Baby captured smiling in the womb by ultrasound

The Telegraph reports:

Little bundle of joy Leo David Hargreaves could just be the cheeriest baby in the country, according to his parents. Not only does the five month-old smile all the time, he’s been smiling since before he was born.

A 4D ultrasound scan, taken when Leo’s mother, Amy Cregg, was 31 weeks’ pregnant, clearly shows him grinning from ear-to-ear.

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Baptist Press examines the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts to alter public perception on homosexuality

According to a Baptist Press news release:

Baptist Press has released an in-depth look at the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts to alter public opinion on homosexuality. The report examines both the HRC’s new campaign in Mississippi and its overall efforts during more than three decades of seeking to advance LGBT rights.

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Jesus Calling – whitewashing the red flags

Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports that the 10th anniversary edition of the controversial book Jesus Calling has undergone a miraculous “transformation” without any explanation from publisher Thomas Nelson or the author Sarah Young. Could this be damage control by the publisher who discovered that Young’s “Jesus” is not the Jesus of the Bible? View article →

Roma Downey casts Victoria Osteen, Kay Warren, Joyce Meyer in TV show

Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports:

Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, who gave us the unbiblical The Bible and The Son of God films, is now making a 2-hour Lifetime Television series, “The Women of the Bible.”

Stop. (Just stop.) Back up to The Bible and The Son of God. These two programs were so error-filled, that we need to review just how far off Downey and Burnett are from biblical truth…

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American muslim men, children beat themselves bloody for Muhammad’s grandson

A grizzly video has surfaced that shows Muslims in Lilburn, Georgia beating themselves bloody as part of an Islamic ritual to commemorate the death of the grandson of Mohammad. According to Christian News Network:

To remember his death, many Shi’a Muslims observe the Day of Ashura each year, generally in October or November. In countries such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan, the observance is considered a national holiday, which to some also is a time when Muslims seek to shed blood as a means to obtain forgiveness for sins.

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Mormons admit in new official essay that founder Joseph Smith had up to 40 wives

According to Christian News Network:

The headquarters for the Mormon religion, also known as the Latter Day Saints (LDS), has acknowledged in a new official essay that its founder practiced polygamy and had up to 40 wives, including a 14-year-old and women who were already married.

“Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo” is the first of a three-part series to be posted on the LDS.org website, and focuses on the life of Joseph Smith and the many wives that he took to himself after purportedly being commanded by an angel to “practice plural marriage.”

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Lesbian Houston mayor ordered to stop providing benefits to partners of homosexual employees

Christian News Network reports:

In a see-saw battle over the matter, a state judge in Texas has ordered the outspoken lesbian mayor of Houston along with other city officials to stop providing life and health insurance benefits to the partners of homosexual employees.

Houston mayor Annise Parker—who has been in the headlines recently after attorneys for the city requested copies of sermons from certain pastors during the discovery phase of a lawsuit surrounding a petition seeking to overturn Houston’s “bathroom bill”—issued an order last November that required the city to provide the benefits to homosexual city workers “legally married” out-of-state.

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Some Christians disapprove as Kellogg uses Tony the Tiger in “Gay Pride” advertisement

Christian News Network reports:

A number of Christians are expressing outrage after a popular cereal company recently used Tony the Tiger in a print advertisement promoting “gay pride.”

“Wear your stripes with pride,” an advertisement featuring the Frosted Flakes icon, was reportedly published in the Atlanta, Georgia pride guide last month to coincide with the city’s homosexual pride march and festival. Kellogg had served as one of the sponsors for the event.

“At Kellogg, we’re an evolving culture that respects and accepts employees’ sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged,” the advertisement reads.

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US bishops struggling under Francis’ pontificate

According to the Associated Press:

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are gathering at a moment of turbulence for them and the American church, as Pope Francis moves toward crafting new policies for carrying out his mission of mercy – a prospect that has conservative Catholics and some bishops in an uproar.

The assembly, which starts Monday in Baltimore, comes less than a month after Francis ended a dramatic Vatican meeting on how the church can more compassionately minister to Catholic families.

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Wiccan priest opens Alabama city council meeting with invocation to ‘gentle goddess and loving god’

Christian News Network reports:

A Wiccan priest opened an Alabama city council meeting with an invocation to the ‘gentle goddess and loving god’ this past week in an effort to make the prayers that open each session more diverse, appeasing church-state separation groups.

“O gentle goddess and loving god, we thank you for the beauties and the wonders of the day that you have given to us, and for the opportunity we have this evening to assemble here and work together to make Huntsville a better city for all of its residents,” Blake Kirk led those in attendance at the Huntsville City Council meeting on Thursday.

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What do Rick Warren, Russell Moore, Muslims, Mormons and the Pope have in common?

Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports:

Yes, traditional marriage is worth standing up for. But do we blend biblical Christianity with dark and blasphemous religious systems, joining hands for ANY cause? I am saddened to report the latest hand-holding gathering between Rome and evangelical, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh leaders.

What does light have to do with darkness? Does anyone else see a problem with this syncretism? Or with Yin and Yang in biblical Christianity? I will start with the very strange video on the conference website:

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Bethel Church’s “apostle” Bill Johnson: a comedy of errors

“Bill Johnson is no stranger to controversy,” says Marsha West. “For one thing, he claims to be an apostle, as in the unique position held by the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.” Are the self-proclaimed apostles and prophets in the same league as the Old Testament prophets and New Testament Apostles as they claim? Or are these men and women what Jesus declared “ravenous wolves” in Matthew 7:15? In West’s two part series, discover the many twists and turns the new apostolic-prophetic movement has taken over the years.

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Liberty University student editor raises concern after calling for “common ground” with homosexuals

According to Christian News Network:

An editor of Liberty University’s student newspaper is raising concern after releasing an article that calls upon Christians and homosexuals to find “common ground.”

“Common ground is what makes the world continue to move, grow and advance,” wrote Tre Goins-Phillips, opinion editor of The Liberty Champion, named after the university’s motto “Training Champions for Christ.”

His comments were in response to an opinion piece written by Apple’s Tim Cook and published by Bloomberg Businessweek, in which Cook came out as a homosexual.

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Pastors endorsing candidates in defiance of IRS rules

Fox News reports:

Christian pastors reportedly are defying IRS rules and endorsing political candidates at an unprecedented rate.

Under IRS rules, nonprofits – such as churches – are allowed to discuss politically sensitive subjects in their sermons, but historically have been barred from actively campaigning and endorsing particular candidates. But a growing number of pastors are challenging that standard – and the IRS may be looking the other way.

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Mark Driscoll: I made the mistake of trying to be under the authority of my elders

Psychology professor Warren Throckmorton, who writes for Patheos, has the latest on the Mark Driscoll saga. He has included a video that shows Mark and Grace Driscoll acknowledging mistakes they’ve made in ministry. “Driscoll makes revealing statements about his views of his elders,” says Throckmorton. “These opinions give insight into the changes in governance at Mars Hill since 2007…” View article →

Christian meditation: what’s Biblical and what’s not

A large number of Christian celebrities and evangelical churches promote contemplative prayer (CP). Through meditation the practitioner is brought into an altered state of consciousness that differs radically from normal waking consciousness. The goal of CP is to unite the practitioner with God. But is this practice biblical? CRN correspondent Marsha West examines what the scriptures teach on meditation and lays out what’s biblical and what’s not.

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Nick Jonas abandons purity ring, claims ‘relationship with God’ despite stripping at ‘gay’ club

Christian News Network reports:

Nick Jonas, one-third of the former boy band The Jonas Brothers and son of a former worship leader and pastor, outlined in an interview this week that he has abandoned his purity ring, but claimed that his relationship with God and love for the Church remains of utmost importance despite his recent appearances in dramatized sex scenes and at “gay” clubs.

“This is a real growth in me and that’s not something I’m doing anymore,” he told HuffPost Live’s Caitlyn Becker in response to a question from a fan about his much-publicized ring, which signified his commitment not to have sex before marriage. “But I’ve got my set of values, things that are important to me now at this point in my life, and that’s all that matters.”

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Joel Osteen: Moses saw sun stand still for Joshua, Hebrews thrown in fiery furnace

According to Christian News Network:

Author and megachurch speaker Joel Osteen raised eyebrows this week when he wrote on his popular Facebook page that Moses was present to see the sun stand still under Joshua’s leadership and that he witnessed the Hebrew boys being thrown into the fiery furnace.

“God said in Numbers 11:23, ‘Moses, is there any limit to My power?’ Osteen, leader of the 43,000 member Lakewood Church, posted on Monday, and then proceeded to expound. “He was saying, ‘Moses, you saw Me part the Red Sea, stop the sun for Joshua, keep three Hebrew teenagers safe in a fiery furnace, don’t you realize that I can bring water without rain?’ There’s no limit to God’s power.”

The status received over 317,000 likes from his more than 8 million followers, and was shared over 52,000 times. A number of followers also agreed heartily with Osteen’s teaching in the comments section.

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Convention unanimously votes to boot congregation for supporting homosexuality

Christian News Network reports:

The California Southern Baptist Convention Executive Board has unanimously voted to withdraw fellowship from a local Southern Baptist congregation after its minister affirmed his support for homosexuality.

As previously reported, 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.”

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The Osteen predicament – mere happiness cannot bear the weight of the Gospel

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addresses the absurd comments made by Victoria Osteen, wife of prosperity preacher Joel Osteen, during a recent talk she gave at his church. Victoria Osteen said:

I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it – we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?

Mohler offers valid reasons why Joel and Victoria Osteen’s slick version of Prosperity Theology is a heresy that is spreading throughout much of the world. “The important issue is this,” says Mohler, “Prosperity Theology is a false Gospel”.

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Will Christians be snookered by Shemitah?

Stand Up For The Truth’s Amy Spreeman reports that false prophet Jonathan Cahn, who wrote The Harbinger, has come out with another “prophetic” book entitled Mystery of Shemitah, and it’s “flying off the shelves”. Spreeman watched an interview with Cahn on It’s Supernatural that was so troubling it made the hairs rise on the back of her neck. View article →

Pope challenges taboo by marrying couples who lived ‘in sin’

Yahoo News reports:

A single mother, people who have been married before and couples who have been living together “in sin” were married by Pope Francis in a taboo-challenging ceremony at the Vatican on Sunday.

In another signal of the openness of his papacy, Francis asked to marry 40 people from different social backgrounds who would be a realistic sample of modern couples.

Popes very rarely perform marriages – the last one was in 2000.

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