Daily Archives: September 17, 2015

September 17, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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

In 1993, only 52 percent of infants born at 24 weeks survived. But in 2012, 65 percent survived. And the percentage increase in healthy premature infants is even more significant: 47 percent of infants born at 27 weeks in 2012 survived without major illnesses compared to 29 percent in 1993.

Christian Headlines reports:

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

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

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When I Don’t Feel Forgiven

God’s truth and the grace of Christ are not qualified, far less nullified, by our feelings. However we might feel, however desperately wretched we might be, if we have believed in God’s Son and are resting the whole weight of who we are on Him alone, we are the most blessed and privileged of beings in the cosmos, whether we feel it to be so or not. We are loved in Christ with an everlasting love.

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Don’t Worry About Those 4 Blood Moons

We’re not meant to bail the world. We’re meant to work with Christ in redeeming it. That won’t happen until we scuttle our desire for escape and embrace Paul’s ethic of work and faithfulness. That is how we live like—and even in a sense become—Christians.

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Because SCIENCE: Homophobia Now Being Labeled a ‘Mental Disease’

The damage done to clear thinking by pretending that batteries of questions of this sort adequately assess emotional states cannot be underestimated. The authors gave no indication of having considered religious or philosophical explanations. Yet the lead researcher could confidently declare that “homophobia” is a “disease,” and one “associated with potentially severe psychopathologies.” This is not science. It is either shameless advocacy, sloppy thinking, or both.

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In Welcoming Sanders, Liberty University Shows the Left How to Handle Dissent

Why is it that conservative Christians are the adults in the room while liberals turn schools into ideologically rigid precincts with safe houses for infantile students? Many of us have observed that liberalism is illiberal and intolerant, often to the point of intimidation or violence. But why is this? Many of us have observed that liberalism is illiberal and intolerant, often to the point of intimidation or violence. But why is this? One answer might be that liberalism is an ideology, and Christianity is not.

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What the Husband of a Chronically Ill Wife Wants He to Know

I say this, even though I grieve with you; even though I pray and long for your health and strength; even though I do get weary and overwhelmed sometimes.  But what it all comes down to is this: When I vowed “in sickness and in health” I wasn’t just saying words.  I know that health and sickness only come from the hand of God, and that He is good.

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Anglican Church in Kenya Expels Priests Accused of Practicing Homosexuality

He announced the tribunal formed to investigate the conduct of the priests had established some of the accused had been having sexual relations with fellow priests and members of their congregations for a long time. Kagunda said the church would withdraw the priests’ licenses but would not report the cases to the police, in spite of homosexuality being illegal in Kenya. He said it was up to the aggrieved parties to decide whether to report the cases to the police or not.

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When Complementarianism “Slides Into Sheer Silliness”

The New Testament instructions on how maleness and femaleness should be applied seem, at least to me, to focus almost entirely on relationships in the gathered church and in the household… When transposed into a modern key, therefore, I cannot see warrant in Scripture for saying that women should not manage men at work, tell men what to do, govern the country, or (in John’s language) influence men in personal and directive ways.

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Help in Overcoming Church Hurt

Help in Overcoming Church Hurt

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Desiring God

Have you been hurt by a church? If so, you’re not alone. As a pastor of a church, I’ve heard stories from people who have found church confusing, contrarian, or even damaging. Not every church hurts people, but most churches…

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The 75 thoughts you have while trying to have a Quiet Time

The 75 thoughts you have while trying to have a Quiet Time

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Christian Today

The 75 thoughts you have while trying to have a Quiet Time

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Is Love Boring?

by Erin Davis

I’m prone to chase the feeling that love gives me instead of true love. You, too? What if we’d stop chasing the warm fuzzies and start cultivating a heart for God-defined love?

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.


Pope Francis Is to the Vatican, What Obama Is to the U.S.

When Pope Benedict suddenly stepped down from the papacy, I had a feeling that something was amiss at the Vatican. Actually, things are always amiss at the Vatican, but this was different. It was like things were out of control; or perhaps someone else was in control. It took less than two days for the conclave to usher in their new pope.

We found out that Pope Francis was the first Jesuit to ever be a pope — the very first! As I researched this more, I realized that the Jesuits were always considered the military arm of the Vatican. Even Catholic priests were shocked when Francis was placed in his position. I began to do more research on the Jesuits.

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U.S. priests accused of sex abuse get second chance in South America

USA Today has a story that’s guaranteed to leave folks outraged — but probably not surprised. According to Global Post columnist Will Carless: “Victim advocates say that relocating priests to poorer parishes overseas is the church’s latest strategy for protecting its reputation.”

Now to Carless’ report:

Vatican CityThe Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a yearlong GlobalPost investigation has found.

Reporters confronted five accused priests in as many countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. One priest who relocated to a poor parish in Peru admitted on camera to molesting a 13-year-old boy while working in the Jackson, Miss., diocese. Another is currently under investigation in Brazil after allegations arose that he abused disadvantaged children living in an orphanage he founded there.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/17/us-priests-sex-abuse-relocate-south-america/32551455/


Is church for seekers or saints?

From church marketing, to “seeker-friendly” or “seeker-sensitive” strategies, the visible Church still seems to want to make church all about the “unchurched.” Why is that? Why do we think being part of a church is the end-all “whew!” goal of evangelism? What happens to the saints hoping to be sanctified when church is all about […]

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Elton John Thanks Putin For Calling Him, Will Meet Face-To-Face To Discuss LGBT Rights

According to CBS:

Elton John thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for reaching out to him to talk about LGBT rights.

The legendary artist posted on his Instagram Tuesday that Putin called him by telephone and they will meet in Russia to talk about LGBT equality.

Elton John Thanks Putin For Calling Him, Will Meet Face-To-Face To Discuss LGBT Rights


Fiorina: “I dare” Clinton, Obama to watch Planned Parenthood videos

According to Christian Examiner:

AbortionRepublican president candidate Carly Fiorina stood out during Wednesday’s GOP debate for her answers to a host of questions, but it was her response to a question about federal funding of Planned Parenthood that had social media and pro-life leaders buzzing.

CNN’s Dana Bash had asked several candidates whether they supported shutting down the federal government during budget talks over the issue of Planned Parenthood, when Fiorina got her turn.

“I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes,” Fiorina said, referencing undercover videos made by the Center for Medical Progress. “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.”

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/fiorina.i.dare.clinton.obama.to.watch.planned.parenthood.videos/49542.htm


Heidelcast 96: Reformation Then And Now

Confessional Reformed theology, piety, and practice does not seem to be sweeping the field in North America but it is prospering in other parts of the globe. In this episode Dan Borvan joins us to get us up to speed about the state of the Reformed church across the UK and Europe. This is a […]

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You Will Be Hated

Christians are a funny lot. They will go on and on about how they claim every promise of God. But when it comes to crunch time, they don’t really believe that for a moment. What they do believe is that they will relish and cherish the nice, uplifting and positive promises, while they will simply ignore the not so pleasant ones.

And the simple truth is this: there are plenty of not so very cheery promises in Scripture. One of the most widely pronounced promises, but the hardest to accept, are all the promises of persecution, suffering and hatred by the world. We are promised these things time and time again.

The Bible is full of such talk, yet I hear of very few Christians claiming these promises. And they most certainly are promises. Instead, I see Christians running in the other direction, denying that the Christian life could ever be hard, difficult, onerous and fraught with dangers.

Indeed, a huge problem with the contemporary church is it is telling people falsehoods. It is telling people sweet nothings. It is giving them fake promises. It is filling them with false expectations. We tell the lost that if they come to Jesus they will live a life of fun and pleasure, a problem-free life filled with good things and great times.

We refuse to tell them the truth that coming to Jesus is the hardest thing they will ever do: it will involve taking up your cross, denying yourself, resisting the flesh, and being hated by the world. That is not a very cushy message to give to a would-be disciple of Christ, but it happens to be the biblical one.

stephenIndeed, just think about one of the very first things Saul heard as he encountered the living Christ. As is recorded in Acts 9:15-16: “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’.”

Hmm, no talk there about your “best life now” or about riches and success and the good life. No talk about getting a good self-image or losing weight for Jesus. Instead, all Saul got was a stark and ominous word about how much he must suffer for the sake of Christ.

And that is true of every single one of us. If we are a true disciple of Christ, we will suffer, we will be persecuted, and we will be hated big time by those who are not his. Indeed, one of the best tests as to whether we are really saved and really walking in his footsteps is how much flak, opposition and enmity we are getting.

If we are just smoothly running along though life with everyone loving us and happy with us, we can ask whether we are in fact a true child of God. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones once put it: “If you are suffering as a Christian, and because you are a Christian, it is one of the surest proofs you can ever have of the fact that you are a child of God.”

But just in case some of you are a bit dubious here, let me offer a few of the many clear promises of how we will be treated if we are fully sold out to Jesus Christ:

Matthew 5:11-12: Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 10:22: And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:9: Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

Luke 21:12-19: But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life.

John 3:19-21: This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 15:18-25: If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason’.

1 Thessalonians 3:4: For truly, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and you know.

2 Timothy 3:12: In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Many more such texts could be offered here. As I often tell my students, if the bullets are not flying overhead, then perhaps you are not doing things right. Sure, we don’t go out of our way looking for trouble. We seek to be peacemakers where possible. But to simply stand faithfully for Jesus Christ will guarantee opposition, enmity and hatred from others – and that even includes from other “Christians” as well!

And if you stand in any sort of public and high profile way as you elevate Jesus, stand for righteousness, and renounce evil, the bullets will come fast and furious indeed. The ministry I have involves almost daily hate mail, abuse, fierce opposition, and even the occasional death threats.

I have had entire websites set up just to attack me and vilify me. There have been annual awards given out in my name by angry atheists. I have even had Wikipedia pages set up about me by my enemies, filled with lies and calumny. And plenty of websites have whole pages dedicated to maliciously attacking me.

I just stumbled upon one the other day. I don’t necessarily want to draw attention to these hate sites, not do I usually spend any time looking through them. But this one was from an atheist wiki site. I will just offer the first statement from the page: “Bill Muehlenberg is an American-Australian Christian and homophobic/transphobic hate leader.”

If you are interested, you can read more here: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bill_Muehlenberg

Such is life when you seek to serve God, stand up for truth in the public arena, and promote biblical values in an ungodly and demonic-controlled culture. So it should come as no surprise to get such hate, abuse, persecution and vilification. It goes with the territory. It is part of the Christian’s job description.

It should not surprise us, and we should in fact fully expect it. Whenever we stand up for what is right, we will get the enemies crawling out of the woodwork. We all should keep in mind what Churchill once said about this: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

Let me close with a few quotes from some great saints of God on this issue. They knew what they were talking about, and we need to listen to them carefully and prayerfully:

“Why do we expect to be better treated in this world than Jesus was?” Leonard Ravenhill

“Why in God’s name do you expect to be accepted everywhere? How is it the world couldn’t get on with the holiest man that ever lived, and it can get on with you and me?” Leonard Ravenhill

“I was honored today with having a few stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of dead cat thrown at me.” George Whitefield

“Persecution is the heirloom of the church, and the ensign of the elect.” Charles Spurgeon

“Laughter, ridicule, opposition and persecution are often the only reward which Christ’s followers get from the world.” J.C. Ryle

“Opposition! It is a bad sign for the Christianity of this day that it provokes so little opposition. If there were no other evidence of it being wrong, I should know from that. When the Church and the world can jog along together comfortably, you may be sure there is something wrong. The world has not altered. Its spirit is exactly the same as it ever was, and if Christians were equally faithful and devoted to the Lord, and separated from the world, living so that their lives were a reproof to all ungodliness, the world would hate them as much as it ever did. It is the Church that has altered, not the world.” Catherine Booth

“We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes – to stand and not faint” Corrie Ten Boom


Friendliness – Church & Culture Blog

How should churches position themselves, optimally, to reach the nones? How do you “open the front door” of your church to someone you have invited who may actually come? Obviously, you must convey grace and truth through the message, but there is so much more.
 
Beginning with something as simple as friendliness.
 
In an interesting study, the Technical Assistance Research Program study for the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that 96 percent of unhappy customers never complain about rude or unfriendly treatment, but 90 percent of those unhappy customers will not return to the place where that unfriendliness was manifest. Further, each one of those unhappy customers will tell nine other people about the lack of friendliness and courteousness, and 13 percent will tell more than twenty other people.
 
A later study by the same organization discovered that the number one reason individuals do not return to a particular establishment is an indifferent, unfriendly employee’s attitude.
 
Now, we all know that every church thinks it’s friendly. I’ve never met a church yet where the people said, “Yeah, we’re mean and proud of it!”
 
No! Every church thinks it’s friendly. But what that means is…
they are friendly to each other
they are friendly to people they know
they are friendly to people they like
they are friendly to people who are like them
That’s not friendliness; that’s a clique or, at best, a club.
 
To prove the point, another recent LifeWay Research survey found that while three out of every four churchgoers say they have significant relationships with people at their church, they admit they don’t make an effort with new people. In fact, only one in every six even try.
 
That’s not very friendly.
 
This needs to be a cultivated part of your DNA. At Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck), where I serve as the senior pastor, we’ve worked very hard to be intentional about something that many may feel can only be left to chance. We’ve built an entire ministry around it called Guest Services, and it oversees greeters, ushers, hospitality and much more – all geared toward the experience of first impressions and friendliness. It’s one of our largest and most strategic efforts.
 
But friendliness holds more than a smile and a welcome. It has to do with an atmosphere of acceptance. Two words are key here: atmosphere and acceptance.
 
First, atmosphere. Churches have cultures – their DNA. The goal is to cultivate one that is accepting. If you are going to reach the nones, they are going to come to you as a none. That means they will come as couples living together, as gay couples, pregnant outside of marriage, addicted, skeptical. Is that going to raise an eyebrow? Or is it taken in stride in a way that makes the person feel instantly at ease?
 
At Meck, it’s just another day of normal.
 
But then there is the acceptance itself. Acceptance is not affirmation, but it is an embrace. It involves starting where someone actually is, warts and all, and then loving them, caring for them, and enveloping them into the community. This is more key than you may think.
 
It is one thing to create a welcoming atmosphere; it is another to actually wrap your arms around someone who is sin-stained and sin-soaked in an effort to lead him or her to the cross. In other words, it’s ministry in the trenches. It means talking about marriage to those who are living together; it means helping teenagers involved in cutting or hooking up; it means working with a Christian wife who has a non-Christian husband who wants them to enter an “open” marriage; it means going as pastors to a house that seems to be demonically influenced because of the occupant’s past occult activity; and so much more.
 
All to say, an atmosphere of acceptance is also a culture of involvement and investment in the trenches of lives that have been lived and ordered apart from Christ.
 
It’s time to get a church life of little more than “potluck dinners” out of your head.
 
James Emery White

The race isn’t over

Five years ago, I was blessed to be a part of something amazing: A phenomenal program and ministry I was invited to be a part as a researcher and co-host.  I smile when I recall just how frightened and naive I was in those early days about what I had signed up for! But with Ezekiel […]

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“Global Sustainability”? Or the Coming One World Government?

Ending poverty.  Sustainable global resources.  Protecting the environment.  Economic equality. Nice quaint little talking points used by proponents of globalism at the United Nations to bring “peace and justice” on earth.  But the Bible tells us there is one to come with a similar false agenda–the man of perdition. Agenda 21 […]

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5776 – A Prophetic Glimpse into 2016

In this special segment I am joined with Jason Armstrong of “Remnant Fire Ministries” as we discuss the significance of the Year 5776 on the Hebraic Calendar and what to watch for in the coming 12 months.


Obama Set To Deport 12 Iraqi Christian Refugees While Allowing Thousands Of Muslims

Nearly half of the 27 Iraqi Christians the Obama administration has been holding for the past six months at an ICE detention center in Otay Mesa, California, are set to be deported in coming weeks, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday…………. Click here for full story


Outrage Against Christians: Public Schools In US Shun Christianity, Welcome Islam

Christians are up in arms against what they perceive to be a radical and sudden transformation of the American public school system where Christianity is being eased out of children’s education and replaced with Islamic “indoctrination.”………… Click here for full story


I Am A Christian, But I Don’t Follow Christ

By now many of you have no doubt seen the viral video “I’m a Christian, but…”. Not only has the video been making the rounds, but the hashtag #IAmAChristianBut is ubiquitous on social media right now.…… Click here for full story


Science is a Faith- A System of Belief

You have to chuckle at people who insist that, in opposition to theology, scientific endeavors are ‘objective and dispassionate’.  As Stephen Charnock put it so brilliantly, centuries ago,

There is more of belief than reason in the world; all instructors and masters in sciences and arts require first a belief in their disciples, and a resignation of their understandings and wills to them. And it is the wisdom of God to require that of man, which his own reason makes him submit to another, which is his fellow-creature. He therefore that quarrels with the condition of faith must quarrel with all the world, since belief is the beginning of all knowledge; indeed, and most of the knowledge in the world may rather come under the title of belief than of knowledge.

Science requires acceptance of its system just as surely as theology does.  Don’t allow it to fool you into thinking otherwise.


Browse Worthy: Drunk with the Blood

The tenth video from the Center for Medical Progress on Planned Parenthood’s dealing in and profiting from the body parts of aborted fetuses has been released. Notice as you watch these videos that as the powerful figures within Planned Parenthood are discussing how “everything we provide is fresh,” they are often doing so as they drink wine and liquor. As the prophets warned, a nation is in trouble when its leaders are drunk with blood and power.

One hopeful impact of these videos is that Republican presidential candidates have been emboldened to speak more strongly against abortion. Unlike the tepid stances by candidates in previous campaigns, a number of current candidates are mincing no words.


God’s Power Will Guard You

God’s Power Will Guard YouGod is guarding an infinitely valuable inheritance for you in heaven, and guarding you through faith to make sure you receive it. In this lab, John Piper pulls parts several implications from the new birth, explaining the new hope we have, and the sovereign hands that hold us.

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Eight Unexpected Blessings of Christianity

By Chuck Lawless

My seventh-grade classmate who shared the story of Christ with me was a matter-of-fact kind of guy. Here’s generally the way he told me the gospel: “You’re going to hell, and you need to get saved.” In fact, he was even more pointed than that on the mornings when he’d meet me at the classroom door with, “It’s a good thing you lived through the night . . . because you’d be in hell right now if you hadn’t.”

To be honest, my primary motivation for following Christ as a 13-year old was to escape the hell I’d heard so much about from my friend. I can look back now over the last 40+ years, though, and I see so many benefits I never even considered back then:

  1. Sleeping without worry. When you first hear the gospel the way I did, you don’t sleep well. I will never forget the first night’s sleep I had after Jesus saved me. I slept like a baby because I no longer worried about what would happen to me when I died.
  2. Not fearing death. This many years after God saved me (and obviously closer to death now than I was then), I still don’t worry about it. I don’t want to die today, and I’d prefer it not hurt when it comes – but I do not fear it.
  3. Gaining family outside my family. By that I mean that God has given me folks who’ve become as much my family as my family of origin. The love God gives us for brothers and sisters in Christ is an amazing, uniting, satisfying love that can carry us through even when we haven’t felt loved otherwise.
  4. Being redirected to better plans. When I became a Christian, I was sure I was going to be a teacher. I made those plans in kindergarten (really!), and nothing was going to change them – except, that is, for a call of God that would eventually allow me to proclaim His Word and God’s plan is always right.
  5. Meeting my wife. Few people know at age 13 the person they are going to marry. I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t know her at age 13, 15, 20, or 25. She’s in my life now because two church secretaries thought I needed help in meeting the right person and making the best marriage decision as I approached my 30s. They were right.
  6. Not worrying if life doesn’t make sense. I’m enough of a control freak that I’d prefer to be in charge, but I’ve learned that God really is sovereign over life. If things don’t go my way, that doesn’t mean it’s time to get stressed. God will work it all out.
  7. Learning that “stuff” doesn’t matter. Sure, I’m glad we have a home, a car, etc. – but I know from conducting dozens of funerals over the years that you really don’t take it with you. It’s seriously liberating when you stop worrying about stuff.
  8. Being forgiven over and over again. At my conversion, I was grateful that God forgave my sins. What I didn’t know then was that the rest of my life would be about God’s forgiving me each day, each hour, each moment. His forgiving love really is sweet.

The peace God gave me about eternity when I became a Christ follower is still real to me today. What I didn’t realize then – but I deeply appreciate now – is that faith is as much present tense as it is future tense.

Maybe you know non-believers and struggling believers you might direct to this post today. Send them this way, and let’s pray they would see that today is the day to serve Him.

What other blessings have you discovered during your Christian walk?

Be sure to check out Dr. Lawless’ daily blog posts at http://www.chucklawless.com. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

The post Eight Unexpected Blessings of Christianity appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


How the ‘Other Gospel’ Hurts You!

Guest blogger and biblical counselor Julie Ganschow questions pastors who send the hurting to mental health clinics in this provocative post, reprinted here with her permission. She reminds us that God says his Word gives everything we need for life and godliness. At her blog, she names it: The Gospel of In-sufficiency. This other gospel hurts you!

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I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 
Galatians 1:6-8
As I prepare to begin another round of training others to counsel biblically, I was thinking about how often “preaching another gospel” goes on Sunday after Sunday, and in numerous counseling offices of the pastors of far too many churches where the Word of God is supposed to be sufficient.

What Is This Other Gospel?

What is this other gospel? It is the gospel of the IN-sufficiency of the Bible to address the problems we face. Pastors and “Christian” counselors who deny that God’s Word is enough and sufficient, bringing everything we need for life and godliness are preaching another gospel and a false one at that.

There are far too many women and men reaching out to their pastor or church counselor with an issue of depression being sent down the road to the “Christian clinic” to meet with an integrationist who will mix psychology and the Bible. Not only depression, but anxiety, fear, worry, money problems, marital problems, child related issues, and virtually every problem common to man!The integrationist, who I am sure is very well meaning, does not hold the Word of God in the esteemed position it is worthy of. They do not believe that the Bible has the answers people need. Instead, they seek to medicate their emotions with drugs and/or talk therapy allowing them to rehash their hurts and pain and feelings to no good end.

How the Other Gospel Harms

How do I know this is true? What right do I have to say these things? Only the experience of the counselees who come to us having tried all the ways of the world. They arrive hopeless and miserable truly believing all hope is gone for them or their marriage. During the process of gathering data these women trot out their diagnosis list: Bi-polar, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and so on. They are usually taking some psychotropic medication(s) in varying amounts that are really not helping. Often, the women and men have been in therapy for months and no positive changes have taken place in their lives. They have become numb due to the drugs but it hasn’t really fixed the problems.

Ministry to home and family is in ruins in most of these cases. Mommy is not available because she is “having a bad day” or “not up to it.” Her husband comes home to find his wife listless and wilted on the couch, the house a mess, and there’s no dinner because she felt too bad to do much of anything. Church service, or service of any kind to others is virtually non-existent. There is no one-anothering going on in her life because her life is wrapped around herself and how she feels that day.

God Has the Compassionate Solution

Do I sound harsh? Unloving? Cruel? My “voice” is full of nothing but empathy and compassion for these dear ladies who have been so led astray by those who would call sin sickness. This is the result of calling sin “sickness” in the church.

If this post finds you in this kind of a place today, please understand that my desire is to open your eyes and reveal the truth from the Word of God to your heart. It is crucial that you understand that there is NO problem you face that God does not have an answer for. It is possible that there are sin issues in your heart and life that have led you to this place. A good, godly counselor can help you unearth them in a relatively short amount of time.

The true gospel is that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I assume you are a sinner, as I am.

If sin is what has led you to this pit in your life right now that is the best possible news you could ever ask for! Jesus died for that sin, He conquered it, nailed it to the cross and spiritually you have already died to it!

When you think of your anxiety or anger you must realize that those actions are only results of the true issues of the heart that lead you to sin in those ways. Pride may blind you to this truth, but diligent study of the Word will reveal the sin residing in your heart. You must return to the true gospel of Jesus Christ that reveals to us our ongoing need for Him and His cleansing and forgiveness.

More Resources

DOWNLOADS: If Julie’s words touched you, why not download one of these hope-filled resources?

Faith Versus Feeling

Freedom Through Forgiveness

Marriage Quiz

COUNSELING: We’d love to come alongside you in your hurts, point you to the One who has the real solutions, and help you make practical, positive change leading to peace and contentment. Please contact us to make a counseling appointment at one of our four locations or by Skype. Click here for hope.

photo credit: IMG_1056 via photopin (license)

The post How the ‘Other Gospel’ Hurts You! appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


Four Prayers for the New School Year

Our youngest left for college a few weeks ago. For the first time, my husband and I have no one to wake for school, help with homework, or share the car keys.

I’m not sure when ABCs became SATs—overnight, it seems. Too quickly, we moved from Play-Doh, training wheels, and Legos (well, no one is ever too grown up for Legos) to driver’s licenses and dating. I blinked, and my two babies were suddenly young adults writing college application essays and working summer jobs.

We’ve heard a lot about helicopter parents in recent years. The temptation to protect our kids from all disappointment and step in to solve all problems is huge. We love our children, so naturally, we want to keep them from harm. The trouble is that we live in a world of trouble, and even the most protective parents can’t insulate kids from everything. We train up our children the best we can, but in the end, we trust that God is a far more capable protector than we are, and we choose to trust him with our children as they move into the next chapter of their lives.

While we can’t step in and solve every one of our kids’ problems, we can step in and pray.

TWEET

And so while we can’t step in and solve every problem the coming years will bring, we can step in and pray. Thinking ahead to what our kids will face as they begin their adult lives, I am praying that God will go before them and grant them the following:

May God Grant Them Peace

School comes more easily for some than others. A recent WebMD study reports that 53% of parents surveyed report that school/homework is the source of stress in children.

From the study:

The stress kids now feel in early childhood continues to mount as kids get older. The American Psychiatric Association’s Stress in America survey finds that high school students report stress levels that top those of adults. More than half of all college students (54%) have felt “overwhelming anxiety” sometime within the last 12 months, according to the American College Health Association, up from 48.4% in 2010.

In college, many students discover that, unlike in high school, they are no longer the smartest kids in the class and that they now compete among an entire freshman class of smart kids. They find professors who neither take attendance nor check homework. Independent learning is required, and that ambiguity introduces a whole new kind of stress.

Our kids face anxiety from preschool through adulthood, but Jesus promised peace:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

I pray that God will give my kids rest in the trials ahead, that he’ll calm their fears and ease their anxieties, and that he’ll give them the peace that only he can give. In this world, they’ll face trouble. But they can take heart because he has overcome the world (John 16:33).

May God Grant them Wisdom

I want more for my children than success at school, more than knowledge alone; I want them to seek and find wisdom. We can find many people with great educations and impressive work experience but with very little wisdom in dealing with the surprises of life. We also know people with no more than a high school education whose wisdom in handling adversities is astounding.

From Ravi Zacharias (“The Beginning of Wisdom,” June 20, 2013):

Some of us will be granted access to fine educations, others offered an array of possibilities for achievement. Many of us work diligently to position ourselves for extraordinary success in a rapidly-changing world. In any of these possible triumphs a sense of invincibility can be engendered — regardless of what measure of turbulence may lie ahead.

Yet unfortunately, academic or material advancement does not necessarily confer wisdom. How foolish it would be for us to take what generations preceding us have valued in coping with life’s turbulence and cast it all aside because we are “modern.”

God’s Word tells us that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).  Wisdom is mentioned over 40 times in the book of Proverbs alone. It belongs to the humble (Proverbs 11:2) and the righteous (8:12). It is more valuable than gold (16:16) and jewels (8:11). Wisdom is as sweet as honey (24:14) and brings the kind of pleasure that wrongdoing can never deliver (10:23).

So I pray that God will grant my children wisdom to first seek him, and then to apply the knowledge he grants them to do what God asks of them.

May God Grant them Endurance

The race that our children must run requires endurance, and not just to accomplish school work or finish a course of study. Endurance will be required to handle difficult choices, abrasive people, and stressful relationships. They will need endurance to live as Christians in a hostile world.

I pray that my children will seek the endurance that can only be found in their individual relationships with the Lord. May they find what is promised to them in scripture so that, with Paul, they can one day say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

May God Grant Them Hope Found in Salvation

School will present our kids with new ideas and new opportunities to succeed. They’ll discover skills they didn’t know they have. They’ll face many counterfeit gods, but I pray that they look beyond the allure of achievement and find their fulfillment in Christ alone.

Achievement can never replace the hope that comes from a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Whether a son or daughter made a profession of faith at a young age or more recently, or perhaps not at all yet, we can pray that God will grant him or her the kind of hope penned by the songwriter years ago:

My hope is built on nothing less

than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;

all other ground is sinking sand,

all other ground is sinking sand.

(Edward Mote, 1834)

I pray that my children will grow in faith. That they will experience the hope that is only available through salvation so that they say of themselves, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

May God grant them peace, wisdom, endurance, and hope. Amen.

What other prayers do you pray for your kids?

RELATED POSTS:

The post Four Prayers for the New School Year appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


09/17/15 Go On Your Way

READING: Daniel 10-12

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Because of my interest in spiritual warfare, I have spent much time in Daniel 10 examining the nature of the “prince of Persia” and the “prince of Greece.” This chapter takes us behind the scenes into the heavenly nature of the spiritual battle, and it leaves us (or at least, me) pondering things beyond our view.

Then, chapter 11 has some of the most detailed prophecies in the Bible. Trying to read through each verse, understand its application, and then place it in history is a tedious task indeed. The verses in chapters 11 and 12 that may point to the future Antichrist are equally challenging. So, frankly, the final words to Daniel in this book are a rather comforting way to end this book:

Dan. 12:13  But as for you, go on your way to the end; you will rest, then rise to your destiny at the end of the days.”

Loosely paraphrased, this final word is, “Just live your life and do your work. Serve until your death, and trust in the reality of resurrection at the end of time.” When I can’t figure out all the details of the last days and the future Kingdom of the Lord, these words make a lot of sense to me.

PRAYER: “God, teach me from Your Word, including those parts of the Word that are difficult to understand. But, when I don’t know it all, give me faith to trust the Words that are so clear. Let me walk with You every day and trust You with the tomorrows.”


9 More Findings from Church Health Surveys

Some months ago, I posted general findings about churches based on our Lawless Group’s Church Health Survey. Here are nine more of those general findings.

  1. Worship is often rated as the highest area of the church’s health. That doesn’t mean, though, that church members see worship as healthy – it’s just that they see worship as healthier than any other area of the church. Even a high-ranking worship service might still be viewed as unhealthy. As noted in my previous posting, evangelism and discipleship are usually ranked the lowest.
  2. Churches tend to be inwardly focused.  It’s not uncommon for church members to tell us that “there are enough churches in our community” or “we need to meet the needs of our members before we minister to others” or “a church should not start a new church until it has adequate surplus in the budget.”
  3. Church members don’t know what the church is doing.  It’s quite common that CHS respondents tell us they don’t know if the church provides evangelism training, offers mentoring for new believers, helps members use their spiritual gifts in ministry, or provides a number of other opportunities. Sometimes, respondents don’t even know if the church has a prayer list or a prayer room.
  4. Church members usually know when there’s ongoing struggle. They tell us if the church has seen recent conflict, and they recognize when those conflicts are unresolved. They have no problem admitting when their church has cliques. Interestingly, church staff are sometimes less aware of conflict.
  5. Increasingly, more respondents are unsure about the way to heaven. An increasing percentage is undecided about whether Jesus is the only way to heaven or whether good people of other faiths may go to heaven. Perhaps not surprisingly, younger respondents tend to be more uncertain.
  6. At least according to CHS respondents, churches do not deal “quickly with open, flagrant, and unrepentant sin of church members.” I say “at least according to CHS respondents” because some churches may deal with sin without broadcasting the issues; thus, respondents would not know. I suspect, though, that their perception is accurate: churches just don’t deal with the issues.
  7. By far, members say they’re willing to serve in the church. If every person who says he/she wanted to serve were serving today, churches would have no need for volunteers. What the CHS tells us is that either (a) respondents are being untruthful, or (b) churches don’t do a good job of recruiting, training, and supporting willing people. I suspect it’s the latter.
  8. Church members don’t know if their church is growing (if it’s growing) more by transferring members from other churches than by reaching non-believers. It’s not surprising to us that members don’t know this answer, but it is concerning. Churches that don’t talk about this difference tend not to be evangelistic.  Transfer growth can lull them into an evangelistic nap.
  9. Members say they have “at least a few friendships with people who are not Christian.” Whether they grieve over their friends’ lostness is another matter, but the problem is not that they’re completely disconnected from a mission field.

Do any of these findings reflect your church?


Rules for Living

augustine


Debunking the False Doctrine of the Four Blood Moons

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Program segments:

Does the Bible Warn of Four Blood Moons?

Answer: Not at all!

In this Issues, Etc. Interview Pastor Chris Rosebrough debunks the false teaching and hype regarding the Four Blood Moons.


A Big God Will Eclipse Every Pain

A Big God Will Eclipse Every PainOften the moments of life we feel most helpful are when sitting with friends or family who are suffering. What’s the first thing you say to someone in your life who’s experiencing significant grief or has received tragic news? How do you talk to a loved one feeling wounded or fragile or threatened? Where do you start?

Peter wrote to friends facing intense suffering and opposition (1 Peter 1:6; 2:18–19; 3:8–9). They were hurting, and more pain was apparently on the way. So how did Peter start his letter?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)

Peter doesn’t begin with compassionate sympathy or sorrow, but with a bold cry of victory and a song of worship. He minimizes the pain, it seems, by raising the eyes of his readers above and beyond their suffering to God and his plan to rescue and satisfy them forever.

To twenty-first-century consciences, that might seem insensitive. Our counseling and sensitivity conditioning say we should be quiet, somber, and apologetic in this situation. Peter presents a different approach. In fact, his next words are, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:6). Peter takes the potential of lifelong pain — perhaps violent, even fatal — and persecution, and makes it sound like just a bad day, maybe a week — “a little while.”

Do Not Play with Pain

Some of us desperately need to be told to be slow to speak (James 1:19), and gentle when speaking (Titus 3:2), and slow to declare answers or solutions (Proverbs 18:13). The quick-to-speak, slow-to-feel folks among us need help to keep from reopening the wounds or driving the cuts deeper with insensitivity or a lack of compassion. Pain, of whatever kind, is real, vulnerable, and delicate. Good intentions, good theology, and even good news can be dangerous weapons in the hands of the thoughtless, oblivious, or inconsiderate.

We should tread carefully with the broken and bruised. We need the Spirit to help us determine what to say when, with what tone, and in what context.

But Peter still wrote his letter the way he did, not timid and cautious, but bold, confident, and definitive. And we all know that ultimately the way forward in suffering pain is not in making much of the pain itself, but in making much of the cure.

An Infinite Future for the Fragile

If we’re to follow Peter’s example, we need to look at how he ministers to the suffering. What does Christian love look like in the face of terrible pain? In love, Peter leads with heartfelt worship, then rehearses the promise of an everlasting treasure, and then points to a bigger perspective of God’s purpose in pain — all meant to shrink pain’s terrifying, paralyzing hold on believers.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” is more than a shout of worship; it’s a battle cry against the darkness and opposition and grief of this world. It’s an emphatic reminder of God’s supremacy to believers who might become blinded by suffering in their lives. It’s a call to wake up from the stupor of pain into hope and worship.

And the battle cry comes with a promise: You have an infinite treasure beyond your imagining (1 Peter 1:4). This inheritance will never die or expire (“imperishable”). It can’t be used up. It’s not tainted or polluted in any way (“undefiled”). It will be perfectly true and safe and pure and good. And it’s unfading. Our hope in eternity is living, vibrant, and filled with ever-renewing love, joy, and peace forever — always stronger, always deeper, never fading. And this glorious inheritance doesn’t come in money, real estate, or property, but in more of God himself (Psalm 16:5–6).

The Hidden Purpose in Our Pain

Having given his passionate and compelling war cry to worship, and having anchored every believer’s hope in an infinite, imperishable, undefiled, and unfading future treasure in heaven, Paul zooms out on these believers’ pain. What is God really doing in all the things we suffer?

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6–7)

Peter doesn’t minimize their pain by suggesting it’s not a big deal, but by showing them that God is at work in their pain and has a bigger purpose for it than they can see right now. As Christians, we don’t minimize pain by making light of it, but by making much of God and all he plans and promises to do through the suffering. As we see more of God, and remember more of the good he’s accomplishing in every wound, the pain loses its power to cripple and to discourage us. It still hurts, but the harm is suddenly meaningful and, in comparison with eternity, momentary.

A Popular Approach to Pain

Peter’s not the only apostle to treat pain this way in the Bible. Paul, speaking to Corinthian believers who were suffering from opposition in the world and affliction in their bodies, says,

We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:16–17)

He calls their affliction “light” and “momentary” (2 Corinthians 4:17). How could he say that? Some of the Corinthians may have suffered sickness or alienation or slander their whole lives. He can speak that way by comparison. All the evil and anguish they have suffered is as nothing — light and momentary — compared with everything coming to them in glory, the never-ending enjoyment of an infinite God.

In Romans, again knowing some of his readers were experiencing excruciating pain — trials, persecution, the deterioration of their own bodies — Paul says, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). The suffering feels massive, unbearable, and never-ending in the moment, but it doesn’t even register a measurement against the promise of an eternity with God.

Peter and Paul perhaps give us a new way forward in the midst of pain. Yes, we need to be slow to speak, gentle, and compassionate, never presuming. But true compassion and love are never ashamed of or shy about the news God has given us for every pain. We must know the bigness of our God, the heights of his love, and the detailed ways he cares for us if we’re going to endure pain with brilliant and unshakeable hope and joy before the world around us.


Related Articles


Five Ways to Go from Head Knowledge to Heart Application

Five Ways to Go from Head Knowledge to Heart ApplicationSometimes you get to share with someone an idea that they’ve never heard before. And that idea absolutely revolutionizes the way they think about themselves or others — or even God himself. Watching someone “get it” for the first time is exhilarating. Seeing the fruit in their lives is deeply rewarding. However, it’s also pretty rare. In most cases, it’s not some brilliant insight that people need; it’s the practice of actually applying the fundamentals they already know.

How do we go from the instruction of Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding,” to the personal affirmation of the writer of Psalms 56:3–4, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid”? In other words, how do we go from head knowledge to heart application? Here are five ways:

1. Have realistic expectations for the presence of both suffering and service in the Christian life.

The genuine application of God’s promises does not preclude the genuine experience of pain, fear, and sadness. There is no doubt that the gospel provides relief and rest from this fallen world (Romans 8), but there is just as little doubt that suffering exists as a part of God’s plan, not in spite of it (Romans 5:3–5). Too often we try to use the promises of God like a magic wand that can alleviate every hurt with a cursory read. When this approach fails, we blame ourselves (I do not deserve God’s goodness) or God (he isn’t actually good) or both.

But Paul is clear in both Romans 5 and 1 Thessalonians 4: Belief in God’s promises doesn’t shield us from pain but rather redeems it. The gospel tinges our pain with hope and thereby makes it more manageable, more purposeful — not nonexistent.

2. Even if it feels half-hearted at first, commit to daily prayer and Bible reading, as well as weekly participation in gathered worship.

The less we are in God’s word, the less the Bible will seem applicable to us. This reality seems like a no-brainer but like most appetites (food, sleep, recreation) our spiritual appetite can be dramatically affected by crisis. In the midst of pain, we’re tempted to ask the “Where is God in this?” question, but what we should ask is, “Where is my worship in this?” If we lose our appetite for the things of God, it should come as no surprise when we do not feel God’s presence in our lives. Regular scriptural intake and worship are every bit as vital as sleep, exercise, and diet (Matthew 4:4).

3. Find a piece of Scripture, memorize it, and meditate on it. When it feels like you’ve squeezed everything you can out of that one, find another and do it again.

Scripture memorization is vital. It is a forgotten art in the age of the search engine, but being able to recite one or more of God’s actual promises from his word rather than just some general Christian truth is crucial. The ability to instantaneously apply God’s truth helps us to conform our emotions to the shape of the cross rather than allowing them to bend us to the shape of the world.

4. Find a Christian hymn or song that resonates while accurately communicating God’s truth. Play it until you can sing it unaccompanied in your own head.

Music is incredibly powerful and helps us to regulate our emotions. In a 2013 study (Chanda & Levitin), researchers reported that when we begin to play a song in our own minds, we are using the area of our brain called the “moral reasoning center.” That doesn’t mean, if you listen to explicit material, you are doomed to commit those acts — we are not slaves to the music to which we listen. However, it can knit our hearts more closely to those actions and make them seem more acceptable.

The opposite is true as well. If we listen to music and are able to sing songs which reinforce the truths of Scripture, then we can find ourselves that much more resilient in troubling times, and God’s promises can feel that much more relevant to our hurting hearts. There is a reason, after all, that the largest book in the Bible (Psalms) is a book of songs. God didn’t need an MRI machine to know how your mind works.

5. Find some place to plug in and serve for God’s glory.

C.S. Lewis once said that as Christians we are not called to think less of ourselves but to think of ourselves less. Christ speaks similarly in Matthew 20. When we prioritize other people above ourselves it can help us to get out of the quicksand of our own self pity and help us to realize that we are not alone in our suffering. Also, as we try to lift up others by applying God’s promises to their lives, we often find ourselves being sustained. Therefore, when we purposefully serve, we talk about it being a greater ministry to us than to those that we served.

Applying God’s promises of grace and comfort to our hurting, fearful, or angry hearts is where the rubber meets the road for many Christians. While these five suggestions may not change you overnight from grieving to giddy, they might help you to more acutely feel the safety of God’s promises and the tenderness of his care.


Related Resources


Jimmy Kimmel Just Pulled an Epic iPhone Prank and the Results Are Sermon-Worthy

Jimmy Kimmel is known for his snarky man-on-the-street videos about politics, celebrity news and history, but this time he decided to focus on technology.

Here’s the setup: He took the very first iPhone ever released and told people it was the newest model–releasing in just two weeks. Then he asked for a review. The way people responded might tell us more about our society than we care to admit.

In my opinion, this’ll preach. It’s so easy to get caught up and carried away by what our culture calls “cool” that we forget to hold everything up to the truth. Are we teaching our people to stop and think–to clearly hold everything up to the Word of God? Or are they getting carried away too?

Maybe I’m making too much of this, but I think the spiritual discipline of discernment is a lost art–something we need to passionately revive in our churches (and in our culture) today.

The post Jimmy Kimmel Just Pulled an Epic iPhone Prank and the Results Are Sermon-Worthy appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


After the Working of Satan
Pope Francis U.S. Visit 2015 Schedule and Dates: Pontiff Invites Rick Warren To Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family
Older and Better
Liberty University Welcomes Socialist Bernie Sanders to Address Student Body: ‘We Have Same Goals’
Pope Francis, Rick Warren, and That 2014 Catholic Interview No One Thought Important? Reminder of Its Revealing Facts About “America’s Pastor”
Letter to the Editor From a Former Young Life Leader: Watered-Down Gospel, Contemplative Authors, & Emergent Leanings
Attempts to Blend Christianity with Other Religions
Psalm 23 – The Faithfulness of God
The New Age Desire versus God’s Desire

Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Just a couple of books to suggest today if you’re looking for a good or interesting read on your Kindle:

Rescue for Refugees

My friend Stephen recently travelled to Iraq with Haven Today and Samaritan’s Purse to make this short video focusing on the situation of millions of Christians displaced by the Syrian civil war and the tyranny of ISIS:

If you’re looking for an opportunity to support these refugees, consider helping through Samaritan’s Purse (USA/Canada) or World Relief.

How Star Trek explains the decline of liberalism

Timothy Sandefur:

As he acknowledged, the key to “Star Trek’s” longevity and cultural penetration was its seriousness of purpose, originally inspired by creator Gene Roddenberry’s science-fiction vision. Modeled on “Gulliver’s Travels,” the series was meant as an opportunity for social commentary, and it succeeded ingeniously, with episodes scripted by some of the era’s finest science-fiction writers. Yet the development of “Star Trek’s” moral and political tone over 50 years also traces the strange decline of American liberalism since the Kennedy era.

I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian

This is a really great piece from Tim Challies.

The Cross Displays God’s Attributes in Perfect Harmony

Erik Raymond:

Too many people today look at Jesus upon the cross like a spiritual piñata that God has set forth to take a beating so all of us good kids could get all the candy we deserve. No. No. No. Jesus Christ willingly hanging upon the wooden cross in utter humiliation while also maintaining and displaying all of his manifold perfections is the indictment upon all of our manifold imperfections. He is there because we are so bad. And, therefore, he is there because God is so good, holy, sovereign, wise, righteous, loving, and full of mercy.

What God Values More than Your Motives

Matt Smethurst:

The Maker of heaven and earth isn’t just concerned with our service; he’s concerned with our intentions. Our motivations. Our hearts.

As deeply as God cares about our motives, however, there’s something he cares about even deeper.

And that’s our message.

The New Food Legalism

Griffen Gulledge:

Churches all over the nation have Zumba, Crossfit, jazzercise (if churches are stuck in eighties on music, they’re behind the times on this), and all other manner of fitness class. Megachurch pastors write books about dieting and health. Heck, Baptist churches who used to forbid dancing now have dance fitness classes. Priorities have changed.

What hasn’t changed is this: we are still sinners. We love to take good and helpful things and turn them into laws and burdens for ourselves and for others.


A La Carte (September 17)

Life Is Best

Be sure to check out this new 13-episode program coming this fall. “Lives are at stake. Souls hang in the balance. Some Christians are engaged in the battle, most are not. Life Is Best will thoroughly equip and inspire you to join the fight for lives and souls.”

Truths and Tips for Engaging with Families in Your Church

Timothy Paul Jones shares truth and helpful tips for families.

McRevolt

I don’t mind admitting that McDonald’s breakfast is one of my favorite meals. (Has anything ever so perfectly mastered the salt / sugar / fat combination as a McDonald’s hash brown?) So I quite enjoyed this article on the company and its franchisees.

The Next Story

If you’ve never gotten around to reading my book The Next Story, this review will let you know about its strengths and weaknesses. If you buy it, be sure to get the second edition.

The New Socialists and the Social Ownership of Money

Joe Carter talks about Bernie Sanders and the social ownership of money.

MacArthurPre-Order Worthy. Next month will see the release of John MacArthur’s book Parables. “Master expositor and Bible commentator John MacArthur has spent a lifetime explaining the Word of God in clear and comprehensible terms. In Parables he helps Christians understand the essential lessons contained in the most famous and influential short stories the world has ever known.” Pre-order at Amazon.

Pascal’s Triangle

If you’ve got a math brain, or even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy this video. “Pascal’s triangle, which at first may just look like a neatly arranged stack of numbers, is actually a mathematical treasure trove. But what about it has so intrigued mathematicians the world over?”

Icons and Symbols of Catholicism

This photo essay about the icons and symbols of Catholicism will remind you why the Reformers were so set on simplicity of worship.

Captive

Jesse Johnson reviews the new movie Captive which is all about “a jail break 10 years ago that helped make Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life one of the best selling books of all time.”


The Daily Discovery (September 17, 2015)

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

The Review of “90 Minutes In Heaven” You Don’t Need – “At the end of August, I received an invitation to a private luncheon showing the film 90 Minutes In Heaven. The movie was free, and best of all the lunch was free. I was tempted to accept the offer, not because I actually want to see 90 Minutes In Heaven. I very much don’t want to see it. And that’s why I wanted to see it! A chance to offer a preemptive review of a bad movie with bad theology before it comes out? For a free lunch?! I’m there.”

The Best Book in the Bible – “Every Christian knows the importance of reading their Bible, but many are overwhelmed with the task of devouring such a monstrous book! Often times, when Christians lose steam in their yearly reading plans, they can become frustrated and feel defeated. It is for this reason that individual book studies can be a lifesaver.  In the Best Book in the Bible series, we will provide entry points into faithful study through “selling” you on why you should fall in love with the various books of the Bible.”

5 Trends Christian Millennials MUST STOP Doing – “Recently a video went viral with a message about what Christians are not. Typical trendy rhetoric followed that while perhaps had good intentions in breaking down the barrier between the Church and the world, the message was very problematic: ‘I’m a Christian and I’m queer. I’m a Christian and I like Beyonce.’ A very well written critique to the video can be found here. This piece is not a critique of the video but rather a holistic response to young Christian millennials who often sacrifice their Christian values for the sake of being relevant to the world. I will remind you, oh beloved children of God, that Jesus himself said that the world will hate you because of your love for Him. You can love the world like Jesus loves the world and still be hated. It’s not your fault, so don’t change your method. Your advocacy for Christ should never come at the expense of your relationship with Him. Here are 5 ways that many Christian millennials are hurting their delivery of the gospel to a world that desperately needs it.”

Jesus: The Epitome of Intolerance – “Gay marriage is now a federally permitted part of our society.  So what now, Church? What do we do differently?  The answer is simple.  Nothing. We do absolutely nothing different.  We continue swinging the doors of our sanctuaries open to welcome sinners, a definition that holds jurisdiction over everyone who has ever lived (Romans 3:23). It means loving everyone, gay or not, as Jesus loves them. Now, I understand that my last sentence may garner cheers from both agendas, so allow me to clarify. When I say “love everyone” I mean it. But we must define the terms. The Christian left will generally hold a shallow view of love, i.e. be nice and accept people as they are. But is that what the love of Jesus looked like?”

I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian – “I 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.”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – Longing for the Word


VIDEOS:

Frank the Hippie Pope and Bart the Patriarch Sing Love Songs

Horus Reads the Internet


“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 17, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



From Our Writers
Rebecca Florence Miller
Racism and Self-Justification
by Rebecca Florence Miller
The most pernicious racism is that which is not admitted. What is not admitted, copped to, cannot even begin to be changed.
Inklingations
Wanted: Journalists Not Beholden to Planned Parenthood
by Samuel James
Planned Parenthood encourages young women to have abortions so that the anatomy of their unborn children can be turned into cash, and they do so with impunity from hundreds of media outlets that have chosen to look the other way.
Theology in the Raw
Why Are Millennials Leaving the Church in Droves?
by Preston Sprinkle
We’re not doing a super great job at fulfilling the great commission here in America. Whatever faith we’ve inherited, we’re not passing it on very effectively.
The Bible and Culture
Mind Your Own Agra-Business
by Ben Witherington
Of course the irony of these slick productions is that they try to make the animals seem more like persons, while actually treating them in thoroughly impersonal manners.
Preventing Grace
Wisdom Cries Aloud
by Anne Kennedy
In Proverbs, wisdom is described as a woman having to shout because no one will listen. Maybe she tried speaking quietly and reasonably, but no one stopped what they were doing, not a single person, so then she said it again a little louder, and still nothing.
Eidos
Pearl Not Worth Anything
by John Mark Reynolds
The love of money will justify any evil in the pursuit of the golden god. Steinbeck is right: we cannot live for gain in this age.
More Great Reads
Ask an Expert
Where in the Bible Does it Say That Sex Should Be Restricted to Marriage?
by Pastor Tom Goodman
Marriage is a covenant. In the wedding ceremony, we publicly commit ourselves to the well-being of our spouse. Sex then reflects this bond of marriage.
Joy Indestructible
Interview with Big Daddy Weave
by Chelsea Patterson
We’re not only redeemed from sin, but redeemed to something. That “something” is to allow our lives to be an offering to God. It’s not about who we’re not, it’s about who we are.
Jackson Wu
Challies’ View of Guilt & Shame is Half Right
by Jackson Wu
The basic difference between guilt and shame is not that one is “objective” and the other “subjective.” Rather, guilt is about what someone does (or doesn’t do). Shame is about who a person is.

Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, September 17, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

US Advocates for Syrian Refugee Resettlement Find Unexpected Allies

Christians Fight Against Teaching of Islam in Public Schools

Court in Sudan Rules Government Interfered with Church

In Campaign Ad, Ted Cruz Attributes His Blessings to ‘Transformative Love of Jesus Christ’

What to Expect in the Second GOP Debate

Filmmaker Goes on Journey to Examine Truth of Exodus Story

Man Taking Woman to Planned Parenthood for Abortion Pulls Gun on Pro-life Protester

Professor Receives Backlash from Students and University after Banning Phrase ‘God Bless You’

Franklin Graham Joins Prayer Vigil for Saeed Abedini

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

Opinion

Educating We, the People: Constitutional Literacy Day

Speaking the Truth in Love: the Intersection of Compassion and Boldness

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

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Your Life Expectancy and Your Social Security


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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September 17, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 17, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Chile began dispatching emergency crews and assessing damage left by the biggest earthquake, 8.3-magnitude, in the world this year. At least eight people died and more than a million were evacuated from coastal areas. Authorities lifted a tsunami alert early Thursday.

New-home construction in the U.S. fell in August, indicating the real-estate recovery will take time to evolve. Residential starts declined 3 percent to a 1.13 million annualized rate from a 1.16 million pace the prior month that was slower than previously estimated.

Initial jobless claims in the U.S. declined last week to the lowest level in two months, highlighting a resilient labor market. Applications for unemployment benefits decreased by 11,000 to 264,000 in the week ended Sept. 12.

OPEC is assuming the oil price will rise gradually to $80 a barrel in 2020 as supply growth outside the group weakens, a slower recovery than several member nations have said they need.

Homebuilders spent years waiting for the U.S. jobless rate to fall so that more people would buy houses. Now that employment is up, they’re struggling to meet demand as a scarcity of construction workers worsens.

If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates on Thursday, it will be doing so in an economy that is radically different from the past. The lack of comparable economic terrain is one of the complications that Chair Janet Yellen faces as her committee contemplates an exit from almost seven years of near-zero interest rates.

At least 100 people were killed and 100 others injured when a stranded fuel-tanker exploded in South Sudan’s southwest. People had rushed to the tanker to siphon fuel, prompting South Sudanese troops to intervene. A warning shot from the soldiers struck the tanker, causing the blast.

AP Top Stories

The Federal Reserve opened the final day of deliberations Thursday on a crucial interest rate increase that has left global markets and economic policy makers on edge for weeks. After locking its benchmark interest rate at zero percent for nearly seven years, the Fed must decide whether the US and global economies are strong enough to weather a modest hike. A decision is expected at 1800 GMT.

The United States warned Wednesday that North Korea will face “severe consequences” if it continues with what Washington sees as its provocative decision to restart a nuclear reactor.

The Internal Revenue Service revoked the nonprofit status of the veterans benefit organization that hosted and sold tickets to a foreign policy speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump aboard a retired U.S. battleship, The Associated Press has learned. The group’s endorsement of Trump at the event also could raise legal problems under campaign finance laws.

An orthopedic surgeon and more than a dozen associates bilked insurance companies out of more than $150 million in a scheme that included an assistant who never attended medical school but operated on patients, Los Angeles prosecutors said.

The United States has identified a small number of Russian helicopters at a Syrian airfield, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the latest addition to what Washington believes is a significant Russian military buildup in the country.

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin, senior Democrats who oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran, will vote against a Republican effort to require new conditions before President Obama could lift any sanctions under the deal, aides said on Wednesday.

A 14-year-old Muslim boy became a sensation on social media Wednesday and got an invitation to the White House after word spread that he had been placed in handcuffs and suspended for coming to class with a homemade clock that school officials thought resembled a bomb.

An Air Canada pilot diverted a plane from Tel Aviv to Toronto in order to save a little dog’s life.

The coelacanth, an elusive deep-sea dweller long thought extinct, had another item added Tuesday to an already-long list of unusual physical traits: an obsolete lung lurking in its abdomen.

A proposal under consideration by the city council in the Arizona city of Coolidge would allow only Christian prayers before its meetings.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that China is “out of step” with international rules by aggressively pursuing land reclamation projects in the South China Sea that he said raise the risk of military conflict in the region.

US aerospace giant Boeing said Wednesday that it will host China’s president, Xi Jinping, next week at its main airplane factory in Washington State.

Facebook Inc said it would launch a service that will let advertisers pay for ads only when they are scrolled through from top to bottom on its news feed.

BBC

Crowds of migrants crossing from Serbia have broken through riot police lines on the Croatian border at Tovarnik. Croatia is struggling to deal with at least 6,000 arrivals since Wednesday morning after Hungary closed its border with Serbia.

The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama in 2009 failed to live up to expectations, the committee’s ex-secretary has said.

A bill amending Australia’s marriage act to allow same-sex marriage should be introduced to the parliament urgently, a report said.

WND

The U.S. Air Force admitted its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can’t fight that well – even while it has pressed for the model to replace nearly 90 percent of its tactical aircrafts.

President Obama has invited a pro-abortion nun, a gay bishop, and a transgender female to the White House to meet Pope Francis.


Top News – 9/17/2015

Spy on Your Customers… or Else
Do you distrust the banking system? Prefer to do business in cash? Complain about the encroachment of Big Brother into every facet of your life?

Obama spends $500 million to train 5 anti-ISIS fighters
President Obama just found out how many good anti-ISIS fighters $500 million buys: five, at most. Gen. Lloyd Austin, who leads the U.S. military’s Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday there are only four or five Syrian fighters left out of 54 who were trained as part of a U.S. program.

Turkey’s President Erdogan Vows to ‘Wipe Out’ PKK Terrorists
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to wipe out all members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK terrorist organization, “until not one terrorist remains.”

Likud Youth Organization Members Ignore PM, Ascend Temple Mount
20 members of the Likud Youth Organization, together with recently elected leader David Shayan, ignored a request from the prime minister’s office to cancel their plans, and instead ascended the Temple Mount. The group believes it was “strengthening [Israel’s] sovereignty at our holiest site,”

Saudi Arabia Warns of ‘Religious War’ Over Temple Mount Clashes
Saudi Arabian King Salman has turned to the United Nations seeking “urgent measures” to stop what he called Israel’s “violations” on the Temple Mount, warning of a possible “religious war” if the violence at the site is not stopped. Of course, the violence and provocations are started and perpetuated by Palestinian Arab Muslims, each and every time — but somehow that salient fact is disregarded by every single foreign party to the discussion.

Ex-Nobel committee exec regrets Obama Peace Prize
Former Secretary of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee Geir Lundestad reportedly notes in his new book that the body “didn’t achieve what it had hoped for” when it gave Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt and conferred the prestigious award on him in 2009.

INCREASING CHANCE OF FLARES
Sunspot AR2415 is increasingly active on Sept.17th and appears poised to produce a moderately strong M-class solar flare. Any eruptions today would be geoeffective because the sunspot is facing Earth.

Military source: Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia
The source described the weapons as highly accurate and effective. The army had started using them in recent weeks having been trained in their use in Syria in recent months, the source said.

Tsunami Advisories Have Hawaii on Alert
Hawaii and part of California’s coast are under tsunami advisories after an 8.3-magnitude earthquake off the coast of north Chile.

I am a Christian, but I don’t follow Christ
After you watch the video, it’s obvious that this is a propaganda piece for a version of Christianity that is Christian in name only–a progressivist vision of the faith that has more to do with maintaining street-cred with Christianity’s cultured despisers than with the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). It is what the apostle Paul called a “form of godliness” while “denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). It is gutless–literally, a hollowing out of everything essential to the faith.

Iraqi refugees to be deported, ICE says
Twelve of the 27 Iraqi Christians being detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Facility are set to be deported in coming weeks, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday. An immigration judge ordered their removal in the last two weeks, ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack said. She declined to provide specific information about why the immigrants are being deported and where they will be taken, citing privacy issues.

Census: Income, poverty numbers stay just about the same
The wallets of America’s middle class and poorest aren’t seeing any extra money, the U.S. Census reported Wednesday, a financial stagnation experts say may be fueling political dissent this campaign season. The Census Bureau, in its annual look at poverty and income in the United States, said both the country’s median income and poverty rate were statistically unchanged in 2014 from the previous year.

Agencies Say They Need Access to Americans’ Emails Without a Warrant
…In its cur­rent form, ECPA pro­tects emails from gov­ern­ment snoop­ing for 180 days…The ECPA Amend­ments Act would re­quire…a war­rant to ac­cess serv­er-hos­ted in­form­a­tion, no mat­ter how old, and would re­quire the gov­ern­ment to no­ti­fy an in­di­vidu­al that his or her in­form­a­tion was ac­cessed with­in 10 days… But law en­force­ment of­fi­cials ex­pressed op­pos­i­tion…crim­in­al war­rants could leave civil lit­ig­at­ors without ac­cess to im­port­ant elec­tron­ic in­form­a­tion.

White House Invites Several Opponents of Catholic Teaching to Greet Pope Francis
…In a stunning show of political indecorum, Obama has invited a series of individuals who publicly flout Catholic teaching, including a pro-abortion religious sister, a transgender woman and the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, along with at least two Catholic gay activists. The White House was illuminated in gay pride colors on June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court legalized gay same-sex marriage.

Chile quake triggers mass evacuation and tsunami alert
One million people have been evacuated in Chile after a powerful earthquake hit the country’s central region. At least five people died when the 8.3-magnitude quake hit. Residents of Illapel, near the quake’s epicentre, fled into the streets in terror as their homes began to sway.

Migrant crisis: UN ‘shocked’ over clashes in Hungary
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is “shocked” after Hungarian police fired tear gas and water cannon to force migrants back from its border. Mr Ban said such treatment of asylum seekers was “unacceptable”. Hundreds were involved in clashes at the Hungary-Serbia border on Wednesday, trying to breach a razor-wire fence.

Israel deploys Iron Dome in South in run-up to Palestinian ‘day of rage’
The Israeli military has deployed the Iron Dome rocket interceptor on the outskirts of the southern city of Ashdod in anticipation of more rioting in Jerusalem, Channel 10 reported on Thursday morning. Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has declared Friday “a day of rage” in response to recent developments on Temple Mount.

Ukraine campaigns to strip Russia of UN veto power
Ukraine on Wednesday redoubled its long-shot bid to see Russia stripped of its veto power on the UN Security Council when the global body’s General Assembly meets in the coming weeks.

Syria conflict: Assad ‘won’t quit under pressure’
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said in an interview for Russian TV he will not quit under foreign pressure, saying the Syrian people must decide. Western powers and much of the Syrian opposition say it is not conceivable for Mr Assad to lead a post-war Syria.

Kerry says Russia proposes military talks on Syria
The Obama administration said Wednesday is was considering how to respond to a Russian proposal for military talks over Syria, where Moscow is expanding its forces even as U.S. warplanes conduct daily air strikes against Islamist militants.

Iran leader warns Guards against US infiltration
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards Wednesday to be on alert for “political and cultural” infiltration by the United States.

US general: Only handful of Syrian fighters remain in battle
No more than five U.S.-trained Syrian rebels are fighting the Islamic State, astoundingly short of the envisioned 5,000, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East told angry lawmakers on Wednesday. They branded the training program “a total failure.”

8.3M earthquake rocks Chile, creates Tsunami threats; Washington monitoring
SANTIAGO, Chile A powerful magnitude-8.3 earthquake hit off Chile’s northern coast Wednesday night, causing buildings to sway in Santiago and other cities and sending people running into the streets. Authorities reported one death in a town north of the capital. Tsunami of 15 feet reported on Chilean coast at 4:39 p.m. PST. One dead. U.S. officials posted a tsunami alert for Hawaii. Tsunami waves are possibly up to more than three meters along Chile’s coast.


Top Headlines – 9/17/2015

Massive Chile Earthquake Generates Pacific-Wide Tsunami Alert

Chile earthquake: one million people evacuated after 8.3 magnitude quake

At least 5 dead after magnitude-8.3 earthquake rattles Chile capital

Map: More than a dozen significant aftershocks 5.0 magnitude and greater following earlier magnitude 8.3 quake off coast of Chile

7.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

6.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

6.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

6.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Hualian, Taiwan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

4.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Karpathos, Greece

4.0-magnitude earthquake hits Big Bear Lake area

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 15,000ft

Karangetang volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Bardarbunga Volcano In Iceland Might Erupt Again

Hidden superchain of volcanoes discovered in Australia

Sundiving comet destroyed

Rain-Weary Japan to Escape Direct Hit From Typhoon Krovanh

New Tropical Depression Forms in Central Atlantic

California fire updates: Three now confirmed dead in wildfires

Utah Flash Flooding Kills 18; Two Remain Missing

Watch: Rare Heat Lightning Bedazzles Jerusalem, Dead Sea

White House: November meeting with Netanyahu to begin discussions on deepening security partnership

Obama, Netanyahu to meet 11-9, White House confirms

Abbas planning ‘bombshell’ at UN speech

Israel deploys Iron Dome in South in run-up to Palestinian ‘day of rage’

Netanyahu vows to stem Jerusalem terror wave

State files several indictments against Palestinians for violent acts in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia denounces Israeli actions at Jerusalem’s al-Aksa mosque

Abbas: Israelis have no right to desecrate our holy sites with their filthy feet

Eminent Palestinian sheikh asserts right to ‘self-defense’ on Temple Mount

Angry Gazans Say ‘Israel Better Than Hamas’

Iceland’s capital votes to boycott all Israeli products

UAE fighter in Yemen: Iran won’t stop until Persian empire spreads over region

China, Iran consider establishing strategic partnership

Iran leader warns Guards against US infiltration

Post-Deal Iran Asks if U.S. Is Still ‘Great Satan,’ or Something Less

US Republicans in GOP presidential debate blast Iran deal

US Republican Santorum says radical Iran, Iraq Muslims in ‘death cult’

Iran: Russia to help us improve our centrifuges

UN chief says Russia military support will worsen Syrian war

US officials: Russian helicopters spotted at Syria airfield

Report: Russia has no plans for now to build air force base in Syria

Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia

American general: Only handful of US-trained Syrian rebels still fighting

ISIS militants lack manners, steal shoes, British jihadist laments

Syrian president says top priority to defeat terrorism

Migrant crisis: UN ‘shocked’ over clashes in Hungary

Head of German refugee office quits amid asylum seeker crisis

Hungary says 29 detained in border clash, including one ‘terrorist’

Children separated from families in Hungary border chaos

Hungary to build border fence with Croatia, Romania

Refugees face tear gas, water cannons as they cut new paths through Europe

Refugees see last chance for Europe before winter closes route from Turkey

Israeli aid group’s workers rescue Syrian refugees off Greek coast

Iraq: 2 Suicide Attacks in Baghdad Kill at Least 21 People

Islamic State claims responsibility for two suicide attacks in Baghdad

Saudi Arabia Arrests Two Alleged Terror Cells

UK spy chief calls for more powers to fight terrorism threat

US Muslim teen arrested after homemade clock mistaken for ticking time bomb

Obama invites Texas student arrested for homemade clock to White House

Hey, single ladies! Al-Qaida terrorist detained at Guantanamo opened Match.com account

Quebec Hate Speech Bill Could Limit Free Speech, Target Those Who Criticize Islamic Religion on Website or Facebook Page

‘Every 5 Minutes a Christian Is Martyred for Their Faith,’ Persecution Watchdog Group Warns

Hindu Radicals Beat Christians With Axes and Clubs; Force Believers to Choose Between Life or Jesus Christ

Ukraine campaigns to strip Russia of UN veto power

Kerry warns North Korea of ‘severe consequences’ if it tests missile

Nobel panel saw Obama peace prize as ‘mistake,’ new book claims

White House all-clear given after lockdown over unattended package

Elusive crime wave data shows frightening toll of illegal immigrant criminals

Africa braces for snakebite crisis due to shortage of antivenom

10th Video Catches Planned Parenthood: We Sell “Fresh” Aborted Baby Eyes, Hearts and “Gonads”

Fiorina: ‘Shame on us’ if Congress funds Planned Parenthood

Poll: Most Americans Want Kim Davis Jailed Over Gay Marriage Licenses, Don’t Believe in Religious Freedom

Defiant Kentucky Clerk to Receive Award for Her ‘Courage’ Amid Gay Marriage Battle

Russian Comedians Fess Up to Pranking Elton John over LGBT Rights by Pretending to Be Vladimir Putin

White House Invites Transvestite, Pro-Abortion Nun, Gay Bishop to Greet Pope

Pope Francis and the New Roman Empire

Global stocks at three-week highs as Fed decision looms

The Pope: Not just for Catholics anymore

David Barton is 100% Wrong To Tell Glenn Beck The Third Great Awakening Has Begun

Televangelist Royalties Harder to Split Than Baby by Solomon


Frontrunning: September 17

  • Wall Street Has Doubts About Fed Lifting Interest Rates (Read More)
  • Global stocks at three-week highs as Fed decision looms (Read More)
  • Charting the Markets: The World Awaits the Fed (Read More)
  • Powerful quake off Chile slams waves into coastal towns; eight killed (Read More)
  • As Fed Storm Brews, Europe Stocks Seen Weathering Turmoil Best (Read More)
  • Fiorina’s rise adds another insurgent to U.S. election fray (Read More)
  • No One Performed Better Than Carly Fiorina in Second Republican Debate (Read More)
  • Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia – military source (Read More)
  • Nine Blueprints for How to Handle the Stock Market on Thursday (Read More)
  • Ukraine bans journalists who ‘threaten national interests’ from country (Read More)
  • China’s coal consumption higher than thought (Read More)
  • China will work with U.S. on hacking, defend its interests: official (Read More)
  • AB InBev, SABMiller Deal Expected to Face Global Antitrust Grilling (Read More)
  • Altice in Advanced Talks to Buy Cablevision (Read More)
  • Nobody goes to prison: U.S. Said to Have Settled With G.M. Over Deadly Defect (Read More)
  • The World’s Second-Richest Person Is Closing In on Number One (Read More)
  • GM to pay $900 million, settle U.S. criminal case over ignition switches (Read More)
  • Uber Rivals Form International Alliance (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Archbishop of Canterbury to formalize rift in Anglican Communion to preserve some unity

Archbishop of Canterbury plans to loosen ties of divided Anglican communion, The Guardian (Andrew Brown)

Justin Welby launches ‘last throw of the dice’ to avert worldwide Anglican split, The Telegraph (John Bingham)

2) Shocking racial disparity evident in abortion unaddressed by abortionists must not be avoided

Let’s Talk About the Racial Disparity in Abortions, Wall Street Journal (Jason L. Riley)

3) Workaholic culture in Japan pressures women to abort child for sake of career

We’re busy. Get an abortion, The Economist

4) Non-Christians rebuke Christian understanding of doctrine over FBC Greenville

Letter: Reader saddened by condemnation of church, Greenville News (Jennifer Horton)
In other news…

Daily Digest

September 17, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Speak seldom, but to important subjects, except such as particularly relate to your constituents, and, in the former case, make yourself perfectly master of the subject.” —George Washington, Public Speaking, 1787

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

GOP Debate Overview and Highlights

By Mark Alexander and Nate Jackson

2015-09-17-147beca2_large.jpg

Observations on the Republican debate hosted by CNN at the Ronald Reagan Library:

First, it is with disgust that we note virtually every question was specifically designed to pit one candidate against another. The irony of that invitation to infighting is that this event occurred at the Reagan Library. Recall if you will that Reagan preached against Republican fratricidal infighting, and insisted Republicans should conform to his “Eleventh Commandment”: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Most of the candidates took the CNN bait, and not one mentioned Reagan’s condemnation of such attacks, though a few did try to refocus on the failures of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, who came into the confab the poll leader, used up most of his time boasting of his greatness and issuing petulant insults to other candidates — because he had little to offer otherwise. He even opened his remarks with an insult to Rand Paul’s appearance. The only thing he left out was a “your mom” joke.

His promises of everybody “will have more of everything” were so vacuous that we expected him to add, “Free ice cream for everybody, and pizza for every lunch.” He’s running for president of the United States, not the third grade class.

It’s no wonder the MSM wants him to be the candidate. Every other Democrat candidate will look extremely serious next to him.

By contrast, every other candidate articulated substantive knowledge about the most important issues facing our nation. Introducing himself, Trump touted his authorship of “Art of the Deal,” but recall Trump’s assertion last week that he was not going to show up for the debate if CNN did not give all its profits to veteran support organizations. Apparently that “deal” fell flat.

We noted that only a few candidates adequately defended Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. But GOP candidates need to get Iraq right.

The only apology that needs to be offered for the Middle East meltdown is from Barack Obama for his politically motivated retreat from Iraq.

One of the most heavily applauded lines of the night was in response to Jeb Bush’s rebuttal of Trump’s derogatory remarks about George Bush’s military response to 9/11: “As it relates to my brother, there’s one thing I know for sure: He kept us safe.”

Most overused line of the evening would be variations on this theme: “I’m the only one on this stage who…”

The comment that best honored the man in whose library this debate took place was from Mike Huckabee: “I’ve been listening to everybody on the stage and there is a lot of back and forth about I’m the only one who has done this, the only one who has done that… But it occurs to me as we’re sitting here in the Reagan Library that most of us would like to pay tribute to a guy who, when he got elected, didn’t get elected telling everybody how great he was. He got elected telling everybody how great the American people were.”

Indeed, Ronald Reagan appealed to the best in us as Americans, which is why he was re-elected in 1984, winning 49 of 50 states. Obama, Clinton and, yes, Donald Trump, appeal to the worst in us. If a Republican is seated in 2017, it will be, in large measure, because that candidate appealed to the best in us.

Carly Fiorina was the victor by acclamation, having clearly done her homework. It seemed as if she were giving a verbal PowerPoint presentation full of solid information and proposals for actually doing something. She clearly showed she belonged at the prime time debate.

But, contrary to Beltway groupthink, we think Marco Rubio outshined her. Rather than having crammed for an exam, policy was second nature to him. He was so familiar with the material, he did more than recite it — he showed he’d be comfortable leading with it. His mastery of issues put him head and shoulders above anyone else on the stage last night.

And now for a few highlights, grouped by a couple of primary topics. By virtue of the fact that it was a three hour debate, many good comments and exchanges were necessarily excluded.

Foreign policy

Bush: “There’s not a place in the world where we’re better off today than six and a half years ago. … You can’t just talk about this stuff and insult leaders around the world and expect a good result.”

Rubio: “I have an understanding of exactly what it is Russia and Putin are doing, and it’s pretty straightforward. He wants to reposition Russia, once again, as a geopolitical force. He himself said that the destruction of the Soviet Union — the fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, and now he’s trying to reverse that. He’s trying to destroy NATO. … He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East.”

Fiorina: “Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn’t talk to him at all. We’ve talked way too much to him. What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I’d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message.”

Cruz: “[T]he single biggest national security threat facing America right now is the threat of a nuclear Iran. We’ve seen six and a half years of President Obama leading from behind. Weakness is provocative, and this Iranian nuclear deal is nothing short of catastrophic. This deal, on its face, will send over $100 billion to Ayatollah Khamenei, making the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism. This deal abandons four American hostages in Iran, and this deal will only accelerate Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons. … I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.”

Kasich: “If [Iran] cheat[s], we slap the sanctions back on. If they help Hamas, and Hezbollah, we slap the sanctions back on. And, if we find out that they may be developing a nuclear weapon, then the military option is on the table.

Paul: “Should we continue to talk with Iran? Yes. Should we cut up the agreement immediately? That’s absurd. Wouldn’t you want to know if they complied? Now, I’m going to vote against the agreement because I don’t think there’s significant leverage, but it doesn’t mean that I would immediately not look at the agreement, and cut it up without looking to see if whether or not Iran has complied.”

Bush: “[I]t’s not a strategy to tear up an agreement. A strategy would be how do we confront Iran? And, the first thing that we need to do is to establish our commitment to Israel which has been altered by this administration. And, make sure that they have the most sophisticated weapons to send a signal to Iran that we have Israel’s back.”

Huckabee: “[The Iran deal] threatens the United States of America. And we can’t treat a nuclear Iranian government as if it is just some government that would like to have power. This is a government for 36 years has killed Americans, they kidnapped Americans, they have maimed Americans. They have sponsored terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah, and they threaten the very essence of Western civilization.”

Rubio: “[T]he United States military was not build to conduct pinprick attacks. If the United States military is going to be engaged by a commander in chief, it should only be engaged in an endeavor to win. … The number one test for use of military force should be the vital national security interest of the United States.”

Huckabee: “If you don’t have good intelligence that is reliable and honest, you won’t have good intelligence and you cannot make good decisions. The next president is primarily elected not just to know things, but to know what to do with the things that he knows. And the most dangerous person in any room is the person who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”

Immigration

Trump: “[W]e have a lot of really bad dudes in this country from outside. … They go, if I get elected, first day they’re gone. … So, we have a country of laws, they’re going to go out, and they’ll come back if they deserve to come back. If they’ve had a bad record, if they’ve been arrested, if they’ve been in jail, they’re never coming back. We’re going to have a country again.”

Christie: “What we need to do is to secure our border, and we need to do it with more than just a wall. We need to use electronics, we need to use drones, we need to use FBI, DEA and ATF, and, yes, we need to take the fingerprint of every person who comes into this country on a visa, and when they overstay their visa we need to tap them on the shoulder and say, “You have overstayed your welcome. You’re taking advantage of the American people. It’s time for you to go.”

Bush: “It does require securing the border. No one disagrees with that. But to build a wall, and to deport people — half a million a month — would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. … It would destroy community life. It would tear families apart. And it would send a signal to the rest of the world that the United States values that are so important for our long-term success no longer matter in this country.”

Trump: “This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.”

Rubio: “My grandfather instilled in me the belief that I was blessed to live in the one society in all of human history where even I, the son of a bartender and a maid, could aspire to have anything, and be anything that I was willing to work hard to achieve. But he taught me that in Spanish, because it was the language he was most comfortable in. And he became a conservative, even though he got his news in Spanish. And so, I do give interviews in Spanish, and here’s why — because I believe that free enterprise and limited government is the best way to help people who are trying to achieve upward mobility. And if they get their news in Spanish, I want them to hear that directly from me. Not from a translator at Univision.”

Carson: “[A]fter we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don’t have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that’s the place where Americans don’t seem to want to work.”

Rubio: “First, we must secure our border, the physical border, with a wall. … But we also need to have an entry/exit tracking system. Forty percent of the people who come here illegally come legally, and then they overstay the visa. We also need a mandatory e-verify system. After we’ve done that, step two would be to modernize our legal immigration system so you come to America on the basis of what you can contribute economically, not whether or not simply you have a relative living here. And after we’ve done those two things, I believe the American people will be very reasonable and responsible about what you do with someone who’s been here and isn’t a criminal. If you’re a criminal, obviously, you will not be able to stay.”

Trump: “The 14th Amendment says very, very clearly … that [birthright citizenship for illegals] is wrong. It can be corrected with an act of Congress, probably doesn’t even need that. A woman gets pregnant. She’s nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years. I don’t think so.”

Fiorina: “President Obama campaigned in 2007 and 2008 on solving the immigration problem. He entered Washington with majorities in the House and the Senate. He could have chosen to do anything to solve this problem. Instead, he chose to do nothing. Why? Because the Democrats don’t want this issue solved. … [T]he truth is, you can’t just wave your hands and say the 14th Amendment is gonna go away.”

Paul: “The original author of the 14th Amendment said on the Senate floor that this was applying to slaves, and did not specifically apply to others.”

Infighting

Fiorina: “Mr. Trump is a wonderful entertainer.”

Paul: “Do we want someone with that kind of character, that kind of careless language to be negotiating with Putin? Do we want someone like that to be negotiating with Iran? I think really there’s a sophomoric quality that is entertaining about Mr. Trump, but I am worried. … I think his … visceral response to attack people on their appearance — short, tall, fat, ugly — my goodness, that happened in junior high. Are we not way above that? Would we not all be worried to have someone like that in charge of the nuclear arsenal?

Trump: “I never attacked him on his look, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”

Walker: “Mr. Trump, we don’t need an apprentice in the White House; we have one right now. … Just because [Trump] says it doesn’t make it true.

Trumpian self-promotion

This could have taken up the full three hours, but here’s a sampling:

“I’m Donald Trump. I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ I say, not in a braggadocios way, I’ve made billions and billions of dollars dealing with people all over the world, and I want to put whatever that talent is to work for this country. … I think I have a great temperament. I built a phenomenal business. … What I am far and away greater than an entertainer is a businessman. … I did a very good job. … People are very, very impressed with what I’ve done. … I promise if I wanted it, I would have gotten it. … I get along with all of them, and I did a damn good job in doing it. … I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with. … I respect women. I will take care of women. … We will have great teams and great people. … If I become president, we will do something really special. We will make this country greater than ever before. We’ll have more jobs. We’ll have more of everything.”

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Constitution Day

Today, Sept. 17, 2015, marks the 228th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. We invite you to honor the day by reading our Constitution, and to join our demand that elected officials abide by their solemn oaths to “to Support and Defend” the Rule of Law it enshrines.

Additionally, Mark Alexander has an extensive archive of columns on the Constitution as it relates to domestic and foreign policy, and more specifically, sections on Liberty and Rule of Law and on our Republic’s First Principles.

Today we also mark The Patriot Post’s 19th anniversary online. We do so with gratitude to you, our fellow Patriots, for your financial support of our mission and operations budget.

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TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Not Enough U.S.-Trained Soldiers to Take on JV Team

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F-22 Raptors in an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia. Photo courtesy US Air Force

This is not what Samuel Adams was talking about when he described an “irate, tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom.” Before the Senate Armed Services Committee Sept. 16, Gen. Lloyd Austin admitted the plan to train 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State has only produced “four or five” fighters. The Pentagon has allocated $500 million to the program that started this spring. To date, it has trained only 54 fighters, but they dispersed during Ramadan to visit family, during which the al-Qaida-linked Al Nusra Front attacked those remaining. “I have never heard testimony like this. … Never,” Sen. John McCain said in response to the news. “I have never seen a hearing that is as divorced from … reality.” CBS News reports the Pentagon will now lower its expectations for the program. But the root cause of America’s poor response to the Syrian Civil War isn’t bad management. The ideology held by the highest levels of this administration, the ideology that caused Obama to pullout from Iraq, the one that initially called the Islamic State the “JV team,” is the one driving this decision-making — and tainting the intelligence Obama receives to boot. In the spirit of cooperation, Secretary of State John Kerry has approached Russia, which wants to defeat the Islamic State while protecting the Assad regime, in an effort to coordinate our military efforts with theirs. Which will do what, precisely? Obama “always had a simple strategy for ISIS,” Charles Krauthammer said, “which is to do nothing until he leaves office and to turn it over to his successor.”

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Still No Ice-Free Arctic

With the fall equinox right around the corner, now’s a good time to assess the summer impact on seasonal Arctic ice melt. And make no mistake: It was another lousy season. But that doesn’t mean panic is in order. According to a report released Tuesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), “On September 11, 2015, sea ice extent dropped to 4.41 million square kilometers (1.70 million square miles), the fourth lowest minimum in the satellite record.” Another minimum is possible sometime in the next several weeks, but the recovery period is likely underway as the Northern Hemisphere transitions toward winter. Which brings us to one particularly noteworthy excerpt from the report: “The minimum extent was reached four days earlier than the 1981 to 2010 average minimum date of September 15. The extent ranked behind 2012 (lowest), 2007 (second lowest), and 2011 (third lowest).” So even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration alleges the globe is on pace to set another record warm year, the Arctic — where melt season ended early — isn’t exactly sizzling. Either that, or global warming has changed the temperature at which ice melts. And lest we forget, the 1.7 million square miles of present ice coverage is still 1.7 million square miles more than what the experts predicted some years ago. In 2009, then-Sen. John Kerry said, “Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013.” In that same year, Al Gore reiterated the claim: “Some of the models suggest that there is a 75% chance that the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months will be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.” Well, those time frames have passed, and not only is ice still around, its coverage is higher than 2007, 2011 and 2012

As a final note, while NSIDC claims, “the nine lowest extents in the satellite era have all occurred in the last nine years,” why is it that satellites are suddenly relevant? Other satellite measurements depict an 18-year-old global warming hiatus, and we in our humble shop don’t recall those statistics heating up coverage in climate reports.

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Government to Hire Psychologists to Study Americans

Ronald Reagan once said one of the most terrifying phrases in the English language is, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” That phrase got a bit more terrifying this week, as Barack Obama issued an executive order mandating government agencies use psychology to “yield substantial improvements in public welfare.” On a certain level, the field of political science touches psychology, as both have to deal with human nature. But the assumption is that people cannot act in their own self-interest. The government thinks you can’t stop smoking, save for retirement or find a job on your own. So agencies ranging from the Post Office to the Department of Health and Human Services are ordered to hire psychologists, study human behavior and institute nudge theory. Obama ordered, “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 got the idea for this executive order from the United Kingdom. The country, not exactly known for its freedom-loving initiatives, instituted the policy in 2010 that “nudges” people toward decisions the government wants. No longer will the government rule with an iron scepter. Instead, it will be inside your head.

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “As I pulled into the parking lot adjacent to my radio station in Los Angeles, I noticed a Mercedes R500 sitting next to me. Between the Mercedes symbol and the R500 label sat a big, fat bumper sticker: ‘BERNIE SANDERS 2016.’ The Mercedes R500 retailed at $71,000 back in 2006, when the well-off young gentledriver’s parents presumably purchased it. Now, their kid pulls up to the pricey Equinox gym (sticker price: $160 per month) with a bumper sticker touting the virtues of redistribution of wealth. This is the privileged generation of Americans. They’ve been able to benefit from the free markets of their parents; they can afford to purchase Fine water to sip while running on the world’s highest-end ellipticals, then clean off beneath the rain shower head before heading out to brunch at Gracias Madre. Then, that night, they head off to the LA Memorial Sports Arena to listen to a 73-year-old socialist babble on about the evils of the system that granted them their wealth. America has become so wealthy that its citizens now ignore the source of that wealth. … [T]his is what happens when no one teaches young Americans the morality behind the system that guarantees economic opportunity: young Americans decide that ‘higher morality’ dictates the death of that system.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor.” —English journalist William Cobbett (1763-1835)

For the record: “We’ve got a president who won’t even say the words radical Islamic terrorism. He has declared war on trans fats and a truce with Iran. Think about that. He’s more worried about Twinkies than he is about the ayatollahs having a nuclear weapon.” —Bobby Jindal

Upright: “The good news for GOP voters, and the country, is that the marathon debate — two hours is enough, thanks — showed again how much better this year’s field is compared with those in 2008 and 2012. There were several potential Presidents on stage, and the serious vetting is only now getting underway.” —The Wall Street Journal

Demo-gogues: “There’s nothing particularly patriotic or American about talking down America, especially when we stand as one of the few sources of economic strength in the world. Despite the perennial doom and gloom that I guess is inevitably part of a presidential campaign, America is winning right now. America is great right now. We can do even better.” —Barack Obama

Dezinformatsia: “I thought it was interesting how they all agreed on certain things. It is a hawk party to be begin with. It is an anti-Mexican immigration party. Call it illegal or whatever you want to call it, they don’t like Mexican immigrants. It doesn’t like Planned Parenthood. These are strong, clear strokes of ideology.” —Chris Matthews

Moral equivalence: “I am far, far from being a perfect human being, but I am motivated by a vision which exists in all of the great religions — in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam and Buddhism, and other religions. And that vision is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12, and it states, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the war and the prophets.'” —Bernie Sanders (Islam, for one, has no such virtue.)

Late-night humor: “According to political analysts, Hillary Clinton is now trying to make herself seem more relatable to the average person. So today, she spent the day criticizing Hillary Clinton.” —Conan O’Brien

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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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Germany’s Muslim Demographic Revolution

The surge in Germany’s Muslim population — propelled by a wave of migration unprecedented since the Second World War — represents a demographic shift of epic proportions, one that critics of the country’s open-door immigration policy warn will change the face of Germany forever……… Click here for full story


San Fran Cable-Cutting Possible Terror Dry Run

The seriousness with which the FBI and AT&T are treating the severing of fiber-optic communications cables in the San Francisco area indicates the sabotage could have been a dry run for a terrorist attack ……….. Click here for full story


Fiorina: I Dare Hillary, Obama To Watch PP Vids, ‘Shame On Us’ If We Can’t Force Obama To Veto Defunding

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina dared Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama to watch the Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, and declared, “if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us” at Wednesday’s primetime debate on CNN.

View 1 1/2 minute video


Obama’s Legacy? Household Income Falls, Poverty Rate Ticks Up: “In 2014, real median household income was 6.5 percent lower than in 2007”

President Barack Obama meets with NSC chief of staff Denis McDonough about updates concerning the attempted terrorist on Christmas Day. This briefing occurred in Kailua, Hawaii on Dec. 29, 2009. The President has received updates throughout his vacation since the incident. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

But we’re almost at full employment so that’s good right? Ha!

The truth is times remain hard for quite a good number of Americans. The Crash and subsequent recession hobbled many households. Many more people are on welfare and on food stamps than before the Crash. Many older people have just checked out of the workforce altogether. Many students are saddled in school debt. Many families in the suburbs remain quietly desperate.

But the crony class has boomed. Life is good (for many) in Washington DC and in New York, the 2 main nodes of cronyism in the USA.

The real economy has been regulated into stagnation.The government is too large. It must be cut. The economy needs fresh air. Time to turn the page on this self defeating economic policy, this era of expanded centralization and red tape. Time to get positive in every sense.

And just to be clear – this malaise didn’t start with Obama. He just took it to the next level.

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Obama’s Recovery In Just 9 Charts (It’s illuminating and disturbing)

This image came from Zerohedge and it appears from @DonDraperClone originally. It’s great and that’s why we repost it.

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Doritos Rainbows Launched To Promote The Radical LGBT Agenda

Doritos is producing rainbow-colored chips in partnership with nonprofit It Gets Better.

“And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel…” 1 Samuel 4:21 (KJV)

There is simply no escaping the New World Order’s push of the radical LGBT Mafia’s agenda. Even our beloved junk food is no longer safe from it’s insidious reach. Doritos Rainbows are a limited-edition version of its Cool Ranch-flavored tortilla chips to show the chip maker’s support of the LGBT community. The chips come in shades of green, blue, purple, red, and orange inspired by colors of the Pride flag. Who are the main consumers of Doritos products? The ultra-impressionable 18-24 year old age group. No surprise there. Since gays cannot reproduce, they must indoctrinate and recruit.

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There’s nothing bolder than being yourself,” the company declares on the package.

Despite pockets of resistance in areas across the country, America as a nation has fully embraced the LGBT lifestyle and all it represents. From the United States Supreme Court, all the down to a maker of junk snack food, everywhere you look Sodom and Gomorrah are being brought back to life. We say that we are doing it to be tolerant, open-minded and inclusive, but nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that God’s restraining Hand has been taken away, our protective covering lifted in judgment against us, and we don’t even know it.

Ichabod has been written across the doorposts of America

America in 2015 is not a Christian nation. Under Obama we have become a secular, pagan nation that worships all gods except the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob. We have forgotten that God completely destroyed both Sodom and Gomorrah for doing less than we are doing right now. The glory has departed from America, and we cannot see it. In the Bible, Eli the High Priest of Israel, and his two wicked sons Hophni and Phinehas, brought God’s judgment upon their nation because of their actions. When Phinehas wife died giving birth to his child, they named the boy Ichabod, which means that the glory, God’s glory, had departed from Israel. That’s exactly where America stands right now. We are so used to having God’s blessing, favor and protection, which has made us the mightest nation on earth, that we have taken it totally for granted. We think we will always remain on top, but the wolf is already at our door.

We elected a Muslim president who right now, at this very moment, is flooding America with tens of thousands of ISIS war fighters. Obama calls them Muslim migrants, and they are being shipped to every state in our nation. What you are now seeing in Europe is only a very short time away from being an everyday reality here in America. Have you ever read how God judged nations in the Bible? He raised up other nations against them. What’s that, you say? You cannot imagine America overrun with Muslims and beheadings happening daily on our streets? Just think about that while you stuff your face with a nice, big bag of Doritos Rainbows chips.

“And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” Genesis 19:28 (KJV)

So eat up, America, stuff your face with cancer-causing junk food that glorifies the Satanic LGBT Agenda, force the states to perform same-sex sodomite marriage ceremonies, and keep killing millions of babies each year and sell their limbs for financial gain.

Because Judgement Day is coming.


Saudi Arabia Has 100K Luxury Tents Sitting Empty But Refuse Muslim Migrants

Saudi Arabia has 100,000 air-conditioned tents sitting empty, still won’t take Syrian refugees

EDITOR’S NOTE: Muslim countries do not want the Muslim migrants because this has nothing to do with “repressed people” fleeing any country for their own safety. This is about a hostile Muslim takeover of non-Muslim lands in an effort to use biological jihad to colonize them for Allah. The proof of this is the fact that none of the Muslims are attempting to enter Muslim-run countries, only non-Muslim run countries. This is jihad, and nothing less.

As Saudi Arabia faces mounting criticism for refusing to take in any of the millions of Syrian Muslim migrants fleeing conflict in their homeland, it was revealed this weekend that the country has over 100,000 empty, air-conditioned tents that could house up to 3 million refugees.

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The tents, located roughly 2,150 miles from Syria in the city of Mina, are only used a few days a year to house pilgrims on their way to Mecca for the hajj, the news station TeleSUR reported. The huge tents are also fireproof and equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities.

But while Europe struggles to find space to take in the millions of asylum seekers making the perilous journey there, Saudi Arabia has been largely unresponsive to the crisis.

According to the to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are about 500,000 Syrians living in Saudi Arabia, but they are not classified as asylum seekers and it is not known when they arrived in the country.

Other reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has not taken in any new refugees, along with Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

No Gulf country has signed the U.N. Convention on Refugees, an accord standardizing the level of treatment of people fleeing to new countries.

Saudi authorities insist they had done all they can to support refugees by allowing them residency in the country, but say they do not brag about their support to the media.

“[The kingdom] was keep to not deal with them as refugees or to put them in refugee camps,” said one Saudi spokesman Friday, Reuters reported, adding they did so to “preserve their dignity and safety and gave them complete freedom of movement.”

The representative added that Saudi Arabia has given $700 million in humanitarian aid to Syrians.

Last week Saudi officials offered to build 200 new mosques in Germany to accommodate Muslim refugees. source


Hundreds Of Muslim Migrants Attack In Hungary While Shouting ‘Allahu Ackbar!’

Hungarian police have opened fire with tear gas against 1500 rioting migrants who are attempting to break through the country’s border fence.

Muslim migrants have been screaming “Allahu Akbar” while pelting police officers with missiles including “really big rocks”, bottles, and even food, leading to the crack down. The news follows Hungary’s state of emergency declared yesterday.

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The Hungarian crack down followed the suspension of the Schengen free movement area by Germany and Austria this weekend. It became clear to German authorities that a significant number of the migrants they were processing were not in fact refugees from Syria. Germany’s local authorities have also complained that they were overwhelmed by the influx of people, and were not about to process or house them effectively.

Reuters reports that Serbia says it has been informed by Hungary that the Roszke-Horgos border crossing will be closed for the next 30 days, and that Hungarian humvees with mounted guns are moving towards the Serbia border.

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There are reports that some Muslim migrants have managed to break through the border fence, and Hungarian police have begun to use the water cannon to deter the rioting migrants, dozens of whom are climbing onto local buildings, hurling rocks at the border police, while others find more ammunition and keep a constantly supply going. One Sky News correspondent reluctantly reported this afternoon that most of the migrants, “about 70 per cent” were men. “There are families too,” he hastily added. source


Obama Bringing Transvestite, Pro-Abortion Nun And Gay Bishop To Meet Pope Francis

President Obama will apparently test just how far Pope Francis’ notorious tolerance will go by inviting a rogue’s gallery of people opposed to Catholic teaching to greet the pontiff at the White House during his visit next week.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have a feeling that things are about to get real weird, real fast. As Pope Francis prepares to meet with Obama at the White House in an historic first-ever visit, Obama is stacking the deck with a potpourri of LGBT standouts to meet with the Vatican CEO. The question that remains to be answered is whether Obama is doing this to show his obvious disdain for the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality, or more likely, to aid Pope Francis with his efforts to bring the LGBT into the Catholic Church. Yeah, that’s it.

In a stunning show of political indecorum, Obama has invited a series of individuals who publicly flout Catholic teaching, including a pro-abortion religious sister, a transgender woman and the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, along with at least two Catholic gay activists.

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The White House was illuminated in gay pride colors on June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court legalized gay same-sex marriage.

One of the invitees, retired Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, made history by becoming the first openly gay episcopal bishop in 2003 and subsequently the first to divorce his gay partner in 2014, after having previously separated from his wife of 14 years. He has attended a number of religious events with the Obama administration, offering a prayer at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and taking part in the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.

Mateo Williamson, a cross-dressing woman and former co-chairman of the Transgender Caucus for Dignity USA, has also received an invitation to the White House for Pope Francis’ visit. Williamson says that though she now thinks of herself as a man, she continues to be attracted to males. “Today I identify as a gay man and before that was difficult to understand because I thought that in order to be transgender, in order to be a transgender male that I had to be attracted to females but I never have throughout my entire life.”

Though Pope Francis has said that he doesn’t believe in judging persons and is ready to welcome anyone in Christ’s name, he has also said that Catholics do not accept the modern mentality of transgenderism and once said that gay marriage is the devil’s “attempt to destroy God’s plan.”

“The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift,” Francis wrote in his encyclical letter on the environment, “is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation.”

Earlier this month, the Vatican officially prohibited transgender persons from being baptismal godparents posing as the opposite sex from which they were born.

In its response, the Vatican Doctrinal Congregation said that “transsexual behavior publicly reveals an attitude contrary to the moral imperative of resolving the problem of one’s sexual identity according to the truth of one’s sexuality.”

Another White House invitee for the Pope’s visit, Sister Simone Campbell, is the pro-abortion executive director of the social justice lobby NETWORK. Campbell fought against the U.S. bishops when Obama’s Affordable Care Act was originally being debated, in an attempt to undermine their abortion and conscience concerns.

Sister Campbell will attend two events: the White House reception and Pope Francis’ address to Congress on Wednesday. Campbell famously helped organize the “Nuns on the Bus” a tour by Catholic religious women to protest the budget of then-Senator

An intermediary for several of the invitations to greet the Pope was Vivian Taylor, a 30-year-old male transvestite who acted as Executive Director of Integrity USA, a homosexual and transgender activist wing of the Episcopal Church, until last March.

“A few months ago I received an invitation from the White House to attend the reception for Pope Francis,” Taylor told CNS News. “I was told I could bring several friends with me,” adding that he is “glad we can bring some LGBT representation to the event.” source


China compiles ‘Facebook’ of U.S. government employees

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 06:35 AM PDT

The incompetence of the U.S. government in allowing the records of millions of federal workers to be hacked and stolen is simply staggering. Fox News reports that according to private security firm CrowdStrike’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, the Chinese are compiling a massive ‘Facebook’ like database on American federal government employees for use in espionage and blackmail.

The data was stolen from high profile attacks against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as well as intrusions into the Anthem and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health insurance networks. “That can now be used to embarrass you publicly and force you to work for the Chinese government,” Alperovitch says. “It’s, in effect, a private version of Facebook with much more detail about your life than even Facebook has that the Chinese now have access to.” FULL REPORT

 

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Vladimir Putin forcefully defends supplying Syria with Russian weapons

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 06:28 AM PDT

President Vladimir Putin has forcefully defended Russia’s military assistance to Syria, describing it as aid for a government fighting “terrorist aggression” and saying the migrant crisis in Europe would be far worse without it.
The United States has expressed concern about a recent Russian airlift to Syria that is believed to have included military hardware and soldiers.

“If Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in this country would have been worse than in Libya,” Putin said, and the flood of refugees would have been higher. Pentagon officials say Russia has sent some of its most modern battle tanks and other equipment to an airfield near President Bashar al-Assad’s hometown, Latakia, in western Syria, possibly to secure the area as a base for airstrikes in support of the government. FULL REPORT

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Tuna and mackerel populations suffer catastrophic 74% decline

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 05:47 AM PDT

Tuna and mackerel populations have suffered a “catastrophic” decline of nearly three quarters in the last 40 years, according to new research. WWF and the Zoological Society of London found that numbers of the scombridae family of fish, which also includes bonito, fell by 74% between 1970 and 2012, outstripping a decline of 49% for 1,234 ocean species over the same period. The conservation charity warned that we face losing species critical to human food security, unless drastic action is taken to halt overfishing and other threats to marine life. Louise Heaps, chief advisor on marine policy at WWF UK, said: “This is catastrophic. We are destroying vital food sources, and the ecology of our oceans.”

Attention in recent years has focused on species such as bluefin tuna, now on the verge of extinction, but other close relatives commonly found on restaurant menus or in tins, such as yellowtail tuna and albacore, are now also becoming increasingly scarce. Only skipjack, also often tinned, is showing “a surprising degree of resilience”, according to Heaps, one of the authors of the Living Blue Planet report, published on Wednesday. FULL REPORT

The post Tuna and mackerel populations suffer catastrophic 74% decline appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Islamic State could Unleash the Black Plague

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 05:40 AM PDT

Chris Ryan said its widely known every superpower in the world is holding a range of deadly viruses including the plague, which a terror group such as ISIS could seize and unleash. It would see thousands of victims become covered in huge weeping boils, before suffering a slow and painful death. The bubonic plague has been taking hold across the west coast of America infecting people in six states and ISIS’s thirst for shocking new ways to kill means an endemic is a real possibility.

As ISIS grows across the Middle East and links with other terror groups across the globe, Mr Ryan believes the nightmare scenario of Islamic extremists infecting people and launching a biological attack is closer than we think.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “I was speaking to a doctor over dinner and he broached the subject, saying it would be a huge problem if ISIS got hold of viruses like the plague. “It could happen in the near future because of how they are changing the face of terrorism and it’s changing at an alarming rate. FULL REPORT

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Mass animal die-off with 100% mortality rate baffles scientists; something is going terribly wrong on planet Earth

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 05:34 AM PDT

A critically endangered species of antelope has been driven further to the brink of extinction following a mysterious and substantial die-off of its herd over the summer. The herd of saigas, which are native to regions of Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, began dying during their calving period in May, reports Newser, and scientists are at a loss to figure out why. According to reports, some 12,000 saigas died from a still-unexplained digestive issue after scientists speculated that there might have been too much greenery, reports Live Science.

However, the death rate quickly accelerated to 120,000 animals, or about half of the population in Kazakhstan, by June, including a herd of 60,000 that died off in about four days. “I have worked in veterinary diseases all my career and I have never seen 100% mortality,” Richard Kock, a wildlife veterinarian at the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, UK, who flew out to Kazakhstan last month to assist with efforts to make sense of the devastation, told Nature. “We had a herd of 60,000 aggregated and they all died. That is extraordinary.” FULL REPORT

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Starbucks issues ultimatum: People who believe in traditional marriage not welcomed as customers

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 05:26 AM PDT

Slowly but surely, traditional American culture and values are being swept away by liberal, progressive activists and culture warriors who actively encourage a break from our past, even if they don’t say so directly. The latest example of this dramatic cultural shift comes from coffee icon Starbucks, whose CEO and founder recently told customers and shareholders who happen to believe in the historical nature of marriage as a construct between one man and one woman to stay out of his stores.

At the company’s annual meeting in Seattle recently, CEO/founder Howard Schultz was challenged by a shareholder who questioned his well-publicized position of supporting gay marriage and last year’s support of a referendum in Washington state backing same-sex marriages. Schultz’s position led to calls to boycott Starbucks from the National Organization for Marriage, and the shareholder explained that led to lower-than-expected earnings. FULL REPORT

 

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US warns North Korea against nuclear ‘Provocation’

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 05:21 AM PDT

The United States warned Wednesday that North Korea will face “severe consequences” if it continues with what Washington sees as its provocative decision to restart a nuclear reactor. Pyongyang has said it has restarted the long-mothballed Yongbyon reactor, which is capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium, and has threatened to launch a rocket which US officials see as a test-bed for ballistic missile technology. Challenged as to whether Washington could respond credibly to the North Korean moves after earlier striking a deal to allow Iran’s nuclear program to continue under international supervision, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted it could.

“There will be severe consequences as we go forward if North Korea does not refrain from its irresponsible provocations that aggravate regional concerns, make the region less safe, and if it refuses to live up to its international obligations,” he said. “Our position is clear: We will not accept a DPRK — North Korea — as a nuclear weapons state, just as we said that about Iran.” FULL REPORT

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Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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Dispensationalism/Covenantalism Q and A

hipandthigh

On a Facebook group, a fellow posted a list of questions he had for apologists Matt Slick of CARM and Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity ministries. The questions were primarily directed at those two men and specifically centered around the systems of Dispensationalism and Covenantalism.

I asked if I could take a shot at offering my answers and the guy who posted them said sure. I spent a couple of hours on AWANA night in the TMS library compiling my responses. Seeing that I am stalled at the moment on my KJVO book review, I thought I would create a PDF and post it here if anyone else is interested.

There were a few questions I skipped, because they were too specific with Presbyterian WCF ideas, and I’m not a Presbyterian. The subject is kind of geeky, but deals primarily how we are to interpret the Bible and the…

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Yoido Full Gospel church in decline?

We wish to correct the below news article. It is misleading to call Yoido Full Gospel “Church” a church. It is a PDL/COP/HAW/NAR/WOF/ISL cult.

01_Code-Red_PDL02_Code-Orange_COP03_Code-Yellow_HAW06_Code-Indigo_WOF11_Code-Black_ISL

Cho has simply used the philosophies of modern day cults to mislead many Christian churches to believe that he is a legitimate Christian minister. He is not. (In fact, he has helped pioneer some of these dangerous cult movements.)

His theology and gospel do not reflect the historic Christian faith but rather a faith that is against genuine Christianity (see his work on the Fourth Dimension). The below article seems to suggest he has not kept up with the false PDL or the NAR teachings on youth recruitment. Then again, many youth who do know how to browse the web in Korea are probably learning the truth that Yoido Full Gospel does not reflect Christianity.

UCA News reports,

Signs of vulnerability for Korean megachurch

Scandal, aging population test Yoido after years of…

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Why the Jesus Movement Would Have Died Without a Resurrection

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

jesus-washes-feet-of-disciples-07

Introduction

Ovet the years there have been a slew of books that discuss the birth of the Jesus movement. Linguistically speaking, Christianity didn’t exist in the first century. Judaism in the first century was not seen as a single “way.”  There were many Judaisms- the Sadducees, the Pharisees, Essenes, Zealots, etc.  The followers of Jesus are referred to as a “sect” (Acts 24:14;28:22); “the sect of the Nazarenes” (24:5). The first followers of Jesus were considered to be a sect of Second Temple Judaism.  Historians generally look at historical causation and ask what might be the best explanation for a specific event. Skeptics have posited that the birth of our faith does not rely on a miracle such as the resurrection of Jesus.

Traditional Jewish Expectations

One of the Jewish expectations is that the Messiah will enable the Jewish people to dwell securely in the land of Israel (Is.11:11-12; 43:5-6; Jer.23: 5-8; Mic.5:4-6), and usher…

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GTY Blog – Frequently Abused Verses: Is Judgement Always Forbidden?

Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37; John 3:17

Code: B150916

by Jeremiah Johnson

Love, don’t judge.

For many people in the church, that simple slogan has become the kneejerk defense in the face of criticism and confrontation. At some point, believers decided that careful discernment and agapē love are diametrically opposed; that judgment is always a threat to our unity in Christ. And with no regard for the quality or content of the exhortation, too many Christians speedily deploy Matthew 7:1 as an all-purpose, get-out-of-jail-free card: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”

Writing thirty years ago in his commentary on Matthew’s gospel, John MacArthur explained how that verse is routinely misapplied as a shield against confrontation and conflict in the church.

This passage has erroneously been used to suggest that believers should never evaluate or criticize anyone for anything. Our day hates absolutes, especially theological and moral absolutes, and such simplistic interpretation provides a convenient escape from confrontation. Members of modern society, including many professing Christians, tend to resist dogmatism and strong convictions about right and wrong. Many people prefer to speak of all-inclusive love, compromise, ecumenism, and unity. To the modern religious person those are the only “doctrines” worth defending, and they are the doctrines to which every conflicting doctrine must be sacrificed. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) 430.

In the intervening decades, the church’s appetite for criticism, conflict, and confrontation has only further diminished. And in that same time, the misunderstanding and misapplication of this verse and others like it (cf. Luke 6:37; John 3:17) has taken root in the church, skewing its perspective on discipline and judgment, and insulating its people from rebuke and exhortation.

In fact, many in the church today behave as if confrontation and discerning judgment are forbidden. Any confrontation—whether it’s a question of personal holiness or doctrinal disagreement—is seen as prideful overstepping and an attack on the unity of God’s people. As John MacArthur explains,

In many circles, including some evangelical circles, those who hold to strong convictions and who speak up and confront society and the church are branded as violators of this command not to judge, and are seen as troublemakers or, at best, as controversial. [2] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, 431.

But Matthew 7:1 has nothing to do with avoiding conflict in favor of unity, or ignoring doctrinal or moral error in the name of love. As with many of the abused verses we’ll examine in this series, a simple look at the context makes the original intent of Christ’s words abundantly clear.

The seventh chapter of Matthew’s gospel represents the end of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount—His most extensive teaching on living as a citizen of the kingdom of God. Woven throughout that sermon is an exposé of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of His day. Jesus upends the system of works-righteousness they had inflicted on God-fearing people throughout Israel.

During Christ’s life and ministry, the Jewish faith had been reduced to a heavy-handed list of dos and don’ts. The religious elite had obliterated God’s original intent in giving His law to His people, replacing it with a burdensome system of works righteousness. And they held the entire nation to their corrupt, man-made standard.

In his commentary, John MacArthur explains how the focus of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount makes it clear that the Lord was not prohibiting judgment, but promoting discernment.

If this greatest sermon by our Lord teaches anything, it teaches that His followers are to be discerning and perceptive in what they believe and in what they do, that they must make every effort to judge between truth and falsehood, between the internal and the external, between reality and sham, between true righteousness and false righteousness—in short, between God’s way and all other ways. [3] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, 431.

With that in mind, the prohibition against judgment takes on completely different nuance. Christ was condemning a very specific kind of self-righteous judgment—the kind we see on display in His parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector.

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

Like many professing believers today, the Pharisees put on a good show of public holiness, and loved looking down on anyone who didn’t. As John explains,

Jesus here is talking about the self-righteous, egotistical judgment and unmerciful condemnation of others practiced by the scribes and Pharisees. Their primary concern was not to help others from sin to holiness, but to condemn them to eternal judgment because of actions and attitudes that did not square with their own worldly, self-made traditions. [4] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, 432.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1 were a reminder to the religious elite that they were not the final judges—that they too would stand before God, and that they would not want to be held to their own rigorous, self-righteous standard (Matthew 7:2). Believers today need to heed that warning as well, and avoid the same kind of hypocritical hubris regarding our own holiness, and how it corresponds to other believers’.

We also need to consider how to biblically discern, confront, and rebuke when necessary. Fortunately for us, Christ addressed that very issue in His subsequent statements.

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

Confrontation and criticism are not forbidden in the church, but they must be undergirded with humility and purity. We need to humbly submit to the Lord, shining the light of His Word into the dark corners of our own hearts instead of arrogantly pointing it in someone else’s face. It’s only when we’ve dealt faithfully and biblically with our own sin that we can help a brother see his own. And as John explains, even in the midst of confrontation, we need to maintain a spirit of humility.

All confrontation of sin in others must be done out of meekness, not pride. We cannot play the role of judge—passing sentence as if we were God. We cannot play the role of superior—as if we were exempt from the same standards we demand of others. We must not play the hypocrite—blaming others while we excuse ourselves. [5] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, 437.

We do a great disservice to the Body of Christ when we confront and judge one another in arrogance and self-righteousness. But, as John MacArthur writes, we also do damage to the church if we fail to exercise godly judgment and discernment when it’s warranted.

There is also danger, however, even for the truly humble and repentant believer. The first danger . . . is of concluding that we have no right to oppose wrong doctrine or wrong practices in the church, lest we fall into judgmental self-righteousness. We will then not be willing to confront a sinning brother as the Lord clearly calls us to do. The second danger is closely related to the first. If we are afraid to confront falsehood and sin in the church, we will be inclined to become undiscriminating and undiscerning. The church, and our own lives, will become more and more in danger of corruption. Realizing the impact of sin in the assembly (1 Peter 4:15), Peter made a powerful call for a confrontive, critical church when he said, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). Believers must be discerning and make proper judgment when it is required. [6] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, 437.

Discernment does not have to lead to division. If we faithfully follow the pattern Christ gave us, we will be able to confront one another out of love and humility, not arrogance and self-righteousness. And we’ll be able to humbly accept the input of others without rushing to defensive arguments and judgmental retaliation.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150916
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Sin Never Satisfies, but Jesus Does

Unfathomable Grace

When Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, it may have tasted fantastic going down, but in the end it left a bitter taste in her soul. That which promised satisfaction, and was pleasant for a moment, left her with terrible spiritual indigestion by the end of her day. Eve would tell us, sin does not satisfy.

We imagine Esau had the same experience. Oh, how he lusted for the chili that was fascinating to the eyes and enticing to the nose. There was a good chance Jacob was a “foodie” who had the art of cooking down to a science. Therefore, Esau was probably thrilled as he sat and dined in his brother’s presence. However, the second bowl could not have been as enjoyable a the first, and later, when he considered the price paid for his dinner, he surely struggled with buyer’s remorse. Esau’s sin did not satisfy for long.

Perhaps no story drives…

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GodLife: Forgiveness from God

Scripture: 38 “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do.” Acts 13: 38-39

What do I have to do to be forgiven by God?

God promises that through your faith in Jesus, He will forgive you. When you believe and trust in Him, you are free from your sins. There is no way to earn God’s love and forgiveness. He offers it freely by His grace – no strings attached.

What Happens When You Accept Christ?