Daily Archives: December 17, 2015

December 17, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

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Evangelical insiders coalesce around Rubio, Cruz

Evangelical insiders coalesce around Rubio, Cruz

Posted on December 17, 2015 by World Magazine

CAMPAIGN 2016 | Results from WORLD’s monthly survey show growing concern about a Trump nomination

Read Full Article »


A Christian killed every five minutes

A Christian killed every five minutes

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Christian Examiner

Raymond Ibrahim, writing for the Gatestone Institute, writes that the political leaders and even Pope Francis are turning a blind eye to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

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Franklin Graham Slams Hijab-Wearing Wheaton College Professor: 'She Obviously Doesn't Know Her Bible Or Islam'

Franklin Graham Slams Hijab-Wearing Wheaton College Professor: ‘She Obviously Doesn’t Know Her Bible Or Islam’

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Gospel Herald

The Rev. Franklin Graham has harshly criticized a political science professor at Wheaton College who was placed on administrative leave after wearing a hijab to show solidarity with Muslims, saying she “obviously doesn’t know her Bible or Islam”.

Read Full Article »


Franklin Graham To John Kerry: 'ISIS Doesn't Want to Coexist With Christians, Wants to Eliminate'

Franklin Graham To John Kerry: ‘ISIS Doesn’t Want to Coexist With Christians, Wants to Eliminate’

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Franklin Graham has joined with several other world leaders in trying to make a point to US Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department. Graham said, “I join leaders who are urging Secretary of State John Kerry to include Christians in the State Department’s classification of genocide in the Middle East. ISIS doesn’t want to co-exist with Christians – it wants to eliminate them. This is genocide against Christians, and their lives do matter.”

Read Full Article »


Preparing for What is To Come

Jan Markell first talks to Dr. Randy White who counters the popular evangelical opinion that we must take in all Syrian refugees. Then Jan, Eric Barger and Larry Kutzler discuss the coming censorship of all things Christians and conservative. Google recently censored this ministry for posting “inappropriate content” on some YouTubes. Jan and her co-hosts warn that this is a foreshadowing of things to come when we don’t follow the liberal, godless pattern of content, programming, etc. Prepare yourselves for what is to come. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here


Franklin Graham Tackles CNN Anchor: Watch the Debate!

Rev. Franklin Graham calmly and bluntly stated his opinion that Islam is not “compatible” with American values during a CNN interview on Tuesday. In response, CNN anchor Carol Costello took a swipe at her own religion of Catholicism.

Watch 4-minute debate


Sovereignty and Climate Change – Terry James

The real sovereignty issue is that of the True Sovereign–the Creator of the universe and of all things. The master of the would-be one-world engineers–the neo-Tower builders- wants, as he did from the time of the war in Heaven- to overthrow the sovereignty of God.

Lucifer the fallen has brought today’s globalists to the  point of the psalmist’s predicted end-of-the -age arrangement.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 

View Article


Ted Cruz wins big boost from evangelicals

Huge endorsement on way from 50 faith leaders

The Family Research Council’s president, Tony Perkins, rallied with dozens of different evangelical leaders in a closed-door meeting earlier this month to decide on which Republican to support for president via prayer and discussion, ultimately selecting, after several votes: Ted Cruz.

View Article


Professor at Christian College Dons Hijab, Gets Suspended for Saying ‘We Worship the Same God’

But she got a blessing from the highest authority: CAIR.

Larycia Alaine Hawkins has been an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College in Illinois since 2007. But on Tuesday, it was announced that she was placed on administrative leave because of the troublesome theological interpretation she made about Islam in a recent Facebook post.

View Article


Chrislam is the Ultimate Deception

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.

View Article


The Subtle Lie is the Most Dangerous–Emergent Theology

The blatant lies are the easiest to identify and refute.  It is the subtle twisting of that which is presented as “truth” that is the most sinister deception.  We see this in the growth of the Emergent theology that has infiltrated our Christian Colleges and many of our churches. “A loving God would never send […]

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Year in Review: Barna’s Top 10 Findings in 2015

With the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, a jump in concerns about religious freedom and an overall secularization of Americans’ views, 2015 was a year of increasing anxiety among people of faith. Here’s our top 10 findings and trends from 2015.

More >


Rick Warren and Cardinal Sean O’Malley Conclude World Meeting of Families

From Berean Research:

Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren once again unites with the apostate Roman Catholic Church, this time to talk about “The Joy of the Gospel of Life,” which is ironic because he’s fully aware that the RCC’s gospel does not bring joy. Why? Because it is a false gospel, a gospel that saves no one. In fact, Protestants hold that the RCC’s man centered gospel is in opposition to biblical Christianity. Pastor Warren knows perfectly well what the Bible says about those who teach a false gospel — let him be accursed!:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8, 9)

So – why would a shepherd lead his sheep into a den of wolves?

Recorder Standard has the story:

Read more


Word of Faith False Teacher Joyce Meyer’s Shocking Doctrine and Heresy

From Berean Research:

For those who haven’t heard this before, Christian celeb Joyce Meyer is a false teacher. In 2011 Fran Sankey of Tower of Truth Ministries and host of Test All Things radio broadcast discussed Mrs. Meyer’s unbiblical and problematic teaching on her program. We’re posting the transcript, which is well worth the read for anyone who is in the dark about this woman. To listen to the show, scroll down to the end for the link. Sankey begins with some background on Mrs. Meyer and then fills us in on the reasons that some of her teaching is considered heretical. You don’t have to take Sankey’s word for it. Listen to the sound clips of Joyce Meyer she has provided.

Read more


Hillsong Church Rendition Of ‘Silent Night’ Features Roaring 20’s Flappers In Nightclub Setting

Hillsong Church is the perfect poster child for what the prophesied church of Laodicea would look like

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15 (KJV)

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 (KJV)

We have reported on the Laodicean activities of Hillsong Church for quite some time here. We have shown you how Hillsong is steeped in Illuminati and New Age symbolism, their promotion of Chrislam, and how they had for many years an openly gay “couple” leading the choir at Hillsong NYC. But when someone sent us this video today, it shows that Hillsong has reached a new low in their adoration of emulating a lost and dying world.

Silent Night – Hillsong Church London – Hillsong Carols 2014

Because after all, it’s just not a proper celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ without Roaring 20’s flappers, rock bands, hoochie coochie dancers, laser light shows and lots and lots of leg in a nightclub setting. Happy Birthday, Jesus, hope you like it. 

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:14-18 (KJV)

Hillsong Church is the perfect poster child for what the prophesied church of Laodicea looks like. They rich, increased with goods, have need of nothing, and yet are amazingly unaware that they are poor, wretched, miserable and blind, leading millions astray with their pyrotechnic easy believism.

A quick Google search of Hillsong Christmas songs leads you to all sorts of Laodicean goodies like nearly naked “drummer boys”, and lots of songs about Santa Claus and Rudolf. Hillsong is one of the largest churches in the world for the same reason why all your kid’s friends would want to eat breakfast at your house if all you ever served was donuts and coca-cola. They way they see it, the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ is just a little too boring on it’s own, and needs the “lights, camera, action!” of the world to “make it sell”.

It’s the perfect Sunday morning “church service” experience for people who have spent Saturday night partying it up in the clubs. Drink up, Hillsong, Jesus is coming, and you won’t be dancing when you see Him.

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:” Revelation 1:17 (KJV)


The Daily Discovery (December 17, 2015)

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

The Child of Prophecy – “The Christmas story in the Bible begins several hundred years before that night in Bethlehem. One Old Testament prophecy after another promised a coming Savior—the Messiah, the Anointed One—who would redeem the people of God. The centerpiece of all the Christmas prophecies, Isaiah 9:6, was written nearly six hundred years before Jesus’ birth. Isaiah promised it would be a miraculous event, unlike any the world had ever known, and the details Isaiah gave were fulfilled precisely by Jesus.”

Are the Birth Narratives in Luke and Matthew Late Additions? – “Many critics, in an attempt to discredit the ‘virgin conception’, have argued that the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke are simply late additions that were not present in the first versions of the gospels. These claims are typically based on (1) Efforts to find stylistic differences between the birth narratives and the rest of the text, and (2) Efforts to find subject shifts that occur immediately after the birth narratives and the remainder of the text. But these approaches to the Gospels fails to demonstrate the birth narratives are late additions for the following reasons…”

Social Justice Millennials – “As I have been working through the Essays of C.S. Lewis, I have noticed how dedicated to theargument he was. He believed in the reality of fixed and objective truth, and believed it was necessary to assume such a fixed reality in order to get anywhere at all. We have to assume that reality in order to live rightly within it, and we have to assume that reality in order to pretend that it is not there. Having realized that this was essential, Lewis would then give himself to the rigorous pursuit of a clear understanding of the way the world actually is, so that he might then conform himself to it.”

Turretin On The Threefold Distinction In The Mosaic Law – “The law given by Moses is usually distinguished into three species: moral (treating of morals or of perpetual duties towards God and our neighbor); ceremonial (of the ceremonies or rites about the sacred things to be observed under the Old Testament); and civil, constituting the civil government of the Israelite people. The first is the foundation upon which rests the obligation of the others and these are its appendices and determinations. Ceremonial has respect to the first table determining its circumstances, especially as to external worship. Civil has respect to the second table in judicial things, although it lays down punishments for crimes committed against the first table.”

The Remarkable Woman behind ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ – “Karen Swallow Prior has a fascinating piece at TGC about the author of ‘In the Bleak Mid-Winter.’ Her name is Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), and Prior writes that she was a woman of ‘deep Christian conviction.’ Prior concludes…”


SERMON:

Voddie Baucham – Modern Spirituality And Your Mind


VIDEOS:

Three Wise Men?

John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Steve Lawson share what they want written on their tombstones.


“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 17, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (December 17)


Featured Blogs


The Bravest Sentence in the Whole Bible

by Erin Davis

Since nothing is impossible with God, let’s all be brave!

8 Ways to Fight for Purity

by Bethany Baird

Being a pure girl in a wild world isn’t easy. Here are eight tips to help you stand for purity.

Will Siri Still Love Me?

by Jessie Minassian

Thinking God will run out of forgiveness is just as ridiculous as thinking Siri is going to stop loving me.

Freebie Friday! Christmas Music

by Erin Davis

As an early Christmas gift to you, we’re passing along two of our very favorite Christmas CDs

Top Headlines
 Egyptian Brothers Add to Tally of Christians Killed in Libya
 Ugandan Policeman Killed after Converting to Christianity from Islam
 Study Finds 3 in 4 Americans Believe Christmas Should be Celebrated in Public Schools
 Wheaton College Suspends Professor Who Claims God and Allah are the Same
 Just Drop the Blanket: The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas
 Survey: Same-sex Marriage, Pope Francis Top Religion Stories of Year
 KY School District Censors ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
 Top Moments of Importance from the Fifth GOP Debate
 North Korea Sentences Canadian Pastor to Hard Labor for Life
 Report: ISIS Militants Authorized to Kill Children with Down Syndrome
Opinion
 It Takes More Than Social Media to Change the World
 ‘The Passion of the Christ’ to Become TV Musical
 Redeeming our Children’s Desires This Christmas
 LA School Closing: 4 Ways to Face our Fears
 The Paris Accord and Climate Change: Salvation by Technocracy

Email Brigade News Report


 What doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God. ~ Micah 6:8
December 16, 2015
MARSHA WEST’S COLUMN
For a couple of decades there has been a big push by numerous evangelical leaders to incorporate pagan practices into the visible Church.  These unbiblical practices have their origins in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, likewise the New Age movement.  Roman Catholic Trappist Monks fully embraced Eastern religion’s pagan practices.  Through the writings of Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating these practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches as well as independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
MARSHA WEST IS CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF BEREAN RESEARCH AND
GENERAL EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK
JOIN MARSHA ON FACEBOOK
WATCH OUT—APOSTASY ALERT!
CHECK FOR UPDATES!
Where do Christians get solid food? From voices in their heads, intuition, imaginations, flights of fancy, signs, wonders? No. Solid food is consumed by feeding on the meat of the written Word of God. ~ Sandy Simpson
Alcoholics Anonymous
Swedenborg, A.A. and Celebrate Recovery—John Lanagan
Angels – Research links
“Activating” the kids at Bethel Redding—John Lanagan
Bethel Redding leaders continue to present an unbalanced and unhealthy preoccupation with signs and wonders–or, as I have come to call it, a bells-and-whistles theology.
Ann Voskamp
Beth Moore
The Low-Information Evangelical, Part 1  Part 2
Beth Moore’s strangely disappearing tweet: a discernment lesson—Elizabeth Prada
“Blood Moons”
The World is Coming to An End—Now!—Bill Muehlenberg
Heaven Stories
Charismatic Movement
New
Need help exchanging “whispers with God”?
Previous
IHOP-KC once again withholds mention Catholic participation at Onething conference
Christians and Conspiracy Theories
Sola Sisters has compiled articles that were written in order to biblically address the reality of conspiracy theory websites that Christians are sometimes drawn to, but which we feel are unbiblical and cause Christians to become unbalanced and unsteady in their walks. Be blessed.
Church Growth Movement/Seeker/Market-Driven
Contemplative Prayer – Research Links
New
Need help exchanging “whispers with God”?
Previous
IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle: Powerful evangelist for contemplative prayer—John Lanagan
Ecumenism
Rick Warren, Jean Vanier And The New Evangelization: Rick Warren’s Ecumenical Path to Rome Continues
Emergent Church – Research Links
Hillsong Church/Music
The Hillsong cult’s “infallible” prophets? (Part 1)  (Part 2)
 
“Jesus Calling” – Research Links
Jehovah’s Witnesses Research Links
Hermeneutics and Blood Transfusions–Bill Muehlenberg
Joyce Meyer
“The Message” Bible
Mormonism — Research Links
New
Should I pray about the Book of Mormon?—Lyndon Unger
New Age Movement/New Thought/Spirituality — Research Links
New
Need help exchanging “whispers with God”?
Previous
Mainstreaming Mystic Mindedness—Gaylene Goodroad
New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism – Research Links
Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors Part 1  Part 2
God’s New Sound—Herescope
Occult – Research Links
God’s New Sound—Herescope
Bullets for All—Peter Jones
Praise & Worship Music (Hillsong & Jesus Culture)
New
Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship
Roman Catholicism
New
New Vatican document reflects on relations between Catholics, Jews
Social Justice/Progressive Christianity
Pitiable Capitulating Pro-family Leaders–Part 1  Part 2
Transhumanism/Nephilum
Vision Casting
The Hillsong cult’s “infallible” prophets? Part 1   Part 2
Witchcraft – Research Links
Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel — Research Links

Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


What Is the Gospel?

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

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

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


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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

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TMS: God in the Manger

What is the real meaning of Christmas?

The answer may just surprise you.

For many, Christmas is the time to think of Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger. While the birth of Christ is a special and miraculous event, it isn’t the primary focus. The central truth of the Christmas story is this: the Child of Christmas is God.

God in a Manger

Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world.

But the modern world’s version of Christmas does just that. And consequently for the greater part of humanity, Christmas has no legitimate meaning at all.

I don’t suppose anyone can ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. How does one explain the Almighty stooping to become a tiny infant? Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in God’s becoming man.

Yet He did. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity, He was born into our world as a tiny infant.

He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to us all. Yet He was also fully God—all wise and all powerful.

For nearly 2,000 years, heretics and skeptics have attacked the truth about who Jesus is. They’ll say He is one of many gods, a created being, a high angel, a good teacher, a prophet, and so on. The common thread of all such theories is that they make Jesus less than God. But the biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger was God incarnate.

One passage in particular, written by the apostle Paul, captures the essence of Jesus’ divine nature and underscores the truths that make Christmas truly wonderful.

Colossians 1:15–20 says,

He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For. . . all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

A Ghostly Illusion?

Paul was writing to the Christians at Colossae. The city was under the influence of what came to be known as gnosticism. Its adherents fancied themselves the only ones who had access to the truth, which they believed was so complex that common people couldn’t know it. Among other things, they taught philosophical dualism—the idea that matter is evil and spirit is good. They believed that because God is spirit, He is good, but He could never touch matter, which is evil.

Therefore they also concluded that God couldn’t be the creator of the physical universe, because if God made matter, He would be responsible for evil. And they taught that God could never become a man, because as a man He would have to dwell in a body made of evil matter.

Those pre-gnostics explained away the incarnation by saying that Jesus was a good angel whose body was only an illusion. That teaching and others like it pervaded the early church; many of the New Testament epistles specifically refute such pre-gnostic ideas. In fact, the apostle John attacked the foundation of gnostic teaching when he wrote “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God” (1 John 4:2).

The apostle Paul refuted that same heresy when he wrote, “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him” (1:16). He specifically affirmed that Jesus is God in the flesh—the Creator of everything.

Like Father, Like Son

Ironically, some of the cults that deny Jesus’ deity try to use Colossians 1:15–20 to support their view. They suggest, for example, that the phrase “the image of the invisible God” (v. 15) hints that Jesus was merely a created being who bore the image of God in the same sense as all humanity. But the truth is that although we were created in God’s likeness, we only resemble Him. Jesus, on the other hand, is God’s exact image.

The Greek word translated “image” means a perfect replica, a precise copy, a duplicate. Paul was saying that God Himself is fully manifest in the Person of His Son, who is none other than Jesus Christ. He is the exact image of God. Jesus Himself said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Hebrews 1 parallels Colossians 1:15–20 at a number of key points. Regarding the statement that Christ is the image of God, for example, Hebrews 1:3 makes an identical affirmation: “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” Christ is to God as the warm brilliance of light is to the sun. He gives light and life. He reveals God’s very essence. They cannot be divided, and neither has ever existed without the other—they are one (John 10:30).

Scripture repeatedly says that God is invisible (John 1:18; 5:37; 1 Timothy 1:17; and Colossians 1:15). But through Christ the invisible God has been made visible. God’s full likeness is revealed in Him. Colossians 1:19 takes the truth a step further: “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.” He is not just an outline of God; He is fully God.

Colossians 2:9 is even more explicit: “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Nothing is lacking. No attribute is absent. He is God in the fullest possible sense, the perfect image.

The Rightful Heir

In Colossians 1:15 Paul says Jesus is “the first born of all creation.” Those who reject the deity of Christ have made much of that phrase, assuming it means Jesus was a created being. But the word translated “first born” describes Jesus’ rank, not His origin. The first-born in a Hebrew family was the heir, the ranking one, the one who had the right of inheritance. And in a royal family, he had the right to rule.

So Christ is the One who inherits all creation and the right to rule over it. It doesn’t mean He was born first in order, for He wasn’t.

In Psalm 89:27 God says of David, “I also shall make him My first born, the highest of the kings of the earth.” There the meaning of “first born” is given in plain language: “the highest of the kings of the earth.” That’s what first-born means—Christ is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 17:16).

Hebrews 1 again has a parallel statement. Verse 2 says God has appointed His Son “heir of all things.” He is the primary One, the Son who has the right to the inheritance, the ranking Person, the Lord of all, heir of all creation.

Creator and King

The claim that “first born” means Christ is a created being completely ignores the context of Colossians 1:15. Remember, verses 16–17 explicitly name Him as Creator of everything. Christ is not part of creation; He is the Creator, the very arm of God, active from the beginning in calling the universe and all creatures into existence. John 1:3 says, “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” That could not be true if He were Himself a created being.

Hebrews 1:2 also identifies Christ as the Creator. Christ was the Person of the Trinity through whom the world was made and for whom it was fashioned. The size of the universe is incomprehensible. Who made all that? Science cannot explain it; but Scripture does. God created it all.

Who?

The babe in Bethlehem. He made everything.

The post God in the Manger appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

TMS: White Lies and Santa Claus

Is it ever a good idea for parents to mislead their children about Santa Claus by pretending that he’s real?

I’m no Scrooge. I don’t object to draping tinsel, jetting off Christmas e-cards, or singing inane jingles about jingling bells. I trust that my family understands that the plastic conifer in our living room is not a subtle mark of paganism. It’s just a (model of a) tree.

I’m even willing to tolerate the poetic inaccuracy of some of the season’s most popular carols. After all, “We three kings of Orient are” rolls off the tongue better than “We indeterminable number of Gentile scholars of Persia are.”

But, when it came to telling my children the truth about Santa Claus, I never hesitated. From the outset, I explained to them that Santa wasn’t real. That’s because I never wanted there to be any confusion that might have clouded their faith in my honesty.

Angels on high, a pregnant virgin, God in a manger, a guiding star. These are impossibilities. Yet, “all things are possible with God.” [Yes, you need to believe in the virgin birth to be a Christian] We ask our children to trust us on these claims, with their lives and their eternities.

Why would we then add a fictitious, omniscient fat guy with a red-nosed reindeer to the mix? If we do, we will eventually have to disclose that we were just kidding about the chimney intrusion, the elven workshop, and the works-based naughty-or-nice judgment. “Those parts are make-believe, the rest is gospel truth.” Somehow, saying  “Trust me,” after years of being intentionally misleading, rings a bit hollow.

Misinformation has a way of taking root in our memories. Do you picture the stable with oxen lowing on a silent night? Were the angels actually singing? Was there a villainous curmudgeon inn keeper? These details are not found in Scripture.

Three kings? Nope. How many seminary students have in their New Testament survey class been disabused of their favorite nativity character, the little drummer boy?

The popular mythology of Father Christmas, as we call him in Africa, runs parallel to biblical truth in many Christian homes, until it dead-ends in one of the (hopefully) pre-teen years. But has the damage to parental credibility already been done?

A parody of a possible consequence is epitomized by that poor, traumatized kid who laments melodically, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” I doubt counseling was needed for the child to overcome his confusion. But there does exist a subtle long-term danger, namely that of placing impossible fiction on the same shelf as impossible fact, and forcing our children to discern arbitrarily which is which, based on our flip-flopping propositions.

Is it any wonder that adults, who at one time believed their Sunday school teachers, eventually conclude that “The Bible sounds like a fairy tale”? These skeptics were expected to outgrow some of what they were taught by their parents. Why not more of it? Why not all that sounds impossible?

I never want my children to have this existential monologue in Junior High: “Daddy told me about a six day creation, virgin birth, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, angels, and fairies. Then he said he was only joking about half that stuff. I felt gullible for falling for it. Hmm. I wonder if my science teacher is right about evolution? What other nonsense has been fed to me as fact?”

So what do I tell my children when they see other kids lining up to meet one of the ubiquitous middle-aged, overweight men with fake beards offering a lap and a promise of gifts? I tell them the truth: “Look, it’s a pretend Santa!”

This will be in the context of the conversation we would have had, where I explain that part of Christmas fun is pretending there is a man who lives in the North Pole and gives presents. I’ll also tell them about the real Nicholas who ministered in Turkey. Make believe can still be fun, as long as it is clear up front. I enjoy fiction and imagination. I offer them Narnia too. But there is a thin line between fiction and fallacy.

I want my children to grow up knowing that their dad never, ever lies to them. About anything. This may lead to some awkward moments in life, like a premature discussion about where babies come from. But surely adding a stork to the catalog of misinformation can’t be a better tactic than opting for truth (appropriately conveyed) in every situation.

The precious attributes of God’s omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, are grotesquely caricatured by Santa-lore. Consider the lyrics that describe what our children think of this demagogue: “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”

Bursting a bubble about Santa Claus in the battle for truth is a small price to pay for not abusing the unwavering trust my children have in their dad.

(A version of this article was originally published on The Cripplegate blog.)

* * * * *

Clint Archer is the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Durban, South Africa. Clint graduated from The Master’s Seminary (M. Div. and Th. M.) in 2005. He has authored several books including The Home Team and The Preacher’s Payday.

The post White Lies and Santa Claus appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

December 17, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Dec. 17, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The Obama administration is bolstering aviation security, tightening screening for visa and refugee applications and adding a third level of terrorism warnings to provide more information to a nation fearful of attacks by extremists.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter used his personal e-mail for government business, says the Wall Street Journal, citing the Pentagon.

Martin Shkreli, the drug company entrepreneur who rocketed to infamy by jacking up the price of the life-saving pill Daraprim from $13.50 to $750, was arrested on securities fraud.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign of persistent strength in the job market. Jobless claims fell by 11,000 to 271,000 in the week ended Dec. 12.

U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend tax credits for solar and wind for another five years. This will give an unprecedented boost to the industry and change the course of deployment in the U.S.

Argentina’s peso tumbled as much as 30 percent as newly inaugurated President Mauricio Macri fulfilled his campaign promise of letting the currency float freely.

Facing a labor shortage and an aging workforce, companies across the industry are trying out new methods for recruiting younger employees.

China Southern Airlines, Asia’s largest carrier by number of passengers, ordered 110 planes worth about $10 billion from Boeing, adding more efficient aircraft to its fleet with China set to become the world’s largest travel market in the next 20 years.

China protested the sale of $1.83 billion in arms to Taiwan, summoning a U.S. diplomat to the foreign ministry to lodge a formal complaint and saying the country would impose sanctions on companies involved.

UBS AG said it purchased about $6.1 billion of senior and subordinated debt in a public tender aimed at lowering interest expenses.

AP Top Stories

Nigerian troops Wednesday buried the bodies of hundreds of victims of an alleged military massacre of Shiite Muslims to hide the death toll, the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria said.

From finance companies and manufacturers to teachers and the working poor, there is a tax break for almost everyone in the massive package unveiled by congressional leaders.

Vietnam’s military is steeling itself for conflict with China as it accelerates a decade-long modernization drive, Hanoi’s biggest arms buildup since the height of the Vietnam War.

The small number of people in the U.S. who contracted Ebola have all experienced complications from the disease after they recovered, including hair loss, joint pain and eye problems, according to a new report.

North Korea has warned the United States of “unimaginable consequences” from its “hostile” policy toward the nuclear armed state, urging Washington to accept its long-standing demand for a peace treaty.

India’s Defense Acquisition Council has cleared the purchase of five S-400 air defense systems from Russia, two defense ministry sources said on Thursday.

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia wanted to develop relations with the United States, irrespective of who will become the next American president.

Congress has used an unconventional procedural measure to bring a controversial cybersurveillance bill to the floor. Late last night, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced a 2,000-page omnibus budget bill, a last-minute compromise necessary to prevent a government shutdown. But while the bulk of the bill concerns taxes and spending, it contains a surprise 1,729 pages in: the full text of the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, which passed the Senate in October.

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces repelled a multi-pronged offensive by the Islamic State group in the northern province of Nineveh on Wednesday, officials said.

Somewhere between 15 trillion and 51 trillion pieces of plastic litters the world’s oceans, a new study has found.

BBC

IMF chief Christine Lagarde is to stand trial in France for alleged negligence over a $434m payment to a businessman in 2008, local media said.

The US and Cuba have reached an understanding on resuming regular commercial flights between the two countries.

The African Union, discussing the situation in Burundi, says Africa will “not allow another genocide to take place on its soil”.

Police in the Indian capital, Delhi, say they have arrested two key members of the “Indian branch” of al-Qaeda.

WND

President Obama went behind closed doors, and off official White House schedule, to meet with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – the nanny of city governance who’s helped finance a massive campaign to challenge with National Rifle Association – and discuss gun control.

The Obama administration finally appears comfortable acknowledging the obvious: The July 16 killing of five U.S. military personnel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was an act of Islamic terrorism.

A school district in Kentucky has ordered all administrators under its jurisdiction to remove religious references from Christmas productions, leading one facility to censor its planned elementary presentation of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to blot out the Gospel of Luke read by little Linus.


 

Top News – 12/17/2015

Merkel’s Refugee Mini-Summit Threatens EU Split
The consequences of the mass migration have thrown the European Union into chaos, with the Schengen borderless zone called into question. Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark are among the countries which have — to a greater or lesser extent — closed their borders or imposed border controls.

Turkey Detains 27 Russian Ships in Retaliation for Russia’s Detaining 8 Turkish Vessels
Turkey has tightened its inspections of Russian ships docked in its harbors in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and has so far detained 27 Russian ships which failed to meet sailing criteria. This move is in retaliation for the Russian authorities detaining Eight Turkish ships in Russian ports, denying them permission to travel since Nov. 24, the day when Turkey downed a Russian military jet. The Turks said the Russian ships were too old to sail.

High School Seniors Now Prefer Marijuana to Cigarettes
More students in the 12th grade said they smoked pot every day, compared to those who smoke daily cigarettes…It’s the first time since the survey began in 1975 that daily marijuana use surpassed cigarettes. The “Monitoring the Future” survey released on Wednesday shows that 6% of 12th graders used marijuana every day—about the same rate as last year—while 5.5% of seniors reported smoking cigarettes daily.

Secret deal quadruples foreign workers in U.S.
This provision would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for low-skilled foreign “guest workers.” It would allow more than a quarter-of-a-million foreign workers to enter the U.S. each year and work in the construction industry, hotel-motel services, truck drivers, food processing, forestry and many other fields that don’t require a college education.

US issues travel warning for Israel
The warning states that tourists should be able to locate the nearest bomb shelter. It also advised that the “security situation can change day to day, depending on the political situation, recent events, and geographic area.”

Does ISIS pose a WMD threat?
The risk of ISIS employing chemical, biological, and radiological warfare agents is real. ISIS does not display any degree of morality or fear of consequences.

Netanyahu signs controversial natural gas deal
“The gas was given to us as a gift from God,” he said prior to signing the deal. “He gave us huge gas reserves and turned us into an important force on the international front.”

Sydney weather: Bureau of Meteorology confirms Kurnell was hit by a tornado
Residents of the beachside southern Sydney suburb had little warning of just how damaging the storm would be with a tornado warning issued at 10.27am and the record breaking winds hitting Kurnell less than five minutes later. The Bureau said tornadoes were a “relatively rare phenomenon in Australia” and when they do happen they were usually on the lower end of the tornado intensity scale.

SOLAR STORM TARGETS EARTH
A pair of CMEs billowed away from the sun on Dec. 16th, and at least one of them appears to be heading for Earth. Propelled in our direction by an erupting filament of magnetism.

Migrant crisis: Dutch town riots over asylum centre plan
A meeting in a Dutch town to discuss whether to build a new centre for migrants had to be abandoned when some opponents rioted. Protesters in Geldermalsen tore down fences and threw fireworks at police who responded with warning shots. European countries are facing record numbers of refugees and other migrants entering Greece illegally from Turkey.

Putin pours fresh scorn on Turkey for downing Russian jet
Russian President Vladimir Putin has used crude language in a furious new attack on Turkey over the downing of a Russian combat jet last month. The incident on the Syria-Turkey border was a “hostile act” but Russia was “not the country” to run away, he told his annual news conference. He saw “no prospect” of ties improving with Turkey, which Russia has put under sanctions, under its current leaders.

China summons US envoy over Taiwan arms deal
China has summoned a senior US envoy in protest after Washington announced it would sell two warships to Taiwan. Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang made “solemn representations” with Kaye Lee, the US charge d’affaires, China’s foreign ministry said. The arms deal, worth $1.83bn (£1.22bn), comes as tensions rise over China’s island-building in the South China Sea.

Fifth Israel Navy submarine leaves Germany for Haifa port
The Israel Navy’s fifth Dolphin submarine, and second new-generation AIP (air independent propulsion) platform has left its German manufacturing center for a 3000 mile journey to its home base at Haifa naval base, a senior naval source said Thursday. The INS Rahav is carrying some 50 personnel, and “minimal weapons needed to protect itself,” before its arrival in Israel next month.

Turkey mistreated scores of migrants, says Amnesty
Turkey has detained and mistreated scores of migrants, pressuring some to return to war zones, a new report by Amnesty International says. The group says EU pressure on Turkey to stem migration to Europe has resulted in the “forcible transportation” of hundreds of migrants.

US Fed raises interest rates by 0.25%
The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points – its first increase since 2006. The move takes the range of rates banks offer to lend to each other overnight – the Federal Funds rate – to between 0.25% and 0.5%.

China threatens sanctions against firms in Taiwan arms sale
China is threatening sanctions against companies involved in the U.S. government’s $1.83 billion sale of navy frigates and other military equipment to Taiwan.

Rouhani: U.N.’s closure of probe into Iran’s nuclear past is political victory
President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday a U.N. watchdog’s closure of investigations into Iran’s past nuclear activities is a political victory for the country, lifting the main obstacle to implementing Tehran’s deal with world powers.

Yemen’s truce in danger of collapse; prisoner swap blocked
A ceasefire between Yemen’s Houthi group and a Saudi-led alliance was in danger of collapse on Wednesday, each side accusing the other of violating the truce, as peace talks went into a second day in Switzerland.


Top Headlines – 12/17/2015

UN’s Ban: ‘Israeli occupation bred Arab terror’

UN to Israel, Palestinians: Put aside political fears for peace

UN-sponsored conference accuses Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Jerusalem

Watch: Ban Ki-Moon admits UN anti-Israel bias

Israel holds ‘substantive’ talks with Quartet delegation that included EU reps

Has the U.S. given up hope on relations with Israel?

Abbas takes aim at political enemies with mass dismissals, cabinet reshuffle

Gaza terrorists detonate explosive device on border; IDF patrol returns fire

Experts say Hamas and ISIS cooperating to fight their new common enemy: Egypt

Obama to sign bill targeting Hezbollah financing

State Department re-issues travel advisory for Israel, West Bank, and Gaza

Israel: Soldiers Kill Palestinian Who Tried to Stab Them

Jerusalem furthers plans for 891 housing units approved in contested Gilo neighborhood

Kuwait Airways drops New York-London route to avoid selling tickets to Israelis

UN nuclear watchdog chief: ‘Not impossible’ that Iran sanctions will end in January

‘IAEA admitted Israel was right Iran tried to build bomb’

Republican senators to Obama: Don’t lift Iran sanctions

Israel slams IAEA move to end Iran nuclear investigation

Rouhani welcomes watchdog’s decision to drop probe into Iran’s nuclear activities

Rouhani: U.N.’s closure of probe into Iran’s nuclear past is political victory

Iran says it will not accept any restrictions on missile program

Yemen peace talks struggling in Switzerland amid disputes: sources

Yemen’s truce in danger of collapse; prisoner swap blocked

UN Human Rights Body Opens Session on Burundi Violence

Putin Press Conference: Turkish Downing of Russian Jet Was ‘Hostile Act’

Vladimir Putin live: ‘It will be hard to reach agreement with current Turkish goverment’

Russia’s Putin says ‘sees no prospect’ of improving ties with Turkey

Russia says can breach US missile defence shield

‘We see Syria fundamentally very similarly’ – Kerry after talks with Putin, Lavrov

Sweden offers support to free up French troops fighting Islamic State

‘ISIS-inspired terror plot sought to target Israel’s embassy in Berlin’

UK review finds Muslim Brotherhood membership a possible indicator of extremism

Belgium missed chance to nab Paris attacks suspect due to law limiting raids, official says

Chattanooga shooting a ‘terror attack,’ FBI Director James Comey says

Indonesia Deploys 1,500 Police to Protect Churches Against Christmas ISIS Attack

Small army of ISIS tax collectors keeping cash flowing into terrorists’ hands

UN Security Council set to adopt resolution aimed at disrupting Islamic State group’s funding

Feds officially update terror alert system by issuing first bulletin

States Explore Blocking Gun Sales to Terror Watch Lists

FBI director: Islamic State has ‘revolutionized’ terrorism

ISIS beheads three Imams for refusing to recruit jihadis

Turkey mistreated scores of migrants, says Amnesty

As lawmakers clash over refugees, Syrian immigration quietly tops 100,000 since 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Debate Commentary: Muslims Have Nothing To Do With Terrorism

Lindsey Graham Apologizes to Muslims for Trump’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Bernie Sanders criticizes Trump, likens ‘racist ideology’ to Holocaust

Students practice calligraphy by writing “There is no god but Allah” in Arabic

The Paul Ryan Compromise: The new speaker’s first big deal is just like all of the ones that infuriated conservatives under Boehner

Yale fail: Ivy leaguers sign ‘petition’ to repeal First Amendment

U.S. sells $1.83 billion of weapons to Taiwan despite Chinese objections

China defends internet sovereignty: Reports

US Fed raises interest rates by 0.25%

Gold falls on Fed rate hike, dollar surge

Putin Says Russian Economic Crisis Has Peaked Amid Oil Slump

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 23,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Teggar Caldera in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Bering Sea Storm Among Strongest Non-Tropical Cyclones on Record; Gusts Hit 122 MPH in Alaska

Trail of destruction as record winds and wild weather rattles Sydney

Funds for Obama climate deal survive in spending bill

Liberia thanks Israel for helping to wipe out its Ebola outbreak

America’s painkiller epidemic grips the workplace

A HIV-Positive Dating App Leaked 5,000 Users’ Data

Planned Parenthood unscathed in spending bill

Planned Parenthood Reportedly ‘Steam-cooks’ Aborted Fetuses before Disposing of Them

Satanists Are Atheists, Freedom Activists, Not Devil Worshipers?


The Briefing

1) Rapid rate of secularization in the South points to secularism in the pews

Influence of churches, once dominant, now waning in South, Associated Press (Jay Reeves)

2) Battle over marriage in Australia is really a battle over sexual morality and authority

God’s warriors are locked in a barbaric, futile battle against marriage equality, The Guardian (David Marr)

3) Discussion on whether secularism is a religion reveals everyone operates from a worldview

Unbelief As A Belief System: Core Tenet For Christians’ Fight For Religious Rights, NPR (Tom Gjelten)

A Comprehensively Secular Life? A Conversation with Professor Phil Zuckerman, Thinking in Public (Albert Mohler)

4) Atheists who celebrate Christmas cannot escape the Christ in Christmas

How do atheists celebrate Christmas?, CNN (Todd Leopold)

5) Life and redemption of Bob Beckel illustrates the power of the Christian gospel to save

Bob Beckel: Around for a reason, World (Marvin Olasky)

 

In other news…


UN Global Warming Agenda Costs Snuck Into Omnibus Spending Bill

UN Global Warming Agenda Costs Snuck Into Omnibus Spending Bill

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Tru News

Congress is set to pass a massive spending bill to fund the government, but that spending bill also includes funding global warming redistribution schemes.

Read Full Article »


Congress Rolls Out Omnibus Spending Bill During Dead of Night

Congress Rolls Out Omnibus Spending Bill During Dead of Night

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Tru News

Late Tuesday evening, Paul Ryan announced negotiators had come to an agreement on the omnibus government funding bill and tax breaks extension package.

Read Full Article »


Students practice calligraphy by writing “There is no god but Allah”

A Virginia school district is defending a classroom assignment that required students to practice calligraphy by writing the Muslim statement of faith, “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

View Article


Vetting Obama’s Witless Vetters at DHS

How corrupt hiring practices at the Department of Homeland Security are putting American lives at risk.

In case you’d forgotten (or never paid attention), Obama campaign finance bundler Jeh Johnson snagged the top DHS post two years ago thanks to Harry Reid’s rigging of Senate filibuster rules. Johnson’s a “diversity” relic from the Clinton era with zero experience in border security, port security, airport security or immigration enforcement. So what is main qualification for overseeing the $40 billion, 240,000-employee homeland security bureaucracy? Besides dumping gobs of money into Obama’s coffers, he’s the “first African-American” to hold the job, as the White House trumpeted.

View Article


House budget bill funds Planned Parenthood, reduces UNFPA funds

LifeSiteNews reports:

The House’s new Speaker has unveiled a $1.67 trillion budget that fully funds Planned Parenthood for the next nine-and-a-half months.

The budget comes five months after a series of videos showed Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of unborn baby parts, as well as appearing to discuss illegal partial-birth abortions and illegal modifications to abortion.

Read more


Paul Ryan Partners With Barack Obama To Betray America With ‘Fundamental Transformation’ Spending Bill

Rep. Paul Ryan’s first major legislative achievement is a total and complete sell-out of the American people masquerading as an appropriations bill.

Too harsh, you say? Let the programs, the spending, and the implications speak for themselves.

(1) Ryan’s Omnibus Fully Funds DACA

Though much of the public attention has surrounded the President’s 2014 executive amnesty, the President’s 2012 amnesty quietly continues to churn out work permits and federal benefits for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Paul Ryan’s bill funds entirely this 2012 executive amnesty for “DREAMers”—or illegal immigrants who came to the country as minors.

Specifically, Division F of Ryan’s omnibus bill contains no language that would prohibit the use of funds to continue the President’s unconstitutional program. Obama’s executive action, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), has granted around 700,000 illegal aliens with work permits, as well as the ability to receive tax credits and federal entitlement programs. A recent GAO report documented how this illegal amnesty program for alien youth is, in large part, responsible for the illegal alien minor surge on our southern border.

In 2013, Paul Ryan said that it is his job as a U.S. lawmaker to put himself in the shoes of “the DREAMer who is waiting” and work to find legislative solutions to his or her problems.

(2) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds Sanctuary Cities

Five months ago, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was bleeding to death in her father’s arms. She was gunned down in broad daylight by a five-time deported criminal alien whose presence in the country was the direct result of San Francisco’s refusal to comply with U.S. immigration law—yet Paul Ryan’s omnibus rewards these lawless Sanctuary Cities with federal grants. Division B Title II of Ryan’s omnibus funds various grant programs for the Department of Justice (pages 167, 168, and 169) and contains no language that would restrict the provision of such grants to sanctuary jurisdictions.

In a Congressional hearing, Steinle’s father demanded Congressional action and recalled his daughter’s dying words: “Help me, Dad.”

(3) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds All Refugee Programs

Despite broad support amongst Republican lawmakers for a proposal introduced by

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) to halt all refugee resettlement, Ryan’s appropriations bill will fund President Obama’s refugee resettlement operation and will allow for the admission of tens of thousands of refugees with access to federal benefits. Division H Title II of Ryan’s bill contains appropriations of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and contains no language that would restrict the program. Nor are there any restrictions for the program in Division K of Ryan’s bill, which provides funding for the Department of State, which oversees refugee admissions.

Ryan is not one of the 84 cosponsors of Babin’s bill to halt the refugee operation, and he recently told Sean Hannity that he does not support halting resettlement because, “We’re a compassionate country. The refugees laws are important laws.” Similarly, this outcome represents a legislative win for

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who told Sean Hannity he’d “hate to use” Congress’s power of the purse to deny funding for Obama’s resettlement operation.

(4) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds All of the Mideast Immigration Programs That Have Been Exploited by Terrorists in Recent Years 

Although multiple immigrant and visa programs in recent years have been exploited by terrorists (such as the F-1 “student” visa, the K-1 “fiancée” visa, and our green card and refugee programs), Ryan’s proposal does nothing to limit admissions from jihadist-prone regions. As Senators Shelby and Sessions of Alabama noted in a joint statement: “The omnibus would put the U.S. on a path to approve admission for hundreds of thousands of migrants from a broad range of countries with jihadists movements over the next 12 months, on top of all the other autopilot annual immigration.”

(5) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds Illegal Alien Resettlement

On page 917 of Ryan’s omnibus a section titled “Refugee and Entrant Assistance” funds the President’s resettlement of illegal immigrant border crossers.

(6) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds the Release of Criminal Aliens

Senior legislative aides tell Breitbart News that Ryan’s bill does not do anything to change the enforcement priorities that Jeh Johnson established a little over a year ago that would shield entire categories of criminal aliens from immigration law, nor does it include language recommended by Sessions and Shelby to “deny the expenditure of funds to issue visas to countries that refuse to repatriate criminal aliens.”

(7) Ryan’s Omnibus Quadruples H-2B Foreign Worker Visas 

Despite Ryan’s pledge not to move an immigration compromise with President Obama, tucked 700 pages into Ryan’s spending bill is language that would resuscitate and expand a controversial provision of the Schumer-Rubio Gang of Eight plan to increase the H-2B visa program.

The provision “would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for unskilled guest workers, for a total of more than 250,000,” writes immigration attorney Ian Smith. The Americans who fill these jobs are typically “society’s most vulnerable — including single women, the disabled, the elderly, minorities, teenagers, students, and first-generation immigrants,”  Smith explains.

A recent BuzzFeed exposé revealed how this program allows businesses to discriminate against American workers and “deliberately den[y] jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers on H-2 visas instead.” As one GOP aide told Breitbart News, “This provision is a knife in the heart of the working class, and African Americans.”

(8) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds Tax Credits for Illegal Aliens

Ryan’s bill preserves the expansion of the President’s expiring child tax credits without any accompanying language to prevent illegal aliens from receiving those tax credits. While Sen. Sessions attempted to include language in the bill that would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving tax credits, his recommendation was rejected.

(9) Ryan’s Omnibus Locks-In Huge Spending Increases

The bill funds the Obama-Boehner budget deal, which eliminated spending caps, and will increase both defense and non-defense spending next year by $25 billion more each.

(10) Ryan’s Omnibus Fails to Allocate Funds to Complete the 700-Mile Double-Layer Border Fence That Congress Promised the American People

Nearly a decade ago with the passage of the 2006 Secure Fence Act, the American people were promised a 700-mile double-layer border fence. However, funding for the fence was later gutted and, as a result, its construction was never completed. Despite heightened media focus over the past six months about Americans’ desire for this barrier to illegal entry, Ryan’s bill does not require that funds be allocated to finish the construction of the 700-mile double-layer fence.

A vote could occur as early as Thursday after midnight, giving lawmakers and the public only one full business day to review the 2,242 page package. The Ryan-Pelosi package represents nothing short of a complete and total betrayal of the American people.

Yet Ryan’s omnibus serves a second and equally chilling purpose. By locking in the President’s refugee, immigration, and spending priorities, Ryan’s bill is designed to keep these fights out of Congress by getting them off the table for good. Delivering Obama these wins–and pushing these issues beyond the purview of Congress–will suppress public attention to the issues and, in so doing, will boost the candidacy of the Republican establishment’s preferred presidential contenders, who favor President Obama’s immigration agenda.

What may prove most discouraging of all to Americans is that recent reports reveal that conservatives in the so-called House Freedom Caucus are praising Ryan even as he permanently locks in these irreversible and anti-American immigration policies.According to Politico, the House Freedom Caucus will “give Ryan a pass” even as he funds disastrous policies that prioritize the interests of foreign nationals and global corporatists above the needs of the American people whom lawmakers are supposed to represent. source


Daily Digest

December 17, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations.” —George Washington, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Six Purple Hearts for Chattanooga Attack

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The Purple Heart. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

After the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service finished their investigation into the July attack at two Navy facilities in Chattanooga, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the five service members who died and the one who was wounded will receive Purple Heart medals. “Their heroism and service to our nation will be remembered always,” Mabus said in the announcement Wednesday. The men who gave their lives for their country are: Marine Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith. Marine Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley, who was wounded in the attack, will also receive the Purple Heart.

For political reasons, Barack Obama has avoided labeling attacks on military facilities in our homeland acts of terrorism — something to do with that story about al-Qaida on the run and the Islamic State being contained. He even waited five days after the Chattanooga attack to order the flags at half staff. Furthermore, fallen and wounded soldiers have previously been denied the honor and support that comes with the Purple Heart. It took five years for survivors of the 2009 Fort Hook attack to receive medals. In the case of Chattanooga, the FBI took its time — five months — to announce the attacker was inspired by propaganda created, in the words of FBI Director James Comey, by a “foreign terrorist organization.” Obama finally but offhandedly acknowledged these attacks were terrorism in his Oval Office speech last week. On the other hand, as Chattanooga’s daily newspaper The Times Free Press notes, the FBI waited two days before labeling the San Bernardino attack an act of terrorism. Clearly, the Obama narrative is falling apart.

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Is the IRS Once Again Conspiring Against Conservatives?

As much trouble as the IRS has gotten itself into, you’d think it would tread carefully before rolling out more suspicious rules. But no. This is the IRS we’re talking about — the one that politically targeted conservative groups and whose tax-exempt chief at the time, Lois Lerner, walked free. Now we’re seeing what happens when government agencies aren’t held accountable. A Wall Street Journal editorial cautions that a new IRS rule has all the warning sings of another politically motivated hatchet job to stifle finance contributions. To wit:

In September the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department proposed a rule to give 501(c)(3) charities the “option” of filing detailed reports on every donor who contributes more than $250. These reports would include names, addresses and Social Security numbers. Oh, oh.

While the IRS says the rule is “voluntary,” in government that’s often a prelude to compulsory. The legitimate fear in the nonprofit world, on the right and left, is that this is a first step toward making such donor lists mandatory, and then applying the requirement to every nonprofit — including the conservative social-welfare organizations that the IRS helped to shut down in the 2012 presidential election.

Such a requirement opens up a whole can of worms, the net effect being that donors who value their privacy (and want to stay out of the IRS’s crosshairs) will close their pocketbooks altogether. Who, after all, willingly provides their Social Security number to a nonprofit? Even the IRS advises against haphazardly giving it away. Add that to the fact the agency has given us every reason not to trust it, and this may be yet another attempt to silence political foes (read: conservatives). Anything to undermine Citizens United, right?

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Hung Jury in First Trial Over Freddie Gray Death

In a decision that satisfied no one, the judge presiding over the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six police officers tried over the April death of Freddie Gray, declared a mistrial. After the jury deliberated for three days, they were unable to come to an agreement over the verdicts of the four charges Porter faced: involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. The death of Gray after his neck was broken while in a police transport van sparked riots in Baltimore. The city’s officials acted quickly, with State Attorney Marilyn Mosby throwing the book at the officers with such force they responded by accusing the attorney of having a conflict of interest. It didn’t help that when Mosby announced the charges, she said, “To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No Peace.'” Furthermore, the city implied that it thought its police officers were guilty by settling with Gray’s family for $6.4 million before the criminal cases ever hit court. This hung jury throws up a barrier to the city’s rush to “justice.” In preparation of the blowback it would receive, the city braced for more protests, and three school districts canceled field trips into the city. As for Porter, he told a reporter from the Baltimore Sun “It’s not over yet,” as the city can still decide to prosecute him again.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Budgeting for a Republican President

By Allyne Caan

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Boehner’s last laugh

When Paul Ryan succeeded John Boehner as speaker of the House, we hoped he wouldn’t turn out to be “Boehner Jr.” when it came to holding the conservative line against the Democrat minority. While many conservatives may be tempted to attribute the moniker to him in light of the latest budget, it’s important to remember that Barack Obama still holds the White House and Republicans are budgeting for the future — and a GOP president.

This week, Speaker Ryan unveiled a $1.1 trillion, 2,000-page spending and taxes package that can hardly be called a homerun for conservatives. In fact, it’s a steaming pile of Potomac sludge. The biggest caveat is that spending levels for the package had already been determined back in October by Boehner’s last hurrah. You’ll recall that Boehner, unable to get his own party on board, rounded up Democrat support to push through a budget deal increasing federal spending by $80 billion over the next two years.

While Ryan was constrained by Boehner’s parting gift, it’s what made it into Ryan’s plan — and what didn’t — that has some folks raising eyebrows.

In the Republican “win” column, the plan lifts the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. In exchange, however, Democrats secured a five-year extension of tax breaks for wind and solar energy producers.

Another win came on ObamaCare. The Wall Street Journal explains, “Crucially, they preserved the explicit legal language preventing a risk-corridor bailout of money-losing insurers on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The medical device tax will be suspended for two years, and the insurance industry tax for a year, while the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost health plans will start in 2020 instead of 2018.”

In a significant loss for conservatives, though, the package does not include restrictions on Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees (or, for all we know, 9,500 refugees and 500 terrorists; who’s counting — or vetting — anyway?). Instead, the bill focuses on reforming the visa waiver program, which allows individuals from approved countries travel to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa. The reform would prevent folks from visa-waiver countries from coming to the U.S. sans a visa if those individuals had previously traveled to known Islamic State hotspots, such as Iraq or Syria. This is a worthwhile reform to be sure, but it doesn’t even come close to addressing how the U.S. plans to separate terrorists from refugees here in the homeland. And “trust us” is not an acceptable response.

Another Republican loss is the intact federal funding for Planned Parenthood, though that leaves the Left with one fewer election lightning rods. And the package fails to cut funding for Obama’s executive overreach on immigration.

In fact, Democrats announced that they “beat back about 150 Republican riders” in the package. Absent, for example, are riders focusing on Dodd-Frank financial reform, environmental regulations, or the U.S.’s new “normalized relations” policy with Cuba.

Defending the package, Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong stated, “While not getting everything we wanted, the speaker noted that both packages include many provisions that Republicans have long fought for. The speaker noted that though there are significant wins in these packages, we must not repeat this process and instead get back to regular order in 2016.”

While this may be desirable to Republican Party wonks (we prefer the “animating contest of Freedom” espoused by Samuel Adams,) the losses are significant enough that the “let’s just move on” attitude has become Ryan’s primary sales pitch for the plan.

After Ryan spoke Tuesday with members of the House GOP conference, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) remarked, “[Ryan] feels that it’s time to start fresh, that we increase our hand and we’ll have better negotiating position if we have a strong Republican vote this year.”

Of course, conservatives never trust the “let’s cave now so we can negotiate better later” approach.

Indeed, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, posed this very question: “I don’t understand that at all,” he said, “give the Democrats what they want now so next time they won’t want as much?”

Despite very valid concerns, Ryan’s plan will likely pass when put to a House vote this week. But don’t expect all conservatives to go along with it. The shadows of Boehner are, understandably, still too long. All that being said, the optimistic approach is to remember that it will take years to undo the damage Barack Obama has done, and a single budget while he’s still in the Oval Office isn’t going to be the final word.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

George Will: “[A]s the ink dries on the Paris gesture of right-mindedness, let us praise the solar energy source most responsible for the surge of human betterment that began with the harnessing of fossil fuels around 1800. The source is, of course, coal, a still abundant and indispensable form in which the sun’s energy has been captured from carbon-based life. Matt Ridley, a member of a British coal-producing family and author of ‘The Rational Optimist,’ notes that the path of mankind’s progress, material as well as moral, has been from reliance on renewable but insufficient energy sources to today’s 85 percent reliance on energy from fossil fuels. The progression has been from reliance on human (often slaves’) muscles, to animal energy (first oxen, then horses), to burning wood and peat as stores of sunlight, to energy from water and wind, to, at last, fossil fuels. Sustained economic growth, a necessary prerequisite for scientific and technological dynamism, became possible, Ridley writes, when humanity was able to rely on ‘non-renewable, non-green, non-clean power.’ … In May 1945, Aneurin Bevan, a leading light among British socialists, said: ‘This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.’ Genius was not required. Socialism — command-and-control government of the sort that climate fine-tuners recommend for the entire planet — soon accomplished this marvel, with coal rationed and the price of fish soaring.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from birth as a paternal, or, in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.” —Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)

Leftmedia double standards: “Bush flies over New Orleans two days after Katrina: DOESN’T CARE! Obama visits San Bernardino two weeks after massacre on way to tropical paradise: COMPASSIONATE.” —twitter satirist @hale_razor

Village Idiots: “[W]e’ve allowed these trillion-dollar industries to manipulate the argument about the science for too long. This year is a massive tipping point in the climate struggle. … [L]ook, everyone loves money, I love money — we live in the United States. This is a capitalist country. But ultimately we’ve locked ourselves, through capitalism, into an addiction to oil that’s incredibly hard to reverse.” —Leonardo DiCaprio (So when can we expect you to begin living like the rest of us commoners?)

Wrong prescription: “Never before in our history have enemies outside the United States been able to propagate genuinely dangerous ideas on American territory in such an effective way — and by this I mean ideas that lead directly to terrorist attacks that kill people. The novelty of this threat calls for new thinking about limits on freedom of speech.” —University of Chicago Law School professor Eric Posner in Slate

Non Compos Mentis: “White men are approximately 30 percent of the population but account for 60 percent of the mass shootings. … White men are 31 percent of the population but own 62 percent of the guns in the United States. … There will be no effective gun control in the United States, even in the aftermath of horrific events such as Sandy Hook, the Planned Parenthood Shooting, or the San Bernardino massacre, until politicians, pundits, and analysts realize that the gun is a type of totem or fetish object for too many white men.” —Salon’s Chauncey DeVega

And last… “Our Syria evolution: 1) Assad must go. 2) Don’t you dare use chemical weapons. 3) Use of chemical weapons shows why Assad must go. 4) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.” —Andrew Stiles

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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BREAKING NEWS – More Strange Bulk Electronic Purchases By Middle Eastern Men Reported In Arkansas

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 07:32 AM PST

In the comment section of a recent ANP article a question was asked which has led to a number of emails back and forth between myself with a game store owner regarding some strange bulk purchases of  Xbox 360 Kinect sensors, in conjunction with recent national reports of bulk purchases of pre-paid cell phones, missing propane tanks and stolen remote controlled cars. Before going forward let me say that the store owner was very forthcoming with information, providing me details that allowed me to confirm this commenter is, in fact, the owner of the game store in question as well as the type of merchandise sold and the fact that the store, while individually owned, is under a lease agreement with a larger chain. The store in question is in Arkansas. For safety and professional reasons ANP has agreed to not reveal the store owners name nor the name of her business.

The question from Ozarkana was “Y’all, I have a serious question here. Can someone who is knowledgeable about video game systems, please, tell me what someone could use 2,000 Xbox 360 Kinect sensors for? Two middle eastern men went through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma recently and purchased over $40,000 worth of these xbox accessories from video game stores. I can not understand if these could be used in a destructive manner; but, could this have anything to do with the cell phones, remote cars, and propane tank acquisitions? This has really been bothering me.” In a follow up comment as the topic was discussed, Ozarkana stated “These were all purchased in less than a week.” Via the communications back and forth with Ozarkana we find out that the sales of the Kinect sensors that could be tracked by Ozarkana, by contacting regional managers in other locations, occurred at the store chain associated with the one owned by our source. We have no way of knowing how many other different game store chains this could be happening at. FULL REPORT

The post BREAKING NEWS – More Strange Bulk Electronic Purchases By Middle Eastern Men Reported In Arkansas appeared first on End Time Headlines.

French railways test software to track suspicious behaviour

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 07:05 AM PST

Software that monitors suspicious behaviour and luggage could eventually be integrated into 40,000 surveillance cameras across France as the country tightens security after last month’s deadly Paris attacks. The new software being tested by France’s state-owned SNCF tracks changes in body temperature, raised voices and jerky body movements that can indicate heightened levels of anxiety, the rail firm’s general secretary Stephane Volant told AFP.

In addition, cameras that detect packages left unattended for too long are also under evaluation. The SNCF will also launch a new app in the spring allowing passengers to raise an alert from their smartphones and a law could come into effect giving SNCF security agents powers to perform security pat-downs and luggage searches. SOURCE

The post French railways test software to track suspicious behaviour appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Muslim prayer room at Catholic high school in Michigan sparks debate

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 06:26 AM PST

Some parents outside Detroit were questioning a Catholic high school’s decision to allow a special room for Muslim students to pray, Fox 2 reported Wednesday. Brother Rice High School, an all-boys school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, reportedly granted a request from Muslim students to use the religious reflection room throughout the day. Roughly a dozen of the school’s 800-plus students are Muslim, according to WXYZ.

One unnamed parent told the news station the room was “unconscionable,” arguing that her son’s paid Catholic education would be “undermined.” Fox 2 reported receiving similar criticism. Still, many other parents said they had no problem with the prayer room, which administrators said anybody could use, not just Muslim students. One parent, John Everly told Fox 2, “the worst thing is to separate and assume the worst about everyone.” READ MORE

The post Muslim prayer room at Catholic high school in Michigan sparks debate appeared first on End Time Headlines.

FBI Alerted about group of Middle Eastern Men asking about Missouri Dam

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 06:04 AM PST

AMDEN COUNTY, MO – Police are revealing more about a report of a group of men asking about the Bagnell Dam. Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott tells Lake News that the Camden County Sheriff’s Office forwarded a security tip regarding the hydroelectric facility to the FBI. Police tell KMIZ-TV that the incident happened about two weeks ago at the Golden Corral in Osage Beach. A deputy was eating lunch and the wait staff told him about the group of men. Staffers said the men were asking questions about the dam. They wanted to know if they could rent a boat and tour the dam.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office tells Lake News that they received a tip about a group of “Middle Eastern” men asking about Bagnell Dam. The police department forwarded that report to the FBI and a joint task force on terrorism. The Miller County Sheriff’s office have have been in contact with the St. Louis security office for the dam. Patrols of the dam are continuing as normal. “With recent things going on in our country and around the world, people are kind of a little bit more alerted. It’s everyone’s responsibility to watch out for each other. We all live in this community, and we’re going to notice things that seem out of place and if we don’t notify the proper authorities, who will?” Officer Corporal Scott Hines told KMIZ-TV. FULL REPORT

 

The post FBI Alerted about group of Middle Eastern Men asking about Missouri Dam appeared first on End Time Headlines.

New Orleans Considers Removing Confederate Monuments

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 05:58 AM PST

New Orleans is poised to make a sweeping break with its Confederate past as city leaders decide whether to remove prominent monuments from some of its busiest streets. With support from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a majority on the City Council appears ready to take down four monuments, including a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Their ordinance has sparked passionate responses for and against these symbols, and both sides will get one more say at a special council meeting before Thursday’s vote.

If approved, this would be one of the most sweeping gestures yet by an American city to sever ties with Confederate history. “This has never happened before,” said Charles Kelly Barrow, commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “I’ve never heard of a city trying to sweep (away) all Confederate monuments.” READ MORE

The post New Orleans Considers Removing Confederate Monuments appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Something Strange Is Taking Place In The Middle Of The Atlantic Ocean

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 05:50 AM PST

Early last month, we noted that something very strange was happening off the coast of Galveston, Texas. As FT reported, “the amount of oil [now] at sea is at least double the levels of earlier this year and is equivalent to more than a day of global oil supply.” In short: the global deflationary crude supply glut is beginning to manifest itself in a flotilla of stationary supertankers, as millions of barrels of oil are simply stuck in the ocean as VLCCs wait to unload. Ultimately, this led to nearly 40 crude tankers with a combined cargo capacity of 28.4 million barrels waiting to anchor near Galveston. Here’s what the logjam looked like:

 

In the latest sign that the world is simply running out of capacity when it comes to coping with an inexorable supply of commodities, three diesel tankers en route from the Gulf to Europe did something rather odd on Wednesday: they stopped, turned around in the middle of the ocean, and headed back the way they came!  “At least three 37,000 tonne tankers – Vendome Street, Atlantic Star and Atlantic Titan – have made U-turns in the Atlantic ocean in recent days and are now heading back west,”Reuters reported, citing its own tracking data. The Vendome Street actually made it to within 800 miles of Portgual (so around 75% of the way there) before abruptly turning around. “Ship brokers said a turnaround so late in the journey would come at a cost to the charterer,” Reuters notes. FULL REPORT

The post Something Strange Is Taking Place In The Middle Of The Atlantic Ocean appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Honoring the Promises of God

Posted: 16 Dec 2015 08:22 PM PST

(Written By Kelly Mcdonald Jr)

“And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” – Habukkuk 2:2 (ESV)

Each of us has received promises from God. Sometimes these promises come directly from God when we are spending quiet time with Him. Sometimes the Lord speaks them through other people. These promises guide us towards God’s will. It is important for us to write down the promises that the Lord speaks to us. In Habukkuk 2:2, the Lord instructs us to write down revelation from God so that we can run when we read it. In I Corinthians 9:24, Paul said, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” The promises we receive from the Lord (written Word and spoken Word) are the guide markers that help us to run the race. God has called us to live a life of victory. In fact, we are more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37) The promise is our reassurance of victory!

As time goes on, distractions will try to knock you off the track that God has laid out for you. Writing down God’s promises helps you to stay on track. As you go back and review them, you will be inspired to keep running the race. God told Jeremiah multiple times to write down every Word from God He had received (Jeremiah 30:2, 36:2, 36:28). Jesus gave John seven letters to seven churches. He was asked to write these words and deliver them to the churches. Think about this for a moment: The only reason that we have the Bible is because the people of God wrote down His spoken Words. If they had not written these promises then they could not run the race, and we could not run today! When we do this, it will create a spiritual heritage for tomorrow. The Words that God speaks to you today will come to pass. In the future, you can use fulfilled promises from God to encourage other believers and inspire a future generation. The Word of the Lord is a precious thing. Let us honor His promises by writing them down. Let us review them so that we can run the race and win the prize! Follow Kelly Mcdonald

The post Honoring the Promises of God appeared first on End Time Headlines.

100,000 Syrians Have Quietly Entered the US Since 2012

Posted: 16 Dec 2015 08:16 PM PST

A proposal to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States has ignited a bitter debate in Washington, but more than 10 times that number of people from the embattled country have quietly come to America since 2012, according to figures obtained by FoxNews.com. Some 102,313 Syrians were granted admission to the U.S. as legal permanent residents or through programs including work, study and tourist visas from 2012 through August of this year, a period which roughly coincides with the devastating civil war that still engulfs the Middle Eastern country.

Experts say any fears that terrorists might infiltrate the proposed wave of refugees from United Nations-run camps should be dwarfed by the potential danger already here. “The sheer number of people arriving on all kinds of visas and with green cards, and possibly U.S. citizenship, makes it impossible for our counterterrorism authorities to keep track of them all, much less prevent them from carrying out attacks or belatedly try to deport them,” said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. READ MORE

The post 100,000 Syrians Have Quietly Entered the US Since 2012 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
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Wretched Saints

Unfathomable Grace

Here are two characteristics of those who belong to Satan:

  1. In their own eyes, they view themselves as saints.
  2. In God’s eyes, they are viewed as sinners.

In contrast, here are two characteristics of those who belong to the Son:

  1. In their own eyes, they view themselves as both sinners and saints.
  2. In God’s eyes, they are viewed as both sinners and saints.

One can see this clearly in the teaching of Saint Paul, the sinner. Halfway through his letter to the Romans he writes:

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … For all…

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Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy- laden, and I will give you rest

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3 NASB)

From the time God saved me in 1986 until He shoved me out of our church in Olathe, KS back in 2006 when it began going Purpose Driven, I was immersed in a form of evangelicalism that can best be described as the pastors and leadership of the churches we belonged to teaching and preaching in such a way so as to make all of us uncomfortable with how much we served and how much we gave. They even twisted it in such a way to say that to mature and grow so you can hear the voice of God Christians must make themselves uncomfortable, get busy, then God will speak to them. My brethren, this is not grace, this is not Gospel, it is pure Law. Our Lord has some…

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Bobbie Promotes One Way Winfrey

God had this to say to the apostate Ancient Israel,

“Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses.” Ezekiel 23:19-20

The same could be said about Bobbie Houston, who is literally saying, “I’ll have what Oprah’s having.” (Yes, we read your book Bobbie.) Despite the fact that Oprah is NOT a Christian.

OPRAH’S OWN TESTIMONY

Ignorant/arrogant Christians (usually false Christians) will argue that it is not up to Christians to judge if someone is a believer or not. Sometimes that is a valid claim. However, some false teachers make it VERY clear that they do not worship Jesus anymore.

From a very early age, Oprah gave up Christianity and embraced the New Age movement. This is Oprah talking about how she left…

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Hillsong: from Silent Night to Sordid Night

Hillsong’s a church… and a charity… can’t you tell?

They do Christian Christmas carrols better than the world. Look how relevant Hillsong is – not even the world has taken this song to this… level.

We tend to think that all the faithful men in Hillsong “church” decided to cross their legs in this “traditional” Christmas carol.

P.S If you’re a hater and a blogger, judge not lest ye be judged. You’re just jealous of what you’re missing out on at Hillsong and want in on Hillsong’s successes. #IllHaveWhatShesHaving #TheBestIsYetToCome #LiveLoveLEGS! #UnsilentNight

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Debunking Ancient Aliens

hipandthigh

aliensI remember as a kid watching an episode of “In Search Of…” that told about how aliens had visited earth thousands of years ago and helped humans build the pyramids and other ancient monuments. I sat transfixed as Leonard Nimoy’s sober narration convinced this 8 year old that aliens used tractor beams and levitation in order to stack giant rocks.

So recently I am driving to work early one morning and I am listening to the replay of Coast to Coast AM, which is like the equivalent of Charisma News or Sid Roth for atheists, New Agers, and UFO enthusiasts. The guy that was being interviewed had put together a documentary that basically debunked the whole ancient aliens idea, with particular focus on the History Channel series. The weekend host was asking him questions that had a tone of sarcastic disbelief, like, “You’re telling me men can move giant, 800…

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Obama administration has admitted over 100,000 immigrants from Syria since 2012

WINTERY KNIGHT

Obama doesn't have time for national security Obama doesn’t have time for national security

The Obama administration has admitted over 100,000 people from Syria since 2012.

Excerpt:

A proposal to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States has ignited a bitter debate in Washington, but more than 10 times that number of people from the embattled country have quietly come to America since 2012, according to figures obtained by FoxNews.com.

Some 102,313 Syrians were granted admission to the U.S. as legal permanent residents or through programs including work, study and tourist visas from 2012 through August of this year, a period which roughly coincides with the devastating civil war that still engulfs the Middle Eastern country. Experts say any fears that terrorists might infiltrate the proposed wave of refugees from United Nations-run camps should be dwarfed by the potential danger already here.

[…]Numbers obtained from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection show 60,010 Syrian visa…

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