Daily Archives: September 10, 2015

“The King’s Daughters”

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

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The term, “The King’s Daughters” is a phrase that has connotations of delight…

Who would not want to be the king’s daughter? Think about what it would be like to have a father who was the most powerful person in the land. Think of the perks and the privileges that would come along with being the daughter of the king. Think of all the people who would speak highly of you, and show you respect for no other reason than the fact that you are a princess, that you are, the king’s daughter…

But that was not always the case.

In the late 1660’s France was vying with England for the “New World.” The English had taken a significant share of the Eastern shores of what would become the United Sates. But France was intent on trying to make Canada (then called New France) to prosper. Now there was a lot…

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“Believing is not Doing”or “Sins Countless as the Stars”

The Reformed Reader

 Octavious Winslow to the those struggling with sin, guilt, imperfection, and doubt about the gospel:

“It is not for your worth that you are saved, but for Christ’s worth.  It is not on the ground of your personal merits that you are justified, but on the ground of Christ’s merits alone.  It is not upon the plea of your fitness, your tears, your confessions, your prayers, your duties, that God forgives and accepts you, but simply and exclusively upon the one plea of the Savior’s sacrifice.  The blood of Christ pardons, the righteousness of Christ justifies you, and this is all that you require, or that God demands.  The great work is all done – it is not to BE done.  It is complete, finished, accepted, sealed.  And you, as a lost sinner, without holiness, without strength, without one plea that springs from what you are, have nothing to…

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September 10, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 10, 2015

BLOOMBERG

California Governor Jerry Brown abandoned a plan to cut gasoline use in half as part of an ambitious bill to combat climate change after oil companies and business groups waged a multi-million dollar campaign against the effort.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to propose a $15-per-hour statewide minimum wage Thursday in a joint appearance with Vice President Joe Biden, according to a person familiar with the plan.

Fewer Americans lined up last week to file for jobless benefits, highlighting the persistent strength of the labor market. Claims for unemployment insurance fell by 6,000 to 275,000 in the week ended Sept. 5.

Bank of England policy makers said the U.K. economic outlook remains healthy and market turmoil related to China’s slowdown hasn’t shaken their view that the time for a rate increase is approaching.

Puerto Rico says it has $13 billion less than it needs to cover debt payments over the next five years, even after taking into account proposed spending cuts and measures to raise revenue.

As the U.S. presidential campaign exposes contempt for elites and angst over the future, Pope Francis arrives for his first visit with plans to denounce gross inequality and planetary neglect.

An international team of scientists announced the discovery of fossils from a previously unknown human relative species in a cave northwest of Johannesburg that sheds new light on the origins of humankind. Known as Homo naledi, the new species measured about five feet tall on average, weighed about 99 pounds, and had hands that suggested it had tool-using and climbing capabilities, according to the scientists. While its skull and teeth were similar to the earliest-known members of the Homo genus, its shoulders were more similar to those of apes.

Brazil’s currency led global declines, stocks tumbled and bonds yields surged after Standard & Poor’s cut the nation’s credit rating to junk with a negative outlook, deepening the selloff for this year’s worst-performing major emerging market.

AP Top Stories

Unprecedented rain in Japan unleashed heavy floods that tore houses from their foundations, uprooted trees and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes.

The lawyer for a Pakistani doctor who was jailed after helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden accused the government Thursday of deliberately delaying his appeal after the case was adjourned for the sixteenth time.

Record numbers of migrants streamed through the Balkans into Hungary on Thursday, forcing Austria to suspend cross-border train services as Europe remained bitterly divided over how to cope with the refugee crisis.

Australian scientists have discovered what could be a new species of the deadly funnel-web spider, after finding a large specimen living in a national park.

The jihadist Islamic State group has used the shocking image of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi to warn refugees against trying to flee to the West, calling it a “major sin”.

Dozens of Syrian government troops and Islamic State fighters have been killed in fighting around a government-held air base in eastern Syria in a region that is a stronghold for the jihadists, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

The international coalition against the Islamic State jihadist group bombed a key jihadist command and supply hub in the area of Ramadi, capital of Iraq’s Anbar province.

Mounting evidence suggests Russia is significantly increasing military assistance to the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in what is seen as a bid to solidify Moscow’s position in one of few Middle Eastern countries where it still has influence. The move, analysts say, capitalizes on a low-risk opportunity created by the United States’ reticence to get more closely involved in the Syrian conflict, which has lasted for more than four years and claimed the lives of nearly a quarter million people.

Danish police ordered the suspension of all rail services to and from Germany as hundreds of migrants refused to disembark from trains arriving from Denmark’s southern neighbor, demanding to continue on to Sweden instead.

BBC

Sharply rising food prices in China pushed up inflation to a one-year high in the world’s second largest economy.

California lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a doctor’s supervision. The California Assembly narrowly passed the bill on Wednesday, and the state senate is expected to follow suit.

EU plans for member states to accept 160,000 new asylum seekers represent a “drop in the ocean” in the scale of the crisis, Germany’s vice-chancellor said.

The US and NATO have expressed concern over reports that Russia is increasing its military presence in Syria. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said if confirmed, Russia’s involvement would not help to solve the conflict.

WND

Three-quarters of all immigrant households using welfare are headed by legal immigrants.

The Justice Department issued new policies that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees – not just their companies – and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives.

A new terror threat from al-Qaida is urging lone wolf attacks on notable U.S. business leaders, including Internet guru Larry Ellison, casino bigwig Sheldon Adelson, computer programmer and inventor Bill Gates, industrialists Charles and David Koch, businessman and former mayor Michael Bloomberg, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke also graced the list, as well as Jim Walton, Walmart heir.


‘Mega’ Agenda 21 resurrected with pope’s help
Francis is expected to enthusiastically endorse a new U.N. document that promises to wipe out poverty by 2030 by reordering the world economy along the lines of socialist principles. The document, titled “Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” also seeks to “strengthen universal peace” and usher in a new era of shared prosperity. The pope’s visit marks just one in a series of historic and potentially prophetic events during the month of September.

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.

Trump Calls Obama an ‘Amateur’ and Vows to Re-Negotiate Deal
Donald Trump said Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran was his “amateur hour” and that the deal will be re-negotiated if the real-estate mogul is elected to the White House.

US Raises Protection for Its Sinai Multinational Peacekeeper Forces
The U.S. is beefing up its force in the Sinai Peninsula after four American soldiers were wounded in the line of duty last week.

From This Point Forward, Christians Are Going To Be Banned From Holding Many Jobs In America
Christians all over this country are being put into positions where they must choose to either submit to the “new morality” or potentially lose their jobs. For Kim Davis, deciding to take a stand meant that she was thrown into prison.

California lawmakers approve right-to-die bill
A bill allowing terminally ill people to legally end their lives has been passed by the California State Assembly. The measure now goes to the State Senate, which is expected to give the act its endorsement. However, California Governor Jerry Brown, a lifelong Catholic, has not said whether he will sign it into law.

Assange on ‘US Empire,’ Assad govt overthrow plans & new book ‘The WikiLeaks Files
Julian Assange has opened up about his new book, ‘The WikiLeaks Files,’ speaking about the ‘US empire’ and telling RT’s ‘Going Underground’ program that Washington had plans to overthrow Syria’s government long before the 2011 uprising began.

Netanyahu Ready to Enter Negotiations with PA ‘Immediately’
In London, Netanyahu warns Mideast ‘disintegrating under the twin forces of militant Islam’ – Iran and ISIS. “I look forward to discussing with you everything you mentioned – three specific areas,” Netanyahu told Cameron at the start of the meeting. “First security,” the Israeli Prime Minister noted.

Wilders tells Dutch parliament refugee crisis is ‘Islamic invasion’
“Masses of young men in their twenties with beards singing Allahu Akbar across Europe. It’s an invasion that threatens our prosperity, our security, our culture and identity,”

ISIS blasts Muslims fleeing to Europe as ‘sinners’
Islamic State’s magazine says going to Europe is a “gate towards one’s children and grandchildren abandoning Islam for Christianity, atheism, or liberalism.”

Moderate earthquake, 5.1 mag has occurred near Gueiria in Venezuela
A moderate earthquake with magnitude 5.1 (ml/mb) was reported 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Gueiria in Venezuela on Thursday. Exact location of event, depth 112.1 km, -62.4256° West, 11.1526° North. A tsunami warning has not been issued.

Moderate earthquake, 5.9 mag strikes near Yunaska Island in Alaska
A moderate earthquake magnitude 5.9 (ml/mb) has struck on Wednesday, 92 km SE of Yunaska Island, Alaska (57 miles). The temblor was detected at 23:26:47 / 11:26 pm (local time epicenter). A tsunami warning has been issued near Yunaska Island in Alaska.

The Christian and Civil Disobedience
In the 13th chapter of Romans, Paul says that God has given us the government as a minister of righteousness. It is our duty to obey it. But we also see in Scripture that on occasion, when the government calls for one to disobey God, then civil disobedience is in order.

Magnitude 4.0 earthquake hits northeastern Taiwan
A magnitude 4.0 earthquake hit the northeastern county of Yilan at 2:46 p.m. Thursday, the Central Weather Bureau reported later that day.

Growth jitters send stocks, commodities into reverse
World stocks and commodities moved back into reverse on Thursday after four straight days of gains following a heavy overnight tumble by oil and more uncertain news from China and Japan but also from Brazil and New Zealand. European stocks snapped a three-day run of gains with falls of more than 1 percent, after most of Asia’s major bourses had drooped and a lack of excitement at Apple’s new gadgets had hit Wall Street.

Scientists waking up 30,000-year-old ‘giant’ virus
Bringing a 30,000-year-old virus back to life sounds like the plot of a real-life horror movie… Scientists who discovered a prehistoric virus called Mollivirus sibericum in the Siberian permafrost plan to give the virus its first wakeup call since the last Ice Age (after first verifying that it can’t harm humans and animals, thankfully).

GM embryos ‘essential’, says report
It is “essential” that the genetic modification of human embryos is allowed, says a group of scientists, ethicists and policy experts. A Hinxton Group report says editing the genetic code of early stage embryos is of “tremendous value” to research. It adds although GM babies should not be allowed to be born at the moment, it may be “morally acceptable” under some circumstances in the future.

Japan floods: City of Joso hit by ‘unprecedented’ rain
Widespread flooding and landslides in north-east Japan have forced more than 90,000 people to abandon their homes. The city of Joso, north of the capital, Tokyo, was hit by a wall of water after the Kinugawa River burst its banks. Helicopter rescue teams have been plucking people from rooftops.

New human-like species discovered in S Africa
Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa. The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa. The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.

Netanyahu in Britain: Mideast crumbling in face of radical Islam
The Middle East is disintegrating in the face of extreme Shi’a radicalism embodied by Iran, and extreme Sunni extremism incarnated by Islamic State, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at…a meeting…with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Netanyahu said that this – and how to “roll back the tide of militant Islam both in the Middle East and North Africa” – was one of three main issues he wanted to discuss with Cameron.

Report: Intelligence analysts allege that command is changing ISIS reports to show US is winning
Trouble is brewing at US Central Command (CENTCOM), the Pentagon’s agency covering security interests in nations throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. According to a report from The Daily Beast, more than 50 intelligence analysts at CENTCOM have formally complained that reports on ISIS and al-Nusra Front — al-Qaeda’s Syria branch — have been repeatedly altered by senior intelligence officials to correlate to the Obama Administration’s insistence that the US is winning the war against the two militant groups.

Germany warns Russia against military engagement in Syria
Germany’s foreign minister warned Russia on Wednesday against increased military intervention in Syria, saying the Iran nuclear deal and new U.N. initiatives offered a starting point for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

Jail Time for Christians: No Longer a Hypothesis
So this is how the game is played. Leftist operatives in the courts (supreme and state) create unconstitutional laws to further their anti-God agenda. Then, Leftists say those who disobey their lawless laws are not behaving like Christians and good Americans. Many on our side fall for it.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis is Not Our Problem
The Syrian refugee crisis that the media bleats about is not a crisis. And the Syrian refugees it champions are often neither Syrians nor refugees. Fake Syrian passports are cheaper than an EU politician’s virtue and easier to come by. Just about anyone who speaks enough Arabic to pass the scrutiny of a European bureaucrat can come with his two wives in tow and take a turn on the carousel of their welfare state.

Ferguson Bombers Sentenced
A foiled plot to use bombs to assassinate the police chief, county prosecutor, and other officials in troubled Ferguson, Mo., and also blow up the iconic Gateway Arch in nearby St. Louis, has ended in federal prison terms for two New Black Panther Party members.

175 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000
The portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed Friday, Sept. 4, at $18,112,975,000,000, according to the latest Daily Treasury Statement, which was published at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. That, according to the Treasury’s statements, makes 175 straight days the debt subject to the limit has been frozen at $18,112,975,000,000.

Obama Mulls Resettling Thousands of Syrian ‘Refugees’
The Obama Administration is reportedly considering exacerbating a crisis largely of its own making. Following the immigration onslaught in Europe that has generated graphic images, including a 3-year-old Syrian boy washing up dead on a Turkish beach, thousands of migrants trapped in a Budapest train station, and 71 dead discovered in a truck abandoned on an Austrian roadway, Obama administration officials are considering the possibility of allowing more Syrian immigrants into the United States.

Shepard Smith Calls Christians “Haters”
“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.

US-led airstrikes blew up a stadium filled with ISIS’ explosives, weapons, and ammunition
US-led coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) on Tuesday destroyed a key supply hub near the Iraqi city of Ramadi — a stadium stocked with “homemade explosives, weapons and ammunition as well as VBIED [Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device] components.”


Headlines – 9/10/2015

Khamenei Calls U.S. the ‘Great Satan,’ Says Israel Won’t Exist in 25 Years Just Hours Before Congress Debates the Iran Deal

Netanyahu: ‘Tyrant’ Khamenei is wrong, Israel is here to stay

Netanyahu: Khamenei’s anti-Israel, anti-US tirade should burst any illusions about nuclear deal

Rally against Iran deal on Capitol Hill draws hundreds of rabbis, Jewish leaders

19 of 28 US Jewish lawmakers back the Iran nuclear deal

Republican dispute delays US Congress vote on Iran nuclear accord

Dispute among House GOP jeopardizes vote on Iran nuclear deal

US House mulls canceling vote on Iran disapproval bill-aide

White House: Iran deal will proceed despite House action

Mark Levin: Democrats ‘Will Have Blood On Their Hands’ For Supporting Iran Deal

Sen. Ted Cruz calls Iran nuclear deal ‘catastrophic’

Trump: ‘Israel Will NOT Survive’ With Iran Nuclear Deal In Place

Oil reservoir found in Golan Heights, says company

Heaviest sandstorm in 75 years chokes Israel

Dutch textbook: Britain endorsed Zionism to gain favor with Jewish bankers

Israel Bans Two Muslim Activist Groups From Temple Mount

Netanyahu in Britain: Mideast crumbling in face of radical Islam

UN likely to back raising Palestinian flag

Pope Francis to address refugee crisis in UN speech

Denmark blocks motorway, rail links with Germany to stop refugee flow

Amid ‘disaster of Biblical proportions,’ administration reportedly to accept 5,000 more refugees

Report: Intelligence analysts allege that command is changing ISIS reports to show US is winning

Moscow admits Russian military experts on the ground in Syria

Russian military build-up in Syria ‘unprecedented,’ officials say

White House: ‘Deep concerns’ about Russian military aircraft in Syria

UK tells Russia, Iran: ‘Call Damascus’ to end Syria conflict

Exclusive photos appear to show grisly effect of ISIS’ mustard gas attacks on Kurds

ISIS says Norwegian and Chinese hostages are ‘for sale’

Turkish air strikes against PKK in northern Iraq ‘very effective’

Al Qaeda Mag Urges Attack on Koch Brothers, Buffett, Bloomberg

Military Technology Exporter Admits to Spying for Moscow

40 percent of U.S.-Mexico border under control – 20 percent of illegals caught at border have criminal records

Baltimore approves $6.4 million settlement for Freddie Gray’s family

Freddie Gray settlement ‘obscene,’ police union chief says

China’s Response to Stock Plunge Rattles Traders

Dow Jones Industrial Average Plunges 239 Points on Falling Crude Oil Prices

World Bank Economist: Rate Hike Will Spark ‘Panic and Turmoil’ in Emerging Markets

175 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000

NASA refutes Christian claims that the blood moon on September 28 will cause end of world

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Yunaska Island, Alaska

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Alaqahdari-ye Kiran wa Munjan, Afghanistan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Gueiria, Venezuela

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sinabang, Indonesia

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 25,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Karymsky volcanon on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Karangetang volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Typhoon Etau causes severe flooding and evacuations in Japan

More than 100,000 flee floods in Japan after ‘once-in-50-years’ rain

Emergency Flood and Landslide Warnings in Japan; Levee Breach Destroys Homes, Forces Dramatic Rescues

Heavy rain causes floods in Japan; sends tainted water from Fukushima plant into sea

Tropical Storm Henri Forms in Atlantic Southeast of Bermuda

Rare Mediterranean Storm to Bring Flooding to Italy and Balkans

Intense Heat to Scorch Drought-Stricken West

New York City hits 97, smashing temperature record set in 1919

Deadly strain of West Nile virus hits Israel

It’s alive…again! Scientists waking up 30,000-year-old ‘giant’ virus

This tiny implant mops up wandering cancer cells in the body

Study finds seeds of Alzheimer’s may have spread in medical procedure

California Assembly approves right-to-die legislation

Expert group says embryo genetic modification should be allowed

San Francisco elementary school adopts gender-neutral bathrooms

Chrissie Hynde: Today’s ‘Feminist’ Pop Stars Act More Like Prostitutes

Israeli man files lawsuit against infidelity website Ashley Madison

Caitlyn Jenner talks fears of going to men’s jail over fatal car crash: ‘That is the worst case scenario’

Fox News’ Shepard Smith goes on anti-Christian rant during Kim Davis rally

Just what gay activists hoped to avoid: Clerk Kim Davis, the new face of Christian persecution


The Briefing

1) Provision for ‘autonomous birth control rights’ of 11-year-olds exposes loss of morality

Schools, Birth Control, and Parental Consent, The Atlantic (Jacoba Urist)

2) Discrimination against Christians lauded as sound business practice clear double standard

Being Picky About Customers Early On Can Bolster Long-Term Success, New York Times (Caitlin Kelly)

3) Vatican streamlining of annulment raises question of whether Rome will join sexual revolution

U.S. Catholics Open to Non-Traditional Families, Pew Research Center

Poll Finds U.S. Catholics Tolerant of Same-Sex Families, Wall Street Journal (Tamara Audi)

Pope Francis Announces Changes for Easier Marriage Annulments, New York Times (Jim Yardley and Elisabetta Povoledo)

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican, Washington Post (Anthony Faiola)

In other news…


Frontrunning: September 10

  • Compare: S&P 500 Futures Advance After U.S. Stocks Ignored Global Rally (Read More)
  • And contrast: Global Stock Rally Grinds to a Halt (Read More)
  • And before very confused: Global Stocks Lower on U.S. Interest Rate Uncertainty (Read More)
  • Hilsenrath: Fed Wavers on September Rate Rise (Read More)
  • Time for more QE: Abe Adviser Says Next Month Good Opportunity for BOJ Easing (Read More)
  • Brazil downgraded to junk rating by S&P, deepening woes (Read More)
  • Kiwi dollar tumbles after New Zealand cuts interest rates (Read More)
  • Russian troops join combat in Syria – sources (Read More)
  • BOE Says Global Turmoil Hasn’t Shaken Its Economic Outlook (Read More)
  • Sue Your Bank, Keep Your Home, Repeat (Read More)
  • China says Apple unit underpaid $71 million in tax in 2013 (Read More)
  • Trump slights rival Fiorina’s looks: ‘Look at that face’ (Read More)
  • Apple Takes Aim at Wireless Phone Companies (Read More)
  • In test for Biden, frustrated cops line up against prison reform (Read More)
  • Remains of Humanlike Ancestors Found in South Africa (Read More)
  • Energy Pipeline Boom Ebbs (Read More)

Daily Digest

September 10, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[I]t may be laid down as a general rule that [the People’s] confidence in and obedience to a government will commonly be proportioned to the goodness or badness of its administration.” —Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 27, 1787

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Can the GOP at Least Slow Iran Deal?

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Republicans are considering their options to thwart the Iran deal and preserve at least some of the sanctions against Iran for as long as possible. They’ll do this by rebuking Barack Obama for failing even to abide by the terms of Sen. Bob Corker’s ill-advised review deal. Under that law, which Obama signed, he was required to submit all relevant information to the deal, including unbelievably foolish secret side deals, by July 19, after which Congress would have 60 days for review. Obama did not do so, which Republicans argue means the congressional review period never actually began. They have forced a delay in the debate over the deal until Obama hands over the information. In the meantime, the House will vote on two measures laying groundwork for possible legal action: One condemning Obama for violating the law, and another meant-to-fail measure to approve the deal. “The administration has not submitted the deal,” Sen. Ted Cruz said, adding, “Republicans in this body should not be facilitating this president yet again disregarding the law and doing so in contravention of the national security interests of this country.”

On the other side of the aisle, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer perhaps the worst endorsement ever: “I have concluded that this is not the best deal the P5+1 could have achieved.” Not even close, as detailed by the rest of his statement. “However,” he continued, “it is the agreement that the United States agreed to and that is now before the Congress. Although it was a difficult choice, I have decided to oppose a resolution of disapproval, albeit with serious concerns.” Try to contain your enthusiasm, there, Steny.

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Khamenei: Israel Will Be Gone in 25 Years

Now that Barack Obama has the necessary congressional minorities to block opposition to his Iran deal, Iran’s supreme leader decided to rub some salt in the wound. This time, he’s back to threatening Israel. “After nuclear negotiations, the Zionist regime said that they will not be worried about Iran in the next 25 years,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote. “I am telling you, first, you will not be around in 25 years’ time, and God willing, there will be no Zionist regime in 25 years. Second, during this period, the spirit of fighting, heroism and jihad will keep you worried every moment.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in his March speech to a joint session of Congress that negotiating with the Iranian regime was a fool’s errand, and that Obama’s “deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; it would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons — lots of them.” Best-case scenario under Obama’s deal, Iran is prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons for 15 years. That leaves 10 years in Khamenei’s 25-year window to annihilate Israel. In the meantime, Obama will give Iran more than $100 billion in sanctions relief with which to keep the jihad going, just as Khamenei promised. Republicans ought to be doing whatever they can to stop this deal.

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Carson Nails Favorite Bible Verses Question

It wasn’t long ago that Donald Trump refused to name any favorite Bible verses (likely because he couldn’t). Ben Carson didn’t have any trouble with the same question. Carson offered Proverbs 3:5-6 and Proverbs 22:4, both of which he quoted — the latter says, “With humility and the fear of the Lord, that’s where life and wealth come from.” To be fair, he had time to prepare, but we also don’t doubt his sincerity as we do Trump’s.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Obama’s Middle East Legacy: A Catastrophic Humanitarian Crisis, on how Obama and those who voted for him bear the burden of babies washing up on beaches.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Another September, Another Shutdown Threat

By Allyne Caan

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It’s that time of year again — summer’s end, the hint of falling leaves and the annual talk of a government shutdown. With Congress back in session this week and fewer than 10 working days before the Sept. 30 spending bill deadline, political consultants are once again prepping the spin-fest to ensure that, should a shutdown occur, the other side gets the blame.

This time, the sticking point isn’t ObamaCare as in 2013, or Barack Obama’s immigration overreach as in 2014, but rather continued government funding for Planned Parenthood. The nation’s largest abortion mill (327,653 babies killed in 2013) rakes in more than $500 million per year in taxpayer dollars while dismembering babies and selling their body parts to the highest bidder.

“[T]his arrangement is not new,” notes Terence Jeffrey. “In fiscal 2012, Planned Parenthood says in its immediate past report, it did 327,166 abortions. In the year that ended on June 30, 2013, it got $540.6 million in government money. In fiscal 2011, it did 333,964 abortions, and in the year that ended on June 30, 2012, it got $542.4 million in government money.”

That’s $1.6 billion in tax dollars for nearly a million dead babies. Oh, they say no federal money goes to pay for abortions, but is anyone really naïve enough to buy that?

So approximately 30 House members who actually believe in the inalienable right to life signed a letter promising to reject any spending bill — short-term stop-gap measures included — that contains funding for Planned Parenthood. The signatories number nearly enough to mean that a spending bill retaining funding for the abortion giant will require House Speaker John Boehner to dip into the Democrat vote bin to secure enough votes for passage. That could yield other undesirable concessions in order to get those votes.

It’s hard to fathom fetal dismemberment would be grounds for any debate, but, alas, such is the depraved world in which we live.

Despite the GOP’s strongly pro-life platform (which apparently means whatever legislators want it to mean, just like the Constitution), Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Squish One and Squish Two, respectively) have little interest in cutting off money for the abortion mill as a condition of funding the rest of the government. After all, let’s not miss the forest for the trees. Or, in this case, let’s not forget all the great women’s health care Planned Parenthood provides along with abortions. You know, the grand total of zero mammograms nationwide. (By the way, that care is available at any number of other clinics.)

Members of the GOP who oppose making a costly political fight to defund the organization argue that efforts to defund the abortion giant as part of a spending bill are doomed to fail, as Obama would never sign such a bill and Congress lacks the votes to override a veto. Ergo, don’t risk a shutdown for which Republicans would be blamed.

Unfortunately, it is simple math. Obama would certainly veto the measure, or Senate Democrats would filibuster so he didn’t have to, and Republicans likely would shoulder the blame for any shutdown. We’ve opposed previous no-win shutdown gambits on those same grounds.

But many conservatives are asking a couple of questions. First, if Republicans aren’t willing to fight for this hill, what hill are they willing to fight for? Second, as Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) put it, “How would things have been different if Harry Reid were in charge?”

The problem isn’t that pro-life conservatives are bucking leadership; it’s that Boehner, McConnell and the multitude of spineless legislators who hijack the “R” designation have proven time and again that they are unwilling to take a stand on principle — any principle — be it health care, immigration, executive overreach, spending or debt. Oh, they’ll feign a fighting spirit. But when principle demands that action back up rhetoric, GOP “leaders” suddenly become immobile. After all, in August, McConnell promised “no more government shutdowns.”

Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood as part of the spending bill will certainly fail, but that’s arguably because the GOP’s culture of concession has conditioned Democrats to know that Boehner, McConnell and their political allies would never hold firm on any demands, even if they did pretend to take a stand.

As a result, those willing to fight for life are branded as insurgents, while supposedly savvy congressional leaders try to explain why now simply isn’t a convenient time to stop the slaughter and auction of the unborn.

So perhaps the lesson for pro-lifers is simple: Fewer lives will be saved through unwinnable funding fights on Capitol Hill than through changing the hearts and minds of our family, friends and neighbors.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Mona Charen: “Republicans cannot simply shrug and announce that they lack the votes to stop [the Iran nuclear deal]. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a reputation as a shrewd inside player. He has many possible options. 1) Pass a rule by simple majority declaring that the filibuster cannot be used for grave matters of national security. 2) Announce, as David Rivkin and Rep. Mike Pompeo have proposed, that because the president is not in compliance with the Corker/Menendez legislation (which requires that all side deals be submitted to Congress), the 60-day review period has not yet begun. 3) Decide (as Andy McCarthy has suggested) that this agreement — so crucial to the security of the nation and the world — is clearly a treaty and can only be considered by Congress as such, requiring a two-thirds vote in both chambers for passage. If this is not a time for considering every possible congressional strategy, what is? The Democrats trashed the filibuster for some second-tier appointments. Republicans can revive it to prevent terrorists from getting the bomb.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “It is the laborer’s privilege to ennoble his work by the aim with which he undertakes it, and by the enthusiasm and faithfulness he puts into it.” —American poet Lucy Larcom (1824-1893)

Upright: “Risking not their lives — but only their political futures — the Senate must do all it can to avoid rewarding a regime that has killed Americans, is killing Americans, and that threatens a nuclear holocaust. But the filibuster is more important than national security, and the vow ‘never again’ carries with it two implicit conditions — so long as sixty senators agree, and enforcing the promise won’t cause too much blowback in the next election cycle. What a sad and shameful spectacle.” —National Review’s David French

Observations: “It is eerie how much the politics of the Iran nuclear deal resemble the politics of ObamaCare. Many Democrats running for election in 2014 rode ObamaCare to defeat. Barack Obama’s latest ‘legacy,’ the Iran nuclear deal, is resurrecting more Democratic electoral vulnerability. Some legacy.” —Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger

Braying Jenny: “This is more than Planned Parenthood. It’s about women, it’s about reproductive freedom, it’s about respect for women’s judgment about the sizing and timing of their families. How dare [Republicans] be so disrespectful to women. How dare they be so disregarding of women’s health issues.” —Nancy Pelosi

Alpha Jackass: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” —Donald Trump on Carly Fiorina

Separation: “[Americans] need a leader who cares about them again.” —Hillary Clinton with a thinly veiled shot at Obama

Village Idiots: “I too am deeply concerned about Iranian aggression and the need to confront it. It’s a ruthless, brutal regime that has the blood of Americans, many others, including its own people, on its hands. … There’s absolutely no reason to trust Iran.” —Hillary Clinton advocating the Iran deal

And last… “The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard said that the U.S. is still the ‘Great Satan’ regardless of the nuclear deal. President Obama quickly pointed out that the important thing is that Iran still views the U.S. as ‘Great.” —Fred Thompson

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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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?

View Article


‘Mega’ Agenda 21 Resurrected With Pope’s Help

As the choppy waters of September 2015 move ashore, all eyes will be on Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, jittery stock markets and signs in the heavens. The pope’s visit marks just one in a series of historic and potentially prophetic events during the month of September………….. Click here for full story


Saudi Arabia vs. Iran – Saudis On Track To Become Regional Super-Power

President Barack Obama may have hailed his deal with Iran as an historic breakthrough, but this is not how it is being viewed in Saudi Arabia, where the kingdom has responded to Washington’s attempted rapprochement with Tehran by embarking on a massive military build up………… Click here for full story


Israel Worried Russian Build Up In Syria Could Lead To Accidental Conflict

US and regional reports that Moscow’s diplomatic and logistical support for Assad is shifting into major military backing has raised the prospect of Israel and Russia accidentally coming to blows..…… Click here for full story


Iranian troops join Russians in Syria fighting

Soleimani (left) and Putin (right) have both put boots on the ground in Syria. (Photo: AP, Fars, EPA)

Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has sent hundreds of ground soldiers into Syria in the past few days apparently in cooperation with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, said a senior Israeli security official Thursday.

Russia has also recently deployed military assets in Syria and according to the Israeli source, has teamed up with Iran in an unprecedented attempt to protect the embattled regime of Bashar Assad from falling to rebel groups including the Islamic State.

The Israeli source said that Iran’s increased military involvement in Syria was “due to Assad’s crisis and under Russian-Iranian cooperation as a result of a meeting between Soleimani with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” said the Israeli source.


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21,995,000 to 12,329,000: Government Employees Outnumber Manufacturing Employees 1.8 to 1

09-10-2015 • http://cnsnews.com

(CNSNews.com) – Those employed by government in the United States in August of this year outnumbered those employed in the manufacturing sector by almost 1.8 to 1, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 21,995,000 employed by federal, state and local government in the United States in August, according to BLS. By contrast, there were only 12,329,000 employed in the manufacturing sector.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government. But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.


This Is EXACTLY What The Early Phases Of A Market Meltdown Look Like

Stock Market Collapse Toilet Paper - Public DomainThere is so much confusion out there.  On the days when the Dow goes down by several hundred points, lots of people pat me on the back and tell me that I “nailed” my call for the second half of this year.  But on the days when the Dow goes up by several hundred points, I get lots of people contacting me and telling me that they are confused because they thought the stock market was supposed to go down.  Well, the truth is that if there is going to be a full-blown market meltdown, we would expect for there to be wildly dramatic swings in the market both up and down.  A perfect example of this is what we experienced during the financial crisis of 2008.  9 of the 20 largest single day declines in stock market history happened that year, but 9 of the 20 largest single day increases in stock market history also happened that year.  If we are moving into another great financial crisis, there should be massive ups and massive downs, and that is precisely what we are witnessing right now. (Read More….)


Are We Living In The Last Days?

Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse - Public DomainCould it be possible that we are living in the period of time that the Bible refers to as “the last days”?  And if so, what does that mean for our future?  As we approach the final months of 2015, it seems like more people are talking about apocalyptic scenarios than ever before.  The mainstream media is doing articles on “end of the world fears“, and it is being reported that 41 percent of all Americans believe that “we are living in what the Bible calls the last days.”  For those that believe, the signs are everywhere – geopolitical instability, moral decay, steadily increasing numbers of natural disasters and a global financial system that could fall apart at any moment.  Others mock the idea that we could be living in “the last days”, and many of them point to the amazing technological progress that humanity is making and the unprecedented prosperity that we have been enjoying in recent times.  If things are actually “getting better”, they argue, then how could we possibly be living in the end times described in the Bible?  And of course atheists are convinced that God doesn’t exist at all, and that all of this apocalyptic talk is just a bunch of religious nonsense.  So what is the truth? (Read More…)


Russia Lands Ground Troops In Syria As Players For Ezekiel 39 Begin To Gather

Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, three Lebanese sources familiar with the political and military situation there said on Wednesday.

“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.” Ezekiel 39:1-4 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: In Ezekiel 39, we see the Battle of Armageddon taking place after Russia surrounds Israel. Establishing a beachfront in Syria, Israel’s next door neighbor. is a great place to start. 

The sources, speaking to Reuters on condition they not be identified, gave the most forthright account yet from the region of what the United States fears is a deepening Russian military role in Syria’s civil war, though one of the Lebanese sources said the number of Russians involved so far was small.

putin-sends-russian-troops-to-syria-assad-regime-isis

U.S. officials said Russia sent two tank landing ships and additional cargo aircraft to Syriain the past day or so and deployed a small number of naval infantry forces.

The U.S. officials, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said the intent of Russia’s military moves in Syria was unclear. One suggested the focus may be on preparing an airfield near the port city of Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility that Russia may want to use the airfield for air combat missions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Russian counterpart for the second time in four days to express concern over reports of Russian military activities in Syria, warning that it could fan more violence. The White House said it was closely monitoring the situation.

Russia says the Syrian government must be incorporated into a shared global fight against Islamic State, the Islamist group that has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq. The United States and Assad’s regional foes see him as part of the problem.

“We would welcome constructive Russian contributions to the counter-ISIL effort, but we’ve been clear that it would be unconscionable for any party, including the Russians, to provide any support to the Assad regime,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

SYRIAN TROOPS PULLING BACK

Assad’s forces have faced big setbacks on the battlefield in a four-year-old multi-sided civil war that has killed 250,000 people and driven half of Syria’s 23 million people from their homes.

Syrian troops pulled out of a major air base last Wednesday, and a monitoring group said this meant government soldiers were no longer present at all in Idlib province, most of which slipped from government control earlier this year.

Moscow confirmed it had “experts” on the ground in Syria, its long-time ally in the Middle East. source


Damascus War Drums

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 06:51 AM PDT

Damascus War DrumsRussian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, Russia Warns “Prepare for Nuclear Drone-Submarines” As the US and Israel are on “High Alert” we could very well be witnessing the beginning of Major Prophetic Wars and Events set to unfold in the Mideast. Watch Video below for more info:

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Israel Prepared to take on Iran Alone!

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 06:39 AM PDT

Israel Prepared to take on Iran Alone!The bible indicates that a time would come in the future, where Israel would have to defend herself against a Coalition of Nations that would attempt to annihilate her, and Persia ‘which is modern day Iran’ is one of those Nations mentioned in the Prophetic War of Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39. And a now according to a new report from Israel it appears that we have entered that timeframe as It’s painfully clear by now that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu failed in his mission to prevent a bad deal with Iran.

Even before Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Senator to endorse the deal last week, thus ensuring a presidential veto of a congressional vote against would stand, there was a sense of inevitability which Team Netanyahu alone did not share. Now, with the White House obtaining the 41 Senators needed to filibuster any vote altogether – with change to spare – that defeat for Netanyahu has turned into a rout. Adding insult to injury, the carefully stage-managed drip-drip of Democratic support for Team Obama demonstrated that there was never really any doubt of a White House victory – they were merely savoring the moment.

And a bad deal it most certainly is, in so many ways – if anyone needed reminding: The farcical 24-day warning period preceding any “surprise” check on nuclear sites; the fact that Iran can still continue enriching uranium, won’t need to shut down its heavy water plants, and can continue research and development into faster, military-purpose centrifuges; the permission to continue its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program; that Iran isn’t required to end its support for terrorism or vicious incitement to destroy Israel. All this, and more, while achieving an end to economic sanctions which will pour billions into Tehran’s coffers and fuel its aggressive, imperialist foreign policy. FULL REPORT

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Scientists Claim Discovery Of Mass Grave of a ‘Bizarre,’ New Human-Like Species

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 06:25 AM PDT

Scientists Claim Discovery Of Mass Grave of a ‘Bizarre,’ New Human-Like SpeciesAccording to a new report, Some scientists say they’ve discovered a new member of the human family tree, revealed by a huge trove of bones in a barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa. Other researchers though counter that the fossils come from an already known species. The creature shows a surprising mix of human-like and more primitive characteristics – some experts called it “bizarre” and “weird.”

And the discovery presents some key mysteries: How old are the bones? And how did they get into that chamber of the cave, reachable only by a complicated pathway that includes squeezing through passages as narrow as about 7 1/2 inches (17.8 centimeters)? The site, about 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg, has yielded some 1,550 specimens since its discovery in 2013. The fossils represent at least 15 individuals. Researchers named the creature Homo naledi (nah-LEH-dee). That reflects the “Homo” evolutionary group, which includes modern people and our closest extinct relatives, and the word for “star” in a local language. The find was made in the Rising Star cave system. FULL REPORT

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Liberals Want The Bible Banned From Amazon

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 06:17 AM PDT

Liberals Want The Bible Banned From AmazonIn an effort to stop “hate speech,” liberals want to ban the Holy Bible from Amazon.com, which had previously banned the Confederate flag. When asked to sign a petition demanding both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble to stop selling the Bible, San Diego, Ca., beachgoers signed without hesitation. “If [Christians] want it, they can go get it somewhere else,” one man said while signing the petition created by social commentator Mark Dice, who routinely exposes liberal hypocrisy with sting videos.

Dice had no problem getting numerous leftists to agree the Bible was “hate speech” that should be eradicated from society.“…What I’m finding interesting is that the people who don’t want to sign it are being way too nice about it,” he said in the video. “They have absolutely no spine and this is why Christians are getting crushed and are targeted for termination because they don’t have the spine to stand up for their rights or for their beliefs.” FULL REPORT

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Floods spark evacuations as Japan is deluged

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 06:09 AM PDT

Floods spark evacuations as Japan is delugedTens of thousands of people were ordered to flee homes across Japan on Thursday as heavy rain pounded the country, sending radiation-tainted waters into the ocean at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Waist-high floods in some areas left rescuers scrambling to pluck people to safety as a wide area was deluged in the wake of Typhoon Etau.

“This is a scale of downpour that we have not experienced before. Grave danger could be imminent,” forecaster Takuya Deshimaru told an emergency press conference. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued special warnings for Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures, north of Tokyo, urging vigilance against mudslides and flooding. FULL REPORT

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Assisted-suicide bill approved by California Assembly

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 06:02 AM PDT

Assisted-suicide bill approved by California AssemblyA hard-fought measure to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California cleared the state Assembly on Wednesday despite opposition from religious groups and advocates for the disabled, and moved to the state Senate, where it was widely expected to gain final passage. The measure, patterned after an Oregon law allowing terminally ill patients to obtain medication prescribed to end their lives, passed 43-34 after weeks of hearings and impassioned debate.

“Imagine that it’s one of your constituents, suffering in agonizing pain – their pain medication no longer works,” said Assembly member Luis Alejo, a Democrat from Watsonville who supported the bill. “Then imagine that it’s your father or your mother or your grandparents or your daughter.” Under the bill, which was pulled for lack of support in July but reintroduced last month as part of a special legislative session to deal with healthcare issues, two doctors would have to determine that a patient had no more than six months to live before the medication could be prescribed. FULL REPORT

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21 days and counting, Kilo to rank among longest-lived tropical cyclones on record

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 05:52 AM PDT

21 days and counting, Kilo to rank among longest-lived tropical cyclones on recordTyphoon Kilo, already the longest-lived tropical cyclone on on Earth so far this year, is well on its way to ending among the longest-lived on record at the end of this week. Kilo formed from a cluster of thunderstorms way back on Aug. 20, as a tropical depression south of Hawaii. Since then the storm strengthened to a very strong hurricane, the westernmost in a trio of Category 4s, marking the first time three storms of that intensity spun simultaneously in the northeast Pacific Ocean since satellite records began in the 1960s.

Then on Sept. 1, Hurricane Kilo crossed west over the international dateline and became a typhoon. East of the international dateline, Pacific Ocean cyclones are managed by NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, which calls tropical cyclones “hurricanes.” The western side is monitored by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, where tropical cyclones are called “typhoons.” FULL REPORT

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Thousands without power as extreme heat, powerful storms hit Southern California

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 05:46 AM PDT

Thousands without power as extreme heat, powerful storms hit Southern CaliforniaMore than 15,000 electricity customers in Southern California were without power Wednesday evening as searing temperatures and intense storms hit the region. In Los Angeles, about 5,000 customers have lost power, said Kim Hughes, a spokeswoman for the Department of Water and Power.

She said it probably would take about 10 hours from the time of the outage before power would be restored. The majority of the outages were concentrated in two neighborhoods: Pacific Palisades and Exposition Park, near the campus of USC. It’s unclear what triggered the outages, but Hughes said many outages might be due to overuse during the heat wave rolling through L.A. “When it’s so hot, people don’t turn off anything. We want to remind people to give their equipment a break for an hour or two,” she said. FULL REPORT

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

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 05:37 AM PDT

Netanyahu to EU: Stop pressuring us into agreements that endanger our existenceThe European Union must stop pressuring Israel to enter dangerous agreements that threaten the future of the Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Jerusalem on Tuesday night. Europe “seeks to unilaterally press Israel into agreements that will endanger our very existence and therefore your very defense,”

Netanyahu publicly told visiting European Council President Donald Tusk prior to holding a private discussion with him. Netanyahu said he was glad to see Tusk both as a representative of the EU and as a personal friend.“I’ve known you for many years. You’ve been a great friend of Israel, of the Jewish people, and may I say of me personally,” Netanyahu told Tusk.“We welcome Europe,” said Netanyahu, before quipping in an off-the-cuff remark, “Does Europe welcome Israel?”  Netanyahu told Tusk he hoped that together they could find a way to improve relations between Israel and Europe. FULL REPORT

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

Posted: 09 Sep 2015 03:11 PM PDT

Revolt Brewing Inside Vatican As Cardinal Conservatives Seek To Stop Pope Francis Power GrabCONSERVATIVE DISSENT IS BREWING INSIDE THE VATICAN

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

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

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

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

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Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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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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September 10, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjian, and Reformed Baptist Polity

The reason, however, is probably not polity. It is far more likely that the problem lies within our hearts. Maybe we do have one of those polities which, to expropriate Adams’ words, is “better fitted for being well administered than others.” Very well, but let us heed Pope also, and administer it well and faithfully.

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Honoring the Dishonorable

David understands that such an action will be great sin in the eyes of God, so instead of removing Saul’s head, he cuts off a corner of Saul’s robe. But immediately, following this action, David’s heart troubles him. Why? I believe it is because David senses he has not rightly honored the authority placed in office by the Authority. David has dishonored the king. He has not struck the king’s head, but he has struck the king’s robe, and he has struck the king’s honor, and now his heart now strikes him.

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7 Ways To Be A Best Friend To A Pastor

Don’t hold him to unreasonable expectations. I’ve seen people who want to be a pastor’s friend get upset when the pastor didn’t tell them everything going on in the church. They get their feelings hurt. Every pastor walks on a certain amount of “eggshells” wondering who will respond and how to things the pastor does. We should never place this burden on a “best” friend. Have no hidden agenda to the relationship — no attempt to gain information or status — just friendship. 

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Wisely Handling the Bible’s Wise Sayings

The book of Proverbs is concerned to give us practical guidelines for daily experience. It is a neglected treasure of the Old Testament, with untold riches lying in wait in its pages to guide our lives. It holds real, concrete advice that comes from the mind of God Himself. If we want wisdom, this is the fountain from which to drink. He who is foolish will neglect this fountain. He who is hungry for God’s wisdom will drink deeply from it.

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Kim Davis: State Criminal? Church Discipline?

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

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Pastor Outed On Ashley Madison Commits Suicide

Since his death, his family has made a pact to be more transparent with one another about their struggles. Christi Gibson has a message for the 32 million people exposed and their communities. “These were real people with real families, real pain and real loss,” she says. But “don’t underestimate the power of love. Nothing is worth the loss of a father and a husband and a friend. It just didn’t merit it. It didn’t merit it at all.”

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The Return of Slave-Branding: Modern-day Sex Traffickers Using The Practice of Forced Tattoos to Mark Women As ‘Property’

The sickening ritual – which echoes the branding of cattle, of Roman slaves and of Auschwitz prisoners – has given rise to Survivor’s Ink, an organization fundraising to help escaped sex-trafficking victims remove or cover up the tattoos. ‘It very much so is a psychological form of bondage,’ said Jennifer Kempton – founder of Survivors Ink and a survivor of sex trafficking. She now helps other women cover up their tattoos – like she did with the four inkings she was forced to have.

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Resting Place of a Humble Man

And on Reagan’s headstone are these words: “There is purpose and worth to each and every life.” That aptly fits Reagan’s highly positive outlook of humanity. It’s a good statement for remembering Reagan. But it’s also good for remembering Bill Clark. Clark ultimately had a grand purpose in his life, and had a grand worth to his life as well. Yet, amid all of that, Bill Clark always felt himself grandly unworthy.

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Making Differences Disappear: The Evolution of Science on Same-Sex Households

Social science was never going to save marriage’s male-female infrastructure. I never presumed it could or would. What it can do—and that’s what I will always love about it—is reveal what is going on. It has a difficult time laying blame or taking credit, because causality is always challenging to discern. I just wish the charged atmosphere could begin to sustain a healthy and fair debate. Not just yet, it seems.

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UPDATE: Hillsong issues statement 8 months after worship leader announces his upcoming homosexual marriage

When one of Hillsong New York City’s worship leaders announced he is a practicing, unrepentant homosexual, and that he is marrying his fellow church singer and boyfriend, Hillsong leadership says nothing. (UPDATE: The couple’s announcement came in January, eight months ago. Today, less than 24 hours after this story published, finally, Hillsong issues a press […]

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We Could Be Heroes (and maybe that’s not good …)

We have such low standards for heroes.  And I don’t just mean comic book superheroes:  Green Lantern…Hawkeye….Robin (!?!)  No matter how much we equivocate the term, these guys don’t deserve the title “super.”  But that’s a subject for another blog.  In this one, I’d like to explore the tendency among Christians in our modern, Western culture to laud as heroic any non-fictional person who seems even vaguely virtuous.  In a time of moral famine, Christians seem far too eager to gobble up and praise what little signs we see of basic good behavior and to celebrate them as Christ-like.   To borrow and adapt C.S. Lewis’ expression:  When it comes to distinctly Christian heroism, we are far too easily pleased.   Read more of this post


Angelina Jolie Warns ISIS Using Rape, Sexual Violence ‘In a Way We’ve Never Seen Before,’ Calls for Stronger Political Action

 

Coptic Orthodox Church Leader Issues Statement on Refugee Crisis in Europe: ‘Their Plight Must Not be Belittled or Ignored’

ISIS Issues List of 11 Rules for Christians Living In Captured Syrian Town; Threaten Death to Those Caught Praying out Loud to Jesus Christ

Police Hasty, Brutal in Arrest of Christian Accused of Blasphemy in Pakistan: ‘This is Sheer Injustice’

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

Terrorist Violence in Nigeria Deprives Children of School; Government Asks Christian Ministry to Help

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

Mike Huckabee, Franklin Graham Praise Release of County Clerk Kim Franklin, But Warn ‘Battle for Religious Freedom Isn’t Over’

Scholastic Sends 10,000 Copies of Pro-Transgender Children’s Book ‘George’ To Teachers and Librarians; Christian Group Expresses Concern

 

Tim Tebow Quotes Bible Verse, Thanks Eagles for Giving Him Opportunity After Coach Kelly Cut Him from Philadelphia

 

Jeremy Lin Thanks God for Empowering Him to Overcome Failures and Challenges, Playing With Charlotte Hornets Is Big Opportunity

 

With Josh Duggar in Rehab, Wife Anna Joins ’19 Kids and Counting’ Family for Sermon Message on ‘Sin of Pornography’

 

‘Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson and Family Attending Tea Party Rally against Iran Deal, Impressed With Donald Trump

 

Christian Actress Candace Cameron-Bure Noticeably Absent from ‘The View’ Discussions Surrounding County Clerk Kim Davis

 

I’m Looking for a Few Good Weirdos

by Erin Davis

If you stick out like a sore thumb, regularly feel like the oddball, consider yourself a freak, a geek, or a misfit, I’m looking for you.

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.


On False Prophets

One has to speak about false prophets so often because there are so many of them around. Scripture throughout warns against false prophets, and we must take this matter quite seriously indeed. Jesus spoke often about false prophets and the need to be on guard against them.

Let me offer just one such passage on true and false prophets as found in Matthew 7:15-20:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

false prophet 2Much can be said about this text, but here I want to focus on just two excellent expository preachers who have both dealt with this passage. The first is the great Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and the second is James Montgomery Boice. Both have their sermons on the Sermon on the Mount available in book form, and they are both well worth quoting from.

The superb volume by MLJ, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, should be in every Christian’s library. Here are some snippets from his discussion of this passage:

That is the only way to understand rightly this picture of the false prophets. The false prophet is a man who has no “strait gate” or “narrow way” in his gospel. He has nothing which is offensive to the natural man; he pleases all. He is in ‘sheep’s clothing’, so attractive, so pleasant, so nice to look at. He has such a nice and comfortable and comforting message. He pleases everybody and everybody speaks well of him. He is never persecuted for his preaching, he is never criticized severely.

The false prophet very rarely tells you anything about the holiness, the righteousness, the justice and the wrath of God. He always preaches about the love of God, but those other things he does not mention. He never makes anyone tremble as thinks of this holy and august Being with whom we all have to do. He does not say that he does not believe these things. No; that is not the difficulty. The difficulty with him is that he says nothing about them. He just does not mention them at all. He generally emphasizes one truth about God only, and that is love. He does not mention the other truths that are equally prominent in the Scriptures; and that is where the danger lies. He does not say things that are obviously wrong, but he refrains from saying things that are obviously right and true. And that is why he is a false prophet. To conceal the truth is as reprehensible and as damnable as to proclaim an utter heresy; and that is why the effect of such teaching is that of a ‘ravening wolf’. It is so pleasing, but it can lead men to destruction because it has never confronted them with the holiness and the righteousness and the justice and the wrath of God.

In the same way it does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way leading to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need not be aware of the blackness of your own heart. You just “decide for Christ” and you rush in with the crowd, and your name is put down, and is one of the large number of “decisions” reported by the press. It is entirely unlike the evangelism of the Puritans and of John Wesley, George Whitefield and others, which led men to be terrified of the judgment of God, and to have an agony of soul sometimes for days and weeks and months. John Bunyan tells us in his Grace Abounding that he endured an agony of repentance for eighteen months. There does not seem to be much room for that today. Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world whatever the cost, the world in its mind and outlook as well as its practice, and you deny yourself; and take up the cross and go after Christ. Your nearest and dearest, and the whole world, may call you a fool, or say you have religious mania. You may have to suffer financially, but it makes no difference. That is repentance. The false prophet does not put it like that. He heals “the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly”, simply saying that it is all right, and that you have but to “come to Christ”, “follow Jesus”, or “become a Christian”.

We do not like this kind of teaching against false prophets today. We are living in days when people say that, as long as a man claims to be a Christian at all, we should regard him as a brother and go on together. But the reply is that our Lord said, “Beware of false prophets.” These awful, glaring warnings are there in the New Testament because of the very kind of thing to which I have been referring. Of course, we must not be censorious; but neither must we mistake friendliness and affability for saintliness. It is not a question of personalities. We must not despise these people. Indeed, Dr. Alexander MacLaren is right when he says that they are unconscious hypocrites. It is not that they are not nice and pleasing; they are. In a sense that is their greatest danger, and that is what makes them such a source of danger. I am emphasizing this matter because, according to our Lord, we should always be facing it. There is a way that leads to “destruction”, and the false prophet does not believe in “destruction”.

James Montgomery Boice has also had his expository sermons on the Sermon on the Mount issued in book form, and he is also well worth quoting from. He says this, in part, about Matthew 7:15-20:

According to Jesus, the danger is not so much in the fact that there are going to be wolves in the world – although that is perfectly true – but that there are going to be wolves whop have disguised themselves as sheep. In other words, the danger lies in the fact that there are going to be agents of the devil in the church.
Someone will say, “Do you mean to tell me that God will allow men who are influenced by Satan to become church members?” The answer is “Yes, indeed.” And not only that, he will also allow them to become ministers and speak from the pulpit. This is the real meaning of 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 which says, “For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
What is a prophet? Today the word usually means one who is able to tell what is coming in the future. In biblical times it had a much broader meaning. A prophet was one who spoke for another and particularly one who spoke for God….
When we carry this understanding of the word over into Christ’s teaching, we see that Jesus actually is warning against men who will appear in the churches and pretend to speak for God when their teaching is really of the devil. These are the men spoken of by Jeremiah: “I did not send these prophets. . . . I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds” (Jer. 23:21-22).
Do we have false prophets today? Do we have wolves in sheep’s clothing? We certainly do. Moreover, we do not only have them in the pews and the pulpits. We have them in the denominational structures, in the seminaries, and in the church-related colleges. I find it amusing, in the light of our text, that today we call an academic degree or diploma a sheepskin. For some professors and ministers clearly cover their intentions with the sheepskins of higher learning while using their knowledge of the Bible and church history to damage the faith of those who listen to them. We are to be warned against such teachers.

He goes on to list various ways we can recognise false teachers and false prophets. One way is this:

False prophets do not have disturbing doctrines in their messages, even though the true state of man demands it. Their message is one of false peace. Jeremiah says, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Apparently Jeremiah thought that this truth was important enough to state more than once, for the identical verse occurs both in Jeremiah 6:14 and 8:11. And he would undoubtedly say of all the false prophets, as Arthur Pink does in An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount, “There is nothing in their preaching which searches the conscience and renders the empty professor uneasy, nothing which humbles and causes their hearers to mourn before God; but rather that which puffs up, makes them pleased with themselves and to rest content in a false assurance.”…
True teaching involves the realities of man’s depravity and sin, God’s wrath and coming judgment, the need for repentance, and the answer to man’s sin in Christ’s vicarious atonement. Any teaching that omits these elements is erroneous.

False prophets were a real problem in the Old Testament. They were a real problem in the time of Jesus and the disciples. And they have been so throughout church history. They certainly are a major problem today as well. We must be on guard. False prophets are leading people to hell. Thus they must be resisted fully, firmly and comprehensively.


Answering Critics of the Bible

The Gospel alone has the power to save anyone from eternal damnation.  We cannot save anyone–but we can plant seeds of truth in a person’s life and pray that God makes the seed grow.  That is our responsibility– to share the truth of God’s Word with lost people. But in a world that increasingly rejects […]

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What does a “culture of death” look like and how do we change it?

It’s easy to see things like “legal” child sacrifice and the “legality” of “gay marriage” and gender chaos as clear signs of a culture of death. It’s easy to point to “Caitlyn” Jenner and roll our eyes. It’s easy to point to Planned Parenthood’s openly operating baby butchering facilities with disgust. But what was it about our culture […]

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Calvin’s Response To Being Forced To Observe Christmas

Now, I see here today more people that I am accustomed to having at the sermon. Why is that? It is Christmas day. And who told you this? You poor beasts. That is a fitting euphemism for all of you who have come here today to honor Noel. did you think you would be honoring […]

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War Room’s Priscilla Shirer “will become the main character” in the Bible stories she’s reading?

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire expresses his concern over the actress the Kendrick brothers cast in their new film:

Photo courtesy newsbusters.org

Photo courtesy newsbusters.org

I saw the movie, War Room, and liked it very much. Priscilla Shirer is an incredible actress, and the director made wise use of her facial expressions to tell much of the story.

Shirer is far more than an actress in a Christian movie. She is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher, and this movie is going to bring many women into her sphere of influence.

That’s not a good thing.

http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/09/10/war-rooms-priscilla-shirer-will-become-the-main-character-in-the-bible-stories-shes-reading/


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

Berean Research reports:

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 spiritual director.

Be warned; you are about to hear a lot of New Age lingo:

The Practice is an experimental gathering where we immerse ourselves in God’s dream for humanity, practice the historic disciplines that align us with His dream, and carry each other along the way. PracticeTribe.com

Starting this Sunday, Niequist will teach you about “unforced rhythms of grace,” in which you will learn to align your rhythm with God’s rhythm, practice contemplative prayer methods like Lectio Divina, and learn from a Catholic priest.

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


Another Pseudo-Christian ‘Pastor’ In The News

The Kardashians ‘pastor’ is getting his own reality show, curiously named ‘Rich in Faith’ but more properly ‘Another Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’.

Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. is “not your typical pastor,” according to People Magazine. “I come from a different perspective,” the 31 year-old Florida native said. “I don’t think that people are interested in a bunch of religion, like telling me what I can and can’t do, but I think that people are interested in having a relationship with God.”

Wilkerson and his wife, DawnCheré, will have an opportunity to talk about their “different” perspective on faith in an upcoming TV show, Rich in Faith. The young, hip pastor who married Kanye West and Kim Kardashian last year, has made a career of pastoring some of the biggest celebrities in America, including the Kardashian family and Justin Bieber. Wilkerson’s brand of Christianity is steeped in what’s cool now, from his sermons based on popular songs to his undercut to his wardrobe. It’s a carefully curated presence.

Etc.  Because there isn’t enough fake Christianity on tv already.

Manhattan Declaration
What the Bible Says about Kim Davis
by Eric Teetsel
The ultimate source of authority is the Bible. As I’ve read the arguments from Davis supporters I’m surprised by their lack of biblical evidence. There tends to be a lot of talk about God without reference to God’s own Word.
Eidos
What the Bible Does Not Say about Kim Davis
by John Mark Reynolds
Kim Davis is not taking lives. She is simply refusing to obey an unjust law. The voters of her region can remove her, but they have yet to do so. The Bible does not condemn her actions.
The French Revolution
Kim Davis: Putting the “Protest” Back into “Protestant”
by Nancy French
The theological response was relatively simple: When rulers defy God, they lose their God-ordained authority. When rulers require lesser authorities to cooperate in and facilitate evil, the lesser authorities must resist.
Cranach
Muslim Refugees Converting to Christianity
by Gene Veith
Many Islamic refugees have been converting to Christianity. Some Europeans are skeptical, thinking the conversions are simply a facade to get asylum. But taking that step, for a Muslim would surely be existentially difficult unless it is sincere.
Imago Christi
Christianity Yet Lives
by Kenneth Tanner
By its experience of Jesus this community expects lovingkindness and mercy to triumph over every resistance to love. It expects a good end to history. It hopes, it prays, for the salvation of all.
Tip of the Spear
Learning to Become Love to Those Burned by Religion
by Brandon Showalter
My host parents were atheist existentialist-types who had been scorched by the Church many times, and by default they associated the Christian faith with the corruption and abuse they experienced under Franco.

More Great Reads

The Anxious Bench
The Biblical Case for Organized Labor
by Heath W. Carter
In the late nineteenth century, ordinary believers helped to launch the trade union movement precisely because the Bible told them so – a reading, notably, that was no more popular among the church leaders of their day than it is among our own.
Putting the Protest in Protestant
Don’t Discount Gullibility
by D. G. Hart
I know it won’t sound particularly warm and fuzzy, but I wonder if Merritt misses something not quite so mysterious in the evangelical support for Trump — namely, evangelicals’ gullibility.
Just and Sinner
Are Confessional Lutherans Just Too Sure of Themselves?
by Nathan Rinne
I would suggest that this whole idea of surety and certainty is not a modernist point of view, but an ancient Christian point of view.
Jackson Wu
Can We Skip Over Abraham and Israel?
by Jackson Wu
Despite the variety of methods used, the most common gospel presentations have at least one thing in common. They largely skip directly from creation to Christ. Typically, if there is a reference to Israel story, it will be incidental or non-essential.
Uncommon God, Common Good
An Unguarded Strength Is a Glaring Weakness
by Paul Louis Metzger
Charismatic, creative and energetic leaders can run over people if they are not careful; they must submit their gifts, passions and drives to the Lord.
Everyday Ethics
The Lesson of Eustace
by Jeremy Neill
Eustace’s story suggests to me that it is not possible for us to encounter God and genuinely to experience His sanctifying presence without discarding our old way of life.

American Ultra: Is it ok for Christians to watch violent films?

American Ultra: Is it ok for Christians to watch violent films?

Posted on September 10, 2015 by Christian Today

American Ultra: Is it ok for Christians to watch violent films?

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Bear Grylls: My Christian faith is my backbone

Bear Grylls: My Christian faith is my backbone

Posted on September 10, 2015 by Christian Today

TV adventurer and chief scout Bear Grylls starts every day by kneeling in prayer and says he desperately needs his Christian faith.


Blood moons and the end of the world: How not to interpret biblical prophecy

Blood moons and the end of the world: How not to interpret biblical prophecy

Posted on September 10, 2015 by Christian Today

Interpreters like John Hagee and Mark Blitz link biblical prophecies, lunar eclipses and historical events. Mark Woods on whether they are right to do so.

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SBC Executive Speaking at Muslim-Evangelical Interfaith Gathering

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.

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Fox’s Shepard Smith rips Christian ‘haters’ who support Kim Davis

News anchor interrupts live TV coverage to rail against marriage clerk

Shepard Smith, Fox News host, cut into his own press conference coverage of the release of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis from jail to rail against her, as well as those who supported her denial of wedding certificates to same-sex couples, saying such is simply a “religious play” that has no business in government service.

He also compared Kim Davis supporters to those who oppose Sharia law, characterizing them as one and the same when it comes to ideology.

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Celebrating The Feast of Trumpets

How long has man been waiting for the Lord to return? I daresay, the Apostles thought it would happen in their lifetime, and man has been anxiously looking forward to His return every day since. And how many of us are familiar with 1 Corinthians 15:51-55: Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” Believers recognize that as the Rapture of the Body of Christ.

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

After GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump said that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should follow “the law of the land,” and issue same-sex marriage licenses, evangelical preacher Franklin Graham has argued that what is made into law isn’t always right.

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‘Blood Moons’ Discoverer Fires Back At ‘End Of World’ Claims

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were rebuked for not understanding the signs of the times. God is again using the signs in the heavens to get our attention that we need to get connected to the Shemitah cycle to properly understand prophecy says Mark Biltz, the head of El Shaddai Ministries and the author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs”. Biltz says critics who claim he is predicting the imminent end of the world have it all wrong…this is just the beginning……….. Click here for full story


At A Berlin Church, Muslim Refugees Converting In Droves

Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighborhood. Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home………. Click here for full story


How To Prosecute The Legalist Within You

What should you do if you are a legalist? How can you effectively fight legalism? By becoming a prosecuting attorney and putting your legalistic conscience on the stand. When your conscience takes the stand, drill it with these questions:

Question: Who has justified you?

Answer: God has justified me.

Q: How much has God justified you?

A: Fully, totally, and completely. I can never be more justified.

Q: If God himself has justified you, who can condemn you?

A: No one can condemn me. If God himself won’t condemn me, then there is certainly no one else who can.

Q: If no one can condemn you, then why do you keep wallowing around in your guilt?

A: Because I don’t really believe the good news of the gospel. I don’t really believe that God has fully, completely justified me. I feel like I still need to contribute. Like I can add something to my salvation.

Question: What does God require of you?

Answer: Complete, total, perfect obedience. He requires me to love him with every ounce of my energy, and to pour out my life for my neighbors with the same intensity that I love myself.

Q: Have you ever, even for five minutes, loved God as he deserves? Have you ever lived a single day in which you loved your neighbor like you should?

A: No, I have never met the demands of God’s law, and I never could meet the demands of God’s law.

Q: If you can’t meet God’s demands, why do you keep acting as though you can instead of flying to Jesus, who did meet the law’s demands and now offers to give you his righteousness?

A: Because I don’t see the depth of my sinfulness and my total desperation apart from the gospel.

Question: What kind of savior do you need?

Answer: I need a savior who will completely save me. I need someone who will completely pay my debt, totally forgive my sins, and bring me into perfect fellowship with God. I need complete and total rescue.

Q: Is Jesus that kind of savior?

A: Yes he is. Hallelujah, what a savior!


Should Christians Defend Themselves against Persecution or Take What’s Coming?

Many people who are faithful to Christ will be met with violent persecution. What is the correct response when faced with such violence?


Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God (Part 1)

Posted at Virginia is for Huguenots:

Originally posted June 24 of 2009.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5.29)

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” — This famous saying of both Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin is said to have been on the epitaph of John Bradshaw (1602-1659), a British judge who presided over the trial of King Charles I, when his body was re-interred in Jamaica (where it was taken by his son to protect it from the fury of the Restoration towards regicides).

“Men must be governed by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants.” — William Penn

“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.” — Benjamin Franklin

As our nation draws closer to another Fourth of July commemoration of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, I thought it would be worthwhile to trace some of the known or probable influences of history upon the writing of our national Declaration of Independence and to quote relevant extracts [I am cognizant of the fact that Thomas Jefferson was not a professing Christian, and that many Enlightenment influences among the American Founding Fathers of the late 18th century have affected our nation for ill, particularly with respect to the U.S. Constitution, but this series of posts concerns the major influences upon our other national charter, many of which were Calvinistic].

Read more here…


Let’s Be a Weeping People

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” -Luke 19:41

On my Mount Rushmore of Bible verses there is one that I continually come back to and meditate on—it is Luke 19:41. Luke is the only gospel writer who notes Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, but I am so thankful he did. The Greek word translated “wept” carries the meaning of bawling and weeping loudly. Jesus does not simply have a tear or two running down his face, but tears upon tears cascading down his cheeks as he sees the city of Jerusalem come into view. It is these tears of Jesus that have always haunted me and encouraged me as I pastor and preach, to enter into the weeping of the world and be okay to stay there.

If we are not a weeping people then we are not the people of Jesus.

Weeping and lamenting, however, are often dismissed in Christian circles.  One must simply turn on any Christian radio station to note how little mention of lamenting or weeping is talked about. We are encouraged to be happy, to stay uplifted, to move quickly over the pain and onto what God can do in and through our pain for his glory.

I am not against be encouraged and being uplifted and I do believe that our pain and suffering have a purpose in the eternal purpose of God, but let’s not be too quick to fast forward past the lamenting and weeping to the the fixing and reasoning.

Let’s enter into the weeping and sit there and stay there and let the tears of the world have a place among us as the people of a weeping King. Lamenting, weeping, and wailing should have a revered place among the people of God.

At the same time that we lament for the sake of the world we lament in hope because our weeping King is also a reigning King. Jesus did not stop his mission in Luke 19:41, but pressed into the heart of darkness that week in Jerusalem—-absorbing the tears of the world and laying the foundation for the day when all tears will be wiped from the eyes of God’s people in the New Jerusalem.

So let’s be an Easter people, gladly celebrating the breaking in of God’s kingdom of life, love, and wholeness here and now and longing for the ultimate breaking in of life, love, and wholeness in the world to come. But let’s also be a Palm Sunday people, a Luke 19:41 people, a people who see the tears of the world and say we, with Jesus, cry too.


09/10/15 Trembling, or Skipping?

READING: Ezekiel 42-43

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Ezekiel’s description of the contrast could not be more dramatic. In judgment, the glory of the Lord departed from the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. Years later, the glory would return in restoration grace.

Ezek. 10:18, 11:23  Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim. . . . The glory of the Lord rose up from within the city and stood on the mountain east of the city.

———————

Ezek. 43:1-4  He led me to the gate, the one that faces east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of mighty waters, and the earth shone with His glory. . . . . The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Read it again. The glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Ezekiel did what all of us, I trust, would do: he fell facedown (Ezek. 43:3). As he had done the first time he saw God’s glory (Ezek. 1:28), and like John years later on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:17), Ezekiel could not stand in the presence of the holiness of God.

This holy God would hold on to His unholy followers, bringing them to anguish over their sin and ultimately establishing His kingdom. A holy God. A completely holy God. A God whose voice is like many waters, whose glory will shine throughout the earth.

A God who dwells among us.

And within us.

I think today about the words of A. W. Tozer as he compared the way we should come before God with the way we often do come before God: “If we came to God dirty, but trembling and shocked and awestruck in His presence, if we knelt at His feet and cried with Isaiah, ‘I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips’ (Isaiah 6:5), then I could understand. But we skip into His awful presence.” 

I fear that sometimes I come to Him skipping when I should be lying on my face.

PRAYER: “Almighty, holy, perfect God, forgive me when I think I can somehow grasp the magnificence of Your holiness. I’m truly an unclean man.”


7 Reasons We Must Teach About Suffering and Persecution

It won’t surprise me if this post is not a popular one. Its topic is not a fun one. I get that. I don’t like thinking about it or reading about it. I don’t particularly like writing a blog post about it – but I must. Here’s why:

  1. Believers suffer for their faith. Paul, in fact, told Timothy to expect persecution: “all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).  The writer of Hebrews clearly showed that many believers pay a price for living in faith (Heb. 11:35-40). If it’s going to happen, we need to prepare for it rather than expect to react properly when it’s suddenly upon us.
  2. We have no guarantee we won’t suffer. It’s easy to talk about suffering as long as we’re talking about a believer on the other side of the world. Or a believer in a war-torn area. Or a follower of Christ in a country where another world faith is dominant. Or just somebody else. Regardless of where we live, though, we have absolutely no guarantee we’re immune to coming persecution and suffering. Today’s education is tomorrow’s preparation.
  3. Spiritual warfare sometimes brings suffering. Job faced this reality (Job 1-2). God was sovereign over Job’s disasters – in fact, it was God who first brought up Job’s name – but it was Satan who brought the pain. Our enemy is fully bent on destruction, and he will do all he can to destroy our faith, particularly through suffering that we deem unfair when we’re living righteously. If we don’t understand the sovereign hand of God over suffering and spiritual warfare, we can quickly get angry and discouraged when they happen.
  4. Faithfulness under suffering and persecution is a witness to others. The Apostle Paul understood this truth. He had suffered at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, and he could later refer to those difficulties when teaching and challenging his protégé, Timothy (2 Tim 3:10-11). Sometimes our greatest witness is not when we’re standing on the mountaintop; it’s when we’re trusting God anyway as we go through the deepest valley. It’s finishing the race even if the cost of victory is death.
  5. We need to know and pray for believers who are facing suffering and persecution. The numbers vary, but some stats tell us that 100 million believers around the world are facing persecution. In some parts of the world, believers are being driven into refugee status to protect their families. They need our proactive, intentional prayer support, but how will we pray for our brothers and sisters if we never talk about what they’re facing?
  6. Our children are likely to face more opposition than we’ve faced. Any good parent wants to provide a better world for his or her children, but I see no evidence that Christians will have an easier time in the decades to come. If we don’t teach our children how to follow God in faith – even if faith means death – they’ll be unprepared for reality.
  7. You can’t legitimately teach about suffering and persecution without also teaching about ultimate victory. The devil who deceives the whole world will not win. Those believers who die for their faith will find victory through the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (Rev 12:7-11). In the end, God will avenge the blood of the martyrs (Rev 19:2). When we know and trust that victorious truth, suffering and persecution lose their power.

What other reasons might you add to this list? 


Review: War Room

Christian movies can’t win. If they are overt about the gospel—such as Courageous or Fireproof—then they are criticized that they are too in-your-face. If they are more subtle—Chronicles of Narnia, for example—then they are criticized for not being Christian enough, whatever that is supposed to mean.

There are two new Christian movies that fill opposite ends of this dichotomy: War Room (in theaters now) and Captive (releasing next week). I saw them both back-to-back and was struck at how they each intentionally aim for different ends of that dichotomy. I’ll review War Room today, and Captive next week.  

Side note: I understand there is really no such thing as a “Christian movie.” Movies aren’t born depraved, regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit, converted to Christ, baptized, and made members of a local church (not that War Room doesn’t try!). When I use the term “Christian movie” I mean a movie made by professing believers for the purpose of entertaining other believers while advancing a biblical world view.  That’s it.

War Room:

The Kendrick brothers’ newest release is by far their best-made movie so far. It’s also in the top spot in the box office after Labor Day, having already made over $30 million.

This is the crew that produced Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, and the company that made October Baby and Mom’s Night Out. Gone are (most of) the cheesy scenes that littered their previous movies. The acting is better, the writing is better, and the production has obviously taken a step up. And—fortunately—this one did not seem to be made for the sole purpose of selling Christian trinkets.

The plot is straight forward. A sleaze-ball husband is ruining his family, while his nominally Christian wife feels powerless to do anything about it. She meets a strong Christian woman who reaches out to her, confronts her luke-warm relationship with the Lord, and challenges her to pray for her family while submitting her life to Christ. The rest, as they say, is history.

Subtlety is not a tool that the Kendrick brothers know how to use. Everything in all of their movies is over-the-top. It is as if they looked at the dichotomy in Christian films and said, “that’s fine; we’ll make a movie that is so over-the-top Christian that nobody can accuse us of leaving anything out.”

This movie has prayer, devil-binding (more on that later), Bible reading, more prayer, the sinner’s prayer (2xs!), more Bible reading, sermon listening, and ESV product placement. It features gym evangelism, ethical quandaries at work, a weepy daughter who asks her mom if she even knows the name of her sport’s team. There is even immorality interrupted by food poisoning. No Christian cliché is beneath the Kendrick brothers, and it is all for the sake saving this one marriage!

I was reminded of something Max McLean often says about critics of C. S. Lewis: people criticized The Screwtape Letters for being too benign—in a world with Hitler on the loose, did Lewis really mean to say that you see the devil in the details of how often a wife has tea, or what past-times consume Joe Englishman? But the truth is that kind of story is often more convicting to Joe Englishman than a WWII study of the holocaust.

That crossed my mind while watching War Room. In a world with war and terrorism, is a story about an upper-class philandering husband really the best vehicle for expounding on the sovereignty of God? Well, I suppose Lewis would say that both have their place, and War Room fills that place nicely.

About that devil-binding—Priscilla Shirer (Tony Evans daughter, and a Dallas Seminary Graduate) plays the wife-who-turns-to-prayer, and Beth Moore makes an appearance in the very minor role of a co-worker (She has one line: “Sometimes submission to your husband looks like ducking so the Lord’s punch hits him instead”). Shirer and Moore are two people whom I would not look to for prayer advice. I don’t trust their theology, and lament that LifeWay sells their stuff.

But in this movie they are not theologians–they are not even real people! They are actresses, and I am able to see War Room without endorsing their theology in the same way I can watch Mission Impossible and not be a Scientologist.

Regardless, the theology of War Room is pretty good. God rules the world, and he can do anything he wants to. Divorce is bad, marriage is good, and Jesus is the only one who can save. Yes, after being a Christian for all of 15 seconds the lead character does banish the devil from her house. But the movie made clear that this was not an endorsement of demon-binding (as if they would listen anyway!), but came from a wife who finally realized sin was her enemy, not her husband.

Which really gets to the main message of War Room. This movie may be about prayer, but its main message is really about marriage. It is very straight forward: the role of a wife is to love her family and pray for her husband. The role of the husband is to lead his family and provide for them. Sin interferes with both, and the only hope of restoration is found through repentance and submission to the Lordship of Jesus, who does use prayer to give people the grace to enjoy marriage.

I left the movie thinking that if a couple contemplating divorce were to watch it, this movie just might challenge them to stay together. Any couple that watches this movie would walk away asking themselves “am I regularly praying for my family?”

That is a good question to ask, and its hard to ask anything more from any movie.

If you have read the Christianity Today review of War Room, read my comment in the thread below where I explain why I found that review seriously misleading.


Bought with Blood for Obedience

Bought with Blood for ObedienceThe Bible stabilizes us in the storms of life by reminding us who we are. In this lab, John Piper highlights our unfathomable relationship to God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — all in the very first words of Peter’s letter. God has ransomed us, set us apart from the world, and made us new.

Watch Now


Words of Comfort: All-forgiving, all-loving, compassionate God and Hell.

“I don’t know how anyone can tell me with a straight face that an all-forgiving, all-loving, compassionate God would condemn anyone to eternal pain and agony in the bowels of Hell for eternity just for the actions of a mere 90 years on this planet.”

The Bible doesn’t say that God is all-forgiving and all-loving. You are creating an “idol”–making up a false god in your mind. God is holy and just as well as loving and merciful. His love is seen in that He gave you the gift of life. His mercy is seen in allowing you to sin against Him. But if you refuse to repent and end up dying in your sins, He will give you absolute justice, and that’s a fearful thing.  Damnation means forever being damned from all the pleasures He lavished upon you, for which you were so unthankful.


A La Carte (September 10)

I wasn’t able to dig up any noteworthy Kindle deals today, so will hope for better things tomorrow. In the meantime, let me remind you that most Shepherd Press books remain marked at around $3.99 or $4.99, and they include such parenting helps as Shepherding a Child’s HeartInstructing a Child’s HeartEveryday Talk, Time for the TalkGet Wisdom, Get Offa My Case, and Get Outta My Face.

Sentiment and Principle

Jeremy Walker provides a helpful reflection on sentiment and principle: “Sentiment can be swayed, one way or the other. Sentiment in one direction can be turned back by an opposing sentiment that seems equally reasonably. Sentiment tends to be reactive; it is rarely proactive. It bubbles up in a moment and melts away just as quickly.”

Doctrine 101

This week’s deals from Westminster Books include some great reader-friendly books on doctrine. There isn’t a bad book among them.

Review: War Room

I haven’t seen War Room (and, in fact, can’t even find it in theaters in this area), but this review by Jesse Johnson seems to cover it well. He points to a couple of minor concerns, but generally appreciates it.

Natural Law

In Tuesday’s edition of The Briefing, Al Mohler touched on a critically-important but overlooked aspect of the Kim Davis debacle. If you’d rather read then listen, you can find the transcript here. You’ll want to find the show’s second segment.

This Day in 1718. “Founded in 1701 by Congregationalists who feared Harvard was straying from its Calvinist roots, The Collegiate School at New Haven, Connecticut, changes its name to Yale.” *

Get a Basic Overview of the Bible

R.C. Sproul recommends books of the Bible to read if you’d like to get an overview of the Bible (in place of reading the whole book).

How Marginalization Can Empower Christians On Mission

Trevin Wax: “If the university is a microcosm of the rest of society and a sign of where our culture is headed, then Christians can expect hostility and marginalization to increase in the coming years. The good news is: if Christian organizations on campus are any indication, this marginalization could become the catalyst for more effective mission.”


Check out

Blogs

Get a Basic Overview of the Bible | R. C. Sproul
Excellent guidance from Dr. Sproul, especially if Leviticus has ever thwarted your Bible Reading plans.

Four Reasons Christians Should Support Kim Davis | Rick Phillips, Reformation 21
Is she or is she not in violation of Romans 13:1?

The Scriptural Reverse-Trajectory of the Sexual Revolution | James Faris, Gentle Reformation
Follow our current sexual revolution through Genesis.

Thy Kingdom Come | Mike Wittmer
Information about the one-day conference on The New Creation at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

The First Cut is the Deepest: Self Harmers in the Church
“A survey of Scottish young people stated that nearly 20% of females and 7% of males revealed that self-harming had been a lifetime occurrence. The UK has the highest rate of self-harm in Europe and the highest proportion of people who self-harm are statistically between 11 – 25 years of age. ”

Kevin VanHoozer’s 55 Theses on Pastors as Public Theologians
“Why does the church need pastor-theologians? What are pastor-theologians for? Our answer, in brief, is that pastor-theologians are gifts from the risen Christ, helps in building Christ’s church, especially by leading people to confess, comprehend, celebrate, communicate, commend to others, and conform themselves to what is in Christ.”

Recommended Book

A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving The Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story by Alec Motyer $7.99.

Kindle Books

Don’t Waste Your Cancer by John Piper $1.99

The Messianic Hope: Is the Old Testament Really Messianic? by Michael Rydelink $3.99

Video

How to Fight Addiction in a Pornographic Culture | Voddie Baucham, Desiring God


Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Be sure to grab these before they go back to their regular price:

Creation and Lego

Travis Agnew shares a pretty great illustration about God’s existence and creation.

Christian Virtue in the Age of Authenticity

Kevin DeYoung:

Jesus spared no verbal expense in rebuking the hypocrites of his day (Matt. 23). It’s good to tell the truth. It’s good to be consistent. It’s even good, as a general rule, to learn to be comfortable in your own skin, to refrain from trying to be someone or something you’re not. Authenticity appeals to so many of us because it seems a welcome antidote to calculating, self-righteous priggishness.

But living in the Age of Authenticity comes with many dangers–common vices made more deadly because they are willfully mistaken for virtues.

Divorce for Pornography?

David Murray:

I’ve been asked this question a few times, and was asked it again last week: “Is heavy use of pornography grounds for divorce?”

Until last week, I’ve usually come down on the “No” side, but having seen and heard more and more about this kind of sin, last week, for the first time, I found myself moving towards a hesitant “Yes.”

Before I explain my reasoning, let me offer a few qualifiers.

The Unbearable Burden of Uniqueness

Derek Rishmawy:

While it’s true that your story is your story, it’s also a human story, an Adam and Eve story. Your hopes, fears, scars, emotional paralysis, history of hurt, betrayals, judgments, anxieties, pains, and sins have quirks and twists peculiar to you. But they also participate in the general character of life east of Eden.

You are not fundamentally alone in your experiences. Only human narcissism says our burdens are essentially unshareable and our woes unredeemable.

Moses and Jesus Didn’t Have Their Dream Jobs By 30, Either

Liuan Huska:

People start asking the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” when kids are in preschool. I’ve had many responses along the way—a stock broker, a doctor, a journalist, to name a few. When I graduated high school ten years ago, I assumed that by now I would finally be living the answer to that question. Instead, I’ve given up on finding one.


The Daily Discovery (September 10, 2015)

headerImage-dailyDiscovery

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

Why Do Some Christians Accept Theistic Evolution? – “A few months back, I getting dissatisfied with the church I was attending, and wanted to saddle up and find another church in the Kingston, New York area. Not very promising, since there are polar opposites: emotionally-driven gatherings, and the traditional liberal outfits. Those who actually believe the Bible and can give proper exegesis are difficult to find around here.  One church had some standard fare in their statement of faith (including the inerrancy of Scripture, which is very important), and I reckoned that I could get along with that. But not a peep about creation. I sent them an e-mail inquiring about their position on it. The response was disappointing, saying that creation was an unimportant side issue, and anyway, the Framework Hypothesis was just fine for that pastor.  Not hardly! The Framework Hypothesis is a compromise position where Genesis does not mean what it says. His church claims to believe the inerrancy of Scripture, and then he holds a position on Genesis that contradicts their claim.”

The sad truth about the Planned Parenthood videos – “What follows will sound cynical and depressing, but it is merely a reality check. I do not believe any legal action or legislation will come of the recent Planned Parenthood videos, and I think we have already witnessed the decline or near-disappearance of what impact they will have. We need to start considering why and to learn from it.  I have struggled to bring myself to be able to admit this publicly, but I believe it is the truth, and I thought so from the beginning. Like everyone else, when I first saw the videos, I immediately lit up with optimism: “this is a bombshell!” Not just a bombshell, but the bombshell we need.”

The Church Is Not the Enemy – “I’ve seen what church can be. It can be the poor helping the poor, Jesus serving his own; the lonely opening up their doors to one another, praise and worship in the midst of sorrow. A shelter for the orphan and widow.  And through this hard and beautiful obedience the church makes known the character of God—not only on earth, but in the spiritual realms. According to Ephesians 3:10, God’s intent was that “through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms . . .”

Signs of Life from an Unlikely Source – “There are encouraging signs of gospel life in the rap world. One of the most significant developments in contemporary pop culture has been the rise of gospel-driven rap, illustrated especially by The Cross Movement. The Cross Movement was a group of Christian MCs intent on using rhythm, rhyme, and wordplay to proclaim the gospel and point to Christ in a way that subverted the self-aggrandizement and violence of the broader rap industry. Their artistic success led to the creation of a record label and a non-profit ministry, but even more importantly, inspired a generation of gospel-driven MCs.”

Christian Virtue in the Age of Authenticity – “In a day where people disdain hypocrisy more than any other vice and prize transparency more than any other virtue, you can be as obnoxious as you want to be, fail spectacularly, and sin repeatedly, as long as you never pretend to be any better than you really are. It makes no difference what errors you say, think, or do, if only you are true to yourself. This is life in the Age of Authenticity.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Tom Buck – 1 Timothy 5:9-16


VIDEOS:

You Cannot Live The Gospel

Answering the Biggest Objections to Christianity


“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 10, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



09/10/15 Trembling, or Skipping?

By Chuck Lawless on Sep 10, 2015 01:00 am

READING: Ezekiel 42-43

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Ezekiel’s description of the contrast could not be more dramatic. In judgment, the glory of the Lord departed from the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. Years later, the glory would return in restoration grace.

Ezek. 10:18, 11:23  Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim. . . . The glory of the Lord rose up from within the city and stood on the mountain east of the city.

———————

Ezek. 43:1-4  He led me to the gate, the one that faces east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of mighty waters, and the earth shone with His glory. . . . . The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Read it again. The glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Ezekiel did what all of us, I trust, would do: he fell facedown (Ezek. 43:3). As he had done the first time he saw God’s glory (Ezek. 1:28), and like John years later on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:17), Ezekiel could not stand in the presence of the holiness of God.

This holy God would hold on to His unholy followers, bringing them to anguish over their sin and ultimately establishing His kingdom. A holy God. A completely holy God. A God whose voice is like many waters, whose glory will shine throughout the earth.

A God who dwells among us.

And within us.

I think today about the words of A. W. Tozer as he compared the way we should come before God with the way we often do come before God: “If we came to God dirty, but trembling and shocked and awestruck in His presence, if we knelt at His feet and cried with Isaiah, ‘I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips’ (Isaiah 6:5), then I could understand. But we skip into His awful presence.” 

I fear that sometimes I come to Him skipping when I should be lying on my face. 

PRAYER: “Almighty, holy, perfect God, forgive me when I think I can somehow grasp the magnificence of Your holiness. I’m truly an unclean man.”


Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, September 10, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Missionary Couple Reunited with Child Swapped at Birth

Choir Replaces Name of Jesus with Hillary Clinton in Rendition of Old Hymn

Pastor, Professor Takes Own Life after Being Revealed as Ashley Madison User

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Released from Jail, Will Return to Work

TV Adventure Star Talks About Importance of His Faith

Presbyterian Church (USA) Hosts First Same-sex Wedding at National Office

Church Elder Sues Pastor for Swearing in Sermons

‘War Room’ Trounces ‘Compton’ for No. 1 at Box Office

Violence in Nigeria Prevents Children from Returning to School

Iraqi Prime Minister Appoints Committee Addressing Christian Persecution

Opinion

The Ashley Madison Affair: God’s Grace for Fallen Pastors

Are You Living Fully in the Spirit?

The Dating Apocalypse: Tinder and the Hookup Culture

Controversial Buzzfeed Video Goes Viral

Darwinism Versus the Octopus: An Evolutionary Dilemma


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:

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

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Love another Christian just because of the fellowship of the gospel

WINTERY KNIGHT

Note: I am re-posting a series of five Bible studies this week that I wrote last year. Every 2 PM post Monday to Friday this week will be a Bible study.

Philippians is my favorite book of the Bible. When I study Philippians 1, I use D. A. Carson’s “Basics for Believers” commentary.

Here is the part I want to talk about today:

Philippians 1:1-11:

Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,

in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect…

View original post 2,151 more words

Reformation21: The Refugee Crisis and Christian Hope

The Refugee Crisis and Christian Hope

Over the past week, the refugee crisis facing Europe has been a matter of intense discussion here in the UK and around the world. While the facts, figures, and politics have long received attention on the news, pictures of the lifeless body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach pressed the tragic situation of Syrian refugees upon the public consciousness with a visceral intensity. Those images spread on social media, along with hashtags such as #refugeeswelcome, spurring popular outcry against the UK’s asylum policies and a call for us to follow the example of countries such as Germany.
Christians have been among the most vocal of those calling for action, the voices of church leaders being buoyed upon a vast swell of moral sentiment, especially online. People have appealed to the teaching of Jesus, expressed in such parables as the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). In a widely shared piece, the left-wing cleric Giles Fraser castigated politicians who campaign on the basis of Christian morality for their supposed hypocritical response to the crisis, maintaining that only the most radical action would suffice:
[W]hy not all of them? Surely that’s the biblical answer to the “how many can we take?” question. Every single last one. Let’s dig up the greenbelt, create new cities, turn our Downton Abbeys into flats and church halls into temporary dormitories, and reclaim all those empty penthouses being used as nothing more than investment vehicles. Yes, it may change the character of this country. Or maybe it won’t require anything like such drastic action – who knows? But let’s do whatever it takes to open the door of welcome.
The Church should have a peculiar affinity with displaced persons. Displaced persons and refugees are disproportionately represented in the Scriptures–Abraham, Jacob and his family, Moses, David, and Christ were all displaced or refugees at points in their lives. The early Church spread in part through the diasporic movement of refugees escaping persecution in Jerusalem. The people of God, in Old Testament as in New, are called to think of themselves as ‘aliens and strangers’ (Leviticus 25:23; 1 Chronicles 29:15; 1 Peter 2:11), as those thrown upon the hospitality of the world’s polities, or to emulate the apostle as cosmopolitan selves (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). As Luke Bretherton observes, much as the foetus or the suffering and dying, the refugee is a test of our preparedness ‘to recognize bare life as human life worthy of respect and to be afforded dignity as a potential or existent participant in a particular human community.'[1]
The response to the refugee crisis has been troubling, exposing the depth of the rot of Europe’s psyche. Both in European societies and governments and within the Church it has also revealed just how impoverished our moral and political discourse actually is. For the difficult tasks of patient deliberation and discriminating political wisdom, a cult of sentimental humanitarianism–Neoliberalism’s good cop to its bad cop of foreign military interventionism–substitutes the self-congratulatory ease of kneejerk emotional judgments, assuming that the ‘right’–what ought to be done–is immediately apparent from some instinctive apprehension of the ‘good’.
In the febrile environment of social media, this cult of sentimental humanitarianism frequently manifests in virtue-signalling and policing and in immense waves of collective emotion. Declaring definitively, yet thoughtlessly, upon issues of labyrinthine complexity, it regularly appears to involve a narcissistic preoccupation with our own caring, not least relative to the supposedly inadequate caring of others. The simplistic vision that would cast fiendishly knotty social and political problems as if they were parable scenes for us to re-enact for our moral self-validation is bankrupt. As Daniel Hannan and Matthew Parris both observe, our fetishization of sentiment has an obfuscating effect, and neglects the actual task of prudence that lies before us. It leaves us ill-equipped to recognize how involved matters are, runs the risk of encouraging counterproductive responses, and can produce cynical and opportunistic political leadership. Melanie McDonagh also draws attention to the capriciousness and irresponsibility of sentimentalist politics, driven as it is by unpredictable surges of common public feeling in reaction to emotionally affecting images. The images that enflame our sentimentalism are shorn of the sort of historical and political context that might prevent them from functioning as screens upon which Europe projects the theatre of its own tortured psyche.
Compounding the ethically blinding poison of sentimental humanitarianism is the malaise of European masochism. Christianity acquainted Europe with its guilt, but having shrugged off its old faith, Europe is imprisoned in a paralyzing state of cultural self-condemnation without the relief of Christ’s gift of atonement, forgiveness, and redemption. Pascal Bruckner and others have commented upon Europe’s self-reproaching tendencies, our perverse urge to blame the West for all of the wrongs of the world, to project upon the poor and disenfranchised the character of innocent victims, and to view alignment with them as our one chance at psychic redemption. Many of these groups are all too happy opportunistically to play the part of the wronged party to whom we are morally indebted.
Bruckner writes of Europe: ‘Ruminating on its past abominations–wars, religious persecutions, slavery, imperialism, fascism, communism–it views its history as nothing more than a long series of massacres and sackings that led to two world wars, that is, to an enthusiastic suicide.’ The exhaustion of Europe’s cultural spirit is seen in such phenomena as the bland narcissistic hedonism of our liberal utopias and in our inability to reproduce ourselves. The looming demographic crisis that faces Europe’s greying populations produces a need for cheap foreign labour that needs to be seen as part of the story behind differing responses to the refugee crisis (why are we so welcoming of mass asylum when we cannot even welcome our own offspring into the world?). One of the reasons why Islamophobia is a real phenomenon in Europe is because it is so unsettlingly apparent that, as Michael Houellebecq intimates, the young Muslim immigrants entering Europe have a vitality and virility of cultural spirit that is alien to native Europeans.
The ‘charity’ of a guilt-ridden people can be characterized by a ‘self’-lessness, a handing over or abnegation of the self in futile attempts at atonement for themselves. This self-lessness of Europe is perhaps nowhere more clearly on display than in our abandonment of cultural identity for multiculturalism. British identity, it is meekly suggested, is located in virtues such as tolerance, diversity, respect, and equality, the bare formalities that delineate a realm surrendered to largely unopposed contestation. A society that has lost its self will spinelessly accommodate itself to the demands of the unreasonable, seeking to appease them through compliance.
Giles Fraser’s article is revealing on this front. Fraser invokes the notion of Britain as a ‘Christian nation’ as justification for a completely open doors policy on immigration. However, Fraser can only situate the notion of Britain as a Christian nation within the rhetorical appeals of the wrong sort of Christian politicians he is attacking. He cannot openly say that Britain is a Christian nation himself, because this wouldn’t be inclusive and welcoming enough of other religions. Rather, the hospitality of Christianity must function as a vanishing mediator for the deracinated multicultural society–Christianity must fade away, leaving only a toothless smile of universal benevolence behind. The appeal made by Fraser and his ilk to Christianity at such junctures is piecemeal and opportunistic: true allegiance to Christianity would also cut directly against both multiculturalism and the neoliberal foreign interventionism that helped to create this situation in the first place.
Fraser’s article betrays a profound disregard–and perhaps also distaste–for Britain as a place. ISIS blows up Syria’s cultural treasures; Fraser would turn ours into flats and new ground for housing developments. In this attitude, Fraser displays liberalism’s characteristic undervaluing of place and of the immediate neighbour. Leibniz articulates liberalism’s viewpoint, ‘I am indifferent to that which constitutes a German or a Frenchman because I will only the good of all mankind.'[2]
Although participating in a common life and having a place are universal human goods, these can only be realized in the particular yet variegated forms of specific societies, through which they are refracted. Liberalism’s undervaluation of particularity encourages it to think in terms of abstract right-bearers and of mere space. The paradigmatic person of liberalism is a displaced one: the universal human subject. As one might expect, the result of the liberal vision has often been the breaking down of particular communities and places into interchangeable territories, rendering all increasingly ‘placeless’, both in the social, historical, and material order.
The indiscriminate welcoming of migrant populations can attenuate place for everyone. Although this may serve the interests of capitalists and governments who stand to benefit from a mobile, dependent, and biddable workforce and a population with little internal solidarity, this is at heavy cost to the wellbeing of the people within such groups. The persons who bear the heaviest burden of this loss of place are typically the poorest within society.
As Paul Kahn has argued, the liberal vision of political community as founded upon the formality of social contract and around universal human values and rights, neglects the reality that every such community must be bound together by the forces of sacrifice, of faith, love, and identity, forces that are inescapably particular.[3]  Peoples and places are forged around shared customs, values, religions, languages, histories, cultural canons, symbols, and sacrifices and it is only thus that universal human goods are realized.
The biblical vision of charity ‘begins at home’, with those who are our immediate neighbours, and with the principled extension of our places to others–or the creation of new shared places–in a manner that preserves and develops their character as specific refractions of universal human goods. Although this extension is and should be transformative, the particular is never abandoned for the universal, however. Scripture emphasizes the household (1 Timothy 5:8) and the church (Galatians 6:10) as the sites of our primary responsibility to our neighbours, responsibilities that take priority over any to those outside these most immediate spheres. We should not extend ourselves beyond these realms in any manner that would compromise our primary neighbourly duties. Nor should we thoughtlessly open up our places to those who would undermine or attack them. Here prudence requires of us a more discriminating approach to the welcoming of displaced persons.
When thinking about the appropriate response to the refugee crisis facing Europe, these are very important concerns. We should be under no illusion that the refugees arriving in countries such as Germany are merely seeking temporary refuge: what we are witnessing is the permanent resettlement of millions of persons. The average refugee seeking to enter countries such as Germany and Sweden is not doing so on account of their particular character as places, nor on the basis of their cultural or geographical proximity to their homeland, but because of their generous welfare states and employment prospects, which promise a more prosperous future for them and their families. This move has been prompted less by pressing need than by changes in asylum policies. While people have the right to migrate, no great onus lies upon European nations to open their borders to such persons. Rather, our primary moral course lies in restoring the refugees’ own places and assisting their neighbours in providing for them.
The demographics of asylum seekers are also masked by the camera’s attraction to the faces of women and children. Over 72% of asylum seekers are adult men (and the children accompanying them are disproportionately male). This current wave of asylum seekers will likely be followed by another wave of their family members. Europe’s masochistic guilt complex, its cult of sentimental humanitarianism, and its fetishization of the innocent ‘victim’ can blind it to the ugly cultural pathologies that are taking root on our continent with many of these asylum seekers. Multicultural ideology has helped to make possible the sexual abuse of over 1,400 children by British-Pakistani men in Rotherham. Liberalism’s politically correct valorization of all cultures equally will claim many more victims in the years to come (indeed, earlier today I read another news story with troubling similarities to that of Rotherham).
Even leaving to one side ISIS’s claim that they are sending jihadis into Europe in these waves of migration, the threat of militant Islam in Europe is also a growing one. This vast movement of people has been marked by violence both from the refugees and those who–not without justification–believe that their places are threatened by their influx. Islamophobia–the fear of Islam–doesn’t seem quite so irrational after one has seen videos like this and we should expect it to be a central feature of European politics for decades to come. We should be under no illusion: in the name of blinkered compassion we are at incredible risk of creating an angry and powerful underclass that is resolutely hostile to Europe and its values, and a popular swing to the far-right in reaction against it. Many of these refugees seem to recognize Europe’s guilt-driven ‘charity’ for the cultural emasculation that it is and, rather than showing gratitude for their welcome into other people’s places, manifest an attitude of angry entitlement to and hostility towards Europe’s places, people, customs, and societies. While this is by no means universal, it is widespread enough to justify genuine concern.
How ought we to respond to the refugee crisis as Christians and citizens? The following are a few suggestions.
First, the plight of asylum seekers and refugees should recall us to our own identity as aliens and strangers, a people who are uniquely situated to be present to and in solidarity with the displaced. We can provide a social place for placeless persons coming into our nations. ‘Christian churches and families can make a very practical difference if they are prepared to take refugees into their communities and homes, relieving the social burden upon the poor and forging concrete neighbour bonds, where refugees’ relationship with their host countries might otherwise be established primarily by the impersonal machinery of state bureaucracy.’?It also tests our capacity and willingness to recognize the image of God in ‘bare humanity’. In many respects, this vast influx of refugees provides openings for the gospel to people to whom Christian missionaries formerly had little access. Whether or not our governments’ asylum policies are wise–the question that has been at the forefront of my analysis to this point–we have a distinct identity as the Church and, as our societies experience new waves of refugees and immigrants, we must pray for and minister to our new neighbours, serving them in Christian love, even on the occasions when these neighbours may be our enemies. The Christian calling to love enemies provides an alternative both to xenophobia’s hatred and to liberalism’s dissembling of the reality of cultural evil and intercultural hostility.
Second, we need to form churches that ‘make a place’ for new immigrants and refugees in their cultural particularity. In the Church, this should involve the living out of our cultural particularities in fellowship under the judgment of the cross. The ‘assimilation’ or digestion of other peoples into an undifferentiated or indifferently different liberal populace should not be our goal. Rather, we should recognize the potential for cultural difference–if it is welcomed wisely and with discernment–to be an enriching gift for our own communities. This requires, not effacement of our own national identities, but their opening out as a ‘face’ presented to a wider world. Bretherton writes:
By understanding a nation’s borders as a face, we can express pride in our national character and history. We can also require that those whom we welcome learn our language and commit to the economic, social and political life of this country.
But it also requires that we move beyond mere humanitarian concern or isolated charity, and toward authentic long-term relationships, and it is this that enables strangers to become citizens.
Third, we must recognize the spiritual poison of the politics of Western guilt and sentimental humanitarianism. As people redeemed by a gospel of free forgiveness, our charity should not be self-less and guilt-driven, but the loving and generous outward movement of a culturally confident people who have been set free from spiritual bondage. We must minister the message of such deliverance to Europe’s crushed psyche. We should appreciate the difference between true Christian compassion and a sentimentalist and narcissistic glorification of the passion of empathy.
Fourth, we need to commit ourselves to the works of mercy as integral to the life of the people of God. We must practice various forms of solidarity with the displaced. We should support and assist the various agencies that practically address their immediate needs. We should ensure that the Church itself is prominently represented among these. We should keep them in our prayers. We should draw international attention to their plight. We should advocate for their needs to our governments, encouraging them to devote considerable resources to helping them and the regional governments currently providing them with asylum. We should do what we can to encourage a healthy process of public deliberation concerning how best to ameliorate their condition–especially the most dependent among them–and how wisely to allocate resources and direct action in order to make a difference.
Few moral issues facing us in our day require such careful navigation between treacherous hidden shoals of false virtues and well-intentioned folly as that of the mass movement of refugees. Fulfilling our calling to be both wise as serpents and harmless as doves is an immense, yet never more pressing, challenge.
Alastair Roberts did his doctoral studies in Theology in Durham University. He is one of the participants in the Mere Fidelity podcast and is also the contributing editor of the Politics of Scripture series on the Political Theology Today blog. He blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria and tweets using @zugzwanged
Notes:
[1] Luke Bretherton, ‘The Duty of Care to Refugees, Christian Cosmopolitanism, and the Hallowing of Bare Life,’ Studies in Christian Ethics 19.1 (2006), p.58
[2] Cited in ibid. p.47
[3] Paul W. Kahn, Putting Liberalism in its Place (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005)

GTY Blog – Samson: Playing with Fire and Getting Burned

Judges 14-16

Code: B150910

by John MacArthur

From before his birth, Samson was to be set apart for God’s use. But his unbridled lust, arrogant pride, and violent temper corrupted his character and ruined his reputation. Even a seemingly solemn, happy occasion like his wedding turned into a rage-fueled bloodbath.

Samson’s nightmarish wedding likely occurred in early springtime. After sulking at home for a while, he decided to return to his wife around the time of the wheat harvest. But unknown to Samson, his Philistine father-in-law, who assumed the angry groom would never return, had given his daughter away to someone else (Judges 14:20).

Samson showed up at his wife’s house with a young goat, apparently a meager peace offering he hoped would appease the family agitated by the wedding debacle. To his surprise, he was met at the door only by his father-in-law, who refused to let him in. Thoughts of reconciliation turned to rage as Samson heard his father-in-law say the unthinkable: “I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please let her be yours instead” (Judges 15:2).

The betrayed bridegroom was understandably furious, and again he took out his anger on the Philistines. In an incredible feat of superhuman ability, Samson captured three hundred “foxes” and tied their tails together to create one hundred fifty yelping pairs. The Hebrew word for fox can also be translated jackal. It is likely that jackals were the actual animals involved in this episode since they were more plentiful than foxes in ancient Israel. Having secured the coyote-like creatures together, Samson attached torches to their tails, lit the torches on fire, and sent them frantically zigzagging through the nearby grain fields. With kindled wrath, he used them to ignite the Philistine crops in a blaze that destroyed everything in its path, from grain fields to vineyards to olive groves (Judges 15:5).

When they learned why he had started the fires, the Philistines blamed Samson’s former in-laws. They retaliated by burning both his former wife and father-in-law to death (Judges 15:6). Ironically, in order to avoid death earlier, Samson’s wife had begged him to reveal the meaning of his riddle to her so she could tell the thirty Philistines at the wedding. Yet by doing that, she set in motion a series of events that ended with the very outcome she had desperately tried to avoid—her own death.

Upon hearing the news of his wife’s brutal execution, Samson again became enraged. He accepted no blame for the circumstances leading to her death. Instead, he launched further vengeance against the Philistines. According to Judges 15:8, “he struck them ruthlessly with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.” Here is the providence of God and the fulfillment of divine purpose in a most unimaginable manner. The Lord was using Samson’s self-centered rage and revenge to defeat the Philistines.

Escaping Arrest

With their fields scorched and their kinsmen slain, the Philistines had enough; they gathered an army and came looking for Samson. The men of Judah saw them approaching and asked, “Why have you come up against us?” The Philistine answer was simple and direct, “We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us” (Judges 15:10).

Samson’s reputation was such that even his fellow Israelites were afraid of him. Accordingly, the men of Judah sent their own army of three thousand men to find him and bring him back to the Philistines. When they located Samson, they asked him, “Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” Samson’s response, full of self-vindication, was nearly identical to what the Philistines had said just a short time before, “As they did to me, so I have done to them” (Judges 15:11).

An awkward and tense standoff ensued, as the Israelite soldiers announced that they had come to arrest Samson and deliver him to the Philistines. The three thousand men against him posed no threat to Samson. He knew they had been coerced to come after him. So after making them swear that they would not kill him, Samson agreed to give himself up and go quietly. To prevent his escape, the soldiers bound him with two new ropes.

As the cohort returned to deliver Samson to his enemies, “the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands” (Judges 15:14). Snapping away the new ropes, Samson faced his attackers like a real-life superhero. He picked up the nearest object he could find to use as a weapon—the jawbone of a donkey lying on the ground—and ran to confront his enemies.

The Israelite soldiers watched in shock as their former captive single-handedly decimated the army of oppressors. One can hardly imagine the chaos and carnage of that conflict, as Samson slaughtered a thousand of his enemies by himself, with nothing but a nine-inch jawbone. When the battle was over and any surviving Philistines had fled, Samson piled the bodies of his slain adversaries in a heap, and called the place “Ramath Lehi” which means “Jawbone Hill.”

Samson, claiming the credit for himself, composed a song to celebrate his victory (Judges 15:16). He was vividly reminded very soon, however, of the fact that God was the source of his strength. Exhausted from the battle, Samson became exceedingly thirsty—to the point of death. He cried out to the Lord in desperation, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” (Judges 15:18).

In spite of Samson’s arrogant presumption, he bowed to the reality that “You [God] have given this great deliverance.” God responded, answering his prayer by miraculously bringing water from a rock. In the same way that the Lord delivered the grumbling Israelites in the wilderness during the days of Moses (Exodus 17:6), He now delivered Samson from life-threatening dehydration. For the first time in Samson’s life, he experienced severe physical weakness and cried out to the Lord for help. He would have to do so again at the end of his life.

After recounting this episode, the biblical text states that Samson “judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines” (Judges 15:20). For two decades, under his protection, the Israelites enjoyed a time of reprieve. Although the Philistines would continue to trouble Israel long after Samson’s lifetime, he had broken the back of their dominance. And in his death he struck them with the final, fatal blow.

Fatal Attraction

The closing drama of Samson’s life features a man who completely failed to advance from the reckless impulsiveness of his youth. The final chapter began when, as before, he fell for a Philistine woman. But even before he met Delilah, the text notes that he visited a prostitute in Gaza (Judges 16:1–3). While he was with her, the men of Gaza were informed and attempted to capture him. Escaping their effort, Samson uprooted the heavy city gates and carried them (bars and all) on his shoulders to the hills of Hebron, thirty-eight miles away!

The sordid episode in Gaza highlighted both Samson’s superhuman strength and his super-sinful weakness. His fatal attraction to pagan women was not only the pattern of his life, but proved to be the path to his death. If Samson were Superman, his own sinful desires were his kryptonite. He could kill a lion, but not his lust. He could break new ropes, but not old habits. He could defeat armies of Philistine soldiers, but not his own flesh. He could carry away the gates of a city but allowed himself to be carried away when lost in passion.

When Samson fixed his lust on Delilah, disaster was inevitable. And the path to that disaster was familiar. Just as Samson’s wife had been coerced by the Philistines to learn the answer to her husband’s riddle, so Delilah was enticed to discover the secret of Samson’s strength. Rather than a threat, as in the first case, this time the Philistine rulers offered Delilah an exorbitant amount of money—fifty-five hundred shekels of silver. Biblical scholars have noted that the average yearly wage for a laborer was only ten silver shekels, making this offer five hundred fifty times that amount! If we compared that to wages of $50,000 today, the cash reward would have been almost $30 million. No amount was too high to eliminate their deadly enemy.

With a fortune at stake, Delilah was happy to seduce her Hebrew boyfriend. She employed the same tactics that Samson’s wife had used two decades earlier—manipulating him by complaining that he did not truly love her (Judges 16:15). Delilah’s probing questions were anything but subtle: “Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you” (Judges 16:6). And her repeated attempts to trap Samson (in vv. 8, 10, and 14) were a dead giveaway as to the nature of her intentions. Perhaps Samson initially found the game of cat and mouse to be amusing. But eventually Delilah’s persistence melted his resolve and he succumbed and told her the truth about his strength.

It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man.” (Judges 16:16-17)

Delilah wasted no time. She coaxed Samson to sleep and called for a local barber (v. 19). When the Philistine guards arrived to apprehend him, Samson was helpless. The harrowing words of the text, “he did not know that the Lord had departed from him,” (v. 20) express the shock and dismay that Samson suddenly felt. Never before had he been unable to overpower all enemies; never again would he escape from their custody.

Still, God Himself would overpower Samson’s defeat to bring Israel victory. We’ll look at that part of the story next time.

(Adapted from Twelve Unlikely Heroes.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150910
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

On the Question of Sin and Forgiveness, and God’s Method of Mercy

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “THE CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER; OR, SHORT REFLECTIONS UPON THE FAITH, LIFE, AND CONDUCT OF A REAL CHRISTIAN”
Written by, Ambrose Serle

the-cross351

“Of these things put them in remembrance.”
–2 Timothy 2:14.

Not equal grace, by Paul obtain’d,
Nor Peter’s pardon I require;
But what upon the Cross was gain’d
By the poor thief, would I desire!
–Copernicus’ Epitaph

ON THE QUESTION OF SIN AND FORGIVENESS

WHEREWITH shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?” How shall I, a sinner, approach the eyes of that Majesty, which cannot look upon sin without abhorrence? My iniquities are more in number than the hairs of my head; and my heart sinks within me on their remembrance. My affections are naturally all inclined to the world, and worldly things. My judgment is depraved; my will is perverse; my understanding is darkened; my knowledge vain; and I see…

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Sometime He’s a She

Unfathomable Grace

In 1982 AD, Hall & Oates penned their top song, “Maneater.” It was one of their most famous ballads, and it remained at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. The lyrics were as follows

She’ll only come out at nights
The lean and hungry type
Nothing is new
I’ve seen her here before
Watching and waiting
Ooh, she’s sittin’ with you
But her eyes are on the door

So many have paid to see
What you think
You’re gettin’ for free
The woman is wild
A she-cat tamed
By the purr of a Jaguar
Money’s the matter
If you’re in it for love
You ain’t gonna get too far

Oh-oh, here she comes
Watch out boy
She’ll chew you up
Oh-oh, here she comes
She’s a maneater

I wouldn’t if I were you
I know what she can do
She’s deadly man
And she could really rip your world apart

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Destroying Tens of Thousands

A Ruby In The Rough

Annnales cours de Caro à la Sorbonne 1897The Sound of an Alarm:

“A preacher may destroy his thousands if he preaches false doctrine, but the Principal of a College can destroy tens of thousands if he preaches false doctrine, for he sends out emissaries of Hell to preach another gospel which deludes and darkens men, and eventually leads them to damnation in the outer darkness of Hell for evermore.”

Read more: http://soundofanalarm.blogspot.ca/2015/06/the-apostasy-of-irish-presbyterianism.html#more

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Is Heaven worth suffering for?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 James, a bond- servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:1-4 NASB)

33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB)

While the emergents and other forms of relativistic Christianity attempt to refocus Christians to this present age, we are clearly taught throughout the New Testament that what awaits us after we leave this life is that for which we should really be preparing. In the world, we will have tribulation…

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