CBN News: Trump's Historic Visit to Israel a 'Game Changer'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted President Donald Trump for a visit Monday that both men described as exceptionally warm.  Following their private meeting, the men emerged and gave public comments. "We had a terrific discussion today and when I say terrific, it encompasses everything," said the prime minister. He expressed his appreciation for Trump and his strong stance on issues like getting rid of the Iran nuclear deal and combating radical terrorism, noting a major difference between Trump and former President Barack Obama. "For the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change," Netanyahu remarked. Trump called Netanyahu a "great friend" and ally, though he stopped short of promising to rip up the Iran nuclear deal. He was also silent on the controversial two-state solution, which some tout as the way to bring lasting peace to the Middle East.....
CBN News: Texas Governor Signs New Law Protecting Pastors
Texas Governor Greg Abbot is taking a huge step to defend religious liberty.  Surrounded by pastors at Grace Church, near Houston, Texas, he ceremoniously signed SB24 into law today. The law protects pastors from being prosecuted for their statements from the pulpit."SB24 will give pastors critical protection from forced testimony and shield sermons from government subpoena power," said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.....
Prophecy News Watch: Jewish Sanhedrin Challenge To Trump: Pray At Temple Mount
....The Sanhedrin, a group of prominent rabbinical leaders who re-formed the ancient body of Jewish judges which was once the legislative body of Israel, said President Trump would help the cause of world peace by praying at the sacred location of the Temple Mount. They're not the only ones encouraging Trump to take such a step......
Christian Post:  Turkey Accuses Imprisoned American Pastor of Giving 'Special' Sermons to Kurds, Report Says
Imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson faces new accusations from Turkish prosecutors, even after President Donald Trump pressed for the pastor's release days earlier....
Forward: Jewish Mystics Hope Trump’s Israel Visit Might ‘Raise The Temple’
.... To some, Trump's triumph was so unlikely that there was only one way to explain in — God played a part. “President Trump can choose to be a part of a process to bring the Messiah,” Rabbi Hillel Weiss told Breaking Israel News, a religious website in Israel.....
FiveThirtyEight:  Way More Americans May Be Atheists Than We Thought
....The number of atheists in the U.S. is still a matter of considerable debate. Recent surveys have found that only about one in 10 Americans report that they do not believe in God, and only about 3 percent identify as atheist. But a new study suggests that the true number of atheists could be much larger, perhaps even 10 times larger than previously estimated.....
First Things: A Note on the Kentucky Religious Freedom Decision
.... The real problem for Judge Taylor and the complainants lies in Adamson’s basic religious objection to same-sex practice. That’s the actual target: a belief, a faith that will not bow to sexual progressivism. It’s more just for a religious believer to compromise his lifelong obedience to God and the church than it is for a customer to drive to another location to obtain a service. In other words, Judge Taylor does not take religious vows seriously, but he takes the sensitivity of LGBT groups very, very seriously......
Christian Zionists Urge Trump To Keep His Promise On Moving Embassy To Jerusalem
Lifesite: Woman Dies After Botched Transgender ‘Sex Change’ Surgery
A woman in the last phase of “gender assignment” died Tuesday of complications from surgery, one of the last procedures in her effort to “transition” to the male sex.
Christian News Net: U.S. Religious Freedom Report Finds 'Worsening' Conditions Worldwide
Christian Post: Armageddon in Iraq? US Pastor Details ISIS Destruction of Christian City
With churches destroyed and desecrated, crosses distorted, and Jesus statues beheaded by ISIS, it looks as if "Armageddon" happened in Qaraqosh, said a U.S. pastor who recently visited the formerly thriving Christian city in Iraq's Nineveh Plain.
Virginia Sheriff Ordered to Remove ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ Decals From Police Cruisers
One NewsNow: Evangelical Leaders Question Hanegraaff's New Faith
...Dr. Richard Land does believe one can be Eastern Orthodox and a Christian.
Christian Pastor's Home, Church Burned Down in Southern India
Hindu nationalists in southern India burned down a church and the home of its pastor after some high "caste" Hindus converted to Christianity and joined the church.
Michael Brown: Four Reasons Trump's Saudi Arabia Speech Was Important
Although President Trump's speech before 50 Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia did not break new ground in terms of America's Middle Eastern policy, it was significant for at least four reasons.
Cloud:The Emerging Church— The 21st Century Face of New Evangelicalsim
The emerging church is simply the twenty-first century face of New Evangelicalism. Andy Crouch calls the emerging church “post-evangelicalism.” He says: “The emerging movement is a protest against much of evangelicalism as currently practiced. It is post-evangelical in the.......
CBN News Op-Ed: Are Trump's Promises to Israel Foretold In the Bible?
....Sooner or later, all the nations of the world are going to unite against Israel. In 1948, none of Israel's Arab neighbors accepted the U.N. partition. Instead, they attacked the nascent Jewish state, confident they would be victorious. They weren't...As the nation prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, the nations of the world are calling on it to cede Judea and Samaria and re-divide Jerusalem, not a winning proposition from Israel's point of view. It's not a little ironic that the man who campaigned on a pro-Israel platform may turn out to be God's chosen vessel to bring the Jewish state to the point that He steps in to defend her....
Gallup— Only 24% of Americans Believe the Bible Is the Literal Word of God
A new Gallup poll shows that only 24% of Americans believe the Bible is the “literal word” of God, which is a decline from the 1970s, but the survey also shows that the number of Americans who think the Bible is the “inspired word” of God, 47%, has stayed pretty steady over the last 40 years.....
Thom Rainer: Five Reasons Church Members Attend Church Less Frequently
About 20 years ago, a church member was considered active in the church if he or she attended three times a week. Today, a church member is considered active in the church if he or she attends three times a month. Some- thing is wrong with this picture. For 2,000 years, the local church, as messy as it is, has been God’s place for believers to gather, worship, minister, and be accountable to one another......
WEEKEND EDITION May 20th, 2017
The Long DelayWill the US Embassy Ever Move to Jerusalem?
More than 60 influential U.S. Christian leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there. But a White House official told Reuters though President Trump wants to move the embassy to Jerusalem, he won't do it now since he feels it would complicate a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.  It was a campaign promise candidate Donald Trump stated over and over. "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem," he frequently said on the campaign trail, inevitably to resounding applause. But when President Trump visits Israel, he won't fulfill that promise. It's yet another chapter in American's long diplomatic history in the Holy Land.....
NPR: Wading Into Murky Waters, Trump Trip To Advocate Religious Unity
Donald Trump's first overseas trip as president began Friday with a pilgrimage of sorts. With stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, Trump will be visiting the centers of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the three major monotheistic religions. But he's wading into deep waters with potential for missteps and disagreement. He'll meet with Muslim leaders despite declaring that "Islam hates us" during the campaign; he'll meet with Pope Francis, who advocates for countries to be welcoming to refugees.....
Israel Today: Israeli President— Christians Are Our Brothers
Israel President Reuven Rivlin said during a meeting with church leaders in Jerusalem that Christians and Jews are “brothers.” Rivlin invited the heads of the various churches in Jerusalem to his official residence on the occasion of Easter.... Will Trump Pick Brownback For Religious Freedom Role?
Gov. Sam Brownback’s name has been floated by religious leaders in recent weeks as a possible pick for an ambassadorship focused on promoting religious liberty worldwide. The position, which was established in 1998, is relatively obscure compared to some of the positions the two-term governor and former U.S. senator was rumored to be in the running for after Trump’s election, but religious organizations that have been pushing for a swift appointment say it’s critically important to the goal of world peace......
Texas Attorney General Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Against Judge Sued Over Chaplain-Presented Prayers
The attorney general of Texas has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against a judge who was sued by a prominent professing atheist organization over his practice of opening court with a chaplain-presented prayer. “The lawsuit against Judge Mack is an affront to religious liberty and yet another attempt to push religious expression from public life,” Ken Paxton said......
Wives of Imprisoned Chinese Rights Activists Detail Their Husbands' Torture, Persecution
The wives of Chinese human rights lawyers imprisoned and tortured by the government in China detailed their husbands' experiences and told members of Congress Thursday that families are also being persecuted by the Chinese government.
CBN News: Protestors Rally for Jakarta's Christian Governor
Christian Post: Actor Steve McQueen Was Found Clutching Billy Graham's Bible When He Died, Greg Laurie Says
Hollywood icon Steve McQueen, who accepted Christ months before he was diagnosed with fatal cancer, died clutching legendary evangelist Billy Graham's Bible, California pastor Greg Laurie's new book on the salvation of the "King of Cool" explains.
Evangelical Focus: Romania Close to Ban on Same-Sex 'Marriage'
The Romanian Chamber of Deputies has voted in favor of a proposal to amend the Constitution to ensure that marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman.
'I Can't Take Christ Off Like a Sweater,' Says Christian Woman Penalized for Religious Beliefs
A number of American Christian business owners and professionals have spoken out about their need for religious freedom and to be protected from anti-LGBT discrimination lawsuits, arguing that they cannot simply put away their faith at work.
Breitbart: Planned Parenthood Clinics Closing Rapidly
Despite increases in taxpayer funding and donations from celebrities, Planned Parenthood facilities are closing rapidly throughout the country due to financial problems.
CNS News: Franklin Graham: 'All Churches Should Pull Out of the Boy Scouts Organization'
Ancient Origins: From Christendom to EuropeHow a Continent Got Its Identity Secular Brits Now Outnumber Christians, But Islam and Hinduism Are Growing
In 1983, the number of Anglicans accounted for 40 percent of Britain’s population. The research also shows a spike in the number of ‘nonverts’, namely people who have been brought up believing in a certain religion, but who have turned to be non-religious.
Unlocking the Bible: Six Things to Know About God’s Wrath
....This theme of the wrath (or anger) of God toward sin and sinners is clearly and widely taught in the Bible. This truth is so interwoven with the hope of our peace with one another and with God that if we lose our grasp on the one, we lose our hope of the other.....
David Cloud: Early Baptists Required Faithful Church Attendance
Church members today often display an amazingly cavalier attitude toward church attendance. It is not uncommon for churches that run 200 in attendance on Sunday mornings to have half or less of that number back on Sunday night and even fewer for the mid-week service. Church membership was treated much more seriously in Baptist churches four hundred years ago. ....
Puder:Revisiting the Six Day War
Even secular non-believing Israelis considered the hand of God in this war. 
June 5th, 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel vanquished the Arab armies arrayed against it.  Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon were the main combatants, but others also took part in the war as auxiliaries... I was  a young draftee facing a war on an Israeli airbase.....
Tony Reinke: Your Phone Is Changing You 
“Are you using your phone, or is your phone using you? Can you put it down? Can you turn it off?” These were the blunt rhetorical questions asked by Denzel Washington in a recent interview with BBC television...The question is not merely rhetorical. We feel the changes inside of us. We all know that the more addicted we become to our phones, the more prone we are to all sorts of psychological and physiological consequences. ....
Cuban Pastor Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Homeschooling His Children 
A Cuban pastor has been sentenced to one year in prison for homeschooling his children, and his wife has been ordered to spend a year under house arrest. “This is a great injustice,” Ramón Rigal told the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. “They are trying to force us to send our children only to state schools—not having the option for the children to be taught at home. They should respect the right that parents have  to teach their children and to respect their faith and the right to homeschool.”.....
Russell Moore: In Defense of the Unspoken Prayer Request
...Lord knows we need lots of things changed in American Christian culture, but the unspoken prayer request isn’t one of them...The person who asks for a request that is “unspoken,” though, is almost always someone genuinely grappling with a burden or a dilemma. The burden is so great that he or she doesn’t even feel ready to talk about what that burden is. Why would we not want that?....
FRIDAY EDITION May 19th, 2017
Daily Signal:Why North Korea's Latest Missile Launch Should Worry Washington
....Saturday’s successful launch means Pyongyang’s quest to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile is progressing more quickly than previously thought. This January, analysts greeted with skepticism Kim Jong Un’s claim that he had an ICBM in the “late stages of development.” There are far fewer skeptics today. Saturday’s launch may have been the missile’s maiden test flight. .
USA Today: Franklin Graham Says Christians Are Under Attack, and Should Not Hesitate To Engage In Politics
Evangelist Franklin Graham said he believes Christianity has been attacked and marginalized by “anti-Christ” media and a liberal government and that it is time for Christians to become more active in politics.....
Star-Tribune: More Folks Over 50 Are 'Shacking Up'
....The number of people over 50 who cohabit with an unmarried partner jumped 75 percent from 2007 to 2016, the Pew Research Center reported last month — the highest increase in any age group. “It was a striking finding,” said Renee Stepler, a Pew research analyst. ...
West Coast Seismic Activity Raise Concerns of Possible Earthquakes
Mt St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Hood are all major volcanoes that lie along the infamous “Ring of Fire” that runs down the west coast of the United States, and all of the seismic activity that has been taking place in the region has many concerned about what may happen next.....
Christian Post:Cuban Pastor, Wife Sentenced to Jail for Homeschooling Their Children; Advocates Demand Asylum
A Cuban evangelical pastor was sentenced to prison because he removed his kids from the state-run communist schools to homeschool them. Homeschooling advocates are calling upon the Trump administration to grant them asylum in the United States.....
Pro-Gay Theresa May Insists Anglicans Should Not Be Forced to Perform Gay Marriages
British Prime Minister Theresa May, a Christian and a vicar's daughter, said that the Church of England should not be forced to perform gay marriages if it does not want to, despite her personal acceptance of homosexuality.....
Samuel Emadi: Why You Will Join the Wrong Church
.... Christians most often push eject on their membership not because they’re upset at the church’s budget or because they disagree on matters of polity. Instead, Christians leave their churches for the same reason people leave their marriages: a lack of relational depth and affection. .
 Josh Buice: Three Errors of the 'Word of Faith' Preaching
....Today, the Word of Faith movement is large—and is the prominent flavor of theology found on the popular Trinity Broadcasting Network.  When you hear popular voices like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer speak, they are employing the tactics of the Word of Faith system.....
Don Johnson:Learning From 'Last Century’s Fundamentalists'
....The fractured state of Christendom is getting more fractured by the hour in today’s world. One wonders how this state of things appears to the lost world, and how effective our proclamation of truth can be to them. The church is in such a mess, how can the lost be assured of the right version of the gospel story? No wonder post-modernism reigns in so many hearts and minds.....
Mosque Takes Over Pentecostal Church as Pastor Prays to Allah
Enormous Underwater Structure in the Sea of Galilee is a Mystery to Archaeologists
Jerusalem Mayor: Move US Embassy, Regardless of Possible Violence
'Bible Answer Man' Says Tumors Have Spread Throughout Body
The Holy Sites That Trump Will Visit: Why This Matters
Trump Admin. Expands Pro-Life Policy to Ensure No Taxpayer Funds for Abortion Overseas
Christian Geologist Sues Nat Park Service for Denying Request For Research In Grand Canyon
British Town in Revolt After Local Church Bans Yoga Because It Is ‘Non-Christian’
Churchgoers in Wales have threatened to boycott a church after it banned yoga from its building, claiming it’s “non Christian.” ...A part of St David’s Church, in the Welsh town of Blaenporth, is currently being converted into a community center following the residents’ complaints that the town lacked facilities for activities. Local people, however, were outraged that the Church’s administration decided that, while pilates would be allowed in the center, yoga will be prohibited – together with other “non-Christian activities”, The Telegraph reported. ....
Eric Metaxas: Russia's Crackdown on Religious Minorities
Russia's ongoing persecution of religious minorities — including evangelicals — and of missionaries and evangelists over the last year has earned it a place for the first time among the world's worst countries for religious liberty....
Cloud: The Church’s Atmosphere of Charity
Charity is a “fundamental” and an “essential” of a New Testament church.  Love is the essence of God’s character. He does not merely have love; He is love (1 Jn. 4:8). Love is of God (1 Jn. 4:7). All love flows from Him. When parents long for their children to love one another, that is just a little snippet of God’s Father heart. Love is the essence of God’s commandments (Ro. 13:8-10). Love is the royal law (Jas. 2:8). God’s kingdom is a........
Thomas Overmiller: A Spectator In Your Church
Are you a spectator in your own church? What I mean to ask is whether you watch what’s going on or whether you participate. Perhaps you are like many believers, adopting the mistaken idea that church is a place to go on Sunday, when its convenient. And when you go, you sit down to observe what’s going on. While there, you might engage in some small talk with a handful of other people who treat church the same way. And if........
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