Daily Archives: September 14, 2015

The carnality of Christians and genuine repentance

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “ You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Therefore did that which is good…

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What is Jesus’ view of the definition of marriage?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Does government provide incentives for people to get married? This is marriage as Jesus taught it, stupid Buzzfeed leftists

I noticed that there is some silly video put out by the atheists at BuzzFeed where a bunch of people claiming to be Christians deny that Jesus has any authority in their worldview. It’s pretty easy to say “I’m a Christian”, but that doesn’t make you a Christian, silly Buzzfeed atheists.

Here’s what Jesus says about marriage.

Matthew 19:1-11:

1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall…

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5 Helpful Practices for Sharing Jesus with Our Friends

The Confessional ARP

We all have friends that we know aren’t involved in a church. Some may be members of a church, but they aren’t by any means active, while others currently aren’t members of any church and probably have never been members of any church. We love them, and, like Paul, we feel obligated to share Jesus with them (Rom. 1:15). But we wonder how to do it effectively.

I offer you the following five helpful practices for sharing Jesus with your friends. May the Lord bless you with a rich harvest among your friends and family for his glory.

  1. Know the Gospel Story. By definition, the gospel is news to be told, and it can’t be told completely if the one telling it doesn’t know it fully. We must make sure that we understand the Who, the Why, and the How of the gospel. The Who is Jesus. The gospel is…

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Exalting Kim Davis, Religious Freedom, and the Hypocrisy of the Left

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

Kim Davis and media

Some say Kim Davis should have resigned rather than go to jail; others say she should have obeyed the laws of the land and issued marriage licenses to whoever wanted them. Some ask why she is the only government employee refusing to go along with the Supreme Court’s ruling while others insist she must obey the authorities even though it would go against her faith.

There are so many angles and subplots to this multi-faceted issue; some we hear over and over while others do not get much air time. One thing is certain: America has changed and we have taken our freedoms for granted for way too long.

If you haven’t heard, Kim Davis, a county clerk from Kentucky was released September 8 after having been sent to jail for six days because she refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals citing religious objections and matters of conscience. Davis…

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September 14, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Heidelberg 126: Justified Sinners Pray For Forgiveness Of Sins

This is the prayer of the tax collector (Luke 18:13), “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus says that the one who prays that prayer goes home justified, not on the basis of the quality of his prayer nor on the basis of anything done by him or wrought in him (WCF 11) but only for the sake of Christ’s righteousness credited (imputed) to him and received through faith alone (sola fide).

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Christian Celebrity Culture: Not Gloating but Mourning

The celebrity culture is dangerous for the celebrity. Pride goes before the fall, and how often have we seen this happen? Pride cause a person to think he is above criticism or at least handpick who he will be accountable to. The local body of believers is insufficient. Let it be someone with an equal or larger platform. Pride blinds a person to believe that his ministry and its reach are greater than godly character. In the end, theology will likely be compromised to be able to maintain the front that God’s blessing is still raining down while ignoring the growing list of expendable people. I’m not gloating, but mourning.

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Believing in God: How? Why?

So, if there’s no God, get over your outrage over evil. There’s no such thing! Some people do this, of course- or, they say they do. Beauty is subjective and “in the eye of the beholder,” while truth is purely a personal construct. “Evil” is just a name we use for things we don’t like, like rape, murder or Brussels sprouts. It’s all just a matter of taste. Societies set their own standards of right and wrong, and who are we to judge?

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Teaching Kids Church History

We need to teach our children about the history of the church. Teaching them about the past and how we got to where we are today gives them a foundation in their faith. It helps them see how serious truth is and the lengths we must go to in protecting it. It helps give shape to the creeds, confessions, and doctrines that are easily taken for granted. Like the passage in Hebrews 11, it helps them see that many have gone before them, fighting the good fight of faith.

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What Are 3 Ways For a Pastor to Prepare His Heart Before Conducting a Funeral?

Wearing your administrator and facilitator cap through the process is necessary.  It will serve you as a helpful companion to maneuver through all the details and demands that always accompany funerals.  Nevertheless, you are ultimately a pastor and evangelist who is called upon by the Chief Shepherd to prepare and conduct funerals of dead men as “a dying man preaching to dying men.” Prepare and conduct funerals knowing the grieving are hurting, longing for tender care, and must look to Jesus as their only hope.

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5 Trends Christian Millennials MUST STOP Doing

The same group of Christian millennials will be the first to dish out accountability, usually in the form of Church-bashing, but will be the last to receive it. It’ll be rendered them, but they won’t accept it. If you call them out on wayward behavior they will notoriously accuse you of judging them and use the Bible to support their plight. But indeed the Bible says that Christians ARE to judge each other, as we saw earlier.

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How Many Gay Marriages?

Despite 14 years of time since the Netherlands lead the way in legalizing gay marriage, not one nation outside the United States has even a 30% marriage rate among its adult (18 years or older) gay population. Furthermore, the actual rate of marriage among homosexuals in these nations could be less than 13 percent.

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What Happens to the Daughters?

Parents don’t just take charge of minor decisions: they may feel free to decide where (and if) their daughter can work, whether she can go to school, and, of course, who she can marry. This is done in the name of protecting daughters. It may work out that way sometimes. Imagine, though, that your parents decide everything about what you can do and where you can go and your only hope of escape is marriage. If that’s not bad enough, your parents get to decide who you marry.

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3 Misconceptions Christians Have about Divorce

3 Misconceptions Christians Have about Divorce

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Crosswalk

In Smith’s Relevant Magazine article “3 Misconceptions Christians Have About Divorce” he shares misguided thoughts common to Christians dealing with divorce, or watching it from an outside perspective.

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The Only Way to Teach Your Children to be Content

The Only Way to Teach Your Children to be Content

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Crosswalk

This world is not our home, and we shouldn’t expect to be satisfied with what we have here.

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6 Truths to Remember When You’re Struggling to Make a Decision

6 Truths to Remember When You’re Struggling to Make a Decision

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Crosswalk

Sometimes it’s not easy to make a decision, because we’re not given any supernatural ability to see right into the future. It takes faith.

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A Prayer to Get In On What God is Doing Today

A Prayer to Get In On What God is Doing Today

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Crosswalk

Our own plans pale when His are made known…

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Marks of a Biblical Church Part 1: What Makes a Church a Church?

Marks of a Biblical Church Part 1: What Makes a Church a Church?

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Christianity Today

The way we view the local church is changing, and we may need to learn to be more flexible.

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Ashley Madison Is Just the Beginning

Ashley Madison Is Just the Beginning

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Church Leaders

&This will continue, and will accelerate. As technology continues to draw itself closer and closer into the human person, the immorality industry will proliferate too.&

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Prayer Partners Required: Why Our Prayers Are Not Enough

Prayer Partners Required: Why Our Prayers Are Not Enough

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Church Leaders

&One of the greatest risks in local church ministry is not having specific people pray for you as a leader.&

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7 things we've learned about reaching millennials

7 things we’ve learned about reaching millennials

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Ministry Matters

The statistics are staggering. The older a child gets today, the greater his or her chances are of disappearing from the church. The church must intentionally plan to reverse this …

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The Difference Between Great Leaders and Leaders Who Appear Great

The Difference Between Great Leaders and Leaders Who Appear Great

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Church Leaders

&Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility. Especially in the church, you’re leading people who are placing their trust and respect in you.&

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When charity goes bad: How not to help refugees

When charity goes bad: How not to help refugees

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Christian Today

So many people have already donated goods to refugee charities that they’re overwhelmed.

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3 faith questions changed newsman David Gregory’s life

3 faith questions changed newsman David Gregory’s life

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Religion News

(RNS) His book &How’s Your Faith?& shares his path to a deeper sense of his Jewish spiritual life.

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3 Truths About Fitting In

by Erin Davis

The next time you feel like the president of the “I Don’t Fit In Club,” remember these three truths.

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.


***WARNING: DANGER*** – HEAVENLY TOURISM

***WARNING: DANGER*** - HEAVENLY TOURISM

“It’s interesting that in the New Testament, there are only three men who are allowed a glimpse into heaven…John, who was writing Revelation, by far the most detailed account we have of heaven, by far….And the only other one is Paul, who was not allowed to tell us. Now my question is, if the man who wrote roughly a third of the New Testament was now allowed to tell us what he saw and heard in heaven, how is it that all these other people are allowed to do so?

Justin Peters


Evidence Mounts for Viability of Babies not Considered Legally “Human”

 

Christian Headlines reports:

Pre-born babyA new study published Sept. 8 found that more infants born before 28 weeks gestation are surviving without disease or other complications compared to 20 years ago. The findings cast further doubt on the adequacy of the viability standard for protecting the unborn.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined 35,000 premature births between 1993 and 2012 at 26 U.S. centers participating in the Neonatal Research Network. It broadens a previous study published in May that found an increased survival rate for infants born at 22 weeks. The May study examined 5,000 infants born at 27 weeks or earlier between 2006 and 2011.

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Shemitah is over – But nothing happened

“Well almost nothing” says Amy Spreeman of Berean Research:

Jonathan Cahn warns of pending “Shemitah” judgments coming to America on Sid Roth’s television program, It’s Supernatural

Jonathan Cahn warns of pending “Shemitah” judgments coming to America
on Sid Roth’s television program, It’s Supernatural

We had a whole bunch of Hebrew Roots Americans jumping on to the fear-wagon promoted in the Mystery of the Shemitah book which claimed that we’re all doomed if we don’t keep the seven-year observation from the Old Testament.

I’ve been warning Christians to not be fooled by the “Shemitah” ever since Messianic Rabbi and book author Jonathan Cahn began pointing Christians to laws meant for the children of Israel. (See: Will Christians be snookered by Shemitah?) Cahn claims that “the Mystery of the Shemitah and it’s so big that it affects everything we as a people are personally doing and will affect the rise and fall of the United States of America …

Shemitah is over – But nothing happened


The gift of Caryl!

It has been about one year since my friend Caryl Matrisciana spoke at the Great Lakes Prophecy Conference, and then suffered horrific injuries in a bicycle accident shortly after. A few months later, she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer that spread to her bones and throughout her body.  Yet through it all, Caryl […]

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Albert Mohler “There’s Always More to the Story: A Conversation With Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times

In this interview, Dr Mohler interviews Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times.
Mark Oppenheimer writes the regular “Beliefs” column for The New York Times
and also reports for The Atlantic, The Nation, This American Life, and elsewhere. He has a doctorate in American religious history and directs the Yale Journalism Initiative. He is also the host of a new podcast, “Unorthodox,” on Jewish religious issues

Click here to listen


The Most Dangerous Cult: Liberalism

Jan Markell, Eric Barger, and Jill Martin Rische spend the hour discussing the most dangerous cult, the cult of liberalism. Mainline Protestantism caved to it 150 years ago and now evangelicals are doing the same. Liberalism is ravaging our churches, colleges, and seminaries. Find out who the leaders of this movement are and how you can combat liberalism if it is in your world and church. Though the liberal church will say they are Christians, they have taken their eyes off of the important issues of eternity. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

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Gog Moves in Next Door to Israel

I find it amazing that we have arrived at the point where Russia is right next door to Israel. In the 1980s, prophecy watchers skipped over the 1000 mile gap; when they showed Russia going from the Black Sea to Northern Israel. It is also stunning that Iran is now a close ally of Russia.

The biblical description of the Gog army as being vast in size implies that at some future date Russian forces will flood into Syria. By establishing a forward operating base in Latakia, this move is now possible.

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Christian Professor Warns: Movies About Heaven, Near Death Experience ‘Can Harm Christian Theology’

“If we study what the Bible says about Heaven, we will come to the conclusion that what the Bible says about Heaven is seriously out of synch with what NDEs tell us about Heaven and that deeply concerns me,” he continued. “I believe that reliance upon these stories can harm Christian theology and a biblical understanding of what Heaven is like.”

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It’s the Jewish New Year, right? – Joseph Farah

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

That “trump” or trumpet could very well be blown on Rosh Hashanah, one of these years.

That would be the most likely time.

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The Refugee Contagion – Hal Lindsey

With native populations dwindling, Europe long ago decided it needed a new source of labor in order to maintain its economic power and the standard of living European elites have long enjoyed. So they put out the welcome mat — especially to poor Muslims from the Middle East. They came in vast numbers. With them, they brought Sharia law, honor killings, and crime. In France, an estimated 70% of prison inmates are Muslim.

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End Times Prophecy Author’s Dire Warning About ‘Apocalyptic Islam’ and ‘Annihilation’

Author Joel C. Rosenberg is warning that the greatest threat to America’s security is now coming from “apocalyptic Islam,” a dangerous, end times philosophy that he said many world leaders simply fail to understand……….. Click here for full story


War Room’s Alex Kendrick and a movie magic medallion

John Lanagan has written a second piece on the hit film War Room. In his first piece he informed us that the film’s star, Priscilla Shirer, is into highly unorthodox teaching, which the three Kendrick brothers were unaware of or they wouldn’t have chose her to star in the movie. Now we learn that writer/producer/director/actor Alex Kendrick participated in a film that promotes magic, even though the Bible clearly teaches that God’s people are not to dabble in sorcery.

and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:21)

I have really appreciated the movies from the Kendrick brothers. I do think War Room as a movie per se will encourage many to renew their prayer lives, or to take prayer more seriously.

That’s the upside.

Unfortunately, the movie will also increase the influence of author and Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer, who stars in War Room. She did a great job in the movie.

War Room’s Alex Kendrick and a movie magic medallion


Are churches too big?

This is a question many of us struggle with as we look at what has happened in the church growth movement over the years: Ginormous, supersized conglomerates with tens of thousands packed into stadium seating to watch a show on a jumbo tron. Multi-site campuses where the only “live” element is the rock band, smoke […]

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What Would You Do If You Were Kim Davis?

Monday Don Venoit of Midwest Apologetics Research joins me to discuss perspectives on what Christians think Kim Davis should do in standing up for Christian Marriage as a County Clerk. Here is an article that discusses options. Last week I went on the record that Kim Davis should have resigned rather than go to jail. […]

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Kim Davis and Hypocrisy

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis has been at the center of a media storm the past couple weeks as she refused to issue same sex marriage licenses, was jailed for contempt of court, and now released under the condition she not prevent her employees from signing off on homosexual marriage certificates. Now some are questioning […]

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Is Atheism a Religion?

What is religion? Most of us think we know what it is, but when we actually try to define it we run into some difficulty. Perhaps the most common definitions focus on beliefs—a religion is belief in God or spiritual beings. But several systems typically considered religions either do not include belief in spiritual beings or place no significance on them, including Jainism, some forms of Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Thus many prefer functional definitions of religion. Religions offer explanations for ultimate reality, offer spiritual benefit, provide systems for navigating life, etc. Building off of this emphasis, it is common to define religions by starting with systems typically recognized as religions and looking for similarities with others systems to determine whether or not these other systems are religions. In other words, we know that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are religions, and so is anything closely related to them. In God is Not One, Stephen Prothero discusses the kinds of things religions do:

In the family of religions, kin tend to perform rituals. They tend to tell stories about how life and death began and to write down these stories in scriptures. They tend to cultivate techniques of ecstasy and devotion. They tend to organize themselves into institutions and to gather in sacred places at sacred times. They tend to instruct human beings how to act toward one another. They tend to profess this belief or that about the gods and the supernatural. They tend to invest objects and places with sacred import. Philosopher of religion Ninian Smart has referred to these tendencies as the seven “dimensions” of religion: the ritual, narrative, experiential, institutional, ethical, doctrinal, and material dimensions. (p. 13)

So, is atheism a religion? It’s not enough to reply that atheists do not believe in God, because belief in God is not a requirement for a religion. Does atheism have enough of a family resemblance to be considered a religion? In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in 1961 that secular humanism functions like a religion and, thus, merits the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion.

Prothero has an extended discussion on whether or not atheism is a religion. He highlights the New Atheists (who he calls “angry atheists”), since they have launched aggressive assaults against “religion.” Have they, under the guise of opposing religion, actually become involved in their own religion?

Do the works of Ayn Rand function like scripture for atheists? Do the various humanist manifestos function like creeds? According to one common formula, members of the family of religions typically exhibit Four Cs: creed, cultus, code, and community. In other words, they have statements of beliefs and values (creeds); ritual activities (cultus); standards for ethical conduct (codes); and institutions (communities). How does atheism stack up on this score? (p. 324)

New Atheists clearly have a creed—the denial of God’s existence. The cultus of atheism is minimal, though there are “holy days” like Bertrand Russell day, Thomas Paine day, and Darwin Day, and they functionally worship people like Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens. Though they have no basis for their morality, the New Atheists are adamant that their ethical standards are superior to traditional religions. And they have multiple communities, including American Atheists, United Coalition of Reason, and the Atheist Alliance International. For atheists like this, atheism is a religion.

[For some] atheism is, in the words of German theologian Paul Tillich, an “ultimate concern.” It stands at the center of their lives, defining who they are, how they think, and with whom they associate. The question of God is never far from their minds, and they would never even consider marrying someone outside of their fold. They are, in short, no more free from the clutches of religion than adherents of the Cult of Reason in eighteenth-century France. For these people at least, atheism may be the solution to the problem of religion. But that solution is religious nonetheless. (p. 326)


3 Types of Fool

In his book Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion, Os Guinness portrays three types of fools in the Bible: The Fool Proper, The Fool Bearer, and The Fool Maker. I found it a fascinating discussion.

There are three types of fool in in the Bible, and Erasmus restored the way of the third fool to recover the power of subversive persuasion in order to make his point. His point is crucial to our discussion, for the way of the third fool carries the power of the cross and contains the secret of creative persuasion that our Christian advocacy needs today.

The first type of fool in the Bible is the character that might be called the fool proper. … [T]here is one fool in the Bible whose folly is seen as absolutely foolish and who is pronounced a real fool—the person who is truly, objectively and actually a fool because God says so: the practical atheist who has no fear of the Lord and roundly refuses to acknowledge God in practice. …

[T]his first type of fool offers little help to us, except to stand as a warning sign to mark off a way of life that people of faith should avoid. …

The second type of fool in the Bible is quite different and takes us significantly closer to the secret of persuasion. This is the fool bearer, the person who is not actually a fool at all, but who is prepared to be seen and treated as a fool—the “fool for Christ’s sake.” [1 Corinthians 4:10] …

The apostles were anything but fools, but they were ready to be seen as fools and treated as fools. … On the great day that is coming, truth will be set right and they would be vindicated. But until then, Paul would gladly bear any derision and rejection that came his way so long as he was able to preach the gospel and remain true to his calling.

… Followers of Jesus who count the cost and are wiling to take up their crosses after him must have broad shoulders. …

If the specific words “fools for Christ’s sake” go back to Paul’s letter to Corinth, the idea of the fool bearer goes back earlier still. King David, for example, danced in public with such abandoned joy before the Lord that his own wife Michal thought he was a fool, and the prophet Jeremiah lamented that his stand for God had reduced him painfully to a laughing stock among his own people. Faithfulness in a fallen world carries a cost.

All these examples fade into insignificance beside the supreme fool bearer in the Scriptures. This is of course Jesus himself, when he was made a mock king. … Jesus was cruelly mocked before the highest religious leaders of his day, before the representatives of the best law of the day, and before the mightiest political and military power of his day.

This point leads us right to the third type of fool in the Bible—the fool maker. The fool maker is the person who (once again) is not a fool at all, but who is prepared to be seen and treated as a fool, so that from the position of derided folly, he or she may be able to bounce back and play the jester, addressing truth to power, pricking the balloons of the high and mighty, and telling the emperor that he has no clothes. This, says, Paul, is what God did on the cross. If Jesus was the supreme fool bearer, God is the supreme fool maker. …

It takes the full folly and weakness of the cross to find us out and win us back.


The New Age Desire versus God’s Desire

By Ray Yungen Just what exactly is God’s desire for mankind? Does He want to send people to Hell? Does He want anyone to live eternally without Him? Scripture is very clear about this when it says: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, […]

Christ in an Age of Secularism

Guest Post by Isaac Shrum

As Christians living in this increasingly secular age, we’re called to graciously endure suffering from unbelievers when it comes our way. We never go looking for trouble or wish to partake in foolish quarrels, because we’re instructed “to put no obstacle in anyone’s way” to come to Christ [2 Cor. 6:3].

But when we stand for truth, righteousness, and the Gospel, we can expect the majority response from this [post-modern] world to be detestation. This should not surprise us, since we ourselves once walked in their shoes, even scorning and mocking the message of the Gospel like the Apostle Paul did before his conversion [Acts 9:1; 22:4]. Why the hostile response you might ask?

Simply put, the Bible tells us that apart from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, men naturally hate the Light [John 3:19], are hostile towards God [Rom. 8:7], and are enemies of God through their wicked deeds [Col. 1]. In stark contrast to the humanistic-progressivism of our day [i.e. ‘man is basically good’], the Scriptures teach that men are depraved through and through. Instead of walking in fellowship with God, men shake their fists at Him while running the other way.

As a result of this deep-seated hatred for God flows distaste towards Christians. Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first” [John 15:18]. This sense of hostility should grieve us [Phil. 3:18], but it should not be surprising [1 John 3:13]. If men hate God, should it really shock us when they despise His followers too?


If Babies Go to Heaven, Why Oppose Abortion?

If Babies Go to Heaven, Why Oppose Abortion?Do aborted babies go to heaven, even not having the chance to be born? Critics of the pro-life movement say if aborted babies do go to heaven, then why is abortion really a big deal in the end for Christians?

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How to Handle Your Spouse’s Sexual Past

How to Handle Your Spouse’s Sexual PastLong before I was even considering marriage, a Titus 2 woman shared with me the pain of confessing her sexual history to her future husband. “It was hard,” she told me. “We both cried. We both repented. It made us a stronger couple.”

I remember being grateful for her openness with me, but also feeling that her story didn’t really apply to me. My romantic history can be shared in about sixty seconds, and the physical aspects of those relationships would make it an even minute and a half. And, as for the history of whomever I was going to marry? That was easy: I would just forgive him. What was done was done. Case closed.

After I got married, my naivety didn’t strike me like a bolt from the blue — it dawned on me slowly, after a series of hard conversations, mixed emotions, and hesitant confessions. I have become so grateful for that woman’s honesty, and for the example of her strong, decades-long marriage. I’ve learned that there are several sins I need to fight on my quest to nurture a healthy relationship with my husband.

Fight Pride

As a teenager, I often heard the same illustration about guarding my heart. I was warned that forming too many romantic attachments before marriage was like giving away little pieces of my heart. “If you’re not careful, when it comes to your husband, you won’t have any pieces left to give.”

Although well meaning and wise, this warning from Proverbs (Proverbs 4:23) beckoned me to place my assurance in a whole-hearted future with my husband. However, I also needed to be instructed to root my heart’s affections in the only one who can ultimately satisfy (Matthew 22:37).

Sexual immorality is an enemy of an upright heart (Galatians 5:19), but pride also ranks high on the list (Mark 7:22). In running from the former, I was often guilty of the latter. It is easy to put our sexual purity on a pedestal and forget the state of our hearts. Ultimately, our satisfaction comes, not from being history-free virgins when we are married, but in resting in the righteousness of our Savior and spurring one another on to live in light of that truth.

Fight Apathy

If the blood of Christ was enough to cover my sin of arrogance, couldn’t my Savior renew a heart that had been broken into pieces? I knew that the answer was yes. And in light of Christ’s forgiveness of my own sins, I was ready to forgive whatever sins my husband would have to confess to me (Ephesians 4:32). It was finished. No need to dwell on it. Let’s just move on.

While your spouse’s past may be quickly forgiven, the apathetic glossing over of a confession may do your relationship more harm than good. There is a time to grieve over sin (2 Corinthians 7:10), and to discuss how that sin may impact your relationship going forward. Whether you need to discuss interacting with an ex, how to keep pornography out of your home, or how to disciple your children in relationships in the future, it’s important to realize that the conversation may not stop at, “I forgive you. Case closed.”

Fight Envy

The root of pride can also strike another fleshly chord: envy. So you guarded your heart. You kept the marriage bed sacred. You saved everything for your husband. You even had your first kiss at the altar! But what if your spouse didn’t do the same? There may be anger and bitterness to deal with, but the sneakiest emotional fallout might be envy.

I didn’t understand this before I got married. I was in such a heady love haze with my future husband that it never occurred to me to wonder who else had held his hand, heard “I love you,” or even just gone weak in the knees over the looks he gives. It wasn’t until after the intimacy of married life that I began to feel tiny ripples of anxiety and comparison.

Envy can be difficult to pinpoint for a newlywed, because, in a sense, we have a right to be jealous for our husbands. They are ours. We are one flesh. We are not called to share them with other women. In fact, the command not to covet is leveled against the other women (Exodus 20:17). We are to guard our marriages from sexual impurity (Proverbs 7). However, finding that line between zealous protection of the marriage bed and petty jealousy over a past the Lord has forgiven is often easier said than done.

No One Is Blameless

Oftentimes it’s easier to say, “I’m a sinner, too,” and “Jesus forgives you, and so do I” than to live in that reality. The thing about marriage, though, is that it reveals all too clearly whether we are offering trite spiritual band aids or truly wrestling against our flesh. We can plaster a smile on for the watching world and pretend that everything’s fine, but, more often than not, our spouses know the truth.

Fighting against the wreckage of our spouse’s past sins involves fighting against the present manifestations of our own sinful hearts. No one is blameless in this quest for the love that heralds the truth of the gospel (Ephesians 5:22). Thankfully, you’re covered in the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7), who has not only called us to this sacrificial love (John 15:13), but has given us an example of it, and has equipped us for it by his grace (Hebrews 13:21).


Related Resources


A True Christian Delights in Solitude — Jonathan Edwards

Portrait of Jonathan Edwards

Edwards,

A true Christian doubtless delights in religious fellowship, and Christian conversation, and finds much to affect his heart in it; but he also delights at times to retire from all mankind to converse with God in solitary places. And this also has its peculiar advantages for fixing his heart, and engaging its affections. True religion disposes persons to be much alone in solitary places, for holy meditation and prayer. So it wrought in Isaac, Gen. 24:63. And which is much more, so it wrought in Jesus Christ. How often do we read of his retiring into mountains and solitary places, for holy converse with his Father! It is difficult to conceal great affections, but yet gracious affections are of a much more silent and secret nature, than those that are counterfeit. . .

. . .The most eminent divine favors that the saints obtained, that we read of in Scripture, were in their retirement. The principal manifestations that God made of himself, and his covenant mercy to Abraham, were when he was alone, apart from his numerous family; as anyone will judge that carefully reads his history. Isaac received that special gift of God to him, Rebekah, who was so great a comfort to him, and by whom he obtained the promised seed, walking alone meditating in the field. Jacob was retired for secret prayer, when Christ came to him, and he wrestled with him, and obtained the blessing. God revealed himself to Moses in the bush, when he was in a solitary place in the desert, in Mount Horeb, Exod 3 at the beginning. And afterwards, when God showed him his glory, and he was admitted to the highest degree of communion with God that ever he enjoyed; he was alone, in the same mountain, and continued there forty days and forty nights, and then came down with his face shining.

God came to those great prophets, Elijah and Elisha, and conversed freely with them, chiefly in their retirement. Elijah conversed alone with God at Mount Sinai, as Moses did. And when Jesus Christ had his greatest prelibation of his future glory, when he was transfigured; it was not when he was with the multitude, or with the twelve disciples, but retired into a solitary place in a mountain, with only three select disciples, charging then, that they should tell no man until he was risen from the dead. When the angel Gabriel came to the blessed virgin, and when the Holy Ghost came upon her, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her, she seems to have been alone, and to be in this matter hid from the world; her nearest and dearest earthly friend Joseph, that had betrothed her (though a just man), knew nothing of the matter. And she that first partook of the joy of Christ’s resurrection, was alone with Christ at the sepulcher, John 20. And when the beloved disciple was favored with those wonderful visions of Christ and his future dispensations towards the church and the world, he was alone in the isle of Patmos. Not but that we have also instances of great privileges that the saints have received when with others; or that there is not much in Christian conversation, and social and public worship, tending greatly to refresh and rejoice the hearts of the saints.

But this is all that I aim at by what has been said, to show that it is the nature of true grace, that however it loves Christian society in its place, yet it in a peculiar manner delights in retirement, and secret converse with God. So that if persons appear greatly engaged in social religion, and but little in the religion of the closet, and are often highly affected when with others, and but little moved when they have none but God and Christ to converse with, it looks very darkly upon their religion.

taken from: A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections.


09/14/15 “But If Not…”

READING: Daniel 1-3

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Sometimes, the stories we learned early in Sunday school become more than just exciting stories when we’re adults; instead, they become stories with deep truths that comfort and challenge. Today’s reading, a reading that begins the book of Daniel written by a prophet living in exile in Babylon, includes one of those stories: the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3).

All in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom had been ordered to worship the statue the king had erected, under penalty of death in the furnace if they did not. The conversation among the king and the three Hebrew boys is striking. First, the king asked them this question: “But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire—and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?” (Dan. 3:15). We, of course, know the answer to the king’s question. The boys serve a God who can indeed rescue them.

It’s their faith to trust in any case, though, that is most evident in this story.

Dan. 3:16-18  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

They knew God could deliver them, but His ability does not always equal His willingness. Either way — even if God allowed them to die — the boys had no intention to worship the false god. As one writer has said, “Their faith in God did not rest on the belief that He would perform a miracle, but that their sovereign God could be trusted” (HCSB study notes).

These words grab my attention much more today than my teen Sunday school years because I’m much more knowledgeable about the reality of martyrdom around the world. Sometimes God does deliver, but often He does not. Should I face in my lifetime the same decision the Hebrew boys faced, I pray I will have their same level of trust in God.

PRAYER: “Father, thank You that You delivered the boys from the furnace — and You did not leave them alone in that fire. Thank You that even their clothing had no smell of fire. Thank You, too, though, for the times when You choose not to deliver. Give me faith to trust You either way.”


How Grace is Like Grace (and How Grace Isn’t)


One of the most vivid illustrations and daily reminders of God’s grace in my life is my daughter Grace. Actually, both my daughters, and my lovely wife before them, are daily reminders of God’s grace to me. But I’ve been making mental connections between twelve year-old Grace and from-from-the-foundation-of-the-world grace since the former’s personality started taking shape. (I first wrote this piece when Grace was six.)

Grace, in fact, is a lot like grace. Like grace, Grace is a friend to people of all kinds. I hope she never changes, because Grace is very at ease with kids and adults who look and act different. More than that, Grace thinks everybody’s handsome or beautiful. I’m not kidding. She seems naturally wired to see the best in everybody. Grace’s impartiality reminds me of the unpretentiousness of grace, how grace makes space for Jew and Greek, male and female, slave and free, how grace reignites the imago dei in everybody it lays hold of.

Our Grace has the tenderest of hearts. She wouldn’t put it this way, not yet anyway, but she feels real Jesus-like compassion for people. When Grace sees a homeless man in town, she is broken for him. When Grace knows someone is sad, she feels sad for them. When Grace overhears mom and dad discussing a difficult issue, Grace later enters to offer to help in some adorable way. If Grace happens to overhear mom and dad mention a financial constraint, however minor, she offers up her piggy bank. Grace preemptively offers to be helpful. “Dad, can I have a bean bag chair for my room? I’ll pay you back for it.” Grace is always putting others first.

Like grace, Grace is unpredictable. Our little Grace is constantly moving, constantly singing, constantly bursting into song or silly voice or infectious groove. Like grace, Grace is surprising. She will pipe up, pitch in, and play her part at the most sudden of moments. Grace, like grace, keeps us on the edge of our seat and the tips of our toes.

Like grace, Grace has impeccable rhythm and timing, as well as the regularly spontaneous inclination to put them to blessed use. Grace dances like grace, skipping along on bouncy feet, flighty with fairy wings. What I mean is that Grace, like grace, is joyous. “I’m pretty much always happy,” she said the other day, apropos of nothing (nothing, that is, but grace). And Grace is the funniest person I know. She’s always making us laugh. Grace brings cheer wherever she goes, which is a lot like grace.

There are a few other ways that Grace is like grace, but there’s an important way Grace is not like grace. (We are constantly reminded that Grace needs grace for this.) Although our Grace moves at 100 miles per hour, although she’s nearly always running, nearly always in a hurry, when it’s time to go somewhere, she becomes the pokiest child on God’s green earth. If it’s time to leave for school or church, or if it’s time to leave the cousins’ house or the babysitter’s house, she takes her own sweet time. We are always waiting on Grace. Thank God, though, that we are not always waiting on grace. No, grace, unlike Grace, is always on time, always there when you need it, totally predictable in that sense. Because God is not slow in keeping his promises—as some count slowness, anyway—grace is always available at your time of need. Because God’s grace is timeless, it is always timely. So while Grace brings us much joy, we rejoice in her awesomeness best when we rejoice about Grace in grace.


Don’t Be Jonah

The book of Jonah tells the story of the prophet that God chose to send to Nineveh. He was to go to Nineveh and prophesy the coming judgment against the city. When we were children, of course, all we knew about was the whale that swallowed Jonah as he attempted to escape the call of God. But look at what happens when Jonah finally does go to preach his message in the city of Nineveh:

 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh… “Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.’’

God sees the repentance of the people and he decides not to move forward with the disaster that he said he would bring in judgement against them.

There is obviously much more in the prophet’s life that needs to be examined but this is an absolutely amazing piece of history that the Scripture records. An entire city repented from their sin? The kinds of sin that Nineveh was involved in were not minor. They were idolaters clearly. They were worshipping and serving the creation rather than the Creator which led to all manner of violence. Later prophets would declare that Nineveh is “the bloody city,” full of lies and stolen property. It is declared to be a city full of sexual sins of all kinds. How is it that a city in love with wickedness could repent, all in one shot?

In our own day, whether or not the United States has reached the level of wickedness that Nineveh had attained is debatable. If you are simply considering sheer numbers, more evil is committed now in the United States since Nineveh only had a population of 120,000. The kinds of evil are the same too. We have become a “bloody nation” butchering each other, butchering the unborn, celebrating all manner of lies, stealing and sexual perversion. Much of this evil is not done in secret but rather it is promoted openly by citizen and government alike.

How can a nation in love with wickedness repent, all in one shot?

Church, we have the antidote, just like Jonah did. We have the word of God.

Jonah was told to go preach the coming wrath against sin to the sinners of Nineveh. And he didn’t want to because he knew that the word of God was powerful enough to cause the sinners of Nineveh to repent in sack cloth and ashes. (And it did) You see Jonah hated the sinners of Nineveh, and so he tried to avoid the call of God. Jonah was rebuked for his hatred and God accomplished his will anyway.

Church, do you believe that the United States can repent from its wickedness? I am talking about everyone, from the Supreme Court down to the citizens? If you don’t, then you need to go re-read the works of God in Jonah.

Church, do you hate the sinners of the United States? I am willing to bet most of you would say, “Of course not. I love them and want them to repent.” And that is how you should answer.

We must not let our actions speak louder than our words. If we say we love the sinners in the United States, then we must not act like Jonah acted. Jonah attempted to avoid the call of God. He did not want to call sin, sin on the streets of Nineveh. He did not want to warn them of the wrath to come. He did not want herald the good news of the grace and mercy available from God. We must do all of these things. We cannot say “love” with our lips, yet act out hatred. If we do nothing or if we go along with the sins of the nation, we demonstrate our hatred of the people of that nation. We must not be like Jonah.

The wrath of God and the coming judgement is real and it is terrifying. It hangs over our nation like a guillotine ready to drop. But the grace of God is equally real. It is powerful. And it will bring salvation to all of God’s people. The grace of God is…

 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:12-14)

This is the message that we must preach. We must preach with authority and we must be relentless, because our Savior is relentless.

Dear Christian, don’t be Jonah.


Don’t Lose Spiritual Disciplines for Fear of Legalism

This past year, I was given the incredible opportunity of participating in a 16-week course taught by Colin Smith alongside of a few other guest speakers. During one of these sessions, I was struck by a statement made by Pastor Colin. He said,

Don’t let the fear of legalism rob you of the benefits of a regular pattern of walking with God.

His words caught my attention and I began to recognize ways that I had fallen into this skewed way of thinking.

Legalism or Discipline?

Some years ago, while in a small group with other young Christian couples, someone shared that they believed we shouldn’t force ourselves to pray before each meal. “For if we did, wouldn’t that be legalism?” they asked. “If we don’t feel thankful in the moment, aren’t we being hypocritical and legalistic to pray and thank God for our food simply out of habit?” Although something seemed a bit off in his reasoning, I found myself pondering it anyway. For a while, I even tried a little of his method, only praying before I ate when I felt moved to do so. I will admit, this caused me only to grow in a spirit of thanklessness.

For fear of being legalistic, we can rob ourselves of a regular pattern of walking with God.

TWEET

As I considered Pastor Colin’s challenge, I began to realize what a subtle, yet real, lie this has become in many believer’s lives. For fear of being legalistic, we can rob ourselves of the benefits of a regular pattern (or “spiritual disciplines”) of walking with God. Is this biblical or beneficial? Not at all! Paul makes it undeniably clear in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

How do we know if our habits are beneficial and necessary patterns of walking with God, or if they are driven more by a legalistic mentality? I find the definitions of legalism and disciplines to be helpful in understanding how the motives behind the two are what sets them apart.

Legalism is defined as “excessive adherence to law or formula.”

Discipline is defined as “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.”

The danger of confusing the two is that we can lose the important spiritual disciplines which are crucial to our growth, sanctification, protection, and intimacy with Christ. Therefore, as we consider whether our personal disciplines (or lack-thereof) are based on of legalism or the gospel, we can ask ourselves which of these seem most characteristic of us:

Legalism is being disciplined in order to live up to the law in our own strength, for the sake of achieving justification of sins. (We can resort to this way of living even after becoming genuine believers, trying to save ourselves even though we have been given the gift of salvation in Christ.)

Godly discipline is being disciplined in the strength of the Holy Spirit, with the purpose of sanctification, fully aware that justification comes only through salvation in Christ. For this reason we can say, “Christ has bought me with a price and, therefore, I will discipline myself to run the race he has set before me, ‘laying aside every weight and sin that clings so closely’”(Hebrews 12:1).

Maximize Your Running

John Piper spoke a while back about a preacher who, through his interpretation of this passage in Hebrews, had a great impact on his younger years. Here is a portion of what Piper shared:

And the preacher said — and I am the preacher now saying it — this text says, “Look to Jesus and lay aside sins for sure and lots of other stuff, too.” Now that is a different way to live. Well preacher, as a 13-year-old or 14-year-old, what question should I ask if it is not, “Is it a sin?” And the answer is, “Does it help me run?” That is the answer. “Does it get in my way when I am trying to become more patient, more kind, more gentle, more loving, more holy, more pure, more self-controlled? Does it get in my way or does it help me run?” That is the question to ask.

Ask the maximal righteousness question, not the minimal righteousness question.

You know why that question isn’t very often asked? Because we are not passionate runners. We don’t want to run. We don’t get up in the morning saying, “What is the course today? What is the course of purity? What is the course of holiness? What is the course of humility? What is the course of justice? What is the course of righteousness? What is the course of love? What is the course of self-control? What is the course of courage? O God, I want to maximize my running today.”

If you have that mentality about your life, then you will ask not, “How many sins can I avoid?” but “How many weights can I lay down so that I am fleet-footed in the race of righteousness?”

Do you find his words as convicting and motivating as I do? Do we want to live seeking only to avoid sin (which of course is vitally important), or do we desire to run the race with proactive intentionality, laying aside anything that prevents us from running well? This takes discipline! If we want to be equipped to run the race, we must prepare ourselves for it.

Three Keys to Running a Disciplined Race

If you see a runner training for a marathon, do you look at them and think, “What a hypocrite! The marathon is still six months away! He’s running for no reason!” Of course not! In fact, this person would be setting themselves up for failure if they foolishly thought they could get up the day of the race, run well, and win the prize without having disciplined or trained in preparation for it.

The same is true for the race we run as we strive to live a life set apart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I imagine that every great Christian’s life to whom we look for an example is marked by incredible discipline!

However, because spiritual disciplines can stem from a heart of legalism, it is crucial for us as believers to evaluate our motives when creating these patterns of how we invest our time, energy, and money. But we must not go so far as to remove any semblance of spiritual discipline in fear of becoming legalistic.

What then are necessary requirements to a regular pattern of walking with God?

1. Set aside consistent time in God’s Word both in private and with other believers, even if it feels like a discipline.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

I’m certain that most of us would admit that sitting down in the Word, praying, or going to church has been purely a discipline, at one time or another. However, time in the Word, memorizing it, and learning to apply it, is food to a believer’s soul. Apart from it, we will be prone to drift from the truth and susceptible to being swept away when the storms of life come.

We see this in the Psalms as David spoke the truth of God’s Word to his own questioning, hurting, and fearful heart. In fact, the times we feel least like reading the Bible are most likely the times that we need it the most. If we neglect these disciplines, it will do more than keep us from legalism, it will keep us from the life-giving truth, hope, and power that we all desperately need. We need to stop making excuses for why we don’t have time to read, study, and meditate on Scripture. (This will look different depending on the season of life. However, we must continue to find ways to feed ourselves with the Word…especially in these seasons.)

We also need to be careful to not become a culture of believers who downplay the importance of church when other things we enjoy conflict with it. We have one life, one race, one chance. How we spend our time greatly reflects what we value.

2. Pray persistently and regularly in praise, thanksgiving, repentance and supplication.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

For me, prayer has been a challenge at times. There can be so much noise in my head that it can take 10 minutes just to pull my mind into focus. However, that is all the more reason for prayer. When we allow the noise of the world to fill our minds, we become susceptible to lies, burdened with anxieties, and unable to hear the Holy Spirit. We need to discipline ourselves in the pattern and importance of prayer. For me, I have found the consistent habit of journaling my prayers to be greatly effective in helping with my lack of focus, while also allowing me to look back on answered prayers.

Prayer gives us direct access to the One who created us, sustains us, and has the power to change us into his likeness. For this reason, the enemy will work very hard to keep us from an open line of communication with our Father. So we must be prepared for this battle by creating a consistent discipline of focused time in prayer, whether it be long or brief, in quiet or in chaos. This is not legalistic, but rather, wisdom to admit that our heart is prone to wander and, therefore, we must constantly be realigning it with the Spirit.

3. Be disciplined in ways that are unique to your own weaknesses.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14)

We each have unique areas that will require more discipline than others. For example, would we consider it legalistic for an alcoholic to keep alcohol out of their home? Is it legalistic for a someone who feels controlled by their smartphone to turn it in for a less fancy flip phone? Is it legalistic for a family to say “no” to a sport that has games only on Sunday mornings for the sake of making church a priority? No, it isn’t. It’s creating spiritual disciplines and protection for themselves in areas they know they are vulnerable.

For that reason, it is beneficial for us all to seek wisdom in prayer, counsel, and the Word to see if there are areas in our lives that may require us to put new habits and disciplines in place for the purpose of laying aside anything that does not help us run well. For each of us, this will look different, but with the same goal in mind. May we spur each other on to this! Not in a guilt-ridden, legalistic way, but as fellow racers, encouraging one another towards the upward call we have in Christ Jesus.

Let us not be deceived into a life lacking discipline. Overtime, godly discipline under the truth of the gospel will begin to feel less like discipline and more like the privilege that it is.

As Piper said,

So the point is: Don’t stroll. Don’t meander. And don’t wander about aimlessly. Run as in a race with a finish line where everything hangs on the race.

Godly disciplines are not legalistic. Rather, they are the appropriate and wise response of a chosen, forgiven, and redeemed child of God.

What spiritual discipline is the Lord leading you to pursue right now?

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The post Don’t Lose Spiritual Disciplines for Fear of Legalism appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


The Perfect Woman

Nadia 3We usually think of perfection as an ideal for which athletes aim rather than a goal anyone seriously expects to achieve. After all, nobody’s perfect. But that all changed at the Montreal Summer Olympics when a young Romanian girl achieved the impossible.

On July 18, 1976, fourteen-year-old Nadia Comăneci represented Romania in the gymnastics team event. Spectators watched in riveted silence as she confidently completed a mesmerizingly ambitious and astonishingly flawless routine on the uneven bars . . . until the instant her feet planted an unfaltering dismount, which generated an avalanche of applause. But the jubilation dissipated suddenly when her result appeared on the digital display: Comăneci’s brilliant performance had scored only 1.0.

In gymnastics, a panel of judges rates each performance according to its difficulty, creativity, and the technical proficiency of its execution. The highest and lowest figures are discarded and the final score represents an average of the remaining numbers. The highest number a judge can give is a perfect 10, and every judge would need to give a 10 in order for the cumulative score to be 10.

one point oBecause this is so unlikely, the electronic score board only allowed space for a single digit on the left side of the decimal point: the maximum number it could show was 9.9, which means it displayed Comăneci’s score as 1.0 instead of the perfect 10 the judges had awarded for the first time in Olympic history. An apologetic voice over the public address system explained the error and the crowd roared to ovation.

Little Nadia was—gymnastically speaking—the world’s first perfect woman.

She's PerfectOf course, gymnastic perfection is determined subjectively by other people. In the spiritual realm, however, the standard of perfection is not subject to human opinion. God alone sets the standard of righteousness and judges whether it has been attained. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus said, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Yet the reality is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

As soon as mankind fell in the Garden of Eden, God’s standard became utterly unattainable.

Until Jesus.

When Jesus of Nazareth was born into this world, humanity encountered the first and only perfect person. That man lived a normal life on earth and in society. He submitted to government authorities, civil regulations, and the Mosaic Law—systems that existed to manage moral imperfection. And Jesus was able to keep God’s law perfectly. He never sinned and thus never fell short of God’s perfect righteousness (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus offered his spotless life on the cross as a substitute for the sin of all who would trust in him for salvation: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is the good news of perfection attained, as well as perfection imputed to every imperfect person who trusts in Jesus.

The-Home-Team

So we can respond to this gift of salvation with worship and obedience. While we will not achieve perfection on earth as our Savior did, we can faithfully pursue the goal of glorifying God by God’s grace. Every family has the great privilege of pursuing that goal together . . . as a team.

 

— This excerpt is the introduction to The Home Team: God’s Game Plan for the Family


Gospel of Health and Wealth: A Heresy

In my own theological and spiritual journey I have not been involved in those who embrace the gospel of health and wealth, but I have read some of them, I have watched them on TV more, and now have seen an exceptional, no holds barred critical evaluation in Roger Olson, Counterfeit Christianity: The Persistence of Errors [Read More…]

3 Questions About God’s Steadfast Love

“The pursuing love of God is the greatest wonder in the spiritual universe. When we see this love at work through the heart of Hosea we may wonder if God is really like that. But he is. Think about it: Many years later he would give man the trees of the forest and the iron in the ground…He gave them the ability to form that iron into nails, and to fashion those trees into a cross… Then he stretched out his hands upon that tree and allowed us to nail him there, and in so doing he took our sins upon himself. This is our God, and there is no one else like him.”

~Donald Grey Barnhouse

Love may be the most universally agreed-upon attribute of God in the United States today. Even people who doubt God’s existence say that if he did exist, he’d be loving. But I’m not sure people truly get it. Scripture paints a depiction of God’s love as so shocking, so scandalous, that the only proper response is, “Amazing love! How can it be?” Yet for most people in our churches, the response is probably more like, “Well, that’s nice.”

Some truths are so profound that they can’t just be explained. They have to be felt, experienced. The love of God is one of those. That’s why instead of merely saying, “Love your enemies,” God sends the prophet Jonah to his worst enemies, to show mercy on the most ruthless empire of his day. It’s why instead of just saying, “I’ll love you forever,” God calls Hosea to stay true to a wife that will repeatedly cheat on him. It’s why instead of saying, “God loves you,” Jesus tells of a Father who, when his son publicly shamed him and left him, still ran out to meet him at his return.

God’s love should make us all stop and ask three questions:

1. Do you believe in the steadfast love of the Father?

The stories of Jonah and Hosea and the prodigal son are about you and me. We are Nineveh, a people so wicked that God’s love for us defies comprehension. We are Gomer, who despite repeatedly running into the arms of other lovers, God still pursues, saying, “My bride! How can I give you up? I will not!” We are the prodigal son, for whom God stands daily on the porch of heaven, longing for us to come home. And for us he sacrifices not a fatted calf, but his very self, at the cross.

There are days when we can’t feel the love of God. I experience that just like everyone else. But when I can’t feel it, I choose to believe it because of what I saw at Calvary. My perception of the love of God is not based on my feelings at any one moment, or on how well my life is going. It is based on the glorious truth that God sought me and bought me and forgave me at the cross. Our lives may be chaotic and tumultuous. The love of God may feel a million miles away. But if we really believe in a God who loved us when we were literally killing him, that love will anchor our life through any storm.

2. Have you embraced his love for you?

God’s love is powerful, but it’s still love—which means he won’t force it on those who don’t want it. You have to choose to receive it.

But God’s love isn’t a one-time transaction that happens at salvation. It’s also the reality that should refresh our souls daily. As the Apostle Paul said, the Holy Spirit “sheds abroad” the love of God in our hearts (Rom 5:5). That literally means pours out. It’s the same word used for the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts. It’s a word of immense power. We’re not talking about a faint feeling of sentimentality, but a flood.

If we don’t sense God’s love and daily live in awareness of it, we aren’t ever going to feel close to God. Even if we are “performing” well for him, if we don’t have a tangible sense of his love for us, he’ll always seem just out of reach. If God is, for you, the Creator, the Judge, the Holy One (all true), but not a Father, Lover, and Savior, your love for God will always be strained. Knowing the love of God for us, in Christ, produces the love for God in us.

3. Have you sensed his love for others?

There is simply no way to experience mercy and love like God has shown us and not be changed. Those who believe the gospel become like the gospel—full of mercy and grace. This isn’t a matter of being told to, but of seeing our situation clearly. We love because he first loved us.

Imagine if I walked out in front of my congregation this weekend, five minutes after the sermon was supposed to start. “Sorry I’m late,” I explain. “But on my way here, I got a flat tire. And just as I went to change it, an 18-wheeler came barreling down the highway and ran me over. It was so annoying.” You would rightly respond, “I’m not buying it. There is no way you come into contact with that much force and leave unchanged. You’d look different. You’d be walking different. You’d be talking different. Shoot, you’d smell different. Everything about you would be different.”

That’s what it’s like to feel the weight of God’s love for us. We can’t come away from it unchanged. How could we know a love like this and keep it to ourselves? How could we know a love like this and still refuse to forgive? We couldn’t. So we pray, “God, as you have been to me, so I will be to others.”

For more, be sure to listen to the entire sermon here.


A La Carte (September 14)

Here are 4 new Kindle deals to start the week: Modesty: More Than a Change of Clothes by Kent Keller & Martha Peace ($2.99); How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss ($4.99); Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch ($1.99); Good News for the Poor by Tim Chester ($2.99).

10 Things you Can’t Expect from Church Volunteers

Church leaders may benefit from reading this list. “Expect too little and they don’t see their contribution as important and flake out. Expect too much and risk losing the very people you desperately need.”

Pastor-Scholar? Not Likely…

Mark Jones does well at taking a contrary view, and he does that here when discussing the idea of the pastor-scholar. “This is a term I’m starting to feel a little suspicious about, especially if the words ‘pastor’ and ‘scholar’ are not going to be diluted regarding their meaning or compromised regarding the quality demanded of each ‘job’.”

Sex is Less Significant Than You Think

Tim Chester has a good one today: “Sex does its job beautifully. It binds couples together in life-long union. And it does that job wonderfully. But don’t make sex do a job it’s not designed to do. Sex is very significant, but it’s not that significant – it’s not a substitute for God.”

This Day in 407. Possibly the greatest preacher of his era, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was martyred having been forced to march into remote exile despite severe illness. *

The Mind-Bending Physics of a Tennis Ball’s Spin

This article helps explain why I wasn’t ever much of a tennis player. “Tennis has been called the game of inches, of kings, of poets, of love, of errors, of endurance, of a lifetime. But those are mostly metaphors. Really, tennis is the game of spin.”

Love is Not a Verb

With apologies to D.C. Talk. “I think it’s time to dispel a popular platitude infecting many Christian pop songs, sermons, blog posts and other half-baked but well-intentioned mediums. Love is not a verb.”

At What Point Does the Homosexual Agenda Become a National Religion?

Daniel Horowitz asks what is becoming an increasingly important question: At what point do old religions get run over by this new one?



Christian Headlines Daily – Monday, September 14, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

People from all Faiths Offer up Prayers in 9/11 Remembrance

Christian Aid Mission: Refugee Crisis is Opportunity to Share Christ’s Love

Billy Graham Assures Seniors it is OK if They Cannot be Physically Present in Church

New TV Series to Help Christians Back up Pro-life Position

Strange Alliance in Northern Ireland: Evangelicals and LGBT Activists Unite Against Same-sex Marriage Referendum

Tebow Returns to ESPN as Analyst after Being Cut by Eagles

Phil Robertson: Against the Iran Nuclear Deal and for Israel

Donald Trump Questions Ben Carson’s Faith, Downplays Accomplishments as Neurosurgeon

Interview: Stephen Colbert Discusses His Faith, the Pope, Islam, and More

Ben Carson Names Favorite Bible Verses

Opinion

Kim Davis May be out of Jail, but Conscience Conflicts Remain

Living and Dying–for Others

14 Years after 9/11: 4 Lessons

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

Are You Living Fully in the Spirit?


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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September 14, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 14, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to steer his party away from a shutdown or any other issue that could harm Republicans’ chances of winning the White House.

One day after Germany curbed the freedom of movement in the region by temporarily reinstating border controls, the country’s vice chancellor estimated that as many as 1 million refugees may arrive by the end of the year as other nations moved to fortify their frontiers.

China’s stocks slumped the most in three weeks as data over the weekend added to concern the economic slowdown is deepening and traders gauged the level of state support for equities.

OPEC trimmed estimates by 110,000 barrels a day for supplies from outside the group in 2016 as the slump in prices takes its toll on the U.S. shale-oil industry.

Apple said its new iPhone models are on pace to surpass last year’s record first weekend of 10 million units when they go on sale Sept. 25, signaling continued demand for the flagship device.

Solar and wind-power entrepreneurs will get a bigger share of California’s energy market. Construction contractors will get more work tightening the energy efficiency of buildings. And environmentalists will tiptoe closer to their goal of weaning the most-populous U.S. state from fossil fuels.

Pharmaceutical companies are enlisting Fitbits and other gadgets strapped to patients’ wrists, chests and skin as a way to bring drugs to market faster. By outfitting trial participants with wearables, companies are beginning to amass precise information and gather round-the-clock data in hopes of streamlining trials and better understanding whether a drug is working.

Egypt security forces accidentally killed at least 12 Mexicans and Egyptians in the western desert area after mistaking them for terrorists.

AP Top Stories

Clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday for the first time since being jailed for disobeying a federal judge and said she was faced with a “seemingly impossible choice” between following her conscience and losing her freedom over denying marriage licenses to gay couples. She decided not to interfere with deputy clerks who will continue to hand out the marriage licenses in Rowan County, but Davis declared they would not be authorized by her and she questioned their validity.

Some 400 homes were among the hundreds of structures destroyed as fast-moving wildfires raged through communities in Northern California, leaving at least one person dead and sending residents fleeing along roads where some buildings and vehicles were still in flames.

The NYPD is facing a lawsuit for putting a black woman into a mental hospital because they did not believe that her BMW belonged to her.

Russia on Monday launched its largest military exercises of the year, Centre-2015, involving some 95,000 soldiers including ground troops, navy and air force units.

A non-profit LGBT group posted a sick burn on Kentucky clerk Kim Davis with a billboard in her home town.

Attackers in Kenya tried to hack off body parts from a man with albinism to sell for witchcraft, reports said Monday, raising fears of cross-border attacks from neighboring Tanzania.

The U.S. has “disrupted a plot” against Pope Francis as it steps up security measures ahead of his trip to the country later this month.

Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Monday began releasing previously contaminated water into the sea, but the man tasked with preventing another meltdown warned other highly radioactive fluid still stored on site could pose a major threat.

Taliban insurgents in military uniform stormed an Afghan prison, freeing hundreds of inmates after detonating a car bomb and killing four policemen in the country’s largest jailbreak in years.

BBC

Austria said it is deploying troops to help deal with a migrant influx, and will tighten controls on its border with Hungary.

Children in Thailand’s seafood processing industry are more exposed to workplace hazards and twice as likely to sustain injuries, a report has said. More children in the seafood industry worked with fire, gas or flames compared to other industries.

A Chinese woman suspected of stealing a $300,000 diamond in the Thai capital, Bangkok, has had the jewel surgically removed from her intestines. She is thought to have swallowed it in order to smuggle it out of the country.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says significant progress has been made in talks about the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Two car bombs in the northern Syrian city of Hassakeh have killed at least 20 people and injured 40, state TV reported.

WND

A Mt. Juliet pastor went on video with concerns Wilson County Schools is indoctrinating and brainwashing students with Islam through its curriculum, which generated a denial by the district on its Facebook page. Families were concerned and upset about middle school students being taught “a half-page of watered down Christianity,” in sixth grade and then are taught 28 pages of Islamic curriculum.

Rules of engagement that risk the lives of U.S. forces and harsh punishments over questionable charges have America’s elite Green Berets fuming at the Obama administration, and the former commander of all Green Berets says it’s just the latest symptoms of a military deliberately weakened by this administration and military officials more concerned about advancement than the good of their forces and their nation.

Saleh Abdullah Kamel, a Saudi banker who is now worth billions of dollars thanks to his success with Sharia-compliant financing, has donated $10 million to Yale University as part of a successful effort to build an Islamic Law Center at the Ivy League school.


Top News – 9/14/2015

Another 4.7 magnitude earthquake hits northwest Nevada
Reno — Another 4.7 magnitude earthquake hit northwest Nevada, tying the largest in a year-long swarm recorded at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge near the Oregon border.

End Times Prophecy Author’s Dire Warning About ‘Apocalyptic Islam’ and ‘Annihilation’
But he said that apocalyptic Islam is an entirely different animal, as it is comprised of individuals and groups who believe that their messiah is coming at any moment — and that they must abide by his will at any cost. “If they are not faithful, they [believe they] will burn in the fires of hell with no escape.

95,000 Russian Troops Join Massive CSTO Military Exercise
“Today the strategic command-and-staff exercise Center–2015 has been started. This is a final stage of the operational and combat training of the Russian Armed Forces in 2015 and joint combat training activities of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization],” the ministry said on its website.

Netanyahu to convene emergency meeting after holiday on stone-throwers in Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene an emergency meeting after the end of the Rosh Hashana holiday on Tuesday evening to discuss the challenge of ending the acts of rioters who throw stones and firebombs in Jerusalem and area.

Thousands flee California wildfire as homes go up in flames
The so-called Valley Fire, now ranked as the most destructive among scores of blazes that have ravaged the drought-stricken Western United States this summer, came amid what California fire officials described as “unheard of fire behavior”…….

Japan’s largest volcano Mt. Aso erupts, forces evacuation of tourists
Mount Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano, erupted on Monday, sending plumes of smoke 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) into the air and prompting tourist evacuations, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

‘Israel to Take All Means to Protect Temple Mount’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s right to defend itself on Sunday, after the Arab world condemned the Jewish state for protecting itself during an Arab mob attack on the Temple Mount. “Israel will act by any means to maintain the status quo and the law and order on the Temple Mount,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

California Lawmakers Pass Physician-Assisted Suicide Measure
In a nation that has sanctioned the murder of innocent babies and turned a blind eye to the nation’s largest abortion provider selling their body parts, it’s no wonder that a greater call for ‘the right to die’ at the other end of the life spectrum has come.

Russia Says it Will Continue to Support Assad
The Syrian army could be a crucial force in fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) group, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday, reiterating that Russia will support the Syrian government in the fight against the extremist group.

Arab League Threatens Action Against Israel Over Al-Aqsa
The Arab League on Sunday warned against the “Judaization of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel” and called for action against the Jewish state, Channel 2 News reported.

Germany re-imposes border controls to slow migrant flow
Germany re-imposed border controls on Sunday after Europe’s most powerful nation acknowledged it could scarcely cope with thousands of asylum seekers arriving every day.

DOUBLE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN
On Sept. 13th, the sun was eclipsed–twice! No one on Earth has ever seen anything like it. Indeed, it was only visible from Earth orbit. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the event: A movie from the SDO science team explains the crazy-perfect alignment required for such a view.

KHAMENEI Threatens AMERICA in NEW YouTube Video – Bombs on US Navy
The video contains images of Iranian bombs raining down on a US battleship.

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.

California wildfires: Governor declares state of emergency
The governor of California has declared a state of emergency after wildfires forced thousands of people to flee their homes in the north of the state. Governor Jerry Brown said the fires had destroyed buildings in the Napa and Lake counties and threatened hundreds of others. More than 1,300 people fled Middletown, north of San Francisco, as their homes were consumed by the flames.

Venezuelan military jets ‘entered Colombian airspace’
Colombia has said that two Venezuelan military jets entered its airspace without warning or authorisation. The planes encroached into Colombian airspace twice on Saturday morning, according to the defence ministry. They reportedly flew over a border military base in the Alta Guajira region before returning to Venezuela.

Migrant crisis: Austria to deploy troops
Austria has said it is deploying troops to help deal with a migrant influx, and will tighten controls on its border with Hungary. The move came after Germany imposed controls on its border with Austria. EU states are struggling to cope with a steady stream of arrivals, many aiming for Germany where one million people are expected to arrive this year.

Japanese volcano Mount Aso erupts unexpectedly
A volcano on Japan’s main southern island of Kyushu has erupted, sending clouds of black smoke and ash into the air. Mount Aso, which is a popular tourist spot, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country.

Saudis should no longer handle Mecca Haj, Iranian MP says after crane disaster
Hedayatollah Mir-Moradzehi, a member of the Iranian parliament who is Sunni, believes that following the deadly crane accident at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia should no longer be in cahrge of the Haj ceremony at the Muslim holy site. …The lawmaker emphasized that Kaaba, the building at the center of the mosque, doesn’t merely belong to Saudi Arabia…

Temple Mount opens to Jewish visitors for Rosh Hashana after police quell riot at holy site
An Israeli police officer on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Monday was injured by two stone-throwing youth as police prepared the site for Jewish visitors for the Jewish New Year. The officer received medical treatment at the scene. …Jerusalem District Police Chief Moshe Edri and his forces were present at the Temple Mount compound on Monday to ensure the public’s safety.

Pretend Messiah to greet Pope at Andrew’s Air Force Base
What will you be doing when the pope’s plane touches down at Andrews Air Force Base on September 22? That’s the day the White House says that Barack and Michelle Obama will make the “rare” trip to Andrews Air Force Base to formally welcome Francis on his arrival of his first-ever visit to the U.S.

Cargo of Refugees, a Planned Invasion
Cargo after cargo of “refugees,” defiant young Muslims seeking a better life in non-Muslim countries with generous welfare programs, are arriving on the Mediterranean shores and at the border of small and much poorer countries than the rich Arab states bordering Syria. Even though they speak the same language, they are taking in zero “refugees” with the excuse that they are trying to minimize the threat of terrorism.

Refugee influx is Muslim colonization
Blind, deaf and woefully not dumb, Western nations have announced how their humanitarian consciences are driving them to welcome hundreds of thousands of “migrants” pouring out of Syria in ISIS’ wake.

In Jerusalem clashes mar eve of Rosh Hashanah
Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem Sunday morning to clear Muslim stone throwers who had taken refuge in the compound amid allegations they planned to disrupt Jewish worshipers on the eve of the Jewish new year.

Savage: ‘There’s a retrovirus in the White House’
Savage told his listeners: “It wasn’t the hippies who ruined America. It was the Communists who ruined the hippies who ruined America. You see, a free spirit is more easily manipulated or penetrated than a rigid spirit. The ’60s allowed millions of us to become freer spirits. The Communists entered our spirits just as retroviruses infect humans, causing the common cold and AIDs for example. And today we have a retrovirus in the White House named Barack Obama.

Anti-Islamic Gun Shop Owner Offers 9/11 ‘Muslim’ Discount
A Florida gun shop owner marked the anniversary of September 11 Friday by offering customers $25 off their purchase with the coupon code “muslim.” The same man had previously declared his business a “Muslim-free zone.”

Convicted Fraudster Helped Obama Sell Iran Deal
Convicted fraudster Robert Creamer played a key role in selling the Iran deal to Democrats, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.


Top Headlines – 9/14/2015

Jordan scolds Israel for ‘storming’ Muslim holy sites on Temple Mount

Arab League Threatens Action Against Israel Over Al-Aqsa

Netanyahu to convene emergency meeting after holiday on stone-throwers in Jerusalem

MK Hilik Bar: ‘Over my dead body will Labor not have a peace plan for the next election’

IDF hints at first Gaza war crimes indictment against high-level officer

Iran’s president wishes Jews a happy new year, in Hebrew

After Iran deal, Obama struggles to gain Israel’s trust

Convicted Fraudster Helped Obama Sell Iran Deal

White House candidate Kasich warns fellow Republicans about ‘painting a red line’ on Iran deal, other issues

Fear of ISIS takeover of Jordan drives Israel to build eastern border fence

Russian Flights Over Iraq and Iran Escalate Tension With U.S.

Moscow will keep supporting Assad army, says Russian FM

Syria group: Russia expanding major Syrian airport

Syria refugee crisis a no-win for Obama

As Germany tightens borders, UN rights chief urges Europe to expand migration channels

As crisis escalates, Berlin says refugees can not choose where to live

‘How can we cope?’: Munich overwhelmed by record influx

Babies, children drown as migrant boat capsizes off Greek island

Archbishop says government is discriminating against Christian Syrian refugees

‘Islamic State’ militants say attacked Pakistan-Afghan border post

Egypt’s president asks oil minister to form new cabinet after government resigns

Egyptian security forces kill tourists, mistaking them for terrorists

At least 7 killed in twin bomb attacks in north Cameroon

Exiled Yemeni government pulls out of planned peace talks

Five Saudi soldiers killed at Yemen border, fighting begins in central province

Police: Afghan Taliban storm jail, release hundreds of prisoners

‘Case Disrupted’ Ahead of Pope Francis Visit to US, Says House Homeland Security Chair

Recording: Al Qaeda chief urges lone wolf attacks in U.S. and West

‘Shemitah’ Google Searches on The Rise Following Stock Market Turmoil

Fed to dominate week of central bank meetings

US interest rate rise could trigger global debt crisis

Stocks on edge as Fed faces key decision on interest rates

China stocks close sharply down on data, Fed uncertainty

China’s Stocks Decline Most in Three Weeks on Slowdown Concerns

Investors braced for stock market turmoil as China’s slump gathers pace

China economy: New signs of economic slowdown

Traders’ Phones Are Becoming a Zone of Total Surveillance

Hackers can now hitch a ride on car computers

On Sept. 13th, the sun was eclipsed–twice! No one on Earth has ever seen anything like it.

Northwest Mexico rocked by a series of earthquakes

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Topolobampo, Mexico

Small earthquake hits Seattle area; no reports of damage

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 25,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 24,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Japan’s largest volcano Mt. Aso erupts, forces evacuation of tourists

Hybrid Storm: Monday and Tuesday Hits With Precipitation From Ex-Linda

Calif. governor declares State of Emergency over wildfires

California wildfire kills at least 1 person, destroys over 400 homes and businesses

Valley fire spread with ‘mind-boggling’ speed, experts say

Judge Rules House Can Sue Obama Administration on Health Care Spending

Congress now turns to spending bill to keep government open, avoiding shutdown over Planned Parenthood

Kim Davis Mocked by ‘Marriage’ Billboard in Her Hometown

UK may impose state supervision on rabbis, imams, priests

Head of Haiti’s Voodoo Faith Dies at 79

Some Mormons stocking up amid fears that doomsday could come this month


Frontrunning: September 14

  • China stocks slide as data raises fresh economy worries (Read More)
  • Was Tom Hayes Running the Biggest Financial Conspiracy in History? (Read More)
  • The Fed’s Policy Mechanics Retool for a Rise in Interest Rates (Read More)
  • Germany re-imposes border controls to slow migrant arrivals (Read More)
  • Thousands flee California wildfire as homes go up in flames (Read More)
  • Bavarian minister says German border controls could last for weeks (Read More)
  • China sells record FX in August, shows pressure after devaluation (Read More)
  • China Unveils Overhaul of Bloated State Sector (Read More)
  • U.K. Labour Names Bank of England Opponent to Treasury Role (Read More)
  • OPEC Trims 2016 Estimates for Rival Supplies as U.S. Oil Suffers (Read More)
  • Chill Descends at Chinese Startups (Read More)
  • Biden Secretly Meets With Top Obama Bundler During New York Swing (Read More)
  • Franklin Templeton suffers record outflows (Read More)
  • For Traders, No More Privacy on the Phone (Read More)
  • Taliban’s Mullah Omar died of natural causes in Afghanistan, son says (Read More)
  • Google Brings in Chief for Self-Driving Cars (Read More)
  • Toshiba loss on weak TV, PC sales boosts case for revamp (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Young woman’s hope in cryonics for life after death shows futility of materialistic worldview

A Dying Young Woman’s Hope in Cryonics and a Future, New York Times (Amy Harmon)

Larry King Is Preparing for the Final Cancellation, New York Times (Mark Leibovich)

2) Medical associations help California assisted suicide law pass and UK bill fail

California Legislature Approves Assisted Suicide, New York Times (Ian Lovett)

British Parliament rejects controversial right-to-die bill, Religion News Service (Trevor Grundy)

Why I believe assisting people to die would dehumanise our society for ever, The Guardian (Justin Welby)

Assisted suicide has no place in our healthcare system, The Telegraph (Lord Ribeiro)

3) Time Magazine raises the question of the expiration of mongamy

Question Everything, TIME

4) Republican candidates narrow before a single vote cast

Rick Perry Ends His Run for President, New York Times (Jonathan Martin)

In other news…

California Wildfires Prompt Emergency Declaration, New York Times (Ian Lovett and Ashley Southall)
Germany Announces Emergency Border Controls Amid Migrant Crisis, New York Times (Melissa Eddy and Alison Smale)

I left Catholicism when I came out. Pope Francis hasn’t convinced me to return, The Guardian (Michael Arcenaux)

G.O.P. Anti-Gay Bigotry Threatens First Amendment, New York Times (Editorial Board)
One man’s freedom, The Economist
Does Religious Liberty Apply to Muslims?, Daily Beast (Dean Obeidallah)
With an Invitation, a Gender Barrier at Harvard Falls, New York Times (Katherine Q. Seelye and Jess Bidgood)

Daily Digest

September 14, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers, and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.” —John Adams, letter to Zabdiel Adams, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Hey, Where’s Perry?

2015-09-14-04f19186_large.png

What happens when you have a presidential candidate with military experience, a legislative tenure, and conservative record of service as both lieutenant governor and governor of one of the nation’s largest states? Nothing, as long as Donald Trump’s sucking up all the oxygen in the room. Even with prior experience running for president and a solid second campaign, former Texas Governor Rick Perry couldn’t overcome the elephant-in-name-only in the room. On Friday, Perry became the first GOP presidential candidate to drop out of the field of 17.

To be sure, part of the fault lies with Perry himself. It’s almost certain he was unable to undo the first impression of his poor performance in the 2012 race to recast himself as the serious, seasoned statesman he had worked to become. Part of the blame also arguably lies with George W. Bush. Perhaps the nation wasn’t ready for another Texas “cowboy” as president. However, as we’ve said before, Perry’s record in Texas was one the nation could have benefited from after nearly eight years of Barack Obama. As Perry described it in his suspension announcement, “During my 14 years as governor, Texas created nearly one-third of all new American jobs. We passed balanced budgets, cut taxes, set aside billions of dollars for a rainy day, and elevated our graduation rates to second highest in the nation. We did this based on conservative principles: Don’t tax too much, don’t spend all the money, invest in an educated workforce, and stop frivolous lawsuits at the courthouse.”

Trump’s rise has been fueled by the well-earned groundswell of opposition to Beltway politicos. But it’s beyond ironic that the populist rebellion claimed its first casualty in a man who defined — through his 10th Amendment foundations — the federalist vision of our Founders. Was he the perfect candidate? Far from it, obviously. But he is a supremely qualified conservative, and the field is weaker without him.

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DOJ: It Was Totally Fine for Hillary to Delete Emails

It got a lot easier for the State Department to investigate Hillary Clinton’s email habits, though it appears investigators won’t take advantage. The company that managed Clinton’s private email server from 2013 to the present, Platte River Networks, says the emails Clinton deleted may be recoverable because Hillary’s server wasn’t actually wiped. It’s the difference between deleting — or telling the computer it can write over data (in this case Clinton’s emails) with new information — and writing over the data with gibberish. Now, the question before the State Department is whether or not the government should comb through the emails. At least two Justice Department lawyers think not. Lawyers Benjamin Mizer and Elizabeth Shapiro submitted a brief last week arguing it’s okay for officials to make the decision what is private and what is public. So it was acceptable to the Obama Justice Department that Hillary deleted 30,000 emails about weddings, yoga class and possibly classified information. Mizer and Shapiro wrote, “The evidence, if anything, demonstrates that the former secretary’s production was over-inclusive, not under-inclusive” — despite knowing Clinton lied about her treatment of classified information. Nothing to see here; move along.

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Surprise! Iran Announces Large Uranium Reserves

Days after Democrats blocked a vote that would have allowed the Senate to consider Barack Obama’s foolish Iran nuclear deal, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization announced that the country has found an “unexpectedly high reserve of uranium” at a new mine, according to Reuters News. “Unexpectedly” indeed. Iran will soon start to extract the resource. “Why is this important?” one writer at Red State asks. “Because the Obama administration’s entire negotiations with Iran is based on the idea that Iran has to import uranium ore. If it doesn’t have to import the ore, there is no way the [International Atomic Energy Agency] can rationally guess at, much less scientifically estimate, the amount of enriched uranium Iran is producing.” And it’s unlikely that Iran is simply posturing about the discovery. What does it have to gain? Obama’s political maneuvers have assured that the U.S. will enter into an agreement with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that Iran will receive between $100 and $150 billion in frozen assets with which to continue funding terrorism. Iran doesn’t need imported uranium as the international community assumed entering the negotiation room. It only needed its assets thawed. Now Iran can run a self-sustained nuclear program while being “monitored” in a way that leaves the international community wanting answers. The deal is done, and Iran confirms we’ve been played. Thanks, Obama.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

America for Americans: No Apology Necessary

By Arnold Ahlert

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Regarding immigration, the selling out of the American public now has a first-person account attached to it. In a scathing column, a pseudonym-bearing “Displaced Disney Cast Member” describes the despicable efforts of a once-iconic company to replace American workers with foreigners willing to work for lower pay. The author of the column is hardly an anomaly. Americans are not only losing their jobs to foreign replacements, they are underwriting both legal and illegal immigrants accessing America’s safety net.

“I used to have a dream career at one of America’s most iconic and admired companies,” the former employee writes. “Twenty years of hard work, technical skill building, the fostering of relationships and a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology guided me to a coveted position as an Information Technology Engineer for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.”

Those 20 years of hard work essentially meant nothing, however, and the day that employee learned his fate was only 10 days after “Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, had just announced that the company’s earnings were up well over 20 percent for the quarter and this was just one among a long series of record breaking financial results for the company.” When the employee arrived at work the message he got was both devastating and infuriating. A “grim faced Disney Executive” told everyone in the room they would be losing their jobs within the next 90 days, with a final termination date of Jan. 30, 2015.

Why? Because their jobs had been given to a “foreign workforce.” Then came the ultimate insult. The executive told them, “In the meantime you will be training your replacements until your jobs are 100 percent transferred over to them and if you don’t cooperate you will not receive any severance pay.”

Thus the soon-to-be ex-employee was forced to endure the “disgraceful and demoralizing” experience of training his replacement. Adding insult to injury, this worker and his fellow former employees were “informed by several large IT recruiting firms that Disney has a policy in place that states all displaced Disney IT Cast Members will not even be considered as contractor workers for 12 months. Thus we have been essentially shut out and black listed by the largest employer in this very small Orlando job market.”

Disney and countless other companies have brought in foreign workers courtesy of the H-1B visa program. In March, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the abuses of that program, including expert testimony from Howard University’s Ron Hira and Rutgers’ Hal Salzman, who told lawmakers the current system “has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry.”

What did the Senate do about the problem? Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), along with co-sponsors Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), proposed a reincarnation of the 2013 “I-Squared” bill called the “Immigration Innovation Act of 2015.” Like its predecessor, the new act would increase the number of H-1B visas from the current level of 65,000 a year, plus 20,000 for holders of U.S. graduate degrees, to a whopping 115,000, “with the possibility of the cap rising as high as 195,000 depending on economic conditions,” Hatch said in April. Like many of his GOP and Democrat colleagues, Hatch has sold his soul to tech industry giants such as Qualcomm and Microsoft, which have laid off thousands of American workers even as they demand an increase in the number of H-1B visas. IBM, Amazon, Intel, Google and Oracle have also told Congress such visas are necessary because there is a shortage of skilled American workers.

This writer did a previous report on the subject. Those allegations are abject lies.

Regardless, the onslaught continues. A report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released in June 2014 revealed that over the last 15 years all net job gains in the nation have gone to legal and illegal immigrants. And lest anyone think the trend is changing or leveling out in some respect, think again: A jobs chart posted by the website Zero Hedge reveals a damming reality contained in latest jobs report covering the month of August. It shows that a sky-high 698,000 native-born Americans lost their jobs last month — even as 204,000 foreign-born Americans got one.

As bad as that is, at least those immigrants are working. In another damning report released this month, CIS reveals that 2012 data show a whopping “51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households.”

Welfare usage by immigrants is not uniform. The report states, “Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73 percent), the Caribbean (51 percent), and Africa (48 percent) have the highest overall welfare use. Those from East Asia (32 percent), Europe (26 percent), and South Asia (17 percent) have the lowest.”

If the words “Central America” have a familiar ring, maybe it’s because the Obama administration is actively recruiting “refugees” from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — officially known as Central American Minors (CAM). A program initiated by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department is providing these illegal aliens “with a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are undertaking to the United States,” according to a DHS memo obtained by Judicial Watch. Once here, those children will be united with family members who may also be illegal aliens, benefiting from Obama’s amnesty or deferred action programs. In other words, the administration is actively adding to the number of illegals already in the nation. Illegals who already have and will continue to compete with Americans for jobs — when they’re not accessing taxpayer-funded entitlement programs.

Perhaps the only thing more maddening than the facts presented here is the contemptible notion pushed by the Obama administration, Democrats, establishment GOPers, pro-amnesty activists and a thoroughly corrupt media that any resistance to this agenda by native-born Americans is tantamount to bigotry, nativism and xenophobia. Don’t believe it for a second. There is nothing remotely wrong with the desire to preserve the nation’s borders, culture, language and traditions, better known as American exceptionalism. In fact, if anyone owes this nation an abject apology, it is those who would seek to undermine that exceptionalism for cheap labor and easy votes, even as they drape themselves in an aura of multicultural self-aggrandizement that is nothing less than an effort to marginalize our national identity. This is one American who will never apologize for desiring a nation that caters primarily — and overwhelmingly — to Americans. Neither should anyone else.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jim DeMint: “[I]f politicians in Washington need poll numbers to muster up a sense of decency, here are some to consider: The Heritage Foundation’s American Perceptions Initiative found that 78 percent of American polled agree with the statement ‘Government should not be in the business of funding organizations that harvest and sell baby parts from aborted children,’ and 72 percent agree that ‘taxpayer dollars would be better spent directed to the more than 13,000 health centers and hospitals providing comprehensive women’s health care.’ … The assumption that conservatives would automatically take the blame for a shutdown concedes the public debate before it even starts. Most damaging of all is the assumption that it’s never the right time to follow through on your principles — even when the other side is literally in the infanticide business. That is cowardice. The fight to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood will be just that: a fight. And like all the struggles to return sanity and respect for human life and decency to our government, it will be a tough one. But conservatives should fight to win, not plan to fail.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “Some may try and tell us that this is the end of an era. But what they overlook is that in America, every day is a new beginning and every sunset is merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends. For this is the land that has never become but is always in the act of becoming.”

Upright: “The irony is that the historic reduction of U.S. crime since the 1990s was predicated on police singling out African-Americans — for protection. Using victims’ crime reports, cops focused on violent hot spots; since black Americans are disproportionately the victims of crime, just as blacks are disproportionately its perpetrators, effective policing was heaviest in minority neighborhoods. The cops were there because they believe that black lives matter.” —Heather Mac Donald

Non Compos Mentis: “If there are 10 people who have been accused [of campus rape], and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people.” —Rep. Jared Polis

Alpha Jackass: “Many of [my condescending] comments are made as an entertainer… [A]s everybody said, as an entertainer, it’s a much different ballgame.” —Donald Trump (“If Trump wants to be judged as an entertainer … maybe he should run for the job of entertainer, not President of the United States.” —Jim Geraghty)

Lacking humility: “I fully think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. … I will absolutely apologize sometime in the hopefully distant future if I’m ever wrong.” —Donald Trump

Demo-gogues: “The Republicans did not win last November. The Democrats lost because a lot of their supporters are demoralized. I think we can strike an excitement in those groups of people.” —Bernie Sanders

And last… “John Kerry said that the nuclear deal is safe, since ‘Iran could never get away with such a deception.’ I see… So, anyone ever find the data on Lois Lerner’s hard drive?” —Fred Thompson

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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I Have No Fear Of Economic Collapse

No Fear - Public DomainI am not afraid of an economic collapse.  Coming from someone that runs “The Economic Collapse Blog”, I am sure that sounds like a very odd statement.  But it is true.  I have no fear of economic collapse, even though I am fully convinced that the hardest times that any of us have ever experienced are ahead.  I spend countless numbers of hours in front of my computer immersed in deeply disturbing information, and yet I sleep more soundly at night than I ever have before.  In fact, my wife and I seek to live in a constant state of “shalom”, which is the Hebrew word for peace.  So how is this possible?  How can “the economic collapse guy” not be absolutely overwhelmed by fear, depression and paranoia? (Read More….)


More County Clerks Across America Now Refusing To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Local officials in several other states also are refraining from granting licenses or performing ceremonies, drawing stepped-up scrutiny from gay-marriage supporters.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)

The spotlight will shine once again Monday on a Kentucky county clerk as she prepares to return to work after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But Kim Davis isn’t the only one causing a stir.

In North Carolina, all four magistrates in rural McDowell County have recused themselves from performing civil wedding ceremonies for any couples. The moves are allowed under a state law passed in June that allows certain public officials to avoid marriage duties if they have religious objections. So far, 32 magistrates across the state—about 5% of the total—have done so, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

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Casey County Clerk Casey Davis speaks at a Religious Freedoms Rally in Frankfort Ky., on Saturday, as Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis listens. Mr. Davis, no relation to Ms. Davis, also refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

As a result of the void in McDowell County, magistrates from neighboring Rutherford County have been driving in to perform ceremonies three days a week, during reduced hours. Tonia Hampton, the McDowell County register of deeds, whose office issues marriage licenses, said the documents continue to be available during regular hours. “It’s business as usual for us,” she said.

While the new law prohibits registers of deeds, who are elected officials, from refusing to issue licenses, it allows their assistants and deputies to do so. Ms. Hampton wouldn’t say whether any staff members had recused themselves.

The situation in McDowell “illustrates the administrative nightmare that this new law set up for our local officials,” said Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. The group is urging any couples who experience problems as a result of the new law to come forward. So far, none has, Ms. Preston said.

In Alabama, about a half-dozen county probate judges, who oversee the issuance of marriage licenses, aren’t providing them to any couples, said Greg Norris, the Monroe County probate judge and president of the Alabama Probate Judges Association.

Among them is Nick Williams, the Washington County probate judge. He said he stopped issuing licenses immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that legalized same-sex marriage—a decision he said he considers “ill-advised” and “invalid,” because marriage is a state issue.

“By not issuing licenses to anyone, I’m not discriminating against anyone,” Judge Williams said.

Under Alabama law, probate judges “may” issue marriage licenses, but aren’t obligated to, providing firmer legal ground for those who have objected. But Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said the group is studying the issue to see “if there’s an avenue we can use to encourage” the holdouts to resume issuing licenses.

Ms. Davis—the Rowan County, Ky., clerk who opposes same-sex unions on religious grounds—is the only clerk facing litigation so far because aggrieved plaintiffs haven’t appeared in other counties. A federal judge sent her to jail Sept. 3 for repeatedly refusing to follow his order that she issue marriage licenses to all qualified couples. He released her last Tuesday but ordered her not to interfere with her deputy clerks, who have been issuing licenses in her absence.

On Friday, preparing for her return to work, Ms. Davis filed an appeal in federal court to allow her to continue to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But at least two other Kentucky county clerks also are refusing to issue licenses, including Casey Davis in Casey County. He recently rode his bike across the state in support of Ms. Davis, who isn’t related to her, and said he also would risk jail to uphold his religious convictions.

Invoking Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Davis said accepting imprisonment “to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”


Pretend Messiah to greet Pope at Andrew’s Air Force Base

Obama, Pope Francis will try to convince the world that only man-made climate change matters with too few to count references to the Creator, while the masses are buying tacky souvenirs to mark the papal visit, most likely Obama, Francis bobbleheads.

According to the Associated Press, Obama has rarely gone to the Maryland base to greet any world leader.

Pope Francis will be personally greeted by and spend private time with the man who successfully had all religious symbols covered when he delivered a speech on the economy at Georgetown University.

View Article


US interest rate rise could trigger global debt crisis

Global debt levels are dangerously high and central banks cannot keep the game going indefinitely

Debt ratios have reached extreme levels across all major regions of the global economy, leaving the financial system acutely vulnerable to monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve, the world’s top financial watchdog has warned.

View Article


China Just Sent A Message To America: Don’t Mess With Us

Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with saying some 200 years ago that “China is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep, for when he wakes, he will shake the world.”…………. Click here for full story


Britain Being Pressured To Adopt German 10 Point Plan For EU Army

The Prime Minister is to be told that Germany would support his bid to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership if he accepts moves to create a European military force……… Click here for full story


Islamic State Reveals It Has Smuggled Thousands Of Extremists Into Europe

The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen had been smuggled into western nations – hidden amongst innocent refugees………… Click here for full story


After Iran deal, Obama to pivot to climate change

According to Politico:

Buoyed by the success of his nuclear deal with Iran, President Barack Obama is preparing to move aggressively on other long-delayed priorities, including a major climate change summit this winter and his elusive quest to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

The National Security Council’s directorate of strategic planning has been quietly building an agenda of action items for the closing year of Obama’s presidency, in a White House that sees its work as far from complete, administration officials say.


The Bear Steps In: Russia’s Expanding Military Presence in Syria :: Spyer in Jerusalem Post

by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
September 12, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5491/russian-troops-syria


Beware the Obama Administration’s No-Alternatives Racket on Iran :: Gambill in National Post

by Gary C. Gambill
The National Post
September 12, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5492/obama-no-alternatives-racket


Battle For Survival As Tens Of Thousands Rally To Stop The Islamization Of Europe

Thousands of people joined anti-Muslim migrant protests in three eastern European capitals on Saturday after leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia opposed an EU scheme to fix refugee quotas.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Europe is waking up to the grim reality that the phony Muslim migrants are actually ISIS and Al Qaeda linked terrorists looking to wreak havoc on their countries with biological jihad. If these were real refugees, they would be trying to gain entrance to Muslim-run countries in the Middle East where their own people are. But this is jihad, plain and simple, something they have planned for quite sometime. Yesterday’s Nazis, today’s Muslims.

In the Polish capital Warsaw, nearly 5,000 people, many chanting anti-Islamic slogans, marched through the city, an AFP correspondent said. “Islam will be the death of Europe”, one of the banners said. Organisers claimed the demonstration drew 10,000 people but police refused to confirm the figure.

We’re here so that the government hears our voice and abandons any plans to welcome Muslims,” shouted one of the organisers after starting the march with prayers which identified the participants as Roman Catholics.

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Concerned nationals chanted “Poles against migrants” and “Migrants today, terrorists tomorrow”.

Another thousand or so joined a “Welcome refugees” rally in favour of hosting migrants in Poland, a strongly Catholic EU member state which has a population of 38 million and has seen hardly any newcomers arriving, despite Europe experiencing its biggest movement of people since World War II.

“I became a refugee when I had to flee Warsaw as the Germans invaded during the war,” 80-year-old Danuta Chomiak told AFP as she marched with the crowd. “I have a duty to be here today.”

Around 1,500 anti-migrant protesters also rallied in the Slovak capital Bratislava, some holding up banners reading: “You’re not welcome here so go home”, an AFP correspondent said.

Another said: “Multiculturalism is a utopia, don’t open the borders”.

The rally was organised by the far-right “Our Slovakia” party, led by Marian Kotleba. Unlike neighbouring Austria and Hungary, Slovakia  — a eurozone member of 5.4 million people — has seen few migrant arrivals this summer.

Police in the Czech capital Prague said some 800 people protested against the arrival of refugees and migrants, holding up banners saying: “Send them back!” and “Protect the borders”.

Demonstrators called on the Czech government to resign and for a withdrawal from the European Union which it joined in 2004.

Elsewhere another 200 people staged a counter-demonstration in support of welcoming refugees in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.5 million and has seen few new arrivals in recent months.

All poorer members of the EU, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic on Friday ruled out accepting refugees under a compulsory quota system outlined by the European Commission, rejecting German pleas for European solidarity in tackling the crisis.

The European Union’s 28 interior ministers are to meet on Monday to discuss a the EC plan which involves a quota system for distributing 160,000 refugees around the bloc. source


14 Years After 9/11 Attack, Obama Flooding America With Muslim Terrorists

Mark it down, Islam hates all non-Muslims, and given the chance they will set the world on fire of Hell.

“And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:12 (KJV)

This year on the 14th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers by Muslim terrorists, I struggled to feel very much patriotic sentiment. The reason I struggled is because America is still under attack from Muslim terrorists, and it is the occupier of the Oval Office who is pulling the trigger. No one in the Congress or Senate seems able to stop him, or even care very much about what is happening.

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Welcome to Americanistan

Between 2010 and 2013, the Obama administration imported almost 300,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations — more immigrants than the U.S. let in from Central America and Mexico combined over that period… Many of the recent Muslim immigrants are from terrorist hot spots like Iraq, where the Islamic State operates. From 2010-2013, Obama ushered in 41,094 Iraqi nationals from there… House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul called the new policy “a federally sanctioned welcome party to potential terrorists.”

The Muslim attack on Europe is absolutely coming to America by invitation of Barack Obama

WARNING: After watching this video all the way through, your ability to claim ignorance of the global Muslim invasion will have forever been take away from you.

Just last week, Obama told America “to prepare” and that 10,000 Muslim Syrian “refugees” are coming. 40% of the entire 100,000 person population of Dearborn, Michigan are Muslim. In 2013, a leaked government document revealed that more people from Dearborn were on the federal terrorist watch list than from any other city except New York. In March 2014, Dearborn resident Mohammed Hassan Hamdan was arrested at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on his way to join Hezbollah in Syria.

Mark it down, Islam hates all non-Muslims, and given the chance they will set the world on fire of Hell. England, once the mightest nation on earth, has been powerless to stop or even slow down the Muslim aggression within their borders. Germany at this very moment is under seige from hundreds of thousands of phony Muslim “migrants” who are nothing more than openly-hostile terrorists. In cities all across Europe right now there are Muslim no-go zones where the local police forces are no longer in charge of those areas. But would you be shocked to learned that there are also Muslim No-Go Zones in America?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal warned that Muslims coming to the United States are not assimilating and could create “no-go zones” around the country — resulting in “lone wolf” terrorist attacks similar to those recently in Europe.

“If they want to come here and they want to set up their own culture and values that’s not immigration, that’s really invasion if you’re honest about it,” Jindal told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on his radio show on Monday.

To be watching the Islamic invasion of Europe and then think that it cannot happen here is the height of arrogant stupidity because it is happening here right now. And it is happening here by design, not by accident or happenstance. By the time Obama leaves office nearly 500,000 undocumented Muslim “immigrants” will be living within the borders of America. The stage has been set for the coming war.

“Allahu Ackbar!” is the blood-curdling cry from the mouths of satanically-propelled Muslim terrorists, and by the time you hear it being shouted on your streets it will have been too late. Muslims are not migrants, they are not immigrants, and they are not refugees. They are terrorists intent on colonizing the land they set their feet on. They do not assimilate and will not assimilate under any conditions. Muslims and Islamic culture don’t make anything better, safer, or stronger. Their one and only goal is to convert or kill the infidel. In Sweden, Norway and many other countries across Europe, Muslim men openly rape non-Muslim women who refuse to wear the Islamic costume. America is next up on that list.

The stoning of Christians in Dearborn Michigan by Islamic terrorists

Nearly 400 British girls as young as eleven are believed to have been sexually exploited by Muslim rape gangs in Oxfordshire over the past 15 years, according to a chilling new report. It charges local officials with repeatedly ignoring the abuse due to a “culture of denial.”

This is what Obama is bringing to America, why are Americans silent? Your nation is being taken from you, just like in Europe. The war is real and Islam is winning because our leaders are selling us out and the liberal media covers for them.

Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

The wolf is at the door.


Germany Overwhelmed! Merkel Places 4,000 Troops On Standby As Muslims Crash System

The German Defence Minister has admitted that the country verges on “an emergency” after cracks have begun to emerge in the ‘German generosity’.

Germany has been viewed as a leader on Europe’s worst refugee crisis for 70 years, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s expectation that the country will take in 800,000 Muslims this year alone. However, the move appears to have backfired as German towns struggle to process the unprecedented number of arrivals.

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Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said: “For this weekend alone we have put 4,000 soldiers on standby.” He added that the troops would be able “to pitch in in an emergency”.

More Muslim migrants have arrived at Munich’s train station since the start of September than in the whole of 2014.  About 120,000 refugees arrived in Munich in August and more than 25,000 came last weekend.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier added that about 40,000 migrants are expected this weekend alone.

However, some in Germany have questioned the impact of the country’s response.  On Wednesday, the leading conservative newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung wondered if the “heterogenous crowds” could really be transformed into “constitutionally loyal” citizens and taxpayers.

Saudi Arabia have controversially offered to help Germany cope by building at least 200 mosques. The rich Gulf state said it would build one mosque for every 100 Middle Eastern refugees who entered Germany.

The German army order follows a move by the Hungarian parliament to pass laws to allow its forces to use rubber bullets and tear gas on migrants. More than 170,000 migrants have been recorded entering Hungary so far this year.

Janos Lazar, chief of the Hungarian cabinet, admitted that the possibility of terrorism is growing in Hungary following the refugee crisis. The decision means that thousands of armed soldiers will be assembled across the Hungarian border with Serbia. Prisoners have also been drafted in to build 10km of 13ft fencing every day. source


BRIC countries facing unprecedented collapse – U.S. wins major round of global currency wars

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 07:04 AM PDT

Brazil, which saw its credit rating downgraded to junk last week, is only the latest BRICs economy to crumble in the face of a strong dollar, a global trade slowdown and the prospect of higher US interest rates. Russia is already in recession; many economists believe China is heading towards a “hard landing”; and South Africa, which managed to append itself to the emerging-markets club in 2010, is on the brink of recession. Of the group once identified as the shining economic beacons of the future, only India has so far remained relatively insulated from what World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu described last week as the “troubled” state of the global economy.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. In 2009, as the rich western countries were surveying the chaos wrought by the financial-market crisis, China was cranking up an immense fiscal stimulus program to boost demand and kick-start growth. Beijing’s ability to muster financial firepower in the face of the crisis seemed to underline the shift of power towards the nimble emerging nations, with their rapidly growing middle classes, and away from the sclerotic Old World. FULL REPORT

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Global Currency War could ominously drag the world toward World War III

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:59 AM PDT

Are we on the verge of another “World War”? What will trigger it? Could a Global Currency War be the fuse to trigger World War 3? In 1934, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlawed the private ownership of gold. After confiscating billions in bullion, Roosevelt shocked the world by revaluing it. The cost for an ounce of gold, previously set at $20.67, was suddenly $35. Overnight, Roosevelt devalued the dollar by 69 percent. The president told the country that it was a radical effort to stimulate America’s economy. A cheaper dollar would make America’s exports less expensive and help American companies sell more products to the rest of the world, he said. More money would flow into America, and more jobs would be created. It did those things. And it also marched the world another giant step closer to war. From the world’s perspective, President Roosevelt’s actions felt like a full-on economic broadside designed to steal a bigger chunk of a stagnating global economy. To the world, it was another—albeit much bigger—salvo in an ongoing global currency and trade war! And it responded in kind.

Today, the economic guns of 1934 are thundering once more. The world’s economy is mired. China, Europe and America face sluggish growth. Commodity prices have cratered. And demand for materials has been blown to smithereens. Meanwhile, global debt is skyrocketing. And stock markets are rattled. Desperate nations are doing everything they can—including destroying their currencies—to stimulate their economies and keep disruptive internal social forces at bay. Could we really be headed toward world war again? The parallels are ominous. It is in this current tense climate that, on August 11, China surprised the world by initiating the greatest single-day devaluation of the yuan in China’s history. And that was just the warning shot. Over the next days, the yuan fell at an unprecedented rate—blowing multi-decade records for depreciation. The move was especially significant because, for the past several decades, China has made sure the value of the yuan closely tracked the dollar. FULL REPORT

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US Intelligence Chief Warns of ‘Armageddon’ Cyberstrike

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:35 AM PDT

Fresh warnings are coming to America! According to a recent report, US National Intelligence Director James Clapper on Thursday warned that America must be ready for a “large, Armageddon-scale” cyber attack, in remarks made at an annual conference of members of the US intelligence community in Washington DC. “Cyber threats to US national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication and the severity of impact,” Clapper warned. “Although we must be prepared for a large, Armageddon-scale strike that would debilitate the entire US infrastructure, it’s not our belief that that’s the most likely scenario.”

Instead of a large-scale strike, Clapper said the “primary concern is the low- to moderate-level cyber attacks from a variety of sources which will continue and probably expand. This imposes increasing costs, as you indicate, to our businesses, to US economic competitiveness and to national security.” FULL REPORT

The post US Intelligence Chief Warns of ‘Armageddon’ Cyberstrike appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

US interest rate rise could trigger global debt crisis

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:29 AM PDT

Debt ratios have reached extreme levels across all major regions of the global economy, leaving the financial system acutely vulnerable to monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve, the world’s top financial watchdog has warned. The Bank for International Settlements said the wild market ructions of recent weeks and capital outflows from China are warning signs that the massive build-up in credit is coming back to haunt, compounded by worries that policymakers may be struggling to control events.

“We are not seeing isolated tremors, but the release of pressure that has gradually accumulated over the years along major fault lines,” said Claudio Borio, the bank’s chief economist. The Swiss-based BIS said total debt ratios are now significantly higher than they were at the peak of the last credit cycle in 2007, just before the onset of global financial crisis. FULL REPORT

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A Startling Prophetic Vision About American Ministers

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:12 AM PDT

If you take a complete overview of the leadership of the United States, you can see that there is a huge decline in moral standards across our land. So many key leaders seem to be pushing their agenda with personal gain in the forefront of their mind. I’m talking about the White House to the church house.

Recently I have been praying for a renewal in the minds of Americans, a mindset that we just don’t need God, but want God and His presence to guide us in life. As I watch different news clips on various social media outlets, I’m shocked to see what’s going on in America and the mindset of the American people. Where is the ringing of the words by JFK: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Recently the Lord gave me a prophetic dream about his ministers in America. In this dream I had walked outside in the Texas heat to mow the grass. After I filled up the mower with gas I proceeded to mow in my systematic routine. When I started, a gentleman came up and politely took the mower from me and began to start mowing for me. FULL REPORT

The post A Startling Prophetic Vision About American Ministers appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Jonathan Cahn: A Tectonic Event Awaits America

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:04 AM PDT

I disembarked the train at Union Station. I was in Washington, D.C. It was May 28, 2015. I didn’t plan the timing, but the day would prove to be of critical importance. It was the day that the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case that would decide the future of marriage in America. I was led to go to the Supreme Court to pray.

When I arrived there, the mass demonstrations were over. There were now only scattered crowds and individuals standing at the base of the steps. One of those standing there recognized me as I approached. He had read The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah and told me that when he saw me in person he was scared, taking my presence there that day as a sign of coming judgment. But if anyone was a sign, it was him. He was dressed completely in sackcloth, the biblical garment linked to mourning and judgment. Next to him was a woman by a sign pleading with America not to strike down the biblical definition of marriage.

The following night, I spoke in the Capitol Building to a gathering of leaders and members of Congress. I knew it was a prophetic time and that I needed to give a prophetic message. I addressed my words not only to those gathered but to the Supreme Court, the president and the nation. I warned that to strike down what God Himself had ordained would be to cross a fateful line and to invoke the judgment of God. FULL REPORT

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Four Missed Signs of the Last Days

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:00 AM PDT

In an age of the grandiose and over-the-top superlative notions of the end of the world, we often forget the subtle things that creep up on us. Some of the signs of the times are not generally taught or preached about in our churches.

Although the antichrist and visions of people disappearing grab headlines, often the more subtle realities of the end times are missed. With this in mind, I would like to offer food for thought in the hearts and attitudes of our world today. FULL REPORT

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Australian Prime Minister Ousted

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 05:43 AM PDT

Malcolm Turnbull will become Australia’s 29th prime minister after beating Tony Abbott in a dramatic leadership ballot in Canberra on Monday night. Mr Turnbull’s victory is reminiscent of the coup former prime minister Julia Gillard staged against Kevin Rudd in 2010 and makes the former communications minister Australia’s fifth prime minister in just over five years. Liberal MPs gathered at Parliament House at 9.15pm to decide whether Mr Abbott or Mr Turnbull would lead them to the next election. FULL REPORT

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Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

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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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I have an Invisible Friend

Unfathomable Grace

The “hour” is coming, and Jesus is about to be separated from his fellows. However,this imminent separationis going to result in their improvement. Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” (John 16:7)

And what help does the Helper offer:

  • Conviction of God’s will and thereality ofsin
  • Conviction of the truth regardingJesus’ person and work
  • Conviction of judgment for rejecting God’s will and Jesus work
  • Conviction resulting in conversion – to some rebels he gifts repentance and faith
  • Communion as the believer becomes the Temple of God and believers become knit together in “mystic sweet commmunion”
  • Communication aid as he prays to the Father and the Son on behalf of those in whom he dwells
  • Comprehension of Jesus’ words
  • Counsel proceeding forthfrom Jesus’ words
  • Comfort from Jesus’…

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Eight years of socialism: more debt, more regulation, fewer Americans working:

WINTERY KNIGHT

Has the economy been doing well lately? When I ask Democrats that question, they often point me to the stock market. I know that the stock market has done very well in the last 8 years. But I really question which Democrat policies have been responsible for this winfall.

Certainly, policies like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, green energy subsidies, blocking Keystone XL, creating a student loan bubble, and even loosening mortgage lending again to create another housing bubble, cannot cause any economics growth. My personal opinion is that all the growth came from adding over $10 trillion dollars to the debt – a process that started with the election of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to the House and Senate majorities, respectively, in 2007.

Look at the national debt:

Gross public debt, Democrats control spending in 2007 Gross public debt, Democrats control spending starting in 2007

If you add $10 trillion to the national debt in 8 years then OF COURSE the…

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Philemon, Wilberforce, Abolition, and the Glory of God

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Finishing up his series through Philemon yesterday, Pastor Jesse Johnson preached a message titled, “If God Is Sovereign, Why Work for Social Change?” This was an incredibly helpful sermon for me as for the last couple of years I have been working through the Christian’s role in the culture.

Is there more to our responsibility of making disciples through the preaching of the Gospel? I answer that with a resounding yes! We are not only to preach the Gospel, but to do justice and love mercy (Micah 6:8). We are not only to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, but we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

I think I’ve concluded upon hearing the term “Christian activism” used in a negative connotation, in many cases, it’s an excuse to not love one’s neighbor as themselves and a condemnation of those seeking…

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Who is Peter Wagner? (Part 1)

We have not really introduced Peter Wagner properly on Church Watch Central. He emerged as a spearhead of the New Apostolic Reformation cult in the late 1980s and still travels the world today promoting very dangerous spiritual prayer and strategy “warfare”. He is one of the most famous faces that represents the NAR cult

02CWCPortrait_Peter Wagner

Within the New Apostolic Reformation, Peter Wagner runs the Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). We thought it was worth introducing him through his institute’s page from the ‘Global Awakening’ website (the website name suggests New Age undertones).

NOTICE: While reading the below blurb, notice the WLI is “not an accredited institution” but “seeks to facilitate reformation and restoration by transforming the way ministry education is approached”. Wagner is talking about reforming and restoring Christian education (and “creating a new educational infrastructure “) based on his ideas on “core topics of: Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelism, Pastoral, Teacher and Seven Mountain.”…

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Nine Important Functions of the Local Church

thinkGOSPEL blog

1. The Christian’s worship center. The local church is the center of the Christian’s worship. This is where our sacrifice for sin—our altar—is presented and understood (Hebrews 13:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:23). This is where our worship begins and flows out into the life. We damage the growth of Christian graces in the life if we neglect the assembling of the church (Ephesians 4:11–16; Hebrews 10:24–25).

2. The Christian’s schoolroom. Next to worship, teaching is the most prominent function of the church—they rise or fall together. The pastor and elders teach (2 Timothy 2:2), the people teach one another (Titus 2:4; 1 Timothy 5:1–2), and as a body we all teach the angels (Ephesians 3:10, 1 Corinthians 11:10) and the world (Colossians 4:5).

The learning experience of the church is not independent learning—sermons and lectures downloaded from the Internet do not serve this function of the church. The church as…

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Genuine Christians have been given living water to drink

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

10 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· εἰ ᾔδεις τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τίς ἐστιν ὁ λέγων σοι· δός μοι πεῖν, σὺ ἂν ᾔτησας αὐτὸν καὶ ἔδωκεν ἄν σοι ὕδωρ ζῶν. (John 4:10 NA28)

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me to drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 Translated fro the NA28 Greek text)

Sacred Scripture clearly teaches us that those who are saved by God believe in the Lord Jesus, that is, they believe the Gospel or Good News. It is good news because it comes to those who realize they are helpless to justify themselves before God who is Holy, Righteous, and Just and also know for certain that their own righteousness is as filthy rags, that is, worthless. The good…

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