Supreme Court: Obama Can’t Make Notre Dame Obey Pro-Abortion Mandate

3/9/2015 – The Supreme Court has weighed in on the lawsuit Notre Dame filed against the HHS mandate compelling religious groups and businesses to pay for drugs for their employees that may cause abortions.

After a lower court dismissed the lawsuit, today the Supreme Court ordered the lower court to reconsider its ruling that denied a Catholic university the freedom to follow its faith.

Previously, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. dismissed the suit, claiming that Notre Dame is sufficiently protected by a very narrowly-drawn religious exemption in the mandate — that pro-life legal groups say does not apply to every religious entity. Then, a three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision on a 2-1 vote.

In appealing that decision, the University of Notre Dame brought its request to the Supreme Court — saying the lower court decision made it the only nonprofit religious ministry in the nation without protection from the HHS mandate. The Supreme Court’s ruling today vacates the entire lower court decision forcing Notre Dame to comply and the 7th Circuit must now review its decision taking into consideration the entire Hobby Lobby case upholding that company’s right to not be forced into compliance.

The Obama administration has relied heavily on that lower court decision in other courts around the country, arguing that it should be able to impose similar burdens on religious ministries like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

By Steven Ertelt – Life News –

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

A misleading distinction between fact and opinion is embedded in the Common Core.

What I didn’t know was where this attitude came from. Given the presence of moral relativism in some academic circles, some people might naturally assume that philosophers themselves are to blame. But they aren’t. There are historical examples of philosophers who endorse a kind of moral relativism, dating back at least to Protagoras who declared that “man is the measure of all things,” and several who deny that there are any moral facts whatsoever. But such creatures are rare. Besides, if students are already showing up to college with this view of morality, it’s very unlikely that it’s the result of what professional philosophers are teaching. So where is the view coming from?

A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board. They read:

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.

Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.

Hoping that this set of definitions was a one-off mistake, I went home and Googled “fact vs. opinion.” The definitions I found online were substantially the same as the one in my son’s classroom. As it turns out, the Common Core standards used by a majority of K-12 programs in the country require that students be able to “distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.” And the Common Core institute provides a helpful page full of links to definitions, lesson plans and quizzes to ensure that students can tell the difference between facts and opinions.

So what’s wrong with this distinction and how does it undermine the view that there are objective moral facts?

First, the definition of a fact waffles between truth and proof — two obviously different features. Things can be true even if no one can prove them. For example, it could be true that there is life elsewhere in the universe even though no one can prove it. Conversely, many of the things we once “proved” turned out to be false. For example, many people once thought that the earth was flat. It’s a mistake to confuse truth (a feature of the world) with proof (a feature of our mental lives). Furthermore, if proof is required for facts, then facts become person-relative. Something might be a fact for me if I can prove it but not a fact for you if you can’t. In that case, E=MC2 is a fact for a physicist but not for me.

But second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both. For example, I asked my son about this distinction after his open house. He confidently explained that facts were things that were true whereas opinions are things that are believed. We then had this conversation….

By Justin P. McBrayer – New York Times –

Bill for Marriage and Religious Freedom Act coming up

Why do we need a new federal law to protect those whose religious convictions see marriage as it has been understood for our whole national history? Because a war is taking place in America to delegitimize religion.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act was introduced in the last Congress – in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) with 11 co-sponsors and in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) with 92 co-sponsors.

This legislation will soon be re-introduced in the current session and should be given priority by Senate and House leadership and passed. It is of enormous national importance.

The bill will protect individuals from discrimination, under federal law, so that they may be free to express and conduct their business according to their religious conviction that marriage is a union between one man and one woman and that sexual relations take place within this framework.

The bill only affects federal law, not state law. But it is an important step in the right direction of establishing a federal legal regime protecting those with traditional biblical faith and convictions regarding marriage, sex, and sin.

This law would not preclude anyone from choosing alternative lifestyles. What it would do is protect those who, because of their faith, reject those lifestyles from being forced to accept them.

Why do we need a new federal law to protect those whose religious convictions see marriage as it has been understood for our whole national history?

Because a war is taking place in our country to delegitimize religion and to use every means of legal aggression to make it impossible for those with traditional biblical faith to live according to their convictions in their public lives….

By Star Parker – One News Now –

Denzel Washington defies Hollywood speaking of his Christian faith.

Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington recently defied liberal Hollywood by speaking out about his strong Christian faith.

Obama has consistently shown that he has a strong anti-Christian agenda, so Washington’s brave words have enraged Obama-lovers everywhere.

“I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word,” he told a reporter, adding that it was not difficult for him to grow up as the son of a preacher.

“He wasn’t a taskmaster, but there were certain things you couldn’t do,” Washington said. “He had his own church, and it was a long Sunday, because you had to be there all day.”

“Everyone I grew up with didn’t have a father,” he continued. “I had a father. My father was a decent man. He was a very spiritual man and a gentleman.”

Though today he is a strong Christian, in his teens he became rebellious after attending church started to feel like “a job.” That all changed in his 20s, when he had a personal encounter with God in the same church he still attends to this day.

“The minister was preaching, ‘Just let it go,’” Washington recalled. “I said, ‘I’m going to go with it.’ And I had this tremendous physical and spiritual experience.”

By Andrew Spalding – TellMeNow.com –

Pastor Saeed ‘Shaken’ as Iranians Execute Fellow Prisoners

U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has now been in an Iranian jail for his Christian faith for nearly two-and-a-half years, is “shaken” as six of his fellow prisoners were executed around him this week, his wife, Naghmeh, says.

“Saeed was quite shaken as he had to witness 6 fellow prisoners being beaten and taken to be executed (hanged) that day,” Naghmeh was quoted as saying in a report by American Center for Law and Justice on Saturday.

….Pastor Saeed remains in an incredibly dangerous situation, ACLJ says, explaining that summary executions, inmate violence and beatings are commonplace.

Saeed has also sustained prolonged internal injuries due to beatings in the prison.

From Zionica.com –

Celebrating a Bold Faith in India

A widow in India is being remembered following her death from a heart attack for her bold faith — a faith that led her to help numerous women in jail — including one of her guards — find freedom in Christ.

Vani, a 31-year-old mother of an 8-year-old daughter, spent 15 days in jail roughly 10 months ago for sharing her faith. During her time in jail, Vani shared her faith with more than 70 women — 14 of whom became Christians. Even her jailer encouraged her to continue sharing her faith after witnessing a dramatic change in several other prisoners who accepted Jesus.

“She was really sweet,” said a VOM field worker who met with Vani earlier this year. “She had a lot more wisdom than her age suggested.”

Vani was jailed after being charged with kidnapping and forcing a child to convert to Christianity. She also was charged in connection with an incident when she helped a teenager and introduced her to other believers. Vani was arrested after the girl’s parents reported her to police.

While in jail, she stayed in a small, windowless cell with about 30 other women, all of whom slept on their own simple mat on the cell’s concrete floor. Vani prayed and read from the Scriptures daily during the jail’s recreational time in its courtyard. She also baptized the new believers in jail.

“She was always telling the girls, ‘If you have a problem, just pray and God will help you,’” a VOM field worker said.

From Voice of the Martyrs –

AFA Maps Anti-Christian Bigotry Groups

The American Family Association has identified groups and organizations that openly display bigotry toward the Christian faith.

These groups are intolerant towards the Christian religion. Their objectives are to silence Christians and to remove public displays of Christian heritage and faith in America.

A common practice of these groups is threatening our nation’s schools, cities and states. By threat of lawsuit, they demand prayer removed….

Because of anti-Christian bigotry, private business owners have been sued and forced to close their business. Families and businesses that express a Christian worldview on social issues often face vicious retaliation from bigoted anti-Christian zealots.

Some members or supporters of these groups have committed violent crimes against Christians and faith-based groups. Physical and profane verbal assaults against Christians are methods frequently exercised in their methods of intimidation.

Go to American Family Association Bigotry Map:

Supreme Court takes up religion in the workplace

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that could help define the limits of religious freedom in the workplace.

The case, known as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. Abercrombie, centers on Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim who applied for a position as a model at the Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa, Okla., in 2008. She was denied employment because she was wearing a black headscarf, known as hijab, during her interview.

Abercrombie has a “look policy” that prohibits employees from wearing black clothing and “caps;” it rates prospective employees based on their dress. Though the policy fails to define what constitutes a “cap,” it says an employee is subject to “disciplinary action up to and including termination for failing to comply with” the cap policy.

In the case, the EEOC argues that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by failing to accommodate Elauf’s religious beliefs. Abercrombie claims Elauf never informed hiring managers of the conflict and that allowing her to wear a headscarf would have imposed an undue hardship on the Ohio-based company.

The company’s position was upheld by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal district court sided with the EEOC.

The high court must decide whether employers have to ask prospective workers if they need a religious accommodation, or if it is it up to the job seekers to make the need known.

Business interests are paying close attention to the case.

By Lydia Wheeler – The Hill –

THE DECEPTION THREATENING AMERICA’S SURVIVAL: ‘All Lies are Equally True’

George Friedman wrote in his book, Flashpoints that Civilizations are divided into three phases. The first is Barbarism in which people believe the laws and beliefs of their village are the laws of nature. The second is Civilization where people continue to believe in the justice of their ways but harbor openness to the idea that they might not have everything correct. The third is Decadence. It begins the moment people come to believe there is no truth, or that All Lies are Equally True.

Watching the Obama administration flounder around so many things ranging from whether or not to target ISIS to telling Christians not to get on their high horses generates anger and head shaking. These problems bring me to the conclusion that at the highest levels, Washington, D.C. believes All Lies are Equally True. Two pieces of core evidence take me there. First, the Lord hates those who shed innocent blood. Since the early seventies, our nation has shed innocent blood to the tune of 50 million aborted babies. That number is coming home in the form of lost consumers, lost workers, lost intellect, and lost taxpayers. In our coming future, that equates to lost soldiers, lost Marines, and lost men and women defending our nation. In a land where All Lies are Equally True, dismissing a voiceless, faceless baby to oblivion becomes a medical detail in the ethics of convenience.

A second piece of core evidence arrives with our failure to protect innocent blood. If the Lord hates those who shed innocent blood, then he loves those who protect innocent blood. As I write this column, hard, violent, faith filled men are going in harm’s way to rescue women and children from ISIS. While Washington, D.C. wrestles with their amoral ass-inanity trying to figure out how to even respond, rank and file Americans see the correctness of protecting innocent life.

Our Perfumed Princes walk a tortuous maze where All Lies are Equally True. Their disconnect from the American people grows because they cannot understand people who still believe innocent life is precious. The worst part about the decadence of believing All Lies are Equally True is that they do not have to make any decisions because all decisions are wrong. Or Right. Or not necessary. Or maybe will go away.

Rome did not exactly fall. It sort of crumbled until Attila the Hun and his minions took out the last vestiges of an empire that had more than enough wealth to raise a first class Army. The problem with Rome in the 3rd and 4th Century was that it was in the last decadent throes of a nation where All Lies were Equally True. As a result, in the words of Gibbons, rank and file citizens hated their own government more than the barbarians at the gate. Families fled north to escape confiscatory taxation that otherwise swept them into slavery for failure to pay taxes.

The Last Centurion (a nameless man tired of enduring the death of his nation) married a barbarian bride somewhere in central Europe and started over in a feudal landscape. He had to take it back to Barbarian 101… His people believing the laws and beliefs of their village were the laws of nature.

Our nation is different from Rome but our demons are very similar. Like the Romans, we face a rising Moslem civilization that is wiping people, nations, and entire histories into dust. Our own leaders imitate the Emperors by coming from a morally relative place where All Lies are Equally True. They fail to believe the civilizing strengths and great beliefs the founding fathers used to kick start our Republic.

It is ironic that just as the Enlightenment was a war against church and faith, our similar New Age deceivers actively war against believers. That war straddles the courts, community, public school and the boiling pot of weapons confiscation. The mantel of “Right to Life” seems as far down in the bin of mediocrity as the issue of slavery after the 1856 Dred-Scott decision.

Historically, when an empire or nation hits the point of ultimate decadence in which the beliefs that made it great recede into a background where All Lies are Equally True, the nation falls….

By Clearchus – The Clash Daily –

Virtual reality a new frontier for religions

Virtual reality technology is going to radically change what it means to attend church in the next fifty years — and maybe much sooner.

While the technology is still in its infancy, however, virtual churches are limited experiments rather than significant outreach efforts – but this will change.

“Numerous persons and groups have developed churches in the virtual world, mainly Second Life,” Rev. Christopher Benek told Hypergrid Business. “I would venture to say that most have been less concerned with true evangelical success and more focused on what their technological exploratory experience may yield in the future.”

Rev. Benek serves at the largest church in the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, the First Prebyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, as the Associate Pastor of Family Ministries and Mission. He is also enrolled at Durham University in England where he is working on a Ph.D. in theology focusing on the intersection of technological futurism and eschatology.

For most traditional churches, virtual reality isn’t even on the horizon, he said.

“But for those of us who tend to be more inclined to the developments of human technology, we are keeping abreast of the important advancements that are occurring in the virtual world,” he said. “Personally, I think that as technology like Oculus Rift becomes more developed, immersive, and available to the general public, we may soon be able to easily develop virtual worship and Christian education experiences. This would be a great asset to the church universal, as it will enable the infirm, homebound, and potentially even the poor to participate from afar regardless of their personal mobility or lack of affordable transportation.”

There are a number of other ways in which churches can benefit by removing physical obstacles to worship, he added.

“Congregants and pastors will be able to visit and pray with greater numbers of people more often,” he said.”Small groups will be able to meet more frequently, even at great distances. The way that we currently do care and discipleship will radically change as will our expectations as to what it means to participate in those aspects of the church.”

….“I think the Church, as well as other religious organizations, would benefit from proceeding further in this direction of virtualizing and even open-sourcing their rituals,” Lincoln Cannon, President of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, told Hypergrid Business. “Imagine authenticating to an neurally immersive online temple in which you participate in the mythological re-enactment, adapting the imagery to your personal spiritual needs, perhaps in concert with or according to the guidance of spiritual friends or authorities. I don’t have a particular platform to recommend, but I do feel a great deal of inspiration from this vision of customizing and revitalizing ritual to such extent that re-enactment transcends itself and actually becomes reification: the expression of salvation mythology itself becomes transfiguration to godhood, and the expression of creation mythology itself instantiates new worlds.”

….The story of LifeChurch.tv in Second Life is told in the book Virtually Sacred – Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life, published in 2014 by Oxford University Press, by Robert Geraci, Professor in the Department of Religion at Manhattan College. Geraci argues that virtual worlds can play the role of sacred spaces, places of power where believers can engage in compelling forms of ritual behavior and form online religious communities.

The book reports that many groups in mainstream religions, including Christianity and Islam, established a virtual presence in Second Life, often bypassing institutional channels and creating grassroots communities instead. These virtual communities are often independent of traditional religious hierarchies, and much more open to inter-faith dialogue and alternative lifestyles….

The chapter “Sacred Second Lives” of Virtually Sacred is dedicated to new, emerging religious movements in Second Life. Perhaps more than established religions, new “native” metaverse religions will be able to take full advantage of the endless possibilities of virtual reality and offer a spiritual home to multitudes of people worldwide, especially those who search spiritual meaning independently, outside the legacy framework of mainstream religions….

Of course everything – even religion – runs on money, and how to finance virtual churches will need to be addressed. Many religious communities are self-sustaining through donations, and that financing model will still be viable. Virtual worlds have built-in payment methods, from the Linden dollar to the Bitcoin-like crypto-currency planned for High Fidelity, so that collecting donations in virtual reality will be even easier than in physical churches.

Besides recovery of survival expenses, it’s well known that religion can be a profitable business as well. Other forms of financing include membership fees, merchandising, pay-only events and virtual adventures, donations from wealthy patrons, and discreet sponsorship – or even blatant in-service advertising if the virtual parishioners are willing to put up with that.

By Giulio Prisco – Hypergrid Business –

Ex-Fire Chief Sues Atlanta Mayor: Fired ‘Solely’ for His Marriage Beliefs

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:

…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.

Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.

Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.

On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him….

By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –

ISIS To All Christians: ‘You Will Soon See An Ocean Of Blood For All The Nation Of The Cross’

ISIS sent out a “Coming Soon” documentary titled “Warning: Message Signed In Blood Coming Soon To ‘Nation Of The Cross’”. It will be as ISIS promised, showing a wave of Christian blood which it has spilt. It is quite horrifying.

This morning I noticed some western speculation as to what ISIS had in mind for this sinister surprise which makes it obvious that from the beach wave mixed in blood as to another slaughter of Christians.

Some social media in the west speculated that this has something to do with Denmark, for example:

“Speculation as to ‘nation of the cross’ spans from Denmark (flag with cross) to ‘community of Christendom’. This announcement came after the Denmark attacks yesterday, so is not a reference to yesterday’s attacks.” (Weasel Zippers)

Westerners care more about Charlie Hebdo, a liberal who mocked Christ portraying the Virgin Mary giving birth to a pig. But all throughout the Middle East, the speculation is quite different, the beach and the waves shaped red, a reference to the blood was a clear message to the Copts in Egypt, a people who are rarely cared for and to Egypt it is about the slaughter of the 21 Christian Copts who were dragged to a beach front in Libya dressed in orange jump suits. [And beheaded.] The picture shows from ISIS magazine Dabiq, a group of Copts bowing on a beach, which can be linked to the image of the new promotional video issued by ISIS.

….We all know that Zechariah 14 is about rescuing the Jews and converting them to Him, but Isaiah 19 should shock some folks and get us to ask, who and why is Christ coming for in Egypt:

“And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of Hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.” (Isaiah 19:20)

Here we have the “Mighty One” is the Messiah who fights on the day of the Lord to fight the oppressors. Here, see for yourself your brothers and sisters in Egypt suffering from the oppressors and calling for Jesus to come down and save them:

And where do we see such faith like this? Where do we see multitudes of Christians taking to the streets when there are 90% Muslims and in the face of such a massive threat the Copt stands for Christ, yet here, we fear a handful of bickering Muslims….

By Walid Shoebat – Shoebat.com –

The Rise of the “Done with Church” Population

….John had come to a long-considered, thoughtful decision. He said, “I’m just done. I’m done with church.”

John is one in a growing multitude of ex-members. They’re sometimes called the de-churched. They have not abandoned their faith. They have not joined the also-growing legion of those with no religious affiliation–often called the Nones. Rather, John has joined the Dones.

At Group’s recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones. He explained these de-churched were among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations. To an increasing degree, the church is losing its best.

For the church, this phenomenon sets up a growing danger. The very people on whom a church relies for lay leadership, service and financial support, are going away. And the problem is compounded by the fact that younger people in the next generation, the Millennials, are not lining up to refill the emptying pews.

Why are the Dones done? Packard describes several factors in his upcoming book, Church Refugees (Group). Among the reasons: After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all. One of Packard’s interviewees said, “I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do.”

The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn.

Will the Dones return? Not likely, according to the research. They’re done. Packard says it would be more fruitful if churches would focus on not losing these people in the first place. Preventing an exodus is far easier than attempting to convince refugees to return.

Pastors and other ministry leaders would benefit from asking and listening to these long-time members, before they flee. This will require a change of habit. When it comes to listening, church leaders are too often in the habit of fawning over celebrity pastors for answers. It would be far more fruitful to take that time and spend it with real people nearby–existing members. Ask them some good questions, such as:

•Why are you a part of this church?
•What keeps you here?
•Have you ever contemplated stepping away from church? Why or why not?
•How would you describe your relationship with God right now?
•How has your relationship with God changed over the past few years?
•What effect, if any, has our church had on your relationship with God?
•What would need to change here to help you grow more toward Jesus’ call to love God and love others?

….The exodus of the Dones, the rise of the Nones, and the disappearance of the Millennials do not look good for a church afraid to listen.

It’s not too late to start.

By Thom Schultz – Holy Soup –

Pope: There are limits to free speech

Pope Francis said there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith, in comments that the Vatican later said Friday did not mean justifying the attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines on Thursday, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good.

But he said there were limits.

By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasbarri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.

“If my good friend Dr. Gasbarri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said half-jokingly, throwing a mock punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

His pretend punch aside, Francis by no means said the violent attack on Charlie Hebdo was justified. Quite the opposite: He said such horrific violence in God’s name couldn’t be justified and was an “aberration.” But he said a reaction of some sort was to be expected.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, who collaborates with the Vatican press office, issued a statement early Friday stressing that the pope was by no means justifying the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

“Pope Francis has not advocated violence with his words on the flight,” he said in a statement.

He said Francis’ words were “spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate manner among colleagues and friends on the journey.” He noted that Francis has spoken out clearly against the Paris attacks and that violence in God’s name can never be justified.

By NICOLE WINFIELD – Associated Press –

Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences

Abortion is unlike any other issue debated today. Millions of American women have aborted a child, and the pain, loss, and emotional need to justify what was done, both on the part of the mother and on the part of her loved ones, is strong and deep.[1] This means that, in any debate, you may face an invisible thumb on the scale so that even the best logic will fail to persuade.

The best you can do is arm yourself with the facts and deliver them in what you hope will be a winning way for your audience — meaning you will need to make your case, in most instances, not in the language of faith or religion but in the language of the post-modern secularist.

What follows, therefore, are the best arguments from science, the law, and women’s rights to advance the pro-life case against abortion.

Argue from Science.

The “classic” arguments from the other side are collapsing under the weight of science. “No one knows when life begins” and “It’s a blob of tissue” are frankly on the wane, especially in the context of surgical abortion, which is how the vast majority of abortions are done today.[2]

Still, establishing the evidence of the beginnings of human life will ground your argumentation in science, giving you a firm foundation for additional arguments and preempting the charge that you are basing your position on faith or religious belief.

Cite the facts.

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the scientific evidence of the existence of human life before birth. These are irrefutable facts, about which there is no dispute in the scientific community.[3]

At the moment when a human sperm penetrates a human ovum, or egg, generally in the upper portion of the Fallopian Tube, a new entity comes into existence. “Zygote” is the name of the first cell formed at conception, the earliest developmental stage of the human embryo, followed by the “Morula” and “Blastocyst” stages.[4]

Is it human? Is it alive? Is it just a cell or is it an actual organism, a “being?” These are logical questions. You should raise them, and then provide the answers….

By Rob Schwarzwalder – Family Research Council –

China tightens church control

Two days before Christmas, members of a rural Christian congregation in eastern China welded pieces of metal into a cross and hoisted it onto the top of a worship hall to replace one that was forcibly removed in October.

Within an hour, township officials and uniformed men barged onto the church ground and tore down the cross.

“They keep a very close watch on us, and there is nothing we can do,” a church official told The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of fear of government retaliation. “The situation is not good, as any attempt to re-erect the cross will be stopped.”

That means that the worshippers in Wenzhou city, like many Christians in the eastern province of Zhejiang, will worship this Christmas under a roof without a cross. Provincial authorities have toppled crosses from more than 400 churches, and even razed some worship halls in a province-wide crackdown on building code violations.

Many Christians say their faith has been singled out because authorities, wary of its rapid growth, are seeking to curb its spread in a campaign that has targeted China’s most thriving Christian communities.

Estimates for the number of Christians in China range from the conservative official figure of 23 million to as many as 100 million by independent scholars, raising the possibility that Christians may rival in size the 85 million members of the ruling Communist Party.

In August, Beijing rounded up Christian pastors and religious scholars in a national seminar with the edict that the Christian faith must be free of foreign influence but “adapt to China,” a euphemism for obeying the Communist Party’s rule.

By DIDI TANG – Associated Press –

A tale of two churches!

This is not a great doctrinal treatise but how it was remembered in later years by a nine year old child…

Bethany Church of Christ

“The Bethany church Building is across from the Bethany cemetery. It has been unused for around 80 years. A Coal mining company has bought the property and will eventually tear it down. Several times while talking to my mother about family history, we would talk about what happened to this church. She was around nine when her family stopped attending there. The congregation had divided over Bible studies and Wednesday night services in the building.

The two elders being prompted by one family in particular finally said there would be no Bible classes or Wednesday night services in the building. The controversy became so strong that the elders padlocked the doors. They said to those opposing them that “you can have classes on the steps outside but not in the building.” The dispute was disrupting worship. One Sunday night during services, a man who disagreed with the elders, stood up and said he was going to read a chapter from the Bible. To shut him up another man started singing a hymn, very loudly, and his wife put her hand over his mouth. On another occasion while the men opposing the classes where in the hallway having a discussion, the same man got up in the auditorium and started reading the Bible again. This prompted one of the men in the hallway to come in and knock him down.

Having worship services had become almost impossible. The member’s personal lives were being disrupted by disputes also. The fact that mother remembered so many details about the arguments between the members, shows the effect that it was having on the children also.

Eventually the members called in two preachers to try to settle the dispute. A document was written and the members were asked to sign it. (copies of the agreement are in the following pages). Apparently this did not settle the dispute because many of the members, including Mother’s family, left and started another congregation. They met at “Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary Long’s house” . In 1929, after a local farmer donated some land they built a new building- they called it Mt. Zion. The Bethany congregation completely disbanded and the building sits abandoned-unless the mine has torn it down. The Mt. Zion church is still active.”

Jerry Blount’s comments…

Pic of the Mt Zion Church today…. This is the “new congregation” formed in 1929 from the members driven off by the no Bible class brethren. Today it remains a small country church but it survived.

Reading between the lines below you can draw out a series of fairly common themes in a church split.

1) It stemmed from a church trying to cater to the whims of one family to the point the rest of the church rebelled. Presumably said family is now facing the curse of I Corinthians 3: 17 “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” Clearly it is up to God to judge them. If God judges them guilty… that curse will fall squarely upon them. (among others)

2) The “no Bible classes” position was at the heart of it. This fad went through the churches in the early 20th century… most of those churches have now died out because of the ignorance of the following generations I.E., ignoring the young generally leads to ignorance among the young. There are other reasons that churches split but this position will always eventually cause one. Parents generally just will not willingly throw their children to the wolves. Ignorance is one of the worst wolves that will devour our children. Parents tend to seek out someone (or group of “someones”) who cares in practice rather than simply words. They cannot gain new families.

3) The church lost its families… a church without families, children, is in a fatal position unless it can be cured. Satan loves to find wedges to drive the families away.

This position towards scripture is clearly fatal… it creates a mindset that “I’ll care for my kids but the devil can have yours!” Spiritual orphans have no place to turn if they come from weak families and the church is not there for them. The “no Bible class” position will always eventually drive off the families. There is no new thing under the sun!

Once entrenched this doctrine has destroyed every congregation that I am familiar with. This is a real life example of the reason this position has virtually died out among us.

4) The parents who take pains to provide a suitable environment for their children can save them. The others lose them. Hence… the new church survived. Those parents went the extra mile to start over and rebuild… rebuild they did. Three generations later, their descendants still remember and are proud of the sacrifices made by them.

Most of the actual participants are now buried in the cemetery across the road from what was meeting place of The Bethany Church of Christ. They each have their own little stone monuments over their respective graves but ….

Ironically the larger monument to their lives… The one that casts a shadow over their grave every morning is this old crumbling church building. In this case the shadow cast is very, very literal.

Their legacy…

I would call this A Tale of Two Churches!

By Jerry Blount – Jerry’s Christian Jottings –

Research About Nativities, theResearch about the traditional Christmas Story that may surprise atheists

The Christmas season almost always brings along with it good tidings, great joy — and a series of contentious battles over the separation of church and state.

Atheist activists make it known each year that they oppose nativities and other religious displays on public land, but where do Americans really stand on the contentious constitutonal issue?

A new Pew Research Center poll found that 44 percent of Americans believe that Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be permitted on government property — even if religious symbols representing other faiths aren’t present to balance them out.

And an additional 28 percent of the public believes that Christian symbols should be permitted, but only if other symbols are there for balance. That said, 20 percent of Americans do not believe these symbols belong on public property, according to the Pew Research Center.

Taking a deeper look at the numbers, this means that 72 percent of the public supports faith-based displays on public property in some form.

But on the flip side, 48 percent of the Americans do, to some degree, have concerns about nativities and other related elements on government property; this latter proportion includes those who believe there should be a balance of symbols on display.

By Billy Hallowell – The Blaze –

Chaplain punished for sharing his faith

An Army chaplain was punished for discussing matters of faith and quoting from the Bible during a suicide prevention training session with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion — leading to outrage from religious liberty groups and a Georgia congressman.

Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn was issued a Letter of Concern that accused him of advocating for Christianity and “using Christian scripture and solutions” during a Nov. 20th training session held at the University of North Georgia.

“You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia, wrote in the letter to the chaplain. “This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information.”

The Christian chaplain was warned to be “careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another.”

The Christian chaplain was warned to be “careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another.”

However, attorneys for the chaplain, along with religious advocacy groups, say his comments are covered by the “right of conscience clause” that was passed in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, section 533.

Chaplain Lawhorn was ordered to appear in the colonel’s office on Thanksgiving Day where he was personally handed the Letter of Concern.

Based on Col. Fivecoat’s version of events — you would’ve thought Chaplain Lawhorn had turned the suicide prevention workshop into a Billy Graham Crusade. However, that’s not what happened.

During the course of conducting the training session, Ron Crews, the endorsing agent for military chaplains for Grace Churches International, explained, the chaplain discussed his own struggles with depression and the methods and techniques he personally used to combat depression. He said the chaplain did provide a handout with religious resources — but he also provided a handout with non-religious resources.

“The chaplain did nothing wrong,” said Crews. “At no time did he say his was the only or even the preferred way of dealing with depression. And at no time did he deny the validity of any other method.”

Lawhorn is one of the few Army chaplains to wear the Ranger Tab and Crews said it was through that identification that he shared his story about depression.

“His story involves his faith journey,” Crews said. “He was simply being a great Army chaplain – in ministering to his troops and providing first hand how he has dealt with depression in the past. That’s what chaplains do. They bare their souls for their soldiers in order to help them with crises they may be going through.”

However, someone in the training session complained to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. That complaint led to a story on the Huffington Post.

Michael Berry, an attorney with Liberty Institute, a law firm that handles religious liberty cases, is representing the chaplain. He said the person who filed the complained “exploited” the chaplain’s “vulnerability.”

“It took a great amount of courage for Chaplain Lawhorn to discuss his own personal battle with depression,” Berry said. “At no time did he consider himself to be in a ‘preacher’ role.”
Berry called on the Army to rescind the Letter of Concern — calling it a violation of the chaplain’s constitutional rights.

“Not only is it lawful for a chaplain to talk about matters of faith and spirituality and religion in a suicide prevention training class – but the Army policy encourages discussion of matters of faith and spiritual wellness,” Berry told me. “The fact that one person in the class was offended changes nothing.”

Congressman Doug Collins, a Republican lawmaker from Georgia, whose district includes the area where the training session took place, fired off a letter to Col. Fivecoat expressing his concerns in the matter.

“I find it counterintuitive to have someone lead a suicide prevention course but prohibit them from providing their personal testimony,” Collins wrote.

He cited the Army’s Equal Opportunity policy and how it was set up to protect the personal beliefs of military personnel.

“I fear Chaplain Lawhorn’s freedom of expression was improperly singled out,” he wrote.

Liberty Institute tells me the Army will allow me to speak with the chaplain — but not right now. And Col. Fivecoat sent me an email telling me that he would not be able to comment at this point.

If I’m reading between the lines — that Letter of Concern comes pretty close to accusing the chaplain of proselytizing. Crews agrees with my assessment.

“The bottom line is — that is exactly what they are trying to accuse him of — when nothing could be further from the truth,” Crews told me. “The military leadership needs to commend Chaplain Lawhorn, not condemn him.”

Berry said Americans should be shocked and outraged over Chaplain Lawhorn’s punishment.

“His job is to save lives — and he’s being punished for trying to do his job,” Berry said. “He’s doing everything he can to save them – and yet now they’re trying to say – the way you’re doing it offends me.”

I find it both repulsive and heartbreaking to know that we have a military that frowns upon a chaplain using a Bible to save a soldier’s life.

Logic in the Eternal Security Debate

It has been 25 years since I first understood the implications of believing salvation can be lost, especially from the preterist perspective. Also, why is this debate so incredibly important? Some think it is a trivial debate, but is a difference between believing in salvation by grace versus believing in salvation by works. We must not view this difference as secondary, peripheral, non-essential etc. It is a critical difference between the Gospel and a false gospel.

Paul disputed daily about the difference between salvation by grace vs. salvation by works. So must we. In the process of doing this we are often accused of being unloving. While we love people, we can openly argue against error. But some take this as unloving. Therefore we take great care to not attack a person or character but instead we stick with the argument and facts, and we avoid ad hominem attacks. Such attacks are not loving. We judge no man, nor do we state our view of the status of their salvation, pro or con.

But we may freely judge bad philosophy and erroneous doctrine, and if that is considered unloving, then so be it:
1) If we can lose your salvation, who is maintaining it?

If our answer is: we are maintaining it, then is this not salvation by works?

If our answer is: God is maintaining it, and we lost it, then God failed
Now, if we are in the kingdom now, and physical death doesn’t affect our status, but we simply continue living in the kingdom after we die, then, if we can lose our salvation now, why can we not also lose our salvation after we die? That is, if our will is free to lose our salvation now, why is it not also free to lose our salvation after we die?

If we argue that we cannot lose our salvation after we die, are we saying that our will is no longer free after we die? What Scripture teaches that our will is free before we die but not free after we die?

If we answer that our will is not free after we die, what is wrong with saying our will is not free before we die? Spiritually speaking, what is the theological difference? Rather, we conclude that our will is neither free to lose our salvation before we die nor after we die:

John 6:37-39 All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no way cast out. (38) For I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day.

In which part of these promises has God failed? Since we do not believe that God fails, the promise is sure:
1) All that the Father gives to Christ *will* come to Christ. There is no failure in that. It is a guarantee, for it is impossible for God to lie. We believe that Christ told the truth. And this giving us to the Son must happen before we come to the Son. The promise is sure. All those given to the Son *will* come. What is the next promise?
2) and the one who comes to the Son He will in no way cast out. Again, this is a promise and a guarantee. Why? “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me, I should lose nothing…” Again, there is no possibility of an alternative here. Our will is not free to counter the will of the Father. He gave us to the Son, and we came to the Son because we were first given to the Son. And because we were given to the Son, we came to the Son, and the Son promises that we will not be cast out. If one loses their salvation, they were never given to the Son, and they never truly came to the Son: 1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they were of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out so that it might be revealed that they were not all of us.

John is clear in both books. “They were not of us.” He did not say, “They once were of us…” When they went out, *that* was the revelation that they were not all of us: “That it might be revealed that they were not all of us.” Christ did not say, “Depart from Me. I once knew you but then you left.” Rather, Christ says, “Depart from Me. I *never* knew you.” But John doesn’t stop there: He reiterates the promise of God:
John 10:26-29 But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, (27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. (29) My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.

Notice the order: The Pharisees did not believe because they were already not His sheep. All His sheep hear His voice. And the guarantee is certain: “And they follow Me.” That is, they never go away. But they first must be His sheep, whether they were pre AD 70 sheep of the house of Israel or post AD 70 sheep. God’s promise is sure. And it is also sure that “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.” If a believer perishes, then Christ lied. If a believer perishes, then they lost their eternal life, and thus their life was never eternal. Christ would have to lie multiple times if a person can lose their salvation or suddenly stop believing. “No one is able to pluck them out of My hand.” But this promise fails is we pluck ourselves out of His hand, thus we would make God a liar. Why did the Gentiles in the book of Acts believe?

Act 13:48 And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
This goes hand in hand with, “All that the Father gives me will come to Me.” The “ordaining” and the “giving” came first–not the belief. The belief is the result of the ordaining.

Here are the implications of believing one can lose their salvation, and such slander and maligning of God is obvious, if we believe we can lose our salvation:
1. He is not able to perform what He had promised Romans 4:21
2. He will not present me blameless 1 Thessalonians 5:24
3. He did not predestine me unto the adoption as a child Ephesians 1:5
4. There is condemnation for me even though I am in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1
5. Christ has not risen from the dead Romans 6:8-12
6. The Holy Spirit will take back His deposit Ephesians 1:13-14
7. The Holy Spirit did not seal us 2 Corinthians 1:22
8. He will leave me and He will forsake me Hebrews 13:5
9. He will not keep me from falling Jude 24
10. He will not preserve me forever Psalm 37:28
11. The truth (Jesus Christ) will not be with me forever 2 John 2
12. He did not cleanse me from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9
13. His foundation is not sure 2 Timothy 2:19
14. He does not know them that are His 2 Timothy 2:19
15. He will cast me out John 6:37
16. He did not perfect me Hebrews 10:14
17. His prayer for me was not answered John 17:11-12
18. He is not interceding for me Hebrews 7:25
19. He did not complete the work He began in me Philippians 1:6
20. My life is not hid with Christ in God Colossians 3:3
21. I have not passed from death unto life John 5:24
22. He is not able to keep that which I have committed to Him 2 Timothy
1:12
23. I am not at peace with God Romans 5:1
24. I can be plucked out of His hand John 10:28-29
25. I can be separated from the love of God Romans 8:39
26. His righteousness is not everlasting Psalm 119:142
27. His love is not everlasting Jeremiah 31:3
28. He is not immutable Hebrews 6:18
29. He did not keep His promise Hebrews 6:17
30. He is a liar Titus 1:2
The belief that one can lose their salvation has catastrophic effects regarding the nature and character of God and theology proper. Such a belief is not the Gospel but instead is a human-centered fabrication designed to manipulate people by fear and guilt. Such a doctrine produces only fear and torment. Such a doctrine is not a doctrine of love, but rather of fear, self-centeredness, self-worship, and self-deification. It is not the Gospel. It is another Jesus and another Gospel rooted in fear, torment, guilt manipulation, and self-righteousness. It produces a judgmental spirit and creates division.
1Jn 4:18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. (19) We love Him because He first loved us.
Gal 1:6-9 I marvel that you so soon are being moved away from Him who called you into the grace of Christ, to another gospel, (7) which is not another, but some are troubling you, and desiring to pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, and now I say again, If anyone preaches a gospel to you beside what you have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now perfect yourself in the flesh?

By Ward Fenley – Chosen People Royal Priesthood Holy Nation –

The Grand Inquisitor Planet

Understanding the world is difficult at best. However, knowing how the world works is a task that can be readily recognized. The ability to grasp and admit both functions, is seldom achieved by most souls. Those who accomplish a rare and accurate comprehension of the human condition, appreciate the social conflict that permeates civilized life. Society is an invention to effect dominance. The Grand Inquisitor exacts compliance, for that is his function. Not that it is essential, but because it is ingrained and instinctive.

In The Brothers Karamazov, Fydor Dostoevsky has Ivan Karamazov use his intuition to deliver a psychological view of his internal struggle. “My poem is called ‘The Grand Inquisitor’- an absurd thing, but I want you to hear it.” His encounter bears witness to duel aspects of mankind. On the one hand God is needed, even if He is denied; and if His presence is in dispute, humankind will invent His omnipotence in the form of a civil structure.

Enter the Cardinal Grand Inquisitor:

“But you did not know that as soon as man rejects miracles, he will at once reject God as well, for man seeks not so much God as miracles. And since man himself cannot bear to be left without miracles, he will go and create new miracles for himself, his own miracles this time, and will bow down to the miracles of quacks, or women’s magic, though he be rebellious, heretical, and godless a hundred times over.”

“You did not come down again [from the cross] because, again, you did not want to enslave man by a miracle and thirsted for faith that is free, not miraculous…But here, too, you overestimated mankind, for, of course they are slaves, although they were created rebels.” “I swear, man is created weaker and baser than you thought him!”

The refuge of the Church required an obedience to the Cardinal. The primacy of the Holy See demanded submission to Catholicism, not to God. Organization took precedence over belief. Inquisition as an ecclesiastic tribunal to establish membership in good standing could be valid. However, persecution by authorities to force compliance, as the measure of adherence to their system of earthly order; is abhorrent.

The intellectual Karamazov son, Ivan, explains that faith is not easy to understand. The poem also explains that free will is the single greatest burden placed upon any individual. Freedom, according to Ivan’s poem, is intolerable. “The tragic nihilism of the Grand Inquisitor is, in turn, parodied by Ivan’s devil, the “true” devil. The Grand Inquisitor’s secret is that he does not believe in God, but he is a victim of a terrible love for mankind. His indictment of Christ is that Christ himself does not love man and does not understand him; Christ, in refusing to display his powers through miracle, excludes from the State-as-Church most of humanity. Father Zossima is the mystic, and his mysticism has the psychological power of ridding the peasant (most of humanity) of his burden of freedom; the Grand Inquisitor is the mystic-turned-political figure, the organizer and savior of mankind. Both Zossima and the Grand Inquisitor are altruistic, ruled by love of man”.

Basically the modern day parallel, conforms to a parable that has haunted mankind from his inception. The record is real, even when the homily is ridiculed. The political role of the Christendom Church invested authoritarian reign within bishops, in matters of religious rite. Princes and kings accepted canon law as a prerequisite for their own salvation. Civil governments acknowledged influence from Popes and his cardinals because they validated their legitimacy. Public policy was often confirmed by papal sanctification.

As miracles became optional and mystics were relegated to visions that conformed with public policy, the State gradually assumed the supremacy that was once the province of the Church. The excesses of the Grand Inquisitor became the creed of administration by the temporal regime. Their doctrine was taught as the achievement of the common good. Judgment for defining and attaining that criterion rested in the politic that kept the ruling structure in place. Canon law for the holy faithful was cast aside as civic decree transformed into the religion of the State. No longer was belief required to guide behavior; man made codes, regulations and laws determined the appropriate conduct.

Freedom to reject this formula remains as testimony that the work of achieving altruism necessitates the torments of the Grand Inquisitor. Penalties and methods of discipline have become the sacraments of salvation. Redemption, no longer needed – now requires – only uniformity to consummate the religious dogma of contemporary society.

What lesson can be learned, when Ivan says:

“Why, it’s all nonsense, Alyosha (his father). It’s only a senseless poem of a senseless student, who could never write two lines of verse. Why do you take it so seriously? Surely you don’t suppose I am going straight off to the Jesuits, to join the men who are correcting His work? Good Lord, it’s no business of mine. I told you, all I want is to live on to thirty, and then… dash the cup to the ground!”

“But the little sticky leaves, and the precious tombs, and the blue sky, and the woman you love! How will you live, how will you love them?” Alyosha cried sorrowfully. “With such a hell in your heart and your head, how can you? No, that’s just what you are going away for, to join them… if not, you will kill yourself, you can’t endure it!”

“There is a strength to endure everything,” Ivan said with a cold smile.

“The strength of the Karamazovs — the strength of the Karamazov baseness.”

“To sink into debauchery, to stifle your soul with corruption, yes?”

“Possibly even that… only perhaps till I am thirty I shall escape it, and then-”

“How will you escape it? By what will you escape it? That’s impossible with your ideas.”

“In the Karamazov way, again.” “‘Everything is lawful,’ you mean?

Everything is lawful, is that it?”

The popular culture has adopted the Karamazov ethic and the planet has become the dependency of the Grand Inquisitor. The rejection of God, as a condition to serve man, is the work of the devil. Altruism is torture that accentuates agony. Our human nature is condemned to the anguish of permanent suffering, without the eternal relief from atonement. The State is not a vessel for redemption. No government will offer salvation. And no system of administration can or will be a substitute for submission before the living divine creator.

Faith in God obligates distrust and opposition to profane temporal torturers, who promote a forced punishment, as the reward for authentic fidelity. Love for your fellow man, does not necessitate worship of a secular beast. The miracle of life is not a product of a public program. Miracles are the results of revelation. Our nature is designed to embrace faith, not to fear it or renounce its importance. The Grand Inquisitor brotherhood is doomed, when believers deny the lies and revolt against their rule. You have the freedom – show your faith.

SARTRE – Solitary Purdah –

The New World Order: A Battle For Your Soul?

From its very inception, the Leninist/Marxist ideology of the Soviet Union made it a central priority to dispel and subjugate religious and spiritual expression. The state was “god.” No other god could be allowed to flourish, for if the people were given license and freedom of belief in something beyond themselves and beyond the establishment, they would retain a sense of rebellion. The collectivist philosophy requires the utter destruction of all competitors; otherwise, it can never truly prevail.

Atheism became the cult of choice among the communists, for in an atheist world there is nothing beyond the veil. There is no greater goal and no inherent self. There is no true individualism, only self interest (not the same thing), the trappings of environmental circumstances, and the constant substantiation of the greater good. By extension, there is no inborn moral compass or conscience, only the social fashions and mores of the moment. In such a world, tyrants reign supreme because atheism allows relativism to flourish; and any crime, no matter how heinous, can be rationalized. Beyond this, if you know and study the real history of the rise of communism, you know through great researchers like Antony Sutton that the very fabric of the system would never have existed without the monetary and military aid of international financiers (i.e. the NWO).

The atheist position uses the same arguments I have just made as a reason to remove religion and spirituality from our cultural influences. And in some respects, atheists are right. Religion is a tool that can be exploited to manipulate the masses. Any system of belief that is faith-based can be misinterpreted and abused in order to lure unwitting dupes and mindless followers into the fray of an engineered disaster. Atheists commonly argue that it is the encumbering nature of faith that causes mankind to destroy itself in the name of zealotry and self-righteous ignorance.

The difference, however, is that religious zealots are still required by the confines of their dogma to at least appear as though they follow a moral code. Therefore, they can be exposed as violators of this code and weakened over time. The atheist/collectivist system, though, thrives on the concept that there is no such thing as a moral code and that one is vindicated and heroic if he takes extreme action to prove that traditional morality is a vice, rather than a virtue. Atheists in positions of power often make no attempt to affirm their actions; rather, they demand that society abandon all conscience and sense of natural law. They do not ask for forgiveness; they order you to apologize for your moral compass. Are some atheists good and honorable people? Surely. The point, however, remains; atheism is the new flavor of the era, the increasingly predominant gravitational center of modern culture, the philosophical soil in which the NWO has chosen to grow its globalist experiment.

What atheists don’t seem to grasp is that atheism is itself based on an act of faith: faith in the idea that there is nothing beyond our perceptions of existence. They have no more factual knowledge of what lay at the center of life than any of the religious acolytes they so fondly attack, yet their own hypocrisy is apparently lost on them.

By Brandon Smith – A Nation Beguiled –

Idaho City Threatens Christian Pastors with Jail if They Don’t Perform Same-Sex “Weddings”

By Tim Brown – DC Clothesline –

Sodomites have been recently emboldened as lower courts lawlessly have been ruling in their favor and as more of them get in positions of power. Recently, the city of Houston has pushed a “bathroom bill,” which was spearheaded by their queer mayor, Annise Parker, to allow men who are gender confused to use women’s bathrooms. Now, the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is skipping towards Gomorrah in a move that would force Christian pastors to perform same-sex “marriages” or face a violation of unlawful non-discrimination laws.

The city has an ordinance which prohibits discrimination in public accommodations. Among the list of things that can’t be discriminated against are sexual orientation.

The Hitching Post wedding chapel, owned by Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who oppose redefining marriage to include same sex couples have a religious exemption, but they are a for-profit business. So what is the issue?

In 2014, a federal judge in Idaho ruled that the same-sex “marriage” ban was unconstitutional. Upon the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case, the earlier ruling stood.

However, as I pointed out at that time, this is not a federal issue and so anything ruled by the federal judge or the Supreme Court is irrelevant. It is a state issue and on top of that it is a Biblical one in the fact that it is about the defining of marriage. Thus, the governor of Idaho, as well as Scott Walker of Wisconsin and other governors of states that took this issue to the Supreme Court should stand up and say we aren’t following that ruling. It’s unlawful to do so and that court is not the final authority when it comes to this issue.

Donald Knapp has stated openly the real issue. In May, he told KXLY, “I think the Bible is pretty clear that homosexuality is not his way, and therefore I cannot unite people in a way that I believe would conflict with what the Bible teaches.”

Amen! That is the way all Christian people should think.

On Friday, the Knapps were faced with a 180-day jail term and $1000 for every day they decline to perform the “wedding” of a sodomite couple.

Alliance Defending Freedom, the same organization that has stepped into the midst of the lawlessness in Houston, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and federal lawsuit on the Knapps’ behalf.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly. The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.”

“The government exists to protect and respect our freedoms, not attack them,” Tedesco added. “The city cannot erase these fundamental freedoms ….

 
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The Church (According To Christ)

From HisHolyChurch.org –

He came preaching the kingdom of God is at hand. To set men free in Spirit and in Truth from the bondage of this world and the next.

This was His good news, the gospel of the Kingdom, that the kingdom of God was at hand to set all men free from the elements of the world so that they may be free souls under God the Father of heaven and earth.

It was a system and a way that was based on faith, hope, and charity and the perfect law of love and liberty. His message was to bring peace and division. It was the salvation of the world.

The kingdom of God is “one form of government”.

How does the Kingdom of God differ from other governments?

What was this thing called the Church?

Was the early Church doing the same things as what we see the modern churches doing?

Jesus appointed a kingdom to His “little flock”, the apostles.

How does that kingdom relate to that early Church?

What was the role or purpose of that Church?

What should it look like and what should it be doing to fulfill its mission?

There are thousands of views and versions as to what the Church is and what it should be doing, but there is only one man who established the Church. The Church was established by Yahushua* the Messiah, a.k.a. Jesus the Christ. Only He can define the purpose and nature of this thing called the Church. It is His Creation, His appointed institution. It is His Holy Church.

Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness

It is up to each of us to strive, seek, and find out what the Church is according to the intent of the one who established it.

How does it relate to us in our lives and in God’s plan for us?

 
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Former Atheist Academic Who Rejected God and Believed ‘Smart People Don’t Become Christians’ Reveals What Changed Her Mind Entirely

By Billy Hallowell – TheBlaze.com –

As an atheist Dr. Holly Ordway had always felt like she wasn’t quite “God’s type” — that is, until she says she began deeply questioning the ins and outs of the Christian faith.

In her autobiography, “Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms,” Ordway, who directs the Master of Arts in Apologetics Masters program at Houston Baptist University, tackles how she transitioned from an atheist who wasn’t interested in the Almighty to a fervent Christian.

“The title [of the book] reflects pretty much my attitude before I was a Christian,” Ordway recently told TheBlaze. “If I even gave any thought to whether God existed, I thought, ‘It’s not for me … it’s fine for other people, they like that sort of thing.’ I was very much not God’s type.”

As an English professor who looked more at the Bible as a piece of ancient literature than anything to be literally revered or followed, she admitted to once believing that “smart people don’t become Christians.”

“It was more the absence of positive evidence and the general cultural attitude,” Ordway said of her belief that intelligent individuals couldn’t possibly embrace biblical teaching.

It’s a view she now fully repudiates — and her journey to that conclusion is a fascinating one.

Growing up in a nominally Christian home which she described as unreligious, Ordway said that she ended up going off to college, where she embraced the “pervasive assumption that secularism was simply true — that naturalism, evolution — all that explained everything.”

“Faith was a nice thing people did as a hobby or cultural thing,” she recalled believing at the time.

Ordway said it took about 10 years before she began asking the questions that led her out of atheism and into the Christian realm.

Having read Christian writers like J. R. R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis as a child and during her college years, she said that the writings stuck with her and made an impact despite her atheistic worldview.

 
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Christian Website Yanks Column Condemning Islam

By Doug Giles – ClashDaily.com –

The reason Cass asked me to float his column was because his column got canned by Charisma magazine’s website. They originally posted it and then pulled it because, according to an insider, it was causing Charisma to receive threats from … guess who … Muslims. So, being the typical spineless wonders the church has come to be, Charisma yanked it less they tick off the perpetually perturbed Islam.

Let me see if I understand Charisma’s editorial decision making process: Islamists cut our journalists’ heads off, slaughter Christians in mass executions, burn churches to the ground and post it on YouTube, and a “Christian” website is afraid to run a column condemning such atrocities? You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s this kind of cowardice that’ll cause us to lose our religious liberty and possibly our lives.

 

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