Daily Archives: October 6, 2015

October 6, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

October 5 Quotes


Refugees and the Moral Crisis of Our National Debt

Area Middle East churches have invested themselves in working in these refugee camps, seeking to alleviate the physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. International groups such as Samaritan’s Purse and Doctors Without Borders have been working tirelessly. And yet, the overall American response to this unprecedented crisis of displacement has been underwhelming. But, what can you expect from a nation that already has $18 trillion in debt? We’ve compromised our own ability to help.

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Calculated Killing of Christians in Roseburg?

If Christians are labeled as “haters” simply because they hold views derived from their Scriptures, the elevated rhetoric can, and indeed does lead to violent actions. It is inevitable. I am not saying we don’t criticize, but we must not demonize. When we demonize others — Christians, Muslims, gays, African-Americans or whomever — we give mentally unstable or hate-filled people additional justification to kill. Such actions are not our fault. But, everyone should remember the influence our words can have.

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10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the New Charismatics

For New Charismatics, gone are the days of an eschatological worldview where a bloodthirsty God requires militant pro-Israel support and violent American nationalism. Even as the 2016 GOP primary race heats up, we are more determined than ever to leave this behind for a God who looks like Jesus, that preacher of peace who taught forgiveness, equality, and nonviolence before he submitted to his own death on the empire’s cross….

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The Fourth Person of the Trinity?

While we want to be faithful as pastors and spiritually fruitful congregants to help those entrusted to our care–as well as members of the same body, we must ever guard against allowing ourselves to slide into a role that God hasn’t given to us–a role that only He possesses.

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6 Reasons Why Anxiety, Worry, & Fear are Particular Problems for Christians

So baseline, you’ll find more anxious people in a church than waiting in line to bungee jump. I don’t have hard statistics on this, but I think the incidence of anxiety disorders in a church congregation is higher than the 20% you find in the general US population. Plus anxious people tend to also be imaginative, deeply feeling, empathetic people–the kind of people who are drawn to the kindness and compassion found in good churches.

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Have Church Your Way: The High Cost of the Worship Wars

We’re building Burger Kings when we should be planting gardens and digging wells. We’re further indulging the carb-addicted, malnourished population with the same cheap fluff, instead of offering them a balanced meal of Word and Sacrament. Be hospitable, yes, but don’t dumb it down. Don’t make it easy. Trading the body and blood for donuts and coffee is robbing you blind. It might allow you to survive for a while, but it won’t empower, it won’t sustain. It won’t last.

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Homeschooled Children Do Not Grow Up To Be More Religious

So what does it all mean? Anecdotes and biased studies aside, it seems from this emerging body of work that homeschooling itself will not automatically produce adults who share the conservative political, religious and moral beliefs of their parents. The data also suggest that family climate, especially faithful religious devotion by both parents, delivered in a context of loving nurture, is far more important than where a child goes to school.

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High School Rejects ACLU Bid to Block Prayer Boxes

“The board wishes to publicly reaffirm its intent to operate a successful school district in which equal access is recognized and the legal rights of all students are respected, including those of its students who wish to engage in student-lead, student-initiated religious expression,” the statement said.

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5 Things You Need to Know if Your Spouse Struggles from Depression

5 Things You Need to Know if Your Spouse Struggles from Depression

Posted on October 6, 2015 by Crosswalk

Depression is a whole-body problem. It affects our thoughts, actions, feelings, relationships and even our faith-walk.

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Ammunition for the Fight Against Porn

Ammunition for the Fight Against Porn

Posted on October 6, 2015 by Church Leaders

&Paul addresses this problem by giving the church theological truths that, if embraced, will dethrone all forms of sexual immorality from our hearts.&

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Birds of a feather? David Jeremiah teams up with Osteen and Meyer

Join us as we share the journey of what God has done through our Dream Center, dynamic outreach, and community engagement. You’ll leave inspired and purposeful to make a bigger difference in your community. Be sure to bring your leaders and associates with you to this purpose-driven event. So what do we have… Joel Osteen, Joyce […]

The post Birds of a feather? David Jeremiah teams up with Osteen and Meyer appeared first on Berean Research.


The Billion Souls network wants churches to Bring Back The King

There is a major effort by the “Billion Souls Network”  to “Bring Back The King” by finishing the Great Commission by AD 2100. This Dominionist movement is not only not biblical, it is downright dangerous. (see our White paper on NAR Dominionism to begin your research.) What is the Billion Souls Network? When I first […]

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Christian Gun Owners Are Heretics

In this piece over at airō, evangelist Justin Edwards pulls no punches.  He writes: Yep, gun owners are heretics according to “Formerly Fundy” Patheos blogger and Fuller Seminary doctoral candidate, Benjamin L Corey. Following the anti-Christian hate crime by the son of the devil who slaughtered nine people professing the name of Christ, Mr. Corey seized the moment […]

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Did Todd Bentley REALLY Raise the Dead?

Chrystal Whitt of Slaughter of the Sheep has written a piece on  NAR super star Todd Bentley’s claim to have raised a Pakistani man from the dead. Chrystal reminds us that all that glitters is not gold.   On Facebook this week, a friend posted a video supposedly showing Todd Bentley, of Lakeland Outpouring fame, […]

The post Did Todd Bentley REALLY Raise the Dead? appeared first on Berean Research.


You can’t do this to the culture

Most of us know that our culture has gone to the dogs.  Even Kermit and Miss Piggy have been affected–or infected, as you will see.  In this piece Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation,  reveals that Jim Henson’s beloved Muppets are sliding into the moral abyss with the rest of us.  Duigon also […]

The post You can’t do this to the culture appeared first on Berean Research.


Video Shows “Prosperity” Preachers Kenneth Copeland, Paula White Laying Hands on Donald Trump for Presidency

Heather Clark of Christian News Network (CNN) asks: What do Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Jan Crouch, Dr. David Jeremiah and Robert Jeffress all have in common? But a better question would be: what do high-profile Baptist pastors David Jeremiah and Robert Jeffress have in common with prosperity preachers?  Seeing two pastors who are admired by […]

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Church of Scotland minister says to teach Jesus died for sins is “ghastly theology”

“Jesus did not die for our sins. No No No No. That is Ghastly theology. Don’t go there.” This “Pastor” has now joined the ranks of rank heresy shared by Brian Mclaren, Tony Jones, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker and many others who deny propitiation, or atonement for sins that Jesus’ blood covers. Pastor Scott McKenna, […]

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Four Blood Moons and Shemitah Bring Judgment…Upon Charismatics

JD Hall of Pulpit and Pen has something to say to Charismatics in regard to their propensity to dabble in mysticism or what he calls witchcraft.  When two prophecies uttered by highly regarded men in the charismatic community failed to come to pass, JD concluded that “God has, in his Providence, chosen to use these astrological […]

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[Allegedly] Homohobic people “more likely to display other undesirable psychological traits”

Not surprisingly a new study has just come out of Italy claiming that people who “harbor homophobic attitudes” suffer from a psychological disorder — a phobia.  So now liberals can point to a  scientific study that supposedly shows that people who believe homosexuality is a sexual perversion, such as Bible believers, are “homophobic,” as if […]

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To the Heart Searching for Comfort

by Samantha Nieves

When the enemy wants to paralyze us with our emotions, the Word reminds us of the truth. And this is the soul-watering truth we need: God is our Comforter.

When God Calls You to Something “Small”

by Erin Davis

It’s awesome when our faith propels us to make giant leaps, but sometimes the harder steps to take are the small ones. I’m a lot less willing to do little things for God.

3 Verses on Beauty Every Girl Needs to Know

by Bethany Baird

The next time the girl in the mirror forgets how beautiful she is, recite these three power-packed verses.

8 Reasons Why I Didn’t Change My Name (and 6 Reasons I Did)

by Paula Hendricks

There’s power in a name! Here are good (and not so good) reasons to take your future husband’s name.

 Liberty University Welcomes Socialist Bernie Sanders to Address Student Body: ‘We Have Same Goals’
by Heather Clark, Christian News Network, 9/16/15

Liberty University is listed among the colleges in the Lighthouse Trails contemplative colleges list. It is said to be the largest Christian college in the world. As Lighthouse Trails has contended for many years, when a school starts going down the contemplative path, views on morality, politics, and spiritual matters begin to change, eventually drastically.

Click here to read this article!

Can the Gospel be found in the Stars?

by Mike Oppenheimer, 9/17/15 Let Us Reason

There are many people who have tried to prove this concept and it seems to always become a trend within the church. The Bible strictly forbids looking to the stars for knowledge, learning or answers (Deuteronomy 4:19; Isaiah 47:13). On this alone one should not entertain this concept. Some misuse Romans 1:20 which is referring to God’s eternal power and divine nature that are clearly seen, not the gospel. Rom.16:25-26: “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith –According to my Gospel.” “Which was kept secret since the world began” Col. 1:24-27: “…I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.” Its is a Mystery hidden from ages Eph. 3:2-5: “by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.” The gospel and the application connected to it was hidden, until Christ died and rose again and commissioned the apostles to preach it. The idea of hidden knowledge in the stars (astrology) not found in the Bible sets a dangerous precedent. Can one truly find the gospel by just looking at the stars? Was it made known to all people who can look up in the sky, then  why can no one know the story in the stars without knowing the story first (from the Bible)? To say the gospel is in the stars is to claim the reading of the stars can save someone and teach them what Scripture alone teaches.

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You need to “nip it in the bud”

by Sandy Simpson, 9/18/15 ACT Logo 2

I am writing this article to address a subject that I have often observed.  It is the fact that if you do not get the leaven out of your church the leaven will become the leadership.

Click here to read this article! 


Captive (Book & Movie)
by Ashley Smith
Reviewed by Paul Proctor

LTRP Note: On September 18th, a new movie will hit the theaters, Captive. The film is the story about Ashley Smith, the young woman who was held captive by an escaped murderer and how she convinced him to give himself up. When the incident happened in 2005, it came out in news reports that the woman had read excerpts from The Purpose Driven Life to her captor. Free-lance journalist Paul Proctor wrote three stories about this that year. Because the movie is coming out, we decided to re-post these insightful articles by Paul Proctor (two of the articles are links below the first article). We agree with Proctor, who said while he was “thrilled that Ashley escaped with her life and that no one else was killed,” he was sorry to see the incident turned into a marketing extravaganza for Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life. No doubt, the new movie will be another big plug for “America’s Pastor” and his “New” Spirituality-promoting Purpose Driven movement.
 

Click here to read this book & movie review!

Christian Purge Continues As Oklahoma Capitol Trashes Ten Commandments

Workers removing Ten Commandments from Oklahoma Capitol

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you ever think that you would live long enough to see a post-Christian America? Well, guess what? You have. Did you ever think you would live long enough to see a post-American America? You’ve done that, too. No prayer or Bibles allowed in schools, Christian bakers forced to make gay wedding cakes, and now no more Ten Commandments in our nations courthouses. Christians and Christianity are being purged at a record pace. Welcome to Obama’s America: multicultural, pagan and Sharia compliant. 

A contractor the state hired began removing the monument around 10:30 p.m. Monday. Its removal comes after the Oklahoma Supreme Court determined the Ten Commandments display violates a constitutional prohibition on the use of public property to support a “system of religion.”

oklahoma-courthouse-capitol-removes-10-ten-commandments

Workers have started to remove a granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds.

Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus said the state is paying the contractor $4,700 to remove the six-foot-tall sculpture.

Estus said the monument will be taken to a private conservative think tank, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, which has agreed to store it.

Estus said the decision to remove the monument at night was to minimize the distraction to workers in the building and to prevent public demonstrations. source

Pastor, daughter share Gospel in Cuba

One Florida Baptist father is going to great lengths to make sure his children understand the importance of sharing the Gospel. In fact, he and his daughter went all the way to Cuba. Brenda Harden, 11, can now say she got to bring the Good News to a third-world, communist country.


Conf. on transgenderism responds to challenges

The transgender movement presents an unprecedented theological and cultural crisis for the church, said Southern Baptist scholars at an Oct. 5 pre-conference event, “Transgender: Transgender confusion and transformational Christianity,” at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Uphold religious liberty for all, Baptists urge

Calling for Baptists to remember their roots as a “jailhouse religion,” Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said Christians must be willing to be marginalized and offended for the sake of the Gospel. The remarks came at Baptist Voices: Left, Right and Center, a Sept. 29 forum sponsored by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Institute for Faith and the Public Square.


Billy Graham marks 97th year with new film

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will release a new film Oct. 15 in its global “My Hope” outreach and is encouraging pastors to use the free DVD and its resources in conjunction with Graham’s 97th birthday celebration Nov. 7.


S.C. Baptists prepare for ‘marathon’ of work

A South Carolina Baptist disaster relief official predicts it will take years for the state to recover from the extensive flooding.


FROM THE STATES: Okla. evangelism/missions news; N.C. nurse sees carnival ministry as personal


Planned Parenthood’s “Fresh” Baby-fueled Lamborghini Quest (Or: America’s “Legal” Protection of Child Sacrifice and Satanism)

“Everything we provide is fresh.” That line from a Planned Parenthood ghoul is one of the satanic jems permeating the latest expose video released this week by the Center for Medical Progress. And lest there be any confusion here, we’re talking about “fresh” baby body parts taken from babies who’ve been freshly murdered so that these […]

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Does Science Disprove God and the Bible?

by Mark McGee

“God is dead. We do not need him. It’s time to give up childish things and think as adults. Become scientifically literate. Become informed. Grow out of religious belief just as you did with the belief in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.” John W. Loftus, Author and Atheist (Debunking Christianity Blog)

John Loftus is well known for his ‘conversion’ from Christianity to atheism. Is he right about God? Loftus claims that science is a better explanation of existing phenomena than the Bible. He also believes that Christians are ‘not’ scientifically literate and need to ‘become informed.’ Is he right about that?

Let’s take a closer look.

Atheist: “Science disproves God and the Bible.”

Christian: “Which science?”

That’s one way to respond to atheists who make a statement about ‘science’ disproving God and the Bible. The intention in such a response is not to be disrespectful or push aside the argument. It is meant to lead to a robust conversation about the Bible and various sciences that are addressed in its pages. Rather than dodge the ‘science vs Bible’ debate, the purpose is to elevate it to a real discussion that’s based on evidence, reason and logic.

One of my favorite attacks toward Christians on talk radio more than 45 years ago was about science disproving God and the Bible. Scores of Christians called my radio show every week to argue about it, but none of them could answer my questions about science and the Bible. It wasn’t that there were no answers, but the Christians who called didn’t know the answers or were not able to articulate what they knew. It wasn’t until I interviewed a Christian who was a professor of science that I began to see another side to the debate.\

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Does Science Disprove God and the Bible? | Faith & Self Defense


How Do You Know Jesus Really Rose from the Dead?

by Timothy Paul Jones

The witch’s knife plunged deep into the lion’s heart, and the majestic creature quivered and died. For a few seconds, complete silence descended on the movie theater. A slight sniffling beside me broke the stillness, and that’s when I heard my 9-year-old daughter whisper a rather profound word of wisdom to her friend.

A few months earlier, my daughter Hannah had heard the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was being adapted into a feature film. I told her she wouldn’t be allowed to see the movie until she first read the fantasy novel by C. S. Lewis. Then I added a challenge: if she read all seven books in the series before the movie’s release, I’d take her and her friend Lacey to see it on opening day. Three weeks later, Hannah had devoured all of the Chronicles of Narnia. So, on the afternoon of its release, I ended up in a packed theater with two girls, watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Since Hannah had already read the book, the storyline of the film was familiar to her—but her friend hadn’t yet read it. For Lacey, the tale of the lion who returns from the dead after giving his life to save a traitor was all new. Still, when the witch’s knife fell and Aslan the lion died, both children were moved to tears. The difference was that Hannah knew what happened next. It was in that moment that I heard Hannah lean over and whisper words of comfort to her friend: Don’t worry; I read the book. He doesn’t stay dead.

That’s what we as Christians believe as we read the New Testament.

For nearly 2,000 years Christians have confessed together that, because the one who died on Good Friday didn’t stay dead, our despair can never have the final word. And unlike the resurrection of Aslan the lion, the resurrection of Jesus is no fantasy. It happened in history, and Jesus himself has promised that everyone who trusts him will share in his new life. So as Christians we declare: Don’t worry; I read the book. He didn’t stay dead.

Reliable Testimony or Telephone Game Gone Bad?

But how sure can we be that the story of Jesus and his resurrection really happened? What if the New Testament (NT) authors never intended their words to be taken as reliable reports about Jesus’s life in the first place? What if their writings contained far more fantasy than history?

Those are precisely the possibilities some skeptical scholars have popularized over the past few decades…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

How Do You Know Jesus Really Rose from the Dead?


Benham Brothers on Oregon Shooting: Satan and Demons Manifesting Themselves in Our Nation

David and Jason Benham are real-estate entrepreneurs who were famously dropped from an HGTV reality show because of their belief in biblical marriage.  Because they stood their ground, their show was cancelled even before it was aired.  The brothers have spoken out about the Oregon massacre.  According to David Benham what happens when a nation […]

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Common Ground? Secularists, Communists and Islamists

You would have heard the news by now: under the cover of darkness workers removed a statue of the Ten Commandments from an office in Oklahoma. The story itself has been widely reported, and this is how one news item covers it:

Workers began removing a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol late Monday in accordance with a court order. The Daily Oklahoman reported that the 6-foot high monument would be reinstalled outside the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank.
A contractor hired by the state began removing the monument shortly after 10:30 p.m. local time. The works comes after the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision in June that the display violates a state constitutional prohibition on the use of public property to support “any sect, church, denomination or system of religion.”
The state is paying the contractor about $4,700 to remove the monument and take it to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs’ offices a few blocks away, Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus told the Associated Press.
The Daily Oklahoman reported that the private contractor was hired to move the 4,800-pound monument out of concern that state workers could not safely do the job without damaging or destroying it.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol had increased security around the monument earlier Monday, and barriers were erected to keep visitors from getting close to it. Estus said the decision to remove the monument under the cover of darkness was made to avoid disturbing workers at the Capitol and to keep protesters from demonstrating while heavy equipment was being used to detach the two-ton monument from its base.

oklahomaAll this is so very bizarre when we consider the religious roots of America’s founding. Overwhelmingly the Founding Fathers were people of faith, even if some were just deists, and the consensus was that the nation could not survive without faith and biblical morality – as expressed by the Ten Commandments.

I discuss the Christian heritage of America in various articles, so will not repeat myself here. See here for more on this: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/04/12/america-christianity-and-secularism/

And here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/12/22/nations-virtue-religion-and-freedom/

In that second article I wrote:

Very few people would realise it, but there is a very real and vital connection between freedom, religion and morality; between liberty, faith and virtue. And perhaps nowhere was this concept so explicitly and strenuously promoted and championed than in America during the time of its founding.
The American Founding Fathers wrote extensively on the vital importance of both personal faith and social morality if their experiment in freedom was to succeed. They knew that a political system alone, no matter how well conceived, would not long last unless the citizenry was a virtuous people.
And they knew that freedom, no matter how important, would simply give way to license, and a new tyranny, unless the population were solidly religious and moral. Indeed, the founding of America was really one of the most unique and amazing events in modern history.

Despite all this, the secularists believe that every trace of Christianity must now be removed from public life. While the First Amendment to the US Constitution offers us freedom of religion, the Christophobes want it to mean freedom from religion. I discuss elsewhere the real meaning of the separation of church and state doctrine: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2006/10/20/separation-of-church-and-state/

The atheists and secularists have declared war on God, and want Christianity to be completely removed from American life – at least in every public aspect. But they are nice enough to allow us a bit of religion if done in private in our own homes – and even there it is now being targeted.

Of course this one episode in Oklahoma does not make for a war on religion – not by itself. As an isolated incident it might not seem like much of a big deal. But when you add it to the hundreds and thousands of other cases in the US where the God-haters have been running amok, then a serious cumulative case certainly emerges.

Pulling prayer and the Ten Commandments out of the schools for example is not just an outward act. It is also designed to totally secularise life in not just our schools, but in public altogether. While the secular state can never fully suppress internal faith, it sure can make it hard to be lived out in any meaningful manner.

Indeed, why did my mind immediately spring to thoughts of Communist atheists destroying churches in Russia and China, or the militant IS destroying all things Christian in their demonic rampages? Why is the public expression of faith just so repulsive to these folks?

I am not aware of Christians seeking to ban the religion of secular humanism from the public square. Indeed, the atheists have free reign in the West to do their thing, with no fear of reprisals. But any trace of the Christian faith must be removed it seems.

Make no mistake here: a war has been declared on faith and freedom, and leading the charge in the West are the secularists and atheists who seem to hate God with a passion – the God they claim does not exist. In their zeal – really a religious zeal – to eradicate all things Christian, at least from the public square (for now), they seem to be little different from the Communists of old or IS today.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/06/workers-remove-ten-commandments-monument-from-oklahoma-capitol-grounds/


Christians rally for the “rights” of Satanists to worship Satan in America.

Interesting and important conversations are taking place in America. Critical and challenging thoughts are being entertained in a serious way by many Americans for the first time in a good long while (if ever). We are now being forced, by the grace of God, to consider what it means exactly to worship and what it […]

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WVW-TV Presents: The Hallmarks of a True Convert Versus a False Convert with Host Mike Gendron

WVW-TV Presents: The Hallmarks of a True Convert Versus a False Convert with Host Mike Gendron. Watch this program now before it rolls into the Situation Room for members only. To join the Situation Room and get a free membership to worldviewpedia.com go to http://www.situationroom.net/join  Click here to watch this program now:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/hallmarks-true-convert-versus-f… The distribution of this program is made possible in part because of your tax deductible contribution to the Worldview Weekend Foundation at http://www.wvwfoundation.com 
 
WVW-TV Presents: Mohammed, His Wives, His Visit From A Spirit, & The Rise of a False Prophet  with host Usama Dakdok. Watch this program now before it rolls into the Situation Room for members only. You can join the Situation Room now at http://www.situationroom.net/join  Click here to watch this broadcast now: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/mohammed-his-wives-his-visit-sp… This broadcast is made possible in part through your support of the Worldview Weekend Foundation with your tax deductible gift at http://www.wvwfoundation.com Thank you!
 
By now we’ve all heard of Chris Harper Mercer, the man who killed ten people on the campus of Umpqua Community College. Can you imagine the despair in the room? Put yourself in the shoes of the students in that classroom as they watched their teacher drop. As the gunman shouted to the Christians to make themselves known! What would you do? As a College minister I can’t help but be deeply affected by it. Tragedy has struck yet another college campus. Just yesterday I talked with several students on their way to class, and asked them if they were to die tonight   what would they say to God….
 
I recently came across two principles that, when put together, show the spiritual difficulty that we often have in dealing with Christian gray areas. Before I share the principles, let me tell you about where I read them: David Hazelton is a well-regarded attorney in the DC area. He wrote a book, The Simplified Guide to Paul’s Letters to the Churches, that systematizes all of Paul’s instructions to local churches in his Epistles. What makes this book so fascinating to me is that it reads almost like a legal brief—and I mean that as a compliment. Over the past few years I’ve developed a hobby…
 
While I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response about last week’s article, “Why Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Cannot Be Together,” some seem to not quite grasp the reason for it. After all, they say that they have neighbors or family members who really love Jesus, who attend a Roman Catholic Church. While I have spoken to many Catholics and have yet to meet one who can explain the Gospel, I am sure that at least in America there has to be some believers who Sunday after Sunday are attending RCC’s. If you are one of these people, here are four reasons you need to leave today. Or if…
 
As the evangelical world in America seems rather excited about the Pope’s visit, I can’t help but remember how I   felt when I discovered the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document (ECT). In 1995 the unthinkable happened. Well known evangelical pastors signed a document in which they joined themselves with Catholic priests and Philosophers, in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries dating back to the greats: Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox. They agreed to no longer “proselytize” each…
 

Gaining the Kingdom

I’m preparing to preach 2 Samuel to my congregation, and I’m breaking it up into two sections. This year I’ll preach from 2 Samuel 1-14, and next year I’ll finish the book (dv). This is my letter to the congregation introducing 2 Samuel 1-14:   David’s life was truly one of hardship. For forty years he ran for his life by running from Saul. Now with Saul dead, the kingdom is his and he gladly received it. Although he fled from Israel’s king, he never fled from being the king of Israel. But securing the crown did not secure his safety. In fact, the trials he experienced as king (2 Samuel) far-…
 


Will Russian Military Build Up In Middle East Lead To Gog/Magog War?

In Ezekiel 38, the prophet Ezekiel warned of a future war known as the war of “Gog and Magog” in which the people of Magog and their leader Gog will lead a coalition of nations (including Persia/Iran) to attack Israel.

Many Bible teachers believe historical records point to Russia as the descendants of the people of Magog which would seem to confirm Ezekiel’s warning that this invasion would be led from the people of the “far north.” Russia is the farthest country directly north of Israel. Prophecy scholars watch with fascination as Russia returns to the Middle East after a thirty-year absence and the positioning of its troops ever closer to Israel.

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Demonomics – Todd Strandberg

As we draw closer to the Tribulation hour, Satan’s influence in this world will only grow stronger. I think we are already at a point where numerous situations can only be explained by factoring in the devil’s involvement. Because the supernatural often defies logic, a secular minded person must think our world is going mad. I’ve coined the term demonomics to categorize these oddities and compiled them into the following list:

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Workers remove Ten Commandments from Oklahoma Capitol

A granite monument of the Ten Commandments that has sparked controversy since its installation on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds was being removed late Monday and will be transported to a private conservative think tank for storage.

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12 Christians Brutally Executed By ISIS Refused to Renounce Name of Christ

Twelve Christians have been brutally executed by the Islamic State, including the 12-year-old son of a Syrian ministry team leader who had planted nine churches, because they refused to renounce the name of Jesus Christ and embrace Islam. The martyrs were faithful to the very end; right before one woman was beheaded by the terror group, she appeared to be smiling slightly as she said, “Jesus!”

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Many Shall Come in My Name

Jan Markell and Eric Barger host former New Ager Warren Smith for the hour. This movement is now called the “new spirituality” and you would be surprised how even evangelical leaders fit into it. The chief proponent of it is Oprah Winfrey who is now utilizing Rob Bell to further this Satanic agenda. Why would Rick Warren tap into three men with involvement in this “new spirituality” to be a part of a program at Saddleback Church? Hear from one who attended this outrageous seminar.

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Prophetic Stew

Third, Pope Francis said, “We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now.” “Merging our faiths” is a call for a one-world religion. Evidently, the Pope thinks we need to start merging our faiths now because the UN wants to establish a one-world government by 2030.

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Preview Of World War III? Russia Is Putting On A Display Of Firepower That Is Shocking The World

I had to smile when I first read that. Without a doubt, this entire episode is making the Obama administration look rather pathetic.

For weeks, Obama seemed to have little idea what the Russians intended to do in Syria. And now that the Russians are bombing the living daylights out of ISIS, the best that Obama can do is whine loudly about it.

The Russians appear to be succeeding where Obama failed, and this has put the U.S. government in a very precarious position in the Middle East.

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Defining God: Oprah’s New Age Spirituality and the Power of Influence

By David Fiorazo

Oprah Winfrey has become more influential than most of America’s pastors and religious leaders. Too many people today follow pop-culture icons and celebrities and even many Christians end up believing their teachings. Oprah has launched book sales and resuscitated careers for many authors and spiritual gurus while giving proponents of higher spirituality a platform, particularly those who promote a New Age philosophy.

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Where We Aren’t

The reason it was difficult to gauge where we were on God’s calendar from the 1st century until the 20th, was because the only nation God ever used as His ‘geo-political’ time-piece, Israel, hadn’t been a nation for 1,878 years. (See Daniel 2, 9) The Dispensationalists came to understand that the Jewish nation would HAVE to be reinserted onto the world’s stage again, because that is the conclusion God’s word comes too if taken at face value. Isaiah 2, 11; Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 37-39; Amos 9; Zech. 12-14 all speak to Israel existing again as a nation, for a second time, in the last days.

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Bauer: Obama is a ‘blessing’ to world dictators

Conservative activist Gary Bauer is praising Benjamin Netanyahu for assuring the U.N. and Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will defend its interests – a stance seemingly in direct contrast to the White House.

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Lesbian Bishop: ‘Remove Crosses From Church’, Add Muslim Prayer Room

The world’s first lesbian bishop of a mainstream Christian denomination has put forth a call for one of the country’s seaport churches to remove its crosses as to make it less offensive to Muslims. Her plan calls for removing crosses and other Christian symbols while setting up a prayer room inside the church that marks the direction of Mecca………..  Click here for full story


As World Turns On Israel – Christian Support For Israel Grows

Former allies of Israel worldwide have gradually deserted her and revoked their support and goodwill in droves. Even the United States, long a staunch ally and supporter of the Jewish state, has over the last decade or so wavered much in its commitment to Israel and in favor of the Palestinian cause. Indications however abound that Israel still has staunch friends and supporters around the world, especially from many Christian groups..……..  Click here for full story


WORLD’S FIRST LESBIAN BISHOP CALLS FOR CHURCH TO REMOVE CROSSES, TO INSTALL MUSLIM PRAYER SPACE

Here’s what happens when liberal lesbians become Bishops. Eva Brunne, who is the bishop of a Swedish church, believes that “removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith.” Breitbart has the full report:

The Bishop of Stockholm has proposed a church in her diocese remove all signs of the cross and put down markings showing the direction to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim worshippers.

Eva Brunne, who was made the world’s first openly lesbian bishop by the church of Sweden in 2009, and has a young son with her wife and fellow lesbian priest Gunilla Linden, made the suggestion to make those of other faiths more welcome.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/10/05/worlds-first-lesbian-bishop-calls-church-remove-crosses-install-muslim-prayer-space/


Is True Religious Freedom a Thing of the Past?

The Founding Fathers of our nation were adamant and unified that freedom of religious expression and practice were a fundamental right and necessity for our nation to survive and thrive.  But in light of growing secular humanism, a federal government increasingly intruding into the lives of Americans, and a Christian Church asleep at the switch, […]

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When It Comes to Churches- Size Really Matters

If your church is so large that the pastor doesn’t know your name, your church is too large.  It’s time to start a new work.  The church exists to glorify God, minister to his community, and share the gospel with the world; it does NOT exist to feed the pastor’s ego.


Birds of a feather? David Jeremiah teams up with Osteen and Meyer

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Davud Jeremiah with word of faith teachers

Join us as we share the journey of what God has done through our Dream Center, dynamic outreach, and community engagement. You’ll leave inspired and purposeful to make a bigger difference in your community. Be sure to bring your leaders and associates with you to this purpose-driven event.

Hat tip to Amy Spreeman of Berean Research. “So what do we have…Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer…what’s David Jeremiah doing there?” she asked.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Birds of a feather? David Jeremiah teams up with Osteen and Meyer


Christian Missionaries Crucified by ISIS After Refusing to Deny Christ

According to Christian News Network:

Ten Christian missionaries and a 12-year-old boy lost their lives in August after they were executed by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS because they refused to deny Christ.

Christian Aid Mission (CAM) reports that on Aug. 7th, the indigenous missionaries were captured near Aleppo, Syria after rejecting advice by their ministry director to leave the area due to violence. The men chose to stay to share the gospel with those suffering from the ISIS insurgency.

Christian Missionaries Crucified by ISIS After Refusing to Deny Christ


Americans lining up behind “right to die”

Christian Examiner</em? reports:

Just as the gay rights juggernaut turned America toward same-sex marriage state by state, a new movement to allow Americans who are terminally ill to take their own lives with the help of a physician is also gaining momentum.

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/polls.americans.lining.up.behind.right.to.die/49612.htm


Offend Man or God?

Arthur Pink: “If we are content to offend God rather than displease our friends or relatives, then we are greatly deceived if we regard ourselves as genuine Christians.” HT: http://www.surphside.blogspot.ca/2015/07/please-friends-or-please-god.html


Jesus, Judgment and Sinners

Christians are meant to be students of the Word. We should always do things by the Book – the Word of God. Our marching orders and instructions should always come from Scripture, not from popular opinion, not from trendy movements, and not even from Christian leaders.

Sure, God has raised up pastors and teachers, but we are to only faithfully follow them as they faithfully follow the Bible. Our first port of call must always be Scripture, and whatever does not line up with it must be rejected. Recall the “noble” Bereans in Acts 17:11 who were “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things [that Paul and Silas taught] were so”.

We all must have this dedication to the truth of Scripture. It matters not what I say or some teacher says or your pastor says – what matters is what God has said. If what we say does not align with the teachings of Scripture, then believers have a duty to reject us and stick with the Word.

I say all this because on a regular basis I hear believers saying things that ‘just ain’t so’. I hear so many unbiblical things coming from the mouths of Christians that I find it frightening actually. I am not sure where they get all this dodgy stuff from – from tele-evangelists, or from friends, or from books, or from the social media, etc.

But unless it is true to Scripture, they should not be peddling this stuff. Yesterday I had a further example of this. A gal on another site took umbrage at the fact that I and others were “judging” a non-believer. Despite the fact that this non-Christian was indeed guilty of horrific evil, this gal insisted that we could not say anything negative about her.

jesus 19And she went on to insist that Jesus never judged sinners, so obviously neither should we. In a very brief reply I urged her to read her Bible a bit more carefully. I reminded her that the book of Revelation is jam-packed with the judgment of sinners.

And I reminded her that the one doing the judging was none other than Jesus himself. So simply going by this one book alone, we can see how biblically incorrect she was. But, she or other critics might reply, “That is in Revelation: Jesus never judged sinners in the gospels”.

Is that in fact true? The easiest way to answer this claim is to simply read the four gospels and see if Jesus does in fact speak in judgmental terms to sinners. That exercise would take not too long, but let me offer a briefer response, based on nothing more than the handful of chapters I read just moments ago in my morning daily reading.

If you are reading through the Bible in a year, beginning on January 1, you should be in Matthew right about now. And that is where I am. And in the chapters I read this morning (Matt 10-13) I found heaps of sinners being judged by Jesus. If I can find so much in just four chapters, imagine what all four gospels will produce on this. So let me mention some of these passages. In Matt. 10:11-15 we find these words:

And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Um, that sounds like judgment talk to me. And it is directed squarely at sinners – in this case, those who refuse to accept the gospel message. The shaking off of dust is a symbolic action denoting they are leaving themselves open to inevitable judgment.

As John Nolland comments, “Shaking off the dust is a symbolically enacted statement of fundamental separation. Luke’s parallel in 10:11 expands by having the symbolism explained to the rejecters (and has ‘wipe off’ rather that ‘shake off’). Such unresponsive places are to be left to the judgment of God.”

While this does indeed refer primarily to the final judgment, Jesus spoke of it to sinners in the here and now – and in the gospels. Too many squeamish Christians seems to overlook this and many dozens of other hard sayings of Jesus – sayings that speak of wrath, punishment and judgment.

Indeed, Jesus continues with this same theme in Matt 11 where we read about woes on unrepentant cities (vv. 20-24):

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

Although again Jesus warns of the final eschatological judgment, he is pronouncing it now, to the hard-hearted sinners who would not believe. And although these happen to be Jewish cities, the promised judgment is for their unbelief, and he even echoes the language of Isaiah in his prophecies of judgment on pagan nations.

And whether speaking of Jewish sinners or Gentile sinners, the message of Jesus is the same: repentance. As Leon Morris remarks, “Jesus was not looking for amazement and admiration, but for repentance. That was the first note he struck in his preaching (4:17), and it remained a constant. People will never advance spiritually unless they take the first step of turning away from the evil they have done.”

Lastly, in Matt 13:37-43 we find the parable of the weeds explained by Jesus:

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Once again Jesus warns in the present about judgment to come in the future. Sinners are the object of his words, and the message is clearly one of judgment. Grant Osborne comments:

The parable of the weeds has several implications and a rich theological heritage. The context is critical. This parable is part of the seven parables of conflict in ch. 13 and with the others is interpreting the kingdom reality behind the unbelief and rejection in chs. 11-12. As such it is portraying the true spiritual reality of the unbelieving Jews of those chapters but at the same time expanding the horizon to the world of humankind as a whole, Gentile as well as Jew.

As mentioned, these are just the examples of the judgment of Jesus on unbelieving sinners (be they Jew or Gentile) as found in a few chapters of Matthew. More examples can be found in all four gospel accounts. The point is simply this: yes, Jesus often reserved his harshest words for the religious leaders of the day, but anyone who refused to hear his words and repent were the object of his stern and fierce warnings.

Judgment will come just as surly on the unrepentant as blessing and salvation will come on the repentant. So we dare not suggest that Jesus has nothing to do with judging sinners. His very walk on earth was a type of judgment – a separation of the sheep from the goats. A separation of those who responded to the gospel call and those who rejected it.

So this gal needs to go back and reread her Bible. Unfortunately on the site where she upbraided me for judgmentalism, she did not stay around but cut off all connection with me – hopefully not in a judgmental fashion however!


Apostasy’s Bitter Fruit

Sin leads to more sin, and error leads to more error. When we reject God and his Word – even if claiming to represent him – we begin the steep descent into increasing rebellion, idolatry and apostasy. We have the entire Old Testament to give us clear examples of this.

And the New Testament further warns against this, reminding us over and over again to stay clear of sin and deception. Yet we find this happening all the time, as if the warnings of Jesus and the disciples were never given. Consider the sad case of Swedish church leader Eva Brunne.

brunneWe learned about her six years ago when the openly lesbian Lutheran was to be ordained. Thankfully some church leaders did not go along with this, and made a very public display of their disagreement:

Anglican bishops from England and Northern Ireland have rebuffed invitations to attend the ordination of the openly gay Eva Brunne to be the next Bishop of Stockholm. Five bishops from various levels within the Anglican Church, including Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have decided not to attend the November 8th ceremony, the Dagen newspaper reports.
Alan Harper, a bishop from Armagh in Northern Ireland, is also reported to be observing a moratorium on the ordination same sex bishops. Coming just three weeks after Sweden granted same-sex marriages the same legal status as those between heterosexual couples, Brunne’s appointment in May 2009 to be the next bishop of the Church of Sweden’ Stockholm Diocese raised eyebrows in Sweden and abroad.
As the Church of Sweden has taken a more welcoming stance toward homosexuality, exemplified most recently in the October 22nd decision to allow church weddings for gay couples, its relations with the Church of England have become increasingly strained.

Her rejection of biblical morality has not stopped there, and she now is proud to reject the exclusivity of biblical truth claims as well. Consider this news item from just a few days ago:

Bishop Eva Brunne has proposed to remove the Christian symbols of the Seamen’s Church in Freeport to make it more inviting for visiting sailors from other religions. The bishop wants to temporarily make the Seamen’s Church available to all, for example by marking the direction of Mecca and removing Christian symbols, as is already done in common prayer rooms at airports and in some hospital chapel….
The proposal has triggered protests. Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, thinks that the proposal is noteworthy and writes on his blog: “The church chapel cannot reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapels anyway. The Christian churches and chapels are not public areas at any time.”
And Seamen’s Mission Director Kiki Wetterberg does not agree with the bishop. “I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque, I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there,” she says to the newspaper Dagen.

Remove crosses and point the way to Mecca? What does that have to do with defending the truth claims of Christianity? Absolutely nothing of course. Instead, it has everything to do with promoting the false religion and dangerous political ideology of Islam.

This type of “interfaith dialogue” of comes straight out of the pit of hell. Muslims need to learn about the truthfulness of Christianity, not be reinforced in their deception. Making things easier for Muslims to remain Muslim is not how we proclaim the Christian gospel.

And that is not how we are going to reach Muslims, moving them from darkness to light. One might as well throw away Bibles and offer atheists free copies of books by Dawkins and others in order to “reach” them or make them feel more welcome.

One might as well ditch biblical warnings about holiness and instead provide free Internet access to porn to those addicted to pornography. We want to make them feel welcome of course and we don’t want to turn them away.
One might as well abandon teachings on Christian theology and offer instead course on astral projection and astrology to make New Agers feel at home.

As mentioned, the rot of course set in a long time ago. If a church thinks it can have leaders who live in known, defiant sin and rebellion, then of course all the rest of the Christian message is going to be abandoned as well. This is as inevitable as night following day.

This is a prime example of a church and its leadership in deep apostasy. Christ has been rejected and the world embraced. These “enlightened” church leaders may think this is the way forward, to better reach out to folks, but of course it is simply the way backward – back to paganism and perversion.

Compromise never works with the gospel – it is always all or nothing. Either Jesus and the Word are proclaimed uncompromisingly and boldly, or we might as well just give up any pretence of being his representatives. Then we might as well just turn the churches into gay discos or Islamic meeting places. Oh wait, that is just what they have already done in Sweden.

All of God’s great servants have warned against compromise and worldliness. We need to listen to their voices afresh. Let me close with a few of them here:

“We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.” A. W. Tozer

“The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!” A. B. Simpson

“No compromise is what the whole gospel of Jesus is all about. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus says, ‘for I tell you…no man can serve two masters’. In a day when believers seem to be trying to please both the world and the Lord (which is an impossible thing), when people are far more concerned about offending their friends than offending God, there is only one answer: deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him Jesus (Luke 9:23-24)” Keith Green

“Here is the great evangelical disaster – the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this – namely accommodation. The evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age. First, there has been accommodation on Scripture, so that many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all the Bible teaches…. This accommodation has been costly, first in destroying the power of the Scriptures to confront the spirit of our age; second, in allowing the further slide of our culture.” Francis Schaeffer

“The chief danger of the twentieth century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, and heaven without hell.” William Booth

http://www.thelocal.se/20091104/23074
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/10/swedish-bishop-wants-to-remove-crosses-from-church-and-mark-direction-of-mecca-to-make-it-more-inviting-for-muslims


Handling Contentions in the Church

Most of the New Testament was written with a view to dealing with sin and controversy in the church. I have often taken comfort from the fact that the churches planted by the Apostles were fraught with contentions and controversy–it is a reminder that such challenges and controversies are not necessarily on account of poor leadership. We can be sure of one thing–if controversies, unjust complaints and contentions happened in the apostolic churches, they will most certainly happen in our churches. So, what are we to do when controversy strikes? How are pastors to navigate the challenges and trials that make them feel their own insufficiencies as they seek to shepherd God’s people to glory? Here are eight things for pastors to keep in mind while seeking to navigate the trials and controversies that local congregations often face:

1. Take all matters to the Lord in prayer. When the king of Assyria sent a letter to King Hezekiah, threatening to attack and oppress Israel, Hezekiah took the letter and spread it before the Lord–thus symbolizing what it means to bring the challenges and trials that we face to the Lord in prayer:

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib… (2 Kings 19:14-16).

Pastors must call on the Lord and bring controversies and contentions to Him for resolution. A good under-shepherd loves the purity of the church and longs for the peace and unity of its members and pastors alike. It is the great burden of his heart because the Great Shepherd of the church is called the “God of peace” (Rom. 15:33; 16:20; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23 and Heb. 13:20). The God of peace loves to answer the prayers of His ministers for peace in His church. While He may not–and often, does not–grant the petition as quickly as we desire, we are to continue calling on Him to bring controversy and contentions to an end.

2. Bring the Gospel to bear in every situation. Every controversy or trial is a platform for the Gospel. The Apostles modeled this for us throughout the New Testament epistles. The message of Christ crucified was the remedy for the schism and division among party factions in the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:10-25). When there was a sinful division between two women in the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul brought forth the deepest truths about the incarnation and the servant-like humility of the Lord Jesus Christ–servant-like humility to the point of death on the cross (see Philippians 4:2 in light of 2:1-11). The solution to the sinful division between these two women in the church would only be cured by them adopting the mind of Christ–a posture of humility and self-emptying that resulted in the good of others. When the Apostle Paul dealt with marriage issues, he did so by teaching those in the church in Ephesus that husbands were to learn how to love their wives by considering the sacrificial death of Jesus and wives were to learn how to respect their husbands from the submission of the church to the Savior (Eph. 5:22-33). When dealing with the controversy between those with strong consciences and those with weak consciences in the church, the Apostle wrote, “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Rom. 15:7). While there are many other examples and cases set out in the epistles in every case, the death and resurrection of Christ was the solution to all the problems that arose in the church.

3. Seek much counsel. The Proverbs tell us, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 24:6). I have, by God’s grace, been able to navigate many challenges over 7 years of church planting because I have spent a seemingly endless number of hours pouring over the Scriptures and calling wiser and more seasoned pastors. Those who have gone before you have already faced most of the challenges, contentions or complaints that you will face in pastoral ministry–after all, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Sometimes you learn from the failings of those older and wise than you and sometimes you learn from their successes. Find the wisest pastors you can and attach yourself to them in order to glean every drop of wisdom that you can from them. This is paramount to learning how to bring contentions, complaints and controversies to an end. Pastors must pray for the wisdom needed to deal wisely and justly in overseeing God’s people.

4. Keep matters within the confines of the pastors and officers of a church. Always keep the substance of controversy or complaints within the confines of the session (i.e. the board) of elders and deacons. The church as a whole doesn’t need to know everything that happens. A wise friend once told me–as I faced one of the first challenges that I faced in the early days of church planting–“Never complain down the chain of command.” This is sage advice that–while difficult to follow–must be pursued every day of a pastor’s life. It is detrimental to the life of the church if a pastor complains to other members of the church about those who are causing problems within the congregation. Apart from taking matters outside of the officers of the church in order to seek counsel from mentors, keep the circle of knowledge about the sin of congregants as small as possible.

5. Speak collectively, not as an individual. Speaking as an individual–rather than as a session–to those in the church who are causing division, who are complaining, gossiping or slandering or who are spinning narratives and passive-agressively trying to get their own way is one of the great mistakes pastors frequently make. Rather than turning it into a personal matter between a single pastor and a congregant(s), the lead pastor should always get on board with the other pastors/elders of the church in order to speak collectively to an issue. Instead of the solo, senior or lead pastor responding to a complaint by saying, “I don’t think that we should…” the session should always respond to issues by saying, “We have decided…” This is the beauty of a Presbyterian form of government, however, it can be a reality in other fellowships where there are elders and deacons. The Lord wants his office-bearers to lead collectively (Acts 15:6 ff.).

6. Seek to defuse every situation as quickly as possible. A wise pastor will seek to defuse every contention, unjust complaint and controversy in the church as quickly and as effectively as possible. This is not always an easy thing to do. It may mean meeting for hours with one or more of the people causing the contentions or controversy. The goal of a pastor is to patiently and gently help such individuals see the severity of what they have created and to strongly encouraging them to set aside whatever contentions they may have. At times, defusing the situation may mean lightening the mood. More often than not, tensions run high unnecessarily in any given situation. If a minister can lighten the mood in an appropriate way to show that things are not as serious as some try to make them, it can, in certain circumstances defuse an escalating crisis. Great wisdom is need here, however. This can backfire on a pastor or session. If a person is perpetually contentious, he or she will not allow you to lighten the mood. In fact, they will despise you more for seeking to do so. Lightening the mood can also enable people in their sin. We don’t want to make contentious or complaining congregants think that their sin is not serious.

7. Never simply give in to contentious or complaining congregants for the sake of peace. One of the biggest mistakes that pastors make is to give in to the demands of discontent or contentious congregants simply to keep them happy. By doing so, they inadvertently empower sinful congregants. If pastors give in on one thing for which sinfully discontent congregants contend, be assured that there will be another and another and yet another. There will be congregants with legitimate concerns or requests. The session should weigh them seriously and carefully. It may be wise for the session to act in accord with the concerns or requests of congregants. However, the person bringing the concern and the nature of the concern are all at the foundation of whether or not a session should concede for the sake of peace. It may be wise to do so if you are dealing with a congregant who is not systemically contentious or discontent. This also takes much wisdom.

8. Be willing to lose congregants who continue to contend. While losing congregants is never something that pastors want, it is sometimes best for a congregation. If a matter cannot be resolved through the process of church discipline, pastors must be prepared to lose congregants. I have witnessed, on numerous occasions, individuals leave a church as soon as the session asked to meet with them. If a congregant willfully refuses to meet with a the elders to whom they have taken vows to submit, he or she is subject to excommunication. However, when the contentions or complaints of certain individuals are not severe enough to proceed to church discipline–it may come to the point where elders have to help discontent congregants move on to another congregation. While never something for which pastors should be eager, we must remember that perpetually discontent congregants cause much harm to a church. It may be that another church in the area is large enough or structured enough to care for such individuals. In smaller congregations, contentious or complaining individuals think that their complaints will be heard more readily. It may be necessary for pastors–who are not patiently able to get through to contentious, complaining or divisive congregants–to have to say, “Maybe this church isn’t a good fit for you…” This is not necessarily mean-spirited or selfish. Pastors are called to care for the flock as a whole. Such care for the entire body of believers may mean encouraging unthankful, discontent, bitter or selfish congregants to move on to another church.

No pastor enjoys the hard work of handling contentions and unjust complaints in the church. Most controversies in the church stem from contentions and unjust complaints being allowed to fester and run wild. Every situation is unique and there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to every contention and controversy with which pastors have to deal. The Gospel is the only sure and lasting remedy; however, much pastoral skill and wisdom is needed to guide the various challenges to a peaceful end. Thankfully, pastors are not alone–they have an Almighty God in heaven, who has promised to stand with them; they have the Scriptures as the perfect rule for how He wants His church to function in a fallen world; they have a cloud of witnesses who have gone before them, and who have left them an example to follow; and, they have a myriad of pastors who have born the burden of the day, and who can now give them counsel from their loses and victories. May the Lord give his under-shepherds wisdom as they face the unique challenges that bring them to an end of themselves (2 Cor. 2:16; 3:5, 6; and 12:9) and cause them to depend on the God of peace and wisdom.

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Why the Information in Our DNA Points to the Existence of God

DNA Points to GodThe more we learn about the origin of life in our universe, the more reasonable the case for God’s existence. The building blocks of life (proteins, ribosomes, enzymes etc.) are formed at the direction of specific nucleotide sequencing in DNA, the largest molecule known. In humans, DNA contains as many as 10 billion atoms. The adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine bases in DNA are linked in a particular order to form the genetic code containing the master plan for every organism. The information in DNA guides and instructs the formation of proteins; without it, protein formation would be a haphazard, hit-or-miss proposal. The nucleic sequence in DNA is informational.

Physicist Paul Davies expresses it well: “Once this essential point is grasped, the real problem of biogenesis is clear. Since the heady successes of molecular biology, most investigators have sought the secret of life in the physics and chemistry of molecules. But they will look in vain for conventional physics and chemistry to explain life, for that is a classic case of confusing the medium with the message. The secret of life lies, not in its chemical basis, but in the logical and informational rules it exploits.”

GCS Chapter 03 Illustration 04

Illustration from God’s Crime Scene

Information in RNA and DNA presents a problem for researchers, especially those who propose RNA as the first molecule to appear through some combination of chance and chemical necessity (known as the “RNA World Hypothesis”). Even if RNA is a precursor to DNA, the first RNA molecules would have to be rich in information to replicate. Information must exist first, before any other transformational process can take place. Without the prior genetic information in DNA and RNA, nothing of significance happens within cells.

Nucleotide sequences are more than statistical gibberish. They are semantically, pragmatically, and apobetically significant sources of information (for more information on these categories of information, see my new book, God’s Crime Scene). The genetic sequence has meaning and directs action for a specific purpose.

Our personal experience tells us information comes only from intelligent sources. In fact, in the entire history of the universe (and the history of science) a single instance of information arising from anything other than intelligence has never been identified. This presents a problem for those who attempt to stay “in the room” of the universe to account for genetic information. If we limit ourselves to the materials available to us in the universe, information must be explained from matter, chance, the laws of chemistry or physics, and nothing more. Nobel winning biophysical chemist, Manfred Eigen recognized this challenge when he once said, “Our task is to find an algorithm, a natural law that leads to the origin of information.” Efforts to account for information in this way have repeatedly failed. In fact, the information in DNA proves to be the decisive stumbling block for every naturalistic theory offered for the origin of life.

Every geographic location proposed—whether in the atmosphere, in the water, on the ground, under the Earth’s crust, or from outer space—requires an explanation for the existence of information in the genetic code.

Every timeframe offered for life’s origin, be it earlier or later in the history of our planet, requires an explanation for this information.

Every description of why life emerges—whether by chance or some form of physical necessity—requires an explanation for information.

And finally, every mechanism proposed for the origin of life—be it through “protein first” models, “RNA first” models, or any other model—requires an explanation for the existence of genetic information. Cambridge education Philosopher of Science, Stephen C. Meyer, says “Proposals that merely transfer the information problem elsewhere necessarily fail because they assume the existence of the very entity—specified information—they are trying to explain. And new laws will never explain the origin of information, because the processes that laws describe necessarily lack the complexity that informative sequences require. To say otherwise betrays confusion about the nature of scientific laws, the nature of information, or both.”

The chance arrangement of information in DNA is prohibitively improbable, and there are no chemical or physical laws at work to dictate its existence. We are left, then, with a paradox: the laws and forces of nature cannot produce information, but information is required for life to begin. As Paul Davies laments, “we are still left with the mystery of where biological information comes from . . . If the normal laws of physics can’t inject information, and if we are ruling out miracles, then how can life be predetermined and inevitable rather than a freak accident? How is it possible to generate random complexity and specificity together in a lawlike manner? We always come back to that basic paradox.”

Given the utter inability of chance or natural law, and our observations related to the origin of information, intelligence is the best explanation. But this requires us to look for an intelligent source transcending the limits of the physical universe. Scientists trying to account for information by staying “inside the room” seem to be rejecting the obvious. In order to create information, the author of this information must have the ability to select between possible alternatives. This ability to choose selectively requires intelligence, will, and purpose. Unguided physical processes simply cannot accomplish the task. German engineer and IT specialist, Werner Gitt summarizes it this way: “A necessary requirement for generating meaningful information is the ability to select from alternatives and this requires an intelligent, volitional entity . . . Unguided, random processes cannot do this—not in any amount of time—because this selection process demands continuous guidance by intelligent beings that have a purpose.”

The selection process required in the creation of information requires an intelligent, volitional free agent. That’s why the information in DNA most reasonably points to the existence of God. For a much more thorough description of this evidence, please refer to God’s Crime Scene, Chapter Three – The Origin of Life: Does the Text Require an Author?

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene.


Ahmed Deedat on the Deity of Christ

In light of one of my upcoming debates in South Africa next week I took the time to review one of the audience questions from the talk upon which our debate will be based, “Is Jesus God?”  Of course, in the course of an hour, we covered a lot more than that.  Hopefully helpful information for sharing with our Muslim friends!

https://www.sermonaudio.com/code_sourcefeatured.asp?iframe=TRUE&reversecolor=FALSE&showoverview=FALSE&flashplayer=TRUE&tiny=FALSE&minimal=TRUE&eventtype=EVENTID&series=SUBTITLE&speaker=SPEAKERNAME&sermonid=10515103715

Here is the YouTube link:

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How Do I Know That God Loves Me?


In nearly 20 years of pastoral ministry I have seen two kinds of people who struggle with the concept of God’s love. On the one hand we have those who simply assume God loves them and give it very little thought. On the other hand many doubt God’s love for them as they tend to evaluate his love based on their circumstances.How do we know God loves us, and what does His love look like? How we answer these questions, and we all hold answers to those questions whether we are aware of them or not, is what determines our view of God and the health of our faith.How do we know God love us? Many are assured of God’s love through his gentle or generous providences. Many believe the proof of God’s love can be found in the good things he gives us in this life. Prayers answered the way we desire, God loves me! Provision in a time of need, God loves me! Beautiful sunsets, delicious food, a happy family, a successful career—God loves me! Of course, this begs the question, does God not love those whose lives are characterized by loss, affliction, sorrow, and need?While it is fair to say that God’s benevolence is seen in the many ways he provides for both the righteous and the unrighteous (Mt. 5:45), we cannot look to our circumstances for assurance of God’s love. Not only would that lead us to believe that God loves some more than others, and often the wicked more than the righteous, but it also undermines faith.When we assure ourselves of God’s love through what he provides for us, we will then question his love when our needs are unmet. God might appear temperamental, unfair, or uninvolved if we allowed our changing station in life to be the hermeneutic by which we understand God’s love.If we cannot base our understanding of God’s love for us on our circumstances, what do we base it on?

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9 ESV)

The love of God was manifested, presented publicly, in the sending of his Son, Jesus Christ. When it comes to the “sending” of the Son of God this does not merely mean his appearance on earth, but everything from his incarnation to the crucifixion and resurrection. (Gal. 4:4, 5; Rom. 8:3; 1 Jn. 4:10) God’s love is ultimately seen in what he did for us 2,000 years ago. And what did God do in sending Jesus? He sent a substitute who would accomplish the righteousness required of us, and atone for the sins we have committed. The word John uses to explain God’s love for us on the cross is propitiation. The word essentially means to satisfy, but more specifically propitiation is the satisfaction of God’s wrath against our sin through the death of Jesus Christ. (See also Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:17)

How do we know God loves us? Because Jesus died for us. Through his sacrifice sin is paid for and God’s wrath against us came to an end. When we are wondering what God thinks of us as his people, when we are in doubt of God’s affection for us, we look back. God’s love is not seen today in our satisfaction in this life, but yesterday in his own satisfaction in his Son. God’s love is best seen, not in a pleasing providence in our lives, but in divine propitiation in the death of Jesus Christ.

 

Related Resources

R.C. Sproul God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children (David C. Cook, 2012)

Neil Tolsma This is Love: Tracing the Love of God Throughout the Biblical Story (P&R Publishing, 2012)

J.W. Alexander God is Love (Banner of Truth, 1985)


Can a Good God Bring Pain?

Can a Good God Bring Pain? Do you believe that God can author pain or suffering in your life for your good? Could affliction, from a larger, longer perspective, be a carefully, lovingly chosen method for blessing?

Some say absolutely not. If our heavenly Father brings pain, he would be an abusive parent. And so they are offended by statements like this:

Suffering is one of the great instruments in God’s hands to continue to reveal to us our dependence on him and our hope in him. God is good to give us the greatest gift he can give us, which is more of himself, and he’s good however he chooses to deliver that gift.

For some facing excruciating pain or loss, they’re some of the sweetest words they’ve ever heard. For others, the same vision of God makes them sick to their stomach.

At least part of the problem is how this vision of God’s goodness in bringing suffering is often presented. Sadly, some of us have been guilty of entering a painful situation, rattling off Romans 8:28, and expecting everyone to feel better. Romans 8:28 is a beautiful promise, but it can also feel like a blunt sledgehammer to people who are hurting and don’t yet understand quite what God is doing in their pain, even if they believe Romans 8:28 with all their hearts.

On the other hand, some will simply say that all Romans 8:28 means is that God will turn this evil thing, a thing that he could not help from happening, into some sort of good for us. They present a God suddenly sovereign enough to reverse the situation, a situation he wasn’t sovereign enough to stop in the first place.

With the first person, we are left wondering, “But what is the good in this situation, God? What is the good in this deep pain?” With the second, we have the nagging feeling that even though sin, Satan, and a fallen world have something to do with our pain, the all-sovereign God who loves us couldn’t stop it.

Two Layers of All Pain

A way forward lies in seeing the two-tiered reality of our pain. In all pain, there are always two sources or agents at work, but only one is ultimately ruling. One source is the reality of brokenness and sin. Because of the worldwide rebellion against God, Satan rules the current evil age. The other and ultimate source of every pain is God, who “declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10) and “does whatever pleases him” (Psalm 135:6).

In Job 2:5, Satan asks God for permission to afflict Job to prove that Job will turn his back on God. Satan does not get the final call. God grants him permission, and establishes rules (2:6). Satan afflicts him, sparing his life (2:7–8). Job’s wife comes and says, “Curse God and die,” because of the suffering (2:9). Job responds, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (2:10).

God could have stopped it. Someone might protest and rebuke Job, “Job, don’t say that! God doesn’t bring pain. It was Satan!” However, the immediate context in Job says, “In all this, Job did not sin with his lips” (2:10). Job got it right. Later, his friends came to comfort and show sympathy for “the evil the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11).

Job’s experience sounds a lot like Amos 3:6, “Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”

The Pain of Calvary

Or, what about the most undeserved pain ever inflicted, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Clearly, Satan was at work, entering into Judas (Luke 22:3) to betray Jesus into the hands of his murderers. However, when we read about the suffering of Christ in the Bible, we find a different person writing the gruesome story.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief. (Isaiah 53:10)

Again, Satan seems to be instigating the evil, and yet God is sovereignly willing the death of his Son. Pilate and the religious leaders delivered him up to the cross, so maybe they’re the ones to blame. But ultimately the Bible won’t go there either: “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23). Satan is at work, yet God is still sovereign over the cross (and over Satan). God wills pain for good purposes and results. Like a Father disciplining his children for their long-term maturity and happiness, God brings pain into our lives for our good (Hebrews 12:5–11).

As we read and see that Christ endured the suffering “for the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2), we begin to see that maybe God knows what we need to be truly, eternally safe and happy far better than we do ourselves. Even when Satan and this broken world around us try and afflict us to kill us, if we belong to Christ, God is authoring it for our greatest, most lasting good (Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).

Two More Examples

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, a “messenger of Satan” afflicts Paul. Certainly, Satan is the source here, right? Yes, except that the purpose given for the messenger is, “to keep me from becoming conceited.” Do we think Satan didn’t want Paul to be conceited? No, this must be God’s purpose in Paul’s pain. And Paul asks God to take it away. But he says, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Enduring pain, Paul learns to rely on the grace of God. Though afflicted, he gets more of God.

Likewise, Peter says these Christians he was writing to rejoice while they are “grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:6). The purpose of their suffering is that as their faith, when tested with trials, comes out on the other side, it becomes more precious than the most refined gold (1 Peter 1:7). Again, deep, durable, and precious faith must be a purpose of God, not of Satan. Satan hates faith. And this tested-through-fire faith results in “inexpressible and glorified joy” (1 Peter 1:8).

The Best God Gives

So, what is the good from God in pain? Where is the joy in suffering? It’s in more of God. It’s more dependence (2 Corinthians 1:9), less sin (2 Corinthians 12:7), deeper faith, and increasing, everlasting, unshakeable joy that can only be found through refining. To be sure, this process only works if you have a vision of life and reality that prizes God’s glory as the only place anyone can be fully and eternally happy.

As believers, we should be slow to speak and quick to listen when we enter into others’ pain, giving time and perspective to let God speak into the situation. At the same time, let’s not run from the reality that God indeed brings pain. It’s a hard, but necessary truth for our faith and joy in Christ that will ultimately enable us to persevere and heal with hope and confidence. He knows what we need better than we do. As a master physician with a painful prescription, his ultimate goal is not our harm, but our greatest good.


Related Articles


Billy Graham’s 8 Marks of a True Church


A Simple Bible Reading Plan to Get Started

Followers of Christ know we need to read the Bible. Knowing that responsibility, though, doesn’t always result in obedience. Sometimes we struggle with the task just because we don’t know how to get started. Here’s a simple plan to use as an “on ramp” to read the Scriptures more faithfully. Use it if you need it; if not, direct to this site others who might need it.

  1. Buy a good study Bible. This kind of Bible will give you just enough study notes to help you understand the Word without overwhelming you with additional reading. In the past few years, I’ve used the NIV Study Bible, the ESV Study Bible, and the HCSB Study Bible.
  2. Get a reading partner. Reading the Bible can feel like a lonely act if you read alone. Enlist somebody who will read the same passages you’re reading, and the accountability and encouragement can make a difference.
  3. Be comfortable with starting small. Many of us overcommit to reading the Word when we first get started. We set our sights high (e.g., “I’ll read every day, and I’ll finish the Bible in one year, even though I’ve never kept that commitment before”) and then get discouraged the first time we miss a day. If you already know you’re unlikely to keep a commitment, start smaller. You’ll never read more until you at least read some.
  4. Think consistency and quality more than quantity. I would much rather you read and devour one verse a day than read three chapters a day only superficially. My suggestion is to read one chapter per day – and read it well.  You can always increase the reading once you’ve established a pattern.
  5. Keep a simple journal. If you’re not accustomed to journaling, don’t worry about writing a daily novella. Write only a one-sentence summary of what you read each day. Jot down any questions you have for your pastor or reading partner. When you get an answer, briefly note it as well.
  6. Tell somebody what you read. I do this step via email and the daily devotions on this website. To your reading partner and other family or friends, send a simple accountability report. This step won’t add more than a few minutes to the task, and it allows you to be an encouragement and witness to others.
  7. Thank God for a day of reading. With so many other options available to us, we can always choose to do something other than read the Word. When you’ve finished reading, thank God for helping you turn to the Scriptures.
  8. If you miss a day, start again the next day. Don’t fret over a missed day, and certainly don’t give up your commitment. Accept God’s renewed mercies and start again. The Word will still be the Word.

Bible Q&A: How Do I Repent from Adultery after Remarriage?

Question: How does one repent from the sin of adultery when remarried after divorce as in the situation described in Matthew 5:32?

Answer:

Hi, this is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. Pastor Colin asked me to thank you for your good question and respond to you.

You asked: How does one repent from the sin of adultery when remarried after divorce as in the situation described in Matthew 5:32?

It is probably more helpful to begin with what repentance does not look like in this situation. It certainly cannot mean that you divorce the woman you are remarried to.

That would involve sinning again, in order to try and put the first marriage right.

The best corollary in Scripture is probably found in 1 Corinthians 7. You know the biblical command: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

It is never God’s will for us to sin, even when it is our intention to try and put things right.

TWEET

This command includes, but is not limited to marriage. So, when Paul addressed those in the church who were married to an unbelievers, he could have said, “Divorce them immediately!” But he doesn’t. Paul says, “If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her” (1 Corinthians 7:12).

It is never God’s will for us to sin (even when it is our intention to try and put things right). The rest of 1 Corinthians 7 explains.

Repentance probably looks more like confessing to God that your previous divorce and remarriage were sins against him, and that you’re sorry for them. You might consider asking your current wife and/or some other brothers and sisters in Christ to be there with you as you confess these things, especially if you are having a hard time experiencing God’s forgiveness.

I don’t know how the divorce affected your former wife (and kids?), but if you think it might encourage them in some way, you might reach out and apologize to them? If they knew you thought it was wrong, it might lessen the burden they carry in some way. Who knows how God could use your admission?

Anyway, hope this helps some. Praying that God will pour out peace and reconciliation in your family.

Warmly in Christ, Pastor Tim

RELATED POSTS:

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5 Things Infertile Couples Want You to Know!

Infertility is tough. Guest blogger Brian Nicholson at Faith Ministries in LaFayette, IN, shares his own struggle as well as straightforward suggestions for all.  “5 Things Infertile Couples Want Friends, Families, and Churches to Know” was originally posted on Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry’s “Counseling with Confidence & Compassion” blog, and is republished with permission. –Ed.

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Let’s face it: infertility is awkward for everybody involved. Friends and family members often don’t know whether to broach the subject at all, let alone know what to say. Childless couples want some help and support, but they are often silent about their struggle. Churches know the issue exists, but often don’t quite know what to do about it. What we’re left with is the proverbial elephant in the room. Well, let’s talk about that elephant.

We dealt with infertility for about nine years before we adopted. We now have two children, and while we’re still technically dealing with infertility, that issue is mostly behind us. We cannot speak for all infertile couples (we welcome additions, subtractions, or other comments on this post), but we wanted to use our own experience—with the input of friends who have experienced infertility as well—to be very straight-up about what infertile couples want their family, friends, and churches to know.

1. You probably know someone who’s dealing with infertility, even if you don’t know it.

How common is infertility? One in ten couples of childbearing age face infertility, according to The American Pregnancy Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a similar statistic, saying that over 6 million US women age 15-44 experience infertility. (Infertility is not only a woman’s problem. A CDC study analyzed data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and found that 7.5% of all sexually experienced men younger than age 45 reported seeing a fertility doctor during their lifetime—this equals 3.3–4.7 million men.– Ed.) Since many infertile couples suffer in silence, you need to trust the statistics. We’re not necessarily urging you to seek to identify these couples; we’re simply saying that in all likelihood, you do have some infertile couples in your life.

2. Your church can–and should–minister to couples struggling with infertility.

Some very simple decisions make the difference between your church helping infertile couples or pushing them away. To determine how you’re doing, consider these questions:

  • When you celebrate events like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, do you acknowledge—briefly—that while this is a day of rejoicing for many, it’s a day of mourning for others? These events can be brutal for infertile couples, since the purpose is to celebrate the beauty of a wonderful relationship that they are constantly being denied. To be clear, we’re not suggesting that the presence of a few childless couples in your church should drag down the entire celebration. We just think this is a great opportunity to follow Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:15 to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and mourn with those who are mourning. Our pastor does a fantastic job of striking an appropriate balance. He focuses on the celebration, but he also reminds the congregation that there are people for whom this day is difficult, and he prays for such couples. Just a few words can go a long way toward making infertile couples feel like part of the church family on those days. It’s appropriate for infertile couples to obey the first half of Romans 12:15, especially on days designated as celebrations; but it’s equally appropriate for the rest of your church body to obey the second half in some small way.
  • Are infertile couples welcome in the classes and/or small groups that their peers attend, or are they encouraged to attend elsewhere because they’re “not a family yet?” Don’t exclude these couples from family-oriented classes. They may have some of their closest Christian friends in those classes; but also, these couples may have children any time, and can therefore benefit from your family-focused lessons. Maybe they’ll ultimately decide to try a different class, but why not let them decide?
  • Are you providing ready counsel and classes to address the weighty moral questions these couples will face? It’s likely that their doctor will strongly suggest things like implanting several embryos with the intent to “selectively reduce if needed.” The couple may have to make decisions about whether to use donor eggs, sperm, or embryos. They may be asked whether they want to freeze some of their embryos. They may wonder whether setting out on a treatment path costing tens of thousands of dollars is good stewardship. The opportunities to help these couples make biblically informed decisions and solidify their beliefs are tremendous; don’t miss them. In addition to counsel and classes, these couples may need to talk with others going through similar challenges. Has your church done anything to facilitate such a group? If a couple struggling with infertility started attending your church, how long would it take for them to find others who share their struggle, and get the biblical help and Christian camaraderie they need?

3. How to be a blessing to infertile couples.

  • Give them truth, not just sympathy. This point comes from Debbie Costa, a biblical counselor and member of our church who is dealing with cancer. When asked how others can minister to hurting people, Debbie said, “I need more than sympathy; I need truth.” She quoted Psalm 61:2: “From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Sympathy is nice, but it doesn’t change us. Truth can help us think and respond differently.
  • Pray for them. If you know them well enough, ask how you can specifically pray for them. They might tell you that they’re waiting on test results, or deciding on treatment options, or making some difficult financial decisions, etc. On their behalf, appeal to the One who is truly in control of the outcomes (Ephesians 1:11).
  • Be careful when asking people “why don’t you have kids yet” or “when are you finally going to start your family?” If you’re thinking about posing those questions to a couple in their late 20s or older, understand that there may be some very private answers behind the questions. Are you close enough to this couple to have this conversation? If you are, consider having it (again, it’s often the elephant in the room). If not, let them bring it up if they choose.
  • Maintain your friendships with them. Infertile couples can feel left behind as their friends and family members have children and begin new lives. Don’t be afraid to invite them to activities that involve children. And don’t assume that they won’t want to go out to eat with you if you’re going to bring your kids, or if you’re pregnant again. Whether they come to activities or not should be up to them. Don’t make the decision for them by choosing to not invite them.

4. Infertile couples are not completely clueless when it comes to children.

My wife was an early childhood education specialist who had worked with hundreds of children over several years’ time, and dealt with an amazing variety of behaviors. And yet, when she simply joined in a conversation that some young mothers were having about children, she was asked, “and how many children do you have?”—not in a way to invite her into the conversation, but as if to imply that she couldn’t relate since she didn’t have children of her own. Sadly, this wasn’t an isolated incident.

Such comments are almost certainly born out of ignorance more than malice, and we understand that. And developing a thick skin is part of handling this trial well. Insensitivity on the part of some does not justify over-sensitivity on the part of others. So the point here isn’t to say “shame on you if you ever hurt someone’s feelings.”

The point is that you should never assume that childless couples (infertile or not) are unloving or completely inexperienced. You don’t need to be afraid to leave your children with us in the church nursery. Don’t assume we don’t know how to feed a baby from a bottle or change a diaper. Don’t automatically think we can’t be effective Sunday School teachers. We can be as compassionate and competent as anyone else. (Just to be clear: we know that there are indeed things we can never completely understand without having children in our home day in, day out for years.)

5. Infertility can cause severe financial and marital strain, in addition to the emotional strain.

Infertility testing and treatment can cost thousands of dollars per round, and each time, there’s no guarantee of a positive outcome. Worse yet, it’s common for these tests and procedures to not be covered by insurance.

You may have heard of couples trying a procedure like in vitro fertilization—or similar procedures like GIFT (the latter was our choice). Did you know that such procedures cost about $15,000 and offer only a modest chance of success? On top of that, couples are recommended to commit to multiple cycles of some of these treatments.

So now we get to the kinds of financial questions infertile couples have to answer: how much money are we willing to spend to try to have a child? Should we sell our house? Take out a second mortgage? Move to a state that mandates that insurance covers infertility treatment? Skip vacations? How many rounds of procedures can we afford? Are we being good stewards of our money by spending tens of thousands on procedures, or should we be investing that money in savings, retirement, or charitable causes? It’s easy to say that a life is priceless, but would you say that about just the possibility of life?

If you think the adoption path is much better, think again. Domestic and international adoptions can easily cost $25,000-30,000. And while this may be more of a ‘sure thing’ than infertility treatments, the very decision of when to change paths from treatments to adoption can cause a lot of strain as well. How do you both agree to stop trying to have children?

Combine the difficulty of these financial decisions—which can recur for years—with the emotional rollercoaster of getting your hopes up and having them dashed, over, and over, and over, and over. Is it any surprise that some marital strain can result? The unifying desire of starting a family can eventually become a source of conflict when emotions are running high and decisions are not clear.

What can family, friends, and the church do about this? Simple: pray, encourage, exhort.

If you have a close enough relationship with the husband or the wife, keep them accountable. Ask questions like, “how are you and your spouse doing? Are you praying together about these decisions (Philippians 4:6)? Are you showing submission to one another in the ways outlined in scripture?” Help them remember that God has a plan—not simply for their own temporary satisfaction, but for his glory and kingdom (Isaiah 55:8-9). They may need to take a hard look at whether their shared desire is indeed what God wants for them. Infertility isn’t a blank check for self-pity or lack of accountability. We need to be encouraged, but also exhorted

Join the Conversation

What additional words of counsel would you suggest for churches and individuals as they minister to couples facing infertility?

Resources for You!

COUNSELING: Several BCC counselors have walked the path of infertility personally or with their families. For compassionate, effective, gospel-centered counseling on infertility, adoption, and marriage/family topics, please contact us.

Notes: Contributions by Beth Nicholson. You may read the original post at 5 Things Infertile Couples Want Friends, Families, and Churches to Know.

 

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Can a Christian Struggle with Homosexuality?

In a word: Yes!

Today’s guest at Faith Ministries in LaFayette, IN, answers this common question we at Biblical Counseling Center hear regularly from counselees and their families. Having just returned from ACBC’s conference on homosexuality, we at BCC are even more determined to offer compassionate care to those who struggle. Can a Christian Struggle with Homosexuality?” was originally posted on Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry’s “Counseling with Confidence & Compassion” blog, and is republished with permission. –Ed.

logoThis question came from one of our blog readers. Surely, this reader put down what others are thinking.   Here we go …

Maybe the best way to answer this question is to ask a few more:

  • Can a Christian struggle with promiscuity?
  • Can a Christian struggle with idolatry?
  • Can a married Christian struggle with adultery?
  • Can a Christian struggle with stealing?
  • What about with drunkenness?
  • What about with greed?

Are you seeing where this is going? Exactly. 1 Cor 6:9-11.

We are incredibly thankful that we were washed, we were justified, and our identity is found in Christ rather than our behavior. But no one would say that justification means that we will no longer struggle with our sins.

Does anyone really argue that a saved drunk will never struggle with alcohol? What about believer and the issue of acting out their lustful desires? What about the person who spends too much money on their own pleasures, or the person who used to steal?

Are we really going to say (as this question implies with the subject of homosexuality) that persons who continue to struggle with sin are not genuine Christians? I think not.

So Why Do We Think It Is Different for the Sin of Homosexuality?

That is a complicated question, but maybe it is best answered by the following:

  1. Homosexuality seems like a worse sin than other sins. Frankly, it is unnatural. Some, especially those who have personal stories of unwanted advances from homosexuals, find the whole issue disgusting. Those who have not struggled with homosexuality have a hard time even understanding it. No question … homosexuality is sin. It is always sin and we will not buy for one second the argument that homosexuality is right or acceptable in “genuine love relationships.”  However, maybe some Christians have decided to put the sin of homosexuality in a category all by itself. In God’s economy, sin is sin. Sin, every kind of sin, is worthy of hell and it is every kind of sin that Jesus paid for on the cross.
  2. Some of us might be sick and tired of hearing about the homosexual agenda. One of the consequences is that we might be tempted to stereotype any Christian struggling with the homosexual thoughts or actions with the voices pushing their political and legal agendas. It may be that there are believers who know homosexuality is wrong. They confess every time they seek comfort in homosexual thoughts or actions. Yet they continue to struggle.
  3. Some of us might stereotype the Christian’s struggle with the worst examples of the homosexual movement. No one wants to be cast with the worst examples of their movement. We are a baptist church but that does not mean we want to be identified with those baptist churches that picket soldier’s funerals or seek to do overly offensive acts just to irritate the fire out of people. The Christian seeking victory from homosexuality, but struggling along the way, does not appreciate being labeled with the worst of that movement either.

My point is this … our tendency to believe that no Christian could continue to struggle with homosexuality is based on the fact that we think homosexuality is in a sin class all by itself.

We have allowed our minds to come to the conclusion that homosexuals are the worst of the worst.

A Better Way to Think About This Question

A better way to deal with this question is to acknowledge that just as a believer can struggle with greed, with lust, with stealing, with drunkenness, so can a believer struggle with homosexuality.

However, struggling with it and deciding that it is the lifestyle acceptable to God are two entirely different issues.

In other words, the homosexual needs to go to war against his homosexuality just as the believer must go to war against lust, against greed, against stealing – against any and all sin. Romans 6 explains, “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”

So, can a believer struggle with homosexuality? Yes. But he or she must see the homosexuality as sin, go to war against it, and seek to walk daily in the Spirit. After all, Scripture says, “If you walk by the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”

So is it appropriate to bring church discipline and question the genuine salvation of a person who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior but chooses to follow a homosexual lifestyle? Absolutely. But then again, we should think the same thing about a person who was perpetually shoplifting, committing adultery, or engaging in a greed-driven lifestyle.

Note: You can read the original post on the Faith Ministries blog here.

photo credit: in a cold room I via photopin (license)

The post Can a Christian Struggle with Homosexuality? appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


The Simplified Guide

I recently came across two principles that, when put together, show the spiritual difficulty that we often have in dealing with Christian gray areas. Before I share the principles, let me tell you about where I read them:

David Hazelton is a well-regarded attorney in the DC area. He wrote a book, The Simplified Guide to Paul’s Letters to the Churches, that systematizes all of Paul’s instructions to local churches in his Epistles. What makes this book so fascinating to me is that it reads almost like a legal brief—and I mean that as a compliment. Over the past few years I’ve developed a hobby of reading briefs filed with the US Supreme Court. A good brief asks the right questions, then answers the questions by assimilating the conclusions from many different cases, and then presents the desired conclusion in light of all of the evidence.  

This is exactly what Hazelton does. He lays out his conclusion—for example: chapter 2 is called “The Threats of Addition and Subtraction.” He asks these questions: “How important is it for us to remain faithful to the gospel?” “What is an example of addition to the gospel?” “What is an example of subtraction from the gospel?” “Who poses these threats to the gospel?” and “Why isn’t the content of the gospel open for debate?”

He answers each question by pulling verses from Paul’s Epistles, and inserting his own paragraphs between the verses to explain how they relate. He doesn’t arrange them chronologically or canonically, but polemically. In other words, each paragraph makes his argument, and the pillars of the argument are carefully chosen Pauline passages.

For that reason, it reads like the Apostle Paul filed an amicus brief on each of these topics. Obviously this approach to writing about ethics is open to proof-texting, as well as the possibility that verses are taken out of context to imply something other than what they may have meant to the original recipients. But Hazelton avoids that—like a good attorney, he obviously realizes that if he were guilty of that, then than the credibility of all of his arguments would suffer.

I found The Simplified Guide: Paul’s Letters to the Churches to be very helpful. It is helpful in sermon prep, and even in thinking through ideas for a topical sermon (if I ever were to backslide and preach one of those!).

The Simplified Guide works through this diagram for the progression of topics.

Which brings me to the point about Christian grey areas. Hazelton asks: “How should we deal with others who have different personal practices on secondary issues?” He answers with two principles:

First: “We should not be judgmental toward fellow believers.” He then quotes from Romans 14:4, 13-15, to make the point that Paul forbids elevating our conclusions on secondary matters into judgement against other Christians. And I think most Christians I know get this point. We use terms like “secondary” and “grey” and understand that people think differently on some issues, and that is because we live in a world where Jesus does not.

But then Hazelton adds his second principle: “The need to put others first.” Paul is not content to forbid a judgmental attitude. He goes beyond that and mandates that we actually prefer others. Hazelton writes:

After explaining that our purpose is “not to please ourselves,” he instructs: “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Rom 15:1-2). “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Cor 10:24). “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Rom 14:19). “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God (Rom 15:7). When we put others first, what seemed to be serious differences on secondary issues can begin to lose some significance.

Paul lives out this truth in 1 Corinthians 9-10. To the Jews he became as a Jew, and to the Gentiles, he became as a gentile. In the context of secondary issues, Paul did not sacrifice truth, but he did sacrifice preference as a guard against a judgmental attitude.

This was convicting to me, as I am quick to say “I won’t judge that person” for a secondary issue, but am certainly not quick to go beyond that and say “I’ll put that person with whom I disagree first.” But only then am I applying the full weight of what Paul commands.


To Those Battling Biblical Womanhood

Recently someone asked me to respond to an article bashing biblical womanhood. It’s one subject I’ve been fairly silent about. Partly for fear of the backlash. But mostly because I am the last person who deserves to write about it. It’s not that I ever rejected the Bible’s call to submit to my husband (1 Peter 3:1,5) or to have the sort of spirit that’s beautiful in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:1–4). In fact, I embraced such teaching as sound doctrine from a wise and sovereign God. The problem was, I couldn’t live it to save my life.

As a kid I was fairly compliant. So naturally, when I walked down the aisle, I believed this whole biblical womanhood thing would come easily for me. Sweet and submissive as a baby bunny. Boy, was my husband lucky!

It wasn’t my husband’s role I wanted; it was God’s.

Then somewhere within our first year of marriage, Xena Warrior Princess rose up within me and slaughtered the bunny. What I once believed to be compliance, I now recognize was pride. Back then it manifested itself in the arrogant belief that I could fulfill the call to biblical womanhood in my own strength. Once I realized I couldn’t, it manifested itself in utter outrage that I should ever be asked to. Why should I submit? I’m smart and gifted. I can get it done twice as well in half the time. And so I became controlling, disrespectful, and angry. But I could never control things as completely as I wanted to, which only made me more furious. Finally, all the anger gave way to deep discontentment.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you can’t. Maybe the entire notion of biblical womanhood makes you want to gag. Here is my challenge. If the thought of submitting to an honorable man feels old-fashioned or degrading to you, then for just a moment, set it aside. Forget all about submission and respect as it relates to a man, and ask yourself the one question I was forced to confront: Am I willing to submit to God?

Peace at Last

I finally came to see that my real fight was with Him. It wasn’t my husband’s role I wanted; it was God’s. I longed for the authority to control my life as I saw fit. Like Satan himself, my heart cried, “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). I’ll never forget the day God opened my eyes to what I was becoming. As I cried on my knees, He gave me a new verse from Isaiah: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (26:3).

The truth is, biblical submission has and always will be foundational to Christianity.

Oh, how I longed for peace! And I saw that it only came by way of trust. Deep down, if I really trusted God, I could stop trying to be Him. Then instead of being thrown into turmoil by the things I couldn’t control, my mind would be steadfast. And all the anger, anxiety, and discord I’d welcomed into my heart and home would be replaced, at last, with peace.

We often view submission as oppressive, but I’ll tell you, as I submitted to God that day, I’d never felt freer in my life. The truth is, biblical submission has and always will be foundational to Christianity. To quote Webster, to submit is to “yield to the authority of another.” Is this not the very heart and soul of the gospel?

Indeed, this is the example Christ Himself set when He submitted to the Father’s will, becoming obedient to the point of death (Phil. 2:2–8). And that is exactly what’s required of any who would follow Him. The call to Christianity is not a call to rule, but to die (Matt. 16:25). To become a bondservant, a slave, to the one true King (Rom. 6:22). And in so doing, to discover life and freedom for the very first time.

A Reason for the Roles

Do I believe God has a distinct vision for womanhood? Yes, I do. If He wanted men and women to function in exactly the same way, I believe He could’ve made one gender. We could’ve reproduced asexually, like starfish. But He didn’t. He could’ve made Eve first. Or inspired Paul to urge men to be keepers of the home, subject to their wives. But He didn’t. He intentionally created both men and women and through Scripture revealed the equal but different roles for which He designed them.

He intentionally created both men and women and through Scripture revealed the equal but different roles for which He designed them.

If you struggle with the doctrine or application of biblical womanhood, would you be willing to begin by yielding to the authority of Christ and then asking Him to teach you His vision for womanhood, as revealed in the Bible? Not what you want the Bible to teach or think the Bible should teach, but what it actually teaches. Because as Wayne Grudem points out, when we tweak Scripture to suit our preferences, what’s ultimately at stake isn’t merely manhood or womanhood. It’s the authority of the Bible itself.

So to the dear reader who asked for my thoughts on biblical womanhood, it is with great love and humility that I offer this response. In case you’re wondering, I still know what it’s like to struggle with respect, to long for control, and to be sick of managing a household. But because of His grace, I also know what it’s like to experience glimpses of harmony, when my husband and I embrace our God-ordained callings because we trust that His design is best. And I can say this—it is beautiful, it is peaceful, and it is freeing.

Other Resources:

7 Misconceptions About Submission” by Mary Kassian
Biblical Womanhood in Five Minutes,” an audio interview with John Piper
Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem
Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem
What’s the Difference? by John Piper

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “Still Learning . . . the Whole Submission Thing.”


Letter to the Editor: Not Willing to Compromise Beliefs for Relief Over Physical Pain

To Lighthouse Trails: I hope you can help me. I am battling a number of health issues and find myself having to choose relief or compromise my beliefs. I’d rather be sick than join the mystic forces. I want to know if you have a book on the pitfalls of mysticism in health care.  I […]

Does Evil Disqualify The Existence Of God? (Video)

J. Warner Wallace, author of God’s Crime Scene, was interviewed by Bobby Conway (The One Minute Apologist) and discussed the nature of inculpating and exculpating evidence. Does the existence of evil in the universe exclude the reasonable inference of God’s existence? (For more information related to Bobby’s great ministry, visit: http://oneminuteapologist.com/)

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.


The Crisis in International Religious Freedom

In September of this year, Baylor University sponsored two lectures on the topic of religious persecution. The presenters were former congressman Frank Wolf (now the Jerry and Susie Wilson Chair of Religious Freedom at Baylor) and Princeton Professor Robert P. George, who currently serves as the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Together they detailed a serious crisis. Religious persecution is spiraling out of control in countries around the world while Americans seem dangerously unaware or unconcerned.

Addressing thirty-eight undergraduates in a class on religious liberty, Mr. Wolf described the enormity of what ISIL has been doing in Iraq. “More biblical activity took place in Iraq than in any other region of the world,” noted Wolf. He went on to point out that Abraham’s homeland was Iraq (ancient Nazaria) and that Iraq is also the site of Ezekiel’s burial place. In a diabolically symbolic gesture in July of 2014, ISIL deliberately bombed the tomb of Jonah in an effort to erase the region’s religiously diverse history.

Unfortunately, ISIL is succeeding in its attempts to stamp out the region’s Judeo-Christian heritage. According to Wolf, there were roughly 150,000 Iraqi Jews in 1950. Today there are fewer than ten—a shocking statistic in its own right, but also an ominous sign in light of an old regional saying: “as go the Jews, so go the Christians.” Indeed, ISIL has its own version of that saying: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” In other words, ISIL is systematically expelling, converting, or exterminating two ancient faiths in sequential order. Christians in Iraq numbered 1.5 million in 2003, Wolf observed, but that number has now fallen to approximately 200,000.

In neighboring Syria, where the al-Assad regime has for the past four years been massacring Sunni Muslims, ISIL has moved into the vacuum to target all religions that oppose their radical ideology, including Alawites, Shi’a and Sunni Muslims, and Christians. Observers estimate that more than half of Syria’s pre-conflict population has now been displaced or exterminated.

And earlier this year in Libya, ISIL beheaded twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians in a symbolic act of anti-Christian terror. Wolf took pains to stress that these are not random acts of violence, but a “deliberate campaign of genocide,” and that Christians are in fact on the “edge of extinction” in the region where Christianity originated.

Professor Robert George’s talk in the majestic Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor summarized the 2015 annual report of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom. That report identifies 17 “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPCs), where religious persecution is especially severe. In last year’s report the number of CPCs was only nine: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The Commission still regards those countries as CPCs, but has now added eight more: Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. Space does not permit an account of the atrocities occurring in the countries on the Commission’s list, but the full report (quite readable and informative) is available online here and Professor George’s talk itself is available here.

The vital question is why the number of countries committing and supporting religious persecution is growing so rapidly. The number of CPSs has nearly doubled in a year. What lies behind this startling trend?

This question was posed to Professor George from the audience after his talk, and he did his best to address it, though he acknowledged its complexity. His answer was that liberal democracies in the 20th century left something undone when they defeated the oppressive ideological regimes of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and eventually Soviet Communism. They defeated the powers but failed to defeat ideology itself. The word “ideology” in this context refers to a comprehensive worldview that attempts to explain and justify mass violence in the name of bringing about a more perfect world. But like a hydra with many regenerating heads, ideology is capable of recreating itself in new guises. The crisis, then, stems from the world’s failure to understand and prevent the ideological impulse, according to George.

Interestingly, Mr. Wolf was asked the same question: “Why is religious persecution on the rise around the world?” His answer was that during the era of Presidents Carter and Reagan, the U.S. government made human rights abuses a centerpiece of American diplomacy, often demanding progress on human rights as a condition of any “deal” with the U.S. But today things are quite different. Wolf mentioned the looming nuclear deal between the United States and Iran, a deal that requires nothing from Iran with respect to its ongoing practices of religious persecution. He likewise referenced American diplomacy with China, claiming that we fail to use their human rights violations as a bargaining chip at the negotiating table—even though Chinese government officials routinely violate human rights laws to which China is a signatory.

Mr. Wolf’s view, then, is that the failure of the United States to stand up for religious freedom around the world creates a tacit incentive for radical groups to commit crimes against religious believers. The groups are able to convince themselves (correctly) that no one will stop them.

But whatever the causes of the rise of persecution around the world, Mr. Wolf and Professor George both expressed alarm that Americans are unaware and unconcerned about the issue. If Americans do not care about the state of religious liberty around the world, neither will their government, nor will the leaders of other nations. Americans have historically been the most outspoken proponents of religious liberty in modern history. Should we fall silent now, either out of ignorance or apathy, the effects will be disastrous. This is what the sudden spike in religious persecution around the world already suggests. Unfortunately, matters can get much worse.

David Corey is associate professor of political philosophy at Baylor University.


Practical Advice for College Students

Practical Advice for College StudentsWith the semester well underway, many students have failed to live up to the expectations they’ve set for themselves and need help getting back on track. Some are discouraged and intend to wait until next semester to try again. If you’re a college student, be encouraged. It’s not too late to get your life under control. In three minutes, Ben Stuart offers brief and practical advice for college students that will enable them to glorify God and make the most of the semester.


Related Resources


Check out

Blogs

5 “C” Suggestions for Developing Trust as a Leader | Ron Edmondson

5 Foundational Spiritual Disciplines for Biblical Counselors | BCC

Handling Contentions in the Church | Nick Batizig

The Value of a Mentor | Barry York

The Spiritual Gift of Physical Exercise | Trillia Newbell

3 Things Not To Do After You Preach | Dave Harvey

Home Alone: The Lies That Tie us to our Phones and along similar lines iPhones: Silos of the Soul

Recommended New Book

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by bestselling author Shelley Turkle.

Kindle Books

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman $3.99.

The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose by Lisa Anderson $2.99.

Addicted to Busy: Recovery for the Rushed Soul $1.99.

Video

Discipling People With Intellectual Disabilities

At Justin Taylor’s blog, you can find another video interview with Paul Miller about the Bethesda Curriculum – Bible studies for those with intellectual disabilities.


Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

One service, one body

Jimmy Fowler shares why Redeemer Fellowship chooses to stay “small”:

Church growth is not evil or wicked. Church growth is good. And large churches aren’t inherently bad. Some larger churches are able to reach more people because their size. Some new to the faith feel more comfortable going to a larger church as they seek the Lord and what He has for them. Larger churches are able to provide more programs specific to where people are at or are dealing with. Larger churches have the finances and abilities to provide social assistance on a larger scale to their communities. They are also in a great position to plant more churches. Praise God for what He is doing in and through these churches!

But at Redeemer we value pastoral care and unified community which becomes difficult (if not impossible) for larger churches at multiple services.

5 Facts About Planned Parenthood’s Congressional Testimony

Earlier today, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America,gave sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Throughout her testimony Richards provided a number of misleading claims, inaccurate statements, and downright falsehoods. Here are five in particular you should know about.

I Was Rebuked Without A Word

Erik Raymond:

I was a fairly new Christian in my mid-twenties. I was running very hard fueled by zeal and far less knowledge. To my credit I was talking to a lot of people about the gospel. To my shame I was developing a bit of a self-righteousness toward those who did not. I remember judging people and whole churches’ faithfulness based upon the appearance of outward zeal or emotion. Until one day I got rebuked without a word.

Four Practical Ways to Change Organizational Culture

Eric Geiger:

Changing practices or strategies is one thing, but driving those new practices into a new culture is quite another. And changes in practice do not last if they are not used to help create a new culture and are not grounded in that culture. John Kotter has written, “Changes can come undone, even after years of effort, because the new approaches haven’t been anchored firmly in group norms and values.” This challenging paradox points to the power of organizational culture. The culture cannot be changed easily, but it must be changed or a new philosophy and vision will be swallowed by the old culture.

So what are some practical things leaders can do to create a new culture?

Our Happy Book: Finding Joy in God’s Word

David Murray:

Psalm 119 is one long and exuberant song of delight in God’s Word. Multiple descriptions of God’s Word are punctuated with repeated exultations of joy in God’s Word (Ps. 119:14, 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 92, 111, 143, 162, 174).

My favorite line is “I rejoice at your word, as one that finds great spoil” (v. 162). I love the imagery of someone who turns a corner one day only to find a huge pile of treasure left behind by a marauding army – and it’s all his. Can you imagine what that would feel like? That’s how we should feel when we open the Bible. So let me suggest a number of ways in which we can experience joy in God’s Word.


A La Carte (October 6)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($2.99); Ordinary by Tony Merida ($2.99); Preparing Expository Sermons by Ramesh Richard ($2.99); Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey ($2.99); My Daily Pursuit by A.W. Tozer ($1.99).

Ten Commandments for Pastors

Joel Beeke has ten wise and helpful commandments for pastors.

The Vine Journal

I’m excited about this! GoThereFor, a ministry connected to Matthias Media, has announced The Vine Journal, a new journal they will be publishing 3 times a year. The first issue is free to download. (You can read the announcement and rationale here.)

A Lack of Confidence

This article was written specifically for worship leaders. But even though I’m no worship leader, it still slapped me across the face. “One issue that can sink worship leaders is a lack of confidence. And when I say ‘confidence’ I mean a confidence in the power of God’s call on you, the power of the Spirit within you, and the power of the gospel no thanks to you.”

Joy – An Irish Christmas

Don’t wait to get your tickets for this year’s Christmas tour with the Gettys (since many of the shows will sell out!). I went last year and enjoyed it thoroughly. If you’re going to the Toronto concert, I’ll see you down at Roy Thompson Hall. If you’re going to the Louisville concert, you’ll get to support 20schemes.

This Day in 1536. William Tyndale is martyred at the stake in Antwerp for his Protestant views and for his efforts to translate the Bible into English. *

The Perspicuity of Scripture

As Burk Parsons points out, “what is so hard about the hard sayings of Jesus is not our inability to understand them fully but to believe them fully and obey them fully.”

ECFA Strips Gospel for Asia’s Membership

I am not certain if this will be relevant to any of my readers, but it may be good to know that The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) terminated the membership of Gospel for Asia Friday for violations of ECFA standards.


The Daily Discovery (October 6, 2015)

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

Is Bibliolatry the Real Danger? – “Which poses the bigger risk of idolatry–a high view of the Bible that sees Jesus submitting to the Scriptures or a low view of Scripture that sees Jesus standing apart from the Scriptures? Some Christians fear that if they have a high view of the Bible they will end up denigrating Jesus and being guilty of bibliolatry. But what if the danger of idolatry is much more likely when you try to place Jesus above the Bible?”

Thank God for William Tyndale – Were it not for William Tyndale, you would not be reading your Bible in English.  Further, there is good reason Biblical Evangelicals reject Roman Catholicism as brothers/sisters in Christ.

No, you probably aren’t called to be a pastor – “It seems like every new believer—particularly the younger men—have a moment in those first couple of years of their faith where they ask, “Am I called to be a pastor?” I had that question rattling around in my head for several years. It was one that Emily and I spent a great deal of time alternately avoiding and praying about. And avoiding again. And praying about again. And so on.”

Dead Chickens Tell No Tales, Though Journalists Might – “If these scientists shopped at a typical grocery store, they couldn’t do their experiments. Apparently, they looked for chickens with their necks where they should be, and even with their heads still attached, and took pictures of them after pushing their necks around to various stages. Sound a bit macabre?”

The Simplified Guide – “I recently came across two principles that, when put together, show the spiritual difficulty that we often have in dealing with Christian gray areas. Before I share the principles, let me tell you about where I read them…”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Tom Buck – Characteristics of a Healthy Church (Part 2)


VIDEOS:

Conversation with a Catholic Named Calvin

Fear God and His Goodness


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


Featured Blogs


Christian Headlines

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Three Christians Arrested in India and Accused of Converting Locals

Study Reveals More Americans are Concerned about Religious Freedom Rights

Some Evangelicals Aren’t Happy with Trump’s Meeting with Faith Leaders

Scientists Urge Jail Time for Those who Question Climate Change

High School Rejects ACLU Bid to Block Prayer Boxes

Oklahoma Republican Party Offers to House Banned Ten Commandments Monument

#YesImAChristian Trends on Social Media after Oregon College Shooting

Duck Dynasty Stars Comment on Duggar Scandal

Vatican Official Disputes Details of Kim Davis’ Meeting with the Pope

Senate Approves USCIRF Reauthorization

Opinion

Roseburg Killings: How Should Christians Respond?

The War on Loneliness: a Different Look at Addiction

Why so Many Politicians on Late-night TV?

It’s Time for Evangelicals to Speak up for Animals

How ABC’s ‘The Muppets’ Killed Jim Henson’s Vision of Making the World a Kinder Place


10/06/15 The Simplicity of Obedience

READING: John 2-4

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I remember when I was a brand new believer, and everything I learned about Jesus was fresh, novel, and alive. I couldn’t wait to learn more about Him and to do more for Him. In fact, all I knew to do was what Mary, the mother of Jesus, said to the servants at the wedding in Cana of Galilee: “Do whatever He tells you,” His mother told the servants (John 2:5). Now decades later, I think I’ve sometimes forgotten the simplicity of this call.

“Whatever He tells you to do, just do it,” Mary said.

The Christian life is really that basic and that profound. “He” is the Son of God who was instrumental in creation (John 1), the one who can turn water into wine (John 2), offer eternal life to the world (John 3), and go out of His way to teach the Good News to an often-married outcast woman (John 4).

“Whatever He tells you to do, just do it,” Mary said.

Perhaps we overcomplicate being faithful to Christ. We sometimes spend so much time trying to figure out what we don’t understand that we fail to obey what we do understand. Our task is as basic as doing what He expects.

“Whatever He tells you to do, just do it.” It’s really that simple.

ACTION STEPS:  Determine 1-2 places in your life where you know you need to obey Christ more closely — and then be faithful. Do whatever He tells you to do.

PRAYER: “God, help me to obey whatever You tell me to do today. When I overanalyze, bring me back to Your feet, where I can worship You in obedience.”


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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October 6, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Oct. 6, 2015

BLOOMBERG

A 12-nation Pacific trade deal strengthens President Obama’s hand in his strategic pivot toward Asia and challenges China to accept U.S.-backed rules for doing business.

A trans-Atlantic pact that potentially allows U.S. spies to get their hands on European citizens’ private data was declared invalid by the EU’s highest court, in a ruling that threatens to plunge Internet companies into a legal limbo.

Skiers driving to Denver from Vail, Aspen and other resorts beginning in December can use a 13-mile express toll lane carved out of a shoulder on eastbound Interstate 70. The route is estimated to save 30 minutes on a drive that routinely backs up for miles during busy weekends and holidays. The proposed toll could range from $3 to $30 as the road becomes more congested.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday making California the fifth state in the nation to enact a “right-to-die” law for terminally ill residents. Under the new law, Californians will now be able to end their own lives with the aid of a physician.

Colchicine, a gout remedy so old that the ancient Greeks knew about its effects, used to cost about 25 cents per pill in the U.S. Then in 2010 its price suddenly jumped 2,000 percent. That’s just one of the side effects of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration plan to encourage testing of medicines that have been around longer than the modern FDA itself, and so have never gotten formal approval. Companies that do the tests are rewarded with licenses that can temporarily give them monopoly pricing power as most rivals are eased or kicked off the market. The result has been a surge in the cost of drugs used in treatments from anesthesia to heart surgery and eye operations.

German factory orders unexpectedly fell in August in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is vulnerable to weaker growth in China and other emerging markets.

Russia signaled volunteers may head to Syria to fight against Islamic State and other rebels threatening Bashar al-Assad’s government, the latest sign of a deepening military involvement in a messy conflict where Russian fighter jets have already faced off with Turkish warplanes in a violation of borders.

AP Top Stories

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on Moscow on Tuesday to urgently respond to proposed rules for air-to-air conduct over Syria, as he condemned Russia’s “seriously irresponsible and unprofessional” violation of Turkish air space.

Russia strongly rebuffed U.S. criticism of its air strikes in Syria, reminding Washington how it had supported the United States in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on New York in 2001.

NATO rejected Moscow’s explanation that its warplanes violated the air space of alliance member Turkey at the weekend by mistake and said Russia was sending more ground troops to Syria and building up its naval presence.

Russian warplanes have bombed targets in and around the Syrian city of Palmyra, Syrian state television said Tuesday, in Moscow’s first strikes against the Islamic State group-controlled area.

The Japanese consortium bidding for a $35 billion project to build stealth submarines for Australia said on Tuesday it was confident it could build boats onshore in Australia from day one, if the Australian government requests it.

Thousands of German anti-Islam protesters on Monday vented their fury at Chancellor Angela Merkel over her welcoming of refugees, accusing her of “high treason” and “crimes against the German people”.

Missing cargo ship El Faro, hit by powerful Hurricane Joaquin, is believed to have sunk off the Bahamas and one presumed crew member is confirmed dead, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A 14-year-old Arkansas junior high school student suspected of posting a warning on social media that he would “shoot up” a school near his home was charged on Monday with first-degree terroristic threatening, police said.

The U.S. trade deficit jumped sharply 15.6 percent to $48.3 billion in August as exports fell to the lowest level in nearly three years while imports increased, led by a surge in shipments of cellphones from China.

BBC

Turkey has warned the EU that millions more refugees could flee Syria as the civil war intensifies, European Council President Donald Tusk has said.

Attacks in Aden on a hotel used by Yemen’s prime minister and two military installations have killed 15 Saudi-led coalition troops and pro-government fighters, Emirati state media say. Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and members of his government escaped unharmed.

Smartphone users can do “very little” to stop security services getting “total control” over their devices, US whistleblower Edward Snowden has said. The former intelligence contractor told the BBC’s Panorama that UK intelligence agency GCHQ had the power to hack into phones without their owners’ knowledge.

The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cuts trade tariffs and sets common standards in member countries including Japan and the US. China said it was “open to any mechanism” that follows World Trade Organization rules.

At least 63 people have been killed in a series of car bomb attacks in Iraq.

WND

A Ten Commandments monument that stood on the lawns of the Oklahoma Capitol was removed quietly in the dead of night in order to avoid sparking protests.

President Obama has taken his nationally broadcast rant against gun rights after the Oregon community college shooting to his White House desk, and is now preparing a series of Second Amendment crackdowns via executive order.

A group of students who may not identify as Americans were able to convince high school officials in Jackson, Wyoming, to kill its annual “America Pride Day.”

A top terror expert says ISIS is now so weak that it could be decimated within hours.


 

Top News – 10/6/2015

About those evil guns
The lying President of the United States said this: “We know that the states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.

Roseburg, Oregon City Leaders: Obama IS NOT WELCOME to Come Grandstand at the Funerals of Shooting Victims
David Jacques, publisher of the Roseburg Beacon, told Bill O’Reilly on Monday that the people of Roseburg would not welcome Barack Obama if he came to town to politicize the funerals of the Umpqua College shooting victims.

The Complicated Futility of Ignorance
I have several topics to touch on, none substantial enough for a post on its own, although there is a thread through all of these.

Hard habit to break: Obama in new siege on ‘Little Sisters’ nuns
No one seems quite sure how the Little Sisters of the Poor became the punchline in so many football jokes. Jokes that go something like: “Ohio State is undefeated.” “Yeah, but they’ve been playing the Little Sisters of the Poor.”

ISIS so weakened by Russian airstrikes and desertion it could be destroyed in HOURS
ISLAMIC STATE (ISIS) is now so fragile that its so-called Caliphate could be wiped out in a matter of HOURS, a top terror expert said today. Western and more recently Russian airstrikes, chaotic leadership and mass defections have weakened the jihadi group to such an extent that it would be unable to repel even a small invasion force.

End of ISIS? Putin sends in his most ruthless special forces killers to finish off jihadis
The Russian supremo ordered the deployment of soldiers from his fearsome Spetsnaz unit to root out and eliminate packs of fleeing jihadis. It is especially significant because many of the men have a deep hatred of jihadis from their time fighting in Chechnya’s bloody civil war, when Islamist fanatics battling for independence carried out frequent atrocities against Russian citizens.

Archaeologist Believes Remains of Sodom’s Fiery Destruction Have Been Found
“Based on the excavated evidence, the city’s Bronze Age heyday seems to have nevertheless come to a sudden, inexplicable end toward the end of the Middle Bronze Age—and the ancient city became a relative wasteland for 700 years, for the most part void of human habitation,” reported “Popular Archaeology” last week.

Europe-U.S. data transfer deal used by thousands of firms is ruled invalid
A deal that allows thousands of companies to transfer data from Europe to the United States is invalid, the highest EU court said on Tuesday in a landmark ruling that follows revelations of mass U.S. government snooping.

Bushfires rage in Australia as ‘Godzilla El Nino’ takes affect
Firefighters are struggling to put out the blazes, with changing wind directions making their task even more difficult. Aerial water bombers have also been called in to provide assistance, as gusts of wind have reached over 100 kilometers an hour.

Russian Air Force destroys 20 ISIS tanks near Palmyra
“About 20 units of medium T-55 tanks, which were earlier seized by the militants from the Syrian army, have been destroyed [in the strikes],” as well as three multiple rocket launchers, he noted.

Moderate earthquake felt in Aleutian Islands
The Alaska Earthquake Center says the 5.7 magnitude quake occurred at 9:35 a.m. Monday. The quake was centered 111 miles west of Adak, where it was felt.

UN Asks Iran to Help Foment Peace in Syria
United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki-moon urged Iran on Monday to pressure its ally Syria to reach a peaceful resolution of the brutal civil war there, AFP reports. During a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Ban “reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict and asked Iran to exercise its influence in promoting a political solution,”

Jerry Brown Signs Assisted Suicide Bill
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a physician-assisted suicide bill. The law is based on a similar measure in Oregon and will allow doctors to prescribe medication to end someone’s life. The only stipulation is two doctors must agree the patient is mentally competent and only has six months to live.

Swedish bishop wants to remove crosses from church and mark direction of Mecca to make it more inviting for Muslims
The bishop wants to temporarily make the Seamen’s Church available to all, for example by marking the direction of Mecca and removing Christian symbols, as is already done in common prayer rooms at airports and in some hospital chapel.The proposal has triggered protests. Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, thinks that the proposal is noteworthy and writes on his blog:“The church chapel can not reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapels anyway. The Christian churches and chapels are not public areas at any time.”

Ben Carson Promotes ‘I Am a Christian’ Trend After Tragic Oregon Shooting
Presidential candidate Ben Carson kickstarted a very popular trend this weekend with one simple, yet beautiful message. Carson chose to boldly express his faith after the tragic mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The murderer, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, demanded students stand and state their religion before firing, multiple witnesses reported.

Texas Top Cop: ISIS May Be Infiltrating Border
Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety…warned…that vulnerabilities at the southern border may leave Americans open to a possible terrorist attack. “[I]ndividuals that come across the Texas/Mexican border from countries with a known terrorism presence and the answer to that is yes,” McCraw stated…when asked if any suspected ISIS terrorists had yet infiltrated the border.

Edward Snowden interview: ‘Smartphones can be taken over’
Smartphone users can do “very little” to stop security services getting “total control” over their devices, US whistleblower Edward Snowden has said. …UK intelligence agency GCHQ had the power to hack into phones without their owners’ knowledge. Mr Snowden said GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking pictures and listening in.

China cautiously welcomes Trans-Pacific free trade deal
China has cautiously welcomed a free trade deal struck between 12 Pacific Rim countries, the biggest in decades. The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cuts trade tariffs and sets common standards in member countries including Japan and the US. China said it was “open to any mechanism” that follows World Trade Organization rules.

Iraq officials: car bombs across Iraq kill 56, wound dozens
A series of car bombings across Iraq Monday killed at least 56 people and wounded dozens as the government continued its efforts to combat extremism across the country. The largest bombing took place in the Shiite-majority town of al-Khales in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province. At least 32 people were killed in the attack and 58 were wounded when the car bomb tore through a commercial street, a police official said.

Syrian rebels call for regional alliance against Russia and Iran
Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria, they said in a statement on Monday.

Israel arrests alleged Hamas men for settler killings
Israeli security forces said Monday they had captured five alleged Hamas militants who carried out last week’s killing of a Jewish settler couple in front of their young children.

NATO warns Russia over airspace violations as Syria airstrikes widen
NATO warned Russia to stay away from Turkey on Monday after the Turkish air force intercepted a Russian warplane that strayed into its airspace from Syria, underscoring the heightened risk of a wider conflagration as Russia escalates its intervention in the Syrian conflict.

Chicago’s violence in September was especially brutal
A violent September in Chicago ended with more homicides than any other month this year and the second-most shootings, according to data kept by the Chicago Tribune’s breaking news desk. Though the summer months in Chicago have traditionally been the most violent, shootings last month decreased little from August and there were about 50 percent more shootings than September 2014.


Top Headlines – 10/6/2015

Team Obama is throwing Israel to the diplomatic wolves

Under pressure: Israeli PM faces political attacks as violence continues

IDF forces raid West Bank home of terrorist in deadly Jerusalem attack

Israel to fast-track demolitions of Palestinian homes, Netanyahu says

Gal-On: Cabinet decision to destroy terrorists’ homes is stupid

Likud ministers to right wing rally: Abbas’ UN speech responsible for terror attacks

Prosor to UN: Urge Abbas to stop incitement

Palestinian Authority does not want to ignite third intifada, senior PA official says

Palestinians clash with IDF across West Bank after multiple deadly attacks on Israelis

Red Crescent: 499 Palestinians wounded in IDF clashes in last two days

Islamic Jihad threatens to renew suicide bombings against Israelis

Obama considering plan to leave significant force in Afghanistan

Car bomb attacks kill 57 people in Iraq

ISIS executes 12 Christians – including boy and 2 women who were raped in public and beheaded – for refusing to renounce Jesus

Were ISIS intelligence assessments modified to paint a better picture?

Assad: I Won’t Hesitate to Step Down if That’s the Solution

Russia escalating Syria war by targeting moderate opposition: U.S.

Russia Intensifies Syria Bombing as Cameron Joins Criticism

Russian Air Force hits 50 ISIS targets in Syria over 3 days, ‘significantly’ damaging militants

Turkey says Russia has escalated Syrian conflict with violation of its airspace

Turkish PM: Military to react if Russia violates Turkish border again

US official: Russian incursion into Turkish air space was ‘reckless’

40 Syrian insurgent groups call on regional states to form alliance against Russia, Iran

Iran: Missiles Pointed at U.S. Targets

U.S. enforcement of Iran arms embargo slipped during nuclear talks: sources

Bill Clinton White House suppressed evidence of Iran’s terrorism

Texas DPS Director: People from Countries with ‘Known Terrorism Presence’ Cross Border

Hillary Hits Obama for Being Too Strict on Illegal Immigrants

Obama Goes Beyond Mere Gun Control, Hints at Confiscation

Oregon sheriff wrote, ‘Gun control is NOT the answer,’ and residents agree

Bloody Baltimore: No end seen to post-Freddie Gray spike in homicides, shootings

Chicago’s violence in September was especially brutal

Air France bosses have shirts ripped from their backs as they escape furious employee mob

Deal reached on Pacific Rim trade pact in boost for Obama economic agenda

Historic Pacific trade deal faces skeptics in U.S. Congress

Jeff Sessions: Obamatrade Can Be Killed

Gundlach Explains Why The Market Hasn’t Crashed Yet: “People Are Holding And Hoping”

World Bank cuts East Asia growth forecast…again

Eurozone presses Greece on reforms as recession forecast to drag on

Facebook to beam free internet to Africa with satellites

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Coquimbo, Chile

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Amatignak Island, Alaska

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 27,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 24,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Scientists stumble over active underwater volcano in Southeast Alaska waters

Typhoon Mujigae rips through southern China

Joaquin Misses The US, Thus The 10-Year Hurricane Drought Continues

Historic flooding has caskets floating to the surface in South Carolina

Chernobyl disaster: Exclusion zone around plant has become wildlife haven ‘on par with nature reserves’

What is behind a spike in Australian shark attacks?

California Governor Signs Assisted Suicide Bill

Dad defends babysitter who had “sexual intercourse” with his 11-year-old son

World’s First Lesbian Bishop Calls for Church to Remove Crosses, to Install Muslim Prayer Space

Vatican uses Venturini monastery to ‘cure gay priests’, former clergy claim

Archaeologists uncover ruins of Sodom, the lost ancient biblical city destroyed by God

James Woods: Obama, Media Ignore Christian Hate Crime

Florida Senate candidate sacrificed goat, drank blood

Is Russia’s Presence in Syria a Fulfillment of the Gog and Magog War?

Christian Gun Owners Are Heretics

Ministry Watch Alert: Donors Should Immediately Cease Donations to Gospel for Asia


Frontrunning: October 06

  • Asian shares rise on fading Fed rate views (Read More)
  • U.S. Equity Futures Fall, Risking S&P 500 Rally as Copper Slides (Read More)
  • More biotech pain, this time from the Read More: For Prescription Drug Makers, Price Increases Drive Revenue (Read More)
  • VW Will Delay or Cancel Non-Essential Investments Due to Scandal (Read More)
  • Russia Rejects No-Fly Zone Over Syria as Clerics Urge Reprisals (Read More)
  • Historic Pacific trade deal faces skeptics in U.S. Congress (Read More)
  • German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall Amid Economic Risks (Read More)
  • U.S. Probes Alleged U.N. Bribe Scheme (Read More)
  • Fuel Prices Fall, but FedEx and UPS Boost Surcharges (Read More)
  • Yuan Overtakes Yen as World’s Fourth Most-Used Payments Currency (Read More)
  • Trans-Atlantic Data Pact Struck Down by EU’s Highest Court (Read More)
  • Big U.S. firms hold $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid taxes (Read More)
  • Are Activist Investors Helping or Undermining American Companies? (Read More)
  • Snowden: ‘I’ve volunteered to go to prison’ (Read More)
  • American Apparel Filing Shines Light on Hedge Fund Standard General (Read More)
  • More distress for the Diva of Distressed: Lynn Tilton, Patriarch formally sued in U.S. by two investors (Read More)


October 6, 2015
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — How can things go right in Washington? Lately, there has been little reason for conservatives to think they can. And we’re not about to raise hopes, only to be disappointed… (more)

October 5, 2015
House members should ‘to look beyond their own ambitions’
ALAN KEYES — In a column published last week, I suggested that members of the U.S. House of Representatives would do well to look beyond themselves for a new speaker to replace John Boehner… (more)

October 5, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — The conventional wisdom is that Vladimir Putin has blindsided Barack Obama in the Middle East, catching the U.S. off-guard. It’s another Obama “failure,” we’re told. “Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria” is how a Washington Post headline described it. A popular cartoon shows Putin kicking sand in the faces of Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on a beach…. (more)

October 4, 2015
BLOOMBERG — Representative Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Sunday he’ll challenge the current majority leader when the House of Representatives holds leadership elections to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner…. (more)


October 4, 2015
PBS — House Republican turmoil is boiling over as leadership elections approach, with dissatisfied lawmakers casting about for new choices and a surprise longshot challenger emerging in the speaker’s race…. (more)

October 4, 2015
POLITICO — Illegal immigrants – -along with other noncitizens without the right to vote – -may pick the 2016 presidential winner. Thanks to the unique math undergirding the Electoral College, the mere presence of 11-12 million illegal immigrants and other noncitizens here legally may enable them to swing the election from Republicans to Democrats… (more)

October 4, 2015
NEWSMAX — Secret Service agents over the years say being on Hillary Clinton’s detail is the “worst duty assignment” they could receive, and “agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment,” author Ronald Kessler writes in his book “First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.”… (more)


October 4, 2015
NEWSMAX — Talk show host Bill Maher and biologist Richard Dawkins teamed up on Maher’s HBO show Friday night not only to discuss science and Dawkins’ latest book, but to slam Islam and the “regressive leftists” who give the religion a “free pass.”… (more)

October 4, 2015
NEWSMAX — The government’s plan to bring Syrian refugees could result in “one of the greatest military coups of all time,” GOP front-runner Donald Trump said Saturday, claiming that ISIS fighters could be among the refugees and the migration would be like a “Trojan horse.”… (more)

October 4, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — It’s ba-aack. The Vacuum, that is. That’s the Beltway fairy tale about how Syria was teeming with secular-democratic Muslim moderates ready and willing not only to topple the barbarous Bashar al-Assad regime but simultaneously to rout al-Qaeda. They were not able to pull off these feats, we’re told, without the massive help that President Obama refused to give them…. (more)

October 4, 2015
BOB UNRUH — The board of directors of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will hold a hearing next Wednesday in the case of a veteran medical expert who was dismissed for citing federal government statistics about the dangers of homosexual activity…. (more)

October 4, 2015
NEWSMAX — Law enforcement agencies in the South and Midwest are adding “In God We Trust” to their vehicles, drawing attacks from watchdog groups who argue that the move violates the separation of church and state…. (more)

October 3, 2015
SUSAN FERRECHIO — With just days before House Republicans vote on a new speaker, the outcome remained in significant doubt Friday as lawmakers questioned whether Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has the skills to articulate the GOP message…. (more)


October 3, 2015
NEWSMAX — The United States reportedly denied asylum to dozens of Iraqi Christians who escaped Islamic State (ISIS) militants – – even though they had family sponsors…. (more)

October 3, 2015
NEWSMAX — The disappointing jobs report for September released Friday diminishes but doesn’t entirely eliminate the chance of a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase at its Dec. 15-16 policy meeting, economists said. While the data all but rule out a move this month, a December rate hike remains a live, albeit less-likely, option, they said…. (more)


October 3, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — This could jolt the chatty Sunday talk show realm: The investigators have arrived. “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson” debuts this weekend, focusing on investigative journalism and authentic accountability rather than sound bites and talking points, its creators say…. (more)

October 3, 2015
NATIONAL REVIEW — The story coming from Umpqua Community College is by now a familiar one: the socially and romantically frustrated young man, almost certainly mentally disturbed; the channeling of that mental perturbation into various political and ideological enthusiasms, in this case ranging from admiration for Irish Republican Army terrorists to what turned out to be a homicidal antipathy toward Christians; the disorganized family; people familiar with the young man and his family being not entirely surprised by the rampage…. (more)


October 2, 2015
THE FISCAL TIMES — Well, that didn’t take long. Marking what is surely the shortest honeymoon period on record for a Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives – – actually numbering in a negative amount of time, if that’s even possible – – there is already a movement afoot among conservatives to “fire” current Speaker John Boehner’s presumptive replacement, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy…. (more)


October 2, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — There are many good Republicans worthy of being House speaker. There are fewer in the House itself. But why should House Republicans limit themselves to current members of the House? There’s absolutely no reason to do it – – constitutionally…. (more)


October 2, 2015
NEWSMAX — Two men charged with murdering a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a late-night gunbattle near the U.S.-Mexican border in 2010 were found guilty on all counts on Thursday by a federal jury in Arizona…. (more)

October 2, 2015
NEWSMAX — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paused his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday for 45 seconds to protest what he called the “utter silence” from most of the world on the Iran’s threats to the destruction of his nation…. (more)


October 2, 2015
GARTH KANT — What is Russian President Vladimir Putin really up to in Syria? Just the opposite of what he is telling the world, according to two of the top foreign-policy experts in Washington. Putin recently declared Russia has taken the lead in the fight against the terrorist army ISIS in Syria…. (more)


October 2, 2015
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL REVIEW — Harold Warren Lewis, a respected physicist who had previously advised both the U.S. Government and the Pentagon on various matters including missile defence and nuclear winter, shocked his peers when he disseminated his letter of resignation from the American Physical Society…. (more)

October 2, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — ‘I’d say a lot of people want liver.” The propagandists of Planned Parenthood don’t want you to remember that earlier this summer the group apologized for the “tone” of one of its top officials, Deborah Nucatola, who casually hawked unborn baby parts to undercover journalists from the Center for Medical Progress as she swilled wine and chomped on a salad…. (more)


October 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Pope Francis’ covert meeting last week with a Kentucky clerk who refuses to issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples has left cable news pundits, reporters and columnists very disappointed…. (more)


The Briefing

1) California right to die law signed by governor, furthering redefinition of human life

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill, Los Angeles Times (Patrick McGreevy)

To the Members of the California State Assembly, California Office of the Governor

2) South Carolina flooding reminder of need of all cosmos for redemption

Flood-Hit South Carolina Set for More Rain After Record-Setting Downpour, NBC News (Alexander Smith, Matthew Grimson, and Shamar Walters)

3) Non-theists overwhelmingly support abortion, exposing theological nature of debate

Abortion opposition is a religious stance. Atheists must help fight for choice, The Guardian (Adam Lee)

4) Oppostion to police car decal ‘In God we Trust’ shows depth of secular opposition to truth claims of religion

Police Agencies Defy Critics and Show ‘In God We Trust’, New york Times (Alan Blinder and Richard Pérez-Peña)

In other news…

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal is Reached, New York Times (Jackie Calmes)

What Art Unveils, New York Times (Alva Noe)

Daily Digest

October 6, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.” —James Madison, 1816

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Thinks We’re Not Playing Chess With Russia

2015-10-06-57e4d6b1_large.jpg

For months, Barack Obama received politically tainted intelligence briefings about the rise of the Islamic State, causing him to confidently consider the group the “JV team.” What reason do we have in not assuming that he’s receiving bad info on Russia’s intentions? Obama has tried to quell concerns over Russia’s aggression in Syria. “We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia,” Obama said Friday. “This is not some superpower chessboard contest. And anybody who frames it in that way isn’t paying very close attention to what’s been happening on the chessboard.” Obama shouldn’t have been quick to insult the nation’s intelligence. Not only had the Great Bear brought anti-aircraft weapons into Syria to fight a terrorist organization that has no air force, but Sen. John McCain said America’s secretary of state called his Russian counterpart three times and Obama had a long conversation with Vladimir Putin in order to figure out what Moscow is up to. The answer became clearer when a Russian general showed up in Baghdad Wednesday to announce that Russia would strike Syria within the hour. Now, after days of bombings, it’s apparent Russia is targeting CIA-backed Syrian rebels. On Saturday, the Obama administration’s strategy was to double down, to send more arms and make more bombing runs. It’s time, however, to rethink that chessboard.

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Baltimore: A City Broken After Mismanagement

Politically, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a mistake after the incident in Baltimore that left Freddie Gray mortally injured in the back of a police van. During the protests and criticisms of the city’s police force, she sided with the mob looking for its brand of “justice” instead of her police force attempting to uphold Rule of Law. It yielded bitter fruit. Police officers strapped on their guns every morning demoralized. City residents viewed the police with disrespect. And criminals are flexing newfound confidence. As a result, crime has spiked in the city. During September, the number of non-fatal shootings were double that of 2014. Homicides climbed 39%. This is where it gets ironic: Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw notes that the U.S. Council of Mayors held a meeting in the city at the beginning of October to discuss, in the words of the Baltimore Sun, “economic development, community policing and the spike in homicides many cities saw over the summer.” Baltimore is hardly the poster child for solutions to these problems, as Rawlings-Blake announced that she would not seek another term as mayor. Another leftist village burns.

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Apologizing for America Day

Whether it’s ethnic pride, gay pride or what have you, we’re all about pride in America these days — unless it’s pride in America. The latest outrage from the Village Academic Curriculum File is a Wyoming school that canceled “America Day” because some immigrant students might feel excluded. True story. “Many different students could have felt singled out,” Activities Director Mike Hansen told the local newspaper. “We’re trying to be inclusive and safe, make everyone feel welcome.” Well isn’t that sweet. Maybe they’re taking a page from Barack Obama’s book on “fundamentally transforming” or apologizing for our nation. But this is America, and some of us won’t be cowed by the politically correct Left. Many teens showed up to class decked out in patriotic garb and waving American flags in defiance of their “educators.” Besides, as Todd Starnes notes, “There was a time when immigrants came to America because they loved freedom. They loved this land of opportunity. They wanted a better life for their children.” The Left doesn’t want students to hear that message, though. It might lead to, well, American pride.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Clinton Misfires on Gun Control

By Nate Jackson

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You can always rely on leftists to offer the wrong solution to a problem. Hillary Clinton’s gun control proposals are typically off the mark. Anything to get the focus off her private email server, right?

“We need universal background checks,” Clinton says of her first “brilliant” idea in her newly released stance on gun violence prevention. “We know that they will work.” Unfortunately, a background check didn’t stop the murderer in Oregon. Nor did it stop the man who killed two journalists on live TV in Virginia, or the sociopath who killed six and wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, or the movie theater killer in Aurora. All four men passed background checks and bought guns legally.

As for the Charleston murderer, Clinton blamed a “loophole in the Brady Bill.” But as we’ve noted previously, that particular case was due to human error, not a “loophole.” Clinton repeated the claim that 40% of guns are bought without a background check, though that statistic originates from a 1994 survey of 251 people — hardly definitive evidence of anything.

Nevertheless, Clinton took a page out of Barack Obama’s playbook and says “if Congress won’t act,” she’ll take “administrative action to close” the supposed loophole by reclassifying anyone who sells a “significant number of guns” as someone “in the business of selling firearms.”

But as The Federalist’s Sean Davis points out, “[T]he federal government already has the statutory authority to define who does and does not qualify as an individual ‘in the business of selling firearms.’ It derives that authority from 18 U.S. Code § 921.”

Anyone who sells more than very occasionally is considered a dealer by existing law, so Clinton’s “loophole” users are already criminals. As Davis adds, “The only federal background check exemption that exists is for transactions between private, non-FFL individuals who reside in the same state. That’s it.”

To be clear, we have little problem with requiring background checks to own firearms (as current law does for the vast majority of transactions), with the caveat that they are not a fix-all solution and, as with any law, effectiveness depends on proper enforcement.

Naturally, Clinton’s proposal only gets worse. She wants gun manufacturers to be liable for how their products are used. It’s typical of Democrats to take away individual accountability. Of course, if this violation of due process was ever allowed, it would put gun manufacturers out of business — as it would any other industry where such an absurd standard was applied.

Even Bernie Sanders criticized Clinton’s notion, saying, “If somebody has a gun, and it falls into the hands of a murderer, and that murderer kills somebody with the gun, do you hold the gun manufacturer responsible? Not any more than you would hold a hammer company responsible if somebody beats somebody over the head with a hammer. That is not what a lawsuit should be about.”

Another of Clinton’s proposals is re-banning certain cosmetic features on some rifles, dubbed with the deliberately nefarious misnomer “assault weapons.” But whether a rifle has a pistol grip or a collapsible stock has no bearing on the deadliness of the weapon, and a ban would not (and did not while it existed) save a single life in any mass shooting. Rifles of any type accounted for just 248 murders in 2014 — that’s fewer than are committed with “hands, fists, and feet.” As much as Clinton would love to relive the “glory years,” her husband’s 1994 “assault weapons” ban was completely ineffective (unless you count costing Democrats the ’94 election) and unconstitutional.

There is one thing, however, that could reduce mass shootings: Ending the phony idea that a “gun free zone” sign will deter anyone from a murderous rampage.

Whether it’s Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech or Umpqua Community College, the most frequent common denominator in mass shootings is that they take place in locations where potential victims have been prohibited from defending themselves.

Which leaves gun confiscation — something Obama implied he’d like. But in a nation with 300 million guns and the acknowledged God-given right to self-defense with firearms woven into our Constitution, gun confiscation is never going to happen. Nor should it.

Still, there is hope. While the number of guns in the U.S. has increased 62% since 1994, violence with guns has fallen nearly 50% in the same time period. In other words, it’s not a gun problem.

Of the 30,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. every year, more than two-thirds are suicides. Democrats not only don’t ever make the distinction (because 30,000 gun deaths sounds far worse than 8,500 murders), they push assisted suicide laws like the one Gov. Jerry Brown just signed in California.

A final point. Clinton and the gun-grabbing Left operate from the errant notion that the Second Amendment applies primarily to hunting or sport shooting. Clinton said, “Ideally, what I would love to see is gun owners, responsible gun owners, hunters, form a different organization and take back the Second Amendment from these extremists,” a reference to the NRA. Indeed, there are calls to brand the NRA a “terrorist organization.”

Of the Heller and McDonald rulings that followed an originalist interpretation of the right to keep and bear arms, Clinton also said recently, “[T]he Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

The nation’s first chief justice, Joseph Story, offered the perfect rebuttal way back in his 1833 “Commentaries on the Constitution”: “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic.”

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Dennis Prager: “[One] reason for the left-right divide on guns is that the two sides ask different questions when formulating social policies. The right tends to ask, ‘Does it do good?’ The left is more likely to ask, ‘Does it feel good?’ Attitudes toward the minimum wage provide an excellent example. As I noted in a recent column, in 1987, The New York Times editorialized against any minimum wage. The title of the editorial said it all: ‘The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00.’ … Twenty-seven years later, the same editorial page wrote the opposite of what it had written in 1987, and called for a major increase in the minimum wage. Why? Did the laws of economics change? Of course not. What changed was the question the Times asked. Having moved further and further left, the Times editorial page was now preoccupied not with what does good, but with what feels good. And it feels good to raise poor people’s minimum wage. So, too, on gun control. … I would ask every journalist who cares about truth to ask every politician who argues for more guns laws, and every anti-gun activist, just two questions: ‘Which do you believe would do more to decrease gun violence in America — more gun laws or more fathers?’ ‘More gun laws or more church attendance?’ Barack Obama says, ‘Our gun supply leads to more deaths. The GOP has no plausible alternative theory.’ The GOP does. But as usual, few Republicans say what it is. And no liberal wants to hear it.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

Braying Jackass: “There is [sic] still those shrill voices in the national political arena trying to undo what has finally been done, but they’re not going to succeed, don’t worry about it. … [T]here’s [sic] homophobes still left, most of them are running for president I think.” —Joe Biden

The BIG Lie: “I have gone further than anybody that I’m aware of in American history. Now that’s not a lot of history because we haven’t had emails for that long but as long as we’ve had them I’ve gone longer and farther trying to be as transparent as possible than anybody.” —Hillary Clinton

Non Compos Mentis: “This [Benghazi] committee was set up, as [Republicans] have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans. I would never have done that, and if I were president and there were Republicans or Democrats thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down.” —Hillary Clinton (Well duh. Why would she incriminate herself?)

Village Idiot hypocrisy: “[Hollywood] is the most liberal of all industries … and for it to be so shamelessly white and male? … I’m telling you, anthropologists are not gonna look kindly on us. We’re gonna look like Neanderthals. … It’s a form of apartheid, folks, when a minority controls everything and the majority gets a bone thrown to them. That’s just absolutely wrong.” —filmmaker Michael Moore

Dezinformatsia: “One terrorist group is responsible for more civilian deaths since December 2012 (the Sandy Hook massacre) than Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas and the Taliban. Yet it is the only nearly-state sponsored terrorist group that is not listed by the U.S. State Department as such. It is the National Rifle Association and for their unending lobbying that’s kept a lid on gun control we now have 428 times more American deaths by gun than deaths by foreign terrorists.” —New York Daily News columnist Linda Statsi

And last… “New York City reports it’s struggling to keep an increasing population of stray cats under control. That’s a tough one. Have they tried cat-free zone signs?” —Fred Thompson

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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Stock Market Crash October 2015? 9 Of The 16 Largest Crashes In History Have Come This Month

Crash Warning Danger SignThe worst stock market crashes in U.S. history have come during the month of October.  There is just something about this time of the year that seems to be conducive to financial panic.  For example, on October 28th, 1929 the biggest stock market crash in U.S. history up until that time helped usher in the Great Depression of the 1930s.  And the largest percentage crash in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average by a very wide margin happened on October 19th, 1987.  Overall, 9 of the 16 largest single day percentage crashes that we have ever seen happened during the month of October.  Of course that does not mean that something will happen this October, but after what we just witnessed in September we should all be on alert. (Read More….)


The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Permanently Locking In The Obama Agenda For 40 Percent Of The Global Economy

Obama LaughingWe have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen.  Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet.  But this is not just a trade agreement.  In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise.  And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it.  So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy. (Read More…)


The McAvany Intel Memo

[The following is a list of people control elements used by all dictators, the discussion of which was begun last week.]

3) [Dictators] must control all communications as we saw in the former Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany, and as we are currently seeing in the Obama regime efforts to totally censor the Internet (analyzed in the last issue of MIA). 4) They must be able to control the movement of peopleagain, as we saw in the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany – with tight border controls, internal checkpoints for all citizens (i.e., “show me your papers”) and arrests for even the smallest of “violations.” The current Homeland Security/TSA checkpoints and full body searches at airports, train and bus stations, and on highways across America is a giant step toward the control of people’s movements – both in and outside the country. When a State of National Emergency or martial law is eventually declared, this control of people’s movements will become draconian. Get used to “show me your papers” – it’s coming to a neighborhood near you!

And pertinent to the following article [in the May 2015 issue of MIA], is 5) Total monitoring and control of all money (i.e., cash) – with the goal of forcing everyone into a cashless computerized banking/credit-debit card/financial system. If they can monitor and control all financial transactions, they can more readily control 1) to 4) above. But, they cannot monitor and control all financial transactions unless they can control cash, and hence we are seeing a proliferation of laws, rules, and regulations in the US, Europe, and many places around the world restricting the amount of cash you can withdraw from your own financial accounts or travel with.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, May 2015)


The Growing Russia/China Alliance

Russia and China have long embraced communistic and socialist agendas, so they aren’t exactly the strangest of bedfellows. However, recent developments indicate that the two nations are enhancing their levels of co-operation to an extent that is becoming alarming to the West and the rest of the ‘free world’…………..  Click here for full story


Disturbing Signs Obama Will Pull US Veto Support Of Israel

Adopting a UN resolution makes very little sense if both sides have not come to any type of agreement… unless the US is willing to put its political weight behind such a move. This could involve cutting aid to Israel or even allowing certain types of sanctions (European nations are currently pushing for sanction like labeling of products made in the West Bank). At the moment there is not enough political capital for Obama to risk moving forward with such actions. However, one misstep by Israel may give Obama the opening he needs to change the face of US-Israeli relations forever.………..  Click here for full story


As America Sleeps, The Dark Days Ronald Reagan Warned Us About Have Arrived

These are the days Ronald Reagan warned us would come if we did not remain vigilant. We haven’t been, and they are here.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan, 40th American President.

The first time I ever voted was for Ronald Reagan in 1980. I was a conservative because my parents were, but Ronald Reagan made me a legitimate conservative in my own right. Ronald Reagan was an imperfect candidate, but he had something that so few politicians have any more. He loved American and the American way of life with all his heart, and he made you love it, too.

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In 2016, the Democrat front-runner for president, Bernie Sanders, is an out-of-the-closet Socialist who makes no bones about his political ideology. None at all. Unlike Barack Obama, who pretended to be Christian, American and patriotic, Bernie Sanders has no false front of any kind. You vote for him and he will fully recast America as a third-world Socialist nation. Everywhere he goes, he is greeted by screaming throngs of Obamaphone groupies who are salivating at the prospect of him being the next occupier of the Oval Office. I watch this happening on the news and ask myself “what happened to my America?” It’s gone.

The times where our freedoms would be taken away have arrived. These are the days Ronald Reagan warned us would come if we did not remain vigilant. We haven’t been, and they are here.

I was talking with my good friend and brother in the Lord Dave Gervins today, and we spent nearly an hour on the phone discussing end times things. We both came to the same conclusion that there is a spirit that has settled down on America, an evil spirit, and it has blinded the eyes and minds of our citizens. As a nation, we are watching the transition to a completely pagan, Godless society with no values, no morals, no Bible, no Ten Commandments, and no Jesus Christ anywhere to be seen.

America uses taxpayer dollars to fund the murder of millions of it’s most helpless citizens every year. The Center for Medical Progress comes along with a series of videos exposing the atrocities of Planned Parenthood, and the government wants to investigate the them, and not Planned Parenthood. 12 citizens were slaughtered just last week for being Christians, and our president uses it for stump speech on gun control, uttering not a single word about them being targeted for death because of their faith. But on February 13, 2015, talking about 3 Muslims who were killed, Obama had this to say:

“No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” spoken by Barack Obama in defense of Muslims.” source

Right now, America’s leaders are siding listlessly on the sidelines, watching Russia dominate the narrative in the Middle East. While Putin takes charge, America sits in the corner like a pusillanimous, effeminate cipher with no mission, no direction, no leadership and no hope. And the American people just sit back and watch it all unravel, no protests in the streets, no marches on Washington, nothing. The New World Order powers that actually control this nation know that their time has arrived. They know that they can act with impunity and there will be no reprisals.

Because of that, the persecution of Christians in this country are well underway. Kim Davis was thrown in jail for refusing to issue gay marriage licences, Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $135,000.00 for refusing to make a queer “wedding” cake, a US Marine court-martialed for having a Bible verse on her computer, and Barronelle Stutzman was driven from her flower shop business for refusing to do flower arrangement for a same-sex “wedding”. I could give you 50 more examples right now of people, American citizens, who are being persecuted because they are Christians and nothing else.

“…but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:53 (KJV)

Right now, while you read this, America citizen and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and 3 others are rotting in an Iranian prison because no one in Washington cares one bit about their freedom. Their release was never part of any of the negotiations of Obama’s Iranian Nuclear Deal, and it’s highly likely that Saeed will be executed for his faith. But ask Obama to spend $5 billion dollars and release 5 Taliban terrorists in Gitmo to welcome US Army traitor and deserter Bowie Bergdahl to the White House? Sure! Happy to do it. That’s a deal he can get behind.

 I will close with these words from our greatest president:

“Admittedly, there’s a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then—when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we’re retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he’s heard voices pleading for “peace at any price” or “better Red than dead,” or as one commentator put it, he’d rather “live on his knees than die on his feet.” And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it’s a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” “There is a point beyond which they must not advance.” And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits—not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.


Iran, Russia, Syria, and Iraq Forming A Joint Military Task Force War Room

A senior Iranian military leader warned this weekend that “all U.S. military bases in the Middle East are within the range of” Iran’s missiles and emphasized that the Islamic Republic will continue to break international bans on the construction of ballistic missiles.

“For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:” Psalm 83:5 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Everyone has been so focused ISIS as the creator of the Islamic caliphate, when in reality it looks like that caliphate will be Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq. Russia has effectively squeezed America out of the picture, forming alliances all across the Middle East. How blinded has America become? So blind that the Ayatollah can declare they have missiles pointed at America, as they do in this story, and Obama is still able to sell the Iranian Nuclear Deal to a dead, asleep American public.  Prepare for impact in 3..2..1..

Much of this missile work, like the details of Iran’s advanced arsenal, remains secret, according to Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force.

Hajizadeh dismissed the threat of military action by the United States, warning that all U.S. assets and allies are in range of Iran’s current missile arsenal, according to comments made Sunday in Tehran and recorded by Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.

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The threats of attack on the United States were issued as Iran unveiled new high-tech torpedoes and the formation of a joint war room along with Russia, Syria, and Iraq.

“Some of the threats by the U.S. are aimed at appeasing the Zionists, while others are for the purpose of domestic consumption (in the U.S.), but what is important is that they are aware of and acknowledge our capabilities and deterrence power,” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying.

“We do not feel any need to increase the range of our missiles and (our perceived enemy) targets are fully within the range of our missiles,” he added.

Iran will not slow down the research and construction of advanced missiles, the IRGC leader said, despite international bans on such action.

“We do not see any restriction for our missiles and the IRGC’s preparedness and missile drills are conducted without a halt and according to our annual time-table, but only some of them are publicized through the media,” Hajizadeh said.

The comments echo those of IRGC Navy Commander Ali Fadavi, who warned last month that “the U.S. knows the damages of any war and firing bullets in the Persian Gulf.”

“The U.S. is obedient and passive in the Persian Gulf and we impose our sovereignty right in the Persian Gulf very powerfully,” Fadavi said.

The Pentagon confirmed last month that Iranian warships confront the U.S. Navy on a “daily basis.” Iran’s renewed war rhetoric and anti-U.S. posturing comes amid reports that Iran and Russia have taken the lead in Syria, where both countries are working to bolster the embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

A senior Iranian official disclosed over the weekend that Iran, Russia, Syrian, and Iraq are working on forming a joint war room to coordinate operations in the region.

The “information exchange center” would be the first step in formalizing a joint operations center to coordinate military efforts in Syria and elsewhere, according to political adviser to Iraq Mohsen Hakim, head of the country’s Islamic Supreme Council.

The information center has been formed some days ago after six months of discussions,” Hakim was quoted as telling Fars. Information obtained by this operations center would be disseminated to officials from each participating country, according to Hakim, including the Russian and Syrian armies.

“Hakim underlined that the information center can be a preliminary step to set up a joint operations room or Centcom,” Fars reported.

Syrian officials have welcomed Iran and Russia’s military assistance in campaign against terrorism. “Syria welcomes Iran and Russia’s military partnership in fight against the ISIL in Syria and assumes the efforts made by these countries as legal, distant from the double-standards and in line with safeguarding our national security,” Jamal Rabe’eh, a senior Syrian legislator, told FNA in September.

Meanwhile, Iran unveiled a new high-tech torpedo that it claims can hit targets both in and out of the water. The technology for the missile has been borrowed from the Russians, according to Iranian officials who spoke to Fars. source


THIS IS ISLAM: ‘Once Ten Of Us Rape You, You Become Muslim’

Revealed ISIS fighters say slaves become Muslim if raped by ten men

EDITOR’S NOTE: For a “religion” that brags about how strictly they follow rules of moral conduct, Islam is a huge fan of both heterosexual and homosexual rape. If you recall in the Benghazi assassinations orchestrated by the Obama administration, US Ambassador Chris Stevens was assaulted anally by male muslims before his brutal death. Aside from rape, Islamic honor killings happen a whole lot more than you think they do. But today’s story is particularly revolting in that ISIS is teaching that by being gang raped, you are then considered a Muslim. Do you wonder we we call Islam the Devil’s religion? 

Pregnant women abducted and sold as sex slaves by Islamic State fighters have been forced to undergo abortions leaving them unable to move or speak, freed Yazidi girls have revealed. ISIS jihadists would bring their own gynaecologists to ‘slave markets’ in the Sinjar region of Iraq where captured Yazidi women who were found to be pregnant would be subjected to painful abortions so they could be used for sex.

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One woman, Bushra, 21, revealed that her friend was three months pregnant when she was captured, and that ISIS forced her to undergo a termination. ‘Afterwards, they brought her back. I asked her what happened and how they did it. She said the doctors told her not to speak,’ Bushra told CNN.

The young woman was bleeding heavily after the forced abortion, which left her in so much pain that ‘she could not talk or walk.’

Another young Yazidi escapee, Noor, revealed that the jihadist she was sold to waited two days before he forced himself on her.

‘He showed me a letter and said ‘This shows any captured women will become Muslim if ten ISIS fighters rape her.” She told CNN that he proceeded to rape her before passing her on to 11 fellow fighters who all forced themselves on her.

Noor and Bushra, whose real names have been withheld for their protection, are just two of hundreds of Yazidi women subjected to horrendous rape and torture after being captured by ISIS fighters.

Islamic State fighters have slaughtered more than 5,000 Yazidi people and captured up to 500 women and children in the Sinjar region.

The Yazidis, whose religion has elements of Christianity and Islam, pray to a being known as Melek Taus – which translates to ‘Peacock Angel’. For this reason, ISIS fanatics see them as ‘devil worshippers’ and under the group’s twisted version of Islamic law, give Yazidis the choice to convert to Islam or be killed.

Last month,  advocates for the Yazidi people urged the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate their persecution as a potential case of genocide. In a meeting with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, two Yazidi groups submitted a report detailing atrocities they allege IS fighters in northern Iraq have perpetrated since August 2014.

They include the summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for IS.

More than 400,000 Yazidi have fled Iraq’s Sinjar and Nineveh Plains districts, at times with the help of U.S. and Iraqi strikes against IS forces. They are now living in camps in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq. source


Grieving Roseburg Oregon Says Grandstanding Obama Not Welcome

President Barack Obama will travel to Oregon this week to visit privately with families of the victims of last week’s shooting at a community college.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s sadly come too late, but America now is starting to see through the paper-thin veneer that is B. Hussein Obama, and are recognizing him for the fraud that he truly is. In his hastily-arranged press conference, Obama said nothing about the fact that all the shooting victims were killed for their Christian faith. Obviously, he feels no solidarity with Christians because he is not one. But if those same victims had been Muslims? The White House would have been dressed in black crepe and a national day of mourning declared. 

Obama’s trip has angered locals in Roseburg who say Obama is ‘not welcome’ in the town because the visit will be nothing but a ‘grandstand for political purposes’. Leading the chorus is David Jaques, the publisher of conservative newspaper the Roseburg Beacon.

‘I think that’s very inappropriate, and I think it’s disrespectful to the families,’ Jaques told Breitbart News.

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‘We believe in the Second Amendment. We believe in the whole Constitution.’ says the town of Roseburg

Jaques believes Obama held a press conference straight after the shooting, in which nine people were killed, with another nine injures. In Jaques’ opinion, the press conference was too soon.

‘We haven’t even identified bodies, we’ve still got incident command trying to contain the scene, and he’s holding a press conference 3,000 miles away from here, telling — almost implying that he could have single-handedly prevented this if the Congress would have listened to him.’

‘I think he admitted it himself.

‘His visit here isn’t a re-election campaign stop, but it is a campaign stop for an agenda that he and his associates believe is important.

‘And that is to take away Americans right to own firearms.’ ‘It shows not only a total disdain, a disregard for Constitution, but our very citizens, especially those of us right here in Douglas County.

We believe in the Second Amendment. We believe in the whole Constitution.’  In a separate interview with Mediaite, Jaques accused Obama of wanting to ‘stand on the corpses of our loved ones and make some kind of political point‘.

Obama will visit Roseburg on Friday as he opens a four-day trip to the West Coast.

No additional details about his visit were immediately available. Obama has renewed his call for stricter gun laws following the shooting and has expressed exasperation at the frequency of mass shootings in the U.S. source


3,000 terrorists leave Syria following Russian airstrikes

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 06:09 AM PDT

The Russian Bear is sinking it’s teeth in the heart of the Islamic State! According to reports, An estimated 3,000 Islamic State fighters as well as militants from other extremist groups have fled Syria for Jordan fearing a renewed offensive by the Syrian army in addition to Russian airstrikes, a military official has told RIA news agency. “At least 3,000 militants from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), al-Nusra and Jaish al-Yarmouk have fled to Jordan.

They are afraid of the Syrian army having stepped up activities on all fronts and of Russian airstrikes,” the RIA source said. The official added that on Sunday the Syrian army had carried out a number of attacks on Islamic State and al-Nusra fighters on the outskirts of Damascus as well as in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor and Homs. In Deir ez-Zor, 160 militants were killed in an army assault that aimed at driving extremists away from several settlements. CONTINUE

The post 3,000 terrorists leave Syria following Russian airstrikes appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Russian Analyst suggests nukes over Yellowstone, fault lines, causing massive volcanic explosion, tsunami and radioactive rain over US

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 06:02 AM PDT

(Naturalnews) In the 20th century, the world experienced a pair of “hot” world wars — and one gigantic Cold War. In the second decade of the 21st century, it looks as if Cold War II may be underway. Tensions and animosity between the West and Russia have reached levels not seen since the 1980s, as evidenced by a failed diplomatic “reset” with Moscow, Russia’s “annexation” of the Crimea in Ukraine and the Bear’s increased haranguing of Western nations.

But is Russia truly the same threat to the United States today as it was before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991? In many ways, no — but in one way, most definitely. Russia’s military is just now regaining some of its capability, thanks in large part to increased defense budgets driven by high oil prices in recent years (Russia is the third-leading producer of oil, behind the United States [1] and Saudi Arabia [2]). But it still lags in terms of conventional power projection.

Nuclear power projection, however, is a different matter. Russia still retains a potent nuclear force; at latest count, the Russian armed forces possesses 8,000 nuclear warheads, a little more than the 7,315 retained by the United States. Each country keeps about 1,800 warheads “on alert.” And it is this massive nuclear arsenal that Russia relies on for self-preservation — even to the point of threatening to use it in an offensive first strike. In recent weeks, one Russian geopolitical analyst opined that the best way to launch an attack against the U.S. is to detonate nuclear weapons in the skies over Yellowstone National Park, in order to trigger a supervolcano eruption, or along the San Andreas fault line along the coast of California.    CONTINUE

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America’s cities will collapse into utter chaos the day the EBT cards stop working

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 05:52 AM PDT

It will certainly be “the day the music died“… and perhaps millions of Americans as well. What day is that? The day that all electronic cash transactions cease to function. The hardest hit will be Americans on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder – families who exist on government-subsidized food programs. As reported recently by All News Pipeline, recent outages in the processing of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards – financial transaction instruments that operate like bank debit cards – have caused concern among society watchers who are rightly convinced that any long-term disruption in service will inevitably lead to massive unrest and the breakdown of civil society, especially in urban centers.

Is this the very scenario that was seen by David Wilkerson in a vision many years ago, in which he saw the following? “For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.” “There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath.”  

As noted by Tom Chatham of Project Chesapeake, more than 50 percent of Americans currently receive some form of government payment, whether it is in the form of a welfare benefit, government pension or military pay. In a widespread electronic outage scenario, those payments would become impossible to process, leaving tens of millions of Americans unable to purchase basic goods and services. At the same time, legacy government benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare are running out of funds; soon, both will be running annual deficits. This is in addition to the fact that the federal government is more than $18 trillion in debt and owes some $97 trillion in currently unfunded liability payments. CONTINUE

 

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Did Kenneth Copeland Really Endorse Donald Trump for President?

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 05:43 AM PDT

(Jennifer Leclaire) Last week, Charisma obtained a video from Don Nori Sr., co-founder of Destiny Image, showing a group of Pentecostals and conservative Christians in a private meeting Paula White set up with Donald Trump. Beyond Paula White, also present were Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jentezen Franklin, David Jeremiah, Jan Crouch, Steve Munsey, Jews for Jesus Rabbi Kirt Schneider, Bishop George Bloomer, Bishop Darrell Scott and Clarence McClendon.

Some Christians took the prayer meeting as Copeland (and the many others who were present) endorsing Trump for the Republican nomination and ultimately as the next president of the United States. Some of the comments on my Facebook page expressed concern. Some were downright nasty. “I wonder why they are only laying hands and praying for Donald Trump, but not trying to lay hands on Ben Carson. Who is a born again spirit filled Christian? Hmmm… ?” asked Ashlee Green. CONTINUE

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Lights out for last gun store in San Francisco

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 05:34 AM PDT

San Francisco’s armed criminals can rejoice – the last gun store in the city is closing at the end of October. High Bridge Arms manager Steve Alcairo told Time magazine on Sunday that he can no longer put up with the city’s anti-gun atmosphere and endless piles of paperwork required by the San Francisco Police Department, state Department of Justice and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The store was opened in 1952 by Olympic pistol shooter Bob Chow and sold to Andy Takahashi in 1988. Takahashi declined to comment for the magazine’s story.
“It has been a long and difficult ride, but a great pleasure to be your last San Francisco gun shop,” Alcairo said on Facebook Sept. 11.

The manager said the tipping point was a proposed law over the summer that would require him to video record every gun sale and submit a weekly report of ammunition sales to the police. Just the threat of the bill chased customers away, which forced him to lay off three employees.“I’m not doing that to our customers. Enough is enough. Buying a gun is a constitutionally protected right. Our customers shouldn’t be treated like they’re doing something wrong,” Alcairo told Time. “This is the city that defended gay marriage and fights for unpopular causes like medical marijuana. Where’s my support?” CONTINUE

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ISIS touts baby boom as key to caliphate’s future

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 05:25 AM PDT

ISIS has a sure plan to continue their network for generations to come. According to reports they are eyeing a different kind of explosion to expand its caliphate in the Middle East and into the future: A population boom that the black-clad jihadist army’s leaders believe will ensure the next generation of blood-soaked believers. The terrorist group has combined its signature medieval brutality with a sophisticated push for pregnancies within the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq. Propaganda touts a new nursing school, a pediatric facility and specific doctrine on the responsibility of fighters and their brides to procreate. An ISIS propaganda video released earlier this year featured Dr. Tareq Kamlehan, an Australian physician who joined ISIS, running a pediatric ward, boasting about the “good system that they’re running here” and urging medical professionals to join.

“The idea of creating families to live within their Islamic State also provides further validation of ISIS vision as a legitimate nation unto itself,” said Clinton Watts, Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. “ISIS believes the more people they can create in their image the better, and those born into violent ideology are usually the most committed to the course of their life.” CONTINUE

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Arabic Now The Fastest Growing Language in the United States

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 05:18 AM PDT

This new report from Breitbart should show you how much America has truly changed! A new report shows that languages spoken in Muslim countries are surging into U.S. households, thanks in large part to immigration from Muslim nations. New 2014 data from the huge American Community Survey reveals that Arabic and Urdu – Pakistan’s national language – are the fastest-growing foreign languages spoken at home, according to a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies.

A record 63.2 million U.S. residents, or more than one-in-five, speak a language other than English when at home, after five decades of large-scale immigration, according to Census Bureau data authored by the Center for Immigration Studies. The data also shows that 41 percent– or 25.6 million– of the residents have difficulty speaking English. Previous reports have shown that the United States is now the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world. But the new census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages, in percentage terms, are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. Between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic, a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a 9 percent in Persian, which is spoken in Iran. CONTINUE

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Crews Remove Ten Commandments Monument in Oklahoma

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 05:11 AM PDT

Construction crews started removing the heavily disputed Ten Commandments monument Monday night off the state Capitol grounds.  The 6-foot-tall, granite sculpture was ordered to be removed by Oct. 12. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in June that the monument’s display violated a constitutional prohibition on the use of public property to support a “system of religion.” The original monument was destroyed when a man crashed into it. News9.com

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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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True Christianity is not politically correct nor will it ever be

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

30 ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. (John 10:30 NA28)

30 “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Genuine Christianity, not the false versions of it, is unique when compared to the world’s religions. In fact, those false versions of it are just like the rest of the world’s religions in one regard that makes genuine Christianity absolutely unique. All other “religions” are based upon some form of works based theology and belief system in which a some form of justification is made through those works which increase the value of the person in that religion thereby gaining the reward. On the other hand, genuine Christianity is nothing like that at all. Salvation or justification comes as a result of something God has set out to do and has completed. Those who are justified were elected by him before the foundation…

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Defining God: Oprah’s New Age Spirituality and the Power of Influence

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

New Age gurus

Oprah Winfrey has become more influential than most of America’s pastors and religious leaders. Too many people today follow pop-culture icons and celebrities and even many Christians end up believing their teachings. Oprah has launched book sales and resuscitated careers for many authors and spiritual gurus while giving proponents of higher spirituality a platform, particularly those who promote a New Age philosophy.

In one interview on her network, OWN, she asked Deepak Chopra and other leading spiritual thinkers about God; remember, she promotes these folks and their teachings as truth. It went like this:

Oprah: What is your definition of God?

Deepak Chopra: God is the evolutionary impulse of the universe…

Debbie Ford: A spiritual energy. It has no denomination, it has no judgment…

Wayne Dyer: God is the highest place within each and every one of us. It’s our divine self.

Gary Zukav: I don’t have a definition of…

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The Most Interesting Man in the World

Unfathomable Grace

Solomon was the most intelligent, most powerful, most wealthy, and most admired man on the planet. In a real sense, he was the “most interesting man in the world.” Consider the record put forth in 1 Kings:

  • Solomon was foreordained by God
  • Solomon received prophetic revelation from God
  • Solomon was granted wisdom beyond measure
  • Solomon married a princess of Egypt
  • Solomon married whomever he desired
  • Solomon was famous and beloved throughout Israel
  • Solomon was famous and courted by the leaders of the surrounding nations
  • Solomon had military might on the land; he had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen
  • Solomon built a great navy
  • Solomon conquered his enemies
  • Solomon had a massive slave force ready to work on his next project
  • Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt
  • Solomon collected tribute from the surrounding…

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