Daily Archives: April 11, 2019

April 11 The Sign of the Cross

Scripture Reading: Mark 10:35–45

Key Verse: Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Crosses. We see them dangling from people’s necklaces, on car bumpers, and printed on T-shirts and coffee cups. Crosses are everywhere. The Christian cross is such a familiar symbol that we can easily trivialize its significance. But it’s what took place there—the death of Jesus—that lays the foundation for the Christian faith.

At the center of our faith is the cross. It is symbolic of the place where Jesus forever changed history, the place where our sin was forgiven. The cross and the death that occurred there bring life, joy, and hope. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said that He came to serve, not to be served. Jesus’ death on the cross was the place in history where the debt for sin was paid in full. God demanded retribution for the sins of the world, and Jesus paid for them in one act with His own life.

For all the signs and wonders that Jesus did while He walked on earth, it was what He did hanging from the cross that brought about the beautiful gift of salvation, which isn’t limited to just a few, but is available to all.

When we think upon the Cross, we should do so with great awe and reverence. It is the heartbeat of our faith, the place where our sins were paid in full by the most sacrificial act ever done by one man.

Lord, when I start to treat a cross as a decoration, help me to see Your hands, Your feet, and my hope hanging on the cross of Calvary.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 106). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 11 The Blood of the Lamb

Scripture Reading: Luke 22:7–20

Key Verse: Luke 22:20

He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”

For hundreds upon hundreds of years, the Jews had met together to celebrate that dreadful and exciting night in Egypt when the Lord’s destroyer passed over the Israelites’ homes and spared their firstborn (Ex. 11–12).

Why should this Passover night be any different? Yet the disciples sensed Jesus’ intense mood and listened attentively as He spoke: “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15–16 nasb).

Their minds reeled under the weight of Jesus’ words. He had talked about His mission before, but what did He mean now? The disciples watched His hands closely as He lifted the cup and told them to drink together: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20 nasb). Then Jesus called the bread His body, to be broken and given for them.

In one moment, Jesus changed the significance of Passover and the entire sacrificial system forever. The disciples didn’t comprehend the full importance of Jesus’ message. It was late, and there was so much to understand. But later when He appeared to them after the Resurrection, the truth became clear.

The blood of the Passover lamb was the blood of the one eternal Lamb, sufficient to cover the sins of all for all time (Heb. 9:11–14).

O Lord, standing at the foot of the cross, I come to receive forgiveness from You. Your blood is sufficient for my sins. Cleanse me now.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 106). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What does Assange’s arrest mean for the future of journalism?

RT UK’s Afshin Rattansi, host of “Going Underground,” discusses with RT America’s Manila Chan the arrest of Assange, his role in assisting whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and the future of journalism and whistleblowers. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore #News Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America

WikiLeaks legacy of exposing US empire

WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange has been arrested, forced to leave asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he spent six years avoiding extradition to the United States. He has since been charged by the US government for conspiring with whistleblower Chelsea Manning to hack a Department of Defense computer.

The Race Issue: How Social Justice is Disrupting the Church and Confusing the Gospel — Founders Ministries

We are living in a post-Christian society. After being greatly influenced by the ideas of post-modernism our culture is in the midst of a great sexual and moral revolution. The mob mentality of anger-filled leftist students seeks to control university campuses and our culture as a whole can’t figure out how to say “no” to any group—resulting in men who pretend to be women dominating athletic competitions, homosexuals demanding a new definition for marriage, a new women’s empowerment agenda, and the outright celebration of victimhood.

The social justice train is moving at such a rapid pace that when it derails (not if, but when)—the crash will be so catastrophic that our culture and our churches will never be the same again in America. At the heart of this whole debacle is the race issue. In many ways, the race issue has been turned into a weaponized form of social justice reform that is seeking to gain political power and control.

How should we address it? With all of this social justice rhetoric and call to reform, why are we not seeing great advancements and unity within evangelical circles? Could it be that the solution being offered by many evangelical voices today is actually stoking the fires of controversy rather than offering the healing balm of God’s sufficient Word?

Confusion Over Terms: Words Matter

When it comes to race, we are led to believe that there is a multiplicity of races that make up a sea of humanity. Although that’s a widely held position, it’s a relatively new position and one that does not square with the biblical text. According to the Bible, there is only one human race and we can all be traced back to one human being—the progenitor of the human race—Adam. When referring to humanity as a whole, it’s best to separate race and ethnicity. There is one human race with a multiplicity of ethnicities.

According to one of the original signers of The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, Craig Mitchell, writes, “The science of race is getting louder and clearer all of the time. Race is at best an overblown social construct that has been harmful to our society. It is a concept that is best forgotten.” As you can imagine, the craftiness of the devil has led people to war over the color of people’s skin. While we have progressed beyond the days of slavery and Jim Crow laws, there has been a massive uptick in racism and division based on skin color over the last ten years in America—and the church of Jesus Christ has experienced the wake of such problems as well.

Many leading voices within evangelical circles are holding to the position that systemic racism and systemic injustices are still holding black people back from succeeding in our nation. This is a hotly contested debate and one that will continue on for a while; nonetheless, we must consider the power of words and the ongoing struggle for control of the dictionary. Terms such as systemic racism and white privilege carry quite a deal of meaning and how we employ such vocabulary is vitally important. Before one embraces the full ideas of systemic racism and white privilege it would be a good idea to consider the reality that such terms are pregnant with much political baggage and have been constructed from a political environment that has depended upon such theories and ideas in order to fuel cultural movements. That pattern continues today with the social justice movement.

Disruption of the Church: Identity Matters

The church (ἐκκλησία) is the assembly of God’s people who are saved by faith alone in Christ alone and gather together in local assemblies for both service and worship. In a literal rendering of the Greek – the term means a called out assembly. Christ founded his Church and made a definitive statement – “The gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).

The first use of the term church is found coming from the mouth of Jesus in Matthew 16:18. Interestingly enough, this is a passage where Jesus was asking about his own identity and then pointing his followers to their identity within the church. However it must be seen to go much deeper than that as well.

When we see God’s sovereign selection of Israel in Deuteronomy 7, we don’t see Israel’s identity being centered on Israel. In fact, when the Jews became guilty of mission drift regarding the purpose of the covenant with Abraham (see Rom 4) and Jewish identity was raised to a level that turned into nationalism and racism—they failed to see their true identity was rooted in Christ (the greater Moses, Melchizedek, and David).

Unfortunately today, we are suffering from an identity crisis. We can call it racism, to use the term, but within evangelical circles it’s really an identity crisis. Is our identity in Christ alone, or must we major on melanin count and create platforms of power for specific people based on the color of their skin?

Several months ago, Eric Mason released a book titled, Woke Church. In it, he makes the following bold assertion:

To apply this we must be awakened to the reality of implicit and explicit racism and injustice in our society. Until then, our prophetic voice on these matters will be anemic and silent. Being woke is to be aware. Being woke is to acknowledge the truth. Being woke is to be accountable. Being woke is to be active. This is the call of God on the church and on every believer. [1]

To make the claim that the mission of the church is to be “woke” is to be guilty of false advertising at best and egregious mission drift at worst. Furthermore, Jesus doesn’t need to ride the wave of pragmatic cultural trends in order to complete his mission through the Church. I would further argue that Jesus was not “woke” in his earthly ministry and doesn’t need that label for his Church today. The term “woke” emerges from the black nationalist movement as an urban colloquialism. Needless to say, to attach “woke” to “church” is to create something other than what Jesus intended in Matthew 16:18. Do we need more than a Jesus identity? Why do followers of Jesus need the “woke” language attached to them?

Another example of this identity crisis is found in an article written by Kyle J. Howard titled, “Counting The Cost: Engaging Church in Ethnic Reconciliation” where he wrote the following, “I would be a bitter angry man if it wasn’t for the local church and the faithfulness of its people. My desire to plant a minority led multi-ethnic/cultural church has only grown and my excitement to do so has never been more intense.”

If our identity is in Christ, why must we continue to labor to plant “minority led multi-ethnic” churches? Should the determining factor be melanin count or the giftedness of the leader? If Paul labored to drive home the message of unity for the Jews and Gentiles in his letter to the church in Ephesus (and surrounding cities), why would we continue to labor for specific people to lead based upon skin color? Paul writes:

Ephesians 2:13-14 – “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”

When we see that our identity is in Christ and through the church we all (all ethnic groups) come together through the blood sacrifice of Jesus and are one in Christ and remain so by the unity of the Spirit who works in us to produce this bond of peace (Eph 4:3).

Confusing the Gospel: Jesus’ Work Matters

Today’s social justice machine has created a hyper-focus on melanin count—and a passionate charge of guilt for those who are born white. For instance, Thabiti Anyabwile tweeted the following on March 28 of 2018:

Don’t know how I can be more explicit than “repent of whiteness.”

While this was a long Twitter thread, when asked for clarification, Thabiti Anyabwile tweeted the following:

Yep. The consequence is disproportionate. We suffer far more when whiteness goes unrepented. Always have. Not trying to create a false equivalency, just to say we can only get our logs *first* and then help with the “specks.”

We have seen similar comments arise to the surface within evangelical circles recently. In an interview with Elizabeth Woodson, Ekemini Uwan stated the following:

Because we have to understand something – whiteness is wicked. It is wicked. It’s rooted in violence, it’s rooted in theft, it’s rooted in plunder,  it’s rooted in power, in privilege…

Interestingly enough, after a train wreck of controversy erupted at the Sparrow Women’s Conference, @SparrowWomen issued an apology and explanation by which Ekemini Uwan, who goes by the Twitter handle @sista_theology states the following:

This is not an apology. This is a terrible PR clean up job and a terrible one at that. I went into that racist space and did what I was supposed to do, tell the truth as a fully embodied BLACK woman.

Looking beyond the obvious differences on what happened at the conference, it’s obvious that Uwan has no problem lecturing everyone at the conference on how “whiteness” deserves repentance, but she has no trouble embracing her black identity as she references herself in the tweet above as a “BLACK woman.” This is just the tip of the iceberg of the divisions and confusion related to what many are insisting is the sin of whiteness and how those of us who are born white need to repent of this original sin. Ekemini Uwan was praised by Thabiti Anyabwile and Jackie Hill Perry. The social justice divide continues.

As this ethnic divide continues, evangelical leaders are bringing the political talk of reparations into the church. Not only is this a highly charged debate, it finds its source in politics and deconstructionism and redistribution of wealth—not the gospel. Yet, evangelical figures such as Thabiti Anyabwile seem to support reparations. This is one more example of how the social justice agenda is confusing the gospel.

The Bible points to the reality that our original sin is not based on skin color. It’s imputed to us through our relationship to Adam. Paul makes the case abundantly clear in Romans 5:12-14 and once again as he writes, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). Nowhere do we see any connection to skin color as sinful, but instead, the guilt of Adam’s transgression is imputed to us, as David makes clear in Psalm 51:5. The gospel is that in Adam all die, but in Christ all shall be made alive (1 Cor 15:22). Paul doesn’t command Jews to repent of their Jewish identity or Jewish power in Romans 3:23, instead, he pointed them to repent of their sin of unbelief. In many ways the Jews had turned their identity into an idol, and that’s a modern pitfall for all ethnic groups to guard against.

We must not forget that this world is not our home. We are merely “sojourners and exiles” passing through (1 Pet 2:11-12). Our eyes are to be fixed on a better home—one whose maker and builder is God (Heb. 11:10). Darrell B. Harrison observes the following:

Social justice advocates are, in my humble opinion, admirably but misguidedly hoping to remake this present world into one wherein justice and righteousness are consistently observed by all. But if God’s Word is clear about anything, it is that you and I are innately unrighteous and, consequently, we are wholly incapable of consistently adhering to society’s ever-shifting standards of righteousness let alone God’s (see Rom. 3:23; Ecc. 7:20). Which is why the vision of the late Dr. James Hal Cone (1936-2018) – a man whom many regard as one of the founders of black liberation theology – that “Love should be a controlling element in power, not power itself” will continue to be a mirage in this life, because the same sin that divides us from God divides us from one another.

We should not press upon people to offer another payment for their sins if Jesus truly paid it all (John 19:30). We must all (every kindred, tongue, tribe, and nation) come to Christ for redemption. The gospel is not a Jewish gospel. It’s not the gospel of the white man. It’s the gospel of Christ—for the Jew first and also the Greek (Rom 1:16). Jesus is the Savior of sinners throughout the world (John 3:16; 4:42). In Christ alone we find true reconciliation to the Father and genuine reconciliation to one another. Revelation 5 is a glorious picture of God’s love for every people group on planet earth.

Until we arrive in that glorious scene—we live with much hope as we walk the broken roads of this present evil world knowing that Jesus paid it all. True reconciliation will not be found at the foot of the political stump, in the laws of a broken society, or in the social justice agenda. True reconciliation will come only in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • The first Adam damned us.
  • The last Adam saved us.
  • The first Adam led us away from God.
  • The last Adam brought us near to God.
  • The first Adam imputed to our account the guilt of sin.
  • The last Adam imputed to our account the righteousness of God.
  • The first Adam cursed us by birthright.
  • The last Adam saved us by faith.

Until we all come to the foot of the cross and cling to the work of Jesus alone, we will continue to see a divide growing between ethnicities. We can labor for unity within our local churches, through accountability, through church discipline—and as our local churches grow brighter with the identity of Christ Jesus rather than the cowboy church, biker church, black church, white church or any other identity—we will grow closer and closer together in Jesus.

Jesus paid it all

All to him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He made it white as snow


[1] Eric Mason, Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice, (Chicago: Moody, 2018), 32.

via The Race Issue: How Social Justice is Disrupting the Church and Confusing the Gospel — Founders Ministries

Franklin Graham to Buttigieg: ‘We don’t define sin, God does’

Franklin Graham

Pete Buttigieg doesn’t have the authority to define sin, evangelist Franklin Graham said Thursday in response to the openly gay Indiana mayor’s recent criticism of Vice President Mike Pence’s faith-based stance on same-sex marriage.

The 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, an Episcopalian, targeted Pence’s beliefs in a speech over the weekend to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

“That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand … if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me – your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” said Buttigieg.

Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Association, reacted via Facebook.

“To set the record straight, Mr. Mayor,” he wrote, “the issue isn’t whether somebody has a problem with who you are – the issue is that we all have a problem with God because of our sin.

“And it applies to every single human being. God loves us, and the Bible says we are all sinners who need God’s forgiveness, which He offers if we repent and turn from our sin and put our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ,” Graham wrote.

“We don’t define sin, God does in His Word, the Bible. Using new terms like ‘Progressive Christianity’ and the ‘Christian Left’ may sound appealing to some, but God’s laws and standards do not change. He says, ‘For I am the Lord, I change not.’ I believe what the Bible says is truth.”

In his speech to the advocacy group, Buttigieg said his marriage to a man made him a “better human being.”

“Yes, Mr. Vice President,” he said, “it has moved me closer to God.”

Buttigieg said it was someone or something “far, far above my pay grade” that made him homosexual, and he said he fought those feelings for a long time.

“If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before I could get a sip of water,” he said.

He also promised he would support a federal “equality act,” which, according to the bill now in Congress, would threaten constitutionally protected rights of Christians.

Graham said Buttigieg is “attacking Vice President Mike Pence for his stand with the Word of God.”

“I have such a great respect for the vice president, for his leadership in our nation, for his personal integrity, and for his Christian faith,” he wrote.

CNN reported Wednesday Pence responded to Buttigieg’s attack with: “He knows better. He knows me.”

“Nineteen people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the left. And they’re all competing with one another for how much more liberal they can be,” Pence said.

Source: Franklin Graham to Buttigieg: ‘We don’t define sin, God does’

BRENNAN SPOOKED – Attacks Bill Barr For Saying Obama Admin Spied on Trump’s 2016 Campaign (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Former CIA Chief John Brennan, who is up to his eyeballs in Spygate, attacked Attorney General Bill Barr over his ‘spying’ allegation.

John Brennan was spooked after Attorney General Bill Barr said in a Senate hearing that the “upper echelon” of Obama’s Intel agencies spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Yes, that includes John Brennan, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency – no wonder why he’s panicking.

Bill Barr sent the Democrats, the Swamp dwellers and their stenographers in the media into a tailspin on Wednesday when he said Trump’s 2016 campaign was spied on.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said during a Senate hearing. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated but I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation… I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

Brennan immediately ran to the ‘hate Trump’ media and attacked Bill Barr.

Brennan appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’ with Chris Matthews and said he was “disappointed” with Bill Barr for using the “S” word [gasp] – “Spying” – how dare Bill Barr accurately call it what it was, SPYING!

“I was very disappointed in what Attorney General Barr said today about spying,” Brennan said.

Brennan, like his buddy Clapper, continued to spread Russia conspiracy theories in an attempt to take the heat off of his own criminal role in Spygate.

VIDEO:

Brennan’s buddy James Clapper got the memo and immediately ran to CNN where he attacked Bill Barr and also said he was “disappointed” in the Attorney General, then spread more Russia conspiracy theories.

“I thought it was both stunning and scary,” Clapper, who served under Obama, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term ‘spying’ has all kinds of negative connotations and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately.”

Former CIA Chief John Brennan and James Clapper both promoted Hillary’s fraudulent dossier and now a real Attorney General threatens to expose their role in Spygate.

Brennan perjured himself in a May 2017 testimony when he said he did not include Hillary’s phony dossier in the IC report.

Here’s a brief list of Brennan’s involvement in Spygate:

via BRENNAN SPOOKED – Attacks Bill Barr For Saying Obama Admin Spied on Trump’s 2016 Campaign (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Obama DHS Secretary: Border Is in ‘Crisis by Any Measure’ — National Review

Former Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday echoed the Trump administration’s language on immigration.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C., March 21, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters )

Former Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday echoed the Trump administration’s language to describe the influx of immigrants at the southern border, calling it a “crisis.”

“By any measure, 4,000 arrests in a day, 100,000 in a month ― that’s the population of the city of Albany, N.Y.  ― that suddenly shows up on our southern border in one month is a crisis,” Johnson said on Fox News. “It’s a crisis because it overwhelms our Border Patrol and our immigration officials’ ability to deal with it, and it’s a crisis because you have to absorb that population somehow into southern border towns.”

Johnson, who led DHS for the last three years of the Obama administration, said he had guided U.S. border authorities through a similar but smaller migrant crisis in 2014, by promoting the message that the journey to the border is dangerous, seeking the Mexican authorities’ cooperation in stemming the flow of migrants, and expanding U.S. detention capabilities for family units, the last of which was controversial.

“I know what a thousand a day looks like,” Johnson said. “I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. It must overwhelm the system.”

The former secretary’s remarks came amid President Trump’s purge of DHS leadership this week, which Trump has said is designed to move the department in a “tougher direction.” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out over the weekend, and the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ron Vitiello, resigned Wednesday after Trump pulled his nomination to lead the agency on a permanent basis last week.

The crisis “emanates” from Central America, which is “the most violent region of our world right now,” Johnson said. “We have got make the long-term investment in addressing the poverty and violence in those nations. It can be done. A lot of people don’t want to hear that. They want quick, easy answers. They want some legal lever to pull.”

“I think we have to get away from Democrat vs. Republican, crisis vs. no crisis,” he concluded, saying the answer is “inevitably is bipartisan” and “requires a change in law.”

Apprehensions at the southern border spiked in March as a record number of families were intercepted crossing into the country. 92,607 individuals were apprehended at ports of entry last month.

via Obama DHS Secretary: Border Is in ‘Crisis by Any Measure’ — National Review

CLAPPER PANICS! Says Bill Barr Spying Allegation “Stunning and Scary” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

James Clapper

Former DNI Chief James Clapper panicked after Attorney General Bill Barr said in a Senate hearing that the “upper echelon” of Obama’s Intel agencies spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Yes, that includes James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence.

Bill Barr sent the Democrats and their stenographers in the media into a tailspin on Wednesday when he said Trump’s 2016 campaign was spied on.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said during a Senate hearing. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated but I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation… I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

James Clapper ran to CNN where he attacked Bill Barr and spread more Russia conspiracy theories.

“I thought it was both stunning and scary,” Clapper, who served under Obama, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term ‘spying’ has all kinds of negative connotations and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately.”

“It would have been far more appropriate for him to just defer to that investigation rather than postulating with apparently no evidence. He just has a feeling that there was spying against the campaign,” Clapper added.

Clapper then parroted the new narrative being pushed by the Deep State-Democrat-Media Complex.

Clapper sounded the alarm that the Russians are coming and instead of focusing on the scary Russians, “we’re focusing on this circus about whether or not somebody was spying on the campaign, which is, I think, a gross misstatement,” he said.

Rather than push back against Clapper’s absurd statements, Anderson Cooper suggested that Bill Barr is protecting Trump.

Watch Clapper stutter through his interview with Anderson Cooper:

Clapper is panicking because his fingerprints are all over Spygate.

Clapper, along with former CIA Chief John Brennan both promoted Hillary’s fraudulent dossier and now a real Attorney General threatens to expose their role in Spygate.

James Clapper spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper in January of 2017 shortly before CNN published an article revealing that Comey briefed then-President elect Donald Trump on the dossier’s allegations.

CNN’s January 10, 2017 article about the dossier briefing was the “news hook” that the coup plotters needed in order to give credibility to the 35-page dossier which was published by BuzzFeed later that day.

House Intel Republicans grilled Clapper about this leak — at first he “flatly denied” leaking the story to CNN, then he later admitted to discussing the dossier with Jake Tapper and other reporters right before Trump’s inauguration.

Tony Shaffer slammed Clapper.

via CLAPPER PANICS! Says Bill Barr Spying Allegation “Stunning and Scary” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Creepy Porn Lawyer Indicted on 36 More Federal Charges of Tax Evasion, Bank Fraud, Perjury and Theft From Clients… — The Last Refuge

Wow, CPL is having a very bad day. [Details Here] The scale of the new grand jury indictments against Avenatti for his alleged criminal behavior is clear; if convicted on all counts he could spend 335 years in prison.

Attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients, did not pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings.

.

DOJ Details on Avenatti Indictment HERE

via Creepy Porn Lawyer Indicted on 36 More Federal Charges of Tax Evasion, Bank Fraud, Perjury and Theft From Clients… — The Last Refuge

BREAKING: Obama White House Legal Counsel Indicted For False Statements and Concealing Information — The Gateway Pundit

Greg Craig

Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges stemming from Meuller’s probe related to work he did for Ukraine in 2012.

Craig, 74, served as legal counsel for Obama from 2009 to 2010 and worked as senior legal counsel to Bill Clinton during his impeachment.

A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Thursday on charges of making false statements and concealing information about his Ukrainian lobbying efforts.

According to Mr. Craig’s legal team, Craig refused to accept a plea deal so the case was handed over to a grand jury for indictment, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Greg Craig was interviewed twice by Mueller’s investigators about work he and his law firm did in Ukraine in 2012.

Craig’s lawyers said the case against him was conducted by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. The indictment came down from the Justice Department in DC so Craig’s lawyers  alleged federal prosecutors are abusing their power.

“This case was thoroughly investigated by the SDNY and that office decided not to pursue charges against Mr. Craig. We expect an indictment by the DC US Attorney’s Office at the request of the National Security Division. Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge and the government’s stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion,” Craig’s lawyers said in a statement Wednesday.

Craig was a partner in the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which entered into a multi-million dollar settlement with the DOJ over its work in Ukraine.

Greg Craig worked with Paul Manafort in Ukraine — Craig is the first top Dem charged in a case stemming from Mueller’s witch hunt.

Read the full indictment here.

via BREAKING: Obama White House Legal Counsel Indicted For False Statements and Concealing Information — The Gateway Pundit

Obama’s Top White House Lawyer Indicted For Concealing, Lying About Foreign Collusion — The Federalist

A federal grand jury on Thursday charged Greg Craig with conspiring to hide his paid collusion with a foreign government and lying about that work to federal officials. Craig, a high-powered Beltway lawyer, served as President Barack Obama’s top White House lawyer during the former president’s first year in office.

According to the formal indictment of Craig, which the Department of Justice released Thursday afternoon, the Democrat superlawyer “did unlawfully, knowingly, and willfully falsify, conceal, and cover up” his work on behalf of the Ukrainian government.

“The purpose of the scheme was for CRAIG to avoid registration as an agent of Ukraine,” the indictment alleges. “Registration would require disclosure of the fact that” an unnamed Ukrainian had “paid CRAIG and the Law Firm more than $4 million[.]”

The indictment alleges that Craig cooked up a scheme to avoid registering as a foreign agent, as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), after he was hired to run interference on behalf of the controversial politically charged prosecution of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenka. In exchange for $4 million, Greg was expected to produce a report showing that the prosecution accorded with Western legal standards and was not tainted by corruption, the indictment alleges.

Instead of properly disclosing the amount of the payment and the terms of the contract, Craig allegedly drew up paperwork that falsely claimed his compensation would only be $12,000.

“The engagement letter omitted any mention of the amount of money CRAIG would be paid or the source of that money,” the indictment claims. “CRAIG’s letter did not disclose that he and the Law Firm would be paid more than $4 million for their services and that the money would be paid by the Private Ukrainian.”

Craig deliberately hid the true nature and compensation of his work for Ukraine in order to maximize the public relations value of the report he wrote for the Eastern European government, according to the indictment.

The FARA law requires disclosure and registration of work done on behalf of foreign governments or principals by anyone who “acts within the United States as a public relations counsel, publicity agent, information-service employee or political consultant for or in the interests of such foreign principal[.]” The law further defines a “public relations counsel” as “any person who engages directly or indirectly in informing, advising, or in any way representing a principal in any public relations matter pertaining to political or public interests, policies, or relations” on behalf of a foreign government or principal.

The indictment alleges that, in addition to concealing his foreign agent work from the government, Craig also lied to his law firm about it and falsely claimed that he had no contact with the media about the report he had prepared. Based on his statements, the law firm filed false statements about its public relations contacts to the Department of Justice.

Craig “knowingly and willfully caused to be made false statements of material fact in documents filed with and furnished to the Attorney General,” the indictment alleges. “[D]uring an interview conducted by the Special Counsel’s office, CRAIG repeated certain of the false and misleading statements he made to the FARA Unit concerning the timing and nature of his contacts with journalists about the Report.”

The case against Craig stemmed from the wide-ranging probe overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The indictment even alleges that several of Craig’s false statements were made during interviews conducted by Mueller’s investigative team. While Mueller charged multiple Trump affiliates — such as Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn — with false statements charges, he chose not to charge a prominent Democrat attorney who worked in the Obama White House with any wrongdoing. It is not clear why Mueller prosecuted alleged violations by Trump associates but not of a former high-ranking Obama administration official.

Instead, the charges were announced by federal prosecutors within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Craig is the first former Democrat official to be charged in connection with the Mueller probe.

If convicted, Craig could face up to ten years in prison. The full indictment can be read here.

via Obama’s Top White House Lawyer Indicted For Concealing, Lying About Foreign Collusion — The Federalist

April 11 Your Source and Supply

Scripture reading: Matthew 6:25–34

Key verse: Acts 17:28

In Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, “For we are also His offspring.”

What is your most pressing need today? Money for the mortgage, college tuition, or Christmas gifts? A new direction for your career? Peace with your children? Unity in your marriage? Whatever your need, God has an answer: seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).

What does God have to do with schools, cars, relationships, money, or investments? Everything. As the Source and Supply of all your needs—material or otherwise—God is the Ultimate Giver. His wisdom, love, and sovereignty work on your behalf, regardless of the complexity, urgency, or practicality of your needs.

You seek God to meet your needs because He knows them even before you ask. He is fully aware of the problems you face and the demands they place on you. When you seek God first, He promises to supply every necessity, just as He does for the birds of the air (Matt. 6:26).

You seek Him first by depending upon His answer, refusing to manipulate your circumstances. When you want God’s way—His path above all else—mortgage, school, and family fit into His plan and purpose. Therefore, He will provide in His time; He will meet every possible need. Anxiety over the future is replaced by confident trust in God’s absolute goodness.

Lord, I have confident trust in Your goodness. I know You will provide all I need in Your time.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 106). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Assange arrest ‘absolutely disgusting’ & could be ‘tit-for-tat’ – former MI5 agent to RT

Former MI5 agent and whistleblower Annie Machon called the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “absolutely disgusting,” and an “egregious violation” of his rights.

Assange was dragged by British police from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday morning after his asylum right was axed. The arrest comes a day after WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson detailed an extensive spying campaign against Assange, and two weeks after WikiLeaks announced a corruption investigation against Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno.

“It’s almost like tit-for-tat,” Machon told RT. “This is an egregious violation of so many rights under international law.”

Also on rt.com ‘Dark moment for press freedom’: Edward Snowden responds to Assange arrest

“It has been stated by the UN that his rights were being infringed,” she continued. “And then you have him being spied on all the time, including conversations with his lawyers which are supposed to be legally privileged, and conversations with his doctors, again supposed to be privileged.”

Meanwhile, former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa called his successor “the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history” for allowing British police to enter the country’s embassy and arrest Assange. Machon told RT that she hopes to hear similar condemnations from world leaders in the coming hours and days.

Also on rt.com ‘UK, you are America’s bitch’: Pamela Anderson launches scathing tweetstorm following Assange arrest

“We’ve seen time and time again how easy it is for the mainstream media to be controlled and manipulated from behind the scenes by the intelligence agencies and by governments,” she said.

“And that is precisely the model that Julian Assange tried to break. And he did it courageously and he did it knowing full well what he’d be facing.”

“For Britain and Ecuador, probably to just hand him over to the States for some incredibly harsh non-justice, is I think, absolutely disgusting.”

Source: Assange arrest ‘absolutely disgusting’ & could be ‘tit-for-tat’ – former MI5 agent to RT

Snowden Reminds UN Called Assange’s Detention Arbitrary, Violation of Rights

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former US National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden recalled on Thursday, following the arrest of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website founder Julian Assange that the United Nations had ruled Assange’s detention to be a violation of human rights.

“Important background for journalists covering the arrest of Julian #Assange by Ecuador: the United Nations formally ruled his detention to be arbitrary, a violation of human rights. They have repeatedly issued statements calling for him to walk free — including very recently”, Snowden wrote on Twitter.

He also posted a screenshot with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’s statement, dated 21 December 2018, demanding the United Kingdom abide by its international obligations and immediately let Assange “walk free” from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Important background for journalists covering the arrest of Julian #Assange by Ecuador: the United Nations formally ruled his detention to be arbitrary, a violation of human rights. They have repeatedly issued statements calling for him to walk free–including very recently. pic.twitter.com/fr12rYdWUF

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 11 апреля 2019 г.

READ MORE: Assange Likely to Appear Before UK Magistrates’ Court Within 24 Hours — Mother

A police van parked outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody Thursday April 11, 2019

© AP Photo / Rebecca Brown

Earlier in the day, the UK police arrested Assange inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been residing since 2012 under political asylum fearing extradition. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno confirmed on Thursday that the country had withdrawn Assange’s asylum status over his alleged violations of international conventions.

Assange is currently being held in custody. His mother said on Twitter, citing his lawyer, that the activist was likely to appear before a UK magistrates’ court within 24 hours.

The activist has repeatedly said that he feared extradition to the United States due to the fact that he had published thousands of leaked classified US government documents, exposing American atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: Snowden Reminds UN Called Assange’s Detention Arbitrary, Violation of Rights

Decade Of Stunning Leaks Of Secrets…

Washington (AFP)

The US government has regarded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a dangerous national security threat ever since he and his organization opened a decade-long effort to expose US secrets — from military files to embarrassing Democratic Party emails during the 2016 election.

But Assange’s indictment on narrow charges of hacking conspiracy Thursday seems to concede that his activities, as damaging as they have been, could be protected by constitutional freedom of the press guarantees.

After holing up in Ecuador’s London embassy for seven years, Assange was arrested by British police Thursday on a US extradition request, outraging press freedom groups.

Washington has investigated Australian-born Assange, 47, since at least 2010 when he published hundreds of thousands of US military and diplomatic files obtained from a US Army intelligence official, Bradley Manning.

Those files exposed controversial US military war actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, including evidence of torture, a video of a US Army helicopter attack that killed two journalists in Baghdad in 2007, and the huge numbers of civilian deaths that resulted from the US invasions.

The leaks rocked the US establishment, which said they endangered the lives of US soldiers in the field as well as diplomats.

While Manning — now known as Chelsea Manning after gender reassignment treatment — was tried and imprisoned for the leak, Assange was able to continue his activities from the sanctuary of the Ecuador embassy.

– Meddling in 2016 election –

WikiLeaks revealed secret files on the US Guantanamo prison, published highly sensitive National Security Agency intercepts, internal US trade negotiation documents, and files from the CIA’s ultra-secret Vault 7 hacking program.

In 2016, the organization played a central role in Russian meddling during the presidential election battle between Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The just-concluded investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller alleged that Russian intelligence hacked materials from Clinton’s campaign and released them through WikiLeaks, damaging her election bid.

Court filings show that Assange actively sought out the Clinton materials and then was in contact with the Trump campaign over the timing and content of the releases by WikiLeaks.

Trump, whose campaign got a boost from the leaks, readily praised Assange’s operation on the campaign trail.

“This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable … It tells you the inner heart; you gotta read it,” he said at one event that October.

“Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks,” he said at another, just days before the vote.

But on Thursday, asked if he still loves the organization, Trump told reporters: “I know nothing about Wikileaks. It’s not my thing.”

– ‘Hostile intelligence service’ –

Those activities led to Assange and his organization being labelled a major security threat by top US officials.

In 2017, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” abetted by Moscow.

But the US government has been cautious about charging him. Assange has maintained that he is a journalist protected by the US constitution’s free speech guarantee, and that WikiLeaks’ activities are no different from those of other media organizations.

Indeed, three major international media groups — the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel — coordinated with WikiLeaks in 2010 in the publication of secret US files on the Afghan war.

President Barack Obama’s administration was loathe to go after Assange for publishing the leaked materials, knowing it would provoke a massive fight with the US press establishment.

Assange would have to be prosecuted “for something other than publishing information — like hacking into a network,” former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller told AFP in 2013.

That was the charge against Assange unveiled Thursday. While the indictment cites “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States,” it specifically accuses Assange of a computer crime: conspiring with Manning to crack a password stored on Defense Department computers.

That, say experts, is a crime that stays well away from press freedom issues.

“Journalists do not assist sources in cracking passwords. Journalists are actually given legal training to tell them NOT to do stuff like that,” said Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer who focuses on national security issues.

But Assange’s supporters say that the case is still about media freedom.

His arrest constitutes “an unprecedented effort by the United States seeking to extradite a foreign journalist to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information,” said Assange’s US lawyer Barry Pollack.

Source: Decade Of Stunning Leaks Of Secrets…

Exposing ‘collateral murder’ and mass surveillance: Why the world should be grateful to Assange

Julian Assange is a pioneering whistleblower in the digital-age, speaking truth to power like no one before him managed on such a significant scale. As he sits in a London jail cell, here’s why we should be grateful for his work.

By setting up the international non-profit organization WikiLeaks in Iceland in 2006, Assange irrevocably shifted the balance of power in the online era.

From humble beginnings as a master coder and hacker, caught by Australian authorities in 1995 but escaping a prison term, to the foremost publisher of sensitive, embarrassing and potentially dangerous material for the world to see, Assange’s storied career as a publisher and whistleblower has captured headlines, and the global public’s attention for years.

RT takes a look back at the key moments in Assange’s career that remind us why the world owes him such a debt of gratitude.

Also on rt.com Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

The early years

In 2007, WikiLeaks published emails exposing the manuals for Camp Delta, a controversial US detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba which was the focal point for the US war on terror and the final destination for those captured as part of its extraordinary rendition campaign.

The following year the whistleblowing site posted emails from vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo email account, again exposing the newfound weakness of the political class in the digital age.

‘Collateral murder’

In a move that would reverberate online and across the world for years, in April 2010 WikiLeaks published footage of US forces summarily executing 18 civilians from an Apache attack helicopter in Iraq. It was an almost unheard of revelation of the brutality of war and the low price of human life in modern conflict.

Also on rt.com ‘Collateral Murder’: 10th anniversary of infamous airstrike that exposed US cover-up (VIDEO)

Diplomatic cables

2010 was a very busy year for Assange as in July WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 classified documents and diplomatic cables relating to the Afghanistan war.

Later, in October 2010, the organization published a raft of classified documents from the Iraq War. The logs were referred to as “the largest leak of classified documents in its history” by the US Department of Defense, according to the BBC. WikiLeaks followed that up in November by publishing diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.

The Guantánamo Files and Spy Files

In April 2011, WikiLeaks published classified US military documents detailing the behavior and treatment of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. This leak would be followed, once again, by a vast trove (250 million) of US diplomatic cables.

Throughout this sequence of widely-praised leaks, Assange invited a global audience behind the curtain of international diplomacy and warfare to expose the hidden truths of global power dynamics in a way which would forever change the power structure and landscape, affording a platform to analysts like Chelsea Manning to expose potential war crimes and misdeeds by the US military at large.

Assange and WikiLeaks would also help fellow whistleblowers like Edward Snowden to seek refuge from predatory US authorities, providing aid and comfort to those who risked everything in the pursuit of truth, exposing some of the most egregious mass surveillance programs the world has ever known.

DNC leak

As the 2016 US presidential election loomed, WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, which exposed the preferential treatment shown to then-candidate for president Hillary Clinton over her competitor Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Assange boldly informed CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the release was indeed timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention.

Also on rt.com Assange is a scapegoat, distraction for scandal-ridden Ecuadorian government

In October that same year, WikiLeaks began publishing emails from Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, which shed light on the inner workings of the Democratic nominee’s political machine.

These included excerpts from Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street, politically-motivated payments made to the Clinton Foundation, her consideration of choosing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates or his wife as a potential running mate, her desire to covertly intervene in Syria, her intention to ring-fence China with missile defense batteries if it did not curtail North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Legacy

Following his arrest on the morning of April 11, 2019, Assange’s future remains unclear. He likely faces extradition to the US where it was inadvertently revealed that he has been charged under seal in a US federal court. Former Assange collaborator Chelsea Manning has been imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the court in relation to the case.

Assange’s legal battle is only just beginning, it seems, but the international following he has forged will undoubtedly grant him a place in the pantheon of history’s champions of truth.

He remains a true digital pioneer, paving the way for so many to follow in his footsteps and expose the untold misdeeds of the powerful, be they political figures or entire militaries. Assange has defiantly shown what a powerful tool digital technology can be and how easily the dynamics of power can be shifted in the 21st century by those brave enough. Unfortunately, he also showed the consequences of wielding such power in the face of such overwhelming international and political opposition.

 

Source: Exposing ‘collateral murder’ and mass surveillance: Why the world should be grateful to Assange

World Reacts to Assange Arrest in UK: From Dark Moment for Freedom to ‘No Hero’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London earlier in the day in what the whistleblowing website described as an illegal termination of his political asylum in violation of international law.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has confirmed on Twitter that his country has revoked Julian Assange’s asylum over what he called “repeated violations of international conventions” and daily protocols, allowing UK police to arrest the world’s most famous whistleblower at its London embassy.

READ MORE: Assange’s Lawyer Suspects US May Be ‘Playing its Cards Secretly’

In light of this nuclear news, Moreno’s predecessor Rafael Correa, who agreed to grant Assange asylum back in 2012, took to social media to slam the president as “the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history” for allowing the British officers to arrest Assange.

TWEET: “The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange. Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget”.

El traidor más grande de la historia ecuatoriana y latinoamericana, Lenín Moreno, permitió que la policía británica entre a nuestra embajada en Londres para arrestar a Assange.
Moreno es un corrupto, pero lo que ha hecho es un crimen que la humanidad jamás olvidará. https://t.co/GwZ4OLreuo

— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) 11 апреля 2019 г.

Another world-famous whistleblower, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, described the arrest of Assange, who spent 7 years in the embassy, as a “dark moment for press freedom”.

Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of–like it or not–award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom. https://t.co/ys1AIdh2FP

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 11 апреля 2019 г.

Important background for journalists covering the arrest of Julian #Assange by Ecuador: the United Nations formally ruled his detention to be arbitrary, a violation of human rights. They have repeatedly issued statements calling for him to walk free–including very recently. pic.twitter.com/fr12rYdWUF

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 11 апреля 2019 г.

World Reacts

UK

Once the news broke, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked President Moreno for breaking the 7-year deadlock and tweeted that Assange is “no hero and no one is above the law”.

Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years. Thank you Ecuador and President @Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with @foreignoffice to ensure Assange faces justice

— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) 11 апреля 2019 г.

He later stated that the UK is not “making any judgement” about the whisteblower’s innocence or guilt, and his case will be decided by the “independent” British legal system.

READ MORE: Sweden Considers Resuming Sexual Assault Probe Against Assange — Reports

UK junior Foreign Minister Alan Duncan, for his part, emphasised that Assange’s health is the top priority and added that London does not extradite people to countries where they could face capital punishment, when asked about the whistleblower’s potential extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for exposing a trove of classified materials on military ops.

“It is our broad policy in all circumstances, so it equally applies to Julian Assange, that he will not be extradited if he is going to face the death penalty. So that will apply to him”, Duncan told Sky News.

Prime Minister Theresa May has joined Hunt in welcoming the news on Assange’s arrest:

“I am sure that the whole House will welcome the news this morning that the Metropolitan Police have arrested Julian Assange for breach of bail, after nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy. This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law”, she told parliament.

EU

Chief Spokesperson for the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, in turn, highlighted that the European Union will be following the case closely:

“As a general rule, we will not improvise a position on events that are unfolding… since we have taken the podium. We will be following closely, and we will come back to you if there is an EU angle. But we understand that this being a judicial European arrest warrant in case Sweden is also involved, this will be as you know, discussed many times here — a process in the hands of the judges. When judges speak, politicians should shut up. And executives, I would say”, Schinas told reporters.

Germany

Sevim Dagdelen, a senior member of Germany’s opposition party Die Linke, said in a statement that it was the German government’s “duty” to stop the UK from extraditing Assange to the US “where he faces life imprisonment or even the death penalty for exposing US war crimes”.

READ MORE: RSF Slams Assange’s Arrest Over WikiLeaks Activity as ‘Precedent’ US May Pursue

She blasted Ecuador’s decision to revoke Assange’s asylum and his subsequent arrest as a “scandal, a violation of international law, and at the same time a severe blow to independent journalism”.

Dagdelen was supported by Sahra Wagenknecht, the parliamentary chairperson of Die Linke, who stressed that Assange cannot be extradited to the United States.

TWEET: “#Julian #Assange cannot be delivered to the #USA, the federal government must now work in this direction. Not those who expose war crimes belong in court, but those who commit them! #FreeAssange #ProtectJulian #Wikileaks”.

France

Ex-Ecuadorian President Correa was not the only person to have called Moreno a “traitor“: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the French left-wing party La France insoumise, tweeted that France “must grant Assange asylum”.

In his communique, Mélenchon wrote that “Assange acted for the cause of freedom and independence of France by revealing aggressive practices against us. The honour of our country must be to grant him political asylum at a time when his freedom is threatened”.

Italy

Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano has called on its “British friends” to free Julian Assange.

TWEET: “After 7 years of unfair deprivation of liberty, Assange’s arrest is a disturbing manifestation of intolerance towards those who promote transparency and freedom as #WikiLeaks. British friends, the world is watching you, Italy is watching you. Freedom for Assange”

Spain

Pablo Iglesias, head of the left-wing Spanish party, Podemos, has echoed Di Stefano’s calls to liberate the WikiLeaks founder:

TWEET: “Exploitation, injustice and privileges for the strong are possible only because they are based on lies. Therefore, if authorities — in Spain and in the world — are afraid of anything, then this is true. Freedom for Julian Assange”.

La explotación, la injusticia y los privilegios de los poderosos solo son posibles porque se sustentan en la mentira.

Por eso, si algo teme el poder, en España y en el mundo, es a la verdad.

Julian Assange libertad.

— Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) 11 апреля 2019 г.

Sweden

In light of the arrest, the Swedish prosecution is considering reopening the probe into a woman’s claim of having been sexually assaulted by Assange in 2010, Svenska Dagbladet reported. The chief prosecutor said that they were not able to take a position on the matter yet and will be closely monitoring developments.

Russia

In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow wanted Assange’s rights to be observed following his arrest, while Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova took to Facebook to comment on Ecuador’s decision to withdraw the WikiLeaks founder’s asylum.

“The hand of ‘democracy’ is squeezing the throat of freedom”, she penned.

Bolivia

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has also condemned the arrest of the WikiLeaks chief on Twitter:

TWEET: “We strongly condemn the detention of Julian Assange and the violation of freedom of expression. [We express] our solidarity with this man who is being persecuted by the US government for exposing their violations of human rights, murders of civilians and diplomatic espionage”.

Condenamos enérgicamente la detención de #JulianAssange y la violación a la libertad de expresión. Nuestra solidaridad con este hermano que es perseguido por el gobierno de #EEUU por revelar sus violaciones a los derechos humanos, asesinatos de civiles y espionaje diplomático.

— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) 11 апреля 2019 г.

Greece

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis tweeted that the case against the WikiLeaks founder was “never about” Sweden: he was persecuted for “exposing war crimes”.

The game is up. Years of lies exposed. It was never about Sweden, Putin, Trump or Hillary. Assange was persecuted for exposing war crimes. Will those duped so far now stand with us in opposing his disappearance after a fake trial where his lawyers will not even now the charges?

— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) 11 апреля 2019 г.

Australia

Commenting on the breaking news, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne stated that the country is seeking consular access to Assange, who’s an Australian citizen.

“Mr Assange will continue to receive the usual consular support from the Australian Government. Consular officers will seek to visit Mr Assange at his place of detention”, she said, adding that she was “confident” that he “will receive due process in the legal proceedings he faces in the United Kingdom. As the matter is the subject of law enforcement and legal proceedings we will not provide ongoing comment”.

Surrounded by British police WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre, makes a statement to the media and supporters from a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London.

© AP Photo / Sang Tan

Assange, who rose to fame after leaking a number of classified documents on US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, found asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 when he tried to avoid prosecution by the Swedish authorities in two separate sex assault cases.

The WikiLeaks founder refuted the allegations as politically motivated since they followed the exposure of secret US docs. Even though the Swedish case against him was eventually dropped, he remained holed up at the embassy since he still risked arrest by UK police for breaching previous bail conditions and potential extradition to the United States.

Source: World Reacts to Assange Arrest in UK: From Dark Moment for Freedom to ‘No Hero’

Why Pastors Should Engage John Calvin | Credo Magazine

When I first discovered Calvinism, I utterly despised it. For years, I fought against Calvinism with all the free will I could muster. Nearly twenty-five years ago, as a student of theology and the original languages, I pored over Scripture, and I read everything I could get my hands on to help me understand what the Bible teaches about God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility as it pertains to salvation. I knew what Calvinism taught, and I knew what the Bible taught—or so I thought—and I was firmly convinced that Calvinism distorted the biblical teaching about the character and work of our triune God. I was equally convinced that John Calvin was deluded at best and devilish at worst.

But God finally showed me I was dead wrong, and it was hard—very hard. That realization was a crucible for me, and I came to the agonizing conclusion that the teaching of Calvin is in fact the teaching of sacred Scripture, and I could either accept it as such or reject Scripture as the inspired and only infallible rule for faith and life. In the end, I recognized I had no real option. As I cried out to God, “Why have You made it this way?” His humbling reply felt like a slap in the face: “Who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” In the ensuing years, I don’t believe I ever went through what many have termed the period of “cage-stage Calvinism.” That was largely because it was still so hard for me to get comfortable with affirming the doctrines of grace, having fought against them for so long, and I greatly sympathized with those Christians who struggled to grasp those doctrines. I still do sympathize.

Ultimately, it wasn’t Calvin who convinced me of the truth; it was the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that convinced me. And it wasn’t just my understanding of God and salvation that changed; it was my understanding of everything that changed. It was then that I began to have a more charitable heart when engaging with Calvin, not to mention the Reformers, the Puritans, the Reformed confessions of faith, and all our faithful forefathers of the past. Through my remaining years of undergraduate study in Bible and theology and through my years in seminary, I began to more thoroughly engage with Calvin, and I found that by engaging with Calvin I began to engage with Scripture in a more careful and thorough way.

When I became a pastor, I studied Calvin even more, and I have found that Calvin has served me in more ways than I could have imagined, and in turn, he has served our congregation as well. In reflecting on the manifold ways God has used Calvin to shape my life and ministry, I propose the following few thoughts on why pastors should engage with Calvin.

Calvin Sought to Be a Humble Shepherd

Calvin was a pastor first and foremost. He did not strive to be a celebrity pastor or an erudite scholar but sought to be a faithful, ordinary pastor, husband, father, and friend. As a shepherd of God’s flock, he ministered to those who knew him and his family, and in his writing and preaching, his aim was to make things clear and simple, though never simplistic, in order to communicate God’s truth to God’s people in a way they could understand. He was not interested in using sophisticated language to impress scholars and intellectuals. Calvin stated his desire to communicate in a simple way in the introduction to his Institutes of the Christian Religion, where he expressed his hope to help God’s people study the Word of God and have “easy access to it and to advance in it without stumbling.”[1] For us pastors, and for all Christians, we need to pray daily for humility to serve others in a way that is genuinely helpful to them, not in a way that necessarily serves us best. That means we will strive to meet people where they are, to be patient with them, and to communicate with them in ways that serve them, not in a way that attempts to impress them or to make ourselves seem superior or more intelligent.

Calvin Sought to be a Servant of the Word, Not a Master Over It

John Calvin was a student and servant of the Word of God. Calvin saw himself not as a master of Scripture but as a humble student of Scripture, one who strove to understand and teach what God has revealed in His Word and not to go beyond what He has revealed. This may seem like an obvious point, but in the sixteenth century and for centuries prior, that way of doing theology was rare. Calvin’s commitment to Scripture as the inspired Word of God and his aim never to speak where God has not spoken helps us understand why Calvin leaned so heavily on Augustine, whose way of doing theology from the Word of God as the final authority was the basis of Calvin’s method. Accordingly, Calvin did not attempt to develop a system of theology that complemented the Word of God. Rather, he strove to derive his theology from the Word of God for the right worship, enjoyment, and love of God. According to Calvin, we are to be “daily taught in the school of Jesus Christ.”[2] Therefore, according to Calvin, we must be diligent students of Scripture if we are to possess right and sound doctrine: “Now in order that true religion may shine upon us, we ought to hold that it must take its beginning from heavenly doctrine and that no one can even get the slightest taste of right and sound doctrine unless he be a pupil of Scripture.”[3] Elsewhere, Calvin writes, “Let us not take it into our heads either to seek out God anywhere else than in his Sacred Word, or to think anything of him that is not prompted by his Word, or to speak anything that is not taken from that Word.”[4] This, T. H. L. Parker writes, “is Calvin’s theological programme—to build on the Scripture alone.”[5] Like Calvin, we need to strive to be committed to the Word of God, not just with lip-service but authentically and with all our hearts. Too many pastors are attempting to build their ministries and promote themselves with their own ideas and opinions rather than the Word of God. Calvin’s greatness, as B. B. Warfield recognized, was not in his service to himself but in his surrender to God. Click To Tweet

Calvin Sought to Surrender Himself Wholly to God

Calvin was a man who died to himself and sought to take up his cross daily so that he might serve the Lord and the flock that God had entrusted to him. If we are to serve our Lord, our families, and our congregations faithfully, that is precisely what we as pastors need to do every day of our lives as we throw ourselves wholly upon the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit to preserve us. Because, after all, we don’t belong to ourselves, and our families and our ministries don’t belong to us either. Calvin wrote:

If we are not our own but the Lord’s, it’s clear what errors we must flee, and what we must direct our whole lives toward. We are not our own; therefore, neither our reason nor our will should dominate our plans and actions. We are not our own; therefore, let us not make the gratification of our flesh our end. We are not our own; therefore, as much as possible, let us forget ourselves and our own interests.

Rather, we are God’s. Therefore, let us live and die to Him. We are God’s. Therefore, let His wisdom and His will govern all our actions. We are God’s. Therefore, let us—in every way in all our lives—run to Him as our only proper end. How far has he progressed who’s been taught that he is not his own—who’s taken rule and dominion away from his own reason and entrusted them to God. For the plague of submitting to our own rule leads us straight to ruin, but the surest way to safety is neither to know nor to want anything on our own, but simply to follow the leading of the Lord.[6]

Calvin’s greatness, as B. B. Warfield recognized, was not in his service to himself but in his surrender to God: “Here we have the secret of Calvin’s greatness and the source of his strength unveiled to us. No man ever had a profounder sense of God than he; no man ever more unreservedly surrendered himself to the Divine direction.”[7]

Pastors would do well to engage with Calvin not because Calvin was so great in himself but because he sought to surrender himself to God in all his motives, thoughts, and actions, for God’s glory and not his own. That is our vocation—surrender to God. As shepherds of God’s flock, as students and servants of the Word, and as those who have died to self, let us sincerely pray that God might use us to accomplish His mission of saving and discipling the nations for His glory, not our own, and all by His sovereign and amazing grace.

Endnotes

[1] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, Library of Christian Classics XX–XXI (Philadelphia: Westminster,
1960), Introduction, 4.

[2] Letters of John Calvin, ed. Jules Bonnet, 4 vols. (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2007), July 20, 1558.

[3] Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.6.2.

[4] Calvin,Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.13.21.

[5] T. H. L. Parker, Portrait of Calvin (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1954), 52.

[6] John Calvin, A Little Book on the Christian Life, trans. and eds. Aaron C. Denlinger and Burk Parsons (Orlando, Fla.: Reformation Trust, 2017), 22–23.

[7] B. B. Warfield, Calvin and Calvinism (1932; repr., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2000), 24.

Source: Why Pastors Should Engage John Calvin