to biblical, Christian principles instead of modern, secular, liberal values. Chaplain E. Ray Moore (Lt. Col. USAR Ret.), such a scenario is not just possible, but essential if Christians wish to reclaim the American culture. “We take the position at the Exodus Mandate that the Scripture and sound theology teach that the education of children belongs to the family and the church or private associations, not government,” said Moore, the founder and president of Frontline Ministries, Inc. and director of the Exodus Mandate Project. “We don’t believe that government, even at the state level, has any role in K-12 education, and the Scriptures are clear and explicit on this. There’s no wiggle room.”

In order to wake Christian parents up to the dangers of public schools, Exodus Mandate has released a new documentary called “Escaping Common Core: Setting Our Children Free.” The film is divided into two roughly 30-minute parts. The first part explores the origins of Common Core and the history of progressive education, from Horace Mann through John Dewey through the education policies of our past four U.S. presidents. The filmmakers argue Common Core is the latest manifestation of the effort to impose a socialist worldview on American children. FULL REPORT

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How I Dumped The Mega-Church Model And Found Something Bigger

Each year, the “nones” in our society (those who check “none” for religious affiliation) grow at an astounding rate. Some have used those statistics to declare the end of the American church. And while this fear of secularism is a bit overblown, the stats do raise an essential point: Churches that want to reach ‘nones’ need to retool.…… Click here for full story


Why Trump Is Triumphant With Evangelicals… For Now

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni is scratching his head over Donald Trump’s growing popularity with Evangelical Christians—and for good reason. How does one explain that a candidate like The Donald who has been married three times, runs casinos, discounts the need for asking God’s forgiveness, and has difficulty citing one verse of the Bible is trouncing card-carrying evangelical candidates like Huckabee and Cruz?……… Click here for full story


From This Point Forward, Christians Are Going To Be Banned From Holding Many Jobs In America

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 must choose to either submit to the “new morality” or potentially lose their jobs…………. Click here for full story


Is The End Really Near?

While harbingers of the apocalypse have been gathering for decades, most of the world has been largely oblivious to the gathering tempest and prophetic warnings. The signs—the last of the four blood moons, the biblical Shemitah, rise of end-time “Babylon,” the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the dangerous Iranian nuclear deal and a world drowning in debt and dangling on the edge of economic catastrophe—seem unmistakable now………… Click here for full story


The Rapture Controversy


Should You Do Your Job or Obey Your Conscience?

Should Christians ever disobey their government? Some say no. But Kim Davis sides with Martin Luther King Jr. and thinks civil disobedience is justified. Mrs. Davis is the Rowan County Kentucky clerk who spent four days in jail for refusing to put her name on same-sex marriage licenses.

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From Depression To Faith

I never thought that I would live to see the things which are happening in these days. I suspect that many readers feel the same way.

If ever there was a time that God’s people would be sad and depressed, it certainly is now. I find myself thinking about where this is going. I believe that most of us know where it’s going.

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War Room: A Review by Justin Peters

  If you do not know the Kendrick brothers by name, you almost certainly know them by their films: Flywheel (2003), Facing the Giants (2006), Fireproof (2008), and Courageous (2011).  Stephen, Alex, and Shannon Kendrick have just released their fifth faith-based film, War Room.  War Room, starring popular Bible teachers Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore, looks like it may well be the most successful of their films to date bringing in $11 million just on its opening weekend; more than triple it’s $3 million production budget.   Given the popularity of Christian themed films and the considerable…
 

Believing in God: How? Why?

Christians believe that our primary purpose in life, our main reason for existing, is that we might glorify and enjoy God. From the Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

But how can we believe that God exists? What reason do we have for believing in God in the first place? Well, the very next question in the Westminster Larger Catechism addresses that. God does not call us to believe in Him without reason, after all –

Q. 2. How does it appear that there is a God?
A. The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.

So, we have two parts to this:

1. Everyone alive has “the very light of nature” inside them, testifying to the reality of God and also lives in the midst of “the works of God,” which also declare God’s existence. Thus, everyone has an internal and external witness.

2. However, people do not come to faith in God due to these two witnesses, which everyone has. Rather, it is only the word and the Spirit which reveal God in a way that actually causes people to know Him.

Let’s look at these . . .

Universal Internal and External Witness


Brad Lomenick: 3 Leadership Trends Your Church Needs to Know About

Brad Lomenick is a leadership consultant, speaker, founder of BLINC and author of The Catalyst Leader and H3 Leadership and former president of Catalyst. He understands trends and is engaged with top level leaders.

We recently spoke with Lomenick about the major changes in leadership culture and how the church should leverage these trends for greater impact.

LISTEN NOW! Or check out the highlights below.

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3787869/height/60/width/640/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

Here are the three leadership trends your church should know about:

1. The Influence of Social Media

“We’ve seen more speeding up in the leadership landscape and systemic change. Change is happening more quickly than ever before partly because of technology. A blogger or somebody on Social Media can have equally as much, if not more, influence today than somebody who has spent 25 years building a foundation and a platform and a voice.

That 23-year-old who’s blogging or on Social Media can have just as much if not more influence as the 25 year run of the 45-year-old.

That’s a game changer

I don’t think it’s good or bad, I think it’s neutral, but it’s the new essence of leadership.

If you’re influencing people, you’re leading them. We have to realize that the game has changed in terms of the channels and the medium through which we have influence on people and culture. The Social Media technology space is obviously a huge one.”

2. Vulnerability in Leadership

“Authenticity and this idea of vulnerability and transparency is a huge part of the new reality of leadership. You know the old days of ‘never let them see you sweat’ and ‘fake it till you make it’ and ‘hide behind the façade’ are gone.

The leaders today who have the most influence are the ones who are the most authentic. The ones who are willing to show up with the real them. Leading from their true self and not afraid of that, but willing to walk in and be transparent and be honest and vulnerable and be authentic with their team and the people around them.”

3. The Rise of the Free Agents

“The stats today are pretty staggering in terms of the number of people who are basically working in a project basis for many organizations. And this is true for 20-somethings even more than it is for older leaders. The average 20-something today is going to have between 14-16 different projects or seasons of careers they walk through over the next 40 years.

Two generations ago, the average person was in one job or one company for 40 years whether they liked it or not, or whether it was the right fit for them. This is a major shift that we’re going to have to deal with as leaders. How do we motivate people who aren’t necessarily on our team? How do we deal with the realities of project mentality?”

Catch the full interview here–with show notes–here!

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The Tentacles of a Dilemma

A theory that explains everything explains nothing at all. And when it comes to Darwinism, some explanations are smelling fishier by the day. Listen Now | Download

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.

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Words of Comfort: Good without God.

“I can be a good person without God.”

Anyone of us can be good without God. All we need is a very low standard of goodness. There are 46 dictionary definitions of “good” from which to choose.  The word “good” in God’s Book, however, means moral perfection, in thought, word and in deed. That’s the high standard of goodness that we be will judged by on Judgment Day (whether you believe in God or not).


How Consciousness Points to the Existence of God (Video)

This video, excerpted from J. Warner Wallace’s presentation of the evidence for God (from his book, God’s Crime Scene), summarizes the case for Gods existence from consciousness. How does non-material consciousness emerge in a purely material universe? Is “mind” nothing more than “brain”? For a robust review of the collective case for God’s existence from eight pieces of evidence “inside the room” of the natural universe, please refer to God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Homicide Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe. (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.


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

https://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” (2 Timothy 3:5). It is gutless–literally, a hollowing out of everything essential to the faith.

Far from being Christocentric, this display is Christo-absent. Not one of these “Christians” even mentions Jesus. Their definition of the faith displays no connection even implicitly to the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Even disinterested observers can tell that this is more than a glaring oversight. It is an attempt to label love for worldliness as love for Christ. It undermines any credible claim that these testimonials can be in any sense authentically Christian.

And indeed, the substance of their testimony is this. “We are Christian, but are not like those other Christians who actually follow Christ’s teachings.” Nevermind the fact that Jesus taught that sex outside marriage is sin (Mark 7:21). Nevermind that Jesus defined marriage as fundamentally heterosexual in nature—the permanent union of one man and one woman until death parts them (Matthew 19:4-6). Nevermind that Jesus defines discipleship as being willing to follow Jesus even if it costs you your life (Matthew 16:24). These “Christians” have a version of Christianity that dispenses with all of that rubbish that Jesus taught.

The apostle John once warned against those who call themselves Christian but who don’t actually follow Jesus:

“The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” –1 John 2:4-6

In other words, the mark of authentic Christianity in a person’s life is the willingness to follow everything that Jesus calls us to. This obedience isn’t the cause of our salvation; it is the fruit of our salvation. It is the proof that our hearts truly have been renewed by the Holy Spirit when we love what Jesus loves—including his commands which are countercultural. Jesus himself said it this way:

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” –John 14:21-24

The testimonials in this video are not demonstrating this kind of love. They demonstrate a love for the world and its values not a love for Christ and his Kingdom (1 John 2:15-17). And that is the problem.

Contrary to what this video indicates, Christianity is not a choose-your-own-adventure story in which you get to define the terms of your relationship to God. God has defined the terms of our redemption, and they are irreducibly Christocentric. God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf in order that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus taught us that we receive this salvation by repenting of our sin and trusting in Christ to save us (Mark 1:15). That conversion issues forth in a life devoted to God and His purposes. To miss these truths is to miss Christianity altogether. And that omission is what is on display in this video.

I would say to every person in this video and to all who are sympathetic to what they are teaching. You really can be a Christian. You can know Christ and the power of his resurrection life. You can be saved and be made a part of his family. But you will have to come on his terms—by repentance and faith. And you will have to take up your cross and follow him. If you try to save your life—including your sexual freedom—you will lose your life for eternity. But if you are willing to lose your life—and all that entails—you will save it for eternity (Matthew 16:25-26).

That is real Christianity, and I hope you will join us.


You Can’t Tryout for God’s Team

You Can’t Tryout for God’s TeamGrowing up as a kid in rural eastern Kentucky, I dreamed of one day becoming a University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball player. Even though that dream never came true due to lack of skill, I was good enough to make my high school basketball team.

Every year students in my school would tryout for the basketball team. During the week of tryouts, players displayed their skills to the coaches. The coaches would choose players based on performance and skill. Some would make the team; others would not.

While God does choose his children, it isn’t based on our performance or skill. The children of God don’t have to attend tryouts to be adopted into his family. Paul illustrates beautifully in his letters that unconditional election is the foundation of the New Testament’s presentation of salvation.

His Choice and Our Responsibility

Unconditional election means that God chooses some people to be on his team. God graciously elected sinners in Christ before the foundation of the world to be his people. In Romans, Paul teaches us that Adam’s transgression devastated the entire world (Romans 5:12).

He laments that “there is none good, no not one” (Romans 3:10) and that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Due to mankind’s total depravity, Paul emphasizes that humans are able to respond to God’s work of salvation only because God chose some to be saved in love (Romans 8:29–30; Ephesians 1:4–5, 11).

This interpretation is often criticized. Some argue that election shuts out the need for personal responsibility. Paul anticipates these criticisms. He continues by saying that God’s choice to save some is just (Romans 9:14–15). God has the right as the Creator to choose some to receive his saving mercy and to choose others to receive his judgment (Romans 9:19–29).

Therefore, God can grant mercy to some and withhold it from others if he desires (Romans 9:6–15). God giving his saving mercy to some, and judgment to others, is solely based on his will, not human effort. Since he is God, he has the right to do whatever he pleases.

Angry About Election

Many respond with anger the first time they hear about unconditional election. They complain that this doctrine makes God unjust and unloving. What makes us respond this way?

Maybe we believe that God owes us something. If so, this response exposes a great deal of pride. Too often we want a God created into our image. The only thing God owes any human being is his unrelenting wrath due to our sin and radical rebellion against him and his Son, Jesus Christ.

Unconditional election reminds Christians that we are naturally children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1–3). But God, by his sovereign grace, freely chose to redeem some from his wrath. This divine act of grace should move Christians to worship our great God with humble and thankful postures (Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:4–5).

Critics ask, “Why evangelize if unconditional election is true?” My response would be the opposite: “Why evangelize if unconditional election is untrue?” If total depravity is correct, then no one is able to respond to the gospel and every evangelistic effort is destined to fail. Everyone is dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1–10). Unconditional election should give us confidence that God will certainly save “all” of those who believe through the foolishness of gospel proclamation (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21).

Election and Doubt

Christians often have doubts about their faith. If we’re honest, many of us have doubted whether God loves us. Unconditional election can help doubting Christians conquer their doubt. Paul states that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4). And he asserts that God predestined us in love unto adoption (Ephesians 1:5).

When Christians doubt God’s love for us, or when we doubt whether we are genuinely saved, we ought to remind ourselves of at least two things:

  • God chose us in Christ to be his people. So everyone who lives in faithful (not perfect) obedience to Jesus is elect and saved because one’s faith-filled obedience to Jesus proves that one is in Christ.
  • God’s love for us is displayed by means of his choice of us in Christ to be his people and by means of the sacrifice of his Son to redeem us as his people, so that we would be saved from his future wrath (Ephesians 1:4–7; Romans 5:6–10). Therefore, when doubt comes, Christians should fight against it with what the New Testament teaches about unconditional election.

The Goal of Unconditional Election

Unlike my high school coaches, God didn’t make this choice based on our skills or any of our foreseen works. He exclusively chose to save some sinners for his glory because he wanted to do so. Unconditional election belongs to God.

Our response to this truth should not be to produce division, to split churches, or to beat up or bully people with a big-God theology. Instead, God has given us this doctrine to move us to worship (Ephesians 1:3–14; 1 Peter 1:1–6) and to faithful Christian obedience.

May God open our eyes to see unconditional election so that we would offer to him God-centered, Christ-exalting, and Spirit-filled worship now and forever.


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Don’t Move Beyond The Expiration Date

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Program segments:

00:10:03 Ryan LeStrange – Don’t Move Beyond The Expiration Date
00:19:08 Bill Johnson – Exposed to the Anointing
00:37:29 Jim Bakker – Major Events Happen in the Month of Elul
00:51:24 Buzz Feed’s – I’m Christian, but I’m Not…
01:05:40 Sermon Review: How To Dream Big by Micah Caronna


An atheist voices support for Kim Davis

Well, not so much support for Kim Davis as disdain for the government responsible for locking her up.

Libertarian atheist Stephen Molyneux has never been shy when it comes to criticizing Christianity, but he does admire people who remain true to their convictions. His personal beliefs and anti-Christian worldview aside, I can appreciate his position on this issue, and I think some of the points he makes are more insightful than many I have heard from Christians. Take a look:


Political Prisoner Kim Davis Freed – For Now

After languishing in jail for six days for upholding the laws of Kentucky which she was elected to do, and for resisting judicial tyranny, and for standing strong for Christian conscience, Kim Davis has been freed from jail. This is wonderful news indeed.

But nothing is certain about the future. The same judge says he will jail her again if need be, while Davis is standing steadfast on defending the laws of the state of Kentucky and her God. So this story is not over by any means yet. Here is how one news report covers her release:

davis kim 6The Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples was released Tuesday after five days behind bars, emerging to a tumultuous hero’s welcome from thousands of supporters waving large white crosses.
“I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people,” Kim Davis told the crowd after stepping outside, her arms raised like a victorious boxer, to the blaring “Rocky”-sequel theme song “Eye of the Tiger.” Her lawyer refused to say whether she would defy the courts again.
“Kim cannot and will not violate her conscience,” said Mat Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, the Christian law firm representing Davis. As for whether she will issue licenses, Staver said only: “You’ll find out in the near future.”
The Rowan County clerk whose defiance has made her a hero to the religious right walked free after the federal judge who ordered her locked up lifted the contempt ruling against her, saying he was satisfied that her deputies were fulfilling their obligation to grant licenses to same-sex couples in her absence.
But U.S. District Judge David Bunning also warned Davis not to interfere again, or else she could wind up back in jail. Davis, 49, has refused to resign her $80,000-a-year job. As an elected official, she can lose her post only if she is defeated for re-election or is impeached by the state General Assembly. The latter is unlikely, given the legislature’s conservative slant.
As the surprise news of her impending release spread, a crowd of dozens of supporters who had gathered on the jailhouse lawn for a previously scheduled rally swelled to thousands. They broke into “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America” and waved signs, flags and crosses.
Cries of thanks to Jesus echoed through the crowd as Davis emerged next to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and her husband, Joe, who was in overalls and a straw hat. Huckabee and fellow GOP White House candidate Sen. Ted Cruz visited her at the jail just after the decision came down.
“If somebody has to go to jail, I’m willing to go in her place,” said Huckabee, a former Baptist minister and Arkansas governor. He added: “She has shown more courage than any politician I know.”

Mat Staver of the Liberty Council said this:

In ordering Kim’s release, the judge set conditions: “Defendant Davis shall be released from the custody of the U.S. Marshal forthwith. Defendant Davis shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples. If Defendant Davis should interfere in any way with their issuance, that will be considered a violation of this Order and appropriate sanctions will be considered.”
As I told Fox News, “Kim Davis will not change her conscience and she won’t change her mind on this issue. She thought about this for a long time and prayed about it. Unless her name and her authority is taken off the licenses, she will not allow those licenses to issue in her name or her authority that authorizes a marriage which is contrary to God’s definition of marriage.”
-The legal issues are not resolved.
The Court Order did not resolve the underlying issue. The issue is that Kim Davis has asked for a very simple accommodation. Remove her name and her authority from the marriage certificates, which is what we have asked for from the very beginning. We believe the court could act on that. We believe the governor could act on that. And we believe the Kentucky assembly could act on that request as well. We will continue to assist Kim and pursue the multiple appeals she has filed.
-Today, Kim Davis joined us in a rally on her behalf!
This afternoon, Kim joined former Arkansas Governor, presidential candidate, and Liberty Counsel’s friend Mike Huckabee and me in an “I’m with Kim” rally outside the Carter County Detention Center where Kim Davis was held. This rally coincided with Liberty Counsel’s planned prayer event.
We are pleased that Kim Davis has been released. She can never recover the past six days of her life spent in an isolated jail cell, where she was incarcerated like a common criminal because of her conscience and religious convictions. She is now free to return to her family, her coworkers, and the office where she has faithfully served for the past 27 years.

And Brian Brown of the National Organisation for Marriage made these comments:

While we are thrilled that Kim is out of jail and back home with her family, it’s too soon to know if the case is resolved because the rogue federal judge who ordered her to jail in the first instance has told her she cannot interfere with deputy clerks who are issuing same-sex ‘marriage’ licenses in her name. This is wrong! The state of Kentucky has an obligation to provide clerks like her the ability to not be personally complicit in the lie of same-sex ‘marriage’ which violates her religious beliefs.
As Kim has asked since the beginning, and we have echoed, the state should take her name and reference to her position off the marriage license forms. Gov. Steve Beshear claims he can’t do that, but the state has already changed the forms at the request of gay activists, changing the terms ”Bride” and ”Groom” to ”Party 1” and ”Party 2.” Surely, if the license forms can be changed to accommodate the wishes of gay activists, they can be changed to accommodate clerks with religious objections to being personally connected to the lie that is same-sex marriage.
We don’t know what Kim will decide to do if the license forms are not changed, but NOM will stand with her to defend her religious liberty rights, as well as those of every other American who believes in marriage.
I am writing this from the stage of a huge rally at the Carter County Detention Center where hundreds of people joined to celebrate the good news that Kim is out of jail and to demand that people of faith be protected from gay activists and the judges that seem all too willing to do their bidding.
I reminded the gathered crowd that during the American founding, it was proposed that our national motto be, “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” Throughout our history when unjust laws are promulgated by legislatures or courts, we have an obligation to resist. This was the case with slavery. It was the case with segregation. And it is the case with same-sex ‘marriage.’ My friends, same-sex ‘marriage’ is not the supreme law of the land, it is the supreme lie of the land. I urge you to stand for truth. Do not comply with unjust authority. Stand up to tyranny and don’t be shamed. We are united today in a just cause. Let us be a bold symbol and a bold light in a time of darkness.

Her case of course caused national and international outrage. Even some homosexuals thought the jailing was ridiculous. For example, Madonna’s homosexual brother Christopher Ciccone posted this message on Facebook a few days ago:

Since when are we the arbiter of other peoples faith?…..can you honestly say that you know how much a person is allowed to have??..if i’m not mistaken, it’s in the constitution…..something about religious freedom or something……selective shaming and bullying corrupts a democracy….freedom of press, speech and religion give it strength. Not to mention reason and the god given compassion we as humans have a right and responsibility to practice. Once again, the gay community feels the need to be sore winners. Is it so difficult to allow this women her religion?…or must we destroy her in order for here to betray her faith. No matter how we judge its truth. The rights we have all fought for, mean nothing, if we deny her hers.

He gets it. But many do not. As mentioned, this may well just be a temporary bit of freedom for Davis. She refuses to back down, as do the militants and their coercive statist allies. This is simply one small skirmish in a much bigger war. The homosexual assault on faith, family and freedom is one of the gravest threats we face today.

Writing just before her release, Matt Barber rightly said “Needed: A Million More Like Kim Davis”. He wrote:

Anti-Christian persecution is the civil rights cause of our time. The cultural Marxists in power have seceded from our constitutional republican form of government, with its Judeo-Christian moorings, and have supplanted, in its place, a secular-socialist oligarchy. Like Union troops hunkered at Fort Sumter, faithful Christians are now exiles in our own land. Anti-Christian “progressives” have demanded unconditional surrender, and federal Judge David Bunning has fired the first mortar.
Even as I write, a kind, soft-spoken and well respected civil servant of 27 years sits languishing, like some violent criminal, in a Kentucky prison. She is confined, indefinitely and without benefit of a trial, to a tiny cell. She is a political prisoner in a spiritual war.

It sure is a spiritual war. And heaps of prayer went into this appalling case of a travesty of justice. It is of course terrific that Kim is now free – at least for a while. But the bigger war still rages all around us, and I predict that things will get much worse before they get better.

But in the meantime, thank God for Kim Davis.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/clerk-who-fought-gay-marriage-freed-from-jail/ar-AAe4jjf?ocid=sf
http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=14100&PRID=1595
http://www.nomblog.com/40705/
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/madonnas-brother-defends-jailed-clerk-820753
http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/j-matt-barber/needed-million-more-kim-davis


Planned Parenthood: Symptomatic of a Deeper Problem

During the fiscal years of 2009-2014 alone, Planned Parenthood performed 1,650,024 abortions.1 In the same five years, Planned Parenthood provided more than twice as many breast exams (3,254,136)2 as abortions—along with a host of other services related especially to women’s health. From their website, Planned Parenthood claims to be “one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education.” The group also claims that only “Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.”3

Even if one disagrees with how some of the non-abortion services are structured (as I do), it is inarguable that there are people who are benefitting from some services Planned Parenthood provides. The recent efforts of undercover videographers raise questions regarding whether or not young human beings are being carved up—even while alive—so that their various parts can be harvested for research. That research will presumably benefit many, but at what cost? Are we willing to look past some benefits to see atrocities for what they are? Read more about Planned Parenthood: Symptomatic of a Deeper Problem


America’s Deepest Heresy

Studying heresies is a way of studying how orthodoxy came into full expression. As I said in recent post, heresy is the mother of orthodoxy. It is problems that give rise to solutions or resolutions or articulations. In that context Roger Olson, in his fine new book Counterfeit Christianity: The Persistence of Errors in the Church, [Read More…]

The State, Unjust laws, and Civil Disobedience

The perennial question of if and when a Christian should disobey an unjust law and engage in civil disobedience has certainly come to the fore in the case of American prisoner of conscience Kim Davis. She has just been released from a Kentucky jail after spending nearly a week there, because she chose to put the law of God and Christian conscience over unjust human laws.

There has been much discussion in Christian circles about this case, and I have sadly read a lot of foolishness concerning it. Some misguided believers have insisted that she was wrong to take such a stance, and that she had an obligation to do as she was told and not resist. These folks really seem to think that human law is somehow absolute and inviolate.

civil disobedience 1But Christians throughout history have almost never held to that view. Most believers have recognised that while we are to obey the state for the most part, when human law clashes with God’s law, then we must make a choice. Civil disobedience may then be required, but we must be willing to face the consequences as well. I discuss this in more detail here: billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/02/christians-and-civil-disobedience/

And as I discuss here, we have all sorts of examples in the Bible and in church history of such resistance to the state and civil disobedience: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/06/criminalising-christianity-and-resisting-unjust-laws/

As mentioned, a passage like Romans 13:1-7 tells us to submit to government authorities. But this is not an absolute, and there are times when we must refuse to submit. As R. C. Sproul says about this passage:

“We are always and everywhere to obey the authorities over us – boss, police, governor, whatever that authority may be – unless that authority commands us to do something that God forbids, or forbids us from doing something that God commands. Sometimes we are to disobey. If the civil magistrate calls us to sin, we must say no.”

He goes on to say that “the principle is easy; the application is difficult.” I deal with its application in the first article I link to above. But as hard as it may be to undertake, there are times when we must resist, and we must disobey. For those believers who insist that we must always obey human law no matter what, I must simply remind them of the rich Christian heritage of resistance to unjust laws.

Those involved in the Nuremberg Trials insisted that the Germans were not duty-bound to obey Nazi law (“just following orders”), but that there was “a law above the law” which took priority. Exactly so. Ultimately it is God we must obey when human laws come into obvious conflict with divine laws.

This has always been the position of almost all Christians for the past 2000 years, as the following quotes clearly demonstrate. I include a few non-Christians in the mix, but most of these come from Christians. They make it pretty clear that some laws are unjust, and some laws must be disobeyed:

“An unjust law is no law at all.” -Augustine

Unjust laws “are acts of violence rather than laws” and “such laws do not bind in conscience, except perhaps in order to avoid scandal or disturbance, for which a man should even yield his right.” -Thomas Aquinas

“We are subject to the men who rule over us, but subject only in the Lord. If they command anything against Him let us not pay the least regard to it.” -John Calvin

“For earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy to be reckoned among the number of mankind. We ought, rather, to spit upon their heads than to obey them.” -John Calvin

“True it is, God has commanded kings to be obeyed; but likewise true it is, that in things which they commit against His glory, He has commanded no obedience, but rather, He has approved, yea, and greatly rewarded, such as have opposed themselves to their ungodly commandments and blind rage.” -John Knox

“… whenever the Legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” -John Locke

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

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

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

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

“I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave’s government also.… The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right. … Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” -Henry David Thoreau

“Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt. And a citizen who barters with such a state shares in its corruption and lawlessness.” -Mahatma Gandhi

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

“For to safeguard the inviolable rights of the human person and to facilitate the fulfillment of his duties, should be the essential office of every public authority. This means that, if any government does not acknowledge the rights of man or violates them, it not only fails in its duty, but its orders completely lack juridical force” -Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terries (Peace on Earth)

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” -Rosa Parks

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

“God has ordained the state as a delegated authority; it is not autonomous. The state is to be an agent of justice, to restrain evil by punishing the wrongdoer, and to protect the good in society. When it does the reverse, it has no proper authority. It is then a usurped authority and as such it becomes lawless and is tyranny.” -Francis Schaeffer

The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty, to disobey the state.” -Francis Schaeffer

“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” -Francis Schaeffer

As these and other quotes which could have been provided here make clear, most Christians have never held to the view that human laws are always absolute and inviolate. They have rightly recognised that sometimes certain laws are unjust and conflict with divine law. Then they must be disobeyed.

As stated, generally speaking the believer is commanded to obey the state. But the state is meant to be doing its biblical, delegated duty in upholding true justice and righteousness. The “one in authority is God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13:4). When it refuses to do its divinely appointed duty, then believers may be forced to resist government authorities.


Ten More Ways Churches Drive Away First-time Guests

On November 1, 2014, I wrote a blog post about ten ways churches drive away first-time guests. You can read the article here. Those top ten ways came from an informal Twitter poll. I was surprised by the number of responses we received for both the poll and the blog post.

Of course, there were many more responses than the original ten. I have saved the other responses for nearly a year. The ten items I list below actually represent the second ten most frequent responses. From my perspective, these second-tier responses are somewhat of a surprise. They might be, nevertheless, helpful to you and your church. Each of the ten items has a representative comment.

  1. The congregation was old. “When I looked at the age of those attending, I knew there wouldn’t be anything there for my children.”
  2. There was clutter everywhere. “The church building looked like a Goodwill store for Bibles, books, umbrellas, and clothes. I did not want to return.”
  3. People were gathered in cliques talking to each other. “I could tell before the service that I didn’t belong to their club.”
  4. People got the aisle seats first. “I had to climb over eight people to get a seat. They seemed disgusted I was there.”
  5. There was inadequate signage for people with small children. “From the parking lot to the front door to the preschool area, I had no idea where to go. It was frustrating.”
  6. There was no worship guide or bulletin. “I saved the bulletins from the churches I visited. If a church did not have one, I forgot all about it.”
  7. The check in process for children was slow and disorganized. “My kids were screaming the whole time; I’m not going back.”
  8. There were memorial plaques everywhere. “They were on the pews, the tables, the organ, the piano, and the windows. It was creepy. I felt like I was in a funeral home.”
  9. The service did not start on time. “My family rushed to get there on time, but the service started over ten minutes late. No one seemed to know what they were doing.”
  10. People were saving seats. “They might as well had a sign that said, ‘You are not welcome near me.’”

Keep in mind, these comments are second-tier responses. But they represent many people. They just might represent guests who won’t return to your church.

Let me hear from you.

The post Ten More Ways Churches Drive Away First-time Guests appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


How to Fight Addiction in a Pornographic Culture

How to Fight Addiction in a Pornographic CultureIn five minutes, Voddie Baucham exposes the pornographic nature of our culture and provides men and women with a key tool necessary to fight addiction.


Related Articles


A La Carte (September 9)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Shape of Preaching by Dennis Cahill ($2.99); Real: Owning Your Christian Faith by Dan Darling ($2.99); Jesus, Continued by J.D. Greear ($1.99); The Doctrines that Divide by Erwin Lutzer ($1.99); Contending with Christianity’s Critics by William Lane Craig ($2.99); The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy ($2.99).

“You’ve Ruined My Life, Professor Craig!!”

What a great email exchange this is between William Lane Craig and one of his former students. Here’s my favorite line: “Jesus is a tremendously attractive person in the wisdom of his teaching, in his character, and in the authenticity of his life.” Indeed, he is!

Conservative Dissent Is Brewing Inside the Vatican

I found this an illuminating look at the conflict between the liberal and conservative wings within the Roman Catholic Church. It tells of 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.”

The First Cut Is The Deepest

Sharon Dickens offers a helpful look at self-harm, what drives people to it, and how you may be able to help them overcome it.

Outdo One Another in Showing Honor

Like Ray Ortlund, “I am grateful for so many who are located elsewhere within the Body of Christ. … Many disparate believers, in many ways, have helped me toward the Lord. How could I be ungrateful?”

Today in History. Queen Elizabeth passes Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Great Britian, marking 63 years and 218 days on the throne. God save the queen! *

Metamorphosis

I think you’ll enjoy this short time-lapse showing the incredible transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Book Reviews

I have been a bit lax in book reviewing lately. Here, from two trusted reviewers, are reviews of a couple of new books: God Made All of Me by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb (reviewed by Aaron Armstrong) and A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John Frame (reviewed by David Steele).

How Making Time for Books Made Me Feel Less Busy

Speaking of being lax with book reviews, you may appreciate learning how this writer discovered that making time for books made a big difference in his life. “Reading books again has given me more time to reflect, to think, and has increased both my focus and the creative mental space to solve work problems. My stress levels are much lower, and energy levels up.”


The Daily Discovery (September 9, 2015)

headerImage-dailyDiscovery

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

7 Truths to Puncture a Man-Centered Church – “God hates man-centered churches. When preachers’ names are on Christians’ minds and mouths more than God’s, it contradicts everything that He’s about.”

Known by God Before You Were Born – “When 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.”

Gideon: From Coward to Conqueror – “We generally associate Gideon’s name with his military victories. But when we first meet the Old Testament hero in the book of Judges, he’s hiding out in the wilderness, attempting to eek out a life while avoiding the notice of Israel’s enemies. Even after the Angel of the Lord told him that he would deliver Israel from the Midianites, he was filled with cowardly doubts.”

For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God – “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 and, ‘How can these things be?’ in v9. In between those two perplexed questions, our Lord, the Λόγος or logos or Word, the living Christian proclamation as a whole of the New Testament proclaimed τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ Θεοῦ or “the words of God” to Nicodemus in a way that he had never heard before.

Recruiting Violation – “Current American culture is saturated with reports of significant recruiting violations occurring across the collegiate sports world. A new scandal appears to break as soon as the litany of investigations into another scandal comes to an end. Throughout such an investigative process, institutions are monitored extensively in order to discover if any illegal or inconsistent activity occurred. Virtually every time such an investigation is conducted, the program in question is found to have violated protocol. From time to time, however, investigations prove that slander and false accusations are all that truly exists.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Ken Fryer – The Duties of an Elder Part 3 “Living in Humility and Submission to Authority” (Titus 3:1-15)


VIDEOS:

The Dangers, Results, and History of Decisional Regeneration

Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive


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

The post The Daily Discovery (September 9, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, September 9, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Violence in Nigeria Prevents Children from Returning to School

Iraqi Prime Minister Appoints Committee Addressing Christian Persecution

Faster, Cheaper, Easier: Pope Changes Policies for Marriage Annulment

Disney Star Dean Jones Remembered for Faith, Films

China Locks Away Christian Lawyer in ‘Secretive Detention’

TV Adventure Star Talks About Importance of His Faith

Kim Davis Remains Firm in Convictions, Receives Outpouring of Support

Germany: Hundreds of Muslim Refugees Converting to Christianity

Pro-Lifers Reflect on Influence of Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos

Missouri Students Protest over Boy Allowed in Girls Locker Room

Opinion

Darwinism Versus the Octopus: An Evolutionary Dilemma

Sacred Versus Secular: A False Distinction

Margaret Sanger: Busted

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

Comic Rebukes Comedian for Bashing Bible


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.

A Christian Response to Atheism: Doug Wilson at TMC Chapel

The Domain for Truth

Over the last ten years Doug Wilson has helped popularized Presuppositional apologetics with books, debates and a documentary of his discussions with Christoper Hitchens.

Here’s a video of Doug Wilson speaking on “A Christian Response to Atheism.”  This talk was at The Master’s College sometime in 2013.

View original post

Cults, Language, Terms, Definitions

The Reformed Reader

If you’ve ever talked to a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness, you probably noticed they used Christian terms quite openly.   For example, Mormons will generally say that Jesus is their savior.  They’ll say you have to have faith in Jesus to be saved and they’ll speak very highly of the Bible.  Jehovah’s Witnesses will also mention faith in Jesus and talk about how the Bible is God’s inspired Scripture where we  learn his will.  And the list goes on.  Not only do these groups use Christian terms, they also call themselves Christians.

However, if you dig a little bit it becomes clear that though the words and terms are the same, the meanings and definitions are not.  Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the historic Christian teaching that Jesus is the eternal Son of God.  Mormons say that Jesus was Lucifer’s older spirit-brother before the world was created; they also deny that Jesus was…

View original post 370 more words

Catholicism and the Worship of Mary

Thy Word Alone is Truth: Examining All Things in the Refining Furnace of Scripture

CATHOLICISM AND THE WORSHIP OF MARY

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”1 Timothy 2:5

And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God….”2 Corinthians 10:5

It is interesting to see that many of the idolatrous doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church, including Mary worship, treating Mary as our co-redeemer, extra-biblical mysticism, and veneration for the Pope, are leaching into the hearts of Protestants, especially those in charismatic and non-denominational congregations. I am surprised to see that these teachings, doctrines and practices are taking root with little to no scrutiny. Few seem to have even a minimal level of discernment regarding Satan’s brilliant plan to deceive the church by, among…

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Self-righteousness leads to spiritual barrenness

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, 2 and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” 3 Jesus answered and said to them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell Me:4 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” 5 They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him? ’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said…

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Only 7% of Americans say Congress should approve deal allowing Iran to inspect own nuclear sites, finds new Secure America Now poll. Even 79% of Democrats think that’s ridiculous. Here’s the latest.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

iran-nuclear-graphicA fascinating new poll commissioned by “Secure America Now” (different from the Pew poll) shows the American people dead-set against the President’s dangerous Iran treaty and ready to retaliate against Members of Congress who support it.

Key Findings:

  • 69% of all voters believe that Congress should be required to vote on the Iran deal. 
  • Only 34% of Americans would support a presidential veto if Congress votes against the deal.
  • 56% support a Congressional override if the president does veto the deal, including 25% of Democrats.
  • 78% say their Congressman and Senators should oppose the Iran deal because it lifts sanctions and gives Iran $100 billion to finance terror.”
  • 88% say Congress should not approve a deal that let’s Iran inspect its own nuclear sites — this includes 79% of Democrats. Only 7% support allowing Iran to inspect their own sites without international inspectors being involved.
  • 65% say that it’s so…

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American support for Iran nuclear deal drops to only 21%, according to new poll. Here’s the latest.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(source: Pew Research) (source: Pew Research)

“As Congress prepares to vote on the nuclear agreement with Iran, public support for President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement has plummeted, with just 21 percent of Americans polled by the Pew Research Center now saying they back the deal,” reports an article by the Washington Examiner.

Excerpts from the article:

  • “On a day when the 42nd Senate Democrat came out in favor of the deal, raising the possibility that a resolution to disapprove the deal may never make it to Obama’s desk to veto, the new poll suggests that he is losing the public relations battle.
  • “Back in July, shortly after the deal was reached, Pew found 33 percent supported it, compared with 45 percent who opposed it.
  • “But after a summer of ads and speeches by supporters and opponents and an aggressive PR push from the White House, the same poll now finds…

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