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from Got Questions:

If “free will” means that God gives humans the opportunity to make choices that genuinely affect their destiny, then yes, human beings do have a free will. The world’s current sinful state is directly linked to choices made by Adam and Eve. God created mankind in His own image, and that included the ability to choose.

However, free will does not mean that mankind can do anything he pleases. Our choices are limited to what is in keeping with our nature. For example, a man may choose to walk across a bridge or not to walk across it; what he may not choose is to fly over the bridge—his nature prevents him from flying. In a similar way, a man cannot choose to make himself righteous—his (sin) nature prevents him from canceling his guilt (Romans 3:23). So, free will is limited by nature.

This limitation does not mitigate our accountability. The Bible is clear that we not only have the ability to choose, we also have the responsibility to choose wisely. In the Old Testament, God chose a nation (Israel), but individuals within that nation still bore an obligation to choose obedience to God. And individuals outside of Israel were able to choose to believe and follow God as well (e.g., Ruth and Rahab).

In the New Testament, sinners are commanded over and over to “repent” and “believe” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19; 1 John 3:23). Every call to repent is a call to choose. The command to believe assumes that the hearer can choose to obey the command.

Jesus identified the problem of some unbelievers when He told them, “You refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40). Clearly, they could have come if they wanted to; their problem was they chose not to. “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7), and those who are outside of salvation are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20-21).

But how can man, limited by a sin nature, ever choose what is good? It is only through the grace and power of God that free will truly becomes “free” in the sense of being able to choose salvation (John 15:16). It is the Holy Spirit who works in and through a person’s will to regenerate that person (John 1:12-13) and give him/her a new nature “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Salvation is God’s work. At the same time, our motives, desires, and actions are voluntary, and we are rightly held responsible for them.

from Fox News:

It wasn’t so much a choice as it was a demand.

Chaplain David Wells was told he could either sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is “sinful” or else the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice would revoke his credentials.

“We could not sign that paper,” Chaplain Wells told me in a telephone call from his home in Kentucky. “It broke my heart.”

The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice revoked his volunteer credentials as an ordained minister – ending 13 years of ministry to underage inmates at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

“We sincerely appreciate your years of service and dedication to the youth served by this facility,” wrote Superintendent Gene Wade in a letter to Wells. “However, due to your decision, based on your religious convictions, that you cannot comply with the requirements outlined in DJJ Policy 912, Section IV, Paragraph H, regarding the treatment of LGBTQI youth, I must terminate your involvement as a religious volunteer.”

Wells said that every volunteer in their church received the letter – as did a Baptist church in a nearby community.

The Kentucky regulation clearly states that volunteers working with juveniles “shall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

For years, Wells and his team have conducted volunteer worship services and counseling to troubled young people – many of whom have been abused.

“I sat across the table from a 16-year-old boy who was weeping and broken over the life he was in,” Wells said. “He had been abused as a child and turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. He wanted to know if there was any hope for him.”

Wells said he had been abused as a young child – so he knew he could answer this young man’s question.

“I was able to look at him and tell him the saving power of Jesus Christ that delivered me – could deliver him,” he said.

But under the state’s 2014 anti-discrimination policy, Wells would not be allowed to have such a discussion should it delve into LGBT issues.

“They told us we could not preach that homosexuality is a sin – period,” Wells told me. “We would not have even been able to read Bible verses that dealt with LGBT issues.”

For the record, Wells said they’ve never used hateful or derogatory comments when dealing with the young inmates.

“They are defining hateful or derogatory as meaning what the Bible says about homosexuality,” he told me.

Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, is representing Wells. He said the state’s ban on Biblical counseling is unconstitutional religious discrimination.

“There is no question there is a purging underway,” Staver told me. “The dissenters in the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage warned us this would happen.”

Staver is demanding the state immediately reinstate Wells as well as the other volunteer ministers.

“By restricting speech which volunteers are allowed to use while ministering to youth detainees, the State of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice have violated the protections given to private speech through the First Amendment and the Kentucky Constitution,” Staver wrote in his letter to state officials.

He said the policy “requires affirmation of homosexuality as a precondition for ministers providing spiritual guidance to troubled youth, and singles out a particular theological viewpoint as expressly disfavored by the State of Kentucky.”

In other words – Kentucky has a religious litmus test when it comes to homosexuality – and according to the Lexington Herald-Leader – they aren’t going to back down.

The DJJ told the newspaper that the regulation “is neutral as to religion and requires respectful language toward youth by all staff, contractors and volunteers.”

State Sen. Gerald Neal, a Democrat, dared Christians to challenge the law in court.

“I’m just disappointed that the agendas by some are so narrow that they disregard the rights of others,” he told the newspaper. “Let them sue and let the courts settle it.”

Among those backing Wells is the American Pastors Network.

“Pastors and all Americans must wake up to the reality of expanding efforts to cleanse our nation of all moral truth,” APN President Sam Rohrer said in a statement. “When pastors and all Christians…are forced by government agents to renounce sharing the very reality of sin, they are in fact being prohibited from sharing the healing and life-changing potential of redemption.”

Folks, I warned you this would happen. The Christian purge has begun – and it’s only a matter of time before all of us will be forced to make the same decision Chaplain Wells had to make.

Will you follow God or the government?

from The Gatestone Institute:

During the height of one of the most brutal months of Muslim persecution of Christians, the U.S. State Department exposed its double standards against persecuted Christian minorities.

Sister Diana, an influential Iraqi Christian leader, who was scheduled to visit the U.S. to advocate for persecuted Christians in the Mideast, was denied a visa by the U.S. State Department even though she had visited the U.S. before, most recently in 2012.

She was to be one of a delegation of religious leaders from Iraq — including Sunni, Shia and Yazidi, among others — to visit Washington, D.C., to describe the situation of their people. Every religious leader from this delegation to Washington D.C. was granted a visa — except for the only Christian representative, Sister Diana.

After this refusal became public, many Americans protested, some writing to their congressmen. Discussing the nun’s visa denial, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said:

This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists … I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary Kerry will reverse it. If he doesn’t, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired.

The State Department eventually granted Sister Diana a visa.

This is not the first time the U.S. State Department has not granted a visa to a Christian leader coming from a Muslim region. Last year, after the United States Institute for Peace brought together the governors of Nigeria’s mostly Muslim northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang.

According to a Nigerian human rights lawyer based in Washington D.C., Emmanuel Ogebe, the Christian governor’s “visa problems” were due to anti-Christian bias in the U.S. government:

The U.S. insists that Muslims are the primary victims of Boko Haram. It also claims that Christians discriminate against Muslims in Plateau, which is one of the few Christian majority states in the north. After the [Christian governor] told them [U.S. authorities] that they were ignoring the 12 Shariah states who institutionalized persecution … he suddenly developed visa problems…. The question remains — why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?

The testimony of another nun, Sister Hatune Dogan, also made in May, indicates why the State Department may not want to hear such testimonials: they go against the paradigm that “Islam is peace.” According to Sister Hatune:

What is going on there [Islamic State territories], what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on earth in the history until today… The mission of Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he’s a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS… We know that in Islam, there is no democracy. Islam and democracy are opposite, like black and white. And I hope America will understand. America today has the power that they can stop this disaster on the earth, with other Western countries. . . . . .

Read the Full Article here.

 

 

from Breitbart:

A Conservative Member of Parliament has said that anti-extremism powers should be used against Christian teachers who don’t agree with gay marriage. Christian groups said that the comments prove that the government’s new anti-extremist orders, designed to tackle Islamic extremism, will be used against anyone who disagrees with liberal orthodoxy.

In an effort to tackle radicalism the Prime Minister David Cameron announced a slew of measures in May. These included banning orders for groups who use hate speech in public places but whose actions fall short of prohibition, and Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) to prevent imams from radicalising young people.

Both Christian and secular groups protested against the planned new powers on the grounds that they diminish freedom of speech – according to the Telegraph, the National Secular Society branded the plans one of the biggest threats to freedom of expression ever seen in the UK. Christian groups were also concerned that the orders could effectively criminalise aspects of Christian doctrine, although those concerns were at the time dismissed.

However, Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood in Nottinghamshire, has given Christians new grounds for concern. In response to an email from a constituent seeking reassurance over the EDOs, Mr Spencer bizarrely made the case that they would somehow broaden freedom of expression, writing:

“I believe that everybody in society has a right to free speech and to express their views without fear of persecution.

“The EDOs will not serve to limit but rather to guarantee it: it is those who seek to stop other people expressing their beliefs who will be targeted.

“Let me give you an example, one which lots of constituents have been writing about – talking about gay marriage in schools. The new legislation specifically targets hate speech, so teachers will still be free to express their understanding of the term ‘marriage’, and their moral opposition to its use in some situations without breaking the new laws.

“The EDOs, in this case, would apply to a situation where a teacher was specifically teaching that gay marriage is wrong.”

Campaigners are, perhaps understandably, horrified by the missive.

Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of the Christian Institute said: “I am genuinely shocked that we have an MP supporting the idea of teachers being branded extremists for teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is exactly the kind of thing we’ve been warning about.

“The Government says we’ve got nothing to worry about from their new extremism laws, but here is one of its own MPs writing to a constituent saying EDOs would stop teachers teaching mainstream Christian beliefs.”

He added: “Ten years ago the Conservatives opposed Tony Blair’s unpopular law against ‘inciting religious hatred’, saying it jeopardised free speech – yet here they are seeking to bring in an even worse law.

“EDOs will be a gross infringement of free speech and undermine the very British values they claim to protect.”

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society said: “If EDOs really could be used to prevent teachers from talking about same-sex marriage, unless they are inciting violence, they are an even greater threat to freedom of expression than I had feared.

“To suggest that EDOs guarantee freedom of expression [as Mark Spencer suggests] is not just inaccurate, it is the opposite of the truth; they are the largest threat to freedom of expression I have ever seen in Britain.

“The spreading of hatred is far too vague a concept to be the basis of legal sanctions, and would be worryingly open to misuse, particularly by ideological opponents.”

This is not the first time that an MPs letter to constituents has caused consternation on this subject. Earlier in the year the Chancellor George Osborne wrote to his constituents to reassure them that the Orders would be used on those who “spread hate but do not break the law.” He explained that they would cover any activity deemed to “justify hatred” against people on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

But Rev Dr Mike Ovey, principle of Oak Hall Theological College in London, a training centre for Church of England clergy responded: “We don’t know what British values are other than whatever Theresa May decides on the particular Monday when she wakes up and has to make one of these orders.

“Having an inclusive definition is hopeless from a legal point of view. Is a police officer going to listen to me saying that Jesus is the only way in a Muslim part of the East End?”

from Newsbusters:

The Atlantic writer Jeffrey Tayler is annoyed at the “educated elite” in our country. Why have they not risen to the occasion and labeled passionate religious belief a mental illness?

The writer’s disappointment followed the release of an article on The News Nerd entitled “American Psychological Association to Classify Belief in God as a Mental Illness.” In the story, Psychologist Dr. Lillian Andrews had stated: “The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue.”

Yet the article, it turned out, was a hoax.

Alas for Mr. Tayler. Indeed, the journalist had already treated religion as a mental illness before this study had seemed to confirm it. Yet, “the hour was not nigh,” he wrote sadly. “Psychologists were not yet ready to diagnose firm belief in God as what it is: an unhealthy delusion.” “Yet, would that it were so,” he whined in a piece for Salon. “Imagine, so many Supreme Court justices and Republican politicians, from Antonin Scalia to Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, disqualified in one fell swoop on mental health grounds from holding public office!”

Of course, call any sort of gender dysphoria or non-heterosexual orientation a mental illness and the PC police would be on you in a moment. But religion? Fair game!

The journalist then took the opportunity to rant about the “damage religion causes to progressive causes of every sort,” citing a range of issues from “women’s reproductive rights to same-sex marriage to teaching science in schools to depriving federal coffers of $82.5 billion a year (in tax exemptions).”The horror!

“In fact,” he posited, “religion, so potentially dangerous that the Founding Fathers established a ‘wall of separation’ to keep it clear of our affairs of state, continues to enjoy an entirely unmerited imprimatur of respectability.” Tayler obviously knows little about the Founding Fathers and faith. In a laughable tangent, he then attacked the “controversial homeschooling movement afflicting some 2.5 million children” in the U.S.

What was at the root of this movement? Ah, filthy religion! Or, in his words: “a desire to indoctrinate the unsuspecting young in faith’s dark, lurid dogmas before science, reason, and the enlightening joys of secularism take over and help them mature into healthy adults.”    

According to Tayler, religiously motivated home school moms are rabid raccoons. After all, “homeschooling amounts to allowing the faith-deranged to infect their young with their disorder.” Of course, public-schooling amounts to allowing the secular government to infect the young with their propaganda, but the children belong to the state, so that’s all well and good. 

Well, we’re sorry Mr. Tayler, the faithful aren’t getting locked away yet. But until we do, make sure to stay away from our dark, lurid dogmas, or you might get infected too.  

That someone could actually say this publicly and not be charged with suggesting that mass genocide should be made legal tells you the state of the world today!

from  The Guardian:

Katie Hopkins is “super-keen on euthanasia vans” and says there are “far too many old people”.

The Sun columnist – who launches her own panel show If Katie Hopkins Ruled The World next month – said it is “ridiculous” to live in a country “where we can put dogs to sleep but not people”.

Her comments come shortly after she admitted regretting some of the extreme language she used against migrants in a column she wrote in the Sun entitled “Rescue boats? I’d use gunships to stop migrants”.

 

From Worldview Weekend:

I have talked to a few people who don’t understand why many pastors are so angry with Planned Parenthood. There are many companies and doctors that do abortion, so why does so much of the anti-abortion effort get directed at Planned Parenthood? After all, they also do cancer screenings, STD tests, adoption referrals and birth control prescriptions…so what gives?

The video released this week provides a perfect explanation. Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to making money of the abortion industry. Our culture is a culture of death, and we have institutionalized the idea that a woman can kill a child as long as that child is inside of her. That is sick, evil, and an affront against the dignity of the image of God.

But Planned Parenthood goes beyond simply participating in the abortion industry. They not only embody the evil of our country’s Moloch worship, but they refine it. This is why:

Eugenics

Planned Parenthood was founded by Margret Sanger, who had as her goal the control of the black population in the United States. The fact that people whom she deemed as “socially unfit” were able to reproduce was a problem for her, and she set to work to fix it. She saw eugenics as the best approach to handling racial tensions in the United States, and even worked to pass federal legislation that would have allowed Nazi-style sterilization of “undesirables.” Under her proposal, alcoholics, epileptics, and others whom “race recognition experts” determined were undesirable would have been subject to forced sterilization.

When her proposal did not gain traction in Congress, she turned her attention to abortion. She tailored her message for women with several children (“the most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its members is to kill it”). In addition to large families, she specifically targeted black families (she called them “degenerate and defective”). In fact, she saw black families as a threat to the American nation because America had “reached the highest degree of civilization” but was at risk of being “increasingly dragged down” through black couples having large families.

This is why she founded Planned Parenthood.

Racial Exploitation Today

Planned Parenthood has not moved on from Sanger’s views on the moral necessity of abortion. On their website right now is a tribute to Sanger. In fact, their “History & Successes” page says “Sanger’s early efforts remain the hallmark of Planned Parenthood’s mission.”

Now obviously today it is not politically correct to say your goal is to limit the birth rate of a certain race, and Planned Parenthood is not politically stupid. But the fact remains that abortion was main-streamed in American culture by an organization that viewed it as a eugenic tool, and it remains that way to this day. An African-American women is five times more likely to get an abortion than a Caucasian woman. Even studies that control for income variation find the same result.

In fact, according to a website called “Black Genocide,” 78% of Planned Parenthood’s clinics are in minority communities. African-Americans are about 12% of the US population, but about 35% of abortions. The roots of Planned Parenthood are still evident today.

And, by the way, if Planned Parenthood wanted to move away from Sanger’s eugenics, perhaps they could stop calling their annual award for leadership in the abortion industry their “Margaret Sanger Award.

Tax-payer funded

Planned Parenthood is often at the front of the abortion debate in our country because they are funded by tax-payers. They receive about $530 million dollars annually from taxes. They perform around 330,000 abortions every year, and they are the nation’s largest provider of abortions, because they are so cheap. They are so cheap because our tax dollars underwrite the procedures.

They do have the ability to refer people to adoption agencies. But their last annual report said that for every 150 abortions they do, they refer one person to adoption. So our taxes are not supporting their adoption push, but rather our taxes are collected to underwrite the cost of abortion at a clinic that targets low-income people.

Opposition to birth control

Ironically, Planned Parenthood is actually opposed to making birth control such as the pill available over-the-counter. When legislation as been advanced to allow this, they have mobilized their PR machine to oppose it. There really is no rational explanation for making birth controlharder to get…unless much of your profit comes from abortions.

Late-term abortions

Polls consistently show that most Americans are conflicted about abortion. While the typical pro-life person is opposed to all abortion, and the typical pro-abortion person is in favor of abortion on-demand, most Americans are neither. Most Americans think abortion should be illegal sometime between 20-24 weeks, but legal before that.

But Planned Parenthood is uncomfortable with that kind of compromise. Much of the entrenched nature of the abortion debate is because Planned Parenthood excels at turning even progressive compromises in abortion legislation (such as birth control over-the-counter) into an all out “war on women.”

The result of this logic is the “abortion on demand” view that abortion should be legal (and subsidized!) at any point in a pregnancy. A 30-week baby is able to be delivered and survive out side of the womb, but that doesn’t matter to them. In their mind the mother should be able to have doctors crush the baby’s skull, vacuum out the brains, and deliver the body. Period.

In fact, just last year, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, said “life begins at delivery” and that it should be every women’s own decision when life begins for their children.

I could go on. I could write about how the media caters to them be refusing to ask any presidential candidate when they think life begins. I could talk about how after the video was released, some news organizations ran stories that were literally (not figuratively, but literally) the talking pointsemailed to them by Planned Parenthood. Or how the AP two years ago decided that as an organization they were going to #StandWithWendy Davis, the Texas State Senator who did the pro-abortion filibuster. Etc. But all of this really just leads to the video:

They traffic in baby body parts

The reason the video hit such a nerve is because it brings the whole level of evil in Planned Parenthood into sharp focus. While sipping wine at a 2-hour lunch, the medical director for Planned Parenthood talked about how they (as an organization) have gotten really good at “crushing below, crushing above” babies organs during an abortion. That way they can sell the organs afterwards.

This is illegal on so many levels. It is illegal to sell the organs. It is illegal for a doctor to change the way she does an abortion in order to get the organs. Some have pointed out that there are loop-holes in these laws, but…seriously?

They first make the case that the baby is not alive, then they kill him and harvest his organs for cash. The company they were selling through even offered bulk discounts for any transaction over $1,000.

So, why is Planned Parenthood evil? They are evil because they have roots in eugenics, they disproportionally target minorities, they use our tax dollars to do it, they make birth control difficult to get, they lobby for late-term abortions, and they do this all to make a profit

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