Daily Archives: May 21, 2018

May 21: The Power of Words

1 Chronicles 9:1–10:14; 1 Timothy 5:18–6:2; Psalm 79:1–13

Gossip kills churches. And gossip is always painful, especially when disguised as concern. A request to “pray for so-and-so because of this thing they did” is not asking for prayer; it’s gossiping. If you know some personal detail about someone’s mishap, don’t share it with everyone—take it to God. Entire leadership structures have been wrongfully destroyed because of rumors starting this way.

Paul warns against rumors when he says, “Do not accept an accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses” (1 Tim 5:19). How often have we heard something and been so influenced by it that we accuse someone on the basis of that rumor? Hearing something may make it feel factual, but it’s circumstantial at best.

Although Paul is cautious, he has no tolerance for leaders who sin repeatedly, especially those sinning directly against the community. He tells Timothy to “reprove those who sin in the presence of all, in order that the rest also may experience fear” (1 Tim 5:20). The fear Paul means is a good kind; it keeps people from sinning. It’s not just a fear of getting caught, but an understanding that there are ramifications for the abuse of power or lack of godly conduct.

Paul is not creating a legalistic system here; instead, he is focusing on making people feel what God feels when they sin. They shouldn’t be consumed with guilt, but they should feel enough shame in their actions to realize that they need grace—that they need to step out of a leadership position if they misuse their power. Paul doesn’t demand that these people be cast out of the community. He requires that such leaders be reconciled to the faith community and be made an example so that others don’t do the same.

Paul’s entire framework is based on his assumption that leaders will be godly; he provided details for determining that standard earlier (e.g., 1 Tim 3:1–12). Leaders who fall short must be held accountable. And above all, leaders must be chosen wisely. If they live and conduct themselves in line with God’s work, they will have no need to fear accusations against them.

How can you help establish and support a correct leadership structure in your faith community? How can you help stop any false accusations or gossip?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

May 21 Beyond Doubt to Hope (Thomas)

The twelve apostles included “Thomas” (Matt. 10:3).

✧✧✧

Jesus can replace your doubts with hope.

When Jesus was crucified, Thomas was shattered. He loved Jesus deeply and wanted always to be with Him. He’d even been willing to die with Him, but now his greatest fear had been realized: Jesus was gone.

Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection. John 20:25 says, “The other disciples therefore were saying to [Thomas], ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’” Thomas was emotionally spent and was unwilling to subject himself to any further pain. So he retreated behind a wall of empiricism, saying in effect, “I’m not going to believe this on your word alone. I need proof! I must see Jesus myself.”

Because of that, people have labeled him “Doubting Thomas,” but remember, none of the disciples believed the resurrection until Jesus appeared to them. Thomas wasn’t a compulsive doubter—he was a loving pessimist.

As it turned out, Thomas didn’t need as much proof as he thought. When Jesus finally appeared to him and invited him to touch His hands and side, Thomas didn’t do either. Instead he immediately cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28)—which is the greatest single confession of faith ever made.

Thomas struggled with doubt because he didn’t understand what Jesus had said about His own death and resurrection, and he wasn’t with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. He failed to understand God’s Word and forsook the company of believers—two common mistakes that can lead to doubt.

Jesus doesn’t condemn you when you have doubts. Instead, He gives you His Spirit, His Word, and the fellowship of His people to encourage and strengthen you. So, commune with the Spirit in prayer, know the Word well, and never forsake the fellowship of believers. That’s how to change your doubts into hope!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the presence of His Spirit, the power of His Word, and the fellowship of His people.

For Further Study: Read Luke 24:13–35. ✧ Why didn’t the two disciples recognize Jesus? ✧ How did Jesus change their doubts to hope?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 154). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

May 21, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Friday nominated Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, as U.S. ambassador to South Korea ahead of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled next month but since called into question by Pyongyang.

The Syrian army has restored control over all areas surrounding the capital Damascus, for the first time since early in the seven-year war, after pushing Islamic State militants out of a south Damascus pocket.

The United States on Sunday said it hopes to use strong shared interests that have emerged with its European Union partners in recent months to move forward on addressing Iran’s nuclear program, missile development and role in regional conflicts.

The Philippines expressed “serious concerns” over the presence of China’s strategic bombers in the disputed South China Sea and its foreign ministry has taken “appropriate diplomatic action”.

U.S. state and Canadian regulators have opened “as many as 70 investigations” into cryptocurrency scams, according to The Washington Post.

AP Top Stories

The National Rifle Association’s incoming president Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North has linked school shootings and other violence to using medications such as Ritalin.

Hawaii residents dealing with Kilauea’s volcanic eruption faced a potentially deadly new challenge on Sunday as lava that reached the Pacific Ocean threatened to send up laze, a hazardous mix of glass particles and noxious gas.

Ahead of a planned reform to the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia, the country’s leading women’s rights activists have been detained and are being victimized by a “smear” campaign, say international human rights observers.

A cougar attacked two mountain bikers in Washington state Saturday morning, killing one and seriously injuring the other man. The biker who was killed fled into the woods to get away from the cougar after the initial attack and the animal chased him down, officials said.

More than 10,000 Moroccans chanting “Death to Israel” took to the streets of Casablanca on Sunday to protest against the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) on Sunday pushed for arming teachers and reducing the number of entrances into school buildings after the latest mass shooting at a U.S. school afflicted his state.

Pope Francis said on Sunday he would elevate 14 churchmen from five continents to the rank of cardinal, picking candidates who work with the poor or where Catholics are in a minority and putting his stamp on the group that will elect his successor.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held discussions on Sunday to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track after North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks.

China’s LGBT advocates cautiously organized awareness-raising events across the country to celebrate International Anti-Homophobia Day on Thursday amid concern of growing intolerance towards LGBT causes.

Investigators seized a semi-truck truck on Saturday that had $90.8 million worth of liquid methamphetamine in the driver’s side fuel tank.

China’s air force has landed bombers on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region, it said in a statement.

Residents of Pakistan’s largest city Karachi were urged to seek shelter as the temperature hit 111.2 F, sparking fears of widespread heatstroke during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees.

The social credit system in China has blocked people from taking more than 11 million flights and 4 million train trips. The social credit system is used to punish citizens for bad behavior with numerous blacklists preventing them from traveling, getting loans or jobs, or staying in hotels, and even by limiting internet access.

BBC

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has won re-election to another six-year term, in a vote marred by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is imposing the “strongest sanctions in history” on Iran.

India police say they have successfully extracted 106 cocaine capsules from a woman who was allegedly trying to smuggle the drugs into the country.

Around 50 competitors have remained in Australia illegally after going missing during this year’s Commonwealth Games. Nearly 200 are hold bridging visas and are applying for refugee status.

Health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have begun an immunization campaign in an attempt to halt the spread of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.At least 26 people are believed to have died in the current outbreak.

WND

The average price of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. jumped 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.00.

God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual, Pope Francis has reportedly said.

Seventh-graders at a West Virginia public school were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith in Arabic calligraphy in a social-studies class, drawing outrage from a Christian parent.

The Fairfax County School Board in Northern Virginia is considering teaching children there is no such thing as “biological sex” and also that “clergy” are not to be trusted if students have questions.


The Briefing — Monday, May 21, 2018

1) Why a sane society cannot ‘throw their hands up’ after another school shooting, this time in Texas

USA Today (Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett, Rick Jervis, Julie Garcia, Bart Jansen and Christal Hayes) 
Student kills 10 at Texas school, says he targeted kids he didn’t like

New York Times (James Poniewozik) –
This Is School in America Now

2) Prayer is at the center of the conversation after shooting in community that has famously fought for their right to pray

3) Monarchy in the modern age: The societal and moral shift reflected in the royal wedding


Royal Wedding Emblematic of the Decline of the Church of England

PJ Media

The couple opted for a secular song, “Stand by Me,” performed by a predominantly black gospel choir—jaws literally dropped—in addition to old-school Christian hymns sung by the congregation. The traditional Anglican vows were altered slightly to allow the outspoken feminist Markle to opt out of the traditional promise to obey her husband.


News – 5/21/2018

World’s Largest Geyser is Mysteriously Erupting a Lot Lately

While the world’s eyes are gazing warily at the erupting Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, someone needs to be watching the Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. After being dormant since 2014, the world’s largest active geyser has suddenly spewed steam skyward (your tongue-twister for today) for the fifth time in less than two months … and researchers can’t explain why. Old Faithful gets all of the attention, but Steamboat is in the record books for its 300-foot (91 meter) eruptions that can last up to 40 minutes.

‘GOD LOVES YOU’ Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and loves you like this’

The remarks were apparently made to a victim of clerical sexual abuse and are the most striking acceptance of homosexuality by the Catholic Church to date. In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual.

DoJ Confirms Inspector General Will Probe “Impropriety, Political Motivation” Of Obama FBI Spying On Trump

Update: Just a few hours after President Trump “hereby demanded” that the DoJ investigate whether or not the “FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump campaign for Political Purposes,” Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports that Justice has confirmed a probe has begun.

Abbas is a pain in everyone’s neck, not just Israel’s

The Israelis are not the only ones who have had enough of the Palestinian president. The king’s palace in Saudi Arabia, the king’s palace in Jordan, President al-Sisi’s headquarters in Cairo and the Gulf emirates—none of them will shed a tear if he resigns. They’ve already realized that he has no power, no vision and no integrity.

Israel, US attempt to block Security Council resolution on Gaza international force

Israel and the United States made a joint effort Sunday to foil a similar Kuwaiti-Palestinian attempt to pass a resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for the stationing of an international force in the Gaza Strip to defend Palestinians from “Israeli aggression.” The Israeli-American push was intended to head off Palestinian attempts to secure the nine country majority—out of the Security Council’s 15 member states—needed to pass the resolution.

Deadly Nipah virus claims victims in India

Health officials in the south Indian state of Kerala say nine people have died in confirmed and suspected cases of the deadly Nipah virus. Three victims have tested positive for the virus in the past fortnight. The results from the remaining six samples will be available later on Monday. Twenty-five others have been hospitalised with symptoms of the infection in Kozhikode, officials said.

‘GOD LOVES YOU’ Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and loves you like this’

POPE Francis has told a gay man that God loves him during a private meeting, it has been claimed. In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual. The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Putin Seeks Common Cause With Merkel Over Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that he would stand up to any attempts by U.S. President Donald Trump to block a Russian-German gas pipeline project,

Philippines takes ‘appropriate action’ over Chinese bombers in disputed South China Sea

The Philippines expressed “serious concerns” over the presence of China’s strategic bombers in the disputed South China Sea and its foreign ministry has taken “appropriate diplomatic action”, the spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

DOJ asks watchdog to look into possible ‘impropriety’ after Trump demands probe on alleged campaign ‘infiltration’

The Justice Department asked its watchdog to look into any alleged “impropriety or political motivation” in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the DOJ said Sunday night — hours after President Trump ordered a review looking into whether federal agents infiltrated or surveilled his campaign for political purposes. “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

Trump Mideast Peace Plan to Be Released Next Month:

Reports that the Trump administration is set to release its much-awaited Middle-East Peace Plan next month indicate that it will come as a disappointment to the Palestinians. A report by Associated Press cited five U.S. officials and a congressional aide who said that the plan, composed by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Trump’s special envoy for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, should be made public by late June, though the timing could change due to developments in the region.

UN Human Rights Council Approves ‘War Crimes’ Probe Against Israel

The United Nations Human Rights Council approved a “war crimes” probe on Friday to “provide recommendations to protect civilians against any further assaults” in the Gaza Strip. The resolution was approved in a 29-2 vote, with 14 abstentions. The United States and Australia were the only countries to vote against the resolution.

ISIS Leaves Damascus In Evacuation Deal

Islamic State fighters began evacuating their last remaining positions in southern Damascus on Sunday, under an agreement with the Syrian government reached after months of furious fighting, according to a war monitor and local reports.

School Holds Moment Of Silence For Hamas

The Beacon School in Manhattan is under fire from parents for holding a moment of silence for the people killed by Israel last week during clashes organized by Hamas.

THE NEW NAZIS: Muslim Gazan brags that the true intentions of the riots on Israel’s border is the burning of Jews like Hitler did

A Gazan man interviewed by NPR Wednesday bragged about flying a flag covered in anti-Semitic writing and stated the message from Gazans to Israelis is “we want to burn them.”

Outrage hits America as California high school yearbook proudly featured Islam, makes no mention of any other religion

Jihad Watch (h/t Catherine P) is reporting that the Rancho Cucamonga High School yearbook contains no pages on Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. but devotes two pages to Islam. Because it is the prevailing view among Leftists today that Muslims are persecuted, harassed and discriminated against on a large scale in America today, and that this happens because of Americans’ ignorance of Islam.

UN, EU call for global action to protect bees

The United Nation’s food agency and the European Union on Saturday called for global action to protect pollinators, and bees in particular, which are crucial for ensuring food security.

Hotel pools linked to many disease outbreaks

Here is something to think about before jumping into the pool on your next vacation.  Hotel pools and hot tubs are breeding grounds for waterborne diseases.

Northern Australia mining town demands the Health Department blood test its residents after water supply found contaminated with lead

The population of Borroloola, a remote mining town in central northern Australia, got the shock of their lives when they heard that their drinking water had higher amounts of lead than normal.

First, fountain of youth for dogs, then humans?

A company called Rejuvenate Bio is working on gene therapy for dogs to make them live longer with an eye to doing the same for human beings.

U.S. 7th-graders told to declare submission to Allah

Seventh-graders at a West Virginia public school were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith in Arabic calligraphy in a social-studies class, drawing outrage from a Christian parent.

China Escalates Militarization of South China Sea, Preparing for War

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com China escalates militarization of South China Sea, preparing for war China prepares for war on multiple fronts

Michael Moore on Reviving ‘TV Nation,’ Which Premieres This October

…Although originally titled “Live from the Apocalypse,” Moore told IndieWire on Wednesday, “Then we decided, we’re going to be on the air for five to 10 years. We’re going to outlive the apocalypse, right? Think of this as the first post-Trump show while Trump is still in office.”

SHOCK REPORT: New Evidence of Foreign Government Meddling in 2016 Election Finally Uncovered — But it was from the UK – not Russia!

New evidence proves that a foreign government meddled in the 2016 US Election. But the government identified is the UK, not Russia!


Mid-Day Snapshot

Trump: Time to Probe FBI’s Collusion Probe

Details regarding the FBI’s informant within Trump’s campaign were leaked to the media.

Trade War Ceasefire?

China announces that it will buy “significantly” more U.S. goods and services.

Another ‘Win’ for Socialism in Venezuela

Venezuela’s implosion is the result of the policies pushed by American Democrats.

America’s Corrupt Collaborative Leftmedia

Last week, a trio of news stories reminded Americans that the Leftmedia is fundamentally corrupt.

Video: Laurel, Yanny or…?

The White House had a unique take on the Laurel vs. Yanny debate. Trump hears…

Video: My Strained Relationship With Facebook’s Algorithm

YouTube humorist JP Sears has some fun talking about how Facebook keeps changing the rules.

Monday Short Cuts

Belly laugh of the week: “We are going to take back the country we love.” —Hillary Clinton on the “deplorable” country she detests

Monday Opinion

Read Kay Coles James, Hans von Spakovsky, Tony Perkins, Ken Blackwell, Joe Bastardi and more.

Monday Top Headlines

Probe of the probe, Iran sanctions, new VA nominee, farm bill defeat, and more.

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


The Foundation

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” —Thomas Jefferson (1820)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: May 21

  • Justice Department to Review FBI Probe of Trump Campaign (Read More)
  • Trump’s Russia Probe Attacks Escalate From Tweets to Action (Read More)
  • U.S.-China Trade Truce May Not Last With Differences Unresolved (Read More)
  • U.S. Sends Mixed Messages on China (Read More)
  • ‘Don’t Scream’: How the Texas School Shooting Unfolded (Read More)
  • China Considers Ending Birth Limits as Soon as This Year (Read More)
  • GE to Merge Rail Division With Wabtec in $11 Billion Deal (Read More)
  • Rising Dollar Sparks Tumult in Emerging Markets (Read More)
  • An Arab Plan B for Containing Iran (Read More)
  • Venezuela’s President Keeps His Grip on Power (Read More)
  • Forget About Oil at $80. The Big Rally Is in Forward Prices (Read More)
  • Trans-Atlantic Oil-Price Spread Soars as Supply Glut Disappears (Read More)
  • Surging Prices, Rates Test Demand in Housing Market (Read More)
  • Fall of a Malaysian Dynasty Puts Target on Alleged 1MDB Mastermind (Read More)
  • The Beginning of the End of Forward Guidance (Read More)
  • Cohen Probe Trips Up Bridgewater, World’s Biggest Hedge Fund (Read More)
  • How Canada’s Brookfield snatched bargain assets amid Brazil panic (Read More)
  • Modi’s Party Fails to Form Government in India’s Karnataka (Read More)
  • China’s Bond Market Is a Real Minefield for Investors (Read More)

Headlines – 5/21/2018

Trump team still debating timing of Mideast peace plan release

After U.S. Embassy Move, What Actually Changes For Israelis And Palestinians?

Moroccan capital shelves twin city plan with Guatemala after Israel embassy move

Thousands chant ‘Death to Israel’ in Morocco, protest U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem

Paraguay president lands in Israel for Jerusalem embassy opening

The Walls Within Walls of ‘Undivided’ Jerusalem

Abbas taken to hospital for the third time in a week

Abbas hospitalized in Ramallah over severe ear infection

Abbas is a pain in everyone’s neck, not just Israel’s

Israeli envoy urges UN Security Council to reject Arab-backed Gaza resolution

Israel, US attempt to block Security Council resolution on Gaza international force

Pope says ‘dialogue and reconciliation’ needed after deadly week in Gaza

Police to be probed for alleged violence in dispersing pro-Gaza protest in Haifa

Police release Israeli Arabs in detention for protesting against Gaza shootings

Palestinian in Gaza sets himself on fire in apparent protest

5 West Bank Palestinians arrested for suspected involvement in terror, riots

Liberman calls Arab party chief a ‘terrorist’ who belongs in jail

Death toll from blasts at Syria airbase climbs to 28; rebels take responsibility

Islamic State surrendering in Syria’s capital

Syria war: IS militants ‘leave Damascus suburbs’

Islamic State claims responsibility for church attack in Chechnya

New Clues Bolster Belief That ISIS Leader Is Still Alive – And Busy With A Chilling New Mission

Report: Explosions heard at Iranian facility near Damascus

Zarif describes nuclear deal as a ‘dying patient’, Iran MP says

Iran Uses Nuclear Pact as Bargaining Chip With EU Over U.S. Sanctions

Iran says EU not doing enough to save nuclear deal

EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran

Russia, Europe and China reportedly discussing new Iran nuclear deal

In first US foreign policy speech, Pompeo to discuss ‘totality of Iran’s threats’

Turkey reports likely assassination plot on Erdogan’s life

Saudi air defenses destroy ballistic missile fired from Yemen

Washington, Seoul discuss North Korea’s threat to scrap summit

Mnuchin says US has deal with China to cut trade deficit, will hold off on tariffs

Oil prices rise as China, U.S. put trade war ‘on hold’

Venezuela’s Maduro eyes second term despite economic crisis

Venezuela’s re-elected Maduro faces foreign backlash

With Brexit clarity, Scotland will look again at independence – Sturgeon

Britain to tackle ‘Wild West’ internet with new laws

As election probe spreads to Israel, Trump protests ‘witch hunt’ has gone global

Trump to ‘demand’ Justice probe whether feds spied on campaign for political purposes

Arizona Is Planning For Exodus to State in Event of Major Calif. Quake

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Pamandzi, Mayotte

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Pamandzi, Mayotte

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Xalpatlahuac, Mexico

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Al Mazzunah, Tunisia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecudar erupts to 15,000ft

Merapi volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupts to 10,000ft

Lava eruptions from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano light up the night sky

Hawaii lava finally reaches the Pacific – only to create another deadly danger

‘Laze’ plume could carry toxic substances miles away from lava’s ocean entry

A Noah’s Ark of animals rescued from Hawaii lava

Hailstones the size of tennis balls damage vehicles in northwest China

Congo to begin vaccinating against Ebola after new cases in major city

Harvard start-up Rejuvenate Bio aims to increase human lifespan to 130 years

Doctor who slipped abortion pill into pregnant girlfriend’s drink gets three years in prison

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Preparing City For Marijuana Legalization, Instructs NYPD To Halt Arrests

Incoming NRA President Oliver North blames school shootings on ‘culture of violence,’ Ritalin

Texas shooting suspect’s choice of guns complicates debate over assault rifles

Texans turn to God as school rocked by latest shooting

Pope Francis reportedly tells gay man, ‘God made you that way and loves you’


ApostasyWatch Daily News

Ray Stedman – The Mystery of History

The False Prophet Paradigm on Display – a la Vallotton

Michael Curry & the Royal Wedding. A star-turn offers the world ‘Christianity-lite’

Why Jesus Is No Longer the Only Way for Many American Christians

Catholic Council –  Christians and Muslims: From Competition to Collaboration

How Southern Baptist Leaders Aided My Escape from Abuse

‘Your Prayers Don’t Work’; Hollywood Uses Shooting to Push Gun Control

Sentence Upheld for Pastor in Algeria Stopped for Carrying Christian Literature

Kuwait Demands UN Force to ‘Protect’ Gazans From Israel

Posted: 21 May 2018 06:17 AM PDT

Kuwait Demands UN Force to ‘Protect’ Gazans From IsraelKuwait asked the UN Security Council to “guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population,” and to consider the deployment of “an international protection mission,” the AP reported on Friday. Kuwait is a current member of the UNSC. The draft circulated by Kuwait demands that Israel “immediately cease its military reprisals,

collective punishment and unlawful use of force against civilians, including in the Gaza Strip.” The resolution has no chance of passing while the United States remains a staunch defender of Israel’s right to defend itself against infiltrators from the Gaza Strip, so that if the resolution is put to a vote it would be vetoed. However, it would be interesting to see how many of the members, permanent and otherwise, would support the idea.  READ MORE

Hawaii volcano’s two-story lava wall blocks crucial escape route, residents urged to steer clear of toxic cloud

Posted: 21 May 2018 06:02 AM PDT

Hawaii volcano’s two-story lava wall blocks crucial escape route, residents urged to steer clear of toxic cloudLava gushing out of cracks caused by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano over the weekend formed a two-story wall blocking parts of a highway crucial for residents to escape. as authorities warn them to steer clear of the plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass billowing into the sky.  The active flows from some of the 22 fissures that have opened up on the Big Island since volcanic activity began more than

Watch the latest video at foxnews.comtwo weeks created a 20-foot wall of lava on Highway 137. Scientists said the new lava is hotter and moves faster to cover a wider area.  By Saturday night, the lava flow crossed over the highway, cutting off the route for thousands of residents in the Lower Puna communities, officials said.  “(Look at) how huge this thing is,” Herman Andaya with Maui Emergency Management, told Hawaii News Now. “The magnitude in the flow, and everything.”  READ MORE

Christian therapist fired over biblical marriage beliefs

Posted: 21 May 2018 05:57 AM PDT

Christian therapist fired over biblical marriage beliefsA longtime licensed clinical social worker who was ordered to be a “social worker first, Catholic second” and then fired because of her biblical beliefs about marriage is suing the agency that dismissed her.   The suit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Kathleen Lorentzen.

Lorentzen had asked permission from her former employer, HealthSource Saginaw in Michigan, for permission to refer a homosexual duo to another counselor for “marriage” counseling. She then was fired. Tyler Brooks, senior counsel for TMLC, said the case shows “that people of faith are under assault in the workplace.”  READ MORE

School Board in Virginia considering teaching students there is no “Biological Sex”

Posted: 21 May 2018 05:50 AM PDT

School Board in Virginia considering teaching students there is no “Biological Sex”In an apparent competition among American public school boards to see which sex-education program can be made the most graphic and politically correct, there’s likely a new leader.  In a stunning development, the Fairfax County School Board in Northern Virginia is considering teaching children there is no such thing as “biological sex” and also that “clergy” are not to be trusted if students have questions.  Within just the past few weeks, WND has reported on the Albemarle district in Virginia, which was warned its explicit sex videos to classes of 14-year-old girls likely were

felony violations of state and federal laws.  And the Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona, was warned that its proposed sex-ed program is both “illegal” and “obscene.” Now, according to the Family Research Council, comes the Fairfax board.  “Already, each public school student must suffer through 80 hours of sex ed. That’s not a typo: 8-0,” the report said. “They call it ‘Family Life Education’ but everybody knows that’s a joke. You won’t find lessons on building happy marriages and healthy families here. No, instead you’ll find hour after hour of instruction on your evolving ‘sexual identity,’ on the proper handling of contraceptive drugs and devices, and on how to give consent for sex.” READ MORE

More Americans than ever belief that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven

Posted: 20 May 2018 06:58 PM PDT

More Americans than ever belief that Jesus is not the only way to HeavenJust over two months ago, as winter landed its final blows of snow in New York City, Michael A. Walrond Jr. of Harlem’s 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church landed an ideological blow of his own in traditional Christendom.  Walrond, who was named “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers” by Newsweek magazine, told his congregants that the belief that anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is going to hell is “insanity.”

“There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, ‘well, if you don’t believe in Jesus you going to Hell. That’s insanity in many ways because that is not what Jesus even believes,” he said in a viral clip posted to Facebook. People take many paths to God, he argued, noting that he personally celebrates the paths others take in finding Him — even if that path does not involve faith in Jesus. “And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally, I celebrate that,” Walrond said.  READ MORE

Ebola death count is growing and fears of outbreak gripping Congo

Posted: 20 May 2018 06:50 PM PDT

Ebola death count is growing and fears of outbreak gripping CongoThe death toll from an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Congo has hit 26 with fears it could spread to neighboring countries.  The country’s government has agreed to increase emergency-response funding to over $4 million, AP reported. Ebola victims are being provided with free health care. Some 4,000 vaccines were ordered Saturday – but officials may struggle to keep them cold enough to remain effective. An emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization met but decided the

situation didn’t yet merit being classed as a public health emergency and stopped short of calling for travel restrictions. However, WHO warned that nine neighboring countries are at a high risk of being affected.  The U.S. government is preparing its most direct response yet to the outbreak that appears to have begun in April, readying staffers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deploy to multiple communities in Congo. READ MORE

West Virginia 7th-graders told to declare submission to Allah

Posted: 20 May 2018 06:44 PM PDT

West Virginia 7th-graders told to declare submission to AllahSeventh-graders at a West Virginia public school were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith in Arabic calligraphy in a social-studies class, drawing outrage from a Christian parent.   Parent Rich Penkoski contacted Principal Ron Branch at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Gerrardstown about the assignment, which was part of a world-religions unit, the Christian Post reported.

The assignment was included in a packet sent home with students of information about the history of Islam, the prophet Muhammad and the five pillars of the religion.  But Penkoski, the Christian Post said, was most upset with a worksheet that instructs students to practice calligraphy by copying by hand the Arabic form of the Shahada.  The Shahada is the Islamic profession of faith that declares Allah is the one true god and Muhammad is his messenger.  READ MORE

Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and loves you like this’

Posted: 20 May 2018 06:37 PM PDT

Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and loves you like this’The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church.  The remarks were made during a private meeting at the Vatican between the pair, in which the Pope offered a heartfelt apology.  Cruz was a victim of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest Fernando Karadima. Father Karadima, now aged 87, was found guilty of sexual abuse by the Vatican in 2011.  Cruz claims that his suffering was ignored by a number of Latin American

bishops who used his homosexuality to brand him a liar when he spoke out. Speaking to Spanish newspaper El País, Cruz said: “He [the Pope] told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. “The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.” The Pope’s words signal a much more open and inclusive approach by the often restrictive faith – READ MORE


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Trump will cut $60 million of taxpayer-funding of Planned Parenthood

WINTERY KNIGHT

Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood

The money will instead be given to women’s health care providers who do not perform abortions. I looked around to find an article that didn’t just report the decision, but also what PP would do about it, and how that was likely to work out for them. In cases like this, it really matters how the policy is phrased. That determines whether it can stand up to a court challenge.

Life News reports:

The Trump administration is announcing new regulations today to partially defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses of tens of millions of tax dollars. This is the second time Trump has taken steps to revoke taxpayer funding for the nation’s biggest abortion business — after yanking taxpayer from from International Planned Parenthood during his first week in office.

The United States spends about $260 million in Title X funds annually for family…

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Why I left the Word-Faith Movement — Why Do You Believe – SES

When I was about fourteen I started listening to teachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Jerry Savelle, and Creflo Dollar. I had grown up going to church, albeit a very liberal church, but these guys were different than what I was used to. They had passion, zeal, and spoke with power and authority. They taught very differently than what I had heard before, but they used Scripture to back everything up (well, and some direct revelation from God, so they said). They taught that Jesus had secured our physical healing for this life, that we had power over sickness and the devil, that we could transform our finances through our faith, and that we could even use faith the way God does—the God kind of faith. I really enjoyed listening to these teachers, particularly Copeland and Duplantis. I even was able to meet Duplantis and his wife at a meeting in Charlotte, where I gave him a letter thanking him for teaching the truth. Little did I know at the time that I was being sucked into a heretical mess. Since I did not know much at the time about orthodox theology, much of what was said sounded biblical and right. After having spent over a decade of learning theology in college and seminary (long after I left the movement), I began to realize how dangerous their doctrines really are. Let’s look at some of the main teachings of the Word-Faith movement.

via Why I left the Word-Faith Movement — Why Do You Believe – SES