. .
The Rapid Militarization 
of Small Town America

Prophecy News Watch
37% of likely U.S. voters now fear the federal government, and an additional 17% are not sure if they should or not, according to a new survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports on April 15-16. The survey of one thousand likely voters also revealed that 42% who own guns that are kept in their homes, fear the federal government, compared to 30% who do not keep guns at home. 52% of union members versus 35% of non-unionized voters share that fear. One might ask, who is afraid of whom? Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said, "We're seeing a highly unusual amount of ammunition being bought by the federal agencies over a fairly short period of time. To be honest, I don't understand why the federal government is buying so much at this time."   MORE
Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future
End of the Am Dream
The average price of USDA choice-grade beef has soared to $5.28 a pound, and the average price of a pound of bacon has skyrocketed to $5.46.  Unfortunately for those that like to eat meat, this is just the beginning of the price increases.  Due to an absolutely crippling drought that won’t let go of the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.  But back in 1951, we had less than half the number of mouths to feed.  And a devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the United States before has already killed up to 6 million pigs in this country and continues to spread like wildfire.  What all of this means is that the supply of meat is going to be tight for the foreseeable future even as demand for meat continues to go up.  This is going to result in higher prices...   MORE
THURSDAY, APRIL 24th, 2014
Palestinians Claim Israel Is 'Destroying' Al-Aqsa Mosque for 'Alleged' Temple
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been stepping up its libel that Israel is "destroying" the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in order to build the "alleged" Temple. The highest PA religious authority, Mufti Muhammad Hussein, asserted in late March that Israel was making an "attempt... at lay[ing] hands on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque... [and] in addition to the threat of destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque to establish the alleged Temple on its ruins."   MORE
Calls to Fire Internal Security Minister Over Temple Mount Riots
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Feiglin branded the string of riots over the Pesach (Passover) holiday as a "Hamas takeover on the Temple Mount." He described how "Hamas flags were flown on the Mount", as Islamists succeeded repeatedly in blocking Jews and tourist groups from visiting the holy site, and said the "sheer helplessness of the Israeli Police" marked a security failure so severe that it was impossible to overlook. 
Democratic Rep Warns That Obamacare’s Worst About to ‘Hit the Fan’
With everyone from Democratic officeholders to acohort of political bloggers urging, imploring,virtually begging Democratic candidates and incumbents to embrace the Affordable Care Actahead of the 2014 midterm elections, it seems that only the pollsters are warning that they do so at their own political peril.
Nigerian Christians: 'Our Blood Will Speak About Christ'
In Nigeria, Christians in the Muslim-majority North have been the targets of relentless deadly attacks by Islamic extremists. More than 200 pastors in the Northeastern Borno state have either fled, closed their churches, or have been murdered by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram. Christian leaders who remain have committed to fasting and praying for the region one week each month.  MORE
Massive Volcanic Eruptions Wreaking Havoc On The World
As the world seems to hurdle from one crisis to another, today a 43-year market veteran warned King World News that massive volcanic eruptions are now wreaking havoc on the world.  Jeffrey Saut, Chief Investment Strategist at Raymond James, also warned this trend is going to continue for many years, even though no one in the mainstream media is talking about this.
Charisma News: Where Was God in the Middle of Washington Mudslide?
President Barack Obama visited Oso, Wash., Tuesday, where a mudslide left more than three dozen people dead. While the search for bodies has ended, people there are still looking for answers.  The March 22 landslide covered approximately a mile of state Highway 530, which is now lined with signs with messages like, "Oso strong" and "God bless Oso." Still, the heartbreaking tragedy has at least one silver lining: It has given area pastors an opportunity to talk to people about Jesus.
‘Editing DNA’ To Eliminate Genetic Conditions Now a Reality
In Pro-Life Case Involving 'Obamacare' Abortion Funding,
Supreme Court Has Free Speech Concerns
Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA 'Superbug' Spreading Into US Homes
Reformation Or Revolution? A Review Of God And The Gay Christian
Imagine a book with a thesis that calls into question 2,000 years of established Christian theology and biblical exegesis. It recasts basic principles of biblical anthropology and human embodiment. It also puts two millennia of faithful obedience to divine revelation on the side of injustice and ignorance. Now, Christians are accustomed to either non-Christians or liberal Christians making claims of this nature, but not from individuals supposedly nestled confidently within the evangelical camp...
After 33 Years on the Run, Texas Church Deacon Arrested for Murder
NYC Pastors Continue Fight Against City's Ban on Worship Services at Schools
Did God Tell This Christian Couple to Open a Pot Shop to Share the Gospel?
Biometric Tracking For Gun Owners?
Christian Censorship Rising:
Facebook Removes Culture Warrior Todd Starnes' Cliven Bundy Post
Your friendly neighborhood columnist has once again run afoul of Facebook’s elusive community standards.  This time I was censored for writing something about rancher Cliven Bundy. I realized I had landed in the Facebook gulag when I tried to post our daily Bible verse. However, I was unable to post anything because Facebook had taken great offense to something I had written. Now, before you call up the preacher and put me on the church prayer list, let me assure you the posting was neither unseemly nor ungentlemanly.
Md. College Student Denied Admission over Faith
The American Center for Law and Justice is suing a local Maryland college for denying a man admission because of his faith. The Community College of Baltimore County rejected Brandon Jenkins' application to their radiation therapy program, saying that he "wore his religious beliefs on his sleeve."
Jay Sekulow: The Sad Power of an Atheist’s
Temper Tantrum Against a Christian Football Coach
Angry atheists are at it again. This week, they’re taking on Dabo Swinney, head coach of the Clemson Tigers. His alleged unlawful conduct? Expressing his Christian faith and allegedly making a number of voluntary religious activities available to his players—the adult student-athletes at Clemson.
18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels
Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million?  In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system.  And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs? 
Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?
Do you think that the price of food is high now?  Just wait.  If current trends continue, many of the most common food items that Americans buy will cost more than twice as much by the end of this decade.  Global demand for food continues to rise steadily as crippling droughts ravage key agricultural regions all over the planet.  You see, it isn't just the multi-year California drought that is affecting food prices.
Rainer: Ten Reasons Some Pastors Don’t Desire to Go to an Established Church
... There has been some discussion and interest in my comment about established churches having greater difficulty finding pastors who meet their criteria. In this post, I want to open that discussion a bit more. But we can’t begin to address issues until we have honest and transparent discussions. In that light, I offer today some of the reasons pastors have shared with me, explicitly or implicitly, why they don’t see God calling them to established churches.   MORE
Jack Wellman: How Can We Recognize False Doctrines?
There are many false teachers out there teaching false doctrines.  How can we recognize untrue teachings from those that are true?  How do you recognize false doctrines from true ones?  MORE
Greg Baker: Should Christian Parents Force Their Teens to Go to Church?
I sat down with a simple enough task--to answer the question, “Should Christian parents force their teens to attend church?” It would have been easy to assume “yes” and equip parents with 1000 words of bullet-pointed ammunition. So I started churning out the text, but then something unexpected happened. So I started churning out the text, but then something unexpected happened. I started thinking more deeply about the issue. About teen responses. About parental rebuttals. The question gained complexity; exceptional situations blurred those black and white lines. It would have been simpler just to be dogmatic. That’s when it occurred to me, I was asking a good question, but in the wrong order.   MORE
Paul Tautges: 'Accept Jesus,' or 'Be Accepted By God'?
Nothing is more important than understanding what the Bible teaches about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What we understand and personally believe about this historical and supremely spiritual event determines our eternal destiny. Therefore, there is no room for error on this doctrine. Error will only lead to eternal damnation in hell. Biblical truth is our only hope of heaven.  MORE
David Schrock: Holding Fast to Truth in a Doubting Age
Assaults on truth are nothing new. In the dock before Pilate, Jesus said he came into the world "to bear witness to the truth." To which Pilate mocked: "What is truth?" The irony is thick in John 18:38. The Roman prefect missed the truth, even as Truth incarnate stood before him. Then again, Pilate may not have missed anything. He may have known too well what Jesus offered him and, unwilling to follow the king of the Jews, hastily dismissed him from his presence. Not much has fundamentally changed since that fateful day.   MORE
David Cloud: Pagan Flood Myths--Cube Arks, Round Arks, and Cowering Gods
Ever since the discovery of the Babylonian Gilgamish Epic in the 19th century, skeptics have attempted to use ancient pagan flood accounts to discredit the Bible. Yet like every other attempt to disprove Scripture, this one is found to have feet of clay. The first Gilgamish tablet was found in the 1850s by Henry Layard in...  MORE
Relevant: Nine Groundbreaking Scientists Who Happened to Be Christians
....There's a general sense that science and religion are two camps, and the two can never meet without fighting or, at the very least, stepping mighty carefully around each other's views...However, what is frequently lost in all this is that the history of science is rich with believing Christians, for whom the process of discovery did not jeopardize their faith, but enforced it. These people are reminders that science is not a threat to be feared, but a journey we can embrace with confidence, knowing that all truth can only be revealed as God's truth. In that spirit of exploration, here are just a few of the many scientists who have done groundbreaking work—and just so happened to be Christians.  MORE
Tim Challies: Help! My Kids Are Looking at Porn!
I hear it so, so often: “Help! My kids are looking at porn!” A few days ago one mom wrote to say that she and her husband had allowed their young teenaged boys access to the Internet to play an online video game, thinking they had taught and trained the boys well enough that they would be able to resist whatever temptation they encountered out there. They were wrong, and had just learned that for the past four months, when mom and dad left the house for a date or to run some errands, the boys had been looking at pornography. What should they do? How should they respond?   MORE
David Huffstutler: Was Barnabas an Apostle?
Was Barnabas an apostle? This question is important because it is related to the larger question of whether or not apostles exist today. If the NT gave a pattern of apostles being added to the original Twelve (and Paul), could there be apostles today? MORE
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23rd, 2014
British Prime Minister Accused of Dividing Country With 'Christian' Talk
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE LAWSUIT: 'UNDER GOD' DISCRIMINATES AGAINST ATHEISTS
UK Childcare Worker Fired After Explaining
Biblical Position on Homosexuality to Co-Worker
A childcare worker has been fired for ‘gross misconduct’ after she explained the biblical position on homosexuality to her co-worker. According to reports, Sarah Mbuyi, 30, was repeatedly asked about her beliefs over a period of several months at Newpark Childcare in Highbury after her lesbian co-worker discovered that she is a Christian. The latest discussion occurred in January, when her co-worker remarked that she was unhappy that she could not ‘marry’ her partner because of the Church’s beliefs, and stated that she thought God had nothing against homosexual behavior.   MORE
Fed. Judge Rules Ohio Must Follow Other States' Marriage Laws Instead of Its Own
So long, Ohio. According to a federal judge Monday in Henry v. Himes, the U.S. Constitution now requires that the laws of one state automatically supersede those of Ohio, whether or not Ohio approves. The circumstances surround same-sex marriage, though the precise legal issue is one that has been flying below the radar for some time – the recognition by one state of another state’s same-sex marriage. In the case, several same-sex....
Secular Group Files Lawsuit in New Jersey Against 'Under God' in Pledge
A Washington, D.C.-based secular organization has filed a lawsuit against the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. The American Humanist Association announced Monday that a New Jersey school district will be the latest entity sued over the two words.
Obama Calls for Highest Sustained Taxation in U.S. History
In the budget proposal he presented to Congress last month, President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people, according to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office. Under Obama’s proposal, taxes would rise from 17.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2014 to 19.2 percent in 2024. During the ten years from 2015 to 2024, federal taxation would average 18.7 percent GDP. America has never been subjected to a ten-year stretch of taxation at that level.  MORE
Combating the National Day of Prayer, Atheists Launch 'Day of Reason' 
Charsma News: Christianity and Genocide?
In the lead-up to Easter, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron committed his government to fighting the persecution of Christians abroad, saying no group is under more pressure for its faith. Cameron is not alone in making the claim. In February, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith said, "The global persecution of Christians has gone from bad to worse." In November 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "Christianity is the most persecuted religion worldwide." In January 2011, former Lebanese President Amine Gemayal said, "What is happening to Christians is a genocide."
First Church of England Clergyman Marries Gay Partner
U.S. Congressmen Meet with German Ambassador to Urge Homeschooling Freedom
Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban
Southern Baptist Policy Panel on Homosexuality Creates Stir on Social Media
More Than 200 Girls Kidnapped from Nigerian School
CNN Belief: Heathenism's Battle With White Supremacists
The word “heathen” is a very old one that once meant “heath dweller” or a person who lives out in the wild.
Eventually, when Christianity came into Northern Europe, it came to mean “one who still worships the old gods.” It still means that in some parts of the world, like Iceland, where it also goes by the name Ásatrú (“belief in the Aesir”). Aesir is just a very old word for the traditional gods of Scandinavia.
Army Personnel to Take Part in Prayer Event Despite Complaints
Army officials say they will not back away from participating in a Capitol Hill prayer event next month despite complaints that the event amounts to an endorsement of evangelical Christians. Last week, officials from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation demanded the Pentagon withdraw all support from a May 1 National Day of Prayer celebration being held in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., calling it a “private fundamentalist Christian religious event.”
 Joe Carter: How the Profit Motive Helps the Environment
On this Earth Day, says Pierre Desrochers, we should spare a thought for the profit motive, an unheralded but long-standing champion of the environment. “The search for increased profitability, has long delivered both economic and environmental improvements by promoting more efficient use of material resources.”  MORE
Vox: Faith Isn't Declining Among Millennials — Religion Is
It's no secret that religion in America is on a steady decline. According to a recent PEW survey, about 20 percent can be classified as "Nones" — Americans who claim to be unaffiliated with any particular religion, or identify as an atheist or agnostic. That's an increase from 2007, when the religiously unaffiliated numbered just 15 percent of the US population. Seeing these numbers, some religious leaders bemoan what they see as the secularization of America. But new research from Carnegie Mellon University might add a surprising context to these numbers.
Raymond Ibrahim: Syrian Jihadis ‘Take Aim’ 
at Christian Toddler
When it comes to Muslim persecution of Christians, increasingly the past is a blueprint to the present. According to Sham Times and other Arabic websites, jihadi social media networks posted the above picture of a child sitting on the ground while surrounded by armed men pointing their rifles at him.  The caption appearing with the picture, purportedly posted by a supporter of the Free Syrian Army, is “Our youngest hostage from among the hostile sects of Kessab.” Kessab is a predominantly Christian Armenian village in Syria near the Turkish border.  Earlier it was invaded by jihadis, who terrorized, pillaged churches, and prompted some 2000 residents to flee.  Initial reports had stated that about a dozen families remained as hostages.  MORE
Denny Burk: God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines
Vines argues that if the Bible were properly understood, everyone would see that there’s nothing inherently sinful about homosexual orientation or behavior. Thus there is no biblical reason to prevent gay “Christians” from entering into the covenant of marriage with a same-sex partner. Gay couples can fulfill the marital norms of Ephesians 5 just like their heterosexual counterparts. 
 Joseph Bottum: American Hope--Don’t Conflate Political Culture and Christianity
If we have to make proof of Christian faith dependent on a willful attitude about 
politics in order to wage the culture wars, are they really worth fighting? 
Jordan J. Ballor: Earth Day and Christian Stewardship
Daniel Greenfield: Islam’s Religious War with Everyone
Jim Daly: Who's the Better Christian?
As believers, we need to get past the mentality that the only way to serve God completely is to go into ministry. Serving God isn't a race where those in full-time ministry get a head start. It's about being faithful to shine our light wherever it is God's called us to be. It's about knowing that, whether God has planted us in a ministry or a "secular" environment, we can be faithful witnesses to Him.
Brendan O'Morchoe: The Time I Sat Next to an Abortionist
When you are working or volunteering in the pro-life movement day in and day out, you can easily get consumed by the big picture and lose sight of what is happening every day in the nation's abortion mills. Working in the pro-life movement can sometimes make us too immune to the killing. We worry about money, politics, and metrics and we get bummed by our lack of sleep and time away from family.
Biblical Spirituality: Fanny Crosby--I’m Thankful that I Became Blind
In her autobiographical book entitled Fanny Crosby’s Life-Story (1903), Crosby narrates the following account in which she expresses her thankfulness to God that, in His providence, she became blind. Crosby was not born blind. At six weeks old she had inflammation in her eyes. The physician, who tried to help her, mistakenly destroyed Crosby’s eyes. Consequently, she became blind for the rest of her life. However, she mentions in her book that if she could meet that physician, she would say, “Thank you, thank you—over and over again—for making me blind, if it was through your agency that it came about!” Why would Crosby do that? Well, in her own words here are two reasons why....  MORE
Evan Lenow: Abortion and Self-Ownership
....In what was often crass language, the abortion-rights argument being made at the Capitol that day essentially boiled down to one point—a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body. This can be described as a right to privacy based upon self-ownership. Since this right is not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, where does it find its origin?   MORE
Thom Rainer: Ten Trends on the Employment of Pastors
The verbiage is different for different churches and pastors. Some pastors speak of a call. Others, particularly in some denominations, refer to their appointment to a church. Some pastors deal with pastor search committees and congregational votes. Others receive notice from a bishop or some other authority that they are being sent to a new church.    MORE
David Murray: Why Study Shadows When We Have the Son?
Why study shadows when we have the Son? That’s a question I’m often asked when I’m trying to promote more reading of the Old Testament. The question is usually focused specifically upon typology. Why study the types when we have the anti-type? It’s a valid question and if there is no satisfactory answer then the Old Testament, or large parts of it, are going to continue to gather dust. But I believe there are six answers...    MORE
Courtney Reissig: When Marriage is Hard
....A vow means something. Vows are what we fall back on when what we have been promised is harder than we realized. In our culture, our word doesn’t mean much. Words are empty and meaningless. But in God’s economy, words matter. In the Old Testament, when God made a promise to his people it was the real deal. His covenant with his people could not be broken, even by the most difficult of circumstances. MORE
David Cloud: What Was Not in the Tabernacle
It is instructive to think about what wasn’t in the tabernacle. There was no chair. This reminds us that the work of the Levitical priests was never finished. Those sacrifices could not bring salvation; they only pointed to the salvation that would come by Christ. Salvation wasn’t complete until Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished” just before He surrendered His spirit in death (John 19:30). MORE
Kevin T. Bauder : Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort
Pastors who want to lead biblically find themselves caught in a bit of a paradox. One side of the paradox is that biblical pastors must be gentle. As servants of the Lord, they must not strive: they must not be verbal pugilists or quarrelsome individuals (2 Tim. 2:24). They can be disqualified from office if they are self-willed, quick-tempered, or bullies (1 Tim. 3:3; Ti. 1:7). They must offer instruction with meekness or gentleness (2 Tim. 2:25). They must display temperance or self-control (Ti. 1:8). They are to be tolerant and peaceable (1 Tim. 3:3). Biblical wisdom directs them to remain not only pure, but also peaceable, gentle, and willing to yield (Jas. 3:17)....Like every analogy, however, this illustration has its limitations. One is that church members rarely conduct themselves as nursing children.     MORE
Ron Edmondson: Releasing an Employee for Less Obvious Offenses
One of the hardest decision a leader makes is to release someone from employment. I’ve only known a few very callous people who weren’t extremely bothered by having to fire someone. Making any kind of employment decision comes with the sobering reality, regardless of what the person did wrong, that the decision will likely impact others who are many times innocent in the offense.   MORE
Pastors Today: Four Ways to Improve Your Church Website
Now more than ever, prospective guests visit a church online long before they set foot in its building. Most church leaders have wised up to the importance of having a website for this very reason, but they often don’t consider that a poor web presence may be worse than none at all. As with most digital platforms, websites take time, skill, and money to render the best possible representation of your church.   MORE
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TUESDAY, APRIL 22nd, 2014
Obama Uses Easter Address to Remind Us That 
Islam Teaches Us to “Love Our Neighbors As We Love Ourselves”
Another bizarre Obama holiday address…In his Easter Address this year Barack Obama reminds us that the great religions, including Islam, teach us to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” From the White House website: Hi, everybody. For millions of Americans, this time of year holds great meaning…The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commit- ment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper. Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that mission..".  MORE
Obamas Attend Easter Service at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church
The Obamas attended an Easter service at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., where the Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins prayed for the first family. In his Easter greetings, the president underlined the need to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. Obama returned to attend the historic Baptist church five years after...
Boy Scouts Ban Seattle Church From Hosting Troop
 The Boy Scouts of America has revoked the charter of a Seattle church because it allowed a gay adult to continue leading a troop. A Boy Scouts of America attorney told Rainier Beach United Methodist Church last week that it could no longer hosts troops under the Boy Scouts name.
RedState: Federal Arrogance Fuels The New Sagebrush Rebellion
This is not new. It is merely a continuation of the Sagebrush Rebellion that began under the regime of the odious James Earl Carter. As in so many other cases, the root cause of the problem is a federal government that is imperious, overbearing, and has ceased to remember that it exists as a servant of the people, not as their master or jailer.     MORE
MERS Cases Appear Throughout Middle East – Is World Facing a New Epidemic?
Seven new instances of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have been confirmed in Saudi Arabia.  In the last five days, up to 36 cases have been reported of the disease, which kills more than 33 percent of its victims and has no cure.  The Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia has posted updated numbers on its website of the disease’s impact, reporting that 76 of the 231 people infected with MERS in the kingdom have died.  MERS is a novel coronavirus much like SARS that first appeared two years ago in Saudi Arabia. 
Christian Viewers Upset Over Hallmark Channel's Censoring of 'God'
The Hallmark Channel has been receiving criticism from Christian viewers since it recently censored the word "God" during a re-run airing of the movie "It Could Happen to You." The network has responded by saying it muted the word "God" so as to not use the Lord's name in vain.
Christian Runner Becomes First American in 30 Years to Win Boston Marathon
Saeed Abedini Writes From Prison: Christians Must
Die to Selfish Desires, Experience Resurrection With Christ
Huckabee: No Social Issues, No Evangelical Votes
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned if the Republican Party ignores social issues in the upcoming national elections, then evangelical voters will simply stay home. The evangelical vote in America has been a key ingredient in deciding who becomes the Republican nominee for president. Polling bears that out. Yet the social issues near and dear to the hearts of evangelicals are under attack within Republican circles. 
LIBERALS ANNOUNCE PLAN TO 'PURGE' CHRISTIANS
Boy Keeps Singing Gospel Song Until Kidnapper Finally Lets Him Go
Newsmax: The Future of Christianity--Made in China
Christianity is skyrocketing in the People's Republic of China — so quickly that the Communist country of 1.35 billion will be the world's most Christian nation in 15 years, The Telegraph of London reports. China is officially considered atheist, but more and more residents are exploring Christianity — based on the life and teachings of Jesus. It's a far cry from when Chairman Mao Tse-tung — a die-hard atheist and "Father of Modern China" — once declared, "Religion is poison," effectively banning it. The Telegraph says Christian congregations have rapidly grown since Mao's death in 1976 ended China's so-called Cultural Revolution.
CNN BELIEF: STOP DRESSING SO TACKY FOR CHURCH!
If the Rev. John DeBonville could preach a sermon to lift the souls of churchgoers across America, his message would be simple: Stop dressing so tacky for church. DeBonville has heard about the “come as you are” approach to dressing down for Sunday service, but he says the Sabbath is getting too sloppy.
Liberty Voice: Russia and Iran End Times War
....There seems to be evidence that some of the teachings in the Bible have come true. The climate change and disease that is being experienced as well as the emergence of a  Israel, a free Jewish state are both predicted in the Bible in the end times. Time will tell if the rest of the scriptures prove to be accurate. Are these prophesies hog wash or should they be examined scientifically? The world should not sit uninterested or in disbelief of these predictions due to a difference in belief. Regardless of one’s faith, predictions that have some merit should be heeded. It might be prudent for the  United States and other countries to study them as part of.... MORE
21 Injured as Car Crashes Into Packed Fla. Church on Easter
'Ten Commandments' Classic Dominates Saturday Evening TV; Beats 'UFC,' 'SNL'
BRITISH NURSE 'LOST HER JOB OVER CHRISTIAN BELIEFS'
Texas Seizes Ranch of Polygamous False Prophet
NASA: The Only Thing Stopping a City-Destroying Asteroid Is Blind Luck
So you know how we all kind of thought that our odds of getting 
destroyed by an asteroid were remarkably low? Yeah, that was wrong.
James Dobson Beats Obamacare Mandates, at Least for Now
Palestinian Christians Claim Israeli Authorities
Intentionally Excluding Them From Easter Celebrations
Google: The Real Superpower
Google is arguably one of the most influential nonstate actors in international affairs, operating in security domains long the purview of nation-states: It tracks the global arms trade, spends millions creating crisis-alert tools to inform the public about looming natural disasters, monitors the spread of the flu, and acts as a global censor to protect American interests abroad. As things stand, Google – and to a lesser extent, Facebook – are in danger of becoming the architects of the law. As Google evolves its role on the world stage, the real question...
‘Bad for Humankind’: Bill Nye Attacks
Ken Ham’s Biblical Beliefs in Opinion Column
Two-and-a-half months after creationist Ken Ham publicly debated evolutionist Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy,’ Nye has written a column for a skeptics magazine, in which he lambasts Ham’s biblical Creation beliefs. As previously reported, Ham, president of Answers in Genesis (AiG), and Nye discussed the question, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” in a February 4 debate. AiG has estimated that a total of 12 million people have viewed the historic debate so far—either live in early February or through recordings of the event.   MORE
America Remains Among Most Positive Countries On Religion
America remains one of the world's most positive about the role of religion in everyday life, a new survey reveals. According to a global survey of the impact of religion by WIN/Gallup International, 62 percent of U.S. respondents say religion plays a positive role in the country. Subtract the 29 percent who take the opposite viewpoint and you end up with a "net positivity" of 43 percent, one of the world's higher ratings, tied with Iceland's 43 percent...
Pro-Life Display Vandalized at George Washington University
Azerbaijan Strengthens Control Over Religious Organizations
Hollywood Making Multiplied Millions Off 'God' Movies
Calgary Christian School Center of Controversy
Over Possible Expulsion of Immoral Students, Staff
Boston Marathon Outreach Helps Church Planting Efforts
Most years, when Prestonwood Baptist Church's young singles take mission trips to Boston, they arrive a week before the Boston Marathon and leave the day after. Last year was an exception. Since they could get cheaper flights two days after the event, the team decided to stay a day longer. When a bomb detonated near the finish line of the 2013 marathon killing three and injuring 264, that extra day may have been the most important...
Iranian Mother Forgives Son's Killer--Spares His Life Moments Before Public Execution
In a rare and powerful act of forgiveness, an Iranian mother and her husband forgave the man who killed their 18-year-old son during a street brawl seven years ago, then spared his life just moments before he was to be publicly executed for his crime.
Peter Dziedzic: Is Islam in America on the Rise?
The United States is often perceived as a land of religious freedom and pluralism. Has such a space allowed for the growth of a new generation of young Muslim leaders, activists, and artists? According to a recent article in TIME magazine, the rising prosperity and integration of Muslims in America is allowing for new Muslim leaders to emerge in the American public sphere.   MORE
 Luis A. Silva: Religious Freedom and the American Settlement
Religious freedom is declining in the United States. If the history of freedom were graphed, this would be the lowest point in a curve since the 1960s, when the Supreme Court issued several momentous decisions on school prayer. Our level of religious freedom is falling, and all signs indicate that it will continue to do so.
Eric Chabot: Is Christianity Good For the World? 
Is Christianity bad for the world? According to some outspoken atheists, the world would be a better place if we had no Christianity or religion in general.  Furthermore, I have been told that ‘science works’ and faith based systems like Christianity haven’t worked. I find comments like these to be based on a ignorant view of history. MORE
David Roach: The Value of Church History
 Christopher Spewock: Conscience and the Moral Status of the Fetus
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claims that mothers and doctors have a moral obligation to take care of fetuses—unless they want to terminate them.
 Mathew Lu: Abortifacients, Emergency Contraception, and Terminating Pregnancy
If there is any plausible reason to believe that emergency contraceptives cause—even occasionally—the death of embryo, then they are morally equivalent to abortifacients.
Joe Thorn: Ministry Demands Theology
When I was a freshman student in Bible college I had a conversation with a senior who was excited to graduate and plug into pastoral ministry. One day he said to me, "I don't need this theology crap. I just need my degree so I can get to work." I was shocked when I heard that then, but am concerned because I have repeatedly heard similar sentiments over the years from people entering into (or who are already in) the pastorate. For them, theology is at best an unnecessary garnish on the plate of ministry.    MORE
Tim Challies: False Teacher--Pope Francis
....Francis has given hope to both conservatives and to progressives within the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes by apparently contradicting himself. While insisting that the Church’s view on sexuality will not be the subject of negotiation, he has also said “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” He has also hinted toward a kind of universalism saying, “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying—and this is the fundamental thing—that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart....”   MORE
Robert Campbell: America--The Sinking Ship 
....As I have done my research on the Titanic, someone working at the White Star Lines said, “Not even God himself can sink this ship.” Or perhaps the builders thought that the ship could not be sunk. Even if the quote was not said they thought they were building a ship that could not sink. How arrogant of Man to think that they can construct something from the ground up and not think of God as being a part of it. Everything we see and touch is from our God, just think about it. Just look outside and around you. Look at the ground, our smartphones, cars, food, housing, clothing, Facebook etc., and of course Man came from the ground.   MORE
Scott Aniol: The Regulative Principle of Worship
Pastors and parishioners perennially battle over who has authority in matters of church practice, particularly in corporate worship. Should what happens in the corporate gatherings of God’s people fall under the control of church leadership, or should these decisions be left to congregational input and direction? If the former, are pastors to be guided by particular traditions and directories, or may they choose whatever they...    MORE
Mark Minnick: The Need to Preach on Preaching
All preachers preach, and for that reason sermons are constantly on their minds. But in the main, this is probably true only of those sermons they’re delivering from week to week. It’s another matter entirely to think not about the product of preaching (sermons), but about the thing itself. That is, about preaching as an activity, a phenomenon, or, if you will, a recurring event in the life of the Church. MORE
Jonathan Leeman: Christianity Packs Its Office and Leaves the Building
The Atlantic article reminded me of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who dismissed the idea that we could invoke divine morality almost one hundred years ago when he said, “The law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky.” You get law from people. Period. Suppose then that all of my moral principles and I really did pack up our desk, put our files into a box, and let the security guard escort us out of the building? John Lennon said to imagine a world with no religion. Let’s just try imagining a public square with no Christianity.  MORE
David Cloud: The Red Sea and Mt. Sinai
....The bottom line is that the Bible says Israel crossed a sea, and the description of the crossing is not the description of a marsh or a lake. In ancient times the Bitter Lakes were not deep; they were more like marshy salt flats.* But the water that Israel crossed is described as deep and mighty. It formed a wall unto the Israelites on the right and left as they crossed it...  MORE
Thom Rainer: Seven Reasons Pastors May Need a Virtual Assistant
Many business persons, particularly small business entrepreneurs, are moving toward engaging virtual assistants as vital components of their enterprises. The more I hear and read about virtual assistants, the more I am convinced that pastors and other church staff may benefit as much as anyone from this practice.   MORE
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“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."  These words have always seemed to be the expression of the profoundest faith. When David sings, "I will sing unto the Lord because He hath dealt bountifully with me," it seems to be something which all men can understand. It is a gratitude and trust won by visible mercy. But when a soul is able to declare that even under the smiting, yes, even under the slaying, of God it is able still to trust in Him, everyone feels that that soul has reached a very true and deep, sometimes it must seem a rare, faith in Him.    MORE
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EUTHANASIA MAKES INROADS IN CANADA
Prophecy News Watch
Euthanasia is typically branded in socially 
acceptable euphemisms such as “mercy killing” and PAD [physician-assisted death]. Doctors who specialize in caring for the terminally ill argue in Canada’s leading medical journal that it’s time to move to prepare for a future where sick patients would be granted “the freedom to choose when and how they die”. This may soon become a reality if the Supreme Court of Canada rules this year that laws banning doctor-hastened death violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms...   MORE
CHINA IS ON COURSE TO BECOME 'WORLD'S MOST CHRISTIAN NATION' WITHIN 15 YEARS
UK Telegraph
It is said to be China's biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross. The 5,000-capacity Liushi church opened last year with one theologian declaring it a "miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church." The $8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China's breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.    MORE
HOW DOES A CHURCH MINISTER TO A CONVERTED SEX OFFENDER?
Brian Croft
I received many difficult questions at the recent workshop.  But, this one stuck out to me as especially difficult.  Here was the nature of the question from a pastor: How do I and our church minister to a man who appears radically converted, desires to come to our church, but had been a convicted child molester and long-time sex offender?  Here are a few thoughts... MORE
THE NARCISSISTIC CHRISTIAN LEADER
Thom Rainer
Narcissism should not be said in the same breath as Christian. The former is love of self; the latter is love of God in Jesus Christ. But the sad reality is that narcissism can and often does creep into the lives of many Christian leaders. And narcissists are selfish and inconsiderate. They demand excessive attention. They feel entitled. And they often pursue power and prestige without regard for others. The world of narcissistic Christian leaders is complicated by the fact that these leaders rarely recognize their problem. And the disorder may not be readily apparent to those who see them from a distance.  MORE
WHAT THE NETWORKS AREN'T TELLING YOU ABOUT THE NEVADA CATTLE BATTLE
Newsbusters
....Network journalists have consistently framed the case as one of a rancher failing to pay the requested fees for his use of government land. But they have failed to use the case to tell the larger story of how environmental rules — in this case, regulations to protect the desert tortoise, have been implemented in ways that help favored interests (land developers, or solar companies) while hurting others (cattle ranchers, for example). The networks have focused on the amount of money the government has demanded of Cliven Bundy, and let the Bundy side talk about the government’s heavy-handed tactics in seeking collection. MORE
JEHOVAH'S WITNESS 'DOOMSDAY' PREDICTION TURNS 100 YEARS OLD
Baptist Press
The 100th anniversary of Jehovah's Witnesses' prediction that history would end in 1914 presents an opportunity for leading members of the group to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, a Southern Baptist expert on Christian sects and cults said. Christians' "first task" in sharing the Gospel with Jehovah's Witnesses is helping them "put [their official publications] away and then deal with the Bible alone," Robert Stewart, professor of philosophy and theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press. "What we need is evidence -- evidence that the Watchtower Society [Jehovah's Witnesses' central organization] has been wrong."      MORE
ELECTRONIC DEVICES:
SERVANTS OR MASTERS
Richard D. Land
....the other day I read a news release that said that at least 40% of Americans (and 90% of under 30 millennials) are afflicted with "nomophobia" -the fear of not having, or losing, their smartphones. This fear actually produces psychological and physical symptoms...These statistics reveal the extent to which technology is changing our personal lives. When people don't have their smartphones, they feel disconnected and isolated (72% of people report being within five feet of their smartphone the majority of the time.) According to Psychology Today, when people who own smartphones (56% of all Americans) were asked how they felt when they misplaced their phones, 73% said they were "panicked," 14% were "desperate," 7% "sick," and 6% were "relieved."    MORE
CHICK-FIL-A CEO: WITNESS OR COWARD?
Christian Post
Just two years ago, conservative Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy infuriated LGBT avtivists when he publicly voiced his support for traditional marriage. As his company gets ready to expand into the more liberal Northeast, however, Cathy is on a campaign to show the public that he has found a wiser way. While his position on the traditional definition of marriage has not changed, Cathy explained in a USA Today interview that his company's socially conservative agenda, which led them to donate millions to opponents of same-sex marriage in the past, has been tempered. MORE
HOW TO DEAL WITH FALSE TEACHERS
Denny Burk
....The examples of Apollos and Peter show us that any one of us might be subject to imbibing and disseminating false teaching. As I have confessed elsewhere, I have been in this position before. The key issue is how we respond to correction. There are two kinds of false teachers: those who repent and those who do not. We need to be careful not to underestimate how important our response to correction is. Those who respond to biblical correction reveal that they have the Spirit and are under the command of Jesus. Those who refuse to respond to biblical correction are proving themselves to be devoid of the Spirit and taking orders from another master. MORE
 AN INSIDER REFLECTS ON THE WACO STANDOFF WITH THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS
Malcom Gladwell, New Yorker
...The second, more serious problem with the way the F.B.I. viewed the Branch Davidians was the fact that the agents could not accept that beliefs such as these—as eccentric as they were—were matters of principle for those within Mount Carmel. During the siege, two of the leaders of the F.B.I. team referred to Koresh’s theology as “Bible-babble” and called him a “self-centered liar,” “coward,” “phony messiah,”...In the government’s eyes, the Branch Davidians were a threat...But...the F.B.I.’s approach was doomed from the outset...Docherty points out that the techniques that work on bank robbers don’t work on committed believers. There was no pragmatism hidden below a layer of posturing, lies, and grandiosity. Docherty uses Max Weber’s typology to describe the Davidians. They were “value-rational”—that is, their rationality was organized around values, not goals.   MORE
HOW TO KEEP YOUR PASTOR
David R. Brumbelow
One of the heartbreaking things church members go through is losing a pastor they love. The church may not even notice the Pulpit Committee that quietly shows up one Sunday. They may not notice the pastor missed a Sunday or two to preach “in view of a call” at another church. They may not know the pastor wanted to move; they thought everything was fine. And the pastor has good reason to keep things quiet until another church has called him as pastor. So often the first information the church has that their pastor is leaving is when he stands in the pulpit and formally announces his resignation.    MORE
IS THERE NEW EVIDENCE
THAT JESUS HAD A WIFE?
Michael Brown
....There remains no evidence of any kind that Jesus had a wife (note to the reader: Dan Brown’s fictional Da Vinci Code is not evidence), and the only thing scholars did was determine that this small papyrus fragment was not a modern forgery, although it is hundreds of years younger than they originally thought....Unfortunately, many casual readers and skeptics now think that some “authentic” new evidence has been discovered supporting the idea that Jesus was married, and even Christians are asking if they should be concerned about this latest find. Rest assured that nothing has been discovered that even remotely challenges the biblical account, and if this very late text does imply that Jesus had a wife, what we have is an authentic fabrication and nothing more. MORE
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...What is it then that the Resurrection does? Why is it so central and so foundational? For your consideration let me divide into two parts what the apostle here says. The first thing is that the resurrection of Christ gives us "a living hope." Why does the apostle describe it in this way? No doubt he is contrasting it with the vague, the shadowy, and the uncertain. Today there is much that passes for Christian hope, but when you test it by his adjective "living," or 'lively," you at once expose it as counterfeit. What is the message of Easter morning? Is it simply some vague saying that spring has come again, and that after the death of winter there are signs of life? Is the Easter hope something vague and general, belonging only to nature?...That is not what Peter is talking about. "Who hath begotten us to a living hope." Something substantial-, something certain, something vibrant with life and power. Of course that is essential, he says, because the great thing about this hope is that it enables us to live.   MORE
....Yet, what a great noise a little infidelity makes. One infidel will make more noise than a thousand Christians, and noise is thought to be prosperity and success and the utter uprooting and total routing of the Church. It is always so that the destructive becomes, I will not say more popular, but in the first instance more notorious, than the constructive. Did any of you hear that the Scotch express arrived safely in Edinburgh last night? If it had broken down between London and Edinburgh, the world would have heard of it. They report destructions; who cares to hear that the train got in safely...So if one little infidel a few inches high should get up and make a noise, we should all hear about it.   MORE
The text is in Galatians 6:7— "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."....What does this mean? I will tell you exactly. It means that God is not to be ignored. Many of us have actually done this in our actions, if not in our thoughts. The revelation contained in the Bible counts for nothing. The gift of His Son Jesus Christ — you are not bothering about it. The love of God — you have no use for it. You have turned your back upon God. But the text says: Be not deceived. God is not to be mocked. You may think you can mock Him, but some day you will face Him. Oh, it is well enough to think that you can get along without God when you are well and your family circle is unbroken and your friends are many. But some day, with a broken heart, and broken health, and a broken family circle, and friends forsaking you, where will you be when you reach the end?   MORE
The washing of the disciples’ feet was one of the last of our Lord’s acts on earth, as the servant of His disciples, the servant of sinners. How fully did that towel, and that basin, shew that He had “taken upon him the form of a servant” (Phi 2:7), and that He had come not to be ministered unto, but to minister! This last act of lowly love is the filling up of His matchless condescension; it is so simple, so kindly, so expressive; and all the more so, because not referring topositive want, such as hunger, or thirst, or pain, but merely to bodily comfort. Oh, if He is so interested in our commonest comforts, such as the washing of our feet, what must He be in our spiritual joys and blessings! How desirous that we should have peace of soul, and how willing to impart it!  This scene of condescending love is no mere show. It is a reality....a reality for us to copy.   MORE
....There is not a soul among us, no matter how seemingly indifferent or unconcerned, who is not at times —and these times come oftener and oftener with the advance of years—brought face to face with the problems of the reality, of the very existence of heaven. It is my purpose, God aiding, to bring to your minds, hearts, your souls some of the glorious, victorious truths about heaven, its citizens, its perfections, its conditions, and, perhaps most of all, to point out to you what you must do to get there; then to plead with you in all the passion of my soul that you put your feet by faith in the way of the cross that leads to God and to heaven. My outline is simple, brief, and, I hope, to the point. I know there is a heaven. I know what kind of place it is. I know I am going there.    MORE
...There have been many gifted men, gifted by nature and grace, who have devoted themselves to the work of the ministry; God be thanked for them all, and God grant that there may be many more hereafter!  But in the estimation of every one who diligently studies his character and history, Paul must stand, among all preachers, unrivalled and alone. Thoroughly to analyze his great powers is a task for which I have no talent, and my hearers, under present circumstances, would perhaps have little inclination. I mean only to present some points in connection with Paul as a preacher, the consideration of which I trust may be blessed to our benefit.   MORE
....There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men's hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.-He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. MORE
....As Ahab goes walking through the rows of vines, he begins to plan how he will have that vineyard arranged by his royal gardener, how flowers will be here and vegetables yonder and herbs there. As he converses with himself, suddenly a shadow falls across his path. Quick as a flash Ahab whirls on his heels, and there, before him, stands Elijah, prophet of the living God. ..."And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" and Elijah, without a tremor in his voice, his eyes burning their way into Ahab's guilty soul, answered: "I have found thee: because thou has sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord." Then, with every word a thunderbolt, and every sentence a withering denunciation, Elijah continued...     MORE
...ministers in all ages have found it necessary, frequently to remind their people of the the terrors of the Lord, as so many powerful dissuasives from sin. But whence is it that men are so disingenuous? The reason seems to be this: The promise of eternal happiness is so agreeable to the inclinations and wishes of mankind, that all who call themselves Christians, universally and willingly subscribe to the belief of it: but then there is something so shocking in the consideration of eternal torments, and seemingly such an infinite disproportion between an endless duration of pain, and short life spent in pleasure, that men can scarcely be brought to confess it as an article of their faith, that an eternity of misery awaits the wicked in a future state.  MORE
...If the issues of life are determined by fate or chance, there are no foundations. In the one case we become the effortless children of apathy upon whom no responsibility devolves, our only consolation being the Oriental proverb, “Kismet.” In the other case we become the devotees of ephemeral pleasure with no higher watchword than, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Hence my theme today: The Providence of God is the Christian’s foun- dation. Under these - Fate, Chance and Divine Providence may be grouped all the theories and philosophies of life. There is no room for another classification.   MORE
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