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College Alters Speech Policy After Christian Student Sues for Barring Campus Preaching

By Heather Clark HAMPTON, Va. – A community college in Virginia has altered its free speech policy after Christian student was barred from preaching on campus without prior approval. As previously reported, Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) student Christian Parks had filed suit against the university earlier this year after experiencing difficulty in publicly preaching the gospel on campus. Parks has spoken on four different occasions in the college courtyard, discussing God’s existence and proclaiming Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. However, the third time Parks preached the gospel in the campus courtyard, he was confronted by three uniformed police officers from the TNCC Police Department. The officers ordered Parks to stop preaching. Though Parks thought the officers’ actions were unconstitutional, he complied with their order. A few days later, Parks began preaching in the same courtyard for the fourth time. Once again, campus police officers silenced him, according to the lawsuit filed by the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of the student. Following the second encounter with police, Parks asked TNCC administrators why he was not allowed to preach on the school’s campus. He was told that, in order to engage in open-air preaching, he would first have to join a …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Week 23, One Year Bible Challenge: “A New Church”

By Tom Truex Christ the Rock Community Church, Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study This week’s reading June 4 – 101 Judgement of Solomon (1649), by Nicolas Poussin 2 Samuel 22:1 – 1 Kings 7:51Acts 2:1 – 7:50Psalm 122:1 – 128:6Proverbs 16:19 – 16:33 Next Week’s Reading June 11 – 171 Kings 8:1 – 18:46Acts 7:51 – 11:30Psalm 129:1 – 135:21Proverbs 17:1-13 Discussion Questions:Old Testament Why was it a sin for David to take the census? 1 Kings 4:26 says, “Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.” Is this the correct number of horses, and was Solomon breaking the prohibition on the king “multiplying horses” found in Deuteronomy 17:16? New Testament Ananias, and his wife, Sapphira, both dropped dead when confronted with the fact that they held back part of the profit from the sale of their property. Why was their punishment so severe? <a target=_blank href="http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Acts+5%3A1-11" title="ESV Acts 5:1-11" …read more Source: K_Line Christian Online (ReadTheWholeBible.com)     ...
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Southern Baptists to Ponder Declining Membership, Homosexuality & Transgenderism

By Heather Clark NASHVILLE – Southern Baptists will ponder a number of items for discussion at its annual meeting on June 10-11 in Baltimore, including decreasing membership, how to handle congregations that accept homosexuality and the push for transgender accommodation. A recent report released by LifeWay Christian Resources, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, notes that Southern Baptist membership declined for the seventh year in 2013, down to 15.7 million from 15.9 million the year prior. Weekly attendance also decreased more than two percent, while the number of congregations increased to 46,125. “I am grieved we are clearly losing our evangelistic effectiveness,” stated LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer in a news release announcing the annual report results. In the meantime, the Southern Baptist Convention may also consider what to do about congregations that decided to support homosexuality, contrary to the Convention’s biblical beliefs. As previously reported, New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California recently announced that its leaders had agreed to keep their current “pastor” after he came out in support of homosexual behavior. The congregation was also to be re-categorized as “Third Way,” meaning that it would be more open on the issue of homosexuality and identified as neither …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Mother ‘Shocked’ and ‘in Tears’ Over Sexually-Charged School Awards Ceremony

By Heather Clark BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A mother in Washington says that she is ‘shocked’ and ‘in tears’ after attending a profanity-laced and sexually-charged awards ceremony at her daughter’s local high school. The unidentified mother told local television station KOMO that she eventually walked out of the event held on Sunday at Bellingham High School. She states that was outraged that the program was filled with profanity, filthy jokes and inappropriate awards during the ceremony, overseen by teacher Teri Grimes, 62. “I sat there with my mouth open in shock, and the final straw was when a joke was told on stage about a teacher, a lawyer and a priest on a plane,” the mother wrote in an email to the outlet. “The plane was going down and the teacher says we have to save the children. The attorney says ‘F*** the children!’ and the priest says ‘Oooh … Do we have time for that?’” She also stated that some of the awards were inappropriate, such as “the horniest stud” and “the horniest girl.” One prize was a box of condoms. “We need to get the word out there that this is the kind of trash that is being taught in our schools,” the mother, who wishes …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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The Fourteenth Chapter: Consider the Hidden Judgments of God Lest You Become Proud of Your Own Good Deeds

By TomTruex The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à KempisBOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSOLATIONThe Fourteenth Chapter: Consider the Hidden Judgments of God Lest You Become Proud of Your Own Good Deeds Deeds The Disciple YOU thunder forth Your judgments over me, Lord. You shake all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul is very much afraid. I stand in awe as I consider that the heavens are not pure in Your sight. If You found wickedness in the angels and did not spare them, what will become of me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and I–I who am but dust–how can I be presumptuous? They whose deeds seemed worthy of praise have fallen into the depths, and I have seen those who ate the bread of angels delighting themselves with the husks of swine. There is no holiness, then, if You withdraw Your hand, Lord. There is no wisdom if You cease to guide, no courage if You cease to defend. No chastity is secure if You do not guard it. Our vigilance avails nothing if Your holy watchfulness does not protect us. Left to ourselves we sink and perish, but visited by You we are lifted up and live. We are truly …read more Source: Imitate Christ     ...
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Boko Haram Islamists Slaughter Hundreds in Nigeria

By Editor MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three villages in northeastern Nigeria and the military failed to intervene even though it was warned that an attack was imminent, witnesses said on Thursday. A community leader who witnessed the killings on Monday said residents of the Gwoza local government district in Borno state had pleaded for the military to send soldiers to protect the area after they heard that militants were about to attack, but help didn’t arrive. The killings occurred in Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara. “We all thought they were the soldiers that we earlier reported to that the insurgents might attack us,” said a community leader who escaped the massacre and fled to Maiduguri, Borno state capital. Continue Reading This Story >> …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Southern Baptist ‘Church’ Votes to Keep Pro-Homosexual Minister, Go ‘Third Way’

By Garrett Haley LA MIRADA, Calif. – The leaders of a Southern Baptist congregation in southern California have voted to not dismiss their ‘pastor,’ despite recently stunning his congregation in announcing from the pulpit that he believes homosexual behavior is not a sin. Danny Cortez leads New Heart Community Church—a small congregation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Last year, Cortez concluded that he no longer agreed with the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and was instead “gay affirming.” In a letter to a Patheos blogger, Cortez further explained that his 15-year-old son came out as “gay” soon after he changed his mind on the homosexuality issue. When his son first broke the news, Cortez emotionally congratulated him. “My heart skipped a beat and I turned towards him and we gave one another the biggest and longest hug as we cried,” Cortez wrote. “And all I could tell him was that I loved him so much and that I accepted him just as he is.” Several months later, in a February 9 sermon, Cortez surprised the New Heart Community Church congregation by announcing his pro-homosexual position. Cortez shared his personal belief that “the body of Christ is segregated every Sunday between gay affirming and non-gay affirming” …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Principal Circumvents Graduation Prayer Ban with ‘God is Still Important’ Speech

By Heather Clark LEBANON, Mo. – The principal of a high school in Missouri recently circumvented a ban on graduation prayer by speaking about the history of God in public life during his recent address to graduates. Lebanon High School Principal Kevin Lowery exhorted students during the May 23rd commencement ceremony at the Cowan Civil Center to remember that “God is still important” in the face of being prohibited to pray during the event. “In one of the most famous sentences in American History, taken from our Declaration of Independence, reads, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,’” Lowery said in opening the gathering. “This passage has come to represent a moral standard to which the United States should always strive.” “And even though God is reflected in the very fabric of our nation, we are told that it is inappropriate and even illegal to mention God at high school graduations, let alone say a prayer,” he continued. Lowery then decried that it “would not be politically correct” for him to lead the room in prayer as he asked …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian Student Sues University for Banning Flyers Warning Against ‘Mother God’ Cult

By Heather Clark LAWTON, Okla. – A public university in Oklahoma is facing a federal lawsuit after it reportedly banned a Christian student from distributing flyers that warned about an organization that he considered to be a cult. The Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) recently filed suit against Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma after officials stopped student Daniel Harper from handing out flyers regarding the World Mission Society. “Campus cult alert,” the flyers, distributed at the university in February, read. “The ‘Mother God’ cult is out in full force.” “They use the Bible, but twist and bend Scriptures to fit their ‘master’s’ teachings,” the handouts continued. “They want to recruit, isolate and indoctrinate new members, in turn teaching them to do the same. It is mind control. … Be alert and leary…” According to Harper, an unidentified student complained to the university about the content of his flyers, which prompted Cameron officials to approach Harper about the matter. He was then informed that he could not distribute the materials because other students found them to be offensive, and because he did not obtain prior approval from the university. ADF states that Equal Opportunity Official Thomas Russell also accused Harper of libel, and asserted that he was …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Group Urges Christians to Reject New U.S. Stamp Celebrating First ‘Gay’ Govt. Official

By Heather Clark TUPELO, Miss. – A well-known Christian organization that regularly alerts the public to moral matters of concern is urging Christians to reject a new stamp released by the United States Postal Service in honor of the first homosexual to hold government office. The American Family Association (AFA), headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, is asking Christians nationwide to avoid purchasing the stamp, which features homosexual icon Harvey Milk. The Postal Service recently unveiled the stamp through a national press release, and also held a “first day of issue” ceremony at the White House, as well as a dedication ceremony in San Francisco. “Harvey Milk was a visionary leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977,” the Postal Service wrote in its announcement regarding the new stamp. “Milk’s achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination,” it continued. “Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services.” Milk was assassinated a year after taking office by …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Texans Protest School District for Nixing Student Vote to Pray at Graduation

By Heather Clark ODESSA, Texas – A number of Texas residents protested their local school district on Monday after officials decided to make prayer optional at its upcoming graduation ceremony, nixing the senior class’ vote to have prayer at the event. The Ector County Independent School District announced on Friday that it was changing its invocation and benediction to an “opening and closing,” and would randomly select two students who can decide how to use the time—whether in prayer or not. According to reports, district officials had been contacted by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which threatened a lawsuit if the prayer portion of the graduation was not amended. “The school district had a policy of having the students vote on whether or not to have a prayer at the graduations or not. This was in clear violation of a U.S. Supreme Court case,” said Americans United (AU) Associate Legal Director Alex Luchenitser told Permian Basin 360. The district said that it had to adjust the policy, even though many board members professed to be Christians, due its agreement with AU that the practice violated Supreme Court precedent. “Some of the finest Christian people I’ve ever met work in this building right here and …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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National Park Service Initiative Seeks to ‘Celebrate and Intepret LGBT Heritage’

By Garrett Haley NEW YORK – The U.S. National Park Service has announced an initiative to commemorate locations which played significant roles in the rise of homosexuality across the country. On Friday, the National Park Service unveiled a nationwide “theme study” to explore places and events associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement. According to a Friday press release, the study “is part of a broader initiative under the Obama Administration to ensure that the National Park Service reflects and tells a more complete story of the people and events responsible for building this nation.” “Over the next 12 to 18 months, the National Park Service will work with scholars to explore ways to celebrate and interpret LGBT heritage,” the release states. The National Park Service initiative will spotlight important locations in the pro-homosexual movement. “The goals of the heritage initiative include: engaging scholars, preservationists and community members to identify, research, and tell the stories of LGBT associated properties; encouraging national parks, national heritage areas, and other affiliated areas to interpret LGBT stories associated with them; identifying, documenting, and nominating LGBT-associated sites as national historic landmarks; and increasing the number of listings of LGBT-associated properties in the National Register of Historic Places,” …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Legendary Coach Axed from Graduation Over Complaints About Religious Speech

By Heather Clark WINFIELD, WV – A legendary football coach has been axed from his tradition of speaking at his local high school’s graduation ceremony due to complaints over his past references to religion in his speech. Leon McCoy is considered a legend at Winfield High School in West Virginia, where his team won 41 consecutive games and maintained a 213-68-1 record. McCoy, now retired, has spoken at Winfield High School’s graduation every year for the past several years, but this year, he was not invited back. “I’m disappointed,” he told local television station WCHS-TV. “I hate to go out this way.” Principal Bruce McGrew said that he received complaints about McCoy’s speech last year, asserting that the coach was violating the separation of church and state by mentioning God in his address. While he did not like cutting McCoy from the ceremony, McGrew felt that he had to comply with the law. “There were complaints on me allowing prayer and so forth. Unfortunately, the law says we can’t do that,” he told the Charleston Daily Mail. “I don’t like it and by no means agree with it. … It’s a difficult situation when I am forced to do something as part of my job.” “I knew it …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian Group Urges Obama to Provide Safe Haven to Persecuted Sudanese Woman

By Heather Clark WASHINGTON – A nationally-recognized Christian organization is urging the Obama administration to provide a safe haven to a Sudanese woman who was recently sentenced to death for refusing to convert to Islam, but is reportedly expected to be freed. As previously reported, Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was officially sentenced on May 15th after she was convicted of apostasy against Islam for professing to be an Orthodox Christian. Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father, but was raised by an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother as the father left the home when Ibrahim was a child. In Sudan, children are expected to follow the religion of their fathers, and her father’s family had reportedly turned her into authorities for rejecting Islam. Ibrahim was also sentenced to 100 lashes for allegedly committing “zena”—that is, having illegitimate sex by marrying a non-Muslim. The expectant mother married a professing Christian man, Daniel Wani, in 2011, and the two have an 18-month old son together, along with the child in Ibrahim’s womb. Sudanese law prohibits women from marrying non-Muslims, although men can marry whomever they wish without penalty. Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy on May 11th for rejecting Islam and was given four days to recant, which would …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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HHS Board Rules Medicare Must Cover Sex Change Operations

By Garrett Haley SAN FRANCISCO – In an unprecedented decision, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services board decided that Medicare funds should be used to pay for ‘sex reassignment’ surgeries. Prior to Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refused to pay for individuals’ sex-change operations through Medicare. The department held that the surgeries were not medically necessary and thus should not be sponsored by the federal government. However, an HHS review board reversed this position last Friday, saying sex reassignment surgeries—which can cost as much as $50,000—are legitimate medical operations and should be funded by Medicare. Supporters of “transgender rights” described the ruling as a landmark decision which struck down an outdated ban. “ was based on information from 1981,” Leslie Cooper, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told MSNBC. “As the decision of the board explained, the science has evolved significantly since 1981. The scientific consensus among the medical community is that this treatment is medically necessary for people with gender dysphoria.” Denee Mallon An administrative challenge from Denee Mallon led to the HHS ruling. Mallon, a 74-year-old Army veteran in Albuquerque, New Mexico, considers himself a woman and demanded that the government fund his …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Superintendent Disagrees that Christian Prayers at Vet Event Violated District Policy

By Heather Clark ASHEVILLE, N.C. – A school superintendent in North Carolina is expressing his disagreement with his colleagues that Christian prayers presented at a recent veteran’s event violated the district’s religion policy. As previously reported, the North Buncombe High School Band Boosters hosted the ceremony last weekend as a kick-off to its “Field of Honor” flag display in honor of those who have served in the U.S. military. According to reports, the event also served as a fundraiser for the band’s goal to travel to Hawaii to perform at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. The event, which was held off school property, was organized by the band boosters and attendance was voluntary. However, because the event included prayers that referenced the name of Jesus, some students and at least one parent lodged a complaint to school officials. Local Pastor Jim Dykes presented both and invocation and a benediction at the ceremony. North Buncombe Principal Jack Evans stated that he heard a complaint from one student, as well as a mother who identifies as a pagan. “Basically she felt like it was inclusive of only one religion,” he told the Citizen-Times. “With it being a school event, even though it was off campus and on …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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U.S. Navy Denies Atheist’s Application to Become Military Chaplain

By Heather Clark WASHINGTON – The United States Navy has denied an application from an outspoken atheist who sought to become a chaplain to the Godless in the military. As previously reported, 38-year-old Jason Heap submitted his application last July, noting that he had earned master’s degrees from both Oxford University and Brite Divinity School, with substantial experience in human resources. He also successfully completed the necessary paperwork and all the required physical tests. Heap told reporters at that time that a position as chaplain would be a chance for him “to give back to my country.” “As both a humanist and a scholar of religion, I have a deep knowledge and understanding of world religions,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “My purpose and focus as a chaplain will be for holistic well-being of anyone who is in need of pastoral care.” Many had objected to Heap’s application, calling the notion of an atheist chaplain as being absurd. “When it comes to the idea of an atheist chaplain, which is an oxymoron—it’s self-contradictory—what you’re really doing is now saying that we’re going to replace true chaplains with non-chaplain chaplains,” Louisiana Rep. John Fleming (R) said. “It’s just total nonsense, the idea of having a chaplain who …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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The Thirteenth Chapter: The Obedience of One Humbly Subject to the Example of Jesus Christ

By TomTruex The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à KempisBOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSOLATIONThe Thirteenth Chapter: The Obedience of One Humbly Subject to the Example of Jesus Christ The Voice of Christ MY CHILD, he who attempts to escape obeying withdraws himself from grace. Likewise he who seeks private benefits for himself loses those which are common to all. He who does not submit himself freely and willingly to his superior, shows that his flesh is not yet perfectly obedient but that it often rebels and murmurs against him. Learn quickly, then, to submit yourself to your superior if you wish to conquer your own flesh. For the exterior enemy is more quickly overcome if the inner man is not laid waste. There is no more troublesome, no worse enemy of the soul than you yourself, if you are not in harmony with the spirit. It is absolutely necessary that you conceive a true contempt for yourself if you wish to be victorious over flesh and blood. Because you still love yourself too inordinately, you are afraid to resign yourself wholly to the will of others. Is it such a great matter if you, who are but dust and nothingness, subject …read more Source: Imitate Christ     ...
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Sudanese Woman Sentenced to Hang for Refusing to Convert to Islam to be Freed

By Heather Clark KHARTOUM, Sudan – A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death by hanging for refusing to convert to Islam will soon be freed, reports state. As previously reported, Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was officially sentenced on May 15th after she was convicted of apostasy against Islam for professing to be an Orthodox Christian. Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father, but was raised by an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother as the father left the home when Ibrahim was a child. In Sudan, children are expected to follow the religion of their fathers, and her father’s family had reportedly turned her into authorities for rejecting Islam. Ibrahim was also sentenced to 100 lashes for allegedly committing “zena”—that is, having illegitimate sex by marrying a non-Muslim. The expectant mother married a professing Christian man, Daniel Wani, in 2011, and the two have an 18-month old son together, along with the child in Ibrahim’s womb. Sudanese law prohibits women from marrying non-Muslims, although men can marry whomever they wish without penalty. Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy on May 11th for rejecting Islam and was given four days to recant, which would have saved her life. Unlike others who have faced similar sentences in Sudan, she …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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World Cup Prompts Public Christian Witness Against Child Sex Abuse

By RNS RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) As Brazil counts down to the opening of the World Cup on June 12, churches in cities hosting the international soccer tournament are not content to sit on the sidelines and cheer. They’ve launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the hundreds of vulnerable children at risk of sexual exploitation during the monthlong competition. With an estimated 600,000 soccer fans expected to arrive in Brazil within a matter of days, the South American nation is under pressure to combat its international reputation as a destination for child sex tourism. Church leaders fear the heavy flow of tourists during the games could fuel an explosion of sexual trafficking of children and teens at fan fest locations around the World Cup arenas. Thousands of youngsters will be on school holidays during the event, and the risks of exposure to criminal gangs and predatory individuals is significantly higher. According to UNICEF, an estimated 250,000 children are sexually abused every year in Brazil and the numbers spike around major sporting events. Research from Childhood Brazil, a human rights organization designed to protect children, shows sex crimes against children increased by 66 percent during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and by 28 percent …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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