HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Thursday, December 28th, 2017
..;..The End Of British Christianity?   -Gladstone Institute
British Christian publications have been wondering if we are witnessing the "extinction of Christianity in Egypt", where the Christian faithful have suffered persecution and terror attacks at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Christian leaders also seem to be wondering if Christianity will be "extinct within a generation" in the UK, where religious people enjoy total freedom of worship and faith. Last year, the Church of England began to formulate a religious revolution. Its canonical laws require that British churches hold their functions every Sunday. The dramatic crisis of Christianity in the UK, however, is pushing the Anglican church to rewrite those rules, in order not to officiate in empty and abandoned churches. A quarter of the British rural parishes now have fewer than 10 regular members of the faithful on Sunday. There are no more children in 25% of the Church of England's congregations, as new figures have just shown. 
..;..Social Security Beneficiaries Hit Record 61,859,250   -CNS News
The number of Social Security beneficiaries hit a record 61,859,250 in November, according to data released by the Social Security Administration. At the same time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with unemployment at the lowest rate since 2000 (4.1 percent), there were 126,827,000 full-time workers in the United States (including government workers). Yet that equaled only 2.05 full-time workers for each person receiving Social Security benefits. Even when all 153,918,000 people who had jobs in November are considered, the ratio of workers to beneficiaries was....
.;..Are Christians Crying Wolf About Mistreatment and Marginalization?   -The Stream
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian alleges in a Washington Post op-ed that Christians are crying wolf with claims of marginalization and persecution. She says those claims need to be vigorously challenged. Why have liberals failed to challenge them? 
..;..Religious Liberty Victories In 2017     -Townhall
2017 was an exciting year for religious liberty. Amid the chaos of an historic election and the naming of a new Supreme Court Justice, victories for religious liberty were won across the country, protecting the freedoms of people of all faith, and no faith at all. As the year draws to a close let’s look back on a few of these triumphs. Let’s celebrate them. Let’s learn from them. Let’s also prepare for a new year and new opportunities to protect our first freedom.  Here are the top religious liberty victories of 2017:
.;..Three Things You Should Know About Religious Freedom and the Church In China   -ERLC
....Over the last 30 years, the Communist Party has gradually released its grip on religious groups, allowing many underground churches to begin to peek their heads up from their hiding places, even buying church buildings, putting up crosses, and building websites.   But over the last few months, a shift back toward a strict centralized control of religion has occurred. Here are three things you should know about the new threats to religious liberty that our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ are facing today.
..;.China's Christians Won't Let the Government Stop Them From Teaching Kids About Jesus   -
Churches in a city in southeastern China have been forced to find other ways to teach their kids about religion since the atheist Communist Party has tightened restrictions on faith education and warned against Christianity's influence.
.;..Must Christians Believe in the Virgin Birth?  -Albert Mohler
Does belief in the virgin birth make Christians ‘less intellectual?’ Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth, or is the doctrine an essential component of the Gospel revealed to us in Scripture?
..;.Flu Season Expected to Peak after the Holidays   -CBN News
.;..What's Wrong With Being a White Evangelical?   -Darrell Harrison
There is a sense today in which the word evangelical has become something of an ethnic pejorative within the church in America. Needless to say, this ought not to be the case among those who confess the name of Christ (1 Thess. 4:9). As sinful as it is to discriminate against one of God's image bearers on the basis of his or her ethnicity, it is no less sinful to misconstrue or misapply an aspect of one's identity as a Christian to advance or promote a particular ideological narrative or agenda
..;.Heaven-Bound: What Will Heaven Be Like?   -Jon Dykstra
.....What is heaven going to be like? When we get there will we remember our time here on earth? And will we recognize each other in heaven? When these questions are raised they rarely get treated with much respect. Instead of garnering thoughtful responses, questions about heaven are usually answered with another question: Does it really matter? After all, we’re going to get to heaven soon enough and then we’ll find out exactly what it’s like, so what’s the use in thinking about it now? What’s the point?
.;..One-Third Of Increase In US Homicide Rate Because Of Neighborhoods In Chicago
The United States saw an increase in homicides by roughly 9 percent last year, and more than one-third of that increase came from neighborhoods in Chicago where just one-third of residents live, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.
..;.Israel Says 10 More Countries In Talks About Moving Embassies to Jerusalem  -Times of Israel
Following Guatemala’s announcement Monday that it would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least 10 other countries are in talks to move their own missions, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said.
.;..Why the ‘Death of White Evangelicalism’ Is Not the Death of Christianity  -Patrina Mosley
....By hailing the “end of white Christian America,” they’re really trying to say it’s the end of the influence of Christian moralism on the culture, and that simply isn’t true. Out of PPRI’s 14-point findings, here are three statements worth scrutinizing.
..;.Western Wall Train Station To Be Named After Trump   -Times of Israel
Transport Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) announced on Tuesday that the train station for the underground rail system nearing completion will have an auspiciously named final stop at the Western Wall: the Donald J. Trump Station.“The Kotel is the holiest place for the Jewish people,” Minister Katz said to Hebrew news service Yedioth Ahronoth, “and I decided to name the Kotel station after US President Donald Trump, in appreciation of his courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
.;..Media Blackout on Obama’s Hezbollah Scandal Revives the Iran-Deal ‘Echo Chamber’   -Jonathan S. Tobin
.....Though not exactly analogous to those still-unproven allegations, the possibility that President Obama and his minions obstructed the justice system in order to avoid offending Iran and Russia is a scandal that is every bit as bad as, if not worse than, what Trump is accused of doing. Yet the strangest thing about this story is the way it is being ignored by the same mainstream media that breathlessly report every twist and turn in the Russia-collusion investigation, even when there is nothing to report other than baseless speculation.
..;.The United Nations Blocks Reality on Jerusalem  -Michael Curtis
The international uprising against the Trump statement anticipated by the usual suspects did not take place, or was far more muted than they proclaimed. The opposite may be occurring.
.;..Leftists Declare War on Thomas The Train  -Gamaliel Isaac
The left loses it over a cartoon train.
..;..You Don't Have to Like This President to Acknowledge the Obvious    -Bernard Goldberg
The stock market is booming. Consumer confidence is soaring. The unemployment rate is falling. The economy is getting more robust every day. And President Donald Trump's approval ratings have just hit a new low. Congratulations, Trump. You are the president of a loyal base whose members adore you. The bad news, Mr. President, is that almost no one else does.
.;..Bangladeshi Man Faces Possible 14 Years in Prison for Internet Posting Critical of Islam   -Jakarta Post
..;.Evolutionist Retracts Key Study on Origin of Life    -Christian Headlines
.;..Don’t End Up Just Banging Dustbins  -Stephen Kneale
....Even those who have no real Christianity to speak of expect church to be relatively ‘churchy’ when they come in. Far too many of us spend our time wringing our hands hoping to make church accessible and remove the barriers we presume will keep people away. My experience, as this conversation also affirmed, is that more people are put off by our innovations than anything we tend to think put them off.
..;.THE UNIQUE CHURCH -Nick Batzig 
Too often, ministers foolishly embrace the ecclesiastical advice of those who know absolutely nothing about the specific arrangement of the local church they pastor. A pastor is animated by an article in which today’s latest ‘church expert’ insists that he or she has the corner on what should be done in every church. All the while, he forgets that that those writing such articles often know absolutely nothing about the various personal, cultural, industrial, socio-economic, religious, ethnic or age dynamics represented by the town in which each local church is set.
.;..The Apostle Paul’s Secret Of Contentment    -Jack Wellman
How could Paul still be content after he’d been beaten, flogged, and imprisoned? He lets us in on a little secret…his secret of contentment.  When we speak of believers, we generally don’t use the word, the “ransomed,” but that’s exactly who believers are.
..;.Proof Texts of Replacement Theology   -David Cloud
Having seen in the last chapter that the Bible consistently and repeatedly teaches that God is not finished with the nation Israel and that the church has not replaced Israel, let’s examine some major proof texts that are used to support Replacement Theology.  Briefly, Replacement Theology takes a few verses out of context and uses them to overthrow the teaching of the entire Bible. This, of course, is the standard operation procedure of false teaching.
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
..;..Could 2018 Be the Year?   -Rapture Ready
On May 14, 2018, Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish nation. 70 is clearly one of several numbers that have special significance in the Bible (Jacob took 70 people to Egypt; Israel spent 70 years in Babylon; There are 70 weeks of Daniel; 70 members of the Sanhedrin, etc.). It seems logical that 2018 could be a significant year in the history of Israel. I cannot predict the future, but two startling events are shaping up. 
..;..'Trumpvangelicals' Take Top Spot as Religion News Story of the Year    -CBN News
Last year, the number one religion story of the year was the evangelical support of then-candidate Donald Trump. This year, Trump and evangelicals top the list again, but now it's more about the Trump administration's support of evangelicals. The list of top religion stories is decided by an annual poll of journalists in the Religion News Association and reported by the Religion News Service (RNS).
.;..Palestinians Try To Use Christians As Pawns In Conflict With Israel   -Prophecy News Watch
The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli Muslim figures often voice support for Christians and seek to utilize them in the struggle against Israel, but it is the Jewish state that stands out as a defender of Middle East Christians. In a Christmas message last Friday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "an insult to millions of people worldwide, and also to the city of Bethlehem."
..;..New Research Shows Increased Risks of Same-Sex Parenting   -Christian Headlines
Contrary to the narrative pushed by academia and the mainstream media, there is increasing evidence that same-sex parenting has negative effects on children. An article published last month by Catholic University of America sociology professor Paul Sullins found children with same-sex parents suffer emotional problems two to three times as often as children raised by opposite-sex parents.
.;..New York City Votes to Ban Homosexual & Transgender Conversion Therapy  -World Mag
New York City recently passed one of the nation’s harshest bans on so-called conversion therapy. Not yet signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the law would bar professional therapists from counseling homosexual and transgender people to accept their God-given sexuality and gender. The New York City Council passed the bill on Nov. 30 by a vote of 43-2. De Blasio scheduled a hearing for the measure earlier this week.
..;.US Slashes UN Budget: Will There Be More to Come?    -CBN News
The Trump administration has negotiated big cuts in the United Nations budget.  According to reports, UN spending will be reduced more than $285 million in 2018 and 2019. There's no word on how big the overall budget is for those years and what, if any, impact this will have on the US contribution to the UN. US ambassador Nikki Haley cited the organization's " inefficiency and overspending" in announcing the funding cuts and she would not let "the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of."
.;..Queen's Christmas Messages Becoming More Explicitly Christian with Talk of Her Personal Faith  -UK Guardian
..;.Top 10 Prophetic Natural Phenomena of 2017    -Breaking Israel News
Divine will is often expressed through natural means and 2017 was an exceptional year, marked by several major hurricanes, earthquakes, and a rare solar eclipse. Most (though not all) of these events could be explained by scientists but a deeper look into their prophetic significance gives a different perspective.                       PLEASE NOTICE THE EDITOR'S DISCLAIMER BELOW
.;..10 Notable Christian Deaths in 2017   -Christian Post
..;.Religious Freedom Ambassador in Limbo: Senate Inaction Causes Confusion in Kansas  -CBN News
.;..Trump, Jerusalem, Arabs, Muslims    -Breaking Israel News
Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city aroused, unsurprisingly, a massive wave of opposition in the Arab and Islamic world for two main reasons – one religious and one nationalist. The religious reason is rooted in Islam’s conception of itself as a faith whose mission is to bring both Judaism and Christianity to an end, inheriting all that was once Jewish or Christian: Land, places of worship and people.
..;.BBC Vows to Have More Non-Christian Religious Programming on TV, Radio  -Christian Post
.;..Evolutionist Retracts Key Study on Origin of Life   -Christian Headlines
..;.New Rule Forces Canadian Employers to Affirm Liberal Views on Abortion, LGBT Issues, Critics Say -Christian Post
Evangelical conservatives and pro-lifers in Canada are voicing concern that a new requirement put in place by the federal government would force organizations to "attest" to liberal beliefs on abortion and LGBT rights in order to receiving funding to give kids summer jobs.
.;..First Christmas Services in Mosul in Four Years, Following Terror Reign of ISIS  -Japan Times
..;.Blue Blood Moon Has Prophetic Significance, Say Religious Leaders  -Christian Headlines
 A succession of three supermoons will be visible in the night sky. This special astronomical event began last Sunday and will end with a super Blue Blood Moon on January 31, according to Charisma News. Supermoons occur when the moon is closer to the earth in its rotation, making it appear bigger than usual. The moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. The moon appears blue due to Earth’s dark shadow.
Divorce cases in the U.S. now account for 35 to 50 percent of civil litigation, at a cost to the public purse of billions of dollars per year. Out of these cases has grown a vast panoply of ancillary bureaucracies: social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists, child protection experts and enforcers, counselors, mediators, divorce planners, forensic accountants, and so forth. Behind a smoke screen of piety concerning the difficult job they have to do in “helping” or “providing services,” their purpose is the human equivalent of the breaker’s yard: They tear asunder the superstructure of the family and then move to the foundations, demolishing relationships between husband and wife, between parents and children, and even sometimes between the children themselves.
..;.Four Ways Pastors Can Lead Their Congregations by Example   -Josh Presley
.....So, should pastors be able to share their brokenness with others? The Bible is clear on this. Yes. We are broken and shouldn’t pretend that we aren’t. The question is, how can pastors and church leaders address our own brokenness in ways that exalt Christ, demonstrate the power of the Gospel, and strengthen the mission of the church? Here are four truths God has made clear. 
.;..You Won't Find 'Emptiness' On a Christmas Card    -Amy Medina 
I forget that the story of Christmas is a story of humility.  He made himself nothing....being made in human likeness.  God With Us--Emmanuel.  But what did that require?   He emptied himself.   He humbled himself....It's incomprehensible.  I can't come close to grasping who God is, so how can I begin to understand what he gave up? The more I become aware of his sacrifice, the more I wonder why I so easily consume the world's delicacies:  seeking my own self-fulfillment.... The problem is that self-fulfillment almost always does hurt someone else. 
..;.John 3:16 Under the Microscope   -Gene Lawley
Probably the most well-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16 which announces God’s initiative to provide eternal life to the people of the world. Some have it so tightly fixed in their minds, they can dash it off from memory with hardly a thought of what it is saying. That is what I discovered about myself as I review it, so it seems appropriate to put it under the “microscope,” so to speak, of the whole counsel of God and explore the depths of...
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
..;..Christmas In China   -World Mag
As Christmas arrived, it seemed that Wang Yi’s church might not be able to hold a service. This was usually the high point of the year and a key chance to recruit followers; many Chinese are curious about the Western holiday but don’t really understand it—who is the fat guy in the red suit, and what does it have to do with Jesus? The Christmas service was an opportunity for the congregation to invite friends to a fun evening, and maybe win over a few people. Usually these services were so popular that Early Rain rented out a ballroom. But this year, every time they booked a hotel’s ballroom, they got a call an hour later from the manager apologetically backing out—clearly the result of government pressure. I began to wonder if it had all been too much: the seminary, the expansion plans, and linking up with other Reformed churches. I visited Peng Qiang to ask him what he thought. He had his own church and had known Wang Yi for years. What did he think of these tensions between churches and the government? Was this a serious conflict? 
..;..Trump Administration Announces ‘Significant Reduction’ in United Nations Budget -Townhall
Just days after warning the United Nations the United States doesn't pay to be be disrespected, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has announced a $235 million cut to UN Budget. The news comes after more than 100 countries voted to condemn the U.S. for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol city of Israel.
.;..Trump’s Christmas Wish: ‘We’ve Got Prosperity. Now We Want Peace’   -Reuters
On Christmas Eve, U.S. President Donald Trump took calls from children, asking them what they wanted most from Santa, and revealing what was on his own wish list…“We’ve got prosperity – now we want peace,” Trump told a child named Ryan, who called the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to check on Santa’s progress.
..;..Seven Fascinating Archaeological Finds Pointing To Biblical Truths in 2017-Christian Post
2017 saw numerous archaeological discoveries that researchers connected to stories in the Bible, including new analysis strengthening historical accounts concerning the supposed tomb of Jesus Christ.  From mug workshops near the ancient town of Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine; to the possible discovery of the bones of St. Peter, the first disciple and first pope in the Catholic Church; to excavation work giving evidence for major battles and conquests described in the Bible, the year offered plenty in the way of apologetics discourse. In some instances, such as the analysis of mortar samples at the Tomb of Christ, it was the reliance on technological methods that produced new insight into the evidence for some of the most important Christian events in history. Here are seven of the biggest biblical archaeological discoveries in 2017....     PLEASE NOTICE THE EDITOR'S DISCLAIMER BELOW
.;..Ohio Governor Signs Law Banning Abortions Based on Down Syndrome Diagnosis -CBN News
Republican Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law banning abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The new law states any doctor performing an abortion based on that diagnosis will lose his medical license and face up to18 months in prison. There is no punishment for the woman. Ohio will join three other states that have attempted similar laws. The bill was controversial from the start with even some republican.....
..;.Is The United Nations Fulfilling Ancient Biblical Prophecy?   -Michael Brown
On December 21, 2017, the UN united as one to stand against one city on the planet: Jerusalem. Twenty-five centuries earlier, the prophet Zechariah wrote these words from the Lord, "I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle" (Zech. 14:2) Did the UN just move us one step closer to fulfilling this ancient prophecy? Before answering this question, let's look at the events on the ground.
.;..US Should Aid Religious Minorities Abroad Directly, Without Going Through the UN     -Nina Shea
The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy Report unveiled this week makes it a priority to “protect religious freedom and religious minorities” abroad. This is an integral part of the new U.S. strategy to champion American values around the world.  To make this happen, the administration should start by ending the United Nations’ role as middleman for distributing U.S. aid to the world’s needy. In the Middle East, U.N.-administered aid programs that undermine American values are working to drive out threatened Christians and Yazidi minorities. 
..;.In Europe, the Islamization of Christmas Is 'An Unbearable, Unvoluntary Uubmission to Islam'
This year’s Christmas season has been marked by Islam-related controversies in nearly every European country. Most of the conflicts have been generated by Europe’s multicultural political and religious elites, who are bending over backward to secularize Christmas, ostensibly to ensure that Muslims will not be offended by the Christian festival. More troubling are the growing efforts to Islamize Christmas. The re-theologizing of Christmas has based on the false premise that the Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus (Isa) of the Koran. This religious fusion sometimes referred to as “Chrislam,” is gaining ground in a West that has become biblically illiterate.
.;..Top Insider Exposes ‘Luciferian’ Origin of Globalist Empire   -World Net Daily
“Spirit cooking.” Occult imagery outside meetings of the most powerful people in the world. Bizarre rituals held at globally important events. What is going on? What perverted ideology animates those who control our global destiny?
..;.London Votes To ‘Arrest & Prosecute’ Pro-Life Christians -teaparty.org
The London Assembly has been called “illiberal” and Orwellian after voting to call on the mayor “to clarify the powers available to [police] to arrest and prosecute” pro-life campaigners who pray near abortion clinics and offer support to mothers, accusing them of “harassment.”
.;..In ‘China’s Jerusalem’, Christians Say Faith Trumps Official Sunday School Ban    -
When authorities in China’s southeastern city of Wenzhou outlawed Sunday School earlier this year, Christian parents determined their children must still learn about Jesus and the Bible. Churches in Wenzhou started teaching children in private homes or at other venues. Some billed Sunday School classes as daycare, not education, or moved them to Saturdays…
..;.Calif. Megachurch Accused of Practicing Occult in Use of 'Destiny Cards' -Christian Post
Bethel Church, a controversial megachurch in Redding, California, is now under fire in Christian circles for allegedly promoting New Age occultism in the use of "Destiny Cards," which critics have likened to tarot cards.
.;..1.77 Kids Aren't Enough The Consequences Of A Shrinking Population   -John Stonestreet
America is shrinking. I don't mean we're getting shorter, I mean that we aren't having enough babies. Here's why that's bad news...Lyman Stone, an economist at the U.S.D.A., writes at Medium about what he's calling "the great baby bust of 2017." The latest official estimate--taken from two-year-old data--puts the U.S. fertility rate at 1.84. In other words, the average American woman will have just under two children in her lifetime. This is well below the replacement rate, or the average number of children necessary to keep a country's population from declining.
..;.Hamas Is Waiting For Opportunity To Turn Judea & Samaria Into Another Gaza -Prophecy News Watch
Hamas's latest effort to join a Palestinian unity government is little more than a facade, and the terror group's top immediate objective is to seize control of Judea and Samaria and turn it into a second Gaza, according to the assessments of defense experts. 
.;..How Christianity Today Smeared Fellow Evangelicals   -The Steam
On tough prudential judgments, evangelicals should be able to disagree. This includes deciding for whom one should vote. Alas, Christianity Today seems to have a different view. The day after Roy Moore’s defeat, CT made it clear that if you supported Republican Moore over Democrat Doug Jones you are:  a “fringe evangelical”  who “sold your soul,”who “changed your view of ethics,” and worked for the destruction of evangelicalism..."
..;.Doubting the Love of God  -Taigen Joos
Believers should never question the fact that God loves them. Many biblical texts show us the love of God. Likewise, many hymns describe the love of God in poetical form. God’s unending, unceasing love for His children is truly a comforting thought. Yet there are times in the life of a believer that we doubt God’s love, in spite of what we know the Bible says. The doubts rarely arise in times that we consider “good.” Our doubts usually arise when circumstances in life are not what we like. In those times, we may be able to affirm that God loves, but believe that His actions toward us are not loving. In so doing, we doubt the love of God. I offer two primary reasons for this doubting of God’s love for your consideration....
.;..What the Catholic Church Teaches About the Mary, Mother of Jesus  -Thomas Schreiner 
....Evangelicals take issue with four conceptions of Mary promulgated by Roman Catholics: 1. her perpetual virginity; 2. her assumption into heaven; 3. her immaculate conception; and 4. her role as Queen of Heaven. We will look at them one at a time, and then I will provide a response...
..;..Do Evangelicals Need a Better Gospel?  -Jonathan Leeman 
There has been a lot of talk in recent days about “evangelical” and whether that’s a political or cultural label, a theological label, or inescapably both. I don’t presume to have the perfectly objective perspective. But let me lay out what I see from my corner, and then tell you the three things I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and fight for. First, I saw the pollsters tell us that 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, and a similar.....
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Holiday Weekend, December 23rd-24th-25th, 2017
..;..The Necessity of the Virgin Birth   -Don Johnson
The doctrine of the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of those battleground points of theology over which many heated words have been exchanged. In this paper, I want to outline briefly reasons why belief in the virgin birth is necessary based on evidence and theology. Unlike other aspects of Christology, the Bible only explicitly addresses the virgin birth in three passages, Mt 1.18–25, Lk 1.26–38, and Isa 7.14. While some quibble over the meaning of ’almah in Isa 7.14 (“young woman” is within the range of meanings, apparently), there is no ambiguity in the word parthenos, virgin, in Matthew and Luke. Besides the word meaning, the text explicitly says Mary was with child “before they came together” (Mt 1.18), Mary herself asks, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Lk 1.34), and it also tells us that Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Mt 1.25). The direct evidence of the text is inescapable. The Bible means to communicate that Mary conceived and gave birth to Jesus while still a virgin.
..;..US Considers Power of Its Purse After UN Vote Denouncing Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel     -CBN News
....The vote: 128 to 9 with 56 countries either abstaining or absent.  After Israel, top recipients of USAID are Muslim, African and Arab countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq and they voted against the U.S.  The only country of the top 10 aid recipients not to support the Palestinians was Kenya, which has become a close ally of Israel.  Next year the U.S. is scheduled to hand out nearly $26 billion in foreign aid. "We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit," a defiant U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the nations gathered. 
.;..Trump Signs Sweeping Tax Overhaul, Sealing Major Victory    -Yahoo News
President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code, two days after the Republican plan was adopted by Congress in a major political victory. Making good on a vow to push through the tax cuts before Christmas, Trump endorsed the bill shortly before departing for a year-end break at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, pulling forward a formal signing initially planned for January.
..;..Tis the Season to … Knock Down Jesus  -The Stream
Tis the season to knock down Jesus. If things run according to pattern, one of the major websites or magazines will run a big Christmas story about the birth of Jesus. I haven’t seen one yet, but there’s still time. And there’s always next year. The subject’s a “perennial,” as we say in the business.
.;..UN Votes 128-9 To Declare United States Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital ‘Null And Void
Most glaring in this vicious attack against the nation of Israel is the fact that Britain also voted against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, putting the ‘special relationship‘ between the UK and the US into serious jeopardy. Jerusalem is the stone that will grind all nations who come against her to powder. This is why God allowed Trump to become president, to begin the chain of events that will lead to the time of Jacob’s trouble and the rise of Antichrist. But the Rapture of the Church comes first…
..;.Trump Calls on Media to Stay for Prayers: ‘A Good Solid Prayer and They’ll Be Honest’    -CNS News
Prior to a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, President Donald Trump asked HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to start the meeting with a prayer and the president also asked reporters to stay for the prayer, saying they “need the prayer more than I do” and that it might help the media to “be honest.”
.;..Judge Challenges Atlanta Policy Used to Fire Christian Fire Chief over Devotional -Christianity Today
Both sides are claiming victory after a federal district court released an order Wednesday weighing the case of Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, who claimed he was fired over his Christian views. In Cochran v. City of Atlanta, the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia said that the city’s restrictions on non-work speech, which were used to terminate Cochran, “do not set out objective standards for the supervisor to employ” and do not “pass constitutional muster.”  Judge Leigh Martin May backed Cochran’s claims related to the policy’s prior restraint and....
..;.At ‘Pot Churches,’ Marijuana Is the Sacrament
Services at the Coachella Valley Church begin and end with the Lord’s Prayer. In between, there is the sacrament. “Breathe deep and blow harder,” intoned Pastor Grant Atwell after distributing marijuana joints to 20 worshipers on a recent Sunday. “Nail the insight down, whether you get it from marijuana or prayer. Consider what in your own life you are thankful for.”
.;..Is the U.N. Fulfilling Ancient Biblical Prophecy?    -World Net Daily
On Dec. 21, 2017, the U.N. united as one to stand against one city on the planet: Jerusalem. Twenty-five centuries earlier, the prophet Zechariah wrote these words from the Lord: “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle” (Zechariah 14:2) Did the Unted Nations just move us one step closer to fulfilling this ancient prophecy?
..;.DOJ Releases New Numbers: One-in-Five Federal Prisoners Are Foreign Born, Most Illegal Aliens
A total of 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in in DOJ custody at the end of FY 2017, including 39,455 persons in BOP custody and 19,311 in USMS custody. Of this total, 37,557 people had been confirmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be aliens (i.e., non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage.
.;..Sanhedrin Declares: UN Vote Is Nations Choosing Blessing or Curse   -Breaking Israel News
In a special session of 71 elders, the court of the nascent Sanhedrin called on the nations of the world to take their prophesied role in building Jerusalem by not voting against the declaration of the President Trump in the United Nations, emphasizing that this was an auspicious moment that will decide their fate, whether for blessing or curse.
..;.Salvation Army Bell Ringer Beaten for Wishing Man 'Merry Christmas'   -Christian Post
A Salvation Army bell ringer and minister who was collecting donations and spreading holiday cheer in front of a Walmart store in Roseville, California, got the shock of his life Wednesday when he was battered by an unidentified man for wishing him a "merry Christmas."
.;..Pastor Greg Locke Slams Evangelicals Who Believe There Are Multiple Ways to Heaven -
Two months after the Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner, leader of the second-largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church, declared that Christianity is not the only way to Heaven, popular internet preacher Greg Locke is firing back at those who believe that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven.
..;.Spurgeon’s 15 Tips for a Deep and Effective Prayer Life   -Kevin O'Halloran
Spurgeon knew the power of prayer and his need for prayer. When asked the secret of his influential preaching ministry, Charles Spurgeon frequently responded, “My people pray for me.”
.;..Star of Wonder   -Dan Olinger
The Babylonian skies are a deep, rich, unobscured black, A group of astrologers (how many, we cannot guess) sits atop a ziggurat, plotting the future of their land as they think they read it in the stars. Suddenly they are shaken and nearly blinded by a brilliant light immediately over their heads. Terrified and disoriented, they flee to the interior of the ziggurat. They search the records for some explanation of this nighttime sun.
..;.Shop ‘Til you Drop?   -Gordon Dickson
.....Let’s face it, Solomon was the ultimate “shop ‘til you drop” consumer. He had the wealth to buy whatever he chose and the wisdom to see the results. You can read the notes from his experiments throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. Like many today, he tried to find real happiness by amusing himself with comedy, alcohol, new houses, new properties, animals, money, collectibles, and all sorts of music. Solomon’s notes show that substituting goods for God is a recipe for despair. Through the window of the Word, believers recognize this substitution as idolatry. 
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
No Update
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
..;..Americans Say Religious Aspects of Christmas Are Declining In Public Life  -Pew Forum
As long-simmering debates continue over how American society should commemorate the Christmas holiday, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past – even as relatively few Americans are bothered by this trend. In addition, a declining majority says religious displays such as nativity scenes should be allowed on government property. And compared with five years ago, a growing share of Americans say it does not matter to them how they are greeted in stores and businesses during the holiday season– whether with “merry Christmas” or a less-religious greeting like “happy holidays.”
..;..Object On Tracks May Be the Cause of Deadly Amtrak Derailment -New York Post
Monday’s deadly Amtrak train derailment may have been caused by the train striking something on the railway, according to an unconfirmed Associated Press report. A preliminary investigation suggests maintenance problems are unlikely to blame because the incident took place on brand-new tracks, a government official told the AP on condition of anonymity. At least six people were killed and the death toll is expected to rise...
.;..'We Are Calling For a Great Reawakening of America': Trump Unveils National Security Strategy -
President Donald Trump unveiled a multi-pronged national security strategy Monday designed to put "America First." The president noted the first pillar of that strategy is to protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life -- something he claimed previous administrations had failed to do...The president also emphasized the importance of promoting American prosperity.
..;..U.S. Vetoes UN Call for Withdrawal of Trump Jerusalem Decision -Reuters
The United States was further isolated on Monday over President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn.  The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem." "What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won't be forgotten," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote, adding that it was the first veto cast by the United States in more than six years."The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America's role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council," Haley said...Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy this month when he recognised....
.;..Economic Optimism Soars, Boosting Trump's Approval Rating    -CNBC
American optimism on the economy is reaching new heights and President Donald Trump's approval ratings look to be benefiting, at least somewhat. The CNBC All-American Economic Survey found that for the first time in at least 11 years, more than half of respondents to the survey rated the economy as good or excellent, while a near record 41 percent expected the economy to improve in the next year.
..;.Loneliness Can Damage Health, Triggering Inflammation and Neurological Changes -Washington Post
Loneliness can tank your mood, but can it affect your health, too?  All signs point to yes. It turns out that feeling lonely can do more than make you sad: It can predict the way your body will respond to and bounce back from various health challenges. Lonely people are more likely to get sick, and researchers want to know why. Three of them recently spoke about the current state of loneliness research and how scientists are responding. 
.;..Street Preacher In England Acquitted After Being Charged With Hate Crime for Warning Against Islam
A Nigerian missionary preacher who was charged earlier this year of using "threatening and abusive language" in London for pointing out the links between Islam and terrorism has been acquitted.
..;.The Republican Party Doesn’t Own Christian Conservatives  -Gracy Olmstead
.....Deserting the Republican Party would entirely change Christian conservatives’ relationship with their country. It would remove their voice almost entirely from the national political process, erasing the “moral majority” or “religious right” clout that many have grown to associate with modern evangelicalism in the United States. But it could save them from implosion—after all, in supporting candidates like Moore, Christians risk the indelible tarnishing of their witness. It could be that quiet protest will serve a greater purpose than we can presently imagine, by re-focusing our efforts on....
.;..Chick-Fil-A Opens on a Sunday When Restaurant Sees Stranded Passengers in Need at Atlanta Airport
Chick-fil-A broke its cardinal rule and opened on Sunday to serve water and fried chicken to passengers stranded in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It all happened, Business Insider reported, when the nation’s busiest travel hub lost power, grounding more than 1,000 flights. Chick-fil-A stepped in after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called the restaurant around 10 p.m. to ask for assistance.
..;.Experts Weigh In On Whether Temple Service Could Be Jump-Started Today
Experts involved in bringing back the Temple service are convinced that should the opportunity to light the menorah and begin sacrifices suddenly present itself, all of the elements would be ready– perhaps even more so than they were for the Maccabees almost 2,000 years ago. “Everything we need is ready,” Rabbi Ariel told Breaking Israel News. “If we were told to begin the Temple service, we could be lighting the menorah and burning sacrifices in four hours.”
.;..Pro-Lifers Applaud DOJ's Probe Into Planned Parenthood    -Baptist Press
Pro-life advocates hope a new U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Planned Parenthood marks a turning point for the nation's largest abortion provider....Now that the Justice Department agrees Planned Parenthood is worth investigating, pro-life groups want Congress to pull federal funding.
..;.Why Trump Continues To Forge An Unlikely Bond With Religious Conservatives -NPR
A Senate election in Alabama. A Republican tax bill moving through Congress. Violent protests in the Middle East following U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What could these widely disparate matters have in common, besides heavy news coverage? It turns out that they all have enabled President Trump to send a message to one distinct and crucial category of his supporters.
.;..Ancient Biblical City Thought Destroyed 1,400 years Ago Found Intact Underwater -UK Mirror
Lost for 1,400 years, the ancient Roman harbour at Corinth has been discovered by Archaeologists who have described their incredible finds. Preserved by the salt water, items normally lost to the ages have remained almost intact, including woodwork, fishing hooks, wooden pulleys and ceramics.  Even food such as nuts and seeds has survived nearly 1,500 years beneath the waves.
..;.No Neutral Ground The Problem of Net Neutrality   -Brian Dellinger
.....The name is, perhaps, misleading; to support net neutrality is to support placing the internet more fully under government supervision. The related political debate often divides traditional allies with arguments for free expression pitted against defenses of small government.
.;..Russia Fines Pastor For Holding Bible Study   -World Net Daily
Russia, which earlier this year was recommended to the U.S. State Department as a “country of particular concern” regarding religious rights, now is being taken to an international human rights court over its treatment of a Baptist missionary, reports say. Russia is before the European Court of Human Rights over its decision to convict American Donald Jay Ossewaarde for his missionary activities and fine him more than $600.
..;.'Christ' Purged from Christmas and the Left Rejoices  -Doug Mackinnon
.....According to the latest results from the Pew Research Center – and already being gleefully shouted from the rooftops of certain left-leaning media sites orchestrating the campaign against faith-based Christmas – while 90 percent of Americans still celebrate Christmas in one way or another, a majority find that the religious elements of Christmas are emphasized less and less and few of them care about that change.
.;..Muslim Mayor of Nazareth Now Says Christmas Will Go Ahead Despite Trump's Jerusalem Move
The Muslim mayor of the Israeli city of Nazareth has now said that Christmas celebrations will go ahead as scheduled despite reports last week that they would be limited, due to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem.
..;.The Worst Gift to Give a Middle-School Student  -Jesse Johnson
....This Christmas thousands of middle school students are going to get a gift under their tree or in their stocking, and it is going to wreck their lives. The worst gift you can give your middle-school student is … A smart phone. I’ve heard every excuse from parents. “All his friends have them!” 
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Monday, December 18th, 2017
..;..Is Your Church Prepared to Handle a Challenge To Its Religious Liberty?
What would you do if a situation arose in your church that directly threatened the religious liberty of the church?  Would you know what steps to take to proactively protect your church’s religious liberty?  If someone filed a lawsuit against your church simply for exercising your religious beliefs, would you know how best to defend against it? Churches face an increasingly difficult culture and some have even found themselves in the middle of legal situations where the religious liberty of the church hangs in the balance.  At the time I am writing this article, Alliance Defending Freedom is assisting over fifty different churches on religious liberty issues that have the potential to turn into litigation.  And we currently have over a dozen cases in or close to litigation where we are working to defend the constitutional rights of churches.  These are churches from across the country.  They are big and small in size and from all denominations and theological tribes. The fact situations in all these cases are varied, showing that religious liberty issues can arise in unexpected places. And this is just one snapshot in time.
..;..ISIS Threatens Attacks on Churches in Washington DC, New York On Christmas  -Christian Post
Islamic State supporters have threatened to launch a terror attack in Washington, D.C. and New York on Christmas, according to the SITE intelligence group. A propaganda poster carries a picture that shows Washington's National Cathedral erupting in flames while indicating that New York could be their target.
.;..Christmas Is Canceled: Nazareth’s Muslim Mayor Bans Traditional Christmas Celebrations In 
Christ’s Childhood Home   -Breitbart News
The Muslim mayor of Nazareth has cancelled traditional outdoor songs and plays celebrating Christmas in the city where Jesus spent his childhood. Mayor Ali Salam, who once made the curious boast that U.S. President Donald Trump “learned everything from me” about how to win elections, indicated that he was punishing local and visiting Christians as revenge for the President’s decision to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  “Our message is we love Jerusalem, we’ll never abandon you under any circumstances,” Salam declared.
..;..ISIS Claims Deadly Attack on Hundreds at Pre-Christmas Church Service In Pakistan
At least nine worshipers were killed and over 50 others were injured after Islamic extremists conducted an attack on a church in southwestern Pakistan during a Sunday pre-Christmas service. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in the town of Quetta, the capital city of the Baluchistan province, according to its media arm, the Amaq News Agency. Government officials told international media that one radical detonated himself at the gate of the church, while another was killed while shooting at worshippers.According to the home minister for the south-western Baluchistan province, Sarfraz Bugti, as many as 400 worshippers were attending the service. Police officials have also said that the attack could have been even more deadly if it were not for the swift actions of....
.;..China Inserts Itself Into Jerusalem Debate   -World Net Daily
A new player has entered the Holy Land conflict, and it is taking sides in the debate over Jerusalem. China has now formally declared its support for an independent Palestinian state, premised upon the pre-1967 borders. China has also said East Jerusalem should be the capital of the new state.
..;.German Churches Warn of Increasing Oppression of Christians Worldwide  -dw.com
Christian minorities in the Middle East are at risk of disappearing entirely, Roman Catholic and Protestant Church leaders in Germany have warned. They have said religious freedom is threatened worldwide. 
.;..EU Will Not Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital  -Christian Headlines
.....EU leaders do not support Trump’s stance and action on Israel and rejected his announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to The Times of Israel. “EU leaders reiterate firm commitment to the two-state solution and, in this context, the EU position on Jerusalem remains unchanged,” EU President Donald Tusk tweeted after EU leaders from 28 countries discussed the matter at a summit in Brussels.
..;.Religious Schools, Homeschoolers to Get a Boost In GOP Tax Plan, Thanks to Ted Cruz and Mike Pence
Parents would get new federal tax breaks for sending their children to private or religious schools or teaching them at home if the final Republican tax overhaul bill becomes law. For that, they can thank Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who offered the original amendment to extend 529 college savings plans to grade school and high school, including costs for homeschooling.
.;..India Police Arrest 30 Christian Seminary Students, Priests For Singing Christmas Carols   -Christian Post
Police in India's central state of Madhya Pradesh arrested 30 seminary students and two priests as they were singing Christmas carols in a village. The Christians were also roughed up by Hindu nationalists, who also burned down a car belonging to the priests while police allegedly looked on.
..;.Archaeological Discovery: Biblical City Corinth, Visited by Apostle Paul, Found Underwater -Christian Post
New archaeological excavations at the ancient port of the earthquake that struck the Biblical city of Corinth, which is now underwater, have uncovered Roman architecture.
.;..Poland’s New Prime Minister Wants To “Make Europe Christian Again”
“My dream is to re-Christianize the EU since unfortunately, in many places, people no longer sing Christmas carols, the churches are empty and are turning into museums, and this is very sad.”
..;.Top 20 Secular TV Shows Watched by Religious Families
A recent E-Poll Market Research survey revealed which mainstream shows faith-based viewers enjoy watching.  "This Is Us" and "Star" took the top two positions for broadcast TV. The poll, released this week displayed the top programs viewed by faith audiences ages 13 and over. Faith viewers were defined as those who attend religious services regularly. 
.;..Sudanese Court Upholds Eviction of Pastors as Gov't Steps Up Campaign To Take Over Church Properties
.....The church leaders appealed the eviction, but on Dec. 3, their plea was rejected by Judge Adam Tahir Haj Adam, who ruled that Muslim businessman Hisham Hamad Al-Neel should take over their homes. "All appeals presented are rejected, and implantation of court order should continue," the court order reportedly stated.
..;.Criticism After Danish School Cancels Christmas to Avoid ‘Preaching’ To Non-Christian Children  -rt.com
Parents of local children, education officials and leading Danish politicians have criticized a primary school after it chose to cancel the traditional Christmas service, due to the presence of students of immigrant backgrounds. 
.;..The Secret Backstory of How Obama Let Hezbollah Off the Hook -Politico
In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation. The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that....
..;.Of Hatmaker And Heresy  -Rod Dreher
Politico has a puff piece lauding the popular left-wing Evangelical Jen Hatmaker , with a misleading headline declaring that her opposition to Donald Trump made her an Enemy Of The People among Evangelicals. But Trump opposition didn’t have a lot to do with it. She burned her bridges with conservative Evangelicals earlier...This Politico piece is a classic example of why you can’t trust the mainstream media to report... about religion. 
.;..Judge Blocks Trump Birth Control Coverage Rollback   -UPI
A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Friday temporarily blocked the Trump administration's move to roll back an Affordable Health Care provision requiring employers to provide coverage for birth control. Under the new rule, companies and insurers may cite a moral or religious objection in order to opt out of the Obama-era federal rule requiring birth control be covered for free for all women.
..;..The FAQs What You Should Know About Net Neutrality    -Joe Carter
....Net neutrality (short for “network neutrality”) refers to both a design principle and also laws that attempt to regulate and enforce that principle. The net neutrality principle is the idea that a public information network should aspire to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally. At its simplest, network neutrality is the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally and that every website—from Google.com to The Gospel Coalition— should all be treated the same when it comes to giving users the bandwidth to reach the internet-connected services they prefer. Net neutrality laws are legislation or regulations that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating or charging different prices based on such criteria as user, content, site, platform, application, or type of attached equipment. 
Update for Friday, December 15th, 2017
..;..Is Christmas a Religious Holiday? A Growing Number of Americans Say No -New York Times
Combatants in the annual “War on Christmas” have some new data to chew on, thanks to a survey released this week by the Pew Research Center. While many doubt that Christmas is embattled…the new study does suggest American attitudes are changing. The Pew study…found that while a vast majority of Americans still celebrate Christmas, most find the religious elements of the holiday are emphasized less than in the past — and few of them care…
.;..Police Officer Suspended for Attending Church While on Duty   -Christian Headlines
A Pennsylvania police officer has been suspended for attending church services during his shift, reports The Christian Post.  Middletown Patrol Officer Mark Hovan reportedly attended two church services at the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church several months ago while he was on duty. He has now been given a 10-day suspension, which he is fighting because he believes it is a violation of his religious freedom.
..;.Faith Facts About Doug Jones Quiet Christian   -Christian Headlines
 Democrat Doug Jones wasn’t supposed to have a chance in the Senate race that pits him against Republican Roy Moore in the ruby red state of Alabama. But in recent weeks, as women began to accuse Moore of inappropriate conduct with them when they were teenagers, suddenly Jones seemed to have a shot. Jones, a former U.S. attorney, slammed Moore on those allegations as they campaigned to take the seat once held by....
.;..Is Jihad Festering In America?
A new investigative report reveals that hundreds of Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals residing in the US – some with dual citizenship, and most students subsisting on government scholarships – have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq during the past three years.
..;.Trump Promises ‘Giant Tax Cut’ and Money in Pockets by February -
President Donald Trump promised everyday Americans a “giant tax cut for Christmas” in a speech…billed as his closing argument for a tax overhaul that congressional Republicans finished negotiating on Wednesday. “When I say giant, I mean giant,” Trump said…
.;..Roy Moore Had Lowest White Evangelical Support Of Any Alabama Republican In The 21st Century
With high turnout and 80 percent in favor of a candidate in a group that is a large population share, Roy Moore still substantially underperformed among white evangelicals.
..;.RC Sproul Dies at 78
Influential Reformed theologian R. C. Sproul died Thursday afternoon in Altamonte Springs, Florida. He was 78.
.;..Neurosurgeon-Turned-Pastor Uses Name of Jesus to Stop Armed Robber Who Threatened to Kill Him at Bible Study    -Christian Post
Dr. Julius Zant, a respected retired neurosurgeon-turned-pastor who was attacked by an armed man who threatened to kill him inside a Maryland church as he conducted a Bible study with his parishioners last Thursday, bravely fended off the robber by invoking the name of Jesus.
..;.Planned Parenthood Could Care Less About Women   -Abby Johnson
.;..In the Grip of Abortion Grief   -Kim Ketola
..;.Islam’s Three Worst Doctrines  - Raymond Ibrahim
From the West’s perspective. 
.;..Freedom From Religion Foundation Drops Lawsuit Against Trump's Religious Liberty Order
Both religious freedom advocates and secularists are claiming victory after the Freedom From Religion Foundation dropped its federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump's May 4 executive order on religious liberty that threatened to take the teeth out of the Johnson Amendment.
..;.Hanukkah and the End Times     -Enoch Lavender
.....Daniel 11:33 predicted that many of the faithful would fall by the sword and the book of Maccabees tells many such stories. One such story is that of the elderly scribe Eleazer. Eleazer's captors desired to treat him kindly due to his advanced age and implored him to only pretend to go along with their demands.  Eleazer however refused to compromise and went willingly to a torturous death, setting an example that was to be followed by....