Daily Archives: September 15, 2015

September 15, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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The First Worship War

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

Ivory_Cain_Abel_Louvre_AO4052

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both are important.

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

“Even great and good kings are sometimes followed by monsters. And wicked kings have godly sons. Josiah was the son and grandson of two of the most wicked kings (Manasseh and Amon). He became king at eight years old. At sixteen he turned the nation on its head with a righteous reformation (2 Chronicles 34:1–4). It is unpredictable.”

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The Best Day Of The Week

“Lord’s Day worship isn’t a burden to endure, but a joyful offering from God to receive. Christians don’t put aside their earthly cares each week to earn God’s favor, but to enjoy worshipping the God whose favor has already been granted in Jesus Christ.”

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Colbert on Faith: Logic Has Nothing to Do with It

Colbert’s reasons for believing are actually quite logical. He loves the world and feels grateful toward it (these are the same premises he mentioned in the GQ article from a couple of weeks ago), and as a result he chooses to direct that gratitude toward an entity he calls God.

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Kim Davis Is Winning

“The judge has not shown much regard for the legal merits of Davis’s claims, and it’s far from clear that she’s chosen the right venue for her complaints. But this is a political fight as much as it is a legal one. Increasingly, religious conservatives fear there will not be space in public life for those who oppose same-sex marriage, especially after the defeat of Obergefell.”

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The Ex-Baptist Pastor Who Popularized Ben Franklin’s Electrical Experiments

“Kinnersley was born in Gloucester, England, the same hometown as Franklin’s friend George Whitefield, the greatest evangelist of the eighteenth-century revivals. As a three-year-old, Kinnersley came with his family to Pennsylvania the same year, 1714, that Whitefield was born.”

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Kevin Vanhoozer’s 55 Theses on Pastors as Public Theologians

“Pastor-theologians in the early church used the ancient Rule of Faith to provide the parameters for understanding the theological realities that are part and parcel of the gospel, and to identify the God of Israel with the Father of Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things with the Redeemer of the church.”

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Extemporaneous Preaching

One of the greatest benefits of extemporaneous preaching is that you have to know–and, I mean, really know–the exposition of the passage that you are preaching. It has to be a part of you. As John Owen said, “No man preaches that sermon well to others that doth not first preach it to his own heart.”

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The Longing Heart of a Soon-to-Be Bride

by Jessie Minassian

What keeps us from longing for Jesus and His return like a soon-to-be bride?

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.


To a Woman Considering Abortion

To a Woman Considering Abortion

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Desiring God

“Why do you want to do this?” I asked, with urgency and a heavy heart. “Because I don’t wanna get fat or have to tell my parents,” she responded. Her voice was calm and full of indifference, as if my…

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Atheist joins Bible study to disprove Christianity... ends up following Jesus

Atheist joins Bible study to disprove Christianity… ends up following Jesus

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Christian Today

When Caleb Kaltenbach joined a bible study in high school, his intention was to disprove the bible. But he ended up following the God he had been taught hated him, The Blaze reported.

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 Time to Worry? What Russia's Really Up to in Syria

Time to Worry? What Russia’s Really Up to in Syria

Posted on September 15, 2015 by CBN

Since World War II, a major U.S. strategic objective has been to keep the Russian military out of the Middle East. But now the Russians are moving into the neighborhood…

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 8 things every Christian should know about Rosh Hashanah

8 things every Christian should know about Rosh Hashanah

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Christian Today

Don’t be confused if someone wishes you a happy new year today. Impress your friends with this knowledge instead.

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 Rapping for Jesus: Former prisoner is now a Gospel rapper on the subway

Rapping for Jesus: Former prisoner is now a Gospel rapper on the subway

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Christian Today

A former prisoner who converted to Christianity in jail, has combined his passion for rapping and evangelism to start a train ministry.

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 5 Options for Settling Differences with Your Pastor

5 Options for Settling Differences with Your Pastor

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Crosswalk

If we take a moment to consider the root of our disagreement we may discover that our differences are simply preferences and not primaries.

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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 […]

The post The gift of Caryl! appeared first on Berean Research.


Shemitah is over – But nothing happened

Well, almost nothing. 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 […]

The post Shemitah is over – But nothing happened appeared first on Berean Research.


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 […]

The post Are churches too big? appeared first on Berean Research.


Who are the genuine children of God

Watch the video below and you will see liberalism at work in the Church. What you will witness, brethren, is “progressive” aka “social justice” Christianity, which is not true Christianity; it is a counterfeit.  In his piece Mike Ratliff of Possessing the Treasure lays out what authentic Christianity should look like, according to what the Bible […]

The post Who are the genuine children of God appeared first on Berean Research.


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 chosen her to star in the movie.  Now we learn that writer/producer/director/actor […]

The post War Room’s Alex Kendrick and a movie magic medallion appeared first on Berean Research.


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

(Christian Headlines, By Veronica Neffinger)   A new TV series which will help pro-lifers back up their position Biblically is set to air. Todd Friel, the executive producer of the show called Life is Best, says that the show’s purpose is threefold. “Number one is saving babies. Number two, saving souls. And number three, equipping Christians to prepare […]

The post New TV Series to Help Christians Back up Pro-life Position appeared first on Berean Research.


“Mindfulness” meditation fad popular with celebrities including Emma Watson can make you dream up false memories

This piece over at the Daily Mail explains how Buddhist mediation, which is what mindfulness is, can play tricks on your mind. So it seems emptying one’s mind is not all it’s cracked up to be.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this practice, Marcia Montenegrro has written a piece on it that […]

The post “Mindfulness” meditation fad popular with celebrities including Emma Watson can make you dream up false memories appeared first on Berean Research.


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

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire expresses his concern over the actress the Kendrick brothers cast in their new film: I saw the movie, War Room, and liked it very much. Priscilla Shirer is an incredible actress, and the director made wise use of her facial expressions to tell much of the story. Shirer is far more than […]

The post War Room’s Priscilla Shirer “will become the main character” in the Bible stories she’s reading? appeared first on Berean Research.


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

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

The post Willow Creek’s “The Practice” blends New Age & Catholic mysticism appeared first on Berean Research.


SBC Executive Speaking at Muslim-Evangelical Interfaith Gathering

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

The post SBC Executive Speaking at Muslim-Evangelical Interfaith Gathering appeared first on Berean Research.


 Blood Moon September 2015: Is It a Sign of the End Times?

Blood Moon September 2015: Is It a Sign of the End Times?

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Gospel Herald

The night of September 27-28 will bring a “blood moon” or “supermoon,” a cosmic event where the moon takes on a copper color during an eclipse. For some, the rare occurrence is a sign of the end times.

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The Calm Before the Storm

For the most part, people in our time remind me of the people we read about in Noah’s day. Despite warning after warning…they go about their life like they have no one to answer to. Noah warned of impending judgement and the flood came. Prophets warned of coming judgement and the Babylonian armies conquered. Jesus warned about the coming destruction in Jerusalem and just a few decades later, Jerusalem was in ruins as was the temple.

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When Should Christians Disobey the Law? A Lesson From Norway

Recent events have called into question the issue of obeying the government in all ways — even in all circumstances. In the 13th chapter of Romans, Paul says that God has given us the government as a minister of righteousness. It is our duty to obey it. But we also see in Scripture that on occasion, when the government calls for one to disobey God, then civil disobedience is in order………. Click here for full story


Unless You Eat My Flesh

Written by Mike Gendron. “Unless You Eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and Drink His Blood You Have No Life In You” Are these words of Jesus from John 6:53 to be taken literally or figuratively? The Roman Catholic Church teaches the context of John chapter six and the above headlined verse 53 are literal. Thus Jesus is giving absolute and unconditional requirements for eternal life. In fact, this literal interpretation forms the foundation for Rome’s doctrine of transubstantiation — the miraculous changing of bread and wine into the living Christ, His body and blood, soul and divinity. Each…
 
        About five years ago I was involved in a debate at the Oxford University Forum in England dealing with the question: This house believes the end is nigh!  I was arguing in the affirmative.  I made three major points to support my contention that the end is nigh.  First, I noted the reestablishment of the nation of Israel.  No other people in the history of the world have ever been removed from their homeland, scattered across the globe, maintained their ethnic identity, and then returned to their original homeland.  No one has ever done this except Israel, Gods nation.  Second, for…
 
In a 1,500-word article about the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, The Washington Post waited until the 25th paragraph to note that the self-declared socialist faces an “obstacle” to winning the presidency. The paper said that “…Sanders has not faced the kind of media scrutiny, let alone attacks from opponents, that leading candidates eventually experience.” The authors, Philip Rucker and James Wagner, added, “Sure to follow his summer surge is an autumn of investigations that could reveal new details about his personal background and record.” What these investigations would find is that…
 
Amir Meshal “was already under scrutiny from federal authorities for possible activities helping to recruit young people for terror groups. He was banned from attending a local mosque in 2014, which said it ‘does not tolerate any advocacy or recruitment or extremism on its premises.’ He’s also been placed on a U.S. government ‘no-fly’ list.” And now he will be driving a school bus. What, oh what, could possibly go wrong? An update on this story. “Man On ‘No-Fly’ List Granted School Bus Driver’s License,” by Pat Kessler, WCCO, September 14, 2015: MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state Department of…
 
According to the experts, much of the Millennial generation is besotted with the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Note: Millennials are the largest voting bloc by age. Born between 1981 and 2000, and mostly in their late teens to early 30s, many Millennials are showing up at rallies of the self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” U.S. senator from Vermont and cheering his diatribes against “the billionaire class.” Like the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers before them, many Millennials are highly educated. You’d think they’d be wary of anyone sporting a socialist brand. With the glaring exception of Bernie…


Jim Wallis, Progressive “Cleric” Tortures Bible to Promote Intolerant Islam

When Ingrid Schlueter hosted Crosstalk and blogged for Slice of Laodicea, she never held back her contempt for liberal “Christians” who attacked Christian orthodoxy and felt it was their “calling” to change the face of Christianity.  Rev. Jim Wallis was one of those liberals.  There’s a lot more about this man coming up, but first let’s […]

Michael Patrick Leahy, columnist for Breitbart, reports:

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jim Wallis, the far-left founder of Sojourner Magazine and beneficiary of George Soros donations who has built a career out of subverting constitutional liberty in America by quoting the Bible out of context, is at it again.

In his latest effort in transparent left-wing propaganda, Wallis extends his love for open borders from the huge populations of Middle East and Africa to the United States to all of Europe.

At The Huffington Post, the self-proclaimed “Christian leader for social change,” preaches to both sides of the Atlantic. “In Europe and in the U.S. — we must welcome the stranger,” he writes.

In the United States, that means, Wallis—acting in his capacity as a self proclaimed divine prophet on earth—commands us to open our borders to illegal aliens from every country on earth.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/13/jim-wallis-progressive-cleric-tortures-bible-to-promote-intolerant-islam/


A Serious Look at Richard Foster’s “School” of Contemplative Prayer (Booklet)
by Ray Yungen, 9/1/15 LT Publishing

“[W]e should all without shame enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer.”1-Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline: :the Path to Spiritual Growth Christianity is not complete without the contemplative dimension.”2-Richard Foster In Portland, Oregon there is a large bookstore devoted entirely to New Age spirituality. Every Eastern mystical and metaphysical topic under the sun is found there. Interestingly, there is a sizable section on contemplative prayer with Catholic monk Thomas Merton having a whole shelf devoted just to his writings. Why would a New Age bookstore give valuable space to a topic that purports to be Christian? That is a legitimate question. May I suggest the reason is that the “Christian” mystical tradition (i.e., contemplative prayer) shares a sense of profound kinship with the Eastern mystical tradition. There is ample evidence to support this claim.

Click here to read this booklet!

For Pope Francis, Mary’s greatness comes down to this one virtue
at Understand The Times, 8/29/15 Understanding The Times

On the feast of the Assumption of Mary, Pope Francis said that faith is the defining virture of her greatness and that the mysterious way she was taken into heaven is a foreshadowing of what awaits each of us. Dogmatically defined in 1950, the assumption of the Virgin Mary’s body into heaven is celebrated Aug. 15 every year, and is one of the most important Marian feast days in the Catholic Church. Francis pointed to the famous canticle Mary uttered in response, called the “Magnificat,” in which she praises God for the marvelous deeds he has done both in her own life and throughout history. In this prayer Mary expresses her joy, because she is fully aware of what all the great works in her life at that point mean, namely that through her the Lord will accomplish the salvation her people have long been waiting for, the Pope said.The prayer also shows us the full meaning of Mary’s life, he added, explaining that “if the mercy of the Lord is the engine of her story (then) she who bore the Lord of life (could not be touched by) the corruption of the tomb.”

Click here to read this article! 

Generous Justice, How God’s Grace Makes Us Just
by Timothy Keller Think On These Things
Reviewed by Gary Gilley


That the people of God should be concerned about injustice and social issues of the world at large and that they should be model citizens who do good to those around them, is not the issue. The issue Keller is addressing is resisting, and changing the legal, political and social systems. It is adding the Cultural Mandate to the Great Commission as the mission of the church (p. 130). This is Keller’s argument but he does not make his case biblically. His cutting and pasting of random Scripture verses, mostly out of context, might give the appearance that he has proved his thesis but the vast teaching of Scripture stands against his view. I do agree with Keller when he is affirms that individual Christians working within parachurch or even secular organizations might devote time to social issues, while leaving the church to do what only the church can do. However, the author is not consistent throughout the book and dangerously confuses the mission of the church and God’s people.

Click here to read this book review!

Pro-Gay, Pro-Abortion Socialist Bernie Sanders Given Wild Applause At Apostate Liberty University

Liberty University, you should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this anti-American and absolutely anti-Christian trash in your school.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15,16 (KJV)

Hey, remember the days when Liberty University used to be a Christian college? Not so much anymore. Proof of that is yesterday’s speech by anti-American Socialist and candidate for president Bernie Sanders who opened his speech with these words: “I believe in women’s rights (for abortion), and the right of a woman to control her own body (kill the baby). I believe in gay right’s and in gay marriage. Those are my views and it is no secret.” The reaction from the fabled “christian” university? Thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Nighty, night, Liberty U, may you rest in piece. Welcome to Laodicea.

bernie-sanders-liberty-university-speech-gay-rights-pro-abortion-church-laodicea-obama

Sanders hammered home his Socialist mantra of wealth redistribution, and his supposedly Christian audience cheered wildly every time.

 

Watch as much of this trash as you can stand to absorb. Bernie Sanders wants to find the “common ground” between him and you. But unless  you are a pro-gay, pro-abortion, pro-Socialist, what type of common ground are you ever going to find? A post-Christian America is a scary, scary place to be, but so it is after 7 years of the reign Muslim-raised King Barack Hussein Obama. Bernie Sanders wants to take what Obama started, and jack it up every further is you can imagine such a thing.

Sanders kept saying “I know you as a Christian school and I disagree on many issues”, but as you watch the video he got huge applause every time he spoke in favor of abortion and gay rights. There didn’t seem to be much “disagreement” from the sold-out crowd at Liberty. Sanders hammered home his Socialist mantra of wealth redistribution, and his supposedly Christian audience cheered wildly every time. This was not a speech, this was indoctrination of the highest order.

Liberty University, you should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this anti-American and absolutely anti-Christian trash in your school.


E17: Kody Kness on prisoners of conscience in China

In advance of China President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. (Sept. 24-25), Kody Kness, vice president of China Aid, helps us think through the predicament of our fellow Christians in China and prisoners of conscience around the globe.

Related news items

Other resources


Kody Kness is currently Vice President of China Aid, previously serving as Deputy Executive Director for Sudan Sunrise; Advocacy Manager for the Better World Campaign at the United Nations Foundation; International Human Rights Advisor for U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, advising on foreign policy issues such as religious freedom, Internet freedom, human trafficking, conflict commodities, and rule of law; Associate Director for Government Relations and Outreach at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he worked closely with non-governmental organizations, the U.S. Congress, and both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations to promote religious freedom and related human rights abroad.


Iraq’s Christians Have Been Virtually Exterminated

And it’s perverse.  Had we left Iraq alone, and left their tyrant in command, this vile and perverse slaughter would never have happened.  And make no mistake, without the iron fist of tyrants like Hussein and Assad, there is no stability in British constructed paper states.  Ask Saudi Arabia if you don’t believe me.

The Gulf War was the greatest evil perpetrated on the Christians of the Middle East ever.  It destabilized the region and opened the floodgates of tribalism and ISIS is simply the logical consequence of that truth.

Bush didn’t have the foresight to see what would happen or the hindsight to understand the region’s history well enough to make an intelligent decision.  It’s a shame the Christians have borne the brunt of his ignorance and the ignorance of American and European policy in the region since.


Reframing the Battle

“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, But the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.” Psalms 37:12-13 It is easy for Christians to look at the spiritually decaying world around us and be concerned.  Wars; terrorism; growing economic […]

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Heidelberg 128: The Doxology

We might first associate the word doxology with the song often sung at the close of public worship services but it is, in fact, two Greek words (δόξᾰ + λογία), which was taken over into medieval Latin and thence into English in the mid-17th century. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as a “liturgical formula […]

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OLDER AND BETTER

By Roger Oakland Understand the Times, International Fossils are preserved life forms that lived in the past. But how do we know how long ago in the past these plants or animals were preserved? From time to time, we hear about a new fossil discovery that has become newsworthy because it was older than any […]

Letter to the Editor From a Former Young Life Leader: Watered-Down Gospel, Contemplative Authors, & Emergent Leanings

In 2012, Lighthouse Trails posted an article titled “Young Life’s History of Embracing Contemplative Authors Continues,” showing that the Christian youth organization, Young Life, was introducing Young Life leaders and kids to contemplative/emergent authors and speakers. The article we wrote talked about a meeting we had in 2002 with the Young Life director of training […]

Why I Am Not An Atheist – Ravi Zacharias

Proponents of atheism have a more prominent voice than perhaps they would have in years past. Is there any validity to their logic? How can Christians answer the critiques? Ravi Zacharias explains why he is not an atheist to an audience at Princeton University. Part two of this message from Ravi can be viewed below:

The post Why I Am Not An Atheist – Ravi Zacharias appeared first on ReasonableTheology.org.


09/15/15 Integrity

By Chuck Lawless on Sep 15, 2015 01:00 am

READING: Daniel 4-6

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Today’s reading includes the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. King Darius (regretfully) sent the prophet there when he prayed to God rather than follow the king’s edict to petition through no one but him (Dan. 6:6-18). God protected Daniel, of course, and sent an angel to clamp shut the lions’ jaws.

It’s the background to this story that is the focus of this devotion, though. Other leaders whom the king had appointed were jealous of Daniel (who was about to be placed in authority over the other leaders), so they tried to find cause to accuse him and remove him. What they found, though, was nothing:

Dan. 6:4  The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.

His enemies wanted evidence of Daniel’s wrongdoing, but they could not find any. Though they likely would have capitalized on anything even remotely wrong, no such problem could be found. Everything was above board enough that Daniel’s opponents had to seek another law to capture him.

Even for Christians, temptations to be less than honest, especially in business, are real. Adjust only a few numbers. Nobody will miss a dollar or two. Change the report. Avoid the taxes. Break your word. Undercut the team . . . after all, nobody will know. Business corruption can become so pervasive that it’s almost assumed to be the norm.

It simply cannot be the norm for believers, however. Integrity really does matter — especially for people whose responsibility is to proclaim truth.

PRAYER: “Father, make me a person of complete integrity. Grant me grace to avoid even the appearance of negligence or corruption. Make me so trustworthy that even my enemies will listen when I share the gospel with them.”

How do we explain similarities between Hebrew and pagan worship?

prophetsofbaalleapuponthealtarThere is no doubt that some of the practices of ancient Hebrew worship bear remarkable resemblance to the worship practices of the pagan nations around them. Other nations practiced similar sacrificial systems, had temples and priests, and many scholars note the the idea of covenants established by God with his people is virtually identical to that of other peoples of the ancient near east.

How can we account for these similarities?

There are at least three possible ways to explain similarities between Hebrew worship and pagan worship. First, some argue that Israel simply borrowed ideas from their neighbors and adapted them. This idea is usually espoused by those who discount the possibility of direct revelation from God, however. In fact, the biblical accounts tell us that every time Israel did that sort of thing, it always led them away from the worship of Yahweh.

The second possibility, one that accounts for the fact that the people’s worship came by way of divine revelation, says that when God instituted worship forms for Israel, he “contextualized” worship in cultural forms and practices they would understand. Andrew Hill argues this for example, saying that the institution of sacrifices “demonstrates God’s willingness to accommodate his revelation to cultural conventions. Human sacrifice was practiced in ancient Mesopotamia, and Abraham was no doubt familiar with the ritual since he came from Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:21).” However, God clearly says that Israel’s worship is patterned after the worship of heaven (Exodus 25:8-9), not after the worship of the other nations.

A final possibility, and one that I believe to be the best, says that the similarities exist because the basic elements of worship existed since the beginning of human history (see this essay). For example, the practice of sacrificing and the idea of covenant can be traced as far back as the Fall, indicating that these kinds of ideas would have been passed down to future generations and would have been in the consciousness of all people from the beginning. The pagans were borrowing ideas from true worship, not the other way around. With the Law, God was simply codifying the structure that had been in place since Adam sinned and that was patterned after the worship that takes place in heaven itself.

Similarities do exist, but the differences are far greater. For one thing, every other nation we know of at the time was polytheistic, while Israel was uniquely monotheistic. For pagans, worship was meant to appease angry, selfish gods; for Israel, worship was a response of gratitude for acts initiated by a kind God himself. For the pagans, immoral acts such as murder and fornication were part of the worship acts; such was not true for the Hebrews.

The central difference between Hebrew and pagan worship is that Hebrew worship is a response to God’s gracious works, while pagan worship is an attempt to appease spiteful gods. Yahweh initiates Hebrew worship. The pagans initiate pagan worship.

No, Hebrew worship, or Christian worship for that matter, is not merely an attempt to worship the true God using forms familiar from the worship of unbelievers.

Hebrew (and Christian) worship is a God-initiated privilege whereby God himself provides a way for communion with him, and his people respond with hearts of thanks and praise.

For a much more thorough treatment of this subject, see my article in the Answers in Genesis Research Journal.


Postmodernism: A Cautionary Tale


It is safe to assume whether you sit in a pew or stand in a pulpit, philosophical trends are trickling into minds all around you.  They drip, drip, drip into the intellectual habits of those you worship with, those who teach your children, and those who will eat turkey with you in November.  No one needs to read bad philosophy to be influenced by it. To borrow a phrase from Peter Berger, “cognitive contamination” happens every day in our ordinary work-a-day lives.  One philosophical trend trickling into western culture, first embraced by leftist academics 50 years ago, is postmodernism.In his little 1979 book, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard gave this definition of postmodernism: “Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives.”  Metanarratives are grand structural stories that govern and explain all other stories.Postmodernists cynically teach that metanarratives are tall “tales” we have been told all our lives about existence, but these tales have not kept their promises. Instead, the postmodernist argues, these grand stories have been told so those telling them could gain power over the people.This is why extreme postmodernists wish to dismantle all metanarratives. Abolish overarching stories such as Christianity, science, capitalism, Marxism, democracy so people can live their own stories without judgment and coercion. Your truth will be yours and mine will be mine.

The challenge of a growing suspicion toward metanarratives is that Christianity is unavoidably a metanarrative. Christianity is the one story that rules them all. It is the one narrative that explains mankind’s origins, miseries, death and ultimate destiny. Our faith testifies to an ontological and metaphysical reality that applies to all men – past, present and future.

Because Christianity is a metanarrative, it is targeted for contempt in cultures being saturated by the postmodern drip, drip, drip. People do not find the miracles of our faith so far-fetched anymore (that is a modernist reaction), they find our call to be reconciled to one grand story as vile power-mongering.

Though a growing suspicion of metanarratives creates a challenge in calling people to Christ, we should understand that proclaiming God’s glorious and gracious metanarrative is still the only way to face the challenge.  Consider Paul’s ministry to the idolatrous people of Athens.

In Acts 17:16 we find Paul out walking in the Greek city of Athens. He notices many altars to false gods. The text says, “His spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.”  Being provoked by Satan’s achievements, Paul begins to speak to Jews in the synagogue and Greeks in the marketplace (v. 17). Eventually he is brought to the Areopagus where he publicly challenges the idolatry of the Athens before its top philosophers.

It is one of the greatest speeches of the ancient world.

The content of Paul’s speech is God’s glorious and gracious metanarrative. He begins with, “The God who made the world and everything in it” (v. 24). He goes on to tell how God cannot be contained by manmade temples (v. 24) – a direct critique of pagan altars in Athens. Paul then tells how God has ordered the time of each man’s birth and the place of each man’s dwelling.

The speech crescendos with an undiluted metanarrative claim: “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (30-31).

Notice what Paul did in his message.

First, Paul critiqued the idolatrous stories the Athenians told themselves through their pagan altars.

We must see in this that critiquing metanarratives is also the task of the Christian. In our time and place men’s idols are embedded in metanarratives rather than stone. Things that were to be kept under God have been raised up by sinners to become gods. Sex. Science. The state. Particular economic systems. These are the uncarved idolatries of our age. Men hope and seek deliverance in these instead of in Christ. This should provoke our spirit. But to do something about it we will have to critique the very metanarratives where these idols have been erected.

Second, Paul told the one story to rule them all.

He proclaims the God who made everything; the God who commands all people; the God who will judge all the world. He preached metanarrative without embarrassment. Yet do not overlook that Paul proclaimed Christ! There is “one man” appointed to judge. But is not this what those suspicious of metanarratives hope to avoid, the consolidation of power into the hands of a few, into the hands of one?!

Yes, but who is this one man who has been raised from the dead? He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the one also crucified for our sins. What mercy! His power and authority are real, but his is power and authority that does not lie to you. His power and authority dies for you.

Christian gospel is a metanarrative unlike any the world has heard. It is not a metanarrative of corrupt power-grabbing, it is a metanarrative of holy grace. Proclaim it.


John Hartley has been pastor of Apple Valley Presbyterian Church since 2010, having previously been a pastor for 10 years in Vermont. He is a Wisconsin native and a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as Dallas Theological Seminary. John lives with his wife Jen and their five children.


Ecumenical Fences

Fences

Questions concerning ecumenical affiliations are among the most difficult for any minister to answer. There is a spectrum along which every minister falls regarding their involvement and interaction with ministers of other ecclesiastical fellowships. On one side of the spectrum, there are ministerial fellowships–in any given town–in which clergy of every group that could possibly be considered a part of  “Christendom” meet together to talk about social issues in the community and how they can together make a difference. The members of said ministerial fellowship will talk about pastoral and developmental aspects of their churches. However, there is one Shibboleth. You can never talk about anything of doctrinal substance were deep disagreement abounds. On the other end of the spectrum, you find ministers who have adopted an isolationist approach and segregated themselves from the church universal in the name of doctrinal purity. Such ministers are leery of any approach made by a fellow minister in the area. When they are asked to consider participating in a joint worship service or outreach event, they sheepishly give an insincere verbal affirmation of agreement (or evasively change the subject), knowing full well that they would never run the risk of holding hands with another church–even another church of similar evangelical commitments. The former group fears losing unity–the latter, purity. So, the question with which we are constantly faced is, “How do we to avoid giving into doctrinal compromise (1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1) in the name of unity without schismatically rejecting the unity that Christ wants for His people throughout the world (John 17:11; 21-23) in the name of purity?” Here are five principles with which I have often attempted to discern when and how to be associated with other ministers and other churches:

1. Establish Doctrinal Boundaries. This is, of course, the starting point. “How can two walk together unless they are agreed” (Amos 3:3)? There is no more important question to answer when seeking ecumenical unity than the following: “What truths unite and what truths divide?” In fact, it was this question that lay at the foundation of Desiring God’s 2003 Conference for Pastors on “Good Fences, Bad Fences, and the Glory of Christ” (see esp. the panel discussion beginning at the 48:31 min. mark). Personally, I tend to find the Solas of the Reformation to be the best fence posts when seeking to answering this question. Protestantism (in the old and original “protesting Rome” sense of the title) was founded solidly on the five Solas of the Reformation. It is necessary that a man believe in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, by the Scriptures alone to the glory of God alone if we are to have any sort of meaningly “fellowship” with one another. Otherwise, our fellowship is not in the truth of the Gospel but in some sort of affinity for community, organizational leadership, education or some other non-biblically defined activity or endeavor.

This does not mean that everyone who does not intellectually affirm the Solas of the Reformation are not saved. In the words of Sinclair Ferguson, “It is hard to draw the line between the confused head and the washed heart.”

2. Seek to Discern the Spirits of Men. Just because a pastor gives assent to the Solas of the Reformation doesn’t mean that he is a good or a godly man. The Scriptures are constantly calling us to discern the spirit of a man that is in him. In fact, there are many men who are robustly Reformed in their theology, but who are mean-spirited or proudly ambition in their hearts. We have to ask the question, “Is the pastor we are considering partnering with for the sake of mutual ministry a proud man, a heavy-handed man, a rash man, a greedy man, a selfish man or a foolish man? Those are just a few of the categories that we should consider prior to committing to “holding hands” with a pastor or session of another church (Proverbs 14:7; 22:24). This does not mean that we should be overly scrupulous or overly cautious when pursuing ecumenical affiliation–but it does mean that we should be seeking to discern the sort of man/men with whom we are seeking to partner. Otherwise, a casual and cautious–if any–friendship may be best. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we commanded to partner with just any church–no matter what they believe or who leads them–to labor for the spread of the Gospel. In fact, Diotrephes (3 John 9-10)–a minister who loved the preeminence and who rejected others–is a biblical example of a man who was said to be avoided.

3. Proactively Forge Friendships with other Ministers. The only way to know where a man is doctrinally and where he is spiritually means having to do the hard work of forging friendships with other ministers in their community. It means stepping out of your comfort zone and seeking to get to know other ministers and congregants. It means being proactive in wanting to see relationships formed for the sake of the Gospel and biblical fellowship, with other churches that are outside of your own ecclesiastical fellowship or denomination.

4. Start Theology Groups. One of the best ways to form ecumenical partnerships with other ministers and churches is to invite those ministers who you believe truly hold to the most important doctrinal commitment–and who are seeking godly living–to come together for a monthly fellowship in which you have lectures or in which you work through a theological book together. It doesn’t have to be something that everyone in the group agrees upon in its entirety. For instance, we have a monthly fellowship called the “Coastal Empire Reformed Fellowship” (CERF). It has been in existence for 25 years. Ministers from various PCA churches come together with independent Reformed, New Covenant Theology and Progressive Dispensationist churches. Soteriologically, all of the ministers who attend are Calvinistic or believe in sovereign grace in the work of redemption. One of the men from the group gives a talk on any given subject. We then interact on how ministry is going. Finally, we pray together and have a sweet time of fellowship over a meal. This has helped to knit our hearts together. I pray regularly from the pulpit for each and every one of the churches represented in this group.

5. Put Territorial Ambition to Death. While compromise is a great evil with which many are easily beset, so too is territorialism. We must eagerly seek to put territorial ambition to death. Ministers must never allow themselves to pastor by greed or fear. It is quite possible–and actually quite easy–for ministers to be greedy for “success” in growth and numbers. This is a great enemy to that sort of partnership with other ministers and churches that will most readily aid the advancement of the Kingdom of God. That Proverb holds true in this regard: “Greed takes away the life of its owner” (Prov. 1:19). Additionally the following Proverb can be applied to pastoral ministry: “There is one who gives away more than what is right, yet increases; and, one who withholds what is good and yet suffers lost.” Again, Diotrephes (3 John 9-10) is the example of a territorial and ministerially greedy man who fell under the condemnation of the Apostles. In no sense whatsoever, can territorialism and biblically ecumenical unity stand together.

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Your Neighbor Knows About the Wrath of God

Your Neighbor Knows About the Wrath of GodWinning people to Christ involves the recognition of a need that only Christ can meet. There is one need, among many, which, if not met, will nullify the good of any other needs being met. We all need to escape the wrath of God, a wrath which is coming on the world. If we don’t, all other blessings come to nothing. Therefore, one indispensable truth of the good news of Jesus Christ is that he — and he alone — delivers believers from the wrath to come.

This truth is clear from 1 Thessalonians. Paul preached the gospel to this city and, amazingly, many “received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). Something Paul preached was so thrilling and so compelling that these people joyfully accepted affliction as the price of believing it. What was it?

It was that, because of Jesus Christ, they could be delivered from the coming wrath of God. “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9–10).

Paul had warned them that “while people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come . . . and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). And he had encouraged the believers, “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Paul knew that Jesus himself had said, “Whoever does not obey the Son, the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). And so he warned the hypocrites of Romans 2, “Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5). And he promised believers, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:9).

It seems to me that many gospel preachers today have little confidence that this message (“Jesus delivers from the wrath to come”) can be heard by contemporary people as good news. It seems that modern people lose little sleep over the impending wrath of God. It’s not a matter of discussion at work. It is not prominent in the news. To bring it up in a conversation seems so strange that people might think you are cultic or unstable.

The World Knows This Already

I think our silence is a big mistake. There are many reasons, but the one I want to emphasize is this: All unbelievers that you know, or ever will meet, know already about the coming wrath of God and that they deserve it. When you talk to them about it, you will be touching on something deep in their souls. They may have suppressed this knowledge, but it is there.

I see this truth in Romans 1. First, Paul says that all people know God and know a good deal about God, but have suppressed what they know. He is speaking of mankind in general when he says, “Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Romans 1:21). Nevertheless, “by their unrighteousness they suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). So “claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images” (Romans 1:22–23). So they know God — all people know God! — but, at the level of consciousness, they have kept him out.

The same is true of God’s judgment — the coming wrath of God. In Romans 1:29–31, Paul lists over twenty typical sins of those who suppress the knowledge of God. Then he says in verse 32, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

What They Already Know

Notice carefully what they know. First, they know “God’s righteous decree.” Not just a general sense of right and wrong, but also that God himself is the one who determines what is right and wrong. It is “God’s righteous decree” that everyone knows.

Second, they know the content of God’s decree. There are kinds of behaviors that are wrong: “those who practice such things deserve to die.” Such things. They know these things are wrong.

Third, they know the content of God’s decree that they “deserve to die.” They know that the breaking of God’s standards leads to the experience of God’s wrath. Paul’s wording is not that death follows sin in the same way that a disease follows infection. The wording is that they “are worthy of death.” That is, they have incurred real guilt before a real judge, and there is a moral fitness about the punishment to follow. And it is real punishment from a personal, righteous, wise God, not a mere sequence of natural outcomes.

That is what all people know. They know they do wrong. They know the wrong is the breaking of a divine standard. They know that they have real guilt before a personal Judge. They know they deserve the penalty God has assigned: death. And so they know God’s anger awaits them. And they know that the vast distance between their own unworthiness and the greatness of their Creator means that probably the penalty of death means more than losing consciousness at the end of physical life.

We often speak of common ground between us and unbelievers — common ground that will give us a way into their souls to help them see the worth of the gospel. Well, there is a universal common ground. They all know that wrath is coming. They all know that they are guilty and will be swept away.

They may have suppressed this knowledge, as they have the knowledge of God, but it is there. And you, filled with the Holy Spirit and with the good news that there is a way of escape, you may be the one appointed by God to awaken this dormant truth and give them hope.

My Plea

My plea is that all of us who love the gospel of Jesus and who love people will not shrink back from speaking boldly and clearly and wisely about the whole counsel of God, including the wonderful truth that Jesus delivers from the wrath of God. Nothing is more terrible than to be the deserving object of the just and omnipotent wrath of God. The world, and everyone in it, needs to know that God has made a way of escape through Jesus Christ. This knowledge is essential to the gospel we preach.

Why did Paul say to the Ephesian elders that he was “innocent of the blood of all”? He gave the reason in the next verse: “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26–27). In other words, a judgment is coming. Either the blood of Christ will cover you from the wrath of God, because you taken refuge in him, or you will pay your own blood.

But that will not be on my hands, Paul says. For I warned you that wrath is coming. And I showed you the way of escape. It has cost me dearly. But I live in order to “finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).


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Dreaming of a Porn Free Church

There’s a silent killer in the church today, a killer that feeds off the body of Christ like a cancer. It tears apart relationships, destroys lives, drenches people with guilt and shame and ultimately takes them out of the race altogether. It’s affecting our relationships, our leadership, our parenting and our mission.

It’s probably the most dangerous four-letter word in the church.

PORN.

You’ve heard church leaders talk about it, you’ve probably read the statistics on the Web about the magnitude of the industry and, more than likely, you’ve seen it firsthand.

I don’t want to throw around any more stats or paint a bleak picture about the future of the church. Instead, I want to ask you to do something with me … a short little exercise.

I want you to dream with me for a minute.

What if the church was 100 percent porn free?

I’m not even talking about the world, just the church—you know, you and me. What would the church look like if we eradicated every ounce of porn? What if no one in the church ever watched, experienced or clicked on porn again their entire life? What would our marriages look like? What would our parenting look like? What would our pastors look like?

Dream with me for a minute about a porn-free church.

I dream of a church where marriages aren’t dashed to the rocks over porn ever again. A church where marriages are filled with Christ-honoring intimacy, steeped in integrity and the God-given erotic passion that comes only from purity, love and unselfishness—lifting up the other over self. A place where the husband relinquishes his cycle of addiction and replaces it with an addiction to the glory of Christ and the goodness of others. Not some otherworldly prudence, but a down-to-earth gentleness and purity toward his wife that sets her apart like Christ did the church. I dream of a church where men are more passionate about upholding the glory of their wives than the pleasures of porn.

I dream of a church where single men and women are not anchored to the unbearable guilt and shame of hidden sin. A church where singles fear God like the holy hurricane he is and seek him for his unmatched companionship through the journey of life. A place where single men and women are not looked down upon with skepticism for their marital status but looked up to for their passion and purity to serve God in any given status or distinction—free from the choking clasp of porn. I dream of a church where single men and women are a godly force so great that the powers of darkness shudder in fear when they hear their names.

I dream of a church where there are no teenagers stuck in the lonely, grief-riddled cycle of porn and masturbation. I dream of a church where teens view the opposite sex with holy wonder and not a burning, selfish lust. I dream of a church where teens fight for the gospel without the weight of hidden sin tied around their necks, pulling them back to the bottom of the ocean every time they struggle toward God’s presence. I dream of a church where every teen knows their identity is set in Christ, and they experience the full goodness of his mercy every day.

I dream of a church where women are held up as beloved sisters in the family of God.A place where they are protected; a place where they can trust that the men are good and pure and easily trusted. A place where their beauty is not cheapened, their bodies are not objectified and their spirit and strength is not quenched. A place where their value to the Kingdom is fully appreciated and freely respected.

I dream of a church where no pastor watches porn on Saturday and preaches a message on Sunday. A place where every youth leader, senior pastor and worship leader comes in front of the church to lead from a place of integrity and honesty and with a clean conscience. A place where there is no “shoe” waiting to be dropped at the board meeting. A place where there is no need for paid administrative leave to “work things out.” I dream of a church where every leader sheds the cancer of porn like a heavy winter jacket in spring.

If this dream came true, what would the bride of Christ look like to the world? Just remove this sin—not every sin—just this one. How would the world see our marriages, our families, our leaders?

I don’t think it will come true through a sermon series, small groups, accountability partnership or cumbersome set of purity guidelines. No, this kind of radical change can only happen when we pray, confess, repent and ask God to do something miraculous.

I have a dream of a porn-free church. I believe it’s God’s dream, too.

Are you with me?

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7 Things You Should Know About the Jewish Feasts

I love how God keeps His promises to us. In Leviticus 23, God gave Moses seven days of feasts at specific times throughout the year.

Each of these feasts represents a promise and a meaning Jesus would later fulfill. Got Questions wrote, “From the Old Covenant to the New, Genesis to Revelation, God provides picture after picture of His entire plan for mankind and one of the most startling prophetic pictures is outlined for us in the Jewish feasts of Leviticus 23.”

The Hebrew word for “Feasts” is moadim which means “appointed times.” God uses these feasts to tell His great story. We see the Gospel and his redemption through these feasts.

There are spring feasts and fall feasts. We saw Jesus fulfill the spring feasts in scripture on the exact feast day during his first coming. “These three fall feasts, it is believed by many, will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord’s second coming.”

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.’”
Leviticus 23:1

1. Passover

Passover was first celebrated when God delivered his people from Egypt and slavery. Now we celebrate the day Jesus died as the ultimate sacrificial lamb. Paul references this fulfillment in 1 Corinthians 5:7.

2. Unleavened Bread

In the Bible, leaven or yeast in a symbol of sin and evil. The feast of Unleavened Bread points to Jesus’ sinless life. During the first few days of this feast, Jesus’ body was in the grave.

3. First Fruits

First Fruits is the day Jesus was resurrected. Paul refers to this in 1 Corinthians 15:20 when he says Jesus is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

4. Pentecost

Pentecost represents the “great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile” as we see in Acts 2. This is the day the Church was established when “God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter’s great sermon and his first proclamation of the gospel.”

5. Trumpets

This is the “first of the fall feasts” and occurs in September. Many believe this feasts represents the rapture. See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52.

6. Atonement

The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled with the second coming of Jesus (Romans 11:25-26) when “The Deliverer will come from Zion.”

7. Tabernacles

This is the day devout Jews would build small shelters outside their homes and worship in them to celebrate how God provided shelter for His people in the wilderness. “Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again ‘tabernacle’ with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).”

“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.”
Zechariah 14:16-17

There is a theme of sacrifice in these feasts, and overwhelming proof of God fulfilling His promises to his people.

 

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7 Characteristics of Cowardly Lion Leadership

You remember the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz, don’t you? He was supposed to be the king of the jungle, but he had no courage.

I’ve known some leaders like the cowardly lion. If I’m completely transparent—at times it’s been me.

Let’s face it. Leading others is hard. There is often loneliness to leadership. Leadership takes great courage.

You have no doubt encountered cowardly leaders. Perhaps would even admit you’ve been one too.

Here are seven characteristics of cowardly leadership:

Say what people want to hear. They might say, for example, “I’ll think about it,” rather than “No”—even if no is already the decided answer. I get it. It’s easier. But the ease is only temporary. These leaders are notorious for saying one thing to one person and another to someone else. They want everyone to like them.

Avoids conflict. In every relationship there will be conflict. It is necessary for the strength of relationships and the organization. When the leader avoids conflict, the entire organization avoids it. Hidden or ignored problems are never addressed.

Never willing to make the hard decisions. This is what leaders do. Leaders don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. They don’t even have to be the one with the most experience. Leaders make the decisions no one else is willing to make.

Pretends everything is OK—even when it is not. When everything is amazing, nothing really is. Cowardly leaders gloss over the real problems in the organization. They refuse to address them either because they fear they don’t know how or their pride gets in the way.

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10 Counterfeit Christ Figures We Should Stop Worshiping

Original article appeared here.

Jesus is still very popular these days, even at a time when Christianity seems to be facing more social marginalization. From political and social movements to kitschy products to bumper stickers, we’ve appropriated Jesus as a mascot for our favorite causes. But we have to wonder, is this the real Jesus of the Bible or a Jesus of our own making?

In Romans, the Apostle Paul teaches of Christ’s mission to call out a people and form them into His likeness, but it seems we are more interested in forming Jesus into our image. Even conservative, Bible-believing evangelicals are fond of making statements like, “The Jesus I know would …” as if Jesus—who claimed to be the Triune God, one with the Father—can be easily molded into whatever we wish him to be.

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Soon the Jesus we claim to worship looks strangely like the man in the mirror.

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

1. Guru Jesus

This is the Jesus of the enlightenment, the Jesus who existed in human history, but is not nearly as radical as that Jesus of the gospels. Guru Jesus is the wise, winsome, slightly supernatural figure who fits nicely alongside other religious titans like Buddah, Muhammad, Vishnu and others. This is a safe Jesus, who will only ever tell us good, affirming, uplifting things, but doesn’t bother us with dangerous talk of the Kingdom of God.

But here’s the problem with Guru Jesus: Not only does he defy the historical record and the claims of Jesus Himself, he’s also much less compelling than the Christ of Scripture. Guru Jesus doesn’t meet the deepest longings of the human experience, doesn’t answer the problem of evil, and offers no hope for future cosmic renewal.

2. Red-Letter Jesus

This Jesus is in vogue among many well-meaning, progressive evangelicals. He’s a Jesus I’m tempted, at times, to embrace. He’s present in the kind of Christianity that only takes seriously those quotes of Jesus in the gospels that are marked out by Bible publishers in red ink.

What is convenient about this Jesus is that he replaces the so-called angry God of the Old Testament with a mostly peaceful, healing, non-controversial Jesus of justice. What’s more, he’s way more likeable than that irascible Apostle Paul who just doesn’t understand 21st-century social norms.

There is only one problem with Red-Letter Jesus: Jesus, in his very red-letter statements, declared solidarity with the Old Testament Scriptures. He spoke of an “unbreakable Bible” and coming not to abolish “one iota or jot of the law.” If we accept Jesus as a full member of the Trinity and if we accept the idea of inspiration of Scripture, we’d have to say that all the letters in the Bible are red, not just the statements from Jesus we like to put on coffee mugs.

Plus, have you read those red letters? Jesus said some pretty controversial things in there about marriage, about hell and about his coming kingdom.

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There Are No Accidents With God

Tony Evans tells this story: “Our God is sovereign. That means there’s no such thing as luck. Anything that happens to you, good or bad, must pass through His fingers first. There are no accidents with God. I like the story of the cowboy who applied for health insurance. The agent routinely asked him, ‘Have you ever had any accidents?’ The cowboy replied, ‘Well no, I’ve not had any accidents. I was bitten by a rattlesnake once, and a horse did kick me in the ribs. That laid me up for a while, but I haven’t had any accidents.’ The agent said, ‘Wait a minute. I’m confused. A rattlesnake bit you, and a horse kicked you. Weren’t those accidents?’ ‘No, they did that on purpose.’”

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There are no accidents with God.

God’s sovereignty is his complete and absolute rule, control and power over all things. God has decreed all that has ever happened and ever will happen and ultimately brings about all things he has purposed.

He has total control of all things past, present and future. Nothing happens that is out of His knowledge and control. All things are either caused by Him or allowed by Him for His own purposes and through His perfect will and timing. … He is the only absolute and omnipotent ruler of the universe and is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. http://www.GotQuestions.org

There are no accidents with God. And he has a perfect timing for everything he does.

Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’ Isaiah 46:9-10

Have you ever felt like you were in the middle of a perfect storm? How did I get here? How did this happen? Wherever we find ourselves and whatever we have to deal with we can know that God in his infinite wisdom has designed it for our good and to make us like Christ and bring him glory.

The post There Are No Accidents With God appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Why Your Pastor Might Be Depressed Today

Mike Leake:

Mondays are tough on pastors. For some, feelings of discouragement, anxiety, and depression will begin to kick in as early as Sunday afternoon.

This really isn’t unique to pastors. Even if you aren’t a pastor I’m guessing that you have had times of a great spiritual high, only to find yourself the next day feeling like a total schmuck. This experience is what Archibald Hart calls “Post-adrenaline depression.”

Eric Stoltz is still in Back to the Future

Most pop culture nerds/Back to the Future fans know that while Michael J. Fox was the first choice to play Marty McFly in the series, the role initially went to Eric Stoltz due to scheduling conflicts. After four weeks of shooting, Stoltz was let go from the film, and Fox was brought in, with everything getting reshot—everything, it seems, except one shot:

Ecumenical Fences

Nick Batzig:

Questions concerning ecumenical affiliations are among the most difficult for any minister to answer. There is a spectrum along which every minister falls regarding their involvement and interaction with ministers of other ecclesiastical fellowships.

How to (Re)gain Your Leader’s Trust

Eric Geiger:

If you attempt great things, you will experience moments of failure and disappointment. You will make mistakes. Your plans will not always go as they were mapped out to go. Life will mess with your best plans. As Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

In some of these moments you may likely lose some credibility with your leader. Credibility with your leader is essential. If your leader does not trust you, your influence and impact will be greatly hampered. So how do you regain your leader’s trust in the midst of difficult challenges and disappointment? Here are six steps to regain your leader’s trust.

What’s the one thing the next generation of pastors needs to know?

Great answer from Jonathan Leeman:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/135461348


A La Carte (September 15)

Today’s Kindle deals include: The Pastor’s Kid ($1.99) and Help My Unbelief ($4.61) by Barnabas Piper; From the Resurrection to His Return by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Reclaiming Christianity by A.W. Tozer ($1.99); George Washington Carver by John Perry ($1.99); D.L. Moody by Kevin Belmonte ($1.99); Managing Your Family’s High-Tech Life by Arnie Cole ($2.99); The Man Called CASH by Steve Turner ($1.99).

Helpers for Unfinished Husbands

“It might take many years of sanctifying marriage for a husband to learn Christlike headship, and even then it will be imperfect. Wives, as helpmates, come alongside their husbands in this unfinished work.”

Don’t Lose Spiritual Disciplines for Fear of Legalism

There are some good challenges in this article. “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!”

9 Things You Should Know About Refugees in America

Here’s Joe Carter keeping you informed on today’s headlines.

For the Church

A couple of weeks ago was the initial For the Church conference. They have just released conference audio and video. Speakers include David Platt, Russell Moore, and H.B. Charles Jr, and Darrin Patrick.

This Day in 1648. “The Larger and the Shorter Catechisms—both prepared by the Westminster Assembly the previous year—were approved by the British Parliament. These two documents have been in regular use among various Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists ever since.” *

The Indian Liberace

If you enjoy history, you may enjoy this tale of how a black man from Missouri transformed himself into the Indian Liberace.

I Am Donald, Hear Me Roar

A Canadian former politician tries to get to the bottom of the Donald Trump phenomenon: “Donald Trump has them flummoxed. The media, his Republican and Democratic opponents, they don’t know what to do with him. And because they don’t, more and more Americans like him.”


The Daily Discovery (September 15, 2015)

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

Five Things I Want to Teach My Son – “Should the Lord be pleased and I have a son (tentatively named Kofi Jr – has to be born on a Friday though but we can dream!), here are five life lessons I want to impart him – lessons I’ve learned the hard way but lessons I’m glad to have learned (and in most cases, am still learning!)…”

How to Fight Addiction in a Pornographic Culture – “Young men and women struggle with pornography. I think one of our greatest mistakes is that we talk about pornography only in terms of young men. There are young women who struggle with pornography. Not in the same way, not in the same numbers, but it is real.  We live in a pornographic culture and that is one of the things that makes it very difficult. We have been so inundated with pornography and as a result we are desensitized to pornography. The line at which we will say, “That is pornographic” has been drawn so far out into the realm of the inappropriate, that we have people who dress pornographically and they are not bothered by it and we are not bothered by it anymore.”

Giving Your Pastor Feedback After a Sermon… – “‘Good sermon.’ ‘Helpful!’ ‘Interesting.’ ‘Awesome message.’ ‘Thanks, Pastor!’ Pastors hear these sorts of comments after sermons from time to time. Some may come more frequently than others. But if you ask most pastors who care about feeding the flock and who have literally emptied all that they have in that hour of heralding, many who approach them after sermons unknowingly do not provide helpful feedback. It’s not necessarily bad. It’s not necessarily harmful. It’s just not the most helpful. Preachers have heard the standard lines that people give on their way out of the church building when they give a brief word before heading home. Ministers have heard those. But feedback that is more helpful and more thoughtful is what every pastor needs.”

What Is the Eye of A Needle? – “I haven’t always sat under the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. In fact, earlier parts of my Christian walk have been tarnished by over-exposure to some really bad Bible teachers, and attendance in some very man-centered churches. A lot of my expertise in error comes from first-hand experience.  It took longer than I care to admit, but eventually, the reckless handling of Scripture became too hard to ignore. One of the most blatant examples was related to Christ’s interaction with the rich young ruler. Luke 18:22-25 explains the sad end to their conversation.”

Five things I learned in an unhealthy church – “When I went off to college as a bright-eyed 18-year-old, I found a church to get involved with right away. The church had a college group that met in my dorm, and I loved it from the beginning. It was an incredibly friendly group and I forged deep relationships that are still some of my closest friendships 19 years later. We were deeply committed to giving our lives to Christ, and many of our unchurched friends from the dorm gave their lives to Christ as well. I myself was baptized that fall in a frigid alpine lake at the top of a mountain.”


SERMON:

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Nate Pickowicz – The Promised Holy Spirit (John 14:16-24)


VIDEOS:

Hear From A Woman Who Survived An Attempted Abortion

John Macarthur responds to heckler incident


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

The post The Daily Discovery (September 15, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, September 15, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Judge Orders Ten Commandments Monument Taken Down Within 30 Days

Having Chaplains in Workplace May be Way to Prevent Violence

Anglican Church in Kenya Expels Priests Accused of Practicing Homosexuality

South Africa: Teacher Martyred for Refusing to Engage in Witchcraft to be Honored as Saint

Pastor Defends Baptisms on High-School Football Field

Religious Leaders in U.K. Disagree with Extremism Prevention Policy

Polls Show Trump not Leading with Devoutly Religious Republicans

Evidence Mounts for Viability of Babies not Considered Legally ‘Human’

Christians Call on Indonesia’s President to Combat Islamic Extremism

Navy Stands Behind Chaplain Who Shared Christian Beliefs

Opinion

Your Life Expectancy and Your Social Security

Planned Parenthood and Abortion in the States: Good News in the Battle for Life

The Death of Good Journalism

Meet ‘The Secret Christians of Brooklyn’

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


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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

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

September 15, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 15, 2015

BLOOMBERG

North Korea said it is ready to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. at any time and that its main nuclear facility was fully operational, allowing the country to improve both the quality and the quantity of its nuclear weapons.

The public employees responsible for overseeing $600 million in contracts to build healthcare.gov were inadequately trained, kept sloppy records, and failed to identify delays and problems that contributed to millions in cost overruns. That’s according to a new government audit.

While both men and women face big retirement-savings challenges, the hurdle is higher for many women. To have a decent standard of living in old age, women, who earn on average 78 cents to a man’s dollar, need to save $126 for every $100 men do.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her decision to allow tens of thousands of refugees into her country in recent weeks, only to then turn around and restore border controls as the flood turned into a deluge.

Retail sales in the U.S. climbed for a second straight month, a sign consumers may be looking past recent volatility in financial markets. The 0.2 percent increase in August followed a 0.7 percent gain in July that was larger than previously reported.

The first electric Lutz Pathfinder, which is smaller than a Smart car, launched in Milton Keynes today before tests in pedestrianized areas at a top speed of 15 miles per hour. The trial hopes to pave the way to a new mode of public transport that can be summoned with a smartphone.

The dollar is in the midst of its strongest rally since 1984 and — unlike then — there may be little anyone can do to stop it.

El Nino will peak around the end of the year as warming sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean may exceed those seen during the record event almost two decades ago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the fight against Islamic State should be the global community’s top priority in Syria, rather than changing the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Finance Minister Joaquim Levy proposed a new round of spending cuts and tax increases that are designed to close the budget gap and protect Brazil from further credit downgrades. The government will reduce expenditures by $6.8 billion next year in large part by capping salaries of civil servants and trimming social programs.

AP Top Stories

Hungary’s right-wing government shut the main land route for migrants into the EU on Tuesday, taking matters into its own hands to halt Europe’s unprecedented influx of refugees while the bloc failed to agree a plan to distribute them.

Israeli forces stormed Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound as they clashed with Palestinians for the third day straight at the flashpoint site.

Chelsea Clinton said it’s surprising to hear that her mom is slipping in the polls because she’s “my hero.”

For decades, Porsche has made some of the world’s most beautiful sports cars… and now it’s setting its sights on Tesla. The iconic German automaker on Monday unveiled its new Mission E concept, a new four-door, four-seat all-electric car that features system power of 600 horsepower, acceleration of 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 3.5 seconds, and a driving range of more than 310 miles per charge.

A U.S. Air Force general on Monday cited what he called “alarming” moves by the Russian military to beef up its air forces in the years since the invasion of Georgia in 2008 and to establish firm defenses around areas like Crimea.

Remember Iron Man’s transparent smartphones? They might become reality sooner than you think thanks to an unusual new type of battery that’s not only transparent, but it can also charge via solar power. The technology could also be used for other products in the future, such as smart office and home windows that would be able to let the sun’s light pass through them, but also recharge and store energy.

Some of the world’s biggest emerging economies are pleading for the United States to end their drawn-out agony and raise interest rates now.

BBC

Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils’ performance, says a global study from the OECD. The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.

The governor of California has declared a state of emergency after wildfires forced about 23,000 people to flee their homes in the north of the state.

Argentine soldiers were subjected to abuse and torture by their own superiors during the 1982 Falklands War against Britain, files released by Argentina’s armed forces reveal.

Smoke from huge forest fires in Indonesian has created a cloud of smog over the country, which has spread over neighboring Malaysia and Singapore.

Turkish prosecutors have begun an inquiry into a big media group, after photos were published of dead soldiers, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

WND

Earlier this year, public-school students in Madison, Wisconsin, were given an assignment to “pretend you are Muslim,” while students in Florida were instructed to “recite the Five Pillars of Islam as a prayer, make Islamic prayer rugs and perform other Muslim rituals”. Now, parents of public-school students in Tennessee are protesting assignments that include writing a declaration that Allah is supreme and textbooks that recount Islamic doctrines as facts instead of beliefs.

OK – Wilson Public Schools is moving forward with a program to combat Sandy Hook-type shootings with armed staff members.


Top News – 9/15/2015

Another earthquake strikes area of destructive Valley Fire
Another earthquake rattled the North Bay Tuesday morning in the area where the deadly Valley Fire is still burning. A magnitude 3.2 earthquake struck northwest of Geyserville at about 5:46 a.m. Tuesday morning.

ISIL demands allegiance from Libya’s Sirte residents
The ISIL militant group on Monday called on residents of Libya’s coastal city of Sirte – which it captured in January – to pledge their allegiance to the group and “repent for their sins” before the end of this month.

Iranian troops join Russians in Syria fighting
Israeli security sources claim Quds Force sending hundreds of elite troops in unprecedented cooperation with Russia to save embattled Syrian regime.

Temple Mount clashes continue for third day
Third day of rioting sees Palestinians barricading themselves inside al-Aqsa Mosque, throwing stones, concrete blocks, fireworks at security forces. Clashes between security forces and Palestinians at the Temple Mount continued for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

Russia shipping tanks into Syria, in ‘first clear sign of offensive weapons’
Russia’s military build-up in Syria has grown to include the shipment of a half-dozen highly sophisticated battle tanks — and more troops — a defense official told Fox News, in what the source called the “first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria.”

Credibility, ‘gradual’ approach at stake as Fed weighs rate rise
The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing this week its biggest policy decision yet under Chair Janet Yellen, puts its credibility on the line regardless of whether it waits or raises interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. In a way it is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for the Fed….

Jordan king warns Israel over Jerusalem holy site violence
“We have gotten reassurances from the Israelis government that this would not happen. Unfortunately, these are reassurances we have heard in the past,” the king said. “Any more provocations in Jerusalem, will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel; and Jordan will have no choice, but to take action, unfortunately.”

Putin defends Russia’s military assistance to Syrian regime
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday strongly defended Moscow’s military assistance to the Syrian government, saying it’s impossible to defeat the Islamic State group without cooperating with Damascus.

For Those Who Remain in Syria, Daily Life Is a Nightmare
As crowds of Syrians transfix the world with their flight to Europe, this kind of life is one of the many nightmares they are fleeing. They leave behind increasingly empty neighborhoods — from the Damascus suburbs to the northern city of Aleppo — that testify to the scale of their exodus.

8 dead, 5 missing as Utah flood sweeps away cars
Several vehicles were reportedly swept into waterways after heavy rains hit at approximately 5 p.m. MT, including two vehicles that had been carrying 16 people in Maxwell Canyon north of the city, said Kevin Barlow, assistant fire chief. The victims included women and small children,

Teen Arrested for Planning Alleged ISIS-Inspired Attack on Pope
The FBI quietly arrested a 15-year-old boy outside of Philadelphia last month for allegedly threatening to launch an ISIS-inspired assault on Pope Francis while the world leader tours the United States next week, ABC News has learned.

Earthquake Rattles Fried Nerves Near Valley Fire
The earthquake rumbled through the North Bay hours after tens of thousands of residents evacuated following the rapid spread of the unrelenting Valley Fire.

China falls drag stocks back into red
Concerns over China kept financial markets on edge on Tuesday, with an underwhelming reaction to recent data and Beijing’s efforts at corporate reform helping push European and Asian stocks lower. Europe’s main markets had inched higher in early trade, with investors avoiding firmer bets ahead of the first meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve in years at which a possible rise in interest rates has been a live issue.

China appears to be working on third airstrip on disputed South China Sea islets
China appears to be carrying out preparatory work for a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a U.S. expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs taken last week. The photographs taken for Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank on Sept. 8 show construction on Mischief Reef, one of seven artificial islands China has created in the Spratly archipelago.

Robots are going to steal the jobs…
Scientists have created a huge, in-depth analysis of what jobs are under threat from robots — with salesmen, chefs and even models all in the firing line. Researchers have assembled a full list of all the things that robots are good and bad at, and so what jobs they are likely to take. In all, about 35 per cent of jobs are likely to have been taken on by robots in the next 20 years, researchers have said.

Russia positioning tanks at Syria airfield: U.S. officials
Russia has positioned about a half dozen tanks at an airfield at the center of a military buildup in Syria, two U.S. officials said on Monday, adding that the intentions of Moscow’s…heavy military equipment were unclear. Moscow has come under increased international pressure in recent days to explain its moves in Syria, where the Kremlin has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad…

Migrant crisis: Hungary declares emergency at Serbia border
Hungary has declared a state of emergency in two southern counties as tough new laws to stop migrants entering illegally came into force. Police can now detain anyone trying to breach a razor-wire fence built on the border with Serbia. The EU is facing a huge influx of migrants, many fleeing conflict and poverty in countries including Syria.

California wildfires: 23,000 people displaced from homes
The governor of California has declared a state of emergency after wildfires forced about 23,000 people to flee their homes in the north of the state. Governor Jerry Brown said the fires, which have left one person dead, destroyed and threatened buildings in the Napa and Lake counties. More than 1,300 people fled Middletown, north of San Francisco, as their homes were consumed by the flames.

North Korea Yongbyon nuclear site ‘in operation’
North Korea says its main nuclear facility, the Yongbyon complex, has resumed normal operations. The country was improving its nuclear weapons “in quality and quantity”, state-run news agency KCNA reported. Yongbyon’s reactor was shut down in 2007 but Pyongyang vowed to restart it in 2013, following its third nuclear test and amid high regional tensions.

Top Iranian space scientist among those killed in Mecca crane collapse
Top Iranian space scientist and university professor Ahmad Hatami was killed in the crane collapse in Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Friday which killed 107, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported on Monday. An Iranian minister confirmed that Doctor Ahmad Hatami, who was a renowned member of the Iran Space Research Center, was killed along with 8 other Iranians who made the deadly pilgrimage to Mecca.

Riots breaks out on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for third straight day
As police came to secure the area for Jewish visitors to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on the second day of Rosh Hashana on Tuesday, rioting broke out for the third straight day. When Israeli security forces entered the plaza of the site dozens of face-covered Palestinian youth met them with a barrage of stones, blocks, and firecrackers, police said.

OPEC: The US shale boom is over
n its latest monthly oil-market report, published Monday, the 12-member oil cartel OPEC said US oil producers were finally beginning to feel the squeeze of lower oil prices. OPEC writes: “In North America, there are signs that US production has started to respond to reduced investment and activity. Indeed, all eyes are on how quickly US production falls.”

Anglican Church in Kenya Expels Priests Accused of Practicing Homosexuality
In an unprecedented move, the Anglican Church in Kenya on Sept. 10 expelled five priests for allegedly engaging in homosexual activity. The priests, from the diocese of Mt. Kenya West in Central Kenya, were under investigation since mid-August. They were serving in the towns of Othaya, Karatina, Murang’a and Nyeri towns.

Judge Orders Ten Commandments Monument Taken Down Within 30 Days
A judge has ruled that a Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol within 30 days. The monument was erected in 2009 with personal funds from Oklahoma Rep. Mike Ritze, according to Christian Today, and has been controversial since 2013 when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma, led by Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists Director Bruce Prescott, told the court that the monument was unconstitutional.

No snow: Californian water source at 500-year low
Snow cover in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a water lifeline for California’s cities and agriculture, has hit its lowest level in 500 years, a study said Monday. Measured on April 1, the natural, frozen reservoir was barely five percent of the 1950-2000 average, threatening tens of millions of Californians and the state’s $50-billion (44-billion-euro) agriculture sector with chronic water shortages, its authors warned.

Inmate who raped Arizona prison teacher gets life in prison
An Arizona inmate who pleaded guilty to raping a prison teacher apologized to the woman in court Monday before being sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

3 earthquakes shake central, northern Oklahoma in 1 hour
Three earthquakes have shaken parts of central and northern Oklahoma in less than one hour. The U.S. Geological Survey said all three quakes were recorded Monday between 12:10 p.m. and 1:08 p.m.


Top Headlines – 9/15/2015

Jordan king warns Israel against Jerusalem ‘provocation’

US calls for restraint on all sides in Jerusalem violence

Arab League Threatens Action Against Israel Over Al-Aqsa

Riots breaks out on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for third straight day

Man dies following suspected stone-throwing terror attack in Jerusalem

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

‘Israel to Take All Means to Protect Temple Mount’

Power Cuts Prompt Palestinians to Take to Gaza Streets in Largest Protests in Years

IDF opens fire on Palestinian suspects near Gaza security fence

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

Shaked: New Rabbinical Court ‘A Revolution for Israel’

Iran: IAEA Chief to Visit Tehran This Week

Republicans Continue to Push Against Iran Nuclear Deal Despite Setbacks

As US debates nuclear deal, Iran woos the world

Top Iranian space scientist among those killed in Mecca crane collapse

Video: Iranian Regime Threatens to ‘Humiliate’ US Military in War

Iran wants China’s help to resolve Middle East tensions

Iran releases ISIS-like propaganda video

Cold War weaponry and modern military hardware: Inside the ISIS arsenal

95,000 Russian troops in massive military drill

US Air Force cites ‘alarming’ Russian strides in air power

Russia shipping tanks into Syria, in ‘first clear sign of offensive weapons’

Russian Moves in Syria Widen Role in Mideast

Russia positioning tanks at Syria airfield: U.S. officials

Russia says wants Putin-Obama talks on Syria

Dozens killed in ISIS-led terrorist attacks in Syria’s Hasakah

UK’s Cameron urges support for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan

More Border Controls as Europe Stalls on Migrant Quotas

EU deadlocked on agreement to distribute refugees across countries

UN voices deep disappointment at lack of EU consensus on migrants

Federal Data: U.S. Annually Admits Quarter Of A Million Muslim Migrants

Pope Blames Refugee Crisis on ‘God of Money,’ ‘Socio-Economic System That Is Bad, Unjust’

Pope says risk that terrorists could sneak into Europe with Mideast refugees

Teen Arrested for Planning Alleged ISIS-Inspired Attack on Pope

Pope’s Visit Poses a Security Test for New York

America’s Legal Order Begins to Fray – Amid the escalation of violent crime are signs of a breakdown of basic respect for law enforcement

China building third airstrip on disputed South China Sea islets

North Korea says it has restarted nuclear fuel production plants in warning to US

North Korea says it’s ready for new long-range rocket launches

Japan urges North Korea to refrain from provocative action

China’s currency could double losses this year – economists

China falls drag stocks back into red

Global Stocks Waver, Investors Wary Ahead of Fed Meeting

Federal Debt Held by the Public Totals $107,000 Per Household

OPEC: The US shale boom is over

Fukushima dumps first batch of once-radioactive water in sea

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 26,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 18,000ft

Karangetang volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Lautoka, Fiji

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

Another 4.7 magnitude earthquake hits northwest Nevada

3 earthquakes shake central, northern Oklahoma in 1 hour

2.7 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Fried Nerves Near Valley Fire

Massive California wildfires leave 23,000 displaced

Wild fires race across California, devastate wine country

No snow: Californian water source at 500-year low

Indonesia declares state of emergency over fire haze

Utah flash floods kill eight people, five others missing

Deadly Flash Flood Sweeps Through Colorado City, Arizona

Death toll rises to seven after Japan floods

Tropical Storm Ida May Form in Atlantic This Week

‘Strongest’ El Nino for more than 60 years

Hundreds quarantined as Ebola returns to north Sierra Leone district

Measles Outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo Kills 400

Bubonic plague case confirmed in Michigan

Report: Kids are getting drunk on hand sanitizer; poison control reports up 400 percent

Anglican Church in Kenya Expels Priests Accused of Practicing Homosexuality

Other State Officials Say No to Same-Sex Marriage

Navy secretary threw us ‘under the bus,’ say Marines in gender-integrated infantry unit

Intelligent machines: Call for a ban on robots designed as sex toys

Topless Women Storm Stage at Muslim Conference to Protest Treatment of Women

University of California Seeks to Create ‘Right’ to Be ‘Free From Acts and Expressions of Intolerance’

Shemitah is over – But nothing happened

BOMBSHELL: Jonathan Cahn ADMITS His Books And His Jewish Calendar Forces Messianic Believers To Deny Jesus Was The Messiah

New Video from Andrew Strom – Bill Johnson and the New Age – False Spirits Invade

Inside The Duggars’ Deep Ties With A Once-Powerful, Now-Scorned Bill Gothard Ministry


Frontrunning: September 15

  • China stocks resume sharp slide as economic worries mount (Read More)
  • OECD head says sees further cut to global growth forecasts (Read More)
  • The U.S. Dollar Is Gaining Like It’s the 1980s ??? For Better or Worse (Read More)
  • Glencore Slumps to Record Low, Erasing Gains Since Debt Plan (Read More)
  • Woman killed, 400 homes destroyed by California wildfire (Read More)
  • Why Morning Is the Worst Time to Trade Stocks (Read More)
  • German Investor Confidence Damped by Weaker Emerging Markets (Read More)
  • One U.S. Banker Is Ready to Raise His Rates, With or Without the Fed (Read More)
  • Fired Currency Traders Won’t Leave Quietly (Read More)
  • Hundreds of Latinos protest at Trump rally, clash with supporters (Read More)
  • China appears to be working on third airstrip on disputed South China Sea islets (Read More)
  • How Healthcare.gov Botched $600 Million Worth of Contracts (Read More)
  • Oil edges further above $46, weak Asian outlook weighs (Read More)
  • $30 Million Settlement in Insider Trading Ring Linked to Hacking (Read More)
  • Michigan resident tests positive for plague (Read More)
  • North Korea Restarts Nuclear Plant, Warns U.S. About Weapons (Read More)
  • Suspect in fatal shooting at Mississippi campus kills himself (Read More)
  • French economists unite against central bank chief (Read More)
  • BMW CEO faints on stage at Frankfurt auto show (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Study links homophobia to mental illness, using therapeutic worldview to further moral shift

Homophobic people ‘more likely to display other undesirable psychological traits’, The Telegraph (Jonathan Wells)

Psychoticism, Immature Defense Mechanisms and a Fearful Attachment Style are Associated with a Higher Homophobic Attitude, Journal of Sexual Medicine (Giacoma Ciocca, et. al.)

2) Justice Breyer presents European courts as moral standard for US decisions

Justice Breyer Sees Value in a Global View of Law, New York Times (Adam Liptak)

3) First legal crop of pot in DC sows moral confusion as cannot be legally sold

First legal harvest of marijuana fueling gray market for pot in U.S. capital, Washington Post (Aaron C Davis)

4) Power of images to shape our feelings important factor in how we view world as Christians

Aylan Kurdi and the Photos That Change History, Wall Street Journal (Karen Miller Pensiero)

In other news…

Chaos behind Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle revealed, The Telegraph (Ben Riley-Smith)

Daily Digest

September 15, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.” —Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Oh, Now Hillary Is an Advocate for Rape Victims

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While campaigning in Iowa, Hillary Clinton pledged that she would push for policies to deal with sexual assault on college campuses by making government programs for victims “comprehensive, confidential and coordinated.” Don’t be fooled. She’s positioning herself to capitalize on the Left’s witch hunt in the supposed “epidemic” of rape on college campuses. “I want to send a message to all of the survivors,” Clinton said. “Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard, the right to be believed, and we are with you as you go forward.” Say, does that apply to the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault? Juanita Broaddrick says Hillary threatened her into keeping quiet. Kathleen Willey says the former first lady goes after the women who have accused her husband “to ruin them again and again.” When Paula Jones accused the playboy in chief of sexual harassment in the late ’90s, it was “scorched-earth legal warfare,” The Washington Post said at the time. And let’s not forget Monica Lewinsky, the low-level intern abused by her superior. Hillary famously blamed that one on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” But just whose side is Clinton on in the “war on women”?

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Crime Soars in ‘Sanctuary’ San Francisco

The murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal alien who had been released by local law enforcement before the killing brought the issue of sanctuary cities to the forefront of public debate. These cities are not just havens for illegals, but local authorities in many of them are releasing criminals by the thousands. Once again using the Golden Gate City as an example, Judicial Watch released some staggering new numbers: “Judicial Watch announced today it obtained records from the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department revealing that violent crime in the Bay area has skyrocketed since 2011, with the number of arrests for murder up 55%, and the number of arrests for rapes up 370%.” The Department doesn’t track the citizenship or legal residency status of criminals represented in these statistics, but San Francisco began implementing sanctuary city policies in 2011 and officially became one in 2013 and the rise in crime coincides with those policy changes. It’s hard not to think San Francisco is doing its own citizens an unspeakable disservice by catering to illegal immigrants.

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Just How Close Was Iran With Osama bin Laden?

There is a connection between the terrorist group that brought down the World Trade Center towers and the world’s newest endorsed-for-nuclear-power country, but the Obama administration has yet to disclose that link. We know from documents captured by SEAL Team 6 after they killed Osama bin Laden that al-Qaida was comfortable going into the country. At one point, probably sometime around 2006, the terrorist group wanted to set up an office in Iran, but rejected the idea because it was too expensive. And while Iran detained many al-Qaida members after they fled Afghanistan during the U.S. invasion of the country, The Weekly Standard suggested in February the two groups had an uneasy agreement. After all, the enemy of your enemy is your friend. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote Monday, “[E]arlier this summer the State Department’s latest country report on terrorism said Iran had ‘previously’ allowed al Qaeda ‘to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran,’ implying this was a thing of the past. Less than a month later, President Obama announced the Iran nuclear deal. With his deal now moving ahead, the least the President could do is release the other bin Laden files dealing with Iran. And if the President doesn’t release the documents, Congress ought to demand them.” Before Obama gives Iran up to $150 billion in sanctions relief to go with nuclear capability, these documents might be worth a look.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Walker’s Plan to Take Down Federal Unions

By Paul Albaugh

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As Republican presidential candidates prepare for the debate Wednesday, several have taken on specific issues that are viewed as either important to voters or important to the candidate. To name a few, Donald Trump’s focus, as always, is immigration, while Marco Rubio tackled college reform and Mike Huckabee’s fighting against abortion and Planned Parenthood. And now, Scott Walker has made ending federal labor unions a top priority for his campaign. Considering that public employee unions are one of the things that make the federal government as inefficient as it is, Walker’s proposal is intriguing.

Walker has had enormous success as governor of Wisconsin on this issue. In fact, the battle garnered national attention and is essentially the reason he’s a presidential candidate. After being in office for only six weeks, he proposed and succeeded in ending collective bargaining for public employees in the state. Democrats in the legislature literally fled the state to avoid a losing vote. They returned when it became clear defeat was inevitable, but they also forced Walker into a recall election in 2012. Despite protests from union supporters and millions in special-interest money flooding into the state, he won — by a wider margin than his initial victory. He then won re-election in 2014. Earlier this year, he made Wisconsin a right-to-work state.

With all of the issues facing our nation, however, why is Walker choosing to focus on eliminating federal labor unions? There are a couple of factors to consider here. First, we repeat: He had great success fighting against Big Labor in the state of Wisconsin. It worked at the state level, so why not try it at the federal level?

Second, taking on Big Labor has not been talked about much amongst the GOP candidates thus far and Walker needs an issue that separates him from the pack. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “[T]he plan to severely limit labor-union rights nationwide is Mr. Walker’s attempt to force other candidates to respond to his proposals, rather than the other way around.”

The campaign spotlight is no longer on Walker like it is on Trump, Carly Fiorina or Ben Carson. In fact, Walker has plummeted in the polls. Early in the race, he was the frontrunner in Iowa. Now he has fallen to 10th place with just 3% support in a recent poll. He is no doubt hoping that taking on federal labor unions as a big part of his campaign platform — returning to his roots, as it were — will boost his numbers.

Walker highlighted several reasons that labor unions are detrimental to the federal government — and America.

“In 2012, American taxpayers shelled out some $156 million to do the bidding of big-government union bosses. Federal workers spent more than 3.3 million hours that year doing union work, instead of serving the government.”

Further, he explains that political donations from federal unions overwhelmingly go to leftist candidates and causes, and that’s been true “for decades.” The reason is simple: Unions have a self-interest in growing government, and Democrats promise to deliver.

Federal unions are also a “force for making our government less efficient and accountable,” Walker said, as evidenced by union bosses who have a grip on the Department of Veterans Affairs. Several employees at the VA should have been demoted or fired for poor performance or misconduct in the wait-time scandal, but because of labor unions they were allowed to stay — and even received back pay.

Walker contends that federal unions “interfere with the ability of government to serve people.” He specifically points to the IRS, which has “more than 200 employees work[ing] full-time for big-government union bosses at taxpayer expense” — all while the agency is targeting conservative political groups.

So what exactly does Walker intend to do to fight against federal labor unions if he is elected president? Reason’s Scott Shackford points out five key areas:

  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board — He will transfer power to the National Mediation Board and the courts, but he will need cooperation from Congress to change existing federal law.
  • Eliminate federal unions — He promises to end taxpayers subsidizing millions of hours of union lobbying.
  • Establish nationwide right-to-work — He proposes that all states be made right-to-work unless a state enacts a law saying it is not a right-to-work state.
  • Prohibit forced dues from government workers for political purposes — He’ll end forced dues from those who don’t want to pay, and would protect employees from harassment and threats from union organizers. He would also protect whistleblowers who report union wrongdoing.
  • Dump regulations that drive up federal construction costs — He proposes a repeal of the Depression-era Davis-Bacon Act, which forces the federal government to pay artificially inflated “prevailing wages” for construction projects, as well as ending labor agreements that guarantee highway construction projects to union-only labor.

Walker has gone from frontrunner to long shot, and while the issue may not hit home with all voters, it will resonate well with those who despise the corrupting power of labor unions. We will see on Wednesday how much attention Walker devotes to the issue during the debate. And we will know soon whether focusing on this issue makes or breaks his campaign.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Thomas Sowell: “In a country with more than 300 million people, it is remarkable how obsessed the media have become with just one — Donald Trump. What is even more remarkable is that, after six years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor. No doubt much of the stampede of Republican voters toward Mr. Trump is based on their disgust with the Republican establishment. The fact that the next two biggest vote-getters in the polls are also complete outsiders — Dr. Ben Carson and Ms. Carly Fiorina — reinforces the idea that this is a protest. … An election is not a popularity contest, or an award for showmanship. If you want to fulfill your duty as a citizen, then you need to become an informed voter. And if you are not informed, then the most patriotic thing you can do on election day is stay home. Otherwise your vote, based on whims or emotions, is playing Russian roulette with the fate of this nation. … The ultimate danger lies in the voting public themselves. All too many signs point to an electorate including many people who are grossly uninformed or, worse yet, misinformed.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Without labor nothing prospers.” —Greek playwright Sophocles

Upright: “I think it’s incorrect to say that [the people who run the country inside the Beltway are] out of touch. I don’t think they’re out of touch. I think they know full well. I don’t think they want to be in touch with what we would call the mainstream of the country or even flyover country or outside the Beltway. They know full we’ll they’re out of touch. They’re not stupid, and they’re not unobservant. They’re stubborn and they are obstinate. They are elitists, and I don’t think they want any part of what life for most people in the country is all about. They revel in the opportunity they have to not have to live that life.” —Rush Limbaugh

Race bait: “[T]he truth is [our] nation … in many ways was created … on racist principles. That’s a fact.” —Bernie Sanders

Welfare for everyone! “[W]hen there isn’t help for these refugees from the United States or our partners, they turn to others that are offering help, like ISIS, like al-Qaida, to give them the paycheck, to give them nutritional benefits for their kids.” —Sen. Chris Murphy

Braying Jackass, part I: “You know, this whole anti-immigrant sentiment in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Unless you are a native American, your family came from someplace else.” —Barack Obama (How long does your lineage have to go back before you’re considered native?)

Braying Jackass, part II: “When I hear folks talking as if somehow [immigrant] kids are different than my kids, or less worthy in the eyes of God … I think that’s un-American. I do not believe that.” —Barack Obama (He obviously thinks babies butchered and auctioned off by Planned Parenthood are less worthy in the eyes of God.)

The BIG Lie: “Right now I’m going to try to stay out of campaign season, partly because I can’t keep track of all the candidates. I’ll wait until it’s winnowed down a little until I have an opinion.” —Barack Obama (Since when has Obama not had an opinion about something?)

Non Compos Mentis: “So far Congress has not come up with a budget. And there are some in the other party who are comfortable with keeping in place something called sequester, which is going to result in significant cuts over the next several years in the amount of federal support for education.” —Barack Obama (And who was it that introduced sequestration?)

And last… “The Russians are streaming so many tanks, troops, and artillery into Syria, Obama can finally take credit for the “red” line he promised.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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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.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


Shock As Data Reveals Obama Authorizing 250,000 Muslim Migrants Into US Annually

State Department and Homeland Security data reveals that the United States already admits more than a quarter of a million Muslim migrants each year. President Obama intends to add another 10,000 Syrian migrants on top of that.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every minute of every day, 2.1 Muslims legally enter our borders and are given legal immigrant status by the Obama administration.  Thats’ 3,024 Muslims every 24 hours. An estimated 40% of all these “migrants” have terror ties with ISIS and Al Qaeda. This is a form of Islamic jihad known as Hijrah, where Muslims travel to non-Muslim nations and take it over by swelling the their ranks. Once it reaches a critical mass it cannot be stopped. They don’t need terror weapons, they just breed until there are more of them then there are of us. Muslims never, ever assimilate into the nations in which they live. They take it over and conquer their host country for Allah. 

In 2013 alone, 117,423 migrants from Muslim-majority countries were permanently resettled within the United States— having been given lawful permanent resident status. Additionally in 2013, the United States voluntarily admitted an extra 122,921 temporary migrants from Muslim countries as foreign students and foreign workers as well as 39,932 refugees and asylees from Muslim countries.

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Thus, twelve years after the September 11th hijackers were invited into the country on temporary visas, the U.S. decided to admit 280,276 migrants from Muslim countries within a single fiscal year.

To put these numbers into perspective, this means that every year the U.S. admits a number of Muslim migrants larger in size than the entire population of Des Moines, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska; or Dayton, Ohio.

Watch and see what happens when Muslims grow in numbers in their host countries:

When Muslims begin to take over areas of the city in their host nation, it is not a pretty sight. They demand halal products, Sharia Law, and demand that non-Muslim women wear the hijab and burkas. Muslim men roam the streets at night and rape non-Muslim women who they feel are wearing “inappropriate dress.” That’s what Obama is bringing to America. 

The rate of Muslim immigration has been increasing since September 11. Between 2001 and 2013, the United States permanently resettled 1.5 million Muslim immigrants throughout the United States. Unlike illegal immigrants, legal immigrants granted lifetime resettlement privileges will be given automatic work permits, welfare access, and the ability to become voting citizens.

Experts believe these numbers will only continue to increase.

The Middle East represents the fastest-growing bloc of immigrants admitted into the country on visas, according to a census data-based report authored by the Center for Immigration Studies. Student visas for Middle Eastern countries have similarly grown enormously, including 16-fold increase in Saudi students since 9/11. Arabic is now the most common language spoken by refugees, and 91.4 percent of recent refugees from the Middle East are on food stamps.


Russia Positioning Tanks At Syrian Airfield In Unprecedented Military Buildup

Russia has said it will continue providing military supplies to Syria and that its assistance to the Syrian army is in line with international law.

WASHINGTON – Russia has positioned about a half dozen tanks at an airfield at the center of a military buildup in Syria, two U.S. officials said on Monday, adding that the intentions of Moscow’s latest deployment of heavy military equipment were unclear. Moscow has come under increased international pressure in recent days to explain its moves in Syria, where the Kremlin has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a 4-1/2-year war.

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Russia is a staunch ally of the regime in Damascus and it has made no secret of its support for Assad’s government, including continuing weapons supplies, but has rejected claims of a recent military build-up inside Syria.

The Pentagon declined to directly comment on the Reuters report, saying it could not discuss U.S. intelligence. But a spokesman said recent actions by Moscow suggested plans to establish a forward air operating base.

“We have seen movement of people and things that would indicate that they plan to use that base there, south of Latakia, as a forward air operating base,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told a news briefing.

One of the U.S. officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said seven Russian T-90 tanks had been observed at the airfield near Latakia, an Assad stronghold.

The two U.S. officials said Russia had also stationed artillery that appeared to be arrayed defensively to protect Russian personnel stationed there.

Reuters has previously reported that Russia had deployed about 200 naval infantry soldiers to the airfield, as well as temporary housing units, a portable air traffic control station and components for an air defense system.

In a sign of the pace of Russia’s buildup, Moscow has been sending about two military cargo flights a day to the airfield over the past week, U.S. officials say.

A diplomatic source, speaking to Reuters in the region on condition of anonymity, said the Russians were working to improve the airfield.”There have been trucks going in and out. It appears the runway is not suited to some types of aircraft yet and they have been doing some improvements,” the diplomat said.

Russia has said it will continue providing military supplies to Syria and that its assistance to the Syrian army is in line with international law.

The United States is using Syrian airspace to lead a campaign of air strikes against Islamic State. A greater Russian presence raises the prospect of the Cold War superpower foes encountering each other on the battlefield.

So far, Russia has not sent combat aircraft or helicopter gunships to the airfield, the Pentagon said.

Both Moscow and Washington say their enemy is Islamic State, whose Islamist fighters control large parts of Syria and Iraq. But Russia supports the government of Assad in Syria, while the United States says his presence makes the situation worse.

The Syrian civil war, in which about 250,000 people have died, has caused nearly half of Syria’s prewar population of 23 million to flee, with many thousands attempting to reach Europe. source


The McAvany Intel Memo

Back in 2012, the US refused to sign a UN treaty on the Internet. That treaty would have given each individual nation the ability to control the Internet and its content in their country. Russia and China were the heavyweights pushing the treaty. They said the treaty would help governments fight cyberattacks and spam. But the Americans – and many other countries that advocated an open Internet (at that time) – warned that the proposals in the treaty would allow governments to censor individual Internet users and content. They also felt it would allow further disruptions to the open web. Fast forward nearly three years and the US is now falling in line with Russia, China, and the UN.

In 2012, the US did not want the Internet to be included in the treaty, only telephone, television, and radio. But with the new Obama FCC regulations, the US is now making a powerful move to include the Internet in this regulatory net. Russia and China weren’t the only countries pushing restrictions on how people use the Internet. Other countries included Brazil, India, Iran, and a host of other non-freedom-loving countries… .

When the FCC made its [most recent] decision, the UN came out supporting the move on its UN News Centre website (February 27, 2015). The decision places the US in the company of Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands, Russia, China, and Iran – all of which have adopted net neutrality rules in an effort to support “a free and open” Internet (aka total Internet censorship).

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, April 2015


Injected Electronics: The Next Wave Of Wearable Tech?

Forget Google Glass and that Fitbit you used to wear; the ultimate in wearable computing isn’t worn on your body, but embedded within it. With chips physically inserted into your body either attached to nerves or placed into muscles or skin, a new form of synergy between human and computer can occur.…… Click here for full story


Analysis: Fear of ISIS Takeover Of Jordan Drives Israel To Build Eastern Border Fence

Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ “Quds Force,” has spoken recently of opening up an eastern front against Israel from within Jordan. It was also learned recently that the Hashemite kingdom apprehended a number of individuals suspected to have ties with Hezbollah. Add it all up and what we have brewing is a Sunni-Shi’ite showdown right in our own backyard.………… Click here for full story


We Are Witnessing ‘The Most Significant New Russian Military Foothold In The Middle East In Decades’

Russia is taking a more active role in propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, expanding its physical footprint in the Middle East. Continued Russian military buildup in Syria could “greatly enhance Russia’s ability to project power in Syria and neighboring states…………. Click here for full story


Federal Data: U.S. Annually Admits Quarter Of A Million Muslim Migrants

A Breitbart News review of State Department and Homeland Security data reveals that the United States already admits more than a quarter of a million Muslim migrants each year. President Obama intends to add another 10,000 Syrian migrants on top of that……….. Click here for full story


The establishment birthed Trump – David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh: ‘People are dehydrated, and he’s their Gatorade’

Their overwrought analysis, their hand-wringing and their contemptuousness for Trump betray a disdain not only for Trump but for Americans who recognize the gravity of America’s predicament – and who, in desperation, have turned to Trump for bold action.

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Students forced to recite ‘Allah is the only god’

‘Imagine the outcry if a study guide states Jesus is the Son of God’

Earlier this year, public-school students in Madison, Wisconsin, were given an assignment to “pretend you are Muslim,” while students in Florida were instructed to “recite the Five Pillars of Islam as a prayer, make Islamic prayer rugs and perform other Muslim rituals,” ACLJ said Monday.Now, parents of public-school students in Tennessee are protesting assignments that include writing a declaration that Allah is supreme and textbooks that recount Islamic doctrines as facts instead of beliefs.

View Article


How Obama Bullies a Weak Republican Congress

You get a banana republic by starting with a dictator.

Obama’s position has been straightforward, at least privately. He will do whatever he wants and no one will stop him. He has repeatedly defied Congress and the courts to do so.

View Article


Former US Ambassador to Syria Says Assad’s Brutality, Not ISIS, Behind Refugee Crisis

A Syrian refugee holds a baby moments after arriving on a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 11, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Dimitris Michalakis)

Robert Ford, former American ambassador to Syria, said Sunday that it is the brutality of Syria’s embattled leader Bashar al-Assad, and not the Islamic State terror group, that has forced about 4 million Syrians to flee their homeland.

“You have to deal with the Assad problem. The administration’s focus in Syria, however, is not on the Assad brutality,” Ford said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It is on the Islamic State, and while that is a big problem, it is not going to fix the refugee problem.”

NBC Host Chuck Todd then asked the former diplomat whether he thought the Obama administration’s focus is wrong. “Our focus should be on regime change with Assad first, then focus on ISIS?” Todd asked.

“I absolutely do because the Assad regime’s brutality is driving recruitment into the Islamic State,” he replied.


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Former New York Stock Exchange Head Says That The Stock Market Is Rigged

09-15-2015 • True Activist

Richard Grasso acted as the chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange from 1995 to 2003, and he has come out in a recent interview saying that the stock market is rigged. Considering that he spent nearly a decade at the head of the institution, he would obviously have legitimate experience to speak on.

The interview was reported by the Wall Street Journal this week and is set to appear on the television show “Wall Street Week” this Sunday.

During the interview Grasso said, “A fast market is not necessarily a fair market, as evidenced by that Monday open. Frankly, some of the things that went on that day need very close scrutiny.”

Speaking of the erratic stock activity that occurred in late August, he said that “A day like that, where Facebook’s shares go from $86 to $72 to $84 in a matter of minutes will cause the public to lose confidence in the markets.”

Grasso also spoke of how the game was rigged to create an advantage for certain players.


Liberty University Welcomes Socialist Bernie Sanders to Address Student Body: ‘We Have Same Goals’

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 06:35 AM PDT

The president of what is known as the largest evangelical university in the world welcomed admitted socialist Bernie Sanders to address the student body on politics and social issues on Monday, stating that they have the “same goals” of “helping people in need.” Sanders, who spoke at Liberty University’s weekly convocation—which students are required to attend—began by admitting that he had differences with the university.

“I believe in a woman’s rights, and the right of a woman to control her own body. I believe gay rights and gay marriage,” he stated within seconds of opening of his speech. “Those are my views, and it is no secret. But I came here today because I believe from the bottom of my heart that it is vitally important for those of us who hold different views to be able to engage in a civil discourse.” FULL REPORT

The post Liberty University Welcomes Socialist Bernie Sanders to Address Student Body: ‘We Have Same Goals’ appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

North Korea warns it has restarted all nuclear bomb fuel plants

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 06:25 AM PDT

A day after threatening long-range rocket launches, North Korea declared Tuesday that it has upgraded and restarted all of its atomic fuel plants so it can produce more — and more sophisticated — nuclear weapons. Neither announcement was entirely unexpected, and outside analysts see the back-to-back warnings as part of a general North Korean playbook of using claimed improvements in its nuclear and missile programs to push for talks with the United States that could eventually provide the impoverished country with concessions and eased sanctions.

But the threats could deepen a standoff between North Korea and the U.S. and its allies because they strike at Washington’s fear that each North Korean rocket and nuclear test puts it another big step closer to its stated goal of an arsenal of nuclear-tipped long-range missiles that can hit the U.S. mainland. FULL REPORT

The post North Korea warns it has restarted all nuclear bomb fuel plants appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

California water source at 500-year low

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 06:18 AM PDT

Snow cover in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a water lifeline for California’s cities and agriculture, has hit its lowest level in 500 years, a study said Monday. Measured on April 1, the natural, frozen reservoir was barely five percent of the 1950-2000 average, threatening tens of millions of Californians and the state’s $50-billion (44-billion-euro) agriculture sector with chronic water shortages, its authors warned. And things were set to get worse, they wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” lead author Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona, said in a statement. “Anthropogenic” –- or manmade –- global warming “is making the drought more severe,” she added.The “snowpack” of Sierra Nevada, central California’s 650-kilometre (400-mile) spine, provides more than 60 percent of the state’s distributed water supply, including all or part of the drinking water for 23 million people. FULL REPORT

The post California water source at 500-year low appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Two untamed wildfires displace 23,000 people in northern California

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 08:51 PM PDT

Two explosive wildfires have displaced 23,000 people in northern California and threaten to wreak more devastation in rural communities, which have lost hundreds of homes. The so-called Valley fire in Lake County raged untamed on Monday after incinerating 61,000 acres, or 95 square miles, in just two days. Overcast weather grounded firefighting airplanes and helicopters, leaving ground crews to battle without air cover and prompting warnings of worse to come from a blaze that is just 5% contained.

“Firefighters from across California are aggressively fighting the Valley fire that has continued to spread in hot, windy conditions,” said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). “The fire continues to grow as firefighters work to construct fire lines, while protecting lives and property.”The blaze has consumed 400 homes plus hundreds of other structures, and law enforcement is investigating a report of a civilian fatality, the agency said. Some 1,255 personnel were fighting the fire, it added. FULL REPORT

The post Two untamed wildfires displace 23,000 people in northern California appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Another 4.7 magnitude earthquake hits northwest Nevada

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 08:41 PM PDT

Another 4.7 magnitude earthquake hit northwest Nevada, tying the largest in a yearlong swarm recorded at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge near the Oregon and California borders. The quake hit the area about 6:55 a.m. Monday, according to the University of Nevada’s Reno Nevada Seismological Laboratory. At least five aftershocks of magnitude 2 or greater were recorded in the three hours that followed. Mickey Cassar, a technician who tracks earthquakes at the lab, said there haven’t been reports of injuries or damage.

The depth of the rupture was about 6 miles below ground, which means most people wouldn’t have felt it. However, there were reports from residents in Fallon and Gerlach in Nevada, as well as in the California communities of Redding, Fort Bidwell, Alturas and Cedarville. There were also reports in Adel, Lakeview and Silver Lake, Oregon, according to the United States Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program. The Nevada earthquake marks the second 4.7 magnitude earthquake in the Sheldon wildlife refuge’s yearlong swarm. One recorded on Nov. 6 was the largest one to hit since the thousands of earthquakes started in July 2014. FULL REPORT

The post Another 4.7 magnitude earthquake hits northwest Nevada appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Pope’s Visit Poses a Security Test for New York

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 08:28 PM PDT

For hours on Monday morning, scores of law enforcement officials, police commanders and representatives from at least 48 agencies sat in a room on the second floor of Police Headquarters in Lower Manhattan and imagined the worst. Two active gunmen, one at a hospital, another at a train station. A power failure. A building collapse on Cliff Street, a few blocks west of South Street Seaport. The unlikely series of hypothetical events were part of a large-scale tabletop exercise in preparation for the visit of Pope Francis to New York, which begins on Sept. 24.

The visit, which is the pope’s first to the city, coincides with the United Nations General Assembly, where heads of state from about 170 countries are expected to attend. Francis will address that gathering, but from a security standpoint, his other activities provide greater challenges, given his desire to connect directly with people on the streets: a visit to an East Harlem school; a procession through Central Park. FULL REPORT

The post Pope’s Visit Poses a Security Test for New York appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Top Muslim: ‘Right-wing extremists’ bigger threat than ‘refugees’

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 08:22 PM PDT

A spokesman for the most well-known Muslim-American advocacy group said at a pro-refugee rally Sunday in St. Louis that Americans should fear their own “right-wing extremists” more than the 10,000 Syrians President Obama wants to resettle in U.S. cities and towns. The involvement of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, in the rally, billed as the “Bring Them Here March,” confirms what WND has been reporting for months – that 95 percent of the Syrian “refugees” will be Muslims.

“Either we let them in, or we take the statue of liberty down,” Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR for St. Louis, told KMOV-TV in St. Louis. Christians, who are being hunted down and butchered by Sunni Muslim terrorists affiliated with ISIS, al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida and other jihadist factions, have no hope of getting into America as refugees. But Americans should not fear the Syrians arriving in their communities, Sayed said. FULL REPORT

The post Top Muslim: ‘Right-wing extremists’ bigger threat than ‘refugees’ appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Shock As Data Revelas Obama Authorizing 250,000 Muslim Migrants Into US Annually

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 08:13 PM PDT

STATE DEPARTMENT AND HOMELAND SECURITY DATA REVEALS THAT THE UNITED STATES ALREADY ADMITS MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A MILLION MUSLIM MIGRANTS EACH YEAR. PRESIDENT OBAMA INTENDS TO ADD ANOTHER 10,000 SYRIAN MIGRANTS ON TOP OF THAT.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every minute of every day, 2.1 Muslims legally enter our borders and are given legal immigrant status by the Obama administration. Thats’ 3,024 Muslims every 24 hours. An estimated 40% of all these “migrants” have terror ties with ISIS and Al Qaeda. This is a form of Islamic jihad known as Hijrah, where Muslims travel to non-Muslim nations and take it over by swelling the their ranks. Once it reaches a critical mass it cannot be stopped. They don’t need terror weapons, they just breed until there are more of them then there are of us. Muslims never, ever assimilate into the nations in which they live. They take it over and conquer their host country for Allah.

In 2013 alone, 117,423 migrants from Muslim-majority countries were permanently resettled within the United States— having been given lawful permanent resident status. Additionally in 2013, the United States voluntarily admitted an extra 122,921 temporary migrants from Muslim countries as foreign students and foreign workers as well as 39,932 refugees and asylees from Muslim countries. FULL REPORT

The post Shock As Data Revelas Obama Authorizing 250,000 Muslim Migrants Into US Annually appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

 


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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The Christian School, American Liberty, and the Christian Faith

The Reformed Reader

J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings I’m thankful to God for the small but solid Christian school I attended in rural Northwest Iowa some years back; I’m also thankful for the small but solid Christian school my kids attend today here in Western Wisconsin.  On the topic of Christian schools, this speech J. G. Machen gave in 1933 at the “Educational Convention of the National Union of Christian Schools” has been on my mind quite a bit since I first read it a few years back.  Here’s how Machen opens the address:

“The Christian school is to be favored for two reasons.  In the first place, it is important for American liberty; in the second place, it is important for the propagation of the Christian religion.”

Later, concerning the first reason, he said,

“If parents cannot have the great incentive of providing high and special educational advantages for their own children, then we shall have in…

View original post 453 more words

Musing on Psalm 23

Unfathomable Grace

There is only one God and one Lord.

This one God and one Lord, and he is not valued by many. They treat him as an enemy, and he forces them not to bow the knee — yet.

However, this one God and one Lord, he is my Shepherd. A wandering sheep I was. A wandering sheep I am. Yet out of love for me, he left the Father’s fold to secure my salvation and safety. And regardless of my proclivity to wander, he will never let me be without searching me out, rescuing me, discipling me, and bringing me back to his himself and his house.

Therefore, because he is my never-failing Shepherd, I lack absolutely nothing. I am a foolish sheep. He is the all-wise one. Therefore, he knows what I need more than I know what I need, and he always provides sustenance for me — spiritually, emotionally, physically, and…

View original post 752 more words