Vatican ‘Systematically’ Allowed Priests to Rape Children, Says UN Report

According to

The Vatican “systematically” adopted policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, a UN human rights committee said Wednesday, urging the Holy See to open its files on pedophiles and bishops who concealed their crimes.

In a devastating report hailed by abuse victims, the UN committee severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.

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Christian Legal Group Appeals California’s Ban on Helping Homosexual Youth to U.S. Supreme Court

Christian News Network reports:

A Christian legal organization has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that it reinstate an injunction against a California law that bars licensed therapists from helping homosexual youth to overcome temptation.

As previously reported, in 2012, as the ban was being contemplated in the legislature, Governor Jerry Brown remarked that he hoped reparative therapy would be forever heaved into “the dustbin of quackery.” The bill’s author, Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance, claimed that counseling and therapy aimed at helping youth turn from the homosexual lifestyle is the equivalent of “psychological child abuse.”

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The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion

The Discernment Research Group writes:

I went to a John Wimber workshop… He said he sees the next 20 to 30 years as the time when more signs and wonders will be done than ever in history and when the secular media will be overwhelmed and have to report it every day as great revival spreads. John Piper

Now we come full circle to Francis Chan’s appearance along with the aforementioned Jesus Culture at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) Young Adult Conference 2013 One Thing, which just wrapped up Tuesday, December 31st… In my opinion IHOP is using Francis Chan’s comments at One Thing as propaganda in order to borrow Chan’s credibility within the wider evangelical community and promote their leader Mike Bickle. How foolish of Francis Chan to just gush enthusiastically:

“I go, man, there’s a lot of great things going on [at IHOP]. And today was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle. And, I love that guy. I do. …there’s people who told me not to hang out with him.

“Like, you know, words like “creepy” came up. And yet, I get to know this guy and I’m going, “Man, I love his heart. And I just want to publicly say I love Mike Bickle. 0:18–0:50

The children are the best of all the generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth…. those ELECTED SEEDS that will glorify Christ in the last days… they will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever been in the Bible – They’ll move in it consistently… they themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet… a church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man! Mike Bickle & Bob Jones

IHOP In An Era of Celebrity-Driven Christianity

Evangelical leaders are currently rushing to associate themselves with major youth events that are becoming increasingly popular in the Christian world. These mass youth rallies were developed over the course of several decades by Mike Bickle’s IHOP (International House of Prayer) movement, which is interconnected to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). IHOP and the NAR share both personnel and doctrine, with roots that go back into the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God cult.[4] Previously we have extensively documented the history of the camaraderie of IHOP and NAR.

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Christians, Don’t Give Up on the Homosexuality Debate

Jason Helopoulos, guest blogging for The Gospel Coalition writes:

Even before the Grammy Awards showcased Macklemore singing “Same Love” and Queen Latifah presiding over a “same sex couple’s wedding” ceremony, I had most of this blog written as the topic has been on my mind for quite some time.

I am not a Kuyperian or a Neo-Kuyperian, but there are certain watershed cultural issues for every generation of Christians; issues in which they cannot be silent. For our generation, abortion and homosexuality are key watershed issues. They are watershed issues, because abortion snatches away life and homosexuality reaches out and grabs hold of death.

The average Evangelical Christian continues to believe we should speak out against the acceptance of abortion in our culture. And the pro-abortion forces have been losing ground over the past five years. No doubt, much of that is due to the church’s resolve to stand against this agenda. However, it seems to me that in the past few years, Evangelical Christians in the United States have increasingly and passively grown in their acceptance of homosexuality. This should concern all of us.

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Doves Released in Vatican as a Gesture of Peace Are Immediately Attacked by Vicious Seagull and Crow

According to the Daily Mail:

To millions of Christians, they are a symbol of peace.

But to a pair of larger birds, the two doves released in the Vatican yesterday were nothing more than a chance for a bit of Sunday morning sport.

No sooner had the birds been set free in St Peter’s Square – as a symbolic gesture of peace for Ukraine – than they were set upon by a seagull and a crow.

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Yet More Sexual Insanity

Apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg writes:

One can argue that the past century has been one grand social experiment to see what life would be like if we kicked God and transcendent moral values out of the West. Well, the results are in, and it is not looking very good. When we ditch the one certain source of objective morality and absolute truth, mankind is simply left to its own devices.

We end up making things up as we go along, and everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Anything goes, and this is especially true in the area of sexuality. All boundaries are cast aside, and every kinky and bizarre thing imaginable is engaged in and sanctioned.

Everywhere we see the brave new world of unbridled sexuality. And despite what the sexual libertines say, we all suffer as a result – especially children. When we manage to foolishly convince ourselves that absolutely anything goes when it comes to sexuality, then there will always be plenty of losers.

So let me offer another handful of cases, beginning with this shocker from Italy:

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Swiss Guard veteran claims existence of ‘gay network’ at the Vatican

According to The Guardian:

A former commander of the Swiss Guard, the small force of men whose job it is to protect the pope, has said there is “a network of homosexuals” within the Vatican, the latest in a series of claims about gay priests working at the heart of the Roman Catholic church.

Elmar Mäder, who was commandant of the Guard from 2002 until 2008, said his time at the heart of the Vatican had given him an insight into certain aspects of life there. “I cannot refute the claim that there is a network of homosexuals. My experiences would indicate the existence of such a thing,” he told the Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag.

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Lloyd-Jones On Holiness

Apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg writes:

Over his many years as a preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones would have uttered tens of thousands of words about holiness. This was part of the many millions of words he spoke on basic Christian truths, such as the nature and attributes of God, the life and work of Christ, and the content and glory of the gospel.

What I am attempting to do here is much more modest in aim. I am referring to just one of his sermons as found in just one of his books. But what is found there is certainly representative of his broader teachings on the subject, and is well worth sharing here.

In the 1940s the Doctor did a series of sermons on the First Epistle of John. In the 1990s Crossway Books turned them into a series of five volumes. In vol. 3, Children of God, we have chapter three, entitled simply, “Holiness”. Although just a dozen pages in length, it packs a punch as it delivers many valuable spiritual truths.

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Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Abortion Despite March for Life in U.S. Capital

Christian News Network reports:

Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to abortion today despite the throng of thousands that gathered in the nation’s capital for the annual March for Life.

“Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health,” he wrote in his yearly statement on Wednesday. “We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.”

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Reformed contemplative at Liberate 2014/One Way Love Conference

By John Lanagan

“One of the ways I have found helpful in moving into the ‘other world’ is a technique called centering prayer (You might want to read M. Basil Pennington’s book on the subject, Centering Prayer. I don’t agree with the entire book, but…”)***

The above quote is from Approaching God: Accepting The Invitation To Stand In The Presence Of God, pg. 117, by Steve Brown, one of the scheduled headliners for the Liberate 2014/One Way Love Conference at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Feb. 20-23.

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Investigators: Oregon Bakery Discriminated Against Lesbian for Declining to Make ‘Wedding’ Cake

Christian News Network reports:

State investigators in Oregon have concluded that a bakery run by a Christian couple unlawfully discriminated against a lesbian last year when it declined to make a ‘wedding’ cake for her same-sex ceremony.

As previously reported, Aaron and Melissa Klein operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, which is now operated from the couple’s home after the Kleins’ shut their doors due to harassment. In January 2013, Aaron was approached by a mother and her daughter as the two were interested in a cake for the daughter’s upcoming wedding—to her lesbian partner.

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12 Unborn Animals in The Womb You Have to See to Believe

Life News has several pictures of pre-born creatures on their site.

These images were created for a National Geographic special called In The Womb: Animals by Producer Peter Chinn. He used a combination of ultrasound technology, tiny cameras, and computer design to create these incredible images that replicate what fetal animals look like. This is an incredible window into the womb (or egg as the case may be), laying bare the mysteries of the beginning of life,” the group adds.

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Gov. Cuomo: Pro-life people not welcome in New York

Fox News reports:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo believes that pro-life activists along with anti-gay activists, and supporters of the Second Amendment, are not welcome in his state.

During a radio interview on Friday, Cuomo pointed out that Republicans were in the midst of a schism, where conservatives worked against moderate Republicans.

“Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves,” he said. “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

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Five Really Dumb Things the Activists Say

Apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg writes:

One could easily write an entire book on all the really moronic and senseless things the homosexual activists say when they “argue” with us. Of course one has to use the word “argue” quite loosely here, since what the militants engage in can hardly be described as arguments – more like sophomoric rants in fact.

So as you discuss or debate with these activists, bear in mind they will almost invariably throw some real doozies your way. These remarks will have very little to do with logic and rationality. They will not be actual arguments or well-reasoned claims.

They will just be foolish attacks lacking in any merit. But this is just how the other side operates – time and time again. This is their standard modus operandi. Here then are five of these dopey claims you will likely hear over and over again in such discussions.

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Don’t Let Your Mind Go to Pot

In this piece Pastor John Piper, founder and teacher of, gives the reasons he believes Christians should avoid recreational marijuana use. He begins:

Marijuana is ordinarily used as a mood-altering, mind-altering drug. The aim is to create a kind of euphoria. The effects vary widely from person to person. All you have to do is Google, “What does Marijuana feel like?” People don’t smoke it to get unhappy. It produces a temporary state that is felt to be better than ordinary life. That’s why it’s called a “high” and not a low.

So the first comparison one might be inclined to make is with caffeine. Most people drink coffee because caffeine has a pleasant effect. But there is a difference. Marijuana temporarily impairs the reliable processing of surrounding reality. Caffeine ordinarily sharpens that processing.

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New Mexico Judge Rules That Doctors May Prescribe Lethal Drugs to Terminally Ill Patients

Christian News Network reports:

A state judge in New Mexico has ruled that mentally-competent terminally ill patients have a constitutional right to obtain lethal drugs to end their life.

Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash issued the ruling on Monday in a decision that some believe may open the doors to full-fledged physician-assisted suicide in the state.

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Planned Parenthood Did One Adoption Referral Per 149 Abortions

According to CNS News:

In its latest annual report, released in December, Planned Parenthood says it did 327,166 abortion procedures in the course of one year and 2,197 adoption referrals. That works out to approximately 149 abortions for each adoption referral.

The data comes from an accounting of “patient care” Planned Parenthood says its “affiliate health centers” did in the year that ran from Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012.

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Oklahoma Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Ban

Fox News reports:

Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern handed down the ruling in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples. Kern immediately stayed his ruling pending appeals, meaning gay marriages won’t happen in Oklahoma right away.

The gay couples had sued for the right to marry and to have a marriage from another jurisdiction recognized in Oklahoma.

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AZ Legislator, Pastor Introduces Bill to Protect Churches That Oppose Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

According to Christian News Network:

A legislator in Arizona has introduced a bill that would protect churches in the state from being forced to perform same-sex ‘weddings.’

Representative Steve Montenegro (R-Litchfield Park), Associate Pastor and Youth Pastor at Surprise Apostolic Assembly, recently announced the First Freedom Act to ensure that pastors retain their First Amendment rights when it comes to the institution of marriage. The Act would make it illegal to “require a minister to solemnize a marriage inconsistent with a minister’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

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Former Pentagon Chief: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Fight Was Only Time Obama Showed ‘Passion’ for Military Issues

Fox News reports:

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates sharply questions President Obama’s “passion” for military matters in his forthcoming memoir, and claims that practically the only time he saw that in the president was during his push to repeal ̦ “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The former Pentagon chief said in an interview aired Sunday that he was “disturbed” by Obama’s “absence of passion” when it came to his military strategy. But in the book, “Duty,” reviewed by Fox News, Gates hit Obama harder – and in personal terms – by contrasting his style with that of former President George W. Bush.

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A cause for careful celebration? On Phillips, Craig and Dean, and Trinitarian Christianity

Matt Privett, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Carthage, NC has written a follow-up piece to an article we posted on CRN last week. In part 2, Privett sheds new light on what he felt was a troubling the situation:

Late Sunday night I posted The elephant is in OUR room: Shaking hands with Sabellius in the Southern Baptist Convention. I’d venture to say it is by far my most widely read and disseminated post in almost fifteen years of blogging, which isn’t saying much, except to say that people read it and commented on it. A couple of others sites picked it up and/or linked to it.

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Legislation Introduced to Protect State Sovereignty Over Definition of Marriage

According to the Christian Post:

Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) introduced a bill Thursday that would keep a state’s definition of marriage for the legal residents of that state for the purposes of federal law.

If passed, the bill would require federal agencies to look at how a person’s marital status is defined in their home state when determining their marital status for federal law.

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Federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in Utah

Fox News reports that the Obama administration is ignoring the Supreme Court:

Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday the federal government will recognize more than 1,000 same-sex marriages in Utah, despite an earlier announcement this week from the state’s governor saying the state would not.

The decision means those Utah couples will have access to federal benefits that are available to married couples in other states, including the ability to file joint tax returns. It also adds to the confusion in the state following a surprise ruling last month against the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

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The Elephant Is in Our Room: Shaking Hands with Sabellius in the Southern Baptist Convention

Matt Privett, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Carthage, NC writes:

Is the doctrine of the Trinity something worth standing resolute on anymore in the Southern Baptist Convention?

The question, seemingly obvious among the people who turned back the liberal tide and fought for the inerrancy of Scripture 35 years ago, must be asked in the early days of 2014 when one looks at the schedule for the 2014 Empower Conference, an evangelism conference put on by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC)…

Let me just touch on a few of those names.

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