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Survey Reveals Many Christians Deeply Confused About Biblical Theology

By PNW Staff December 05, 2018

Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research has published their most recent State of Theology study, and the results show a confused collection of beliefs held by American Christians and especially evangelicals.

The study consisted of interviews with 3,000 adult Christians and follows similar surveys given in 2014 and 2016. Startlingly high percentages of respondents again revealed clearly heretical beliefs when they were asked about the nature of God and belief, their opinions on certain sins and the role of the Bible.

How much of this heretical belief is the result of poor education in Christian theology and how much indicates the influence of external cultural factors that are slowly warping what millions of Christians across the country believe? That remains to be answered, but the results of these questions show several interesting trends in belief following the previous surveys as well as demographic trends among generations.

To give an example of how the survey exposed heretical beliefs held by the majority of the Christians interviewed, 52% responded that most people are basically good, 51% believe that God accepts the worship of all religions and 78% subscribe to the Arian Heresy, which teaches that Jesus was the first and great being created by God the Father. In fact, Jesus is not a created being; He is God the Son.

Ligonier concluded that “Overall, US adults appear to have a superficial attachment to well-known Christian beliefs. For example, a majority agreed that Jesus died on the cross for sin and that He rose from the dead.” When examining issues of theology that go deeper than these basic Christian beliefs or ask the interviewed Christians to wrestle with difficult ethical issues, their reliance on popular opinion and cultural relativism became clear.

A majority of 59% stated that the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being, and most shocking of all, the survey showed that 62% of American Christians surveyed believe that “religious belief is a matter of personal opinion and not of objective truth.”

A majority still believes that salvation comes through faith rather than good works and although they believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, they also hold contradictory beliefs that put Jesus outside of the Trinity. The belief that Jesus was a created being is a heresy refuted and condemned at the Council of Nicaea in 325 and also at the Council of Constantinople in 381. This belief was held by 71% of Christians in 2016 and rose to78% in 2018, even though it has not been taught in any American church.

Only 52% of Christians identified abortion as a sin and as many as 38% declared it not to be a sin (others were unsure). Likewise, 41% of Christians interviewed believe that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality does not apply today. The effects of cultural relativism are clearly visible here across the spectrum of beliefs.

Christians who classify themselves as evangelical claim they see the Bible as the highest authority, but on other survey questions clear contradictions emerge as 30% of Evangelicals admit that the Bible is open for each individual to interpret as he chooses and as society changes.

In the end, whereas some questions seem to indicate increasingly heretical beliefs and others reflect more orthodox Christian theology, the majority of the survey exposes a deep confusion about Biblical theology in general. As Christians interviewed were easily swayed by changes in question phrasing or the inclusion of certain popular “catchphrases” a general lack of theological knowledge was apparent.

Clearly, there is more work to be done not only to identify as Christian but truly to engage with what that means; to educate ourselves not just on a few theological touchstones or fixate on a few words, but to really understand the Bible as the Word of God.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9491

Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year” – and that means that over 100 will die this week

November 27, 2018 by Michael Snyder

America is littered with thousands upon thousands of church buildings that aren’t being used anymore.  As you will see below, between 6,000 and 10,000 churches are dying in the United States every single year, and that means that more than 100 will die this week alone.  And of course thousands of others are on life support.  All over the country this weekend, small handfuls of people will gather in huge buildings which once boasted very large congregations.  At one time, America was widely considered to be “a Christian nation”, but that really isn’t true anymore.  As an excellent article in The Atlantic has noted, even though most Americans still consider themselves to be “Christian”, the numbers are telling us a very different story…

Many of our nation’s churches can no longer afford to maintain their structures—6,000 to 10,000 churches die each year in America—and that number will likely grow. Though more than 70 percent of our citizens still claim to be Christian, congregational participation is less central to many Americans’ faith than it once was. Most denominations are declining as a share of the overall population, and donations to congregations have been falling for decades. Meanwhile, religiously unaffiliated Americans, nicknamed the “nones,” are growing as a share of the U.S. population.

In fact, the “nones” have risen from just 6 percent of the population in 1991 to 25 percent today.  That makes them the single largest “religious group” in the United States.

Today, less than 20 percent of all Americans attend church on a regular basis.  As a result, churches are dying in very large numbers, and this is a trend that appears to be accelerating.  According to Thom S. Rainer of Lifeway, when you break the numbers down it means that “around 100-200 churches will close this week”…

Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year. That means around 100-200 churches will close this week. The pace will accelerate unless our congregations make some dramatic changes.

Any institution needs resources in order to survive, and churches are not any different.

As attendance has declined, so has giving, and at this point the percentage of charity donations going to religious institutions is at an all-time low

Religious institutions are still the single biggest recipients of overall charity donations, according to the 2015 survey by the Giving USA Foundation. About 32 percent — $119.3 billion — of a total of $373.25 billion Americans gave to charities went to churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.

But that is down from about 50 percent since 1990, according to Rick Dunham, vice chairman of Giving USA, and the percentage has been “in steady decline for some time.”

So when churches die, what happens to their buildings?

Well, some are torn down, some are renovated for residential or business purposes, and some are being put to other uses

A large number of abandoned churches have become wineries or breweries or bars. Others have been converted into hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs. A few have been transformed into entertainment venues, such as an indoor playground for children, a laser-tag arena, or a skate park.

A similar thing is happening in Europe, only on a much greater scale.  Over there, hundreds of churches have been transformed into Islamic mosques, and this has generated quite a bit of controversy.

As I discussed in my article about demographic trends, we are witnessing societal change happen at a pace that would have been absolutely unthinkable a couple of generations ago.

This is especially true for our young people.  If you go back to 1986, just 10 percent of all young adults were “religiously unaffiliated”, but now that number has jumped all the way to 39 percent

Today, nearly four in ten (39%) young adults (ages 18-29) are religiously unaffiliated—three times the unaffiliated rate (13%) among seniors (ages 65 and older). While previous generations were also more likely to be religiously unaffiliated in their twenties, young adults today are nearly four times as likely as young adults a generation ago to identify as religiously unaffiliated. In 1986, for example, only 10% of young adults claimed no religious affiliation.

That makes young adults the single largest group of “nones” in the entire country.  We are living at a time when there is a mass exodus from the Christian faith in America, and it is likely going to take something quite dramatic to reverse that trend.

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are about half as likely to attend religious services on a weekly basis as the oldest Americans are.

Church attendance is simply not as important to Americans as it once was.  In the old days, churches were central hubs where you got to know your neighbors and important events were commemorated.  But now churches sit idle and empty most of the time, and attendance on Sunday mornings is depressingly low in most cases.

When I was growing up, my parents made sure that we were in church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and sometimes even on Wednesday evening.  But today, most churches don’t even have Sunday evening or midweek services because nobody would show up.

Our entire society, including our system of government, was birthed out of a culture of Bible-believing Christians.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Dr. Mark David Hall

In 1776, every European American, with the exception of about 2,500 Jews, identified himself or herself as a Christian. Moreover, approximately 98 percent of the colonists were Protestants, with the remaining 1.9 percent being Roman Catholics.

Not only did early Americans identify themselves as Christians, but nearly all of them regularly attended church.

Now our society is moving very rapidly in the exact opposite direction, and many believe that this has tremendous implications for the future of our nation.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9488

Gas pipeline to connect Israel and Europe

Historic agreement reached to lay gas pipeline connecting Israel and Europe.

Arutz Sheva Staff, 25/11/18 03:39

An agreement has been reached to lay a gas pipeline connecting Israel and European countries, Hadashot TV reported on Saturday night.

The agreement has been signed by Israel, Greece, Italy and Cyprus, with the backing of the European Union, according to the report.

The pipeline would be the world’s longest and deepest underground gas pipeline, 2,000 kilometers long and 3.5 kilometers deep, and will connect these four countries and allow Israel to export gas to the Balkans and Central Europe.

Hadashot TV reported that the EU agreed to invest $100 million in a feasibility study before the agreement was reached. Now, after two years of intensive contacts, the parties have reached an agreement that will be submitted this week for consideration by the member states. It is estimated that work on the gas pipeline will begin within a few months.

Within five years, the gas is supposed to flow through the pipeline and bring huge sums of money into Israel. Among the significant clauses in the agreement is priority for Israel and Cyprus in exporting gas to the European market, which is considered the largest and most significant market in which gas prices are double than what they are in Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9486

The Vatican is preparing for the Pope’s resignation in February 2019 and US Bishops are disgusted!

14 novembre 2018 adm-zagami

Article by Leo Lyon Zagami 

The Vatican is under profound scrutiny and criticism after Monday’s shock announcement that they requested the U.S. Catholic Bishops to delay voting on new standards for survivors of sexual abuse and bishop accountability. The US Bishops, who were attending the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, were indeed surprised by the decision, and expressed a mixture of disappointment, acceptance, and frustration about the news. Angry victims and activists fromBishopAccountability.org, which compiles data on clergy abuse in the church, were present in Baltimore outside the hotel where the Conference of US Catholic Bishops took place, and became increasingly frustrated, some shouting in despair that this was “totally unacceptable!!”

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, two survivors of clerical sexual abuse spoke to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops about their own personal experiences and their hopes for the future of the Church.  One survivor, Luis Torres, even asked the US bishops in a touching testimony, to make changes to ecclesial policies and culture that might ensure that sexual abuse or coercion by anyone in the Church, including bishops, is put to an end. “I ask,”he pled, “that you inspire me and our community to faith and hope through your courage and your action, which is needed right now. Not in three months. Not in six months. Yesterday.”

Yes, the victim said “yesterday”, not today, showing profound frustration, but Pope Francis doesn’t care about the victims of pedophilia, or the future of the Church in the United States, he really only cares about his own future. In September 2018, Pope Francis convened all the Episcopal Conferences worldwide for a general meeting to take place in Rome in February 2019, to discuss the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. It seems the Argentinian Pope wants to impose his own view before leaving office, not tolerating any further interference from the US Catholic Bishops.

For this reason, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US bishops’ conference, was forced to communicate with American bishops, telling them that they will not vote on the two key proposals which were expected to form the basis for the US Catholic Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis. They will simply have to wait until February 2019, another delay to facilitate the ongoing cover-up of the many crimes commited in the US by the Catholic Church, involved, as we all know by now, in Satanism and sexual abuse of minors on a scale never seen before.

Never mind if DiNardo said that the U.S. bishops remain committed to their proposals,

the US bishops’ general assembly meeting in Baltimore will conclude today amongst profound disappointment by US Catholics, and even part of the clergy aside from Pope Francis’ loyalists like Cardinal Blase Cupich.

The meeting with the Pope in Rome will take place in the Vatican from 21st to the 24th of February 2019, exactly 6 years after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and during this occasion some trusted sources say Pope Francis will announce his own resignation,  conveniently issuing a papal conclave for all present entitled to vote.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9483

Russia And Ukraine Are On The Brink Of War – And Why That Could Lead To World War 3

A respected foreign journalist living in Ukraine is warning that a war that most Americans cannot even imagine “teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real”.  When Russia opened fire on Ukrainian Navy vessels and captured three of their ships, it made headlines all over the globe.  An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was hastily arranged for Monday at 11 AM, and hopefully there will be a positive outcome from that meeting.  Because right now Moscow and Kiev are on the brink of war, and once a Russian invasion happens there will be no turning back.  At that point the U.S. would have a major decision to make, and if we chose to defend Ukraine that could mean that we would suddenly find ourselves fighting World War 3.

Most people don’t realize that this crisis has been simmering for over a week.  The following is from a U.S. News & World Report article that was posted on November 19th

A dispute over shipping lanes is threatening to reignite the 4-year-old simmering war between Ukraine and Russia following confrontations sparked by both sides in recent days.

Russian border guards on Monday detained Ukrainian fishing vessels in the Sea of Azov, a strategically important body of water contained to the north by Ukraine, to the west by the Crimean Peninsula and to the east and south by Russia. Monday’s incident came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Kiev for detaining Russian commercial ships also in the Azov in what he described as “a totally illegal move” and which Kremlin officials have warned may prompt retaliation.

When you realize what has already taken place, it puts the most recent events in an entirely different context.

The Russians blocked the Kerch Strait in retaliation for having had their own commercial vessels detained by the Ukrainian government.

And when the Ukrainians decided to test the Russians by sailing Ukrainian Navy vessels into the Kerch Strait, the Russians decided not to back down.  The following comes from Sky News

Russia has opened fire on Ukrainian ships and captured three vessels in a major escalation of tensions off the coast of Crimea.

Three sailors have been wounded after the Ukrainian navy said two artillery boats were hit by the strikes in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency session of his war cabinet and said he will propose that parliament declare martial law.

So the truth is that neither side is exactly “innocent” in this situation.

The Kerch Strait is absolutely critical, because it is the only way into and out of the Azov Sea

The strait connects the Azov Sea with the Black Sea and runs between the Crimean Peninsula and Russia. It’s a shallow, narrow stretch of water just two to three miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers) wide at one point near the Chuska landspit.

The strait is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine, as it allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea.

It’s also the the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. The international community has largely not recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but that did not stop Russia from building a bridge over the Kerch Strait connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. The Kerch Strait bridge was opened in May.

In addition to asking for a declaration of martial law, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also been gathering with his top military leaders.  Poroshenko is pledging that Ukraine will not take any “offensive” military actions, but he also says that they are ready to defend against any attacks from Russia.

The Russians are accusing Poroshenko of manipulating this crisis in order to pump up his flagging approval ratings for the upcoming presidential elections.  There is a very real possibility that Poroshenko could lose, and he is desperate to stay in office.

Of course the Ukrainians are blaming Russia for everything, and Poroshenko says that what happened on Sunday “was an act of war”

Finally, Ukraine has called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting over ‘Russian aggression’ while Ukraine’s secretary for national security, Oleksander Turchynov, accused Russia of engaging in an act of war: “We heard reports on incident and have concluded that it was an act of war by Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

At this point, it is unclear what the Russians will do next.

Hopefully they will see that a full-blown invasion of Ukraine would not be wise.

But if they decide that such a war is inevitable, they will move with lightning speed as we have seen in other conflicts.  For example, Russia had already annexed Crimea before the rest of the world even started talking about it.  And we all remember what happened in Georgia.

If and when Russia finally pulls the trigger, their forces will be halfway to Kiev before the mainstream media in the western world even realizes what is happening.

And if Russia does invade, the Trump administration will be under tremendous pressure from Republicans, Democrats and other NATO members to intervene.  Already, there has been some very tough talk from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

It’s yet unclear how far the U.S. is willing to go in support for Ukraine. In a joint statement after Klimkin’s meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, both sides “condemned Russia’s aggressive actions against international shipping transiting the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports” and agreed that “Russia’s aggressive activities in the Sea of Azov have brought new security, economic, social, and environmental threats to the entire Azov-Black Sea region.”

But if we directly intervene in a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that could very easily trigger World War 3.

Most Americans are not concerned that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine could potentially affect the United States, but the threat is very real.  In fact, according to foreign correspondent Nolan Peterson such a war “teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real”…

This is the most dangerous moment I’ve seen in Ukraine in years. Tonight, a war that many people in America can only imagine thanks to Hollywood movies, teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real. Tonight in Ukraine we go to sleep not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Let us hope for peace, because right now the world is becoming a more chaotic place with each passing day…

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9480

Science shocker: Adam and Eve for real

All mankind descended from 1 couple

Published: 13 hours ago

In a major shock to evolutionary science, a sweeping survey of the genetic code shows the human race sprang from a single adult couple.

The research was led by the Rockefeller University and the University of Basel, Switzerland, and stunned all involved.

“This conclusion is very surprising,” said David Thaler, research associate from the University of Basel. “And I fought against it as hard as I could.”

While still holding to an old Earth with these modern humans dating back between 100,000 to 200,000 years, it’s a time far more recent than other claims in the evolutionary theory.

In addition, this Adam and Eve, the researchers say, arose after a catastrophic event than nearly wiped out the human race. The Bible’s a story of a couple created by God as a adults.

Another surprise for the scientists, however, was that nine of every 10 animal species also come from a single pair of beings.

Senior research associate Mark Stoeckle and Thaler, the two scientists who headed the study, concluded 90 percent of all animal species alive today come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than 250 thousand years ago — throwing into doubt the patterns of human evolution.

“At a time when humans place so much emphasis on individual and group differences, maybe we should spend more time on the ways in which we resemble one another and the rest of the animal kingdom,” said Stoeckle.

The study also suggests people and animals are very similar genetically to each other.

“If a Martian landed on Earth and met a flock of pigeons and a crowd of humans, one would not seem more diverse than the other according to the basic measure of mitochondrial DNA,” said Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at the Rockefeller University.

Stoeckle agrees, adding: “Culture, life experience and other things can make people very different but in terms of basic biology, we’re like the birds.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9477

Explorers claim they found Noah’s Ark on top of mountain in Iran

By Alahna Kindred, The Sun

November 19, 2018 | 3:31pm | Updated

The Sulayman Mountain, also known as Taht-I-Suleiman Shutterstock

Noah’s Ark has been discovered on top of a mountain in Iran after petrified wooden beams were found on the summit, according to the latest conspiracy theories.

Researchers from the Bible Archaeology, Search & Exploration Institute claim there is strong evidence that the ship is on the mountain of Takht-e-Suleiman.

The BASE group says they found wood fragments at the 15,000-foot elevation and took the samples to be analyzed in a lab.

The lab found the fragments showed signs of petrified wood.

Furthermore, they found microscopic sea life in a rock sample, which is normally found at the bottom of the ocean.

The BASE group said: “The research and site survey being investigated by the BASE Institute has strong potential.”

“Is it the remains of Noah’s Ark? The BASE Institute does not make the claim that we have found Noah’s Ark. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.”

Modal Trigger The Hereford Mappa MundiGetty Images

“In our opinion, it’s a candidate. The research continues.”

Noah’s Ark is one of the world’s greatest biblical mysteries as scientists have struggled to find evidence that the Great Flood even happened.

The story goes that God instructed Noah to build the Ark to save his family and the world’s animals from the Great Flood.

In September, a 700-year-old map appeared to reveal the location of Noah’s Ark.

The Mappa Mundi, in Hereford Cathedral, contains more than 500 ink drawings including amazing “evidence” for apparent locations of key biblical happenings.

The huge masterpiece is seen by many history scholars as one of the greatest surviving artworks of the Middle Ages.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9474

Archaeologists Discover Massive 4,000-Year Old Bomb Crater At Site Of Sodom And Gomorrah Destruction

During the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Denver, Colorado, scholar Phillip Silvia reported the preliminary findings of their excavations in the area, which some scientists consider to be home to the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The results suggest that cities and settlements in the Jordan Valley’s Middle Ghor region, where up to 65,000 people lived around that time, were obliterated with a powerful wave of heat, wind and tiny particles, the outlet Science News reports.

by Geoffrey Grider November 23, 2018

According to the Bible, the ancient cities, thought to have been located on the Dead Sea, were wiped away by God for the sinful behaviour of their people. The preliminary findings of US scientists suggest that this region witnessed a major calamity almost 4 thousand years ago, which left it uninhabited for centuries.

God looks down on man’s nuclear weapons, and I believe He laughs at our puny attempts at warfare. He has things in His arsenal that make our most powerful nukes look like firecrackers. We first read about these weapons in the 38th chapter of the book of Job. The weather is the strongest weapon that has ever been created, and there is no defense against it. Think about that the next time your ‘small talk‘ revolves around the weather, no small matter there.

“But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” Genesis 13:13, 19:24,25 (KJV)

Contrary to modern-day Laodicean revisionists, the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of unrepentant homosexual behaviour. This was the place where the original LGBTQ lifestyle was founded, and when God pronounced judgement on it in a fiery blast from above, Sodom and Gomorrah ceased to exist. That area today, as you see in the photo, resembles a bomb blast crater after an horrific explosion has taken place. It remains uninhabited to this day.

“And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” Genesis 19:27,28 (KJV)

Bible Revisited: Alleged Sodom Site Thought to Have Been Hit by Cosmic Blast

FROM SPUTNIK: Archaeologists from Trinity Southwest University, a Christian higher educational institution in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have claimed civilisation in the Dead Sea region was destroyed 3,700 years ago following a meteor explosion in the atmosphere.

During the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Denver, Colorado, scholar Phillip Silvia reported the preliminary findings of their excavations in the area, which some scientists consider to be home to the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The results suggest that cities and settlements in the Jordan Valley’s Middle Ghor region, where up to 65,000 people lived around that time, were obliterated with a powerful wave of heat, wind and tiny particles, the outlet Science News reports.

Waives also pushed salty water from the Dead Sea, which devastated the soil. The explosion, the researchers argue, “not only wiped out 100% of the Middle Bronze Age cities and towns, but also stripped agricultural soil from once-fertile fields,” Newsweek reports.

According to the scientists, a low-altitude meteor explosion caused the catastrophe which wiped out the region, including the ancient city of Tall el-Hammam, where the researchers worked for years. Radiocarbon dating reportedly revealed that mud-brick walls suddenly disappeared in the Middle Ghor city, as only stone foundations remained.

A pottery surface found on the site was melted into glass, which may be a result of extreme temperatures. Following the alleged blast, people wouldn’t return to the region for 600-700 years.

Humanity has seen several space explosions before. Five years ago, a near-Earth asteroid exploded in the atmosphere near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, making headlines around the world and even worming its way into a Hollywood movie. This resulted in over 1,000 people being injured (mostly by broken glass from windows blown out by the shockwave). A more powerful blast came in 1908, when an asteroid exploded over a scarcely populated Siberian region on the Tunguska River, wiping away 2,000 square kilometres.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9471

Russia missile THREAT: USA eyes up more Turkey sanctions as Ankara IGNORES warnings

DONALD Trump’s administration could slap Turkey with more sanctions over a decision by Ankara to deploy an advanced Russian missile system on Europe’s doorstep, Turkish media reports.

By Harvey Gavin

PUBLISHED: 19:17, Thu, Nov 15, 2018 | UPDATED: 19:17, Thu, Nov 15, 2018

Turkey could face further sanctions over its purchase of the Russian made S-400 missile system (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The United States has repeatedly warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to go ahead with a purchase of the S-400 surface-to-air missile platform amid concerns it could be used to target the new F-35 stealth fighter. But it emerged in September that Turkey had begun work on a launch site to accommodate the Russian-made weaponry. Turkey insists the missiles are not a threat to American jets, but US officials are “not optimistic” over Ankara’s assurances, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.

But the source added negotiations between Washington and Ankara over the issue are “continuing”.

The Russian-made S-400 can target multiple aerial targets within its 250 mile range (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The S-400 reportedly poses a ‘threat’ to the US-made F-35 jets (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The S-400 is touted as one of the most advanced systems in the world and is capable of engaging multiple aerial targets within its 250 mile range.

It is designed to knock incoming ballistic missiles out of the sky before they reach their target and can also target stealth warplanes – including the new F-35 fighter.

Turkey is due to receive two F-35s in the near future ahead of a further order which will eventually see the country take delivery of 100 of the high-tech jets.

But experts have warned the planes, combined with the S-400 missile system, could allow Russia to analyse the stealth technology fitted to the plane.

Writing in the National Interest, defence expert Sebastien Roblin said: “In short, the Pentagon sees the combination of S-400 batteries and F-35 fighters as one that may give Russia a chance to closely study the stealth jet, and tailor their air defences to defeat it.”

Trump reveals that Turkey released Pastor Andrew Brunson

 

Russia said Turkey’s S-400 missiles will be delivered in 2019 (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

NATO countries have also expressed concerns over Turkey’s S-400 purchase because it is incompatible with equipment used by the Western alliance.

Relations between Ankara have Washington improved slightly in recent weeks following the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson who was being held in Turkey on terrorism charges.

President Donald Trump had slapped Turkey with tough sanctions after a deal he struck with President Erdogan to secure Mr Brunson’s release fell through.

But following the pastor’s release last month, Mr Trump signalled a thawing of relations could be possible, tweeting the move “will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!”

However the ongoing row over the S-400 threatens recent progress between the two nations.

Russia has previously said it plans to deliver the new missiles in 2019.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9468

USS Truman carrier and strike force bound for waters off Syria amid Russian naval buildup

Nov 18, 2018 @ 10:13 Israeli air strikes, Russian fleet exercises, Syria, Trump-Putin summit, USS Truman

The USS Harry Truman with a strike force of 5 guided missile warships were on their way on Sunday, Nov. 18 to waters off the Syrian coast. They entered the Mediterranean on Friday, Nov. 16, just as the Russian Middle East fleet wound up a series of search and destroy exercises against enemy submarines and warships. They were led by two Russian guided missile frigates Admiral Makarov and Admiral Essen, armed with Kalibr-NK cruise ship-to-shore missiles. Russia air force helicopters took part in the drills. By week’s end, there were 8 Russian warships in the eastern Mediterranean.

Aboard the Truman are 9 squadrons of Carrier Air Wing fighter bombers . Its strike force consists of the Normandy guided missile cruiser and four guided missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burk, USS Forrest Sherman, USS Bulkeley and USS Farragut.

This US-Russian buildup of sea and air forces opposite Syria has accelerated in preparation for two events, DEBKAfile’s military sources report:

  1. The approaching meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the 26-30 Nov. G20 summit. Since it is assumed in both Washington and Moscow that  the Syria issue will be high on the agenda together with the expanding Iranian presence there, both powers are gearing up for a military event that will tilt the standoff one way or the other.
  2. A possible Israeli air strike against Iranian targets in Syria after a long pause.  The Russians may well decide to use their newly-installed S-300 air defense missiles to shoot down an Israel warplane to get even for the downing of their Il-20 on Sept. 17. For Moscow this is still an open book.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9465