Top News – 2/21/2016
Unholy row over church’s play which portrays Jesus as a transgender woman who refers to God as ‘Mum’
A play that portrays Jesus as a transgender woman who refers to God as ‘Mum’ is to be performed in a Church of England church today. To the fury of critics who say the play is deeply offensive, the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will not block the staging of The Gospel According To Jesus, Queen Of Heaven.
CUFI, Christian TV Launch Israel News Show “The Watchman”
Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which calls itself the largest American pro-Israel organization with 2.7 million members, is teaming up with the Christian satellite network Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) to launch a weekly news show highlighting the rising threats facing Israel and the United States.
Pope Backs Down After Attempting to Shame Trump Over Immigration Views
The Vatican responded defensively to the media circus sparked by the feud, attempting to clarify Pope Francis’s remarks as general rather than specific to Trump.
Speaking Tour Is A Degree Worth Having Debt? Is Twitter Silencing Conservatives?
Twitter, an invaluable news aggregator when properly run and used, has seemingly taken aim at conservatives and those advocating conservative causes. …Rumours that Twitter has begun ‘shadowbanning’ politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech. His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher.
Syria conflict: Homs car bombings kill 46, says monitor
At least 46 people have been killed in a double car bombing in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group has said. Most of the dead appear to be civilians, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It is not yet clear who was behind the bombing but the so-called Islamic State (IS) has targeted the area in the past.
Europe migrant crisis: Razor wire fence failing in Hungary
Police in Hungary say increasing numbers of migrants are breaching a razor wire fence built to stop them crossing the border from Serbia. In January, 550 people were caught getting through – up from 270 in December. More than 1,200 were caught in the first 20 days of February. Hungary caused controversy with the 4m (13ft) barrier, completed in September.
‘Hezbollah has become a small faction serving the Russian bear,’ group’s founder says
Hezbollah’s first secretary general, Subhi al-Tufayli, has vehemently attacked the Lebanese terror organization for its participation in the Syrian civil war, claiming that the organization is serving the interests of the Russian conqueror and that its fighting in Syria endangers Shi’ites in Lebanon.
6 Dead, 3 Hurt in Apparently Random Shootings in Michigan
Six people were killed and three others were wounded in a series of apparently random shootings in Michigan Saturday, Kalamazoo County sheriff’s official said. “We seem to be dealing with a worst case scenario, someone driving around shooting,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told NBC News. Matyas said there are three shooting scenes. None of the victims at the three scenes appear connected, he said.
Fiji cyclone leaves trail of destruction, five dead
Fiji was assessing the damage on Sunday after one of the most powerful storms recorded in the southern hemisphere tore through the Pacific island nation, flattening remote villages and killing at least five people.
This Is What Happens To Gold When Citizens Lose Faith In Fiat Currency
It appears, first slowly and now quickly, the world is realizing that Alan Greenspan was right after all: “Gold is a currency. It is still, by all evidence, a premier currency. No fiat currency, including the dollar, can match it.”
Jeb Bush drops out of the Republican race for president
Jeb Bush withdrew from the Republican presidential race after his loss in South Carolina, abandoning a campaign that struggled frequently in the glare of anti-establishment politics.
Walesa Legend Now a Spy Story as Polish History Is Rewritten
In the new Poland, yesterday’s heroes are being turned into today’s villains. It means that Lech Walesa, the country’s most famous politician and freedom fighter, is a traitor and the 1989 uprising that ushered in democracy and a market economy was little more than a conspiracy. At least, that’s the new Polish government’s narrative after documents were released this week that purport to show the former Solidarity leader was a paid agent working for the communist authorities.
Attempt to place Review-Journal obituary for Hillary Clinton prompts report to Secret Service
The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday reported a possible threat related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after a man tried to place an obituary notice for the former secretary of state. The man, who identified himself as Don Schubert, was asked to leave the newspaper building’s lobby after he filled out a standard obituary form identifying the deceased as Hillary Rodham Clinton, and listing her date of death as Feb. 20, 2016, the date of Saturday’s Democratic Party presidential caucuses. Previously he had called the newsroom to complain about the coin flips that determined the outcome of some Iowa caucuses last month.
Top Headlines – 2/21/2016
Top News – 2/20/2016
Pro-Hezbollah hackers: We penetrated Israeli sites, security feeds
A pro-Hezbollah hacker group calling itself We Are Coming claims it penetrated 5,000 Israeli websites, including some containing sensitive security data, in 2015, as well as security camera feeds, Lebanese network Al-Manar declared this week. Pro-Hezbollah news outlets in Lebanon have reported in the past that the group successfully breached Israeli websites and Facebook pages.
Egypt’s Sisi pledges crackdown on police abuses after shooting
The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has said that police officers guilty of human rights abuses will face tougher action under new laws. His remarks follow a protest in Cairo after a taxi driver was shot dead by a policeman during a dispute over a fare. The case was the latest of many alleged cases of police brutality in Egypt.
Libya air strike: Two Serbs feared dead in US attack on IS
Two Serbian nationals held hostage in Libya since November are believed to have been among those killed in Friday’s air strikes by US warplanes, the Serbian government says. The jets targeted positions of the self-styled Islamic State group (IS) in the city of Sabratha. The kidnapped Serbs, Sladjana Stankovic and Jovica Stepic, worked at the Serbian embassy in Libya.
EU deal gives UK special status, says David Cameron
David Cameron says a deal struck with EU leaders will give the UK “special status” and he will campaign with his “heart and soul” to stay in the union. The agreement, reached late on Friday after two days of talks in Brussels, gives the UK power to limit some EU migrants’ benefits. It also includes a treaty change so the UK is not bound to “ever closer union” with other EU member states, he said.
Cyclone Winston hits Fiji’s main island Viti Levu
The most powerful storm to hit Fiji has made landfall on the Pacific nation’s main island, Viti Levu. Cyclone Winston brought winds of over 320 kph (200 mph), torrential rain and waves of up to 12m (40ft). Flights have been cancelled, evacuation centres activated and a nationwide curfew put in place.
China replaces securities regulator Xiao Gang
China has removed the head of its securities regulator as it tries to tackle major volatility in its stock markets. Xiao Gang was replaced by Liu Shiyu as the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), state media report. Mr Xiao was in charge when China’s markets crashed in mid-2015.
Have Israel’s missile defense systems hit a snag?
Last year the Defense Ministry outlined a list of successful trials of air defense systems….Following several crises…progress has slowed down… Maariv Hashavua, has learned that one of the conditions of the significant increase in defense support put in place by the government in Washington DC was a marked increase in efforts to compromise with the Palestinians, in an effort to renew political negotiations.
The Global Oil Glut Is So Great, Tankers Take The Long Route Around Africa To Find A Buyer
While we have previously observed the massive glut of oil product in the US, which has led to such arcane developments as a “parking lot” of oil tankers outside of Galveston, TX…
Hezbollah’s ‘Nuclear Bomb’: We Can Kill Tens of Thousands of Israelis by Hitting Toxic Gas Tank
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations has called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn a veiled threat by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah – a member of Lebanon’s caretaker government – to kill tens of thousands of Israelis by firing missiles at a toxic gas storage tank in Israel’s third-largest city.
US air strike kills dozens at IS camp in Libya
A US air strike on a jihadist training camp in Libya killed dozens of people Friday, probably including a senior Islamic State group operative behind attacks in Tunisia, officials said.
Russia warns Assad on vow to retake all of Syria
Russia’s envoy to the UN on Friday warned long-term ally President Bashar al-Assad over his vow to retake all of Syria, saying he faced dire consequences if he did not comply with Moscow over the peace process.
European leaders strike deal to try to keep Britain in the E.U.
Prime Minister David Cameron vowed late Friday to wage a relentless campaign to keep Britain in the European Union after striking a deal with fellow leaders that he said would transform the country’s relationship with the 28-member bloc.
Top Headlines – 2/20/2016
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New PRAZOR App Receiving Positive Reviews from Users
New downloads of the mobile Christian media app PRAZOR have been met with strong positive reviews from users.
REVIEW: ‘Risen’ is Gospel infused historical fiction
On the eve of the theater debut of Risen, well known film critic Michael Foust gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars for entertainment value. He says the movie can be used to share the Gospel with unbelievers and to motivate Christians.
ERLC joins FRC in telling Obama ISIS atrocities against Christians are genocide
In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, leaders from Family Research Council, the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and other religious liberty groups as well as Assyrian and Iraqi groups have urged the Obama administration to declare atrocities against Christians and other …
Scalia’s son shares the gospel at father’s funeral
SUPREME COURT | At Justice Scalia’s funeral, his son shares the gospel
5 Keys to Reaching the ‘Selfie’ Generation
Dr. David Allen looks at the emergence of the selfie in social media and the psychology behind it, further developing the biblical aspect through which a somewhat self-focused generation might be reached.
Franklin Graham Defends Donald Trump After Pope Francis Questions Faith of GOP Frontrunner
Despite his disappointment with today’s political environment, the Rev. Franklin Graham publicly defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after Pope Francis questioned his Christian faith.
Franklin Graham: Danger Signs Are Everywhere
Franklin Graham is not endorsing any presidential candidates, but he found time during his Decision America tour to comment on the state of the country.
Graham wrote on Facebook: “Is the world imploding? While the United States is focused on its own politics, the world is unraveling. The danger signals are everywhere. Beheadings, rapes, murders, bombings are taking place every day….
And as it Was in the Days of Noah . . .
The Pope has recently given his blessing to mix human and animal DNA to create chimera for the sake of medical research. Webster’s Dictionary defines “chimera” as an “absurd fantasy.”
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26).
In the days of Noah there lived a race of half-human, half-demonic entities known as the Nephilim. These giants had a hobby—genetic interference. You know it as “cloning” as it is an abomination to God. Cloning is being conducted in laboratories all over the world.
It’s a miracle! Hollywood finally tells a great Bible story – Todd Starnes
And when “Risen” earned three-and-a-half stars from the left wingers at the Seattle Times, I was incredulous.
But when I saw the film’s trailer, I was astonished – Hollywood got it right.
“Risen” is a powerful telling of the aftermath of the resurrection of Jesus told from the perspective of a non-believer – a Roman military officer.
Video of CC Pastors Conference 2012
The video below showing a panel discussion at the Calvary Chapel 2012 Pastor’s Conference with Greg Laurie, Bob Coy and Brian Brodersen is a must watch. If you are wondering what has happened to many of the Calvary Chapels and where they are headed and why, this video will provide the answer.
Now that four years have passed and Chuck Smith has gone to be with the Lord, like many other denominations, the Calvary Chapel association of churches has been influenced by the postmodern mindset in many ways and is on its way to becoming postmodern.
While those attending the 2012 conference were told there was no problem introducing the ideas of popular pastors known for their popular methods of reaching the postmodern generation, they were not told about the dangers. Four years later, many have found out where such reasoning leads.
While there are Calvary pastors who remain affiliated with Calvary Chapel who express their concerns, they remain silent for fear of rocking the boat or losing their position in the Calvary franchise.
“After Taryn Wright exposed an elaborate fake tragedy on Facebook, she found herself leading a squad of online detectives – but on the internet, it doesn’t take long for a crowd to become a mob.”
Westminster Books is having a clearance sale, discounting books they have too many of.
Yosemite puts on quite the display for a couple of weeks a year.
I like this: “In an exercise in humility, I would like to pull back part of the curtain by writing a resume not of my accomplishments and successes, but of my failures—for this too is a significant part of who I am (and who I am not), giving perhaps a more balanced perspective on the life of an academic.”
Here’s a recent interview and conversation I had with Jonathon Von Maren on keeping your home (and life) porn-free.
Be sure to watch this video of Monty Williams speaking at his wife’s funeral. It is very, very powerful.
Thanks to P&R for sponsoring the blog this week with “The Number One Reason We Struggle Overcoming Sin.”
Some men pray to be made holy, but they wish to keep some little pet sin in the backyard. —C.H. Spurgeon
Our Time is Short
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.
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 In A Nutshell
Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.
Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl
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
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 is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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