Daily Archives: January 15, 2017

January 14-15, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Top News – 1/15/2017

Syria fighting threatens deal to fix damaged Damascus water source
The Syrian army and allied militia clashed with rebels in Wadi Barada near Damascus on Sunday, threatening to disrupt planned repair works to a pumping station that supplies most of the capital’s water, a war monitor said. …Heavy fighting reached the outskirts of the Ain al-Fija town, where the water springs are located, the British-based war monitor reported.

Trump Team Shunning Davos Meeting of World’s Economic Elite
Donald Trump won’t send an official representative to the annual gathering of the world’s economic elite in Davos, taking place next week…although one of the president-elect’s advisers is slated to attend. A senior member of Trump’s transition team said the president-elect thought it would betray his populist-fueled movement to have a presence at the high-powered annual gathering in the Swiss Alps.

Soros’ Son Quietly Steps Up as Major Liberal Donor
Alexander Soros, the son of liberal billionaire George Soros who acts as the managing partner for Soros Brothers Investments, has quietly emerged as a major donor to Democratic campaigns and causes. …Alexander has stepped up his political contributions even as his father continued to pour tens of millions into the coffers of Democratic campaigns and political action committees.

US woman dies of infection resistant to all 26 available antibiotics
A US woman has died from an infection that was resistant to all 26 available antibiotics, health officials said this week, raising new concerns about the rise of dangerous superbugs. The woman, who was in her 70s, died in Nevada in September, and had recently been hospitalized in India with fractured leg bones, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Syria war: Dozens dead in IS attack on Deir al-Zour
Islamic State militants have launched a fierce assault on government-held areas in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour, with dozens reportedly killed. Twelve government soldiers and 20 IS fighters were killed, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least two civilians were also killed in IS rocket fire on government-controlled parts of the city, it added.

Israel-Palestinian conflict: France holds world summit
A major international conference to try to kick-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is under way in the French capital, Paris. Delegates from 70 nations are expected to reaffirm support for a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict. Palestinians have welcomed the meeting but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who is not attending – says the conference is “futile”.

Philippines’ Duterte threatens martial law
Martial law could be imposed in the Philippines if the drugs problem worsens, President Rodrigo Duterte has said. The 71-year-old former state prosecutor said the aim would be “to preserve the Filipino people and the youth of this land”. About 6,000 people have been killed in six months under Mr Duterte’s anti-drugs crackdown.

IDF tanks fire at Hamas targets in response to Gaza border shooting
The IDF fired towards Hamas positions in the southern Gaza Strip in response to shots that were fired towards the IDF vehicle earlier Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said. According to the IDF, the rounds, fired by a tank, was in retaliation to gunfire which damaged an IDF vehicle working near the border fence earlier.

France says Trump’s Jerusalem embassy proposal a provocation
France’s foreign minister said…to move the American embassy to Jerusalem would be a provocation with serious consequences. “Of course (it’s a provocation). I think he would not be able to do it,” Jean-Marc Ayrault told France 3 television… “It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a US president, but none have let themselves make that decision.

Top Bishop: Europe Will Soon Be Muslim Because of Our Stupidity
Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will “soon be Muslim” because of the country’s “stupidity”, a prominent Italian archbishop has said. Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, said that Islam will soon become Europe’s main religion thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans.

Chilean Government Releases Declassified UFO Video
This has certainly been the reaction to a video that was recently released by the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Air Phenomena (CEFAA), the Chilean government agency responsible for investigating UFOs. Originally captured by a helicopter belonging to the Chilean navy two years ago, the release of this 10-minute video coincided with the conclusion of the Committee’s investigation into the anomaly.

‘Liberal snowflake’ Hollywood stars come under fire for ‘pathetic’ video which shows them singing ‘I Will Survive’ about Trump
Donald Trump’s supporters have hit out at Hollywood once again, this time over a video of some of the biggest celebrities defiantly singing before his inauguration. A new clip by W Magazine and Conde Nast Entertainment shows the likes of Emma Stone, Natalie Portman and Amy Adams reciting the disco classic I Will Survive.

Mexico warns Trump on tariffs: We’ll respond ‘immediately’
Mexico’s economy minister sent Donald Trump a fighting message: We will retaliate right away if you hit us with a “major border tax.” “It’s very clear that we have to be prepared to immediately be able to neutralize the impact of a measure of that nature,” economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Friday on a Mexican news show.

EU Parliament Committee Votes To Give Robots Rights (And A Kill Switch)
Foreseeing a rapidly approaching age of autonomous artificial intelligence, a European Parliament committee has voted to legally bestow electronic personhood to robots. The status includes a detailed list of rights, responsibilities, regulations, and a “kill switch.”

‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ has a new plan: Tourism
It’s a flat, landlocked country most known for its chilly winters. It was famously dubbed the “last dictatorship” in Europe — a place where even the country’s leader, in place for the past 22 years, has described his politics as authoritarian. It’s a former Soviet republic where the KGB is still called the KGB, and where people still work on collective farms and at state-owned vodka companies. And perhaps most tellingly, the World Health Organization says it has the highest rate of alcohol consumption in the world.

Top Headlines – 1/15/2017

In long-shot Paris peace bid, France sees nothing to lose

Egyptian FM to present vision on Israel-PA peace

The Nations Plot In Vain – Leaked Draft Of Paris Peace Conference Revealed

Kicking off summit, Paris says now not time to halt peace effort

Israeli UN Envoy: Paris Peace Conference a Reward to Palestinians for Avoiding Negotiations While Promoting Terrorism

At Paris meeting, major powers to warn Trump over Middle East peace

Trump advisers tell French officials: We strenuously object to Paris peace conference

Fatah warns moving US embassy will ‘open gates of hell’

Palestinian imams preach against Trump’s plans to move embassy to Jerusalem

Abbas at Vatican: Peace could suffer if US embassy moves

Obamacare repeal effort sends jitters through Jewish service groups

Netanyahu, in secret talks with publisher, named ‘hostile’ journalists he wanted sidelined

Hundreds protest Netanyahu ‘corruption’ in Tel Aviv

SpaceX launches rocket for first time since blast destroyed Israeli satellite

For Israel, Energy Boom Could Make Friends Out of Enemies

PA to assist Gaza with power crisis

Hamas says Turkey to send fuel to end Gaza electricity crisis

IDF tank blasts back as forces come under fire from Gaza

Hamas, Islamic State resume close cooperation despite pressure from Cairo

Islamic State using drones to drop explosives on civilians and troops advancing on Mosul

Syria calls on UN to ‘punish’ Israel over airport attack

Iraq makes swift territorial gains against IS in Mosul

Iran moderates hope Rafsanjani’s death can soften attitudes

German plane from Oman lands in Kuwait over bomb threat

Police detain 3 in anti-terror raids in Brussels hotspot

Top Bishop: Europe Will Soon Be Muslim Because of Our Stupidity

Poland welcomes thousands of US troops in NATO show of force

New Brazilian prison riots leave at least 10 dead – reports

Cubans Say Obama Shut Migration Path in Revenge for Trump’s Win

Mexico warns Trump on tariffs: We’ll respond ‘immediately’

Mainstream Media Meltdown: ‘Journalists’ Seek ‘Safe Space’ To Discuss “How To Cover Trump”

Bikers for Trump Ready to Stand up to Protesters

Truck attacks, drones among new security threats for Trump inauguration

Soros’ Son Quietly Steps Up as Major Liberal Donor

Mark Zuckerberg’s Net Worth Jumps $5 Billion In First Weeks Of 2017

In the shopping cart of a food stamp household: Lots of soda

NBA will consider shortening games due to millennial attention spans

Gadget mountain rising in Asia threatens health, environment

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Nadi, Fiji

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lae, Papua New Guinea

Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupts to 18,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 16,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

‘River of moisture’ to resume rounds of flooding rain, feet of snow in California during late January

Deadly Ice Storm Cripples Roads, Threatens 44 Million From Plains to Mid-Atlantic

Four Dead in Ice Storm Wrecks; Kansas and Missouri Brace for Another Round

A severe winter storm that swept across northern France on Thursday night left more than 300,000 homes without power

Salmon prices set to soar as parasitic sea lice hit global supplies

More Americans Identify as LGBT; Millennials Driving the Increase

How Christianity in America Changed During Obama’s Presidency: Pew Report

Top News – 1/14/2017

Trump rips John Lewis: Worry about your ‘crime infested’ district
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.

Ex-spy ‘terrified’ over Trump dossier backlash: report
Christopher Steele, 52, fled his home in Surrey, England, Wednesday as his identity became public, The Telegraph said Thursday. An unidentified source close to Steele said the former spy was “horrified.” “[He is] terrified for his and his family’s safety,” the source said of Steele, one of two directors at a private security and investigations firm in London.

Religious leaders celebrate abortion clinic’s ‘sacred work’
More than 20 religious leaders participated in a ceremony to “bless” a new Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington, D.C., calling the abortion facility a “sacred work.”

Congressman demands support for abandoned Christian refugees in Middle East
New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith has defended Christians and religious liberty with tenacious passion… This week, Smith, along with his Democratic cosponsor, California Rep. Anna Eshoo, reintroduced the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act, which is aimed at providing “emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria.”

Major ice storm bears down on central U.S.
The brunt of an ice storm was expected to roll through the Great Plains and Midwest this weekend after claiming the life of a motorist, causing scattered power outages and wreaking havoc on travel plans for airline passengers and motorists. Ice, freezing rain and winter storm warnings and advisories remained in effect for Saturday and Sunday from northern Texas, east across parts of the Midwest and into the Washington D.C. area…

U.S. House votes to begin repealing Obamacare
U.S. House Republicans on Friday won passage of a measure starting the process of dismantling Obamacare… The House of Representatives voted 227-198 to instruct committees to draft legislation by a target date of Jan. 27 that would repeal the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. The Senate approved the same measure early Thursday.

UN ambassador warns of ‘further anti-Israel measures’
Israel’s UN ambassador on Friday raised concern over what he said were moves at the Security Council to adopt a new measure to build on the Paris Middle East conference. Sweden’s Ambassador Olof Skoog, who holds this month’s presidency of the Security Council, said however that there were no immediate plans for council action.

First sign of enhanced U.S.-Russia relations under Trump: An invite to Syria talks
Russia has invited the incoming Trump administration to Syrian peace talks…with Turkey and Iran…which the Obama administration pointedly has been excluded. U.S. participation, especially if an agreement is reached, would be the first indication of the enhanced U.S.-Russia cooperation that President Vladi­mir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump have forecast under a Trump administration.

Icy weather in Europe causes more hardship and chaos
Much of Europe continues to be hit by icy weather with strong winds and powerful storms causing traffic chaos, power cuts and travel delays. Electricity supplies to nearly 350,000 homes in France were temporarily cut, while severe flood warnings were in place on England’s east coast. As Germany prepares for more heavy snow, forecasters say the worst of the weather is heading eastwards.

Cyprus talks: Erdogan dismisses full Turkish troop withdrawal
Turkey’s president says a full withdrawal of its forces from divided Cyprus is “out of the question” unless Greece also agrees to pull out troops. Hopes of reunification have been raised after talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots in Geneva this week. But a number of stumbling blocks remain, including whether any Turkish troops would stay in northern Cyprus after reunification.

Abbas seeks Putin’s help blocking US embassy move to Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has turned to Russian president Vladimir Putin for help preventing the proposed United States embassy move…to Jerusalem… “The letter asks President Putin to do what he can about the information we have that President-elect Donald Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem, which for us is a red line and dangerous,” he said after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Abbas meets Pope, warns against US embassy move to Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that if US president-elect Donald Trump goes through with plans to transfer Washington’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem it will hurt the peace process. “We are waiting to see if it happens. If it does it will not help peace and we hope it does not happen,” Abbas told reporters outside the Vatican gates…

German Court Calls Synagogue Torching An Act To ‘Criticize Israel’
A regional court in Germany has decided that a brutal attempt to set fire to a local synagogue in 2014 was an act meant to express criticism against Israel’s conduct in its ongoing conflict with Gaza

Greenwald: “Unelected, Very Powerful Faction” Of Intelligence Officials In “Open Warfare” With Trump
OX News: Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept says opponents have used the media in “open warfare” against the President-elect, and the CIA wanted Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. Greenwald said people are afraid to call them out because they will be called “unpatriotic.”

Northern California drenched, but state’s drought far from over
Thanks to the powerful storms that have drenched Northern California, 42% of the state is no longer in a drought.

Iran Approved To Import Additional 130 Tons Of Uranium
– Iran’s English language Press TV is reporting that world powers have approved Iran importing as much as 130 tons of uranium.

YouTube removes influential conservative website’s channel
Legal Insurrection founder and publisher and Cornell University Law Professor William Jacobson voiced his anger and astonishment at the channel’s removal. “It’s very frustrating, it’s very scary, to have 8 years of content removed without a chance to defend yourself,” he told FoxNews.com.

Chinese state media tells Donald Trump’s team to ‘prepare for military clash’
The US should “prepare for a military clash”, a state run Chinese tabloid newspaper has warned. Less than 24 hours after US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson appeared to call for a blockade of South China Sea islands, a strongly-worded English editorial in the Global Times accused the former ExxonMobil chief executive of “rabble-rousing”.

Cavuto to CNN: ‘You’re Experiencing What We’ve Been Living for Last 8 Years’
“How does it feel to be dismissed or worse, ignored?” Neil Cavuto took on the CNN-Donald Trump feud on “Your World,” arguing that Fox News Channel has dealt with similar treatment from the Obama administration for eight years.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent: The DOJ Investigation Was ‘Political’ and ‘Predetermined
“I think the results were predetermined when they got here,” McCarthy stated on Fox News Friday morning. A few moments later, the DOJ provided a damning report about the CPD, accusing the department of a pattern of “excessive force.” McCarthy surmised that the DOJ had a “political need” that had to be fulfilled which was more important than getting it right. How else could he explain why the agency never interviewed him or other relevant people on the force?

Obama-Kerry have 1 last surprise waiting for Jewish state

‘This isn’t about land, this is about destroying Israel’

Bachmann is of the belief that it doesn’t really matter what declarations are made in France.

“Obama is about to lose his power and Israel is about to gain a powerful friend in the White House,” she said. “In Donald Trump, the Arab world will discover a man who will not undermine the Jewish state.

“And they will learn the U.N. is not a powerful global government, but remains a dysfunctional playground for anti-American dictator wannabes.”

View Article

Trump Advisers Tell French Officials: We Strenuously Object to Paris Peace Conference

Donald Trump in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, January 13, 2017. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Senior French officials met a few weeks ago in New York with President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers and presented the program for the international peace conference to be held Sunday in Paris, Haaretz has learned. Trump’s team was said to have objected strenuously to the very holding of the conference, especially at this time, five days before Trump’s inauguration.

The Paris conference is not expected to produce practical decisions, but rather to serve as declarative event of the international community’s intentions toward the Middle East peace process. According to French diplomats, the conference is being held at this time, a few days before the inauguration, to convey a message to the president-elect about the importance the international community ascribes to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the extent of international consensus.

Representatives from some 70 countries and organizations are to attend the conference, including 40 foreign ministers from several Arab and Western countries. For outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, this is expected to be the last international event he will be attending before his term ends on January 20.

Soros Funded Domestic Terror Group ‘DisruptJ20’ Plans To Shutdown Donald Trump’s Inauguration

An anti-Donald Trump group is planning massive disruptions for next week’s inauguration covering everything from “blockades” at security checkpoints to a “dance party” outside VP-elect Mike Pence’s house, according to group leaders as well as newly obtained audio of their apparent plans.

EDITOR’S NOTE: George Soros, still smarting from a bought and paid for Hillary “victory” has found a new place to spend his blood-soaked billions. The domestic terror group DisruptJ20 is going to take to the streets to terrorize men, women and children on January 20th. And just like in Ferguson and Baltimore, Soros is hoping for that someone dies in melee. 

The organization #DisruptJ20 already announced at a press conference Thursday its various plans to wreak havoc at Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration and in the days leading up to it.

A conservative group also shared with FoxNews.com what it said was audio from a Jan. 8 #DisruptJ20 meeting at a Washington church, giving even greater insight into the group’s planned D.C. “shutdown.”

DisruptJ20: Call for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017

On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States.

We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies. If Trump is to be inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the true face of the security state Trump will preside over. It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United States do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.

The audio, recorded by Trevor Loudon with Capital Research Center, purports to show a female member detailing plans to “do everything we can to try and stop people from being able to access the inauguration.” source

This begins with what was described as a “pure dance party at Mike Pence’s house” on Jan. 18.

“It’s his last few days living in Chevy Chase before he moves into the vice presidential residence, and we’re going to send him off with a bang,” the woman says in the audio.

Then she says the group is turning its attention toward the pro-Trump “DeploraBall” the following day, which she describes as the “alt-right neo-Nazi … party to celebrate Trump.”

“We’re gonna crash it,” she says.

No Peaceful Transition – #DisruptJ20

That takes the group into inauguration morning, when members say they plan to block entrance points as well as roads and transportation.

“We’re going to be doing blockades,” the woman says in the audio. “We’re going to [be] blockading checkpoints into the security zones. We’re also going to be blockading roads and other modes of transit into the city.”

At 10 a.m. that day, the group is planning an “anti-Capitalist, anti-fascist bloc” that “will be an unpermitted march that will be leaving from Logan Square.”

A #DisruptJ20 spokeswoman confirmed to FoxNews.com on Friday that the group laid out these plans at the Jan. 8 meeting, which she described as public and well-attended.

Defending the group’s agenda, she said: “We’re exercising our freedom of speech and really want to set a tone for the next few years that there’s a massive body of people … who are very concerned about the dangerous direction Donald Trump is taking our country in.”

The Jan. 8 remarks also track with what members said at Thursday’s press conference.

#DisruptJ20 members openly described plans to blockade checkpoints. One organizer told Fox News he hopes to “turn the inauguration into as big of a cluster—- as possible.”

Another group, ANSWER Coalition, is also planning to protest the inauguration but with a somewhat different agenda. The group said it’s galvanizing tens of thousands of people at permitted locations — like Freedom Plaza and the Navy Memorial — to march and protest in a more traditional way.

The #DisruptJ20 audio was obtained by Dangerous Documentaries, a project of the Capital Research Center, as part of its upcoming documentary on left-wing protesters, “America Under Siege: Civil War 2017.” The film is set for release before Inauguration Day.  source

 Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 01/14/2017

Baptist ‘Church’ in Nation’s Capital Hires ‘Married’ Lesbian Women to Lead Congregation   Jan 12, 2017 08:48 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A historic Baptist “church” in the nation’s capital has hired two “married” lesbian women to lead their congregation, a move that has raised concerns among Baptists nationwide. Calvary Baptist Church, which disassociated with the Southern Baptist Convention in 2012, presented Maria Swearingen and Sally Sarratt as “co-pastors” this past Sunday,…

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‘Heretic’ Prosperity Preacher Paula White Issues Defense After Selection for Trump Inauguration Criticized   Jan 07, 2017 05:59 pm

Prosperity preacher Paula White, who was invited by President-elect Donald Trump to deliver the invocation at his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, has released a statement in defense of herself as some Christians have expressed concern over Trump’s selection of the female preacher for the event. “I have been called a heretic, an apostate, an adulterer, a…

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ISIS Releases Video Showing Toddler Executing Prisoner in Children’s Ball Pit   Jan 10, 2017 02:15 pm

A disturbing video released by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which identifies as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shows a number of children carrying out executions for the terrorist organization, including a toddler who guns down a man tied up in a children’s ball pit. In the footage, the black-clad male toddler, who appears to be in an abandoned…

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Appeals Court Rules in Favor of California Christian Arrested for Reading Bible Aloud Outside DMV   Jan 13, 2017 07:01 am

PASADENA, Calif. — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a Christian who was arrested six years ago for reading the Bible aloud outside of a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision on Wednesday that granted summary judgment to the police officer who arrested Mark Mackey…

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As Dylan Roof Sentenced to Death, Families of Shooting Victims Urge Killer to Turn to Christ   Jan 12, 2017 12:07 pm

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Family members of those who were shot to death while attending a 2015 Bible study at South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church called upon gunman Dylann Roof to turn to Christ on Wednesday as he was formally sentenced to death for his crimes. “If at any point before you are sentenced and you’re in prison and you want me to…

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Maybelline Becomes Next Cosmetic Company to Utilize Male Makeup-Wearing Model   Jan 09, 2017 07:03 am

The cosmetic giant Maybelline has become the next company to utilize a male makeup-wearing model to help sell its products. 25-year-old Manny Gutierrez, also known as Manny Mua, has three million followers on Instagram, as well as over two million subscribers on YouTube, where he conducts tutorials on “boy beauty.” “I believe makeup is GenderLESS and has no…

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Some Upset After Indiana Pizza Delivery Man Gives Customers Gospel Tracts   Jan 09, 2017 07:02 am

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Dozens have expressed outrage after an Indiana employee of Domino’s Pizza reportedly gave customers gospel tracts along with their pizza orders. According to WTHR, the local NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, a delivery person working for a Domino’s Pizza restaurant in east Indianapolis gave several customers tracts along with their orders….

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Woman Who Identifies as Man Sues Catholic Hospital for Denying Hysterectomy for Sex Change Purposes   Jan 08, 2017 08:44 am

PATERSON, N.J. — A woman who identifies as a man has sued a Catholic hospital for declining to perform a hysterectomy on her for sex change purposes because of the institution’s religious convictions, and is requesting that the courts force the hospital to provide such services. Jionni Conforti, 33, is suing St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, Inc. under charges…

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Defense Nominee James Mattis on Open Homosexuals in Military: ‘I’ve Never Cared’ About Their Sexuality   Jan 13, 2017 12:00 pm

WASHINGTON — While being questioned by Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday over his position on women and open homosexuals in the military, Secretary of Defense nominee James Mattis said that he has “never cared” about the sexuality of those in the Armed Forces and has no plans to overturn policies allowing them to serve. “In your book…

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Virginia Governor Signs Order Only Allowing Govt Contracts With Pro-Homosexual Entities   Jan 13, 2017 03:49 pm

Photo Credit: Steve Bott RICHMOND, Va. — The Democratic governor of Virginia has signed an executive order requiring the state to only enter into government contracts with businesses and organizations that have anti-discrimination policies in place protecting homosexual and transgenders in “its employment practices, subcontracting practices, and delivery of…

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Weekend Snapshot

Jan. 14, 2017
Top Stories This Week
Top Opinion
Cal Thomas: Russian Hacking and Glass Houses
Stephen Moore: We Need Tax Reform, Not Tariffs
Victor Davis Hanson: Hate Crime Legislation Is a Good Idea That Went Bad
More Opinion →
Quote of the Week

“Tuesday night, there stood Obama giving a farewell address that only underscored the failure of a presidency so bathed in optimism at its start. The final speech, amazingly, could have been given, nearly unedited, in 2008. Why it even ended with ‘yes we can.’ Is there more powerful evidence of the emptiness of the intervening two terms? When your final statement is a reprise of your first, you have unwittingly confessed to being nothing more than a historical parenthesis.” —Charles Krauthammer

This Week in Calvinism – January 13, 2017

  • I don’t know anything about Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, but she’s apparently a Calvinist who’s coming for our public schools. Thanks for the warning, Newsweek. I guess it’s a good thing we homeschool.
  • Shane Idleman pleads for grace on both sides of the debate over whether or not Christians can lose their salvation.
  • According to pagan Druid John Beckett, one way to help yourself “experience the gods” is to burn John Calvin in effigy. Hey, it’s Patheos. It doesn’t have to make sense.
  • Apparently, the “turmoil” created by Russell Moore’s attacks on Trump supporters is so significant that it has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and NPR.
  • Why do we give up on reading the Bible?

This ‘n’ That

Even shepherds need shepherding.

  • Some interesting thoughts on worship, particularly as it pertains to the musical portion of a Sunday service.
  • So, a woman dressed like a man is going to have a baby. How is that news?
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • No one throws a Hail Mary quite like Aaron Rodgers.
  • John Sailhamer passed away this week. Here’s Dr. William Varner’s review of Sailhamer’s final work, The Meaning of the Pentateuch.
  • Apparently Ben Franklin had a Calvinist sister.
  • A little tutorial on how to avoid interpreting verses out of context.
  • John MacArthur on enduring in ministry.
  • I’m kind of glad I don’t live in Indiana anymore.
  • More cars are now being recalled in the massive Takata airbag recall. If your car is included, I urge you to take the appropriate action. This recall has affected nearly every automaker and spans across years. If your airbag is defective, it could be fatal!
  • I find this hilarious (HT to Phil Johnson for this one).
  • Christ came into the world to save sinners:

Top Headlines – 1/14/2017

Paris summit to declare two-state solution ‘only way’ to peace

Paris draft won’t recognize changes to pre-1967 lines without mutual agreement

Israel fears fresh UN initiative two days after Paris conference

Paris meeting marks end to Obama’s failed Mideast diplomacy

PA chairman and Pope Francis to attend inauguration of embassy of “Palestine” at the Vatican

Abbas says may ‘reverse’ Israel recognition if Trump moves embassy

US embassy Jerusalem move ‘assault’ on Muslims, says mufti

Palestinians ask Putin to prevent Trump’s relocating embassy

US envoy warns against cutting funding to UN

US spies ‘warned Israel not to share intelligence with Trump’

Settler leaders invited to attend Trump inauguration

Vandals scrawl ‘kill Jews’ at Massachusetts cemetery

German court calls synagogue torching an act to ‘criticize Israel’

Indigenous Tribe Returns to Israel after 27 Centuries

Syria urges world to ‘punish terrorist Israel. It planned for war’

In first, Assad said tied to chem weapons attacks

Facebook sued by Syrian migrant over ‘fake news’ after being falsely accused of terrorism on social media

Iran repopulates Syria with Shia Muslims to help tighten regime’s control

Iran approved to import additional 130 tons of uranium

Up to 30 civilians killed in Mosul air raids

Turkey will only withdraw troops from Cyprus if Greece does the same, Turkish president Erdogan warns

Obama accused of ‘making a deal with the devil’ as he eases sanctions on Sudan

3 suicide bombers kill 2 on market day in northeast Nigeria

Droves of Middle East Muslims are converting to Christianity

900,000 Christians were ‘martyred’ over last decade, says Christian research

Has Political Correctness Gone off the Rails in America?

YouTube removes influential conservative website’s channel

US Senate intel panel plans probe into Russia spying

Trump: My team will have ‘full report on hacking’ in 90 days

Anti-Trump protesters head to Washington

Protesters planning to blockade inauguration checkpoints, ‘party’ outside Pence home

Pelosi Blames Bush For $9 Trillion In Debt Added Under Obama

Governments grapple with globalization backlash

Paul Ryan: Trump mass deportations “not happening”

Push to Protect ‘Dreamers’ From Trump Gains New GOP Supporters

Obama ‘screwed’ us, angry Cuban migrants say

Cubans stranded in Mexico after US ‘slams door shut’

Anger as Mexicans fear higher food prices to follow gasoline hike

First sign of enhanced U.S.-Russia relations under Trump: An invite to Syria talks

Trump says he may scrap Russia sanctions

Trump’s Pentagon choice says U.S. needs to be ready to confront Russia

Chinese state media tells Donald Trump’s team to ‘prepare for military clash’

North Korea to boost Kim Jong-un’s cult status with new monument

L.A. Sheriff’s Department to begin using drones to respond to bomb threats, hostage crises

Driverless electric shuttle being tested in downtown Vegas

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nadi, Fiji

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Modayag, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

Sabancya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

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Our Time is Short

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

What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do You Know Him?

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

What Is the Gospel?

This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.

A Message from God

What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:

  1. Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
  2. What is our problem?
  3. What is God’s solution to our problem?
  4. How can I be included in his solution?

Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.

  1. We are accountable to God.
  2. Our problem is our sin against him.
  3. God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
  4. We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.

Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.


The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!


When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.

Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”

But . . .

Jesus Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!

When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!

But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”

Our Response

What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.

To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.

Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!

Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:

The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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.

Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel

This is the Gospel:

Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).

And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.

And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.

And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).

Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?

A Gospel Presentation

God is Holy

The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.

God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.

We are Sinful

The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.

And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.

There is a Penalty for Sin

But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50).

The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.

And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.

God Became Man

But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.

He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.

Jesus Paid the Penalty

And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.

At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.

After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31).

Law or Gospel — Which comes first?

Sometimes in life, the question is posed to us, “Which do you want first — the bad news or the good news?”

In response to this question, some choose to hear the good news first. It appears they desire to be thoroughly overwhelmed with the positive before getting their dose of the negative.

Others choose differently. They would rather hear the bad news first, get it out of the way, and put behind them their wonder and worry. Then, after processing the ramifications of the bad news, they hope to soothe the pain an end the conversation on a good note with positive vibes.

Well, Scripture does not offer us options. The Bible makes the choice for us, and it chooses to present the negative before the positive. The Bible declares bad news before declaring good news. It first presents the holy, wise, beneficial and condemning Law, then it publishes the “good tidings of great joy” or the Gospel. (Is. 60:1-2)

Understanding God’s Law

God’s Law was first presented in the opening chapters of Genesis. Some of it was stated; all of it was written upon man’s heart. Adam and Eve were to be entirely holy and obedient. They were to worship God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, all the time. Whether they ate, or drank, or whatsoever they did, they were do to it all for the glory of God. As image-bearers, they were to keep up God’s image. As men and women created in his likeness, they were to be like God. Vocationally, they were to enjoy and steward the garden and all God’s creatures. Relationally, they were to love one another and populate the planet. Ceremonially, they were to enjoy and glorify the Lord by walking with him in the cool of the day and never eating from the forbidden tree. These were some of their obligations, and as long as they performed perfectly they were guaranteed life in the family and kingdom of God.

However, things soon went from glorious to ghastly. Outside of them, they experienced the testing of God and the temptation of Satan. Within them they chose to question God’s truth, wisdom, and affection. Then, drawn away by their own lusts and enticed, they followed their internal sinful inclinations and externally ate of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the holy, wise, and beneficial Law became a harsh taskmaster. It showed them the standard, showed them their guilt, and plagued their consciences. It encouraged them to hide, fear, and religiously self-medicate. It declared them wicked, separated from God, at enmity with God, and deserving of death, and it promised this for both them and their children. Yes, the Law of God promised to give them that which they deserved. It promised to pay them based upon performance, and this proved to be very, very bad news.

Understanding God’s Gospel

God, through the Law declared to Adam and Eve who they were, what they had done, and what they had justly earned — condemnation. Then God mercifully, graciously, and lovingly went to work. He performed on their behalf and promised them an eternity of undeserved blessings:

He predetermined to love his enemies.
He sought out his enemies while they hid from him in fear.
He called to the man and woman who vainly had self-medicated themselves.
He promised to rescue them and their children; they would be removed from Satan’s family.
He promised to do so by means of a special Son – one to come who would be fiercely bitten yet ultimately victorious.
He promised to damn the Evil One.
He then covered or clothed Adam and Eve by means of his ceremonial sacrifice.
He perfectly performed for and made promises to them who had performed so wickedly for him.
Friends, are we seeing the difference? The Law presents our duty to perfectly perform, and it only results in bad news. For there is none who keep all the Law, all the time, both internally and externally. However, the Gospel is not like the Law. The Gospel presents not our duty to perform for God, but it presents God’s performance and promise for us. Through the Law we lose our credentials to be a part of God’s family and enjoy his kingdom. Through the Gospel we gain credentials that cannot be earned or lost.

A Great Illustration

Perhaps nowhere is the distinction better seen between Law and Gospel than on Calvary’s cross. On that day, the Law had placed a criminal beside Jesus. There he was guilty, vile, dying, hopeless, and still hurling insults at the Son of God. He was getting that which he earned and deserved. He was being treated justly and fairly. His payment was based upon his performance, and he had hell to pay. The Law had nothing good to say to the thief on the cross. But then God went to work; Jesus granted the Law-breaking criminal complete pardon, intimate communion, and never-ending paradise. These blessings were not based upon any labors of his own, but only based upon the performance and promise of God. These blessings were not earned; they were a gift. A divine swap occurred. Jesus (The Law Keeping Man) received that which he did not deserve so that the thief (The Law Breaking Man) might also receive that which he did not deserve. And this is a fantastic picture of the Gospel. Communion with God that was lost by man seeking to keep the Law, was granted to man as a gift of God.

Responding to the Gospel

Therefore, how should we respond to the Gospel? While believing in divine sovereignty, what is our human responsibility?

Let us make the Gospel our Gospel. Along with the Apostle Paul let us call it “mine.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offer this gift to you. They command you to receive it and enjoy it. If you find yourself with faith, willing to repent and receive, call out to Jesus in prayer right now. Call Jesus, “My Jesus.” Call Jesus’ righteousness, “My Righteousness.” Call Jesus’ Gospel, “My Gospel.” (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As a matter of fact, if you draw near to God, it is only because he has already been drawing nearer to you.

Let us not water down the Gospel. This is always our tendency, to add human works to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Friends, re-read the letter to the Galatians. If we must perform, it is not Gospel. If we must labor, it is not Gospel. If it involves our works, it is not Gospel. If it is conditioned upon us in anyway, it is not Gospel. If it is a contract, it is not Gospel. If it can be lost, it is not Gospel. The Gospel represents the unilateral work of God on behalf of men. The Law ought never be divorced from the Gospel, but it must never be confused either.

Let us celebrate the Gospel. William Tyndall wrote of the Gospel, “It makes a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” It is the best of news. It means we can sabbath. It means we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. It means we are seen as Christlike image-bearers. Give God the celebratory praise he deserves. He has labored perfectly on your behalf, give him reverent and radical praise and worship.

Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom.1:16) Paul wrote, “Woe if I do not preach the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16) He wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Good News.” Friends, just as Adam and Eve were to physically reproduce, we are to spiritually reproduce around the world. This is our mission. This is our great mission. This is our Great Commission. Let us be humble, for we cannot make someone believe. Let us be zealous, for God has a tendency to honor those who labor hard. And let us become flexibly relevant in order to better spread the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:22-23) As Gospel-lovers and Gospel-beneficiants, let us do that which is Lawful and bring in the Gospel-harvest.

Then, let us live Lawfully in accordance with the Gospel. Now that we have been saved from having to perform, let us perform. Yes, with Gospel-eyes, let us look at the Law and enjoy practicing that which is holy, wise, beneficial, and worshipful. Living in the power of the Gospel, let us enjoy becoming more and more like Jesus — the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And when we look at the Law, let us not get frustrated and despondent. Instead, let us glory in the Law, for there is the description of who we are in Christ today, and it also shows us all we will be in glory tomorrow when our old flesh is finally exterminated.

Bottom line, the Law shows us how to perform for God, but the Gospel shows us how God performs for us. This is radical. This is crazy. This is beautiful. This is truth.

Our Response

And now, God promises that…

  • if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
  • and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
  • and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
  • and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,

…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.

In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.

Don’t Waste Your Life

God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.

And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Receive Forgiveness

So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?


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

The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.

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Report: Clinton Foundation Laying Off Workers – Shutting Down Global Initiative Amid Ongoing Investigations

The Clinton Foundation is shutting down the Global Clinton Initiative per papers filed with the Department of Labor this past week. It was reported by the Clinton Foundation that some 22 employees would be laid off in the coming months at the Clinton Global Initiative:

Filed as mandated by the Department of Labor’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, on January 12, the Clinton Foundation’s Veronika Shiroka advised the DOL that as part of a “Plant Layoff” it would layoff 22 workers on April 15, with reason for the dislocation stated as “Discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.” The layoffs are part of the Clinton plan put in motion ahead of the presidential election, to offset a storm of criticism regarding pay-to-play allegations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

A document was posted on the New York state government website this past week.
Via Mike Cernovich:

The Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative gained notoriety from the John Podesta emails that were released by WikiLeaks.

A list of some of the more notorious emails related to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative follow:

Hillary accepting foreign money
Top Clinton donor paid $250 million for tax evasion
CROOKS: Clinton Campaign Chief Owned 75,000 Shares of Putin-Connected Energy Company
…and Podesta daughter received his 75,000 shares in Putnin Company
Hillary’s Podesta and Soros are working together
Robby Mook: “it’s a little troubling” that meeting of Clinton Foundation was held at Goldman Sachs HQ
Huma admits Foreign Interests own HRC 
Hillary and pay to play
Hillary’s staff discusses hiding emails from investigators (and then deletes them)
Hillary likely broke law in Goldman Sachs speech
Hillary lies about Goldman Sachs costs – she charged them
7 more Clinton scandals as a result of WikiLeaks
Hillary decides to take money from foreign governments!!!
Hillary and DNC have joint account (against the law)!!
Business Insider – exposed by Wikileaks emails as one of Hillary’s ‘friendlies,’ attacks PJWatson on twitter
Billionaire Globalist Soros is Hillary Clinton’s Puppet Master…
Trusted Clinton Foundation Insider Was Caught Loading Spyware on Computers, Reading Employee Emails
Hillary’s Aides Urged Her to Take Foreign Lobbyist Donation And Deal With Attacks
Proof that Americans United For Change (Scott Foval’s employer) works directly with the HRC Camp
Liberal Billionaire George Soros Mentioned Over 50 Times In Leaked Hillary Campaign Emails
Hillary Took Algeria Off Terror Watch List After Donation to Clinton Foundation
Clinton’s “17 US intelligence agencies” may be the biggest, most immediately disprovable wopper ever intentionally made during a debate
Clintons have over ‘500 Different’ conflicts of interest — Clinton Foundation Executive Doug Band
A King pays $12 million for access to Hillary
Muslim Dictators Have Email Access to Hillary but Murdered Ambassador Stevens Didn’t
Hillary Camp Worries that Americans will Realize She’s Running an “Imperial Campaign
Clinton Foundation Donors Lobbied a Willing Huma For Diplomatic Passports
Clinton Foundation stiffs contractors in Haiti
Hillary’s OWN team admitted the Clinton Foundation Corruption SHOULD bring Down Her Candidacy
CLINTON FOUNDATION CEO WAS MOLE via Podesta Email – Ousted at Foundation
BOMBSHELL! “we need to clean this up…emails…they do not say state . gov” = admission of CRIMINAL ACT!
Huma Granted access to Hillary based on Clinton Global Initiative Donor Status
Aide: He arranged for $50M in payments for Bill Clinton
Clinton Aide’s Memo Details Ties Between Consulting Firm and Clinton Foundation
Company that Supplied Voting Machines to 22 States Donated to Clinton Foundation

Another report this weekend states that the Clinton Foundation is still under investigation by the FBI for money laundering:

The money laundering allegations being probed by the FBI have been buoyed by recent revelations and evidence discovered by the NYPD from a laptop confiscated from Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s Manhattan residence. According to NYPD, several of the emails recovered on the hard drive disclosed sensitive financial details of the Clintons and their charity. That evidence is now in the hands of the FBI too, whose New York field office has opened a parallel Clinton Foundation investigation.

Overall it looks like the Clinton’s are trying to hide their tracks while investigations are ongoing.  This is certainly not the first time they tried to obstruct justice.

The post Report: Clinton Foundation Laying Off Workers – Shutting Down Global Initiative Amid Ongoing Investigations appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

You Might Be Apostate

Michelle Lesley

This week, I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite
articles from recent years. Enjoy!

Originally published June 3, 2016

might be apostate

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hit the big time several years ago with his “You Might Be a Redneck” one-liners. He frequently introduced the bit by saying, “I’ve found that there are rednecks all over, but sometimes people don’t know they’re rednecks. So, I came up with this little test…” and continued with such gems as:

“If you’ve ever had to carry a bucket of paint to the top of a water tower to defend your sister’s honor, you might be a redneck.”

“If your wife has ever said, ‘Honey, come get this transmission out of the tub so I can take a bath!’ you might be a redneck.”

“If you’ve ever been accused of lying through your tooth, you might be a redneck.”

It was a routine that a lot of…

View original post 942 more words

It is Becoming More Difficult to Find a Good Church

When the majority of church-going Christians are not taught biblical truth month after month and year after year, they become prey to false teachings.  It is only by feeding on God’s Word on a continual basis that we are protected from deception.  Interestingly, most of the mail I receive comes from the laity.  Much of the time, it is not pastors who are concerned and looking for answers—it is church members.  Disturbed by the direction of their churches, these concerned members are challenging leadership, though they are often discouraged by their pastors from saying anything.  The are told that they are overreacting.  If they persist they are made to feel like agitators or troublemakers, made to feel unwelcome and eventually asked to leave.  Many of those people write me, asking the same question: “Where do I go now?  Where is there a church that will teach the Word of God every week?”  With tens of thousands of churches adopting the new church mentality, that is becoming a hard question to answer.
Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind, pg.211
Source: It is Becoming More Difficult to Find a Good Church

Zeal, Wisdom, Culture Wars and the Social Media

There are plenty of zealous folks out there – folks with a zeal to promote various causes, or engage in various activities, or champion various beliefs. Nothing wrong with all that, as long as it is done wisely and carefully. But too often it is not, and zeal outstrips wisdom, caution and prudence.

Christians can as easily be guilty of this as non-Christians. This ought not to be the case. After all, Scripture does speak about this very matter. Let me just offer one text from each Testament. A classic Old Testament message is Proverbs 19:2: “Zeal without knowledge is not good”.

And Romans 10:2 is a major New Testament warning about this: “For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” Zeal by itself is not a virtue – it can often become a liability. Our zeal, passion and devotion must always be channelled by wisdom, knowledge, understanding and care.

Social Media 2The social media is where we see all this taking place on a regular basis. There anyone can post anything at any time. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is terrific in that now we can get truth out into the public arena, reaching many more people much more quickly. It is a great alternative to the mainstream media and its stranglehold on what is seen and heard.

But it also allows any nutter or fraud to freely post any amount of loony nonsense. So the social media easily becomes flooded with everything bogus, whacko, foolish and false – including plenty of conspiracy theories of all sorts and sizes. So much erroneous and deceptive stuff is being posted every day, that those who use the social media must be very careful, discerning and selective.

Too often however believers are passing on spurious, unhelpful and just plain loony material. They need to be far more careful in what they share and pass along. While sometimes the stuff being posted may seem legit, we can cause mischief simply by not checking things out a bit more closely.

Being aware of the source of some information is part of how we assess things. Knowing if it comes from a reputable or a dodgy source helps quite a bit here. If you are not sure of a site or a person, simply conferring with a friend may quickly make things clear.

We must take care in not peddling rumours and urban legends. And of course there do exist fact-checking and myth-busting sites, but they too need to be handled with care. Some have their own biases. For example, the popular Snopes site is really a leftist site which is far from impartial and reliable, especially on political and religious topics. See here eg.:


And simply looking at the date of a post can avoid various problems. Often folks will post stuff as if it is brand new breaking news, but a quick look at the site where the piece comes from will usually reveal to us that it may in fact be quite dated information – perhaps even years old.

We also need to be aware of websites which are actually satire sites. Sharing their stuff as if it is some shocking true story, when in fact it is just a spoof or a send up is not very helpful. Usually these sites (such as the Babylon Bee) say somewhere on their site that they are a satire site.

And we need to be careful about sharing stuff that may be well over our heads. To be honest, those who share stuff which is rather detailed and technical in nature should have at least a little understanding about such things first. For example, it may be useful when posting some highly scientific material to have a modicum of scientific background yourself. It is not essential, but it can be helpful.

Also along these lines, too often I find believers who obviously do not have the slightest knowledge about the biblical languages acting as if they are, posting stuff, insisting that this is what the Greek says, and so on. A little humility can go a long way here.

A general rule of thumb is that unless the person or the site you are sharing from is quite reliable, you may need to think twice before posting. After a while you may become more familiar with those who are dependable and those who are quite dubious.

This is especially so when people share a YouTube video by someone who is ranting and raving about something, who is usually not an expert at anything, but is just mouthing off. Simply sharing a video like this is no way to make your case or to provide a solid argument.

Theological debates also can be mentioned here. There are countless heresy hunters on the Internet and social media, happy to condemn anyone who does not fully line up with their way of thinking. Usually we should give a wide berth to such folks. They often cause far more harm than good.

I have written about this often elsewhere, eg: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/04/09/on-heresy-hunters/

Also, there is a tendency to condemn other believers for one small thing they have said or done, ignoring all the other good they have done. Sure, real heretics and apostates must be caught out, and real doctrinal error must be exposed. But too often other Christians are attacked either for a very minor thing, or for things which are only a small part of who they are and what they believe.

The truth is, there are all sorts of people I may disagree with about various issues, but for the most part they are good men and women of God who love the Lord and are faithfully serving him. To pick out one or two things that we may differ on, then treat the person as anathema is not very wise or Christlike.

If I were to have fellowship only with those believers who think 100 per cent the same as I do, I would be down to a club of one – and I disagree with myself sometimes! We really need to cut each other some slack and show some grace and Christlikeness in areas where there should be some room to move.

And then there are those who love to use the social media to hang out all their dirty laundry. They might be having a bad day or are in an emotionally bad way, but then they let it all hang out online. They will even attack loved ones or family members.

One can understand people going through tough times and wanting to vent, but the Christian should not be splashing these matters out there for the whole world to see. Find a close friend or pastor to share your concerns with, but don’t splash everything online, only to later regret it, and to cause so much harm to relationships along the way.

We simply need much more wisdom and grace in what we share and post online – and how we do it. Some people are far too ready to share every silly thing found on the Internet without doing the slightest bit of checking first. Sure, with millions of things floating around the Web, we cannot check out everything before we post it.

I too have shared some things on the social media which have turned out to be untrue, or misleading, or rather dubious. The Christian thing to then do is to thank those who have offered correction, and either delete the post or share more on it with your new-found knowledge.

The reason this is all so important should be obvious: truth matters, and Christians of all people should be concerned about truth. We need to handle the things we share with others carefully, making sure we are not passing along misinformation or false and scurrilous material.

That means we will need to do a bit of homework first before simply clicking the share button. Discernment and wisdom is needed here just as much as in any other area of the Christian life. Of course we cannot properly check out everything we see, and if the post is from a reliable source or a reliable friend, then you can feel more free about sharing it.

But we all can be guilty of doing harm to the cause of Christ by not being as discerning, wise and careful as we might be in what we post. We need to do better. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and that means we must be very circumspect and diligent in making sure we represent him accurately and faithfully.

So keep on using the social media and other outlets to share truth, preach the word, and offer much needed information to a needy world where people are starved of truth – both within and without of the church. But do so wisely.

We want to be faithful to the Scriptural concerns about being zealous for that which is good and right and true – but to do so with knowledge, wisdom and care.

[1516 words]

The post Zeal, Wisdom, Culture Wars and the Social Media appeared first on CultureWatch.

High Noon For The Religious Left

“The once-explosive growth of conservative evangelicals has stalled. Yet the religious left doesn’t appear to be benefiting much. Instead, the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated are growing.”

The religious left is the Sasquatch of American politics. It leaves footprints in the snow but recent sightings of the creature itself are rare, and not always credible.

Progressive politics is dominated by secular ideals and, increasingly, secular voters. In recent decades, the words “Christian” and “evangelical” have been commandeered as synonyms for “white conservative.” Religious liberals never achieved the power of their conservative opposites. In a bit of denominational trash talk, Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said to the Atlantic in 2013: “Where are the Unitarian mega-churches, the Episcopalian church-planting movements?”

The once-explosive growth of conservative evangelicals has stalled. Yet the religious left doesn’t appear to be benefiting much. Instead, the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated are growing. A 2016 report by the Public Religion Research Institute stated: “Today, one-quarter (25 percent) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest ‘religious group’ in the U.S.”

Yet if ever there were a moment for the left to seize the mantle of religion from conservatives, surely it arrives Jan. 20 at noon. Donald Trump received the votes of four in five white evangelical or born-again Christians. Hypocrisy is as old as humanity, but even hypocrisy has a gross weight limit.

Christian conservatives are now inextricably tied to an incoming president with a long, public history of exploiting the weak, and no documented history of charity, faith or Christian communion or witness. They have endorsed a First Lady whose modeling career included a pornographic photo shoot described by the Trump-friendly New York Post as “girl on girl.” Even among the plaster saints of the religious right, Trump is a heavy burden to bear.

Sojourners is one of the groups seeking to rally the religious left. “Our Constitution’s protection of religious freedom empowers faith institutions to oppose state-sanctioned bigotry and violence and creates strong sanctuaries for those Jesus called the ‘least of these’ in Matthew 25,” said Lisa Sharon Harper, chief church engagement officer of Sojourners, in an e-mail. Liberal churches are already announcing themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants fearing deportation. There appears to be a Trump-related bump, likely temporary, in attendance at liberal churches.

A coalition of groups has launched the “Matthew 25” initiative to fight an expected barrage of federal policies targeting the most vulnerable — including the poor, immigrants and Muslims. “These people are organizing under the banner of Jesus,” Harper said.

In North Carolina, the liberal “Moral Mondays” movement has been partially credited with the election in November of Democrat Roy Cooper as governor. The success of the movement — named for weekly public demonstrations against the conservative legislature and incumbent governor — is a powerful precedent. It gained momentum not only because of charismatic religious leadership, but because of unusually aggressive Republican efforts to undermine voting rights and cut funding for education and services.

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The post High Noon For The Religious Left appeared first on The Aquila Report.

Democrats Have a Religion Problem

The second thing is that there’s a religious illiteracy problem in the Democratic Party. It’s tied to the demographics of the country: More 20- and 30-year-olds are taking positions of power in the Democratic Party. They grew up in parts of the country where navigating religion was not important socially and not important to their political careers.

There aren’t many people like Michael Wear in today’s Democratic Party. The former director of Barack Obama’s 2012 faith-outreach efforts is a theologically conservative evangelical Christian. He is opposed to both abortion and same-sex marriage, although he would argue that those are primarily theological positions, and other issues, including poverty and immigration, are also important to his faith.

During his time working for Obama, Wear was often alone in many of his views, he writes in his new book, Reclaiming Hope. He helped with faith-outreach strategies for Obama’s 2008 campaign, but was surprised when some state-level officials decided not to pursue this kind of engagement: “Sometimes—as I came to understand the more I worked in politics—a person’s reaction to religious ideas is not ideological at all, but personal,” he writes.

Several years later, he watched battles over abortion funding and contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act with chagrin: The administration was unnecessarily antagonistic toward religious conservatives in both of those fights, Wear argues, and it eventually lost, anyway. When Louie Giglio, an evangelical pastor, was pressured to withdraw from giving the 2012 inaugural benediction because of his teachings on homosexuality, Wear almost quit.

Some of his colleagues also didn’t understand his work, he writes. He once drafted a faith-outreach fact sheet describing Obama’s views on poverty, titling it “Economic Fairness and the Least of These,” a reference to a famous teaching from Jesus in the Bible. Another staffer repeatedly deleted “the least of these,” commenting, “Is this a typo? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Who/what are ‘these’?”

I spoke with Wear about how the Democratic Party is and isn’t reaching people of faith—and what that will mean for its future. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

Emma Green: Many people have noted that 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in this election. Why do you think that was?

Michael Wear: It shows not just ineptitude, but the ignorance of Democrats in not even pretending to give these voters a reason to vote for them. We also need to have a robust conversation about the support or allowance for racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia in the evangelical tradition.

Many of those 81 percent are accommodating cultural changes in America that are deeply problematic. Liberals have been trying to convince Americans, and evangelicals in particular, that America is not a Christian nation. The 2016 election was evangelicals saying, “Yeah, you’re right! We can’t expect to have someone who is Christian like us. We can’t expect to have someone with a perfect family life. What we can expect is someone who can look out for us, just like every other group in this country is looking for a candidate who will look out for them.”

There’s a lot of conversation in Christian circles about Jeremiah 29, which is Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Babylon. The message Jeremiah had, and that the Lord had, for the exiles is that they should seek the peace and prosperity of the city where they’ve been planted, and multiply—they should maintain their convictions for the flourishing of others. The concern I have, and that many others have, is that in this time of cultural transformation in America, you’re going to have many evangelicals who just become Babylonians.

Green: Why is it, do you think, that some liberals—and specifically the Democratic Party—have been unwilling to do outreach to people who hold particular kinds of theological points of view?

Wear: They think, in some ways wrongly, but in other ways rightly, that it would put constraints around their policy agenda. So, for instance: You could make a case to evangelicals while trying to repeal the Hyde Amendment, [which prohibits federal funding for abortion in most circumstances,] but that’s really difficult. Reaching out to evangelicals doesn’t mean you have to become pro-life. It just means you have to not be so in love with how pro-choice you are, and so opposed to how pro-life we are.

Read More

The post Democrats Have a Religion Problem appeared first on The Aquila Report.

The Rise of Reformed Christianity in the World’s Largest Muslim Country

But Reformed theology and its influence have been around Indonesia much longer than Tong. It came first in the late 1500s with the Dutch, who aimed to monopolize the spice trade with their Dutch East India Trading Company.  Along with traders, the Dutch sent pastors who, like much of Holland, embraced Calvinism. 

With more than 16,000 students, Universitas Pelita Harapan is one of the largest Reformed Christian universities in the world. Started just 22 years ago, the university offers a law school, medical school, engineering school, and teachers college—all from a distinctly Reformed worldview.

“We don’t even have that in the United States or Europe,” said Ric Cannada, chancellor emeritus for Reformed Theological Seminary. “Here it is in Indonesia. Isn’t it just like the Lord to do something like this in the least likely place—the country with the largest Muslim population in the world?”

Though Christians compose only 10 percent of Indonesia’s population, the nation is so populous that roughly 25 million Christians live there. About one-third are Catholic, while the Protestants are typically either Pentecostal or Reformed—as in, really Reformed.

“Over here in the States we talk about the Reformed world- and life-view, but they’re doing it,” Cannada said. “Doing it on steroids.”

Bankrolled by an enormously successful Indonesian businessman with a love for God and Reformed theology, the Pelita Harapan Foundation—where Cannada is a senior adviser—has opened 55 Christian K–12 schools in the last 25 years.

No Reformed Balance Sheets

Pelita Harapan is the mission side of businessman James Riady’s domain. But of course he also has a business side—and it’s enormous: 30 hospitals, 64 malls, 125 department stores, and the country’s largestmedia group.

Both are informed by the Reformed tradition, said Niel Nielson, the former president of Covenant College who now leads the foundation’s education wing and sits on the board of directors for its hospitals and department stores.

“[The Riady family] is passionately Reformed in their theological perspective, and they link all that together in terms of how they understand the corporation,” he said. “There is energy and focus on integration unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere in the world.”

Nielson says the “thick-walled silos” between faith and education or vocation that often exist in the United States “do not exist there, in terms of the driving mission and vision.”

“We’re passionate about business—about economic sustainability—but also about a biblically informed vision of common grace that leads to saving grace for the country,” Nielson said.

Though “there’s no such thing as a Reformed balance sheet—you either show profits or you don’t,” the board “talks a lot about the creation mandate and the fact that we’re called to steward the gifts God has given us.”

That means building quality hospitals in low-income areas. It means Christian doctors talking with their Muslim patients not just about the health of their bodies, but also the health of their family relationships, communities, and souls.

“We tell them we believe they’ve been uniquely created in the image of God, and he has a purpose for every human being,” Nielson said.

These Christian convictions don’t stay behind-the-scenes, even if they’re rarely center stage. For example, Riady’s 60 coffee shops don’t serve tracts with their beverages, but they do play Christian music, and employees go out of their way to treat people with dignity. All of his businesses aim to deliver high-quality products and to deal honestly with everyone.

Nielson said what’s going on in Indonesia is similar to what you’ll hear in the faith and work conversation in the United States. But he added that it seems easier to give the concept legs in Indonesia. That’s partially because of the high level of religiosity in the country. Most Indonesians (85 percent) identify as Muslim, and nearly everyone feels strongly about their faith, and expects to see that in others.

Riady’s Financial Support

The other reason Reformed enterprises are taking off is the financial backing of the Riady family.

Riady came to Christ in 1990 while struggling with depression. “I was so desperate,” he told Fortune Magazine in 2001. “I couldn’t even look at my wife, or talk to her, or kiss her. I started praying in my room, and God showed me this film—a reflection of my life. Everything that came out was all the sins I committed. I thought I was a good man. God said, ‘You’re a horrible man.’ I cried and cried and cried—big sins, small sins. Since then I try to be a better person, and my life has changed. One by one, the family has all turned to the Lord.”

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Ten Prophecies re the Church in 2017

An American charismatic church will become the next big thing/renewal/programme. The ‘globalisation’ and ‘McDonaldisation’ of the church, combined with the internet, poor theology, poor ecclesiology and the desperation to get some kind of quick fix make us very susceptible to the latest fad.  Will we never learn?

Last weeks Ten ‘Prophecies’ for Society/Culture in 2017 have already had a partial fulfilment.  Israel, Trump and the SNP ruling out a second Indy Ref in 2017.  But how will the Church of Jesus Christ fare in this coming year?  Only the Lord knows.  However I like to think ahead and watch trends. So here goes

 1) The C of S and C of E in the UK will continue to decline – and evangelicals within them will continue to find it difficult to accept what is going on.  Likewise for the mainstream Protestant denominations in the US.   As they fall apart the number of new denominations and churches will continue to increase but whether they will make up for the decline is doubtful.  The Scottish Church census will be out in the first part of the year and I have no doubt that the figures will be bad.

One of the reasons why is because of the turning away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ which has taken place in so many churches.  It’s not often that the extent of apostasy in the church surprises me – I thought I had seen it all.  But this week I came across this:

Qu’ran Recitation in St Mary’s

The fact that an Anglican cathedral in Glasgow has a recitation of the Qu’ran is astonishing enough in itself, but what is even more astounding is that the passage recited specifically states that Jesus is not the Son of God.   The cathedral removed the link from their website but if you click the link about you can get it.

 2) Post-modern evangelicals will continue to undermine the church and the gospel. Their undermining of Scripture and caving into the culture, especially on the re-making of humanity will continue. When someone says ‘God did not say’ it is at least clear and direct.  What the post-modern evangelicals do is much more subtle….they ask ‘did God really say?’ They make open questions of issues which Scripture clearly speaks about, because they want to keep on board the hard-working evangelicals who are the life blood of any church, but they also want to have a foot in the progressive camp and so they play the ‘humble, inquiring’ card, when in reality they are undermining.   I have seen this is in so many ways.  I know of evangelical churches who have already caved into the culture and others who just keep quiet and declare ‘we don’t have a stated policy.’   Such faint hearted compromise will blight and undermine the church.

3) An American charismatic church will become the next big thing/renewal/programme. The ‘globalisation’ and ‘McDonaldisation’ of the church, combined with the internet, poor theology, poor ecclesiology and the desperation to get some kind of quick fix make us very susceptible to the latest fad.  Will we never learn?

 4)  Creflo Dollar won’t return to Scotland.  His visit here last year was a failure.  We may be a small country with a small percentage of Christians but I was glad that we did not give in to his showmanship. Why Creflo Dollar is not Welcome in Scotland   Creflo Dollar and Scotland – The Reaction   Creflo Dollar and the Corporate Charismatics

5) There will be greater unity amongst bible believing Christians. Yes, there will still be the personality clashes, the sinful empire building, the infighting and rivalry, but because of the needs of the hour, love for the Lord, faith in his Word and a genuine desire to reach our society, there will be greater unity.    There has to be greater unity.  He must increase, we must decrease.

 6) The number of Christians being salt and light in the public square will increase. Christians have a strong motivation to be involved in the public square – not as those who want political power because we know that the Gospel does not advance with political power – but rather as those who obey the Lord’s injunction to be salt and light. I know of more Christians involved in politics, media, education and healthcare, than I have ever done before.  Much of the work and witness is done under the radar but it is being done.  The Church must encourage its people to continue and not give up.  Humble service should be our aim.

 7) The Church will commemorate the Reformation. It’s the 500th anniversary of the date commonly marked as the beginning of the Reformation.  Some will regard it as a mistake which needs to be corrected.  Others will see it as no longer necessary.  But I hope that Reformation theology and practice will be rediscovered by the Church.  I don’t doubt the Christianity of many of my Catholic brothers and sisters, and I stand with them on many issues, not least social ones, but I am not prepared to give up on sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratis , solus Christus, soli Deo gloria  (Scripture alone, Faith alone, Grace alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone).  Let’s make sure that the Reformation remembrance is a party as we recover and rejoice in a renewed church, rather than a memorial service as we lament what has gone.

 8) The Evangelical Church in the US will continue to be split over Donald Trump – The term evangelical in the US is very broad…but still covers a substantial percentage of the population and is of great importance to the rest of the global church.  But as this post from Michael Horton in the Washington Post indicates, there is an enormous danger in evangelicals allying themselves with any political party or any one individual.  Our hope is in Christ, not in Trump or anyone else.

The Church in the US needs to recover its theology, not seek political power. When you realise that books like Jesus Calling, the Shack, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer and adult colouring books were amongst the bestselling ‘Christian’ books in the US in 2016, you realise the trouble we are in. Bestselling Christian Books in the US

9) The Church will reach out amongst the poor. It seems to me that it is often the case that the richer and more middle class the church, the more they talk about helping the poor.  However the real need is not the kind of patronising charity that this often precedes, but rather the planting of real gospel churches amongst the poor..because the Gospel frees, empowers and does not patronise.  That is why the work of Twenty Schemes is so vital.   My own convictions on this have grown stronger over the past few months and I am delighted that St Peters will be starting a new church plant in the Charleston housing estate in Dundee.

 10) Africa and Asia will be seen more and more as the key areas of evangelicalism in the world.  Sometimes we still think that Europe and the US are the centres of the church.  My own view is that unless there is a real renewal and revival of the church in the West, the 21st Century will be the century of the Asian and African churches.  I am so encouraged by my Asian and African brothers and sisters and very much look forward to working with and learning more from them. I hope that they will learn from our mistakes and not make the same ones.

Our God is a God of surprises….may we see his surprising grace at work in our midst.  May his kingdom come….

David Robertson is the Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland. He’s also the minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee and director of Solas the Centre for Public Christianity. This article appeared on his blog and is used with permission.

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American Churches Have Lost their Sense of Shame! Don Boys, Ph.D.

The great Sixteenth Century Italian artist Raphael (known as the “Prince of Painters”) was painting Vatican frescoes when some Roman Catholic clerics stopped to watch his work in progress. One said, “The face of the Apostle Paul is too red.” The artist replied, “He blushes to see into whose hands the church has fallen.” He was reflecting on the condition of the Roman Catholic Church of his day. I feel the same way about the condition of non-Catholic churches, sometimes known as “Protestant” (who don’t protest much anymore) and some known as “Baptist.”

Jeramiah wrote about people who could not blush in Jer. 6:15. “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.” That’s where we are today in our churches. Church leaders and laymen can’t blush because they don’t see any wrong in their aspirations, actions, and accomplishments. Nothing seems to be wrong anymore.

The leaders of the Episcopal Church USA, the Presbyterian Church USA and the United Church of Christ left the Scripture long ago and have lost their ability to blush. They departed sound biblical doctrine many years ago, and they’re now celebrating “marriage equality.” Wicked living always follows bad doctrine. These churches advocate transgenderism, but normal sexuality is considered quaint. Other church groups are quickly coming to the same conclusion.

Gordon Clanton writing in the Presbyterian Journal opined, “Not all sex outside of marriage is bad….In the age of the Pill we assert that sex is (morally) neutral. The young man who is determined to wait until marriage has put sex on too high a pedestal.” Clanton may not blush but I’m sure great Presbyterians such as Billy Sunday, Clarence E. Macartney, J. Gresham Machen, and Carl McIntire are blushing if that is possible in Heaven.

A church south of Richmond, VA doesn’t care about “material things” so they worship in the nude even in cold weather. It seems many preachers have lost the ability to blush and also lost their minds. Nothing is sacred to them.

At HerChurch/Ebenezer Lutheran in San Francisco that is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the liturgy of the “divine feminine” is celebrated every Sunday. The pagan service is led by Pastor Stacy Boorn and her priestesses and staff. Desiring a little religious hocus pocus to justify their evil living, anything goes as they reach out to pagans. The female pastor declared, “Our prayers and liturgy reach back into the storehouse of tradition to bring forth names [such] as Mother, Shaddai, Sophia, Womb, Christ-Sophia, Midwife, Shekinah, Kundalini, She Who Is.” And no one is blushing!

Many of the interdenominational megachurches and even Baptist churches such as Rick Warren’s Saddleback Baptist Church in California have lost their ability to blush at all their concessions, compromises, and corruptions. Rick addressed the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) that is in bed with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. He even apologized for all of us! Rick has a deficiency of wisdom since he seems to support anyone. I have a photo of him hugging Cat Stevens (known as Yusuf Islam) who supported the call for death of Rushdie because he had “insulted” Muslims. Cat also wrote, “I’m praying to Allah to give us victory over the kuffar”!  Kuffar is a Muslim term for non-Muslims usually preceded by “dirty.” Rick boasted that Cat came by to visit him at his home. I think Rick may have a sense of insecurity and needs to be loved by everyone.

In May of 2015, Rick held hands with homosexual activist Elton John at a congressional hearing even joking that if they kissed it would be “the kiss heard ’round the world.” Rick doesn’t understand that perversion is no joke. Rick is a brilliant, talented man without wisdom or discernment, two characteristics, in my opinion, that are essential for preachers.

The lesbian bishop of Stockholm “proposed a church in her diocese remove all signs of the cross and put down markings showing the direction to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim worshippers.” She was the first open lesbian bishop in the world. Wonder what Martin Luther would think of that? It seems another Reformation is needed but “Luthers” are in short supply.

I blushed when the historic black Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Miami had Louis Farrakhan preach to an overflow crowd on July 30, 2015. Louis said, “I’m looking for 10,000 in the midst of a million. Ten thousand fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny….So if the federal government won’t intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us; stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling!” Had I made a similar statement I would be in a Federal prison at this time. The jerk even received a standing ovation from that Baptist crowd! Has everyone lost his ability to discern between right and wrong?

I was appalled at Farrakhan’s vicious, vile, and violent diatribe but would have been almost as appalled even if he had spoken effectively about family, drugs, etc., since Louis is a rabble-rousing Muslim! I was sure the historic church was a member of the Progressive National Baptist Church convention, a group of left wing black preachers who broke from the National Baptist Church convention in 1961. However, Mt. Zion Baptist in Miami is an Independent Baptist Church! I interviewed the pastor and told him I was appalled that any Baptist would have an unbelieving Muslim in his pulpit. The pastor was very kind and we spoke for almost an hour and he professed to believe the Bible and preach the Gospel. I reminded him of the Apostle John’s admonition not to bid god speed to any who do not hold to the doctrine of Christ. This incident only proves that not all Independent Baptist Churches take a separatist stand.

“Beer and hymns” events have occurred at churches in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Cincinnati. “Beer, Bible, and Brotherhood” meets in Oxford, CT as they study Rick Warren’s bestselling book. Such events are taking place across America. Even Moody Bible Institute that trains thousands of youth for the ministry has lifted its ban on long hair for men and nose stud earrings for women and dropped its prohibition of alcohol and tobacco use for faculty and staff. (When I was a student we could not get closer than twelve inches to any female!) Biola University made a similar ruling in September of last year.

Tom Smillie, Christian beer maker, says his love of good beer has allowed him to build relationships with nonbelievers. I suppose smoking marijuana and watching porn would enhance his relationships even further!

Graduates of Taylor University, Calvin College, and other “Christian” institutions are big into beer brewing and drinking.

I blush when Fundamentalists yell about their love and adherence to the Bible (even the KJV) yet refuse to discipline wayward members, give the best seats to the high and mighty, seek the favor of political officials, preach sermons that almost say something, and imply that crowds, cash, and clout are indications of success.

The early Christians were accustomed to poverty, persecutions, and prisons. Today, we are grasping for prosperity, pleasure, and popularity. I blush knowing into whose hands modern churches have fallen.

Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published recently by Barbwire Books; to get your copy, click here . An eBook edition is also available

(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 15 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com . Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)

Follow Dr. Boys on Facebook at CSTNews and TheGodHaters , Twitter , and visit his blog .

Source: American Churches Have Lost their Sense of Shame!

Vatican Invites Pro Abortion “Population Bomb” Author To Speak

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

population_bomb_810_500_s_c1No – this is NOT fake news.

Since Roe Vs. Wade was passed in 1973, the Catholic Church has been at the forefront of the Pro-Life movement.  In a drastic change of heart, the Vatican has invited Dr. Paul Ehrlich, whom many call the father of the population control, pro-abortion movement, to present a paper and to speak at a Vatican-run conference.

From lifesitenews.com   (my comments indented in blue)

Pro-abort ‘Population Bomb’ author to speak at Vatican

VATICAN CITY, January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has invited the undisputed father of the modern, pro-abortion population control movement to present a paper at an upcoming Vatican-run conference.

Dr. Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb is scheduled to speak in Vatican City during the February 27-March 1 conference that will discuss “how to save the natural world.” The Stanford biologist champions sex-selective abortion as well…

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The Dems Are Shouting “Trump Is An Illegitimate President!” I Ask “Why? Because Hillary’s Dirty Secrets Were Made Public?”

Absolute Truth from the Word of God


I remember as a child hearing people say that doing something wrong was only ‘bad’ if you got caught.  This kind of rationale is immoral.  I suppose this is the way criminals think.  I know this is the way Democrats think.

But the Russians Hacked!

Julian Assange of Wikileaks has said over and over that the Russians had nothing to do with the information he leaked on Clinton’s emails and her Foundation. But……even if the Russians were part of the hacking; where is the outrage at the information that was made known to the public about Clinton et al?  After all, if the emails had been void of any wrong doing, the public would not have had such a negative reaction to Clinton, right?  She got caught.

There was no tampering with our voting machines (except for what George Soros was able to do) so how can these Democrats…

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Contemplative Prayer is NOT for the Christian

Too many describe the Christian life as tepid, while mustering up nothing more that a lukewarm enthusiasm for Christ.  Many feel God hasn’t come through for them and won’t until they do something.  Again we try to control God by making something happen and by earning points with Him.  We desire an experience, and since God isn’t doing anything, we initiate it ourselves.  Rather than giving up control and letting God do the work in our lives, we come up with man-centered, man-prompted ideas and methods.  Brennan Manning calls it “grabbing a holt of God.”
Are we unwilling to completely let go and let God?  Then we will never find that true, lasting satisfaction in our Christian lives.  All the meditations, all the self-help Christian books, all the lighting of candles are not going to make any lasting difference.
Contemplative spirituality is nothing more than an attempt to fill that void with a man-made solution.  In essence, they are attempting to build a spiritual tower of Babel.  And as with all things man-made, it pales in comparison to what God can do.
If contemplative prayer or other Eastern practices were sanctioned or blessed by the God of the Bible, why are there no stories of any Hindus or Buddhists coming to Christ by these methods?  Instead, we hear of Christians receiving revelations during contemplative prayer that all paths lead to God and that God is in all.  If those revelations were true, this would make the Cross unnecessary and, in effect, null and void.
Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind, pg. 176-177
Source: Contemplative Prayer is NOT for the Christian

CAIR To Trump: Drop Franklin Graham From Inaugural Prayers; Trump to CAIR: I Will Be Declaring You A Terrorist Organization

Absolute Truth from the Word of God


Perhaps CAIR has not been keeping up with the news.  President Trump will be introducing legislation which will declare CAIR, Muslim Brotherhood and at least two other Islamist organizations as “Terrorist” and will be banned from the U.S.

And CAIR has the audacity to demand Franklin Graham not pray at the inauguration because they consider him to be Islamophobic!

From Jihadwatch.org

Trump adviser says he will ban Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots CAIR, ISNA

Hamas-linked CAIR and ISNA shut down? The stealth jihad stopped in its tracks? The years-long campaign of subversion and the undermining of counterterror efforts exposed and brought to an end? If that happens, it could in the long run prove to be the best thing the Trump presidency accomplished.

“Foreign Policy Adviser Says Trump Will Ban The Muslim Brotherhood And Its US Offshoots,” by Yochanan Visser, Western Journalism, November 16, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of…

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Benny Hinn scheduled to speak at Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church?

Bethel recently announced that Benny Hinn will be preaching at their upcoming Sunday night service. If you do not know Benny Hinn, this infamous televangelist, best known for his “Miracle Crusades” around the world, is also considered to be an NAR Apostle (NARpostle) by Apostle Yonggi Cho.

C.G.I – Church Growth International

Benny Hinn has long been exposed as a false teacher and false prophet. He is also well known for defrauding millions of dollars from gullible people to support his lavish lifestyle. With such information readily available for the discerning Christian leader, we note that Bill Johnson clearly has no problem associating himself with such a dangerous man and introducing the Bethel community to this notorious con artist.

Bethel Redding made the following announcement on their website:

Benny Hinn will be joining us for our Sunday night service! Read the full announcement for all the details, as there are changes to…

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Are all doctrines equal? Or are some primary and others secondary?

As I’m going through the online lessons at Ligonier Connect, the second lesson in the course “Principles of Biblical Interpretation” opens with the teacher, RC Sproul, asking his audience if, after sharing an interpretation of scripture with a person they have ever been confronted with the rejoinder “That’s your interpretation!” Sometimes the person means to give a subtle (or not so subtle) rejoinder that really means, ‘You’re wrong!’ Most often it can mean that the person believes that there are multiple ways to interpret a specific verse or passage of scripture.

There aren’t.

Did you know that the Author of the Bible intended only ONE meaning for each and every passage of Scripture? There is only one way to interpret it and be correct. There are multiple ways to apply the verse, but only one meaning the Author intended.

For example, we know that God is three-in-one. If a person says “I interpret 1 John 5:7-8 as God being three persons in one Being” and the other person says, “No, I interpret that verse as God being only one being but three personalities at any given time,” one of these people would be wrong. One person says you should be baptized by sprinkling and another says you should be baptized by immersion, one of those people are going to be wrong because they are opposite actions. One person says the rapture will come before the Tribulation and the next person says that the rapture will come after the tribulation…well one of those is wrong. They are not both right. Contradictions mutually exclude each other.

Scripture cannot contradict itself.

Sproul said,

The right of private interpretation carries with it the responsibility of correct interpretation. Our interpretation must always be monitored and compared to the collective wisdom of others.

Now, knowing that there is only one correct interpretation of scripture puts more light on the Author than it does on the interpreter, hopefully. We know He intended one meaning. But He is God, and we are not. Because we are sinful human beings, we must approach the interpretation of the scriptures humbly. We use a systematic theology, not Bible Dip, do not strip away the context, we’re not helter skelter or haphazard about it. As noted above, the privilege of being given God’s word comes with it a responsibility to interpret it correctly.

Relying on the collective wisdom of others is also a good idea. God raised up men and women in previous generations who taught, wrote, and interpreted in ways that have remained and remained for a reason. Their works come to us in these newer generations. This is important- it’s not ‘cheating’ to use commentaries or theological tomes of yore that add to our wisdom. We don’t use them to the exclusion of the Bible, but as a supporting method. Secondly, since we do rely on the collective wisdom of others in learning the historic faith, we do not go after the lone outlier who says “I have a new way!’ Or, “I cracked a code no one has ever noticed before!” When the canon closed, so did the availability to interpret wildly new things from it that very from the historical faith.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8).

Thirdly, there are some doctrines with which we must have a settled conviction and do not compromise. These are known as the primary essentials. They are primary because they are salvific. They are essential because the Bible declares them so. Scripture on this point must be interpreted and held dearly among those of the truth faith. These foundational tenets comprise the historical faith.

Other, secondary matters (non-salvific) interpreted differently between two people don’t have to mean that one breaks fellowship over them. If one says baptism is sprinkling and the other says baptism is immersion, well, what they are both saying is they agree that the Bible does present an ordinance of baptism. That much is clear. They just differ on how.

Here is a good link explaining primary essential doctrines. They both are to Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, (CARM). This first one is a visual doctrine grid. This one is to an essay explaining each essential doctrine and why they are essential.

Alternately, back when he was a PyroManiac, Phil Johnson wrote about why the distinction between essential and peripheral is doctrines so crucial. He wrote again on how the Bible itself teaches us how to distinguish between primary and peripheral doctrines. Pastor Johnson concluded his essay by saying,

I’m as eager to see evangelical unity as I am to attack ecumenical compromise. But in order to keep the two straight, it is crucial to have clear biblical reasons for treating various doctrines as either fundamental or secondary.

Hence, this post and the links to good resources on the subject.

Happy studying 🙂

Source: Are all doctrines equal? Or are some primary and others secondary?

January 15, 2017: Verse of the day


The Revelation

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (3:4)

Although the world may not now recognize those whose lives are hidden with Christ in God, that will not always be the case. When Christ… is revealed at His second coming, we also will be revealed with Him in glory. The apostle John describes that scene in Revelation 19:11–13, 15–16:

I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.… And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

To this description of our Lord at His return in judgment, the vision adds that He will be accompanied by saints. John also wrote, “The armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses” (v. 14).

The verdict of eternity will reverse the verdicts of time. On that day, it will become apparent who really belongs to the Lord. “The Lord knows those who are His” (2 Tim. 2:19), and He will reveal them to the world. Lightfoot comments, “The veil which now shrouds your higher life from others, and even partly from yourselves, will then be withdrawn. The world which persecutes, despises, ignores now, will then be blinded with the dazzling glory of the revelation” (Lightfoot, p. 210). John wrote, “We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Paul adds a wonderful parenthetical thought. He describes Christ as our life. Christ does not merely give life; He is life. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). He told the Corinthians that the life of Jesus was manifested in his body (2 Cor. 4:10). When facing possible martyrdom, he could say, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

The key to living the risen life is to have a life centered on Christ. The Son, not this present world, is the center of the believer’s universe.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

January 15, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 15

Grace from the King

Being justified freely by His grace throughthe redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:24

Every believer receives the grace of God as a result of responding to the good news. And the good news is that salvation is by grace.

The apostle Paul said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9). The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people. It is offered totally apart from anything we could ever do to receive God’s favor. It is the unmerited favor of God, who in His mercy and loving–kindness grants us salvation as a gift. All we have to do is simply respond by believing in His Son.

We enter the kingdom of God only by the grace of God. There is no place for self–congratulations or human achievement. Remember to thank God for granting you such a gracious salvation.[1]

January 15 Contentment: The Opposite of Covetousness

“Let your way of life be free from the love of money, being content with what you have.”

Hebrews 13:5


If you are content with what God has given you, you will not be a person who is covetous or a lover of money.

I once had a man come into my church office and confess the sin of gluttony. When I told him he did not look overweight, he answered, “I know. It is not that I eat too much but that I want to. I continually crave food. It’s an obsession.”

Covetousness is very similar to that man’s gluttonous attitude. You do not have to acquire a lot of things, or even anything at all, to be covetous. If you long to acquire things and are focusing all your attention on how you might get them, you are guilty of covetousness.

It is not wrong to earn or possess wealth. In the Old Testament, Abraham and Job had tremendous wealth. A number of faithful New Testament believers were also fairly wealthy. The problem comes when we have a greedy attitude that craves money above everything else. Paul warns us, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang” (1 Tim. 6:10). Loving money is perhaps the most common form of covetousness; it is akin to lusting after material riches in various forms.

No matter how it appears, this kind of covetousness breeds the same spiritual result—it displeases God and separates us from Him. More income, a bigger house, nicer clothes, a fancier car can tempt all of us.

But the Lord wants you to be free from the materialism that so easily controls your non–Christian neighbors. Your earthly possessions are only temporary anyway. You will lose them all one day soon enough. So God tells you and me to be “content with what you have” (Heb. 13:5), realizing that we have “a better possession and an abiding one” (10:34) in our salvation.


Suggestions for Prayer: Is there any covetousness or materialism in your life today? Confess it to the Lord, and pray that He would give you a renewed desire to trust Him rather than uncertain wealth.

For Further Study: Read Luke 12:13–34. Make a list of the things that illustrate how God cares for our material needs. ✧ How does the rich fool’s attitude contrast with what Jesus teaches in verse 31?[2]



Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

—Matthew 5:6

It is disheartening to those who care, and surely a great grief to the Spirit, to see how many Christians are content to settle for less than the best. Personally I have for years carried a burden of sorrow as I have moved among evangelical Christians who somewhere in their past have managed to strike a base compromise with their heart’s holier longings and have settled down to a lukewarm, mediocre kind of Christianity utterly unworthy of themselves and of the Lord they claim to serve. And such are found everywhere….

Every man is as close to God as he wants to be; he is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wills to be. Our Lord said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” If there were but one man anywhere on earth who hungered and was not filled, the word of Christ would fall to the ground.

Yet we must distinguish wanting from wishing. By “want” I mean wholehearted desire. Certainly there are many who wish they were holy or victorious or joyful but are not willing to meet God’s conditions to obtain it. TIC064

Lord, may I settle for nothing less than the best when it comes to my relationship with You. Give me a wholehearted thirst for You, that I may partake of the incredible privilege of intimate fellowship with You. Amen [3]

January 15

Trusting Self Is Never Justified

He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”—Matt. 4:4

Christians are never justified in trusting solely in themselves to meet their basic needs. No matter how worried we might become, if we turn to God in faith and obedience, He will meet all our essential needs in His own way, according to His sovereign schedule. Implicit in this understanding is that God will meet every need, both physical and spiritual, as Paul promises us, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19; cf. Matt. 6:8, 33).

It is always best to follow Jesus’ example, obeying God and trusting wholeheartedly in His gracious provision, than to impulsively and selfishly attempt to meet our own needs in ways that could disobey or compromise God’s Word.

To trust first of all in ourselves to meet our needs—circumventing or modifying God’s will in the process—not only demonstrates a lack of faith but rests on the false assumption that our earthly well-being is our most crucial need. Jesus contradicts such thinking, which is so natural to fallen humanity, both to unbelievers as well as believers who slip into carnal mind-sets. Therefore our Lord quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “ ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ” The all-sufficient and sustaining power of God is the only true source that meets our every need.

Where does your dependence lie? Are you trusting in your paycheck? Your insurance policies? Your physical strength and smarts? Or have you finally realized that everything hinges on God, His Word, and His sovereign plan for your life? Find your sense of security in Him alone.[4]



Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14

Certainly not all of the mystery of the Godhead can be known by man—but just as certainly, all that men can know of God in this life is revealed in Jesus Christ!

When the Apostle Paul said with yearning, “That I may know him” (Philippians 3:10), he was not speaking of intellectual knowledge. Paul was speaking of the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously, spirit touching spirit and heart touching heart.

We know that people spend a lot of time talking about a deeper Christian life—but few seem to want to know and love God for Himself.

The precious fact is that God is the deeper life! Jesus Christ Himself is the deeper life, and as I plunge on into the knowledge of the triune God, my heart moves on into the blessedness of His fellowship. This means that there is less of me and more of God—thus my spiritual life deepens and I am strengthened in the knowledge of His will!

Dear Lord, this morning and throughout this day, may there be more and more of You and less and less of me.[5]

January 15 Resting in God’s Sovereignty

“[God] made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in [Christ] with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth” (Eph. 1:9–10).


God is intimately involved in the flow of human history and is directing its course toward a specific, predetermined climax.

For centuries men of various philosophical schools have debated the cause, course, and climax of human history. Some deny God and therefore deny any divine involvement in history. Others believe that God set everything in motion, then withdrew to let it progress on its own. Still others believe that God is intimately involved in the flow of human history and is directing its course toward a specific, predetermined climax.

In Ephesians 1:9–10 Paul settles that debate by reminding us that Jesus Himself is the goal of human history. In Him all things will be summed up; all human history will be resolved and united to the Father through the work of the Son.

As Paul said elsewhere, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness [of deity] to dwell in [Christ], and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:19–20). The culmination of Christ’s reconciling work will come during His millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20). Following that, He will usher in the eternal state with a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21).

Despite the political uncertainty and military unrest in the world today, be assured that God is in control. He governs the world (Isa. 40:22–24), the nations (Isa. 40:15–17), and individuals as well (Prov. 16:9). God’s timetable is right on schedule. Nothing takes Him by surprise, and nothing thwarts His purposes. Ultimately He will vanquish evil and will make everything right in Christ.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the wisdom and insight He gives you to see beyond your temporal circumstances to His eternal purposes. ✧ Live today with that perspective in mind.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 20. ✧ What happens to Satan prior to the millennial Kingdom? ✧ How does Satan meet his final doom? ✧ What happens at the Great White Throne Judgment?[6]



…That ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.


To a Christian, conditioned as he is to observing life from above and judging all things in the light of eternal values, the modern feverish devotion to the newest invention and the latest happening seems more than a little ridiculous!

One thing seems to be quite forgotten: the world moves and times change but people remain the same always. Just as a pendulum remains fixed at the top while it swings back and forth from one extreme to another, so the human race remains basically unchanged while it moves through its limited arc.

No responsible person will deny that some changes made by the race over the years have been improvements and so may have represented progress and advance. However, just what we are supposed to be advancing toward has not been made very clear by our leaders!

It would seem humanly difficult, indeed, to show that we are moving toward an end when we do not know what or where that end is, or even if such an end exists at all.

The only parallel we can think of at the moment is that of a deadly-serious and fanatically determined dachshund chasing breathlessly after its tail—a tail, incidentally, which is not there because it has previously been removed. Add a large number of other dachshunds, bespectacled and solemn, writing books to prove that the frustrated puppy’s activity is progress, and you have the picture![7]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 26). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[2] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 23). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 27). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.