Daily Archives: September 16, 2015

I never knew you; depart from ME, you who practice lawlessness

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15 NASB)

With the ever increasing move away from Orthodox Christianity into various forms of Experiential religion that we are witnesses of here and now, it seems that the bottom is falling out of Christianity. It’s bad enough that we have all of these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” drawing the unaware into false religions while pretending to be Christian, but there are seemingly endless numbers of our “Christian” leaders falling all over themselves embracing these heretics. No one seems to mind either. It’s not that we have heretics among us, we always have them, but there are now many of our leaders either falling in bed with these people or revealing their fleshly side in some of the grossest sins imaginable. What is going on?

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September 16, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Why Your Pastor Might Be Depressed Today

I’ve learned to guard time on Mondays for getting filled back up. I need the gospel to penetrate my own soul on Monday mornings. Though its true of every day of the week, on Mondays I really need to be a disciple more than a pastor. Congregations can help their pastors with this too. Pray for them on Mondays.

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Loving One Another in Our School Choices

We cannot claim the moral and spiritual high holy ground with the method of education we choose for our children. Many parents may choose to educate their own children using different methods, putting some in school while home schooling others. Here I invoke the twentieth chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith: “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men.”

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4 Questions to Ask a Stay at Home Mom

If we are to rejoice with our Christian sisters (Rom. 12:15), if we are to bear their burdens (Gal. 6:2), if we are to pray for them (James 5:16), we need to ask some better questions. We need to smile at that frazzled woman with the diaper bag and figure out a way to ask: Dear sister, how are you?

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The Gospel According to Proverbs 31

If you tend to read Proverbs 31 and treat it like a to-do list, you may grow weary and tired and discouraged when you fail. If you look at Proverbs 31 and simply give up in hopelessness because you know you can never measure up, there is great hope for you. If you ignore the Proverbs 31 woman altogether because you’ve been compared to her for far too long, cringe no more. Sisters, Jesus has bought us and redeemed us. 

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Dear Moms, You Do More than You Know

There are a thousand things women can and will do as they play their part in the servants, workers, thinkers, pray-ers, sharers, and image bearers in God’s world. But over the last few weeks as I’ve been studying the book of Exodus more in depth, I’ve found special encouragement for mothers and for all those women who work with children.

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Sex is Less Significant than You Think

Why? Because sex is not the definition of a good life or a fulfilled life. Think about Jesus. Jesus didn’t get married and didn’t have sex. Was his life a lesser life? Was his life unfulfilled? Was he sub-human? Of course not. Some of you are desperate for a husband or wife or just sex. Maybe you think your life won’t be complete without them. Was the life of Jesus incomplete? Was it empty?

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6 Ways to Worship in Everything You Do

6 Ways to Worship in Everything You Do

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Crosswalk

So many Christians cling to their traditions. But there is more worship to be found if you are willing to try something new.

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Robert Shiller: THIS is the sign we’re in a bubble

Robert Shiller: THIS is the sign we’re in a bubble

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Tru News

Investor sentiment today is looking like it did in 2000, and that could be a sign markets are in a bubble, Yale professor and Nobel economics laureate Robert Shiller told CNBC on Tuesday. Just before the dot-com bubble burst, investors had very little confidence in stock valuations, but they were confident in the market in …

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4 Needed Principles for an Election Year

4 Needed Principles for an Election Year

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Church Leaders

“Josiah’s leadership teaches four needed principles for America.”

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I'm a Christian but I'm just not feeling it - advice for new converts

I’m a Christian but I’m just not feeling it – advice for new converts

Posted on September 16, 2015 by Christian Today

It’s not surprising if there’s been a bit of a come-down since your conversion, writes Mark Woods.

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Five Ways to Go from Head Knowledge to Heart Application

Five Ways to Go from Head Knowledge to Heart Application

Posted on September 16, 2015 by Desiring God

How do we go from the instruction of the scriptures to personal affirmation? How do we go from head knowledge to heart application? Here are five ways.

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God Believes in Aliens (A.K.A You!)

by Paula Hendricks

Does being a follower of Christ make you weird?

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.

Franklin Graham Slams Obama Administration for Ignoring American Hostages in Iran Deal, Urges Christians to Pray for Release of Saeed Abedini

Indian Christians Who Refused to Renounce Jesus Christ Attacked by Hindu Extremists With Axes, Clubs

BuzzFeed Video: ‘I’m a Christian, But I’m Not…’ Means You’re NOT a Christian

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

Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ Will ‘Brainwash Generations of Kids’ With Latest Book About Climate Change, Warns Ken Ham

John Piper Says Kim Davis Was ‘Morally and Legally Right’ in Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples


 Christian Refugees Wonder ‘Is Any Place Safe’

Middle East Christians escaping militant Islam had hoped to find a safe refuge in the West. The massive wave of Muslim migrants into Europe has left some of those Christians wondering if any place is safe, according to a group of Christian migrants in Sodertalje, Sweden..…… Click here for full story


Bernie Sanders Seeks ‘Common Ground’ With Evangelicals at Liberty University

Speaking as an honored guest at the Evangelical Christian private school’s Monday morning convocation, Sanders mentioned that he and most of his audience strongly disagreed on hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage.

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This Campaign Ad Salutes ‘the Transformative Love of Jesus Christ’


7 Words That Will Change Our Marriages


Can You Find the Gift in Your Child’s Annoying Personality?


Do Movies about Heaven Harm Our Theology?


What Should be preached From Our Pulpits?

“Pastors should be preaching on the major social issues of our times like abortion and homosxuality!”  “I only teach Christ crucified and risen.” A recent study by Barna and Associates says 60% of Christians want pastors to address more social issues from the pulpit, preparing Christians for the battles ahead.  Others say […]

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The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians

We did not get here overnight. Attacks on religious freedoms and on the speech of Christians in America did not just appear in the last several years. The attempted muzzling of Christian churches and religious groups has gradually increased since a pivotal law was passed by a shrewd politician to intimidate people of faith. The […]

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ShipWrecked Saints and Compromised Captains

Posted: 16 Sep 2015 04:40 AM PDT

In this segment I am joined with Kelly Mcdonald from “Hungry Hearts” Ministries as we discuss the rise of “Shipwrecked” Saints and Compromising Leadership in the Church today. Watch Message Below


What is the definition of evil?

Got Questions has the answer: A dictionary definition of evil is “morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked.” The definition of evil in the Bible falls into two categories: evil against one another (murder, theft, adultery) and evil against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the prohibition against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil […]

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Is Trump’s favorite Bible verse even in the Bible?

http://cbn.com/tv/embedplayernews.aspx?bcid=4487935904001

Donald Trump did an interview with CBN in which he elaborated his views on the Bible. In an earlier interview, Trump declined to reveal a Bible verse that has had an impact on him persoanlly. In this interview, he reveals one. You can watch the relevant clip above or read the transcript below.

There’s so many things that you can learn from it (The Bible). Proverbs, the chapter ‘never bend to envy.’ I’ve had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy. Actually it’s an incredible book, so many things you can learn from the Bible and you can lead your life. I’m not just talking in terms of religion; I’m talking in terms of leading a life even beyond religion. There are so many brilliant things in the Bible…

The Bible, is special, the Bible the more you see it, the more you read it, the more incredible it is. I don’t like to use this analogy, but like a great movie, a great, incredible movie. You’ll see it once it will be good. You’ll see it again. You can see it 20 times and every time you’ll appreciate it more. The Bible is the most special thing.

Trump highlights a “chapter” in Proverbs that says “never bend to envy.” I can only assume that he is trying to improve upon the earlier interview in which he could not cite a favorite verse from the Bible. His statement here would be an improvement if he’s actually come up with a scriptural example in this interview. But has he really found one?

I have read the book of Proverbs from start to finish more times than I can count, and I do not remember ever seeing the phrase “never bend to envy” in that book. But since Trump may be referring to a different translation than the ones I have used, I decided to see if perhaps the phrase appears in some other version. I did a search of 21 different English translations of the Bible:

      English Standard Version

 

      King James Version

 

      New King James Version

 

      New English Translation

 

      New American Standard Bible

 

      New International Version

 

      New Century Version

 

      The Message

 

      The Living Bible

 

      The New Living Translation

 

      Revised Standard Version

 

      New Revised Standard Version

 

      Young’s Literal Translation

 

      Orthodox Jewish Bible

 

      Complete Jewish Bible

 

      Holman Christian Standard Bible

 

      Good News Translation

 

      Contemporary English Version

 

      Common English Bible

 

      Amplified Bible

 

    American Standard Version

The phrase appears in no translation of Proverbs that I can find. But the phrase isn’t just absent from Proverbs. “Never bend to envy” appears nowhere in the Bible in any of those major English translations.

So what do we make of Trump’s claim about the book of Proverbs and “never bend to envy”? Either Trump is paraphrashing some other verse in Proverbs that mentions “envy,” or Trump is making this up as he goes along.

I’m not a betting man (because I never bend to betting). But if I were, I’d bet the latter is much more likely than the former.


False prophets and teachers: Here come more wolves

Warning: Those rumors and false signs and wonders of Jesus’ return that He warned us about? Yes, they are indeed happening. David E. Taylor, a Tennessee Latter Rain preacher whose ministry is growing by leaps and bounds, took a video of a “face of God” that he saw in the clouds in Canada, and now […]

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WVW-TV Presents: How The Church of Rome is Working With Evangelicals To Reverse The Reformation

How The Church of Rome is Working With Evangelicals To Reverse The Reformation with Host Mike Gendron. Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room for members only. Click here to watch now: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/how-church-rome-working-evangel…  
 


WVW-TV Presents: Lies About Islamic Terrorism with Host Usama Dakdok. Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room for members only. Click here to watch now: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/lies-about-islamic-terrorism
 

Episode17: 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.


Is any marriage safe in an adulterous culture?

Amid news of men, women and families being thrust into the shadow of the Ashley Madison adultery website hacking, Baptist Press asked the wives of a few longtime Southern Baptist leaders how Christian wives can feel safe in their marriages.


Ga. Baptists announce new name, ministry direction

Georgia Baptists have announced they are reinventing themselves with a new focus, new organizational structure, and new name that better communicates their mission and identity. The new direction was rolled out to state missionaries Monday (Sept. 14) at the Baptist Missions and Ministry Center in Duluth and shared with the Georgia Baptist Executive Committee today (Sept. 15).


‘Captive’ shows salvation, hope, redemption

Academy Award nominee David Oyelowo was drawn to his starring role in the movie “Captive” because the true story of the 2005 Atlanta-area murder and hostage saga shows the power of the Gospel to transform lives, he told Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren. Captive opens Sept. 18 in theaters.


Nigeria claims successes against Boko Haram

A new multination military offensive is causing Boko Haram to surrender “en masse,” a Nigerian military official claimed Sept. 13, just as humanitarian aid groups said Boko Haram attacks were creating a major hunger crisis in the region.


Corker stands with SBC on North Korea

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has expressed his agreement with a Southern Baptist Convention resolution’s condemnation of “religious persecution and human rights violations in North Korea.”


FROM THE STATES: Fla. public schools evangelism/missions news; Former Ark. inmate takes CWJC scholarship award


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Belief in an Angry God is Linked to Mental Illness

I get dozens of emails every week from people all over the world who are scared of God.

They had some bad thought enter their mind and are now afraid that God is going to kill their family and then strike them down with cancer before burning their house down around their ears and sending them off to eternal torture in hell.

angry godThey are so scared, they cannot eat, they cannot sleep, they cannot think. They tell me about physical problems, emotional problems, relational problems, and all sort of other problems they are experiencing because they are so afraid that God is out to get them because of something bad they said or thought about God.

Does Your Church Teach an Angry God?

Whenever I get these emails, this is the very first question I ask them. I ask them (1) if they attend church, and if so (2) what their church teaches them about God. Without fail, these Christians who contact me have attended, or currently are attending, a church which teaches them about an angry, vindictive, vengeful God.

Usually, they have heard some fire and brimstone sermon about the unpardonable sin or the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and because of the book I have written on the subject, people contact me because they are scared out of their mind that they have committed this sin.

I always try to tell them that God loves them, forgives them, and accepts them … no matter what they have said or done. Due to the large number of emails I get these days, I rarely can get into long explanations or discussions via email about why this is true.

But my heart always goes out for these poor people. Their emails are full of pain and fear, and I sometimes think that many of them are manic-depressive, or bi-polar, or maybe even have OCD.

An Angry God and Mental Illness

So it was with great interest that I recently read that belief in an angry God is linked to mental illness. Here is the article I read:

Professor Nava Silton of the Marymount Manhattan College and her colleagues have reached these conclusions following their analyzing data collected during the 2010 Baylor Religion Survey of US Adults.

Thus, Professor Nava Silton focused on three different categories of people: those who believe in an angry God, those who believe in a loving deity and those who work on the assumption that God is a neutral entity.

“Three beliefs about God were tested separately in ordinary least squares regression models to predict five classes of psychiatric symptoms: general anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, obsession, and compulsion,” reads the abstract for this paper.

Furthermore, “Belief in a punitive God was positively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, while belief in a benevolent God was negatively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, controlling for demographic characteristics, religiousness, and strength of belief in God. Belief in a deistic God and one’s overall belief in God were not significantly related to any psychiatric symptoms.”

The link between the belief in an angry God and mental illness was studied in the context of the Evolutionary Threat Assessment System Theory, which states that anxiety disorders are mainly the result of the brain’s not properly interpreting threats.

Professor Nava Silton wished to stress the fact that her research does not establish causation between the belief in an angry deity and anxiety disorders.

Quite the contrary, the study merely pins down a correlation between the two.

“That means we’re not saying belief caused psychiatric symptoms, but we see relationships between beliefs and these psychiatric symptoms,” the Professor emphasized.

The disclaimer there at the end is interesting, but I think this was more of a copout by the Professor to avoid becoming the target of angry religious people who feel he might be blaming God for mental illness.

Ironically, those who hold to a belief in an angry God also believe that God strikes people with mental illness because of their sin and disobedience…

Anyway, I think that there is a clear correlation between belief in an angry God and mental problems. I further believe that we become like the God we worship. We become like the God we believe in. So if we believe in an angry, vengeful deity, we are likely to behave in angry, vengeful ways. And of course, if we believe that God’s anger could be directed at us, life will be filled with fear and dread.

belief in an angry god

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you believe in a God of anger, retaliation, vengeance, and violence? Do you believe that God’s anger could be directed toward you? If so, how do you cope with this idea? If, on the other hand, you’re like me and you used to believe in an angry God but now believe that God looks like Jesus, what happened in your life to bring about this change?


Can Roman Catholics be Saved?

If you like ruffling feathers, Twitter is the place to go. It doesn’t matter what you say, or how you say it, somebody is going to disagree with you–and vehemently. This is what happened as I engaged in conversation with a Southern Baptist pastor recently on Twitter. While discussing the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church with others, A pastor chimed in with the following tweet:

starke

This certainly came as no surprise, as the Southern Baptist Convention is now infiltrated by Catholic sympathizers, and loaded with ecumenical propaganda. Nevertheless, it sparked a conversation between us to which he went on to defend the Roman Catholic church by claiming they have had theological reforms since the reformation. But have they?

Canon IX of the Council of Trent, on justification, in which is still the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church today says,

If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema. 1

However, we can see from Scripture that this is doctrine is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in Ephesians 2:8-10.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

So God’s word says that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, and that our faith results in good works. However, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that both faith and works are necessary for salvation. Both of these cannot be true, so either Scripture is wrong, or the Roman Catholic Church is wrong.

Further, the Roman Catholic Church says that grace is not the free gift of God,

If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema. 2

But Romans 3:24 says, “…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

So it baffles me that a Southern Baptist pastor would claim to be edified by Roman Catholics.

Yet the bigger question here is, “Can a Roman Catholic be saved?” Well, the short answer is “Yes!” The Gospel is freely available to all who will trust and believe in Christ.

But the long answer is “No!” Here’s why.

To be a Roman Catholic, you must believe the doctrines of the Catholic Church. As I have shown above, the doctrines of the Catholic Church are opposed to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, I would take it a step further to say that the doctrines of the Catholic Church are intentionally designed (by Satan, through his anti-Christ organization) to forbid its members from believing the true, biblical Gospel. Therefore, if one does truly believe the doctrines of the Catholic Church, you must, by default, reject the doctrines of saving grace as taught in Scripture, as they are contradictory.

So what about the non-devout Roman Catholic who trusts Jesus alone?

Is it possible? Yes. But, I would say this about this situation. Anyone who is truly saved, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit is going to have a desire to grow in their relationship with Christ, and be made holy by the Spirit. This is called sanctification. Why you are regenerated by the Spirit, you are now freed from your bondage of sin and made alive in Christ (1 Cor 15:22, etc). Therefore, as we grow in our relationship with God through prayer and studying his Word (2 Tim 2:15, John 5:39, 2 Peter 3:18, etc.), one would have to see the error of the Catholic Church, and reject it. While many Roman Catholics have been saved by grace through faith, by the hearing and preaching of the Word of God (Romans 10:17), these would no longer be Roman Catholics, and would be on their way out.

But that would not include staunch Catholic apologists and mystics and homosexuals, as claimed by this Southern Baptist pastor below. These are the ones that he claims edify him while reading them.

starke2

Though he claims there is much to disagree with, but much is useful, why not read Islamic material? Why not read and be edified by the Koran? Why not purchase reading material by Wiccans? I’m sure there is some good moral stuff mixed in there too. But why read and “be edified” by those who are lost, and teach lies? To be lenient with those who teach doctrinal error is to support lies, and by doing so, you are enslaving yourself to continue sinning (John 8:32). As Christians, we should have no tolerance for false Gospels.

But what about those Catholics, like Augustine or Athanasius?

What we must understand is that before the Protestant reformation, generally speaking, there existed only the Roman Catholic church, officially. Yes, there were small sects of true believers like the Waldensians who completely rejected the Catholic Church, but the RCC was the law of the land. Not only was it the religious authority of the day, but for much of its existence, it was the political authority as well. During this time, there were many in the church who rejected the teachings of the papacy and stood on biblical authority. However, they were not free to leave the Roman Catholic church and go down the street to a Baptist church, or a Presbyterian Church. People like Augustine and many of the pre-reformation reformers accepted and taught biblical doctrine in spite of the church’s official teachings.

Further, it wasn’t until the Council of Trent after the Protestant reformation that Biblical doctrine and authority were anathematized by the RCC. While the Roman Catholic church has always been infiltrated with bad doctrine, it wasn’t until this Council that false, anti-biblical doctrine was officially canonized and made permanent.

The Roman Catholic Church today has never repented of or recanted the Council of Trent doctrines, and therefore are still the official doctrines of the institution. Further, visiting any Roman Catholic church in the world today would lead any intellectually honest, bible-minded Christian to believe they were in Satan’s synagogue. There are no two-ways about it. The Roman Catholic Church is counterfeit Christianity and forbids and discourages people from the truth. Simply put, it leads people straight to Hell. God does not save people through a false Gospel, or a false Jesus. If you are truly saved, and you are still in the Roman Catholic church, God has called you out of this demonic institution.

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;” – Revelation 18:4

For a presentation of the Gospel, click here.


200 Words: Denomination or Deformation

200wordsBaptists, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. All three claim to believe in Jesus. Yet, only one of these groups can be rightly classified as a denomination rather than a false religion.

With that in mind, the question we are asking today might be stated as follows:

What are the marks of cult groups and apostate forms of Christianity that identify them as false religions—such that we can and should label them as heresies, rather than simply classifying them as different denominations?

Here is my attempt to answer that question in 200 words or less:

The New Testament articulates three fundamental doctrinal criteria by which false teachers (and false religions) can be identified:

1. A Wrong View of Salvation

False religions (whether they claim to be Christian or not) attempt to add good works to the gospel of grace (cf. Rom. 11:6). Rather than trusting in Christ alone for salvation, they seek to earn God’s favor through self-righteous works and human effort (cf. Acts 15:1–11; Gal. 1:6–9; Eph. 2:8–9; Php. 3:8–9; Titus 3:5–7).

2. A Wrong View of Scripture

False teachers distort, deny, and deliberately disobey the Scriptures (2 Pet. 2:1, 3:16). They add to or subtract from God’s revealed truth (cf. John 17:17; Rev. 22:18–19), looking to some other false authority for their beliefs (Mark 7:6–12; cf. 2 Cor. 10:5).

3. A Wrong View of the Savior

False religions twist the truth about Jesus Christ. They deny aspects of either His Person (e.g. His deity, humanity, eternality, uniqueness, etc.) or His work (e.g. His death, resurrection, ascension, etc.). Those who do not worship the true Christ are not truly Christian (John 4:24; cf. John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1; 2:22–23; 4:1–3; 2 John 7–11).


TMS Distinctives

This summer, The Master’s Seminary posted a series of videos that highlight the seminary’s core doctrinal commitments. In case you’ve missed them, here are 24 of those videos under five categories. Each video is only a few minutes long, making it easy to discover what TMS is all about.

tmslogo_gold_final copyA High View of God

A High View of Scripture

Salvation

The Lord Jesus Christ

The Holy Spirit

The post TMS Distinctives appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.


Kim Davis and Church and State [Podcast]

Is Kim Davis standing up for the Bible? #KimDavisClick To Tweet Kim Davis, a clerk in Kentucky, made major news when she refused to issue marriage license to same-sex couples based on her core beliefs about marriage. Was that the appropriate act for a Christian in that role? She isn’t the only believer to have been […]

The post Kim Davis and Church and State [Podcast] appeared first on CredoHouse – Making Theology Accessible.


If I Had An Hour with a New Convert

Today I had the great privilege of once again guest hosting on Dr. James White’s Dividing Line program. Imagine the scenario. You’ve had an amazing conversation with someone which has led to his conversion to Christ. You have just an hour with him. After that, you may never see him again. What are the most important things you would wish him to know? What follows is my answer to that question. – JS
https://www.sermonaudio.com/code_sourcefeatured.asp?iframe=TRUE&reversecolor=FALSE&showoverview=FALSE&flashplayer=TRUE&tiny=FALSE&minimal=TRUE&eventtype=EVENTID&series=SUBTITLE&speaker=SPEAKERNAME&sermonid=91515125384


Considerations for Choosing a Church

my-churches-5

I live in a revolving-door town and so interact regularly with people who are church shopping. It can be a difficult decision  because of things like the commitment needed, the change involved, and preferences we have. Add to that, the various church options in some locations, and it can get trickier. But, are all the options, options? And, are we approaching the search with the right criteria?

God’s word is clear that to not plug in is not an option. So, what are some things to keep in mind as we make the very important decision of choosing a local church?

First, a few preliminary marks.

  • The church is a gift from God to his people. Plugging into God’s kind of church is a privilege and joy for believers. Keeping this in mind will help us maintain a necessary humility as we search.
  • A little more, than less, time spent in a church can facilitate a good decision. It’s usually beneficial to attend a few corporate gatherings, home groups, and some kind of individual setting with a long-time member of the church.
  • Like many big decisions in life, choosing a church is something that should be done with the help of mature believers and/or church leadership.
  • Finally, God has not left essential church matters up to us. Choosing a church, then, is not an arbitrary process. The God of the church has laid out in the manual of the church (the Bible) the essential ingredients which need to be present in a church.

Using biblical criteria over personal preference is needed for the decision. For example, style of music, fancy-ness of the kid’s ministry, and average age of the congregation should not be the deciding factors since they are not God’s essentials for the local church.

With that in mind, here are some things we ought to look for as we choose a church:

1. A church that embraces the sufficiency of Scripture.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

This is where we ought to start in choosing a church. Local churches need to affirm the Bible for what it is; 66 God-breathed, and therefore, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative books of the Old and New Testaments. This is God’s great gift to us, which is sufficient for all things needed for life and godliness, not the least of which are essentials in God’s kind of a church.

solaScriptura

The sufficiency of Scripture should not be a statement hidden in a dusty, no-longer-used doctrinal statement. Rather, it’s highly visible in the life of the church. For example, the Bible will be unpacked, explained, and applied from its context in an unrushed and reverent way from the pulpit during the corporate gatherings. In God’s kind of churches, biblical preaching will be more like the main-course of a meal, and less like the parsley garnish. And in preaching, and other teaching ministries, the focus will not be on the teacher, his opinions, and his epic style, but God’s word. The preachers and teachers, from the pulpit to nursery, will demonstrate a getting-out-of-the-way in order for God’s word to take center stage, so as to feed and love you.

Furthermore, this kind of a church will justify things like its leadership structure, philosophy of ministry and practice, budget, worship, youth ministry, discipleship, and other events with Scripture, since Scripture alone is our God-given, sufficient authority for church life.

When our churches start here, in word and deed, then many other necessary things will fall into place.

2. A church that holds high the glory of God.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

God desires that our churches be God’s-glory-centered. The preaching of the word, teaching in smaller groups/classes, and the culture of the congregation should demonstrate something of real desire for God to be honored. There ought to be a sense that the church’s life is about pleasing God. And if you’ve been like me at times, this might feel a tad uncomfortable. But the discomfort is good: the church seeks to applaud God, not man, in all it does.

This is a church who strives to preach and practice the greatness of God, the glory of God, the love of God, the grace of God, the holiness of God, and the sovereignty of God. And at the same time, that will mean that this kind of a church will emphasize the sinfulness of man, the inability of man, the depravity of man, and the undeservedness of man, in relation to God. Even more, it’s a church that avoids spotlighting how “they do things” and how many people attended/made decisions/came forward. Church is about God’s honor, which means our choice needs to follow suit.

3. A church which majors on the biblical gospel.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

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Next, the church ought to emphasize the loving, finished work of Christ for sinners. We’ll want to hear much about Christ’s substitutionary atoning death on the cross for us, not due to our merit, but his grace. We ought to hear words like redemption, propitiation, atonement, substitution, and justification, explained and applied.

Furthermore, since the gospel includes the call to put faith in Christ (Acts 17:30), we’ll want to hear a measure of pleading and calling the unregenerate to turn to Christ, whether the church is gathered or scattered.

In things like evangelism and outreach, the focus should be on the message of Christ-crucified to save, not the church’s clever methods. In church life, we ought to be reminded often of the only way in which a human being can be acceptable and right with God: faith in the Person and finished work of Christ. We ought to see and hear the message of the cross just about everywhere we turn in church.

4. A church which emphasizes biblically-based doctrine.

“…the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim. 4:3).

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1).

When looking for a church, one of the first things we’ll want to do is look at their doctrinal statement. And it’s a bad sign if such a thing is hard to locate, reluctant to be handed out, or shorter than an In-N-Out menu.

We ought to be wary of the church which indicates, “Well, we are not about doctrine.” A church who is not about doctrine can be no more, therefore, about God, than a restaurant who says, “We are not about food,” can be about serving dinner.

Additionally, the doctrinal stance of the church should not be something they boast in, but a humble privilege of stewardship they see themselves as having. It should be traction for worship. They’re not looking for a doctrinal fight (2 Tim. 2:24-26), but if it comes down to the faithfulness of defending the faith, they will not back down.

And in healthy churches there’s a humble eagerness for newer and mis-shepherded believers to embrace sound doctrine in the same way that in healthy hospitals there’s an eagerness for the young to feast on a healthy diet.

5. A church which stresses Christ-like love.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

This will not be hard to discern in the kind of church you should choose. You will want to see an intentionality of care for one another.

And biblical love does not necessarily look only like getting a huge visitor packet in a vellum bag with the colorful church logo on it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but biblical love is more about a sincere warmth from the people as you interact; a humility demonstrated in a genuine interest in you and bringing you into the life of the church.

But we ought to avoid discerning biblical love based solely on how we’re treated, but ask ourselves a few questions. Is there a desire for the regulars to know, serve, and care for one another? Is there an unforced doing-of-life together among the members? Are individuals consistently and candidly sharing their lives together? Again, for this reason, it’s a good idea to attend things in addition to the Sunday gathering.

6. A church where sin is shepherded biblically.

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother” (Matt. 18:15).

what we need

A church simply cannot be faithful if it is not going to deal biblically with sin. Ask yourself, “Will this church confront my sin? Shepherd me in my sin? And even discipline me out of the church if necessary?” (Matt. 18:15-17). We should avoid a church who will not do those things for the same reason we should avoid an oncologist who will not deal with our tumors. And we should not plug into a church where it’s easy to nurture our sin any more than we should go to a dentist where it’s easy to nurture our cavities.

There should be something of the Holy Spirit’s work evident in the life of the church as it relates to progressively putting off sin. Whether his work through biblical preaching, teaching, or faithful members of the church, this should be a place where Christians are lovingly being encouraged to walk by the Spirit so as to put their own sin to death. The church is a place fundamentally where the Spirit is at work to expose and eradicate our sin (Matt. 5:3-4, 6; Rom. 8:13-14, Matt. 18:15-17, Gal. 5:16, 6:1-3).

7. A church which majors on biblically-qualified leadership.

“…appoint elders…namely, if any man is above reproach…” (Titus 1:5-6).

As you visit churches, ask about their process of recognizing qualified leadership. In a good church, it should be difficult, not easy, to become an elder or pastor, for the same reason it should be difficult to become a heart surgeon. And it should not be difficult because it’s a good-ole-boys club, but simply because they follow God’s commands for doing so (1 Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Pet. 5:2-3).

Similarly, ask yourself questions like, “Where did they get their training?” “By whom were they ordained for leadership?” “Are these leaders men whom I could follow?” “Would I want my daughters marrying men like that?” “In what way are they training up additional leaders?”

8. A church were the members are encouraged to serve and use their spiritual gifts.

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet. 4:10). 

God’s church is not called the “leg of Christ,” but the “body of Christ.” That should be visible in an all-hands-on-deck approach being encouraged by the leadership. Ask the church leadership how they help shepherd people into the privilege of serving in the various ministries and needs of the church.

9. A church which emphasizes sanctification.

“..work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).

God does not give the spiritual new birth to his children so that they remain children. Like biological parents of a newborn, his concern is that we grow. And the local church is to serve as his greenhouse; facilitating an atmosphere conducive to the sanctification of the Christians.

This should be visible in an emphasis on the discipleship and shepherding of believers in all stages of their sanctification (2 Tim. 2:2, Titus 2:3-5). When considering a new church, we do well to ask what means they provide to encourage the sanctification of members.

10. A church which stresses evangelism.

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“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matt. 28:18-20).

Ideally, when the previous essentials of church life are emphasized, active evangelism will result. In either case, as we look for a church, we’ll want to ask things like, “Is the gospel being proclaimed from the pulpit and are the lost urged to repent? What other ways does evangelism happen in the church? If I asked the members, are they, too, speaking the gospel to others?”

And let’s be careful of asking about evangelism programs. The best evangelism program, which we ought to be looking for in a church, is the one where all the members are equipped to live godly lives as salt and light and encouraged to speak Christ crucified for sinners.

More could be said about what to look for in a church. Considering the importance of immersing ourselves in a New Testament church, this is a brief treatment of the subject. But if we consider these criteria as we look for a church, chances are we will be plugging into God’s kind of a church.


In the Christian Life, the Name of Jesus Is Everything

There are a number of times throughout Scripture where someone has an encounter with God’s glory. As I’ve written previously, nearly every time the scene begins with abject terror, not with warm fuzzies. For sinners to stand in the presence of God is so overwhelming that the usual response is, “I think I’m about to die!”

One of these encounters stands out to me as unique—when Moses met with God on Mt. Sinai. After receiving the 10 Commandments, Moses asks to see God’s glory. God reminds Moses that if he were to meet him face-to-face, Moses would be a dead man. So he offers to hide Moses in a cleft of the rock while his glory passes by.

Most of us miss the significance of what happens next. When God’s glory and presence pass in front of Moses, it doesn’t say that Moses saw a brightness or a dazzling light. It says that he heard something—the declaration of a name:

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that there is no passage of Scripture where you see more clearly what it is like to be in the presence of God. He puts us in a place of safety and declares his name to us, a name of covenant love. But for the believer, instead of putting us into a rock, God places us into the safety of Christ. And instead of just proclaiming steadfast love, he proclaims the covenant love of a Father for his sons and daughters.

A couple years ago, my wife’s wedding ring went missing. For months I saved up to surprise her with a new one on our anniversary. I even re-enacted the whole proposal. (She said yes.) Now, legally speaking, giving her a new wedding ring didn’t make her any more my wife. But it made the sense of my love for her more real. That’s what it’s like to hear God’s name declared over your life. It’s a promise of the gospel that renews your relationship with God, the Spirit washing over you saying, You are my beloved son, my beloved daughter!” (Romans 8:15)

The word of affirmation that the Spirit speaks to us comes through the name of God. If you look throughout Scripture, you’ll see that God’s presence and God’s power reside in his name.

In the very first sermon preached after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter would say (quoting the prophet Joel) that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). That doesn’t mean some magical incantation. A person’s name reveals their character, so to trust God’s name is to trust who he says he is. It’s faith in the character behind the name.

Moses knew something of this name, but it must have been confusing for him. After all, how could God be simultaneously absolutely just (“by no means clearing the guilty”) and absolutely merciful? What Moses couldn’t quite grasp, however, we see clearly in Christ. We see how Jesus substituted himself for us, so that God’s justice could be satisfied and so that God could extend mercy to us.

That’s why Christians don’t just talk about God. We’re obsessed with the name of Jesus. God’s power and God’s presence reside in the name of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul would say that Jesus’ name is the one name at which every knee in the universe will one day bow (Phil 2:9–11). Every king, every cynic, every scoffer, every doubter…everyone past, present, and future…when they hear the archangel proclaim the name “Jesus” across the skies, will drop to their knees before the rightful king.

The name of Jesus is a fount of incredible power. As Paul said, all the promises of God “find their Yes” in the name of Jesus (2 Cor 1:20). By the name of Jesus, paralyzed men rose and walked; deaf men regained their hearing; blind men received their sight; demons fled in fear. And it was the name that the early apostles were willing to suffer and die for (Acts 5:41).

In the Christian life, the name of Jesus is everything. The name of “God” might evoke images of fear and distance, but the name of Jesus has a different effect. It doesn’t make me cower backwards in fear, but come closer in worship, because the name of “Jesus” means “God saves.” When we know God as Savior, that produces a radical transformation in us that nothing else can.

 

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


I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian

I Am An Old-Fashioned ChristianI get the books. I read the articles. I see the news. Christianity seems ready to move on. And I realize anew: I am an old-fashioned kind of Christian.

I believe in the Bible. I believe that it is clear, complete, sufficient, true, and without error. It is God’s revelation to humanity and demands my full attention and full obedience. I do not expect God to speak to me apart from it. I read, He speaks, I obey. Or I try anyways.

I believe in the God of the Bible. I believe in a God who is one, yet three. I believe in a God who is loving, holy, just, kind and good. I believe in a God who has foreordained everything that has come to pass or will come to pass.

I believe that God, from nothing, made the world and everything in it in six days. Not six ages or six phases or six million years, mind you, but six days. 144 hours. That’s what he said, so that’s what he did. And it was good.

I believe in sin. I believe that Eve conversed with a talking serpent and that her act of rebellion and the sin of her husband was as simple as taking a bite of an especially meaningful piece of fruit. This is not metaphor or fable, but just what happened. Because of that sin, I believe you and I are both objects of God’s wrath. When Adam fell, we fell. And it was not good.

I believe that in my natural human state I am sinful. I delight in evil. I hate what is good. I am thoroughly, utterly depraved. Sin pervades every area of my life and turns me against my Creator.

I believe in justice and in judgment, that the holy and just God must demand satisfaction for any and all sinful deeds. I believe in hell—a literal, tormentuous hell, a place of justice where the sinner faces the terrible wrath of God for all eternity.

I believe in Jesus. Born of a virgin, the perfect, Holy Son of God, who lived a perfect and blameless life. He died, literally, was buried, literally, and rose, literally.

I believe in penal substitutionary atonement. Jesus died on the cross in place of his people. He faced God’s wrath in place of his people. Through this act, my sin was imputed to him and his righteousness was imputed to me. This was the greatest act of grace and kindness the world has ever known or ever will know.

I believe in the gospel, the message of the good news of Jesus’ perfect life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection. The gospel assures me that salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. God freely offers this gospel to all who will believe and obey.

I believe there is no salvation outside of Jesus. God will not waive the requirements of righteousness at the final judgment. Not for anyone and not for everyone. Not for those who have never heard of him. Justice must be satisfied.

I believe that man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. My purpose is as simple and as joyful as living to bring honor and glory to God.

I believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives the desire and the ability to put sin to death and to come alive to righteousness.

I believe in the church, the gospel made visible in the community of the elect. The church is the total number of God’s people living when they are where they are. It is the church’s honor and responsibility to take the good news to all the world.

I believe in families that honor God. I believe in families founded upon the marriage of one man to one woman, an institution created by God and for God. A husband is to joyfully, sacrificially lead his wife while his wife joyfully and willing submits to her husband’s leadership. Together, through this complementarity, they provide a portrait of the love of God for his people.

I believe in perseverance; that God, by his grace, will never let go of those he has saved.

I believe in heaven—a literal, beautiful, physical heaven that is far better than we can imagine. Heaven is the community of the redeemed together with God and is a place of no pain, no sorrow. I long for this place. I hope I see it soon.

I believe in glorification; that in the near future God will return and will bring with him a new heaven and a new earth. Those who have been saved will live together forever, new body and perfected spirit united, in the presence of God. My heart aches for this day, for on this day I will believe perfectly and fully. And so will you.


A La Carte (September 16)

New from GLH Publishing is Martin Luther’s Explanation of the Lord’s Prayer ($0.99). Other Kindle deals include Creation & Evolution by Jay Seegert ($2.99); Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior ($1.99); The Love of Money by Rodney Ballance ($1.59); Galileo by Mitch Stokes ($1.99); Defiant Joy by Kevin Belmonte ($1.99).

Tissue Sales or ‘Donation for Remuneration?’

WORLD has a description of the latest undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress. Apparently fetal tissue procurement companies that pay Planned Parenthood for pieces of aborted babies are making a “donation for remuneration…”

2016 Ligonier Ministries National Conference

Ligonier Ministries just announced their 2016 National Conference. In addition to the regular conference sessions, they are also hosting an apologetics seminar for youth and families, with the aim of preparing young people to defend the truth of the gospel in an increasingly hostile culture. I look forward to leading one of those sessions.

Protect Your Children

This week, Westminster Books has deals on some very important books about a very important topic: Protecting your children from abuse (and, additionally, helping those who have suffered abuse).

How Can We Best Love the Poor?

I appreciated this boots-on-the-ground reflection on how we can best love the poor. “It was much easier to consider this while living in the States where there were no people living in houses made of mud and sticks right next door to me.”

This Day in 1620. The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England to the New World with 102 passengers—some of which are Separatist Pilgrims. *

Hoax Hunter

I enjoyed reading about this hoax hunter who busts people who fake illnesses (or entire lives and families) online. “A few of the hoaxers were scammers trying to make money, but the majority manipulated people online just for the attention that comes when you have a sob story.”

Inerrancy and the Death by a Thousand Qualifications

Here is why you don’t need to fear the task of qualifying what you mean by inerrancy or other theological terms.

A Tribute to R.C. Sproul

I appreciate this kind tribute to R.C. Sproul and could echo many of the same things. God is good to give us teachers and role models, and we do well to acknowledge them.


The Daily Discovery (September 16, 2015)

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

Dear Moms, You Do More Than You Know – “I preached last Sunday from Exodus 2:1-10. You’re probably familiar with the story–a baby in a basket floats down the Nile and lives to tell about it. It’s a wonderful story about Moses, a special boy with a special birth. But Moses is hardly the main player in the opening section of his life. His story starts as the story of three remarkable women.  Moses’s mother was courageous and creative, defying Pharaoh’s unrighteous decree and devising a way for her baby to have a chance at life.”

Fool’s Talk – “He promised himself that he would not write a book about apologetics. Not yet. Instead, he would do apologetics. I appreciate that. I appreciate Os Guinness’ concern that he would not become a professional apologist and along the way neglect the actual work of apologetics. But now, after many years of doing such work, he has written a book. And it’s a very good one.”

On Capitalism – “Ross Douthat has recently observed that Trump’s popularity is a sign that neither of the major parties represents the complexities of political opinion in the United States. No party and virtually no candidates are both pro-life and pro-Obamacare. But many citizens are both. This should be kept in mind during the upcoming visit of Pope Francis, whose pronouncements on modern economic systems have long defied the categories of American political discourse. It is not that Francis transcends American right/left polarities; it’s simply that he is operating in a quite different intellectual and moral universe. “

Why You Cannot Poll Test Christianity – “A new survey from the Pew Forum shows that many cultural Catholics want the Church to change its position on marriage and sexuality.  I’ve also seen polls indicating a growing number of self-identifying evangelicals support same-sex marriage. ‘See? There is no one evangelical position on marriage anymore!’ someone said.  That was right after I a saw a poll where more than half of professing evangelicals claimed the Holy Spirit is a force and not a person. Does that mean there isn’t one position on the Spirit? Or that the personhood of the Spirit up in the air now due to evangelical confusion?

Ecumenical 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.”


SERMON:

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Tom Buck – 1 Timothy 5:17-25


VIDEOS:

There are Many Deceived Church Goers

How Many Times Have You “Got Saved”?


“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 16, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


09/16/15 The Basis of Our Praying

By Chuck Lawless on Sep 16, 2015 01:00 am

READING: Daniel 7-9

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  On what basis do we pray? Daniel 9 is Daniel’s petition on behalf of the exiles, whose exile was coming to an end. His focus was not on the people, though; it was on the God who answers prayer. Daniel’s prayer models how sinful people might approach God:

1. Daniel prayed with “fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Dan. 9:3), thus using three common ways in that day to express the guilt and sorrow of God’s people. They simply did not deserve anything less than God’s judgment. Nor do we.

2. Daniel recognized who God is. He is the “great and awe-inspiring God” (Dan. 9:4), the One to whom “righteousness belongs” (Dan. 9:7), and the One who is “righteous in all He has done” (Dan. 9:14).

3. Daniel confessed who the people were. He piled up the descriptors, in fact, to show their wickedness: “we have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from Your commands and ordinances. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, leaders, fathers, and all the people of the land. . . . All Israel has broken Your law and turned away, refusing to obey You” (Dan. 9:5-11).

4. Daniel appealed to the Lord’s name. It was not for Israel that Daniel wanted God to bring the exile to an end; it was for the Lord’s glory:  “Therefore, our God, hear the prayer and the petitions of Your servant. Show Your favor to Your desolate sanctuary for the Lord’s sake. Listen, my God, and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city called by Your name” (Dan. 9:17-18a).

5. Daniel leaned on the Lord’s great compassion. Note the clarity of his prayer: “For we are not presenting our petitions before You based on our righteous acts, but based on Your abundant compassion” (Dan. 9:18b).

Thus, we have a model to follow when we recognize our sin: Grieve over our wrong. Recognize our wrong as against a holy, righteous, awe-inspiring God. Confess our sin, admitting that it’s nothing less than rebellion. Focus on the Lord and His glory; assume any forgiveness He grants is because of who He is, not because of who we are. Lean on the Lord’s compassion, and receive His grace.

In the end, we can pray with Daniel, “Lord, hear! Lord, forgive!” (Dan. 9:19).

PRAYER: “Lord, do hear our prayers. Do forgive our sins. Thank You, God, for Your great compassion.”    


Featured Blogs


Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, September 16, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Texas Teacher Who Put up Cross Sign in Classroom Accused of ‘Proselytizing’

Syrian Refugees Receive Support from U.S. and Egyptian Christian Billionaire

Fight to Keep Chaplains in College Football Continues

Defiant Kim Davis Still Won’t Sign Marriage Licenses, but Won’t Stop Others

In China, a Devastating Choice Between Abortion and Unemployment

Pope draws Admiration from People of Many Faiths

Duck Dynasty Stars Begin School at Liberty University, Share How God Helps Them Through Life Changes

Gay Rights Group Posts Billboard in Kim Davis’ Kentucky Town

‘Stand With the Poor,’ Sanders Tells Students at Liberty University

Franklin Graham Voices Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal

Opinion

Worship the State–or Else: How Should the Church Respond?

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

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


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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September 16, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 16, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama is using the backdrop of an impending government shutdown to pressure Congress to end a tax break exploited by private-equity managers, venture capitalists and some hedge fund executives.

U.S. economic data don’t support the case for higher interest rates, Goldman Sachs Group said.

Some perpetual bonds are more eternal than others. Yale University will receive $153 in interest on a perpetual bond issued in 1648 from Dutch water authority de Stichtse Rijnlanden. The 1,000 guilder-bond ($509), which is written on goatskin, is among five of the world’s oldest bonds that still pay interest, according to Clarion Wegerif, a spokeswoman for the water authority.

Prices paid by American households declined in August as cheaper gasoline helped keep inflation below the objective of Federal Reserve policy makers.

Standard & Poor’s cut Japan’s long-term credit rating one level to A+, saying it sees little chance of the Abe government’s strategy turning around the poor outlook for economic growth and inflation over the next few years.

Theo Bronkhorst, the professional hunter who helped Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer kill Cecil the Lion, has been arrested in Zimbabwe over allegations of trying to smuggle 30 sable antelope to South Africa.

Hewlett-Packard Co., the technology company splitting into two separate entities, said it will cut as many as 33,300 more jobs as Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman tries to refashion the business for a rapidly changing technology market.

AP Top Stories

A Danish 15-year-old murdered her mother in October of last year after watching YouTube videos of ISIS beheading British hostages and now she’s going to jail for it.

Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria has perplexed the Obama administration and left it in a quandary as to how to respond, complicating Washington’s efforts to both combat Islamic State extremists and assist moderate rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

An Air France pilot reported seeing an object floating in the water near Réunion Island, where officials in July found airplane debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, according to the French media.

Five people, including the former national president of a fraternity, have been charged in the 2013 death of a New York City college freshman during a brutal hazing ritual in Pennsylvania.

Japan has lodged a protest with Russia after scrambling four jet fighters to intercept a foreign aircraft — believed to be Russian — which briefly violated its airspace, officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation that would suspend the current compensation for the heads of the government-controlled mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac following the disclosure of huge pay raises for the officials.

Washington warned Russia that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has no role in coalition operations against the Islamic State group and must step down to allow a political settlement.

Hundreds of Ethiopian rebels have fled their base in Eritrea and surrendered to authorities, handing over their weapons.

The United States urged North Korea to refrain from “irresponsible provocation” after the communist state confirmed the restarting of a nuclear reactor seen as its main source of weapons-grade plutonium.

A hunter in Colorado has been charged with firing a shotgun and wounding the pilot of an ultralight aircraft who was flying over a field where the alleged shooter was stalking doves.

Riot policemen dispersed dozens of left-wing students, who stormed past a police cordon after dawn on Wednesday and splattered red paint on the seal of the U.S. Embassy in Manila to protest the American military presence in the country.

U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly fell in August as gasoline prices resumed their decline and a strong dollar curbed the cost of other goods, pointing to tame inflation that complicates the Federal Reserve’s decision whether to hike interest rates.

Oil rose more than 2 percent on Wednesday after an unexpected drawdown in U.S. stockpiles, an increase in U.S. gasoline prices, and on the back of rising global markets.

BBC

Croatia said it will allow migrants to travel on to northern Europe, opening up a new route a day after Hungary sealed its border with Serbia.

The Australian government has confirmed it has launched its first air strikes inside Syria against targets of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

A deadline for Nigerian government departments to ensure all financial transactions pass through a single bank account expires at the end of Tuesday. The move is intended to make it easier to monitor government spending and stamp out corruption.

Chinese sperm banks are trying to attract donors by offering men enough cash to buy a brand new iPhone.

WND

A delegation of lawmakers representing South Dakota petitioned the Supreme Court via a resolution to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that opened the doors to legalized abortion in the United States, and in so doing, protect women’s rights.

Federal agencies have been directed to hire psychologists to experiment and find ways to better manipulate the American people to the federal government’s will.

Raping of female refugees has become epidemic at the Muslim-dominated refugee centers in Germany.

Proposed legislation leaked to the media outlines how the United Kingdom government plans to oversee religious leaders and their messages.


Top News – 9/16/2015

Obama and Allies Seek to Nationalize Local Police
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order creating the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. In May 2015, the task force came out with its Final Report, which is commonly given the title “21st Century Policing.”

Possible Tornado Damages Homes in Northampton, England
“Tornadoes are not as rare as one would think in the U.K.,” Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said. “In fact, the U.K. experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world proportional to its land area according to The Guardian, averaging 33 tornadoes each year.”

Africa braced for snakebite crisis
Rural Africa is facing a resurgence of a persistent plague that rarely makes headlines: snakebite. By June next year, stockpiles of the anti-venom that is most effective against Africa’s vipers, mambas and cobras are expected to run out because the only company that makes the medicine has stopped production.

Vatican Releases Official Papal Statement Supporting Obama’s Iranian Nuclear Deal
The Vatican released a statement Tuesday officially welcoming the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 world powers (U.S., UK, China, France, Russia, Germany) and Iran, stating that the Holy See believes Tehran will reduce its nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief. In calling for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, the Vatican also appeared to target Israel, given that it is the lone nuclear power in the region.

Russia’s Aid to Syria ‘Enhances Moscow’s Influence’ in the Middle East
Russia’s assistance to Syria could well help Moscow play a more prominent role across the Middle East as Washington’s allies in the region feel increasingly disappointed with the US.

Syrian president says top priority to defeat terrorism
Syria’s president Bashar Assad urged Syrian political and armed factions to unite in the fight against terrorist groups and said in comments aired Tuesday that there can be no political solution for the country’s brutal civil war before terrorism is defeated. Speaking in an interview with Russian media, he also blamed Europe for the refugee crisis currently hitting the continent, saying it is a direct result of the West’s support of extremists in Syria over the past four years.

China reportedly using hacked info to make ‘Facebook’ of US gov’t workers
According to CrowdStrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch, Chinese hackers are using information gained from the breaches of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as well as intrusions into the Anthem and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health insurance networks, to build a complete profile of federal employees in what the company calls a “Facebook of Everything.”

Is It Just A Coincidence That Two Amazing Signs Just Appeared On The 14th Anniversary Of 9/11?
On the eve of the 14th anniversary of 9/11, a double rainbow appeared over the site where the World Trade Center towers once stood. We’ll discuss possible meanings of that sign in a moment. On Friday, a massive bolt of lightning caused a crane to collapse at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. At least 107 people were killed and at least 238 others were injured. It turns out that this crane was owned by “the Saudi Binladin Group”. If that is a coincidence, it is an awfully bizarre one.

What the Third Lebanon War will look like
The UN Security Council established after the Second Lebanon War that Hassan Nasrallah’s people are forbidden to openly move along the border fence, armed, and provoke Israeli soldiers. They are careful to abide by the rules, but they are here, utilizing all the new technology Iran has provided to ensure that the IDF is not entering Lebanese territory. Meanwhile, they prepare “surprises” to hurt Israel during the next conflict….

Netanyahu Adds Russia to Regional Discussions on Syria
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is including Russia in the circle of nations involved in talks over how to deal with the regional issues created by the Syrian crisis.“The prime minister will present the threats to Israel emanating from the increased flow of advanced weaponry to the Syrian arena and from the transfer of lethal weaponry to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups,” an Israeli official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Update: Arabs, Islamic Waqf Staff Clash w/ Israel Police, Jewish Visitors on Temple Mount
For the fourth day in a row, a mob of dozens of Arabs attacked Jews Wednesday morning who came on pilgrimage to the Temple Mount compound.

Blame Assad: The world according to State Department
In the mind of State Department spokesman John Kirby, Russia should not back Syria against the terrorists, president Assad is to blame for ISIS, Iraq is much better off because of the US invasion, and it’s ‘absolutely astounding’ anyone would dare to disagree.

Europe’s Immigration “Crisis” Is Not America’s Problem
While several European Nanny States, including France and England, succumbed to the tugs at the heartstrings resulting from photos of plaintive children, and precipitously announced they would accept thousands of immigrants, Ground Zero quickly became Germany — perceived by many as having a virtually unlimited need for workers.

INCREASING CHANCE OF FLARES
For the second day in a row, sunspot AR2415 is crackling with minor C-class solar flares. This could foreshadow stronger eruptions. The sunspot has an unstable ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field that harbors energy for M-flares. Any such eruption on Sept. 16th would be geoeffective because the sunspot is facing Earth.

Go ahead, raise my rates
Some U.S. chief executives think it is time to pick interest rates off the floor, even as many of their peers campaign to maintain the status quo.The Federal Reserve meets this week and the first rate rise in nearly a decade — albeit a small one — is on the table.

Canada: The Spanish Inquisition Makes a Comeback
We had hoped that the country had learned that for most of the civilized world, blasphemy laws are meant to be a thing of the past. But after the latest events in Quebec, we will no longer be fooled. The whole world will be able to see that in Canada blasphemy laws are a thing of the future.

Increased marijuana, heroin use contribute to highest reported illicit drug use in more than a decade
Findings from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), released today, reveal the percentage of Americans aged 12 or older who used an illicit drug in 2014 was higher than in every year between 2002 and 2013, driven primarily by increases in marijuana use, sustained rates of nonmedical pain reliever use, and increases in heroin use.

Obama Issues Executive Order for Government Use of Behavioral Data
The order instructs government agencies to use “behavioral science”— a tactic used by Obama’s political campaigns to harness data from their supporters to target them effectively. The program has already existed in an experimental form, but now Obama has formally established the federal “Social and Behavioral Sciences Team,” ordering them to to use psychology and experimental behavior data to make government more user-friendly.

Delhi battles dengue fever surge
The Indian capital, Delhi, is in the grip of the worst outbreak of dengue fever in five years, officials say. More than 1,800 cases have been recorded in recent weeks, compared to 1,695 cases for all of 2010. Five deaths have been reported so far. The mosquito that carries the dengue virus breeds in containers with clear, stagnant water.

Syria conflict: US presses Russia on military build-up
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a bid to clarify the intent of Moscow’s military build-up in Syria. Mr Kerry warned that continued support for President Bashar al-Assad “risks exacerbating and extending the conflict,” a statement said. The US accuses Russia of boosting its military presence in Syria.

Ecuador forest fires envelope Quito in smoke
Quito was enveloped in smoke as forest fires raged around the Ecuadorean capital on Tuesday. President Rafael Correa said he had contacted the Venezuelan authorities for help extinguishing 17 major fires across the country and that they had promised to send helicopters. He said he would also ask Brazil, Colombia and Peru for support.

Australia launches first air strikes inside Syria
The Australian government has confirmed it has launched its first air strikes inside Syria against targets of the so-called Islamic State (IS). Australia is part of an international military coalition targeting IS strongholds in Syria and Iraq. Three air strikes were made on Monday, destroying an IS armoured personnel carrier and a crude oil collection point, the US said in a statement.

Palestinians invite hundreds of leaders to flag raising ceremony at UN in New York
The Palestinian Authority invited hundreds of world leaders to celebrate the raising of its flag for the first time at the United Nations headquarter in New York on September 30th. “It will be a glorious day, a proud day for us. We expect hundreds of leaders to be with [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas to celebrate that moment,” PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters in New York on Tuesday.

‘It’s a matter of time until ISIS in Sinai attempts terror attack against Israel’
It is only a matter of time before Islamic State’s affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula attempts to carry out a terror attack against Israel, Col. Yehuda Hacohen, the commander of the IDF’s Sagi Battalion which operates on the border said in an interview with Army Radio on Wednesday. The organization formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to Islamic State last year, changing its name to the Sinai Province.

Israeli PM Netanyahu vows stone-thrower crackdown
The Israeli prime minister has vowed to “use all necessary means” to stop stone throwers after an Israeli man died in a car crash linked to such an attack. Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement came after an emergency meeting of his cabinet and security chiefs.

Migrants face hunt for new routes as Hungary border sealed
Hundreds of migrants have spent the night at the closed Hungary-Serbia border, with many facing the choice of finding a new route to northern Europe. Serbian media said buses were now being redirected to Croatia, with migrants then planning to move on to Slovenia, Austria – and finally Germany.

Turkey’s flirtation with terrorists is falling apart
A key Hamas official who operated out of Turkey for years was sanctioned by last week by the US Treasury Department for his role in organizing and inciting terrorism in the West Bank and Israel. And given Ankara’s history for working with US-designated terrorists — and some of the disastrous implications by those connections — the most recent designation shows how Turkey’s quiet dance with terrorism finance is falling apart.

Senate Democrats block vote to disapprove of Iran deal
For the second time, Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a vote to move forward on a resolution rejecting the Iran nuclear deal, protecting President Barack Obama’s key foreign policy initiative.

Wildfires, flooding, earthquake hit California
As firefighters began to make significant progress on two of the 12 deadly wildfires raging in drought-stricken areas of California, emergency crews on Tuesday had to also contend with a small earthquake near one of the wildfires and flooding in Los Angeles.


Top Headlines – 9/16/2015

Palestinians invite hundreds of leaders to flag raising ceremony at UN in New York

UN Envoy: Temple Mount Clashes Could Go Beyond Jerusalem

Several Palestinian groups call for ‘day of rage’ Friday in light of Temple Mount clashes

EU, Jordan warn against ‘provocation’ at Al Aqsa mosque

Netanyahu declares ‘war’ on those who throw rocks and firebombs

Israel vows to stop Palestinian stone throwers ‘using all means necessary’

Firebombs explode outside Jerusalem suburb

Report: Palestinian rocket errantly lands in Gaza Strip

Palestinian hunger-striker Allan released from hospital and rearrested

Israel braces for Obama’s bad Iran Deal

If Iran cheats can Israel still strike?

Vatican Welcomes Iran Deal, Pressures Israel to Give Up Nukes

Livni: Europe is removing sanctions from Iran and using them on Israel

After Iran Deal, Obama Struggles to Gain Israel’s Trust

US Senate Democrats again block Iran nuclear deal disapproval

Iranian elections to feature Rouhani-Khamenei power play over nuclear deal

Assad says Iran assisting regime with technology, not ground troops

Egypt says it killed 55 Islamists in Sinai; two soldiers reportedly dead

‘It’s a matter of time until ISIS in Sinai attempts terror attack against Israel’

Australian jets complete first attack against Islamic State in Syria

Netanyahu to Russia next week for talks on Syria

Netanyahu to tell Putin that Russian weapons transfers to Syria threatening Israel

Putin defends Russia’s military assistance to Syrian regime

American official: US, Russian top diplomats talk amid Syria buildup

White House urges ‘constructive engagement’ by Russia to fight ISIS

Putin open to meeting Obama at UN headquarters

Russia to hold special meeting on Middle East at UN Security Council

Russian media: Assad says political solution possible only after terror defeated

Assad says only Syrian people can decide if he quits

For Those Who Remain in Syria, Daily Life Is a Nightmare

Christian Billionaire Seeking to Buy Entire Island for Refugees, Name It After Drowned Syrian Boy

Assad Blames Western Support of ‘Terrorists’ for Migrant Crisis

State Department: Kerry to visit London to discuss refugee crisis, Syria

Former president Carter urges Germany to take lead in migrant crisis

Refugee crisis: Divisions leave Europe paralysed as borders close to refugees

Migrant crisis: Dozens reach Croatia as Hungary border sealed

UK Turning Its Back on Christian Refugees? British Policy to Give 20K Muslims Asylum, Persecution Groups Say

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

UN disarmament official to lead Syria gas attacks inquiry

ISIL demands allegiance from Libya’s Sirte residents

Danish teen’s deadly obsession with ISIS videos leads to mother’s murder

U.S. training helped mold top Islamic State military commander

Al Qaeda Conspiring With ISIS to Launch Attacks on American Cities, Unite Against ‘Islam’s Enemies’

Turkey’s flirtation with terrorists is falling apart

Saudi suspends Saudi Binladin Group over Mecca crane disaster

U.N. calls for special court to investigate ‘horrific’ violence in Sri Lanka civil war

North Korea warns U.S. it’s ready to use nuclear weapons ‘any time’

iPhone 6s: Chinese men try to sell kidney to buy new handset

China reportedly compiling ‘Facebook’ of U.S. government employees

Homeland Security websites vulnerable to cyber attack

FAA declares no-drone zones for Papal visit

Obama Issues Executive Order for Government Use of Behavioral Data

Credibility, ‘gradual’ approach at stake as Fed weighs rate rise

Fed tightening ‘threatens disaster for debt saturated global economy’

Global Stocks Rally Ahead of Fed Rate Decision

China Stocks Jump in Last Hour of Trading on State Support Signs

China stocks have plunged 6% in two days

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Bitung, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Hualian, Taiwan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Iquique, Chile

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Rare Tornado Wreaks Havoc in UK’s East Midlands

Flash floods hit southern Israel as Rosh Hashana holiday ends

Flights grounded as heavy rains lash southern Israel

Water rescues, floods and power outages as rain drenches parts of Southern California

Wildfires, flooding, earthquake hit California

California fire updates: Valley fire among the most destructive in state history

Computer Models Failing to Accurately Predict Path of Flames

Ecuador forest fires envelope Quito in smoke

Kauai’s chicken die-off has scientists trying to rule out avian influenza

Delhi battles dengue fever surge

Increased marijuana, heroin use contribute to highest reported illicit drug use in more than a decade

Colorado braces for day of tax-free weed

Colorado Just Became The First State In History To Collect More Taxes From Marijuana Than Alcohol

Will New Obamacare Rule Force Insurers To Fund Sex-Changes?

Appeals court denies Kentucky clerk’s latest bid to delay issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Christian Bus Driver Fired for Refusing to Drive Gay-Pride Themed Bus

Commentary: When Should Christians Disobey the Law? A Lesson From Norway

Faith healer stabbed to death at spiritual centre for black magic treatment in Whitechapel

The ‘Obamification’ of Pope Francis

Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to sing national anthem at memorial service defended as ‘respectful silence’

Fears grow that a U.S. Fed rate hike this week could unleash a global debt crisis

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

Holy See on UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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

Fed tightening ‘threatens disaster for debt saturated global economy’

The Theft of a Black Baptist Church in a Gentrified RIP City – An Investigative Report

Dallas man trying to take over Feed the Children charity, calls it Enron of nonprofit world

Kardashian pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. to have his own reality TV show

Kong Hee Trial: Prosecution Says Kong a ‘Well Practiced Liar’


Frontrunning: September 16

  • Contrarian CEOs tell the Fed: Go ahead, raise my rates (Read More)
  • Goldman Warns Markets Unprepared for Fed as Treasuries Seesaw (Read More)
  • Investors Look Beyond Fed Meeting, See Low Rates (Read More)
  • Volatility seen lingering no matter what the Fed does (Read More)
  • What Rising Interest Rates Would Mean for You (Read More)
  • China Stocks Jump in Last Hour of Trading on State Support Signs (Read More)
  • No Escape for China Hedge Funds Overwhelmed by Stocks Crash (Read More)
  • Hedge Fund Bridgewater Defends Its ‘Risk-Parity’ Strategy (Read More)
  • Iran Nuke Feud Shifts to Tehran as Hardliners Push to Sink Deal (Read More)
  • Glencore Sells Shares to Raise $2.5 Billion and Reduce Debt (Read More)
  • Migrants Take New Route Into EU After Hungary Fences Off Serbian Border (Read More)
  • Syria’s Assad blames West for refugee crisis (Read More)
  • World’s top 100 banks have met most new capital, liquidity rules early (Read More)
  • European Bankers Can’t Catch a Break as Firings Keep Coming (Read More)
  • UAW, Fiat Chrysler Reach Tentative Labor Deal (Read More)
  • As the World Gets Fatter, This Pharma Giant Gets Richer (Read More)
  • Rich Kids Eat a Ton of Fast Food Too (Read More)
  • Inside South America’s Oil-Fueled Currency Battle (Read More)
  • Big Retailers, Delivery Firms Face Struggle to Find Holiday Workers (Read More)
  • AB InBev Approaches SABMiller in Record Industry Combination (Read More)
  • Inside These Hedge Funds, a Smaller Hedge Fund Just for the Boss (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Bernie Sanders addressing Liberty University encounter collision between two worldviews

Bernie Sanders Makes Rare Appeal to Evangelicals at Liberty University, New York Times (Nick Corasaniti)

5 faith facts about Bernie Sanders: unabashedly irreligious, Religion News Service (Lauren Markoe)

Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’s Proposals: $18 Trillion, Wall Street Journal (Laura Meckler)

No, Bernie Sanders is not going to bankrupt America to the tune of $18 trillion, Washington Post (Paul Waldman)

2) New leader of British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn presents a radical shift to the left

Election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader Sets Up British Politics for Bigger Divisions, Wall Street Journal (Simon Nixon)

Britain’s Unsettling Omen, Wall Street Journal (Brett Stephens)

3) Queen Elizabeth’s long reign represents global era of radical secularization, decline of Britain

Queen Elizabeth II Becomes Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch, New York Times (Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle)

A queen’s riches aren’t what they used to be, Chicago Tribune (Tom Metcalf)

Queen Elizabeth II Isn’t as Rich as You Think, Bloomberg Businessweek (Tom Metcalf)
In other news…

Anti-abortion group releases 10th video, Politico (Rachana Pradhan)
Hungary Detains Migrants in Border Crackdown, New York Times (Helene Bievenu and Dan Bilefsky)
Across the Globe, a Growing Disillusionment With Democracy, New York Times (Richard Foa and Yascha Mounk)
Timeline: Democracy in Recession, New York Times (Larry Diamond)
Jerry Falwell’s Liberal Example, Wall Street Journal (James Tarranto)

How Segregation Destroys Black Wealth, New York Times

The End of the Line: Rehabilitation and Reform in Angola Penitentiary, The Atlantic (Jeffery Goldberg)

How safe can artificial intelligence be?, BBC News (David Shukman)

The Next Genocide, The New York Times (Timothy Snyder)

Daily Digest

September 16, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.” —Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Duane, 1811

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Prepping for the Second Debate

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The second GOP presidential debate is tonight, and there will be 11 candidates on stage. Carly Fiorina was the only candidate from the first “Happy Hour” debate to graduate to the prime-time stage, so many eyes will be on her for the first time. Scott Walker sought to recalibrate his campaign and set up his debate performance with a bold new proposal to abolish federal unions. Some candidates, like Rand Paul, intend to make attacking Donald Trump a centerpiece of their approach in hopes of jumpstarting low poll numbers. Speaking of poll numbers, Ben Carson has enjoyed a recent surge and is now in a statistical dead heat with Trump, so look for Trump to start attacking Carson. In fact, it’s possible all other candidates will fade into the background of the Trump-Carson showdown.

The two already exchanged blows recently over biblical knowledge and qualities. Carson offered a very articulate condemnation of Trump’s arrogance and faux faith. Asked about the main characteristics that differentiate him from Trump, Carson said, “I’ve realized where my success has come from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God. And I think that is the big difference.” Carson continued, “One of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 22:4, says, ‘By humility and the fear of the Lord, are riches and honor and life.’ That’s a very big part of who I am — humility and the fear of the Lord. I don’t get that impression with [Trump].”

Naturally, Trump fired back, questioning Carson’s faith and calling the renowned former neurosurgeon— who performed the world’s first surgery separating Siamese twins conjoined at the head — just an “okay doctor.” Yet it was Carson who eventually apologized for questioning Trump’s faith, showing that he has a degree of humility completely foreign to Trump. Remember, Trump is the man who recently said he might “apologize sometime in the hopefully distant future if I’m ever wrong.”

Finally, co-moderator Hugh Hewitt intends to grill candidates about foreign policy — not exactly a strong suit for either Trump or Carson, as evidenced in both candidates’ previous interviews with Hewitt. To be fair, Trump does talk about “winning” an awful lot, and promises to be “so good at the military your head will spin.” So there’s that.

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Planned Parenthood’s ‘PR Disaster’

The Center for Medical Progress’ “Human Capital” series continues, with the 10th video overall in the undercover work exposing Planned Parenthood’s heinous baby-parts trafficking efforts, and this one has big picture implications. According to CMP, “The video highlights conversations with Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor for PPFA; Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for External Medical Affairs for PPFA; and Deborah VanDerhei, National Director for the Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS) at PPFA.” VanDerhei talks about “donation for remuneration” as a reference to purchasing baby tissue, which CMP notes “carries the connotation of financial reward or benefit without regard for actual expenses.” VanDerhei explains, “I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation, [and] we’re trying to figure this out as an industry — about how we’re going to manage remuneration — because the headlines would be a disaster.” She’s not worried about a moral or ethical disaster, she just doesn’t want a public relations headache.

VanDerhei also says, “[W]e have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this,” which is why they don’t want a paper trail via email. “It’s an issue that you might imagine we’re not really that comfortable talking about on email.”

Indeed, that’s also why Dr. Deborah Nucatola, in footage that appears to come from the first CMP video, says, “There are no guidelines” on tissue procurement. “And there will never be guidelines.” She goes on to say, “Folks will ask the national office questions, and we certainly have answers to those questions, but we don’t have a policy per se, and that is by choice.” The choice is to create distance between the national office and any affiliates who traffic baby parts. Plausible deniability in the event of a “PR disaster.”

CMP reports, “Vanessa Cullins, the Vice President of External Medical Affairs, seems fully aware of the criminal exposure that fetal body parts sales present to Planned Parenthood: ‘This is important. This could destroy your organization and us, if we don’t time those conversations correctly,’ she tells a prospective buyer.”

The big picture from this video is that even these doctors and officials know that many people are going to have major problems with what they’re doing, and that they’re at best skirting the law. But rather than make the case publicly that carving up aborted babies for research material is good practice, they hide their deeds, refuse to make official policy and speak in euphemisms, and then they blame CMP for “heavily editing” the videos. Those are all good indications something is very wrong.

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North Korea Puts Nuclear Reactor Back Online

Much of the recent nuclear arms race talk has focused on Iran. As a result, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, who like Iran’s leaders indulges in anti-American bravado and perennial threats of nuclear annihilation, has become either increasingly jealous or dangerously emboldened — or both — particularly after Iran came out the winner in a “deal” negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry. This week, the Korean Central News Agency reported that the country’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor is back online after having been shuttered since 2007 under a Bush-era disarmament agreement. Regardless of whether the claim is purely rhetoric or something more substantive, the Korea deal clearly hasn’t worked out as envisioned for America — and neither will Iran’s. One of the reasons Korea’s latest revelation is concerning has to do with its recent ballistic missiles testing and U.S. military satellite analysis. As The Washington Post reported, “While Kim’s regime is known for its bellicose rhetoric, Tuesday’s claims are consistent with American analysts’ interpretation of recent satellite imagery.” How’s that diplomacy working out?

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

So a Socialist Walks Into Liberty University…

By Dan Gilmore

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It was a unique moment. In an era in which politicians don’t interact with people who disagree with them, Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders visited Liberty University Monday to speak to an audience that is highly unlikely to give him votes.

The open socialist took the podium before a crowd of, in the words of Liberty, “North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students,” at an institution that is a bastion of the evangelical Right.

In March, Ted Cruz stood up before this same crowd — convocation at Liberty is mandatory — and announced his bid for presidency. It’s not exactly Bernie’s target audience.

Sanders tried to bridge the chasm by appealing to the values and morals held by Christian conservatives. “There is no justice,” Sanders told the students. But when it comes to family values and social justice, Sanders points to the lack of federally mandated paid maternity leave as “appalling.” A typical student at Liberty might say abortion or the defense of traditional marriage are more pressing issues.

“I understand that issues such as abortion and gay marriage are very important to you, and that we disagree on those issues,” Sanders’ prepared remarks said. “I get that. But let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and the world and that maybe, just maybe, we don’t disagree on them. And maybe, just maybe, we can work together in trying to resolve them.”

For the Socialist Democrat (but we repeat ourselves), the question of justice boiled down to economic disparity. There are billions upon billions of dollars in the U.S. possessed by the richest of the rich, he told the students. Meanwhile, children go to bed hungry. To the Left, it’s up to the government to “rectify” this.

And in support for his populist ideas, Sanders cited the Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12 as evidence for massive redistribution of wealth. Of course, Jesus wasn’t preaching to the Romans, but rather to his own disciples — individuals, not government.

“Bernie is right about a lot,” first-year Liberty law student Eli McGowan wrote on Facebook. “He addresses a lot of the fatal flaws in the GOP and in our corporatistic nation. Unfortunately, his answers aren’t the ones we need. But beware GOP, because he’s touching a nerve you can’t, because you’ve lost your heart.”

In laying out his vision for a just, moral and good society, Sanders showed why he is dangerous for the country. While the Leftmedia have danced around the issue, Red State’s Dan Spencer notes, “Sanders is, you know, an unabashed and self-admitted Socialist.” His redistributionist policy proposals will cost the nation a staggering $18 trillion over the next 10 years, The Wall Street Journal estimates.

Sanders called the estimate “significantly exaggerated,” primarily because the Journal used another politicians’ single-payer health care bill as a substitute. But the price tag has to be in the ballpark of what it would take to institute his policies.

And where do you think that $18 trillion will come from? Sanders’ biggest campaign promise is to rob the rich to pay the poor. He’s just following the template laid out by noted socialist George Bernard Shaw: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

While the candidate has progressive plans for the country, Sanders believes the country’s foundation is rotten. He told Liberty that our economy was “designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest people in this country at the expense of everyone else.” And during a Q&A session after his speech, Sanders declared America was built on “racist principles.” We trust Liberty students are able to see that for the barnyard excrement that it is.

Meanwhile, when does the next conservative politician make an argument for the value of Liberty before an audience hostile to his or her policy stances? Oh, that’s right — leftists who run colleges and universities often won’t let conservatives address their students. And when they do, the speaker is drowned out by obnoxious protesters. That’s because the Left despises the kind of free speech on display this week at Liberty.

Sanders demonstrated a kind of ethos in a politician that’s rare in this season’s political lineup — the willingness to approach the other side. Likewise, Liberty University deserves congratulations for offering the podium to the opposition. Conservatives should seek more opportunities to advocate for values held by people across the partisan divide, universal values of justice, peace and Liberty.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “Under existing immigration law, the United States is already admitting more than 250,000 migrants a year from predominately Muslim nations. According to a review of statistics from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, in 2013 the U.S. resettled more than 117,000 Muslim migrants and issued visas for nearly 123,000 Muslims to come to the U.S. as foreign students and workers. In addition, we admitted nearly 40,000 refugees from Muslim nations. That is equivalent to adding a Muslim Des Moines or Dayton to the U.S. every year. This should concern policy makers because we know from recent surveys that many Muslims in America would prefer to be governed by Sharia law rather than the Constitution. We know that Muslim immigrant communities are hotbeds of jihadi recruitment. We know that the vast majority are on food stamps. My point is that we do not know who is coming in. Remember the 9/11 hijackers? They were here on visas. We let them in. At least 20 jihadists have been allowed into the country since then — and were granted citizenship. If the United States is going to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees, they should be Christians and we should make no apologies for that. Not only are they are fleeing genocide, they are far more likely to share our values and the belief that our liberty comes from God.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

Observations: “I agree it’s good for [Bernie] Sanders to go out and to address racial issues since he’s never been identified with it and because his audiences are lily white. But you don’t cure that by going to Liberty University. You want to reach out to African-Americans, you go to black churches, you go to a lot of other places. [Liberty] isn’t exactly the right place to go.” —Charles Krauthammer

Upright: “The sorry and tragic state of black education and its attendant problems will not be turned around until there’s a change in what’s acceptable behavior and what’s unacceptable behavior. That change must come from within the black community.” —Walter Williams

The BIG Lie: “No question [in] my mind that moving toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program is the most cost-effective way to provide health care to all of our people.” —Bernie Sanders

Stopped clock, twice a day: “Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side. And that’s a problem, too. … I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. And I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of views.” —Barack Obama

Non Compos Mentis: “I don’t think Planned Parenthood funding should be cut off. The $500 million that gets given to Planned Parenthood every single year goes to female care. It goes for scanning for cancer, it goes for mammograms.” —Miss Tennessee, Hannah Robison (For the umpteenth time, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms.)

Late-night humor: “The remaining candidates are gearing up for the second Republican debate, which will take place [tonight] on CNN. It starts at 8 p.m. and ends when Donald Trump runs out of air.” —Jimmy Fallon

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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World Wakes Up to Syrian Refugee Crisis After Photo of Dead Toddler Surfaces – But Will it Make a Difference?

Billionaire Egyptian Christian Seeking to Buy Island to House Syrian Refugees: ‘I Cannot Just Sit Here and Pretend It’s Not My Problem’

What The Third Lebanon War Will Look Like

While Hezbollah is deeply submerged in the Syrian quagmire, and despite a substantial interest in avoiding confrontation with Israel, over the past year the organization’s leadership has been preparing for the Third Lebanon War as though it will begin tomorrow. This derives mainly from a decision by Nasrallah and members of Iran’s Quds Force about a year ago to change the strategy towards Israel…………. Click here for full story


Quebec Prepares To Criminalize Any Criticism Of Islam As Hate Speech

The worst Canadian idea of modern times appears to be back. The Quebec National Assembly is currently considering a bill that would criminalize any criticism of Islam and redesignate it as “hate speech.” Bill 59 – as this latest totalitarian procedure is titled – is being proposed by the Minister of Justice, Stephanie Vallee; and the head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission, Jacques Fremont, has already been quoted saying that he looks forward to using the new powers to target “people who would write against… the Islamic religion… on a website or on a Facebook page.”……… Click here for full story


They’re Baaaaack — Russian Forces Return To The Middle East

In July 1970, Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-4 Phantom fighters took off for an apparent bombing mission near Suez City during the War of Attrition. The mission was a ruse meant to draw out Russian pilots of the elite Soviet 135th Air Regiment, which had been deployed to Egypt along with Soviet-operated SAM batteries, both of which had increasingly threatened and harassed Israeli air missions…………. Click here for full story


Al Qaeda Conspiring With ISIS To Launch Attacks On American Cities

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has said in a series of recently released messages that although the Islamic State terror group is “illegitimate” and operating against his wishes, it is time for the jihadists on both sides to work together in cooperation against the West, and launch attacks “to the heart of the homes and cities” of America………… Click here for full story


Europe Is Making a Fatal Mistake – Dennis Prager

When good intentions trump experience and wisdom, you’re asking for trouble — in this case, civilization-threatening trouble.

Allowing millions of Syrians and others from the Muslim Middle East into Europe will end up a catastrophe for Europe, and therefore for the West.

This may be the most difficult sentence I have ever written. Little seems more obviously moral than to allow these benighted Syrians, Iraqis and others to flee from hell into heaven. Therefore, arguing against allowing large numbers of them into Europe (and the United States) seems to be advocating for something that is heartless and just morally wrong.

View Article


America Has Taken More than Our Share of Refugees

The United States is the most generous nation in the world, and we have taken many refugees from foreign lands. Europe has not offered to take refugees from Central America, so why are some politicians here insisting that we take many thousands of refugees from the Middle East? While refugee crises are tragic, crimes committed by transplanted peoples against unwarned, unprotected victims in our own country are even more tragic. Politicians demanding that American neighborhoods accept thousands of refugees, without proper screening or any indication by the migrants that they genuinely want to…
 


“Heart and homes” of America is target of Bin Laden leader re-emerging in new call for terror attacks

Christian Examiner reports:

Al Qaeda’s leader has emerged from the shadows after a nearly two-year absence to call for greater unity among jihadists and to encourage “lone wolf” attacks in the American heartland, Reuters has reported.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who helped found Islamic Jihad and later al Qaeda with Osama bin Laden, urged a cease-fire among the “mujahideen” and called “on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hestitate.”

“We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America,” Zawahiri said, according to the translation provided by Reuters.

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/heart.and.homes.of.america.is.target.of.bin.laden.leader.re.emerging.in.new.call.for.terror.attacks/49533.htm


Scalpers Selling Tickets to See Pope Francis for Thousands–Cardinal Condemns

According to CNS News:

Pope FrancisNew York officials have joined Cardinal Timothy Dolan in condemning the scalping of tickets to see Pope Francis’ motorcade during his upcoming visit to New York City.

About 80,000 tickets were dispersed through a city-sponsored lottery system for the pope’s Sept. 25 procession through Central Park.

Tickets were being sold on secondary markets such as eBay and Craigslist for thousands of dollars soon after lottery winners were notified.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cardinal-new-york-officials-condemn-selling-pope-tickets


Outrage As US Public School Students Forced To Recite ‘Allah Is The Only God’

Public School students forced to recite ‘Allah is the only god’

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” 1 Corinthians 8:6 (KJV)

Amid a new report of Islamic indoctrination in public schools, the American Center for Law and Justice is fighting back with a petition drive that already has garnered 120,000 signatures. 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.

Nearly 120,000 people have signed ACLJ’s petition demanding a halt to such teaching. “What if your child or grandchild’s public school forced them to write out the Shahada – the Islamic conversion creed – while having skipped Christianity?” the organization asked.

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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.

“What if your child’s study guide had a section called ‘Origins of Islam’ that included statements such as, ‘Around the age of 40, the angel Gabriel told Muhammad that he was to be a prophet of Allah.’

“Stated as fact, not belief,” the ACLJ said.

The Columbia Daily Herald in Middle Tennessee reported details of the allegations. In the Maury County school district, the paper reported parent Brandee Porterfield said her daughter “brought home school materials containing the Five Pillars of Islam.”

But the school skipped the textbook’s section on Christianity.

School officials explained, she told the Herald, that Christianity was not part of the state’s standards, so it wasn’t covered.

“I have a big problem with that. From a historical point of view, that’s a lot of history these kids are missing,” Porterfield told the newspaper. “Also, for them to spend three weeks on Islam after having skipped Christianity, it seems to be that they are making a choice about which religion to discuss.”

She said her concerns were about her seventh-grade daughter being taught the “Shahada,” the profession of Islamic faith.

“From a religion point of view, if the schools are going to be teaching religion in history, they need to teach them all equally,” she said. The ACLJ reported called it “Islamic indoctrination right here in our schools.”

The organization said Maury County school officials admitted they were addressing “some sensitive topics” in class and there appeared to be some “confusion.”

“That’s outrageous,” ACLJ said. “The indoctrination of students with the precepts of converting to Islam and forcing them to recite ‘Allah is the only god’ aren’t ‘sensitive topics’; it’s unconstitutional.

“Imagine the outcry from the ACLU, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), and other leftist and angry atheist organizations if a study guide states, ‘Jesus is the Son of God,’ and forced children to recite the Lord’s Prayer.”

Now, Sekulow’s organization said it is taking action.

“We’re in direct contact with a number of parents and concerned citizens, we’re taking on new clients, and preparing critical demand letters and open records requests to these schools and school districts,” the group said.

“It is a clear constitutional principle that public education may not indoctrinate young minds into a religion. Teachers and schools may teach what different faith traditions believe and how that has affected world history and geography. But a school cannot censor Christianity and promote Islam.”

The Daily Herald reported Jan Hanvey, a middle school supervisor for Maury County Public Schools, said the curriculum has covered the subject for decades, and Buddhism and Hinuism also are covered.

She told the newspaper the chapter on Christianity was not skipped but was being delayed.

The newspaper cited state advisories that called for seventh-grade social studies to begin with the Islamic world and then move to Africa. The “Age of Exploration” follows, which continues into eighth grade.

Hanvey told the newspaper Christianity is discussed in the “Age of Exploration,” partly because religious persecution is one of the reasons for a search for a new world.

Fox News reported Maury County Director of Schools Chris Marczak said his teachers “work together to make sure that our students are learning what is expected through the Tennessee academic standards.”

“For this last section on the Islamic World this past week, our educators had students complete an assignment that had an emphasis on Islamic faith,” he said. “The assignment covered some sensitive topics that are of importance to Islamic religion and caused some confusion around whether we are asking students to believe in or simply understand the religion.”

WND reported earlier this year teachers and administrators at a Pennsylvania school district attended a training session on Islam and Arabic culture at taxpayer expense.

The workshop in the town of Lebanon was led by a former district Arabic translator, Mohamed Omar, who took time off from his Department of Human Services job in Philadelphia “to share his knowledge of Islam with the staff,” the Lebanon Daily News reported.

“I think this is the first time ever in the United States that a school district goes to a mosque,” mosque founder Hamid Housni told the Daily News. “Usually a representative of a mosque goes somewhere. We don’t have words to explain to you how we appreciate that. This is very, very special.”

In 2006, WND reported students in Nyssa, Oregon, were learning Muslim prayers and dressing as Muslims.

Another assignment was to learn the Five Pillars of Islam, study the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and listen to guest speakers, including an American Muslim who came dressed in her religious costume to talk about her Quran.

A resulting lawsuit regarding the curriculum was similar to a previous case in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled such indoctrination was permissible as “cultural education.” source


Vatican Releases Official Papal Statement Supporting Obama’s Iranian Nuclear Deal

VATICAN WELCOMES IRAN DEAL, PRESSURES ISRAEL TO GIVE UP NUKES

EDITOR’S NOTE: On September 23rd, Pope Francis will meet with US President Barack Hussein Obama at the White House to discuss global wealth redistribution, increasing illegal immigration and how many billions to spend on Climate Change. The Pope will also discuss the best way to disarm Israel and make Iran a nuclear power at the same time. 

The Vatican released a statement Tuesday officially welcoming the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 world powers (U.S., UK, China, France, Russia, Germany) and Iran, stating that the Holy See believes Tehran will reduce its nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief. In calling for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, the Vatican also appeared to target Israel, given that it is the lone nuclear power in the region.

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The Vatican “values positively this agreement because it considers that the way to resolve disputes and difficulties should always be that of dialogue and negotiation,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher said in a statement.

In addressing the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vatican’s chief diplomat added:

It is clear that the agreement requires further efforts and commitment by all the parties involved in order for it to bear fruit. We hope that the full implementation of [the nuclear deal] will ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program under the [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and will be a definitive step toward greater stability and security in the region.

In his address calling for a worldwide reduction of nuclear weapons, Archbishop Gallagher added that “spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations” and said that “the dubious strategic rationales for maintaining and even strengthening” nuclear stockpiles are “morally problematic.”

Gallagher added, “How are these expenditures consistent with progress towards nuclear disarmament?” The Holy See “has no illusions about the challenges involved in achieving a world free of nuclear weapons,” he admitted, but called for “concerted steps” for all nations to disarm.

Gallagher also appeared to single out Israel in calling for “the establishment of zones free of nuclear weapons … especially in the Middle East.” Since 1963, the Vatican has opposed the possession of nuclear weapons, Newsweek reports.

The news about the Vatican’s pro-Iran deal position comes as Pope Francis is set to visit Washington, D.C., on September 22. He will then be welcomed to the White House by President Obama on the 23rd. On the 24th, he is set to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress. source


Yes, The American People Really Are Angry Enough To Elect Donald Trump

Shifting debate strategies, GOP hopefuls to take on Trump

EDITOR’S NOTE: Make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is an imperfect candidate to say the least. Though he has said that the “Bible is his favorite book“, he was unable to quote a single verse, not even John 3:16. He was for abortion before he was against it, and the list goes on and on. So why is The Donald so amazingly popular? Because in spite of any of his other myriad flaws, when he opens his mouth he is connecting with an American public that has been lied to and betrayed by it’s leaders nearly every day for the past 7 years. He is connecting with an America that didn’t want Obamacare, that doesn’t want floods of illegal aliens especially Muslim ones, that wants justice for the Benghazi Coverup. He is connecting with a Conservative base that is seethingly angry that they voted to create the Republican Landslide of 2014 in both houses and the Republican didn’t keep one, single promise to stop Obama and the rise of imperial Marxism in America. How angry are the American people with the government? Angry enough to elect Donald Trump as our next president? Watch and see…

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the first Republican presidential debate, most candidates took a hands-off approach to Donald Trump and hoped the brash billionaire would hurt himself. Instead, he only got stronger. Trump’s unexpected durability has led some of his rivals to shift their strategy for Wednesday’s second showdown. Now their goal is to engage Trump, without inflicting any damage on their own campaigns.

The change reflects an evolution in the way Trump is viewed within the Republican Party. No longer dismissed as a summer fling for frustrated voters, Republicans increasingly see Trump as a candidate who could remain atop the field for months and win some early states.

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“He’s in complete, total control of the political battle space,” said Steve Schmidt, a top strategist for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Trump will be standing at center stage when the 11 candidates face off at the CNN-sponsored debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The lineup is the same as last month’s opening debate, with one notable addition: former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP field.

It’s believed to be the largest debate field in modern political history, underscoring just how jumbled the fight for the Republican nomination remains with five months to go before the Iowa caucuses.

Trump heads into the second debate facing a fresh challenge from Ben Carson, a soft-spoken retired neurosurgeon who is climbing in recent polls. With his candidacy on the rise, Carson is likely to face heightened scrutiny from debate moderators.

But the biggest contrast in the GOP field — and the one that typifies the broader battle within the party — continues between Trump and Jeb Bush, the wonky former Florida governor. Bush has become one of Trump’s favorite targets and has been visibly irritated by his jabs, particularly the reality star’s depiction of him as a “low energy” candidate.

After all but ignoring Trump in the first debate, Bush has gone after the GOP front-runner more aggressively while campaigning recently. People familiar with Bush’s debate plans say he’ll actively look for spots to target Trump, particularly for Trump’s uneven record as a conservative, but still wants to preserve space to pitch himself as an optimistic alternative.

“Real leaders are optimists — they show us a better way,” said Sally Bradshaw, Bush’s longtime adviser. “That’s what Jeb has always done, that’s what he’ll always do. Other candidates won’t change that, regardless of how noisy they are.”

“Words Matter” Obama Lies Documented in his own words:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has also forecast a more aggressive stance at Wednesday’s event. Once a favorite to win the Iowa caucus, Walker’s standing has plummeted after an unremarkable first debate and a series of other summer stumbles.

“I think if people are looking for someone who is truly going to shake things up and wreak havoc on Washington, they want someone who’s got real solutions and someone who is truly tested,” Walker said last week. “I’m the only one on that stage that fits the bill.”

Even if candidates follow through on their pledges to be more aggressive, there are warning signs about that approach. Trump has so far been immune to criticism of his lack of specific policy proposals, personal attacks on women and immigrants, and his commitment to conservatism. And with voters increasingly drawn to anti-establishment candidates, it’s unclear whether attacks from those with long political resumes will be effective.

That makes Fiorina’s participation in the debate all the more intriguing.

Fiorina is also a political outsider, having spent most of her career in business. She’s also showed no fear in taking on Trump, including after he was recently quoted insulting her appearance. She’s also thrilled GOP audiences with her sharp criticism of Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Fiorina didn’t have enough support in the national polls used to select debate participants to get on the main stage in August, but she was a standout in the earlier undercard. After an aggressive lobbying effort by her campaign, CNN broadened its participation requirements to allow her on the main stage.

Carson, too, appears to be benefiting from the public’s anti-Washington mood. As his standing has risen, he’s waffled in his approach toward Trump, first questioning the businessman’s faith, then apologizing for doing so.

Campaign manager Barry Bennett said Carson has no plans to take on Trump in the debate. “Trump will be Trump, Ben will be Ben and the contrast couldn’t be clearer,” Bennett said.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a talented politician who has largely avoided criticizing his fellow candidates, also doesn’t plan to take on Trump. Rubio’s campaign said the senator didn’t see a need to mix things up like other candidates who are “falling” in the race.

Also on stage will be Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is well-liked among more moderate, business-minded Republicans, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a favorite of social conservatives.

They’ll be joined by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the only candidate to directly challenge Trump in the first debate; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had a memorable exchange with Paul over national security in the opening contest; and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the sole contender to align himself with Trump and try to draft off his support.

Four candidates lagging behind in national polls did not qualify for the main event and will be relegated to an earlier debate: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former New York Gov. George Pataki. source


World’s longest chain of continental volcanoes found hidden in Australia

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 08:54 PM PDT

The Cosgrove hotspot track runs the full length of Australia, from coast to coast. Drew Whitehouse, NCI National Facility VizLab. The world’s longest continental volcanic chain has been found running the length of Australia, hidden deep beneath the Earth’s crust. It runs for over 2,000 kilometres (1,243 miles), from the Whitsunday Islands in the north of Queensland all the way down near Melbourne in the country’s southern coast.

The chain, said Rhodri Davies, lead author of a new journal by Australian National University’s School of Earth Sciences, was created by the drift of the Australian continent over the last 33 million years. As the land mass drifted northward, it passed over the top of a hotspot, an active volcanic region in the Earth’s mantle. This hotspot, still thought to be in existence under the Tasman sea, a little to the northwest of Tasmania, created the long volcanic chain. FULL REPORT

The post World’s longest chain of continental volcanoes found hidden in Australia appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Series of Earthquakes rattled Mineral, Va. over the weekend

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 08:48 PM PDT

If you felt something shake you up in the state of Virginia over the weekend it may have been a result of Four earthquakes that jarred areas of Louisa County, Va. Sunday and Monday?, but they were very small, varying in magnitude between 1.2 and 2.2. The first and largest of the four quakes struck at 9:39 p.m. Saturday night. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a handful of reports from witnesses who observed weak shaking from the magnitude 2.2 tremor, mainly in Louisa and Orange Counties.

The other three – magnitude 1.3, 1.2, and 1.5, hit in a four hour span Sunday night at 9:08, 10:58, and 11:40 p.m. They were too weak to be felt. The epicenter of these minor tremors was near Mineral, Va., the site of the 5.8-magnitude quake August 23, 2011, Virginia’s second largest on record. “[These were] close to the Mineral aftershock sequence, so they are probably continuing aftershocks,” Martin Chapman, director of the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory, told InsideNova. FULL REPORT

The post Series of Earthquakes rattled Mineral, Va. over the weekend appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Obama Issues Orwellian Executive Order

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 08:36 PM PDT

Welcome to President Obama’s brave new world. Federal agencies have been directed to hire psychologists to experiment and find ways to better manipulate the American people to the federal government’s will. “A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights – research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them – can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people,”

Obama wrote in an executive order released Tuesday on WhiteHouse.gov. The origin of the order can be traced back to a 2013 policy proposal entertained by the White House called “Strengthening Federal Capacity for Behavioral Insights.” The president’s new order said streamlined applications for federal financial aid and automatic retirement payments are two examples where behavioral-science lessons applied to government programs have been effective. FULL REPORT

 

The post Obama Issues Orwellian Executive Order appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Secret Service Issue Warning to Pope, Life in Danger Coming to US

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 08:30 PM PDT

Members of the president’s Secret Service detail have confided to WND concern that they cannot adequately protect Pope Francis in the United States under current plans that include allowing the pope to ride through crowds next week in Washington and New York in an open vehicle. The agents’ concerns about the Sept. 22-27 papal visit are compounded, they say, by an ongoing environment in which politically correct management decisions compromise the elite recruitment and excellence for which the Secret Service was distinguished when it was managed by the Department of Treasury.

The Secret Service is now under the Transportation Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. WND has confirmed that several Secret Service agents currently assigned to papal security for the upcoming visit are seeking to transfer to other federal government agencies, because discipline and morale has deteriorated to dangerous levels under current TSA management. “Secret Service are fleeing in droves seeking security positions in other government agencies,” one Secret Service source for this article told WND on condition of anonymity. FULL REPORT

The post Secret Service Issue Warning to Pope, Life in Danger Coming to US appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Russia Unveils Tank-Mounted Rocket Launcher Capable of Incinerating 8 City Blocks

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 08:20 PM PDT

When the Soviets were thinking about landwar in the late 1970s, they struck upon idea: How about strapping as many rockets as possible to a T-72 tank chassis, and using it on the battlefield? Thus, the TOS-1 Heavy Flamethrower System was conceived. If you’re confused by the “flamethrower” bit in that designation, it’s understandable. The TOS-1 (and its more modern variant, the TOS-1A) look nothing like traditional flamethrowers, either handheld or tank-mounted, used in World War II and other conflicts.

Instead, the TOS-1 is designated a flamethrower because, in addition to traditional incendiary rockets, it can also fire thermobaric rockets.Thermobaric rockets are a “fuel-air” weapon system. When fired, the rockets disperse a cloud of flammable liquid into the air around the target, and then ignite it. The results are devastating—not only is the explosion significantly longer and the shockwave significantly hotter and stronger than a conventional warhead, but all the oxygen in the near vicinity is also consumed, creating a partial vacuum. FULL REPORT

The post Russia Unveils Tank-Mounted Rocket Launcher Capable of Incinerating 8 City Blocks appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

China Stocks Sink Again as Growth Concerns Spur Investor Exodus

Posted: 15 Sep 2015 08:13 PM PDT

We could be prepared for more turbulence in the Stock Market soon as China’s stocks slumped for a second day in thin turnover amid concern government measures to support the world’s second-largest equity market and economy are failing.The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.5 percent to 3,005.17 at the close, led by commodity producers and technology companies. About 14 stocks declined for each one that rose on the gauge, while volumes were 36 percent below the 30-day average. The index completed its biggest two-day loss in three weeks with a decline of 6.1 percent.

Mainland Chinese equity funds lost 44 percent of their value at the end of last month compared with July, data showed Monday, as unprecedented state measures to stop a $5 trillion selloff failed to avert redemption. Data this month showed five interest-rate cuts since November and plans to boost state spending have yet to revive an economy weighed down by overcapacity and producer-price deflation. Yuan positions at the central bank and financial institutions fell by the most on record in August, a sign that policy makers stepped up intervention to support the currency. FULL REPORT

The post China Stocks Sink Again as Growth Concerns Spur Investor Exodus 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
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Dear Christian School Teachers…

The Reformed Reader

J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings Yesterday I mentioned J. G. Machen’s 1933 address to the Educational Convention of the National Union of Christian Schools.  Near the end of his address, he had some encouraging words for Christian school teachers (and I echo them):

“I cannot bring this little address to a close without trying to pay some sort of tribute to you have so wonderfully maintained the Christian schools.  Some of you, no doubt, are serving as teachers on salaries necessarily small.  What words can I find to celebrate the heroism and unselfishness of such service?  Others of you are maintaining the schools by your gifts, in the midst of many burdens and despite the present poverty and distress.  When I think of such true Christian heroism as yours, I count everything that I ever tried to do in my life to be pitifully unworthy.  I can only say that I stand reverently…

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Sex is less significant that you think

Tim Chester

In a previous post I argued that sex is more significant than our culture thinks it is. Our culture see it simply as an act of physical pleasure. But in fact sex binds us to another in a profound – in a way mirrors the union between Christ and his church

But in other ways sex has become too significant in our culture. It has become a way of salvation.

  • Young girls want acceptance and look for it in teenage sex.
  • Young men want respect or power and look for it in sexual conquests.
  • Single people want fulfilment and look for it in a life partner.
  • The middle-aged want life as death approaches and look for it in a younger lover.
  • Men want to be adored or to be in control and look for it the fantasy world of porn where every women gives herself to you.

We look for…

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A sin against yourself

Tim Chester

In a previous post we addressed the question of why Christians seem so hung up about sex. We saw that our bodies matter and what we do with our bodies matter.

This is Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 6. In verse 18 he says: ‘Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.’

Sexual immorality in all its forms is against yourself. This seems a bit odd. Is this proof of a Christian hang up about sex – that sex is specially bad. What about drug abuse or suicide? Surely they too are sins against your body.

The point is the Bible is talking about more than just the physical stuff we’re made from. It’s not just talking about bone and muscle. By ‘body’ it means our total selves. Who we are. Our identity.

The…

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Sex is more significant than you think

Tim Chester

Why do Christians get so hung up about sex? What’s all the fuss about? Why make it such a big deal? Perhaps you’ve heard sentiments likes that. Maybe you’ve thought them yourself. What’s wrong with sex between consenting adults? It’s not breaking any law. It’s a natural desire. Why suppress it?

These are the questions I want to address in a short series of posts.

Actually they’re not new questions. Two thousands years ago people in Corinth were saying similar sorts of things. We mustn’t think that people in Bible times were prudish. Or that the Bible’s teaching was simply a product of its time. Not at all. The culture of Corinth was very promiscuous – more so that 21st century Britain. So what God says here was just as counter-cultural then as now.

In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul responds to some of the slogans the people of Corinth used…

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Czar Putin makes his move into Mideast. Amidst vacuum created by Obama, Russian leader making aggressive military moves in Iran, Syria & throughout the epicenter. Just how worried should we be?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

(Central Israel) — Vladimir Putin, the Czar of Moscow, is making his move.

The Kremlin has long wanted to dominate the Middle East. Since the dawn of the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy was to prevent this from happening. A close look at Putin’s own words showjust how dangerous he really is.

As I have been warning for some time, however, President Obama can’t or won’t see the rising danger. His policy of full-scale American retreat, appeasement and surrender in the Middle East has created a political and military vacuum. And Czar Putin is taking full advantage.

Indeed, in recent months — and recent days — the Russian leader has been making very aggressive moves.

Putin is solidifying and intensifying the Russian alliance with Iran. He has fully backed the insane Iran nuclear deal, despite the fact that the country is run by leaders who embrace…

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(LifeSiteNews 10th Video) – Planned Parenthood caught: We make “fair amount” selling “fresh’” baby eyes, gonads

A 10th video has surfaced. LifeSiteNews has the horrific details:

Planned Parenthood officials are proud of being able to harvest “fresh” babies’ organs, including eyes and genitals, and admit such practices “generate a fair amount of income” in the latest video released by the Center for Medical Progress, released this morning.

The video, the fourth in CMP’s “Human Capital” series, captured abortion industry leaders saying that money for aborted babies’ body parts is a “valid exchange” – but the organization will not be “bullied by ridiculous laws.”

Leaders also admit the national office deliberately keeps all discussion of such activity at arms-length, and exposing the gruesome undertaking could be “a huge PR issue.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-planned-parenthood-officials-boast-they-make-a-fair-amount-of-inco/

Undeserved Favor, Unfathomable Sin, Unconditional Love, and Uncomfortable Discipline

Unfathomable Grace

David was the recipient of God’s undeserved favor. God, through the prophet Samuel, came looking for this young man. He was the one selected to be God’s messiah. He was the anointed one who was called to shepherd Israel. He was the one specially filled with God’s Spirit and enabled to write inspired poetry. David was granted divine favor in marriage, in business, and in war. Due to God’s predestination and providence, David transitioned from the sheep pen to the palace. And so it is and will be for all of us who have been specially called according to God’s purpose.

However, sadly, David committed several unfathomable sins. He stayed home from battle. He lusted after another man’s wife, then he sought to cover his sin and make Uriah believe the child to be his. When this didn’t work, he encouraged Joab to commit murder with him in order to tie up…

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Convenient Christianity is not genuine Christianity

Possessing the Treasure

National Cathedral - Washington DC

by Mike Ratliff

16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait, and let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!”
17 Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed you king over Israel, 18 and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘ Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated. ’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?”
20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “ I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag…

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