Daily Archives: November 4, 2015

November 4, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

November 2 Quotes


Is the Reformation Over?

The fundamental issue is this: is the basis by which I am justified a righteousness that is my own? Or is it a righteousness that is, as Luther said, “an alien righteousness,” a righteousness that is extra nos, apart from us—the righteousness of another, namely, the righteousness of Christ? From the sixteenth century to the present, Rome has always taught that justification is based upon faith, on Christ, and on grace. The difference, however, is that Rome continues to deny that justification is based on Christ alone, received by faith alone, and given by grace alone.

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When Discontentment Steals Our Joy

God places us in circumstances and situations that we often don’t understand. Sometimes he doesn’t give us what we want because he knows what we really need is not a change in situation but more of him. The more we grow to depend and trust in him, the more we find our joy in knowing him, and the more we seek him above all else, the more we will appreciate the manna he provides. Our grumbles fade in his presence. Rather than complain about the challenges of life, we’ll look to Christ for contentment, security, and peace.

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Casual, Cultural Christianity is Corroding the Church

Casual, cultural Christianity sounds authentic because it honors God with the lips. What makes it faux-faith, however, is that it proceeds from a heart filled with rebellion and ruled by self (the flesh). Casual Christians never surrender their heart, soul, and lives to God, never express genuine repentance, and never undergo a life transformation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They simply go through the motions of the Christian faith, play church, and act religious.

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A Mighty Fortress

Those who know the Lord, love Him, and belong to Him need not fear. Though the mountains tremble and collapse into the sea; though kingdoms rise and fall; though wicked men flourish; though our lives are but a breath; and though we are frail vessels; we need not fear for our hope is in God.

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5 Reasons Your Pastor May Not Be Leading Well

“Many times the pastor simply doesn’t see what you see — or for that matter, value you what you value. I’ve learned I’m often the last to know of a problem within my church. If there’s an issue in preschool ministry, for example, if someone doesn’t tell me about it, I won’t know about it.”

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A Legend In Your Own Mind

“Lucifer thinks so much of himself. He considers himself to be pretty grand. Yes, he is a legend in his own mind. However, in reality, he is not a hero but a zero. His pride is leading to his destruction; because of his arrogance, he is set to experience a massive fall. The Lord is in the process of destroying him.”

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Beware of the Selfie-Preacher

“When he talks about himself the selfie preacher is always the hero of the story. Rarely—if ever—does the selfie preacher show himself to be a weak, desperate, depraved sinner who needs a strong, sufficient, righteous Savior. For the selfie-preacher, the pulpit is often a way for him to craft a story, and project his life in such a way that others begin to think that he has it all together.”

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Catechizing: The Value of Catechizing

“It is true that knowledge will need to become understanding and understanding must grow into wisdom.  True enough.  But if we fail to provide our children with the Biblical and theological knowledge found in the catechism, well then, we might one day find them doing the spiritual equivalent of yanking pork fat from their throats!”

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“Activating” the kids at Bethel Redding

Following is Isaiah’s account of what happened when he encountered the Lord and His elect holy angels: In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two […]

The post “Activating” the kids at Bethel Redding appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Houses taken over: Letting the government get its nose under the church tent

Andrée Seu Peterson of World Magazine warns about the government’s calculated intrusion in our churches. Some states require a criminal backround check for child care volunteers.  Peterson laments, “If the local church cannot be trusted to know its people well enough to decide who is fit for nursery duty, there is nothing much to say.” Andrée writes: This year a […]

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Do You Believe in Ghosts?

This is a question for unbelievers, of course.  Christians know that there is no such thing as a ghost. In fact “No evidence has produced a single fact that should sway a Christian into believing that the spirits of deceased people can loiter on earth,” wrote Rick Barry in 2010 for Answers in Genesis Magazine. According to […]

The post Do You Believe in Ghosts? appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Do you like guessing games?

I love games. Raised on Clue, Monopoly and anything trivia-related, I can get pretty competitive. Yes, this newest game over at Church Watch Central is right up my ally, given the chance to use my knowledge of stuff I’ve researched the past several years. But guess what? I’m stumped at this Culprit in the Pulpit. […]

The post Do you like guessing games? appeared first on Berean Research.


 

In Case You Were Wondering: Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by “Teaching” Men?

Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley asked several women bloggers this question.  Their answers are in this post.  Christine Pack  of Sola Sisters states it this way: “My bottom line is that (1) I’m not expositing scripture, and (2) the book of Jude (about contending for truth and doctrinal purity) was written to all believers, not […]

The post In Case You Were Wondering: Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by “Teaching” Men? appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Massachusetts “United Church of Christ” Hosts Blasphemous “Drag Gospel Festival”

Most people won’t be the least bit shocked by a “church” hosting a drag show during the worship service.  What’s important to keep in mind, though, is the lengths the LGBT community will go to to draw attention to themselves, even if it means blaspheming God.  While strutting their stuff at the church event, one […]

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Calvary Chapel Pastor Posts Photo Standing With New Age Advocate Roma Downey

Many people are concerned with the direction evangelist Greg Laurie is taking the church, and rightly so, as you will see in Lighthouse Trails’ report: Lighthouse Trails reader sent this photo (see below) to us today. It is a picture of Calvary Chapel pastor Greg Laurie, standing with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and was […]

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Sacked gay priest condemns “homophobic hate” of Catholic Church

A senior Vatican priest comes out of the closet, admits to having a long time boyfriend, and gets fired. He’s mad. Ho hum, no surprise these days. But the bigger story is how a major evangelical news outlet reports the story — never mentions the priest’s sin.   Instead we learn how unfair the Vatican […]

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Dealing With the New Trans-Madness

In his follow up to Jenner, Transgender and Trans-Lunacy, Bill Muehlenberg brings a common sense perspective–and some sad statistics–to this hotly debated issue. He points out that “gender bending” has huge health risks, something most people are unaware of. In the Bible cross-dressing is called an “abomination” to God. (Deut 22:5).  So how is the Church to deal […]

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When the Fire Alarm Sounds

by Leanna Shepard

One friend heard the fire alarm but lost nothing. Another heard the fire alarm and watched everything burn to the ground. How can this be?

We’re Unwrapping the Good Stuff Together

by Erin Davis

Since the Bible has so much to say about giving thanks, shouldn’t we learn to live with an attitude of thanksgiving? (Hint: the answer is “yes.”)

Reader Question: What Should I Do About Racism?

by Erin Davis

Ever wrestle with these complex questions? What causes racism? What should we do about it? Why are our hearts so prone to participate in it? Erin Davis shares 6 key truths.

Why a Pew Is Better Than a Podcast

by Erin Davis

Here are three reasons why a pew is better than a podcast.


Why some people don’t like “watchbloggers”"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." -- Jude 1:3-4

 

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” — Jude 1:3-4


Americans becoming less religious, especially young adults

Reuters reports:

Americans are becoming less religious, judging by such markers as church attendance, prayer and belief in God, and the trend is more pronounced among young adults, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

The share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God, while still high compared with other advanced industrial countries, slipped to 89 percent in 2014 from 92 percent in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape Study.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/03/us-usa-religion-idUSKCN0SS0AM20151103


Is Humpty Dumpty About to Fall?

The American Dream:  Financial prosperity; Land of the free; one nation under God; American “exceptionalism”.  Nice sounding platitudes that seem more like whistling past the graveyard with each passing year.  Let’s take a reality check for a moment: America is $80 trillion dollars in debt with all things considered.  The financial markets are being artificially […]

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Why God Tests Our Faith…Over and Over and Over

There’s something strangely comforting about the messy stories of God’s saints in Scripture. We might expect the heroes of the Bible to go from one episode of obedience to the next—successive faith victories on the path to eternal glory.

But that’s not what we find in the Bible. Take Abraham, for instance. In Genesis 12, God calls him to leave everything and follow. And Abraham does it. Victory! But the next few chapters show us a decidedly mixed picture. Abraham scoffs at God’s promise. He puts his wife Sarah in danger to save his own skin—twice. He has a kid with a servant instead of with his wife. And to top it off, he then gives Sarah the green light to beat and abuse that servant.

Not doing so well, Abe.

So why is all this comforting to me? Because my life has hardly been an unbroken string of successes since becoming a Christian. In fact, it seems like each epoch of my life has been marked by wavering faith. Abraham’s up-and-down obedience tells me that God can—and does—work through broken people like you and me.

But through all of Abraham’s disappointments and failures, God was doing something behind the scenes. And in his failures, we learn something about our journey of faith.

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7 Problems With the Roman Catholic Mary

About 10 years ago I was walking around the Duomo of Milan and these ladies captured my attention as they were staring at this stained glass picture of Mary. Being spotted by one of the ladies she quickly came to me to hand me a rosary. As she tried to convince me to take it, I said that I only needed to pray to God and that I would not pray to Mary, her shock quickly turned to anger and she said “may Mary whip you with the seven whips of Satan!” As I booked it out of there I was wondering to myself first of all, why is Mary working with Satan? But second of all and more importantly, how in the world do you get to that point where one talks to Mary more than God? How do you get to the point where you pray 10 prayers to Mary for every prayer to God? Well in honor of the lady who cursed me that fateful day, here are 7 problems with the Roman Catholic Mary.

Read the entire article here.


Christianity Faces Worldwide Decline

Is Christianity on its way to becoming extinct? Are Christians everywhere now an ‘endangered species’? This question may have seemed bizarre just a decade or two ago. Even today, in numerical terms, Christianity remains the largest faith in the world. Yet, the probability of a major decline in the numbers of Christians worldwide no longer seems so far-fetched, given the rate at which the persecution of Christians and anti-Christian sentiment worldwide is growing………..  Click here for full story


The 10 Worst-Ranked Companies for Christian Consumers Who Are Deeply Motivated by Their Faith

Just one day after releasing rankings for more than 300 brands, Faith Driven Consumer has unveiled the 10 lowest-rated companies when it comes to marketing efforts aimed at targeting and cultivating Christian consumers.

According to the Faith Equality Index — which measures which brands are the most and least likely to cultivate Bible-minded buyers by ranking each company on a scale from zero to 100 — the lowest-ranked businesses are as follows:

View List


8 Marks of a Spiritually Healthy Christian


What are the marks of a spiritually healthy believer? In 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 we find Paul’s thanksgiving to God for spiritually healthy Christians. He tells the Thessalonians–who were relatively new converts–a number of remarkable truths about themselves. I don’t think that there is anywhere else in the New Testament where such an explicitly positive report is made of a church and its members. So what are these spiritually healthy characteristics that Paul praises them for exhibiting? Consider the following:First, they became imitators of the apostles and of the Lord. He re-emphasizes that point in ch. 2:14. They became like their teachers, who themselves were imitating the Lord.  In practice (not just through organic union with Christ) the Thessalonian Christians became Christ-like. That is to say, in thought, word and deed, their conduct was like their Saviour’s. Spiritually healthy Christians are those who look like their Lord (see Matt. 5:13-16).Second, they received the word with joy, even though they were afflicted for it. Many attend church each week, while having to force themselves to stay awake, alert, undistracted to remain interested. We’ve all been there, no doubt. That, (providences aside), is hardly a picture of the spiritually healthy Christian. Reception of the Word with joy–until it bears fruit–is the mark of one who is imitating Christ. The Thessalonians received the Word of God joyfully knowing that it was their very life. They did so, even though they were persecuted for it (see Acts 17). Healthy Christians take delight in receiving God’s Word throughout their Christian lives.Third, they became an example to other Christians. Paul says “so that you became examples to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” What a remarkable statement! The Apostle intimates that these new converts had become a regional example in piety, practice and zeal for the Kingdom. In other words, Christians throughout the world were looking up to them and following their lead, as they themselves had followed the Apostles’ lead. Spiritually healthy Christians, without drawing attention away from Christ to themselves, set a good example for other believers to follow.

Fourth, they witnessed to the Word. The “word of the Lord sounded forth” from them in the region. This is so very, very important. Their regional reputation was founded not on their church programs or the reputation of their well-known minister, but for the Word of the Lord “echoing” from them to all around them. It seems that the members of the church in Thessalonica could not contain their enthusiasm for evangelism. They had a sense that they had to share the word, and they did share the word. Healthy Christians do not just sit around debating the finer points of the Gospel, they actually tell others about the Gospel.

Fifth, their faith was evident. Paul emplains, “your faith in God has gone forth everywhere.” I think that the Apostle, by inserting this idea, is getting to the fact that their witness to the Word was not only in word, but also in deed. Their faith was also known. How? Presumably in that it was a real, vibrant and visible faith, which was manifested in action. Spiritually healthy Christians are seen and known for the sincerity of their faith.

Sixth, they had a good reputation for their faith and faithfulness. Paul states that the apostles did not need to speak of the members of the Thessalonian church, because the believers in Macedonia and Achaia already knew about them–how they had received the Apostle in their midst. In other words, their reputation as a Christ-like church was well-known. The church or the Christian can’t always control what people think of them, but what a powerful witness it is to be known for being Christ-like. Spiritually healthy Christians do not necessarily have good reputations with everyone, but amongst true believers they almost always certainly will.

Seventh, they truly and obviously repented of their previous life. One of the saddest realities of life in a fallen world is that we see evil called good and good evil–even in the church of Christ! The Thessalonians were idolaters, presumably engaged in all that idolatry involved in those days; yet, they “turned” (that is, they repented) from their sin, left it behind and sought after God. In fact, their conduct was a complete and drastic change. They previously served idols, they repented, and then they served the “living and true God.” Contrary to what some in the church are teaching today, we cannot remain in our old sin and claim Christ as our Savior. Yes, spiritually healthy Christians, having found the mercies of God in Christ, continually repent of their sins and endeavour after new obedience and service.

Finally, they lived in expectation. Paul says the Thessalonians “wait[ed] for God’s Son from heaven.” Part of their vibrancy as Christians (and we must assume that this is one ideas that drove their evangelistic zeal) was the second coming of Christ. They knew they had been delivered from the “wrath to come” (vs 10) and wanted the same for others. They awaited Christ’s coming with eagerness. Spiritually healthy Christians long for Jesus return, and conduct themselves in light of his coming.

This list is far from exhaustive; but, in this list, Paul appears to have a particular end in mind–to encourage what fruitfulness was already manifest in the lives of believers in order to further the spread of the gospel, in both word and deed. If this description does not match us–either individually or corporately–we ought to pray to God to make it so.  He has promised, in Christ, to give us the grace–by His Word and Spirit powerfully–to produce these traits in His people for the advancement of His Kingdom in the world.


Caring about Small Things, Overlooking Big Things

What is the most critical issue of our age? The war against religious freedom? ISIS? The definition of marriage? Or what to wear for Halloween? Listen Now | Download

Why Is It Important for Young Christians to Be Able to Make the Case for Christianity? (Video)

J. Warner Wallace, author of God’s Crime Scene, discusses the importance of Christian Case Making, particularly for young Christians who are challenged about their beliefs when they enter the university or the work place.

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


Satan Hunts Among the Hurting

Satan Hunts Among the HurtingMountain lions detect vulnerabilities in their prey and attack the weakest — the young, the sick, the injured. Studies have confirmed this instinctive cruelty. It’s how the mountain lion lives, following the scent of suffering and feasting on whatever he finds.

The enemy of your hope and happiness hunts with that same instinct, with a cold-hearted and ruthless hunger for the weak or hurting. Satan prowls like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). And because he’s clever, he spends a lot of his time among the suffering. He lies in wait with lies, wanting to consume the fragile and vulnerable.

A School for Suffering

Peter knew what it felt like for Satan to pounce on him in difficult circumstances, to find himself suddenly gasping and drowning in temptation, to lack the strength to fight and to be overcome. He abandoned and denied Jesus on the night he died — not once, but three times (Luke 22:60). Like a wounded or sick infant deer pitifully trying to escape a mountain lion, the once confident and strong Peter became the defenseless prey.

But before Jesus hung on the cross, he had prayed for Peter, that his faith would not fail, and that his ministry would rise again from the ashes of fear and defeat.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31–32)

And the same Peter that cowered in fear before the little servant girl, denying he ever knew Jesus (Luke 22:56), was later crucified for his Christian faith. And before he boldly died to tell his love for Jesus, he wrote a letter to suffering Christians everywhere and for all of time, even today.

Peter had learned that Satan loved to hunt among the hurting, but he also learned that God arms us to fight well, even in pain and weakness. God plants invincible truths in our vulnerable hearts, and then guards our faith with his infinite power (1 Peter 1:4–5). Here are five truths to believe in the valley against all of the lies Satan hides in the shadows.

1. All of your suffering will end one day.

Peter writes as one who has suffered, to brothers and sisters who will suffer for their faith in Jesus (1 Peter 4:12–13). The painful moments in life — however those pains come — are the ones in which we’re most likely to question God and go our own way. Satan says,

God doesn’t care about the pain you’re going through.

God isn’t able to do anything about it, anyway.

The distress, the misery, the adversity will never end.

But Peter says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6). Your present suffering will only be for a little while (1 Peter 1:6), even if it’s for the rest of your earthly life. And soon, God will lift (“exalt”) you out of these difficult circumstances and into his safe and satisfying presence forever, away from everything you feared and suffered in this age (see also Romans 8:16–18 and James 4:10). He will heal every wound, make up for every loss, and wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4).

Instead of responding to our suffering with proud indignation, we shock the world with patient, even joyful, humility. We follow Jesus, “who for the joy set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2) — “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death” (Philippians 2:8). He suffered everything knowing the happiness of being held by and for heaven.

2. God is not only able to guard you, but he also cares for you.

What does humility look like in the midst of hardship and heartbreak? “Humble yourselves . . . casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6–7). Instead of defiantly hurling your affliction back at God, humility hands every anxiety back to him with affection and confidence. Humility refuses to treat God like an incompetent or unsympathetic boss, but comes to him, even in suffering, as a compassionate and invested Father.

Jesus says, “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 6:26). If we truly believed that the God who created all things, having absolutely everything at his disposal, cared for us like a Father, then we would not resist him and his will like we do, even when life gets hard.

3. Our suffering in this life reminds us we’re at war.

Peter goes on to say, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). All the things that might tempt us to doubt God and his goodness are meant to lead us to him, and to prove that he’s engaged in a massive spiritual battle for our lives. A powerful, compelling, and creative enemy wants to kill you.

As a weathered veteran of the war of life, Peter wrote earlier, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). When we are disappointed or afflicted, God is shaking us out of our complacency and entitlement to awaken us to the realities of life deeper and more important than our circumstances.

4. However lonely your suffering feels, you are not alone.

You are at war, but you are not alone. God is with you, and he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7) — and Peter says more: “Resist [the devil], firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9). Fight Satan’s onslaught of lies knowing that you are shoulder to shoulder with an army of other believers.

You may not know someone suffering the same thing as you in your immediate context, but you are not alone among Christians in the world and in history. God has cared for them, and he wants you to know he will care for you, too. And while the needs around you may not be identical, they are real, and often intense and overwhelming. The military strategy for a needy, hurting, and embattled Christian community reads, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

God’s infinite wealth and power will meet and provide for God’s weak and suffering people with God’s relentless compassion and care when they are gathered together around and clinging to God’s word, especially his promises.

5. God will not only take away your suffering, but he will heal every wound and restore everything good forever.

Suffering will not be the last note of your life. If you joyfully humble yourself in God’s hands and plan, he will exalt you soon enough. On that day, “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).

We will suffer for a moment (when compared with eternity), and then be restored from all our brokenness, confirmed against all our uncertainty, strengthened from all our weakness, and established in all our glory by our God. In the place of our broken and painful existence on earth will be a never-ending experience of the greatest Joy you’ve ever known or tasted (Psalm 16:11).



Book Review: Transforming Homosexuality

Transforming-Homosexuality_with-borderIn 2005, same-sex marriage was illegal in all 50 of the United States. In ten short years all that changed. Two-thousand and fifteen might end up being known as the year of homosexual advancement. This past year witnessed the crashing of a moral wave that had been building for years when the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the 14th Amendment requires all 50 states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and recognize those marriages performed in other states.

Questions and confusion abound on the issue. How should biblically-thinking Christians respond? Can individuals change their sexual orientation? Should an individual change their sexual orientation? And for that matter, what is sexual orientation? Christ’s true church must take it upon themselves to become excellently equipped in the issue of homosexuality, homosexual orientation, and becoming instruments of change (Col. 4:5-6). In their recently-released book, Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change, Denny Burk and Heath Lambert provide needed equipping by tackling these questions and more.

Additionally, a plea is offered to those who embrace the homosexual lifestyle while professing the Christian faith: this book will be well-worth your time by providing a perspective grounded in the faith. To those who embrace a homosexual lifestyle, but do not profess faith in Christ, the book will be no less profitable, bringing biblical clarity that you may have yet to see, perhaps due to misled Christians or preconceived notions. I would encourage you to honestly consider the arguments. And wherever one may currently stand on the issue, there is a refreshing humility and love intertwined with an integrity of truth in the book.

The stated goal of the book is to analyze the idea of “homosexual orientation”, or homosexual desire, while demonstrating from God’s word that “desires for a sinful act are sinful precisely because the desired act is sinful” (13). Burk and Lambert write, “God gives us a bodily identity that indicates his purposes for us sexually, and those purposes are unambiguously ordered to the opposite sex within the covenant of marriage. To embrace and identity that goes against God’s revealed purpose is…sinful” (37).

To tackle the issue, the authors anchor themselves to the sufficiency and authority of God’s word on the issue. Doing so provides as much of an objective analysis as possible; something too rare when grappling with this topic.

Rethinking sexual orientation

Insightful clarity is given on same-sex attraction/homosexual orientation. Confusion abounds around a proper understanding of orientation. Typically, the definitions ignore God’s revealed purpose in creating humans as sexual beings while erroneously restricting human identity to our desires.

Four common approaches to orientation within professing Christianity are analyzed. The liberal approach rejects biblical authority, asserting one’s desire as authoritative in determining orientation. The revisionist approach is that propagated by Matthew Vines, who argues that the homosexuality condemned in Scripture relates to sexual excess, not orientation. While affirming the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, the neo-traditional holds that same-sex attraction is good; almost like a fruit of the Spirit. Finally, the traditional view, consistent with historic Christianity, understands same-sex attraction and behavior as sin.

The traditional view is supported by Scripture. Christ teaches that it is always sinful to desire something that God forbids, which the authors demonstrate from Matthew 5:27-28. Much of Christ’s point in that section of the Sermon on the Mount is to demonstrate the depravity of humanity; even at the level of desires.

Burk and Lambert elaborate: “The very experience of the desire becomes an occasion for repentance. And it is pastoral malpractice to tell someone who is feeling a…[same-sex attraction] that there is no need to repent” (29). For a sexual desire or act to consist of virtue, its end must be the glory of God. And we mustn’t make the common error which supposes that the existence of a desire sanctions it. The “enduring nature of same-sex desire is an indication not that God approves such desire but that we are intractably sinful apart from grace” (29). This goes for every desire for something prohibited by God.

A common thread running through flawed understandings of sexual orientation is that human identity is reduced to one’s sexual desires. But human beings were created more than merely sexual beings. We eat, drink, play, work, parent, sing, recreate, and worship. Further, human identity is determined not by humans, but the One who made humans. For that reason, God’s word, not our sexual inclinations, is the final say on the issue of human identity. A Christian struggling with same-sex attraction is not a gay Christian, but a child of God, in Christ, undergoing the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit on his way to glory. The unregenerate who are given to same-sex behavior, similarly, are not to be myopically identified as a homosexual, but a valuable human being, made in the image of God, dead in sin, who needs the saving, transforming work of Jesus Christ, like all of us.

Hope and help for true transformation

Many myths pertaining to real change are floating around even in professing Christian culture. Misunderstandings here shipwreck the real changed guaranteed to all who embrace Christ. Five common myths are presented in chapter three: an understanding of biblical ethics leads to change, change is impossible, change is harmful, change requires heterosexual desire, and change can happen without repentance.

cf6a168b97fca416ed23e13b8f9058c0Rather than Christian-based behavior modification and other erroneous solutions, Jesus Christ and his sufficient work on the cross are held necessarily high in the book. Since Christ came to die for, and transform us from, sin, there is immense hope through repentance and faith in him. Change happens not only when we repent of sinful behavior, but the heart worship and desires which lead to the behavior (79).

Heath and Lambert provide a good treatment of the path of biblical change in chapter four. The material will prove helpful for counselors and any seeking to better understand the true hope Scripture offers for change.

If our focus on change is merely sexual orientation, then we’ve adopted a myopic view of sanctification. Transformation that every Christian experiences is not limited to selective compartments of behavioral modification, but into the all-inclusive image of the standard for humanity; Jesus Christ. For that reason, when approaching sexual orientation, Christians must keep in mind that Scripture commands “is not heterosexuality, but holiness” (14).

Those who trust in Christ and experience same-sex attraction, however, may not experience complete eradication of the desires this side of heaven. The same goes for Christians battling with any other sin. Sanctification is finished at glorification. Even so, God’s people make it their goal, more than not experiencing a certain desire, to become more like Christ in all things.

Overall, I appreciated how Burk and Lambert make the case that biblical Christianity seeks not to adjust individuals’ sexual orientation. Sexual preferences are not the problem, but merely symptomatic. Rather, biblical Christianity brings a far more comprehensive message: reconciliation to God and a new nature by faith in the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ. That message alone delivers the power to cleanse and transform all sin.

Shepherding the church

Finally, the authors make a needed plea to evangelicalism to no less embrace growth and change when it comes to this issue.

“Same-sex attracted people are not the only ones who need to change. Evangelical Christians have certainly had a spotted record when it comes to addressing the issue of homosexuality. Our churches have not always been the welcoming places that they should have been for sinners—especially for those struggling with the same-sex attraction” (101).

The good news of Christ crucified must stay central in the content. And our lives must no less demonstrate personal need for and change from the cross of Christ (105-9).

Transforming Homosexuality is a needed work in this hour of history. Counselors will find it helpful for counselees, pastors and teachers will benefit from the clarity and insight given for preaching and teaching, Christians will be better equipped to interact intelligently, biblically, and lovingly with the world around us, and those of differing spiritual persuasions will be lovingly and truthfully guided to the true hope of Christ.


Why Some Churches Choose to Die

The conversation surprised me.

I was recently meeting with about a dozen members of a church that was on the precipice of closing. During their perceived “good old days,” the average worship attendance was in the 40s and 50s. Now the church attendance was in the teens. The church was on metaphorical life support.

I shared with them some items of urgency that might give them some glimmer of hope. So I was surprised when one of the members asked me a question that seemed to come from nowhere: “Will we have to sing from screens instead of hymnals?” she asked with a tinge of anger.

I never responded directly to the question. It was too late. The few members were of one mind about an issue so peripheral I had never anticipated it. I left saddened.

The church had chosen to die.

The Need and the Passion

It is my life and ministry passion to help churches, particularly struggling churches, to revitalize. One of the greatest needs of churches today is to choose to live and to thrive.

Unfortunately, many congregations are choosing to die. For certain, they are not calling a business meeting and making a motion to die. Their choices are more subtle and, often, more incremental. But the end result is the same.

Churches are choosing to die.

Five Deadly Choices

So what are churches doing specifically that leads to their demise? Here are five of the more common choices.

  1. They refuse to face reality. I was in a dying church recently. The congregational average attendance was 425 seven years ago. Today it is 185. I could find no one in the church who thought the trends were bad. They were in a state of delusion and denial.
  2. They are more concerned about greater comfort than the Great Commission. Church membership has become self-serving. The church is more like a country club than the body of Christ. People are “paying dues” to get what they want in the church. It’s all about their preferences and desires.
  3. They are unwilling to accept responsibility. It’s the fault of culture. All the new churches in town are to blame. If someone wants to come to our church, they know where we are. People just don’t want to come to church anymore. Excuses and more excuses. I have never been in a community that is nearly fully churched. There are many people to reach. Excuses preclude obedience.
  4. They are too busy fighting and criticizing. If we could take the energy of church critics and antagonists into reaching people with the gospel, our churches would become evangelistic forces. Unfortunately in many churches, members expend most of their energies criticizing leadership and others, and fighting over trivial issues.
  5. They are confusing non-negotiables with negotiables. Almost ten years ago, a couple of men who live near me asked to visit with me in my home. They wanted me to consider visiting their church. One of the men told me their church was one of the few in the area defending the faith. I asked him what he meant by that. He explained that the faith was one particular Bible translation and traditional hymns. I wasn’t sure what happened to the bodily resurrection and substitutionary atonement. The church died within seven years.

Choosing to Live Rather Than Die

Most churches have choices to live or die. We use the word “revitalize” because it means to live again. I hope you will join me in this passion to see unhealthy churches become healthy, to see churches choose to live.

As one way of being a part of this movement of revitalization, I have teamed up with Revitalized Churches in Florida to offer the best resources we can to help in this cause. They are once again offering the resource that has helped hundreds of churches move toward revitalization.

Those churches have chosen to live.

Such is my prayer for your church.

The post Why Some Churches Choose to Die appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


A La Carte (November 4)

Today’s Kindle deals include Grounded in the Faith* by Ken Erisman ($3.99); What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?* by Kevin DeYoung ($4.74); The Forgotten Trinity* by James White ($1.99); Cross by John Piper ($0.99); Grounded in the Gospel by J.I. Packer ($2.99); Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell ($2.99); Preaching the Farewell Discourse by Scott Kellum ($2.99); Each for the Other by Bryan & Kathy Chapell ($1.99). (* = especially highly recommended)

My Spouse is My Best Friend

I’m not sure that I agree with all that Mark Jones says here, but I do appreciate the basic point that perhaps your spouse should not be your best friend. Read it and see if you agree.

J. I. Packer: In His Own Words

Here’s a neat little documentary about J.I. Packer. (The documentary goes along with this new biography that I am reading and thoroughly enjoying.)

China’s One-Child Policy

Joe Carter has a helpful FAQ on China’s one-child policy and the recent change to make it a two-child policy.

Porn Use as Grounds for Divorce

I am so glad to see Christians thinking and writing about this difficult topic. Here Luke Gilkerson tells how his opinion on the matter has changed over the past couple of years (which coincided with his master’s thesis on the topic).

Matt Bevin

Yesterday Matt Bevin was elected Governor of Kentucky. Denny Burk says, “As that news ripples across the country, what may not be as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach.”

This Day in 1884. C.T. Studd, one of the Cambridge Seven, meets Hudson Taylor 131 years ago today, and is accepted for service in the China Inland Mission. *

Thoughts

I enjoyed Lisa’s article titled simply “Thoughts.” “ ‘I don’t think stuff anymore,’ I told my husband awhile back. He assured me that I did, in fact, think, and think loads of stuff, just maybe it’s the stuff and the kind of thinking that’s changed. Not necessarily less than, just different.”

How Do Drugs Get Their Names?

Prescription drugs, that is. This video explains why one drug may have many different names, and also explains how it gets those names.

Teens and Media

Here’s one for parents to read and consider. “Teenagers spend nearly nine hours a day absorbing media and despite all the new options, music and television remain the favorites.”


A Quiz on the Doctrine of Scripture

A Quiz on ChristGod has spoken and God speaks. God has spoken and continues to speak through the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. How well do you know the doctrine of the Scripture? How well do you know what the Bible tells us about the Bible? This short thirty-three question quiz is designed to help you find out.

Sources & Recommended Resources

Other Doctrine Quizzes


The Daily Discovery (November 4, 2015)

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

Feds Rule to Force High School Girls to Undress Next to Naked Boys Who Think They’re Girls – “On Monday, the federal government declared itself fit for the madhouse by mandating that a Chicago high school allow a full biological male into the girls’ locker room for all purposes, including nudity. This biological male, the feds determined, was different because he thinks he is a female.”

The Blind Eyes of Abortion – “The human eyeball is an amazing creation. More than 120 million photoreceptor cells help us see. Some of those photoreceptor cells even help us sleep. An evolutionary scientist, writing in the journal Neuroscience, describes it as ‘an exquisitely complicated organ.’ Volumes of poetry have been written about eyes and the sublime experience of looking into the eyes of a lover. The bridegroom in the Song of Solomon refers to his bride’s eyes several times: ‘Behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves’ (Song of Solomon 1:15).”

Pray For Your Children’s Salvation – “The salvation of our children is priceless; their spiritual needs far outweigh their physical needs. They need our prayers—our earnest prayers with hearts aflame, both for their initial repentance and coming to Christ by faith, and for their life of ongoing growth in faith. Matthew Henry rightly declared that it is of far more value for parents who die to leave behind a treasury of prayers for their children than it is to leave behind a treasury of silver and gold.”

Are You A Faker? – “My family recently had a birthday party for my oldest daughter Claire. We invited mostly family and a few of her friends from school. We’ve tried to make reasonable rules for our home. There’s one particular show she’s asked to watch several times this year; we’ve explained we don’t necessarily think it’s wrong for her to watch it, but we do feel it’s not best. We’ve explained some of the reasons for our thinking. After her party, one of her friends requested to watch the show as we were choosing a movie. Before we had the chance to respond, I noticed Claire lean over and whisper, ‘I’ve watched that one before, but we’re gonna watch a movie.’ Apparently the new interest in this show had came from this friend, and my daughter was being a faker.

The Rise of Fundamentalism – “The god of religious tolerance is not the God of the Bible. It is Satan who doesn’t care what we believe—or how sincerely we believe it—as long as we don’t believe God’s Word. To portray God as tolerant of all forms of worship is to deny the God of Scripture. After all, this was His first commandment: ‘I am the Lord your God. . . . You shall have no other gods before Me’ (Exodus 20:2–3). If we believe the Bible, we cannot concede that other religions might be true as well. Christianity, if true at all, is exclusively true. Inherent in the claims of Christ is the assertion that He alone offers truth—and all religious systems that deviate from His truth are false (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).”


SERMON:

Matt Chandler – The Apostle’s Creed (Part 7): He Ascended to Heaven, and Sits on the Right Hand of the Father


VIDEOS:

Churches are Using Carnal Means to Attract Visitors

Be a Man… Biblically.


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



READING:  Matthew 22, Mark 12

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  The Sadducees denied the possibility of resurrection, but they nevertheless tried to set Jesus up by their question about marriage in the afterlife. “If a woman’s been married to seven different brothers after each one dies successively, whose wife would she be in resurrection?” they asked. Jesus’ response was clear:

Matt. 22:24 Jesus told them, “Are you not deceived because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God?”

They didn’t know the Scriptures well enough to know the Bible teaches the reality of resurrection, and they didn’t understand the power of God enough to know that He could give eternal life quite different from our earthly existence. Nor did they know the power of God in their own lives. They were religious leaders who knew neither God’s Word nor His power.

I can only wonder if we ever live the same way. We say we believe the Word, but we don’t know it well enough to answer the questions of critics. We talk about the power of God, but we struggle with believing that God really is capable of doing all things.

Sometimes, we, too, are religious leaders who don’t know God’s Word or His power. God forgive us.

ACTION STEPS: Honestly evaluate how well you know the Bible. Then prayerfully consider how evident the power of God is in your life. Take sufficient time to respond to your conclusions by being honest with God.

PRAYER: “Father, give me a longing for Your Word and a desire to know Your power. Remind us powerfully that You remain the present-tense God of resurrection.”


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.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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— Augustine

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November 4, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

IMG_2809


Nov. 4, 2015

BLOOMBERG

This U.S. earnings season is on track to be the worst since 2009 as profits from oil & gas and commodity-related companies plummet. So far, about three-quarters of the S&P 500 have reported results, with profits down 3.1 percent on a share-weighted basis.

A handful of landowners-about 500 farms in all-control the rights to 3.1 million acre-feet a year from the Colorado River. That’s equal to about a third of the water used by California’s cities, with 37 million people, where a four-year drought means neighbors report you if your lawn is green. Its half again as much water as Governor Jerry Brown aims to save under his April executive order, which set a February 2016 deadline for a 25 percent reduction in urban use. An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons and can supply the household needs of about 10 people for a year, though actual water use rates vary widely.

The U.S. trade gap shrank 15 percent to $40.8 billion in September to a seven-month low, reflecting declining purchases of foreign fuel as the world’s largest economy continued its drive toward energy independence.

The oilfields remain, but the last wheat farms have just disappeared to save the aquifers supplying them. For the first time, Saudi Arabia will rely almost completely on wheat imports in 2016, a reversal from its policy of self-sufficiency.

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup are among eight large U.S. banks that may have credit grades cut by Standard & Poor’s on the prospect that the U.S. government is less likely to provide aid in a crisis.

AP Top Stories

Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal Tuesday that would have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana in a single stroke – a vote-getting strategy that was being watched as a potential test case for the nation.

Ireland is now considering doing away with serious penalties for possessing drugs altogether. According to the minister in charge of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy, the country is in need of a “radical cultural shift” that includes decriminalizing small amounts of cocaine, heroin and marijuana for personal use.

Rebels shot down a Syrian government warplane with anti-aircraft fire on Wednesday in the western province of Hama, forcing its pilot to eject.

Asian carp are on the move in Illinois, and that could spell bad news for the Great Lakes. Since the beginning of the year, juvenile carp have moved 66 miles closer to the lake, according to the FWS. “It’s the furthest we’ve seen in sampling of juvenile carp going back 12-to-15 years.” If the carp finally reach Lake Michigan, they could severely impact native species, including threatened and endangered fish, mollusks, plants, mammals, insects, and reptiles.

The U.S. State Department has approved a longstanding request from Italy to arm its two MQ-9 Reaper drones with Hellfire missiles, laser-guided bombs and other munitions, U.S. officials said.

NATO is putting on its most fearsome display of military might in over a decade, a choreographed large-scale movement of soldiers, ships and planes meant to hone its capabilities as well as transmit an unmistakable signal to Russia and other possible foes.

The cargo ship El Faro broke up partially when it sank off the Bahamas in a hurricane last month and its bridge and voyage data recorder are missing, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.

Suburban Denver voters on Tuesday ousted three conservative school board members who changed the way teachers are paid and briefly considered reviewing a U.S. history curriculum to promote patriotism.

An ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people in Houston failed to win approval from voters on Tuesday.

The Syrian army regained control of a road southeast of Aleppo, taking back the government’s only supply route into the city from Islamic State fighters who had seized it last month.

A rare trio of earthquakes shook central Arizona Sunday (Nov. 1), startling residents in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. The largest quake was a magnitude-4.1 temblor. It was preceded by a magnitude-3.2 foreshock and was followed by a magnitude-4.0 Smaller aftershocks may follow.

Microsoft’s “Windows lifecycle fact sheet” shows October 31, 2016, as the “end of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled” for both Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1. After that date, the only choice for consumers will be to purchase new computers with Windows 10 installed.

BBC

Greece has flown 30 refugees to Luxembourg in the first round of relocations under the EU’s plan to redistribute migrants.

Forensic experts have been sent to the Mexican town of Carrizalillo to examine human remains found in a number of mass graves, where 43 students disappeared over a year ago.

WND

The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling.

More than 350 languages are spoken at home in the U.S., the Census Bureau reported.

Salt Lake City voters elected Jackie Biskupski as Utah’s first openly gay mayor and only the second female top executive in the capital city.

A new study released by the American Psychological Association says male rape is underreported in the U.S. military. A true approximation of the problem may even be “15 times higher than has been previously reported.”

A Pennsylvania couple’s bid to enter into a same-sex marriage has hit an unusual snag – because the pair are technically father and son. While same-sex couples can wed, parents and children cannot.

Bill Gates, the world’s richest man thinks only socialism – and skyrocketing gas prices – can save the world from climate change.


 

Top News – 11/4/2015

MSNBC panel calls Ben Carson a ‘safe negro’
Williams replied by smearing Carson. “Which is one in terms of having the… having the ‘safe negro’ comment on someone that you’re against,” she said. MSNBC liberal commentators are all class.

The Northwest’s Next Big Earthquake Predicted with New Map
Scientists may be able to predict the source of the Northwest’s next big earthquake. Researchers have mapped the mantle under the tectonic plate that is colliding with the Pacific Northwest and putting Seattle, Portland and Vancouver at risk of earthquakes and tsunamis.

First Significant Winter Storm to Impact the Colorado Rockies Wednesday into Thursday
A complex storm system will bring heavy snow and wind to eastern Utah and much of the Colorado Rockies Wednesday into Thursday. Elevations above 7000 feet could see one foot or more of snowfall.

Obama’s Failure as a Leader Foretold in an Ancient Jewish Prophecy
Barack Obama is a parallel Pharoah figure in today’s world. His suitability for the post has been an issue that has dogged him since before he was elected. His behavior connected to the nuclear deal with Iran was obstinate, as if a divine force was hardening his heart. He showed a clear disregard for national security, providing weapons and resources to Iran while they screamed ‘Death to America’ in the streets.

Current terror wave: 1553 arrests and 437 indictments served
Unprecedented amount of arrests and indictments served since Rosh Hashanah: Significant decrease in stabbing attacks in Jerusalem the last three weeks due to increase in police presence.

Car bomb kills 6 in Sinai, ISIS in Egypt claims responsibility
A car bomb targeting a policeman’s club in the Egyptian city of El Arish killed six people and wounded 10 on Wednesday, security sources said. Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate, Sinai Province, claimed responsibility for the attack, which it described as a suicide bombing.

Three Earthquakes Hit Alor, Damaging Dozens of Homes
TEMPO.CO, Kupang – A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook Alor, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), on Wednesday, November 4, damaging dozens of houses in the region.

5.2 magnitude quake hits
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the quake struck at 1:14 p.m. on Wednesday. The epicenter of the quake was recorded 88 kilometers southwest of Pandeglang regency Banten, at a depth of 10 kilometers. There is no risk of a tsunami from the earthquake, the BMKG reported.

American Jews growing more religious, poll indicates
American Jews appear to be growing steadily more religious, faster than most other communities in the United States, according to a new Pew poll published Tuesday.

Houston votes to repeal LGBT nondiscrimination law
Voters in Houston on Tuesday rejected an ordinance to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination, the Associated Press said.

AURORAS OVER THE USA
A unusual stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth’s magnetic field, causing G1-class geomagnetic storms around the poles. The stream is unusual not only because it is very fast (700+ km/s), but also because it has a series of shock waves or “transients” embedded in it–at least 3 so far.

Iraq’s ruling alliance, militias urge PM to seek Russian strikes
Iraq’s ruling alliance and powerful Shi’ite militias have urged Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to request Russian air strikes on Islamic State militants, who control large parts of the country, members of the coalition and militias told Reuters.

Study may have found evidence of alternate, parallel universes
…An astrophysicist says he may have found evidence of alternate or parallel universes by looking back in time to just after the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago. While mapping the so-called “cosmic microwave background,” which is the light left over from the early universe, scientist Ranga-Ram Chary found what he called a mysterious glow, the International Business Times reported.

Verizon Begins Scanning and Censoring Customer Emails
A news radio station in New York reports that the broadband and telecommunications company Verizon is now scanning customer email. If email contains a hyperlink to a website, the email is rejected and not sent to the recipient…After a customer complained…the corporation told him there isn’t a way to op-out of the program. “Verizon scans the digital signatures …and all email containing a hyperlink will be considered spam.

There’s a Hole in the Sun That’s Going to Make the Skies Dazzle
Get ready for a light show. The sun’s about to spit charged particles our way. And that solar wind of protons and electrons will interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to light up the skies with a dazzling display of color through Wednesday. The solar wind coming out of a hole on the sun will almost certainly spark an aurora that may be seen by millions of people.

Debt ceiling lifted, and the same day, debt jumps $339B
The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling. That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place.

Obama will decide on Keystone pipeline during his term
The White House has said it intends to rule on the fate of the Keystone XL oil pipeline before the end of President Barack Obama’s term. The company behind the pipeline, TransCanada, had wanted to delay the approval process until after his term. The White House said on Tuesday “there might be politics at play” in the decision by TransCanada.

Ash cloud from Indonesia’s Mt Rinjani grounds Bali-bound flights
Some flights to and from Bali have been cancelled for a second day due to a drifting ash cloud from Mt Rinjani, east of the Indonesian holiday island. Denpasar Airport was closed on Tuesday, grounding all flights as officials reassessed the risk posed by the plume. All Virgin Australia and Jetstar flights were cancelled on Wednesday, whilst Air Asia said at least 13 of its flights had been affected.

Taiwan and China to hold historic summit in Singapore
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Singapore on Saturday – the first ever meeting between leaders of the two sides. Both said the talks would focus on relations across the Taiwan Straits. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and views the island as a breakaway province which will one day be reunited with the mainland.

Egypt’s President Sisi defends sweeping security laws
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has defended Egypt’s sweeping security laws, insisting he is still taking the country on a path to democracy. Ahead of a visit to the UK, Mr Sisi told the BBC that Egypt was threatened by extremist groups and feared the collapses suffered by its neighbours. He underlined that Egypt’s situation was different to that of Europe.

Ohioans reject legalizing marijuana
Ohioans pushed a monopoly marijuana-legalization proposal out the door Tuesday by a nearly 2-to-1 vote. But the question is, will pot make a comeback?

The Top Seven Most Christian-friendly Companies Revealed
Faith Driven Consumer recently revealed the top seven companies that are most in-tune with Christians and most effectively marketing to them.

Egypt’s Sisi calls for NATO help in Libya ‘vacuum’
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for NATO powers to help rebuild Libya, beset by violence since an uprising backed by the Western military alliance toppled leader Moamer Kadhafi, in an interview.

‘Ancient Greek citadel’ discovered under Jerusalem car park
Israel’s antiquities body claimed Tuesday to have solved “one of Jerusalem’s greatest archaeological mysteries” by unearthing an ancient Greek citadel — the Acra — buried under a car park.

Billy Graham’s Warning to American Churches: ‘Prepare for Persecution’
The Rev. Billy Graham has issued a written warning to America’s churches: “Prepare for persecution.” The renowned preacher and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association penned a commentary that was posted on his website last week and is slated to appear in the November edition of Decision magazine.

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Putin?
These are all understandable reasons for Putin’s involvement in Syria, but should Israel be concerned? Not really. Netanyahu met with Putin a couple of weeks ago in a clear ex‎pression of coordination, if not cooperation. It’s extremely unlikely that Putin would cross Israel’s red lines concerning Russian support for Assad, which shouldn’t be extended toencompass support for the Hezbollah terrorists who have assisted their ally Assad.


Top Headlines – 11/4/2015

A ‘Cold War 2.0’ playing out in the Middle East

On Europe trip, Abbas gets red carpet – and some hard questions

EU ambassador: ‘Territory beyond the Green Line is not part of Israel,’ defends settlement labeling

Hotovely: Those who label settlement products are boycotting Israel

Herzog: Settlement product labeling is ‘European prize for terror’

Netanyahu Is Bringing a $4.5 Billion-a-Year Arms Wish List to Obama

Israel hints at air force cooperation with Jordan, Egypt

Jordanian combat pilots flew with Israel counterparts in recent US exercise

Sudanese citizen tried to kill Israeli on int’l flight

Stronghold for terror: Russian plane crash puts spotlight on lawless Sinai

Metrojet Plunged at 300 Miles Per Hour, Latest Data Shows

Russian plane crash: state of bodies suggests mid-air explosion

Egyptian authorities: No proof that Russian plane broke up in mid-air

Pentagon official says ‘there is no way’ Russian airliner was shot down

Russia says not crucial to keep Syria’s Assad in power

Russia stance on Assad suggests divergence with Iran

Defense Ministry: Russia says has hit 2,084 militant targets so far in Syria

US and Russia conduct joint air drills in Syria

After reports of Israeli strikes in Syria, Ya’alon issues warning

Three suspected ISIS jihadis arrested before carrying out terror attack in Madrid

Migrant crisis pushing Germany towards ‘anarchy and civil war’

Al-Qaida: ISIS divides Muslims instead of targeting Jews and Christians

Egypt’s Sisi calls for NATO help in Libya ‘vacuum’

Kerry reassures Afghanistan’s neighbors, urges against govt crackdowns

Anger over Bucharest nightclub fire spirals into demands for PM to resign

China urges US not to threaten its sovereignty

US might take more steps to relax Cuba embargo

Man bombed Wal-Mart because it stopped selling Confederate flags, police say

Security layers at US airports ‘simply missing,’ probe finds

Teens spend more time on media each day than sleeping, survey finds

Debt ceiling lifted, and the same day, debt jumps $339B

Trump: Fed keeping interest rates low to help Obama

Sirloin Swipers: High Beef Costs Lead To More Meat Thefts, Experts Say

‘Coronal hole’ in sun could make for magnificent aurora borealis

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Dili, East Timor

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Dili, East Timor

Small earthquake is measured 17 miles from Bar Harbor, Maine

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 24,000ft

Rinjani volcano in Indonesia erupts to 20,000ft

More Bali flights cancelled due to lingering ash cloud from Mount Rinjani

Yemen’s Rare Cyclone Puts the Country Underwater

Cyclone Chapala Could Bring Eight Years Worth of Rain to War-Torn Yemen

Storms Bring Major Flooding to South Australia

Fiji leader says Pacific ‘doomed’ if climate talks fail

Lawmakers sound alarm over failing ObamaCare co-ops

Iraq combats cholera with massive vaccination campaign

More Americans Than Ever Use Prescription Drugs

Number of Americans using 5 or more drugs nearly doubles

Ohioans reject legalizing marijuana

Houston LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance rejected by voters

Father, Adopted Son Seek Right To Marry Each Other

Most Christians in America Now Support Homosexuality?

Christian Voters Support Houston’s Transgender Bathroom Ordinance, LGBT Activists Claim

Americans becoming less religious, especially young adults: poll

Pew study: More Americans reject religion, but believers firm in faith

Number of Americans ‘Certain’ About God Falls to 63 Percent

Vatican scandal heats up with revelations of greed, intrigue

It’s Pastor Idolatry Month at Elevation Church

Congratulations! Dr. Juanita Bynum To Be Appointed Bishop

‘Church of Lucifer’ Opens in Texas Amid Protests

Twelve Established and Proven Marks of Wicked, Diabolical “Church Leaders”

Houston Transvestite Bathroom Ordinance Defeated by Wide Margin

Illinois School District Defies Feds – Refuses to Allow Boy in Girls’ Locker Room 


Frontrunning: November 04

  • Euro zone growth weak in October, China services rally (Read More)
  • Stocks Rise With European Bonds on Stimulus Outlook; Euro Falls (Read More)
  • VW Sinks Deeper Into Crisis as Scandal Spreads to More Cars (Read More)
  • Republicans ask IRS to audit Clinton charity’s finances (Read More)
  • PBOC Inadvertently Boosts Stocks With Dated Zhou Comments (Read More)
  • As China’s Economy Slows, Consumers Pick Up Some of the Slack (Read More)
  • Plane crashes in South Sudan, witnesses say dozens killed (Read More)
  • Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Rejected by Voters (Read More)
  • Probe Widens Into Treasury Debt Auctions (Read More)
  • Greece May Win 2 Billion-Euro Payout by Monday, EU Official Says (Read More)
  • Sen. Bob Corker Profits on Quick Stock Trades (Read More)
  • Japan Post Bank May Shift Some of Its Investments to Stocks (Read More)
  • Shrinking Financial Aid Curbs Impact of Slowing College Tuition Increases (Read More)
  • Lonmin Says May ‘Cease Trading’ If $400 Million Share Sale Fails (Read More)
  • China Southern Chairman Si Probed for ‘Serious’ Violations (Read More)
  • Turing Commits to Modest Price Reduction on a Drug (Read More)
  • Obama’s counterterrorism chief takes fresh stab at closing Guantanamo (Read More)
  • Iceland Raises Key Rate as Exit From Capital Controls Looms (Read More)
  • Chipotle now linked to 35 confirmed E. coli cases (Read More)
  • Merkel Ally Says Government Will Survive Refugee Turmoil (Read More)
  • Saudi Wells Running Dry — of Water — Spell End of Desert Wheat (Read More)

 

The Briefing

1) Illinois school rebuked by government for denying transgender unrestricted locker room access

Feds: Palatine district discriminated against transgender student by barring her from girls’ locker room, Chicago Tribune (Duaa Eldeib)

Illinois District Violated Transgender Student’s Rights, U.S. Says, New York Times (Mitch Smith and Monica Davey)

Letter to Superintendent Cates, Office for Civil Rights

Feds: Schools Must Grant Mentally Disturbed Boy Unfettered Access to Girls’ Locker Room, National Review (David French)

2) Rise of white, middle-age deaths in US reflects consequences of moral behaviors

Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds, New York Times (Gina Kolata)

The Death Rate Is Rising for Middle-Aged Whites, Wall Street Journal (Betsy McKay)

3) ‘Nones’ supplant Catholics as largest group in Democratic Party 

Religious ‘Nones’ Multiply in Both U.S. Political Parties, Wall Street Journal (Tamara Audi)

In other news…

Man bombed Wal-Mart because it stopped selling Confederate flags, police say, Washington Post (Lindsey Bever)

ObamaCare’s Cascading Co-op Failures, Wall Street Journal (Adrian Smith)

Small Towns Face Rising Suicide Rates, New York Times (Laura Beil)

In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law, The New York Times (Michael Corkery & Jessica Silver-Greenberg)

21 Facts About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Will Blow Your Mind

Poverty In America - Public DomainWhat you are about to see is more evidence that the growth of poverty in the United States is wildly out of control.  It turns out that there is a tremendous amount of suffering in “the wealthiest nation on the planet”, and it is getting worse with each passing year.  During this election season, politicians of all stripes are running around telling all of us how great we are, but is that really true?  As you will see below, poverty is reaching unprecedented levels in this country, and the middle class is steadily dying.  There aren’t enough good jobs to go around, dependence on the government has never been greater, and it is our children that are being hit the hardest.  If we have this many people living on the edge of despair now, while times are “good”, what are things going to look like when our economy really starts falling apart?  The following are 21 facts about the explosive growth of poverty in America that will blow your mind… (Read More….)


18 Numbers That Scream That A Crippling Global Recession Has Arrived

Scream - Public DomainThe stock market has been soaring, but all of the hard economic numbers are telling us that a major global recession is here.  This is so reminiscent of what happened back in 2008.  Back then, all of the fundamentals were screaming “recession” by the middle of that year, but the equity markets didn’t respond until later.  It appears that a similar pattern is playing out right now.  The trade numbers, the manufacturing numbers, the inventory numbers and even the GDP numbers are all saying that a very significant economic slowdown is happening, but stock traders haven’t gotten the memo yet.  In fact, stocks had an absolutely great month in October.  Of course just like in 2008, stocks will eventually catch up with reality.  It is just a matter of time.  The following are 18 numbers that scream that a crippling global recession has arrived… (Read More…)


Drugged Into Oblivion: Nearly 60 Percent Of All U.S. Adults Are On Prescription Drugs

Pill Bottle - Public DomainIf you have a health problem, even if it is just an imaginary one, some giant pharmaceutical company out there is probably making a pill for it.  According to shocking new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 59 percent of all U.S. adults are on at least one prescription drug, and 15 percent of all U.S. adults are on at least five prescription drugs.  These numbers have never been higher, and they tell us that the United States is the most drugged nation on the entire planet.  And it turns out that pushing these drugs on the American people is extremely profitable.  For instance, Americans spent 100 billion dollars on cancer drugs alone last year.  That isn’t “million” with an “m” – that is “billion” with a “b”.  The profits that some of these pharmaceutical companies are making are absolutely obscene, and it is our pain and suffering that is making them rich. (Read More…)


Monica Crowley on Today’s Totalitarian Left

NOTE: Be sure to read this outstanding interview of Monica Crowley if you want to understand how the Democrat Party has morphed into a totalitarian bunch of far Leftists out to destroy all that is good.–OTM

On the Fox show Outnumbered Thursday, Newt Gingrich referred to liberals as “the totalitarian Left.” That same day, on Fox Business’s Varney & Co, political commentator Monica Crowley remarked that the Democrats of today, seeking a fundamental transformation of America, are not the classical liberals of the past.

View Article


The UN Plans To Implement Universal Biometric Identification For All Of Humanity By 2030

Did you know that the United Nations intends to have biometric identification cards in the hands of every single man, woman and child on the entire planet by the year 2030? And did you know that a central database in Geneva, Switzerland will be collecting data from many of these cards?…………..  Click here for full story


Artificial Intelligence Coming To A Playroom Near You

Almost everyone had at least one toy that they would talk to as a child and imagine the responses from the other side. Well, those days might be well and truly in the past as toys loaded with complex artificial intelligence are all set to be the biggest rage this holiday season.‎…………  Click here for full story


One Of The Most Dangerous Volcanoes In North America Is Roaring To Life

More than 25 million people live in the vicinity of North America’s 2nd-highest volcano, and in recent weeks this volcano has been steadily rumbling and has been spewing out massive amounts of black smoke and ash……………  Click here for full story


U.N. Planning Court To Judge U.S. For ‘Climate Justice’

At the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, participating nations have prepared a treaty that would create an “International Tribunal of Climate Justice” giving Third World countries the power to haul the U.S. into a global court with enforcement powers……………  Click here for full story


Spy Vs Spy – Israel And The US

Despite having been staunch political and military allies over many years, relations between the U.S and Israel have increasingly become strained. Much of this souring of relations has been due to the perception of an increasing bias in U.S support, towards the Arab nations sworn to the destruction of Israel.……….  Click here for full story


Stunning Warning: War Coming To Europe

With millions of Muslim migrants pouring into Europe, some experts are warning the continent faces a future of revolution, civil war or surrender to Islamic rule…………….  Click here for full story


Might offend non-Christians? Man told to remove Christmas display

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:56 AM PST

Jeremy Morris, of Hayden, Idaho, loves to go all out for Christmas. Think Clark Griswald on steroids. His annual Christmas display includes tens of thousands of lights, a Living Nativity, a 22-voice choir and a camel named Dolly. Folks travel from all over town to experience the larger-than-life Christmas display – and spectators say it is indeed something to behold. But the West Hayden Estates First Addition Homeowners Association does not share Jeremy’s yuletide cheer.

Last year, he purchased a home in their neighborhood – with hopes of making his annual holiday event bigger and better. It takes about three months to install all the lights and the decorations – so the Morrises are already hauling out the holly and reindeer and other holiday accessories. Hence, the war on Christmas in Autumn. FULL REPORT

The post Might offend non-Christians? Man told to remove Christmas display appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Ancient fortress discovery may solve one of Jerusalem’s great archaeological mysteries

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:51 AM PST

Archaeologists in Israel believe they have found the remains of an ancient Greek fortification used to control the Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago. The citadel was recently uncovered during archaeological excavations in a parking lot at the City of David, which is in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.

The Greek fortifications, known as the Acra, were built during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes to control the city and monitor activity in the Temple. However, the Acra’s exact location has been one of Jerusalem’s great archaeological mysteries, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. “It has been an open question in the archaeology of Jerusalem,” Excavation Director Doron Ben-Ami told FoxNews.com. “For hundreds of years scholars, archaeologists and historians have been looking for the location of this Acra and many, many different locations have been suggested.” FULL REPORT

The post Ancient fortress discovery may solve one of Jerusalem’s great archaeological mysteries appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Bob Jones’ 1985 ‘Kansas City Royals’ Prophecy Stirs Hope for Revival

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:42 AM PST

The Kansas City Royals rallied to win the World Series on Sunday, and many in Kansas City and beyond are shouting for joy—even if they are not hardcore baseball fans. That’s because they are believing the prophets and hoping to prosper. Indeed, the win was not only significant because it was the first time in 30 years the Royals took home the championship; it’s significant because it fulfills a string of prophecies and stirs hope in the hearts of many contending for revival in Kansas City and America.

Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC), shares a Bob Jones prophecy in the ministry’s prophetic history. He explains that Jones prophesied during the 1985 World Series: “God, the Holy Spirit is going to create worldwide attention to be focused on Kansas City … That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. The Lord is going to do it through the baseball game. “It looks like Kansas City is down and out and will never make it and suddenly at 5 till 12 the Lord brings the victory in. That’s the spiritual message over this movement breaking forth in this city. When it looks like it is five till twelve and Kansas City is counted out. Suddenly at 5 till 12 the Lord’s breaking in victory.” FULL REPORT

The post Bob Jones’ 1985 ‘Kansas City Royals’ Prophecy Stirs Hope for Revival appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Lombok volcano ash forces cancellation of Bali flights

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:36 AM PST

An ash cloud from an eruption on Lombok’s Mount Rinjani has led to flight cancellations in and out Bali airport on Tuesday (Nov 3). Authorities decided to close Ngurah Rai International Airport for four hours until 11.30pm (1530 GMT) so they could assess the risk posed by a large ash cloud drifting from Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on the nearby island of Lombok. Airport manager Trikora Harjo said the situation would be re-evaluated as the evening went on but unless conditions improved the airport could remain shut.

“If there’s any chance available (to reopen the airport) I will, but if not, I will continue to keep it closed,” he told AFP, adding he did not yet know how many flights would be affected. In a statement, Jetstar said it had cancelled all remaining flights “to and from Bali following assessment of the latest information from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC),” with Singapore, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne among the affected destinations. Virgin Australia “has cancelled all flights to and from” Bali, reported Sky News Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald said that both airlines announced that volcanic ash “made flying conditions unsafe.” FULL REPORT

The post Lombok volcano ash forces cancellation of Bali flights appeared first on End Time Headlines.

U.S. factory orders fall, inventory liquidation under way

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:31 AM PST

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell for a second straight month in September as the manufacturing sector continues to struggle under the weight of a strong dollar and deep spending cuts by energy companies. Motor vehicle production, however, remains a bright spot as orders surged in September. That trend is likely to persist as automakers reported on Tuesday that sales in October were the best in 14 years.

“This morning’s report provides little new signal on the state of U.S. manufacturing. Demand for many categories of manufactured goods continues to struggle from the effect of a stronger dollar, weak foreign demand and lower energy prices,” said Jesse Hurwitz, an economist at Barclays in New York. The Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods declined 1.0 percent after a downwardly revised 2.1 percent drop in August. Factory orders were previously reported to have declined 1.7 percent in August. FULL REPORT

The post U.S. factory orders fall, inventory liquidation under way appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Houston residents vote down LGBT equal rights measure

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:25 AM PST

Houston’s controversial equal rights ordinance failed by a wide margin Tuesday, with voters opting to repeal the law that offered broad non-discrimination protections, according to incomplete and unofficial returns. The hotly contested election has spurred national attention, drawing comment from the White House and the state’s top officials. Largely conservative opponents of the law allege that it would allow men dressed as women, including sexual predators, to enter women’s restrooms.

Supporters of the law, including Mayor Annise Parker, argue that it extends an important local recourse for a range of protected classes to respond to discrimination. Supporters released a written statement Tuesday night: “We are disappointed with today’s outcome, but our work to secure nondiscrimination protections for all hard-working Houstonians will continue. No one should have to live with the specter of discrimination hanging over them. Everyone should have the freedom to work hard, earn a decent living and provide for themselves and their families.” FULL REPORT

The post Houston residents vote down LGBT equal rights measure appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Obama to go ‘full Mussolini’ after election

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:15 AM PST

Conservative radio host Mark Levin warned the American public during a Fox News television appearance that President Obama has nothing to lose in his last couple years in office and will press forward with aggression and fervor to realize his agenda. Mr. Obama will go “full Mussolini” after the November elections wrap, in comparison to the past few years, when he’s been mostly a “statist,” Mr. Levin said.

Without further elections to worry about, Mr. Obama will be freed to “further screw up the country,” Mr. Levin said, on the Fox News segment with host Sean Hannity. He also said Republicans shouldn’t be so “timid” heading into the midterms, because they have a great opportunity to make some long-lasting political gains. FULL REPORT

The post Obama to go ‘full Mussolini’ after election appeared first on End Time Headlines.

The Muslim Migrant Invasion Is Permanently Changing The Face Of Europe

Posted: 03 Nov 2015 09:50 PM PST

CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAID MONDAY THAT GERMANY WILL HAVE TO CONDUCT FOREIGN POLICY “MUCH MORE ACTIVELY” AS IT CONFRONTS A RAPIDLY GLOBALIZING WORLD IN THE FORM OF ITS BIGGEST REFUGEE CRISIS SINCE WORLD WAR II.

We’re experiencing something we’ve never experienced before — that conflicts that appear to be far away suddenly are here on our doorstep,” Merkel told a meeting of her Christian Democratic Union in the western city of Darmstadt. Merkel offered some support on the issue of setting up so-called transit zones for refugees flooding across the border, saying those coming from countries of safe origin must be sent back “as quickly as possible.” Still, the plan supported by Merkel’s Bavarian allies won’t resolve the crisis, because “there are so many” making their way to Germany. FULL REPORT

The post The Muslim Migrant Invasion Is Permanently Changing The Face Of Europe appeared first on End Time Headlines.

 


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.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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

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— Augustine

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TMS: The Fruit of Sanctification

The apostle Peter exhorted his Christian audience, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pet 1:14–16). Just as OT believers were called to reflect the holy God in their character and behavior (Lev 11:44; 19:2; 20:7), NT believers are called to the same standard.

This holy lifestyle that is to characterize the Christian is defined by theologians as an aspect of “present or progressive sanctification.” The need for the believer to grow in progressive sanctification is underscored by the exhortation in Heb 12:15, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”

The seriousness with which Christians in the past responded to this appeal for progressive sanctification (i.e., holiness) is articulated by J. I. Packer:

There was a time when all Christians laid great emphasis on the reality of God’s call to holiness and spoke deep insights about His enabling of us for it. Evangelical Protestants, in particular, offered endless variations on the themes of what God’s holiness requires of us, what our holiness involves for us, by what means and through what disciplines the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, and the ways in which holiness increases our assurance and joy and usefulness to God (Packer, Rediscovering Holiness, 12).

Packer adds,

Formerly, then, holiness was highlighted throughout the Christian church. But how different it is today! To listen to our sermons and to read the books we write for each other and then to watch the zany, worldly, quarrelsome way we behave as Christian people, you would never imagine that once the highway of holiness was clearly marked out for Bible believers, so that ministers and people knew what it was and could speak in the saint (ibid., 199–220).

There are many NT terms that could be studied as an introduction to the attitudes and actions that should be visible in the life of the Christian believer. For example, the term “walk” is used to describe and define the conduct expected of a saint (see Rom 13:13; Gal 5:16; Eph 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15; Col 1:10; 2:6; 4:5; 1 Thes 2:12; 4:1, 12; 1 John 1:7; 2:6; 3 John 3, 4). Or the concept of “put off/put on” can be traced as it gives insight into the pre- and post- Christian behavior of a believer (see Eph 4:22–32; Col 3:8–17). Further, the commands given to believers to obey could be listed (see John 13:35–35; 1 John 2:3–11; 3:23–24; 4:21; 5:2–3; 2 John 4–6).

One prominent New Testament metaphor is that of “fruit,” used to describe what Scripture teaches about progressive sanctification in relation to its visible outcomes in the life of the Christian.

The Term “Fruit”

The term “fruit” is widespread in Scripture. It is introduced in Genesis 1 and its final use is found in Revelation 22. In both of those passages it refers to the edible produce of trees (Gen 1:11–12; Rev 22:1–2). This basic meaning of “fruit,” the edible product of a tree, is found throughout the OT and NT (Lev 23:40; 26:4, 20; 27:30; Neh 10:35. 37; Ps 1:3; 148:9; Eccl 2:5; Ezek 36:20; Matt 7:17–19; 21:19; Rev 22:2).

Three derived meanings of “fruit” occur from its basic, essential meaning of the produce from a tree and/or the ground. First, “fruit” is used often in the OT in the phrase “fruit of the womb,” i.e., children (Gen 30:2; Deut 7:13; 28:4, 11; 30:9; Ps 127:3; Isa 13:18). The noun “fruit” can refer to both human (Ps 21:10; Hos 9:16; Luke 1:42) and animal (Deut 28:4; 30:9) offspring. Thus, from its basic meaning of produce from the tree or the ground, “fruit” came to be used in the Bible of the produce from the womb.

Second, beginning in the OT and becoming its predominant usage in the NT, particularly in the NT letters, “fruit” is used metaphorically to refer to the actions produced by a person, the fruit of one’s life, i.e., behavior, conduct. This concept, introduced in the OT (Prov 1:31; 11:30; Isa 10:12; Jer 21:14; 32:19), is picked up and developed by NT authors (Matt 3:8; 7:16-20; Rom 6:21–22; 7:4; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9; Phil 1:11; Heb 12:11).

Third, in the NT, “fruit” can also refer to the outcome or result of one’s actions (Rom 1:13; Phil 1:22) or the wages earned (i.e., produced) by those actions (1 Cor 9:7; Phil 4:17; 2 Tim 2:6).

In Matt 7:15-20 the words of Jesus, in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, speak of the natural fruitfulness of trees and are applied to the produce of individual lives. He says:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits (Matt 7:15–20).

Jesus begins by likening the false of prophets to animals; even though they outwardly appear as sheep, “a common OT metaphor for the people of God (cf. Pss 78:52; 100:3),” they are in reality vicious wolves, ferocious natural enemies of the sheep.

Jesus then continues by using the extended plant or tree analogy. Because the false prophets will profess to be servants of God, the believers will only discern their true nature as they evaluate their speech and actions. Verses 16 and 20 repeat verbatim the same truth, inclusion. Here “fruit” is used in a metaphorical sense referring to the produce of the false teachers. Their practice will not match their profession; their actions will reveal their true character.

The essential principle taught in Matt 7:16-20 is this: just as natural fruit, the product of a tree, gives visible evidence of the tree’s life and character, so does the metaphorical fruit, the words and actions of humans, give evidence of their life and character. This is a principle that applies not only to false prophets, but to professing Christians too (cf. Jas 3:12).

Today’s article is adapted from the longer TMSJ article—Sanctification: The Biblically-Identifiable Fruit.

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