Daily Archives: October 25, 2017

October 25, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Senate moved Tuesday to overturn a rule aimed at making it easier for customers to sue banks, handing financial firms a big win in their battle against post-crisis regulations.

Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov heads a group of officials and executives due to attend the U.S.-Russia Business Council’s annual meeting in New York on Thursday, where discussions will focus on prospects for future relations amid FBI and congressional probes into possible links between the Kremlin and Trump campaign officials.

Venezuela’s biggest market for crude sales — the U.S. — is becoming a harder and harder place for the socialist nation’s oil producer to do business as sanctions and diminishing quality controls discourage would-be buyers.

South Africa forecast higher debt and wider fiscal deficits over the next three years, heightening the risk of further credit ratings downgrades as a fight for control of the ruling party limits policy choices.

Amazon is going to start delivering packages not just to doorsteps, but inside homes as well. The new service, called Amazon Key, incorporates a smart lock fitted to a customer’s door, as well as a new Amazon security camera to record the movements of the delivery person.

AP Top Stories

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, mostly in Western states and on the Eastern seaboard, have endured more days of extreme summer heat over the past 10 years than in previous decades, a leading environmental group said in a study unveiled on Tuesday.

Buddhists in Myanmar on Wednesday blocked aid workers from visiting a camp for displaced Muslims in the central part of Rakhine State, where the United Nations fears the spread of violence that has already displaced hundreds of thousands.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is prepared to help Iraq’s central government export oil through a pipeline that would largely bypass Iraq’s Kurdish region.

The Trump administration will temporarily delay processing of most refugees from 11 countries (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as Palestinians who lived in those countries) identified as high-risk, while resuming refugee admissions for other countries, government officials said on Tuesday.

Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore said he believes a Supreme Court ruling allowing loving adults to marry is worse than the court’s 1857 decision that upheld slavery.

A $300m contract to help fix Puerto Rico’s crippled electricity network has been awarded to a tiny Montana firm located in the hometown of a cabinet member of the Trump administration.

For the second time this year, the U.S. Navy has three aircraft carrier strike groups operating in the Western Pacific, as the security belt tightens before President Donald Trump’s visit to South Korea and China next month. The Navy says that the USS Nimitz arrived on Wednesday after three months in the Arabian Gulf, supporting the fight against the Islamic State.

North Korea said they were nearing a “final victory” and promised to wipe out Donald Trump and despot Kim Jong-un’s other rivals. The threat was made in a state-run newspaper in Pyongyang, which effectively acts as a mouthpiece for the one-party government.

Kurdish authorities in Iraq offered on Wednesday to put an independence drive on hold, stepping up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means.

On Oct. 20, 2017, the Kurdish Peshmerga claimed to have destroyed an Iraqi M-1A1 Abrams tank during fighting in Kirkuk province and took grainy video footage to prove it. It was an especially noteworthy clash given that Western allies supplied many of Iraqi Kurdistan’s anti-tank missiles and Iraq’s Abrams tanks.

The four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on October 4 had been pursuing a senior recruiter for the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) who escaped when they were ambushed, NBC News reports.

Millions of lives could be lost through mass starvation, disease and societal collapse following a N. Korean electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, according to the author of a congressional report.

Iran has sentenced to death a person found guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists, Tehran’s prosecutor said on Tuesday.

BBC

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the return of “moderate Islam” is key to his plans to modernize the Gulf kingdom. He told reporters 70% of the Saudi population was under 30 and that they wanted a “life in which our religion translates to tolerance”.

More than 500 people have been publicly flogged in Indonesia in the past two years, a rights group says. This was permitted as part of a peace deal with separatists in 2006, but the law has become increasingly conservative, particularly regarding gay and extra-marital sex.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has followed through on his plan to boost power resources in Puerto Rico after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Mr Musk’s firm, Tesla, has set up solar panels and energy storage batteries at Hospital del Nino, a children’s hospital in San Juan.

A new strain of ransomware nicknamed “Bad Rabbit” has been found spreading in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

WND

A Catholic student group at Georgetown University could be stripped of its funding for its belief in traditional marriage.

In California-which with a July 2016 population of 39,250,017 is the nation’s most populous state – 44.6 percent of the people five years of age and older do not speak English at home, according to data released this week by the Census Bureau.

A math education professor at the University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and geometry skills perpetuate “unearned privilege” among whites.


The Briefing 10-25-17

Breathtaking account of prenatal surgery highlights dignity of life, wonder of creation

Chink in pro-abortion armor exposed as life is celebrated in New York Times science section

Awful argument wins as federal appeals court rules government must facilitate abortion

The post The Briefing 10-25-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

News – 10/25/2017

In Unusual Letter Kim Jong Un Announces N. Korea “Fully Nuclear”
In a peculiar letter to the Australian Foreign Minister, North Korean despot Kim Jong Un stated that his country is ““fully-fledged nuclear power”. In an extraordinary manner, the letter was sent via North Korea’s embassy in Jakarta to Australia’s Indonesian embassy. Dated September 28, the letter appears to have been distributed about a week after Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, when he said “the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Iran Sentences Alleged Mossad Agent to Death For Nuclear Scientist Assassinations
An Iranian man was convicted in Tehran on Tuesday of providing information to the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, which was used to assassinate several people connected to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The man convicted of helping the Israelis was sentenced to death.

WATCH: 1,000 new precision missiles to boost IDF’s offensive capabilities
Defense giant Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been awarded a contract with the IDF to rapidly produce more than a thousand Spike LR2, fifth-generation electro-optical, precision-guided missiles, the company announced on Tuesday. “This substantial production order… for the IDF will kick-start the Spike LR2 missile production earlier than expected,” read the statement, adding that “the IDF and future customers will be assured technical maturity, low risk and readiness for operation.”

Kurds offer to suspend independence vote, seek talks with Baghdad
Kurdish authorities in Iraq offered on Wednesday to put an independence drive on hold, stepping up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means. But a Iraqi military spokesman suggested an offensive — launched to wrest back territory after Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence in a disputed referendum in September — would continue regardless.

Syria: Russia vetoes extension of chemical weapons inquiry
Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution extending the mandate of the only official mission investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) was set up in 2015 to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks. It is due to report later this week on a deadly nerve agent attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April.

Brazil’s Chapada dos Veadeiros park ravaged by fire
A fire in a national park in the state of Goias in central Brazil has destroyed almost a quarter of the protected area. The park’s director told BBC Brasil [in Portuguese] he suspected arson was the cause of the fire. Chapada dos Veadeiros national park is a Unesco World Heritage site and famous for its biodiversity. About 54,000 hectares (130,000 acres) have been razed by the fire so far, park officials said.

Crown prince says Saudis want return to moderate Islam
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the return of “moderate Islam” is key to his plans to modernise the Gulf kingdom. He told reporters that 70% of the Saudi population was under 30 and that they wanted a “life in which our religion translates to tolerance”. The prince vowed to “eradicate the remnants of extremism very soon”.

Maryland development under fire after selling homes only to Muslims
Dueling legal complaints and allegations of Islamophobia have marred an unfinished retirement community in Maryland after homes were sold only to Muslims. Planners say interest in the River Run development was strong before stalled county permits halted construction. Some elected officials and residents complained that the community violated fair-housing laws.

Out of the Broom Closet: DC Witches in Their Own Words
To celebrate Samhain, a Wiccan festival that falls on the evening of Oct. 31, Washington, D.C. resident Elizabeth Stephens usually prepares a pot of jambalaya to honor her late grandmother and a plate of roast beef in memory of her parents. She marks the festival with witches and fellow Wiccans, who offer their own dishes as a part of the day’s feast. The table they set becomes patterned with platters that were the favorites of family members and friends.

US study finds rise in human glyphosate levels
Levels of glyphosate, a controversial chemical found in herbicides, markedly increased in the bodies of a sample population over two decades…The increase dated from the introduction of genetically-modified glyphosate-tolerant crops in the United States in 1994. The findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) came as the European Commission proposed on Tuesday to renew the license for glyphosate for a shorter than usual five to seven years.

“It’s A Huge Story”: China Launching “Petroyuan” In Two Months
“…the yuan-based oil contract will be a ‘wake up call’ for investors …besides serving as a hedging tool for Chinese companies, the contract will aid a broader Chinese government agenda of increasing the use of the yuan in trade settlement…it’s a ‘huge story’…”

Why the Israeli Air Force Destroys Its Enemies in Battle
Instead of pursuing its own fighters, Israel has lately preferred to extensively modify the aircraft it buys from the United States. Both planes have increased range and improved avionics, enabling the IDF to fight effectively at great distance from its bases. Since the 1960s, the air arm of the Israel Defense Forces (colloquially the IAF) has played a central role in the country’s defense.

Colin Kaepernick lands million-dollar book deal
Colin Kaepernick has inked a book deal worth just over $1 million with Random House imprint One World, Page Six has exclusively learned. One World’s headed by book world superstar Chris Jackson, who also publishes Jay-Z and Ta-Nehisi Coates. He launched One World last year.

Geo-Engineers Want More Chemtrails to Save the Coral
Researchers are openly calling for releasing sulphate aerosols in the sky to literally dim the sun in an attempt to stop coral bleaching.

US Spy Chiefs Implore Congress to ‘Reauthorize’ Mass Surveillance of Internet Users
US intelligence officials are fighting to renew the controversial spying program which allows agencies to conduct bulk surveillance on internet users.

Churches merge, close: ‘We no longer live in Christendom. We really have to accept that it’s a thing of the past’
…The merger would be the latest example of an increasingly common phenomenon: faith leaders closing or consolidating houses of worship as a way of adjusting to a culture that has grown less hospitable to their mission.

FBI, DHS Issue Joint Cyberalert, Warning of Attacks on Infrastructure
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint alert, warning companies of the persistent threat of cyberattacks in critical infrastructure sectors, including nuclear, water and aviation.

1.5 million Off Food Stamps Since Trump Took Office
…The enrollment in the food stamp program dropped to 41,203,721 people for a decrease of 1,487,642 since Trump was sworn in. the website reported. The biggest decrease was recorded in March-April with over 500,000 people dropping off the rolls.

Mueller’s Special Investigation is Illegal – Rosenstein Did Not Have Right to Set Up Without Preliminary Investigation First
…Obviously, all of this is very corrupt – the phony special investigation of President Trump, the appointment of Mueller by Rosenstein, the FBI investigation in 2009 that was hidden from Congress, the press and all Americans which involved with real collusion with Russia by the Obama Administration and the Clintons.

“It’s Out There” Wikileaks Shows Clintons Knew Uranium One Was Major Scandal in 2015
Hillary Clinton likes to laugh off the Uranium One scandal as a ‘debunked’ right-wing conspiracy, however; internal emails show the Clinton camp was panicking as the conservative media revealed the dirty details of pay-to-play.

EPA ‘Sue And Settle’ Cost $70 Billion In New Regulations
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to curb a common Obama-era legal practice could keep billions of dollars worth of regulations off the books, according to a new report.

John Kerry: Bible Says U.S. Must Protect Muslim Countries From Global Warming
If John Kerry really read his bible, he would clearly see that the U.S needs to stand with Israel…

Resistance Leader Sneak Attack ALERT
The anti-American ex-president, who will continue to antagonize and haunt Americans during his natural lifetime and will NEVER go away; his hand-picked protégé who lost last November’s election but acts as though she’s the current president anyway, have managed to insert themselves into the underpinnings of the entire electoral process. Self-crowned ‘Resistance Leader’ Barack Hussein Obama has discovered a workable loophole to take the Democrat Party out of exile back into power.

HELL YEAH: Trump Admin Expected to Kill Massive Landmark Boeing Plane Sale to Iran Approved Under Obama
The Trump administration is coming under increased pressure from Congress to kill a landmark deal between Boeing and an Iranian airline known for engaging in terrorism over concerns the Western airline company would enable Tehran’s transfer of militant fighters across the region, according to multiple sources, who told the Washington Free Beacon the administration is likely to nix the multi-billion dollar deal.


Proof Positive That Crooked Hillary And The DNC Funded Phony Trump-Russia Story Comes To Light

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Within the past 24 hours, two enormous, blockbuster stories connecting Hillary Clinton with Russian uranium, Russian collusion, and a phony Trump story attempting to connect Trump with Russian prostitutes. Both these stories have mountains of proof attached to them, and today the Clinton spox are on every news program that will have them, desperately trying to spin it all away. What is coming to light now is exactly what we have been saying would happen, and exactly what ever one of the tens of millions of Trump voters have known to be the truth the entire time. It is time to #LockHerUp

Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., firm, to conduct the research. Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.

Elias and his law firm, Seattle-based Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’ research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’ research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and DNC, and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele.

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for anti-Trump dossier research:

The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediately release who paid for it.”

Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier is a compilation of reports he prepared for Fusion. The dossier alleged the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president.

U.S. intelligence agencies later released a public assessment, which asserted that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to aid Trump. The FBI has been investigating whether any Trump associates helped the Russians.

Trump has adamantly denied the allegations and has dismissed the FBI probe as a witch hunt.

Fusion GPS’ work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries when the GOP donor paid for the firm to investigate.

When the Republican donor stopped paying for the research, Elias, acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work to continue.

The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign-finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since Nov. 2015 — though it’s impossible to tell how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.

After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified.

The dossier was published by BuzzFeed News in January. Fusion GPS has said it did not give BuzzFeed the document. Officials have said the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier. Other details have yet to be verified and may never be. source

MID-DAY SNAPSHOT

OCT. 25, 2017

WaPo: It Was Clinton Who Colluded With Russia

As it turns out, Hillary’s campaign and the DNC funded the infamous fake dossier that started the delusion.

THE FOUNDATION

“A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.” —Alexander Hamilton (1775)

October 24, 2017
ALAN KEYES — U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan recently “ordered the government to allow an illegal immigrant minor in its custody to abort her preborn child ‘promptly and without delay.'” But the premise of the U.S. Constitution, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, is that all human beings are endowed by their Creator with the certain unalienable rights, including first of all the right to life…. (more)


October 24, 2017
WES VERNON — His name (for the moment) is CS-1-pesunmably “Confidential Source-One.” That’s the undercover name accorded him for the time being by the FBI and others in government. That designation was handed to a Washington lobbyist who had been offered a role in the super-secret counterspy effort to push-back against a deal that originated back in 2009 by Russians eagerly seeking to purchase about 20 percent of America’s stock of its vital war making-capable uranium to Russia. (See this column’s recent not just unfit; actually dangerous Part 3)…. (more)

October 23, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — The federal government posted a $666 billion deficit in the just-completed fiscal year 2017, the Treasury Department announced Friday, marking another year of deteriorating finances as the government slinks back toward the trillion-dollar mark…. (more)

October 23, 2017
How unaccompanied children in this country illegally are getting abortions
ROBERT KNIGHT — Under the Trump administration, the federal government no longer wants to be complicit in abortions performed on under-age teens who enter the country illegally. To the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), refusing to facilitate the killing of these unborn children is “unprecedented, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s also unconscionable,” according to Brigitte Amiri, a senior ACLU staff lawyer…. (more)

October 23, 2017
BOB UNRUH — Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has completed the reversal of state legislation that barred men from women’s public restrooms and showers. The move is drawing a warning from one of the state’s most prominent personalities: Franklin Graham…. (more)


October 23, 2017
BYRON YORK — Have you noticed? In recent public comments, the lawmakers investigating the Trump-Russia affair, along with some of the commentators who dissect its every development, seem to be focusing more on the facts of Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 election and less on allegations that Donald Trump or his associates colluded with those efforts…. (more)

October 23, 2017
NEWSMAX — North Korea should be again listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. A sanctions bill against Iran, Russia, and North Korea requires the secretary of state to decide within 90 days whether to relist North Korea, legislation that Cruz introduced, the senator said in a Sunday New York Times opinion piece…. (more)


October 22, 2017
Speakers include Alan Keyes, Joseph Farah, Matt Barber
WORLDNETDAILY — In today’s America, supporting traditional marriage is unlawful discrimination. To advocate for national borders is hateful. To exercise one’s faith in the public square is bigoted. The Bible wrote about it millennia ago: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”… (more)


October 22, 2017
LLOYD MARCUS — For those of you who haven’t heard, Mary and I moved from Florida to a tiny town in West Virginia to be closer to our parents. We are experiencing wonderful culture shock. I am not a fan of the winding mountain roads. Supermarket and hardware stores are over 20 miles away. And yet, we unexpectedly love our new heavenly haven of Americana…. (more)

October 22, 2017
THE HILL — A photo of pop music star Lady Gaga and all five living former presidents went viral on social media this weekend as the group united to raise money for disaster relief. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama gathered for a benefit concert at the One America Appeal fundraiser…. (more)

October 22, 2017
FEDERALIST PAPERS — An investigative team from the New York Times has compiled all of the footage from the Las Vegas massacre to construct the most complete picture that exists to date of this tragic event. We have embedded it below…. (more)


October 21, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump doesn’t plan to prevent the government from publishing classified files detailing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he tweeted Saturday, paving the way for the likely release next week of thousands of secret CIA and FBI documents…. (more)


October 21, 2017
BOB UNRUH — The Washington Post apparently has misfired in a political attack on former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, now the GOP candidate for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions…. (more)

October 21, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — The company behind the anti-Trump intelligence dossier that rocked last year’s U.S. election is mounting a legal challenge to block the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from getting access to its banking records. Committee Chairman Devin Nunes issued a subpoena seeking bank records of Fusion GPS on Oct. 4 and the company fired back Friday, filing a complaint in federal court to block the bank from turning over the records…. (more)


October 21, 2017
ANDREW MCCARTHY — Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads – – the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump…. (more)

October 21, 2017
DAILY CALLER — Gold star widow Natasha De Alencar released the audio of a phone conversation she had with President Donald Trump in April about the death of her husband who was killed in Afghanistan…. (more)

October 21, 2017
FOX NEWS — Melania Trump is embracing a more active and public schedule as first lady – – but she still runs one of the leanest East Wing operations in recent history. According to a Fox News analysis of White House personnel reports, Melania Trump has significantly reduced the number of aides on the first lady’s office payroll in comparison to her predecessor, Michelle Obama…. (more)

October 21, 2017
NEWSMAX — The U.S. birthrate hit a record low last year – – due largely to a decline in the numbers of teenagers having babies, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to numbers released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 62 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age – – those between 15 years old and 44 years old – – in 2016, down one percent from the prior year…. (more)

October 21, 2017
SF GATE — It was 2 a.m. when Dr. Scott Witt got a call at home telling him he was needed to help evacuate the babies under his care in the neonatal intensive care unit at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital. The Tubbs Fire, which had erupted hours earlier, was sweeping across much of the city and its flames were nearing the hospital…. (more)

October 20, 2017
LOS ANGELES TIMES — I drove as far as I could on Sweetland Road, a private dirt lane up a mountain in Redwood Valley northeast of Ukiah. When I came upon two incinerated vehicles – – Jon and Sara Shepherd’s cars – – I got out and walked the rest of the way. Soon I came upon the smoldering remains of the home the Shepherds built two years ago a mile and a half from the main road in this sparsely populated part of Mendocino County…. (more)

October 19, 2017
WES VERNON — Months ago, this column, along with others, focused on a super scandal super scandal ignored by the fake news outlets, about the Clintons through their foundation, which was up to its ears in an operation whose effect was to line the Clinton’s pockets, and more importantly, possibly put us on the path to nuclear disaster. Hillary was then in the midst of her doomed presidential campaign…. (more)

October 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump said Thursday that “the real Russia story” involves reports that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama allowing Moscow to gain control of much of the U.S. supply of uranium…. (more)


October 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump on Thursday fumed about the discredited opposition-research dossier that first linked his campaign to Russia, after executives from the firm that created it invoked the Fifth Amendment right not to testify in Congress’ Russia probe…. (more)

October 19, 2017
CHERYL CHUMLEY — The tables have turned and what was once the media’s favorite message – – President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election – – has now grown silent. Apparently, it’s Bill and Hillary Clinton who’ve been doing the behind-scenes and suspicious dealings with Russia all along. Oh, and perhaps others in the Barack Obama administration, too…. (more)

October 19, 2017
BOB UNRUH — A new undercover video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas in a series targeting establishment-media bias features a longtime New York Times employee confessing his coworkers hate Trump “like the plague, dude.”… (more)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: October 25

  • Rift Widens Within GOP in Battle for Control of Party (Read More)
  • Trump Courted a GOP Rebellion. Now He’s Got One (Read More)
  • Xi Jinping Is Alone at the Top and Collective Leadership ‘Is Dead’ (Read More)
  • Dollar hits 3-1/2-month high vs. yen, boosted by Fed chair talk (Read More)
  • Congress Votes to Overturn CFPB Arbitration Rule (Read More)
  • Kaspersky says it obtained suspected NSA hacking code from U.S. computer (Read More)
  • Yellen Finds Unlikely Advocate at White House: Trump (Read More)
  • China’s Markets Are Calm, but Its Traders Are Restless (Read More)
  • Inside Apple’s Struggle to Get the iPhone X to Market on Time (Read More)
  • Massachusetts Mulls Switching to Atlantic Time—and Staying There (Read More)
  • Why Italy faces worst shock in Europe as ECB prepares to taper bond buys (Read More)
  • Bombardier reviewing CSeries deliveries due to UTC engine fixes (Read More)
  • Can Tesla Make Up for Autopilot’s Lost Year? (Read More)
  • U.S. widens surveillance to include ‘homegrown violent extremists’ (Read More)
  • Do Democrats Really Need Wall Street? (Read More)
  • The Bond Market’s Moment of Truth Is Now (Read More)
  • Boeing revenue rises 1.7 percent (Read More)
  • Mall Operator Does the Unthinkable—Builds a Mall (Read More)

Featured Blogs


Headlines – 10/25/2017

Trump: “On United Nations Day, we recognize the more than seven decades of contributions the United Nations has made to PEACE and SECURITY among nations.”

Trump urges UN nations to confront those who threaten terror

In major expansion, Israel approves 176 new homes in East Jerusalem

Israeli Ministers Set to Vote on Annexing West Bank Settlements to Jerusalem

Martin Luther paved the way for the Holocaust

Poland honors historian who said Nazi invasion wasn’t so bad for Jews

Dutch Should Stop Pounding Israel and Confront Their Own Problems-Past and Present

After unity deal, Qatar to fund new Palestinian government HQ in Gaza

Hamas sees internal stirrings of dissent over reconciliation deal

With visit to Iran, Hamas thumbs nose at Palestinian reconciliation

Hamas threatens to bomb Tel Aviv

Hamas leader: Our differences with Iran are history

Draft Senate Iran legislation sets tough new US terms for deal

Iran sentences alleged agent for Israel’s Mossad to death

Iran Rejoices Over Defeat of ‘Second Israel,’ as Netanyahu Urges Support for Kurds

Netanyahu: the world must be concerned about the future of the Kurds

Kurdistan region offers to freeze independence vote, engage in talks with Baghdad

Iraq paramilitaries battle Kurds in push towards Turkish border oil hub

Iraqi Christians forced to flee homes again after skirmishes between Kurds and central government

Russia veto puts an end to Syria chemical weapons probe

Iraqi forces say about to launch final offensive on Islamic State near Syria border

The Horrifying Death Of A Syrian Infant Underscores The Brutality Of Assad’s Siege Warfare

Saudi ex-intel chief says Assad is the biggest terrorist, praises Trump’s harsh Iran stance

Saudis face daunting challenge in drawing Iraq away from Iran

Tillerson says US sanctions targeting Iran’s ‘malign behaviors’

Saudis set $500 billion plan to develop zone linked with Jordan and Egypt

Saudi plans to modernise Mecca slammed as ‘destroying the cradle of Islam’

Getting tough on the Taliban: Trump admin said to be urging closure of the militant group’s Qatar office

US may intervene in Qatar crisis as fears grow over long-term rupture

Human rights activists accused of aiding terror groups on trial in Turkey

US declaration of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar on way

Trump to announce new refugee admissions cap, stronger vetting rules as ban expires

Russia to test new generation of intercontinental missile that can ‘beat US defence systems’

Russia to conduct two tests of its new ‘Satan’ ballistic missile

Companies in Ukraine, Russia come under new cyberattack

House intelligence committee to investigate Obama’s uranium deal with Russian company

Clinton campaign, DNC helped fund research that led to salacious Trump dossier

The FBI’s Political Meddling – Mueller is the wrong sleuth when his ex-agency is so tangled up with Russia

Media admit that the Hill’s Russia probes seem to be going nowhere

Violence! Sex! Defiance! Trump’s over-the-top presidency has changed the rules for prospective candidates

Cuba: Trump claim about diplomat attack is ‘science fiction’

UK officials want to know if Russia meddled in the Brexit vote

Donald Tusk: EU must stay united or face Brexit ‘defeat’

Connecticut’s capital faces fiscal meltdown tied to union promises, default deemed likely

Super-rich fear their financial details will be exposed following Bermuda cyber hack

MS-13 spreading across US as AG Sessions vows to take down gang

Terror from skies as Mexican cartel attaches bomb to drone

India tells U.S. it plans to retain North Korea embassy as a channel of communications

The universe shouldn’t exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter

Elon Musk is worried about people who talk of “AI gods”

AI that predicts earthquakes

Strong earthquake 6.7 mag, 141 km NNE of Palue, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tres Picos, Mexico

Earthquake activity in south part of Bardarbunga volcano caldera

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Tropical Storm Saola to strengthen, target Japan following deadly Typhoon Lan

Hurricane season may not be over yet: Tropical Storm Philippe could form in Caribbean

Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians find a common enemy: Natural disasters

Senate passes $36.5B disaster aid bill, Trump set to sign

World leaders rehearse for a pandemic that will come ‘sooner than we expect’

In the market for human bodies, almost anyone can sell the dead

George H. W. Bush Apologizes to Actress After She Claims He ‘Sexually Assaulted’ Her During a Photo Shoot

LGBTQ Gun Group launched: ‘We have each others back’

Iowa “Church” Holding Youth Drag Competition for 6th-12th Graders

1 in 4 Church of England Congregations Did Not Have Any Children Attend Worship: Report

UN expert says most of world lacks real religious freedom

A growing number of witches are coming “out of the broom closet”

New Post – Joseph Farah – Ignorance, Pandering or Deception?

The Practical Dangers of Scriptural Relativism

Lou Engle Cites the Pope, Urges “God’s Artists” to Arise

Benny Hinn’s Nephew: Hinn Clan Like ‘Royal Family’ and ‘Mafia,’ Prosperity Teaching Is ‘Twisted’

Destiny Church’s Brian and Hannah Tamaki move into $1.58m luxury home

Lesbian Singer Julien Baker Releasing New Album Inspired by Hymns; Christian Parents Said She’s Not Going to Hell

Trials in Word of Faith beating case moved to Buncombe

Elon Musk is Worried About People Who Talk of AI Gods

Appeals Court Forces Taxpayers to Facilitate Illegal Teen Immigrant’s Abortion

Shocking Video Catches Planned Parenthood Showing Off Aborted Baby Parts: “This is an Arm, This is a Leg”

 

Jackie Alnor – The Fatima of Oz

Costi Hinn Shares Gospel on CNN, Shatters Prosperity Teachings of His Uncle

Steven Furtick to Host Anti-Trinitarian Prosperity Preacher, TD Jakes

Robert Jeffress Demands Apologies from Critics, Claims Hannity Interview Shared The Gospel

Grace Ministry Center, pastor Mitch Olson sued by woman who alleged sexual assault

“True Revival in the Midst of Persecution” by a Pastor Who Went to Prison For His Faith

Pastors Debate: Is God OK With Gay Marriage?

Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology

Bill O’Reilly ‘mad at God’ over sexual misconduct allegations

UK: Up to 50 children a week – some as young as four – are being referred to gender reassignment specialists

Black Death Plague Continues To Spread, 124 DEAD and Hundreds Infected

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:18 AM PDT

A deadly outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague, which has been attributed to the Black Death, has killed at least 124 people with health officials warning “the number of cases is growing”. The death toll from Madagascar’s plague outbreak has reached 124 with a total of 1,133 infected, as it rapidly spreads through the African nation. More than 50million people in Europe were killed by the Black Death in the

1300s, which many historians believe was caused by several killer diseases including the pneumonic plague. Most of the victims recorded in Madagascar have been infected with the highly contagious pneumonic form. The bubonic variant is considered less dangerous. Health officials have warned “the number of cases is growing” despite claims from the Madagascar government there has been a decrease. READ MORE

Nestle airbrushes Christian cross from yogurt packaging

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:11 AM PDT

The world’s largest food and beverage company is erasing Christian crosses in photographs on its product packaging. Nestlé uses a picture of the famous blue domes of the Church of the Resurrection on the Greek island of Santorini for its yogurt packaging. The popular “Greek” yogurt proudly displays one of the most instantly-recognizable images in Europe. The huge, beautiful church domes are topped by white crosses as they majestically line the sparkling Aegean seashore. But recently the Switzerland-based

company began photoshopping the crosses out. It’s a growing trend across secularized Europe, with the French retailer Carrefour, the Greek dairy company Mevgal, and the German supermarket chain Lidl also digitally amputating the Christian cross. A Lidl spokesman tried to explain the eradication of the Cross by referencing spiritual tolerance. “We avoid the use of religious symbols because we do not wish to exclude any religious beliefs.” READ MORE

Google’s artificial intelligence computer ‘no longer constrained by limits of human knowledge’

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:08 AM PDT

The computer that stunned humanity by beating the best mortal players at a strategy board game requiring “intuition” has become even smarter, its creators claim. Even more startling, the updated version of AlphaGo is entirely self-taught — a major step towards the rise of machines that achieve superhuman abilities “with no human input”, they reported in the science journal Nature. Dubbed AlphaGo Zero, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system learned by itself, within days, to master the ancient Chinese board game known as “Go” —

said to be the most complex two-person challenge ever invented. It came up with its own, novel moves to eclipse all the Go acumen humans have acquired over thousands of years. After just three days of self-training, it was put to the ultimate test against AlphaGo, its forerunner which previously dethroned the top human champs. AlphaGo Zero won by 100 games to zero. READ MORE

Fears of La Palma volcano eruption after Canary Islands struck by another quake overnight

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:58 AM PDT

The Canary Islands has been rocked by an earthquake as fears grow a volcano in nearby La Palma could erupt at any moment. North of the Spanish archipelago was struck by the 3.5 magnitude quake at 8.25pm on Tuesday night. The seismic activity is just the latest to hit the Spanish islands, popular with British holidaymakers after it was struck by a flurry of earthquakes beneath the surface causing red-hot magma to lift the ground of La Palma. Experts investigating recent tremors from La Palma volcano

Cumbre Vieja – which saw nearly 400 mini earthquakes in 15 hours – found the earth has risen up to 3.5cm in the past year. And, after four days of inactivity, La Palma recorded another tremor last week when a 1.9 magnitude quake was felt nine kilometers deep. There are increasing fears such tremors could spark an eruption from the La Palma earthquake. A ship has now been sent in to study the submerged base of the volcano for two days at the south of La Palma. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Three massive ships deployed to North Korea path ahead of Trump visit

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:54 AM PDT

The United States has deployed two fleets of warships to the Pacific Ocean to send a message to North Korea and China ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to the region.  Two US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have arrived in the past two days, bringing the number of giant warships in the region up to three. Mr Trump will visit Asia for the first time in early November on a 12-day trip which will include

China, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam. USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz, along with their cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, joined the US Navy’s 7th Fleet area of operations, which covers the eastern Indian and western Pacific oceans, the Navy confirmed. The ships’ accompanying nine cruisers and destroyers are equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system, which the US see as a key defense mechanism against any possible attack by North Korean missiles. READ MORE

UK Gov’t Demands Phrase ‘Pregnant Women’ Be Replaced with ‘Pregnant People’

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:49 AM PDT

The UK government is opposed to the use of the phrase “pregnant woman” because it could be perceived as excluding transgender people who have also given birth. The statement comes in Britain’s official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 1976. The UN treaty says a “pregnant woman” must be

protected, including not being subject to the death penalty. In the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) submission, Britain opposes the term “pregnant woman” because it may “exclude transgender people who have given birth”.The suggested term is “pregnant people”, the Sunday Times reported. “We requested that the UN human rights committee made it clear that the same right [to life for pregnant women] extends to pregnant transgender people,” an FCO statement said. READ MORE

Journalists Are Being Advised to Avoid Saying a Transsexual Person Was ‘Born Boy or Girl’

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:44 AM PDT

Journalists working for the Associated Press (AP) have been urged not to refer to transsexual people as having been “born” a specific sex. The AP has updated its official style guide to include pro-transsexual terms, confirming the move on its Twitter page. Jeff McMillan, of the AP Stylebook team, said “sex reassignment or gender confirmation” should be used for medical procedures. “Call people transgender only if relevant; give the name they use publicly; avoid references to being born a boy or girl.” “Transition is the process by which people match their physical characteristics to their gender identity”, he added.

The AP has headquarters in New York City, as well as teams in more than 100 countries around the world. Earlier this month, a prestigious women-only college at the University of Cambridge announced that men will now be allowed to apply if they ‘identify’ as women. Murray Edwards College, whose alumni include Sue Perkins, Claudia Winkelman and Tilda Swinton, will now consider any student who “at the point of application identifies as a woman”. READ MORE

Franklin Graham Warns That Only God Can Fix America

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 07:20 PM PDT

On the last night of his Decision Texas Tour in Longview, Texas, Franklin Graham handed down a powerful warning about the state of America. “Our country is in trouble,” he said, adding that hatred and division is running rampant. “The Republicans cannot fix our country. I don’t care how much the President tries to drain the swamp. I think that swamp is just too big and too deep,” he said. “The

Republicans aren’t going to be able to fix it. The Democrats aren’t going to be able to fix it. The only person who can fix the problems of this nation is God. Graham urged believers everywhere to pray that God would heal the hearts of the nation’s leaders so they will “work together for the good of all Americans.” READ MORE

Rare Infectious Disease Spreading in Puerto Rico

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 07:08 PM PDT

Federal assistance for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria may not be around “forever,” but an infectious component of the storm’s impact on the US territory may linger. According to reports in multiple media outlets, including the Washington Post, clinicians on the storm-ravaged island have already identified at least 10 cases of leptospirosis, a water-borne infection. Given that as many as one-third of Puerto Rico’s residents still do not have running water—some 4 weeks after Maria touched down

—it is expected that more cases of the bacterial disease will emerge as residents have been forced to stand in line for access to communal water supplies. Leptospirosis is also spread via dogs and cats, livestock, and rodents—relevant considering a report by the SunshineStateNews.com, which suggests that garbage collection has not resumed on much of the island and that there have been sightings of dead animals in the streets in some areas. All of which makes Puerto Rico a potential ground zero for a major outbreak of an infectious disease, experts say. READ MORE

Unidentified object crashes to the ground in Canada

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:54 PM PDT

Andrew Wilkins was eating dinner at a downtown St. John’s pub, looking out over the city’s iconic harbor when a flash of green light caught his attention. “The whole sky just lit up,” he said. “It was coming in on a 45-degree angle, coming down to the right.”  Wilkins stopped eating and stared as the moving ball of light crashed down on the opposite side of the harbor, towards the largely uninhabited

Southside Hills area. He paused to determine if he could hear a crash, but the noisy chatter of the busy pub prevented him from hearing any sound the flash of light may have made. “It was like a big green ball of fire, is what it looked like. At first I thought, ‘Wow, geez, that’s a really bright firework,’ but fireworks don’t shoot downwards.” READ MORE

Severe storm, Destructive tornadoes roll through Carolinas, 98,000 without power

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:38 PM PDT

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 7 tornadoes sightings were reported across the Carolinas on Monday, October 23, 2017, as a line of severe storms swept through the region, bringing much-needed rain. At least 98 000 people lost power at the peak of the storm and at least 75 000 remained in the dark Tuesday morning. Several people were injured but there were no deaths. Four possible tornadoes were reported in South Carolina between 18:54 and 19:36 UTC (12:54 – 13:36 EDT). Numerous trees and power lines were downed and several houses and mobile homes damaged in

Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. There were 3 possible tornadoes in North Carolina, between 20:37 and 20:45 UTC (14:37 – 20:45 EDT). Multiple structures were damaged in Hildebran (Burke County) and Hickory (Caldwell County). At least 8 people were treated for minor storm-related injuries in Spartanburg, SC where ’18-wheelers were tossed like toy trucks at one auto plan,’ AP reported, adding that fire could be seen shooting from gas lines after the storm passed through. There are also reports of cars overturned at an intersection in the county and numerous damaged homes. FULL REPORT

European Council President Calling For “EU Army” to Defend Borders

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:27 PM PDT

Donald Tusk is pushing to set up an EU army by the end of the year to protect the bloc’s borders and fight back against “destabilization around Europe”. The European Council President called for the 27-nation superstate to introduce Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence (PESCO) to protect the bloc from the effects of the migrant crisis, hostile bordering states and forces that risk tearing the bloc apart. He added the EU should be prepared to spend huge amounts on the project, which will come with

its own centralized headquarters and ambitious plans for EU military missions abroad. Critics have repeatedly warned that the new system is a gateway to the creation of an EU army, although Brussels itself denies this and says it is just facilitating better military cooperation. It goes hand in hand with plans for a centralized European Defence Fund, which is designed to help create an EU defense industry and reduce reliance on foreign powers like the US for military equipment. READ MORE

Benny Hinn blasted by Nephew, Claims prosperity theology is “twisted”

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:14 PM PDT

The nephew of Benny Hinn, who is a pastor in Southern California, is criticizing his uncle’s prosperity theology and teaching, explaining how it cost him personally as a member of the Hinn family. The theology his uncle espouses is “twisted,” he said. In an HLN exclusive interview with Carol Costello, Costi Hinn described growing up in the Hinn family as a hybrid of being a “royal family” (lavish riches) and the “mafia” (strict enforcement of the mafia).

“You keep to your own, you defend your own. You never, ever, regardless of what the truth might be, do anything to harm or expose at the expense of family. It’s just a tight-knit, tight-lipped community,” Hinn explained. He recounted that the first time he ever said anything publicly about his family — as people had been asking — he got a phone call from a family member who told him “you need to pipe down, don’t talk about family.” READ MORE

US will keep floodgates open to Refugees From ALL Countries…

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:02 PM PDT

The Trump administration will allow refugee admissions to the U.S. to resume under a new executive order issued Tuesday, but people from 11 targeted countries won’t be allowed in unless they can show their arrival to be in the U.S. “national interest,” administration officials said Tuesday. The result is that more than half of refugees will still be barred from admission during a fresh review period meant to

assess risks posed by those 11 countries, officials said, in what some see as a de facto extension of the ban that has been in place since June. Technically, the program will resume for all countries following a 120-day suspension that was ordered by President Donald Trump early this year. That pause gave officials time to write rules meant to better vet applicants, administration officials said. READ MORE

Princeton Evangelical Fellowship Drops ‘Evangelical’ From Its Name

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 01:19 PM PDT

An expert on culture and religion maintains it is unfortunate that a student group at Princeton University has decided to drop the word “evangelical” from its name. Princeton Evangelical Fellowship has changed its name to Princeton Christian Fellowship because members felt that the word “evangelical” now has a negative perception in contemporary American culture. However, Christian apologist Dr. Alex McFarland, insists that “evangelical” is a word that should be celebrated – not swept

under the rug because it refers to the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ. “You can be Christian but not be evangelical, but if you are evangelical, you are a Christian,” McFarland pointed out. “So, I’m just uncomfortable any time the people of God and Christian organizations are changing who they are – merely to respond to the spirit of the times. We’re not to be impacted by the times – we are to impact the times.” READ MORE

Finding your Well in your Weary Season!

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 01:08 PM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we will show you the importance of having your own personal well to be available to bring refreshing in the weary seasons of our walk with the Lord. For the entire message, watch the video below:

Parents outraged after sex worksheet given out at Oklahoma middle school

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 01:04 PM PDT

Jay Middle School in Jay, Oklahoma, is under fire from some parents who say the school took a sex education class way too far. Parent Mandy Callihan posted on Facebook that her 12-year-old daughter came to her in tears earlier this month after she was too embarrassed to complete her sex education assignment. Callihan said she understood why as soon as she read the worksheet. “I was appalled at

what someone in our school system had deemed appropriate to talk to my child about. My TWELVE year old child (who still colors in coloring books). In a room where boys and girls are combined. With male instructors (or female, depending on the time of day, I guess) who are not teachers (or Nurses) in our school system,” Callihan wrote, infuriated that she was not made aware of the school’s plans to teach the students about these things.  READ MORE

LGBT Group Bans Pro-Life Students From Sexual Health Fair in Ohio

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 12:55 PM PDT

A pro-life student group says its request to participate in a sexual health awareness fair at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, a Methodist college, has been denied by the LGBT group organizing the event amid claims that they fail to promote “sex positivity.” Bryan Istenes, president of Baldwin Wallace Right-to-Life, said in a statement posted on Students for Life on Monday that his group was aiming to

set up a table at the Relationship and Sexual Health Awareness fair, which is scheduled for Nov. 3. Istenes explained that the pro-lifers wanted to highlight the negative physical and mental effects of abortion, and offer alternative options to pregnant women. “It’s a sexual health fair, and we wanted to educate students about the physical, mental, and emotional consequences of abortion, in order to ensure students were making truly informed choices,” said Istenes. READ MORE

CRISPR Scientists Create Low-Fat Pigs

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 12:51 PM PDT

For people who love bacon but hate everything it does to their diet, scientists in China may have created a way to have your pig and eat it too. A team of researchers has genetically altered pigs to carry nearly 24 percent less body fat. Using the CRISPR-Cas 9 gene-editing technique, the team reportedly modified a group of pigs which gave birth to much leaner piglets. The experiment, published in Proceedings of the

National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is looking to make pigs less susceptible to the cold. Scientists noted that modern pigs, especially younger ones, lack the ability to deal with colder temperatures and build up unhealthy levels of fat. The researchers added that the change could create a huge savings for the pig farming industry. Jianguo Zhoa, one of the Chinese scientists leading the research, added that he doubts the taste of the genetically modified pigs would be any different from normal ones. READ MORE

America is completely unraveling at the seams!

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 11:03 AM PDT

Western civilization is thoroughly battered in Europe, and America is on course for the same fate unless it once again embraces the ideas that made it strong and resists the tide of progressive momentum that seeks to destroy it, according to Sovereign Nations founder and editor in chief Michael O’Fallon. Sovereign Nations is hosting a three-day conference in the nation’s capital next week designed to highlight the threats to the founding principles and how to thwart them. The conference will be held at

the Trump International Hotel from Oct. 30-Nov. 1. O’Fallon told WND and Radio America that he started Sovereign Nations as he watched America turn against the very things that made it strong. “I imagine most [people] have noticed that there are things around them, especially in the last eight to 10 years, that just don’t make sense. What was once heresy is now law and what was once law is now heresy. MORE

 

California rocked by flurry of tremors prompting fears of a huge quake

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:57 AM PDT

A flurry of earthquakes has rocked California leaving locals worried that the Big One is coming. For decades, residents of the southwestern state have been concerned a huge earthquake, known as the Big One, is on its way. Now today, there have been five relatively strong tremors which could suggest that a powerful quake is coming to devastate California. The biggest of the lot was a 3.9 magnitude tremor which struck just off the coast of San Clemente Island. The next biggest was a 2.5 tremor which rocked

Planada in central California. These were accompanied by smaller quakes which has led some locals to believe that a powerful earthquake is on its way. One local wrote on Twitter: “California, stop with the earthquakes.” Another added: “More seismic activity is heating up in Southern CA again so far.” This follows on from October 21 where more than 40 earthquakes hit California in one day. California sits on top of the potentially deadly San Andreas Fault, a chasm between two massive plates of the Earth’s crust that extends hundreds of miles across California. MORE

Dabbling With the Dark Side? The Bible Clearly Condemns Halloween

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:49 AM PDT

(By Ben Godwin) Darkness is used in Scripture as a metaphor for evil to represent all that is sinful and satanic. In contrast, light is a biblical metaphor for good to represent truth and all that is of God. The apostle Paul instructed, “Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth … And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them” (Eph. 5:7-9, 11).

It’s a tricky balance for Christians to be in the world without conforming to it. Jesus prayed, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). If we imitate the world, we lose our distinction; if we isolate from the world, we lose our influence. Christians need to engage the culture if we expect to make an impact. It’s perfectly fine for a boat to be in the water, but if too much water gets in the boat, now that’s a problem. This brings up the question, “How should Christians treat Halloween?” The origin of Halloween incorporated a mixture of Christian and pagan practices. CONTINUE

 

Mark Wahlberg Asked God to Forgive Him for ‘BOOGIE NIGHTS’…

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:44 AM PDT

Almost on a daily basis of late, we’ve been receiving further confirmation for what we’ve already known — Hollywood is a cesspool of vice and corruption. From the Weinstein scandal to the growing pedophilia scandal, Hollywood is being revealed as an industry that should be steered clear of by anyone who desires to pursue God’s righteousness. The scandals aside, Hollywood’s product often violates the standards of righteousness demanded by God to begin with. One of the clearest examples in the past

twenty years has been Boogie Nights starring Mark Wahlberg, who is a committed Roman Catholic. In fact, Wahlberg has admitted to praying to God and seeking forgiveness for his role in Boogie Nights. Last week, while in Chicago to help Cardinal Blase Cupich in his efforts to bring younger people back to the Catholic Church, Wahlberg told Kim Janssen of the Chicago Tribune that “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving because I’ve made some poor choices in my past.” READ MORE

Protester Breaches Security As Trump Enters Capitol

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:40 AM PDT

A protester managed to breach security at the Capitol Building as President Donald Trump arrived for a lunch with Republican Senators to talk tax reform. The protester, who some reporters have identified as Ryan Clayton, the president of Americans Take Action, began yelling at the press gaggle and threw Russian flags on the floor as Trump passed. “Trump is treason,” Clayton yelled. “This is not about tax reform!” It is unclear how Clayton was able to make it into the press area–he would need valid press

credentials in order to get past Capitol security. “That’s a very unusual breach of decorum for us to experience here,” MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt said. Andrea Mitchell confirmed, “the president was walking down the corridor right off the Senate floor on the second floor of the Capitol, one of the most secure places in Washington. We saw something we’ve never seen here before.” READ MORE

Urgent Call to Intercession: It’s Time to Walk in the Watchman Anointing

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:58 AM PDT

(By Grant Berry) “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night. You who remind the Lord, do not keep silent; give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a glory in the earth” (Isa. 62:6-7).

I think it is clear to all of us who are pressing into the Lord presently that we are in a final act of restoration for His church, as though He is forming a new wineskin through His body with a good number of reforms and adjustments in order for His Kingdom to be more effective upon the earth. These reforms will once again properly mobilize God’s body into the works of the ministry and away from the old pew focus that has had most of the ministry works fall upon its leadership. This is one of the major

advantages of the church moving back towards a fivefold ministry focus. From within this context, I would like to address the prayer focus and directives that are already arising in and through us, as many of the reforms in His body are already beginning to take place without us necessarily fully recognizing them as such. This is what is so amazing about this time, whether we agree or not. God is in charge here and moving His body into position. He is bringing these reforms to pass and ultimately as His children, we have a choice to make, speaking metaphorically, to either get on the train or to be left at the station. It’s not that He will love us any less, but that there is so much more for us to gain by fully trusting Him with these changes for His church. MORE

AFTERMATH: Over 8,400 Structures in Northern California Consumed by Wildfires

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:54 AM PDT

The wine country wildfires destroyed at least 8,400 homes and other buildings, authorities said Monday, a significant increase in the already staggering property loss. Efforts continued by firefighters to gain control of the fires and by searchers looking for more victims. The death toll as of Monday remained at 42, making the fire series the deadliest in California history. The estimate of structure losses

jumped from 7,700 reported over the weekend. Officials said 5,000 firefighters remain on the lines, battling 10 different fires across Northern California. About 100,000 people were displaced by the fires, and some evacuees are wondering whether they can stay in the region for the long term. Sitting on a bed inside an evacuation center, Imelda Flores had nothing to do but think. Her Santa Rosa home had been spared by a massive wildfire, but her son’s caretaker wasn’t so lucky. READ MORE

Russia to test new missile that can ‘penetrate any defense system in existence’…

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:49 AM PDT

Russia is preparing to test-launch its new generation of nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it has claimed will be able to penetrate the US’ defensive shield. Delayed several times, the tests of the RS-28’s launch and first few seconds of flight are to be carried out at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, in Russia’s north-west, before the end of the year. The trials had been postponed because launch silos and the projectiles themselves were not ready, according to the state-controlled Sputnik

website, which cited the Kommersant newspaper. The RS-28 Sarmat, a 100-plus-ton ICBM that government-controlled media has claimed could destroy an area the size of Texas, is designed to evade missile defenses with multiple hypersonic warheads, known as MIRVs. Talking up its capabilities, state-linked Russian sites have claimed an 11,000km range, a payload of up to 15 warheads and the ability to “speed past every missile defense system in existence”. READ MORE

World leaders prepare for future pandemic

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:44 AM PDT

The government ministers were facing a new infectious disease outbreak. The mysterious virus was sickening and killing people with alarming speed. Some patients had to be placed on ventilators to help them breathe. The new virus seemed resistant to antibiotics and antiviral medicine. Within a week,

officials had closed a major hospital and schools and […]Related: U.S. abortion rate fell 25 percent from 2008 to 2014; one in four women have an abortion State laws have reduced concussion risks in high school kids, study finds Cutting-edge immunotherapy treatment approved for another deadly cancer. CONTINUE

Indonesia struck by powerful 6.7 earthquake – just miles from Bali volcano

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:41 AM PDT

Indonesia has been hit by a huge earthquake just miles from where the Mount Agung volcano in Bali is at risk of eruption. The 6.7 magnitude quake hit this morning just between the Pacific and Indian oceans. It landed in the Ring of Fire, so-called because a huge number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place there. The quake, which hit deep in the ocean, arrived at just after midday UK time.

It is not known yet if there are any injuries and no tsunami warnings . Bali’s Mount Agung has recorded a drop in seismic activity this week but is still at risk of eruption. The volcano has been at the maximum level for more than a month and has seen nearly 200,000 people evacuated. The epicentre of today’s volcano was 60 miles from Basira Satu and at a depth of 300 miles. READ MORE

Florida woman ordered to remove Trump sign from her property

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:37 AM PDT

A Florida woman who had a pro-Donald Trump sign standing on her property for more than a year, was ordered to remove the sign after it was changed to say she stands for The Star-Spangled Banner. Elaine Simmons, 72, of Minneola, told Fox News that she didn’t receive any complaints about the sign — which said “Toot for Trump” — until about a month ago, when she edited the message to say: “Proud to be an American. We stand for the national anthem.”  “To me, if you can’t stand for the national anthem and

represent the flag for which your veterans have given you freedom, then you need to buy a one-way ticket to somewhere,” Simmons told Fox 35 Orlando. Simmons said that after she posted a photo of her sign on Facebook, the county received a complaint and issued her a code violation notice. “No one complained about it until after I put up… that ‘we stand for the national anthem,’” said Simmons. Simmons added she didn’t realize that her sign violated county codes. MORE

100,000 Brits sign up for polygamous dating site helping Muslim men find multiple wives

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:29 AM PDT

A website that helps Muslim men find “second wives” in Britain has more than 100,000 users registered, it has been revealed. The practice has been accused of opening women, often younger than their husbands, to physical abuse and even trafficking. In the UK, polygamous marriages – in which a person has more than one spouse – are only recognized if they took place in countries where they are legal.British law, however, does not stop unregistered religious ceremonies from taking place. Most Muslims in Britain do not practice polygamy, but some interpretations of the Quran say that a man may marry two, three, or four women, so long as he can deal justly and fairly with each of them. SecondWife.com creator Azad Chaiwala says the website came from his “need” and “thinking there’ll be other people in my situation.” READ MORE

Lesbian Singer Releasing New Album Inspired by Hymns; Christian Parents Say She’s Not Going to Hell

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:24 AM PDT

Tennessee-born singer and guitarist Julien Baker, who identifies as gay and Christian, said many of her songs on her new album were inspired by hymns that she heard growing up. “Many of my songs just come together in quatrains because that’s how a hymn goes,” the singer explained in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday ahead of her second album, Turn Out the Lights, which is being released Oct. 27. “Another thing that I love about hymns is that despite being antiquated modes of worship — maybe — they contain these really emotive phrases. All of my favorite hymns are admissions

of faults, and finding redemption even in those.” Baker, 22, grew up in a religious household, “soaking up evangelical doctrine” and participating in church music, the NYTimes described. “At 17, she came out as gay to her parents, expecting the worst. But instead, her father combed the Bible for passages about love and acceptance,” the article pointed out. In a 2016 interview with noisey, she recalled saying “I think I’m going to hell” when she came out to her parents. But her father told her she’s not going to hell and her mother told her God loves her. READ MORE

Multiple countries issue travel advisories about US citing natural disasters, ‘political violence’

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:19 AM PDT

Several countries have issued warnings recently to their citizens about traveling to the United States. Countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Germany have warned would-be U.S. tourists about safety, for reasons ranging from mass shootings to hurricanes and wildfires. Ed Daly, editor-in-chief of the travel intelligence firm, iJET’s Global Intelligence Division, told Fox News that while other countries have issued travel warnings about visiting the United States in the past, there’s a new dimension to

concern about violence. “Each time there’s a high-profile event that gets lots of coverage overseas, there’s an advisory,” said Daly, referring to the Las Vegas shooter who killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds who were attending a country music festival several weeks ago. “If you look back in recent years, even a decade, the difference is they’re larger, the number of victims appears to be getting larger,” Daly said. “The frequency and scale to which they happen cause concerns.” CONTINUE


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?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
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Michael Brown Again Promotes Fake Rabbi and False Prophet, Jonathan Cahn

Let there be no doubt that Jonathan Cahn is a false prophet for the reason that his prophecies haven’t come to pass. Dr. Michael Brown certainly knows that, right? Yet Pulpit & Pen News reports that Brown interviewed Cahn on Line of Fire “to help him sell yet another book attempting to portend future events.” One cannot help but wonder why a highly regarded Bible scholar like Brown would want to sell the books of a false prophet like Cahn to those who tune into his show, those who trust his judgment. “Keep in mind,” reminds P&P, “Cahn’s failed Shemitah prophecies followed on the heels of The Harbinger, which also contained failed prophecies.” Here’s P&P’s report:

How many times does someone have to make false prophecies before you can call them a false prophet? According to the Bible, the answer is “only once” (Deuteronomy 18:22). How many time does someone have to make false prophecies before Michael Brown calls them a false prophet? There doesn’t seem to be a limit.

Twenty-five months ago today, Jonathan Cahn’s The Mystery of the Shemitah prophecy failed to come to fruition. His New York Times best-selling book (it made it to #2 in prophecy, #3 in religion and #129 in books overall) claimed that America was on a seven-year cycle and that upon the Jewish “Shemitah” there would be an imminent national collapse, signaling God’s final judgment of the nation. The charismatic prophets – including Dr. Michael Brown – all nodded their heads in approval of Cahn’s thesis, with Charisma Mag writing, 10 Things that are Going to Happen Within 15 Days of the End of Shemitah. When asked on September 23, 2015 where he stood on the Shemitah (two days before it was to end), Dr. Brown said, “the jury is still out, and we will watch and see what is going to happen in the coming weeks.”

View article →

Source: Michael Brown Again Promotes Fake Rabbi and False Prophet, Jonathan Cahn

Should a Christian Celebrate Halloween?

I am writing this for my church. I think it might be helpful for others, and so I will make it available here.

Clearly, certain questions are a matter of adiaphora, and no one should deny the reality that certain ethical questions fall into that category. Adiaphora is a term developed by stoic philosophers and adopted by Christians to describe decisions that are neither inherently moral or immoral, right or wrong, or necessarily good or bad. As a category or framework to understand ethical conundrums the concept of adiaphora is often helpful.

However, not every ethical question can be answered by categorizing the matter adiaphora. There are also questions with answers that do not echo sentiments of Christian liberty, but can rather be clearly categorized as moral or immoral, right or wrong, righteousness or sin. Christians seem all-too-eager today to silence the collective conscience by putting every issue in the pigeon hole of adiaphora, shrugging their shoulders and mumbling something about floating your boat. In reality, even if something is adiaphora – meaning that it is neither explicitly forbidden or explicitly commanded – it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t a wise or unwise, helpful or unhelpful, healthy or unhealthy decision to be made regarding that ethical decision. In short, even if something is adiaphora, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook of thinking out the costs and benefits, implications and consequences of ethical decisions.

Paul references this notion in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” Clearly for the Apostle, even those things that may not necessarily be wrong, may still be unwise, unhelpful or unedifying. It would be foolish of the Christian to embrace “all things are lawful” while neglecting his admonition, “but not all things are helpful.”

First, we need to ask if it is sinful for a Christian to celebrate Halloween. Then, we must ask – if it is not sinful – if it is wise, helpful or edifying to celebrate Halloween.

In order to answer the first question, I need to explain the holiday known as “Halloween.”

HISTORY

First, Halloween is a “holiday” as the term defines it. It was designed as a “holy day.” Known originally as “All Hallows Evening,” it is celebrated the evening prior to “All Hallows Day.” That holiday (also known as “All Saints Day”) originated with the Roman Catholic church (Eastern Orthodox celebrate the holiday as well, but immediately following Pentecost) and is a “Holy Day of Obligation,” which is a day that idolaters are expected to attend Mass. Beginning with Pope Boniface IV (although not systematized until much later).

Roman Catholic historians suspect that the day was chosen to co-opt a pagan holiday known as “Feast of the Lemures,” which the Romans observed to help exorcise evil spirits from their homes, and those evil spirits out and about at night working mischief. This is why Pope Boniface IV consecrated the day on May 13 (the same day as Feast of the Lemures), which was only later changed to the end of October by Pope Gregory III.

After a mixture with pagan tradition (described below), the holiday came to the United States through Anglicans who still observed the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. However, the holiday did not receive widespread celebration until a large influx of Roman Catholic Irish immigrants came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

THEOLOGICAL ORIGINS

All Saints Day was designed by Papists to celebrate all those who have died and already made it to Heaven. This is in contrast to All Souls Day, held a few days later, which commemorates all those who have died and have not yet made it to Heaven, stuck in purgatory to purge their own sins until they reach perfection. The point of the holiday for Roman Catholics was to pray for the dead.

As Nordic areas became Catholicized, pagan nativist religions slowly merged with Romish traditions, and various familiar aspects of the holiday eve’s celebration came into being. As it was celebrated at the end of Harvest, Gaelic tradition held that it was a “liminal time,” in which the barrier between the “other world” (the supernatural beyond, or afterlife) and this world was exceptionally thin, on account of the transition of seasons. It was during this liminal time that spirits were seen as being especially active, with ghosts, gobblins and demons running about causing mischief. In Ireland, nativist peoples would burn candles for those departed souls meandering about and leave out treats for them to enjoy, in exchange for being left alone. Likewise in Ireland and Britain, festivities would be held to divine the future, give prophecy, and engage in general revelry.

In Ireland, Britain and Wales, people began to dress in costumes and go from house to house, reciting songs or verses in exchange for food (essentially playing the role of dead spirits). In fact, most of what you’ve heard about the pagan origins of Halloween are remarkably accurate, historically. Trick or treating began as a house-to-house blackmailing for gifts in exchange for protection against vandalism or pranks, “bonfires” really were “bone fires” and jack’o’lanterns really did begin by pumpkins or gords lit with candles to show evil spirits their way.

In every sense of the word, the origins of Halloween are religious in nature, and a perfect mixture between the paganism of Rome and the paganism of nativist religions in northern Europe.

IS HALLOWEEN STILL A RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE?

Clearly, Halloween is still a religious observance among Papists and it’s still a part of their liturgical calendar. However, one would be hard-pressed to argue that most of those celebrating the holiday in America see it as a religious observance. And yet, there does seem to be a religious zeal for the holiday that is ever growing and expanding. Modern pagans are increasingly excited about the holiday and spend increasingly amounts of time and money in its observance. There certainly seems to be a correlation the increased lostness in our culture and the increased fervency displayed in observance of Halloween.

This doesn’t mean, however, that it is an overtly religious observance for most people. Its origins, however, are inarguably religious in nature.

ASSUMING HALLOWEEN IS A RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, IS IT A SIN TO OBSERVE IT?

There is no doubt that it’s a sin to take part in what is on overtly religious observance of false religion. I would admonish Christians to never step foot into a Roman Catholic church unless it is under protest, to never take part in its blasphemous Mass, and to never engage in syncretistic prayer with members of a false religion. Obviously, Christians mustn’t take part in any exercise that explicitly or implicitly worships a false god or is an intrinsic part of false religion. Christians need not take part – indeed, must not take part – in any religious service of worship of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Islam, Hinduism, the Church of Satan, or any other false religion.

However, the assumption that Halloween is a religious observance for all related festivities, is just that – an assumption. The fact is, religious observances often fade into purely cultural – and secular – reflections of those celebrations. We have seen this with our own celebration of Christmas. Christmas began as a Papist construct (and arguably nativist pagan before that), was co-opted by Protestants and evangelicals who divorced it from virtually all Papist strings except for the name itself (Christ-Mass), and it has since been co-opted by secularists with no religious sympathies and who observe it with all the zeal and consumerist fervor as the most religious of its celebrators.

In the same way that Christ-Mass could be uniquely Roman Catholic, uniquely Protestant, historically pagan, or contemporarily secular, Halloween likewise ranges from religious to irreligious in nature, even though it is of religious origin.

Please note: Although Christmas and Halloween are both traditions born in the Roman Catholic church, there is a difference. There is nothing inherently flawed in celebrating the birth of Jesus. The notion of praying for the dead, on the other hand, is at its onset theologically wrong.

To answer the question in the above heading as clearly as I’m able, if Halloween is treated as a religious holiday belonging to a false religion (as it is to some), it is clearly a sin to observe it.

IF HALLOWEEN IS A CULTURAL, RATHER THAN RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, IS IT A SIN TO OBSERVE IT?

There is a hint in Scripture that First Century Christians had to deal with this very topic. What if pagans are having a holiday, and giving away free food? Can we eat the free food?

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”  For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—  yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.  Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.  But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (1 Corinthians 8).

What the Apostle is writing to the church in Corinth is that it may very well be acceptable to eat food sacrificed to false gods. It is free food, after all. If there is a giant pagan festival and they’re worshiping their dumb, little deities it may be acceptable to come along afterward and eat some of the barbeque that is being passed out to the crowd. However, they were told to abstain from eating such if they have someone onlooking who is drawn toward such idolatry and it may weaken their conscience and put them in a compromising position to embrace that which what they shouldn’t.

To give the plainest answer from the Scripture, it does not seem to be a sin to take part in a free candy giveaway. However, if someone was saved out of a life of demonic revelry and worldliness, perhaps it is best that they and the Christians around them abstain from benefiting from the candy-giving generosity of the pagan culture. In this sense, taking part in the candy-giving aspect of Halloween does not seem to be at face value a religious exercise, being sufficiently divorced from its religious origins. It is doubtfully not a sin to give or receive candy as a part of that cultural celebration.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

It would only be foolish to pretend as though there is no connection between the pagan religious roots of Halloween and its cultural observance, in the same way it would be foolish to pretend the two can’t be sufficiently divorced in the mind of the participant.

Regardless of whether or not the culture understands why it’s been a tradition to dress up as ghouls and goblins and evil things (historically, to imitate and ward off scary spirits), this is an element that remains. It is my belief that Christians must not dress in any way that is imitating evil things – even if they are fictional evil things. Vampires and monsters may not exist, but these are but fictional representations of a very real and demonic evil that exists in our age. There is nothing that I see in the Holy Bible that would lead me to believe it is acceptable for Christians to engage in revelry that includes dressing up as the devil. Such is a lostness that shouldn’t even be named among God’s people.

For those of you dressing up your children as evil things, shame on you.

For those of you decorating your home to make it look demonic or frightening, this does not accord with sound doctrine or a holy lifestyle imitating Jesus.

Furthermore, there is a stark difference between being in a candy line and going “all in” for the pagan cultural celebration of Halloween. The First Century Christian, in the context of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, was permitted to take some grilled meat from the open buffet. However, they would not have considered actually taking part in the pagan worship service in which the meat was sacrificed. At the most, Christians should be on the periphery of such events, and not organizing, leading, or decorating for such events. We may not turn down free candy, in the same way that Christians in the First Century wouldn’t necessarily turn down free meat, but we shouldn’t be the ones doing the sacrificing.

Finally, I would ask you to look at this situation through the lens of priority. Do you have a zeal for Halloween – a holiday that at best we should only take part reluctantly and cautiously as dwellers in a pagan land – that is greater than your zeal for Resurrection Sunday? If you are Reformed, shouldn’t your zeal for Reformation Day (which is the same day as Halloween) exceed that which you have for Halloween? Are you making a candy-centered holiday more important than a Christ-centered holiday?

As for my family, I’ve made the decision (only in the last several years) that I don’t want to touch any unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17), and I consider Halloween to be unclean. However, we do hand out candy for the few trick-or-treaters who knock on our door (along with tracts) and we let people give candy to our kids without protest at stores or other places they happen to be in public. For my Christian brothers and sisters to dress their child up like a non-demonic object and knock on doors to receive candy, I choose not to judge them in the matter, and place it within the category of adiaphora.

But, for those who treat Halloween like a great and noble event worthy of expense, planning and revelry, I stand aback as the weaker brother as it deeply offends my conscience. I pray that it doesn’t deeply offend God, who has called us unto holy separation.

Source: Should a Christian Celebrate Halloween?

Causes of Spiritual Decline (Newton)

The Reformed Reader

Sadly, there is such a thing as backsliding in the Christian life.  It’s also called wandering from the path of following Jesus.  Indeed, we are prone to wander!  There are various reasons why Christians do sometimes wander or backslide.  We could put it in the form of a question: What are some of the causes of spiritual decline in the Christian life?  John Newton gave a few helpful answers.  I’ll summarize them below:

  1. One of the chief causes of spiritual decline is error.  There are some errors that may be compared to poison.  Thus the Galatians, by listening to false teachers, were seduced from the simplicity of the gospel.  The consequence was that they quickly lost the blessedness they had once spoken of.  Poison is seldom taken alone, but if it is mixed with food, it is not suspected until it is discovered by the effect.  Whoever is…

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‘Reformed charismatics’ and the ‘broad brush’ complaint.

Back in 2013, Phil Johnson addressed the complaint of charismatics that cessationists ‘paint with a broad brush’. As Phil clearly states – ‘both historically and by direct line of descent, the whole movement stems from a rotten root. Error and delusion are the phloem and xylem of its central belief system’.

Fast forward to 2017, has anything changed?


This article was originally posted 28 October 2013

Without question, the most common complaint I hear from my charismatic friends about the Strange Fire conference is, “You always paint with a broad brush!

“I hate being pedantic, but I can’t resist pointing out that such a criticism itself is a fairly sweeping overstatement. It’s true that some broad generalizations were made during the conference. Language without nuance can sometimes be useful to make one’s meaning forcefully clear (Jesus often used hyperbole for emphasis).

But it can also have the opposite effect, especially in a hotly contested family dispute…

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HBF Audit, MacDonald’s Character and a Little Matter Called “Hush Money”

The Elephant's Debt

24 October 2017 Update copyIn our previous post, regarding HBC Elder discipline of James MacDonald following questions over the management of Harvest Bible Fellowship funds, we stated that we would unpack the details of this audit process and the questions raised by the HBF leadership.  Since that post HBF has rebranded, and it is now known as Great Commission Collective (GCC). The authors of TED have debated how best to tell this story. In short, rather than have us tell you the story and interpret the facts for you, we have decided that the story is best understood from someone who was “in the room” during this process. Here is his testimony … with our standard set of questions.

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Counting Our Blessings

Code: B171025

Imagine you’re sitting in church this coming Sunday morning. Your pastor steps up to deliver his sermon and starts speaking in a language almost entirely foreign to you. You might recognize a few words, but the majority of what he says flies past you as gibberish. You can’t even follow along with the text—there are no pew Bibles, and you don’t own a copy to study for yourself.

Imagine if that were your entire spiritual intake for the week—a message preached in a language you don’t understand, from a text you can’t read, in a book you’re not allowed to own.

Such was life in the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. The pope and his priests had a stranglehold on the text of Scripture, withholding it from the common man. There was no personal study of God’s Word to speak of—you only got whatever you heard from week to week during mass. Those who couldn’t speak Latin—which was often the majority of the people—got even less.

These days, when information is so easily accessible, it’s hard to imagine being totally separated from God’s Word. An inaccessible Bible is a foreign concept to most of us in the developed world. You’ve likely got several copies laying around your house. As I type this, I have about ten Bibles within reach of my desk, not counting the digital versions on my computer and phone.

Because of such immediate and abundant access to God’s Word, believers today have a tendency to grow complacent and cold to Scripture’s preciousness. We purchase Bibles like accessories, giving more thought to their external appearance than the spiritual riches they contain. It’s the natural progression of the trend Charles Spurgeon famously described to his congregation more than 150 years ago:

Most people treat the Bible very politely. They have a small pocket volume, neatly bound; they put a white pocket-handkerchief around it, and carry it to their places of worship; when they get home, they lay it up in a drawer till next Sunday morning; then it comes out again for a little bit of a treat and goes to chapel; that is all the poor Bible gets in the way of an airing. That is your style of entertaining this heavenly messenger. There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers.[1]

Most of us don’t know what it is to truly hunger for God’s truth, since we’ve never been without access to it for more than mere minutes.

Consequently, we don’t appreciate the widespread spiritual starvation that set the stage for the Reformation. We can’t fathom the bravery of men like John Huss, who was banished from his pulpit for daring to preach in the common language of his parishioners. We can’t understand the revolutionary work of men like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, who labored tirelessly to translate and publish the Bible in English. We can’t appreciate the seismic impact of Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press, and the unprecedented access it gave God’s people to His Word.

What we can appreciate, from our vantage point in church history, is how the Lord sovereignly orchestrated events to bring about the Reformation in His perfect timing. We can see how He gifted and used His servants to recover His Word and shine the light of His truth into a world dominated by the darkness of Catholic lies. We can see the immense price so many paid to protect and preserve God’s Word for future generations of church history.

As beneficiaries of the Reformers’ tireless efforts, we’re right to recognize their lives and ministries. But don’t make the mistake of celebrating the Reformers while missing the point of the Reformation itself. Scripture alone is the authority in the church. Scripture alone defines and declares the truth about Christ and the power of His gospel. And Scripture alone is our standard for life and godliness.

In many ways, the church today is in at least as bad a shape as it was prior to the Reformation—it’s probably even worse . Overrun with worldliness, charlatans, and heresy, the Protestant church needed less than five hundred years to dig a deeper well of apostasy than the one it was originally born out of. And while the corruption might be more pervasive, the remedy is the same. The modern church does not need some new marketing strategy or public relations campaign—it doesn’t need to further mimic the tastes and trends of this wretched world.

Just as the Reformers before us, God’s people need to recover the authority and sufficiency of Scripture and return it to its preeminent place in our congregations. We need to shake off our indifference and complacency and get busy with the work of God’s kingdom. Like the Reformers, we need to expend ourselves—even unto death—to shine the life-transforming light of God’s Word into a world dominated by spiritual darkness.

And thanks to those faithful Reformers and Bible translators, much of the hard work has already been done for us. We don’t have to wrestle God’s Word out of the clutches of Satan—we simply have to submit to it and faithfully proclaim it.

The Reformers understood that God’s Word is a treasure worth fighting and dying for—it alone can bring life to the dead and sight to the blind. You can’t truly celebrate the Reformation if you don’t share that conviction.

 


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Should Christians Participate in Halloween? 7 Scriptures to Consider

Michelle Lesley

Originally published October 24, 201410394788_860513210656281_4509180524943822101_n

Should Christians participate in Halloween? 

Since there is no specific Bible verse that says, “Thou shalt/shalt not participate in Halloween and its related activities,” this is an area of Christian liberty that must be decided by each individual or couple on the basis of scriptural principles and prayer. If there are Halloween activities available to you that do not violate scriptural principles or your conscience or cause you to become a stumbling block to someone weaker in the faith (which may even be your spouse or child), you are free to participate in those aspects of Halloween.

Here are some Scriptures and principles that may be of help as you make your decision:

1 Corinthians 10:23:
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Is it helpful? Does it build you/your family up?

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October 25, 2017: Verse of the day

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12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake.[1]


12–13 The vision concludes with Ezekiel’s being raised up by the Spirit (v. 12; cf. 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5) and hearing a final benediction that assures him that he has witnessed a revelation of God’s glory (v. 13).

Ezekiel’s transportation is not a case of hypnotism, autosuggestion, or parapsychic bodily levitation. The text demonstrates that the transportation is in a vision, experienced under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit (cf. Edward J. Young, My Servants, the Prophets [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952], 182–87).[2]


12–13 The translocation of Ezekiel by the spirit is the first of a number of such experiences (see 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5; cf. 37:1). V 14 will continue the topic, but first the departure of the apparition is recorded, in terms of sounds heard. It is implied that it had stood stationary on the ground since the point of 1:15. The term כבוד יהוה “the glory of Yahweh,” which had been used in 1:28 to describe the enthroned divine figure, is evidently employed here as a literary shorthand to refer to the whole apparition. Its “standing place” (מקום) corresponds to the similar verb עמד “stand” in v 23 and to its use with reference to the stationary apparition in 1:21, 25. The noise is explained in v 13. The noise of the flapping wings corresponds to that heard in 1:24. Only here is there mention of the (squeaking, rumbling) noise of the wheels. Does it refer to a taxiing, as if along a runway, before takeoff? Strictly one expects the wheels to have been heard before the wings. Perhaps the louder noise is explained first, unless the wings flapped even when the apparition was moving on the ground. The stem רעשׁ, here rendered “pulsating sound,” is used of the noise of war chariots in Jer 47:3 and of their wheels in Nah 3:2.[3]


3:12 the Spirit lifted me up. Simultaneous events are being described: Ezekiel is being taken away, but at the same time the throne of the Lord is departing. There is ambiguity in the Hebrew ruakh: “Spirit” implies the divine spirit (see notes on 1:4 and 1:12) but, given the stormy setting, “wind” (ESV footnote) or the Spirit manifested in the form of wind is also possible. However, there is a tacit “transportation” here (see 3:15), and the parallels in 8:3 and 37:1 point toward this certainly being the divine Spirit in action in some form.

3:12 The empowering by the Spirit prefigures the role of the Spirit in Christ’s prophetic ministry (Luke 4:18), and then his empowering of gospel proclamation (Acts 1:8).

3:13 In the audience with God, the living creatures have been momentarily forgotten, but their movement brings them dramatically into focus once more.[4]


3:12 And the Spirit lifted me up See note on 2:2.

the sound of a great earthquake A theophany is often accompanied by sounds and storm imagery (compare Exod 19:18; Psa 68:8; Matt 27:54). See note on Ezek 1:4.[5]


3:12 Spirit lifted me up. Ezekiel more than once describes his visionary experiences in terms of transport by the Spirit (3:12, 14; 8:3; 11:1, 24; 40:1–3; 43:5). See 2 Kin. 2:11, 16; 2 Cor. 12:1, 2.[6]


3:12, 13 Blessed … from His place: This thunderous acclaim in praise of the living God came from His myriad of angelic armies (compare Is. 6:3). glory: The word suggests “weight” or “significance,” indicating the wonder, majesty, and worthiness of the living God.[7]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 3:12–13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Alexander, R. H. (2010). Ezekiel. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Jeremiah–Ezekiel (Revised Edition) (Vol. 7, p. 670). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Allen, L. C. (1998). Ezekiel 1–19 (Vol. 28, p. 43). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1505). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Eze 3:12). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1147). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 961). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.