Daily Archives: June 23, 2017

June 23, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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The Briefing 06-23-17

The history of “Born this way” and why the LGBT movement is phasing it out as a slogan

What does it say about the LGBT revolution that “Pride” events are now more corporate & less radical?

Childhood redefined: Antidepressants for 6-year-olds, Botox for 8-year-olds, & no playing in the sand?

The post The Briefing 06-23-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top News – 6/23/2017

Arab States Issue 13-Point Ultimatum To Qatar: Cut Ties With Iran, Close Al-Jazeera, Shutter Turkish Base
Two days after a confused US State Department formally inquired about what is going on between Arab States and Qatar, the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Baahrain, and the UAE sent a list of 13 demands to the tiny Gulf nation to be met within 10 days in order to lift their total blockade of the country.

NASA’s new assignments: Find aliens, prove evolution
in this year’s bill, Congress added a momentous phrase to the agency’s mission: ‘the search for life’s origins, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe.’ It’s a short phrase, but a visionary one, setting the stage for a far-reaching effort, that could have as profound an impact on the 21st century as the Apollo program had on the 20th.”

Japanese warship takes Asian guests on cruise in defiance of China
Japan’s largest warship steamed into the South China Sea this week in defiance of Chinese assertiveness, with Asian military guests on board to witness helicopters looping over the tropical waters and gunners blasting target buoys.

Tech firms bow to Russian demands on cyber secrets
Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found.

Al-Qaeda leader killed in Yemen
A U.S. air strike has killed a regional Al-Qaeda leader and two associates in Yemen’s Shabwa province, a jihadist stronghold in the south, the Pentagon said Thursday, according to AFP.Abu Khattab al-Awlaqi was emir for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Shabwa, and was responsible for planning and conducting attacks against civilians, the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement.

Iranians chant ‘Death to Israel’, display military force at Al-Quds rally
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians chanted “Death to Israel” in nationwide rallies on Friday at which they also burned flag of the Islamic State militant group which claimed responsibility for attacks in Tehran this month…Iranian state media said millions of people turned out for the rallies to mark Al-Quds Day…which is held on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Massive Iranian funding for anti-Israel terror groups revealed
Iran’s massive funding of terrorist groups that endanger Israel was exposed in shocking detail by IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj.- Gen. Hertzi Halevi on Wednesday. Speaking at the IDC Herzliya Conference, Halevi revealed that Iran is funding Hezbollah to the tune of $75 million a year, while paying $50m. of Hamas’s budget and approximately $70m. to Islamic Jihad.

United States suspends all Brazilian meat imports
The United States has suspended Brazilian meat imports over “recurring concerns about the safety of products intended for the American market”. Several countries banned Brazilian meat in March, when prosecutors said health inspectors there had been taking bribes to approve sub-standard meat. The US didn’t impose a ban then; instead, it introduced checks on all of Brazil’s meat shipments.

Qatar row: Arab states send list of steep demands
Four Arab states have sent Qatar a list of 13 demands it must meet if it wants them to lift their sanctions. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are asking the Gulf state to shut down its broadcaster, Al Jazeera. They are also asking Qatar to reduce ties with Iran and close a Turkish military base – all within 10 days.

Gaza’s only power plant resumes after Egypt fuel delivery
The Gaza Strip’s only power plant has resumed work, temporarily preventing a worsening of the energy crisis in the Palestinian coastal territory. Officials said it was operating, but at a reduced capacity, after diesel fuel was sent from Egypt. Engineers hope to restore it to full working order within days.

Republican senators’ revolt puts health bill in jeopardy
Four Republican senators have expressed reservations about their party’s plan to repeal Obamacare, throwing the health bill’s fate into uncertainty. Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Rand Paul said they were “not ready to vote for this bill”, but were “open to negotiation”. The Senate’s Republican leader unveiled his plan to overhaul the US healthcare system after drafting it in secret.

Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets
Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets… Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country.

Japanese warship takes Asian guests on cruise in defiance of China
Japan’s largest warship steamed into the South China Sea this week in defiance of Chinese assertiveness, with Asian military guests on board to witness helicopters looping over the tropical waters and gunners blasting target buoys. China claims most of the energy-rich sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, much of it to and from Japanese ports. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

North Korea Presents US With List Of Demands
North Korean Ambassador to India Kye Chun Yong, in an interview Wednesday, said his country is willing to halt nuclear and missile tests if the United States agrees to meet a list of demands.

Democratic congressman: Our ‘toxic’ brand under Pelosi makes it hard to win
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, says the Democratic Party’s “toxic” brand under House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is making it difficult for their party to connect with voters.

Is The American Empire’s War Machine Running Out Of Steam?
“Years of complex operations and the ongoing demands of units in the field have left the armed forces struggling to maintain both operational capacity and high levels of readiness, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office.” 

High-rise building with 27 floors goes up in flames, yet doesn’t uniformly collapse like WTC 7.. ever wonder why? 
…Bombshell truth: It is physically impossible for common fires to melt concrete or steel If you are not even familiar with Building 7, it is probably because the news media was quick to cover it up because it didn’t fit the official narrative that airplanes brought down the World Trade Center towers. Building 7 was not even hit by an airplane, and yet it collapsed just like the other two in perfect downward formation, almost like it was detonated.

Scary, infectious SUPERBUG just spread to five more U.S. states, including some in the Midwest
A deadly, hard-to-spot “superbug” yeast is rapidly infiltrating American hospitals. In June 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned clinics about the emergence of a new multidrug-resistant yeast strain called Candida auris. Two months later the first seven cases of C. auris. infection were recorded in the United States. The yeast causes severe illness and has a high mortality rate, especially among high-risk, hospitalized newborns and elderly.

Hillary Not “Out Of The Woods”: Arkansas Bar Considers Disciplinary Action Over Email Scandal
It seems that Hillary Clinton may not be “out of the woods” just yet as a New York attorney has filed a “misconduct complaint” against Clinton with the Arkansas bar accusing her of “dishonest behavior” and “lying under oath”…allegations that could result in disciplinary actions by the middle


Obamacare Unraveling as GOP Set to Unveil Fix

According to LifeZette:

The Affordable Care Act continued its inevitable collapse Wednesday when Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced it would be pulling out of most of the Wisconsin and Indiana marketplaces.

The bad news for Obamacare followed on the heels of Anthem’s announcement in early June that it would be withdrawing from Ohio’s marketplaces. Roughly 46,000 Hoosiers purchased health care coverage from Anthem on the exchange, while approximately 14,000 Wisconsinites purchased Anthem’s coverage.

View article →


The Seven Fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism

Is there a right way and a wrong way for people to behave? The moral relativists would say, “whatever floats your boat.”  “Wintery Knight” tackles moral relativism.

Moral relativism is the view that moral values and moral duties do not exist in reality, but only exist as opinions in people’s minds. When you ask a moral relativist where the belief that stealing is wrong comes from, he may tell you that it is his opinion, or that it is the opinion of most people in his society. But he cannot tell you that stealing is wrong independent of what people think, because morality (on moral relativism) is just personal preference.

So what’s wrong with it?

I found this list of the seven flaws of moral relativism at the Salvo magazine web site.

Here’s the summary:

View article →


Dr. Tim Ball Crushes Climate Change: The Biggest Deception In History

“With a 50-year academic career focusing on Historical Climatology, Dr. Tim Ball is uniquely qualified to address man-made climate change, and he demonstrates that it is a flat-out hoax. Thinking people everywhere should get multiple copies of this book and hand them out to everyone they know.” 

In a piece over at Technocracy News, Dr. Tim Ballx informs us that:

President Trump was correct to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. He could have explained that the science was premeditated and deliberately orchestrated to demonize CO2 for a political agenda. Wisely, he simply explained that it was a bad deal for the United States because it gave a competitive economic edge to other nations, especially China. A majority of Americans think he was wrong, but more would disagree if he got lost in the complexities of the science. I speak from experience having taught a Science credit course for 25 years for the student population that mirrors society with 80 percent of them being Arts students. Promoters of what is called anthropogenic global warming (AGW) knew most people do not understand the science and exploited it.

View article →


No, We Don’t Want Barbie to Date a Ken with a Man Bun

Mattel has introduced a new “dolled-up toy collection with feminized figurines.” Just imagine what the toy maker has planned for kids next.  LifeZette has the story:

After introducing a new batch of Barbie dolls last year, Mattel is rebooting the Ken doll. And the most surprising version of the new male counterparts to Barbie is the one with a man bun.

Other new versions of Ken dolls include the “slim” and the “broad” variety. New hairstyles include the previously mentioned man bun — as well as cornrows. There are also six skin tones available for these dolls.

View article →


Are The ‘Toxic’ Democrats Destined To Become A Permanent Minority Party?

It has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble.  Close to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records.  Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and spend six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost.  This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000.  But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably. (Read More…)


The Way Congress Is Handling Health Care Shows Why They Only Have A 17 Percent Approval Rating

The Senate health care bill was unveiled on Thursday, and it appears to be dead on arrival.  At least four conservative senators say that they can’t vote for the current version because it doesn’t go far enough, while several moderate Republicans are expressing concerns that it goes too far in repealing popular Obamacare provisions.  You can read the full text of the bill here.  Since Democrats are going to be united in voting against any bill that the Republicans put forward, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two Republican votes if he wants something to pass.  I don’t know how that is going to be possible, and so in the end we may be stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future and that would be a total disaster. (Read More…)


If The U.S. Continues To Creep Toward World War 3, Eventually It Is Going To Happen

After a bit of a lull for the past couple of months, the march toward war appears to be accelerating once again. On Monday the U.S. military shot down yet another Syrian aircraft, and it appears that President Trump’s patience with North Korea’s nuclear program may have run out. Unlike our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situations in Syria and North Korea both have the potential of sparking a much wider conflict. If we end up in a war with Syria, it is very likely that we will ultimately be fighting the Russians and the Iranians as well. On the other side of the globe, a war with North Korea could also potentially draw in China. This happened in the first Korean War, and it could easily happen again. It is understandable that the Trump administration wants to be tough with both Syria and North Korea, but we need to be extremely careful about the use of military force because one wrong move could potentially spark World War 3. (Read More…)


Restaurant Die-Off Is First Casualty Of California’s $15 Minimum Wage

The good news is more people are cooking at home. I guess.

Look, reality is reality. Restaurants, many anyway, operate on thin margins. A forced higher wage means margins disappear as does the incentive to stay open.

If the work isn’t WORTH $15 an hour and the minimum wage is $15 an hour, that work will go away. It’s not complicated.

Read More

With Shadow Government Firmly In Place, Obama Returns To The Campaign Trail In Bid To Save Democrat Party

Former president Barack Obama is making his first campaign foray of 2017, agreeing to stump for Democrat Ralph Northam in his bid to be Virginia’s next governor.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Obama has returned and is planning on being very vocal as he starts the process of rallying the troops to resist the Trump administration. The Democrats have lost race after race since Trump era took over, and are desperate for a win. Any win, anywhere. Obama is set up in his new DC mansion mere blocks from Trump, and has pockets overflowing with money from George Soros. Let the games begin.

David Turner, a spokesman for Northam, said the former president agreed this week to hit the campaign trail for Northam, but said he wouldn’t “go into any further detail about the private conversations that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam had with President Barack Obama.”

An aide to Obama confirmed that the former president agreed to campaign for Northam during a congratulatory call, although no events have been planned. The HuffPost first reported Obama’s plans to campaign for Northam.

The Virginia governor’s race, one of just two gubernatorial contests this year, is shaping up as the next high-profile electoral contest in the era of President Trump. It follows a couple of Democratic losses in high-profile special elections to fill congressional vacancies, including the House race in Georgia earlier this week that became the most expensive in U.S. history.

Obama has no intention of ‘going quietly’ as he comes back to resist Trump:

Obama, who carried Virginia in 2008 and 2012, could help Northam improve his support among younger voters and solidify his strong backing from African American voters. Northam’s strongholds in the Democratic primary were in the “Urban Crescent,” the heavily populated areas of northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.

Northam faces Ed Gillespie, a longtime Republican operative and party leader, in November. Gillespie spokesman David Abrams dismissed the potential appeal of the former president.

“How many Democratic surrogates is it going to take to try to drag the lieutenant governor across the finish line?,” he said. “Virginians deserve to hear from candidates directly, in their own voices, about their own ideas and proposals.”

The swamp fights back:

Eric Holder, of ‘Fast and Furious‘ fame in the Mexican gun running episode that resulted in the death of an American border patrol agent, has been chosen to head up the ominous sounding “Democrat redistricting” effort. 

Obama stayed out of the hard-fought Democratic primary between Northam and former congressman Tom Perriello. Northam, who beat Perriello in last Tuesday’s election, called former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. with an appeal to prevent Obama from endorsing in the race, according to a Democrat familiar with the call.

But Perriello, who lost his seat in Congress over his vote for Obamacare and then went on to work for the Obama administration, invoked the former president anyway, airing footage of him with Obama in campaign ads.

Since leaving office, Obama has stayed in the political fray, condemning Trump’s travel ban and decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, as well as Republican attempts to gut his signature health-care law.

This is the mess that Obama has been brought back to fix:

But he did not campaign for Democrats in congressional elections this year, though he did cut a video endorsing Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election.

Obama has said redistricting will be his primary cause. He has said he wants to help rebuild Democratic strength by preventing Republicans from drawing legislative maps that are favorable to them and will define the political landscape for the next decade. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by Holder, has made Virginia’s gubernatorial and House of Delegate races its first campaign targets. At a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond last weekend, Holder said Virginia is at the “epicenter of the political universe in 2017” and promised that his group will bring Democratic all-stars to the campaign trail. source

Mid-Day Snapshot

June 23, 2017

The GOP Senate Takes a Swing at ObamaCare

The House had its turn, and now the upper chamber takes a crack. It’s both disappointing and a first step.

The Foundation

“Amplification is the vice of modern oratory.” —Thomas Jefferson (1824)


This ‘n’ That

  • Good news, this is not Rosemary’s baby.
  • Here’s an interesting snapshot of occupations in the Bible (HT: Elizabeth Prata).
  • It’s hard to ignore Augustine when you’re talking about grace.
  • The discussion surrounding the idea of the eternal subordination of the Son (ESS) is still ongoing.
  • Um, this is weird, right?
  • Waiting on God? Be mindful not to be impatient.
  • Lysa Terkeust is a dangerous teacher, and ladies would do well to steer clear of her in this regard. Terkeust also recently announced that she is pursuing a divorce from her husband. Her stated reasons are biblical and, even as we avoid her as a “Bible” teacher, we should still nevertheless pray for her and not take joy in her sorrow.
  • So what you’re saying is, “Ken” will now never be fictionally married to “Barbie” because, let’s face it, who is going to marry a guy sporting a man-bun?
  • There have been some recent updates to the James Macdonald/Harvest Bible Chapel saga.
  • I had never heard of verse mapping before. Thanks for warning us, Michelle!
  • Sigh. Does this really exist?
  • This is a helpful overview of multiple sclerosis.
  • I don’t actually know what a fidget spinner is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not something we need to aid us in teaching biblical doctrine.
  • Rather than giving them [internet polemicists] the attention they crave, I urge you to step out of their audience and to pray for them to humble themselves and allow godly leaders to come alongside them and disciple them not just in doctrine, but in Christian love as well.” Amen.
  • I’m still in the process of listening to this sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the glory of the cross:

Featured Blogs


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: June 23

  • One year after Brexit: Forget euro zone breakup, sterling now deemed riskier (Read More)
  • Senate Holdouts Seek Upper Hand in Perilous Health Bill Talks (Read More)
  • Senate Bill Poses Risks to Health-Care Companies (Read More)
  • Trump’s Tape Ruse Risks Fresh Legal Jeopardy in Russia Probe (Read More)
  • Arab states demand Qatar closes Jazeera, cuts back ties to Iran (Read More)
  • Qatar Seen Rejecting List of Severe Demands to End Gulf Crisis (Read More)
  • Turkey rejects call to shut military base in Qatar (Read More)
  • From Music to Maps, How Apple’s iPhone Changed Business (Read More)
  • How Killing Obamacare Might Save Obamacare, For a While (Read More)
  • Baghdadi death near 100 percent certain: Interfax quotes Russian senator (Read More)
  • Japanese warship takes Asian guests on cruise in defiance of China (Read More)
  • FBI Director Nominee’s Client List Could Hinder Oversight of Investigations (Read More)
  • Buffett’s Home Capital Bet Backs Turbulent Canada Housing Market (Read More)
  • China’s authorities tighten noose around online video content (Read More)
  • Deadly London apartment blaze began in Hotpoint fridge freezer, police say (Read More)
  • Trump’s Steel Tariff Threat Faces Resistance From Lawmakers (Read More)
  • ‘Fair’ or ‘vague’? EU sizes up May’s Brexit rights offer (Read More)
  • Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana (Read More)
  • North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ICBM: U.S. officials (Read More)
  • Venezuelan soldier shoots protester dead in airbase attack, minister says (Read More)

Top Headlines – 6/23/2017

Top PA official accuses Israel of inciting, glorifying terror

After attacks, officials seek ‘unprecedented’ Damascus Gate security boost

Abbas said enraged by Kushner meet, refuses to cut any prisoner salaries

Abbas accuses Netanyahu of using ‘racist rhetoric’

Liberman: Abbas is dragging Israel into war with Hamas

Greenblatt outraged at Hamas’ inhumanity

In First, Germany to Send Fighter Jets to Train in Israel

Posing as environmentalists, Hezbollah digging in at border, Israel tells UN

Iranians parade missiles, shout ‘death to Israel’ in annual rally

Iranian regime-linked media claims Israeli F16s are in Saudi Arabia

Massive Iranian funding for anti-Israel terror groups revealed

US anti-ISIS envoy vows not to let Iran threaten Israel from Syrian Golan

Fears Grow That U.S. Is Inching Toward Bigger Role in Syria War

Will Syria Be the Next Libya – or Worse?

Canadian sniper sets world record with 2.2-mile pickoff of ISIS fighter

Russia fires missiles from Mediterranean at IS in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister: High degree of certainty ISIS leader is dead

Report: US, Russia, Jordan agree on safe zone in Syria’s Daraa

Iraqis: IS blew up mosque in ‘formal declaration of defeat’

Video Refutes ISIS Claim That U.S. Blew Up Mosque

Islamic group salutes a Jewish agency for fighting Trump’s refugee ban

New Zealand farmer arrested for selling sheep as sex slaves to ISIS

US judge halts deportation of more than 100 Iraqi Christians

‘I feel betrayed’: the Somali refugees sent from safety into a war zone

Saudi crown prince’s ascendancy gives hope of reform – but it may be premature

Qatar Airways seeks 10% stake in American Airlines amid Middle East dispute

Qatar’s neighbors issue long list of demands to end crisis

Saudi Arabia, other Arab nations demand that Qatar close Al-Jazeera, cut diplomatic ties to Iran, shutter Turkish base

Iran nuclear chief warns US over support for Saudi Arabia

New Iran Deals for Airbus Jets Increase Pressure on Trump

US tells Turkey it will take back weapons from Kurdish militia

Germany files espionage charges against alleged Turkish spy

US-led coalition building global jihadist database, envoy reveals

Israeli forces brace for last Friday of Ramadan prayers

Ramadan earns prime spot on Gulf fashion calendar

Christians, Muslims, Jews break bread in interfaith Morocco initiative

S. Korean leader observes missile test amid North’s threats

North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ICBM: U.S. officials

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un uses terrifyingly creative methods to kill enemies

North Korea denies torturing US student Warmbier

North Korea: Tillerson, Mattis still playing China card with Pyongyang

Virginia man charged with espionage for giving top-secret documents to China

US House Speaker says House wants to move on Iran, Russia sanctions bill

Russia’s Lavrov says new US sanctions harm ties with Washington

Grassley blames Comey for false Trump narrative: ‘Played right into Russia’s hands’

Trump publicly doubting that Russia meddled in election

Trump calls Russian collusion claims a ‘HOAX!’

No tapes: Trump says he didn’t record meetings with Comey

Sealing and transfer of Susan Rice records angers House committee investigating ‘unmasking’

Hillary Not “Out Of The Woods”: Arkansas Bar Considers Disciplinary Action Over Email Scandal

Johnny Depp jokes about killing Donald Trump in Glastonbury appearance

Johnny Depp on Donald Trump: Crime or free speech?

Elise Jordan Says Defending Trump ‘Like Hugging a Suicide Bomber’

30 GOP Congressmen Have Been Attacked or Threatened Since May

Democratic congressman: Our ‘toxic’ brand under Pelosi makes it hard to win

Pelosi says she’s staying: ‘I think I’m worth the trouble’

‘Klu Klux Klan still active in 33 states’

One year on, Brexit vote casts specter of anti-Semitism over UK Jews

Brexit’s true meaning remains elusive a year on

UK seeks to reassure EU citizens they can stay after Brexit

Venezuela’s Shortages Spur Perilous Sea Journeys

Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market

Beijing wages war on ‘Chinglish’ to prevent translation gaffes

George Orwell’s son says his father’s ‘1984’ was ‘prescient’

CEO Sleepout criticised as ‘dystopian’ for homeless simulation with VR headsets

Mexican president denies spying on journalists with Israeli tech

Washington State University warns 1 million about stolen hard drive containing personal data

Stolen American malware used to take over traffic cameras in Australia

Radio powered by your own sweat hints at future of wearables

Facebook changes mission statement to ‘bring the world closer together’

6.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Puerto San Jose, Guatemala

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kuripan, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Kuril Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pucon, Chile

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

Ulawun volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Guatemala landslide death toll rises to 12

Tropical Depression Cindy is Moving Inland over the Lower Mississippi Valley; Life-Threatening Flash Flooding Possible as Storm Reaches Ohio Valley

Men kayak through flooded Louisiana streets after Cindy makes landfall

Life-threatening heat wave to retain its grip on southwestern US into the weekend

Phoenix sets heat record for third day in a row

Heat wave causes increase in burns in Phoenix

Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers

CDC Warns About Growing Threat of C. Auris Superbug Infections

Flu vaccine ineffective for people 65 and older last winter

War-Torn Yemen to Get Cholera Vaccines as Death Toll Mounts

United States rejects UN call for access to safe abortions

Charges Dropped Against Undercover Activists Who Exposed Planned Parenthood in California

In US, 10.2% of LGBT Adults Now Married to Same-Sex Spouse

Trump Admin. Transgender Student Pronoun Policy Is ‘Compelled Speech Violation,’ Liberty Counsel Says

LGBT Groups: Conservative Christians ‘Have No Place in Government’

California is restricting publicly funded travel to states that leaders view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people

Mississippi can enforce LGBT religious objections law: court

NYPD Issues New Rules to Accommodate Cops Who Want to Identify as Different Gender

Venice’s first female gondolier announces he’s transgender

Russian priest says men should grow beards to ‘protect themselves from homosexuality’

Germany votes to void thousands of post-Nazi convictions of gay men

A Transgender Man’s Changing Relationship to Judaism

3,500 at first Beersheba gay pride parade; man arrested with knife

As women go to jail in record numbers, who’s watching out for their kids? No one.

Legal pot and car crashes: Yes, there’s a link

Balfour – A Call To Repent

Victoria Osteen – Choose to Serve Positive Thinking per Joshua 24:15

Hitler’s Plan to Replace Christianity With a “New” Christianity

Calif. Episcopal Bishop Sanctioned for Trying to Sell Church for $15M Against Wishes of Congregation

Former United Pentecostal Church Pastor, Wife Arrested for Being Drunk at Bar With Baby

New York State to ‘do what it takes’ to end church’s prolife ministry

Texas Daycare Operators Found “Actually Innocent” of Satanic Child Abuse After 25 Years

Minneapolis Encourages Snitching on Citizens for “Hate Speech” with ‘Shariah Hotline’

Germany Raids Homes of 36 People Accused of Hateful Postings Over Social Media

Violent thunderstorms hit Germany, two people killed, one seriously injured

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 07:01 AM PDT

Violent thunderstorms hit Germany on Thursday, June 22, 2017, producing gale-force winds, heavy rain and large hail. The storms caused widespread damage and traffic chaos,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Virginia man charged with espionage for giving top-secret documents to China

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 06:37 AM PDT

A Virginia man has been charged with espionage for transmitting top-secret documents to Chinese officials. Kevin Patrick Mallory, 60, was arrested Thursday at his home…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tom Cruise Was Once a Bible-Reading, “Born-Again Christian” that Converted To Scientology

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 06:33 AM PDT

Actor Curtis Armstrong claims in his upcoming book that megastar Tom Cruise read the Bible and identified as a born-again Christian in his early career…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christian Pro-Lifers Sued by New York Atty. Gen. for ‘Harassment’ Outside Abortion Clinic

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 06:26 AM PDT

New York Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman has filed a federal lawsuit against a coalition of Christian pro-life protesters who’ve been accused of threatening patients, staff and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Christian Woman Ordered by Police to Stop Praying in Her Home Loses in Court

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 06:20 AM PDT

The United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Kansas Catholic woman who claims that she was ordered by police to stop…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

California AG bans state-funded travel to Texas, 3 other states in response to Anti-LGBT Rights

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 06:15 AM PDT

California’s attorney general blocked state-funded travel to Texas and three other states on Thursday in response to what he considers anti-LGBT rights laws enacted this…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea tests suspected ICBM rocket engine

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 07:34 PM PDT

North Korea has reportedly carried out another test of a space rocket engine, which could be used for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Colorado to arm teachers in classrooms

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 07:28 PM PDT

Teachers are being trained to carry guns in classrooms in Colorado in order to protect children as part of a scheme motivated by a school…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Venice’s first female gondolier announces he’s transgender

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 07:22 PM PDT

A gondolier who made headlines a decade ago for being the first woman to enter the male-dominated cadre of Venice’s canal rowers has announced he…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: NYC Lays Out Welcome Mat for Cops to Come Out as Transgender

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 11:54 AM PDT

The New York City Police Department has laid out guidelines for how police officers with gender dysphoria can come out to their superiors as transgender…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Young Christian Girl Forced to Pray Muslim Prayer, Told to Forget Jesus to Pass Class in Philippines

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 11:44 AM PDT

A young Christian schoolgirl in the Philippines recalled how teachers forced her to pray a Muslim prayer in order to pass a class, and ignored…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christians and Jews Combat Witches’ Summer Solstice Satanic Spells on Trump

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 11:31 AM PDT

Witches around the world cast spells against President Trump once again last night, attempting to #BindTrump on the summer solstice.  The witches have been waging spiritual…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Are You Ready for the LGBT Bible App?

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 11:23 AM PDT

An LGBT activist is creating a new Bible app targeting “progressive” Christians who often feel marginalized by church and biblical traditions. “At its core, the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Face-Detecting Systems Will Soon Authorize Payments

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 11:19 AM PDT

Face-detecting systems in China now authorize payments, provide access to facilities and track down criminals. According to the current MIT Technology Review, this technology may soon…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


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Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Marks of a Faithful Church”

Code: B170623

Without a doubt, the question we receive most frequently at Grace to You is, “How do I find a good church in my area?”

Locating a faithful, biblically sound church is a struggle most believers face at one time or another in their lives. Sometimes it’s difficult to even know what to look for in the first place.

Compounding the problem significantly, too many Christians put their own tastes, interests, and preferences first in the search for a church. They draw all sorts of unnecessary and unbiblical lines regarding issues of secondary importance, if that. But the measure of the church has nothing to do with style—it’s a question of substance.

In his sermon, “Marks of a Faithful Church,” John MacArthur highlights several attributes and qualities that signify a faithful church. Reflecting on his shared history with the congregation, John considers the foundational convictions that have guided his ministry and grounded the life of the church. In that regard, these ecclesiastical attributes make up the criteria for gauging the health and faithfulness of a church.

Without spoiling his full list, here are some excerpts. With regard to the value of doctrinal clarity, John says:

I remember years ago doing a series on Ephesians 6 on the sword of the Spirit. . . . “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” [Ephesians 6:17]. And you say, “Well boy I’ve got the sword. I own a Bible.” You can own a million Bibles and not have the sword. It’s not having a Bible that equips you to fight the spiritual war. You can’t fight it with the Bible. You have to fight it with the theology that’s in it. Do you understand that? Having the sword is not a matter of owning a Bible. It’s a matter of knowing the content of it so that whatever comes your way, whatever temptation, whatever attack, whatever issue comes your way you can go directly to the Word of God and you can say, “This is the mind of Christ, this is the truth,” and with that you are armed.

Another criterion John highlights is the importance of personal holiness within the congregation. On the need for discipline in the church, he says:

Judgment begins with the household of God. Listen, the Lord is disciplining His church. Revelation 1 says He’s moving in His church, and the image there—His eyes are like lasers penetrating to see the reality of what’s going on in His church. And His feet are like blazing, burnished bronzed or brass as He goes through His church inflicting whatever chastening He needs on those that sin. Personal holiness is critical.

I’m not talking about false piety. Nothing is more noxious to God than false spirituality, superficiality. I’m not talking about legalism. I’m not talking about external kind of things. I’m talking about the heart. Isaiah 66, to whom does the Lord look and whom does He seek? He who has a contrite spirit and “trembles at My Word.” He wants humility; He wants virtue in His church.

If you’re looking for a new church, or if you simply want to biblically evaluate the one you’re currently attending, “Marks of a Faithful Church” is an excellent place to start.

To listen to “Marks of a Faithful Church,” click here.

 


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15 Marks of a Disciple of Jesus

Christianity is not a club.

Jesus does not want cheerleaders or groupies. Following Christ is not about T-shirts, slogans, or hashtags. Jesus calls us to be children of his Father. He calls us to be his disciples.

Because Jesus has a unique role in God’s plan of salvation, he is more than an example. The best mirror we find in the Gospel accounts is not Jesus, but his disciples.

15 Marks of a Disciple of Jesus

Here are fifteen things we learn about being a disciple of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.

1. A disciple is called (Luke 5:1–11).

Jesus didn’t need a recruiter. He called and his disciples “left everything and followed him.” Likewise, God calls us as disciples, not because we are worthy, but because of his grace (2 Timothy 1:9).

2. A disciple is taught (Luke 6:20–49).

Jesus spent a lot of time teaching his disciples about reality. Who did the Messiah come for? Who is worthy of salvation? What is the kingdom of God? We are just as ignorant and resistant to the truth; we need instruction.

3. A disciple is a follower (Luke 7:11).

Inherent in the definition of a disciple is one who does not choose his own direction, causes, or values. Disciples follow Jesus.

4. A disciple is aware of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:9–10).

Jesus reveals truth to his disciples that is obscured to others. Because God’s kingdom is not worldly or political, we must be taught the values and requirements of the King.

5. A disciple is a servant (Luke 9:14–17).

Jesus’ disciples got their hands dirty, distributing multiplied food to the hungry people. Sometimes walking with Jesus means picking up bread crusts and fish bones.

6. A disciple is sent to proclaim the kingdom of God (Luke 9:1–6; 10:1–12).

Jesus sent his twelve apostles and then seventy-two others as laborers in a plentiful harvest (Luke 10:2). As those sent with a message to proclaim, his disciples were in danger as lambs among wolves (Luke 10:3) because they were announcing a different king. The heavenly kingdom they announced valued peace (Luke 10:5) and healing (Luke 10:9), not riches and power. Challenging existing authority structures is often unpopular.

7. A disciple confesses Jesus as the Christ (Luke 9:18–20).

Peter famously confessed Jesus as “the Christ of God.” This is the most important question we face as well: Who do you say Jesus is? We must answer this daily, reorienting our priorities, passions, and purpose around the Messiah.

8. A disciple is a witness (Luke 10:23–24).

The apostles walked with Jesus. Many longed to see what they saw. This is part of God’s “gracious will” (Luke 10:21). We also witness the love and power of Jesus through his Word and his work in the world. The arena is much bigger now, but his disciples still sit court-side.

9. A disciple denies himself and takes up his cross (Luke 9:23–27).

A disciple’s life was not glamorous or lucrative. It was full of hardship and danger. Make no mistake—if your highest values are comfort, peace, and safety, you will lose your life. But if you lose your life for Jesus’ sake, you will save it.

10. A disciple is committed (Luke 9:57–62).

Jesus teaches that following him is not easy; it requires everything. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

11. A disciple is a cross-bearer and a cost-counter (Luke 14:26–33).

Following Jesus is serious and costly. It may cost family and friends; it may cost time and comfort; it may even cost your life. Jesus says, “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

12. A disciple is rebuked by Jesus (Luke 18:15–17).

When we submit to Jesus as Lord, we acknowledge his perfection, wisdom, and authority to correct us—and we need a lot of correction! The disciples were rebuked by Jesus, and if we do not know the same, we’re probably not encountering the Lord. This ongoing process happens as we read his Word and interact with his people. God’s rebuke is evidence of his love for his children.

13. A disciple praises God (Luke 19:33–40).

When disciples see Jesus clearly, the “King who comes in the name of the Lord,” they rejoice and praise the Father who sent his Son. Following Jesus is not primarily about doing, but worshiping.

14. A disciple spends time with his Master (Luke 22:11, 39, 45).

In the hours before his arrest, Jesus yearned for time with his disciples. They ate with him, talked with him, and sang with him. As God changes our hearts and gives us new desires, chief among them will be love for him. We seek and spend time with those we love.

15. A disciple is redeemed, comforted, and dispatched to the world (Luke 24:36–53).

Jesus seeks out his disciples after his resurrection, though they were absent at his crucifixion and burial. He speaks peace and comfort to them. He died for their sins and rose from the grave so they also could have new life. As he sent his disciples into the world with the promise of the Spirit (v. 49), so he also sends us.

Disciple, Will You Take Up Your Cross?

There is no place for pride among those who follow Jesus (Luke 22:24–27). We are called, taught, directed, equipped, and corrected by our Master. We cannot meet our greatest need—reconciliation with God—and we often bristle at this reality.

But Jesus is a loving Savior. When we confess our pride, he graciously restores us. Our sin-debt has already been paid, so he doesn’t hold it against us. He is also the Risen King, who replaces our pride with humility, through the work of his Spirit within us.

Jesus continues to call us today. Will you take up your cross as a disciple and follow the One who was taken up on the cross for you?

The post 15 Marks of a Disciple of Jesus appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Narcissus Revises Christianity, Makes It Liberal

In Book III of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Narcissus pines away, looking at his own reflection, until he dies and turns into a flower.  Many misread Ovid’s character as someone conceited and self-absorbed.  In the Latin tale, he does not know that the beautiful boy he sees is himself until he has already descended into madness.

Narcissus cannot love anyone, but he suddenly falls in love with an unreachable beauty – a face in a pool – who causes him to experience the rejection and inconsolable yearning his own coldness has inflicted on others.  His unattainable object of desire is actually, as he gradually realizes, himself: “Oh, I am he!  Oh, now I know for sure the image is my own; it’s for myself I burn with love; I fan the flames I feel…my riches beggar me.”

Narcissism is a self-deceiving act producing affection only for things that unwittingly reflect one’s self.  The narcissist fails to know Christ, for example, because he can love Christ only when Christ resembles a man just like him.  The narcissist does not realize he worships himself, but he does.

Christian Narcissus

I have noted an “uptick” in the number of articles about Christianity in liberal circles.  Most have focused on supposedly new spiritualities that flatter a progressive, pro-choice, and pro-gay worldview.  The New Republic, New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, and other left-leaning papers ran stories about religion in close succession.  Consider this subtle title from the New York Times: “Religious Liberals Sat Out of Politics for 40 Years; Now They Want in the Game.”

Pro-gay groups decided to “surround” the Southern Baptist Convention’s yearly meeting in Phoenix, demanding that the staunchly conservative congregation reverse its biblical view on homosexuality, supposedly for the sake of youths who might kill themselves.

Since “winsome” and “charitable” are the orders of the day, I will behave generously and not assume that such liberals are heretics, Satanic, or agents of evil.  I will assume they are simply narcissists, falling into the same trap that ensnared Ovid’s youth.  They are projecting onto Christ their own minds and then imagining that what they see is not really, in the end, a vain reflection of themselves.

Below are eight of the most common narcissistic lines we hear again and again:

  1. “Jesus cared about the poor a lot more than he did about sin.”

Democrats have created a paradox for themselves by splicing greed from lust, reading financial selfishness as cruel but sexual selfishness as benign.  Few eras have imagined that “concupiscence” or “earthly desire” could be transformed from an evil into an objective good, if only transferred from money to carnality.

Jesus emphasized that people who care about earthly pleasures will lose eternal life.  In John 17, Jesus says He is not of this world, and neither are those who believe in Him.  Democrats understand this in part, correctly seeing that people who care most about getting rich tend to trample holiness.  But sin includes more than money.  In John 8:34, Jesus states, “[E]veryone who commits sin is a slave of sin,” and the only way to be free of slavery is to follow His truth.

Eternal damnation is the punishment for failing to help those in need (Matthew 25), but nowhere does Jesus say people must eradicate poverty entirely or focus on poverty relief to the exclusion of other forms of holiness.  In Mark 12:43, Jesus praises the widow who gave all she owned to the temple, leaving herself destitute.  He did not state that the temple should give her money back to her so she would not be poor.  Most importantly, in Matthew 26:11, Jesus says, “You always have the poor with you.”  The text presents Judas Iscariot, the great traitor, as the one disciple who griped so much about Jesus’s refusal to make charity for the poor the sole focus of ministry.

  1. “You have no right to tell people who’s a real Christian.”

Jesus repeatedly warns against false prophets (Mark 13:22), blind fools leading other blind people into pits (Matthew 15:14), and hypocrites who say long prayers only for show (Mark 12:40).  Those who have authority and mislead others “will receive harsher punishment.”  In John 8:31, He states, “if you continue in My word, you really are My disciples,” followed by the harsh point, “[b]ecause you cannot listen to my Word, you are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.”  The gospels demand corrective responses to falsehood.  Jesus is firm when he rebukes Peter for being so misdirected, saying “Get behind me, Satan, because you think not of God’s concerns, but man’s!” (Mark 8:33).

  1. “Out of love and kindness, you should respect my view of Christianity.”

Jesus said it was crucial to love others as we expect to be loved.  But He also reminded people of the highest Mosaic law: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  Turning the other cheek is not the same thing as sitting quietly while someone defiles God’s Name with false teachings.  While Jesus was gentle – as we should be, too­ – toward people who sin for lack of self-command, Jesus was not gentle with the scribes, Pharisees, and false teachers.  Those who lead and teach others are not given the clemency shown to the woman caught in adultery (John 8:7) or the promiscuous Samaritan at the well (John 4:17).

The entire chapter of Matthew 23 involves a screed by Jesus Christ against the “brood of vipers,” the hypocrites like “whitewashed tombs” who have rotten hearts and spread their rot while claiming to be holy.  In Mark 9:42, Jesus says those who lead the young to stumble would be better off with millstones around their necks, cast into the sea.  And Jesus states that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the one sin that can never be pardoned (Matthew 12:32).  Christians can be tender and amicable toward a man who has engaged in lustful contact with men due to his insuppressible urges, but not to Rachel Held Evans when she tells her myriad Twitter followers that it’s okay to “be LGBT-affirming.”

  1. “Christ was a rebel.”

As the L.A. Times reports, LGBTs rallied against Trump.  Churches sent pro-gay contingents, including one lesbian who proclaimed, “Jesus resisted.”  Citing Jesus, she takes to the streets and shouts for violent confrontation with the people who supported Trump.

It is important to note that Barabbas was a rebel who fits the description of angry street forces – and it was Barabbas who was chosen by the doomed crowd that demanded that Jesus Christ be sacrificed in Barabbas’s stead.  Christ was a powerful presence, certainly, daring to overturn the money tables in the temple, but He conspicuously avoided behaving like the leader of a rebel movement.  He gathered a small number of disciples and sent them out to win souls with the Truth, then submitted to His execution willingly.  He was not Barabbas, and the crowd’s inability to differentiate between them was no small crime.

  1. “Christ said nothing about homosexuality, so we must endorse it as good.”

Jesus Christ gave us more than enough material so that we do not even need to consult Paul or the Old Testament to understand the problem with homosexuality.  Jesus states in John 8:31 that His disciples are those who “continue in” His “word.”  The Christian cannot skate by, when feeling urges, by scanning Jesus’s words to see if anything He said forbade such action (though there is much reason to discern that Jesus did forbid all unchaste behavior).  Rather, we can’t do anything that Jesus and scripture did not explicitly command us to do.  In Mark 8:34, Jesus says, “to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Nowhere in the entire Bible is there any positive reference to same-sex activity, yet there are numerous vilifications of same-sex activity.  Jesus does tell us to engage in sex – with the opposite sex.  Jesus laid down a specific model for marriage in Matthew 19:4-12, referring back to Genesis and the fact that male and female were created for permanent unity as one flesh.  To those raising caveats, Jesus makes clear that if people cannot respect that model, they must live as a “eunuch” (Matthew 19:12) and have no marriage or sexual relations at all.  In addition, Jesus describes two sexual sins (adultery and sexual impurity) as “defilement” even if only spoken (Matthew 15:19).  The other defilements are evil thoughts, murder, theft, slander, and blasphemy.  Given the myriad references outside the four gospels labeling homosexuality defilement, abomination, unnatural, etc. – would you, if you felt same-sex desires, be willing to gamble your salvation on the pro-gay interpretation of Jesus?

  1. I speak “prophetically” to the world.

The idea of prophetic witness has surfaced in a number of places recently.  I saw, for instance, that some from the Princeton Theological Seminary justified their barring of Tim Keller from receiving an award by saying the seminary chooses to speak “prophetically” against homophobia.  Keller’s adherence to a scriptural view on homosexuality was a deal-breaker.

There were quite a few prophets in the Old Testament.  None of them sought to use the prestige of an established institution to chastise another child of God for championing chastity.  In the eyes of some liberal Christians, to speak “prophetically” seems to mean trumpeting fashionable ideas that go against what is actually written in the Bible.  The prophet is the voice in the wilderness, not the tenured professor in Princeton.

  1. We should “engage the culture.”

Often liberal Christians accuse conservatives of losing the culture by refusing to engage it.  This charge contradicts itself, since liberals invariably level this accusation at the conservative Christians attacked for sounding mean, sexist, or homophobic.  In truth, Christians who hang out at gay film festivals or enjoy pleasant lunches with Planned Parenthood executives are not engaging the culture.  They are kissing up to the ungodly powers of this world – quite the opposite of Jesus, who went to the outcasts and downtrodden, all the while telling them to repent, turn away from their sins, and live for God.

  1. Jesus listened to women, so Christians today should listen to women and respect their pro-choice position.

Jesus gathered twelve disciples and did not include a single female.  Nowhere does Jesus sit quietly and declare that a woman’s experience has inspired Him to reverse a godly principle so that women can be spared difficulty.  Of the many miracles of healing and demon-busting performed by Jesus, no abortion occurs.  The notion that women must abort so that they can avoid difficulty, ostracism, or a slowing of their career goes utterly against Jesus’s instructions to accept hardship and find strength in God and His Word.  Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow, to avoid stressing about clothing or money or a place to live, and to hedge against the error of gaining the world while losing our souls.  That He would suspend such philosophies upon hearing a pregnant woman say she can’t deal with the trials of giving birth and raising a child makes no sense, given His ministry and many statements about humility and putting others before ourselves.

There are so many more statements to debunk, but these eight are quite a lot to digest in one sitting.  The common thread in all these fallacies is the narcissistic trap of cooing over a Jesus who isn’t really Jesus, but rather a person just like the liberal looking for a God to mirror his own political agenda.  It is a timeless error with a timely urgency.

Source:  Narcissus Revises Christianity, Makes It Liberal

WSJ: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God

The odds of life existing on another planet grow ever longer. Intelligent design, anyone?

In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete—that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place—science itself.

Here’s the story: The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 27 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.

With such spectacular odds, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a large, expensive collection of private and publicly funded projects launched in the 1960s, was sure to turn up something soon. Scientists listened with a vast radio telescopic network for signals that resembled coded intelligence and were not merely random. But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening. Congress defunded SETI in 1993, but the search continues with private funds. As of 2014, researchers have discovered precisely bubkis—0 followed by nothing.

What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting.

Even SETI proponents acknowledged the problem. Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: “In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest . . . . We should quietly admit that the early estimates . . . may no longer be tenable.”

As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here.

Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.

Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?

There’s more. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.

Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?

Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator . . . gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”

The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something—or Someone—beyond itself.

Mr. Metaxas is the author, most recently, of “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life” ( Dutton Adult, 2014).

Correction

An earlier version understated the number of zeroes in an octillion and a septillion.

Source: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God

The Official Beginning Of the One World Religion (Short Video)

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

As a Christian, the reader will notice immediately which “religion” is missing.   Well, it’s not a religion at all. We are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  But you will not see a presentative from the Evangelical Church – not in this line up of the new One World Religion.

Brethren – do NOT be alarmed! As our Lord has told us in His Holy Word “Let not your hearts be troubled.”

The events we have been witnessing in the last months are unprecedented in world history.  We are SO close to our Blessed Hope!!

Share the Gospel with the lost! If there is someone in your life for whom you have a burden on your heart – pray for them and then share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

These are exciting times for the Body of Christ!

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth…

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Barna Update | 2017 Bible-Minded Cities

We live in an age when the Bible is read and understood very differently in cities across the country. So how exactly do Americans from each region interact with the Bible? In the annual Bible-Minded Cities report, in partnership with American Bible Society, Barna explores how Bible engagement plays out regionally in the United States. Where does your city rank?

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June 23, 2017: Verse of the day

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The True Audience: God

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (6:6)

The basic definition of prayer is “communion with God,” and if He is not involved there is only the pretense of prayer. Not only must He be involved, but centrally involved. Prayer is God’s provision; it is God’s idea, not man’s. There could be no prayer if God did not condescend to speak with us, and we could not know how to pray had He not chosen to instruct us.

Jesus’ teaching here is simple, in contrast to the complicated and difficult traditions. The phrase when you pray implies great latitude. No prescribed time or occasion is given by the Lord. The tameion (inner room) could be any sort of small room or chamber, even a storage closet. Such rooms were often secret and used to store valued possessions for protection. The idea is that of going to the most private place available.

As already mentioned, Jesus does not forbid or condemn public prayer as such (cf. 1 Tim. 2:1–4). His purpose here seems to have been to make as great a contrast as possible to the practices of the scribes, Pharisees, and other hypocritical religionists. The primary point Jesus makes does not have to do with location but with attitude. If necessary, Jesus says, go to the most secluded, private place you can find so you will not be tempted to show off. Go there and shut the door. Shut out everything else so that you can concentrate on God and pray to your Father. Do whatever you have to do to get your attention away from yourself and others and on Him and Him alone.

Much of our prayer life should be literally in secret. Jesus regularly went away from His disciples to pray entirely alone. Our family members or friends may know that we are praying, but what we say is not meant for them to hear. Chrysostom commented that in his day (the fourth century a.d.) many Christians prayed so loud in their rooms that everyone down the hall heard what they said. If people sometimes happen to overhear our private prayers, it should not be by our intention. (Cf. John A. Broadus, Matthew [Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson, 1886], p. 140.)

But the Father being in secret does not mean He is not present when we pray in public, or with our families or other small groups of believers. He is very much present whenever and wherever His children call on Him. Jesus’ point has to do with the singleness of intention. True prayer is always intimate. Even prayer in public, if the heart is right and concentrated on God, will in a real and profound way shut one up alone in the presence of God.

In the pattern of prayer Jesus taught His disciples, He begins with “Our Father” (Matt. 6:9), indicating that other believers may be present and that the prayer is corporate. But even when prayer represents the feelings and needs of others who are present, the supreme attention is to be on God. In that sense, even the most public prayer is in secret. Even if the whole world hears what we say, there is an intimacy and focus on God in that communion that is unaffected.

God also sees in secret in the sense that He never betrays a confidence. Many things we share with God in our private prayers are for Him alone to know. Confidences we share even with our dearest loved ones or closest friends may sometimes be betrayed. But we can be sure our secrets with God will forever be just that, and that one believer praying in secret with a pure heart has the full attention of the Father.

Furthermore, when our prayer is as it should be, our Father who sees in secret will repayus. The most important secret He sees is not the words we say in the privacy of our room, but the thoughts we have in the privacy of our heart. Those are the secrets about which He is supremely concerned, and about which only He can know with certainty (cf. 1 Cor. 4:3–5). Those secrets sometimes are hidden even from ourselves, because it is so easy to be deceived about our own motives.

When God is genuinely the audience of our prayer, we will have the reward only He can give. Jesus gives no idea in this passage as to what God’s reward, or repayment, will be. The important truth is that God will faithfully and unfailingly bless those who come to Him in sincerity. Without question, the Lord will repay. Those who pray insincerely and hypocritically will receive the world’s reward, and those who pray sincerely and humbly will receive God’s.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary