Daily Archives: February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 29, 2016

BLOOMBERG

Two weeks after Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death, the court starting Monday will offer clues about how it will operate during what could be an extended vacancy. The eight remaining justices will start deciding whether to accept new cases that could split them 4-4, and what to do about pending disputes that already have them deadlocked.

If you’ve been paying attention to auction coverage recently, the outlook seems grim: The value of artworks on offer has plummeted, volume and totals are down significantly, and various news organizations (including this one) have sounded ominous warnings of an imminent market decline.

Contracts to purchase previously owned homes unexpectedly dropped in January by the most in two years, representing a setback in residential real estate leading up to the spring selling season. The pending home sales index fell 2.5 percent, the biggest drop since December 2013.

At the very top of his newly constructed condo tower in SoHo, developer Kevin Maloney saw a problem: a triplex penthouse priced at $45 million that he knew wouldn’t sell in a Manhattan market where luxury deals are slowing. So he ripped up the floor plan and chopped the apartment into two more-manageable units. Had the building, not been almost complete, he would have carved the penthouse into three. The changes will create a 3,000-square-foot apartment spanning the 15th floor, priced at $11 million, and a 5,400-square-foot duplex above it, for $29.5 million, Maloney said. With that strategy, “the buyer pool widens.

The number of wealthy investors granted visas to live in the U.K. fell 84 percent last year after the government doubled the minimum investment required for the permit to $2.8 million in November 2014. New checks that mean applicants have to go through anti-money laundering due diligence checks may also be restricting demand.

Chinese stocks fell, with the benchmark index approaching the lowest level since November 2014, as some investors were disappointed by a lack of specific measures to boost growth during the Group of 20 meetings in Shanghai.

North Korea said a detained U.S. college student has confessed to a hostile act against the country by taking down a propaganda sign in Pyongyang, further testing relations with the U.S. as the Obama administration pushes for tougher sanctions against the regime.

U.S. Treasury 10-year futures may continue to underperform gold over the medium-term in a global fixed-income environment punctuated by negative rates as the relative opportunity cost of holding the yellow metal decreases.

AP Top Stories

Parents of Kenwood Academy students said they watched an act of racism at an event meant to bring students together. They said students from Barrington High School held a mock slave auction in an attempt to show school spirit.

Lithuanians are taking an agonizing closer look at their forefathers’ role in killing Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust, a dark chapter of the Baltic country’s history that was hidden for decades. A series of books and films has triggered national soul-searching by making the point that while Lithuanians were the victims of Nazi and Soviet occupation of the country, at times they too were perpetrators of crimes and their victims were Jews.

The 106 Burmese pythons captured over a month-long hunt won’t help control Florida’s invasive snake population, but wildlife officials said that doesn’t matter as much as the awareness they bring to the state’s environmental concerns.

Demolition has begun in the ‘jungle’ camp in Calais, the makeshift site that has become a temporary home for thousands of migrants.

The trial of a former SS medic on 3,681 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly helping the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp function appeared close to collapse Monday, after a doctor found the 95-year-old unfit to be transported to the court.

Japan signed an agreement to supply defense equipment to the Philippines, the first such Japanese defense pact in a region where the U.S. allies have been alarmed by China’s aggressive advances in disputed territories.

Five Cambodian fishermen have been arrested for a brutal attack on a group of French tourists in which two women were raped at knifepoint on an isolated Thai beach, police said Monday.

Six cases of the mutilation and murder of children as “good luck” sacrifices were reported during the recent Ugandan elections, a children’s charity said.

BBC

An aid convoy has reached one of several besieged towns in Syria, as the UN takes advantage of a partial truce brokered by the US and Russia.

Pakistan has hanged the former police bodyguard who shot dead Punjab’s governor over his opposition to blasphemy laws, officials said.

A Guatemala court has sentenced two former members of the military to 360 years in jail for the murder, rape and sexual enslavement of indigenous women.

A knife-wielding attacker has stabbed 10 children outside a primary school in southern China before killing himself, according to police.

Police in the Russian capital Moscow have arrested a woman on suspicion of murdering a child after she was found apparently carrying a severed head.

WND

In Iraq, the death toll from devastating back-to-back market bombings carried out by ISIS the previous day in eastern Baghdad climbed to 73 on Monday, officials said.

An appeals court has been asked to revive a lawsuit over a college’s decision to “verbally abuse,” penalize academically and threaten with a “blacklist” several students in a sonography course who objected to being used as transvaginal ultrasound test subjects for their classmates, who included men.


Seismic Faults Produce Deadly Levels Of Carbon Monoxide In California
Deadly and unprecedented levels of carbon monoxide are being released into the atmosphere across the west coast of America due to unusual activity on seismic faults. Scientists have yet to confirm the cause, but experts are suggesting that the Earth may be emitting the dangerous gas via seismic fault lines – cracks in the earth’s surface where tectonic plates rub against each other.

Moscow: Muslim woman arrested holding child’s severed head
…rescue forces responding to a fire at a nearby apartment complex found the headless body of a young child aged three or four years old. The killer is believed to have been babysitting the young girl. She reportedly beheaded the child before setting the apartment on fire.

Economic Recovery? 13 Of The Biggest Retailers Are Closing Down Stores
Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction”. Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country?

Magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan, collapses buildings
The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude-6.4 earthquake has hit southern Taiwan.

U.S. court test on abortion reflects success of strategy shift
When the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday hears a major abortion case…at issue…standards for doctors and facilities where the procedure is performed. That the high court is taking up a case about such arcane regulations reflects the success of a legal strategy that abortion opponents embraced about a decade ago and initially caught some abortion-rights advocates off guard.

Kofi Annan on Why It’s Time To Legalize Drugs
Drugs are dangerous, but current narcotics policies are an even bigger threat because punishment is given a greater priority than health and human rights. It’s time for regulations that put lives and safety first, argues former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. …This year, between April 19 and 21, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a special session on drugs and the world will have a chance to change course.

Energy price slump sends eurozone into deflation
Consumer prices in the eurozone fell sharply in February to minus 0.2%, putting more pressure on the European Central Bank. The slide into deflation is a sharp reversal from the revised 0.3% increase recorded in January. It is the first fall in inflation since September when it shrank by 0.1%, according to Eurostat.

Migrants charge through Macedonia fence on Greek border
A crowd of migrants has burst through a barbed-wire fence on the Macedonia-Greece border using a steel pole as a battering ram. TV footage showed migrants pushing against the fence at Idomeni, ripping away barbed wire, as Macedonian police let off tear gas to force them away. A section of fence was smashed open with the battering ram. It is not clear how many migrants got through.

Women activists to launch freedom flotilla to break the siege on Gaza
The Freedom Flotilla coalition has announced that a women’s boat to Gaza is expected to set sail for the Strip…to break the blockade on the coastal territory and express solidarity with the Palestinian people… In an interview…Dr. Essam Youssef, the head of the Popular International Committee to support the Gaza Strip…will announce the launch of the flotilla on…March 8.

‘Palestinian Authority collapse a question of when, not if’
The Palestinian Authority is going to collapse whether Jerusalem wants it to or not, and Israel will pay the price in terrorism evolving out of the ensuing anarchy, Immigrant and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin said Monday. Elkin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s…security cabinet, said…that the current wave of terror is just a “promo” for what will happen after the PA collapses.

U.S. shale’s message for OPEC: above $40, we are coming back
For leading U.S. shale oil producers, $40 is the new $70. Less than a year ago major shale firms were saying they needed oil above $60 a barrel to produce more; now some say they will settle for far less in deciding whether to crank up output after the worst oil price crash in a generation.

Pentagon Research Could Make ‘Brain Modem’ a Reality
The Pentagon is attempting what was, until recently, an impossible technological feat—developing a high-bandwidth neural interface that would allow people to beam data from their minds to external devices and back.

Twitter accused of shutting down Hillary critics
Bernie Sanders supporters are saying their Twitter account was “censored and locked down” after they criticized Hillary Clinton.

Ohio Pastor Shot & Killed During Sunday Service
An Ohio pastor with deep roots in the Dayton community was shot and killed at his church, and police have taken his brother into custody for the slaying.

Syria rebels say attacks by army and Russian planes threaten truce
The Syrian opposition warned on Sunday that attacks by the army, backed by Russian warplanes, threatened a U.S.-Russian deal for a cessation of hostilities with collapse and endangered future peace talks.

Twin suicide bombing kills 70 in Baghdad’s deadliest attack this year
A twin suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State killed 70 people in a Shi’ite district of Baghdad on Sunday in the deadliest attack inside the capital this year, as militants launched an assault on its western outskirts.


Headlines – 2/29/2016

Germany irked by Netanyahu’s claim that Merkel disavowed two-state solution

Senate Democrats dispute Obama’s decision on Israel boycotts

Israel buys armored buses in NIS 106 million deal

Netanyahu: Palestinian terrorism not motivated by despair

PM: Thirst for destruction driving force of Arab terror for 100 years

Israel: Lebanon violated UNSC resolution calls to disarm Hezbollah more than 2,000 times

Hezbollah parody TV skit causes riots in Lebanon

PA demands control over Iran cash handouts to terrorists

US appeals court: Terror victims can seize $9.4 million of Iran funds

Iran judiciary chief: Westerners helped block hardliners in poll

Iran said withdrawing all its fighting forces from Syria

Netanyahu Welcomes Syria Cease-fire but Says Peace Deal Must Address Israeli Interests

Rebels, Russians report violations as Syria truce teeters

UN plans aid for 154,000 besieged Syrians in next 5 days

Twin suicide bombing kills 70 in Baghdad’s deadliest attack this year

EU’s Tower of Babel may fall while leaders distracted

‘Brexit’ Vote: Why Britain Could Quit E.U. and Why America Cares

Stocks soft on Fed angst, G20 fails to give shot in arm

U.S. Has Record 10th Straight Year Without 3% Growth in GDP

Hard to find bread in shortage-stricken Venezuela

Cruz, Rubio reveal tax info, Cruz hints Trump tied to mob biz

Severe storms to target southern US Super Tuesday voting states

Russia’s new ballistic missiles to be tested on asteroids

Asteroid 2013 TX68 may impact Earth in 2017: Nasa

Small Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth March 8

Former Tepco execs indicted over Fukushima nuclear disaster

Earthquake terror: Violent shake jolts Christchurch awake, fault causes traffic chaos

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 28,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupst to 11,000ft

Momotombo volcano in Nicaragua erupts to 10,000ft

Eyeball tattooing: Calls for ban as procedure regulated in New South Wales

New surgical microchips the key to the future

Necklace with computer chip aids child vaccination in India

The first case of HIV contraction while taking preventative drugs has been documented

Arguments in Supreme Court abortion case pitched to audience of one

Planned Parenthood President: My Childrens’ Lives Began at Delivery, Not Conception

Netanyahu voices support for gay rights on Knesset LGBT Day

Ohio pastor shot dead at church, and his brother has been arrested

Ohio Pastor Shot, Killed by His Brother on Sunday at His Church

Top 10 Richest Pastors in the World

Prophetess Amanda Wells plagiarises article on how to be an effective “witness for Christ”

Patricia King – “In Jesus Name, The Bar is Open!!”

Progressive Totalitarianism

When a Socialist Discovered Capitalism


Frontrunning: February 29

  • Shares fall on G20 disappointment, Fed hike worries (Read More)
  • China cuts reserve requirement ratio for fifth time since Feb. 2015 (Read More)
  • China Stocks Tumble Toward 15-Month Low as Stimulus Bets Unwind (Read More)
  • S&P 500 Futures Signal 2nd Day of Stock Losses; Valeant Slides (Read More)
  • Valeant fundamental risks are too severe to suggest the stock is poised for a lasting rebound (Read More)
  • Iran reformists cheer election gains, hardliners play down shift (Read More)
  • ‘Spotlight’ Wins Oscar for Best Picture in Hollywood’s Biggest Night (Read More)
  • His Job Is to Sell a $1,000 Pill for $10 Without Losing Money (Read More)
  • Former Malaysian Prime Minister Resigns From Ruling Party (Read More)
  • Foxconn, Sharp Said to Weigh Revising Terms of Approved Deal (Read More)
  • It’s Getting Harder for Currency Traders to Make Money, Market Veteran Says (Read More)
  • Citi to Sell 20% Stake in China Guangfa Bank for $3 Billion (Read More)
  • Arab States Face $94 Billion Debt Crunch on Oil Slump, HSBC Says (Read More)
  • Bullish Oil Bets Rise as Hedge Funds See Crude Supply Tightening (Read More)
  • Manhattan Penthouse Gets Sliced in Two as Luxury Market Falters (Read More)
  • JPMorgan traders sacked over compliance (Read More)
  • Citigroup Faces Fraud Suit Claiming $1.1 Billion in Losses (Read More)

The Briefing 

1) Evangelical support for Donald Trump reveals amorphous definition of “evangelical”

Did Ted Cruz Miscalculate His Support among Evangelicals?, National Review (J.D. Vance)

Why Evangelicals Are Born Again for Donald Trump, Daily Beast (Ben Domenech)

What Kind of Evangelicals Are Backing Donald Trump?, PJ Media (Tyler O’Niel)

Evangelical Christians are so sick of losing that they’re voting for Trump, Washington Post (R.R. Reno)

Donald Trump stumbles on David Duke, KKK, CNN (Eric Bradner)

2) A constitutional right to abortion? SCOTUS set to hear biggest abortion case in a generation 

Showdown on Abortion at the Supreme Court, New York Times (Editorial Board)

Why Courts Shouldn’t Ignore the Facts About Abortion Rights, New York Times (Linda Greenhouse)

Better Care or Onerous Restrictions? Texas Abortion Law Going Before Supreme Court, New York Times (Jan Hoffman)

3) Secular societies struggle to ground moral judgments without Christian worldview

Prevention more important to stopping revenge porn, Louisville Courier-Journal (Jeffrey Layne Blevins)

India’s caste system is an affront to modernity, Financial Times

In other news…


Daily Digest

February 29, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“[H]e whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” —Thomas Paine 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Navy SEAL to Receive Medal of Honor Today

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Navy SEAL Edward Byers wears a St. Michael the Archangel patch on his back. Before going into battle, the Roman Catholic always prays to the angel that leads God’s army in the book of Revelation for protection, drawing strength to be away from his wife and daughter. It was a prayer he most likely prayed before he ran through a darkened Afghan doorway where he knew a host of Taliban lay waiting. It was the night of Dec. 8, 2012, and SEAL Team Six had hiked four hours to get to this one-room hut, a place the U.S. military believed the Taliban was keeping captured U.S. citizen Dr. Dilip Joseph. Moments before, a Taliban guard discovered the rescue party as it was 25 meters away. As Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas Checque dived through the six layers of blankets that made up the hut’s door, he was cut down by AK-47 fire. Byers followed, shot a man aiming a rifle at him, and tackled another man who was scrambling for a weapon in the corner. After realizing that he did not have Joseph, Byers fought the man, then jumped on top of Joseph, using his body as a shield while pinning a Taliban fighter to the wall by one hand. The rescue was successful.

It is for this action that the White House is awarding Byers the Medal of Honor at a ceremony today. He is the first member of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group to receive the nation’s highest medal for valor, and the first member of the Navy still living to receive the commendation since the Vietnam War. And as a member of the Special Forces, it’s difficult for him. “I’ve lived my entire career a very private life,” Byers said. “We don’t talk about what we do, and this honor carries with it some obligations that I need to carry out. You know, you follow those through. But, I plan to continue doing my job as normal and to continue being a SEAL. It’s something I love and grew up wanting to be.” That is the true mark of a hero: a willingness to pay the ultimate sacrifice, but the humility to do it again and again.

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Trump Wants to Silence Dissent

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Just like a dictator of a third-world country, Donald Trump can’t stand anyone criticizing him. That’s why on Friday, Trump told his cheering acolytes that he wants to rewrite the nation’s libel laws so he can sue newspapers and journalists he thinks are unfair. “One of the things I’m gonna do if I win,” Trump said, “is I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles we can sue them and win lots of money. We’ll open up those libel laws so that when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post … writes a hit piece we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they are totally protected.”

Trump knows a thing or two about suing journalists for libel. He lost a libel lawsuit in 2011 after a journalist wrote Trump was only worth $250 million, not the billions the reality TV personality claimed. All of Trump’s money and all of Trump’s men couldn’t prevail against a lone book author because the statement couldn’t be proved false. In other words, truth is the defense against a libel lawsuit. This is a principle established at the dawn of our nation’s founding when a colonial governor attempted to shut down a newspaper published by John Peter Zenger in 1734. The jury ruled that a statement cannot be libelous if it’s true. But reality isn’t where Trump wants to be right now.

Furthermore, Trump’s “reasoning” that the media is unfair and that’s a reason for suing them for everything they’ve got does not take into account the state of newspapers during the start of our nation. As Hot Air’s Taylor Millard points out, newspapers then were wildly partisan, championed agendas and were set up by the powerful to attack other papers. (So sort of like today.) “Balance” and “fairness” wasn’t in the vocabulary of those early journalists, yet that is the environment that gave birth to the First Amendment and its protections we have today — an environment Trump cannot tolerate.

In other Trump news, he was endorsed by Chris Christie Friday and Sen. Jeff Sessions Saturday — the first, a craven play for political influence by a man determined to get back at those who cost him the race; and the second, a sign that perception of Trump’s strength on immigration trumps the fact that he hired illegals for “jobs Americans won’t do.”

Meanwhile, Trump refused three times to reject the endorsement of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, saying, “I don’t know anything about” him. That’s a lie. He certainly knew about Duke in 2000, when he left the Reform Party because of him. Now that Trump’s trying to win the Republican nomination, however, he can’t be bothered to stand for principle until he’s hectored about it. After blaming a “bad earpiece” in the first interview, he finally did “disavow” Duke.

Maybe that’s all why Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a real conservative, announced over the weekend that he will not vote for Trump if he’s the nominee. He won’t be the last.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Who Speaks for Us?

By Arnold Ahlert

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If there’s one thing the current election cycle has made clear, it’s the reality that millions of Americans feel utterly disenfranchised. Their anger and frustration are driven by the daunting realization that neither political party represents their interests. This despicable status quo begs the simplest question, one every candidate running for elective office in 2016 should be forced to answer: Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where there is a clear understanding of right and wrong, not one dominated by the “anything goes” cultural sewage churned out on a regular basis by Hollywood and the mainstream media. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation that puts Americans first — one with definable, enforceable borders and one where Rule of Law is paramount — not one that gratifies the desires of millions of illegals and their cadre of elitist supporters aiming to fundamentally transform our national character, using cheap votes and cheap labor to do so. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where we no longer cater to the lowest common denominator of human behavior to accommodate “root causes,” the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” or a multiculturalist mishmash that excuses misogyny, anti-Semitism, and racism under the rubric of “celebrating our differences.” Who speaks for us?

We want to live a nation with an educational system that teaches children how to think, not what to think. A system where ideological indoctrination social promotion, grade inflation, worthless diplomas, “creative” math, and the generalized dumbing-down of vulnerable children is tossed on the ash heap of history. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where merit and excellence matter, not one where millions of “snowflakes” have been cushioned by trigger warnings, micro-aggressions, speech codes and helicopter parents who believe everyone should get a trophy just for showing up. A nation where the content of one’s character is far more important than the color of one’s skin, one’s gender, one’s sexual orientation, or one’s membership in a particular grievance group. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where the Constitution is defended for what it actually says, not what some people would like it to mean because a “living” interpretation of the document accommodates their agenda, political correctness or the latest trend. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where we don’t burden our children and grandchildren with unconscionable levels of debt that will destroy their standard of living, one where able-bodied people are expected to work for a living, and one where the free-market capitalism that rewards ambition, risk-taking and talent isn’t subsumed by a government-controlled crony-capitalist oligarchy that stifles competition and picks winners and losers. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation with the strongest military in the world, not one debased by social engineering. A military that only sends men and women into harm’s way when our national security is threatened, and one that utterly rejects such nonsense as “winning hearts and minds,” restrictive and dangerous Rules of Engagement, and politically correct warfare that elevates concerns for collateral damage above the lives of American soldiers. A military with only one objective in mind when it becomes necessary to put the nation’s blood and treasure at risk: unambiguous victory. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where states’ rights are once again paramount, where 50 separate constituencies would be given maximum freedom to innovate, to compete, and do anything else to improve the lives of their citizens without the interfering heavy hand of the District of Columbia. A nation where people intuitively understand government operates best from the local level outwards, not the federal level inward. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where we treat our allies like the friends they are, and our enemies with the suspicion they have earned. A nation where foreign policy is grounded in reality, not faculty-lounge-inspired wishful thinking. A nation that will no longer send foreign aid to people who hate us, based on the dubious assertion we can buy their loyalty and admiration. Who speaks for us?

We want to live in a nation where we celebrate our exceptionalism, not identify only by our shortcomings. Those who insist otherwise should be asked to explain why people all over the world are beating a path to our shores. Who speaks for us?

As the opening of the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

“We the people” is us, not a bunch of self-interested politicians and their well connected benefactors. A “more perfect” union is an aspiration. We must not allow our pursuit of that perfection to be the enemy of our goodness. Same goes for establishing justice and insuring domestic tranquility.

As for the next two items, it’s important to note the critical distinction between providing for the commence defense and promoting the general welfare. It is the government’s constitutionally mandated duty to provide protection for the nation. It is not the government’s duty to provide for the peoples’ welfare, but rather to promote the conditions that allow a free people to provide for their own welfare, that of their families and those Americans who are truly in need.

As for the blessings of Liberty, the implication is clear: There is a higher power from which those blessings are secured and it does not emanate from Washington, state legislatures or local governments. As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently explained in the Declaration of Independence, all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” There are millions of Americans who cherish that wisdom, even as they still understand it is the ultimate foundation of the greatest nation ever devised by man.

Who speaks for us?

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Rebecca Hagelin: “It’s no wonder that Donald Trump still supports and extols the virtues of Planned Parenthood, the organization that betrays women and girls at the most vulnerable time in their lives; the organization that encourages our teen daughters to be sexually active; the organization that is now notorious for selling baby body parts. It is the very philosophy of Planned Parenthood that Donald Trump uses to justify his decadent lifestyle choices. To both, women are largely sexual objects and men are allowed to treat them that way. … Rest assured, the truth about Trump will [eventually] be headlines and the fantasy war on women will become a credible narrative. And whichever liberal, socialist Democratic candidate is nominated will easily be elected President of the United States. Worse still, every Evangelical leader who cozied up to Mr. Trump and was seduced into supporting him will be embarrassed and shamed, and the body of Christ will suffer. I’ve spent much of my adult life fighting pornography because it is evil, because it victimizes and degrades women and destroys men and families. It is beyond tragic that so many of my Republican and Christian brothers and sisters have forgotten that it is the moral fiber of a country that determines its ultimate destiny. If the GOP disregards moral, principled leaders in favor of one who promises only great riches, then we deserve neither. Yes, Donald Trump promises to ‘Make America Great Again.’ What he and his supporters fail to realize is that America will never be great again if we are not first good again.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “Government is like a baby. It is an alimentary canal with an appetite at one end and a no sense of responsibility at the other.”

For the record: “We are about to learn much about Republican officeholders who are now deciding whether to come to terms with Trump, and with the shattering of their party as a vessel of conservatism. Trump’s collaborators, like the remarkably plastic Chris Christie (‘I don’t think [Trump’s] temperament is suited for [the presidency]’), will find that nothing will redeem the reputations they will ruin by placing their opportunism in the service of his demagogic cynicism and anti-constitutional authoritarianism.” —George Will

Upright: “It is beyond tragic that so many of my Republican and Christian brothers and sisters have forgotten that it is the moral fiber of a country that determines its ultimate destiny. If the GOP disregards moral, principled leaders in favor of one who promises only great riches, then we deserve neither.” —Rebecca Hagelin

Belly laugh of the week: “I am not a natural politician, like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. … I invest a lot of energy and a lot of my own emotion into what I do, and I think sometimes instead of that being as easy to understand as I would like it to be, it sometimes is a little bit nerve-wracking.” —Hillary Clinton

Race bait: “I think many people would like to see an African American on the Supreme Court. We don’t really need to go into Clarence Thomas’ background or his behavior on the Court, but I think to have an African-American voice that has definitely not been there since Thurgood Marshall would really be an incredible contribution to our country.” —Rep. Karen Bass

The BIG lie: “Anyone who says we’re not absolutely better off today than we were seven years ago, they’re not leveling with you. They’re not telling the truth.” —Barack Obama

NEWSFLASH: “He’s not supposed to be doing that.” —John Kerry remarking on Ibrahim al-Qosi, an ex-Gitmo prisoner who escaped captivity in Sudan to foment jihad

And last… “Hillary confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence. When one has never read either, what difference does it make?” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


'The Voice' Winner Jordan Smith Wows Audiences at NRB with Stunning Rendition of 'Great is Thy Faithfulness' (Video)

‘The Voice’ Winner Jordan Smith Wows Audiences at NRB with Stunning Rendition of ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ (Video)

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Gospel Herald

Jordan Smith, recent winner of NBC’s award-winning show The Voice, wowed audiences with a stunning rendition of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” at the National Religious Broadcasters’ annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

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5 questions every Christian voter should ask this election

5 questions every Christian voter should ask this election

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Christian Today

Krish Kandiah looks ahead to the US presidential election, and offers some questions Christians should consider before voting.

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2016 Oscars: Films with Religious Themes Dominate at 88th Academy Awards

2016 Oscars: Films with Religious Themes Dominate at 88th Academy Awards

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Gospel Herald

The 2016 Oscars is finally over which means its roster of winners has been finalized. And, among those that took home the golden statue are films that carry religious motifs.

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Religion In America Attacked Twice As Much In Last Three Years Indicates New Report

Religion In America Attacked Twice As Much In Last Three Years Indicates New Report

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Gospel Herald

The number of hostile acts against religious freedom in America has doubled in the past three years, according to a new report issued by lawyers at Texas-based First Liberty Institute, an organization founded in 1997. Entitled “Undeniable: The Survey to Hostility in America,” the report documents attempts to suppress or threaten religious liberty. The first section of the report is devoted to how “hostility to religion harms every American.”

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Why True Christianity is Dispensational

Despite the mounting criticism, orthodox Christians are dispensational whether they admit it or not simply due to the very nature of our Scriptures.  While many accept this reality and embrace it, many more deny it and vainly attempt theological work-arounds that end up failing on numerous levels.  They fail because they are either overly complicated, or overly simplified and fail to grasp the enormity, simplistic intricacy, and beauty of our God’s grand design.  Since the Bible in and of itself is Dispensational one thing must first be clarified; what defines Dispensationalism?

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The Young “Messiah”: Christians delight in really bad fanfiction

Get ready for another collection of unbiblical dialog and drama that NEVER HAPPENED. The Young Messiah is the movie that will be releasing March 11 in theaters across the nation (Just in time for Resurrection Sunday!), but the world premiere happened in January at the Billion Soul Network’s NAR-based Synergize 2016 conference.” “Young Messiah is […]

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Is The Emerging Church History, or Has it Entered Your Church?

Commentary by Roger Oakland
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries
http://www.understandthetimes.org
1.800.689.1888

Recently, I read a Facebook post by a southern California pastor stating that the “emerging church” was no longer a problem for him or his church. He also stated that the “emerging church” was just another passing fad that had come and then disappeared never to be heard of again. His church was going to focus on what was positive and insinuated that “hyper discernment ministries” were scaring his sheep into believing they were living in the last days and that apostasy was rampant.

The comments by this pastor are not uncommon. In fact, there are few shepherds today who are warning the sheep in their flocks of the dangers that lurk not only outside the fold but also within their own fold that they are called to protect. A good shepherd must keep watch over his flock as there are many wolves lurking around seeking whom they may devour. Ignoring these dangers does not make the problems go away. Sheep can easily be misled by false unbiblical teachings that act as a grain of arsenic in a milk shake. The milk shake may look and taste good, but the grain of arsenic will be enough to kill someone.

When a pastor makes the claim that the emerging church is history, this shows that he is either uninformed or that he is willingly ignorant. Sad to say, it can be both, and he may not even know it. The emerging church has many stealth methods to find its way under the radar, including when emerging church leaders rename it time and again. Satan is a master deceiver and knows what he is doing. In the early stages of the emergent church takeover, the methods may have been somewhat more obvious, at least to those with God-given discernment.

Now that the vast majority of churches have been inoculated with the poison, fewer and fewer sheep have any discernment, and worse yet their shepherd/pastors have fallen asleep. They are still looking for ways to replace the older generation who “smelled a rat” and left. Now these pastors are looking for ways to fill the pews with novel ideas that appeal to the flesh.

This commentary will touch on one area that will prove that the emerging church has not been buried and is still alive and “well” in many churches. One of the most effective ways for contemplative mysticism along with other eastern mystical beliefs to creep in is through books that are recommended for the women of the church to read in the “Ladies Ministry.” Many of these books, like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young or One Thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp, are read and studied in place of the Bible.

In fact, in many churches, such books do replace the Bible. Rather than teach verse by verse though a book of the Bible, the leader of the women’s study teaches page by page through a book that is very appealing to the flesh and provides additional revelation to the Bible. When a discerning woman in the study goes to the pastor and expresses her concerns, she is often chided for being divisive, or her concerns are totally overlooked.

One of the problems is this: often the pastor’s wife is the leader of the women’s study. He may even recognize that his own wife is off track but doesn’t want to rock the boat. Or he may not realize what’s going on at all. Whatever the case, recognizing the danger of what is happening and taking action is not in his portfolio. Soon, the women have their husbands read the books they are reading and then they too become inoculated with unbiblical ideas. And many times, it’s actually the pastor who is reading the books and sharing their content with his congregation and his family. Before long, the church that was once right on is right off.

In the future I will give further examples of how emergent apostasy is spreading like wildfire around the world. The only way to slow this delusion down is to shine the light of God’s Word on Satan’s plan. However, therein lies the problem. Human pride will never be corrected by the truth unless leaders will humble themselves. Unfortunately, most who have chosen the path they are on have no intention to change. Even when they are chided with love, they hurl back nasty names rather than repent.


The Daily Discovery (February 29, 2016)

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

Risen: A Pastor’s Movie Review – “About 2/3 of the way through the movie, I was ready to begin my review this way: “Risen is intriguing, but it’s not great.” I’d have talked about how the costumes, acting, and setting were well done, and that the plot of the film was an interesting idea but could have been executed better. Sometimes it was on the mark and other times searching for something to do. But by the end of the film, I began to dread writing this review at all. The movie completely fell apart, going from an average wagon to one with no wheels yet still trying to drag it down the sidewalk. Whatever redeeming qualities it had in the first half are completely lost in the second. Risen is just not a good movie, and an even worse Bible movie.”

A Crash Course on Scripture – “Seeing that I haven’t been home in around a week since I had a huge tradeshow this past weekend, the modesty post that was going to be up is not ready… but I do have something to share that has been in my draft folder for a while. The following is a handout I use in church when I’m giving a class on basic bible doctrine.”

Why Does God Call Them Shepherds? – “CEO, president, even king—there are several leadership models that inform and define how modern pastors function in their churches. And with the current obsession of innovating new leadership styles, techniques, and structures, you can be sure that many more will rise in popularity in the coming years. However, as Cameron pointed out last time, the one leadership model that Scripture repeatedly emphasizes—the shepherd—has been cast aside and trampled over by many of today’s church leaders.”

Politics and the Pulpit – “It’s no secret that we’re in a heated political season. Many people are suffering from political fatigue, and it’s merely February. November is quite a distance off and the heat will certainly be turned up on the political landscape as summer approaches. As we consider politics, what role does the pulpit serve in relation to politics? Does it have any business weighing in on the issues, the candidates, and seeking to influence the voters? For some, this is a cut and dry issue and they claim the idea of separation of church and state as an absolute rule. What exactly does that separation look like and is it complete separation?”

Why did God tell us about the future? – “I enjoy conversations about end times. It’s fascinating how otherwise mostly like-minded godly people can differ so sharply on the timing and events surrounding the return of King Jesus. These conversations can get complex. It is a complicated conversation because the differences do not start with a discussion of the end, per se, the differences stem from fundamental interpretive differences in how the Bible is read even starting in Genesis. A degree of difference early yields a major chasm at the end. While these discussions about when and how are important, it is vital that we not to get lost in the minutia and forget the most important piece. We aren’t given information about the future simply to complete our timelines, we are told about the future so we can live well. The purpose of eschatology is to put some ballast into the belly of the saints. I appreciate a good timeline, but let’s make sure to recognize why we know what we know about the future. God has not given us a crystal ball, he’s given us a Bible so that we may live well for God’s glory. Through the Word and by his Spirit we have everything we need for life and godliness. Let’s look at a few passages that demonstrate how knowledge of the future impacts life in the present.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Nate Pickowicz – The Death of Christ (John 19:28-37)


VIDEOS:

We Will Not Bow

When to leave a church


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


A La Carte (February 29)

Zondervan has 3 books by Mike Wittmer you may want to grab: Worldly Saints (A really, really good book!), Don’t Stop Believing, and Heaven Is a Place on Earth ($1.99 each). They have also discounted The Gospel at Work by Greg Gilbert & Sebastian Traeger, Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem, and Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill ($1.99 each). Reformation Heritage Books has discounted 4 volumes in the Puritan Treasures for Today series: Stop Loving the World; Triumphing Over Sinful Fear; Contentment, Prosperity, and God’s Glory; and The Fading of the Flesh and the Flourishing of Faith ($2.99 each). Also consider Atheism Remix by Al Mohler ($4.99); I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman Geisler & Frank Turek ($4.99); Writers to Read by Douglas Wilson ($2.99); and God Speaks by Ray Comfort ($0.99).

Wayne Grudem Reflects on His Life’s Work

I really enjoyed World magazine’s recent interview with Wayne Grudem. They talk about his life, his work, the ESV, Systematic Theology, and a lot else.

Which Generation is Most Distracted by Their Phones?

If you think it’s those Millennials, think again. The truth is “Adults are as addicted—if not more addicted—to technology as teenagers.”

Our Hope Is in the Living God Who Reigns Yet

In this video “Tim Tomlinson asks D. A. Carson about how Christians should engage in the 2016 election.”

Inerrancy Is a Place to Live

Speaking of D.A. Carson, you might also want to look at this written interview on inerrancy.

The Year Video Games [Almost] Died

This is a fascinating little video that looks back to the year that video games almost died out.

This Day in 1948. Richard Wurmbrandt, author of Tortured for Christ and founder of Voice of the Martyrs, was arrested on his way to church. He then spent many years in prison for his faith and was tortured many times. *

Teach Your People to Suffer

“The truth is that this trial—the most suffering we’ve ever faced—has been an immeasurable blessing. It has been such a blessing because of the amazing church we attend, a church with leaders who prepare their people to suffer.”

Oil Drilling Collapse

This little graphic shows the sudden collapse of oil drilling as the price of oil plummeted.

Spurgeon

Six feet of dirt make all men equal. —C.H. Spurgeon


Christian student expelled from university for quoting Bible on homosexuality

Posted: 29 Feb 2016 07:23 AM PST

A married Christian student with four children has been expelled from his university because he wrote a post on Facebook opposing gay marriage. Felix Ngole, aged 38, was asked to leave the University of Sheffield, where he was in the second year of a Masters in social work. He is to appeal against the decision, which came after members of the faculty decided he might have “caused offence” to some people for expressing support for Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences.

In the comments on Facebook profile, which were not visible to anyone outside his circle of friends, he quoted Leviticus in support of biblical teaching on marriage and sexual ethics. The post was brought to the attention of the faculty at Sheffield. Following a Faculty of Social Sciences “fitness to practise” committee hearing, he was advised he has been “excluded from further study on a programme leading to a professional qualification” and is “no longer recognised as a University student”. READ MORE

The post Christian student expelled from university for quoting Bible on homosexuality appeared first on End Time Headlines.

New North Korean rocket turns enemy tanks into ‘Boiled Pumpkins’

Posted: 29 Feb 2016 07:11 AM PST

North Korea on Saturday boasted of a newly developed anti-tank weapon that its leader said was so powerful it could turn the most heavily armoured enemy tanks into “boiled pumpkin”. Pyongyang’s state media said leader Kim Jong-Un had watched tests of the portable, laser-guided rocket and declared it had the “longest firing range in the world”, and was “as accurate as a sniper’s rifle”.

“He noted with great satisfaction that even the special armoured tanks and cars of the enemies which boast their high manoeuvrability and striking power are no more than a boiled pumpkin before the anti-tank guided weapon”, the KCNA news agency. Kim called for the weapon to go into mass production as soon as possible and for it to be deployed to frontline units and coastal defence units.

With a siege mentality bordering on paranoia, North Korea maintains a huge military. It has some 1.2 million active troops out of a population of around 25 million — double the size of the armed forces in South Korea, which has twice as many people. READ MORE

The post New North Korean rocket turns enemy tanks into ‘Boiled Pumpkins’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Severe storms to target southern US Super Tuesday stretching 13 States

Posted: 29 Feb 2016 07:06 AM PST

With primary season well underway, Democrats and Republicans across 13 states will venture out to the polls this upcoming Super Tuesday, set for March 1. Voters from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming will participate in their respective caucuses and primaries, making it the biggest day of 2016 Presidential Election season so far. “It looks like we should have a positive turnout,” AccuWeather Business Intelligence Manager and Meteorologist Tim Loftus said.

Loftus utilized L2 as a resource when conducting his research, which included analyzing weather trends and voter data to election seasons dating as far back as 1996. According to the research, weather does impact how some voters respond when making a decision to head to the polls. Take a look at several of the states where data could be obtained on how weather may influence voters on Super Tuesday. READ MORE

The post DEVELOPING: Severe storms to target southern US Super Tuesday stretching 13 States appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Israel ‘very concerned’ by rising Iranian power in Syria

Posted: 29 Feb 2016 05:40 AM PST

Israel is highly concerned by the prospect of a stronger Iranian presence in Syria, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told his Italian counterpart, Roberta Pinotti, on Monday in Tel Aviv. Ya’alon, who met with Pinotti at his Tel Aviv bureau, praised defense relations between Israel and Italy, and pointed out the use by the IAF of Italy’s M346 training plane.

Although Israel would very much like the Syrian civil war to come to an end, the conflict, which has led to half a million casualties and ten million refugees, “is still continuing at this time. It has not completely stopped,” Ya’alon said. Israel is “very concerned by the strengthening of Iran in Syria, which will lead to a strengthening of the Shi’ite axis, in a negative manner,” Ya’alon said. “This could encourage Iran to continue to activate a terror front against us from the Golan Heights. READ MORE

The post Israel ‘very concerned’ by rising Iranian power in Syria appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano rocked by large explosions

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST

Two moderately large explosions occurred at the volcano yesterday noon from 12:12 local time. The first and larger explosion produced an ash plume that rose approx. 5000 meters above the summit. The ash plume dispersed mainly to the west and northwest where ash fall occurred in areas including Choglontús, Pillate, Cahuaji and El Manzano.

According to IGEPN, the eruption – which came after a 3 months interval of quiet since last November – was most likely NOT the result of new magma, but instead of accumulated gas pressure in the upper conduit. Magmatic gasses (H2O, CO2 etc) still contained in older magma inside the conduit was being released quietly as the magma continued to cool and crystallize, but most of these gasses were being trapped beneath a solid plug. With time, the gas pressure increased to the critical point: the plug gave way in yesterday’s explosions. READ MORE

The post Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano rocked by large explosions appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Trump gets endorsement of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 06:52 PM PST

In a stunning move Sunday evening, conservative and tea-party icon Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama endorsed Donald Trump. This represents the most significant GOP endorsement yet for the billionaire presidential hopeful. Speaking from the stage in a packed football stadium at a Huntsville, Alabama, rally, Sessions’ endorsement is a significant blow against Trump’s most serious opponents, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. “We are in a movement that must not fade away,” Sessions said. “The bosses are you. The people in Washington are public servants and they serve you.”

Sessions promised a “Gang of Eight” type of immigration reform bill would not will be passed in a Donald Trump presidency. “There is an opportunity this year, Tuesday, and we have the opportunity, we have an opportunity Tuesday. It may be the last opportunity we have for the people’s voice to be heard. You have asked for 30 years, and politicians have promised for 30 years to fix illegal immigration,” Sessions said.  READ MORE

 

The post Trump gets endorsement of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Netanyahu voices support for gay rights on Knesset LGBT Day

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 04:06 PM PST

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed his support on the Knesset’s first designated LGBT Rights Day on Tuesday. Netanyahu rarely appears in the legislature on Tuesdays, a day on which it usually does not hold important votes, but he arrived specially to participate in LGBT Rights Day, during which discussions of the topic were held in the plenum and committees.

The prime minister briefly addressed the plenum: “I know that there were important and lengthy discussions today, and I came here in the middle of my schedule, which was no less busy, to say one sentence to the members of the LGBT community: ‘Every man was created in the image of God.’ That is the idea brought by our nation to mankind thousands of years ago, and it is the principle that must guide our national lives today.” READ MORE

The post Netanyahu voices support for gay rights on Knesset LGBT Day 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 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


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

— Augustine

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

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


Teach Your People to Suffer

My lovely wife and I were sitting in a parenting class at church, when the chairman of the elder board came and asked for us. Actually he asked for “the parents of Calvin Dodson.” Slightly embarrassed, thinking out little one must have thrown a fit, or done something else to show we really needed the parenting class, we got up and went with him.

As we left the room and headed down the stairs, he let us know that our 8-month-old son had experienced a seizure and that the nursery staff had called 911. Stunned, we came in his nursery room to find our son—our youngest at the time—being tended to by a nurse. He had blue lips and barely moved. It was terrifying.

That scene began what has turned into a nearly three-year trial that’s included many trips to Children’s Hospital LA, two of our sons experiencing multiple seizures, sleepless nights, many tears, and the dreaded news that their condition could end their life before adulthood.

It’s been a terrible trial, and it’s been an incredible blessing.

That may seem impossible to say, and three years ago, I might not have believed it myself. But the truth is that this trial—the most suffering we’ve ever faced—has been an immeasurable blessing. It has been such a blessing because of the amazing church we attend, a church with leaders who prepare their people to suffer.

Friend, if you’re a Bible-study leader, Sunday school teacher, and especially if you’re a pastor, I beg you: prepare your people for suffering!

Suffering is a present reality.

Just turn on the news, and it’s obvious that today’s culture is a living testimony to the truths of Romans 1. As society continues to rebel against God, reject his teaching, and increase in unrighteousness, suffering is the inevitable result. We live in a fallen world filled with disease, political strife, wars, racial tension—evil! As those who shepherd God’s flock, we must prepare them to live in such a world. We must prepare them for suffering.

Christians should expect suffering.

Not only should we prepare our people for the suffering that results from living in a fallen world; we must also prepare them for the unique suffering that is guaranteed for those who follow Christ. Suffering is part of the Christian life. Scripture speaks repeatedly of the suffering Christians are bound to face (Romans 8; 2 Corinthians 1; Philippians 1:29, 3:8-10; Colossians 1:24; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; James 1). Nearly the entire books of 2 Timothy and 1 Peter are devoted to helping Christians deal with suffering. Christ warned the church of Smyrna that they would face great suffering (Revelation 2:9–11). Scripture makes it abundantly clear; Christians will suffer. If we are to teach the whole counsel of God, we must teach our people about suffering.

Suffering produces sanctification.

Scripture not only promises that Christians will suffer; it also tells us that suffering is not without cause. In fact, we are to rejoice in our trials knowing that they are one of the tools God uses to make us “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4). What an incredible encouragement that is! We must not help our people avoid suffering or be chiefly concerned with helping them escape trials as soon as possible. We must encourage them to learn from their trials, to rejoice in the sanctifying work God is doing through their suffering.

Suffering increases fellowship.

One of the oft-overlooked benefits of the church as the body of Christ paradigm is found in 1 Corinthians 12:26:

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it…

It’s difficult to overstate the impact suffering can have on the depth of fellowship within the body of Christ. Suffering provides the church a unique opportunity to grow in compassion, understanding, and love for one another. Trials provide a chance for the church to truly, practically bear one another’s burdens, and to model the love of Christ for the world.

Suffering produces hope.

One of the greatest gifts of suffering is the contrast it provides with the glory that is to come. Paul celebrates this truth beautifully in Romans 8:18:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Friend, that is far more than a religious platitude. That is glorious truth! The great hope for Christians—suffering any type of trial—is the unfathomable glory that awaits. Our suffering ought to point us to that. Our trials ought to increase our anticipation, increase our longing for future glory.

There is coming a day, when the curse that weighs heavy on this world will be lifted, when the redeemed of the nations will worship together free from persecution, when there will be no more conflict, political strife, or war. There’s a glorious day yet future when no one is scraping pennies just to get by, no wife loses her husband to cancer, no more little boys with seizures. The trials of this day point us forward with ever-growing expectation of that glorious day.

* * * *

Eric is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary, and shepherds a Bible study through the Cornerstone Fellowship Group at Grace Community Church. He works as a Broadcast Copywriter at Grace To You. He and his wife, Tara, have three sons.

The post Teach Your People to Suffer appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

4 Basic Styles of Communication: Which Are You?

Happy Living!

Communication StylesYou have a particular way of communicating, but do you know what it is and how it compares to the styles of others? Learning to identify the different communication styles and recognizing which one you use most often in your interactions with others is essential if you want to develop effective communication skills. Below is an overview of the four basic types of communication styles. Which are you?

Passive Communication

Passive communicators have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, protecting their rights, and identifying and meeting their needs. As a result, passive individuals do not respond overtly to hurtful or anger-inducing situations. Instead, they allow grievances and annoyances to mount, usually unaware of the buildup. But once they have reached their high tolerance threshold for unacceptable behavior, they are prone to explosive outbursts, which are usually out of proportion to the triggering incident. After the outburst…

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Multi-site churches, holographic pastors and virtual relationships

Writing for Grace to You, Cameron Buettel examines a “new generation of pastors who can be in two places at one time [by] using technology—high-def videos, and even holograms—to beam their Sunday morning sermons to remote ‘satellite’ churches that belong to their congregation.”  We are in the age of the multi-site “church.”   Buettel gives Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church as a prime example of this sort of shepherding.  And then there’s megachurch pastor Andy Stanley who thinks pastors should be more like CEOs. (Source)

Shepherd guarding sheep


The Absence of Shepherds

John 10:1-16; John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28-31; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:2

Code: B160222

By Cameron Buettel

Imagine you’re trying out a new church this coming weekend. You find your seat just as the pastor opens with a word of prayer. After some worship songs, he returns to greet the new visitors, make some announcements, and pray over the offering.

After another song or two, you expect to see him step onto the stage to deliver his sermon, but he’s nowhere to be found. Instead, the lights dim and you’re transported via video to another church with another congregation, watching someone else preach the sermon. You won’t see the “pastor”—whose Sunday role seems to be little more than master of ceremonies—until he greets you at the door on your way out.

Such is life in a satellite church. And while the look and feel of the service can vary greatly, the end result is still the same—countless believers every Sunday sit under the teaching of pastors piped in and projected from a stage somewhere else.

The concept of a two-dimensional pastor probably sounds strange, even shocking, to some readers. But the practice has become increasingly common. Back in 2010, CNN reported on the rise of “virtual churches” estimating that “at least 3,000 churches nationwide use some variation of high-def video to spread their pastor’s Sunday morning sermons” to other satellite congregations. In the last six years, that number has exploded to over 8,000 churches. [1] http://leadnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014_LN_Generis_Multisite_Church_Scorecard_Report_v2.pdf And the juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down: 57 percent of all multi-site churches plan to launch a new satellite within the next twelve months.

John Blake, a CNN reporter, wanted to experience this phenomenon for himself, so he visited a satellite church in Texas, virtually pastored by Ed Young Jr.

Young is part of a new generation of pastors who can be in two places at one time. They are using technology—high-def videos, and even holograms—to beam their Sunday morning sermons to remote “satellite” churches that belong to their congregation.

Young, whose congregation has about 20,000 members spread across five churches, said his image is so lifelike that some visitors forget he’s not there.

“It’s so real that people have come up after service to see me and [other] people are saying, ‘Dude, he is on video,’” he said. [2] http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/innovation/07/14/virtual.preaching/

Through the advent of multi-site churches, holographic pastors are conducting virtual relationships with vast congregations. And that has led to a marked redefinition of what a pastor is—what he does and where he leads. One pastor I know has re-branded himself as a “visionary architect.” That may sound laughably grandiose, but it does capture the essence of what pastoring means within the context of a multi-site megachurch.

Elevation Church in North Carolina is a prime example. It’s a huge modern church with an ever-expanding number of satellite campuses. Its pastor, Steven Furtick, sees his congregation not as a flock for him to care for, but rather as an army to support and defend his vision. In fact, that’s the foundational purpose of Elevation Church: “Elevation is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven. We will aggressively defend our unity and that vision.” [3] https://vimeo.com/34476218

That represents a deviation from how God’s Word describes the role of a pastor. Scripture paints vivid pictures of a pastor caring for a local gathering of God’s people in the same way that a shepherd cares for his sheep (Acts 20:28-31; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:2). It was modelled by Jesus (John 10:1–16), and He passed on the responsibility to His disciples (John 21:15–17).

But the intervening two thousand years of history and advancement have given some modern pastors the idea that it’s time to abandon the bucolic models of the New Testament, and find new patterns to define, inform, and animate the role of the pastor in today’s church.

Andy Stanley, who pastors the largest multi-site church in America, argues that shepherding is an irrelevant concept in modern society. During an interview with Christianity Today, he was asked, “Should we stop referring to pastors as ‘shepherds’?” Here’s how he responded:

Absolutely. That word needs to go away. Jesus talked about shepherds because there was one over there in a pasture he could point to. But to bring in that imagery today and say, “Pastor, you’re the shepherd of the flock,” no. I’ve never seen a flock. I’ve never spent five minutes with a shepherd. It was culturally relevant in the time of Jesus, but it’s not culturally relevant any more. [4] http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2007/may-online-only/cln70528.html

Stanley, along with many other megachurch pastors, prefers to take his cues from the business world:

One of the criticisms I get is “Your church is so corporate.” I read blogs all the time. Bloggers complain, “The pastor’s like a CEO.” And I say, “OK, you’re right. Now, why is that a bad model?” A principle is a principle, and God created all the principles.

And what does he see as the key principle behind the CEO model of church government?

“Follow me.” Follow we never works. Ever. It’s “follow me.” God gives a man or a woman the gift of leadership. And any organization that has a point leader with accountability and freedom to use their gift will do well. . . .

The church wasn’t an organization in the first century. They weren’t writing checks or buying property. The church has matured and developed over the years. But for some reason the last thing to change is the structure of leadership. . . .

If Jesus were here today, would he talk about shepherds? No. He would point to something that we all know, and we’d say, “Oh yeah, I know what that is.” Jesus told Peter, the fisherman, to “feed my sheep,” but he didn’t say to the rest of them, “Go ye therefore into all the world and be shepherds and feed my sheep.” By the time of the Book of Acts, the shepherd model is gone.

Not all multi-site megachurch pastors would speak so frankly about the demise of shepherding or the church’s need to pattern itself after the corporate world. But Andy Stanley verbalizes what so many of them really think. And such deviation from the pastoral blueprint of church history warrants biblical scrutiny rather than blithe acceptance.

To that end, in the days ahead we will carefully examine what the Bible teaches about the pastor’s duties. Does Scripture provide a place for church leaders perched atop a corporate pyramid? Do shepherds belong in the fossil record? Do we really need new metaphors for church leadership in each successive historical era? Is the inspired Word of God out of date and filled with disposable metaphors? Do we need to find a way to breathe new life into this ancient text and make it more relevant and relatable to the modern church?

In short, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding “no.” But I believe you’ll find the long answer to be far more compelling, convicting, and instructive regarding the kind of pastoral oversight you should—and shouldn’t–place yourself under. Be sure to stay with us as we explore the pastor’s job description.

 


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