.
Communists Look To Give Democrats Boost In Upcoming Election
The Communist Party USA is stepping up to bat in the 2014 election, rallying its troops against Republicans and promoting a long list of ways for people to support the Democratic Party agenda.
An Internet announcement signed by Lisa Bergmann of the Young Communist League USA and Joelle Fishman of a related political action committee said: “Can you believe it? No, really. Student debt has exceeded $1.2 trillion. One third of black men are serving time in prison, and young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than whites...."     MORE
City Threatens to Arrest Ministers Who 
Refuse to Perform Same-Sex Weddings
Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to a $1,000 fine, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene. According to the lawsuit, the  chapel is....    MORE
R.C. Sproul Jr: Husbands, Hold Your Wife’s Hand
...That is likely my deepest regret, that I did not hold her hand more. It’s not, of course, that I never held her hand. It is likely, however, that I didn’t as often as she would have liked. Holding her hand communicates to her in a simple yet profound way that we are connected. Taking her hand tells her, “I am grateful that we are one flesh.” Taking her hand tells me, “This is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.” It is a liturgy, an ordinary habit of remembrance to see more clearly the extraordinary reality of two being made one. It would have, even in the midst of a disagreement, or moments of struggle, communicated, “We’re going to go through this together. I will not let go.”   MORE
TUESDAY I OCTOBER 21st
Vicar of Baghdad: 'Americans Have to Realize 
All of Their Intervention Has Totally Been Wasted'
Canon Andrew White, the Anglican pastor who's known as the Vicar of Baghdad, says that after U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011, the country has been facing "total devastation," even worse than under Saddam Hussein. White also described what Christians are facing as one of the worst persecutions in history.   MORE
Houston Pastor Subpoenas Shows Extremism Already on the Shores of America
Pastors around the country saw an unthinkable scenario play out in America last week—one many never thought they'd see in their lifetime. In a country built on freedom, five pastors in Houston were served subpoenas, and attorneys demanded the submission of sermon notes and conversations with congregation members relating to homosexuality or transgenderism. Sam Rohrer, a longtime legislator and president of American Pastors Network, says the recent news out of Houston proves there are three distinct extreme movements happening simultaneously in America—all aimed at stripping freedom of religion and freedom of speech from Christians.  MORE
Yahoo News: Nine Real Technologies That Will Soon Be Inside You
Given the frenzy of interest following the announcement of the Apple Watch, you might think wearables will be the next really important shift in technology.  Not so. Wearables will have their moment in the sun, but they’re simply a transition technology. Technology will move from existing outside our bodies to residing inside us. That’s the next big frontier. Here are nine signs that implantable tech is here now, growing rapidly, and that it will be part of your life (and your body) in the near future…   MORE
Mike Huckabee Asks Pastors Across the US To 
Send Sermons, Bibles to Houston Mayor
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said pastors from across the United States should send "thousands and thousands" of Bibles and sermons to the Houston mayor who demanded pastors turn over their sermons to the government due to their objection to an LGBT discrimination city ordinance.   MORE
Christian Mother of Five Death Sentence for Blasphemy Upheld by Pakistani Court
The death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman and mother of five children, was upheld by the Lahore High Court in Pakistan on Thursday. Bibi has been convicted of blasphemy for drinking from the same bowl of water as Muslims and making derogatory comments about the prophet Muhammad.
Thom Rainer: Seven Good Things About the Houston Subpoena Controversy
I share the outrage of millions who were stunned when the city of Houston issued subpoenas to five area pastors. I am stunned and angered by this massive encroachment upon local churches by a governmental body. But there is an additional perspective to this horrendous act.
Joe Carter: Why Can’t We Get Wasted Food to the Hungry?
Roman Catholic Bishops Scrap Gay-Friendly Proposal
What's Really at Stake in ISIS's Fight for Kobani
The Decline of Decline? Alarming Rate of Mainline Protestants Leaving
Church May Be Slowing Down

There has been a lot of attention paid lately to the alarming numbers of a decreasing membership in mainline Protestant denominations in the United States in recent years.
Joni Eareckson Tada: Why Brittany Maynard’s Choice
To Die Is Not Personal or Private
It has been heartbreaking these last few days to hear the story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old, beautiful, young woman diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor and given only a few months to live. The saddest part of the story for me, however, is not her prognosis, but her decision to end her life prematurely on November 1 through physician-assisted suicide. I understand she may be in great pain, and her treatment options are limited and have their own devastating side effects, but I believe Brittany is missing a critical factor in her formula for death: God. 
Anthony Carter: Why Are Young Blacks Leaving the Church?
Are “black millennials” leaving the church? Is this something about which we should be alarmed? In recent times much has been written on this subject seeking to interpret and analyze what some are saying is a disturbing trend....The church is not primarily a social institution that easily measures its membership, and therefore success, by how many people attend. The church is a spiritual organism given life by God the Father, in God the Son, and sustained through God the Holy Spirit. It is not a fraternity or sorority seeking...
Andrew Walker: Hillsong, A Church In Exile
....What this issue is about is whether the church models faithful obedience to Christ in a way that both honors Scripture and loves its neighbor. Hillsong thinks it’s doing both; but is actually doing neither.
Raymond Ibrahim: The Islamic State and Islam
....Let us consider some of the most extreme acts committed by the Islamic State—beheadings, crucifixions, enslavements, sexual predations, massacres, and the persecution of religious minorities—and put them to the test, see if they fill the same criteria, see if they are Islamic or not, especially in the context of jihad, which has its own set of rules. The Islamic State beheads “infidels,” including women and children.
Rick Marschall: Do You Know Fanny Crosby?
Fanny Crosby’s name is known by some people today, but her great number of gospel songs fill the hymnbooks of many denominations, and the airwaves even today, sung in every musical style you can think of. 
Preston Yancey: Four Ways Millennials Are Embracing Traditional Faith
Actually, Millennials do desire religious orthodoxy. Here’s how.
Robert Tracinski: Gay Marriage - No One Expects the Secular Inquisition
Except that we did expect it, because it’s inherent in the fundamental basis of the left’s argument for gay marriage.
Richard J. Mouw: Retirement Home Christianity
In my younger days I liked to talk about heaven as a realm where we would continue to be active...I haven’t changed my mind, but I have to admit that the thought of an active afterlife makes me a feel a bit weary these days.
Jack Cashill: Multiculturalism Kills
The logic of multiculturalism has dictated the White House response to the Ebola crisis. That logic, however, doesn’t fly with ordinary citizens. 
Daniel Greenfield: How the Muslim World Benefits from ISIS
Playing “Good Caliph“and “Bad Caliph.”
Phil Cooke: Houston Sermon Subpoenas and Christians:
The Stakes are Too High to Get It Wrong
It started when Fox News broke the explosive story: "The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, or gender identity. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court."
Wallace Henley: Secular Jihad in Houston
Secular jihad – that's the best way to characterize the subpoenaing of sermons and other communications from pastors opposing the Houston city regime and their "bathroom law." It's important not to overreact to the overreach of Mayor Annise Parker and her supporters on the Houston City Council. Yet their actions call for vigorous opposition: First, because of the violation of the Constitution's First Amendment, and second, the irrationality of the bathroom law itself.
Thom Rainer: Nine Trends in Pastor and Church Staff Compensation
Some of the current trends in pastor and church staff compensation are surprising to me, while others are about what I expected. I relied on several current compensation studies to assemble these nine trends... For this article, I will discuss fulltime compensated pastors and church staff only. I do have data for part-time compensated staff as well; I will address those church workers in a later post. MORE
Brian Croft: 10 Lessons From the Life and Ministry of Andrew Fuller
One of my goals for my sabbatical last year was to study the life and ministry of the 18th century English particular Baptist Pastor, Andrew Fuller.  Now that my time away has ended and feels so long ago, I thought I would still share about my findings.   MORE
Kent Brandenburg: What's Wrong With the 'Free Grace' Movement?
Salvation is free -- no doubt.  It's not by works -- no doubt.  However, the free grace movement doesn't represent biblical grace.  From the perspective of a lost person, what a deal.  Not only is there no works involved, which is a deal, but he gets to keep his old life too!  He doesn't give up anything, not even his own will.  He keeps that too.  It's not a hard sell for the "evangelist," that's for sure.  The biggest problem is that this is not how the Bible presents it.  It reminds of a lot of other false gospels in that it takes a part of salvation and really focuses on it to its own distortion.     MORE
Edmondson: Seven of the Biggest Pitfalls of Being an Introvert as a Pastor
I am an introvert. From all public appearances on Sunday morning — and with my frequent activity in the community — that surprises people. But in my private life and with those closest to me there is no questioning of that fact. If anything, I have become even more introverted the larger our church has grown. I can wish I was otherwise, but this is how I am wired. And, it’s not wrong. It’s not a personality flaw. It’s not cruelty. I love people. But, being an introvert has its downsides as a pastor.     MORE
David Murray: Mental Illness and the Church--An Analysis
In this article I want to comment on a few of the more general findings from the research and in a second article, I’d like to zoom in on the core issue of the research, which concerned salvation and the mentally ill. But first, here are some of the research results that intrigued me.     MORE
Chris Brauns: Why Did God Allow Satan to Harm Job and His Family?
....Any study of the book of Job raises questions about the debate between God and Satan. We wonder, why would God allow Satan to harm Job and his family. I will be speaking to this question more in our next sermon, but let me make some of the points in advance here in this blog post. The idea is that these points are all part of the answer. So...“Why did God allow Satan to harm Job”?     MORE
Jerry Sivnksty: Treasuring Our Time (Part Two)
.... I cannot stress enough the importance of memorizing the Scripture. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” The Word of God is our authority for living as Christians. We are not to govern our decisions based upon our logic, reasoning, or emotions—our lives are to be controlled by the teaching of Scripture.     MORE
T.J. Addington: The Biggest Favor You Can Do for Your Pastor & Church
The biggest favor you can do for your pastor and church is to carefully guard the gate of who gets into church leadership. After 25 years of consulting I can fairly say that one of the top reasons that churches experience trouble comes down to one issue. They did not guard the gate and allowed the wrong people into leadership. It is also one of the most frustrating issues that pastors face. If you wonder why churches don't see more ministry results? Often it comes down to leadership in the church - the wrong leaders.     MORE
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MONDAY I OCTOBER 20th
Ted Cruz Says There Is 'Real Risk' Of Pastors Being Jailed 
For Preaching Against Homosexuality
In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, Senator Ted Cruz says pastors being hauled off to jail by the government for preaching against homosexuality is a “real risk” in the future. ““I think that is a real risk,” Cruz tells me. “Some in the media ridicule that threat saying there is no danger of the government coming after pastors. That is the usual response.” But he adds: “The specter of government trying to determine if what pastors preach from the pulpit meets with the policy views or political correctness of the governing authorities, that prospect is real and happening now.”   MORE
Christian Today: New Figures Reveal Massive Decline In Religious Affiliation
In five decades, the number of people with no religion in Britain has grown from just 3 per cent of the population to nearly half, according to a new survey. Among adults aged under 25, nearly two-thirds define themselves as "nones", or people with no religious affiliation. MORE
Christianity Today: How Boko Haram's Murders
and Kidnappings Are Changing Nigeria's Churches
... Is Nigeria as bad as we read in news headlines? It’s even worse. Hundreds of churches have been destroyed, over 50 in Kano alone. One church and ministry has been built seven times and destroyed seven times. Another has been built three times and destroyed three times. Pastors have been murdered in their houses. Another was murdered in the church during a prayer service. The situation is much worse further north in Yobe and Borno states, the headquarters of Boko Haram. People have fled residences where their forefathers lived for generations. Christians have been the victims.  Are Christians being targeted? Or are these attacks...  MORE
Trevin Wax: The Mars Hill Postmortem
The news of Mark Driscoll’s resignation closes a painful chapter in the life of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. This is a time to pray for the Driscoll family, Mars Hill Church, and those who have suffered through various forms of spiritual abuse. What can we learn from this situation? We should consider four lessons to take away, but I want to preface these remarks with two caveats.   MORE
Reuters: Obama Makes Rare Campaign Trail Appearance, People Leave Early
President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.
Ordained Ministers Threatened With Jail Unless They Perform Same Sex Marriages
City officials in Coeur d'Alene Idaho have told a married couple who are both ordained ministers that they will go to jail if they refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for gay couples. The Alliance for Defending Freedom has filed suit against the city and asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent officials from carrying out their threat. They face 180 days in jail and up to $1000 in fines per day if they stand for their principles.
Erick Erickson: Hillsong Church Begins Its Death March 
Away From Christ Into the World
......Brian Houston the pastor of Hillsong Church has decided he has a better, different way than 2000 years of Christian orthodoxy. The pastor of Hillsong’s New York based church claims since Jesus never talked about homosexuality, Hillsong won’t do so either. It is important to note that Hillsong has been drifting away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ for some time and toward a prosperity gospel. Its hipster church leaders have decided to embrace the church of the age.... MORE
Jerusalem Post: Assailants Deface Temple Mount With Swastika
Unknown assailants spray-painted an anti-Semitic image equating a Star of David to a swastika at the Temple Mount, passersby discovered Sunday morning. Police opened an in investigation in to the incident.
Islamic State Crucifies 17-Year-Old in Syria for Filming ISIS Training Sites
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadist terror group has crucified and placed on display for three days a 17-year-old boy in Aleppo--yet another public execution meant to scare into submission those under the Islamic State's rule. The boy reportedly accepted money for filming activity at ISIS training sites.
Mike Huckabee Calls for Pastors To 
Flood Houston Mayor With Sermons
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wants the nation's pastors to send Bibles and copies of all of their sermons to Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who has issued a broad subpoena demanding the city's pastors hand over copies of their sermons and communications concerning the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance...Parker, the city's first openly gay mayor, demanded in the subpoenas that Houston pastors should turn in all "speeches or sermons..."    MORE
Martin Luther King's Niece: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Rules Under Obama
There is a “moral bankruptcy” that’s settled into leadership of America in the White House and throughout Washington, D.C., Dr. Alveda King—the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.—said in an interview Friday morning.
Vietnamese Pastor On Houston Subpeonas: This Shouldn’t Happen In the US
Khanh Huynh, the Senior Pastor of the Vietnamese Baptist Church in Houston, and one of the pastors whose communications were subpoenaed said that never thought something like this would happen in the United States.
Obama to Admit Non-Citizens for Ebola Treatment
Obama administration is formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the US for treatment. 
Nazzworth: Houston Sermon Subpoena Scandal - 5 Things You Need to Know
Feeling confused about the sermon subpoena scandal? Here are answers to five questions you may have.
Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming
Live Science: Storm God Worship - Ancient Cult Complex Discovered in Israel
....The archaeologists said they aren't sure who was worshipped at the complex, though Baal, the Canaanite storm god, is a possibility. "The letters of Ugarit [an ancient site in modern-day Syria] suggest that of the Canaanite pantheon, Baal, the Canaanite storm god, would have been the most likely candidate...." 
Christian Post: C.S. Lewis Foresaw the Rise of Scientism
The rise of "scientism," in which science is uncritically treated as a religion, holding the power to decide ethical questions, was predicted by famous 20th century Christian author C.S. Lewis, scholar John West explained at Southern Evangelical Seminary's 2014 National Conference on Christian Apologetics. 
Religion & Politics: Meet the Republican Party’s Faith Ambassador
The Southern Baptist Connelly insists that large numbers of Christian voters are politically unengaged—either unregistered or so disillusioned with the GOP that they don’t see a point in going to the polls on election day. His strategy is asking pastors to tell churchgoers that political participation is a spiritual matter.
Robison: Houston's Lesbian Mayor Issues Wake-up Call to American Christians 
The city of Houston has issued a wake-up call to all freedom-loving Americans by ordering pastors to turn over their sermons and any staff communications dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Mayor Annise Parker. You must hear the real message loud and clear, or you will kiss freedom in our once-great nation goodbye.  MORE
Jeff Crouere: Houston's Mayor Is Villian Not Hero
....In the name of fighting discrimination, Houston is engaged in discrimination against heterosexual citizens who are not confused about their gender. Of special concern should be the women of Houston who should not have to encounter individuals, regardless of their sexual confusion, with male “equipment” in their bath- rooms. In the meantime, an upset Mayor Parker decided to make these pastors pay for their obstinacy. 
Derek Hunter: Ebola: Politics, Failure, And Opportunism
The Ebola outbreak has been a disaster in politics, but a boom for capitalism. Weird how that works, but it is how many things work. 
Jeremy Egerer: The Devil's Christianity
To the great dishonor of not only Christendom, but also of our God and Savior, Hitler's and Jesus's names are equally offensive in any discussion of politics. 
Paul Austin Murphy: Reza Aslan's Marxist Account of Islam
Basically, the argument is this: all the violence actions carried out by Muslims in the Muslim world and in Europe have absolutely nothing to do with Islam.
Charles C. W. Cooke: What the Left Can’t Admit About the Politics of Ebola
The threat of Ebola maybe be hyped, but the threat of government incompetence is real. 
Joel J. Miller: The Nuns Decline, and Ours
The church was flirting with contemporary culture and had little idea how seductive its allures might prove. 
Thomas Kidd: Does the Bible Prohibit Revolution?
...The most surprising fact I learned from the book is that Romans 13 – in which Paul commands submission to the “higher powers” – was the most commonly cited biblical text in Revolutionary America. This passage, alongside a similar passage in I Peter 2, are precisely the texts I might have imagined that Patriots would have avoided. How does one “honor the king” while engaging in revolution?
Ian H. Hutchinson: The Genius and Faith of Faraday and Maxwell
...Because Victorian scientists are of interest to us mostly owing to their scientific contributions, their religious beliefs tend to be treated as incidental conformities to the conventions of the day — as if these figures were proto-rationalists and proto-materialists who, without the benefit of our full present enlightenment, had not completely shaken off the superstitions of an earlier age. This caricature is demeaning and mistaken....
George Lawson: Pastoral Contentment & the Plague
In the beginning of May, 1665 London had a divine appointment with what the Puritan Thomas Vincent described as “one of the most terrible plagues that was ever visited on this or perhaps any other kingdom.” We now know it as the bubonic plague. The disease at first claimed the lives of only nine people, but after a pause it rapidly spread across the city and was soon taking no less than 470 people a week. MORE
Thom Rainer: Eight Ways for Pastors to Affair-Proof Their Marriages
Too many families of pastors are torn apart because of these affairs. And too many churches are left reeling with the consequences in their own congregations. What can a pastor do to affair-proof his marriage? I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a number of pastors whose marriages seem to be healthy. They are certainly long lived; the most recently married of the pastors to whom I spoke has been married 31 years. The longest marriage in my sample group was 41 years. MORE
Edmondson: Four Reasons Leadership Development Doesn’t Occur
Most churches admit they need more leaders. I have never met a pastor who would say they didn’t need more leaders, but I’ve met hundreds who are desperate for new leaders. The Bible says to make disciples. That’s should be our goal for every believer in the church. But, the process of doing church requires leadership. Leaders leading the process of making disciples.     MORE
Nancy Guthrie: The Best Things About the Boring Parts of the Bible 
Let’s admit it, there are certain parts of the Bible we skim because . . . well . . . because we think they’re boring. They’re repetitive, overly detailed, full of names and places we can’t pronounce. So why bother with them? There are many reasons — not the least of which is that even the parts of the Bible we deem to be boring are significant because they are God’s word to us. Here’s my top ten list of the best things about the boring parts of the Bible.   MORE
Tim Challies: Seven Things Your Church Needs From You
Not too long ago I had the opportunity to speak to a gathering of young adults from several churches across our city. I chose to speak about how any Christian (not only young adults) can make a church better and stronger. Here are some of the things I came up with: 7 things your church needs from you.    MORE
David Murray: Acute Mental Illness---What Can the Church Do?
Here are some further statistics from the Lifeway/Focus on the Family Study of Acute Mental Illness and Christian Faith I started summarizing last week. I hope to offer some commentary on these stats in the coming week, but have a read of them and maybe use them to start a discussion in your church or small fellowship group. MORE
LIVING BY FAITH BLOG
Dealing With Past Hurts
Here’s good news for those who are bitter over past hurts...
Don't Be Surprised By Trials
We should not be surprised by trials, because they are part of God’s love for us. Here’s why 
Is Joy in God Different from Happiness?
The answer might surprise you –
“I Believe; Help My Unbelief!
It’s crucial to pray “I believe; help my unbelief” — here’s why, and what God promises to do.
Proclaim & Defend: Putting Things in Order
....I will never forget it as long as I live. It is the kind of thing that I had only heard about but had never experienced myself. I had been at the church four months. The chairman of the deacons (my main supporter) came to me one Friday morning to let me know that a man in the church (whom we assumed would leave the church) had come to him. This man had changed his mind about leaving, commenting to this deacon, “I’m not going down without a fight.”   MORE
Chuck Lawless: 10 Strategies for Recruiting Church Workers
I hear it all the time: “Dr. Lawless, we just don’t have enough laborers in our church. Those who are serving are overworked, and too many people do nothing.” Perhaps these ideas will help you if your church faces this issue. MORE
Marshall Segal: The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job 
....Success is a drug of choice among Americans, and it is a slow and subtle killer. I wonder why you want the job you do. There are lots of good motivations. Maybe having a higher salary would free you to give more to ministry. Maybe more power would put you in a position to influence more people with the gospel. Maybe God’s gifted you for more than you’re able to give in your current role.   MORE
Jonathan Parnell: Three Lessons on Loving One Another
The scene could not have been more inauspicious: a low-lit room, full stomachs, and the dirty feet of a dozen grown men. This is not where you’d expect to find one of the world’s greatest lessons in loving one another. But it was here, nonetheless, in the upper room of a common house in first-century Palestine, the night before Jesus died, that we learn how to live together as the church in this world. The apostle John tells us the story, showing us three unforgettable parts.  MORE
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WEEKEND I OCTOBER 18th-19th
Researchers Expect Over 20 US Ebola Cases In Weeks, 
"You Don't Want To Know Worst Case"
"We have a worst-case scenario, and you don't even want to know," warns Alessandro Vespignani, a researcher creating simulations of infectious disease outbreaks, but there could be as many as two dozen people in the U.S. infected with Ebola by the end of the month. The projections only run through October because it’s too difficult to model what will occur if the pace of the outbreak changes but, as Bloomberg reports, Vespignani warns if the outbreak becomes more widespread in other regions, it "would be like a bad science fiction movie."   MORE
Ted Cruz: Houston Has No Power to Silence the Church 
Pastors in Houston are fighting back against an attempt by the mayor to silence them from the pulpit. Some have been told to provide the government with their sermons. Now, they're getting a little help from one of the top conservative voices in the country: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. On Thursday in Houston, Cruz visited his home church to give city officials a lesson on religious liberty. MORE
Scientific American: The Rise of All-Purpose Antidepressants
Antidepressant use among Americans is skyrocketing. Adults in the U.S. consumed four times more antidepressants in the late 2000s than they did in the early 1990s. As the third most frequently taken medication in the U.S., researchers estimate that 8 to 10 percent of the population is taking an antidepressant. But this spike does not necessarily signify a depression epidemic.  MORE
Huffington Post: Inside China's Secret Churches
The atheist Chinese Communist Party has placed a number of restrictions on Christians and other religious groups in the country, forcing some to practice their faith in underground churches. The government officially bans discrimination based on religion, but only recognized five official faiths: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. In April thousands of Christians in Wenzhou, China formed a human shield to protect their church, Jerusalem of the East, which the government had threatened to demolish. Unable to find state-sanctioned churches in which to worship, some Christians have initiated underground churches in private homes and other sites.... MORE
School Board Votes To Remove Scripture From Sculpture At GA High School
A Georgia school board unanimously voted Tuesday to remove two scriptural verses on a sculpture outside of a high school. The decision, passed by the Madison County School Board, came after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and American Humanist Association (AHA) sent letters of complaint to school officials, contending that the sculpture violates the separation between church and state...MORE
Baptist Press: More Churches Using Background Checks
An estimated 1-in-5 background checks processed through LifeWay Christian Resources' program with backgroundchecks.com reveals a conviction of a felony or other serious offense. This may be part of the reason why a growing number of churches use background checks as a way to better protect those involved in ministry.
Houston Sermon Subpoenas Unite Baptists
The city of Houston has managed to unite Baptists divided on other issues to speak with one voice on an application of their shared belief in religious freedom -- that the government should not subpoena sermons. Baptists on both sides of a divide from the days of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) urged Houston Mayor Annise Parker in a letter Thursday (Oct. 16) to concede that the city's subpoenas of sermons and other pastoral communications were wrong and will not be repeated. 
Truth Revolt: Satanic Temple Demanding A Holiday Display, Again
The holidays are nearing and once again, Florida's Satanic Temple wishes to put up a display alongside a Nativity scene inside the state's capitol building. On Wednesday, Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter warning the state department that they "may not, as it did last year, reject the Satanic Temple's display — even if the Department finds the display to be 'offensive.'"
Billy Graham: ‘America is Just as Wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah Ever Were’
Reverend Billy Graham, arguably the most well-known and respected evangelical preacher of the last 50 years, said in a recently published commentary that America was “founded by men who believed in prayer” and that prayer can turn “the tide of history,” adding that while “America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah” and deserves “the judgment of God,” this judgment can be lessened through prayer.
Michigan Funeral Home Features Drive-Thru Window--Pay Your Last Respects On the Go
Only a couple of families have taken advantage of a new service available at a Saginaw funeral home. Drive-thru viewings. Paradise Funeral Chapel recently started offering the option, which allows mourners to pay their last respects on the go. It was designed in part to cater to those with physical limitations. The funeral home's president says he expects more customers to opt for the drive-thru once they learn it's not a gimmick and is safe to use.    MORE
ISIS Destroying Biblical Archaeology in Middle East
At a time when many archaeological sites and antiquities throughout the Middle East are being looted and destroyed, the City of David Foundation, in September, hosted its annual conference to enable the general public to experience some of the most important archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem in recent years. 
Seattle Times: Mars Hill Church Reeling as Pastor Mark Driscoll Quits
Now that Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll has resigned — amid allegations of bullying and domineering behavior — the church is in disarray and selling some of its properties.
Eric Metaxas: Hand Over Your Sermon, or Else
Tony Perkins: 'Stunned' in Houston--Pastors Vow to Fight Mayor's Sermon Grab
Joe Carter: Why Are So Many Americans Still on Food Stamps?
Declining Number of U.S. Nuns Charted In New Study
Vatican Document Stirring Controversy Over 
‘Welcoming and Accepting’ Practicing Homosexuals?
......the first proposed version asserts that Roman Catholics should welcome and accept those practicing homosexuality. “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?” it reads. 
Houston Chronicle: City Subpoenas Pastors' Sermons Over Equal Rights Ordinance
Houston's embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.
Christianity Today: Facing ISIS, Middle Eastern Evangelicals Exchange Strategies
....Islam’s peaceful nature, however, would not be recognized by many Christians in southern Egypt, said Samy. The ISIS mentality exists in rural village settings even where the group itself has no representation, he said.
David Roach: Is Gay Marriage Inevitable?
 The U.S. Supreme Court seems to be on a fast track to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. But that should not make believers abandon hope that America will uphold the historic definition of marriage -- or stop working to that end. History and Scripture are replete with examples of unforeseen reversals of cultural evil. The Supreme Court has paved the way...   MORE
David Limbaugh: Fascist Leftists in Houston
...Nothing can be permitted to interfere with the left's fast march to coerce society into accepting its preferences into law. If a few women or men are assaulted in the process or if their privacy is violated, that's a small price to pay on this historic path to dilute our natural gender identities -- a path that will further endanger the nuclear family, which is a bedrock institution that lends moral stability to society.
Joe Carter: Why Not Just Hand Over the Sermons?
...Sermons are indeed proclamations intended for the public, and most pastors would be eager for anyone — including public officials — to hear them. So what is the reason for the current objection?
Shoshana Bryen: Chemical Weapons Revelations in the Middle East
Two chemical weapons-related stories this week should be considered separate, not necessarily interchangeable, parts of a whole. The first was that ISIS had used chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in Kobani, raising the question of where ISIS would have acquired such weapons.  The second, in the New York Times, detailed how U.S. forces in Iraq uncovered thousands of shells filled with chemical munitions from various areas of the country...
Joy Pullmann: I Didn’t Want Kids, But I’m Glad I Got Them
The world lied to me. I never knew motherhood would be so crazy and so good.
Matthew Vadum: Obama’s Deadly Ebola Lies
What drives the falsehoods: Ideology or incompetence?
Ryan T. Anderson: The Defense of Marriage Isn’t Over
Recent action from the Supreme Court is a setback for sound constitutional self-government and for a healthy marriage culture. So where do we go from here?
Robert Tracinski: The Virtue of Liberty
Contrary to some, liberty doesn’t just require virtue. Liberty is a virtue. Individualism and independence are virtues.
Jonathan Abbamonte: Judges Are Changing the Meaning of Marriage
Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia… So much has happened in the past week on the gay-marriage front you may not have even heard about the latest example of judicial tyranny. On Sunday U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess, a George W. Bush appointee, declared Alaska’s constitutional marriage amendment unconstitutional. 
Russell Moore: Joan or John?
This question takes place sometime in the future—or the present—in your ministry......“I know the sex change surgery was wrong. I know my life is twisted. I’m willing to do whatever Jesus would have me to do to make it right,” she says. “But what would Jesus have me to do? Am I too messed up to repent and be saved? If not, what does it mean for me to repent and live my life as a follower of Jesus? What is right for me to do?”
David Curry: A Collective Hope for Persecuted Christians in November
Just a few months ago, I visited Tiananmen Square. It is a place where, 25 years ago, a lone protestor stood in front of a tank—an image that captured the imagination of the world—to protest the suppression of freedom in China. It was a powerful illustration of the power of social movements. In January 2014, I stood in Tahir Square in Cairo...
Pat Buchanan: Ebola, Ideology and Common Sense
...Where once we suffered from infantile paralysis, now we suffer from ideological paralysis. And there appears to be no Salk or Sabin vaccine to cure our condition.
David Cloud: The Myth That The Bible Has Been Discredited
The outcome of a murder trial in a U.S. courtroom requires evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt,” because so much is at stake, and we should require no less on the issue of creation vs. evolution, which has grave consequences that are not only earthly but also eternal. The Bible claims to be the revelation of God to man, and if the Bible is true, there is an Almighty Creator God and a heaven and a hell; man will live forever in one place or another; and salvation is only through personal faith in Jesus Christ.     MORE
T.J. Addington: Seven Reasons Why Passing Along Gossip Is Deadly & Sinful 
Gossip is one of the most devastating problems within many congregations. Think about these seven reasons why passing gossip along is so deadly and then ask if you want to be a target of gossip. If not, don't make others a target either! MORE
Randy Alcorn: Why Talking about Mortality
With Your Loved Ones Isn’t Morbid, But a Gift
If Christian parents remind their Christian children that the worst that can happen in death is temporary separation, it’s reassuring. Their relationship cannot be terminated, only interrupted. What will eventually follow—whether in hours, days, years, or decades—is a great reunion, wonderful beyond imagination.  MORE
Tim Challies: What To Expect When Battling Sin
To become a Christian is to accept the lifelong challenge of becoming who you are — of putting sin to death and growing in holiness. Today I want to channel a little John Owen and tell you three things you ought to expect when battling sin. Owen says that putting sin to death consists of “a habitual weakening of sin,” and I take this to mean that over time and through our habits we chip away at our sin bit-by-bit...     MORE
David Murray: Two Searching Questions About Happiness
Why do some unbelievers seem to be incredibly happy, while some believers seem to be incredibly sad? Matthew Henry’s explanation is that the unbelievers publicize pretend joy, whereas believers privatize real joy. But why would anyone in the world pretend to be happy? MORE
Christina Fox: One Question God Always Answers
....Scripture shows us that we can bring these and all our questions to God. The psalmist had hard questions about life, just like we do. He too wanted to know why difficult things were happening to him and how long he would have to endure them. He brought those questions right to God in a prayer of lament.    MORE
Bill Randles: The Bible & Islam…The Story Of Cain Anticipates Islam
....I believe that the story of Cain and Abel goes beyond being the account of the first murder. There would be many, many more murders in human history, and for varying reasons and circumstances, but the story of Cain and of Abel is about much more than the sin of murder. This first account of murder, and of fratricide is placed immediately after the account of the Creation and the Fall of man, as being basic to the entire development of man after the fall. Consider that the context of the first murder is worship.    MORE
Crystal McDowell: How To Teach Teens the Value of Hard Work
It’s not so difficult to teach teenagers the value of hard work as it is to get them to understand and value it. We live in a culture of ease and all of us are more accustomed to getting everything more quickly with less effort. Yet this happens for every generation—it’s the ebb and flow of industry and ingenuity. There’s great reward in heaven for those who work diligently according to God’s will for their lives. This is a great foundation for teaching our teens the value of hard work... MORE
Pamela Rose Williams: Five Ways to Start Breaking Bad Habits Today
I read somewhere that up to 40% of the things we do in a day are habits. As you probably already know some habits are good and some are bad. Whether it is good or bad, a habit is a learned behavior and it can be replaced. We have been doing some of these habits for years and years and yet others are new. All habits, good or bad, start with a choice. There are many, many things that I could include here but for the purpose of this article Here are just 5 ways to start breaking those bad habits today.  MORE
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...This chapter is a full length portrait of Peter himself. If we see clearly the effect upon Peter, we shall have a true idea of the effect of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the entire church. God shows us things that are too great to be seen in their completeness, in illustrative and easily comprehend- ed parts...Notice his heroic eloquence. He is not only a speaker, he is a burning speaker It is not enough to speak-you may teach an automaton to speak, you may so instruct a machine as to utter a mimic cry. This man is not only speaking words, he is speaking them with unction, with fire, with emphasis never heard in his tone before. A man does not read simply because he pronounces words that are in the text that he is perusing, a man does not give out a psalm simply because he articulates without inaccuracy every individual word. There is something in the reading which cannot be put into type,  or an atmosphere, or an aroma, or an illustrative and far-reaching fire of the soul.    MORE
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...Law always has a place and work distinct and wholly diverse from that of grace. Law is God prohibiting and requiring; grace is God beseeching and bestowing. Law is a ministry of condemn- ation;  grace, of forgiveness. Law curses; grace redeems from that curse. Law kills; grace makes alive. Law shuts every mouth before God; grace opens every mouth to praise Him. Law puts a great and guilty distance between man and God; grace makes guilty man nigh to God. Law says, "Hate thine enemy"; grace says, "Love your enemies, bless them that despitefully use you." Law says, do and live; grace says, believe and live. Law never had a missionary; grace is to be preached to every creature. Law condemns the best man; grace justifies the worst...   MORE
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....We are about to look into something which is so glorious and endless that it will be the theme of contemplation of all the saints, not only in this world, but also in the world which is to come. We shall spend our eternity in gazing upon it, and wondering at it, and in being astounded by it. But it is our business to start upon this here and now in this life. Indeed this is a characteristic of love at all levels; it delights in thinking not only of the object of its love, but also of the love it receives. Nothing therefore should give greater joy to all God's people than to meditate upon this love of Christ. Indeed, our chief defect as Christians is that we fail to realize Christ's love to us. How often have you thought about this? We spend time thinking about our activities and our problems, but the most important necessity in the Christian life is to know Christ's love to us, and to meditate upon it. MORE
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...“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart”—“depend on Me for what you need; look to Me for what you need, and do not take the advice of those brokers, or any other such agents, but consult the Lord”—“lean not unto thine own understanding.” Do not suppose because you have had a good deal of experience, or another person has had a good deal of experience, that that is all which is needed; but betake yourself to the Lord under all circumstances, at all times, under all difficulties, and seek His advice and counsel. Now this has been my habit (it was not my habit for the first two years after my conversion), but it has now been for 69 years my habit to act according to this, and the result is that all has been going on well with my affairs. I have never been allowed to bring myself into difficulties on account of such matters, because I have not trusted in my own experience, but have trusted in the Lord.  MORE
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....Jesus set limits to his activity, and beyond those limits no man ever persuaded him to go. One day his brothers wanted him to go to Jerusalem and make an impression on the big men there, but he refused to listen to their exhortation, telling them that they might go any time they chose, but that it was different with him. He could not go until it was time for him to go, until his work compelled him to go. He could not go until his hour had come. When the hour arrived he set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem. All along the way men tried to divert him, but he could not be diverted, to Jerusalem he must go...Men all around him have the enjoyment of large liberty. They wander hither and thither, going whithersoever they wish, but it was not so with him.  He could not dissipate his energy, he could not waste a single hour. It was always, "I must," "I must," "I must." There were broad roads on his right and left, and along these roads thousands were traveling, but he could not go with them.     MORE
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AMERICA'S GREATEST NEED  4TH OF JULY SERMON INDEPENDENCE DAY
In these days of national strife and international confusion, when the seeds of hatred are being cultivated in the hotbeds of communism and radicalism, let us throw back our shoulders, double up our fists, rough with the calluses of honest toil,and stand up for true, fundamental, godly Americanism. The Bible teaches patriotism, and patriotism was the light that burned in the hearts of the faithful in the midnight gloom of the dark ages.  It was the torch that lit the fires of the Reformation. It was the rock upon which Western civilization survives the onslaught of the Red Scourge, it will be Christian patriotism that will fuel the lamps of truth and provide morale for the fight for freedom. America has many privileges, but it also has great responsibilities. Our freedom was obtained at a great price. Our first responsibility is to God, but we are duty bound to our beloved country.   MORE
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....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
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....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
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...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 foundation. 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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...ministers in all ages have found it necessary, frequently to remind their people of 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
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