Daily Archives: November 8, 2015

Sean Carroll debates William Lane Craig on cosmology and God’s existence

WINTERY KNIGHT

Here’s the video of the debate:

Carroll was as good of a speaker as Craig in terms of style. Very easy to listen to, very quick on his feet, very civil. There was no clear winner on style.

It was difficult to assess the truth value of scientific points being made, especially for the layperson. I explained a few of them in my posts earlier this week, but I think laypeople might struggle with them if they are hearing about these things for the first time.

A couple of Craig’s slides: (click for larger images)

Slide 1 of 2:

Dr. Craig slide #1 of 2 Dr. Craig slide #1 of 2

Slide 2 of 2:

Dr. Craig slide #2 of 2 Dr. Craig slide #2 of 2

Quick summary: (this is not complete, because I couldn’t get everything they were saying noted)

Dr. Craig defended two arguments: 1) the kalam cosmological argument and the fine-tuning argument.

Dr. Craig supported the origin of…

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“If Nature Made You, What Made Nature?”

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Over the years, I have had my share of discussions about the God question with college students which include both atheists and skeptics Any attempt to point to God as an explanation for observable phenomena such as anticipatory, irreducible or specified complexity can invoke the atheist or naturalist to cry “ foul play.” When I press them further about the origins question, I mention the following from author Bruce Sheiman in his book An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity Is Better Off With Religion Than Without.  He says the general atheist scenario is the following:

Human Life = Laws of physics X chance + randomness+ accidents+luck X 3.5 billion yrs. In other words, the laws of physics for our present universe arose by chance (from a multitude of possible universes); the first forms of life developed by chance (arising by primordial soup combinations that resulted from the laws of physics plus accidents); the…

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The antichrist

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. (1 John 2:18-20 NASB)

The word that is translated from the Greek that is rendered as “antichrist” in the New Testament is “Antichristos.” It is made up of two words, “anti,” which means “instead of or against,” and “christos,” which means “anointed one.” The “anti” prefix may be reference to “substitution or opposition.” The word “antichrist” is found only…

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J.I Packer: In his own words [Video]

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Who is J. I. Packer?

He once described himself as “English by birth, Canadian by choice, Christian by conversion, and Calvinist by conviction, I speak as an evangelical who finds his home in the worldwide Anglican church family.”

Note in particular Dr. Packer’s moving closing words, when asked how he would like to be remembered:

packerAs I look back on the life that I have lived, I would like to be remembered as a voice, a voice that focused on

  • the authority of the Bible,
  • the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • the wonder of his substitutionary sacrifice and atonement for our sins.

I would like to be remembered as a voice calling Christian people to holiness and challenging lapses in Christian moral standards.

I should like to be remembered as someone who was always courteous in controversy, but without compromise.

I ask you to thank God with me for the…

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JAS: Ravi Zacharias Answers Questions From Europe (video)

Many consider Europe a post-Christian society focused on secularism and life without God. However, even in this region, students continue to ask probing spiritual questions that reveal both their interest and need for God. In this program, Ravi Zacharias and John Ankerberg look at some of the toughest questions Ravi has been asked, along with his unique manner of answering these challenges.

Watch Video

November 7-8, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

Top News – 11/8/2015

6.0-magnitude earthquake jolts Indonesia
The quake struck at 4.34 p.m. (local time) with the epicentre 85 km southwest of here in the Mandailing Natal region and with a depth of 96 km, a meteorological agency official told Xinhua news agency. The US Geological Survey put the quake intensity at 6.1 on the Richter scale.

Russian plane crash: Calls for new era of airport security after Sinai terror
A fundamental overhaul of global aviation security is required in the wake of the Russian passenger plane crash, said senior industry experts, amid fears that flight safety is being compromised at many international airports. …Egyptian airport and security officials have launched an investigation into all staff at Sharm el-Sheikh airport who came into contact with the Russian plane…

AfD Protest In Berlin Demands Stronger Borders, Calls For Merkel To Resign
The anti-mass migration Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party held a rally in the German capital Berlin this afternoon, demanding the resignation of Chancellor Angela Merkel and calling for the country to adopt a strong policy on immigration. The AfD has seen its popularity surge as Germany struggles to deal with the huge influx of migrants…

Russia plane crash: Russia says 11,000 tourists brought back from Egypt
Russia says it has flown 11,000 tourists home from Egypt in the past 24 hours, and more will return on Sunday. Moscow announced on Friday that it was suspending all flights to Egypt after a Russian plane crashed in Sinai – having initially dismissed suspicions that a bomb brought down the jet.

Burundi violence: Scores flee homes before crackdown starts
Scores of people are leaving their homes in Burundi’s capital ahead of a promised government crackdown. A cycle of violence began in April with protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third-term bid. Mr Nkurunziza gave a deadline of midnight on Saturday for Burundians to hand in illegal firearms or face being “dealt with as enemies of the nation”.

Metrojet crash cause still unclear but could benefit Putin
No matter what caused the fatal crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt, the answer will almost certainly hit Russia hard — but not President Vladimir Putin.

Senator Blasts TPP As “Global Governance”
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has wasted no time in sounding the alarm over the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which the Obama administration unveiled to the public and Congress on Thursday. “The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership runs 5,554 pages,” declared Sessions, in a statement issued Thursday, soon after the release of the text. “This is, by definition, anti-democratic,” he charged. “No individual American has the resources to ensure his or her economic and political interests are safeguarded within this vast global regulatory structure.”

Voting underway in Myanmar’s first free election for 25 years
Voting began on Sunday in Myanmar’s first free nationwide election in 25 years, the Southeast Asian nation’s biggest stride yet in a journey to democracy from dictatorship.

UK’s Cameron to give strongest warning over possible EU exit: media
British Prime Minister David Cameron will give his strongest warning this week that he might back Britain leaving the EU unless other European leaders agree to his demands for reform of the bloc, media reported on Saturday.

Noise in last second of Russian plane’s cockpit recording
A noise was heard in the last second of the cockpit voice recording from the Russian plane that crashed last week in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the head of the joint investigation team said Saturday. The statement bolstered U.S. and British suspicions that the plane was brought down by a bomb.


Top News – 11/7/2015

Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake Hits Eastern Indonesia
A 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit on Saturday the largest Indonesian province of Papua, the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) told RIA Novosti.

Earthquakes shake the Sooner State Saturday morning near Medford
A total of five earthquakes hit the Medford area early Saturday. The events ranged from magnitude 2.5 all the way up to 4.1.

Earthquake rattles southcentral Alaska
The Alaska Earthquake Center says it had a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 and was about 28 miles deep. The quake was felt in Anchorage.

5.3-magnitude quake hits mountainous Venezuela area, causing at least 1 death in landslide
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 struck a mountainous area of Venezuela’s western Merida state. Authorities say one person was killed when a rockslide hit a car.

4.1 Earthquake Rattles Oklahomans Awake
MEDFORD, Oklahoma – An earthquake woke up many Oklahomans Saturday morning. According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake hit at 5:11:54 a.m., measuring 4.1 and was centered about 9 miles northwest of Medford.

Study: Supervolcanoes triggered externally
“Typically, when we think about how a volcanic eruption is triggered, we are taught that the pressure in the magma chamber increases until it causes an explosion and the volcano erupts,” lead study author Patricia Gregg, University of Illinois professor of geology, said in a press release. “This is the prevailing hypothesis for how eruptions are triggered. At supervolcanic sites, however, we don’t see a lot of evidence for pressurization.”

U.S. general sees air strikes against Islamic State picking up
U.S. and coalition forces are likely to increase air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in coming weeks after a lull in September and October, the head of U.S. Air Forces Central Command said Saturday.

Earth faces 200 YEARS of solar radiation blasts as ‘magnetic poles shift’, say NASA
THE Earth could be left powerless to defend against blasts of solar radiation from the Sun for up to 200 YEARS, leaving us at risk from skin cancer and worldwide electronic communication blackouts, NASA scientists have warned.

CME SPARKS GEOMAGNETIC STORM
Arriving almost a full day earlier than expected, a CME struck Earth’s magnetic field on Nov. 6th at 18:00 UT. At first, the impact had little effect. As Earth moved deeper into the CME’s wake, however, a G2-class geomagnetic storm broke out.

Doctors Should Be Allowed to Carry Out Euthanasia on the Mentally Ill
Such patients should be killed even though their illness means they cannot make the choice for themselves, according to an article in the British-run Bioethics journal.

Scarlet Fever Making a Comeback
An international study led by University of Queensland (UQ) researchers has tracked the re-emergence of a childhood disease which had largely disappeared over the past 100 years.

CRISPR Gene Editing to Be Tested on People by 2017, Says Editas
Bosley said that because CRISPR can “repair broken genes” it holds promise for treating several thousand inherited disorders caused by gene mistakes, most of which, like Huntington’s disease and cystic fibrosis, have no cure.

Earthquake rocks northeast Lebanon
Residents of the Bekaa Valley in northeast Lebanon have said that they felt a small earthquake late Friday evening, according to reports from the region.

Magnitude-6.8 earthquake rocks Chile
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake rocked the central coast of Chile on Saturday, two months after another temblor struck the same area.

Nearly 600 Earthquakes in San Ramon During Recent Swarm: USGS
A total of 583 small earthquakes have shaken San Ramon, California, in the last three weeks or so – more than five times the record set 12 years ago, according to the latest US Geological Survey updates. “It’s the swarm with the largest number of total earthquakes in San Ramon,” said USGS scientist David Schwartz, who is more concerned about the size of quakes than he is the total number of them.

Doubters question ‘strange’ stock market rebound
The double-digit stock-market rebound after a bruising summer has put European shares back into positive territory for the year, but sentiment around the central-bank-fueled rally remains fragile. Weak trading volumes…have… contributed to the view that investors are being sucked into a market updraft rather than enthusiastically betting on a cyclical upturn.

Socialists ready to head left-wing coalition in Portugal
Three left-of-centre parties in Portugal say they have reached a deal to form a government after last month’s inconclusive general election. It means the centre-right coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho now looks set to fail in its attempt to stay in office. Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa fought the election promising to ease back on austerity.

Report: Israel worried Egypt’s Sisi might fall to jihadist insurgents
Israeli officials are reportedly growing concerned over the long-term viability of the current Egyptian regime in light of gains made by Islamists in their insurgency. Bloomberg News quoted a former Republican lawmaker…saying that Israeli government figures are beginning to wonder whether Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, can successfully overcome the threats…by Islamic State-inspired Salafist gunmen.

German official proposes restricted Syrian asylum status
Germany’s interior minister said Friday he wants to give many Syrians arriving in the country a form of protection that falls short of full asylum and wouldn’t allow them to bring relatives to Germany for two years.

Why Supreme Court is taking up Obamacare contraceptive mandate again
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to examine whether a government accommodation goes far enough in protecting the religious liberty of nonprofit church groups that object to portions of the contraception mandate in Obamacare.

Leaders of China, Taiwan to meet for first time in six decades
Leaders of political rivals Taiwan and China will meet on Saturday for the first time in more than 60 years for talks that come amid rising anti-Beijing sentiment on the self-ruled democratic island and weeks ahead of elections.

Putin Associate Found Dead in DC Hotel
A prominent Russian millionaire with high-level ties to the Kremlin has been found dead inside a Washington hotel, a Russian official and a senior U.S. official told ABC News. Mikhail Lesin, the former head of media affairs for the Russian government who’s been accused of curtailing the country’s press freedoms, had been staying at Hotel Dupont when he was found Thursday, according to officials.


Top Headlines – 11/8/2015

Obama and Netanyahu to meet in D.C., looking for a way past the ugliness of the Iran deal

Obama held hostage: How Iran’s using the nuke deal as license to go wild

Netanyahu expected to sell Obama on goodwill gestures to Palestinians

Netanyahu: Will discuss Middle East, Palestinians and Israel’s security with Obama

‘White House wants to boost security ties with Israel’

Steinitz: Abbas incitement proves he isn’t partner for peace

Officials: Abbas seeking Mideast allies’ support for his decisions on Israel relations

Four Israelis wounded in vehicular terror attack in West Bank

Four Israelis wounded in series of shooting and stabbing attacks in West Bank over weekend

IDF seizes homes, blocks roads in Hebron following shootings

Lapid to German TV: EU surrenders to jihad by labeling settlement products

Munich mayor snubs Israel’s request to cancel city-funded anti-Semitic BDS event

PLO launches Hebrew Facebook page to interact with Israeli society

Muslim council calls to ban all Jews from Temple Mount

Al-Aqsa preacher: Israel ‘lying’ about Temple Mount

U.S. official: ‘99.9% certain’ Russian plane was felled by bomb

Metrojet crash cause still unclear but could benefit Putin

How Russia’s military presence in Syria complicates Israeli affairs

Group: ISIS releases 37 elderly Assyrian Christians

AfD Protest In Berlin Demands Stronger Borders, Calls For Merkel To Resign

UK’s Cameron to give strongest warning over possible EU exit

Carter says Russia, China potentially threaten global order

Jeff Sessions: TPP ‘Breathtaking… Erosion of Sovereignty’

Surging U.S. job growth lowers bar for Fed rate hike

Secret military operations to divert LAX planes for a week

Missile Test off Calif. Coast Causes Streaking Light, Confusion

Earthquake of 6.1 magnitude strikes south of Sibolga, Indonesia

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Binabalian Ricor, Philippines

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Moriya, Japan

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Tarata, Peru

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ngulung Wetan, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Sabang, Indonesia

Seven earthquakes shake central Kansas, Oklahoma in 7-hour period

Meridian: Estimated 50 foot wide sinkhole swallows several vehicles in IHOP parking lot

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 30,000ft

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatks, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Rinjani volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 23,000ft

Record Siberian snow could bode ill for Northeast

Most chicken, turkey farms affected by bird flu can restock

Scarlet Fever Re-Emerges In Asia, Europe And May Be Resistant To Antibiotic

Maine gov threatens to call in National Guard to fight heroin epidemic

Governor-elect to remove clerk names from Kentucky marriage licenses

New Mormon policy on gay families is dividing even the faithful; church clarifies stance


Top Headlines – 11/7/2015

Sound of explosion heard on Russian plane’s black box, French TV reports

Kremlin says flight suspension doesn’t mean crash was terrorist act

Could Russian jet crash in Egypt prompt a change of direction for Putin and Russia?

Putin Associate Found Dead in DC Hotel

Ex-CIA head warns Russia plane tragedy could happen in US

US boosts security at Mideast airports, Russia suspends Egypt air travel

US officials: ISIS leaders boast about Egypt crash

Russia angry over ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoons poking fun at Egypt plane crash

Egypt says foreign powers ignored calls to fight terrorism

Report: British plane nearly downed by missile in Sinai

British attempts to return tourists from Egypt mired in confusion

About 79,000 Russians in Egypt after flights suspended, tourism chief says

Candidly speaking: Israel and Putin’s Russia – A tenuous relationship

Palestinian shooting attacks signal escalation in West Bank

Israel’s army, government split over root causes of Palestinian violence

Dozens of rabbis demand death sentence for terrorists

Four Israelis wounded in three attacks

IDF seizes homes, blocks roads in Hebron following shooting

Reform leader slams Israel’s West Bank policies, growing intolerance

Settler group calls on supermarket chain to stop hiring Arabs after West Bank terror attack

Israel steps up efforts to persuade EU to drop settlement product labels

French supermarket chain rejects plea to boycott Israeli products

PLO slams presidential hopeful for calling it terrorist group

Hezbollah leader lauds Palestinian ‘sublime Jihad spirit’ against Israel

Israeli pilots train over southern US, with focus on mountainous areas

Report: Israel worried Egypt’s Sisi might fall to jihadist insurgents

Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s fifth president, dies at the age of 94

Germany still paying pensions to Spain’s Nazi volunteers during Second World War

Syria conflict: ‘Mustard gas used’ in Marea attack

German official proposes restricted Syrian asylum status

U.S. to open new screening centers for Syrian refugees – State Department

Campus stabber’s manifesto included ‘praise for Allah,’ plan for beheading

Leaders of China, Taiwan meet for first time in six decades

U.S. patrol sought to avoid provocation, not reinforce China island claim: officials

Anonymous’ Million Mask March in London descends into violence

Hundreds launch hunger strike at immigrant detention center in Adelanto, Calif.

Contract Violation? Hillary’s use of server may have broken NDA

Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Agreement Is Three Times As Long As The King James Bible

Doubters question ‘strange’ stock market rebound

Bank of Ireland bans counter withdrawals of less than 700 euros

See the Moon and 3 Planets Shine Before Dawn This Weekend

Magnitude-6.8 earthquake strikes Chilean coast

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Coquimbo, Chile

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Lagunillas, Venezuela

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Enarotali, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near San Miguel Quetzaltepec, Mexico

Nearly 600 Earthquakes in San Ramon During Recent Swarm: USGS

Second freak storm heads for Yemen, WMO says

25 minutes to escape: Brazilian village destroyed in dam deluge

3 Killed in Flash Floods in Amman, Jordan

Congressman demands climate study documents as scientists warn of ‘chilling effect’

Lawmaker Claims NOAA Altered Climate Change Data, Issues Rare Subpoena for Internal Research Docs

Parent: My Son’s iPad Addiction As Real As Alcoholism, Drug Abuse

Sexting scandal forces Colorado high school football team to forfeit game

Why Supreme Court is taking up Obamacare contraceptive mandate again

Six Democrats picked to investigate Planned Parenthood took $81,000 from its PAC

Sweden: Sex Change for Children

Christian Daycare Workers Fired for Refusing to Call a Little Girl a Boy

Evangelicals, Catholics United by Christian Persecution, Pope Francis Says


Why Doesn’t Obama Ever Talk About The 5 American Citizens Held Hostage In Iran?

After President Obama’s 15-minute telephone call in September, 2013 with Iran’s new ‘moderate’ President Hassan Rouhani, Saeed was transferred to an even worse prison and suffers even more.

While Barack Hussein Obama endlessly sells his Iranian Nuclear Treaty deal to a brain-dead America public, there is something related to that he never likes to discuss. That at this very moment you are reading this article, 5 American citizens are held in dark, damp, rat-infested Iranian prison cells with no efforts being made to secure their release. One of those 5 men is a Christian pastor who is in jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is an outrage! Why are there no marches on Washington? Why are no voices being raised from the Congress or the Senate? Why is Obama allowed to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it?

Obama angered by CBS reporter’s question about Americans held in Iran:

  1. Jason Rezaian a correspondent with the Washington Post. He is an American citizen who disappeared, along with his reporter wife ‘Yegi’ on July 22, 2014. His family and employer did not know his whereabouts for about a week, similar to how Saeed and Amir were snatched. They were both “detained” in Evin prison and placed in solitary confinement. Thankfully Yegi was released on bail and remained in Iran to help with her husbands legal matters. Jason is an experienced reporter who knows the rules and understands Iran.  He thought. He is accused of subverting the Islamic State, which he and the Washington Post vigorously protest. The State Department has called for his immediate release.
  2. Saeed Abedini a Christian Pastor who converted from Islam, was in Iran to establish an approved orphanage project. He has a wife and 2 young children who languish back home in the U.S. without him. After two months of ‘house arrest’ *(about 60 days of house arrest are included in the number of days above), he was arrested without any further notice. His ‘crime’ was displaying his Christian concern for the people of Iran. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to 8 years as a “threat to Iran’s national security!” After President Obama’s 15-minute telephone call in September, 2013 with Iran’s new ‘moderate’ President Hassan Rouhani, Saeed was transferred to an even worse prison and suffers even more. His health has deteriorated, receives insufficient care  and has lost considerable weight. We know because Iranian family members are occasionally able to visit him.
  3. Amir Hekmati a former U.S. Marine who, after serving 4-years in uniform, was a language and cultural liaison to the U.S. Military in the middle east. He was born and raised in the U.S. and had never visited Iran before. It was his parents’ homeland and he was there to visit two elderly Grandmothers and other family members. He was in Iran about two weeks before he was taken. At first his family was not informed of his whereabouts, but Amir was able to make a cell phone call. Still, however, authorities denied having him. mir was quickly tried and convicted in what a U.N. body called a sham trial. He was sentenced to death as a spy!  The Iran Supreme court overruled and ordered a new trial. That was two years ago. No new trial has ever been scheduled.
  4. Robert “Bob” Levinson is a retired FBI/DEA agent with over 33 years of honorable service. For over 6 1/2 years the U.S. Government, (including the CIA, FBI, POTUS, Senators and Congressmen, knowingly told an untrue story that Bob was on a ‘business trip’ acting as an independent investigator looking into corporate smuggling cases. This is actually something he did after retiring. However, some sharp investigative reporters and a few government employees, namely within the CIA and FBI and White House, knew differently.After what was billed as an ‘Historic Nuclear Agreement’ (it was actually an agreement to talk) with Iran in November 2013, no further details about Mr. Levinson were revealed. Two writers from the Associated Press and Washington Post got the go-ahead from their editors to release a detailed article that was voluntarily held back at the U.S. government’s request for 3 years!  (Link to the article here: http://wp.me/p49SUn-5R)With the Bob Levinson case growing cold, the government stuck to the ‘official line’ (lie) about him. They even convinced the family, at first, that Bob had no working relationship with the CIA at the time. The two writers exposed a major internal CIA scandal due to their mishandling of Bob Levinson’s involvement with the CIA. To make it worse, it was all dealt with quietly away from the public eye in closed-door Congressional hearings.Robert Levinson is one of America’s own who served the country well more than 33 years.  Unfortunately, as of November 26, 2013 he set the unwanted record of being held hostage longer than any other U.S. citizen: 2,455 days to be exact!  Ironically, this was one day after the ‘historic Iran deal’ was signed by John Kerry in Paris.
  5. Siamak Namazi, age 40, is an American-born businessman and a dual citizen of Iran since his parents are Iranian citizens. The family now lives in Dubai due to increased tensions within Iran in recent years. Siamak has been heavily involved in fostering legal business trade and advocating for better relations between the U.S. and Iran. He was visiting family members in Iran and was well known within Iranian government circles. In July, as the nuclear deal was being finalized in Vienna, the IRGC started bringing him in for intense questioning and barred him from leaving the country. While the exact date of the arrest and charges are unknown, it was learned in late October that he was in solitary confinement at the notorious Evin prison. Until further clarification by the Iranian government, this blog will use October 15, 2015 as the approximate date of Siamak’s arrest. source

That Obama would allow these 5 American citizens to rot in an Iranian jail while at the same time extolling the virtues of his phony nuclear treaty seems to me to be an act of treason all by itself. The fact that the American people will not hold him to be accountable for this is beyond excusable.


Thousands German People Chant ‘Merkel Must Go’ At Anti-Mass Muslim Migration Rally

The anti-mass Muslim migration Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party held a rally in the German capital Berlin this afternoon, demanding the resignation of Chancellor Angela Merkel and calling for the country to adopt a strong policy on immigration.

The AFD has seen its popularity surge as Germany struggles to deal with the huge influx of Muslim migrants, and is currently campaigning in local elections in the Saxony-Anhalt region that will be seen as an indicator of public sentiment on the issue.

German paper Handelsblatt estimates that 5,000 people joined the rally this afternoon, calling for the immediate closure of Germany’s borders and introduction of Visa requirements from migrants from the Balkan states, including Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Angry demonstrators chanted “Merkel must go” and “traitor to the people” under the banner “Asylum has its limits – red card for Merkel”.

Adressing the crowd, Beatrix von Storch, member of the European Parliament, accused the German chancellor of causing “asylum chaos” in Germany.

Although the main protest was largely peaceful, several counter-protests by pro-migrant activists descended into violence, with around 40 arrests. Around 800 counter-demonstrators showed up, far lower than organisers had hoped.

Yesterday, it was reported that the German government had agreed the downgrade the status of Syrian migrants, reducing the amount of time they could stay in the country and banning them from bringing their families. Today, however, the government did a U-turn on the plans. source


Obama Crushes Keystone Pipeline, Ensuring American Dependence On Muslim Oil

Obama rejects Keystone: Seven-year-saga of Canadian pipeline culminates in ‘No’

WASHINGTON – The seven-year saga of the Keystone XL pipeline culminated Friday in U.S. President Barack Obama rejecting a project that had become the biggest irritant in Canada-U.S. relations, amid its improbable escalation from an isolated land dispute into a major cross-border environmental struggle.

After years of suspense and a change in government in Canada, Obama called the new prime minister to break the news Friday: the Keystone Pipeline project is being rejected because it’s not in the U.S. national interest.

According to public statements from both leaders, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disappointment but vowed not to let the development poison relations between the countries.

Obama does the Muslims a solid by rejecting Keystone

Did you really think that Muslim-raised Barack Hussein Obama was ever going to approve the Keystone XL pipeline? Why would he? If that pipeline is ever built, it would dramatically reduce America’s need to import Muslim oil from the Middle East. This has nothing to do with the “climate change” scam, saving the spotted owl or anything else. This has everything to do with keeping America tied to our Arab oil masters.

TransCanada first submitted its permit application for the 1,600-mile, $7 billion project to the State Department in 2008. Because the pipeline would cross an international border, the State Department was responsible for determining whether granting a permit for the project would serve the national interest.

The pipeline would have shuttled up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada’s oil sands to U.S. refineries. The southern portion of the pipeline has already been approved and constructed and is pumping oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, south to Port Arthur, Texas.


 

REVEALED: George Soros Admits He’s Behind Muslim Migrant Invasion Of Europe

Billionaire investor George Soros has confirmed he wants to bring down Europe’s borders, following the accusation made last week by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Last week, Mr Orban accused Mr Soros – who was born in Hungary – of deliberately encouraging the migrant crisis. “This invasion is driven, on the one hand, by people smugglers, and on the other by those (human rights) activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state,” Mr Orban said.

“This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros.”

Mr Soros has now issued an email statement to Bloomberg Business, claiming his foundations help “uphold European values”, while Mr Oban’s actions in strengthening the Hungarian border and stopping a huge migrant influx “undermine those values.”

“His plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle,” Mr Soros added. “Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”

Last month, Mr Orban accused pro-immigration non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of “drawing a living from the immigration crisis,” singling out those funded by Mr Soros.

George Soros is a firm backer of transnational bodies such as the European Union, and his Open Society Foundation (OSF) provides assistance for pro-migration activists. He is well-known for his support for “progressive” causes such as the Centre for American Progress, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The OSF website explains: “We believe that migration and asylum policy should be grounded in economic and demographic realities, not driven by temporary political considerations or popular misconceptions.

“In Europe, many of our civil society partners are raising their voices demanding a common European approach in line with international human rights commitments.”

Mr Orban said in an interview last month that immigration and multiculturalism are endangering Europe’s “Christian roots” and creating “parallel societies”.

Europeans, he said, should “stick to our Christian values” and “Europe can be saved,” but only if they “take seriously the traditions, the Christian roots and all the values that are the basis of the civilisation of Europe.” source


Obama’s 5,544 Page Trans-Pacific Partnership His Most Ambitious Scam Yet

The Obama Administration released the full-text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal on Thursday.

Tipping the scales at 5,544 pages — and an astonishing 2,056,560 words — the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is one of the longest government documents we have ever encountered, and there is a reason for the amazing length of this proposal. Obama is actually pretty smart, and fresh off his success of the “we have to pass it to see what’s in it” draconian Obamacare scam, he knows the majority of the people in the Senate and Congress will not read it in full before voting on it.

Before we go any further, it would be timely to review some of the whopping lies Obama has told the American people successfully:

  1. On health care: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan.” Many millions of people lost their health plans under Obamacare. source
  2. On Syria’s WMD: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime — but also to other players on the ground — that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” Obama declared a red line, Assad gassed and killed thousands, Obama then denied ever having a red line. source
  3. On capitalism: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The thinking of all Marxists.
  4. On world public opinion: “People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia, and today once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth.” America in 2015 is neither feared nor respected. source
  5. On Benghazi: “Here’s what happened. . . . You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who — who made an extremely offensive video directed at — at Mohammed and Islam . . . making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. And so, this caused great offense in much of the Muslim world. But what also happened, extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the one, the consulate in Libya.” Total lie and he knew it from the moment he spoke it. source For the sake of brevity we only gave you 5 random Obama whoppers, for another 247 more click here.

Now having established the groundwork, here are the Top Ten Lies that Obama is peddling with the Trans-Pacific Partnership scam:

1. 40 PERCENT: The President and his team have repeatedly described TPP as a deal involving nearly 40 percent of global GDP. This tells only part of the story. First of all, the U.S. by itself represents 22 percent of global GDP; a bill naming a post office would involve that much. Second, we already have free trade agreements with six TPP partners – Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, Chile and Peru – and between them and us, that’s 80 percent of the total GDP in this deal. The vast majority of the rest is represented by Japan, where the average applied tariff is a skinny 1.2 percent, per the World Bank.

You can see this paragraph in graphic form here. The point is that saying TPP is about “40 percent of GDP” intimates that it would massively change the ability to export without tariffs. In reality it would have virtually no significance in opening new markets. To the extent that there’s a barrier in global trade today, it comes from currency manipulation by countries wanting to keep their exports cheap. The TPP has no currency provisions.

2. JOB CREATION: Saying, as the White House has, that the deal would support “an additional 650,000 jobs” is not true. This figure came from a hypothetical calculation of a report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which the Institute itself said was an incorrect way to use their data. “We don’t believe that trade agreements change the labor force in the long run,” said Peter Petri, author of the report, in a fact check of the claim.

The deal is actually more about building up barriers than taking them down. Much of TPP is devoted to increasing copyright and patent protections for prescription drugs and Hollywood media content. As economist Dean Baker notes, this is protectionist, and will raise prices for drugs, movies and music here and abroad.

3. EXPORTS ONLY: The Administration constantly discusses trade as solely a question of U.S. exports. A recent Council of Economic Advisors report touts: Exporters pay higher wages, and export industry growth translates into higher average earnings. But the Economic Policy Institute points out that this ignores imports, and therefore the ballooning trade deficit, which weighs down economic growth and wages. Talking about trade without discussing both imports and exports is like relaying the score of a ballgame by saying “Dodgers 4.” It is literally a half-truth. Recent trade deals have in fact increased the trade deficit, such as the agreement with South Korea. Senator Sherrod Brown notes that the deal has only increased exports by $1 billion since 2011, while increasing imports by $12 billion, costing America 75,000 jobs.

4. MOST PROGRESSIVE: Obama has called TPP “the most progressive trade deal in history.” First of all, so did Bill Clinton and Al Gore, when talking about NAFTA in 1993. Second, there’s reason to believe TPP doesn’t even clear a low bar for progressive trade deals. The Sierra Club, based on a leaked TPP environmental chapter, said that the deal is weaker than the landmark “May 10 agreement” for deals with Peru, Panama and Colombia, struck in 2007. Key Democrats who devised labor and environmental standards for those agreements, like Rep. Sander Levin, believe that TPP falls short. Even if the chapters were up to par, consistent lack of enforcement of the rules makes them ineffective. The U.S. Trade Representative has actually claimed the Colombia free trade agreement is positive because only one trade unionist in the country is being murdered every other week. Labor groups can only ask the White House to enforce labor rights violations, and for the past several years, the Administration simply hasn’t. So when Obama says violators of TPP will face “meaningful consequences,” based on the Administration’s prior enforcement, he’s lying.

5. CHANGING LAWS: On the controversial topic of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), where corporations can sue sovereign governments for monetary damages for violating trade agreements that hurt the company’s “expected future profits,” the White House has engaged in a shell game. They say, “No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws.” But the point of a corporation suing the United States or any trade partner is to put enough financial pressure on a government to force them to alter the law themselves. So ISDS doesn’t “cause” a change in law only in the narrowest sense. Even third-party countries have curtailed regulations in reaction to ISDS rulings, as New Zealand did with their cigarette packaging law, awaiting the outcome of a dispute between the tobacco industry and Australia (a suit that continues despite an initial victory for Australia).

6. NEVER LOST: The White House assumes that the only thing America cares about with ISDS is the upsetting of our own laws. So they’ve stressed that the U.S. has never lost an ISDS case. This is irrelevant. What ISDS does is offer bailout insurance policy to multinational corporations. If they run into discrimination or regulatory squeezing by a foreign government, they can use an extra-judicial process to recoup their investment. Workers screwed over by trade agreements have no ability to sue governments; only corporations get this privilege.

The United States attracts businesses through our relative rule of law. When that insurance is granted to countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, it weakens our competitive advantage, and makes it simple for countries to outsource their operations. Their investment is protected, as is their ability to exploit cheap labor. This makes it impossible for America to compete.

7. WEAKENING DODD-FRANK: Obama reacted strongly to Senator Warren’s charge that a future President could overturn financial regulations or other rules through trade deals. “I’d have to be pretty stupid,” Obama told Yahoo News, to “sign a provision that would unravel” signature achievements like Dodd-Frank. I suppose he is, then, because modern trade agreements often seek to “harmonize” regulations, effectively setting a regulatory ceiling. This harmonization could, as Warren says, “punch holes in Dodd-Frank without directly repealing it,” by forcing regulators to roll back capital or leverage requirements.

European negotiators want a trade agreement with the U.S. called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to include a chapter “harmonizing” financial regulations. So far the Obama Administration has rejected this, while admitting the potential for regulatory harm. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress in December 2013, “Normally in a trade agreement, the pressure is to lower standards” on regulations, “and that’s something that we just think is not acceptable.” A future President might find it acceptable, and today’s vote on “fast-track” authority would give trade deals an expedited process, with no amendments or filibusters by Congress, for six years, outlasting the current Administration. Scott Walker or Jeb Bush may decide it’s perfectly appropriate to undermine regulations in trade deals.

8. STOPPING CHINA: President Obama frequently casts TPP as a way to “contain” China. “If we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what, China will,” he said on Friday. This is so facile as to be totally meaningless. China is a major Pacific Rim economy, and will have a presence regardless of our actions. As former Clinton Defense Department official Chas Freeman writes, “China has been and will remain an inseparable part of China’s success story.” Plus, as I’ve written in Salon, weak “rule of origin” guidelines could allow China to import goods into TPP member countries without any tariffs, while freed from following any TPP regulations.

9. SECRET DEAL: Obama has angrily dismissed the notion that TPP is a “secret” deal, saying that everyone will have public access to the TPP text for at least 60 days before a final vote. This is not the point opponents are making. The vote on fast track would severely limit Congressional input into the deal. And right now, members of Congress can only see the text in a secure room, without being able to bring staffers or take notes, or even talk about specifics in public. That makes the deal effectively secret during the fast track vote. “The president has only committed to letting the public see this deal after Congress votes to authorize fast track,” Warren told Greg Sargent. The President wants to filibuster-proof the bill in secret, then employ pretend transparency on TPP after that.

10. JUST A POLITICIAN: This idea from Obama that everybody opposing fast-track is acting like a mere “politician,” aside from demonizing the concept of representing constituents, neglects the fact that he’s a politician too. His interest in building a legacy, when practically nothing else has the potential to pass Congress the next two years, is a political interest. His possible interest in rewarding campaign contributors who would benefit from TPP is also political, or his desire to earn the respect of the Very Serious People who always support trade deals. Since Obama has a large platform and will not publicly debate any opponent on trade, he can float above it all, acting like a principled soul only wanting to better the country rather than a transactional ward heeler. This may be the biggest lie, that Obama’s somehow superior to everyone else in this debate. source


Weekend Snapshot

Nov. 7, 2015
Top Stories This Week
Top Opinion
Charles Krauthammer: Take the Winnings and Run
Jonah Goldberg: Imagining a World Without Polls
Dennis Prager: Feminization of America Is Bad for the World
More Opinion →
Quote of the Week

“Under President Obama, Democrats have lost 900+ state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats. That’s some legacy.” —Rory Cooper

Thousands Of German People Chant ‘Merkel Must Go’ At Anti-Mass Muslim Migration Rally

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 05:44 AM PST

THE ANTI-MASS MUSLIM MIGRATION ALTERNATIVE FÜR DEUTSCHLAND (AFD) PARTY HELD A RALLY IN THE GERMAN CAPITAL BERLIN THIS AFTERNOON, DEMANDING THE RESIGNATION OF CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL AND CALLING FOR THE COUNTRY TO ADOPT A STRONG POLICY ON IMMIGRATION.

The AFD has seen its popularity surge as Germany struggles to deal with the huge influx of Muslim migrants, and is currently campaigning in local elections in the Saxony-Anhalt region that will be seen as an indicator of public sentiment on the issue. German paper Handelsblatt estimates that 5,000 people joined the rally this afternoon, calling for the immediate closure of Germany’s borders and introduction of Visa requirements from migrants from the Balkan states, including Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

ANGRY DEMONSTRATORS CHANTED “MERKEL MUST GO” AND “TRAITOR TO THE PEOPLE” UNDER THE BANNER “ASYLUM HAS ITS LIMITS – RED CARD FOR MERKEL”.

Addressing the crowd, Beatrix von Storch, member of the European Parliament, accused the German chancellor of causing “asylum chaos” in Germany. FULL REPORT

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Fireballs to Flash in November Night Sky as Taurid Meteor Shower Peaks

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 05:16 AM PST

Cosmic fireballs will occasionally light up the night sky as the Taurid Meteor Shower peaks into next week. “Every year, the Earth passes through a stream left by Comet Encke, producing the Taurid Meteor Shower,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said. “This shower is notorious for producing fireballs, and there are signs that this could be a year of enhanced activity,” Samuhel added.

Fireballs are extremely bright meteors that last for several seconds and can light up an entire countryside when they are at their brightest. Unlike other meteor showers throughout the year, the peak of the Taurid shower is drawn out, lasting nearly a week. This year, the peak is expected to occur from Nov. 5 through Nov. 12, but some meteors from the Taurids will continue through the end of the month. FULL REPORT

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Kraft Heinz says it will close 7 factories, shed 2,600 jobs

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 05:12 AM PST

Kraft Heinz will close seven plants in the U.S. and Canada as part of a downsizing that will eliminate 2,600 jobs, or roughly 14 percent of its North American factory workforce, the newly merged food company announced Wednesday. The company said the closures, which will take place over the next two years, are part of a plan to save $1.5 billion in operating costs by the end of 2017. The plants slated for closure are in California, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ontario.

Among the hardest hit cities will be Madison, Wisconsin, where a nearly century-old Oscar Mayer plant that employs 700 production workers will close. Kraft Heinz said it would also move about 250 corporate jobs from Madison to Chicago, the company’s co-headquarters along with Pittsburgh. One of the plant’s workers, 46-year-old Rick Schroeder, said he was stunned to hear about the closing through news reports rather than from the company. He said his father also worked at the plant for 35 years and operated a pig farm, and remembers going with his father to deliver pigs to the plant. FULL REPORT

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How Do I Know That God Is Talking to Me?

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 08:35 PM PST

( Christy Fitzwater ) Yesterday I pulled out a manila file labeled “colors.” That’s the theme of the week in my Spanish class, so I have plans to bring colors to my students through various mediums. Skittles are on the docket, because if a student tastes the rainbow, he might be more motivated to remember its colors. I also have a color by number, a color wheel, and a stack of paint swatches. For my upper level students, I have a devotional blog post about colors to translate. We do a variety of activities, because one pass over information isn’t enough for anyone to learn well, and the same is true in the way we learn from God.

For example, over a week ago I signed my very first book contract, and that is a strange new world for me. Matt keeps imagining my grand book tours on the east coast, bless his heart. But the whole book thing sent me into a fierce heart battle over motive. I set a stopwatch, and I clocked myself lasting about four minutes with godly motives. Then off my wretched heart would go—longing for fame. I would halt those thoughts and go through a Scripture list I’ve made up, to define my purpose in writing: To glorify the name of the Lord, to help others know Him, to shine light into a dark world, and to teach people to live by God’s commands. FULL REPORT

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Massive ‘cloud tsunami’ stuns Australians

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 08:18 PM PST

An enormous shelf cloud shocked onlookers as it rolled off the Pacific ocean toward Sydney’s Bondi Beach Friday afternoon. “People were running from the streets to capture the unbelievable cloud formation,” eyewitness Hannah Murphy told CNN. Photographs and videos show a tall and menacing cloud wall that steadily encroached on the coastline.

“This is a pretty significant one, plus it’s been a warm day, a lot of people are out – particularly at Bondi – and this huge mammoth storm just started rolling up the coast and of course social media went atomic,” photographer Nick Moir, of the Sydney Morning Herald, told Sky News. On Twitter and Instagram, the feature quickly earned the moniker “cloud tsunami.” FULL REPORT

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US defense chief warns of conflict in S. China Sea

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 08:14 PM PST

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Saturday warned that land reclamation efforts and a military buildup in the South China Sea could lead to conflict between nations in the region. Speaking at a defense forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, the Pentagon chief also said America was adapting its military posture to counter increased Russian “aggression.” Appearing on the final leg of an eight-day trip that included meetings with defense ministers from several nations in the Asia-Pacific region, Carter said his concerns about the frantic pace of land reclamation in the South China Sea were broadly shared.

“The United States joins virtually everyone else in the region in being deeply concerned about the pace and scope of land reclamation in the South China Sea,” Carter told an audience of senior defense figures. Carter added he was worried about “the prospect of further militarization, as well as the potential for these activities to increase the risk of miscalculation or conflict among claimant states.” The Reagan National Defense Forum is an annual event that sees dozens of America’s top defense figures — including politicians from both political parties — discuss America’s defense policies. FULL REPORT

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Is U.S. Preparing For World War 3?

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 08:05 PM PST

With tensions rising with multiple geopolitical rivals, the U.S. military-industrial complex is preparing itself for World War 3. The Pentagon has concluded that it is a question of when, not if, an armed conflict with Russia and/or China begins. Now preparations are underway to ensure that the U.S. is ready for such a war, writes Patrick Martin for The World Socialist Website. On Tuesday there were three congressional hearings which showed how far advanced these preparations are.

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on cyberwarfare, a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee discussed the US aircraft carrier fleet and another talked about the modernization of U.S. nuclear weapons. There were no discussion of the implications of World War 3, only plans for how the U.S. could prevail. As such, the idea of World War 3 is being normalized in the minds of policy planners. Attendees discussed previous meetings and ideas, illustrating that the plans have been being drawn up over an extended period of time. Far from being a response to recent geopolitical events, they are part of a longstanding scheme. FULL REPORT

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Witnesses From Southern CA to San Francisco Report Seeing Unexplained Light in Night Sky

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 07:42 PM PST

Witnesses from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday evening reported seeing an unexplained moving light in the night sky. Hundreds of residents reported seeing the bright phenomenon in Anaheim, Temecula, Rancho Palos Verdes and Santa Monica. Several speculated that the object may have been a rocket. Others suggested it may have been a comet or other celestial occurrence.

“Light seen in OC sky was confirmed through JWA tower to be a Naval test fire off the coast,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter, referring to John Wayne Airport in the city of Orange. No other details were given. A spokeswoman for Vandenberg Air Force Base, in Santa Barbara County, said the facility did not launch a rocket on Saturday. Calls to Kern County’s Edwards Air Force Base were not immediately returned. Several reports attributed the incident to remnants of the Taurid Meteor Shower. According to AccuWeather, cosmic fireballs were expected to occasionally light up the sky as the meteor shower peaked into next week. FULL REPORT

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Christian Students Increasingly Coming Under Persecution

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 05:19 AM PST

The faith of Christian students seems to be increasingly coming under siege from two major fronts: a hostile public school system, as well as from many teachers and fellow students. Not to mention a government and legal system that, in many ways, tends to engage in what has been described as the “licensed discrimination of Christians”. Breitbart.com recently reported such an incident at West Memorial Junior High in Texas. 12-year old Jordan Wooley, a 7th grade student blew the whistle on an activity that questioned the existence of God.

One Monday, a classroom assignment asked students to identify nine statements as opinion, factual claim, or commonplace assertion. One statement read: “There is a God.” Wooley claimed the teacher said that anyone who put “fact or opinion” was wrong and that “God is only a myth.” She added that her 8th period reading teacher insisted God’s existence “can’t be proven,” and noted that a classmate submitted her handout with God listed as a fact. “My teacher crossed the answer out several times, telling her it was completely wrong.” FULL REPORT

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U.S. companies ‘bow’ to Obama’s ‘Global Treaty’

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 05:05 AM PST

The Obama administration is actively lining up corporate America to champion his controversial climate agenda that the president hopes to push through a United Nations summit in the coming weeks, and businesses are jumping aboard by the dozens, either out of profit motive or to avoid punitive action from the White House. Back in June, a Daily Caller article reported that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was using both sticks and carrots to woo big businesses onto the climate-change bandwagon.

In a column for Conservative Review, energy expert and crony capitalism watchdog Tom Borelli says corporate leaders are only too eager to join forces with Obama. “Eighty-one companies have signed onto a White House climate change pledge, where each company volunteers to take certain actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Borelli said. Some firms signing onto the Obama climate plan are focused on renewable energy and see a major windfall in profits headed their way if carbon dioxide standards are slashed in the U.S. Others have different incentives. FULL REPORT

 

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Putin Warns Isis – Obama Warns School District about Girls Shower Room

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 04:56 AM PST

(  Michael Bresciani ) My first inclination was to title this piece, “Obama threatens to spank school district for not favoring a single transgender student.” Too crass, I thought, but along came an article before I got to write word one; it was entitled “Complete Anarchy’ as Obama Invades girls’ Showers.” The subtitle was even more scathing and reads “Feds force school to comply with ‘profoundly stupid’ rule.” Good online writers’ hyperlink their important references for safety sake, but this one had to be connected for the reader whose incredulity would not allow them to believe what they were reading.

The story is not complicated. One boy who thinks he is a girl wants to play on girls teams, be allowed into the girls locker rooms and shower with the girls, is not satisfied with the broad accommodations the school district has already made. Now liberalisms standard knight in shining armor (ACLU) has come to the boy’s defense along with Barack Obama breathing out warnings that the school will lose its Title IX federal funding if it does not speedily comply. Since the boy has had no genital alterations, his male anatomy would have to be seen by any and all girls showering. Their discomfort and any other feelings that may conger will be ignored for the exception, and progressivism has once again proven that America is in the throes of collective reprobation. FULL REPORT

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Iraqi Law Forcing Children to Be Muslim Is Driving Christianity’s Extinction

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 04:51 AM PST

An Iraqi law that forces children of Christian converts to be legally recognized as Muslims will lead to Christianity’s extinction, says Bishop Rabban al-Qas. Al-Qas, the senior Catholic Bishop in the Dohuk area of Iraqi Kurdistan, has spoken out against the Iraqi parliament’s rejection of an amendment to a law that forces children who have one parent who converted from Islam to be automatically considered a Muslim upon birth.

The Bishop asserts that the law discriminates against Christians and other religious minorities and doesn’t give the child the ability to eventually choose his or her own faith. The changing of one’s religious affiliation can be a difficult task considering accusations of apostasy, a serious offense under Islamic law, are generally hurled around when someone converts. Christian legislators proposed an amendment to the law that would have given children the ability to choose their religious affiliation once they reach the age of 18, which prevents them from automatically being labeled as a Muslim against their will. FULL REPORT

 

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UPDATE: Nearly 600 Earthquakes in San Ramon During Recent Swarm

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 04:43 AM PST

A total of 583 small earthquakes have shaken San Ramon, California, in the last three weeks or so – more than five times the record set 12 years ago, according to the latest US Geological Survey updates. “It’s the swarm with the largest number of total earthquakes in San Ramon,” said USGS scientist David Schwartz, who is more concerned about the size of quakes than he is the total number of them. Still, the number tops the previous record set in 2003, when 120 earthquakes hit over 31 days, with the largest clocking in at a magnitude of 4.2.

The largest magnitude earthquake in the current swarm, which began on Oct. 13, is a magnitude 3.6. In 1990, a total of 351 earthquakes struck in Alamo, about 30 miles east of San Francisco, over 42 days, with the largest recorded at a magnitude of 4.4. But Schwartz said those numbers might be inaccurate, as technology back then wasn’t as sophisticated. FULL REPORT

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Strong 6.8-magnitude Earthquake rocks Chile

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 04:39 AM PST

A strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early on Saturday but there was no tsunami alert and no immediate report of damage or injuries, seismologists said. The quake hit the north-central Coquimbo region at a depth of 36 kilometers (22 miles) at 4:31 am (0731 GMT), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

The epicenter was close to the coast, 47 kilometers from the city of Ovalle and nearly 300 kilometers north of Chile’s capital Santiago. ONEMI, the national emergency service, initially said that there was the possibility of a “minor tsunami,” but a few minutes later called off the warning. Chile is no stranger to earthquakes. In September, the same area of the country was hit by an 8.3-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that left 15 dead and over 16,000 homeless. In February 2010, an 8.8-magnitude quake off the southern Chilean coast killed more than 500 people and inflicted an estimated $30 billion in damage. FULL REPORT

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Canada Is No Longer America’s Largest Trading Partner

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 04:30 AM PST

If the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline didn’t bring this point home enough, here’s more evidence Canada is becoming less relevant to the United States: We have lost our long-standing status as the U.S.’s largest trading partner. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, China overtook Canada in the first nine months of this year to become America’s number-one trading partner. The U.S.-Chinese trade relationship was worth US$441.6 billion in the first nine months of this year, compared to US$438.1 billion traded between the U.S. and Canada.

But it’s not because Canada is selling less to the U.S. — it’s because the collapse in oil prices means what we sell to the U.S. is worth less than it used to be. “It’s completely an oil story,” RBC Capital Markets senior U.S. economist Jacob Oubina told Bloomberg. “In nominal terms, yes, the trade with China overtakes Canada, but in real terms, it’s very different. It’s not economic activity or output. It’s a price story all the way.” With oil prices down roughly 60 per cent since their peak in mid-2014, the value of Canadian exports to the U.S. is down 11.6 per cent so far this year, compared to the same period a year earlier. FULL REPORT

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Putin Associate Found Dead in DC Hotel

Posted: 07 Nov 2015 04:24 AM PST

A prominent Russian millionaire with high-level ties to the Kremlin has been found dead inside a Washington hotel, a Russian official and a senior U.S. official told ABC News. Mikhail Lesin, the former head of media affairs for the Russian government who’s been accused of curtailing the country’s press freedoms, had been staying at Hotel Dupont when he was found Thursday, according to officials.

It’s unclear why the long-time adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Washington, but the Metropolitan Police Department is now investigating his death. On Thursday, U.S. authorities notified the Russian embassy in Washington that one of its citizens had died, and Russian officials are now working with American authorities to determine the circumstances of the death, the embassy told ABC News in a statement. Citing an ongoing investigation, an MPD spokesman would only confirm the department is conducting a “death investigation.” FULL REPORT

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Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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November 7-8, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

November 2 Quotes


We Need a Neo-Evangelical Shakedown in Our Time

“We find ourselves in a remarkably similar cultural moment, constrained as we are to the cultural sidelines. The evangelical mind exists, and even thrives, today. But the question before us in 2015 is this: Will we embrace our marginalization? Or will we, like the neo-evangelicals, dream fresh dreams, hatch fresh plans, and seek something altogether unexpected in our time?”

Read More


Academia’s Rejection of Diversity

Why the imbalance? The researchers found evidence of discrimination and hostility within academia toward conservative researchers and their viewpoints. In one survey cited, 82 percent of social psychologists admitted they would be less likely to support hiring a conservative colleague than a liberal scholar with equivalent qualifications.

Read More


Mets Lose, Gays Win

See, this is why I keep telling Millennial Evangelicals that all the winsomeness in the world won’t make them love you. There is no way in the eyes of many LGBT folks and their allies to hold dissenting views in good faith. You may believe that it is wrong to reduce gay people to their sexual desires, and thus to dehumanize them, but many of them believe it is “justice” to reduce orthodox Christians and other moral traditionalists to their beliefs about homosexuality, and to judge them accordingly.

Read More


Review: Logic on Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (DVD Documentary)

After viewing the film, I was motivated to climb back into the pulpit this coming Lord’s Day and preach the power of the Gospel afresh with the aid and help of the same Holy Spirit that filled the Doctor. If this film does anything, it helps to safeguard the power of preaching for another generation, especially in a time when preaching is lightly regarded.

Read more


A Revolutionary Prayer

Whether the model prayer ends this way or not, it fits. It is the cry of the Copernican Revolution of our lives. It describes the radical reorientation of our being, of our purpose, of our days. Not unto us, not unto us, but to God be the glory both now and forever. So that whether we eat or we drink, or whatever we do, we do all to the glory of His name.

Read more


High School Coach Put On Leave After Refusing To Stop On-Field Prayers

Kennedy, a former Marine, began working at Bremerton High School as an assistant coach in 2008. He soon started praying on the field after games. The single, personal prayer sessions eventually attracted players, fans, and other coaches—all joining in voluntarily. Earlier this month, school officials ordered him to stop. When he refused, they benched him.

Read more


Atheist: Okay to Disparage Christians, But Islam Off-Limits Because…

“I would say two things,” Zuckerman said. “I know what keeps me from critiquing Islam on my blog is just fear. “I’ve got three kids,” he said. “So I know I can say anything about Christianity or Mormonism, and I’m not living in fear, which is a testament to Christianity and Mormonism, and that’s wonderful. Thank you. “I would never write the same kind of stuff that I do about certain religions – Judaism, Christianity, LDS, whatever – as I would about Islam – just straight up fear,” Zuckerman said.

Read More


When Muslim Truck Drivers are Fired for Not Delivering Beer, Court Has an Unbelievable Response

The U.S government and the courts can’t legally have one set of laws for Christians and another set of laws for Muslims and other religious groups. This court’s ruling throws into relief that not all Americans are legally recognized as possessing religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Read More


The Gospel According to Willy Wonka

Where Wonka’s gospel fails is that it is rooted in moralism. Charlie is acceptable because he is too poor to be spoiled, too hungry to let his stomach guide him, too weak to be obsessed over chewing gum and too impoverished to watch television all day. I know from my research on the story that these things are what the author, Roald Dahl, hated about children in the modern era. The problem is that these qualities are nothing but moralism.

Read more


Self-Examination, Obedience, and Assurance

“Those of us who tend toward introspection can easily drift into intense soul-searching as the means to finding assurance. What we need to hear is the summons to obedience. Until we start acting on the truth was know, we may not find the assurance for which we are desperately searching, no matter how much reading and heart inspecting we do.”

Read More


Relevant, Old Paths

“My father’s values were old, traditional values. But just because they were old and traditional didn’t necessarily make them good. They were good values because they were biblical values, and biblical values are relevant in every generation. But although they are relevant in every generation, they are disappearing from the rising generation.”

Read more


USA (MNN) -- Want to spread some Christmas cheer this season? Share the Gospel! ...

USA (MNN) — Want to spread some Christmas cheer this season? Share the Gospel! …

Posted on November 6, 2015 by Mission Network News

Want to spread some Christmas cheer? Then try sharing the gospel with some local immigrants using The JESUS film DVD.

Read Full Article »


Sarah Bessey: Finding God where you least expect Him

Sarah Bessey: Finding God where you least expect Him

Posted on November 7, 2015 by Christian Today

Sarah Bessey speaks to Christian Today about faith, doubt, and finding God in the wilderness.

Read Full Article »


New survey finds some Americans more devout, others more adrift

New survey finds some Americans more devout, others more adrift

Posted on November 7, 2015 by Christian Telegraph

The vast majority of Americans continue to identify with religious faith, a Pew study has found. However, there are some indications of a modest decline in overall religious affiliation and practice,

Read Full Article »


3 Times Jesus Modeled How We Should Treat Sinners

3 Times Jesus Modeled How We Should Treat Sinners

Posted on November 7, 2015 by Church Leaders

&We need both gentleness and holy truth.&

Read Full Article »


DISCRIMINATION: Toronto calls Christian concert 'proselytizing'

DISCRIMINATION: Toronto calls Christian concert ‘proselytizing’

Posted on November 7, 2015 by Christian Examiner

The city of Toronto has refused to renew a permit allowing the Voices of the Nations (VON) to use its downtown Yonge-Dundas Square for an annual concert because a city official thinks playing Christian music is the same as proselytization.

Read Full Article »


Jesus is popular among NFL quarterbacks

Jesus is popular among NFL quarterbacks

Posted on November 7, 2015 by World Magazine

RELIGION | Jesus is popular among quarterbacks

Read Full Article »


Spreading the Word through new Bible app

Spreading the Word through new Bible app

Posted on November 8, 2015 by Christian Telegraph

A Gideon Bible App is available now for those who prefer a digital copy of Scripture, Christian Telegraph reports according to

Read Full Article »


Stressed? Overburdened? 10 Bible passages to remind you our God is a God of peace

Stressed? Overburdened? 10 Bible passages to remind you our God is a God of peace

Posted on November 8, 2015 by Christian Today

It is often difficult to remember in our hectic modern lives that our God is a God of peace. Here are 10 Bible passages to remind you.

Read Full Article »


Juanita Bynum, Twice-Divorced ‘Prophetess’ Who Spoke at Homosexual ‘Ordination,’ to Be Made Bishop   Nov 03, 2015 09:45 am

Bynum-compressedA self-proclaimed “prophetess” who divorced her second husband in 2008 and raised concern in 2009 after it was found that she spoke during an ordination service for a homosexual minister is set to be promoted to the position of bishop. Juanita Bynum is a Georgia-based speaker and author of the books “Walking in Your Destiny,” “Heart Matters,” and “No More…

Continue reading the story

Iowa City Council Members Vote to Remove Cross Memorial, City Votes to Remove Council Members   Nov 06, 2015 10:47 am

MemorialKNOXVILLE, Iowa — Members of a city council in Iowa voted Monday to remove a veterans memorial that included a cross from a local park, and in turn, members of the community voted on Tuesday to remove the council members from office. ”We warned them multiple times if they let our town down they would be voted out,” Allison Schmitz of Stop the Insanity posted…

Continue reading the story

‘Prophetic Prayer’ Claims God Has Given Donald Trump ‘Anointing for Mantle of Government’   Nov 05, 2015 08:39 am

Trump-compressedDALLAS, Texas — A leadership and motivational speaker recently delivered what he called a “prophetic prayer” to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump via his attorney, claiming that God has given Trump “an anointing for the mantle of government.” Lance Wallnau of Dallas posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday that showed the speaker encouraging Christians…

Continue reading the story

Pennsylvania Man Seeks to ‘Marry’ His Adopted Son   Nov 06, 2015 12:12 pm

Bosee-compressedPITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania man is seeking to “marry” another man that he adopted as his son three years ago. Nino Esposito, 78, had been with his partner Roland Bosee, 68, for 40 years when the two decided that Esposito would adopt Bosee as his son so that they could be considered “family” under the law. “ gave us the most legitimate thing available to…

Continue reading the story

Presidential Candidate Ben Carson: Seventh-Day Adventists Should ‘Ordain’ Women   Nov 04, 2015 12:53 pm

Photo Credit: Gage SkidmorePhoto Credit: Gage Skidmore Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters on Friday that he believes Seventh-Day Adventists should ordain women, expressing disagreement with current prohibitions against female headship. “I don’t see any reason why women can’t be ordained,” he said, opining that it was a “huge mistake” for Adventist leaders to…

Continue reading the story

‘Church of Lucifer’ Opens in Texas Amid Protests   Nov 03, 2015 08:05 am

Lucifer-compressedSPRING, Texas — The first Texas “Church of Lucifer” opened on Friday in a small town outside of Houston and was met with a variety of protesters from both the local community and those who traveled across the country. As previously reported, the Church of Lucifer was scheduled to hold its first meeting in Spring on October 31, opening its doors the day…

Continue reading the story

Closed Planned Parenthood Facility Purchased by Pro-Lifers Re-Opens as Pregnancy Center   Nov 06, 2015 08:55 am

Hope Pregnancy-compressedBRYAN, Texas — A former Texas Planned Parenthood facility that was purchased by a pro-life group last year has now opened as a pregnancy center. The Planned Parenthood location in Bryan closed in August 2013 after the state passed a law requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges and to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. Last…

Continue reading the story

Magazine Names Planned Parenthood President, Bruce Jenner Among ‘Women of the Year’   Nov 05, 2015 08:37 am

Jenner-compressedGlamour Magazine has announced that Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and former Olympian Bruce Jenner, who goes by the name Caitlyn, are among its named “Women of the Year” for 2015. The magazine posted articles about the two this week, praising them for their impact on society. “Richards oversees a federation with more than 10,000 employees at 700…

Continue reading the story

Obama Administration Orders School District to Let Boy Use Girls’ Locker Room   Nov 04, 2015 10:43 am

locker roomCHICAGO — The Obama administration has ordered a school district in Illinois to allow a male student who identifies a female to use the girls’ locker room or face enforcement measures that could mean the loss of $6 million in federal funding. As previously reported, an unidentified high school student within Township High School District 211 requested to use the…

Continue reading the story

Houston Overwhelmingly Votes to Repeal ‘Bathroom Bill’   Nov 04, 2015 11:38 am

RestroomHOUSTON, Texas — Residents in Houston, Texas voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to repeal the city’s controversial homosexual and transgender equality ordinance, also known by opponents as the “bathroom bill.” As previously reported, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an open lesbian, had promoted an “Equal Rights Ordinance” in 2014 designed to quell any…

Continue reading the story


Christianity is under attack from a thousand different directions all at once, and yet many believers have turned their guns on one another. This war among Christians seems to intensify with each passing year, and believers are often fighting for some of the stupidest reasons you can possibly imagine. Meanwhile, people are leaving our churches in droves and church attendance is way down. This is especially true of younger Americans.

View Article


The Coming Shaking

Jan Markell’s guest for the hour is White House correspondent Bill Koenig who says there is a great shaking coming. They discuss the 2016 U.S. election, Canada’s recent election, and unfolding Bible prophecy around the world. Europe is dying, America is imploding, but all things are aligning for the final days’ scenario predicted in the Bible. Koenig explains why he feels Russia will be used to judge America and why Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog may be aligning. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Lawlessness – Hal Lindsey

I have long reminded you that every step in the set-up for the last days prophetic scenario will seem reasonable, even necessary, at the time. Nothing will happen that will be preceded by the announcement that it is being done in order to set the stage or prepare the apparatus for the Antichrist.

Here is an excellent case in point.

Any reasonably informed person realizes that Europe, and the U.S.A. to a lesser extent, is in the midst of an unprecedented refugee crisis. With the dramatic developments in the Middle East – the Syrian civil war, the explosion of ISIS and other terrorist armies, the entrance of Russia into Syria, among other things – millions of Middle Easterners and North Africans have been displaced.

View Article


Christians Mystically Encountering God

By Marsha West For a couple of decades there has been a big push by numerous evangelical leaders to incorporate pagan practices into the visible Church.  These unbiblical practices have their origins in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, likewise the New Age movement.  Roman Catholic Trappist Monks fully embraced Eastern religion’s pagan practices.  […]

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WHEN UNITY IS EVIL – ONE WORLD RELIGION BEING USHERED IN BY POPE FRANCIS

Pope Francis has aligned himself with Universalist Unitarian churches and other religions which deny the inerrancy of Scripture. I have never heard this pope speak of sin and repentance. Actually, I’ve not heard any pope speak of these essentials of our faith! But Pope Francis takes this to a whole new level. See what this universalist website writes about this pope whom they love:

View Article


Cash-Strapped Missionaries Get a New Calling: Home

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Peter and Jennie Stillman felt a divine calling to preach the gospel abroad. So the Southern Baptist couple left Texas with their three young daughters 25 years ago and became missionaries in Southeast Asia.

Now, the Stillmans are responding to a new call: early retirement. They are among hundreds of Southern Baptist missionaries working abroad who are being summoned home in a move to slash costs, after years of spending to support missionary work around the world led to budget problems.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/cash-strapped-missionaries-get-a-new-calling-home-1445765402/


U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Obamacare Abortion Pill Mandate

Christian News Network reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge from several religious groups to what has been dubbed the “abortion pill mandate” in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, marking the second time the court has deliberated opposition to the law.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty had filed an appeal on behalf of the Roman Catholic group Little Sisters of the Poor, Houston Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, South Nazarene University, Geneva College, Priests for Life and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.

http://christiannews.net/2015/11/07/u-s-supreme-court-to-hear-challenge-to-obamacare-abortion-pill-mandate/


Transgenderism is An Abomination to God — John MacArthur

John MacArthur Behind Pulpit Photo

“A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” – Deuteronomy 22:5

MacArthur,

Some time in your past if you’ve been in a fundamental or evangelical church, you may have heard some pastor refer to this verse, probably in another context. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear a man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing.” Now follow this, “For whoever does these things looks weird.” Is that what it says? No. “For whoever does these things must be on his way to a party.” No. “For whoever does these things is – ” what? “ – an abomination to the Lord.” It abominates God. It disgusts and revolts him.

Now a woman is not to wear a man’s clothing. The first time I ever heard anybody refer to this, they were preaching a sermon about why women shouldn’t wear slacks or pants. It doesn’t mean that. May I remind you of something? In ancient times men wore skirts. That is a ridiculous interpretation of this. Everybody wore skirts. Nobody wore pants. That’s not what it’s talking about. There was a certain style, however, to men’s clothing and a certain style to women’s clothing. But the Hebrew says, “A woman shall not wear – ” literally “ – that which appertaineth to a man.” Whether it’s weapons, or implements, or tools, or clothes, or whatever it is that rubs out the distinctiveness of one’s sex, that’s an abomination to God.

Today we call people who do this “transvestites,” a person who exchanges his dress for that of the other sex because it induces a certain kind of sexual – perverted sexual – thrill or fulfillment. Men are to be masculine and women are to be feminine, and God has made them male and female, male and female created He them, and that’s the way He wants them to stay. And Satan wants to obliterate, and convolute, and pervert, and twist that.

We see that in the homosexual community today rampant. In fact, they love to dress up in the clothing of the opposite sex. The men put on those women’s clothes and they parade themselves publicly under the title “drag queens.” I’ll never forget one time when I was riding with the infamous Hawaii Five-O in Honolulu. One of the officers was taking me around to see sordid Honolulu at night, and he said, “I want to take you into an area to see something you won’t believe.” And we drove into this area, and here the streets were lined with dozens of people in bikinis, and spiked high heels, and done hair, and thick makeup. And as we got closer and started to mingle with them, as I walked with this officer, I saw that they were all men.

They parade themselves like that down the streets in their gay-pride parades all over the country. They dress like that. Sometimes you see them on the street and don’t even know it. Some of them are drag queens, that is they do it in public. Some of them are female impersonators, they do it in public. Some of the women dress like men and you look and you wonder if they’re men or women. They do it in public. And then there are those who do it in private. Theirs is that sick kind of sordidness that men get into when they wear their wives clothes and bizarre things like that.

That kind of thing distresses God. It is an abomination to God because it is an attempt to rub out the distinctions that God has ordained. The ancient writer Maimonides mentions that a man dressed in fancy women’s clothes would often come and worship Venus and Ashtoreth, and women dressed in men’s armor would come to honor Mars. That is so typical in ancient mystery religion because it was all a part of their pagan culture. Satan dominates the world, he dominates pagan culture, and he wants to twist and pervert sexual identity. God says if you do that, that is an abomination to Me.

Look at 23:1. Here you find another issue at hand. “No one who is emasculated, or has his male organ cut off, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” Now you’d have to ask the question who in the world would have his male organ cut off? Who would do this? A homosexual. They’re called today “transsexuals.” They used to be called “eunuchs.” Oh it was done in a religious way, sometimes. Sometimes parents in pagan societies would have their ten-year-old boys castrated so they could be devoted to the gods in the temple and they didn’t have to then worry about them playing around with the priestesses who offered their services to paying customers.

Sometimes a king who had a harem would want some men in there to care for some of the needs of the harem, and he would against their will castrate them so that they couldn’t do anything with the women in the harem. So eunuchs had places in harems, and they had places in pagan temples, even from the time they were young. But I think what you have here is someone who has this done to him and the implication would be not only the possibility of pagan worship here, certainly that’s a possibility, but also the implication of the possibility of a homosexual perversion. It doesn’t tell us specifically. But you have here a surgical attempt to remove maleness.

Today these transsexuals say, “Well I’m really a woman trapped in a man’s body and so I have to get my body fixed.” In ancient times people were castrated for their religion. They were castrated because of their duty perhaps to a king, or they were castrated by their own volition because it fit their perversion.

And it says here, “One who has this done shall not enter the assembly of the Lord.” If you’re a transsexual, that fits your idolatry and your sexual preference, you’re not going to enter the assembly of the Lord. Ever? You mean, somebody who has a sex change operation can never, ever, ever enter the assembly of the Lord? Look at Isaiah 56.

Isaiah 56. That means they can’t enter the kingdom. They can’t have a relationship with God. They can’t go to heaven. They can’t worship the true God. Look at Isaiah 56:3. Go back to verse 1 for a moment. In the middle of the verse God says, “My salvation is about to come.” My salvation is about to come. I’m going to bring salvation. Now go down to verse 3. “So let not the foreigner who is joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord shall surely separate me from His people.’ ” You don’t have to say that. If you say, “I’m a pagan. I’ve come over here to live in Israel. I’ve come over here to worship at the temple. I’ve come over here to honor the true God. But He’ll probably kick me out.” Don’t say that. “I won’t do that,” God says.

Verse 3, “Neither let the eunuch – ” the transsexual “ – say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ ” “There’s no hope for me. I was castrated. I’ll never be able to enter the assembly of God. I’ll never be able to walk with Him.” Isaiah says, “Don’t say that.”

Why? Verse 4. “For thus says the Lord, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters – ” and then here’s a play on words, “ – and I’ll give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.” I’ll save them if they come to Me, if they hold fast My covenant, if they choose what pleases Me. So somebody who had his organs cut off and so defiled the image of God can be forgiven – can be forgiven – if they come to the Lord.

I was baptizing on a Wednesday night over in the Family Center before we had this building, and always I interviewed the people who came in to be baptized, but this night I had been delayed, I think, and I didn’t get a chance to, so someone else did and I just came in to do the baptism. So this rather burly lady came in and spoke her name, and I think the name was Carla, and the voice sounded strange, and the mannerisms looked strange.

And this person said, “Well, I’m here because I want to testify to my faith in Christ and be baptized,” and a very brief testimony. And then I just baptized Carla. But I was deeply distressed, and I went out and I said to someone, I said, “Make sure that that person comes to my office immediately after getting dressed.” And this person walked in and I said, “I just want to spend a few moments. I have some questions.”

“Fine.” I said, “I’m disturbed. I want to be very up front with you. You came in from the women’s side, you gave a feminine name, but I think you’re a man.” And then we launched into a discussion about the fact that he had supposedly had a recent sex change operation. I said, “You certainly don’t for a moment think that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to accept you and sanctify your lifestyle as a man living as a woman in a homosexual relationship, or relationships.”

“Well, I was a – I’ve always been a woman, I just got trapped in a man’s body.” And I said, “No. You’ve always been a man and now you’re a castrated man, but you’re a man. You were born a man, and you will die a man, and you must live as a man, and you must acknowledge the sin of what you’ve done. And if you will acknowledge the sin of what you’ve done and ask the Lord’s forgiveness and repent and come to Him by faith, you’ll be forgiven and He’ll be gracious to you. But you must live as a man. Get rid of those clothes. Get some men’s clothes and prove the genuineness of your heart repentance toward God.”

Never saw him again. Showed up in another church down the road and I called and talked to the pastor, told the story, and they had to deal with it. It’s real life. There are people who do this. The kingdom is open to them if they acknowledge the sin of what they have done, and do what pleases God.

taken from: “God’s View of Homosexuality, Part 1” (sermon, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, Ca., September 6, 1992), accessed November 7, 2015, http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-69/gods-view-of-homosexuality-part-1.


The Transgender War on Everything

War has been declared on normality, reality, biology, morality and sanity. The militant homosexual/transgender revolutionaries have unleashed a reign of terror on everyone and everything that stands in their way. And everywhere casualties are mounting up.

All this chaos, carnage and confusion is being brought upon us by the aid of scientifically bogus propaganda which has been used to fool millions, and has done untold damage, especially to our children. The claim that homosexuality is genetically based and is immutable is one of the lies being pushed.

But at the same time we are being told with utter assurance that gender is fluid, a social construct, and can be changed at will. Um, so why is it that a person can be heterosexual today, bisexual tomorrow, transgender the next day, transvestite the following day, and so on, but the homosexual condition is set in concrete and inalterable?

transgender 6The propaganda of the sexual anarchists has taken hold in our culture to such an extent that we can cling to completely contradictory claims without even batting an eyelash. In my books I have debunked the various claims about homosexual determinism, and fortunately many experts are now coming out debunking the baloney of the transgender activists.

One such person is Dr. Joseph Berger. He is certainly qualified to speak on these matters: he is certified as a specialist in Psychiatry by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is an elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also a past Chairman of the Toronto district of the Ontario Medical Association and past President of the Ontario branch of the American Psychiatric Association.

A recent article has highlighted his very grave concerns about the transgender movement, and is worth quoting from at length:

A prominent Toronto psychiatrist has severely criticized the assumptions underlying what has been dubbed by critics as the Canadian federal government’s “bathroom bill,” that is, Bill C-279, a private member’s bill that would afford special protection to so-called “transgender” men and women.
Dr. Joseph Berger has issued a statement saying that from a medical and scientific perspective there is no such thing as a “transgendered” person, and that terms such as “gender expression” and “gender identity” used in the bill are at the very least ambiguous, and are more an emotional appeal than a statement of scientific fact.
Berger, who is a consulting psychiatrist in Toronto and whose list of credentials establishes him as an expert in the field of mental illness, stated that people who identify themselves as “transgendered” are mentally ill or simply unhappy, and pointed out that hormone therapy and surgery are not appropriate treatments for psychosis or unhappiness.
“From a scientific perspective, let me clarify what ‘transgendered’ actually means,” Dr. Berger said, adding, “I am speaking now about the scientific perspective – and not any political lobbying position that may be proposed by any group, medical or non-medical.”
“‘Transgendered’ are people who claim that they really are or wish to be people of the sex opposite to which they were born, or to which their chromosomal configuration attests,” Dr. Berger stated. “Sometimes, some of these people have claimed that they are ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ or alternatively ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’.”
“The medical treatment of delusions, psychosis or emotional happiness is not surgery,” Dr. Berger stated.
“On the other hand,” Dr. Berger continued, “if these people are asked to clarify exactly what they believe, that is to say do they truly believe whichever of those above propositions applies to them and they say ‘no’, then they know that such a proposition is not true, but that they ‘feel’ it, then what we are talking about scientifically, is just unhappiness, and that unhappiness is being accompanied by a wish – that leads some people into taking hormones that predominate in the other sex, and even having cosmetic surgery designed to make them ‘appear’ as if they are a person of the opposite sex.”
He explained that cosmetic surgery will not change the chromosomes of a human being in that it will not make a man become a woman, capable of menstruating, ovulating, and having children, nor will it make a woman into a man, capable of generating sperm that can unite with an egg or ovum from a woman and fertilize that egg to produce a human child.
Moreover, Dr. Berger stated that the arguments put forward by those advocating for special rights for gender confused people have no scientific value and are subjective and emotional appeals with no objective scientific basis.
“I have read the brief put forward by those advocating special rights, and I find nothing of scientific value in it,” Dr. Berger said in his statement. “Words and phrases, such as ‘the inner space,’ are used that have no objective scientific basis.”
“These are the scientific facts,” Dr. Berger said. “There seems to me to be no medical or scientific reason to grant any special rights or considerations to people who are unhappy with the sex they were born into, or to people who wish to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex.”
“The so-called ‘confusion’ about their sexuality that a teenager or adult has is purely psychological. As a psychiatrist, I see no reason for people who identify themselves in these ways to have any rights or privileges different from everyone else in Canada,” he concluded.

I encourage you to read the entire article. But another brand new piece is also worth mentioning. Matt Walsh offers us some hard-headed realism in his column, “With The ‘Transgender’ Movement, Liberalism Has Finally Descended Into Total Madness”. He writes:

It’s not debatable. It’s not a matter that can be discussed among intelligent grownups. There exists not a single morally or intellectually sound justification for this madness. I am often accused of being too harsh and too absolutist in my pronouncements on issues. Whether my gorilla in a China shop approach is always appropriate is another matter, but in this case, with this sort of thing, when dealing with the mind-numbing lunacies of “transgender” propaganda, I think every opponent should be adopting a hard-line stance. This is wrong. It’s demented. It’s evil. It’s dangerous. It’s abusive. Every argument in favor should be dismissed as the blathering nonsense it so clearly is.
Moreover, “transgenders” are men who struggle with mental illness and sexual perversion. Of all the men to permit in a girl’s locker room, one might argue that “transgenders” ought to be last on the list. Remember Lila Perry, the male “transgender” Missouri high school student who demanded, and was granted, the right to change and use the toilet with girls? A look at his own social media postings reveal that he is attracted to females (and males), and enjoys taking pictures of himself simulating explicit sexual acts. What sort of parent wouldn’t be concerned about a vulgar, hypersexual boy like that using the locker room with their daughter? What sort of government claims that a boy like that has a civil right to infringe on the privacy and security of girls?
The answers: neglectful parents and depraved, tyrannical governments.

His second point deserves to be emphasised:

2. The homosexual/transgender lobby can never be appeased.
This Illinois case is incredible considering how far the school district went to accommodate the deluded young man. Administrators first changed the pronouns on official school records to reflect whatever sex the “transgender” is pretending to be. That wasn’t enough. They allowed boys to play on girl sports teams, needlessly endangering safety and providing an unfair advantage to the team with the cross dressing male. That wasn’t enough. They let “transgenders” use the bathrooms of their choice. That wasn’t enough. They even let the boy use the girl’s locker room. The only stipulation — the only attempt they made to offer the real girls some shred of privacy and decency — was to ask the boy to change and shower behind privacy curtains, which they had specially installed for him. That wasn’t enough.
The school, like most schools in the country, bent over backwards to grant enormous and unreasonable favors to a small and demanding branch of an already tiny demographic. They made girls give up their sport’s teams, their bathrooms, and most of their privacy in the locker room, but the one single concession they asked of the boy was that he use a curtain. It still was not enough. It is never enough.
In liberalism, there is simply no demand that can be made, no requirement that can be expected, no line of distinction that can be drawn where “transgenders” and homosexuals are concerned. They must be given everything. Everything. And it’s never enough.
This is what the marriage fight was all about. Many states had already offered homosexuals an arrangement that would carry all of the same legal benefits as marriage, just without the title. But it wasn’t enough. Most homosexuals aren’t even interested in monogamous relationships, but they wanted access to marriage — marriage itself, not something close to it — because, well, just because. Because it’s never enough.
This also explains the fights over weddings cakes and photography and floral shops. Homosexuals can go basically anywhere and get a cake, or hire a photographer, or buy flowers, but if they encounter one business — just one, in a sea of other businesses — that wishes to refrain from being involved in gay “wedding” ceremonies, they must force it to comply or see that it is destroyed. It’s not enough to simply go somewhere else. It’s never enough.

Let me conclude with his final point:

5. Liberals are waging a war on reality.
Liberalism has officially severed itself from any semblance of reality, and indeed declared war upon it. If our culture cooperates; if we relent and concede that science is relative and human beings are gods who can choose their own biological makeup; if the left jumps over the shark and into the dark waters of full-fledged insanity, and many in our society take the plunge right along with it, then there will be no stopping liberalism. It will have won the culture irreversibly.
If we willingly forfeit the definition of “man” and “woman,” right after forfeiting the definition of marriage, and long after forfeiting the definition of human life, then we will have no basis left to oppose anything else liberalism tries to do. We will have given it everything, ceded its every demand, compromised on every single imaginable point, and that will be the end of it. All we’ll be able to do, then, is sit and wait for our civilization to eat itself and collapse into dust.
We either draw a line here and make a final stand for objective truth – declaring without equivocation that some things, like our sex, are real and absolute – or else we give up and play along and tell ourselves that truth never mattered all that much anyway.
I have no real confidence that, as a culture, we’ll choose truth. But if it’s ever going to happen, now’s the time. Liberals have made it clear that they intend to finally and categorically reject and outlaw reality itself. Now the question is: will the rest of us stand up and do anything about it? I hope so. But unlike liberals, I’m a realist, so I’m praying but I’m not holding my breath.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/psychiatry-expert-scientifically-there-is-no-such-thing-as-transgender
http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/with-the-transgender-movement-liberalism-has-finally-descended-into-total-madness/


New Spirituality Teacher Says “The Jig is Up” to Those Who Believe in “the Blood of the Lamb”

New Spirituality Teacher Says “The Jig is Up” to Those Who Believe in “the Blood of the Lamb”

Every now and then something come along that presents our case in such a succinct and obvious way that we are compelled to share it with our readers with the hope it will leave no question as to how serious the present situation is with regard to Christianity in the Western world. Religious author Diana […]

The post New Spirituality Teacher Says “The Jig is Up” to Those Who Believe in “the Blood of the Lamb” appeared first on lighthouse trails research.


STEP- Scripture Tools for Every Person

Students might find this suite of bible study tools very helpful.  It’s from Tyndale house in Cambridge and is called ‘STEP’ – scripture tools for every person.  You can download the contents from http://dev.stepbible.org/…/STEP_installers+450Bibles.zip.  Just unzip it.


WHI-1283 | Can We Still Believe in Jesus?

On this edition of the White Horse Inn, Michael Horton is joined by Douglas Groothuis, professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary and author of Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. As we continue to look at the historic claims of the Christian faith, we take a closer look at the person of Jesus. On what basis does the Bible claim he was raised from the dead? Why should we find the interpretation of the Scriptures compelling? Is there a reason for the hope that is within us?

Is the story of Jesus the stuff of legends or of actual history? Was Jesus really a miracle-worker, or merely someone whose deeds were later embellished by his followers? How can we even know whether he existed in the first place? Join us this week on another edition of the White Horse Inn as we discuss our knowledge of this historic person, Jesus of Nazareth.

HOST QUOTE
“We need to have a reason for the hope that is within us, and Jesus called us to love God with our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves. As my friend J.P. Moreland likes to say, ‘Christianity is a knowledge tradition.’ We are communicating the truth of Christianity in a winsome and rational way and to do otherwise is disobedience to the call on our lives.
“In my experiences in many years of being a Christian, nearly forty years and nearly twenty-two years of professionally teaching apologetics, is that if you understand your audience and the person you’re talking to, apologetics is always pertinent. Perhaps, these people have not experienced Christian persuasion at its best, but that kind of motivation against doctrine, against rational arguments for Christianity is a hindrance to the mission and kingdom of God.”
– Douglas Groothuis
TERM TO LEARN
The Objectivity of Faith
“To believe in something without first seriously reflecting on it or looking into it is not an act of faith, it is an act of foolishness. It is not, as some have held, a virtue to believe something without evidence or reason. The person who says, “You just have to have faith,” is really just proclaiming he has no idea what faith is. The whole point of Christianity is not that we have faith—that is no different from any other religion or worldview. If just having faith were the goal, all would be saved since everyone believes something. No, faith itself is not the object. In fact, what differentiates religions is the object of each faith. The content of faith ultimately is what matters. And the content of a faith is what must be investigated and then embraced or rejected.
Paul argued based on facts that could be investigated by anyone who was interested. He recognized that if Christianity was true, it must be rooted in facts. Paul saw the contact point in the historical, physical, temporal aspects of the life of Jesus. Jesus was a real person who did and said certain things in certain places at certain times. Witnesses to Jesus’ life and teaching could be found and questioned regarding these things.
Jesus’ reality—His historicity—is the foundation of Christianity. Without it, there is no Christianity. Paul was so sure of this foundation that he went so far as to point out the most vulnerable claim of the Christian faith [in 1 Corinthians 15:12–19].
If Jesus did not live, do, and say the things claimed by the apostles, then Christianity is false. If there is a better explanation for the resurrection, then Christians are simply wasting their time.
“By pointing out this vulnerability, Paul was really pointing out the strength of Christianity. So convinced was he of the historicity and verifiability of the resurrection, the event that confirmed the claims of Jesus, that he pointed out how to prove it false—almost as a challenge. Christian claims can be investigated and tested. This challenge has no parallel in other religions. No other sacred text shows how to destroy its own claims.
“The church fathers showed they understood the importance of Jesus’ historicity when they crafted the Nicene Creed, the universally accepted creed of the church. The creed says, “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.” Why mention Pontius Pilate? What doctrine is based on him? The answer is: none; there is no doctrine based on Pilate. He is mentioned to remind us that these were real events happening to a real person at a particular point in history.”
(Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics, pp. 11, 16, 18)

Read More


Notable Voices: November 7, 2015

The Secrets to Church Revitalization Webinar Replay — Revitalized Churches

This week, I’ve hosted more than a dozen webinars on church revitalization for church leaders from all around the world. The feedback has been tremendous. If you didn’t have a chance to catch the webinar or want to review some of the points, we’ve put a taped version online, and you can watch at your convenience.


Leadership—An Indispensable Necessity for the Pastor — Chris Hefner

Chris, who just started his first pastorate, shares some leadership wisdom you would expect from a pastor of many decades.


Pray For Your Church: A 31-Day Challenge — Mike Leake

Intentional prayer is one area lacking in many churches—especially those looking to revitalize or those mired in conflict. Mike will be leading a 31-day prayer effort through his blog over the next month. It starts Monday, but even if you don’t follow along with Mike and his group, I would encourage you to have a daily time of intentional prayer focusing on what God is doing in your church.


Ten Differences Between a Boss and a Leader — Eric Geiger

Pastors and church staff—be leaders, not bosses.


New Data Says Millennials Are Less Religious Than Anyone Else — Chris Martin

Pew Research released some updated stats on religion in America with a breakdown of older and younger Millennials. As you might expect the trends are continuing—the nones continue to rise.


5 Things Every Small To Mid-Sized Church Struggles With — Carey Nieuwhof

This list could be 500 items long. So to narrow it to five is quite a feat, and I’ve seen every one of these issues play out multiple times during my three decades as a church pastor and consultant. Be sure to catch Carey’s last point. It is an issue at many churches regardless of size.



This ‘n’ That

  • Truth be told, I wouldn’t want this guy in my neighborhood, either. And no, Christian, this is not an example of persecution for the faith. Just ask the Santa Claus that is apparently also part of this guy’s Christmas display. Also, could someone please tell me how it is that Todd Starnes passes for a journalist with subjective reporting like this?
  • So, as it turns out, if you are offering sacrifices, you aren’t actually a Christian.
  • And look, here’s some more people who call themselves Christians but who are actually pagans.
  • Just in case you’re wondering.
  • I am definitely getting on the wait list for this.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • What is the one of the most terrifying things God can do?
  • You will want to download this free book.
  • This should be titled, “Why every Christian should read J.C. Ryle.” Ryle’s not just for seminary students!
  • Ah, got it. It all makes sense now. How could I ever have thought Jonathan Cahn was a hack?
  • I really like the questions Aimee Byrd is asking here. Where are the mature women writers?
  • Steve Kreloff begins a short series on Psalm 51 and genuine repentance:

So You Want to Develop a Gospel-Centered Culture in Your Church…

Over the last several years, there have been numerous ministries, books, conferences, blogs, and churches gravitating toward gospel-centered ministry. Thankfully, I was blessed to be a member of one of those churches during seminary. Through that church I came to understand that the gospel must be what all of our ministries are based on, empowered by, and result from. After seeing that modeled for three years, when I left for my first pastorate, I immediately began working to create a gospel-centered culture within my church. Three and a half years later I am still working, but by God’s grace a lot of progress has been made.

Recently, I was asked what exactly I am doing to help create a gospel-centered culture here at Sycamore. Although my ministry and I are imperfect, I want to share with you six things I have been doing over my time here.

(1) Preach the gospel

Pastor, your pulpit ministry has a huge influence over your church, which means if you want your church to be gospel-centered, your preaching must be gospel-centered. Gospel-centered preaching involves more than tacking the gospel on to the end of your sermon, as if it was an afterthought. Instead gospel-centered preaching involves the gospel taking center-stage. You know that has happened when you use the gospel to encourage; convict; draw out; spur on; and promote joy, hope, and courage among your flock. So if you desire to create a gospel-centered culture in your church, make the gospel the center of your preaching.

(2) Counsel with the gospel

A pastor’s ministry doesn’t end after he steps out of the pulpit. In most cases, it is just beginning. That’s because faithfully preaching the gospel week in and week out will inevitable draw questions and sin to the surface, questions and sin that must be dealt with in the counseling room. Just like in the pulpit, the gospel must take center-stage in your counseling. You must not motivate your people to change through positive thinking and bootstrap mentality. You have to motivate them with the gospel. Doing so is not only what is best for them, but also it’s what will help create a gospel-centered culture in your church. As your people see the power and benefit of the gospel for both salvation and sanctification, they will begin applying it not only to themselves, but to those around them as well.

(3) Motivate with the gospel

When it comes to motivation, the tactic most people default to is guilt. I think that is because it works, and it is what comes most natural to us. While guilt can motivate in the short-term, it can’t and doesn’t produce lasting and healthy results. That’s because it leaves our people feeling beaten up and, at times, depressed. I know you don’t want that for your people, which means you have to use something other than guilt to motivate them. You have to use the gospel. So the next time you need to motivate your flock to volunteer, tithe, reach the lost, or deal with their sin, apply the gospel, rather than guilt. It is not only what’s best for them, but also it is what will help create a gospel-centered culture in your church.

(4) Talk about the gospel

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever said, “Your people aren’t really hearing what you are saying until you are tired of saying it” was right. Which means, if you want to create a gospel-centered culture in your church, you can never tire of talking about the gospel.

(5) Give gospel-centered resources 

If you are anything like me, you not only grew in your knowledge of gospel-centered ministry through your local church, but also through books, podcasts, videos, and articles. Just as you benefit, your people will as well. So as often as you can, give your people gospel-centered resources to read, listen to, and watch.

(6) Pray for a gospel-centered culture

Prayer is powerful; it truly changes things. It can change the hearts of men, it can bring about healing, and it can change the culture in your church. Often times I believe we forget the power of prayer. When we do, we begin to rely on our own strength, know-how, and ingenuity. But that alone won’t do when it comes to creating a gospel-centered culture because people’s hearts and minds need to be changed. The only way that is going to truly happen is if God changes them. So if you want a gospel-centered culture to take root in your church, go to the Lord in prayer, asking Him not only to change your own heart and mind, but those of your congregation as well.


Unsocial Media

Unsocial MediaSmartphones and social media will cure the epidemic of widespread loneliness. Or so we thought. We would all be connected, all together, all the time, and none of us would ever feel alone. But the harsh truth is we could always be lonely, even lonely in a crowd, and now lonely in a digital crowd.

We send texts and pictures and videos and tweets and Facebook updates and we refresh and wait . . . often to a blank screen. No responses, or very few. But at some point, when we hit refresh and stare at a screen with no new updates, it can feel like no one is on the other side of the line. We feel loneliness in the middle of online connectedness.

In reality, “it’s a lonely business, wandering the labyrinths of our friends’ and pseudo-friends’ projected identities, trying to figure out what part of ourselves we ought to project, who will listen, and what they will hear” (Marche, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”).

But it’s a chicken-and-egg question. Does Facebook attract the lonely, or does Facebook make us lonely? That is a debate I cannot solve. What is clear is that we have given up thinking that Facebook will end our loneliness.

Technology and Isolation

In the big picture, technology offers us many benefits, but with a serious side to our isolation, writes Stephen Marche. “The problem is that we invite loneliness, even though it makes us miserable. The history of our use of technology is a history of isolation desired and achieved.”

Exactly. The long story of isolation desired and achieved is a story told by Giles Slade in his book The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness (2012). He shows many strands of how technology and loneliness have unfolded together in the history of various innovations, from street peddlers to phones to television and music.

As technology improves, people are replaced by automation. Street vendors give way to vending machines. Milk deliveries give way to refrigerators. Bankers give way to ATMs. Central heating means we no longer congregate around a fireplace. Newspapers meant absorbing news by shielding ourselves, not by gathering for the latest word-of-mouth at a pub. Technology draws us apart.

Isolation was made possible by advances in video. The community cinema gave way to a large shared television in each family’s home, which gave way to portable televisions, and now personal LED TVs in every bedroom.

iPods and Earbuds

When it comes to music, this technological trajectory is even clearer. The live symphony on a Saturday evening was, for many people, replaced by the stationary phonograph (record player) in the family room, which was replaced by a large transistor radio, which was replaced by a portable transistor radio, which was replaced by a boombox with open speakers over the shoulder, which was replaced by a Walkman clipped to the waist, which was replaced by a tiny iPod clipped to the sleeve. Music went from a social community experience, to a shared family experience, and now to a personal headphones experience.

Many different strands of technological innovation have come together in the smartphone — the supreme invention of personal isolation. Our smartphones are a portable shield we carry in public in order to deter human contact and interaction. We step into an elevator with a stranger, and what is our immediate impulse?

And earbud headphones are an extension of the same principle. “In the twenty-first century, glaringly white Apple ear buds inform all those who observe us in public that we are disinterested, musically inclined, non-threatening people, while Bluetooth Wi-Fi earpieces convey a slightly different, more aggressive message: far too busy, don’t dare disturb,” Slade writes. “Once again, interaction with a device prevents and is preferable to risky, energy-consuming interactions with strangers. We have been conditioned for over a hundred years to risk interpersonal contact only through the mediation of machines. We trust machines much more than we trust human beings” (The Big Disconnect, 160).

This is what we now expect from our digital technology and our smartphones: isolation.

This is not accidental. “For manufacturers and marketers, human beings are best when they are alone since individuals are forced to buy one consumer item each, whereas family or community members share,” writes Slade. “Technology’s movement toward miniaturization serves this end by making personal electronics suitable for individual users. For today’s carefully trained consumers, sharing is an intrusion on personal space” (Slade, 10).

The relational consequences of these disconnections are not small.

Losing Trust

This miniaturization and personalization of technology (the direction of many of our technological advances) has led to us being cut off from others in ordinary daily interaction. We trust people less, and we trust our devices more. Which all leads to a fundamental question: Can we build healthy relationships, and build trust, while we are alone with our phones?

This question is bigger than social media. We know that many of the most popular sitcoms have always revolved around friendships. The plotlines are increasingly intricate as modern viewers can handle more and more complex storylines that developed over time from Cheers to Seinfeld to Friends to How I Met Your Mother. Each show demanding more relational IQ from viewers. So do these increasingly complex storylines among friends (on-screen friends) make us more relationally adaptable in the real world, or do they make us less socially adaptable and thereby more isolated and more lonely? On one hand, Slade calls these shows “companionship substitutes.” They empty life of true companionship. On the other hand, Steven Johnson, in his book, Everything Bad Is Good for You, claims these sitcoms, along with reality shows, are in fact increasing our social IQ and making us more relatable and more socially attuned with others in the real world and improving our relationships.

That debate cannot be settled here. I’ll simply turn to the social media and ask whether or not our social fabric is strengthening or fraying. In reality, all indicators show that the land of social media is a harsh and abrasive place; we all know this. For whatever reasons, people lose tact when they type opinions online. One theory why: “Among cyber natives, low self-esteem, depression, and isolation contribute to the testiness responsible for flaming, cyber-bullying, and generalized lack of empathy and interpersonal skill” (Slade, 238). What if loneliness is what makes us harsh online?

This is what author Umair Haque pointed to when he recently said abusive speech is killing Twitter. Twitter allows harsh and rude trolls to lurk and fester in conversations, largely unchecked. If this negativity cannot be stopped, it poisons the entire platform and the conversations will all eventually die off.

Haque’s solution: “We have to start with humility, gratitude, reality — not arrogance, privilege, blindness. Abuse isn’t a nuisance, a triviality, a minor annoyance that ‘those people’ have to put up with for the great privilege of having our world-changing stuff in their grubby hands. It will chill, stop, and kill networks from growing, communities from blossoming, and lives from flourishing. If your purpose is social interaction, abuse is as central to it as bacterial infection is to selling meat” (“Why Twitter’s Dying”).

The health of social media relies on social skills it cannot furnish. The solution is getting in touch with reality, which, as I take it, means the solution to social media harshness is not found in our sitcoms. The solution to social media harshness is only found in building healthy, trustworthy, face-to-face relationships.

Twitter will die if we remain lonely.

Build Face-To-Face Trust

We trust our machines, but we do not trust people. Into this culture of relational pessimism God has placed Christians, with a wonderful opportunity to display honesty and trust. And trust is built best when it is built face-to-face. God designed it this way. Being real and being trustworthy are essential characters we all must have in our lives. No amount of online communication can overcome a lack of real integrity.

We must be real with the people God has put into our lives. We must tell the truth. We must be honest at work. We must be honest with our money. We must not be led by greed. We must be trusted friends. We must be reliable. The world needs what we must be: living examples of God-centered and joyful men and women who live out their trustworthiness. We aim to win back the sinner’s distrust. We are not flawless, we are repenters. We are not perfect, we are committed to living out authentic humanity in union with Christ.

The gospel spreads out from the authenticity of a people (see 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10). Christians engage the world face-to-face, a key point for parents to keep in mind. “I meet more and more kids that don’t know how to talk to people, and who don’t even want to look up from their screen,” Francis Chan told me. “It hurts the kingdom when we raise socially awkward children. We are raising soldiers. We are raising missionaries. Our job is to get these kids to where they can get into the world and start conversations with people and bring the light of Jesus and the message of the gospel to them” (“Dads and Family Leadership”). Eye-to-eye authenticity is the key to trust, and trust is the key social skill our kids must develop.

Protect Aloneness

So where does such a face-to-face authenticity come from?

One of the most respected psychologists of the digital age, Sherry Turkle, says, “The capacity for empathic conversation goes hand in hand with the capacity for solitude. In solitude we find ourselves; we prepare ourselves to come to conversation with something to say that is authentic” (“Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.”).

Solitude is a precious gift: We all want it, we all need it. Solitude is the subtle marketing promise behind so many of our technological advances. Solitude was even a priority during the ministry of Jesus.

So what do we do with our aloneness once we have it?

We fumble it.

In our study of 8,000 regular readers of desiringGod.org, we asked whether you are more likely to check email and social media before or after your spiritual disciplines on a typical morning. Seventy-three percent of you said before. Such a stat will not shock any of us. We don’t cherish our solitude.

As John Piper explained, from his own experience, in the mornings we are immediately tempted with vanity in six directions. We grab our phones like we grab for junk food: to feed on the candy of our own egotism and to feed on novelty and on entertainment. We also impulsively reach for our phones to escape: to avoid the boredoms of life, the responsibilities of life, and the hardships of life. Temptations like these make the phone alluring immediately in the morning (“Six Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning”).

It’s hard to summarize the resulting problem any better than this: “The real danger with Facebook is not that it allows us to isolate ourselves, but that by mixing our appetite for isolation with our vanity, it threatens to alter the very nature of solitude” (Marche).

The equations seem to hold true for our early morning hours:

Isolation + feeding on vanity = soul-starving loneliness

Isolation + communion with God = soul-feeding solitude

The bottom line: Technology is almost always centripetal, naturally pulling us away from others into a habitat of loneliness. Paradoxically, habitual loneliness is what kills social media. As Christians, we push back our phones in the morning to protect our solitude in order to become authentic people. And we push back our phones during the day in order to build authentic eye-to-eye trust with the people in our lives. Without these two pushbacks in place, gospel mission stalls. With these pushbacks in place, gospel mission may flourish. With authentic relationships with one another, we are positioned to live as lights, recharged to spread words of the grace of Jesus Christ through our thumbs online.


The Biblical Celebrity Preacher

“With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel” – 2 Corinthians 8:18

There we have it — a biblical “celebrity preacher.” This famous gospel man was very well known among all the churches. From Jerusalem to Ephesus to Berea, Christians flocked to hear this anointed preacher.

What if this man were alive and preaching today?

Would he have a million Twitter followers? Probably.

Would he have had book deals galore? Probably.

Would he speak at conferences? Probably.

We would all know his name.

But notice the difference between the celebrity preachers of today and the famous preacher in 2 Corinthians 8:18. If this man was well known in all the churches, wouldn’t that mean he was well known in Corinth as well? Paul could have just said “I am sending you Matthias Chandler.” He could have rolled out some massive papyrus mail-outs with the famous preacher’s name front and center.

But that’s not what the Holy Spirit had Paul do. This preacher was to forever remain nameless. The famous, nameless preacher of Jesus Christ’s gospel. He is remembered only as a man who preached the gospel.

You know what? I bet that famous preacher was okay with that. I bet he was okay having his name decrease so that Christ’s name could increase.

How about you? Are you okay with that?


The Help of God in Every Step

The Help of God in Every StepDark shadows fall over the closing pages of John’s Gospel. For our Lord himself, there is the shadow of the cross; for the disciples, the shadow of his imminent departure.

He is leaving them to return to the Father, and they are utterly distraught. It is to this distress that Jesus addresses the words of John 16:7: “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

The words make two remarkable points. First, unless he goes away “the Helper” will not come. There is a divine order in the work of redemption, and in terms of that order there can be no Pentecost before Calvary. It is not simply that without the cross neither the disciples nor the Helper would have any witness to bear. There is a deeper reason: Only when Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law can we receive the promised Spirit (Galatians 3:14).

Before there can be communion, there must be reconciliation. But the converse is also true. Wherever Christ redeems, the Spirit ministers. This is why salvation can never be merely an external imputation of Christ’s righteousness. It is also profoundly inward. Wherever the blood is sprinkled, the Spirit transforms.

To Your Advantage

But then Jesus adds a second remarkable word: “It is to your advantage that I go away.” This was the last thing the disciples wanted to hear. What could he mean?

We all know the sentiment, “If only we could have been with him when he walked the hills of Galilee and strode the streets of Jerusalem!” But what if, when he walked those hills, we happened to be in Jericho, or Brazil? The incarnate Lord could not be in two places at once. But this is exactly what the coming of the Helper makes possible. Wherever we are, he is with us.

The word “Helper” (Greek parakletos) means, literally, one called to be beside us, but Jesus also spoke of him as being with us and even of his being in us. These words bespeak a remarkable intimacy between believers and the Holy Spirit. True, we see Jesus no more. But in place of that external presence, we now have an inner presence. We never walk alone. Whether on great missionary journeys, or languishing in prison cells, or fighting our own personal battles, the Helper is always beside us, always with us, and always in us.

But not as a replacement for Christ, as if he went away when the Spirit comes. Remember the words of John 14:18: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” This cannot mean only that the disciples would see him again in his resurrection appearances. If that were all, then Christians would indeed be “orphans” for the whole period between Jesus’s ascension and his return. The truth, surely, is that in the Helper, Jesus himself comes.

He Is with You Always

This is what the church later expressed in the doctrine called perichōrēsis: The three persons of the Trinity indwell and embrace each other so closely that where One is, the Three are (a doctrine based on Jesus’s own words in John 14:10, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me”). The Spirit is the Spirit of his Son; where his Spirit is, he is; and it is thus that Jesus fulfills his promise to be present with his church every day to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

Nor is this all. The Father, too, is with us. Here again the intimacy is remarkable: “If anyone loves me,” declared Jesus, “my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). The we is breath-taking. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit now live in the heart of every believer. Christ is no longer visibly present to us, but through the indwelling Spirit the triune God is with us every step of the way.

He Is a Person

What of the Helper himself? He is clearly distinct from Jesus, yet his work is a continuation of Jesus’s work. This is why the Lord calls him “another Helper,” and why John can later call Jesus himself a Helper (1 John 2:1). This underlines the fact that the Spirit, no less than Jesus, is a person, not some abstract force or mere spiritual fuel; and because he is a person, our relationship with him must also be personal.

He does not possess us, as demons possessed demoniacs, or overwhelm us, depriving us of the use of our own minds and wills. Nor are we absorbed into him, as in some great mystical ocean. Nor is he an intoxicant (Ephesians 5:18), destroying our self-control and giving us drug-like highs. He guides, teaches, witnesses, advocates, helps, encourages, strengthens, intercedes, and assures. And he expects us to listen, obey, follow and, above all, to keep in step (Galatians 5:25).

He Is Your Advocate

The word parakletos usually meant an advocate, and this applies to the Holy Spirit in two distinct ways.

First, he is Christ’s advocate in the world (John 16:8–11). The disciples (and the church) were given a daunting commission: the evangelization of the world. But how can we convince the world of its need of salvation? How can we convince it that one who died an ignominious death is its appointed Savior? And how can we convince it that every man will one day stand before his judgement seat?

The short answer is that we cannot. The relief is that the Holy Spirit can. He can convict the world. He can stand up for Christ and his witnesses, and then our poor, lisping, stammering tongues become words of life and power.

Secondly, he is Christ’s advocate in our hearts. He shall glorify me, says Jesus (John 16:14), by sharing with us his own vision of the beauty of the Savior. The Spirit sees Christ through the Father’s eyes (John 16:13). A believer sees him through the Spirit’s eyes.

He Is Your Helper

Still, there is a warmth in Jesus’s promise which the word “advocate” cannot convey. Remember that his words were addressed to the disciples’ fear of being left friendless and helpless. The comfort is that when he goes, he will send another who will stand by them and stand up for them, just as he has done. Far from being orphans, they have a Father in heaven, and through his Spirit he will provide for them as only a heavenly Father can.

Yet the mission of the Helper does not mean that there is no further place for hope, as if we already enjoyed all that God intends for his children. We still long to see him (1 John 3:2). And completeness comes not with Pentecost, or with Spirit-baptism, but only in the glory of the resurrection.



This Week in Calvinism – November 6, 2015

  • Sam Waldron is already up to points 11, 12, and 13 of his series “21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism.”
  • A sermon series on the five fruits of Calvinism.
  • Roger Olson takes issue with the idea that Arminians don’t preach a “complete gospel”:

    All true, historical, classical Arminians, Arminians of the heart, whole heartily affirm that salvation is a free gift of God that cannot be earned or merited. Preaching that it must be freely accepted “by faith” (trust in Christ Jesus) and that it can be freely rejected, does nothing to lessen the completeness of the “by grace through faith” heart of the gospel—Calvinist objections notwithstanding.

  • Author Joshua Guthman discusses his book about the Primitive Baptists.
  • Get your Reformed gear at MissionalWear.com

W4YW: Keep Praying, Suffragettes, & Bosses Aren’t (All) Leaders

Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

The Rival Conceptions of God, C. S. Lewis Doodle. We posted a C. S. Lewis “doodle” last year around this time. In case you didn’t binge on them at that time, we’re giving you another shot. The artistry here is fantastic, and really enhances Lewis’ thought. (The British voiceover helps!)

Articles of the Week

Seven Contexualization Truths for Worship, Bob Kauflin. The average churchgoer doesn’t much think about the music in church—unless it particularly bothers him. But chances are, the worship leaders have spent a good deal of time choosing the songs and styles. For them, worship music is a sort of contextualization—taking time-honored truths and translating them into new and relevant forms. But contextualization can always go wrong. Kauflin helps us keep our musical contextualization in the right key.

The Suffragettes Wouldn’t Agree with Feminists Today, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Time. There’s a lot of power in appealing to past heroes. Who, after all, wants to publicly say that they’re opposed to the abolitionists of the 19th century, or the suffragettes of the 20th? But as Dannenfelser points out, our society has largely bought a lie when it comes to the early feminists of our country—that their feminism would lead them to be pro-choice today. As she says, “Women who join us reject the idea that feminism requires them to be at war with their own children.”

Three Reasons to Keep Praying about the Same Thing, Michael Kelley. It is grueling and often discouraging to keep praying for the same things, day after day, week after week, year after year. If the prayers are small and insignificant, we give up easily. If it’s bigger—for instance, the salvation of a loved one—we tend to hang on a bit longer. But sooner or later, all of us feel like cashing it in. Kelley gives us three solid reasons why we should keep pressing on.

Ten Differences Between a Boss and a Leader, Eric Geiger. We will stop posting Eric Geiger’s material as soon as he stops posting such relevant and useful stuff. Some quick takeaways… To all the bosses out there: you need to be more than a boss. To everyone else: you can lead without an official position.

On The Lighter Side

Joel Osteen or Fortune Cookie? Tim Challies. I [Chris] got an 8 out of 12 on this quiz, just a smidge better than 50/50 guessing. The only possible conclusion is that Joel Osteen is in the fortune cookie business…or, perhaps, the fortune cookie folks really like Joel Osteen?

Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”


Chris Martin:

The ideological landscape in this country is only going to become more diverse, and both the religious and irreligious are wise, I think, to commit to a peace treaty of sorts in order to promote a culture of understanding amidst disagreement. Like the characters in The Newsroom, I’m on a mission to civilize. Is it a bit quixotic? Sure it is. But as polarization increases, the religious and irreligious alike must find peace.

Christian Mingle Inspector

My goodness, this is funny:

Ten Differences Between a Boss and a Leader

Eric Geiger:

Some bosses are leaders, but not all of them. It is possible to be a boss and not be a leader, or be a leader without being a boss. Someone may be in positional authority but not have influence, respect, or the ability to lead. And many people are able to lead and influence others without being in an official “leadership position.” Here are ten differences between a boss (someone who is only a boss) and a leader (who may also be a boss).

Despite Wrong Doomsday Stats, Pastors Holding Up Just Fine

Ed Stetzer:

Being a pastor is not a walk in the park by any means, but it is wrong to say a bunch of them are quitting because it’s too tough.

Statistics do show us, however, that though pastors do not jump ship from the ministry as often as some claim, the burden of ministry can be difficult to bear.

Where Are the Mature Women Writers?

Aimee Byrd:

There are plenty of important issues that I have also refrained from writing about for this reason, but there’s more to it than this. The younger women have offered some great resources to help Christians who are beginning to learn more about the Christian life of faith and obedience. But I long for more women to write with some weightier teaching. Because older women have lived through experiences such as Lisa shares, they have hopefully dug deeper in the Word and have substantial and rich teaching they could now contribute.

Is the Digital Tide Turning?

David Murray:

Is the digital deluge beginning to abate? After years of digital tsunamis sweeping everything (including ourselves) before them, are we seeing the tide turning? Is some sanity returning to our use of digital technology?


The Daily Discovery (November 7-8, 2015)

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

Building Wells in Africa Will Not Bring You Ultimate Fulfillment – “Now let me make myself clear, it’s good to be cause-oriented. But for the Christian, the cause can’t be our god. We can try to stamp out hunger or disease, but that’s ultimately not what we’re created to do. Therefore, we ultimately end up unsatisfied and in despair. Solomon makes it clear: There are some things that we just cant change. These things are crooked. No matter how hard we try to bend them back into place, they just won’t bend.”

Women Preachers? A Response to Perry Noble – “Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring church in South Carolina, has recently defended the idea that women should preach. You can read his defense here. He writes in a friendly spirit and says that he wants to clarify the situation rather than argue about the matter. Such friendly discussions are important, and I hope it should prove helpful to clarify why I think Noble’s reasons fail to persuade.”

“Prophetic Prayer” Claims God Has Given Donald Trump “Anointing for Mantle of Government” – “Here we go again. As you can see by the headline, one of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) ‘prophets’ has uttered a prophecy for a presidential candidate. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Why? Because the majority of NAR prophets’ predictions never come to pass. For example, on September 28, 2009 the ‘prophets’ declared that Texas governor Rick Perry would have a leadership role beyond Texas. Following is an excerpt from a piece entitled ‘Rick Perry’s Army of God’…”

Simultaneous Joy and Sorrow – “How can someone have unshakeable joy in Jesus and deal with the hard and painful realities of life? In fifteen minutes, John Piper embraces and explains the necessary tension between joy and sorrow in the Christian life. With every trial we face, God has given us a specific grace designed for that trouble.”

I Can’t Sit Down, Shut Up, and Play Nice – “I don’t consider myself a discernment blogger, but rather a discipleship blogger. Discernment (warning against false teachers and false doctrine) is part of discipleship, but so is missions and evangelism, Bible study, and assorted ‘Christian living’ topics, all of which I try to cover in balance. Nobody seems to mind those latter topics, but a lot of people get their noses out of joint when I call attention to a false teacher, an unbiblical doctrine or practice, or an apostate ‘church.’ I have been asked why I hate women. I’ve been told I’m what’s wrong with Christianity. And, I’ve been called every name in between for pointing out ‘Christian’ teachers, doctrines, and “churches” that behave and teach in ways which directly contradict Scripture.”


SERMON:

Paul Washer – We Have Forgotten that the Way is Narrow


VIDEOS:

Katie: A Citizen of ‘But Nation’

Christianity vs. Every Other Religion


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


Christian Headlines Daily

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

 American Girl Magazine Features Photo of Family with Two Dads
 Should Parents of Disabled Children be Allowed to Stunt Their Growth?
 Pakistani Christian Couple Who were Burned in Kiln Remembered on Anniversary of Death
 Ben Carson’s Pyramid Theory Ridiculed by Experts
 Vote Defeats Houston Transgender Bathroom Ordinance
 Abortionists Admit Emotional Toll of Grisly Work
 Evangelicals Show More Openness in Death Penalty Debate
 Marco Rubio Gives Strong Pro-Life Response to Question about Abortion
 Christie and Huckabee Won’t be on Main Stage in Tuesday’s GOP Debate
 Study: Majority of Christians Believe Gays Should be Accepted by Society

Opinion

 Praying for Those Who Think Badly of Us
 God is Still Not Dead in America
 More on Marijuana Madness: Taking the Debate Further
 The Urgency of Winning People for Christ
 Have Americans Really Changed Their Minds on Same-sex Marriage?

Weekend A La Carte (November 7)

Let me begin with a few personal updates. First, thanks to all who have chosen to support me through Patreon; your support is much appreciated. Second, I had a very productive week finishing off a book on productivity; it should be available soon. Finally, by popular request I am working on PDF versions of the theological quizzes I have been sharing; they should be ready by next week. And now, here are today’s links.

Women Preachers?

Perry Noble recently made the case for women preachers. Tom Schreiner provides a measured and helpful response.

The Celebrity Pastor Factory

This is a strong article. “Celebrity pastors are not a new phenomenon, nor is our human tendency to exalt our leaders to unsustainable heights. What is new is the number of celebrity pastors and the speed at which they are being created and corrupted.”

What Makes Muscles Grow?

This little video explains how and why muscles grow.

The Blind Eyes of Abortion

John Knight, whose son was born without eyes, tells of his sorrow in hearing Planned Parenthood abortionists laughing together about tearing babies apart (and seeing eyeballs fall out).

Pastors Are Holding Up Just Fine

Ed Stetzer: “Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve published a couple of blog posts in an attempt to further squelch the false idea that pastors are constantly miserable and that thousands of them are leaving the church each year. The fact is, they are doing just fine.”

This Day in 680. 1,335 years ago today, an ecumenical council held at Constantinople condemned monethelitism, the teaching that Christ’s human will is superceded by his divine will. *

What His Daughter Remembered

Randy Alcorn: “Some years ago, I sat with my daughters at a wonderful father/daughter banquet at our church. Someone at the table asked my youngest daughter, Angela, what I’d done that made the biggest impression on her. I had no idea what she would say, but of course I hoped for something spectacular.”

Paying for Air

“Ever opened a seemingly full bag of crisps to find it mostly empty space? One artist was so frustrated with the problem that he decided to size up some of the worst offenders.”

Christian Leaders: It’s Time for More Content Ministry

Thanks to GradLime for sponsoring the blog this week. Their support is much appreciated!


11/07/15 Concerning that Day

READING: Matthew 24

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  The year was 1978. I had studied the return of Jesus extensively (as had most everyone else in the Christian world, it seemed). Hal Lindsey had published 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. I was certain that Jesus was coming back before I graduated from high school in 1979. I was so certain, in fact, that I preached that message as a young preacher.

I was quite wrong. Way off. Missed it by at least decades.

So far off that I’ve not given a lot of thought to Jesus’ return lately . . . at least not until I’ve been doing the reading for the last few days. Even though I have no idea when Jesus will return (and won’t even venture a guess here), I have been strongly reminded that I must live in the light of His ever possible return:

Matt. 24:36-44  Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son—except the Father only. As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

I must always be ready. I must be found working. I may not know when Jesus will return, but I do know for certain that it’s closer than it was in 1978. I must remain obediently alert.

Today could be the day.

ACTION STEPS: Live today as if it were the day of His return.

PRAYER: “God, help me to live the way I’ve just described above.”


READING: Matthew 25

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Today’s reading continues the discussion of Jesus’ return. In this chapter, though, are recurrent and dramatic images about those who are NOT prepared for that event:

  1. The foolish virgins didn’t take enough oil to be prepared should Jesus delay His coming. They did not persevere in preparation and persistence, and the bridegroom would say only of them, “I assure you, I do not know you” (Matt. 25:12).
  2. The man given one talent only buried it in the ground, and he had nothing more to give to the owner; in turn, the mandate was, “And throw this good-for-nothing slave in the other darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30).
  3. The people who did not minister to the hungry, thirsty, and hurting would “go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46).

Upon His return, Jesus expects to find us persevering, working, multiplying, and ministering. While no such works save us, our Lord does assume that our faith would be evident in our actions. Only then will He say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). In my own life, that reality forces me to consider how much I do that is not focused enough on Christ. Much of what I do during a given day seems to have little eternal significance — and that kind of temporal “stuff” won’t ultimately keep us going.

ACTION STEPS: Consider today what components of your life could be set aside as temporal and distracting. Make sure you’re working and waiting for Christ’s return.

PRAYER: “God, grant me grace to be more diligent in doing those things with an eternal significance. Remind me that sharing the gospel with non-believers might well be one of the most eternal things I can do today.”


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.


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


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

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

— Augustine

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A new civil religion, not secular humanism, is being imposed

thereformedmind

From Bruce Frohen:

In court at least, one no longer hears the argument that federal policies are establishing a “religion of secular humanism.” The reason for this is simple: raising the issue is a guaranteed way of losing, immediately and with extreme prejudice, the suit in which the claim is made. This does not necessarily mean that criticizing decisions interpreting the First Amendment’s prohibition against a national, established religion for promoting their own kind of religion is clearly wrong, only that it violates judicial self-conceptions. Judges find it insulting to have their precepts, which they have been told since law school are rooted in the only enlightened, democratic vision of law possible, actually bespeak something so “irrational” and “superstitious” as faith. These decisions are rooted in faith. But it is a political, not a properly religious, faith.

The claim that judges are imposing on us a secular humanist religion is…

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Boycotting Truth to Promote Death

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

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Within the last thirty days, more Planned Parenthood videos have been released exposing their callous attitude toward life; an assistant football coach was banned from praying on the field after games, the gender neutral bathroom debate is heating up, and Bruce Jenner is going to be named woman of the year by Glamour Magazine.

This is the culture our past silence has cultivated in America.

Even more disturbing is the fact we have a biased media taking sides, particularly regarding the issue of abortion. Katie Yoder of the Media Research Center reports it has been three months and counting since ABC, NBC, and CBS have even mentioned any of the disturbing video footage provided by The Center for Medical Progress.

You read that right: more than three months of media silence as more undercover videos have been released exposing Planned Parenthood’s exploitation of aborted fetal tissue. The last…

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Concerning Red Cups, Coffee Companies, and Pseudo-Christian Things

The Confessional ARP

Dear broadly evangelical friends,

There is a video going around on Facebook of an outraged, Christian man who is proud that he has cleverly “outwitted Starbucks.” The premise of the video is that if you are a real Christian, you are offended that Starbucks doesn’t say, “Merry Christmas,” or have it written on their cups. The video opens with the man making some trite statements about being “open minded” and how Starbucks wants to take Christ & Christmas off their cups—more than that, their employees are *gasp* not allowed to say, “Merry Christmas.”

He then says that instead of boycotting Starbucks, he wants to start a movement of patrons who answer that their name is Merry Christmas. Clever. Wow! What a wonderful way to demonstrate that you are a Christian. Doing this obviously means that you love and serve Jesus more than others. Obviously. (Because lying in order to…

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GodLife: Are You A Refugee?

Scripture:

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NLT)

The “Islamic State” is wreaking terror over large parts of Iraq and Syria. Boko Haram carries out attacks in Nigeria and neighbouring states. Governments oppress their own people across Africa, while some countries persecute minorities on a massive scale. Those being oppressed are often forced to flee their homelands. Are you one of them?

Click for three tips to give you hope

The Awful Day of Judgment

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “The Day of Judgment”
Written by, Archibald Alexander (1772-1851), founding professor of Princeton Theological Seminary.

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That a just God will render to every man according to his character and works, is a dictate of reason…

Conscience also intimates to every man, when he sins, that he deserves to be punished; and when we see or hear of great crimes committed by others, such as murders, perjuries, robbery, or treachery, we feel something within us demanding that such should receive condign punishment. But we see that the wicked are not always punished in this world according to their evil deeds; it seems reasonable, therefore, to expect that there will be a judgment after death.

We are not left, however, to the mere dictates of reason on this subject: God, in his word, has revealed in the clearest manner that there will be a day of reckoning…

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