Saturday, October 25, 2014

The heart of the believer is Christ's garden...

My Back Yard
"I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse." —Song of Solomon 5:1

The heart of the believer is Christ's garden.
He bought it with His precious blood, and He enters it and claims it as His own.

A garden implies separation. It is not the open common; it is not a wilderness; it is walled around, or hedged in. Would that we could see the wall of separation between the church and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, "Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that," thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity.

A garden is a place of beauty, it far surpasses the wild uncultivated lands. The genuine Christian must seek to be more excellent in his life than the best moralist, because Christ's garden ought to produce the best flowers in all the world. Even the best is poor compared with Christ's deservings; let us not put Him off with withering and dwarf plants. The rarest, richest, choicest lilies and roses ought to bloom in the place which Jesus calls His own.

The garden is a place of growth. The saints are not to remain undeveloped, always mere buds and blossoms. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Growth should be rapid where Jesus is the Husbandman, and the Holy Spirit the dew from above.

A garden is a place of retirement. So the Lord Jesus Christ would have us reserve our souls as a place in which He can manifest Himself, as He doth not unto the world. O that Christians were more retired, that they kept their hearts more closely shut up for Christ! We often worry and trouble ourselves, like Martha, with much serving, so that we have not the room for Christ that Mary had, and do not sit at His feet as we should.

The Lord grant the sweet showers of His grace to water His garden this day. ...CH Spurgeon image

GAFCON Chairman Abp. Wabukala's October 2014 Pastoral letter

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

24th October 2014

‘The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:2,3


My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

It is my great joy to be writing to you twelve months after GAFCON 2 here in Nairobi! Please join with me in giving thanks to God for the great blessing of that wonderful time of fellowship, teaching and renewal. Despite many challenges, we brought together 1358 delegates, including 331 bishops, from 39 countries – and we paid all the bills! We eagerly look forward to GAFCON 3, but in the meantime there is much work for us to do.

The recent news that Lambeth 2018 has been postponed, perhaps indefinitely, is the latest sign that the old institutions of the Communion no longer command confidence. We must remember that the fundamental reason for this is doctrinal. We are divided because the Faith is threatened by unbiblical teaching.

In contrast, GAFCON 2 demonstrated that we were emerging as a new and effective ‘instrument of unity’ for the Anglican Communion. Nearly twelve months later, that reality was underlined at the investiture of Archbishop Foley Beach as the second Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America by the Primates gathered in Atlanta, representing GAFCON and the Anglican Global South, receiving him as a Primate of the Anglican Communion.

Speaking shortly after that historic service I said ‘It is a sign of great hope for the Gospel in the world. It is not a small thing that has happened’. There was no need for us to be reminded of the reasons why GAFCON had called the Anglican Church in North America into being five years ago because the investiture demonstrated that the realignment of the Anglican Communion is now established and unstoppable.

Anglicans around the globe are now affirming this fact. Last month the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Kenya unanimously approved a resolution to be in formal partnership with the GAFCON movement. Then just before the investiture, the Synod of the Diocese of North West Australia passed a resolution recognizing ‘the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as a member church of the Anglican Communion, in full communion with Diocese of North West Australia’. Shortly afterwards, the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney passed a resolution which recognized ‘that GAFCON is an emerging instrument of communion when others have failed to provide the well needed leadership’ and stated ‘recognizing Synod’s desire to be in full communion with the ACNA.….Synod congratulates the Most Reverend Foley Beach on his consecration as Archbishop to the ACNA.’

The task before us now therefore is that of rebuilding, developing institutions and networks which help rather than hinder the proclamation of the gospel and reflect the new thing God in his mercy is doing in the Anglican Communion. Recognizing this need, the Primates Council earlier this year authorized the establishment of a strengthened Secretariat, tasked with organizing the means by which the movement can grow in effectiveness as a worldwide fellowship.

I am therefore very pleased to be able to tell you that an important step forward has been taken by the appointment of Mr Philip Robinson as GAFCON Operations Manager with effect from 1st October following a career at senior level in major City of London financial institutions. He will be based in the UK and his initial focus will be the mobilization and growth of our global fellowship, including the launch of a contact programme to widen understanding of GAFCON’s leading role in the renewal and reform of the Anglican Communion.

Finally, let us be faithful in continuing to pray for those who are facing great hardships. The Ebola disease has already killed over 3,000 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and poses a global threat. Pray for the bereaved, the sick and those who care for them and those working to find effective drugs and a vaccine. We must also pray steadfastly for Christian communities and other minorities suffering so terribly at the hands of militant Islamic movements, especially in Mosul and northern Iraq. It is estimated that so far this year the Islamic State has forced some 500,000 from their homes and taken the lives of over 12,000 civilians. Yet we are seeing a remarkably strong witness to Jesus Christ from Christians who have been through such loss and pain. As we thank God for their faithfulness, let us stand with them in prayer, in practical support, and by letting our voices be heard so that their plight is not forgotten.

Posted October 25, 2014
Here

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shooting at a Washington state high school

Police: shooter dead after opening fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School   A gunman believed to have opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday morning is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to two law-enforcement sources.

Police have not released details, but there are reports of as many as seven other people shot about 10:45 a.m.

Three of the injured were taken by ambulance to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, including one with a head wound.

More than an hour after the shooting, police still are searching room to room with guns drawn, leaving tape to mark the doors of the rooms that have been cleared. Officers are finding students and staff members hiding alone or in small groups...

Sources: 2 dead, including gunman, at high school near Seattle

Sacramento: 3 officers shot
The California Highway Patrol says at least three officers have been shot in Sacramento and Placer counties by a man and woman who are heavily armed...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 133


Oct 24, 2014 
         
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please donate at http://anglican.tv/donate

Story Index
00:00 Kevin and George discuss making the Roman Catholic Church Relevant

Does Common Core threaten religious freedom?; Ebola hits NYC; Wastebook 2014...more

Three views: Do the Common Core education standards endanger religious freedom?
Why a nationwide standard for classrooms may cause concern

Man Attacks NYPD Officers with Hatchet Unprovoked
A Facebook  page of man who gruesomely attacked New York police officers with a hatchet Thursday features a profile photo of a heavily-armed man and an image of Islamic prayers, although officials have not confirmed links to extremist documents or jihadi groups at this time.

NBC News, citing law enforcement sources, reported the Facebook page belongs to Zale Thompson, a 32-year-old resident of Queens. The report describes the profile picture of his Facebook page as appearing to be "a Muslim warrior."...
Dallas Nurse Nina Pham Is Ebola Free, To Be Discharged From Hospital

Ebola Hits New York City; Manhattan Doctor Craig Spencer Falls Ill After Treating Ebola Patients in West Africa  New York City remained on edge late Thursday night as local and federal officials encouraged the city that never sleeps to keep calm after news broke earlier that Manhattan doctor Craig Spencer, who recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea, West Africa, had fallen ill from the disease...

Wastebook 2014: Eight Absurd Government Projects Funded With Your Money
1) $171,000 To Study How Monkeys Gamble
2) $856,000 To Film Mountain Lions Running On Treadmills
3) Synchronized Swimming For Sea Monkeys
4) Swedish Massages For Bunnies
5) Free Luxury Gym Memberships For Federal Bureaucrats
6) $331,000 To Study Whether “Hangry” Spouses Are More Likely To Stab Voodoo Dolls
7) $18 Million To Renovate A Low-Traffic Airport That Serves A High-End Ski Resort
8) NIH Spent Over $800,000 To Make A Video Game About Food Fights

Meditative Photo Series Celebrates the Beauty of Stillness Through Glass Windows


Undulatus Asperatus

Thursday, October 23, 2014

If you want to become brilliant in prayer...

Mountain conversations
If you want to become brilliant in prayer, you have to become really good in conversation with people. You have to care about people. You have to chat to people. You have to connect with people in the messy place where their life is. And it's in those times when you give yourself to those conversations that compassion can rise up and take hold of you, and your compassion will carry you into ‪intercession‬ properly for someone.
...Graham Cooke image

One in 50 [Anglican] clergy don't believe in God; Ebola may have come to Harlem; Why Are So Many Midwives And Doulas Pro-Abortion?...more

UK: One in 50 clergy don't believe in God
One in 50 Anglican clergy in the UK believes God is merely a human construct, according to a new survey today.

Just eight in ten believe there is a personal God and a further three in 100 believe there is some spirit or life force.

And in spite of two millennia of Church doctrine based on determining the mind of God through the Scriptures, nearly one in ten believes: "No-one can know what God is like."...

Illustration to be Handed Out at Public Schools: Human Bible Sexually Assaulting Woman  The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group, is planning to hand out in several Florida public high schools a pamphlet that features an illustration on its cover depicting a humanized Bible sexually assaulting a young woman.

The pamphlet is entitled: “An X-Rated Book: Sex and Obscenity in the Bible.”

The front cover of the small purple booklet is illustrated with a cartoon Bible--which has arms, legs, face and drooling mouth--sexually assaulting a screaming woman as she tries to escape its grasp...


Nigeria's Boko Haram 'abducts more women and girls'    Dozens of women and girls from two villages in Nigeria's north-eastern Adamawa state have been abducted by suspected militants, residents say...

Why Are So Many Midwives And Doulas Pro-Abortion?  ...I also refused to consider any doula who listed “abortion support” as one of her services. If a woman is going to be present for the birth of my child, I don’t want to know that she has been present at the murders of countless others, supporting this atrocity because to her freedom from inconvenience trumps the freedom for life itself for the defenseless. As with doulas, it was equally frustrating finding a midwife who celebrated my pregnancy, even in its early stages. Since I live on the East Coast, for both a midwife and a doula I settled on women who were at least silent about their opinion of current U.S. law that allows the death and dismemberment of unborn children...

Doctor rushed to Bellevue Hospital with Ebola symptoms may have fiancée  
Ebola may have come to Harlem.

A 33-year-old doctor who recently returned from the disease-wracked West African country of Guinea was rushed Thursday to Bellevue Hospital with symptoms of the deadly disease.

Preliminary results of tests done on the doctor, identified by sources as Craig Spencer, are expected in the next 12 hours, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.

Spencer, who was one of the medics working in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, had been back for 10 days and told authorities he quarantined himself after developing nausea and a high fever, sources said...

Obama Claims Executive Privilege Over 15,000 Fast and Furious Docs  ...According to Judicial Watch, the withheld documents include communications between top officials at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), as well as with the United States Ambassador to Mexico.

The Obama administration is also asserting executive privilege over nearly 20 emails between Holder and his wife Sharon Malone.

“Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. “There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.”...

Former CT Episcipal church sold to local Muslim community

By Karin Hamilton
October 23, 2014

The Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) has sold its property at 35 Harris Road, Avon, former home to Christ Episcopal Church, to the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center, Inc. (FVAMC).

The sale, for $1.1 million, was completed on Oct. 21.

The building was vacated after the congregation voted in 2012 to dissolve as a parish and close by the end of that year.

The following spring, Bishop Ian T. Douglas and other ECCT staff hosted a meeting of community leaders and interested residents to discern how the property could best be used “as an asset to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation” in greater Avon and beyond.

At the meeting they learned that the local Muslim community needed a place to gather for prayers, teaching, youth programs and interfaith work. In September 2013, the ECCT entered into an interfaith partnership with FVAMC that included leasing the Avon building...

...Douglas said of the growing relationship between the Episcopal Church in Connecticut and the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center: “I thank God that through the stewardship of our property in Avon we have come into relationship with our Muslim neighbors in the Farmington valley. Together we are learning about what it means to be people of faith working together for peace and understanding. It is a blessing to cooperate with the FVAMC in the development of their new home.”...   the rest

Reminds me of this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Obama pushing use of aborted baby cells for Ebola vaccine

Michael F. Haverluck
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A pro-life outreach group is ripping President Barack Obama and his administration for endorsing the use of cell lines extracted from aborted babies to develop Ebola vaccines, even though the government conceded that using moral alternatives - such as plant and animal cells - would be just as effective.

Already labeled as the “abortion president” earlier this year by a leading voice in the Christian community, Dr. James Dobson, Obama is expected to receive added criticism regarding his handling of the Ebola crisis considering his positioning on the sanctity of human life. His administration’s latest decision to back the use of aborted fetal cells is coming under fire from Children of God for Life and other conservative and Christian groups that advocate the morally responsible development of vaccines.

"There is absolutely no reason to use aborted fetal cell lines," argues Children of God for Life president Debi Vinnedge. "At least two other Ebola vaccines in development by the University of Texas and GeoVax are using either Vero cells or chicken eggs.”... the rest
According to Vinnedge’s organization, the cell lines from aborted preborn children are already being unethically used in the production of vaccines by different pharmaceutical companies in the United States and abroad. 
“Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) and NIAID are jointly developing their ChAd3 vector for delivering the Ebola virus gene using HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells,” Children of God for Life announced. “Likewise, NewLink Genetics of Iowa used HEK-293 cells for their VSV-EBOV Ebola vaccine in Canada, while Johnson and Johnson/Crucell developed theirs using PER C6 cells, derived from retinal tissue of an 18-week gestation aborted baby.”

Anglican Unscripted Episode 132


Oct 22, 2014 
         
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please donate at http://anglican.tv/donate

Story Index
00:00 TEC Still losing huge membership numbers

Reconfiguring the Anglican Communion without Archbishop Welby’s input?

Oct 22, 2014
By Barbara Gauthier

On October 3rd, Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Anglican Church in North America was not Anglican and definitely not part of the Anglican Communion.  The next day, the Diocese of NW Australia recognized the ACNA “as a member church of the Anglican Communion, in full communion with Diocese of North West Australia.”  On October 9th, seven primates of the Anglican Communion welcomed Archbishop Foley Beach of the ACNA as “an archbishop and fellow primate of the Anglican Communion.”  A week later, the Diocese of Sydney’s Synod passed a resolution “without dissent” declaring that they intended to be in full communion with the ACNA.  This prompted a commenter to observe that ++Welby’s decision may not matter much at all in the long run — or, for that matter, in the short run either:

The dominos are starting to fall and I’ll bet they start picking up speed before the end of the year.  The ACNA issue is being taken out of Welby’s hands (and he essentially asked for that) and he’s going to soon be asking someone “what happened?”

I think the decision has been made globally and the ABC may eventually be asking if he and the CofE will be welcome in the “old” Anglican Communion. It could be that TECACC and CofE may have to form the “new” Anglican Communion rather than the other way around. Look what’s happened in the last ten days…NW Australia and Sydney recognize ACNA as part of the communion and seven primates lay hands on Foley Beach and welcome him as a primate in the Anglican Communion.

Interestingly, I think when Welby made the comment that it would be up to the primates, he thought he would be a part of that process. It appears that he may not be included at all... the rest
Here’s the rub: The Anglican Communion is not going to re-align, it has re-aligned. It is true that the structures have not yet caught up with that reality, but the re-alignment has taken place. Increasingly, those who pursue the liberal agenda of TEC and insist on maintaining partnership with them are finding that the fruit of their actions will continue to be increased marginalization.

Our Endangered Species; California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions...more

Our Endangered Species: What, if anything, can be done to save the family?  ...The trick is that the social capital created by traditional families is what undergirds the rest of our society. Sociologists and economists now understand that when this social capital is diminished, it causes all sorts of other problems. The crises of the welfare state, wage stagnation, income inequality, unemployment, the prison-industrial complex—all of these, and much more, can be traced to the breakdown of the family...

City threatens to arrest ministers for refusing to marry gays The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is threatening two ordained Christian ministers with arrest if they refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel is across the street from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses. Last week, Donald Knapp and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run the chapel, respectfully declined to perform a same-sex “marriage” ceremony...

California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions—Or Else ...The State of California is now calling their bluff. California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The deepest need of men...

Shanty Town in Ica
The deepest need of men is not food and clothing and shelter, important as they are. It is God. We have mistaken the nature of poverty, and thought it was economic poverty. No, it is poverty of soul, deprivation of God's recreating, loving peace. Peer into poverty and see if we are really getting down to the deepest needs, in our economic salvation schemes. These are important. But they lie farther along the road, secondary steps toward world reconstruction. The primary step is a holy life, transformed and radiant in the glory of God. ...Thomas Kelly image

The Orwellian Deception; Gender as Consumer Choice; Persecution of Christians in India...more

Texas AG: Sermon Subpoena is Unconstitutional
...“Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Abbott wrote in a letter to the city leader. He called on the mayor to avoid even the appearance of intimidation...

The Orwellian Deception- Three-Parent Babies Okayed in the U.K.  ...Instead of engaging the public with the truth, deception is often used to hide what is truly being done in laboratories and fertility clinics. A favorite tactic is to simply redefine existing terminology, inventing euphemistic or inaccurate terms. This manipulates the public into supporting practices scientists, advocates and politicians know we find morally suspect...

Gender as Consumer Choice
...A key task of the church in the next generation will be to provide a lived alternative to feeling like a good consumer in this regard. This will be particularly important as the LGBT debate advances from the issues that concern L and G, such as samesex marriage, to those which concern T, such as gender identity. The task will include educating the affections—learning to desire to be the good that God made, when in the beginning he made us male and female—and to see that this is far better than the proliferation of meaningless choices about gender identity that is likely to be imposed on us in the near future.

Persecution of Christians in India continues to get worse  Concerns continue for Christians in India, and a human rights organization for religious freedom says the greatest issue as of late is the "absolute skyrocketing of attacks that have been taking place on Christians and other religious minorities" in that country.

"Ever since the government has changed over to BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Neandra Modi leading the government in May, in the first 100 days of … the actual reign of this new regime, we saw over 600 attacks, communal attacks in one state in India," reports William Stark of International Christian Concern (ICC). "That's just one of 29 states across the country."

Stark visited India over the summer and spoke with various pastors and Christians who were afraid...

Violence raises doubt Nigeria girls will be freed  
New violence in Nigeria is casting doubt on the government's claim the Boko Haram terrorist group is ready to release more than 200 schoolgirls.
 
On Friday, Nigeria's military leader said the radical Islamic group agreed to a ceasefire as a first step toward freeing the girls.
 
"They've assured us they have the girls and they will release them. I am cautiously optimistic," Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur told the BBC.
   
But Boko Haram never confirmed the deal and in the interim, dozens of civilians have been killed in attacks...

WHO Reports Nigeria Cleared of Ebola as Dozens of Americans Released from Isolation

Jesus painting, removed from school, now on lit sign

Bp. Julian Dobbs: Advent Bible Teaching online in late November 2014


Advent 2014 introduction from Julian Dobbs on Vimeo.

Online Advent Bible Teaching - available soon 
By Bishop Julian Dobbs
  
Bishop Julian Dobbs will soon release a DVD advent teaching series available for online viewing.  Each session will be 30 minutes in length and suitable for use by indiviuals, home group or other bible study groups.
 
The Bishop writes, "God's Word written and the creeds of the Church categorically insist that Jesus Christ will come again to planet earth.  Through our minds run the confusing vocabulary of eschatology or the last things.  In this series we will study what the Bible has to say, look at the understanding of Christ's return in the early church and prepare ourselves for the second advent of Christ."
 
Part One:   Christ is surely coming!  [2 Thessalonians 1]
Part Two:   Ready for His return [Luke 21, Matthew 24]
Part Three: Why will Christ Return? [Hebrews 9]
Part Four:   The Rapture - Biblical or Not? [1 Thessalonians 4, Psalm 11]
Part Five:   The Millennial Reign of Christ - what are we to believe? [Rev 20]

The series will be available online in late November 2014 [there is no cost for this five part teaching series].

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Albert Mohler: Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston—The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

Friday, October 17, 2014

he scandal over the subpoenas issued to several Houston-area Christian pastors continues, even after the city refiled legal documents, removing the word “sermons” from the demand. They have clearly not removed the scandal from their city, and from the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. As the mayor’s own comments make abundantly clear, she stands at the center of the scandal.

When news broke earlier this week that the attorneys working for the City of Houston had issued subpoenas to pastors for sermons, I was fairly certain that some mistake had been made. When the actual text of the subpoena came to me, I could hardly believe my eyes. Here was a legal demand, sent to Christian pastors in the name of one of America’s largest cities, to surrender “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO (an anti-discrimination ordinance), the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

That subpoena is nothing less than ruthless thuggery, exercised by an elected public servant and her city attorney. And that thuggery has been done in the name of the people of Houston, Texas.

The controversy started when Mayor Parker, often described as the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, led the effort to adopt an anti-discrimination law that, among other things, allows transgender persons to file a complaint and bring charges if they are denied access to a bathroom. Several Houston-area pastors were involved in an effort to rescind the ordinance. They participated in a petition drive that would have put the question before voters, mobilizing their congregations on the issue. They were able to get more than the required number of signatures on the petition, but the city attorney ruled many of the signatures invalid due to technicalities. The city attorney intervened after the appropriate city official had already certified the petitions as adequate. This set the stage for the lawsuit, and the lawsuit set the stage for the subpoenas... the rest
At this point, it is five Houston pastors who are feeling the heat. But these subpoenas stand as a direct warning to every pastor, rabbi, minister, priest, and imam in America. You or I could be next.

This is how religious liberty dies. Liberties die by a thousand cuts. An intimidating letter here, a subpoena there, a warning in yet another place. The message is simple and easily understood. Be quiet or risk trouble.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Christians Can’t Accept Houston’s Intimidation Tactics Without Protest

Houston
By Mollie Hemingway
October 16, 2014

Excerpt:
Now, something tells me that Mayor Parker and her cohorts don’t give a fig about whether they’re giving scandal, that is, leading others into corruption. But Christian pastors should care when politicians or other authorities are behaving scandalously.

Lee says, “So what?” to the subpoena. Here’s what: Christian pastors should not acquiesce in the expanding fight to destroy religious liberty and free speech. And they should stand up against laws and practices that might cause their brothers and sisters to be tempted to downplay their confession of faith or criticism of unjust governmental practices and unjust laws.
 
The public’s mostly negative response to the intimidation attempts seen in Houston was so pronounced that Parker now says she agrees with Alliance Defending Freedom that the subpoenas were overly broad. Heck, the whole thing’s so toxic that she’s even claiming she didn’t know about the subpoenas until shortly before she took to Twitter vigorously defending them. But don’t be surprised if these attacks on religious liberty and free speech don’t cause more people to question what we’re being forced to give up — and why — in exchange for expanding gay rights. the rest image

How Boko Haram's Murders and Kidnappings Are Changing Nigeria's Churches

Leading Nigerian evangelical says Christians won’t abandon the North.
In recent weeks, Boko Haram, the Sunni terrorist group in northern Nigeria, has doubled down in its ongoing killing spree, taking the lives of Christians by the hundreds and also declaring an Islamic caliphate in the region, local church leaders report.
 
In April, the group’s kidnapping of 276 girls, mostly Christians, from a school in Chibok drew global outrage. But 219 of those girls are still missing as are hundreds of other abducted children. The group has killed at least 2,000 Nigerians in the first six months of this year, according to Nigerian officials. In total, 650,000 people fled northern Nigeria to escape violence. Some 1,600 Nigerian Christians have died at the hands of Boko Haram and other groups, according to the Jubilee Campaign.
This week, at the six-month anniversary of the Chibok kidnappings, rallies have been held in Nigeria, the U.S., and other nations to press Nigeria's government to do more to rescue the kidnapped girls and suppress Boko Haram.
 
A leading Nigerian evangelical, Samuel Kunhiyop, author of African Christian Ethics,serves as general secretary of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), a 5-million-member denomination in Nigeria. ECWA has been doing frontline evangelism in Nigeria since 1954. In recent years, this group has planted hundreds of congregations in Muslim areas of Nigeria. Kunhiyop spoke with Timothy C. Morgan, CT's senior editor for global journalism.
 
Is Nigeria as bad as we read in news headlines?
 
It’s even worse. Hundreds of churches have been destroyed, over 50 in Kano alone. One church and ministry has been built seven times and destroyed seven times. Another has been built three times and destroyed three times. Pastors have been murdered in their houses. Another was murdered in the church during a prayer service.
 
The situation is much worse further north in Yobe and Borno states, the headquarters of Boko Haram. People have fled residences where their forefathers lived for generations. Christians have been the victims. the rest