Daily Archives: April 18, 2019

April 18 The Message of the Cross

Scripture Reading: Mark 15:33–39

Key Verse: Mark 15:39

So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

Two men of different faiths sat across from each other at a restaurant table. In an effort to understand the other’s views, the first man asked, “Can you sum up the essence of Christianity in one word?”

Without pause, the second man replied, “Forgiveness.”

Would you have given the same answer? There are so many words that could have been said: love, sacrifice, joy, assurance, eternity. Yet forgiveness seems to carry the most meaning and power. What other religion offers its believers the ability to be set free from sin with no penance to pay?

We can count ourselves among the most fortunate in the world. When we pledge our lives to God and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we are guaranteed forgiveness and eternal life.

Though none of us are exempt from the storms and trials of life, we can live with inner joy and peace. We will never pay the penalty of eternal death for our sins. That price was paid for us at the cross by a loving God who is merciful and longsuffering.

The blood that Christ shed upon the cross is truly the key to heaven for those who believe. Today, why not reach out to someone who may not be aware of the gift God gave to the world through the atoning death of His only Son?

Lord, Your blood shed on the cross spelled forgiveness for me. I cannot repay You, but I can share this key to heaven with others.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 113). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

After two years and spending an estimated $35 million, Robert Mueller issued a 448-page report that ignored the governing special counsel regulations. Those regulations required Mueller, at the conclusion of the special counsel’s work, to “provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.”

Yet, instead of issuing the mandated closing documentation, Mueller explained that his team “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” of whether “to initiate or decline a prosecution.”

Attorney General William Barr spoke during today’s press conference of Mueller’s failure to perform this regulatorily required duty. When asked why he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein felt it necessary “to take it to the next step to conclude there was no crime,” Barr retorted:

The very prosecutorial function and all our powers as prosecutors, including the power to convene grand juries and compulsory process that’s involved there, is for one purpose and one purpose only. It’s to determine yes or no, was alleged conduct criminal or not criminal. That is our responsibility and that’s why we have the tools we have. And we don’t go through this process just to collect information and throw it out to the public. We collect this information. We use that compulsory process for the purpose of making that decision. And because the special counsel did not make that decision, we felt the department had to. That was a decision by me and the deputy attorney general. Yes.

Notwithstanding Mueller’s professed refusal to render judgment on whether to initiate or decline prosecution, Part 2 of the special counsel’s report served solely to indict President Trump in the court of public opinion by providing detailed factual conclusions that seemingly support obstruction of justice charges—at least based on the special counsel’s view of the law.

But Mueller’s view is decidedly wrong. Prior to his appointment, Barr decimated the obstruction of justice theory of criminal liability Mueller relies upon in the special counsel report.

Further, while Democrats and the media will put Barr’s view down to bias, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein agreed with those conclusions. Rosenstein, who supposedly floated the 25th Amendment as a basis to out the president, is anything but biased in favor of the president. Rosenstein appointed Mueller, and Rosenstein, who flanked Barr during the press conference, agreed with Barr’s conclusion that no crime had occurred.

Many believe lead special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann instigated the non-indictment indictment of Trump in Mueller’s report. The modus operandi is just too perfect.

Recall that Weissmann led the Enron task force and served as the lead prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s case against Arthur Anderson. Weissmann secured a conviction against the former accounting giant, shuttered the firm, and left tens of thousands of innocent employees without jobs. Then, “three years later, the Supreme Court reversed the Andersen conviction in a unanimous decision, holding that Andersen’s conduct was not criminal, and it ‘was shocking how little criminal culpability the jury instructions required.’”

Weissmann’s attempts to convict Merrill Lynch executives of non-crimes were likewise swatted down in court. And then there was Weissmann’s questionable conduct during those trials, which emails indicate included threatening witnesses.

Even if Weissmann holds responsibility for pushing to include the obstruction of justice analysis, Mueller approved the final report that pontificated on Trump’s potential criminal conduct, while refusing to make a decision to initiate or decline charges. Ironically, in justifying his non-decision, Mueller claimed any other outcome would be unfair to the president. From the special counsel’s report:

We determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusations is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongfully accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator. The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor’s accusations of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequence that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice.

But Trump has no process now to clear his name from the taint of obstruction of justice created by Mueller’s report. So, after two years of battling unjust and untrue charges of collusion with Russia, Mueller has destined President Trump to spend the second half of his first term combating claims of obstruction of justice—claims which, even if they had a basis in fact, have no basis in law.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

via Mueller Passed The Prosecutorial Buck, Preferring To Slime Trump On Obstruction Rather Than Indict — The Federalist

April 18 The High Cost of God’s Grace

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:17–21

Key Verses: 1 Peter 1:18–19

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Think of the things in life that are most important to you. Because you are a believer, your thoughts may immediately go to your relationship with Jesus Christ. This is very important. Think of what life would be if you did not know the love of God. Certainly it would be hopeless and dark.

Your thoughts probably turn next to family and friends or some provision God has given. All of these are very important to who you are. Most of us have heard that man has three basic needs: to be loved, to belong, and to know that he is worthy—that his life counts for something.

Rarely do we think of what Jesus gave up to accomplish the Father’s will. More often the mind sees Him cast in heaven’s glory and power. However, Jesus gave up everything to come to earth. He yielded His position at the right hand of the Father, a place of extreme power and intense love.

He abandoned His personhood and the need to belong to heaven’s glory. He also laid down His possessions and rights. He cast aside everything that was His so that He could come to you. This is the high cost of grace.

Jesus was still God’s beloved and all-powerful Son. His quest for obedience to the Father’s plan superseded His own needs. He became poor so that we might become eternally rich. This is the high cost of grace.

Jesus, thank You for abandoning the glory of heaven to come to this sinful earth. You gave up glory, power, and Your position at the Father’s side—all for me. How I praise You![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 113). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Trump Campaign: Time To Go After ‘Liars’ Who Started Witch Hunt | Zero Hedge

“Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever…”

With the initial hyper-triggered shock of the moderately-redacted Mueller Report having washed across the cognitively dissonant liberal media and their zombified social media followers…

(for example: Former NYT’s Jared Yates Sexton“All right. I just finished the Mueller Report. I’m going to combine the most shocking and important revelations in one thread. Long and short: there was collusion, there was obstruction, Donald Trump needs to be removed from office. Immediately… Trump and his cronies made a decision to put power and wealth above the country. They actively sought help in undermining our democratic process. They didn’t report constant Russian contacts or offers to help. They’re traitors. That’s it. They’re traitors.“)

…President Trump’s 2020 Campaign managed Brad Parscale has issued a statement that we are sure will upset a few more #StillNotMyPresident types:

APRIL 18 2019 – STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF FULL MUELLER REPORT

“President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again. Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever.

There is simply no denying that ‘spying did occur’ on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, as Attorney General Barr himself noted in testimony before Congress. Barr went on to testify that there was a ‘failure among a group of leaders there at the upper echelon [of the FBI]… [and] I feel I have an obligation to make sure that government power is not abused.’ 

Now that the collusion and obstruction conspiracy theories have been exposed for the pathetic hoaxes they always were, the Obama-era DOJ and FBI must answer for their misdeeds and the scam that they perpetrated against the American people.

Justice will be served.

– Brad Parscale, Campaign Manager

This follows President Trump’s reaction: “I’m having a good day, too. It was called no collusion, no obstruction. There never was, by the way and there never will be.”

And this…

Finally, do not forget:

And if you’re still confused as to where it all started really:

Witch Hunt or not?

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-18/trump-campaign-time-go-after-liars-who-started-witch-hunt

Here Are the 10 ‘Episodes’ Mueller Investigated For Obstruction of Justice – Proving Mueller’s Investigation Was a Farce — The Gateway Pundit

Mueller’s team of angry Democrat donors desperately tried to pin obstruction charges on President Trump and failed.

According to Mueller’s report, there were 10 “episodes” involving Trump and questions of obstruction charges.

Here are the 10 instances of ‘potential obstruction charges’ Mueller and his goons outline in the lightly redacted report released Thursday morning:

President Trump asking then-FBI Director James Comey to go easy on then-NatSec Advisor General Mike Flynn and let the investigation go

This potential ‘obstruction charge’ stems from Comey’s ‘Trump memos’ he penned shortly after Trump was sworn into office.

President Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into General Flynn. “Let General Flynn go Trump said to Comey, stating “he [Flynn] is a good guy.”

Comey gave this very memo to a friend to leak to the New York Times in order to prompt a special counsel investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey as FBI Director.

AG Barr ruled that this is not obstruction — FAIL.

Trump’s anger and frustration in reaction to the Russia investigation — Trump not wanting Sessions to recuse himself – Trump asking Comey to publicly state he is not under investigation 

President Trump simply asked Comey to “lift the cloud” of suspicion and publicly state that the President was not under investigation — Comey privately told Trump the FBI was not investigating him, however he continued to allow suspicion to swirl around Trump to damage his reputation.

Trump also asked his own Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) not to recuse himself — how is this obstruction?

Barr ruled Trump’s reaction to the Russia hoax was not obstruction — FAIL.

President Trump’s termination of James Comey as FBI Director

President Trump exercised his Constitutional authority when he fired James Comey as FBI Director in May of 2017.

Comey refused to publicly acknowledge whether President Trump was personally under investigation or not and Trump fired him a few days later — Comey and the liars in the media said Trump fired Comey for this reason.

In reality, DAG Rod Rosenstein wrote a letter recommending Trump fire Comey for his mishandling of Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.

Barr ruled that President Trump did not obstruct justice when he fired Comey — FAIL.

The appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Trump’s supposed efforts to remove him

Mueller cited fake news media reports claiming Trump was gunning to fire Robert Mueller — Mueller was never fired, however this is somehow considered a potential obstruction charge?

Furthermore, Mueller’s report claimed that Trump’s tweets criticizing the Justice Department and Mueller’s investigation (gasp) was also potentially obstruction.

Barr ruled that Trump exercising his First Amendment rights was not obstruction of justice — FAIL.

Trump’s so-called efforts to curtail Mueller’s investigation

Mueller’s report claimed that President Trump’s criticism of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his reported desire to fire Sessions was potentially obstruction of justice.

President Trump has every right to criticize and or fire his Attorney General, therefore Barr ruled that it was not obstruction — FAIL.

So-called attempts  to prevent public disclosure of evidence on the Trump Tower meeting

Mueller’s report claimed that President Trump not wanting the media to have access to emails pertaining to the June 9th, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was potentially obstruction.

Wow, so scandalous!

Barr ruled that President Trump did not obstruct justice when he directed his aides not to publicly disclose emails — FAIL.

Trump’s efforts to get then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take back control of Mueller’s investigation 

Mueller’s report claims that President Trump instructing his own Attorney General unrecuse himself and take back control of his own Justice Department (gasp) was potentially obstruction of justice.

How dare Trump, who presides over the executive branch, tell his own Attorney General to get control over his own Department!

Barr ruled this was not obstruction — FAIL.

Trump telling White House Counsel Don McGahn to deny that the President had ordered him to remove Special Counsel Mueller

Mueller’s report somehow claims that it’s a scandal that Trump directed Don McGahn to remove Mueller because of obvious conflicts of interest – Mueller was never even fired, yet this somehow became a huge scandal in the fake news media.

Trump then told McGahn to deny he was ordered to Remove the special counsel.

Barr ruled that Trump’s conversations with his White House counsel about something that never happened [Mueller’s firing] was not obstruction — FAIL.

Trump’s legal team asking Flynn for a “heads up” on information — and Trump praising Manafort in public as a “brave man” and for “not flipping”

Mueller’s team twisted themselves into pretzel when they considered President Trump publicly praising Paul Manafort for “being brave” and “not flipping” during his criminal trial was potentially obstruction.

How scandalous!

Mueller’s angry Democrats also considered Trump’s legal team reaching out to General Flynn’s legal team asking for a “heads up” if Flynn’s team has information implicating President Trump was somehow potentially obstruction.

Barr ruled this was not obstruction — FAIL.

President Trump’s changing behavior toward his former-lawyer-turned rat Michael Cohen

Mueller’s team of angry Democrats considered it potential obstruction because President Trump became angry with his former lawyer Michael Cohen who lied about President Trump under oath to Congress.

“But after Cohen began cooperating with the government in the summer of 2018, the President publicly criticized him, call him a “rat” and suggested his family members had committed crimes,” Mueller’s reported stated.

Omitted from Mueller’s report is the fact that Michael Cohen hired Clinton-fixer and sewer dweller Lanny Davis to represent him.

Also omitted was the fake news “bombshell” story that CNN ran in the summer of 2018, pushed out by Lanny Davis which claimed Trump had foreknowledge of the Trump Tower meeting.

Trump isn’t allowed to call his former lawyer a rat for hiring a Clinton lawyer and lying about him — Mueller’s goons considered that potential obstruction. PATHETIC.

Barr ruled that this was not obstruction — FAIL.

This is what cost taxpayers $30 million??

The 10 ‘episodes’ of potential obstruction of justice by President Trump are completely absurd which is why Attorney General Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein concluded NO OBSTRUCTION.

Mueller’s team was desperate to pin obstruction charges on the President for the ‘crime’ of exercising his First Amendment rights and Constitutional authority.

Mueller knew he had no chance of getting Trump to sit down for a face-to-face interview, which was his ultimate goal so he could get Trump in a perjury trap.

This list of potential obstruction charges proves Mueller’s investigation was a total farce and an attempted coup — the coup that failed.

via Here Are the 10 ‘Episodes’ Mueller Investigated For Obstruction of Justice – Proving Mueller’s Investigation Was a Farce — The Gateway Pundit

04/18/2019 — Wretched

WR2019-0418

•A pastor invites kids to spit on him to learn about Easter
•Preachers with Gucci bags
•Lessons from the Notre Dame fire?
•Justin Welby and Francis Chan show Roman Catholics some love
•Mike Riccardi explains why the Christian should never boast
•Corrections about Israel Folau
•Good news for Moody Bible Institute
•Joaquin Phoenix tries to improve the Gospels
•One Judge needs to hear the SLED argument

Download Now (right click and save)

via 04/18/2019 — Wretched

April 18 The Great Provider

Scripture reading: Exodus 23:22–28

Key verse: Matthew 14:31

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

He was determined to buy a new car and overlooked the fact that his financial stresses were growing. Friends encouraged him to buy a cheaper used car, but he pressed on with his plan. Six months later he was in financial trouble.

God is committed to meeting your needs. However, He is not committed to giving you all your wants. Several things can work against you in this area of needs:

Disobedience. When you disobey God, you must face the consequences of your wrong decisions. However, the moment you turn to the Lord and seek His forgiveness, He restores the joy of your fellowship with Him.

Doubt. Failing to trust God diffuses God’s plan for your life. It also signals a lack of faith in His ability to provide for your needs

Manipulation. Trying to meet your needs your way is spiritual idolatry. Manipulation breeds deceit. Be willing to be honest with God, no matter how painful it seems.

Wrong motivation. Motives that are not God centered are self-centered. Set your focus on God and receive His blessing.

Ignoring responsibility. When you ignore your God-given responsibilities—family, friends, and job—your fellowship with God wanes, and you struggle spiritually. Let Christ be your Provider, and He will meet all your needs.

Cleanse me from disobedience, doubt, manipulation, and wrong motives, O Lord. I look to You as my Provider.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 113). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

U.S. Intelligence Institutionally Politicized Toward Democrats | Washington Free Beacon

The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have become bastions of political liberals and the pro-Democratic Party views of intelligence personnel have increased under President Donald Trump, according to a journal article by a former CIA analyst.

John Gentry, who spent 12 years as a CIA analyst, criticized former senior intelligence leaders, including CIA Director John Brenan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former deputy CIA director Michael Morell, along with former analyst Paul Pillar, for breaking decades-long prohibitions of publicly airing their liberal political views in attacking Trump.

The institutional bias outlined in a lengthy article in the quarterly International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence risks undermining the role of intelligence in support of government leaders charged with making policy decisions.

Gentry stopped short of saying the widespread liberal bias of intelligence officials has influenced intelligence reports and products. However, he concludes that “bias may have crept into CIA analyses.”

“A considerable body of evidence, much of it fragmentary, indicates that many CIA people have left-leaning political preferences, but less evidence shows that political bias influences CIA analyses,” Gentry concludes.

In the past, intelligence politicization was defined as either skewing intelligence to fit biases or manipulating intelligence by those outside the intelligence community.

“But in 2016 observers of U.S. intelligence began to wonder if the CIA’s once-firm prohibition on partisan politics had changed, and to ponder whether a new kind of politicization had arisen: namely, institutionally embedded, partisan bias,” Gentry wrote.

Gentry points to the activities of senior retired intelligence officials during the 2016 campaign that “universally” criticized then-candidate Trump and supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“The attacks on Trump were unprecedented for intelligence officers in their substance, tone, and volume,” he stated. “Critics went far beyond trying to correct Trump’s misstatements about U.S. intelligence; they attacked him as a human being.”

Gentry, currently a professor at Georgetown and Columbia Universities, provides a detailed analysis of whether the 16-agency U.S. intelligence community and the CIA in particular have become institutional partisans supporting the Democratic Party.

He reached no definitive conclusion on whether intelligence reports and activities were politicized and found no proof “intelligence products have been politicized to mislead or to avoid helping President Trump.”

CIA spokesmen did not return emails seeking comment.

The article was written before the conclusions of the investigative report on Russian collusion by special counsel Robert Mueller were made public by Attorney General William Barr, who told Congress the Trump campaign was spied on by the U.S. government.

The Justice Department is investigating whether the FBI and senior officials acted properly in launching a counterintelligence investigation of ties between President Trump and Russia based on information contained in a Democratic Party-funded dossier.

Gentry said in an interview that he has not seen any movement within the intelligence community to address the institutional politicization. “My guess is the issue is not going to go away,” he said.

Unprecedented partisan attacks

Recent books by Clapper and Michael Hayden, a former CIA and NSA director, appeared to justify political attacks on Trump based on both former officials’ claims that the president has adopted a different world view. “For senior former intelligence officials to make such blatantly partisan statements is unprecedented,” Gentry said.

Gentry wrote that further investigation is needed into whether there is a liberal political institutional bias at CIA, because if such bias exists it would damage the agency’s ability to carry out its primary missions of defending against threats and supporting senior leaders in making policy decisions.

Unless the questions about bias are answered, Republicans may trust CIA less and give the agency a smaller role. For Democrats, the bias will lead to using the CIA as a tool to support its liberal agenda.

Also, political bias creates new questions about whether CIA can provide objective intelligence analysis—a core institutional ethic.

Regarding Morell, a career analyst who endorsed Clinton, Gentry criticized Morell’s opinion article in the New York Times during the 2016 campaign that said his intelligence training had taught him that the nation would be safer with Clinton as president.

“Morell’s claim that his CIA career qualifies him to make political judgments about domestic issues is incorrect,” Gentry said. “He was trained and authorized to ‘make the call’ about foreign intelligence issues within the classified, internal world of the U.S. government … He did not recommend policies, including voting choices.”

Intelligence officers, like many in the military, rely on former officials to express their views publicly. That has been the case with Clapper and Brennan, who have attacked Trump repeatedly.

Other former intelligence officials, including former national intelligence officer Paul Pillar and former deputy director for intelligence John McLaughlin also appeared in left-leaning news media—New York Times, Washington Post, and MSNBC—to bash the president.

Gentry said the criticism violated an unwritten rule for intelligence officials in the past to hide their opinions. “The CIA’s ethic calls for intelligence professionals to work objectively for all agency heads and presidents, regardless of their political views,” he said.

Bias in analyses can be found in intelligence managers who control final assessments and reports that are the main products of intelligence agencies.

“Managers’ biases camouflaged as organizational norms and biases in promotion decisions are hard to spot but are omnipresent,” Gentry said.

Gentry also notes that criticism of Trump by current and former officials contrasts sharply from intelligence officials’ responses to criticism from Democratic presidents, such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

Former House Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra was quoted as saying he was told by CIA station chiefs “every time I went anywhere” the Obama administration was “throwing them under the bus” regarding past harsh interrogation of terrorists.

NSA officials also were “hung out to dry” by the Obama administration following the leaks by renegade contractor Edward Snowden.

Yet, unlike Trump, these intelligence officials did not speak out publicly or leak against Obama or Clinton to the extent that has been seen recently.

“In the past, intelligence officials usually bit their tongues when presidents criticized their work, recognizing that they sometimes make mistakes, that they work for presidents in an unequal relationship, that their job is to help all administrations succeed and even on occasion to be scapegoats for political leaders’ failed policies,” Gentry said. “That said, some intelligence officers have long leaked information to the press.”

Leaks have increased sharply in an apparent bid to undermine Trump, and Gentry said a long-held prohibition against discussing partisan politics in the office has been set aside. Anti-Trump conversations are common in CIA analytical units, and anti-Trump analysts also express their political views on Facebook.

A politicized workforce

Politicization during the Obama administration also was evident at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, long criticized for its shortcomings in intelligence analysis and reporting on China’s military. According to Gentry, under Obama, editors of the DIA’s primary current intelligence report were notified to “avoid specifically identified terms that might trigger criticism of administration policy.”

“That clearly stated policy of politicization provoked no apparent reaction of any sort from analysts,” Gentry said. “DIA analysts seemed comfortable with politicization by omission.”

Gentry challenged the claims of former senior intelligence analyst Thomas Fingar who asserted that annual surveys found very few cases of attempted politicization.

“That’s fine, but the survey data Fingar cited are a decade old and presumably report only overt cases of politicization, not those produced by organizational cultural norms, including politicization by omission,” he stated.

A chart produced by Gentry based on political contributions by known intelligence officials revealed that in 2016, 61.3 percent of all contributions were made to Democrats.

Gentry speculates the politicized intelligence work force may have been the result of the large influx of young and inexperienced personnel after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“As is well documented, young people collectively are more left-leaning than other demographic groups,” he said. “They have recently been in colleges and universities, some of which have become conspicuously illiberal through the strongly leftist outlooks of their faculty and administrators.”

Racial and other diversity programs also contributed to the politicization. This led to “demographic, not intellectual, diversity becoming a dominant focus of IC leaders.”

The so-called anti-Trump “resistance” by Democrats refusing to deal with Trump on any issue also contributed to the problem with intelligence officials joining the Deep State. “This attitude is incompatible with a core principle of established democracies, the acceptance of a change in power after losing an election,” Gentry said.

“In the United States and elsewhere, liberals during the Cold War years often worried that unaccountable intelligence and security agencies were running amok. Now, ‘progressives’ welcome an ideologically center-left ‘deep state,’ built in part upon policies like Obama’s as a check on Trump and conservatives are complaining.”

An example was former CIA director Brennan’s announcement in July 2017—six months after leaving office—that CIA officers had an obligation to “refuse to carry out” Trump administration orders if Trump fired Mueller. Brennan further decried Trump as unstable.

Gentry urged intelligence agencies to conduct more research on the problem and take steps to correct it.

“The U.S. government has traditionally and wisely declined to ask its job applicants and civil service employees about their political affiliations but President Obama, especially, got around the policy by mandating hiring from demographic groups known to be generally pro-Democratic,” he said.

“‘Affirmative action’ programs may therefore merit reconsideration. Another avenue for exploration is the attempt by some major technology firms that have developed leftist, intolerant corporate cultures to re-introduce intellectual diversity. Thus, the challenge at the CIA, too, may be to reform how analysts think, not just how they act.”

Several former intelligence and executive branch officials agreed with Gentry.

Kenneth deGraffenreid, former White House National Security Council intelligence director in the Reagan administration, said Gentry provided an excellent summary of CIA politicization that “confirms what those of us who have been working for intelligence reform have observed on a daily basis.”

“Politicization of intelligence begins when the work of the massive intelligence bureaucracy deviates from the focused definition of intelligence—the gathering and interpretation of foreign secrets,” deGraffenreid said. “Today the IC and especially the CIA jealously envision themselves as the purveyors of all foreign policy wisdom. In this role it does not welcome other opinions and believes that U.S. officials should limit their reading and thinking to the CIA-provided intelligence analysis.”

The proper role of intelligence is perverted further when some in the intelligence bureaucracy believe their role is to provide a check on the actions of elected leaders and see their job as figuratively “poking a finger in the policymaker’s eye,” he said.

“It will not be easy to fix this corruption of intelligence but it can begin by restricting the IC to the gathering and interpretation of foreign secrets,” deGraffenreid said.

A threat to the republic

Charles “Sam” Faddis, a former CIA operations officer, said countering politicization is a critical question. “A secret service that involves itself in partisan politics is a threat to the republic,” Faddis said.

“Do I think CIA officers as a whole are guilty of taking sides or slanting analysis? No. Do I think we have seen senior CIA officers guilty of using their positions to favor the Democratic Party? Beyond a doubt, and I’m not sure they’re all former officers,” he added.

Another former CIA operations officer, Brad Johnson, said just as the State Department has been prone to liberal political bias “the same goes for the CIA in this day and age.”

“From Trump’s election to this date, a common topic of conversation in the hallways of CIA headquarters at Langley is how best to ‘resist’ with no fear of backlash and no recognition of just how wrong it is,” said Johnson, head of the group Americans for Intelligence Reform.

“It even appears more likely with each passing day that a former CIA director was directly involved in a plot to overturn a legally elected U.S. president, which certainly seems to define treason. I am greatly saddened to say that while reforms to the intelligence sector are desperately needed, I don’t think it can be fixed anymore with who is there.”

Former Pentagon policymaker Michael Pillsbury, author of the book on China The Hundred Year Marathon, said the conclusion of his book implies that the President Intelligence Advisory Board should conduct a review of significant intelligence failures on China even if none have yet been reported to congressional oversight committees.

Pillsbury says there are “at least eight of these significant failures.”

“If the cause has been systematic bias based on politicization, that is all the more reason for the review to be conducted by the White House itself, not retirees from the intelligence community,” he said.

William C. Triplett, a former CIA officer, said one of the more egregious examples of politicization were comments in 2016 by Hayden, who on MSNBC stated Trump if elected would start World War III. “About ten days later he organized one of the more vicious ‘Never Trump’ letters” of former officials opposed to Trump.

Source: U.S. Intelligence Institutionally Politicized Toward Democrats

CNN: ‘God Allowed The Mueller Report To Test Our Unshakable Faith In Collusion’ — The Babylon Bee

ATLANTA, GA—Anchors at CNN headquarters have made a bold statement of unwavering faith after the Mueller Report revealed no actual evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. “We believe in collusion with all our hearts and will never let the world’s teachings get in the way of that,” said Jim Acosta while mumbling mantras quietly in a room misty with burning incense.

“If God allowed this report to be written in the manner that it was, He did so to test our unshakable faith in what we know to be true,” said Anderson Cooper.

“We believe in the one true Russian collusion, the one that was spoken into truth and made real far before any evidence was brought before this dark world,” added Natalie Allen.

All of the anchors began to speak in unison, reciting their statement of faith with eye closed and hands raised:

We believe the true Mueller Report, regardless of the one released by men.

We believe that there is collusion, eternally existent in the person of Trump and the country of Russia.

We believe in the infallibility of the media, sinless, miraculous. We will redeem humankind.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, collusion is absolutely essential.

We believe in the collusion of Trump and Russia. All statements and evidence that purports to contradict that truth are lies of the Dark Lord.

Forever and ever, amen.

The anchors then began speaking in tongues and weeping while tearing at their garments.

Reporters fled after Acosta got out the poisonous snakes.

via CNN: ‘God Allowed The Mueller Report To Test Our Unshakable Faith In Collusion’ — The Babylon Bee

AMERICA’S RAGE: Where Are the Investigations into Hillary Emails, Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, AGT Intl, Obama FBI and DOJ Crimes?!? — The Gateway Pundit

 

Today Attorney General Bill Barr exonerated the Donald Trump campaign in collusion with Russian operatives during the 2016 election.

Attorney General Bill Barr stated that the Mueller Special Counsel did not find the Trump campaign colluded in Russian efforts to tamper with the 2016 election.  The Special Counsel report completely exonerated President Trump on the junk charges brought against him by a corrupt Democratic operatives inside the DOJ and FBI.

This was a devastating blow to Democrats, liberal media hacks and Deep State operatives.

But this is not enough!  For a decade now Americans have seen the Obama Administration, the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation and Obama’s Deep State FBI, DOJ and their cohorts in the Mainstream Media and Democrat Party get away with numerous crimes.

Where is the investigation into their crimes?  When will Americans receive justice?

Arguably the most corrupt President in US history, Barack Obama, got away with eight years of crimes while President.  The list goes on and on…. giving billions to Iran, giving guns to ISIS and creating a quagmire in the Middle East, bombing and overthrowing governments like Libya, destroying American healthcare with Obamacare, giving guns to Mexican cartels used to kill American border agents, lying to the American people over and over, and then spying on the opposing party’s candidate and then attempting an coup to have President Trump removed after he won the election.

Hillary Clinton, Obama’s Secretary of State, helped bomb Libya for no good reason and bragged about the murder of it’s leader –

Bill and Hillary also created the Clinton Foundation which is probably the most corrupt entity in US and world history.  Corporations like Uranium One and AGT International donated millions to the Clintons who in turn promoted these organizations.  As a result 20% of US uranium went to Russia (Uranium One) and some of the US’s most advanced defense technology went to Russia and China (AGT International).

Rudy Giuliani stated years ago that the Clinton Foundation ‘is a fraud’ and should be investigated as a racketeering enterprise –

Where are the investigations into Obama and the Clintons?  The level of anger from good Americans for not seeing any justice regarding the former corrupt President and his corrupt Secretary of State is at record heights.

Americans want justice – Will America be a banana republic or will it stand for ‘justice for all’?  It’s time to address Americans’ concerns.

via AMERICA’S RAGE: Where Are the Investigations into Hillary Emails, Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, AGT Intl, Obama FBI and DOJ Crimes?!? — The Gateway Pundit

Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators — Christian Research Network

“President Trump reportedly is readying an order to declassify five key buckets of documents on alleged FBI abuses. … My sources agree these 10 questions are the most important to be answered in the forthcoming probes…”

(John Solomon – The Hill)  Soon, the dust will settle from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, and Americans will have a fuller understanding of why prosecutors concluded there wasn’t evidence to establish that Donald Trump and Russia colluded to hijack the 2016 election.

At that point, many voters exhausted by the fizzling of a two-year scandal, once billed as the next Watergate, will want to move on like a foodie from an empty-calorie shake.

But a very important second phase of this drama is about to begin, as Attorney General William Barr, Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) put the Russia collusion investigators under investigation.

Their work will be, and must be, far more than just a political boomerang.

It must answer, in balanced terms, whether the FBI was warranted in using the most awesome powers in the U.S. intelligence arsenal to spy on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign at the end of the 2016 election.

Investigators must determine, with neutrality, whether the bureau improperly colluded with paid agents of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign — Fusion GPS and its British operative, Christopher Steele — and then tried to hide those political ties and other evidence from the nation’s secret intelligence court.

For the likes of FBI castoffs James ComeyAndrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, or Obama-era intelligence bosses John Brennan and James Clapper, there will be the additional uncomfortable reality that the Russia collusion narrative that they so publicly weaved through testimony, TV appearances, for-profit books and leaks, turned out to be as unsubstantiated as the Loch Ness monster.

The process of meting out accountability has begun.  View article →

via Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators — Christian Research Network

Rudy Giuliani Responds to Release of Mueller Report… — The Last Refuge

President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani appears on Fox News to discuss the recently released Robert Mueller report.  According to Giuliani he and his team had the opportunity to read the report in a DOJ SCIF on Tue and Wed.

via Rudy Giuliani Responds to Release of Mueller Report… — The Last Refuge

Anti-Christian Bias, Unequal Outcomes in ‘Equality Act’ — Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

The Left may be godless, but they’re not stupid. Their deceptive and shrewd use of strategic words has helped them change public opinion, gain political power, and frame nearly every controversial argument or debate. They weaponize words such as choice, freedom, do no harm, inclusive, justice, fairness, affordable, tolerance, and nondiscrimination.

Liberal Democrats are now pushing the so-called ‘Equality Act’ which would give LGBTQ individuals – not equal rights, but special rights. There’s a difference. This bill would silence Christians in America. Don’t be deceived: there’s nothing equal about the equality Act.

Words matter, and the left knows exactly how to manipulate language and use positive-sounding terminology to sell their agenda. Semantics is part of the game for LGBTQ activists looking to steamroll citizens for their beliefs in the Bible, including marriage and biological sex.

The Equality Act – H.R. 5 and S. 788 – would actually amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adding “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity’ as protected classes throughout the federal code.” This modified amendment would apply to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and much more.

The bill would essentially state that religious beliefs cannot be defended in a dispute between gay rights and constitutionally protected religious rights. If you believe the Bible is true and agree with God-ordained, natural marriage, too bad. You lose.

The Heritage Foundation’s Monica Burke wrote an excellent piece for the Daily Signal in which she thoroughly explained seven reasons why the Equality Act is anything but. If the bill passes it would:

  1. Impose sexual ideology
  2. Compel speech
  3. Shut down charities
  4. Allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports
  5. Coerce medical professionals
  6. Lead to more parents losing custody of their children
  7. Enable sexual assault

The logical aim of their ideology is to eradicate God, His word, and biblical morality from our culture and country. Why? Because Christianity is one of the only obstacles in the way of the radical Left gaining complete power and control of practically every aspect of America.

Due to decades of leftist progress, activists have been emboldened and we’re now seeing open hostility toward Christians – in a nation founded on biblical principles.

We didn’t get here overnight, and this effort did not start with the LGBTQ movement. It goes back to the 1950s, when the unconstitutional Lyndon Johnson Amendment was used to silence Christians, nonprofits, and conservatives. Today’s liberals are simply taking another step.

The freedom of religious expression is one of our most basic and valued freedoms in our society.

Let’s go back a bit further – to America’s founding. The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others as well as restricting an individual’s religious practices. The key word here is ‘practice.’ Your faith is not something you do only behind church walls.

Don’t be so naive to think the Pelosi Democrats merely want to level the playing field. They’d snuff out Christianity if they could. They refuse to allow open discussion of biblical creation, human life in the womb, and of God’s design for marriage and gender roles.

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet stated:

“The supporters of the Equality Act don’t want debate or discussion. The Equality Act is designed to effectively shut down debate about human sexuality, about gender, about same-sex attraction. That’s a national debate that we’ve actually never had.”

To clarify, discrimination is wrong, but disagreement is not hate. We should have the right to disagree with policies, ideologies, and behaviors that oppose biblical teachings. The Equality Act would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes, impose a nationwide bathroom policy, and it would defeat the purpose of having anti-discrimination laws.

Don’t fall for the lies of the left, and don’t buy into the so-called ‘Equality Act’ no matter how virtuous it may sound. We know what their end game is. What can we do? Fight for the truth, pray, speak, and vote. Then trust God regardless of the outcome, knowing judgment is coming soon.

Originally published by Freedom Project Media

via Anti-Christian Bias, Unequal Outcomes in ‘Equality Act’ — Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

April 18, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

In a watershed moment for Donald Trump, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election finally will be made public on Thursday, offering extensive details about an inquiry that has shaken his tumultuous presidency.

Attorney General William Barr said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not find that President Donald Trump or members of his campaign worked with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russia in the second half of this month and meet President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

North Korea said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and said he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down.

Some 205 people have been killed, including 18 civilians, and 913 wounded in two weeks of fighting near the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s coastal city of Hualien on Thursday, shaking buildings and temporarily halting subway services in the capital Taipei, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

U.S. retail sales increased by the most in 1-1/2 years in March as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, the latest indication that economic growth picked up in the first quarter after a false start.

AP Top Stories

Iran’s lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill labeling U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after the U.S. terrorism designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect, state TV reported.

John Walker Lindh, an American captured with the Taliban in November 2001 just weeks after the US launched the war in Afghanistan, is to be released in May after 17 years in prison. Recently filed court documents confirmed that the 38-year-old, dubbed “American Taliban,” will be released from federal prison in Indiana on May 23, even as the conflict in Afghanistan continues to rage.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has supervised the test-firing of a new tactical weapon with a “powerful warhead”, state media reported Thursday, in the first test of its kind since nuclear negotiations with Washington stalled.

A Baluch insurgent group on Thursday claimed responsibility for killing 14 people in southwest Pakistan, it said in a statement emailed to reporters and newspaper offices.

An armed 18-year-old girl “infatuated” with the Columbine school massacre was found dead after fears she was seeking to replicate the shooting 20 years on.

Nation of Islam founder and notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan defended Representative Ilhan Omar’s glib description of the September 11 attacks Monday by dismissing the attacks as nothing more than a false-flag operation designed to draw the U.S. into Middle Eastern conflicts.

A meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians and civil society aimed at ending more than 17 years of war in Afghanistan has been postponed, officials and diplomats said on Thursday, citing Taliban objections to the size of the Afghan delegation.

Hundreds of police prevented a march Wednesday to commemorate a year since Nicaraguan protesters took to the streets to oppose the government of President Daniel Ortega.

A senior United Nations relief official called on governments on Thursday to help resolve the fate of 2,500 foreign children being held among 75,000 people at al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria after fleeing Islamic State’s last stronghold.

At least six people were killed and scores wounded when an artillery barrage hit a civilian area of Libya’s capital. Witnesses described a “noisy and bloody” night of shelling in Tripoli, where troops loyal to Feyaz al-Serraj’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord are trying to hold off an offensive by general Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions against Venezuela’s central bank in its latest effort to strangle President Nicolas Maduro’s cash flow.

The UN Security Council on Thursday urged Yemen’s government and Huthi rebels to pull back their forces from the key city of Hodeida “as soon as possible” in line with a ceasefire deal reached four months ago.

A crowdfunding campaign for three fire-ravaged black churches in Louisiana received more than $940,000 after it was widely shared on social media on Tuesday. Many users noted that while hundreds of millions of euros had already been pledged to rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral, the small churches in Louisiana were still struggling.

BBC

A man has been arrested after walking into New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral carrying two full petrol cans, lighter fluid and lighters, police said.

Asylum seekers who have proven a credible fear for their safety will no longer be able to ask a judge for bond, the justice department said. US Attorney General William Barr’s decision means more migrants can be indefinitely detained while they wait for their cases to be heard.

Medical charity MSF has raised the alarm over malnutrition rates amongst tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in southern Ethiopia.

WND

A 61-year-old science college professor in Japan channeled his inner Walter White when he allegedly taught his students how to manufacture ecstasy to “further their knowledge” of pharmaceuticals.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 18, 2019

The Foundation

“They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” —John Adams (1775)

It’s Mueller Time

AG William Barr’s press conference on Robert Mueller’s report told us what we already knew.


Barr: No Bail for Asylum Seekers

AG orders DHS to enforce the law as written, which means no bond for illegals crossing the border.


Google’s Blatant Bias

From search results to advanced technology, Silicon Valley is bent hard left.


Trump Veto — The Best Choice for America and Yemen

Foreign policy rarely consists of easy choices, and aiding Saudi Arabia is complicated.


Speech and Trademarks on Trial

Justices consider constitutionality of a law prohibiting “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks.


Teens Go Above and Beyond With Elderly Man Who Fell

Unbeknownst to them, the teens’ act of kindness was witnessed and posted online.


Video: Mainstream Media Really, Really Like Mayor Pete

A hilarious — or sickening — montage of the love affair sweeping the media.


Video: 3D-Printed Guns

John Stossel says the media often scare us about 3D-printed guns without reason.



Today’s Opinion

Victor Davis Hanson
Things That Can’t Go on Forever Simply Don’t
Jeff Jacoby
Those Imprisoned for Breaking Laws Should Have No Say in Making Laws
Veronique de Rugy
Bipartisan Support for Electric Vehicle Handouts Betrays Taxpayers
Mona Charen
Did Bernie Sanders Steal His Wealth?
Rich Lowry
Yes, Investigate the Investigators
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Barr speaks, Mueller report released, Kim’s saber-rattling, possible cathedral attack thwarted, and more.


Thursday Short Cuts

“Speech is not violence — and violence is not speech. Equating the two is the hallmark of a tyrannical worldview.” —Ben Shapiro



Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

News – 4/18/2019

Here’s a Rundown of the Hollywood Celebs Who Gave to 2020 Democrats
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) appeared to draw the most donations from Hollywood, but a few celebrities donated to multiple campaigns, namely Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. And a couple celebrities who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2016, like Susan Sarandon and Danny DeVito are back again this cycle. Check out the list below:

ISIS Gloats Over Notre Dame’s Destruction
The terrorist group ISIS is reportedly celebrating the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France that caught fire Monday.

Amazon, other techs, called out for ‘hate-for-cash’ agenda
Amazon, CNN, YouTube, PayPal and other tech and media companies are being asked in an ad published Wednesday in a major U.S. newspaper by two family organizations whether they will continue using the “hypocritical” Southern Poverty Law Center as “an authority on hate and extremism.” The ad, paid for by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association in cooperation with SPLCExposed.com, points out the condemnation of the historic “civil rights” group by former employees.

Pig brains kept alive outside body for hours after death
Revival of disembodied organs raises slew of ethical and legal questions about the nature of death and consciousness. In a challenge to the idea that brain death is final, researchers have revived the disembodied brains of pigs four hours after the animals were slaughtered. Although the experiments stopped short of restoring consciousness, they raise questions about the ethics of the approach — and, more fundamentally, about the nature of death itself.

Schools evacuated, subway services halted as quake rocks Taiwan
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s coastal city of Hualien on Thursday, shaking buildings and temporarily halting subway services in the capital Taipei, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

At least 2 Democratic campaigns reject donations from Ilhan Omar
At least two Democrats have rejected campaign contributions made by Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. WSOC reported Wednesday that North Carolina congressional candidate Dan McCready on March 30 refunded a $2,000 donation from Omar in November 6. His spokesman explained “he believes there is no place for divisiveness in politics, and McCready did not feel it is appropriate to accept the donation.”

NEUTRONS OVER THE USA
Want to experience space weather? Just step onboard an airplane. At typical cruising altitudes, cosmic rays from deep space penetrate the hulls of commercial jetliners, dosing passengers with levels of radiation comparable to dental X-rays. To measure this radiation, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been flying cosmic ray sensors onboard airplanes over 5 continents. Our latest results show something potentially interesting about the continental USA. So far, neutron dose rates have been highest in one place: the continental USA.

Rebuild Notre Dame as a ‘secular’ shrine?
“The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” she said.

Armed U.S. militia in New Mexico catches 300 illegals
Hundreds of asylum seekers who were trying to cross the border illegally Tuesday night surrendered to an an independent group of armed New Mexico citizens. DailyMail.com reported an estimated 300 men, women and children gave themselves up to the ‘United Constitutional Patriots.”

US halts Obama’s practice of disclosing nuclear weapon total
The Trump administration has halted, without explanation, the recent US government practice of disclosing the current size of the nuclear weapons stockpile.

What are advanced missiles doing in Syria?
Russia deploying Iskander ballistic missiles in Syria. The Russian army has been training the deployment of an Iskander missile system at the Russian Air Force base in Syria, the Russian news agency IRNA reported.

Pelosi: There’s no ‘taint’ of anti-Semitism in Democratic Party
“We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party, and just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean … that we take that bait,” Pelosi said on Tuesday…

European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched “Every Day”
In Germany, four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone. “In this country,” PI-News, a German news site, explained, “there is a creeping war against everything that symbolizes Christianity: attacks on mountain-summit crosses, on sacred statues by the wayside, on churches… and recently also on cemeteries.” In virtually every instance of church attacks, authorities and media obfuscate the identity of the vandals. Countless churches throughout Western Europe are being vandalized, defecated on, and torched.

NYC shuts down yeshiva preschool over measles vaccination violations
New York City closed a Brooklyn yeshiva’s preschool for defying a Health Department order to provide medical and attendance records regarding measles vaccinations.

Buttigieg responds to protesters yelling about ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’
…Two protesters interrupted Buttigieg, who is openly gay, during a speech in Fort Dodge, Iowa, shouting about the two cities that the Bible says were destroyed by what it calls sinful acts, including sodomy. They were both quickly shouted down by a crowd of 1,650 people chanting the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s name and escorted out of the area by security.

CRISPR Research Moves Out Of Labs And Into Clinics Around The World
The powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR has been in the news a lot. And not all the news has been good: A Chinese scientist stunned the world last year when he announced he had used CRISPR to create genetically modified babies.

118 million in path of another US severe weather outbreak this week
The second severe weather outbreak in less than a week will bring the risk of tornadoes and will strike across the southern United States, parts of the Midwest and Northeast from late Wednesday through Saturday.

Man with gas cans arrested at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York
A New Jersey man has been arrested outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with two jugs of gasoline.

Rep. Ilhan Omar Calls Notre Dame Cathedral ‘Art and Architecture’
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) called the Notre Dame Cathedral “art and architecture” in a tweet Monday, without referencing its name or significance to the Catholic religion.

COURT DOCS: Prosecutors Ask To Present Evidence That NXIVM Sex Cult Leaders Illegally Bundled Money For Hillary Clinton Campaign
Prosecutors have asked to present evidence in the NXIVM sex cult racketeering trial showing that NXIVM leaders including Nancy Salzman and Clare Bronfman illegally bundled money for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign by compelling members to donate to Clinton and then reimbursing the members.

Jared Kushner Tells Foreign Diplomats That Middle East Peace Plan Will Be Released in June Right After Ramadan
The timing for the release of Jared Kushner’s long-awaited peace plan, right at the conclusion of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, could not be more interesting. One has to wonder just what Team Kushner has up their collective sleeves. Certainly they are not going to be trotting out the same old tired and failed lame attempts at peace. They know that won’t work. So just what are they thinking?

Snopes ‘Fact Checks’ Christian Satire Website Babylon Bee – Again
Christian satire website The Babylon Bee has done it again, snaring far-left “fact-checker” Snopes.com into fact-checking an entirely satirical article about Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

China Builds World’s First Amphibious Drone Boat For Island Assaults 
“They can hide and hibernate, do autonomous patrols, and launch rapid assaults and landings.”


Headlines – 4/18/2019

Trump peace plan to be unveiled after Ramadan in early June, Kushner says

Kushner urges ‘open mind’ on upcoming Mideast plan

Trump envoy pans new Palestinian premier for prejudging peace plan

Palestinians ‘definitely’ going to reject Trump’s Mideast peace plan

Israeli Envoy: No West Bank Annexation Before Unveiling of Trump’s Peace Plan

Erekat: Olmert offered Abbas more than the entire West Bank

U.S. Aid Agency Is Preparing To Lay Off Most Local Staff For Palestinian Projects

With plea for harmony, president officially taps Netanyahu to form new coalition

PM Netanyahu among ‘100 Most Influential of 2019’

World Bank warns Palestinian economy in ‘crisis’ over tax transfer standoff

‘Bolder and More Brutal’: New Report Shows Steep Increase in Antisemitic Violence in German Capital

Ivanka Trump concerned about rising anti-Semitism, drop in Israel support

Radical rabbi says Notre Dame fire retribution for 13th-century Talmud burning

Russia denies recovering remains of spy Eli Cohen from Syria

Lebanon to Endure Unprecedented Austerity or Face Catastrophe, PM Says

Iraq bans popular online games to protect children from ‘moral threat’

U.S. Should Suspend Sanctions Because of Floods in Iran, Says Rohani

Iran says its armed forces are not a regional threat, calls for unity against U.S.

Iran president urges Mideast states to ‘drive back Zionism’

Turkey Considers New Trade Mechanisms With Iran to Bypass U.S. Sanctions

Opposition Candidate Declared Istanbul Mayor as Erdogan Appeals Against Results

Turkey’s economy is spiraling – and a new election will make things worse

UAE Hails Trump’s Veto of U.S. Congress Resolution on Yemen

Mounting concern over cholera health crisis in Yemen

How the Saudi Royal Rivalry Rattles the Entire Middle East

Uganda says it is willing to consider asylum for Sudan’s ousted leader Bashir

Germany calls for UN Security Council meeting on Libya

Nearly 180 dead and 800 injured in Haftar’s assaults on Tripoli

Over 50 Boko Haram fighters killed in Nigeria attack

Gunmen kill 14 passengers on bus in southwestern Pakistan

Four killed in Mogadishu car bomb

North Korea demands US to sideline Pompeo from nuclear talks: report

North Korea says it test-fired new tactical guided weapon

Peru’s ex-president Garcia kills himself to avoid arrest in Odebrecht probe

Calling All Exhibitionists! Artist Wants Hundreds to Pose Naked in NYC Streets in Social Media Censorship Protest

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hualian, Taiwan

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near La Serena, Chile

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Alotau, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits South of Panama

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near La Peca, Peru

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Tenggar Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

More than 100 killed as slow-moving storm hits Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

2nd multi-day severe weather, tornado outbreak in a week looms for US

Another blast of severe storms aims for places still recovering from tornadoes

Climate change to blame for Hurricane Maria’s extreme rainfall

How big data for DNA puts you at risk – even if you’ve never taken a test

In breakthrough, scientists revive some brain activity of slaughtered pigs

Liquid Blood Extracted from 42,000-Year-Old Extinct Horse Sparks Cloning Hopes

After Israeli success, ethical concerns bleed into hopes for 3D-printed organs

Republicans reject Democratic attempts to tighten vaccine laws

Measles Outbreak Upends Passover Traditions

500 doctors sign letter urging Orthodox Jews to vaccinate

Dozens of doctors in 5 states charged with illegally dispensing 32 million painkillers, sometimes for sex

N.C. Gov. May Veto Bill Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortions

Pete Buttigieg Shuts Down Anti-gay Hecklers at Iowa Event – Defends Free Speech

Naval Academy to ban transgender students starting in fall 2020

Time honors Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford

Sol Pais, woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine, found dead with self-inflicted gunshot wound


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Young, Restless, and Woke: A new breed of Theologians

James MacDonald Took Millions from Harvest & Now Demands Broadcast Ministry

Megachurch Giving Away Car For Easter Sunday – Easter Service Sponsored by Local Chevy Dealer

In shocking message on Easter, pastor allows kids to hit, spit on and even cut him with steak knife

People Claim to See Jesus in Notre Dame Flames

Pete Buttigieg stops calling Mike Pence a ‘Pharisee’ because it offends Jews

Haitian orphanage founder arrested in Dominican Republic – Charged With Sex Crimes

Chinese Police Beat 60 Christians, Close Church and then Bury Bibles


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

 

April 18, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (10:18)

The work of sacrifice is done. There will be no more. Forgiveness is already provided for those who trust in this one perfect sacrifice. Why would anyone want to go back to the old sacrifices, which were never finished and never effective? To reject is to have no other hope of forgiveness—ever.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). Salvation—glorious and perfect salvation—is promised in the Old Covenant and purchased in the New.[1]


18 The simple words of this verse thus sum up the whole thrust of the argument: If Christ has done what the Levitical sacrifices could not do, and has thus brought in Jeremiah’s new covenant, “sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary” (TNIV, suitably supplying the sense of the verbless Greek clause “no longer sacrifice for sin”).[2]


10:18 / “But” (the word underlying niv’s translation and) where such promised things as these have become a reality, only one conclusion about the old system of sacrifices is possible. And thus climactically the author asserts that there is no longer any need for further sacrifices for sins. Fulfillment of Jeremiah’s promise has come. Christ’s sacrifice is the definitive, final, and fully efficacious answer to the universal problem of human sin.[3]


10:18. These words close the doctrinal section of Hebrews. Christ’s new covenant makes Old Testament sacrifices obsolete. When God erases our sins, we no longer need a sin offering. The entire sacrificial system is unnecessary. The single offering of Christ has wiped out the need for the old sacrificial system and has introduced a new era. Christ himself fulfilled the message which God intended the sacrifices to proclaim.

Anyone who wants forgiveness of sin can find access by placing a repentant faith in the completed work of Christ. Christ’s sacrifice was God’s final answer to the universal problem of human sin. God has no need to speak a word beyond Jesus.[4]


18. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

For the Christian, because he has never known the ritual of animal sacrifices, the words “there is no longer any sacrifice for sin” are somewhat matter-of-fact. But for the person of Jewish descent in the second half of the first century, these words must have struck with thunderous finality. The age-old Levitical system of presenting sacrifices to God was rendered pointless with the death of Christ. To be sure, the termination took place in a.d. 70 when the Roman army destroyed the sanctuary in Jerusalem.

Christ’s sacrifice was final, for it brought an end to all sacrifices for sin. What man was unable to do because of his sin, the curse of death, and his inability to keep the law of God, Christ did. He paid the penalty, removed the curse, and lived a life of perfect obedience. With characteristic brevity B. F. Westcott lists three consequences of sin:

debt which requires forgiveness,

bondage which requires redemption,

alienation which requires reconciliation.

Forgiveness of sins consists of God’s pardoning sinners on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice and accepting sinsners as sons or daughters who have never sinned at all. Set free from the slavery of sin, they have received the gift of life eternal (John 17:3) because they belong to the new covenant of which Christ is the mediator. And the terms of his new covenant call for only one sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (p. 257). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 132). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (pp. 160–161). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, p. 185). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 283–284). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

April 18 Cleansing from Sin and Sins

scripture reading: 1 John 1:5–2:2
key verse: Psalm 85:2

You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
You have covered all their sin.

We must make a critical distinction if we are to deal successfully with sin and enjoy God’s provision for overcoming its deceptive and destructive power. The crucial principle is this: God dealt with sin at Calvary. That was His responsibility that could not be executed by anyone other than omnipotent God.

We, however, must deal with sins. That is a responsibility that God assigns to us as believers. At the cross, God stripped away our sin nature by crucifying it with Christ. That is why we can be new creatures in Christ. The old, corrupt, fallen nature was done away with.

There is still a potential of sin in each believer, but we are no longer under its reign. We are freed from its tyranny, for we have died to its rule. We can freely choose to obey God.

Although God dealt with our sin nature through the Cross, making us saints who occasionally sin, we must deal with sins—habits or activities that violate God’s revealed truth. We do so by confessing our particular sins to God. We agree with Him that we have sinned.

You are completely forgiven. You can confess sinful acts to a Father who restores joyous fellowship. You have victory over the sin nature through Christ and cleansing from sins through confession.

Dear Lord, thank You for forgiving my sin; now please forgive my sins. Give me victory over my sin nature today.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

18 april (1858) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The Redeemer’s prayer

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24

suggested further reading: Song of Solomon 5:1–8

When we get a glimpse of Christ, many step in to interfere. We have our hours of contemplation, when we draw near to Jesus, but alas! how the world steps in and interrupts even our most quiet moments—the shop, the field, the child, the wife, the head, perhaps the very heart, all these are interlopers between ourselves and Jesus. Christ loves quiet; he will not talk to our souls in the busy market place, but he says, “Come, my love, into the vineyard, get thee away into the villages, there will I show thee my love.” But when we go to the villages, behold the Philistine is there, the Canaanite has invaded the land. When we would be free from all thought except thought of Jesus, the wandering band of Bedouin thoughts come upon us, and they take away our treasures, and spoil our tents. We are like Abraham with his sacrifice; we lay out the pieces ready for the burning, but foul birds come to feast on the sacrifice which we desire to keep for our God and for him alone. We have to do as Abraham did; “When the birds came down upon the sacrifice, Abraham drove them away.” But in heaven there shall be no interruption, no weeping eyes shall make us for a moment pause in our vision; no earthly joys, no sensual delights, shall create a discord in our melody; there shall we have no fields to till, no garment to spin, no wearied limb, no dark distress, no burning thirst, no pangs of hunger, no weepings of bereavement; we shall have nothing to do or think upon, but for ever to gaze upon that Sun of righteousness, with eyes that cannot be blinded, and with a heart that can never be weary.

for meditation: We are never going to be free from outside distractions and wandering thoughts in this life, but we do need to seek to have some time each day when we can shut them out as far as possible and spend time alone with our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:6).

sermon no. 188[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 115). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

18 APRIL 365 Days with Calvin

Our Caring Shepherd

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

suggested further reading: Psalm 23

God has determined to protect and guard his church. On this account the prophet compares the Lord to a shepherd who expresses his infinite love toward us. Our Lord does not refuse to stoop so low as to perform toward us the office of a shepherd.

In other passages, such as Isaiah 34:2, the prophet describes the Lord as one armed with terrible power for the defense of his people. But here he ascribes a more amiable character to the Lord, so that believers may sweetly repose under his protection.

By the word flock, Isaiah describes the elect people whom God has undertaken to govern. We are thus reminded that God will be a shepherd to none but those who, in modesty and gentleness, will be like sheep and lambs. We ought to observe the character of this flock, for God does not choose to feed savage beasts, but lambs. We must therefore lay aside our fierceness and permit ourselves to be tamed if we wish to be gathered into the fold of which God promises that he will be guardian.

The words he shall … carry them in his bosom describe God’s wonderful condescension, for he not only is moved by a general feeling of regard for his whole flock, but, in proportion to the weakness of any one sheep, he also shows his care in watching, his gentleness in handling, and his patience in leading his sheep.

Isaiah leaves out nothing that belongs to the office of a good shepherd; for the shepherd ought to observe every sheep so he can treat it according to its capacity, even supporting those who are exceedingly weak. In a word, God will be mild, kind, gentle, and compassionate so that he will not drive the weak harder than what they are able to bear.

for meditation: Without such a kindly Shepherd, who would feed us, carry us, and lead us? What a great comfort it is to know that we have a strong yet gentle Shepherd who is willing and able to care for his lambs, even the very weakest.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 127). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Thursday Briefing April 18, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 Tigers Woods’s victory at the Masters is being called his redemption story, but Christians should think carefully about the secular use of theological words like ‘redemption’

PART II

 What a recent article challenging religious liberty reveals about the culture’s demands on churches and religious institutions

PART III

 The Guardian attacks religious teaching on gender, revealing that society requires complete secularization and opposes all religious truth claims

ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

PART II

PART III

— Read on albertmohler.com/2019/04/18/briefing-4-18-19