Daily Archives: October 19, 2015

If unborn babies don’t have consciousness or don’t feel pain, may we kill them?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Unborn baby scheming about pro-life apologetics Unborn baby scheming about pro-life apologetics

Was having a conversation by e-mail yesterday with a pro-abortion atheist, and he gave two reasons why he supported abortion in the first and second trimester. First, he said that unborn babies can’t feel pain, so it’s OK to kill them. Second, he said that unborn babies don’t have consciousness, so it’s OK to kill them. I thought it might be useful to link to something that answers both of these objections.

Frank Beckwith is the author of “Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice“. He wrote that book for Cambridge University Press, a top academic press. But before Cambridge University Press, Beckwith wrote four easy-to-understand essays for the Christian Research Journal. Part IV is the one that has the response to the two questions raised by my atheist friend.

Part I. The Appeal to Pity

Part II. Arguments…

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October 19, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

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Beware Of Those Who Never Admit Fault

When a five-year-old child denies doing something wrong, that’s one thing.  But when someone who is more mature never admits fault it is clear sign of pride and it shows that the person does not understand the pervasiveness of sin in his or her own heart.  In fact, the more I meet people who never admit fault and never apologize, the more I am very cautious around them – especially if they call themselves Christians.

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The Recompense of Good Works

I doubt that on that wonderful Judgment Day any who are Christ’s will be thinking about, looking upon, or even dare to offer up their best works of sanctification. Then we will be robed both within and without in only the Righteousness of the Lamb; and yet even our blood-washed garments of righteousness will not draw our attention. Rather, all eyes will be fixed on him who died for us.

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Grace is a Person

Sinclair Ferguson, in his 2007 Banner of Truth Minister’s Conference lecture, “Our Holiness: Abiding in Christ’s Love,” made the bold assertion that “There is no such thing as grace. There is only the Lord Jesus. Grace is not some appendage to His being; nor is it some substance that flows from Him. All there is is the Lord Jesus.”

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Hymns We Should Sing More Often: O Word of God Incarnate

I am always looking for good songs that can lead us into the preaching of God’s word, and this hymn does the trick. O Word of God Incarnate works well as a prayer of illumination or a prelude to it. It fits well into Sunday morning liturgy immediately before the sermon because it centers its hearers on the light we receive from the incarnate Word of God in the form of the Bible. The written Word is a “lantern to our footsteps”, which “shines from age to age”; it is the “chart and compass” that guides us through the perils of life to Christ.

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Faithful Christian Communities in a Darkening Future

Today we are faced with a civilizational disaster, Dreher asserted. It is a comfortable collapse, but a collapse nonetheless. Now a new Benedictine rule is needed to teach Christians how to order their lives. We need practice for resilient and faithful Christian communities. No longer can we identify Christianity with the American Empire. We must examine and purge ourselves for a new mission and community, forming new Christians for Christ’s service.

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“Everyone You Know Will Be Able to Rate You on the ‘Yelp for People’”

There is a judgment coming before a holy God, One whom we have all offended. Without Christ, we could not bear to even hear this judgment, much less take the time to decide which parts we will keep and publicize and which we will keep to ourselves. There are no private affairs. And no social network makeover will help us when we are exposed for who we truly are.

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Worship Etiquette

What I am trying to describe is a simultaneous grasping of both extremes in our corporate worship: humbling ourselves before our Holy God Who has condescended to us in His Son, Jesus Christ, while at the same time showing respect to our fellow worshippers who are co-heirs of grace. These principles guide all that we do in our lives, and especially in our worship. It impacts and informs how we respond to God in our worship service, as well as how we treat one another in His family.

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4 Reasons Christianity Isn’t Actually Dying

So is Christianity dying? No. Like Mark Twain’s demise, the report of the inevitable death of Christianity is also exaggerated because of mistaken identities. It will frustrate its critics and comfort its followers, but Christianity is still alive and well.

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The Tolerance Jesus Will Not Tolerate

Christians in the ancient world didn’t have to go searching for idolatry. It was woven into the fabric of their whole culture. To not participate in these pagan rituals was to stick out like a Yankees fan at Fenway Park. These feasts, with their idolatry and the sexual revelry which would often follow, were a normal part of life in the Greco-Roman world. To remove yourself from them could be socially and economically disastrous. Which is why false teachers like this Jezebel in Thyatira or the Nicolaitans in Pergamum gained such a hearing. They made being a Christian a lot easier, much less costly, must less counter-cultural.

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The Difference Between Ethics and Morality

In the first instance, ethics is called a normative science; it’s the study of norms or standards by which things are measured or evaluated. Morality, on the other hand, is what we would call a descriptive science. A descriptive science is a method to describe the way things operate or behave. Ethics are concerned with the imperative and morality is concerned with the indicative. What do we mean by that? It means that ethics is concerned with “ought-ness,” and morality is concerned with “is-ness.”

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The Will of God and Your Next Decision

Sometimes your wise and worshipful decisions will lead to fun; other times they will result in misery. Sometimes God will use your decisions to provide riches in abundance; other times he will take you to the poor house. Sometimes your best plans can come to nothing while your worst decisions result in everything. However, keep in mind that your experiential negatives are often part of God’s positive program. So don’t second-guess. Don’t live in the past. Don’t wonder “What if I’d taken the road less travelled, or more travelled?” God is sovereign. He is in control. He loves you.

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Planned Parenthood Drops Fetal Tissue Fees

The sudden shift in policy comes as Planned Parenthood tries to defend itself from an ongoing conservative push to cut off its federal funding. A series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress this year show Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the payments they would receive in exchange for providing organs from babies aborted in Planned Parenthood facilities.

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The Supreme Court, 9-0, On Student Organizations’ “Freedom To Express ‘The Thought That We Hate’”

Although registered student groups must conform their conduct to the Law School’s regulation by dropping access barriers, they may express any viewpoint they wish — including a discriminatory one. Today’s decision thus continues this Court’s tradition of “protect[ing] the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’”

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Meet The Millennial Who Infiltrated The Guarded World Of Abortion Providers

Whatever the outcome, Daleiden’s project has already exceeded the wildest expectations of antiabortion activists. He has released 10 videos from clinic visits, Planned Parenthood meetings and lunches with executives, and put the abortion issue back on the front burner in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail.

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10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Heaven

“To believe in a future, endless, and human-populated heaven means Christians will think about that heaven by examining the resurrected body of Jesus. It means heaven will be an embodied existence and not just a spirit-y or soul-y kind of ethereal, spiritual existence.”

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A Songwriting Rant

“Many modern songs are scatty, cloying, fluffy, incoherent, repetitive, flighty, bumbling, empty, careless, shallow, heretical, repetitive, nauseating, anaemic or repetitive. The fact that they nevertheless make their way into our times of corporate worship is not primarily the fault of the songwriters.”

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Trophies And Martyrs

“Last Thursday, October 1, the killing of eight students and their professor at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon added some names to the small but growing roll of American Christian martyrs, regardless of what some detractors who have been scrounging for evidence that this is not true now say.”

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South African Church Latest to Fold on Same-Sex Marriage

The move to allow same-sex marriage in the church should not come as a surprise to observers. In July, the church decided it was time to pursue equal rights for homosexual pastors. The church had been contemplating the change since 2007, when it opened its doors to openly homosexual members and refused to exercise church discipline against them.

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Jesus Died To Make You (Spiritually) Rich

“Mr. and Mrs. Prosperity Teacher, Scripture calls you to repent of your sin: Your sin of leading astray the sheep, robbing them of their money, and lying to them. Jesus died for the sins of the world; that’s a heavy thing to disregard as secondary to prosperity.”

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Human Dignity According to the Gospel

“The gospel says that those found in Christ are joined to the judgment he endured to the cross, and they stand with him in the new creation of an empty tomb. The repentant woman who had an abortion, the repentant man who empowered an abortion, and indeed the repentant abortionist who committed the abortion, are not beyond the grace of God.”

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5 Resources for Cultivating a Beautiful Culture of Marriage and Sexuality

“We underestimate just how much cultural cultivation we have to do if we think success is just getting people to say “no” to same-sex marriage. We need the wider narrative of Scripture, and the bigger picture of marriage, if we are going to make sense of Christianity’s vision for family.”

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10 Fall Outdoor Activities to Grow Closer to God and Each Other

10 Fall Outdoor Activities to Grow Closer to God and Each Other

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Crosswalk

Just as Autumn brings the beauty of falling leaves, going outdoors frees us to shed busyness and draw closer to God and each other.

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How Much Do You Know about Abraham? 4 Things You May Not Remember

How Much Do You Know about Abraham? 4 Things You May Not Remember

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Crosswalk

God knew that Abraham would struggle with the call before him, but He also knew that Abraham’s struggle would produce great growth and faith.

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From the Bahá’í Faith to Porn to Alpha to Jesus

From the Bahá’í Faith to Porn to Alpha to Jesus

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Christianity Today

God has been faithful all during my winding journey to complete surrender.

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What I Learned From Being a Vegas Call Girl

What I Learned From Being a Vegas Call Girl

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Christianity Today

Hookers for Jesus founder: Lamar Odom news is just a glimpse at the industry’s brokenness.

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Freebie Friday! Project Modesty

by Erin Davis

Here’s a fashion-forward freebie!

How to Pick a Best Friend

by Erin Davis

What makes the best kind of best friend? Here’s what’s on my list.

Announcing ‘Project Modesty’!

by Bethany Baird

Is it possible to combine modern fashion with modest clothing?

6 Tips for Making Modesty Happen All Year Round

by Bethany Baird

Check out Bethany’s top six tips for dressing modestly 365 days a year.


Disney-Pixar Promoting Evolution? Ken Ham Warns Parents About “The Good Dinosaur” Movie

Christian News Network reports on Disney’s latest attempt to entice children into their worldview, which is anything but Christian.  This should be of concern to Christians, as Disney has a huge influence on children’s thinking. Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis believes that “this new film will be watched by many children and will only reinforce […]

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Kentucky Mayor Refuses to Remove Cross from Water Tower Following Atheist Complaint

(CN) — The mayor of a city in Kentucky is refusing to remove a cross from a water tower that belongs to the city but is on private property despite demands from an atheist organization to remove the crucifix.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently emailed Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater to state that the presence of the cross is “unlawful.”

Marine Corps Refuses to Remove ‘God Bless the Military’ Sign Following Complaint

(CN) — A Marine Corps base in Hawaii is refusing to relocate or remove a sign that asks God’s blessing on the Armed Forces following receipt of a complaint from a group that seeks to separate God from the military.

As previously reported, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent an email last month to Col. Sean Killeen, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, to take issue with a sign near the marina that reads, “God bless the military, their families, and the civilians who work with them.” It was reportedly erected following the September 11th attack of 2001.

‘Church of Lucifer’ to Open in Texas

(CN) — The first “Church of Lucifer” is set to open later this month in a small town outside of Houston, Texas.

“Never in history has anything like this happened before: an open to the public home for the Left Hand Path, a church dedicated to the mental freedom of all mankind, a home for all those who are not conformists to the common way of thought, and a temple to the higher self!” the website for the organization reads. “This is the first steps to a new age.”

‘I Was Clinging to the Cross:’ Woman Survives South Carolina Flood Holding to Church Cross

(CN) — A South Carolina woman is crediting the grace and mercy of God after she and her grandson survived the raging floodwaters by clinging to a cross outside a local church until they could be reached by rescuers.

Clara Gantt attempted to travel to church last Sunday from her home in Blythewood when her car was suddenly stalled out by the flooding. It was dark and rainy, and Gantt wasn’t aware of how severe the conditions were.

Other Top News Stories of Interest:


WVW-TV Presents: What Does The Koran Say Should Happen To “Moderate” Muslims & How Can You Identify a “Moderate” From a Radical Muslim?

WVW-TV Presents: What Does The Koran Say Should Happen To “Moderate” Muslims & How Can You Identify a “Moderate” From a Radical Muslim? Watch this program now before it rolls into the Situation Room for members only. To Join the Situation Room & receive a bonus membership to Worldviewpedia as well go to http://www.situationroom.net  To watch this program now click here:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/what-does-koran-say-should-happ…  
 


WVW-TV Presents: Former Iranian Muslim, Now Christian Pastor, Warns America About The Goal & Threat of Islam & Jihad.   Guest: Shahram Hadian was born in Iran and his father was in the Iranian military. Shahram now lives in America and is warning Americans of the very serious national security threat our nation is facing from Muslim terrorists. In this program that you must share with all your friends and social media contacts, we will cover these topics: Are Syrian refugees being used as a trojan horse to bring ISIS terrorists into Europe and America? Topic: Louis Farrakhan has…
 


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WVW-TV Special Report: Please e-mail the url of this program to your friends, tweet the url, and post on your Facebook page. Help us get this program before as many Americans as possible. Thank you. 

Guest: Shahram Hadian was born in Iran and his father was in the Iranian military. Shahram now lives in America and is warning Americans of the very serious national security threat our nation is facing from Muslim terrorists. In this program that you must share with all your friends and social media contacts, we will cover these topics: Are Syrian refugees being used as a trojan horse to bring ISIS terrorists into Europe and America? Topic: Louis Farrakhan has called for 10,000 black Americans to rise up against the white system. What exactly does this mean? Are the race baiters and Muslims working to bring about a civil war within America, and if so, what could be the tipping point?

Topic: What will the moderate Muslims do if a civil war breaks out in America? Will they remain on the sidelines and be seen as apostate and thus open to being killed as called for in the Koran along with the other infidels or will they join the fight? What has happened in other nations that might help us answer that question? Topic: Has ISIS funded many of the tunnels between Mexico and America for the drug lords and is this part of their plan to infiltrate America and even take Americans as hostages back to Mexico? Topic: What about the schools in America and their security? What should every parent and grandparent be requesting of their local law enforcement and state officials in regards to school security? Topic: Shahram begins our program by sharing his testimony.
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/former-iranian-muslim-now-christian-pastor-warns-america-about-goal-threat-islam-jihad

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Worldview Weekend Radio: Shahram Hadian was also a guest on the radio program of Brannon Howse. Click here to listen to this mp3.
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-october-14-2015


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Short Video Clip: Understanding the Dangers & White Magic of the Book
Jesus Calling in 7 Minutes
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tube/video/video-clip-understanding-dangers-white-magic-book-jesus-calling-7-minutes


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Short Video Clip: How Muslims Took Over Egypt & Are Now Working to Take Over Europe & America:
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tube/video/how-muslims-took-over-egypt-and-are-now-working-take-over-europe-america

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Short Video Clip: The Dangers of White Privilege Curriculum in America’s Schools
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tube/video/dangers-white-privilege-clip-1


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Short Video Clip: The Real Meaning of Mark 10:27 “With God All Things Are Possible”
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tube/video/what-all-things-are-possible-god-matthew-1926-really-means


Short Video Clip: How The Real Lord’s Prayer of John 17 is Twisted For Ecumenicalism
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tube/video/how-real-lords-prayer-john-17-twisted-ecumenicalism


Homosexual Men “Divorce” to Become Threesome, Now Plan to Use Sisters as Surrogates

Christian News Network reports:

Two homosexual men recently “divorced” under Canadian law so that they could include a third man in their relationship, and now plan to have their sisters serve as surrogates to bear their children.

“We just want to say that love is love. It should be multiplied not divided,” Adam Grant told the Daily Mail. “It shouldn’t matter if you’re in a three-way or a four-way relationship.”

Grant and his partner Shayne Curran met Sebastian Tran at a nightclub in 2012, after “tying the knot” the year prior. A year later, they agreed to be open to seeing others.

http://christiannews.net/2015/10/18/homosexual-men-divorce-to-become-threesome-now-plan-to-use-sisters-as-surrogates/


Church of England: Could we really re-evangelise the country by shutting down most churches?

Christian Today reports:

When we talk about someone facing an existential crisis, we often mean that they’re unsure of their identity, don’t know how to move forward and are struggling to work out what they stand for – or even whether there’s meaning in life.

But to apply the term more literally, it means that person is fighting to survive – their very existence is being called into question – an existential crisis then, is a matter of life and death.

Both these definitions apply well to the Church of England. The Established Church is, by any definition, in serious trouble.

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/could.we.really.re.evangelise.the.country.by.shutting.down.most.churches/67838.htm/


Education or Indoctrination?

“It takes a village to raise a child”.  These infamous words were spoken by Hillary Clinton nearly 20 years ago as a way to push, among other things, federal education standards for all American children.  Now we have “Common Core”…and some experts are sounding the alarm that there is much more behind it than “educational […]

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Eastern Ugandan Evangelist Killed After Muslim-Christian Debate

According to Christian News Network:

Islamists upset by a Christian-Muslim debate are suspected in the killing of a long-time evangelist in eastern Uganda who led many Muslims to Christ, sources said.

The mutilated body of Samson Nfunyeku was found close to his home in Kalampete village, Kibuku District early on Sept. 23, after the latest in a series of organized debates with Islamic scholars at Tirinyi Trading Center ended prematurely due to flaring tempers the previous night. He was 59.

Eastern Ugandan Evangelist Killed After Muslim-Christian Debate


The Church Does Not Need Christian Radio

Is so-called Christian radio an instrument of God being used to bring people to Christ? Blogger Timothy Hammons takes a look at what is being passed off as Christian radio. Should we financially support this stuff?

In regard to “Christian contemporary music,” does it matter if the lyrics to the songs are theologically and biblically based?

Hammons also tackles contemporary worship or “praise music.” Is the music we sing in our churches even biblical? In his view: “The church should be giving us the songs we sing from God’s word, not from the sinful inclinations of the musician.”

The Church Does Not Need Christian Radio


An Interview With Evangelical Focus

Contrary to what you may have been taught, the world was made to be known and you were made to know it. Contrary to what you may have been told, the world around you, though corrupted by sin, is not an illusion and evil is not winning. Believe your eyes and ears but do not believe everything you read and hear. You can and should, however, trust that God’s Word is reliable and true, that Christ is the Saviour, that he really came, that he was really raised, and that he is really coming again to make all things right again. Until that time you and I have a great calling to trust Christ with all our heart and out of that confidence to serve him in this world by loving God and our neighbour. Find a true church where the gospel is purely preached, where the sacraments are purely administered, and where they love the people enough to practice loving, gracious discipline.

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The Tolerence Jesus Will Not Tolerate

Are you aware that the church in Thyatira’s big sin was……..tolerance? (Revelation 2:18-29) Tolerance “made being a Christian a lot easier, much less costly, must less counter-cultural,” writes pastor and best-selling author Kevin DeYoung. “But it was a compromised Christianity, and Jesus could not tolerate it.”

So why has the visible Church become so tolerant of the things the Lord Jesus said He hates?

Christians cannot be tolerant of all things because God is not tolerant of all things. We can respect differing opinions and try to understand them, but we cannot give our unqualified, unconditional affirmation to every belief and behavior. Because God doesn’t. We must love what God loves. That’s where Ephesus failed. But we must also hate what God hates. That’s where Thyatira failed.

Of the seven cities in Revelation, Thyatira is the least well known, the least impressive, and the least important. And yet, the letter is the longest of the seven. There was a lot going on at this church–some bad, some good.

Let’s start with the good. Verse 19, “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance.” Ephesus was praised for its good deeds and strong work ethic. Thyatira is even better. Is has the deeds that Ephesus had and the love that Ephesus lacked. The church at Thyatira was not without genuine virtue. It was a tight-knit bunch who loved, served, believed, and endured.

http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2015/10/13/the-tolerance-jesus-will-not-tolerate/


“Homosexual Christians”?

The lengths to which some people will go to destroy Scripture to justify the homosexual lifestyle can be quite extraordinary. I have heard just about every distortion, lie and perversion of the biblical data there is on this issue. The theological revisionists are up to their ears in rewriting the Bible to support their ungodly agenda.

But sadly those who claim to be onside here can be just as unhelpful. The amount of fuzzy thinking found in both the pulpits and pews of so-called evangelical churches can be quite astounding. Church leaders and ordinary believers are increasingly just buying into the homosexual agenda, while ignoring or denying the clear teachings of Scripture.

I encounter this all the time. Just how can they manage to get things so wrong when it comes to one of the great moral issues of the day? Let me offer a few examples of some really shoddy thinking by those who should know better. Consider for example a response to a poster on a social media page that a believer had put up. I thought it was a perfectly sound poster, biblically speaking:

Someone calling themselves a gay Christian is like someone calling themselves:
An adulterous Christian
Or
Fornicating Christian
Or
Pornographic Christian

Nothing wrong with that of course. Yet some Christian wrote in, seemingly utterly clueless as to basic biblical teaching on such matters. He said this (replete with typos and bad grammar):

Are there no christians that commit adultery, lie, steal, have angry thoughts , are to busy too help their neighbor or what about helping out at the church or what about those who show favour to their friends, family, race or faith ? Matt. 5 Jesus fills up the law James 2:8-11 favortism. Are you so ignorant that you don’t know it is God’s goodness that turns mens heart to Him in repentance (change) Romans 2:1-8, Love your neighbors as yourselves, as for me I still have a few times I must go to the throne of grace to find mercy and help in my time of need Heb.4:6. Agape

Um, talk about some real confusion and lack of clarity. I replied as follows:

You of course totally miss the point. This is about ongoing, unrepented-of sin. If someone lies, but knows it is wrong, confesses it and repents of it and seeks to stop doing it, that is altogether different than thinking it is fine, doing it without compunction, and self-identifying as a lying Christian. That is exactly the point of this poster. Plenty of folks are claiming it is just fine to be an ongoing, affirming homosexual Christian. That is the same as claiming to be an ongoing, affirming adulterous Christian. All these are a contradiction in terms, and all of them will send you to a lost eternity as Paul makes crystal clear in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. This is basic Christianity 101. Why is it so hard to grasp?

My second example is equally worrying. It is a claim made by an evangelical pastor about a “homosexual Christian” that his homosexual desires are just his “thorn in the flesh” to bear! I must confess that I am not aware of anyone in 2000 years of biblical theology and hermeneutics daring to claim that homosexuality could somehow be identified with the thorn Paul speaks about.

The phrase of course comes from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 where Paul discusses a thorn in the flesh sent by Satan (while allowed by God) that he prayed to have removed, but to no avail. While we do not know for sure just what this thorn was (persecution, a bodily ailment) it is never something inherently sinful that Paul would dared to have just hung on to.

homo 92In claiming that homosexual desires are just a thorn that this “homosexual Christian” should put up with, the pastor might as well have said that having lustful thoughts about those of the opposite sex, or sexual attractions to children, etc., are just something we must put up with, and perhaps even embrace (‘it is just who you are’).

Um no. We are to always resist such sinful lusts and desires, and not glibly claim they are my thorn to carry, that they are part of my identity. Scripture makes it clear that both inward desires and outward acts can be sinful, and thus to be resisted. Jesus said looking lustfully at a woman is as bad as adultery (Matthew 5:27-30). And Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality in Romans 1 includes not just their acts but the “the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity” (v. 24).

Sadly, just as atheists and homosexuals refuse to listen to anything an ex-homosexual has to say, it is getting to be that way more and more in our churches as well. So many refuse to allow former homosexuals to be heard, yet give “homosexual Christians” plenty of opportunities to push their line. This is deplorable.

I would rather listen to ex-homosexuals who have found freedom and deliverance in Christ than “homosexual Christians” who simply make lousy excuses for their sin, even with the help of church leaders. Either Jesus is in the business of transforming lives, or he is a liar. I know which option I will run with here.

Sure, every Christian struggles with various sins and temptations, as mentioned above. But the increasing tendency of churches and church leaders to deny that Christ can radically heal and restore homosexuals is helping the other side, not our side.

One Australian ex-homosexual put it this way:

In the last few years there has been an increase in the number of Christians with ‘unwanted’ homosexual desires who are saying that they can be Christian and remain ‘celibate’ (non-practising) homosexuals on the other. They tend to deny the healing of such desires (contrary to Colossians 3:5-6 and 1 Peter 2:11) and aim to fuse a homosexual identity in with their redeemed identity…. To my mind, it sells short the gospel and leaves those thinking like this in confusion and sin (and, therefore, under God’s righteous judgement). Just as Jesus said one cannot love both God and money, so it is in this case (see Luke 16:19-31).

A recent position statement by the Restored Hope Network in America, drafted with the expertise of Dr Robert Gagnon, is well worth reading. They too refuse to go along with the “homosexual Christian” position. The document begins:

Restored Hope Network (RHN) respectfully disagrees with anyone who continues to identify as both ‘homosexual’ and Christian. Identification with Christ can and must displace an identity based on disordered desires. The New Testament repeatedly calls believers to repent of old identifications and to cleave to the new, true source of one’s identity—Christ Jesus Himself (Rom. 6: 11, 12; 8:6-14; Gal. 2:20). Paul in particular reminds ‘homosexuals’ to forego their ‘gay’ selves when he declares to believers: ‘such were some of you’ in light of having been ‘washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God’ (1 Cor 6:9-11). Yet many Christians today claim to be faithful to both God and their ‘homosexual natures.’ ‘Gay’ Christians tend to fall into two categories: first are persons who are open to homosexual erotic unions, behaviors clearly prohibited by scripture (see RHN doctrinal statement). The second group is comprised of ‘gay’ persons who claim to be celibate. These celibates appear to be faithful to scripture and church tradition but actually foster the ‘gay’ self by encouraging same-sex attracted persons to ‘come out’ to their faith communities and to form ‘spiritual friendships’ with others, even covenanting in exclusive homo-emotional unions.
RHN advocates for healthy same-sex friendship as a key to transformation. However, RHN believes that claiming to repent of sinful behavior while cultivating homosexual selves and desires in exclusive homo-emotional ‘spiritual friendships’ is unscriptural and unwise. Such an approach reinforces a ‘gay’ identity and orientation, which undercut God’s purposes for our sexuality. Identification with Christ cannot be separated from these purposes. Jesus’ command to love our neighbors applies to our self-definitions and relational choices. That requires a realignment of our fallen natures to Christlikeness.

The document ends as follows:

The world and worldly Christians now view same-sex attraction as synonymous with a ‘homosexual’ orientation, which can be defined as an intrinsic, immutable part of one’s humanity that must be recognized, protected, and even celebrated. RHN disagrees. We contend that this concept of sexual orientation is a false cultural construct that is at odds with biblical truth. Sexual desire is something that we feel; it does not define who we are. God made humanity for more and can redeem us accordingly. Jesus calls the faithful to forego worldly thinking on the topic in order to realize ‘the more’ that God intends for humanity.
In light of the new creation, Paul implores Christians ‘to see no-one from a worldly point of view’ (2 Cor. 5:16). RHN refuses the worldly perspective of ‘gay’ Christians due to the new creatures we have become in Him. ‘God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Cor. 5: 14-21). We encourage all who turn to Jesus to identify with Him and so become righteous in the whole of their humanity.

These words seem far more faithful to the biblical text than those by the ones who prefer to compromise and capitulate, running with the world’s agenda rather than God’s. I salute RHN and other groups like them for standing solidly on biblical truth, and offering homosexuals genuine hope and a real chance to change.

That is far superior to leaving people wallowing in their sinful desires, a false identity, and a defeated life.

http://haydnsennitt.com/2015/08/17/can-you-be-a-celibate-gay-christian/
http://www.restoredhopenetwork.org/files/GayChristianPositionPaper2015.pdf


6 Horrific Facts About Hell That Your Pastor Never Told You

God didn’t want you to burn in Hell, that’s why He shed every drop of blood he had. I don’t want you to burn in Hell, that’s why I’m witnessing to you.

“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:5 (KJV)

What is the purpose and goal of NTEB? One of the main purposes and goals of NTEB is to lead sinners to Christ, help prodigals come home, and to preach and stand for the truth of God’s word in last days of this age. Unfortunately however, there will be some readers of NTEB that will one day awake in a Devil’s Hell. I do not rejoice over this, but it is the sad reality. One of the reasons for this is that the vast majority of professing Christian churches in 2015 are no longer preaching on Hell. It upsets too many people, so most pastors just stopped talking about it. As a result, many people who mistakenly think they are saved because they are “good people: will wind up in a place that God never intended for them to go.

Some readers have already predetermined within themselves that they are going to trust in whatever their religion says to the very end, no matter what God’s word has to say about it: whether it’s commandment keeping for salvation, enduring to the end for salvation, tongue speaking, trusting in lying signs and wonders they’ve “seen”, water baptism regeneration for salvation, etc. Some readers will just simply not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Once again, I do not rejoice over this. Maybe it’s not a reader. Maybe this article gets passed along to a lost relative, friend, or co-worker. Maybe this article gets read right before a lost man or woman goes out to celebrate the Devil’s holiday on the 31st.  I don’t know, but I pray that all will come to the Lord Jesus Christ as a broken sinner with no means of justification outside of the blood that Christ shed on Calvary’s cross for them; but this just won’t be the case for everyone. Before you mark me as simply being negative, notice that both Moses and Joshua had similar views about the nation of Israel regarding their eventual refusal to heed God’s word:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?”  Deuteronomy 31:16-17 (KJV)

“And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:16-21 (KJV)

6-horrific-facts-about-hell-you-need-to-know-sheol-hades-gehenna

“…And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments”

If you are saved and reading this, be sure to a) thank God for your salvation! And, b) be encouraged to witness to those lost around you. Time is so very short.

Here are 6 horrific facts about Hell that you might want to take note of:

Horrific Fact #1 – You didn’t have to go to Hell

I believe that one of the many reasons why God refers to atheists as fools (Psalms 14:1 KJV) is because only a fool would choose to burn in Hell when they didn’t have too. I mean seriously, what the heck are you doing down there?!? Did you not read where the Lord Jesus Christ specifically stated the Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels?

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matt 25:41 (KJV)

Are you the Devil? No. Are you one of the Devil’s angels? No. Then WHAT ARE YOU DOING DOWN THERE?? God didn’t want you to burn in Hell, that’s why He shed every drop of blood he had. I don’t want you to burn in Hell that’s why I’m witnessing to you. The Devil wanted you to burn in Hell, but he couldn’t FORCE YOU to go. Why did you choose to go?? Talk about a mind-boggling question that will hunt you throughout eternity.

Horrific Fact #2 – In Hell, you’ll be a misfit

What do Jacob Taylor Roberts, Elliot Rodger, and Asa Coon all have in common? Well on top of being Atheist active-shooters, all three of them decided to take the cowards’ way out after their mini-murder spree by committing suicide. Many ask why they would commit suicide. That answer is simple in my opinion. In the atheist worldview, after death there’s nothingness. Nothingness is a thousand times better than being a young white or Asian adolescent male in prison these days! You talk about being a misfit! How is a middle-class young male that had just about all the privileges and opportunities in life going to “fit in” with some of the world’s most hardened rapist, career criminals, gang members, serial murderers, habitual abusers, and sadist that are doing life in prison? You think that’s going to be some sort of walk in the park??

In eternity, you’re down in Hell with the Devil and his angels after you were given several chances throughout your life to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior. You think you’re going to get along with the devil and his angels down there?? You think you’ll have something in common with them?? They were damned since the book of Genesis with no plan of redemption like you had; what will they think of you whom God choose to manifest in the flesh for, paid your price for sins you committed and you refused it?? You’ll be an eternal misfit.

Horrific Fact #3 – You’ll be burning in Hell AT LEAST 1000 years before God judges you

Once again, Rightly Dividing the word of truth shows up (2 Tim 2:15 KJV).  The Great White Throne Judgement does not occur until AFTER the Lord Jesus Christ 1000 year Millennial Reign on earth. Meaning that you’ll be burning in Hell for AT LEAST 1,000 years before God officially judges you face to face at the White Throne Judgement. Think about a lost sinner going to Hell at the age of 17, 27, 37, 49, 62, 99, or 100. What’s 100yrs on this earth compared to at least 1,000 years in Hell! That alone should make to want to repent and come to Christ!

Horrific Fact #4 – Hell is currently located right below your feet; in the heart of the earth

As a lost sinner, do you know what will drop your soul to Hell after you die? It’s called gravity. Your sins have a weight to it (Heb 12:1 KJV). Your sins burden you down. When you breathe your last breath, that weight of sin is manifested upon your soul (Ezekiel 18:20 KJV) and your soul plunges down into Hell. You see, death for the lost is not like what the world’s movies show you on television. There are no demons that come up and have to fight with your soul to take you to Hell, it’s not like that. When a lost man dies, gravity continues to do what is always does. There is nothing inside that lost man to bring it up, he’s dead in trespasses and sins. The saved man however DOES have something inside him to bring him up to Heaven!

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:9-11 (KJV)

Horrific Fact #5 – No such thing as annihilation

Contrary to what science, religion, or worldly education has taught you, there is no “nothingness” after death. There is also no such thing as “nothingness” in Hell. Don’t believe the religious heresies that come from Jehovah’s Witness or Seventh day Adventist that teaches you there is no literal fire in Hell and no eternal torment. They are both VERY REAL:

“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”  Mark 9:43-44 (KJV)

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:22-24 (KJV)

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:9-12 (KJV)

“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched. Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?” Ezekiel 20:45-49 (KJV)

Don’t believe the lie when they say the rich man in Hell was a parable. The Lord Jesus Christ never referred to that as a parable. In Hell you will burn. You will burn good and you will burn forever!

Horrific Fact #6 – God specifically reserves the greater damnation in Hell for false teachers and preachers

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” Matthew 23:13-14 (KJV)

The greater damnation in Hell doesn’t go to the murderers, pedophiles, sadist, homosexuals, no. God specifically reserves the greater damnation to the unsaved false teachers and preachers. What exactly that is I don’t know, but it’s a greater damnation then just burning in Hell. That is precisely why having the right doctrine is CRITICALLY important. People ask me all the time why the Pre-Time of Jacob’s Trouble catching away vs the Post-trib rapture is such a big deal. It’s a big deal because the Post-trib doctrine teaches that the sinner must “endure to the end” to be saved. This consist of not worshipping the beast or his image, nor getting his name, number, or mark in your forehead or hand. If a sinner trust that as the “plan of salvation” for today, he’ll bust Hell wide open when dies. WORST YET, if he teaches or preaches that as the plan of salvation to others, he shall receive the Greater Damnation in Hell. The same goes with other false doctrines such as baptismal regeneration, sacraments, commandment keeping for salvation, etc. When it comes to false doctrine, God has ZERO tolerance:

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:7-9 (KJV)

“Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6-12 (KJV)

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” John 7:16,17 (KJV)

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17,18 (KJV)

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Ephesians 4:14 (KJV)

In the end, it all comes down to this. In our dispensation of the Church Age, God has ordained the word to go out by good, old-fashioned, Bible preaching. It’s not about “7 Steps To A Better Marriage”, or “The 12 Traits Of Successful People”. It’s about JESUS CHRIST, and Him lifted up to draw all men unto Him.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV)


Five Important Women of the Reformation I Bet You’ve Never Even Heard Of

And yet, without their contributions, the Reformation wouldn’t have worked out so well.

Most Christians have heard the names of John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox, and other giants of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. But there are many, many other men and women who worked to advance the cause of the Reformation! It is my pleasure to introduce you to 5 extraordinary women of the Reformation!  Each of these women played an important role, either in disseminating the ideas of the Reformation, or using their political power to protect the preachers and teachers of these ideas.

Give it a read.  Great stuff.


The Five Fruits of Calvinism

The doctrines of grace are not just rooted in the grace of God, and demonstrate the grace of God; they should also produce grace in those who believe these truths. Here are five fruits that result from a full embrace of the doctrines of grace.

1. A Profound Humility

Total depravity does not mean we are as bad as we possibly can be; it means that we are so corrupted in every part of our being that we are rendered disabled for any good work, faith, repentance, etc. Total depravity may be better named, Total inability. 

However most people, including most Christians, do not believe in total inability. A recent survey by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research found that

  • 67% agree, “Everyone sins at least a little, but most people are by nature good,”
  • 40% agree “God loves me because of the good I do or have done.”
  • Only 16% agree with the doctrine that says “people do not have the ability to turn to God on their own initiative.”
  • 71% of Americans agree that “an individual must contribute his/her own effort for personal salvation.”
  • 64% of Americans agree “a person obtains peace with God by first taking the initiative to seek God and then God responds with grace.”

This has serious repercussions because unless we know how serious our sickness is, we won’t see our urgent need of the Good Doctor, Jesus Christ, and will be slow, or refuse, to call upon Him for mercy and grace. On top of that, if we think we have any spiritual ability left, we will give ourselves at least part of the credit for salvation, especially if the decisive cause of our salvation is in ourselves.

The doctrines of grace show us what we are and what we truly deserve. They therefore humble us, bring us low, puncture pride, eliminate self-righteousness, drive us from self-sufficiency, and silence all boasting. As the Apostle said: “No flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:29).

2.  An Inestimable Value

Some might say that the doctrine of total inability demolishes self-worth and self-esteem. Yes and No.

Yes, it demolishes all false and groundless views of our moral or spiritual worth. Because of sin, we have none.

No, because a right view of the doctrines of grace produces a new, better, and deeper sense of worth.

Despite what I am, despite what I am not, despite what I cannot do, and despite nothing in me to attract Him, God has chosen to love me, Christ has chosen to die for me, and the Holy Spirit has chosen to make me alive and live inside me. Can anything produce a more valuable self-identity, a greater sense of worth, than that?

As John Piper wrote, the doctrines of grace “give the lowest view of the saved person as utterly depraved and hopeless in himself, and the highest view of the saved person as individually chosen and loved and purchased at infinite cost.”

3. A Deep Intimacy

Calvinism should also produce a much more personal relationship with God than Arminianism. For the Arminian, everyone is loved the same as the other. There is no discrimination in God’s love. God loved me no more than Adolf Hitler or Osama Bin Laden. The Arminian says that the difference between me and Hitler/Bin Laden is simply that I chose to believe whereas they did not. God did no more for me than for them when it comes to the decisive cause of our salvation.

But the doctrines of grace teach us that God’s love is so personalized that it infallibly secures the salvation of every single person it is set on. God chose particular named people, Christ died for the exact same people, and the Holy Spirit effectually calls exactly the same people. That’s so much more personal and intimate than a generalized love for all.

4. A Lively Spirituality

In What Is Experiential Calvinism?Ian Hamilton wrote:

 Calvinism is natively experiential. Before it is a theological system, Calvinism is deeply affectional, God-centered, cross-magnifying religion. A man may loudly trumpet his adherence to the distinctive tenets of Calvinism, but if his life is not marked by delight in God and His gospel, his professed Calvinism is a sham. In other words, there is no such thing as “dead Calvinism.” Such is a theological oxymoron for one simple reason: Calvinism claims to be biblical religion, and biblical religion is not only profoundly theological, it is deeply experiential and engagingly affectional! Wherever men and women claim to be Calvinists, their lives and their ministries will pulse with life—the life of living, Spirit-inspired, Christ-glorifying, God-centered truth.

When we really grasp God’s sovereignty, we will firmly grasp His throne in prayer, we will long to live in grateful obedience to His commands, we will seek the advancement of God’s glory, and we will sing as never before and as no-one else. Consistent Calvinists should be the most thankful, the most worshipful, the most prayerful of Christians.

Why?

Because we believe not only in salvation by grace, through faith, to God’s glory; we believe in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone. Which brings us to…

5. A Big God

The doctrines of grace result in a bigger view of God. They give us a God-centered view of reality, putting God at the beginning, center, and end of everything. “Of Him, through Him, and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36).

One consequence of this is that no sin is too big for our big God. We can approach the most hopeless situations and the most helpless people knowing that salvation is “not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:16). What unstoppable impetus this should give to our evangelism and missions.

If we realize that salvation is totally, completely, and entirely of the Lord (Jonah 2:9; John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:16), we will take no credit but give all the glory to God (1 Cor. 1:31; Rev. 1:5-6). There’s nothing a Calvinist enjoys more than seeing his own glory diminish and God’s advance, seeing himself shrink and God being magnified.

I’m not saying that you will find these five fruits in every Calvinist, or even in me — if only — but they should be the logical and biblical outflow of God’s sovereign grace conquering not just the head but the heart.

Previous Posts in this Series:

There’s More to Calvinism than the Five Points of Calvinism

There’s more to the doctrines of grace than THE doctrines of grace

Three Ways to Present the Doctrines of Grace

The Five Distortions of Calvinism


Tattoos and Skin Deep Hermeneutics (reprise)

It used to be easy for Christians to formulate an opinion about tattoos. Sailors had them. And some prisoners. Other than corpsmen and convicts the only ink you saw in church was on the page.

This is not a pointed tirade against tattoos, nor a defense of them; it’s a jab at bad hermeneutics. I have found that some like to decorate their arguments with Bible verses that have no place in the debate.

These are the three usual suspects…

1. Thou shalt not tattoo thyself.

Leviticus 19:28 “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”

This one is the biggie. It is literally the only verse in the Bible to actually employ the word ‘tattoo.’ So if you can’t get this one to play for your team, you don’t have a team.

The immediate North & South context of the verse should provide a clear indication that an understanding of Leviticus’ place in the canon of Scripture is going to be a key. The verse below says don’t make your daughter a prostitute. I sure hope that still applies. But the verse above says you can’t trim your beard or the hair next to your ears. Ever been to an orthodox synagogue? The gents who congregate there (and keep the whole Mosaic Law—kudos for consistency) look a little different from those who attend the men’s breakfast at your church, right? If Christians don’t need to apply verse  27, then why do we have to obey vs 28 of the same chapter?

I experienced the arm wrestling tourney between Law & Grace when I preached through Deuteronomy. (See Bodily Fluids & Skin Diseases: Is Deuteronomy Relevant to Me?). It was in that laboratory where I examined how the OT and the NT dance in unison. To be sure it’s a greasy topic to grasp, but I’m confident we can all agree that the verses in Leviticus are not directly binding on the NT church in the same way that they were for Israel (Rom 10:4).

So, Lev 19:28 gets a red card and is sent off the field as too old for this team.

2. Your Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,”

Here’s an oldie-but-goodie that also wants to come out and play every time someone lights a stogie or perforates their nose. Unfortunately for our tat debate, this verse is already busy opposing real sin, namely sexual immorality. It can’t be pried loose from that important function to join our debate team.

First Corinthians 6:19 is talking about sexual immorality being a spiritual affront on God’s holiness and a contamination of the Church Body. If this verse did apply to the physical damage we allow to deface the façade of our skin (“temple vandalism”), then we need to be consistent. Ever mowed the lawn in sandals, or without sunblock? You jeopardized the temple. Do you maintain your ideal BMI? Ever downed a can of Coke without immediately brushing your teeth? You see the thin edge of the wedge. Why draw the line at ink? So let us let this verse get back to work, while we audition another.

3. Do not be conformed to this world.

Rom 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world …” 

This verse is a strong candidate. I like this one a lot. I don’t get why some Christians try their darndest to blend in with what the world is doing. Being holy and worldly at the same time is a messy business.

A common defense is that of contextualization for the sake of the gospel, which is little more than a sophisticated version of, “everybody’s doing it.” And everybody is doing it. In fact, no tattoo is the new tattoo.

There are so many social non-conformists out there, to distinguish oneself one really needs to get creative about not being a non-conformist. A non-non-conf… anyway, I digress. We should be distinct from our cultural norms, if said norms jar with Scripture.Using skin as a canvas for art used to be a sign of non-conformity and an anti-establishment sentiment. Nowadays it’s more likely an indicator of boredom, herd mentality, or jejune impulsiveness.
But since tattoos are no longer associated exclusively with pagan worship (as in the days of the Celts and their inked druids perhaps), this verse doesn’t apply to this scenario. Nor is the phenomenon still linked with prison inmate pastimes and salty-mouthed seamen.The debate may have been trickier in the transition period, when tats began to go mainstream (say, the early 90s or so?).
But that ship has now sailed. The only ones clinging to the tattoo taboo are those out of touch with what the decision to get marked represents these days. It is no longer necessarily rebellious. Tattoo parlors are no longer limited to dingy alleys operated by seedy social misfits. It is no longer alternative culture.
So, we are forced to relegate this verse to the bench until “worldly” refers to tattoos again. I’m optimistic that the trend will fade as soon as this generation gets wrinkly. Bible verses contorted by sagging skin will convince our kids’ generation that long-term decisions have grotesque consequences when made on impulse, at age 17.
So, are there any verses left? I propose we stick to what God is concerned about: the heart.This body will be renewed sans scars later, but the soul needs to stay in shape now.When I counsel young people who want a tattoo, I ask about their heart in the decision.

  • motives (1 Cor 10:31)
  • parents‘ views (Eph 6:1)
  • level of contentment (1 Tim6:6)
  • view of modesty in dress (1 Tim 2:9)
  • understanding of dishonorable nakedness (1 Cor 12:23)

I like this insightful blogpost by Gareth Palmer, a young non-conformist who has some good thoughts on the issue (and no tattoo).

If examining the heart doesn’t work just have your arty teen turn to Leviticus. By the time they have matured enough to know they’ve been hoodwinked by skin deep hermeneutics, they’ll have outgrown the impulse for a tattoo.

What verses would you use to counsel one through making the decision?


Are There Degrees of Sin?

Historically speaking, both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have understood that there are degrees of sin. The Roman Catholic church makes a distinction between mortal and venial sin. The point of that distinction is that there are some sins so gross, heinous, and serious that the actual commission of those sins is mortal in the sense that it kills the grace of justification that resides in the soul of the believer. In their theology, not every sin is devastating to that degree. There are some real sins that are venial sins. These are less serious sins in terms of their consequences, but they don’t have the justification-killing capacity that mortal sins have.

Many Evangelical Protestants have rejected the idea of degrees of sin because they know that the Protestant Reformation rejected the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sins. As a result, they’ve jumped to the conclusion that there are no distinctions between sins in Protestantism.

We should return to the views of the Reformers themselves. John Calvin was an outspoken critic of the Roman Catholic Church and their distinction between mortal and venial sin. Calvin said that all sin is mortal in the sense that it deserves death. The book of James reminds us, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” (James 2:10). Even the slightest sin is an act of cosmic treason. We fail to feel the gravity of our actions to this degree, but it is true.

When I sin, I choose my will over the will of God Almighty. By implication I’m essentially saying that I’m more intelligent, wise, righteous, and powerful than God Himself. Calvin said that all sin is mortal in the sense that God could justifiably destroy each of us for the smallest sin we’ve committed. In fact, the penalty for sin was given the first day of human creation: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Yet God doesn’t deal with us always according to justice. He deals with us according to grace, He allows us to live, and He moves to bring about our redemption. Calvin said that all sins are mortal in that we deserve death from them but that no sin is mortal in the sense that it can destroy our saving grace. We have to repent, yes, but the justifying grace that the Holy Spirit brings to us is not killed by our sin. Calvin and every one of the Reformers strenuously maintained that there is a difference between lesser sins and what they called gross and heinous sins.

This distinction is important for Christians to understand so that we can learn to live charitably with each other. The sin of pettiness, by which people begin to dwell on minor transgressions in the community, can tear the body of Christ apart. Great damage comes when it is fueled by the fire of gossip and slander. We are called to patience and tolerance towards the struggling failures of other Christians. It’s not that we’re called to be lax on sin, for there are certain sins listed in the New Testament that are serious and ought not be allowed in the church. Adultery is serious. Incest calls for ecclesiastical discipline. Drunkenness, murder, and fornication are repeatedly mentioned. These sins are so destructive that they call forth church discipline when they are manifested.

It’s clear that we have different degrees of sin when we consider the warnings of Scripture. There are at least twenty-two references in the New Testament to degrees of rewards that are given to the saints in heaven. There are different levels, different rewards, and different roles in heaven. The Bible warns us against adding to the severity of our judgment. Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, “He who delivered me over to you has the greater sin” (John 19:11). Jesus measures and evaluates guilt, and with the greater guilt and greater responsibility comes the greater judgment. It’s a motif that permeates the New Testament.

The idea of gradation of sin and reward is based upon God’s justice. If I commit twice as many sins as another person, justice demands that the punishment fits the crime. If I’ve been twice as virtuous as another person, justice demands that I get more of a reward. God tells us that entrance into heaven will be only on the basis of the merit of Christ, but once we get to heaven, rewards will be dispensed according to works. Those who have been abundant in good works will receive an abundant reward. Those who have been derelict and negligent in good works will have a small reward in heaven. By the same token, those who have been grievous enemies of God will have severe torments in hell. Those who have been less hostile will have a lesser punishment at the hands of God. He is perfectly just, and when He judges, He will take into account all of the extenuating circumstances. Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matt. 12:36).

Why is it important for us to emphasize this point? Many times I’ve talked to men who struggle with lust and they say to themselves or to me, “I might as well go ahead and commit adultery because I’m already guilty of lust. I can’t be in any worse shape in the sight of God, so I might as well finish the deed.” I always answer, “Oh yes, you can be in much worse shape.” The judgment of actual adultery will be much more severe than the judgment upon lust. God will deal with us at that level, and it’s a foolish thing for a person who has committed a misdemeanor, to therefore say, “I’m already guilty; I might as well make it a felony.” God forbid that we should think like that. If we do, we face the righteous judgment of God. We must keep this in mind as we seek to build a Christian conscience and a Christian character.

This excerpt is taken from How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? by R.C. Sproul. Download more free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series here.


Three Elements of Consumer Faith

For followers of Jesus, there will come moments in our lives where what he wants for us and what we want for us part ways. Perhaps you’ve been there. These are crucial times, when we are forced to answer an uncomfortable question: Am I really a follower of Jesus, or am I just a consumer?

We aren’t the first people to struggle with this tension. Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Peter did, too—and at first, he failed rather miserably. In Mark 8:27–38, we see Jesus expose the 3 elements of consumer faith:

1. You have consumer faith if you expect Christ to remove all hardship from your life.

Mark 8 should have been one of Peter’s finest moments. Jesus had offered the disciples a pop quiz, and Peter got a perfect score. “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked, to which Peter alone replied, “You are the Christ, the Messiah.” That may be the most important question a person can ever answer, and on his first try, Peter nailed it.

But then Jesus started talking about how he, the Messiah, would have to suffer and die. Never one to lack in boldness, Peter took Jesus aside to correct him. (It takes some chutzpah to give Jesus on-the-spot sermon critique!) And Jesus responds by calling Peter Satan. Ouch.

Why was Jesus so opposed to what Peter was saying? It’s not that Jesus had an ego-complex, and just didn’t want anyone correcting him. It’s that Peter assumed that the Messiah would come to remove all hardship from his life. That’s a sentiment that many immature Christians share: Jesus Christ came so I wouldn’t have to suffer.

But Jesus said, “No, Peter, I’m not going to save you from suffering; I’m going to save you through suffering.” Jesus came to bear a cross, and whoever wants to follow him had better expect a cross as well.

You will come to a point like this in your walk with God. When you find out that God may not remove every problem from your life—when the cancer doesn’t go into remission, when the son or daughter doesn’t come back, when the marriage isn’t healed—in these moments, God is asking you, “Why are you following me? Is it for the benefits I can give, or because I’m more valuable than life itself?”

2. You have consumer faith if you think of discipleship in terms of self-fulfillment instead of sacrifice.

Peter, like most of us, thought of the Messiah as someone who would make his life better. He was looking for someone to overthrow Rome and give his country freedom. Most of us don’t dream of war with Rome, but we have expectations of Jesus. We think of him as part genie in a bottle, part therapist, part life coach, part cheerleader, part financial advisor. We expect Jesus to do certain things for us. And he responds with, “I’m going to a cross to be tortured to death. Who’s with me?”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, reflecting on this passage, said it best: “When Jesus bids a man to follow him, he bids him come and die.”

Have you ever stopped to think about what Jesus’ purpose was in saving you? It wasn’t to clean up your life and send you to heaven. As a friend of mine says, Jesus didn’t save us to disinfect us and put us on the shelf. He saved us to put us into service. He offered up his life as a sacrifice and called us to follow him. Have you offered yourself to Jesus…like that?

3. You have consumer faith if your obedience to Christ has limits.

Peter had been excited about following Jesus when it meant healing and power and popularity. After all, he had left his entire livelihood for Jesus. But with all this talk of suffering, sacrifice, and service, Peter’s coming to a realization: following Jesus is going to cost me.

At some point, obedience to Jesus is going to take you 180 degrees away from what you want. He tells you to forgive someone you don’t want to. He nudges you to make a financial sacrifice. He prompts you to speak the gospel to a certain person. He calls you to follow him somewhere in mission. At that point you’re going to have to decide how valuable he is to you. Did you come to Jesus to get something from him, or to offer yourself to him? Do you want something from Jesus, or do you just want Jesus?

Jesus doesn’t come to be part of our lives. He comes to be the new center of our lives. And as long as our obedience to him has a limit, we’re still standing in the center. What Jesus demands is a Copernican revolution of the soul—not adding Jesus into orbit in our lives, but aligning our lives in orbit around him. So we come to him with open hands, saying, “All that I am, all that I have, all that I ever hope to be…it all belongs to you.”

 

For more, be sure to listen to the entire message here.


Check out

Blogs

How Not To Ask for Forgiveness | The Christward Collective
Five ways in which we can evaluate whether our own repentance is sincere or self-justifying.

Against Hotels: Calvin on Gen. 18.1-8 | Reformation21 Blog
Calvin saw hotels as a testimony to the failure of (Christian) folk to extend hospitality — that is, food, drink, and accommodation — to those in need.

Meet the millennial who infiltrated the guarded world of abortion providers | The Washington Post
Fascinating look at the background to the Center of Medical Progress’s video exposé of Planned Parenthood.

Four Simple questions for writers | Seth Godin
1. What is this for? 2. Who are you? 3. Who is it for? 4. Will it spread?

Rethinking Biblical Application | The Cripplegate
Also read this article by David Prince with the same title.

How It Feels When Your Epileptic Child Gets To Make A Wish
Touching insight into the challenges of parenting children with epilepsy.

50 Free Productivity Apps | Fastcompany
Slack looks worth a look for ministry teams.

Recommended Book

A Lost God in a Lost World by Melvin Tinker. Here’s an extract of David Wells’ foreword

From David Wells’ foreword: “I welcome this fine book. I appreciate the fact that Melvin Tinker has gone to the heart of the matter, to the very center of our faith. Evangelical faith is never going to be renewed by better marketing techniques, or more cultural accommodations, slicker presentations, or better business acumen. It will be renewed only when our knowledge of God is deepened, our walk with him becomes more genuine, our faith more authentic, and our churches more biblical. This is exactly what this book calls for.”

Kindle Books

Head Over Heels: How to Fall in Love and Land on Your Feet by Dr. James Dobson $0.99.

Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? by Eugene Cho $1.99. You won’t agree with everything in this book, but you will be challenged in a good way.

An Introduction to Biblical Ethics by David Jones $2.99.

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell $2.99. I wouldn’t transfer all 21 qualities to pastoral ministry, and others I’d qualify, but that still leaves much more than $2.99 of value.

Video

Success is Faithfulness…Even When it’s Hard
This short documentary shows how Southern Seminary alumnus and Texas pastor John Powell learned how to be both a cowboy and a shepherd. Discover how his theological training and his network of supporters from Southern Seminary helped equip him for rural ministry and get him through a burnout crisis.


Use Anxiety to Your Advantage

Use Anxiety to Your AdvantageAnxiety is the most predominant form of mental illness in our country, plaguing both young and old, showing up as post-traumatic stress syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, even phobias and generalized anxiety disorder.

We all struggle from time to time, whether as a way of life or due to particular circumstances beyond our control. It brings about physical reactions like shaking, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, frustration, and anger. Even depression can be linked to a series of anxieties we experience in life.

Culturally, we are a nervous wreck, and no one is immune to it.

Jesus Heals Anxious Hearts

My struggle with anxiety started early. As a child, I experienced vivid dreams that made my heart race. Even thinking of them today brings on certain emotions. The night terrors came on suddenly and without escape. I was trapped for half an hour after waking, held captive in terror.

Eventually, a counselor helped me to break free from those dreams. But as an adult, anxiety returned in the form of insomnia. Some nights I wake up completely drenched in sweat. An average night’s sleep for me is about four hours. I wake up at two, three, four in the morning and never go back to sleep.

Over the last twenty years, I’ve read the text of Matthew 6:25–34 hundreds of times, as I have not only wrestled with the anxiety, but also with embarrassment and shame for having the struggle in the first place. There, I discovered that Jesus cares about our anxious hearts. And he teaches us how to direct our minds and hearts in order to please God.

Jesus Shifts Our Focus

Understanding the fears bedded deep within being humans, Jesus starts the discussion with a bold command, then adds reasoning we can all grasp.

Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25–26)

Look up. There are five hundred million hungry birds flying around. They don’t sow, reap, or gather into barns and yet your Father in heaven knows their need and feeds every single one of them. If God feeds animals, essentially his pets, will he not feed you?

You, whom God created in his image. You, whom he designed to be unique from the creatures of this earth. You, whom he has placed his spirit within. Look up and remember that he cares for you and will provide for you. God designed you, knows you, and wants to guide you into a fruitful and productive life.

Jesus shifts our focus to the “more” in life — what our hearts crave. There is a different kind of life we experience in fellowship with our Creator that is supernatural. That’s where our lives become more than “food and clothing.”

“Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27). The minutes, hours, days, or even years we expend being anxious amount to wasted, stolen time. Concerns about natural things regarding our bodies, health, retirement funds, the imminent political race, and ISIS are matters for God. He will be concerned about them because he cares for you, and wants to guide you into living a fruitful and productive life.

What Our Worry Says About God

In verse 30, after continuing to prove the care and love of God, Jesus calls out our anxiety by saying, “O you of little faith.” The hard truth is that when we are anxious, we demonstrate lack of faith. We don’t trust God and instead take control, somehow believing we can take better care of our lives than God. It’s as if we say to the Creator of the universe, “I don’t need you, because I have to figure this out.” Then our hearts and minds circle and spin like hamsters on a treadmill. But we are worth more. Even when the situation seems unbearable, we can trust God.

We can go to him with our worries, even when our hearts feel unsettled about our marriages, children, jobs, retirement, health care, and son. Even when we doubt, we can acknowledge our sin. Faith turns to God and accepts what’s been given, asking him to use whatever circumstance we encounter for his good and glory, and to refine us into his image.

Practice the Shift

Then, near the end of the passage, Jesus calls us to change our hearts by shifting focus. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (verse 33). He tells us to move our minds from the worries of this life to issues of greater importance, to shift our focus to eternal values.

Breathe. Trust. Transfer your anxiety to God and place your concern where it belongs: on the things of God.

It is difficult to practice, but this is the road to supernatural living. When the mind is focused on what God is concerned about, anxieties dissipate, and God provides us with what we need.

I used to hate being an anxious person. Now I don’t mind it as much because in those moments when I wake at two or three o’clock in the morning in a cold sweat, my mind racing, concerns of money, the future, those who depend on me overflowing, I roll off my bed and onto my knees in prayer. I practice this shift every time my anxiety strikes. I ask God to transition my anxieties from the things of this world into the things that God is concerned about.

And there in those moments I fight the war that God has called me to fight as a man of God.


Related Resources


Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Can We Farm Mars? Should We?

Seth Ratliff:

A popular topic of conversation in theoretical astronomy as of late is the possibility of terraforming. Terraforming is the idea of taking a planet like Mars, one with an environment hostile to Earth-based life, and creating on it an atmosphere with the composition and density to support liquid water—and thus life.

Seniors outnumber children for the first time in Canadian history

Despite the optimistic view of the article’s author, this is not good news.

Why I Believe the Bible

Erik Raymond:

There are many times when our confidence in the Bible can come under attack. Consider a temptation to doubt the truth of God’s Word when you or someone close to you is diagnosed with a severe medical condition. Are you tempted to doubt the sufficiency and truthfulness of God’s promises? Or consider the moment of great temptation to sin. Like Eve you are appraising the way the desire can bring satisfaction to you and meet your need. You weigh this against God’s Word. At some point you have to remind yourself of the truthfulness of the Bible. Finally, consider a conversation with an unbelieving friend who is sanctioning their lifestyle because the Bible is not true. In each of these scenarios you need to have some quick, simple, and compelling truths on retainer.

I’ve put these 5 together as something of a quick reference notecard for why I believe the Bible. I’m sure there is an acronym or something clever but I’ve not thought of it.

Sexuality and the Christian Faith

Last week Ligonier Ministries hosted a Google Hangout with Rosaria Butterfield, author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. If you missed it, you can watch it at the link above.

Can We Talk About the Gospel Without Telling It?

Matt Queen:

Words such as Gospel, Great Commission, evangelism and mission are rising in popularity. Influential blogs, books and conferences alike utilize these terms and their cognates (e.g., Gospel-centered, missional, etc.) in their titles and themes. As much excitement and encouragement as this trend brings, believers must guard against the temptation of talking about the Gospel to those who know it best without taking the Gospel to those who need to hear it most. Whatever meaning believers ascribe to being “Gospel-centered” should incorporate an understanding that in order to be so, our conversations with unbelievers should center on the Gospel as much as, if not more than, our conversations with believers. To ensure we do so, believers should employ a standard measure by which we test ourselves—a Gospel Shibboleth, so to speak.


A La Carte (October 19)

Here are a few Kindle deals for those who are in library-building mode: Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur ($2.99); Expositional Preaching by David Helm ($3.99); Preaching for God’s Glory by Alister Begg ($1.99); Preach the Word by Leland Ryken & Todd Wilson ($3.99); Take Words With You by Tim Kerr ($2.99).

My thanks to all who prayed for safe travels to Germany. I arrived Sunday morning right on schedule and was able to preach a few hours later at Munich International Community Church. Today I head to Teisendorf for the ICC Ministries pastors’ retreat.

The Lonely Death of George Bell

This sad article from the New York Times looks at what happens when an unknown and forgotten person passes away.

Are There Degrees of Sin?

R.C. Sproul: “Many Evangelical Protestants have rejected the idea of degrees of sin because they know that the Protestant Reformation rejected the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sins. As a result, they’ve jumped to the conclusion that there are no distinctions between sins in Protestantism.”

The Five Fruits of Calvinism

David Murray continues his look at what you might call “true Calvinism” by a look at its five fruits. If your Calvinism isn’t bearing this kind of fruit, you might want to consider what he says.

A Call for Translators

The Gospel Coalition is looking for volunteers who can translate material into Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese.

This Day in 1959. Al Mohler was born fifty-six years ago today. You can wish him a happy birthday at @AlbertMohler.

The Sad Truth about Airfares

The sad truth is that the industry has become so complicated that there’s no longer any visible logic to it. Which is to say, you almost always lose.

Run Hard, Rest Well in the Gospel

This is a helpful article. “The intention for every Christian is to run hard and to rest well.” That pretty much summarizes it, doesn’t it?

Putting the Mini in Ministry

Your ministry does not need to be grand and visible in order to be significant. GoThereFor shows how a mini ministry can serve others and bring glory to God.



The Daily Discovery (October 19, 2015)

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

Tattoos and Skin Deep Hermeneutics – “It used to be easy for Christians to formulate an opinion about tattoos. Sailors had them. And some prisoners. Other than corpsmen and convicts the only ink you saw in church was on the page. This is not a pointed tirade against tattoos, nor a defense of them; it’s a jab at bad hermeneutics. I have found that some like to decorate their arguments with Bible verses that have no place in the debate. These are the three usual suspects…”

The Five Fruits of Calvinism – “The doctrines of grace are not just rooted in the grace of God, and demonstrate the grace of God; they should also produce grace in those who believe these truths. Here are five fruits that result from a full embrace of the doctrines of grace.”

Are There Degrees of Sin? – “Historically speaking, both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have understood that there are degrees of sin. The Roman Catholic church makes a distinction between mortal and venial sin. The point of that distinction is that there are some sins so gross, heinous, and serious that the actual commission of those sins is mortal in the sense that it kills the grace of justification that resides in the soul of the believer. In their theology, not every sin is devastating to that degree. There are some real sins that are venial sins. These are less serious sins in terms of their consequences, but they don’t have the justification-killing capacity that mortal sins have.”

Historical Science, Observational Science, and Creation – “Several months ago, I stumbled upon this post over at a blog called, Faithful Thinkerswritten by a fella named Luke Nix, a Reasons to Believe fan, Observational Science vs. Historical Science? It is meant to be an ‘apologetic’ corrective to the sloppy thinking of young earth creationists, particularly the folks over at Answers in Genesis, regarding their articulation of historical science and observational science.”

The Friction of Faith – “In the hours before His arrest, trial, and execution, Christ celebrated the Passover with His closest friends—the disciples. In the intimacy of the upper room, He encouraged them with promises of the powerful, Spirit-enabled ministry awaiting them, pointed ahead to their eternal home in heaven, and spoke warmly of His love for them.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Nate Pickowicz – Friends of the Lord (John 15:12-17)


VIDEOS:

Charles Finney and the Heresy of American Pelagianism

Skyler’s Abortion in Cases of Rape Fail


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


Christian Headlines Daily – Monday, October 19, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Lobbying Group Thwarts Attempts to Monitor Homeschooled Children with Testing

Report: ISIS Could Wipe Out Christianity in Iraq by 2020

Palestinian Rioters Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb in West Bank

Earliest Draft of the King James Bible Discovered by New Jersey Professor

First ‘Greater Church of Lucifer’ to Open Doors in Texas

Christian Football Film ‘Woodlawn’ Opens Friday in Theaters

Transgender Student Files Complaint against School District for Girls’ Locker Room Access

Boycott Gay Weddings, Even Family, Says Southern Baptist Leader Al Mohler

US Missionary Roberta Edwards Killed in Haiti Ambush; Kid under Her Care Abducted

Michelle Duggar Gives Controversial Words of Advice to Married Women

Opinion

How to Fail until You Succeed

Planned Parenthood’s Problems Go Far Beyond Whether it Sells Organs

Do You Know God’s Purpose for Your Life?

Dr. Ho Feng Shan: A Lesser-Known Christian Hero Who Changed the World

Suicide by Any Other Name


Words of Comfort: Don’t be deceived.

“Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). See http://www.needGod.com

Photo: [Source]


10/19/15 Out of Our Mouth

By Chuck Lawless on Oct 19, 2015 01:00 am

READING: Matthew 15, Mark 7

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  If you were to walk with me non-stop for the next seven days, how much would you know about my heart at the end of the week? I hope you would learn something about me by watching my priorities — priorities that I trust are simply living out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. 

You’d probably learn about me by observing what I read, what I watch on TV, what I listen to on the radio, what searches I embark upon on my computer. You’d learn my heart by watching how I treat my wife. With all those possibilities, though, I suspect you can learn even more by listening to how I speak, by paying attention to what comes out of my mouth. At the risk of sounding arrogant and judgmental by even writing these words, I can tell you I’ve learned that words spoken in back room conversations are often more reflective of one’s heart than any words spoken to large, adoring crowds. What comes out of our mouth really does reveal our inner being, just as Jesus told us:

Matt. 15:18-19  But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.

Jesus was not limiting His application to only our words, of course — for our heart is revealed in our will, our actions, our thoughts, and our desires as well — but surely He was not ignoring our words. To pretend that our words don’t somehow reflect our heart is to lie to ourselves. To speak one way in private and another way in public is simply hypocritical. 

ACTION STEPS:  Ask God to make you fully aware of what’s in your heart today — especially as your words make that apparent. If your potential words reveal a heart in disarray, repent before you speak. 

PRAYER: “God, make my heart pure today, and let my words reflect that purity.” 


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

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

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


October 19, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Oct. 19, 2015

BLOOMBERG

For all the dire warnings over China’s retreat from U.S. government debt, there’s one simple fact that is being overlooked: American demand is as robust as ever. Not only are domestic mutual funds buying record amounts of Treasuries at auctions this year, U.S. investors are also increasing their share of the $12.9 trillion market for the first time since 2012.

Saudi Arabia will probably sell about $32 billion of debt in 2016 as the country seeks to prop up its finances after oil’s slump, according to Saudi Fransi Capital.

One of the biggest competitive advantages humans have over robots: the ability to summon social skills, including reading a person’s feelings, managing emotions, working in teams and communicating effectively, to complete a task. Machines’ capacity to do routine jobs that don’t require a personal touch — think assembly-line workers, bank tellers or grocery store checkout clerks — has been behind the so-called labor-market polarization that has contributed to the hollowing out of middle-class professions.

OPEC member states should cut crude output to boost prices to a range of $70 to $80 a barrel, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, even as his country prepares to ramp up production in the aftermath of economic sanctions.

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed in October to a 10-year high, a sign demand for housing may remain solid in the months to come.

As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops head toward Aleppo, Syria’s former commercial hub and largest city, helicopters are dropping warnings to residents to vacate areas. Should Aleppo and other Sunni towns fall to Assad’s forces, the potential for another, larger, wave of refugees would be nightmarish, according to one official in a European government.

Tickets for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” go on sale Monday, two months before the movie hits U.S. theaters.

AP Top Stories

The credibility of the Republican-led Benghazi committee came under fresh attack Sunday after the CIA informed the panel that it does not view a 2011 email forwarded by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as including any classified information.

Chinese hacking attempts on American corporate intellectual property have occurred with regularity over the past three weeks, suggesting that China almost immediately began violating its newly minted cyber agreement with the United States, according to a newly published analysis by a cybersecurity company with close ties to the U.S. government.

A US F-16 was struck by enemy fire in eastern Afghanistan, military officials have confirmed to AFP, in a rare instance of an advanced fighter jet coming under a Taliban-claimed attack.

A suspect in a domestic incident who was being treated at a Minnesota hospital grabbed a gun from a sheriff’s deputy and killed the officer early Sunday, prompting hospital security officers to subdue the suspect with a stun gun, authorities said.

A drone shot down by Turkish warplanes in Turkish air space near Syria on Friday was Russian-made, but Moscow has told Ankara the unmanned aircraft did not belong to Russia, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

Slovenian authorities said Monday they had refused to let in more than 1,000 migrants arriving from Croatia after a daily quota had been reached, stoking fears of a new human bottleneck on the western Balkan route.

NATO and its allies opened their largest military exercise in more than a decade on Monday, choosing the central Mediterranean to showcase strengths that face threats from Russia’s growing military presence from the Baltics to Syria.

Air strikes on a convoy of the Islamic State group killed at least 40 jihadists in central Syria at the weekend, a monitoring group said Sunday.

International efforts to douse raging Indonesia fires will fail and Southeast Asia could face several more weeks of choking smoke until the rainy season starts, Malaysia’s environment minister warned on Monday.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is closely monitoring anti-Islam movements like PEGIDA following a march last week in which demonstrators held up a mock gallows with a noose marked for Chancellor Angela Merkel, a spokesman for the interior ministry said.

Nigerian soldiers shot dead a suspected suicide bomber outside a military base in the northeast on Sunday, detonating explosives concealed in her handbag.

BBC

After a wedding in California was called off, the bride’s family decided to invite homeless people to the reception meal instead.

Thousands of migrants have been stranded at borders in the Balkans, in cold and wet conditions, as their options for travelling north shrink. Several hundred, including young children and babies, spent the night in the open at Croatia’s border with Slovenia.

Members of the African Union’s new 25,000-strong multinational standby force are gathering to begin field training for the first time. The exercises in South Africa aim to make sure the force is ready by January to respond to crises across the continent.

WND

U.S. banks are going to new lengths to ward off a surprising threat to their financial health: big cash deposits. State Street Corp. , the Boston bank that manages assets for institutional investors, for the first time has begun charging some customers for large dollar deposits.

While antioxidants may be good for healthy people, researchers found they promote cancer growth in a study with mice.

Months after a male Ebola survivor tested negative for the disease, he transmitted the deadly virus to a female partner through unprotected sex, a genetic analysis revealed. The Liberian woman, who became ill with the disease and died in March, is the first person known to contract the Ebola virus from sex, researchers reported this week.


 

Top News – 10/19/2015

New Obama czar will hunt ‘right-wing’ extremists
Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department will place new emphasis on home-grown violent extremism committed by so-called ‘right wing’ attackers.

Forget El Niño, start worrying about the North Atlantic blob
How the competing forces of El Niño and the cold blob in the Atlantic combine to shape our weather we will probably not know until after it happens, but meteorologists “expect the abnormal” for at least 18 months.

5 US Congressmen Visit Israel, Braving Terrorist Violence
A bipartisan group of five US congressmen spent the last week touring Israel, despite the daily terrorist attacks. Representatives Alan Lowenthal D-CA, Jim Jordan R-OH, Scott Garrett R-NJ, Raoul Labrador R-ID and Mark Meadows R-NC traveled across the country to learn the facts behind the headlines—and to pledge their support for Israel.

Kerry: Foreign presence not needed on Temple Mount
John Kerry said Monday that there is no need for a French proposal for an international presence at the Temple Mount.

Do We Need To Worry About Gog and Magog?
Almost every end-time teaching today has Gog/Magog invading Israel before the coming of Messiah. All the Biblical nations mentioned in this invasion have been matched up with today’s countries and are being carefully monitored. With Russia’s sudden reentry into the Middle East allied with Syria and Iran many are asking nervously, “is this Gog’s Axis of Evil?”

US confirms coalition airstrike killed top al-Qaida commander in Syria
The U.S. says Sanafi al-Nasr was a leading figure in the Khorasan group — a secretive cell of al-Qaida operatives who U.S. officials say were sent from Pakistan to Syria to plot attacks against the West.

Bernie Sanders is not good for the Jews
Mr. Sanders represents the leftist fringe of American liberalism. This constituency is notorious for its one-sided criticism of Israel and tolerance for the BDS movement. Although Bernie Sanders does not openly condemn Zionism, as a US senator he has repeatedly refused to support resolutions that empathize with Israel’s predicaments. Furthermore he has publicly criticized Israel for “overreacting” in the struggle against the Islamist Hamas movement.

Hamas to West Bank members: Commit suicide attacks
Hamas has instructed its members and affiliates in the Fatah-controlled West Bank to perform suicide attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli officials told Ynet on Monday.

WEEKEND GEOMAGNETIC STORM
The display was caused by a shift in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth. The IMF tilted south. This opened a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in, fueling the storm.

Israel Proposed PA Forces Guard Temple Mount
A Kuwaiti paper reported on Monday that a high level talk took place in the Palestinian Authority (PA) governmental seat of Ramallah, in which it was proposed that PA Security Forces be posted on the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism. The covert meeting between a senior IDF source and a senior PA source in Ramallah was reported by the Kuwaiti paper Al Jarida, as cited by NRG, and was said to have taken place on Saturday.

Run of earthquakes along east coast normal: weather bureau
A string of earthquakes that hit Taiwan’s eastern coast Monday represented a normal release of energy, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said that day. Eight temblors struck the area between midnight and 3 p.m. Monday, ranging in magnitude from 3.5 to 5.2 on the Richter scale, according to bureau data.

Earthquake hits northwest Argentina, kills one; injuries reported
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck northwest Argentina on Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported, leaving at least one person dead, injuring several more and damaging homes, according to local media. “Homes collapsed, families have been left with nothing, schools have been destroyed. We have one fatality, who was crushed,” Hector Romero, mayor of El Galpon, some 160 km from the provincial capital of Salta, told a local radio station.

State Department: Yeah, Christianity Is Under Attack Worldwide
With the rise of the Islamic State the world has witnessed the persecution of Christians at an alarming rate. But the religious group is being targeted well beyond the confines of the Middle East, the State Department’s annual International Religious Liberty report found.

China economy logs weakest growth since 2009
China’s economic growth dipped below 7 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis on Monday, hurt partly by cooling investment, raising pressure on Beijing to further cut interest rates and take other measures to stoke activity. The world’s second-largest economy grew 6.9 percent between July and September from a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said…but down from 7 percent in the previous three months.

Pelosi: Democrats ‘Open’ to Helping GOP Elect Speaker
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled Saturday there could be “an openness” among at least some House Democrats to voting for a Republican speaker on the floor — and she suggested the GOP turmoil could help put Democrats back in charge come 2017. “I think in our caucus there is interest and support. There’s an openness to a bipartisan approach to this,” Pelosi said in an interview at the Texas Tribune Festival.

Israel erects wall to protect Jews in east Jerusalem
Israeli police on Sunday began erecting a wall in east Jerusalem to protect a Jewish neighbourhood subject to firebomb and stone attacks launched from an adjacent Palestinian village. The wall would effectively divide Palestinian Jabel Mukaber and Jewish Armon Hanatziv, raising criticism among the government’s opposition, which considered the move a de facto division of Jerusalem.

‘America is a bomb waiting to explode’
The United States is in decline. While not all major shocks to the system will be devastating, when the right one comes along, the outcome may be dramatic. …The average American is a long way from food when the shops are closed. …The American economic system is little more than froth…According to the Scientific American, use of antidepressants among the US population was up 400 percent in the late 2000s…

Jews will worship devil, be exterminated by Muslims, says al-Aksa hate preacher
Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi, an…Islamic cleric who teaches…at al-Aksa mosque… saying that at the end of days Muslims will exterminate Jews. Al-Mughrabi first explained that “the Children of Israel…will be forced to…build the Temple…outside al-Aksa Mosque… A Temple…to worship the Devil.” …The Children of Israel will all be exterminated, the Anti-Christ will be killed and the Muslims will live in comfort for a long time,”…

Obama Plans Takedown of Another U.S. Ally
President Obama failed to take out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but now he’s going after Canada’s Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a big supporter of Israel and opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s a story the U.S. media won’t cover. But J…Obama is planning the “fundamental transformation” of Canada by taking down Harper’s government and bringing to power a progressive majority…

United Nations Apologists for Deadly Palestinian Violence
Palestinians regularly lie to the world with their propaganda campaign aimed at exonerating themselves of all responsibility and at delegitimizing the Jewish State of Israel. United Nations establishment serves as their apologist and enabler.

Obama and Cameron ratting out their citizens to Islamists
If radical Islam cannot force infidels to convert on penalty of death or penury, the deadly policies of President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron will force dissenters out of the arena of resistance.

Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers’ DNA
When companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe first invited people to send in their DNA for genealogy tracing and medical diagnostic tests, privacy advocates warned about the creation of giant genetic databases that might one day be used against participants by law enforcement.

Arab areas of Jerusalem blocked off in Israeli crackdown
Palestinians in Jerusalem, more than a third of the city’s population, have awoken to a new reality: Israeli troops are encircling Arab neighborhoods, blocking roads with concrete cubes the size of washing machines and ordering some of those leaving on foot to lift their shirts to show they are not carrying knives.

‘Trudeaumania’ heir could become Canada’s next PM
The son of a man who brought glamor and excitement to Canadian politics in the late 1960s is favored to become Canada’s next prime minister. Justin Trudeau, the son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, is leading in the polls ahead of Monday’s election that could spell the end of a decade of Conservative rule under Stephen Harper.

China’s Strategic Bombers Capable Of Long-Range Precision Strikes
his week, an aviation equipment expert with the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) told the state-owned China Daily that China now has the capability to carry out all-weather, long-range precision strikes.

Magnitude 5.2 quake rattles buildings in Taiwan capital
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 shook parts of Taiwan on Monday, the island’s Central Weather Bureau said, with witnesses reporting that tremors could be felt in buildings in the capital, Taipei.

Captain America battles right-wing conservatives in new comic
In the latest issue of Marvel’s revamped Captain America, the iconic superhero takes on a group of right-wing conservatives trying to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border.


Top Headlines – 10/19/2015

Bibi’s Reply to a BBC Reporter About Negotiating with Abbas: ‘Are We on the Same Planet?’

Kerry confirms he’ll meet Netanyahu, Abbas on Palestinian-Israeli unrest this week

Netanyahu to offer Kerry no concessions for Abbas

PM vows to go after Islamic Movement for incitement

Terrorist kills soldier, wounds several others in attack at Beersheba bus station

Hamas Welcomes Be’er Sheva Attack as ‘Heroic Act’

A shooting in Bat Yam amid the wave of terror

Hamas urges ramming attacks as ‘stabbings don’t kill enough Jews’

Erekat Demands Investigation of Israeli ‘Executions’

Pro-Arab NGOs protest against revoking residency from terrorists

Israel returns terrorist’s body despite policy

Arab areas of Jerusalem blocked off in Israeli crackdown

Likud minister: Placing fence between Arab, Jewish areas of east Jerusalem won’t stop terrorism

Israel: Palestinians ‘Brainwashed With Hate’

‘Moments in great parenting’: Hamas children honor Palestinian terrorists at rally [photos]

Shaked pushes to jail minors over age 12 involved in terror attacks

Israel erects wall to protect Jews in east Jerusalem

Pope to Israelis and Palestinians: Say ‘No’ to hate and vendetta

Thousands rally for Israel in Paris, Rome and Madrid

In Canada election, support for Israel not up for discussion

MSNBC slammed for error-riddled map in segment on Israel’s borders

Hezbollah says presence in Syria greater than ever before

Top al Qaeda leader Sanafi al-Nasr killed in U.S. airstrike, Pentagon says

As winter looms, Germany struggles to find homes for refugees

Top Iranian military commander Soleimani seen rallying Iranian officers, Hezbollah in Syria

US Shocked To Find Russian Machine Gun With Iranian Ammo Attached To Abrams Tank

Israel, U.S. signal security ties back on track after Iran feud

Obama puts nuclear deal into effect, but Iran still likely months away from sanction relief

On Tehran’s streets, skepticism mixes with cautious optimism over nuclear deal

Turkey’s Erdogan says has asked European allies for help on EU bid

Egypt holds first post-Morsi parliamentary election

Female suicide bomber dies in botched attack on army base in Nigeria

Congress’ Benghazi probe not aimed at Clinton, lawmaker says

Pakistan’s Sharif to Meet Obama as India Rejects Peace Plan

The Pakistani Military Has Tightened Its Control of the Country’s Security Policy

Japan shows off naval power as US signals wider engagement in western Pacific

China’s Strategic Bombers Capable Of Long-Range Precision Strikes

Oil nations feel the strain of Opec’s continuing price war

Big Banks to America’s Firms: We Don’t Want Your Cash

US Democratic presidential candidate Sanders to explain democratic socialism

‘America is a bomb waiting to explode’ – Limited food, decline in morals, mind-altering drugs and nowhere to run

Chicago mayor blames cops for spike in crime

Shooter Still at Large After One Killed, Five Hurt in Florida ‘ZombiCon’ Shooting

Deputy killed in Minnesota after hospitalized suspect grabs his gun

Planets will form ‘eye-catching’ trio in morning sky this month

Fuel crisis halts aid supplies to quake-hit Nepalis

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

Magnitude 5.2 quake rattles buildings in Taiwan capital

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

Super Typhoon Koppu Leaves 2 Dead, 16,000 Displaced in Philippines

Potential Tropical Development to Bring Flooding Rain to Texas

Indonesia launches biggest operation ever to combat fires

Gov. Brown’s link between climate change and wildfires is unsupported, fire experts say

Australia to allow marijuana to be grown locally for medical trials

Hospital Beats Flu Vaccine Procrastinators With In-Your-Face Effort

HIV vaccine begins first phase of clinical trials

Tiny genetically modified ‘micropigs’ from China could be boon for science and pet sellers

Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers’ DNA

It’s Not the Price and Profit That Matter, Planned Parenthood. It’s the Body Parts.

Catholic bishops debating family issues still split on divorcees, gays

Christianity was the only way out, says North Korean defector

Muslims in Indonesia province to shut down Christian churches

The Convenient Christ

Obama: Christians threaten nation

6 GOP candidates try to rally Christian army at Prestonwood Church

Lesbian Bishop: Remove Crosses From Swedish Church to Make Muslims Feel Welcome

Muslims in Indonesia province tear down Christian churches

The American boy arrested for making a clock meets Sudan’s president, accused war criminal

Obama Administration Does Quick U-Turn on Prison Pork Removal


Frontrunning: October 19

  • Great News: China’s GDP Growth Beats Forecasts as Stimulus Supports Spending (Read More)
  • Oh wait, maybe not: China GDP: Deflategate Comes to Beijing (Read More)
  • Actually, definitely not: Shanghai rebar falls to record low after weak China GDP (Read More)
  • But who cares: European Shares Gain on Earnings as Bonds Drop, Metals Decline (Read More)
  • Amid Slumping Economy, Canada’s Stephen Harper Braces for Tight Election Race (Read More)
  • Syrian rebels say receive more weapons for Aleppo battle (Read More)
  • Chinese Copper-Trading Surge Shakes Up Market (Read More)
  • The ETF Whale Blamed for Moving Japanese Markets Gets Reeled In (Read More)
  • First Blackrock, now Blackstone: NYC’s Stuyvesant Town Said for Sale With Blackstone Weighing Bid (Read More)
  • ECB Heads to Malta Meeting as More QE Seen a Matter of Time (Read More)
  • Wal-Mart puts the squeeze on suppliers to share its pain as earnings sag (Read More)
  • London Gold Market Under Scrutiny as Bullion World Gathers (Read More)
  • ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’: Outsiders fear for Canadian housing (Read More)
  • Debt, Growth Concerns Rain on Deficit Parade (Read More)
  • Turkish PM Davutoglu says downed drone was Russian-made (Read More)
  • Police Raid Volkswagen Headquarters in France (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Rome Synod of Family exposes fault lines between two visions of Catholicism

US archbishops Chaput and Cupich offer sharply different visions of Vatican synod, Religion News Service (David Gibson)

How to Read the Vatican Family Gathering, Wall Street Journal (Charles J. Chaput)

The Plot to Change Catholicism, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

Pope Francis’s First Crisis, New Yorker (Alexander Stille)

2) Unbelievers drawn to divinity schools ultimate conclusion of liberal Christianity

Secular, but Feeling a Call to Divinity School, New York Times (Samuel G. Freedman)

3) Religious pregnancy crisis centers file lawsuit against California’s mandate to provide abortion info

Religious clinics sue for right to not mention abortion to Californians, Los Angeles Times (Melanie Mason)

 

In other news…


Daily Digest

October 19, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington, 1790

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Is Clinton Guilty of ‘Gross Negligence’ With Email?

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Last weekend, Barack Obama declared, “I can tell you that [Hillary Clinton’s unsecured email server] is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” His blatant attempt to influence the FBI investigation into Clinton’s server wasn’t warmly received by agents at the bureau. In fact, an unnamed source let it be known that the FBI is focusing on whether Clinton violated the Espionage Act — specifically whether there was “gross negligence” on Clinton’s part regarding a subsection of the law covering national defense information. Fox News explains, “Under 18 USC 793 subsection F, the information does not have to be classified to count as a violation. The intelligence source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the ongoing probe, said the subsection requires the ‘lawful possession’ of national defense information by a security clearance holder who ‘through gross negligence,’ such as the use of an unsecure computer network, permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure location.”

On top of “gross negligence,” agents are looking at a charge that should be very familiar to the Clintons — obstruction of justice. That is, after all, the name of the game for Bill and Hillary. The latter charge could be related to the fact that she deleted half of her emails before finally relenting and turning over the server, despite her laughable insistence at the debate that “I’ve been as transparent as I know to be.” We’ll see if the FBI agrees, because, unlike Bernie Sanders, investigating agents don’t seem to be “sick and tired of hearing about [her] damn emails.”

Oh, and by the way, when it came to overall cybersecurity, Clinton’s State Department was among the worst federal agencies.

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Gowdy to Dumb Republicans: ‘Shut Up’

Trey Gowdy has had enough of his work being undermined by fellow Republicans. After fellow congressmen Kevin McCarthy and Richard Hanna threw Hillary Clinton a lifeline, describing the Benghazi Select Committee as essentially a partisan witch-hunt, committee chairman Gowdy fired back. “Shut up talking about things that you don’t know anything about,” he said. “Unless you’re on the committee, you have no idea what we’ve done, why we’ve done it, and what new facts we have found.”

Clinton, of course, has used McCarthy’s and Hanna’s comments to her advantage at every opportunity, including in a campaign ad. “It’s pretty clear that whatever they might have thought they were doing they ended up becoming a partisan arm of the Republican National Committee with an overwhelming focus on trying to — as they admitted — drive down my poll numbers,” she said over the weekend. “I will do my best to answer their questions, but I don’t really know what their objective is right now.” Clinton will testify Thursday.

As for the objective, Gowdy made that clear: “Four dead Americans is more than enough work for me. [Clinton is] a witness. She was the secretary of state. You have to talk to her. But we have already talked to 50 people not named Clinton. We’re going to talk to another couple of dozen not named Clinton.” But Clinton also grossly politicized the attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three others. She has much to answer for.

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Bullheaded Obama Begins Implementing Iran Nuke Deal

On Sunday, Iran was supposed to start dismantling some 15,000 centrifuges and the U.S. was supposed to start giving Iran that $150 billion in sanctions relief. So far, only Barack Obama has announced that he will hold up his end of the Iran nuclear deal. “I hereby direct you to take all appropriate additional measures to ensure the prompt and effective implementation of the U.S. commitments set forth in the JCPOA, in accordance with U.S. law,” Obama wrote in a memorandum to the secretaries of State, Treasury, Commerce and Energy. That announcement came after Iran announced last week that it test-fired a ballistic missile capable of delivering a payload to Israel, something that the U.S. condemned as violating UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which imposed further sanctions against the country. That was followed by an Iran state media segment that showed a tunnel filled with medium and long-range ballistic missiles. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said there are many such installations scattered across the nation in case, y’know, “enemies make a mistake.” Still, Obama continues to ram headfirst through the brick wall of doubts about his deal. Of the reports of Iran’s militarization, his administration said the deal that’s supposed to ensure a nuclear-weapon free Iran is not contingent on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation into the possible weaponization of Iran’s nuclear program, a report due Dec. 15. Meanwhile, no U.S. aircraft carrier is floating in Middle Eastern waters as the deal takes effect, which shows that Obama is willing to sit on his hands, wishing the best intentions from Iran. Iran’s enemies, indeed, have made a mistake.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Israel Fights Terror and Moral Relativism

By Arnold Ahlert

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Some things never change — 1969 to today

There are a number of insidious aspects that form the heart of progressive ideology. But none are more insidious than the Left’s love affair with moral relativism. And nowhere is that contemptibly bankrupt notion pursued with more vigor than the ongoing attempt to blame both sides in what is looking more and more like a Palestinian-incited third intifada taking shape in Israel.

Unsurprisingly, the latest campaign of murder, assaults and stabbings perpetrated by thugs and wannabe terrorists was engendered by a lie. “Arabs are convinced that Israel is set on destroying, desecrating or ‘Judaizing’ Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem compound that includes al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site,” explains New York Post columnist Benny Avni. “As [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas indelicately put it in a mid-September speech, the Jews are trying to ‘defile al-Aqsa with their filthy feet,’ and must be stopped.”

Thus, it doesn’t matter that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that assertion, banned both Arab and Jewish Israeli officials from visiting the site, and offered to meet with Abbas to defuse the violence. It doesn’t matter that Jewish officials have pointed out the same arrangement in place since 1967, giving the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) de facto control of the site, remains intact.

Nor does it matter that Abbas, who continues to spread that rumor, has also been caught in another vicious lie. In a speech Wednesday, Abbas claimed Israelis “executed” an innocent 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Mansara, “in cold blood.” First, Mansara is hardly an innocent. He and his 15-year-old cousin were captured on video stabbing an Orthodox Jew and a Jewish child. The 13-year-old then attempted to attack two policemen and was shot. “I went there to stab Jews,” he told investigators about his crime spree. As for his “execution,” here is a picture of Mansara recovering from his wounds — in a Jewish hospital.

And it certainly doesn’t matter that during this latest terror campaign, Palestinian assailants have assaulted more than 50 Jews, killing eight. That includes 60-year-old Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, run over by a thug who drove his car into several people waiting at a bus stop and then emerged with a cleaver and hacked the man to death.

All that matters is the kind of fecklessness demonstrated by Secretary of State John Kerry, who insisted (before it was walked back) the latest murder campaign is due to a “massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years” (they are the same number with more population), or the equally disgusting comment by State Department spokesman Mark Toner, who stated the Obama administration was trying to “drive home the point that both sides need to take affirmative actions that reduce tensions.” He added, “I don’t think it’s necessarily saying that we’re blaming one side or another.”

Another State Department spokesman, John Kirby, upped the moral relativist ante. “Individuals on both sides of this divide are — have proven capable of, and in our view, are guilty of acts of terrorism,” he declared.

Both sides are equally at fault? Perhaps the conglomeration of moral cowards that inhabit the Obama administration can enlighten us regarding an Israeli effort that is “more or less” equal to the torching by Palestinians of the highly revered Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank Thursday night, or a Palestinian diagram displayed by Israel’s UN Ambassador at the United Nations on Friday entitled, “How to stab a Jew.” Perhaps they could point to a Jewish campaign similar to Palestinian calls for a “Friday of revolution” aimed at precipitating additional violence.

Obama condemned the violence perpetrated against Israel, but couldn’t leave moral relativity out of the equation. “It’s important for both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli elected officials and President Abbas and other people in positions of power to try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding,” he insisted.

Misunderstanding? What Obama ignores Netanyahu has clearly understood for decades. “The root cause of terrorism lies not in grievances but in a disposition toward unbridled violence,” he stated back in the ’80s. “This can be traced to a worldview which asserts that certain ideological and religious goals justify, indeed demand, the shedding of all moral inhibitions.”

Shedding morality itself is also a staple of the left-wing media, led by The New York Times and its shameless attempt to question Jewish history regarding the location of the Temple Mount, insisting that certainty remains “elusive” — before adding a subsequent correction that stated the article does not “directly challenge Jewish claims to the Temple Mount.” Leftmedia behavior is best explained in one sentence by The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens: “In the Middle East version [of media-covered violence], a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability.” Stephens deftly sums up the current state of affairs, writing, “Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.”

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of morally equivocating accomplices in the Obama administration, the UN or all the other countries and media outlets that constitute “world opinion.” World opinion that reflexively blames Jews for having the temerity to defend themselves from people like Hamas, whose charter of existence calls for the extermination of the Jewish State, or Palestinians who broadcast TV shows in which cartoonish characters teach young Palestinian children to embrace Jew-hatred.

Ever since 9/11, the American Left has been determined to figure out why terrorists hate us, even as leftists remain utterly blind to the most obvious answer: Terrorists hate us because evil exists, and they are animated by that evil. And those who embrace moral relativism embrace cultural suicide, be it in in Israel, Europe — or the United States.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “Liberals have had a crush on Scandinavia for decades. … As with most urban legends, however, the reality of Scandinavia’s welfare-state utopia doesn’t match the hype. … For example, Sweden was a poor nation for most of the 19th century (which helps explain the great wave of Swedish emigration to the United States in the 1800s). That began to change as Stockholm, starting around 1870, turned to free-enterprise reforms. … In fact, between 1870 and 1936 Sweden had the highest growth rate in the industrialized world. Scandinavia’s hard-left turn didn’t come about until much later. It was in the late 1960s and early 1970s that taxes soared, welfare payments expanded, and entrepreneurship was discouraged. But what emerged wasn’t heaven on earth. … Sweden’s world-beating growth rate dried up. In 1975, it had been the 4th-wealthiest nation on earth (as measured by GDP per capita); by 1993, it had dropped to 14th. … Denmark has come to a similar conclusion. Its lavish subsidies are being rolled back amid sharp concerns about welfare abuse and an eroding work ethic. In the last general election, Danes replaced a left-leaning government with one tilted to the right. … Social trust and cohesion, a broad egalitarian ethic, a strong emphasis on work and responsibility, commitment to the rule of law — these are healthy attributes of a Nordic culture that was ingrained over centuries. … The good outcomes and high living standards they produced antedated the socialist nostrums of the 1970s. Scandinavia’s quality of life didn’t spring from leftist policies. It survived them.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

The BIG Lie: “Probably one of the most egregious, wrong pieces of legislation that ever passed the Congress when it comes to this issue is to protect gun sellers and gun makers from liability. They are the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability. They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn’t, and they won’t be sued. There will be no consequences.” —Hillary Clinton (The only ones unaccountably selling guns to bad guys are the Obama administration in Fast and Furious.

Alpha Jackass: “I believe that being shot should be requirement for gun ownership in America. It’s very simple. … [T]ake a bullet and you will be granted the right to purchase the firearm of your choice.” —Salon’s D. Watkins

Braying Jenny: “Here in Alabama, without the right kind of ID, it’s nearly impossible to vote. It’s hard to believe we are back having this same debate about whether every American gets a chance to vote. This is a blast from the Jim Crow past.” —Hillary Clinton on voter ID

Village Idiots: “It is not a coincidence that immediately prior to the civil war in Syria, the country experienced the worst drought on record. … Now, I’m not telling you that the crisis in Syria was caused by climate change. No, obviously, it wasn’t. It was caused by a brutal dictator who barrel-bombed, starved, tortured and gassed his own people. But the devastating drought clearly made a bad situation a lot worse.” —John Kerry (In other words, the Syrian crisis was caused by climate change…)

For the record: “[My payroll tax plan] would hit everyone — yeah, it would. But it would mean we would join the rest of the industrialized world and make sure that when a mom has a baby she can in fact stay home with that baby for three months, rather than going back to work at the end of one week.” —Bernie Sanders

Late-night humor: “New research shows that China has a bigger middle class than America, and more people in China are living what we would call the ‘American Dream.’ That’s when you know things are bad — when even the American DREAM is made in China.” —Jimmy Fallon

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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Moving Toward A One World Government, A One World Economy And A One World Religion

Global Hands - Public DomainThe global elite have never been closer to their goal of a united world.  Thanks to a series of interlocking treaties and international agreements, the governance of this planet is increasingly becoming globalized and centralized, but most people don’t seem alarmed by this at all.  In the past 30 days, we have seen some of the biggest steps toward a one world government, a one world economy and a one world religion that we have ever witnessed, but these events have sparked very little public discussion or debate.  So please share this article with as many people as you can.  We need to wake people up about this before it is too late. (Read More….)


America Looks A Lot Like Nazi Germany Did Just Prior To World War II

Big Brother Eye - Public DomainOnce upon a time America fought a great war to rid the world of the Nazis, but now we have become just like them.  In fact, I would venture to say that the Nazification of the United States is pretty much complete.  As you will see below, we have a heavily socialized economy where tax rates are out of control and lots of freebies are given out just like the Nazis did.  And just like the Nazis, our society has become highly militarized and our government has become increasingly obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and controlling the general population.  But more than anything else, all of the pageantry and beauty in our society masks an evil which has grown to a level that is almost unspeakable.  The other day, my wife and I were watching some footage of the beautiful parades and celebrations that were held in Germany before World War II, and they certainly were very impressive.  But under the surface, a great evil was growing.  Just because something happens behind closed doors does not make it okay, and just like the Nazis, our society is about to learn an exceedingly painful lesson in that regard. (Read More…)


Social Media Intifada – The Poisoning Of The Arab Mind

The latest Palestinian uprising, or so-called ‘third Intifada’ – in is full swing. Unlike the first two intifadas, however, the indoctrination and incitement channels used are far more rooted in popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.………… Click here for full story


Pick Your Poison – The U.S. Can’t Win In Syria

So it is that making mostly half-hearted if not downright deceptive choices in formulating its Middle East policy, the U.S. now finds itself not just with its pants pulled down, it has become apparent that it has no cover at all–no clothes whatsoever–to hide what amounts to its most glaring foreign policy snafus at anytime over the past 60 years.  The current administration failed to understand the geopolitical reality of the past 250 years–to avoid war there must be balance of power in any region where conflict seems likely and the consequences for Western empires are dire. ……… Click here for full story


Europe’s Muslim Migrants Bring Sex Pathologies in Tow

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
October 14, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5569/migrants-rape


Israel: Palestinian children taught “How to Stab a Jew”

According to Sky News:

Danny Danon, Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations, is urging the Security Council to make a statement against what he described as “the incitement that fuels terror”.

During his speech, Mr Danon held up a piece of card with a diagram of a human body entitled “How to Stab a Jew”, which he said was “an example of what Palestinian children are being exposed to day in and day out, in school, after school”.

http://news.sky.com/story/1571110/israel-palestinians-brainwashed-with-hate


PROPHECY WATCH: Hamas Appeals to Russia to ‘Stop Israeli Aggression’

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 07:16 AM PDT

Ever wonder how Arab Nations will align with Russia in the Last Days to bring about “Prophetic Wars” mentioned in the bible? Well this new report is more puzzle pieces coming together before our very eyes! Amid ongoing Palestinian Arab attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces, Hamas has called on Russia to intervene and stop Israeli “aggression” against Palestinians. According to a statement released to the terror group’s website, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal spoke with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Saturday evening. Mashaal blamed the recent spate of terror attacks against Israelis on the Jewish state’s “policies of oppression” toward Palestinians as well as its attempts to “damage the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He then urged Russia to use its influence as a global power to demand that Israel stop its “aggression” against “our people and our holy sites,” primarily in Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem. According to the Hamas statement, Bogdanov expressed “discontent” over Israeli actions and promised that Moscow would implement measures against the Jewish state. The alleged conversation comes at a time of increasingly warm relations between Israel and Russia, particularly over Moscow’s military presence in Syria. CONTINUE

 

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Christians are now the new “Threat” to America!

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 07:11 AM PDT

(Brian Fischer) If you have ever wondered whether President Obama has an abiding hostility to people of Christian faith, wonder no more. He believes we are a threat to national security. If you are a sincerely devoted follower of Jesus Christ, your president believes you are a potential domestic terrorist. I do not exaggerate. In a gathering at George Washington University this week, Obama’s assistant attorney general for national security, John Carlin, revealed that the Department of Justice is creating a brand new position just to monitor us. The position, domestic terrorism counsel, will be created to combat the “real and present threat” of domestic terrorism.

And where, pray tell, does this threat come from? From the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a stated goal of exterminating Western civilization and sabotaging our miserable house from within? Nope. From ISIS, which is actively recruiting jihadists in all 50 states? Nope. Jihadists who are sneaking into the United States disguised as Syrian refugees? Nope. No, the real threat to our national security, according to our president and his minions, is coming from the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. MORE

The post Christians are now the new “Threat” to America! appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Surprise asteroid to give Earth a Halloween flyby

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 07:06 AM PDT

An asteroid designated 2015 TB145 will pass by the Earth at around 1.3 lunar distances (approximately 310,000 miles or about 499,000 km) on October 31 this year. Estimated to be anywhere between 280 to 620 m (918 to 2,034 ft) in diameter and traveling in excess of 126,000 km/h (78,293 mph), the asteroid was discovered less than two weeks ago using the Pan-STARRS array in Hawaii and is the largest object to so closely approach our planet in recent times. Before you start panicking, NASA says that the object is expected to safely pass by the Earth and is following an eccentric and high-inclination orbit, which may help explain why it was not discovered until October 10 of this year.

Much closer than a “near miss” of 3.1 lunar distances by another recent asteroid, 2004 BL86, 2015 TB145 is of a similar size or greater than that object, but without an accompanying moon. Nevertheless, this now qualifies as the latest known close encounter, after 2004 XP14 in July 2006 at 1.1 lunar distances, and until the asteroid 1999 AN10 swings by Earth at less than one lunar distance sometime in August 2027. MORE

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Obama just signed another executive order, this time declaring government control over the entire Internet

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 07:02 AM PDT

As reported by recent news headlines, the United States is facing an increased number of cyber attacks against its critical government and private sector infrastructure, two of the most recent being against the White House (in October 2014 and again in early April). Besides targeting government and defense systems, hackers from around the world — in particular from Russia and China, have been said to have breached U.S. financial and banking firms, power and water infrastructure, and even vital space assets.

The U.S. government understands how big the threat really is. In an outgoing letter to her successor, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned of an impending “serious” cyber attack and potential natural disaster worse than Hurricane Katrina.”Many things still need tending, and my successor will most certainly have a full plate on his or her hands,” she said, adding that she faced “many challenges” over the past four years. In their 2010 book Cyber War, cyber warfare expert Richard A. Clarke and international affairs expert Robert K. Knake noted that both public and private cyber systems were vulnerable to attack, largely because there was no coordination between the federal government and private telecoms to shore up security. CONTINUE

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New Colorado law would fine cops $15,000 for interfering with citizens’ right to film them

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 06:57 AM PDT

A collection of police oversight measures that have been introduced in the Colorado Legislature includes one bill that would impose a $15,000 civil penalty if a police officer seizes or destroys the camera or video device of a citizen trying to film them in action. “Primarily, it came up as a result of the number of news reports we’ve been seeing about police officers telling people, ‘Give me your camera,’ or taking the data away, and that is unacceptable conduct,” Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton and co-sponsor of the bill, told ABC 7 news of Denver.

Salazar said his measure, HB 15-1290, has bipartisan support and is not intended to punish police officers. “It takes a very special person to be a police officer,” he said. “We want to honor them, but at the same time, we have a few bad apples who need to be aware that their conduct now has major, major consequences.” CONTINUE

 

The post New Colorado law would fine cops $15,000 for interfering with citizens’ right to film them appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Ancient Supersize Shark Fossils Unearthed in Texas

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 06:53 AM PDT

A mega shark that lived 300 million years ago would have made today’s great whites look like shrimps, according to fossils of the beast unearthed in Jacksboro, Texas. Scientists have dubbed the newfound fossils the “Texas supershark,” and the name is fitting: These supersharks were enormous: more than 26 feet (8 meters) long, or more than half the length of a school bus. That’s 25 percent larger than the modern great white shark and more than three times as long as other fossil sharks, including the Goodrichthys eskdalensis shark discovered in Scotland and another newfound shark specimen from New Mexico, both of which measure between 6.5 feet and 8.2 feet (2 m and 2.5 m) from head to tail. (Earth’s largest shark,C. megalodon, could grow up to 60 feet, or 18 m, long during its heyday, between about 16 million and 2.6 million years ago.)

Supershark lived before the age of the dinosaurs, which emerged about 230 million years ago. Until now, the oldest giant shark was found in rocks dating to 130 million years ago. [8 Weird Things About Sharks] Supershark’s ancient age makes it a prize find, indicating that giant sharks go back much further in the fossil record than previously thought, the researchers said. They presented their unpublished findings today (Oct. 16) at the 75th annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference, in Dallas, Texas. MORE

The post Ancient Supersize Shark Fossils Unearthed in Texas appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

450-Year-Old Church Emerges From Reservoir As Water Levels Drop

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 06:50 AM PDT

A drought in southern Mexico has caused water levels to fall so much that the remains of a long-abandoned, 16th-century church are now visible above the waterline. The Temple of Santiago, also known as the Temple of Quechula, normally rests under nearly 100 feet of water since the completion of a dam in 1966 created the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in Chiapas.

But the drought has caused water levels to drop by more than 80 feet, leading to eerie sights such as this one: The Latin Times reports that local fishermen are taking people on tours of the church via boat. Some of the more adventurous visitors have even climbed the ruins: MORE

The post 450-Year-Old Church Emerges From Reservoir As Water Levels Drop appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Syrian rebels are gearing up for the Iran and Russian-led battle for the country’s largest city

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 06:45 AM PDT

Rebels battling the Syrian army and its allies south of Aleppo say they have received new supplies of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles from states that oppose President Bashar al-Assad since a major government offensive began there on Friday. Rebels from three Free Syrian Army-affiliated groups contacted by Reuters said new supplies had arrived since the start of the attack by the army backed by Iranian fighters and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

But officials from one of the groups said that while new quantities had arrived, the supplies were not enough for the scale of the assault. They declined to be identified due to the sensitivities of the matter. “A few will not do the trick. They need dozens,” said one of the officials. A number of rebel groups vetted by states opposed to Assad have been supplied with weapons via Turkey, part of a program supported by the United States and which has in some cases included military training by the Central Intelligence Agency. MORE

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

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Implications of the Supreme Court’s “Obergefell v. Hodges” decision

WINTERY KNIGHT

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

I am linking to an article posted at the Stream about an important new book by marriage defender Ryan T. Anderson, entitled “Truth Overruled”. I have already bought myself a paperback copy of it.

Anyway, here’s the excerpt:

Anderson lays out soberly all the radical, counter-intuitive and just-plain-crazy implications of the Supreme Court decision in June, Obergefell v. Hodges, that overturned all state laws predicated on the natural, timeless structure of marriage as one man and one woman, hopefully till death:

  • Marriage is not about protecting children and helping to form future free citizens. It exists to cater to the fleeting emotional needs of adults.
  • The state recognizes marriages in order to validate the “dignity” of citizens — that is, to boost their self-esteem.
  • Men and women are exactly the same, and therefore completely interchangeable as parents.
  • Children do not need or deserve continuity…

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GTY: The Friction of Faith

John 15:17-25

Code: B151019

by Jeremiah Johnson

In the hours before His arrest, trial, and execution, Christ celebrated the Passover with His closest friends—the disciples. In the intimacy of the upper room, He encouraged them with promises of the powerful, Spirit-enabled ministry awaiting them, pointed ahead to their eternal home in heaven, and spoke warmly of His love for them.

But the conversation wasn’t all good news. In John 15:17-25, Jesus issued a sober warning to the men who would extend His ministry to the ends of the earth.

This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A slave is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, “They hated Me without a cause.”

In his book The Upper Room, John MacArthur explains the reason for Christ’s warning.

But in addition to all those promises, Christ needed to warn His closest friends. They needed to know that, in spite of the wonderful divine promises that would be fulfilled in their experience, life would not be completely blissful. Ministry would not be easy in a rebellious, Christ-hating world. The world was going to treat them the same way it treated Him. They were going to be despised and persecuted—even killed.

Verse 17 is Jesus’ transition from describing His love for the disciples to describing the world’s hatred: “These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” The Greek verb indicates a continuous action: “Keep on loving each other,” He is saying. “Devote yourselves to one another and sacrifice for one another. Love each other the way I loved you.” That’s a simple summary of everything He had been saying all evening. . . .

One reason their love for each other was so important was that the world would know nothing but hatred for them. Love for each other was the only love they would ever know. In a hostile world, they desperately needed love from each other. [1] John MacArthur, The Upper Room (The Woodlands, TX: Kress Biblical Resources, 2014) 195-196.

Jesus was highlighting the fact that the disciples would spend the rest of their lives as aliens and strangers in the world (1 Peter 2:11). In short, they—and every generation of believers who followed them—were going to be in the world, but not of it.

That phrase is familiar to most Christians. Paraphrased from Christ’s words of warning to His disciples, it has become a slogan for God’s people, and an encouragement when the world feels particularly foreign and hostile. It highlights the natural friction we feel with the world around us.

In The Upper Room, John MacArthur explains the source of that constant friction.

People living in the world who do not know Jesus Christ are part of a system that is anti-God, anti-Christ, and satanic. That system militates against God and His principles. It is opposed to all that is good, godly, and Christlike. I am always amazed at the way some Christians seem to believe the world can easily be persuaded to admire Jesus if we try to portray Him as a stylish superstar to be idolized. That failed (and still failing) strategy is one of the major reasons persecution is on the rise. In any contest for the world’s affections, the truth will always be marginalized. “The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19). No unbeliever will ever truly embrace Christ apart from the Holy Spirit’s convicting and regenerating work. The church’s duty is to preach the Word of God and proclaim the gospel—even in the face of the world’s hostility. [2] The Upper Room, 199-200.

The entire world system—every government, philosophy, movement, and trend—are pitched in direct opposition to the Lord and His Word. Some are more blatant about it than others, but every aspect of life in this world that has not been redeemed by God is working in contradiction to Him.

No wonder we feel out of place. As John MacArthur says, “Authentic believers in Christ simply cannot fit into the world’s system. We are supposed to be different. We have different values, a different Lord, and a completely different agenda.” [3] The Upper Room, 198.

In that sense, the friction between the world and the church is not simply natural, it’s necessary.

In the days ahead, we’re going to consider the implications of being in the world, but not of it. We’ll look at the world’s ongoing campaign against the truth, and how our friction with the world serves as a testimony of God’s transforming work that ought to convict and compel other lost sinners. And we’ll consider practical ways to live apart from the influence of the world without stifling our testimony to it.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B151019
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Now THIS is sexy Hillsong entertainment! (Hillsong move Broadway couple to different Hillsong church?)

Carl Lentz portrays himself as a Christian pastor. However, people are seeing straight through his sheep skin and are now looking at a man who clearly rejects the teachings of Jesus Christ in regards to homosexuality.

Earlier this year, Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith helped break the story about the Broadway couple getting engaged towards the beginning of this year (2015). This gay couple were involved in leadership, leading Hillsong bible studies, one also voluntarily leading a Hillsong music choir.

Rosebrough stated on his program,

“Now when I covered the story earlier last week, I made it clear that I had heard through channels that Carl Lentz had said that they had addressed this and that the pastors of Hillsong were “privately counseling” the couple.” [Source]

Well this is what the result of Hillsong counseling looks like.

The results of this Broadway “counseling” resembles how effective Carl Lentz’ “counseling” has been towards Justin Beiber. Clearly the…

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Analysing the cult doctrines of NAR leader Peter Wagner

Chris Rosebrough has done a series of Fighting for the Faith programs analysing the key features of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cult (aka Christian Taliban). The first radio broadcast analysed the NAR Seven Mountain mandate teaching and their false gospel which they call ‘The Gospel of the Kingdom’.

Chris Rosebrough From http://www.fightingforthefaith.com

What is the New Apostolic Reformation?

The New Apostolic Reformation is a global cult that emerged from America in the 1940s. When of it’s key recosgnised representatives was the notorious William Branham.

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

In this second episode, Chris Rosebrough decided to look at the NAR’s top Apostle and Leader, Charles Peter Wagner. It appears Chris Rosebrough attempts to refute Peter Wagner’s protest that the NAR is not a cult by using Wagner’s own words against him.

From…

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Rosebrough: “Pray that next week, Kong Hee is sent to prison and […] repents”

Many years ago, Kong Hee shut down a YouTube account that published a Kong Hee sermon titled ‘9 Reasons Jesus Wasn’t Poor’. Last week, to remind his listeners of the upcoming verdict on October 21st, Chris Rosebrough managed to review this sermon on his program.

Chris Rosebrough opened the segment with this introduction:

“The church has not done it’s job of casting out and repudiating and rebuking false teachers like Kong Hee. And as a result of that, the job of disciplining  abhorrent teachers who are teaching for shameful gain the things that they ought not to teach, those who are absolutely exploiting the people of God and doing all kinds of monkey business with the church funds, like Kong Hee has done, who is left now to discipline these people?

The answer: the state. The state is who’s left to do it. And the church should have been doing…

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