Daily Archives: September 21, 2015

Is believe in God compatible with belief in evolution?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: let's take a look at the facts Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: let’s take a look at the facts

What should we make of theistic evolutionists telling us that you can believe in God, while still knowing that matter, law and chance fully explain the development of all of biological life?

Consider this quotation from Phillip E. Johnson.

Quote:

The National Academy’s way of dealing with the religious implications of evolution is akin to the two-platoon system in American football. When the leading figures of evolutionary science feel free to say what they really believe, writers such as Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Carl Sagan, Steven Pinker, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin and others state the “God is dead” thesis aggressively, invoking the authority of science to silence any theistic protest. That is the offensive platoon, and the National Academy never raises any objection to its promoting this worldview.

At other times, however, the scientific…

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September 21, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

September 21 Quotes


The Christian School, American Liberty, and the Christian Faith

I can see little consistency in a type of Christian activity which preaches the gospel on the street corners and at the ends of the earth but neglects the children of the covenant by abandoning them to a cold and unbelieving secularism.  If, indeed, the Christian school were in any sort of competition with the Christian family, if it were trying to do what the home ought to do, then I could never favor it. 

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The Christian Cure for Worry

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.

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On Gender Differences and Evangelical Complementarianism

For those worried about my views on the significance of gender differences, sexuality etc., I refer you to my previous First Thoughts posts passim.   For Aimee’s, check out her book, The Housewife Theologian, which has a whole chapter on the matter. And the fundamental challenge we posed to the organized evangelical complementarian movement still remains unanswered: Where does their version of evangelical complementarianism end and patriarchy begin? 

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Preparation for Hearing the Word of God Preached

O God, believing that it is Your own living Word which I am about to hear, I repent of all that would hinder my hearing and receiving Your Word. I ask You to give me a meek and eager heart to receive Your Word and that the Holy Spirit will enable me to understand its truth.

This list came from a summary of a sermon by Pastor Al Martin.  It would make a great insert or bookmark for our Bibles.

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Exodus and You

The interpretation and application of the Old Testament is multifaceted. As we look to the law of God given to Moses, we ought to recognize its dual nature for those who trust in Christ: it condemns us (showing our continual need of a Savior), and it guides us (directing us how to strive after holiness). As we read about how the people of God acted in the book of Exodus (sometimes in faith and sometimes in fear), they are examples for how we ought to behave and how we ought not to behave, respectively.

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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.

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Grace and Wisdom for Mercy

Mercy ministry is difficult. We don’t want to write off our responsibility to actively pursue caring for those in need because it is fraught with spiritual and physical challenges. Neither do we want to enter in on the work of mercy ministry out of a naive kindness that can be taken advantage of because of a failure to have a robustly biblical understanding of how we are to best help others. We need grace and wisdom for mercy ministry.

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The Cross Illuminates God’s Attributes

Stand with me in the shadow of the cross and see God’s attributes perfectly illuminated. Tremble at his holiness in the demands of his sacrifice, be convicted and comforted by the unfathomable love that demanded and accomplished Calvary, feel you knees knock as you behold the gasping Son drink dry the eternal vat of condemnation that was due you as he bears all of the burden of divine righteousness.

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Moore: Have Evangelical Trump Supporters Lost Their Values?

Moore: Have Evangelical Trump Supporters Lost Their Values?

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Crosswalk

To back Mr. Trump, evangelical voters must repudiate everything they believe.

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10 Women Christian Men Should Never Marry

10 Women Christian Men Should Never Marry

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Crosswalk

If the woman you are dating is exhibiting one of these 10 worrisome characteristics, think twice before you ask her to marry you.

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Can Strong Women Make Submissive Wives?

Can Strong Women Make Submissive Wives?

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Crosswalk

Perhaps your husband is threatened by your success, intimidated by your talents. Do you belittle him or neglect to honor, respect and encourage his strengths?

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My Dad, the Sinner and Saint

My Dad, the Sinner and Saint

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Christianity Today

How I learned to see my father as more than his unfaithful past.

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Marks of a Biblical Church Part 2: Biblical Churches in Different Contexts

Marks of a Biblical Church Part 2: Biblical Churches in Different Contexts

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Christianity Today

The characteristics of a &biblical church& must be true in all cultural contexts.

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Transgenderism and the Church: Christian Counselors Combat Gender Confusion With Biblical Support

Transgenderism and the Church: Christian Counselors Combat Gender Confusion With Biblical Support

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Christian Post

As secular culture continues to promote transgenderism, popularized by the transformation of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn, a group of Christians counselors will be tackling transgender issues and how the church responds next month at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

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The Tower of Babel: How the Genesis story speaks to the Church today

The Tower of Babel: How the Genesis story speaks to the Church today

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Christian Today

The idea of a mighty enterprise that’s brought to a sudden halt because of the pride and ambition of the builders resonates with us.

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Adoption Mirrors God’s Love for Us

Adoption Mirrors God’s Love for Us

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Desiring God

In less than three minutes, Vermon Pierre explains how adoption mirrors God’s love for us.

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Franklin Graham Backs Jeb Bush’s Assertions That U.S. Should Accept Syrian and Iraqi Refugees Persecuted for Christian Faith

Franklin Graham Backs Jeb Bush’s Assertions That U.S. Should Accept Syrian and Iraqi Refugees Persecuted for Christian Faith

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Rev. Franklin Graham has backed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s views on how the United States should respond to the massive refugee crisis emerging out of Iraq and Syria.

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Huckabee rips Obama as ‘most anti-Christian’ president ever

Huckabee – Getty Photo

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee is blasting President Obama as the “most-anti-Christian” president ever over his guest list for Pope Francis’s state visit later this week.

Huckabee said Obama is disregarding Catholic doctrine and insulting the pope by inviting gay rights and pro-abortion activists to the White House event on Wednesday.

“President Obama’s classless decision to transform Pope Francis’ visit to the White House into a politicized cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists is an insult to millions of Catholics,” he said, according to The Iowa Statesman.

“Why is it that Obama goes to extremes to accommodate Muslim terrorists but shows nothing but disdain for Christians?” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate asked. “This is a new low for an administration that will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history.”


Prayer woven in NAMB’s strategy to plant churches

The North American Mission Board is helping mobilize various prayer strategies among its Send North America cities and preparing for the observance of Oct. 2 as the focus of the TenTwo prayer initiative. “We must pray fervently ‘for’ our cities and ‘in’ our cities if we expect to dispel the darkness,” said NAMB’s Gary Frost, who directs prayer strategies.


House OKs PPFA defunding, abortion survivors bills

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Sept. 18 to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of the release of undercover videos providing evidence the organization trades in baby body parts, as well as legislation to protect babies who survive abortions.


Baptists ‘not threatened’ by pope’s U.S. visit

As Pope Francis visits the U.S., Southern Baptist leaders say they stand with his statements of biblical morality but urge Catholics to reject the Vatican’s official teaching on salvation in favor of a personal relationship with Christ by faith alone.


Scholars reflect on history of Christian persecution

Scholars from around the world gathered at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., to discuss the history of Christian persecution at the 9th annual conference for the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies Sept. 15-16.


WMU: More than ever, pray for IMB missionaries

As International Mission Board personnel who are eligible for the organization’s voluntary retirement incentive prayerfully consider God’s leading, Woman’s Missionary Union leaders are calling for more intense prayer and support for Southern Baptist missionaries.


Marijuana claims from GOP debate evaluated

The second 2016 Republican presidential debate included more than eight minutes of discussion on marijuana policy, with candidates differing over recreational marijuana proposals but appearing to agree in their support of medical marijuana.

Secretary Clinton defends legal abortion through nine months of pregnancy

Secretary Hillary Clinton appeared on “Face the Nation” yesterday and was asked whether she supported “any federal limit on abortion at any stage of pregnancy?” She said that she does not support any limits on abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

Let the reality of that land on you. That means that Clinton believes it should be legal to kill a full-term unborn child one day before birth. A day later, to kill the child would be murder. But as long as the baby has yet to emerge from the birth canal, Clinton believes that the law should protect the right to kill that child.

When asked specifically about her views on late term abortion, Clinton made a stunning false statement:

I think that the kind of late-term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity, and therefore I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision. This gets back to whether you respect a woman’s right to choose or not, and I think that’s what this whole argument is about.

John McCormack has written an illuminating piece today showing that Clinton’s statement is false on its face. I highly recommend that you read it.

It is hard to imagine that Clinton really believes this distortion of the truth. Some enterprising journalist needs to follow-up on this. This is pro-abortion propaganda at its worst. I can hardly believe she said it.


 

What I Learned from Visiting Corrie ten Boom’s House

by Bethany Baird

What can a girl who stood up to Nazis teach you about following Christ?

Is Love Boring?

by Erin Davis

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

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

by Paula Hendricks

Does being a follower of Christ make you weird?

The Longing Heart of a Soon-to-Be Bride

by Jessie Minassian

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


GLAAD-handing: Obama invites gay rights activists to meet Pope Francis

According to Christian Examiner:

GLADD-handing is a common political occurrence in Washington, D.C., but the official guest list for Pope Francis’ visit to the White House is causing the Vatican serious concern.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Vatican officials are concerned that photos featuring the pope greeting several prominent gay rights advocates and Roman Catholics who support same-sex marriage during his White House visit could be misinterpreted as the pontiff endorsing non-traditional views on the family and human sexuality.

According to the White House, retired (and now divorced) homosexual Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson will be a guest, as will Nicholas Coppola, a former Roman Catholic who started a Change.org petition calling for the church to be more inclusive of gays and lesbians after he was put out of his church parish in New York.

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/glaad.handing.obama.invites.gay.rights.activists.to.meet.pope.francis/49552.htm


Final Warning: Things to Come

Jan’s guests for the hour are Pastor Jack Hibbs and Amir Tsarfati from Israel. They are two of our conference speakers October 2-3. They suggest life may never be the same as it once was and that we are in a final countdown. They discuss what the countdown may look like. They also talk about how people can prepare for our times. The three remind all that the spirit of Antichrist will one day, likely soon, be overcome by Jesus Christ. Today’s lawlessness will cease. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

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The Vanity of Lucifer the Fallen

In his foolish heart he sought the place of his ETERNAL Creator and Sovereign for himself, and and in a series of events he led a delusional rebellion against Almighty God in which he and his followers were cast out of the presence and holy habitation of Almighty God.

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What if a White Baptist Boy Brought A ‘Clock’ That Looked Like A Bomb To School?

If a white Baptist kid named Wedge Figgus rocked up to his High School’s Show-N-Tell last week with a briefcase full of circuit boards, wires and timers that looked nada like a frickin’ clock, the following chain-reaction, more than likely, would’ve been set into irrevocable motion:

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No Longer in Kansas – Terry James

(Scroll down through Todd Strandberg’s article on the Grand Mosque and find the Terry James article beneath that.)

We are no longer in Kansas, but we aren’t in the Land of Oz, either. That’s for certain. Things around us aren’t bright and beautiful, with fanciful prospects for a better future, in terms of what the deteriorating world conditions portend. There is no Yellow Brick Road to show the way to a future of fun and fantasy. There is only a dark pathway that leads toward the plains of Esdraelon–the Valley of Jezreel.

And, the movement toward that vast staging region for man’s final attempt to achieve his long-desired collective goal is almost unquestionably on its biblically prophetic track.

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Two (Glorious) Truths about God’s Wrath

There is little question that in today’s society, the wrath of God is the most offensive doctrine imaginable. It seems harsh, judgmental, and backwards. And it’s not just an Old Testament thing, either. The famous skeptic Bertrand Russell explained that the primary reason he could never believe in Jesus was that Jesus “so clearly believed in the wrath of God.” He called it “the one profound defect in Jesus’ character.”

Christians, too, often find God’s wrath troubling. As C.S. Lewis said, “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power.” There have been times in my life where I too have thought, Give me a divine eraser and 10 minutes, and I’ll take wrath out of the Bible.

But I can’t and, in fact, I really shouldn’t. Because as much as we hate to think about wrath, it’s actually a good doctrine—something that when we understand it, leads us to know, love, and worship God (for more on that, read here). A god without wrath would actually be a god without goodness.

Much more could be said about God’s wrath, but here I want to focus on two important–and glorious–truths:

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Can a Pastor, Deacon, or Their Wives Be Divorced and Remarried?

2015.09.16 - just-the-two-of-usThe titled question is difficult to answer. When divorce happens, there has been a failure and breakdown somewhere by one or both people in a marriage. Tears, frustration, and pain are the result. Nonetheless, each church has to answer this question for itself, and below is the answer by me for my own church on the matter.

Let me clarify that I realize that many topics below are debated:

  • Whether or not divorce is permissible beyond the Pauline privilege in 1 Cor 7:15
  • Whether or not remarriage is permissible in the case of biblical divorce
  • Whether or not a church’s officers can be divorced and remarried
  • The meaning of “a one woman man,” a phrase from 1 Tim 3:2
  • Whether or not Acts 6:1–7 actually speaks about deacons
  • How to understand the Mosaic Law for believers today
  • Baptist polity

This being said, my conclusions below may just be appreciated by no one but me, but I charitably put them here for the sake of those in my church and others to think of at least one way to apply the truth as it concerns a difficult topic.

To begin, it is helpful to remember the unique situations in which a Christian is permitted a divorce. Consider these three:

(1) sexual infidelity by the spouse (Deut 24:1; Matt 5:32; 19:9)

Moses allowed men to divorce their wives who had intentionally sexually sinned in some way (cf. “indecency” in Deut 24:1 with Matt 19:7; Mark 10:4), and Jesus did the same (Matt 5:32; 19:9). At the same time, we should remember that one’s first goal should be to forgive a spouse when sin has taken place, difficult though it may be. Jesus teaches us to seek how a marriage can last for life, not to seek loopholes for how it can end (Matt 19:3–6; Mark 10:6–8).

(2) denial of food, clothing, or marital relations (Exod 20:10–11)

Exod 21:10–11 instructed Israel about a female servant who became a man’s second wife. She was expected to be treated as a wife and nothing less, complete with the husband’s provision of food, clothing, and sexual relations. Otherwise, she was free to divorce and leave him (Exod 20:11).

(3) the desertion of an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor 7:15)

From 1 Cor 7:15, Paul allowed a believer to let his or her unbelieving spouse to desert the marriage if the marriage could no longer be peaceful in light of the believer’s conversion.

To clarify, the verses above from the Law of Moses are not technically binding on NT believers today (cf. Rom 10:4). At the same time, when the NT has not clarified the mind of God further on a given matter concerning marriage, the Mosaic Law can be informative for us today, allowing us to make the conclusions above. Added to these conclusions is this: if someone has divorced on biblical grounds, such a one is no longer bound to the previous marriage and is free to marry again (see 1 Cor 7:15 with 7:39).

Given the incredibly short summary of the view above (which would have a book’s worth of clarifications if given the space and time―please don’t assume the worst from the above), when it comes to answering the question of whether or not pastors and deacons or their wives can be divorced and remarried (assuming the divorce and remarriage were biblically permissible), we should respect another church’s decision to answer this question with a yes.

My church’s standard as a whole is to have faithful divorcees (who may or may not be remarried) serve as much as possible but not in the capacity of being an officer in the church. There are at least two reasons, biblical and practical, that allow us to make this conclusion.

First, officers must be above reproach in the life, which includes their marital situation, past and present (Acts 6:3; 1 Tim 3:1–13).

Since it is such a significant issue, it is best to include one’s marital circumstances in considering whether one is “of good repute” and “above reproach” or not (Acts 6:3; 1 Tim 3:2). To clarify, one may believe that he himself or another has been divorced and remarried on biblical grounds, but others may not. To be safe, a church may choose to hold a high standard in this regard in order to avoid controversy and unnecessary slander by those who fail to understand the circumstances of a given divorce and remarriage.

Similarly, pastors must be “well thought of by outsiders” (1 Tim 3:7), that is, unbelievers. With this qualification in mind, it seems wise to include one’s marital circumstances in consideration of whether or not such a one could be slandered and disgraced by unbelievers, though their divorce and marriage were permissible by biblical standards. Given the fact that a deacon’s requirements are so similar to that of a pastor, though being “well thought of by outsiders” is not explicitly repeated as a requirement for deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13, it seems safe to assume that deacons should be “men of good repute” (Acts 6:3), both in and outside the church.

Second, caution protects the church and candidate from controversy.

If a church does allow for an officer to be divorced and remarried, it would seem necessary (in keeping with congregational authority) that the whole church should know the circumstances of the potential officer’s divorce and remarriage in order to knowledgeably affirm that such a divorce and remarriage were biblically permissible, all in order to be able to knowledgeably vote that such a one should indeed be an officer of the church. Bringing the details of a divorce before the church can be unsettling for its members, especially if they are not unanimous in their beliefs on divorce and remarriage, let alone the situation at hand. Caution here, it seems, is to side with wisdom. Not only does this caution protect the church from potential controversy, but it also protects the potential candidate or his wife from having a significant disappointment explained to the church in detail.

In closing, while some may believe that such a standard unnecessarily excludes one from being an officer of the church, an answer to this tension would be that, if such a one truly desires to serve as much as possible in his church, he will find ample opportunity to do so whether or not he can be a pastor or a deacon.

As I pointed out above, my application of Scripture above is simply one way to answer the question of whether or not a pastor, deacon, or their wives can be divorced. I obviously prefer the conservative end of the spectrum for how to answer this question, but I respect the position of those who knowledgeably disagree.


95 [Twitter] Theses: Biblical Prescriptions for Engaging Online

There is a strange phenomenon that exists by which Christians forget that they’re Christians the moment they login to social media. While this is certainly true of all venues, it is painfully true of Twitter. The very nature of Twitter lends itself to sharp, fast-paced banter; pithy statements and stinging comebacks. No doubt, Twitter was designed to be a conduit for fleshly impulses.

But Christians are new creations (2 Cor 5:17). We are regenerated by the Spirit through the Son at the behest of the Father. Surely, as children of light, we are to live and speak and tweet righteously, with integrity and holiness.

However, we have let ourselves slip into worldliness online. In many cases, we appear no different from unbelievers. We attack and accuse one another. We gossip and slander. We engage in name-calling, tearing down those for whom Christ died. This is shameful.

Since I have cyber-blood on my own hands as well, I have purposed in my heart to refuse to engage online in this way anymore. And I’m proposing a Reformation for those who wish to participate. I’m encouraging you, as a brother in Christ, to consider these 95 Twitter Theses before you next login.

May we do all things to the glory of God in Christ Jesus!

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What Links Breath Prayer, “Practicing the Presence” and Yoga?

In Yoga, “practicing the presence” is accomplished through the mystical method of repeating yogic breathing and yogic mantras for the purpose of ushering the devotee into “oneness” with cosmic consciousnesses, the eastern understanding of god or divinity, often referred to as the “divine spark”, believed to be synonymous with all nature. The idea of god/divinity […]

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Godfrey: Salvation Sola Fide Vs Salvation By Faith Formed By Love

The medieval church consistently taught that faith, in its essence, was simply or implicitly a mental category or habit to which the believer must assent, fides informis. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Hence if anyone wishes to reduce these words to the form of a definition, he may say: ‘Faith is a habit (habitus mentis) of the […]

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Berkhof: Perseverance Is By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone

The doctrine of perseverance may also be proved in an inferential way. a. From the doctrine of election. Election does not merely mean that some will be favored with certain external privileges and may be saved, if they do their duty, but that they who belong to the number of the elect shall finally be […]

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Colorado 7th Graders, Parents, Required To Take “Righty/Lefty” Survey

From bereanresearch.org I recently received an email from a listener about a very disturbing assignment given in the Aurora Public School District in Colorado: “Attached is an assignment given to my 12-year-old great-nephew in his 7th grade social studies class. It is an outrage, and I’m so proud of my niece (his mom) who was […]

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C. Peter Wagner: “NAR is not a cult”

From Berean Research:

WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHINGThe man credited with being the “father” of the New Apostolic Reformation is surprised at the negative feedback his experience-based movement is getting in the media, especially in the left-wing liberal groups.

But he is perhaps missing the biggest outcry of all is coming from those Christians who adhere to Scriptural truth; who believe that the Bible is sufficient.

C. Peter Wagner: “NAR is not a cult!”


GLAAD-handing: Obama invites gay rights activists to meet Pope Francis

(Christian Examiner by Gregory Tomlin) GLADD-handing is a common political occurrence in Washington, D.C., but the official guest list for Pope Francis’ visit to the White House is causing the Vatican serious concern. According to the Wall Street Journal, Vatican officials are concerned that photos featuring the pope greeting several prominent gay rights advocates and […]

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Christian Men and Biblical Leadership

“I’m just not a leader.”  Men, how many times have we cowered behind that false statement?  How many times have we sat back and allowed others to lead our families and children?  The truth is God has ordained Christian men to be spiritual leaders in their families and in the church.  And right now we […]

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Office Hours With Bob Godfrey: What Is The Papacy?

On March 13 2013 the world watched for white smoke to appear from a chimney in the Sistine Chapel, named for the late fifteenth-century Pope Sixtus IV. After it did, the Vatican announced the election of a new pope, whom Rome regards as the Christ’s representative on the earth, who, Rome says, has the power […]

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Four Prayers for Bible Reading

Four Prayers for Bible ReadingWhen we open our Bibles to read, we’re never alone. The Holy Spirit hovers over and in the words of God, ready to stir our hearts, illumine our minds, and redirect our lives, all for the glory of Christ (John 16:14). The Spirit is the X factor in Bible reading, making an otherwise ordinary routine supernatural — and making it utterly foolish to read and study without praying for our eyes, minds, and hearts.

Prayer is a conversation, but not one we start. God speaks first. His voice sounds in the Scriptures and climactically in the person and work of his Son. Then, wonder of all wonders, he stops, he stoops, he bends his ear to listen to us. Prayer is almost too good to be true. With our eyes on God’s words, he gives us his ear, too.

How then should we pray over our Bibles? Here are four verses you might pray as you open God’s word.

1. Psalm 119:18: Open My Eyes to Wonder

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). We ask God to open our spiritual eyes to show us the glimpses of glory we cannot see by ourselves. Without his help, we are simply “natural” persons with natural eyes. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand [see] them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14–15).

“Seeing they do not” was Jesus’s phrase for those who saw him and his teaching only with natural eyes, without the illumining work of the Spirit (Matthew 13:13). This is why Paul prays for Christians, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17–18).

Join the psalmist in praying not just for the gift of spiritual sight, but for the gift of seeing wondrous things in God’s word. Wonder is a great antidote for wandering. Those who cultivate awe keep their hearts warm and soft, and resist the temptations to grow cold and fall away.

2. Luke 18:38: Have Mercy on Me

Pray, like the blind man begging roadside, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” For as long as we are in this life, sin encumbers every encounter with God in his word. We fail friends and family daily — and even more, we fail God. So it is fitting to accompany our opening of God’s word with the humble, broken, poor plea of the redeemed: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13).

Bible reading is a daily prompt to own our failures, newly repent, and freshly cast ourselves on his grace all over again. Prayer is the path to staying fascinated with his grace and cultivating a spirit of true humility.

3. James 1:22: Make Me a Doer of Your Word

Pray that God, having opened your eyes to wonder and reminded you of the sufficiency of his grace, would produce genuine change in your life. Ask him to allow the seeds from Scripture to bear real, noticeable fruit in tangible acts of sacrificial love for others. “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). You need not artificially capture one, specific point of application from every passage, but pray that his word would shape and inform and direct your practical living.

Ask that he would make you more manifestly loving, not less, because of the time invested alone in reading and studying his word.

4. Luke 24:45: Open My Eyes to Jesus

This is another way of praying that God would open our eyes to wonder, just with more specificity. The works of God stand as marvelous mountain ranges in the Bible, but the highest peak, and the most majestic vista, is the person and work of his Son.

As Jesus himself taught after his resurrection, he is the Bible’s closest thing to a skeleton key for unlocking the meaning of every text — every book, every plot twist, the whole story. First, “he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27), then he taught his disciples that “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). And in doing so, “he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

The great goal of Bible reading and study is this: knowing and enjoying Jesus. This is a taste now of heaven’s coming delights. “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This gives direction, focus, and purpose to our study. “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD” (Hosea 6:3). This forms great yearning and passion in our souls: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

Keep both eyes peeled for Jesus. Until we see how the passage at hand relates to Jesus’s person and work, we haven’t yet finished the single most important aspect of our reading.

We are desperate for God’s ongoing help to see, and so we pray.


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7 Spiritual Consequences of Living a Hurried, Busy Life

In 1967, experts on time management delivered a report to the U.S. Senate. These experts believed the speed of technology, satellites and robotics would present a big problem for the American workplace in the years to come. The problem? People would have too much free time. Here’s what they concluded:

“By 1985, people might have to choose between working 22 hours a week, 27 weeks a year or retiring at 38.”

https://www.churchleaders.com/article-headlines-widget.html

Good call, “experts.” If I had a time machine, I would fire all of you.

Almost 50 years later, we’re moving faster than ever. We’re addicted to speed, obsessed with hurry. This addiction now has a name … ”hurry sickness.”

Hurry sickness is defined as “a continuous struggle to accomplish more things and participate in more events in less time, frequently in the face of opposition, real or imagined, from other people.”

If you’ve ever laid on the horn because the person in front of you didn’t turn fast enough, switched lanes to avoid slow drivers, or changed lanes at the grocery store because another lane had fewer people, you might suffer with hurry sickness.

Our pace is out of control. And, if we compare our pace to the pace of Jesus’ life, there aren’t many similarities. Jesus was never rushed. He didn’t cater to the demands of the world. He wasn’t overwhelmed by life, even though he had an enormous mission to complete in a very short period of time.

Jesus never rushed because he moved at God’s pace. You see, hurry isn’t from God. It’s the world’s pace. It’s Satan’s pace. Psychiatrist Carl Jung said, “Hurry is not OF the devil. Hurry IS the devil.”

Culture’s obsession with busyness and hurriedness isn’t just a scheduling problem. It’s a heart problem. It’s time to consider what a hurried life is costing us.

And, make no mistake, the cost is enormous.

Here are seven consequences of living a hurried life.

1.) A hurried life destroys your relationship with God.  

Wing Mandao, a Chinese pastor, said, “We have so much to do that we never really commune with God as he intended in the Garden of Eden.”

Intimacy with God requires stillness, attentiveness and silence. You must get off life’s busy freeway to grow closer to God.

Jesus frequently removed himself from the world. He spent time alone in prayer and solitude. And in these moments, Jesus received the strength to fulfill his mission, the confidence to continue his mission, and the wisdom to discern the ways of God from the ways of the world.

Unless you spend extended periods of time alone with God through prayer, solitude and sabbath, the speed of the world will skew your understanding of God. Anxiety, unrest and discontentment will hover over your life like a dark storm cloud.

As Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

The post 7 Spiritual Consequences of Living a Hurried, Busy Life appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


If Your Church Closed Its Doors, Would the Neighborhood Care?

I want to talk about why Millennials are fleeing the church in droves. But first, let’s circle back around to a question I raised at the end of a blog last week. Regarding discipleship, I said: “I wonder if we’ve elevated certain pet aspects of personal morality over communal and social action.”

Can someone be a disciple if they remain sexually pure before marriage and yet have no heart for the poor?

Is a faithful disciple one who has a perfect church attendance and leads two Bible studies, but has no concern for their local community?

If your church closed its doors tomorrow, would anyone in the community care?

I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite churches a few months ago: Imago Dei in Portland. I was giving a talk to a bunch of pastors there on a Monday afternoon, and the whole building was buzzing like a bee-hive with activity. My talk was only one of many gatherings that afternoon. One room was filled with addicts seeking redemption. Another room hosted a group of single moms in the neighborhood. The building probably had more unbelievers than believers in it. Smells of food lingered in the hallways, and the building was filled with a rainbow of ethnicity. My friend Josh Butler, one of the pastors at Imago Dei, told me:

“We want to be so vital to the community around us that if we ever closed our doors, the entire neighborhood would be upset.”

If Josh’s concern is a good one, and I think it is, then how is this concern woven into our discipleship? Are we training Christians to be both morally upright and socially engaged? Only 20 percent of Millennials who have left the church said that they were given opportunities to serve the poor when they were churched (Kinnaman, You Lost Me, 119). Only 15 percent said they found a cause or issue at church that motivated them (Ibid). And yet many unchurched (or dechurched) are passionate about serving the community, fighting injustices, helping the poor, doing things that make their city a better place.

According to one survey, 4 out of 5 unchurched people want to contribute to the good of their community (Barna and Kinnaman, Churchless, 42; see also Dyck, Generation Ex-Christian, 39). Ironically, their perception about church is that church people don’t really care about the world around them. They’re too busy going to church and serving themselves. And most church budgets confirm the perception.

At my church here in Boise, every six weeks we have what’s called “serve Sunday.” Instead of having a church service, we gather for service. That is, we locate several needs in our community and we spend the morning meeting those needs. It may be pulling weeds at a women’s half-way house or helping a local nonprofit with whatever needs they may have. My pastor says it’s usually the most well-attended Sunday of the month.

Many people who are searching for some sort of divine encounter won’t step foot inside a church building, where people are singing weird songs and money plates are being passed around. (I mean seriously, church can be so weird for someone not raised in the church.) But most people are passionate about serving needs in their community. They care about the poor. They’re angry at injustice. They see value in meeting physical needs at a home where ex-cons are trying to get back on their feet.

Most people who fall away from church in their 20s and 30s don’t have any major reason for doing so. Seventy-one percent said they “just gradually drifted away from the religion” (cited in Dyck, Generation Ex-Christian, 169). The religion these people left is more akin to “therapeutic moralistic deism,” according to Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist (Soul Searching). God exists. Jesus is real. Here are the doctrines you have to believe, and here are a bunch of rules you have to follow to be a good person: don’t cuss, don’t get drunk, don’t have sex before you’re married (and you’re on your own after you get married), don’t ______, don’t ________, don’t _________. And go to church as often as you can. Oh, and don’t be gay.

After a while, the Christianity they’ve experienced feels out of touch with the real world around them. The truth claims they’ve memorized feel simplistic and irrelevant. Their complex questions are given thin, simplistic answers, and there’s rarely any safe space to ask hard questions or express doubt. Their passion for people, vocation and the real needs around them weren’t fanned in any significant way by church services and Bible studies. In other words, they didn’t truly encounter Jesus—the Jesus of the Bible—in church.

When Jesus invited people into fellowship, he said “come follow me” as he met the physical and spiritual needs around him (Matt 8-9). He didn’t invite people to attend a service. It was in serving the poor and bringing shalom to a violent world that the presence of God was manifest. People can experience God in a church service (1 Cor 14). But they can also experience Him as they’re kneeling to give a homeless person bread (Matt 25). If we are going to truly disciple the next generation, we need to expand our view of what discipleship is. Personal morality has its place. But even personal morality needs to be tethered to the narrative of a crucified God who’s on a reckless mission to bring the nations back to Eden.

Our discipleship must include personal and communal engagement. We must harness and unleash the God-given passions and creativity that glow like quiet embers in the heart of every soul. We cannot bore people out of the church or preach (or live) a dull, irrelevant gospel that snuffs out people’s passion to live, dream, create and serve. We’ve been endowed with God’s Spirit to incarnate the love of Christ and turn the world upside down.

If your church closed its doors tomorrow, would the neighborhood around it care?  

The post If Your Church Closed Its Doors, Would the Neighborhood Care? appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Private Sin, Public Fallout

atomicWhen an explosion occurred on April 26, 1986 at the Ukrainian Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the first reaction of Soviet authorities seemed to indicate more concern with avoiding the spread of anxiety than the spread of radiation.

The Minister of Internal Affairs gave a telephonic report of current affairs in the Ukraine to his superior, and only at the end of the conversation casually mentioned an explosion at the plant. When he was asked how the people in the nearby town were doing, he replied “some are celebrating a wedding, others are gardening, and others are fishing in the Pripyat River.” A few hours later, however, the denizens of Pripyat experienced widespread symptoms of radiation poisoning, including uncontrollable coughing fits, vomiting, and headaches.

The aphorism “what someone doesn’t know can’t hurt them” has been debunked so many times and in so many ways that it is stupefying to me that people still use it.

An inescapable characteristic of the sin of believers is that it always affects other people. Since all believers are part of a community—the Body—even the most personal of sins always spawns devastating public fallout.

Eph 4:4-5 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism…

When you settle into unrepentant sin, it affects us all. How?

First, your sin has a corroding effect on your godliness, it is a drain on your Spirit filled-ness, and has a searing effect on your conscience. So, unrepentant sin (even hidden sin) renders you useless for spiritual work. This becomes the problem of the Body of Christ and it is the local church your insidious impotence affects most immediately.handgrenade luggage

Kent Hughes:

How do these sins affect other believers? So called hidden sins lead to a deterioration of character reducing the ring of truth and the reality of what we do and say. …God does not bless the life in which there is hidden sin.”

Second, the presence of sin, when it is discovered tarnishes the reputation of Christ and the local church in the community. And, contrary to the self-deceiving opiate of reassurance with which the culprit soothes himself, sin almost always leaks out of the most committed efforts for containment. Just ask Achan (Josh 7). Or Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). And about 39 million AshleyMadison(dot)com clients.

Third, the presence of the sin, if known and tolerated in the body, leads others to sin. In congregations where loving, restorative church discipline is not employed to excise the cancer of sin, that leniency activates metastasis, where sin spreads to others in the church.

Paul rebuked the Corinthians for mollycoddling sexual sin in their midst.

fox caught1 Cor 5:1-7 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. … you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.

Leaven, as every baker and Bible student knows, is a microscopic ingredient that only requires a tiny pinch to spread and multiply and permeate a whole huge lump of dough. Likewise, one sin that is fertilized by apathy and thus allowed to thrive in a church will inevitably contaminate the whole body eventually. Healthy members will end up withdrawing from the church, leaving it with no one but those indulgent of the pollution.

So, if there is one nugget you take or tweet from this meditation, it ought to be a charge from the inimitable Puritan, Richard Baxter:

Treat sin as it will treat you; spare it not for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the world; treat it therefore as a murderer should be treated. Kill it before it kills you.”


Partially Hydrogenated Bible Study

Only four more days until Revive ’15! Watch Jen Wilkin on the LIVE stream for practical advice on how to study God’s Word effectively . . . and share it with others.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

Who hasn’t had a love affair with junk food? Those enticing cellophane-encased delights whose appearance, smell, and taste hold all the promise of a deliciously satisfying meal but none of the nutritional benefits . . . Oh, for the simple days of my nutritional ignorance, those blissful years of HoHo’s and Ding Dongs, when the words “partially hydrogenated,” “high fructose,” and “trans fat” were part of some beautiful secret code I had no interest in cracking. But then some Johnny Raincloud broke that code, translating junk food labels into a recipe for diabetes and heart disease. And the unthinkable happened: Cheetos lost their binge-appeal. According to food activist Michael Pollan, these tasty morsels were not food, but “edible foodlike substances.”

Well, when you put it that way . . .

Yet some days I still find myself thinking, How could something that tastes so good be wrong? Yes, junk food seems right unto Jen, but the end thereof is nutrient-starved obesity.

How concerned are we about the nutritional value of our spiritual food?

Lately it seems everyone is a nutritional code-breaker. Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter all buzz with the clean food convictions of their users. Lately eating well is practically a religion.

Which brings me to my point: We take great care to ensure the nutritional content of our daily bread, but how concerned are we about the nutritional value of our spiritual food? Specifically, how hard have we thought about the content of our Bible studies?

Spiritual Junk Food

There are endless shelves of them in the local Christian bookstore. They all promise to satisfy our hunger, but how can we know whether we are staring at shelves of Twinkies or organic purple kale? How can we tell which ones are solid spiritual food and which are “edible foodlike substances”?

Like real junk food, superficial studies sabotage a healthy spiritual appetite and create cravings for teaching that appeals to our feelings or preferences.

Much like junk food manufacturers, Christian writers have been known to appeal to our senses to garner popularity. But the stakes for dining on spiritual junk food are high: Like real junk food, superficial studies sabotage a healthy spiritual appetite and create cravings for teaching that appeals to our feelings or preferences. These are not studies so much as “study-like inspirational musings.” Yes, palatable para-studies seem right, but the end thereof is theology-starved spiritual flabbiness.

Nutritional Analysis

So take a minute to analyze the nutritional content of your current Bible study by asking these questions:

  • How much does it rely on storytelling? Humor? Empathy?
  • How much of the process of discovery is your responsibility?
  • Does it ask you to think hard or just to feel deeply?
  • Does it emphasize theology or just morality? Does it point to the gospel?
  • Does its appeal lie in who wrote it or in what it teaches?
  • Does it attach Scripture to a topic, or does it address a topic as it arises in Scripture?
  • Does it foster navel-contemplation or God-contemplation?
  • Does it include a preponderance of pithy quotes from other authors?
  • Does it rely heavily on paraphrases (the Message, the Living Bible, etc.) instead of translations (ESV, NASB, RSV, etc.)?
  • Does it deliver short bursts of inspiration or long brushstrokes of understanding?
  • Does it teach study skills or just deliver commentary?

Don’t miss my meaning: I am not implying that good Bible study never touches our emotions. Quite the contrary—I believe that the message of the Word is so beautiful that its faithful study will move you deeply and often. Without embellishment. Storytelling and humor do have their place, but their place must never be to manipulate. Their place must never be central.

Making a Healthy Choice

Over time, we begin to appreciate the simple pleasure of applying ourselves to comprehending, interpreting, and applying the Word.

If you’re beginning to suspect that your Bible study diet has been extremely flavorful but nutritionally lacking, be prepared for a bit of an adjustment when you move to healthier choices. Consider again the physical parallel: When we begin to eat healthy things, we find them to be bland at first. But over time we learn to prefer their taste to unhealthy options. The same is true of good Bible study. At first, we may still crave that touching story to drive home a point. We may not like finishing our study of a passage without a neat summary to tie up all the loose ends. But over time, we begin to appreciate the simple pleasure of applying ourselves to comprehending, interpreting, and applying the Word.

So the next time you go shopping for enticing cellophane-encased delights at the Christian bookstore, do your nutritional research. Look for studies that hone your own skills as a student and that teach the beauty of the Word undiluted by sentimentality. Develop a taste for inductive Bible study. Treat yourself to a topical study for dessert after you’ve had a healthy meal of line-by-line instruction.

Here’s to your health.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “A Quiet Time Revolutionized.”


Five Ways Some Senior Adult Churches Became Younger

It seems to be a Catch-22. If your congregation is older, the way to reach younger families is to have younger families in your church. But the reason the congregation is older is because it has few or no younger families.

I have seen this played out on numerous occasions. A young family visits a church. They notice there are only older adults in the worship services. The young family decides not to return as they surmise there are few opportunities for younger adults and their children.

Hear me clearly. I am not suggesting there is anything inherently wrong with a congregation of senior adults. But I have been asked on numerous occasions how these churches can possibly reach younger families. Rather than give you my own subjective opinions, let me share with you five different ways some churches have actually accomplished this feat.

  1. They prayed for younger people to come to their church. Sometimes in our quest to find methodological solutions in our churches, we neglect the most important Source of our needs: God through prayer. Some senior adult churches have done just that. They have subsequently seen young families and young singles come into their churches.
  2. They were willing to change. There is a natural tendency to resist change as we get older. Colloquially, it is often expressed as “getting settled in our ways.” I spoke with one 77-year-old man who made a visit to the church in town that was reaching young people. He saw what attracted those younger generations in contrast to what was taking place in his church. He prayed that God would give him a heart that was other-focused instead of me-focused. He would later become a leader of the older congregants urging them to let go of things that were simply their preferences.
  3. The members expanded their social circles to younger people. Relationships are key to reaching people. If older adults are intentional about connecting with younger persons in their social settings, those relationships will soon transfer to the church.
  4. The members started Bible studies with younger adults. The example where I have familiarity is a senior adult man who began a Bible study in his home. He invited people in his neighborhood to attend, many of whom were younger families. Eventually he invited them to church, and some responded positively. An elderly woman took the same concept and began mentoring some younger women.
  5. Younger adults are asked to be “missionaries” to the older-adult congregation. One church successfully received two-year commitments from five young families to be a part of the older congregation. These younger families were highly intentional about inviting their peers, and the church grew with younger people. A word of admonition is in order here. You cannot simply ask younger families to join you. The older congregants must be willing to listen to the younger families and act on many of the changes they suggest.

Again, let me be clear that I am not suggesting one generation is inherently superior to another. I am responding to numerous requests for ideas on how churches of primarily senior adults can reach younger families.

I have little doubt you readers have some great thoughts. Let me hear from you.

The post Five Ways Some Senior Adult Churches Became Younger appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Adoption Mirrors God’s Love for Us

Adoption Mirrors God’s Love for UsIn less than three minutes, Vermon Pierre explains how adoption mirrors God’s love for us. The following is a lightly edited transcript.


What do I say to Christians to waken them to the importance of adoption and foster care? Well, I think there is a holistic way of approaching this that we vitally need. It really begins with looking at the full gospel story. God is setting his love upon us before the foundations of the world, setting his love upon people who were in darkness.

I like to tell people that we were the people in the back of the filing cabinet with the red stamp saying: Do not adopt. You look at the file on humanity and it says: Prone to rejection, prone to running away, prone to disobedience. There is no reason why God should have loved us and yet God did love his. He set his love upon us and it was a redemptive love to reconcile us to himself, to restore us to himself and restoring a people to himself. We were meant to be part of the family of God. We fell away and God still brings us back to himself.

When we do that well, we begin to understand that these are sort of themes and values that play out in every day life. Adoption and foster care is one of the most practical ways in which that plays out — setting our love upon people who often are considered unlovable. My wife likes to say it is like hugging broken shards of glass when you engage in foster care. You are hugging people and bringing into your family people who are deeply hurt and yet our love set upon them is redemptive and restorative. Adopting someone to your family certainly mirrors God’s adoption of us.

But reconciliation also brings the lens further out and we begin to understand how we should also be concerned to see people stay within their families. And I think there is a stream of thought that needs to be pushed more in that direction as well. How do we help families stay together? How do local churches come around families? Foster care and adoption is great, but in many ways it is an individualistic approach. A whole church approach is: How do we come around a broken family and help children stay in those families. All of those flow very much out of this fuller understanding of what God has done for us and all the different ways where we are keeping families together, whether we are fostering them for a temporary period of time or adopting them into our family. All of these are different ways of us ministering the love and grace of God to the people in our midst.


Related Resources


A La Carte (September 21)

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Crossway has 2 excellent Jon Bloom titles on sale: Things Not Seen and Not By Sight ($5.99 each). Also consider Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland ($2.99); His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke by The Gospel Coalition ($2.99); On Guard For Students by William Lane Craig ($2.99); Onward by Russell Moore ($7.99). New from GLH Publishing is Keeping the Heart by John Flavel ($0.99).

Private Sin, Public Fallout

It is so important that we face this fact: “An inescapable characteristic of the sin of believers is that it always affects other people. Since all believers are part of a community—the Body—even the most personal of sins always spawns devastating public fallout.”

They All Look Alike to Me

Fascinating: “It is not bias or bigotry, the researchers say, that makes it difficult for people to distinguish between people of another race. It is the lack of early and meaningful exposure to other groups that often makes it easier for us to quickly identify and remember people of our own ethnicity or race while we often struggle to do the same for others.”

When You Have to End Support

“One reality of the missionary life is that missionaries will lose supporters. According to Ask A Missionary, most missionaries lose 5-15% of their support during their first two years on the field.” Here’s guidance on ending that support.

3 Objections to the Doctrine of Election

Tim Keller answers 3 common objections to the doctrine of election.

This Day in 1953. C.J. Mahaney was born. Happy birthday to C.J., who turns 62 today!

4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don’t Need to Worry About

Just like the title says, because not all grammatical rules are created equal.

Your Child Is Your Neighbor

On the one hand it’s obvious, but on the other it’s profound: Your child is your neighbor. And the Bible says a lot about how you treat your neighbor.


The Daily Discovery (September 21, 2015)

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

3 Objections to the Doctrine of Election – “The doctrine of election—that those who freely come to God are those whom God has freely chosen—is easy to understand, and clearly taught in God’s Word, but it is not easy to accept. It has given thoughtful believers problems for centuries, and continues to do so today. Here are three of the most common questions the doctrine of election raises…”

A Powerful Practice for Prayer – “Prayer has always been a struggle for me, and I know I am not the only one. There’s a reason that books on prayer continue to flood our bookshelves. Very few of us pray as often and as earnestly as we would like. Very few of us are confident that we pray well. Fewer still feel like we really get prayer.”

95 [Twitter] Theses: Biblical Prescriptions for Engaging Online – “There is a strange phenomenon that exists where Christians forget that they’re Christians the moment they login to social media. While this is certainly true of all venues, it is painfully true of Twitter. The very nature of Twitter lends itself to sharp, fast-paced banter; pithy statements and stinging comebacks. No doubt, Twitter was designed to be a conduit for fleshly impulses. But Christians are new creations (2 Cor 5:17). We are regenerated by the Spirit through the Son at the behest of the Father. Surely, as children of light, we are to live and speak and tweet righteously, with integrity and holiness.”

Should we pursue influence through controversy? – “I’ve read a lot of leadership advice over the last number of years; some good, some… not so much. Most of the time that advice seems to revolve around how to increase our influence. At least one church leader has suggested that the reason we lack any significant influence in the larger culture is because we’re afraid of controversy. We avoid criticism, and in doing so forfeit opportunities to gain influence.1 So if we really want to gain influence, we should be be like Jesus as be willing to embrace controversy—to be controversial even at the risk of being misrepresented or misunderstood.”

Private Sin, Public Fallout – “The aphorism ‘what someone doesn’t know can’t hurt them’ has been debunked so many times and in so many ways that it is stupefying to me that people still use it. An inescapable characteristic of the sin of believers is that it always affects other people. Since all believers are part of a community—the Body—even the most personal of sins always spawns devastating public fallout.”


SERMON:

Jeff Durbin – Apologia Academy: Presuppositional Apologetics and Mormonism


VIDEOS:

Does Jesus love everyone?

He Was of His Father the Devil


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


Christian Headlines Daily – Monday, September 21, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Pastor Averts Crisis When Crazed Man with Gun Enters Church

Court Shuts Down Attempt to Stop Release of More Planned Parenthood Videos

Russell Moore Questions Christians’ Approval of Trump

Republican Candidates’ Child Vaccine Comments Have Doctors Worried

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

Exhibition to Showcase Resilience of Christians who Faced Brutal Persecution in Japan

Statue of Billy Graham to be Erected in U.S. Capitol

Poll Finds Key Differences Between Tea Party Republicans and Evangelical Conservatives

Pastor Says Church Needs to Step up and Help Refugees

Samaritan’s Purse Deploys Two Disaster Relief Units to Help Victims of California Wildfires

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


09/21/15 Listen, or Pay a Price

READING: Zechariah 1-7

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  The book of Zechariah was written to discouraged Hebrews who had returned from exile, but who had not yet rebuilt the Temple. The first part of the book is built around a series of visions Zechariah had to convince the people that God was still working. Within the chapters read today are two reminders of the sins of the Hebrews’ ancestors  — reminders that the people of God must not go that way again now that they had returned to the land.

The first statement is both clear and sad: “Do not be like your ancestors; the earlier prophets proclaimed to them: This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds.’ But they did not listen or pay attention to Me’—this is the Lord’s declaration” (Zech. 1:4).  They did not listen or pay attention to God. That’s a dangerous move.

Indeed, read what God then said in chapter 7: “Just as He had called, and they would not listen, so when they called, ‘I would not listen,’” says the Lord of Hosts (Zech. 7:13). The penalty for their not listening to God was equally, if not more, serious: He would not listen to their prayers. That’s a heavy penalty to pay.

PRAYER: “God, please hear my prayers. Help me to live in such a way that (1) you always listen to my prayers, and (2) I hear your calls to repentance.”


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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 21, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 21, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Pope Francis’s attempt to inject moral urgency into dealing with poverty, immigration and climate change is about to run into entrenched political divisions in the U.S. The pontiff’s agenda neatly dovetails with that of President Obama, and some of his advisers are looking to Francis’s arrival in the U.S. on Tuesday as a way to lift the prospects of getting the unfinished work of his presidency done.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year, though the action didn’t satisfy some Republicans who are prepared to shut down the federal government over the issue.

The number of U.S. households that spend at least half their income on rent-the “severely cost-burdened,” in the lingo of housing experts-could increase 25 percent to 14.8 million over the next decade. More than 1 million households headed by Hispanics and more than 1 million headed by the elderly could pass into those ranks. Households shouldn’t spend more than 30 percent of income on housing, by the general rule of thumb.

Nuclear inspectors who visited Iran didn’t find any equipment linked to nuclear-weapons research inside a building long suspected of holding a blast chamber, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said. The agency’s investigators are still studying environmental samples taken by their Iranian counterparts at the Parchin military complex.

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Berlin on Sunday, said the U.S. will admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, with the total number allowed to resettle rising to 100,000 in the 2017 fiscal year from 70,000 last year. Migrants continued to stream into the European Union over the weekend from the Balkans.

In 2015, 15.1 percent of 25 to 34 year olds were living with their parents, a fourth straight annual increase, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Population Reference Bureau in Washington. The proportion is the highest since at least 1960.

AP Top Stories

When Pope Francis makes his first visit to Washington, this week, President Obama will do something he has rarely done in his six years in office: He’ll follow George W. Bush’s example. Obama will take the unusual step of welcoming Francis in person at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, greeting the head of the Catholic Church as he disembarks from the chartered aircraft that brings him to the United States after the first leg of his North American tour, a stop in Cuba. Other world leaders don’t get that kind of reception.

More than half of Palestinians no longer support a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel, a survey released on Monday showed, rejecting the goal that has underpinned four decades of international diplomacy.

A growing number of “disillusioned” Islamic State fighters are defecting from the jihadist group and could be used by governments to deter potential recruits, a report published Monday said. At least 58 people have left the group and publicly spoken about their defection since January 2014.

The secluded polygamous towns tucked between stunning red-rock cliffs have survived for more than 100 years, despite Utah and Arizona’s efforts to dismantle them and expose abuses. After at least 12 women and children were killed by flash floods, two of the fathers of the victims made a rare public plea for Utah to leave them alone, laying bare authorities’ delicate dance between investigating abuses and alienating the very people they’re trying to help in the isolated communities of Hildale and Colorado City on the Utah-Arizona line.

Apple said on Sunday it is cleaning up its iOS App Store to remove malicious iPhone and iPad programs identified in the first large-scale attack on the popular mobile software outlet.

Kenya’s president on Sunday urged teachers who have been on strike for about three weeks to return to work, saying their demand for a pay rise of up to 60 percent could not be met.

Syria predicted Sunday that Russia’s growing military role will prove a game changer in the fight against jihadists, as 75 rebels trained under a beleaguered US program entered the fray.

The central US state of Oklahoma has gone from registering two earthquakes a year to nearly two a day and scientists point to a controversial culprit: wastewater injection wells used in fracking. Located in the middle of the country, far from any major fault lines, Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes of a magnitude of 3.0 or greater in 2014. That’s more than three times as many as the 180 which hit California last year.

South Korea may have the fastest Internet speed in the world, but it looks like the country needs to ramp up its security. South Korea’s government has been hit by more than 110,000 cyberattacks in the past five years.

BBC

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson said he does not believe a Muslim should become president.

A driver involved in a high-speed chase in California was struck by gunfire from a police helicopter, officials have confirmed. Police opened fire when the car began heading the wrong way on a motorway. The driver was later confirmed dead.

Pope Francis has met Cuba’s former President, Fidel Castro, after celebrating Mass in front of tens of thousands of people in Havana. The two men discussed world affairs and religion, in what the Vatican called an “informal and friendly” encounter.

WND

Common Core, the federal education-standards initiative, can’t stay out of the headlines.. “You think the math standards are bad, what will happen once the federal government starts setting the standards for how American history is taught to our kids?” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal demanded. “Under the Obama administration, the instruction would not be about American exceptionalism; it would be all about how the United States causes victimization.” It’s been blasted for teaching lessons such as how to sympathize with Hamas, create a Palestinian state and divide Jerusalem.

Security firm AVG can sell search and browser history data to advertisers in order to “make money” from its free antivirus software, a change to its privacy policy has confirmed.


Top News – 9/21/2015

New invisibility cloak hides tiny three-dimensional objects of any shape
Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a foldable, incredibly thin invisibility cloak that can wrap around microscopic objects of any shape and make them undetectable in the visible spectrum. In its current form, the technology could be useful in optical computing or in shrouding secret microelectronic components from prying eyes, but according to the researchers involved, it could also be scaled up in size with relative ease.

Pope’s visit will produce largest security operation in U.S. history
Federal authorities are mobilizing one of the largest security operations in U.S. history ahead of Pope Francis’s arrival Tuesday, an effort that is straining law enforcement resources in Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

Thousands Lost Power Across San Diego
SDG&E gave no notice to customers before the power was cut, forcing many businesses to close Some businesses say they had at least a thousand dollars in losses. “Everybody here had [no power],” said a local business owner. “We were in the middle of cooking!”

‘Europe’s 1930s Jew Hatred Raised its Ugly Head Again’
“It is saddening that the European Parliament hasn’t learned a thing from history, and works today with the same deviant means known to us from the 1930s, which marked the start of the greatest tragedy in the history of humanity.”

Tsipras returns to power to fight for Greek debt relief
Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras will return as prime minister on Monday determined to secure debt relief from the country’s creditors in his “first and most important battle” after scoring an unexpectedly clear election victory.

Rebels see tougher war with Russians in Syria, evoke Afghanistan
Rebels who have inflicted big losses on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say Russia’s intervention in support of its ally will only lead to an escalation of the war and may encourage the rebels’ Gulf Arab backers to pour in more military aid.

SOLAR ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES
As sunspot AR2415 approaches the sun’s western limb, it is crackling with increasingly-strong flares. An M2-class eruption (movie) on Sept.20th lasted more than an hour and may have hurled a CME (movie) toward Earth.

Send the “Refugees” to Iceland!!!
Under the circumstances, it occurs to me that a great historic opportunity now presents itself for righting historic wrongs and for achieving social justice. Why should we not take all the “refugees” now crowding train stations in Hungary, Serbia, and the Greek islands and simply ship them all off to Iceland? Why should these people be denied the pleasure of listening to Björk Guðmundsdóttir or of lunching on skyr, hangikjöt, kleinur, laufabrauð and bollur?

High-Ranking Security Team Joins Netanyahu Meeting With Putin in Moscow
Military Intelligence director Maj.-Gen. Hertzi Halevy, National Security Council head Yossi Cohen and Netanyahu’s military secretary Col. Eliezer Toledano are also accompanying the prime minister to the meeting, which is scheduled to last three hours. The officials are expected to discuss Russia’s activities and military involvement in Syria, as well as questions about Russia’s cooperation with Iran.

6.3-Magnitude Quake Hits Chile Following 300 Aftershocks
As Chile continues to be affected by aftershocks of the massive 8.3-magnitude earthquake that hit the country last week, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) another 6.3-magnitude quake was felt in the early hours of this Monday.

Summer of bloodshed as US murder rates rise
…After years in decline, the pace of homicides is on the rise in some 30 big American cities. As of Friday, homicides in the capital Washington were up 40.5 percent from a year ago at 111, police said. The situation is also worrying in St Louis and Milwaukee, which saw the number of murders go up 60 percent and 76 percent…

U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies
Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father…he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base. “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,”…“My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.” Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan… The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play…

Why smart people actually believe Mercury retrograde ruins lives
According to astrological hucksters…the three periods each year when Mercury appears to be moving backward are total pandemonium… …Columbia University astronomy professor David Helfand points to…The growing popularity of astrology, he says, shares DNA with anti-science movements like anti-vaccination efforts and climate-change denial (though horoscopes are certainly less worrisome than a rubella outbreak).

Pentagon intrigued by breakthrough in cloaking technology
An academic says he and his colleagues have demonstrated a major breakthrough in the quest for invisibility, and he has the military’s attention. Boubacar Kante, a professor at the University of California-San Diego, and his colleagues tested the…”dielectric metasurface cloak.” That’s a fancy way of describing a super-thin, non-metal material that manipulates electromagnetic waves, including visible light and radio waves.

Migrant crisis: Thousands arrive in Austria with EU talks due
Thousands more migrants entered Austria over the weekend as European leaders are set to push for a unified response to the crisis. Austrian authorities are expecting more arrivals from Hungary on Monday. Foreign ministers from four eastern European countries are holding talks on the crisis later, kicking off a week of intense diplomatic activity.

Iranian nuclear experts take Parchin samples without UN inspectors
Iranian nuclear experts have taken environmental samples from the military base at Parchin without United Nations inspectors being present, the spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency was quoted as saying on Monday. …Western diplomats told Reuters earlier this month inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog, would observe samples being taken.

According to the visiting MKs, the Jordan king bluntly told them: al-Aksa Mosque is a place for Muslim prayer with no division nor partnership.
IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi will accompany Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a lightning trip to Moscow on Monday, in a clear signal that regional arms transfers and Russia’s troop deployments in Syria will be the main focus of the discussions.

How one US state went from two quakes a year to 585
The central US state of Oklahoma has gone from registering two earthquakes a year to nearly two a day and scientists point to a controversial culprit: wastewater injection wells used in fracking. Located in the middle of the country, far from any major fault lines, Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes of a magnitude of 3.0 or greater in 2014. That’s more than three times as many as the 180 which hit California last year.

Blasts rock Nigerian city of Maiduguri
Three blasts have struck the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the army says. A spokesman blamed the Islamist militant group Boko Haram for the attack. The group was founded in Maiduguri.

Iran nuclear deal: IAEA head visits Parchin site
Yukiya Amano, the head of the global nuclear watchdog the IAEA, has visited Iran’s Parchin military site. Western intelligence agencies have long suspected that nuclear arms research took place at Parchin. Iran has denied this and insists its nuclear programme is purely peaceful.

Syria sees Russia game changer, US-trained rebels enter fray
Syria predicted Sunday that Russia’s growing military role will prove a game changer in the fight against jihadists, as 75 rebels trained under a beleaguered US programme entered the fray.

Israel to bring in 20,000 Chinese construction workers
Israel plans to bring in 20,000 Chinese construction workers to help build new apartments as part of efforts to lower housing costs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

The Heretical Blasphemy Of Joel Osteen: The Power Of I Am
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?” Laodicean slop where YOU are the focus and God is nothing more than an errand boy who is expected to provide “stuff” on demand.


Top Headlines – 9/21/2015

Jordan’s king to Arab MKs: Temple Mount for Muslims only

Egypt’s Sisi condemns ‘violations’ at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque

Jerusalem of rage – Temple Mount tensions spark violence

Police arrest 39 Palestinians accused of throwing rocks, firebombs over 48 hours

Israeli Officials Weigh Harsher Steps to Curb Jerusalem Unrest

Former Shin Bet chief: Allowing live-fire against rock-throwers will escalate situation

Liberman: Fire Arab school officials for protests against ‘attacks on Al-Aksa’

IDF arrests six in overnight West Bank terror sweeps

Palestinians in Gaza fire rocket into Israel; no injuries reported

Rocket fire from Gaza shows Hamas’s weakness and Israel’s lack of options

Gaza’s Hamas rulers call for end to Egyptian border project after smuggling tunnel is flooded

EU to begin labeling settlement products in 10 days, diplomat tells Army Radio

Herzog: EU plans to label settlement products a ‘dangerous and grave’ threat

Prosor: Efforts to fly Palestinian flag at UN not the way to peace, statehood

UN to ‘throw away its sins’ at first ever Tashlich ceremony ahead of Yom Kippur

In rare move, Netanyahu to bring army chiefs to meet Putin in Moscow

UN nuclear watchdog says its chief visited military site in Iran

Iranian nuclear experts take Parchin samples without UN inspectors

‘Iran, US have taken first steps toward decreasing enmity,’ Rouhani says

White House seeks Pope’s help on prisoners in Iran

North Korean nuclear warning reignites debate over Iran deal

Putin meets Netanyahu, says Russia’s actions in Mideast will always be ‘responsible’

Netanyahu to ask Putin for freedom to strike in Syria

Syria sees Russia game changer, US-trained rebels enter fray

Russia military backing for Syria counterproductive: Kerry

‘Change is possible’: Thousands join Moscow opposition protest

Some Iraqis ditch fight against ISIS for better life in Europe

Revealed: Four Out Of Five Migrants Are NOT From Syria

Dozens of refugees feared dead after boat incidents in the Aegean Sea

Refugee landings in Lesbos ease as storm approaches and deaths mount

Migrant crisis: Thousands arrive in Austria with EU talks due

The Latest: Hungary PM: Migrants ‘Laying Siege’ to Europe

Turkish jets hit Kurdish militant targets in southeast Turkey

Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan nearly 90 times within 24 hours

U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Afghan Allies’ Abuse of Boys

Blasts rock Nigerian city of Maiduguri

Nepal violence continues day after adoption of new constitution

Eiffel Tower terror alert prompted by three men with backpacks, police source says

Obama’s Response to Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock Is Hypocritical

Despite backlash, Ben Carson is not backing down from his opposition to a Muslim president

UN adopts 17 new development goals for 2030

Tsipras returns to power to fight for Greek debt relief

Greece’s Year of Tumult Enters New Chapter as Tsipras Dominates

The Greek crisis…in 2 minutes

Australia Leads Asia-Pacific Stocks Lower on Global Growth Jitters

Apple’s iOS App Store reportedly hit by massive malware attack

Lethal drones are the industry’s latest headache

Pentagon intrigued by breakthrough in cloaking technology

NASA working on space shotgun to blast asteroids

Rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Is Just One Week Away

Why smart people actually believe Mercury retrograde ruins lives

Snowden says aliens could be trying to get in touch right now

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Macquarie Island

How Oklahoma went from two quakes a year to 585

Study: Parts of Oklahoma in danger of larger earthquake

Thousands left homeless by giant Chile quake

Meru volcano in East Africa erupts to 25,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 24,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

S‌inabing volcano in Indonesia erupts to 19,000ft

Tropical Storm Ida 2015 on ‘squashed spider’ path deep in Atlantic

California Wildfires Threaten Thousands More Homes

See the Giant Arctic Mosquitoes That Are Thriving in a Changing Climate

Climate change could cause second Holocaust, says Yale historian

For first time, company owner faces life sentence for food poisoning outbreak

Carson: ‘Abortion pill’ should be available in cases of rape or incest

Scientists claim they have grown human sperm in the lab

Christians Rally in Tennessee for Religious Freedom From Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Franklin Graham Condemns Obama’s Guest List for Papal Welcome as ‘Sinful’

Pope’s visit will produce largest security operation in U.S. history

Church shooting in Alabama: Official says 3 people injured, 1 suspect in custody

Summer of bloodshed as US murder rates rise

Buff Scott Jr. – The Universal Reign of God

Bill Gothard returns to social media — and users immediately blast him

Father of Muslim teen arrested for clock previously battled Fla. Koran burner, has run for president of Sudan twice

The Real Story of #ISTANDWITHAHMED

Married church minister ‘ran bottom spanking cult’


Frontrunning: September 21

  • Fed is out so…BOJ brainstorms stimulus overhaul as options dwindle (Read More)
  • And… Yellen Pause Ups Pressure on Draghi as Global Pessimism Mounts (Read More)
  • But… Eurozone Nears Limits of What Monetary Policy Can Do (Read More)
  • Global shares struggle on global growth concerns (Read More)
  • VW’s Emissions Cheating Found by Curious Clean-Air Group (Read More)
  • David Cameron allegedly fucked a dead pig’s head (Read More)
  • U.S. to Boost Refugee Intake by 30,000 Over Two Years (Read More)
  • Apple’s iOS App Store suffers first major attack (Read More)
  • Tsipras returns to power to fight for Greek debt relief (Read More)
  • Tsipras’s Syriza Set to Return to Power After Resounding Greek Election Victory (Read More)
  • Putin Faces Growing Exodus as Russia’s Banking, Tech Pros Flee (Read More)
  • Big Landlords to Merge, Betting on Rising Rents (Read More)
  • Who’s Left to Sell U.S. Stocks? Mood Darkens Most Since Volcker (Read More)
  • Austria saw the arrival of at least 10,000 migrants on Saturday (Read More)
  • Oil Speculators Most Bullish in Two Months as OPEC Calls for $80 (Read More)
  • GE’s Immelt says more U.S. jobs likely to move overseas over Exim Bank policy (Read More)
  • Alibaba’s $105 Billion Lockup Ends, Putting Focus on Yahoo Stake (Read More)
  • Bob Diamond Stumbles on Road to Redemption in African Banking (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Impending papal visit evokes efforts to utilize Pope for political gain and agendas

Pope Francis will face a fractured U.S. Catholic Church, USA Today (Rick Hampson)

Vatican Disputes White House Guest List for Papal Visit, Wall Street Journal (Francis X Rocca)

The White House is more afraid of offending China’s president than the pope, Washington Post (Editorial Board)

2) House Bill to defund Planned Parenthood passes but faces trouble in Senate, opposition in White House

House Approves Bill To Cease Funding Planned Parenthood, NPR (Bill Chappell)

House passes bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, CNN (Deirdre Walsh)

3) Desire for authenticity in presidential candidates reflects priority of sincerity

‘Authenticity’ in the 2016 Campaign, Wall Street Journal (Ben Zimmer)
In other news…


Daily Digest

September 21, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth — and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?” —Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Convention, 1775

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

‘Tolerant’ U.S. Military Allowed Afghans to Rape Children

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A U.S. Sergeant interacts with Afghan children in 2012. Photo courtesy US Army

Barack Obama recently nominated Eric Fanning, a civilian who is openly homosexual, to serve as secretary of the Army. That follows ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Two women recently graduated Ranger School, and there’s a raging debate about women in combat roles. But while the administration is no doubt pleased with its tolerant and politically correct force, the military can’t even uphold human rights. The U.S. military has been tolerating its Afghan allies sexually abusing young boys for years. The Afghan militia would go so far as to take young boys into U.S. bases to do “bacha bazi,” literally translated as “boy play.” Gregory Buckley Sr. told The New York Times that, before his son was killed in Afghanistan, the Marine would tell him he could hear the screams of the boys at night. Why didn’t U.S. soldiers intervene and beat the pedophiles into a pulp? Because they were told the military’s policy was to respect Afghan “culture.” The military justified inaction because it was fighting the larger evil of the Taliban. Besides, it didn’t want to alienate its molesting Afghan allies. Remember: This comes from an administration that advocates harsh responses in violation of due process for college students accused of date rape. The Times also reports that when Dan Quinn, a former Green Beret commander, threw an Afghan police commander to the ground over the rape of a boy in 2011, the military stripped him of his command. So while Obama makes the U.S. military a petri dish for “enlightened” progressive social experimentation, the whole idea of just war is called into question. What a legacy.

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GOP Frontrunners Stumble Over Obama’s ‘Faith’

The three frontrunners in the GOP’s presidential primary have never before held public office, which endears them to voters tired of Washington but is something that hasn’t quite prepared them to do the rhetorical dance with media, public and other contenders. Donald Trump has risen in the polls because he hit hot issues in a braggadocio fashion. But he stumbled somewhat when, at a New Hampshire town hall event Thursday, he took a question from a man who claimed Barack Obama was Muslim and asked Trump, “When can we get rid [of Muslims]?” Trump didn’t correct the man (Obama practices the religion of self), and Trump’s omission created an outcry. To be clear, this is a drummed up controversy and Trump didn’t need to correct the man. But as National Review’s Jonah Goldberg writes, “If Trump were an experienced politician instead of an experienced entertainer, he would have instantly recognized the trap that the question posed and neutralized it, regardless of his ‘moral obligations.'” The mud-wrestling match also got Ben Carson dirty. On Sunday, Carson weighed in on “Meet the Press” and said Islam is inconsistent with the Constitution. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said. It’s not enough to be right on the issues, to vow to clean out Washington. GOP candidates need to be nimble enough to engage the rollicking political debate known as the media circus.

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Hillary Can’t Wait for Keystone?

While serving as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton began the Obama administration’s review process for the Keystone pipeline. During her campaign, she’s used that process as an excuse to avoid taking a position on it. She says she “put together a very thorough, deliberative, evidence-based process to evaluate the environmental impact” of the proposed pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska. In July, she declared she would “refrain from commenting [on Keystone] because I had a leading role in getting that process started and we have to let it run its course.” In fact, she went so far as to say, “If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

Hillary 2016: You Just Wait.

Well, so much for that — she’s getting impatient. “I have been waiting for the administration to make a decision,” she announced last week. “I thought I owed them that. I can’t wait too much longer. I am putting the White House on notice. I am going to tell you what I think soon because I can’t wait.” Translation: She’s not putting the White House on notice about anything but is instead feeling pressure from ecofascists to oppose the pipeline. Given the steady flow of her poll numbers in the wrong direction, she’ll take anything as a boost. The Obama administration has been caught between the greenies on the one hand and unions who want the jobs the pipeline will create on the other. Few doubt that both Obama and Clinton oppose the pipeline — or it would have been approved already — but they can’t bring themselves to anger the unions.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

School Safety Equals Islamophobia?

By Arnold Ahlert

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Digital clock, analog clock and Ahmed’s clock

If you’re a fan of media distortion, faux-Islamophobia, so-called “zero tolerance” policies and inconvenient reality, the self-constructed “clock” 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed recently brought to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, to show to an engineering teacher is right up your alley.

The reason clock is in quotations is because the device Mohamed constructed bore no resemblance to anything most people would construe as a clock. As the above photo reveals, it was a compendium of wires and other electrical components built into a briefcase. When compared with a normal clock, one might be forgiven for a having certain level of apprehension regarding Mohamed’s invention.

School officials certainly did. His English teacher confiscated it, and a few hours later the principal and school resource officer removed him from class and began questioning him. Shortly thereafter, he was taken to police headquarters in handcuffs and fingerprinted. He was subsequently released to his parents, and police said no charges would be filed.

An overreaction? Compared to what? We live in an age when many schools have embraced a leftist-promulgated zero tolerance policy that often results in nonsensical punishment. Thus a six-year-old is suspended for bringing a toy gun to show-and-tell. Two five-year-olds are also suspended, one for making a Lego gun and another accused of making a “terroristic threat” — for talking about shooting a Hello Kitty bubble gun. There was also a seven-year-old suspended for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, and a 16-year-old arrested and suspended for writing a story about killing a dinosaur with a gun. There are numerous other examples of equally inane overreactions that completely undermine the leftist meme that Mohamed was the victim of Islamophobia and/or bigotry.

Those invested in that mindset will undoubtedly dismiss the assertion by police that Mohamed was “passive aggressive” during questioning, refusing to offer investigators “reasonable” answers about his intent. “We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock,” said Irving Police spokesman James McLellan. “He didn’t offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school.”

The persistently aggrieved will probably feel the same way about school officials who defended their reaction. “The information that has been made public to this point has been very unbalanced,” said Independent School District spokeswoman Lesley Weaver. “We always ask our students and staff to immediately report if they observe any suspicious items or if they observe any suspicious behavior. We will always take necessary precautions to protect our students and keep our school community as safe as possible. That is our priority.”

Those who think such priorities are misplaced might be surprised to know these priorities are in complete alignment with those of the Obama administration. “If you see something, say something” is a trademarked slogan of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS also urges Americans to report suspicious activity that includes the observation of “unusual items.” Furthermore, the leftist-promoted notion that school officials overreacted is also belied by the simplest of questions: What if it had been a bomb? In and age of worldwide terror and atrocities such as the Newtown massacre, is there anyone in America championing a less vigilant stance by school officials tasked with keeping children safe?

Even Mohamed’s age is irrelevant. A 15-year-old blonde Danish girl has just been sentenced to nine years in prison for slaughtering her own mother after she watched Islamic State beheading videos. That would be the very same Islamic State militants who, as the Daily Mail puts it, “are turning children into an army of hundreds of murderous monsters willing to blow themselves up, die in battle and execute hostages for their twisted cause.”

Unsurprisingly, the same Barack Obama who not only ignores the wanton slaughter perpetrated by the Islamic State, but completely denies its Islamic roots, has injected himself into this story, offering the teen an invitation to the White House via his @POTUS twitter account: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

Giving the real agenda away, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters his boss sees the case as a “teachable moment.” Earnest insisted, “This episode is a good illustration of how pernicious stereotypes can prevent even good-hearted people from doing good work.”

You know what’s even more pernicious? A president who never misses an opportunity to lecture Americans about their supposed shortcomings. A president with a highly selective sense of indignity, who can make a statement about Cambridge police “acting stupidly,” having a son who would “look like Trayvon,” or writing personal letters to 46 felons whose sentences he commuted — even as he has conspicuously ignored the family of Kate Steinle, who was murdered by an illegal alien in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. In short, unless a perceived outrage accrues to Obama’s “transformational” agenda, it doesn’t exist.

As for “teachable moments,” what we have here is the ultimate “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. The same American leftists who insist this incident is all about Americans’ Islamic paranoia are the same people who excoriated the Bush administration for failing to “connect the dots” prior to the worst domestic attack in the nation’s history. And if the clock had been an actual bomb and exploded, and school officials subsequently admitted they had seen the device but did nothing about it — because they were afraid of being accused of precisely the same things they are being accused of right now — is there any doubt what the reaction would be?

The American Left’s obsession with “social justice above all” is already undermining school safety, as the Obama administration has introduced a race-based “restorative justice” program in schools aimed at reducing suspensions for “students of color,” irrespective of the infractions they commit. The uptick in violence and other crimes in several school districts across the nation is as predictable as it is infuriating. It was best described by an unintentionally ironic Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who boasted that “young people are now taking control of the [school] environment” during a 2014 speech at Howard University.

There is a sensible middle ground to be had between the twin inanities of social justice and zero tolerance. But it requires a level of common sense. Common sense that errs to the side of caution. In other words, it is far better to endure (and ultimately ignore) the slings and arrows of the perpetually offended than it is to bury murdered children. Those who wish to exploit this incident to satisfy their political agenda are free to do so. Yet reasonable Americans should be clear: Whatever that political agenda is, the safety of children in schools isn’t part of it.

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John Goodman: “Bernie Sanders is angry. Who is he angry at? Rich people. Why rich people? That’s not clear. At Liberty University, Sanders complained about a small number of people who have ‘huge yachts, and jet planes and tens of billions’ while others ‘are struggling to feed their families.” In Madison, Wisconsin, Sanders called for a “political revolution against greed.’ So what’s the connection between people who have ‘tens of billions’ and people who are ‘struggling to feed their families’? For the most part it’s a positive one. In a capitalist system, people get rich by meeting other people’s needs. Because some people are rich, other people find it easier to feed their families. … Behind the rhetoric on the left, there is one persistent theme, always implicit, never explicit. Leftist rhetoric is designed to encourage people to believe that the reason they are poor is because other people are rich. And this kind of rhetoric is not confined to politicians who know nothing of basic economics. Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs and other well-known economists are just as guilty. They invariably imply that ‘all property is theft,’ a staple of barn yard Marxism. Yet, on rigorous examination, this idea is silly. Most of the people on the Forbes 400 list are self-made or next generation of self-made billionaires. … Like Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour Party leader in Britain, Bernie Sanders is appealing to our worst instincts. His is not the message of compassion and love. His is the message of resentment, jealousy and hate.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what’s at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States.”

For the record: “There are only 665 Planned Parenthood clinics in America, compared to 13,540 comprehensive health clinics. Defunding Planned Parenthood will in no way limit women’s access to health services. If, as Democrats falsely claim, the vast majority of women (especially women with low income) rely on Planned Parenthood for health care, then something must have gone terribly wrong with ObamaCare. Wasn’t that supposed to be their fix all?” —Tony Perkins

Excusing evil: “Shame on Carly Fiorina and all the GOP candidates for attacking Planned Parenthood, which serves nearly 3 million Americans.” —Sen. Barbara Boxer (It also murders 327,000 of them every year.)

Non Compos Mentis: “We asked our moms: ‘Have you ever had an abortion?'” —feminist TV personality Lena Dunham (Aborted babies can’t ask that question.)

The BIG Lie: “I was right when I said on day one that, as soon as [Hillary Clinton] announced, [Republicans] would be going after her 24/7. … [S]he has proven that she can stay tough through all this. And this e-mail thing is so much a baloney sandwich. I can’t even begin to tell you. … If you look at her right now, still leading by a lot, compared to Jeb Bush, who has been knocked to the bottom, you see the reservoir of faith there is in Hillary.” —Barbara Boxer

Protests too much? “I am a real person.” —Hillary Clinton

Braying Jenny: “I cannot imagine anyone would be more of an outsider than the first woman president.” —Hillary Clinton, who’s been in politics her entire adult life

Late-night humor: “Last [week’s] debate at the Reagan Library was the most watched program in CNN history. CNN said they were thrilled with the ratings but even happier they could finally show a plane that wasn’t missing.” —Conan O’Brien

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Pope’s visit will produce largest security operation in U.S. history

Pope Francis blesses people from his popemobile as he travels to the Shrine of the Virgin of Caacupe, in Caacupe, Paraguay, in July 2015. (Jorge Saenz/AP)

Federal authorities are mobilizing one of the largest security operations in U.S. history ahead of Pope Francis’s arrival Tuesday, an effort that is straining law enforcement resources in Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

Hundreds of thousands of onlookers are expected to gather in all three cities for a glimpse of the Catholic Church leader, whose unrivaled global popularity and proclivity to wade into public crowds has added to security concerns. Thousands of federal and local personnel will be deployed to keep the pontiff and the public safe.

The challenges are immense.

The pope’s five-day tour, his first in the United States, will include appearances at the White House and Congress, a parade on Constitution Avenue in Washington, a Mass at Madison Square Garden, a procession through Central Park in New York, and an open air Mass with up to 1.5 million people in Philadelphia.


Syrian army bolstering Iranian terrorism, Netanyahu tells Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, during their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, Pool)

The Syrian army is aiding Iran and Hezbollah in building an anti-Israel terror network on the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday, with the Kremlin strongman responding that Damascus has no time to worry about fighting Israel.

Netanyahu’s three-hour meeting with Putin during a lightning trip to the Kremlin Monday came amid reports that Moscow is building up militarily in Syria, and Israeli concerns of a possible clash with Russian forces, which are bolstering embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Israel and Russia have a shared interest to ensure stability in the Middle East,” Netanyahu told Putin at the start of the meeting, according to an account from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. “And I am here because of the security situation, which is becoming more complex on our northern border. As you know, in recent years, and increasingly in recent months, Iran and Syria are arming the extremist Muslim terror group Hezbollah with advanced weaponry, which is pointed at us and has already been fired at us over the years — thousands of missiles and rockets on our cities.”


House Republican Plans to Boycott Pope Francis’s Speech Over Climate Change

“At this pivotal mo­ment in world his­tory, His Holi­ness, Pope Fran­cis, is in­tend­ing to spend the ma­jor­ity of his time on one of the world’s greatest stages fo­cus­ing on cli­mate change,” Gos­ar writes, de­clar­ing: “If the Pope plans to spend the ma­jor­ity of his time ad­voc­at­ing for flawed cli­mate-change policies, then I will not at­tend.”

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Critics: Obama elevates sexuality over national security

Late Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Eric Fanning to be the Army’s new secretary. If confirmed, Fanning – currently the Army’s acting undersecretary –would be the nation’s first openly homosexual leader of a military service branch.

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So Is Barack Obama a Muslim or What?

Over the years, Obama has done little to shore up his Christian credentials. In comparing ISIS to Christian Crusaders at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, he displayed both his ignorance of history and his instinctive contempt for Christianity. “Everything he does is against what Christians stand for,” said Mike Huckabee after the Prayer Breakfast. “And he’s against the Jews in Israel. The one group of people who can know they have his undying, unfailing support would be the Muslim community.”

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The Twin Flags Of Vatican City And Palestine To Be Raised Over UN For Pope Francis Visit

Holy See flag to be raised outside UN headquarters for Pope Francis’ arrival Sept. 25

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 17:5-7 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: In May of 2015, Pope Francis signed a treaty formally recognizing the enemies of Israel, the mythical state of Palestine. This week, when he arrives to take over the United Nations, the twin flags of both Vatican City and Palestine will be raised in symbolic conquest for the first time in the 70 year history of the UN. Wait just a minute! Did someone say “70 years”? Just ask the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel about the importance of the number 70 in fulfilling Bible prophecy. Catholics and Muslims, conquering the world in the name of their end times god. Things are about to get very interesting. 

UNITED NATIONS –  A United Nations official confirms that the flag of Vatican City will be raised for the first time outside U.N headquarters the morning of Pope Francis’ first visit. It is a turnaround for the Vatican, whose U.N. ambassador has said it had “no intention” of raising the flag before the pope arrives Sept. 25.

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The False Prophet is raising his flag over the United Nations in a sign of conquest, and also that of the mythical nation of Palestine. The enemy of the Jews will be out in full force this week.

The United Nations General Assembly last week overwhelmingly approved a Palestinian proposal to raise its flag and that of the Holy See as the U.N.’s two non-member observer states.

The Palestinians have announced a ceremony for their flag-raising Sept. 30 during the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders. But the Holy See flag is set to be raised quietly.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the event.


Muslim Suitcase Clock Bomb Boy Ahmed Mohamed Is A Huge Hoax, Don’t Fall For It

By lunchtime Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama was tweeting about him.

First of all, let me just say that as a former school teacher, if a Muslim student of mine like Ahmed Mohamed would have brought in what looks for all the world just like a suitcase bomb, I would absolutely call the police. You would have be an idiot not to. They did exactly the right thing. In Muslim dominant countries in the Middle East, they train children all the time to carry wired bombs and explode them on people in jihad. NTEB applauds the smart decision by the Irving Texas police force to detain Ahmed and truly investigate what was actually in that suitcase.

muslim-ahmed-mohamed-clock-bomb-boy-hoax-obama-islam

Secondly, Ahmed’s father Mohamed ElHassan has a lengthy history of trying to make a name for himself with self-aggrandizing, pro-Islam moments. Obama and the Liberals will use the concocted moment to further push the pro-Muslim agenda in America. You can smell the setup from a mile away.

If you believe one word of this pathetic hoax, you’re a Liberal:

Lastly, the suitcase clock-bomb itself is a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed’s claims that he assembled a clock at home that he took to school is starting to unravel. Two investigators who have studied the image of Mohamed’s device provided by Irving, Texas police have concluded that Mohamed did not make the clock. Both conclude that Mohamed disassembled a manufactured clock and installed it in a large pencil box without its casing. And both say it is possible it was done to provoke suspicion or to resemble a bomb.

Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.

— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015

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The clock has been identified as being sold in a 1986 Radio Shack catalogue by an Art Voice reader. So this kid never even actually built a clock, all he did was disassemble a pre-existing one and then LIE when he said that  he “built it”. Radio Shack built it. The question is WHY would he do that? I will tell you why he did it. Because he was COACHED by his father and their Muslim friends to pull this SCAM on what they already know is a gullible, stupid, pro-Islamic American audience.

America, you have been played, badly. If we as a nation are not smart enough to see through this pathetic scheme, how then will we ever defeat ISIS when the terror attacks start on our local street corner?


Today Marks the UN International Day of Peace Days Before Historic Pope Visit

Posted: 21 Sep 2015 04:39 AM PDT

1 Thessalonians – 5:2-4 –  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

Today marks an interesting day and it is literally days ahead of the historic visit to the United States of the Pope. in which many see as a major “Prophetic Sign”, and has fascinating and timely ramifications in which I will be discussing shortly. Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.

“I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67PDF document of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982. In 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282PDF document, which established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. SOURCE

The post Today Marks the UN International Day of Peace Days Before Historic Pope Visit appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Pope’s visit will produce largest security operation in U.S. history

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 08:16 PM PDT

Federal authorities are mobilizing one of the largest security operations in U.S. history ahead of Pope Francis’s arrival Tuesday, an effort that is straining law enforcement resources in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. Hundreds of thousands of onlookers are expected to gather in all three cities for a glimpse of the Catholic Church leader, whose unrivaled global popularity and proclivity to wade into public crowds has added to security concerns.

Thousands of federal and local personnel will be deployed to keep the pontiff and the public safe. The challenges are immense. The pope’s five-day tour, his first in the United States, will include appearances at the White House and Congress, a parade on Constitution Avenue in Washington, a Mass at Madison Square Garden, a procession through Central Park in New York, and an open air Mass with up to 1.5 million people in Philadelphia. His Big Apple visit coincides with the 70th U.N. General Assembly, where more than 150 foreign delegations are also expected, creating a virtual lockdown in portions of midtown. FULL REPORT

The post Pope’s visit will produce largest security operation in U.S. history appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Will China or Russia Attack the United States First?

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 06:54 PM PDT

There are enormously powerful forces, out there, that are intent on starting World War III. As my friend Ernie Hancock, from Freedoms Phoenix, has said many times, there are two kinds of people: Those that want to be left alone and those that will not leave them alone. Almost all of humanity wants to be left alone. Most every Jew, Muslim, Christian, atheist, gay, straight and agnostic just wants to be left alone so they can simply live their lives. Unfortunately, the central bankers who have hijacked the governments of the West, won’t leave us alone.

Sergei Naryshkin, chairman of the Russian State Duma, told Izvestia daily, on September 15, 2015,the following:

“World War III would be the last for the humanity. And strengthening of Russia’s defense potential, including the budgetary decisions passed by the State Duma, is done only for one purpose, which is to prevent the war.”

Jade Helm has taught us that our country is militarizing like we have never seen in the past. Our enemies are militarizing like we have never seen before. We are on a collision course with destiny and the words that we write and speak are empty at this point time in terms of serving to prevent the commencement of hostilities. Yes, we will still likely see America go into a martial law following the collapse of the dollar which could happen at anytime. However, the real danger to most of us lies in the utter destruction that will come from World War III. It almost feels as if nothing will save us from this impending scourge except for divine intervention. FULL REPORT

The post Will China or Russia Attack the United States First? appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Texas high school student suspended over American flag T-shirt

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 06:46 PM PDT

A Texas high school student was punished with in-school suspension last Monday after a teacher discovered he was wearing an American flag T-shirt, FOX 4 reported. The student, a junior whose name is Jaegur, was wearing the shirt — which featured an American flag design with an eagle in the foreground — at Seagoville High School in Dallas when an administrator determined the shirt violated the school dress code. Jaegur’s mom, Shelly Goode, fears the suspension will show up as a permanent mark on his record, ruining any chance her son can earn a scholarship through the ROTC program.

“He wants to go into the military,” Goode said, according to FOX 4. “He wants to help people, and any bad marks doesn’t look good.” The T-shirt drama unfolded last Monday when a school administrator asked Jaegur to lift his hoodie, Goode said, according to the station.Jaegur was told his T-shirt violated the school dress code, and he was ordered to in-school suspension. At Seagoville High School, students must wear a solid color shirt; there are exceptions for school or college logo shirts or ones supporting the U.S. military, FOX 4 reported. FULL REPORT

The post Texas high school student suspended over American flag T-shirt appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Double-stunner: Stargazers to see total lunar eclipse, super moon in 1 night, first in 30 years

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 06:30 PM PDT

Sky watchers are getting ready for an extremely rare astronomical highlight of the season: a total lunar eclipse and a super moon that will happen simultaneously. The stunning show will be visible to the naked eye, and will start next Sunday, September 27, between 5pm and 6pm PDT time (between midnight and 1am GMT on Monday). The super moon, or a perigee full moon, means that the moon will seem 14 percent bigger, 30 percent brighter and fuller than usual.

Luke 21:11 – And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

It happens because the moon will be at its closest point in its orbit around the Earth.”Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit. When the moon is farthest away it’s known as apogee, and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee. On September 27, we’re going to have a perigee full moon—the closest full moon of the year,” Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said, as quoted in the NASA press release. FULL REPORT

The post Double-stunner: Stargazers to see total lunar eclipse, super moon in 1 night, first in 30 years appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Carson says he does not agree with a Muslim being elected president

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 06:22 PM PDT

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested Sunday that a Muslim should not be president, extending the new and unexpected religion debate on the 2016 campaign trail. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson, a Christian and retired neurosurgeon, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I absolutely would not agree with that.” Carson, a top-tier 2016 candidate and popular among the GOP’s evangelical wing, made the statement after fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump was addressed by a man during a rally Thursday in New Hampshire who said President Obama is a Muslim.

“We have a problem in this country,” the unidentified man said. “It’s called Muslim. … You know our current president is one.” Obama says he is a Christian. But Trump has declined to address the issue, saying he is not “morally obligated” to set straight the record. Carson also described the Islamic faith as inconsistent with the Constitution. However, he did not specify in what way Islam ran counter to constitutional principles. Carson said he believes Obama is a Christian and has “no reason to doubt what he says.” FULL REPORT

The post Carson says he does not agree with a Muslim being elected president appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Scientists claim they have grown human sperm in the lab

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 05:32 PM PDT

First we hear about Cloning and then “Genetic Modification” and now according to a report, Human sperm cells have been made in the laboratory for the first time by culturing immature cells taken from the testes of infertile men. The breakthrough promises to help young boys made sterile by cancer treatments and adult men who cannot make their own sperm, scientists have claimed. The sperm cells made in an artificial “bioreactor” look identical to those produced naturally. The technology could be used in two to four years to help infertile men have their own biological children, according to researchers based at a French national research institute in Lyon.

Scientists have been trying for two decades to find a way of producing human sperm in the test tube (in vitro). But no one has been able to complete the complicated cycles of cell division and development that lead the immature “germ cells” in the male testes to become fully mature sperm cells capable of successfully fertilizing eggs. FULL REPORT

The post Scientists claim they have grown human sperm in the lab appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Vatican Flag to Fly Over New World Order

Posted: 20 Sep 2015 05:27 PM PDT

Pope Francis departed for Cuba Sept. 19 on the Alitalia Airbus A330-200 christened Raffaello Sanzio at 10:35am from Fiumicino Airport. The Jesuit legacy is strong in Cuba. Father Antonio Llorente, a friend of the late Pope Bergoglio who died in 2010, was actually Fidel Castro’s teacher and spiritual adviser at the prestigious Jesuit preparatory school Colegio de Belén in Havana, which was also frequented by his brother Raúl Castro, Cuba’s current leader.

A few years back, when Fidel retired because of health problems, Raul gradually took over as President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, and later Commander and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Raul was literally brought up by the Jesuits attending the Jesuit School of Colegio Dolores in Santiago, and later the Colegio Belén mentioned above, before becoming a full-time communist engaged in numerous intelligence operations with the Soviet Union. The role the Jesuits play in the formation of Raul and their ties to the mysterious and powerful Company of Jesus which helped craft communism is extremely clear. FULL REPORT

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Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?


The One Minute Gospel

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


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What Do Christians Mean When They Say Jesus is “The Son of God?”

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

It couldn’t be more evident that many Christians assume Jesus is the Son of God. But in many cases, Christians aren’t sure about the biblical background of  the title “Son of God.” What Christians tend to forget is that when Jewish people thought of the Davidic King as the Son of God, it had very little to do with thinking the King was the Second person of the Trinity. Even though divine sonship appears in the Hebrew Bible with regards to persons or people groups such as angels (Gen 6:2; Job 1:6; Dan 3:25), and Israel (Ex. 4:22-23; Hos 11;1; Mal. 2:10), the category that has special importance to the Son of God issue is the king. When the divine sonship is used in the context of the relationship between Israel and the king (2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7;89:26-27), the sonship theme emphasizes that the king is elected to a specific…

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2 Things Every Planned Parenthood Supporter Must Do

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pink out

Planned Parenthood is organizing #PinkOut Day on September 29th, 2015 to counter-protest the recent movement to defund Planned Parenthood. In case you have not seen the videos that sparked the summer conflagration over Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts, Breitbart has conveniently listed the ten videos released so far by The Center for Medical Progress. This short article is an open letter of sorts to every Planned Parenthood supporter, whether you are a politician, liberal activist, run-of-the-mill Democrat, or moderate Republican. There are two things you must do, but first, a warning.

To each one of you supporting Planned Parenthood and the murder of children: God says in Proverbs 6:17-18 that He hates:

…haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil…

God says in Psalm 5:5-7:

For you are not a God who…

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