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-New Congress Heavily Religious?

by Dr. D ~ January 6th, 2015

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According to recent Pew Research, the new 2015 Congress may be far more ‘religious’ than average America. 92% of the member of the incoming Congress claim to be Christians including 57% who are affiliated Protestants  while nearly 31% are Catholics. The new Congress also includes 28 Jews, 16 Mormons, 2 Muslims, 2 Buddhists, 1 Hindu and 10 who are ‘Nones’ (either unaffiliated or refuse to designate).

How their official religious affiliations may affect their performance is anyone’s guess but it is interesting to at least see how the new Congress compares to the rest of America. The fact that no one has officially come out as an ‘atheist’ in this report continues a long standing suspicion that it would be very difficult for one to be elected to high office in America. Meanwhile, those who choose the ‘None’ category or refuse to designate continue to increase just like in the general population.            *Top

-More People Read the Bible At Christmas?

by Dr. D ~ December 26th, 2014

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                  (Photo credit: knowhimonline)


Do more people read the Bible during Christmas than any other time of the year? According to YouVersion Bible ministry, it is the busiest season for the usage of their Bible apps. From the Christian Post:

Christmas is a time often associated with trees, Santa Claus, mangers, family gatherings, television specials, and the opening of presents. But according to a very successful technological Christian ministry, the season for giving may also be the season for Bible reading.

Bobby Gruenewald, the pastor who was the mastermind behind the YouVersion Bible App, told The Christian Post that during December the rate of Bible App usage increases.

"Our data gives us insight into people’s interaction with the Bible around the world: installs of the app, chapters read, bookmarks and highlights created, verses shared, and more," said Gruenewald.

"Every year, engagement spikes beginning with Christmas time … Engagement is accelerated even further in January as people interact with the Bible in record numbers."Gruenewald told CP that he believed this increase was because "people are yearning to connect with the significance of what we’re celebrating."

"Through daily time in the Bible, we can reflect on the birth of Jesus and what that gift means for our lives today. And at New Year’s, people are resolving to start afresh as they set goals to spend time in the Bible every day," said Gruenewald.

<Read the whole article>

Response: I believe that Christmas may indeed create greater interest in the Bible than any other time of the year. From our experience, Christmas always seems to generate the greatest interest in our Answers Bible Study site. We consistently receive greater numbers of readers in December than any other month of the year and our most popular post during the month and for all year (or for any year) has always been our Answers Bible Study:

The Christmas Story

The post merely lists the major references in the Bible associated with Christmas. I also include the Christmas story Bible references in our traditional Christmas Day greeting every year.

In spite of all of the commercialism and Santa legend emphasis, folks still want to get in tune with the real Christmas Story and with what Christmas is really all about and that can only be found in the Bible.              *Top

-Merry Christmas 2014

by Dr. D ~ December 25th, 2014

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(Image via Wikipedia)


Merry Christmas to you and yours and may God truly bless you this Christmas Day.

The Real Christmas Story

When our children were growing our family had a Christmas Eve tradition to read about the ‘real’ Christmas story in the Bible.

You’ve probably seen a dozen or so ‘Christmas stories’ on TV in the last couple of weeks but the real Christmas story is found in Matthew (Matt. 1:18-2:18) and in Luke ( Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-40). However, Isaiah should never be ignored:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Matthew gives us the story largely from the perspective of Joseph, including the dreams that he had and his family genealogy. In this gospel the ‘Kingship’ of Jesus is the major topic. Starting with the Davidic Kingly genealogy through Joseph and the coming of the Magi (Wisemen) who are looking for the new king. Also King Herod’s reaction is in Matthew.

The events in Luke are given to us from Mary’s view. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces the coming of the child. Mary’s genealogy is also given in Luke (Luke 3:23-38), she was also a descendant of David, but not in the ‘Kingly’ line. Chapter 2 begins with the Christmas story that everyone is familiar with:

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

However, nothing explains the real reason for the season better than John 3:16-17:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  -KJV

*Top

-Saudi Arabia: New Law Brings Death Sentence for Bible Smugglers?

by Dr. D ~ December 22nd, 2014

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           King of Saudi Arabia


Apparently the Saudi government has passed a new law that prescribes a death sentences for those ‘smuggling’ in Bibles or other non-Muslim or even non-Sunni religious literature into the Muslim kingdom.

For a long time it has been illegal to bring Bibles into Saudi Arabia. Usually customs agents have made some allowances for personal items of foreign workers, particularly educated and skilled workers coming in from Western countries. Meanwhile, no churches or Christian religious services are allowed in the country. Nevertheless, I have personally known some folks who did unofficially meet together for small Bible studies and prayer meetings in foreign conclaves.

In the recent past we have posted on a number of occasions that foreign workers have been caught and jailed for having Christian worship in their homes. Some have even been jailed by the Saudi religious police for celebrating Christmas.

Now it appears that the Muslim Kingdom is becoming even more draconian in their treatment of those bringing Bibles into the country. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

…  According to the HeartCry Missionary Society, the Saudi government issued an official statement signifying that capital punishment may now be used on those who smuggle Bibles into the desert nation, where the royal family upholds a strict Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam.

The society’s report added that the death penalty, which usually comes in the form of beheadings, can also be used against people who simply distribute the Bible and all other "publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam." This means that anyone handing out any kind of religious literature that is not of Islamic faith can legally be executed. …

Although the Saudi government is said to have released an "official statement", Saudi Arabia’s U.S. Embassy and Saudi sources at the United Nations have yet to comment or confirm the law. According to World Net Daily, the news source made three attempts to reach the Saudi Embassy’s press officer, but the officer has yet to reply.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Saudi Arabia is consistently listed as one of the worst regimes when it comes to religious liberty and one of the most repressive when it comes to Christians.

There are reportedly over two million foreign Christian workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Bibles will continue to be brought in regardless of the law but unfortunately now people may die. Please pray that the Saudi officials will be temporarily blinded and not see the Bibles coming in. This actually worked for years when Christian smugglers were bringing in thousands of Bibles into Eastern Europe and Russia when the Communists ran things.            *Top

-Sydney Siege: Response to Islamist Flag Demonstrates Willful Media and Government Ignorance

by Dr. D ~ December 18th, 2014

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The minute I saw a picture of the black flag in the window I was sure that the Sydney café siege was a terrorist event. After all, it closely resembled the Jihadi Muslim battle flag used by nearly every radical Islamist group. 

Meanwhile the Western media, the local police commissioner, and the Australian PM continued to speculate on what the flag meant and the possible motives of the perpetrator.

This event from my perspective demonstrates the willful ignorance of the Western media and government officials when it comes to radical Islam. None of them want to call any event ‘terrorism’ or identify obvious ‘Islamist’ motives for fear of being labeled as ‘Islamophobic.’

Here’s an article from Breitbart that goes in to greater depth on this very issue:

The recent incident involving the Sydney jihadi hostage-taker provided us countless examples that western media and governments lack a basic understanding of radical Islamism. The horrific act provided—for all to see—countless examples of a failure to report the basic facts and accurately describe the event as an act of Islamic terror.

The most obvious indication that hostage-taker Man Haron Monis was carrying out the terroristic act out of religious duty was when he forced hostages to display the black flag of jihad (Shahada) in the Lindt Cafe window. The Shahada read, “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.” …

…Kyle Shideler of the Center for Security Policy described how U.S. leaders have failed to grasp the ideology of global jihadist entities and its individual actors. We “fail to show respect by not taking our enemies and their ideas seriously. Instead we continuously assert–without evidence–that jihadist organizations, the members of Islamic State, Al Qaeda, etc. are ignorant of their own professed beliefs,” writes Shideler. He adds, “It is we who are ignorant.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: For a long time leading up to WWII, Western government officials failed to see the real threat that Hitler and Nazism posed to Western civilization, real Christianity, and Judaism it was nearly the end of us. History seems to be repeating itself in the willful ignorance of the threat of radical Islam.

Hopefully we will wake up in the West before it is too late. Meanwhile the media and government officials continue to refer to every terrorist event as ‘workplace violence’ or the crimes and actions of ignorant individuals while the motives derived from radical Islam are substantially ignored or excused away.

What will it take for the media and the government officials to take the threat serious and suspend their overriding concern for so-called Islamophobia?  With Hitler the bridge too far lead to Poland. What do we have to look forward to in the years to come with radical Islam?            *Top

-Plano TX Passes ‘Nondiscrimination’ Policy That Limits Religious Freedom

by Dr. D ~ December 17th, 2014

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We warned recently that religious freedom was in danger of being trumped and limited all across America by the next big ‘progressive’ issue/excuse called ‘transgender bathroom’ and ‘nondiscrimination’ ordinances and policies that bundle together all sorts of LGBT ‘rights’ along with same-sex marriage. We expected ordinances like the one introduced in Houston TX to be the model for similar laws to be passed and foisted upon cities and maybe even states by eager leftist politicians and councils. Usually against the will of the people.

The most recent example of what we are talking about is incredibly in Plano TX. Here’s the story from CitizenLink:

Despite intense opposition, the Plano City Council passed a non-discrimination ordinance Monday that would potentially allow transgender persons to access the bathroom of their choice.

The law applies to business owners in Plano and those that have contracts with the City for services. …

… Liberty Institute plans to sue over the Plano ordinance. In a statement, the group said:

“The Proposed Ordinance is vaguely worded and compels private businesses and employees to violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs, in contravention of federal and state laws protecting persons of faith. In effect, the Proposed Ordinance makes it a crime to do business in the City of Plano while maintaining Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other traditional religious views of marriage, sexuality and gender identity.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: This whole transgender bathroom issue started in California then this month the Obama administration issued a decree that all schools receiving federal funds must comply. However, the city ordinances represented in Houston and Plano TX are even worse including same-sex marriage and forcing all organizations, businesses and business owners to comply regardless of any affected religious convictions.

Christian leaders should organize and be prepared to fight similar ordinances before they are even proposed in their own local cities and states. Freedom of religion and Christian schools, institutions, and businesses are in the crosshairs and it is time to wake up the Christian community before it is too late.            *Top

-Obama’s Dept. of Education: Students Must be Allowed to Choose Their Own Gender

by Dr. D ~ December 12th, 2014

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U.S. Department of Education


The Obama administration has now made transgender choice mandatory in all public schools across America. By order of the Department of Education on December 1, all schools receiving federal funds must allow students to choose for themselves whether they are a boy or a girl rather than the gender they were born with. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

In single-sex classes, which are common for sex education, students must be allowed to go to the class of the gender they consider themselves to be rather than their actual gender, the U.S. Department of Education directed schools that receive federal funds in a Dec. 1 memo.

The memo, from the department’s Office for Civil Rights, provides guidance for K-12 schools for when they are allowed to have same-sex classes or extracurricular activities and remain in compliance with Title IX, a 1972 law to protect against gender discrimination in education programs that get federal aid. …

"All students, including transgender students and students who do not conform to sex stereotypes," it states, "are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX. Under Title IX, a recipient generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes."

<Read the whole article>

Response: The schools in California have been struggling to implement a similar state order that allows boys to decide for themselves to suit up in the girls locker rooms and try out for the girl’s teams if they want and visa versa. There are already a number of lawsuits from concerned parents. Now the Obama administration is going to take this chaos into every state and city across America wherever federal funds may go. Even private schools which take federal money may be affected.

This is another case where the Obama progressive agenda is being allowed to run unchecked by executive order without legislation or Congressional oversight. At least the mess in California was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor.

Here’s my reaction at the time to the California law- also a poignant response to the new federal order:

So let me get this straight. Students in …public schools are now able to arbitrarily choose for themselves from day to day what gender they want to be and their parents don’t even have to be aware of it? Then on that self-proclaimed basis could have access to bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex and even join any sports team regardless of actual physical gender?

The new law is designed to help the 1 tenth of one percent of students that may be ‘transgender’ or have gender identity issues. However 99.9% of the student could be affected by the new law since there are no provisions or guidelines to determine whether a student is truly ‘transgender’ or just faking it to gain greater access to the opposite sex. … The possibilities for obvious abuse are legion. I would not want to be a teacher or a school administrator under these conditions and lack of provisions. 

Now if a boy would like to take a shower with his girlfriend there is nothing but common sense standing in the way? Also, if a high school boy doesn’t make the boy’s basketball team he could always try out for the girl’s team and have the added possibility of sharing the locker room and showers with his new team mates of the opposite sex?

Is America going completely insane? I thought so when this president was re-elected and now some of the results are proving my initial reactions.

Watch this new policy destroy girls competitive sports. Title IX contributed to strengthening girls sports all across America since 1972. Now this same law is being re-interpreted to support transgender rights. Mark my words, chaos will soon follow concerning eligibility in girls programs.             *Top