New York Post: How the Greek Crisis 
Could Happen Here
Most Americans look at the rerun of the Greek euro crisis with something between smug amusement and condescending disapproval. When will those profligate Greeks get their economic house in order and stop looking to others to bail them out? But, should people living in glass economic houses really throw stones? After all, just like Greece, the United States government has been living beyond its means, running up an enormous debt that will eventually need to be repaid. True, our budget deficit this year will be lower than it has been, just $486 billion compared to $1.4 trillion as recently as 2009. But this is just a temporary respite. Within the next couple of years the deficit will start to rise again. By 2025, we will again face trillion-dollar shortfalls. And even a $486 billion deficit adds to our ever growing debt. Our national debt currently approaches $18.2 trillion, roughly 101% of GDP. That’s right. We owe more than the value of all the goods and services produced in this country every year. It is as if your credit-card bills exceeded your entire pay check.   MORE
HEADLINES & ARTICLES FOR MONDAY, JULY 6th, 2015
AP: Greece Enters Uncharted Territory After Referendum 'No' Vote
Greece lurched into uncharted territory and an uncertain future in Europe's common currency Sunday after voters overwhelmingly rejected demands by international creditors for more austerity measures in exchange for a bailout of its bankrupt economy. Results showed 61 percent voted "no," compared with 38 percent for "yes," with 97 percent of the vote counted. The referendum — Greece's first in more than four decades — came amid severe restrictions on financial transactions in the country, imposed last week to stem a bank run that accelerated after the vote was called. Thousands of jubilant government supporters celebrated in Syntagma Square in front of Parliament...     MORE
Gatlinburg TN Church Sign On Same-Sex Marriage Creating Controversy
A sign outside of a Gatlinburg church is causing a lot of people to do a double take. The sign reads “no-same sex marriages.” Reverend Dr. Ed Taylor said the message was put up on Saturday after Supreme Court justices ruled in favor of same-sex marriage the day before. He said he felt compelled to post what some consider to be a controversial message outside of his church, Gatlinburg Ministries Church. “I’m sure I’ll offend some people, without question,” said Rev. Taylor. For almost 40 years, he’s been performing marriage ceremonies at the Gatlinburg church. He believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.   MORE
The Stream: Canada Court Denies Christian Law School 
Accreditation Due to University’s Rule Against Gay Sex
A Canada court has upheld the denial of accreditation to a Christian law school, holding the private school’s prohibition of homosexual behavior is sufficiently discriminatory that its degrees can be invalidated for that reason alone. Trinity Western University is a 4,000-student, evangelical Protestant college in the Vancouver suburb of Langley. It has been seeking to open a law school, but has struggled to obtain accreditation in several provinces. This difficulty is not based on the school’s academics, but rather is based on outside objections to the covenant the school makes all students and professors sign. The covenant, among other things, forbids all sex other than that within heterosexual marriage, a rule opponents say discriminates against both gays and those who do not believe in marriage...In its ruling, the Ontario Superior Court found that the denial of accreditation did violate Trinity’s freedom of religion, but that this violation was acceptable because of the greater good of protecting equality.  MORE
Church Group Calls Joel Osteen a 'Charlatan' Before Court Appearance
Six members of the controversial Church of Wells from East Texas appeared in a Harris County Courtroom Thursday morning. They're accused of criminal trespass at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church. We got a rare look inside the very private group when church members used the courthouse as their preaching ground. It was an unusual sight in the hallway: six young men singing and preaching to the folks waiting for their court dates...Security eventually told them to quiet down.   MORE
End of the Am. Dream: What Do You Think Would Happen If A Greek-Style Crisis Hit America?
In this article, I am going to share with you some statistics that prove that most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for a Greek-style economic crisis.  According to one recent survey, an all-time high 72 percent of all Americans are concerned about an economic downturn, and yet the amount of actual preparation that is taking place for the next economic downturn is very low.  As 2008 has faded into our memories, most Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security.  Hopefully what is going on in Greece right now will serve as a wake up call, because the truth is that similar things could happen in the United States much sooner than we imagine.   MORE
Jon Bloom: God’s Purpose For the Supreme Court — And Everything Else
....We can be at peace despite major cultural shifts, moral decline, political upheaval, war, natural disasters, disease, and increasing hostility to the gospel (Romans 8:35) because we know that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37), through him who loved us to the point of his own death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). And we know that all these things “must take place” (Matthew 24:6). All that is happening right now, no matter how concerning and God-belittling and destructive, will not prevent, but in fact will have some role in facilitating, the gospel proclamation throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations.     MORE
Poll: 70 Percent of Americans Believe News Media Is Intentionally Biased
Nearly three quarters of Americans believe the news media reports with an intentional bias, according to a new survey. The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today, was released Friday. It shows that only 24 percent of American adults agree with the statement that "overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias," while 70 percent disagree. When the question was asked last year, 41 percent agreed, a 17-point difference.   MORE
The Blaze: Will Churches Lose Their Tax-Exempt Status In 
the Wake of the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling?
The dust had barely settled on the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling before some critics began ramping up suggestions that churches that are theologically opposed to gay marriage deserve to lose their tax-exempt status — a proposal that conservative attorneys and a charitable giving expert patently dismissed in separate statements to TheBlaze this week. Calls for houses of worship to lose their 501(c)(3) status are nothing new, though some conservative critics have warned in recent months and years that the legalization of same-sex marriage would possibly revitalize calls for the Internal Revenue Service to rethink the issue, putting churches in a potentially difficult position. The authors of two articles published over the past week have done just that, breathing new life into the controversial subject.    MORE
Imprisoned Sudanese Pastors Must Be Proven Innocent or They Will Face the Death Penalty
A Sudanese court has ruled that there is enough evidence to move forward with the trial of two imprisoned South Sudanese Presbyterian pastors facing "trumped-up" espionage charges, which are punishable by death. The pastors' attorney will have only two weeks to prove their innocence without access to his clients.   MORE
Mark Dance: Preaching Through Cultural Chaos
Preaching through cultural chaos is not easy. Pastors feel pressure to be tough and tender at the same time when addressing various front page topics. This pressure is both internal and external, which can be overwhelming in times like these. Pastors and leaders often second guess whether we have said enough or too much. Today I want to offer some encouragement and instruction to others who preach...   MORE
David Cloud: Vatican Report Says the Inquisition Wasn’t So Bad After All
Professor Agostino Borromeo, historian of Catholicism at the Sapienza University in Rome, says the Inquisition wasn’t as bad as it has been made out to be. He is the editor of a 783-page report issued by the Vatican which claims, for example, that only 1% of the 125,000 people tried by church courts as suspected heretics in Spain were executed. Catholic Cardinal Georges Cottier agrees with the report’s findings and says Rome shouldn’t “ask for pardon for deeds which aren’t there.” 
Erick Erickson: Mass Hysteria In America
History is riddled with episodes of mass hysteria. Sometimes those episodes of mass hysteria lead to evil. Sometimes they lead to merely bizarre stories. But society, on occasion, has fits of hysteria and insanity burning like wildfire through it. The wildfire eventually burns out, but it often leaves destruction in its wake. The United States of America and much of the West are currently in a fit of hysteria. A wildfire is burning through it. Up is down. Down is up. Good is evil. Evil is good. Wrong is right, and right is wrong. Boys can suddenly be girls. Sex and gender are suddenly different things. And Justice Anthony Kennedy believes that because someone may look at the horizon and find loneliness, the Constitution guarantees him the right to marry another man.   MORE
Oregon Fines, Then Silences Bakers Who Wouldn't Make Gay Wedding Cake
Oregon is fining two bakers $135,000 for "emotional damages" to a lesbian couple who wanted them to bake a wedding cake against their deeply held religious beliefs. The ruling by Oregon's labor commissioner also issued a "cease and desist" order forbidding them to speak publicly about their objections to serving same-sex weddings.  MORE
Norway Moving Toward Allowing 7-Year-Olds to 'Change Gender'
Children as young as seven would be allowed to change their legal gender under a bill proposed by Norway’s government on Thursday, bringing it one of the lowest ages for transgender rights anywhere in the world. 
Inside Higher Ed: The Supreme Court Ruling and Christian Colleges
Friday's Supreme Court decision that states must authorize and recognize gay and lesbian marriages could create major legal challenges for religious colleges -- primarily evangelical Christian colleges that bar same-sex relationships among students and faculty members. Or the decision may not create much of a legal challenge at all. Or it may create challenges, but not soon. Legal experts are divided. But the question of whether same-sex marriage as a national right changes the legal status of Christian colleges is no longer just theoretical.
Samuel W. Oliver: The Future of the Christian University
As I stood before more than seven hundred college graduates and their families during our annual ritual called commencement, I wondered if our graduates’ children will be allowed the privilege of the kind of education they received in a Christian liberal arts university. The future is not certain. I feel sure that universities can solve concerns about cost. We will survive the online revolution. The quality of the educational experience speaks for itself. Instead, the threat that worries me most is the infringement of religious freedom by our own government.
Eco Collapse Blog: Why The Puerto Rico Debt Crisis Is Such A Huge Threat To The U.S. Financial System
The debt crisis in Puerto Rico could potentially cost financial institutions in the United States tens of billions of dollars in losses.  This week, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla publicly announced that Puerto Rico’s  73 billion dollar debt is “not payable,” and a special adviser that was recently appointed to help straighten out the island’s finances said that it is “insolvent” and will totally run out of cash very shortly.  At this point, Puerto Rico’s debt is approximately 15 times larger than the per capita median debt of the 50 U.S. states. 
Tom DeLay: Justice Dept. Wants to Legalize 12 'Perversions'
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay claims the Justice Department has drafted a memo that spells out a dozen "perversions," including bestiality and pedophilia, that it wants legalized. "We've … found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department. They're now going to go after 12 new perversions. Things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal," DeLay said...
Carl R. Trueman: The Church in Exile
The Christian church on earth is always, in a sense, in exile. Whatever the incidental identities of her members may be—whether of nationality, race, class, or gender—their ultimate identity is that they are in Christ and belong to him. Compared to the ephemeral categories that human cultures have created for distinguishing one from another, this foundation in Christ is absolute and final. As a result, the church never belongs to this world, but always looks to another. Yet there are times in history when it is more dramatically obvious, and perhaps more painfully experienced, than at other times, that the church is in exile. In America, given the past cultural dominance of a form of civic Protestantism that is now vanishing rapidly, the sense of being an exile community is likely to be sharpened in the imminent future. At the heart of this unraveling lies the politics of sexual identity. While many Christians rightly see the advent of legalized abortion as a very significant step in the legal redefinition of what it means to be a person, the coming of same-sex marriage is set to have more immediate impact upon the everyday lives of Christians.   MORE
John Hawkins: FIVE MISTAKES THAT WILL LEAD TO THE FALL OF AMERICA
Thousands of years after the Roman Empire fell, people are still speculating about how such a powerful empire became too feeble to defend itself. Did it become corrupt? Was its taxes too high? Was it widespread lead poisoning? The refusal to break up tribes it assimilated? Was it the loss of traditional values? Did it over-expand? There are all sorts of theories, but nobody really knows. However, if American falls, historians won’t have to speculate because the problems that are destroying our country are right there for anyone to see. You want to know how to break the greatest nation the world has ever seen over the course of a few short decades? Just look at what we’re actually doing because future generations will point to it when they’re trying to figure out where we went wrong.
Reformation21: Why Most Missionaries Are Liars
No job description I have ever seen for a missionary includes the words "fast and loose with the truth." It is not my belief missions attracts the kind of people who are predisposed to being insincere. Unfortunately, I have seldom encountered a missionary who will tell the entire truth when asked important personal questions. The questions which would cause a typical missionary to light up a lie detector include: "How are you doing?" "How is your family?" "How is your marriage?" "How is your spiritual health?" These personal questions are frequently asked by friends, family, and supporting churches. What gives a typical missionary emotional fits is juxtaposing an honest desire to receive help with the concern he or she may be perceived as a ministry failure.
Edmondson: Five Steps to Getting Unstuck From Circumstances
....Perhaps you had a dream, but you got sidelined pursuing it. Perhaps you’ve absorbed all your energy, all your resources, and all your passion, but it didn’t work and now the dream is dead and you don’t know what to do next.  Maybe you just experienced you’re greatest season ever — but now things are still again — you don’t know how to repeat the success. Or, even how to get started again. If this is your situation, i have a few thoughts. Based on experience. You can find your momentum again.
T.J. Addington: When My Church Doesn't Grow!
With all the hype about church growth and large churches it can be a discouraging road when the church we pastor does not grow substantially. Of course we often forget that the average size church in the United States is well under 200 people. Yet the churches and pastors that get the greatest attention are in the thousands and are seen as the measure of success.  How do I respond when I pastor a smaller church and over the years there is not appreciable numerical growth? Let's talk some perspective here.
George Mulfinger: The Heavens Declare
The science of astronomy has given us much interesting information about the universe in which we live-the earth and its moon, the planets and their moons, the stars, and the sun. These findings should enhance the thoughtful Christian’s appreciation for God’s power and wisdom. Moreover, they should sharpen our awareness of the truth of some remarkable statements in the Bible about astronomy.
Christina Fox: When God Interrupts Your Plans
....My life is filled with interruptions, inconveniences, frustrations, and unexpected events. Things break. Accidents happen. The phone rings just as I climb into bed.... The problem is, I usually handle these interruptions to my life poorly. I react with frustration and anger. Like a young child, I want to stomp my feet and say, “It’s not fair!” I blame others for inconveniencing me. I’ll even throw my own pity-parties.
Thom Rainer: Seven Warning Signs of Affairs for Pastors
The conversation is always sad, always tragic. The pastor who left his church after a two-year affair with another church member. The student pastor who has been out of vocational ministry since he had a brief sexual encounter with his assistant. I have spoken with countless numbers of these men and women...Though the conversations are both sad and tragic, I do learn from them. And after dozens of these conversations, I see patterns. These patterns become warning signs for any of us, lest we be so naïve to think we have no vulnerabilities.
Robert Jones: Three Compelling Reasons Why We Must Deal with Our Sinful Anger
Why should we seek to uproot our sinful anger and replace it with godly fruit? In one sense, we must deal with it simply because God commands it (Matt 5:21?22; Eph 4:22?24, 26-32; Col 3:8). Additionally, as we study the Scriptures, we find three compelling motives.
Kevin Halloran: Six Observations from the Prayer Requests of the Apostle Paul
Scripture teaches us about prayer in many different ways: statements of fact, commands, parables, and by providing the prayers of many great prayer warriors to learn from. One of those warriors is the Apostle Paul. While Paul included many prayers for others in his epistles, only a few times does Paul ask for prayer for himself. His personal prayer requests open Paul’s heart and help us see how to best pray for those in ministry. Why did Paul ask for prayer and what can we learn from his requests?
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WEEKEND UPDATES  July 4th-5th
(Check back periodically for new headlines throughout the weekend)
Breitbart: 4th of July—Seven Big Ideas and Moments that Have Defined America
Though the very phrase “American Exceptionalism” is often mocked as simple-minded flag waving, there are concrete reasons that the American civilization is unique. The United States has a special place in world history. Despite the bumps, bruises, and outright contradictions that the country has muddled through in its very short existence, Americans can take pride in its numerous accomplishments, actions, and principles throughout the last two centuries. Below is a list—nowhere near comprehensive—of some of the greatest moments, ideas, and principles that have defined the American civilization.   MORE
Filmmaker Releases DVD Defending Accuracy of Exodus Story
Countering decades of academic skepticism regarding the Exodus account of Israel’s captivity and eventual liberation from slavery in Egypt, filmmaker Tim Mahoney will release the DVD for his ground-breaking 2014 documentary “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,” on August 4. Working closely with archaeologists and historians, Mahoney spent twelve years making “Patterns of Evidence,” a project born of the author’s own struggle with belief in the biblical narratives. Embarking on what he calls an “archaeological investigation,” Mahoney set out to answer the question: Is there any scientific evidence that the Exodus story actually happened? Many scholars reject the Exodus account out of hand, insisting that there is no archaeological evidence for various places mentioned in the biblical travel itinerary of the Israelites as they fled Egypt for Canaan. Some extrapolate from this to reject the entire story of Israel’s origins and the Exodus narrative. Others have suggested that some of the Exodus account may be real, but didn’t necessarily happen to Israel. Joshua Berman, for example, has put forward the thesis that Israel borrowed propaganda from Ramesses II and incorporated it into its own history.   MORE
Boko Haram Kills Nearly 200 In 48 Hours of Nigeria Slaughter
Boko Haram carried out a fresh wave of massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said, killing nearly 200 people in 48 hours of violence President Muhammadu Buhari blasted as "inhuman and barbaric". The militants have staged multiple attacks across restive Borno state since Wednesday, gunning down worshippers at evening Ramadan prayers, shooting women in their homes, and dragging men from their beds in the dead of night. In an online post, the terror group called the operation a "blessed raid" and accused Egyptian forces of being an "apostate army." A young female suicide bomber also killed 12 when she blew herself up in a mosque...  MORE
Survey: 53 Percent of Americans Believe God Has 'Special Relationship' With US
Over half of Americans believe that God has a special relationship with the US, according to a new poll from LifeWay Research. Christian Today reports a survey of 1,000 people indicated that 53 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that God has a special relationship with the US. The number increased to 59% among Southerners, 62% among African Americans and 67% among Evangelicals.    MORE
Greek Banks Prepare To Raid Citizen's Deposits To Avert Collapse
Greek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears the country is heading for financial collapse, bankers and businesspeople with knowledge of the measures said on Friday. The plans, which call for a “haircut” of at least 30 per cent on deposits above €8,000, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank, the sources said.
Jon Bloom: Loving and Celebrating a Defective Nation
July 4th is the day we Americans set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation, the ideals it represents, and the freedoms we enjoy. But for many American Christians, the recent Supreme Court ruling will hang like a dark cloud over this year’s Independence Day festivities. And in a very real sense, this response is appropriate. The marring of the meaning of marriage is a calamity whose repercussions will likely be more far-reaching and destructive than most of us understand now. And it will likely have serious future implications for churches and other Christian institutions. It’s helpful for us to take a moment to reflect on what true freedom really is and what it means for us ex-patriots of the kingdom of heaven to love and celebrate America, even with all her grievous defects. What does it really mean to be free? In the American sense, freedom is the ability to pursue one’s self-determined happiness with minimal constraints imposed by others or by the state. Tyranny is any external force that inhibits the pursuits of one’s internal desires. Christian freedom is very different. According to Scripture, the worst tyranny is...  MORE
CBN News: Israeli Prime Minister On Egypt — Terror Is Knocking at Our Border
The Egyptian army says it has killed scores of Islamic State-linked fighters following multiple attacks on military posts in the Sinai Peninsula. ISIS-linked terrorists are part of an insurgency to overthrow the Egyptian government. Smoke hung over Egypt's northern Sinai after the Islamic State's affiliate killed dozens of Egyptian soldiers. MORE
WizBang: Joel Osteen Is Pastor of the Largest Protestant Church In the US--Is He Protesting Evangelism?
Joel Osteen is a well known televangelist and author of self-help books. Note “self-help.” He’s pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, a church founded by his dad, and it’s the largest Protestant church in the US. His books sell very well in Muslim countries where Christianity is banned and Christians are routinely butchered. Why do his books sell so well in Muslim countries? Could it be because Osteen avoids talking about Christ? Does Osteen preach a watered down, health-wealth-happiness message or does he preach the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Dan Calabrese: Oregon Imposes Gag Order On Christian Bakers In Gay Wedding Case
I don’t know if you’ve followed the case of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. This is the now-closed bakery in Oregon that has become a target of state officials because its Christian owners declined to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. Not only has the business been forced to close, the state has fined the Kleins $135,000. But it gets worse. Much worse. Now that state has responded to a radio interview the Kleins gave by ordering them to no longer talk publicly about why their faith compels them to decline such business. 
Gospel Coalition: 50 Resources for Equipping the Church on Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage
The Gospel Coalition exists to serve the church. To help fulfill this mession, TGC has joined with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention on Equip, a project to provide a broad range of resources on homosexuality and same-sex marriage issues to prepare your church for a changing culture. If you're looking for something to share with people in your church in order to better equip them to discuss homosexuality, same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage, or the biblical view of sexuality, consider one of the following 50 resources:
World Mag: TAX EXEMPTION FOR CHURCHES IN THE CROSSHAIRS
Even before the Supreme Court’s decision making same-sex marriage the law of the land, worry spread that the government could crack down on churches whose pastors and members speak out against homosexuality. New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer proposes a radical solution: End the IRS tax exemption for nonprofit organizations altogether. 
David Azerrad: What the Declaration Of Independence Says About the American Character
Many Americans still retain the American character of not only asserting rights but standing to defend them.
State Officials Sued for Standing Against Same-Sex Marriage, For Christian Values
Freedom of religion is under fire at the state level after the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Four couples are suing a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to issue any marriage licenses, because her Christian beliefs keep her from supporting gay marriage.
Mike Konrad: The Uniqueness of the American Revolution
The American Revolution was absolutely unique.  I can find no other counterpart to compete with it. Much of modern history is that of peoples seeking to replicate the success of the American Revolution, and failing, usually miserably.
Brian Croft: How Does a Pastor Encourage Military Veterans 
In His Congregation During July 4th Weekend?
For those living in America, you know July 4 is coming, which is the day we celebrate our Independence as a nation.  For my international readers, this is a day that is often used to honor those who have served our country in the military.  This typically means the Sunday connected with this holiday becomes the place where these celebrations take place.  You will find a variety of approaches, from churches doing full blown patriotic musicals in place of the corporate gathering, to nothing different than a normal Sunday service.
Jonathan Aigner: God and Country — Idolatry In the Hymnal
When I was a kid, the church my family went to had mostly forsaken hymn-singing. Inexplicably, they left the faded and worn green books to rot in the pew racks for at least ten years after the last time they were collectively opened. Ten years, just sitting there...There were two times of the year we regularly sang songs that could be found in those volumes. One was during the Christmas “season”...The other was during the most sacred of holidays, the holiest day of the year, Independence Day. And I’m not really exaggerating, either. The reverence and awe displayed on the 4th of July eclipsed that of any liturgical observances, even Christmas and Easter.     MORE
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Denny Burk: Ending Tax Exemptions Means Ending Churches
Mark Oppenheimer of The New York Times is now calling for the government to remove tax-exempt status from churches. After I posted a link to his article on Facebook, a pastor friend commented: “I’m not sure our small church could survive.” That, my friends, is the point. And Oppenheimer knows it. Legal gay marriage is not the endgame for the gay-rights movement. It never was. Moral approval is the endgame. The agenda is not tolerance for different beliefs and lifestyles. The agenda is a demand that everyone get on board with the moral revolution or be punished. That means if you or your church won’t get with the program, then the revolutionaries will endeavor to close you down.   MORE
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Breitbart: Government Crusade Against Churches Begins with Removal of Non-Profit Status
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision mandating that states reward same-sex marriages throughout the nation, churches across the country prepare for the inevitable assault on their tax-exempt statuses. “Beliefs” columnist for The New York Times, Mark Oppenheimer, wrote at Time.com that churches should have their tax-exempt statuses ripped away for opposing same-sex marriage...The left wishes for a nation where same-sex couples are given tax benefits for participation in a homosexual lifestyle, but where churches are punished for rejecting that lifestyle. And it won’t stop with churches.    MORE
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What Your Church Needs to Know—and Do —About the Court’s Marriage Ruling
...the greatest threat for churches lies in the application of the Court’s decision to believers who live in jurisdictions covered by so-called “non-discrimination” laws and ordinances. Everywhere that marriage has been redefined in the last several years has seen an awakening of non-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. These laws are peppered throughout the states and local governments and are a linchpin of the sexual revolution’s broader legal and political strategy: to establish non-discrimination laws at all levels throughout the country and to to “ensure that religion is not used as an excuse to discriminate.” In coming days, the threat from these non-discrimination laws will materialize in numerous ways as same-sex couples marry. But there are proactive steps your church can take to protect itself.     MORE
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Pastors Arm Churches After Charleston Shooting
Some pastors across the country are introducing armed security after the shooting at a Charleston church killed nine people. "If they had security, the assailant would not have been able to reload," Bishop Ira Combs, a pastor in Jackson, Michigan, said Sunday. "All of us here are not going to turn the other cheek while you shoot us." MORE
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Keith Edwards: Gay Marriage Ruling, Liberal Activists, 
Plus the IRS Equals Big Trouble for 'Corporate' Churches
Since the IRS code was amended in 1954 to include “churches” as 501(c)(3) “tax exempt” corporations, only one church has lost its tax-exempt status for violating the IRS code.  Unfortunately, that statistic may be about to increase drastically due to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Thanks to the efforts of Texas Democrat senator Lyndon B. Johnson in 1954, almost every church in America today is registered under the 501(c)(3) IRS code.  Johnson promoted the amendment to change the IRS code as what he called a “favor” to churches, but a closer look at history reveals that his ulterior motive was to encourage churches to “formally” register with the IRS for mostly political reasons.  MORE
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Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
How to Protect Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits  (pdf file)
In the culture, in the courts, even in casual conversation, it is increasingly obvious that we have lost sight of over 200 years of social and legal tradition that has secured our fundamental freedoms – namely, freedom of speech and religion. A new concept – that “sexual liberty” trumps religious freedom – has begun to impact churches, ministries, and Christians across this nation. This concept has led to the passage of sexual orientation, gender identity ordinances (SOGIs).  MORE
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Ryan T. Anderson: Judicial Activism on Marriage Isn’t the End — Here’s What To Do Now
Friday’s Supreme Court decision is unadulterated judicial activism. As Chief Justice John Roberts said in dissent: “Today’s decision rests on nothing more than the majority’s own conviction that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry because they want to. . . . Whatever force that belief may have as a matter of moral philosophy, it has no more basis in the Constitution than did the naked policy preferences” in other rightly condemned activist decisions. Nothing in the Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage in all 50 states, and five unelected justices do not have the authority to redefine marriage everywhere. Still, the question now is: What do we do?    MORE
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Albert Mohler: Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed — 
The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
....The Supreme Court’s decision is a central assault upon marriage as the conjugal union of a man and a woman and  the nation’s highest court has now imposed its mandate redefining marriage on all fifty states. As Chief Justice Roberts said in his dissent, “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not a legal judgment.” The majority’s argument, expressed by Justice Kennedy, is that the right of same-sex couples to marry is based in individual autonomy as related to sexuality, in marriage as a fundamental right, in marriage as a privileged context for raising children, and in upholding marriage as central to civilization. But at every one of these points, the majority had to reinvent marriage in order to make its case. The Court has not merely ordered that same-sex couples be allowed to marry – it has fundamentally redefined marriage itself.  MORE
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Hal Lindsey: Greece's Money Troubles and Lessons In Bible Prophecy
On Tuesday night, Greece became the first developed nation to default on a loan from the International Monetary Fund.  The causes, ramifications, and proposed solutions to the Greek debt crisis are a lesson in how quickly the Antichrist could come to power...Newspapers say that Greece has been in a “recession” since 2009, but the word should be “depression.”  In March, the Greek unemployment rate stood at 26% after an earlier high of almost 30%. That level of crisis opens the door to a radical leader.  To gain power, he has to do two things.  He must tell people what they want to hear, and he must make it believable. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is an ultra-liberal...An atheist, he’s the first Greek Prime Minister to take a secular, rather than Greek Orthodox, oath of office.     MORE
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Kevin DeYoung: 40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags
...If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.  MORE
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Joe Carter: Five More Recent Supreme Court Decisions You Should Know About 
Although many people are still processing the recent same-sex marriage ruling, the Supreme Court continues this week to issue order and rulings. Here are five other recent rulings and decisions handed down by the Court in the past two weeks that you should know about... MORE
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AFA: Gay Marriage—Three Things Your Church Must Do Immediately to Protect Itself
....As Christians, we know God, in His great wisdom, established the institution of marriage as only between one man and one woman. Not even the Supreme Court can change that. Because of judicial activism, Christian ministries can and should take steps to protect their religious freedoms. No longer can even churches believe they are immune to the compulsive and aggressive nature of the homosexual agenda. AFA strongly urges your church and other Christian ministries to consider three recommendations immediately....    MORE
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Nathan Bingham: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall—The Rise of the Selfie Generation
We all know the Greek myth of Narcissus—the attractive man who was lured by Nemesis to a pool. Narcissus, fatally falling in love with his own reflection, drowned. But what would a 21st-century Narcissus myth involve? I suspect it would include a smartphone, selfies, and crossing the street without looking. First used in 2002, the word “selfie” earned its place in the history books when it was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014.     MORE
14
Polygamous Montana Trio Applies for Wedding License
A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife. Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied. “It’s about marriage equality,” Collier said. “You can’t have this without polygamy.”    MORE
15
Rod Dreher: Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country
...It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now. Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.    MORE
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Be advised that some of the viewpoints espoused on this page may not be held by the editor.  News For Christians is a news digest, pulling links from all over the web.  We do not endorse all sites linked or agree with the views of those sites. We choose these links to inform Christians of the issues of the day, not to teach doctrine or theology. Please use discretion when reading any articles here.
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Robert G.
Lee

Payday Someday    I Kng 21:18,19,23  Mat 10:28
Is Hell a Myth?      Mat. 10:28
Prepare To Meet Thy God    Amos 4:12
The Meaning of Christmas    Luke 1:78
Ichabod: Goodbye To Glory     1 Sam. 4:18-22

Billy Sunday
Broken Down Altars    1 Kng 18:30
Show Thyself a Man     1 Kng 2:2
The Devil's Boomerangs     Ecc 11:9
Teach Us To Pray      Luk 11:1
The Blood of Jesus Christ    Heb 9:13-14

Charles H.
Spurgeon
I Would, But Ye Would Not!    Mat 23:37
Open House For All Comers   Luke 15:2
Why Some Seekers Are Not Saved   Is 59:1-2
Fathers in Christ    1 Jn 2:13,14
The Fatherhood of God     Mat 6:9
The Drawings of Divine Love    Jn 6:44-45
The Saint's Horror at the Sinner's Hell   Ps 26:9
FOR MORE CLASSIC SERMONS, CLICK HERE

D. Marytn
Lloyd-Jones

A Living Hope of the Hereafter    I Peter 1:3-5
Faith On Trial   Psalm 73:1-2
The Christian & the Non-Christian   Eph. 4:20
The Breadth, Length, Depth, Height of God's Love
God Or Mammon    Matt. 6:19-24

T. DeWitt Talmage
The Laughter of the Bible    Psalm 126:2  2:4
The Power of Kindness    Prov. 15:15
Windows Opened Toward Jerusalem   Dan 6:10
The Ministry of Tears    Rev 7:17
The Spider in Palaces    Pro 30:28

G. Campbell
Morgan
Christ's Call To Courage    Matt. 9:2, 22
The Optimism of Faith    Heb. 11:1
Christ's Vision of Jerusalem    Luke 9:51
As An Eagle...The Lord Did Lead    Deut. 32:11-12
How To Succeed In Life    Prov. 3:6
 
FOR MORE CLASSIC SERMONS, CLICK HERE
 
 

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