Monday, February 02, 2015

Please God, Don’t Let Us Get Audited; An Open Letter from the Child of a Loving Gay Parent...more

Islamic State terror cell in Israel slaughtered sheep as part of training ...According to the indictment, the members of the cell trained in a farm in Kafr Manda owned by the attorney. They learned how to ride horses and how to prepare Molotov cocktails and purchased sheep to slaughter them as part of their training...

Please God, Don’t Let Us Get Audited: IRS Is Scaring The Hell Out Of Churches ...Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, works with churches across the country on how to avoid violating tax laws. He said that fear of the IRS prevents many pastors from speaking their minds on political issues.

The IRS recently said that it currently has 99 churches under high priority investigation, Stanley said.

“The problem with the vagueness of the law is exacerbated by the spotty enforcement, and basically unequal and sometimes selective prosecution that’s gone on,” Stanley told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The IRS will go after certain groups and other groups, but not other groups and there’s no explanation given for why that seems to be that case.”

In the case of Branch Ministries vs. Rossotti, the IRS went after a church that put an ad in USA Today telling Christians not to vote for Bill Clinton. Stanley said that for their defense they submitted hundreds of pages of newspaper articles of churches doing the same thing who were not prosecuted, demonstrating a long history of seemingly arbitrary enforcement...

Challies: Lessons from 50 Shades of Grey
The trailer is smoldering temptingly on computers around the globe. Fans of the book are checking their diaries and booking tickets online. Reviewers are readying their pens and preparing their remarks. In just a few short days 50 Shades of Grey will hit the big screen, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

On one level, this is just another in a long line of films with a storyline that portrays sex and relationships in ways far removed from God’s design. But it is so much more than that. I believe that 50 Shades of Grey can serve as a kind of cultural barometer that alerts us to the colossal changes that have been occurring in recent years, and to the consequences they bring.

So what can the 50 Shades phenomenon teach us today? I teamed up with Helen Thorne, who has written Purity Is Possible: How To Live Free of the Fantasy Trap, and together we prepared 7 lessons from 50 Shades of Grey...

Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from the Child of a Loving Gay Parent  ... If it is undisputed social science that children suffer greatly when they are abandoned by their biological parents, when their parents divorce, when one parent dies, or when they are donor-conceived, then how can it be possible that they are miraculously turning out “even better!” when raised in same-sex-headed households? Every child raised by “two moms” or “two dads” came to that household via one of those four traumatic methods. Does being raised under the rainbow miraculously wipe away all the negative effects and pain surrounding the loss and daily deprivation of one or both parents? The more likely explanation is that researchers are feeling the same pressure as the rest of us feel to prove that they love their gay friends...

Conger: The Church of England Is Not Dead Yet, The Economist Reports ...The Church of England, like the old man in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is not dead yet. Granted, it is not at all well. A steady decline of a hundred years or so is not an indicator of health, but a report last week in The Economist shows some signs of life.

The article in the January 17, 2015, print edition entitled London supplies England with wealth, culture—and, increasingly, Christians” reports on the church-planting movement within the Church of England. Unlike many press accounts of the CoE, which predict its imminent demise, the editorial line of The Economist article favors its subject matter.

There is nothing in this story about women bishops, homosexuality, liberal politics, naughty vicars or any of the usual fodder for CoE articles. In some ways I am surprised by this piece, as it could have been printed in a religious newspaper or magazine. The assumptions and attitudes it displays value the church and its mission. Overall this is a very nicely done story, yet I wonder if The Economist could have pushed a bit harder. Were they too respectful?

The article reports on St. Peter’s Church in Brighton and its vicar and his wife, Steve and Jodi Luke, and the remarkable growth the church has experienced...

Madden simulation accurately predicts Super Bowl XLIX score
Madden NFL 15's simulation of Super Bowl XLIX proved to be strikingly accurate.

In the Madden simulation, the Seahawks led 24-14 in the third quarter following a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run, but the Patriots dug deep and came storming back to win 28-24.

Sound familiar?

In the real Super Bowl, the Seahawks also led 24-14 in the third quarter, albeit after a Doug Baldwin touchdown catch. But the Patriots still came back to win 28-24 after a Julian Edelman touchdown catch...


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