Daily Archives: December 15, 2015

4 Subversive Truths from the Birth of Jesus

4 Subversive Truths from the Birth of Jesus

If you attend church, sing Christmas carols, send and receive Christmas cards, set foot into any store that is somewhat decorated for Christmas, or watch “Charlie Brown’s Christmas,” you will likely see or hear some reference to the birth of Jesus.

I think, however, that while many people are familiar with the birth story of Jesus, few of us recognize how religiously and politically subversive His birth narrative truly is. The birth accounts of Jesus undermine several core ideas in most religious and political worldviews.

In fact, as you prepare for Christmas, note when, where, and how you see these references to the birth of Jesus, and what these references are connected to. More often than not, these references to the birth of Jesus will be connected to things the birth of Jesus actually undermines.

Modern references to the birth of Jesus often support things that Jesus actually opposed.

birth of JesusBut when we begin to understand the birth of Jesus (and His entire life), we begin to see how politically and religiously subversive Jesus really was. To see some of this, read my studies on Luke 2, and other Christmas posts.

We consider four of these subversive truths below.

1. The Kingdom of Heaven does not support the Kingdoms of this World

One of the most pervasive ideas in nearly all religious and political hierarchies is that God is on their side. Religious and political leaders claim that God has blessed them, their plans, and their goals. Religious and political institutions claim that everything they do is advancing the rule and reign of God on earth.

But usually, the goals and methods of the political and religious kingdoms of this world have little overlap with the goals and methods of the Kingdom of God. Those religious and political leaders which recognize this threat to their power often use the name of God in the attempt to destroy the Kingdom of God.

This is exactly what we see in Matthew 2 when King Herod feels threatened by the birth of a baby boy in Bethlehem, and then uses the claim that he wants to worship the new-born Messiah as an excuse for trying to kill Jesus.

When we truly begin to understand the values of the Kingdom of God, we see that His kingdom has come to overthrow the powers of this world. The Kingdom of God upsets rulers and dominions and powers and authority. It rights what is wrongs, restores justice, and reintroduces righteousness, which are all things the religious and political kingdoms of this world claim to do why they are in fact doing the exact opposite. For more on this, see Wright, “Emperors and Angels.”

2. The Messiah did not come for the rich and powerful

This idea is similar to the one above, but focuses primarily on the leaders themselves. For some reason, we tend to think that the people in positions of power, the people with titles, and the people who get their voice heard are the ones that God has blessed in this world. Most of the leaders believe this too.

But if the birth of Jesus is any indication, one of the greatest lies of the religious and political world is that God is with the rich and powerful leaders. The birth narratives reveal that there were no rich and powerful people with Jesus at His birth.

The Messiah has come for the dishonorable, the outcasts, the uneducated, the poor. This is the kind of family He was born into. These were the settings He was born in, and these are the type of people who first learned of His birth.

3 wisemen outcastsThe shepherds were considered by most to be dirty, outcast thieves, and while the wise men from the East are often called “Kings” (though they were likely not kings at all), most people in Israel would have considered them to be religiously unclean, astrology-practicing, sinful foreigners. Modern parallels might be street hustlers and fortune tellers.

So before you go envying the people at the top, who seem to be receiving blessing after blessing from God, you might want to take a closer look at the people who live in the gutter, for it there where you are more likely to find God.

3. Jesus often shows up in the most unlikely places

If you were to listen to most of the religious and political rhetoric at Christmas, you might get the impression that Jesus came to support the powerful in their goals for domination, the rich in their quest for year-end bonuses, and the elite in their self-glorifying causes.

But when God began to perform His greatest work in human history, He launched it in an animal feeding trough in the backwoods town of a tiny, poor, insignificant country.

I imagine that if Jesus were to show up again today, it would not be in Washington D.C. or Rome. It would probably be in some poor village of central Africa. If Jesus was born in the United States (or any of the ruling nations in the world … Jesus was born in part of the Roman Empire, after all), it would be to a poor prostitute who is living under a cardboard box in a back alley.

dirty town in Africa

This leads me to believe that if you want to see God today, don’t look on your television, the internet, or in buildings made with marble and brass.

Instead, look where you would least expect him. Look where life is hard and people are dirty. Look among the homeless, the prisoners, the prostitutes, and the drug-addicts.

4. The birth of Jesus turns political and religious values upside-down

Power, greed, and manipulation are three central values of religion and politics. Wayne Jacobsen refers to them as cash, credit, and control. But such things do not describe the birth of Jesus in any way, shape, or form.

The values of Jesus at His birth (and during His entire ministry) did not include getting more wealthy, but in generously giving it away. Jesus did not seek to gain power or credit for Himself, but consistently gave glory to God and spread power among His followers. And Jesus never tried to manipulate or control anyone into doing what He wanted, but taught people that they were free to follow God and live as they pleased within His family.

In times when politicians promise change to the world, followers of Jesus can offer true and lasting change, based not on the principles of power or greed, but on service and generosity.

This Christmas

I am not sure what you have planned for this Christmas, or for the year that follows, but if you want to see Jesus, don’t look for Him among the rich and powerful, or among those who are famous and well-known (whether in political or religious arenas). Instead, look for Him among the poor, the outcast, the overlooked, the sick, and the weak.

And don’t run after fame and glory for yourself, thinking that such things are the way God keeps score. They aren’t. God doesn’t keep score at all. Such things are not God’s gifts to you. Instead, be generous, loving, gracious, and kind, for it is in these things that God reveals Himself to you, and reveals Himself to others through you.

Please share this post with others!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

December 15, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

IMG_2920


Star Wars' worldview a mixed bag for Christians, prof says

Star Wars’ worldview a mixed bag for Christians, prof says

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Christian Examiner

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on Thursday night, seminary professor Timothy Paul Jones will be watching with child-like anticipation, much like he did 38 years ago as a five-year-old boy with his parents.

Read Full Article »


5 Christian Messages Found in Star Wars

5 Christian Messages Found in Star Wars

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Crosswalk

While the epic space opera has never been overtly Christian, it still incorporates themes which reflect the Gospel.

Read Full Article »


The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Crosswalk

I once played Linus in a first-grade performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas. But while working so diligently to learn those lines, there is one important thing I didn’t notice then, and didn’t notice until now.

Read Full Article »


The Rise of the ‘Done With Church’ Population

The Rise of the ‘Done With Church’ Population

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Church Leaders

Sometimes referred to as the “de-churched,” this group of people is leaving the church in droves.

Read Full Article »


Evangelicals Key Swing in New Iowa Presidential Poll, Ted Cruz Soars While Ben Carson Drops

Evangelicals Key Swing in New Iowa Presidential Poll, Ted Cruz Soars While Ben Carson Drops

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Gospel Herald

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz surged ahead of fellow candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump in a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Saturday. Although Carson appointed a faith adviser at the end of November, this new poll indicated one reason for Cruz’s rise was the support of 45 percent evangelical conservatives and 39 percent of tea party conservatives.

Read Full Article »


Jesus is Making Headlines in Israel

The second largest internet portal in Israel is putting Hebrew-language testimonies about Jesus on their front page, and 95% of Israelis are hooked into the internet everyday, all day.

View Article


McDonald’s, Target top sponsors of 2015 anti-family programming

According to Christian Examiner:

Wendy’s, Coca Cola and Walmart were among the most responsible advertisers in 2015 by supporting positive programming, while Microsoft, McDonald’s and Target were among the least responsible advertisers, according to the Parents Television Council’s annual “best and worst” advertisers list.

The companies on the “best” list demonstrated a “willingness to support positive TV programming,” while the “worst” companies “supported TV shows that routinely feature sex, violence, and profanity” and “have not responded to calls to reevaluate their sponsorship behavior,” PTC said.

The “worst” list contains some surprising names, especially for families who don’t track commercials. McDonald’s, for example, is generally thought of as a family-friendly restaurant thanks to its Happy Meals and indoor play areas. But it made the “worst” list after a one-year hiatus. It also was on the 2012 and 2013 “worst” lists.

Read more


LGBT Activists Fight State Law That Protects Believers Against Gay Marriage

Mark David Hall of The Daily Signal writes:

Gay marriageHistorically, Democrats and Republicans have agreed that religious liberty is a core American value that should be protected whenever possible. Yet over the past decade, this consensus has come under increasing assault from the left.

A recent manifestation of this hostility to people of faith is a Dec. 9 lawsuit challenging a North Carolina statute (known as Senate Bill 2) that accommodates state magistrates and clerks whose sincere religious objections prevent them from solemnizing or licensing certain marriages allowed by law. According to Equality North Carolina, an LGBT advocacy group that plans to draw attention to the lawsuit along with the Campaign for Southern Equality, the law “allows magistrates who do not believe in marriage equality to renounce their judicial oath to uphold and evenly apply the United States Constitution.”

Read more


More “Christian” Confusion

A Professor at Wheaton University–a Christian College–has come out stating that she believes Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  The response from Wheaton leadership–tepid so far.  Is there any place safe to send our children to school anymore?  Dave Wager–a Wheaton Alumnus–checks in with us today to give us his thoughts. First we are […]

Read more of this post


Should I pray about the Book of Mormon?

By Lyndon Unger The Cripplegate blog Many moons ago, in the comment thread of the first part of the Shack Up, an LDS (or “Mormon”) commenter showed up and we had a little back-and-forth.  In the post, I claimed that no other world religion has writings that claim “to actually be written by God by […]

The post Should I pray about the Book of Mormon? appeared first on Berean Research.


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 […]

The post Christmas, Controversies, and Christ appeared first on Berean Research.


Need help exchanging “whispers with God”?

Christendom’s premiere Emergent organization, Catalyst, is urging women to “exchange whispers with God” on its new Catalyst smartphone app, via featured teacher Lysa Terkeurst: Who is Lysa? She is someone we’ve warned about, and you should mark and avoid. (see, “Leaving Lysa: Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries”.) The idea […]

The post Need help exchanging “whispers with God”? appeared first on Berean Research.


New Vatican document reflects on relations between Catholics, Jews

In a piece over at Catholic News Service – an important read – Cindy Wooden writes: Catholics are called to witness to their faith in Jesus before all people, including Jews, but the Catholic Church “neither conducts nor supports” any institutional missionary initiative directed toward Jews, says a new document from a Vatican commission.” How God will save the […]

The post New Vatican document reflects on relations between Catholics, Jews appeared first on Berean Research.


Sisters-in-Arms: women in combat

By Clint Archer The Cripplegate blog News from America fascinates me. Living in South Africa affords me a vantage point of detachment from local US news. But I nearly choked on my newsfeed last week when I heard President Barack Obama commend the Pentagon for opening all combat military positions to women. So now my […]

The post Sisters-in-Arms: women in combat appeared first on Berean Research.


Praising God Through it All

My Word Like Fire informs us that Lighthouse Trails is offering a booklet by Warren B. Smith entitled “Praising God Through it All.”  Topics include: Hymns of praise to Him…Who Praises God…Why Do We Praise God…How Do We Praise God…Where Do We Praise God…When Do We Praise God… “Our praise unto God is our acknowledgment of everything […]

The post Praising God Through it All appeared first on Berean Research.



The Paris Accord and Climate Change

The Paris climate accord was announced with much pomp and self-congratulations…but let’s examine the worldview behind it. Listen Now | Download


Nine Reasons Christians Don’t Evangelize – Rainer on Leadership #183

Podcast Episode #183


On today’s episode, we discuss a recent post by Chuck Lawless on why we don’t evangelize as well as ways to encourage evangelism in your church.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • We have an evangelism tragedy that is taking place in our churches.
  • Continue to do ministry and missions, but let it be explicitly about the gospel—not just meeting physical needs.
  • Many mission trips have become tourist trips for many church members.
  • We unfortunately have a lot of church members in America who are practical universalists, syncretists, and inclusivists.
  • If it comes down to losing our job or being an obedient Christian, we should always choose the latter.
  • Fear cannot be our reason for not evangelizing.
  • Find me an evangelistic church and you will find an evangelistic pastor.
  • I will never buy the argument that we have enough churches in a community.

The nine reasons Christians don’t evangelize are:

  1. Many don’t know what “evangelism” is.
  2. We have few evangelistic role models.
  3. Some church members aren’t convinced about lostness.
  4. Some churches have provided no evangelism training.
  5. Fear of the unknown halts our efforts.
  6. We’ve “gotten over” our salvation.
  7. Pastors aren’t taking the lead in evangelism.
  8. We don’t really know many lost people anyway.
  9. We don’t care about non-believers.

Resources

The post Nine Reasons Christians Don’t Evangelize – Rainer on Leadership #183 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


The Daily Discovery (December 15, 2015)

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

What Would Jesus Do? – “Reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s, the phrase ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ used to be the de facto slogan of mainstream American evangelicalism. (Remember the bracelets and wristbands?) And although its prevalence has declined in recent years, a quick internet search reveals that WWJD remains a popular motto.”

Thinking Theologically About Islam – “Islam is in the news. Again. Actually, I don’t think it ever left. From jihad abroad to terrorism at home to questions surrounding refugees and immigration, there is no shortage of stories about Islam. Depending on who you listen to, you may think that most Muslims are out to kill you or that Muslims are among the most oppressed and ostracized people on the planet. Like almost every other controversial subject in our day, sizing up Islam has become a proxy for where one stands in the culture wars. Either America’s problem is that her leaders are weak, PC, and too afraid to tell the truth about Islam, or the problem is that vast swaths of flyover country are intolerant, prejudiced, and trigger-happy. So where do we go from here?”

The Evolution of . . . Chocolate? – “Chocolate is a favorite among many people; we eat it, we drink it, we coat stuff in it. A new study by evolutionary scientists claims that understanding the evolutionary origins of the cocoa plant could have positive ramifications for the chocolate industry. They do this in part by looking at their hypothetical evolutionary tree (called a phylogenetic tree). Researchers say that their ‘molecular phylogenetics and distribution’ clock studies led them to believe that cocoa is much older than they once thought (in a nutshell, they analyze hereditary molecular differences, mainly in DNA sequences, and use this information to postulate an organism’s evolutionary relationships). In other words, the secular researchers look at the cocoa plant in light of an evolutionary worldview and, based on their evolutionary beliefs, have now adjusted their ancient date of the cocoa plant to be even older in their story.”

Mailbag #24: What Happens to Infants Who Die; Thinking through Civil Disobedience; Calling Out False Teachers by Name – “You raise one of the more emotionally fraught questions imaginable. From what I can tell, most of the contemporary voices I would look to for answers say that small children or babies who die do go to heaven, including John Piper, John MacArthur (and here), R. C. Sproul, and Al Mohler and Danny Akin. Each of them offers a compelling argument. Older sources, like the Westminster Confession or the Canons of Dort, maintain that elect infants are saved. Tim Challies provides a nice round up of the views here.”

Faker – “I try to vary my reading enough to include books that are targeted at different demographics from me. I generally enjoy reading them, but try as I might, I can’t really evaluate them as well I would like. After all, I inevitably bring my perspective. Whether it’s reading a book for women, a book for teens, or a book intended for people from a completely different background, I can’t help but approach it as a middle-aged, Christian, Caucasian, Canadian (and any number of other adjectives) male. Yet I persevere and almost invariably benefit from the reading.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Nate Pickowicz – Jesus vs. Hypocrisy (John 7:53-8:11)


VIDEOS:

Homosexuals Threaten To Sue John MacArthur’s Church

Andy Mineo Talks “Now I Know” And Questions The Notion Of A White Jesus


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

The post The Daily Discovery (December 15, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (December 15)

A La Carte Your Daily Roundup of News Links and Helpful ResourcesToday’s Kindle deals include The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis ($3.99); Counter Culture by David Platt ($2.51); Homiletical Handbook by Donald Hamilton ($2.99); The Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness ($1.99). The Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is also on sale: Exodus, LeviticusSong of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 ThessaloniansEzra & Nehemiah, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and MalachiMatthew, Ephesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John ($2.99 each). These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

Just Another Day in America

Here’s a fascinating article on modern news media. Looking at recent televised tragedies, Arthur Hunt says news has become “daily theater, which must be enhanced by a sense of urgency and crisis.”

Writing for an Audience of One

Yes to this! I post a lot online, but there is at least as much that I write and erase. I think all writers do this.

When You Unchain the Earth from the Sun

Here’s Carl Trueman doing what he does so well: “When you decide that categories of identity are merely psychological and that reality is constituted by language, you consequently have neither the right nor the ability to call a halt to the Promethean process which you have unleashed just because some of the results prove to be distasteful to you and unhelpful to your political cause.”

I Am What I’ve Been Through

I found this a moving article. In the midst of cancer treatments she asks, “What can I do now for God’s glory because of my suffering that I was unable to do before my suffering?”

This Day in 1418. 597 years ago today, “English pre-Reformer John Oldcastle is burned alive for his efforts to preserve and promote the cause of the Lollards (preachers who spread John Wycliffe’s views). Shakespeare reportedly based his character Falstaff on Oldcastle.” *

I Am Called a Cult Leader. I Really Don’t Care

Christianity Today has a well-written article about a very strange (and ugly) situation. It tells “how one of the world’s most beloved worship songs reportedly helped to fuel spiritual abuse at Wayne Jolley’s The Gathering International.”

How Does Anesthesia Work?

When under anesthesia, you can’t move, form memories, or — hopefully — feel pain. And while it might just seem like you are asleep for that time, you actually aren’t. What’s going on?

ACU 108

If you plan to do some year-end giving, Africa Christian University may be a worthy recipient. They are trying to raise $108,000 in 108 hours.


3 Diagnostic Questions to Show Who Is Really Lord of Your Money

I rarely meet people who would consider themselves tight-fisted. Most of us would like to think of ourselves as generous—even if the evidence suggests otherwise. But greed is like bad breath: the person with the problem is often the last one to know it. So we need some help revealing where our true loyalties lie.

A key way to do that is by asking diagnostic questions. Here are three that reveal what kingdom you are really living for:

1. What is “first” in your decisions?

The closest I have to a life verse is Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Before I left for college, that was the verse my dad gave to me to guide my future. “All these things,” he said, “That includes money. That includes your career. It includes your wife, if God gives you one. It includes your children. And all of that has got to come second.”

This question should be at the heart of every decision that every Christian makes: What does God want me to do? I know that sounds simple, but it’s surprising how often the opinion of God doesn’t even register as relevant information for many Christians.

Ask what God wants—for your money, your family, your career. And do just that. Always prioritize the kingdom of God, and God will supply all that you need.

2. Does God get the first and best of all you receive?

I recently noticed something in the story of Cain and Abel that has really rocked me. In Genesis 4, both Cain and Abel made offerings to God. But there was a key difference: Abel gave the “firstfruits” of his flock; Cain, in contrast, made an offering from the field after the crops had come in.

Abel, you see, gave the firstborn of his flock before knowing how many more animals there would be. He gave to God first, but that giving was a big risk. Cain, on the other hand, waited to see how much he had, and only then did he give. In other words, Abel gave God his first and best; Cain gave God out of his excess. And only Abel’s offering was pleasing to God.

Whatever you give your first and your best to reveals what is truly God in your life. It may not be the biggest line item on your budget. It may not be a gift that would make jaws drop. But we all give our first and best to something. It’s that part of our life that gets top priority. And that shows what we treasure most.

Imagine you suddenly got $1,000. Where would it go? Chances are you’d want to go in one of two directions with it. Either you think of new stuff you can get with it (the spenders), or you would want to stash it away (the savers). Neither response is wrong in itself, but both can grow out of proportion. For spenders, money too often assumes the role of their significance. They use it to enhance their image or their comfort. For savers, money assumes the role of trust. They use it to ensure that the future is going to be okay.

When we look to money as our significance or our trust, something’s gone wrong. Only God should be our significance and our trust. The problem isn’t money itself; it’s that money has kicked God off the throne as first and best.

3. Do you think of yourself as an owner or steward of your blessings?

There are two ways to live when it comes to our resources. We can see them as ours—to use as we please—or we can see them as God’s—to use as he pleases. When God blesses us richly, it’s not to increase our standard of living. It’s to increase our standard of giving.

We were meant to be channels of God’s blessing, but too many of us want to be reservoirs. God blessed us so that we would bless others. As Paul says, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (2 Cor 9:10). What this means is that if you don’t give generously, you’re actually stealing. You are embezzling God’s money.

Think about how upset you would be if you made a huge donation to Feed The Children, then found out that 90% of the money went to the CEO (and not, you know, feeding the children). You’d be outraged, because that guy was stealing money that wasn’t meant for him. We are that CEO. Each person in the church is a “non-profit organization,” and God has made donations to us because he wants us to use them for his mission. If we sit on those donations or use them for our own luxury, we’re taking what doesn’t belong to us.

The irony of all this is that the more we cling to money as ours, the more it seems to slip away from us. As Martin Luther said, “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” What you keep is all you’ll have—and even that you’ll lose eventually. But what you give, God multiplies.

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


Two Bedtime Prayers for Weary Parents

God has called parents to a difficult task. We are called to prevent the giant pile of children’s laundry from overtaking the house, cook meals for picky eaters and clean up never-ending messes. But most importantly, we are given the eternally significant duty to “bring [our children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

It can be a tiresome undertaking. Some days you plunge headlong into another challenging day of childrearing, praying God will help you make it to bedtime alive. After the bath and toothbrushing, and fetching a glass of water, and the search for the lost stuffed animal, and the barrage of excuses trying to delay lights out, you’re tempted to skip prayer time, say a quick goodnight, shut the door and crumb into the nearest sofa.

I want to suggest two modest prayers to help you slow down during those moments when you tuck the kids into bed. This isn’t a list of theoretical principles or a 15-item list of prayer requests for your kids. Weary parents need simple and memorable prayers. When your mind is still spinning from the day’s labors, may these three-word prayers enable you to take the few extra moments to linger with your children in the quietness of bedtime.

“Father, forgive me.”

The best way to avoid putting your children to bed in frustration or anger is to remind yourself and your kids that you, too, are a sinner in need of forgiveness. Confess your parenting failures to God before your children. Plead with him to protect your children from your anger, lack of patience and failure to display the gospel in all its glory. Ask the Father for forgiveness in front of your children.

In doing so, you set an example for your children. They see what it looks like to be a child of God. Our Father does not want us to hide our sins from him or one another. He wants us to confess them so that he can “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). In the still moments before they fall asleep, they will get to listen as you experience reconciliation with the Father anew. They get to watch as the grace of the gospel washes over your spirit, reviving your weary soul.

“Father, forgive them.”

I often look into the eyes of my little boys after they have hit their brother or yelled in disobedient anger, searching with the question: “Why did you do this?” The most common response I receive is: “I don’t know.” In those sad moments, I’m reminded of Christ’s prayer as he hung on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That is the state of our children’s hearts. When they sin, they don’t always fully comprehend what they’ve done or why they’ve done it. As parents, we must imitate Jesus by pleading for God’s mercy and forgiveness for our kids with the simple prayer, “Father, forgive them.”

The post Two Bedtime Prayers for Weary Parents appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


What’s God’s Goal for You in Suffering?

God’s ultimate goal for you. . .what is it? Wealth? Health? Or something so much better? BCC staff counselor and trainer Donna Hart, PhD encourages you to focus on God’s ultimate goal when your circumstances overwhelm you. This article appeared first at her blog. –Ed.

logoWhen circumstances overwhelm us, our spirits can feel like they are growing faint, causing us to continually call out to God and complain. In that place, we lose sight of God’s goodness, thinking we are entitled to feel good about ourselves and our circumstances, causing us to believe that God is withholding what is owed to us. It is at this point where we will be tempted to numb the pain with alcohol, prescriptions drugs, ice cream, or in extreme cases adultery. These are not the only things we turn to for numbing the pain. We resort to all sorts of worldly pleasures. The words of Asaph in Psalm 77:3 address the pain in our hearts,

I mused and my spirit grew faint…

In the case of Asaph he found he could neither sleep nor speak because his heart was so fearful for the coming fate of Israel.

You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak (Psalm 77:4).

He was well aware of God’s ultimate goal to purify Israel and draw them back to Himself, but this was no comfort to his heart as he stayed focused on the coming threat.

When Relief Doesn’t Come

We can so want relief from the pain and suffering that we lose sight that relief is not God’s ultimate goal. His sovereign plan involves allowing painful circumstances in our lives to make us more like Christ. As Jesus was proven perfect in His suffering, we are also being made perfect in our suffering. The Son of God was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, as Isaiah 53:3 teaches us.

We must always remember that God’s faithfulness is not proven by the absence of suffering and trials, but by His sustenance and fellowship in the trial.

We can so easily become discouraged when God does meet our desires. We can forget that God does not promise to fulfill our expectations and start to become disappointed in God and think that He cannot be trusted. It can be hard to think that God would let us down leaving us to lie awake all night in anguish. But the pain and disappointment is warning us of something.

How Your Emotions Help

Emotional pain is God’s warning system. When we analyze our emotions, as God intends for us to do, they lead us to God by accurately showing us our need.

The emotions can propel us to search the Scripture to find both the heart of the problem and God’s answer.

In the middle of your emotional turmoil, do not forsake the pondering of the Word. Find the root of those desperate emotions; if you entertain the emotions, you will tend to forget God’s faithfulness and believe your own negative thinking.

Don’t keep listening to your own heart but rather search the word of God to know the heart of God. Don’t allow your spirit to search itself, but seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and illumination. And live there, in the safety of His protection.

The post What’s God’s Goal for You in Suffering? appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


God Lived Among Us

God Lived Among UsWhat is Christmas? In this lab, John Piper walks through the familiar words of John 1 to explain the unexplainable mystery of God becoming a man for us.

Watch Now


Top Headlines
 Newly-released Memoir Reveals the Horrors of Living in North Korea
 Lord’s Prayer Ban in Theaters to be Investigated by Equality and Human Rights Commission
 Mark Driscoll Reportedly Preparing to Launch New Church
 Gospel for Asia’s Cash Reserves under Scrutiny
 Texas Mother Sues Hospital for Deciding to End Life-Sustaining Treatment of Son
 Christian University Awarded Right to Refuse Gay Students, Students Who Had Abortions
 Messianic Group: Vatican is Wrong, Jews do Need Jesus for Salvation
 Students Talk Guns, Safety after Mass Shootings
 Pastor on Trial for Calling Islam ‘Satanic’
 ‘The Voice’ Finalist Says His Faith Gives Him Strength and Joy
Opinion
 Born in Bethlehem, Living in Our Hearts: the Persistence of the Faith
 ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Premiers Today
 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

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

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

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

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


December 15, 2015 US and World Briefing Report


Top News – 12/15/2015

North Korea conflict could become ‘trans-regional,’ U.S. official says
“As you start to look at intercontinental ballistic technology, cyber capabilities, space capabilities, information operations and so forth, it’s pretty hard to see how even a regional conflict would actually be anything other than trans-regional, multi-domain and multi-functional,” the U.S. official said.

Britain ‘to quit’ EU over migrants: New poll shows we’re on course for exit
Fifty-one per cent of people who expressed a firm opinion in a survey of more than 10,000 adults across the country supported exit from the European Union. The survey also showed that the European migrant crisis meant 45.5 per cent of voters were “more likely” to back withdrawal from the EU.

Syrian Army Foils Attacks in Hama, Kills Over 100 Terrorists
The Syrian Army repelled a string of attacks on their fighting positions by militants from the Jaish al-Fatah terrorist group in the northern part of Hama province, the Army reported. Over 100 terrorists were killed.

As pension reform crunch nears, Greek coalition looks fragile
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ governing majority is looking fragile as crunch time approaches for a pension reform that will test his resolve to impose painful measures to satisfy Athens’ international creditors. While Tsipras remains Greece’s dominant politician, with no challenger in sight, Athens is awash with rumors of an “ecumenical government” combining technocrats with consensual politicians if he loses his majority.

Economic pain in U.S. heartland as likely Fed hike nears
America’s heartland, the vast area in the middle of the country that produces much of the nation’s food and energy and is home to many of its traditional manufacturers, is sending warning signals that all is not well with the economy.

Saudi unveils huge anti–ISIS coalition
Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday the creation of a massive anti-ISIS terror fighting intiative that joins together 34 nations. Among the nations that have united, Reuters reported: “Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and several Gulf Arab and African states.

ISIS in America: 3 charged with terror–tied crimes
A 30-year-old Maryland man named Mohamed Elshinawy was arrested and accused in a court hearing of receiving almost $9,000 from ISIS to finance a terrorists attack in the United States. And that’s just after a couple of Illinois men were arrested and charged with planning to attack a military armory with grenades.

Vatican: Jews don’t need Christ to be saved
Jews can secure eternal salvation without converting to Christianity, senior Catholic theologians say in a report published Thursday…The belief that the only way to salvation is through belief in Christ is a fundamental tenet of every strand of Christianity.

Putin-Erdogan ‘peace talks’ collapse
Russia on Monday said a summit between President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan penciled in for December 15 had been cancelled,

Hezbollah has lost 1/3 of its fighters in Syria
Hezbollah has lost more than one-third of its fighting forces in Syria, Israeli experts estimated Tuesday, including some 1,300-1,500 soldiers since the Syrian Civil War began nearly five years ago. 5,000 Hezbollah terrorists have been injured in the fighting as well…

2.1- magnitude earthquake shakes near New Madrid
Residents in southeast Missouri likely felt a small shake as they were waking up Tuesday morning. A 2.1 magnitude earthquake rattled six miles south of New Madrid at 5:41 a.m.

Evangelical preacher on trial after branding Islam ‘satanic’
An evangelical preacher from Northern Ireland who branded Islam satanic has been charged with spreading a “grossly offensive” message. In a May 2014 sermon, James McConnell told worshippers at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast: “Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic.”

Oklahoma reports surge in earthquakes during 2015
As 2015 nears its end, 850 earthquakes of magnitude three or greater have stirred the state of Oklahoma. Compared to 584 of the same magnitude in 2014 and 109 in 2013, the trend is clear: earthquakes are on the rise. …Jeremy Boak, director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, said it’s less widely known that the state has been taking steps toward combating the pattern of induced seismicity.

Syria conflict: Kerry seeks to narrow divisions with Russia
US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Moscow for talks on ways to bridge gaps over possible Syria peace talks. Ahead of his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Mr Kerry said he hoped to find common ground. Later, he will meet President Vladimir Putin, as the two nations seek to narrow the gap on which groups should be included in the planned talks.

Australia conducting ‘freedom of navigation’ flights in South China Sea
The Australian military is carrying out “freedom of navigation” flights over disputed islands in the South China Sea, the BBC has uncovered. In November, US B-52 bombers flew over the area angering China. The US insists on its right to make such flights. In a recent civilian flight, a BBC team intercepted radio communications showing the Australian military is also operating such flights in the area.

Saudi Arabia to lead Muslim coalition against terrorism
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published on state news agency SPA. “The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said.

Kerry: I Don’t Know the Endgame for Israel — But Neither Do the Israelis
Expressing renewed exasperation over the United States’ inability to forge a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry says he has no idea how the more than 60-year-old conflict will come to an end.

Two-thirds of Palestinians support knife attacks: poll
Two-thirds of Palestinians support the ongoing wave of stabbings against Israelis, with the same percentage backing a larger armed uprising, a poll released on Monday found.

Bitcoin Or Gold: Did The Alleged Bitcoin Creator Just Settle Once And For All What Is More Valuable?
Apparently, Australian tax authorities had questioned Wright in the past and according to a number of sources (and documents obtained by Wired and Gizmodo), there appears to have been some manner of dispute over how his bitcoin holdings should be taxed. The attention accorded to Wright on the heels of the two articles published late last Tuesday might have prompted the ATO to move in once and for all, although authorities claimed at the time that there was no connection between the new “revelations” about Wright’s identity and the raids.

Bill Gross: High-yield pain is start of something
Stresses in the high-yield bond market mark the start of a new trend, according to bond expert Bill Gross, but it’s not necessarily cause for panic.

Feminist Academics Join Destroy-Israel Movement
The National Women’s Studies Association has voted by a huge majority to join the worldwide Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Their annual conference passed the measure by a 653-86 vote, and their full membership of 12,000 will vote on it in the next two months.


Top Headlines – 12/15/2015

Abbas calls terror attacks ‘justified popular uprising’

Abbas: Palestinians attacking Israelis because ‘they see no solution ahead’

Two-thirds of Palestinians support knife attacks: poll

Following vehicular attack that left 11 wounded Netanyahu instructs to fortify bus stops in Jerusalem

Hateful post by suspected Jewish terrorist’s father calls Rivlin ‘Fuhrer’

Report: Israel offered terrorist releases for soldiers’ bodies

New Mossad chief: Israel still needs God’s help

EU refuses to back down from settlement labeling policy

Israeli universities to US academic group: Don’t help boycott

Rabbi Tapped for Hanukkah Reception by White House Pushes Black Lives Matter, Gun Control, ‘Justice for Palestinians’

American UN ambassador criticizes Israeli ‘settlement growth’

Kerry: I Don’t Know the Endgame for Israel – But Neither Do the Israelis

Kerry warns: Israel could become a ‘unitary state’

On its anniversary, Hamas vows to ‘keep its weapon directed at the Israeli occupation only’

Hamas is funding Islamic State in Sinai

Israeli officials to Erdogan: Stop talking nonsense about Gaza siege

Erdogan talks of positive impact of improved Turkey-Israel ties

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

Syria conflict: Kerry seeks to narrow divisions with Russia

Kerry to explore Assad’s future, Syria peace process in Kremlin talks

Russian airstrikes force a halt to aid in Syria, triggering a new crisis

White House says Kerry will press Russia on Turkey de-escalation

Russia warns Turkey over Aegean warship incident

Turkey says its patience with Russia ‘has a limit’: newspaper

With change of tone, EU warms to Turkey, Serbia membership bids

IS conflict: Turkey withdraws some troops from Iraq camp

Powers back unity government in Libya to deter Islamic State

ISIS killing babies with Down syndrome, activists claim

Saudi Arabia forms Islamic counterterrorism coalition

Germany welcomes 34-state Islamic military alliance against terrorism

Multiculturalism is a sham, says Angela Merkel

State Department sued over refugee plan

2 Hawthorne mosques vandalized in wake of San Bernardino terror attack

French teacher who claimed to be attacked by ISIS supporter made up story, prosecutors say

Seventy Paris airport workers have security passes revoked over extremism fears

US army chief says efforts to counter jihadi propaganda failing

Black Muslim woman sworn in as a judge in Brooklyn, wearing a hijab, placed hand on Quran as she took her oath of office

In Iran, sharing photos on mobile apps can mean jail

Evangelical preacher on trial after branding Islam ‘satanic’

Baltimore braces as first trial in Freddie Gray death closes

US Navy backing away from China confrontation

U.S. Navy commander warns of possible South China Sea arms race

Twitter warns of ‘state-sponsored’ attacks designed to obtain sensitive data

Drone owners get Christmas surprise from FAA: you will have to register to fly

Security drone chases trespassers all on its own

Scientists teach machines to learn like humans

Elon Musk launches $1bn fund to save world from AI

Artificial Intelligence Doctors And Virtual Reality Vacations Are On The Horizon

In Virtual Reality Headsets, Investors Glimpse the Future

Struggling DNC craves tax dollars for convention

India’s Failing Gold Monetization Scheme: Seizure Imminent?

High-yield risks shed doubts on strength of U.S. economy

Equities volatile on oil swings as Fed decision nears

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

Russia is bracing for $30 oil in 2016

OPEC says low oil price won’t continue, may rise within a year

The boom, the bust, the darkness: suicide rate soars in wake of Canada’s oil crisis

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikolski, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Iwo Jima, Japan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

Oklahoma reports surge in earthquakes during 2015

Seismic activity intensifies in Azerbaijan

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

More than 700,000 evacuated as Typhoon Melor reaches Philippines

Powerful Alaska Storm Ties Strongest on Record

As Florida Keys flood, property worries seep in

White Christmas Forecast: El Nino to Dash Hopes of Snowy Holiday for Two-Thirds of US

Weekend Warmth Breaks 142-Year-Old Record Across Eastern US

E.P.A. Broke the Law by Using Social Media to Push Water Rule, Auditor Finds

Obama Praises 196-Country Climate Deal; Republicans Say Pact Not Legally Binding

Surrogate defies birth parents’ abortion demand

Judge blocks Ohio from taking action against Planned Parenthood over disposal of fetal tissue

Christian University Awarded Right to Refuse Gay Students, Students Who Had Abortions

Tunisia jails six students for ‘homosexuality’

Religious LGBT Jews come out online

Polish priest, govt supporters try to ‘exorcise’ newspaper

“One Christian Slaughtered Every Five Minutes”

Jesus is Making Headlines in Israel

Roman Catholic Pope Francis Declares That Atheists Can Enter Heaven!

Spiritual Abuse Alert – ‘I Am Called a Cult Leader. I Really Don’t Care.’

Planned Parenthood: Imagine ‘A Magical Land Where Abortions…Are Free and Plentiful’

Euthanasia in Canada – Soon Nurses May be Allowed to Kill


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: December 15

  • Global stocks rise but oil, Fed keep investors nervous (Read More)
  • Janet Yellen: An orthodox economist for unorthodox times (Read More)
  • House Democrats Said to Be Open to Lifting Oil Export Ban (Read More)
  • Don’t Count on an Oil Rally If U.S. Crude Export Ban Is Lifted (Read More)
  • Germany welcomes 34-state Islamic military alliance against terrorism (Read More)
  • U.S. soldier Bergdahl may face life sentence in court-martial over desertion (Read More)
  • Newell Rubbermaid to Acquire Jarden for $15 Billion (Read More)
  • Qualcomm Rejects Split After Completing Strategic Review (Read More)
  • Shareholder names former Yahoo executives among potential Mayer replacements (Read More)
  • U.S. Corporations Increasingly Adjust to Mind the GAAP (Read More)
  • Baltimore braces for trouble as jury deliberates in man’s death (Read More)
  • Summers: Most Plausible Bubbles No Longer Plausible (Read More)
  • Poll Finds National Security Now a Top Concern (Read More)
  • Chinese Solar Makers Bid Wall Street Goodbye Amid Sliding ADRs (Read More)
  • Valeant’s Audit Cop Held Similar Post at a Firm Felled by Fraud (Read More)
  • Brazilian Real Fluctuates as Police Raids Fuel Political Turmoil (Read More)
  • China’s Workers Are Fighting Back as Economic Dream Fades (Read More)
  • Streetcars to Nowhere Roam U.S. Cities After Stimulus Largess (Read More)
  • Cheniere’s Ex-CEO Contemplates Life as Ski Bum (Read More)
  • Obama expected to move on Taiwan arms sales before year-end (Read More)

 

The Briefing

1) Reactions to Paris climate accord betray dissatisfaction from both left and right

Falling Short on Climate in Paris, New York Times (Bill McKibben)

Paris Climate of Conformity, Wall Street Journal

We Have A Climate Treaty–But At What Cost?, Forbes (Bjorn Lomborg)

2) Support for economic “de-growth” reveals dark, anti-humanist worldview

Imagining a World Without Growth, New York Times (Eduardo Porter)

Growth vs. the Climate, Dissent Magazine (Daniel Immerwahr)

Growth, degrowth and climate change: A scenario analysis, Ecological Economics Journal (Peter A. Victor)

3) Academics arguing for one-child only policies in America deny humanity its dignity

Why Two Kids Are Too Many, Chronicle of Higher Education (Tom Bartlett)

Here’s why China’s one-child policy was a good thing, Boston Globe (Sarah Conly)

4) College sexual orientation questionnaire inevitable in current moral revolution

‘I’m Pretty Sure I’m Gay.’ But Please Don’t Ask., Chronicle of Higher Education (Adam D. Chandler)
In other news…


Why Is The United States Being Hit By So Many Fires, Floods And Earthquakes?

North America - Public DomainWhat do you get when you add together one of the strongest El Ninos ever recorded, the worst year for wildfires in U.S. history, and unprecedented earthquake swarms in diverse places all over the country? Since the end of the summer, America has been hit with a truly unusual series of natural disasters. The state of Oklahoma has already set an all-time record for the number of earthquakes that it has experienced in a year, more acres have been burned by wildfires in the U.S. than we have ever seen before, and a “1,000 year rainfall” caused horrific flooding in South Carolina. Those are just a few examples of what we have been seeing, and many believe that this is just the beginning. So why is this happening? Is there something that connects all of these natural disasters together? (Read More…)


This Is What A Financial Crisis Looks Like

Financial Crisis 2015 - Public DomainJust within the past few days, three major high yield funds have completely imploded, and panic is spreading rapidly on Wall Street.  Funds run by Third Avenue Management and Stone Lion Capital Partners have suspended payments to investors, and a fund run by Lucidus Capital Partners has liquidated its entire portfolio.  We are witnessing a race for the exits unlike anything that we have seen since the great financial crash of 2008, and many of those that choose to hesitate are going to end up getting totally wiped out.  In case you are wondering, this is what a financial crisis looks like.  In 2008, other global stock markets started to tumble, then junk bonds began to crash, and finally U.S. stocks followed.  The exact same pattern is playing out again, and the carnage that we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. (Read More….)


CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Compares ISIS to Jews

CNN host Ashleigh Banfield shockingly compares the “Jewish Terror” problem to Radical Islam, as if we are talking apples and apples—as if there is any such thing as Jewish terror in the U.S.

“I’m telling you that there have been that many terrorist attacks by Jews and no one’s suggesting that all Jews should be wiped out of this country for visiting. It’s the same thing.”

No Ashleigh, it’s not the same thing at all!

View Article


Suppress Shooters’ Islamist Ties, Obama Ordered

How the Radical-in-Chief ordered federal officials to mislead the public about the Jihadist massacre in San Bernardino.

On the day of the deadly San Bernardino, Calif. massacre, President Obama ignored FBI-procured evidence that the attack was an Islamic terrorist operation and ordered federal officials to mislead the public about the true nature of the assault.

View Article


Feds protect secret plan to kill cell-phone service

Supreme Court urged to make it public

People live their lives on their cell phones these days – more and more even are cutting off their land lines as an unnecessary expense and relying solely on their wireless links to the rest of the world.

But what happens when the government decides – for whatever reason – to shut down that network?

What if it just pulls the plug on Americans’ cell service?

View Article


Barack Obama and the End of Western Civilization

The global and domestic landscape is one of turmoil and indecision. Everywhere one looks there is chaos and potential disaster, whether in the financial, economic, political or military sphere. Since the beginning of the post World War II era there has been one constant that has been the stabilizing force in the world: the stature, power and influence of the United States. In the matter of a few short years the Obama presidency has deliberately and overwhelmingly eroded that distinction resulting in his goal of global instability.

View Article


Obama Offers Nothing But Excuses In Phony Battle To Stop Terror Giant ISIS

U.S. has mapped ISIS hiding spots, but won’t launch strikes for fear of ‘civilian deaths’

EDITOR’S NOTE: The only other thing that is growing as fast as the power of Islamic terror group ISIS are the number of excuses handed out by the Obama administration as to why they don’t want to engage them. Now Obama says that instead of bombing them, he wants to “continue studying the terror facilities headquarters for a deeper understanding” of how ISIS functions. Sounds to me like he is protecting them and like with Iran, giving them time and space to grow more powerful.

In a secret project tied to the overall U.S. campaign against the Islamic State, intelligence officials have spent months mapping out known physical locations of media safe houses where the extremist group’s operatives are compiling, editing and curating raw video and print materials into finished digital propaganda products for dissemination across the Internet.

Most of the locations are embedded in heavily residential areas in Syria, Iraq and Libya and are not being targeted by U.S. airstrikes because ofObama administration concerns about civilian casualties, according to sources who spoke to The Washington Times only on the condition of anonymity.

Putin Explains How Obama Created ISIS

The White House also has been pressing the intelligence community to continue studying the facilities for a deeper understanding of how the Islamic State and its media enterprises operate, the sources said.

While the White House, CIA and Pentagon declined to comment on the clandestine mapping project, its existence was revealed amid mounting debate over whether the administration’s strategy is robust enough for countering the professionalized blitz of digital propaganda that the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is using to recruit fighters and radicalize supporters around the world.

The administration is engaged publicly in a dual-track approach that involves an interagency push to spread carefully crafted messaging online and through local partners in various corners of the world to counter the Islamic State, while ramping up pressure on American social media companies to block extremist content and links from their online platforms.

Rudy Giuliani: ‘ISIS is an Obama creation’

But critics, including a growing number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill and some current and former officials directly involved in the project, say the administration’s effort is badly mismanaged and underfunded, allowing the Islamic State to maintain a physical footprint of media production houses upon which creation of the terrorist group’s most influential products depends.

The propaganda operation’s vastness and sophistication are considered unprecedented in Islamic terrorism. Although its penetration across the Internet relies on a seemingly endless spray of links posted by the Islamic State on social media sites, it is the core media products that such links lead back to that analysts describe as most worrisome.

Twelve issues of the group’s official propaganda magazine Dabiq are now online in several languages, including Arabic, English, Russian, French and Turkish. The shiny content, organizational integrity and layout are more thorough and professional than those of many American newsmagazines.

More striking for the visually driven young audience are the dozens of highly curated recruiting videos that Islamic State operatives have produced using elaborate graphic animations, special effects, live-action speed edits and Hollywood-quality voice-overs.

Videos that have emerged in recent months are clearly bent on reaching an international audience way beyond the borders of the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The first Chinese-language Islamic State video appeared online last week, replete with a theme song calling on Muslims to “wake up” from a century of humiliation.

The most recent English-language video circulated roughly a month ago. Not only did it go to staggering lengths to mock the U.S. military’s failure to contain the Islamic State, but a sober-voiced narrator also went so far as to taunt America over the sensitive issue of suicide rates among U.S. soldiers and veterans.

“You claim to have the greatest army history has known. You may have the numbers and weapons, but your soldiers lack good will and resolve,” the deep voice says in unaccented English. “Still scared from their defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, they return dead or suicidal, with over 6,500 of them killing themselves each year. So while you go around cooking the facts on the results of your military airstrikes, we continue to haunt the minds of your soldiers and sew fear into their hearts.”

Animation-enhanced blood bursts and sprays across a white background in the video as gunshots ring out — a macabre display apparently designed to depict the suicides of American service members. source


December 14, 2015
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — The presidential debates this year have reached all-time highs in audience interest. There’s a reason for that: Americans know their country is in trouble, internally and externally. The debates are being closely watched by more Americans that ever, who are desperately looking for someone, anyone out there prepared to “do something” while we still have options… (more)

December 14, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — A Texas mother and pro-life activists are fighting a Houston hospital in court after the facility cited a state law in its decision to refuse treatment for a 46-year-old man, despite the patient’s wishes and those of his family…. (more)

December 14, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — There is simply no way I can objectively review this movie. I’ve read the novel “Moby Dick” three times (yes, the whole thing!). In my office, I have a bookshelf that is plastered floor to ceiling (I believe they call it “decoupaged”) with pages from three different copies of Herman Melville’s classic whaling novel… (more)

December 13, 2015

CLIFF KINCAID — While U.S. policymakers worry about the propaganda techniques of ISIS in drawing thousands of Islamists into the fight against the West, America’s adversaries in the Arab/Muslim world as a whole, as well as Russia and China, continue to make inroads into the U.S. media market…. (more)


December 13, 2015

NEWSMAX — Americans aren’t being “steeled” for a “decades-long war” against “militant Islam” fighters “who believe in killing in the name of religion,” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse tells Newsmax TV…. (more)


December 13, 2015

ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — I appreciate being held in “(otherwise) . . . considerable esteem” by Charles Krauthammer. Not only is the feeling mutual; from my end, I would even omit the “otherwise.” That said, I am dismayed by his specious response to my legal analysis of Donald Trump’s proposed moratorium on Muslim immigration to the United States. I am personally disappointed that Charles has distorted my position, portraying me as a Trump apologist…. (more)


December 13, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — Donald Trump’s call for a temporary ban on all Muslim entry in the United States is getting enthusiastic support from a conservative icon, as legendary activist Phyllis Schlafly called for the grassroots to support his plan…. (more)

December 13, 2015
FOX NEWS INSIDER — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz appeared on “The Kelly File” tonight and ripped President Obama’s response to the San Bernardino terror attack and the growing threat of radical Islamic terror…. (more)

December 13, 2015

BLOOMBERG — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has surged ahead to become the latest front-runner in the campaign for the Iowa caucuses, dislodging Ben Carson and opening an impressive lead over a stalled Donald Trump, a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows…. (more)


December 13, 2015

YOUTUBE — Heidi Cruz appeared on Fox News’ Fox and Friends December 10 and fielded questions about her husband Ted in a lively interview…. (more)


December 12, 2015
LARRY KUDLOW — 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…. (more)

December 12, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — President Obama claims that restricting immigration in order to protect national security is “offensive and contrary to American values.” No-limits liberals have attacked common-sense proposals for heightened visa scrutiny, profiling or immigration slowdowns as “un-American.”… (more)

December 12, 2015

WASHINGTON TIMES — U.S. intelligence officials are warning that the Islamic State terrorist group may have seized an official government passport printing machine and a trove of blank passports in Syria and could be printing fake passports that would allow some of its followers to infiltrate the U.S. border…. (more)


December 12, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — More than a trillion taxpayer dollars are on the table as House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi negotiate a massive spending deal…. (more)

December 12, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — There’s a reason President Obama must resort to executive orders on gun control: The American people don’t want it…. (more)

December 12, 2015

NEWSMAX — Ohio’s top prosecutor says a state probe has concluded three Planned Parenthood clinics allegedly improperly disposed of aborted fetal parts in landfills, “mixing” the remains “with yesterday’s garbage.”… (more)


December 11, 2015
BREITBART — Islam will become the second-largest religious group in the United States by 2050, according to a report from the Pew Research Center…. (more)

December 11, 2015
BREITBART — Sen. Jeff Sessions, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, tells Breitbart News Daily about House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan’s and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plans to force Americans to pay for President Obama’s Syrian refugee resettlement program…. (more)

December 11, 2015

ASSOCIATED PRESS — President Barack Obama’s advisers are finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval… (more)


December 11, 2015
NEWSMAX — Phillip Haney, a former Homeland Security employee who was part of an operation in California to investigate possible terrorists, told Fox News that if the Obama White House had not shut down his program in 2012, he could have prevented last week’s San Bernardino attack that killed 14 people…. (more)

December 11, 2015
LA TIMES — An examination of digital equipment recovered from the home of the couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last week has led FBI investigators to believe the shooters were planning an even larger assault, according to federal government sources…. (more)

December 11, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — Calm down and think, America. While everyone’s undies are in a bunch over Donald Trump’s proposal for a Muslim immigration moratorium, it is undeniable in a time of “heightened alert” – – when violent jihadists have no problem targeting their enemies here and around the world – – that national security profiling is imperative to our survival…. (more)

December 11, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Maybe Republican presidential front-runner is right that TV should pay him for the boosted ratings and story fodder he’s providing, especially to the network news operations…. (more)

December 11, 2015
NEW YORK POST — Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire: Hillary Clinton still insists she didn’t tell the grieving families of the Benghazi victims that an anti-Islam video was to blame…. (more)

December 11, 2015

WASHINGTON TIMES — Time magazine has named Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group, the runner-up for its Person of the Year award…. (more)


Daily Digest

December 15, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” —Benjamin Franklin, 1771

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Leader Low on Resolve Attempts Smack Talk

2015-12-15-28a0ff59_large.jpg

Speaking at the Pentagon, the commander in chief with an approval rating that has steadily declined since the beginning of September made an attempt to talk smack against the Islamic State. “As we squeeze its heart, we’ll make it harder for ISIL to pump its terror and propaganda to the rest of the world,” Obama said in a follow-up to his Oval Office speech. “ISIL leaders cannot hide and our next message to them is simple: You are next.”

The only thing that’s changed is the rhetoric. After the recent attacks on the West, Americans are increasingly worried about Obama’s strategy against the group, a strategy the chief executive only doubled down on Monday, naming off a list of eight Islamic State leaders that coalition airstrikes supposedly killed. Obama continued, saying the Islamic State has not made any major advancements in Iraq and Syria since the summer. So we’re winning, right?

According to commentator Charles Krauthammer, it’s the same rhetorical trick presidents used to convince Americans the Vietnam War was a success. Meanwhile, the Islamic State struck San Bernardino, Paris and downed a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula. “When you have to resort to statistics,” Krauthammer said, “he has a list of people whom we’ve killed, as if anyone has any idea who they are. It’s reminiscent of the strategy of the Vietnam War where we would announce the body counts — the ratio of dead Vietcong to Americans. It was always lopsided, and we lost the damn war because that’s not how you gauge who’s winning or losing a war.” But hey, smart power demands committing to a failing strategy, holding out until someone more experienced can take over.

Comment | Share

DHS Won’t Review Social Media Posts of Visa Entrants

The Obama State Department once had a “brilliant” plan — fight the Islamic State in part by waging a propaganda war on social media. In other words, bureaucrats would try to deter potential ISIL recruits with Twitter and Facebook posts. After a while, however, State finally admitted that hashtag diplomacy wasn’t really working all that well. But you know what else isn’t working? U.S. policy of not considering the social media posts of foreigners trying to enter the U.S. through the visa program. ABC News reports, “Fearing a civil liberties backlash and ‘bad public relations’ for the Obama administration, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end a secret U.S. policy that prohibited immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of all foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas, a former senior department official said.” Why does that matter? Well, if officials had reviewed the social media posts of Tashfeen Malik, she might not have been granted a visa in May 2014 — a full 18 months before she and her husband killed 14 in San Bernardino. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gets it: “Had they checked out Tashfeen Malik, maybe those people in San Bernardino would be alive.” Remember, no one has a right to come to the U.S., and the fact that Islam is as much a political system as a religion means these reviews are far more important than a little uncomfortable PR for the Obama administration.

Comment | Share

And One of the Biggest Whoppers of the Year Goes To…

One of the largest bastions of the Leftmedia, The Washington Post, has said the “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative that gelled after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson was one of the biggest political lies of 2015. The false narrative was that Brown had his hands up when Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed him. A grand jury later ruled that Wilson acted in self-defense.

The Post’s Fact Checker blog released a list of claims it said were the “The biggest Pinocchios of 2015.” Among the claims flagged by the Post, Hillary Clinton lied when she said the Defense of Marriage Act was signed by her husband to prevent a DOMA amendment to the Constitution, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy mislead Americans when he said, on average, there was a school shooting every week since the Sandy Hook massacre, and Barack Obama fibbed when he said the Keystone Pipeline would transport oil not for American consumption.

But in terms of the most stubborn lies, “Hands up, don’t shoot” was one of the worst. It was repeated before a NFL game, as well as on the steps of the Capitol and on the House floor. In communities nationwide, it was a false narrative that fomented discord and served as race bait between law enforcement and residents. Unfortunately, this BIG Lie has had a big cost in terms of a spike in crime in big cities.

Comment | Share

Don’t Miss Patriot Humor

Check out California Self-Defense Kit.

If you’d like to receive Patriot Humor by email, update your subscription here.

The Bill of Rights

2015-12-14-cfb07b49_large.jpg

Today, Dec. 15, is the anniversary of the 1791 ratification of our Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution, and the Rule of Law it enshrines.

The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: John Locke’s 1689 thesis, “Two Treatises of Government,” regarding the protection of “property” (in the Latin context, proprius, or one’s own “life, liberty and estate”); in part from the Virginia Declaration of Rights authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state’s Constitution; and, of course, in part from our Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson.

Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate “unalienable rights” of man, and a clear proscription upon any central government infringement of those rights. As oft trampled and abused as the Bill of Rights is by those who’ve sworn an oath “to Support and Defend” our Constitution, most notably “judicial supremacists,” or the “despotic branch” as Jefferson called the judiciary, Patriots must remain ever vigilant in order to sustain our rights.

Comment | Share

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Paris Climate Conference Focused on Fear, Not Climate Reality

By James Shott

2015-12-15-44da4c97_large.jpg

The Paris climate conference is now over. Whether the nations there enthusiastically supported “doing something” about the world’s thermostat, or whether they were set to be recipients of a whole lot of wealth redistribution, one thing is clear: The agreement means almost nothing for the climate and everything for loss of economic productivity and Liberty.

After all the time involved and the carbon dioxide produced getting thousands of people from 196 nations all in the same place and then back home again, the agreement does not put the world on a path toward what alarmists regard as a safe level of rising temperature. But the agreement sets forth a clear path for countries to identify their own targets for CO2 reduction. Ultimately, participants want a global carbon-free environment by 2060, at the latest, meaning that every car, building, plane, ship, train and power plant would have to operate without burning any fossil fuels.

Days prior to the closing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the ministerial session, “The clock is ticking toward climate disaster.” Repent now, for the end is near.

The populist potentate of ecotheology, Al Gore, compared combating climate change to the abolition of slavery, giving women the right to vote and the civil rights battle. Gore said, “The right choice is to safeguard the future for the next generation and for the generations to come.”

There were scary stories of rising sea levels, causing residents of low-lying areas like the Marshall Islands to lobby strenuously for the agreement, while droughts, flooding and other extreme weather events were predicted to increase elsewhere on the planet if CO2 emissions aren’t reined in. And to make sure to attract the attention of enough third-world countries, billions of dollars in support for affected economies is on the table, supposedly to be paid by the rich countries, like the United States.

The whole world is concerned because of the idea that too much CO2 in the atmosphere will cause a litany of catastrophes sometime in the distant future. But remember: Plants that produce oxygen for us to breathe live on CO2.

All this fear mongering overshadowed the dismal record of climate predictions and data manipulations from the not-so-distant past that casts doubt on the need for turning the energy universe upside-down. Here are just a few of the horrific predictions of climate catastrophes that did not come true:

  • By 1980, all of the important animal life in the sea will be extinct.
  • By the year 2000, the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.
  • The world will be 11 degrees colder by the year 2000.
  • By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching Earth by half.
  • A general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.
  • Within a few years children just aren’t going to know what snow is.

Add to those failed prognostications a global warming hiatus for the last 18 years, and energetic disagreement about man-caused climate change among climate scientists, and the agreement is exposed for what it is: a gigantic global shakedown.

As an example, while Barack Obama is busy regulating America’s coal-fired electricity-generating plants out of existence, China — by far the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases — is constructing hundreds of new plants. We should be wary of China’s commitment to reduce emissions.

The Wall Street Journal notes, “In 2013 China burned 3.9 billion tons of coal, almost as much as the rest of the world.” Obama seems to think that harming the U.S. economy by shutting down U.S. fossil fuel-burning facilities will negate China’s feverish coal-burning economy.

As Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris asks, “This is the country that we’re going to trust to peak emissions 15 years from now?”

And trust is the operative word. All countries are on scout’s honor to do what they have said they will do, without official oversight or penalties — because the agreement isn’t a legally binding treaty.

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013 “Historical Data Workbook,” 87% of the energy mankind uses every second comes from burning fossil fuels. People who live in cold climates use them to warm their homes, and people who live in warm climates use them to cool their homes. Fossil fuels are used to plant and harvest crops that feed people, and they are used to transport food from places where food is produced to places where it’s needed and wanted. They are used to light the darkness, to entertain us, transport us, diagnose disease, communicate with each other, mass-produce products we need and want, and to provide security in our homes and for the nation.

Fossil fuel use has improved the lives of billions of people worldwide, and we can all continue to benefit from it. There are no replacement technologies that even approach filling the void Obama and the other climate change advocates are creating. Contrary to their apocalyptic warnings, we are only on course for a disaster if we follow their lead.

Comment | Share

2015-12-15-80d4b9aa_large.jpg

Share

MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Thomas Sowell: “Affirmative action is supposed to be a benefit to black and other minority students admitted with lower academic qualifications than some white students who are rejected. But Justice Scalia questioned whether being admitted to an institution geared to students with higher-powered academic records was a real benefit. Despite much media spin, the issue is not whether blacks in general should be admitted to higher ranked or lower ranked institutions. The issue is whether a given black student, with given academic qualifications, should be admitted to a college or university where he would not be admitted if he were white. Much empirical research over the years has confirmed Justice Scalia’s concern that admitting black students to institutions for which their academic preparation is not sufficient can be making them worse off instead of better off. … Justice Scalia was not talking about sending black students to substandard colleges and universities to get an inferior education. You may in fact get a much better education at an institution that teaches at a pace that you can handle and master. In later life, no one is going to care how fast you learned something, so long as you know it. Mismatching students with educational institutions is a formula for needless failures. … Do the facts not matter to those who are denouncing Justice Scalia? Does the actual fate of minority students not matter to the left, as much as their symbolic presence on a campus?”

Comment | Share

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The law is an adroit mixture of customs that are beneficial to society, and could be followed even if no law existed, and others that are of advantage to a ruling minority, but harmful to the masses of men, and can be enforced on them only by terror.” —Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)

Upright: “Republicans … fight Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and all other Democrats. But they don’t fight the left and leftism. The implication is that if only we could defeat this or that Democrat, we would be on our way to a much better America. But it’s not true. … Republicans need to tell the American people over and over that the only thing that can stop the further degradation of the United States of America is conservatism and the Republican Party. Because only conservatism and the Republican Party can stop the left.” —Dennis Prager

Non Compos Mentis: “I have feelings, good, bad and otherwise, about Star Wars. … Like the part where [Darth Vader] was totally a black guy whose name basically was James Earl Jones … [and] while he was black, he was terrible and bad and awful and used to cut off white men’s hands, and didn’t, you know, actually claim his son. But as soon as he claims his son and goes over to the good, he takes off his mask and he is white. Yes, I have many, many feelings about that.” —MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry

Belly laugh of the week: “Plenty of time and effort have lately gone into analyzing a host of related crises — homelessness, unaffordable urban real estate, devastating gentrification, and a housing bubble whose burst landed us in the Great Recession. … The true culprit is so deeply embedded in American notions of wealth, rights, and property that we cannot see it for the terrible economy policy it is: private housing. … [W]hat we call private housing is actually public land that government has set aside for private purposes. … Ultimately … the best antidote to private housing is public housing.”—Jesse A. Myers in an article for The Nation titled, “How to Get Rid of Your Landlord and Socialize American Housing, in 3 Easy Steps”

Braying Jackass: “I think that most of our largest domestic threat comes from racial supremacist groups. I worked in counterterrorism; I know this to be a fact. … People want to take us back to some mythological good ol’ days, and there are elected officials who are capitalizing on this sentiment.” —Rep. Andre Carson

And last… “Obama is right. His climate deal will create jobs. The Unemployment Office will need a bigger staff.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

Comment | Share

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/ )”


BREAKING NEWS – ‘Credible terror threat’ prompts closure of all LA public schools

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 07:35 AM PST

DEVELOPING: All of Los Angeles’ public schools were closed Tuesday due to a “credible terror threat,” officials said. A member of the LA Unified School District Board of Education reported receiving a bomb threat, police said. It was unclear when the threat was made and which school board member received it, but the situation prompted the district to close all schools effective immediately, and order students and staff to stay away from all campuses.

Schools Superintendent Ramon Cortines said every school in the 700,000-pupil district would be searched. The district includes 1,124 schools plus other facilities, including ones for adult language instruction. “I think it is important that I take this precaution based upon what has happened recently and what has happened in the past,” Cortines said. Police and the FBI were investigating the threat, which was described as “electronic.” It was not to one school, two schools or three schools, but to many schools,” Cortines said. “It was ‘to students at school.’” FULL REPORT

The post BREAKING NEWS – ‘Credible terror threat’ prompts closure of all LA public schools appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Massive Military Train Convoy Outside Of Dallas 2nd Convoy In Texas In Days As Signs Increase Of A Major Imminent Event

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 07:04 AM PST

For the 2nd time in the last few days, we see a massive US military train traveling through the state of Texas as seen in the 1st video below, just the latest of many military convoy’s we’ve seen across America this year and with ISIS having threatened to bring war to US soil, we’re now seeing many signs that they are preparing to do so.

The story out of Pulaski County, Missouri back in October 18th was totally overlooked but now getting a lot of attention and likely for good reason. A hunter out in the woods came across a huge cache of explosives hidden in the Missouri woods. Alone such an event might be overlooked, and it was back on October 18th, but when combined with recent news reports of massive cell phone purchases in the same region along with mysterious purchases being made of model cars, drones and other remote control vehicles as well as stolen propane tanks, we see why Susan Duclos recently warned that ISIS is seemingly preparing for ‘the main event’ on US soil and why law enforcement is continuing to urge vigilance.

As Amanda Shea tells us, the mystery into Muslims buying hundreds of cellphones from Missouri Walmart stores has taken a turn for the worst and not too far from where the explosives were found a trail camera captured this image of an apparently Middle Eastern man venturing through these woods. Is all of this more proof that America is being set up to take a great fall? Something is seriously wrong here.:

Officers found a huge cache of “extremely volatile” explosives, which police described to be of a style “that could not be purchased for recreational use.” This suggests that the extensive supply was all homemade pipe bombs or other IEDs, created and collected with a specific plan in mind. The stock was so dangerous that it couldn’t be safely detonated without the help of  the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD), the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s EOD Unit, and the Waynesville Rural Fire Department, KY3 reported. The exact location, as well as recent developments, make this discovery even more concerning than what law enforcement knew at the time. FULL REPORT

The post Massive Military Train Convoy Outside Of Dallas 2nd Convoy In Texas In Days As Signs Increase Of A Major Imminent Event appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Michael Moore Recruits Facebook Followers to Report Trump For “Hate Speech”

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 06:57 AM PST

Leftwing filmmaker Michael Moore is asking his followers to report Donald Trump for using “hate speech” on Facebook, in hopes of getting the GOP frontrunner banned from the social media site. “Facebook prohibits all its users from using hate speech on its site (‘You will not post content that is hate speech’),” wrote Moore in a detailed post on Wednesday. “I’m joining others today in filing a complaint with Facebook that Trump’s Facebook page is using hate speech to promote racism and bigotry.”

Moore added: “Please file your complaint, too. Here’s how: Go to Trump’s page facebook.com/DonaldTrump. Click ‘Report’. Then click ‘It shouldn’t be on FB’. Then click ‘Hate Speech’. Then click either ‘race or ethnicity’ or ‘religious group’. That’s it. Let’s get a few million doing this by the end of the day!” The New York Daily News reported this week that despite an online campaign to censor Trump, his posts are protected under Facebook’s community standards: Facebook’s policy does highlight that any hate speech content attacking people on their race, ethnicity, religious affiliation or national origin will be removed. However, Trump’s posts could potentially be protected by another rule under Facebook’s community standards: “Facebook can be used to challenge ideas, institutions, and practices. Such discussion can promote debate and greater understanding. READ MORE

The post Michael Moore Recruits Facebook Followers to Report Trump For “Hate Speech” appeared first on End Time Headlines.

School Cuts HS Yearbook Photo over American Flag Backdrop

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 06:50 AM PST

A photo for a high school yearbook featuring the American flag is generating a red, white and blue controversy. The photo shows Morgan Truax, a senior at Foxborough High School outside Boston, standing in front of an American flag backdrop and the trouble started when her mother shared it on Facebook Thursday and it quickly went viral. “The Red Wing Diner, which employs Morgan, purchased a page in Morgan’s yearbook to congratulate her on her hard work,” Lisa Truax wrote, according to the Attleboro Sun Chronicle.

“Does anyone find this photo offensive? Apparently Foxboro High School finds it offensive. They won’t allow the picture in the yearbook because it’s the American flag. We are American! We live in America! OMG what is this country coming to? Please share.” School officials explained why they found the photo objectionable in a statement Thursday to Fox 25 in Boston. “The photo showed the United States flag hanging on a wall with the lower portion lying on the floor and the student standing on the flag,” the statement said. “We do not view standing on the U.S. Flag as respectful or appropriate.” They also nixed an offer to crop the photo so no one would be offended, the station reported. READ MORE

The post School Cuts HS Yearbook Photo over American Flag Backdrop appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts to the Department of Work and Pensions

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 06:44 AM PST

A group of teenage computer experts, known as VandaSec, have discovered evidence linking three accounts supporting ISIS, also known as Daesh, to the Department of Work and Pensions’ London offices. Hackers found the internet addresses were owned by the DWP raising serious concerns of how extremists had gained control of the IP addresses. This revelation has caused speculation someone inside the government department is running ISIS-supporting accounts, or they were created by intelligence services to trap wannabe jihadis.

An internet expert has suggested the reason for the trace to the Government is because the cabinet office sold IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms. The IP addresses obtained by VandaSec was traced to unpublicised transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. The accounts were then used to carry out online recruitment and propaganda campaigns. Following the sale, the IP addresses were used by extremists to spread their message of hate. A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The Government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers. READ MORE

The post Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts to the Department of Work and Pensions appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Dozens of Dead Birds Wash Up on Mississippi Beaches

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 06:29 AM PST

It’s a frightening sight along the coastline. First fish, now dozens of birds found dead on beaches in several coast cities. “We got reports of several birds in the Gulfport area and after speaking with DEQ they got several more birds in the Biloxi area,” said Missy Dubuisson with Wild at Heart Rescue. Even in Long Beach, many species of birds have been found lifeless or clinging to life. Experts saying it all goes back to the unprecedented December red tide. “Of course there probably has been this issue before on a smaller scale and we might have just had a bird or two that maybe came in and didn’t make it, but we weren’t seeing what we’re seeing now,” said Dubuisson.

Caretakers at Wild at Heart Rescue are currently rehabilitating a pelican who started with a hook injury, but is now battling respiratory distress due to the algal bloom. “We have been informed that we cannot release him until the algae bloom is gone,” said Dubuisson. Experts say algal blooms happen throughout the coast annually, but never with this much beach affected at one time. Dubuisson says a neurotoxin causes respiratory distress in animals not only by eating, but even when they swim in the infected water. READ MORE

The post Dozens of Dead Birds Wash Up on Mississippi Beaches appeared first on End Time Headlines.

UN bashes Israel for ‘Excessive Force’ against terrorists

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 06:18 AM PST

The UN voiced deep concern Tuesday over an “unacceptable” wave of Palestinian Arab terrorists attacking Israelis, but also slammed Israeli authorities’ “excessive use of force” in trying to defend civilians from certain death. “We continue to be gravely concerned at the unrelenting violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel,” Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters. “We call on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act decisively to de-escalate the situation,” she added.

Pouilly stressed that since October 1, 117 Palestinian Arabs have died in the almost daily Arab terror attacks, a figure that consists of terrorists shot in the act or rioting and attacking Israeli security forces. She said that 21 Israelis, an American Jewish teen and an Eritrean were killed in the attacks, and thousands more have been wounded. She warned that although international attention appeared to be waning, “the level of killings, injuries and arrests has continued, with an average of one person dying every day.”  READ MORE

The post UN bashes Israel for ‘Excessive Force’ against terrorists appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Is Another Revolution Coming to America?

Posted: 15 Dec 2015 06:12 AM PST

Here’s the good news: The chaos and upheaval we see all around us have historical precedents and yet America survived. The bad news: Everything likely will get worse before it gets better again. (Story by Michael Goodwin, republished from NYPost.com.) That’s my chief takeaway from “Shattered Consensus,” a meticulously argued analysis of the growing disorder. Author James Piereson persuasively makes the case there is an inevitable “revolution” coming because our politics, culture, education, economics and even philanthropy are so polarized that the country can no longer resolve its differences.

To my knowledge, no current book makes more sense about the great unraveling we see in each day’s headlines. Piereson captures and explains the alienation arising from the sense that something important in American life is ending, but that nothing better has emerged to replace it. The impact is not restricted by our borders. Growing global conflict is related to America’s failure to agree on how we should govern ourselves and relate to the world. Piereson describes the endgame this way: “The problems will mount to a point of crisis where either they will be addressed through a ‘fourth revolution’ or the polity will begin to disintegrate for lack of fundamental agreement.” He identifies two previous eras where a general consensus prevailed, and collapsed. Each lasted about as long as an individual’s lifetime, was dominated by a single political party and ended dramatically. READ MORE

The post Is Another Revolution Coming to America? appeared first on End Time Headlines.

 


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


What Is the Gospel?

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

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

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


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

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

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

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


TMS: What Would Jesus Do?

Reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s, the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” used to be the de facto slogan of mainstream American evangelicalism. (Remember the bracelets and wristbands?) And although its prevalence has declined in recent years, a quick internet search reveals that WWJD remains a popular motto.

You can still find the famous acronym emblazoned on a wide array of available paraphernalia: from the expected forms of share-wear (like bracelets, t-shirts, and buttons) to more-surprising curiosities (like baby onesies and pacifiers). There are WWJD books, booklets, bumper stickers, mugs, key chains, and cell phone cases. There are even several films: the 2010 original, and two sequels.

Yet, despite the continuing popularity of this evangelical catchphrase, I doubt the majority of American Christians have ever seriously evaluated whether or not the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” is a biblically-valid mechanism for everyday decision-making.

Upon closer examination, I would suggest that WWJD—at least in terms of its popular application today—is often less than helpful, and sometimes downright dangerous.

History of the Phrase

A brief survey of the history of the phrase reveals that it was born out of the social gospel of the late nineteenth-century.

The social gospel, which was primarily championed by theological liberals, attempted to undermine the true gospel by redefining it in terms of social justice and community activism. Advocates of the social gospel focused on curing society’s ills such as economic inequality, alcoholism, poor working conditions, homelessness, slums, and inadequate education.

To be clear, as believers, we ought to be concerned with thinking about how a Christian worldview affects society. But the problem with the social gospel, is that it eclipsed the true gospel in the preaching and thinking of those who promoted it.

For them, the gospel message was no longer about the salvation of sinners from the wrath of God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Instead, the social gospel was about saving society from poverty and inequality through the establishment of things like labor unions, political action groups, and charitable organizations.

Consequently, the true gospel was obscured and distorted by those who preached the social gospel. In their minds, even the death of Christ was viewed, not as a sacrifice for sin, but merely as a good example of love and selflessness that people should try to follow in their efforts to cure society’s problems.

So, what does all of this have to do with the phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?”

One of the early popularizes of the social gospel, and of Christian socialism, was a man named Charles Sheldon. A pastor and author, Sheldon published a famous novel in 1896 entitled, In His Steps, the subtitle of which is: What Would Jesus Do?

Throughout that book, Sheldon repeated his famous question through the lips of his characters, as they considered certain social problems, like homelessness and poverty, and contemplated how they might help alleviate those issues.

“What Would Jesus Do?” quickly became a slogan for liberal theology and a catchphrase for a pseudo-gospel of community activism.

Yet, in spite of these questionable beginnings, the phrase was indiscriminately adopted and popularized by evangelicals roughly a hundred years later.

Contemporary Usage

In addition to its historic connection to theological liberalism, there are also issues with how the phrase is popularly used by modern evangelicals.

For many American Christians, “What Would Jesus Do?” represents a rudimentary guide for everyday decision-making.

Should I make a particular purchase? watch a certain movie? take a specific job? marry a particular person? move to a new location? To these and a thousand similar questions, the acronym WWJD is enthusiastically applied.

But there are at least two problems with using WWJD as a guide for making everyday decisions.

First, it ignores the obvious fact that we are not Jesus. We cannot do all of the things that Jesus did, nor can we make the same claims He made.

After all, “What would Jesus do?” Well, the four Gospels tell us: Jesus would walk on water; He would rebuke the wind and the waves and they would obey Him. Jesus would miraculously heal the sick, fully restore the injured, and raise the dead to life. He would answer prayer, accept worship, and forgive sins. He would declare Himself to be the eternal Son of God. And He would die as the perfect sacrifice for sin.

We know that Jesus would do those things, because that is, in fact, what Jesus did. The simple yet profound reality is that you and I cannot do those things, because we are not Him.

That brings us to a second concern: in its popular usage, WWJD is usually applied in an arbitrary way, based solely upon what a person subjectively imagines Jesus might do in a given situation.

But that is not a biblically-sound method for decision making. Being biblical about our choices begins by looking to the Bible. We shouldn’t rely on our imaginations to discern what honors Christ, because He has clearly revealed His will for us in His Word.

Hence, a better question for believers to ask themselves would be: “What Would Jesus Demand (that we do)?” What are His directives, His desires, His declarations, and His dictates?

(My use of words that start with the letter “D” was intentional. That way, if you feel compelled to keep your WWJD bracelet or if you can’t get that bumper sticker off your car, you can simply adjust the acronym.)

The Bible teaches that Christ is our King and we are His subjects; He is our Lord, and we are His servants; He is our Master, we are His slaves. “To follow Him,” then, is to submit to Him, obey Him, swear allegiance to Him, and carry out His will. We can know what Jesus wants us to do by going to His Word where His will is unambiguously revealed.

Following Jesus’ Example

Now, someone might ask: But aren’t there places in the New Testament where Christ’s example is given to us as a model that we are to emulate?

The answer to that, of course, is yes.

The Lord Jesus pointed to His own example in John 13 and John 15, in the Upper Room, after He had washed the disciples’ feet. And Paul appealed to Christ’s example in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 when he instructed his readers to love one another and to forgive one another just as Christ has loved and forgiven them.

We might note, of course, that the context of those commands pertains to the way that believers treat fellow believers in the church, and not the way in which the church thinks about cultural problems in society at large.

But here’s the point: Too often, the subjective sentiment represented by WWJD completely ignores the contextual constraints of the biblical text.

In other words, too many people make WWJD mean whatever they imagine it to mean—rather than allowing Scripture to inform their thinking. It is that arbitrary application of this famous four-letter acronym, along with its historic association with bad theology, that generally renders it less than helpful.

To reiterate an earlier point: The Word of Christ (and not our imaginations) ought to be our guide for decision-making. For example, when 1 John 2:6 instructs believers to “walk in the same manner as Jesus walked,” it is in the context of obeying His commands (vv. 3–5). And that, of course, points us directly back to Scripture.

A Case in Point

It is important to note that the actual question, “What would Jesus do?” does not appear on the pages of Scripture. It comes from the subtitle of Charles Sheldon’s famous novel. However, the main title of that famous work, In His Steps, is derived from a phrase found in the New Testament.

In 1 Peter 2:21, the apostle Peter writes, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” But does that verse provide biblical warrant for the way WWJD is commonly applied?

The simple answer is no. In its context, 1 Peter 2:21 has nothing to do with curing society’s ills, nor is it referring to the mundane choices of everyday life. When Peter appeals to Christ’s example here, he is pointing to the way in which Jesus responded to persecution and unjust suffering. The command in this text is a specific call to endure persecution in keeping with the pattern of Christ Himself.

It is in that sense that we are to follow in His steps. 

Peter leaves no doubt as to what this kind of Christ-like response would entail. In verses 22–23, he demonstrates that the Lord Jesus responded to His attackers without sin, without deceit, without retaliation, without violence, and without any lapse of trust in God.

So if we were to ask the question, “What would Jesus do in the face of persecution?” this would be our answer. His actions would be sinless; His words would be true and non-threatening; and His mindset would be fully anchored by faith in God.

In the context of suffering and persecution, asking “What Would Jesus Do?” actually does reflect a biblical perspective (as reflected in 1 Peter 2:21). But that is rarely how WWJD is applied in contemporary evangelical circles.

Additionally, as the subsequent verses in 1 Peter make clear, we cannot ask “What would Jesus do in the face of suffering?” without also asking “What did Jesus do through His suffering?” As the apostle goes on to explain:

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (vv. 24–25)

Clearly, Christ’s passion was not merely a good example for us to emulate. His substitutionary sacrifice for sin provided the very means by which we are saved.

Conclusion

So, what should we make of WWJD?

Well, given its historic connections to the social gospel, and its arbitrary misapplication in contemporary circles, it’s probably best to avoid the famous acronym altogether.

But, if you feel compelled to keep that 20-year-old wrist band, please remember to think about the phrase within the constraints of its biblical context. Don’t forget that it is derived from a verse in 1 Peter 2 about how to respond in a Christ-like way to unfair treatment and persecution.

Moreover, as the surrounding verses make clear, it should never be divorced from that second essential question: “What did Jesus do?”—because therein lies the heart of the gospel.

The post What Would Jesus Do? appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

Amazing Love, How Can it Be?

Unfathomable Grace

Good news! The Apostle Paul delivered it to us succinctly in Romans 5:8:

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God has shown his love for us, and Christ has died for us, before we were even conceived. Yes, before we were born, because we were predestined to be sinners, out of love Christ came to our planet. Once there, he lived and obeyed on our behalf, and was disgraced, slaughtered, and sacrificed in our stead. Before we were sinners, before we even were, God showed his love for us, and Christ died for us. Amazing love!

God showed his love for us, and Christ died for us, before we were birthed. God allowed our mothers to conceive; we were knitted together in our mothers’ wombs by the all-controlling hand of God. And while we were yet within our mother’s womb, God…

View original post 889 more words

Was Barack Obama a successful President? What were his greatest accomplishments?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Labor Force Participation 2015 Labor Force Participation 2015

Congressional Budget Office: Debt to GDP ratio Congressional Budget Office: Federal Debt Held by Public to GDP ratio

(Source: Congressional Budget Office)

This National Review article is a summary of some of the things that we’ve been talking about on the blog over the past year. It’s worth contrasting his confident words with the actual results he’s achieved.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Begin with the continued rise of ISIS and an ISIS-inspired attack on American soil in San Bernardino.

Obama’s widely-panned Sunday evening speech on combating ISIS is fresh in our minds; he’s haunted by the fact that the day of the attack, in an interview with CBS News, he declared, “Our homeland has never been more protected by more effective intelligence and law-enforcement professionals at every level than they are now.” In the weeks between the Paris attack and San Bernardino, Obama told the public there was no known “specific and credible…

View original post 1,641 more words

Chrislam is the Ultimate Deception: Jesus is NOT Isa from the Qur’an!

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Chrislam

Months ago, I had conversations with a pastor from a large Baptist church in Richmond, VA. He believes that Allah and our God are one and the same. He told me that Muslims see God through the lens of Muhammad, and that Christians see Him through the lens of Jesus Christ. This is heresy!

I am writing this piece so that you can be equipped to speak truth to those who are deceived. If a head pastor of a church of over 1000 people believes this lie, then surely there are many others. I am so grieved over this — mostly for the people in the congregations of these wolves.

Because this pastor is not adhering to the Word of God, he is vulnerable to being deceived in most every area of Biblical teaching. He is close friends with Brian McLaren — the father of the Emerging Church movement. The…

View original post 2,099 more words

The God of the Bible and Allah

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

The-only-true-God-is-the-God-of-the-Bible

We watched in horror as an imam (Muslim cleric) was ushered into the House of Representatives to pray and give a blessing. We saw our representatives bow their heads to Allah. The same week, we saw Muslims hold a service in The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Be assured that these two events are not random. They are calculated by the devil himself. It’s his plan, in these last days, to convince the world that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Allah, are one and the same.

Let’s look at the God of the Bible and Allah. It’s important for us to be able to explain the truth to others, when so many are being deceived.

First of all, our God is a Triune God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Look at this passage from the Old Testament:

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…

View original post 880 more words

The lovingkindness of God endures all day long

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

For the choir director. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul and said to him, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”

1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.
2 Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
Falsehood more than speaking what is right.
Selah.
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
5 But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent,
And uproot you from the land of the living.
Selah.
6 The righteous will see and fear,
And will laugh at him, saying,
7 “Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches
And…

View original post 768 more words