Daily Archives: September 25, 2015

Does the Bible say that you should forgive someone who does not repent?


Bible study that hits the spot Bible study that hits the spot

Kevin Lewis, a professor of Theology and Law at the conservative Biola University, was asked this question:

Recently, I was reading Dr. Kenneth Bailey’s “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes” (IVP press 2008). When commenting on Matthew 6:12-13, he writes,

“It is a common human assumption that the violator of the rights of others must ask for forgiveness before the wronged party can be expected to accept the apology and grant forgiveness…But Jesus here asks the person wronged to forgive the one responsible for the wrongdoing when when there is no confession of guilt… There is a voice from the cross that echoes across history to all saying ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ Neither Pilate nor the high priest nor the centurion offered any apology to Jesus, yet he prayed for divine forgiveness…(p.125)”

And here’s his response in full, copied…

View original post 2,036 more words

September 25, 2015 Christian Briefing Report


Two Types of Sinners

The Bible clearly tells us our ministry to these two types of sinners is to be handled differently. Yet because ignorant and rebellious sinners can look similar in their activities, often the church treats them alike. Unfortunately, not only does this create confusion and hardship in ministry but, even more consequentially with respect to eternity, can keep a needed dimension of the gospel from being heard by those who need it most.

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The Practical Benefits of Peace

It cheers us in trial.  The peace of God within us is our chiefest consolation when sorrows crowd in upon us.  Lighted up with this true lamp, we are not greatly moved because of the darkness without.  Peace with God is our anchor in the storm, our strong tower in adverse times, the soother of our hearts, and the dryer-up of our tears.

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Private Sin, Public Fallout

How do these sins affect other believers? So called hidden sins lead to a deterioration of character reducing the ring of truth and the reality of what we do and say. …God does not bless the life in which there is hidden sin.” Second, the presence of sin, when it is discovered tarnishes the reputation of Christ and the local church in the community. And, contrary to the self-deceiving opiate of reassurance with which the culprit soothes himself, sin almost always leaks out of the most committed efforts for containment.

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The God Who Actually Does Know What You’re Going Through

Suffering tempts us to withdraw from God when in reality we should press hard into God. Are you downcast? Are you suffering? Do you feel like you’ve been chewed up and spit out? Do you feel like butter scraped over too much bread? Draw near to the God who comforts the downcast. Draw near to the God who knows you exactly and knows exactly what you need. Draw near in your weakness and weariness and ready to call it quits-ness.

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Your Child Is Your Neighbor

It’s true that our kids are God-given responsibilities we are to steward. But we will only steward them as we should by remembering that, first and foremost, our children are people we are to treasure. When we treasure our children as our neighbors, we remove from our discipline any hint of condemnation, shame, or contempt. We alter our language to communicate love and value, even when we must speak words of correction. And we replace our prayers of “please fix my frustrating child” with prayers of “please help me to love the little neighbor you have placed in my home, even as you have loved me.”

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The Sufficiency and Insufficiency of Scripture

At the same time, this paragraph also speaks to the insufficiency of Scripture, that there are some circumstances which are to be ordered by the light of nature (general revelation), Christian prudence (wisdom), and the general rules of the word of God (special revelation). “The insufficiency of Scripture” may sound like a dangerous phrase, but all that is meant by that is simply what the confession teaches at this point: that there are certain situations and aspects of our earthly lives about which we may find general principles in the Bible, but require general revelation and wisdom, as well.

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6 Principles for Small Group Facilitating

There are many other principles and techniques that can help facilitators lead well in a small group or Sunday School setting which open discussion is encouraged. These are a few that I have benefited from seeking to follow over the years. At the end of the day, a good facilitator will seek to lead with the most gentleness, faithfulness, wisdom and discernment for the benefit of the group as a whole.

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From the Archives: Is It Okay to Date Just for Fun?

by Erin Davis

One of you recently asked, “Is it okay to date just for fun?” In a word—yes. That being said, I think there is a more important question we should be asking. Is it wise to date just for fun? In two words—probably not.

You’re Not the Only One Waiting . . .

by Paula Hendricks

There are so many verses about waiting for God. But have you ever thought about how He waits, too? Here are five things God is waiting for.

You Were Made to Shine!

by Erin Davis

Do you see yourself as a bright city, made to shine like a sparkling diamond, or a run-down neighborhood, not worth fixing?

Broken Windows and Your Beauty

by Erin Davis

Why what you think affects how you live.

What God Thinks About You

What God Thinks About YouWe all want to know who we are. We seek and search and try to “find ourselves.” Many of us have taken personality tests and other assessments. We learn that we are a lion, a beaver, an ENFP, an activator, a competitor, a high I, high D.

But as helpful as those tests can be, have you ever stopped to ask, “What does God think about me? Who does he say that I am?”

In all my years as a Christian, I had never asked the question quite this way until recently. And what I found is that God has a lot to say about what he thinks about us — a whole Bible full. But if we could summarize it in a short space, here’s how it might sound.

You Are Valuable

I am the Creator and you are my creation. I breathed into your nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). I created you in my own image (Genesis 1:27). My eyes saw your unformed substance (Psalm 139:16). I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). I know the number of hairs on your head, and before a word is on your tongue I know it (Matthew 10:30; Psalm 139:4). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

You are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31). I have given you dominion over all sheep and oxen and all beasts of the field and birds of the heavens and fish of the sea (Psalm 8:6–8; Genesis 1:26, 28). I have crowned you with glory and honor as the pinnacle and final act of the six days of creation (Psalm 8:5; Genesis 1:26).

However, from the very beginning, you exchanged the truth about me for a lie. You worshiped and served created things rather than me, the Creator (Romans 1:25). You have sinned and fallen short of my glory (Romans 3:23). Just as I said to Adam and Eve, the penalty for your sin is death (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:17). And in your sin, you were spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). You were children of wrath, living as enemies to me (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:10). You turned aside from me. You became corrupt. There is none who does good, not even one (Psalm 14:2–3). What you deserve is my righteous judgment (Psalm 7:11–12).

And yet, in my great love, I gave my unique Son, that all those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). While you were still sinners, Christ died for you. While you were still hostile toward me, you were reconciled to me by the death of my Son (Romans 5:8, 10). Sin doesn’t have the last word. Grace does (Romans 5:20).

Now everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved (Romans 10:13). You who have believed are born again (1 Peter 1:3). I have adopted you (Ephesians 1:5). You are children of God, heirs of God (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:16–17). You are no longer orphans. You belong to me (John 14:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19). And I love you as a perfect Father (1 John 3:1; Luke 15:20–24).

You Are New

In my eyes, you are a brand new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sin is no longer your master, for you died to sin and are now alive to me (Romans 6:11; Ephesians 2:4).

You are finally free from the slavery of sin and death. There is now no condemnation for you (Romans 8:1–2). All your sins are forgiven (1 John 1:9). All your unrighteousness has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7, 9). You are now righteous in my sight with the very righteousness of my perfect Son (Romans 4:5).

You’ve been saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). You’ve been justified by faith (Romans 5:1). You are utterly secure in me; nothing will be able to separate you from my love in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39). No one is able to snatch you out of my hand (John 10:29). And I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

You Have My Spirit

You not only have a new Father, but also a new family of brothers and sisters (Luke 8:21). You are now part of the people of God (1 Peter 2:9). And together the life you now live is by faith in my Son (Galatians 2:20).

Look to Jesus. Keep your eyes on him. He is the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). Christ is in you by my Spirit, and you are in Christ (John 15:5; Colossians 1:27). Stay close to Jesus. Abide in him (John 15:4). For your life is found in him (John 14:6; Colossians 3:3–4). To live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

Don’t live by your own power or understanding. No, live by my Spirit within you (Zechariah 4:6; Proverbs 3:5). Remember, I have given you the Holy Spirit to be with you and in you (Romans 5:5; John 14:17). The Spirit will guide you into all truth, help you to obey me, and empower you to do my work (John 16:7, 13; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16).

You Will Be Transformed

As you seek me and see more of my glory, I am transforming you into the image of my Son (2 Corinthians 3:18; Exodus 33:18). One day you will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet sound (1 Corinthians 15:52). When Jesus appears, you will be like him, because you shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:29).

You will be delivered from your body of death through Jesus Christ, and your dwelling place will be with me (Romans 7:24–25; John 14:3). And I will wipe away every tear from your eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore (Revelation 21:3–4).

You will drink from the spring of the water of life without payment, and I myself will make for you a feast of rich food and well-aged wine (Revelation 21:6; Isaiah 25:6). You will enter my rest, inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you, and step into fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Hebrews 4:9–11; Matthew 25:34; Psalm 16:11).

But most of all, you will see my face and be with me where I am (Revelation 22:4; John 14:3).

You Represent Me

Therefore, walk in a manner worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1). You are no longer darkness, but light in my Son. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14). I have called you (2 Peter 1:3). I have chosen you (Revelation 17:14). You are now a saint, a servant, a steward, and a soldier (Romans 1:7; Acts 26:16; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:3). You are a witness and a worker (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 2:10). Through Jesus you are victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57). You have a glorious future (Romans 8:18). You are a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). You are an ambassador for my Son (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Related Resources

Pastor Saeed Tasered, Abused and Threatened with Prolonged Sentence in Iran

Saeed Abedini is an Iranian American Christian pastor wrongfully imprisoned in Iran after trying to build a government-funded orphanage and holding Christian gatherings in Iran. He was sentenced to eight years in prison with threats that they would extend.

Yesterday, the Iranian government started to take steps in fulfilling this threat. Pastor Saeed shared distressing news with his wife during her visit to Rajaei Shahr prison in Iran.

“Yesterday in Iran, Iranian intelligence officers summoned Pastor Saeed for an intense round of interrogation. Pastor Saeed reported to his family that the interrogators were abusive both verbally and physically.  During the course of interrogation, the officers repeatedly used a taser gun on Pastor Saeed. This new assault  is concerning as Pastor Saeed is still being denied needed medical care for injuries sustained as a result of beatings in the past.

The interrogators threatened that Pastor Saeed will face new criminal charges.  They claimed Pastor Saeed has connections with anti-government groups and has made statements and taken actions against the government of Iran.  Pastor Saeed denied all of these allegations, and once again asserted that he is apolitical and that he has never threatened the security of, made any statements against, or taken any action against the Government of Iran,” wrote the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

This week, Iranian President Rouhani will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York. ACLJ is renewing their efforts to encourage global leaders to speak out and “urge Iran to release Pastor Saeed.”

After hearing this news, Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini said:

“When will this nightmare end? Saeed is not a criminal.  Being a Christian and motivated by Christian values to help the poorest and most needy children in Iran should be seen as good for the Iranian society.  Hearing that yet again the hardliners in Iran are trying to fabricate evidence against my husband and that he was abused and tasered is almost too much to bear.

It is time for governments all over the world shift their focus to the injustices of the Iranian Government and call on the Government of Iran to free my husband.  It is time for businesses seeking to do business in Iran to look beyond their bottom dollar and see the instability of a government known to imprison innocent men and women who have exercised their fundamental freedoms.  Whether we operate in the field of business, government, or simply are members of human society, we must expect and demand more of our leaders.

I pray that as President Rouhani plans his travel to the United States next week, he will hear relentless voices crying out for Saeed’s freedom.”

This Saturday Pastor Saeed will have been imprisoned for three years. Join with many others in a pray vigil around the world this day for their family. Join Naghmah, ACLJ and 265,000 people in prayer as they “urge U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intervene directly with the Iranian Government on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.”

Sign a petition at ACLJ.org to release Pastor Saeed.


The post Pastor Saeed Tasered, Abused and Threatened with Prolonged Sentence in Iran appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.

Damnable Heresies

A Word in Season
2 Peter 2:1-3,
Commented upon by Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

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

In all ages of the church, and under all dispensations, when God sends true prophets, the devil sends some to seduce and deceive, false prophets in the Old Testament, and false Christs, false apostles, and seducing teachers, in the New. Concerning these observe,

  1. Their business is to bring in destructive errors, even damnable heresies, as the business of teachers sent of God is to show the way of truth, even the true way to everlasting life. There are damnable heresies as well as damnable practices; and false teachers are industrious to spread pernicious errors.
  2. Damnable heresies are commonly brought in privily, under the cloak and colour of truth.
  3. Those who introduce destructive heresies deny the Lord that bought them. They reject and refuse to hear and learn of the great teacher sent from God, though he is the only Saviour and Redeemer of men, who paid a price sufficient to redeem as many worlds of sinners as there are sinners in the world.
  4. Those who bring in errors destructive to others bring swift (and therefore sure) destruction upon themselves. Self-destroyers are soon destroyed; and those who are so hardened as to propagate errors destructive to others shall surely and suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
(1 Peter 2:2)

II. [Peter] proceeds, in the second verse, to tell us the consequence with respect to others; and here we may learn,

  1. Corrupt leaders seldom fail of many to follow them; though the way of error is a pernicious way, yet many are ready to walk therein. Men drink in iniquity like water, and are pleased to live in error. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the people love to have it so.
  2. The spreading of error will bring up an evil report on the way of truth; that is, the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. The Christian religion is from the God of truth as the author, leads to true happiness in the enjoyment of the true God as the end, and works truth in the inward part as the means of acceptably serving God. And yet this way of truth is traduced and blasphemed by those who embrace and advance destructive errors. This the apostle has foretold as what should certainly come to pass. Let us not be offended at any thing of this in our day, but take care that we give no occasion to the enemy to blaspheme the holy name whereby we are called, or speak evil of that way whereby we hope to be saved.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
(1 Peter 2:3)

III. Observe, in the next place, the method seducers take to draw disciples after them: they use feigned words; they flatter, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, inducing them to yield entirely to the opinions which these seducers endeavour to propagate, and sell and deliver themselves over to the instruction and government of these false teacher, who make a gain of those whom they make their proselytes, serving themselves and making some advantage of them; for all this is through covetousness, with a desire and design to get more wealth, or credit, or commendation, by increasing the number of their followers.

The faithful ministers of Christ, who show men the way of truth, desire the profit and advantage of their followers, that they may be saved; but these seducing teachers desire and design only their own temporal advantage and worldly grandeur….

Men are apt to think that a reprieve is the forerunner of a pardon, and that if judgment be not speedily executed it is, or will be, certainly reversed. But the apostle tells us that how successful and prosperous soever false teachers may be, and that for a time, yet their judgment lingereth not. God has determined long ago how he will deal with them. Such unbelievers, who endeavour to turn others from the faith, are condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on them. The righteous Judge will speedily take vengeance; the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

(Read more: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/2Pe/2Pe_002.cfm)

Ben Carson Didn’t Cave But Confusion Remains

Why all the upheaval and controversy when a discussion comes up about Islam and Christianity in America? Has political correctness become a serious threat in the land of the free? I am going out on a limb to say most informed Americans agree with Dr. Ben Carson and oppose the idea of a practicing Muslim […]

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Pope praises contemplative pioneer Thomas Merton before Congress

For those who missed it, Pope Francis gave high praise to a Trappist Monk who had an affinity for unbiblical contemplative prayer. John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire has the report:

This is how it seems to be going: People are being encouraged into contemplative prayer by men and women such as Rick Warren, Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, Mike Bickle, James Goll, Beni Johnson, and many others.

(Rick Warren has also exposed many Christians to Eastern and New Age meditation).

The false church is rising, and its god may well be contemplative, deceptive spirits posing as “christ.” What wonderful (false) visions people will have; what thrilling supernatural encounters will be experienced in the contemplative silence. For all too many already, the lies of the silence are taken as truth, and the truth of Bible matters less and less.

Pope praises contemplative pioneer Thomas Merton before Congress

Tim Challies reviews “Eve” written by the author of “The Shack”

Popular blogger and pastor Tim Challies has written a stellar review of Paul Young’s latest attempt at distorting the true meaning of the Bible:

"Eve" by Paul YoungOn the positive side, I think [William] Paul Young has become a markedly better writer since The Shack. On the negative side, he continues to use his writing to undermine and redefine Christian theology. By my reckoning, that’s a net loss. Where The Shack was meant to revolutionize our understanding of God, his new novel Eve is meant to revolutionize and rescue our understanding of the relationship between men and women. And it is no less troubling.

Now, obviously Eve is fiction, which means it can be tricky to determine exactly what the author actually means to teach through his story. There is a lot in the novel that is complex and symbolic and that awaits the author’s authoritative interpretation. But what is clear is that Young’s novel is a retelling of the creation narrative through which he means to right a great wrong


The Unbiblical Actions, Message & Statements of Pope Francis While in America

Someone asked me on Facebook what I think was a very sincere question. They wanted to know what the Pope has said thus far while in the US that is contrary to the Bible. Here is a partial list just off the top of my head. I would ask you to add to the list and let us see how much we can come up with together. Here is my quick list of what he has said or his actions, and ceremonies have promoted:   *He lets people call him his holiness but he is not holy but a sinful man   *He holds up a cross with Christ on it but Christ is not on the cross   *Most every Catholic altar has a relic such as a…

Letter to the Editor: Pope Francis Points to the “Contemplative” “Thomas Merton” in Speech to Congress . . . And the Role This Could Play in a One-World Religion

LTRP Note: On the morning of September 24th, Lighthouse Trails posted an article by Ray Yungen titled “Contemplative Spirituality – the Source of the Catholic Church’s Expansion”  “Coincidentally,” one hour later, Lighthouse Trails was contacted and told that the Catholic Church’s Jesuit Pope Francis  talked about Thomas Merton (using the term contemplative to describe him) […]

Christians and Sexuality

One of the defining issues of our times regarding the Christian Church in America is the Supreme Court ruling that homosexuals can marry, defying the Word of God in an act of blatant disobedience against Him.  Yet God promises us in His Word that in all things he works for the good of those who […]

The post Christians and Sexuality appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Christians-and-Sexuality.mp3 21.8 MB

Just What Is Discernment?

It seems everywhere we turn these days on the internet, another “discernment” ministry has popped up to grab our attention. Many are effective ministries, but some seem to be playing “gotcha” and actually enjoy calling out false believers or the perceived sin of others. While some do high quality work and actually provide good […]

The post Just What Is Discernment? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Just-What-Is-Discernment_.mp3 21.4 MB

Standing Strong in the Pulpit – or Not?

There is no doubt the Christian Church in America is entering a time of great challenges.  As our nation and government embrace secular humanism at an alarming rate, the pressure on individual believers and pastors to just “shut up and keep your religion to yourself” will intensify greatly in the coming months […]

The post Standing Strong in the Pulpit – or Not? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Standing-Strong-in-the-Pulpit-or-Not.mp3 21.1 MB

Christian Men and Biblical Leadership

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

The post Christian Men and Biblical Leadership appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Christian-Men-and-Biblical-Leadership.mp3 21.4 MB

Goodwin: Faith Is The Alone Condition Of The Covenant Of Grace

When we are in the state of salvation, faith doth all; for whenas all graces else would soon be overcome and cast out again by lusts, and would soon be tripped up from off their standing, faith is able to keep its legs and standing, Rom. 5:2. Therefore, 1 Peter 1:5, we are said to […]

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The Young Messiah—Heresy or Homage?

The Young Messiah is an upcoming American biblical drama set to hit theaters in March 2016. The movie portrays a seven-year-old Jesus returning from Egypt to His hometown of Nazareth, and along the way discovers the truth about who He is. In a press release, Director Chis Nowrasteh stated, “[The] film seeks to present a […]

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Challenge Response: Salvation by Grace Causes Bad Behavior

Here’s my response to this week’s challenge:

Unlock God’s Storehouse of Grace

Unlock God’s Storehouse of GraceNothing will deplete your faith like looking at what you lack.

I find that the more I fixate on my lack of resources, the strengths I don’t have, the weaknesses I do have, the heavier the weight of unbelief becomes and the harder the race of faith becomes (Hebrews 12:1).

Looking at a deficit fuels our fear and drains our hope. A deficit says we don’t have enough to make the payment, meet the need, make the deadline, preach the sermon, fix the marriage, instruct the child, counsel that hard case, defeat the sin, or overcome the weakness. We don’t take risks with a deficit in view.

Looking at a surplus, on the other hand, fuels our courage and fills us with hope. A surplus means there is more than enough to meet our needs. And a surplus encourages expansive dreaming and generosity toward others.

You Have No Deficit

Left to ourselves, we have deficits that are horrifyingly real. Without God in this world we would have very good reason to feel hopeless (Ephesians 2:12).

But the good news is that if you’re a Christian, you no longer have any deficits. None. Christ not only paid your unfathomable sin debt (Colossians 2:14), he also purchased for you “all things” (Romans 8:32). That’s all things! What you have is an oil jar of God’s provision that will never run out (1 Kings 17:14). You have a bank account you cannot overdraw.

If this hasn’t been our experience, we are tempted to qualify this nearly incredible claim. But we cannot qualify it and be faithful to the Bible. This is not some prosperity theology’s over-realized eschatology. It’s what the Bible unequivocally and unapologetically tells us we should expect to experience right now in this age:

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

They are astounding promises. They aren’t promises of unfailing health (Philippians 2:25–27) or extravagant wealth (Philippians 4:12). But they promise that God will provide for every need so that we will abound in every good work and be “enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

The Key to the Storehouse

These promises of provision are unequivocal and unapologetic, but they are not unconditional. The condition is faith (Matthew 17:20; John 11:40; James 1:5–7). We open the jar of God’s provision and access God’s bottomless bank account by exercising faith. We must act on the promises, or their contents remain untapped.

Unbelief looks at what we perceive to be a deficit and loses heart. Unbelief doesn’t think there will be anything in the jar and so doesn’t open it. Unbelief doesn’t think the funds in the account will be available and so doesn’t draw against them.

Unbelief can exist with alarming ease alongside an assent to sound doctrine. We can affirm the truth of these promises, but if we are unwilling to act on them they do us no good. Because we don’t in fact believe them.

In these promises, God shows us his storehouse of abounding provision. Faith is the key that opens the storehouse. And God wants us to open his storehouse! He wants us to have his abounding grace! Yet he requires faith because “without faith it is impossible to please him . . . [but] he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Stop the Deficit Review

Now, if you’re like me, at this point you say, “I know! But telling me that I don’t have enough faith doesn’t help me have more. It just shows me my deficit and makes me feel defeated! Show me how to have more faith!”

Good! When we’re sick and tired of being a disciple with “little faith” (Luke 12:28), we’re ready to take steps to change.

And change begins by stopping our deficit review. We must stop looking at our lack: our lack of resources, wisdom, and power, even our lack of faith. Our deficits discourage and defeat. Our deficits deplete faith. That’s why Satan accuses you, tries to point out your bankruptcy, and overall encourages you to think about yourself as much as possible. He does not want you to look to Jesus and all the abounding grace that he purchased for you.

Seek First the Kingdom

But if we look to Jesus, he shows us how to increase our faith. First he says,

“Do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12:29–31)

Jesus tells us not to look at the world’s deficits, but to the Father’s kingdom. Make kingdom priorities our top priorities and he will provide every need of ours. What specific priorities? Ask God and look to the Scriptures. He will make that clear.

Then Jesus says,

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:32–34)

Jesus tells us to exercise faith by actually divesting ourselves of our security idols and giving away more than we believe we can. Jesus’s challenge: Put the promise to the test and do not be afraid. Our Father delights in giving us the kingdom and all its treasures!

Lay aside the weight of your deficits by:

  • Looking away from deficits
  • Instead, look to your Source of abounding grace and never ending surplus, which is available to you right now
  • Seek the Father’s kingdom first
  • Take steps to liquidate your false securities and give with radical generosity.

God’s promise is that if we do this, we will see him act and our faith will increase.

Related Resources

C. Peter Wagner’s Dominionism

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• C. Peter Wagner’s Dominionism

5 Things Evangelicals Can Learn from Pope Francis

They Don’t Make Movies Like “The Intern” Anymore

Our Lying Epidemic: What’s with All the Whoppers, and How Do We Stop?

Red Storm

The alliances necessary for Ezekiel 38 and 39 to come to pass are in place, and functioning well. Russia and Iran are very close. Turkey have become natural allies to Iran due to a hatred for Israel. Indeed, Recap Ergogan, President of Turkey openly despises Israel, he is a vicious hater of Israel who talks often of the need to free Al-Quds from the hands of the Jews. Al-Quds is known in Arabic as Jerusalem.

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Orthodox Jews See Blood Moon As Big Deal

It’s not just evangelical Christians, messianic Jews and Hebrew roots believers touting something big, something significant in the tetrad of blood moons set for a grand finale “supermoon” show Sept. 28. Increasingly, Orthodox Jewish leaders and teachers are saying the event is significant historically and for the future of Israel and the Jewish people. ……….. Click here for full story

Christian Man Fired For Sharing Faith Based Film With Lesbian Co-Workers On Facebook

A dedicated Christian steel worker in Ohio has been fired after he shared his faith and the faith-based movie “Audacity” with two lesbian co-workers, leaving a him, his wife and two kids without any income…………. Click here for full story

Obama Throws Christian Refugees To Lions

The fate of those Iraqi Christians who had fled from the Islamic State only to be incarcerated in the United States has finally been decided by the Obama administration: they are to be thrown back to the lions, where they will likely be persecuted, if not slaughtered, like so many Iraqi Christians before them………… Click here for full story

Real Men Needed in the Church Today — Phil Johnson

Phil Johnson of Grace to You.

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13

Phil Johnson, in a sermon titled Marching Orders, stated:

[In this verse] Paul uses the Greek verb andrizomai (an-DRID-zom-ahee) in the middle voice. It’s another one-word imperative, though it’s hard to make it one word in English. Literally, “play the man.” Or in modern terminology, “man up.”

It’s a word that speaks of masculinity as opposed to femininity. He’s not saying be grownups rather than children; he’s saying “act like men, not like girls.” And frankly, Corinth was an effeminate culture, so that was a fitting charge to give to the church at Corinth. And let’s be honest, it’s also a fitting admonition for a large segment of evangelicals today.

“Be courageous” is certainly an important aspect of what Paul means, but it’s really bigger than that. He is commending all those characteristics that we think of as masculine rather than feminine—even though it’s not politically correct these days to categorize character traits that way. Paul is sweeping up and including in that command attributes like courage, and strength, and boldness—stout-heartedness, heroism, daring, gallantry, machismo. There is, of course, a more pedestrian aspect to true machismo, and it’s the idea of work. When God created Adam, He made him to work—to tend the garden—even before the Fall. That’s something to remember in this age of leisure. We need to be redeeming the time. You can’t exclude that from this command.

But remember the context is militant. This is first of a call to arms and a summons to battle. “Fight like men; defend the faith in a manly way.” That is surely the cardinal idea here.

Now it’s worth noting that this verse is written to the whole church—it’s not addressed to men only—and much less does Paul single out only the elders and the church leaders. This apples to every Christian. There’s a sense in which even the women in Corinth needed to cultivate the strength and fortitude of a warrior—like Deborah in the book of judges.

But if this applies to everyone in the church, it is the particular duty of men to be spiritual leaders and to model the spirit of virile, vigorous, vigilant faith—steadfast and courageous. And I love it that Paul has no scruples about connecting those ideas with manliness. “Act like men!” Masculinity. That is certainly one of the missing qualities of churches today.

You know, the old King James Version of this verse says, “Quit you like men” and I fear that sometime in the late 20th century or so a lot of evangelical readers mistook the message and thought it meant “Quit being men.”

Several books have been written analyzing the feminization of evangelical churches. I gave a lengthy message on this subject two years ago at a Grace Church Men’s conference—that message is online if you want to download it. Some people got offended by what I had to say.

But I think it’s an incontrovertible fact that the typical evangelical church of this generation has become weak and womanly. Churchgoers demand that preachers be soft and dainty—especially when they are dealing with hard-edged truths. If you don’t sufficiently tone down every severe text or hard-to-receive doctrine in the Bible, the tone police will write you up for an infraction before you can get from the pulpit to the front door. All the rough edges of every truth must be carefully sanded smooth and painted in pastel tones. We’ve traded up to cushy seats instead of hard-bench pews and we expect our preachers to fashion their message accordingly. None of this sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God stuff.

Instead, today’s evangelicals favor feminine themes: Let’s talk about how we hurt; let’s discuss our personal relationships; we need to meet people’s felt needs; you need to feel what I feel before you can hit me with unvarnished truth. The church has begun to look weak, effeminate, frightened, sissified—like a society of dressmakers and interior decorators instead of soldiers.

We’re told relentlessly that we have to be always agreeable no matter what—seeker-sensitive, gender-neutral, and delicate in everything we say and do. Listen: the Christian life is not high tea with fancy biscuits. It’s a battle, and we need to think and act accordingly.

The feminization of the church has received a lot of attention in recent years, and more and more people are recognizing the problem. The church is not reaching and ministering to men—we’re actually driving them away. But those who see the problem more often than not have really bad solutions. You know: have the men’s Bible studies over beer, cigars, and poker games. Get your men watching cage-fighting and encourage them to develop a taste for blood sport. Or go out in the woods, put on war paint, and perfect the art of the primal scream. Salt your vocabulary with a sailor’s favorite expletives. Or (my favorite) Live Action Role Playing, or LARPing, where you dress up like a knight or a gladiator and assume that persona out in a vacant field somewhere with other people who are doing the same thing. Right. Dress up and pretend. As if that were the way to be masculine.

None of those things even comes close to the essence of true, virile masculinity. In fact, those are all things little boys do.

Paul has none of those things in mind when he tells the Corinthians to man up. He is telling them as simply and straightforwardly as possible to be bold, sober-minded, mature, and committed to their calling—like soldiers. Be valiant soldiers in the battle for truth. You don’t have to take up smoking or swearing or get a tattoo on your arm to fulfill that command. Those are all external things. The kind of masculinity Paul is calling for here is all about character and conduct; it’s not merely a costume you wear.

In fact, notice the two imperatives on either side of this command to act like men. They explain the true gist of it: “Be steadfast.” “Be strong.” Those are character qualities. And sandwiched between them is this: “Act like men.” The imperatives in that string of commands basically explain one another. Strength, steadfastness, courage, and even vigilance—these are all vital aspects of what Paul means when he says, “Act like men.”

83% of Christians Accept the Gospel Before This Age


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Nothing explicitly Christian about Pope’s speech

I just finished listening to the Pope’s speech to Congress from earlier today (watch below). There is no question that the occasion was historic—the first time ever that a Pope has delivered such an address. Indeed, it would have been impossible to imagine such an invitation being extended just fifty years ago. But the times have changed, and now the United States Congress has done something unprecedented.

Nevertheless, even though the speech was historic, it was also a disappointment—not so much for what he did say but for what he didn’t say. For example:

1. The Pope didn’t mention Jesus. Not even in passing. He moralized and polticized, but he rooted none of it in anything explicitly Christian. He stands before the United States Congress—a platform that commands the attention of the world—and he says nothing about the heart of the Christian gospel. Nothing about Jesus Christ crucified and raised for sinners. Nothing about the Kingdom of God and the renewal of all things in Christ. Nothing about forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and the summing up of all things in Christ. It seems to me that a man who is supposed to be God’s apostle on earth might speak with a little more clarity about the author and perfecter of our faith. As it is, his speech could have been uttered in good conscience by a Jew or a Muslim. There literally was nothing distinctively Christian about it.

2. The Pope didn’t speak prophetically but politically. The Pope spoke clearly and at length in support of liberal political priorities—climate change, immigration, abolishing the death penalty. He spoke vaguely and briefly (if at all) about the most contested social issues of our time—abortion, marriage, and religious liberty.

3. The Pope didn’t mention abortion explicitly. He did say this: “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” That was it. After that, he had nothing specific to say about abortion. Nothing. He spoke specifically to defend the lives of the guilty from the death penalty. But he said nothing specific to defend the lives of the innocent millions who have been killed legally in our country since 1973. Over 56 million people have been killed legally in our country under the regime of Roe v. Wade. To put that number in perspective, that is the holocaust times nine. There is no question that abortion-on-demand is the greatest human rights crisis of our time, and the Pope said nothing about it. He said nothing about our federal government’s funding of Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills. He said nothing about the culture of death being fostered in America.

4. The Pope didn’t mention anything explicit about the challenge of gay marriage. He did say this:

I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

If he meant to address marriage at all, he only did so in the most indirect way—with a vague passive sentence: “Fundamental relationships are being called into question.” That was it. Nothing about the redefinition of marriage or our Supreme Court’s recent ruling. At best, his defense of traditional marriage is inferential and implicit. It’s certainly neither clear nor explicit.

I don’t have high expectations of this Pope. Why not? Not only is the papacy itself an unbiblical office, this Pope hails from the most liberal order within Catholic life—the Jesuits—and his political priorities reflect that. Since becoming Pope, he has shown what his priorities are. For those reasons, it’s no surprise that there was nothing explicitly Christian about the speech.

There is more that I might quibble with about this speech, but the items above are the heart of my concerns. What are yours?

22 Pope Francis Statements Proving He’s a Leftist

Mike Garcia, columnist for NewsMax, has compiled a list of past statements by the pope that allegedly shows that he’s a leftist:

Pope FrancisPope Francis upset many conservatives when he released his encyclical on climate change this summer, but it’s certainly not the first time he’s raised eyebrows. The pontiff’s past comments on homosexuality, capitalism, and international geopolitics have also ruffled those on the right.

As the pope gears up for his trip to the U.S. next month, many will be waiting to see what message he delivers directly to the American people. Many conservatives aren’t holding their breath, however.

Gathered below are 22 past statements by the pope that prove he’s a consistent leftist.

1. He has called for centralized redistribution of wealth. In May of last year, the pope addressed the U.N., calling for what sounded like a socialist “redistribution of economic benefits by the state.”

2. He has contradicted the teachings of past popes. Pope Francis’ comments contrast starkly with John Paul II’s writings. In Centensimus Annus (1991), John Paul acknowledged that Marxism clearly failed with the fall of the Soviet Union, and praised any economic system “which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production as well as free human creativity in the economic sector.


10 Counterfeit Jesus Figures We Should Stop Worshiping

by Daniel Darling

Jesus is still very popular these days, even at a time when Christianity seems to be facing more social marginalization. From political and social movements to kitschy products to bumper stickers, we’ve appropriated Jesus as a mascot for our favorite causes. But we have to wonder, is this the real Jesus of the Bible or a Jesus of our own making?

In Romans, the Apostle Paul teaches of Christ’s mission to call out a people and form them into His likeness, but it seems we are more interested in forming Jesus into our image. Even conservative, Bible-believing evangelicals are fond of making statements like, “The Jesus I know would . . . ”  as if Jesus — who claimed to be the Triune God, one with the Father — can be easily molded into whatever we wish him to be.

Soon the Jesus we claim to worship looks strangely like the man in the mirror.

What are some ways we are tempted to mold Jesus, like clay, into whatever we want him to be? Here are 10 partial Jesus’ popular in Christian culture:

1. Guru Jesus

This is the Jesus of the enlightenment, the Jesus who existed in human history, but is not nearly as radical as that Jesus of the gospels. Guru Jesus is the wise, winsome, slightly supernatural figure who fits nicely alongside other religious titans like Buddah, Muhammad, Vishnu, and others. This is a safe Jesus, who will only ever tell us good, affirming, uplifting things, but doesn’t bother us with dangerous talk of the Kingdom of God.

But here’s the problem with Guru Jesus: not only does he defy the historical record and the claims of Jesus Himself, he’s also much less compelling than the Christ of Scripture. Guru Jesus doesn’t meet the deepest longings of the human experience, doesn’t answer the problem of evil, and offers no hope for future cosmic renewal.

2. Red Letter Jesus

This Jesus is in vogue among many well-meaning, progressive evangelicals. He’s a Jesus I’m tempted, at times, to embrace. He’s present in the kind of Christianity that only takes seriously those quotes of Jesus in the gospels that are marked out by Bible publishers in red ink.

What is convenient about this Jesus is that he replaces the so-called angry God of the Old Testament with a mostly peaceful, healing, non-controversial Jesus of justice. What’s more, he’s way more likeable than that irascible Apostle Paul who just doesn’t understand twenty-first century social norms.

There is only one problem with Red Letter Jesus…


10 Counterfeit Jesus Figures We Should Stop Worshiping

Five Suggestions for Christians in the Midst of the Sexual Revolution

by Kevin DeYoung

Hardly a week goes by without another social media parade marching by in celebration of the sexual revolution. Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Davis, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Obergefell and on and on –the talk of sex is everywhere (and not a drop you should drink). It’s almost impossible to turn on the tv or scroll through your phone or open the paper (what are those?) without being bombarded by pictures and stories and headlines that all have to do with sex–not just sensuality (which would be bad enough), but the castigation of those who uphold traditional sexual boundaries and the applauding of every permutation of sexual activity (“infinite diversity in infinite combinations” as one political fundraising letter put it).

How should evangelical Christians and evangelical churches respond?

Here are five suggestions:

1. Do not be shrill. Remember: at any time, anyone can listen to almost anything you say. There are no “private” thoughts on Facebook. Any post or comment you write or share or like or pass along can be read by friends, opponents, and strugglers. This doesn’t mean we can’t speak clearly or strongly or with passion. But if you just need to emote, go on a long walk and pour your heart out to God. Let’s show the world that Christians are reasonable and unwilling to revile in return. Happy warriors not shrieking sirens.

2. Do not be silent. If you said “Amen” to the first suggestion, don’t miss this one. I suppose giving up is one way to end the culture war, but it hardly seems consistent with the whole salt-and-light business Jesus talked about…


Five Suggestions for Christians in the Midst of the Sexual Revolution | TGC

Don’t Wish for Spiritual Growth, Work for It

I am a working mother. I am a steady volunteer for my children’s respective schools and my church. I’m a carpool mom for various after-school programs, a wife of 15 years, a daughter of aging parents, and a mother trying to cook healthy homemade meals at least three times a week.

I’m an aunt to nine nieces and nephews and, in my spare time, I’m trying to lose ten pounds before my niece’s wedding in October, to develop friendships — and did I mention recording a new EP album before November? Needless to say, I have many good things vying for my attention and time, along with ample excuses not to get it all done in any given day.

A Challenge to Work

Yesterday, my car pulled out of my driveway at 8:32am. Frankly, I was pretty proud of myself for being ready for the day: perfume and make-up applied, everyone fed, and kids off to school by this hour. As I was driving, I saw a woman running with a jogging stroller, which held three toddler triplets. I’ve seen this woman before — frequently in fact — but this morning the image of this mother and her children hit me in a whole new way.

I thought, Here is a woman who is hungry to grow. This woman’s desire for physical health far exceeded the difficulty of wrangling three toddlers into a stroller by 8:30 am (sometimes even earlier).

While spiritual growth is partly produced by the believer, it is sovereignly governed by God.


Observing this woman’s tenacity and desire instantly inspired me. She is working hard for something she really values, I thought. This young mother has at least three justifiable “excuses” for why she didn’t have to be jogging at that hour of the morning. She had plenty of good things vying for her time and attention.

But, instead of surrendering to the obstacles which stood in the way of her physical health, instead of wishing her circumstances were different, instead of waiting for them to change, she stopped wishing and started working toward her goal, despite adversities.

While observing this woman, God challenged me about my spiritual growth:

  • What am I willing to endure to grow in my faith?
  • Where is my tenacity and desire these days?
  • Am I wishing for, rather than working for, a deeper relationship with Christ?

Recently, I’ve found myself in precisely the place of wishing, rather than working. What about you?

Who’s Responsible?

Time in God’s Word is so easily set aside when the pressures of work, our kids’ schedules, our marriages, and our community time are all vying for our attention. As for the running-mother-of-triplets, the tyranny of the urgent could have crowded out her need to work towards her health. But it didn’t. She made the decision to work for growth.

Will we do the same?

As believers, it is vital for us to make the decision to work for spiritual growth, so we are personally transformed and so we can impact others with the love of Christ.

Pastor and author John MacArthur aptly reminds us in his article “Who Is Responsible For Your Spiritual Growth?“:

…the Christian life is anything but a passive pursuit. The New Testament commands believers to “be all the more diligent” (2 Peter 1:10), to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), to “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24), to “run” that we may obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24), and to “work out” our salvation (Philippians 2:12). Our spiritual growth clearly involves human exertion.

But MacArthur also reminds us from Philippians 2:12-13 that, while spiritual growth is in part produced by the believer, it is also sovereignly governed by God:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

God Works, We Work

Therefore, because it is God at work within us, we have been given everything we need to pursue growth in Christ. When we are daily devoted to developing a deeper connection with Christ, allowing God to do a work in us through the truth of his Word, the growth results are as follows:

His delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:2-3)

Establishing a daily routine and working toward, not just wishing for, a deeper relationship with Christ is so worth it. When we unlock God’s living and active Word, Psalm 1 tells us we will yield fruit and we will prosper.

Do you find yourself wishing for a deeper connection with Christ?  If so, what is one thing you can do to create time and space to commune with the God of the universe?


Spiritual Growth

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10 Best Things Billy Graham Ever Said

Billy Graham is proud to be 96-and-a-half years old and hopes to live to 100. His son, Franklin says he’s quieter now, but still sharp.

Billy Graham has been widely known as the “Evangelist to the World” and “Pastor to Presidents.”

Franklin said he thinks God still has him here on earth to encourage Christians around the world.

“Especially now that we see Christians under attack in this country—and this is something, we’re going to see more and more of this—my father is still present. Even though he’s not able to speak as much as he used to, he’s still present, and I think that is a great encouragement to many people to know that Billy Graham is still with us,” said Franklin.

To honor Billy Graham, here are ten of the best things he has said:

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is like a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”


“God never takes away something from your life without replacing it with something better.”

“The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”


“God has given us two hands–one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.”


“We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding.”

“Christ not only died for all: He died for each.”


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Does God hate the wicked?

“Does God hate the wicked? Or does he just hate the wicked things they do?”

Scripture makes it clear that God has a judicial hatred for wicked men (Psalm 11:5). This is different than the sinful hatred you and I may have, because God is without sin.

Of Rome And Popes And Humility

Pope Francis has landed and, if the media circus is an indication, it’s a pretty big deal. Historically I can understand the significance of his visit. He’s only the fourth Pope to come to the United States—the first being Pope Paul VI in 1965. For the first time in congressional history the Bishop of Rome addressed both houses of Congress. And since over seventy-million people in America are more or less devoted to the Holy See, his voice on social concerns from the unborn, to immigration, and family values isn’t completely irrelevant. Despite the pomp and pageantry, however, maybe it’s a good day to be reminded why we’re Protestant.

One of the things that has captured the attention of the world is Pope Francis’s humble approach to the papacy. From the moment he was inaugurated he refused the papal car and rode on the bus with his fellow bishops. Everyone was amazed when he took time to pay his hotel bill. He even chose to forgo the Apostolic Palace as a place of residence and prefers the more modest St. Martha’s Guesthouse. Just this week he turned down an invitation to lunch with Washington’s elite to serve and dine with the homeless. While this has enamored the media, drawn tribute from President Obama on the White House South Lawn, and won praise from so many people, I personally find it completely contradictory that a man with such a reputation can still call himself “Pope,” or according to his full title, “His Holiness, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God.”

Why do I say that? Because there’s no humility in the office of Pope. That title isn’t a meaningless word. It has a definition. Or, to put it this way, it has doctrine. The Pope isn’t simply some foreign dignitary with social concerns ranging from the unborn to climate change, he isn’t only some figurehead who holds the power of opinion and persuasion, he isn’t a church leader who only exercises supervision and guidance or starts conversations. In Catholic belief he is so much more.

For instance, the Catholic Catechism says:

“The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, ‘is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’ ‘For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered’” (882).

“In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility…The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful—who confirms his brethren in their faith—he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals” (888, 891).

The Council of Florence Declared:

“We likewise define that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff, hold the primacy throughout the entire world; and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and the true vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the entire Church, and the father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter by our Lord Jesus Christ, to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church.”

The First Vatican Council Maintains:

“If anyone says that the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy let him be anathema” (4.2.5).

“We promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical council of Florence which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the apostolic see and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole church and father and teacher of all christian people. To him, in blessed Peter, full power has been given by our Lord Jesus Christ to tend, rule and govern the universal church” (4.3.1).

“We teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchal subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world” (4.3.2).

“This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation” (4.3.3).

The Second Vatican Council’s Lumen Gentium Affirms:

“But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power.”

Those aren’t humble and lowly claims–they’re extraordinary! The man who was greeted by our President, who addressed a joint-session of Congress, who is meeting tens of thousands of Americans in three cities believes he is Christ’s substitute on earth endowed with universal authority and power over all Christians who cannot, without endangering their souls, deny him. Where is the humility in that? It is, or in the very least it comes extremely close to “proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)–especially since there isn’t a shred of biblical support for it. The Vatican itself has acknowledged, “The New Testament contains no explicit record of a transmission of Peter’s leadership; nor is the transmission of apostolic authority very clear” and that “the New Testament texts offer no sufficient basis” for Papal supremacy (see First Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission, sections 6 & 7). So lofty and grandiose are the claims of the Papacy that Roman Catholic theologian Matthias Scheeben wrote, “If the power over the human mind and the infallible possession of Divine truth claimed by the Catholic hierarchy did not really come from God, the claim would be horrible blasphemy, and the hierarchy would be the work of the devil.” Such strong language probably makes many Protestants (and, I suspect, many Catholics!) quite uncomfortable. So much for a humble approach to the Papacy.

7 crucial reasons why a pastor’s spiritual life matters to his church

Pastor, your spiritual health matters to your church. Your pursuit of Christ impacts your people. You know this, of course, but does your daily schedule reflect it? When you allocate time and energy toward the spiritual disciplines, do you do so with a view toward what is at stake? God’s sovereign purposes are not dependent on your maturity, of course, but the New Testament often speaks of the significance of a pastor’s spirituality to the health of his congregation. Consider the following seven reasons motivation for the pursuit of godliness and guides to praying for your own growth.

7 motivations for pursuing God:

1. God is holy and he will not be mocked.

Personal holiness is indispensable because you serve a holy God (1 Peter 4:14­–16). But your growth in godliness must be rooted in faithfulness to Christ, not the pursuit of fruitful ministry. Your motivation has to rest on the character of God because no other incentive will be constant. Your people may not know if you falter in your private devotions, and you may not be a pastor forever. But he who called you into holiness will always be holy and he will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7­–9).

2. Godliness is good for you.

The pursuit of godliness is not at odds with your hopes for happiness. In fact, as Paul reminded Timothy, godliness “holds promise for the present life” (1 Tim. 4:8). Pastors who are growing in their faith can take comfort in a clean conscience. You may not always know what to do in your ministry, but you can know with certainty how to do it—with Christ-like character. Moreover, godliness holds promise “also for the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Your regular efforts to discipline yourself are daily deposits into that moment when you hear your master declare, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).

3. Your spirituality can inspire or impede the salvation of others.

The apostle Paul once told a young pastor to keep a close watch on his life and teaching because “by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16). Paul was not suggesting that a pastor’s lifestyle alone will bring salvation to his congregation. Rather, he seemed to be pointing to the power of preaching the Word of God and living a life that makes it more believable. When others observe a life transformed by the gospel, they are inspired to consider the good news for themselves. Your life is not the means of salvation for anyone, but it can be used by God to point them in the right direction. Likewise, it can be a distraction from the truth you preach each week.

4. Your conduct impacts the effectiveness of your communication. ­­­

A brilliant sermon can be silenced by a lifestyle that contradicts it. As leaders, we must strive “to keep the commandment unstained” (1 Tim. 6:14), so that “the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:5). You put hours into studying the text so that you can faithfully expound upon its meaning. Do not short-circuit your efforts by forsaking your own spirituality. Your prayer life is more important than your sermon prep. If you want to point your people faithfully to the power of the Word, start by persistently consuming it yourself.

5. Your people learn discipline from you as well as doctrine.

Paul’s example with Timothy reminds us that the people we lead and serve will inherit more from us than simply our sermons (2 Tim. 3:10). In fact, God commands them to do so (Hebrews 13:7). As a pastor, you can help your people grow in spiritual maturity by living a life worthy of imitation. This kind of leadership cannot be accomplished as you breeze past the pews on your way to the pulpit each week. You have to know your people and they have to know you. You ought to be able to say to them, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Then you must live a life that will give you no regrets if they do.

6. Your enemy wants to destroy you.

Wise pastors know their enemy well, and they recognize their daily peril as preachers of God’s Word (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy would love to see your study of Scripture become a professional skill rather than a personal discipline. He will coax you toward using the text as ammunition against your congregation rather than applying it to your own heart. He will draw your attention to the specks of others while distracting you from the log in your own eye (Matt. 7:3–5). Pastors, “Keep watch on yourself lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1).

7. A reckoning awaits.

Pastors are stewards of the mysteries of God (Col. 1:24–25) and will some day give an account for their work (Matt. 25:19, James 3:1). The prospect of this day ought to humble us to seek the Spirit anew every morning. As a pastor, you have not merely received a job to do but souls to guard (Heb.13:17). Therefore, pastors must pursue spiritual maturity for their own sake and for the sake of those entrusted to their care. “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal.6:9).

Whether you are a pastor or future pastor, there are critical things at stake in how you live your life.


Matthew D. Haste, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Ministry Studies at Columbia International Seminary and School of Ministry in Columbia, SC, where he serves as Faculty Mentor for the 5-year B.A./M.Div Program. He is married to Cheyenne and they have three kids: Haddon, Anna, and Adelyn. He is co-author, along with Robert L. Plummer, of Held in Honor: Wisdom for your Marriage from Voices of the Past (Christian Focus, 2015). 

Friday’s 5 to Live By

17 Quotes on Worship

Pastor Paul Tautges collates 17 Quotes on Worship.

What Are the Most Common Struggles of a Regular Pastor?

Pastor Brian Croft at his Practical Shepherding site, addresses the question, What Are the Most Common Struggles of a Regular Pastor?

A Powerful Practice for Prayer

Tim Challies acknowledges what would be wise for all of us to admit: maintaining a consistent prayer life is difficult, yet vital. He provides a succinct word of counsel for addressing our prayer lives in A Powerful Practice for Prayer.

2 (Glorious) Truths About God’s Wrath

Pastor J.D. Greear writes, “There is little question that in today’s society, the wrath of God is the most offensive doctrine imaginable.” Then he writes, “as much as we hate to think about wrath, it’s actually a good doctrine—something that when we understand it, leads us to know, love, and worship God. A god without wrath would actually be a god without goodness.” Pastor Greear develops his thinking in 2 (Glorious) Truths About God’s Wrath.

Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful?

At the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, they are producing Truth in Love podcast. They have also now begun providing complete transcripts of those podcast. Go to this link to read the transcript of Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful?

Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

My friend Trillia’s recently released book, Fear and Faith, is on sale right now for $3.03. It’s worth getting at any price, so don’t pass up the deal. Reform Heritage’s “Cultivating Biblical Godliness” series is also on sale 99¢ each:

Advice on Hosting and/or Accepting Speaking Engagements

Good advice for both parties.

Why We Need the New Battle for the Bible

Mark Galli:

Decades ago, Harold Lindsell, then editor in chief of this magazine, called for a “battle for the Bible.” He took to task evangelical institutions whose definition of biblical authority was, in his view, inadequate. His book of that title was divisive and unhelpful. Yet his basic concern cannot be faulted. Today we need a new battle for the Bible—not for a precise definition of biblical authority that all evangelicals can agree on, but a simple return to the Bible as the final authority in matters of faith and practice—and especially Christian doctrine.

Confronting the Person Who Lies to You the Most

Aaron Earls:

Constantly, they berate me and put me down, enticing me to feel worthless. Every positive word and thought I have is countered by them with a negative accusation. If my dreams are sparks seeking to become a fire, they are a bucket of water drowning any hope of a flame.

Who is this person that has such influence in my life and uses it to do so much harm?


Community Matters: The Importance of Transformational Small Groups

Ed Stetzer:

Make sure you hear me correctly. I’m talking about the ministries and programs of your church as an organization. Those activities and functions your church carries out in fulfilling its biblical obligations, especially regarding discipleship and spiritual formation. I’m not saying small groups are more important than doctrine. I’m not saying small groups are more important than the proclamation of the Word or the affirmation of the gospel.

This is simply about organization.

Check out


9 Marks of a Generous Giver | Dan Olson, The Gospel Coalition
Wonderful, biblical descriptions by Dan. I join him in his closing prayer: “May God loosen our grasp on possessions, and grow in us a heart to advance his kingdom through radical generosity.”

5 Wonderful Truths about Biblical Confession: Counseling from the Book of Ezra | Kevin Hurt, Biblical Counseling Coalition

Study Bibles as Theological Tool Kits | Ligonier
A preview of Justin Taylor’s article in Tabletalk.

Top Ten Roman Catholic Evangelism Books | Jordan Standridge, The Cripplegate
Books to help you reach out to Catholics with the Gospel.

Pope Francis Never Mentioned Jesus In His Speech To Congress | The Federalist
Includes a transcript of his speech at the conclusion of the article.

What Joe Biden Can Teach Us About the Abortion Debate | Aaron Earls
“While the two poles of the abortion debate each capture somewhere between a third and a fifth of the population at any given time, most Americans live somewhere in the middle.” Aaron offers ways for us to speak to those in the middle.

Death Sentence for Doctors? | Sophia Lee, World Magazine
What happens when a doctor’s best medical advice appears bigoted.

Kindle Deals

Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell ($3.03)

Who Is Jesus? by R. C. Sproul ($2.50)

How Should Men Lead Their Families? by Joel R. Beeke ($0.99)

What Is Experiential Calvinism? by Ian Hamilton ($0.99)

How Should Teens Read the Bible? by Joel R. Beeke ($0.99)

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts ($2.99)

New Book

Reviving the Black Church by Thabiti Anyabwile ($9.99)

Book Review: Reviving the Black Church, by Thabiti Anyabwile | Jemar Tisby, 9Marks


Adoption Mirrors God’s Love for Us

Articles, Resources, and More . . . Oh My! (09/25/15)

Revive ’15 LIVE Stream

Can’t make it to this year’s Revive ’15 in Indianapolis? No problem! Catch the conference via free LIVE stream on September 25–26.

Matt Chandler’s Bookshelf

I always love good book recommendations from trusted sources.

Gentle Selfishness

There are forms of selfishness that are not so easily recognized, and they are rampant in my life. I’m grateful for the blog post that exposes areas of subtle pride in my life.

Do You Have a Superficial Relationship with God?

Erik Raymond writes, “A mature relationship with God is not sanitary and starched. It is lived in, worn, and stretched. It is not superficial or free from conflict.” I’m learning this more and more and am grateful that our God is approachable through Jesus.

This ‘n’ That

  • Men, guard yourself and your marriage.
  • I’m in the process of William Paul Young’s latest book of heresy, Eve. Tim Challies already read it.
  • On archaic words and translational precision. Fred Butler takes a look at the KJV-only argument.
  • Phyllis Tickle, a leading postmodern and “emergent” thinker, died this week.
  • You should read this.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Ever want to be a Peanuts character?
  • Why evangelicals and Catholics cannot be “together.”
  • I’ve posted this sermon before, but in light of the fanfare of the pope’s visit, it seems appropriate to be reminded of why we reject the papacy:

A La Carte (September 25)

Thanks to all who prayed for me and for the Se Hombre conference here in Santo Domingo. A couple of thousand men attended with thousands more watching the livestream. The Lord is at work in Latin America and it’s wildly encouraging. I preach one more time this evening, then head home tomorrow.

Revive ’15

Women may be interested in catching the livestream of Revive ’15 with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and others. The event begins this afternoon.

Hosting and/or Accepting Speaking Engagements

Jared Wilson has some helpful advice for conference speakers and for the people who invite them.

The Lunar Eclipse

Here’s your guide to when and where to watch this weekend’s lunar eclipse.

The Fastest Camera

“A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second. Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.”

This Day in 1929. J. Gresham Machen delivers the inaugural address at Westminster Seminary to a class of fifty students. *

Being Offended and Being Persecuted

Russell Moore distinguishes between offence and persecution.

Nothing Explicitly Christian

Denny Burk listened to the pope’s speech yesterday and provides a few reflections.

Why Don’t Protestants Have a Pope?

Kevin DeYoung turns to Bavinck for the answer.

09/25/15 Our Goals of Life

READING: Ezra 7-10

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  For what do you want to be remembered? For being a great parent? For earning awards? For having money? For gaining power? All of us have different goals in mind when we consider the totality of life.

Ezra, a scribe who led a second group of exiles from Babylon back to Jerusalem in the 6th century BC, had clearly decided what his goals would be:

Ezra 7:10  Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.

With the “gracious hand of God” on him (Ezra 7:6, 7:9b) and an undying commitment to obedience to God’s Word, Ezra later prayed, confessed, wept, and fell face down before God when grieving the sins of his people (Ezra 10:1). That’s quite a picture, actually: the godly scribe on his face on behalf of people who were hardly faithful. He was a righteous man unafraid to grieve the disobedience of others before God.

All of these words, of course, speak to me as a preacher — but the words really apply to all of us. It is our responsibility to study the Word. It is further our mandate to obey what we read; to read without obedience is to treat the words as if they are only words. Obedience, then, must include teaching God’s Word to others. When others choose not to follow biblical teaching, our gut-wrenching grief on their behalf is indeed a proper emotion.

Are you studying the Word? Obeying it? Teaching it?

Do you weep when others ignore it?

PRAYER: “God, let me study, obey, and teach Your Word — and bring me to intercessory grief if others don’t listen.”

The Daily Discovery (September 25, 2015)

(Click title to go to full article)

Celebrate the “extraordinary” AND “ordinary” testimonies – “One of the best things to hear in a worship gathering is a story of how God is working in another’s life. About once a month or so, our church has a member of the congregation share something about what God’s done in their lives—how they came to faith, something critical God’s Word convicted them on, and so forth.  Typically the story follows the well established pattern of ‘happy life > crisis moment > downward spiral > rock bottom > turn to Jesus > positive change in life circumstances.”

Why Don’t Protestants Have A Pope? – “By definition Protestants do not make very good Catholics. (Or to be more precise, we are not good Roman Catholics, though I’d like to think a robust Protestant is a small-c catholic in the best sense of the word.) However much Protestants and Catholics can work together on social issues, and however much we may share an early creedal tradition, there are still many significant issues which divide us. One of the most important of those issues is how we understand the government that Christ gave to his church. In his massive four-volume Reformed Dogmatics, Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) gives six reasons Protestants reject the primacy of the Pope and the Catholic understanding of apostolic succession.”

Cessationism – Proving Charismatic Gifts have Ceased – “Does the Bible teach definitively that the charismatic gifts have ceased? Can cessationism (the view that they have ended) be proved? Some say that the cessationism cannot be conclusively proved from Scripture. We believe, however, that the ceasing of revelatory and sign-gifts in the time of the apostles is very plainly taught in God’s Word, so plainly, in fact, that the opposite view has only seriously appeared in the last 100 years or so.”

Fool’s Talk (Os Guiness) – “Being relatively unfamiliar with Os Guinness’ work, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but very quickly, I came to realize that he has established himself as an authority in the area of philosophy and Christian apologetics. Early on, he admits that Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion is the culmination of many decades of work, and it shows. Frankly, I was overwhelmed and astounded with the breadth of his knowledge and his ability to size up cultural phenomena and see issues as they really are.”

Council of Trent: Canons on Justification. – “Lutheranism was growing strong in the 1500’s. In response to this, the Roman Catholic church convened the Council of Trent in November of 1544 in an attempt to counter the doctrines raised and supported by the Reformers. The official opening of the council was on Dec. 13, 1545, and was closed on Dec. 14, 1563. The council delivered many statements on various subjects. These Canons have never been denied by the Roman Catholic Church.”


Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive


Oh the Hypocrisy!

The tension between Calvinism and the Gospel

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

Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, September 25, 2015


Top Headlines

Syria: Martyrdom, or Live to ‘Fight’ Another Day

Israel Prohibits non-Muslim Prayers at Holy Site During Muslim Holiday

Disney Makes Halloween Costumes Gender Neutral for First Time

Pope Francis to Become First Pope to Address Congress

Global Online Christian Evangelism Initiative to Launch on Sept. 30

Naghmeh Abedini Seeks Help from Pope for Imprisoned Husband

Rubio, Fiorina, Cruz Gaining Ground among Evangelicals

Blood Moon: When to Watch and What to Look For

Israel to Compensate Christian Church that was Attacked by Jewish Arsonists

Republicans Unveil Plan to Fund Government into December and Redirect Planned Parenthood Funds


Shout Your Abortion or Share Your Faith?

Cherry-Picking Pope Francis

How to Talk about Physician-Assisted Suicide

Is China the Greatest Threat to America?

Lethal Subjectivity: The Roots of Suicide as Autonomy

Our Time is Short

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

What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more

Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed

Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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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 25, 2015 US and World Briefing Report


Sep. 25, 2015


House Speaker John Boehner will resign from Congress at the end of October, lawmakers said, following repeated clashes with conservative members of his Republican conference including a potential government shutdown next week.

President Obama will hold a rare in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York amid a new flare-up of tensions over Russia’s moves in Syria.

The world’s largest economy expanded more than previously forecast in the second quarter, boosted by gains in consumer spending and construction that may help the U.S. withstand a global slowdown. Gross domestic product rose at a 3.9 percent annualized rate

Senate Republicans are proposing a new stopgap spending bill that would avoid a U.S. government shutdown while dropping conservative members’ bid to defund Planned Parenthood.

Justice Antonin Scalia and the American Civil Liberties Union agree on this much: The death penalty’s days may be numbered. Scalia, long a defender of capital punishment as a constitutional matter, said Tuesday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if his colleagues on the U.S. Supreme Court abolished it, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

In another sign that U.S. states are recovering from the Great Recession, a handful are triggering mechanisms that repay taxpayers when coffers overflow, and the wealthiest are receiving the most. At least seven states have such laws. Oregon this year paid back $402 million to taxpayers. Colorado and North Carolina set off similar triggers.

The International Monetary Fund is reviewing whether China’s yuan should be included in its Special Drawing Rights, a basket of reserve currencies used by the fund as a unit of account.

Blue Ridge Bank of Luray, Virginia is the first in the U.S. to take advantage of a new law that allows banks to offer cash prizes to depositors. The idea is to make saving a little more fun. The more you save, the greater your chances of winning monthly or yearly cash jackpots. It’s an extra inducement for low-income people to put money into an emergency fund at the bank rather than buying lottery tickets.

France is bidding to buy one of two rare works by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn to prevent its current owner, the Rothschild family, from shipping the painting to Amsterdam. Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said the Bank of France would make an “exceptional” donation of $89 million to purchase one of the 17th century paintings for the Louvre Museum, just four days after the Netherlands said it had made an offer to buy both masterpieces.

AP Top Stories

President Obama will host Chinese President Xi Jinping for his first U.S. state visit on Friday, but the pomp and pageantry will not be enough to mask tensions over alleged Chinese cyber spying, Beijing’s economic policies and territorial disputes with its neighbors.

Blame shifted towards Saudi authorities on Friday after a crush at the hajj killed at least 717 people, in the worst tragedy to strike the annual Muslim pilgrimage in a quarter-century.

The recently identified remains of a Marine hailed for his bravery in battle are heading home 72 years after he was killed on a remote Pacific atoll during World War II.

Pope Francis made history becoming the first Pope to ever address a U.S. Congress.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen received medical attention on Thursday after coughing, pausing and struggling to finish a speech in which she said the U.S. central bank was on track to raise interest rates this year for the first time in nearly a decade.

Demonstrators threw stones and launched fireworks at a bus full of asylum seekers arriving at a reception center in Lahti in southern Finland, late on Thursday, Finnish media reported on Friday.

A former German Army sniper was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday after he was caught in a sting operation that tested whether ex-soldiers would kill a federal agent.

It would present an “opportunity” for spy agencies if the foreign minister of Russia or Iran were to use a private email server for official business, the chief of the U.S. National Security Agency said. The comments by Admiral Mike Rogers were in response to questions during a U.S. Senate hearing about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for email.

A suicide bomber struck a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital on Thursday, killing 25 worshippers during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.


A daily flow of about 8,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to Europe is likely to continue, the United Nations warned.

A group of former Volkswagen employees in Brazil has filed a civil lawsuit against the German carmaker. The former employees accuse the firm of allowing its workers to be detained and tortured under Brazil’s military rule from 1964 to 1985.

A government booklet linking environmental activism and alternative music to violent extremism has been widely ridiculed by Australians.

The UN has denied that weapons found on a cargo ship seized by Kenyan authorities at the port of Mombasa were being transported illegally. It says they were part of a legitimate consignment for its peace mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


The Islamic State group is desperately looking for a social media mastermind since a U.S. drone dropped a bomb on its star pupil’s head in August.

The U.S. Air Force’s highest ranking officers have publicly and privately expressed alarm at China’s newest air missile, the PL-15, with one general asking outright at a public forum: “How do we counter that?”

MI – Hastings Area Schools has received a petition signed by 304 students who are asking that the district allow them to display the Confederate flag on school grounds.


Top News – 9/25/2015

World Space Leaders to Attend Jerusalem Outer Space Convention
Prof. Ben-Yisrael emphasized Israel’s role in space exploration: “We look forward to sharing Israel’s achievements in the field of space science and technology. Despite being one of the world’s smallest countries, we have achieved space-exploration independence allowing us to develop, launch and maintain our own satellites making us an international leader in the field.”

Move Over Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Make Room for the Yinon Plan
The theory is based on an article that was published in the 1982 winter edition of Kivunim, a “Journal for Judaism and Zionism,” by Oded Yinon, who writes that the agreements in the Camp David Accords should not be honored, and discusses how Arab states will be eroded along ethnic and religious lines. This article might otherwise have been forgotten, but conspiracy theorists got their hands on it and ran with the ball.

Khamenei Says Saudis Caused Hajj Stampede
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “improper measures” and “mismanagement” by Saudi authorities caused Thursday’s deadly stampede at the annual hajj pilgrimage, and announced three days of mourning. “The government of Saudi Arabia must accept the huge responsibility for this catastrophe,” state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying of the tragedy, which killed more than 700 pilgrims, including at least 90 Iranians.

NASA to Announce Mars Mystery Solved
NASA will detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars during a news briefing at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 28 at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

6.0-magnitude quake hits off Solomon Islands: USGS
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands early Friday, US geologists said, but there were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued.

This weekend’s full Moon is a supermoon, the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year. And it is going to be eclipsed.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic storms on Sept 25th when a solar wind stream is expected to reach Earth.

White House: Sanctions, oil leave Russia damaged
Though low crude oil prices are playing a part, the White House said Russia’s refusal to meet international expectations is leading to economic decline. Obama is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the United Nations next week. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Russian intervention in Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels continue their operations, will top the agenda.

Iceland’s volcanic gas emissions beat out Europe’s factories
Sulfur dioxide can cause acid rain and respiratory problems, but manmade emissions have been declining since the 1990s. According to a new study on the subject — published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres — the volcano’s toxic emissions bested the average amount of sulfur dioxide produced by European industry, and by a large margin.

Bulusan, Mayon, Taal volcanoes put on alert level 1
During the past 24 hours, Mayon volcano’s seismic monitoring team detected one volcanic earthquake causing a moderate emission of white steam plumes, the NDRRMC said. For Bulusan and Taal volcanoes, their respective seismic monitoring teams “did not record any volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours but their ‘abnormal’ status remains in effect”.

Telica volcano (Nicaragua): new eruptions and ash falls
New explosions with ash emissions occurred at the volcano during the past days, following a period of calm that had lasted several months since the series of similar eruptions earlier this year in May.

Former Radical Islamist: Yeah, Ben Carson Is Right About Muslims
Even after the criticism, Carson refused to walk back his comment, although he did offer more clarification. “Those Republicans that take issue with my position are amazing,” he wrote in a Facebook statement. “Under Islamic Law, homosexuals – men and women alike – must be killed. Women must be subservient. And people following other religions must be killed. I know that there are many peaceful Muslims who do not adhere to these beliefs. But until these tenants are fully renounced … I cannot advocate any Muslim candidate for President.”

Earthquake Injures Dozens in Indonesia
The 6.6-magnitude quake struck around 1:00 a.m. local time (1600 UTC) Friday north of the city of Sorong in Indonesia’s West Papua province, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At least 39 people were injured, some seriously, by falling debris, and at least 200 houses were damaged, say local disaster officials.

Poll: Most U.S. Muslims would trade Constitution for SHARIAH
The Council on America-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which has been most vocal in its calls for Carson’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race, claims to speak for American Muslims. The organization has a long history of ties to terrorists, as documented by WND’s “Rogues gallery of terror-tied leaders,” but it is still treated by most U.S. media as the Muslim equivalent of the American Civil Liberties Union.

You are not alone: most people believe that aliens exist
More than one in two people in the UK, Germany and the US believe there is intelligent life out there in the universe. The next time the subject comes up at the dinner table and you hear sniggers when someone admits they believe in aliens, it is worth remembering that it is not a fringe belief to think there is intelligent life out there – it is the mainstream viewpoint across the western world.

Russia announces naval drills in ‘east Mediterranean’
Russia’s defence ministry on Thursday said it will hold naval drills in the “east Mediterranean” in September and October, as the West frets over a military buildup by Moscow in Syria. The exercises include three warships from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, including the Saratov landing ship, the Moskva guided missile cruiser and the Smetlivy destroyer, the ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine crisis: Rebels order UN agencies to leave
The UN humanitarian aid chief has expressed alarm after UN agencies were ordered out of rebel-held parts of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. Stephen O’Brien said the agencies had been told to leave by Friday, and several international non-governmental organisations (NGO) by Saturday. The Luhansk separatists had earlier banned 10 international humanitarian agencies citing “violations”.

China to announce climate pledge as Xi visits Washington
China’s President Xi Jinping is set to unveil a landmark pledge on climate change and curbing harmful emissions, White House Officials have said. The moves comes after Mr Xi arrived in Washington DC for the next leg of his week-long US tour. Mr Xi and US President Barack Obama held informal talks at the White House on Thursday evening, where they also discussed Iran’s nuclear programme.

Mombasa ship: UN weapons seized by Kenya ‘not illegal’
The UN has denied that weapons found on a cargo ship seized by Kenyan authorities at the port of Mombasa were being transported illegally. It says they were part of a legitimate consignment for its peace mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both Kenyan authorities and the ship’s Norwegian owners have said that the weapons were not declared.

Carson: In order to preserve women’s rights, America must remain a ‘Judaeo-Christian’ nation
…Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson said that America should remain a “Judaeo-Christian” nation in order to preserve “the American way” as well as women’s rights, adding that Islamic societies treat women like “chattel.” Carson went on to say…societies who adopt from Sharia Law, a faith based system of religious rules, oppress women, stating “We do not want to import that type of ideology into America,”…

A no-show for a decade, Russia’s Putin is heading to the U.N.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will storm into New York on Monday seeking to prove that he will not be isolated at his first appearance at the United Nations General Assembly in a decade.

Extremists in Bangladesh publish global hit list of bloggers and writers
Islamic extremists in Bangladesh appear to be taking their war on secular writers and bloggers beyond the South Asian country’s borders.

Syrian army uses new Russian jets to strike Islamic State: monitor
Syrian government forces used newly arrived Russian warplanes to bombard Islamic State insurgents in Aleppo province in northern Syria, a group monitoring the civil war said on Thursday, in an attempt to break a siege on a nearby air base.

Over 700 killed in crush of hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia
Two giant waves of Muslim pilgrims collided at an intersection Thursday near a holy site in Saudi Arabia, and more than 700 people were crushed and trampled to death in the worst disaster at the hajj in a quarter-century.

Russian fighter jets enter Syria with transponders off
A U.S. official told CNN Thursday that Russian fighter jets turned off their transponders as they flew into Syria in an apparent attempt to avoid detection. The official said the fighters flew very close to a transport plane that had its transponder on and functioning. U.S. satellites rapidly saw that the aircraft were there, according to the official.

Surrender: San Fran’s iconic, last gun shop to close over new regulations
Ever since it was opened in the 1950s by a celebrated Olympic shooter, High Bridge Arms has been a defiant fixture in San Francisco’s Mission District, but a coming wave of new firearms restrictions has prompted the last gun shop in the liberal City by the Bay to pack it in.

Top Headlines – 9/25/2015

German Reporter Reveals ISIS Plans ‘Nuclear Tsunami’

Netanyahu says Israel will keep Temple Mount order amid report Abdullah won’t talk to him

Barghouti: Palestinian Authority will soon have election

‘Sunnis, Shi’ites fight each other, but they agree Israel has no place in Mideast,’ Netanyahu says

Rare 3,000-year-old King David era seal discovered by Temple Mount Sifting Project

Cruz: Republican Leaders Gave Up on Iran Deal

World leaders set to adopt broad UN goals to tackle global woes

US looking to advance political talks on Syria at UN

A no-show for a decade, Russia’s Putin is heading to the U.N.

Obama to ask Putin for clarity on Russian involvement in Syria

US cautions Russia against fanning flames of Syria war

Russians, Syrians and Iranians setting up military coordination cell in Baghdad

Russian fighter jets enter Syria with transponders off

Syrian army uses new Russian jets to strike Islamic State: monitor

Two Turkish soldiers, 34 Kurdish militants killed

Assad prays at Damascus mosque, addresses Syrians on Eid

EU refugee summit in disarray as Tusk warns ‘greatest tide yet to come’

Finnish demonstrators attack refugees with stones and fireworks

Pope tells Congress: US should reject hostility to immigrants

Pope expresses closeness to world’s Muslims after fatal haj stampede

Iran’s Khamenei: Saudi gov’t responsible for haj ‘catastrophe’

UN ‘Human Rights’ Chair Saudi Arabia to Crucify Protester

IS suicide bomber dressed as a woman kills 10 at Yemen Houthi mosque

US directs up to $45 million to support countries fighting Boko Haram

US, Australia embassies warn of Malaysia terror threat

Russia announces naval drills in ‘east Mediterranean’

Obama will meet Putin next week during the United Nations General Assembly session

Ukraine will be top item of Obama-Putin meeting

North Korea long-range rocket launch unlikely at anniversary, institute says

Surrender: San Fran’s iconic, last gun shop to close over new regulations

The Shemitah Has Come and Gone but the Greatest Financial Crisis Is Still Ahead

Yellen expects rate hike this year ‘unless the economy surprises us’

Yellen Gets Medical Attention After Struggling With Speech

Obama to host China’s President Xi amid simmering tensions

Obama seeks elusive progress on cyberspying in China talks

NSA chief says Chinese government encourages cybertheft

Magnitude 6.9 quake hits off coast of Indonesia’s Irian Jaya province

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Honiara, Solomon Islands

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Port Hardy, Canada

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits Southeast of Easter Island

Telica Volcano Erupts: Nicaragua on High Alert as Ash Rises Above Volcano

Dujuan to Strengthen Into Powerful Typhoon, Threaten Taiwan And Japan’s Ryukyu Islands

Thousands homeless in flooded Sierra Leone capital

Storm Clobbers East With Prolonged Windswept Rain, Coastal Flooding

Senate stops bill defunding Planned Parenthood

House GOP May Opt Against Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood

Obama Administration: Protecting Babies Born Alive During Abortions Would Have ‘Chilling Effect’ on ‘Access to Care’

Army Rejects Appeal of Green Beret Who Stood Up for Afghan Rape Victim

Saudi prince arrested on sex crime charge at Los Angeles mansion

Putin offers to meet Elton John after gay rights prank call – Kremlin

CCCU: Christian Colleges that Permit Professors in Same-Sex Marriages Resign Membership

From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: Most Evangelical Pastors Have Positive View of Pope

New Video – Time to Kick Islam Out of Britain

Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults

Frontrunning: September 25

  • Global Markets Rebound on Yellen Speech (Read More)
  • Obama and Putin to meet; Syria and Ukraine vie for attention (Read More)
  • Obama to host China’s President Xi amid simmering tensions (Read More)
  • Don’t Fall for It, Xi! Chinese Take to Web to Scorn U.S.—and China, Too (Read More)
  • Yellen Confirms Fed Still on Track to Raise Rates This Year (Read More)… but is still China dependent?
  • Abe’s New Economic Plan Confounds Analysts (Read More)
  • It’s All `Perverted’ Now as U.S. Swap Spreads Tumble Below Zero (Read More)
  • China Capital Outflows Hit Record in August on Yuan Weakness (Read More)
  • Brazil Braces for More Pain (Read More)
  • Saudi suggests pilgrims at fault over haj deaths, Iran indignant (Read More)
  • Volkswagen turns to Porsche boss to steer it out of crisis (Read More)
  • BlackBerry Plans Android Device as Loss Exceeds Expectations (Read More)
  • Japan no longer even trying to make sense: Japan PM Abe Aims for 20% Nominal GDP Growth to Â¥600 Trillion (Read More)
  • Bill to avoid government shutdown moves in Congress (Read More)
  • The New Bond Market: Algorithms Trump Humans (Read More)
  • The Jocks of Computer Code Do It for the Job Offers (Read More)
  • Global Oil Market Gets New Chinese Traders Hungry to Taste Crude (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Pope’s Congress address fails to mention Jesus, affirms leftward leading of Roman Church

Pope Francis Challenges Congress to Heal World’s ‘Open Wounds’, New York Times (Peter Baker and Jim Yardley)

Pope Francis Never Mentioned Jesus In His Speech To Congress, The Federalist (Federalist Staff)

Transcript: Pope Francis’s speech to Congress, Washington Post

Pope Pious: What Evangelicals Like About Francis, Christianity Today (Chris Castaldo)

A Pope for All Species, New York Times (Nicholas Kristof)

2) Abortion videos expose divide over abortion as either murder or morally insignificant

The G.O.P.’s Obsession With Planned Parenthood, New York Times (Editorial Board)

3) Pagan Pride Day reveals inherent spiritual identity and needs even in hyper-modern age

Pagan Pride Day: Earth-based religions celebrate unique identity, Religion News Service (Lauren Pond)
In other news…

Wesleyan students push boycott of campus newspaper, Washington Post (Michael Melia)

Black Lives Matter and So Does Free Speech, Weslyan Argus (Antonio Farias, Michael Roth and Joyce Jacobsen, President, Provost, and Vice-President for Equity and Inclusion)

A deadly stampede shows the danger of the hajj, Washington Post (Adam Taylor)
More Than 700 People Killed in Mecca Stampede, Wall Street Journal (Ahmed Al Omran)
Pope Francis Skips Lunch With Politicians To Be With Homeless In Washington, D.C., Huffington Post (Carol Kuruvilla)

White House to Announce That Obama and Putin Will Meet, The New York Times (Peter Baker)

Putin and Obama to Meet in New York, The Wall Street Journal (Carol E. Lee)

The future of language, The Washington Post (Rick Noack)

September 24, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Salem radio commentator Hugh Hewitt has become a media darling for his “expert” opinions, as he lectures Republicans on how to handle not only the media, but the issues. However, Hewitt is the same commentator who had flatly predicted a big Mitt Romney win…. (more)

September 24, 2015
BOB UNRUH — The “Impeach Obama” banners that have appeared on overpasses across the United States could return to Dallas in the wake of a federal judge’s acceptance of a consent judgment in which the city admitted its rules violated the First Amendment…. (more)

September 24, 2015
THE HILL — Growing chatter about a possible coup against Speaker John Boehner has set Capitol Hill on edge. Talk that conservatives might use a government-funding showdown to overthrow the powerful Ohio Republican has triggered a flurry of behind-the-scenes jockeying among lawmakers eager to move up the leadership ladder…. (more)

September 24, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — Is it possible for a “good Muslim” to also be a “good president” of the United States of America? Ben Carson doesn’t think so, but the question divides the Republican Party along familiar lines – – those preferring a more establishment candidate and those looking for an outsider…. (more)

September 24, 2015
CHARLES HURT — Speaking under the hateful gaze of Che Guevara in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution – – a shrine to ruthless communism – – Pope Francis scolded us to “serve people, not ideas.”… (more)

September 24, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says President Obama deliberately deceived Pope Francis Wednesday during an extravagant ceremony at the White House meant to welcome His Holiness to the U.S…. (more)

September 24, 2015
NEWSMAX — Hillary Clinton – – believing leaks by President Barack Obama staff’s triggered the federal probe of her private email account – – ripped into the commander in chief, telling him, during a tense meeting, “What I want for you to do is call off your f – -king dogs, Barack!”… (more)

September 24, 2015
THE AMERICAN MIRROR — Now who’s being the child? Conservative YouTube sensation CJ Pearson, a 13-year-old black middle schooler from Georgia, revealed today that he’s been blocked from following President Obama on Twitter. He’s also unable to view the president’s tweets…. (more)

September 24, 2015
NEWSMAX — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is polling at 0.3 percent in the current Real Clear Politics average of polls, so he’s likely one of the people Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was addressing Monday when he urged others in the crowded GOP field to follow his example and drop out so a smaller field could fight front-runner Donald Trump…. (more)

September 24, 2015
MIRROR — A jihadist suicide bomber was filmed breaking down in tears before being sent to his death in war-torn Syria. The frightened fighter, named as an Jafar al-Tayyar, from Uzbekistan, is seen being comforted by his fellow militants moments before he launches his deadly attack on Shi’ite town of Fua in Idlib Province – an Assad regime stronghold…. (more)

September 23, 2015
BREITBART — Muslims are the fastest growing bloc of immigrants, according to new census data published by the Center for Immigration Studies. The report, which analyzes data from American Community Survey (ACS), finds that the foreign-born population in the U.S. hit a new record high 42.4 million in July 2014…. (more)

September 23, 2015
BLOOMBERG — The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from the private computer server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the investigation…. (more)

September 23, 2015
POLITICO — More previously undisclosed State Department emails related to Benghazi have surfaced in a federal court filing, offering a public accounting of at least some of the records still being sought by congressional investigators…. (more)

September 23, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Dr. Ben Carson is getting a lot of heat for saying he wouldn’t support a Muslim for president. He deserves a medal for his courage, his honesty and his common sense. Islam is not just a religious faith, like Catholicism or Judaism…. (more)

September 23, 2015
BOB UNRUH — A retired military colonel, now a Fox News analyst, has dropped a bombshell in the case of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. Army sergeant held for five years by the Taliban who is charged with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy…. (more)

September 23, 2015
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE — Vice President Joe Biden believes that life begins at conception, according to a statement he made while inviting pro-lifers to join the Democratic party in conjunction with Pope Francis’s visit to the United States…. (more)

September 22, 2015
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — Whenever Republicans and conservatives gather among themselves – – and I’ve been to many such meetings in recent months – – people talk about the need for new leadership in Washington. Every day I hear Republican voters expressing disappointment with the Republicans who occupy the top jobs in the U.S. House and Senate…. (more)

September 22, 2015
GREG COROMBOS — 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…. (more)

September 22, 2015
NEWSMAX — Judicial Watch on Monday released 50 pages of emails from Huma Abedin, a top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that the group says discuss possibly “sensitive security and foreign affairs issues.”… (more)

September 22, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — 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. Sheikh Muhammad Ayed ordered Muslims fleeing Iraq, Syria and northern Africa to show the world what a fertile culture looks like…. (more)

September 22, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — A top fundraiser for the March of Dimes in two Southern states has been ousted after questioning her employer on whether it has ties to Planned Parenthood’s business of supplying aborted babies for scientific research…. (more)

September 22, 2015
NEWSMAX — Is Jeb Bush a secret pothead? Donald Trump is hinting he is. On Monday, the billionaire developer released a cheeky video, referring to Bush’s admission last week that he smoked marijuana 40 years ago. “Jeb has been confused for forty years…” taunts the video, posted on Instagram…. (more)

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)

Daily Digest

September 25, 2015


“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.” —Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21


Boehner: Going, Going, Finally Gone


In a moment long awaited by conservatives around the nation, House Speaker John Boehner announced Friday that he will resign both his post and his seat at the end of October. An aide claims Boehner had intended to resign at the end of last year, but he delayed the transition after then-Majority Leader and presumptive successor Eric Cantor lost his seat in a huge primary upset. The trouble with Boehner is that he failed to lead — perhaps not surprising given that his entire goal seems to have been merely winning the position of speaker. Donald Trump’s rise in the presidential field is almost directly proportional to failed GOP leadership. As Mark Alexander noted recently, “Trump’s support reflects very little about his qualifications, but a lot about his message and how dissatisfied millions of disenfranchised grassroots conservatives are with Republican ‘leadership.’ The status quo represented by Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has, in effect, underwritten Trump’s rising stardom. Despite greatly increasing the numbers of conservatives in the House and Senate in the historic ‘Republican Wave’ elections nationwide in both 2010 and 2014, the much-loathed ‘establishment types’ still hold the reins and they have failed to counter Barack Obama’s socialist policies. GOP leaders continue to marginalize or ignore the concerns of the conservative/Republican base — grassroots conservatives — and we are rightly outraged.”

Resigning now means Boehner loses nothing from stopping a shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding. And while it’s likely that Majority Leader and close Boehner ally Kevin McCarthy will step in to the speakership, he will undoubtedly be under pressure to move Right.

Your move, McConnell.

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Pope Doesn’t Say Much About Climate After All

Many observers feared (or hoped) that Pope Francis would pontificate on man-made global warming and the need for government solutions in Thursday’s address to Congress. But it wasn’t to be. Here’s the extent of his remarks on the topic:

This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concerns and affects us all. In “Laudato Si,” I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.

At first hearing, there’s really not much for conservatives who are conservationists to disagree with there. But there are two key problems: the pope’s assertion that climate change is “caused by human activity,” and who he addressed his comments to — Congress. The science is far from settled on the cause or reach of climate change (humans do impact the environment, but how much is the question), and most proposals before Congress involve hampering economic activity — i.e., exacerbating and not “combating poverty” — to fight a supposed menace we don’t fully understand.

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EPA Finds Opportunity in Volkswagen Scandal

How long has this policy been sitting in the wings, waiting for the opportune moment? In response of the revelations that Volkswagen cheated on its emission tests, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will change the way it tests the emissions of vehicles. The EPA will now test vehicles as they drive the roads, in addition to lab testing. For seven years, Volkswagen installed software in its diesel cars that sensed when a vehicle was hooked up to a test. That changed when the cars hit the road, where the cars started emitting many times the legal emission limits for gasses like nitrogen oxide in the name of fuel economy. And for violating an unconstitutional regulation, Volkswagen will pay — possibly to the tune of $18 billion. “When there is this kind of deception, we’ve got to get these agencies to be able to cut through it and catch it,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). In the name of catching companies that decide to cheat the government, the EPA will pry further into the automobile industry, bringing more regulation in the name of clean air. (Because this is evidently a far worse crime than killing people, like Government Motors and Toyota did.) No doubt the EPA will decide to impose more regulation and more control because of climate change, too. A crisis has come, and the EPA is going to take this as a mandate to make the quality of vehicles worse for everybody.

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China Flexes Muscle With State Visit

By Michael Swartz


In part two of a particularly whirlwind week in Washington, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for his first visit to Washington since becoming president in 2013. And Barack Obama is welcoming Xi for an official state visit at a time when that’s not the signal the U.S. ought to be sending to China. Let’s just say that, in terms of our interests, the Asia pivot isn’t quite working as Obama billed it.

Yet while some observers gush over the prospect of a formal state dinner for Xi that features Maine lobster, others fret about how Xi is eating our lunch. A series of ceremonies usually reserved for close allies is the reward for the president of a nation that’s recently been accused of hacking sensitive data (a hack that we found out the day of Xi’s arrival netted 5.6 million fingerprints), manipulating its currency and being more aggressive with its military. China has also detained American businesswoman Sandy Phan-Gillis, who’s been held since March on accusation of “spying.”

And that’s on top of Xi ushering in what some consider the worst religious repression since Mao’s “cultural revolution.”

Obama, though, seems oblivious to the problems between our nations, and in some part it could be because he gets along well with the Chinese leader. Recall that Obama’s visit to China last November led to the framework of a greenhouse gas pact in which we begin working to reduce greenhouse emissions now while China starts in 15 years. It was finalized during a five-hour private dinner between the two men.

Fighting climate change is always a work in progress with Obama, and the two nations plan to announce China’s new cap-and-trade plan to crack down on emissions today, though the plan evidently won’t alter last year’s emissions targets. An agreement with China on the issue is a key piece of Obama’s climate change agenda ahead of the Paris climate summit in December.

China also has a tremendous amount of pull in the business world. When China wanted captains of Silicon Valley industry to meet while Xi was in Seattle, these businessmen were “absolutely expected to be there.” So a meeting intended originally for mid-level executives became the “summoning” to kiss Xi’s ring. When China’s centrally controlled economy makes an offer, companies find it hard to refuse. Obama didn’t have that same effect back in February, when he attempted to sell the industry on cybersecurity and privacy in the computer world.

Deserved or not, China will get its state dinner and Xi can get the propaganda points back home, since it’s a sure bet Chinese state-controlled media is all over this visit. One thing is sure: Xi is pressing his advantage during Obama’s remaining months in office. He knows that a Republican administration would be a tad less accommodating.

Finally, it will be interesting to compare this to another upcoming visit from a head of state — that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Will our ally get the same welcome Xi did, or will he be snubbed as he was in the spring?

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Michelle Malkin: “A White House that wants to spend billions to stop ‘climate change’ in the name of saving all the children of the planet can’t bother to stop the violent sexual assaults of boys held hostage right under our noses by our warmly embraced ‘allies’ in the Afghan military. A White House that splashed social media with pleas to ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ after Boko Haram jihadists in Nigeria kidnapped 300 girls and women has nothing to say about the legions of boys forced into prostitution and pedophilia rings witnessed by U.S. troops. A White House bent on whitewashing away radical Islam’s sins against Christians, Jews, gays, apostates, cartoonists, genitally mutilated women and child brides would rather celebrate ‘diversity’ than lift a finger to protect the victims of political correctness run amok. To paraphrase 2009 Nobel Prize winner President Obama: It’s on you.”

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Insight: “This wretched resource of turning interest into principal, is the most humiliating and disgraceful measure that a nation could take, and approximates with rapidity to absolute ruin.” —Gov. William Richardson Davie (1756-1820)

For the record: “[John] Boehner lost the ability to bully conservatives because outside conservative groups started making those guys heroes and household names for standing up to Boehner. Conservatives built themselves infrastructure to fundraise for themselves when Boehner shut off K Street spigots. And now Boehner had closed his doors not just to social conservatives, but fiscal conservatives and war hawks. All he had left were a small group of moderates and the assistance of the Democrats. He could not survive a motion to vacate the chair with that. He had to resign.” —Erick Erickson

Upright: “[Donald Trump] looked very bad in the last debate because he had no substance. There is only so much time in a presidential campaign when you can say, ‘My strategy is I’m smarter than everybody else, I cut great deals… I can’t tell you my foreign-policy plans because I don’t want to tip off the enemy.'” —Marc Thiessen on why Trump is, for the first time since his announcement, experiencing a marked decline in poll averages

Observations: “While we can all recognize and celebrate that Ahmed [Mohamed] won’t be going to jail, the treatment of Ahmed’s case by the president and the press ensure that next time a young Muslim student brings a suspicious object to school, administrators will ignore it for fear of career-ending consequences. And next time, that suspicious object may not be a disassembled clock.” —Ben Shapiro

Good question: “If you want moral credit for caring about the poor, when, oh when, do you ever have to take responsibility for what happens to the poor when leftists take over?” —Mona Charen

“I am always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like … ‘Well, I believe in equal rights, but I’m not a feminist.'” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “Reports of ISIS violence was secretly scaled down in White House intel reports. I didn’t know lowering intelligence around here was possible.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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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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Pope Francis At UN Calls For A ‘Complete Prohibition’ Of All Nuclear Weapons

Pope Francis used the phrase “new agenda” to talk about how his vision of how the New World Order would go

“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 17:7 (KJV)

Pope Francis, fresh off his spectacular launch of his political career with his speech before Congress yesterday, addressed a packed house at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. At barely 5:00 minutes into his speech, he had already repeated the same catch-phrase “oppressive lending systems” multiple times. Evidently, the head of the world’s richest corporation, the Vatican, does not seem to like capitalism for anyone else. As with yesterday’s stump speech, the Pope did not mention Jesus Christ at all, and only gave vague, generalized references to God.


He warned of a “Pandora’s box” that would be opened and cause grave global harm, and that a “framework must be put in place” to prevent it.

Leaving that, the Pope went on to say that the environment was a “living entity” that must be afforded rights and privileges like as a human being would be. He stopped just short of invoking Mother Gaia, but he sure came close. He implied that “offenses against the environment” should be prosecuted in criminal courts. Pope Francis said that the “phenomenon of social and economic exclusion” must be brought to an end, without saying how that should be accomplished. But he then used the phrase “technical instruments of verification” in regards to policing environmental offenders, leading one to conclude he is speaking about a world court to judge and punish crimes against the planet. Certainly, this is where the globalists wish to bring the whole Climate Change debate.

Left Behind: The Movie – The Antichrist Addresses The United Nations

Pope Francis call for “complete prohibition” of all nuclear weapons

Francis used the phrase “new agenda” to talk about how his vision of how the New World Order would go. He warned of a “Pandora’s box” that could be opened would cause grave global harm, and that a “framework must be put in place” to prevent it. Specifically, Francis said that nuclear weapons represented an “affront” to the United Nations united by “fear and distrust”. There is an “urgent need” to work for a “complete prohibition of these weapons”. Hmm, this sure sounds a lot like what Nicolae Carpathia said in the “Left Behind” series when he addressed the United Nations. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, hmm…

“The hour has come”, Francis closed with, “that we must think about the hour of our common destiny. The real danger comes from man who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments. The common hope of all man must continue to rise on the understanding of universal fraternity.”

Left out was any mention of Jesus Christ, creator of the world and everything in it, with whom we will all one day have to face either in glory or in judgment. Pope Francis is a New World Order globalist, working to create a phony “brotherhood of man” all working for the “common good”. This has been the battle cry of every Socialist, Communist and Marxist dictator in the last 120 years.

He ended with “I pray to almighty God” that everyone here in the United Nations would work for the “brotherhood of man” and work to “achieve the common good of all mankind. May God bless you all.”

Not one word of Scripture, not one verse from the Bible, nothing. That’s the “message of hope” that the “vicar of Christ” leaves you with.

The Stock Markets Of The 10 Largest Global Economies Are All Crashing

Globe InterconnectednessYou would think that the simultaneous crashing of all of the largest stock markets around the world would be very big news.  But so far the mainstream media in the United States is treating it like it isn’t really a big deal.  Over the last sixty days, we have witnessed the most significant global stock market decline since the fall of 2008, and yet most people still seem to think that this is just a temporary “bump in the road” and that the bull market will soon resume.  Hopefully they are right.  When the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 777 points on September 29th, 2008 everyone freaked out and rightly so.  But a stock market crash doesn’t have to be limited to a single day.  Since the peak of the market earlier this year, the Dow is down almost three times as much as that 777 point crash back in 2008.  Over the last sixty days, we have seen the 8th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history on a point basis and the 10th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history on a point basis.  You would think that this would be enough to wake people up, but most Americans still don’t seem very alarmed.  And of course what has happened to U.S. stocks so far is quite mild compared to what has been going on in the rest of the world. (Read More….)

September 25, 2015: The UN Launches A ‘New Universal Agenda’ For Humanity

Puzzle Last Piece - Public DomainOne of the biggest steps toward a one world government that we have ever seen is happening this week, and yet barely anyone is even talking about it.  In fact, it is even being called a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  Those are not my words – those are the words that the United Nations is using.  If you don’t believe this, just go look at the official document for this new UN agenda.  You won’t have to read very far.  The phrase “new universal Agenda” is right near the end of the preamble.  Officially, the name of this ambitious new program is “the 2030 Agenda“, and it is being hyped as a way to get the whole world to work together to make life better for all of us.  And a lot of the goals of this new agenda are very admirable.  For example, who wouldn’t want to end global poverty?  But as you look deeper into what the UN is trying to do, you find some very disturbing things. (Read More…)

House Speaker John Boehner to Resign From Congress at End of October

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:46 AM PDT

House Speaker John Boehner will resign from Congress at the end of October, according to The New York Times. The stunning decision means there will soon be new leadership in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives. Boehner has faced unrelenting pressure from conservatives in Congress pressing him to lead the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, using a government spending bill as leverage. SOURCE

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Russian Army starts destroying Islamic State in Syria

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:42 AM PDT

The army of Bashar al-Assad has reportedly started crushing Islamic State militants that had previously seized the cities of Palmyra and Homs. Western experts and journalists believe that the Syrian troops receive substantial military assistance from Russian military men at the base in Latakia. In addition, Russia has deployed modern weapons, including air defense, missile systems and aviation, having turned the area of ​​the Russian base into a strong fortress. To crown it all, Russia still ships weapons to the government of Bashar Assad under previously concluded contracts. Russia’s TV channel “Zvezda” (“Star”) reports that the Syrian army forced ISIS militants to retreat from Palmyra, although they hide in residential areas and use ancient monuments as a cover.

“The militants, who had been keeping the city under control and destroying priceless ancient monuments for months, are being killed in the air raids of the Syrian Air Force. During the most recent attack, 40 terrorists were destroyed in the province of Homs,” Zvezda reporters say. It was also said that many militants of the Islamic State lay down their arms and surrender. “On September 20, in the village of Kanaker (province of Damascus) more than 500 fighters of the Islamic State and so-called moderate opposition laid down their arms,” Syrian agency SANA reports, adding that there is a video of ISIS militants yelling to government troops. The militants were said to be mercenaries from Iran, Turkey and Sudan. They received weapons from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon. There are also many US-made weapons and heavy equipment, reporters say . FULL REPORT

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The Stock Markets Of The 10 Largest Global Economies Are All Crashing

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:27 AM PDT

You would think that the simultaneous crashing of all of the largest stock markets around the world would be very big news. But so far the mainstream media in the United States is treating it like it isn’t really a big deal. Over the last sixty days, we have witnessed the most significant global stock market decline since the fall of 2008, and yet most people still seem to think that this is just a temporary “bump in the road” and that the bull market will soon resume. Hopefully they are right. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 777 points on September 29th, 2008 everyone freaked out and rightly so.

But a stock market crash doesn’t have to be limited to a single day. Since the peak of the market earlier this year, the Dow is down almost three times as much as that 777 point crash back in 2008. Over the last sixty days, we have seen the 8th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history on a point basis and the 10th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history on a point basis. You would think that this would be enough to wake people up, but most Americans still don’t seem very alarmed. And of course what has happened to U.S. stocks so far is quite mild compared to what has been going on in the rest of the world. Right now, stock market wealth is being wiped out all over the planet, and none of the largest global economies have been exempt from this. The following is a summary of what we have seen in recent days…FULL REPORT

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WA School District Bans Game of Tag To Protect ‘Emotional Safety’ Of Students.

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:23 AM PDT

Remember growing up as kids and playing games like Frozen Catchers, Hide and Seek, and “Tag”? Well cherish those memories because that is exactly what they will be reduced to! A new report indicates that, Administrators of the the Mercer Island School District are doing everything they can to protect all the fragile little snowflakes in their care. That’s why they have banned the game of tag on the playground. “The Mercer Island School District and school teams have recently revisited expectations for student behavior to address student safety,” district spokeswoman Mary Grady tells Q13 Fox. “This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.

“School staffs are working with students in the classroom to ensure that there are many alternative games available at recess and during unsupervised play, so that our kids can still have fun, be with their friends, move their bodies and give their brains a break.” Parents say they didn’t hear about the ban until their children told them. They were both befuddled and incensed. “Good grief, our kids need some unstructured playtime,” mother Kelsey Joyce says. “I totally survived tag,” she adds. “I even survived red rover, believe it or not.” FULL REPORT

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UN says parents who SPANK their children should be thrown in jail, but not parents who ABORT them

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:15 AM PDT

What would be worse? Spanking a child or aborting it? The answer may surprise you! According to the authoritarian lefties who sit on the United Nations Committee on Human Rights have an odd way of showing love and respect for children. Under the premise of advancing what the UN panel considers “human rights,” members have recently released a report suggesting that the United Kingdom should pass laws that ban parents and teachers from spanking children, even when used as a form of discipline.

The New American noted that the UN report also recommended that the UK government launch a propaganda campaign funded by taxpayers aimed at ending corporal punishment for children that emphasizes alleged “harmful effects.” Meanwhile, the same panel – indeed, the UN in general – remains an ardent supporter of abortion. In fact, its report even advocated for more abortions as part of a broader list of demands that included additional UN treaties and agreements, increased media and public censorship, and other actions. FULL REPORT


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Why a Million Moms Are Mad at the Muppets

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:10 AM PDT

One Million Moms (1MM) suspects there are going to be a lot of shocked moms and dads when they discover that the family-friendly Muppets of the 1970s are no more. It appears that no subject is off limits. ABC’s new Muppet Show, airing on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EDT, is not what Jim Henson imagined and created. The new show is aimed at a mature, modern audience and addresses subjects not suitable for family viewing. “It’s sort of an adult Muppet show,” Kermit the Frog said during a promotional video for the show. One ad read, “Finally, a network TV show with full frontal nudity.”

The mature version of The Muppets will cover a range of topics from sex to drugs. Miss Piggy came out as a pro-choice feminist during an MSNBC interview. The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on interspecies relationships and promiscuity. ABC hopes children watch the show and predict they would enjoy some of the humor, but 1MM would disagree. It is not the show it once was. ABC has ruined The Muppets. How many parents want to explain the punchline of sexually charged jokes to young children? FULL REPORT

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Christian Intercessors Bow to Satanist’s Threat as Persecution Rises

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 06:02 AM PDT

Coral Springs City Commission eliminated government meeting prayer altogether rather than invoking Satan as one man requested. “I don’t think our citizens would be in favor of Satanic invocations before City Commission meetings,” Coral Springs Mayor Skip Campbell tells the Sun Sentinel. Chaz Stevens, an activist who has claimed both atheism and satanism, petitioned the Coral Springs City Commission to lift a prayer up—or down?—to Satan. But if he were to pray, as the Sun Sentinel reports, it wouldn’t be with his head bowed and eyes closed.

“Contrary to the city’s policy, your numerous emails indicate that you … intend to make a mockery of the proceedings, by, as you indicated, ‘twerking’ and/or bringing a mariachi band to perform,” reads an email from the city clerk. Stevens claims it’s religious discrimination. “The really subtle point here is they didn’t want to hear what I had to say: ‘If you’re not Jewish, or you’re not a Christian, go home,’ ” Stevens tells the Sun Sentinel. “My project is named Satan or Silence. That sums it up.” FULL REPORT

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Shemitah Brings No Financial Collapse, but Bigger Picture Looms

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 05:58 AM PDT

What a week this is on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashana on Sept. 13-14, the Shemitah on Sept. 13 and today ends Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement (which started last evening.) Most of the world goes on as if nothing is happening when these Jewish holidays come around. The Christian community, however, has become increasingly aware of what these significant holidays mean and what God is saying during this time.

My good friend and author Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has done more than anyone else to raise awareness of these holidays in his book The Harbinger, in which he drew parallels between God’s dealing with ancient Israel and His message to America. If nothing else, the parallels are striking. One of the harbingers discussed in the book is the Shemitah, the Jewish year of rest that happens every seven years. It includes a day called Shemitah, the last day of the year—Elul 29 on the Jewish calendar—in which all debts were forgiven. 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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10 Reasons Why Roman Catholicism and Christianity Will Forever Be Irreconcilable

5 Pt. Salt


The issue which is often brought out amongst Protestants and Catholics is whether Roman Catholics are Christians and does Catholic theology agree with the Bible? It is the sincere belief of this writer that Catholic doctrine cannot be considered biblically accurate and is therefore incompatible with the written word of God. In this study we will present ten arguments proving that Catholic teaching and Biblical Christianity cannot agree, thus nullifying the idea that Catholicism represents true Christianity.

The 1994 Catholic Catechism will be used as the main source of information in regards to Catholic doctrine, contrasting it with the Bible’s view on the same issues presented.

1. Mary, Co-Mediatrix and Queen of Heaven.

Catholic Position:

“Therefore the blessed Virgin is invoked in the church under the titles Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” p.252, # 969

” Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the…

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GTY – Frequently Abused Verses: Did God Promise You Prosperity?

Jeremiah 29:11

Code: B150925

By Cameron Buettel

What does this verse mean to you?

Most of us have heard that question before—it lurks inside countless Bible studies and Sunday-school classes. It is a postmodern mindset that has become pervasive in the church.

When reading a book, an article, or a blog post, we implicitly understand that its meaning is bound to the author’s intent. The same ought to be true for Scripture—God alone is the arbiter of what He means through what He has revealed in His Word. Yet Scripture is now subject to the whims of the reader, who is prone to read personal experience into the text instead of discovering—and coming under—its objective truth. The worst forms of this are when people think they’re helping God—improving upon His perfection, sanitizing His story, and smoothing out the sharp edges of His truth.

Life is not as subjective as we might like to think. We don’t get to decide what a red light means when we approach a traffic signal. Bank managers can’t arbitrarily determine your account balance. And, thankfully, airlines don’t hire pilots who take the liberty to decide what “runway” means to them. It is absurd to think that we can approach God’s Word with lower standards. God says what He means and means what He says, always speaks without error, and has been kind enough to speak to us with simplicity and clarity.

The tsunami of topical preaching we see today has scarred the evangelical landscape. A topical message is not wrong in and of itself, but problems are inevitable when that becomes the main diet of a congregation. Pastors who preach texts divorced from their context invariably beget congregations who interpret texts divorced from the Author’s intent. The result is that too many believers today have a propensity to treat God’s Word as their own private smorgasbord of theology.

Another place you see this trend—interpreting verses out of context—in action is in choosing of a “life verse.” Many Christians like to pick a verse that speaks to them and try to make it the theme for their lives. It’s no surprise that none of the passages concerning God’s judgment make the cut. Instead, the spectacular promises of blessing and success reign supreme.

And sitting on top of the mountain of verses evangelicals frequently misappropriate and misapply is Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”

It’s All About You

Unsurprisingly, Jeremiah 29:11 is a go-to verse for celebrity pastor, Joel Osteen. His takeaway is that “God desires to see you flourish in this life. He wants to see you come out of setbacks stronger, wiser, increased and promoted. He wants to give you hope in your final outcome and see you come to a flourishing finish.” [1] Joel Osteen, Today’s Word with Joel Osteen—May 29, 2012 (Devotional).

Andy Stanley, pastor of America’s largest congregation, says “We may not know for certain everything our future holds, but we know that God thinks good thoughts toward us, to give us a future and a hope.” [2] https://thekingdomcorner.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/andy-stanley-life-may-be-uncertain-but-god-isnt/

Rick Warren also typifies that me-centric approach in his book, The Purpose-Driven Life:

If you have felt hopeless, hold on! Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose. God says, “I know what I am planning for you. . . . I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” [3] Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012) 35.

One has to wonder if Osteen, Stanley, or Warren understand how badly they have misconstrued and misapplied God’s Word—and how they’ve misled their followers. They give zero acknowledgement to the Author’s original intent or His original audience when they rip this verse from its biblical setting. Reading Jeremiah 29:11 in context paints a starkly different picture and delivers a far more profound truth.

It’s Not About You

The nation of Israel had been taken by the Babylonians into captivity. The Temple, as well as the entire city of Jerusalem, was in ruins. Their king was in chains with his eyes gouged out. The glory of Israel as a nation was finished. But in the midst of that terrible situation, God spoke through His prophet Jeremiah:

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.” For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.

For thus says the Lord, “When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”

Because you have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon”—for thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who did not go with you into exile—thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am sending upon them the sword, famine and pestilence, and I will make them like split-open figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness. I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, because they have not listened to My words,” declares the Lord, “which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,” declares the Lord. You, therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. (Jeremiah 29:4–20)

In context, verse 11 is clearly not meant as a love letter or a promise of blessing to individual believers in the twenty-first century.

And here are a few other points to consider: How do Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley, and Rick Warren know that God is directly speaking to their congregants in verse 11 but not in Jeremiah 29:17–19, where God promises to send “the sword, famine and pestilence”? Have they considered that God’s soothing promises in verse 11 are delivered to Israel while He has His foot on their neck in judgment (Jeremiah 29:4)? What about the fact that those who received the promise in verse 11 would likely not live to experience its fulfillment seventy years later (Jeremiah 29:10). And in their egotistical exegesis, can they grasp the irony that Israel was in Babylonian slavery because they listened to prophets who tickled their ears (Jeremiah 29:8–9)?

There is something far greater and eternally significant that we learn from this story in its true context. God does not abandon His people! In spite of their sin, God was relentlessly faithful to His covenants regarding Israel’s future and His promised Messiah. Not even Babylonian captivity could prevent His promises from coming to pass.

Likewise His promises to us as New Testament believers concerning our calling and election are also unshakeable (John 10:27–29). And they provide far more lasting comfort than Old Testament verses plucked out of context and misappropriated for modern audiences.

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150925
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Rosebrough exposes New Apostolic Reformation Seven Mountain Mandate heresy


The New Aposoltic Reformation is a cult that emerged from the 21st century, spearheaded by a number of individuals. For the last few decades it has been recognised as being led by by Charles Peter Wagner.

The New Apostolic Reformation cult preach a false Jesus, false gospel and New Age metaphysical teachings and strategies in an attempt to bring heaven to earth. The New Apostolic Reformation cult preach a false Jesus, false gospel and New Age metaphysical teachings and strategies in an attempt to bring heaven to earth.

Recently, Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith decided to introduce and examine the Latter Rain/New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. In this episode, Rosebrough looks at the origin of the NAR’s most iconic and central teaching: the Seven Mountain Mandate heresy. Below is an image that we have created that can help you summarise and remember the seven mountain mandate heresy in a nutshell:

New Apostolic Reformation cult - seven mountain mandate

Click the link below to download the episode.

The Seven Mountains

Click Here to Download this episode

Program segments:

Hour 1 – Roots & Teaching of the NAR
Hour 2 –…

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TMS: Blood Moons and Biblical Discernment

In light of the enthusiastic speculation that is brewing in some circles, I was asked to address the recent hype surrounding the “blood moon.” Let me do so by answering three questions about the issue:

Watch Jamie Jackson’s interview with
Dr. Nathan Busenitz about the Blood Moons

What is a blood moon?

A “blood moon” or a “blood red moon” is the name used to describe the reddish hue that occurs when we have a lunar eclipse, in which the earth passes between the sun and the moon causing the moon to have a reddish appearance. When you have four “blood moons” in a relatively short period of time, it is referred to as a tetrad.

Since the birth of Christ, tetrads have occurred more than 50 times. But sometimes these tetrads correspond with the major Jewish feast days, and that is something that has only happened 10 times in the last 2,000 years.

Since 1492, there have apparently been only three times when a tetrad has corresponded to Jewish feast days: 1493–94, 1949–50, and 1967–68. This current tetrad (2014–2015) marks the fourth. This tetrad will culminate on the “blood moon” that will occur on September 27–28, 2015.

Why do some people say blood moons are significant?

Some have suggested that these tetrads, when they correspond to Jewish feast days, mark major events in the eschatological timeline, especially with regard to the nation of Israel. For example, the nation of Israel was reconstituted on May 14, 1948 just prior to the tetrad of 1949–50. And the city of Jerusalem was reunited by Israeli forces in 1967, during the tetrad of 1967–68.

Based on these past events, there is speculation that this current tetrad will signal another major event for Israel and the world, perhaps even marking the time of the rapture and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Proponents of these views tie their predictions into biblical prophecies about the moon turning to blood in Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, and Revelation 6:12.

How should Christians think about the blood moon speculation?

With these kinds of predictions, it is important for Christians to exercise biblical discernment and care, rather than blindly jumping on a bandwagon of fanciful speculation.

At least two primary concerns come to mind regarding these blood moon predictions:

First, these speculations are being fueled by astronomical, and even astrological, data and not by biblical data. When Joel 2, Acts 2, and Revelation 6 speak about the moon turning to blood, those passages are describing something that will far exceed the temporary reddish hue caused by a relatively common lunar eclipse.

Blood moons have occurred many times throughout history. But the eschatological events that mark the Day of the Lord will be unmistakably unique. Those biblical passages also talk about the sun being darkened, and about other cosmic phenomena taking place (such as the stars falling from the sky in Rev. 6:13). Again, those are things that will far exceed a normal lunar eclipse.

We might also note that Revelation 6:12 associates the moon turning to blood with the sixth seal of God’s judgment during the Tribulation period. Thus, it is a phenomenon that occurs after the Tribulation begins, not before it.

Second, I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:36, where He said of His second coming that no man knows the day or the hour. In light of that pronouncement, end times date-setters (and those who listen to them) ought to proceed with extreme caution. The Lord similarly warned the apostles in Acts 1:7, when they asked when He would bring in the kingdom, that it was not for them to know the times or the epochs which the Father has established.

Throughout church history, there have been many who have embarrassed themselves (and tarnished their Christian testimony) by trying to predict certain future events, especially with regard to the return of Christ and the end of this age. Those who are promoting this blood moon speculation would do well to heed those same lessons.

Finally, it is important to note that when the New Testament talks about the end of the world, in places like 2 Peter 3:10–15, it urges believers to respond not by creating fanciful date-setting schemes, but rather by walking in holiness and in hope, knowing that one day our Lord will return and this present world-system will be destroyed.

Scripture teaches that Christ’s return will be according to God’s perfect timetable, not ours. In the meantime, we are to walk in faithfulness as we eagerly anticipate His return. And with that anticipation in mind, we can gladly say: “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus.”

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