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Showing posts from March, 2016

Does the Pro-Freedom Movement Want to Punish Slave-Traders?

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Posted at Abolish Human Abortion:



----Adapted from Russell Moore's article found here


This week Donald Trump caused another stir in national news, and this time, it was for his comments on the slave trade. Asked if pro-freedom activism wants laws to punish men who receive slaves, the Republican candidate said that, although he wasn’t sure about the details, there “probably” needed to be some civil penalty for men who get slaves. The comments quickly drew intense backlash from both pro-freedom and pro-free-work groups (something not easy to do), and Trump later “clarified” his comments by saying that men who get slaves shouldn’t be punished.

Regardless of whether or not Trump’s comments come from a genuine and convictional pro-freedom worldview, all pro-freedom Americans need to make this issue clear: Protecting potential slaves is not about punishing man-stealers, but punishing an industry and a culture that dehumanizes human beings.

One of the worst misconceptions about pro-free…

Cruz in Response to Trump Comments on Abortion: Don’t Punish Mothers for Killing Babies

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says that abortion-minded mothers shouldn’t be charged for killing their unborn children in response to comments from Donald Trump that they should face “some form of punishment”—a remark Trump later recanted.

Trump had been interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during a town hall event on Wednesday.

“Do you believe in punishment for abortion—yes or no—as a principle?” Matthews inquired.  “The answer is there has to be some form of punishment,” Trump replied.  “For the woman?” Matthews asked.  “Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump stated.  “Ten cents, 10 years, what?” Matthews inquired in seeking to obtain specifics.  “That I don’t know,” Trump said.
Following Trump’s remarks, Ted Cruz released a statement excoriating Trump over the idea that mothers should face any type of criminal charges for killing their unborn children.
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Brave Female Arab journalist asks, ‘What if Christians were suicide bombers?’

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Posted at Voice of the Persecuted:

If the shoe was on the other foot…

A courageous, female Arab journalist who lives in Qatar has penned a bold article that asks Muslims in the Middle East how they would respond if Christian suicide bombers struck their public markets, collapsed their tall buildings or tried to force Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Liberal Saudi journalist Nadine Al-Budair writes in Kuwait’s Al-Rai newspaper that Arab countries have refused to address the problem of terrorism and have yet to create a climate that matches the liberal, humanitarian climate of the West. She asked Muslims to consider what their world would be like if Christians the world over had responded to Muslims the way terrorists have spread radical Islam.

“Imagine a Western youth coming here and carrying out a suicide mission in one of our public squares in the name of the Cross. Imagine that two skyscrapers had collapsed in some Arab capital, and that an extremist Christian group, donning millenni…

U.S. at Easter: Ignore the Muslim Slaughter of Over 10,000 Christians and Destruction of 13,000 Churches in Nigeria

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Posted at RaymondIbrahim.com:

Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamic extremist group, has killed more people in the name of jihad than the Islamic State (ISIS), according to the findings of a new report. Since 2000, when twelve Northern Nigerian states began implementing or more fully enforcing Islamic law, or Sharia, “between 9,000 to 11,500 Christians” have been killed. This is “a conservative estimate.”

In addition, “1.3 million Christians have become internally displaced or forced to relocate elsewhere,” and “13,000 churches have been closed or destroyed altogether.” Countless “thousands of Christian businesses, houses and other property have been destroyed.”

The report alludes to a number of other factors that connect the growth of the Nigerian jihad to the growth of the global jihad. The rise of anti-Christian, Islamic supremacism “did not emerge in Northern Nigeria until the 1980s, when Nigerian scholars and students returned from Arabic countries influenced by Wahhabi and Salafist tea…

GEORGIA GOVERNOR VETOES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY BILL PROTECTING PASTORS, FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

The Southern Baptist-identifying governor of Georgia has vetoed a religious liberty bill that provided conscience protections for pastors and non-profit faith-based organizations, stating that there is no need for such legislation, and that the protections provided under the First Amendment are sufficient.

“As I’ve said before, I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part for all of our lives,” Gov. Nathan Deal said during a press conference on Monday.
As previously reported, legislators recently combined H.B. 757, also known as the Pastor Protection Act, with S.B. 284, the First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia. The Pastor Protection Act unanimously passed the Georgia House, finding support among Democrats and Republicans alike.

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HT: Christian Research Network

Pakistani Easter bombing death toll rising

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By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press:

LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- The death toll is rising from a suicide bombing targeting Christians in a crowded park on Easter Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan, with at least 75 dead and more than 368 wounded, 138 of them critically, based on reports from Morning Star News and CNN.

Already claiming responsibility for the evening attack and professing to have targeted Christians is the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar terrorist group, a splinter faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that has professed allegiance to ISIS.

"We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter," Jamaat-ul-Ahrar spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in a statement the group released shortly after the bombing.

"It was part of our annual martyrdom attacks we have started this year," he said, threatening that the attacks "will continue throughout this year."
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Answering Jihad

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By Rich Holdeman - Posted at Gentle Reformation:

Every time another Islamic terrorist blows up something or someone, political and media leaders speculate as to the root causes of jihad. What possesses people to sacrifice themselves for the sake of killing others? Former Muslim, Nabeel Qureshi, whose 2014 autobiography Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity describes his journey from committed apologist for Islam to born again Christian, has written helpfully this week in USA Today about the root causes of the radicalization of young Muslims.

While the US State Department has tried to blame the phenomenon on social and economic factors like lack of assimilation or opportunity or on US policy itself, Qureshi encourages us to look at what the ISIS recruiters actually say in their recruiting materials. He writes, “ISIL’s primary recruiting technique is not social or financial but theological.” As evidence he points to a recent two-page recruiting brochure in…

Human Rights Attorney Zhang Kai Freed from ‘Black Jail’ in China

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Posted at Morning Star News:
Conditions of release unclear.

(Morning Star News) – China Aid has confirmed with relatives of Zhang Kai that the human rights attorney was released on Wednesday (March 23) after his arrest in August 2015 for defending churches.
Zhang wrote on social media that he returned to his home in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, on Wednesday, the advocacy organization reported. The human rights attorney, who had defended some 100 churches damaged by a campaign to demolish crosses in Zhejiang Province, was arrested on Aug. 25 just before he was to meet with U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, David Saperstein.

Terms of his release were uncertain. He had been sentenced to six months of residential surveillance at a “black jail,” where prisoners are held incommunicado at a secret location. On Feb. 25 he appeared on state television stating a “confession” that he had disrupted social order and endangering state security that many believe wa…

State laws help pastors decline gay weddings

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By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Pastor Protection Acts adopted in multiple states and under consideration in others seek to protect the right of ministers not to perform same-sex weddings. But the bills have drawn mixed reviews from religious liberty proponents.

Three state legislators who have served as Southern Baptist ministers told Baptist Press that Pastor Protection Acts are helpful even though they should be supplemented by broader guarantees of religious liberty in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.

Roger Severino of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, told BP that Pastor Protection Acts "make doubly clear" that First Amendment guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion apply to clergy, yet the bills are "of limited value" because they tend to stop short of addressing "the real threat" -- discrimination against believers who stand for traditional marriage i…

John Winthrop on the Actions of a Nation

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Reblogged from What They Said:

“For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. Soe that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are a-going.” - John Winthrop Source: http://wtsaid.blogspot.com/2016/03/john-winthrop-on-actions-of-nation.html 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John Winthrop's Biography (Wikipedia)

John Winthrop (12 January 1587/88[1] – 26 March 1649) was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in what …

A glimpse into the madness

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Editor's Note: Wisdom from a woman who knows spousal abuse firsthand and who is also a devoted Christian. Please read and share with others. Thanks. - AW

By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Tamar Weeps:

Have you ever been in a bouncy castle? Yeah? Were you able to stand? To walk unimpeded? To make progress without continuously falling down or stumbling? No? Why? Because the point of a bouncy castle is that it is unstable. You’re supposed to fall down, roll around, and to bounce into the walls and each other. There’s no stability in a bouncy castle because there’s nothing stable about it. With a bouncy castle, all the bouncing to and fro, all of the falling down and getting trounced on is fun. Translated to real life, it’s anything but fun.

Welcome to the life of an abused spouse.

Abusers come in all different flavors, if you will. The fellowship of abusive spouses has among its members the unemployed and the wildly successful, the financially adept and the serial bankrupted, the entreprene…

Four Wycliffe Bible Translators Murdered by Militants in Middle East

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Posted at Christian Headlines:

Four Bible translators have been murdered by militants in the Middle East, Bible translating ministry Wycliffe Associates, reports.

According to Wycliffe, a raid took place on the translators’ office. Two of the translators were shot and killed, while another two died of wounds from being beaten. These last two managed to protect and save the lead translator by lying on top of him while the militants beat them with their now-empty weapons.

The militants also destroyed translating equipment, including Print on Demand equipment, books, and translation materials.

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HT: SermonAudio.com

See also:
Prayer Watch Emergency!Translators Martyred in Middle East (Wycliffe Associates)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3.23.2016 - Editor's Note:
There seems to be confusion about which group these martyred translators were part of and Wycliffe Global Alliance has posted this disclaimer:
"Murdered Translators" Not Affiliated with Wycliffe Global Alliance O…

Georgia Lawmakers Pass Religious Liberty Bill Protecting Pastors, Faith-Based Organizations

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

ATLANTA — Lawmakers in Georgia have passed a bill providing legal protection to pastors and other religious organizations who object to same-sex “marriage,” sending the measure to the Republican governor, who has asserted that such proposals are discriminatory unChristian.

As previously reported, legislators recently combined H.B. 757, also known as the Pastor Protection Act, with S.B. 284, the First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia. The Pastor Protection Act unanimously passed the Georgia House, finding support among Democrats and Republicans alike.

“No minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages, perform rites, or administer sacraments according to the usages of the denomination … in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion under the Constitution of this state or the United States,” it reads in part.
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THE BEST ANALYSIS I’VE READ TO DATE ON THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

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Posted at The Apologetics Group:

The following was written by Scott Lively – author, attorney, activist and former independent candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election.

To start with I’m not endorsing anybody. I believe America has been under judgment since SCOTUS ruled in Everson v Board of Education (1947) that Jefferson’s “Separation of Church and State” metaphor had become the constitutional law of the land, effectively de-throning the God of Heaven and claiming the power in itself to put God (and everything worshipped as God ) under its own feet. We’ve seen steady moral and social degeneration of the nation ever since, except for a brief semi-revival under Reagan.  Our presidential candidates and most of the congressional ones have been chosen for us by the elites, and each crop of them has been a steadily less palatable assortment of “lesser of two evils.” None of them except Reagan took back a single foot of ground on the cultural battlefield while in off…

The Theology of Donald Trump

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By Michael Horton - Posted at Christianity Today:

I am not a politician, but a minister who teaches theology. As a citizen of this great republic, I have convictions about domestic and foreign policy, but none of that qualifies me to join the fray of political experts and pundits. I am qualified, however, to engage the topic of significant support among self-identified “evangelical voters” for Donald Trump and what this means, not for the country but what it suggests about significant segments of the US church.

While a theological analysis of other candidates would suggest many equally troubling assumptions of their evangelical followers, no candidate is more identified with the word evangelical as is Trump. The loyalty of his self-identified evangelical followers is especially startling to many.

Let me suggest that the slender thread connecting Trump to the church is his occasional holiday appearances at Marble Collegiate Church, made famous by its pastor for 52 years, Norman Vincent Pe…

House Passes Resolution Recognizing Christian Genocide, White House Determination Deadline Tomorrow

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Posted at Voice of the Persecuted:

(Voice of the Persecuted) On Monday night, the House voted to pass a resolution declaring the Islamic State to be committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The resolution passed 383-0, which many are calling a miracle! To all who have prayed, Thank you.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of H. Con. Res. 121 and H. Con. Res. 75, which condemn the atrocities committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS:
“What is happening in Iraq and Syria is a deliberate, systematic targeting of religious and ethnic minorities. Today, the House unanimously voted to call ISIS’s atrocities what they are: a genocide. We also will continue to offer our prayers for the persecuted.” Christians are also severely persecuted by ISIS and other Islamic radicals globally. They have been on a religious cleansing mission to eradicate Christianity in their quest for a purely Islamic…

Socialism’s Bloody History Shows Millennials Should Think Twice Before Supporting It

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By Stella Morabito - Posted at The Federalist:

Nikolai Bukharin was executed by shooting in Moscow on March 15, 1938. He had been revered as a giant of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, as one who even worked side by side with Vladimir Lenin himself. Alas, Bukharin’s Marxist chickens had come home to roost by the time he was shot like a dog during Josef Stalin’s reign of terror. His execution marked the pinnacle of Stalin’s show trials of high-level officials.

You see, Bukharin invested in building a political system that inevitably puts the reins of power into the hands of just a few strongmen who end up calling all the shots. It’s a system in which suspicion and the smell of treason tend to hang in the air.

Socialism, by the way, is just such a system. This is the case whether you call it by any other name, whether communism, utopianism, or collectivism. Oh, go ahead and slap some lipstick on that pig and call it “democratic” socialism or “progressivism” or “communitarianism.”
Read m…

It Must be Election Time: Christian Idolatry on Display

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By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch:

I am losing all sorts of Christian friends. I am getting heaps of believers really ticked off with me. I am seeing long-time Christian relationships smashed overnight. So what crucial test of fellowship did I break? What great evil did I commit? What gross heresy have I espoused?

Did I deny the deity of Jesus Christ? Did I repudiate the doctrine of the Trinity? Did I come out and say I no longer believe the Bible is God’s Word? Did I say all religions are the same and we will all be saved anyway? Did I embrace New Age mumbo-jumbo, or hop on the Chrislam bandwagon?

No, evidently I did something far, far worse. I committed a much more heinous sin than all that: I refused to join in the Trump cult. I refused to engage in Trumpite idolatry. I refused to bow down and worship Lord Trump. I refused to see him as the long-awaited messiah who will save America and the world.

And for that unpardonable sin, many “believers’ have declared me to be anath…

Southern Baptist Pastor Calls Cult Member an Intelligent, Committed Christian

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By Jeff Maples - Posted at Pulpit & Pen:


This isn’t about politics. In fact, I’m disgustingly tired and bored with politics. At this point, I really couldn’t care any less who wins the upcoming presidential election, because all the candidates are losers.

However, it’s a major problem when a pastor who purports to hold to the orthodox view of the Christian faith continues to show absolute disregard for biblical truth while leading a political crusade in the name of Jesus that calls into question everything the Scriptures teach about Christianity.

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HT: Christian Research Network

Refugee “Women and Children”: Some Are Working for ISIS

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Posted at RaymondIbrahim.com: 


Editor’s note: The following account was written for RaymondIbrahim.com by an American teacher in the Muslim world.

I recently called a relative in the USA to get her view of the current republican and democratic primaries. Our conversation quickly turned to Islam and its existential threat to the free world and I was happy to see that she clearly understands the dangers posed by the so-called “religion of peace”. When I asked about her neighbors thoughts on Obama’s plan to bring in more Muslim refugees from Syria into the USA, she answered that most people she knew were against the idea, but that there was still a substantial number of individuals that agreed with the President. She said that they pitied the poor women and children they saw on our major news networks and fell for Obama’s narrative that those women and children are no more a danger to our lives than ordinary tourists.

Sadly, those people are being very naïve regarding the dangers Musli…

The Modesty Debate

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By Sam Powell - Posted at My Only Comfort:

This is a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. And since it keeps coming up, I figured that I wouldn’t procrastinate any longer, but just put up my thoughts and let them fall where they may.

I’m talking about the modesty debate. You have heard it in Christian circles. I’ve heard it. My daughters have heard it. You really can’t send you kids off to a Christian camp during the summer without it.

It’s this. “Girls, listen up! These guys are your Christian brothers! When you dress immodestly, you are putting stumbling blocks in their way to purity! They are always tempted to lust, and you girls have to understand that, and dress accordingly.”

This sounds good on the surface, and many don’t give it a second thought. Except, of course, for the girls.

The problem with it is this. It’s degrading to women. It’s degrading to men. It’s degrading to Christ and his work. It’s thoroughly unbiblical, and therefore of no use whatsoever to sa…

28 Things You Didn’t Know About “Christian” Psychology

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By Marsha West - Posted at Berean Research:


When it comes to what’s called psychology in the Church, Matt Tarr of ParkingSpace23believes that much of what’s termed “Christian” psychology operates on a theology of man that’s antithetical to a biblical worldview. According to Tarr, so-called “Christian” counseling “largely espouses a form of positivism (or neopositivism), optimism, and a philosophy of self-esteem that contradicts a biblical view of man’s wretched, sinful condition.”

Pastor Tarr’s view is that the Bible believing Christian who’s in need of counseling must look for a person with a biblical view of mankind. Moreover, Christians must not heed the advice of someone who’s steeped in the unbiblical philosophy of self-esteem because it’s anti-theology.

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A new approach to domestic abuse ministry

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By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Tamar Weeps:

The church is the blood bought body of Christ. And much of the church, God’s own people, don’t seem to care about those of us within the church whose lives don’t fit the narrative. We talk–and talk–about how the Gospel is the Good News that brings salvation to many, that some of us were once among the worst of mankind, that a new life–through Christ–changes everything. We talk about it but let someone not fit with our narrative and we simply don’t know what to do with them. I don’t say this lightly–I love the church–but the truth is–the TRUTH is–that we kill our own, especially when our own have been wounded either by their own former life decisions or are being or have been wounded by someone else’s.

For example, consider how the body of Christ responds to those of us who are living with an abusive spouse.
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HSLDA: “NO” to John King Jr. for U.S. Secretary of Ed!

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Urgent—Tell Your Senators:  “NO” to John King Jr. for U.S. Secretary of Ed!

Dear Members and Friends,

With the recent departure of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, President Obama has nominated former New York Education Commissioner John King Jr. to be the new head of the U.S. Department of Education. He was approved on a 16–6 vote by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, March 9, and now his nomination is pending before the full U.S. Senate. Senators Mike Enzi (WY), Richard Burr (NC), Johnny Isakson (GA), Rand Paul (KY), Pat Roberts (KS), and Tim Scott (SC) voted against King’s nomination in committee, and deserve our thanks. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) voted to send King’s nomination to the full Senate, but indicated that she has serious doubts about whether she will vote to confirm him on the Senate floor.

HSLDA strongly opposes King’s nomination due to his outspoken support for national databases and the Common Core. Even though the re…

America’s Faith Segments Are Divided on Presidential Race

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Posted at the Barna Group:

Faith, in a stunning variety of manifestations, has become a focal point of the 2016 presidential election. Virtually every major candidate in both parties has engaged in conversations about their own faith and that of the nation. Several candidates have made their faith a central component of their campaigns. Faith leaders from across the country have been endorsing candidates or commenting on their positions related to critical issues. Even the Pope has been dragged into the contest!

But how do people from different faith groups in the US respond to the presidential race? That is one of the central questions addressed in the first of a series of nationwide surveys undertaken by the Barna Group.

The survey found that the widely-reported gaps in candidate preference based on party affiliation, political ideology, race, and age are not the only schisms making the 2016 campaign such fascinating political theater. According to Barna’s data, the five unique pers…

Natalie Greenfield: My Story of Abuse, Shaming, and Recovery

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An Important Message for Pastors, Elders and Parents:



http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/

A Conflict of Claims

By T.M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe:

The claims of Christ are our first priority.
Clash of Swords (2)And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things.Acts 17.8Let the saints be joyful in glory;Let them sing aloud on their beds.Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,And a two-edged sword in their hand,To execute vengeance on the nations,And punishments on the peoples;To bind their kings with chains,And their nobles with fetters of iron;To execute on them the written judgment—This honor have all His saints. Psalm 149.5-9
A new King
It’s not surprising that Christianity, truly lived and boldly proclaimed, should pose a threat to the social and cultural status quo, and to the political powers and cultural elites who maintain that status quo. From at least the time of Abraham, believers have taken the Sword of the Spirit into battle against all the swords of men, to further the divine economy and agenda.

In first-century Rome the powers-…

PC words Christians should not employ

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Posted at The Truth Shall Set You Free:

This is for starters and is not an exhaustive list (because the PC lobby keep inventing new ones)

Below this list are the words Christians (and those non-Christians who can still think for themselves) should use and which were, in a time long gone, in everyone’s vocabulary at some time or other.

DO NOT USE

Ms
Spokesperson, Chairperson etc
Partner (except when combined with the words “business” or “marriage” as in business partner or marriage partner)
Pro-choice
Sex worker
Racist
Sexist
Ageist
Islamophobia
Homophobia
Transphobia (and NEVER EVER refer to a man pretending to be a woman as “she” and vice versa)
Climate change denier……….and so on ad nauseum

Now for the SANE list of words
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Alabama Supreme Court Unanimously Dismisses Pleas to Defy U.S. Supreme Court’s ‘Gay Marriage’ Ruling

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — While expressing reluctance and issuing sharp rebukes against the nation’s highest court, the Alabama Supreme Court on Friday unanimously dismissed pleas from family groups who requested that the court defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex “marriage.”

Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program had filed requests with the court, as well as Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen, asking that it uphold the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials.

“It is ordered that all pending motions and petitions are dismissed,” the court wrote in its unanimous order, with separate concurring opinions being released by the justices.

Read more...

See also:
Alabama Supreme Court Rejects U. S. Supreme Court’s Marriage Opinion(Liberty Counsel)Alabama Supreme Court Narrowly Avoids Confrontation With SCOTUS On Same-Sex Marriage(Religion Clause)

GOP debate: Trump's character draws focus

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By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:


In response to a suggestive jab by Rubio earlier in the week, Trump made a comment about his anatomy. Both comments were criticized as inappropriate by secular and Christian commentators.
DETROIT (BP) -- Whether GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is morally fit to be president drew extended focus during a March 3 Republican presidential debate in Detroit that also included discussion of religious liberty, adoption by same-sex couples, judicial nominations and the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Trump's opponents, and at times the Fox News moderators, suggested Trump's alleged unkindness toward others, inconsistent policy positions and business impropriety are unbefitting a U.S. president. Trump countered that he is "flexible" rather than inconsistent, his business dealings are all above board and it is logically invalid to conclude from poll data that a large percentage of Republican voters believe he is unfit for the presidency.

The d…

My take on the debate, the race, and our prospects

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By Denny Burk

For those who are wondering, here are my thoughts on last night’s debate and where things stand as far as the presidential race is concerned. Also, a brief word of gospel encouragement:

1. Donald Trump has debased himself and has lowered everyone who is forced to stand on stage with him. Senator Rubio was wrong to tell the “hands” joke earlier this week with the offensive innuendo. Having said that, Trump’s vulgarity last night was off the charts and beneath the dignity of the office he seeks. He has lowered himself. I hate to say it, but he has made the men on stage with him look smaller too.

2. Donald Trump doubled-down on the idea that innocent women and children should be targets in war. Don’t let that gravity of that be lost on you. A candidate for President of the United States says that he would order our armed forces to commit war crimes. When challenged whether our military would obey such an unlawful order, Trump said that he would force them to do it anyway. T…

Six Observations From the Fox News GOP Debate in Detroit

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By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Caffeinated Thoughts:


Fox News held its last Republican presidential debate in Detroit tonight. They held the very first GOP Debate for the 2016 race seven months ago in Cleveland, OH. There are only two scheduled debates left – the CNN hosts one before the Florida primary in Miami, FL on March 10 and a debate to be held on March 21 in Salt Lake City, UT.

1. If you planned to learn about a candidate’s ideas on an issue you were disappointed.

Debates anymore, and it is especially true this cycle are no longer about issues, but how can we achieve ratings by getting the most fireworks. Mission accomplished. Part of that is the media’s fault, but that’s not helped by Donald Trump’s presence during debates either. I will say having only four people on stage is far better than seven or eight.

2. Trump is less effective when he’s fighting a two-front war.

If Trump has to just deal with one candidate or two he’s pretty effective at dealing with that. This deb…

Teach Your People to Suffer

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By Eric Dodson - Posted at The Master's Seminary:

"Not only should we prepare our people for the suffering that results from living in a fallen world; we must also prepare them for the unique suffering that is guaranteed for those who follow Christ. Suffering is part of the Christian life..." My lovely wife and I were sitting in a parenting class at church, when the chairman of the elder board came and asked for us. Actually he asked for “the parents of Calvin Dodson.” Slightly embarrassed, thinking our little one must have thrown a fit, or done something else to show we really needed the parenting class, we got up and went with him.

As we left the room and headed down the stairs, he let us know that our 8-month-old son had experienced a seizure and that the nursery staff had called 911. Stunned, we came in his nursery room to find our son—our youngest at the time—being tended to by a nurse. He had blue lips and barely moved. It was terrifying.

That scene began what has t…

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? A Brief Reflection

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By Austin Brown - Posted at Gentle Reformation:



Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

It seems to me that when the relationship between Islam and Christianity is engaged on this level, theologians of a more liberal bent are provided a delicious opportunity to flatten the antithesis between Christ and Allah.

The question so framed allows for subtleties in metaphysics to rise to the fore. “Isn’t there only one, real God?” they ask, finger raised. “And if there is only one, real God, then it follows that worship must be directed, even if somewhat confused, to this one, real God. Thus, it should be plain, dear friend, that we are worshiping the same God.”

Well, it isn’t all that plain. But that isn’t the point. The problem here is the desire to build upon perceived ambiguities so as to construct a viewpoint that downplays key differences between Islam and Christianity.

Those of a more liberal mindset don’t want hard edges. They want Muslims to go to heaven as Muslims. This…

Five-fold Paradigm to Voting with Christian Wisdom

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By Rev. Harry Reeder - Posted at In Perspective:

I was going to wait and write this blog in the fall in preparation for the general election. But, in light of the multitude of questions concerning how to vote in our regional elections as well as the Presidential primaries, I’ve decided to post a distillation of my answer to these inquiries. When it comes to politics, the most frequently asked question is “who are you going to vote for?” As a pastor I seldom answer that question. I prefer answering another question which equips people to not simply know how to vote in one election but how to evaluate voting in any election. Therefore, the more crucial question is “how should I, as a Christian, prepare to vote with prayerful deliberation and wisdom?”

Given the position I have taken (for multiple reasons) to not publicly endorse candidates, I feel it is important to pastorally share a Biblical process by which candidates for public office should be evaluated. So, in light of the multiple …