Daily Archives: September 22, 2015

September 22, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

September 21 Quotes


I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian

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

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

We stand complete “In Christ Alone.” Let us see God’s unconditional love in the preacher who confronts our sin. Let us see God’s unconditional love in the Spirit who troubles our breast. And let us, again, respond to the unconditional love of God with a hearty prayer of repentance.

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Growing in Christ, Serving in Ministry: An Interview with Sinclair Ferguson

“Being a theologian means, in essence, having a comprehensive knowledge of the gospel in all its many facets and interconnectedness. I liken it to being a physician who understands anatomy, and a pharmacist who understands body chemistry and knows his pharmaceuticals. Without a good working knowledge of theology, we will never understand how the gospel works, nor what the causes of spiritual sicknesses are, nor what gospel remedies to apply.”

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God Battles ‘Straight Outta Compton’ For African-Americans’ Souls

“If the church is the American institution that has the power to save marriages, why isn’t the black community in better shape? Why, given that members of black churches have the highest rates of church attendance and proclaim some of the highest levels of belief, are the marriage rates among the lowest?”

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“God Made All of Me”

“The book is for two to eight year old boys and girls. We wrote it because we have two young children and know that parents need tools to help them address body parts with their kids and to help them understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touch.”

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Faithfulness In Small Places

“As I speak in other churches, I find few that are impressive. Again, the people are great, and the ministry significant, but it always seems that things are humble, and that the real action is taking place elsewhere. It’s tempting to wish that we were there, rather than in the small, humble places where we serve.”

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Five Temptations for Classical Christian Education

“The first temptation is to overemphasize mistaken notions of success. The bigger our schools grow, the more respected a faculty we attract, the better we implement a Trivium-based curriculum, and the more accomplished our graduates become, the more we will be tempted to slip into something of a prep school mentality.”

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Tough Love for the Black Church

I want to see all churches become as healthy and vigorous as possible–especially African American churches. The Lord has given me something of Paul’s longing for his “kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:3, ESV). I want to see African Americans brought into God’s kingdom in as great a number as possible. For that to happen, the churches that serve African American communities have to be alive.

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7 Spiritual Consequences of Living a Hurried, Busy Life

7 Spiritual Consequences of Living a Hurried, Busy Life

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Church Leaders

&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.&

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Help in Overcoming Church Hurt

Help in Overcoming Church Hurt

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Church Leaders

So how do we make progress in the midst of our church’s flaws?

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Franklin Graham Warns Barack Obama the 'Blood of Butchered Children' Will Be On His Hands If He Vetoes Defund Planned Parenthood Bill

Franklin Graham Warns Barack Obama the ‘Blood of Butchered Children’ Will Be On His Hands If He Vetoes Defund Planned Parenthood Bill

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Billy Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, has warned that the “blood of children” will be on President Barack Obama’s hands if he chooses to veto the defund Planned Parenthood bill that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday.

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

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

The post Jim Wallis, Progressive “Cleric” Tortures Bible to Promote Intolerant Islam appeared first on Berean Research.


The race isn’t over

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

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What is the definition of evil?

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

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Is church for seekers or saints?

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

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

Despite Pope Francis’ promise to clean up the church we learn that some pedophile priests are being relocated to poorer parishes in South America where they still enjoy all the privileges of priesthood, including celebrating mass.  This, of course, is being done to protect the RCC’s already soiled reputation. GlobalPost reporter Will Carless has done a year […]

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5 Trends Christian Millennials MUST STOP Doing

We recently posted a video that showed young Christians (millennials) offering their view of Christianity, as if their views were orthodox. However, their views were decidedly unorthodox.  In fact, what they believe comes right out of the liberal play book.  So the young people are actually liberal “Christians.” But they want to be known as […]

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War Room’s Priscilla Shirer’s Contemplative History, and Why It Matters

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire has written another installment of his War Room series. His concern is that Priscilla Shirer’s movie fans will purchase her pre-War Room products and be exposed to her contemplative leanings. For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers […]

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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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C. Peter Wagner: “NAR is not a cult!”

The 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 […]

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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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There are a variety of ways to be obnoxious in our interactions with people. One of them is to always speak in holy tones as if we are super spiritual. Another is to use trite Christian phrases when we greet people, such as, “How’s the Lord blessin’ you today?” We may mean well with such words, but they often come across disingenuous and sometimes create embarrassment. But, we should speak Bible truths. I don’t mean that we should quote passages of Scripture to each other at every turn, but that there are many appropriate times for the Bible to show up in our speech. The truths God puts in us…
 


Deception will always be exposed by Truth. Have you ever realized that you could be deceived and not even be aware of it? Those who are deceived will never know it unless they are confronted with the truth. Many go to their grave deceived about the most important issue we all face, and that is, locating the narrow road that leads to eternal life. Who are you trusting to show you the way and the truth to eternal life? What is your source for truth? Is it absolutely trustworthy? Will it protect you from the schemes and lies of the master deceiver? The prophet Jeremiah gave us wise counsel for…
 


Should the Pope Be Praised or Exposed? Over 60 million American Catholics will be praising the pope this week as he visits America. However most Catholics do not know that he is deceiving them with a false and fatal Gospel. By the authority of God’s Word, we know the pope is under divine condemnation for preaching a gospel contrary to the Gospel of God. The apostle Paul warned us: “there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed“ (Gal. 1:6-9…
 


Angry over President Obama’s abandonment of Israel in the Iranian nuclear deal, several commentators are now proposing that Israel work with Russia in the Middle East for their mutual interests and concerns. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is too knowledgeable about the roots of international terrorism to fall into such a trap. Caroline Glick, Director of the Israel Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy, writes [1] in The Jerusalem Post that while Israel can’t depend on the…
 


An ordinary citizen who identified President Barack Obama as a Muslim at a Donald Trump town hall meeting in New Hampshire showed that media brainwashing on the subject has been futile. The people understand that Obama asserts he is a Christian, but they just aren’t buying it. Obama has done too many things to benefit Muslims to convince people that he is not one of them. The latest example was extending an invitation to a Muslim student to come to the White House after he was detained for possessing what appeared to be a bomb. It turned out to be a clock that looked like a bomb. Naturally,…
 


WVW-TV Presents: Why We Do Not Have The Same Power Over Spiritual Forces as Jesus Had. Host Justin Peters and guest Jim Osman examine Scripture that is often twisted to declare that Christians have the same authority over Satan and demons as did Jesus when He walked on earth. Why was there so much demonic activity when Jesus was on earth? What is Biblical spiritual warfare? Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room for members only. Click here to watch now:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/why-we-do-not-have-same-power-o…  
 


Learn how many of the now accepted practices within evangelicalism are really occult practices wrapped in Christian terminology to become the practice of white magic. In this episode you will learn why Brannon believes many of the modern prayer rallies are really people gathering to practice a form of White Magic whether they know it or not. Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room for members only. Click here to watch now:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/white-magic-evangelicalism-part…  
 

Pope Francis U.S. Visit 2015 Schedule and Dates: Pontiff Invites Rick Warren To Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family
at Understand The Times, 9/3/15 Understanding The Times

Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, has announced he will be speaking in Philadelphia later this month at the World Meeting of Families event to commence Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United States. Warren announced his plans to attend the event during the Sunday morning worship service at the Lake Forest, CA church. “Next month, Pope Francis is coming to America for a world gathering on families,” he told the congregation. “I’m not a Catholic, and we have many differences with Catholics. But they love the Lord and we have much in common with that – we believe in the Bible, and the Trinity, and in Jesus and the resurrection.” “There are probably going to be a million people in Philadelphia at this final event with Pope Francis, and he’s asked me to be the final speaker,” the Purpose Driven Life author continued amid cheering and applause.

Click here to read this article!

The people Perish from a lack of Knowledge of Scripture – The unity of Spiritual zombies

by Mike Oppenheimer, 9/9/15 Let Us Reason

There are those who deviate from being accurate in doctrine and take advantage of the sheep. The distinction of those who teach things contrary on purpose or those who teach by mistake are known because the latter repents. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed (perish) for lack of knowledge .” Here God is referring to what they should learn from the Scripture from the priests and the prophets. They will be destroyed spiritually first. Israel’s lessons are ours to learn and correct if we listen. Today, the knowledge of God in is in a closed book to some, but it can be opened at any time and applied to change their conditions. One needs courage to do this and if prevented, resisted by those who oppose the them, they need to stand on the truth.

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Pope Francis, Rick Warren, and That 2014 Catholic Interview No One Thought Important? Reminder of Its Revealing Facts About “America’s Pastor”

by Lighthouse Trails, 9/10/15 LT Publishing

In May of 2014, Roger Oakland wrote a five-part series addressing Rick Warren’s television interview with Catholic TV host Raymond Arroyo. The facts that Roger uncovered should have sent shock waves throughout the evangelical church . . . but they didn’t. In fact, leaders and most pastors in the Christian church didn’t seem to care at all. And now, Rick Warren will be joining Pope Francis (at the Papacy’s invitation) when the Catholic pope comes to the United States this month. Warren is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at one of the events. For discerning Christians who do care about what is happening to the church, including the current ecumenical move to bring the “lost brethren” back to the Mother Church (and ultimately form a unified global religious body as the Bible states will happen), we’d like to bring to your attention these five articles by Roger Oakland and ask that you pray that many eyes will be opened to what is happening. And much of this taking place within evangelicalism, if not most of it, can be attributed to the actions of leaders such as Rick Warren, Beth Moore, the late Chuck Colson, and many others, who have escalated this dangerous ecumenism that is changing the face of mainstream Christianity today.

Click here to read this article! 


How Much Closer Are We Now?

By Jan Markell

September 22, 2015

We hear so much about “converging signs” today.  The Bible speaks about end-time signs that will increase like birth pangs near the end. I think we have passed the birth pang process, frankly. 

As a popular TV preacher said, “We’re no longer in Kansas, nor the Land of Oz.” Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, we’re looking around and seeing that everything is different. Everything we once took for granted and considered normal has been fundamentally transformed and usually not for the better.

But God is allowing it all, even if He isn’t orchestrating chaos, as He is not a God of chaos.

Have you noted recent major stories and how they confirm the words of those of us saying that things aren’t falling apart, they are falling in place. Stories like . . .

  • Russia and Iran co-operating and conspiring (Ezekiel 38-39).
  • Gog is stirring. Russia has been relatively quiet for decades, but now Vladimir Putin is on the move.
  • With ISIS marching towards Damascus, Syria is begging Israel to fulfill Isaiah 17.
  • The United Nations, Barack Obama, the Pope, and many more, are clamoring for global government (Revelation 13).  All of these men may have interesting assignments in the kingdom of Antichrist.
  • Because of the increase of wickedness, love is growing cold. (Matthew 24:12) Can you say Planned Parenthood? Have we returned to those predicted “days of Noah” where such evil as this was rampant? (Matthew 24:37)
  • How about those “perilous times” (II Timothy 3)? Who other than deluded, power-drunk men and women, would give billions of dollars and nuke capacity to the mullahs who want to bring international chaos on the world so their Mahdi can return? Why would Westerners give such power to ayatollahs who want to ignite EMPs above the free world and send us back to the 1800s? Does the Mad Hatter rule?
  • Yet world leaders are crying in a Chamberlain-esque manner, “peace and safety!” (I Thess 5:3) They are calling evil good (Isaiah 5:20). Lighting the spark for Armageddon is good. Wiping out Israel is good. Making Iran the Mid East power is good. Allowing mad mullahs to mount nukes on their ICBMs, aimed at Western capitals, is good. This is leading to world peace! And the world will be one. Strong delusion!
  • Europe is imploding. Barack Obama has dismantled America. The world is fundamentally transformed, thus it is awaiting a man, somewhere in the shadows, known as the Antichrist. He will  make things right, turn darkness into day, re-distribute wealth, and more. As Paul Henri Spaak, former Secretary General of NATO, said of a future “Mr. Fix-It,” if he could lift us out of an economic morass, “be he god or devil, we will receive him.” Note the adoration of Pope Francis. This is a foreshadowing. He is warranting the largest security effort in U.S. history. You would think he represents the Second Coming.
  • Apostasy is so bad in many churches that people no longer attend church (II Timothy 4:3).
  • The predicted evil is rising (II Timothy 3). The Hindu goddess Khali was beamed onto the Empire State Building a month ago. Perhaps she is the new matriarch of America, replacing our founders’ dream of a God-inspired America.
  • And ALL nations are having “distress with perplexity” (Luke 21:28). ALL nations have dilemmas for which there are simply no solutions which is the meaning of “distress with perplexity”.
I could go on and on but you get the point. We can’t let breaking news interpret the Bible but we can see that a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other is complimentary. This doesn’t have to be newspaper exegesis.

Scripture says that when we see these things BEGIN to  happen, we are to lift up our heads and know that our redemption draws nigh. That BEGAN to happen in 1948 with the re-birth of Israel. How much closer are we now?

Everyone who is watching the signs of the times has a sense of urgency. A sense that there is a countdown. A sense that things are not the same and will never be the same again.

And we don’t have a yellow brick road that leads to a fantasy-land where all the good times will resume, but we do have our Heavenly Home where all things are perfect.


Inauspicious Timing of Pope Francis, Obama Meeting on Jewish Judgment Day

In a meeting fraught with meaning and more than a bit of controversy and tension, Pope Francis is being hosted at the White House by US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, a day which happens to be the holiest day of the Jewish Year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgement.

Though this is not the first meeting between Obama and the Pope, this is the first time that the president will host the Catholic leader, who has also been invited to address a special joint session of Congress.

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The Rapture and the Revelation

Ever wonder why prophecy is contained in the Bible? Why does it make up approximately 1/3 of our Holy Scripture? Why did God even bother telling us things ahead of time before they happened? Why is the church so divided on the one topic that is seemingly only meant for the purpose of giving us hope? The answer to all these questions, depends I suppose on who you ask.

Some believe everything prophetic has already happened. Some believe that it is the Church’s mandate to bring the Kingdom to the earth. Others believe that the Church must go through part, or all of the seven year Tribulation. Still others, do not see the Church entering into that time at all. As the old saying goes, although we can all be wrong, we can’t all be right. Knowing the razor sharp, prophetic accuracy thus far contained in our Bible, we know it isn’t wrong…so who is right?

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Corporations On Attack Against Christians

To hear progressives tell it, big business is a bastion of conservatism and reactionary thought. So why are corporations so eager to champion homosexuality and insult Christian beliefs? One pastor argues it’s because business leaders aren’t just interested in making money – they want to turn the culture away from Christianity…………. Click here for full story


UCSB Teaches Students To Reconcile Faith With Homosexual Behavior

The University of California Santa Barbara has published a “Homosexuality and Religion” guide, detailing how to reconcile one’s faith with homosexual behavior……… Click here for full story


Broken Windows and Your Beauty

by Erin Davis

Why what you think affects how you live.

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?


We Attain Heaven Through Faith Alone

Recently an influential evangelical writer (no names please, this is about truth not personalities) wrote “right with God by faith alone, not attain heaven by faith alone.” The claim is that Christians should believe that we “attain heaven” by more than faith, i.e., by our cooperation with grace. This proposition fits with a claim made by others […]

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Carson, Islam and the White House

Presidential hopeful Ben Carson has gotten a lot of leftists and Muslims upset by saying he does not think a Muslim should be president of the US. That has got the chattering classes going ballistic of course, and Muslim groups are already demanding that he stand down as a candidate.

Carson said that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” He also rightly said this: “I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country.” He was even brave enough to mention the “T” word. “Taqiyya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.”

carson, ben 5Wow, there are very few presidential candidates from either party willing to take a strong stance such as this on the nature and threat of Islam. As mentioned, all hell has broken out over this. He has dared to state a few basic truths which fly in the face of all things PC and leftist.

Few of the other candidates were willing to strongly support Carson. One however came very close to it:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal slammed the press for playing a “dumb game,” but said he would support a Muslim candidate running as a Republican who would respect “the Judeo-Christian heritage of America,” will commit to fight ISIS and radical Islam and will “condemn cultures that treat women as second class citizens.” But Jindal added one more caveat: The candidate must swear the oath of office “on the Bible.”

Let me briefly offer a few reasons – among many – why Carson is right in his concerns about this:

-Islam rejects the idea of separation of church and state (or mosque and state). They see the state as being part and parcel of the Islamic faith, and what is true of the one is true of the other. America, by contrast, of course has the First Amendment which specifically prevents any one religion from becoming the official established religion of the nation.

-Islam rejects the idea of any human law, and demands that sharia law be the law of the land – for everyone. Everyone must submit to Allah and his laws, and man-made laws must be rejected. Submission to Allah and his will, not the US Constitution, is incumbent for any devout Muslim.

-Everything about the political ideology of Islam runs counter to not only the American way of life, but its founding principles. This is a religion which is not only incompatible with freedom, democracy and the rule of law, but which is openly hostile to these values.

-The only Muslim who could effectively run as POTUS would have to be one who has renounced most of the key political beliefs and tenets of Islam. Of course such a Muslim would be considered an apostate by devout Muslims, and would face the music as a result.

-A recent poll released by the Center for Security Policy found that a staggering 51 per cent of American Muslims want the nation governed according to sharia, while 25 per cent believe that “violence against Americans here in the United States can be justified as part of the global jihad.”

-These are some shockingly high numbers. That there are peace-loving and pro-American Muslims I do not deny, but a true Muslim will always put Islam and its decrees above anything the US Constitution declares. When push comes to shove, a real Muslim must always side with Islam over against America.

-Moreover, as one commentator rightly notes, a “Muslim taking office must swear to support the Constitution, but that would be considered a false oath in Islam – a sin.” And according to Muslim scholars, American-style democracy is simply unacceptable to the Muslim. He quotes one Muslim authority who said this:

What distinguishes Islamic democracy from Western democracy is that while the latter is based on the concept of popular sovereignty the former rests on the principle of popular Khilafat [vicegerency]. In Western democracy the people are sovereign, in Islam sovereignty is vested in Allah and the people are His caliphs or representatives. In the former the people make their own laws; in the latter they have to follow and obey the laws (Shari‘ah) given by Allah through His Prophet. In one the Government undertakes to fulfil the will of the people; in the other Government and the people alike have to do the will of Allah. Western democracy is a kind of absolute authority which exercises its powers in a free and uncontrolled manner, whereas Islamic democracy is subservient to the Divine Law and exercises its authority in accordance with the injunctions of Allah and within the limits prescribed by Him.

Of interest, a new article has just appeared in which one Founding Father is appealed to as to this matter. Awr Hawkins writes:

In 1772, Founding Father Samuel Adams laid down limits to religious tolerance that also would have prevented a Muslim from being president by refusing any toleration of Islam in the first place….
It is interesting to note that in 1772 Sam Adams wrote “The Rights of the Colonists,” through which he set forth a litmus test for religions that could be tolerated under the new government colonists would form. Adams’ litmus test rules out theocracies like Islam.
Hanover College published “The Rights of the Colonists,” in which Adams wrote:

In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practised, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind. And it is now generally agreed among Christians that this spirit of toleration, in the fullest extent consistent with the being of civil society, is the chief characteristical mark of the Church. Insomuch that Mr. Locke has asserted and proved, beyond the possibility of contradiction on any solid ground, that such toleration ought to be extended to all whose doctrines are not subversive of society. The only sects which he thinks ought to be, and which by all wise laws are excluded from such toleration, are those who teach doctrines subversive of the civil government under which they live.

So Adams sets forth a test for ascertaining which religions should be tolerated and that test is whether the “doctrines”–or teachings–of a given religion are “subversive of society.” Adams contended that religions “are excluded from… toleration” when they “teach doctrines subversive of the civil government.”
One would think of the Muslim tendency to seek sharia law and sharia-compliant courts instead of laws and courts affiliated with constitutionally recognized jurisprudence. It would follow that one would presume the theocratic nature of Islam, whereby every facet of life–including matters of civil governance–are co-opted as part of the religion.
Theocracies can tend toward fascism, and although Adams did not employ such a term in opposing toleration for religions “subversive of the civil government,” he certainly made the same point.
At the time of Adams’ writing, he called the Roman Catholic religion by name, suggesting practitioners of that faith forfeited toleration due to “such doctrines as these, that princes excommunicated may be deposed, and those that they call heretics may be destroyed without mercy; besides their recognizing the Pope in so absolute a manner, in subversion of government.”
We do not see the Roman Catholic church destroying those “they call heretics… without mercy” in our day. But it is common to find examples of Muslims demanding that infidels convert to Islam or face death. And they do so with an allegiance to Muhammad that both supersedes and defines their allegiance to civil government.
While Ben Carson opposes the idea of having a Muslim for president, Sam Adams would have opposed toleration for the Muslim faith in general.

Very interesting commentary indeed. Of course critics think all this can be dismissed with one line from the Constitution: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States” (Article 6, paragraph 3).

But this is certainly not a fool-proof rebuttal, nor is it the end of the matter. Islam is not merely a religion. As already mentioned, it is more rightly described as an all-embracing political ideology. If Islam were a completely privatised faith with no social or political aspects, then we might not need to worry.

But this is an ideology which brooks no rivals, regards all governments as imposters and enemies of Islam, and sees the establishment of a universal caliphate with everyone in submission as the true end of Islam. That is of course not compatible with the principles of the US Constitution.

Indeed, the very basic principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as found in the US Declaration of Independence are certainly goods which are not upheld or extolled by Islam. They are certainly not absolute nor inviolate principles under Islam. All can be disposed of in an instant. Only the will of Allah must stand.

So we have a fundamental incompatibility and inconsistency between the devout, Koran-abiding Muslim and what the POTUS is supposed to uphold and defend. As mentioned, the only way we could countenance a Muslim POTUS would be if he renounced most of his Islamic beliefs and doctrines.

But then he would be no true Muslim at all.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/21/politics/ben-carson-muslim-president-cair-drop-out/
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/254330-carson-doubles-down-on-no-muslims-in-the-white-house
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/06/24/shock-poll-51-of-american-muslims-want-sharia-25-okay-with-violence-against-americans/
http://www.sgberman.com/2015/09/21/ben-carson-is-right-a-muslim-president-actually-is-a-bad-idea-according-to-the-koran/
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/20/founding-father-samuel-adams-say-ben-carsons-opposition-muslim-president/


Christian Morality and Civil Disobedience

Was Martin Luther King Jr. wrong in 1963 when he disobeyed the law and was put in prison in Alabama? When some religious leaders disagreed with his activism, King penned a letter from jail: “…One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to […]

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Who cares if Obama offends the pope?

If you’re not already aware, the antichrist is visiting the USA this week. He will be visiting Philidelphia September 26-27 for the World Meeting of Families, an interfaith gathering led by the Roman Catholic Church that seeks to promote traditional family values in today’s culture.

Thus far, with the exception of closet-Catholic, Rick Warren, Southern Baptists have refrained from (at least publicly admitting) that they are going to the event. However, President Obama plans to be there, and he will be there with flying colors–literally.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s guests include transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia. And oddly enough, the Vatican objects because they are worried that any photographs of these dissenters may be seen as an endorsement of them by the Vatican. (Sound Familiar?)

And oddly enough–or not–prominent evangelicals care, and are even defending the Vatican. Two prominent Southern Baptist Leaders, Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of Lifeway Research, and Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission both tweeted messages in support of the Vatican’s opposition to Obama’s guests.

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Dr. Moore posts an article by the Wall Street Journal that says “The White House is more afraid of offending China’s president than the pope.” Then Stetzer tweets “Pres. @BarackObama, it’s hard to tell people you are not hostile to traditional faiths when you do things like this.”

My follow-up question to Moore would be, “who cares?”

First of all, this is no defense of Obama at all, I think he’s the worst president ever. But do these men not realize that there is a far greater, far more deceptive visitor coming to Philadelphia–the pope himself? Why do they care if the pope is offended by our president’s homosexual guests? I’m offended by the antichrist pope’s visit to my country. Isn’t that what we should be more concerned about?

But this isn’t the first time our SBC leaders have cozied up to the unholy father. Last year, Rick Warren and Russell Moore went to visit him at the Vatican for a very similar conference. During their visit, there was no call for the leader of counterfeit Christianity to repent of his sins, and turn to Christ. There was only a “melging” of religiosity with a pragmatic view of winning a culture war at all costs–including the expense of the gospel. Further, Stetzer will be speaking at a Christ-hating Muslim-interfaith gathering in October to further a cultural cause.

So do we really care that the pope is offended by Obama’s homosexual and transgender guests?

I don’t.

I’m more concerned that we aren’t offending the pope with the message of the cross. Are these men worried about losing their friendship with the pope?

Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? – Galatians 4:16


Why Do Catholics Have a Pope?


The Danger of Chasing after Your Passion


How to Maintain Our Peace in the Midst of Spiritual Warfare


NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer – Their History of Contemplative Prayer and Why War Room Should Not Have Used Them

Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer –  Their History of Contemplative Prayer and Why War Room Should Not Have Used Them by John Lanagan and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much […]

Free Series Graphic: Globe photo

Free Series Graphic

Download this high-resolution graphic to support a series about global missions and evangelism.

You could also use this to promote your church’s short-term mission projects or other global ministries.


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The Day God’s Grace Seemed Evil

This postmodern reality, where truth is up for grabs and dictated by the discerning eye of the beholder, is no recent phenomenon.

Jonah once suffered from the same delusion.

As Jonah sat on a dry and barren hillside outside Nineveh, waiting for the coming destruction, his worst fears materialised before his eyes. The God Jonah knew showed up just the way he had feared he would.

God came with grace.

Jonah 3:10-4:1 (ESV) – When God saw what they did, how they turned away from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.

The footnote in my ESV Study Bible, informs me that the Hebrew here can be literally translated, “But it was exceedingly evil to Jonah”.

Such was Jonah’s delusion.

In reality, the God whom Malachi would latter describe as the ‘sun of righteousness who rises with healing in his wings’ (Malachi 4:2), or of whom David sang, ‘The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love’ (Psalm 103:8); this God came with amazing grace.

Yet from Jonah’s vantage point, this righteous, healing, merciful, patient, and loving grace, was a revolting evil that did nothing but fuel his anger.

And before I let my gospel-centered infatuation cause me to point a judgmental finger at Jonah, maybe I too need to learn a lesson from the shrivelled up plant.

Despite what our children’s story books say, Jonah didn’t fight against God because he was scared of the Ninevites; he ran and railed because he knew God would turn up with healing in his wings, he knew God would show amazing grace… and he did not believe the Ninevites deserved it.

Jonah 4:2 (ESV) – And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was yet in my own country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster…”

As the blood of thousands cry for justice from the Nigerian soil, does my heart beat with hatred toward Boko Haram? Or does my heart cry out in anguish toward the hope of healing that the gospel can bring?

What about ISIS? Do they deserve God’s relenting favour?

What about the mutilators of unborn babies in the American Planned Parenthood organisation? Or are they outside the reach of the redemptive power of the cross?

What about you? Do you deserve God’s grace… do I?

This is the gospel.

There is a world out there that does not know their right hand from their left; sheep without a shepherd, and I am numbered among them.

Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV) – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved –

Jonah ran from this grace. He wanted it for himself, yet not for others.

But the gospel pursues us, captures us, compels us, even obligates us.

As you now see the grace of God poured out on the undeserving, how does it appear to you?


20 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Exegesis

Business Insider recently published an Infographic entitled 20 Cognitives Biases that Affect Your Decision-Making.

Cognitive Biases

If Infographics do nothing for you, I’ve summarized the information below. Have a look through and ask yourself: How many of these biases can also affect our exegetical decision-making. There were only two I found that I couldn’t match with exegetical biases (#13 & 19). But maybe you can suggest ways in which these might apply as well.

1. Anchoring bias. People are over-reliant on the first piece of information they hear.

2. Availability heuristic. People overestimate the importance of information that is available to them.

3. Bandwagon effect. The probability of one person adopting a belief increases based on the number of people who hold that belief.

4. Blind-spot bias. Failing to recognize your own cognitive biases is a bias in itself.

5. Choice-supportive bias. When you choose something, you tend to feel positive about it, even if that choice has flaws.

6. Clustering illusion. This is the tendency to see patterns in random events.

7. Confirmation bias. We tend to listen only to information that confirms our preconceptions.

8. Conservatism bias. When people favor prior evidence over new evidence or information that has emerged.

9. Information bias. The tendency to seek information when it does not affect action.

10. Ostrich effect. The decision to ignore dangerous or negative information by “burying” one’s head in the sand, like an ostrich.

11. Outcome bias. Judging a decision based on the outcome—rather than how exactly the decision was made in the moment.

12. Overconfidence. Some of us are too confident about our abilities, and this causes us to take greater risks in our daily lives.

13. Placebo effect. When simply believing that something will have a certain effect on you causes it to have that effect.

14. Pro-innovation bias. When a proponent of an innovation tends to overvalue its usefulness and undervalue its limitations.

15. Recency. The tendency to weigh the latest information more heavily than older data.

16. Salience. Our tendency to focus on the most easily recognizable features of a person or concept.

17. Selective perception. Allowing our expectations to influence how we perceive the world.

18. Stereotyping. Expecting a group or person to have certain qualities without having real information about the person.

19. Survivorship bias. An error that comes from focusing only on surviving examples, causing us to misjudge a situation.

20. Zero-risk bias. Sociologists have found that we love certainty—even if it’s counterproductive.


How to Become Patient

Donna Hart, PhD, a biblical counselor on staff at BCC, admits to her problem with patience and, through her mishaps, helps us grow in it.logoI am not a very patient person. I am always in a hurry. The Lord has been teaching me to slow down and be patient, think it through, and look to see things more clearly. In the slowing down, I am learning that patience acts in the face of something that is not right.

Patience Versus Anger

Patience is a curious opposite to anger. When you are patient you agree with the moral evaluation that anger makes:

  • “That’s wrong.”
  • “What you are doing does not please me.”
  • “It offends me.”
  • “It hurts people.”

True patience is not aggression and attack mode – it is not about passivity, indifference, and a placid tolerance or neutrality, and it does not accept and affirm everything.

Patience hates what is happening and rolls up its sleeves to redress what is wrong. 

Patience makes you slow to anger. A prime characteristic of God is that He is slow to anger, as seen in Exodus 34:6. It is a prime characteristic of love (I Cor. 13:4). God is love, and He intends to make us like Him. When we are slow to anger, we are willing to work with wrong over time. The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but patient, (2 Pet. 3:9).

Patience Looks for Solutions

Patience is a fruit of the spirit it acts with spiritual intelligence and is not just a feeling. When you are patient you can see the wrong with more clarity. Patience stops to look, observe, and notice the suffering of others. 

Patience hurts for and with the person it does not act the same way anger reacts, it sees and feels the wrong.  It motivates your actions and enables you to put up with difficult people and events, not out of indifference, resignation, or cowardice, but because you are driven by a different purpose. You are willing to work slowly to solve things, and you will be willing to live for a long time within seemingly insoluble evils.

Patience hangs in there with people even when they remain wrong and hurtful. It does not mean to just keep on keeping on, to merely grit your teeth, resigned to the inevitable. It is committed to change the world slowly, not to simply endure the world. This forbearing patience is different from being a doormat, passively absorbing abuse, or inviting abuse. A doormat psychologically drowns in the sense of powerlessness, victimhood, cringing fear, self-pity, and self-condemnation.

This forbearing patience is courageous and clear-minded. It exhibits the dignity of choice, it is powerful, but non-retaliatory, even while continuing to experience pain and unfairness. It never loses either the hope of altering or the intention of repairing what is so wrong. It does not reach the end of its rope like impatience. It does not explode like destructive vengeance. It does not give up in exhaustion, disgust, or despair. The willingness to work over the long haul is the first piece of constructively acting as Jesus does. It is a displeasure with wrong doing and sin but patiently merciful with the person as just as Jesus would be.

When have you been displeased with wrong doing and sin but patiently merciful with a person trusting the Lord will use you over time to influence for change?

I look forward to hearing from you.

photo credit: Pear Tree House via photopin (license)

The post How to Become Patient appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


If Only It Were a Golden Calf

Sometimes when I read the Old Testament, I scoff at the Israelites and the surrounding nations. I think to myself, “O silly Israelites, God just brought you out of Egypt, and you’re making a golden calf to bow down in worship?” Physical idol worship is one of those things that always makes me wonder how people could be so stupid.

Why would you want to worship something that you’ve made with your own hands?

Why would you want to worship something that you’ve made with your own hands?

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The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a familiar one to many of us. It’s probably one of the most well-known stories of idol worship (no doubt due to Veggie Tales’ masterful retelling). I often read this story without much pause. As we hear this story in our churches or read it to our kids at home, our choice is a simple one: We don’t bow down to the idol. We worship God.

However, is this really what we choose on a daily basis? Is this what I choose on a daily basis?

The book of Daniel is unique in the Old Testament, since it is one of the few books that deals with the interaction between an exiled Israel and their surrounding culture. One of its major themes is how God’s people are to live in the midst of a pagan culture. Peter, along with other New Testament writers, applies this same mentality in 1 Peter 1:1 and 2:10-11.

Currently, we are exiles in a culture whose golden images are much more subtle than we might realize. While we are not brought before some golden statue and commanded to worship it, our culture constantly tells us to bow down to ourselves: our success, our glory, and our desires. 

In a recent edition of the White Horse Inn podcast, theologian Michael Horton interviewed Jean Twenge about the recent update of her book, Generation Me. This book looks at the shocking trends of my generation (the Millennials) towards narcissism and its effects on various areas of life, including attendance and giving in the church. But even if you’re not a millennial, don’t think you’re off the hook. Worship of self is something that is inherent to each one of us…and it is only amplified by the culture.

The culture’s songs, advertisements, maxims, and messages are beckoning us, even if not overtly, to lay aside inhibitions and worship self. Kanye West’s declaration a few years ago that he was god, while blunt, simply is an outflowing of what the culture-at-large is telling us. While we may scoff at him for such a blasphemous claim, many within the church live their lives based upon that confession.

If God is our authority, then we will seem like aliens in a self-w­orship­ping culture.

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People who do not bow the knee to self don’t face a fiery furnace, but they do commit a type of social suicide. If we truly believe that God is in authority over our lives, commanding that we don’t live according to our own passions but his, then much of what we do and believe will seem wholly alien to self-worshippers. 

If we’ve been transformed by the gospel and indeed are exiles in this world, we will look very strange to the culture at times. The pressure is real: If we don’t follow the norms, we will face hardship. After considering this, I almost wish it were only a golden statue we had to worry about.

It was the God-centered faith of those three Israelite men which caused them to stand firm, rather than worship along with the culture. I am challenged to do the same in the midst of our own. Let us make the same confident pronouncement from Daniel 3:16: “We have no need to answer you in this matter.” Let us say along with Christ, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

The matter should be so solidified in our minds that our lives reflect it. For God requires that he alone be worshiped.

In what area do you feel challenged to stand firmly against the culture of self-worship?

RELATED POSTS:

The post If Only It Were a Golden Calf appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


The 40 Best Quotes from “Spiritual Leadership” by J. Oswald Sanders

Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders is a classic book, one of the greatest leadership books in print today. Numerous pastors and Christian executives credit Sanders’ work as formative in their lives and ministries. It’s depth and breadth of biblical wisdom and practical application are unmatched in a single volume. I’m not giving page numbers because there should be no cheating to look these up in context. Just read the whole book. You won’t regret it.

1. Desiring to excel is not a sin. It is motivation that determines ambition’s character. Our Lord never taught against the urge to high achievement, but He did expose and condemn unworthy motivation.

2. True greatness, true leadership, is found in in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you.
3. Spiritual leaders are not elected, appointed, or created by synods or church assemblies. God alone makes them.

4. But from God’s point of view it is noble work to reclaim the world’s downtrodden people. When we find some of those the world calls “the least” and seek to meet their needs, Christ tells us we can think of them as Him.

5. There is no such thing as a self-made spiritual leader. A true leader influences others spiritually only because the Spirit works in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads.

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6. A leader must be calm in crisis and resilient in disappointment.

7. Leaders know there is a difference between conviction and stubbornness.

8. Are you responsibly optimistic? Pessimism and leadership do not mix. Leaders are positively visionary.

9. Do you direct people or develop people?

10. If you would rather pick a fight than solve a problem, do not consider leading the church. The Christian leader must be genial and gentle, not a lover of controversy.

11. When God calls us, we cannot refuse from a sense of inadequacy. Nobody is worthy of such trust

12. Pride ever lurks at the heels of power, but God will not encourage proud men in His service.

13. Many who aspire to leadership fail because they have never learned to follow.

14. A leader must be able to see the end results of the policies and methods he or she advocates. Responsible leadership always looks ahead to see how policies will affect future generations.

15. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

16. Vision leads to venture, and history is on the side of venturesome faith. The person of vision takes fresh steps of faith across gullies and chasms not “playing safe” but neither taking foolish risks.

17. Leaders take lessons from the past, but never sacrifice the future for the sake of mere continuity.

18. A visionary may see, but a leader must decide.

19. The spiritual leader will not procrastinate when faced with a decision, nor vacillate after making it. A sincere but faulty decision is better than weak-willed “trial balloons” or indecisive overtures. To postpone decisions is really to decide for the status quo. In most decisions the key element is not so much knowing what to do but in living with the results.

20. Leadership always faces natural human inertia and opposition. But courage follows through with a task until it is done.

21. The person who is impatient with weakness will be ineffective in his leadership. The evidence of our strength lies not in in the distance that separates us from the other runners but in our closure with them, our slower pace for their sakes, our helping them pick up and cross the line.

22. Leaders must draw the best out of people, and friendship does that far better than prolonged argument or mere logic.

23. When people who lack spiritual fitness are elected to leadership, He quietly withdraws and leaves them to implement their own policies according to their own standards, but without His aid. The inevitable result is an unspiritual administration.

24. Christians everywhere have undiscovered and unused spiritual gifts. The leader must help bring those gifts into the service of the kingdom, to develop them, to marshal their power. Spirituality alone does not make a leader; natural gifts and those given by God must be there too.

25. People who are skeptical of prayer’s validity and power are usually those who do not practice it seriously or fail to obey when God reveals His will. We cannot learn about praying except by praying. No philosophy has ever taught a soul to pray. The intellectual problems associated with prayer are met in the joy of answered prayer and closer fellowship to God.

26. As Jesus dealt with sin’s cause rather than effect, so the spiritual leader should adopt the same method in prayer.

27. A leader will seldom say “I don’t have time.” Such an excuse is usually the refuge of a small-minded and inefficient person.

28. Spiritual leaders of every generation will have a consuming passion to know the Word of God through diligent study and the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

29. If a man is known by the company he keeps, so also his character is revealed in the books he reads.

30. Leaders should always cut a channel between reading and speaking and writing, so that others derive benefit, pleasure, and inspiration.

31. Resist the idea of “leadership from the rear.” True leadership is always out front.

32. Achievement is bought on the time-payment plan, with a new installment required every day.

33. The true leader is concerned primarily with the welfare of others, not with his own comfort or prestige.

34. More failures come from an excess of caution than from bold experiments with new ideas.

35. A true leader steps forward in order to face baffling circumstances and complex problems.

36. Successful leaders have learned that no failure is final, whether his own failure or someone else’s. No one is perfect, and we cannot be right all the time. Failures and even feelings of inadequacy can provoke humility and serve to remind a leader who is really in charge.

37. There is no virtue in doing more than our fair share of the work.

38. Indeed, no man, however gifted and devoted is indispensable to the work of the kingdom.

39. Only one leader holds office forever, no successor is needed for Him.

40. Willingness to concede error and to defer to the judgment of one’s peers increases one’s influence rather than diminishes it.


Nine Relational Evangelism Ideas That Work – Rainer on Leadership #161

Podcast Episode #161

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We hear from churches all over the country about how God is working in their churches and how they are seeing people come to new life in Christ. So on today’s episode, we discuss nine relational evangelism ideas that are working in churches.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • The easiest way to connect with a non-Christian is over a meal.
  • I do not understand why we do not pray for evangelistic opportunities more.
  • We have to be intentional about developing relationships with non-Christians.
  • Non-Christians are more open to coming to a Christmas Eve service than any other time of the year.
  • If you’re not doing a Christmas Eve service, you’re missing a great opportunity.
  • Align your church programs to intentionally create evangelistic opportunities.

The nine relational evangelism ideas that work are:

  1. Partner with a Christian student group on a local college campus and host a late night coffee/study session during finals week
  2. Encourage members to have a meal a week with an unchurched family
  3. Frequent the same coffeeshop/restaurant and develop relationships
  4. Go to the same non-Christian barber/stylist
  5. Pray for opportunities each day to develop relationship with non-Christians
  6. Join an organization to connect with non-Christians
  7. Develop meaningful relationships with your non-Christian co-workers
  8. Gift Christmas gifts (like baked goods) to your neighbors
  9. Teach in an ESL class

Resources

The post Nine Relational Evangelism Ideas That Work – Rainer on Leadership #161 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Sensationalist Science

Well if scientists say it, it must be true, right? It turns out, not always. Why we shouldn’t believe every new study, next on BreakPoint. Listen Now | Download

Guard your hearts at all costs in the war with porn

Pornography is one of the greatest dangers facing the church today. I could offer you statistics and case studies showing the devastating effects pornography is having on our church leaders but that is not needed. You know the dangers and the widespread effects of pornography. Based on statistics alone there is a reasonable chance that some reading this are physically addicted to viewing pornography. If you are not already addicted there is a greater chance that you have at least viewed pornography recently and on the verge of addiction.

As students pursuing (or currently in) ministry we are called to a higher standard. We will be leaders in our churches where our people will be looking to us as an example. Too often in the church our leaders fall prey to sexual temptation. One well-known pastor recently admitted to an “inappropriate relationship” and numerous pastors and church leaders names have appeared on the recent Ashley Madison list.  In addition to the obvious personal and familial destruction, the people in our churches can begin to distrust the gospel and think less of the people who should be leading them.

“Teleiosness” and James

In one of the most practical books of the New Testament James, the brother of Jesus, exhorts his people to pursue of life of “teleiosness”—or in simpler terms, “wholeness.” This idea of wholeness means that our outward actions and our inward thoughts are in complete agreement with each other. “Teleiosness,” often translated as “perfection,” is not about “doing all the right things” but rather orienting our lives in line with Christian virtue. This the pursuit of holiness that is central to the Christian life.

Along with this idea of wholeness, James also says teachers will be held to a “stricter judgment” based on their position within the church (Jas. 3:1). Granted, this is in the context leading up to a small discourse concerning our speech, but I think it can be applied more universally. As teachers and preachers of the gospel, ours is a calling to holiness. Our lives, should be marked with a wholeness in the same way that Christ showed us in the gospel stories.

If we are engaged in pornography our life is not marked by “teleiosness” but rather “dipsychosness” (Jas. 4:8) or “double-mindedness.” Our outward actions may be righteous and holy but our lives are marked by a deep and dark addiction—pornography. We could list all the verses that pertain to sexual sins and apply that here but if you are reading this then you likely know that sexual sin is one that can erode the soul of even the godliest person.

Pornography and the addicted brain

Engaging in pornography not only erodes the soul, it also physically impacts the way that your brain is wired. John Piper in a recent article explains some research within the medical community that shows pornography has an addiction effect similar to cocaine and heroine. Cocaine and heroine cause a “high” in two distinct ways. Yet, as the article explains, viewing pornography actually taps into both these causes. A drug addict needs more and more drugs to realize the same sensation. Likewise, pornography re-wires the brain in the same way and, thus, needing more and more pornography to feel the same effects. Therefore, pornography is not only addicting in a spiritualized, sin-craving manner, but your body becomes physically addicted to the “high” and *needs* more material to achieve this high. This addiction is both spiritual and physical. It can all be accessed alone—”anonymously”—in the comfort of your personal computer or smartphone.

How can you help yourself prevent the seduction of pornography in the age of the Internet? Below I mention four basic levels of protection. These are not exhaustive and you should still do your own research beyond this article. I also want to note that some of these protections use the language of “parental controls” because they are focused on parents and children.

Use your spouse or a trusted friend to act as the “parent” with these solutions, giving them the passwords to monitor and control the accounts so you are not tempted to circumvent their protection. There are many articles on the Internet that discuss web accountability but many do not take into account mobile devices. So when you are doing your research realize that pornography is most easily viewed on mobile devices so protections against routers and computers are ineffective in this regard.

Four levels of protection

1. Prayer and community: You must fight the urge to engage in pornography through prayer and community. Satan wants to tell you that you can fight this on your own. You can’t. Don’t give into the lie that “this won’t effect me” and not establish the necessary precautions. As image-bearers we are built for community. Find trusted friends you can pray with and who will hold you accountable. Don’t be ashamed. We are not made to fight temptation alone.

2. Open DNS: This solution allows you to change settings to your home (or business) router that automatically filters web content at the router level. This will give you basic protection for anyone connected to the internet via the router in your home or business.

3. Mobile parental controls: Setting up Internet filtering protection at the router level is good and necessary, but pornography is being viewed more and more on mobile devices, which have access to the Internet beyond the router. Mobile operating systems such as Apple’s iOS provide parental control restrictions. While these may be labeled “parental controls” you can use these to your advantage by having your spouse or a trusted friend determine the settings and store your password. Not knowing your password helps ensure in the moment of temptation you are not able to “unrestrict” the filtering to view pornographic material. (iOS) (Android)

Third-party mobile solutions: While parental restrictions on mobile devices are great, they are generally not as customizable as one would want. This is why it is a good idea to also use a third party service such as Curbi or Covenant Eyes. Curbi and Covenant Eyes function in different ways on mobile devices. Curbi installs a “profile” on your mobile devices, which then speaks to their servers and provides filtering and content wherever you are. The disadvantage to Curbi is that this “profile” can be uninstalled but it will send out an instant alert if that is done. Covenant Eyes disables all Internet access on your mobile device except through their own browser. This means that you can only view web content through their custom browser. While this will work, I personally find it to be a less than elegant solution and would recommend checking out Curbi first. (Curbi) (Covenant Eyes)

These solutions do not and will not offer complete protection from pornography. There will always be a way to view it regardless of how many protections you put in place. But what they do is provide the necessary road blocks to limit easy access and put in place hazard lights warning you not to go any further. These solutions will not change your heart, but they will help protect you in the war for holiness.

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Brian Renshaw is a Ph.D. student in New Testament at Southern Seminary. His interests include Gospel studies, hermeneutics, theological interpretation of Scripture, and history of interpretation. He works as an instructional designer in the SBTS Online Learning department and also serves as the director of digital production for CACS. When he is not reading you can find him roasting and brewing craft coffee. He and his wife attend Sojourn East. He writes on biblical studies at his personal site and Techademic. Follow him on Twitter.


Discouraged Over Your Failures? Do You Know The God Of Second Chances?

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t give up on us when we stumble?

At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona Derek Redmond tore his hamstring in the 400 metres semi-final but continued limping along, until his father burst out of the stands and helped him complete a full lap as the crowd cheered wildly. Then his father let go of him just before the finish line so Derek could cross on his own. If you want to get choked up, watch the video.

This reminds me of our heavenly Father. Psalm 37.24 says:

though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

In Joshua 7 Israel disobeyed God and suffered the consequences. After an amazing victory over Jericho, one man, Achan, disobeyed God, took forbidden spoil and the whole nation stumbled. They were hammered by a tiny city of Ai, whose total population was only 12,000. Though the offender was found out and punished, afterwards Israel was fearful and dismayed. Maybe they’d blown it for good this time.

But God wasn’t finished with them. Like Derek Redmond’s father, the Lord came alongside Israel again and helped them. He said to Joshua:

“Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land.” Joshua 8:1

God is the God of second chances. He doesn’t give up on us when we fail.

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. PR 24.16

Can you imagine how discouraged Peter was after denying Christ 3 times? I love what the risen Jesus said to the women he appeared to at the tomb:

But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” MK 16.7

“AND Peter!” I can see Peter, sitting there, downcast, dejected, staring at the floor. The women come in. “We’ve seen the Lord! He told us to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. And Peter, he specifically mentioned YOU! He said ‘tell his disciples AND PETER’. Peter lifts his head. “Really? He mentioned me? Are you sure?” “Yes Peter! YOU!”

God doesn’t give up on us when we fail. He is the God of second chances. He has a purpose for our lives and though we fail, he won’t:

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. PS 138.8

The Lord WILL fulfill HIS purpose for those who believe in Jesus. Nothing is going to stop him, even our failures. Of course we don’t want to fail. And we certainly don’t want to take sin lightly. But when we do mess up, when need to remember 1 JN 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus will forgive us when we come running to him, because he paid for all our failures on the cross.

Jesus never failed. He perfectly obeyed his Father every single day of his life and didn’t sin once. Yet God the Father punished Jesus in our place, as if he had personally committed our sins. There’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because he was condemned for us. Have you fallen? Are you discouraged? Do you feel like giving up? Get up again! Do not fear and do not be dismayed. ARISE! Get up again. Get back in the race. Your Father is by your side, his arms around you, holding you up. He is the God of second chances, and he will fulfill his purpose for you.


We Attain Heaven Through Faith Alone

By Dr. R. Scott Clark – Posted at The Heidelblog:

Recently an influential evangelical writer (no names please, this is about truth not personalities) wrote “right with God by faith alone, not attain heaven by faith alone.” The claim is that Christians should believe that we “attain heaven” by more than faith, i.e., by our cooperation with grace. This proposition fits with a claim made by others that we are justified by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide) but that salvation, because it is a broader category, because it includes sanctification, is partly through obedience, faithfulness, or works.

The Argument
Here is the argument in the form of a syllogism:

  1. Salvation involves justification and sanctification.
  2. Sanctification is by grace and cooperation with grace (works)
  3. Therefore salvation is partly by works.

In this discussion there have also been claims about the history of Reformed theology, that the orthodox Reformed theologians of the seventeenth century taught justification sola gratia, sola fide but salvation (the broader category) partly through works. What the Reformed (e.g., Turretin) frequently said is that good works are necessary ad salutem. Some have drawn the inference that the Reformed intended to teach that good works are instrumental in our salvation. I have disputed this claim in this series beginning here. Before you comment below, please read the series.

Rather, we should agree with Louis Berkhof (1873–1957) who, fairly represented the Reformed tradition, rejected the theory that good works are instrumental in salvation:

“[good works] cannot be regarded as necessary to merit salvation, nor as a means to retain a hold on salvation, nor even as the only way along which to proceed to eternal glory, for children enter salvation without having done any good works. The Bible does not teach that no one can be saved apart from good works. At the same time good works necessarily follow from the union of believers with Christ”(emphasis added)

Berkhof taught that good works are fruit and evidence of salvation. Here is the basic distinction which is frequently missed in this discussion (and in the discussion of justification): is and through. It is the case that believers, who are in union with the risen Christ by the sovereign grace of the Spirit, through faith alone, produce fruit. This is the Reformed understanding of our Lord’s teaching about abiding (John 15:4). It is not the case, as some suggest, that we “get in” by grace (e.g., baptism) and we “stay in” by cooperating with grace (abiding). Any such scheme turns the covenant of grace into a covenant of works since, in any event, our abiding, our cooperating, becomes the decisive factor, the sine qua non of salvation.

I have already sketched a biblical and theological case for justification and salvation sola fide (please read this before commenting) but, in the present climate, it seems useful to elaborate the case.


If you believe in God, life makes more sense

Sometimes I get asked why I believe in God.

In the past, I used to say that I found it harder to not believe in the existence of God than to believe in His existence.

To put this another way, I found it easier to believe that everything came from God than to believe that everything came from nothing.

believing in GodAnd yet … let’s be honest … saying that “everything came from God” only pushes the logical causality of everything further back one step. If I have trouble believing that everything came from nothing, and so say that everything came from God, the question is then, “Well then, where did God come from?” The Christian answer is that He didn’t come from anything; He just always was.

So really, the choice is between believing that everything came from nothing, or believing that God has always existed. Neither choice is easily understood or comprehended by the human mind. However, even with these two options, I still prefer to believe in the existence of God, for at least with God, there is the recognition of a mystery that cannot be understood by human finite minds, whereas without God, the idea that something came from nothing is just pure nonsense.

But recently I have come to realize something different.

I don’t necessarily believe in God because I can prove the existence of God.

No, I believe in God because through this belief, the world makes more sense.

Belief in the existence of God is the organizing principle of everything. Without a belief in the existence of God, everything is simply random meaninglessness. But with a belief in the existence of God, many of the dilemmas and confusing things of life suddenly make sense.

C. S. Lewis once said something like “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” I mentioned this in my recent podcast on Genesis 1:4.

belief in God - CS Lewis

As usual, C. S. Lewis is right on target.

Believing in God is like believing in light.

While light can be seen, you only really see light itself when it shines directly into your eye, like when someone shines a flashlight into your eye, or when you look at a light bulb or the sun. But you don’t need to have a light shown into your eye to know that a room has light. You know that a room has light because you can see the room. When you look at the walls of a room, and the items that are in the room, you are not seeing light, but are seeing things by the light. When light hits something, it allows you to see that thing. It diffuses, scatters, or reflects.

When we look at things and see them, we can know that the light is no them, not because we see the light, but because, by the light we can see.

As I have come to see the world through the light of Jesus Christ, the crucified God, this crucivision lens has helped me understand life, Scripture, and theology more clearly, and it has helped me grow in love for others more deeply.

So also with the existence of God. Believing in the existence of God helps us see ourselves, other people, this world, and our purpose more clearly.

Of course, you have to believe in God as He is revealed in Jesus Christ, or else you may end up believing in a god that acts like Hitler, and seeing the world through that lens will not be helpful for anybody. But that’s a subject for a future time.

Do you believe in the existence of God? Why? Do you think that this belief helps you understand life and live your life better than if you didn’t believe in God?


The Limits of Papal Celebrity

What effect will Francis’s visit to the United States have? Every pundit is asking the same question, but each has a different answer: the Pope will advance chimerical culture-war compromises; the Pope will channel the spirit of John Oliver and “destroy” the religious right; the Pope will revive the Catholic Church.

A few thoughts:

1. Personalities tend to be more popular than institutions, so we should be skeptical about claims that the popularity of a given pope will translate into a “revived” church.

2. Francis’s appeal is based largely on his anti-institutional image—his willingness to disregard rules and call out entrenched interests—and so his popularity is especially unlikely to translate into increased attachment to the church.

3. Celebrity is fleeting. For all his current popularity, Francis is perhaps no more popular than John Paul II was during his first visit to the United States.

Regarding that visit, here’s the October 15 1979 New Yorker:

There is something about the human face that cannot be captured on film: a glow and depth, a complexity of light on flesh, and a scale—a smallness yet a definiteness in relation to the rest of the world. From under the brim of the scarlet hat there looked out a face with mischievous eyes and a humorous, masculine smile. From under the brim of the scarlet hat there looked out the healthy, calm face of a man who is at ease with himself and with others. From under the brim of the scarlet hat there looked out a face of such immediately apparent warmth that although the man was in a motorcade one had the impression that one was chatting with over a glass of wine in a café. . . . It was a face that expressed a sanguine, unself-important dignity—the kind of dignity that instantly affirms the dignity of those who look into it. It was a face that put things in proportion.

Here’s the New York Times editorial board on October 3, 1979

At St. Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday, Pope John Paul II said he considered it a “special grace” to be able to return to New York. To millions who saw and heard him, he was the one who brought a special grace to New York. The visit of any pope would bring out the curious in swarms, but there is an unusual magnetism in this pontiff’s sturdy warmth—and complexity. . .

But it seemed to us there was more than curiosity, more than celebrity-seeking among the multitudes that cheered the Pope’s every move. It cannot be expected that a ceremonial visit can accomplish much, but this visit seems to have released a vibrant sense of faith. . . . Even among the worldly wise at the U.N. there seemed an eager deference. . . .

Concerning the competition between the Communist world and the West, the pope was far shrewder than to take sides. He offered up a challenge to both sides . . .

Sound familiar?

4. The media love affair with Francis, just like that with John Paul II, will come to an end.

5. It will end in part because he is Catholic and in part because Francis has a penchant for upsetting particular groups—not just conservatives but transgender people, Chileans, etc.

5. When it does, the people most attached to Catholic doctrines and institutions will be the ones most attached to the man.

Matthew Schmitz is deputy editor of First Things.


Check out

Blogs

Theology and the Gospel Ministry | Michael D. Roberts, Place for Truth
Thoughts on the disappearance of the “Pastor-Scholar.”

Exodus and You | Peter Dietsch, Providence Presbyterian Church
Why the Old Testament is important on this side of the New Testament.

Private Sin, Public Fallout | Clint Archer, The Cripplegate
As part of the Body of Christ, your sin always affects the Body.

Entrepreneurship: An Opportunity for Personal, Individual Flourishing | Tim Hoerr, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics
Tim gives us 3 reasons the entrepreneurial environment is rich for personal growth.

What Does Depression Look Like For Entrepreneurs | Seth Getz
My hyper-energetic, super-enthusiastic friend, Seth Getz, confronts the reality of being depressed.

Five Questions on Reading and Leadership | Eric Geiger

7 Ways To Lead Like a Navy Seal | Alice Vitiello, Task and Purpose

Kindle Deals


The End of Christianity by William Dembski ($0.99)


You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Ben Carson ($1.99)


The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger ($1.99)


The Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord ($2.51)

Video

Amazing Grace Flashmob


Links I like

 

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Today is the last day to get Barnabas Piper’s latest, Help My Unbelief, for $4.61. Also on sale are:

The Joy Project

John Piper introduces a new book from Desiring God by Tony Reinke, The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness. The book is available free in three digital formats. You can also purchase a paperback edition at Amazon.

God wants the liabilities

Jared Wilson:

I felt very keenly in that moment how good it feels to be picked. Everybody wants to be picked. The gospel tells an interesting story about being picked. If I had to relate it to my weekend football humiliation, I would put it this way: God looks at the available selection, sees that I have no evident talent or ability and that in fact I give all indications of being a liability to the team, not an asset, and says, “I’ll take him first.”

Go Deep To Move Forwards

Really appreciated this brief encouragement from David Murray.

Faithfulness Among the Frauds in Kenya

Elisabeth Roberts:

Like the rest of Africa, the church in Kenya battles evangelism that peddles a counterfeit gospel, with name-it-and-claim-it messages attracting massive followings and bringing in much money. In many ways this challenge mirrors the exploitations of European “Christian” colonizers some 500 years ago. Today, though, it’s their own countrymen who masquerade as Christians.

Thankfully, the Lord is at work through other Kenyan pastors to help turn the tide.

How to Write a Devotional

This guide from Jerry Jenkins’ website is really helpful.

Embrace your platform

Drew Dixon:

Sometimes I think we are so married to the idea of kingdom advancement by such large public platforms that we fail to see the upside down nature of the kingdom Jesus inaugurated and Paul preached about. We must not forget that gospel  is “a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles,” (1 Cor 1:23) a statement Paul made to a church that was in danger of splintering under the weight of competing platforms and arguments about spiritual best practices.


A La Carte (September 22)

Today’s Kindle deals include: Not a Chance by R.C. Sproul ($2.99); The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts ($3.99); Old Story New ($0.99) and Long Story Short (free) by Marty Machowski; Living as a Christian by A.W. Tozer ($1.99). Also, while we’re on the subject of Amazon, they’ve got lots of BBC documentaries and dramas on sale today only.

Women in Combat

Writing for Canada’s National Post, this columnist makes some valid (and completely counter-cultural points). He asks, “Why are we determined to put women in combat alongside men when we absolutely refuse to do it in sports?”

Debauching Kermit

This is a sign of the times, I suppose. “What were previously sly winks to a grownup audience are now grotesque full-body grimaces, delivered with depressing sledgehammer brutality.”

How ‘Faith-Based Film’ Became a Dirty Term

“Hollywood is getting hip to the Christian box-office boost, but the directors of movies like Captive don’t want to be lumped in with the religious flops of the past.”

Why You Need To Preach the Song of Songs

James Hamilton has recently completed a commentary on Song of Songs, and in this article explains why every church should consider preaching through the book.

5 Ways to Read a Blog Post Without Getting Your Jimmies Rustled

We all need the occasional refresher here.

This Day in 2006: Christianity Today published Collin Hansen’s pivotal article, Young, Restless, Reformed. The article gave a name and definition to a new but discernible movement.

The Man Who Got No Whammies

Here’s a fascinating article about a guy who beat the show Press Your Luck. “Something was very wrong. Here was this guy from nowhere, and he kept going around the board and hitting the bonus boxes every time. It was bedlam, I can tell you. And we couldn’t stop this guy.”

Daniel Norris

There’s little doubt about it: Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Daniel Norris is one of the most interesting people in baseball.



Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, September 22, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Scott Walker Drops Out of Presidential Race

5 Questions Iowa Faith & Freedom Forum Will Answer

Office Depot Offers Muddy Apology for Refusal to Print Pro-life Flier

Bible Must be at Center of Anglican Meeting, Global Group Says

Pastor, Church Members Heroically Defend Others in Shooting

Cuba Welcomes Pope Francis

Pope Francis Will Test His Diplomacy on US Tour

Nonprofits Win Contraceptive Mandate Appeal

Faith Groups Stand with Refugees and Provide Aid

Ben Carson Under Fire for Saying a Muslim Shouldn’t be President

Opinion

I Have the Nine: a Retrospective on the Charleston Church Shooting

Loving the Foreigner: Seeing Refugees Through God’s Eyes

Al-Qaeda Terrorist Transformed by the Gospel

Love Triangle at Stanford Business School?

The American Constitution: Why it Endures


09/22/15 The Old and the New

READING: Zechariah 8-14

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Frankly, while I’m enjoying this reading plan this year, I’m ready to get to the New Testament! I’m longing to get to the rest of the story — the Messiah who breaks our idolatries and restores our relationship with our Father. At the same time, though, I’m reminded today of how much the Old Testament and the New Testament overlap.  Consider these words from Zechariah 8-14 that show up again in the New Testament:

Zech. 9:9  Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  [Matt. 21:5; John 12:15]

Zech. 11:13 “Throw it to the potter,” the Lord said to me—this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter.  [Matt. 27:9]

Zech. 12:10  “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for Him as one weeps for a firstborn.  [John 19:37]

Zech. 13:7  Sword, awake against My shepherd, against the man who is My associate—this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will also turn My hand against the little ones.  [Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27]

Today, I stand amazed that God has given us His Word — a Word written over 15 centuries by dozens of writers, yet that speaks consistently and coherently to us. A God who chooses to make Himself known to people is an amazing God, indeed.

PRAYER: “Thank you, Father, for Your Word. Let me so amazed by it that I cannot help but want to read it every day.”


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

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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


September 22, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

IMG_2683


Sep. 22, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Disputes over what’s acceptable behavior in cyberspace threaten to overshadow the agenda when Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama meet in Washington this week.

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to open his country to greater foreign investment and accelerate structural reforms, speaking on the eve of a gathering with U.S. business leaders that kicks off a U.S. trip.

The stunning collapse and exit of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Monday provided a jolt to a Republican establishment staring at a presidential primary field dominated by three political novices and led by a populist billionaire.

Islamic State threatened to carry out a cyber-attack against the U.K. on Wednesday, according to SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist social media. The group made its threat in a video posted on the Internet that opens with images of militants picking up long knives as they forced a group of Western hostages to march forward and kneel in the dirt. The video goes on to make the cyber-attack threat.

Starbucks’s mobile-ordering service, which lets customers select coffees and danishes on their phones before walking into a store, is now available nationwide.

Microsoft’s new Office software will incorporate Internet-connected features such as Skype and the Cortana digital assistant in both its cloud and packaged versions, underscoring the importance of installed software even as the company focuses on moving customers to subscriptions.

The haze from Indonesian forest fires intensified, driving the pollution gauge in parts of the country to hazardous levels and blanketing downtown Singapore with a layer of smog.

Former Peanut Corp. of America Chief Executive Officer Stewart Parnell was sentenced Monday to 28 years in prison for his role in shipping salmonella-tainted products linked to nine deaths in 2009. His brother Michael Parnell, a company food broker, was sentenced to 20 years.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will propose raising property taxes by $543 million over the next four years to help cover soaring pension-fund costs that have triggered downgrades to the city’s bond rating.

AP Top Stories

The county clerk from Kentucky who went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to gay couples said the licenses being granted by her staff are invalid.

Russia has delivered new arms including warplanes to Syria as the regime increases attacks on jihadists, officials said Tuesday, in a sign that Moscow’s growing support for its ally is having an effect.

India cleared a $2.5 billion deal to buy 37 military helicopters from aviation giant Boeing, on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, a government source said.

At least 38 Islamic State group fighters were killed in air strikes by the Damascus regime against three jihadist-held towns in central Syria, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

Georgia plans to carry out its first execution of a woman in 70 years next week following repeated delays, the Georgia Department of Corrections said on Monday.

Archaeologists have discovered a Pre-Roman era tomb in perfect condition at Pompeii, the team at the archaeological site buried in a 79AD volcanic eruption announced Monday.

Syria’s civil war has prompted the first withdrawal of crop seeds from a “doomsday” vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies, officials said on Monday. The seeds, including samples of wheat, barley and grasses suited to dry regions, have been requested by researchers in the Middle East to replace a collection in the Syrian city of Aleppo that has been damaged by the war.

The family of a 14-year-old Muslim student who got in trouble over a homemade clock mistaken for a possible bomb withdrew the boy Monday from his suburban Dallas high school.

Sergei Pugachev, a tycoon once dubbed “Putin’s banker” because of his influence in the Kremlin, has filed a claim against Russia for more than $10 billion after his business empire was carved up when he fell out of favor with President Vladimir Putin.

BBC

European Union ministers are meeting to try to resolve a dispute over how to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers who have recently arrived in Europe.

The head of a US pharmaceutical company has defended his company’s decision to raise the price of a 62-year-old medication used by Aids patients by over 5,000%. After Turing’s acquisition, a dose of Daraprim in the US increased from $13.50 to $750.

Egypt has demolished more than 3,255 homes and other buildings in the Sinai peninsula in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said.

WND

The first self-driving electric shuttle for use on public roads has been delivered to the Netherlands. The “WEpod” will take passengers between the two towns of Wageningen and Ede in the province of Gelderland from November.

A top Islamic preacher has come up with an idea on how Muslim migrants can show thanks to Europe and America for taking them in: Breed and conquer.

Law enforcement authorities say those scrambling to get in the pope’s presence during his U.S. visit need to be on alert – that terrorists dressed as police officers and emergency responders could be hiding among the crowds, waiting to strike.

The University of California Santa Barbara’s “Homosexuality and Religion” guide warns students how “one of the most prominent and outspoken views on homosexuality is seen in Christianity,” while Islam offers “a great deal of variety.”

Six runners and one race official suffered heart attacks during yesterday’s Beijing Marathon.


Top News – 9/22/2015

‘Most expensive regulation in history’
The Obama administration is just weeks away from imposing a new ozone particulate standard that manufacturers say will cripple jobs and productivity in the U.S. and leave some firms and industries clinging to life.

Is Turkey Secretly Working on Nuclear Weapons?
Some months ago it became known that the German Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst – BND) was spying on Turkey. Turkey’s political leadership was none too happy. Yet the BND has good reasons to keep a watchful eye on Ankara. It is not only the crises in Iraq and Syria, drug-smuggling, people-trafficking and the activities of the PKK that make Turkey a legitimate target for German intelligence. For quite some time, evidence is mounting that Ankara is trying to acquire nuclear weapons.

France ready to bomb Syria ‘in self-defense’ – foreign minister
On Monday, French President Francois Hollande said French military sorties in Syria would soon expand to include airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

U.N. picks four Europeans to lead groups in Syria talks
Ban Ki-moon has appointed the heads of four working groups on Syria, the United Nations said on Tuesday, signaling a step toward talks where warring parties are expected to discuss how to implement a roadmap for peace.

Ben Carson: I Wouldn’t Support a Muslim President
Responding to a question on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Carson said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” He added said that Islam, as a religion, is incompatible with the Constitution.

Vatican to Raise Flag at UN ‘Without Fanfare’
The Vatican flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations on Friday ahead of Pope Francis’ address, but there will be no ceremony, the Holy See’s mission said Monday, according to AFP.

Where is Putin leading the Middle East?
Beyond his clear goal of saving Syria’s Assad, the Russian president is keeping his cards close to his chest. His meeting with Netanyahu will be closely followed by Washington too, and may affect the way the Israeli prime minister is received in the White House – as an ally or as a client.

Putin to Netanyahu: Russia’s Actions in Mideast Will Always Be Responsible
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow earlier today to address the changing security situation near Israel’s northern border, with respect to the recent arrival of Russian forces arriving in Syria. “Israel and Russia share a common interest to ensure stability in the Middle East.

Israel Moves to High Alert for Yom Kippur
Thousands of security personnel and police forces have moved to high alert in advance of the start tonight of the most solemn holy day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. As happens every year and for every major Jewish holiday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has ordered the complete closure of crossings with Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Commercialization Of Legal Pot Has Led To ‘Epidemic’ For Colorado Kids
The results of a new study about the impact of Colorado’s marijuana legalization is raising troubling questions for parents. The study cites a significant increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, hospital visits and school suspensions. The parents…say they’re concerned about their children seeing messages promoting pot all over town. Activists say it’s the way pot is marketed and sold that has started to create some serious problems.

The left has its pope
Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States. Pope Francis is part of a larger trend of the rise of the political left among Catholic intellectuals. He is, in a sense, the culmination of that trend.

Parents of ‘Baby Doe’ arraigned, say daughter was possessed by demons
On Monday arraignment will begin for the parents of the young girl who was found dead in a trash bag along a harbor in Boston in June. The girl’s mother and her boyfriend will be arraigned on murder and accessory charges after the case of “Baby Doe” was solved. She was identified as 2-year-old Bella Bond late last week, following a tip to law enforcement. Her identity had been a mystery for months.

Russia starts Syria drone surveillance missions: U.S. officials
Russia has started flying drone aircraft on surveillance missions in Syria, U.S. officials said on Monday… The beginning of Russian drone flights underscored the risks of U.S.-led coalition planes and Russian aircraft operating within Syria’s limited airspace, without agreeing on coordination or objectives in Syria’s civil war.

US pharmaceutical company defends 5,000% price increase
The head of a US pharmaceutical company has defended his company’s decision to raise the price of a 62-year-old medication used by Aids patients by over 5,000%. …After Turing’s acquisition, a dose of Daraprim in the US increased from $13.50 (£8.70) to $750. The pill costs about $1 to produce, but Mr Shkreli…said that does not include other costs like marketing and distribution.

Presidents agree to reopen Colombia-Venezuela border
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, have agreed to gradually reopen their common border. Venezuela closed the border a month ago and launched a major anti-smuggling operation. Mr Maduro says smuggling has led to shortages in parts of Venezuela.

Egypt ‘demolishes thousands of homes’ for Sinai buffer zone
Egypt has demolished more than 3,255 homes and other buildings in the Sinai peninsula in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch says. Troops began razing homes along the Gaza border in 2013 to create a “buffer zone” and eliminate smuggling tunnels, after a surge in attacks by militants. But those evicted are given little or no warning, no temporary housing and inadequate compensation, HRW alleges.

Rouhani suggests Iran’s military is best defense against ISIS
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic’s military is the biggest force combating terrorism in the Middle East. The Iranian president stated that Tehran was prepared to assist others in the region as it has aided Syria and Iraq, in reference to the battle against the Sunni Islamic State terror group.

Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel
If you were trying to put together a global all-star team of the most authoritarian, human rights abusing nations on earth, not only would Saudi Arabia be at the top of the list, it would be captain of the squad.

Boy withdraws from school that suspended him over clock
The family of a 14-year-old Muslim student who got in trouble over a homemade clock mistaken for a possible bomb withdrew the boy Monday from his suburban Dallas high school.

Why Syrian refugees don’t flee to Islamic State caliphate
People around the world have reacted differently to images of refugees desperately trying to reach Europe from Syria’s four-year civil war. Yet one group, Islamic State (IS), may be the most unsettled. Since last year, the jihadi group has tried to set up an idealized Islamic society, or caliphate, and attract Sunni Muslims with its anti-Western message. Instead, hundreds of thousands of Syrian Muslims are now choosing to flee to Western countries.

Israel, Russia to coordinate military action on Syria: Netanyahu
Israel and Russia agreed on Monday to coordinate military actions over Syria in order to avoid accidentally trading fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Moscow.

Israeli archaeologists say they may have found fabled tomb of biblical Maccabees
Israeli archaeologists may be one step closer to solving a riddle that has vexed explorers for more than a century: the location of the fabled tomb of the biblical Maccabees.


Top Headlines – 9/22/2015

UN observes International Day of Peace with call for global ceasefire

Fury after Saudi Arabia ‘chosen to head key UN human rights panel’

Poll: Majority of Palestinians want Abbas to resign, no longer support two-state solution

Premature detonation of grenade kills Palestinian in attempted attack on Israeli soldiers

Palestinian woman shot after attempted stabbing of IDF soldiers in Hebron

Report: Israel tells Jordan that it’s breaching Temple Mount status quo

Erdogan: Israel Defending Temple Mount ‘A Red Line’

Tight security and high tensions in Jerusalem ahead of Yom Kippur

Israelis brace for hot Yom Kippur

Israeli archaeologists may have found fabled Maccabees tomb

Egypt ‘demolishes thousands of homes’ for Sinai buffer zone

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

Putin indicates to Netanyahu that Syria in no position to open front against Israel

‘Israel, Russia to coordinate in air, sea, and electromagnetic arena’

US officials: Russia starts drone surveillance missions in Syria

Russia deploys 28 combat planes in Syria: US officials

Russia urges ‘action’ after shell hits Damascus embassy compound

Rebels see tougher war with Russians in Syria, evoke Afghanistan

Syrian army bolstering Iranian terrorism, Netanyahu tells Putin

Iran says will work with Russia to help end Syria crisis

Rouhani suggests Iran’s military is best defense against ISIS

Syrian war spurs first withdrawal from doomsday Arctic seed vault

Baghdad car bomb kills at least 12 – police and medics

Islamic State report: How fear keeps disillusioned defectors in check

Study: Brutality, corruption lead to defections from Islamic State

Balkans backup: Refugees stranded in southeastern Europe as EU doors close

ISIS Using Churches as Torture Chambers, Forcing Christians to Convert or Be Killed

China calls for border stability in Myanmar ahead of elections

Colombian, Venezuelan leaders meet to try to ease tensions over border conflict

Asia Currencies Slide After Fed Officials Signal Rate Increase Possible in 2015

FBI refuses to cooperate in Hillary Clinton email server probe

Hackers Launch Balloon Probe Into the Stratosphere to Spy on Drones

This Week’s Night Sky: A Lunar Eclipse and Mars Meets a Lion

Aftershock quake of 6.5 magnitude shakes Chile, no damage reported

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Lakatoro, Vanuatu

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Bereeda, Somalia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Macquarie Island

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

Earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Bagana volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Advocacy Group: Commercialization Of Legal Pot Has Led To ‘Epidemic’ For Colorado Kids

Franklin Graham: ‘Blood of Children’ Will Be on Obama’s Hands If He Vetoes Defund Planned Parenthood Bill

The Canaanites, Child Sacrifice and Abortion

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Tells ABC News She’s Been Called ‘Hitler’ and ‘Homophobe’

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Is Meddling and Altering Marriage Licenses, ACLU Says

Gay couples want Kentucky clerk to reissue marriage licenses

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

Vatican outraged by Obama’s invite of LGBT activists to pope’s White House ceremony: report

In Francis, Obama Finds an Ally to Amplify His Agenda to Public

‘She was a demon’: Suspect in ‘Baby Doe’ murder obsessed with occult, prosecutors say

Gangs of thieves spark panic on famous Brazil beaches

Bill Randles – not with a bang, but a whimper…The Islamic Refugee Trojan Horse

Statue of Billy Graham will likely replace a white supremacist’s statue in the U.S. Capitol
Trading one idol for another

Why Angry Christians in Israel Are Crying Discrimination


Frontrunning: September 22

  • Pressure builds on Volkswagen CEO as emissions-cheating probe spreads (Read More)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Relates to 11 Million Cars (Read More)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Investigations Should Widen to Entire Auto Industry, Officials Say (Read More)
  • Germany’s Bosch makes VW’s U.S. diesel components (Read More)
  • Volkswagen scandal will have personnel consequences – state economy minister (Read More)
  • Glencore Falls to Record as Mining Shares Lead Stock Losses (Read More)
  • Despite Slump, China’s Xi Jinping Pledges Economic Reforms (Read More)
  • Hacking Allegations Threaten to Overshadow Xi-Obama Summit (Read More)
  • Five Things on the Agenda When China’s Xi Goes to Washington (Read More)
  • China SOE default warning highlights urgency of reform (Read More)
  • Jeb Bush to Propose Rollback of Regulations (Read More)
  • Islamic State Threatens Cyber-Attack Against U.K., SITE Says (Read More)
  • Facebook’s Restrictions on User Data Cast a Long Shadow (Read More)
  • American Muslims fear a new wave of Islamophobia (Read More)
  • Asian Currencies Slide After Fed Officials Signal Rate Increase Possible in 2015 (Read More)
  • ‘Putin’s banker’ Pugachev files 7.7 billion pounds claim against Russia (Read More)
  • India turns to Israel for armed drones as Pakistan, China build fleets (Read More)
  • Former peanut company CEO sentenced to 28 years for salmonella outbreak (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Pope’s caution in Cuba exposes tension between roles as religious leader and head of state

Pope Takes Cautious Stance in Cuba on Dissidents, Wall Street Journal (Francis X. Rocca)

2) Pope sets pattern of liberalizing Catholicism’s effect without formally adjusting teaching

How the Pope Might Renew the Church, New York Times (Francis Quinn)

The Pope’s Marriage Endgame, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

3) Tennnessean schools instruct students on Islam, separating religious facts from beliefs

Islam in schools: What parents should know, USA Today (Melanie Balakit and Jason Gonzales)

In other news…

Scott Walker suspending presidential campaign, Washington Post (Jenna Johnson, Dan Balz, and Robert Costa)

Ex-Ordain Women leader Kate Kelly joins Planned Parenthood of Utah, Salt Lake Tribune (Annie Knox and Rachel Piper)

 


September 21, 2015
Diluting Judge Jeanine’s feisty punch
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — Eight years ago in this space, we raised the question as to whether the Rupert Murdoch media empire could possibly switch its ideological moorings from conservative to liberal… (more)

September 21, 2015
Electoral College as ‘search committee’ for president
ALAN KEYES — The present so-called two-party system in the United States is a factious overlay intended to keep the U.S. Constitution’s actual provisions for our national elections from functioning as intended. The wise arrangements of America’s founders have literally been turned upside down… (more)

September 21, 2015
ROBERT KNIGHT — If you think that the politicians who now run our government are bad, how about a system with leaders chosen by people too lazy even to register to vote?… (more)

September 21, 2015
SYLVIA THOMPSON — I recently read an interesting article in WND Magazine by Kent G. Bailey, Ph.D., titled “Donald Trump: Warrior Male Extraordinaire.” Bailey’s article addresses the feminization of the culture and how Trump defies that negative trend. I agree fully with his assessment that the Trump phenomenon is a good thing…. (more)

September 21, 2015
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama has agreed to endorse a presidential campaign by Vice President Joe Biden if he is allowed to pick Biden’s running mate, author and journalist Ed Klein reports…. (more)

September 21, 2015
AARON KLEIN — President Obama’s faith is taking center stage again after ABS’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos grilled Donald Trump over the presidential candidate’s lack of response to a question he received during a campaign event last week where a man claimed Obama was a Muslim…. (more)

September 21, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Angry over President Obama’s abandonment of Israel in the Iranian nuclear deal, several commentators are now proposing that Israel work with Russia in the Middle East for their mutual interests and concerns. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is too knowledgeable about the roots of international terrorism to fall into such a trap… (more)

September 21, 2015
F. MICHAEL MALOOF — With world attention removed from the rise of ISIS in Afghanistan, there is mounting concern that its capital, Kabul, will fall after U.S. troops leave at the end of 2016, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin…. (more)

September 21, 2015

NEWSMAX — Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false, and deeply reactionary…. (more)


September 20, 2015
GREG COROMBOS — The House of Representatives passed two pro-life bills on Friday, one to freeze funding for Planned Parenthood pending a thorough investigation and the other to uphold the rights of babies who survive attempted abortions…. (more)

September 20, 2015

ROLL CALL — Talk of deposing John A. Boehner has reached such a crescendo that one frustrated House Republican stood up in a closed-door meeting Wednesday night and said she was tired of would-be leadership candidates contacting her about supporting them…. (more)


September 20, 2015
NEW YORK TIMES — Hillary Rodham Clinton turned to New Hampshire Democratic officials and county leaders on Saturday for help in fighting the surging campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who holds a steady lead over her in state opinion polls in the 2016 presidential primary race…. (more)

September 20, 2015

WASHINGTON TIMES — Late-night talk show host Bill Maher blasted liberals’ reaction this week to reports of a Texas Muslim teen who was arrested for bringing a clock that looked like a bomb to school, saying Ahmed Mohamed deserved an apology, but there’s nothing wrong with teachers being cautious…. (more)


September 20, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — ‘Why on earth would Republicans do that?” That is a question I’ve been asked at least a dozen times since illustrating that the GOP has played a cynical game in connection with President Obama’s Iran deal. “Follow the money” is a common answer to questions about political motivation. It may not explain everything in this case, but it is certainly relevant…. (more)

September 20, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal appeals court has struck down as unconstitutional several of the District’s handgun registration laws, including requirements that gun owners reregister firearms every three years and a prohibition on registering more than one pistol per month…. (more)

September 20, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Common Core, the federal education-standards initiative, can’t stay out of the headlines. Black leaders have called it racist, and it’s been slammed by politicians such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal…. (more)

September 19, 2015

CLIFF KINCAID — An ordinary citizen who identified President Barack Obama as a Muslim at a Donald Trump town hall meeting in New Hampshire showed that media brainwashing on the subject has been futile. The people understand that Obama asserts he is a Christian, but they just aren’t buying it. Obama has done too many things to benefit Muslims to convince people that he is not one of them…. (more)


September 19, 2015

WASHINGTON POST — President Obama, in a historic first for the Pentagon, has chosen to nominate Eric Fanning to lead the Army, a move that would make him the first openly gay civilian secretary of one of the military services…. (more)


September 19, 2015
BOB UNRUH — The Obama administration’s plan to put women in combat positions is meeting resistance, with a member of Congress calling on the Navy secretary to resign over the issue and an independent watchdog arguing the defense of the nation should be the priority, not a social agenda…. (more)

September 19, 2015
NEWSMAX — House Republicans Friday slammed Planned Parenthood after voting to immediately strip it of federal funding in light of undercover videos showing top medical officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts…. (more)

September 19, 2015
NEWSMAX — Anti-Islamist activist Pamela Geller says the fury over the arrest of a Muslim student, whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, flies in the face of America’s terror-fighting credo, “If You See Something, Say Something.”… (more)

September 19, 2015
NEWSMAX — Cody Full, a former roommate and platoon member who was serving with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl when he disappeared in Afghanistan, said Friday that he wishes the soldier would take the stand and “tell the truth” about why he had left his unit…. (more)

September 19, 2015
BILL FEDERER — “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolken describes man’s insatiable lust for “the Ring of Power”: “Always remember Frodo, the Ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found.” Power wants to concentrate…. (more)

September 19, 2015
GARTH KANT — The Empire strikes back? First, the Republican Party made Donald Trump sign an oath of loyalty by pledging to support its eventual presidential nominee and not run as a third-party candidate…. (more)

September 18, 2015

BOB UNRUH — Republican members of Congress have overcome attempts by abortionists to keep secret the statements they made to undercover investigators looking into Planned Parenthood’s body-parts business…. (more)

 Sen. Cruz: Planned Parenthood a ‘criminal enterprise” (WND)


Daily Digest

September 22, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1801

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Exit Scott Walker

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Once the frontrunner of the GOP presidential race, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has called it quits. When he launched his campaign, Walker’s conservative record in Wisconsin and his tough-as-nails approach to leftist opposition had many conservatives excited about his candidacy. But it wasn’t to be. Good governance didn’t translate into good preparation for the national stage or a good campaign. Numerous self-inflicted wounds — including obviously pandering flip-flops on immigration and the ethanol mandate, as well as lackluster debate performances — and the entry of a certain celebrity apprentice sapped Walker’s lead. In fact, polling after last week’s Reagan Library debate had Walker’s support not even registering on the scale. He thus concluded he no longer had a path to the nomination. He wasn’t going to win back conservatives disillusioned with the establishment, and he wasn’t going to assure the establishment it could settle on him. Donors were heading for other candidates. Coming on the heels of Rick Perry’s departure last week, we find it notable that the first two candidates to exit the field are two governors with established records of reform. Isn’t that what the GOP base is supposed to want this year? Nevertheless, Badger State residents will benefit from his full and unencumbered return to the governor’s chair, and that’s no small thing.

On a final note, Walker encouraged other low-polling candidates to drop out so conservatives could coalesce and beat Trump. “I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider [leaving the race] so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and — ultimately — to the future of our country.”

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Obama Uses Pope for Political Point

In a rare instance when someone comes to the U.S. from Cuba not floating on a homemade raft, Pope Francis will arrive at John Base Andrews at 4 p.m. today for his six-day visit to the United States. In his first visit to the U.S., Francis will address the UN, visit a correctional facility in Philadelphia and meet with Barack Obama. Francis is controversial, not necessarily because of his doctrine — which does raise questions — but because of how the media, which does a dismal job covering religion, has portrayed him. For example: In July 2013, the media breathlessly reported that Francis, when asked about homosexuality, responded, “Who am I to judge?” But the larger context was that Francis started his statement saying, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and he has good will…” See, morality and faith are still in play, and the pope opposes same-sex marriage. Still, many people reject the nuance of Francis’ statements, one of them being Obama. When the executive greets the pope, by his side will be LGBT advocates, openly homosexual Episcopal priest Vicky Imogene Robinson and a group of nuns that helped lobby for ObamaCare. While the pope speaks of liberation theology, a similar philosophy embraced by Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright, the Holy See objected to these guests, saying images from the event could imply that the pope endorses those practices. But everything is political for Obama. Nuance or no, he will use Francis’ visit as a way to further his ideology.

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Climate Alarmists Want Dissenters Imprisoned

On Sept. 1, twenty professors and climate scientists wrote a letter to Barack Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and science czar John Holdren praising their regulatory assault on fossil fuels. That wasn’t the point of the letter, however. The disgruntled authors encouraged a more crushing strategy the White House should use to speed up compliance to Obama’s climate change agenda. The group stated, “We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress.” But… “One additional tool — recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse — is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.” In other words, why not just prosecute and imprison those darn skeptics getting in the way?

Specifically, the authors cite RICO’s success in taking on the tobacco industry, adding, “[I]t is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done.” As climate blogger Steve Goddard retorted, “They might want to consult with the Pope about this. The Vatican has considerable experience arresting heretics.” Investor’s Business Daily’s Kerry Jackson put it best: “[W]e could be wrong about global warming. It might all be as the alarmists claim. We acknowledge this. Science is not static but always moving. Let’s see what it tells us. Yet has any true believer ever renounced his global warming faith or conceded that there is even the slightest chance that he might be just a bit wrong?” Who exactly are acting like cultish fanatics?

Oh, and by the way, George Mason University Professor Jagadish Shukla, a leader of the letter writers, reportedly profited from government climate grants to the tune of $1.5 million.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Trump, Carson and the Islamic Controversy

By Paul Albaugh

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Obama loves feeding perceptions

Over the last several days, the Leftmedia have worked themselves into a tizzy over two particular presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, following comments that were made — and not made — about Muslims. It’s one of those “gotcha” moments when a candidate must choose between speaking what he believes, dodging the question or simply not saying anything. Regardless of how the candidate answers, they will catch heat for it, primarily because they are Republicans.

During a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, a questioner accused Barack Obama of being a Muslim, of not being American and stated, “We have [Muslim] training camps growing where they want to kill us, that’s my question. When can we get rid of them?”

Trump didn’t respond the way many in the Leftmedia thought that he should have. He didn’t rebut the questioner’s accusations about Obama’s religion or citizenship. (After all, Trump himself once questioned Obama’s citizenship.) Instead, Trump answered the question vaguely, stating, “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things, and a lot of people are saying that and saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

To be sure, Trump could have answered the question better, and he could have taken the bait to address the man’s accusations. But he didn’t — or rather, deliberately chose to ignore the accusations from the man because he foresaw the media onslaught that would surely follow. In his own words, Trump told ABC News, “If I would have challenged the man … to put it mildly the media would have accused me of interfering with that man’s right of free speech. … A no win situation, do we agree?”

Perhaps Trump could have responded to the man’s accusation by recalling Hillary Clinton’s own veiled Obama-is-a-Muslim claim in 2008, or reminding voters of Obama’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in which Obama mentions “my Muslim faith.” But Trump didn’t address it, and the media are having a field day.

None of this is to say that Obama is a Muslim. But his claim that he is a Christian is just as far fetched. Obama spent 20 years attending the “church” of the Marxist black liberation theology-spouting Jeremiah Wright. It’s far more likely, based on his actions, rhetoric and narcissism, that he worships himself, and will say or do whatever is politically expedient.

As columnist David Limbaugh writes, “It’s true we can’t know for sure what’s in a person’s heart, but we can observe his statements and behavior. … This is not a man with a track record of authenticity.”

“You will recognize them by their fruits,” Jesus said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ben Carson stirred up controversy following an interview because of what he did say.

Keeping this question in context with Trump not correcting a questioner, when asked if a president’s faith should matter, Carson responded, “It depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter.” He added that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

He answered the question, but it clearly wasn’t what “tolerant” leftists wanted to hear. The Leftmedia have tried for more than a decade to convince Americans that Islam is the Religion of Peace™, so how could Carson say such a thing? Is he an Islamophobe? No, he just happens to understand that Sharia law, which is part of Islam, is inconsistent with the values and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy offers an outstanding explanation:

“Islam’s sharia is a code premised on the principles that Allah has prescribed the ideal way for human life to be lived; that people are required to submit to that prescription; and that Islamic governments exist to enforce that requirement. Our Constitution, to the contrary, is premised on the principles that we are free to choose how we will live; the laws we make are not required to comply with the principles of any religion; and that government is our servant, not our master.”

McCarthy further notes that Islam should be understood by public figures as both a religion and an all-encompassing political-social ideology. And that’s the very reason why Carson answered the question the way he did. Sharia law is the antithesis of the Constitution. It’s also why when Carson was asked if he would consider voting for a Muslim for Congress he replied that it would “depend on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.”

For Carson, if a practicing Muslim’s political ideology reflects that of the Constitution, rather than Sharia law, then that person is eligible for office. If not, then there is no place in American politics for them.

Of course, there is no Muslim running for president. But Americans should welcome this debate as we consider what it takes to sit in the executive seat of constitutional government. Remember what that is?

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Thomas Sowell: “Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things — none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society. … In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets, and other amenities. A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left. Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is a merge of state and corporate power.” —Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)

For the record: “The pope’s alliance with radical environmentalists is unsettling, to say the least. The green movement has a satanic track record when it comes to promoting human life and dignity. These are the people whose radical ‘Earth first’ theology gave us the barbaric one-child policy in China and such population-control measures as forced abortions and mass sterilizations in India and Africa. It would be helpful for the pope to distance Christians from pagan values. God gave man dominion over this planet, and the pope is right to caution that we have a moral obligation to be good custodians for future generations. But the primacy of every single human life must come before saving polar bears and trees. Free-market capitalism promotes environmental improvement.” —Stephen Moore

Upright: “Half of U.S. Muslims believe that Sharia law trumps the Constitution, and they would prefer to be governed by Sharia law. That is inconsistent with the Constitution. I wish Dr. [Ben] Carson had told host Chuck Todd, ‘Instead of trying to create a controversy with that question, what you should be asking is whether it is conceivable that any Muslim nation would elect a Christian as president.’ If the liberal media is looking for intolerance, it should look at the Muslim world. Six of the top 10 worst violators of human rights are Islamic nations.” —Gary Bauer

Confessions: “Democrats are ready to sit down and negotiate with Republicans right now. But it should be over legitimate issues like how much do we invest in education, job training, and infrastructure — not unrelated ideological issues like Planned Parenthood.” —Barack Obama, seemingly admitting that funding PP is entirely ideological

Pro-abortion, not pro-choice: “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. I think that, again, this gets back to whether you respect a woman’s right to choose or not.” —Hillary Clinton, who declined to cite any abortion restrictions she might support

Forward! “I’m not going to let [Republicans] tear up [ObamaCare] kick 16 million people off their health coverage and force the country to start the health care debate all over again. Not on my watch. I want to build on the progress we’ve made.” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “New city population rankings puts Houston above Chicago. Chicago angrily disputes the rankings, pointing out the survey only counts those who are living.” —Fred Thompson

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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The September 28 Blood Supermoon, The Ring Of Fire And The Coming Great Japan Earthquake

Blood Moon - Public DomainOn September 28th, we will witness the last of the four blood moons that fall on Biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015.  This blood moon will be a “supermoon” and it will be clearly visible from the city of Jerusalem.  According to Google, a supermoon is “the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth.”  In recent years, there have been some that have suggested that there is a link between supermoons and increased seismic activity on our planet.  But others have written articles that claim to debunk this theory.  Personally, I have read what both sides of the argument have to say, and I do not know which side of the argument is correct.  But what I do know is that seismic activity along the Ring of Fire has picked up dramatically in recent years.   (Read More…)


There Are Indications That A Major Financial Event In Germany Could Be Imminent

Germany Euro Map - Public Domain
Is something about to happen in Germany that will shake the entire world?  According to disturbing new intel that I have received, a major financial event in Germany could be imminent.  Now when I say imminent, I do not mean to suggest that it will happen tomorrow.  But I do believe that we have entered a season of time when another “Lehman Brothers moment” may occur.  Most observers tend to regard Germany as the strong hub that is holding the rest of Europe together economically, but the truth is that serious trouble is brewing under the surface.  As I write this, the German DAX stock index is down close to 20 percent from the all-time high that was set back in April, and there are lots of signs of turmoil at Germany’s largest bank.  There are very few banks in the world that are more prestigious or more influential than Deutsche Bank, and it has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons recently. (Read More….)


How conservative is Carly Fiorina?

Since the last debate, Carly Fiorina has been the flavor du jour among Republicans who have concluded that the zeitgeist demands an outsider and who are beside themselves at the possibility that the outsider might be Donald Trump. RedState is in a unique position to discuss this because in 2010 we supported Chuck Devore in the Republican primary against Carly Fiorina.

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Sex Reassignment Is Latest Company Benefit in Equality Push

Bloomberg has this report:

U.S. companies are swiftly adding health insurance benefits for employees who want to transition to another gender, a fairly inexpensive way to show they’re serious about a diverse workforce because so few people actually use them.

More than 415 of about 780 firms surveyed for their friendliness toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers now cover related procedures, including hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgeries, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That’s more than double the number in 2012, and up from just 49 in 2009.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-21/sex-reassignment-is-latest-company-benefit-in-push-for-equality


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

Christian News Network reports:

In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, 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,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

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


The McAvany Intel Memo

Advocates for Net Neutrality say that the government won’t increase its control of the Internet, it will just regulate the companies that control the Internet and give everyone equal access to it. However, the simple move to put the Internet under Title II control will instantly give oppressive governments around the world the freedom to increase their control of content in their countries. This move, which is definitely about controlling content, is an instant enemy of freedom.

FCC Commissioner Pai said, “On the international stage, a lot of foreign governments, especially oppressive governments, would love nothing more than to have more direct control over both the infrastructure of the Internet and the content that rides over those networks – as well as to monitor the communications of dissidents.” The FCC’s new regulations will make it impossible for the US to be the bastion of freedom it has been on the Internet. And once it makes that compromise, nothing will hold our government back (under Obama and the political left) from controlling content. Indeed, as we shall see below, the censorship of the Internet in the US is already beginning.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, April 2015


As Russia Takes Syria, Israel Is Forced To Form Shaky Alliance With Putin

Israel and Russia agreed on Monday to coordinate military actions over Syria in order to avoid accidentally trading fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Moscow.

“And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:” Ezekiel 39:2 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wow, here it comes, get ready. In the Bible, the prophet Ezekiel mentions two upcoming wars that will be fought by Russia against the nation of Israel specifically. One is the Battle of Armageddon fought at the end of the Tribulation, and the other the Battle of Gog and Magog at the end of the 1,000 Year Reign of Jesus Christ. So for Israel, right now in 2015, to be forced to form an alliance with Russia who is allies with Iran is actually unbelievable from  a prophecy perspective. These are truly the days of prophecy.

Recent Russian reinforcements for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which regional sources say include warplanes and anti-aircraft systems, worry Israel, whose jets have on occasion bombed the neighboring Arab country to foil suspected handovers of advanced arms to Assad’s Lebanese guerrilla ally Hezbollah.

russia-putin-netanyahu-israel-form-alliance-over-syria

Briefing Israeli reporters after he met Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu said he had come with the goal of “preventing misunderstandings between IDF (Israel Defense Force) units and Russian forces” in Syria, where Assad is fighting Islamist-dominated insurgents in a civil war.

Netanyahu added that he and Putin “agreed on a mechanism to prevent such misunderstandings”. He did not elaborate. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin.

In earlier remarks as he welcomed Netanyahu to the presidential residence of Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, Putin said Russian actions in the Middle East would always be “responsible”. Underlining the importance of Netanyahu’s one-day visit to Moscow, Israel’s premier took along the chief of its armed forces and the general in charge of Israeli military intelligence.

Putin, who shares Western concern about the spread of Islamic State influence, has pledged to continue military support for Assad, assistance that Russia says is in line with international law. Russia has been focusing forces on Syria’s coast, where Moscow keeps a big Mediterranean naval base.

The United States, which along with its allies has been flying missions against Islamic State insurgents in Syria, has also been holding so-called “deconfliction” talks with Russia.

KEEPING U.S. INFORMED

Netanyahu told Israeli reporters that he had informed the Americans “on each and every detail” of his Moscow visit, adding: “Everyone has an interest in avoiding an unnecessary clash” over Syria.

A U.S. official told Reuters that U.S.-Israeli coordination allowed the allies to share classified technologies for identifying Russian aircraft over Syria: “We know how to spot them clearly and quickly,” the official said.

Separately, U.S. officials said Russia had started flying surveillance missions with drone aircraft in Syria in what appeared to be Moscow’s first air operations there since beginning its build-up. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, could not say how many aircraft were involved.

A former Netanyahu adviser said Israel was concerned that Russia’s help for Assad in battling an insurgency now in its fifth year could create a de facto axis between Moscow, Iran and Hezbollah.

Iran, Israel’s arch-foe, is Assad’s other foreign backer and patron of Hezbollah, which fought Israel to a standstill in the 2006 Lebanon war. Israel worries that top-of-the-line Russian military hardware being deployed in Syria could end up in Hezbollah’s arsenal.

“Our policy is to do everything to stop weapons from being sent to Hezbollah,” Netanyahu told Putin at their photo-op. He also set out Israel’s policy of striking at guerrillas suspected of preparing to attack it from the Syrian Golan, on the northern frontier – an apparent signal to Russia to steer clear there.

The former Netanyahu adviser, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the issue, said any understandings reached with Putin “could come down to Israel and Russia agreeing to limit themselves to defined areas of operation in Syria, or even that they fly at daytime and we fly at night”. source


Endless Waves Of Muslim Migrants Are Breaking Down The Doors Of Europe

The Hungarian Prime Minister said that millions of refugees are now ‘breaking down the doors’ of Europe

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jihad has been proclaimed on Europe and from the looks of things, the Muslims are winning handily . Day after day they arrive, endless waves of hostile, angry, Muslims pretending to be “refugees” from Syria. In fact, only 20 % of all Muslim migrants are actually people fleeing the fighting in Syria. 80% of them are Muslim jihadis. Europe cannot win and will not win because they do not possess the collective will to identify and label Islam for the evil that it truly is. Pay attention, America, we are up next. Obama is stocking all of the contiguous 48 states with hordes of Muslim jihadis who will attack when the signal is given. 

Thousands of Muslim migrants continued to arrive in the Balkans today, despite the Hungarian government posting adverts in Lebanese and Jordanian newspapers warning them that entering the country illegally is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

muslim-migrants-overwhelm-europe-isis-in-disguise-islam-hijrah-biological-jihad

Speaking shortly before the Hungarian parliament voted to give the army additional powers to deal with the migrant crisis, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said ‘They are over-running us…They’re not just banging on the door, they’re breaking the doors down on top of us,’ he said.

In a full-page advertisement in several newspapers, including Lebanon’s leading An-Nahar and Jordan’s Al-Rai, the government said ‘the strongest possible action is taken’ against people who attempt to enter Hungary illegally.

This afternoon Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban followed up the adverts with incendiary language, insisting that Europe’s borders are threatened by the refugees, who he claimed were ‘breaking down the doors’. He subsequently granted the Hungarian army additional powers to deal with the crisis.

The news comes as the German interior minister proposed plans the European Union to take in a fixed number of refugees directly from crisis-hit areas, in the hope of calming the crisis-hit Balkans states and limiting the number of refugees risking their lives at sea to reach Europe.

Hungary trying desperately to contain the Muslim migrants: graphic video warning

Thomas de Maiziere said his ‘personal initiative’ would see ‘generous’ EU quotas to bring in refugees from crisis-hit regions and spread them around the continent. If the quotas are exceeded, his plan is still to rescue those in need, but to take them to ‘safe regions’ outside Europe.

But still they keep coming. For many fleeing violence and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, Hungary is the easiest-to-reach member of the Schengen Zone – the 26 European countries that have abolished passport and border controls at their common borders – effectively allowing refugees to travel on to more desirable Western European countries, such as Germany and Sweden.

Speaking shortly before the Hungarian parliament voted to give the army additional powers to deal with the migrant crisis, Prime Minister Viktor Orban used incendiary language to talk up the threat posed to Europe by the refugees. source


Is The LGBT About To Add Pedophilia As Another Protected Sexual Orientation?

Nickerson claims pedophilia is a ‘sexual orientation’ in an op-ed for Salon.com

“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:2 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The other day we published an article on the new LGBT-themed Doritos Rainbows tortilla chips which garnered a lot of attention from the LGBT community. I debated with one gay man on the idea that the LGBT was about to add pedophilia to their umbrella of protected sexual deviations. He laughed, mocked and castigated me for even suggesting such a thing could ever happen. Yet, as you will read today, it’s obviously beginning to come together. Pedophilia is no more a sexual ‘orientation’ that being gay or lesbian, the Bible says it’s a sin. Will the LGBT soon be adding a “P” to their umbrella? Sadly, yes, they absolutely will.

A liberal news website has published an essay by a self-described pedophile asking Americans to ‘learn to accept’ people like him and attempting to raise awareness about their ‘sexual orientation’. The controversial op-ed was written by Tennessee-based graphic designer Todd Nickerson and appeared on Salon.com on Monday. In it Nickerson explains how being being a pedophile is a ‘curse of the first order’.

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I’ve been stuck with the most unfortunate of sexual orientations, a preference for a group of people who are legally, morally and psychologically unable to reciprocate my feelings and desires,’ Nickerson wrote.

Nickerson continued: ‘To confess a sexual attraction to children is to lay claim to the most reviled status on the planet, one that effectively ends any chance you have of living a normal life.’

The point of the essay is to try and debunk the concept that all pedophile’s are predators.

Nickerson maintains he has never given into his urges and assaulted a child or used child pornography. ‘Yet, I’m not the monster you think me to be,’ he wrote. ‘I’ve never touched a child sexually in my life and never will, nor do I use child pornography.’

In trying to make a case that pedophilia is a sexual orientation, Nickerson explains how he became introverted as a child after being born without his right arm. A ‘bladder problem’ throughout elementary school also forced him to retreat inside himself.

A pinnacle moment was being sexually assaulted by an older male gentleman when he was seven-years-old.

Nickerson said it was around 12 that he realized he was attracted to young people. ‘As I turned 13 it occurred to me that what I initially took as a phase had begun to solidify into something more troubling,’ he wrote.

Nickerson questions theories of whether pedophilia is linked to abuse or whether it might be genetic, and says he believes its likely a combination of both, with other factors also involved.

‘I think it’s safe to say that many pedophiles have deep-seated feelings of inferiority in one way or another, or at least we did when our sexuality was forming, and this becomes a downward spiral during puberty and beyond,’ Nickerson wrote.

It was during this time Nickerson found ‘an unhealthy pedophile forum’ online, where members believed in having sex with children and advocated the elimination of age of consent laws.

Nickerson joined and even outed himself as a pedophile, saying he ‘wanted desperately to be friends with people who shared my sexual orientation, even if they held crazy beliefs, but I could never quite reconcile with their viewpoint’.

‘No matter what, some small part of me still holds out hope that things will go back to normal, or as close to normal as a celibate pedophile with little prospect of a future can get.  ‘Besides, like I said earlier, I just couldn’t allow myself to foist this abomination onto another human being.’

Nickerson finished the op-ed with praise for the website Virtuous Pedophiles, which she describes as the opposite of the forum he first joined. Nickerson works as a moderate for the site and said it has been a ‘life-saver’ for him.

I have other pedophiles in my life that I’m actually proud to call friends, people I would trust my children with if I had any, knowing they’d be safe there,’ Nickerson wrote. ‘So, please, be understanding and supportive. ‘It’s really all we ask of you.

‘Treat us like people with a massive handicap we must overcome, not as a monster. If we are going to make it in the world without offending, we need your help.’ source


Florida City Opts to End Prayer at Council Meetings Over Threat of Suit From Satanist

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 06:29 AM PDT

Another one bites the dust as , Officials in a Florida city have opted to end the presentation of prayers at city council meetings altogether rather than face a possible lawsuit from a Satanist who is seeking to lead an invocation. Activist Chaz Stevens had submitted a request to city leaders in Coral Springs and other Florida cities to lead a Satanic invocation during the city council meeting. Stevens, known for erecting a Festivus Pole made of beer cans at the Florida Capitol Rotunda, submitted the requests to make a point: If you allow representatives of one religion to pray, you must allow them all.

“My project is named Satan or Silence. That sums it up,” he told reporters. He has threatened to file a lawsuit against any city that refuses his request. In Coral Springs, officials stalled for several weeks in replying to Stevens’ request, but have now announced that they have decided to discontinue the prayer portion of the meeting altogether instead of accommodating or refusing the Satanist. Mayor Skip Campbell says it was partially because he doesn’t want to use public funds to fight Stevens in court. FULL REPORT

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The collapse of American education continues as rich families pull their kids out of private schools

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 06:24 AM PDT

Many Americans are aware that the nation’s public education system is bloated, expensive and incompetent, turning out millions of high school graduates who can’t read, write or speak well, cannot accurately recite U.S. history, and know very little about civics and government. As a result, more and more Americans are pulling their children out of public schools and either placing them in private secular or religious schools or home-schooling them. That hasn’t traditionally been the case for wealthier Americans, however. For years, most of them have avoided sending their children to public schools, opting instead to send them to pricey, exclusive private schools where they presumably received better educations than their public school counterparts.

All of that seems to be changing now. As reported by CNBC, the wealthy are increasingly pulling their kids out of private schools and opting instead to hire private tutors for in-home instruction. As the financial news network reported, part of the reason appears to be that competition at elite schools is becoming more fierce – so much so that even exclusive private educations won’t adequately prepare the children of the elite: FULL REPORT

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‘Blood Moon’ on Sukkot sparks Doomsday Fears

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 06:19 AM PDT

A rare astrological event set to take place next week could herald the “end of days,” according to some who have been following the blood moon phenomenon. The internet is awash with forecasts, from cataclysmic catastrophes to the Rapture, as a fourth lunar eclipse in two years — the series is known as a tetrad — will fall on the first night of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot taking place on September 28. Some Christians believe the celestial event could mark the start of disaster, based on a passage from the Book of Joel, which reads:

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord comes.” Blood moons are full lunar eclipses in which the sun’s rays entering through the earth’s atmosphere make for a red, or blood-like, appearance. The first three instances of the current tetrad have already occurred on Jewish holidays, on April 15, 2014 (Passover) and October 8, 2014 (Sukkot) and April 4, 2015 (again on Passover). FULL REPORT

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California Wildfire Now Third-Largest in History

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 06:12 AM PDT

It is now official, The California Wildfire responsible for so much devastation right now is one of the deadliest California wildfires and the third-largest in the state’s history. burning thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of homes. While firefighters have increased containment, the fire continues to grow. The Valley Fire began burning near Cobb, California, located less than 100 miles north of San Francisco.As of Monday evening, over 1,900 structures have been claimed by the 75,781 acre Valley Fire with an additional 3,103 residential structures being threatened, according to CAL Fire.

This fire surpassed the Witch Fire from October 2007 as the 3rd most damaging wildfire in California history. The 197,990 acre Witch Fire destroyed 1,650 structures.One of the reasons why it has burned so many structures is the rapid expansion of the fire within the first 24 hours of igniting and its close proximity to communities. By Sunday Sept. 13, the wildfire had grown to over 30,000 acres, giving some people just minutes to evacuate their homes. FULL REPORT

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September 23, 2015: Why Are So Many Warning That This Date Is An Extremely Significant Deadline?

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 06:05 AM PDT

Over the past year or so, there has been an unprecedented amount of buzz on the Internet about the month of September 2015.  And of all the days during that month, no date has gotten more attention than the date of September 23rd.  So precisely what will happen on September 23, 2015?  Well, we do know that it is Yom Kippur – the most solemn of all the festival days that we find in the Scriptures.  September 23rd is also the last day of the summer, and as I have discussed previously, it is when Pope Francis will be arriving at the White House to meet with Barack Obama.  Other than that, I do not know of any specific major event that either will or will not happen on that day, but I do believe that September 23rd is going to be extremely significant.

In this article I am going to share with you some of the thoughts that I recently shared in a conversation that I had with author John Shorey.  I believe that we have just come out of a period of time during which America was shown exactly why judgment is coming.  For example, I am convinced that it was no accident that the undercover Planned Parenthood videos came out this summer.  Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, more than 56 million babies have been purposely destroyed in this nation.  Now these undercover videos have shown the entire world that Planned Parenthood is harvesting organs from these babies and selling them off to the highest bidder where they are used in some of the most bizarre scientific experiments imaginable, and the federal government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to fund this activity. FULL REPORT

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There Are Indications That A Major Financial Event In Germany Could Be Imminent

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 06:02 AM PDT

Is something about to happen in Germany that will shake the entire world? According to disturbing new intel that Michael Snyder from the “Economic Collapse” received, a major financial event in Germany could be imminent. He goes on to say “Now when I say imminent, I do not mean to suggest that it will happen tomorrow.” But I do believe that we have entered a season of time when another “Lehman Brothers moment” may occur. Most observers tend to regard Germany as the strong hub that is holding the rest of Europe together economically, but the truth is that serious trouble is brewing under the surface.

As I write this, the German DAX stock index is down close to 20 percent from the all-time high that was set back in April, and there are lots of signs of turmoil at Germany’s largest bank. There are very few banks in the world that are more prestigious or more influential than Deutsche Bank, and it has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons recently. Just like we saw with Lehman Brothers, banks that are “too big to fail” don’t suddenly collapse overnight. The truth is that there are always warning signs in advance if you look closely enough. FULL REPORT

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Cataclysmic collision that could bring down the curtains in that galaxy

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 05:56 AM PDT

Last winter, a team of Caltech astronomers reported that two supermassive black holes appeared to be spiraling together toward a cataclysmic collision that could bring down the curtains in that galaxy. The evidence was a rhythmic flickering from the galaxy’s nucleus, a quasar known as PG 1302-102, which Matthew Graham and his colleagues interpreted as the fatal mating dance of a pair of black holes with a total mass of more than a billion suns. Their merger, the astronomers calculated, could release as much energy as 100 million supernova explosions, mostly in the form of violent ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves that would blow the stars out of that hapless galaxy like leaves off a roof.

As the black holes and their attendant disks swing around each other at high speeds, the light from the disk that is coming toward us receives a boost from relativistic effects — a so-called Doppler boost — the way a siren grows louder and more high-pitched as it approaches, giving rise to a periodic increase in brightness every five years. The Columbia astronomers’ model predicts that the variation would be two or three times greater in ultraviolet light than in visible light. And that is exactly what they found when they compared archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Galex space telescope to the visible-light data previously analyzed by Dr. Graham’s group. FULL REPORT

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Kim Davis faces new charges of non-compliance

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 05:50 AM PDT

Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk who spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in compliance with a judge’s order – and who resumed work a few days ago – is still not doing her court-ordered job, say couples who’ve tried to get their proper wedding documentation. And they’ve taken their case back to court, saying Davis needs to fully comply or face fines. Reuters reported Davis is issuing forms that contain material changes, not the original, official ones.

Specifically, she’s taken the documents pertaining to marriage licenses and removed the references to Rowan County and her clerk’s office. “Gay” couples seeking marriages are instead given forms that list deputy clerk Brian Mason – the entity who issued the licenses during Davis’s jail time – as a notary public. But “gay” couples say: that substitution won’t suffice. They’re charging Davis is still violating U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order, particularly the part where he said she could leave jail, but only on the condition she not interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses any more. 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?

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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Apprising Ministries: The Papacy of The Roman Catholic Church

THE PAPACY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Ken Silva pastor-teacher

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In the Apprising Ministries piece On Contemplative Spirituality and Charismania I told you that the ongoing evangelical fascination with corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM)–along with its parallel track of charismania–is a major reason why we see the mainstream of professing Prostestant Christendom opening itself up for full fellowship with the apostate Roman Catholic Church.

For example, evangelical megapastor Rick Warren is on record embracing apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of the historic orthodox Christian faith. As I documented a while back in Southern Baptists Assist the Roman Catholic Church to Infiltrate Evangelicalism, Warren is hardly the only one aligned with/promoted by the Southern Baptist Convention openly and actively involved with this particular apostasy.

However, concerning Rick Warren’s compromised embrace of the Church of Rome, you can see it for yourself e.g. in Rick Warren Endorsing Catholics Come and Rick Warren on the Roman Catholic EWTN Network. The latter piece features a transcription of an interview conducted by Roman Catholic apologist Raymond Arroyo where Warren refers to Rome’s current Pope Francis as “our new pope.” Sadly, scores of people listening to leaders within Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD) are now being led along the broad ecumenical road back to the Roman Catholic Church, the mother of this evil ECoD.

As it pertains to the Church of Rome’s papacy, for our purposes here, in that aforementioned Arroyo interview we find Rick Warren praising the late Pope John Paul II. Now let me bring you back to the Christianity Today article The Pope We Never Knew, which I first cited in The Deceivers of Roman Catholicism. CT author David Scott tells us that Pope “John Paul II’s biggest accomplishment was his ecumenism,” and further, that John Paul II:

is the same pope who called evangelicals in South America “rapacious wolves” for their evangelism of Catholics…

The pope who in his 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint invited input from non-Catholic Christians on the primacy of the office of Peter, is the same man whose Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1999 declared the primacy of Peter “immutable.” (source)

For your edification I have linked Ut Unam Sint right from the Vatican library itself. Now, as I’ve said before, anyone familiar with Vatican I could have told you that the Roman Catholic Church sees its Pontiff as the successor to Peter and that his office is never-changing, i.e. immutable. As we turn to Chapter 2 of Session 4 from the official record of the decrees of Vatican I we find that it begins with these words:

On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs.
(source, emphasis mine)

As such, it would certainly appear that John Paul II was acting as a hypocrite in 1999 and never had any intention of altering the supposed primacy of the Roman Catholic papacy–for Rome will never surrender this permanent man-made office–which is the very zenith of human pride! In our look at Rome’s official dogma concerning its papacy, let’s take a quick moment to consider the following from the Second Vatican Council held by the Church of Rome in the mid 1960’s.

This would be some 30 years before Pope John Paul II would have “invited input from non-Catholic Christians on the primacy of the office of Peter.” Please look very carefully at the following quote from Lumen Gentium – “Solemnly Promulgated By Holiness Pope Paul VI On November 21, 1964” where we’re told:

just as the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles’ office of nurturing the Church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops. (14*)

Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, (15*) as shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects them, rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ. (149)(16*)
(source, emphasis mine).

We must ask ourselves an important question here: If – “the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors” – then do we really think that Pope John Paul II had any actual intentions of changing this dogma, which is the very reason the Church of Rome exists–period? And do you seriously think that Pope Francis is going to relinquish this position in his quest for unity?

If you are of such a mind, then you are a dreamer. The fact is, the Roman Catholic Church cannot change that dogma because the teachings of its popes has always been considered infallible. Although the declaration of papal infallibility as such wasn’t made until 1870 at Vatican I, Rome has always seen her pontiffs as teaching with infallibility when it comes to faith and morals:

While the the First Vatican Council defined papal infallibility in 1870, you must understand that the date on which a doctrine is officially defined is not the date on which it becomes true. Rather, it was always true.

It’s just that different aspects of the Faith are challenged at different periods of history, and when a challenge occurs or a serious concern or question arises, then the Church will settle the difficulty by formally stating what the truth of the matter is — to end the confusion.

So papal infallibility has always been true, and, moreover, was accepted and practiced from the earliest times. (source)

It’s vital for you to understand that the Roman Catholic Church sees its Pope as the head of all Christian churches everywhere; and this regardless whether they would be considered Roman Catholic or Protestant. Again, from Vatican I Session 4, it now becomes clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the Church of Rome is telling us this office of Pope is not simply a designation within their own communion.

On the contrary–we are specifically being told in no uncertain terms that this office, the Bishop of Rome, i.e. the Roman Pontiff–or the Pope–is truly intended for the entire Christian community. The Roman Catholic Church decrees that their Pontiff is the final and absolute authority within all of Christendom and that his role was forever instituted when:

4… [Jesus] set blessed Peter over the rest of the apostles and instituted in him the permanent principle… 6. of the sacred and apostolic primacy, upon which…the whole Church depends. (source)

Next we are further instructed that:

7. This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole Church…

Chapter 1 On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

We–[the Church of Rome]–teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidencea primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord. [sic] (source)

For such are the empty words of the deceitful spirits and their teachings of demons in apostate Roman Catholicism (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1). And remember, Jesus already told us about such as these – You will recognize them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). So, you really need to keep this information (from primary Roman Catholic sources) in mind as you consider that right now Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church is wooing his fellow charismaniacs into a supposed “unity.”

You need to know that he’s already making influential converts within evangelicalism, e.g. James Robison to Pope Francis“In Christ We are Brothers.” Now you have been properly positioned upon the battlefield from which to view the below message from Richard Bennett of Berean Beacon–himself a former Roman Catholic priest for 22 years–as he compares the Protestant Reformation to the papacy of the apostate Roman Catholic Church:

The Practical Benefits of Peace

The Reformed Reader

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ….” (Rom. 5.1a; NIV).  Concerning this peace, we might ask a question: “What does this peace do for us?”  Or, in other words, “What are the benefits of this ‘peace-with-God-through-Jesus’?”  Horatius Bonar answers the question well:

1) It calms our storms.  In us the tempests rage perpetually.  The storms of the unforgiven spirit are the most fearful of all…. But peace comes, and all is still.  The great Peacemaker comes, and there is a great calm.  The holy pardon which he bestows is the messenger of rest.

2) It removes our burdens.  A sinner’s heaviest burdens must ever be dread of God, lack of conscious reconciliation with him, uncertainty as to the eternal future.  Peace with God is the end of all these.  A sight of the cross relieves…

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DBTS: No We Are Not Together (Re: Roman Catholic Church)

No We Are Not Together

With all of the hullabaloo this week over the visit of antichrist (not THE antichrist, mind you, but surely one who most overtly and offensively epitomizes John’s general description of the spirit of antichrist), it is a delight to point our readers to a free eCopy of one of the better treatments of this topic on the market today–R. C. Sproul’s Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism.

Hint: the answer to the question is a resounding NO. The pope is a capital enemy of the Gospel and of the Church of God on earth. We are not together.

Tolle Lege (or perhaps I should say “download and read.” What’s that in Latin?)


Free eBook: Are We Together?

Pope Francis is the first Pope to visit the United States since 2008. His visit has provoked many Christians to ask sincere questions concerning Roman Catholicism. In light of this, Reformation Trust is making the ebook editions of R.C. Sproul’s Are We Together? free until the end of September. We encourage you to download this ebook and share it with your family, friends, and church community.

Download Are We Together?

Not sure how to download an ebook? See our FAQ section.

Other Resources to Study

R.C. Sproul’s 5-part teaching series on Roman Catholicism will also be available to download or stream for free through the end of September. Download or listen.

“At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, she denied the gospel and ceased to be a legitimate church, regardless of all the rest of her affirmations of Christian orthodoxy. To embrace her as an authentic church while she continues to repudiate the biblical doctrine of salvation is a fatal attribution. We’re living in a time where theological conflict is considered politically incorrect, but to declare peace when there is no peace is to betray the heart and soul of the gospel.” —R.C. Sproul, Is The Reformation Over?

Are We Together? offer expires September 30, 2015.

 

A big, untold story: Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun searching for the Messiah, and for atonement for their sins. The media isn’t reporting this. But it’s worth examining.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Over the past year since the last Day of Atonement, millions of Jews around the world have begun a quest to find the Messiah. Over the past year since the last Day of Atonement, millions of Jews around the world have begun a quest to find the Messiah.

At sundown, we begin Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This is the highest holy day on the Jewish calendar, and one of great Biblical and historic and cultural importance to my people.

I so wish I was home with Lynn and our sons in Israel tonight. Instead, I am in the U.S. speaking at a number of events, from Dallas to San Luis Obispo to Washington, D.C. to Toronto. I am speaking about the darkness that is falling in our world. But I am also explaining to people about a fascinating phenomenon that I’m observing.

Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun a quest to find the Messiah. For reasons I cannot fully explain, Jews are suddenly searching for answers to the deepest and most important questions concerning…

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Boldness, not timidity, is of God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NASB)

I remember a preacher who filled in for ours once for some reason. I was about 15 or so at the time. He was an older gentleman with a big booming voice and a head full of white hair. He was so different from our preacher that I actually listened to what he said. I believe that the person from the Bible he was talking about was Isaac. I remember him commenting on the fact that he was timid or shy or fearful. In my mind I thought of that person as shy or bashful by the way he described him. Then he said something I will never forget. He said, “Folks, timidity is not of God.” He then preached a sermon on how God calls…

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