An Unborn Baby’s 1st Heartbeat Occurs 16 Days After Conception

According to Breitbart:

Baby in womb - ultrasoundA study finds an unborn baby’s first heartbeat occurs as early as 16 days after conception.

A research team funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at the University of Oxford says a baby’s first heartbeat is now far earlier than was previously understood, reports the Daily Mail.

“We are trying to better understand how the heart develops, and ultimately what causes the heart defects that develop in the womb before birth and to extrapolate to adult heart repair,” said BHF professor and lead researcher Paul Riley. “By finding out how the heart first starts to beat and how problems can arise in heart development, we are one step closer to being able to prevent heart conditions from arising during pregnancy.”

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Why Does the Holy Spirit Keep Falling Down?

Andy Snider of ParkingSpace23 has constructed a biblical way of thinking about the Holy Spirit’s role in corporate worship and offers three do’s and a don’ts:

worship-musicWhile listening to worship music recently I was struck again with the particular category of songs asking the Holy Spirit to “fall on us,” “come down,” or something similar. I can say just from my own experience that there have been a steady trickle of such songs at least since the Jesus music of the 1970s. I’ve always held these more or less at arm’s length, not hating or loving them, thinking they’re too Pentecostal or—something. But when I realized how relatively unformed my criticisms of these songs were, I decided to think it through a bit more.

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New Study Confirms Marijuana Use Up Drastically in Workforce

The Daily Signal reports:

MarijuanaThis November, there are a record number of ballot initiatives in at least nine states regarding so-called medical marijuana or outright legalization of the Schedule I drug. The pot pushers, both small businesses and large, want more people smoking, eating, and consuming more pot because it is good for their bottom line.

Before voting yes, voters—and, in particular, employers—should take a look at more disturbing data that was released two weeks ago at a national conference.

At the annual Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association conference, Quest Diagnostics—one of the nation’s largest drug-testing companies—unveiled the results of its Drug Testing Index. The index examines illicit drug use by workers in America each year.

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Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies!

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 (NASB) 

In this post we will study Romans 8:18-39. All of the Bible is important and should be studied thorougly. In this passage it is vital for each Christian to grasp the truths therein in order to stand firm in the midst of every conceivable attack our enemy can use against them. Also, the truths in this passage are like a dividing line. Those who come down on the side of God’s Sovereignty and the security of the believer within it have it right, while there are many who call themselves Christians who ignore these truths and teach the opposite leaving those who follow them in the bondage of fear and doubt and even believing in the sovereignty of Satan and his demons. There is another group of course, that would be all in the liberal camp who take the name of Christian for whatever reason, but believe in no historical Christian doctrines. No, they only believe in their own man-made “god” and “jesus” made in their own image. These magnificent truths are meant only for genuine believers not those who have never bowed the knee to Christ and are now walking in repentance having been saved by grace through faith as a gift from God himself. View article →

FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider

Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley of Fox News inform us that the DOJ insider who spoke to them on the condition of anonymity told them that “FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic July 5 announcement that he would not recommend to the Attorney General’s office that the former secretary of state be charged left members of the investigative team dismayed and disgusted. More than 100 FBI agents and analysts worked around the clock with six attorneys from the DOJ’s National Security Division, Counter Espionage Section, to investigate the case.”


Hillary Clinton“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by

A high-ranking FBI official told Fox News that while it might not have been a unanimous decision, “It was unanimous that we all wanted her [Clinton’s] security clearance yanked.”

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WikiLeaks: Podesta and Left-Wing Activist Plot “Catholic Spring”

“Longtime Clinton confidante discussed infiltrating the Catholic Church with progressive ideology to foment revolution” claims PoliZette. According to Edmund Kozak:

revolutionA newly leaked email shows Hillary Clinton’s current campaign chairman John Podesta and a Left-wing activist casually discussing fomenting “revolution” in the Catholic Church.

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church,” Sandy Newman, president and founder of the progressive nonprofit Voices for Progress, writes to Podesta in an email titled “opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing.”

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Joyce Meyer Undead, David Barton Buys A Ph.D & Conan O’Brien Is Ordained

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen ties up all the loose ends:

headstoneThe concluding line from the Charisma News article that reported on the erroneous announcement of  wolf Joyce Meyer’s death is itself a perfect example of rhetorical touche.

“And please remember, not everything you see on the Internet is true!”

(Insert melodic drumroll of ignominy here while pondering exactly how much on Charisma News can actually be deemed as trustworthy! Another source on Meyer’s rebuttal about her rumored death is HERE.  Frankly, given that this sheepishly-clothed charlatan so grossly distorts the Truth of God, I cannot confirm that her denial about her death is not, in fact, itself deceptive.)

Despite the Internet announcements that reported her demise last Thursday, Joyce Meyer isn’t dead. On the one hand, then, there remains time for this charlatan to repent of her theological wickedness and seek salvation by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. On the other hand, countless souls will continue to be the gullible targets of her damning false gospel. But if Meyer’s hope – and that of her followers – is in the word-faith, prosperity gospel heresy she hurls, together they remain, as Jesus said in John 3:18, “condemned already.”

But … speaking of prosperity … heresy pays, doncha know?

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Man at Center of “Church Plant” Tattoo Fundraiser Video Back in Rehab

This is a sad turn of events.  In June, Christian News Network ran a piece entitled Tattoos For Jesus?  Group Raises Funds For “Church Plant” By Tattooing Members, Sampling Booz. The group mentioned is Apologia Church in Tempe, AZ.  JD Hall of Pulpit & Pen blogged about this in When “Reformed” Theology is a Cloak for Debauchery.  Seth Dunn of P&P followed up on JD’s article with A Dash of Discernment and a Pinch of Aggravation: James White and Daughter Respond to Negative Coverage of Apologia Church.  Dunn revealed the following:

Thad Pinch receiving a tattoo. Photo credit Christian News Network

Thad Pinch receiving a tattoo. Photo credit Christian News Network

On June 28th, published an article about two church-planting fundraising events in Tempe, Arizona.  In the first event, participants were offered a flight of craft beers in exchange for donations.  In the second event, tattoos were offered to help raise funds.  Apologia Church, led Jeff Durbin, and its associated ministry Apologia Studios, which helmed by Durbin’s friend Marcus Pittman, were behind the overall fundraising project. The beer and tattoo fundraising events were met with contempt by popular polemicist and Pulpit & Pen founder, JD Hall, who offered scathing commentaries on the events in a blog on his website and on his podcast.  A recent joiner of Apologia Church is Summer Pinch, daughter of notable podcaster and Apologist James White.  Pinch and her father published a response to the coverage of the booze and tattoos events on White’s personal blog. In this response, White accused editor, Michael Marcavage (who did not actually write the article), of “yellow journalism” while Pinch accused Hall of being a “schoolyard bully.”  Due to the nature of White and Pinch’s response, Pulpit & Pen offered a forum in which Marcavage and Hall can respond to these issues.  Below are Q&As with both Marcavage and Hall. (Read the Q&As here)

Dr. James White addressed the brouhaha in his podcast entitled Apologia Church, Jeff Durbin, JD Hall, and “the Controversy.” Pastor Jeff Durbin of Apologia Church was Dr. White’s guest.  For nearly two hours they discussed “ReformCon, beer tasting at the Boulders, Christian News [Network], Marcus Pittman, a Thursday night tattoo session, JD Hall, holiness, sanctification, Christian freedom, and the role Internet polemics plays in creating simple falsehoods and controversies over fictional events.”

Now CNN is reporting that Thad Pinch, who appeared in an Apologia Church fundraising video receiving a tattoo, has entered a long-term recovery program. At the time of the video, Thad was Summer’s husband and James White’s son-in-law.  According to CNN’s Heather Clark, the couple has divorced.

So with this background in mind, here’s CNN’s recent report on the infamous Apologia Church:

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Pope Francis “Dismayed” by Wedding of Two Lesbian Nuns

Breitbart reports:

pope-francis-4The news of the marriage of two former religious sisters has saddened Pope Francis, according to the Vatican Undersecretary of State, Archbishop Angelo Becciu.

On Friday the Italian daily La Repubblica published an interview with the two ex-nuns, identified only as Federica and Isabel, in which they describe their love as a “gift of God” that no one can prevent.

Pope Francis, who has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, was visibly distressed on reading the news, according to the Archbishop. “What sadness on the face of the Pope when I read him the news of the two ‘nun’ brides,” he tweeted.

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Belief, unbelief, and streams of faith

21 Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; And a fire was kindled against Jacob And anger also mounted against Israel, 22 Because they did not believe in God And did not trust in His salvation. Psalms 78:21-22 (NASB) 

Dealing with those who insist that they are Christians while what they say and do is marked as distinctly the fruit of unbelief, can be a very trying experience. I suppose that is why our enemy will never stop his attacks on those who are called by the name of Christ to discourage and confuse them. Not that long ago an “Emergent” leader named Doug Pagitt referred to those of us at CRN and other Orthodox Christians as serving God because we were driven by fear. In that same article he also said that the differences in our faith and his was that they are nothing more than different “streams of faith.” What does that mean? View article →

A Recipe for Humble Pie

Clint Archer of The Cripplegate shares the three ingredients for his Humble Pie recipe “so you can cultivate humility in the presence of true greatness…”:

humble-pieIn elementary school I was really bad at playing soccer. But my school tried to be inclusive and didn’t want any kid to feel left out, so they had as many teams as there were players.

The coveted “A team” was kitted out in glamorous, white, satin shirts and shorts with golden trim, while the rest of us had itchy yellow and brown shirts. But at least we got to play. I was too maladroit to qualify for the talented B or promising C team, or even the undaunted D team. No, I was cast down to the freakish menagerie of hopeless misfits known as the E team.

We seldom actually played games since few other schools even had an E team, but when we did, we played our uncoordinated hearts out!

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Gender-neutral bathrooms, high-quality ethnic studies class and other changes coming to California schools

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Transgender bathroom signAnyone looking for confirmation of the nation’s cultural divide can add education and gender-neutral bathrooms to the list of proof points.

North Carolina sparked a national furor by requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates, citing risks to children in schools as a primary justification. California has been shifting the other way with little fanfare.

A gender-neutral bathroom law, Assembly Bill 1732, was one of many measures with an effect on education that Gov. Jerry Brown signed during the legislative session that ended Friday.

Starting next March, any one-toilet bathroom in a California school — or in any other government building, public place or business — will  have to be designated as all-gender, open to anyone.

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Glenn Beck, conservative pundit, endorses Hillary Clinton for president

AOL News reports:

Glenn BeckNoted conservative pundit Glenn Beck thinks Donald Trump has gone too far and has officially decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, to the shock of many.

“It is not acceptable to ask a moral, dignified man to cast his vote to help elect an immoral man who is absent decency or dignity,” Beck wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice.”

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Godlessness and false doctrine

16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:16-19 (NASB) 

Only regenerate believers have a transformed mindset while everyone else has the “natural man mindset.” The transformed mindset should be growing more and more apparent to the believer as they become spirit-filled and walk in obedience to his or her Lord. Now we will take a look at end result of those with the natural man mindset as God gives them up. View article →

Bethel Church: Pimping Heresy

The culture of Bethel Church in Redding CA “is one that is defiantly non-orthodox and non-biblical,” warns Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen.  “So experience-driven and Word-avoiding are the faithful at Bethel that it is reported that Johnson’s wife, Beni, engages in ‘grave sucking,’ a maneuver that presumably allows one to absorb ‘the spiritual anointing of deceased Christians by lying atop their graves.'”

Ahlheim begins with a quote from Charles Spurgeon: “That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors.”  Now see why he believes God abhors self-professed “apostle” and lead pastor Bill Johnson’s “church.”


bill-johnsonBethel Church of Redding, California was founded in 1952 and was affiliated with the Assemblies of God until 2006, when current pastor Bill Johnson led the church to dissociate itself from the denomination. The current attendance at Bethel’s Redding location is just under 8,700 each Sunday. The now denominationally independent church operates on a $9 million annual budget.

But Bethel’s impact in terms of numbers of souls it touches is far beyond the confines of its Redding headcounts. Bethel is, like Hillsong, an international influence, gaining traction for the prosperity/dominion theology that undergirds it through the primary mechanism of music.

In March 2016, Billboard Magazine noted that, since its first top ten hit on the Top Christian Albums ranking, Bethel Music has had a total of nine Top Ten appearances since that initial 2012 entrance. The album Have It All: Live At Bethel Church sold 25,000 copies in the first week of its release, placing it at number two on the Top Christian Albums chart and taking the twelfth spot on the overall Billboard 200.

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Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued is Un-biblical

From Berean Research:

unglued-bookRebekah Womble of Wise In His Eyes reviews Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued.  Womble says she wants to like the book but finds much of what it contains decidedly unbiblical, thus her advice is unhelpful to women who are searching for biblical answers to life’s pressing problems. “Never once does Terkeurst (sp) emphasize the fact that when we sin, we refuse to give God glory and instead, please ourselves,” says Womble. “She completely neglects the fact that the absolute, most significant goal of our lives should be to glorify God—because that is what He is most considered about. “

Sadly, sin and repentance were omitted and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ wasn’t emphasized either.   According to Womble, TerKeurst’s attempt to share the gospel with her readers was “weak, it was man-centered, it was without Christ’s atoning death, and therefore, it wasn’t the gospel at all.”

Now listen to Rebekah Womble’s review of the book…

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American Pastor Formerly Imprisoned in Iran Announces Divorce From Wife

Christian News Network reports:

divorceAn American pastor who had been imprisoned in Iran for three years until he was freed in January in a prisoner swap with the U.S. has announced that he is divorcing his wife out of his belief that they are “different people” and that the “only path toward healing is apart.”

“My heart is deeply saddened to be sharing the news that Naghmeh and I will be divorcing,” Saeed Abedini publicly posted to social media on Wednesday.

“There are no words to describe the ongoing effect of the trauma I experienced and my family has experienced both during and in the aftermath of my imprisonment. We are different people, and we are hurting people. It pains me to say, but I have decided the only path toward healing is apart, and not together,” he said.

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The light of the world

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NASB) 

While Joel and Victoria Osteen believe that our Lord’s command to let your light shine before others is to prosper and show everyone how God is blessing you, this is not what He was talking about in the passage above at all. We are not to be conformed to this world, we are to be unified with our brothers and sisters in Christ while not being yoked to professing Christians who are not genuine, and we are to lay up our treasure in heaven not here on earth. Living like this makes one stand out because it is a way of life that is conformed to God and His ways, which are not the ways of the world. It will get the attention of the unregenerate. View article →

Jesus Always, the Sequel to Jesus Calling

Tim Challies has written many excellent book reviews.  This time he sets his sights on best-selling author Sarah Young’s just released daily devotional.  As in Jesus Calling, the Jesus in Young’s new book is clearly not the Jesus of Scripture but an impostor, as Challies makes plain in his review:

jesus-alwaysThis book is going to be big. Huge, even. Its predecessor has sold well over 10 million copies and more than a decade after publication has no less than 6 editions on the list of Christian bestsellers. Today, at last, comes the long-awaited sequel, releasing to great fanfare—a million-copy first printing backed by a huge $300,000 marketing spend. One way or another you will come across this book and so will most of your friends and neighbors. You will see it on Amazon, in Costco, in airport bookshops, and perhaps even at your church’s book table. It’sJesus Always, Sarah Young’s sequel to Jesus Calling.

Like Jesus Calling, Jesus Always is a little book—just 4.4 by 6.3 inches—and like Jesus Calling contains 365 short daily devotions. What makes Young’s little books distinct is her big claim: Her name is on the cover, but the words come from Jesus.

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NWHL’s Harrison Browne is first transgender athlete in pro team sports

Yahoo News reports:

transgender9Harrison Browne, a forward for the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League, has publicly announced he is transgender, becoming the first athlete in professional team sports to do so as an active player.

Browne, who formerly identified as Hailey Browne, is now listed as Harrison Browne on the NWHL website. According to an NWHL official, he has informed the League that he won’t undergo gender reassignment surgery until after retiring as a pro hockey player. He will also not take any testosterone supplements while playing because it violates performance-enhancing drug policies for the League.

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Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB) 

It is very common in the visible church in our time to hear preachers and teachers and people within local bodies of believers to boast about all sorts of things pertaining to their salvation or walk. They boast about their confirmation, baptism, church membership, Holy Communion, keeping the Ten Commandments, living the Sermon on the Mount, giving to charity, and living a moral life. It is not uncommon to hear some even boast about their faith, but all boasting is rooted in good works, not grace. View article →

Faults to Avoid In Public Prayer

Prayer - Charles Spurgeon

This piece by Nick Batzig of The Christward Collective is based on Samuel Miller’s thoughts on prayer.  Batzig reveals that “Miller set out 18 common mistakes that ministers, elders and deacons should labor to avoid when leading the congregation in public prayer.” The Old Life blog, where we came across this, quipped: “Not quite Rick Warren like, so not enough for forty days of driving your way to a life of purpose. But if Christians ever had to consider that praying in public does not come naturally to some believers, this post might get them started. And it really would throw a wrench into the praying patters of the seemingly intimate small group.”

Following are the first three mistakes:

1. Avoid vain repetition. The one leading in prayer should be careful not to say, “O Father,” “Holy Father” or “Lord” over and over and over again.

2. Avoid hesitation and stumbling. The one leading in prayer should spend time on the prayer prior to the service so that he does not come across unprepared.

3. Avoid ungrammatical expressions. For example, the one leading in prayer should avoid such phrases as “Grant to give us…” “Grant to impart to us…” Grant and give are verbs expressing the same thing. This is a redundant and inaccurate use of language.

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Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Are in Hell?

Blogger, author and pastor Tim Challies answers the burning question:

heaven-3Heaven is far too perfect, far too sinless, far too other for us to imagine in our fallen minds. Our attempts to put brush to canvas have led to depictions of cherubs on clouds, idyllic colors of dawn, Christ as a blinding light, a faceless adoring throng. Some of these attempts to capture heaven’s splendors are beautiful and even captivating, yet we know they are also incomplete. They are, at best, the barest reflection of what awaits. Our imaginations must always fall short of heaven’s glorious perfections.

Revelation 21:4 assures us that in heaven God himself will wipe away our tears, that there will be no death, no sorrow, no crying, and no pain. There is a deeply comforting certainty in our future—a certainty of joy, bliss, comfort, peace, love, and perfection. However, those of us with non-believing family members and friends can find this certainty an area of intense struggle. Why? Because we know that not everyone will be there with us. Many we love today will have an eternal experience of pain, torment, and separation. How could we ever enjoy heaven if our loved ones are in hell? R.C. Sproul tackled this question at a Ligonier Ministries conference years ago and I appreciate his answer.

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What?? NBC’s Ron Allen Thinks Climate Deal Is “Designed to Stop” Storms Like Hurricane Matthew

According to NewsBusters:

hurricainePresident Barack Obama spoke to reporters on Wednesday afternoon on the Paris climate change agreement and, almost on cue, NBC’s Ron Allen connected global warming to Hurricane Matthew set to bear down on the Bahamas, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.

Speaking on MSNBC Live to host Kate Snow, Allen first gushed about how the President “believes so deeply in protecting the environment” that the deal marks “one of the most significant aspects of his legacy” before bringing in Hurricane Matthew as a intriguing “practical matter.” It was “what the president was talking about as the threat that the planet faces and this is what this whole climate agreement signed by 190 nations and now ratified by 60 or so is designed to stop.” [emphasis in original]

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