Wally Morris: Clapping vs. Amen — Which Will Win?
The increase in clapping of the hands in churches as a response to musical ministries and even preaching is one of the obvious changes taking place in many churches. What I find intriguing is why? What is behind this growing preference for hand clapping as a sign of approval rather than “Amen”, “Praise the Lord”, or some similar phrase? Some reading this are perhaps already questioning the wisdom and motivation of this topic. “Why spend time discussing something so insignificant and harmless?” I submit that the changes we see are not insignificant and harmless.    LINK
Ch. Today: The Evangelical Case for Wealth Creation
....Wealth creation is a godly gift and command, and business is a “noble calling,” as Luther and Calvin put it, a “noble vocation,” in the words of Pope Francis. Business and wealth creation can and should be solutions to justice issues such as human trafficking and environmental challenges.   LINK
Huffington Post: Roy Moore Is An Outspoken Fundamentalist About Everything But Climate Change
Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore takes a hard-line Christian fundamentalist stance on just about every issue. He’s written poems lamenting legal abortion. He wants to make gay sex illegal and overturn marriage equality. The former judge says he places “God’s law” above the Constitution, describes Islam as a “false religion” and has repeatedly defied federal orders to remove religious ornaments from his courtroom... But Moore has remained uncharacteristically subtle when it comes to climate change and environmental issues.   (SEE DISCLAIMER BELOW)   LINK
Todd Starnes: Texas Teens Stand Up to Atheists and Defend American Flag
The American flag and the Christian flag both fly outside LaPoynor High School in LaRue, Texas ...The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics and freethinkers, sent a letter to the local school district demanding the flag be removed.     LINK
Gene Veith: The Christianophobia of the Rich
Hostility against Christians among the general public has not increased  ...But who has hostility against Christians has changed. Today more anti-Christian bias is coming from the rich. Because wealthy people have more power, their hostility is amplified.  LINK
Christian Post: Former NPR CEO Spends Time With Evangelicals, Republicans; Discovers Media Bias
Ken Stern, the former CEO of National Public Radio, spent a year venturing "out from my overwhelmingly Democratic neighborhood" by meeting Republicans and attending evangelical church services, which led him to his discovery of "an America far different from the one depicted in the press."   LINK
Thom Rainer: Ten Really Strange Things That Happened at Church Business Meetings
Dead bodies and donuts. Those are two of the themes of church business meetings.   LINK
Don Johns0n: Christians and the Movies
You can’t escape the media these days, which means almost everyone knows of their latest obsessions within a few hours of their formation. The last week or so, one story crowded out the regular obsessions. You can hardly go to a site on the web that isn’t offering some kind of opinion about Harvey Weinstein and the Hollywood scandal. I’ve read a few of these articles myself.    LINK
Tyndale's Last Words—Lord, Open European Eyes
The last reported words of William Tyndale, strangled and burned at the stake in 1536, referred to Henry VIII: ‘Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.’ Now, immigrant-led churches may revive the Continent’s Reformation legacy—and open our eyes as well.   LINK
Bloomberg News: Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between
The U.S. retirement age is rising, as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer. But lifespans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach. Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed.  Here are the stats....  LINK
Stream: Social Justice Warriors are Coming for Mathematics
....Yet just as everybody cannot be over six feet tall, not everybody has the same facility with math. Some are better at it, some worse. Some are better because of innate talent and industriousness. Some are better because circumstance allows them to use their talents.   LINK
Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Mainline Churches Deal With Closures, Merges
....Denominations large and small report falling membership numbers, decreased attendance and faltering financial support. The decline began accelerating in the 1990s. Membership at churches and synagogues has fallen by nearly 20 percentage points since World War II, according to Gallup.The Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church USA have lost nearly half their members since 1967.   LINK
Pat Buchanan: Is Liberalism a Dying Faith?
....Equality, diversity, democracy -- this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships. But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking.   LINK
Jim Davis: Four Myths That Keep College Students from Joining a Church
...Most church-going college students never join a church during their time away, electing either to retain membership at their old church or not join anywhere. The question they ask is this: If I have community, am mentored, receive Bible teaching, and am engaged in mission, then why do I need to join a church?   LINK
Gracy Olmstead: How To Save Your Family From Technology Creep
The more time we spend on our various technological devices, the less time we spend together as a family. How do we fix this problem?  LINK
J.Jenkins: Why Christians Should Sing with Their Spouse
 My exhortation was to sing hymns with your wife.   LINK
ERLC: Why Clergy Get Tax-Free Housing
For the second time in four years, a federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances is unconstitutional. In her latest ruling U.S. District Court Judge Crabb claims the ministerial housing allowance violates the Constitution's Establishment Clause “because it does not have a secular purpose or effect and because a reasonable observer would view the statute as an endorsement of religion.”   LINK
LA Times: China’s Rising Authoritarianism Has a Stark Human Cost
....Since Chinese President Xi Jinping ascended to power in 2012, he has both amassed extraordinary power — analysts routinely call him China’s strongest leader since Mao Tse-tung — and ratcheted up repression to its highest levels since the early 1990s.    LINK
Fox News: Fossilized Teeth Dating Back 9.7 Million Years Could 'Rewrite' Human History
Dental remains discovered by German paleontologists who were sifting through gravel and sand in a former bed of the Rhine River could potentially lead to a “rewriting” of human history.    LINK
Christian Headlines: China— House Church Leader, Daughter, and Grandson Arrested for Sharing Faith in Public
.....Xu Shizhen, along with her daughter and grandson, was singing and dancing in worship and preaching about her faith in a public park in Xianning, Hubei province. A month later, Xu, her daughter Xu Yuqing, and her three-year-old grandson Xu Shouwang were arrested. Their exact whereabouts following the arrest are unknown.    LINK
Christian Post: Father of Two Shot Dead on Way to Early Morning Service, Bible Found 10 Feet From Body
A father of two on his way to an early morning service at the Light of the World Church in Las Vegas was shot and left for dead just outside the entrance of the church where his Bible was found 10 feet from his body Monday morning.   LINK
Christian Post: Church of England Under Pressure After Diocese Votes to Bless Same-Sex Unions
The diocese of Hereford in the United Kingdom has voted to back services and prayers to bless same-sex unions, putting pressure on the Church of England to abandon its institutional opposition to same-sex marriage.   LINK
Yesterday I marked the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a list of the crimes that Marxist ideologues have committed around the world. I promised to analyze why all through the decades those crimes were being committed, intelligent people were still drawn to Marxism. Indeed, some still are today.    LINK
Tom Gilson: The Local Church Must Take a Stand on Sexuality
I’d been talking with a pastor about his church’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage. His own position was conservative and biblical, but someone else in leadership had fired a gay-affirming shot across the church’s bow. I wondered what he was going to do about it. “I don’t know, Tom. I don’t like debate.”   LINK
David Cloud: Cultural Factors In the Weakening of Churches
Following are some of the factors that have weakened the character of Bible-believing churches over the past 70 years and helped create a mixed multitude philosophy.   LINK
MarketWatch: Why Millennials Are Ditching Religion for Witchcraft and Astrology
…Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.    LINK
Christian Headlines: Hamas Says ‘We Will Wipe Out Israel’
At a rally in the Gaza strip on Thursday, Hamas’ second highest ranking military leader, Yahya Sinwar, said the terror group has no intention of recognizing Israel; instead, it still intends to wipe out Israel. "Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”     LINK
CBN News: Millennial Takeaways From a Traditional Summit Held For Conservative Christians
The 17th annual Values Voter Summit carried a poignantly unique tone this year. While the event, held each fall in the nation's capital, routinely boasts conservative values, it carried a narrative of new hope for religious liberties and pro-life activism this year.    LINK
Tech giant Apple removed a pro-life prayer app from its App Store following backlash from pro-abortion advocates, another example of bias against Christian groups.    LINK
Christian Post: Mass Trials of Over 6,600 Boko Haram Suspects Accused of Slaughtering Christians, Children Begin
The mass trials of over 6,600 suspects believed to be members of Islamic radical group Boko Haram have begun in Nigeria, and are being carried out in secret by civilian court judges at a military facility in Kainji town. The terror group has slaughtered...   LINK
Jimmy Needham: The Prosperity Gospel in Our Closet 
....As Christians, we have access to a thousand gifts that are breathtakingly wonderful in their own right: forgiveness of our sins, relief from God’s wrath, escape from hell...But for the Christian, these are not what we write home about. Our main gift in the gospel is God. The punchline of our good news is this: You get God!    LINK
Aeon: How Our Smartphones Stop Us from Living In the Moment
Technology is part of humanity’s narrative. That’s neither inherently good nor bad – the implications are up to us.     LINK
In Nepal, President Signs Law Criminalizing Evangelism, Human Rights Group Warns
The President of Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari has signed into law legislation that makes religious conversion a crime, the international human rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported.   LINK
Lifenews: Women’s Blog Reveals the 20 Best Cities to Kill Your Baby In an Abortion
The pro-abortion women’s blog Refinery 29 wants young women to add “easy abortion access” to their list of things to consider before moving to a new city. The blog highlighted a new project that ranked cities by their willingness to support abortion on demand.    LINK
It’s simple and straightforward. Leaders of declining churches have five choices.   LINK
Chuck Lawless: What to Do with Cliques In the Church
....Almost every survey done shows that church members believe their congregation has cliques. In fact, I can’t remember ever reading a survey that did not reveal that same finding. If that’s the case, how should we try to avoid cliques in our church?    LINK
Gulf Coast Pastor: Children and Salvation by L. R. Scarborough
L. R. Scarborough, excerpts from “With Christ After the Lost,” Broadman Press; 1952 (I think originally published in 1919).  A great, classic, evangelism book to have in the church library.    LINK
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