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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Top 7 Biblically Significant Archaeological Discoveries of 2018

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2018 was a big year for archeologists. On Christian Headlines alone, we covered almost 20 Biblically significant archeological discoveries. From potentially finding the location of the Ark of the Covenant to finding the oldest known manuscript of the Gospel of Mark, scientists have put their best feet forward in the quest to finding artifacts from way back. Here are 7 of the most significant Biblical archaeological discoveries of 2018.

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    • 9 Things You Should Know About Events and Discoveries in 2018

      We live in an era of 24-hour news in which we’re constantly bombarded by information from websites, social media, and television. Yet despite this deluge, there are still many fascinating news items that you are likely to have missed. Here are nine such events and discoveries from 2018 that you may not have heard about. 1.  A previously unknown painting of Jesus’s face was discovered at the Byzantine site of Shivta in the Negev Desert of southern Israel. The painting is believed to be an important discovery since it represents the first pre-iconoclastic baptism-of-Christ scene to be found in the Holy Land. 2.  Scientists may have discovered a new organ in the human body. In a study published in Scientific Reports, a team of researchers describe the interstitium, which is a series of connected, fluid-filled spaces found under skin as well as throughout the gut, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles. According to Time magazine, the new organ may play a critical role in how many tissues and other organs do their jobs, as well as in some diseases like cancer. 3.  A study released this year shows the ozone layer—a layer that protects life on Earth from harmful layers of ultraviolet rays from the sun—continues to heal from previous man-made damage. Ozone in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent since 2000 and, at projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s, followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060. 4.  The murder rate in the United States in 2018 is on track for the largest one-year drop in five years, according to the New York Times. The final numbers won’t be available until the F.B.I. formally reports them in September 2019. But based on a comparison of 2017 data and 2018 data for 66 large American cities (population over 250,000), murder has been down about 7 percent on average this year relative to the same point in 2017. 5.  Over the past two hundred years, pandemic cycles of cholera have killed tens of millions of people around the globe. But because of cholera vaccines—many created in the past two years—the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts a 90 percent reduction in cholera deaths by 2030 and the elimination of cholera in at least 20 countries out of the 47 currently affected. 6. Excavations in Jerusalem have unearthed what may be the first extra-Biblical evidence of the prophet Isaiah. Just south of the Temple Mount, in the Ophel excavations, a team of archaeologists discovered a small seal impression that reads “[belonging] to Isaiah nvy.” According to Bible History Today, the upper portion of the impression is missing, and its left side is damaged. Reconstructing a few Hebrew letters in this damaged area would cause the impression to read, “[belonging] to Isaiah the prophet.” 7. Sickle cell anemia (also know as sickle cell disease) affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa. The disease occurs among about 1 out of every 365 African-American births, and among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births. In March 2018, an article in the American Journal of Human Genetics announced scientists have determined the origin of sickle cell anemia. The scientists involved in the study hope this research can help improve medical care for people with the disease, and make it possible to better predict whether a patient will develop a severe or mild form. Also, in April, the first adult stem cell transplant performed on an adult sickle cell patient resulted in a woman being declared cured and disease-free. 8. For the first time, a woman who received a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor gave birth to a healthy child. The procedure of transplanting uteri from deceased women could drastically increase the availability of the organs, helping more infertile women become pregnant. It could also replace the current procedure of a acquiring the organs from living donors, an expensive option that can lead to risky complications such as infections or serious bleeding. 9. Almost 300 million Christians—approximately 1 out of 7 worldwide—live in a country of persecution, subject to violence, arrest, and human rights violations. According to a report by Aid to the Church in Need, aggressive nationalism, hostile to religious minorities, has worsened to the degree that the phenomenon can be called ultra-nationalism. Violent and systematic intimidation of religious minority groups has led to them being branded as disloyal aliens and threatening to the state. The report also finds that in the eyes of Western governments and the media, religious freedom is “slipping down the human rights priority rankings,” being eclipsed by issues of gender, sexuality, and race. Other posts in this series: Apostles’ Creed • George H. W. Bush (1924–2018) • Religious Freedom Restoration Act • Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre • Out-of-Wedlock Births • Bethel Church Movement • Christian Hymns • Hurricanes • Infertility • The STD Crisis • Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) • Russian President Vladimir Putin • Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh • MS-13 • Wicca and Modern Witchcraft • Jerusalem • Christianity in Korea • Creation of Modern Israel • David Koresh and the Branch Davidians • Rajneeshees • Football • The Opioid Epidemic (Part II) • The Unification Church • Billy Graham • Frederick Douglass • Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968 • Winter Olympics • The ‘Mississippi Burning’ Murders •  Events and Discoveries in 2017 • Christmas Traditions • Sexual Misconduct • Lutheranism • Jewish High Holy Days • Nation of Islam • Slave Trade • Solar Eclipses • Alcohol Abuse in America • History of the Homeschooling Movement • Eugenics • North Korea • Ramadan • Black Hebrew Israelites • Neil Gorsuch and Supreme Court Confirmations • International Women’s Day • Health Effects of Marijuana • J. R. R. Tolkien • Aleppo and the Syrian Crisis • Fidel Castro • C.S. Lewis • ESV Bible • Alzheimer’s Disease •  Mother Teresa • The Opioid Epidemic • The Olympic Games • Physician-Assisted Suicide • Nuclear Weapons • China’s Cultural Revolution • Jehovah’s Witnesses • Harriet Tubman • Autism • Seventh-day Adventism • Justice Antonin Scalia (1936–2016) • Female Genital Mutilation • Orphans • Pastors • Global Persecution of Christians (2015 Edition) • Global Hunger • National Hispanic Heritage Month • Pope Francis • Refugees in America • Confederate Flag Controversy • Elisabeth Elliot • Animal Fighting • Mental Health • Prayer in the Bible • Same-sex Marriage • Genocide • Church Architecture • Auschwitz and Nazi Extermination Camps • Boko Haram • Adoption • Military Chaplains • Atheism • Intimate Partner Violence • Rabbinic Judaism • Hamas • Male Body Image Issues • Mormonism • Islam • Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence • Anglicanism • Transgenderism • Southern Baptist Convention • Surrogacy • John Calvin • The Rwandan Genocide • The Chronicles of Narnia • The Story of Noah • Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church • Pimps and Sex Traffickers • Marriage in America • Black History Month • The Holocaust • Roe v. Wade • Poverty in America • Christmas • The Hobbit • Council of Trent • Halloween and Reformation Day • Casinos and Gambling • Prison Rape • 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing • Chemical Weapons • March on Washington • Duck Dynasty • Child Brides • Human Trafficking • Scopes Monkey Trial • Social Media • Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Cases • The Bible • Human Cloning • Pornography and the Brain • Planned Parenthood • Boston Marathon Bombing • Female Body Image Issues • Islamic State View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • The 7 Most Significant Religious Freedom Victories of 2018

      Religious freedom is a right, given by God and guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, that allows individual people or groups to practice a religion—or to practice no religion at all—both in private and also in public with a minimal amount of interference from the local, state, or federal government. The Constitution and other federal and state laws protect this right to determine both what we believe and, in a more limited sense, how we act on those beliefs. Despite this being our first freedom, challenges to the right of individuals and organizations to practice this right arise constantly. That is why we are fortunate to have groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, working to protect our liberties. In 2018 ADF was at the forefront of a number of important legal cases. Here are their most significant victories for religious freedom for the year: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra — California passed a law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to point the way to free or low-cost abortions. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law and affirmed that the government can’t force Americans to express messages that violate their deepest convictions. See also: The FAQs: Supreme Court Ruling Protects Free Speech and Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission — Colorado punished cake artist Jack Phillips—who serves everyone but doesn’t create cakes celebrating all messages or events—when he declined to sketch, sculpt, and paint a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state’s order forcing Jack to create art that violated his conscience and found that Colorado had been “neither tolerant nor respectful of his religious beliefs.” See also: Supreme Court Provides an Important—But Limited—Win for Religious Liberty State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers — Facing the loss of everything she owns, Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, is being targeted by her state’s Attorney General after she politely declined a long-time customer’s request to create a floral arrangement at his same-sex wedding. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court that upheld the state’s hostility toward her beliefs, sending the question back to the state court to be revisited in light of the Court’s ruling in Masterpiece. See also: Supreme Court Sends Christian Florist Case Back to Lower Court Cochran v. City of Atlanta — Kelvin Cochran dedicated more than 30 years of his life to fighting fires and protecting the communities in which he’s lived and worked. In 2015, Chief Cochran was fired from his post as Atlanta fire chief after he wrote a men’s devotional in his spare time that briefly mentions his belief in the biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality. In October 2018, the city of Atlanta agreed to pay Cochran $1.2 million in the wake of a federal court ruling that the city had violated his constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of religion. See also: Christian Fire Chief Receives $1.2 Million for Violations of His Religious Liberty Students for Life at Miami University of Ohio, Hamilton v. Trustees of Miami University of Ohio — In March, 2018, Miami University of Ohio agreed to change its unconstitutional policies that authorized officials at its Hamilton campus to require students to post signs “warning” others about their group’s pro-life display. As part of a settlement ending a federal lawsuit that ADF attorneys filed on behalf of the campus chapter of Students for Life, the university has agreed to revise its policies to respect the free-speech rights of all students, regardless of their viewpoint. Students for Life at Ball State University v. Hall — Ball State University Students for Life had applied to receive $300 from mandatory student activity fees to share educational resources with pregnant and parenting students; however, Ball State officials denied the club’s request, because it advocates for pro-life views. Responding to a lawsuit from Alliance Defending Freedom, university administrators eliminated its unconstitutional policies in September 2018, allowing pro-life group members to peacefully engage their fellow students. At the Cross Fellowship Baptist Church v. City of Monroe — The city of Monroe, North Carolina, enacted an unconstitutional zoning code that barred churches from three out of four sub-districts, where churches were previously allowed, and libraries, museums, and other nonprofits would continue to be allowed. This prohibited At the Cross Fellowship Baptist Church from holding worship services in its newly rented and renovated premises. Responding to a lawsuit from ADF, the city voted August 21, 2018, to amend its code to permit churches to freely locate to best serve the community. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Laredo Port of Entry CBP Officers Intercept Another Significant Load of Narcotics; Latest Find Worth Over $1.3 Million

      By R. Mitchell - LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers intercepted a significant amount of hard narcotics with an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million in one enforcement action at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge. “Our frontline CBP continue to maintain their vigilance and utilize their inspections skills and experience as pre-Christmas traffic starts to increase,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry.  “Our CBP officers’ hard work, perseverance and utilization of canines and our non-intrusive imaging systems resulted in the interception of this significant load of methamphetamine.” Buckets containing 94 pounds of methamphetamine seized by CBP officers at Laredo Port of Entry. The seizure occurred on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado driven by a 27-year-old woman, accompanied by a 28-year-old woman, both of them Mexican citizens from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico for a secondary examination. Upon a canine and non-intrusive imaging system inspection by CBP officers, a total 94 pounds of alleged methamphetamine was discovered. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $1,322,848. CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle were arrested and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation. Content created by Conservative Daily News is available for re-publication without charge under the Creative Commons license. Visit our syndication page for details and requirements. Laredo Port of Entry CBP Officers Intercept Another Significant Load of Narcotics; Latest Find Worth Over $1.3 Million is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • A Significant Root of America’s Racial Strife

      Allen Guelzo, in his recent work Reconstruction: A Concise History, helpfully summarizes one of the most important and neglected periods in American history: the movement to reconstruct a nation divided by the Civil War. Guelzo is a Civil War historian at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and his book goes a long way to explaining why a nation that eradicated the blight of slavery allowed nearly a century to pass before African Americans enjoyed the most basic of civil rights. Reconstruction Reconstruction, simply put, is the “twelve years of active efforts to rebuild and reconstitute the American Union after the attempt by the Confederate States of America to secede from it” (1). Consider the difficulty of the task. It took a bloody war to force 11 states and 9 million Southerners into submission. After the North emancipated 4 million slaves, they still had no clear path to equality. Lincoln, the most visionary leader of the era, died before he could even try to fully reunite the country. Finally, Americans in the North and the South remained settled in their conviction that blacks and whites weren’t equal. Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, proved to be an enemy of Reconstruction. He worked against a Congress that, under the influence of the so-called “radical” Republicans, sought to suppress Confederate influence in the South. Senator Charles Sumner and Representative Thaddeus Stevens worked diligently to pass Reconstruction bills. However, the states worked just as hard to legislate “black codes” banning black-white marriage, free speech, and even owning firearms and knives (26). Congress fought back, often overriding a president who worked to keep the peace at the expense of civil rights. By 1868, a window of hope cracked open. The House impeached President Johnson (55). Washington readmitted several states into the Union and demanded pro-Reconstruction leadership—much of it consisting of African American legislators (57). Optimism bloomed. Reconstruction Undermined Under the surface, unfortunately, forces conspired to derail Reconstruction’s progress. Republican leaders may have done too much too soon (60). They enacted laws that went beyond the people’s willingness to follow. Bands of former slaveholders terrorized blacks (62). The Ku Klux Klan started in 1866 and “quickly became, by 1867, a night-riding posse, complete with graveyard costumes, bizarre ranks and titles, and a mission . . . to ‘overawe union men, both black and white’ and ‘put the negro in a semi-serf condition’” (64). The reality was worse than the threat. Between 1885 and 1900, “201 lynchings took place in Alabama, 219 in Georgia, 253 in Mississippi, and 247 in Texas” (124). The Republican leadership at the state level was simply too green to lead a population unwilling to change its attitude. Guelzo notes, “It was, in the end, inexperience which proved a deadlier poison in Reconstruction’s cup than murderous white violence” (66). Neither the federal nor state Republicans had a political answer to the ongoing, subversive actions of the white South. The South wasn’t the only problem, however. Democrats on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line pushed back against black civil rights. Shortly after the war ended, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Minnesota voted down measures to provide equal voting rights (30). Northern Democrats “bitterly opposed the Fifteenth Amendment” and “employed Klan-like intimidation to suppress black votes in Northern cities” (101). By 1878, Democrats had regained control of the House and the Senate, and Southern governorships were firmly in their hands. Regardless of the Fifteenth Amendment, which said states couldn’t discriminate on the basis of race or color, Southern leaders imposed “literacy tests, poll taxes (starting with Georgia in 1871), property requirements, and sheer intimidation” on black voters (117). Reconstruction wasn’t a complete failure, Guelzo notes. The Union was restored, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments recognized the rights of citizenship for former slaves. Moreover, our Civil War didn’t end in “mass executions” (12, 127). But for all this good, Reconstruction is no success story. Unjust laws on paper, and racism in human hearts, continued to flourish. Guelzo quite appropriately cites T. S. Eliot: “I question whether any serious civil war ever does end” (127). Churches During Reconstruction Unfortunately, Guelzo fails to even mention the role of Christians in Reconstruction—certainly a concession to keep his book concise. But this omission is costly, since churches played an important role in both preserving racist attitudes and, ironically, providing a preacher to lead the South out of Jim Crow. Guelzo successfully explores the lines of political division that persisted after the Civil War. Had he addressed church life, he would have found parallel lines among Christian leaders, denominations, and churches. Southern white Protestants heartily defended the Southern way of life during Reconstruction, and they cheered the return of Democrats to power in the 1870s. Most agreed slaveholders called down God’s discipline by treating their slaves poorly, but few admitted slavery itself was sinful. Churches in the North considered the war-torn South their mission field; they tried to reunite fractured denominations, with little success. Freed blacks saw Reconstruction as an opportunity to finally have a church of their own, outside the control of white masters. Their departure from white churches was accelerated by racism that remained rampant (for more information on the church during Reconstruction, see Rebuilding Zion, Redeeming the South, and Baptized in Blood). Current Ramifications Long story short: we can better understand today’s racial divisions when we remember that the Civil War didn’t come close to ending political or religious strife. In the years after the war, America remained a nation where racism won the day in congresses, courtrooms, and Sunday school classrooms around the country. American Christians who read Reconstruction (and it’s certainly worth reading) will lament our history. A people capable of welcoming the “huddled masses” to Ellis Island proved just as capable of suppressing the rights of freed blacks in Atlanta. Reconstruction isn’t just a window into 19th-century history; it’s a window into the human heart. Readers who wonder if Eliot was right when he suggested civil wars don’t ever end will naturally pray with John, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20). View the full article

      in Christian Current Events


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