Daily Archives: April 25, 2019

April 25 After the Cross

Scripture Reading: John 14:16–19

Key Verse: John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

It is possible that we can walk away from the Holy Spirit’s control and endure a life that is less than Spirit filled. This is one of the reasons many believers endure defeated lives even after experiencing great joy for a period after salvation.

The Spirit-filled life is not about how much of the Holy Spirit a believer can gain. At salvation, God indwells you fully, forever, with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit-filled life is about how much of you the Holy Spirit can gain.

Many believers are defeated because they have not been properly taught about the Holy Spirit. Some refer to the Holy Spirit as an “it” and fail to recognize Him as a person. He is a person of the Trinity who comes into the life of the believer at the moment of salvation. There doesn’t have to be an accompanying experience, feeling, or manifestation.

The Bible clearly states that the Holy Spirit is a person, and God is not going to equip you with a partial person or with a person who darts in and out of your life based on your successes or failures in the Christian walk. But if we are not taught properly, or if we burn out by attempting to walk and serve in our own power, we naturally are going to become discouraged and defeated.

Praise the Lord that the role of the Spirit is to enable us to live as God desires, after our lives are changed at the Cross.

Holy Spirit, help me to seek not what I can get from You, but what Your power can enable me to do for You.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 25 Forever Is Guaranteed

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:26

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

It’s a cold winter day. The canvas awning under which you sit flaps roughly. The people behind you cry silently. Those gathered around the sides are red-eyed and somber.

In front of you a preacher stands next to the casket of your loved one—the one with whom you ate, laughed, walked, and communed for all these years.

Long minutes pass. It is over. Friends hug you; the preacher consoles you; and you return to your car for the lonely trip home.

In this setting of grim, undeniable reality lie the profound and majestic hope, comfort, and assurance of the Christian faith—forever set in the scriptural jewel of John 11:25 (nasb): “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.”

Death isn’t the final act. It isn’t the ultimate farewell scene.

Because Jesus confronted death and emerged the Victor, we who believe in Him also will live—even though we die. Because of Christ’s resurrection, our forever is guaranteed. Our faith is valid; our hope is sure; our expectations are fulfilled. Christ, the Death Slayer, has won the ultimate battle and invites all who believe in Him to experience the delightful fruit of His victory—eternal life.

Dear God, I praise You that my forever is guaranteed. My spiritual journey will not end with death. It will continue for eternity.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The fallout from a hyper-casual generation (of pastors)

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

“Pumped” “Juiced” “Excited” “Amped”

The above are words by pastors you read on Facebook or Twitter or Church Web pages who try to artificially intensify an upcoming Sunday/Good Friday/Easter church service. Not everything is a party.

In fact, the commands in the Bible for how to live and how to worship use words that declare the opposite. We are called to be holy, sober-minded, dignified, reverent, self-controlled, and more.

Not that we don’t get excited for worship, or that we shouldn’t declare our heightened emotions at a wedding or an Easter service or a conference or a Choir performance etc. But to use juvenile language to constantly artificially promote reverent services is well, juvenile. It’s especially silly language if coming from 40 and 50 year olds. Church services are not a circus, a performance, a festival, or a sports game, but using the same language that mimics…

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April 25 Contentment in All Circumstances

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:11–19

Key verse: Philippians 4:19

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Our materially oriented culture is programmed to generate discontentment. That is why each year brings new cars, new fashions, new improvements, all designed to make us dissatisfied with our present status or possessions.

Cultivating contentment in the Christian life begins with understanding that things never define your value. Your job, neighborhood, or net worth does not figure into God’s equation for value and worth. Your value lies in your priceless relationship with God as your Father.

Still more, you can counter the anxious and stressful tug of discontentment with a solid understanding of several basic scriptural truths.

God cares for you. Because you are His child, He has assumed responsibility for providing for your emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. He will do so as you trust Him without reservation while you go about the routine tasks of each day.

God is in control. When a job is terminated, a mate quits, a friend deserts, God is quietly but sovereignly at work for your good. You are not a victim of the economy or another’s decision.

You can be content in any circumstance when you are sure of God’s unceasing care and absolute control of every detail. Rest in His ability, and contentment will follow.

Father, I am so thankful that You are in control of every circumstance of my life. You care for me and have assumed responsibility for me as Your child.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

US coalition killed 1,600 civilians in Raqqa offensive – Amnesty International

The US-led assault on the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2017 killed over 1,600 non-combatants, more than 10 times the coalition’s own estimate, according to an investigation by Amnesty International and Airwars, a conflict monitor.

Source: US coalition killed 1,600 civilians in Raqqa offensive – Amnesty International

April 25, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump touted progress in the fight against opioid abuse on Wednesday and promised to hold drug makers accountable for their part in the crisis, a day after his administration brought its first related criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives.

A merit-based immigration proposal being put together by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner could lead to an increase in U.S. visas for highly skilled workers, sources familiar with the effort said on Wednesday.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a moderate who has made his appeal to working-class voters who deserted the Democrats in 2016 a key part of his political identity, launched a bid for the White House on Thursday as the party’s instant frontrunner.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a television interview on Wednesday there was “every indication” that Sunday’s bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 359 people were inspired by Islamic State.

The U.S.-backed assault to drive Islamic State from its Syrian capital Raqqa in 2017 killed more than 1,600 civilians, 10 times the toll the coalition itself has acknowledged, Amnesty International and the monitoring group Airwars said on Thursday.

A French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month, U.S. officials told Reuters, a rare voyage by a vessel of a European country that is likely to be welcomed by Washington but increase tension with Beijing.

New orders for U.S.-made capital goods increased by the most in eight months in March, but a drop in shipments suggested business spending on equipment slowed down in the first quarter.

German hopes of creating a national banking champion able to challenge global competitors were dashed on Thursday when Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank ended merger talks due to the risks of doing a deal, restructuring costs and capital demands.

AP Top Stories

Russia, the United States and China will this week try to press Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents to hold talks with Afghan politicians and civilians, an important step in a process aimed at ending the Afghan war.

Saudi Arabia executed 37 citizens found guilty of various terrorism-related charges, the government said on Tuesday, including many Shiite Muslims arrested in connection with violence and unrest in the kingdom’s Eastern Province.

The U.N. human rights chief on Wednesday condemned the beheadings of 37 Saudi nationals across the kingdom this week, saying most were minority Shi’ite Muslims who may not have had fair trials and at least three were minors when sentenced.

The train known as “The Beast” is once again rumbling through the night loaded with people headed toward the U.S. border after a raid on a migrant caravan threatened to end the practice of massive highway marches through Mexico. A long freight train loaded with about 300 to 400 migrants pulled out of the southern city of Ixtepec on Tuesday.

Their commander is in jail. The authorities are giving them until Friday to clear out and leave. But the United Constitutional Patriots, the right-wing militia under scrutiny over detaining migrant families at the border with Mexico, is digging in.

Iran’s foreign minister publicly proposed a prisoner swap that would involve the U.S. agreeing to release Iranians awaiting extradition in exchange for Tehran freeing detainees like a British-Iranian dual national held on espionage charges. Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced he is ready to negotiate.

Deutsche Bank has begun to provide documents on financing for some of President Donald Trump’s projects to New York State authorities, a source familiar with the matter told AFP on Wednesday.

Some top Democrats vying for the White House in 2020 are clamoring for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, but many of their congressional colleagues – who would have to manage such efforts – are far more wary.

The National Rifle Association sued Los Angeles on Wednesday over a new law requiring that contractors disclose their ties to the gun rights group as a condition of obtaining business from the second most-populous U.S. city.

Sen. Kamala Harris said Tuesday she likes the idea of a third gender option on federal identifications. Currently, 10 states, as a well as New York City and Washington, D.C., grant non-binary gender options on IDs as a result of legislative action or court orders

BBC

Three of the most controversial figures of Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council have offered their resignations – one of the key demands of the protest movement.

Two former Coptic Christian monks have been sentenced to death in Egypt over the murder of a bishop last year, officials have confirmed.

Uber drivers in seven US cities are planning protests, for 12 hours, to highlight what they claim are poor working conditions and low wages at the ride-hailing firm.

WND

New York City has issued civil summonses to 12 people it said were not complying with a mandatory measles vaccination order as the number of recorded cases in the city’s worst outbreak since 1991 rose to 390, according to data released on Wednesday.

The communist Cuban government, in what could be retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, has jailed a Christian pastor and his wife who were homeschooling their 13- and 9-year-old children.

Conservatives on college campuses are being increasingly attacked and harassed for holding dissenting points of view from the majority of students, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 25, 2019

The Foundation

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” —George Washington (1796)

Trump Digs in Against Dems’ Impeachment Crusade

The president says he will fight House Democrats over their incessant subpoenas.


Biden Makes It 20 for 2020

The former vice president hopes to capitalize on division in a phony call for unity.


College: An Overpriced Scam

Mike Rowe argues Americans are “obsessed with credentialing,” and it’s costing kids big time.


Electric Vehicles Leave Outsized Carbon Footprint

When all factors are considered, electric vehicles are not nearly as pollution free as many assume.


Mueller Is Done, but the Democrats’ MAGA Obstruction Continues

Democrats have spent the last two years using their “Russia collusion” subterfuge to undermine real progress for all Americans — and will spend the next two years doing the same thing.


Cop Gives Young Man Ride to Job Interview Instead of Ticket

Rather than paying a fine, the young man ended up landing a job with FedEx.


Video: My Body, My Choice For Self-Defense?

American culture says women get to choose … except for guns. Why is that?


Video: Is Liberty and Happiness Still Valuable?

What has America lost and what do we need to pursue to put her back on the right track?



Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Trump Fights Back
Victor Davis Hanson
Mueller Investigation Was Driven by Pious Hypocrisy
Veronique de Rugy
When Earth Day Predictions Go Predictably Wrong
Cal Thomas
In Defense of Kate Smith
Edwin J. Feulner
Eradicate Poverty? We Already Know How
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Biden dives in, William Barr to testify, measles quickly metastasizing, Trump’s border threat, and more.


Thursday Short Cuts

Alpha Jackass: “It’s a national disgrace that Trump sleeps in the White House instead of a federal prison cell.” —Michelle Goldberg



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 – 4/25/2019

‘Jesus was a Palestinian’ Platform; Islam’s Plot to Rewrite World History
Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) history of egregious antisemitic remarks and dismissal of the Islamist 9-11 attacks as “some people who did something” pale in comparison to her most recent comment which, in a subtle but horrific manner, threatens all of Judeo-Christian Western society.

NASA’s InSight detects first likely ‘quake’ on Mars
NASA’s Mars InSight lander has measured and recorded for the first time ever a likely ‘marsquake’. This is the first recorded trembling that appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind.

COSMIC RAYS ARE NEARING A SPACE AGE HIGH
COSMIC RAYS ARE NEARING A SPACE AGE HIGH: Ten years ago, NASA reported a “perfect storm of cosmic rays.” During the year 2009, radiation peppering Earth from deep space reached a 50-year high, registering levels never before seen during the Space Age. It’s about to happen again. Ground-based neutron monitors and high-altitude cosmic ray balloons are registering a new increase in cosmic rays. The Oulu neutron monitor in Finland, which has been making measurements since 1964, reports levels in April 2019 only percentage points below the Space Age maximum of 2009…

Kamala for president: I will take your gun rights via executive order and allow Boston Marathon bomber, teenyboppers to vote.
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris staked out three radical policy positions during a CNN-hosted town hall event Monday evening in New Hampshire.

Trump’s revenge: Team prepares to turn the tables with ramped up counter-attack on ‘collusion’ Dems
As Democrats move forward with their efforts to investigate Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice in the Robert Mueller investigation, the president has turned the focus on how they have actually been the ones colluding – from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to former Obama intelligence officials who all worked at what the president has called a “coup” against him.

US ‘aggressively’ building Trump’s border wall, new DHS chief says
The acting secretary of Homeland Security pushed back on the narrative that President Donald Trump’s border wall is not being built, pointing out that construction has actually been going at an aggressive pace. “So normally for a federal project of this scope, from the time you get funded to starting, it’s over two years,” Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday on Fox News. “We’ve already built the [fiscal year] 2017 funding in less than two years. That shows how aggressively we’re moving out on this.”

Justice Dept. refuses congressional subpoena on census citizenship question
The Department of Justice on Wednesday refused to allow an official to testify before the House oversight committee about attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Trump administration said John Gore, a deputy assistant attorney general in the department’s civil rights division, will not be allowed to testify in Thursday’s scheduled hearing without a Justice Department attorney in the room with him.

San Francisco’s War Between The Rich And Homeless Is At “Boiling Point”
San Francisco – thanks to its balmy year-round climate and hospitable reputation – has long suffered from growing homelessness which, despite the city’s nosebleed-inducing taxes, it has been unable to curtail. This led to articles such our recent piece documenting the city’s 132,562 cases of human feces on city streets. As we noted then, San Francisco hosts an estimated homeless population of 7,500 people. As a result, affluent sections of the city have become borderline dangerous with open-air drug use, tens of thousands of discarded needles, and, sadly, overflowing human excrement.

Synthetic speech generated from brain recordings
A state-of-the-art brain-machine interface created by UC San Francisco neuroscientists can generate natural-sounding synthetic speech by using brain activity to control a virtual vocal tract — an anatomically detailed computer simulation including the lips, jaw, tongue, and larynx. The study was conducted in research participants with intact speech, but the technology could one day restore the voices of people who have lost the ability to speak due to paralysis and other forms of neurological damage.

Greenblatt: Upcoming peace plan doesn’t include confederation with Jordan
The upcoming peace plan will not include a confederation between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian authority…Jason Greenblatt tweeted on Wednesday. “King Abdullah and Jordan are strong US allies,” he tweeted. “Rumors that our peace vision includes a confederation between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, or that the vision contemplates making Jordan the homeland for Palestinians, are incorrect. Please don’t spread rumors.”

Younger Republicans are less supportive of Israel, poll finds
While Republicans continue to be strong supporters of the Israeli government and people, a growing cohort of younger Republicans no longer view Israel’s government favorably, according to a Pew Research Center survey… The survey showed that Republicans over the age of 65 are the only age group in which a majority (57%) have a favorable view of the Israeli government. Among…those younger than 30…just 27% view Israel’s government favorably.

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un pledge stronger ties in Vladivostok
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have pledged to boost ties at their first ever summit. The pair greeted each other warmly ahead of the talks, near the port city of Vladivostok in Russia’s far east. The leaders reportedly discussed denuclearisation, with Mr Putin offering to support efforts to normalise North Korean-US relations.

‘Exhilarating’ implant turns thoughts to speech
Scientists have developed a brain implant that can read people’s minds and turn their thoughts to speech. The team at the University of California, San Francisco says the technology is “exhilarating”. They add that their findings, published in the journal Nature, could help people when disease robs them of their ability to talk.

DHS Releases 7K Illegal Aliens into U.S. in Five Days; 1.4K Released Every Day
President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released about 7,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into the interior of the United States in the last five days. The latest catch and release totals…revealed that, currently, DHS is releasing about 1,400 border crossers and illegal aliens into the interior of the U.S. every day. Between April 18 to April 22, DHS released about 7,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into the country.

DHS plan for face scanning at airports sparks alarm
Lawmakers and civil liberties advocates are calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt plans to begin using facial recognition technology on nearly all departing air passengers within the next four years… Critics say facial recognition technology is not ready for large-scale deployment and that DHS has failed to establish specific rules to prevent abuses and policies for handling the collected data.

Doctors at Ebola epicenter in Congo threaten strike
Doctors at the epicenter of Congo’s Ebola crisis are threatening to go on strike indefinitely if health workers are attacked again. The march on Wednesday comes after a Cameroon national working for the World Health Organization was killed last week on assignment in eastern Congo. Dr. Kalima Nzanzu said he wants residents to know that the doctors and other medical staff are in eastern Congo to help fight the current Ebola outbreak.

Frustrated pilots got Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings
A recent uptick in sightings of unidentified flying objects — or…“unexplained aerial phenomena” — prompted the U.S. Navy to draft formal procedures for pilots to document encounters, a corrective measure that former officials say is long overdue. “Since 2014, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis,” Joseph Gradisher…Recently, unidentified aircraft entered military-designated airspace as often as multiple times per month.

Mozambique Faces Another Powerful Cyclone One Month After Idai
Tropical Cyclone Kenneth is gathering strength on a track to strike northern Mozambique Friday, less than a month after a storm came ashore further to the south and killed more than 1,000 people.

Every liberal city in America is headed toward Venezuela… get out while you can
Liberal cities across America are collapsing into Third World status. It’s not just the fact that San Francisco’s streets are now littered with drug needles and human feces, either. Seattle is also collapsing into rampant homelessness and drug addiction, creating an entire class of impoverished, homeless residents who are breeding grounds for HIV and other infectious diseases.

Israeli scientists shock the world with the first 3D printed heart
Scientists at Tel Aviv University have printed the world’s first 3D heart made of human tissue and biological molecules.

Sweden refuses to block returning ISIS fighters from returning to the country, and is now forcing 41 municipalities to shelter them and provide welfare benefits
A list recently released by the Centre for Violent Extremism (CVE) disclosed that 41 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities are set to be forced to welcome back scores of returning ISIS members.

40 Mind-Blowing Quotes From Barack Hussein Obama On Islam And Christianity
Since 2009, NOW THE END BEGINS has brought you story after story in detailed accounts of exactly how Obama feels about Islam, and how he views Christianity and the Bible. So today, in light of recent events in Washington, we feel it important that you know exactly where your president stands in regards to his faith and his god. Below are 20 quotes he has made about Islam, and 20 quotes he has made about Christianity. Nothing edited or mashed up, just exactly in the context he originally spoke them in with fully-sourced links so you can see where they come from.

CDC: Blood-sucking ‘Kissing Bug’ Confirmed in Delaware
Public health officials have confirmed the presence of the so-called “kissing bug” in Delaware for the first time in the state’s history.

Court Rules State Can Shut Down Catholic Adoption Agency Because It Won’t Compromise Its Catholic Values
A federal court of appeals ruled today that the state of Pennsylvania can essentially shut down a Catholic adoption agenda that refuses to compromise its Catholic values. The dangerous ruling has particularly concerning ramifications for the pro-life movement when it comes to conscience rights issues for pro-life groups and individuals.

Over 113,000 pounds of ground beef recalled due to E. coli fears
A Georgia-based company has recalled more than 113,000 pounds of ground beef over fears of E. coli contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Major Universities Caught Issuing Diploma Mill Degrees to Illegal Aliens and Liberal Candidates Posing As Conservatives
Marlyn Rupar first brought to my attention the fact that there is an organization, along with partner universities that have compromised the academic integrity of the America’s post-secondary system.

CDC admits HIV is exploding among transgender women… total silence from left-wing media, just like with the spread of anal cancer among homosexuals
It used to be that AIDS was widely regarded as the “gay disease.” But now it’s a transgender disease as well, with new data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that an astounding one in seven transgender “women” are infected with HIV.

Another Church Set Ablaze in France on Easter Sunday, Arson Likely
A fire at the French church of Notre-Dame de Grâce on Easter Sunday is likely to be a result of arson, according to police.

Where’s the solidarity for Sri Lanka’s Christians?
The reaction of some to the devastating Islamist-inspired terroristattacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday is puzzling to say the least.

Anti-Semitic Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Begins Promoting Ridiculous Narrative That The Jewish Jesus Of Nazareth Was ‘A Palestinian’
Jesus is a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, He is my Saviour and friend who paid the debt of sin that I owed on that dark day on the cross at Calvary. To others Jesus is a good man, a prophet, a teacher, and some couldn’t care less about Him. But no one, in the right minds, would ever in a million literal years deny the fact that Jesus was a Jew. He certainly could not have been a ‘palestinian’, why? Because no such place as Palestine as a nation ever existed, and there has never been until the later part of the 20th century, a people group calling themselves palestinian.


Headlines – 4/25/2019

Palestinians want to discuss US peace plan with Europe, PA FM says

Israel Already an Apartheid State Says Outgoing French Ambassador, Discussing Trump’s Peace Plan

Kushner: Let’s See if Both Sides Have the Courage to Make Progress

Trump envoy says US peace plan won’t involve confederation with Jordan

IDF to confiscate Palestinian land for a new Gush Etzion-Hebron road

UNRWA schools continue teaching Palestinian children to wage war on Israel

Lebanon’s minister threatens to strike Ben-Gurion Airport in future war

Syria war: Unexplained blast kills 15 in rebel-held Idlib

US backs Haftar offensive on Libya’s Tripoli: officials

Sudan protesters pledge ‘million march’ for civil rule

Fake news and public executions: Documents show a Russian company’s plan for quelling protests in Sudan

Khalid bin Salman: Iran is spreading chaos in the region through destruction

Rouhani says Saudi Arabia, UAE owe their existence today to Iran

Zarif accuses Netanyahu and Saudis of trying to provoke US into war with Iran

Iran’s Zarif believes Trump does not want war, but could be lured into conflict

Iran’s Zarif: Trump’s Aim Is Talks – Bolton, Saudis and Netanyahu Want Conflict

Iran will continue to defy US oil sanctions, says Tehran

Rouhani: Iran willing to negotiate if US lifts sanctions, apologizes

Iranian FM makes public prisoner swap offer to US

Iran threatens ‘consequences’ if US takes ‘crazy measure’ of blocking oil sales

Oil prices expected to spike in summer as US toughens stance on Iran sanctions

US eases effects of sanctions on Iran’s elite guard force

Is there an unprecedented build-up of US naval power in the Middle East?

Russia to start deliveries of S-400 to Turkey in July

Russia launches huge ‘doomsday’ supersub

Putin views launch of new submarine to carry nuclear drones

Russia offers citizenship to Ukrainians in breakaway regions in a provocative move

Ukraine’s Zelensky urges Russia sanctions after citizenship rule change

The Latest: Putin, Kim say they’ve had fruitful talks

Pompeo expects North Korea diplomacy to be ‘bumpy’

Picture emerges of well-to-do young bombers behind Sri Lankan carnage

Blast in town east of Sri Lankan capital, no casualties

Lockdown at Sri Lanka central bank amid bomb scare, airport road also shut

Israel issues travel warning of ‘high and concrete’ terror threat in Sri Lanka

Britain Can’t Afford to Keep Talking About Brexit

Disaffected Venezuelan military tell of rising desertions to Brazil

Trump’s sanctions could knock out Venezuela oil production indefinitely

FBI: Armed U.S. Border Group Was Training to ‘Assassinate Soros, Obama and Clinton’

Trump renews threat to close Mexican border, send more troops

House panel chair accuses Trump of ‘massive’ obstruction; Trump vows to fight

Trump vows to resist Democratic probes; ‘We’re fighting all the subpoenas’

President Trump Says He Would Fight Impeachment in the Supreme Court. That’s Not How It Works

Hillary Clinton op-ed: Don’t rush to impeachment, it could backfire

Cohen says he pleaded guilty to crimes he didn’t commit

Women’s March Calls on Twitter to Suspend Trump Over Ilhan Omar Tweets

Facebook says it anticipates up to $5 billion fine for privacy violations

DHS plan for face scanning at airports sparks alarm

57% See Artificial Intelligence As Threat to Human Race

Frustrated pilots got Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings

US Navy drafting new guidelines for reporting UFOs

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Calama, Chile

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Dofa, Indonesia

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 12,000ft

Intensifying cyclone bears down on Mozambique just weeks after country’s deadliest storm disaster

Tropical Storm Lorna getting organized in the Southeastern Indian Ocean

South Africa floods: Death toll after Durban rains rises to 60

Flooding Is So Bad in Dallas That Cars at the Airport Are Under Water

New York’s Green New Deal Will Slash Red Meat in City Facilities by 50%

FDA Approves New Treatment For ADHD Using Electrical Shocks To The Forehead

Ebola first responders threaten strike if security not improved

Gunmen in Pakistan kill policeman guarding polio eradication team

US measles cases hit highest mark in 25 years amid outbreak among ultra-Orthodox

New York City tickets 12 people for defying measles vaccination order

California bill aims to appoint public health official to determine vaccine exemptions

Hundreds of anti-vaxx families pile into California Capitol to protest immunization bill

Trump says he is holding big Pharma accountable in opioid fight

Alabama lawmakers compare abortion to Holocaust in 2 bills

Bills protecting babies born alive during botched abortions vetoed in Wisconsin, North Carolina

Bethany Christian Services will place children in LGBT families as part of Michigan settlement

Franklin Graham tells 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg to repent, not ‘flaunt’ being gay

4 years ago, same-sex couples couldn’t get married in Tampa. On Tuesday, the city elected a lesbian mayor.

12,000 Boy Scouts members were victims of sexual abuse from thousands of leaders, expert says

Texas couple who admitted to sexually assaulting children on video sentenced to 60 years each in prison

‘Hail Satan?’ Subject the Satanic Temple Says it’s Been Recognized as a Church by the IRS


Apostasy Watch Daily News

The Prodigal Prince: Richard Roberts and the Decline of the Oral Roberts Dynasty

The Wolf-Defenders Are Out in Full Force After Chan Attends The Send

Signs and wonders by a different Jesus

Pastor KISSES a young woman in front of his congregation to ‘rid her body of demons’

Ex-members of NJ church allege it is a cult that forces abortions, arranged marriages

Baptists Promote Abortion as “Reproductive Justice”

Bethany Christian Services changes policy and will now be placing children with LGBTQ+ parents

Father Guilty Of ‘Family Violence’ For Calling His Trans Daughter A ‘She’

Judge Will Block President Trump’s New Rules Defunding Planned Parenthood


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

 

Former CIA Officer Will Teach You How to Spot a Lie l Digiday

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https://www.youtube.com

In this participatory session, you will learn how to tell when someone is lying. Really. As a former CIA Officer with more than 20 years of experience in interviewing, interrogation and polygraph examination, Susan has seen her share of truth avoiders. She has, in fact, developed behavioral screening programs that are used by the federal government. Don’t miss out on learning her methodologies in spotting deception.

Half of Americans Say Evangelicals Are Discriminated Against | Christianity Today Magazine

Pew: Amid growing awareness of discrimination, anti-Semitism has spiked the most.

Though evangelical Protestants remain the largest faith group in the country, as clashes over their beliefs turn up in the public square, half the country has come to believe evangelicals face discrimination in the US.

A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals that Americans see discrimination on the rise or holding steady across demographic groups, with evangelical Christians and Jews experiencing a significant uptick over the past few years.

Fifty percent of US adults agree that evangelical Christians are subject to discrimination, up from 42 percent in 2016. One in five (18%) say that evangelicals—about a quarter of the population—face “a lot” of discrimination.

The number of Americans who say Jews face some level of discrimination in the United States has increased by 20 percentage points over the past three years. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) agree there is at least some discrimination against Jews, and a quarter (24%) say Jews experience “a lot” of discrimination, up from 13 percent just a few years ago.

It’s easy to see the reasons for the shift. Last October, a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 worshipers and became the deadliest anti-Semitic act in American history. The year before, anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 37 percent, marking the third consecutive year with a spike in attacks on Jews.

Evangelicals, meanwhile, have a more precarious place in the spotlight as their views on social issues like marriage and sexuality have grown less popular. Previous Pew surveys indicated white evangelicals’ public reputation has been on the decline since 2014, while other research has shown those with “anti-Christian hostility” are now in more prominent …

Continue reading

Source: Half of Americans Say Evangelicals Are Discriminated Against

The Wolf-Defenders Are Out in Full Force After Chan Attends The Send — Christian Research Network

“These discerning ministries take what someone like Francis Chan SAID and combine it with pictures of him SAYING it, and then apply the BIBLE to it. That is why a good many of them are considered more credible than mainstream church news sites which routinely run articles about releasing angels or sneaky squid spirits. Then you compare the one with proof and the bible to the National Enquirer, right.” 

(Anthony Wade – 8:28 Ministries)  Another day, another attack upon discernment ministries. We must understand that the seeker friendly industrial complex, fueled by the purpose driven cult of personality churches must protect their brand at all costs. One of their tricks is to compromise respected Gospel preachers such as Francis Chan to steal their credibility. Chan may enter into it thinking he will affect them but in the end leaven spreads like cancer….

Soon Chan is not just saying he loves Mike Bickle but he is writing threatening articles to any who would dare question false teachers. Since the backlash to Chan’s fall has hit we have seen a wave of articles such as the one above designed to marginalize those that would insist on pure doctrine and biblical foundations. Let us reason together once more beloved as we sift through more attacks on sound doctrine in favor of protecting wolves at all costs.

“There seems to be an overwhelming fascination in evangelicalism with what is wrong. What do I mean by that? It seems that we are more than happy not just to report, but to share, like and comment whenever we see any Christian leader fail in any type of way. The Christian media is often happy to promote these attention-grabbing pieces. Like feeding fresh bloody fish to a group of swarming sharks, the frenzy ensues as web links are made and a new viral news article is born at the great expense of the character of a Christian leader as well as the testimony of Christ. Perhaps you think I am being too critical, but we should think about what we are doing. There is a lost world looking on as we quickly share articles that accuse brothers and sisters of things that are not, in many cases, provable facts. And, more importantly, we never pray or fast for these individuals, we simply feed on their demise for our daily entertainment.” — Greg Gordon

This premise is not only factually inaccurate but wildly ridiculous. Christian media refuses to deal with the issues of discernment and it is left to independent people to write the truth about what is false in the pulpit so that people are not led away from Christ. The key point in his opening is not that people weigh in on failure but that we keep seeing failure in the pulpit. This is like when Ted Haggard was caught in a 20 year relationship with a male prostitute while doing crystal meth and a local pastor opened his sermon that week with “don’t judge.” Seriously? That is a mockery of Scripture. There are no swimming sharks and feeding frenzies. There is just the wolf that has been exposed as such and we ought to be about the business of tending to the sheep and not defending the wolves. We do not fast for wolves. We do not pray for wolves. We mark them and take the shepherd’s rod to them to protect the sheep. This is not for entertainment Mr. Gordon. I do not think you are being too critical. You are not being critical enough and your criticism is misguided. View article →

Research

Francis Chan

James MacDonald

Mark Driscoll

Discernment

via The Wolf-Defenders Are Out in Full Force After Chan Attends The Send — Christian Research Network

Co-Opting Jesus Christ For Unholy Purposes — Christian Research Service

Robert Knight
The Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

At Easter, the question is often raised: Who is Jesus?

As C.S. Lewis wrote, the Gospels leave no gray area: Either Jesus was God Incarnate or a madman for claiming to be so. Merely being “a good teacher” doesn’t cut it.

The New Testament says that Jesus is not only the Jews’ long-awaited Messiah but the Son of God, who was sacrificed for the sins of the whole world, rose from the dead and grants eternal life to all who believe in Him. He is the second part of the Trinity comprising the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

For 2,000 years, this has been orthodox Christian doctrine. Meanwhile, Jesus‘ name has been invoked on behalf of nearly every cause, including some particularly diabolical ventures.

Today’s Progressives, for example, brazenly misquote the Sermon on the Mount as if it were the first draft of “The Communist Manifesto.” They claim that Jesus would back open borders, forced redistribution of wealth, seizure of private property and, most of all, sexual anarchy.

In early April at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Jesus was even compared to Cuban communist triggerman Che Guevara — a fellow “martyr.”

Read article HERE.

via Co-Opting Jesus Christ For Unholy Purposes — Christian Research Service

April 25, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Nature of Rest

For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (4:8–10)

it is spiritual

The rest spoken of here is not the physical rest of Canaan. That was only a picture. “For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.” God’s true rest comes not through a Moses or a Joshua or a David. It comes through Jesus Christ.

God’s rest is not essentially physical at all. Certainly, resting in God and trusting in His promises can relieve us of nervousness, tenseness, and other physical problems. But these are by-products of His rest. Many cults promise their followers happiness, wealth, and health in this life. The Bible does not. The rest God promises is spiritual, not physical. Whatever physical or earthly benefits the Lord may give us, His basic promise is to give us spiritual rest, spiritual blessing. Some of God’s most faithful believers are the busiest, the hardest working, and sometimes even the most afflicted people imaginable. Yet they are in God’s salvation rest.

it is for israel

The term people of God may refer generally to anyone who knows God; but here it specifically refers to Israel. Salvation is first of all for Israel. The gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). There is a rest remaining for the people of God, and in the Old Testament Israel is designated the people of God. His spiritual rest is promised first to Israel, and He will not be through with her until she comes into His rest.

it is future

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (4:10)

God’s rest is also future. In his vision on Patmos the apostle John heard these beautiful words from heaven: “ ‘Write, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!” ’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them’ ” (Rev. 14:13). I believe Hebrews 4:10 anticipates that final day when we cease from all effort and all work and enter into the presence of Jesus Christ. It includes the promised rest to Israel, the ultimate rest when she and all of God’s other people will cease from work and rest as God did when He finished His creation. That is the reality of Sabbath rest.[1]


9–10 And picking up the reflections of vv. 3–5, that rest is now described as a “sabbath-rest.” The term used is not the regular sabbaton but sabbatismos, a verbal noun used nowhere else in biblical literature but with the effect of focusing on the experience of “sabbathing” rather than merely on the day itself. Such an experience of enjoying sabbath “remains” for God’s people in that it has not yet been fulfilled in history. It is boldly equated with God’s own experience of enjoying sabbath when he had finished his work of creation. So too God’s faithful people (the evocative noun laos [GK 3295], typically used in the LXX for Israel as God’s chosen people, is here used for the people of faith), their earthly work of serving him duly completed, can look forward to joining him in his heavenly rest (cf. Rev 14:13). For the prospect of joy and security in heaven as an incentive for faithful service on earth, cf. 11:13–16; 12:22–24.[2]


4:9 / The promised rest, therefore, remains … for the people of God to enjoy. Sabbath-rest comes from a single word that occurs only here in the whole of the Greek Bible. This word suggests God’s own sabbath-rest after creation (v. 4). God’s gift of rest may thus be regarded as the gift of his own rest. To enjoy the blessings of the eschaton is to participate in the sabbath-rest of God.[3]


4:9–10. These two verses provide a conclusion (v. 9) and the explanation of the conclusion (v. 10). Then introduces the conclusion: God’s people enjoyed a rest patterned after God’s own rest on the seventh day. Sabbath-rest is a new word, appearing only here in the New Testament. The author of Hebrews may have coined the word to express the special significance which he wanted to communicate. God’s people will share in God’s own rest. Those who enjoy this rest will be believers, those who have approached God through Jesus Christ.

Just what kind of rest can believers enjoy? When do they enjoy it—now, at death, or in the resurrection? This rest is not merely the entrance into Canaan. It is a present experience with Christ in which the Lord provides his presence, peace, and joy to replace the labor and heavy burdens of life (Matt. 11:28–30).

God’s own rest (see 4:4) becomes the pattern of the rest of the believer. God’s rest involved the completion of his work and not mere cessation of activity. Believers have become complete in Christ (Col. 2:10), and they can live in the light of a fulfilled relationship to Jesus as their exalted head.

The work from which believers have rested is perhaps a reference to the minute details of Jewish sacrificial ritual and purifying washings. Concern about these insignificant details was unnecessary. Christ’s full work on the cross made it possible for believers to trust him instead of their own works.

When do we begin to enjoy this rest? We can live in those blessings here and now by faith. However, our present enjoyment of these blessings is not the whole story. We will receive more at the time of the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23).

Let us summarize an involved idea: The writer of Hebrews called his readers to faith in Jesus and the enjoyment of the blessings which accompany that faith. Through faith in Jesus, believers today enjoy peace, joy, and fellowship with the living Lord as a part of their rest in him. This foretaste, which we now enjoy, will become a complete, unclouded experience of bliss at the time of the return of Jesus and the resurrection. As believers we can say, “Hallelujah!”[4]


9. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10. for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.

From Psalm 95 the author has shown that the rest that the Israelites enjoyed in Canaan was not the rest God intended for his people. The intended rest is a Sabbath-rest, which, of course, is a direct reference to the creation account (Gen. 2:2; see also Exod. 20:11; 31:17) of God’s rest on the seventh day.

For the believer the Sabbath is not merely a day of rest in the sense that it is a cessation of work. Rather it is a spiritual rest—a cessation of sinning. It entails an awareness of being in the sacred presence of God with his people in worship and praise. John Newton captured a glimpse of what Sabbath-rest is to be when he wrote:

Safely through another week

God has brought us on our way;

Let us now a blessing seek,

Waiting in His courts today;

Day of all the week the best,

Emblem of eternal rest.

The day of rest is indeed an emblem of eternal rest! During our life span on earth, we celebrate the Sabbath and realize only partially what Sabbath-rest entails. In the life to come, we shall fully experience God’s rest, for then we will have entered a rest that is eternal. “ ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them’ ” (Rev. 14:13).

Who then enters that rest? Only those who die in the Lord? The answer is: All those who in faith experience happiness in the Lord because they are one with him. Jesus prays for those who believe in him, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21). In God we have perfect peace and rest.

My heart, Lord, does not rest

Until it rests in Thee.

—Augustine

However, the text indicates that whoever enters God’s rest does so only once. He enters that rest fully when his labors are ended. He then enjoys uninterrupted heavenly rest from which death, mourning, crying, and pain have been removed; at that time God’s dwelling will be with men; he will live with them and be their God, for they are his people (Rev. 21:4).[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 103–104). 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. 67). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 71). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 70–71). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 111–112). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

DHS Releases 7,000 Border Crossers Into US Cities Over Five Day Period | ZeroHedge News

Swamped and overloaded with a massive influx of people at the southern border, the US Department of Homeland Security has released approximately 7,000 migrants into the interior of the United States over a five-day period ending on Wednesday, according to Breitbart News, citing information they obtained on ‘catch and release.’

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The catch and release process often entails federal immigration officials busing border crossers into nearby border cities and dropping them off with the promise that they will show up for their immigration and asylum hearings, sometimes years later. The overwhelming majority of border crossers and illegal aliens are never deported from the country once they are released into the U.S. –Breitbart News

Over the five-day period, El Paso, TX received 2,800 of the 7,000 border crossers, while San Antonio, TX received 2,200, Phoenix – 1,200 and San Diego – 800.

According to former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) told Breitbart that the Trump administration could take several steps to immediately end catch and release, including creating more detention facilities where immigration court hearings can be quickly heard.

The expanded use of catch and release by the Trump administration has forced communities like Yuma, Arizona, to declare a local state of emergency as the city and county is unable to deal with soaring levels of illegal immigration.

Since December 21, 2018, about 153,000 border crossers and illegal aliens have been released into the interior of the U.S. This dictates that DHS is releasing about 38,250 border crossers and illegal aliens into the country every month with close to 10,000 released every week and about 1,400 released every day. –Breitbart News

At this rate, almost half-a-million border crossers could be released into American communities by the end of the year. According to the Pew Research Center, there were 10.7 million illegal immigrants in the United States at the end of 2016.

Source: DHS Releases 7,000 Border Crossers Into US Cities Over Five Day Period

FLASHBACK: Joe Biden Discussed Steele Dossier in Secret Oval Office Meeting With Coup Plotters Before Trump Inauguration — The Gateway Pundit

Creepy Hands Joe Biden officially launched his 2020 White House bid on Thursday.

Biden is the swamp personified — not only did he spend 8 years as Barack Obama’s Vice President and “homeboy,” he participated in the secret Oval Office meeting with the coup plotters shortly before Donald Trump’s inauguration.

On January 5th, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey held a secret meeting in the Oval Office before he traveled to Trump Tower New York to brief president-elect Donald Trump on the Hillary-funded junk Russia dossier.

This unusual meeting to discuss the dossier and the FBI’s Russia investigation that took place in January of 2017 in Obama’s White House was discovered in February of 2018 by then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Senator Grassley uncovered a bizarre email former NatSec Advisor to Barack Obama, Susan Rice sent herself on January 20th 2017–Donald Trump’s inauguration day.

According to Susan Rice’s email, the junk dossier and the FBI’s investigation into its claims was discussed in the meeting — Among the people in the meeting was Barack Obama, James Comey (FBI Director), Susan Rice (NatSec Advisor), Sally Yates (Deputy Attorney General), James Clapper (DNI Chief), John Brennan (CIA Chief) and then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Grassley said last year of the email Susan Rice sent herself:

Ambassador Rice appears to have used this email to document a January 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting between President Obama, former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. In particular, Ambassador Rice wrote:

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book’. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

Grassley said in a letter to Susan Rice:

“It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation. In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed ‘by the book,’ substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed ‘by the book.’”

Joe Biden was in this Oval Office meeting with the coup plotters as they orchestrated Comey’s ambush of Donald Trump.

The next day on January 6th, 2017, Comey headed over to Trump Tower New York and briefed then-president elect Donald Trump on the salacious parts of the Russia dossier — Comey lied to Trump and told him he was not under investigation and that he had nothing to worry about.

Clapper, who was also in the January 5th meeting, then leaked Comey’s dossier briefing with Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper — this was the “news hook” that the Deep State needed to give the dossier credibility — and the 35-page Steele dossier was published later that day by BuzzFeed.

Did Biden take any contemporaneous notes or memos during the January 5th meeting?

Joe Biden appears to be the Dem 2020 front-runner — he should be called in to testify about this secret meeting and what he knew about the dossier and the FBI’s targeting of Donald Trump.

via FLASHBACK: Joe Biden Discussed Steele Dossier in Secret Oval Office Meeting With Coup Plotters Before Trump Inauguration — The Gateway Pundit

Former Elders Say ECFA Ignored Their Warning Six Years Ago About Harvest’s Lack of Financial Controls — Julie Roys

Last week, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) terminated Harvest Bible Chapel’s membership in its organization for “significant violations” of ECFA standards. Yet three former Harvest elders say they warned ECFA President Dan Busby of serious financial and governance issues at the church six years ago. But they say instead of investigating Harvest, Busby dismissed their concerns, and continued to allow Harvest to use the ECFA seal to tout its alleged financial integrity.

The ECFA said in a statement last Wednesday that it removed Harvest because the Chicago-area megachurch failed to comply with standards concerning governance, financial oversight, compliance with laws, and compensation-setting. The group added that Harvest had withheld “crucial” information during an on-site visit and said “restoration to full membership was not a viable option.”

Yet former elders— Scott Phelps, Barry Slabaugh, and Dan Marquardt—said they called Busby in December 2013 and told him that as elders, they were not allowed to know the salary of Harvest’s now-fired senior pastor, James MacDonald. Marquardt said he even told Busby that MacDonald had once remarked that he would “lose a thousand sheep” before he’d divulge his salary.

The former elders said they also informed Busby that the elder board was not allowed to see a line-item budget for the church. Instead, the three said the board was given a pie chart of Harvest’s $30-million budget, and then were expected to approve the budget based on it.

The phone call with Busby took place about three months after the ECFA first accredited Harvest. And just two weeks prior to that accreditation, Harvest publicly excommunicated Phelps and Slabaugh, and indirectly censured Marquardt. The three say the excommunication came after they confronted MacDonald for character issues and complained about some of the same financial and transparency issues they shared with Busby.

The three said Busby seemed disinterested and unfazed by what they told him. They said Busby remarked that churches have different ways of determining compensation, and that the process of setting and approving compensation was outside the “purview” of what ECFA analyzes and approves.

I reached out to Busby and the ECFA by phone and email for comment, but they did not respond. However, posted on the ECFA website is a six-step process for compensation-setting that requires that an organization’s board “determine its role in affirming, ratifying, or otherwise approving the total compensation package” of the top leader.

Phelps said he pushed back on Busby’s response during the phone call, citing a letter that the church had received from Capin Crouse, the company that audits Harvest annually. The letter noted that the IRS can “impose excise taxes and other penalties” on board members if its executives are “over-compensated.”

Phelps said he asked Busby: “How can we be legally liable and not be able to even know the information that we’re liable for? You’re okay with that?” Phelps said Busby just kept responding that how compensation is set is outside the “purview” of ECFA approval.

Phelps, Slabaugh, and Marquardt said they also expressed dismay to Busby that the ECFA had accredited Harvest soon after their excommunication. That excommunication sent shock waves through the Chicago Christian community, and Harvest later apologized for its harsh discipline of the men.

“That was the whole point—that in the midst of all this, of us listing the problems with the finances—(ECFA) gave their approval. How can an excommunication happen in the midst of an ECFA review without them knowing about it and them investigating it a bit?”

Marquardt said he urged Busby to read his resignation letter, which had been posted to The Elephant’s Debt, a blog critical of Harvest, shortly before the excommunication. In it, Marquardt wrote that Harvest is not “elder-led” as it claimed, but instead was led by MacDonald and four of his subordinates.

Marquardt noted that decisions by MacDonald and staff were often announced to the elder board, rather than brought to the board for approval. And when the board was asked to decide an issue like the budget, it acted as nothing more than a rubber stamp. “We approved a $30,000,000 budget with a pie chart in thirty seconds,” Marquardt wrote.

Marquardt said Busby indicated that he hadn’t read Marquardt’s letter. And all three former elders said Busby expressed little concern about the excommunication.

“That was the whole point—that in the midst of all this, of us listing the problems with the finances—(ECFA) gave their approval,” Phelps said. “How can an excommunication happen in the midst of an ECFA review without them knowing about it and them investigating it a bit?”

“I felt there was very little credence, acknowledgement, and certainly no concern of all the issues we had brought to (Busby’s) attention,” Marquardt said.

“There was just a lot of dismissing,” Slabaugh added. “To (Busby), it seemed to be a non-starter—any of our concerns.”

Phelps, Slabaugh, and Marquardt said Harvest used ECFA’s accreditation, on the heels of their excommunication, to discredit the three men and their concerns.  In its September 2013 Elder Update, Harvest wrote: “This third-party accreditation establishes with finality the immense integrity undergirding all financial matters at Harvest Bible Chapel.”

Similarly, ECFA’s statement announcing Harvest’s accreditation said: “By meeting the stringent criteria ECFA applies to all applicants, this communicates to supporters of the church and the public that Harvest Bible Chapel . . . meets the highest standards of financial ethics, stewardship and accountability.” The ECFA statement also included a quote by MacDonald, claiming that the church was “above reproach in all our financial dealings” and that people can give “knowing their gift will be leveraged for the highest and most Christ-honoring kingdom purposes.”

MacDonald Called Powerful Friends to Influence ECFA

These latest revelations raise questions about ECFA’s accreditation process. Harvest is the only member ECFA has suspended in the past two years. And the last organization ECFA terminated was Gospel for Asia, but only after journalists and bloggers began reporting about alleged financial abuses. (Gospel for Asia recently settled a class-action lawsuit by agreeing to give donors a $37 million refund.)

Also, as I reported earlier, I reached out to Busby in November with concerns about Harvest, mentioning specific items, like the existence of a “black budget.” But it wasn’t until March when I reported on MacDonald’s church-funded, lavish expenditures that the ECFA finally suspended Harvest. The ECFA actually ousted Harvest on the same day that I reported that MacDonald’s compensation was nearly $1 million in 2018, and that MacDonald had an annual discretionary fund of $800,000 and $1.2 million.

The ECFA is a member-supported organization, and each of ECFA’s member organizations pay a fee for accreditation. The fee amount is based on the organization’s annual budget. According to ECFA’s fee schedule posted online, a church of Harvest’s size would pay more than $10,000 annually for ECFA’s stamp of approval.

Yet with Harvest there may have been other incentives, as well.

When Harvest decided to apply for membership in ECFA in 2013, MacDonald and former Harvest CFO Fred Adams reached out to several of their powerful friends within the evangelical community to influence the ECFA.

“Adams said Holbrook texted back within 45 minutes, saying he had already called Busby to commend the church and to tell Busby how financially strong the church was. At the time, Harvest was more than $56 million in debt. . . “

We know this because MacDonald and Adams openly talked about this process at a church members’ meeting on September 4, 2013—the Wednesday before Phelps, Slabaugh, and Marquardt’s excommunication. Phelps sent me a transcript of this meeting, which he said he had made from a video of the event.

At the meeting, Adams said he texted Mark Holbrook—who was president of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) at the time and former chairman of the ECFA board—and asked Holbrook if he’d write a letter of recommendation for Harvest to the ECFA. Adams said Holbrook texted back within 45 minutes, saying he had already called Busby to commend the church and to tell Busby how financially strong the church was.

At the time, Harvest was more than $56 million in debt and ECCU held the bulk of that debt. I reached out to Holbrook for comment, but he did not respond.

Similarly, MacDonald said at the meeting that he had called some “really good friends” of his, who were leaders of some of the 15 largest churches in the country and got them to send letters of recommendation to the ECFA, as well.

MacDonald also said that Os Hawkins, CEO of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, called the ECFA to recommend Harvest. MacDonald said Hawkins assured ECFA that Harvest was already ECFA compliant, but said Hawkins added that if they’re off “even like 5%” MacDonald would fix it.

I contacted Hawkins for comment, but he did not respond.

MacDonald said he also reached out to Wayne Pederson—former VP of Moody Radio and former president of Reach Beyond—because he noticed that Pederson was serving on the ECFA board. (Pederson currently is ECFA board treasurer.)

According to MacDonald, Pederson said that before MacDonald’s call, he wasn’t sure if he was going to attend the ECFA board meeting at the end of the month. But as a result of the call, Pederson said he would fly to Washington specifically to endorse Harvest Bible Chapel for full ECFA accreditation.

I reached out to Pederson for comment, but he did not respond.

MacDonald concluded that by the end of the month, “I believe we’ll have that seal of approval.”

He was correct.

via Former Elders Say ECFA Ignored Their Warning Six Years Ago About Harvest’s Lack of Financial Controls — Julie Roys

A Preacher for Trump’s America: Joel Osteen and the Prosperity Gospel

A Preacher for Trump’s America: Joel Osteen and the Prosperity Gospel

The Financial Times has a long article on Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel. I believe you need to get to it via Google to avoid the paywall. “With a fortune estimated at $60m and a mansion listed on Zillow at $10.7m, Osteen is hardly living like a friar. His suburban Houston home has three elevators, a swimming pool and parking for 20 cars.”

Via Tim Challies A La Carte (April 25)

IT’S HAPPENING! Joe diGenova: “John Brennan Will Need 5 Attorneys… Report on James Comey Is Coming Out in Two Weeks – Criminal Referrals” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Former US Attorney Joe diGenova joined former Governor Mike Huckabee and Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani Wednesday night on The Ingraham Angle.

DiGenova told the panel a solo report on James Comey coming out in about two weeks. DiGenova says the report will contain criminal referrals.

DiGenova also said the only hero in all of the cabal is Admiral Mike Rogers who not only slipped into the Trump tower after the election, and told Trump the truth, but he’d gone to the FISA Court and told them who the culprits were and to stop the madness.

According to diGenova the FISA Court has already turned the information over to Attorney General Bill Barr.

This was an INCREDIBLE segment!

Joe diGenova: This is pretty simple stuff for career prosecutors like Rudy and myself. It has been evident since day one that there has been a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton illegally and then if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump. This dossier was a knowing part of that. It was created by Hillary Clinton. It was created knowingly by John Brennan as part of a scheme to do everything they could to harm Donald Trump. The problem for Brennan and Clapper and Comey and Baker and all of them now is the FISA Court has already communicated with the Justice Department about its findings. And their findings are that for more than four years before the election of Donald Trump there was an illegal spying operation going on by FBI contractors, four of them, to steal information on Americans and to use it against the Republican Party. There are going to be indictments. There are going to be grand juries. John Brennan is not going to need one lawyer. He’s going to need five.

As if that was not enough red meat — Digenova then dropped this bomb:

DiGenova: The Horowitz report is coming out in May or early June. There’s another report that everyone has forgotten about involving James Comey alone. That will be out in two weeks. That report is going to be a bombshell. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note and there are going to be criminal referrals in it.

These bold statements will make or break Joe diGenova.
We will see in two weeks.

Via The Ingraham Angle:

 

via IT’S HAPPENING! Joe diGenova: “John Brennan Will Need 5 Attorneys… Report on James Comey Is Coming Out in Two Weeks – Criminal Referrals” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Co-opting Jesus Christ for unholy purposes — Christian Research Network

Democrats have been working hard to spin their version of Jesus. Here’s just one example: Many of the party’s presidential hopefuls proclaim, without irony, that anyone who thinks marriage requires a man and a woman are un-Christian “bigots.”

(Robert Knight – The Washington Times)  At Easter, the question is often raised:  Who is Jesus?

As C.S. Lewis wrote, the Gospels leave no gray area:  Either Jesus was God Incarnate or a madman for claiming to be so.  Merely being “a good teacher” doesn’t cut it.

The New Testament says that Jesus is not only the Jews’ long-awaited Messiah but the Son of God, who was sacrificed for the sins of the whole world, rose from the dead and grants eternal life to all who believe in Him.  He is the second part of the Trinity comprising the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

For 2,000 years, this has been orthodox Christian doctrine.  Meanwhile, Jesus’ name has been invoked on behalf of nearly every cause, including some particularly diabolical ventures.

Today’s Progressives, for example, brazenly misquote the Sermon on the Mount as if it were the first draft of “The Communist Manifesto.”  They claim that Jesus would back open borders, forced redistribution of wealth, seizure of private property and, most of all, sexual anarchy.

In early April at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Jesus was even compared to Cuban communist triggerman Che Guevara – a fellow “martyr.” View article →

Research

Progressive Christianity

via Co-opting Jesus Christ for unholy purposes — Christian Research Network

April 25 God Is for You

scripture reading: Romans 8:31–39
key verse: Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Not only is God’s Spirit in you, but also God is for you. There are amazing power and freedom in knowing that almighty God is now on your side.

Have you blown your marriage due to immorality? If you are a believer, God is still for you.

Have you backed off from your commitment to God? Have you ignored His counsel, refused His direction? As staggering as it seems, God is still for you.

Here’s why. When Christ died, God’s judgment was fully executed on His Son. His wrath against sin was vented. God’s love is steadfast for those who receive the gift of eternal life by faith in Christ Jesus. You may sin and rebel, but His love for you does not change.

Yes, He will discipline you; yes, He will chastise you if necessary. But all correction is filtered through His loyal, blessed love.

God is for you, not against you. Because of the Cross, you can abide in His presence permanently and experience His love by personal faith in Jesus Christ. Paul declared that nothing can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).

Thank You, Father, that even when my commitment to You is feeble, You are still for me. Thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love.[1]


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