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NEWS ARCHIVE FOR OCTOBER 1st-10th, 2017
TUESDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 10th, 2017
Christian Post: Clergy House Allowance Unconstitutional, Federal Court Rules
A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service provision that exempts clergy from including their rental allowance in their reported gross income is unconstitutional.      LINK
CBN News: $800M Tax Hike for Ministers? Judge Kills 'Most Important Tax Benefit'
For 60 years, ministers and clergy in the U.S. have relied on an IRS law that allows them a tax-exempt housing allowance. Now that key exemption is at risk. GuideStone Financial Resources calls it the "most important tax benefit available to ministers." And Christianity Today reports, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the break is worth $800 million a year to American ministers... LINK
McAlpine: The Pointlessness of the Las Vegas Shooting Is Its Point
.....Forget your conspiracy theories, which are coming thick and fast.  Forget your sociological investigations, and the handwringing over US gun control. The sheer meaningless of the action is its meaning. It’s ironic is it not?  Here we are in a world self-consciously sloughing off the vestiges of the old dogmas (or so it claims), and the bald faced fact of a dogmatic-less action are almost too much to contemplate.  We have to find a reason for it that soothes our souls and gives balm to our barely suppressed fears. Paddock’s actions are the perfect Nietzschean response are they not?  Long before 58 people died in a hail of automatic gunfire, the idea of God was dead to Paddock. And with the idea of God long dead, Paddock has gotten away with it.  LINK
CBN News: Trump Postpones Jerusalem Embassy Move
In a TBN television interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee aired Saturday evening, President Donald Trump announced he would not be moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem just yet. It's a perspective Israelis have heard for nearly two decades. No amount of facts on the ground seems to affect the widely held belief that peace in the Middle East hinges on a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Trump's repeated campaign promise to move the embassy has apparently been set aside, disappointing many who took him at his word.     LINK
Alabama High School Marching Band Refuses to Stop Playing Christian Music
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist organization, has filed a complaint against an Alabama high school, alleging that its marching band endorses religion, and specifically, Christianity. According to TheBlaze.com, Leeds City Schools’ high school marching band reportedly performs during its halftime show to hymns such as “I Saw the Light,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” and “Amazing Grace.” The FFRF was also outraged that the marching band’s performances appear to resemble a church service, with church pews set up on the football field.... LINK
Christian Post: Christian Baker Supreme Court Hearings Set for December
The nonprofit law firm backing Jack Phillips, the Christian baker at the center of what has been described as "one of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases of our lifetimes," has revealed that oral hearings are set for December.      LINK
SBC Voices: Southern Baptist Preachers Discuss Guns and Gun Rights
.....There’s a divide in this discussion that probably runs through those of us who know and use guns and y’all that don’t.      LINK
E.W. Jackson: Prayer Is Under Attack
When the news broke of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, many Americans did what we have done throughout our history. We offered our thoughts and prayers for the survivors and their families. To the surprise of many, that is no longer an acceptable response. According to Democrats, we must stop praying and “do something.”     LINK
Inquistr: Jesus Christ Of Nazareth— Is There New Archaeological Evidence Of His Physical Existence?   (Secular Site)
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, spent his childhood in Nazareth, and then became a traveling prophet and healer, according to the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ life. After 2,000 years, it is hardly shocking that physical evidence of Christ’s life is hard to locate, and yet, there is evidence of the life and ministry of Jesus.     LINK                   SEE DISCLAIMER BELOW
Americans Face a Rising Risk of Dying Alone
Loneliness kills. Life without friends and family is not just dreary but difficult, especially as we get older. Strong social relationships boost a person’s chances of staying alive by 50 percent, according to a comprehensive 2010 review of 148 studies that followed 309,000 people for an average of 7.5 years. That’s about the same improvement to mortality as the one that comes from quitting smoking. It’s hard to say whether Americans are lonelier now than in the past....Researchers are worried about what these trends mean for Americans as they get older. Will seniors of the future get enough support? Or should we prepare for an epidemic of end-of-life loneliness and isolation?.    LINK
Lee Strobel on Sharing the Gospel with Hugh Hefner: ‘He was Really Engaged’
 Renowned Christian apologist Lee Strobel recently shared how he had an opportunity to have a conversation with Playboy founder and cultural icon Hugh Hefner before Hefner’s death on September 27, 2017....Due to circumstances that certainly seem providential, Strobel ended up in the Playboy mansion, with the opportunity to talk to Hefner about faith, Christianity, and the Gospel.     LINK
Oxford Univ. Student Union Bans Christian Union From Fair, Calls Christianity 'Excuse for Homophobia'
An Oxford University student union reportedly barred the Christian Union from setting up a stall at a college freshers' fair, with a representative calling Christianity "an excuse for homophobia and neo-colonialism."     LINK
Abby Johnson: Former Abortion Workers Will Bring Down the Abortion Industry
While the national media narrative of abortion focuses on the women, babies, protestors, and the vast political tangential impacts of defunding Planned Parenthood, contraception mandates, and the Supreme Court, one group of individuals consistently is left completely out of the conversation: the abortion workers themselves.     LINK
Weekly Standard: Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Crisis
.....The centers’ chief resource is the empathy and commitment of peer counselors, most of whom are volunteers. Their generosity and compassion in answering hotlines, providing unscheduled consultations, and giving ongoing help to clients is the key to the centers’ success. Any center can offer compelling stories of assistance rendered to clients—couples living in cars who were helped to rent apartments, single mothers who were given respite childcare, high school dropouts who were helped to find jobs and to obtain degrees.   LINK
Kevin D. Williamson: Our 21st-Century Second Amendment
A progressive correspondent asks: “If you were drafting the Constitution in 2017, would you include the Second Amendment?” It’s an ignorant question, but one that was asked in good faith, and the answer may be illuminating to some of our friends who are mystified by conservative thinking on the question. The short answer is: Yes, of course a 21st-century Bill of Rights should codify the right to keep and bear arms. The document does not create the right; the right precedes the document, which merely recognizes it and ensures that the government is constrained when, inevitably, its all-too-human members are tempted to violate that right.     LINK
William Sullivan: The Logical End of the Left’s Anti-Gun Crusade
.....In 2014, there were 248 people killed by rifles (including AR-15s and all the scary other scary “assault weapons” you hear about) versus 3,827 people who were killed by being either stabbed or beaten to death by a blunt instrument.  Is it accurate to say that those people died as a result of our society allowing its citizens access to knives, hammers, and baseball bats, rather than saying that those 3,827 died as a result of the myriad murderous impulses of their attackers?    LINK
Jason Helopoulos: Weapons in the Fight Against Anxiety and Fear
A two-year-old will never obsess about world economies. A three-year-old will never ask for lectures on totalitarian regimes. It is beyond them. If you think otherwise, just try and lecture them about it. They won’t pay attention. Their tiny minds can’t be filled with such thoughts. There is a benefit to their limited capacity....There is a lesson for Christian adults in this.... LINK
Joel Beeke: Ten Lasting Fruits of the Reformation
God sent forth the power of his Word in the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The Reformation served as a dynamic motivation and catalyst for change and progress wherever its influence reached. Many would credit Martin Luther as the driving engine that propelled the Reformation, but Luther said, “I did nothing; the Word did everything.” John Knox said, “God did so multiply our number that it appeared as if men had rained from the clouds.” How did the Reformation change the church and the world? Here are ten lasting fruits in which the Reformation made a difference. LINK
Jared Wilson: Pastor, Keep a Close Watch on Your Life and Illustrations
....We all know a good illustration when we hear one in a sermon. But I’m gonna go out on a (sturdy) limb here and suggest that sermon illustrations these days are way overrated. Yep, I said it. I think too much emphasis is put on illustrations in how we train preachers and in too many actual sermons. You shouldn’t trust your illustration to do what only God’s Word can.   LINK
Russell Moore: Are You “Struggling” With Sin?
....If you use the language of ‘struggling,’ you should actually be struggling. That should mean that you are seeking the way of the Spirit to escape from your sin (1 Cor. 10:13), that you are removing every possible obstacle to your overcoming this pattern (Matt. 18:9), and that you are relying on others in the Body of Christ to hold you accountable and to shepherd you out of it (Gal. 6:1-4).     LINK
David Cloud: Testimonies That Israel Would Return
The following are testimonies written prior to the establishment of the modern state of Israel that Israel would be restored. These testimonies were based on a literal interpretation of the Bible prophecies that the Jews would return to the land of Israel. Those who interpret the Bible literally will not be disappointed!     LINK

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MONDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 9th, 2017
Most Americans Reject Leftists’ Assault on Columbus Day
Although 57 percent of Americans believe in celebrating Columbus Day, the late explorer Christopher Columbus is in the crosshairs of liberals again, more than 511 years after he died. Among those targeting the late, great Italian navigator are Antifa and left-wing intellectuals, as well as the liberal governments of several U.S. cities who no longer acknowledge Columbus on his holiday, which is this coming Monday. The violent partisans at Antifa have named Monday "Deface Columbus Day," hoping to see acts of vandalism against Columbus statues. The famed Italian explorer stirs leftist passions primarily because of traditional hatred of Western culture. The Italian navigator and discoverer, a vaunted legend to many Italian-Americans, and Americans in general, was hired by the Spanish crown in 1492 to find a new route to Asia. Instead, Columbus found North America.   LINK
Daily Caller: Atheists Lament Obamacare Religious Exemption 
…The Secular Coalition for America, an aggressively anti-Christian lobbying group based in Washington, D.C., condemned the new birth control exemption by attempting to argue that allowing more religious freedom is in itself “a substantial burden to religious freedom.”   LINK
Christian Post: Jeff Sessions Issues Sweeping Religious Freedom Guidance to All Federal Agencies
Atty Gen. Jeff Sessions is instructing all federal agencies to ensure to the "greatest extent practicable and permitted by law" that the religious beliefs of people, businesses, churches and other organizations are accommodated and not burdened by the federal government.   LINK
CBN News: VP Pence Leaves NFL Game After National Anthem Protests
Vice President Mike Pence has left the 49ers-Colts game after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee. The former Indiana governor flew in so he could watch Peyton Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday. Manning will become the first Indianapolis-era player in Colts history to have his number retired and will also be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. But Pence didn’t stick around long...LINK
Antifa Group Plans Nationwide ‘Deface Columbus Day’ Actions for Monday
Violent left-wing anarchists have announced a nationwide campaign to deface Christopher Columbus statues this coming Monday. Five Christopher Columbus statues have already been vandalized in New York City… In one case last month, vandals defaced a “larger-than-life” statue of Columbus in Central Park, leaving blood-red paint on his hands, and scrawled, “Hate will not be tolerated” and “#SomethingsComing” on its pedestal.      LINK
PJ Media: New Research Reveals that Suicide Is Still a 'Taboo Subject' in Many Churches
A new study published by Lifeway Research opens with the sobering reflection: "Suicide remains a taboo subject in many Protestant churches, despite the best efforts of pastors." That opening statement contradicts the belief of the majority of the pastors who were...    LINK
Christian Groups Divided on Trump's Repeal of Obamacare's Contraceptive Mandate
President Donald Trump's administration has repealed the Obamacare's birth control mandate, which required employers to provide insurance to cover women's birth control and abortion-inducing drugs, but not all Christian groups agree with the decision.     LINK
North Korean Defector Describes Life as a Christian Under Kim Regime: We Met in a Hole to Worship
A North Korean defector opened up about the underground church he led and the secretive life he and other Christians had there. He also revealed that despite being offered freedom for renouncing their religion, believers in the notorious prison camps refuse to do so.... LINK
CBN News: Thousands of Christians Celebrate Biblical Feast in Jerusalem
Thousands of Christians from around the world are in Jerusalem to participate in the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).      LINK
PJ Media: Evolutionary Biologist Pushes Back on Claim that Humans Didn't Descend from a Single Human Pair
Christians who believe that God created everything and that Adam and Eve were literal human beings from whom all other humans have descended are considered anti-science and are frequently mocked. The ridicule is expected...However, the charge of being anti-science isn't true. Thankfully, not all Christians who subscribe to evolution are guilty of scientism either. Biologist Richard Buggs demonstrates this as he argues for the possibility that humans may have descended from a single human pair.     LINK

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FRIDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 6th, 2017
CBN News: 'Transsexual Takeover' —California Law Includes Jail Time for Using Wrong Pronoun for Transgenders
A California pro-family leader warns a new law intended to protect the rights of LGBT Seniors "will force all California long-term care facilities to submit to the tyrannical transsexual agenda, without limit." California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Wednesday a "bill of rights" that backers say will help protect LGBT seniors from discrimination or mistreatment in long-term care facilities by strengthening protections against discrimination. But under the new law, care workers and facilities could face fines or even jail if they don't address a transsexual patient by their desired gender.  LINK
Head of Church of England: ‘I Can’t Give a Straight Answer’ on Whether Gay Sex Is Sin'
In a recent interview, the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said he was not sure if “gay sex”…between people of the same sex — is “sinful,” stating he “can’t give a straight answer to” the question, and that he lacks “a good answer to the question.”    LINK
Senator James Lankford: Turkey Has Imprisoned an American Pastor for One Year
October 7, 2016. It’s been almost one year since Dr. Andrew Brunson was unjustly imprisoned without charges in Turkey. Imagine spending a year in a Turkish prison as a hostage. Unfortunately, most Americans have no idea what is really happening in Turkey. Turkey has long been an ally of the United States, but has chosen to complicate and weaken its relationship with the United States and other free nations of the world through its increasingly oppressive policies.    LINK
Raising Middle Finger at Pastor in Church, Screaming About Satan Is Protected Free Speech, Says Judge
A Georgia judge ruled Monday in favor of a man who in 2014 raised his middle finger at a pastor inside a church and shouted about Satan's influence over public schools, arguing that the behavior counts as protected free speech under the First Amendment.      LINK
PJ Media: Passengers Panic, Run Onto Tracks After Man Begins Reciting Bible Verses on Train
....(One wonders if the people of Nineveh reacted in a similar fashion when Jonah showed up preaching about God's coming wrath. Actually, scratch that, one doesn't wonder because the Bible records that the Ninevites repented of their sins and turned to God when a street preacher showed up in their town. Unlike Londoners, the ancient people of Nineveh were made of sterner and, more importantly, humbler stuff. I must add, however, there is little comparison between this London street/subway preacher and Jonah.)    LINK
World Religion News: More Than 1 in 5 Countries Have an Official Religion
 The Pew Research Center has found more than one in five nations impose an official state religion. The majority of religious-oriented countries are Muslim. Over 20 percent of the countries have a religion they tend to give more preference to. In contrast, about 53 percent of countries have no preferred or official religion. Five percent (10 in total) are seen as hostile to religion. The list of anti-religious countries includes Vietnam, China, North Korea, Cuba and a number of other countries which were formerly...   LINK
Jerry Newcombe: On The Pursuit of Happiness— Joy is a State of Mind
The God-given right of “the pursuit of happiness” is even in our national birth certificate. But many people don’t find happiness and joy. Why not? Perhaps because they are seeking them in all the wrong places.    LINK
Albert Mohler: “An Act of Pure Evil” — Searching for Meaning In Las Vegas
....But the facts of who and what and where and how, still unfolding, point to the even more difficult question — why? Why would anyone kill a fellow human being? Why launch an ambush massacre upon concertgoers listening to country music? Why premeditate a mass killing?...Our minds crave an answer. Why do we ask why? We cannot help but ask why because, made in God’s image, we are moral creatures who cannot grasp or understand the world around us without moral categories. We are moral creatures inhabiting a moral universe and our moral sense of meaning is the faculty most perplexed when overwhelmed by horror and grief.     LINK
Anti-Christian Hostility Hasn't Risen, But It Has Changed as Secular Progressives Hold More Wealth, Power
New research examining cultural hostility toward American Christians shows that believers are incorrect to assert that animus toward them has increased. Yet they might be right in their claims that they face more problems such hostility causes than they once did, in light of how economics has changed....   LINK
PJ Media: Anal Cancer— The New Gay Epidemic the Media Won't Talk About
The Los Angeles Times calls anal cancer "the next big crisis" for the gay community. According to the American Cancer Society, the future looks grim....The study shows that anal cancer comes from the sexually transmitted virus HPV. What it doesn't mention is why the gay community is so susceptible to contracting HPV. Perhaps the answer is too politically incorrect for the L.A. Times. ... LINK
James Burstow: Why Do We Sing?
There is something special about music. Something that’s hard to explain. It stirs our emotions; it lifts our hearts—but that is not all it does. Words set to music have the unique ability to burrow deep into our hearts in a way that enables us to remember them. And that means that singing in church, for ourselves, with our children or even in the shower is not just an “optional extra” for the Christian life, but a practice that can profoundly strengthen our faith, and our ability to persevere in the hardest of times.  LINK
Chris Martin: The Unique Joy of Ordinary Faithfulness
...Ecclesiastes is often derided as a depressing book of the Bible because of the author’s regular reminder that “all is vanity” (e.g., Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14; 2:1). But Ecclesiastes is only depressing for those who hope to find lasting fulfillment in that which will not last.... LINK
Colleen Chao: God Is with You In Your Panic Attack
....Panic attacks have been a source of both grief and grace. Grief, because they are terrifying and painful and disorienting and exhausting. Grace, because through them, God has humbled my proud heart and taught me to trust less in myself and more in Him. When Asaph says, “My flesh and my heart may fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” boy, do I get it.     LINK
Tim Chester: Where Are You On the Adultery Trail?
Adultery is ugly. But before David thought about the act of adultery with Bathsheba in this famous story, there were two other kinds of adultery he had already committed.    LINK
Banner of Truth: The Life of John Walter Stevens
John Walter Stevens, a member of the church at Bethel, Luton, and formerly deacon at Ebenezer, Clapham, and South Moreton, passed away on November 25th, 2016, aged 95 years. The following is taken from his own writings (written in 1993-94).     LINK
David Cloud: Tight Clothing and Modesty
Tight, clinging attire is as immodest as skimpy attire because the woman’s figure is emphasized and accented, and the man’s attention is directed to that which is forbidden outside of marriage. Men are strongly influenced sexually by the eye-gate and are attracted to the woman’s curves. The immodest clothing industry understands these things and strives to dress women seductively rather...  LINK
David Murray: How to Shorten and Sharpen Your Sermons
“Leave space and say less.” ....That’s why, whenever you hear a sermon that goes on too long, the reason is not that the preacher prepared too much. It’s that he prepared too little. It takes much more time to prepare a 40-minute sermon than a 60-minute sermon.   LINK

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THURSDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 5th, 2017
UK Guardian: ‘Doomsday Preacher’ On England Train Causes Passengers To Flee 
Hundreds of thousands of commuters experienced major disruption during rush hour on Monday morning after passengers evacuated themselves from a train in London and spilled on to the track because they feared a fellow passenger was acting erratically. The incident forced Network Rail to switch off power in the area, causing long delays. Ian O’Sullivan, 42, who was in the same carriage as the passenger, said a man with a rucksack began reading what appeared to be extracts from the Old Testament, when the train stopped at a red light outside the south-west London rail station. “He was quite well spoken and calm,” he said. “He said: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to talk to you about something and that something is the word of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He’s here to heal your sins. The Bible tells you that homosexuality is a sin and sex before marriage is a sin. You need to repent’.” Other passengers said the man referred to “doomsday” and the afterlife. O’Sullivan said he did not find the man threatening, but people started pushing and shoving, with another passenger warning the man that he was scaring people. “It suddenly became a panic,” he said. “It was quite a full train, but the area around him was suddenly quite empty.” Some people prised open the doors and went on to the tracks.    LINK
Christian Century: When Violence Invades Sacred Spaces
A recent shooting at a church in Nashville raises questions of safety in places of worship. 
As people responded to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, in which more than 50 people were killed and hundreds injured October 1 in Las Vegas, members at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, were mourning their own disaster. A shooting at the church on September 24 left one woman dead and seven others injured.  The attack conjureds up memories of other shooting at sanctuaries, such as the June 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, or the August 2012 shooting at a Sikh Temple outside of Milwaukee. Attacks on churches are where Mike McPherson’s thoughts went as he waited at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for updates on his friend Joey Spann, who is the Burnette Chapel minister.     LINK
Stephen Mansfield: How the Religious Right Chose the Most Unusual Candidate In 2016
He was the most unusual party nominee in American history. He had never held public office. He made his wealth and his reputation in cutthroat real estate deals and as an owner of gambling casinos. He specialized in breaking the rules. His campaign was one of the least orthodox, least disciplined, and least focused in US political history–and still he won his party’s nomination handily. The immorality of his prior life alone set him apart as an American presidential candidate...None of it did him harm. He seemed coated in invisible Teflon...Yet none of this was as surprising as the support from religious Americans that Donald Trump commanded. At his side stood some of the most visible faith leaders in the nation. Famous preachers declared him God’s man. Eminent theologians said he was chosen. Others said he was a Lincoln, perhaps not an orthodox believer but guided nevertheless by the better angels of his nature and the hand of a history-ruling God. A few even said he was a Churchill – crass, blasphemous, gifted, and ordained.  LINK
Christian Headlines: More and More Transgender Individuals Regretting Sex-Change Surgery
 A doctor who performs same-sex surgeries has voiced concerns that more and more transgender individuals are regretting their decision to undergo the procedure.  TheBlaze.com quotes world-leading genital reconstruction surgeon Professor Miroslav Djordjevic who said, “It can be a real disaster to hear these stories.”Djordjevic has reported that he has seen patients seeking a sex-change reversal and they have told him that they were not given any kind of counseling or evaluation before the initial sex-change surgery. Instead, they were simply asked if they could pay for it....Although Djordjevic is not opposed to sex-change surgeries, he requires his patients to be sure it is what they want. He wants them to be fully informed...   LINK
David French: Never Stop Making Moral and Religious Arguments
....The bottom line is that moral arguments have real power, and they’re even more powerful if only one side is making them. That’s doubly true for religious arguments. Progressive Christians have no trouble quoting scripture to support progressive arguments. Yet all too many conservatives fall for the claim that “no one cares” what the Bible says when standing on orthodox Christian moral principle. But this makes no sense. Let’s put it this way. Which is more powerful? The God-breathed words and reasoning of the most influential book in human history? Or the arguments I concocted in my pea brain five minutes ago? I’d opt for the former.     LINK
Christian Headlines: A Hurting Nation Turns to Scripture for 'Comfort' and 'Clarity'
 A headline at the Washington Post makes a surprising observation: “Christianity may be declining in America, but presidents still turn to the Bible in moments of tragedy.” Reporter Eugene Scott begins the article by mentioning President Trump’s use of Scripture in his speech to the nation on Monday. In response to the horrific Las Vegas shooting over the weekend, Trump referenced Psalm 34:18, saying, “Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”... LINK
Breaking Israel News: Sanhedrin Declares Third Year of Jubilee With Temple Shofars and Silver Trumpets
Accompanied by an anointed priest and blowing two types of shofars (rams’ horns) along with silver trumpets in the Biblically prescribed manner, representatives of the nascent Sanhedrin gathered on the Mount of Olives on Thursday to count the third year of the Jubilee cycle in the most Biblically-accurate way possible.   LINK
Catholics, Jews Join Evangelicals in Fight Against FEMA Policy Banning Churches From Disaster Relief
A Roman Catholic and a Jewish group have submitted friend-of-the-court briefs siding with three evangelical churches suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in a bid to change policy that bans disaster aid from reaching religious institutions.    LINK
Michael Brown: Can ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Stop the Next Shooting? 
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, herself a shooting victim, said, “All we're hearing is thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers are important. They are not enough. Your thoughts and prayers aren't going to stop the next shooting.” Is he right? Yes and no.    LINK
D.W. Wilber: How to Survive When Hate Comes Through the Front Door
The tragedy of what happened in Las Vegas reminds us that we live in a violent world, and often times a world that is completely out of our control.  But what is in our control is living our lives in a way that reduces our chances of becoming victims of violence, and knowing what we can do to survive if we find ourselves thrust into the middle of a violent situation.  I describe it as ‘Situational Awareness.’    LINK
Warren Vanhetloo: Are False Teachers Born Again?
....Jesus taught He would lay down His life to redeem mankind. Liberals taught a variety of supposed ways to get to heaven. God says there is only the one way. Jesus proclaimed that all men must be born again to be right with God. Liberals promoted good works, clean living, being kind to the poor, etc., things Jesus had indicated should be characteristic of one born again, but of no value to get to heaven. Jesus declared He would come again to take His Own unto Himself. Liberals were teaching that the rapture and millennial reign of Jesus were extremist interpretations. The typical American view of all this was quite different.     LINK
David Prentice: America's Millennial Realignment
We have witnessed realignments in the past, but the one we are in the midst of is extraordinary. It began before Trump came down the escalator but he was the first to capture it, energize it, and win office as a result. The realignment is not about him per se, as demonstrated by the nomination of Judge Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat. The realignment is much more.... LINK
Elise Cooper: 'You Have Gone Too Far'  —Vets Respond to the NFL
After seeing the latest football games, Americans should play Monday-morning quarterbacks and not stand on the sidelines while the players are kneeling.  The players are making a sham of the National Anthem by insulting the flag, the nation, those serving, and those who have served, as well as the police, who run into a crisis instead of away from one.    LINK
Layton Talbert: The Neglected Stepchild of the Bible
....Such statements about Romans, John, Genesis, or Isaiah would signify the death of a man’s orthodoxy and theological reliability. All of the above statements, however, were made by conservative, Bible-believing men regarding the Book of Ecclesiastes. We would never tolerate any remotely similar comment about the Bible itself, or about any other Book in the Bible. Why Ecclesiastes? What is it about this one book that makes some people insist on treating it so differently from all other Scripture? Here are the arguments most frequently marshaled against the inspired inerrancy, doctrinal authority, and theological reliability of Ecclesiastes.   LINK

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WEDNESDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 4th, 2017
ERLC: Five Ways To Respond To the Las Vegas Shooting
A gunman fired on a crowd gathered for a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip this past Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and wounding nearly 400. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern history of the United States. When faced with this type of violent crisis we should first turn to our Comforter in prayer. We should seek healing for the wounded, the grieving families, and for our broken nation. Our next step should be to respond as Christians. Matthew Mihelic offers five ways to help guide our thinking about how to respond to such violence... LINK
CBN News: 'I Need Faith in My Life' —Las Vegas Church Sees Spiritual Impact as 3,000 Attend Vigil
Canyon Ridge Christian Church sits in the northwest suburbs of Las Vegas, 25 miles from the Strip, but its congregation is deeply affected by the Sunday night massacre at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Many police officers attend services as well as entertainment and hospitality workers. More than 6,000 worship at services every weekend and Monday night, more than 3,000 came to a...       LINK
Get Religion: Please Don't Take the Bait —What Pat Robertson Said About Las Vegas Isn't Really News
....When there's a major tragedy, here's another thing you can count on: Pat Robertson opening his mouth. So yes, Robertson weighed in on Las Vegas. Was there any doubt that he would? But is there any possibility that what he said amounted to actual news?     LINK
ISIS Names Las Vegas Killer “Abu Abdul Bar Al-Amrekini” 
The Islamic State reinforced its earlier claim of responsibility for the atrocity with another communiqué Monday night, which named Stephen Paddock “Abu Abdul Bar Al-Amrekini” and said he had carried out surveillance of the concert arena opposite the hotel before murdering 58 people and injuring 515… various Middle East sources said overnight Monday that he had been in contact with certain quarters in the region, and claimed the FBI had photos recording his visits.... LINK
Christianity Today: After Mass Shootings, Americans Turn to Four Bible Verses Most 
Bible Gateway analyzed search patterns surrounding Sunday night’s concert shooting as well as 18 other major incidents of violence over the past decade, including Virginia Tech in 2007, Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, San Bernardino in 2015, and Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in 2016. Among the site’s 150 million visitors a year, the verses that saw distinct spikes in readership around those shootings were: John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” LINK
CNN Reporter: “These Country Music Supporters Were Likely Trump Supporters"
On the same day CBS fired one of its network executives, Hayley Geftman-Gold, after she took to social media to explain why she was “not even sympathetic” to victims of the Las Vegas shooting because “country music fans often are Republican,” CNN had its own “zen moment” of victim-blaming and stereotyping of innocent concertgoers caught up in the horrific carnage at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, when during a live broadcast Monday morning, CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny suggested that most of the victims were Trump supporters for the mere fact that they were attending a country music event. LINK
Christian Headlines: Stories of Courage and Heroism Emerge in Wake of Las Vegas Shooting
The U.S. and the world are still reeling from the horrific shooting that killed nearly 60 people and wounded over 500 more on Sunday night in Las Vegas. While we are all still grappling with this senseless act of violence and “pure evil,” as President Trump termed it, there are also stories of courage and heroism emerging that showcase the best aspects of the human spirit.  LINK
Christian Post: Seven Reactions to the Las Vegas Shooting Massacre
The Las Vegas massacre, widely recognized as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in which 59 people were killed and 527 others were wounded, has elicited many reactions from leading politicians and people in the news media, some heartfelt and others inflammatory.  LINK
Indiana to Appeal After Obama Judge Strikes Down Law Banning Abortion of Down Syndrome Children 
The attorney general of Indiana says that he plans to file an appeal after a federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama issued a permanent injunction against a state law that bans the murder of unborn children based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis or any other disability, but stops short of ending all abortion in the state.     LINK
New Religion Worships ‘Divine Supercomputer’, But Is High-Tech Faith Old-School Idolatry?
A high-tech millionaire has founded a new religion based on the belief that artificial intelligence will surpass man, and proclaims that in the future, man will worship a divine supercomputer. But a rabbi who is an expert in the interface between religion and technology compared the new high-tech religion to old-school idolatry.      LINK
World Mag: Surrogate Mother Fights for Triplets
A surrogate mother has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in a battle to gain custody of triplets she carried by gestational surrogacy.  The mother, Melissa Cook, 49, of Woodland Hills, Calif., carried three babies for a single father, Chester Shannon Moore Jr., 51. Moore, a postal worker, is deaf and mute and lives in his elderly parents’ basement in Mableton, Ga. The arrangement was made through a surrogacy agency. Cook says Moore is incapable of caring for the three baby boys, now 18 months old.  LINK
In Russia, Jehovah's Witness Bible & Jewish, Christian, Muslim Books Banned
Banned as "extremist": Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Bible, other Jehovah's Witness and Muslim books, an article on the Jewish concept of the Holy Land, a Jewish historical novel claimed to incite hatred of Catholics, a book on "Christian women persecuted for their faith" and an atheist slideshow.... LINK
Christianity Today: Pew— Islam Is Most Official, But Christianity Is Most Favored Worldwide 
More than 40 percent of the world’s countries have an official or preferred state religion, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center. Pew surveyed 199 countries to ascertain which were publicly in favor of religion—and which religions they favored. Researchers weighed not only constitutions, laws, and policies, but also actions taken for or against religious groups.    LINK
Christian News Net: ‘In Satan We Trust’ Florida Atheist Plans to Erect Six-Foot Metal Pentagram in City Park 
.....Since 1990, a city law in Boca Raton has allowed “unattended, expressive installations, displays, exhibits and similar objects” to be displayed during the holiday season in the city’s Sanborn Park. According to a report from CBS12, a local atheist named Preston Smith plans to put up a blood-red pentagram that stands six feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and bears several captions, including “In Satan We Trust,” “I Kneel Before No Gods” and “May the Children Hail Satan.”     LINK
Church of England to Install Luxury 'Pods' in Old Churches for Vacationers
Several Anglican churches in England are preparing to install luxury 'pods' for vacationers within their buildings to defray renovation expenses, bringing together glamorous camping  — 'glamping' — in old churches, which is being called 'champing.'"     LINK
Rex Murphy: Kneeling During Anthem Applauded When Political, Scorned When Done In Prayer
.....On the NFL’s genuflection squad Cherry pointed out what is almost always the last thing to be seen: the obvious. He noted that prior to this epidemic of bended knees during the singing of the U.S. anthem, there was one player who actually knelt for the reason that people have knelt for centuries: as a position of reverence during prayer. This was Tim Tebow. Cherry recalled that various press moralists had a very fine old time with that...For what is more backward...than the person who takes faith seriously and acts out his faith in public.      LINK
Shane Idleman: Television Is Destroying Families, Leading Christians to Compromise
Just a few decades ago, most of today's television programs and movies would have shocked the public. Programs that never would have aired then, receive the highest ratings now.     LINK
Danielle White: On Forced Abortions, California and China May Be Closer Than You Think
Before you assume that forced and coerced abortions are either a thing of fiction or a factor only in far-flung regimes like China and its longstanding "One-Child Policy," you need to take a look at what's going on in what most consider the most liberal state in the U.S.   LINK
Carl Trueman: This Sporting Life
Amid the hoo-hah surrounding the clash between Donald Trump and the NFL, perhaps the most important question does not concern the righteousness of the two sides’ positions. Rather, it concerns why any of us should allot special importance to the political views of a group of men whose sole claim to fame is the ability to play a schoolyard game with exceptional competence. And why is Jimmy Kimmel, a late-night comedian, suddenly a national authority on the philosophy of healthcare? The absurdity of these phenomena should be obvious. If it is not, then that is a sign of the absurdity of contemporary society.  LINK
Chris Castaldo: The Pope’s Crisis of Conscience
.....Ever since August 11, when 40 Roman Catholic leaders presented a 25-page letter to Pope Francis (a “Filial Correction”), the issue of Christian conscience has generated discussion. Conscience is recognized as the inner core of a person that identifies morally good and evil choices in accord with right reason and God’s Word. The discussion, however, has opened a can of worms. LINK
Sinclair Ferguson: The Day of Atonement Was a Copy of Christ’s Atonement
.....It is common to think of the Old Testament ritual as providing the model that Jesus’ priesthood subsequently copied and fulfilled. But Hebrews sees things differently. The Old Testament ritual of the high priest moving through the tabernacle—with its various rooms and furniture, especially the Holy of Holies and the ark with the mercy seat—is not the model but the copy (Heb. 8:5).    LINK

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TUESDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 3rd, 2017
Who is Stephen Paddock? Vegas Shooter's 'Psychopathic' Dad Was on FBI's Most Wanted List
Stephen Craig Paddock, the 64-year-old man who police say killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 others at a country concert in Las Vegas, was a retiree with no criminal history. Paddock was found dead by officers in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino. Police say Paddock had as many as 10 guns, including rifles, with him. The FBI is shedding some more light on Paddock's background, saying his father was a notorious bank robber who tried to run down an FBI agent with his car in Las Vegas in 1960.     LINK
CBN News: Las Vegas Churches Partner with Police to Serve Shooting Victims
Las Vegas may be experiencing its darkest hour but churches in the city Monday expressed hope around the opportunity for ministry after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. "There's an incredible spirit of Kingdom collaboration," said Vance Pittman, senior pastor at Hope Church, "We're just all in it together." Senior Pastor Paul Marc Goulet said it's been beautiful to see churches responding in unity.   LINK
Las Vegas Survivor: 'I Was Agnostic and I'm a Firm Believer In God Now'
Taylor Benge, a survivor of the mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip Sunday evening, told CNN that surviving the massacre made him a believer in God. "I know I can't speak for everyone but for me, I was an agnostic going into that concert and I'm a firm believer in God now," Benge said. "Because there's no way that, all that happened and that I made it and I'm blessed enough to be alive talking to you today.".. LINK
WORLD Mag: Unexpected Footprints Deal Blow To Evolution
Researchers just discovered ancient human footprints on the Greek island of Crete that undermine the Darwinian theory of the descent of humans. Per Ahlberg, one of the study authors, admitted in a statement, “This discovery challenges the established narrative of early human evolution head-on and is likely to generate a lot of debate.” The new discovery presents difficulties for evolutionary theory in two ways. First, evolutionary scientists believe human beings originated in Africa and remained isolated there for a long time before they migrated to Europe and Asia. But the footprints could indicate humans trekked on the Greek island long before evolutionists thought they migrated...   LINK
Christianity Today: One In Three Protestant Churchgoers Personally Affected by Suicide 
Suicide remains a taboo subject in many Protestant churches, despite the best efforts of pastors, according to a new study from LifeWay. Eight in 10 Protestant senior pastors believe their church is equipped to intervene with someone who is threatening suicide.  Yet few people turn to the church for help before taking their own lives, according to their churchgoing friends and family. Only 4 percent of churchgoers who have lost a close friend or family member to suicide say church leaders were aware of their loved one’s struggles.    LINK
Baptist Press: NCAA Scandal Spurs Warnings Against Sports Idolatry
Amid news of an NCAA basketball scandal involving alleged illegal payments to recruits, two Southern Baptist-linked high schools known for producing elite players have underscored the need for a God-focused perspective in athletics.   LINK
MercatorNet: Documenting the Tide of Bigotry and Hatred Toward Christians In Australia
Everyone should be concerned over the growing discrimination, persecution and vilification of Christians which is occurring in Australia.  Not only is the government failing to protect the human rights of Christians, but often it seems to be enabling discrimination and persecution through legislation and comments made by parliamentarians.    LINK
Associated Press: Georgia High Court Says Flipping the Bird In Church Is Protected Speech
Georgia's highest court has reversed the conviction of a man who was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after he held up his middle finger and shouted at his pastor during a service. The unanimous opinion issued Monday says David Justin Freeman's behavior amounts to speech protected by the First Amendment. Pastor Jason Berry of 12 Stone Church in Flowery Branch, 45 miles northeast of metro Atlanta, asked teachers to stand for recognition during a service in August 2014. The court's opinion says Freeman, a homeschooling father, stood and raised his middle finger in the air and then began yelling after the pastor finished his prayer.    LINK
PJ Media: Brigham Young University Now Sells Caffeinated Soft Drinks
....The honor code that all students are expected to abide by is in strict adherence with Mormon doctrine and teaching. What happens at BYU is reflective of Mormonism, in general. That's what makes the news being reported by NPR newsworthy. According to NPR, "For the first time since the mid-1950s, students can buy caffeinated soft drinks at Brigham Young University's dining halls in Provo, Utah."    LINK
Randy Alcorn: Why Abortion Isn’t Just a Political Issue— the Profound Significance of Oregon’s New Law Mandating Taxpayer Funded Elective Abortions
Sadly, my home state of Oregon, which I love in so many ways, legalized abortion four years before Roe v. Wade, and we were the first state, in fact the first principality in the world to legalize physician assisted suicide. As if this weren’t enough for Oregon to be famous for, last month, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3391, making Oregon the only state in the U.S. without any laws that restrict or limit abortion, and one of only a handful of states that chooses to use taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions.     LINK
Daily Signal: Law Enforcement Experts Explain What Makes for ‘Successful Policing’
....Policing “is not a government program,” Bratton said. “It’s a moral covenant. It’s keeping people safe. It’s the underpinning and the essential element of our democracy.”    LINK
Michael Reeves: Why the Reformation Still Matters
Last year, on October 31, Pope Francis announced that after five hundred years, Protestants and Catholics now “have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.” From that, it sounds as if the Reformation was an unfortunate and unnecessary squabble over trifles, a childish outburst that we can all put behind us now that we have grown up. But tell that to Martin Luther, who felt such liberation and joy at....    LINK
Albert Mohler: The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion
To the utter consternation of the abortion rights movement, the issue of abortion simply will not go away. Decades after abortion rights activists thought they had put the matter to rest with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, America’s conscience is more troubled than ever, and near-panic appears to break out regularly among abortion activists. Such a panic is now under way, and the defenders of abortion are trotting out some of their most dishonest arguments.    LINK
Brian Croft: How Does a Pastor Demonstrate Courage?
Courage in pastors can take on many forms.  However, one of the most important ways pastors demonstrate courage is by simply being themselves.  Pastors are commonly pressured to have it all together, to have it all figured out, and therefore are assumed to be the experts to instruct everyone else on how to do life. The biblical qualification of spiritual maturity and above reproach can easily slide into this unachievable perfectionistic standard that prevents many pastors from being themselves before their people. Instead, they...    LINK
Jason K. Allen: Six Reasons Why Pastors Should Stay Faithful
The office of the pastorate is a high one, the work a noble one, and the men who faithfully undertake it are worthy of our admiration. Pastors are in the arena, putting their life on the line. My challenge to them is to stay faithful. My challenge to church members is to encourage your pastor to do the same. So, pastor, I want to encourage you about who you are in Christ, the stewardship he has entrusted to you, and the uniqueness of your ministry.   LINK
Randy White: Why the Purpose Driven Cult Doesn’t Lead to Meaningful Lives
.....When Purpose became a “must have” on the search of significance, I think it ruined the lives of millions. Why are suicide rates higher than ever? Why is there a heroin and opioid epidemic? Why is marijuana usage considered a God-given right? Why does the Purpose-driven crowd seem so…hopeless?  I think it is past time to realize that a Purpose-driven life is unbiblical, unfruitful, and actually even harmful to your emotional and spiritual well-being.    LINK
Scott Slayton: What You Miss When You Don’t Gather With Your Church
In the last several years, observers of American church life have noted that the definition of a regular church attendee is changing. With increasing affluence, mobility, commitments, and entertainment options, many Christians gather with their church family less often than they did ten years ago. Previously, a regular church attendee was a person who “only” gathered with their church one time a week. Now a regular attendee is a person who may attend twice a month.     LINK
Clare DeGraff: Spiritual Cyber-Attacks
Most of the younger Christians I know don’t believe in the Devil anymore. Oh, they know the Bible talks about the Devil, and they believe in evil, but almost none of them gives Satan and his demons any serious thought. Phase 1 of the Devil’s cyber attack completed!   LINK
Amy Medina: Magic Charms and Contingency Plans
..... 'Mama F, because God is holy and only He deserves glory, you have to stop this witchcraft.  He wants you to see it is by His power and grace alone that F is healed. Please remove the knives, the leaves...'Miraculously they agreed and placed her in my arms!    LINK
Sonny Holmes: The Undisciplined Life
One day I listened to a sermon that altered the direction of my life in several distinct ways. It wasn’t in church, a small group, a conference, or a meeting. This sermon was delivered in the confines of a medical examination room. Our family doctor preached it. After a routine physical he told me I was obese, diagnosed my type 2 diabetes, referenced my high blood pressure, and called me a couch potato. Ouch!    LINK

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MONDAY EDITION — OCTOBER 2nd, 2017
CBN News: The Supreme Court’s New Term: Religious Freedom Case Tops the List
 The Supreme Court’s next term kicks off Monday and while there are plenty of important cases on the horizon, all eyes will also be on Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.  There is speculation the 81-year-old judge could be retiring this term and that would give President Trump the rare opportunity to appoint yet another Supreme Court Justice.   LINK
Christian News Net: U.S. Department of Justice Backs Christian College Student Told Preaching ‘Disturbing the Peace’ 
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a statement of interest in favor of a Christian college student who was told last year that he couldn’t preach in a campus free speech zone after officials received complaints that his speaking was “disturbing people’s peace and tranquility.” Chike Uzuegbunam, a student at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), sought in July 2016 to distribute tracts and engage in one-on-one conversations with other students outside of the school library. However, he was soon approached by college officials and informed that... LINK
Jon Bloom: One Man’s Dream Destroyed Millions— The Pitiful Legacy of Hugh Hefner 
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Enterprises and its chief ideological incarnation, died on Thursday at age 91 at the Playboy Mansion, immersed in the fantasy he created. He will be buried next to Marilyn Monroe, Playboy’s inaugural centerfold. In 1953, Hefner pulled pornography out of the seedy back cultural alleys, dressed it up in sophisticated costume and speech, gave it a stylish, debonair set, made it look liberating and libertine, and pushed it into the mainstream as Playboy Magazine. He was not so much a revolutionary as a man who understood his times. He knew the “right side of history” when he saw it. He saw the weakness in the flank, struck shrewdly (and lewdly), and won the cultural battle: the old sexual mores have been decisively thrown down and pornography is pervasive. But at what cost?  LINK
Steve Scalise: God Answered 'Pretty Much All' of My Prayers While I Lay Helpless on the Ball Field
...."When I was laying out on that ball field, the first thing I did once I was down and I couldn't do anything anymore, I just started to pray," the congressman said. "I prayed for very specific things, and I will tell you pretty much every one of those prayers was answered — and they were some pretty challenging prayers."... LINK
Jonathan H. Adler: A Supreme Court Term for the Ages
....The Court’s docket is only half complete, but the term is already chock-full of potential blockbusters, including cases on religious liberty, political gerrymandering, and the privacy of cell-phone records. However reticent the Court may have been to take major cases before, the justices are not avoiding anything now.    LINK
Daily Signal: NBC’s Chuck Todd Suggests the Constitution Excludes God-Given Rights
On an episode of “Meet the Press,” which he hosts, Todd seemed aghast and bewildered by a statement delivered by Roy Moore, Alabama’s Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate. “Our rights don’t come from government,” Moore said in a clip Todd played on his show. “They don’t come from the Bill of Rights. They come from Almighty God.” Todd said these statements mean that Moore “doesn’t appear to believe in the Constitution as it’s written,” and are “a taste of what are very fundamentalist views that have gotten him removed from office, twice, as Alabama’s chief justice.”    LINK
Breitbart News: Former Google Employee Engineering His Own A.I. Religion
Former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski is emerging from the shadow of a self-driving lawsuit to create a robot god…His newly founded Way of the Future organization, …exists to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”    LINK
Christian Post: Suicide Remains a Taboo Topic in America's Churches, Says LifeWay
A third of churchgoers have lost a family member or a close acquaintance to suicide and the majority of Protestant senior pastors believe their church is equipped to assist someone who is threatening suicide, yet few choose to seek help from the church before taking their own lives, a new study by LifeWay Research has found.    LINK
Rob Schwarzwalder: Hugh Hefner’s True Legacy
....This was the image Hefner portrayed: Sex as fun without any consequences.  That sex was intended to bond two people, to complete them, and to produce children was not just lost on Hefner but actively rejected by him.  Well, you can say water runs up hill, but that doesn’t make it so. And you can pretend that sex is a meaningless exercise in selfish pleasure, but your best efforts can’t make that lie true.... LINK
Tyler O'Neil: Why Do LGBT Activists Fear and Distrust the Very Idea of Religious Freedom?
The LGBT movement continues to grow more hostile to the religious freedom of Christians (and soon afterward those of other faiths), who do not accept transgender identity and who do not wish to celebrate same-sex weddings.  One activist group announced plans to force churches to host same-sex weddings. LGBT people in Australia wouldn't even allow churches to opt out, if doing so made same-sex marriage legal in that country. The speaker of the House of Commons in Britain said same-sex marriage won't be "proper" until churches can't opt out. A prominent LGBT activist has declared his intentions to "punish the wicked," by which he means anyone who refuses to take part in celebrating a same-sex wedding.      LINK
Christian Post: Hugh Hefner Heard the Gospel, Says Lee Strobel
Hugh Hefner did not die without hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to popular Christian apologist and author Lee Strobel, he once shared the Gospel with the founder and publisher of Playboy magazine who died in his Beverly Hills mansion on Wednesday.    LINK
Tom Gilson:  Today's Attacks on Christianity Are Nothing New
There’s nothing new under the sun. Especially when it comes to the way people criticize Christianity today. Christians have been caught off guard by today’s sharp criticisms of Christianity’s moral beliefs and intellectual credibility. It’s new to us — but it isn’t new to the Church.  You may think ancient history is like, well, ancient history. But it isn’t as foreign as it might seem.    LINK
Ronnie Floyd: Returning to Pastor-Led Prayer in Public Worship Services
Prayer led by the pastor of the church used to be a normal part of worship services. What was deemed in the past as a part of public worship, has now been minimized, eliminated, or delegated. This is not acceptable or good for the church.  LINK
Christian Post: Judge Rules in Favor of Atheist Group, Says Cross on Pennsylvania County Seal Must Be Removed
A federal judge has ruled that a Pennsylvania county seal is unconstitutional for including a cross, handing a legal victory to a Wisconsin-based atheist organization.    LINK
John Ellis: Exposing the Wickedness of Progressive 'Christianity'
Diving into the rabbit hole of progressive "christianity" is a journey through ever-increasing wickedness  (on top of using quotation marks, I'm no longer going to capitalize progressive "christianity"). Unfortunately, because of my job, I must take that plunge on a frequent basis. My latest plunge into depravity found me slogging through the blog of Dr. Jeff Hood.    LINK
Don Boys: God Doesn’t Grade On a Curve!
....As to personal salvation, there is no grade curve. God has already told us in John 3:3 that there are no exceptions for “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” That includes everyone, even religious leaders!    LINK
PJ Media: Child Sacrifices Are On the Rise In Uganda
But the African nation still lags way behind in the total number of children killed in child sacrifices every year.... LINK
John Dunlop: 10 Things You Should Know About Dementia
Every time Jan came to my office she would smile and tell me “old age is not for cowards.” She would always laugh, proud of her originality but oblivious to the fact that in her dementia she had told me the same many times. Indeed, dementia is one of the greatest challenges of aging. And as life expectancy increases, dementia will be all the more common. It is estimated that over one-third of today’s seniors will die with some degree of dementia.   LINK
Kevin DeYoung: Seven Characteristics of Liberal Theology
What is theological liberalism?  Liberalism is both a tradition—coming out of the late-18th century Protestant attempt to reconfigure traditional Christian teaching in the light of modern knowledge and values—and a diverse, but recognizable approach to theology. Like any “ism,” liberalism is not easy to pigeonhole. But Gary Dorrien’s magisterial three volumes on The Making of American Liberal Theology present a coherent picture of a movement that has been marked by identifiable hermeneutical and sociological commitments. Even if one wishes to avoid liberal theology, it would still be wise to know something about a movement that has exerted such considerable influence over the past 200 years. Below are seven characteristics of liberalism that have been culled from the first volume of Dorrien’s trilogy.   LINK
David Cloud: The History of How Evangelism Was Corrupted Among Independent Baptists
Prior to the 1970s, Independent Baptist churches were spiritually stronger, and one reason was that they were more careful about salvation. Consider some prominent examples....    LINK
Josh Buice: A Proper Study of History Should Increase Your Balance
....As I’ve walked the streets here in Germany and considered the many historic stories of these Reformers—I’m freshly reminded of the need for theological and methodological balance.       LINK
Conrad Mbewe: Seven Lies I Once Believed About Missions 
The work of missions is one of the most important that any church can engage in. It is the responsibility of every Christian. We are either supposed to go into the mission field or we should be supporting those who have gone with our prayers and our finances. This is because our God is a God of missions. That is what the whole Bible is about. It is God’s agenda. Whereas I knew this from the time I became a Christian, somehow the penny never quite dropped that I should put this into practice both as a Christian and later as a church pastor.   LINK
Randy Alcorn: NO BOREDOM IN HEAVEN!
....Our belief that Heaven will be boring betrays a heresy—that God is boring. There’s no greater nonsense. What’s true is that our desire for pleasure and the experience of joy come directly from God’s hand. God designed and gave us our taste buds, adrenaline, sex drives, and the nerve endings that convey pleasure to our brains. Likewise, our imaginations and our capacity for joy and exhilaration were made by the very God we accuse of being boring! Do we imagine that we ourselves came up with the idea of fun?  LINK
Melissa Edgington: Setting the Tone In Your Home
I will never forget the day that little five year old Sawyer looked up at me and said, “Mama, you’re always mad.” It was a wake up call like no other. The truth is that I hadn’t realized how irritable I had become in that phase of life. But, when he said it, scenes flashed through my mind, revealing the hard truth that I had become increasingly unreasonable in my interactions with my family. I was turning every small inconvenience into a huge show of annoyance, and even though I didn’t necessarily feel angry and upset all the time, as far as....   LINK

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WEEKEND EDITION — SEPTEMBER 30th-OCTOBER 1st, 2017
Thousands of Puerto Rican Churches Wrecked by Hurricane Maria
Just over a week after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, reports are beginning to reveal its impact on the island’s Christian community, including more than 1 million Protestants.Approximately 3,000 churches were damaged or destroyed by the Category 4 hurricane, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) estimated. Wanda Rolón, an NHCLC board member and one of Puerto Rico’s best-known pastors, said that she was “not aware of a single church that escaped damage or harm.”In addition to flooding, downed trees, and buildings ripped apart by 150 mph winds, the storm cut off electricity and communications networks. The Christian TV station, CDM Internacional, as well as several Christian radio stations went off the air.   LINK
Associated Press: Preaching Security After Deadly Tennessee Church Shooting
When a masked gunman killed a woman and wounded six people at a Tennessee church last weekend, it drew national attention — as did the 2015 massacre of nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina, the 2014 slayings of three people at a Kansas Jewish center and retirement home and the 2012 killings of six at a Wisconsin Sikh temple. Those high-profile cases make headlines, but they reflect a jarring reality: violence in church isn't unusual. On average, according to one church security consultant's data, there's a deadly attack twice a month at a U.S. house of worship or religious facility.     LINK
World Net Daily: Satanists Seek To Force Christians To Violate Faith
....But now another group that routinely opposes Christians is offering what its promoters hope is a sure-fire way to force Christian business operators to violate their faith: Demand that a baker produce a pro-Satanic cake.  After all, while gender orientation and the like are not protected classes in the United States, religion is protected.    LINK
Fox News: Christian Woman Sues Mississippi Restaurant Over Dress Code
A Mississippi restaurant chain, Georgia Blue LLC, is being sued for failing to accommodate a server’s religious requests. In October 2015, Kaetoya Watkins was hired to work as a waitress by the eatery. It was after she received the job offer that Watkins, a devout Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, learned of Georgia Blue’s dress code requiring servers to wear blue jeans.  LINK
WORLD Mag: A New Stem Cell Could Reduce the Destruction of Embryos In Medical Research
Medical researchers around the globe have sometimes killed tiny human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells. A seemingly ethical new technique for creating stem cells, described in Nature Biotechnology, could be the most promising alternative approach to date..     LINK
Sharper Iron: Forgive and Forget? No!
If a Christian has been personally wronged by another Christian, should he just forgive and forget? I don’t believe he should. I think that would be a terrible mistake, and this attitude (while well-meaning) is very dangerous for local churches. It papers over disputes, and presents a false front of unity where, in fact, bitterness and sin often abound below the surface. Here is my position, briefly...     LINK
Silicon Valley Elitist Starts Religion to Worship Artificial Intelligence as God
Documents uncovered as part of a separate court case reveal that multi-millionaire Silicon Valley elitist Anthony Levandowski started a religion based around the concept of worshipping artificial intelligence as a God.  LINK
Matthew Vadum: FBI Stats Demolish NFL Protest Narrative
 The Black Lives Matter fairy tale that police use black Americans for target practice took another hit as new FBI statistics showed the black homicide rate is skyrocketing and that cops had nothing to do with it.  Apart from the FBI data, four separate studies were published last year refuting the claim that police shootings are racially-biased, but facts often have little effect on committed left-wingers who...... LINK
David Cloud: The Emerging Church and Homosexuality
Brian McLaren says: “Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. ... We aren’t sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn. ... Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements.” ....Some try to make the case that Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality, pretending that this (if it were true) would prove that Christians should also be silent on the subject. The fact is that the He did mention homosexuality.  LINK
garbc.org: Regular Baptist Press Has a New Director
David Gunn has been named director of Regular Baptist Press. Gunn, who joined the staff of RBP in 2014, assumed his new responsibilities in early September.  LINK
Kent Brandenburg: Dumbing Unity Down and Excluding God
....The biblical doctrines of unity and separation directly relate to one another.  You do not understand unity if you don't understand separation, and you don't understand separation if you don't understand unity.  Some don't understand separation or unity.  The question is, what does the Bible teach about both?      LINK

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