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Archive for the ‘Discernment’ Category

Lest we forget how politicized the COVID-19 Hysteria has become which has rendered ANY official declaration of what needs to be done as having ZERO credibility!

from: The New American:

In a new set of coronavirus guidelines, the California Department of Public Health requires houses of worship to end singing and chanting — and discourages church attendance in general.

The guidelines were released at the beginning of July and warn that “convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death.”

The guidelines are specifically targeted at “Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies.” Under the policies, “Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.”

Religious leaders wondered if the policy means singing is prohibited even for churches hosting live streams with no worshippers physically present. The California Department of Public Health responded: “Singing and chanting in person in places of worship are not allowed at this time.”

That raises the question: Is it the coronavirus that’s the problem, or is it just religious singing that’s the problem that California’s government is determined to quell under the guise of public health?

dditionally, the document reiterates the department’s policy on the use of masks, which “broadly requires the use of face coverings for both members of the public and workers in all public and workplace settings where there is a high risk of exposure.”

Churches have long been a target in the official coronavirus hysteria. Many media outlets have highlighted the supposed necessity of limiting worship with fear-mongering pieces such as one published by the New York Times, which reads:

Imagine the scene: You’re at church, belting out a hymn, and the sound is so joyful that you turn, smiling, to look around. You notice a spray of spit coming from the mouth of the person next to you: One particularly large droplet arcs toward the person in front, then lands, right on their neck.

piece by the Los Angeles Times cited “experts” who “advised choirs and performing arts groups not to gather again to sing in person until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 becomes widely available.” The Atlantic argued that it is “obvious” that people should not sing in groups, and applauded Germany for outlawing singing in churches while lamenting that American churches “are effectively exempt from much of the legal system.”

Both articles blasted President Trump for declaring religious worship “essential,” a move that was followed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) deleting a warning on its website that deemed church singing hazardous and recommended that congregations “consider suspending or at least decreasing use of choir/musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting or reciting.”

“The government’s abdication of its duty to provide basic information on managing coronavirus risk is especially dangerous because, in addition to the documented super-spreading events, there’s clear physiologic reason to be concerned about singing — or chanting, yelling, wailing, or even wassailing. Doing so in proximity to other people, especially when airflow in a space is limited, is a pandemic nightmare scenario,” the Atlantic’s James Hamblin writes.

Reacting to the California guidelines, some Twitter users pointed to the double standard of demanding that chuches restrict their services even while the government tolerates large gatherings of Black Lives Matter protesters.

Some California churches are striking back at the policy. Senior Pastor Jim Clark at Crossroads Community Church in Yuba City said his congregation will continue singing.

“I think it’s ridiculous personally,” Clark said. “I really believe that it is stepping on the constitutional rights from the Bill of Rights on churches.”

He said his church will do other coronavirus safety precautions, such as allowing only 25 percent of capacity to attend, distancing seats, and checking attendees’ temperatures. “We’ll be singing and praising the Lord, that’s part of the worship, we think it’s guaranteed by our Constitution,” Clark added.

The California Department of Public Health maintained that the ban is enforceable since it was added to official state guidelines.

New York has taken a similarly hard-handed approach to COVID-19. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio even took heat from the Jewish community for threatening them with arrest over “illegal” religious gatherings and for kicking out Hasidic Jewish children from a Williamsburg park.

Yet the city refuses to let contact tracers ask COVID-positive individuals if they have attended Black Lives Matter protests.

The agenda is clear to see: The pandemic hysteria was never anything more than a way for the Deep State to target its enemies in a way that would have a large portion of the public cheering the tyranny on.

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There is a great deal going on globally right now that is ramping up towards an Anti-Christ system and government fairly quickly , that would seem to many to be all “of a sudden” however the ground work for it has been in the process of being laid for decades if not centuries.

I always knew in my spirit that when an Anti-Christ system came or was in the final stages of being put in place, that it would not appear out of the ordinary to the mass majority of people, the “sea” of mankind would run straight for it, because they would be given the impression that there is no other way or option!

We are now beginning to see that play out, people are being told that there is a global virus pandemic, and they must “temporarily” give up their individual rights and comply with what is needed to “flatten” the “curve” of rising infections, and oh by the way this virus may come back in waves so we will need all of you to sign up to having a “digital certificate” proving that either you have had the virus and built antibodies to it, or to show that you have had the vaccine to prevent you from not only getting the COVID-19 virus but also not able to pass it on to anyone else. And that digital certificate will be needed to not only return to work, but to participate in society!

And we are being flooded with pronouncements from global organizations such as the WHO, and others that the solution to this pandemic can not be found by any single country but can only be found via a unified global effort. not to mention that the “lock downs” and destruction of economies will cause a cascading effect which will lead to worldwide social and societal disruption, as well as long term disruptions to food supply chains. The outcome of which will demand a global solution!

And let’s not forget that we are also being constantly bombarded with advertisements that there will be a “new normal” when “lock down” orders are lifted. We will all walk out into a new world where everything we do is digitally monitored and tracked.

My concern is this: where have all the “watchmen” went? When I started this website over 10 years ago there was a plethora of “watchmen” and discernment websites, and sadly they have slowly disappeared, many  just became weary of the blow back from established churches and so called national Church leaders who stated that it was not in line with the “positive” message of the Bible to be constantly pointing out the apostasy of denominations and well known so called “Prophets” and “Evangelists”

Well now we are at the point that the threat has reached the wall! And there are few if any shouting the warning!

 

Via Lighthouse Trails Research:

The false Word of Faith teachers are showing their bad fruit.

Can this be God’s way of showing false teachers to the church? On March 29th, Word of Faith teacher, Kenneth Copeland, stated:

“In the Name of Jesus, standing in the office of the prophet of God, I execute judgment on you COVID-19. I execute judgment on you, Satan, you destroyer, you killer. You get out. I break your power. You get off this nation. I demand judgment on you. I demand. I demand. “I demand a vaccination to come immediately. I call you done. I call you gone. You come down from your place of authority, destroyer. You come down and you crawl on your belly like God commanded you when He put His foot on your head in the Garden of Eden. You will destroy through COVID-19 no more. ‘It is finished! It is over! And the United States of America is healed and well again,’ saith the mighty Spirit called Peace, who is also the Prince of War, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Copeland’s left-side “puppet” says to him, “COVID 19 has ceased to exist.”

Then Copeland responds with, “At exactly 12 noon on the 29th day of March.” They break out into praise, saying thank you Jesus “it’s over”!

Sounds like a child’s tantrum. No matter how loud he sounds, it is a whisper in God’s ears; and he does not teach what is in the Bible (God did not put his foot on Satan’s head in the garden.)

Look at the COVID 19 maps to see if it is over as Copeland pronounced in the name of the Lord. It’s not over, and this man has once again brought shame to the name of the Savior.

How is this any different than what Copeland said at another church at another time previously right here in Hawaii (20 years ago) that did not come true either. The fact is, he has a perfect record—of false prophecies:

“We are going to agree together tonight that God’s will be carried out. And that whosoever is elected as president of the United States and whomsoever is elected in the congress of the United States, WILL HEAR AND OBEY THE VOICE OF GOD ALMIGHTY FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS IN THIS NATION.”… WE BIND YOU SATAN in the name of Jesus. This nation doesn’t belong to you, it never has and never will. In the name of Jesus, YOU COME DOWN from your place of authority and you crawl in the dust like God told you to in the Garden of Eden.” (Copeland on August 18, 1996 at a Word of life Church, http://www.letusreason.org/Wf19.htm)

Copeland is doing exactly what the Bible says not to do on fallen angels (read Jude). He is Word of Life’s spiritual father; he came to dedicate their new building on Dec. 2, 2001. At a Word of Life Christian Center dedication celebration service in Honolulu Hawaii on Dec. 2, 2001, Copeland gave a “prophetic utterance”:

“But There are going to be multiplied millions upon millions. There’s going to be close to a billion people that have been trapped in that religion, that over the next few months are gonna to come into the kingdom of God. That’s gonna happen, you watch and see what I’m telling you (cheering) Because it’s been . . . I’m telling you Satan’s fat is in the fire he pushed it over the line, and God has moved. . . . I’d to get in there and walk around a while but I don’t have the time but I can tell you this, that thing has come to an end, it’s over, I’m talking about Islam and every, all that that stands for. That’s over with. ”

Benny Hinn—talking about COVID-19 claiming “those who abide in Him no plague will come, he who dwelleth in the secret place of the most high . . .   you said lord he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high, who abides in your shadow no evil shall befall them, no plague will ever come nigh their home. That’s your promise. I pray you will give assurance to your people in this hour now Lord. We pray and agree because you said when two agree you will do it. . . . This virus will die, it will die. I declare in the name of Jesus no plague shall come near you, I speak it now, and establish it in this atmosphere in Jesus name.” (No Plague Shall Come Near You.” London Ministry Conference March 14, 2020)

Of course, this virus will eventually fade (not die) like all others. But to guarantee this to those attendees is absolutely shameful and dangerous.

Gloria Copeland also says there is no flu season
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcNPjUraXrA&feature=youtu.be), that we are healed.

The Word of Faith teachers are deluded, and you should now be able see how dangerous they really are. Flee from the false prophets while there is time. Do you want to be a goat or a sheep under the Lord?  Time to see it for what it is and choose.

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Wait! What? The Pope uses a collective “person” term to describe “Nature?  But Pope Francis what about God the person? The Creator?

from CNN:

Pope Francis has said the coronavirus pandemic is one of “nature’s responses” to humans ignoring the current ecological crisis.In an email interview published Wednesday in The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines, the pontiff said the outbreak offered an opportunity to slow down the rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world.

We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?” the Pope said.“I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses,” he added.

The pandemic has radically changed the way the Vatican operates, with the Pope celebrating Palm Sunday mass in an empty church and the sites normally packed with tourists empty.The 83-year-old Pope, who has a damaged lung from an infection in his 20s, has twice tested negative for the novel coronavirus. He is being distanced from anyone who might be carrying the virus, takes his meals in his private quarters, and uses hand sanitizer before and after meeting any guests, the Vatican press office said.

Pope Francis also said in the interview he was recovering from his bronchitis and praying even more from his residence in the Vatican during this “time of great uncertainty.”Pope Francis presides over a moment of prayer on the sagrato of St Peters Basilica on March 27.Francis also revealed he goes to confession every Tuesday to ask forgiveness for his own selfishness.

“I take care of things there,” he said.He also criticized the response to the outbreak, saying the homeless should be quarantined in hotels and not in parking lots.“A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they [the homeless] had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel,” the Pope said.“This is the moment to see the poor,” he said, adding that society often treats those in need as “rescued animals.”

The Pope also warned against the rise of populist politicians — who he said are giving speeches reminiscent of Hitler in 1933 — and others who are focusing solely on the economy. He said he was worried by the “hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons.

The Pope encouraged those in a lockdown to find creative ways of being at home. “Take care of yourselves for a future that will come,” Francis said.

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Just give me a few days and I will come up with an even more outlandish reason for the coronavirus that misquotes the Bible very badly to justify it. Meanwhile the following articles show some of the horrible blindness coming out apostate Profits:

“Prophet Says Coronavirus Would Be Over ‘In an Hour’ If China Gave Religious Freedom”

“Prophetess From Bethel Decrees and Declares Coronavirus “Conquered”

“Prophet Says Coronavirus is the Devil’s Way of Stopping President Trump”

“Prophet Says Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Mark of the Beast”

“Prophet, Lou Engle, Says Three-Day Fast Will Stop Coronavirus”

“Perry Stone Says Coronavirus is a Scheme of Satan to Promote Socialism”

“Rodney Howard Browne promised to bind coronavirus from the United States”

“Jim Bakker claimed his venereal disease ointment also heals coronavirus”

“Rick Wiles claimed Christians are immune altogether from coronavirus”

“Another prophet declared that Republican states were immune from the coronavirus”

“Kenneth Copeland said that touching his oily hand through the television would heal coronavirus.”

 

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from Reformation Charlotte:

CRU — formerly Campus Crusade for Christ — has been exposed as a social justice political organization with the sole intention of turning young, Christian-minded students into progressive activists. Ranging from LGBTQ activism to Cultural Marxism and intersectionality, CRU has hosted a number of events with the intent of advancing both political and theological liberalism.

Sojourners is an ecumenical publication founded by the progressive political activist and theological mystic, Jim Wallis, who has admitted to — along with SBC leader, Russell Moore — receiving funding from George Soros to advance an open-borders agenda in the US. Sojourners hosts a number of Roman Catholics and mystics — among them, Kaitlin Curtice.

Curtice is described on her website as,

… a young, Native American Christian mystic who portrays the sacredness of the human condition in everyday language through her writing.

Curtice promotes the heresy of contemplation (contemplative prayer and meditation) and writes of her experiences with “other realms” of life,

By contemplation, I am basically referring to the work of creating and sustaining an inner life of peace, quiet, listening to the Divine/Mystery/Higher Power/God , and letting the overflow of that love stretch into other realms of life.

She is a climate change activist who worships the creation over the creator,

Perhaps if we returned to loving the land, waters, and all beings that live and breathe around us, we might learn how to love our human relatives again.

Nowhere in any of Curtice’s works or writings does she show one iota of understanding of the biblical gospel. Of course, we should not expect a Catholic to understand the gospel as the Catholic Church’s gospel is false. Yet, even in the spiritual blindness of the Roman Catholic Church, many Catholics still have a good grasp on general revelation, morality, and general common sense. This common grace is a gift from God to all creation — not just Christians. Yet, Curtice has not only suppressed the truth of the cross, but the truth of God and his revelation altogether.

Yet, for some reason, the Evangelical organization CRU — who is closely tied to the Southern Baptist Convention and The Gospel Coalition — sees a need to partner with people like this. Why? Because CRU, as outlined in Romans 1, has exchanged the truth about God (the gospel) for a lie (social justice activism).

By the way, did you know Reformation Charlotte has a Christian gear and apparel store? Check it out at ReformedGear.com.

Matt Mikalatos, a CRU leader in Portland Oregon desperately tried to invite Curtice to speak at one of CRU’s events. Thankfully, she declined and thousands of students did not have to be exposed to her spiritual poison. As seen in the screenshot below, Curtice did not want to sign the contract that was required.

When Mikalatos was asked about her up and coming presence at the event, Mikalatos was seemingly ecstatic that they were trying to get more Roman Catholics — including a priest who does idolatrous paintings of Jesus — involved in their work.

20190929_1409146123474437059293183

It is safe to say that CRU has largely apostatized from its original biblical, gospel-centered founding. What used to be a mission-focused evangelistic organization centered around biblical truth has now become an ecumenical gospel-less social justice and progressive political activist crusade.

If you were to die today, where would you go? Heaven? Hell? Not sure?

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2 Corinthians 11:13-15:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.…”

from OneZero:

One of the charges against Socrates was that his arguments were like robots. As the Greek philosopher approached his own trial, Euthyphro told Socrates, “You are like Daedalus.” He meant that just as Daedalus made automata that moved on their own in Greek myth, Socrates’ arguments were so persuasive that his ideas seemed to move under their own power. Even 2,500 years ago, automata inspired both fascination and fear.

I recently speculated about whether a machine could have a mystical experience. If we aren’t careful, the claim of divine inspiration can make the mystic’s words influential. When someone, whether human or machine, claims to have peeked behind the veil, we don’t know whether the prophet or the mystic has really glimpsed the divine. We only know what they claim, and it’s up to us to decide whether to trust them.

Deus ex machina

My interest in the connection between religion and robots is related to the charge against Socrates, and it’s a pragmatic interest rather than a technical one. What matters is not whether we have invented true artificial intelligence, but whether we believe we have invented it. If we trust the machine, we might let it function as a mystic or a priest, even if it isn’t one.

This raises the interesting question of what to do when someone makes a machine that is actually intended to play the role of clergy. Some pastors joke that they help people “hatch, match, and dispatch,” by celebrating births, weddings, and funerals. They joke, but even if we aren’t religious, we do tend to trust professionals to guide us through those serious moments. A few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook could play a similar role, giving meaning to lives just as a pastor does for a church. Given the amount of trust we put in clergy — and given the many examples of Facebook’s untrustworthiness — Zuckerberg’s suggestion is alarming. What does that trust entail?

Maybe our intention is to distance ourselves from the difficult work of care. Our machines might offer one kind of care, while being the physical expression of our lack of interest in those who need the care.

That’s an important question, because we’re being given more and more opportunities to trust machines to act in the roles of clergy. The company SoftBank Robotics created Pepper the robot to chant at Buddhist funerals in Japan, and a church in Germany programmed a machine to pronounce traditional blessings. Very recently in Dubai, the government’s cultural and Islamic affairs agency IACAD launched the first-ever “Virtual Ifta” that uses A.I. to issue fatwas. Other groups have experimented with machines that can hear confessions, offer prayers, or even offer sacraments.

Sinless machines?

Religious communities will need to decide whether they accept machines performing these functions within their traditions, but there’s a bigger issue that affects all of us: these machines are tools we have made, and to various degrees, they already “make arguments move around.” If they persuade us with voices that sound divine, we only have ourselves to blame.

Ursula Le Guin once wrote that “a machine is more blameless, more sinless even than any animal. It has no intentions whatsoever but our own.” The function of machines is the result of their design, even if the designers did not intend that function. As Charles Sanders Peirce wrote, even if we eventually make machines that can “wind their way through the labyrinths” of complex thinking, “the machine would be utterly devoid of original initiative, and would only do the special kind of thing it had been calculated to do.”

Perhaps someday Peirce will be proven wrong, and we will have machines that act originally and creatively. But in general we want machines that do what we tell them to do. We might want a machine to write original music, but we don’t want too much creativity; what we want is a machine that figures out what people already like, and writes songs that will sell. Only quirky academics are likely to pay for a machine that wrote songs that machines wanted to hear. Peirce adds, with some irony, “We no more want an original machine, than a housebuilder would want an original journeyman, or an American board of college trustees would hire an original professor.”

So we might not want a truly mystical machine, but maybe we could use machines that do the best things clergy do for us. A machine that resembles a human could chat all night with a lonely person, and might make a very good counselor. It could offer comforting words at the bedside of someone who suffers from dementia, or who needs a listening ear. It could read stories or sing songs. Why not automate the singing of hymns, the reciting of scripture, the chanting of prayer, the pronouncement of blessings? All of those things are desirable, at least to some people.

What risks come with the benefits of care-machines? As Euthyphro and Socrates point out, automated ideas and religious authority can be very persuasive.

But are there kinds of work, like caring for our communities and for our own bodies, that we should not automate? Tools amplify our efforts. They also amplify our intentions, and maybe our intention is to distance ourselves from the difficult work of care. Our machines might offer one kind of care, while being the physical expression of our lack of interest in those who need the care.

Here’s another question: What risks come with the benefits of care-machines? As Euthyphro and Socrates point out, automated ideas and religious authority can be very persuasive. Automata that speak and act with religious authority could be doubly persuasive. We worry about the influence of corrupt human clergy; what political, ethical, and economic influence could automated clergy have?

And here’s a third question: A machine can repeat ritualized “hatch, match, and dispatch” words for us, but can it share our experience as an empathetic companion? And if it can’t, does that diminish the meaning of the ritual?

What has it got in its pocketses?

In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the Lilliputians try to understand Gulliver by looking in his pockets. They have never seen a pocket watch before, so they observe how he uses it. They decide it must be “the god he worships: for he seldom did any thing without consulting it. He called it his oracle, and said it pointed out the time for every action of his life.”

The pocket watch was a new technology in Swift’s time. At first, pocket watches helped us to be on time. Little by little, we shifted from measuring our lives in hours to measuring them in seconds. The technology we invented to help us observe time wound up changing the way we viewed our own lives. There is a lesson here.

Paul Virilio puts a finer point on this: “When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck; when you invent the plane you also invent the plane crash; and when you invent electricity, you invent electrocution… Every technology carries its own negativity, which is invented at the same time as technical progress.”

Whether we believe in gods or not, our technologies can begin to function like gods, or like the priests that tell us how to behave. Even if we don’t intend them to, our machines can become our oracles, and where there are oracles, there are people ready to profit from those oracles.

Pandora’s Facebook Box has been opened. I don’t know if robots can be priests, but some are beginning to function like priests. This calls for care on our part, and I don’t think it is wise to expect a machine to care on our behalf.

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Where do you start with detailing how fundamentally flawed this pronouncement is? The Pope’s statement, to anyone who knows God’s word, is like the final punctuation in a multi-volume book detailing why the Roman Catholic Church always has been and still is a false church!

Now I have no doubt that there may be climate change, however THERE IS NO verifiable proof that this is caused by man. Secondly Anthropomorphic Climate Change clearly denies Biblical creation. It views man as just another species no different than animals, and whats worse classifies mankind as a kind of out of control virus that throughout most of his history has wreaked havoc on the earth!

from the Daily Mail:

Pope Francis is considering introducing ‘ecological sins’ in a new bid to battle climate change.

Speaking in Rome on Friday, Pope Francis said it’s ‘a duty’ to introduce the new sin to the Catholic Church’s teachings as a way to protect ‘our common home’.

This comes after the Pope held a three-week bishops’ assembly, called a synod, last month which addressed environmental dangers in the Amazon

Speaking on Friday, he said: ‘We have to introduce, we are thinking about it, in the catechism of the Catholic Church, the sin against ecology, the sin against our common home, because it’s a duty.’

He was addressing members of the International Association of Penal Law in Rome, Crux Now reports.

At the same event, the pope also said that politicians who rage against homosexuals, gypsies and Jews remind him of Hitler.

‘It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism,’ Francis said in an address to participants of an international conference on criminal law.

‘And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936,’ he said, departing from his prepared address.

‘With the persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies, today these actions are typical (and) represent ”par excellence” a culture of waste and hate. That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again.’

During the 1933-45 Nazi regime in Germany, six million Jews were killed and homosexuals and gypsies were among those sent to extermination camps.

Pope Francis did not name any politicians or countries as the targets of his criticism.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro had a history of making homophobic, racist and sexist public remarks before he took office on January 1. He told one interviewer he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.

 

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Update: Pope Francis’s apology over Amazon statues theft

from The American Spectator:

Tourists in Rome are long familiar with the image of Romulus and Remus suckling the teats of a wolf. But this week visitors to the Pan-Amazon Synod encountered a new image: an Amazonian mother suckling a dog. That picture hangs in a church next to the Vatican: Santa Maria in Traspontina. I wandered into it the other day and was struck by the jarring contrast between its stunning Baroque interior and the bonkers propaganda plastered on and near its walls. Much of the church had been turned into a shrine to the plight and nature-worship of Amazonians. Beneath the picture of the woman nursing a dog (while carrying a baby), a poster declares fatuously, “Everything is Connected.”

The poster captures the sheer obnoxiousness of the pope’s “ecological” kick. What a dismal devolution Rome has suffered under him. What will he do next? Turn the Pantheon back into a pagan temple? Why not? If Amazonian pantheism is a “religious experience” worthy of Catholic respect, why not revive ancient paganism, too? Perhaps the pope’s next synod can rehabilitate Nero.

Stripped of all of its pious cant, the pope’s Pan-Amazon Synod is nothing more than a bald violation of the First Commandment. Pope Francis is placing strange idols before the Triune God — in this case, Amazonian ones. Last week, he had a contingent of Indian activists — some of whom I have heard were flown over to Rome first-class by the German bishops — perform pagan rituals in the Vatican gardens. In that moment, every prediction of his anti-modernist predecessors came true: they all said that if the Church adopted the subjectivism of the “Enlightenment,” it would end up blessing false religions.

But more is at work here than simply the pope’s usual religious relativism. Why did he select the Amazon as his pretext to undermine doctrine and discipline? He could have chosen other remote regions. Why that one? I am told by a seasoned Vatican observer that the answer lies with the German bishops, who are largely financing this farce and its accompanying propaganda.

“This is about bringing the Vatican and the United Nations closer together,” he says. “The German bishops don’t care about Amazonian Indians, and they certainly don’t care about people not receiving the sacraments. Just look at Germany and how few people even frequent the sacraments there. What the German bishops care about is that the Church is more and more incorporated into the work of the United Nations.” The subject of suffering Amazonians is just an excuse, he says, for the “United Nations to treat the Church as one of its instruments,” with the complete backing of the Vatican.

Before the synod started, the pope had been babbling on about the binding quality of UN pronouncements. It is no coincidence that his silly gathering is crawling with UN observers, such as Jeffrey Sachs, whose consulting racket includes trying to convince dioceses and religious orders to “divest from oil companies” and the like. I have seen a number of these UN creeps self-importantly jump out of gas-guzzling SUVs near the Vatican. They don’t appear too worried about their own carbon footprint. Indeed, they always seem to be accompanied by a raft of superfluous security guards and flaks.

The Vatican is looking awful these days — graffiti, ugly cattle barricades, and a paramilitary presence, as if it is waiting any moment for an outbreak of the kind of Islamic terrorism the pope assures us doesn’t exist. At times, I feel like I am in the middle of an Italian farce. The other day I was eating next to an African priest and nun who appeared to be on a date. Sure enough, her hand slid over to his hand.

Architecturally and artistically, Rome remains a treat. But religiously, it is depressing as hell. Just stand by one of the Vatican gates and watch priests whip off their collars the moment they step outside, as if the priesthood is nothing more than a 9-to-5 job. Or sit in a café and listen to their pathetically worldly banter.

The street Borgo Pio, not far from one of the Vatican’s gates, is where many of the ecclesiastical heavies hang out. Last Sunday I saw Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, and Bishop Robert McElroy eating dinner at one of the restaurants on the street. Here was my chance to ask them about the synod and related matters. As they ambled back to the Vatican, I caught up with them and tried to conduct a brief interview. They disdainfully begged off, with Tobin, who no doubt remembered my article about the soap actor living in his rectory, saying laughingly, “Oh, George, oh, George.” O’Malley called my questions “hostile.” McElroy, the most darkly ideological of the three, just broodingly and quietly walked away. For all their talk about “dialogue,” the last thing they wanted to do on the eve of the synod was to speak with a journalist critical of it. The synod is in effect a raised middle finger to orthodox Catholics — a declaration that everything they hold dear no longer exists at the highest levels of the Church.

The Vatican is under enemy occupation and will remain so for many years to come. There is much chatter among Vaticanistas about a “Francis II,” now that the composition of the next conclave is largely liberal. By the time his pontificate ends, Francis will likely have selected two-thirds of the cardinals. The current secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, is thought to be the leading Francis clone. I have been told that Pope Francis is waiting for Benedict to die so that he can “then pass the pontificate to Parolin.”

Parolin is just a circumspect version of Francis. He holds the same batty views but presents them more diplomatically. Here and there one hears grumbles about the pope’s bumptiousness, but for the most part the Catholic Left is thrilled with him. The mask of modernism has been ripped off, only to reveal, in the words of Francis, an “Amazonian face,” beneath which is a UN body.

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from 828 Ministries:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. — Romans 16:17-18 (ESV)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. — Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV)

Only let your manner of life be worthyof the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, – Philippians 1:27 (ESV)

https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/77917-join-kenneth-copeland-and-lou-engle-in-these-healing-prayers-for-the-body

The bible prophesies in Revelation the state of the world leading up to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. While the date cannot be known, the birth pains can be felt, and one area of Eschatology experts agree on is the establishment of a one world religion. We need to be ever vigilant against the calls for false unity, which are heard nearly every day from the purpose driven industrial complex. To them, a unified church means more suckers to sell their wares to. To Satan however, it means unifying the people of God in something other than His Gospel and we need to make sure that the true remnant stays unified in Christ. The above link is to the most recent call for false unity. So, let us reason together once more and be reminded what we need to be watchful for.

This week, we are in the midst of praying through the 40-day Jewish season of repentance, Teshuvah. The word “Teshuvah” literally means to return to the presence of God. It is a season of introspection and repentance for Christians to come into unity with God, as Jesus prayed in John 17:21. However, as Jesus prayed, unity with God also requires unity with each other in Christ (John 17:20-23). Yet, almost since the beginning of Christianity, believers have quarreled about Christian doctrine and church government. The first Jerusalem Council served as an example of a favorably resolved dispute (Acts 15). However, other disputes resulted in division and treatment of opponents as non-Christians. As Ralph Martin famously said, “The body of Christ is broken.” Today there are many denominations and doctrines which create a great diversity within the body of Christ. Yet, we can still be united in Christ. Lutheran theologian Oscar Cullmann said, “Unity in the church … is unity in diversity … recognizing others in all their variety as true Christians.” — Ron Allen

Would it surprise you to learn that there is no Christian season called Teshuva? Or that the word actually means to simply repent? When scouring the Jewish calendar, we see no such record of the season of Teshuva. The only Christian referent we could find was to the wildly heretical ministry of Perry Stone. So, the notion that this Jewish word for repentance is secretly a season for Christians to return to the presence of God, be introspective, and come into unity is absolutely made up. The entire thing is a work of fiction. Christians have quarreled since the beginning because God is so clear about being careful to avoid false doctrine. Paul only tells Timothy to guard two things. His life and his doctrine. His doctrine because the eternal lives of his listeners is at stake. Our first key verse is crucial to understanding unity because disunity is sown in the body through the admission of false teaching. Most charlatans point to discernment ministries or people criticizing what is false as the source of disunity but it is their false teaching that divided the body to begin with. The second key verse is crucial to remember that only the Gospel, the true Gospel, has the power of God to save someone. What does that mean preacher? That means without the preaching of the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ, no one gets saved — period, full stop. I have had well intended people ask me if people can get saved through a heretical ministry such as Joel Osteen’s and the answer is no. Not according to the bible anyway. Now, can Osteen force someone to seek the truth and thus get saved by someone else presenting the Gospel? Of course, but that person is saved in spite of Osteen, not because of him.

read the full article here.

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From Bible History Daily:

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?

The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled. Yet most scholars would urge caution about extracting such a precise but incidental detail from a narrative whose focus is theological rather than calendrical.

The extrabiblical evidence from the first and second century is equally spare: There is no mention of birth celebrations in the writings of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus (c. 130–200) or Tertullian (c. 160–225). Origen of Alexandria (c. 165–264) goes so far as to mock Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this point.

This stands in sharp contrast to the very early traditions surrounding Jesus’ last days. Each of the Four Gospels provides detailed information about the time of Jesus’ death. According to John, Jesus is crucified just as the Passover lambs are being sacrificed. This would have occurred on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, just before the Jewish holiday began at sundown (considered the beginning of the 15th day because in the Hebrew calendar, days begin at sundown). In Matthew, Mark and Luke, however, the Last Supper is held after sundown, on the beginning of the 15th. Jesus is crucified the next morning—still, the 15th.a

Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion. Its observance could even be implied in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 5:7–8: “Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the festival…”); it was certainly a distinctively Christian feast by the mid-second century C.E., when the apocryphal text known as the Epistle to the Apostles has Jesus instruct his disciples to “make commemoration of [his] death, that is, the Passover.”

Jesus’ ministry, miracles, Passion and Resurrection were often of most interest to first- and early-second-century C.E. Christian writers. But over time, Jesus’ origins would become of increasing concern. We can begin to see this shift already in the New Testament. The earliest writings—Paul and Mark—make no mention of Jesus’ birth. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke provide well-known but quite different accounts of the event—although neither specifies a date. In the second century C.E., further details of Jesus’ birth and childhood are related in apocryphal writings such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-Gospel of James.b These texts provide everything from the names of Jesus’ grandparents to the details of his education—but not the date of his birth.

Finally, in about 200 C.E., a Christian teacher in Egypt makes reference to the date Jesus was born. According to Clement of Alexandria, several different days had been proposed by various Christian groups. Surprising as it may seem, Clement doesn’t mention December 25 at all. Clement writes: “There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord’s birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20 in our calendar] … And treating of His Passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the 16th year of Tiberius, on the 25th of Phamenoth [March 21]; and others on the 25th of Pharmuthi [April 21] and others say that on the 19th of Pharmuthi [April 15] the Savior suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].”2

Clearly there was great uncertainty, but also a considerable amount of interest, in dating Jesus’ birth in the late second century. By the fourth century, however, we find references to two dates that were widely recognized—and now also celebrated—as Jesus’ birthday: December 25 in the western Roman Empire and January 6 in the East (especially in Egypt and Asia Minor). The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians, however, December 25 would prevail, while January 6 eventually came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem. The period between became the holiday season later known as the 12 days of Christmas.

The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”3 In about 400 C.E., Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25, but refused to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, regarding it as an innovation. Since the Donatist group only emerged during the persecution under Diocletian in 312 C.E. and then remained stubbornly attached to the practices of that moment in time, they seem to represent an older North African Christian tradition.

In the East, January 6 was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.

So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in mid-winter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25 and January 6?

There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).4

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.

Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.

It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts. A marginal note on a manuscript of the writings of the Syriac biblical commentator Dionysius bar-Salibi states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan Sol Invictus holiday.5 In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bible scholars spurred on by the new study of comparative religions latched on to this idea.6 They claimed that because the early Christians didn’t know when Jesus was born, they simply assimilated the pagan solstice festival for their own purposes, claiming it as the time of the Messiah’s birth and celebrating it accordingly.

More recent studies have shown that many of the holiday’s modern trappings do reflect pagan customs borrowed much later, as Christianity expanded into northern and western Europe. The Christmas tree, for example, has been linked with late medieval druidic practices. This has only encouraged modern audiences to assume that the date, too, must be pagan.

There are problems with this popular theory, however, as many scholars recognize. Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character.

Granted, Christian belief and practice were not formed in isolation. Many early elements of Christian worship—including eucharistic meals, meals honoring martyrs and much early Christian funerary art—would have been quite comprehensible to pagan observers. Yet, in the first few centuries C.E., the persecuted Christian minority was greatly concerned with distancing itself from the larger, public pagan religious observances, such as sacrifices, games and holidays. This was still true as late as the violent persecutions of the Christians conducted by the Roman emperor Diocletian between 303 and 312 C.E.

This would change only after Constantine converted to Christianity. From the mid-fourth century on, we do find Christians deliberately adapting and Christianizing pagan festivals. A famous proponent of this practice was Pope Gregory the Great, who, in a letter written in 601 C.E. to a Christian missionary in Britain, recommended that local pagan temples not be destroyed but be converted into churches, and that pagan festivals be celebrated as feasts of Christian martyrs. At this late point, Christmas may well have acquired some pagan trappings. But we don’t have evidence of Christians adopting pagan festivals in the third century, at which point dates for Christmas were established. Thus, it seems unlikely that the date was simply selected to correspond with pagan solar festivals.

The December 25 feast seems to have existed before 312—before Constantine and his conversion, at least. As we have seen, the Donatist Christians in North Africa seem to have known it from before that time. Furthermore, in the mid- to late fourth century, church leaders in the eastern Empire concerned themselves not with introducing a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, but with the addition of the December date to their traditional celebration on January 6.7

Read the full article here.

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