Charisma News | Breaking News. Spiritual Perspective. Sun, 28 Aug 2016 16:00:09 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Why Many Believers Overlook This Soul-Decaying Idol

I'm struggling with idolatry today, so I figured one way to do battle with it is to bring it into the light, enlist some of my favorite prayer warriors (you!), and hash it all out—right here in front of everybody. It's the same old idol I've told you about before. The one that knows no mercy and almost takes me under every time I give it just a little room.

The latest battle with my old enemy started when I was visiting a friend who was lying in the hospital bed with sky-high blood pressure. A couple of us were keeping her company while we waited for test results. Her emergency trip to the hospital had put us all in a "teachable" position with our health. We spent the morning doing a little Bible study together, checking out what the Word has to say about a brutal topic—what we eat and drink!

We started with this:

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1–2).

That's pretty clear. When we live out the gospel, it's to be an evident transformation. That transformation isn't just heart transformation—although that's where it all starts. It begins with the heart, but it should affect our entire being. There is a literal and a spiritual aspect to presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Paul takes a radical approach to getting that flabby flesh under control:

But I bring and keep my body under subjection, lest when preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Cor. 9:27).

Everything We Do Should Glorify Him

One of my friends was sharing why she no longer goes to the race track to gamble. She said, "I never wanted anyone to have anything they saw me do that might detract from my commitment to Christ. I want everything I do to be something that glorifies Him."

As she was sharing that, all I could think about is how I've stopped battling my idol and let it gain mastery over me again. I told her, "If people looked at my eating habits, I would be ashamed. I'm not glorifying God ... "

How can I stand and teach the Word, challenge women to live passionately for Christ, when I have this unyielded area in my life? When I'm worshiping at the wrong altar? When I'm indulging in idolatry—feeding my flesh?

Food is not the problem. My heart is.

I love food. I love butter (and lots of it), cream sauce, chocolate, comfort food, creamy food, crunchy food, spicy food, sweet food, salty food, cheesy food, rich food, high-calorie-high-fat food. My love affair with food is unholy.

Enjoying God's Gifts

God blesses us with all good gifts to enjoy, He pours out beauty, comfort, pleasurable experiences, abundant provisions—all to be enjoyed.

Command those who are rich in this world that they not be conceited, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who richly gives us all things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17).

But true enjoyment of God's gifts comes through the holy practice and consumption of those gifts—not through the perversion of the good. Food is good and necessary. But food can become an idol. I don't just eat to live—I live to eat!

When I go beyond enjoying food within holy boundaries and indulge my flesh in unhealthy ways, when my cravings drive my decisions and I seek to find satisfaction through my belly, when gluttony becomes my practice, my approach to food is not glorifying God. In fact, it's idolatry.

Paul, again, gives a strong word about our physical appetites:

Their destination is destruction, their god is their appetite, their glory is in their shame, their minds are set on earthly things (Phil. 3:19).

Paul is speaking specifically of non-believers here, but it's interesting that one characteristic of these individuals is that they worship at the wrong altar. Their "god" is their belly, and they find no shame in looking to food for their joy, comfort and pleasure.

It could be alcohol. Maybe gambling, porn, or drugs, but for me ... food is my addiction.

Letting Christ Rule

In that little hospital room, each of us confessed our addictions. Each of us walked through the Scriptures and allowed the Spirit to confront us that morning. While writing this post, I had to text those two friends and ask for prayer ... while battling a major craving. I don't want to worship at that altar today. I don't want the desire for chocolate to rule my life; I want Christ to rule my life. They prayed, and I planted Romans 12:1–2 a little deeper in my heart.

What altar are you worshiping at today?

Copyright © 2001-2016 Revive Our Hearts. Kimberly Wagner's passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.

Kimberly Wagner Featured Opinion Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:00:00 -0400
This Spiritual Stronghold Can Make You Physically Sick

Our bodies are truly amazing. Artists have tried to capture the beauty of the human body for years.

The human body puzzles doctors and scientists, and every day they discover more truth about the human body. The human brain designed by God and placed in our head is far beyond medical comprehension. God designed a remarkable pump and placed it in man's chest. It is called the heart. There is no machine on Earth that works as hard as the human heart.

Reading articles on the Internet, I found that on average, a healthy heart weighs 11 ounces and pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day. A healthy heart allows you to enjoy the life that God has given you.

On the other hand, an unhealthy heart causes disease in our body that brings pain and suffering. Our activities are limited in our daily lives, and much time has to be given to care for the needs of the body. An unhealthy heart leads to death, the death of dreams and visions and the purpose that God has put in your spirit, which is also known as your spiritual heart. Your spiritual heart is the center core of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit when you are born again.

In all this, the Bible simply says, "I will praise you, for You made me with fear and wonder; marvelous are Your works, and You know me completely" (Ps. 139:14). The body is God's masterpiece.

More and more the world is becoming conscious of the need to care for the human body so we can live healthier and longer, which is good. As a believer in Christ Jesus, we need to praise and worship God for His marvelous creation.

God made man an intellectual, moral and physical creature with spiritual responsibility and integrity. Man was created to express God's own nature of love, to receive His love and to share His love. Man did not evolve or arrive on Earth by accident. As we read, he is fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose.

With the knowledge of this magnificent masterpiece, why do we continue to abuse the body, which was created in the image of God? Every place we look we see information about taking care of our body. We hear about the damage done to our body from addictions that are destroying our bodies—food, alcohol, tobacco, pornography and so on.

Why can't we stop? It is evident that we cannot break these strongholds by our own power. Addiction is a spiritual problem that can only be broken by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As a child of God, how long will the out-of-shape believer look in the mirror and say, "I must do something about this body"? How long do we depend on a drink to deaden the pain of hurt, or think we can get by looking at pornography and never be caught?

It is a heart problem—not our physical heart, but our spiritual heart. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." The New Living Translation says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do."

What's in your heart affects everything you do. Are you full of bitterness, hate, jealousy or unforgiveness? These are some of the issues of life that cause addictions. We are looking for a way of escape instead of facing the truth and taking responsibility for our actions.

A healthy physical heart comes from a healthy spiritual heart. Lack of care for our physical heart comes from a lack of care of our spiritual heart. That is the heart of the matter.

"The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit (heart) who can bear?" (Prov. 18:14). "He who has no rule over his own spirit (heart) is like a city that is broken down and without walls" (Prov. 25:28). A city without walls has no protection against attacks of the enemy. You do have an enemy and he has one goal: to steal, kill and destroy. You, child of God, have a big God and He desires to give you abundant life (John 10:10).

Joyce Tilney is founder of Women of God Ministries and author of Why Diets Don't Work—Food Is Not the Problem. Visit her website to sign up for a Free Devotional and a free monthly newsletter that will bring help and encouragement in your walk in the Spirit.

Joyce Tilney Featured Opinion Sun, 28 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
How You Will Know if the Holy Spirit Is Truly Guiding You

It's important to regularly ask, "Is God truly guiding me?" "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you" (Ps. 32:8).

The inner promptings of the Holy Spirit are like gauges in an airplane—if the pilot ignores them, he'll miss his destination.

The conviction of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift from God—listen to it. I often hear people say, "God is leading me to do this or that," and all too often, they find that they made a very poor decision. What happened? The Holy Spirit didn't lead them; human nature and emotions did.

Many jump into a dating relationship or marriage, buy an expensive vehicle or recreational toy, or charge thousands of dollars on credit, believing that God's Spirit is leading them. I'm amazed at the number of people who don't help those in need, budget their income or make smart financial decisions, and still think that they are using wisdom in the area of finances.

I'm equally alarmed at the number of couples who are convinced that God is leading them toward marriage, yet they engage in premarital sex and are considering living together before marriage. Let me be clear: God directs us to make "wise" decisions that correspond with His Word. Disobedience leads to disappointment. That's why it's always sensible to ask, "Is God truly guiding me?" before making an important decision.

Furthermore, if you're not in the Word, the Word won't be in you. One of the best ways to know if God is truly guiding you is to stay and obey—stay in His Word; obey His principles. "God is more likely to direct me through wise teaching than through inner voices" (J.I. Packer).

Compare your "feelings" to the Word. "The heart is more deceitful than all things and desperately wicked; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9). Feelings shouldn't lead but follow. Although feelings can be good and God-ordained—I thank God for the love that I feel toward God and my family—when it comes to making decisions, we shouldn't interpret the Scriptures in the light of our feelings, but rather interpret our feelings through the light of Scripture.

How do we evaluate motives? Here are just a few helpful questions: Would you go on a mission trip, visit the elderly, donate money or help the homeless even if no one knew? Would you sing on the praise and worship team if you had to sing from the back and not from center stage? Would you be in leadership if you were not recognized and applauded for your efforts?

I've found that God doesn't always answer yes or no to questions that don't require an immediate response. He tells us to wait. It's in this waiting period that we develop patience and trust. His leading isn't a reckless course of action; it's a well-designed plan that often takes time to unfold.

However, it's incredibly difficult to hear from God if we're actively engaging in sin. Sin means to miss the mark. We can't be on target in the center of God's will if we're continually missing the mark. It's like trying to hit a bull's-eye with a bent arrow. It doesn't matter how attractive the sin is, or how good it makes you feel, remove it from your life.

Remember, biblical principles do not change with the times. {eoa}

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. He recently released his seventh book, Desperate for More of God.Shane's sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at Follow him on Facebook at:

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Shane Idleman Featured Opinion Sun, 28 Aug 2016 11:00:00 -0400
Banishing a Deadly End-Times Destiny-Killing Spirit From Your Life

"A spirit of offense is rising and running rampant through the church. Those who are easily offended are candidates for the Great Falling Away. Those who cultivate and maintain an unoffendable heart will escape many of the assignments the enemy will launch in the days to come."

I've shared this prophetic word with you twice now. I first heard it in December 2015 but since many in the body of Christ are still taking the bait of Satan, I sounded the alarm again last week. This destructive spirit of offense is destroying destinies—but it can ultimately send you to hell if you don't break free. I preached on this at Awakening House of Prayer on Sunday and many rushed the altar in tears. Others came slowly one by one in what was a powerful altar call.

In Christ's Matthew 24 discourse on the end-times, He warned us against deception, false christs and not getting into fear as the signs of the times manifested. He warned us of persecution and martyrdom. He warned us of false prophets rising. And He told us those who endure to the end shall be saved. He also said this:

"And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold" (Matt. 24:10-12, NIV). We're seeing this now.


A Satanic End-Times Strategy

Clearly, an uptick in offense is one of the signs of the end-times. Offense leads to betrayal and hate and lawlessness. John the apostle taught us that anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them (1 John 3:15). Offense sets you up for deception from false prophets and theologies.

If you are going to get offended with your brothers and sisters now, you'll certainly be offended at Jesus in the end times when things don't unfold the way you thought. Judas was offended with the Lord and betrayed Him and committed suicide. Taking Satan's bait of offense is a form of spiritual suicide, like a cancer that spreads slowly until it overtakes you.

The word offense in the Bible comes from the Greek word skandalon, which is the name of the part of the trap you set the bait on to lure the animal. Vine's Dictionary says offense is a hindrance or a stumbling block. Offense causes us to stumble in our walk with God. We need to guard our hearts from offense with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).

In his book The Bait of Satan, John Bevere writes:

"A pure heart is like pure gold—soft, tender, and pliable. Hebrews 3:13 states that hearts are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin! If we do not deal with an offense, it will produce more fruit of sin, such as bitterness, anger, and resentment. This added substance hardens our hearts just as alloys harden gold. This reduces or removes tenderness, creating a loss of sensitivity. We are hindered in our ability to hear God's voice. Our accuracy to see is darkened. This is a perfect setting for deception."

Dealing With Offense in Our Hearts

It's impossible that offenses won't come (Luke 17:1) yet Paul said, "I always strive to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men." It is possible to reject the bait of offenses that come your way if you are not one in the last days that falls into the "lovers of themselves" category (2 Tim. 3:2).

We can't walk in the glory of God and offense at the same time. Proverbs 19:11 tells us, "The discretion of a man defers his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression" (MEV). We can't get prayer answers and walk in unforgiveness at the same time (Mark 11:22-26; Matthew 6:9-15). We can't walk in offense and expect not to enter into resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness and hatred.

"A common excuse for self-preservation through disobedience is offense. There is a false sense of self-protection in harboring an offense. It keeps you from seeing your own character flaws because the blame is deferred to another," Bevere writes. "You never have to face your role, your immaturity, or your sin because you see only the faults of the offender. Therefore, God's attempt to develop character in you by this opposition is now abandoned. The offended person will avoid the source of the offense and eventually flee, becoming a spiritual vagabond."

Dealing with offense in our hearts requires repentance—a change of thinking. We need to crucify our flesh, ask God for the grace of humility, stop being selfish and determine not to be offended. We need to allow the Lord to heal any past hurts, wounds, rejection or other issues that drive us toward offense. We need to stop using the Word of God to justify our right to be offended so we'll stop fleeing relationships and churches and repeating the same cycle.

Walking in Humility

By the same token, we need to walk in humility with those who are offended with us—justifiably or unjustifiably—knowing that offense could ultimately send them to hell. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to walk in humility with someone who refuses to meet or talk with you. But you should give it several good attempts bathed in intercession before you give up. Jesus said:

"You have heard that it was said by the ancients, 'You shall not murder,' and 'Whoever murders shall be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be in danger of the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go on your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matt. 5:21-24).

Always allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Your brother may not reconcile but if you've gone to them three times and taken others, you've done all you can do. Beloved, guard your heart from offense in this hour and be careful to avoid offending others as much as possible. Walk humbly and circumspectly before the Lord. The days are evil.

Jennifer LeClaire Featured Opinion Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400
What Holiness Should Look Like in the Life of a Believer

God calls us to holiness because He is holy, but what does this realistically look like in our lives? Where is the line?

Is it okay to have a beer? How far is too far physically when you are in a dating relationship? Is it okay to go to an R-rated movie or to listen to secular music? How should we, as Christians, live in a culture where standards have been blurred, changed and even completely erased in many areas? Despite the ever-changing culture of our world, God's standards have not changed nor are they outdated or "old school" as some people might think.

In addition to the constantly changing cultural values, there is also the hyper-grace movement to contend with that says everything is okay, that because of grace we don't need to worry about standards but this is simply not true either. Don't get me wrong, there is no one more thankful for grace than me—I am who I am because of Jesus and the grace that He continually gives me. It is only by His grace that I went from being a drunken fraternity guy at FSU to the pastor of a church. And just as a side note: I think many of us would be able to minister to others a lot more effectively if we remembered who we were and where we were before Jesus saved us!

But the grace of Jesus Christ is not a get out of jail free card! Grace does not give us a free pass to ignore the guidelines and standards set for us as followers of Jesus. It does however cover our mistakes when we all fall miserably short of them despite our best efforts.

So, what are these standards? In a world that says "acceptable" is relative to the culture we live in or subjective to the individual person's beliefs, how do we find anything absolute to live by? The only standards that do not change based on culture, time or the hearer are the ones that are found in the Bible.

But the Bible is not just a really old book of rules. It is the inspired, infallible Word of God. It is full of story after story from generation after generation of jacked up, imperfect people and the patience, redemptive love and grace of a perfect God. The Bible does give us rules, guidelines and standards to live by but it also gives us at look at the lessons, struggles, and lives of so many that have gone before us attempting to live by these standards. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read that "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

So how do we do it? How do we find the place between legalism, hyper-grace, and the anything-goes, live-and-let-live culture we find ourselves in? How do we live our lives in a way that even comes close to the standards of holiness God has set for us?

First and foremost, you need to know what these standards are. You cannot adhere to God's Word if you do not know God's Word. Find a Bible reading plan, a good Bible-based devotional, a biblical commentary, something that works for you. We need to learn from, read and study God's Word daily because you cannot adhere to something that you don't know. In addition to knowing God's Word, I believe there are four practical things that we can all do to challenge ourselves to live according to God's Word.

The first thing we must do is to make a commitment to God's standards. Psalm 119:9 says "How shall a young man keep his way pure?  By keeping it according to Your Word." If we want to stay pure and live by the standards that God has laid out for us we have got to live according to the Word of God. We need to know the Word of God and be obedient to the entire Word of God, not just the parts of the Bible that we enjoy reading or that make us feel better about ourselves.

Knowing the Word of God not only helps us to stay pure by being obedient but it also gives us the wisdom to be able to better discern the voice of God because the voice of God will never contradict the Word of God. This is something I have been asked many times as a pastor; what should I do when I feel like God has provided an opportunity, given me a feeling, or maybe even spoken something to me but it doesn't exactly line up with the Bible?

Just for the record if you feel like God spoke something to you and it contradicts what the Bible says, you heard incorrectly; no matter how "right" something feels, our feelings do not trump the Word of God. 

Another thing we must do to help us live according to God's Word is to manage our minds. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that, "Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." How many of us if we are honest with ourselves would say that sometimes our imaginations are in need of being "cast down."

I mean, I love Jesus with all of my heart, but it is easy for my imagination to get away from me. When we have to deal with stress, bad news or a difficult situation oftentimes our imagination can be miles ahead of us, in the wrong direction, before we even realize it. It is in those moments that we have to take those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.

Another way that you can help manage your mind is by monitoring what it is that you allow in through your eyes and ears. Our thought life is greatly affected by what we see and hear. Managing our minds starts with managing what we allow to influence our minds. The key to this, however, is not attempting to monitor it in the moment but setting up some guidelines or standards in your own life about what you will watch, listen or expose yourself to. 

The third thing we must all do, and this is huge, is to magnify the consequences. It is so easy to romanticize things, to think that the grass is always greener, or to choose the easier option. We all naturally tend to consider the immediate satisfaction a decision might bring rather than considering the repercussions or consequences that it might bring in the future.

I will never forget something that my pastor, Pastor Stovall Weems, said to me once: "If you ever think about doing anything in your life that could possibly hurt your family, I want you to picture sitting down and having to tell your children what you have done face to face." That thought has stuck with me (and terrified me!) over the years. We must always consider the consequences of "what if" instead of romancing the thoughts "if only."

Magnifying the truth about how your life could be negatively affected in the long run will help to defuse false assumptions of gains in the short run from bad decisions. One of the things that I personally have done in my own life is to put together a wall in my office of pictures of all the people I would let down if I made a big mistake.

There are pictures of my children, my wife, my parents, my grandparents, people I pastor and also great men and women that have gone before me. I want to magnify the consequences in a way that keeps me focused on the standards God has called me to.

What consequences can you magnify in your own life? What are those things that you could never imagine having to do or go through if you made a major mistake? Magnify them! Keep them in front of you and don't forget how much you have to lose.

Another thing we must all do to help us live according to God's Word is to maintain proper relationships. There are some relationships that you need to have and some that you simply do not need to have. Proverbs 13:20 says "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed."

Of course, we all want to be characterized as a person who is wise, but we cannot achieve that without surrounding ourselves with people who are wise to speak into our lives. We should always seek out people that will sharpen us, help us be better and more like Jesus. We do not need people in our lives that only tell us only what we want to hear; instead, we need people that tell us what we need to hear. The flip side of this coin is that all of us will have relationships that, if we are not careful, can harm us and pull us away from God's standards.

For example, if you are married there is really no reason for you to have a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex. You must be intentional in all your relationships, maintaining proper boundaries with some people as well as seeking out wisdom and the healthy influence of others.

So, let me ask you: How are you doing with these areas? Have you made commitments to God's standards? Do you manage your mind in a way that brings glory and honor to Jesus? Are you magnifying the consequences and are you maintaining proper relationships? My prayer is that you answered yes to a lot of these questions, but if you didn't, remember it is never too late to make adjustments in your life that will move you closer to standards God has called you to live by. {eoa}

Josh Turner and his wife, Becca, are the lead pastors of Celebration Orlando. Under the leadership of Pastor Stovall and Kerri Weems, Josh spent the last nine years leading the Student Ministries of Celebration Church. Both Josh and Becca believe wholeheartedly in innovating creative and cutting edge ways to reach people for the cause of Christ. They have a passion to see people understand their unique purpose and fulfill the call of God on their life. 

Josh Turner Featured Opinion Sat, 27 Aug 2016 17:00:00 -0400
3 Reasons Why Satan Hates You—And What You Can Do About It

For victory in any battle, it's vital to know who the enemy is and why they're after you. It's the same in our spiritual battles.

Obviously, we know that Satan is our greatest adversary. But did you know he's not after you just for the fun of it? No, Satan hates you for at least several reasons of which you need to be aware.

1. Satan hates you because you remind him of who he can't be.  At creation, when God spoke people into existence, He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). What this describes is astonishing: You and I resemble God. Sure, because of sin, we're a very distorted image, but we bear His qualities, nonetheless. This means that when Satan sees you and I, he gets a potent reminder of God and who he can never be. The devil is tremendously jealous of this. As I explore much more in depth in my book, Silence Satan, this is precisely why he uses accusations to convince you that you're worthless.

2. Satan hates you because you have the power to crush his head. In the punishment for the first sin, the Lord forewarned Satan of his future: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15).

While this is often correctly attributed as the first prophesy about Jesus, God's words here also put the devil on notice that dominion would eventually be returned to the offspring of Eve—that's the children of God. And that's exactly what happened! When Jesus came to Earth, He gave His authority to you and I by assuring, "I give you authority ... over all the power of the enemy" (Luke 10:19). Of course, this scares the devil stiff, and so he works tirelessly to keep God's people from knowing about the power they have in Christ.

3. Satan hates you because God loves you. The devil knows the power of God's love. He knows those who are convinced God loves them remain in close relationship with God. And when you're close to God, His voice drowns out all others. The reality Satan despises is that his lies lose their power because the truth of God's love is so much louder. Because of this, the devil doesn't want you close to God, and so he tries to drive a wedge between you and God by relentlessly trying to get you to believe that God is mad at you.

How to Stand Against Satan's Attacks

Here's some great news! By knowing why Satan is after you, you know how to stand against his attacks. When he tries to tell you you're worthless, remind him that you're made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). When he attempts to convince you that you're powerless, remind him of the authority given to you by Jesus (Luke 10:19). And when he argues that God doesn't love you, send him packing with the reminder that God proved His love on the cross (Rom. 5:8).

Finally, always remember that nothing is more threatening to Satan than someone who knows who they are and what they have in Christ!

Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the Number 1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.


Kyle Winkler Featured Opinion Sat, 27 Aug 2016 15:00:00 -0400
Unlock Revelations From Heaven With This Underused Spiritual Gift

Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.

An abundance of power and grace shall flow from your mouth as you pray in the Spirit.

Mysteries will be revealed, revelation knowledge shall stream forth from your mouth as you surrender your tongue to My Spirit.

You have missed in many areas because you have failed to surrender your voice to My Spirit, but that can all change now.

Humble yourself before Me, bow your knee, and you will begin to see great and mighty wonders take place before you if you will pray in the Spirit.

Starting with the first syllable of the first word in the Spirit, My creative, explosive power is released into the atmosphere and change takes place.

The more you discipline yourself to pray in the Spirit, the more change you will begin to see.

Many of My people have resisted My Spirit in this area. And many have suffered needlessly because they would not align themselves with the power of the Spirit.

But a mighty rushing wind is starting to blow from the four corners of the Earth as My intercessors are calling forth a revival of true repentance.

A spiritual storm of immeasurable proportions gathers in strength; light and darkness clash, good and evil do not mix, but light always invades the darkness.

And darkness you will see, as many will flee from Me, and follow after the lusts of the flesh, and all forms of ungodliness.

But as My people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, seek My face, repent of their wickedness, I hear from heaven, and I heal their land.

A new heaven and a new Earth is being called down, and here there is no darkness, no sorrow, no pain and no more tears. It is a land without fear, because the enemy is not allowed here.

Prepare yourselves in the Spirit, for My return is drawing ever so near.

Becky Dvorak is a prophetic healing evangelist and the Destiny Image author of DARE to Believe, Greater Than Magic and, soon to be released, The Healing Creed. Visit her at

Becky Dvorak Featured Opinion Sat, 27 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Prophecy: God Is Raising Up a Generation Like Martin Luther

Several weeks ago as I was praying for transformation in our city, region, state and nation, the Lord spoke to me a few very astonishing, but not surprising words, "There will never be transformation in society until there is reformation in my bride. I am raising up a generation of reformers not seen since Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Castle Church."

Immediately the Lord began to show me church as He sees it today—poor, naked and blind. The church is parading around as a bride in a beautiful gown betrothed to a rich groom, but when seen from a heavenly perspective, she does not have enough of the true riches of heaven to clothe herself. She is naked and blinded to such a state that she does not recognize her own pitiful condition. The grandeur of our buildings, the expertise of our technology and the betraying success of our programs have brought us to a false picture of our true condition. 

My entire life, church has played an important role. As a small boy I watched in wonder as the preacher opened his Bible and began to speak. Each preacher of my childhood holds a special place in my heart. They unashamedly and uncompromisingly declared truth.

Through their preaching and the teaching of great Sunday School teachers, the foundational truths that have carried me a lifetime were laid ever so firmly. Most of the buildings of those congregations from so long ago were very humble. Homemade pews and pulpit and hand-held fans were very common.

Yet, when they sang, preached and prayed, there was such a fervency and zeal that it captured my heart. At age 8, I met the reason for their passion, the Lord Jesus, and my heart began to burn as the hearts of those saints of my childhood. I met Jesus almost 60 years ago now and the fire for Him burns more fervently than ever before. My heart for Him is ablaze, but when I look at my beloved America, it is broken. 

Corrupt government, drugs rampant, immorality accepted, perversion embraced, children murdered and violence are disheartening realities of our society. As I prayed the day the Lord told me there would be no transformation in our society without reformation in the church, Jesus brought this indictment against His bride: "It is My bride's fault."

I stand today as Nathan stood before King David decreeing, "You are the man!" I cry out loudly. It is not government's fault, education's fault or even society's fault. We, the people of God, are to blame. It is our fault. We carry the verdict of "guilty" for squandering our heritage of freedom and liberty. The churches of my childhood only had few things going on, singing, teaching, preaching and praying. Let me put it in the words of today: worship, equipping, exhorting and intercession. Society was greatly affected by the church during those days, but as the church has compromised for acceptance and growth, all of society has suffered.

The church today is not fulfilling her place as the ekklessia ruling in the heavenlies through worship, intercession and prophetic declaration. The early church filled the world with their teachings and turned it upside down. What has happened? The church is not transforming society but society is transforming the church. The more worldly the church has become, the more depraved society has become. What is the answer?

The answer is the same as it has always been. We, as individual believers, must fall in love with Jesus all over again and burn with passion for Him. A fire starts with one small spark and I say to you, we must become the spark that ignites revival in the church of America. We must return to our prayer closets and fall in love with Jesus all over again until our hearts burn within us from being with Him. 

Regardless of what anyone else does, we as individuals must determine we will burn. No matter who refuses to burn for Him, we must burn and burn brightly. If the pastor will not burn, I will. If the deacons will not burn, I will. If my family won't burn, I will. As a small child we would sing vibrantly, "This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine."

God, through Solomon, gave us a formula for revival at the dedication of the temple. We find it in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

The key to this verse is the simple statement, "if my people..." The ball is not in society's court but it is in our court, and the decision to play the ball is ours. We must pick up the ball of revival and carry it. Forces have gathered to destroy America, the great heritage given us by God, and only the people of God can save it. We have come to a desperate time and we must take action now as ambassadors of the King of Kings on the Earth today.

As the church of the living God, we must get off our high horse and bring ourselves to men of low degree as Jesus did. We think way too much of ourselves, saying we are rich and in need of nothing, but the truth is we are poor, blind and naked. We must humble ourselves today before the mighty God of heaven. God is resisting us today because of our pride and arrogance. We are astonished when governmental leaders are so arrogant but they are just mimicking our behavior and attitude. Believers are the proud ones that need to humble themselves before God.

Prayer is paramount to revival. We must become a people of constant prayer again, a people known as a people of prayer. Prayer is a lifestyle, not an event during your day. A dear friend of mine taught me more about prayer by his example than I ever learned through hours of study.

One day, my good friend Philip was installing a dishwasher. He had worked on a leak for hours constantly praying during his labor. Finally, exasperated, he stood up and said, "Okay Lord, that is your dishwasher and your dishwasher is leaking. I have tried everything I know to do and your dishwasher still leaks. I am going to try one more time but You have got to fix it, I can't."

Philip took the same wrench, turned it the same way and immediately the leak stopped. I have known Philip for a number of years and prayer is his lifestyle. Prayer must become our lifestyle. We must be known as a people of prayer. A lifestyle of prayer will naturally lead us to seeking the face of the Lord.

Sin has become rampant in the church. No one blushes at sin any longer. We snicker under our breath but no one gets alarmed and we allow sin to enslave our congregations without saying anything. As a result, immorality runs rampant in the body of Christ. Couples living together, unmarried, sit week after week in our services and think nothing about their sinful lifestyle. Why? We tolerate sin. 

An old preacher said to me one time, "What one generation tolerates the next generation will embrace." Sin is tolerated by the church today and will be embraced by the next. Often when I pray for the church of America I hear the Spirit cry out, "Clean it up! Clean it up!" The Spirit is crying out like a parent walking into their teen's room, "Clean it up! Clean it up!" If we are to experience revival we must clean up our act.

God has three responses to His people when they humble themselves, pray, repent and seek His face. He will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land! America must have God's healing hand to survive, so we must have revival in the body of Christ. We must awaken now! If America is to experience transformation then the church must experience reformation and if the church is to experience reformation, we as individuals must experience revival! Remember, it only takes one small spark to start a forest fire! {eoa}

The founder and president of Keys of Awakening, Jim Rawlins is the author of Twenty-One Keys of AwakeningA Prayer Journal for Personal and National RevivalThe Kingdom, Yesterday, Today and ForeverDream Boat and Bible Study Made Easy. He has served in ministry for over 40 years as a pastor, school principal, college professor and missionary. He has dedicated the rest of his life to fulfilling his lifelong dream for his beloved country, America, to experience a Third Great Awakening. Visit

Jim Rawlins Featured Opinion Sat, 27 Aug 2016 11:00:00 -0400
Discover How to Prophesy Your Day

In this interview with Sid Roth, Dr. Hakeem Collins, author of Heaven Declares, mentors all Christians on how they can walk in the prophetic as a normal, everyday lifestyle.

The key? First, hearing what heaven is declaring over your life and then boldly speaking forth these anointed words out of your mouth! 

Watch the video.

Charisma Staff Featured Opinion Sat, 27 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400
Washington Post Claims Bible Says Nothing About Transgender People

Washington Post writer called out conservative Christians who fight immorality and claimed the Bible says nothing about transgender identities.  

"Yet these Christians have decided that trans identities are sinful, mostly through their lack of understanding of what being trans means," Eliel Cruz writes.  

Cruz contradicts multiple verses Christians often use to disagree with the trans movement, including Genesis 1:27 and Deuteronomy 22:5.  

And while Cruz may have a point about the specific wording in those verses, Christian commentators like Michael Brown point to other factors in a biblical understanding of gender:  

What the Bible does say is that: 1) God created human beings male and female; 2) male-female distinctions are of foundational importance; and 3) male-female distinctions should be celebrated. (When Paul taught that there is no male or female in Christ, he did not mean that there are no distinctions between the sexes. To the contrary, he often gave different instructions to men and women. What he meant was that there is full equality in Christ for men and women, slaves and free, Jews and Gentiles; see Galatians 3:28.)
And so, while we recognize that some people are born with biological or chromosomal abnormalities, generally identified as intersex, we don't overthrow God's intended order for their sake. Rather, with compassion, we view them as suffering from a handicap and we work with them to find the best way to achieve wholeness, which could include surgery to address a particular aspect of that handicap.
But that does not mean for a second that we embrace the contemporary war on gender, a war that denigrates gender distinctions as oppressive and constricting. Rather, we recognize that the war on gender is a war against God's intended order for humanity.
Jessilyn Justice Featured Culture Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:00:00 -0400
Supporting Donald Trump? There's an App for That

Are you supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and want to connect with other like-minded voters between now and the November election?

There's an app for that.

Friday afternoon, the Trump campaign unveiled the "America First" app for both Android and iOS-enabled mobile devices. America First allows Trump supporters to engage with the campaign, meet fellow supporters and collaborate to "Make America Great Again" by answering various calls to action and building an active online community of supporters.

If it sounds familiar, that's because it's nearly identical to the "Cruz Crew" app put out by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz' presidential campaign last fall during the GOP presidential primary race. The Trump campaign put out the following statement describing the app:

Supporters can earn Action Points by signing up for campaign alerts, contributing to the campaign, checking in at events, sending messages to friends, and sharing campaign videos, images and other personalized content through various social networks.

Every Trump supporter has a unique personal profile where they can view and track their progress by unlocking up to eight levels of Activist Badges, ranging from Apprentice to Big League. Supporters will see different content and opportunities in the app based on where they are located at the time.

America First also includes state and global leaderboards and social interaction with other supporters through a messaging system.

Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:00:00 -0400
Irony or Revenge? Dr. Drew's Show Canceled After He Questions Hillary Clinton's Health

Celebrity internist "Dr. Drew" Pinsky announced Friday his program on CNN's Headline News channel was being canceled. The last episode will air next month.

Pinsky, who also hosts a radio program, had called into question Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's health, as well as the medical care she was receiving to address her reported health issues. His concerns, which further fueled reports about the former secretary of state's condition, were made public earlier this week.

The timing of the announcement spurred rumors that the two were connected. But officials with Time Warner, the parent company of CNN and HLN, said the cancellation was part of a planned revamping of the latter's programming.

"It has been a privilege working at HLN," Pinsky said about the show. "My executive producer Burt Dubrow and our outstanding staff and contributors were consistently exceptional. I am very excited to stay within the CNN Worldwide family as a contributor."

The final episode of Dr. Drew on Call will air on Sept. 22, ending a five-year run.

"Dr. Drew and his team have delivered more than five years of creative shows and I want to thank them for their hard work and distinctive programming," HLN executive vice president Ken Jautz said in a statement. "Their audience-driven shows, in particular, were innovative and memorable TV. And Dr. Drew has been an authoritative voice on addiction and on many other topical issues facing America today."

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:00:00 -0400
These Men and Women Are Traitors to the Constitution

Residents of Newton County in Georgia are upset this week, as local officials approved a new mosque and Muslim cemetery—reportedly without any public input, according to Fox News.

Dr. Alex McFarland, a nationally known pastor, religion and culture expert, radio and television host, and author of the new book Stand Strong America, has harsh words for those responsible for the approval of the mosque.

"City leaders who approved this mosque and cemetery are traitors to the U.S. Constitution," he said. " Islamist 'community centers' aren't merely places of worship. They are recruitment and development sites for terrorists who are against everything for which America stands. The citizens have spoken and have said they don't want these centers in their communities, yet zoning boards continue to approve them with no regard for their constituents.

"Not many elected officials will do what they were put in office to do—reflect their communities and stand up for them," McFarland continued. "All elected officials should be concerned with national security and the preservation of the Constitution. And organizations like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and other Islamist groups are relentless until they get what they want. This is cultural jihad. We Westerners think of 'jihad' as military violence or aggression, but it is indeed cultural jihad that many are quietly waging.

"That's why it's so important that elected officials be vigilant," McFarland concluded. "When leadership, such as in Georgia, ignores constituents and rubber-stamps Islamist 'community centers,' they are playing right into a worldview that lives and breathes the destruction of America and Israel."

McFarland has been gathering responses for his "2016 Malaise Index," an online survey that gauges Americans' outlook on society.

While the survey is in its beginning stages, trends are evident. For example, when queried with the statement, "My outlook on the culture as a whole compared to 10 years ago is ..." more than 96 percent reported they felt "worse" about the culture, while the remaining respondents answered that they felt "better" or "the same."

McFarland says these responses are indicative of the general malaise, fear, frustration and feelings of futility, namely because, in some instances, Americans make their voices heard, yet the nation's leaders don't listen and do the opposite.

These issues tie back to the purpose of Alex McFarland Ministries and the study of apologetics—rationally, intelligently and lovingly defending beliefs, while sharing the truth of Jesus Christ in a culture that desperately needs it.

On Sept. 16, McFarland will lead a prayer rally at the "Heart & Soul: A Night of Prayer and Worship" event from 5 to 9 p.m. at Festival Park in Fayetteville, N.C. The evening rally and time of worship is a partnership between McFarland, Covenant Love Church and the American Family Association and is an opportunity to pray over our nation, our cities, the unified church in America and our military and law enforcement officers. The event is free and no registration is required (unless volunteering: click here). 

"In helping to plan this amazing event, we have already felt God at work," McFarland said. "Last year, more than 2,000 attended a night of prayer and worship in Festival Park, and we are looking forward to even more this year. There couldn't be a better time for community members to come together for the sole purpose of petitioning God with prayer and praising His name. We look forward to an incredible night that will be the spark for revival across the state of North Carolina and our nation."

McFarland recently released his latest book, Stand Strong America. Co-authored with evangelist and apologist Jason Jimenez—McFarland's co-host of the Viral Truth television program, which airs on the National Religious Broadcasters network—Stand Strong America addresses the idea that Americans are weary of the poor character and decisions of their leaders, who make laws that may not coincide with many Americans' faith.

Beth Harrison Featured Culture Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:00:00 -0400
This Stunning Moment Between Father and Daughter Will Make You Sob

Torri Biddle refused to let her disability run her life. She played sports, hung out with friends and even fought for human rights ... all without her arm. 

When she attended an Invisible Children Summit, she discovered the Christian organization had partnered with The Buried Life to fulfill her life-long dream: hugging her father.  

Biddle was close to her father, certainly, but had never fully embraced him because she had no arm. Now, the memory has been captured for posterity in this touching video.  

Take a look! 

Jessilyn Justice Featured Culture Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Here's What Day Gardner Has to Say About Donald Trump

It has finally happened. The Republican nominee for the highest office in the land is reaching out to Black Americans and actually asking for our vote.

The Democratic Party has had its talons plunged deep in the flesh of black Americans for eons. Their playbook promises are the same every election season and include: the promise of funding for education, yet schools are still failing and others continue to close in the poorest minority neighborhoods throughout the country; funding for big government handouts which keep minorities dependent on the big government "plantation"; and continued funding for abortion—the number one killer of blacks which decimates the black community as a whole.

Wasn't it Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson who said: "These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference ... "

Guess what? Whether this is an actual LBJ quote or not, the bottom line is, that's exactly what the Democrats have been doing for over 50 years! They drop a crumb here, a rotten potato peel there—just enough to keep us sniffing around like dogs. We wag our tails while lapping up the crumbs—and all is well until the next election season.

The Democratic machine has blacks exactly where they want us, tucked snugly in their back pockets where they can sit on our votes year after year, tossing stale crumbs out to us while offering fresh loaves to potentially "new" voting blocks.

The result of failed policies can be seen in every Democrat controlled city across America where families are devastated and jobless—poverty, crime and violence are rampant.

It's infuriating that in this high tech day and age, many of my black brothers and sisters are of a "Stepford" mentality, sleepwalking in a politically robotic-like existence. I want to shake them and say wake up, smell the roses and the coffee! Stop voting for the same old politicians while hoping for different outcomes—face it ... it's not working!

My 87-year-old mother was a life-long Democrat and Obama supporter, but this coming election, she has decided to forgo the usual crumbs strewn by Democrats, opting for porterhouse instead.

This November, my courageous mother will cast her vote for Donald J. Trump for President and I will be right there beside her.

Day Gardner/National Black Pro-Life Union Featured Opinions Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Baker Wars: Transgender Cake Sparks Heated New Debate

People are livid after a California bakery took an iconic little girl's birthday party cake and remade it with Ken instead of Barbie.  

Freeport Bakery co-owner Marlene Goetzeler says once she posted the picture of the Ken doll in the cake dress, her page dropped dozens of likes.  

Some of the bakery's customers were livid that Ken was covered in a frosting dress and tiara.  

"I started getting some negative comments ... Then a couple days later I noticed there was a big dip in unlikes. I was kind of surprised," Goetzeler said. 

On the local Fox Facebook page, scores of readers debated on the cake.  

"Ken does not belong in a dress," one person wrote. 

Jessilyn Justice Featured U.S. News Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:00:00 -0400
Here Are 3 New Email Headaches for Hillary Clinton

The Hillary Clinton scandal counter continued to tick up Friday morning with three new headaches developing for the Democratic presidential nominee.

These are unlikely to be the last problems to develop related to her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Let's take a look at each one, in chronological order:


According to U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the "Form 302" notes that FBI investigators took during their probe of Clinton's private email server indicate open-source software called BleachBit was used to remove "tens of thousands of emails" from her server. The congressman said the use of the software suggests the deletions were far from innocuous, and were perhaps to hide even more damaging information than has already been revealed.

According to the BleachBit website, the software "quickly frees disk space and tirelessly guards your privacy" by freeing cache space, deleting cookies, clearing Internet history, "shredding" temporary files, deleting logs, and discarding "junk you didn't know was there."

"Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean a thousand applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and more," it states. "Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster."

Benghazi Emails Not Handed Over

Among the 14,900 emails discovered during the FBI investigation that hadn't been handed over to the State Department by Clinton's attorneys were several related to Benghazi. Judicial Watch said the admission was made by government employees at a hearing on Tuesday:

Judicial Watch has been seeking Clinton's communications about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith were killed. A second assault targeted a nearby compound, killing two government contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

After admitting in an August 23 court filing that it found documents that "satisfied the [Benghazi related] search terms" of the new Clinton emails, the State Department proposed a rolling production schedule, "under which State would make its first production of any non-exempt responsive records subject to FOIA on September 30, 2016, and complete production no later than October 31, 2016." Judicial Watch then asked the court that State make known the volume of documents remaining to be reviewed before it accepts whether the production schedule is reasonable.

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta informed the attorneys the Court wants to schedule a hearing on this issue for Tuesday, August 30.

Order to Produce Documents

Separately, a federal court has ordered the State Department to review newly found Clinton emails and turn over "responsive records" to Judicial Watch by no later than September 13. The government watchdog explained the new development in an official statement:

The first batch of new emails comes in response to a court order issued today in a November 13, 2015, Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the Department of State seeking all communications between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama White House from the day of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and throughout the following week. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa of Boca Raton, Florida, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division.

Today's order requiring the production of the emails from the 14,900 new Clinton emails as well as any other communications or emails from the other materials recently delivered to the State Department by the FBI was issued by U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas. The court ruled:

The State Department shall search the material, determine whether any responsive records exist, and complete its first production of non-exempt records, to the extent any exist, by September 13, 2016.

Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:00:00 -0400
How to Use the Ten Commandments as a Guide to Vote This November

Many are calling the upcoming U.S. presidential election the most important since World War II! That may be true because, in addition to deciding the future of major economic and social policy initiatives like immigration reform, social security, debt reduction, same-sex marriage and healthcare, the next president will most likely nominate two Supreme Court justices, who have unfortunately become the bottom line for confirming or eradicating major policy initiatives. (Thus unelected justices with their own ideology, political bent and ambition have legislated immorality such as Roe v. Wade in 1973 and other vital issues that affect our culture.)

As a non-partisan Christian, I have been encouraging Christians to vote their values instead of voting based on groupthink and party affiliation. In order to do this, we have to go to the source of our ethics and values: the Bible.

God could not have made His standard for societal law any clearer than when He wrote His law in the Ten Commandments and gave it to Moses on Mount Sinai as noted in Exodus 20. He laid them out in the order of importance as His top-ten list. These moral laws, in context, were given as a corporate blueprint to build policy upon for Israel and all nations so they may experience longevity and national blessings. They are also the standard in both the New and Old Testaments for personal holiness and ethics, and are repeated numerous times in the New Testament almost verbatim (e.g. Eph. 6:1-3). Although we are not saved by obeying the works of the law (Eph. 2:8-9), they serve as the ethical behavior the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk in (Rom. 8:4) when we yield to His grace (Titus 2:11-12). Although the ceremonial aspect of the law has been done away in Christ (John 1:29; Heb. 9:1-10:14), the moral law is still the good, holy and righteous standard for us to live by (Rom. 3:31; 7:12, 14, 25).

As we look at the Ten Commandments, we find there are two primary components related to our obligation to obey the law: The first four commandments relate to our vertical obligation to God and the last six commandments relate to our horizontal obligations toward our neighbors.

To save space I am not going to quote all the commandments, but will focus on several that have relevance to the upcoming election.

The first commandment is to have no other gods before Him (Ex. 20:3).

This is the most important of all the commandments because, if we follow it, all the other commandments will naturally fall into place. Hence, I will only use this verse as related to the four stated commandments we have towards God.

Having no other gods before Him means that God has to be first and foremost in our lives, just as Matthew 6:33 instructs us to put first His kingdom and His righteousness. In Matthew 22:37-38, we are called to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

Regarding the upcoming election: This means we are to put God's standards and Word above our ethnicity. It shouldn't matter whether a candidate is black, white, yellow or brown. And we should put biblical values above our party affiliation.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said in his "I Have a Dream" speech, we should judge candidates based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

The last six commandments are about how we are to live in relation to fellow human beings. This was summarized in Matthew 22:39-40 when Jesus instructed us to love our neighbors even as we love ourselves. Thus the first four commandments connect to Matthew 22:37-38, and the last six commandments connect to Matthew 22:39-40.

In reference to the last six commandments, we need to see how they directly relate to the public policy positions of each of the political parties as well as each individual candidate.

"Honor your father and mother" (Ex. 20: 12) is the most important commandment regarding human relations because it connects to the nature of marriage and procreation. Marriage (Gen. 2:23-25) is the basic human building block of society and existed before human government (which started with God delegating capital punishment to humans in Gen. 9:5-6), before Israel, the Law of Moses, and the church.

It is also important to note this commandment mentions both "father" and "mother" not "mother and mother" or "father and father." Thus, according to God's top-ten list, biblical marriage is the most important human institution we need to protect and honor, and is even mentioned before murder, adultery and economics!

Thus, political candidates who support same-sex marriage are in gross violation of the fifth commandment, which is also the first commandment related to human relations!

The sixth commandment is "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13).

God so hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov. 6:16-17) that murder is number two on His list of the remaining six moral commandments related to human obligations.

Of course, if the platform of a political party or a candidate is pro-choice then they are in favor of a woman's right to terminate the life of an unborn child within her womb. What's even more troubling is that African-Americans and people of color have been targeted the most by the abortion industry as noted by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who believed people of color were from an inferior race, and, because they were poor, she planned to use "colored" ministers to convince them from a religious perspective that the right thing to do was to terminate their pregnancies if they were too poor to afford them!

"Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race."
(Margaret Sanger. Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.)

"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
(Margaret Sanger's December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Original source: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, and Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon's Woman's Body, Woman's right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976.)

"Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need ... We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock."
(Margaret Sanger, April 1933 Birth Control Review.)

Unfortunately, Sanger and Planned Parenthood have been largely successful in achieving their goals, since data shows us that for every 1,000 African-Americans born in the USA, 1,600 are aborted!

We are now witnessing something many believe is worse than slavery; we are witnessing legal genocide! Thus, when people of color vote for a pro-choice candidate or platform they are (unconsciously) voting for their own systemic extermination.

Regarding issues like racism, many point to the fact that Mormons forbade people of color from their priesthood until the early 1970s and hold it against any candidate connected to the Mormon Church. However, there has to be evidence that a candidate is personally a racist and proof they were part of the leadership in the Mormon Church when racism was systemic in their doctrine. If we are going to hold it against a candidate for being part of a religion that 40 years ago was racist then we have to be fair and cite the terrible racist history of the Democratic Party that was part of Jim Crow, the KKK, slavery and was far behind the Republican Party (the party of Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King) regarding civil rights until the past three decades.

(See the following link by African-American Frantz Kebreau regarding the civil rights history of both major political parties:

The seventh commandment, "You shall not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:14) teaches that all sexual acts outside of the marriage of one man and one woman are considered adultery. The marriage bed, as defined by God's Word, is undefiled (Heb. 13:4). Leviticus 18 gets into more detail regarding how the seventh commandment is unpacked and illustrates how heterosexual sex with someone that is not one's spouse, with another person's spouse, with in-laws, same-sex relations, as well as sex with animals, are forbidden by God. Paul the apostle restates some of these sexual acts as sin in Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

Hence, same-sex marriage clearly violates two of the first three commandments related to human relations!

The eighth commandment, "You shall not steal" (Ex. 20:15) is related to economics.

This is where it gets sticky. Liberals claim that one of the major political parties favors the rich because, they say, they pay less of a percentage of taxes than the middle class. The income tax percentage for the rich is higher than the middle class, but most rich people earn much of their income through capital gains, which are taxed at a much lower rate than salary income. However, all people have a right to buy and sell property and trade on the stock market. Thus, it is not a right reserved only for the rich. However, most poor people are not financially knowledgeable enough or have enough money to make a living through capital gains categories like real estate and trading stocks.

On the other hand, I have heard some conservative people of color say that the Democrats are still attempting to keep their people "on the plantation" through entitlements and welfare programs that merely help in the short term but don't do enough to break the generational cycles of poverty. Other black leaders have noted that people of color have more poverty today as related to marriage, intact families and finances than before the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson started in the mid-1960s. This proves handouts and welfare have hurt more than helped people of color.

Personally, I believe a halfway approach is best, that government economic aid to the poor should continue but that it should be redefined and restructured so there are far less blind handouts. I believe monies should be funneled through partnerships with churches, non-profits and charities that have boots on the ground and know how to do micro-financing, job training, entrepreneurial endeavors, educate at-risk children and would likely do a better job than government bureaucrats. With the current level of family fragmentation, non-profits and church-based programs need to step up to the plate now more than ever because big government entitlement programs with no practical accountability have proven they cannot "parachute in" and rescue our communities. For books on this subject read Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) by Robert Lupton, and When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett.

Furthermore, by forbidding stealing in the eighth commandment God is espousing the right of individuals to own private property. Thus, this commandment is against any ideology (whether liberation theology or communism) that espouses egalitarianism, which is when an overreaching central government tries to force equality and the redistribution of wealth by progressive tax structures or, in communism, by the abolition of private property altogether.

On the other hand, conservatives in this nation are against redistribution and believe in empowering individual rights and the free market. In my opinion, this is more in line with Scripture than those espousing communism and egalitarianism.

I espouse a kingdom economic approach that not only includes a free market view of capitalism but which obligates Christian business owners to disciple, finance and reproduce other business owners from among their employees. This would do more than merely create jobs in poor urban areas; it would create entrepreneurs who can break their generational cycles of poverty.

Furthermore, the tenth commandment, "You shall not covet your neighbor's goods" (Ex. 20:17) seems to also advance the theory of private property and is against the motive of egalitarianism, which many believe is driven by the politics of class warfare and envy.

A debate about economic theory and what really works would take another position paper. However, even if (hypothetically) liberals are correct in their position, the commandment dealing with economics is number eight on God's top-ten list, thus not as important as commandments 1-7. Furthermore, God tells believers that if they put first His kingdom and His righteousness, He will provide all things we need anyway (Matt. 6:33).

This November's election is a test for all believers: Are we going to vote our biblical values as stated in God's top-ten list or are we going to vote our race, ethnicity and party affiliation? I hope and pray that all believers will vote for the candidate that most closely reflects the ethics and values God gave in the form of His Ten Commandments!

Joseph Mattera/Mattera Ministries International Featured The Pulse Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:00:00 -0400
Former Satanic High Priest Is Mad at the Devil

Too many Christians today are convinced that occult practitioners are "much more advanced in supernatural experiences" than they are, and this belief rubs two international ministers the wrong way.  

John Ramirez, a former high priest in satanic worship and No. 1 bestselling author of Unmasking the Devil, has joined forces with Dr. Shane Wall, a pastor, international speaker and No. 1 bestselling author of The Supernatural Guide to Understanding Angels. They are angry at the devil and proving it by training Christians to effectively take an aggressive stance to defeat him and his kingdom.

Dr. Wall partnered with John Ramirez to conduct a one-day Supernatural Boot Camp in select cities across the globe to train and equip believers to walk in the power of God and cancel demonic operations in their lives and the lives of others.

"Supernatural training is much needed, globally. John and I receive hundreds of calls, emails, posts and the like from people who are desperately seeking an understanding of the supernatural," Shane Wall stated emphatically. Through day sessions, Q&A, and evening services, the two ministers will train attendees to fully operate in spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, so they too can hit the streets and transform lives in their area.
Dr. Wall will conduct the training sessions during the day, and then he and John will open the floor for questioning from the attendees. John will preach during the evening service, and impartation will continue as the pair minister in their spiritual gifting and operate in deliverance, all to catapult each attendee's sensitivity to the supernatural realm. The two will also lead the group in intercessory prayer for the mayor of each hosting city and the governor of their state.

Churches and other organizations aren't charged to host a Supernatural Boot Camp. People are grateful for the opened doors in their communities and the warm welcome the crowds receive as they enter the buildings to an experience of intense training by two heavily equipped men who have proven ministries.

Dr. Wall is ecstatic about the new partnership.

"Regardless of title, I believe everyone is called to minister with God's power, and I'm grateful that He is sending John and me to unlock the ministry that's inside thousands of people," he said. John is equally as amped. He shared that "The church is asleep, and we are hitting the road to wake the saints up!"

The first Supernatural Boot Camp in Atlanta on October 22 is just the beginning of this great awakening. These men consider themselves representatives of God's kingdom on Earth, and they're traveling all over to meet people who they report are hungry for an understanding of the supernatural.

David Marshall Featured U.S. News Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:30:00 -0400
Rumors Still Abound About Obama Third Term, Should We Believe This?

For years, there has been concern that President Barack Obama would not step down when his second term expires in a little less than 147 days.

A meeting held Thursday at the White House will likely allay some of those concerns. During that meeting, Obama Administration officials met with representatives of the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns to discuss the preparations for the "peaceful transition of power" in January.

A White House spokeswoman said the meeting was led by Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough. It included former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is leading the transition team for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is the transition chair for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The "peaceful transition of power" is a phrase that has often been coined in American politics since "The Revolution of 1800." It was a bitter election, even by today's standards—and the first to involve deep political divisions between two leading political parties—that could have just as easily resulted in armed conflict as its peaceful resolution.

Thomas Jefferson's transition to the presidency and his Democratic-Republicans' move to control both chambers of Congress proved that a wholesale change-of-direction was possible without resorting to all-out warfare. It also proved the American Experiment could be a long-term success.

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:00:00 -0400
The Biblical Reason Natural Disasters Pummel the West

For once, Barack Obama made the right decision, Michael Snyder says, and possibly spared America natural disaster.  

Snyder tells the Jim Bakker Show he believes there is a significant connection between supporting the Palestinian state and natural disasters striking the West. 

Take, for example, Hurricane Katrina, which Snyder says began brewing in the tropics the very day many nations took a stand against Israel. 

As for Obama, Snyder says the president made the right decision when he backed out of a resolution supporting a two-state solution late last year. 

Take a look! 

Jessilyn Justice Featured Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:00:00 -0400
2 Nuns Stabbed to Death in Their Home

Two Catholic nuns were found stabbed to death on Thursday at their home in Durant, Mississippi, and officials told local media they are investigating the case as a robbery that escalated into murder.

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN) confirmed the deaths of the two nuns, who worked at a medical clinic, and named them as Sister Paula Merrill, of the SCN in Kentucky, and Sister Margaret Held, with the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee.

"Pray in gratitude for the precious lives of Sisters Paula and Margaret ... They served the poor so well. Because we are gospel women, please also pray for the perpetrators," SCN President Susan Gatz said in a statement.

The two had not come into the clinic, about 60 miles northeast of Jackson, on Thursday morning. Their bodies were found in a check of the house by a co-worker, police told local media. No arrests have been made yet, they said. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Jon Herskovitz/Reuters Featured U.S. News Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:45:00 -0400
More Americans Than Ever Are Losing Their Religion

Never before in U.S. history have so many Americans chosen to be unaffiliated with any particular religious group. As you will see below, the percentage of "nones" in this country has absolutely skyrocketed over the past decade. But not all faiths are losing members in the United States. In fact, Islam, Buddhism, Wicca and various New Age organizations have all experienced excellent growth in recent years. Sadly, almost all of the growth for the "nones" has come at the expense of Christianity. Americans are leaving the Christian faith in droves, and this is why many of our churches are less than half full on Sunday mornings. What we are doing right now is clearly not working, and hopefully we can get the church in America to wake up while there is still time to do so.

Earlier today, I came across a brand-new study from the Pew Research Center titled "Why America's 'nones' left religion behind." One thing that particularly stood out to me was the fact that most "nones" were once affiliated with a particular religion but have now discarded that label.

Perhaps the most striking trend in American religion in recent years has been the growing percentage of adults who do not identify with a religious group. And the vast majority of these religious "nones" (78%) say they were raised as a member of a particular religion before shedding their religious identity in adulthood.

Overall, the percentage of "nones" in this nation has been absolutely soaring in recent years. Back in 2007, "nones" made up 16 percent of the population, but now that number has risen to 23 percent. The following is from a different Pew Research Center report that was published last year.

Religious "nones" – a shorthand we use to refer to people who self-identify as atheists or agnostics, as well as those who say their religion is "nothing in particular" – now make up roughly 23% of the U.S. adult population. This is a stark increase from 2007, the last time a similar Pew Research study was conducted, when 16% of Americans were "nones." (During this same time period, Christians have fallen from 78% to 71%.)

I want you to notice one particularly sobering fact in the excerpt posted above. The 7 percent increase in the percentage of "nones" was matched exactly by a seven percent decrease in the percentage of Christians.

It is time to face a very hard truth—Christianity is in rapid decline in America.

So why is this happening?

Is there an explanation for why so many people are leaving the church?

Well, here is some of the feedback that the Pew Research Center received while conducting their new survey.

About half of current religious "nones" who were raised in a religion (49%) indicate that a lack of belief led them to move away from religion. This includes many respondents who mention "science" as the reason they do not believe in religious teachings, including one who said "I'm a scientist now, and I don't believe in miracles." Others reference "common sense," "logic" or a "lack of evidence" – or simply say they do not believe in God.

This is such a tragedy, because during my decades of research into these things I have found that logic and reason should always point people toward the Christian faith and not away from it. There is an absolutely gigantic mountain of evidence for Christianity out there, but unfortunately most people don't know about it or they are not interested in considering it.

The biggest cultural shift has been happening among our young people. Most of them have been raised in an environment where God has been removed from almost every corner of public life, and the results have been beyond catastrophic.

In America today, 35 percent of all millennials are "nones."

Millennials are more than twice as likely to be "nones" as Baby Boomers (17 percent), and they are more than three times as likely to be "nones" as the Silent Generation (11 percent).

In other words, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be religiously unaffiliated.

And this shows up in the church attendance numbers as well. Millennials are much, much less likely to be in church on any particular Sunday morning than the oldest Americans are. The following information comes from another Pew Research Center report.

Millennials – especially the youngest Millennials, who have entered adulthood since the first Landscape Study was conducted – are far less religious than their elders. For example, only 27% of Millennials say they attend religious services on a weekly basis, compared with 51% of adults in the Silent generation. Four-in-ten of the youngest Millennials say they pray every day, compared with six-in-ten Baby Boomers and two-thirds of members of the Silent generation. Only about half of Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty, compared with seven-in-ten Americans in the Silent and Baby Boom cohorts. And only about four-in-ten Millennials say religion is very important in their lives, compared with more than half in the older generational cohorts.

We are slowly losing an entire generation.

When you walk into most churches in America on Sunday morning, what are you going to find?

You are going to find that the congregation is dominated by "the grays," and I am not talking about space aliens.

As the oldest Americans die off, the United States is becoming less and less Christian. We are on the exact same path that Europe has already gone down, but most churches are just going on with business as usual and don't seem to even understand that we have a major crisis on our hands.

As I said at the top of this article, what we are doing right now is clearly not working, and if we continue on the path that we are currently on we will continue to lose young people by the millions.

America needs revival more than it has ever needed it before.

Let us pray that one arrives very soon.

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:30:00 -0400
Could Liberal California Take a Step Toward a Conservative, Moral Decision?

Attorneys for a group of doctors bringing the first legal challenge to California's new law allowing physician-assisted suicide were due in court on Friday to urge a judge to suspend the statute while their case is under review.

Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia may also rule on a request by the state and other supporters of the so-called End of Life Option Act to dismiss the lawsuit instead, arguing the doctors lack proper legal standing to bring their case.

The suit was filed in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, where most of the named plaintiffs practice medicine. They were joined by the American Academy of Medical Ethics, also known as the Christian Medical and Dental Society.

The law in question, based on a similar measure in Oregon, allows terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription for medication to hasten their death so long as two physicians agree the person has no more than six months to live and is mentally competent.

The statute also requires a patient seeking life-ending medical aid to present two separate requests to an attending physician and for two witnesses to attest to the patient's wish to die.

California was the fifth U.S. state to legalize medical aid in dying for terminally ill patients, terminology that advocates prefer over the phrase "physician-assisted suicide." They note that a third of Oregon patients who obtain prescriptions for lethal medication never take it.

At least 30 individuals are known to have obtained a prescription under California's law since it took effect on June 9, according to Compassion & Choices, a group backing the law.

The measure aims to give terminally ill people a medically assisted option to avoid prolonged suffering that conventional palliative care might fail to alleviate.

The bill was strongly opposed by some religious groups, including the Roman Catholic Church, as well as advocates for the elderly and disabled. They argued that unscrupulous caregivers or relatives could pressure vulnerable patients to take their own lives, especially if insurers deny or delay coverage for costly life-sustaining medical treatment.

Supporters, however, say there has never been a documented case of such coercion in Oregon since voters approved that state's law in 1994.

Ottolia was expected to decide Friday on the plaintiffs' motion to set aside the California statute while the case proceeds through the courts.

To win an injunction, the plaintiffs must convince the judge they have a strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits of their challenge.

Their essential argument in the suit is that the law "fails to make rational distinctions" between terminally ill adults and "the vast majority of Californians not covered by the act," thus violating constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

However, Compassion & Choices lawyer Kevin Diaz countered that the law "treats all Californians who are terminally ill the same, so there's no violation in it." He also said hundreds of patients a year would be forced to suffer painful and prolonged deaths if the law were suspended, a balance of harm that favors denial of an injunction. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Steve Gorman/Reuters Featured U.S. News Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:15:00 -0400
World War 3 Coming Soon? Tanks Roll Across the Border as Turkish Invasion of Syria Begins

The invasion of Syria that so many people have been warning about is now happening. On Wednesday, Turkish tanks rolled across the Syrian border, and they were accompanied by radical Islamic Syrian rebels that want to ultimately overthrow the Assad regime. This invasion was conducted under the code name "Euphrates Shield," and it was supported by airstrikes from A-10s and F-16s that are part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets in the region.

The mainstream media in the United States has been very quiet about this escalation of the conflict in Syria, but things are much different in the rest of the world. For example, a major Israeli news source announced the attack this way: "Turkey invades Syria." And without a doubt, that is precisely what is taking place. The Syrian government denounced this move by Turkey as a "blatant breach to its sovereignty," and the Russians are deeply alarmed. The farther Turkish forces push into northern Syria, the more likely they will be to encounter Syrian or Russian forces, and one bad move could result in the outbreak of World War 3 in the Middle East.

The fact that the U.S. media is treating this invasion of Syria as if it is of little importance is deeply disturbing. These days, the big news channels are obsessed with feeding us propaganda about how "healthy" Hillary Clinton is, or about how "racist" Donald Trump is, and they spend exceedingly little time on the things that really matter all over the globe.

Fortunately, it is not the same way around much of the rest of the planet. Here is an excerpt from a British news source about the Turkish attack:

It is hard to anticipate whether Turkey's unprecedented military incursion into Syria this week will change the dynamics of the multiple wars that have ravaged the region and put civilians through hell. If things already seemed complicated in the Middle East, they may have just become even more so. What started on Wednesday ranks as the largest Turkish military operation inside Syrian territory since the civil war began five years ago. A dozen tanks, reportedly followed by a bus transporting Syrian rebels, rolled into northern Syria to drive Islamic State forces from the town of Jarablus, one of their last footholds on the Turkish-Syrian border. Today Turkey sent more tanks in and told the YPG Kurdish armed group it had one week to retreat from the border areas.

We are being told that the primary purpose of this Turkish invasion is "to fight ISIS," but that is just for western consumption. The truth is that Turkey has actually been supporting ISIS and other terror groups in Syria for a very long time. In fact, it has been heavily documented that ISIS sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen oil through Turkey until the Russians put a stop to it.

No, the real motivation for this assault is to stop the advance of Kurdish forces. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recently promised that Turkey would "do what is necessary" to keep Kurdish fighters east of the Euphrates River, and even President Erdogan is admitting that the Kurds are primary targets in this operation:

"(Wednesday's operation) started in the north of Syria against terror groups which constantly threaten our country, like (ISIS) and the PYD," Erdogan said, referring to a Syrian Kurdish opposition political party.

And U.S. officials know exactly what Erdogan is doing. Just check out what one of them told CNN:

Another senior U.S. official told CNN's Barbara Starr the U.S. assessment is that Turkey's cross-border action is largely about trying to stop Kurdish action. "The Turks never cared about Jarablus until the Kurds wanted to get there," the official said.

So now the Turks have declared open season on the Kurds in northern Syria, and the Syrian Kurds are treating this move as "a declaration of war":

Spokesman for the YPG Kurdish militia, Redur Xelil, called Turkey's move "blatant aggression in Syrian internal affairs." Aldar Xelil, another influential Kurdish politician, accused Turkey of initiating an occupation of Syria, saying the operation amounted to "a declaration of war" on the autonomous administration set up by Kurdish groups in northern Syria in 2011.

According to the Turkish government, Operation Euphrates Shield will "create a safe zone" that will be 90 kilometers long and 40 kilometers wide that stretches roughly from the town of Jarablus to the town of Marea.

That is a massive amount of territory, and this basically shows that the Turks plan to set up shop there permanently.

President Erdogan and his supporters have always dreamed of recreating the old Ottoman Empire, and they already have military forces occupying portions of northern Iraq. This move into northern Syria is yet another bold move in the direction of their ultimate goal.

But will the Russians just stand by and allow the Turks to do whatever they want?

So far the Russians are not saying much, but Vladimir Putin has ordered snap military drills:

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap military drills as German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused him of breaking international law in Ukraine and said NATO will defend member states against attack.

Combat readiness exercises are taking place "to defend the interests of the Russian Federation amid increasing threats to its security," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday in a statement on the ministry's website. Troops in Russia's southern, central and western military districts, naval deployments in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and airborne forces are involved, he said.

The Russians don't want to fight Turkish forces in Syria, but as they have shown in Crimea, in Ukraine and elsewhere, they are definitely not afraid to take military action when their interests require it.

And if Russia and Turkey do start fighting, that would threaten to drag the rest of NATO (including the United States) into the conflict.

Turkey has been chomping at the bit to start grabbing chunks of territory in northern Syria for quite some time now, but this invasion is going to turn out to be a tragic mistake.

President Erdogan has definitely overplayed his hand this time, and let us just hope that it doesn't result in World War 3 erupting in the Middle East.

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:00:00 -0400
Man Arrested for Naming His Dog After the President

A Nigerian man is being charged for provoking people and "breach of peace" by naming his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari and painting the name twice on the pet, police said on Wednesday.

"The man bought a dog, named it Buhari, wrote Buhari on both sides of the dog and paraded it" in front of people from the north, said Abimbola Oyeyemi, police spokesman in the southern Ogun state where the man lives.

He was arrested after a citizen from the north reported him to police but released by a court on bail until his trial starts, the spokesman said, without naming the man.

"His action is provocative and capable of breaching the peace, as you know the volatility of Nigeria now," said Oyeyemi.

Nigeria is in the middle of its worst economic crisis in decades as a slump in oil prices boosts unemployment.

Tensions sometimes erupt between northerners, who are Muslims, and people from the predominantly Christian south.

Buhari is a Muslim from the north. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Anamesere Igboeroteonwu/Reuters Featured World News Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:45:00 -0400
Snopes Says It's 'Mostly False,' Now You Decide

One of the past issues that has resurfaced in the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton was the case of a 12-year-old Arkansas girl who accused a man of rape. The man was defended in court by the now Democratic presidential nominee.

A popular internet meme discussing aspects of the case has gone viral many times over on social media. Among the biggest claims is that Clinton laughed about getting her client to avoid prison time.

The popular online fact checker,, has declared the meme to be "mostly false." But now you can decide for yourself. The video above is a recording of the interview in which Clinton is alleged to have laughed about the case.

Did Hillary Clinton laugh about helping a man she knew to be a rapist avoid prison? The answer might horrify even some of her most ardent supporters.

Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400
Prophecy: Donald Trump Has the Elijah Mantle

Business consultant Lance Wallnau says the Lord has anointed Donald Trump with the mantle of government.  

Specifically, Wallnau says God has given the Republican nominee the same calling He gave to Cyrus in Isaiah 45.  

"Donald Trump has got like this Elijah mantle on him, the Cyrus anointing," Wallnau says. 

Watch the video to see more. 

Jessilyn Justice Featured Opinions Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:30:00 -0400
Lisa Bevere Reveals One Thing She'd Change About Marriage to John

Recently, John and I did a joint question-and-answer session on marriage. As the session closed, this big question came up. "After more than thirty years of marriage is there anything that you would have done differently?" This one fell to me to answer. I took a deep breath and confessed, "I would have allowed John the right to make more mistakes, and I would have loved him more fearlessly."

It was as though a ripple traveled through the crowd. From where I sat I saw men and women hurriedly wipe away tears; there were many deep sighs and silent nods. Fear is the greatest rival of love ... equal in intensity and deadly in its capacity to corrupt.

I refused to love John fearlessly because I was afraid. In an attempt to protect myself, I began to reclaim large portions of the real estate of my heart. In the first few years of our marriage, I learned that John had brought a struggle with porn into our relationship. (John and I have been very open about this.) Forgetting how merciful John had been with me when it came to my past, I pulled away from him. Somehow Jesus's admonishment to forgive as we have been forgiven had disappeared with the revelation of John's sin. I lived in fear and shamed him as he struggled to get free with little or no support from me. This was not approached as our challenge ... it was his. Part of the reason I did not help was because I was beginning to feel the weight of my own past bear down on me and consequently believed I didn't deserve any better than what I was experiencing. On some level judging him made me feel safe. If he didn't change, I didn't have to forgive him.

One night in all of my anger and brokenness I cried out to God, "I will forgive him when he changes."

As far as I was concerned, all trust was broken between John and me, and I didn't want to be disappointed yet again. God answered my declaration with a question:

"Do you trust me, Lisa?"


"Good. I need you to forgive John so he can change."

He even gave me the words to say: "I believe you want to change and I forgive you."

This was in stark contrast to my normal script, which read, "I will believe you are sorry when you change."

This way of thinking was so far removed from anything I had known that I knew it was God leading me. When I extended this unconditional mercy to John, the healing began for both of us. He was able to move out of the darkness of shame and into the light, where he found freedom from his bondage. This shift in perspective was a turning point. I could trust the unchangeable God.

Fearless love is not based on the performance of a person but on the loving faithfulness of God. When I confess my sins and struggles to the Father in Jesus's name, I am never shamed. He believes my future will be better.

God is love. Love is eternal. Love never fails. Nothing entrusted to love is ever lost, and nothing birthed out of love well ever die. But there are some places that love does not grow; love cannot flourish in the company of its rival, fear. Fear has an end—actually, fear is a dead end. Fear is an ungodly spirit that leads to torment. Fear advises from its seat in the shadow of doubt, while love draws its wisdom from the light of faith. If you heed the counsel of fear for too long, you will fail.

Perhaps you've struggled to love those around you despite their shortcomings. If you're like me, it can sometimes be a struggle to give love until you see change. But I want to encourage you to give love before it's deserved or warranted. It is only when we embrace God's fearless, undeserved, unfathomable love for us that we are changed—and it is only when we extend this fearless love to others that we give them room to do the same. Beloved, embrace the unrivaled love of God and watch your world transform around you.

Lisa Bevere is an international speaker, best-selling author, and co-founder of Messenger International. In her transparent style, Lisa shares God's Word woven with personal experiences to empower lives with freedom and transformation. Her heart breaks over social injustice. As an advocate for change, she rallies others to be an answer to desperate problems near and far. Lisa begins her days with mochas and ends them laughing around the dinner table. Lisa lives in Colorado Springs with the love of her life, author and speaker John Bevere, and their family. 

Lisa Bevere Featured Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400
Billy Graham Clarifies 'Thou Shalt Not Judge' Doctrine

It's not just believers who like to throw around "thou shalt not judge," when someone calls them out for various indiscretions.  

The Bible verse is so popular, yet few know its original meaning, or the context.  

"I don't think it's up to us to judge who is religious and who isn't. I have my own beliefs, and I get upset when someone tries to question me about them or make me believe the same way they do. Didn't Jesus say somewhere that we shouldn't judge others?" one reader asked evangelist Billy Graham.  

Here's what the wise man had to say

You're probably thinking of Jesus' statement in the Sermon on the Mount, commanding us not to judge or condemn others—something only God has the right to do. He said, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you will not be condemned ... " (Luke 6:37).
This doesn't mean, however, that we're supposed to be indifferent to right or wrong, or be unaware of the dangers that come from immoral decisions or false beliefs. Nor does it mean we should overlook our own sins. In fact, later in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus urges us to judge between true and false ways of living (which we do by seeing their results). He also commands us to be judges of our own sins—which may be far greater than those we see in others.
I can't help but wonder, however, why you don't want anyone to challenge your beliefs or even talk with you about them. Only you can answer this, of course—but is it because deep down in your heart and mind you're unsure of your beliefs and doubt if you're actually right?
But you can be sure, by turning to Jesus Christ and committing your life to Him. He came into the world to give us the greatest gift of all—the gift of eternal life. Don't let pride or anything else keep you from Christ. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).

Jessilyn Justice Featured Culture Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:00:00 -0400
The Truth About Bethel's Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson was born for revival, but he didn't start burning and shining for Jesus until he was a full-grown man. Though he was a pastor's kid in a Spirit-filled church, the thought of circling the globe teaching hungry believers how to host the presence and release the power of God never once crossed his mind. Bill had his heart set on becoming a professional baseball player.

God had different plans and used an evangelist named Mario Murillo—whose ministry was born in the drug-obsessed, occult-saturated atmosphere in the epicenter of the violent student revolution in Berkeley, California—to get Bill's attention. Through Murillo's persuasive gospel messages about absolute abandonment to Christ mixed with raw healing, the Holy Spirit conquered Bill's heart. Today, he's a fifth-generation pastor on his dad's side and a fourth-generation pastor on his mom's side.

"I grew up in a very good Christian home and had a fear of God, and while I never lived in out-and-out rebellion, neither was I a passionate follower of Jesus," Bill told me in the studios at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where he serves as senior leader. "One Saturday night, alone, I finally said yes to God—the absolute yes. For me, everything changed that night. My dad started teaching about worship and encounters with the presence of God, and I learned by experience that I don't want to live without this. I'm still learning how to give Him a place where He has a profound influence on how I think and live."

Over the past 45-plus years since that decisive night, Bill has learned plenty about the ways of God. He realized Holy Spirit lives in every believer but does not rest on every believer. He discovered Holy Spirit is in us for our sake, but He comes upon us for others' sakes. He grasped the reality that Holy Spirit comes upon you so you can release the kingdom into broken situations so Jesus can be glorified. Bill has taught millions of believers around the world with ears to hear how to walk with the Spirit of God.

"What you focus on—the kingdom you're aware of—is what you release into the atmosphere around you," Bill says. "You're actually influencing your surroundings by what's going on inside. The world is filled with unbelief and sin and so many horrible things. The kingdom of God is filled with perfect trust and peace. You will always reflect the nature of the world you're most aware of."

When Miracles Started Breaking Out

Bill certainly reflects the character of Christ, but miracles, signs and wonders did not always mark his ministry. Under the leadership of his father in 1978, Bethel Church sent Bill to pastor Mountain Chapel in Weaverville, California, before he finally experienced what he points to as his "greatest breakthrough" in ministry nine years later.

"I would read about revivals," Bill recalls. "I would read about John G. Lake and pray for people. Nothing ever happened. I just assumed you had to have a special gift for healing and I didn't have it. I would try for a while and back off and get discouraged. I went to a John Wimber conference and heard him teach the same things I had been teaching for a couple of years—but they had the fruit of what they believed. I just had a theory. I realized I needed to take more risks and just not stop. It was the weirdest thing. When I came back, the miracles started."

Bill pastored in Weaverville for 17 years before moving his family back to Redding, California, in 1996 to take the baton from his father and assume leadership of Bethel Church. He came with one non-negotiable condition: He was born for revival and would pursue revival. When Bill took the reigns, the outpouring started almost immediately in seed form and a harvest of miracle healings, including multiple cases of cancer, followed in the months ahead.

Today, Bethel has become a true movement in the body of Christ with the local church, the school of ministry, a media group, Bethel Music and a network of thousands of congregations around the world, but Bill is quick to point out that it's all about a person—and it's not him. Rather, it's about Jesus and His heart being revealed in us, to us and through us. With that in mind, Bill has committed to create an atmosphere at Bethel where God is glorified and people are set free.

"The atmosphere issue is a big deal for me," Bill says. "The two things that I keep focusing on the most are the principles of the kingdom and the presence of the King. If I can keep those two things in focus, we find that He ends up doing more stuff. You end up having more stuff happen by accident than we ever used to have on purpose. When the glory of God begins to come into the room, I'm not going to stop that to teach. I don't have anything that important to say. To me, it's all about the presence."

Bill recalls one Sunday morning when two people were healed of broken necks during worship. Another Sunday morning, a woman had a tumor disappear that doctors couldn't even remove with surgery. Of all the many miracles recorded and verified at Bethel, the one that fascinates him most was the 12-year-old boy whose family flew him in from Norway. He was fed intravenously for 10 years and confined to a wheelchair because his muscles were deteriorating. His parents did not know if he would live through the long journey, but they came believing.

"The family was so engaged with the anointing," Bill shares. "They went to a restaurant afterward and gave him a piece of bread to smell because he enjoyed that ... and he ate it. There was this moment of terror because he can't digest food and his temperature within moments would rise to 106. He was dramatically, dramatically healed. And they did a book in Norway about it. It's just absolutely stunning. But that will mark you. That will change you."

Not everyone who comes to Bethel gets healed, but Bill refuses to blame or question God—and he has committed to cultivate an atmosphere and building faith for healing at Bethel for one biblical reason: Everyone who came to Jesus believing was healed.

"It's the only acceptable standard," Bill says. "I can either lower the Scripture to my level of experience or I can fight to raise my level of experience to the standard of the Scripture—and that's what I've chosen to do. As a result, there's heartache. There are times when you miss it. There are times when loved ones and dear friends die. There's no explanation. I don't need an explanation. I don't ever ask why. I know if Jesus were in these shoes, they would've been healed."

Life-Changing Encounters With God

Bill told me there was a time when his hunger for God, revival and miracles was so deep it would send him into depression. He got so discouraged at times he became self-critical.

"I would honestly confess sins I never committed just to cover my bases in case there was a wrong thought or attitude—it just became about me," he reveals. "There's something wrong when it's all about you. It just came to this point where ... I don't want to say I made an agreement or contract with God, but it's kind of how it worked out for me. I said, 'Father, I'm in Your Word every day, every day. I don't miss a day. And You said it's like a sword. I'm inviting you to cut me deep. If I need the slap of a friend, please give me the slap of a friend.'"

In that moment, Bill stopped looking at himself and started crying out to God for fire to burn within him. In his experience, desperation for God takes people to a fork in the road—they either move into faith or unbelief. You can end up offended because of what God didn't do or truly abandon yourself to God in faith without striving. He cautions believers everywhere not to let true hunger lead to an unhealthy frustration.

"If God is my servant, He will continually frustrate me," Bill says. "If I'm His, I will constantly be amazed."

After the initial encounter with God during Murillo's fiery 1970 message, the Holy Spirit opened Bill's eyes in 1979 to revelation in Isaiah 60—"Arise, shine for your light has come. The glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, deep darkness the peoples. But His light will appear upon you. His glory will arise upon you." He describes it as a subtle encounter with the Word of God.

"As I was reading that portion of Scripture—the entire chapter, actually—it just seemed to come alive, and I felt like the Lord was speaking to me that this was a prophetic word for the church in that hour," Bill says. "I stopped and spent time there just praying over it and reading it over again and again and again. It just became alive. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that experience—that Scripture come alive to me has affected every day of my life since then."

The next encounter was not so subtle. Bill had been asking for more of God and praying so much he would wake himself up praying in his sleep. His prayer sounded like this: "God, I want more of You at any cost. I'll pay any price." Suddenly and in a frightening way, God answered his prayers. At 3 a.m. one morning, he woke up with the power of God surging through his body. He says felt like he was being electrocuted. He told me he actually felt his face turn red from embarrassment because of how he looked even though nobody could see him.

"I had no control of my limbs," Bill recalls. "I had control of my head. That's all. As soon as it started, I went from dead sleep to wide awake in a millisecond. I remember Jacob walked with a limp after his encounter. It affected how he walked. Mary was mother of the illegitimate child through her encounter. And so there was the question. 'Did you mean it when you said you want more at any cost?' I didn't know if I'd ever be out of bed the rest of my life."

"If I said yes, I didn't know if I'd ever function again. And so probably 25 minutes or so, a half-hour into this, tears were just streaming down my cheeks. I set the side of my face under the pillow. I said, 'I'll take it.' I said, 'If I get You in exchange, You can do anything you want. I don't care.' So He was looking for me to give up my right to dignity. That changed everything."

Bill Behind the Scenes

Kris Vallotton, senior associate leader of Bethel and co-founder of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, met Bill when he was 24 and lived with the Johnson family for six months. He told me there is no difference between the public Bill and the private Bill, except that he seems extroverted in the pulpit but is an introvert at heart.

"Bill is very quiet," Kris told me. "You could ride in a car with him, and if you don't talk to him, he won't talk. He's the most generous person I've ever met in my life. I've watched Bill and Beni give their food away and then pray in food for the week. He won't enter into a negative conversation about anybody. He's more likely to pray about a problem with someone than talk to them about it, and he is very forgiving."

It may be difficult to believe, but Bill says he was never called into the ministry. He volunteered to help his dad at Bethel. He led the single adults. He taught Sunday school. He worked with young people on the streets during the hippie era. He helped with print publications. He helped in the bookstore. Wherever his dad needed help, he was there. But he always thought in the back of his mind it was short term.

"I didn't like to talk in front of people," Bill says. "I would take an 'F' on an exam if it meant talking in front of people. I hated to read. My parents thought my brother might be a pastor. But for me, they were just hoping I'd get to heaven. I was about three years into serving as staff for my dad when it hit me. I have a heart for this. The whole thought of talking in front of people and the stuff I do now terrified me. In God's mercy, He just let me grow into it."

Randy Clark, founder of Global Awakening, met Bill in 1994 at a conference. He told me Bill has an "amazing hunger" for God and is "more committed to pursuing revival than anybody I know." John G. Lake—a Canadian-born healing evangelist who saw over 100,000 healings in the healing rooms ministry he founded in Spokane, Washington, in the early 1900s—is one of Bill's heroes. That's because of Lake's understanding of the unseen world and how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to bring breakthrough into people's lives. Bill also loves Evan Roberts, the revivalist credited with leading the Welsh Revival that saw hundreds of thousands of souls come to Christ in a two-year period, for his childlike faith and joy.

"In addition to revival, Bill has pursued signs and wonders and healing more than anybody I know," Randy told me. "Bill Johnson is a man who's kind, gentle, loving and a great father. He was a great son to his father. He is as loyal as you'll ever find. He's more of an introvert who really enjoys his time alone with study and with God. He's authentic. What you see on the stage is what you see off stage. Bill talks about the same passion."

Banning Liebscher, senior director of Jesus Culture, was on staff at Bethel Church in Redding for 18 years and launched Jesus Culture Sacramento Church in 2014. He was 19 years old when he came on staff and told me Bill "massively shaped" who he is and how he thinks.

"Bill has kingdom priorities down like no one I have ever met," Liebscher says. "Bill has a passion to host the presence of God and see cities experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but he is not an ambitious man. He just wants to be faithful and obedient to what God is asking."

Indeed, when I asked Bill Johnson, 65, what he wants to be remembered for, he didn't point to the miracles, signs and wonders. He didn't point to revival. He didn't point to a sermon. He didn't point to a megachurch. In truth, he really doesn't care if anyone remembers him at all—and he didn't hesitate to offer a simple yet profound answer: "I want to be remembered for being faithful, that I did what He said."

Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma magazine, director of Awakening House of Prayer and author of many books, including The Next Great Move of God. Visit her online at

Learn how to trust God and see His purpose for you come to pass—even when it seems impossible. Visit

Jennifer LeClaire Featured Watchman on the Wall Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:00:00 -0400
This Falsity in the Church Is Ruining America's Moral Base

The love of many believers seems to be waxing cold because of their desire not to offend anyone but to be accepted by all (Matt. 24:12). This false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate, is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures in this hour.

Loving people is certainly a godly virtue, and the most important of all commandments. We need to be measured in pursuing love, but not at the expense of hating truth and righteousness. The focus of what many call love today is based on accommodating people's ungodly and sinful lifestyles and idiosyncrasies, and frankly, even abominable behavior.

Jesus Christ loved righteousness and hated iniquity or evil (Heb. 1:8-9). A love for God and His righteousness is the foundation of true love. But it is impossible to love God's righteousness without hating wickedness. No true love can tolerate wickedness. To act indifferent toward wickedness and evil is proof of an absence of a love for righteousness in your life. No morality that fails to hate wickedness has ever known righteousness.  

We are not only called to love, but we are also called to hate. Hate in itself is not sin. It all depends on what you hate. Hating wickedness is an attribute of God and therefore a godly virtue. Hating righteousness, however, is sin. Hating those who love righteousness is sin. Hating God is, of course, sin.

Human love, which is sympathy, if not balanced with a hatred for evil and a true love for righteousness, disqualifies the Christian for battle in this cultural war.

Here in America and much of the West we are in the midst of a huge cultural war and a moral crisis, but the greater threat to society and the church could be this false concept of love. There is a militant aggression in our society today that is demanding people love and accept others. This new sentiment is shaping public policy and being used as a standard of morality in evaluating people's behavior. Even many Christians are falling for it, and demonic doctrines and damnable heresies are spreading.

The perfect balance of love and hate can only function in Jesus Christ and those who are truly His. God's love is capable of loving sinners without condoning sin. Even we who have children know to love them, but also to hate the evils that could damage them.

Just as pain is necessary to alert us of danger in our bodies, so is hate a necessary companion to true love.

Being Nice Is Not Necessarily Love

I am more convinced now more than ever that the modern definition of love in much of the church is "being nice." But in reality, this could very well be the shallowest form of love, and the most deceptive and dangerous.

The church is so ill-advised in this matter of true love that we will actually damn people's souls to hell because we're too "nice" to tell them the truth that could save them.

True love is willing to go far beyond only being nice, and embrace righteousness and be hated and rejected for speaking the truth.

The big problem is we are not familiar with the biblical Jesus. Too many Christians want a manageable, domesticated Jesus who makes no demands on their time, money, words, social life and sexuality, but is just nice. In the midst of this great and growing deception, God is looking for uncompromising believers who are full of true love but are also committed to proclaiming the truth of the gospel and not the counterfeit Jesus of Western culture.

Too many Christians don't know the real Jesus, but are just following the Jesus of the pop culture and who shallow Christians have made Him to be. The following quotes bear this out and will provide some humor concerning some people's concept of Jesus and love. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

The John Lennon (the former beatle) Jesus: "All you need is love. That's all I care about, really. Not truth or anything like that. It's all about peace and love, and love and peace. Spirituality you know."

The Mr. Rogers Jesus: "What I'm most concerned with, dear children, is that you be really nice to each other. Be careful to never hurt anyone's feelings, because all people, just like you, are my special followers."

The Rob Bell Jesus: "Everyone is going to be just fine. Everyone is going to heaven when they die. Any other view of me is just toxic. If hell were hell, that would make me a monster, wouldn't it? Yes, a toxic monster! I am not a toxic monster."

The Bernie Sanders Jesus: "I expect you to love your neighbor, and I expect you to do that by supporting all government welfare programs, universal health care, higher taxes on the rich, higher minimum wage, and more environmental regulations."

You get the picture.

It's time for the church to return to truth and righteousness, and to hate the things God hates and to love what He loves. It's time for us to know the difference between human love, which is sympathetic and sentimental, and usually not based on truth and righteousness, and the real love of God, which speaks the truth that sometimes offends while laying down its life for the good of others.

Bert Farias Featured The Flaming Herald Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 06:00:00 -0400
Donald Trump: Hillary Clinton's Policies Will Continue to Fail and Betray Inner Cities

In his first campaign event following his opponent's release of an ugly ad accusing him of being a racist white supremacist, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stuck largely to the issues.

But he still beat Hillary Clinton up over Clinton Foundation corruption and on the general failings of Democratic Party policies, particularly in inner cities.

All three issues came together in yet another powerful speech for the GOP nominee. As he transitioned from his now-canned speech about Clinton Foundation issues, the New York businessman said:

Now, I have not seen Hillary Clinton's remarks. And, in a sense, I don't want to dignify them by dwelling on them too much, but a response is required for the sake of all decent voters she is trying to smear.

The news reports are that Hillary Clinton is going to try to accuse this campaign, and the millions of decent Americans who support this campaign, of being racists.

It's the oldest play in the Democratic playbook.

When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument. It's the last refuge of the discredited politician.

They keep going back to this same well, but the well has run dry.

This is the year that the people who have been betrayed by Democratic policies, including millions of African-American and Hispanic-American citizens, reject the politicians who have failed them and vote for change.

As I've discussed for many days now, Democratic politicians have run nearly every inner city in America for fifty or sixty years or more. Their policies have produced only more poverty, joblessness and failing schools.

Every policy Hillary Clinton supports is a policy that has failed and betrayed communities of color in this country. But she just doesn't care—she's too busy raking in cash from the people rigging the system.

Nearly four in 10 African-American children live in poverty. Fifty-eight percent of African-American youth are not working. More than 2,700 people have been shot in Chicago this year alone.

These are the consequences of Hillary Clinton's policies. She has brought nothing but pain and heartache to our inner cities.

On top of that, she wants to raise taxes on African-American owned businesses to as much as nearly 50 percent. We should be helping these businesses to grow and expand—but Hillary Clinton is trying to shut them down.

She opposes school choice.

She supports open borders that violate the civil rights of African-Americans by giving their jobs to people here unlawfully.

She supports trade policies that have closed factories in African-American communities and put millions of African-Americans out of work.

She supports radical regulations that put Americans out of work and raise the price of their energy bills.

She supports policies on crime that make communities less safe, and that make it harder to raise your children in security and peace.

I believe every single parent in this country—and especially in the inner cities—has the right to raise their kids in safety. This is one of the great civil rights issues of our time.

But Hillary Clinton doesn't want to talk about any of this. She can't defend her record. She doesn't have one single proposal that hasn't been tried and failed. She doesn't have one idea that does anything but destroy jobs for African-American and Hispanic citizens—and all citizens—in our country.

So what does she do when she can't defend her record?

She lies, she smears, she paints decent Americans as racists. She bullies voters, who only want a better future, and tries to intimidate them out of voting for change.

As I discussed yesterday, these are the same tactics the establishment powers used to try to scare the British people out of voting for change too.

It didn't work there. It won't work here.

The American people are ready to vote for freedom, opportunity and justice. They are ready to take back control of their own futures.

It's time the Clintons were held accountable for their inappropriate conduct. According to the book Game Change, Bill Clinton said about President Barack Obama that "a few years ago this guy would have been getting us coffee." And we've all seen the cringe-worthy comments from Hillary Clinton, which I won't get into here but we all know what they are.

Here's the important point though that I want to get across today. Hillary Clinton isn't just attacking me, she's attacking all the people who support our movement.

We can't let that stand. Voters are used to the old game where failed politicians like Hillary Clinton falsely smear Republicans with charges of racism. Republicans then back down. Democrats then continue to push policies that are devastating to communities of color.

We must break this corrupt cycle. And we are going to break it beginning today.

Bob Eschliman Featured Events Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 06:00:00 -0400
Practical Advice for Christians for Observing the Sabbath

When Gentile Christians discover the Jewish roots of their faith, the first questions that arise usually surround the Sabbath. Once they realize that the Sabbath has not been changed to Sunday, or done away with, questions arise as to practical application.

If they are not obligated to the Sabbath in the same manner as Jewish people but wish to partake in the blessings of the seventh day, what should their Sabbath observance look like? How should a Gentile Christian's Sabbath differ from that of a Jewish believer?

First, in regard to a Jewish believer's Sabbath, I will borrow from my colleague Daniel Lancaster's book The Sabbath Breaker: Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospels' Sabbath Conflicts. There he writes:

"As a Gentile teacher, I am in no position to tell Jewish believers how to keep the Sabbath. While I hope to encourage every Jewish disciple of our Master to reassess his or her relationship to the holy Sabbath, I am not qualified to recommend a legal code, nor is it my place to tell Jewish people how to be Jewish. I believe that Jewish believers have a covenantal responsibility to the Torah's laws regarding keeping Shabbat, which in my mind is outworked in the traditional thirty-nine categories of work in Jewish law. But beyond that, it is for my Jewish brothers and sisters to figure out what that observance looks like."

As for Gentile believers, there remain aspects of the Sabbath for them as well. But when non-Jews observe the Sabbath, it is important that they honor the Jewish people's unique relationship with the Sabbath.

Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, an expert in Jewish law as it relates to non-Jews, writes: "A [non-Jew] should not observe the Shabbat in the manner that a Jew does."

While at first glance many of us might balk at this, we have to remember that to Rabbi Schwartz, full observance of Shabbat involves the full weight of the thirty-nine prohibitions of Shabbat according to Jewish law, including not using any electricity or driving in a car or even carrying an object in one's pocket. At the same time, Rabbi Schwartz tries to find a balance between allowing Gentiles to receive the blessings of the Sabbath day and compromising the distinct sign of Israel.

He goes on to say: "There is room to suggest that [Gentiles], even nowadays, by accepting to fulfill the seven commandments, are in the same category as [the resident alien of the Torah] and should be ... at least allowed to keep the Shabbat."

Practically, he goes on to suggest a Sabbath day where Gentiles refrain from work, enjoy festive meals and study the Bible. Bear in mind, though, that he does not have believers in view, and therefore takes no thought for how Gentile Christians might relate more to a Jewish observance of the Sabbath. Rabbi Meir Dan Polachi even states:

"If a non-Jew were to commit himself exclusively to God, and ascribe influence to Him alone, it would be allowed and even fitting for him to rest on Shabbat like his Maker does."

Thus, there is a precedent in Jewish literature for Gentiles remembering the Sabbath.

Gentiles in Messiah should feel free to honor the Shabbat and join in with the rest of Israel, even observing some of the customs of the Jewish people. After all, Shabbat was originally a universal expression (Gen. 2:1–3).

On the other hand, it may not be advisable for a Gentile to embrace a fully halachic ["halacha" is Jewish law] observance of the Sabbath, especially outside of a Jewish community. At the same time, although a Gentile will probably not be observing all of the traditional stringencies that Jewish law places around the Sabbath, he should have respect for his Jewish brother who does.

Practically, this will look different for people in different situations. For example, the Sabbath practice of a Gentile who attends a Messianic Jewish congregation will look different than the practice of someone who stays at home alone. Here are a few suggestions:

Everyone will have to decide for themselves on what level they want to take on some of the traditional prohibitions of Shabbat. A person need not take on the whole load of Jewish legal prohibitions in order to keep the spirit of ceasing from those activities on the Sabbath. For example, a person might decide to avoid writing on the Sabbath or to avoid gardening or other acts of production. If you can, cook your Sabbath food ahead of time so that you don't need to be cooking on the holy day. At the very least, to observe Sabbath one would have to attempt to take off work. Yet even if this is not possible, try just having a nice family dinner Friday night or something similar. A little Sabbath is better than no Sabbath at all.

The three meals of the Sabbath (Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon) can be very helpful in setting up a structure and consistency for Shabbat even if one does not attend a congregation. The table prayers, blessings, and songs can greatly increase the joy and spirituality of one's Sabbath observance. Other aspects of Jewish liturgy such as the evening and morning prayers can enhance the day and provide structure as well.

The Sabbath should not only be a time of rest but also a time to connect with God and study the Scriptures. The weekly Torah portion schedule is a great way to stay connected with greater Israel and at the same time dig into God's word. You can find the Torah schedule at  Additionally, the Sabbath is a great time to get to reading all those books you'd like to read but never have a chance to during the week.

Take a break from the internet, TV and your cell phone. Of course emergencies will arise and there will be other special circumstances but in general these activities tend to keep us from fully resting with God, family and community.

If the weather is nice, get out into nature. Rabbi Shwartz writes: "If possible, they should go out to the fields or a park so as to feel close to the Creator of the world." Enjoying God's creation helps one remember the Genesis aspect of the Sabbath and provides a place of peace and tranquility for meditation and prayer.

Honor the spirit of the Sabbath as best you can by abstaining from travel on the Sabbath day. If you are not traveling to attend a Messianic synagogue or join with other believers on the Sabbath, it might be better not to travel at all. If you don't need to use your vehicle, leave it in the driveway. Be flexible with these standards, but make an effort to set the Sabbath apart as a different kind of day.

If at all possible, a person desiring to honor the Sabbath should abstain from financial transactions. Sabbath is not a day for going shopping, making purchases, conducting business, eating out and so on.

Jew and Gentile both need to set aside a holy day for rest and sanctification. We need a time to reconnect, both with our family and with God himself. The Sabbath is the day we prepare for ahead of time, so all that we have left to do is to enjoy and delight in this precious gift. You might even say that as the world becomes more and more hectic and our lives become more and more busy, the practice of Shabbat becomes more and more important. Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach envisions a time when many from all nations will begin to observe a seventh day of rest:

"In this epoch of cell phones, beepers, email and fax machines, humans are subjected to work and noise seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We are rarely afforded a moment of solitude. I predict that more and more people, Jews and non-Jews, will begin to embrace that particularly Jewish observance of the Sabbath as a way to quiet the clamor and to regain a sense of balance and peace. Get ready to see non-Jewish families setting aside one day a week in which they don't answer the telephone, rent videos or surf the net. Modern-day amusements are as incarcerating as they are liberating, and we all need a break. Every Saturday will be designated as an uninterrupted family day, during which cell phones and Palm Pilots are switched off."

May it be for the whole world! Yet, how much more so is this applicable to those of us from the nations who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel through Messiah! As God-fearing Gentile Christians, we can find solidarity with the first God-fearing believers who chose to observe Sabbath out of love for God and love for Israel. We can help spread the light of the universal principle of Sabbath, a principle in which all mankind can find benefit, goodness, holiness and blessing. {eoa}

Toby Janicki is a teacher, writer, and project manager for First Fruits of Zion. He contributes regularly to Messiah Journal and has written several books including God Fearers: Gentiles and the God of Israel. 

Toby Janicki Featured Standing With Israel Opinion Fri, 26 Aug 2016 06:00:00 -0400
No, Donald Trump Didn't Flip-Flop on Immigration

One of Donald Trump's great strengths as a candidate is that he doesn't play by the insider-imposed rules of politics; he says what's on his mind.  

Trump's public out-loud musings about policy and various issues in the campaign have more than once let the air out of his momentum as he tried to clarify them after his detractors in the establishment media and the #NeverTrump crowd pounced upon them for an "ah ha" moment of criticism or claims of flip-flopping.

And no issue has provided more of these "ah ha" moments than Trump's public musings on the issues of immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Donald Trump opened his campaign with the observations that Mexico does not send us its best citizens as illegal immigrants and that among these illegal immigrants were criminal drug dealers, rapists and other undesirable entrants into our country.

Trump's observation was unquestionably true, but it was met with howls of protest by the open borders crowd from the Far Left and the Republicans aligned with the Wall Street—Washington—Silicon Valley Axis.

The same with Trump's comments that there should be a halt to Muslim immigration "until we figure out what's going on." The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other jihadi front groups were quick to condemn the remarks as Islamophobic, while no less a figure than Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who has made increasing Muslim immigration his special project, called it unconstitutional, even though it most certainly is not.

Trump's musings on interior enforcement of immigration laws and the need for it perhaps requiring a special enforcement unit likewise generated howls on the Left and criticism from the Republican establishment and navel-gazing civil libertarians. Never mind that such a force already exists; it's just been told by Obama not to do any enforcing.

The latest contretemps about Donald Trump's public musings on how his immigration policies might work was kicked-off when Trump said in a TV interview that aired Wednesday night that his time on the campaign trail has made him sympathetic to the plight of many undocumented people who have been in the U.S. for a long time. 

"Now, everybody agrees we get the bad ones out," he told Fox News host Sean Hannity according to reporting by the anti-Trump New York Daily News. "But when I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I've had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they've said, 'Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person who's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it's so tough, Mr. Trump.' I have it all the time! It's a very, very hard thing."

Still, Trump said there would be "no amnesty" for undocumented immigrants, even if they have committed no crimes.

"No citizenship," Trump said. "Let me go a step further: They'll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them."

Trump also dismissed the notion of "sanctuary cities."

"We're protecting criminals," he said. "And the police, who are phenomenal people, they're at a point where they almost give up."

So where's the flip-flop in Trump's stance?

There isn't one, but acknowledging that actually enforcing our existing laws after years of no enforcement will be "tough" and a "very, very hard thing" can be made to sound like a flip-flop, especially if you are looking for any excuse to undercut Trump and discredit his core message.

"I've had a philosophy, 'Tell me who you walk with and I'll tell you who you are,'" CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie recently told NewsMax's Steve Malzberg. "If you look at Donald Trump's campaign now ... These are charter members of the conservative movement. It's very exciting. I haven't seen anything like this since the 1980 Reagan campaign against [Jimmy] Carter."

Viguerie said the campaign reset bringing Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway aboard "is a step in the right direction" to win over the pockets of #NeverTrump Republicans.

"Don't focus on Trump, focus on Hillary," Viguerie said. "Trump as president, he might be wrong 20, 25, 30 percent of the time. But Hillary Clinton is going to be wrong 100 percent of the time ... Her goal will be to destroy the conservative movement. Donald Trump will be helping to advance the conservative movement."

Viguerie told Malzberg that Republicans needed to do two things to win this election: feature a candidate who's a fighter and unite the party.

Donald Trump is a fighter and hopefully, Trump's new team will take Mr. Viguerie's advice to focus on Hillary and help him avoid these public stream-of-consciousness musings on how his policies might work.

In the meantime, we invite Republicans and independents who want to avoid living under Hillary Clinton, as we have lived under Barack Obama, to unite with us and observe Ronald Reagan's 80 percent rule: Someone who is 80 percent with you is a friend, not a 20 percent enemy.

We know Hillary Clinton is going to be wrong 100 percent of the time. Her goal will be to destroy the conservative movement. On the other hand, Donald Trump, public musings and all, will be helping to advance American exceptionalism, national sovereignty, religious liberty and many other elements of the conservative movement's agenda.

George Rasley is editor of ConservativeHQ, a member of American MENSA and a veteran of over 300 political campaigns, including every Republican presidential campaign from 1976 to 2008. He served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and has served as a staff member, consultant or advance representative for some of America's most recognized conservative Republican political figures, including President Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. He served in policy and communications positions on the House and Senate staff, and during the George H.W. Bush administration he served on the White House staff of Vice President Dan Quayle.

George Rasley/Conservative HQ Editor Featured Opinions Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:00:00 -0400
The Supreme Court Doesn't Represent American Values

President Obama's Justice Department has given us more proof that it is out of touch with American values. Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta claimed that restricting men from women's bathrooms violates "the values that define us as a people."

She cited last year's decision on gay marriage as evidence of these "values." However, Gupta is setting a trap that many liberals use. She is trying to convince the American people that the Supreme Court represents the values of our nation as a whole.

That is simply not true.

The Supreme Court is a body of unelected lawyers who are not bound by the will of the people. The Founding Fathers never intended for the Supreme Court to be able to pass laws from the bench on behalf of Americans. That power is given to the elected legislators.

The driving force behind the transgender bathroom issue has been the Obama Administration, not the legislators. President Obama used an executive order to threaten schools that do not follow the transgender agenda.

Congress could not have passed such a measure because their voters would not have allowed it. The retail chain Target learned this the hard way. They took a massive loss in profits after being among the first to implement a transgender bathroom policy.

Most Americans are able to use common sense on the transgender bathroom issue. Ignoring biological sexes means ignoring reality. Men should not be in bathrooms and locker rooms with women and girls.

Americans know that the safety and privacy concerns of women and girls outweigh the demands of a few confused people. Assistant AG Gupta should know that the Obama Administration does not get to decide what American values are.

American values come from the people, not the politically correct agenda of the Left. By making up imaginary American values, the Obama Administration shows how out of touch with reality they truly are.

Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debates on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative.

Phyllis Schlafly/The Eagle Forum Featured Opinions Caucus Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:00:00 -0400
Taxpayer-Funded University Hosts 'Stop White People' Workshop

Nothing screams tolerance and diversity like a university workshop designed to target white people.

The State University of New York in Binghamton has a bit of explaining to do after they held a workshop titled, "#StopWhitePeople2K16."

The workshop was an official part of the residential assistant training program at the taxpayer-funded university.

The Binghamton Review, the university's conservative newspaper, exposed this nonsense and they deserve a round of applause for their efforts.

It's not exactly clear how they intend to stop all of us white folks, but the course smacks of blatant bigotry disguised as cultural awareness.

Get a load of the course description:

"The premise of this session is to help others take the next step in understanding diversity, privilege and the society we function within."

I developed a micro-aggression just reading that nonsense.

"The terrifying implication here is not that students on campus think it is appropriate to call an event by that name, but that the university seems to endorse it as a proper part of a RA training," Binghamton Review journalist Howard Hecht wrote.

"For a university dedicated to providing an inclusive environment, calling an event '#StopWhitePeople2K16' seems counterproductive at best," Hecht continued. "The name is divisive."

Well said, Howard.

You will be relieved to know the grownups at SUNY-Binghamton say they really don't hate white people.

"We verified that the actual program content was not 'anti-white'," said Brian Rose, vice president for student affairs.

Whew! What a relief.

"The program title, '#StopWhitePeople2K16' was drawn from a familiar hashtag in use on Twitter, and was not invented by the program facilitators," he said in a prepared statement. "It is my understanding that the hashtag is commonly used ironically."

Ah yes, the old "I'm not a racist, I'm just a plagiarist defense."

Mr. Rose said as many as 50 RA's attended the session—which he stressed was voluntary.

The content included discussions on reverse racism, the relationship of communities of color with police, whiteness and so on and so forth.

"What we strive to do from an administrative level is cultivate an environment where our students listen to one another, learn from one another and do so in a manner that doesn't cause unnecessary harm," Mr. Rose said. "I have no indication that this particular program was inconsistent with the respectful environment we hope to support and sustain."

In other words, "#StopWhitePeople2K16" is just another name for "Blame the White Guy 101."

Todd Starnes Featured American Dispatch Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:00:00 -0400
The Clinton Campaign Probably Wants a Do-Over on This One

One would guess the Hillary Clinton campaign would really like to have a do-over of spokesman Brian Fallon's recent appearance on MSNBC.

Host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, was attacking the Clinton camp's defense of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and its apparent "pay-to-play" scheme during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. He had his producers roll tape of Fallon's defense on the previous day's Andrea Mitchell Reports—also on MSNBC—which pretty much came straight from the Clinton script.

"More than half the people in the world receiving AIDS drugs received them from the Clinton Foundation," he said. "So, no, the Clinton Foundation will not be completely shuttering its work even if Clinton wins the presidency and for good reason.

"They want to continue this work, and you know what, if any American voter is troubled by the idea that the Clintons want to continue working to solve the AIDS crisis on the side while Hillary Clinton is president, then don't vote for her."

Not sure if telling an angry electorate tired of political corruption not to vote for your candidate is the right call when said candidate is facing significant charges of corruption? You wouldn't be alone.

New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore, while Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski sat momentarily in stunned silence, let out a long breath before he said what many watching were probably thinking themselves: "Wow."

Taking a moment to try to compose himself, Scarborough proceeded to absolutely shred Fallon's response for an entirely different reason than the "don't vote for her" line. And, coming from one of Hillary's favorite news networks, this one left a mark.

"That is so pathetic. You all are not really that pathetic, are you?" he asked.

"Please don't be, we really need her," Brzezinski added.

"Are you really that pathetic? Are you really that pathetic?" Scarborough then said. "You're going to actually say that if Bill Clinton doesn't have the opportunity to shake down billionaires, that AIDS will not be cured.

"So, I guess if we're keeping score at home, Barack Obama is Moses and has the ability to stop the tides from rising. And Bill Clinton shaking down billionaires in Kazakhstan while doing deals on the side and getting paid $550,000 for a one-hour speech, that's our only path forward to curing AIDS.

"You're not really that pathetic, are you? Because if that's the best line of attack you have, you need to go back to middle school and start all over again."

Columnist Mike Barnicle attempted to defend the Clinton Foundation, saying it does "great work." He said he's less concerned about corruption as he is "bad judgment." He rhetorically asked why the Clinton Foundation couldn't be "melded into" the Gates Foundation, but Scarborough wasn't finished unloading.

"Because then it won't be about them. Because then it won't be about Bill Clinton," he said. "Bill Gates doesn't shake down people for $550,000 for a one-hour speech."

Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:00:00 -0400
African-American Pastor Calls on Hillary Clinton to Drop Her Latest Campaign Ad

A new online ad released by the Hillary Clinton campaign attempts to tie Donald Trump to racists, white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan.

The video opens with a man wearing what appears to be KKK robes and regalia, talking with what appears to be an African-American reporter. The man is not named, but is identified by the video as the "Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the KKK."

"The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in," the man said. The video doesn't specify what those particular issues are, but clips that follow attempt to make the argument that Trump's policies are racist.

After the 70-second video began airing, a South Carolina pastor who is African-American demanded the ad be pulled.

"Hillary Clinton and her campaign went to a disgusting new low today as they released a video tying the Trump Campaign with horrific racial images," pastor Mark Burns said. "This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale. I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world."

The video also attacks Trump's new campaign CEO, Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon, describing him as an "alt-right" political activist who leads a "sort of dressed-up-in-suits version of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements." It says the Breitbart News website—founded by the late Andrew Breitbart—"has become a field day for the alt-right, which is racist and all sorts of other 'ists.'"

Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:00:00 -0400
Balance of Power on Supreme Court in Jeopardy as Nomination Battle Continues

A telling moment occurred on the national stage back in March, exposing how the issue of abortion is inescapably linked to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On March 16, President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to be vetted by the U.S. Senate for consideration as a Supreme Court Justice. That same hour, Cecile Richards—president of Planned Parenthood, the nation's dominant abortion provider—was seen at the White House heading into a private meeting with President Obama and Judge Garland.

One chance photo exposed Judge Garland's bias against life and indicated how he would rule if confirmed.

In nearly six months since then, the Supreme Court has become a presidential campaign issue hotly discussed as never before—because the legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia will loom large over whoever fills the empty seat. The balance of power on the bench is in peril.

I will never forget the moment on February 13 when I saw the news alert of his passing: "Just in—Associate Justice Antonin Scalia Dead at Age 80." To many Americans, he was just another judge. Yet looking closer at his opinions, we see our nation lost one of its great champions for life and the Constitution.

By insisting court decisions are grounded in the Constitution, Justice Scalia changed the Supreme Court and the study of constitutional law itself. "A champion of the original text of the United States Constitution, Justice Scalia believed in the balance of powers—the court being able to check the power of a president outside proper bounds," says Allan Parker, president of The Justice Foundation who has been engaged in pro-life legal advocacy for over 20 years.

Parker puts the current fight over the Supreme Court in stark terms: "An originalist view of the Constitution holds that it means today what it was written to say. However, a 'living Constitution' means whatever a person wants it to mean today. Gradually ignoring foundational principles undermines the rule of law; liberty itself will be the victim."

The unexpected death of Justice Scalia set off a flurry of special interest lobbying. Liberal forces are determined to have another Supreme Court Justice uphold radical views on abortion, as well as a slate of progressive issues, while pro-life groups have urged the U.S. Senate to reserve its advise and consent role for after the election—in hopes of a nominee who will adhere to the Constitution.

Republican opposition to the Supreme Court nominee has remained consistent since March, as Senate leaders have pledged to keep the seat open for the next president to fill in 2017. Republican nominee Donald Trump is the first candidate ever to release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, all of whom have proven track records upholding the value of lives in the womb, traditional marriage, as well as other conservative values.

While Senate leadership insists that the next president will nominate the ninth justice to the Supreme Court, a small number of Republican senators are pushing to confirm Merrick Garland if their party fails to take the White House this November.

Supporters of the plan argue the best contingency, in case Republicans lose in November, is to confirm Garland during the lame-duck session in December—before Secretary Clinton would take office in January. They consider it damage control. "Confirmation of Garland in December, they argue, is better than grappling with an unknown and potentially more liberal Clinton nominee in 2017," according to one news report.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have expressed interest in forcing a Senate vote on Garland. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid recently said, "We have a couple of options and we are deciding when to do that. And if we should do that. When and if."

He also speculated that, were she elected, Secretary Clinton would retain Garland as her first judicial nominee. Reid and others claim that the Senate's reservations about Garland have become a major campaign issue, while voter focus groups have shown otherwise.

Given the political climate and posturing this election year, it is certain that when Justice Scalia's successor—whether Merrick Garland or another presidential nominee—is confirmed by the Senate, he or she is bound to shift the outlook of the Supreme Court. Will the nation's highest court become more balanced in its ideology, or move farther to the left?

The identity of the next Supreme Court justice will affect every American's way of life. Many provocative issues and critical constitutional questions will continue to come before the court; one justice can decide a case that affects generations. A look at history tells us so: removing public prayer from public schools (1962), legalizing abortion on demand (1973) and fashioning a new definition of marriage (2015), to name a few.

The politics of any Supreme Court confirmation battle are important, but the substantive constitutional stakes even more so. In July of 1789, the people of the United States ratified the Constitution and instituted it as the supreme law of the land.

Today, the United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution that has continuously remained in effect in the world. It established the first federal form of government, as well as the first system of checks and balances to prevent any one branch of government from acquiring too much power. The U.S. Supreme Court's role is to govern within the context of this framework. It is no wonder the Constitution begins, "We the People..."

Matt Lockett and his team at Bound4LIFE International will soon mark 12 years praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court, always wearing red Life Tape in silent solidarity with the voices silenced in the womb.

"God cares about government and about innocent babies," says Lockett. "Our firm belief is that a pro-life champion can emerge for the Supreme Court—a man or woman as grounded and just as Antonin Scalia was. Today and even after this upcoming election, every Christian should carry an urgency to pray for the next Supreme Court Justice."

James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution, once said: "The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded."

In the midst of a contentious election year, many citizens are looking beyond the Supreme Court—higher than any platform or political figure—to reimagine what one nation under God could be. {eoa}

Debby Efurd serves as president of Dallas-based Initiative 180 and its program of recovery, Peace After the Storm. She earned a bachelor's degree in counseling from Dallas Baptist University. Debby is the author of Go Tell It! (which released in 2015) and a blogger for Bound4LIFE International, a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion, carry the spirit of adoption, and believe for revival and reformation.

Reprinted with permission from Bound4LIFE. 

Debbie Efrud/Bound4Life Featured Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:30:00 -0400
Robert Jeffress: Joe Biden's Terrorism Comments 'Absolutely Ridiculous'

During a recent interview with The Atlantic, Vice President Joe Biden said that while terrorism is certainly a problem for the United States, it's not an existential threat to the nation.

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas said those comments were "absolutely ridiculous" during an interview on FOX Business Channel. He said that, whether it was Istanbul in Turkey, Nice in France, San Bernardino, Orlando, or now Virginia, all of the attacks shared one denominator: They were committed by radical Islamists.

"Not one of these terrorists, before he committed these atrocities, shouted out 'Jesus Christ is great!'" he told Varney & Co. host Stuart Varney. "It's always 'Allah is great.' For Joe Biden and our government to not acknowledge this reality is a dereliction of duty that will lead to further attacks.

"And I want to make this prediction on your program, Stuart: We're are only one or two more ISIS attacks away from Donald Trump being elected the next President of the United States. People—Americans are sick of this and they want something done about it."

Varney responded that in a technical sense, Biden's comments might be right, but said Jeffress was commenting on something "deeper." He said the pastor was trying to address "what America is, or at least, what it was."

"Absolutely," Jeffress said. "And, people need to realize that these attacks are increasing—even in our country—in frequency and intensity. Unless we do something, we are going to be victims of continued radical Islamic terrorism.

"Over the last several months, I've gone out and debated a Muslim imam on our sister network (FOX News Channel), and every time I pointed out the truth about radical Islam, he would scream and yell that I was being unfair and that Islam is a religion of peace. Just last week while I was on vacation, I read that this Muslim imam has been arrested because of his connections with ISIS.

"Now look, these terrorists are nothing but murderers and liars. We can never expect them to tell the truth about their religion, but we ought to expect our own government officials to tell us the truth about radical Islamic terrorism."

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:00:00 -0400
Russell Wilson Accused of 'Brainwashing' Wife with Christian Lifestyle

A celebrity entertainment news site is accusing Russell Wilson of "brainwashing" his new wife Ciara with his Christian lifestyle.

"The singer is no longer in contact with some of her closest friends, including Kim Kardashian, and isn't provocatively dancing and giving fans lap dances during her performances like she used to," reads a report on the site Celeb Dirty Laundry.

CDL goes on to allege, "Ciara might have made a lot of changes to help please her husband Russell Wilson, but will it take long for the cracks to show in the façade before she goes back to her old habits?"

In recent interviews, Ciara says she couldn't be happier in her marriage with Wilson, claiming that she's never felt this good about a relationship in her life.

Wilson and Ciara made headlines when they publicly vowed to abstain from sex until marriage.

Speaking at Rock Church in San Diego shortly after the couple confirmed they were dating, Wilson said God spoke to him about Ciara, saying, "I need you to lead her."

He asked for prayers to help them honor the commitment they'd made to God. {eoa}

Reprinted with permission from Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

Caitlin Burke/CBN News Featured Culture Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:00:00 -0400
10 Keys to Successfully Parent Teens Through Hollywood's Filth Flood

In the 1500s, reformer Martin Luther gave us this warning: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth."

Let's face it, those days are long gone. Morals are not only airbrushed out of schools but also society as a whole. Today, it's not just the absence of the positive, but it's the presence of the negative.

Young people carefully monitored in homeschooling and Christian schools aren't exempt. All our youth face ungodly peer pressure and cultural inducements unprecedented in history. Even those in more "protective" Christian environments still face the onslaught of Hollywood hedonism flooding pop culture via television, movies, music and the internet.

Survey the Scene

In theaters, "streamed" into homes and even on mainstream or cable TV is entertainment having a terribly corrosive effect on our sons and daughters. Targeting the lucrative youth market, we see offerings like Sausage Party, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, War Dogs and Bad Moms and to name just a few.

Basically this is raunchy, vulgar, profane, gross-out filth that pushes the limits and shamelessly promotes drugs, drunkenness, rebellion, nudity, promiscuity and blasphemy. The more risqué the sexual content, the better it sells. We're experiencing what Senator Moynihan (D.-NY) called "defining deviancy down" back in 1993.

Ultra-violent Suicide Squad features a handful of psychopathic villains combating other criminal super villains running amok. The Associated Press review described it this way: "Watching Suicide Squad (which will nevertheless make hundreds of millions) is to see the superhero movie reaching rock bottom, sunk by moral rot and hollow bombast. Down, down and away!"

Checking with Christian movie guides, many are rightly shocked at the avalanche of profanity also spewing from the pit of hell into the hearts and minds of impressionable youth.

Recently USA TODAY featured an article, "Trans Themes Enter Teen Fiction." Mentioning the barrage of books now dealing with transgender teenagers, it is obvious the LGBTQ advocates want to seduce and influence our children to their latest frontier.

Try to escape to a public park, and in New York they've got totally nude females in a Shakespeare play! This is outrageous!

And in youth-oriented Rolling Stone magazine this month, they feature former Congressman Barney Frank advocating legalizing all drugs—marijuana, heroin and meth! Ignore the fellow arrested this week in Tennessee who got high on meth and tried to kidnap a 4-year-old child with a knife.

10 Guidelines to Guide Our Sons and Daughters

God gives us clear directives in His Word regarding our solemn mandate to be "watchmen" and "gatekeepers" for our offspring. With dads leading the way, Scripture tells us to "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).

We must be wise overseers, not worried overprotectors! We must work hard to help our children learn discern what is righteous and pleasing to the Lord. Sin doesn't deliver as advertised, and they must be taught to recognize the "big lie" of today's pop culture.

1. Convictions—cultivate biblical convictions upon which the family values are based.

2. Commandants—teach Scriptures to our children so that they may come to know God and His ways.

3. Communication—provide opportunities to bond together and share freely.

4. Consequences—help young people understand the "sowing and reaping" dynamic.

5. Consistency—purpose not to send mixed messages or change midstream.

6. Correction—lovingly address infractions of God's standards with appropriate punishment.

7. Courage—Stand firm on biblical standards and don't acquiesce.

8. Consideration—assess age levels of children and readiness concerning activities.

9. Capitalize—seize "teachable moments" to point out deception and reinforce values.

10. Commitment—embrace the commission to train children to choose right over wrong in situations and not just to do right out of form and expectation.

Time for a Radical Response

Barring a spiritual awakening in this nation, Hollywood's filth flood will only worsen. The urgency of the hour and the gravity of the situation demand a radical response!

We are stronger together. Stay close with like-minded Christian parents in today's challenging times and pray like never before.

Remember our mandate, "Yet I want you to be wise to that which is good, and innocent to that which is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:19-20).

Larry Tomczak Featured Here's the Deal Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:30:00 -0400
Even the 'Clinton News Network' is Souring on Hillary Clinton

The softball-style approach CNN has long taken with regard to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has earned it the nickname the "Clinton News Network," but an exchange between its flagship host, Anderson Cooper, and the Democratic presidential nominee may have exposed cracks in her media support.

Things got very testy when Cooper asked Clinton, who phoned into his Anderson Cooper 360 program, why it was OK for the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations when she was secretary of state, but it wouldn't be if she were president. Clinton said she "went above and beyond what was required" of any charitable organization during her tenure at the State Department.

She said being president would present different circumstances she called "unique" to the position. She was about to discuss the "additional, unprecedented" measures the foundation would take if she is elected when Cooper interrupted with a follow-up question.

"But didn't those unique circumstances exist when you were secretary of state?" he asked.

"No, no. You know, look, Anderson, I know there's a lot of smoke and there's no fire," she said. "This AP report, put in it context—this excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders, plus countless other meetings with U.S. government officials when I was secretary of state.

"It looked at a small portion of my time, and it drew the conclusion, and made the suggestion that my meetings with people like the great Elie Wiesel, or Melinda Gates, or the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were somehow due to connections with the foundation, instead of their status as highly respected global leaders. That is absurd.

"These are people I was proud to meet with, who any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work, and their insights."

The AP report actually noted many of the foreign leaders' countries also contributed to the Clinton Foundation, but focused solely on the nongovernment visits. It found 85 of 154 such visits were with people who donated a combined $156 million to the foundation.

In defense of its reporting, which the Clinton camp has said was based on "utterly flawed data," AP issued a statement that said it was "transparent" in how it reported the story. The news syndicate's media relations director, Paul Colford, said the investigation was conducted by the same reporters who tracked Clinton's private email server to her basement in Chappaqua, N.Y., as well as former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's connections to the pro-Russian government in Ukraine.

"AP has been examining issues facing the presidential candidates and will continue to do so," Colford said.

But that wasn't the only point of contention in the interview. Cooper also brought up the fact that Clinton hasn't held a press conference in a very long time, and asked if she was intentionally doing that in order to keep the media focus on Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.

"Well, Anderson, I'm talking to you now, and I've given way in excess of 300 interviews this year," she said.

Most one-on-one interviews involve topics and questions that were approved by the Clinton campaign. So, Cooper asked Clinton, again, why she "won't just schedule a press conference."

"I've got a lot that I've been sharing with the press, talking to the press, as I'm doing with you right now," Clinton responded. "So, you know, stay tuned. There will be a lot of opportunities for me to talk to the press as well as continuing to talk to the American public."

Cooper, seemingly dissatisfied with her reply, closed the interview with one final editorial comment about her lack of press conferences. There are many other members of the press, he noted, "who would certainly welcome the opportunity to ask you questions at a press conference."

For the record, it has now been 264 days since Clinton held an actual press conference with members of her press pool.

Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Tony Perkins: I Never Said God Uses Natural Disasters to Punish Homosexuality

Deceptive claims are being circulated on the internet that put words in my mouth about God's role in natural disasters and what causes them. Those claims are inaccurate. What I have said, which I repeated yesterday in a sermon at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, is that I don't know what was behind this flood or any other natural disaster. However, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe the Bible which makes clear that God is sovereign over the elements of nature and can and does use them for His purposes.

He also allows those same elements to be used as a means of testing our faith and devotion to Him. Is this a test of our faith or a chastisement from God? I don't have that answer. Regardless of what's behind natural disasters, our response should be the same: We are to be on our faces before God, giving thanks in everything, and placing ourselves in total dependence on Him. We know that in walking in obedience to Him, God will never leave nor forsake those who search for Him and walk with Him. As we cry out to God, we must also reach out to our fellow citizens who are hurting and need help. We can do this with hope and confidence because God's Word also tells us that 'in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.'

The flood has brought together this community as never before as we are learning to depend more on each other and on God. We are thankful for the volunteers and resources that are beginning to arrive from across the country which are so vital to the relief effort as we look toward rebuilding. We are very grateful for Samaritan's Purse which arrived at our church within 48 hours of my call for assistance to begin helping the members of this community. Please join us in prayer that God would use the church to minister to this community in a powerful way. {eoa}

Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council. 

Tony Perkins Featured U.S. News Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Doctors Sue Over the 'Other Transgender Mandate'

There's another "transgender mandate" made by the Obama Administration that hasn't gotten as much attention as the demand made to public schools—until now.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced his state is joining in a federal lawsuit to block implementation of this "other transgender mandate" in which doctors and hospitals receiving federal funding cannot refuse to provide sex-change operations and hormone therapies. Since nearly every physician, hospital and clinic in the country accepts Medicaid and Medicare patients, this new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services effectively applies to all of them.

The new rule was introduced in May and was implemented last month. It continues the Obama Administration's "reinterpretation" that the definition of "sex" means "gender identity," not the biological sex one is born with.

Paxton's office issued a statement following the filing of the lawsuit:

As the Obama Administration has attempted to do in other instances, this new rule interprets "sex" as a state of mind, not a biological fact. When it enacted the law, Congress used the term "sex" as a biological category.

The Obama Administration is now trying to redefine the law so that the term "sex" means ones' "internal sense of gender which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female." But the President does not have the power to rewrite law.

The impact of this new rule on Texas and health care workers is significant. Not only does the rule require taxpayers to fund all treatments designed to transition to a different sex, it also forces health care workers, including physicians, to provide controversial services.

Under the new rule, a physician that believes that certain treatments are not in a patient's best medical interests may be in violation of federal law. And a physician that, for religious or conscientious reasons cannot perform a particular procedure, chooses to instead refer a patient to another health care provider may also be determined to be in violation of this new rule.

This is the 13th lawsuit Paxton says he has had to bring against the lawlessness of the Obama Administration and its "threats on the constitutional rights of Texans." He said the federal government doesn't have the right to force Texans—or anyone—to pay for medical procedures designed to change another person's sex.

"I am disappointed in the Obama Administration's lack of consideration for medical professionals who believe that engaging in such procedures or treatment violates their Hippocratic Oath, their conscience, or their personal religious beliefs, which are protected by the Constitution and federal law," he said.

The case, which goes under the title Franciscan Alliance v. Burwell, includes Speciality Physicians of Illinois, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and the states of Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Kansas as plaintiffs. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and the Department of Health and Human Services are the defendants in the case.

"On pain of significant financial liability, the regulation forces doctors to perform controversial and sometimes harmful medical procedures ostensibly designed to permanently change an individual's sex—including the sex of children," the complaint states. "Under the new regulation, a doctor must perform these procedures even when they are contrary to the doctor's medical judgment and could result in significant, long-term medical harm. Thus, the regulation represents a radical invasion of the federal bureaucracy into a doctor's medical judgment."

Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:00:00 -0400
Donald Trump Deals With Issues of Faith, Family and Religious Liberty in This Exclusive Charisma Interview

There is a time-honored tradition in American journalism to endorse candidates for political office. Every four years since 1984, we've endorsed a candidate for president, the only election the readers of a national magazine share. This year we endorse Donald Trump. Our cover story and related articles in the October issue of Charisma magazine make the case for our decision.

Before we could write the cover story, we felt we needed to interview Donald Trump personally. We began asking for an interview in June. It happened on Aug. 11 in Orlando. Trump was in town to speak to some home builders and then to a group of about 500 pastors. He told the crowd he had just spoken to home builders, but that they (the pastors) were home builders, too, which got a great response.  

Before Trump spoke without a teleprompter (he said the prepared speech was so boring it would have put everyone to sleep), he was introduced by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. "Every year, everyone says it's the most important election of our lifetime, Huckabee said. "But folks, I'm not messing—this really is the most important election of our lifetime."

After his ad-libbed speech in which he talked about religious liberty issues and even repealing the 1954 "Johnson Amendment" that prevents any nonprofit, including churches, from making political endorsements, I met for 10 minutes in a back room with Trump for the interview. You can hear on it my Strang Report podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.

I've interviewed a number of presidential candidates, governors and other politicians in my 45-year media career. But the opportunity to interview Trump in the midst of his unlikely campaign strikes me as markedly different.

With Trump, what you see on television is not what you get behind the scenes. A sense of humility surrounded the Republican nominee that many don't see in liberal media soundbites. He still shot straight, but his sincerity was far more striking than what we can portray in black and white in a magazine.

In my brief interview with Trump, I asked him the questions I thought mattered most to our Charisma readers. I believe his answers show a confident, determined man who truly is committed to making America great again through government based on principles that honor God rather than defy Him.

The full interview will run in the October issue of Charisma along with a package of articles that make the case for how God is raising up Trump at a critical period in history and, conversely, how voting for Hillary Clinton and the far left platform she endorses should be opposed at all costs. There is also an interview with Trump's running mate, Mike Pence.

While you must wait to read the interview, you can listen to it on my podcast. Dr. Steve Greene, who has his own popular "Greenelines" podcast, accompanied me to the Trump interview. He and I talk in the studio about the behind-the-scenes of how we got the interview, our observations of what happened that day and why we think electing Trump is right for America. (Charisma Assistant Online Editor Taylor Berglund accompanied us to the interview and wrote observations from a millennial point of view, which you can read here).

Recently, I got some podcast statistics, and Lance Wallnau's podcast on May 6—regarding how he believes God is raising up Trump as He raised up Cyrus—is far and away the most popular podcast ever. Last week, I recorded three more podcasts with Wallnau about what he believes God is saying in this election. If you missed them, you will want to listen. I also invited him to write the cover story about it in Charisma's October issue.

At the same time, Pastor Jim Garlow recorded a podcast about an article we posted 10 days ago about this election and makes the case for why Christians cannot sit on the fence. Already, it's been shared 766,000 times and has had more than a million page views. If you missed the article or podcast, you will want to check it out and also share it.

Finally, I posted an iPhone video of this interview (from which the audio was taken) on my Steve Strang Facebook page. I rarely push that page but you may want to "like" it to receive materials I believe are important. Plus, you can easily post your comments for me to read.

I hope you enjoy listening to my interview with Donald Trump and that you share this podcast with others. {eoa}

Steve Strang Featured Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:00:00 -0400
Julian Assange Promises to Be Hillary Clinton's 'October Surprise'

If you were wondering—given how every day seems to bring a new "surprise" about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign—what could possibly be the 2016 election's "October Surprise," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has a spoiler for you.

It'll be more "significant" Hillary Clinton documents.

During an interview with FOX News Channel's Megyn Kelly, Assange said WikiLeaks will be releasing thousands of new pages of documents prior to the Nov. 8 election. He said some will be "interesting" and others will be "entertaining."

"We're working around the clock," he said. "We have received quite a lot of material."

Kelly wanted to know if the information would be a "game changer" for the November election, but Assange wouldn't take the bait. Instead, he simply said the new documents' impact on the presidential race would depend largely on "how it catches fire in the public and in the media."

"I don't want to scoop ourselves. We have a lot of pages of material, thousands of pages of material," he said. "I don't want to give the game away, but it's a variety of different types of documents from different types of institutions that are associated with the election campaign."

Last month, WikiLeaks dumped 20,000 pages of documents it received from "hacktivists" who broke into the Democratic National Committee's computer network, exposing how the DNC had tilted the party's presidential nomination process in Clinton's favor. The scandal led to then-party chairwoman U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) resigning from her leadership role, and chaos at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

"In the case of the DNC leaks we pushed as fast as we could to try and get it in before the Democratic nomination conference because obviously people have a right to know who they're nominating," Assange said. "The same is true here for the people involved in the U.S. electoral process, people involved in that election have a right to understand who they're electing."

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:00:00 -0400
Former Fox Anchor Says Network Operates Like Sex-Fueled, Playboy Mansion-like Cult

A former Fox News anchor claims in a lawsuit that former network Chairman Roger Ailes, who resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment and is reportedly advising Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, fueled a misogynistic culture at the top-rated channel enforced by other executives.

Andrea Tantaros said she was taken off the air in April in retaliation for rebuffing Ailes' advances and complaining to top officials at Fox News, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc <FOXA.O>, in a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state court in Manhattan.

The defendants include Fox, Ailes, William Shine, who was named co-president of the network when Ailes resigned last month, and three other company officials.

Fox in a statement said it does not comment on pending litigation. Two lawyers for Ailes did not respond to requests for comment.

Former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson in July filed a lawsuit making similar harassment allegations against Ailes, but unlike Tantaros she did not claim she was silenced by other Fox executives. Carlson's lawsuit led Ailes to resign on July 21, and Fox has said it launched an internal investigation.

Tantaros in Monday's lawsuit said that Ailes, beginning in 2011, made numerous comments about her appearance and asked her to "twirl" for him. She said that Shine, then a senior executive, and the company's top in-house lawyer shrugged off complaints about Ailes' conduct.

"Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult," the lawsuit said.

The claims came a week after the New York Times reported that Ailes, 76, was helping Trump prepare for debates with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The Trump campaign said Ailes had no formal or informal role.

Tantaros first made her claims in a New York magazine article published two weeks ago. In response, Shine through a representative denied that Tantaros ever complained to him about harassment.

Two lawyers for Tantaros were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

Ailes in July moved in federal court in Manhattan to send Carlson's lawsuit to arbitration, but both sides later agreed to keep the case in New Jersey, where it was filed and where Ailes owns a home. His lawyers at the time said they planned to seek arbitration in that court.

Ailes in court documents said Fox employees routinely sign arbitration agreements that include confidentiality provisions.

The case is Tantaros v. Fox News Network LLC, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 157054/2016. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Daniel Wiessner/Reuters Featured U.S. News Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:30:00 -0400
The Surprising Way the United Nations Will Honor Mother Teresa

In celebration of the declaration of Mother Teresa as a saint on Sept. 4, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, together with ADF International, will host an exhibition dedicated to her words, witness and works at the U.N. Headquarters in New York September 6-9. 

"Mother Teresa was a true advocate for the sanctity of life and the family," said ADF International Executive Director Doug Napier. "Sometimes she used words to present her ideas, but her actions and example spoke louder than her words. She acted faithfully and relentlessly. It is this passion that makes her a great role model for anyone working with or at the United Nations.

"Making sure that people like Mother Teresa are permitted to live out their faith and impact the world in a positive way should be a priority for all nations," Napier said. "This exhibit and conference, taking place at the heart of the U.N., should remind us of her wisdom, her outstanding work and her radical love for every human being, the poor, the sick, the unborn, and the dying." 

U.N. Secretary General Pérez de Cuéllar introduced the Catholic nun before her speech in front of the General Assembly in 1985 by saying "Mother Teresa is the United Nations" to illustrate that she embodied what the U.N.'s mission is supposed to be. 

The week-long exhibition will culminate with the conference, which will feature an international array of speakers, including some of those closest to her. They will focus on aspects of her life and work, such as caring for the poorest of the poor, advocating for peace and leaving no one behind.

Alliance Defending Freedom Featured World News Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:15:00 -0400
God's Solution to the 'Nones' Who Have Left the Faith

An important new survey by Pew Research asks why people who were raised in religious homes but who now identify as religious "nones"—having no religious affiliation—decided to leave the faith of their childhood.

The results were varied, but according to the survey, "Half of 'nones' left childhood faith over lack of belief, one-in-five cite[d] dislike of organized religion."

Of this half (more exactly, 49 percent) of "nones" who say they no longer believe, many "mention 'science' as the reason they do not believe in religious teachings" while others "reference 'common sense,' 'logic' or a 'lack of evidence'—or simply say they do not believe in God."

Of the 20 percent who cite their dislike of organized religion are "some who do not like the hierarchical nature of religious groups, several people who think religion is too much like a business and others who mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance."

This chart summarizes the survey's results:

What is God's solution to this growing problem of religious "nones"? It can be summed up in three words: truth, encounter and consistency.

Specifically, I'm referring to biblically-based, academically-sound truth that answers the questions and refutes the lies; divine encounter, as in a real, life-transforming experience in God; and a consistent, Christian witness full of integrity and authenticity.

Of course, even with all this, there will be people who disbelieve and reject the faith, just as there have been in every age. But as we do a better job of disseminating the truth, as we help people come to know the Lord for themselves (as opposed to simply knowing about Him), and as we live out our faith without hypocrisy, many of these "nones" will return to God, while some will genuinely come to Him for the very first time.

With regard to truth, I am convinced that the more scientific discoveries we make, the more we must realize that there had to be a creator. As expressed by the British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."

There is today a robust field of Christian apologetics focused on the questions of the origins of the universe and the claims of Darwinian evolution, and it includes highly-respected scientists and scholars who affirm unequivocally that all the evidence points to the existence of an intelligent creator. There is also a growing body of learned Christian philosophers who are responding with clarity to the great moral questions of human suffering and apparent divine indifference.

Along with this are the many solid teachers and professors and authors who are providing sound responses to the wide-ranging attacks on the reliability of the Scriptures and the exclusive claims of the gospel. There are Jewish scholars who are part of all these endeavors as well, with the exception of the specific defense of Christian beliefs.

So, there are answers to the many questions that are being raised on university campuses and on the internet. We just need to do a better job of getting those answers out, thereby helping many of these "nones" regain their lost faith, and helping others not to lose their faith in the first place.

With regard to divine encounter, it is very possible, if not highly probable, that many of those who left the faith never were truly in the faith, meaning they may have attended religious services and participated in religious rites, but they didn't know the Lord for themselves. And religion without God can be boring, empty, dry and even dangerous. As the German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke once commented, "Christianity, boring? So is television ... if we don't plug in."


Many people think that going to church makes one a Christian or being raised in a religious home makes one a believer, but our faith calls for a direct connection with the living God so that we become His daughters and sons. Without that, we have form without substance, activity without reality, the body without the spirit. Who wants that? To quote Rev. Bonnke again, "The less Holy Spirit we have, the more cake and coffee we need to keep the church going."

One of the things we learn from the Old Testament is that every generation in Israel had to have its own encounter with God. Otherwise, when the elders would die out, the younger generation would fall away.

So today, America needs another great awakening, one which will convert the unconverted, restore the backslidden, and set the complacent on fire. Whether they know it or not, the "nones" are crying out for this very thing.

With regard to consistency, hypocrisy is a terrible turn off, especially when it comes to religious faith, since the world really does expect the church to be different. That's why scandals involving pastors and priests and rabbis are all the more noxious. They are supposed to be holy yet they are secretly doing the opposite of everything they preach and believe.

The younger generation in particular is looking for authenticity (which is one of the reasons for the rise of things like reality TV and homemade internet videos), and when God's people demonstrate authenticity, showing a consistency between what we believe and what we do, practicing what we preach and preaching what we practice, this younger generation will be much more inclined to listen to our message.

So, the problem of people leaving the faith is real and should not be minimized. But the solutions are ready at hand and God is certainly longing to bring back His lost sheep.

Shall we work with Him to help recover these "nones" so that, in the coming years, we'll be reading about the exciting new trend of those who are done with being "none"?

Michael Brown Featured In the Line of Fire Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:00:00 -0400
Nigel Farage: 'If I Was an American Citizen, I Wouldn't Vote for Hillary If You Paid Me'

During a rally Wednesday evening in front of 10,000 Donald Trump supporters in Jackson, Miss., "Mr. Brexit," Nigel Farage, explained why it would be inappropriate for him to tell Americans how to vote in November.

"Now, the big card—the big card the prime minister decided to play in the referendum is he got a foreign visitor to come to London to talk to us," he said. "Yes, we were visited by one Barack Obama, and he talked down to us. He treated us as if we were nothing—one of the oldest functioning democracies in the world and here he was telling us to vote remain. So, I having criticized ... and condemned his behavior, I could not possibly tell you how you should vote in this election."

The crowd began chanting "Trump! Trump! Trump!" prompting Farage to say, "I get it." But rather than give an official endorsement to the Republican presidential nominee, the founder of the United Kingdom Independence Party instead addressed the issue from another direction—and "dropped the mic" anyway.

"I will say this: If I was an American citizen I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me," he said. "In fact, I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if she paid me."

Farage told the crowd that if the people the big banks, globalists and career politicians talk down to—"the little people," or as he put it, "the real people"—were prepared to stand up and fight for what they believe in, they can also win in November. "Project Fear," he said, is a powerful enemy, but it can be defeated.

"My advice to you: If you want change in this country, you better get your walking boots on," he said. "You better get out there campaigning and remember: Anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment."

Trump joined Farage on stage, which hadn't originally been planned. And afterward, he thanked the British national for the motivational speech. Then, he said it was time for America to "recapture its destiny."

"Our government, our leaders and our media have lost touch with the people," he said. "You need no better evidence of that than the fact that the media ignores the plight of Americans who have lost their children to illegal immigrants, but spends day after day pushing for amnesty for those here in violation of the law.

"Why do our leaders spend so much more time talking about how to help people here illegally than they spend trying to help American citizens? My priorities will never change: jobs, wages and security for Americans."

And, while he hinted there may be a revamp of his immigration policy, the changes will be very slight. And when he announces his new policy, he promised those in attendance that it would feature three main priorities:

  • First, it must improve jobs and wages for U.S. citizens.
  • Second, it must improve the safety and security of U.S. citizens.
  • Third, it must improve the quality of life for U.S. citizens.

"Hillary Clinton's radical immigration plan fails these tests, and it fails them badly," he said. "Her push for open borders will lower the wages and kill the jobs of lawful American residents. Her support for catch-and-release will put innocent American lives at risk—just like President Obama released the illegal immigrant at the border who then killed Sarah Root. Yesterday, I met with her mom, Michelle.

"Hillary Clinton only talks about the separation of families who chose to come here illegally. I want to talk about the American families who've been permanently separated from their children because of the Sanctuary Cities and open borders Hillary Clinton supports. Where is the sanctuary for American children? The dreamers we never talk about are young Americans.

"Hillary Clinton also wants to push to bring in 620,000 refugees in her first term—a number of whom come from countries where women and gays are horribly brutalized—which will weaken our tolerant way of life. I only want to bring people to our country who share our values and love our people."

Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:00:00 -0400
Report: Pakistan School Textbooks Riddled With Religious 'Hate Material'

A report by Pakistan's National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) says the government has failed to keep its promise to eradicate religious "hate material" from textbooks used in schools.

When a Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014 led to the loss of least 141 lives, including 132 students, it brought about a policy change in Pakistan. The government introduced a 20-point National Action Plan to discourage religious extremism and to provide a counter-narrative to promote religious harmony in the country, saying an "end to religious extremism and (the) protection of minorities will be ensured." However, the NCJP report, "Freedom from Suffocating Education," claims that no curriculum reforms have been adopted at the school level, aside from the production of a few booklets.

This backs up the findings of another recent report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which concluded: "The trend toward a more biased curriculum towards religious minorities is accelerating. These grossly generalized and stereotypical portrayals of religious minority communities signal that they are untrustworthy, religiously inferior and ideologically scheming and intolerant."

The NCJP report, which focused on textbooks used in the 2015-16 school year, noted that "hate material" previously identified had not been removed from the curriculum. It also noted that Pakistan's Sindh Assembly had failed to keep its promise to include the complete text of "Father of the Nation" Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's speech of Aug. 11, 1947, in which he said:

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

Only "a small portion of the speech" is included in textbooks, it noted.

On Dec. 14, 2014, two days before the Peshawar school tragedy, the Punjab home secretary briefed the Supreme Court of Pakistan about curriculum reforms. He said students would be taught that "we are all members of the one human race, with similar challenges, and we cannot confront these challenges without forging a common alliance. ... The message of all faith is common and for benefit of the entire humanity."

"No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction ... other than his own," states Article 22(1) of Constitution of Pakistan. However, Cecil Shane Chaudhry, the general secretary of the NCJP, told World Watch Monitor: "Non-Muslim students opt to study Islam so that they are not stigmatized in the classroom."

Chaudhry added that good marks are easily obtainable in Islamic Studies, rather than the more general subject of "Ethics." "Ethics textbooks are not available in the market and, in schools, no teachers are available to teach this subject," he said. "Also, Ethics books are written from an Islamic viewpoint and the students who select Ethics are stigmatized by teachers and students."

The NCJP study also questioned policymakers on this subject, saying: "If Ethics can be a substitute for religious studies for non-Muslim students, then why can't it be equally beneficial for Muslim students?"

Meanwhile, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the conservative Jamaat-e-Islami party has removed pictures of unveiled females or any depictions of the Christian faith from primary school textbooks.

Report Round-Up

The NCJP study cited several passages from textbooks that teach falsehoods about other religions, or criticize or encourage animosity toward them:

• The Punjab Textbook Board's Class III (ages 7-8) book on Urdu teaches that Islam is "superior" to all other religions.

• The Sindh Textbook Board's Class VII (ages 11-12) book on Islamic Studies teaches: "Most of the [other] religions of the world claim equality, but they never act on it."

• The Punjab Board's Islamic Studies textbook for Class VIII (ages 12-13) reads: "Honesty for non-Muslims is merely a business strategy, while for Muslims it is a matter of faith."

• For Class VI (ages 10-11), the Punjab Board's Islamic Studies book says: "For the person who is not in financial need, is not governed by a tyrant and still does not perform [the pilgrimage to Mecca], it does not make a difference whether he dies as a Christian or a Jew."

• The Punjab Board's Class VI book on Islamic Studies says: "Though being a student, you cannot practically participate in jihad, but you may provide financial support for jihad."

• The Punjab Board Class V (ages 9-10) Social Studies book says: "Religion plays a very important role in promoting national harmony. If the entire population believes in one religion, then it encourages nationalism and promotes national harmony."

• "The better a Muslim we become, the better a citizen we prove to be," says the Punjab Board's Class IV (ages 8-9) book on Urdu.

Every textbook continues to use the Urdu word Isai (derived from Isa, the Arabic word for "Jesus" used in the Quran) for "Christian." As World Watch Monitor has reported, the word now carries strong overtones—from colonial times—with the "unclean" demeaning occupations done by the lowest castes.


History is a subject of particular contention in the report. Pakistani textbooks refer to centuries of "Islamic rule" and "jihad" in the Indian subcontinent. However, Pakistani historian and author Dr. Mubarrak Ali told World Watch Monitor: "It is wrong to say 'Islamic rule' or 'Hindu rule.' The Indian wars were political conflicts and not religious conflicts. The political conflict in the Indian subcontinent is seen as a religious conflict, which is why history is described in a binary opposition. We want to see history in black and white, while multiple facts decide one incident."

Here are some of the other contentious or inflammatory passages cited in the report:

• The Pakistan Studies book from the Punjab Board for Class IX (ages 13-14) students says: "The free status of Islam and Muslims was hurt with the establishment of British rule. Muslims under non-Muslims remained enslaved and coerced."

• The Sindh Class VIII book on Social Studies says: "The influence of Christian priests increased greatly [during British rule]. Christian priests were able, with the help of their government, to openly preach their religion."

• The Class VII Baluchistan Textbook Board book on Urdu says: "The British ... feared the Muslims, being the true inheritors of the rule of India, could become a danger for them anytime."

• "Another book shows that the accusations against [Mughal Emperor of India] Aurangzeb of bias towards Hindus are purely a fabrication of the narrow-minded Hindus and treacherous British," says the Punjab Board's Urdu textbook for "matriculates" (ages 15-16).

• The Class V book on Islamic Studies by the Punjab Board states: "The Muslims ruled the Indian subcontinent for about (a) thousand years with magnificence, but they did not forcibly convert a single Hindu. If they had willed, then today there wouldn't even be a trace of them in the subcontinent. But Muslims showed great tolerance and even raised Hindu to high positions."

• The Punjab Board's Class VI History book reads: "Most of the population of Delhi consisted of Hindus who considered Muslims strangers. They ... were always busy in thinking about getting free from the rule of Muslims. Hindu landlords used various excuses to not pay land revenue and even sometimes descended into revolt. The Hindus were so much encouraged by [Emperor] Akbar's pro-Hindu policies that they started demolishing mosques and shrines and started building their temples in their place. Wherever Hindus were in majority, they brutalized Muslims."

• The History textbook for Class VIII students, published by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board, reads: "Sikhs used to do many brutalities to Muslims and did not allow them religious freedom ... The British did not trust Muslims and the policy of injustice and brutality hurt economic and educational conditions of Muslims. And the discriminatory attitude of Hindu landlords further made their condition worse. Under the influence of Hindus, they adopted several heresies."

• The Punjab Board's History textbook for Class VII states: "In those days, Sikhs ruled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sikhs had made the life of Muslims terribly difficult. Syed Ahmed Shaheed decided to wage jihad against Sikhs."

• The Punjab Board Social Studies book for Class VII says that Bangladesh became its own independent nation in 1971—no longer East Pakistan—due to a conspiracy of "enemy countries of Islam".

This article originally appeared on World Watch Monitor.

Asif Aqeel/World Watch Monitor Featured World News Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:45:00 -0400
The Earth's Crust Will Be Shaken by More Than 100,000 Earthquakes That Humans Can Feel in 2016

Did you know that our planet will be hit by more than 100,000 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater this year alone? Earlier today, I came across a report that contained this amazing fact, but it was so incredible that I felt I had to go and verify it myself. So I went to the official USGS website, and I found out that this is actually true. Overall, there are about half a million earthquakes around the globe each year, but it is only when a quake is of about magnitude 3.0 or greater that humans actually feel them. As the very large earthquakes in Italy and Myanmar within the last 24 hours have demonstrated, the shaking of our planet is getting worse, and this is something that I have written about over and over again. So why is this happening? Why does the crust of our planet seemingly become more and more unstable with each passing year?

We need to start addressing those questions, because there aren't too many things that can do more damage to a community than a major earthquake. Very early Wednesday morning, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy. It is being reported that it sounded "like a bomb" went off, and it looks like this is going to end up being the worst natural disaster to hit Italy in many years.

This earthquake rattled buildings in Rome, it could be felt in Naples to the south, and it is even being claimed that it could be felt all the way up in Bologna in the north.

The epicenter of the quake was a charming little Italian town known as Amatrice. According to Mayor Sergio Pirozzi, "the town is no more" at this point. You can see some amazing photographs of the destruction for yourself right here. Homes, churches and businesses collapsed in heaps of rubble, and at this moment rescuers are engaged in a frantic race against time to pull survivors from the wreckage:

Rescue teams using bulldozers, and aided by townspeople with their bare hands, were still poring through the piles of rock, metal and wood late Wednesday looking for possible survivors. Police near the town of Ascoli said they could hear cries for help from under the rubble but lacked the heavy equipment to move the rocks, according the RAI radio.

"We need chain saws, shears to cut iron bars, and jacks to remove beams: everything, we need everything," civil protection worker Andrea Gentili told the Associated Press.

So far, the death toll stands at 159 people, but that number is going to go way up as more bodies are discovered. The following was reported by Reuters:

One hotel that collapsed in the small town of Amatrice probably had about 70 guests, and only seven bodies had so far been recovered, said the mayor of the town that was one of the worst hit by the quake.

But as destructive as the Italian quake was, it wasn't even the largest earthquake on the globe on Wednesday. A huge magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Myanmar, but because that earthquake was much deeper it didn't do the same level of damage as the quake in Italy did:

A powerful earthquake shook Myanmar on Wednesday, killing at least three people and damaging nearly a hundred ancient Buddhist pagodas in the former capital of Bagan, a major tourist site, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.8 quake was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Chauk, a town south of Bagan. It was located fairly far below the Earth's surface at a depth of about 84 kilometers (52 miles), it said.

Sadly, most Americans couldn't care less about what goes on in places like Italy or Myanmar. I know that may sound terrible, but it is true.

However, Americans should care, because this global rise in earthquake activity is affecting us as well. In fact, the USGS now says that human activity may at least be partially to blame for the "dramatic increase in seismicity" that we have been witnessing in the United States in recent years:

On Monday, for the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey has released an analysis of the magnitude of "human-induced" earthquakes. That such a thing as human-induced earthquakes can exist is scary enough, but the "dramatic increase in seismicity" in places such as Oklahoma has forced the USGS to consider the threat more broadly.

"By including human-induced events, our assessment of earthquake hazards has significantly increased in parts of the U.S.," said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, in a statement. "This research also shows that much more of the nation faces a significant chance of having damaging earthquakes over the next year, whether natural or human-induced."

And I wanted to note that there was a magnitude 3.9 earthquake in Colorado on Tuesday. We have started to see sizable earthquakes in many portions of the country where they are not expected, and this is going to continue to get worse as the shaking of our planet intensifies.

There is one more thing that I wanted to share with you all today. I don't know if this is related to anything, but a blood red moon was photographed directly behind the new World Trade Center tower last night. To some people this is just a meaningless coincidence, but there are others that consider it to be a very ominous sign.

This summer, things have been relatively calm and peaceful in America. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated the headlines, but other than the election there really hasn't been a major crisis that has grabbed the attention of the nation.

But of course all of that could change in a moment. Despite all of our advanced technology, the truth is that we are still virtually defenseless against a major natural disaster.

Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that a great New Madrid earthquake will shake the center of the country. They also tell us that it is inevitable that there will be a major earthquake in southern California, that volcanoes on the west coast will erupt again, and that the Yellowstone supervolcano could wipe out much of the country in a single day.

As global seismic activity continues to rise, it is just a matter of time before a string of historic disasters hits this nation.

Unfortunately, I am convinced that this could happen a lot sooner than most people would dare to imagine.

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:30:00 -0400
Almost 250 Dead After Devastating Italy Quake

The death toll from a devastating earthquake in central Italy reached at least 241 people on Thursday and could rise further after rescue teams worked through the night to try to find survivors under the rubble of flattened towns.

The 6.2 magnitude quake struck a cluster of mountain communities 140 km (85 miles) east of Rome early on Wednesday as people slept, destroying hundreds of homes.

The Civil Protection department officially revised the death toll down to 241 from a previous 247 given earlier on Thursday morning.

Officials said they expected to confirm more deaths as the search operation continued. Trucks full of rubble left the area every few minutes, including one in which a dusty doll could be seen lying on top of tonnes of debris.

On Thursday, the sun rose on frightened people who had slept in cars or tents, the earth continuing to tremble under their feet from aftershocks, hundreds of which have struck since the quake. Two registered 5.1 and 5.4, just before dawn.

"I haven't slept much because I was really afraid," said 70-year-old Arturo Onesi from the town of Arquata del Tronto, who spent the night in a tent camp for survivors and rescue workers.

The earthquake was powerful enough to be felt in Bologna to the north and Naples to the south, both more than 220 km (135 miles) from the epicenter.

Many of those killed or injured were holidaymakers in the four worst-hit towns—Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, Arquata del Tronto and Accumoli—where populations increase by up to tenfold in the summer. That makes it harder to track the deaths.

One Spaniard, five Romanians, and a number of other foreigners, some of them care-givers for the elderly, were believed to be among the dead, officials said.

Aerial video taken by drones showed swathes of Amatrice, last year voted one ofItaly's most beautiful historic towns, completely flattened. The town, known acrossItaly and beyond for a local pasta dish, had been filling up for the 50th edition of a popular food festival this weekend.

The mayor said the bodies of 15-20 tourists were believed to be under the rubble of the Hotel Roma, which he said had about 32 guests when it collapsed on Wednesday morning.

Girl Found Alive

About 270 people injured in Wednesday's quake were hospitalized, the Civil Protection department said, adding that about 5,000 people, including police, firefighters, army troops and volunteers, were involved in post-quake operations.

Rescuers working with emergency lighting in the darkness saved a 10-year-old girl, pulling her alive from the rubble where she had lain for about 15 hours.

Many other children were not so lucky. A family of four, including two boys aged 8 months and 9 years, were buried when a church bell tower toppled into their house in nearby Accumoli.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's cabinet was meeting on Thursday to decide emergency measures to help the affected communities.

"Today is a day for tears, tomorrow we can talk of reconstruction," he told reporters late on Wednesday.

The death toll appeared likely to rival or surpass that from the last major earthquaketo strike Italy, which killed more than 300 people in the central city of L'Aquila in 2009.

While hopes of finding more people alive diminished by the hour, firefighters' spokesman Luca Cari recalled that survivors were found in L'Aquila up to 72 hours after that quake.

Most of the damage was in the Lazio and Marche regions, with Lazio bearing the brunt of the damage and the biggest toll. Neighboring Umbria was also affected. All three regions are dotted with centuries-old buildings susceptible to earthquakes.

Italy sits on two fault lines, making it one of the most seismically active countries in Europe.

The country's most deadly earthquake since the start of the 20th century came in 1908, when an earthquake followed by a tsunami killed an estimated 80,000 people in the southern regions of Reggio Calabria and Sicily. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Steve Scherer and Gabriele Pileri/Reuters Featured World News Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:15:00 -0400
There Is a Mainstream Media Conspiracy to Hide Hillary Clinton's Rapidly Failing Health

Is Hillary Clinton healthy enough to serve as president if she wins the election? Over the past couple of weeks, this has become a major issue, and the mainstream media is actively conspiring with the Clinton campaign in a desperate attempt to cover up the truth. For example, the Washington Post, which has essentially become a mouthpiece for the Clinton campaign at this point, has been publishing an article "debunking" claims about Clinton's health almost every day recently. One of their headlines that really caught my attention was "Don't believe everything you read about Hillary Clinton's health on Google."

By the way, there were three Hillary Clinton campaign ads on that one page alone. But CNN took things to an entirely new level this week when it published an article entitled "Clinton's health is fine, but what about Trump?" I was so flabbergasted by that headline that my wife came into my office to see what all of the commotion was about. No, Hillary Clinton's health is not "fine," and we will get to that later in this article.

Despite the fact that Clinton opened up a jar of pickles that was supposedly sealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night in a ridiculous attempt to prove that she was healthy, the facts keep coming out, and the more Americans talk about her health issues the more her poll numbers go down.

As I have previously documented, the mainstream media isn't even pretending to be objective in this race, and they have shifted into panic mode as they try to stop the damage to their favored candidate. One writer for the New York Times even went so far as to suggest that search engines should manipulate the results that they show to the public to help hide Hillary Clinton's health problems.

But these aren't just rumors. Her extended coughing fits have become increasingly difficult to explain. Even worse for her campaign is the fact that she has gone into seizures while on camera. She has been falling down with alarming regularity, and she also has a huge unexplained hole in her tongue. Clinton should just be honest with the American people about all of these things.

And even though her personal doctor claims that she is in good health, he has also confirmed that Clinton has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and is being treated with a drug known as Armour Thyroid.

The Internet is awash with rumors about Hillary Clinton's health, but there is one medical condition she is actually known to have.

That is hypothyroidism, a condition affecting about 10 million Americans in which the thyroid is underactive, resulting in a variety of symptoms including fatigue, weakness and weight gain.

For most patients, the symptoms can be significantly reduced or eliminated with the use of hormone therapy. Clinton is being treated with a medication called Armour Thyroid, according to her doctor, who has issued a letter saying she's in "excellent" physical condition and is fit to serve as president.

In addition, it has been documented that Clinton has taken the drugs Lovenox and Coumadin as well. The following comes from an excellent article on Clinton's health by Bob Eschliman.

The Clinton campaign has frequently pointed to the July 28, 2015, letter from her personal physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, in which she refers to the Democratic presidential nominee as being in "excellent health." The report is supposedly based upon a May 21, 2015, examination, but, if you actually read the letter, the doctor notes Clinton has had a number of issues.

According to the letter, Clinton has been on anticoagulation medication since 1998, not since her 2012 fainting incident as has been widely reported. And, both of her parents had histories of cardiovascular issues—her father died of a stroke, and her mother died of congestive heart failure.

Following her first deep vein thrombosis—a blood clot in the leg—in 1998, she was told to take Lovenox, a short-term blood-thinning drug, whenever she planned to take long-distance flights. After her fall, concussion, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis—a blood clot in the brain—in 2012, she was permanently placed on Coumadin due to her family's health history.

In addition, we can learn more facts about Clinton's health from her personal emails which have been leaked to the public.

For example, a 2011 email chain discussed a condition known as "decision fatigue."

Clinton sent an email to close confidante and advisor Cheryl D. Mills on August 19, 2011 featuring the text of an article entitled Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

The article talks about how people in positions of power and influence can suffer from "decision fatigue" that causes them to be "low on mental energy" and prompts the sufferer to "become reckless" and "act impulsively."

The article also explains how "decision fatigue" could explain why "ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues," which is possibly a nod to Clinton's infamous temper tantrums that have left her staffers in tears.

Considering how many important decisions a president must make each day, this is quite alarming.

In a subsequent email chain, Clinton was sent information about a drug that is used for "excessive sleepiness in patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis."

In a separate email sent two months later, Hillary received information from her top foreign policy adviser Jacob Sullivan about a drug called Provigil (Modafinil), which is used to treat "excessive sleepiness in patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis," as well as "excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy."

And of course so much has already been said about the head injury Clinton suffered a number of years ago. But what most Americans do not know is that one of Clinton's assistants actually reached out to the commissioner of the NFL to inquire about how to treat her "cracked head."

So what are we to make of all of this?

Are we supposed to ignore the facts that are laid out in these emails?

Just yesterday, CNN published an article entitled "The new birthers: Debunking the Hillary Clinton health conspiracy" that sought to demonize anyone that would dare to question Clinton's health.

But meanwhile, reporters in the mainstream media continue to publish some of the most outrageous and ridiculous rumors imaginable about Donald Trump. They do this because they desperately want him to lose.

These days, one of the easiest ways to discredit a position is to label it a "conspiracy," but the truth is that the pundits in the mainstream media are some of the biggest "conspiracy theorists" of them all.

There are legitimate questions about Hillary Clinton's health, and the American people deserve the truth.

Unfortunately, they aren't going to be getting it from the mainstream media.

Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:00:00 -0400
Pastor Arrested for Allegedly Taking Upskirt Videos at Church

A former pastor was arrested for allegedly taking upskirt videos of women at his church. But the arrest earlier this month was not his first indiscretion.  

Rick Trotter, who was a pastor at two churches, was initially fired from Fellowship Memphis in 2010 for sexual misconduct. Church members allege Trotter filmed them in the bathroom.  

"When confronted, Trotter did not deny the charges and was thereby terminated," according to a statement.  

Fellowship Memphis is pastored by John Bryson, who was part of Mark Driscoll's Acts 29 network.  

"The individuals victimized, all adults, by this incident were notified of Trotter's misconduct, made aware that he had been terminated, and asked whether they wanted to press charges. The victims were also offered independent professional counseling paid for by the church. It is our understanding that none of the victims at that time chose to press charges," the statement continues. 

Trotter was later hired by Downtown Church after he gave permission for both churches to discuss his voyeuristic background. He was employed there until May when multiple women reportedly told leadership he took upskirt videos while they knelt at the altar.  

Downtown Church fired him. He was also fired from his PA announcer position for the Memphis Grizzlies. 

"Let us first say we are here for the victims. Trotter's actions are contrary to our values, and we are deeply sorry for the suffering of the victims," Bryson and Downtown Church Pastor Richard Rieves say in a joint statement.  

Trotter has been released on $70,000 bond and is expected in court next month. 

Jessilyn Justice Featured U.S. News Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:30:00 -0400
Democrat Former Governor: No 'Firewall' Between State Department and Clinton Foundation

At least one prominent Democrat agrees Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has a serious trust issue in light of recent revelations regarding the alleged pay-for-play relationship between the U.S. State Department and Clinton Foundation donors.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell initially defended the former secretary of state in his interview with Philadelphia talk radio host Rich Zeoli on 1210-AM WPHT. He said that while "it doesn't look good," he didn't believe there's a "major problem" unless "there's a connection."

"It's like Bernie Sanders during the primaries, remember he kept saying, 'You gave all those speeches for Goldman Sachs and all these other people and you didn't do it for nothing, you know, you did it,'" he said. "And Hillary Clinton said to him in one of the debates, she said, 'Senator, find me one incident where I did something for someone who gave me money for giving a speech that was improper.' And of course he couldn't. And he didn't."

But when Zeoli pressed the issue, arguing that newly released emails show there was "no firewall" between Clinton Foundation and State Department employees, Rendell agreed. He said he didn't know if Clinton lied about the setup, but acknowledged any firewall that existed "was pretty ineffective."

"But look, the bottom line is, what they did, I wouldn't have done, it creates a bad perception," he said, using one of the new buzzwords the Clinton campaign has had its surrogates using in the media—"perception"—in its efforts to downplay the scandal. "But will it hurt her? It's obviously not gonna help."

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400
Religious Freedom Advocate: Christians Should Be Concerned About Refugee Resettlement

A prominent religious freedom activist is hitting back at claims that concerns over refugee resettlement efforts is "un-Christian."

In an interview this week, Faith McDonnell of the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Democracy specifically took issue with statements made by World Relief Director of Church Mobilization Matthew Soerens, the U.S. director of church mobilization for the evangelical refugee resettlement organization World Relief.

World Relief is one of nine agencies authorized by the State Department to resettle refugees inside the U.S. Soerens said claims that the U.S. government had an anti-Christian bias in its resettlement strategy was "baseless."

McDonnell, on the other hand, said the government is now resettling an increasing number of Muslim refugees from areas where Islamist violence is raging, and those numbers are outpacing those of Christians from the same areas. She said the State Department needs to change its refugee vetting process.

She said in a recent interview:

There is this thing about "Are we going to respond with fear or compassion?" I think that is a false dichotomy. I think that you can be compassionate and still have the appropriate concern about the situation. They challenge American Christians and churches to respond biblically with Christ-like compassion and not give in to fear, which they insinuate is not only sinful but in some cases, they ridicule people for it.

Rick Warren saying that if we are not helping, he doubts our Christianity. I think that is really appalling. If we look at what is happening right now in Europe, is it really compassionate and Christian to subject Americans to that kind of nightmare, to the rape that is going on and the changing of the entire cultures?

We are voluntarily becoming dhimmis to Islam and seeing ourselves as second-class citizens in our own countries because of this ... There is enough evidence to say that at least part of this is people who are choosing to migrate as part of Islamic hegira, to spread Islam in the West and to work on behalf of groups like the Islamic State to build the caliphate around the world.

You sound like a crazy person when you say that, but that sounded crazy when people talked about a caliphate five years ago and here it is.

Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 08:00:00 -0400
Donald Trump: Hillary Clinton Ran the State Department Like a Failed Third World Leader

During a speech Wednesday in Tampa, Florida, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kept up his attacks on his Democratic counterpart, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We are going to end the government corruption. Hillary Clinton ran the State Department like a failed leader in a Third World Country. She sold favors and access in exchange for cash. As the AP documented, more than half of the people she met with outside government as secretary of state were Clinton Foundation donors—she even deleted 33,000 emails to hide the evidence of her crime.

It's impossible to tell where the Clinton Foundation ends and the State Department begins.

Then she lied about her crime to Congress over and over again.

Bill Clinton essentially called the FBI director—James Comey—a liar, when he said the FBI director was spouting "bull." They don't realize that they owe the FBI director their political lives for refusing to recommend a prosecution for Hillary Clinton's many crimes.

He saved Hillary Clinton from facing justice for her illegal and corrupt actions.

Remember: Bill Clinton was impeached for lying and obstructing justice, and also had to give up his law license.

Hillary Clinton created an illegal private email server—deliberately, willfully and with premeditation. She did so to cover up a vast pay-for-play scheme. Her actions made our enemies vulnerable to foreign hacking, and betrayed the security and safety of the United States. Her actions are criminal, purposeful and calculated.

That's why I've called for a special prosecutor.

According to the current Real Clear Politics polling average, the constant barrage of attacks on Clinton's credibility and trustworthiness appears to be taking its toll on her numbers. Two weeks ago, she had opened up a 10-point lead on Trump; her lead is now cut in half.

The purpose of the speech, however, was to discuss Trump's plan to spur job creation and immigration security. It included his seven-point plan to "bring back jobs" by "creating millions of new jobs":

One: I am going to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.

Two: I am going to appoint the toughest and smartest trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.

Three: I am going to direct the secretary of commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements that a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers. I will then direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.

Four: I am going tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If we don't get the deal we want, we will walk away.

Five: I am going to instruct my treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator. Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States will face tariffs to stop the cheating.

Six: I am going to instruct the U.S. trade representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China's unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO, and I intend to enforce those rules.

Seven: If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with federal law.

Bob Eschliman Featured Events Caucus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:00:00 -0400