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Netanyahu-Obama Ties Rocked By Comments Insulting PM’s Character
The Obama administration  on Wednesday distanced itself from disparaging remarks about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attributed to a senior administration official. A senior Israeli official said the words were likely tied to a deal with Iran. “It appears that someone in the administration is trying to preempt Prime Minister Netanyahu’s criticism of an imminent and highly problematic deal with Iran that will guarantee the Islamic Republic’s position as a threshold nuclear power,” the official said. “It is a transparent attempt to discredit the messenger instead of dealing with the substance of his criticism.”   MORE
Jerry Newcombe: An Appeal to Christians
Who Plan to Sit Out This Election
...In America, we get the kind of government we deserve. Is this the best we can do? There certainly is a big divide in how we approach politics, even among well-meaning Christians. I was asked to speak at our church recently, and the title was given to me: “To vote or not to vote?” Are you serious? How can we not vote? We’re in such a mess because we haven’t been voting our values. I believe voting is imperative for the follower of Jesus. Jesus said that we are to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s (Mark 12:17). Surely, included in rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s would include voting.  MORE
How Much Do Americans Plan To Spend On Christmas & Halloween This Year?
....it is being projected that Americans will spend a massive amount of money this holiday season.  In fact, what Americans plan to spend on Christmas this year is greater than the yearly GDP of the entire nation of Sweden.  So isn't this good economic news?  Shouldn't we be happy that Americans are opening up their wallets so eagerly?  Well, it depends how you look at it....our spending is increasing, our incomes are not.    MORE
FRIDAY I OCTOBER 31st
City Says Ministers Don’t Have to Wed Same-Sex Couples,
But Here’s Why It’s Not Over Yet
An Idaho town is not going to force a Christian ministry couple who own a wedding chapel to perform same-sex marriages there, the town’s chief attorney told The Daily Signal. A lawsuit filed against the town by the ordained ministers to protect themselves from prosecution was based on “a misperception,” City Attorney Michael C. Gridley said, and he had no intentions of “threatening” and “imprisoning” them."    MORE
Religion & Politics: A Theme Park, a Scandal, 
and the Faded Ruins of a Televangelism Empire
If you happen to find yourself on I-77 just south of Charlotte, North Carolina, consider a detour to the crumbling ruins of what used to be the third-most-visited theme park in the United States. Heritage USA was founded in the late 1970s by Pentecostal superstars Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker as part of their ministry, PTL (Praise the Lord, or People that Love). Conceived and built during the rise of the modern religious right, Heritage USA combined the Bakkers’ growing televangelism empire with theme-park hedonism, offering an immersive experience in the sights, sounds, and practices of American conservative evangelicalism. In its heyday, the “Inspirational Park for the Whole Family” boasted something for everybody. A miniature train carried visitors around the main campus, where activities included tennis, horseback riding, and swimming.   MORE
Denver Post: When Your Daughter Joins ISIS
As soon as the father of a 16-year-old Arapahoe County girl realized his daughter's passport was nowhere to be found, he knew something was seriously wrong. "At that time, my heart fell down," the father said. "I just felt something really bad is going to happen." His daughter was already on her way to Syria with two other classmates as they apparently tried to join Islamic State militants. The three were stopped by German authorities acting on a tip from the FBI. In an interview with The Denver Post, the father broke his family's silence on Monday and recounted a harrowing, two-day ordeal that left him scared and confused...   MORE
Chuck Hagel: 'I Think We Are Seeing a New World Order'
Wednesday at the Aspen Institute's "Washington Ideas Forum," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said we are living through, "historic, defining times," that will result in a, "new world order.” When questioned about the ongoing global chaos by the national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows Hagel said, “I think we are living through one of these historic, defining times. I think we are seeing a new world order.”
Abbas Says Closing Temple Mount 'A Declaration of War'
Israel's closure of the Temple Mount to all visitors - Jews and Muslims alike - following the shooting of Temple Mount rights advocate Yehuda Glick is tantamount to a "declaration of war," Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated Thursday. 
Temple-Rebuilding Activist Shot In Jerusalem
One of Israeli’s most well-known activist rabbis who pushed for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount was shot multiple times in the chest Wednesday night and is fighting for his life in a Jerusalem hospital. 
Bathroom Bill’ Unresolved as Houston Mayor Backs Off Subpoenas of Pastors’ Sermons
New York’s Highest Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Incest ‘Marriage’
Between Uncle and Niece
Elton John Praises Pope Francis: ‘Make Him a Saint Now’
Obama Administration Joins UN in Hostility Against Israel
The Obama administration’s contemptible hostility towards Israel has reached the level of the kind of despicable Israel-bashing one hears every day at the United Nations. According to an October 28th article appearing in The Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg, a high level Obama administration official has recently added “chickensh*t” to other derisive terms used in ad hominem verbal attacks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, such as “recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’”
Greg Forster Pastor, Why Not Visit Their Workplace?
...Theologian R. Paul Stevens reports in his book Work Matters that 122 out of 132 public appearances of Jesus were in the marketplace. And think about what Jesus was doing his whole life before he started his public ministry. For more than 15 years, he was working in an ordinary job, doing exactly the same kind of work his sheep do. Jesus got to know the workplace by experience. That’s important because it allowed him to contextualize his teaching to the workplace. Out of 52 parables, 45 are set in the marketplace: fields, sheepfolds, vineyards, kitchens, palaces, courts, fisheries, and more. Jesus wanted people to understand how his teaching related to their ordinary, everyday experiences in their work. He couldn’t have done that if he hadn’t educated himself in that context. All those “silent years” were not wasted and empty. They were a time of preparation.   MORE
RedState: Coca-Cola’s Anti-Religious Positions
Turns out the Coca-Cola Company’s Nonpartisan Committee for Good Government gave Mayor Parker’s campaign $1000.00. But that’s not the only time Coca-Cola has supported bigotry toward religious adherents in the country. Coca-Cola, taking the side of gay rights activists, attacked the legislation and made threats to the legislatures. 
Texas Congregation Suing Presbyterian Church (USA) to Keep Property
After Leaving Denomination Over Its Stance on Homosexuality
Cardinal Burke: Pope Cannot Change Christ's Teachings on Marriage
Apple CEO: Being Gay 'Among Greatest Gifts God Has Given Me'
Computer Hacks and Screaming Flacks:
5 Startling Anecdotes From Sharyl Attkisson’s New Book
Philip Jenkins, Books & Culture: The Rise of Islam
....istorically, many writers begin their story with Muhammad himself, whose mission takes place in an Arab world that has little obvious contact with the great civilizations to the north. Such an image fits well with the Islamic tradition that everything of note began with the new faith, while all previous eras in Arabia were consigned to the age of ignorance and darkness, Jahiliyyah. But that is far from accurate. 
Michael Brown: President Obama vs. Franklin Graham on Islam
During a 2009 interview that is just now being reported widely, President Obama claimed that Americans needed to be better educated on Islam and that, if we compute the total number of Muslims in America, we would be one of the biggest Muslim countries in the world. In stark contrast, Rev. Franklin Graham claimed that the president “was ‘fundamentally mistaken’ about radical Islam . . . and argued that Islam ‘is a false religion’ and that ‘it is impossible for a false religion to be a true religion of peace.’”  Who’s right?
Andrew Napolitano: The Presumption of Liberty
....Stated differently, because of our recognition of natural rights, and our history, values and written constitutional guarantees, we in America are self-directed and free to make our own choices. In fact, the constitutional guarantee of due process mandates that because our individual liberty is natural to us, it is always presumed; thus, it is always the government's obligation to demonstrate our unworthiness of freedom to a judge and jury before it can curtail that freedom. It is not the other way around.  Until now.
Norman Jameson, Baptist News: Seminaries Are At a Crossroads
....As old churches shrink, merge and close, and as new churches crop up in schools, strip malls, living rooms and multi-family housing complexes, the theological institutions on which the old model depended to produce its leaders are themselves tapping their way through the future, white canes extended.
Eileen F. Toplansky: Obama and the Safety of our Blood Supply
With the burgeoning host of diseases now entering the U.S., courtesy of Barack Hussein Obama, a witch’s brew of problems faces the blood supply quality.
Mark Judge: Why The Exorcist Endures
The demon’s target, Fr. Merrin says, is not the innocent girl he takes over. The target “is us.”
Deana Chadwell: The Age of Arrogance
Because of the arrogance of information and the glut on “experts,” we can no longer read with charity, with curiosity, only with suspicion.
Travis Weber: Houston Has No Legal Right To Demand Sermons
Local city gov'ts like Houston have no legal grounds for subpoenaing sermons to enforce federal IRS rules.
Leslie Loftis: Houston’s Sermon Subpoenas
Represent A Legal Opportunity For Religious Liberty Advocates
Progressives want to destroy, or at least control, religious influence. Right now, tax pressure is their only viable option for doing so. That it is hardly viable won’t stop them. They think they have strong arguments. They think that public opinion on religion is swinging to their favor. The tax man cometh. The weakness of their arguments does not absolve us of the need to prepare a defense.
David Cloud: Miracles
There is a lot of confusion today about the place of miracles in the Christian life and ministry. Is divine healing for today? Are there apostles and prophets today? ...In this present lesson we will consider some of the foundational teachings of Scripture that can help us understand these issues.    MORE
Mitchell: Bible Thoughts On The Head, Headship, And Beheadings--Part 3
In scripture, we see that beheading seems to be a method of choice for idolators. The Egyptians practiced beheading.  Remember that Joseph told the chief baker that the interpretation of his dream was that he would have his head lifted off from his body by Pharaoh who would then have his headless body hanged on a tree (Genesis 40:19).  The  prince of the Eunuchs in Babylon, when presented by Daniel.... MORE
Edmondson: Seven Suggestions for Parenting Adult Children
...When adult children  leave the home you don’t have much control over their lives — you are no longer “raising” them — you influence them. The “raising” part was mostly done when they graduated from high school...Parenting moves primarily to influencing when they are adults... So, what should the parents of adult children do? MORE
T.J. Addington: Words That Should Strike Fear In Every Christian Leader
There are two statements of Jesus that ought to strike fear in every Christian leader. They are these: "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and "Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" (John 15:4).  MORE
Rainer: Four Kinds of Church Leaders Who Will Not Lead in Revitalization
....Among the one out of ten churches that are doing okay, there is usually room for improvement. Church revitalization, then, is really for most leaders. So why aren’t more church leaders being intentional in leading church revitalization? As I have conversed with church leaders, I have found four types of church leaders who are resistant to leading church revitalization.   MORE
Johnathon Bowers: Sin Is Worse Than Hell
For some, the doctrine of everlasting punishment in hell feels like a divine overreaction. Take Clark Pinnock as an example: “How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness whose ways include inflicting everlasting torture upon his creatures, however sinful they may have been?” However sinful. The assumption behind Pinnock’s question is that no amount or degree of wickedness could justify conscious torment without end.     MORE
Ken Long: Three Principles for Asking for Forgiveness
One of the first steps we learn to take as followers of Christ is to ask for forgiveness when we sin against someone. Since we are such great sinners this asking should be happening regularly. Asking for forgiveness is a sign of humility and of trusting God. As we ask for forgiveness, we are taking a most important step in restoring an injured relationship.     MORE
Jason Helopoulos: Pain in Christian Marriage
Marriage can be painful--and Christian marriage is no exception. When two sinners are in a relationship as intimate as marriage, there is bound to be some measure of hurt. Our flesh will balk at the demands of self-sacrifice, service, and humility affecting one another for ill. There will be sins committed, wounds aggravated, and injuries inflicted. The extent will vary with each relationship. Some will be more challenging than others, but every Christian marriage experiences some pain.     MORE
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THURSDAY I OCTOBER 30th
Bennett: Obama Administration 'Throwing Israel Under the Bus'
“The United States administration is planning to throw Israel under the bus,” Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday night, responding to harsh words against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which were attributed to senior officials in the Obama administration. “Israel is stronger than all those who curse it,” said Bennett, after Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic quoted officials in Washington as having described Netanyahu as “chickens**t”, among other things. “The prime minister is not a private individual, but the leader of the Jewish State and the Jewish world as a whole. Serious curses such as these against the Israeli Prime Minister are harmful to millions of citizens of Israel and Jews worldwide,” added Bennett.    MORE
Houston Mayor to Pastors: On Second Thought, 
Let’s Forget About Those Subpoenas
Earlier this month the city of Houston sent out a subpoena to five area pastors demanding to see: All speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession. Houston mayor Annise Parker even appeared to support the measure, saying on her Twitter account, “If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game. Were instructions given on filling out anti-HERO petition?” But after a national outcry — that included hundreds of Bibles being sent to her office — the mayor has decided to change her position. Today she announced she’s withdrawing the subpoenas....   MORE
Poll: 80% Back Ebola Quarantines
Proving they are paying attention and have much better instincts than their government and elite media overlords, a full 80% of Americans back quarantining American citizens and legal residents after they return from West Africa. This means everyone, whether they are symptomatic or not. Eighty-percent want these folks quarantined until it is a medical certainty the traveler does not have Ebola.   MORE
Voting Machine Switches Votes from Republican to Democrat in IL
Video has emerged from Illinois of a "calibration error" that causes voting machines to switch votes from Republican to Democrat. The video, posted on YouTube, purportedly shows voting machines in the public library in Moline, IL registering votes as Democrat when the Republican is clearly the intended choice.
Rush Limbaugh Issues Dire Warning About Obama After Election
“As far as Barack Obama is concerned, he doesn’t care who wins the Senate,” He’s gonna executive action, executive order as much as he thinks he can get away with. And he’s gonna go, I think, at NASCAR break-neck speeds. And don’t think he’s gonna care what they say in the Senate, I don’t think he’s gonna care what they do in the Senate because he knows the one thing they won’t do is impeach him."
Charlie Kirk: Which Way Will Millennials Turn?
There is growing speculation as to whether or not young peoples’ lack of interest in the mid-term election will lead them to simply not show up to vote and how that would impact the election. What isn’t talked about is that a young person who stays home on Election Day is in fact voting. What every so-labeled conservative candidate in every individual race should be asking is “How do I get them to change their ‘neither’ vote to me?” Writing recently in The National Journal, Ron Fournier makes the argument that there is a great political disruption coming to the United States that will be “a bottom-up revolution on the scale of what upended the music, television…and retail industries.”   MORE
Christians Outraged By Orders To Teach ‘Other Faiths’
New British government threats that a Christian school, which previously was rated “good” and “excellent,” may be closed if it doesn’t promote “other faiths” are based on new regulations that need to be reviewed, according to school officials. WND reported the U.K.’s official education inspector told an independent Christian school that it is out of step with “British values” prescribed by the government and must invite someone from another faith, such as a Muslim imam, to lead assemblies or it risks being closed.
Aleteia: Robert George - Gay Marriage Proponents Won't Tolerate Dissent
Bakers and photographers and Knights of Columbus halls have been threatened with legal action for refusing to cater to weddings of same-sex couples. Now, two ordained Christian ministers in Idaho, where same-sex “marriage” is now legal, face jail and fines for declining to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.
How Smashed Jesus Shrine Reveals
Christian Undercurrent to Hong Kong Protests 
When police cleared barricades in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok neighborhood this month, they knocked down a makeshift chapel and shattered a statue of Jesus Christ. A day later, activists rebuilt the shrine, adding for good measure a cross in front of government headquarters. The episode shows the unusually central role Christianity is playing in the protests over how the city’s chief executive will be elected, even as the faith is curtailed in China. Many protest leaders are Christians and they cite freedom of religion as one reason they’re leery of greater Communist Party control over the city.    MORE
UK Guardian: 'Satanist' Claims He Destroyed Ten Commandments Statue In Okla.
A man suspected of driving a car into a Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma state Capitol is under mental evaluation, according to the highway patrol. “Investigators will continue to look into the case and coordinate with the Oklahoma County district attorney on Monday, for any possible criminal charges,” according to a news release from OHP Captain George Brown.
Pastor: Chicago Church Robbed Because of Support of GOP
How Does Religion Influence Family Formation Decisions?
Survey: Heaven, Hell & a Bit of Heresy
Cuba Builds First New Church In 55 Years
BBC: What's the Appeal of a Caliphate?
When Islamic State (IS) declared itself a caliphate in June this year, and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claimed the title of caliph, it seemed confirmation of the group's reputation for megalomania and atavistic fantasy. Al-Baghdadi insisted that pledging allegiance to this caliphate was a religious obligation on all Muslims - an appeal which was immediately greeted by a chorus of condemnation across the Middle East. 
Peter J. Leithart: Culture War, Spiritual War
o now we’re debating whether or not two men or two women can get married. How, over the course of less than two decades, did we become blind to something as obvious as the difference between friendship and marriage? The rapid shift in public opinion isn’t the product of superior argument. Arguments have been...
Daniel Greenfield: The Islamization of Jerusalem
....The Islamization of Jerusalem is an international cause. It does not just come out of Gaza City or even Ramallah. Nor Doha or Istanbul. The politicians and diplomats of every major country demand the Islamization of Jerusalem. When they talk about a Palestinian State with its capital in Jerusalem what they are really demanding is the restoration of the Muslim ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem in 1948.
BBC: 10 Things You May Not Know About Laughter
...Why is laughter so much fun? As a psychologist, this is especially puzzling as pretty much everything we think about laughter is wrong. So here are 10 things you, probably, didn't know about laughter. 
Morabito: Why Singles Rights And Same-Sex Marriage Will Abolish All Marriage
A response to ‘singles’ rights’ advocates on the importance of marriage to society.
Beverly Hallberg: For Me, Baseball Is Personal
Baseball has always been something my family does together. It all started with my dad.
Cliff May: Israel and the War of Words
Polls show a clear majority of Americans continue to support Israel, continue to believe the Jewish state has a right to exist and to defend itself. 
Matthew Vadum: Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales?
They likely gave us ObamaCare — could they give us President Hillary Clinton? 
Ronn Torossian: The U.S. State Department’s War on Israel
ISIS, Ebola … and Israel building homes for Jews to live in. Guess what Obama has the greatest issue with? 
Mollie Hemingway: If You Care About The Poor, Care About Marriage
A new report shows the growing marriage divide is a major source of social and economic inequality, eroding the American Dream for many.
Jen Wilkin: When Your Child's Personality Annoys You 
God gifts our children with unique personalities. Sometimes we love the way emerging personality traits shape our child’s behavior, but other times they can drive us crazy. The overly talkative child, the bossy child, the child with endless energy, the child who collapses in tears at the smallest upset, the child whose imagination means homework never gets turned in - these are a few of the personalities that plant themselves in our orderly homes, posing a threat to our expectations and our patience.Our first temptation may be to bring those behaviors to an immediate end. But I want to suggest a better way.    MORE
Tim Challies: A Deeper and Wider Obedience
It is an experience every Christian knows. You become aware of a sin and come to fear and hate it. You focus all kinds of attention on that sin and on putting it to death. You ask friends to pray for you, and you cry out to God for deliverence. Well and good, right? Well, not necessarily. John Owen has something to say to you: You will not be delivered from this sin until you pursue a much deeper and wider obedience.     MORE
Chris Martin: Five Reasons Why There Are No Millennials in Your Church
As fewer and fewer Millennials (or maybe just white Millennials) attend a local church with regularity, pastors frantically read books and blogs about how to keep young people in the pews. Few pastors and churches are attracting Millennials in droves, and most pastors are simply frustrated by the fact that they can’t seem to get young people to walk through the doors, take off their coats, and stay a while.     MORE
David Murray: Nine Vital Answers About Depression And Suicide
According to the CDC, US life expectancy has reached an all time high of 79, but at the same time suicide rates have climbed to a 25-year high...In the United States, young adult and teen suicide is the third leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10-24 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease control. Young adults and late teens dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts often keep to themselves...   MORE
T.J. Addington: Pay Attention to the EQ of Those 
We Interact With and Save Yourself Great Frustration
Think about the most problematic people you have dealt with and then consider the energy, time and frustration you experienced in trying to negotiate the relationship. Chances are good that you were dealing with individuals who had significant EQ deficits. Too often in these cases we deal with them as if they were rational, normal and reasonable individuals and we constantly hit the wall of frustration. MORE
Matthew Westerholm: Three Reasons to Attend Corporate Worship 
“Why do we have to go to church again?” Children ask this question on a semi-regular basis. I know my three boys have given me many opportunities to answer it. As a worship pastor, I am embarrassed to admit that I have found myself facing another service and asking the same question: Why again? Did we fail last week, or do it wrong? Was last week’s service not enough?     MORE
Paul Tautges: Happy Are Those…
One of the most famous portions of the Bible is Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which begins with what have become known as The Beatitudes. Each of these snippets of divine wisdom begins with the word, “Blessed,” which actually means happy. So, “Blessed are you when…” can also be read, “Happy are you when…” Therefore, these verses contain a description of true happiness. In Matthew 5:1-12 we learn of ten marks of those who experience true happiness.    MORE
Nick Batzig: The Six Ingredients of Jesus’ Bitter Cup
When we think of the cup that was placed before Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, we tend to think of it merely in terms of the wrath of God–since that is what the cup most clearly symbolizes in the writings of the OT prophets. While we would never dare reduce it to something less than this, there is certainly more intended by the sight of the cross. When Jesus looked into the cup He saw–from every dimension of His sufferings–all that He would suffer... Isaac Ambrose captured so well the meaning of the cup when he set out the 6 ingredients that made it so burdensome a sight to the sinless Son of God:    MORE
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WEDNESDAY I OCTOBER 29th
Pope Francis: Big Bang Theory Doesn't Contradict God's Role in Creation 
Scientific theories including the "Big Bang" believed to have brought the universe into being 13.7 billion years ago and the idea that life developed through a process of evolution do not conflict with Catholic teaching, Pope Francis said on Tuesday. Addressing a meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, an independent body housed in the Vatican and financed largely by the Holy See, Francis said scientific explanations for the world did not exclude the role of God in creation. MORE
Democrats Target Online Political Speech
The desire to kill political speech on the internet is nothing new, when it comes to the liberal left progressive Democrats. Their goal is not to win in the arena of ideas, but to eliminate any voice that dares to speak out against them in the arena of ideas. In the battle to silence dissent online, an attack is being launched by the FEC.        MORE
Obama Tells Americans Not To Be Afraid Of Ebola;
Schedules Photo-Op With Returning Workers
"America in the end is not defined by fear that's not who we are," he insisted this afternoon before leaving Washington D.C. for Wisconsin. "America's defined by possibility and when we see a problem and we see a challenge, then we fix it. We don't just react based on our fears. We react based on facts and judgment."  Obama reminded Americans that in order to stop Ebola, it was more important than ever for medical professionals to volunteer to travel freely to West Africa to assist the medical effort....  MORE
Kevin DeYoung: Defending Christian Faith as Important as Preaching It 
FA respected Christian author and pastor says believers "need a theology of defending themselves in the courts," pointing to the example of the Apostle Paul in the Bible. Kevin DeYoung made the comments on The Gospel Coalition website, showing that Paul believed that preaching the gospel and defending it from attack are equally important. DeYoung said, "we must not assume that defending ourselves—strenuously and sometimes even defiantly—before the governing authorities is inconsistent with being a follower of Jesus" or goes against spreading the gospel. Considering passages in Acts where Paul defends the gospel and his ministry, DeYoung said the Apostle was a "cultural apologist" as well as a missionary and pastor.  MORE
Chinese Government Continues Demolition of Church Crosses
Churches in Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the capital of the Chinese coastal Zhejiang province, reported cross demolitions on Friday; some Christians told China Aid that only one cross is still standing in the heavily persecuted Wenzhou area...Local Christians said that more than 300 security agents surrounded Kaiyang Church in Yongjia County between 2-3 a.m. on Friday. While some guards blocked the roads leading to the church, others climbed over the churches wall and opened the gate.    MORE
Mississippi Court Rejects Request for Injunction
Against Police Harassment of Christians
A federal judge in Mississippi has denied a request for a preliminary injunction against a local police department accused of harassing and intimidating Christians who conduct pro-life outreach outside of the state’s last remaining abortion facility. “[Our] request that pro-life advocates receive injunctive relief from harassment by the City of Jackson, Mississippi Police Department was denied by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Jackson Division,” wrote Tom Ciesielka of the Life Legal Defense Foundation in an update yesterday. 
Hundreds of Bibles Flood Lesbian Mayor 
Annise Parker's Office 
Christians who oppose the Houston mayor's attempt to censor what pastors say about her gay-rights agenda have sent hundreds of Bibles to her office at the request of a prominent conservative commentator. Mayor Annise Parker, who is open about her lesbianism, acknowledged this week that her office had received Bibles from across the country following a protest campaign launched by former Arkansas Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who is now a news analyst on FOX News. "I would like to ask every pastor in America, send her your sermons," Huckabee said on his FOX News show on Oct. 20. "Everybody watching the show ought to send her a Bible."     MORE
Methodist Pastor Who Performed Same-Sex Wedding Keeps Ordination
A Methodist pastor who was disciplined after he officiated at the wedding of his gay son will be allowed to remain an ordained minister. The Judicial Council of the second-largest U.S. Protestant denomination ruled Monday that a Pennsylvania church jury was wrong to defrock Frank Schaefer last year after he would not...
Why the Outcry over Jewish Building in Jerusalem?
Criticism over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's authorization of new housing units in Jerusalem drew the usual outcry from the usual sources. The 1,060 new apartment homes are slated for Jewish neighborhoods outside the so-called green line, the pre-1967 armistice lines. These are neither settlements nor are they in the city's eastern sector, as is often misreported. 
Boko Haram Terrorists Kidnap More Girls in Nigeria
Why Dolly Parton Won't 'Pass Judgment' On Gay Fans
After Strong Demands, Pastors Hold Prayer Vigil Outside Houston Mayor's Office
IRS Has Been Seizing Bank Accounts of Law-Abiding Small Business Owners
Using the powers granted under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, which was designed to help federal agencies catch drug dealers, terrorists and other criminals, the Internal Revenue Service has been legally seizing the bank accounts of normal, run-of-the-mill business owners who have consistently made cash bank deposits less than the federal bank reporting minimum of $10,000.
Jeff Robinson: America’s Spiritual Founding Father at 300
George Whitefield is the greatest evangelist in American history. He is also perhaps Britain's greatest evangelist. Indeed, few figures in church history have made such a seismic impact for the gospel as Whitefield. Whitefield was born December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England. God used his preaching as one of the primary human catalysts to spawn the revivals of the mid-1700s known to posterity as the First Great Awakening. In honor of Whitefield's 300th birthday, Baylor University historian Thomas Kidd has written a new biography on the famous evangelist: George Whitefield: America's Spiritual Founding Father (Yale). Kidd has researched and written extensively on the colonial period of America and revival in...the United States.  MORE
Couple Look to Paul’s Example in Resisting Order to Perform Gay Marriages
Perform same-sex wedding ceremonies or pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines and spend months behind bars. That’s the choice their Idaho town gave one Christian couple who have made marriage ministry their life’s work. Donald and Eyelyn Knapp, ordained ministers, are married to each other. Together, they have run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, since Ronald Reagan’s last year as president.
Obama White House Did Little To Stop 'The Rise of ISIS,' Says Documentary
Dallas Nurse Amber Vinson Credits Faith for Speedy Recovery After Ebola Battle
Has Shia LaBeouf Really Found God?
Chicago Black Pastor Endorses Republican, Gets Death Threats, Church Vandalized
Corey Brooks, who is pastor of a church on Chicago’s South Side, has been beset with hundreds of death threats after endorsing a Republican for Illinois Governor in the upcoming election. His church has also been vandalized by the more adult, more caring, more tolerant Democrats in the Windy City.
philly.com: Churches Responding To Uptick In Cremation
....In 2007, about 35 percent of people who died in the United States were cremated, according to the Cremation Association of North America. By 2017, 49 percent will be cremated. As these numbers have increased, churches big and small have worked to offer attractive options for cremated remains. 
Doug Giles: National Effort To Bully Churches 
Into Silence Before Elections With IRS Threat
Many pastors have been cowed into inactivity by the threatened loss of their tax-exempt status if they say anything remotely political. This fear can make pastors who don’t—or won’t—get good legal advice about as politically active as Howard Hughes was during the flu season. The church may, among other things, register their members to vote, pass out voter guides, invite all candidates in a race to speak (even if only one of them shows up) and speak directly about specific issues. And by the way, in his personal capacity off the clock, the pastor can endorse whomever or whatever he wishes, just like any other citizen.  MORE
G. Murphy Donovan: ISIS Is Islam!
....If ISIS is not Islamic then the Crusades and the Reformation were not Christian. If ISIS is not Islamic then the French had nothing to do with the Great Terror. If ISIS is not Islamic then Russians had nothing to do with totalitarian Communism.  If ISIS is not Islamic then Germans had nothing to do with National Socialism or the Holocaust. If ISIS is not Islamic then behavior has nothing to do with beliefs!
Cal Thomas: Help for Middle East Christians
....Members of ISIS have targeted Christian churches, destroyed symbols of Christian faith and killed Christians because of their beliefs, but from American Christians we hear very little. Even President Obama, a self-described Christian, rarely speaks about the persecuted.
Michael Bradley: Notre Dame’s Choice on Marriage’s Meaning
Notre Dame’s acceptance of the same-sex marriage movement’s rhetorical paradigm has made our nation’s flagship Catholic institution impotent. Yet there is an opportunity for the Notre Dame community to model ways to promote the good amid the crumbling ruins of institutional integrity.
Ari Lieberman: Beyond Depraved - Palestinians Praise Infant Murderer
While Israelis hail scientists, their “peace partners” hail terrorists. 
Samuel Gregg: Conservatives, America, and Natural Law
For conservatives, a retreat into self-imposed isolation isn’t a responsible option. We need more conservatives publicly witnessing that humans are wired to know and freely choose truth, and that this has implications.....
 John Keown: A Right to Euthanasia?
For both principled and practical reasons, the Supreme Court of Canada should maintain the country’s legal ban on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
Dwight Longenecker: Ten Things That Are Killing the Family
The problems are very complex and are not simply a matter of people disobeying God’s law and running around with whoever they please.
Naomi Schaefer Riley: ‘Family Hour’ Extinct as Sitcoms Get More Vulgar
We have gotten used to a new level of vulgarity in our TV shows and movies. And that has in turn made us less concerned about the sex and violence we are letting our kids watch, at least according to a new study....
Drew Hart: Navigating the Waters of Post-Christendom
It seems like everywhere you go Christians in one way or another are talking about Christendom. Actually, the word being used most is post-Christendom. At the turn of the 21st century we are still in the cloudy shadows of a post-everything society...As I write this, I can imagine at least three different ways that people broadly use the term post-Christendom. I am going to risk being overly simplistic and brief, in what could be...
Tim Challies: Five Bad Substitutes for Discipline
There is nothing easy about parenting, and nothing easy about the responsibility of training our children in obedience through discipline. Because discipline is unpopular and unpleasant, parents often find themselves looking for substitutes. In her book Parenting Against the Tide, Ann Benton lists five poor substitutes for disciplining our children—five poor substitutes that fail to address the heart.    MORE
David Cloud: Graham Kendrick
....Kendrick is a charismatic of the most radical sort and promotes the heretical “kingdom now” theology and Word faith doctrine. He is a member of the Ichthus Christian Fellowship which welcomed the so-called Toronto Blessing with its meaningless gibberish, spirit slaying, hysterical laughing, barking, braying, rolling. Kendrick claims that he was “baptized with the Holy Spirit” in 1971 after attending a charismatic meeting.   MORE
Nathan Busenitz: The Monk Who Wasn’t Good Enough
It was just over 500 years ago, in the fall of 1510, that a desperate Roman Catholic monk made what he thought would be the spiritual pilgrimage of a lifetime. He had become a monk five years earlier, much to the surprise and dismay of his father, who wanted him to become a lawyer. In fact, it was...    MORE
Francis Chan: Marriage on the Edge of Eternity
How long do you think your marriage will last? Will you make it another five years? Ten? Fifty? I think we can all agree that it’s not going to last very long — not in light of eternity. Eternity changes how we enjoy marriage and everything else in this life. Eternity changes how we love. It would be unloving to get my wife and kids so focused on this life that they are unprepared for the next. Some Christians emphasize marriage so much that it might lead some to believe the goal of Christianity is to have a happy marriage...  MORE
Chuck Lawless: 10 Ways Church Leaders Deal With the Brutal Facts
....Many leaders and members of non-growing churches do not recognize the reality of their church’s direction. When our team helps them face reality, the responses are mixed. While these designations are arbitrary, I categorize those responses as either “frustration” or “fortitude.” Look at these descriptions, and see where you are as you face the reality of your congregation.    MORE
Nick Batzig: Loving the Place to Which You’re Called?
...When I was in Philadelphia, my heart longed for a call to a church in Philadelphia. The Lord, in His wisdom and goodness, did not open a door for me to serve there. Instead, He made it abundantly clear that He wanted me to plant a church in Richmond Hill, GA–the furthest cultural setting from the one in which my heart was set on serving. So what are we to do when our heart is set on serving in a particular place, but the Lord clearly has other plans for us. Here are five considerations when seeking a call to ministry:   MORE
Edmondson: 25 Things Momma Used to Say
Mothers are great. They make the world a better place. My mom is my hero. But, I wonder — is there a handbook of sayings all mothers must use? Did your mother say any of these? MORE
Mitchell: Bible Thoughts On The Head, Headship, And Beheadings--Part 2
When Jesus first preached in Nazareth He very pointedly exposed their sin.  They responded by being “filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong” (Luke 4:16).  In other words, they were so incensed at His preaching of the truth that they wanted to throw Him HEAD-FIRST off of the hill.   Interestingly, Judas, who conspired against the Head of the man, and the Head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ, and participated in His death, went on to hang himself, but the rope apparently broke and he fell headlong (Acts 1:18).   MORE
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...there is no reasonable ground for thinking that at death the influences of a whole lifetime will cease to operate upon character, and that, whatever those influences may have been, the soul will be purified by the shock of death. Why, I ask, should death have any such result? .. And it is impossible to see why the soul should put on a new character simply because it lays aside for awhile the instrument which it has employed during a term of years, any more than why a painter's right hand should forget its cunning because he has sold his easel, or why a murderer in fact should cease to be a murderer at heart because he has lost his dagger and cannot afford to replace it. True, at death, the ear, the eye, the hands, perish. But when they are destroyed in this life by an accident, does character change with them? The indulgence of the purely animal appetite may depend on the healthy condition of the organ; but the mental condition which permits, if it does not dictate, the indulgence is unaffected.  MORE
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...The central fact in these pictures is not that of the troubled souls. The central fact is that of Christ, and of what He said to these people. To the man sick of the palsy He said, "Be of good cheer, child." To the woman broken, bruised, weary, emaciated, and forlorn, He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter." To the disciples in the midst of the storm, terrified by the approach of the phantom, and to the disciples yet more afraid of the future without Him, He said, "Be ye of good cheer." To the man in the prison, hindered in high and holy service, He said, "Be of  good cheer." In each case He challenged fear, and uttered a call to courage, and gave His reason for doing so.  These incidents illustrate and illuminate the whole realm of discipleship, and I bring them to you this morning in order, as I may be helped by the Spirit of God, to fasten your attention upon that challenge of Jesus. I bring them to you as a greeting, not as my word to you, for that would be very worthless, but as the Master's word to you. "Be of good cheer."    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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....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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