Daily Archives: December 14, 2015

Proclaim Charts: Top 10 Worship Songs on Dec 13

Proclaim Charts: Top 10 Worship Songs on Dec 13

Proclaim Blog

Each week we publish the top 10 most-played songs from weekend services around the world and point out tracks that are rising fast on the charts. Check back every week to learn which worship tracks are hot right now.

  1. “Joy To The World”
  2. “O Come All Ye Faithful”
  3. “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”
  4. “Angels We Have Heard on High”
  5. “Go Tell It On The Mountain”
  6. “The First Noel”
  7. “Away in a Manger”
  8. “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”
  9. “How Great Is Our God”
  10. “Here I Am to Worship”

 

GodLife – The Coming of Jesus: A Story Told Throughout the Bible

Scripture:

“When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44

What did Jesus mean when He said to the Jewish leaders of His day, “Examine the scriptures, since you think that in them you have eternal life. They also testify about me.” (John 5:39) As Christmas gets closer, let’s think about what His coming meant for us…and how true these words are.

The Bible’s story of Jesus’ coming

December 14, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

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Christmas is a chance to tell people about Jesus. Don't let your rules get in the way...

Christmas is a chance to tell people about Jesus. Don’t let your rules get in the way…

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Christian Today

Believe it or not, there are churches in the UK and the US that you could walk into this week and you wouldn’t have any idea Christmas was approaching. Neither the decoration, nor the worship would give it away.

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Beyond Fight or Flight: $1 Million Reveals How Christians Cope with Persecution in 30 Countries

Beyond Fight or Flight: $1 Million Reveals How Christians Cope with Persecution in 30 Countries

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Christianity Today

Under Caesar’s Sword conference in Rome explores strategies in 100 beleaguered communities.

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O come to church all ye faithful, sort of faithful and atheists, too

O come to church all ye faithful, sort of faithful and atheists, too

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Religion News

(RNS) Church at Christmastime is not just about pageants and parties and family. Jesus makes the difference in drawing crowds — including many unbelievers, a new survey finds.

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John 3:16 no longer one of the most popular verses for sharing

John 3:16 no longer one of the most popular verses for sharing

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Christian Examiner

YouVersion, a digital Bible app that works on every device, just shared its 2015 statistics, including its most shared verses by country—and John 3:16 isn’t one of them.

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Is the Exact Date of December 25 Really That Important?

Is the Exact Date of December 25 Really That Important?

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Crosswalk

Comment sections on nearly every post about Christmas on Christian blogs and websites these days inevitably include readers who, while Christian, have major problems with Christmas, pagan symbols, or the date of Christrsquo;s birth. While …

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How to Pray in Praise and Worship

How to Pray in Praise and Worship

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Crosswalk

Have you ever prayed in prayer and worship? Here are 4 keys to power-packed praying: Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs, and Blessings.

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A Holiday Survival Guide for the Single Person

A Holiday Survival Guide for the Single Person

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Crosswalk

I’m the only one in my immediate family who is not married, and I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays.

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2 Things to Do when You're Lonely in Church

2 Things to Do when You’re Lonely in Church

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Crosswalk

If church is the crowd that you are feeling lonely in, you might want to consider why.

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Wheaton College Prof. to Wear Hijab During Advent to Show Solidarity With Muslims

Wheaton has abandoned Israel and embraced barbarians….

A Wheaton College professor announced on Facebook Thursday night that she will be wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf) throughout her celebration of the Advent as a way of showing solidarity with Muslims.

Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the Wheaton, Illinois, evangelical higher education institution, explained on her Facebook page that she will be wearing a hijab to work, class, and church. She also vows to wear the hijab during her trip to Chicago and even when she goes on an airplane to return to her hometown for Christmas.

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Wheaton College Professor Comes Out Wearing Hijab, Quotes “Pope Francis”: “We All Worship Same God”

According to Christian News Network:

A professor at a prominent Christian university in Illinois posted photos of herself wearing an Islamic hijab this past week, stating that she was doing so to show solidarity with Muslims.

Larycia Hawkins is an associate political science director at Wheaton College, one of the most renown Christian schools in the world. On Thursday, she posted two photos of herself wearing a hijab, and stated in a lengthy explanation that she plans to wear it everywhere she goes during the Advent—including at the Christian college and to church.

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The Death of Christian Higher Education

OK, one rather clueless dhimmi does not make an entire institution bad, but one sure has to wonder why such a person is allowed to stay. I refer to America’s most prestigious and well-known Christian liberal arts college, Wheaton College in western Chicago.

I just read something about one of the professors there that still has me reeling. I take a bit of interest in this place for the simple reason that I graduated from Wheaton many years ago. So when I find my old alma mater seemingly going down the tubes like this, it is of great concern indeed.

I refer to a political science prof (who was not there when I was a student) who has come out saying some of the most ridiculous and even dangerous things a so-called Christian professor could say at a Christian college regarding Islam. I really hope she is the only clueless dhimmi there.

Sadly Wheaton has had various issues over the years. I was even aware of some real problems when I was a student there 30 years ago! No institution is perfect of course, and all will have a real mix at times when it comes to faculty and staff.

But it is already getting wobbly on the homosexuality issue, which is always a real telling indication of where a Christian institution is at. Consider for example “OneWheaton”. And just what is that? You guessed it: “A community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied (LGBTQ&A) alumni and students of Wheaton College (Illinois).”

hawkins LaryciaAnd consider another staff member who had to (thankfully) resign recently, someone who had referred to herself as a “gay Christian”. “Julie Rodgers, advocate of the notion of a ‘gay Christian’ identity, resigned from her position as ministry associate for spiritual care at Wheaton College (IL) on the same day she admitted her support for homosexual relationships.”

So Wheaton is struggling here with the issue of homosexuality. But just as bad, it is clear that it is struggling with the issue of Islam as well. One prof who has not yet resigned is pushing the “we all worship the same God” baloney and is even singing the praises of the terrorist-related group CAIR. This episode is so mind-boggling that I must present the entire news item about this here:

A Wheaton College professor announced on Facebook Thursday night that she will be wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf) throughout her celebration of the Advent as a way of showing solidarity with Muslims. Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the Wheaton, Illinois, evangelical higher education institution, explained on her Facebook page that she will be wearing a hijab to work, class, and church. She also vows to wear the hijab during her trip to Chicago and even when she goes on an airplane to return to her hometown for Christmas.
“I don’t love my Muslim neighbor because s/he is American. I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity,” Hawkins wrote. “I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind — a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014.” Hawkins, who has been on the Wheaton faculty since 2007, further asserted that not only are Muslims her neighbors but they also “worship the same God.”
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God,” Hawkins stated. “But as I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all. Thus, beginning tonight, my solidarity has become embodied solidarity.”
“As part of my Advent Worship, I will wear the hijab to work at Wheaton College, to play in Chi-town, in the airport and on the airplane to my home state that initiated one of the first anti-Sharia laws (read: unconstitutional and Islamophobic), and at church,” she added. Hawkins did not respond to requests from The Christian Post for comments by press time.
The Wheaton College professor further explained that she hopes she is not the only non-Muslim woman wearing a hijab this holiday season, as she desires to start a movement of women showing their solidarity for Muslims.
“I invite all women into the narrative that is embodied, hijab-wearing solidarity with our Muslim sisters — for whatever reason. A large scale movement of Women in Solidarity with Hijabs is my Christmas ‪#‎wish‬ this year,” Hawkins continued. “Perhaps you are a Muslim who does not wear the veil normally. Perhaps you are an atheist or agnostic who finds religion silly or inexplicable. Perhaps you are a Catholic or Protestant Christian like me. Perhaps you already cover your head as part of your religious worship, but not a hijab.”‬
Hawkins turned to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), where she has a friend on staff, for advice on whether it would be offensive to Muslims if a non-Muslim wears a hijab.
“I asked whether a non-Muslim wearing the hijab was haram (forbidden), patronizing, or otherwise offensive to Muslims. I was assured by my friends at CAIR-Chicago that they welcomed the gesture,” she explained. “So please do not fear joining this embodied narrative of actual as opposed to theoretical unity; human solidarity as opposed to mere nationalistic, sentimentality.”

Wow! What can one say? Well, I can say plenty, actually. First, this is how Christian higher education in the West ends. Allow dhimmis like this at a Christian college to undermine not only the Christian faith but a free and democratic America, and you will quickly see the loss of both.

That every person on earth is made in the image of God of course goes without saying. But using that basic biblical truth to pretend that there are effectively no differences between Islam and Christianity is the height of foolishness and theological mushiness.

And spare us this “embodied solidarity” silliness. She really wants to wear a hijab to identify with and show solidarity to Muslim women? A symbol of oppression, misogyny, and second class citizenship? Get real Hawkins. Any genuine Christian would want to see Muslim women liberated and emancipated from their enslavement, not stand with them and celebrate their wretched condition.

This prof clearly knows nothing about Islam or the treatment of women in Islam. She needs to do a bit of reading. She could start with one of my many articles on this, such as: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2006/11/02/islam-and-women/

Or she can listen to someone who knows exactly what she is talking about: she should read Cruel and Usual Punishment by Nonie Darwish. See my review of her important volume here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/06/24/a-review-of-cruel-and-unusual-punishment-by-nonie-darwish/

As to her reckless and unbiblical claim that we worship the same God: um, no we don’t. Not at all. But I explain this in detail elsewhere so I will not repeat myself here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2007/08/19/no-we-do-not-worship-the-same-god/

And what about this shocker: “anti-Sharia laws” are “unconstitutional and Islamophobic”!? What? This has got to be the most idiotic and uninformed thing she says here, and mind you, she says quite a few idiotic and uninformed things. Of course implementing anti-freedom, anti-democracy, anti-Christian, and anti-women sharia law is unconstitutional. Earth calling Hawkins!

And if that makes me Islamophobic for saying so, then we obviously need a whole lot more Islamophobia. But by tossing this useless terms around (like homophobic, etc), she is simply trying to shut down debate and demonise her opponents. And she teaches at Wheaton?

And like so many other Western guilt-tripping and self-loathing lefties, she speaks about “class privilege” on a Wheaton web page: “Acknowledge your privilege. Class privilege results from education at an elite liberal arts institution like Wheaton.” Oh good grief. If you are so bent out of shape by your class privilege, why don’t you leave Wheaton and let some poor kid from the Southside of Chicago take your place.

(BTW, Dinesh D’Souza does a superb job of dealing with this class privilege silliness in this terrific video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN9bu6CP318 )

Then she says she actually sought permission from CAIR to go ahead with all this! And she is a political science prof! Puh-leeese. Does she know nothing about CAIR, an organisation with proven links to the Muslim Brotherhood?

Some clueless wonders might say, “Oh how sweet and Christlike of you to ask them first”. No, the truth is, how brainless, naïve and even dangerous of you. CAIR happens to be a dangerous terror-supporting group. Just a year ago the United Arab Emirates included CAIR on its list of “designated terrorist organisations and groups”.

Robert Spencer cuts to the quick in clearly identifying this dangerous organisation:

CAIR is not a terrorist organization, if one considers violent acts an essential part of what defines terrorism: it doesn’t blow things up or exhort others to do so. It is, however, an Islamic supremacist organization with the same goals as those of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State: the imposition of Islamic law wherever and whenever possible. And while CAIR is quite mainstream these days, this self-styled “civil rights group” was actually named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed a poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI. CAIR has opposed every anti-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented.
CAIR’s dark side has been well known for years. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) said that CAIR is “unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect.” Another United States Senator said of CAIR that “we know it has ties to terrorism,” and “intimate links with Hamas.” Those were the words of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and they have been proven correct. Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) has said: “Time and again the organization has shown itself to be nothing more than an apologist for groups bent on the destruction of Israel and Islamic domination over the West.”

Yet this utterly clueless prof thinks it is neat to cozy up to CAIR in true dhimmi fashion, asking its permission to do what she had done. This my friends is the exact definition of dhimmitude. Hawkins is already a slave. She has so kowtowed to Islam that she even has to get their approval for submitting to Allah and become a second class citizen.

The Islamists just gotta love this. They have already won when utterly clueless Western intellectuals do their bidding for them. Islam always respects strength, and always looks down upon weakness and grovelling, which is just what Hawkins is fully displaying here.

So any good Muslim will look down on her with contempt. Way to go Hawkins. Way to stand up for truth, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, the full equal rights of women, and so on. You have proven in this incredibly foolish and inappropriate gesture that Islam is right and the West is doomed.

You have certainly proven that Wheaton College and higher Christian education is in a very bad way. I absolutely cringe when I read reports like this. I expect this grovelling, servile dhimmitude from the clueless secular left, but not from someone who is supposed to represent biblical Christianity and the evangelical faith at a top-notch college.

This my friends is how we lose. We are watching our own cultural suicide as we speak. Right before our very eyes we see clueless appeasers in our midst, and we see the enemy getting a real foothold. It is painful to behold. But sadly this is not the only example of it.

Let me say that if Wheaton College finds absolutely no problems at all with her incredible remarks and actions, then all evangelicals will see that we have a big problem with Wheaton College. We need to pray for those in charge there that they think biblically and carefully about the way ahead.

And we should pray for Hawkins, that her possible good intentions are grounded in some hard-core common sense and biblical realism. If this issue is not dealt with one way or another, things can only spin further out of control. If so, kiss Christian higher education goodbye.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/wheaton-college-prof-to-wear-hijab-during-advent-to-show-solidarity-with-muslims-152329/
http://www.onewheaton.com/
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/manhattanproject/2015/07/wheaton-college-counselor-resigns-admits-support-for-same-sex-marriage/
http://www.wheaton.edu/Media-Center/Wheaton-Magazine/Spring-2014/Feature-Articles/That-They-May-Be-One/Wheaton-Christ-Centered-Diversity-Initiatives
http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/245708/hamas-linked-cair-terror-organization-robert-spencer


Stand for Truth Thursday: Being a Girl in a Transgendered World

by Erin Davis

As God’s girls who believe that His Word is true, it feels like we see pink and blue in a world that sees rainbow. Here are five ideas on how to stand for truth.

The Cure for I-Want-Itis

by Erin Davis

Even though I know that Jesus is the true gift of Christmas, it’s hard to make my eyes focus on Him when all the stuff I’ve been hoping for is just waiting to be unwrapped.

Reader Question: Is It Okay to Find Guys Attractive?

by Erin Davis

You look at a guy and get butterflies in your belly. What’s up with that?


Preacher James McConnell From Northern Ireland Jailed For Preaching Against Islam

An evangelical preacher from Northern Ireland who branded Islam satanic has been charged with spreading a “grossly offensive” message

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

The window of freedom that gospel preachers around the world have long enjoyed to be able to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ might very well be starting to close. If preaching a message that “Islam is satanic” (which it is) is now a crime, then none of us will be left standing when the dust settles. In the New World Order, any Bible preacher who dares to lift the lid on the demonic truth of what Islam really is will be silenced. Islam is not a religion, it is a violent and fascist ideology, bent on world conquest, and enforced at the tip of a knife blade.

In a May 2014 sermon, Pastor James McConnell told worshippers at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast: “Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic.” The sermon was streamed online, and 78-year-old McConnell has been charged with transmitting the message over an electronic communications network.

Prosecutor David Russell told Belfast Magistrates’ Court Monday that the case had “nothing to do with religion or freedom of expression.”

He said McConnell “characterizes the followers of an entire religion in a stereotypical way. And that’s grossly offensive and that’s not protected from saying it from a pulpit.” McConnell denies the charges, and told police he didn’t intend to offend, insult, arouse fear or stir up tension.

Pastor James McConnell’s Full-Length Sermon On Islam:

Listen to the sermon that got Pastor McConnell put in jail, and decide for yourself if it was “hate speech” or just good, Bible preaching.

“The Muslim god is a heathen deity, Allah is a cruel deity, and Allah is a demon deity” Pastor McConnell says is his sermon. He goes on to say that the embrace of Islam by England will be it’s downfall, which most certainly is true. These words are his crime and considered to be “hate speech”. Nowhere is his sermon does Pastor James McConnell call for violence or oppression of any Muslim people. What he does do, however, is make a passionate plea for New Testament Christianity, and perhaps that is what has really landed him in legal hot water.

“I know the time will come, in this land, and in this nation, that to say such things will be an offense to the law.”, McConnell goes on to say. “The Muslim religion was created many hundreds of years after Christ. But Muslims believe that everyone in the Old Testament, up to and including Jesus Christ, was a Muslim.” He outlines many of the lies and untruths of Islam in a rational, calm and intelligent way.

Everything that Pastor McConnell says in this sermon is absolutely true, and in line with the teachings of the Bible. But Biblical truth is not welcome and has no place in the New World Order bent on installing Sharia Law around the world. Pray for Pastor McConnell, right now it is his time in the “hot seat”.

But you and I are next.


Christmas, Controversies, and Christ

By Nathan Busenitz Mention “Christmas” and “controversy” together in the same sentence, and most evangelicals will assume you’re talking about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or the secularization of the winter holiday season. But, from a historical perspective, a much more significant controversy surrounded Christmas for the first five centuries of church history; and its effects […]

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Government Education From the Perspective of the Gospel

This morning we take a tough look at our Government-mandated Public Education System and ask this question:  Is it supporting–or undermining–what our children think of God?  Well the answer to that one is pretty easy of course.  Yet most of us continue to send our children off to Government run schools, expecting they will actually […]

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Beware Of The Perils And Pitfalls Of Easy Believism

Easy Believism teaches that an individual doesn’t have to run to Calvary’s cross as a BROKEN SINNER in need of a sinless Savior to save them from HELL

“And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:11-13 (KJV).

A few days ago the Lord allowed me to witness to an atheist about creation and Jesus Christ’s blood atonement for sinners. After a few minutes of going back and forth, I could see that the particular atheist I was dealing with was not interested in truth, but excuse. As I was about to end the conversation by telling the atheist that he will one day face his Creator face to face at the Great White Throne Judgment and give an account for every secret sin, the atheist interrupted me by telling me that he was “a former Christian”. Now any Bible Believer knows that it is not possible for a born-again Christian to apostate so dramatically to the point where they could possibly become an atheist (2 Tim 2:13 KJV).  Therefore, I decided to check out his testimony in the Lord.

I asked him “how did you become a Christian?” He answered “I was raised in a society that was mostly Christian.”  I then explained to him that being raised in a Christian society does not make you a Christian any more than being raised in a garage makes you a car. So I presented the question to him again: “how did you become a Christian?” This time he answered me and said “I believed in a theistic God.” I then explained to him that the devils also believe in a theistic God and tremble (James 2:19 KJV). I presented the question to him a third time: “how did you become a Christian?”  He answered and said “I believed the bible and that prayers would be the answer” I then explained to him that Muslims also believe in prayer and that Mormons also believe the bible, but that doesn’t make them Christians. I then rebuked the atheist by telling him that according to all three cases of his own testimony, he was NEVER a Christian, only RELIGIOUS.  It was at this point were the atheist let his anger get the best of him at accused me of being radical, mean-spirited, outrageous, illogical, spreading hate, unreasonable, what’s wrong with “Christianity” today, ridiculous ideology, blah, blah, blah.

Now why would this atheist label himself as a “former Christian” when he was absolutely clueless to what a Christian was? Two words: EASY BELIEVISM. Easy Believism is a heresy that teaches that salvation or reconciliation with God is relative to the individual and NOT ABSOLUTE according to God’s word. In other words, Easy Believism teaches that an individual doesn’t have to run to Calvary’s cross as a BROKEN SINNER in need of a sinless Savior to save them from HELL. Instead, the individual can come to God self-righteously as their own mediator, in their own way, in their own time, according to their own thoughts and logic.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (KJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come into the world to save good people, social people, Baptist, Catholics, welfare participants, organ donors, church members, atheist, agnostics, creationist, dog lovers, tax payers, non-tax payers, scientist, smart people, ignorant people, white people, black people, rich people, poor people, ect. Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS!!

10 WAYS TO SPOT FALSE COVERTS OF EASY BELIEVISM:

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)

  1. THEY WON’T OR HAVE DIFFICULTY ADMITTING TO BEING A SINNER
  2. THEY DON’T BELIEVE THAT THEY EVER TRULY DESERVED TO BURN IN HELL
  3. THEY BELIEVE THAT ANY GENERIC BELIEF IN GOD IS “GOOD ENOUGH”
  4. THE IDEA OF SALVATION ALONE THROUGH CHRIST CRUCIFIED IS FOOLISHNESS TO THEM
  5. THEY IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AS BEING A “CHRISTIAN” OR A “CHILD OF GOD” WITHOUT EVER ADMITTING TO BEING A LOST HELLBOUND SINNER BEFORE CONVERSION
  6. THEY VIEW GOD AS A GENERIC BUDDY INSTEAD OF A SINLESS PERSONAL SAVIOUR
  7. THEY BELIEVE THAT GENERAL GENERIC PRAYER, BIBLE READING, CHURCH ATTENDANCE, FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, SOCIAL FUNCTIONS, AND DEALING WITH SOCIETAL ISSUES EARNS THEM SALVATION OR SPECIAL FAVOR WITH GOD OUTSIDE OF SCRIPTURE.
  8. THEY BELIEVE THAT SALVATION AND A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY REJECTING, IGNORING, OR BEING PURPOSELY IGNORANT TO WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS.
  9. THEY BELIEVE THAT ALL RELIGIONS ARE THE SAME OR LEAD TO THE SAME GOD.
  10. THEY CAN’T REMEMBER A TIME IN THEIR LIFE WHEN THEY HAD A FACE TO FACE COLLUSION WITH JESUS CHRIST AND CALLED ON HIS NAME FOR SALVATION AS A BROKEN SINNER.

EASY BELIEVISM IS NOT WHEN A CHRISTIAN STRUGGLES WITH SIN:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)

If I only had a nickel for every time I heard a Christian accuse another Christian of not being saved because they struggled or fell in sin. According to the scriptures, every Christian has some sort of struggle with sin. We all have a sin that easily besets us whether its pride, arrogance, ignorance, untamed tongue, selfishness, laziness, superficial, vanities, love for the wrong things, unthankfulness, disobedience, rebellion, etc. The simple fact that there is a struggle present is evidence of a new man!

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17 (KJV)

I’m not condoning sin, but always keep in mind that we’re in spiritual warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil and there will be casualties. The complete victory over sin does not occur until the pre-catching away of the body of Christ before the time of Jacob’s trouble where we will get our new bodies (Praise God!!)

Watch out for Easy Believism!


“Authenticity” and Making Excuses for Sin

Hypocrisy stinks – no question about it. The Bible often warns against this. Yet more and more I find too many Western believers today using hypocrisy – or the avoidance thereof – as a cover for living a carnal and sinful life. That is, they will say it is bad to be a hypocrite (they are right about this), and so they will lower their standards on holy living so as not to be accused of hypocrisy (they are wrong about this).

We get this sort of faulty reasoning from many in the emerging church movement for example. They often go on and on about being “real” and “authentic” Christian living, and how “messy” Christianity is. So they seek to get away from hypocrisy (always good), but they do so by effectively making excuses for sin and the compromised, fleshly life (always bad).

These folks rightly state that no one is perfect, but then use that as a justification for not even striving for perfection – something of course Jesus commanded us to do (“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” – Matthew 5:48). By seeking to be “relevant” and “real,” these folks often present us with a watered down gospel, anaemic discipleship, and compromised Christianity.

authenticOf course we all know absolute sinless perfection in this life will never be fully attainable, but going from one extreme to another helps no one. If we can do damage by insisting on immediate and complete perfection in this life, we also can do great damage by putting all the stress on being “real”.

What about striving for the biblical balance instead? What about striving for more holiness and less hypocrisy – simultaneously? Isn’t that the way we should be proceeding here? I so dislike these unbiblical extremes and these false antitheses. But of course the emergent church thrives on all this, as I have spoken about elsewhere: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/06/27/on-emergents-and-false-dilemmas/

I quoted D. A. Carson at the end of that article, and it is worth doing so again here. In his 2005 volume Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church he said this about unnecessary extremes:

So which shall we choose? Experience or truth? The left wing of an airplane, or the right? Love or integrity? Study or service? Evangelism or discipleship? The front wheels of a car, or the rear? Subjective knowledge or objective knowledge? Faith or obedience? Damn all false antitheses to hell, for they generate false gods, they perpetuate idols, they twist and distort our souls, they launch the church into violent pendulum swings whose oscillations succeed only in dividing brothers and sisters in Christ.

Strong words indeed, but much needed. Forget this foolishness of avoiding hypocrisy by embracing and settling for carnality and second-rate Christianity. We need to reject both. We should seek holiness, obedience and righteousness (by the Spirit’s help of course), and we should seek to avoid hypocrisy as well. Forget this lousy talk about “authenticity” and start talking about biblical holiness.

And I am not alone in these concerns. Just on two years ago Brett McCracken wrote a great piece for the Gospel Coalition on this very matter. Entitled “Has ‘Authenticity’ Trumped Holiness?” he also takes to task those who would use the avoidance of hypocrisy as an excuse for sinfulness. He mentions books, articles and even films which have pushed this way of thinking, and then says this:

Evangelicalism – both on the individual and institutional level – is trying hard to purge itself of a polished veneer that smacked of hypocrisy. But by focusing on brokenness as proof of our “realness” and “authenticity,” have evangelicals turned “being screwed up” into a badge of honor, its own sort of works righteousness? Has authenticity become a higher calling than, say, holiness?

He quotes Erik Thoennes, professor of biblical and theological studies at Biola University: “There’s this idea that to live out of conformity with how I feel is hypocrisy; but that’s a wrong definition of hypocrisy. To live out of conformity to what I believe is hypocrisy. To live in conformity with what I believe, in spite of what I feel, isn’t hypocrisy; it’s integrity.”

McCracken continues:

Our notion of authenticity should not primarily be about affirming each other in our struggles – patting each other on the back as we share about porn struggles while enjoying a second round of beers at the local pub Bible study. Rather, authenticity comes when we collectively push each other, by grace, in the direction of Christ-likeness.
Reflecting on Christianity’s “current obsession with brokenness” for hermeneutics, Megan Hill wrote, “If we are constantly looking for someone else who is broken in all the same places, we overlook the comfort we can have in the perfect God-man.”
Hill wisely notes, “Grace covers. And it covers again and again. Thanks be to God.” But if we stop there, “We are only telling half of the story. . . . Receiving grace for my failures also includes Christ’s help to turn from sin and embrace new obedience.”
Could it be that the most authentic thing any of us can do is faithfully pursue holiness and obediently follow after Christ?
In Scripture, Paul teaches again and again that Christians are “dead to sin” and risen to new life, no longer slave to sins but to righteousness (Rom. 6). That doesn’t mean the battle with sin is gone. But as Paul describes the struggle in Romans 7, he says “it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me” (Rom. 7:17), noticeably separating his identity from this unwanted alien thing still residing within. The struggle is neither the point nor the marker of one’s identity. In Christ we are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), called to flourish through life in the Spirit (Rom. 8).
“I think goodness is more real in that we are actually living more as humans were intended to,” Thoennes said. “Jesus is the realest human we’ll ever see. He’s authentic. He understands our brokenness. But he’s as real as can be.”

His closing words are also quite helpful:

Sin is necessarily part of our story as redeemed people. We shouldn’t ignore or make light of it. But we also shouldn’t wallow in it or take it lightly, for the sake of earning authenticity points.
As someone who became a Christian in his 20s, after having experienced the rocky ups and downs of a life without Christ, Luis Salazar of Whittier, California, finds it sad that so many young evangelicals seem to think dramatic struggles with sin are more real.
“I would never want to walk through it again,” Salazar said. “I wish I hadn’t gone through all that. A lifestyle of flashy sin isn’t necessary to experience grace. It’s not necessary to have a grand testimony of brokenness in order to be an authentic Christian.”
To overcome our “authenticity” confusion, evangelicals must see themselves differently. Rather than focusing on our brokenness, we should look to Christ and those who model Christ-likeness. We should move in that direction, by grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yes quite so. Yes we all struggle, and yes we should be open, honest and accountable to one another. But simply making excuses for our sin and struggles in order to not be seen as hypocritical is not the way forward. Seeking, with the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, to become more Christlike and holy is the way ahead.

When the writer of the book of Hebrews said that without holiness “no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14), he meant it. Instead of focusing on our struggles and our “authentic” sinful condition, why not focus on a God who is able to redeem, cleanse, purify, and empower us to become what we were meant to be in Christ?

This is not to deny that the Christian walk can be difficult, and that obedience is not always easy, and godliness is no magic pill. But it is to get our eyes off ourselves and back onto Christ where they belong. Let me finish by offering a few quotes on holiness and its importance.

I have collected some 400 quotes on this topic, and many could be used here. But let me just draw upon one author who always delivers the goods: J. I. Packer. In his important 2009 volume, Rediscovering Holiness he has much to say on this. Here are four brief quotes from that book:

“Holiness, like prayer (which is indeed part of it), is something that, though Christians have an instinct for it through their new birth, as we shall see, they have to learn in and through experience. As Jesus ‘learned obedience from what he suffered’ (Heb. 5:8) – learned what obedience requires, costs and involves through the experience of actually doing His Father’s will up to and in His passion – so Christians must, and do, learn prayer from their struggles to pray and holiness from their battles for purity of heart and righteousness of life.” (pp. 14-15)

“The process of learning to be holy, like the process of to pray, may properly be thought of as a school – God’s own school, in which the curriculum, the teaching staff, the rules, the discipline, the occasional prizes and the fellow pupils with whom one studies, plays, debates and fraternizes, are all there under God’s sovereign providence.” (p. 15)

“Holiness means, among other things, forming good habits, breaking bad habits, resisting temptations to sin, and controlling yourself when provoked. No one ever managed to do any of these things without effort and conflict.” (p. 160)

“Holiness, as we have seen, is neither static nor passive. It is a state of increasing love to God and to one’s neighbour, and love is precisely a matter of doing what honors and benefits the loved one, out of a wish to raise that loved one high.” (p. 194)

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/has-authenticity-trumped-holiness-2


16 Trends in American Churches in 2016: Trends 1 to 8

I have been writing on trends in churches for two decades. I certainly don’t have a perfect record with my predictions, but my overall record is pretty good.

My methodology is simple: I observe emerging issues in some churches and extrapolate them into major trends.

This year I take this approach with a higher level of confidence than previous years. I have seen most of the following issues grow month by month in 2015, so I don’t have to be the brightest person in the world to project them as major trends in 2016.

Here are the first eight trends. I will conclude with the second group of eight trends in my next post.

  1. Church security as the fastest growing ministry. Shootings in churches and sex abuse of children mandate this unfortunate trend. No church can afford to be without serious security measures, policies, and equipment. It will evolve into a major church ministry.
  2. Decrease in worship center size and capacity. The large worship gathering is not as popular as it has been. Through multiple services and multiple sites, churches will follow this preference with smaller capacity worship centers.
  3. Increase in successfully revitalized churches. More church leaders sense a call to lead revitalized churches. Because of this desire and intentionality, we will see more success stories of churches that have experienced significant revitalization.
  4. Rapid growth of coaching ministries for pastors and church staff. The current trend is anecdotal, but it will soon be verified and obvious. Pastors and staff who have the humility to be led, and the willingness to invest resources in coaching are becoming the most effective church leaders.
  5. Increase in the numbers of churches in gentrified communities. Thousands of older urban communities are becoming revitalized. Churches are following the increased numbers of residents to these communities.
  6. Increased emphasis on practical ministry training. Church leaders in America have seen a much needed two-decade renewal of training in classical disciplines and doctrine. That need remains, but more leaders are crying for training in leadership, relational skills, and other practical ministries.
  7. Increasing emphasis on groups in churches. Church leaders are getting it. When church members are a part of some type of group, such as a small group or Sunday school class, they attend more faithfully, evangelize more frequently, and give more abundantly.
  8. Fewer segregated churches. For most of American history, 11:00 am on Sunday was the most segregated hour of the week. That is changing. A church that is not racially and ethnically diverse will soon become the exception instead of the norm.

Join me on Wednesday as I share trends 9 to 16. In the meantime, let me hear from you.

The post 16 Trends in American Churches in 2016: Trends 1 to 8 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.



A La Carte (December 14)

Daily News Headlines Kindle DealsToday’s Kindle deals include the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible and the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible discounted to $11.99 each. That’s more than most deals I post here but still a good value. Also consider Esther by John Piper ($2.99) and Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison ($0.99). New from GLH Publishing is True Repentance by Thomas Boston ($0.99). Finally, if you didn’t check in on the weekend, be sure to give these Kindle deals a look.

You can use the code 25OFFBOOK to get 25% off any one print book at Amazon (this deal ends today). That means you can buy Do More Better for just $6.74! Or buy any other book by starting here. Also, I just happened to notice that for one day only Amazon has The Lord of the Rings movies, in the Blu Ray extended edition, at just $27.99.

I. Howard Marshall

Ray Van Neste: “I received word this morning that I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of Aberdeen, had passed away, a month before his 82nd birthday.” He pens a sweet tribute.

Gospel for Asia

Christianity Today covers the recent revelations about Gospel for Asia, what went wrong, and what they claim to be doing about it.

The Death Of Tiger Woods

If you are a sports fan you may enjoy this article about the decline of Tiger Woods. “Tiger, as we knew him, no longer exists. But with the rebirth of Eldrick, maybe we can cheer for Woods once more.”

Christian Rhetoric During a National Crisis

Daniel Darling offers some wise and helpful tips on responding to crisis. “The question for Christians is now twofold; how should we think about these events, and how should we respond to these events? Much ink has been and will be spilled on the former, but I’m not sure we’re giving enough thoughtful attention to the latter. Can we do better than we’ve been doing?”

This Day in 1872. 143 years ago today, John Geddie (missionary to Polynesia) died in Australia, where he had sailed following a stroke. A wooden tablet memorializes him by saying, “When he landed in 1848, there were no Christians here, and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.” *

15 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2015

Counsellors and/or committed readers may be interested in this list from Bob Kellemen.

The Environmental Movement

Conrad Black (yeah, I know, I know) has quite a good article on climate change. “Where is there evidence of climate change, other than the endlessly repeated divinations of professedly clairvoyant people such as Prince Charles and Al Gore (who also told us that he invented the Internet and that the Pacific island country of Tuvalu would be submerged by now — the water level there has actually declined slightly)?”


Top Headlines
 Christian Athlete Lolo Jones Praises God Through Hip Surgery Recovery
 Duggar Family to Address Scandals in Upcoming TLC Special
 Saudi Arabia Stifled True Death Count in Hajj Stampede: 2,411
 ‘Stoner Jesus’ Group in Colorado Gets Together to Smoke Weed and Study God’s Word
 ISIS Releases 25 Assyrian Christian Hostages
 Americans Fear Terrorism, Mass Shootings — and Often Muslims as Well
 Churches Settling Refugees against Governors’ Wishes
 Catholics Shouldn’t Try to Convert Jews, Says New Vatican Document
 Southern Baptist Convention Disagrees with Trump’s Proposed Ban of Muslims
 LeBron James: Jesus is the Only Person You Can Rely on
Opinion
 I Am Alive Today Because My Chinese Mother Broke the Law and Gave Birth to Me
 Ronda Rousey, Reality TV and Jesus
 For the Fall and Rising of Many in Israel
 ‘C. S. Lewis was a Secret Government Agent’
 Prayer Shamers Get Both Prayer and Policy Wrong


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

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— Augustine

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December 14, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Dec. 14, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama hailed an international agreement that would limit fossil-fuel pollution to put a brake on the effects of climate change, calling it a marker of historic consensus that will make a difference for generations to come. The 195-nation accord ratifies Obama’s drive to make climate change a central issue for his second term and a legacy achievement of his presidency.

Cautioning that Islamic State terrorists “are trying to divide us along lines of religion and background,” President Obama says in his weekly radio/Internet address that “the good news is that Americans are coming together” and letting their Muslim friends and acquaintances “know we’re here for each other.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton must face charges he broke state securities laws by soliciting investors for a friend’s technology company without revealing he was being compensated for it.

As oil crashes through $35 a barrel in New York, some producers are already living with the reality of much lower prices. A mix of Mexican crudes is already valued at less than $28, an 11-year low, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Iraq is offering its heaviest variety of oil to buyers in Asia for about $25. In western Canada, some producers are selling for less than $22 a barrel.

The storied Boeing 747 has fallen from favor in the modern airline industry as carriers turn to twin-engine aircraft that can fly farther and use less fuel, like Boeing’s own 777 or the Airbus A350. Sales of the cavernous freight model have waned as well, done in by an eight-year slump in global air shipping.

Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and other technology entrepreneurs are betting that talented researchers, provided enough freedom and money, can develop artificial intelligence systems as advanced as those being built by the sprawling teams at Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Along the way, they’d like to save humanity from oblivion.

AP Top Stories

Babylonia has no regrets about leaving behind her two children and her job as a hairdresser to join a Christian female militia battling against the Islamic State group in Syria.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, the door-knocking religious group that’s been based in Brooklyn for a century, is selling its headquarters and other properties for an expected price tag of $1 billion or more.

Arms manufacturers in North America and Western Europe dominated international arms sales in 2014, but their market share dropped while Russian and Asian companies saw theirs rise, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported. Total turnover for the 100 biggest arms and military services companies declined for the fourth year in a row, falling by 1.5 percent from 2013 to stand at $401 billion. The top company was US-based Lockheed Martin, which saw sales grow by 3.9 percent to $37.5 billion for 2014.

The United Nations aid chief condemns attacks on civilians in and near Damascus, the Syrian capital, as “unacceptable,” a day after more than 50 were killed.

Animal-nutritionist knows Minnesota farmers who feed the remains of dead baby pigs to hogs used for breeding in attempts to ward off infections of a deadly virus in offspring. In Oklahoma, farm workers are mixing manure from swine sick with the disease, known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), into the food of healthy animals to build their immunity. In Kansas, farmers are spraying a mixture of hog manure containing the virus and water on the noses of pigs to create a “natural vaccine.”

Planned Parenthood sued Ohio’s health director on Sunday in a dispute over how the organization’s affiliates handle the disposal of fetal tissue in the state.

Hezbollah TV and Syrian activists say Syrian forces have seized control of a military air base in a suburb of Damascus following intense clashes and airstrikes.

BBC

Egyptian investigators say they have so far found no proof that terrorism caused a Russian jet to crash in the Sinai in October, killing 224 people.

A teacher has been attacked in a preschool class in Aubervilliers, a suburb of the French capital, Paris, by a man citing so-called Islamic State. The attacker shouted: “This is for Daesh [Islamic State]. It’s a warning”, stabbing the teacher with a box cutter or scissors before fleeing.

US and other diplomats joined a rally in Hungary against a planned statue honoring a pro-Nazi minister who fomented anti-Semitism in the 1930s.

A new gene therapy technique is able to modify prostate cancer cells so that a patient’s body attacks and kills them, US scientists have discovered.

At least 41 people, most of them boarder police officers, have been killed after a bus fell off a bridge in north-west Argentina, officials said.

The IS group is extending its territory inside Libya, aiming to gain access to oil wells

WND

New York’s newest 7th Municipal District Court judge for the Brooklyn borough, a Muslim woman named Carolyn Walker-Diallo, has reportedly shied from the Bible and turned to the Quran to swear in to her seat.

The Islamic State has reportedly issued a fatwa ordering the elimination of children with Down syndrome and other congenital disabilities, reminiscent of Hitler’s infamous “Aktion T4” program, which administered forced “euthanasia” on an estimated 300,000 disabled persons. Already since the religious decree (fatwa) was issued, militants have killed at least 38 children between one week and three months old by lethal injection or suffocation.

Santa Claus is banned. The Pledge of Allegiance is no longer recited. “Harvest festival” has replaced Thanksgiving, and “winter celebrations” substitute for Christmas parties. New principal Eujin Jaela Kim has given PS 169 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a politically correct scrub-down, to the dismay of teachers and parents.


 

Top News – 12/14/2015

New Chief of Mossad Calls on God for Help in Defending Israel
Cohen recognized divine providence in Israel when he stated, as reported by Walla, “Without siyata de’shamaya (“heavenly aid” in Aramaic), the State of Israel would not have been established.”

How much more depraved can ISIS get? Group’s Sharia judges order children with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities to be killed in chilling
ISIS have issued a fatwa which orders children with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities to be killed in a chilling echo to the workings of the Nazis,

Powerful Alaska Storm Ties Strongest on Record
A potent storm approaching western Alaska this weekend has tied the strongest recorded storm to impact the region. This storm comes a little over a year after ex-Super Typhoon Nuri became the most powerful system on record to cross Dutch Harbor, Alaska…

Winter Storm Echo Spreading Heavy Snow From West to Upper Midwest
Winter Storm Echo will continue to spread a blanket of heavy snow throughout the Rockies on Monday before shifting into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest Tuesday into Wednesday. Echo brought heavy snow to the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest over the weekend.

More than 700,000 evacuated as Typhoon Melor reaches Philippines
More than 700,000 people were evacuated in the Philippines on Monday as Typhoon Melor reached sustained winds up to 130 mph. The fierce storm, known locally as Nona, is bearing down on coastal areas with heavy winds and rain. Melor intensified rapidly over the weekend as it moved toward the eastern island of Samar,

‘We have a LIMIT’ Turkey runs out of patience with Russia after warship FIRES on boat
TURKEY’S Foreign minister has said patience with Russia “has a limit” after a Russian warship fired a warning shot at a Turkish ship in the Aegean Sea, raising tensions further between the two nations.

Russia continues military buildup around Turkey
Russian garrisons are being deployed near the Armenia’s border with Turkey on the Armenian government’s request, media reported Monday. According to local media, the decree to send the troops to Armenia was already signed by Russian President Putin, and the deployment will start soon.

Obama Praises 196-Country Climate Deal; Republicans Say Pact Not Legally Binding
“This agreement is no more binding than any other ‘agreement’ from any Conference of the Parties over the last 21 years,” he said, according to CNN. “Senate leadership has already been outspoken in its positions that the United States is not legally bound to any agreement setting emissions targets or any financial commitment to it without approval by Congress.”

Erdogan Rejects Demands to Pull Out Turkish Troops From Iraq
Erdogan declared on Friday he would not bow to Iraqi demands he withdraw Turkish troops from a camp close to the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, and Baghdad said it would ask the UN Security Council to order them to leave. read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.691371

Twitter warns of ‘state-sponsored’ attacks designed to obtain sensitive data
Twitter has warned some users their accounts may have been targeted by “state-sponsored actors,” allegedly attempting to obtain sensitive data, such as email and IP addresses, as well as phone numbers. It’s the first time the microblogging service has issued such a warning. A Winnipeg-based non-profit Canadian organization Coldhak reported having received a warning from Twitter and posted a copy of the letter online.

Sarin materials brought via Turkey & mixed in Syrian ISIS camps – Turkish MP to RT
Islamic State terrorists in Syria received all necessary materials to produce deadly sarin gas via Turkey, Turkish MP Eren Erdem has told RT, insisting there are grounds to believe a cover up has taken place.

Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Godel and Turing enter quantum physics
certain mathematical questions are `undecidable’ – they are neither true nor false, but are beyond the reach of mathematics. What we’ve shown is that the spectral gap is one of these undecidable problems. This means a general method to determine whether matter described by quantum mechanics has a spectral gap, or not, cannot exist. Which limits the extent to which we can predict the behaviour of quantum materials, and potentially even fundamental particle physics.”

Scientists teach machines to learn like humans
A team of scientists has developed an algorithm that captures our learning abilities, enabling computers to recognize and draw simple visual concepts that are mostly indistinguishable from those created by humans.

Seismic activity intensifies in Azerbaijan
Seismic activity intensified in Azerbaijan as the country faced about 7,000 earthquakes in 2015. Magnitude of more than 80 earthquakes ranged from 3.1 to 5.9, and tremors of 17 were felt, the Republican Seismological Service Center reported.

Rabbi Tapped for Hanukkah Reception by White House Pushes Black Lives Matter, Gun Control, ‘Justice for Palestinians’
A rabbi and Black Lives Matter activist used her speech at last week’s official White House Hanukkah reception to promote the Black Lives Matter movement, gun control, open immigration for “all” and “justice for Palestinians.” Susan Talve, a Reform rabbi, also altered one of the Hebrew blessings…before lighting the candles of the menorah, adding the female equivalent to the word “forefathers.”

Planned Parenthood files federal lawsuit against Ohio health department
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood sued Ohio on Sunday, asking a judge to block what it argues is an attempt by the state’s top attorney to stop the organization from providing abortion services, court filings showed. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Cincinnati on behalf of three Planned Parenthood locations where abortions are performed, is seeking a restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the state of Ohio.

IS conflict: Turkey withdraws some troops from Iraq camp
Turkey is withdrawing some of its troops stationed at a base in Iraq, the country’s state-run news agency says. Anadolu quoted military officials as saying a 10- or 12-vehicle convoy had left Bashiqa camp and was moving north. Turkey has deployed troops near the city of Mosul, which is controlled by the jihadist group Islamic State, since 2014 to train Iraqi Kurdish forces.

US joins Hungary protest over pro-Nazi Homan statue
US and other diplomats joined a rally in Hungary against a planned statue honouring a pro-Nazi minister who fomented anti-Semitism in the 1930s. The diplomats were with several hundred Hungarians at a candle-lit protest in Szekesfehervar, southwest of Budapest. The town’s mayor says a private foundation is entitled to honour Balint Homan with a life-size bronze statue.

Erdogan talks of positive impact of improved Turkey-Israel ties
In the midst of a deep crisis with Russia, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan…made his first conciliatory statement toward Israel in years on Monday… “This normalization process has a lot to offer to us, to Israel, to Palestine and also to the region,” the Turkish daily Habertürk quoted Erdoğan as saying on a return trip from Turkmenistan. “The region needs this.”

India’s Failing Gold Monetization Scheme: Seizure Imminent?
India’s newest gold monetization scheme has been a colossal failure. After one month, it has netted only one kilogram (2.2 pounds avoirdupois) out of an estimated 20,000 tonnes (44 million pounds avdp) of privately-held gold. Why is that? Well, let’s look at how the program works.

The Neocon’s Hegemonic Goal Is Driving The World To Extinction
My warning that the neoconservatives have resurrected the threat of nuclear Armageddon, which was removed by Reagan and Gorbachev, is also being given by Noam Chomsky, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, and other sentient observers of the neoconservatives’ aggressive policies toward Russia and China.

Dozens die in strikes on Syrian school district, other areas
Intense air and missile strikes on a school district and other areas in insurgent-held Damascus suburbs killed dozens of people on Sunday, including children, a monitoring group and local rescue workers said.

Hispanic activists vow to flood voter rolls with 1 million immigrants, punish Trump, GOP at polls
Immigrant rights activists have vowed to sign up 1 million immigrants — mostly Mexicans — for citizenship and then quickly register them to vote in time to punish Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans at the polls in November for their harsh rhetoric.

Earthquake swarm shakes east-central Idaho
BOISE, Idaho — More than 40 small earthquakes were recorded in east-central Idaho last week in what experts say is another earthquake swarm in the region.

Putin Tells Defense Chiefs to Strengthen Russian Nuclear Forces
President Vladimir Putin ordered defense chiefs to strengthen Russia’s strategic nuclear forces amid rising tensions with the U.S. over the global balance of power. New weapons should go to “all parts” of the nuclear triad of air, sea, and land forces, Putin told a Defense Ministry meeting in Moscow on Friday. Action must also be taken “to improve the effectiveness of missile-attack warning systems and aerospace defense.”


Top Headlines – 12/14/2015

IDF strikes two Hamas military targets in response to Gaza rocket fire

Ten children among 45 civilians killed by Syrian regime strikes

Merkel dismisses U.S. request for more military help against Islamic State

Russia sends warning to West with show of strength in Syria

Russia says it fired warning shots at Turkish ship in Aegean to avoid collision

Western alliance worried about Russian return to Middle East: Former ambassador Pamir

EU border force plan faces resistance from governments

Merkel wants to “drastically reduce” refugee arrivals in Germany

Trump defends plan to ban Muslims, argues extremists in that religion are ‘sick,’ a risk to US

Burundi Violence Stirs Fears of Wider Conflict

Report cites 241 near collisions between pilots, drones

Scientists claimed they found elusive ‘Planet X.’ Doubting astronomers are in an uproar.

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Amahai, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Amahai, Indonesia

Earthquake swarm shakes east-central Idaho

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Typhoon Melor Barrels Toward the Philippines

Monster Bering Sea storm lashes at Aleutians, Western Alaska

Rare Mid-December Heavy Rain Event; Flash Flood Risk early Monday

Des Moines sees record rainfall this weekend

Hundreds of Records Broken as December Warmth Sends Temperatures Up To 30 Degrees Above Average

Obama-backed Paris climate change deal disappoints environmentalists

Kerry touts climate deal as jobs creator, defends criticism about no sanctions, penalties

Kerry: Climate deal lacks penalties because of US Congress

PM: Israel will do its part to combat global warming

Are the Paris Climate Talks Part of a ‘Great Spiritual Seduction’?

Fresh Ebola cases douse Liberia’s hopes for health

‘Ebola Burners’: Liberia’s Cremators Rejected by Society After Outbreak

Planned Parenthood sues Ohio in dispute over fetal tissue

Woman charged with attempted murder in failed coat hanger abortion of her unborn child

Jews for Jesus denounces Vatican for no converting Jews policy

India’s Failing Gold Monetization Scheme: Seizure Imminent?

Disturbing Footage Of Toddler Being Used As Faith Healer

Mike Bickle’s admission about Catholic influence on International House of Prayer

Los Angeles Churches Make Worship…Hip?

Jedi church says new Star Wars film leading to boom in followers

IRS Wants Churches to Report Donors Social Security Numbers

Christian College Prof to Wear Hijab During Advent to Show Solidarity With Muslims

Many faiths gather at Irving Texas mosque to show solidarity

New guide helps French Catholic-Muslim couples preparing to marry

What Muslims Really Think – Significant numbers are sympathetic to extremist views

New York: Black Muslim Woman Takes Oath As Judge, Swears on Holy Quran


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: December 14

  • Oil prices drop towards 11-year lows on worsening glut (Read More)
  • Third Avenue Seen by Top Investors as Fueling More Carnage (Read More)
  • Lucidus Has Liquidated $900 Million Credit Funds, Plans to Shut (Read More)
  • Investor nerves tested with yuan, oil, Fed in play (Read More)
  • Junk Bonds Stagger as Funds Flee (Read More)
  • Seattle lawmakers set to vote on allowing Uber, other drivers to unionize (Read More)
  • The Mystery of Missing Inflation Weighs on Fed Rate Move (Read More)
  • Trump’s Rise Enabled by Decades-Long Slide for the Middle Class (Read More)
  • Returns on pharma R&D sink to lowest in five years (Read More)
  • First women elected to Saudi local councils (Read More)
  • Liquidity Cracks Grow in $400 Billion Danish Covered Bond Market (Read More)
  • South Africa Tries to Restore Credibility After Zuma U-Turn (Read More)
  • Cheniere chief to stand down after Icahn adds to stake (Read More)
  • Trump, Cruz Lead GOP Field as Support for Carson Plummets, Poll Finds (Read More)
  • Newell Rubbermaid to buy Jarden Corp for $13.22 billion (Read More)
  • Daniel Loeb and Dow Chemical Trade Shots Over CEO Andrew Liveris (Read More)
  • RBS CEO Sees Investment Bank Profit 4 Years Away Amid Cuts (Read More)
  • French far-right fails to win any regions in upset for Le Pen (Read More)

 

The Briefing

1) Paris climate agreement falls short of biblical teaching on dominion and stewardship

Nations strike historic deal on climate change, USA Today (Eric J. Lyman)

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris, New York Times (Coral Davenport)

Cheap Gas Is a Thrill, but a Costly One, New York Times (Jeff Sommer)

2) National debate reveals irreducible difference between Classical Islam and Modernity

Donald Trump’s Plan on Muslims Is Opposed by Most Americans, Wall Street Journal (Janet Hook and Patrick O’Connor)

The Islamic Dilemma, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

Why We Can’t Defeat ISIS, The Federalist (John Daniel Davidson)

Call Islamic Terrorism by Its Name, Wall Street Journal (Rudolph W. Giuliani)
In other news…

5 things you should know about the historic Paris climate agreement, Washington Post (Joby Warrick and Chris Mooney)

America’s Middle Class Is No Longer the Majority, Wall Street Journal (Janet Adamy)
It’s All About ‘Muscle’, Weekly Standard (Jonathan V. Last)

Daily Digest

December 14, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[I]n the mouths of some [Liberty] means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote good.” —Oliver Ellsworth, 1787

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Fear and Loathing at the Paris Climate Summit

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It’s rarely a good thing when world leaders in a groupthink mood decide to act quickly. On Saturday, the “international community” who met at the UN Summit on Climate Change in Paris reached an agreement. Most of the world’s leaders have pledged to lower their countries’ emissions rates. The pressure is on for developed countries to pay out a collective $100 billion a year to poorer countries to help them adapt to a supposedly swiftly heating planet — a handout that will do nothing for the global thermostat.

Indeed, the real climate agenda is not about climate at all, but rather an effort from the leftist elite to “level the economic playing field,” giving countries like China and India a pass while shaming and bankrupting the United States. Case in point: Barack Obama’s loathing and regulation of the fossil fuel industry is causing massive economic headaches for regions of the country whose lifeblood is black gold. “Forgive us for looking through the legacy smoke,” wrote The Wall Street Journal editorial board, “but if climate change really does imperil the Earth, and we doubt it does, nothing coming out of a gaggle of governments and the United Nations will save it. What will help is human invention and the entrepreneurial spirit.”

While the best qualities of human resourcefulness are ignored (because they require Liberty), Secretary of State John Kerry is appealing to the baser methods of human motivation to keep this accord in place. The man who once said climate change was a weapon of mass destruction wants to whip fellow countries towards the fight against nature with shame and international condemnation because it’s “the most powerful weapon in many ways.” Shame and mockery is all they’ve got left.

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After Sandy Hook, Americans Recognized Need for Guns

The Left cannot fathom why mass shootings cause the number of gun purchases to rise. Today marks the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, where 26 elementary school children and their educators died at the hands of a mentally deranged man — one of the most horrific mass shootings in modern history. In the aftermath, Barack Obama and his gun-grabbing lemmings felt a sense of vigor. A handful of states like New York and Connecticut passed stricter gun laws. But the tragedy was not quite the tipping point they were after. According to a review by the Associated Press, more states than not have recognized the Second Amendment more fully, increasing the freedom of self-defense and the right to bear arms.

Mississippi may consider a bill allowing churches to designate armed parishioners. Wisconsin eliminated a 24-hour waiting period. You don’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Kansas. For months, the FBI has been breaking records on how many times the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is used to check on a firearm purchaser.

Meanwhile, gun control advocates like Obama spokesman Josh Earnest just don’t get it. Last week, Earnest told reporters, “The more that we see this kind of violence on our streets, the more people go out and buy guns. That is both ironic and tragic.” Why does he think this is? Does he honestly think more law-abiding people passing background checks want to jump into street violence? Instead, maybe, just maybe, Americans realize that as self-governing people they must ensure their own security — that more guns equal less crime.

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These Are Not the Weapons You’re Looking For

The Zero-Tolerance Empire strikes back. This time, a Houston seventh grader was informed he had to zip up his jacket to cover his Star Wars T-shirt because it portrayed a stormtrooper holding a — gasp! — blaster. (It is called Star Wars, after all.) The boy’s father was incredulous, saying, “It’s political correctness run amok. You’re talking about a Star Wars T-shirt, a week before the biggest movie of the year comes out. It has nothing to do with guns or making a stand. It’s just a Star Wars shirt.” Not to Sith dealing in absolutes school officials bound by zero-tolerance policies it isn’t. The school’s handbook lists potential violations of dress code. Among them are “symbols oriented toward violence.” And if there’s anything more obnoxious than Jar Jar Binks, it’s school officials who can’t make rational decisions about school policy. But hey, at least the kid didn’t chew his Pop Tart into a blaster. Administrators might have thrown him into the sarlacc pit for that one.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Religious vs. Political Islam

By Arnold Ahlert

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Americans take many things for granted. One of them is a rather brilliant decision made by the Founding Fathers, who were among the many settlers coming to the New World to escape religious oppression by state-affiliated faiths. The Founders decided that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Hence, while people were free to worship as they please, church and state would remain separate entities. Islam makes no such distinction, and America is in desperate need of a forthright conversation regarding the differences between religious and political Islam.

“Some Muslims come to the United States to practice their religion peacefully, and assimilate into the Western tradition of tolerance of other people’s liberties, including religious liberty — a tradition alien to the theocratic societies in which they grew up,“ writes National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who led the case against the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. “Others come here to champion sharia, Islam’s authoritarian societal framework and legal code, resisting assimilation into our pluralistic society. Since we want to both honor religious liberty and preserve the Constitution that enshrines and protects it, we have a dilemma.”

Dilemma indeed. As McCarthy further explains, the overwhelming majority of people emigrating from Muslim-majority countries to Western nations are coming from societies where “Islam is a comprehensive ideological system that governs all human affairs, from political, economic, and military matters to interpersonal relations and even hygiene.” And while Islam does have religious tenets, McCarthy argues “these make up only a fraction of what is overwhelmingly a political ideology.”

At the center of that political ideology is Sharia Law, a system of governance that embraces such concepts as discrimination against women, homosexuals and non-believers, the suppression of free speech and unfettered economic activity, and the denial of due process and protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Now, one might think Muslims emigrating to nations that view such barbarity with contempt might be inclined to heartily embrace more enlightened views of their new countries. Not exactly. A poll released last June by the Center for Security Policy reveals that 51% of Muslims believe “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” By comparison, 86% of the broader U.S. population held that Sharia should not replace the Constitution. Even more ominously, nearly 25% of Muslims surveyed insisted violence is legitimate “to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed,” and nearly a fifth believed violence was justified to turn America into a sharia-based nation.

Such thinking can be characterized as many things. A commitment to assimilation isn’t one of them.

Nevertheless, a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) aimed at preventing the federal government from considering religion as part of the process in immigration and entrance decisions, because “such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this Nation was founded.” Such consideration is currently the law for those seeking asylum.

Not only do these senators completely ignore the political aspect of Islam, their proposal runs completely contrary to the thinking of Founding Fathers such as James Madison, who stated “those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of.” Likewise, Alexander Hamilton asserted that the “safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment.”

The alternative? “To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country,” Hamilton warned, “would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.”

To their credit, there are Muslims who recognize the difference and reject Sharia Law. A Muslim Reform Movement has been established whose adherents declare they “are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal [that] must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or political Islam.” Toward that end they “reject interpretations of Islam that call for a violent jihad, social injustice and political Islam” and declare loyalty “to the nations in which we live.” On Dec. 4, 2015, the group produced a Declaration for Muslim Reform and posted it on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC.

It was quickly taken down. In an article for Front Page Magazine, Dr. Steven M. Kirby expressed profound skepticism, labeling the movement “Fantasy Islam” because, while well-intentioned, it is utterly inimical to the tenets of the Koran. “If folks are serious about religious reform, one thinks they would like to maintain some connection to their own religious traditions as a basis for that reform,” Kirby writes. “But the Muslim Reform Movement has apparently decided otherwise and seems more interested in establishing a connection with the non-Muslim Western world as the basis for their reform.”

Middle East Forum president and historian Daniel Pipes explains the underlying problem with modern-day Islam. “The trauma of modern Islam results from this sharp and unmistakable contrast between medieval successes and more recent tribulations,” he writes. “Put simply, Muslims have had an exceedingly hard time explaining what went wrong.” The search for an answer has precipitated “three political responses to modernity — secularism, reformism and Islamism.”

Secularism is an effort to emulate Western values, reformism an effort to selectively appropriate them, and Islamism is the effort to thoroughly reject those values as a means of transforming “faith into ideology.” “Islamists espouse deep antagonism toward non-Muslims in general, and Jews and Christians in particular,” Pipes notes. “They despise the West both because of its huge cultural influence and because it is a traditional opponent — the old rival, Christendom, in a new guise. Some of them have learned to moderate their views so as not to upset Western audiences, but the disguise is thin and should deceive no one.”

Unfortunately, virtually the entire American Left and a considerable number of Republicans are more than willing to be deceived, because a stultifying political correctness demands it. Thus we are assured a vetting process that allowed San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik entry in the United States despite years of radicalization — discovered after the atrocity, of course — can be used to vet Syrian “refugees” emigrating from a country embroiled in a civil war where no reliable databases exist. And anyone who disagrees embraces the “racism behind the agenda of the right wing on immigrants and foreigners [that] has long been plain as day,” states The New York Times editorial board.

Following Paris and San Bernardino, such assertions ring increasingly hollow. Moreover, they might very well be obliterated by “events on the ground”: a terror plot discovered last Friday reveals that Chicago, along with Geneva and Toronto, may be targeted by the Islamic State.

McCarthy explains, “If we continue mindlessly treating Islam as if it were merely a religion, if we continue ignoring the salient differences between constitutional and sharia principles — thoughtlessly assuming these antithetical systems are compatible — we will never have a sensible immigration policy.”

Make no mistake: There is no “right” to enter our nation. And a progressive ideology that willingly ignores the difference between religious and political Islam — for political correctness’ sake — is utterly anathema to national security and national sovereignty.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Marvin J. Folkertsma: “America’s self-appointed opinion overseers — Republicans and Democrats alike — have constructed rhetorical edifices celebrating their own righteousness and moral superiority, which in their minds bestow on them the right to tell citizens what to think and what to do. Indeed, our avatars of civic virtue preach to the peasants below about threats none of the avatars will personally ever have to confront themselves. All of which … would be downright amusing, if the subject matter weren’t so serious. Except this time the peasants are having none of it. Although Americans certainly don’t want to wage war against Islam, they are also smart enough to know that the San Bernardino massacre wasn’t committed by a bevy of disgruntled Baptists, and that a culture based on Sharia is antithetical to American constitutionalism. So, they’re clinging to their guns, and religion, and many of them, to the only person who has demonstrated the guts to excoriate the elite’s view of America. This is not an argument for or against Donald Trump, about whom we all have our own opinions. It is to say, however, that his supporters are enraged about America’s elite endlessly spouting their irrelevant and scolding pieties, which are enough to make many American citizens deeply unsettled.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “There is no question that we have failed to live up to the dreams of the Founding Fathers many times and in many places. Sometimes we do better than others. But all in all, the one thing we must be on guard against is thinking that because of this, the system has failed. The system has not failed. Some human beings have failed the system.”

Braying Jackass: “Senate Republicans passed yet another bill to try to repeal ObamaCare — a bill they knew that I would veto as soon as it landed on my desk. You may not be able to point to a lot of legislative accomplishments with this group of Republicans in Congress, but you’ve gotta give these folks credit for their chutzpah. The thing is, after all our successes and setbacks together, there is no doubt that the Affordable Care Act is working.” —Barack Obama

Alpha Jackass: “[T]he stonewalling and the bait-and-switch that goes on … from the [gun] lobby that [NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre ] represents, to us, is a form of terrorism because it terrorizes the safety of innocent American people.” —New York Daily News editor in chief Jim Rich

Friendly fire: “It’s a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bull— for them to say, ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises.” —James Hansen, who clearly isn’t impressed with the UN global climate accord

For the record: “The United Nations climate summit was billed as the meeting that would save the world. But that’s not what the conference delegates want — their goal is to fundamentally transform the world. … By the time spring rolls around, [climate alarmists will] again be claiming the 2016 Morocco summit will be the last chance to save the world.” —Investor’s Business Daily

Late-night humor: “Hillary Clinton told People Magazine that her granddaughter called her ‘grandma’ for the first time on the same night as the first Democratic debate. Then Hillary gazed into her granddaughter’s eyes and said, ‘This is my night, not yours. Pick your moments.'” —Jimmy Fallon

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


Superinvestor Carl Icahn: No liquidity for high-yield bonds, market a ‘keg of dynamite’

http://giphy.com/embed/146BUR1IHbM6zu

You might not think you have too much to worry about if junk bonds go kablooey. You’d be wrong.

And remember, this is facilitated fundamentally by our all-wise Federal Reserve. I love those guys.

Read More


December 14th To 18th: A Week Of Reckoning For Global Stocks If The Fed Hikes Interest Rates?

Time Of Reckoning - Public DomainAre we about to witness widespread panic in the global financial marketplace?  This week is shaping up to be an absolutely critical week for global stocks.  Coming into December, more than half of the 93 largest stock market indexes in the world were down more than 10 percent year to date, and last week stocks really started to slide all over the world.  Here in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 600 points over the past week or so, and at this point it is down more than 1000 points from the peak of the market.  That brings us to this week, during which the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates for the very first time since the last financial crisis.  If that happens, that could potentially be enough to accelerate this “slide” into a full-blown crash. (Read More….)


How The Republican Establishment Can Keep Donald Trump From Getting The Nomination

Race For The Republican Nomination - Photo by Donkey HoteyIt is going to be much more difficult for Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination than most people think. In order to win the nomination, a candidate must secure at least 1,237 of the 2,472 delegates that are up for grabs. But not all of them will be won during the state-by-state series of caucuses and primaries that will take place during the first half of 2016. Of the total of 2,472 Republican delegates, 437 of them are unpledged delegates – and 168 of those are members of the Republican National Committee. And unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you already know that the Republican National Committee is not a fan of Donald Trump. In order to win the Republican nomination without any of the unpledged delegates, Trump would need to win 60.78 percent of the delegates that are up for grabs during the caucuses and primaries. And considering that his poll support is hovering around 30 percent right now, that is a very tall order. (Read More…)


Students Told to Refer to Illegal Immigrants as Undocumented Citizens

Students Told to Refer to Illegal Immigrants as Undocumented Citizens

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Tru News

The University of Maryland is sponsoring a poster campaign encouraging students to refer to illegal immigrants as “undocumented citizens.”

Read Full Article »


America’s Public Schools: Exalting Islam, Banning Christmas

The out-of-control Left is after your kids . . .

An unconstitutional example of Islamic indoctrination imposing its cruelty on children.

They were told to choose a Muslim name, recite Islamic prayers (including the Shahada, a Muslim’s profession of faith in Allah and acknowledgement of Muhammed as his prophet), participate in imaginary pilgrimages to Mecca, perform ritual fasting during lunch to simulate fasting Muslims carry out during their “holy month” of Ramadan, dress in Muslim robes and recite Arabic phrases meaning “God is great.” (The case was Eklund v. Byron Union Sch. Dist.)

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Obama Told NSC And FBI To ‘Downplay’ Terrorist Angle Of San Bernardino

A source told Jack Murphy of SOFREP that the FBI instantly believed the shooting, which left 14 dead, to be a clear act of terrorism. The White House, however, didn’t feel the same way and quickly moved in to squash the terror classification.

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Larry Kudlow: I’ve Changed. This Is War. Seal the Borders. Stop the Visas.

I know this is not my usual position. But this is a war. Therefore I have come to believe there should be no immigration or visa waivers until the U.S. adopts a completely new system to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country. A wartime lockdown. And a big change in my thinking.

View Article


The West Coast is getting its first taste of El Nino — and it’s not looking good

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 08:00 AM PST

States in the Pacific Northwest were hit this week with El Niñoweather that brought record rainfall, flooding, mudslides, and power cuts, causing two deaths and leading state officials to declare a state of emergency in multiple counties. Weather experts and federal agencies have warned that California could be hit with severe seasonal weather patterns whose effects could be worsened by the state’s ongoing drought.

According to a recently released Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)preparedness guide, this El Niño season—which some expect to be the strongest on record—could combine with existing conditions in California to create a slew of borderline disaster-scenarios in the state. The guide warns of increased flooding risks because of too-dry soil, a higher likelihood of landslides from wildfire destruction, and abnormally high tides along coastal regions. While the seasonal warming of the Pacific Ocean affects localities spanning the entire West Coast, California’s environment is particularly suited to magnify the effects of those weather patterns. READ MORE

The post The West Coast is getting its first taste of El Nino — and it’s not looking good appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Why is there a mysterious boundary deep in the Earth’s mantle?

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 07:53 AM PST

About 1,000 kilometers, or 621 miles, below the Earth’s surface, something strange is happening. Partway through the Earth’s mantle, the layer between the crust and the outer core, there seems to be a boundary. Slabs of the Earth’s lithosphere, the rocky layer just under the surface, are dragged down into the Earth by subduction only to be stalled at this depth. Also, as hot rock upwellings push up through the lower mantle, the material is deflected sideways around the same depths. This phenomenon puzzled scientists so much that two separate research teams set out to figure out what’s going on down there.

One group of scientists proposed that a change in viscosity, how sluggishly a material flows, is responsible. The other team blames a change in composition, and therefore density, at the suspected boundary. Both teams found a shift in the property they studied, about 1 megameter, that is, 1,000 kilometers, or 621 miles, below the Earth’s surface. One suggests that the mantle beyond that depth is more viscous, flowing more slowly, than the shallower parts of the mantle. The other suggests a shift in rock composition around the apparent boundary meaning the lower mantle is more dense. READ MORE 

The post Why is there a mysterious boundary deep in the Earth’s mantle? appeared first on End Time Headlines.

ALERT: Crude Falls Below $35 per Barrel in New York for First Time Since 2009

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 07:47 AM PST

Oil fell below $35 a barrel in New York for the first time since 2009 as Iran reiterated its pledge to boost crude exports, bolstering speculation that rising OPEC production will deepen the global glut. Futures fell as much as 3.1 percent to $34.53 a barrel in New York, the lowest since Feb. 18, 2009. Prices lost almost 11 percent last week, the biggest drop in a year. There’s “absolutely no chance” Iran will delay its plan to increase shipments even as prices decline, said Amir Hossein Zamaninia, the nation’s deputy oil minister for international and commerce affairs. Speculators in the U.S. have raised bearish bets to an all-time high. Diesel and gasoline futures led declines as warm U.S. weather curbed heating fuel demand.

Oil slumped last week to levels last seen during the global financial crisis, while speculators increased bets on falling U.S. crude prices to an all-time high after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries this month effectively abandoned production limits. The supply glut will persist at least until late 2016 as demand growth slows and OPEC shows “renewed determination” to maximize output, according to the International Energy Agency. READ MORE

The post ALERT: Crude Falls Below $35 per Barrel in New York for First Time Since 2009 appeared first on End Time Headlines.

FLOWS FUNCTION & FULLNESS

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 07:40 AM PST

(Written By Ryan Lestrange) In this emerging move of God people are finding their stream (flow of ministry & service). There are people who have functioned in one capacity only to discover that their greatest gift is in a different vein. It is of vital importance that each of us obey God in our individual call and together in our corporate calling. There is GREAT strength and AUTHORITY when we identify our STREAM (call) and operate in it with BOLDNESS. There is no time to waste in this hour. We must find the FLOW and FUNCTION in it! God is RELEASING HIS people into their DESTINY. There are many divine SHIFTS happening by the direction of The Holy Spirit. There are churches and MINISTRY CENTERS that are MOVING UP in the SPIRIT to FUNCTION as REVIVAL HUBS! They are shifting gears and advancing into their high calling.

As the body comes into maturity the grace of God is going to be abundant to receive and empower different gifts, streams and flows. It is a sign of spiritual immaturity when a person or group is unable to receive from a ministry gift that functions differently than what they are used to. Many who have never been exposed to a prophet would have a natural tendency not to receive as much because the flow of that stream is so different but in a mature body they are hungry for EVERY stream. If you place a Pastor alongside an Apostle their function is so different that it would be easy for them to misunderstand one another if they were not mature and operating in the grace of God.

This move is A FULLNESS MOVE. Every stream is needed, every gift important in order to EQUIP each believer. We must not allow PERSONAL PREFERENCE to block us from RECEIVING from each office. Prophets equip and establish PROPHETIC PEOPLE, Evangelists equip and establish EVANGELISTIC people. Each gift imparts their DIVINE ability into the body in order to EQUIP the church with EVERY GIFTING and anointing to REACH THE WORLD. Let’s RELEASE the FLOW and WIN the HARVEST!

Eph. 4:13 (AMP)- [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. Follow Ryan Lestrange

The post FLOWS FUNCTION & FULLNESS appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Over 15,000 baby sea lions estimated dead as Pacific sea life dies off

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 07:09 AM PST

The Marine Mammal Center rescued over a hundred sea lions in a 10-day period off the West Coast of California in the winter of 2015. The influx of stranded sea lions is a sign that the health of the ocean is deteriorating. From January 1 to February 12, 2015, National Geographic counted nearly 500 rescued sea lions, an amount that is alarming scientists. Something has gone awry in the West Coast waters. The sea lions are not finding food, they are losing strength, and many are starting to wash ashore. The startling trend didn’t start in 2015. The number of stranded sea lions began rising in the winter of 2013, when scientists started noticing waves of sea lion pups washing ashore.

Scientists believe the ocean’s temperatures have shifted. Warmer currents may be affecting food sources that the sea lions depend on. Others see problems in ocean water acidity. The animals are being forced to go on longer quests to find food. Many of the pups are being left behind, stranded, while their parents search for food.The death of this sentinel species is an indication of changes in ocean climate and ecosystem. Sea lion prey, which include sardines and crayfish, are reportedly disappearing in numbers as well, forcing the starving sea lions to go on longer quests in search of food. Scientists are concerned about ocean pH and rising acidity of the waters. According to San Jose Mercury News, marine biologists warn that, if the trend continues, an entire generation of California sea lions could be wiped out. READ MORE

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Hispanic Activists Vow to Flood Voter rolls with 1 Million Immigrants, Punish Trump

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 07:03 AM PST

Immigrant rights activists have vowed to sign up 1 million immigrants — mostly Mexicans — for citizenship and then quickly register them to vote in time to punish Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans at the polls in November for their harsh rhetoric. The advocates say the new voters could make a difference in the presidential race, where most of the Republican field has tacked to the right in word and policy, and in key Senate races in Illinois and Florida, where Republicans will be reaching to hang on to critical seats.

With nearly 9 million legal immigrants already eligible to become citizens, the 1 million goal is not far-fetched. The activists say they are counting on energizing another 2 million Hispanic citizens who have turned 18 since 2012 and who they believe will turn out to vote to defend fellow Dreamers, or young illegal immigrants, against Republican calls for their deportation.“This is a huge amount of latent power,” said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans, the group he and other leaders announced Thursday at the National Press Club. READ MORE

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Hated Of All Nations – Israel Blamed Again And Again By UN For Middle East Woes

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 06:57 AM PST

(Written By Matt Ward) Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, got straight to the point. Cutting to the heart of the matter she revealed that she knew exactly who was to blame for the unrest setting the Middle East on fire. Foreign Minister Wallstrom revealed that all the Islamic terrorism and brutality, all the beheadings, all the abhorrent crucifixions – including those of tiny children carried out in the name of Islam by ISIS, all the pillaging, all of the wanton destruction of people, cities and nations, could be laid at the feet of one entity alone. The fault does not lay with ISIS, nor is the blame to rest with radical Islam, or Islam in general, she said. Islam is, she believes, a religion of peace. The responsibility for all the unrest in the Middle East, even the blame for the recent massacres in Paris, lays squarely at the feet of Israel. What a terrible blood libel on Israel and the Jewish people this is.

It is a view widely reflected in the corridors of the United Nations. Each month at the United Nations brings another series of condemnations solely aimed at Israel. Last week, six resolutions were passed against the tiny Jewish State. No other nation state received any condemnation, just Israel. At a time when the Middle East is descending into an horrific bloodbath unseen in living memory, when entire population groups are being forced into mass migrations to other continents, when the Christian population of the entire region is being systematically wiped out, the UN finds the time to focus all its attention upon tiny little Israel. Over 75% of all UN condemnation resolutions ever passed have been solely against Israel. READ MORE

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School Principal Bans Santa, Thanksgiving and Pledge of Allegiance

Posted: 14 Dec 2015 06:44 AM PST

Santa Claus is banned. The Pledge of Allegiance is no longer recited. “Harvest festival” has replaced Thanksgiving, and “winter celebrations” substitute for Christmas parties. New principal Eujin Jaela Kim has given PS 169 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a politically correct scrub-down, to the dismay of teachers and parents. “We definitely can’t say Christmas, nothing with Christmas on it, nothing with Santa,” PTA President Mimi Ferrer said administrators told her. “No angels. We can’t even have a star because it can represent a religious system, like the Star of David.”

Kim, 33, did not return a call or e-mail seeking comment. A memo last month from assistant principal Jose Chaparro suggested a “harvest festival instead of Thanksgiving or a winter celebration instead of a Christmas party.” He urged staff to “be sensitive of the diversity of our families. Not all children celebrate the same holidays.” Ninety-five percent of the 1,600 kids at PS 169 are Asian or Hispanic. READ MORE

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Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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Adoption: A New Father and a New Heart

Martin Luther, whose tormented conscience and anguished thinking launched the Protestant Reformation, once remarked, “If the doctrine of justification is lost, the whole of Christian doctrine is lost.” It is hardly surprising, then, that there is voluminous Protestant literature on justification. The doctrine of adoption, by contrast, has been largely neglected. Yet the two are…

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GTY: And His Name Shall Be Called

Matthew 1:21, 23; Luke 2:11

Code: B151214

by John MacArthur

For such an aggressively godless culture, we still tend to hear the name Jesus Christ with surprising frequency. It’s tragic that the world has turned the Lord’s name into a blasphemous exclamation, but it should not surprise us. Satan can’t erase the truth about Christ, but he will happily settle for turning the Savior’s life into a myth and His name into an expletive.

Even among professing believers, the Lord’s name is used with the kind of casual familiarity that overlooks its significance. When was the last time you considered what it meant for God to name His Son Jesus Christ?

With the celebration of the Savior’s birth just around the corner, let’s consider the meaning of the name His Father gave Him.

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

God chose the name Jesus for His Son because its basic meaning defined the fundamental, overarching purpose for the Son’s coming to earth. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, Jeshua, or Jehoshua, each of which means “Jehovah (Yahweh) will save.” The baby Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and gave birth to in the plan of God would grow up to testify to the Father’s plan of salvation—and would Himself be that salvation. By His own sacrificial death on the cross and triumphant resurrection from the grave, He would save all those who are drawn from sin to repentance and who receive faith to embrace His atoning work.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23

The name Immanuel is the heart of the Christmas story. It is a Hebrew name that means, literally, “God with us.” It is a promise of incarnate deity, a promise that God Himself would appear as a human infant, Immanuel, “God with us.” This baby who was to be born would be God Himself in human form.

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ, but the greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!

Immanuel, infinitely rich, became poor. He assumed our nature, entered our sin-polluted world, took our guilt on Himself although He was sinless, bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). All of that is wrapped up in “God with us.”

The apostle Paul penned one of the gladdest truths in all of Scripture: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9) That’s the immeasurable gift of Christmas. Christ, God’s own Son, gave up His wealth and privilege to live as God with us, that He might save His people from their sins, and that through His poverty they might become rich.

“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

Christ is an exalted title for a baby born in a humble stable. Jesus wore no crown and had no halo over His head to identify Him as someone special. There were no outward marks of His deity, sovereignty, or Messiahship. But when the angel announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, he identified the One born that night by His twofold heavenly title, “Christ the Lord.”

In both the Greek translation of the Old Testament and in the Greek New Testament, the title Christos (“Christ”) means “the anointed one.” That usage in reference to the future Savior occurs as early as Daniel 9:25-26 (where Christos is simply the equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah). Whenever the term was used in biblical times, it signified that an ultimate authority was anointing someone and placing him in a very high office. In Jesus’ case, the ultimate authority who anointed Him was His Father. God declared that Jesus is the King. He is the eternal King of kings who will sit on David’s throne and reign over His kingdom forever. Jesus, at the very end of His earthly ministry, confirmed the truth of His kingship in this exchange with Pontius Pilate:

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king, then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37 NKJV)

When the angel called Jesus “Christ the Lord,” he was not using a mere human designation of lord. Instead, he used a divine designation and claimed that the Child in Bethlehem is God. To say that Jesus is Lord is to say that He is first and foremost God. This is the most fundamental and essential confession of the Christian faith. It is unequivocal that if any person desires to be saved, he must make the heartfelt and vocal confession that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9).

In addition, the expression “Jesus is Lord” implies all the sovereignty and authority associated with One who is God. For “Lord” in Luke 2:11, the angel used the Greek word kurios, which expresses an authority that is valid and lawful. The ultimate lawful authority in the universe is God, and the angel announced Jesus’ lawful authority as the Son of God. The Greek translators of the Old Testament and the writers of the New Testament used kurios so often to refer to God that the word became synonymous for the name of God. When the angel declared Jesus to be Lord, he declared Him to be the true God, the One who possesses all authority and sovereignty.

You affirm those same rich truths when you address the Son of God by name or call Him “Lord.” Let’s discipline ourselves to remember what it means to use those terms, and help unsaved friends and family understand what we’re communicating through them.

(Adapted from God’s Gift of Christmas.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B151214
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

White House cannot name a mass shooting that would have been prevented by gun control

WINTERY KNIGHT

Guns are for self-defense against criminals Guns are for self-defense against criminals

This is from the Washington Free Beacon.

Excerpt:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest struggled to answer direct questions Thursday about whether any of President Obama’s proposed gun control measure would have prevented the recent mass shootings seen in the U.S.

Reporter Byron Tau brought up Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R., Fla.) remark that no recent mass shootings would have been prevented by gun legislation, a statement rated “True” by the Washington Post fact-checker.

[…]“Can the White House point to a recent mass shooting that would have been stopped by a expanded assault weapons ban or stricter background checks?” Tau asked. “The evidence seems to be that in all these recent mass shootings, these folks either passed background checks or were very determined to circumvent the strict gun laws that are already on the books. Can you point to any that would have been prevented…

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Pride and the Pastor

The Reformed Reader

 There are some things that hinder the pastoral ministry, some things that make for an inefficient ministry. Charles Bridges talks about this subject in a section of his book, Christian Ministry, called “Causes of Ministerial Inefficiency connected with Our Personal Character.” Among other things, Bridges discusses the fear of man, lack of devotedness, lack of self-denial, and the spirit of covetousness. He also mentions that spiritual pride is a cause for inefficient ministry:

“An affectionate and devoted Minister is honored of God, and acceptable to his flock. What a large share of humility, what unceasing supply of Divine grace, is needed to resist a temptation that falls in so powerfully with the selfish principle of the natural heart!  ‘Great care must be taken, while we are endeavoring to destroy external idols, or those of vice in others, that we do not insensibly substitute ourselves in their place.’  We must indeed labor…

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Four Truths About God’s Provision

When you put your faith in Christ, God commissions himself to protect, provide, and care for you (Philippians 4:19). God always provides for his children, though often it is not in the way we expect or hope. The challenge is for us to see his provision and care, even when it is different than we…

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Are pious pastors preparing young Christians to defend their moral values?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Younger evangelicals more liberal than older evangelicals... is it just ignorance? Voting for Obama means abortion, gay marriage and end of religious liberty

You might expect Christians to advocate for values like chastity, life-long natural marriage, protection for unborn and born children, right to work, low taxes, limited government, free speech, religious liberty, and so on. But today, many young evangelicals are embracing  higher taxes, more spending, socialism, retreat from just wars against evil forces, abortion, gay marriage, global warming alarmism, etc.

Why is this happening?

Christianity should make me feel happy and be liked by others?

Here is the first problem. When you advocate for moral causes like protecting the unborn, or school choice, or freeing the slaves, a bunch of people are not going to like you. Christians in the time of Jesus knew that being bold about their Christian convictions would make a lot of people think bad things about them – they expected it. But young evangelicals have gotten the idea…

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The Myth of the ‘Radical’ Muslim

5 Pt. Salt

The mainstream media in America, and the United States government (if it can be called that at all) has hoodwinked, lied to and gone out of their way to deceive American citizens as to their true wicked intentions – the destruction of Christianity (which will never happen).

Every religion on earth, in every age since the beginning of God’s creation, has had true followers who were faithful to the founder of whatever religion that may have been. They believed – and acted – according to what their founder taught. They were the ‘true’ followers of their religion.

Every religion has fundamental beliefs.

Every fundamentalist Jew will follow the Torah. Hindus, the Vedas. Christians, the Bible. Mormons, well, pretty much anything.

But Muslims? A true Muslim will follow the Qur’an and the Hadith.

And they will follow the teachings, or, they are not true followers, but empty professors of their faith. The…

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Employing Our Loosened Tongue

Unfathomable Grace

Almost 300 years ago, Charles Wesley penned his famous hymn, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.” While ten verses were originally composed, only six made their way into most modern hymnals. From my perspective, I am very glad verse six made the cut:

Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
Your loosen’d tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.

Some might interpret this verse in an eschatological light. Someday, when Jesus returns, believers who are physically deaf, dumb, blind, and crippled are going to be perfect healed in an instant. They will see their Christ, they will be given their new resurrection bodies, and with their renewed senses they will worship like never before.

I prefer to interpret this verse in a present-spiritual manner. In my natural fallen condition, I was deaf, dumb, blind, and crippled; spiritually I could not hear and understand God’s Gospel, I could not…

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What can believers do that will endear their hearts unto Christ?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)

All genuine Christians are involved in some form of spiritual conflict. They are tempted to doubt their salvation because of spiritual warfare or they are being tempted to turn aside for some fleshly “diversion” or they are tempted to compromise in some fashion in a way that would be an act against conscience, et cetera. Some reading this have contacted me for prayer because of family or health issues. We are all in desperate need of our hearts being strengthened in the resignation of ourselves unto the Lordship of  Jesus Christ. All genuine believers need their affections as the Bride of Christ to be stirred up and made more apparent to their regenerate hearts. How is…

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