Charisma News | Breaking News. Spiritual Perspective. Sun, 26 Mar 2017 20:36:29 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Can the Stars Tell Us Exactly When Jesus Was Born?

This week on March 23rd will mark the 2021st anniversary of the birth of Jesus.

That's right. We believe that we can put together the prophecies, historical data, astronomical data and Scripture to pinpoint the birth of Jesus to March 23, 5 B.C.

We know from Luke 3:23 that Jesus was about 30 when He began His ministry. The prophet Daniel tells us the year of Christ's anointing would come 69 7's, or 483 years, after the decree which sent Ezra to Jerusalem in 458 B.C (Dan. 9:25). Doing the math, and remembering that there is no year "0", Daniel's prophecy says Jesus would begin His ministry in A.D. 26. This year is backed up by two dates from Scripture. John the Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius, A.D. 25 (Luke 3:1) and Jesus cleared the temple the first time 46 years after Herod began renovating it (John 2:20) in 20 BC (According to Josephus), or A.D. 27. Thus, many Bible scholars believe that A.D. 26 is the year Jesus began his ministry. If He was 30 years old, remembering again that there is no year "0", He would have been born in 5 B.C.

Jesus would have been born either in the spring or fall of the year, according to the Scripture surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. John's father, Zechariah was a member of the priestly order of Abijah (Luke 1:5) which, according to rabbinical sources, ministered at the temple in May and November. The Angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah in the Temple, and Zechariah would have gone home and probably conceived John the Baptist in June or December, who would have been born nine months later, in March or September. We know from Scripture that John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:26), so Jesus would have been born in September or March of 5 B.C.

To find the exact time of year, we look to astronomy and archaeology. We know that there was a star that appeared when Jesus was born and that magi from the East, possibly following the prophetic teachings of Daniel the Magi (Dan. 2:48), came looking for Him (Matt. 2:1,2). The Chinese also saw the Star, identifying it as a nova, which appeared in the spring of 5 B.C. and burned for 70 days. Thus, John the Baptist was conceived in December of 7 B.C., Jesus was conceived in June of 6 B.C., John the Baptist was born in September of 6 B.C., and Jesus was born in March of 5 B.C.        

King Herod, the tyrannical ruler of Judea, had interviewed the magi when they arrived in Jerusalem. According to our research, described in The Stars of His Coming, there were signs in the Sun, moon and stars surrounding the birth of Jesus beginning with Zechariah in 7 BC. The magi would have testified to the same date, and for that reason Herod ordered all of the children under 2 years old in Bethlehem to be killed. Josephus tells us that there was a lunar eclipse on Passover and that Herold died later that year. This lunar eclipse, or blood moon, occurred on March 23, 5 B.C. The blood moon occurred in the Spring of 5 B.C., concurrent with the Star of Bethlehem, but one additional piece of evidence is needed to suggest that this is the day Jesus was born.

We find it in Revelation 12:1, 2, which describes a sign in the heavens, a woman clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet at the moment of Christ's birth. The woman clothed in the sun is the zodiacal constellation Virgo (the virgin), which promises that God will send a savior through virgin birth. Astronomical research shows that the blood moon of March 23, 5 B.C. occurred while the moon was in the feet of Virgo. Thus, Revelation 12:12 presents us with a picture of the night sky when Jesus was born, and that night was March 23, 5 B.C.  

Of course, we know that the whole world will continue to celebrate the birthday of Jesus on December 25. In its way, it is fitting to celebrate the advent on the old Roman winter solstice, when it all began with the conception of John the Baptist around the winter solstice of 7 B.C. and signs in the sun, moon and stars begin to appear.

Even so, it is nice to know His real birthday so we in His family can honor Him on His actual birthday.  

Happy Birthday, Jesus!  {eoa}

Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God, and the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage, and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.

Ron Allen Featured Opinion Sun, 26 Mar 2017 17:00:00 -0400
Beware of These Lurking Assassins Seeking to Exterminate Your Call

Beware of the assassins! They are lurking everywhere these days. They release their bullets of destruction through whispers in back rooms, incendiary text messages and passive-aggressive social media messages. Their goal is to annihilate the calling upon people's lives because of their own pain, bitterness and jealousy.

While I am sure that these issues are not new, I am frankly taken aback by the blatant non-biblical behavior of many leaders and ministers who should know better. It seems that everywhere you turn there are unfounded, opinion-based accusations being released against some of God's choice servants. 

Unfortunately, this is very easy to get swept into. You meet someone and have a thought about them, then without thinking, you share that thought with a close friend, and from there it spreads. It seems innocent, but there really is an evil spirit behind these attacks. I am sad to say that I have also been swept up in these episodes, only to be convicted and realize I had participated in hell's agenda. I have also been on the receiving end of nasty verbal assaults reflecting no character at all made behind my back.

Recently, I was in a major U.S. city where a young millennial leader is doing a phenomenal work for God. This leader is being used by God to affect the masses and win the harvest. I was stunned when another leader made unfounded accusations in a back room that amounted to nothing less than character assassination. This seems to be a rising trend. If you are upset with someone else's promotion, just sling a little mud and jump to a conclusion with no evidence, only your opinion. In fact, say the worst possible thing you can, and then leave it out there in the air as a demonic seed to be planted in other people's minds. 

"Refuse to listen to suspicious accusations against the pastors who lead the flock unless you have two or three witnesses to confirm the accusations" (1 Tim. 5:19, Passion Translation).

This verse is abundantly clear in that there are guidelines for accusations against a leader. They must be established in fact. There needs to be clear evidence of some type of moral misconduct, not simply someone's ideas, offense or opinions. These types of serious allegations have enduring consequences for the person involved, their ministry and their family. Disqualifying behavior is that which goes against the Word of God in a clear-cut fashion. It is not the opinion of one leader against another. It is not a social media post or series of posts that a person does not like. It is not style or presentation. It is clear misconduct with facts to back it up. 

Far too often we are damaging the reputation and ministry of a person based solely on unfounded lies. We can and should do better. We should display a spirit of maturity and a higher regard for God's Word. We should rightly discern the difference between our own personal preferences and moral misconduct. It is fine not to bear witness to a person's ministry or to prefer a different style, but it is not biblically correct to jump from that to an unfounded slander attack.

What about the one who is being attacked? 

"All day long my enemies would crush me, for there are many who arrogantly battle against me ... In the day I cry to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, that God is for me" (Ps. 56:2, 9, MEV). 

Follow David's advice: Recognize that God is for you! If you are attacked or maligned, just keep your heart planted in the Father. He will not only defend you, but He will promote you right in front of your enemies. Promotion comes to the submitted. In fact, it is often the promotion that garners the attacks. 

Do not veer off course. Stay planted in your purpose and keep doing what God has called you to do. Pray for those who are cursing you and let the Father wash your heart with His love. Do not allow bitterness to take root in your heart. One thing I have learned well, character will outlive a lie. Let your life, your fruit, your integrity speak.

We can all do better in this area. Let's be a little slower to speak about certain issues. Let's separate our opinions from attacks. Let's develop better self-discipline and work on being silent in some situations. Let's uphold and honor the Word when dealing with God's servants. The kingdom is far too glorious to be swept up in the tactics of the enemy. {eoa}

Ryan LeStrange started in ministry after training and serving under his spiritual father, Dr. Norvel Hayes. Ryan and his wife, Joy, lead Impact International Ministries, based in Bristol, Virginia. The ministry consists of several local churches and revival ministries. Through Ryan LeStrange Ministries, he travels the globe preaching, igniting revival and moving in the power of God. Ryan can be seen weekly on his television program, Power 4 Today, airing around the world on GodTV. He is the founder and apostle of Impact International Apostolic Fellowship, networking and fathering ministers around the world. Ryan has written several books releasing an apostolic and prophetic perspective to the body of Christ.

Ryan LeStrange Featured Opinion Sun, 26 Mar 2017 15:00:00 -0400
This Venomous Enemy Has Already Infected Countless Believers

In this segment, we will discuss how many believers have been bitten by a venomous enemy known as "Offense" and how once it circulates through the bloodstream, it will begin to manifest in our words and actions. {eoa}

Ricky Scaparo is a former pastor and founder of the international ministry End Time Headlines. This ministry has exploded over the past few years, attracting hundreds of thousands of followers and subscribers via the website ( and social media streams. Ricky provides resources to equip believers and to inform the discerning of the signs and seasons in which we live. His mission is to inform his readers and viewers of prophetic events and how they are unfolding before our very eyes thru news and headlines presented from a prophetic perspective in light of the Holy Bible.This ministry is also an outreach ministry that presents the gospel to the lost thru preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

This article originally appeared at

Ricky Scaparo Featured Opinion Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0400
Prophetic Word: 'My Roof-Tearing Angels Have Been Released'

Spiritual Weather Forecast: A Writer's Storm Is Coming!

I just read the late breaking news on the winter storm approaching the East Coast, where I live. As I read the headlines, instead of the word "winter," I saw the word "writer." I then knew this was the Lord speaking to me. I heard Him say, "A writers' storm is coming! I'm sending a storm of writers who will write with the pen of transparency of heart and revelation. Their words will seem at first like innocent snowflakes falling. Then without warning, these words will gather momentum, causing spiritual blizzard conditions with avalanches of My Spirit falling on the hearts of nations."

My Roof-Tearing Angels Have Been Released

"Palaces and prisons will witness miracles appearing like snow falling inside of them as their roof tops weaken under the heavy snowfall of My glory, coming from this writer's storm. No house is exempt. These writings under My unction will have built in radar to find their readers. Men, women and children, weary and worn, will rise again to take the kingdoms of this world. My roof-tearing angels have been released and they have your address."

"This writer's storm will not end with Spring approaching. It will snowball throughout this summer and the rest of the year and continue storming the gates of hell."

After receiving this word, I discovered Jennifer LeClaire's awesome writing event video that reveals her revelation of a scribe anointing being released beginning in March. The Lord is strongly confirming His call for scribes to come forth. Check it out at {eoa}

Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 36 years where he is now an elder and a home missionary. He is currently an adviser-at-large for Aglow International. Bill faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope for 23 years and now travels full-time, both in the U.S. and internationally, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. "Humility and humor" characterize his ministry as he brings forth a fresh word that is "in season," proclaiming the word of the Lord. The shofar (or ram's horn) is often used in his meetings, breaking the powers of darkness over regions, churches and households. The shofar represents God's breath blowing into the nostrils of His people, reviving them and awakening the lost. Many of God's messages, which Bill ministers prophetically, come out of his everyday life with his family and friends. Please visit Bill's website at

Bill Yount Featured Opinion Sun, 26 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0400
Chuck Pierce: God Is Exposing Hidden Gold Veins—and Unholy Alliances

This Hebraic Year, 5777, is a year of gold. At the beginning of the year, I shared how we need to understand both its physical and spiritual significance. I have watched for how gold would be addressed in the news, and loved one of the Fox News headlines that came out earlier this week: "California Flooding Has Exposed Gold Veins Hidden for 200 Years!" The March 14th article by Michael Harthorne went on to say:

This winter's flooding in Northern California has done more than bring relief after years of drought; it's created the prospect of the best gold prospecting in 20 years. Gold hunters in the area tell the Chico Enterprise-Record the floods have "rearranged the rivers" and "moved things around." That means gold veins that have been hidden for 200 years are suddenly exposed. According to CBS San Francisco, the floods also swept gold out of abandoned mines and washed it downriver. While KCRA reports that gold can simply be picked off the ground following major flooding, the best prospecting will come in the summer months when the water has receded."

Vicki Nohrden of Wind and Fire Ministries reminded me of a prophecy I had released in San Jose, California on Sept. 13, 2012—Prophecy by Chuck Pierce:

The rivers of this state shall begin to fill, for this is a season that the heavens are shaking. In the midst of the heavens shaking, you are on the verge of the greatest breakthrough that you've ever know in the state. Do not back up! Do not back up! The rivers will now begin to fill and flood, and the rivers that have never contended will now begin to contend. There will be a divine splitting at places that you would not have thought that rivers would overflow and split.

There will be a splitting of what was joined together here in California. California will now unhook its unholy alliances. The rivers will rise and all unholy alliances will begin to split. The bitterness of the robbing of the gold and structure of resources in this state now will come to a head, and a new reconciliation will occur and a new glory arise. Along the main river system of this state there has been great contention, and great iniquity has been performed.

That which has caused demons to root in and hold this state captive will now be rooted out through worship. A new apostolic breed is arising through this state. There will be a great shaking in the north as a sign, and great splitting of the river system where it's never split before. In the midst of it you will know that which was rooted deep now has lost its control of this state; that which has ruled the heavens has lost its authority to rule. A whole new party structure will arise from this state that creates a new move throughout this land.

Do not back up! Do not back up when the rains begin to fall! I will send a sign upon this state that says the monetary structure will now change. I will cause My people who have rejected My move, and moved in My move up to the point of breakthrough and then backed off, to now arise as a kingdom people. The wind will not only blow, but the fire of God will come and this state will become a glory bed for My kingdom purposes. Let the visions come and the handshakes begin to let go. Begin to form new and form afresh!

Declare that California is being aligned in a new way! Wherever you live, welcome the outpouring of heaven into your region so that hidden veins can be uncovered for God's purposes to manifest in new ways! {eoa}

Charles D. "Chuck" Pierce serves as President of Global Spheres, Inc. (GSI) in Corinth, Texas. This is an apostolic, prophetic ministry that is being used to gather and mobilize the worshipping Triumphant Reserve throughout the world. Chuck also serves as President of Glory of Zion International Ministries, a ministry that aligns Jew and Gentile. He is known for his accurate prophetic gifting which helps direct nations, cities, churches and individuals in understanding the times and seasons in which we live. Chuck and his wife, Pam, have six children and seven grandchildren. He has authored over 20 books, including the best-sellers Interpreting the TimesRedeeming the Time and Time to Defeat the Devil.

Chuck Pierce Featured Opinion Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0400
One Dead, 14 Wounded at Cincinnati Nightclub Shooting

Gunfire erupted inside a packed nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio, early Sunday morning, killing at least one person and injuring 14, and police said they were still looking for the shooter.

The motive was unclear, but Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate said on Twitter that "there are no indications this incident is terrorism related."

The shooting took place around 1 a.m. when hundreds of people were inside the Cameo Nightlife club, which the Cincinnati Police Department said has had "multiple problems" in the past.

"At this point it's unclear exactly what instigated the shooting," Captain Kimberly Williams said at a televised briefing. "Just a lot of chaos when the shots went off."

The shooting comes less than a year after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Police initially said they believed at least two shooters were involved in Cincinnati, but later Neudigate said in a Twitter message that there was only one reported gunman, though police were still trying to determine if there were others.

Hours after the shooting, the suspect was still at large, and police did not have a good description, in part because witnesses were reluctant to cooperate, Williams told WCPO.

"We are in the middle of a very horrific situation that occurred at the nightclub with multiple victims," Neudigate told NBC News.

"It's going to be a long night for our homicide units to investigate this incident, but right now things are stable." Several of the victims in Cincinnati had life-threatening injuries, WLWT-TV reported on its website, quoting Neudigate, who said hundreds of people were in the nightclub at the time of shooting.

The University of Cincinnati Medical Center admitted eight people injured in the shooting, one of them in critical condition, a spokeswoman told NBC News. A representative of the hospital could not be reached immediately for comment.

Cameo Nightlife's Facebook page says it features "College Friday's" for students 18 and older and "Saturday's 21+ grown and sexy night."

The club, a large single-story structure, is a 7-mile (11 km) drive from downtown Cincinnati near the southeast corner of the city, the heart of the second largest metropolitan area in Ohio with more than 2 million residents. {eoa}

© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Caleb Hughes/Reuters Featured U.S. News Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:42:00 -0400
A Powerful Tool for Faithfully Stewarding Your Dreams and Visions

Have you ever gotten amazing revelation from the Lord, but over time, you forgot what He said? There are three very important steps in properly discerning revelation: receiving, properly interpreting and then applying it with appropriate action. But often there is a breakdown keeping us from seeing the fulfillment of what was spoken. This doesn't have to be the case. The frequently overlooked, yet simple spiritual key of journaling can move you miles down the road toward applying your revelation! Journaling is a tried and tested tool for stewarding revelation. Don't underestimate its power to aid you in hearing and discerning the voice of God in your life.

Habakkuk 2:1-3 gives us some amazing insights. "I will stand at my watch and station myself on the watchtower; and I will keep watch to hear what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me: Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it delays, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay."

Your personal journaling might not only be about your life. It might also be used to help to give direction and assurance to others! Journaling not only brings you confirmation and direction over time, but a record of our revelation may be used to strengthen and encourage others. That is why it is so important to record your revelatory encounters so that anyone who reads them (perhaps even years later) may gain faith and courage to run to the battle and declare, "Is there not a cause!"

Steward Revelation by Journaling

There are many valid forms of journaling. Sometimes I record my prayers and the subsequent answers. Other times I sit and compose love letters to Jesus, quiet my soul and wait on His response to my initiative. This form of journaling is often referred to as "communing with the Holy Spirit." Remember, good communication is a two-way street. We talk, then we listen. We listen, then we respond.

But today I want to highlight the art of journaling that records the details of what was spoken or shown to you. Include a summary of the content, the time and date it occurred and even where you were geographically when the Holy Spirit spoke to you. Consider including the primary emotion involved in the experience. Following these simple procedures will be an enormous help for future reference. This form of revelatory journaling includes a log of your dreams, visions, impressions, visitations and any other forms of God-encounters.

God speaks to His children much of the time. However, we do not always differentiate His voice from our own thoughts, and thus we are hesitant to take action on what we have heard. If we record what He is speaking, however, we will eventually notice confirmations of His voice and word. This enables us to walk out God's words with greater confidence. Journaling becomes a way of sorting God's thoughts from our own.

A Personal Peek Into My Revelatory Life

I have kept many different types of journals over the years. After Michal Ann passed away, I simply recorded my thoughts, feelings and emotions for the first year. I titled this "The Journal of a Searching Man." After one year, I closed out that journal and shifted to "The Journal of a Hopeful Man." Other journals of mine are summaries of significant dreams and visions I have received.

Some of the greatest treasures I possess to this day are Michal Ann's hand-written journals. One day the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "There is a surprise waiting for you in the top drawer of the night stand." I had not looked in that drawer, and much to my surprise, I found different-sized notebooks with Michal Ann's distinct handwriting.

I found the one she used in 1993, which included her record of the incredible nine straight weeks of nightly angelic visitations. Am I ever glad she journaled! I can look back on those encounters and receive a fresh infusion of faith, hope and love.

Strategic Missing Link Solved

Many believers have discovered that the simple act of recording revelation solved one of the strategic missing links in their journey of hearing and discerning the voice of God. Over time, you too will find a continuity of language that emerges. You will notice divine suggestions and develop an art of interpreting symbols that only matures as you grow in your journaling experience.

So just get started and do it! Journaling will help you to properly respond to the voice of God and enable you to walk in assurance that He really is guiding you along the way. {eoa}

James Goll Featured Opinion Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:00:00 -0400
Discerning Unhealthy Alignments That Block Your Prophetic Destiny

In order to achieve the destiny that God has placed upon your life, you need clear vision, commitment, investment and unwavering faith. You must advance with absolute determination and resolve. You will fight inner thoughts of doubt and insecurity. You will face resource and timing challenges. You will confront demonic opposition and strong winds of adversity. All of these things are normal challenges for those with radical dreams and a pioneering spirit. Vision is not a single step but a coordinated series of purpose-driven actions, all leading toward a determined end.

One of the most crucial elements of your destiny is rightly discerning the correct relationships and quickly identifying the wrong ones. Right alignments bring supernatural acceleration, joy and fruitfulness. A right alignment can become a spring in the desert. The opposite is true of an unhealthy alignment. To achieve great destiny, you will have to say no to some presumptuous people.

"Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man you will not go, lest you learn his ways and get a snare to your soul" (Prov. 22:24-25).

Presumptuous people enter your life in an attempt to alter your course and bend your will. Webster's online dictionary defines presumptuous as: "overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy) or taking liberties." A part of the commitment that you must make to your appointed destiny is to draw clear boundaries and establish priorities.

Presumptuous people:

  • Demand what they have not earned. They expect from you what they are not entitled to and will use guilt as a means to get their way.

  • Assume they have access when it has not been granted. I often encounter people who wrongly assume they should be granted wide-open access in my life. These people ask for favors, time and investment that our relationship clearly does not dictate.

  • Fail to recognize healthy boundaries and authority. Everything God does has honor in it. Part of that honor is proper submission and recognition of authority. In any type of leadership position, there are boundaries and requirements that should be observed. God expects His children to recognize and submit to authority in every segment of society.

  • Freely prophesy with no regard for authority, culture or order. Prophetic presumption can lead to dangerous results. Healthy ministries teach and train people how to prophesy with honor for the culture of the house. Presumptuous prophetic people refuse this wisdom and often create unnecessary drama.

  • Lay hands on you without any invitation. (This one gets me.) I simply do not understand this type of behavior. I don't want anyone and everyone laying hands on me and releasing various words. No! It is not because I am afraid I am going to pick up a demon; there is no room, my inn is full. I am full of oil, and the devil cannot live where there is Holy Ghost oil and fire. I do not want to have to waste my time breaking some type of foolishness off myself or others that came forth from a presumptuous person. If the person who approaches you does not know you, and they are not speaking at the meeting, they should ask before laying hands on anyone. 

  • Consider their objective more valuable than yours. They place greater emphasis on their own goals and responsibilities than yours. Presumptuous people do not respect your time or goals. Allowing these types of people access will delay your progress.

  • Often want the benefit of authentic relationship without the sacrifices and investment. True relationships require investment and long-term commitment. Many times in ministry, I see people who want the benefits of being a spiritual son or daughter, but they refuse the long-term commitment and work.

When presumptuous people try to cram their agenda down your throat, you must be bold. Respect the priorities and boundaries heaven has established in your life. Be willing to say no to the wrong things so that you can say yes to the right things. Refuse to be manipulated into doing what you are not graced to do. If you do not set healthy goals and boundaries, you will not rise in this season. Do not let the presumptuous people push you around. Stand your ground.

"The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion" (Prov. 18:21). {eoa}

Ryan LeStrange started in ministry after training and serving under his spiritual father, Dr. Norvel Hayes. Ryan and his wife, Joy, lead Impact International Ministries, based in Bristol, Virginia. The ministry consists of several local churches and revival ministries. Through Ryan LeStrange Ministries, he travels the globe preaching, igniting revival and moving in the power of God. Ryan can be seen weekly on his television program, Power 4 Today, airing around the world on GodTV. He is the founder and apostle of Impact International Apostolic Fellowship, networking and fathering ministers around the world. Ryan has written several books releasing an apostolic and prophetic perspective to the body of Christ.

This article originally appeared at

Ryan LeStrange Featured Opinion Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:00:00 -0400
Exposing the Devil's 3 Slanderous Lies That Keep You in Emotional Bondage

A common question many believers ask is: "How can I control my emotions as a Christian?"

My new interview series features the best encouragement on managing emotions from noted Christian authors.

Our first inspirational interview is with Athena Dean Holtz. A Christian publisher, speaker, author, blogger, radio personality and pastor's wife, Athena's latest book is Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God.

Read the interview below:

1. What are your favorite Scriptures that help you manage your emotions and why?

  • "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7)
  • "May all my enemies be ashamed and greatly terrified; may they turn back and be suddenly ashamed" (Ps. 6:10).

Both of these Scriptures provide next steps in order for us to focus on Christ to manage our emotions. Each one gives us something to do.

Instead of being anxious, pray with thanksgiving, trusting Him to answer those prayers and take care of the situation that is causing us to be anxious.

As we obey Him in this small step, His peace guards our hearts and minds. Although the situation may not change, He is faithful to teach us to trust Him for the outcome that will glorify Him best.

I know one of my weaknesses is to assume the worst. When my emotions start ruling my world, it's time to be still. To slow down. To focus on the one who loves me more than life itself.

As I do that, I am able to take my thoughts captive and remember that my God is sovereign. Nothing happens to me that He doesn't know about. I can trust Him.

2. What are three of your best tips to help others manage their emotions in godly ways?

  • Understand that the enemy prowls around, like a roaring lion, seeking who he might devour. Put on your armor, every day.  Speak out loud as in the statements below:

Today, I put on the belt of truth. Lord, help me to speak only the truth today (Eph. 6:14).

I put on the breastplate of righteousness, that my heart might be right before You (Eph. 6:14).

I shod my feet in the gospel of peace, that I might go wherever You send me today (Eph. 6:15).

I lift up the shield of faith to protect me from every fiery darts of the evil one (Eph. 6:16).

I put on the helmet of salvation, which is the mind of Christ. Lord, let me have Your thoughts today (Eph. 6:17).

I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword. Help me to use that sword against every lie of the evil one that comes my way today (Eph. 6:17).

And I pray in the Spirit when I need to talk to You today (Eph. 6:18).

Thank You, Lord, that You don't leave me unprotected, but give me Your glory as a rear guard (Is.  58:8).

And so, I choose the will of God, and I refuse the will of Satan. (Is. 7:14-15).

Spirit of God, rule and reign in my life (Ps.51:10).

Rule and reign in my thoughts, my attitudes, my emotions, my feelings (2 Cor. 10:5).

In every area, Spirit of God, I seek first Your kingdom and give You permission to rule and reign (Matt. 6:33).

And I pray against every strategy of the evil one to rob my joy, faith and courage, and ask You to render every one of those unholy strategies ineffective, in the name of Jesus.

Amen (Eph. 6:10-13).

  • Bathe yourself in worship music. He inhabits the praises of His people. Worshiping Him changes our perspective and softens our hearts towards Him.
  • Surrender all your fears, doubts, anxieties, loneliness and every other negative emotion to Him. Tell Him how you feel. He already knows it, but He wants to hear you admit your struggle. Don't be afraid to lament. Cry out as David did, pour out your heart to Him, for He is your refuge (Ps. 62:8).

3. What sabotaging thoughts (lies) do Believers need to release that keep them in bondage to negative emotions? 

  • Lie #1: God doesn't really care about you.
  • Lie #2: You'll never measure up to what He expects.
  • Lie #3: The world is a scary place and God isn't concerned with the details of your life

4. What are some things believers can do at the "moment of decision" when they are tempted to practice destructive behavior when emotionally upset?

  • Bind every strategy of the unholy realm that would try to influence you towards destructive behavior, in Jesus' name.
  • Loose the mind of Christ and His peace to flood your mind, will and emotions, in Jesus' name (Matt. 16:19).
  • Turn on worship music and sing out loud.
  • Surrender fully to God and ask Him to change your emotions and give you the mind of Christ. {eoa}

Connect with Athena Dean Holtz at

This article originally appeared at

Kimberly Taylor with Athena Dean Holtz Featured Opinion Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0400
Husband, This Is What It Looks Like to Love Your Wife as Jesus Does

When Percy Sledge or Michael Bolton begin to sing "When a Man Loves a Woman," the ladies swoon and scream. And if you as a husband love your wife that way, she's likely to respond in a similar fashion.

That song, still heard 50 years after it first came out, speaks to something deep in the hearts of human beings, something God put there, something that differentiates a successful marriage from an unsuccessful one. Regardless of how hard the enemy tries to distort and complicate it, loving your woman well will keep her heart close to yours and make your relationship intimate and strong. That's something of what it means to love your wife like Christ.

Let's get the objections out of the way right now. Life is complicated, and human beings are broken. God has given your wife free will also, and she has the option to refuse your love. Women can cause men enormous pain (the song implies that too), and your needs are important. I have some very strong things to say to women who behave badly toward their husbands.

But as a man God has gifted you with the responsibility and the power to be as Christ to your wife. Nothing happens—spiritually, emotionally or sexually —until you step up. It's vulnerable, scary and perhaps overwhelming, but that's what God has called you to do.

And you can do it.

Cherish Your Wife

Paul said, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25).

I think the best word to describe this kind of love is "cherish."

What do you do when you cherish something? For a moment think of it in terms other than your wife. What is super-important to you? What keeps you excited, passionate and interested? Perhaps it's fishing, baseball, golf, computer programming, classic cars, the stock market or music. How would someone else know of your interest?

It would actually be quite easy to tell what you cherish. You study everything about your passion, seek to improve your skill in it and invest significant amounts of time, money and energy. You say no to other seemingly good things in order to have more to invest. You protect and care for your golf clubs, your fishing gear, or your musical instrument – perhaps even at the expense of aspects of your personal comfort and well-being.

That's how you cherish your wife. You study her, seek to understand her, notice what makes her happy, sad, invigorated or depleted. You constantly and proactively strive to win her heart and love her even better than before, and invest significant amounts of time, money and energy in your relationship. You say no to things that would threaten your connection with her. You protect and care for her, treating her as the most valuable and precious thing in your life—even when doing so costs more than you thought you had to give.

In short, you give yourself for her just as Christ gave Himself for us.

A marriage and family therapist told me once that she has never met a woman who would not willingly and gratefully submit to a man who truly loves her this unselfishly and completely. Your wife may be an exception, but I doubt it.

What "Cherishing" Looks Like

Unless someone handcuffed you and dragged you to the chapel, you won your wife's heart once. If your connection has weakened, perhaps it's time to win her heart all over again. Yes, there are things your wife is supposed to do, but we're talking about you right now. Just step up and do it. Get creative if you have to.

Knowing your wife's love language helps. So does spending some time thoughtfully imagining things from her perspective. If you've been less than the ideal husband in some ways, there's no time like the present to pick up the challenge.

I felt so treasured, loved and cherished by my husband, and that's one of the big things I miss now that he's passed away. Each couple has their unique ways of relating, but these are a few possible ways that may tell your wife how important she is to you.

  • Take her hand, or put your arm around her, and pray for her. Do it even if you feel awkward. It's OK if your words are few and hesitant. Just bring her before the Lord, and ask Him to bless her.
  • Notice something she cares about and ask her more about it. See what matters in her world and take a step into her world with her. Show by your attention that "what matters to you matters to me."
  • See where she is struggling and offer your support. That may be in practical matters such as household chores. It may be with her internal struggles such as self-esteem or worry. You may not be able to fix it, but be there, tackling the issue together.
  • Listen to her with your undivided attention. Staying there and listening when your wife is emotional may feel uncomfortable, but it may be the best gift you can give. Again, don't worry about fixing it. She needs you to hear her.
  • Speak well of her to others. No underhanded compliments or snide remarks. Let her hear you saying how proud you are to have her as your wife – and why.

Accept the Challenge

This has been me, a woman, giving you as a husband some insight on how to have the kind of relationship with your wife that makes you proud, makes her display her beauty and makes God smile. It may sound difficult, but I believe you can do this. It's not a guarantee, but loving your wife this way will open the possibility to the kind of adventurous and satisfying marriage you want.

God has placed within you the capability, desire and responsibility to be this kind of husband to your wife. You have what it takes. Will you accept the challenge?

"When a man loves a woman," all kinds of good things happen.

Question: As a husband, how well are you loving your wife like Christ? What is the most challenging aspect of doing so? Leave a comment below! {eoa}

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained Doctor of Ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at

This article originally appeared at

Carol Peters-Tanksley Featured Opinion Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0400
Launch Your War Room With These 10 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures

Are you thinking of finally creating a war room?

I am sure you're wondering what you need to get started.
Wondering what verses to put on your wall to help encourage your heart and prepare you spiritually for your day.

God's Word is powerful and it helps to lay a strong foundation in our spirit so that when we encounter that cranky person,

That road-rager
That micro-managing boss
That gossiping co-worker
That nit-picky neighbor

We are able to reach out and grasp God's grace more easily and extend it more freely.

Here are 10 Powerful Verses to Begin Your War Room

Colossians 3:12-15 – "So embrace, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, a spirit of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering. Bear with one another and forgive one another. If anyone has a quarrel against anyone, even as Christ forgave you, so you must do. And above all these things, embrace love, which is the bond of perfection. Let the peace of God, to which also you are called in one body, rule in your hearts. And be thankful."

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Isaiah 41:10 – "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

John 14:27 – "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Philippians 4:13 – "I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me."

Psalm 37:4 – "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

1 Peter 5:7 – "Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you."

Galatians 5:22-23 – "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law.

Psalm 27:1 – "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom will I be afraid?"

Matthew 5:6 – "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live with their two active boys, where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.

Rosilind Jukic Featured Opinion Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0400
Why London Proves Theology Has Profound Effects

The hideous attack in London earlier this week is a stark reminder that one's theology has profound effects, not only for the adherent but for others. Make no mistake. This evil act was more theologically motivated than politically motivated.

The British people and their leaders are to be commended for calling this barbarism what it is, and for their solidarity and resolve not to cower to such acts of anarchy.

Mere religion that is devoid of the love of God will always ultimately turn brutal. Ideologies that are weak at their core often resort to violence for their propagation. May God grant revelation for people to see the obvious. The terrorist's message ends in death and destruction. The gospel message brings life and peace. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deut. 30:19). 

Such terrorists are in collusion with the devil himself. Referring to the evil one, Jesus said, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10a). But in glorious juxtaposition, our Lord Jesus immediately said, "I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10b). Religion minus God's love is dark and deadly. But the gospel bursts with light and life.

In our sin-drenched world, everything we hold dear in this life we can only hold lightly. Life here on earth is tenuous and short. James called it a "vapor" (James 4:14). But followers of Jesus are comforted to know life doesn't end here. Life goes on—better life, eternal life. We are people with an anchor when everything around us seems unhinged. We are anchored in the gospel, and we are anchored upward. {eoa}

David Shibley is the founder of Global Advance. 

David Shibley Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:45:00 -0400
'Long-Overdue' Project Gets President Trump's Blessing

Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump signed the presidential permit approving the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

During a press event at the White House with TransCanada President Russ Girling, he discussed the impact this "long-overdue" project will have on America. He said:

Thank you very much for being here this morning. Today, I'm pleased to announce the official approval of the presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. TransCanada will finally be allowed to complete this long-overdue project with efficiency and with speed. We're working out the final details as we speak. It's going to be an incredible pipeline, greatest technology known to man or woman. And frankly, we're very proud of it. 

Russ Girling, President of TransCanada, is right behind me, and I'm going to have him say a few words. I know, Russ, you've been waiting for a long, long time. And I hope you don't pay your consultants anything because they had nothing to do with the approval. (Laughter.) You should ask for the hundreds of millions of dollars back that you paid them because they didn't do a damn thing except get a no vote, right?

It's a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North American and energy independence. This announcement is part of a new era of American energy policy that will lower costs for American families—and very significantly—reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create thousands of jobs right here in America.

And I also would like to add I think it's a lot safer to have pipelines than to use other forms of transportation for your product. 

When completed, the Keystone XL pipeline will span 900 miles—wow—and have the capacity to deliver more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day to the Gulf Coast refineries. That's some big pipeline.

The fact is that this $8 billion investment in American energy was delayed for so long—it demonstrates how our government has too often failed its citizens and companies over the past long period of time. Today, we begin to make things right and to do things right. Today we take one more step in putting the jobs, wages, and economic security of American citizens first. Put America first. 

As the Keystone XL pipeline now moves forward, this is just the first of many energy and infrastructure projects that my administration will approve—and we've already approved a couple of other big ones, very, very big ones, which we'll be announcing soon—in order to help put Americans back to work, grow our economy and rebuild our nation. 

And with that, I'd like to invite Russ to say a few words. Russ is a very highly respected man in the energy world. He's president of TransCanada. And I know you'll do a fantastic job, Russ, and get it up and hire plenty of American people.

Girling then said:

Thank you, Mr. President. And this is a very, very important day for us—for our company. So on behalf of thousands of people that have worked very hard to get here—as you've pointed out, very long time to get here—but we're very relieved, and very much just want to get to work.

Some of those folks I have with me today—the building trades with Sean McGarvey; some of you—construction contractor, Quanta; our pipe suppliers from Welspun. There's [sic] thousands of people that are just ready and itching to get to work. We got a lot of work to do in the field, but as you pointed out, this is the safest and most reliable way to move our products to market. We're going to use the best technology and be able to create thousands of jobs and important tax revenues in local communities.

That's something often that's overlooked in new projects like this, is local communities benefit greatly from these projects. It gives them tax revenues in which they can invest in schools, hospitals, roads, teachers, nurses—all of those things—build the fabric of communities and make those places better for those folks to live.

So, again, thank you very much for this opportunity, and we're not going to let you down, sir.

Trump then added:

I know the voters appreciate this. Some of them expressed it very, very strongly. The workers definitely appreciate it. The building trades' heads didn't, but now maybe they're going to start to. Where are my building trades guys? I think they're going to start to, because other people were not going to be signing this bill. That I can tell you. And if it ever did get done, it would be years. But I don't think it would have ever gotten done.

So we put a lot of people to work, a lot of great workers to work, and they did appreciate it. And they appreciated it, Russ, very much at the polls, as you probably noticed. And so we're very happy about it.

The final hurdle for TransCanada is some state-level permitting issues with Nebraska, and getting easements from local land owners. That may take a few more months. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:00:00 -0400
Paul Manafort to Testify Before Congress

If the euphemism that American politics is like making sausage, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been around the factory long enough to know you don't eat the hot dogs.

In other words, you don't willingly put yourself at risk when you know you've done something you shouldn't.

So, the curious case of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election took yet another odd turn Friday when House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that Manafort would be interviewed by his committee. But beyond that, reports indicate that it was Manafort's attorneys who reached out to Nunes to make their client available for any questions he might have.

In addition to Manafort, former Trump campaign manager Roger Stone, who remains a close confidant to the president, has also made himself available to the committee, should it wish to interview him. In fact, Stone is demanding to have the opportunity to speak out publicly about the matter.

Meanwhile, Nunes has cancelled scheduled testimony by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Navy Adm. Mike Rogers were also scheduled to appear at the open hearing, but their testimony will now take place in a closed session—which has infuriated Democrats.

Nunes said what he found in recently leaked intelligence intercepts was "concerning," and he wants to ask the intelligence chiefs questions they won't be able to answer in a public setting. Evidence that he might have stumbled upon an actual problem quickly sprang up when the Washington Post's editorial board demanded that he be investigated as well. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:00:00 -0400
Dr. Michael Youssef: Does London Attack Prove the 'Barbarians Are Here'?

Following the tragic terror attacks in London this week, Leading The Way's founder and president Dr. Michael Youssef says it's vital more than ever that Christians stand firm in their faith and wake up to these radical Islamist threats.

"I grieve deeply for the victims and the people of the U.K., especially as I have so many friends there," he said. "This is the time when we must uphold the faith without compromise. We need to stand up for the truth of the gospel as we reach out even to militants, telling them in love that the truth can only be found in Jesus Christ.

"We also need to pray for these militants to be converted. We're seeing radical Muslims come to Christ, even a former ISIS leader, through our ministry at Leading The Way. The God I believe in is the God of the impossible, and they can be reached."

In his latest book, The Barbarians Are Here, Dr. Youssef offers clear insight into the motives and mission of Islamic extremists. He offers practical steps we can take right now to begin a New Reformation that will restore the hope of Western civilization.

Dr. Youssef concluded: "The ultimate call of this book is for a return to the purity of the gospel. We are not doomed to destruction, even though the barbarians are already here. But we haven't a moment to lose. This is the cry of my heart—that this book will wake up the church to be serious about their faith and prayer."

To find out more about the book go to: {eoa}

This article originally appeared on Assist News Service.

Peter Wooding/ANS Featured World News Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:00:00 -0400
Prophetic Voices: 'Exposure' and 'Dividing' Are Coming due to 'Perversion' in the Church

When prophetic voices all over the nation start saying the exact same thing, you might want to start listening. In the Scriptures, there is a very clear pattern when it comes to judgment. God always sends warnings in advance so that people can have a chance to repent. In recent days, there has been a flood of warnings for the church in America, and I am going to share a few of those with you in this article. Considering the fact that there is such agreement in the prophetic community, it would be quite foolish to refuse to take these warnings seriously.

I would like to start with Marty Breeden Steinberger. He contacted me directly on Facebook the other day, and I have to say that what he has been sharing very much resonates with what is in my heart. The following is a portion of what he released just the other day:

A demonic spirit of perversion is going to be on open display in our land. Things, many things are not as they appear. A flood of filth is coming and with it and exposure of things brought to light that most thought were hidden. Even professing Christian churches will begin to display a level of perverse activity that was once thought to only be in the world.

Pride, perversion and arrogance will take the same stage. Seemingly solid doctrine will be brought forth with a demonic mixture of filth.

An exposure is coming and it will rock the House of God.

This very closely lines up with what Brenda Brown recently received:

I will enter churches, and there will be a dividing of those who will walk with me from those who serve in word alone. Cities will be torn apart and whole nations will be divided because of people's offense against Me and the truths of the kingdom that I will institute in the earth. Many will say, "This can't be of God. God heals, He does not divide." Have you forgotten that I have not come to bring peace, but a sword? I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother. Member will rise against member and a person's enemies will be of their own household.

Of course, these two examples line up perfectly with a prophecy that I shared in a previous article that ended up going mega-viral all over the Internet. To review, Dr. Patricia Green correctly prophesied the presidencies of Donald Trump and Barack Obama in advance, and now she has been shown that churches in America that are in great sin are going to fall:

Regarding the increase in prophecy, I will show my children what I am about to do on this earth through My prophets. My prophets will arise with this proclamation, "Make way for the coming of Yehoshua. Prepare the way. Prepare your hearts. He will shake the heavens and he will shake the earth with his outstretched arm. This great shaking will usher in great revival. The churches whose foundations are not established on the rock of Yehoshua will fall. Many will be shocked at the churches who fall because those churches put up a good front, but refuse to live in holiness. I will expose the greed, the fornication, the adultery and the idolatry of these churches. There is a great shaking coming, and I will expose the sin. Repent before it is too late."

For those who take these warnings seriously and want to avoid the judgment that is coming, the solution is actually very simple.

Repent of your sins, get right with God and start living according to His ways.

Unfortunately, there is just so much pride among church leadership today. Jesus told us that leaders are supposed to be servants, but instead, so many are acting just the opposite way in our day and time. In an extraordinary piece, J. Lee Grady recently listed six signs of a toxic "apostle":

1. A toxic "apostle" requires the title.

2. A toxic "apostle" carries an aura of self-importance.

3. A toxic "apostle" is inaccessible.

4. A toxic "apostle" dominates and controls people.

5. A toxic "apostle" refuses to work with churches outside his network.

6. A toxic "apostle" demands financial payment.

The truth is that on our own we can do nothing, but with God all things are possible.

And if we embrace sin, God is not going to work through us either individually or corporately. We are moving into a time when holiness will not be optional, and so we need to guard our hearts and our minds. Whatever we consistently feed our minds will determine who we become, and the world system is constantly trying to shape our beliefs and our values. The other day I wrote about some disturbing things in the new Beauty and the Beast movie, and today, I found out that one of the main characters in the new Power Rangers movie "is questioning her sexuality":

After we just went through all the controversy over Disney's first "gay character", LeFou, in Beauty and the Beast. Now, superhero fans are celebrating a similar milestone with the new release of a classic remake from the 1990s. Power Rangers, the movie, which will be coming to theaters this Friday, will reportedly, feature a character who is questioning her sexuality, director Dean Israelite told Hollywood Reporter editor Aaron Couch.

Trini, the Yellow Ranger, reportedly identifies as queer. "For Trini, really she's questioning a lot about who she is," Israelite explained. "She hasn't fully figured it out yet. I think what's great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, 'That's OK.' The movie is saying, 'That's OK,' and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe."

This may be very shocking to you, but the truth is that you might find the same thing going on in the church down the street.

Thanks to thousands upon thousands of hours of "programming" that our young people have consumed, very few of them have a Biblical worldview today. I really like how Coach Dave Daubenmire made this point in his most recent article:

America is a mess and it is getting messier every day. If you think I am wrong I invite you to spend a couple of hours with a group of high school seniors.

I don't care where you find them. I don't care if it is in a school, at a mall, or, dare I say it, a Christian youth group at your local church. You will be hard-pressed to find any of those students who hold and are able to defend a truly biblical worldview.

If we want to fix things, it begins at home.

Our children need to see parents who truly love the Lord and are authentically living out their faith on a day-to-day basis. If our families are a mess, we shouldn't be surprised when our children abandon the faith once they get older...

"I've got to say this as a pastor, as a researcher, as an educator, as just a Christian who cares: the single greatest contributor to the attrition rate [of the Christian faith] has been the breakdown of the family," Alex McFarland, author of Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home, told The Christian Post.

And on the millennial front, his co-author, Jason Jimenez, said that when he dug deeper into some of the causal factors surrounding youths' decision to leave their faith behind, he heard stories of difficult childhoods and homes in which Christian parents didn't live out their faith, the outlet reported.

We are in a battle for hearts and minds, and the destiny of millions of souls hangs in the balance.

Repentance is always a pre-condition for revival, and anyone that does not want to talk about repentance should not be talking about revival.

A revolution is coming to the body of Christ in America, and at times it will be a very painful transition.

But the end result will be glorious as the army of the last days begins to arise and as we start to become the kind of bride that Jesus deserves.

A great move of God is coming, but God is going to clean up His house first.

So let us all embrace a lifestyle of repentance, and let us all seek the Lord with everything that we have got inside of us. {eoa}

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:00:00 -0400
Cindy Jacobs Gives Prophetic Words and Declarations Over the UK

We've recently heard the terrible tragic news of the terrorist attack near Parliament in England, and I just wanted to pray for you and just share a little bit of what I am hearing for our friends in England and London and the whole of U.K. and Europe also.

This is what I feel the Lord saying: 

As enemy has come in like a flood. God is going to raise up a standard. There's going to be a standard of protection come in a unique way for the nation. The Lord is going to bless the intercession of people who are crying out for revival and awakening in England. Even in Parliament, you're going to see a rising up of righteousness and people who are righteous, and there will be an outcry against this kind of behavior. It will end up unifying the nation, not dividing the nation.

I feel that as the Christians in England and the broader of the U.K. and Europe pray for the Muslims, there's going to be great visitations come. I see signs and wonders and miracles. I see many people of the Islamic faith coming to Christ—God visiting them in unique ways with angelic hosts and things like this and sending more laborers. I believe that all of these terrible things that Satan meant, even the people who have died, which is so awful, we can't even imagine how awful that is. And we are grieving with you here in the United States—God is going to release such evangelism, such great things are going to impact the Muslim people in a great way. It's not time for hating. It's time for praying. Let's not be haters; let's be prayers. 

To London, I pray for God to strengthen and bless you.

What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn for good in such unique ways you cannot imagine. You're going to see some things exposed because of this. It's like the enemy went too far. I see there's like a red line in the sand now, and there's going to be secret exposures of some other rings, other terrorist rings, and I think this man might have been a lone wolf, but there's someone who is radicalizing who's going to be exposed. Particularly there is one radical voice who lives in the U.K. who's been under observation, but will actually come to light, that He's radicalizing particularly 20- to 30-year-olds and in fact, not only men, but women. You're going to see this be exposed, but it's going to avert many more possible disasters, and God is going to give great wisdom to the secret services community there to protect the nation. 

Let's just pray.

Father I pray the God of all comfort for those individuals who've lost loved ones. Father I pray in the name of Jesus for healing of those who were hurt. Father I pray that You comfort even the government, the government leaders, that You give them extraordinary wisdom, the members of Parliament, the House of Lords, the prime minister. And Father I thank You, Lord, that You will do this, and I thank You for the great churches in England, the unity, the John 17 unity, that is coming out of this, the prayer meetings that will spring out of this. Father we thank You, and we say together, "Enough is enough, this is a line in the sand. Satan has gone too far, and we're going to rise up and pray for the nation!" {eoa}

Cindy Jacobs/Elijah List Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:00:00 -0400
Vicar of Baghdad: Christianity Wiped Out From Biblical Homeland

Canon Andrew White, more commonly known as the Vicar of Baghdad, says the time has come where Christianity will soon be wiped out from its biblical homeland in the Middle East. 

"The time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some [say] Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited," White told Fox News. "The Christians coming out of Iraq and ISIS areas in the Middle East all say the same thing, there is no way they are ever going back. They have had enough." 

The Islamic State gained control of much of Iraq and Syria in the mid-2000s. Radical Islamists drove Christians out of their homelands, many of which were described in the Bible.

Believers who stayed were tortured, crucified and beheaded under the regime. Still, some remained.

As 2016 drew to a close, Iraqi forces pushed to regain Mosul, allowing displaced peoples to return to their lands. Yet the homecoming was bittersweet: Churches vandalized and burned out; icons shattered; crosses broken.

"I adore my village. I adore it," Maha al Kahwaji said. Kahwalji was forced to flee at the hands of the Islamic State. "But to return is difficult. It's not just difficult, with the tunnels, the burning of homes and the destruction, it's impossible."

The Vicar of Baghdad says stories like Kahwaji's are the norm. 

"If there is anything I can tell Americans it is that your fellow brothers and sisters are suffering, they are desperate for help," he said. "And it is not just a matter of praying for peace. They need a lot—food, resources, clothes, everything. They need everything." {eoa}

Jessilyn Justice Featured World News Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0400
Report: 'Smoking Gun' Evidence That Obama Spied on Trump Coming

Last week, President Donald Trump promised "interesting developments" in his battle with Obama administration holdouts within the Intelligence Community.

U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) certainly provided some interesting developments when he announced that there had been incidental surveillance of Trump campaign and transition staff following the election. And, it seems at least some of those who were intercepted were "unmasked" illegally.

But perhaps the biggest bombshell is yet to come. According to a report by Fox News, the National Security Agency is about to share information that will certainly provide new interesting developments in the matter:

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretapped him in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.

The FBI hasn't been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee's request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential "smoking gun" establishing the spying.

Click here to read the entire report. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0400
Prophecy: Glory Portals Are Opening Over Cities Around America

Best-selling author and television host Dr. David Herzog has written a new word for Elijah List in which he says he saw heavenly portals being created in different cities that God will interconnect in a network of supernatural highways through which favor, provision, mantles and glory will flow for a coming revival.

He wrote:

These cities, which are being linked by a supernatural highway, will create a net across the nation for the harvest. Like a lightning bolt, it will strike, causing a fast connection between the portals. Ministers from glory portals in other cities will minister in each other's open heaven portal city, bringing something new from Heaven.

Many "suddenly" doors will open where you will participate or minister in these portals, as the glory over them gets brighter and brighter and spills over into harvest. You might just get transported to different cities—like Phillip!

Herzog listed a number of cities where he said these portals are opening up:

  • San Diego,
  • Santa Maria, California,
  • Sedona, Arizona,
  • Phoenix,
  • Las Vegas,
  • Spokane, Washington,
  • Kona, Hawaii,
  • Hilo, Hawaii,
  • Houston,
  • a city near Dallas,
  • Charlotte,
  • Atlanta,
  • Rochester, New York and
  • Washington, D.C.

He said other cities will be included as well. He said these portals will be connected internationally as well. Noting that God promised to open the heavens when we honor His appointed times and seasons, he said the intersections of geographical and seasonal portals will lead to "amazing things" happening.

Herzog wrote:

The supernatural wealth transfer that many have been talking about is from heaven, and it will also be connected with what God is doing in China in the earth realm and the new technology coming out.

Jerusalem is opening up more than ever now, as the glory is descending upon that city. Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem are interconnected. At the U.S. presidential inauguration in January (and even several days before it), a huge heavenly portal opened up over the U.S. capitol like I have never experienced before. This caused immediate shifts, not only in the USA and our government, but it started to shift things in Israel.

This shift will cause things that have never been taken seriously (like moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem) to occur. This will cause the plates to shift in the spirit, further securing the portal between the two nations of Israel and the U.S. and speeding up the plans of God for world harvest and revival in Israel.

Herzog had much more to say about the current spiritual war underway, how this prophecy applies to France and how technology will lead to a speeding up of the harvest now under way. Click here to read the entire article at the Elijah List website. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0400
Report: John Podesta May Have Been the Target of Russia's 'Influence Campaign'

Whether or not Russia tried to influence the American government really isn't even up for debate, although the legality of it may be.

What is debatable is how much influence the Russians actually had over the 2016 presidential election, and how much it may have over the Trump administration. So far, there's no evidence to suggest it has any influence over the White House, despite Democrats' and liberal mainstream media attempts to create that narrative.

But a new report from The Daily Caller suggests a key member of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign team is under Russian influence. Richard Pollock reports:

John Podesta, national chairman of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, may have opened himself up to a Russian "influence campaign" designed to temper his views of the Kremlin ...

Some national security experts interviewed by The DCNF wonder if Podesta may still be a target of Russian influence. They trace the campaign back to his company board membership, in which one-third of the board were top Russian businessmen with direct ties to the Kremlin.

The last time Podesta talked negatively about Russia was Dec. 18, 2016, when he charged in an NBC Meet the Press interview the 2016 election was "distorted by the Russian intervention."

The former Clinton national campaign chairman has since been silent, even as other former top Clinton aides, such as Robby Mook, Brian Fallon and Jim Margolis have repeatedly aimed high-decibel rhetoric at President Donald Trump about Russian "meddling" in the 2016 presidential race.

Click here to read the entire report. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0400
What Mainstream Research Isn't Telling You About Holy Spirit's Activity Across the Globe

According to some reports, Christianity is expanding rapidly around the globe (This figure is obviously contested with many researchers offering lower numbers. Several estimate the numbers to be around 2.2 billion.) Some researchers are suggesting that as many as 3.2 billion out of 7 billion people, currently claim to be followers of Jesus. The common assertion that Islam is outpacing Christianity is proving to be erroneous. Dr. Rodney Stark, a noted researcher based out of Baylor University, declared in his book, Triumph of Faith: Why the World is More Religious Than Ever:

As recently as April 2015, the Pew Research Center declared that Muslims will soon overtake Christians by way of superior fertility. They won't. ... Islam generates very little growth through conversions, while Christianity enjoys a substantial conversion rate, especially in nations located in what my colleague Philip Jenkins describes as the "global south"—Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. And these conversions do not include the millions of converts being gained in China. Thus, current growth trends project an increasingly Christian world.'

The church in Latin America, Africa and Asia is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. In many of the darkest corners of the world, astonishing numbers of people are turning to Christianity. In contrast to other religions, the followers of Jesus are literally showing up everywhere. Stark observes that "Christianity is not only the largest religion in the world; it also is the least regionalized ... There are only trivial numbers of Muslims in the Western Hemisphere and in East Asia." Christianity is currently surging in the war-torn Middle East and most everywhere else on earth.

While God's glory is on display around the world, not all nations are experiencing the same measure of impact. Christianity is certainly outpacing population growth internationally. However, it is stagnant in North America, Europe and in other Western nations (Max Weber, Essays in Sociology). Reflecting on this reality, Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Times recently wrote, 

Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent.

You've probably heard similar assertions before. These increasingly adverse reports are discouraging for those longing for revival. What is different about our nation and other parts of the industrialized West? Why are our expressions of Christianity currently in free fall?

Sociologist Max Weber once bemoaned that "The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization, and, above all, by the 'disenchantment of the world.' Those words are quite insightful. With all the advanced technology and scientific theories, individuals from the West no longer possess a pervading sense of awe. 

Echoing Weber, Rodney Stark observed that the industrialized world no longer "experiences the world as "enchanted"—Westerners no longer live in a world of spirits, demons, and moral forces."
Peter Kreeft, a noted philosopher and student of history, asserts

The master heresy of our civilization, our culture, our times, is not terribly new. It's been around for well over a century or two. One ... called it Modernism, and it's basically the loss of the supernatural, which means either loss of belief in the supernatural, to the loss of the sense of the supernatural."

While Christianity is advancing in much of the world, it's currently diminishing in the West due to the abandonment of the miraculous.

Reflecting on this unfortunate reality, missionary-evangelist Randy Clark made the following remarks: 

North America along with Western Europe has long been considered by some to be the Nazareth of the church world. We are a nation of skeptics, and proud of it. Regardless of the evangelist that I have spoken with, I hear the same report; they do not see the same degree of healing and miracles here that they do in other non-western countries.

George Otis Jr., who has been documenting revivals for over 20 years, suggests that spiritual stagnation has gripped the West. Whether one is considering massive healing movements or other spiritual stirrings, very little of it is being expressed in our part of the world. Of the 800 awakenings Otis has documented, only two have occurred in North America. Otis writes:

Since my colleagues and I began studying transformed communities in the mid-1990s, we encountered nearly 800 examples. Astonishingly, as of late 2011, only two of these could be found in the borders of the United States, with only one other possible case in all of subarctic North America. I know of no recent instances of transforming revival in Europe Japan, Singapore, Korea, Australia or New Zealand. As a researcher, I have to at least wonder about this ratio. How can it be that within the entire range of Western society and culture we can define only two definitive cases of transforming revival?

The reason Christianity in the West isn't keeping up with the rest of the globe is because our leaders remain hesitant about healing, deliverance and other works of power. For the most part, the organized church throughout the Industrialized world isn't open to the reality of the supernatural.

While evangelists in the third-world provoke the imagination of the masses, Western preachers are trying to persuade with politics, fierce moralism and hollow philosophical arguments. Leaders from the emerging world actually give the people something to see and hear, and all we do is placate and talk.
Let me make my point. Until the Western Church is willing to embrace the supernatural, Christianity in the industrialized world won't match the growth in Africa, Asia and Latin America. God is accomplishing incredible things, and we are mostly missing out on these wonderful stirrings.

In this unique hour, we can no longer afford to be disenchanted. {eoa}


J.D. King, director of the World Revival Network and co-pastor at World Revival Church, is writing Regeneration: Healing in the History of Christianity. King is a sought-after speaker, writer and author.

J.D. King Featured World News Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:30:00 -0400
Dear Journalists: Wake Up, You've Got a Problem—and It's Not Just Donald Trump

Dear Journalists:

It's time to wake up. You've a got a major problem—and no, I'm not simply referring to President Donald Trump. But before I get into it, let me start by saying that it's admirable to see so many of you so boldly standing up for the First Amendment, pledging to do a fervent job as you hold the Trump administration—as journalists should any administration—to account.

That said, I feel obliged to write this open letter to encourage you to think a little bit deeper, and to perhaps embark on a much-needed path toward introspection. While it's certainly tempting to instantaneously push back against Trump's seemingly ceaseless claims against the media, especially when he dubs the press the "enemy of the American people," in addition to other intense anti-media jabs, the truth is: Trump isn't totally wrong about his media qualms.

As I stated in an op-ed last week, the president's claims are often over-the-top and unhelpful to the media bias discussion (for instance, the "enemy" label should be reserved for America's greatest foes, not the media), and he has fostered, at moments, a loose and flippant relationship with the truth.

Still, your anger and frustration over Trump's commentary is making it far too easy for many of you to ignore what the polls have been telling you for too long: The public doesn't trust the media, and a plurality see journalists as holding a liberal bias. This, in fact, is nothing new.

You're surely aware that scores of conservatives and Christians routinely accuse the U.S. media of holding anti-Christian and anti-conservative biases —allegations I cover in-depth in my new book, Fault Line: How a Seismic Shift in Culture Is Threatening Free Speech and Shaping the Next Generation. And as a trained journalist, I've been increasingly concerned about the impact that the media, Hollywood, and universities are having on the public at large.

Let me just quickly recap some of the statistics that should force every single one of us to stop and do some deeper thinking about how we do news:

– A June 2016 Gallup poll found that just 8 percent of Americans expressed "a great deal" of confidence in newspapers and TV news.

– While 55 percent of the public said they had at least "a fair amount" of trust in mass media back in 1998 and 1999, that share plunged to 40 percent in 2015, and to 32 percent in 2016, the lowest in Gallup polling history.

– Only 23 percent of American respondents that they "believe that the news media attempts to report on news without bias," according to the Newseum Institute.

– A 2014 Gallup report noted that 44 percent of Americans felt the press were too left-of-center, compared to 19 percent who said too conservative and 34 percent who selected "just about right."

I dive deeper into these numbers in Fault Line, but there's clearly something causing these perspectives to take hold, leading to widespread distrust or, at the least, uncertainty. And this was all well before Trump arrived on the scene. Many of you have simply dismissed the problem, ignored it or— perhaps more troubling—simply aren't aware that it's unfolding.

On the flip side, critics of the media sometimes assume there is a "vast left-wing conspiracy" of sorts at play in which values and political inclinations are strategically targeted and taken down, and that could, of course, be true in certain anecdotal scenarios. But most of you are devoted and hardworking and, I believe, there's likely a deeper form of bias that creeps into many newsrooms: A lack of perspective as a result of not having enough people who understand faith and conservatism working in American media.

First, let's consider newsroom ideology. While there's not a ton of data revealing where journalists see themselves on the political spectrum, Pew Research Center's Journalism Project (formerly the Project for Excellence in Journalism) has, over the years, asked reporters to name their political inclinations. In 2008 the survey found that a majority of national (53 percent) and local (58 percent) reporters called themselves moderates.

That said, an additional 32 percent of national and 23 percent of local reporters classified themselves as liberals. Perhaps the most stunning line in the report, though, reads as follows: "Relatively small minorities of national and local journalists call themselves conservatives" (8 percent national, 14 percent local)."

Plus, with the growth of internet news sites and blogs, the finding that online journalists tend to be even more liberal than national and local reporters was intriguing—46 percent said they were moderate, 39 percent saying liberal and just 9 percent self-describing as conservatives.

And on the faith front, there also appears to be some major divides between journalists and the general public, as the Pew Research Center revealed survey results in 2007 that found just 8 percent of journalists at national media outlets saying they attended church or synagogue each week, with 29 percent saying that they never attend services; an additional 39 percent said that they do go, but only a few times per year.

At the time, the Associated Press noted that Pew's polling of the general public found a major disparity, with 39 percent of Americans going to church weekly—a notable difference when compared to the fewer-than-one-in-ten reporters who said the same.

The divide on the faith and political fronts is more than clear, though some correctly say that a journalist's political affiliation does not necessarily prove a definitive bias in that person's media work. That's true, though it's hard to imagine that an imbalance in ideology inside newsrooms doesn't impact, to some degree, everything from story selection to how coverage is carried out.

Let's say these biases do somehow—even unintentionally—shape news, impacting the selection of experts as well as the types of stories that are ignored by the press. Would it be safe to say that, over time, this would create an unfair environment in which the masses would be given imbalanced information? The tougher question, of course, is how to remedy the problem if it does, indeed, exist (which I believe it does).

Trump, aside, it's time for every journalist to do a gut-check and think deeper about how news is being crafted and disseminated. Holding the president accountable while simultaneously taking an introspective look at how you are covering the news isn't mutually exclusive. My fear is that Trump's media critiques are leading some of you to dig in your heels without thinking deeper about the problems that have plagued media.

Plus, if we want to regain credibility among the masses, it's time we do something to address the glaring perceptions and concerns we've been ignoring for far too long. Informational bias is a problem, and it's one the public has consistently decried.

This letter was originally posted here. {eoa}

Billy Hallowell Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0400
52-Year-Old London Attacker Khalid Masood Had Criminal, Militant Links

 Before he killed at least four people in Britain's deadliest attack since the 2005 London bombings, Khalid Masood was considered by intelligence officers to be a criminal who posed little serious threat.

A British-born Muslim convert, Masood had shown up on the periphery of previous terrorism investigations that brought him to the attention of Britain's MI5 spy agency.

But the 52-year-old was not under investigation when he sped across Westminster Bridge on Wednesday, plowing down pedestrians with a hired car before running into the parliamentary grounds and fatally stabbing an unarmed policeman.

He was shot dead by police.

Although some of those he was involved with included people suspected of being keen to travel to join jihadi groups overseas, Masood "himself never did so," said a U.S. government source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"Our investigation focuses on understanding his motivation, his operation and his associates," Britain's senior counterterrorism police officer, Mark Rowley, told reporters.

"Whilst there is still no evidence of further threats, you'll understand our determination is to find out if either he acted totally alone, inspired perhaps by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him."

Islamic State claimed responsibility for Masood's attack, although it was unclear what links—if any—he had with the militant group. Police said there had been no prior intelligence about his intent to mount an attack.

British-Born Killer

Born Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent to the southeast of London on Christmas Day in 1964, he moved though several addresses in England, although he was known to have lived recently in Birmingham in central England.

The Daily Mail newspaper said he was brought up by his single mother in the town of Rye on England's south coast, later converting to Islam and changing his name. Other media reports said he was a married father of three and a former English teacher who was into bodybuilding.

Known by a number of aliases, he racked up a string of convictions, but none for terrorism-related offenses. His occupation was unclear.

It was as long ago as November 1983 that he first came to the attention of authorities when he was found guilty of causing criminal damage, while his last conviction came 14 years ago in December 2003 for possession of a knife.

Little detail has officially been given about the man and what might have led him to carry out Wednesday's attack, the deadliest in Britain since the London suicide bombings of 2005 by four young British Islamists, which killed 52.

"Our working assumption is that he was inspired by international terrorism," said Rowley.

Rowley said detectives were questioning nine people in custody, having made two further "significant" arrests in central and northwest England.

A former neighbor from Birmingham said: "When I saw the pictures on TV and in the papers of the man who carried out the attack, I recognized him as the man who used to live next door."

"He had a young child, who I'd think was about 5 or 6 years old. There was a woman living there with him, an Asian woman. He seemed to be quite nice, he would be taking care of his garden and the weeds," Iwona Romek, 45, told reporters at her home.

In December, she said, he suddenly moved out.

Birmingham Connection

Birmingham has been one of the hotbeds for British Islamists. According to a study by the Henry Jackson think tank earlier this month, 39 of 269 people convicted in Britain of terrorism offenses from 1998 to 2015 came from the city.

Among those plots was one to kidnap and behead a British soldier. In December, two men were found guilty of planning to give 3,000 pounds ($3,750) to Brussels bombing suspect Mohamed Abrini—widely known as "the man in the hat."

There are over 213,000 Muslims in Birmingham, making up over a fifth of the population, according to the 2011 census, and there has been growing concern about divisions in the diverse city.

The car Masood used in Wednesday's attack had been hired from rental firm Enterprise's Spring Hill branch in Birmingham, suggesting he still had connections to the area.

Since the attack in London, police have raided a number of addresses across the city, arresting five men and two women on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts.

Masood may have rented an apartment close to the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, not far from the Enterprise offices, and that was one of the properties raided by armed officers.

On the eve of the attack that Prime Minister Theresa May cast as an attack on democracy, Masood spent his last night in a budget hotel in Brighton on the South Coast, where he ate a takeout kebab, the Sun newspaper said.

"An act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy," May told parliament. "He took out his rage indiscriminately against innocent men, women and children." {eoa}

© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Michael Holden/Reuters Featured World News Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:45:00 -0400
Rick Perry Has Choice Words Over Gay Presidential Election

Texas A&M University said on Thursday it respectfully disagreed with comments U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry made a day earlier when he criticized an election at his alma matter that led to the school's first openly gay student body president.

In an opinion article submitted to the Houston Chronicle's editorial board published on Wednesday, Perry, a former governor of Texas, said the Texas A&M student election may have been rigged to secure a result that projected diversity at a campus known for being conservative.

The comments set off a social media debate in Texas where some questioned why a member of the president's cabinet keeping an eye on the U.S. nuclear arsenal needed to weigh in on a student election. Others applauded him for bringing attention to what they see as a problem at one of the state's flagship schools.

"We were surprised that he weighed in on the university student body election and respectfully disagree with his assessment," university spokeswoman Amy Smith said in a statement.

Perry said the Student Government Association (SGA) Election Commission made a mockery of the election when it disqualified the person who secured the most votes for a minor procedural violation.

"At worst, the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright," he wrote.

Bobby Brooks, who came in second, became student body president after Robert McIntosh was disqualified on a charge he failed to provide receipts for glow sticks used in a campaign video.

"Now, Brooks' presidency is being treated as a victory for 'diversity.' It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for 'diversity' is the real reason the election outcome was overturned," wrote Perry, who as governor helped lead the charge to ban same-sex marriage in Texas.

University spokeswoman Smith said the decision was correct, adding "to suggest that the same decision of disqualification would not have been made if the roles were reversed is to deny the Texas A&M of today where accountability applies to all."

In comments to the student newspaper The Battalion, McIntosh said he did not know of Perry's plans to complain about the election and was appreciative of the support.

Brooks has not spoken to media about the Perry letter but has said he wanted to use his new post to help make the school more inclusive.


© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Jon Herskovitz/Reuters Featured U.S. News Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:30:00 -0400
Hollywood Seeks to Raise Millions for Intolerant ACLU

If you haven't gotten your fill of Hollywood celebrities hawking left-wing causes, then mark your calendar for March 31, when the likes of Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Tom Hanks will gather for a Facebook Live fundraising event for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Yeah, I think I'm busy that night too.

Dubbed "Stand for Rights," the event organizers say this is not about actors and musicians and comedians coming together "in these tumultuous times" to "speak earnestly about politics." (That's probably a good thing since the last time Hollywood celebrities did that at, the 2017 Academy Awards, their show ended up being the third-least-watched Oscars of the 21st century.)

No, say the organizers, these celebs will be coming together to entertain us, "for a great cause."

OK. Let's look at some of the great causes the ACLU is engaged in:

  • Just as the ACLU raised millions of dollars painting the Patriot Act as a plot by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 to turn "regular citizens into suspects," it is now using similar tactics to fundraise off President Donald Trump's executive order placing travel restrictions on countries that pose serious security threats to Americans—calling the order a "Muslim ban" that is merely "hateful, illegal discrimination."
  • The ACLU is happy to "stand for the rights" and religious freedoms of Sikhs to wear their turbans in a courtroom or Quakers who don't want to register for the draft, but when it comes to defending the right of an individual whose religious beliefs (think photographer or baker) prevents them from participating in a same-sex wedding or an employer from providing certain contraceptives in their health plans, well, not so much.

Apparently, only certain religious beliefs, and most definitely not the ones that uphold traditional sexual ethics, are worth defending.

  • Like many activist groups on the left, the ACLU is all about "rights" and "choices," except for the rights and choices it doesn't like. For example, the right of a Catholic hospital or health organization to not perform abortions or choices made by parents regarding certain education options for their child.
  • Another great cause taken up by the ACLU is suing multiple colleges in one state because they refused to give in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
  • And let's not forget its campaign to rebrand sanctuary cities—you know, the ones that flout federal immigration laws and harbor illegal immigrants—as "freedom cities." Apparently, freedom to break the law and use taxpayer dollars to do so is now a core principle of the ACLU.

Hollywood is far from diverse when it comes to representing the political views of all Americans—whether in their movies or tortured acceptance speeches during awards programs.

So, it shouldn't be surprising that they would seek to raise money for an organization that believes some Americans have civil liberties and some don't.

As Forrest Gump, one of Tom Hanks' own characters, stated well several movies ago, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Let's hope the ratings reflect that. {eoa}

Genevieve Wood/The Daily Signal Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:15:00 -0400
Is a Muslim Takeover of Britain Already Under Way?

As Britons absorb the latest terror attack, there are some who have predicted a Muslim takeover of Britain is already underway.

It's not happening with bombs or guns, but through a steadily growing Muslim population that's fueled by mass immigration and a high birth rate.

Urban areas are becoming increasingly Islamic, and experts are asking what will happen as Muslim numbers continue to grow in officially Christian Britain.

Some fear a civil war.

Take a look at what happened when a group of Christian nationalists took large crosses through Luton's Bury Park, a Muslim area.

Immigrant man: "You're jealous that we're taking over."

White woman: "You're not taking over."

Muslim woman: "Muslims will take over. Watch!"

Immigrant man: (Curses) This is our country."

White man: "Your country?

Immigrant man: "Yeah, our country."

White woman: "It's a Christian country."

Immigrant man: "It's not a Christian country."

The scene devolved into a fistfight.

Some demographers believe that native white British will be a minority in another 40 or 50 years, but policy analyst George Igler says it will happen much sooner than that. Social changes are already under way, with efforts to see Islamic guidelines for diets and marriage introduced into British law. Extremist elements even want to see Sharia law replace British law. {eoa}

Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

Dale Hurd/CBN News Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:00 -0400
Member of Congress Warns of a 1,000-Point Stock Market Crash if Obamacare Lite Does Not Pass

Are we going to see a dramatic stock market plunge if the effort to get "Obamacare Lite" through the U.S. House of Representatives ultimately fails? On Thursday, a vote on the Republican healthcare bill was postponed once it became clear that there would not be enough votes for it to pass.

House Republican leaders are still optimistic that there will still be a vote on Friday, but that is far from certain. Many strong conservatives in the House are balking at supporting this bill because while it does eliminate a few of the most troublesome provisions of Obamacare, it keeps many of the elements of Obama's signature health care law that have proven to be popular with the American people. In other words, this bill is much more about "tweaking" Obamacare than "repealing" it.

This is the first major legislative test for President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and so far, they are failing. House Republican leaders have gone into panic mode, because a "no" vote could have some very serious implications outside of Washington. In fact, one member of Congress is warning that if this bill does not pass that we could see the Dow drop 1,000 points in a single day:

It happened in real life on Sept. 29, 2008, when the House first voted on a Wall Street bailout intended to stem the financial crisis. In a swirl of uncertainty, Republican members stampeded to "no," defeated the measure and watched the Dow tumble by more than 700 points. The same thing could happen on the GOP health bill, a veteran member told CNBC on Thursday—only bigger.

"If this goes down, we could take a 1,000-point market hit," the member said. To be sure, traders and investors tell CNBC the market likely will go lower if there is no compromise Thursday, but the decline won't likely come near a 1,000-point drop. That would represent a nearly five percent drop in the Dow, a bit less than the seven percent decline when the index fell 777 points in September 2008.

And even if this bill does pass, we are probably headed for some sort of significant downturn anyway. Sven Henrich has just told CNBC that he believes that "the market could see a 5 to 10 percent drop in the near term":

The market has enjoyed a stellar bull run, but a correction is likely looming, according to Sven Henrich, also known as the "Northman Trader."

A very long-term analysis of the S&P 500, in conjunction with a look at the CBOE Volatility Index, leads Henrich to believe the market could see a 5 to 10 percent drop in the near term.

But fixing our failing health care system is far more important than trying to prop up the financial markets, and so the strong conservatives in the House are quite right to stand by their principles.

Simply "tweaking" Obamacare is not going to fix anything, and it is extremely disappointing that President Trump and Paul Ryan are advocating such an approach.

Thankfully, there are a number of strong conservatives in Congress who are willing to take a stand for what is right even if it means standing up against their own party. One of those principled conservatives is Senator Rand Paul, and he says that right now there are at least 35 Republican "no" votes in the House, and that would be enough to kill the bill:

I think there's easily 35 no votes right now so unless something happens in the next 24 hours, I would predict they pull the bill and start over. I think if conservatives stick together, they will have earned a seat at the table where real negotiation to make this bill an acceptable bill will happen. But it's interesting what conservatives are doing to change the debate. We went from keeping the Obamacare taxes for a year—hundreds of billions of dollars—but they're coming towards us because we're standing firm. So we have to stick together, and if we do stick together there will be a real negotiation on this. The main goal I have is not to pass something that does not fix the situation. If a year from now, insurance rates and premiums are still going through the roof and it's now a Republican plan, it will be a disservice to the president and all of us if we pass something that doesn't work.

If this bill is ultimately defeated, I have an idea that might work.

Why don't we get the government out of the health care business entirely?

Once upon a time, when we actually let the free market determine the allocation of health care resources, we had the best health care system in the entire world.

But after decades of experimenting with socialist principles and adding mountains of rules, regulations and red tape to the system, we have a giant mess on our hands.

Either we need to go back to a true free market system, or we might as well go ahead and just socialize the entire thing.

Right now, hardworking families have to pay for their own health care and also pay for the socialized health care that more than 125 million other Americans are receiving.

Yes, when you add up all of the Americans that are on Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare and other government programs, it comes to more than 125 million people.

So a lot of hardworking families are scared to ever go to the hospital because their insurance deductibles are so high, and yet their taxes go to pay for all of the free health care that people on government assistance are receiving.

If the government is going to pay for the health care for nearly half the country, why should the rest of us have to pay for ours?

What we have now is such a ridiculous system, and what President Trump and Paul Ryan are proposing is not "free market" in any way, shape or form.

So I say let this horrible bill fail, even if it means that financial markets will freak out for a little while.

Hopefully what transpires over the coming days will cause Republican leadership to go back to the drawing board, and a clean repeal of Obamacare would be a really good place to start. {eoa}

Michael Snyder Featured Marketplace Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:00 -0400
What Do Americans Really Think of Roe v. Wade?

What does the average American think about the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that effectively made abortion on demand available throughout the U.S., leading to the deaths of millions of unborn children in the U.S.?

Well, it depends on how you phrase that question.

If you phrase it in such a way as to suggest that repealing Roe will immediately result in a national ban on abortion—which is not true, by the way—you get the results that Democrats and liberal mainstream media types would like you to believe: an overwhelming majority of Americans who have been polled oppose such an action. But, if you phrase the question like the Human Family Research Center did recently, you're going to get an entirely different result.

Their poll found:

Americans are much more evenly divided on the issue than recent surveys, such as those conducted by PEW and Gallup, indicated. Those polls claim an almost 70 percent support rate among the public for Roe. The HFRC poll found that, when participants were made aware that an overruling would not lead to outlawing abortion outright, but would instead return the issue to the states, fewer than half of poll participants supported Roe, while the number of those demanding change increased substantially. Unlike prior polls, the HFRC poll explained what Roe actually said before asking questions of participants, all registered voters. The result does make sense since other polls also show that a majority of Americans oppose many of the abortions Roe allows.

HFRC President Denise Mackura said Roe is a "highly unusual" decision that has caused a mass confusion among Americans over the past 44 years. Few understand, she said, that it's taken "no less than 36 cases" for the Supreme Court to fully explain the original decision.

"Contrary to what was claimed by Senator [Dianne] Feinstein at the Gorsuch nomination hearings, Roe has only been upheld in three of those cases," she said. "Last year alone, state legislators proposed 50 bills attempting to interpret the requirements of this troubling decision.

"The American people know that Roe has poisoned our public discourse and politics. It is time to return the issue of abortion to the democratic process." {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:00 -0400
Stephen Powell: This Is the Third Sign of Outpouring for America

Last week, Stephen Powell of Lion of Light Ministries shared a new word from the Lord regarding the third sign of outpouring for America.

He shared the word on Facebook, writing:

I was flying home on the plane from Alaska to Charlotte just a few days ago, and as I was coming out of my sleep, I found myself in a spiritual warfare experience. In this visionary encounter, I saw the whole of the United States land mass, and I saw also gold and silver on the land. Then I saw a flag, the American flag spread across it. From sea to shining sea as they would say, this flag covered the land, and it had upon it the blood of the fallen brave warriors who have fought to protect this great nation. Freedom truly has a price.

Then, suddenly I felt the presence of the demonic. My heart began to race, my chest felt tight and my breathing for a moment became hard, and I immediately began to pray in tongues. I could feel as I prayed in tongues a hidden place of power, such a strong anointing coming forth. It was the same power I feel coming out of fasts as I pray afterwards. As I prayed in the spirit it was like the Holy Spirit was warring for me pushing back the darkness. As I looked I beheld a particular demonic symbol coming out of the flag spread across the land, and a voice spoke and said, "The silver and the gold are mine" (the same utterance of the Lord through the Hag. 2:8). But this was not the Lord. I became acutely aware in this experience of a demonic entity working in the United States who has declared itself to be God, not just over this nation and people, but over the money and resources.

As the experience continued I just prayed for a while, silently under my breath on the plane, in tongues. Every now and then I would proclaim, "The blood of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, the blood of Jesus." Slowly as I did this, as I persisted in prayer, I saw the demonic symbol begin to fade. Then suddenly it was shattered and I saw the Lord Jesus Christ walking on the land dressed as the High Priest. He was pouring out pitchers of water all over the land, walking over all the states, pouring out this water. I saw him walking all around the states bordering the great lakes; Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York ... these are the places I saw him walk on first. As these states brought the breakthrough for Trump, I believe there is yet breakthrough for the entire nation in these places. But as I watched the water hit the ground, it immediately turned to blood, and this was the blood of Jesus. As Jesus administered his own precious blood all throughout the land, I could hear demons screaming in pain. Such a horrible sound. It sounded like what I'd imagine a large cat, like a jaguar, would sound like if it was dying. There were hundreds of voices, screeches, and screams as the blood of Jesus was poured out all across the land. Then the vision and experienced ended around 2 a.m. on the plane!

The Third Sign

The scene of the pitchers of water being poured out on the ground and turning to blood is one I've seen before in my visions. The first time I saw it was in a night vision in South Africa eight months ago. In this vision, as the water hit the ground and it turned to blood, I heard the Lord say, "This is the third sign." At that time, I was traveling throughout that nation, fasting and praying for the outpouring of the spirit, pressing in for Jesus to receive the reward of his suffering in that nation, that all the work of Satan would be bound and broken among those people. The first time I saw that vision I immediately thought of William Branham's experience with the angel in his 1946 commissioning when was visited and told that he would receive two signs to work wonders in front of the people to "help them believe". I would like to include here, for our consideration of this word, the transcript of that encounter that Branham had with his angel, as it is written in Owen Jorgenson's biography of Branham called "Supernatura." It follows:

"The angel continued, "I am sent from the presence of Almighty God to tell you that your peculiar birth and misunderstood life has been to indicate that you are to take a gift of Divine healing to the peoples of the world. If you will be sincere when you pray and can get the people to believe you, nothing shall stand before your prayer, not even cancer. You will go into many parts of the earth and will pray for kings and rulers and potentates. You will preach to multitudes the world over and thousands will come to you for counsel. You must tell them that their thoughts speak louder in heaven than their words."

"The angel's face grew stern. "As the prophet Moses was given two signs to prove he was sent from God, so you will be given two signs. First-when you take a person's right hand in your left hand, you will be able to detect the presence of any germ-caused disease by vibrations that will appear in your left hand. Then you must pray for the person. If your hand returns to normal, you can pronounce the person healed; if it doesn't, just ask a blessing and walk away. Under the anointing from God, do not try to think your own thoughts; it will be given you what to say."

"But what if they still don't believe me?" asked Bill (William).

"The second sign is greater than the first. If you will stay humble and sincere, it will come to pass that you will be able to tell by vision the very secrets of their hearts. Then the people will have to believe you. This will initiate the Gospel in power that will bring on the second coming of Christ."

(Supernatural: The Life of William Branham; Book 2, page 168-169).

The angel told him that if he could get the people to believe, that nothing would stand before his prayer, not even cancer. The angel told the prophet that day that as Moses was given two signs so would he be given two signs. But the thing I always thought strange was that the angel only spoke of two signs that day, when the biblical account of Moses' signs being given speaks of three (Ex. 4:1-9), the third being water poured out and becoming blood on the ground.

Branham sought for the third sign in his generation, in what He called the "third pull," but He never saw it. He believed it to be the teaching ministry which He longed for later in his life, but I personally don't believe this was it. I believe that Branham's ministry and signs to the earth for his generation were incomplete, lacking for his time, just as Moses' work stood incomplete at the end of his life and the Joshua generation had to take the reins and bring the people into the land. But Branham's work shall be completed in this generation as we carry forward his supernatural ministry of signs, wonders, miracles, and mass harvest in the name of Jesus!

Outpouring for America

What I saw in my vision on this plane ride is what I believe to be the third sign which shall be given in our generation. I believe the third sign is the revival which many have prophesied down through the years, which shall never end. This sign is beyond one powerful prophet's ministry. This sign must be carried by a body of people. I hear the Lord saying:

I shall pierce the hearts of many in this nation as I cause a shift upon the land, for I am awakening the Fierce Finney Anointing for mass harvest in your nation. This is occurring, and lo it shall occur, as nothing can stop this outpouring which I have promised. You think you've seen something, but compared to what's coming, compared to what's upon you, you've seen nothing yet, for this outpouring shall be so mighty, it shall come forth with such power, with such force, it will cause a shift, a massive shift, in the spiritual and economic climate in the west, says the Lord. It shall start around Lake Erie, for this land is a seed-bed for awakening, and I shall awaken wells of revival and outpouring in these regions says the Lord! You shall see it, you shall hear it, for the shouts of "Grace, Grace" are coming forth in this generation, and it shall be for downpour, for outpouring, for a movement, says the Lord. I shall walk throughout these lands, looking into hearts in these revival meetings, in street encounters, and there shall come forth multiplied testimonies of men, women, and children alike, saying, "The Lord looked into my eyes, even into my heart, and my heart was pierced with the fierceness of his love for me, and my heart bowed down on that day, and I was truly saved, not what has been the American way, but the kingdom way, for I am truly changed, and I will never be the same".

I the Lord put a fierceness in the heart of my servant Finney, and it will be seen in my people again today, for with this fierce love will come awakening, and it will not be stopped by the lies of the enemy, by the twisting of his demonic doctrine, for it will be a move of the glory, and my glory cannot be stopped. I am the Lord. You thought the days of factories being shut down were long past, but you shall see it again, as a sign I give to you, that I the Lord have indeed done this, that I have awakened this anointing for harvest in these lands. You shall see places of business, places of commerce, shut down for lengths of time, because redemption has been poured out, and power from on high has hit these places. It will be like Peter's piercing anointing on Pentecost as He spoke to the multitudes that day, and they came away saying, "Our hearts were pierced, and forever we have been changed." This is the word of the Lord!

Water and blood were seen on the cross (John 19:34), as they poured forth from the body of Christ when his side was pierced. The outpouring of the Spirit and redemption began at the cross, as the body of Christ came forth in the earth, as the church was born. In the crucifixion Christ's own spirit was unleashed from within along with the power of the redemption of that cross, and that movement is unstoppable. Three is a biblical number which expresses completeness and perfection, similar to seven. With the signs of Christ seen in the body comes the appearing of Christ in and through his body as well. I believe that Branham, with his humility and his incredible manifestation of the spirit and power of Christ, was a first fruits of what was to come. I believe in this generation there shall be a "completeness", a "fullness", a "maturation" of the revealing of Christ in his humility and power, seen being displayed through a glory company arising now!

We have been bought by the blood of Jesus, and with this purchase we are free from all the demonic bondage, from all the heaviness and oppression of the Pharaoh spirit, and also free to plunder Egypt's wealth. As this sign comes forth it shall be seen upon the land in massive displays of redemption. Revivals, millions of souls being saved, incredible demonstrations of wonder working before the eyes of the people, even displays of kingdom dominion over the spirits of death and cancer shall be seen as the third sign is poured out! Even death itself will be met and challenged, so great will be the redemption poured out for God's people in this day.

I'm believing for America, for my nation, that the blood of those brave warriors poured out as the price of freedom, would not be in vain; that this nation would not be turned over to the oppressor, the jailer, the one who has proclaimed himself a God in the sight of the people, claiming to be Lord even over the money and resources. I'm believing that the Lord Jesus Christ's new breed prophets and warriors will march throughout the land, bringing forth the sign which Branham's generation was not given, for the promise yet remained for a new generation who would come forth to take the land. I believe this land will be taken for Christ, and the redemption of the blood of Jesus will cover the land, and even the silver and the gold would be proclaimed to be our God's, as billions and trillions of dollars are transferred into the hands of kingdom men and women, the harvest becoming fully financed, the enemy's works being choked off and impoverished. This is my heart and prayer, which I have faith for, because the Spirit of Revelation has graciously given me insight into the kingdom of God which is at work in our nation. The word of the Lord has graciously been given and has shown that God has made a way for victory, and for redemption to drop down! Let's join together in this hour and call it forth. Let the redemption of Jesus be poured out and demonstrated through salvation and power. Let the outpouring of the Holy Spirit come to America again, and this time it will never end!


The next day, Powell posted a Facebook Live video in which he discussed the prophecy further. You can see that discussion in the video clip above. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0400
Democrats Will Filibuster Judge Gorsuch's Confirmation

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he will vote against Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch and asked his Democrat colleagues to filibuster during a speech on the Senate floor Thursday.

"I am voting no on Gorsuch for workers across the country ... and for others who do not want to choose between their health and providing for their children," Schumer said. "His nomination will have a cloture vote. My vote will be no and I will urge my colleagues to do the same."

If Democrats follow Schumer's wishes and filibuster, Senate Republicans will need eight votes from Democrats to break the filibuster with 60 votes as there are 52 Republicans in the Senate.

Rachel Bovard, director of policy services at The Heritage Foundation and a former Senate aide, told The Daily Signal in an email that Schumer's call to filibuster will not likely have a significant impact on Gorsuch's confirmation due to upcoming Senate re-election campaigns.

Ten Democrat senators will be campaigning for re-election in 2018 in states that went to President Donald Trump, according to Politico.

"Based on how well the confirmation hearings have gone, [Democrats] haven't been able to make the case that Gorsuch is so far outside the mainstream that he shouldn't be confirmed," Bovard said. "Plus, you have enough red-state Democrats who are in cycle in 2018 and don't want to look like they're obstructing a guy the rest of the country seems to think is reasonable."

Schumer said that he could not support a candidate for the high court who is uncompassionate.

"Who we put on the bench, their basic judgment matters," Schumer said. "We do not want judges with ice water in their veins. Judge Gorsuch told us that he is not God, and that is true. But his humanity does not exclude him from the attribute of mercy."

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, tweeted that she found it unbelievable that Schumer had already made up his mind about his vote on Gorsuch when the hearings for the high court nominee are still ongoing.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he will vote against Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch and asked his Democrat colleagues to filibuster during a speech on the Senate floor Thursday.

"I am voting no on Gorsuch for workers across the country ... and for others who do not want to choose between their health and providing for their children," Schumer said. "His nomination will have a cloture vote. My vote will be no and I will urge my colleagues to do the same."

If Democrats follow Schumer's wishes and filibuster, Senate Republicans will need eight votes from Democrats to break the filibuster with 60 votes as there are 52 Republicans in the Senate.

Rachel Bovard, director of policy services at The Heritage Foundation and a former Senate aide, told The Daily Signal in an email that Schumer's call to filibuster will not likely have a significant impact on Gorsuch's confirmation due to upcoming Senate re-election campaigns.

Ten Democrat senators will be campaigning for re-election in 2018 in states that went to President Donald Trump, according to Politico.

"Based on how well the confirmation hearings have gone, [Democrats] haven't been able to make the case that Gorsuch is so far outside the mainstream that he shouldn't be confirmed," Bovard said. "Plus, you have enough red-state Democrats who are in cycle in 2018 and don't want to look like they're obstructing a guy the rest of the country seems to think is reasonable."

Schumer said that he could not support a candidate for the high court who is uncompassionate.

"Who we put on the bench, their basic judgment matters," Schumer said. "We do not want judges with ice water in their veins. Judge Gorsuch told us that he is not God, and that is true. But his humanity does not exclude him from the attribute of mercy."

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, tweeted that she found it unbelievable that Schumer had already made up his mind about his vote on Gorsuch when the hearings for the high court nominee are still ongoing.

Gorsuch could still be confirmed with 51 votes if Republicans choose to implement the nuclear option or the two-speech rule, a Senate rule that mandates the Senate stay in the same legislative day until filibustering senators give up on their efforts.

Democrats are reportedly considering options that would allow an up-or-down vote for Gorsuch in exchange for a 60-vote threshold on Trump's district and appeals court nominees, according to The Huffington Post.

In 2013, Democrats used the "nuclear option" to abolish the filibuster on nominees, although some liberals are voicing regret now that a Republican is in the White House. Another possible deal, Huffington Post reported, would ensure Gorsuch's confirmation if future Supreme Court nominees are held to a 60-vote threshold.

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

Rachel del Guidice/Heritage Foundation Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:00:00 -0400
The Country Where Sacrificing Children Is a Thriving Business

Editor's note: This story discusses very graphic practices. Please read with discretion. 

Each year, hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered as part of a thriving human-sacrifice business.

A Christian pastor is now teaming up with police and politicians to stop this brutal practice.

It's a little after 2 in the morning, about an hour's drive south of Kampala.

CBN News has joined undercover detectives, armed police and a pastor hunting for a witch doctor accused of kidnapping and killing children

"Witch doctors believe that when you kidnap a child you get wealth, you get protection."

Brutal Ritual of Child Sacrifice

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga leads the search. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian effort to stamp out child sacrifice in Uganda. He describes the witch doctors' brutal ritual.

"When they get the child, most times they cut the neck, they take the blood out, they take the tissue, they cut the genitals or any other body organs that they wish that the spirits want."

A few hours in, the trail for the killer goes cold.

Pastor Peter says these gruesome crimes happen almost each month.

"The problem is increasing and many children are killed, and there are very few actually that survive; most of them die."

Rachel Kaseggu knows the heartbreak of losing a child.

"I had high hopes and dreams for Clive," Kaseggu told CBN News as she sobbed uncontrollably.

Kaseggu's 3-year-old son Clive disappeared June 2, 2015 while playing in the backyard of their home.

"It was around 10 in the morning when we noticed he was nowhere to be found," Kaseggu said.

CBN News met Kaseggu the day police told her what happened to her son.

"I've never even heard of child sacrifice; I didn't even know what that phrase meant."

Superstition and Desire to Get Rich Drive Child Sacrifice

Detective Emmanuel Mafundo took us to the spot, not too far from his home, where they found Clive's remains in this pit toilet.

Mafundo said the key suspect turned out to be Kaseggu's neighbor, a wealthy businessman who allegedly hired two men to kidnap and mutilate Clive's body, believing the act would bring "good luck" to his new hotel project.

Detective Mafundo said the suspect paid the equivalent of $1,400 for Clive's life. "I found it so queer how someone, because of superstition, can be able to sacrifice a 3-year-old kid," Mafundo, a Uganda police superintendent told CBN News.

Child sacrifice in Uganda is such a serious and widespread problem that the government has even set up an anti-child sacrifice and human trafficking task force.

Chief investigator Moses Binoga heads up the agency.

He says that in addition to decapitation and genital mutilation, witch doctors often slice the child's tongue and mix it with herbs for special powers.

"The tongue is used, they believe, to silence enemies," Binoga said.

Mike Chibita is Uganda's top law-enforcement official, the equivalent of America's attorney general. He says superstition and the desire to get rich quick contribute to high child sacrifice rates in his country.

"The connection is that these witch doctors come and tell people who want to get rich that in order to get rich you need to sacrifice human blood," said Chibita, who serves as Uganda's director of public prosecutions.

Three Boys Who Survived

Best friends Kanani Nankunda, George Mukisa and Allan Ssembatya are fortunate to be alive but bear the physical and emotional scars of their past. The three are child-sacrifice survivors.

A few years back, Kanani and his 7-year-old sister were attacked in the bush.

He has a 10-inch scar on the back of his neck, where the witch doctor tried to drain his blood. 

"I fainted, and when I regained consciousness, I found my sister dead with her head missing," Nankunda told us in a low voice.

Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school.

"I tried to scream for my parents, but my voice was not strong enough for them to hear me," Ssembatya said.

They stabbed his neck, sliced his head with a machete and then castrated him. He remained in a coma for two months after his miraculous rescue.

George Mukisa's mother found him lying in a pool of blood after a man castrated him with a blunt knife.

Doctors had to reconstruct his genitals with skin grafted from his forearm.

The boys say they encourage each other to look past their physical challenges.

"God is helping us in many different ways," Ssembatya said. "When we think about what happened to us, we just pray and ask God that this would never happen to anybody else."

The three boys are now under Pastor Peter's care.

Long-Term Care for Survivors

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries is the only organization in the country providing long-term financial and medical care for survivors of child sacrifice.

"We want to see that the life of a child who has survived is supported, that they are socially able to stand and heal from the injuries, and that they can have a life after that," said Pastor Sewakiryanga. He also works with Ugandan lawmakers like Komuhangi Margaret to help draft specific laws targeting perpetrators of child sacrifice.
"Every Ugandan must wake up and say, 'No to sacrificing our children'," said Margaret, a member of Uganda's parliament. "Our children are the future of this country."

Rachel Kaseggu says life without Clive will never be the same. Still, she has a message for the men who brutally murdered her 3-year-old son:

"Because of my faith in Jesus, I believe in second chances, and I would give it to them because there's nothing I can do to bring Clive back. My message to them is: Confess your sins and come to the Lord. Because when you come to the Lord, he will forgive your sins!" {eoa}

Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

George Thomas/CBN News Featured World News Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0400
Scientists Warn That the Coming California Megaquake Could Plunge Large Portions of the State Into the Ocean

Over the years, many people have been shown that someday a giant earthquake will cause significant portions of California to fall into the ocean.

But up until now, most scientists have disputed the idea that this could ever actually happen. Well, now all of that has changed. According to a brand -new study, a mega-quake along the West coast "could plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly". In fact, the researchers that conducted this study say that it is almost certain to happen eventually. Of course they probably don't believe that such an event is imminent or else they would be moving out of the state like so many other people are.

When I came across news stories about this brand-new study, I was absolutely astounded. Here is a short excerpt from one of them:

The Big One may be overdue to hit California, but scientists near LA have found a new risk for the area during a major earthquake.

They claim that if a major tremor hits the area, it could plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly.

The discovery was made after studying the Newport-Inglewood fault, which has long been believed to be one of Southern California's danger zones.

Could you imagine what such a catastrophe would do to our nation and how many lives would be lost if that were to happen today?

According to the study, a California megaquake would potentially cause some sections of southern California to suddenly drop by as much as 3 feet, and that could result in vast stretches of land "ending up at or below sea level":

In total, three quakes over the last 2,000 years on nearby faults made ground just outside Los Angeles city limits sink as much as 3 feet.

Today, that could result in the area ending up at or below sea level, said Cal State Fullerton professor Matt Kirby, who worked with the paper´s lead author, graduate student Robert Leeper.


And we are not talking about something that would happen over a period of weeks or months. According to these scientists, it would be a "very rapid sinking"...

"It's not just a gradual sinking. This is boom—it would drop. It's very rapid sinking," Robert Leeper, lead author of a new study published in Nature, carried out with the help of the US Geological Survey, told the LA Times.

So could a substantial portion of southern California someday actually slide into the ocean like we see in the movies?

The scientists that were involved in this study say that the answer is yes:

Cal State Fullerton professor Matt Kirby, who worked with the Leeper on the study, said the sinking would occur quickly and likely result in part of California being covered by the sea.

"It's something that would happen relatively instantaneously," Prof Kirby said. "Probably today if it happened, you would see seawater rushing in."

If you follow my work regularly, you know that I have warned that great natural disasters are coming to the United States and that a California mega-quake will be one of those disasters.

Others have been issuing similar warnings for many years. For example, just consider what Dr. Maurice Sklar was shown:

I saw a massive earthquake that just seemed to crack off the coast of California. It reminded me of a saltine cracker that just cracked in two! The great cities along the West coast just fell into the ocean, all the way from Mexico up to Alaska, and giant waves flooded inland until much of the West Coast just wasn't there. It had disappeared into the Pacific Ocean.

Let us hope that we have as much time as possible before anything like this actually happens. But scientists are also telling us that a tremendous amount of seismic tension has built up in southern California, and that this tension could cause a major earthquake at any time. In fact, in my recent article about why people are moving out of California, I included a quote from an ABC Los Angeles story about how researchers are warning that a major earthquake in southern California is "way overdue":

A recently published study reveals new evidence that a major earthquake is way overdue on a 100-mile stretch of the San Andreas Fault from the Antelope Valley to the Tejon Pass and beyond.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey released the results of the years-long study warning a major earthquake could strike soon.

Today, more than 38 million people live in the state of California, and as a population density map of the state shows, much of the population is concentrated along the coastline.

So if large sections of the California coast did end up plunging into the ocean, what would the death toll be?

Would it be in the millions?

And what would such a disaster mean for the rest of the country?

The West Coast of the United States sits along the Ring of Fire. Roughly encircling the Pacific Ocean, this vast seismic zone contains approximately 75 percent of the active volcanoes in the world and it produces more than 80 percent of all major earthquakes.

In other words, anyone who lives near the Ring of Fire would be foolish to assume that they are immune from massive natural disasters.

In 2011, a major earthquake along the Ring of Fire on the other side of the Pacific Ocean caused a massive tsunami to wash inland in Japan for many, many miles.

If such a thing were to happen in Los Angeles or San Francisco, the death and destruction would be on a scale that would be absolutely unimaginable.

When the big Hollywood film entitled San Andreas came out in 2015, lots of people mocked the idea that the things portrayed in that film could ever happen in real life.

But now scientists are telling us that a mega-quake could cause large portions of California to plunge into the ocean and that it is quite likely that this will actually happen someday. {eoa}

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400
Angels Prophecy Positions Family for Massive Breakthrough

Editor's note: When I prophesied about the angels of abundant harvest, I began seeing this prophetic word come to pass in my life. I've received many testimonies from those who aligned with this prophecy. This one Steve Rees chronicled really touched my heart. God has released the angels of abundant harvest. You can read the entire prophecy at Below is Rees' report, which will bless your life:

Despite prayer and fasting for financial breakthrough in Feb. 2017, Troy and Nikki Swenson were $800 short on a March bill from the adoption agency helping them bring a child from China to the United States.

In faith, Nikki believed the Lord for $10,000 in February, more than double the $5,000 payment the agency expected in March.

As the shortest month of the year closed in on them, the Swensons had only $4,200.

"We needed a miracle," says Nikki, who learned shortly after her marriage to Troy in 2009 that she was unable to have children after medical complications in treating a lung virus.

Shy $5,800 on Feb. 26, Nikki that day read a prophetic word from an author she didn't know.

Published by Charisma, an online article headlined "2017 Prophecy: The Lord is Releasing Angels of Abundant Harvest" was on Nikki's Facebook page when she looked Sunday afternoon.

Written by the magazine's senior editor, Jennifer LeClaire, and based on her book by the same title, the word read in part: "Provision will enter your life from unexpected places.

"I am releasing the angels of abundant harvest. They will minister blessings to the heirs of salvation. They will bring provision and protection from the enemy's sword."

Nikki knew the word was for her, Troy and others like the friend, who sent it to them two days before their March deadline.

Throughout two previous adoption attempts, the Swensons faced opposition from the agency helping them and some questions from family and friends, who didn't understand why it took so long.

Within days of claiming the word for themselves, the Swensons received word from a Long Island woman they had met once in 2010 during a visit to New York. She told them that, in obedience to God, she was sowing a financial seed into their adoption dreams.

"We thanked her, not knowing what she had in mind or when it would arrive," says Nikki.

On March 11, the Swensons' friend—who once gave $30,000 to her Long Island church—wrote a check for $5,000.

A week after writing the check, she called Nikki on Sunday afternoon, March 19, to ask if they had received it at their home in Colorado.

"I told her 'no' and to stop payment on the check when her bank opened on Monday because it had been eight days from the time she mailed it in New York," says Nikki.

A nurse, the woman agreed to do so and, in the interim, sent a picture of the $5,000 check to Nikki's Facebook page.

"We rejoiced at what God had done, seeing the amount for the first time," says Nikki.

"Through faith, fasting and prayer, the Word of the Lord and obedience by our friend, we're seeing an abundant harvest in our adoption dreams."

Laura Lucia didn't know how much the Swensons needed, but wrote the check after the Holy Spirit whispered the amount.

"There's incredible joy in my heart for the God-given ability to help Troy and Nikki achieve their greatest dream in life," says Lucia.

The Swensons, hard workers who love Jesus, admit they have a way to go in meeting their total adoptions costs of $40,000. But their faith is strong in the face of opposition.

In six to seven years, they plan to open an orphanage in Ecuador. They believe their current adoption plan—along with challenges to two previous attempts—is preparing them.

Since reading LeClaire's prophetic word, the Swensons are seeing more breakthroughs.

A veterinarian wrote off a bill this month for treatment of the Swenson's dog, Ouray, who died after failed attempts to save him.

They also believe that angels of abundant harvest are working on their behalf and for others to bring radical increase in 2017. {eoa}

Steve Rees Featured Watchman on the Wall Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:00:00 -0400
Israelis Make an Arrest in Connection With the Jewish Bomb Threats

A Jewish teenager with dual Israeli and American citizenship living in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon was arrested Thursday in connection to the wave of more than 100 bomb threats against JCCs and other Jewish institutions across North America since the beginning of 2017.

The suspect, 19, was arrested by Israel's Lahav 433 police unit in the wake of a months-long investigation by Israeli authorities, who worked alongside the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies. Authorities did not release the suspect's name Thursday. Additionally, police detained the suspect's father on suspicion that he knew of his son's activities. 

Authorities believe the suspect was also behind a bomb threat against two Delta Airlines flights between New York and Tel Aviv in January 2015, the Times of Israel reported.

The JCC Association of North America said Thursday that it is "gratified by the progress in this investigation" and praised law enforcement agencies' "commitment and leadership." But the umbrella organization for the community centers added that it is "troubled to learn that the individual suspected of making these threats ... is reportedly Jewish." 

During a raid on the suspect's home, authorities found an advanced computer lab with sophisticated equipment, including voice-altering technology, encryption methods and a large antenna that he likely used to phone and email bomb threats to Jewish institutions in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. 

According to Haaretz, authorities confiscated five computers, including the large antennas, which police believe allowed the suspect to use other people's networks to commit the alleged crimes and throw off investigators. But eventually, police were able to create a profile of the suspect and determine the method to find him.

It is believed the suspect has lived in Israel for several years, and that the IDF refused to draft him "on personal grounds after finding him unfit for service," Haaretz reported.

The suspect was scheduled to be brought before a Magistrate's Court in the Israeli city of Rishon LeZion Thursday.

Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said this arrest was part of a coordinated international operation to try to find to find suspects behind the bomb threats.

"This specific investigation was complex in terms of the suspect and its nature, and there was a significant breakthrough in the investigation which led us to make the arrest of the suspect, who lives in southern Israel," Rosenfeld told the Jerusalem Post.

Rosenfeld added that "he was the main suspect behind the numerous amount of threats which were made to different Jewish communities and organizations around the world." Investigators, he said, will to continue to "see if and how he was connected to the different Jewish communities in the U.S. That directs the investigation to the American connection. We are looking to see if there was an incident which triggered him to carry out threatening those communities."

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan congratulated police on the arrest and expressed his hope that it would bring an end to the threats against Jewish institutions.

"We hope that this investigation will help shed light on some of the recent threats against Jewish institutions, which have caused great concern both among Jewish communities and the Israeli government," said Erdan.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, meanwhile, said the Department of Justice "is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs. I commend the FBI and Israeli National Police for their outstanding work on this case."

Earlier this month, U.S. authorities arrested Juan Thompson, a 31-year-old former news reporter from St. Louis, in connection with eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions. At the time, law enforcement officials said Thompson was not believed to be the main suspect behind the threats, an assertion that is purportedly confirmed by the latest arrest.

Following Thursday's arrest in Israel, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that even though "it appears that the main culprit behind the majority of these attacks has allegedly been identified, anti-Semitism in the U.S. remains a very serious concern."

"No arrests have been made in three cemetery desecrations [that have occurred in early 2017] or a series of other anti-Semitic incidents involving swastika graffiti and hate fliers," he said. "JCCs and other institutions should not relax security measures or become less vigilant."

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

Sean Savage/ Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400
UPDATE: Paul Ryan Says 'We Just Didn't Have the Votes'

4:24 p.m. EDT UPDATE: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters at the Capitol on Friday that the Republican Conference was disappointed and felt let down after failing to come up with the 216 votes needed to pass the American Health Care Act.

He said he notified President Donald Trump the votes wouldn't be there, and they both agreed it would be best to pull the bill rather than have it go to a vote. Republicans will now need to reflect upon what happened and come up with something better.

"This comes down to a choice: are we all willing to give a little to do what is right?" he asked.

Ryan said the worst is yet to come with Obamacare, and that it's so fundamentally flawed that it can't possibly be propped up. He refused to "throw anyone under the bus" over the missed opportunity, but reinforced the obvious for Americans who have been battered by the Affordable Care Act.

"Obamacare is the law of the land, and it will remain the law of the land for the foreseeable future," he said.

3:32 p.m. EDT UPDATE: The House of Representatives, after four hours of debate, has recessed subject to the call of the chair. Several media outlets are now reporting that the American Health Care Act has been pulled and no vote will take place.

C-SPAN, however, is reporting that the House Republican Caucus is meeting at this time, ostensibly to attempt one last effort at whipping the votes needed for passage. The Hill's Whip List, however, suggests the votes still aren't there.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose leadership of the House GOP is at stake, has scheduled a press conference at the Capitol for 4 p.m. EDT.

11:22 a.m. EDT UPDATE: The House of Representatives has approved a measure to suspend their rules to immediately take up the American Health Care Act. Debate has now begun. Republicans and Democrats each have up to two hours of time allotted for debate.

A final vote on the bill should occur sometime around 2:30 p.m. EDT. According to The Hill's Whip List, 34 Republicans still oppose the bill, meaning it is likely to fail. Although President Donald Trump has stated he still supports Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), it's clear this vote could bring an abrupt end to his leadership of the House GOP—and could quickly lead to the dismissal of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

7:14 a.m. EDT UPDATE: President Donald Trump has demanded that the House of Representatives vote on the American Health Care Act on Friday. According to Director of the Office of Management & Budget Mick Mulvaney, if the AHCA doesn't pass on Friday, the president intends to "leave Obamacare in place."

The House Rules Committee began meeting at 7 a.m. EDT to discuss the AHCA and to set up the rules for final debate. Several votes are planned throughout the day, including a vote on final passage.

After insisting for days that the votes to pass the American Health Care Act were there, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was forced to cancel a floor vote on the GOP's proposed legislation to begin repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

RINOcare (Repeal In Name Only), as it has been named, proved just how malignant the cancer that is Obamacare has become for the nation's health care system. And, despite numerous attempts to "sweeten the pot," Ryan was unable to convince enough Republicans to vote for the legislation.

Many conservatives had been calling on the GOP leadership to retract the AHCA and "start over." Thursday's failure to pass the legislation may have provided just that opportunity. But it also exposed the problem the GOP will face going forward: It's still not united behind a common agenda, despite Ryan's best efforts to project that narrative.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus, in an effort to drive down premiums immediately, have demanded the elimination of Obamacare's insurance regulations and the so-called "essential benefits" coverage requirements that include prescription drugs and maternity care. This became their non-negotiable position.

The president met with the Freedom Caucus members earlier in the day Thursday, but failed to get them all to come over to his side. According to the White House readout of the meeting:

President Donald J. Trump held a productive meeting with more than 30 members of the House Freedom Caucus in the Cabinet Room today to discuss the building momentum toward repealing and replacing Obamacare. Members of the House Freedom Caucus thanked the President for engaging with them throughout the negotiations. The president thanked the group for their willingness to work closely with the White House and their colleagues in Congress to craft the strongest possible bill. The group agreed that their ultimate goal is to implement a system that will drive down costs and increase access to healthcare for millions of Americans. This meeting was a positive step toward that goal. The president will also be meeting with the Tuesday Group later this afternoon and looks forward to further discussing our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But as Freedom Caucus members emerged from the meeting, it was clear they felt nothing new was being offered to get them to switch their votes. Still, Trump has made it clear he's willing to negotiate with conservatives—something Ryan had refused to do as the bill was being crafted.

This could open the door for Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to bridge the gap and come up with a bill that will win widespread support from Republicans. Democrats have made it clear they are marching in lockstep in opposition to any efforts to repeal Obamacare. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:00:00 -0400
Former Congregant Attacks Pastor, Leaving Him Bruised and Bloodied

A California pastor was ambushed and beaten this week by a former congregant.  

Rudy Trujillo, who pastors Faith Center in San Fernando, was reportedly attacked outside his car in between meetings. He was beaten to the point of hospitalization and underwent surgery Thursday afternoon.  

"Friends, family, and saints. While we understand, even share your anger, we must never forget that what we preach, especially pastor Rudy Trujillo, is that we are to forgive and have mercy upon those who trespass against us," Faith Center wrote in a Facebook post. 

The assailant was reportedly a former congregant whom Trujillo had not seen since the congregant left the church several years ago.  

Despite the violence inflicted upon the pastor, Faith Center is determined to follow in Jesus' footsteps:

We never imagined this would be easy, and after today, we know it will not. As Christians, we are committed to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus teaches us to love even those who hate us and violently attack us. He taught us to forgive those who wrong us. This does not mean we condone or tolerate hatred and violence. Not at all! But precisely because we condemn hatred and violence as evil, we refuse to hate those who hate us, nor retaliate with violence against those who violently attack us. We believe love is more powerful than hatred and forgiveness is more powerful than violence. As people who have received mercy from God, we extend mercy to others—even those who have hurt us. And we entrust justice into the hands of God.
We need your prayers and actions to be supportive of our deepest-held convictions; that is, that we must forgive our brother. We must obey Jesus and love and pray and have mercy upon our enemies, especially when times are the darkest and we prefer to stop following the path of the cross. For it is only by following Jesus that God can work all things for his good.

Trujillo is a gang-interventionist case manager with Communities in Schools for the Mayor of Los Angeles Gang Reduction Youth Development. He was also appointed commissioner for the City of San Fernando Transportation & Safety and currently is the chair, according to his website. {eoa}

Jessilyn Justice Featured U.S. News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:00:00 -0400
After 'Tired, Broken' Megachurch Pastor Leaves, Church Sees Major Drop

The various locations may serve more than 5600 congregants, but Cross Point Church attendance and giving are down significantly since founding Pastor Pete Wilson resigned last year. 

"How much you feel that kind of depends on what location you're at and what service you attend. Some places feel it more than others. We've definitely felt it here at the Nashville campus a good bit," Campus Pastor Chris Nichols said. "It's been difficult to see friends go." 

Wilson founded the Nashville-area church almost 15 years ago. In September 2016, he resigned, saying he was "tired and broken." 

"I believe the best days of this church are ahead, and I believe that more today than I ever have. I believe God has a really, really important role for this church to play in our world. So, do good. Be kind. Take risks. More than anything else that we've hoped and prayed for here, it's that the unloved would feel loved," Wilson said when he resigned.  

Six months later, Nichols addressed just how much the church had changed since the pastoral shift.  

Overall, the multi-campus church has seen about a 21 percent decrease in attendance and 19 percent decrease in giving since Wilson's resignation. But the staff reportedly expected a 15-20 percent drop in both areas after Wilson's resignation. 

"For us to cease doing good is to cease to be Cross Point. And for us to just do church and just to have a service and come together and for us to back off with the things that we do in the community or in these other corners of the world," Nichols said, "that is not probably what brought you here, and it's not what brought me here, and it's not Cross Point and it's just not really an option to us." {eoa}

Jessilyn Justice Featured U.S. News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:00:00 -0400
Will We See the Fulfillment of Prophetic Third Temple in Our Lifetime?

The end of it shall come with a flood. And until the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator (Dan. 9:26b-27).

The book of Daniel has many references to end-times prophecy. One of these, found in Daniel 9:26b-27, refers to a special event at the end of days. Before Jesus comes back, there will be a seven-year treaty formed with many nations. This is often called Daniel's 70th week of prophecy. In the middle of this seven-year period, the temple of God will be defiled; sacrifices will be ceased.

Interestingly enough, no temple stands in Israel today. No animal sacrifices are taking place. This means that for the verses in Daniel to come to pass, this temple must be rebuilt. What will surprise you is that the heart of the Jewish people is turning towards the restoration of the Temple.

At the end of 2016, UNESCO ruled that the Temple Mount has no connection to Judaism. This has caused outrage on both sides of the political spectrum in Israel. Last week, some in the Israeli Parliament decided to respond. Leaders in the Likud party put forth a proposal to create a new foundation that would educate people about the powerful connection between the Temple Mount and Judaism. The plan calls for the US equivalent of $550,000 to be directed towards this effort.

The creation of this special foundation is just one of several events that have been preparing the way for the third temple. In 2015, the Temple Institute declared that they reconstructed the Altar of Sacrifice for the Third Temple. Last month, the Sanhedrin announced that they were reinstituting the temple tax of half a shekel of silver found in Exodus 30:11-16. Arrangements have been made for Jewish people across the world to pay the tax. This will allow funds to be set aside for construction of the third temple.

The reconstruction of the third temple is a necessary event for the fulfillment of Daniel's 70th week. This year is particularly special because it is the Jubilee, or 50th year since the Jewish people retook the Temple Mount at the end of the six-day war (June 7, 1967). The efforts to bring awareness to the significance of the Temple Mount are a reminder that we are just that much closer to seeing God's Word come to pass. {eoa}

Kelly McDonald Jr. is an ordained evangelist at Hungry Hearts Ministries in Jackson, Tennessee. He has written over 40 books and booklets on pursing Christ, Hebrew roots and end-times prophecy. He is currently president of the Bible Sabbath Association (BSA). You can follow him at:

Kelly McDonald Jr. Featured Standing With Israel Opinion Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:00:00 -0400
Columnist Makes Outrageous Claim: Stay-At-Home Moms Should Be Illegal

According to a new American study, stay-at-home moms are worth a $143,102 paycheck. But an Australian columnist didn't take that into consideration for her latest piece. 

Sarrah Le Marquand, editor at RendezView and Stellardescribes herself as a "mum of two" in her Twitter bio. But that didn't keep her from writing on what she called the "one issue guaranteed to trigger hysteria": stay-at-home moms. Nor did it stop her from demanding the government mandate that mothers leave the home to work—in the name of "gender equality."

On Monday, her column's headline read "It should be illegal to be a stay-at-home mum" on RendezView, a controversial news site which boasts millions of readers, and the Daily Telegraph. "Dear mothers," the caption to one photo commanded, "Get out of the kitchen and get back to work."

For the basis of her argument, Le Marquand cited a recent report by the Australian government that called "inactive and/or part-time working women, especially those with children" an "untapped potential" because women who stay home or work part-time might cause "large losses" economically.

According to Le Marquand, the report's "rallying call to utilize the potential of stay-at-home mums" was the "desperately needed voice of reason that Australians cannot afford to ignore."

While most Australians "howl[ed] in indignation" at the report, Le Marquand agreed.

"For days, you couldn't walk past a television, radio or computer screen without encountering a defensive rant about how the most valuable work a woman can do involves nappies [diapers], play-doh and a strict adherence" to staying home, she complained.

She even brought President Donald Trump into the equation. "[O]ur collective support for working women makes Donald Trump's Cabinet look like Women's March HQ by comparison," she added, attacking Trump for his male staff.

Because of the "importance of parenting," especially right after birth, Le Marquand conceded that parents could stay home—until children reach school age.

"Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman's right to choose to shun paid employment," she wrote, "we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed."

According to her, governments offer a "kid-glove approach" to mothers who stay at home and give "unfair tax concessions" for households with one income.

"Holding us less accountable when it comes to our employment responsibilities is not doing anyone any favors," she bashed. "Not children, not fathers, not bosses—and certainly not women."

True feminism stands for equality, not choice, she insisted.

"[O]nly when we evenly divide the responsibility for workplace participation between the two genders will we truly see a more equitable division between men and women in all parts of Australian life," she concluded.

She failed to mention gender equality when it comes to pregnancy or breastfeeding. But perhaps that's because she would hit on the fact that to strive for equality means first recognizing and celebrating inherent differences—not pretending everyone is the same.

And one way of achieving equality is to allow choices all citizens (including the unborn), not prohibit them. {eoa}

This article originally appeared on

Katie Yoder/Newsbusters Featured World News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:00:00 -0400
Prophetic Update Regarding Israel and the Coming Prophetic Wars

In this segment, we will discuss recent events regarding rising tensions with Israel and Syria. We will also discuss how Russia is now trying to form an alliance with Syria to help defend against Israel in the future. Discover how all of this is leading to the fulfillment of future "Prophetic Wars" mentioned thousands of years ago that appear to be unfolding in our lifetime.


Ricky Scaparo/End Time Headlines Featured Opinion Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:00:00 -0400
Why Robert Jeffress Is All for This Muslim Prayer Room

Muslim students in Texas asked to convert an unused classroom into a prayer room so they could pray during designated times. Christian Pastor Robert Jeffress is all for the room. 

"Christians have been pushed out by an absolute perversion of the First Amendment, but we as Christians don't have to push down somebody else's religion," the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas says.

"I believe as long as students had equal access to the room, it's not a First Amendment issue," Jeffress continues. "I believe we really as conservatives need to be careful that we don't pervert the First Amendment like liberals do to use it for their own agenda." 

The room can be used for students of every faith background, a district spokesperson said.

But Texas Attorney General Bill Paxton is worried the room will be used exclusively by Muslim students.

A letter from his office sites the campus newspaper's report that the room is only open to "some students."

The school administration, however, says that as long as students are the ones leading the charge, the prayer room is open for all.

"I think the trademark of what makes Liberty High so great is our diversity and in how our students respond to the different cultures and diversity on campus," Principal Scott Warstler said. "Like I've said, this is the seventh year that we've been doing this, and we've never had one issue. You know we have other religious student groups that meet maybe before school or maybe after school. As long as it's student-led, where the students are organizing and running it, we pretty much as a school stay out of that and allow them their freedom to practice their religion." {eoa}

Jessilyn Justice Featured U.S. News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0400
Watch: Judicial Watch President Testifies Before the House Oversight Committee

The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform held its weather-delayed hearing on proposals to reform government transparency laws featuring Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton as a key witness.

Other witnesses included:

  • Hudson Hollister, founder and executive director of The Data Coalition
  • Norman Singleton, president of Campaign for Liberty
  • John Berlau, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Richard Painter, law professor from the University of Minnesota

The hearing, titled "Legislative Proposals for Fostering Transparency," began at 10:30 a.m. EDT, but the hearing in its entirety can be viewed above. The stated purposes of the hearing were to discuss transparency related to government data, audits and the Freedom of Information Act; and to consider legislative proposals that hold governmental entities more accountable to taxpayers.

While Republicans were focused on transparency reform legislation being considered by the committee, Democrats grilled the panel of witnesses—almost exclusively Painter—with questions about President Donald Trump's tax returns.

The hearing was originally scheduled to take place during National Sunshine Week, an initiative to promote the importance of open government. The bills being considered by the committee, relative to greater transparency, are:

Bob Eschliman Featured Events Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0400
Abortion Doctor: Don't Tell Me I'm Not a Christian

A Christian man says he is tired of pro-life Christians questioning his salvation because he performs abortions. 

"It seems to me that it has become more important for those people to discredit my authenticity as a Christian than they are irritated by the fact that I perform abortions," Willie Parker tells "I think that it would make more sense if I weren't a person of faith because then they would say of course he performs abortions, he's a heathen. He's morally bankrupt. He's either amoral or immoral. But it's more problematic that I too identify as a Christian, and I embrace the compassion that I find to be in that tradition. And that compassion leads me to act on behalf of others instead of judging them." 

Parker travels across the Southeast to provide abortions. He detailed his reasons why in a New York Times op-ed in 2015, writing that performing abortions makes him feel like the Good Samaritan.  

"I'm a Christian. I go to church every Sunday. I believe Jesus Christ is the one true Savior of the world. But the way they're going about this is not going to bring people to Christ. They're not doing it with dignity and respect and compassion," Parker says. 

Esquire claims Parker's work is a ministry.  

But pro-life advocates staunchly disagree with Parker's approach.  

"Conveniently, Parker never mentioned unborn babies in his interview. Parker claimed he has a strong desire to help women who are struggling, but he does not extend any compassion toward the women's unborn children," Micaiah Bilger writes for LifeSiteNews

Bilger continues: 

Christian teachings recognize that babies in the womb are valuable human beings, as well as their mothers. True Christian compassion and love should be extended to every human being, not just to those who it's more convenient.
It's easier to "help" pregnant women who are struggling by offering them a quick abortion and sending them on their way [plus, Parker likely makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing it]. It takes much more time, effort and resources to help the woman and her unborn child overcome their difficult circumstances. Christianity does not say that compassion is easy. It urges its followers to go the extra mile, to give a person in need even more than they ask for, even when it is inconvenient. True Christian compassion involves sacrificing to help the most vulnerable people in society, including babies in the womb. {eoa}
Jessilyn Justice Featured Culture Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:00:12 -0400
How Did Judge Gorsuch Handle the Roe V. Wade Questions?

Throughout his three days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's nominee to succeed the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, was hammered by Democrats over his potential view on the Roe v. Wade decision.

Americans United for Life Staff Counsel Deanna Wallace, who observed—gavel to gavel—the confirmation hearings, weighed in on the issue. She noted:

Roe v. Wade is a case study in judicial overreach, and it is important that the conversation surrounding this controversial case includes the many legal, medical and scientific truths that have been long ignored by a Court determined to legislate from the bench.

Throughout yesterday's hearings, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee returned again and again to the flawed Roe v. Wade decision, with Democratic senators arguing that it is 'settled law' that must be upheld at all costs. But the truth is that the shaky legal foundation upon which abortion rests has been crumbling for years.

Instead of basing the continuing existence of Roe v. Wade on established legal principles or precedent, a plurality of justices in Planned Parenthood v. Casey invented a societal 'reliance interest' under which women had supposedly come to rely on the availability of abortion in order to secure their places in society, as well as their legal and financial rights. Importantly, both jurists and legal scholars have repeatedly discredited this novel and misogynistic theory. Women do not rely upon abortion to be successful and productive members of our society—they rely on their talents, hard work and determination. The reality is that abortion harms women both physically and psychologically, damage that the Supreme Court has enabled in recent years by refusing to hold the abortion industry to common sense health and safety standards."

The discussion today reminds us once again, that Roe v. Wade is not settled law, and abortion is not safe.

Click here to read AUL's and Wallace's day-by-day analyses of the confirmation hearings.

Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0400
Prophecy: America Will Be Revived, Rebuilt and Restored

We have all heard the stories that through the preaching and anointing of Charles Finney in upstate New York, factories were shut down by the power and glory of God. Some have longed for these days to return. The Lord spoke to me that in this generation, the glory and presence of God will be so strong upon many prophetic gatherings that:

As My people declare the Word of the Lord over regions in America, factories will reopen and dying manufacturing industries will revive and come to life again. This will cause many in the world to be in shock and awe. Those who had forecast that all factories and the manufacturing had left America forever will shake in fear as it comes to life again through the prophetic decree.

I see the fear of the Lord returning in the nation, and many will shake as America rises from the ruins and waste. I see God will revive, rebuild, restore what many have called the wasteland of America. I saw this come in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past weekend!

"and the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall rebuild the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generation and you shall be called, the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths in which to Dwell. 

If because of the Sabbath you turn away your foot from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it" (Is. 58:11-14).


The River Called 'Revelation 22'

Recently while I was ministering in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Lord revealed to me His intention to bless the nation. I was shown a river that will flow out of the city and the state of Pennsylvania. In the natural, we know that there are three rivers in Pittsburgh, but in prayer, I began to see a fourth river flowing; it was supernatural. The Lord called it "Revelation 22"—a river to bring healing to America in a double portion.

Then he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:1-2).

The Lord spoke to me that this river once flowed in the days of Kathryn Kuhlman. The nation saw this river flow when she held her great healing campaigns in the city of Pittsburgh.

Thousands of people flocked to the river for healing and the city thrived spiritually during that time. I saw this supernatural river touch the city in a different way as well. In the natural during that time much of the steel industry was blessed in the state of Pennsylvania and prosperity flowed from the state to the nation, but in 1976, Sister Kuhlman went to be with the Lord, and in her death, the anointing greatly waned in the region, and the river ceased to flow as it once did. Just as the healing river began to dry up, so too did the steel industry, and many lost their jobs as a result, and finances became tight and the people suffered.

Pennsylvania—a Sign of Healing in America

On March 11th as I was preaching, I saw the healing river rise again in the city. I could hear the sound and could see the river bursting forth. I heard the Lord say that, "The healing river will once again flow from this city and this state to heal America, but this time it will double." I saw miracles and wonders flowing out of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania— this will be one of many cities to come in America.

I heard the Lord say, "As the sign that the river has returned, I will revive the steel industry of Pennsylvania."

He spoke to me that He would use the state of Pennsylvania as a sign to America of what He will do in many manufacturing cities across the nation. He told me He would revive the steel industry to rebuild the nation once again—to show the world His power to restore, revive and rebuild not only cities and nations, but His very people.

Pennsylvania would be a sign of the river of healing flowing through America. I saw Pennsylvania steel flowing like a river across America and men and women going to work once again. I saw bridges rebuilt, buildings restored, factories revived across the country all through Pennsylvania steel companies. I saw other manufacturing jobs return and other cities rebuilt, restored and revived.

Another city and state I saw touched as well was Detroit, Michigan and the automobile industry. It came to life once again, and I saw automobiles flowing across our roads like a river. So many American factories and manufacturers came back to life.

The Lord spoke to me and said, "Son, this is a time for America to be revived, rebuilt, restored, and it will start with Pennsylvania and the steel industry." {eoa}

Charles Shamp is founder and president of Destiny Encounters.

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

Charles Shamp/Destiny Encounters Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0400
ISIS Claims Responsibility for the London Terrorist Attack

Islamic State was responsible for an attack outside Britain's Parliament which left four people dead, the group's Amaq news agency said on Thursday.

"The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British Parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier, and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition," the Amaq statement said.

Islamic State, which has controlled parts of Iraq and Syria in recent years, has lost territory this year to local forces in those countries supported by a U.S.-led military coalition. {eoa}

© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Omar Fahmy/Reuters Featured World News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:45:00 -0400
Shocking Bible Code Matrix Contains the Exact Day And Year That David Rockefeller Would Die

Did someone know in advance that David Rockefeller would die on March 20, 2017? What I am about to share with you is absolutely astounding. Bible code researcher Kara Pickering has found an incredible Bible code matrix that contains the phrase "Rockefeller dies" along with the terms "Chase", "Manhattan", "2017" and the specific date on the Hebrew calendar (Adar 22) when he actually died.

Of course, David Rockefeller served as the CEO of Chase Manhattan for over a decade, and he was widely considered to be one of the strongest proponents of a "New World Order."

When my wife and I first received this Bible code matrix from Kara Pickering we were completely floored, and she has given us permission to share it with all of you. As you can see, the specific details that it contains about Rockefeller are quite stunning.

These are just some of the key terms Kara Pickering was able to discover in this amazing matrix.

  • "Rockefeller dies"
  • "David" appears five times
  • "Chase"
  • "Manhattan"
  • "2017" appears five times
  • "Adar" appears twice
  • "22nd" appears three times (Adar 22nd is March 20th on our calendar)
  • "At 101" (Rockefeller's age when he died)

You can view the original Bible code matrix created by Kara Pickering right here. In the chart above, you can see that "hell" shows up five times, but she told us it is actually in there quite a few more times.

Is it just some sort of extremely bizarre coincidence that all of these phrases can be found in a single matrix?

Of course, other researchers have been making extraordinary Bible code discoveries for many years. It truly does appear that information about our future was encoded within the pages of Scripture thousands of years ago, and this is something skeptics have a very hard time dealing with.

If you're unfamiliar with the Bible code phenomenon, the following is a pretty good summary from Wikipedia:

The Bible code (Hebrew: הצופן התנ"כי‎‎, hatzofen hatanachi), also known as the Torah code, is a purported set of secret messages encoded within the Hebrew text of the Torah. This hidden code has been described as a method by which specific letters from the text can be selected to reveal an otherwise obscured message. Although Bible codes have been postulated and studied for centuries, the subject has been popularized in modern times by Michael Drosnin's book The Bible Code and the movie The Omega Code.

Many examples have been documented in the past. One cited example is that by taking every 50th letter of the book of Genesis, starting with the first taw, the Hebrew word torah is spelled out. The same happens in the book of Exodus. Modern computers have been used to search for similar patterns and more complex variants, as well as quantifying its statistical likelihood.

God knew who David Rockefeller would become before he was born, and God also knew the day he would die.

Big corporate news outlets such as The New York Times are greatly praising Rockefeller for his "contributions" to American society, but others remember him as a master manipulator that was always trying to influence the direction of U.S. politics from behind the scenes. The following comes from an excellent piece by Whitney Webb:

No one person encapsulates the enduring legacy of the "robber barons" of the Industrial Age quite like David Rockefeller. Rockefeller, who died yesterday at the age of 101, was the last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon who became America's first billionaire and the patriarch of what would become one of the most powerful and wealthiest families in American history. David Rockefeller, an undeniable product of American nobility, lived his entire life in the echelons of U.S. society, becoming symbolic of the elite who often direct public policy to a much greater extent than many realize, albeit often from the shadows.

Rockefeller made it clear that he preferred to operate out of public view despite his great influence in American—and international—politics. Due to his birthright, Rockefeller served as an adviser to every president since Eisenhower, but when offered powerful positions such as Federal Reserve chairman and Secretary of the Treasury—he declined, preferring "a private role."

In particular, Rockefeller is often criticized for his role in trying to integrate the United States into a "New World Order". In his autobiography, Rockefeller stated that he was quite proud of what he had accomplished in this regard:

Some even believe we [the Rockefeller family] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

Another thing that Rockefeller is often criticized for was his involvement with the Bilderberg Group. At the 1991 meeting, he reportedly made the following infamous statement:

"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promise of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The super-national sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

For Rockefeller, death caught up with him before he ever got to see the fulfillment of his New World Order dream.

No matter how much money one might have, the truth is that all of our mortal bodies wear out eventually.

Instead of focusing on temporal matters and the things of this world, perhaps Rockefeller should have spent more time focusing on the things that are eternal.

There is a God, and He is speaking to us in a multitude of ways. My hope is that this Rockefeller Bible code matrix Kara Pickering has discovered will wake many people up and will cause them to starting thinking about the things that really matter. {eoa}

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:30:00 -0400
Pakistan to Punish Facebook, Twitter for not Removing Islamic Blasphemy

Pakistan will punish social media companies that fail to take action against online blasphemy, the interior minister said on Wednesday, adding that he had requested a meeting with Facebook.

Pakistan's government wants social media networks to remove material deemed insulting to Islam or the Prophet Mohammad, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week warned those posting such content would be "strictly punished."

"(Blasphemy) is not only a problem for Pakistan. This is an issue about the honor of every Muslim," said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who is also seeking to meet ambassadors from other Muslim countries to tackle the problem.

"If we do not get a response from social media, I do not care about anyone; there is nothing greater than our faith. If social media and especially international social media stays on this route, then we will have to take strong action regarding social media."

He did not specify what action might be taken.

Those convicted of blasphemy can face the death penalty under Pakistani law. Right groups say the law is frequently abused in a country where Islam is a highly sensitive subject, and where even rumors of blasphemy have sparked deadly riots.

Facebook is the most popular social network in Pakistan. Khan said the company was "ready to send a delegation to Pakistan" and would do so once a date was agreed.

Facebook could not be immediately reached for comment. However, a report by the company on Pakistani government requests for data lists 25 pieces of content being restricted between January and June 2016.

"Based on legal requests from the Pakistan Telecom Authority, we restricted access to content for allegedly violating local laws prohibiting blasphemy, desecration of the national flag and condemnation of the country's independence," reads the Facebook page on Pakistan.

According to analytics data from Facebook's website, the social media app has about 25-30 million active users in Pakistan, where internet penetration remains poor. Facebook's Instagram unit and rival Twitter are also popular.

The ruling PML-N party's tough talk against blasphemy will appeal to its conservative voter base ahead of elections likely to take place next year.

At least 65 people, including lawyers, defendants and judges, have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures from a Center for Research and Security Studies report and local media. {eoa}

© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Saad Sayeed/Reuters Featured World News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:15:00 -0400
Worst Retail Cataclysm Ever: Sears Warns It Is on the Verge of Collapse as Payless Prepares to File for Bankruptcy

More than 3,500 retail stores are going to close all across America over the next few months as the worst retail downturn in U.S. history gets even deeper.

Earlier this week, Sears shocked the world when it announced that there is "substantial doubt" that the company will be able to "continue as a going concern" much longer. In other words, Sears has announced that it is on the verge of imminent collapse. Meanwhile, Payless stunned the retail industry when it came out that they are preparing to file for bankruptcy. The "retail apocalypse" that I have been warning about is greatly accelerating, and many believe that this is one of the early warning signs that the economic collapse that is already going on in other parts of the globe will soon reach U.S. shores.

I have repeatedly warned my readers that "Sears is going to zero", and now Sears is officially saying that it might actually happen. When you file official paperwork with the government that says there is "substantial doubt" that the company will survive, that means the end is very near:

The company that operates Sears, the department store chain that dominated retail for decades, warned Tuesday that it faces "substantial doubt" about its ability to stay in business unless it can borrow more and tap cash from more of its assets.

"Our historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern," Sears Holdings said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sears Holdings operates both Sears and Kmart stores.

In the wake of that statement, the price of Sears stock dipped 13.69 percent to $7.85 a share.

Personally, I am going to miss Sears very much. But of course, the truth is that they simply cannot continue operating as they have been.

For the quarter that ended on January 28th, Sears lost an astounding $607 million:

The company said it lost $607 million, or $5.67 per diluted share, during the quarter that ended on Jan. 28. That compared with a loss of $580 million, or $5.44 per diluted share, a year earlier. It has posted a loss in all but two of the last 24 quarters, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

How in the world is it possible for a retailer to lose that amount of money in just three months?

As I have said before, if they had employees flushing dollar bills down the toilet 24 hours a day, they still shouldn't have losses that big.

This week we also learned that Payless is heading for bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, the chain is planning to imminently close at least 400 stores:

Payless Inc., the struggling discount shoe chain, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is initially planning to close 400 to 500 stores as it reorganizes operations, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations aren't public. Payless had originally looked to shutter as many as 1,000 locations, and the number may still be in flux, according to one of the people.

Of course, these are just two examples of a much broader phenomenon.

Never before in U.S. history have we seen such a dramatic wave of store closures. According to Business Insider, over 3,500 retail locations "are expected to close in the next couple of months":

Thousands of mall-based stores are shutting down in what's fast becoming one of the biggest waves of retail closures in decades.

More than 3,500 stores are expected to close in the next couple of months.

Once-thriving shopping malls are rapidly being transformed into ghost towns. As I wrote about just recently, "you might be tempted to think that 'Space Available' was the hottest new retail chain in the entire country."

The demise of Sears is going to be an absolute nightmare for many mall owners. Once anchor stores start closing, it is usually only a matter of time before smaller stores start bailing out...

When an anchor store like Sears or Macy's closes, it often triggers a downward spiral in performance for shopping malls.

Not only do the malls lose the income and shopper traffic from that store's business, but the closure often triggers "co-tenancy clauses" that allow the other mall tenants to terminate their leases or renegotiate the terms, typically with a period of lower rents, until another retailer moves into the anchor space.

Years ago, I wrote of a time when we would see boarded-up storefronts all across America, and now it is happening.

Instead of asking which retailers are going to close, perhaps we should be asking which ones are going to survive this retail cataclysm.

In the past, you could always count on middle-class U.S. consumers to save the day, but today, the middle class is steadily shrinking, and U.S. consumers are increasingly tapped out.

For instance, just look at what is happening to delinquency rates on auto loans...

US auto loan and lease credit loss rates weakened in the second half of 2016, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings, which said they will continue to deteriorate.

"Subprime credit losses are accelerating faster than the prime segment, and this trend is likely to continue as a result of looser underwriting standards by lenders in recent years," said Michael Taiano, a director at Fitch.

The last time so many Americans got behind on subprime auto loans was during the last financial crisis.

We are seeing so many similarities to what happened just prior to the last recession, and yet most Americans still seem to think that the U.S. economy is going to be just fine in 2017.

Unfortunately, major red flags are popping up in the hard economic numbers and in the financial markets.

The last recession probably should have started back in late 2015, but thanks to manipulation by the Fed and an unprecedented debt binge by the Obama administration, official U.S. GDP growth has been able to stay barely above zero for the last year and a half.

But just because something is delayed does not mean that it is canceled.

All along, our long-term economic imbalances have continued to get even worse, and a date with destiny is rapidly approaching for the U.S. economy. {eoa}

Michael Snyder Featured Marketplace Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0400
Native American Tribe Approves Same-Sex Marriage

A Native American tribe in Oklahoma has voted to allow same-sex marriage, joining a small group of prominent tribes changing their law in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2015 decision making the practice legal in all states. 

The same-sex case known as Obergefell v. Hodges has rippled through the 567 federally recognized Indian Nations. As sovereign entities, they are not necessarily bound by the Supreme Court decision, leaving many in the precarious position of trying to decide whether to make the hot-button issue part of their traditional law. 

"Tribes don't have to follow Obergefell. Tribes should, unless they have a good reason not to," said Robert Clinton, a professor specializing in tribal law at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. 

Unofficial results of Monday's special election in the Osage Nation in northern Oklahoma showed 52 percent approved a referendum amending the definition of marriage in the tribe's legal code to include same-sex couples, officials said this week. 

The vote allows the tribe's judicial branch to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The Osage Nation has more than 20,000 citizens and is one of Oklahoma's larger tribes. 

"I know that for a lot of people it was a controversial issue, but for me, it was not," said Osage legislator Alice Buffalohead, the measure's author. 

Formal opposition to the measure did not emerge, but some in the tribe felt allowing gay marriage would undermine the tribe's cultural heritage. 

The Osage join a handful of other prominent tribes that conduct or recognize same-sex marriages, including the Cherokee Nation and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. Most of those tribes adopted the measure around the time of the Supreme Court decision or afterward. 

Legal experts said gay marriage was also being considered by a number of other tribes. 

The Osage vote was about two years in the making, with the measure to make the change in tribal law coming a few months before the 2015 Supreme Court decision and winding its way through the tribal government before it was put up for a referendum. 

Legally, the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights bind states and the federal government, sometimes both, but not American Indian tribes. The Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 demands that tribes generally afford similar rights to the extent not inconsistent with their cultural identity or political integrity. 

Many tribes do not issue marriage certificates, relying on states or the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide the documents. 

Henry Gray, an Osage college student behind the Osage Citizens for Marriage Equality Facebook activist group, said the vote in the Osage Nation this week would help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people know that the tribe accepts them. 

"I have a lot of family and friends who identify as LGBT and there are still more who are afraid to come out, so getting that passed was pretty personal," he said. {eoa}

© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton/Reuters Featured U.S. News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:45:00 -0400
This Is What Israel Will Do if a New War Breaks Out

Israel is developing contingency plans to evacuate up to 250,000 civilians living in border communities in the event of a war breaking out with Hamas, Hezbollah or other Islamic terror groups.

The contingency plan, code-named "Safe Distance," was initiated in response to Hezbollah and Hamas's stockpiling of large new weapons caches capable of striking all of Israel's territory. According to a senior Israeli security official, since its war with Israel in 2006, Hezbollah has significantly expanded its arsenal to a stockpile of approximately 150,000 missiles.

The implementation of the evacuation plan would leave the traditional targets of terrorist rocket fire—communities close to Israel's borders with Lebanon and Gaza—empty of civilians.

The idea to implement the "Safe Distance" plan is based upon insights gained in Israel's 2014 war with Hamas, which saw civilians living in areas adjacent to Gaza evacuating on their own initiative.

Col. Itzik Bar of the Israel Defense Forces Homefront Command told the Associated Press that the purpose of the plan is to "remove the threat by not having civilians there."

"We want a meeting of army and Hezbollah forces, and not civilians with Hezbollah forces," Bar said. "In places where we understand there is a great danger to civilians, for example, where we won't be able to supply defenses or supply deterrence ... we will evacuate." {eoa}

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

]]> Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:00:00 -0400
How One Spirit-Filled Man on the Ground Is Responding to the London Terrorist Attack

As the House of Commons finished Prime Minister's Question Time and the House of Lords debated their Wednesday business, a lone fanatic was driving over Westminster Bridge mowing people down and heading towards the gates of Parliament. The brave police officer at the gate was critically stabbed, and the assailant was shot dead. 40 lie critically injured, five dead. 

The great British Police and Emergency Services launched rapidly into action and once again displayed their professionalism in attending those under siege and those critically injured. Terror had again visited London, and again, the British responded with a Churchillian resolve. Once again, as has been the case since 1605 and Guy Fawkes, Parliament was under attack from terrorism, but like those before them, the democratic fabric held. 

Today, London is a mixed cultural center, with over 300 languages spoken here daily. Those who come from whatever religion, creed or culture are welcome, and it is this alone that makes London. Our European friends, our friends across the pond, have all rallied in support, and though we cry tonight, we pray that joy will come in the morning. We ask you to pray for all those injured and for those who have lost their loved ones. 

Tonight as I write, I can still hear the bells of Big Ben, I can still feel the chill of the London evening and as I look across the River Thames, I know that Londoners will never be intimidated by fear. {eoa}

Martin Clarke Featured Opinion Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:30:00 -0400
How Spiritual Communities Are Uniting to Fight This Destructive Evil

I have said, "Where peripherals collide, convergence is imminent." 

In the ongoing movement to promote racial healing in America, there are unified nationwide efforts growing among spiritual, community and civil rights activists; most recently with some activities converging around the anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is the upcoming April 3, 2017 kickoff of a yearlong campaign beginning on the eve of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassination anniversary with a goal of creating "National Awareness of a Government Apology for Slavery and Institutional Discrimination" to culminate by the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King's death next year. 

Also, on March 20, 2017, I joined a Celebration of Unity live streaming racial reconciliation rally hosted by The Reconciled Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

The response was positively overwhelming, to say the least. It would appear that we are on the road to true racial reconciliation (see Acts 17:26).

Said community activist, Ted Hayes, "In 2008, Congress made history by officially apologizing for chattel slavery in the U.S. and the subsequent Jim Crowism that plagued black people after emancipation. Everyone knew about the poor treatment, but few know about the rare act of contrition by our government and its intention to heal our nation." Hayes was a key organizer of the Day of Love and Reconciliation for Healing.

He added, "In my own experience, people knowing that this apology happened goes a long way in changing the minds of people holding negative opinions about America because of its treatment of the black community."

The initial "Day of Love and Reconciliation for Healing" will be promoted by talk radio hosts of all political leanings drawing attention to H.R. 194 (110th), a resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 29, 2008 that "apologize[d] to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow" and "express[ed] its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African-Americans under slavery and Jim Crow and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future." 

A similar resolution was passed by the U.S. Senate almost a year later.

This congressional apology for slavery and Jim Crowism constitutes one of only a handful of times the U.S. government formally apologized for past actions. 

A goal of the 3/3 project is that talk radio hosts and their audiences will read on the air and discuss the content and the meaning of the congressional apology for slavery.

Talk radio hosts interested in participating in the April 3 Day of Love and Reconciliation For Healing, or participating at a later date, are encouraged to contact Ted Hayes via Dr. King once said, "We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish together as fools."

On an endnote, speaking as director of Civil Rights for the Unborn with Priests for Life, my co-host of Changing Your Community radio show, Emmanuel Boose, and I will be participating in the reconciliation effort.

We also affirm that one can only long for the day Congress will acknowledge the "One Blood, One Human Race" of Acts 17:26, apologizing for the atrocities suffered by society from the ongoing scourge of abortion and its byproducts.

Our shared hope is that someday there will be more legislation, museums and memorials dedicated to the weakest unseen victims of legal oppression; those 60 million victims of legal abortion, and their mothers and families. 

No more auction blocks, no more instruments used to dismember and decapitate innocent unborn children, no more shackles, no more bags marked "medical waste" where babies are thrown after being terminated.

Let's pray for a brighter day for all life, for liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Pray for America. {eoa}

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Alveda King/NewsMax Featured Opinion Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:15:00 -0400
Vindicated: Trump Campaign Members Were Monitored by the US Intel Community

Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a shock wave through Washington, D.C., with this startling announcement:

At our open hearing on Monday, I encouraged anyone who has information about relevant topics—including surveillance on President-elect Trump or his transition team—to come forward and speak to the House Intelligence Committee. I also said that, while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.

I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. 

Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration—details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value—were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. 

I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.

To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.

The House Intelligence Committee will thoroughly investigate this surveillance and its subsequent dissemination to determine:

    • who was aware of it
    • why it was not disclosed to Congress
    • who requested and authorized the additional unmasking
    • whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates; and
    • whether any laws, regulations, or procedures were violated.

I've asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of these surveillance activities. I informed Speaker Ryan this morning of this new information, and I will be going to the White House this afternoon to share what I know with the President.

Asked about the new revelations, and whether or not he felt vindicated, President Donald Trump said he did feel somewhat vindicated. Earlier in the week, he had told FOX News Channel's Tucker Carlson that he expected "interesting developments" to unfold in the days ahead.

Democrats and the liberal mainstream media, who had just been celebrating that "Trump was under investigation" and that there was "no evidence to support his [wiretapping] tweets], had a complete meltdown. The committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), blasted Nunes for taking the information to the president:

This afternoon, Chairman Devin Nunes announced he had some form of intercepts revealing that lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials included information on U.S. persons, potentially including those associated with President Trump or the President himself. If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been. Indeed, it appears that committee members only learned about this when the chairman discussed the matter this afternoon with the press. The chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation. I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way.

As to the substance of what the chairman has alleged, if the information was lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials, that would mean that U.S. persons would not have been the subject of surveillance. In my conversation late this afternoon, the chairman informed me that most of the names in the intercepted communications were in fact masked, but that he could still figure out the probable identity of the parties. Again, this does not indicate that there was any flaw in the procedures followed by the intelligence agencies. Moreover, the unmasking of the U.S. person's name is fully appropriate when it is necessary to understand the context of collected foreign intelligence information.

Because the committee has still not been provided the intercepts in the possession of the chairman, it is impossible to evaluate the chairman's claims. It certainly does not suggest—in any way—that the president was wiretapped by his predecessor.

"Wiretapping" is an antiquated term based on the process used with analog telecommunications equipment to listen in on conversations. Today, every conversation is automatically captured by the telecommunications companies and can be searched for key words, phrases or voice patterns by the various entities of the intelligence community—and its foreign partners, like the British GCHQ.

But federal law prohibits surveillance of Americans without a warrant, and when an American citizen is determined to have been captured in a conversation with a foreign entity, the details are to be limited in nature, unless they are critical to national security. Even then, the identity of the citizen is supposed to be "masked"—identified only as "a U.S. person."

"Unmasking" a U.S. citizen without a warrant is illegal. Sharing intelligence gathered about a U.S. citizen is also illegal, and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That is why Nunes described these new revelations as "deeply troubling."

But there's still a lot we don't know about this situation. So, let's open the reporter's notebook and got through that, bit by bit:


    • was conducting the surveillance (NSA, CIA, FBI)?
    • ordered the surveillance?
    • authorized the surveillance (usually, a FISA Court judge)?
    • was the target of the surveillance?
    • was "incidentally" captured?
    • collected the information?
    • disseminated the information?
    • received the intercepts?
    • read or received the intercepts, but didn't have proper clearance to do so?


    • was the substance of the conversations captured between Trump staffers and the foreign nationals being targeted?
    • was the national security importance of those conversations that prompted detailed reporting?
    • did President Trump know about the conversations that were being intercepted?
    • information was shared outside the intelligence community?
    • role did the Obama administration play in all of this?
    • role did the Clinton campaign play in all of this?


    • were these Trump staffers when their conversations were intercepted?
    • did the calls being target originate from?


    • was the surveillance ordered?
    • was the surveillance authorized?
    • did the surveillance begin?
    • did the surveillance end?
    • did the heads of the intelligence community agencies learn of the intercepts?
    • did they plan to tell Congress and the public about the intercepts?


    • was the surveillance ordered?
    • was the surveillance authorized?
    • were Trump staffers "incidentally" intercepted?
    • were U.S. citizens' conversations recorded in detail if they were not the target of the surveillance?
    • were the intercepts so detailed as to allow someone to know the identity of the Americans involved, even if they weren't "unmasked"?
    • were the intercepts disseminated throughout the intelligence community?
    • were the intercepts shared with the press?
    • did the intelligence chiefs deny there was any surveillance of President Trump and his staffers?
    • didn't the intelligence chiefs announce the "incidental" intercepts?

As you can see, there is still much to be investigated. So far, news reports suggest the NSA has been cooperating with the investigation, but the FBI may not. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has already suggested that if inquiries aren't answered by the end of the week, a joint select panel may have to be convened with subpoena powers to compel the intelligence community to answer those questions. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0400
Will Islam Surpass Christianity as World's Largest Religion?

Fox News and are reporting today that a new study indicates that Islam could surpass Christianity as the world's largest religion. The Pew Research Center says that if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.

The American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.netfrequently delves into headlines about Islam through its Stand in the Gap radio ministry, with a goal to provide pastors, leaders and engaged believers the tools to analyze news from a biblical and constitutional worldview, as well as defend their beliefs and protect their freedoms.

APN president Sam Rohrer has said that radical Islam is one of the greatest threats to American freedom, and urges pastors to educate their congregations about the dangers of Islam.

On Friday, March 24, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. ET, APN is hosting a conference call and webinar for pastors, leaders and Christian media about how they can learn more about these dangers, as well as how to protect their churches and their freedoms.

Participants can join in a discussion with Dr. Mark Christian, a former Imam with family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Christian has been a guest on APN's Stand in the Gap Today, heard on 425 radio stations nationwide, to share his insights on this crucial topic. During the call and webinar, Christian will present riveting true stories followed by a Q&A session.

Those wishing to join the call, titled "Is Islam Luring the American Church Into Denying Jesus?," may register online here. Once registration is complete, potential participants will receive further information via email on how to connect.

Regarding the study on the growth of Islam, simple demographics are involved. Muslim families, for example, have an average of 3.1 children per woman, while Christian families have an average of 2.7 children, Pew found in 2015. Today, Christians make up roughly 2.2 billion people.

Currently, Christianity is the world's largest religion, with Islam coming in second. The third largest religious group, according to Pew's research, is an "unaffiliated" segment that makes up about 1.1 billion people, with Hindu as the fourth largest at about 1 billion people.

Pew estimates that from 2010 to 2050, the Islamic religion's population size will grow by 73 percent, while the Christian population is projected to grow 35 percent. {eoa}

Beth Harrison/Hamilton Strategies Featured U.S. News Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:00:00 -0400
Princeton Theological Seminary Writes Its Own Epitaph

Although Princeton Theological Seminary departed from biblical Orthodoxy many decades ago, this once venerable institution has crossed a new, shameful line, thereby writing its own epitaph. It may still have brilliant scholars on its faculty and some truly Christian students in its midst, and it may continue to function for years to come. But by revoking its decision to honor Rev. Tim Keller with a special award, it has announced to the world that it worships at the altar of political correctness, showing more allegiance to the prevailing culture than to the timeless Word of God.

First, a short history of the school.

The seminary was founded in 1812 and was led by Dr. Archibald Alexander, who would hardly recognize the institution today, so far has it departed from its roots.

Through the rest of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, Princeton was graced with the presence of top biblical scholars and theologians such as Charles Hodge, J. A. Alexander, B.B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen and Geerhardus Vos. But in 1929, when the seminary went in an anti-fundamentalist (anti-evangelical) direction, embracing "modernism" instead, Machen resigned, along with Oswald T. Allis, Robert Dick Wilson and Cornelius Van Til—all great luminaries in evangelical Christian scholarship—and together they founded Westminster Theological Seminary.

So, as stated, the seminary has not been a bastion of orthodoxy for nearly a century, but it has never before stooped this low in exalting the opinions of people over the truth of Scripture (or, to be charitable, over historic Christian positions), and in the name of progressive Christianity, it has further announced its departure from the faith.

Rev. Timothy Keller, longtime leader of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and one of the most respected and irenic pastors in America, was scheduled to speak at the seminary and receive the Kuyper Prize, named after Dutch Christian leader Abraham Kuyper (more on Kuyper at the end of the article).

However, the announcement that Keller would be receiving this award created an uproar at the school, prompting the school's president, Prof. Craig Barnes, to write a letter to the seminary community on March 10. He explained, "The focus of the concerns that have come to me is that Rev. Keller is a leader of the Presbyterian Church in America, which prevents women and LGBTQ+ persons from full participation in the ordained ministry to Word and Sacrament."

He continued, "Our seminary embraces full inclusion for ordained leadership of the church. We clearly stand in prophetic opposition to the PCA and many other Christian denominations that do not extend the full exercise of Spirit filled gifts for women or those of various sexual orientations. We know that many have been hurt by being excluded from ministry, and we have worked hard to be an affirming place of preparation for service to the church."

So, it is not just an issue of the PCA not ordaining women (where there have been different views among Christian conservatives, who can point to women serving in various leadership capacities in the Church from New Testament times until today); it is an issue of the PCA not ordaining practicing gays, lesbians and others (where there have been virtually no differences among Christian conservatives from New Testament times until today in light of the categorical teaching of Scripture and the unanimous verdict of Church history until recent years). And note that the seminary stands in "prophetic opposition" to these positions, finding the battle to be a "critical issue of justice."

Nonetheless, Barnes wrote, because it is a "a core conviction of our seminary to be a serious academic institution that will sometimes bring controversial speakers to campus because we refuse to exclude voices within the church," he hoped that Keller would be welcomed in "a spirit of grace and academic freedom" when he received his award and gave a lecture to the school.

Twelve days later, on March 22, Barnes wrote again. The outcry was too great. Keller would not receive the award (although, remarkably, Keller agreed to deliver his lecture as planned; I question if he will be received in "a spirit of grace and academic freedom").

Yes, Barnes explained, "In order to communicate that the invitation to speak at the upcoming conference does not imply an endorsement of the Presbyterian Church in America's views about ordination, we have agreed not to award the Kuyper Prize this year."

Ironically (really, that is too weak a description), Barnes stated that, "We are a community that does not silence voices in the church. [You might want to pause for a moment and read that again. He actually wrote they do "not silence voices in the church."] In this spirit, we are a school that can welcome a church leader to address one of its centers about his subject, even if we strongly disagree with his theology on ordination to ministry. Reverend Keller will be lecturing on Lesslie Newbigin and the mission of the church—not on ordination"

Is this not outright professorial double-talk? We don't silence other voices; no, we welcome leaders with other views. We just dishonor them by revoking a promised award, and we effectively muzzle them by having them speak on a non-controversial subject.

No wonder Rod Dreher said that, "If I were Tim Keller, I would let the dying Mainline bury the dying Mainline, and not bother with them. Mainline Protestantism in most places has become a suicide cult."

Dreher has not overstated his case.

In a further stroke of irony, Barnes closed his letter saying, "In the grace and love of Jesus Christ, we strive to be a community that can engage with generosity and respect those with whom we disagree about important issues."

Generosity and respect indeed.

And who is this Abraham Kuyper after whom the award is named? He was a Dutch theologian, journalist and political leader, serving as Holland's Prime Minister from 1901-1905. And Kuyper was a staunch opponent of theological liberalism who believed in the absolute lordship of Christ, famously writing, "Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"

That applies to Princeton Theological Seminary as well, and if this school does not fully reverse its course, repent, and go back to its foundations, it will become increasingly irrelevant and impotent—again, despite some of the brilliant scholars who teach there and despite the presence of some fine Christians who attend there.

And what would Kuyper say to each of us today?

I leave you with his resounding words. May we take them to heart and put them into practice: "When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith."

The time is now. {eoa}

Michael Brown Featured In the Line of Fire Opinion Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:30:00 -0400
The Rule of Law: Judge Gorsuch and David Foster Wallace's Fish

"We're now like David Foster Wallace's fish," said Judge Neil Gorsuch earlier today in his nomination hearing. "We're surrounded by the rule of law, it's in the fabric of our lives."

Gorsuch made a similar claim in an article on "Law's Irony" for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. The judge wondered "whether the law's greatest irony might just be the hope obscured by the cynic's shadow" and "whether cynicism about the law flourishes so freely only because-for all its blemishes-the rule of law in our society is so successful that sometimes it's hard to see." He adds:

I wonder if we're like David Foster Wallace's fish: surrounded by water, yet somehow unable to appreciate its existence. Or like Chesterton's man on the street who is asked out of the blue why he prefers civilization to barbarism and has a hard time stammering out a reply because the "very multiplicity of proof which [should] make reply overwhelming makes [it] impossible.


Here, then, is the irony I'd like to leave you with. If sometimes the cynic in all of us fails to see our nation's successes when it comes to the rule of law maybe it's because we are like David Foster Wallace's fish that's oblivious to the life-giving water in which it swims. Maybe we overlook our nation's success in living under the rule of law only because, for all our faults, that success is so obvious it's sometimes hard to see.

The reference to "Wallace's fish" is from the late novelist David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College. The video below adds images to Wallace's recitation of what is often considered one of the greatest commencement speeches of all time.

Note: The man whom Gorsuch is replacing on the Supreme Court—the late Justice Antonin Scalia—was also a fan of Wallace.

Joe Carter is a senior editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at The Gospel Coalition, as a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

Joe Carter/Acton Institute Featured Opinions Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:00:00 -0400
White House Announces New Transparency Measure

With so many millionaires and billionaires working in the Trump administration, Democrats—with the help of the liberal mainstream media—has made a concerted effort of calling into question the motives of those President Donald Trump has appointed to serve in high-level positions in government.

A new measure announced Wednesday by the White House will likely address many of those concerns, although as complicated as it has been for many Trump nominees to extricate themselves from their vast personal wealth, it might create entirely new headaches, as well. But, the president promised real transparency from his administration.

The White House statement reads:

Fulfilling the president's commitment to ensure an ethical and transparent government, on March 31, 2017, the White House will be making the U.S. Office of Government Ethics Form 278 financial disclosure reports filed by high-level officials in the White House office available to the public.

Additionally, in the future, members of the public will be able to make requests through an online portal and receive access to the public financial disclosure reports of officials who have filed their form at least 30 days prior to the date of the request.

Additional Information

As per the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, high-level officials in the White House are required to file public financial disclosure reports. These reports are reviewed by the White House and are used to identify and prevent potential financial conflicts of interest. The reports of the highest-level officials are also independently reviewed by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Under section 105 of the Ethics in Government Act, these reports are available to the public upon request.

To ensure timely response and maximum public disclosure, the White House may release some reports prior to their certification by the White House or the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Uncertified reports are still considered to be under review, and are subject to change based on the robust review process of the Office of White House Counsel. {eoa}

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400
House Freedom Caucus Vows to Sink RINOcare

With 25 of its members prepared to oppose the House GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday, the House Freedom Caucus says it has the votes needed to block the bill from advancing out of the House.

Efforts to sway Republicans to switch their votes in favor of the bill are coming down to the wire, as the House is expected to vote on the health care plan Thursday. But even as the White House continues its charm offensive, it doesn't appear the number of lawmakers opposed to the bill is moving at all, which puts its future in jeopardy.

According to Alyssa Farah, spokeswoman for the House Freedom Caucus, 25 of the group's members will vote against the bill, and the conservative caucus encouraged GOP leaders to "start over."

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the Freedom Caucus, reaffirmed his intent to vote against the bill on Twitter:

I remain a "no" on the #AHCA—the bill doesn't do what we promised on bringing down premiums for Americans.

In addition to members of the Freedom Caucus, a number of centrist Republicans have come out against the bill as well. Republican Reps. Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida both say they plan to oppose the bill.

They were joined by Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., who announced his opposition to the bill Wednesday.

"Simply put, this bill does not meet the standards of what was promised," he said in a statement. "It is not as good as or better than what we currently have."

While the Freedom Caucus puts the number of "no" votes at 25, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said he has spoken with 29 conservatives who, like him, opposed the bill as of Tuesday evening.

"What are the people saying that are for this on Capitol Hill? Well, they're trying to tell us it's a binary decision, that you can either take it or leave it," he said in an interview with Breitbart Radio. "We think the negotiation starts when one party says 'no.' That's why we're going to say no."

Massie also took to his Twitter account to reiterate his position on the House GOP's health care bill.

With 237 seats in the House and five vacancies, twenty-two Republican votes against the legislation would block the plan from advancing to the Senate.

So far, just one Republican who opposed the legislation has switched his vote.

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., said Tuesday he couldn't support the GOP's health care plan because it didn't include provisions to verify that illegal immigrants wouldn't get access to the tax credits.

But Barletta announced Wednesday he would be voting yes on the legislation, called the American Health Care Act, after meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump on Tuesday night.

"The president gave his full support to legislation I will introduce to deny health care tax credits to illegal immigrants, and the speaker promised to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote," Barletta said in a statement Wednesday. "Because my concerns were met, I will vote for the bill with the understanding that my bill will receive full consideration on the House floor next month."

Despite the strong opposition from the Freedom Caucus, the White House seemed confident the bill would pass the lower chamber.

"This count keeps getting stronger for us," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters today.

Ryan, too, seemed confident the health care proposal would pass and Thursday's scheduled vote would continue as planned.

"We feel pretty good," he told Fox News on Wednesday. "We know we feel good at the end of the day here because members promised we would repeal and replace this disastrous and collapsing law."

"We're talking to our members," the Wisconsin Republican continued. "We're not losing votes."

The House Rules Committee took up the bill Wednesday morning and, at the time of publication, continued to debate the legislation.

Conservatives continue to take issue with the legislation because of the impact it will have on the cost of premiums.

An analysis of the bill from the Congressional Budget Office found that the bill would cause premiums to rise 15 to 20 percent in 2018 and 2019.

The lawmakers believe Obamacare's essential health benefits requirements, a list of services insurance plans required to cover without co-payments, need to be repealed for premiums to come down in price.

Conservatives appear to have an ally in Trump, who said he would call on the Senate to include a repeal of the essential health benefits requirements when it takes up the House bill, according to reports.

While the conservatives are pushing Republicans to include a repeal of the essential health benefits requirements and other insurance regulations in their health care bill, leaders have dug in their heels and warn that an inclusion of those provisions wouldn't pass muster in the Senate.

GOP leaders attempted to gin up support for the bill from conservative and centrist Republicans on Monday when they released changes to the health care plan.

The proposal repealed Obamacare's taxes in 2017 instead of 2018, and made further modifications to the Medicaid expansion, including a freeze of the expansion in 2020. The plan also changed the tax credits for low-income Americans.

But the changes weren't enough to sway the lawmakers, who still are pushing for further negotiations. {eoa}

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

Melissa Quinn/Heritage Foundation Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:00:00 -0400