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NEWS ARCHIVE FOR AUGUST 22nd-31st, 2017
THURSDAY EDITION — AUGUST 31st, 2017
Christian Post: Pastor Greg Locke Says,  Joel Osteen Was 'Shamed' Into 
Opening Lakewood Church for Harvey Victims
Popular internet preacher and leader of Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee, Greg Locke, insisted Tuesday that Pastor Joel Osteen was "shamed" into opening up the doors of his Houston megachurch to victims of Tropical Storm Harvey. Locke was among a number of vocal critics on social media who demanded that Osteen open the doors of Lakewood Church to help provided shelter for flood victims Monday. "Joel Osteen, as a Pastor you have a huge obligation to show the love of Christ at this very moment. OPEN THE DOORS. #HoustonStrong," Locke declared in a now viral tweet to Osteen.    LINK
CBN News: As Deluge Ends, Houston by the Numbers 20, 17,000, 51.88, 13,000
The downpour in Houston has basically ended but authorities there say the human toll from Harvey continues to climb. Already, at least 20 are dead in the Houston area and more than 17,000 have sought refugee in shelters.   LINK
Baptist Press: Pastors Jailed In Sudan as Government Muscles Church Control
Police arrested and interrogated seven Christian church leaders in Omdurman, Sudan Aug. 23 for refusing to turn over leadership of their church to the government, sources said.    LINK
CBN News: 150 Evangelical Leaders Affirm: 'It Is Sinful to Approve of Homosexual Immorality'
A coalition of 150 evangelical leaders agrees that the Bible's definition of sexuality condemns homosexuality. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released The Nashville Statement, signed by evangelicals and pastors throughout the country. The statement affirms that marriage is between one man and one woman and that the approval of same-sex relationships is sinful.   LINK
Yahoo News: Joel Osteen’s Houston Megachurch To House Displaced When ‘Shelters Reach Capacity’
After receiving heavy criticism for keeping its doors closed while thousands remained without shelter, Pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch will open its doors on Tuesday to residents who have been displaced by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.    LINK
CBN News: American Pastor Held in Turkey Faces More Charges
American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey for nearly a year on terrorism charges, now faces new charges, including espionage. The 48-year old Brunson, a missionary from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was detained last year and later charged with “membership in an armed terroristic organization."   LINK
Breaking Israel News: Minister Ariel— “All Israelis Should Visit Temple Mount”
All Israelis should visit the Temple Mount, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who served as the first head of the Beit El Regional Council during the 1980s, said Tuesday evening, following a “trial” earlier in the day during which police allowed sitting MKs to visit the holy site for the first time since 2015.   LINK
Jewish Press Opinion: Time for Trump to Follow Footsteps of Cyrus the Great
Indeed, twice in the opening verses, Cyrus is quoted as referring to “Jerusalem, which is in Judah,” as if to stress that the most powerful man in the world at the time was recognizing to whom the city truly belonged. Even now, thousands of years later, the Persian king is still held in high regard in the annals of the Jewish people. With a stroke of his pen, Trump can add his name to the pantheon of Jewish heroes by conferring US recognition upon Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state....   LINK
Julie Roys: The Heresy That Fuels Transgenderism
Attitudes about gender have been rapidly changing not just in culture, but also in the church. This supposedly new perspective is not new at all. It is actually rooted in an ancient heretical philosophy called Gnosticism, though I doubt many transgender-supporting Christians realize it.    LINK

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WEDNESDAY EDITION — AUGUST 30th, 2017
Premier Christianity: Why North Koreans Are Rejecting Kim Jong-Un and Turning To Christ 
North Korea is one of the world's most secretive countries, and is counted as having one of the most repressive regimes on earth, with the Church in North Korea having been forced underground for decades. Western Christians often assume underground churches are unable to reach people with the gospel, because of the severe restrictions placed on them. However a report in The Telegraph this week has claimed a growing number of North Koreans are rejecting Kim Jong-un as their god and are now more open to alternative belief systems, including Christianity. A defector was quoted in the article as saying the Christian church is "growing and deepening its roots" in the nation.   LINK
CBN News: A Disaster of Biblical Proportions, Harvey Leads to a Biblical Response
Water is flowing over two dams that protect downtown Houston, raising the level of the floodwaters already covering the city. A levee in a suburban neighborhood is also overflowing its banks. Officials in Brazoria County anticipated the event and issued a mandatory evacuation order on Sunday. Today, they posted an urgent command on the county's Twitter feed: "GET OUT NOW!!!"  Engineers have been slowly releasing water from the resevoirs behind the dams to prevent a breach, but it...   LINK
Gulf Coast Pastor: Volunteering for Hurricane Harvey
 Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Coast.  Unprecedented rain has flooded multitudes.  Two evangelical organizations that will be helping out tremendously, are listed below.  Some of you may want to give to them individually, or through your church.  Some of you may also want to volunteer to help in the cleanup.     LINK
Christian Churches, Relief Groups Helping Thousands in Texas Floods Resembling 'War-Zone'
Various Christian churches, charities, and relief organizations are on the ground helping thousands of people affected by the flooding in Texas caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, which has left at least six people dead.    LINK
NY Post: Joel Osteen Shuts Megachurch Amid Flooding Crisis
Televangelist Joel Osteen cancelled services at his Houston megachurch Sunday and has yet to reopen its doors — despite the fact that thousands of flooded-out residents are desperately seeking shelter. The perpetually smiling pastor told followers on Twitter on Monday to lean on their faith.    LINK
Tim Challies: The Rise of Digital Technologies and the Decline of Reading
It seems we’ve come to a time in history when there’s no problem we won’t blame on technology. Digital technology is ruining our attention spans and social skills, it’s destroying our memories and displacing our hobbies, it’s demolishing the way we see the world and downgrading the way we interact with one another. We are slaves to our screens, to our ever-present glowing rectangles. They threaten everything that’s precious to us. Or that’s the narrative we hear again and again.  The latest casualty of our digital technologies is reading. Many people have expressed how there was once a time when they loved to read, but today they find it grueling. There was once a time reading came easy, but now it seems to be hard. .     LINK
Wastchester News: Witchcraft’s Popularity Is On the Rise In Hudson Valley
Despite its fearsome legacy, witchcraft is rising in popularity in New York state and especially in the Hudson Valley. News 12’s Tara Rosenblum spent four months exploring and gaining access to a mysterious, secretive world that most people don’t even know exist: a thriving underground community of witches.    LINK
The Week: The Rise and Fall of the Christian Bookstore
Back in the 1990s, it often seemed that every city and town in America had a strip mall with a Christian bookstore where you could purchase WWJD bracelets and enough devotional books to fill up the Ark of the Covenant. But today, these Christian bookstores are a dying breed. Indeed, it seems we are fast approaching an America where this particular brand of religious retailer will be no more than a memory.   LINK
Newsmax: More Evidence That Coffee Helps You Live Longer
A new large-scale study has found for the first time that Mediterranean coffee drinkers benefit from a lower risk of death. One of the most widely consumed drinks in the world, many previous studies have also found numerous health benefits of drinking coffee, including a reduced risk of death. However, this study is the first to look at the effect of coffee drinking on....  LINK
NY Times: With a Simple DNA Test, Family Histories Are Rewritten
Widespread DNA testing has shed light on the ancestry of millions of Americans. But these services have limitations, and the results can be uncertain.     LINK
Susan Stamper Brown: Hurricane Harvey Drowns the Left's Big Government God
Who is to blame for people stranded on rooftops? While everyone wants to blame it on President Trump, the government is not our savior, so people need to get over the blame game and take care of themselves if they are physically and mentally able. Those who don't, join the rank of perpetual victims when they refuse to acknowledge that they are able, with God's help, to take control over the rising water of their circumstances.   LINK
Randy Alcorn: Does Obeying God Mean Sacrificing Our Happiness?
You may be unaccustomed to thinking that God commands us to be happy or to do things that make us happy. But He does. And I’d wager that since the outcome of our obedience would be our happiness, these are commands we would all want to obey—provided we were thinking clearly.     LINK
Dean Inserra: Hey Pastor, They Ain’t Comin’
....While I am all for seeing unbelievers come to hear the gospel and just the thought of it excites me, I have never understood the logic behind efforts to attract those who are non-Christians to come to a church service. I fear that the church is setting herself up for disappointment when this is the vision that is cast. Personally, I don’t know an unbeliever who is likely to attend a church service, with very occasional exceptions.    LINK
Kristopher Schaal: Does the Bible Really Teach Two Types of Forgiveness?
I’d like to make a case for two distinct types of forgiveness. When a person gets saved, God forgives all of his sin—past, present, and future. This is often referred to as “positional forgiveness.” Although some people may not like that term, I don’t think anyone even close to orthodoxy really disputes the idea. However, the Bible is clear that even after salvation, believers will continue to sin; therefore, they must continue to confess their sins, and God will be faithful to forgive them.     LINK
Samuel Emadi: Think You Joined the Wrong Church?
....I’ve found Christians most often push eject on their membership not because they’re upset at the church’s budget or because they disagree on matters of polity. Christians leave their churches for the same reason people leave their marriages: a lack of relational depth and affection. In other words, many leave their churches because they just don’t seem compatible with the church or because the relationships leave them feeling dry.    LINK
Thomas Overmiller: Killing Giants Sometimes
Sometimes we draw the wrong lessons from Old Testament historical accounts, like David and Goliath for instance. Who hasn’t heard a sermon or a song about killing your giants?     LINK

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TUESDAY EDITION — AUGUST 29th, 2017
'We Shine Brighter and Brighter in a Dark World'Corpus Christi Pastor in Harvey's Aftermath
...."My church is barely standing. The church got demolished. Our high school took a beating. I'm actually headed on over there to see if I can't help anymore," said Shane Strough of Rockport, Texas. Late Friday evening the Category 4 hurricane slammed into the Texas coastal bend hard, bringing howling 130 mile per winds combined with sheets of rain to cities like Rockport and Port Aransas, just a few miles north of Corpus Christi, where several hundred-thousand homes are without power and residents are forced to boil water before drinking it. "It didn't get real until the wind started howling. Then we sat there and said, 'This is really happening. There is nothing we can do.' So we hunkered in the living room and just said some prayers. Luckily everything held up on our end," Trey Turnbowgh told us.   LINK
CBN News: 2,000 Desperate Flood Victims Rescued as Harvey's Rains Ravage Houston
Tropical Storm Harvey has Houston under siege as torrential rain ravages the area and forces thousands from their homes. Houston's police chief says 2,000 people have been rescued so far from the flooding. With rescue operations underway, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered 1,000 more National Guard members to help.    LINK
The Tennessean: Southern Baptists Talk Sex, LGBT Issues at Parenting Conference
....Sex and LGBT issues are among a plethora of topics being covered by Southern Baptists and other Evangelical Christians. The Southern Baptist Convention's official positions affirm marriage as between one man and one woman and that gender identity is determined by biological sex.     LINK
World Religion News: #EmptyThePews Advocates Quitting Church to Protest Trump
A new Twitter hashtag #EmptyThePews has become the rallying cry against inaction by church officials against President Trump. This comes in combination with Alumni at the Liberty University returning their diplomas because of the connection between university president Jerry Falwell Jr. and President Trump.  LINK
Israel: We'll Bomb Assad's Palace if Iran Expands in Syria
A senior Israeli official has issued a warning to Russia that the Israeli military will bomb Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace in Damascus if Russia allows Iran to make military advances in Syria. The official added another caution that if regional changes don't take place in the current advance by Iran, Israel will act to scuttle the Syrian ceasefire deal recently concluded by the U.S. and Russian governments in Kazakhstan.    LINK
Daniel Greenfield: The Time Has Come To Stop The War On Free Speech
....The threat of violence that shut down the Patriot Prayer demonstration in San Francisco, an event scheduled to feature African American, Samoan and Latino speakers, is a case of fascism justifying itself by flying the false flag of “anti-fascism.  And it is the third such case this week – the others being Boston and Berkeley.   LINK
CBN News: New Alzheimer's Treatment, Prevention Shows Impressive Results
Just the word "Alzheimer's" can be frightening. It steals memories and is one of America's leading causes of death. However, CBN News spoke to  Dr. Dale Bredesen, author of the book, The End of Alzheimer's, who has been researching Alzheimer's for decades. He has concluded it can be a rare disease that only few people get. The key, he says, is early testing of Alzheimer's 36 causes and a personalized approach to deal with any shortcomings.  LINK
'God Will Help Us': Family Baptizes Son Despite Hurricane Harvey
Even the wind and the waves from Hurricane Harvey could not stop one Texas family from baptizing their son.  "No matter what the weather, we know that God's going to help him get baptized," Jessica Garcia told CBC TV before Harvey came rolling in Saturday. Garcia, her husband, their young daughter, and Jacob, their baby boy, went to church in their Sunday best, unbothered by the storm that was coming.       LINK
Christian Post: Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church Staff Members Rescued From Hurricane Harvey Flooding
At least three staff members at Pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, had to be rescued from their homes while several others experienced flooding due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.    LINK
David Kubal: Should Christians Give Up on President Trump?
I was recently involved in a heated conversation on Facebook between Christians who are angry with President Trump and those who defend him. Most of us have heard, or taken part in, similar conversations. As I have reflected on and prayed about what is going on in America, I have one point and two questions.   LINK
UK Times: Christian Child Forced Into Muslim Foster Care
A white Christian child was taken from her family and forced to live with a niqab-wearing foster carer in a home where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic. The five-year-old girl, a native English speaker, has spent the past six months in the care of two Muslim households in London.   LINK
Daily Caller: California Could Start Jailing People Who Don’t Use Transgender Pronouns
A bill that passed the California state senate and is now moving through the Assembly could threaten jail time for anyone who refuses to use a transgender person’s preferred pronoun.    LINK
Liberals Petitioning To Replace Christopher Columbus Statue With Prince At Minnesota State Capitol
Liberals started with Robert E. Lee and have moved on to George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Columbus.    LINK
Sumantra Maitra: Dear Trans Lobby—  The Military Is Not A Social Experiment
Transgenders and transsexuals are every bit as human as everyone else, deserve every bit of human compassion, and shouldn’t be discriminated against. But that’s simply not the issue here.      LINK
Michael Brown: Hurricanes, Solar Eclipses, and Divine Judgment
In the course of one short week, America witnessed an extremely unique solar eclipse and then watched the state of Texas get hit with a catastrophic hurricane. Is God trying to get our attention, or is it foolish to speculate like this?     LINK
Daniel Greenfield: The Church of the Left
.... The last century witnessed an extensive effort to scrub religious values out of government. But this effort was matched by an equally comprehensive project to replace them with the left’s own values. Unlike the wall between church and state, there were few legal safeguards against writing values into legislation if they were irreligious ones. The church was deemed to be the true threat. Not the state.  But the end result looks very much like an establishment of religion. Even in the church sense.  LINK
David Cloud: Clothing Is a Language
It is important to understand that clothing is a language. It is a “social message,” a fashion “statement.”  Wikipedia defines fashion as “a prevailing mode of expression.” It acknowledges that “every article of clothing carries a cultural and social meaning” and observes that “humans must know the code in order to recognize the message transmitted.”  The knowledge of this is the engine that drives the fashion industry, and the child of God needs to understand it, as well.      LINK
G. N. Barkman: Saving Faith and Assurance
When considering assurance of salvation, sooner or later we come to the question of saving faith. The ultimate issue concerns the nature of my faith, is it genuine or spurious? If I didn’t have some kind of faith, I wouldn’t be concerned with assurance at all. I wouldn’t even consider it. However, if I have made a profession of faith in Christ, but am troubled about the reality of that profession, what I want to know is whether my faith is true saving faith, or something less. At some point I thought I believed in Christ, but is my faith now genuine or not?     LINK

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MONDAY EDITION — AUGUST 28th, 2017
Ch Post: Justice Dept. Actions Contradict Trump's Promises on Religious Freedom, Legal Activist Says
A conservative religious freedom law firm that represented the Little Sisters of the Poor before the U.S. Supreme Court has expressed concerns that the promises President Donald Trump made to protect religious liberty by issuing his executive order in May have yet to be implemented by his administration. Montse Alvarado, the executive director of the nonprofit religious freedom advocacy group the Becket Fund, told The Christian Post on Friday that the Department of Justice has seemingly contradicted Trump's remarks at the White House Rose Garden on May 4 when he praised Catholic nuns from Little Sisters of the Poor for battling a controversial Obamacare contraceptive healthcare mandate all the way to the Supreme Court and stated that their ordeal would soon be over.    LINK
Christian Post: Christian Photographer Claims Victory in Same-Sex Wedding Challenge
A Wisconsin circuit court ruled photographer Amy Lawson cannot be sued under certain anti-discrimination laws for refusing to take photos at the weddings of same-sex couples. Lawson brought her case before the court after she shut down her photography business over concerns of being sued.  LINK
PJ Media: Christian Group Sues SPLC and Amazon Over ‘Hate Group’ Designation
On Tuesday, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the charity navigation organization GuideStar, and Amazon, for defamation, religious discrimination, and trafficking in falsehood. The SPLC listed DJKM as a “hate group,” while GuideStar also categorized it in those terms, and Amazon kept the ministry off of its charity donation program, Amazon Smile.    LINK
Christianity Today: Christian Group Sues SPLC Over Hate Map
A venerable Christian ministry based in Fort Lauderdale recently saw its name listed on a CNN map of “all the active hate groups where you live,” as well as in local news reports as the No. 1 hate group in Florida. D. James Kennedy Ministries shares sermons, devotionals, and religious liberty messages inspired by the late founder of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, a prominent Florida megachurch. In media coverage after Charlottesville, the Christian broadcaster was mapped alongside about 60 “hate groups” in the Sunshine State, using designations from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).   LINK
OneNewsNow: Michelle Bachmann Taking On Deceit as ‘Pastor To the U.N.’
“I don’t know a darker, more deceived place on Earth than the U.N.,” Bachmann stated, according to Patheos. “Because – as we saw at the Tower of Babel – that’s probably the last time when we saw all the nations of the Earth come together in a moment of deception.” She then alluded to the fact that the End Times are currently unfolding, with the U.N. assuming the role of being the agent that sets the stage for the antichrist’s government that reigns over the entire Earth.....    LINK
Vox: Banned Jehovah's Witnesses Still Worship in Russia
.....But Yuri (who, like everyone quoted in this article, has asked to be identified by first name only for security reasons) is worried that entering as a group will attract attention. Attention means somebody might call the police. And when you're a Jehovah's Witness in Russia — labeled by the government as a member of an “extremist” sect, the same designation they use for neo-Nazis and ISIS members — dealing with the police is the last thing you need.  LINK
Judge Refuses to Dismiss Charges Against Activists in Planned Parenthood Undercover Investigation
A California judge has refused to dismiss 14 counts against two pro-life activists involved in a series of undercover videos meant to show Planned Parenthood engaging in illegal activities.    LINK
John Milbank: The End of Tolerance— On the Decline of Religious Freedom and the Return of Religious Influence
In our world today, religion seems to have become a topic of multiple public contestation, along several lines whose patterns of coherence are not always obvious. This is in sharp contrast to the situation that prevailed from 1945 up until 1979, the year of the Iranian revolution - though not often, save in fantasised retrospect, earlier than the first date.   LINK
George Weigel: Euthanasia— It's a Culture War, Stupid
Canada's vulnerability to the culture of death is exacerbated by Canada's single-payer, i.e. state-funded and state-run, health care system. And the brutal fact is that it's more “cost-effective” to euthanize patients than to treat secondary conditions that could turn lethal (like H's infection) or to provide palliative end-of-life care.     LINK

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WEEKEND EDITION — AUGUST 26th-27th, 2017
UK Telegraph: 3,700-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet Rewrites the History of Mathand Shows the Greeks Did Not Develop Trigonometry 
A 3,700-year-old clay tablet has proven that the Babylonians developed trigonometry 1,500 years before the Greeks and were using a sophisticated method of mathematics which could change how we calculate today. The tablet, known as Plimpton 332, was discovered in the early 1900s in Southern Iraq by the American archaeologist and diplomat Edgar Banks, who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones. The true meaning of the tablet has eluded experts until now but new research by the University of New South Wales, Australia, has shown it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, which was probably used by ancient architects to construct temples, palaces and canals.   LINK
Christian Post: Christian Photographer Can't Be Forced to Work Gay Weddings, Wisconsin Court Rules
A Wisconsin court has ruled that evangelical Christian photographer Amy Lawson is exempt from a local ordinance in Madison that would have forced her to work gay weddings, because she does not have a physical storefront.   LINK
Breitbart News: Donald Trump Formally Erases Obama’s Pro-Transgender Military Rules
President Donald Trump has erased former President Barack Obama’s late-term imposition of the transgender ideology on the U.S. military.    LINK
Sharper Iron: How To Think Straight About Trump
Quite a few conservative-ish Christians are not thinking straight about President Trump. The work of pollsters continues to reveal this. Conversations with believers, both online and in person, bear it out as well. My purpose here isn’t to pile up evidence critical of Trump’s character, political philosophy, and management style. The weightier problem is the thought process many are using to evaluate the president. We’re not going to see what we need to see unless we put the whole matter in the right light first. So here’s an effort at improving the light a bit—in six steps.   LINK
CBN News: 'Taxman Has No Business' Editing Sermons, But Atheist Group Is Suing IRS To Do It
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, asking a Wisconsin federal court to order the IRS to enforce the 1954 Johnson Amendment. Under that law, the IRS has required churches to censor their sermons, forbidding non-profits and churches from engaging in politics, and taking away their tax-exempt status if they do.     LINK
Christian Post: Evangelicals Ponder Whether the 'Evangelical' Label Is Worth Keeping
A panel of prominent Christian ethicists and pastors said that it is important to define what an evangelical actually is in discussions with people who may not be familiar with the term, warning that sometimes people may have a very wrong idea about evangelicals and what they stand far. Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, led the discussion, which was posted Tuesday on The Gospel Coalition website. He first asked both Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Mika Edmondson, pastor of New City Fellowship in Michigan, whether or not they identify as an "evangelical."    LINK
Christian Post: Florida Christian School Expels Student Who Supported Confederate Statue in Charlottesville
A private Christian school in Florida has kicked out a student who was seen in a Confederate uniform supporting the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.     LINK
YNet News: Iran’s New Army Chief Says Israel Won’t Exist In 25 Years
Iranian news agenct Tasnim reported on Friday that new Iranian Army Chief, Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi said that State of Israel will no longer exist in 25 years’ time, and that if a military offensive breaks out against Iran, Iran will be the one to decide how it will end.     LINK
World Net Daily: Washington Post Column Cheers Satan, Jeers Christians
The venerated journalistic institution the Washington Post, which recently adopted the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” published a column Wednesday by a spokesman for the “Prince of Darkness” who blamed Christianity for slavery and white supremacism.     LINK
Christian Post: Franklin Graham Calls on High School Football Coaches Nationwide to Kneel in Prayer
Popular evangelist Franklin Graham has called on high school football coaches across the country to kneel in prayer after their games next Friday in response to a U.S. appeals court ruling against a public school football coach in Washington who was punished for praying.     LINK
CBN News: Elementary Teacher's Note to Parents about 'Religious Talk' Sparks Backlash
Parents in Indiana are shocked after an elementary school teacher sent home a note discouraging discussion about 'God', 'Jesus', and 'Devil' in her classroom at McCordsville Elementary.     LINK
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster Issues Executive Order Cutting Off State, Local Money from Abortion Clinics 
Triggering praise, criticism and some confusion, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Friday cutting off all public funding to health care providers affiliated with abortion clinics in South Carolina. In the order, he also directed the South Carolina Medicaid agency to seek permission from the federal government to exclude abortion clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider network.       LINK
Todd Starnes: Franklin Graham— 'We Have Judges Out There Who Hate God'
One of the nation’s most-respected evangelical Christian leaders denounced a federal court ruling regarding a Washington state coach who was punished for praying after a football game. On Wednesday the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Bremerton School District was justified in suspending Coach Joe Kennedy after he took a knee and prayed silently at midfield after a football game.     LINK
Christian Post: Egypt Closes Church Over Muslim Extremist Opposition, Blocks Worship at Another
Authorities in Egypt have reportedly closed down a 1,300-member church in the Minya governorate and are preventing Christians from worshiping at another church in the area, according to a report.     LINK
Todd Starnes: First Grader Sent to Office, Investigated, for “Pronoun Mishap”
A first grader at a California charter school was sent to the principal’s office this week after she accidentally “mis-gendered” a transgender classmate in what’s being called a “pronoun mishap.” The incident occurred at Rocklin Academy, a school rocked by controversy after a kindergarten teacher led an in-class discussion on transgenderism that included a “gender reveal” for a little boy who was transitioning to a little girl.     LINK

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 25th, 2017
No Update
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THURSDAY EDITION — AUGUST 24th, 2017
Under Fire After Pastor AR Bernard's Exit, Evangelical Advisory Board Explains Work With Trump
Under fire from mainstream media critics, President Donald Trump's evangelical advisers explained this week why a majority of the group's members have stuck by the administration even as prominent New York City Pastor A.R. Bernard resigned in protest over the president's controversial comments on the deadly riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Richard Land, who serves as an evangelical adviser to Trump and is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina, said he was dissatisfied with Trump's response to Charlottesville as well, and has received many emails urging him to dissociate himself from the "racist" Trump. "I was unhappy with the president's statement on Tuesday (last week)...."   LINK
The Atlantic: Evangelicals Are Bitterly Split Over Advising Trump
.....Are Christians better off trying to influence an imperfect president? Or should they disengage from a process that will never produce a leader who perfectly represents their worldview?        LINK
Daily Caller: Atheist Group Calls Bible ‘Hate-Filled Book,’ Says God Worse Than ‘White Supremacist Thugs’
A national atheist organization wrote that the Christian Bible “encourages violence and racism” in an Monday letter intended to bully Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.    LINK
Kindergarteners Scared They Will Be 'Turned into Boys' After School Celebrates Transgender Transition
The parents of kindergarten students at a Rocklin, California school are outraged after a teacher staged a "transition ceremony" in class for a five-year-old boy without informing them. A Rocklin Academy Gateway school teacher gave a lesson on transgenderism because a student was transitioning from a boy to a girl.  Ankur Dhawan's 5-year-old daughter attended school that day and told her mother what happened in class.    LINK
Christian Post: Digital Addiction, Sexualized Culture Driving Rising Teen Suicide Rates; Fight Is 'Spiritual Battle,' Some Say
Technology and a sexualized culture are driving rising suicide rates among teenagers, according to a prominent Internet safety activist and an author who focuses his ministry on equipping families about technology dangers. And this is a battle that is first and foremost a spiritual fight, they note.  LINK
Asia News: In Pakistan, Christian Prisoner Who refused to Reject His Faith Dies In Custody In Lahore
Indaryas Ghulam died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. He had burns and cuts on his body. He was one the 42 people arrested for lynching two Muslims after the Youhanabad church attacks. The prisoner could have saved his life had he denied Christ.      LINK
Jewish Press: Emperor Justinian Mosaic Inscription Unearthed near Damascus Gate
A 1,500-year-old mosaic floor, with a Greek inscription, was discovered this summer following groundwork for Partner communications cable infrastructures near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.     LINK
Earthquake Hits Yellowstone During Solar Eclipse as NASA Seeks Supervolcano Solution
As tens of thousands of people gathered in Yellowstone National Park Monday morning to witness the once-in-a-century solar eclipse, the area was hit by a 3.2 magnitude earthquake. This recent tremor, though not large, is part of an ongoing series of quakes that began June 12. Experts believed the unusually large swarm of earthquakes would gradually die down but by the beginning of August, over 1,400 minor tremors had been recorded at the site.   LINK
Joseph Infranco: How the SPLC Uses the Word 'Hate' to Silence Dissent
SPLC's word-weapon of choice is "hate." The SPLC uses the hate label to intimidate people into conformity, thereby silencing dissent.   LINK
Dan Delzell: Christ's Supremacy Conquers White Supremacy
The sinful nature stirs up pride, prejudice, anger, and hatred, whereas the Holy Spirit produces compassion, love, joy, and peace in the hearts of Christ followers. And anyone who hates others is certainly not a Christ follower.  LINK
Christian Post: Evangelicals Ponder Whether the 'Evangelical' Label Is Worth Keeping
A panel of prominent Christian ethicists and pastors said that it is important to define what an evangelical actually is in discussions with people who may not be familiar with the term, warning that sometimes people may have a very wrong idea about evangelicals and what they stand far.    LINK
Washington Post: Should Robert E. Lee's Church Keep His Name?
As recent years engulfed America in intense debate about race, the genteel Gothic stone parish in little Lexington, Va., quietly debated its name. Could “R.E. Lee Memorial Church” commemorate the postwar fence-mender who had led their church and city out of destitution? Or could it only conjure the wicked institution of slavery for which Robert E. Lee fought? LINK
Mark Tooley: Old Time Televangelism & Scandal
.....PTL was over-the-top garish, with folksy chatter and Gospel music punctuated by plaintive, often tearful appeals by Jim and Tammy Faye, whose dripping mascara became iconic. They both flaunted their high-end consumption backed by prosperity theology. The great mystery was who exactly watched them non-ironically much less mailed them checks.    LINK
David R. Brumbelow: Tips on the Next Solar Eclipse
The great Solar Eclipse of 2017  is over. If you were unprepared, here are some tips for the next Solar Eclipse.     LINK

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WEDNESDAY EDITION — AUGUST 23rd, 2017
Deana Chadwell: THE 'REAL' NEWS
....America has survived and thrived long enough to prove that freedom without righteousness doesn’t work, that limited government doesn’t stay limited, and law doesn’t protect. Only God does that.  Israel –- ancient Israel –- proved over and over again that her Law didn’t make for a perfect nation. It would have, had the Hebrew tribes actually followed it. Like the United States, Israel was now-and-then successful in what she set out to be –- during the reigns of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah –- but those regimes were short-lived and the rest of the time the Israelites were joining their neighbors in worshipping demonic idols. America was successful until we, too, walked away from God.   LINK
Prophecy News Watch: Five Signs Your Church Might Be Heading Toward Progressive Christianity
Identifying the signs is not always obvious—sometimes they are subtle and mixed with a lot of truth. Progressive Christianity can be persuasive and enticing, but carried out to its logical end, it is an assault on the foundational framework of Christianity, leaving it disarmed of its saving power.   LINK
CBN News: Former Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd to Head National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer announced Tuesday that former Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd will serve as its new president. "I'm very humbled and and overwhelmed by this calling in my life," Floyd said in an interview with CBN News. "We'll do everything we can to get as many Americans as possible to be able to surge forward and pray on that day, May the 13th, 2018.   Floyd is senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas and is a member of...     LINK
Denny Burk: Best Pictures of the 2017 Solar Eclipse
Once again, God proves himself the greatest artist in the universe.  LINK
Conservative Groups File Brief for Christian Grandmother Florist Sued for Refusing to Serve Gay Wedding
A pair of socially conservative organizations have filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a Christian grandmother and florist sued for refusing to service a gay wedding. In 2013, a same-sex couple sued Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, over her refusal to provide a floral arrangement for...   LINK
The Federalist: Americans’ Declining Interest In History Is Hitting Museums Like Colonial Williamsburg Hard
Americans know little about their own country’s past—and they’re not expressing interest learning more about history in places like Colonial Williamsburg.   LINK
World Religion News: Did You Know There Is a Mention of God in Every State Constitution?
As per an analysis by Pew Research Center, God or the divine is not mentioned in an explicit manner in the United States constitution. However, when it comes to state constitutions, it is an altogether different matter. In such cases, God or the divine is found to be mentioned a minimum of one time in all 50 state constitutions.      LINK
Joy Pullmann: Vandals Are Destroying Monuments Because They’ve Been Taught To Hate America
It appears Islamists have something in common with statue vandals besides an ideology that justifies political violence and a rabid hatred of free expression: the desecration of historic monuments.      LINK
Katie Schuermann: Why The Embryo Adoption Industry Is Not Pro-Life
As long as the business of creating surplus embryos remains unregulated in the United States, donating and adopting embryonic children increases the demand for it.     LINK
Brandon Pearce: Why I Love the Rural Church
....it never occurred to me that my church was small, outdated, or in a cultural class perceived as lower than any other church. I learned about Jesus in that church. I learned to fear and adore God, follow Jesus as Lord, repent of my sin, and have assurance in the perseverance of my faith. I learned that my salvation wasn’t based on my ability to woo God or the modification of my behavior. Rather, it rested in the relentless love of God for my soul.     LINK
PJ Media: The World’s Debt to Jesus Christ
.....The fact is everyone on earth owes a great debt to Jesus Christ because those influenced by his teachings were directly responsible for virtually everything that makes our lives the most enjoyable and productive in human history. LINK
Mark Gillmore: Small-Group Sunday School— Getting Practical about the Great Commission
One of the greatest challenges a spiritual leader faces is the challenge of making a vision practical. The Great Commission is the overriding purpose of the local church. Church exits are often marked with the reminder, “You are now entering the mission field.” Keynote addresses hold before the people the absolute necessity of reaching out with the gospel and discipling converts into mature followers of Christ. This is familiar territory we would all embrace . . . in theory. But do the daily life and weekly schedule of our church and its members reflect our ideal?     LINK
Barry York: The Devil’s Glasses
....When you are being tempted, the devil sets on your nose a pair of false glasses. These glasses make the sin look so small that you view engaging in it as trivial. How does Satan fool us with lies so that we believe that committing sin will be inconsequential? Here are five of the common ways he distorts our spiritual vision with his lies during temptation.   LINK
George Stiekes: Religion or Relationship— Which Have You?  (Part 2)
We all know that religion will never get anyone into heaven. If God chose not to act on our behalf, no one would get into heaven. He is the first and only “Cause” and He is not at all interested in man’s religions...   LINK
Shrper Iron: John Owen On Inspiration & Preservation
The greatest British theologian of the 17th Century was, in the opinion of many, John Owen. Owen made distinctive contributions in a number of theological loci...Owen’s teaching on the subject of the inspiration of the Bible is also most instructive, especially in view of what has been and is being taught in some evangelical seminaries and books. Owen’s views on the crucial matter of the relationship of the Bible as we have it and the autographs are worth pondering.  LINK
Tim Challies: 10 Common But Illegitimate Reasons To Divorce
It is clear in the Bible that God’s intention for marriage is that it remain in effect until the death of one spouse...God has provided a limited set of circumstances in which a marriage can legitimately be severed. However, many people—even Christians—offer reasons to divorce that are not sanctioned by God.  Here are 10 common but illegitimate reasons to divorce.    LINK

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TUESDAY EDITION — AUGUST 22nd, 2017
Newsmax: Eclipse a Hit Even Where Sun Not Totally Blocked
Northwest cities not quite in the path of totality also enjoyed the solar eclipse. Boise is not in totality. But birds quieted down briefly when 99.5 percent of sun was blocked. And some neighborhoods erupted into applause and hooting as residents cheered the show from their yards. In Portland, hundreds gathered at Waterfront Park to see the rare celestial event.    LINK
Breitbart News: Pope Francis Says the Rights of Migrants Trump National Security Concerns
Pope Francis on Monday urged countries to greatly improve their welcome to migrants and stop collective expulsions, saying migrants’ dignity and right to protection trumps national security concerns.    LINK
Newsmax: Reuters Poll— A Majority of Americans Want to Preserve Confederate Monuments
A majority of Americans think Confederate monuments should be preserved in public spaces, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, a view that is at odds with efforts in many cities to remove them. The Aug. 18-21 poll found that 54 percent of adults said Confederate monuments "should remain in all public spaces" while 27 percent said they "should be removed from all public spaces." Another 19 percent said they "don't know."    LINK
Deseret News: Americans Under 30 Are Less Supportive of Religious Freedom Than Other Adults
Younger Americans stand out from older generations in a variety of ways, as a seemingly endless stream of commentators are happy to point out. They get married later and spend a lot of time on their smartphones. They eat too much avocado toast.  They are also less religious and more diverse, two factors that may help explain another trait associated with Americans under 30: They show less support for religious liberty, especially when it conflicts with other rights. "Younger people now tend to be a little less religious, which makes them less sympathetic to religious freedom claims," said Michael Moreland, a professor of law and religion at Villanova University. "They also show a strong sense of concern about discrimination."    LINK
Michael Brown: Should Trump's Evangelical Advisers Abandon Him?
In the aftermath of the President's comments about Charlottesville, some Republican leaders have distanced themselves from him, while a number of major business leaders have stopped supporting him. Why are the evangelical leaders on his faith advisory council still standing with him?     LINK
Baptist Press: Iceland Down Syndrome Abortions Called 'a Tragedy'
Southern Baptists involved with special needs ministry are lamenting a report that virtually 100 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in Iceland are aborted. Individuals with special needs, the ministry leaders say, are made in God's image and bring unique giftedness to churches and society.  LINK
Christian News Net: Michigan Man Who Preaches Outside Abortion Facilities Sues to Stop Threats of Arrest
A Michigan man who preaches outside of abortion facilities and other locations on a regular basis has filed a federal lawsuit as he says that he has been threatened numerous times with arrest by police. Stephen Nylen of New City Fellowship is challenging Grand Rapids’ noise ordinance, which prohibits “any noise of any kind,” but does not provide an objective standard. LINK
Christian Post: Princess Diana Had Deeper Christian Faith Than People Believed, Says New TV Special
A TV special in the U.K. is set to reveal that Diana, Princess of Wales, had a deeper Christian faith than people gave her credit for, and it's what inspired her charity work around the world.      LINK
Christianity Today: How Christians Can Combat Racism Theologically After Charlottesville
.....There are some serious flaws with the “reconciliation project” championed by many evangelicals. The term reconciliation itself is a misnomer for race relations in America. Reconciliation implies that there was a time when blacks and whites were “conciliated” or “in agreement.” A Latin derivative, the word conveys the idea of restoration or a return to a...  LINK
Christian Post: Some Liberty University Alumni Planning to Return Diplomas Over Falwell Support of Trump
Some alumni of the Virginia-based evangelical Liberty University are planning to return their diplomas due to school president Jerry Falwell, Jr.'s support for President Donald Trump.      LINK
Carmen Fowler LaBerge: Christians Believe in Supremacy — In Christ
In all of this talk about supremacy: I want to be very clear. Christians believe in supremacy. In fact, Christians believe in exclusive absolute supremacy. Shocked? But I'm not talking about purple supremacy or green supremacy, black supremacy or white supremacy.      LINK
Newsmax: Franklin Graham Tells Politicians, 'Stop Saying Islam Is a Religion of Peace'
Evangelist leader Franklin Graham wrote Saturday on Facebook that politicians "should stop saying 'Islam is a religion of peace.'" Graham wrote in response to the attack in Barcelona last week, specifically referring to...  LINK
Thom Rainer: Why It Takes Five to Seven Years to Become the Pastor of a Church
.....In most established churches, there is a prolonged period before the church members as a whole will truly embrace you as pastor. When that time comes, most pastors enjoy their greatest and most joyous years of ministry. But the majority of pastors never make it to year five, much less year seven. So why does it take five to seven years to be embraced as the pastor of most established churches? Here are seven common reasons.   LINK
Wally Morris: What Is the Point of Exercise?
....What is the point of exercise and how much exercise is enough? It is very easy to become addicted to exercise and fitness, as it is with almost any activity or hobby. For the person who knows Christ as Savior and who understands that this world is not our home and that we have a different purpose for living than most of the world, what is the balance between exercise and following Christ? Some Christians like to quote Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:8 in order to justify not exercising.    LINK
Aaron Berry: Three Really Bad Excuses for Viewing Immorality
.....Get into a discussion about sex and violence in TV shows, and someone is bound to whip out this excuse: “What if the Bible was fully dramatized? Imagine all the gratuitous sex and violence that would be depicted!” Have you ever thought that maybe this is one reason why God gave us his revelation in written form?     LINK
Erik Raymond: A Surprising Ingredient in Christian Contentment 
.....I wonder what you would list as essential ingredients of contentment. Some familiar items should immediately come to mind. We must know God’s word, trust his providence, and cling to his promises. However, there’s another I’d like to add that you may not be expecting.     LINK

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