Daily Archives: September 18, 2015

Greg Koukl expains the right way to handle an angry, aggressive atheist

WINTERY KNIGHT

A conflict of worldviews A conflict of worldviews

Greg Koukl is one of the scholars who got me started in apologetics. In his “Solid Ground” newsletter for January/February 2009, he talked about dealing with angry, aggressive atheists.

Let’s start with the question “what is a steamroller?”:

The defining characteristic of a “steamroller” is that he constantly interrupts, rolling over you with the force of his personality. Steamrollers are not usually interested in answers. They are interested in winning through intimidation.

Greg breaks down the techniques for handling steamrollers in 3 steps.

Step 1: Stop Him.

Your first move when you find yourself in a conversation with a steamroller is a genial request for courtesy. Momentarily put the discussion on “pause.” Ask to continue making your point uninterrupted.

One of the ways you can do that is using body language. You can raise your hand in the stop motion to emphasize your verbal attempt to pause the conversation…

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September 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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The Sanctity of Life and Defense of the Abused

If there is such a strong commitment to fight for the personhood of the unborn, why are there “crickets” when it comes to defending abuse victims? Abuse at its most basic level is an attempt to rob the personhood of the target by the abuser. Thus the silence seems like a glaring inconsistency, at best, and hypocrisy, at worst. Every time another instance of abuse within Christendom hits the headlines, I rack my brain trying to understand why this is so.

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The Cult of Death and the Life of Christ

But American culture is increasingly schizophrenic about death. On the one hand, the culture treats death as just another medical treatment—embracing abortion, infanticide, suicide, and the euthanasia of the elderly and the sick. On the other hand, American culture is panicked by the thought of death. We idolize youth and beauty, injecting our wrinkles with Botox and sucking away our midlife pounds with liposuction. Americans act like ancient pagans, offering sacrifices to a capricious god in the hopes that he will leave them alone.

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Five Suggestions for Christians in the Midst of the Sexual Revolution

I suppose giving up is one way to end the culture war, but it hardly seems consistent with the whole salt-and-light business Jesus talked about. There are more people who agree with you than you might think. Every time we speak up–thoughtfully, respectfully, winsomely–we help others see that the revolution has not overtaken all of us. If all the Christians remain quiet and refuse to defend the truth (or themselves), we will not only do future generations a disservice we will inadvertently lend credence to a lie that says traditional views are no longer possible or plausible.

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Obeying God’s Strange Commands Yields Amazing Results

What do you mean I’m supposed to keep myself sexually pure before marriage? What do you mean I’m supposed to forgive people who sin against me? What do you mean I’m supposed to humble myself and lay down my life and serve others? What do you mean I’m not supposed to be anxious about tomorrow when I can’t see where the money’s going to come from? God’s ways are not our ways. He calls us to TRUST AND OBEY

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Overture Seeks to Restore Marriage in the PCUSA to Between One Man and One Woman

The overture’s rationale states, “When we fail to seek Christ’s direction we are subject to the direction of the culture in which we reside and therefore can make errors in our judgment failing to glorify Jesus Christ in whom we seek to serve first and foremost.” When the PCUSA voted to amend the definition of marriage found at W-4.9000 in the denomination’s Book of Order, “there was no Biblical background given for its consideration and then its passing.

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What it Means to Have Courage

When we have done something wrong, repentance takes honesty and we have Christ’s forgiveness. When we know that we must speak unpopular truth to expose false teaching or hypocrisy, we are comforted that in a small way we are identifying with the suffering of our Savior, who is crucified and risen. That is what we are called to, inside and outside of the church. I would say that it takes even more courage than fending off AK-47 shooters.

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Inerrancy and the Death by a Thousand Qualifications

What confuses me, though, is that most theological terms require this kind of careful elaboration. Suppose, for example, that I said that I believe in the “gospel.” In many contexts, this would be taken as a relatively straightforward claim using a term that every Christian understands reasonably well. But anyone who follows contemporary discussions about the gospel knows that the meaning of the term “gospel” is far from obviously clear. People have written entire books about the gospel, and they differ considerably in what they think the terms means.

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Considerations for Choosing a Church

When looking for a church, one of the first things we’ll want to do is look at their doctrinal statement. And it’s a bad sign if such a thing is hard to locate, reluctant to be handed out, or shorter than an In-N-Out menu. We ought to be wary of the church which indicates, “Well, we are not about doctrine.” A church who is not about doctrine can be no more, therefore, about God, than a restaurant who says, “We are not about food,” can be about serving dinner.

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 God’s Perfect Timing for You

God’s Perfect Timing for You

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Church Leaders

&Keep trusting God. Keep praying. Keep asking, seeking and knocking. Wait patiently.&

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Help! My Doubts are Destroying My Faith!

Help! My Doubts are Destroying My Faith!

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Crosswalk

I’m finding that believing in the validity of Christianity is becoming more difficult. How should I handle my doubts?

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Where Are We Being Led?

There are several voices out there warning us of all sort of things.  People talking about “Blood Moons”, “Shemitahs”, economic collapse and the Pope meeting with President Obama.  Many see these as signs that the return of the Lord is near, but none of us know the hour or day, so we are about God’s […]

The post Where Are We Being Led? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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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 adopted by the U.N. […]

The post “Global Sustainability”? Or the Coming One World Government? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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What Should be Preached From Our Church Pulpits?

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

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Reframing the Battle

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

The post Reframing the Battle appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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What Would You Do If You Were Kim Davis?

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

The post What Would You Do If You Were Kim Davis? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Kim Davis and Hypocrisy

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

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And the World Will Be as One

In 1971 when I was 17, John Lennon released his song, Imagine. It became the biggest hit of his solo career. The melody was lyrical, poignant, and hauntingly beautiful. It touched something deep inside the listener when it was played. It still remains one of the most recognized and most often played compositions of modern music.

However, as lovely as the music was, it was the lyrics of the song that resonated with an entire generation of youth. It still does so today. The song speaks longingly of a time when there will be “a brotherhood of man.” Of a time “when the world will be as one.” The plaintive cry of the author/poet is this: “I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”

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Why Are Evangelicals Being Duped By the Theological Fraud that is Donald Trump?

 

Trump is as Christian as a toad and knows less about the Bible- so why are so many Evangelicals describing him as their choice for President?

In an attempt to perhaps pander to conservative Christians who make up a sizable chunk of the GOP’s voting base, Republican candidate Donald Trump cited a verse from the Bible that apparently doesn’t exist.

“There’s so many things that you can learn from it (The Bible),” CNN reports Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview. “Proverbs, the chapter ‘never bend to envy.’ I’ve had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy.”

CNN tried to find the Proverb that says “never bend to envy,” and came up short, and notes that while Trump has cited the Bible as his favorite book on numerous occasions, he’s never been able to quote an actual verse.

If you actually had to look to see if such a verse exists, you should shut up about the Bible forever.

During the CBN interview, Trump then compared the Bible to a good movie that gets better every time you see it, and said it is “special.”

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

Yeah, right, Don.  You love it so much you have no idea what it says about anything.  Please shut up.  And, Evangelicals who are falling all over yourselves supporting this person, shame on you.  You constantly blather on about how you want someone who shares your values to be President.  Trump doesn’t.  Let me say that again- TRUMP DOES NOT SHARE YOUR CHRISTIAN VALUES.


By Matt Slick

I would like to introduce you to the freedom we Christians have in Jesus. But before I do that, I need to speak about the Law.

A lot of people in groups like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jehovah’s Witnesses live under a set of laws and social expectations that can be smothering. This is because when someone’s salvation is tied to her behavior, attitude, appearance, and following a set of rules, then there can be little freedom to live, to make mistakes, and to grow.  Instead, she lives in mild fear.  The result is living in a church system where appearance is important, where failure is looked down upon, and where your social status depends on your outward godliness.  Therefore, in such churches, people will put on a good face, a proper smile, and not really share serious issues in their lives.

Such attitudes are ungodly.

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Book Review: Jonathan Cahn’s ‘The Harbinger’

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Needless to say, I’m late to the game. Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger was published in 2012 and since then, we’ve seen the claims of his latest book The Mystery of the Shemitah fall flat. But with so many believers reading his books, it seemed prudent to give this one a crack.

I’ll be honest up front. I was very skeptical going in and I expected to hate the book. However, in the end, I found it entertaining and interesting. One thing I was thankful for was Cahn’s presentation of the gospel in chapter 21, although it would have been stronger if he focused more on Christ’s substitutionary atonement for sin. Give glory to Christ, I say. However, this wasn’t a huge problem.

While I’m not intending to attempt a full blow-by-blow review here, since others have done a better job (Sola Sisters and Fred Butler), I want to bring to attention some “harbingers” of my own.

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FIRST, the underlying hermeneutical premise is flawed. In other words, the groundwork that is laid is not bedrock, but quicksand. On page 1, his main character declares that he has “an ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future.” Within a few pages, we know that he plans on using Old Testament Scripture as a key to unlocking America’s future.

However, this violates every law of interpretation under the sun! The worst thing a student of Scripture can do is read something into the biblical text that does not exist. It’s called eisegesis and it’s really, really bad!

His main text of reference is Isaiah 9:10, although he bounces around to other prophets. Now, off the bat, I’ll say that if it were possible for Isaiah to be writing about the United States of America, then the next 200 pages are feasible. But we must read the text and work to understand what it would have meant to its original listeners. Was Isaiah writing for the benefit of Americans? No.  Now, Cahn’s main character, a journalist who receives prophetic revelation from a mystery “watchman”, flat-out says that the Isaiah 9:10 passage (which is referring to ancient Israel) functions as a sign concerning America (p. 49).

Question: Says who? We have absolutely no cues from Scripture or from any other rabbi or teacher in the last twenty-seven centuries who have supported this interpretation!

Further, Cahn has been on-record to say that this information, which he claims is real, was given to him via prophetic revelation. However, we understand that the canon of Scripture has been closed for 2,000 years and no new revelation has been given. Apparently, Jonathan Cahn is the only one in church history to have been given this revelation concerning Isaiah 9:10.

SECOND, in studying the Old Testament, it is imperative that we understand “covenant”. There are two kinds of covenants: conditional covenants and unconditional covenants. An example of a conditional covenant would be the Mosaic covenant (Exod. 19:5; 24:7-8; 34:27-28; Deut. 4:13), where God commands obedience from Israel and declares blessing for that obedience. In other words, “If you obey Me, I’ll bless you; if you disobey Me, I’ll curse you.” An example of an unconditional covenant would be the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3, 12:6-7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-14; 22:15-18), where God declares that He will bless Abraham with no strings attached. Regardless of whether or not Abraham obeys, God will create a people through his line, give them a land, and crown a King.

So, what kind of covenant did God make with the founders of the United States? Answer: none.

Now, many of the first settlers who came to America were Christians—Puritans, actually. And part of Puritanical theology was centered on the notion of covenants with God. In truth, this is a noble and godly thing to do; to pledge yourself to obey the Lord. In fact, they believed that they were in covenant with God and built their lives around that belief.

Shemitah-coverBut God didn’t enter into a conditional covenant with the first settlers. How do we know? Because God operates under a New Covenant, and it’s an unconditional covenant. The only covenant He maintains with believers is that of salvation and regeneration through faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25). To insist that the residents of America are somehow under an Old Testament-like conditional covenant is to, in effect, turn the clock back on salvation history! May it never be!!!

Regardless of how beautiful an image it is, America is not Israel. To claim that to be so not only violates every law of hermeneutics we have, but it undermines God’s future plans for national Israel. But even if you’re not Dispensational in your theology, then know that it undercuts “spiritual Israel”—the Church! To place America into a covenant with God violates every possible understanding we have of true, biblical Christianity.

THIRD, Jonathan Cahn, although he doesn’t come right out and say it, identifies with the main character of the book who claims that he’s the messenger of a great prophecy. The content of the prophecy is a dire warning for America to turn from sin and return to God.

What, however, has been the fruit of receiving this message? Are we seeing national repentance? No. Instead, we are seeing fear and anxiety. People are date-setting the apocalypse, emptying their bank accounts and pulling out of the stock market, building shelters, stock-piling food. And, wouldn’t cha know it: Jim Bakker has been right in the front of the line, selling survivalism food kits!

Whenever end times prophecy is given in the Bible, it effectively accomplishes two ends. It prompts self-examination and provides hope in the Lord. Read Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians. Nowhere does he incite fear, using scare tactics. Rather, he tells them what’s coming, encourages self-examination, and gives them a message of comfort. Note Habakkuk’s prayer (Hab. 3:16-19). Peter’s exhortation to people, once he declared to them end times prophecy, was to call for them to live lives of “holy conduct and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:11).

This book has not produced holy conduct or godliness. All this book has produced is panic and fear. And lots of money in book sales for Jonathan Cahn.

FOURTH, Jonathan Cahn claims to be heralding a call for America to return to God. In fact, this has been his message when he’s made his rounds on the TV interview circuit. He’s been talking about the Founding Fathers, the harbingers, 9/11, the coming economic turmoil, etc. But I’ve yet to hear him give a clear gospel message on air. In fact, he barely mentions the name of Jesus at all. Yes, the gospel is presented in the book, but he abdicates his “prophetic” responsibility by making his PR campaign about saving America instead telling America about the Savior.

Friends, there will be absolutely no revival whatsoever apart from saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9-10).

Again, the message of this book (and The Mystery of the Shemitah) has not produced a hunger for deeper Bible study, increased holiness, or even love for neighbors. It has produced nothing but fear, which is not from the Lord (2 Tim. 1:7).

In the end, I fear that, while entertaining, The Harbinger is nothing more than a clever tale told by a self-proclaimed prophet who has strung a few obscure Bible verses together. In my opinion, however, Dan Brown is better at twisting Scripture into a story than Jonathan Cahn.

Author

Nate Pickowicz

Nate Pickowicz

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Nate Pickowicz is the pastor/planter of Harvest Bible Church in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. After being called into ministry in 2009, he led a team to plant in 2013. He and his wife Jessica have two children.


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Thin Complementarianism?

David Talcott weighs-in late on a Complemenatrian controversey pitting Aimee Byrd and Carl Trueman against John Piper. Talcott explains:

Several weeks back there was a bit of a dust-up in conservative Reformed Protestant circles over the following simple question: Does being a man or a woman have any ethical significance for the way we live together in civil society? Despite the success of feminism in radically reworking gender roles over the past half century, conservative Evangelicalism has maintained a modest conviction that our sexuality has ethical import. Certain New Testament passages compel conservative Evangelicals to maintain that women should not be pastors and that the husband is in some way the head of the home. The group of Evangelicals who hold to this, which readers will quickly ascertain is simply a boringly normal version of the historic Christian and Jewish teaching on such matters, are commonly called Complementarians. In their view, men and women are distinctive complements to one another rather than identical and universally interchangeable parts.
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Do Infants and Young Children Who Die Go to Heaven?

John Ankerberg

People often wonder what happens to young children, infants, aborted children, or children who die in miscarriage when they pass away. What does the Bible teach about the afterlife of children in such situations?

Though the Bible does not directly address all of these concerns, it does provide principles and examples that lead us to the understanding that infants and young children who die before being able to express faith in Christ will go to heaven. To be clear, all people are sinful from birth (Psalm 51:5) and commit sins even at a young age (Romans 3:23). Salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet we must still must with situations in which a child has not grown to the point where he or she can express belief in Jesus. What happens in these cases?

The Old Testament offers insight in 2 Samuel 12. David’s newborn son was sick and about to die. He mourned, prayed, and fasted on behalf of his son. Yet when his son died at only seven days old, David stopped mourning. When his attendants asked him about this, David replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (vv. 22-23).

What did David conclude? This was not the attitude of a godly man who saw his child perishing in hell or even in “the grave” in a general sense. David anticipated seeing his son again in the presence of God in heaven.

In the New Testament, Jesus had a special love for children, saying, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16; also Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16). This was used as an example of the kind of attitude a person should have in their trust of Jesus. Yet Jesus may have also hinted at His perspective of children going to heaven.

Many theologians and church traditions also speak about an age of accountability. In the Old Testament, those under the age of 20 were often not included in counts of people regarding Israel (Exodus 30:14; 38:26; Numbers 1:3, 18, 20, and others). Some have suggested this idea can be used similarly regarding a young age when people go to heaven since they are not yet held accountable in the same way for their sins. However, the New Testament does not make this claim and does not give a certain age at which a person must become a believer in Jesus Christ. Though there may be some relevance to this analogy, there is no particular “age of accountability” stated in the Bible.

The Bible does not directly state that young children or others unable to make a decision to follow Christ by faith will be in heaven. However, there is no reason to believe that God would not choose to mercifully save those who cannot make such a faith decision. God’s mercy extends to all sinners at a time when they cannot help themselves: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

1 John 2:2 also states Jesus is “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” This verse is clear that the death of Christ is sufficient for all sins. If God has chosen to cover the sins of young children and others unable to come to Him by faith, then the blood of Christ is clearly powerful enough to accomplish the task.

We can take great hope in these biblical passages. Christ has made a way possible for all people to experience eternal life (John 3:16). He has called us to believe in the resurrected Jesus by faith (Romans 10:9). For those too young to do so, His grace is sufficient and perfect to meet every need and cancel the judgment of every sin. Those who have lost children due to abortion, miscarriage, or an early death can take great hope that their child is in heaven. As adults, we can find joy through salvation in Christ for this life (1 Peter 1:8-9) and anticipate a future reunion with these children in the life to come.

CLICK HERE to watch Dr. Erwin Lutzer and Dr. John Ankerberg as they explain “What Does the Bible Teach about the Death of Infants?”


Our Culture Has Enshrined Foolishness — John MacArthur

John MacArthur Behind Pulpit Photo

MacArthur,

Our society is shot through with spiritual foolishness. It seems moral judgment has been completely overturned. Public schools cannot teach the Bible or even morality but are encouraged to instruct children in the sexual technique, then supply them with free condoms. School nurses are not supposed to dispense asprin without parental consent, but they may send young girls to abortion clinics without informing anyone in authority. Baby whales and baby seals have more legal rights than unborn infants. Courts are more concerned to protect criminals’ rights than victims’ rights.

Common sense rarely figures into public policy or society’s sense of morality. Professing wisdom, our culture has enshrined it’s foolishness proudly for all to see. . .

. . .People in our culture are are worshiping the elements, spotted owls, or dolphins and whales. Earth- and creature- worship seem at their apex in this society, which has no place for the Creator God. Mother Earth is preferred to Father God. . .

Another step in humanity’s downward spiral occurs when people become enslaved to their own passions: “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them” (Rom. 1:24). Nothing characterizes contemporary Western society more than lust. The size and power of the modern entertainment industry testifies eloquently to how thoroughly given over to lust our society is. Greed, gluttony, and sexual desire are the primary tools of the advertizing industry. Lust is big business in our culture. A dozen or so daily televised talk shows appeal shamelessly to people’s prurient interests. As people’s lusts are fed and encouraged, society grows more and more tolerant of immorality, indecency, obscenity, pornography, profanity, and other forms of smut. We noted earlier how standards in the entertainment industry have declined dramatically in the past few years. Gratuitous obscenities and sex scenes are routinely included even in films promoted as children’s fare. Music videos thrive on sex and sleaze. What the television networks are willing to broadcast into our living rooms becomes more explicit each season. . .

. . . Free from the deterrent of a healthy conscience and without God’s gracious restraint, runaway lusts inevitably lead to the most debased and perverted kinds of sexual sin. Fleshly desires deteriorate to become “degrading passions”: “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Rom. 1:26–27). That is precisely the course our society has taken. Sexual practices that were almost universally viewed as hideously perverted a few decades ago are now flaunted and celebrated in our streets.

taken from: MacArthur, John. The Vanishing Conscience. Dallas: Word, 1994. pp. 63,65,66,67.


Where Are We Being Led?

There are several voices out there warning us of all sort of things.  People talking about “Blood Moons”, “Shemitahs”, economic collapse and the Pope meeting with President Obama.  Many see these as signs that the return of the Lord is near. But none of us know the hour or day, so we are about God’s […]

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You Can Visit But Not Stay: Avoiding Theological Excess

 

There are plenty of things in life that may be worth visiting, but you really would not want to stay there for too long. When I pass a Krispy Kreme donut shop I am often enticed to pay a brief visit, and imbibe of the goodies. But because they are not all that good for you, it would be rather unwise to linger, or visit too often.

In the same way a couple on an average wage may go out to a really expensive restaurant once and a while, say to celebrate their anniversary. It is OK to do so on such occasions, but would be disastrous if they made a practice out of it – they would soon be broke!

Similarly, if you are a Christian who never fellowships with other believers, but instead spends all your time with those who mock, criticise and despise Christianity, you may well find yourself getting out of spiritual whack. You are in need of some balance here.

balance 2So we may do some things or visit some places but generally speaking it is not always wise to stay there too long. And it is the same biblically and theologically speaking. There are some theological extremes which may have some helpful aspects, but if we spend all our time there and do not get the biblical balance, we will soon be out of kilter.

Some much of the Christian life is about avoiding unhelpful extremes, and getting the biblical balance right. Thus if you spend every minute of your Christian life studying, reading and immersing yourself in all things eschatological, but nothing else, you will soon find yourself in a very skewed place.

Is the study of eschatology wrong? Of course not. It is a part of God’s revealed truth, and the return of Christ is a wonderful doctrine found in Scripture. But if that is the only thing you concentrate on, while ignoring other things, such as Christian fellowship, prayer, and the study of other core biblical truths, you will soon find yourself acting like, or becoming, a cult.

Indeed, most heresies and cults operate just like this. They will take one aspect of God’s truth and elevate it above everything else. They will minimise or ignore other key Christian doctrines while emphasising their one pet doctrine. That is always a recipe for trouble.

For example, a group might be worried that the church does not teach much about angels. They start asking, “Hey, when is the last time you heard a good sermon on angels?” They start to think that there has been a conspiracy of silence about this biblical issue.

So they really get into angels. They have sermons on angels, write books on angels, hold conferences and seminars on angels, and become utterly obsessed with angels. They soon establish the First Church of Angelology. And soon enough they are denouncing every other church and denomination for not emphasising the importance of angels.

Now, are angels something the Bible talks about? Sure, but they are not the only thing it talks about. To make angels your number one emphasis or priority means you have left biblical Christianity and simply become a cult. You will just end up in heresy.

We are to proclaim the whole counsel of God as the Apostle Paul said. To isolate one or two biblical truths at the expense of all the others will almost always result in you going off into error, if not outright heresy. Keeping the biblical balance is always crucial in the Christian life and in our doctrinal life.

Let me give a few examples here of places you can visit but not stay. There are some believers who struggle with low self-image, or with the truth that God’s accepts them and loves them. They may always picture God as a harsh tyrant and a stern judge. They can’t seem to relate to God as a loving father at all.

So then they get exposed to some teaching that really emphasises the grace of God. Indeed, some emphasise it so much that we call them hyper-grace teachers. That is all they talk about. That is their only message. So for our poor brow-beaten believer, when he stumbles upon this teaching or this church, it may do wonders for him – at least at first.

He finally comes to see how grace works, and how he is accepted in Christ, and so on. So for him this teaching or this church will seem like a real God-send. And it may well be – for a while. But as always, simply moving from one unhelpful and unbiblical extreme to another really does not do much good.

Sure, getting away from a distorted picture of God as a stern taskmaster who is more like Allah than Yahweh is a step in the right direction. But to end up in the opposite camp where sin, forgiveness and repentance are all minimised if not rejected altogether (as is the case with most hyper-grace teachers) simply exposes you to more error and out of balance doctrine.

Sure, at first it may be the very message a person like this needs to hear. And it may well help him heaps. But the trouble is, while it is good if he visits there, if he ends up staying there, he simply substitutes one truncated gospel for another. So stay there for a while to get your life and theology back to the biblical middle, but do not spend the rest of your life there.

Let me offer just one more example. Some Christians can be overly negative, pessimistic and complain a whole lot. They may tend to see the worst in everything, and they may tend to be overly morose and negative in their speech and thinking. This can be a real problem as even secular counsellors understand.

We even speak about psychosomatic illnesses and so on. If you are always bummed out, speaking negatively, and seeing nothing but trouble everywhere, that may well have a negative impact even on your physical health. If you say every day, “I feel lousy. I’m going to die. I am in a mess,” well, that may have some impact on your physical condition. There is a connection there.

In the same way, if you always say to yourself, “I am just no good” or “I will never amount to anything” and so on, that may well keep you from moving on and making a difference. And often these critical words can come from our parents, and have a lasting negative impact on us.

Sure, in these cases, you will want to get out of such ruts and get into a place with some more positive and uplifting vibes. Which is why many of these folks will be so powerfully drawn to the positive confession movement and the name it and claim it gospel.

The emphasis on your words having power, and that you can create your own destiny, and that you can think and speak your way to success, will certainly appeal to these folks. So they will latch on to these teachings and embrace them as gospel.

And for them, the teachings will probably be very helpful indeed – a helpful corrective to all the negativity and bad thinking they were into before. But as always, to go from one extreme to another in the end does not really solve anything.

Yes we can all be more positive, more encouraging, and look on the bright side of life more often – but within limits. Much of these teachings not only differ little from cultic and New Age teachings, but they end up being quite unbiblical. Many end up claiming we are “little gods” and that we can script our own reality just by what we say.

These teachings end up taking a magical and unbiblical view of the power of words, and the power of thoughts to create reality. So once again, we have some truth here, which may be of help to many. But because it is not the full counsel of God, it ends up going into error.

I have written often about these issues for those who want to see what some of the concerns are with these teachers and teachings. See these two pieces for example:
http://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/09/29/problems-with-the-positive-confession-movement/
http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/06/20/positive-confession-and-the-new-age-movement/

So once again we have the situation where a brief visit may do quite a bit of good. But a lengthy or permanent stay may do great harm. To stay plugged into these new teachings means to get out of biblical balance once again. We simply move you from unbiblical extreme to another.

God wants us to be mature, complete, balanced and whole in our discipleship and our understanding. He does not want us to be tossed about by every wind of doctrine. He does not want us to be simply swinging back and forth from one unhealthy extreme to another.

He wants us to grow up into maturity, both in terms of our life and our doctrine. So we can be thankful various theological emphases exist. Some of the more extreme ones may offer genuine help and comfort – but only if we just visit, and not remain there.

On occasion after a rough day we might treat ourselves to a bit of decadence at a chocolate shop or a desert place. Visiting there is OK. But we would do real damage to our health and our life if we stayed there. It is the same when it comes to various teachings and theologies.

Some can be of help in small doses, and if balanced with other teachings and biblical emphases. But if the whole package is taken, and we never more out of that place, we can cause real spiritual damage – sometimes permanent spiritual damage.

So we need discernment and wisdom here. Feel free to partake of the occasional Krispy Kreme theologies and teachings. But do not stay there for too long of a time. In the physical life a balanced diet is essential. Water is very important and good for you, but if you lived only on water you will soon be dead.

In the same way many teachings are of some limited value, and can serve as a good corrective to other extremes. But you must not stay there. To do so will stunt your spiritual growth and likely lead you into serious error.


The Heretical Blasphemy Of Joel Osteen: The Power Of I Am (VIDEO)

 

Osteen’s “preaching” is heresy combined with blasphemy, written in the study of Satan himself.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV)

In the Bible, the term I AM is the Name that God tells Moses in Exodus 3:14 he can refer to Him as when he goes back to Egypt to have a showdown with Pharaoh. God tells his this as the bush burns but is not consumed. It is a somber, awesome and fearsome time. So holy is it that God demands that Moses even remove his shoes, for even the ground where this is happening is holiness unto the Lord. But according to Joel Osteen, you can use God’s sacred Name as a buzzword to get cool stuff.  This is the poisonous heresy of the Word Faith Movement combined with the blasphemy of using God’s Name in vain.

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Joel Osteen excitedly begins to urge his followers to repeat after him – “Alright just repeat after me. I am strong. I am healthy. I am confident. I am confident. I am secure. I am talented. I am creative. I am disciplined. I am focused. I am valuable. I am beautiful. I am blessed. I am excited about my future. I am victorious. Alright how about amen?”

This is what passes for preaching in 2015, Laodicean slop where YOU are the focus and God is nothing more than an errand boy who is expected to provide “stuff” on demand. “When you talk like this”, Osteen declares, “these things will follow you and God will provide them.” Outrageous! How is it possible that Lakewood Church in Houston has not yet been hit with lightning? Nothing he “preaches” about has any relation to the Bible in any way, shape or form. There is nothing in the Bible that backs up any of the claims Osteen makes the way he makes them. Everything he says has been lifted out of context, twisted, and repacked until any original meaning has long since disappeared.

Pastor Joel Osteen’s Full Sermon “The Power of ‘I Am'”

WARNING: I only include this video of Osteen’s “The Power Of I Am” sermon so you know that what I tell you about his is truthful and accurate. I do not recommend that you attempt to listen to it all the way through.

The greatest Christian in the Bible, the apostle Paul, asked God 3 times for the “thorn in his flesh” to be removed. God say “no, my grace is sufficient for you.” Paul suffered the rest of his life with that “thorn” and then said that his suffering brought him closer to the Lord. This is Bible doctrine, folks, this is what the Bible actually teaches. Read it and see how it matches up with Osteen’s spewings:

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (KJV)

According to Joel Osteen’s reasoning, the apostle Paul was a faithless failure who only “dwelt on the negative” and didn’t receive God’s blessing because he didn’t “speak it and claim it”. Paul says “You want God’s power? Then glory in your weakness! Take PLEASURE in persecutions, in sickness, in distress.” That’s where God’s true power, riches and blessings are. Bible doctrine is the stark, polar opposite of Osteen’s theology.

Osteen’s sermon, “The Power Of I Am” at it’s best is Laodicean slop designed to appeal to self-centered, narcissistic “christians” looking to get more “stuff” from God. But at it’s worst, it’s heresy combined with blasphemy, written in the study of Satan himself. The Devil is the “I Will” guy, but the flip-side of that coin is stealing God’s Name and becoming the “I Am” guy. I cannot imagine how anyone can sit and listen to this trash on a Sunday morning and call it a “worship” service. It is nothing of the kind unless you are referring to self-worship, which actually seems to be the goal of Osteen’s urgings.

Enjoy all the money and the fame while you can, Joel, what’s coming next for you won’t be any fun at all.


Six Traits to Look for in a Spouse

Six Traits to Look for in a SpouseMy wife returned home from the salon and told me about the single lady who had cut her hair. This young woman shared some of her frustrations with dating sites that are only about how people look. Swipe this way if you think the person is cute; swipe the other way if you don’t.

She lamented that once you connect with someone, they usually just want a short-term physical relationship — nothing long-term or committed.

I grieve for those who find themselves grasping for relational intimacy through means like this. If you’re single and desiring to be married, you will find that taking the Bible seriously will prove to be the best dating guide in the long run, rather than the superficial criteria the world urges us to focus on.

In particular, Proverbs 31 offers some clarity about what to look for in a spouse. The description here is of the virtuous woman, but we can also think of many of these characteristics in terms of what a woman should be looking for in a man.

1. Does this person follow through on his word?

Verse 11: “The heart of her husband trusts in her.” He is never worried about her faithfulness to him. He never has to wonder if she is using their money in dishonest or foolish ways.

As you are getting to know someone who would be a potential spouse, consider if the person is honest and trustworthy. Does he have a track record of following through on his word?

2. Does this person make you stronger?

Verse 12: “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Verse 23: “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” It seems odd that right in the middle of this passage about the woman who fears the Lord, there’s a verse about the husband. But it makes a point about the woman’s commitment to her husband. Her work at home and service to her husband benefits his reputation and success. He is a better man because he is married to her.

Look for a person to marry who is going to encourage you and work alongside you in a complementary manner. A married couple should be stronger together than they would be apart.

3. Is this person hard-working?

Verses 13–16:

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

Look for someone who is disciplined and diligent, who has goals and works toward them, who starts projects and finishes them.

4. Is this person generous and hospitable?

Verse 20: “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”

This woman looks to the needs of her family, but she also looks to other needs around her. She is generous and hospitable and helpful.

5. Is this person wise and eager to help others?

Verse 26: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” She looks for ways to help others — both in practical, tangible ways, and also in emotional and spiritual ways. She is a sage, and others will seek out her wise counsel and benefit from it.

You want to marry a person like that — someone who is not consumed with his own selfish activities and entertainments, but delights to help others and has the wisdom to be truly helpful.

6. Does this person truly trust Jesus?

She is not overcome by worry, because she is trusting in her Lord. Verse 25: “She laughs at the time to come.” This woman fears God, and out of such healthy fear flows wisdom and kindness and hard work. The virtuous, godly woman will trust in God and in his providential plans for her. Therefore, she won’t be consumed with fretting over the details of the future.

This question gets at the core characteristic to look for in a spouse: Does this person fear the Lord? Is this person a believer? Don’t compromise on this point. Don’t become “unequally yoked” with someone who doesn’t share your most fundamental identity in life. Christ must be the foundation of the relationship, with both of you looking to him, trusting in him, and laughing together at the days to come.

Don’t Settle

Dream and pray and seek counsel about the characteristics you should be looking for in a potential spouse, and then resolve not to settle for less. Don’t let your dating search be driven by appearances. “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion” (Proverbs 11:22).

The world’s way of dating is a path of folly and pain. Search for a person with biblical discretion, a characteristic that is rare and rewarding. As you rest in God’s plan, in his timing, pray for a spouse who is trustworthy, helpful, hard-working, compassionate, wise, and trusts Jesus.

And one more thing: Don’t go at this alone. Don’t presume that you, on your own, have a sufficient amount of discernment to evaluate a potential spouse. If you’re in a dating relationship, introduce this person to as many friends of yours as possible, especially your church family. Ask for what they honestly think, and see what yellow flags they raise. That is what humility looks like in a dating relationship — inviting the counsel of others and not believing the lie that you know better than everyone else.

Let the wisdom of Scripture guide your dating decisions, not superficiality.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)


Related Articles


9 Things That Will Still Be True About the Church in 10 Years

Leaders always attempt to anticipate what is going to change, so they can prepare for those changes in their organizations.

Great church leaders are like sailors who are reading the breezes and adjusting the sails to catch the winds of change. While we worry about the latest social media trend or where music in the church is headed or if it’s possible to train robots to do pastoral care, we also need to invest in what we know will remain true and build our ministries, systems and approaches around that. Here are some areas where our churches can have impact for a long time to come!

• Parents Will Still Worry About Kids. Investing in a thriving ministry to families is one of the smartest things any local church can do. There is always a new wave of young parents trying to figure out how to deal with sleep deprivation and raising kids, and every year there are parents who are dealing with their first-year high schooler. These anxieties aren’t going anywhere! What can your church do to help build a ministry to families that will attract and impact them for years to come?

• The Next Generation Will Matter More. Ten years ago, there was a lot of conversation about reaching the Gen-X generation … today we’re all worked up about reaching the Millennials … in 10 years’ time we will be worrying about reaching the next generation. This is a good thing. The church is just one generation away from being totally obsolete. We need to be perpetually looking to the people coming after us and build our churches for them, not us. If we don’t, our churches will literally start dying off.

• Marriages Will Be Struggling. Being married is tough. The broader culture doesn’t reinforce healthy relationships. People will continue to struggle with what it means to have a healthy and growing marriage. An innumerable amount of hours will be spent talking about how marriages are going off the tracks. What is a systematic response to helping people not just survive their marriages but thrive in them?

• The Bible Will Need Explanation. Let’s be honest … sometimes the Bible is hard to understand. It’s an ancient text written thousands of years ago in a Middle Eastern agricultural society. Modern society is increasingly urban and more distant from the cultural context in the Bible. We’re going to continue to need clear and compelling explanations of the Bible and its relevance for us today. Our task is to make it understandable for today and the future!

• People Will Be Self-Obsessed. We’re all selfish and, at the core, that is the problem with humanity. We choose our own path rather than the path that helps others. We are most interested in ourselves and our problems. Our churches will continue to need to deal with this reality. Often people come to church for “selfish” reasons—they’re looking to gain spiritual insights or wanting to make friends, etc. Our goal is to help people move beyond that. How are we working to build a ministry that helps people look beyond themselves?

The post 9 Things That Will Still Be True About the Church in 10 Years appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


12 Things Pastors Do Not Know

As a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, faithful pastor, you know a great many things. “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren” (I John 3:14). “We know love” (3:16). “We know that we are of the truth” (3:19). “We know that He abides in us” (3:24).

But there is so much we do not know. Here is a partial list …

1) You do not know what people in your congregation are going through.

You know some of what several are experiencing. But even with those closest to you, so much of their personal lives is hidden from all but God.

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2) You do not know what God is doing in each life.

It’s like the wind which blows, said our Lord to Nicodemus. “It blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes” (John 3:8).

3) You do not know the plans the Lord has for each one.

“What about him?” said Peter to the Lord, pointing to John. “What is that to you?” said Jesus. “You follow me” (John 21:21-22).

4) You do not know exactly who is sitting in your congregation.

Recently, before I stood to preach, the pastor introduced me to each member of his congregation. Perhaps there were 30 present. I said, “When the church grows to 200, I want to see you do that!” He vowed that he would. But most cannot.

5) You do not know how God has brought them to this moment.

See the above reference to John 3:8 again.

6) You do not know what struggles each is enduring.

Not everyone tells you their problems, and not all wear their pain on public display.

7) You do not know how God is going to use you today.

We must approach every sermon as though this were life and death for some, for it may well be.

8) You do not know which word of yours God will use to prick their hearts, convict them of sin, strengthen their faith and bring them to Jesus.

9) You do not know how inadequate you are.

And that’s all right. I imagine if we knew, we would be so discouraged we would quit. “Not that we are adequate to think anything of ourselves, but our adequacy is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). It’s all about Jesus.

10) You do not know what potential you have.

The post 12 Things Pastors Do Not Know appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Free Kids Series: “Erased”

Free Kids Series

Download this 4-week series to help teach your kids about their identity in Christ.

This kids series package includes:

  • Experience guides
  • Game guides
  • Message videos
  • Teaching segment videos
  • Challenge cards in PDF format


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Resource provided by Open.church


Download Instructions: 
Follow the on-screen directions at the download site.

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The Christian Cure for Worry

Anxiety is big business. The average bookshop has hundreds of ‘self-help’ titles addressing people’s worries: their weight, looks, personality, sex life, health, assertiveness—you name it. Here’s a quote from one of them. It’s called The Power of Inner Peace. In the introduction the author says,

‘When I claim my personal power then I can be at peace. When I am at peace I have the strength to claim my power. It is a circle. Now I know that deep in my centre is a place of stillness and peace. From this space I can easily access my higher guidance.’

Nope—I haven’t the faintest idea what that means either! Thank God the Christian remedy for anxiety is far more helpful and realistic. In Philippians 4.6-7 Paul writes, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

  1. Believe what it says. God really is telling us not to worry about anything. It’s addressed to a church under serious pressure—Christians in Philippi were expected to sacrifice to the Roman emperor on public occasions, calling him ‘Lord’ and ‘Saviour’. Refusal to comply could lead to them losing their livelihoods, if not their lives.

More than that, these words were written by someone under serious pressure. Paul is not being glib when he says ‘stop worrying about anything.’ He’s in chains while he writes these words, under house arrest in Rome, awaiting trial. He doesn’t know if he will be acquitted or condemned. Read 2 Corinthians 11.23-27, where we get a fascinating series of snapshots of Paul’s life. Shipwrecked three times! A day and night floating on the open sea! He received the 39 lashes five times! One dose was often fatal, never mind five. So this is not some ivory tower theologian dispensing advice from the cool of the study. This is a man who knows what he’s talking about.

  1. Do what it says. Literally v6 says ‘stop being anxious about anything.’ The word means fretful, harassing care. It’s the kind of worry that grips the mind so you can’t think about anything else. It grows to fill your whole world. But it’s not enough just to be told to stop worrying, which is why Paul goes on to give a positive command: pray.

Paul piles up three different words for prayer, but they all have more or less the same idea behind them—petition. When you’re worried, tell God all about it: ‘in everything’. Get down to the specifics. Spell it out. God wants you to bring it all to him. Remember this is the God who knows the number of hairs on your head (Mt 10.30), whose thoughts about you are more than the number of grains of sand on the earth (Ps 139.18).

Remember too that there’s a right way and a wrong way of doing this. Two words are emphasised in the original language: ‘with thanksgiving’. Begin by reviewing all that God has already given you. That will put your worries in perspective and strengthen your faith in him to deal with your present and future concerns.

  1. Receive what it says. Verse 7 does not say that when we pray to God with thanksgiving all of our problems disappear so that there is nothing to worry us any more. Instead God does something even more miraculous. He gives us his own peace to guard our hearts and minds. He enables us to live at peace in the midst of anxious circumstances. ‘The peace of God’ is the peace God himself experiences! The Lord doesn’t suffer from stress-induced ulcers or tension headaches. He has no anxieties about the future because he is in control of the future. That’s the peace he gives to his burdened people when they pray with thanksgiving. You can be as free from worry as God himself!

His peace guards you. You know how it feels, don’t you? You’re lying awake at 3am and you start worrying about something, and before you know it your being besieged by an army of fears and worries. God’s peace guards you. And it guards you precisely where it’s most needed—at the most vulnerable places: our hearts and minds—our feelings, thoughts and imaginations. These are the things that run riot within us when we’re in the grip of worry, so that we can’t think straight or be reasonable. Our imaginations invent all kinds of worst-case scenarios that we’re convinced are going to happen to us! How we need the peace of God to ward off such thoughts.

Small wonder Paul says this peace ‘surpasses all understanding’. It just doesn’t make sense to be at peace in midst of difficult circumstances. Unbelievers look at you and scratch their heads in wonder: ‘How can they be so calm? It’s not natural.’ And they’re right—it’s supernatural. It’s God’s gift to all who are ‘in Christ Jesus’. It’s a precious spiritual blessing that Jesus lived and died and rose again to purchase for you.


3 Reasons We Need to Pray

As a Christian, as a pastor, and as a church member, I find myself at a lot of meetings. And more often than not, these meetings begin with prayer. I don’t often think about why we do this—we just do it. We pray before we do business, and we pray before we do ministry.

As I drove home from a meeting yesterday, I thought about these little prayers and how much I enjoy them. I thought about their sheer significance.

Praying declares that we do not have the wisdom we need. My guess is that when the executives at Amazon or Google gather in their corporate settings to make major decisions, they believe that they have the wisdom, experience, and expertise they need right there in the room. As Christians, we know that we do not. We know that we are entirely dependent upon wisdom that comes from outside ourselves. These little prayers, prayed by even the best and brightest Christian minds, are a simple plea for help, a child’s plea to his father to give the gifts of knowledge and wisdom.

Praying declares that we do not have the time we need. There is something so deliciously counter-cultural about saying, “We have a very full agenda and only a couple of hours to make some major decisions. So let’s start by investing a few minutes asking for help from an invisible but all-powerful God.” And if your experience is at all like mine, you have probably found that the meetings that begin with heartfelt prayer often end up being unusually productive and generating unusually wise decisions—almost as if God really does hear and answer those prayers.

Praying declares that we do not have the motives we need. Prayer is a cry to God not only for wisdom and appropriate use of time, but also a plea that we will make decisions for the best of motives. We understand that without God’s help we will make decisions out of fear of man instead of fear of God; we will make decisions that are good for us even if they are bad for others; we will decide to do what preserves our comfort and security even if it skirts morality. So we begin our time together by asking God to elevate our motives so that every word, every thought, and every decision will bring glory to him.

It’s a simple habit, this. But it’s both beautiful and meaningful.


Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

God Wrote a Book, Desiring God. Few people can evoke the kind of wonder and excitement about the Bible as John Piper does. Listen to this and be inspired to spend more time with the most valuable item you will ever own. “God wrote a book. And with this book—these words in front of us—he wakens our dead, bored souls. He frees us bondage to sin, from desires that rob us of life. He comforts the depressed, inspires the discouraged, guides the confused. He satisfies us completely and forever, with words—his words.”

Articles of the Week

Five Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship, Tim Challies. It’s no secret that our current generation of young singles finds dating mystifying and complicated. When dealing with the vagaries of another human being, of course, some measure of difficulty will always be there. But as Challies points out, we also sabotage ourselves far more often than we realize. Take a lesson and avoid these common mistakes.

The World’s Short Attention Span, Quantified, Kalev H. Leetaru, The Atlantic. Chances are you’re aware of the current crisis in and around Syria. But do you remember the earthquake that devastated Nepal earlier this year? Probably—although the news doesn’t. Why is it that when it comes to news, we have such short attention spans? Leetaru offers some answers, with graphs to back it up.

The Myth of Quality Time, Frank Bruni, NY Times. While I (Chris) sometimes disagree with Bruni, his writing is masterful, and he often produces profound social critique, as in this article, which argues, “There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.” Intimacy isn’t something you can manufacture and slot into specifically “quality” time; it’s something that grows throughout the otherwise mundane moments. If you love someone—your spouse, your kids, your friends—it’s not too complicated, thought it’s plenty difficult: be present.

Three Sinful Things to Say in Conflict, Lore Ferguson. There are, to be sure, far more than three sinful things to say during any one conflict (seventy times seven, perhaps?). But Ferguson points out three of the more subtle ones. I could’ve anticipated the first two, while the last one wasn’t what I expected. But she’s right about that one, too.

On The Lighter Side

Seven Magic Tricks That Went Horribly Wrong, Mental Floss. Yeah, this is a bit dark to be “on the lighter side.” But it’s reminiscent of a train-wreck—terrible, but you just can’t look away. On the positive side, not all of these magicians ended up dead. So that’s…something.

Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”


A La Carte (September 18)

Let’s talk Kindle deals. First off, Amazon has a new Kindle Fire tablet that will do just fine for reading books while setting you back only $49.99. As for books, consider The Immigration Crisis by James Hoffmeier ($4.79) and The End of Christianity by William Dembski ($0.99). (To review the rest of these week’s deals, just click here.)

The Solar System

This took a lot of effort and ingenuity: “On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.”

The Desire to Be Desired

This is good stuff from Ed Welch. “At the heart of the romance novel is the thrill of being desired—irresistibly, intoxicatingly desired. And since that genre is the most frequently visited Internet category among women, there is a lot of ‘desiring to be desired’ out there. A lot. Since men’s idolatries get most of the attention, this is a short meditation aimed at bringing fairness to this imbalance.”

The Rise of Victimhood Culture

I appreciated this article’s description of the culture of victimhood we see around us today. “A recent scholarly paper on ‘microaggressions’ uses them to chart the ascendance of a new moral code in American life.”

The Most Misread Poem in America

This is an entertaining interpretation of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” and an explanation as to why most people get it wrong.

This Day in 1905. Scottish clergyman and novelist, George MacDonald, who would influence many through his writings, including C.S. Lewis, dies in England. *

Is Baptism Required for Church Membership?

Whether or not you agree with the major premise of this article about baptism and church membership, I think you’ll benefit from reading it. (For what it’s worth, I need to think more about it, but am generally inclined to agree with most of what he says.)

Ambition and a Future Target

I have been thinking about ambition a lot, and appreciate what Dave Harvey calls for here. “God wants to rescue ambition. But not to build future monuments to our own glory. I’m talking about an instinct that looks for new ways to glorify God through our dreams.”


The Daily Discovery (September 18, 2015)

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

3 Reasons We Need to Pray – “As a Christian, as a pastor, and as a church member, I find myself at a lot of meetings. And more often than not, these meetings begin with prayer. I don’t often think about why we do this—we just do it. We pray before we do business, and we pray before we do ministry. As I drove home from a meeting yesterday, I thought about these little prayers and how much I enjoy them. I thought about their sheer significance.”

4 Truths About Hell – “So, what should we think of hell? Is the idea of it really responsible for all the cruelty and torture in the world? Is the doctrine of hell incompatible with the way of Jesus Christ? Hardly. In fact, the most prolific teacher of hell in the Bible is Jesus, and He spoke more about it than He did about heaven. In Matthew 25:41–46 He teaches us four truths about hell that should cause us to grieve over the prospect of anyone experiencing its horrors.”

The “Democratic Causality Myth” – “First: it takes two to create marital problems. No, it doesn’t. It only takes one. It feels embarrassing even to have to say that, it’s such a Biblically obvious point — but the notion of necessarily democratically-shared liability is so widespread that some air-clearing is necessary.”

Matthew 27:51-54 – Understanding a Difficult Text – “Let’s get our “Bible Geek” on, and see if some quick but careful study leads us to doxology. Sound fair? Great!”

There Is Hope in Your Struggle for Light – “In the tiny front yard of our little inner-city plot in Minneapolis live two crabapple trees. My wife and I bought them from the same nursery and planted them on the same day fourteen years ago. But if you were enjoying a late summer stroll down our street today and noticed them, you would wonder why these two trees look so different.”


SERMON:

Ray Comfort – Noah Movie


VIDEOS:

The Danger of the Modern Gospel

Do You Watch the Things God Hates?


“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 18, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


09/18/15 Worshiping Despite Fear

By Chuck Lawless on Sep 18, 2015 01:00 am

READING: Ezra 1-3

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  The book of Ezra is one part of the story of the Hebrews returning from exile in Babylon. Under the permission of the Edict of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1:1), many leaders and servants began the return to Jerusalem.  There, they began the work of rebuilding the Temple foundation, beginning with the altar. Here’s the text that most gives me reason to think today:

Ezra 3:3  They set up the altar on its foundation and offered burnt offerings for the morning and evening on it to the Lord even though they feared the surrounding peoples.

The leaders began rebuilding the altar and offering sacrifices, and fear set in. The people around them apparently did not want them to re-build (in fact, opposition will be more clear in chapters to come). Nevertheless, the leaders pushed through their fear and remained diligent in the task. Whereas the people of God had centuries before refused to enter the Promised Land because of fear, these leaders would not allow fear to trump their obedience upon their return to that land.

That’s a good word for us. Our being afraid is a real issue at times. Even though we always want to trust God, our sinfulness sometimes takes us down the path of fear. When that fear develops, though, we still must make the right choice: be obedient anyway. We’ll discover that God is ultimately bigger than our fear.

PRAYER: “God, help me to push through my fears today. Regardless of the potential cost, let me live in complete obedience.”

TOMORROW¹S READING: Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137



Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, September 18, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Muslim Student’s Creative Clock Draws Police — and White House Invitation

Married Couple Says Pope Francis’ Blessing Made it Possible for Them to Have Children

Report: One Christian Martyred Every 5 Minutes

Pastor Says Iran Nuclear Deal and Final Blood Moon are Prophetic Signs from God

Top 8 Religious Quotes from the GOP Debates

103-year-old Woman Banned from Church for Criticizing Pastor’s Preaching Style

Carrie Underwood Talks about Motherhood and New Album

Q&A with David Oyelowo: ‘For Me, Jesus is My Denomination’

Pastor Encourages Middle Schoolers to Take Failing Grade Rather Than Accept Islam Indoctrination

Fiorina Battles Trump in Second Debate

Opinion

Love Triangle at Stanford Business School?

The American Constitution: Why it Endures

Maybe We’re on the Right Side of History after All?

Is Kim Davis Our Future?

Educating We, the People: Constitutional Literacy Day


Our Time is Short

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


Good News

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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September 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 18, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Last week, President Obama opened America’s doors to more Syrian refugees, ordering his administration to admit at least 10,000 in the 2016 fiscal year. It will be neither fast nor simple to meet that goal.

If President Obama had his way, U.S. business leaders would confront Chinese President Xi Jinping over unfair competition and computer hacking on his visit to the U.S. next week. Based on their near-silence so far, there’s no chance of that.

U.S. company executives will be able to travel more freely to Cuba under rules the Obama administration issued Friday that also allow easier exports of software and telecommunications equipment to the island nation.

Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly discusses the Vatican’s displeasure with some invited guests for Pope Francis’ visit to the White House and the political aspects of the Pope’s first U.S. visit.

U.S. stocks tumbled, while Treasuries gained with the yen as the Federal Reserve’s warning that the global economic outlook was uncertain rippled through markets. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped with European stocks, while gold gained after Fed Chair Janet Yellen sounded caution over slowing growth in China.

U.S. company executives will be able to travel more freely to Cuba under rules the Obama administration issued Friday that also allow easier exports of software and telecommunications equipment to the island nation.

In the first seven months of the year, China purchased about half a million barrels of crude in excess of its daily needs, the most for the period since 2012. As the country gathers bargain barrels for its strategic petroleum reserve, the demand is cushioning an oversupplied market from a further crash, according to Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

Russia said it’s willing to consider sending troops into combat operations in Syria if President Bashar al-Assad’s government requests assistance.

Religious groups needn’t obey the Affordable Care Act mandate to provide workers with health insurance that covers contraception and can’t be forced to tell the government when they don’t, according to an appeal ruling that pushes the fight toward the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games will be the first of a leaner type of competition that will limit spending on big-ticket venues to avoid alienating the public.

AP Top Stories

An Iraqi man who spent time in jail for membership in an Islamist terrorist group was shot dead by German police Thursday after he stabbed and seriously wounded a policewoman.

Russia summoned Poland’s ambassador on Thursday to protest at the removal of a Soviet-era statue in a Polish town on the 76th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, highlighting increased tensions between the neighbors.

About 330 Islamic State fighters have been killed in British air strikes since the Royal Air Force began carrying out raids against the group in September last year.

Over 25 years, from 1987 to 2012, minority teachers have actually grown as a percentage of the teaching workforce, from 12 to 17 percent. However, that modest change is nowhere near keeping pace with student demographics, now that over half of public school students are children of color, leaving the institute to conclude that “More than 60 years after the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education was handed down, its promise remains un-fulfilled.”

Senate Democrats turned back two final GOP attempts Thursday to undermine the Iran nuclear agreement, and Republicans indicated they would concede defeat and move on to other topics.

The White House launched a national, multilingual public awareness campaign Thursday to help almost nine million legal permanent residents overcome barriers to become U.S. citizens.

BBC

Migrants flooding into Croatia are being “moved on”, PM Zoran Milanovic says, adding that his country cannot become a “migrant hotspot”.

The US is seeking military talks with Russia on Syria, and hopes they could take place “very shortly”, Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

The Mexican authorities have arrested a gang leader who they say was a key figure in the disappearance of 43 students last year in the town of Iguala in Guerrero state.

Cuba has appointed an ambassador to the US – the first since 1961 – as part of the ongoing thaw in relations between the two countries.

Half a million children have fled attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram over the past five months, the UN children’s agency said.

Militants have killed at least 29 people after attacking an air force base in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

WND

Israel has intelligence regarding specific plans by Arab youth to provoke violence on the Temple Mount as Jews prepare for the high holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles.

A Palestinian television show features two interviewees in military fatigues who declare their aspiration in life is to “blow up the Jews.” They’re about 6 years old.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rule has issued a subpoena for the full and unedited videos made by the Center for Medical Progress, according to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Burger King had a gay-themed Whopper in 2014. Frito-Lay has countered with gay-themed Doritos.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 10-3 on Wednesday to approve a bill to repeal the prohibition on cohabitation, which has been on the Florida books since 1868.


Top – 9/18/2015

Arabs Attack Police in Jerusalem’s Old City
The anticipated Arab attacks near the Temple Mount at the end of Friday prayers did not disappoint, as Arab rioters hurled rocks at police forces at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City.

GIANT PROMINENCE
The biggest thing on the sun today is not a sunspot. While most sunspots are about the size of Earth, this enormous prominence measures dwarfs our planet. A “hedgerow prominence” is a massive cloud of plasma held aloft by solar magnetic fields.

INCREDIBLE NEW PHOTOS OF PLUTO
NASA is still downloading images from the Pluto flyby two months ago. Some of the new arrivals, like this one received on Sept. 13th, are causing researchers to question what they thought they knew about the distant dwarf planet. Pluto’s rugged, icy mountains tower over a vast frozen plain extending to the horizon. The backlighting highlights more than a dozen layers of haze in Pluto’s tenuous but distended atmosphere.

Developed, emerging markets diverge as Fed keeps rates steady
European stocks fell on Friday and bonds rose, pushing yields sharply lower, after the U.S. Federal Reserve cited weakening global growth and the recent upsurge in financial market volatility as its reasons for not raising interest rates. Stocks and currencies in emerging markets, however, which are more vulnerable to higher U.S. interest rates, welcomed the Fed’s decision on Thursday to postpone “lift off” for at least another month, and rose across the board.

French startup claims development of in-vitro human sperm
A French startup working with a top government lab said it has developed in-vitro human sperm, claiming a breakthrough in infertility treatment sought for more than a decade. Researchers with Kallistem had announced the discovery previously, but they and French government lab CNRS described how it works for the first time Thursday after taking out a patent on the process.

China, U.S. Reach Agreement on High-Speed Rail Before Xi Visit
A China Railway Group-led consortium and XpressWest Enterprises LLC will form a joint venture to build a high-speed railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the first Chinese-made bullet-train project in the U.S. Construction of the 370-kilometer (230-mile) Southwest Rail Network will begin as soon as next September, according to a statement from Shu Guozeng, an official with the Communist Party’s leading group on financial and economic affairs.

‘Super-gonorrhoea’ outbreak in Leeds
Highly drug-resistant gonorrhoea is spreading in the north of England with an outbreak centred in Leeds, sexual health doctors have told the BBC. One of the main treatments has become useless against the new strain of the sexually transmitted infection. Twelve cases have been confirmed in Leeds and a further four have been reported in Macclesfield, Oldham and Scunthorpe.

Finland strike ‘shuts down ports’
A widespread anti-austerity strike in Finland has shut down ports and disrupted flights in the country, news agencies have reported. Finnair, the national carrier, has cancelled 16 domestic flights and delays are expected. Trains and city buses have stopped running, but ferries, including those to Sweden and Estonia, are operational.

Key Syria advisor wants West to work with Assad regime
A senior advisor to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has urged Australia and the West to work with the regime to bring down the so-called Islamic State (IS). In an Australian interview, Bouthaina Shaaban said the West should not oppose the president or interfere with Syrian politics. Ms Shaaban said a US-led coalition had achieved little against IS.

Gunmen attack Pakistan air force base in Peshawar
Militants have killed at least 17 people after attacking an air force base in the northern city of Peshawar. The gunmen, dressed in police uniforms, stormed the Badaber air base on Friday morning, Major General Asim Bajwa said. Sixteen of the victims were killed during morning prayers at a mosque inside the compound, Gen Bajwa added. The other victim was an army officer.

Prosor : Abbas fuels Temple Mount fire, UN fans the flames
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor reacted Friday morning to the UN Security Council’s statement…on… Jerusalem saying that “When the Palestinians set the Temple Mount ablaze, Mahmoud Abbas fuels the fire, and the Security Council fans the flames, it is a recipe for a regional explosion.” The United Nations Security Council had called for “restraint, refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric and upholding the historic status quo” on the Temple Mount on Thursday evening.

800 extra cops deployed in Jerusalem amid Palestinian calls for ‘day of rage’
Amid Palestinian calls for a “day of rage” in Jerusalem following Friday prayers, police have preemptively deployed some 800 extra officers to patrol the Old City and Arab neighborhoods throughout the capital, and will bar Muslim men under the age of 40 from ascending the Temple Mount.

Al Aqsa Mosque: Can Israel, Jordan prevent Jerusalem from catching fire?
The images on social media this week made Jerusalem’s Old City look like a conflict zone, with black smoke rising above the Al Aqsa Mosque and the flash of firecrackers exploding inside. Several days of violence between Israeli police and Palestinian activists on a plaza holy to Muslims and Jews have triggered a new political and diplomatic crisis for Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and neighboring Jordan.

Migrant crisis: Croatia closes border crossings with Serbia
Croatia has closed seven of its eight road border crossings with Serbia following a huge influx of migrants. Officials in Zagreb said they had no choice after more than 10,000 people entered the country a day after Hungary fenced off its border with Serbia.

Japan ruling bloc makes final push on security bills despite protests
The Japanese government began a final push on Friday to enact contentious defense legislation that could let its troops fight overseas for the first time since World War Two, despite public protests and delaying tactics by the opposition.

Mexico arrests cartel figure in disappearance of 43 students
Federal authorities captured a suspected high-ranking drug cartel member who has been implicated in last year’s disappearance of 43 college students in the southern state of Guerrero, officials said Thursday.

Soldiers crush protests as military seizes power in Burkina Faso
Heavily armed troops crushed protests in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou after a former spy chief seized power in a military coup on Thursday, derailing a democratic transition that had inspired many in Africa.

Nigeria Central Bank Urges “Don’t Panic” As Banks Halt Lending To Each Other
When the head of the central bank utters the two words “don’t panic” you know the economy, currency, and financial system is in trouble…and that’s just what Nigerian central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele just did. Following government intervention to sweep cash from local to central accounts, banks have panicced. As Reuters reports, overnight interbank lending rates spiked to 200%, which Emefiele opined was “a momentary action… just sentiment,” but the interbank naira market was paralyzed for a third day on Thursday, with banks unwilling to lend to each other, even when rates fell back to 20-30%.

Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia – military source
The Syrian military has recently started using new types of air and ground weapons supplied by Russia, a Syrian military source told Reuters on Thursday, underlining growing Russian support for Damascus that is alarming the United States.


Top Headlines – 9/18/2015

US Senate Democrats block last bid to kill Iran nuclear deal

US starts carrying out Iran nuke deal, appoints coordinator

Experts urge release of details of IAEA inspection at Iran site

IAEA rejects proposal on oversight of Israeli nuclear facilities

Khamenei threatens ‘criminal America’ in new video

US official: Iranian banks that back Hezbollah, Quds Force would be re-sanctioned

United Nations Run by Dictators, Says Israel’s Outgoing Ambassador Prosor

Obama, Saudi king discuss Jerusalem violence, Yemen

Saudi King Appeals for ‘Urgent UN Measures’ over Temple Mount

Al Aqsa Mosque: Can Israel, Jordan prevent Jerusalem from catching fire?

Prosor: Abbas fuels Temple Mount fire, UN fans the flames

Erdan: Rioters have turned Temple Mount into ‘warehouse of terror’

Border Police reservists recruited as security measures increase amid escalating violence

Netanyahu to Ban: We’re Maintaining Status Quo on Temple Mount

Israeli bus catches fire in east Jerusalem attack

Report: Israeli officials accuse Turkey of inciting Jerusalem rioting

800 extra cops deployed in Jerusalem amid Palestinian calls for ‘day of rage’

IDF arrests four in overnight West Bank terror raid

Liberman to Netanyahu: ‘Apologize and resign’ over continued violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank

Poll finds Israelis unsatisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of terrorism

UN envoy says pace of reconstruction in war-torn Gaza Strip is speeding up

European Jewish Groups Rail Against Reykjavic Decision to Boycott Israeli Goods

Plead as it might, Israel unlikely to annul EU’s ‘evil’ labeling decree

Israeli economy has slowed to crawl, new figures show

ADL blasts Ann Coulter for ‘ugly, borderline anti-Semitic’ remarks after GOP debate

Israel troubled by potential conflict with Russian forces in Syria

Russia says helping Damascus to avert ‘total catastrophe’ in Syria

White House says open to ‘tactical’ talks with Russia on Syria

2,400 nationals fighting alongside ISIS, says Russia

Obama spends $500 million to train 5 anti-ISIS fighters

Key Syria advisor wants West to work with Assad regime

Pope decries ‘ocean of pain’ in Syria and Iraq

U.S. Has Taken In 24 Times More Migrants Than Pope’s Home Country of Argentina

Croatian PM: We will no longer accept migrant burden

Germany: EU countries who don’t help refugees to be denied finances

UN rights chief calls Hungary callous, xenophobic, anti-Muslim

Riot police try to control migrant crowds in Croatian border town

Muslim ‘migrant’ child makes beheading gesture to television cameras

Taliban claims responsibility for Pakistan air force base attack, death toll 30

Mali militias clash near Algerian border, killing at least 15

In Niger, U.S. soldiers quietly help build wall against Boko Haram

Eight-Year-Old Faced Expulsion for Drawing Gun, But Muslim Student Gets White House Invite After ‘Hoax Bomb’

Assertive Japan poised to abandon 70 years of pacifism

Japan government pushes bills to expand military role despite protests

White House Campaign Urges Legal Immigrants to Become (Voting) Citizens

Top Hill Dems meet with Obama, Boehner in hopes of avoiding government shutdown

In Pope Francis’s visit, White House sees a chance to transcend politics

Vatican hopes pope’s Cuba trip helps end U.S. embargo

White House preparing new rules to weaken Cuba embargo

U.S. economy: To the brink and back

Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged but forecasts hike this year

Stocks volatile after Fed decision

Developed, emerging markets diverge as Fed keeps rates steady

How China decided to redraw the global financial map

Nigeria Central Bank Urges “Don’t Panic” As Banks Halt Lending To Each Other

Widespread anti-austerity strike in Finland shuts down ports and disrupted flights in the country

American Airlines flights resume after glitch grounds planes

Hiding in Plain Sight: Scientists Create Ultrathin ‘Invisibility Cloak’

Giant Radio Telescope Could Detect E.T.’s Call

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Valparaiso, Chile

Aftershocks rattle Chile after earthquake as death toll rises to eight

Chile Earthquake: Aerial shots of destructive aftermath of tsunami

Are American Cities Prepared For Massive Tsunamis?

Atlantic May Spawn Two New Tropical Systems Into Next Week

Several dead as severe floods hit Sierra Leone capital

“It Felt Like the Apocalypse”: Israel Hit with Extreme and Unusual Weather on Jewish New Year

Mysterious Iridescent ‘End of Times’ Cloud Phenomenon Spotted in Costa Rica

August breaks heat records across globe: US

Relentless battle for California firefighters

EU to set out negotiating stand for Paris climate summit

‘Super-gonorrhoea’ outbreak in Leeds

Salmon that will get you baked: weed-infused fish the latest in cannabis cuisine

Police: Wisconsin man suspected Of decapitating mom with sword – he had stopped taking his prescription medication after reading about negative side effects

Toddler among youngest ever diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

IVF embryos to be genetically manipulated as scientists investigate repeated miscarriages

French startup claims development of in-vitro human sperm

Boehner and Republican leaders tee up votes to cut Planned Parenthood

Abortionist Defends Doing Abortions Saying It’s “Fair to Children”

Clerk Kim Davis loses another appeal in gay marriage case

Doritos unveils rainbow chips to support LGBT community

Tide commercial mocks Christians opposed to gay marriage

Ohio Factory Worker Fired For Recommending Faith-Based Film to Lesbian Co-Worker


Frontrunning: September 18

  • The bearish dovish Fed: Shares Fall After Federal Reserve Keeps Rates on Hold (Read More)
  • Developed, emerging markets diverge as Fed keeps rates steady (Read More)
  • Yellen May Emulate Taper Template and Raise Rates in December (Read More)
  • Russia Raises Prospect of Sending Troops Into Combat in Syria (Read More)
  • Rigged markets 1: U.S. Said to Investigate Chicago Trader as Spoof Probes Broaden (Read More)
  • Rigged markets 2: Primary Dealers Rigged Treasury Auctions, Investor Lawsuit Says (Read More)
  • Rigged markets 3: The Man Who Took KKR’s Stock for a Ride (Read More)
  • Croatia closes border crossings, but migrants keep coming (Read More)
  • China Stocks Cap Biggest Weekly Loss This Month as Volumes Slump (Read More)
  • China ‘extremely concerned’ by proposed U.S. challenge to claims (Read More)
  • China’s Strategy in U.S. Car Market: Make Parts First (Read More)
  • China Is Hoarding the World’s Oil (Read More)
  • Apple customers report devices crashing on iOS 9 update (Read More)
  • The Data-Driven Rebirth of a Salesman (Read More)
  • Greece Fights Next Crisis and This Time It’s Not About the Euro (Read More)
  • Trump says he would turn down U.S. presidential salary if elected (Read More)
  • Alibaba’s Wipeout Leaves Investors Questioning What Comes Next (Read More)
  • Pentagon designing cyber ‘scorecard’ to stay ahead of hackers (Read More)

September 17, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — In a 1,500-word article about the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, The Washington Post waited until the 25th paragraph to note that the self-declared socialist faces an “obstacle” to winning the presidency. The paper said that “Sanders has not faced the kind of media scrutiny, let alone attacks from opponents, that leading candidates eventually experience.”… (more)

September 17, 2015

September 17, 2015
WASHINGTON POST — House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is bracing for what could be the toughest weeks of his speakership as several dozen conservatives in his party are threatening to topple him unless he is more ferocious with Democrats during the upcoming fiscal showdowns…. (more)

September 17, 2015
BOB UNRUH — A federal judge on Wednesday opened the door to the possibility that he might soon shut down the National Security Agency’s spy-on-Americans program that snatches cell-phone data across the nation…. (more)


September 16, 2015
NEW YORK TIMES — The leading Republican presidential hopefuls have spent the weeks since their first debate provoking one another, with distant taunts and tweeted insults. And now CNN, which hosts the second candidate clash here Wednesday night, is aiming to capture that same combative spirit by getting the candidates to engage with one another in person and on camera…. (more)

September 16, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Ever since I can remember, I’ve been attacked by people who call themselves “Christians” for suggesting civil disobedience is not only a justifiable course of action against unjust governments but one that is required by genuine, God-honoring believers…. (more)

September 16, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — Welcome to President Obama’s brave new world. Federal agencies have been directed to hire psychologists to experiment and find ways to better manipulate the American people to the federal government’s will…. (more)

September 16, 2015
GREG COROMBOS — Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz is giving up hope of Congress blocking the Iran nuclear deal – – but he has a two-pronged plan to be ready if Iran “cheats” and tries to acquire nuclear weapons. He says Congress should authorize military force now…. (more)

September 16, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Iran nuclear deal is silent on an issue that the CIA and proliferation experts are concerned about: that Tehran may outsource parts of its nuclear and missiles program to the secretive regime in North Korea, which on Tuesday committed itself to producing more fuel for nuclear bombs…. (more)

September 16, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz used his pen Tuesday to rip PolitiFact on its coverage of the Iranian deal. The Texas senator blasted the political fact-checking website, which ran the Tampa Bay Times, for concluding his statement that the Obama administration’s Iranian deal will “facilitate and accelerate the nation of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons” is patently “false.”… (more)


September 16, 2015
MRCTV — A recent survey shows a majority of Americans think illegal immigration is a “very serious” problem and would support measures to deport illegal immigrants currently living within the country – such as creating a hotline to report “activity connected to illegal immigration.”… (more)


September 16, 2015
NEWSMAX — The FBI worked well in arresting a 15-year-old in Philadelphia in an allegedly terrorist-inspired plot to attack Pope Francis on his visit to the United States next week, but “this is like a magnificent goalie trying to stop penalty kicks,” retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden told Newsmax TV on Tuesday…. (more)


September 16, 2015
NEWSMAX — Pope Francis will deliver only four of the 18 addresses he will make during his forthcoming visit to the United States in English and the rest in his native Spanish, the Vatican said on Tuesday…. (more)

September 16, 2015
NEWSMAX — A new undercover video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood medical officials discussing the sale of such “fresh” body parts as eyes and reproductive parts – – and expressing fears about any possible legal or media problems if their sales scheme was discovered…. (more)

September 15, 2015
WALL STREET JOURNAL — After two decades of the most remarkable crime drop in U.S. history, law enforcement has come to this: “I’m deliberately not getting involved in things I would have in the 1990s and 2000s,” an emergency-services officer in New York City tells me. “I won’t get out of my car for a reasonable-suspicion stop; I will if there’s a violent felony committed in my presence.”… (more)

September 15, 2015
BREITBART — A Breitbart News review of State Department and Homeland Security data reveals that the United States already admits more than a quarter of a million Muslim migrants each year. President Obama intends to add another 10,000 Syrian migrants on top of that…. (more)

September 15, 2015
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — The United States is the most generous nation in the world, and we have taken many refugees from foreign lands. Europe has not offered to take refugees from Central America, so why are some politicians here insisting that we take many thousands of refugees from the Middle East?… (more)

September 15, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — A spokesman for the most well-known Muslim-American advocacy group said at a pro-refugee rally Sunday in St. Louis that Americans should fear their own “right-wing extremists” more than the 10,000 Syrians President Obama wants to resettle in U.S. cities and towns…. (more)

September 15, 2015
NEWSMAX — The United States has a responsibility to do more to stop the persecution of Christians by terror groups like the Islamic State, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Nebraska Republican, tells Newsmax TV…. (more)

September 15, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — Radio host Glenn Beck says he will find a way to smuggle Christian Syrians into the U.S., even if his efforts land him in prison…. (more)

September 15, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Lawyers for Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis have filed a petition with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stop a district judge’s demand that she and her office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples…. (more)

September 15, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The United States, ranked second in worldwide economic freedom as recently as 2000, has plummeted to 16th, according to a new report of world economies…. (more)

September 15, 2015
NEWSMAX — The media becomes silent when its own polls don’t show positive news for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Monday…. (more)

September 15, 2015
NEWSMAX — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said in an interview with “Extra” on Monday that she has considered naming her husband as her running mate, but there’s one problem: He’s not eligible…. (more)


September 14, 2015
ALAN KEYES — Critics of Kim Davis’ act of civil obedience (to God, reason, and the Constitution) contend that her conscientious action undermines the rule of law. But doesn’t the “conscience vs. rule of law” formulation involve a false dichotomy?… (more)


The Briefing

1) Appeals court ruling sets up Obamacare religious freedom clash in Supreme Court

Ruling sets up new review of religious objections to contraceptive mandate, Washington Post (Robert Barnes)

2) Obama defends Planned Parenthood, furthers culture of personal autonomy idolatry

Obama Threatens To Veto Planned Parenthood Defunding Bill, Huffington Post (Laura Bassett)

3) NFL teams profit from gambling in guise of fantasy football even as it denounces gambling

An Ad Blitz for Fantasy Sports Games, but Some See Plain Old Gambling, New York Times (Joe Drape and Ken Belsen)

N.F.L.’s Unsteady Stance on a Tricky Gambling Landscape, New York Times (Ken Belsen)

4) Self-inflicted wound of marijuana on Colorado not a laughing matte

Day Without Marijuana Tax Draws Mixed Reactions in Colorado, New York Times (Julie Terkewitz)

Colorado unleashes tax-free pot, Colorado Spring Gazette (Editorial Board)
In other news…

At Least 10 Dead in Chile Earthquake, Wall Street Journal (Ryan Dube)
Chile earthquake: Disaster planning pays off, CNN (Faith Karimi and Annie Ramos)

Should Community Colleges Be Tuition-Free?, Wall Street Journal (Gerald F. Seib)

The Pope’s Priorities in America, New York Times (Paul Vallely)

Why sanctuary cities must exist, LA Times (Elizabeth Allen)

Virginia high school students suspended for wearing Confederate flag apparel, Washington Post (T. Ress Shapiro and Moriah Balingit)

Daily Digest

September 18, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[L]et principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.” —Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education, 1789

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Nobel Committee Had Second Thoughts on Obama Prize

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Remember when Barack Obama “won” the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009? He hadn’t even broken in his Oval Office chair when the integrity-deficient Nobel Committee — tasked with awarding the prize based on the recipient’s accomplishments — decided to recognize him with one of humanity’s supposedly elite awards. Everyone knew it was politically motivated, and at least one former committee member now acknowledges this. The Washington Times writes, “Geir Lundestad, director at the institute for 25 years, said in his just-published memoir that he and the committee had unanimously decided to grant the award to Mr. Obama just after his election in 2009 more in hopes of aiding the American president to achieve his goals on nuclear disarmament, rather than in recognition of what Mr. Obama had already accomplished.” In the memoir Lundestad says, “Even many of Obama’s supporters believed that the prize was a mistake. In that sense the committee didn’t achieve what it had hoped for.” He further explained to the Associated Press, “[We] thought it would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect.” Six years later, however, Obama’s cascading foreign policy failures surely have much to do with Mr. Lundestad’s regrets — even if he won’t admit it publicly. Yet just this week Obama claimed, “America is winning right now. America is great right now.” Ours is without a doubt still the greatest nation on earth. But when even the Nobel Institute questions its decision to award Obama, it’s hard to argue that we’re “winning.” As for the Nobel Committee, its only accomplishment was to demonstrate firsthand how worthless it really is. Dare we even mention the Pulitzer?

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Federal Reserve Keeps Nation at Zero

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee decided not to raise interest rates, just like it has for the last nine years. The nation has had seven years of 0% interest, despite the fact that, in the words of the Fed, “economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.” The Obama administration keeps insisting the economy is doing swell. Yet the Federal Reserve just can’t bring itself to agree and raise rates. Part of the reason, the Fed noted in its announcement, is that countries like China and Greece recently added volatility to the global market. But this is not just a short-term hesitation, as the Fed sees at least three more years of Obama-induced economic stagnation. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote, “The Fed predicts a stronger economy and rising inflation next year, but somehow they never arrive. And sure enough, the Fed’s governors and bank presidents on Thursday again downgraded their median economic projections for real GDP growth in 2016 (2.3%), 2017 (2.2%) and even 2018 (2%).” Furthermore, as Investor’s Business Daily notes, the government has an interest in keeping rates low because of the national debt. Increase rates, and the amount of money it pays servicing the monster also grows. In the meantime, the Journal notes, the Fed’s zero interest policies are hampering the ability of middle class Americans to save.

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No National Stats on Illegal Immigration and Crime

This is what happens when the government has an interest in not studying a problem: We can’t accurately measure the relationship between crime and illegal immigration because the federal government downplays the information. Statistics on illegal immigrant arrests exist at the state and county levels, but the federal government doesn’t compile or track this. According to J. Christian Adams, a former attorney in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, some states do track the relationship between crime and illegal immigration, but they do it in secret because of the policies set by the Obama administration. (We should also note that the DOJ stopped releasing its data on interracial violent crime in 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected.) “There are a lot of reasons states don’t make this information readily available and there is no clearinghouse of data at high levels,” Adams said. “These numbers would expose how serious the problem is and make the government look bad.” According to a Fox News estimate, illegal immigrants commit 13.6% of the crimes in the United States, a number disproportionately large to the size of the demographic. This can be seen at a local level. For example, since San Francisco instituted its “sanctuary city” policies, the rate of rapes and murder in the city has spiked. But like its approach to the Syrian Civil war, the Obama administration places ideology before objective observation.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Incredible Shrinking Military

By Michael Swartz

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It’s been the victim of both the leftists’ wish for a so-called “peace dividend” and the fiscal conservatives’ desire for addressing persistent deficit spending, but, at Wednesday night’s debate, two Republicans in particular made a strong case for rebuilding a military that’s in the throes of a nearly decade-long decline.

Noting “the most important obligation that the federal government has is to keep this nation safe,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio made it clear that our Armed Forces are overdue for investment. “We are eviscerating our military,” said Rubio. “We have a world that grows increasingly dangerous, and we are eviscerating our military spending and signing deals with Iran.”

His solution: “Rebuild our military so that we don’t deploy people over and over again without the necessary equipment to keep them safe, to send a signal to the world that we’re serious. If we’re going to lead the world, then we need to have the strongest military possible.”

Carly Fiorina lent more specifics in her call for the “strongest military on the face of the planet.” She rattled off her wish list: “[W]e need about 50 Army brigades, we need about 36 Marine battalions, we need somewhere between 300 and 350 naval ships, [and] we need to upgrade every leg of the nuclear triad.” She added that a bolstered Sixth Fleet, along with “rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland,” could do the talking to Vladimir Putin for her.

Naturally, there are doubting Thomases who think the idea of more naval ships is overblown. Yet the Navy’s fleet size is at its smallest in a century, and the concern is that lengthy deployments and an aging fleet risk our longtime dominance of the seas as China and Russia build up their forces.

There’s also the issue of trust, for which Rubio called out Barack Obama’s foreign policy strategies. “The United States military was not built to conduct pinprick attacks,” Rubio argued. “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. And we’re not going to authorize use of force if you’re not put in a position where they can win. And quite frankly, people don’t trust this president as commander in chief because of that.”

While peace through superior firepower is the objective, the military shouldn’t get a blank check. In the latest of an ongoing investigative series, Arizona Sen. John McCain made an example of the spendthrift Permanent Change of Station moving program, which pays for the relocation of military personnel and their families and costs taxpayers over $4 billion a year. Exact savings can’t be determined, writes McCain, because the Pentagon “can’t track basic cost data and reliably compare it across the services.”

McCain isn’t the only Republican speaking out about reforming military spending. Reworking the procurement system is one key for Gov. Bobby Jindal, who advocates spending at least 4% of GDP on defense. Fellow hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham has called Obama’s sequestration cuts “insane”. This is all a necessary part of the long-term debate.

As it stands, most Republicans favor rebuilding the military, but they may run into the same sort of ginned up sentiment that allowed Obama to cut and run from Iraq and Afghanistan while taking a victory lap for his “success.” (How’d that work out again?) Hillary is surely hoping the electorate doesn’t care what difference it makes.

One lesson we’ve learned in the last decade, however, is that there’s no such thing as a “peace dividend.” It was more of a short-term loan, and now creditors around the world are demanding our payment. We can spend it on deterrence or we can spend it in blood and sacrifice. It’s our choice in November 2016.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Michael Barone: “Most Ellis Island-era immigrants came from the multiethnic Russian, Austro-Hungarian and German empires, where they were second-class citizens … in an age of surging nationalism. America’s tradition of civic equality beckoned. Here, they believed, they would be equals with everyone else. They came not to oppose American culture but to partake of it. … American elites today are less certain of the worthiness of our national culture and have retarded assimilation of immigrants. European elites are worse, laden with guilt of past sins exaggerated (imperialism) and all too real (Nazism). … The United States has fallen short … with immigration laws that have favored low-skill immigrants rather than the high-skill people the nation always needs, and by incompetent enforcement of those laws. Europe has fallen farther short by encouraging, through ‘multiculturalism,’ separate enclaves controlled by Muslim and other immigrants who oppose national norms of tolerance and order. And both the U.S. and Europe have allowed uprisings and civil wars in Syria and Libya to go on, generating hundreds of thousands of refugees and opening the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean. America and Europe may be uninterested in foreign disorders, but foreign disorders are interested in us. … It’s natural for civilized people to offer help when they see a drowned child wash up on a beach. But it’s not always wise to offer to let anyone in who shows up. Such offers risk incentivizing literally millions to break the law and to risk — and sometimes lose — their lives. That’s not humanitarian.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” —Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Observations: “If [Carly] Fiorina rises, so, too, will Marco Rubio. Fiorina might have won the debate, but Rubio won Bush donors over along with others. He showed himself again to be a fresh face with new ideas and also a storyteller. People should not underestimate storytelling. The governors on the stage talked about their records. They talked about 2.5 million this, 100,000 that, so much cut, and so much saved. Rubio talked about his immigrant grandfather fleeing the communist uprising in Cuba. His grandfather spoke no English, but told Rubio to commit to America. Instead of talking data on global warming, Rubio talked about the economic impact on the poor and middle class. On ISIS, he did not cite troop numbers, but talked about safe havens. Republicans often lament no storytellers in their ranks. Here is a storyteller who connects with people through those stories.” —Erick Erickson

Braying Jenny: “The evil genius of [Carly] Fiorina … is her uncanny ability to play the gender warrior within the GOP while promoting the party’s misogyny. … [H]er feminism seems to begin and end with the fortunes of Fiorina herself, and seeing as she probably doesn’t rely on Planned Parenthood for her health care, she’s happy to deprive millions of women of that care by promoting outright lies about the organization, as in her false description of the video she referenced.” —American Prospect columnist Adele M. Stan

Talk about sore losers: “[I]f presidential campaigns were decided by fact checkers, Al Gore would have won in a landslide.” —Vox’s Ezra Klein

Non Compos Mentis: “[Y]ou wanna know who really won that debate? Hillary Clinton. … Clinton is putting forward policy after policy that address America’s great problems. These people are just making stuff up.” —The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky

And last… “Hillary Clinton banked on the First Woman President effect from the start — an understandable gambit for someone with no substantive accomplishments and many flaws. Her sex may be the only thing she hasn’t lied about.” —Mona Charen

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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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Want to know what gay tastes like? Try Rainbow Doritos!

PepsiCo, who make Doritos (through subsidiary Frito-Lay), are producing a homosexual version of Doritos called “Rainbow Doritos.” Doritos are a product marketed to children, so they make the perfect gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality.

View Article & Promotion Photo


Apocalypse Signs in Israel?

Nation pummeled by weather oddities on Jewish New Year

An Israeli National Parks worker says a number of strange and frightening weather events, including one that came just as the nation was celebrating the Jewish New Year, have caused alarm.

Extreme heat, sandstorms and floods all have been reported.

“It felt like the apocalypse, the rain has been torrential, there were about 10 lighting strikes in seconds, and even with your windshield wipers on high, it was impossible to see anything.”

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It’s 1992 all over again — A new Agenda 21 threatens our way of life

If you had a time machine and could travel back to 1992 as the UN’s Earth Summit was underway, and you knew what you know now about Agenda 21, imagine the actions you could take to stop it in its tracks. You wouldn’t have to wonder what the NGOs who created it had in mind. You wouldn’t have to trust the news media to tell you the details. You would know, just as the NGO’s, Nancy Pelosi and all the others openly told you, Agenda 21 is a “comprehensive blue print” for the reorganization of human society.

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Coulter, Khamenei, Republicans and the Jews – Joseph Farah

The use of the F-bomb really does put her on shaky ground in denying her comment was not anti-Semitic. This is, after all, a woman who claims to be a Christian – one who presumably worships a Jewish Messiah called Jesus. As a Christian Arab-American, I can tell you stringing together that epithet with the word “Jews” puts her on very shaky grounds in denying anti-Semitism. At the very least, one has to wonder if she ever had a nasty, twisted, repugnant thought that went unexpressed.

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Reagan’s sons: No, Trump isn’t like our dad at all

Earlier today, Taylor Millard argued that Donald Trump’s claims to be the next Ronald Reagan didn’t measure up. Taylor has some significant support for that position from two men with a unique perspective on the question. Politico’s Elizabeth Ralph interviewed both Michael and Ron Reagan about Trump’s claimed connection to the towering figure in modern Republican politics, and his claims to be following Reagan’s model in the campaign. Neither man thought much of those claims, as it turns out. Ron Reagan rejected the comparison forcefully:

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Why Do Muslims Flock To The “Evil West”?

The Syrian refugee crisis in lands stretching from the Middle East into the heart of Europe is another episode in a grandiose, multi-faceted Middle Eastern dilemma: Muslims in this part of the world view the Christian West as “evil;” yet they know Christian lands are the most decent places to live economically and politically. Wealthy Arab states rigidly turn their back on the plight of fellow Muslims who are in need of a helping hand; and Islamist hypocrites blame it all on the West……….. Click here for full story


Israel Troubled By Potential Conflict With Russian Forces In Syria

A key element of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming brief visit to Moscow will be to prevent a scenario in which the Israeli army and Russian forces deployed in Syria fire at each other…………. Click here for full story


Antibiotic Resistant Diseases Will Cause Social Breakdown, Say Scientists

The impending failure of antibiotics to treat life-threatening diseases could cause a social and economic “apocalypse” in Britain and throughout the first world, scientists warn. Medical experts predict many dangerous diseases will become completely resistant to antibiotics in the near future, causing social unrest on an unprecedented level………. Click here for full story


For These ‘Cyborgs’, Keys Are So Yesterday

Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago………… Click here for full story


For Syrian Refugees In Italy, Israel Remains Enemy #1

At a migrant reception center near Milan’s central train station, two-year-old Mahmoud sleeps on a pillow in a pair of patched-up grey pajamas, exhausted after fleeing Damascus a month ago with his parents and relatives.…… Click here for full story


Republican Candidates’ Child Vaccine Comments Have Doctors Worried

According to Christian Headlines:

The issue of child vaccines was brought up in Wednesday’s second Republican debate and has many doctors worried.

Two of the Republican presidential candidates are doctors, Dr. Ben Carson and Dr. Rand Paul. While both candidates affirmed that vaccines were beneficial for children and that there is no link between childhood vaccines and autism, both acknowledged that some doctors are rethinking how many vaccines are given to children in such short periods of time.

“We have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccination, but it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time,” said Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon. “I think a lot of pediatricians now recognize that and are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done.”

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/republican-candidates-child-vaccine-comments-have-doctors-worried.html


20 Scientists Ask Obama To Put Climate Change Deniers In Jail

20 climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute people who disagree with them on the science behind man-made global warming.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Liberals spent years calling it Global Warming until everyone realized that things were getting colder not hotter. None of Al Gore’s inconvenient predictions actually came true. So, they wised up and changed the name to Climate Change because, let’s face it, our climate changes a lot. But is it changing because of what man is doing? No. Our climate has been in a state of change for the past 6,000 years. So now Liberals are asking Obama to put Climate Change deniers in jail, will it happen? Hmm, why don’t we ask some Christian bakery store owners if our government would do something like that.

Scientists from several universities and research centers even asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

RICO was a law designed to take down organized crime syndicates, but scientists now want it to be used against scientists, activists and organizations that voice their disagreement with the so-called “consensus” on global warming. The scientists repeated claims made by environmentalists that groups, especially those with ties to fossil fuels, have engaged in a misinformation campaign to confuse the public on global warming.

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“The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer-reviewed academic research and in recent books,” the scientists wrote.

We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation,” the scientists wrote to Obama. “The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking.”

“If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done,” the scientists added.

This year has been a trying one for global warming skeptics. Earlier this year, Democratic lawmakers began an investigation into scientists who disagreed with the White House’s stance on global warming. Many of these skeptical scientists were often cited by those critical of regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva went after universities employing these researchers, which resulted in one expert being forced to get out of the field of climate research altogether.

“I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject,” Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado wrote on his blog.

“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,” Pielke wrote. “He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony – which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the US taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC (despite Holdren’s incorrect views).” source


Is This Giant Mutant Wolffish A Result Of The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster?

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 06:09 AM PDT

A Japanese fisherman has reeled in a HUGE wolffish – and it has raised concerns about the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The giant specimen was caught by Hiroshi Hirasaka off the island of Hokkaido, close to eastern Russia, and is one of the largest wolffish ever discovered.

The species usual only grow to around 112 cm and weigh 15kg – but the one found lurking beneath the Pacific Ocean was a staggering two metres long. That is around TWICE the usual size – and its gaping mouth is large enough to fit a small child inside. Fortunately these fish only eat crabs and molluscs but the sight of one of these in the water is enough to terrify any swimmer. SOURCE

The post Is This Giant Mutant Wolffish A Result Of The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster? appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Syrian army reportedly starts to use new weapons provided by Russia

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 05:54 AM PDT

The Syrian military reportedly has started using new air and ground weapons supplied by Russia as part of a boost in support for Syrian leader Bashar Assad that has alarmed U.S. officials. Reuters, citing an unnamed Syrian military source, reported Thursday the Syrian army had been training to use the weapons in the last few months and was just now starting to deploy them. However, the source didn’t specify what type of new weapons Syria was using.

“The weapons are highly effective and very accurate, and hit targets precisely,” the source told Reuters. “We can say they are all types of weapons, be it air or ground.” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Thursday that Russia had provided weapons and trained Syrian troops in how to use them. He said the Assad government would be willing to ask Russian troops to fight alongside Syria as it battles the Islamic State group (ISIS). FULL REPORT

The post Syrian army reportedly starts to use new weapons provided by Russia appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

UPDATE: 8.3-magnitude Earthquake rattles north Chile, 10 dead, 1 million evacuated

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 05:47 AM PDT

Thousands of residents of this small city in northern Chile were sleeping outside Thursday after a powerful earthquake destroyed their homes, forced more than 1 million to evacuate and killed at least ten people in the quake-prone South American nation. Several coastal towns were flooded from small tsunami waves set off by late Wednesday’s quake, which shook the Earth so strongly that rumbles were felt across South America. The 8.3 magnitude earthquake lasted for three minutes, causing buildings to sway in the capital, Santiago, and prompting authorities to issue a tsunami warning for the Andean nation’s entire Pacific coast. People sought safety in the streets of inland cities, while others along the shore took to their cars to race to higher ground.

“I thought it was the end of the world and we were going to die,” said teary-eyed Manuel Moya, 38, sleeping with his wife on the ground outside their destroyed home in Illapel, 175 miles (280 kilometers) north of Santiago and 34 miles (55 kilometers) east of the quake’s epicenter. The town and surrounding areas have about 35,000 residents. Moya said he and his wife were in bed and watching television when the quake hit. Fearing they would be killed if they remained inside, they ran outside in their underwear. By the end of the shaking, their home, made of concrete, had been reduced to rubble. “They said it was a magnitude 8 but it felt like a 10,” said Moya, adding that neighbors had brought them clothes. FULL REPORT

The post UPDATE: 8.3-magnitude Earthquake rattles north Chile, 10 dead, 1 million evacuated appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Geologists warn Iceland’s Bárðarbunga Volcano might erupt again – magma accumulating under volcano again?

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 05:35 AM PDT

Geologists are now investigating data, indicating that magma might be accumulating again under Bárðarbunga volcano in Vatnajökull glacier. The Holuhraun eruption, which took place between August 31, 2014, and February 27, 2015, was part of a series of events which started in the volcano in 1974 and might provide evidence about the behavior of the volcano in the future. According to Páll Einarsson, professor of geophysics at the University of Iceland, the next few months will determine whether magma is in fact accumulating. “That’s the big question,” he told RÚV. “There are some indications that this might be the case, but we have to investigate it further.”

The signals, gathered by new equipment on location, are not clear and come from a great depth. Geologists are still learning how to interpret such data. The Holuhraun eruption is now seen as a chapter in a story that began in 1974. That year, a series of large earthquakes began, which hit at regular intervals in Bárðarbunga. The first chapter ended 22 years later with the eruption and glacial flood in Gjálp in 1996. After the Gjálp eruption, the volcano was silent for many years, but a few years ago, a new series of earthquakes began, culminating in the Holuhraun eruption in the northeastern highlands in August 2014. The magma came from Bárðarbunga and the caldera sank by 60 meters (197 feet) in the course of the eruption. FULL REPORT

The post Geologists warn Iceland’s Bárðarbunga Volcano might erupt again – magma accumulating under volcano again? appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Mauna Loa volcano alert level elevated to advisory – unrest mounting

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 05:32 AM PDT

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have elevated the Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa from normal to advisory. This change in status indicates that the volcano is showing signs of unrest that are above known background levels, but it does not mean that a Mauna Loa eruption is imminent or certain. HVO’s seismic stations recorded elevated rates of shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes beneath the summit, upper Southwest Rift Zone, and west flank of Mauna Loa for at least the past year. During this same time, HVO monitoring instruments have measured ground deformation on Mauna Loa that is consistent with recharge of the volcano’s shallow magma storage system. Together, these observations indicate that Mauna Loa is no longer at a background level of activity.

Based on these changes in activity, and in accordance with the USGS Volcanic Activity Alert-Notification System, HVO raised the Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa to advisory and the Aviation Color Code to yellow. The Volcano Alert Level is a four-tiered system that uses the terms Normal (background levels), Advisory, Watch, and Warning (highest threat) to inform the public about a volcano’s status. These alert levels are issued in conjunction with Aviation Color Codes, which provide information about volcanic-ash hazards to the aviation industry. The codes are Green (background), Yellow, Orange, and Red (eruption imminent). FULL REPORT

The post Mauna Loa volcano alert level elevated to advisory – unrest mounting appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Mysterious Iridescent ‘End of Times’ Cloud Phenomenon Spotted in Costa Rica

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 05:24 AM PDT

An iridescent, multi-hued cloud phenomenon was recently spotted in Costa Rica skies, and residents were left awestruck and mystified. The spectacle in the sky was reported this past Tuesday afternoon in numerous cities including, San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu and Hatillo. Coincidentally, the sighting occurred on the country’s Independence Day.

Many witnesses took to social media to post photos and video of the luminous cloud formation, with some even noting that it looked like an “end of times” scene. Resident Joey Petit told ABC News today that he and his family were at the playground in Escazu for an Independence Day festival when his 11-year-old son, Ariel Joseph Petit first noticed the strange cloud. FULL REPORT

The post Mysterious Iridescent ‘End of Times’ Cloud Phenomenon Spotted in Costa Rica appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Human embryos to be genetically manipulated

Posted: 18 Sep 2015 05:13 AM PDT

The genetic manipulation of human IVF embryos is set to start in Britain for the first time following a licence application by scientists who want to understand why some women suffer repeated miscarriages. If the research licence is granted by the Government’s fertility watchdog it will be only the second known occasion in the world where the chromosomes of human embryos have been genetically manipulated using a revolutionary gene-editing technique called Crispr/Cas9.

When Chinese scientists announced earlier this year that they had genetically altered “spare” human IVF embryos using Crispr/Cas9 for research purposes, there was deep concern among many who thought that they had gone too far – the US Government later imposed a moratorium on federally-funded research in America. The researchers behind the UK application emphasised that the GM embryos will be destroyed once the study is completed, with no risk of them being transplanted into women – which is illegal in Britain. There will be no “GM babies” as the project is aimed solely at basic research into the genetics of early human development, they insisted. FULL REPORT

The post Human embryos to be genetically manipulated appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Christian Coach Under Investigation for Post-Game Prayers

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 08:34 PM PDT

A football coach in Washington is under investigation for praying on the field after games. Joe Kennedy, the assistant head coach for the varsity team at Bremerton High School and the head coach for the junior varsity team, takes time after each game to pray at the 50-yard line. According to reports, Kennedy prays of his own volition and sometimes prays alone, but there are also instances when students and players decide to join him.

“I never asked anyone. They just all showed up one day and the next thing I know, the other team was showing up with us,” he told reporters this week. “I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, and it’s been about protecting the freedom of other people. It’s about the freedom, and people can believe whatever they want.” “I’m just exercising my right,” Kennedy continued. “The competition is over and I just thank God for every one of these young men that are out here.” FULL REPORT

The post Christian Coach Under Investigation for Post-Game Prayers appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

 


Our Time is Short

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


Good News

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


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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Barack Obama vows to veto any bill that cuts off funding for Planned Parenthood

WINTERY KNIGHT

Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood

How radical are Democrats on making sure that pro-life taxpayers fund for-profit live-birth organ-harvesting operations? Very radical.

Life News reports on it:

The White House has issued a Statement of Administration Policy vowing to veto a new pro-life bill the House of Representatives will vote on tomorrow that would hold the Planned Parenthood abortion business criminally liable for harvesting body parts from aborted babies who are technically still alive.

The center for Medical Progress has released 10 videos catching and exposing Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies and their body parts. One of the most shocking videos caught the nation’s biggest abortion business harvesting the brain of an aborted baby who was still alive.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by pro-life Congressman Trent Franks would make failure to provide standard medical care to children born alive during an abortion a federal crime. …

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Is the Apparent Fine-Tuning of the Universe Simply An Observational Phenomenon?

Is Carly Fiorina conservative? How can you tell if a candidate is conservative?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Carly Fiorina outperforms at first GOP primary debate Carly Fiorina outperforms at first GOP primary debate

A lot of my friends are getting very excited about Carly Fiorina, and some of them are wondering why she is not on my list. Well, it’s because this is the primary season, and I am looking for someone who 1) is as conservative as me, and 2) has got achievements at advancing a conservative agenda. The key point being that just because a person is outraged at Planned Parenthood cutting into live-born babies, that isn’t the same as being pro-life through all 9 months of pregnancy, except for the case where the life of the mother is threatened.

To take one example, her view of religious liberty is not as conservative as mine, but it isn’t horrible either. Here she is on the Hugh Hewitt show explaining her view:

HH: And let me close our conversation by throwing a hard one…

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The correct response to false teachers

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:10-13 NASB)

When I see or hear so-called Christians speak of God prospering them because of their faith or see Pastors or “Evangelists” with their own private jets, huge homes and limousines there is a bad taste that forms in my mouth. From the birth of the…

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