Christianity, Current events, faith

Prosperity and Healing Preaching Wolves

Over the next two days I am going to touch on two subjects. The first is the prosperity preaching of the Gospel. The second will be the falling and failings of Christians. Today it will be on the false narrative of the Prosperity gospel. But you may ask why these two subjects. That is a good question. Both of these issues have a great detriment to the body of Christ and the world as a whole. So today, let us look at the Prosperity gospel, some of those that preach it, and the consequences. And yes, the followers of these ‘preachers’ if they see this, will be out for my head. So be it.

The whole of the prosperity gospel is this,  with enough faith, life will be wine and roses. You will have more finances than you can imagine, never be sick, etc, etc. There are two main texts taken from Scripture that they use to support their position on prosperity and health through faith. We will look at these and see the true meaning behind the texts.

  1. 2 Corinthians 8:9 Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich. The real meaning of this verse is not that Christ became destitute in finances or position so through his death we will have finances and position. What is meant by Paul is simply this, Christ took a position of humanity (leaving behind his heavenly throne and the position of which he belonged) so that as humanity (wretched and poor in sin) could obtain the richness of heaven.
  2. Isaiah 53:5 The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his woulds we are healed. This is one of the many verses used to promote the idea that faith will bring full healing and no longer will you be sick or without bodily or mental issue. This verse speaks of spiritual healing and the ability to obtain heaven through the price paid at the cross. Nothing more, nothing less.

To prove the responsible preaching of these two verses, let us look at those whole believe both and see where they stand. I will say this first and foremost, I DO BELIEVE that God in the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit does still help financially and with healing. But not to the abundance promoted by charlatans and wolves (Matthew 7:15) that pretend to be prophets and preachers.  I have written already about healing that I have seen in my own family and I know that people and churches have had amounts needed coming through grace. That doesn’t mean that faith is a cure all for every ill and financial issue. Remember that even the devil can produce results to lead folks astray.

Financial: There is a woman who lives not far from here that is a devout follower of Kenneth Copeland (the richest prosperity pastor of the group)  She send money faithfully. So if the prosperity gospel was real, she should be more than well to do. Yes, she owns some rentals. BUT, those properties are in need of refurbishment and repair. Her own home is falling apart and she has issues cover bills and maintenance costs. Guess her faith isn’t as prominent as her faith seeds.

Health: Benny Hinn is probably the best known faith healer today. After all, he has millions of faithful that plant financial seed and seek his ‘healing’ ability. I mean. Who else can wave a coat and knock a hundred people out in the spirit at the same time (never heard one time that Jesus or the Apostles did such a thing). Let’s look at one healing of Benny Hinn where the person must not have had enough faith. William Vandenkolk is legally blind. At 9 years old he went to Benny Hinn at a healing service. Benny Hinn told him his faith had healed him and all would be fine. By the end of that evening, he still couldn’t see and remains legally blind to this day. Christ gave a warning to preachers and prophets that gave a child a false belief, Matthew 18:6 If anyone cause one of these little ones, those who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

All of that being pointed out, I’ll share two verses that dismantle the entirety of the Prosperity gospel.

  1. Luke 10::1-4After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.This speaks of very few preaching the true gospel and that wealth is not to be had by and pastor or follower. We are told this in the gospels through the story of the prince that asked what he needed to do (the camel through the eye of a needle story) and being care for by god (the birds and flowers story).
  2. 1 Timothy 5:22-23 Do not be hasty in the j laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but  use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)Paul had been shown to be able to heal others. But here, he says not to be quick to lay on hands (the description of divine healing) but instead to use medicine of a type. This does not mean that divine healing does not occur. It does. However, miracle healing is not always the answer. One must remember that modern medicine (like ancient medicine) and doctors (like Luke) are granted knowledge to be able to aid others in medical needs.

I am going to showcase both the financial results of Prosperity preachers Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn.

Kenneth Copeland is the richest Prosperity preacher in the world. He is worth a cozy 300 million dollars. Yes he is an author and owns cattle ranches and oil properties. And I’m sure invests well. He also owns multiple jets and homes. The place he resides is worth an estimated 6.3 million dollars. How is this wealth protected from income taxes? It is all under the heading of his ministry. So he bilks millions from his followers in ‘faith seed’ and lines his own financial coffers. Here is a link to an investigation into Kenneth Copeland and his ministries by the Senate Finance Committee a little over a decade ago. https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/EMIC%20Copeland%2001-5-11.pdf

Benny (Benedictus) Hinn is another top elite in the prosperity gospel arena. He is ranked 4th in the top 10 richest preachers list. His wealth is reported at around 60 million dollars. He too has been investigated by the Senate Finance Committee. It has been noted in video proof, that Mr. Hinn also had questionable get togethers at his home over the years. https://youtu.be/bmGwCJABTR0 

Many of these Prosperity ‘preachers’ have been investigated and found wanting. This is a perfect example of ‘let the buyer (faith seed giver) beware.

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Christianity, Current events, faith, Human Right

From Militia to Faith

Having watched a VICE program on the militia in this country, I was brought back to my time in two militias. And the reason I left both. So, in this article you will see some of the inner workings of both, a national militia and a local statewide militia.

First a small background. I was in the US Infantry (11B) and the Mechanized Infantry (11M). I left the Infantry in 1989. In 1995, I joined the SC National Guard as 11M with a Mech Inf unit. This is infantry that is mobilized. When 9/11 hit, I was still on inactive status but was not reactivated. The shock and awe phase of Operation Freedom occurred after my full enlistment time has ended. In 2019, I felt the urge to serve again but was over the age of acceptance. So, having a co-worker that was part of a national militia suggested applying. I did and was accepted into the III% Defense Militia (DM), Indiana unit.

There were no real issues and I earned a bit of rank (CPL) and attained the position of Chaplain. But, when the BLM, Antifa storm him in 2020, I started to see a mentality in many personnel that did not go with my faith as a Christian. It started with the forming of the NFAC.

For those that do not remember, the NFAC was an all black militia. They first came to prominence at Stone Mountain Georgia. But the big coming up was in Louisville, Kentucky during the protests over the Brianna Taylor killing. Yes, I remember her name. And my personal thought in this matter is that the actions following the no-knock raid, and her death, could have been avoided. As a former EMT-A in Indiana, I felt her death but not only for that reason.

While the protests were warranted, the DM was watching the situation and many units were responding, although it was left to the KY unit to deal with it and Indiana to hold at the Ohio River in case of spill over. And at that point, I argued with command stating we should have been on the side of the protesters. This thought was because one of our fell during a no-knock raid that also wounded his pregnant girlfriend.

The position of the DM was that armed BLM supporters would follow the steps of places like Ferguson, MO. It became heated in debate. My reasoning was this. We had a member fall in the same manner. We should have supported the protest. And I started to learn the mentality of the national group. They, like both liberal and conservative, choose to demand their Constitutional protects while denying the same for the side they don’t agree with. The had an issue with the protest (1st Amendment) and militia/arms (2nd Amendment) because they were against the ideology of the other side. Instead of supporting the same rights for others, I saw the racist mentality in those that I called my brothers in arms.

And let me make this clear so there is no misunderstandings about the makeup of my unit. We were 90% ex military. Some like me who never saw action, but the majority were combat vets. The XO having started his service in the first Gulf War in the 90’s and the rest from Operation Freedom. So it was not the typical non-schooled backwoods redneck. Most of us were trained infantrymen and some truly born in the flames of combat.

I resigned my position because I believe that the rights of protest/free speech and militia/arms belong to everyone with our borders. They are the guaranteed rights by which our nation was forged.

In 2021, the Indiana unit went independent and became the 19th Volunteer Militia. Personnel had changed a bit and I joined the state group, with my son, with the hope that things would be better without the national command. I was wrong. I found that looking back, despite the mentality and command by national hq, they were actually holding those racist soldiers back and somewhat in line. My son left first and I transferred into intelligence gathering. I would run the dark web and minute news sources, as well as social media, to gather information need for operations. Two things made me leave this group and call against militias. The first was personally related. My son, after leaving, outed the group including locations, names, and handles. They put cross hairs on his back. That brought the defiant parent out in me. Discussing it with command, the target was removed because I let them know that a strike against him would bring a vengeance from me.

The second reason was the lock down. While I did not agree with forced closures and masks, I knew enough of how disease worked throughout US history, I did not let it bother me. But during that close down here in Indiana, the racist hatred reared its head.

The Indianapolis group of BLM had set up emergency distribution. They did not discriminate but aided those who needed it. In intelligence, I was tasked with gathering the information the group needed to shut it down permanently (I’ll let you determine the meaning of that).I refused. This caused an issue to erupt. On comms (how we talked and had meetings) the XO and I went at it over my refusal. This then got my squad leader to personally call and read me the riot act for going against command’s order and doing so vehemently over an open meeting.

One light in the whole of this episode was my intelligence commander. He told command that they should be a bit more proud that they had a member that refused to go against his faith and ideals. The call from my squad leader was proof that they expected robots not individuals. I tendered my resignation.

What I did then was a spur of the moment decision, but the right one. I gathered all intel I had gathered from the group and notified the Indianapolis BLM of the groups intentions. Giving away names and handles, and operations. One may ask why I would have gone to this extreme. It’s simple. Evil on exists when good men choose to do nothing. I could not have allowed an operation to occur in my absence an look at myself. My faith would not allow me to go after BLM just because I disagreed with their politics. I support humanitarian aid no matter where it comes from. And despite my disagreements with much of BLM’s ideology, I saw them doing the works that Christ told us to do. Help those in need.

All of these things only led to Jan 6th. These were the precursors. Mix that hatred with the perceived wrongs of an election and the rantings of a demigod and it was only a matter of time. I do not know if my former comrades in arms went to that insurrection. But the mentality was the same as those who did. And through all of this, we have seen the rise of Christian Nationalism. Which, can not co-exist. Should one love where they come from? Of course. But Christians are held to a standard set by Christ and the Apostles. It only has two precepts (commandments). Love God and man. It does not say if they agree with you. It does not say if the look like you. Nationalism led to the National Socialist Party (NAZI) in Germany and we see how that went.

I still hold to the right to protest and speak your grievances. I still hold to the right of free speech. I still hold to the right to keep and bear arms and form a militia. What I do not believe in is the using of those rights to terrorize those you disagree with. And that goes for both liberal and conservative. Polarization from both ideological camps have caused the majority of the trouble our nation sees now. But it is not going to get any better.

The prophets of the Tanach, Christ himself, and the visions given to John on Patmos all speak of the times we see now. And whether one believes or not, Christ is the only way to turn to save your soul and help you deal with everything going bad globally. Because, even though all of this (and worse) was prophesied, we are also told the way to overcome it. Thos who have the faith of Christ and the commandments of God and endure to the end will be saved.

Now is the appointed time. Seek Christ.

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Christianity, faith

Las otras ovejas del pastor

Estoy seguro de que este artículo crujirá la pluma de la mayoría de las denominaciones de la cristiandad. Que así sea, pero hay que decirlo. Y escuchen bien. Ninguna denominación tiene la totalidad de la fe. Incluso la Iglesia Católica, que tiene la mayor parte, carece de algunas cosas que se muestran como partes de la fe en las Escrituras. Y si los cristianos han de ser tomados en serio, debemos recordar que debemos dejar de pelearnos entre nosotros.

Para mostrar este punto, vi un documental sobre Jerusalén hace décadas. Una parte del mismo se me quedó grabada y muestra las fracturas dentro de la comunidad cristiana. Las iglesias de varias partes de Tierra Santa están vigiladas por católicos y ortodoxos (en general). En la iglesia del Santo Sepulcro, el patriarca ortodoxo y el obispo católico se enzarzaron en una acalorada discusión. En un momento dado, el Patriarca gritó “al diablo con tu dios”. Lo cual me pareció, incluso entonces, indignante. La mayoría de los cristianos (dependiendo de las enseñanzas y la doctrina de los que se dicen cristianos) adoran al mismo Dios por medio de Cristo en el poder del Espíritu Santo. Por lo tanto, voy a tratar de arrojar algo de luz en mi introducción.

Si usted leyó mi último artículo, me identifiqué como evangélico católico. Y pasé a explicar por qué. Así que para entender este artículo, y la razón de lo que hay en él desde mi perspectiva, hay que ir a leer ese. Así que, enciendan sus antorchas, tomen sus horcas y piedras. Porque este artículo sólo hará una de dos cosas. O te hará gritar por mi lapidación o te hará querer investigar la plenitud de la fe cristiana.

Aquí hay una pequeña historia para aquellos que dicen que las iglesias católica romana y ortodoxa están equivocadas por las tradiciones. Muchas denominaciones protestantes todavía leen los Padres Apostólicos y los padres de la Iglesia que escribieron antes del evento de Lutero. Y si los leen, defenderán las enseñanzas de la Iglesia Católica. Dicho esto, soy católico por las enseñanzas de las Escrituras sobre la Verdadera Presencia de Jesús en la Eucaristía. Cuerpo, Sangre, Alma y Divinidad. Y debe ser tomado como tal, porque nuestro Salvador Jesús el Cristo lo dijo. En Juan 6:53-59 Jesús dijo estas palabras (y para la gente de la Escritura solamente, aquí está) “Entonces Jesús les dijo: De cierto, de cierto os digo, que si no coméis la carne del Hijo del Hombre, y no bebéis su sangre, no tenéis vida en vosotros. El que come mi carne y bebe mi sangre, tiene vida eterna; y yo lo resucitaré en el último día. Porque mi carne es verdadera comida, y mi sangre es verdadera bebida. El que come mi carne y bebe mi sangre, habita en mí, y yo en él. Como el Padre viviente me ha enviado, y yo vivo por el Padre, así el que me come, vivirá por mí. Este es el pan que ha bajado del cielo; no como vuestros padres que comieron el maná, y están muertos; el que coma de este pan vivirá para siempre.Estas cosas decía en la sinagoga, mientras enseñaba en Cafarnaúm.”

He escrito sobre otros aspectos de la fe en la Iglesia Católica Romana, y seguiré haciéndolo. Pero para mí, la Eucaristía es el punto principal de esta parte de mi fe. Sentarse de verdad a la comida del Señor, como Él pretendía. Hay un par de otras denominaciones que creen de la misma manera, tal vez no de la misma manera litúrgica, pero la presencia real.

Pero otras denominaciones tienen áreas de fe como se prescribe en los Evangelios que los católicos no tienen. Los ortodoxos dirigen sus iglesias como lo hicieron los Apóstoles. Un Obispo (Patriarca) sobre cada grupo. Todos ellos creen en la ortodoxia pero tienen una cabeza de cada iglesia (Antioquía, Damasco, Rusia, Grecia, Ucrania, etc). La Santa Sede (Papa) es el Obispo de Roma. Pero también tiene una posición más alta como líder de la fe dada a sus predecesores todo el camino de vuelta a Simón Pedro. Él era el Apóstol principal. Desde que los Apóstoles transmitieron su autoridad, por así decirlo, a los que vinieron después, como hacen todos los pastores cuando se retiran o pasan a mejor vida (Lester Sumerall a Rod Parsley, Billy Graham a Franklin Graham, etc). Este derecho de sucesión en realidad se remonta a los antiguos israelitas cuando la autoridad del Templo y de las Sinagogas pasaba a una persona para dirigir al pueblo en la fe.

Ahora, vienen los grupos que tienen su nacimiento fuera de la reforma. Hay algunas denominaciones que tienen muy pocos cambios desde Roma. Los grupos que mencionaré tienen partes específicas de la creencia apostólica que los católicos romanos parecen no tener. Y aquí, no debatiré ni discutiré las áreas con las que encuentro problemas bíblicos, sino que señalaré las partes de su creencia con las que estoy de acuerdo.

Para los evangélicos esto es fácil. He visto el poder de la imposición de manos y las oraciones por los enfermos, echando fuera demonios, y creo en la capacidad de edificación a través de las lenguas angélicas (aunque la mayoría no sigue las reglas establecidas para su presencia). Los evangélicos tienen la parte maravillosa de la fe comúnmente conocida como seguimiento de los suspiros. Estos son bíblicos. (Juan 16:14-20) “Después se apareció a los once mismos, mientras estaban sentados a la mesa; y les reprochó su incredulidad y dureza de corazón, porque no habían creído a los que le habían visto después de resucitar. Y les dijo: “Id por todo el mundo y predicad el Evangelio a toda la creación. El que haya creído y se haya bautizado se salvará; pero el que no haya creído se condenará. Estas señales acompañarán a los que hayan creído: en mi nombre expulsarán demonios, hablarán nuevas lenguas; cogerán serpientes, y si beben algún veneno mortal, no les hará daño; impondrán las manos a los enfermos, y sanarán.” Entonces, cuando el Señor Jesús les hubo hablado, fue recibido en el cielo y se sentó a la derecha de Dios. Y ellos salieron a predicar por todas partes, mientras el Señor colaboraba con ellos, y confirmaba la palabra con las señales que se producían.”

Los Adventistas del Séptimo Día (SDA de los cuales fui antes de ser confirmado en la Iglesia Católica) entienden la necesidad de que los cristianos también crean en las raíces judías de la fe cristiana. Siguen las leyes dietéticas, celebran el Shabat, etc. Juan también habló de estas cosas en la Isla de Patmos. (Apocalipsis 14:12) “Aquí está la paciencia de los santos; aquí están los que guardan los mandamientos de Dios y la fe de Jesús”.

La razón por la que traigo a colación esta parte de la doctrina ASD es porque la mayoría de los cristianos olvidan que Jesús y los Apóstoles eran judíos. Ellos siguieron la tradición, la fe, y cuando Jesús habló, enseñó y predicó, fue a través de la fundación de la fe de los Patriarcas (Abraham, Isaac y Jacob). No condenó su fe como judío. Pidió cuentas a los que enseñaban y gobernaban a través de la letra de la ley y olvidaban el espíritu de la ley. Hay que recordar, que Él celebraba las fiestas (la mayoría de sus momentos más pronunciados en los Evangelios fue alrededor de la época de una fiesta).

Esta también es una razón por la que empecé a estudiar la fe judía de mi Salvador. Porque Él y sus seguidores eran judíos. Y si realmente se estudian los Evangelios y el Apocalipsis a la luz de las Escrituras Judías (el Antiguo Testamento o Tanach) se vería que sólo las leyes del sacrificio se terminaron con Su venida. El ceremonial terminó pero el resto permaneció. Esto es evidente cuando se mira la construcción y colocación de los Mandamientos y leyes. Los Mandamientos estaban en el Arca mientras que las leyes estaban fijadas fuera del Arca. Pero escribiré sobre eso en una fecha posterior.

Cada denominación de la cristiandad olvida 2 declaraciones de Cristo cuando tratan de demostrar que son los únicos cristianos “verdaderos”. Y terminaré este artículo con esas declaraciones.

Juan 10:16 “Y tengo otras ovejas que no son de este redil; también a ellas debo traer, y oirán mi voz; y habrá un solo redil, y un solo pastor.”

Lucas 9:49-50 ” Respondiendo Juan, dijo: “Maestro, hemos visto a uno que echaba los demonios en tu nombre, y se lo prohibimos porque no sigue con nosotros. Pero Jesús le dijo: “No se lo prohibáis, porque el que no está contra nosotros está de nuestra parte”.

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Christianity, faith

The Shepard’s Other Sheep

I’m sure that this article will rustle the feather of most denominations in Christendom. So be it, but it needs to be said. And listen close. Not one denomination has the wholeness of the faith. Even the Catholic Church, which has most of it, lacks a few things that are shown as parts of the faith in Scripture. And if Christians are to be taken seriously, we must remember to quit fighting amongst ourselves.

To show this point, I watched a documentary on Jerusalem decades ago. Part of it stuck with me and shows the fractures within the Christian community. The churches in various parts of the Holy Land  are watched over by Catholics and Orthodox (generally). At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch and the Catholic Bishop got into a heated shouting match. At one point, the Patriarch yelled ‘to hell with your god’. Which I though even then was outrageous. Most Christians (depending on the teachings and doctrine of those saying they are Christians) worship the same God through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. So, I’m going to try and shed some light on my introduction.

If you read my last article, I identified myself as Evangelically Catholic. And I went on to explain why. So to understand this article, and my reason for what is in it from my perspective, one needs to go read that one. So, let your torches be lit, grab your pitchforks and stones. Because this article will do only one of two things. It will either make you cry out for my stoning or it will make you want to investigate the fullness of the Christian faith.

Here is a small history for those that say the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches are wrong because of traditions. Many Protestant denominations still read the Apostolic Fathers and the Church fathers that wrote prior to the Luther event. And if you read them, they will uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church. That being said, I am Catholic because of the Scriptural teachings of the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. And it must be taken as such, because our Savior Jesus the Christ said so. In John 6:53-59 Jesus spoke these words (and for Scripture alone people, here it is) “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

I have written on other aspects of faith in the Roman Catholic Church, and will continue to do so. But for me, the Eucharist is the main point of this part of my faith. To truly sit at the Lord’s meal as He intended. There are a couple other denominations that believe the same way, maybe not in the same liturgical manner, but the real presence.

But other denominations have areas of faith as prescribed in the Gospels that Catholics don’t have. The Orthodox run their churches like the Apostles did. A Bishop (Patriarch) over each group. These all believe Orthodoxy but Have a head of each church (Antioch, Damascus, Russia, Greece, Ukraine, etc). The Holy See (Pope) is the Bishop of Rome. But he also holds a higher position as the leader of faith given to his predecessors all the way back to Simon Peter. He was the lead Apostle. Since the Apostles handed down their authority, so to speak on those that came after, like all pastors do when they retire or pass on (Lester Sumerall to Rod Parsley, Billy Graham to Franklin Graham, etc). This right of succession actually goes back to the ancient Israelites when authority of the Temple and Synagogues would be passed to one person to lead the people in faith.

Now, comes the groups that have their birthing out of the reformation. There are a few denominations that have very little changes from Rome. The groups I will mention have specific parts of Apostolic belief that Roman Catholics seem not to. And here, I will not debate nor discuss the areas that I find scriptural issue with but instead point out the parts of their belief that I agree with.

For Evangelicals this is an easy one. I have seen the power of the laying on hands and prayers for the sick, casting out demons, and believe in the ability for edification through angelic tongues (although most don’t follow the rules set forth for their presence). Evangelicals have the wondrous part of faith commonly known as sighs following. These are scriptural. (John 16:14-20) Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.

The Seventh Day Adventists (SDA of which I was prior to being confirmed into the Catholic Church) understands the need for Christians to also believe in the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. They follow the dietary laws, celebrate Shabbat, etc. John also spoke of these things on the Isle of Patmos. (Revelation 14:12) “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The reason I bring up this part of SDA doctrine is because most Christians forget that Jesus and the Apostles were Jewish. They followed tradition, the faith, and when Jesus talked, taught, and preached, it was through the founding of the faith of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). He didn’t condemn his faith as a Jew. He called to account those that taught and ruled through the letter of the law and forgot the spirit of the law. You have to remember, He celebrated the feasts (most of his most pronounced moments in the Gospels was around the time of a feast).

This also a reason I started to study the Jewish faith of my Savior. Because He and his followers were Jewish. And if you truly study the Gospels and Revelation in light of the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament or Tanach) you would see that only the laws of sacrifice were ended by His coming. The ceremonial ended but the rest stayed. This is evident when you look at the construction and placement of Commandments and laws. The Commandments were in the Ark while the laws were attached out side of the Ark. But I’ll write about that at a later date.

Every denomination of Christendom forget 2 statements of Christ when they try to prove that they are the only “true” Christians. And I will end this article with those statements.

John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

Luke 9:49-50 “ Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us. But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.

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Christianity, faith

Evangélicamente católica

Soy católico romano desde 1999 en la diócesis de Fort Wayne/South Bend. Y realmente amo a la Iglesia. Admito que no siempre estoy de acuerdo con algunas de las doctrinas, cosas pequeñas. Como los sacerdotes no casados (Pedro, el primer Papa, estaba casado) o la prohibición de casarse sin obtener primero la aprobación del tribunal matrimonial. Pero las doctrinas que pertenecen a mi camino con Cristo las apoyo totalmente. Pero este artículo no trata de esos temas.

Antes de encontrar la belleza de mi fe católica, era evangélico. Y en los últimos años, me he dado cuenta de que hay cosas del sistema protestante que tienen una belleza y una posición bíblica que todavía me gustan. No voy a debatir lo que el Vaticano II se equivocó en la implementación. Porque para ser honesto, el Vaticano II (como muchos tradicionalistas afirman) no es el problema. El problema es la forma excesivamente liberal en que se ha implementado.

La razón por la que los Papas desde el Vaticano II hasta ahora reciben tanta vehemencia de los tradicionalistas es porque entienden que hay belleza en algunas de las formas de culto y creencia de los protestantes. Y yo he estado luchando por encontrar una manera de fusionar mi amor por la plenitud de la doctrina católica (la más antigua que existe) y la belleza y la posición bíblica de algunas de las doctrinas protestantes.

Diré esto en primer lugar, Sola Scriptura (Sola Escritura) no es una cosa. Sí, cuando la tradición se utiliza incorrectamente o se impone por encima de la escritura, puede causar problemas importantes. Pero hay que recordar que Jesús y los Apóstoles eran judíos y seguían esa tradición. Ellos celebraban las fiestas y seguían la ley (usando el espíritu de la misma más que la letra). Y al hacerlo, nos muestran que la tradición, cuando se hace dentro del espíritu de esa tradición, nos acerca a Dios.

Dicho esto, hay áreas en las que todas las denominaciones no comprenden la plenitud de las enseñanzas de Cristo y los Apóstoles. Con los protestantes, es la plenitud del Cuerpo, la Sangre, el Alma y la Divinidad de la presencia real de Cristo en la Santa Eucaristía (Juan 6:54-57). O que cosas como pedir ayuda a los Santos (al igual que pedirle a tu Abuela que rece por ti) y entender la mentalidad judía de la prominencia de una madre y Reina Madre es la razón por la que creemos y amamos tanto a la Santísima Virgen (leer las Raíces Judías de María). PERO, los católicos también fallan en reconocer la belleza de las escrituras y la vida de Cristo y los Apóstoles que para la base de la creencia evangélica (1ª Corintios 12:8-11; Libro de los Hechos).

He visto el movimiento y el poder de la venida del Espíritu Santo (Holy Ghost para ustedes los evangélicos). He visto el poder de sanación de la imposición de manos y la oración. Creo en el hablar en lenguas (1ª Corintios 14). Sin embargo, la mayoría de las veces se hace sin un seguimiento bíblico adecuado (1ª Corintios 14:27-28).

Hablé con un hombre maravilloso que tiene un ministerio católico cristiano, basado en Australia, que he seguido desde la temporada de Cuaresma de este año. Bruce Downes es un hombre que, aunque es católico, ve la fe de Cristo de forma muy parecida a la mía. Hice una pregunta a su ministerio sobre la posibilidad de fusionar mi devoción católica con mi formación evangélica. Hablamos durante una media hora más o menos y cuando la conversación terminó, mi espíritu se había levantado y finalmente sentí una paz.

El Espíritu Santo obró a través de él ese día para hacerme comprender la belleza de la gracia y el poder del Espíritu Santo de una manera que no había tenido antes. Siempre defenderé la plenitud de la fe que proviene de la Sede Apostólica de Pedro. También defenderé las señales que siguen y que muestran el poder y la gracia de Dios que ha formado la base de la creencia evangélica. Desde ese momento en que hablé con el Sr. Downes y sentí que la gracia de Dios iluminaba mi espíritu, he llegado a comprender más la belleza de Dios en más áreas de mi relación con Cristo.

Sugiero que todos los protestantes lean los Padres y Doctores de la Iglesia, así como el Catecismo Católico. Les ayudará a entender por qué creemos lo que creemos en la plenitud de la fe. Pero también sugiero que los católicos empiecen a mirar más la Escritura para ver la plenitud de la fe en toda su belleza que se ha convertido en el sello de los creyentes evangélicos. Aquí hay un artículo del Obispo Barron que escribió que explica la comprensión del Papa Francisco de la belleza de ambos (https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/pope-francis-and-the-evangelicals-1300).

También sugiero conseguir los devocionales diarios de Bruce Downes. Él presenta la belleza de la fe cristiana de una manera que combina toda la fe. Aquí está su enlace (https://brucedownes.org/).

Que Dios los mantenga a todos en sus gracias y nos encontraremos cuando subamos.
*** Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***

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Christianity, faith

Evangelically Catholic

I’ve been a Roman Catholic since 1999 in the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocese. And I truly love the Church. I will admit, I don’t always agree with some of the doctrines, small things. Like unmarried priests (Peter the first Pope was married) or the no-remarriage without first getting approval from the marriage tribunal. But the doctrines that pertain to my walk with Christ I fully support. But this article is not about those subjects.

Before finding the beauty of my Catholic faith, I was Evangelical. And over the past few years, I have come to realize that there are things from the Protestant system that have a beauty and biblical standing that I still love. I’m not going to debate what Vatican II got wrong in implementation. Because to be honest, Vatican II (as many traditionalists claim) ins’t the problem. The over liberal way it has been implemented is.

The reason that Popes from Vatican II until now get so much vehemence from traditionalists is because of there understanding that there is beauty in some of the way that Protestants worship and believe. And I have been struggling to find a way to merge my love of the fullness of the Catholic doctrine (the oldest there is) and the beauty and biblical standing of some of the Protestant doctrines.

I will say this first and foremost, Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) is not a thing. Yes, when tradition is used improperly or forced over scripture, it  can cause major issues. But one has to remember, Jesus and the Apostles were Jewish and followed that tradition. They held the feasts and followed the law (using the spirit of it more than the letter of it). And in doing so, show us that tradition, when done within the spirit of that tradition, bring us closer to God.

That being said, there are areas that all denominations fail to understand the fullness of the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. With Protestants, it is the fullness of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ’s real presence in the Holy Eucharist (John 6:54-57). Or that things like asking the Saints for aid (just like asking your Grandmother to pray for you) and understanding the Jewish mindset of the prominence of a mother and Queen Mother being the reason that we believe and love the Blessed Virgin so dearly (read the Jewish Roots of Mary). BUT, Catholics also fail in recognizing the beauty of scripture and the life of Christ and the Apostles that for the basis of Evangelical belief (1st Corinthians 12:8-11; Book of Acts).

I have seen the movement and the power of the coming on of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost for you Evangelicals). I have seen the healing power of the laying on of hands and prayer. I believe in the speaking in tongues (1st Corinthians 14). However, most of the time it done without proper scriptural following (1st Corinthians 14:27-28).

I spoke to a wonderful man that has a Christian Catholic ministry, based in Australia, that I have followed since this year’s Lenten season. Bruce Downes is a man that, although Catholic, sees the faith of Christ much like myself. I asked a question to his ministry about the ability to merge my Catholic devotion to my Evangelical background. We spoke for about a half hour or so and when that conversation was over, my Spirit had been lifted and I finally felt a peace.

The Holy Spirit worked through him that day to make me understand the beauty of grace and power of the Holy Spirit in a way I hadn’t before. I will always defend the fullness of faith that comes from the Apostolic Seat of Peter. I also will defend the signs following that show the power and grace of God that has formed the basis of the Evangelical belief. From that moment of speaking with Mr. Downes and feeling the grace of God lighten my spirit I have come to understand more about the beauty of God in more areas of my relationship with Christ.

I do suggest that all Protestant read the Church Fathers and Doctors as well as the Catholic Catechism. It will help you understand why we believe what we do in the fullness of faith. But I also suggest that Catholics start looking more at Scripture to see the fullness of the faith in all its beauty that has become the hallmark of the Evangelical believers. Here is an article by Bishop Barron that wrote that explains Pope Francis’s understanding of the beauty of both (https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/pope-francis-and-the-evangelicals-1300).

I also suggest getting the daily devotionals by Bruce Downes. He presents the beauty of the Christian faith in a way that combines all of the faith. Here is his link (https://brucedownes.org/).

May God keep all of you in his graces and we’ll meet when we get upstairs.

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Christianity, Current events, faith, Human Right

Pakistani Christians

Pakistan started as part of India until the split in 1947. I won’t go into detail of U.S. policies concerning Pakistan because this is not information on Pakistan in that manner. But here is a brief reason we, as Americans, know about Pakistan. We know that they have ‘known terrorists’ as per the press releases over the years, brought to us by our ‘unbiased’ American news agencies. I won’t dispute this fact. We also know of Pakistan because of their fight with Indiana over the region of Kashmir. No need to go into that here.

What most do not know, is that despite being predominately Muslim, there are a multitude of Christians throughout the country. While the official Pakistani government policy is one of religious tolerance, looking at the situation without a biased lens, one can see thing differently.

A former co-worker who had been in the US Navy, had ported there a few times. He stated, that during his visits to the port city of Karachi, he noticed the squalor and lack of wealth by the majority of the population he encountered. He recalled one instance where he met a woman begging for food for a child she was carrying. But then noticed, that the child was deceased. Out of all the ports of Liberty, this was the one encounter he remembered. Although not part of the Christian tale of this article, it does relay some of the conditions of the populace.

Over the last year or so, I have gotten to meet, through online means, two Christian pastors in different regions of the country. Both had different educational pursuits. But the common denominator between them, is their desire to share the Love of Christ to a people not only with a desire for a better life, but a hunger for a hope that only Christ can bring.

Here is a little background on the Pakistani legal view of religious tolerance in the Muslim dominate nation. The Pakistani Constitution states: ‘Subject to law, public order, and morality, every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice, and propagate his religion’. They also have the right to freedom of speech, but is ‘reasonably’ restricted in accordance to the glory of Islam. Essentially, it is believe what you want but follow Islamic law and do not speak against Allah (which is a term used for God in the Middle East no matter the God spoke of) and do not desecrate the name of their beloved, yet false prophet, Muhammad.

Because of the way the law is written, those of non-Islamic faiths are basically second class citizens.  The way Pakistani Muslims deal with Christians is by forced conversion, forced marriages, assaults, menial jobs (including abhorrent child labor), and conviction of blasphemy laws that result in prison time or death.

But two men, among others, risk martyrdom by gladly and boldly proclaiming Christ and teaching of His love for everyone.

Pastor Shakeel Samuel heads a Christian organization named United’s Christian Welfare’s Society for Children (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063562256551). Pastor Samuel is from Malaysia and now lives in Lahor, Pakistan. His coverage area for the ministry is in Gulistan, Punjab, Pakistan. Pastor Samuel studied at Forman Christian College in lahore.

As you can tell by the name of the organization, pastor Samuel takes to heart the words of Christ. ‘Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”. (Matthew 19:14)

His mission is not only to feed and cloth them physically, but feed them with the Living Bread and the Water that will never allow thirst.

If you would like to help Pastor Samuel his contact information is: 

+923054332249 shakeelbhattibhatti8@gmail.com.

The second pastor I have a pleasure to know is PS Ravi Daniel Daniel. His location is undisclosed at this time. He studied at Christian Brothers University in Memphis Tennessee. He also has an affinity for bring children to Christ. If you view many of his congregation photos, you will find adults and children in attendance. His church was recently damaged from a nearby explosion, but that has not deterred him from his mission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. (Matthew 28:19,20).

If you would like to aid Pastor Ravi, you can contact him at his Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/psravidaniel.daniel)

Besides the normal hardships they face from a lacking economy and dangers of martyrdom for being Christian, Pakistan was recently hit with the worst flooding years.

You can also donate to relief efforts at (https://www.gofundme.com/f/njgt3-flood-relief-for-pakistan?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cf share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR0AMLGFfsLR4ktjoe9nNH2O92Z0A3GEDnusGS5PwrmAKp_SiLV-M2Mh9uM).

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)

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Christianity, Current events, faith

Eucharistic Miracles…The True Presence of Christ

“And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.” (John 26:26-28)

 ”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.” (John 6:51-55)

The Holy Eucharist is the main focus for Catholics and Orthodox. These are the two groups of the Christian faith that fully believe in the actual presence of the body/blood/soul/divinity of Jesus Christ in the communion bread and wine. Most of Christendom believes that Communion is only a representative rite and not a literal one. But if you read the words of Christ in John 6, you will see that Christ did not present it as only bread. And for those that say they believe Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) then they lie if they don’t believe the words of Christ himself.

In a 2019 Pew Research Poll (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/05/transubstantiation-eucharist-u-s-catholics/) an amazing 69% of modern Catholics in the US believe more as Protestants, that the Eucharist is only a representation of Christ. The poll goes on to show that a huge percentage either do not believe the church’s teaching or do not even know what the church teaches. This issue is because of the cultural shift within the Catholic church. A loss of belief in the teachings of the church (despite biblical backing) in seminary, CCD, and RCIA.

Some would argue that the Real Presence is a concoction of the Catholic Church. However, those people would be in error. This teaching continued with the original Apostles since they taught the teachings of Christ. We can see within the earliest followers of Christianity (or known as The Way back in their time).

Ignatius of Antioch (a Syrian) was the third Bishop of Antioch around the year 110 AD (CE). He was a father and writer of the early church. He wrote “I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible. (Letter to the Romans7:3)

Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: FOR THERE IS ONE FLESH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and one cup IN THE UNION OF HIS BLOOD; one ALTAR, as there is one bishop with the presbytery… (Letter to the  Philadelphians 4:1)

They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)

This was agreed with by others of his era in the faith. So it can be seen that belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist dates back to the earliest periods of the Christian church.

In the 13th session of the Council of Trent in 1551 (https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/thirteenth-session-of-the-council-of-trent-1479), the Council fully recognized the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Chapter 1 states in part “First of all, the holy council teaches and openly and plainly professes that after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, e God and true man, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the august sacrament of the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of those sensible things”.

This brings us to the nature of this article. Eucharistic miracles that aid in the faith of the believer. To start this, I would like to point out that one of the Evangelical movements most prominent pastors Benny Hinn has spoken on the Eucharist and its miracle ability. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vyfWeVAbyw) In a message to his followers, he stated that study had shown that more people are cured in the Catholic Church than in Pentecostal churches. He attributes this to the Catholic faith of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. He even goes on to admit that Christ did not say the bread and wine were symbols, but body and blood. He speaks of the healing, end of demon possession, etc. And believes himself of the True Presence in the Eucharist. Which actually makes one wonder why he is not Catholic.

The first Eucharistic miracle that is mentioned here is the most recent. In the town of Zapotlanejo, Mexico at the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, a Eucharistic miracle took place. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeVx6NT2FFw) On July 22, 2022 the Host was being viewed during service. At some point during the service, the Host appeared to be beating. This was eventually captured on a cell phone. When discovered, a doctor that was attending service investigated and stated that the rhythm of the beat was that of a human heart. It was notice by many including a visiting priest, Fr. Carlos Spahn who had opened the adoration service after Mass. As of this article, the Archdiocese of Guadalahara has not made a statement.

Father Spahn also stated that just before this event took place, a photograph of the first millennial born person on his way to sainthood, Blessed Carlos Acutis, was leaking an oil. Blessed Acutis is a young computer wizard from England (Italian by blood) that fell in love with the Eucharist and spread the message of it’s power in the faith.

Another Eucharistic miracle is elated to Blessed Acutis. In 2006 in the town of Tixtla in Mexico, a Eucharistic Host started to appear to bleed. After a few years of research, it was determined that blood was real and the same type of a former Eucharistic miralce in Italy and blood remnants from the Shroud of Turin. ( https://thecatholictravelguide.com/destinations/mexico/tixtla-mexico-eurcharistic-miracle-of-tixtla/)

Two miracles of the same type took place in a church in Guatemala. In both 2021 and 2022, immediately after the Host had been consecrated, the Host started to glow. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2lQWS4HvOM)

There are multiple verified accounts of Eucharistic miracles. From the aforementioned to others where there were healings and the Host becoming human flesh. One could write this things off if it were a few number of people or only a few times. But it has occurred in multiple time periods, multiple geographical locations and witnessed by small crowds and large.

Even if one is a skeptic, logic would dictate that the unexplainable is happening. For others, it is proof that Christ is truly and physically present in the consecrated Host. Yes, there have been miracles of all types proven false. But it is those that can not be debunked through any logical means of investigation that one must ponder the reality of the Real Presence.

The greatest miracles of these events is not the miracles of the Host, but the personal changes in witnesses. Whether it is bringing the faithful to a better walk with Christ, bringing those that left back, or bringing the lost to a point of accepting Christ’s invitation to Salvation through Him. The real miracle is that these events touch the human heart.

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

Didache: Hymns and Praises

EARLY HYMNS & PRAYERS
T o sup p leM eNT the ancient Christian teachings in the Didache, we have included below a selection
of early Christian hymns and prayers, dating to the frst few generations of the Church. Timeless in
their beauty, many of these are still used and still inspire Christians today.
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST
1st – 3rd century
glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.
We praise you, we bless you, we worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your
great glory.
O Lord, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty, O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and
the Holy Spirit.
O Lord God, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
You who take away the sins of the world, accept our prayer.
You who sit at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are holy, you alone are the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
MORNING HYMN
1st – 3rd century
e ve ry day I will bless you; I will praise your name forever; yes, forever and ever.
In your goodness, O Lord, keep me from sin today.
You are blessed, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
Your name is praised and glorifed forever. Amen.
EVENING HYMN
1st – 2nd century
ojoy ful Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father,
the heavenly, the holy, the blessed Jesus Christ,
now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and see the light of evening,
we praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: God.
It is right at all times to worship you with joyful voices,
O Son of God and Giver of life: For which the whole world glorifes you.
DIDACHE 16
EASTER HYMN
2nd – 3rd century
c hrisT is risen: Hades is in ruins.
Christ is risen: the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen: the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen: the tombs are empty.
Christ is risen from the dead indeed,
the frst among those who have fallen asleep.
Glory and power are his forever and ever. Amen.
ANAPHORA HYMN
2nd – 3rd century
holy, holy, holy Lord of Hosts,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
COMMUNION HYMN
4th century
T his is his blood, who took fesh of the holy Virgin: Jesus Christ.
This is his blood, who was born of the God-bearing holy one: Jesus Christ.
This is God’s blood, who was seen by men and from whom demons fed: Jesus Christ.
This is his blood, who ofered himself a sacrifce for our sins: Jesus Christ.
A PRAYER OF THE
NEWLY–BAPTIZED
4th century
alM ighTy God, Father of Christ your Son, give me a clean body, a pure heart, a watchful mind, and
knowledge free from error. May your Holy Spirit come to me and bring me truth—yes, to the fullness of truth—through your Christ. The glory is yours, through him, in the Holy Spirit, forever and ever
and ever. Amen.
PRAYER OF ST. IGNATIUS
AT HIS MARTYRDOM
ad 107
I aM the wheat of God. May I be ground up by the teeth of the wild beasts until I become the fne bread
of Christ. My sinful passions are crucifed, there is no burning in my fesh. A stream murmurs and
fows deep down inside me. It says: Come to the Father.
DIDACHE 17
DOXOLOGY
y ou are due praise,
You are due hymns,
You are due glory:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Forever and ever and ever.
Amen.
glory To god for all ThiNgs
aM e

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Current events, faith, Human Right, Uncategorized

The Nation that Killed Itself

There are a few things I have learned in the 5 decades I have been on this rock. And usually, that wisdom tends to upset quite a few. One learns that when you speak through gained wisdom or a truth, that those that yell the loudest fit into 2 categories. The first is the ones who have to face in themselves what they have tried to hide. The other is one who has no true concept of decency or compassion beyond themselves. And nothing brings that out of people more than the discussion of Human Rights or faith.

For me, they go together, which tends to upset both liberal and conservative. I have defended Human Rights for decades. My generation started with things like the end of nuclear weapons, end of Apartheid in South Africa, AIDS research, and famine. And for the younger generation, this was the things Gen X stood for. The term Boomers actually is the generation before mine. Please get it right. Because they fought for things like Civil Rights, the end of the war in Vietnam, and Women’s Rights. The generation before that (The Greatest Generation) stopped the regimes that slaughtered millions of Jews and Gentiles.

You are not the first generation to see an issue and demand change. But, the change you seek will not be won through the burning of cities, the ending of law enforcement, or screaming like fools because your safe space and preferred gender are not respected. And to be honest, there are more important things in this world to deal with than your feelings and self imposed ego of pretend superiority.

Why a people and culture that is almost 200 years removed from slavery, it is still a global issue. Things like forced child labor and the Caste system in India, the sex trade, forced domestic and farmer workers, and the mines that produce blood diamonds. So while you have the freedom to act like babies wanting a bottle because you can’t be called by the pronoun you choose, people truly suffer and die at the whim of those that think they have the right to commit these atrocities against mankind.

You scream that abortion is a Human Right. But the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948 list the number one Human Right as the Right to Life. Because without life, no other right can exist. It matters because every life matters. You have no problem screaming that no life matters until all lives matter yet willingly defy science and demand the right to the most innocent lives on this planet.

The original founding of this nation and the laws they placed for the safety and common good, are solely based upon the Ten Commandments of God. For those who deny that fact need to read the words, speeches, and letters of our Founding Fathers.

And Conservatives you are just as bad. Nationalism, in historical context, has bred nothing but hatred. Germany during the early to mid 20th century is the best example of the evil that comes from a nationalist mindset. And no matter how you want to view it, the assault on the hallowed halls of Congress was not only insurrection, but treason. For the veterans and politicians that were involved in the assault, you defied your oath. Those that got jail time, probation, or nothing should feel extra happy about the light sentence. Treason against the government is a death penalty offense.

And Christians, you are the worst of all. The far right church has come to the point that you not only love the sinner but condone the sin. The far right church has come to the point of hating both. Yes, God loves everyone, hence the price of the Cross for redemption of man. But, like all other systems of justice, there is punishment as well as reward based upon actions of the person. But I find the far right church has forgotten whom they follow. As followers of Christ we are suppose to help those in need. Christ did not say only if they agree with you, only if they are from the same nation, the same color, the same gender, or the same anything as you. All he said was go help. Love those that hate and persecute you. Aid those that are hungry, weak, in jail, etc.

I am appalled at the people of this nation. The extremes on both sides scream and yell to force their viewpoint without regard how it affects the whole. But I’m more appalled at the majority in the center. Those that see the good options that lean both left and right as is warranted depending on the issue. Why? Because they are the majority but choose to remain quiet.

In another article, I will explain what I believe would be a good and centered position is on many things that cause contention in today’s political climate. And why they would work and the benefits. But right now, both sides need to get their heads out of their backside orifices and the center needs to get their heads out of the sand.

Every great power as fallen into the sands and abyss of time. Many from the inside not an outside enemy. And this nation is going the same way. I see and hear, God make this nation great again. He has lifted his hand of protection from this land because we have become what we once, as a nation, fought against. The Scriptures say there will come a time when man will be left to his reprobate mind and God will allow a nation to feel his wrath. We are there.

This nation will eventually fade into history and another shall take our place on the world stage. And it will not be from an attack or natural disaster. It will be from the combined extreme egos and mindset this nation now holds above logic and compassion. We used to be a nation that believed in the words on the Statue of Liberty in the poem, The Tempest. We used to fight for liberation of the oppressed. But we have allowed hatred of those from outside our borders and systems of injustice inside our borders to overrule common sense and common decency.

So when this nation falls, as it will if we don’t change our path and actions as a whole people, we shall have nobody to blame but ourselves.

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Christianity, Current events, faith, Human Right, immigration

Derechos Humanos y Frontera

La presencia de inmigrantes en la frontera sur de Estados Unidos no es nada nuevo. Tampoco es nueva la respuesta actual. Cuando crecí rodeado de trabajadores del campo inmigrantes en Indiana, vi lo duro que trabajaban estos inmigrantes. Cuando empecé a conocer sus historias cuando me hice mayor, empecé a darme cuenta de que muchos vinieron aquí por lo que percibían como una vida mejor. Incluso cuando yo era más joven, existía la idea errónea de que iban a quitarles el trabajo a los estadounidenses, a cometer delitos y a ser una carga para los sistemas sociales de Estados Unidos.

¿Le resulta familiar? Es la misma retórica que la extrema derecha y Donald Trump utilizaron durante el ciclo electoral de 2016 y que continúa con la población conservadora. Mientras que algunos piensan que la actitud proviene de los prejuicios (y gran parte de ella lo hace), un miedo profundamente arraigado es más la razón. Un miedo al cambio. Un miedo a lo desconocido. Miedos muy arraigados que han sido alimentados por los medios de comunicación, la propaganda política y la incomprensión cultural. Así que este artículo trata de aliviar algo de eso.

No soy tan ingenuo como para creer que un artículo (después de millones de otros) tendría un impacto real. Y este artículo, aunque se dirige al público en general para que lo vea, será esencialmente para la derecha cristiana que se ha desviado del camino en las últimas décadas. Especialmente aquellos que creen que el ex presidente Trump es el salvador elegido para América. Porque en algún punto del camino, mientras el cristiano liberal ha ido aceptando el pecado en sus filas, el cristiano conservador ha olvidado las enseñanzas del Cristo que dicen seguir.

Este artículo será menos “en tu cara” y más educativo. Tendrá en cuenta algunas de las acciones que condujeron a las masas en la frontera sur de EE.UU., el aspecto legal de los que intentan entrar (ya sea por medios legales o simplemente cruzando), los Derechos Humanos, y los principios y la doctrina cristiana. Se trata de una combinación de derechos humanos y de fe cristiana.

Después de ver una reunión online de HIAS, me intrigó cómo se trata a los que buscan una vida mejor en el viaje y en la frontera. Así como el estudio independiente y la investigación sobre las causas principales en las diversas naciones que provocan que estos viajeros se enfrenten al viaje. Porque, seamos sinceros. La intervención en zonas extranjeras por parte de las administraciones estadounidenses ha contribuido a provocar la crisis a la que nos enfrentamos ahora. Y permítanme dejar claro este punto, La crisis no es una afluencia de indeseables, es una crisis HUMANITARIA de la que los EE.UU. son en parte responsables. 

\Según el Centro de Investigación Pew (Gramlich & Scheller, 2021), la mayoría de los que vienen a acceder a los EE.UU. son de áreas que generalmente no llegaron a la frontera en gran número. Entre los años fiscales 2020 y 2021. Lugares como Ecuador, Brasil y Venezuela experimentaron aumentos masivos. Cuba y Haití también están en esa lista, pero se puede hablar de cada uno de ellos por separado. 

Los que buscan escapar de Cuba lo han hecho generalmente por agua. Solía haber una política denominada “pie seco/pie mojado”. En términos simples, si un ciudadano cubano podía llegar a la orilla con una mano antes de ser capturado por la Guardia Costera, lo lograba. No es que pudieran seguir inmediatamente su camino, pero serían recibidos como solicitantes de asilo y se les daría protección a la espera de los resultados de sus solicitudes. Actualmente, Haití ha tenido que recuperarse de catástrofes naturales que estuvieron a punto de eliminar a la población y de asesinatos políticos. Estas dos naciones han tenido una larga historia de sus nacionales en los Estados Unidos.

En el caso de las naciones de América Central y del Sur, las razones por las que desean emigrar a los EE.UU., ya sea a través del asilo o no, se deben a cuestiones como la violencia extrema y los escuadrones/cárteles de la muerte, los fracasos masivos del socialismo, la inseguridad alimentaria, etc. Algo de esto es por lo que he dicho que EEUU ha jugado un papel en los países de origen en relación con la crisis que ahora vemos en la frontera.

Hay que señalar que muchos de los que buscan entrar en EE.UU. desde estas regiones ya tienen familia en el país. Dicho esto, veamos un par de países y las razones por las que deciden viajar a EE.UU. con esperanza.

Miremos a Ecuador. En 2021, hubo 95.692 encuentros con inmigrantes de Ecuador en los EE.UU.. Eso fue un salto de unos 75.000 desde 2020. Si recuerdan, el 2020 fue la aparición del COVID a nivel mundial. Esta crisis sanitaria debilitó una economía ya decaída. La corrupción es rampante, y hubo problemas de violencia extrema.

¿Cómo juega los EE.UU. en esto? Las guerras de la droga y la economía. Estados Unidos y Ecuador han sido socios en la guerra contra los cárteles desde el siglo XX. El resultado fue una violencia extrema para los cárteles, la corrupción de los funcionarios y los escuadrones de la muerte (Gorder, 2022).  A medida que los cárteles crecían financieramente, la economía del país llevó a los funcionarios y a las fuerzas del orden a profundizar en la corrupción. Cosas como dar armas a los cárteles. Imagina ser el objetivo de un escuadrón de la muerte. Y la historia muestra que el objetivo previsto también pone en peligro a la familia y a los amigos. No sólo en el país, sino que puede ocurrir en otros lugares.

Estados Unidos también tiene un interés principal en el petróleo de Ecuador, así como en algunas otras exportaciones como el cacao.

Una mirada rápida directamente al sur de la frontera, en México. Aquí, al igual que muchas naciones al sur de los EE.UU., México tiene un gran problema con los cárteles de la droga. La guerra contra las drogas de Estados Unidos. Y su participación en la lucha contra los cárteles de México ha llevado a expatriados o viajeros estadounidenses a ser atacados y asesinados Thompson, 2017). Así que muchos de los problemas que llevan a estas personas a la frontera de los Estados Unidos fueron impulsados aquí en parte por la participación de los Estados Unidos.

Como dije antes, escucho o veo las reuniones informativas de HIAS. Trabajan con varios refugiados y solicitantes de asilo y trabajan en ambos lados de la frontera. Proporcionan refugio, ayuda sanitaria, prevención de la violencia, ayuda legal, etc. a los que buscan entrar en EE.UU., normalmente como solicitantes de asilo y desplazados (HIAS, 2022).

Hay dos programas que se utilizan para los solicitantes de asilo. El primero es el Protocolo de Protección al Migrante (MMP) o el programa de estancia en México. Esencialmente, este programa fue diseñado para permitir a los migrantes permanecer en México mientras su caso de entrada es escuchado y decidido. Sin embargo, esto los hace vulnerables a ataques y enfermedades. Se sabe que los matones locales o los miembros de los cárteles obtienen información sobre los migrantes que esperan a través de funcionarios locales corruptos. Esto conduce al acoso, al ataque o a algo peor.

El Tribunal Supremo ha determinado que la Administración Biden puede poner fin al MPP en octubre de este año. Pero mientras tanto, las acciones de los funcionarios estatales de EE.UU., como el gobernador Abbott de Texas, han decidido que tomará el asunto en sus propias manos. Ha transportado a los inmigrantes a DC, así como ha llamado a la TXNG para transportar a los inmigrantes de vuelta a los cruces. El problema con esto es simple. LOS INMIGRANTES NECESITAN ESTAR EN SUELO ESTADOUNIDENSE PARA SOLICITAR ASILO.

Esto también es un problema con el Título 42, promulgado por Trump. Originalmente adoptado en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, el Título 42 es un código de salud para evitar que los problemas de salud crucen las fronteras de los Estados Unidos. El ex presidente Trump lo volvió a promulgar para impedir que los inmigrantes portadores de Covid cruzaran la frontera. Sin embargo, lo abarcaba todo y utilizaba la disposición sanitaria para impedir que TODOS los inmigrantes cruzaran la frontera, enfermos o no.

Esta promulgación del Título 42 debía terminar en mayo de este año. En mayo, el juez federal Summerhays, designado para Luisiana por el ex presidente Trump, bloqueó a la Administración Biden para que levantara la orden (García, 2022). Su razonamiento fue la violación del derecho administrativo. ¿Esta violación? El levantamiento del programa causaría “un daño irreparable porque los estados tendrían que gastar dinero en atención médica, aplicación de la ley, educación y otros servicios para los migrantes”.  Se espera que la demanda presentada por el DOJ en el Tribunal de Apelaciones del 5º Circuito sea aceptada y el programa sea levantado. No se sabe cuánto tiempo puede tardar esta sentencia.

Para más detalles sobre los resultados de la permanencia forzada en México y las deportaciones sin audiencia se puede encontrar en la lista de artículos del sitio web de HIAS en https://www.hias.org/tagged/us-border-response. 

Mi creencia es simple. Para aliviar y curar este problema deberíamos tomar una página del libro de la UE. Crear una política de fronteras abiertas desde la punta de América del Sur hasta el punto más septentrional de América del Norte e incluir todas las islas no controladas por Europa en las zonas que rodean estos continentes. Esto permitiría la libre circulación, iniciativas de comercio justo y reforzaría las economías y sociedades de cada uno. Cada país seguiría siendo soberano, pero trabajando juntos para garantizar los derechos humanos y ayudar a la investigación y el enjuiciamiento de los delitos dentro de los límites de esta frontera de la Unión Americana.

La razón por la que llamé a los conservadores cristianos que creen que estas acciones son apropiadas, olvidan las enseñanzas del Antiguo Testamento y las enseñanzas de Cristo.

Y si un extranjero habita con vosotros en vuestra tierra, no lo maltrataréis(LEV 19:33).

Porque tuve hambre, y me disteis de comer; tuve sed, y me disteis de beber: Fui forastero, y me acogisteis; estuve desnudo, y me vestisteis: Estuve enfermo, y me visitasteis: Entonces los justos le responderán diciendo: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento y te dimos de comer, o sediento y te dimos de beber? ¿Y cuándo te vimos enfermo, o en la cárcel, y vinimos a ti? Y el Rey responderá y les dirá: En verdad os digo que en cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos más pequeños, a mí me lo hicisteis. (Mateo 25:35-40)

Referencias

Los servicios de seguridad corruptos agravan el problema de los asesinatos en Ecuador. InSight Crime. (2022, 1 de junio). Recuperado el 13 de julio de 2022, de https://insightcrime.org/news/corrupt-security-services-worsen-ecuadors-murder-problem/

García, U. J. (2022, mayo 20). Un juez impide que el gobierno de Biden levante la orden de salud pública utilizada para expulsar rápidamente a los migrantes. The Texas Tribune. Obtenido el 13 de julio de 2022, de https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/20/title-42-border-judge-ruling-migrants/

Gramlich, J., & Scheller, A. (2021, 12 de noviembre). Qué es


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Christianity, Current events, faith, Human Right, immigration

Human Rights and the Border

Immigrants on the United States southern border is not anything new. Also not new is the current response. Growing up around migrant field workers in Indiana I saw how hard these immigrants worked. As I started to learn their stories when I got older, I started to realize that many came here for what they perceived as a better life. Even when I was younger, there was the erroneous idea that they would take American jobs, commit crimes, and be a drain on the social systems in the US.

Sound familiar? It is the same rhetoric that the extreme right and Donald Trump used during the 2016 election cycle and continues with the conservative population. While some think the attitude comes from prejudice (and much of it does), a deep seated fear is more the reason. A fear of change. A fear of the unknown. Deep seated fears that have been fed to the American public in media, political propaganda, and cultural misunderstanding. So this article is to try and alleviate some of that.

I am not naive enough to believe that one article (after millions of others) would have any real impact. And this article, while going to the general public for view, will essentially be for the Christian Right that has gone off track over the last few decades. Especially those that believe former President Trump is the chosen savior for America. Because somewhere along the way, while the liberal Christian has been accepting sin into its ranks, the conservative Christian has forgotten the teachings of the Christ they are claiming to follow.

This article will be less ‘in your face’ and more educational. It will take into account some of the actions that led to the masses at the US southern border, the legal aspect of those trying to enter (whether by legal means or just crossing), Human Rights, and Christian principles and doctrine. This is a combination of Human Rights and Christian faith issue.

Having watched a HIAS online meeting, I was intrigued at how those seeking a better life are treated on the journey and at the border. As well as independent study and research on core causes in the various nations that caused these sojourners to face the trip. Because, let’s me honest. The intervention in foreign areas by US administrations has helped lead to the crisis we now face. And let me make this point clear, The crisis is not one of an influx of undesirables, it is a HUMANITARIAN crisis that the US is partly responsible for. 

\According to the Pew Research Center (Gramlich & Scheller, 2021), the majority of those coming to gain access to the US are from areas that generally did not come to the border in large numbers. From 2020 to 2021 fiscal years. Places like Ecuador, Brazil, and Venezuela saw massive increases. Cuba and Haiti are on that list as well, but each of these can be talked about somewhat separately. 

Those seeking to escape Cuba have generally done so by water. There used be a policy named the dry foot/wet foot policy. Is simple terms, if a Cuban national could make it to the shore with one hand before being caught by the Coast Guard, they made it. Not that they could immediately go on their way, but they would be received as asylum seekers and given protection pending the results of their applications. Currently, Haiti has had to recover from natural disasters that came close to eliminating the population and political assassination. This two nations have had a long history of their nationals being in the US.

With the nations of Central and South America, the reasons for wishing to emigrate to the US, either through asylum or not, are because of issues like extreme violence and death squads/cartels, the massive failures of socialism, food insecurities, etc. Some of this is why I said that the US has played a role in countries of origin in relation to the crisis we now see at the border.

It should be pointed out, that many seeking entry to the US from these regions have family already in the US. That being said, Let’s look at a couple countries and the reasons they choose to travel to the US with hope.

Let’s look at Ecuador. In 2021, there were 95,692 encounters with immigrants from Ecuador at the US. That was a jump of about 75,000 since 2020. If you remember, 2020 was the emergence of COVID globally. This health crisis weakened an already down turned economy. Corruption is rampant, and there were issues of extreme violence.

How does the US play into this. The drug wars and economics. The US and Ecuador have been partners int the war against the cartels since the 20th century. This resulted in extreme violence for the cartels, corruption by officials, and death squads (Gorder, 2022).  As the cartels grew financially, the economics of the country led officials and law enforcement to go deeper into corruption. Things such as giving arms to the cartels. Imagine being the target of a death squad. And history shows that the intended target also endangers family and friends. Not only in country, but can happen elsewhere. The US also has a main interest in Ecuador’s petroleum, as well as a few other exports like cocoa.

Just a quick look directly south of the border in Mexico. Here, like many nations south of the US, Mexico has a major issue with drug cartels. The US drug war. And their involvement in fighting the cartels of Mexico has led to US expats or travelers being attacked and killed Thompson, 2017). So many of the issues that drive these people to the US border were driven here in part by the US involvement.

As I said earlier, I listen to or watch HIAS information meetings. They work with various refugees and asylum seekers and work on both sides of the border. They provide shelter, health aid, violence prevention, legal aid, and etc to those seeking entry into the US, usually as asylum seekers and the displaced (HIAS, 2022).

There are 2 programs that is used for those seeking asylum. The first is the Migrant Protection Protocols (MMP) or the stay in Mexico program. Essentially, this program was designed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico while their entry case is being heard and decided. However, this makes them vulnerable to attacks and sickness. Local thugs or cartel members have been known to obtain information on the waiting migrants from corrupt local officials. This leads to harassment, attack or worse.

The Supreme Court has determined that the Biden Administration can end MPP in October of this year. But in the mean time, actions by US state officials, like Gov. Abbott of Texas, have decided that he will take the matter in his own hands. He has transported immigrants to DC as well as called up the TXNG to transport immigrants back to the crossings. The issue with this is simple. THE IMMIGRANTS NEED TO BE ON U.S. SOIL TO APPLY FOR ASYLUM.

This also is an issue with Title 42, enacted by Trump. Originally adopted in WW2, Title 42 is a health code to prevent health issues from crossing the borders of the US. Former President Trump re-enacted this to stall Covid carrying immigrants from crossing the border. However, it was all encompassing and used the health provision to stop ALL immigrants from crossing the border, sick or not.

This enactment of Title 42 was to end in May of this year. In May, Federal Judge Summerhays, appointed to Louisiana by Former President Trump, blocked the Biden Administration from lifting the order (Garcia, 2022). His reasoning was violation of administrative law. This violation? The lifting of the program would cause “irreparable harm because the states would have to spend money on health care, law enforcement, education and other services for migrants”.  It is expected that the suit filed by the DOJ in the 5thCircuit Court of Appeals will be accepted and the program will be lifted. It is undetermined how long this ruling may take.

For further details on the results of forced remain in Mexico and non-hearing deportations can be found at HIAS website article list at https://www.hias.org/tagged/us-border-response. 

My belief is simple. To ease and cure this problem we should take a page from the EU’s book. Create an open border policy from the tip of South America to most northern point of North America and include all non-European controlled islands in the areas surrounding these continents. It would allow free movement, fair trade initiatives, and bolster the economies and societies of each. Each Country still soveriegn, but working together to ensure Human Rights and aid criminal investigation and prosecution within the confines of this American union border.

The reason I called out the Christian Conservatives that believe these actions are appropriate, forget the teachings of the Old Testament and the teachings of Christ.

And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him(LEV 19:33).

For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:35-40)

References

Corrupt Security Services worsen Ecuador’s murder problem. InSight Crime. (2022, June 1). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://insightcrime.org/news/corrupt-security-services-worsen-ecuadors-murder-problem/

García, U. J. (2022, May 20). Judge Blocks Biden administration from lifting public health order used to quickly expel migrants. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/20/title-42-border-judge-ruling-migrants/

Gramlich, J., & Scheller, A. (2021, November 12). What’s happening at the U.S.-Mexico border in 7 charts. Pew Research Center. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/11/09/whats-happening-at-the-u-s-mexico-border-in-7-charts/

HIAS www.hias.org

Thompson, G. (2017, June 12). How the U.S. triggered a massacre in Mexico. ProPublica. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.propublica.org/article/allende-zetas-cartel-massacre-and-the-us-dea

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

Católico es Cristiano parte 2: Paradoja cristiana

Este será un artículo doble. En primer lugar, corregirá algunos malentendidos sobre la fe católica. También mostrará que no todos los católicos son iguales. Así que agárrate para un viaje en montaña rusa.

Mi último artículo sobre la fe católica fue un razonamiento sobre el Rosario. En él definí por qué los cristianos católicos lo hacen, la comprensión bíblica detrás de él, y la forma en que se hace. Este post analizará las devociones, como el Rosario, en forma amplia.

Las devociones, como el Rosario, las coronillas, el Oficio Divino, la Adoración, etc. son todas formas en que los de la denominación católica se permiten entrar en comunión con Dios. Para los católicos, son lo mismo que el estudio de las escrituras, las devociones diarias, etc.

Este es el principal malentendido. La Iglesia no los exige ni los obliga. Son un tipo de cosa que se toma o se deja. No hay ningún castigo por no hacerlas. Yo personalmente hago muy pocas devociones. Hago el Rosario, aunque estoy empezando a hacer las cuentas de la oración de Jesús más a menudo. Hago el Oficio Divino diariamente, porque el Oficio Divino no es más que múltiples salmos y lecturas diarias (leer la Biblia y un buen libro).

Otro malentendido es creer que tomamos la palabra del Papa como ley. Sólo hay un momento en el que eso es necesario. Esto es cuando el Papa habla Ex Cathedra (desde la Cátedra de Pedro) lo cual es sólo sobre Doctrina y Dogma y no se ha hecho desde el Papa Pío X en los años 50. Sí, el Papa puede escribir encíclicas, pero como cualquier otro escrito, se pueden tomar o no tomar.

La primera afirmación de esta pieza enumeraba dos objetivos. Corregir los malentendidos, y eso se ha hecho, aunque no en la medida. Entonces, ¿a qué se debe la parte de la declaración que no es igual? Aquí está la montaña rusa.

No me adhiero a toda la doctrina de la Iglesia Católica. Tampoco me adhiero a toda la doctrina y dogma de las denominaciones protestantes. Permítame explicarle antes de que usted, el lector, diga que esa declaración “escoge y elige”. No, no lo hago. No me adhiero a la doctrina y al dogma que no está apoyado por la Sagrada Escritura.

Todas las denominaciones doblan un poco su punto de vista sobre diversas doctrinas de la fe. Aquí hay una protestante principal para aquellos de creencias pentecostales y carismáticas. El hablar en lenguas. El hablar en lenguas dentro de estas denominaciones y movimientos creen que la señal del bautismo en el Espíritu Santo es hablar en lenguas. Esto viene de los versos que hablan de los Discipulos en el dia de Pentecostes. Sin embargo, viendo que cada persona que escuchaba entendía a los Discípulos en su propia lengua, hay que asumir que sólo significa que los Discípulos hablaban una lengua extranjera y conocida que no sabían hablar. No una “lengua angélica”.

Ahora bien, la biblia habla de una lengua angélica, pero viene con reglas. Tiene que haber un intérprete o el hablante tiene que abstenerse o ir a otra área hasta que se termine de hablar. La “lengua angélica” es estrictamente para enseñar y edificar a la iglesia. De ahí la necesidad de un intérprete.

Mientras que la diversidad de lenguas es uno de los nueve dones del espíritu, esta es una referencia del cambio inmediato de la lengua a través del poder del Espíritu para que alguien de una lengua desconocida pueda entender. Este es también el trabajo de otro don, la interpretación de lenguas. Mientras que, la lengua angelical es real, no es de lo que habla la mayoría de los versos. Escribiré más adelante sobre la “lengua angélica” como prueba del espíritu santo y sus orígenes como los entendemos ahora.

Igualmente, en la fe católica, hay dogmas y doctrina que no tienen base bíblica (y que se determinan en diferentes momentos de los últimos dos mil años más. Como el Purgatorio. La Iglesia utiliza versos como “oraciones de los muertos” para justificar esta doctrina. Sin embargo, el Antiguo Testamento nos dice que los muertos no saben nada. Esta doctrina se relaciona con el limbo para aquellos que mueren sin llegar a una edad de entendimiento y sin el bautismo.

Este concepto fue invertido por los protestantes. En lugar de un lugar para terminar de limpiar el pecado, los “muertos” inmortales van inmediatamente al Cielo o al Infierno al morir, dependiendo del estado de su alma. Con esto también tengo un problema. Si existiera el transporte inmediato a uno u otro en el momento de la muerte, ¿por qué tendría que haber una resurrección de los MUERTOS?

La primera resurrección ocurrió realmente. ¿No me creen? Lee los diferentes textos de la Crucifixión. Cuando Cristo fue crucificado, algunos de los muertos salieron de sus tumbas. Dejando eso de lado, si estoy muerto y soy trasladado inmediatamente al Cielo, volver a la tumba para ser resucitado en la venida del Señor sería una enorme pérdida de tiempo. A su vez, si los malos están en el infierno en el momento de la muerte, ¿por qué la necesidad del Juicio del Trono Blanco? El infierno es el lugar de castigo después de que ese juicio tenga lugar. ¿Ves lo ilógico que sería? ¿Por qué Cristo los obligaría a ser removidos de la felicidad eterna con Él sólo para que regresen a la tumba y sean resucitados de nuevo?

Ni el purgatorio (lugar de eliminación de todo pecado porque aparentemente la Cruz no hizo lo suficiente’ ni el cielo/infierno inmediato (lugar de recompensa o castigo) tienen sentido. Y no digas que Dios es misterioso en sus caminos. Sí, lo es. Pero también dio su palabra (la Sagrada Escritura), la capacidad de discernir a través del poder del Espíritu Santo, y un cerebro para pensar las cosas.

Otra cosa a la que no me adhiero es al concepto de que se necesita un sacerdote para el perdón. ¿Voy a un sacerdote en el confesionario? Sí, un par de veces al año.  PERO, después de haberme arrepentido y haber sido perdonado por Dios a través de la Cruz de Cristo. Voy al sacerdote porque todo el mundo necesita oír que está perdonado de vez en cuando.

Si haces algo a un ser querido o a un amigo, o incluso a alguien que no conoces, y te arrepientes, escuchar esas palabras te quita una presión del corazón. Puedes sentir el alivio. Si es alguien que sabes que te ha perdonado, pero no lo escuchas, puede jugar en tu mente hasta que escuches las palabras. Para mí (y no sé lo que piensan muchos otros católicos al respecto) es por lo que voy. Sé que Dios me ha perdonado, a veces, pero es bueno tener esa seguridad hablada.

Otra es que María, Madre de Jesús (DIOS), nació sin pecado original. Esto no lo creo. La Biblia contradice esa teoría. Las Escrituras nos dicen que a través de Adán vino el pecado. Todos los que nacieron después de ese punto (cuando AMBOS) Adán y Eva se equivocaron, ese pecado era ahora perpetuo en el hombre hasta el día de su nacimiento de nuevo. Yo creo, que al aceptar la voluntad de Dios de ser la madre del Cristo, ella fue hecha santa y sin pecado en ese momento. Pero que nació sin él, no.

No soy un católico típico porque no soy nada típico. Fui salvado y bautizado en la Iglesia del Séptimo Día de Adviento. Y antes de que digas algo, ellos también son cristianos. Puede que escriba sobre eso en algún momento en el futuro. Me confirmé en la Iglesia Católica en 1999, tres años después de haberme salvado.

Entre 1996 y 1999, he sentido la presencia del Espíritu Santo. He sido testigo de curaciones instantáneas milagrosas, incluso después de convertirme en católico. Creo que todavía hay profetas y soñadores. Todavía mantengo conmigo, ciertas partes de mi cristianismo no católico. ¿Por qué? Porque conozco su poder. Conozco los signos que siguen y creo en ellos. También creo en el Cuerpo, la Sangre, el Alma y la Divinidad en la Santa Eucaristía (Comunión).  He sentido la presencia tanto comulgando como con la imposición de manos.

Ninguna denominación tiene toda la verdad. Se ha vuelto un poco sesgada debido a los edictos y pensamientos del hombre. Nosotros, como cristianos, debemos recordar que todos somos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, cubiertos y lavados por la sangre derramada en la Cruz. Sí, tendremos diferencias de opinión. Pero lo que hay que recordar es que Cristo mismo dijo que había seguidores y creyentes aparte de los Apóstoles.

La Biblia tiene algunas personas que creyeron pero no andaban con el pueblo de Dios. Melquisedec era sacerdote y rey de Dios cuando conoció a Abram. El Centurión en la Cruz no era un seguidor de Jesús pero creía.

El caminar de una persona con Dios es personal. La Iglesia a la que asiste es pública. Los frutos que muestra son de la primera, no de esta última. Que no sea católico no significa que no sea salvo. Así como no hablar en lenguas no significa que no haya sido tocado por el Espíritu Santo.

Nosotros como cuerpo de Cristo estamos muy ocupados perdiendo una de las enseñanzas más importantes de la Sagrada Escritura. Dios corrigió al profeta Samuel como ahora nos corrige a nosotros. “Pero el Señor dijo a Samuel: No mires su aspecto, ni la altura de su estatura, porque lo he rechazado; porque el Señor no ve como el hombre; pues el hombre mira la apariencia exterior, pero el Señor mira el corazón. (1Samuel 16:7)Así que seguiré siendo una mezcla de protestante y católico. Seguiré leyendo la RSV-Edición Católica y la KJ. Seguiré cantando liturgia e himnos. Seguiré hablando del amor y la recompensa, así como del pecado y el castigo de Dios. Seguiré dando mi testimonio. Porque para mí, se trata de salvar un alma, no el letrero frente al edificio.

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Old Faith, New Renewal

Last night, I finally got around to watching a service from Pentecost Sunday at the Field Church in Bluffton, Indiana. I had been there a few times and it is my son’s church of choice. It was where he finally was washed in the blood of Christ at the altar. It was where he was given a watery death and and  a rebirth in Christ.

While you may not think this too amazing, he was 22 years old and had been an Odinist. That was until he was healed by God through the power of the Holy Spirit that was brought on by prayers across the country. So to me, it is important. And in some way, this post is about him, but what happened after the Pentecost service.

Pastor Zach Petree had a guest pastor that Sunday. I’ve seen people filled with the Holy Ghost, but this gentleman was overflowing. My son said you could fill the electricity in the air, a different feeling he had truly had there before. My son was called to the altar, and was laid out by the Power of the Holy Ghost when he had hands laid on him. Not once, not twice, but three times.

For someone not in the Pentecostal church, this usually seems either weird or ridiculous. And as a Catholic of over 20 years, I might agree with you. After all, the Catholic Christians don’t really go in for emotionalism and the signs following. But, I’m not your average Catholic. Before I was confirmed, I started as a Seventh Day Adventist and then more of an Evangelical. So I understand and believe in the signs following.

My last post pointed out, in a small way, that I am a mix of Pentecostal and Catholic. If you choose to, go read Paradox Christian. But for this article, I will go over a few series of events that hit me. The first was watching my son at the Pentecost service.

I fully understand that the Catholic Church does not accept Scripture alone but also relies on traditions that go back over the last two thousand years. But like many denominations, there are things they agree and disagree with in biblical concept. And that’s fine. Considering Heaven will not be denominational in makeup, I don’t generally adhere to the sign out front.

Anyway, I still hold to many of my Evangelic beliefs. The signs following are those, as well as study, prayer, and service. After watching the replay of the service, I was looking around You Tube and found Pastor Greg Locke. If you haven’t heard of him, and I would be surprised if you haven’t, he was speaking about the biblical scriptures on witchcraft bad divination. The context was because he has been threatened a few times by local practitioners of the black arts (and yes, they come from the devil). Leviticus tells us in chapter 20 verse 6:As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

So finishing that short video, not the first I have watched from him, I was presented with a flash from the past. Back in the late 1990’s (my Evangelical days), I watched Breakthrough with Rod Parsley. But at the time of this particular viewing, it had been between 20 and 25 years since I had watch Pastor Parsley preach. This episode came from the recent Dominion Camp Meeting. This is a week or so of varying pastors and speakers. Pastor Parsley was the last to speak, and the message hit like a brick.

He was preaching about the weakness of today’s preachers and the compromises they have made. The weakness of a pulpit allows for sin to openly be within the church. I have written about this and the message was energetic and filled with power when pastor Parsley spoke. There are preachers that have a silver tongue and sound eloquent. There are those that sound like they belong in the halls of academia. But Pastor Locke and Pastor Parsley are the throwback that is more than needed for today. They pull no punches, and as Pastor parsley said, does not worry about Twitter or Facebook likes or being Tik Tok famous. What they care about are the souls that are headed for Hell.

Pastor Parsley spoke of many things in that sermon. But more importantly, it brought my mind and spirit back to a time from long ago. A time where I had a fire and a passion to see souls saved through the power of the Holy Ghost. It brought understanding and a clarity that even the Catholic Church with all of it’s history and traditions have not brought back to me.

They say what most pastors and priests are afraid to. That man sin’s and needs repentance. That things like homosexuality, sexual immorality, and compromising the commands and teachings of God will send your soul to hell. In today’s political and self-serving climate, men like these are a fresh wind of an old power. A wind that entered a room 2000 years ago and transformed not only that age, but every age since.

The feeling that I have felt before, I am starting to feel again. Where the breath and will of God will take me, I have yet to see. What God will have me do, I have yet to now. But I do know that I am reminded of a couple of verses that fit this situation.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.(Isaiah 6:8. 18)  

 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1Corintians 1:18-25)

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Catholic is Christian part 2: Paradox Christian

This is going to be a two-fold piece. First it will correct some misunderstandings of the Catholic faith. It was also show not all Catholics are alike. So hang on for a roller coaster ride.

My last post on Catholic faith was a reasoning on the Rosary. In it I defined why the Catholic Christians do it, the biblical understanding behind it, and the way it is done. This posting will look at devotions, such as the Rosary, in a broad form.

Devotions, such as the Rosary, chaplets, the Divine Office, Adoration, etc are all ways that those of the Catholic denomination allow themselves to enter into communion with God. To Catholics, these are the same as study of the scriptures, daily devotionals,etc.

Here is the main misunderstanding. They are not required or forced by the Church. They are a take it or leave it type of thing. There is no punishment attached for not doing them. I personally do very few devotions. I will do the Rosary, although I am starting to do the Jesus prayer beads more often. I do the Divine office daily, because the Divine office is just multiple daily psalms and readings (reading your bible and a good book).

Another misunderstanding is believing that we take the word of the Pope as law. There is only one point in time when that is required. This is when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra (from the Seat of Peter) which is only about Doctrine and Dogma and has not  been done since Pope Pius X in the 1950’s. Yes, the Pope may write encyclicals, but like any other writings, they can be taken or not taken.

The first statement of this piece listed two objectives. Correcting misunderstandings, and that has been done, although no to extent. So what is the not alike part of the statement about? Here’s the roller coaster.

I do not adhere to every doctrine of the Catholic Church. Nor did I adhere to the whole doctrine and dogma of Protestant denominations. Let me explain before you, the reader, says that statement ‘he picks and chooses’. No, I don’t. I do not adhere to doctrine and dogma that is not supported by the Holy Scripture.

All denominations bend their view a bit on varying doctrine’s of the faith. Here’s a main Protestant one for those of Pentecostal and Charismatic beliefs. The speaking in tongues. The speaking in tongues within these denominations and movements believe that the sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. This comes from the verses that speak of the Disciples on the day of Pentecost. However, seeing that each person that heard understood the Disciples in their own language, it has to be assumed that only means that the Disciples spoke a foreign and known language that they did not know how to speak. Not some ‘Angelic tongue’.

Now the bible does speak of an angelic tongue, but it does come with rules. There either must be an interpreter or the speaker needs to refrain or go to another area until the utterance is done. The ‘angelic tongue’ is strictly for teaching and edifying the church. Hence the need for an interpreter.

While diverse tongues is one of the nine gifts of the spirit, this is a reference of the immediate change of language through the power of the Spirit so that someone of an unknown language may understand. This is also the job of another gift, interpretation of tongues. While, angelic tongue is real, that is not what the majority of verses speaks of. I’ll write later about ‘angelic tongue’ being the proof of the holy spirit and its origins as we now understand them.

Likewise, in the Catholic faith, there are dogmas and doctrine that are not biblical based (and determined at varying points of the last two thousand plus years. Such as Purgatory. The Church uses verses such as ‘prayers of the dead’ to justify this doctrine. However, the Old Testament tells us that the dead know nothing. This doctrine ties into limbo for those who die without reaching an age of understanding and without baptism.

This concept was reversed by the Protestants. Instead of a place to finish cleaning away sin, the immortal ‘dead’ immediately go to Heaven or Hell upon death depending on the state of their soul. This I also have a problem with. If there was the immediate transport to one or the other at time of death, why would there need to be a resurrection of the DEAD?

The first resurrection actually happened. Don’t believe me? Read the varying texts of the Crucifixion. When Christ was Crucified, some of the dead came out of their graves. That aside, If I’m dead and immediately transferred to Heaven, going back to the grave to be resurrected at the coming of the Lord would be a huge waste of time. In turn, if the evil are in hell at time of death, why the need for the White Throne Judgment? Hell is the place of punishment after that judgment takes place. See how illogical that would be? Why would Christ force you to be removed from eternal happiness with Him just to have you return to the grave and be resurrected again?

Neither purgatory (place of removing all sin because apparently the Cross did not do enough’ nor immediate heaven/hell (place of reward or punishment) make any sense. And do not say God is mysterious in His ways. Yes, He is. But He also gave His word (Holy Scripture), the ability to discern through the power of the Holy Spirit, and a brain to think things through.

Another thing I do not adhere to is the concept that a priest is needed for forgiveness. Do I go to a priest in the confessional? Yes, a couple items a year.  BUT, after having repented and having been forgiven by God through the Cross of Christ. I go to the priest because everyone needs to hear they are forgiven from time to time.

If you do something to a loved one or friend, or even someone you don’t know, and you repent, hearing those words lifts a pressure from you heart. You can feel the relief. If it is someone who you know has forgiven you, but you you do not hear it, it can play on your mind until you hear the words. To me (and I don’t know the thoughts of many other Catholics on it) that’s why I go. I know God has forgiven me, sometimes, its just nice to have that spoken assurance.

Another is that Mary, Mother of Jesus (GOD), was born without original sin. This I do not believe. Bible contradicts that theory. The Scriptures tell us through Adam came sin. Everyone born beyond that point (when BOTH) Adam and Eve messed up, that sin was now perpetual in man until the day of his being born again. I do believe, the by accepting the will of God to be the mother of the Christ, she was made holy and without sin at that point. But born without it, nope.

I am not a typical Catholic because I am not a typical anything. I was saved and baptized in the Seventh Day Advent Church. And before you say anything, they are Christian too. I may write about that sometime in the future. I was Confirmed into the Catholic Church in 1999, three years after I was saved.

In between 1996 and 1999, I have felt the presence of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). I have witnessed miracle instant healings, even after becoming Catholic. I believe there are still prophets and dreamers. I still keep with me, certain parts of my non-Catholic Christianity. Why? Because I know the power thereof. I know the signs following and believe them. I also believe in the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist (Communion).  I have felt the presence just as much taking communion as I have with the laying on off hands.

No one denomination has the whole truth. It has become a bit skewed because of the edicts and thoughts of man. We, as Christians, must remember that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, covered and washed by the blood shed at the Cross. Yes, we will have difference of opinion. But the one thing to remember is that Christ Himself said that there were followers and believers other than the Apostles.

The Bible has a few people that believed but were not walking with the people of God. Melchizedek was a priest and king of God when he met Abram. The Centurion at the Cross was not a follower of Jesus but believed.

A person’s walk with God is personal. The Church he attends is public. The fruits he shows are from the first, not that latter. Just because you are not Catholic does not mean you are not saved. Just as not speaking in tongues does not mean you have not been touched by the Holy Ghost.

We as  the body of Christ are too busy missing one of the most important teachings of Holy Scripture. God corrected Samuel the Prophet as He now corrects us. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)So, I’ll remain a mixture of Protestant and Catholic. I’ll still read the RSV-Catholic Edition and the KJ. I’ll still sing liturgical and hymn. I’ll still tell about the love and reward as well as sin and punishment of God. I’ll still give my testimony. Because for me, it’s about saving a soul, not the sign in front of the building.

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Didache Capítulo 4

DIDACHE

  • IV –
    EL SEÑOR VIENE
    de tu vida. No dejes que tus lámparas se consuman, ni que tu cintura se descuelgue,i
    sino que estén preparados,
    porque no sabéis cuándo vendrá nuestro Señor.j
    Y reúnanse con frecuencia, buscando lo que es
    de lo necesario para vuestras almas, porque todos vuestros años de fe no servirán de nada si no sois perfeccionados en los
    últimos días.k
    En los últimos días se multiplicarán los falsos profetas y los corruptores,l
    y las ovejas se convertirán en lobos
    y el amor se convertirá en odio.m A medida que aumente la anarquía, los hombres se odiarán, se perseguirán y se traicionarán unos a otros
    unos a otros.n
    Y entonces el Engañador del mundo se presentará como hijo de Dios, y hará señales y prodigios,o
    y la tierra será entregada en sus manos. Cometerá abominaciones que nunca se han visto
    desde el principio del mundo.p
    Entonces toda la humanidad vendrá a la friolera de la prueba,q
    y muchos fracasarán y perecerán.r
    Pero los que resistan en su fe serán salvados
    por el que fue maldecido.t
    Y entonces aparecerán las señales de la verdad: primero una señal de una grieta en los cielos,u
    luego una señal de una voz de
    una trompeta,v
    y en tercer lugar la resurrección de los muertos.w Pero no de todos, sino como se dijo:
    El Señor vendrá y todos sus santos con él.x
    Entonces el mundo verá al Señor venir
    sobre las nubes del cielo con poder
    y dominio
    para pagar a cada hombre
    según sus obras,z
    con
    justicia, ante todos los hombres
    y los ángeles.
    aM eN.
    i Lucas 12:35. j Mat. 24:42, 44; Marcos 13:35; Lucas 12:40. k Epístola de Bernabé 4:9. l Mat. 24:11. m Mat. 24:12. n Mat. 24:10; 2 Pe. 3:3. o Marcos 13:22; 2 Tes. 2:4, 9. p Dan. 12:1; Marcos 13:19; 2 Juan 7; Apocalipsis 12:9, 13:2, 19:20. q 1 P. 4:12. r Mat. 24:10, 13. s Marcos 13:13. t Gal. 3:13. u Mat. 24:30. v Mat. 24:31; 1 Tes. 4:16. w 1 Cor.
    15:52. x Zac. 14:5. y Marcos 13:26. z Sal. 62:12; Mat. 16:27
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Didache Chapter 4

DIDACHE
— IV —
THE LORD IS COMING
waTch over your life. Do not let your lamps burn out, nor your waist be ungirded,i
but be ready,
for you do not know when our Lord is coming.j
And gather together frequently, seeking what is
necessary for your souls, for all your years of faith will count for nothing unless you are perfected in the
last days.k
In the last days, false prophets and corrupters will multiply,l
and the sheep will turn into wolves,
and love will be turned into hate.m As lawlessness increases, men will hate and persecute and betray one
another.n
And then the Deceiver of the world will appear as a son of God, and will do signs and wonders,o
and the earth will be delivered into his hands. He will commit abominations which have never been seen
since the world began.p
Then all mankind will come to the fre of testing,q
and many will fail and perish.r
But those who endure in their faith will be saveds
by him who was accursed.t
And then shall the signs of the truth appear: frst a sign of a rift in the heavens,u
then a sign of a voice of
a trumpet,v
and thirdly the resurrection of the dead.w Yet not of all, but as it was said:
The Lord shall come and all his saints with him.x
Then shall the world see the Lord coming
upon the clouds of heaven with power
and dominiony
to repay each man
according to his works,z
with
justice, before all men
and the angels.
aM eN.
i Luke 12:35. j Mat. 24:42, 44; Mark 13:35; Luke 12:40. k Epistle of Barnabas 4:9. l Mat. 24:11. m Mat. 24:12. n Mat. 24:10; 2 Pet. 3:3. o Mark 13:22; 2 Tess. 2:4, 9. p Dan. 12:1; Mark 13:19; 2 John 7; Rev. 12:9, 13:2, 19:20. q 1 Pet. 4:12. r Mat. 24:10, 13. s Mark 13:13. t Gal. 3:13. u Mat. 24:30. v Mat. 24:31; 1 Tess. 4:16. w 1 Cor.
15:52. x Zech. 14:5. y Mark 13:26. z Ps. 62:12; Mat. 16:27

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DIDACHE CHAPTER 3: LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY

DIDACHE CHAPTER 3: LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY

APOSTLES AND PROPHETS c oNce rNiNg apostles and prophets,p  act according to the Gospel’s teaching.q  Receive every apostle as  the Lord.r  He should not stay for more than a single day, or two days if necessary. But if he remains  for three days, he is a false prophet. When he leaves, let the apostle receive nothing except bread, until he  fnds a place to stay. But if he asks for money, he is a false prophet.r Do not test or judge any prophet who speaks in the Spirit. Every other sin will be forgiven, but this sin  will not be forgiven.s  And not everyone who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet, but only he who follows the  ways of the Lord. From his behavior, then, you will know a false prophet from a true prophet.t Any prophet who orders a meal in Spirit will not eat from it, but if he does eat of it, he is a false prophet.  Any prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do the things he teaches, is a false prophet.  Every true prophet, if he performs a worldly mystery of the Church, but does not teach others to do  likewise, he must not be judged by you. He has his judgment in the presence of God, as with the prophets  of old.  If anyone says in the Spirit, “Give me money,” do not listen to him.u  But if he tells you to give to others who are in need, let no one judge him.

HOSPITALITY TO TRAVELERS re ce ive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord.v  Examine him and learn the nature of his situ-  ation.  If he is only passing through, help him as much as you can, but he must not stay with you more than two  or three days.  If he wishes to settle with you and knows a trade, let him work and earn his bread.w If he does not know a trade, use your judgment to decide how he should live as a Christian among you,  but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trafcking upon Christ.x  Beware of such men.

SUPPORTING GOD’S MINISTERS e ve ry true prophet who desires to settle among you is worthy of his food. Likewise, a true teacher, like  the worker, deserves his food.y Take every frstfruit of the winepress and of the threshing foor, of your oxen and of your sheep, and  give as the frstfruit to the prophets, for they are your high priests.z  But if you do not have a prophet, give  your frstfruits to the poor. If you make bread, take the frstfruit and give according to the commandment. Likewise, when you  open a jug of wine or oil, take the frstfruit and give to the prophets. And so with money, and clothing, and  every possession—take the frstfruit, as it seems appropriate to you, and give according to the commandment.

THE SACRIFICE gaTher together each Sunday,a  break bread and give thanks, frst confessing your sins, that your sacrifce may be pure.  And let no man, having a disagreement with his brother, join you until they have been reconciled, that  your sacrifce may not be defled.b  For it was this sacrifce that was spoken of by the Lord: “In every place  and at every time ofer me a pure sacrifce;c  for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful  among the nations.”d

CHURCH LEADERS ap p oiNT for yourselves bishops and deacons who are worthy of the Lord: men who are meek and not   lovers of money, and who are honeste  and proven. For they also perform the service of the prophets and teachers.f  Therefore, do not hold them in contempt, for they are honorable men along with the  prophets and teachers.

COMMUNITY DISCIPLINE re p rove one another, not in anger but in peace, as you fnd in the Gospel. Shun anyone who has   sinned against his neighbor; do not say a word to him until he repents.g  But say your prayers, and  give your alms, and do everything according to the Gospel of our Lord.h

p 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 3:5. q Mat. 7:15f, 10:40-41; Luke 10:4f. r Mat. 10:40; John 13:20. s Mat. 12:31. t 2 Pet. 2:1; John 4:1. u Mat. 10:8. v Ps. 118:26; Mat. 21:9. w 2 Tess.  3:10; Acts 18:3. x 1 Tim. 6:5. y Mat 10:10; 1 Tim. 5:18. z Deut. 18:1-5. Rev. 1:10. b Mat. 5:23. c Mal. 1:11. d Mal. 1:14. e 1 Tim. 3:2-13; Tit. 1:5-9. f Eph. 4:11-12. g Mat. 5:22-26, 18:15-35. h Mat. 6:1-15.

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Didache repost part 2

This is part two of my Didache series. The Didache is the teachings of the original Apostles of Christ. It is also the second oldest Christian writings, only second behind Holy Scripture. Original printing issues are not replaced. All Scriptural references have been moved to bottom of article.

DIDACHE 8 — II — INSTRUCTION FOR CATECHUMENS

CONCERNING FOOD N ow concerning eating, observe the traditions as best you can. But do not eat meat sacrificed to idols,  for it is the worship of dead gods.

CONCERNING BAPTISM concerning baptism, baptize in this way. Having instructed him in all of these teachings, baptize the  catechumen in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water.v  But  if you do not have running water, then baptize in other water. And if you cannot in cold water, use warm.  But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times, in the name of the Father, and of the Son,  and of the Holy Spirit. And before the baptism, let both the baptizer and the catechumen fast, and also any  others who are able. And be sure that the catechumen fasts a day or two before.

CONCERNING FASTING d o NoT let not your fasts fall on the same days as the hypocrites,w for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. Keep your fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.

CONCERNING PRAYER d o NoT pray as the hypocrites either,x  but pray as the Lord commanded in His Gospel:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on  earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those  who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one; for thine is the  power and the glory unto ages of ages.y Pray this way three times each day.

CONCERNING THE EUCHARIST N ow concerning the eucharistic thanksgiving,z  give thanks in this way. First, as concerning the cup: We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of your son David,a  which you made known  to us through your Son Jesus.b  Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Then as regards the broken bread: We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge  which you made known to us through your  Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one,  u . so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours is the  glory and the power through Jesus Christ unto ages of ages. Do not let anyone eat or drink of this Eucharist who has not been baptized into the name of the Lord,  for concerning this the Lord has said, “Do not give the holy things to the dogs.”d And after you have been flled, give thanks as follows:  We give you thanks, holy Father, for your holy name, which you have made to dwell in our hearts,e and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which you have made known unto us through your Son  Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. You, Almighty Master, created all thingsf  for your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to men for  their enjoyment, that they might give you thanks. And you have given us spiritual food and drink and  eternal life through your Son.g Most of all, we give you thanks that you are powerful. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Remember, Lord, your Church,h  and deliver it from all evili  and to perfect it in Thy love. Gather it— the sanctifed one—together from the four windsj  into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For  yours is the power and the glory unto ages of ages. May grace come and may this world pass away.k  Hosanna to the God of David.l  If any man is holy, let  him come; if any man is not, let him repent. Mar‘anatha. m Amen. But permit the prophets to ofer thanksgiving as much as they desire.

CONCERNING THE OINTMENT aNd concerning the ointment, give thanks as follows: We give you thanks, our Father, for the fragrant ointment which you have made known to us  through your Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Amen.

THE APPROVED TEACHER whoever comes and teaches you all these things that have been taught before, receive him. But if  the teacher himself turns aside and teaches a diferent doctrine that subverts what has been taught  before, do not listen to him.n  If his teaching fosters righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive  him as the Lord.o .

Scriptural references:

U Acts 15:29. v Mat. 28:19. w Mat. 6:16. x Mat. 6:5f. y Mat. 6:9f. z 1 Cor. 11:23-25. a John 15:1. b Acts 3:13, 26. c John 3:15, 5:26, 6:68f

d Mat. 7:6. e John 1:14, 6:56-57. f Rev. 4:11. g John 6:27. h Mat. 16:18. i John 17:15. j Mat. 24:31. k Rev. 22:20. l Mat. 21:9, 15. m Hebrew: “Our Lord has come.” 1 Cor. 16:22. n Gal. 1:6-9. o Mat. 10:40; John 13:20

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

The Didache repost, part one

This is the Didache. It is the teachings of the Apostles that follow after the New Testament. We Christians, as a whole, have allowed the winds of political and subversive thoughts turn into doctrine. The Didache is the oldest known written teachings of the Apostles outside of the Epistles.

We have forgotten the teachings of those that followed immediately after the Apostles, known as the Apostolic fathers. This written instruction to Christians falls between the Epistles and the works of the Apostolic Fathers. The Apostolic Fathers were the first and second generation Christian teachers immediately following the original Apostles of Christ.

Today, I share chapter one of the Didache. Whether reading or listening, find the faith of Christ.

Christians, it is time we lay aside personal interpretations and follow the words of the first Christians. In today’s cancel culture, woke, and Satan guided world (especially here in the US and Western civilization) it is vital to get back to the basics of the beginning. To quit allowing sin to be lifted up and the righteous lowered.

“Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him. Therefore as the tongue of the fire devoureth the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumeth it: so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them, and struck them: and the mountains were troubled, and their carcasses became as dung in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 5:20-25) Douay-Rheims

This is only the first chapter. For the next couple of weeks, I will be doing a chapter a week until the completion of the Didache.

So let us now read the words of the Apostles and pray for guidance.

THE TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES TO THE NATIONS, KNOWN AS THE DIDACHE

INTRODUCTION T he Didache (did-a-key), Διδαχή, or Te Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is an early Christian text that most scholars date to the frst or early second century. The Didache was highly regarded by many early Christian authors and theologians. Athanasius of Alexandria (†373) recommended it to converts, and it had a great infuence on the Apostolic Constitutions (375). Before the New Testament canon was formally settled in 692, a number of Biblical canons included the Didache; John of Damascus (†749) was also a noted supporter. The text disappeared and was lost for centuries, until it was rediscovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia. Today it is usually included among the second-generation Christian writings known as the Apostolic Fathers. The Didache’s frst section, “The Two Ways,” is a treatise on basic Christian theology, morality, and conduct. Catechumens (converts in training) were instructed in its teachings before they were baptized. The second section deals with the administration of several sacraments: baptism, the Eucharist (holy communion), and anointing with oil. The third section discusses relations among Christians, ofering practical instruction in different types of hospitality. It also gives insight into the clerical hierarchy of the early Church, which included familiar institutions like the episcopacy (bishops) and the deaconate (deacons), and also institutions that fell out of use early on, such as prophets (those who spoke in tongues). It should be noted that, at this time in Christian history, there was no distinct class of clergy who were presbyters (priests). The Christian community was small, and there was not yet a need to delegate a bishop’s priestly duties to lower clergy; bishops personally lead the church in worship in each Christian community. The final section is a brief apocalypse, or revelation of the end times. This is notable, as the Didache was likely written even before the book of Revelation, which was not universally accepted into the New Testament until the 7th century. Even though the Didache itself did not fnd its way into the fnal canon of the New Testament, it is nevertheless a useful manual for Christian living, even today. The basic teachings of the Gospel are condensed into easily-understood pieces of wisdom and instruction, and insight is gained into frst-century Christian liturgy and worship. The Didache is a book that all Christians can fnd proft in. Scripture weaves through the text’s clear teachings, demonstrating why the book was so well-loved and appreciated by the early Church.

THE DIDACHE

Chapter 1

THE TWO WAYS T he re are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great diference between the two ways.a The way of life is this. First of all, you shall love the God who made you. Second, love your neighbor as yourself.b And all things you would not want done to you, do not do to another person.c Now the teaching of these words is this. Bless those who curse you,d  and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you.e  For what credit is it to you, if you love those who love you?f  Do the people of the nations not do the same?g  But you should love those who hate you,h  and you will not have an enemy.i Abstain from the desires of the fesh and of the body. j If anyone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other cheek to him also,k and you will be perfect.l If anyone compels you to go one mile, go with him for two miles.m If anyone takes away your coat, give him your shirt also.n If anyone takes away what is yours,o  do not demand its return,p  for you cannot.q To anyone who asks something of you, give it to him, and do not ask for it back,r  for the Father desires that gifts be given to all from His own riches. Blessed is he who gives charitably according to the commandment, for he is blameless. Woe to him who receives. If a needy man receives charity, he is blameless, but anyone is not in need will be called to account for why he accepted it. And being imprisoned, he will be interrogated concerning his actions, and he will not be released until he has repaid every last penny.s Indeed, it has also been said: Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you have discerned to whom you will give.

THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

This is the second commandment of the teaching. You shall not murder.t You shall not commit adultery.u You shall not be sexually perverse.v You shall not be sexually promiscuous.w You shall not steal.x You shall not practice magic.

You shall not practice sorcery.z You shall not murder a child by abortion, nor kill a child at birth. You shall not covet your neighbor’s things.a You shall not commit perjury.b You shall not bear false witness.c You shall not speak evil.d You shall not bear a grudge.e You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for the double tongue is a snare of death.f Your words shall not be false or empty, but fulflled in your actions. You shall not be greedy,g  nor a swindler, nor a hypocrite, nor bad-tempered, nor proud. You shall not plot against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man, but you shall reprove some, and you shall pray for others, and others you shall love more than your own life.

THE “FENCES”

My child, fee from every evil thing, and everything that is like it. Do not be angry, for anger leads to murder. Do not be jealous, nor argumentative, nor hot tempered; for all of these things give birth to murder. My child, do not be lustful, for lust leads to sexual promiscuity. Do not speak obscenely, and do not have wandering eyes; for all of these things give birth to promiscuity. My child, do not deal in omens, since it leads to idolatry. Do not be an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a magician—do not even be around such things; for all of these things give birth to idolatry. My child, do not be a liar, since it leads to theft. Do not be greedy or vain; for all of these things give birth to theft. My child, be not a complainer, since it leads to blasphemy. Do not be stubborn nor evil-minded; for all of these things give birth to blasphemy. Be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth.i Be patient, and merciful, and sincere, and quiet, and kind, and always fearing the words which you have heard.j Do not praise yourself, and do not let arrogance enter your soul. Do not join your soul with a pompous person,k  but walk only with the righteous and the humble. Whatever happens to you, accept it as good, knowing that nothing is done without God. My child, remember him who proclaims to you the word of God. Remember him night and day,l  and honor him as the Lord; for wherever he speaks, the Lord himself is there. Every day, seek out the company of the saints, that you may find rest in their words. Do not cause division, but bring peace between those who dispute. Judge righteously.m Do not favor one side when you reprove others. Do not be double-minded when you consider whether or not a thing should be. Do not hold out your hand to receive, only to pull your hand back when you should give. If you have gained something through your work, give it away as a ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, nor complain when you give, for you know the good paymaster of your reward. Do not turn away from anyone who is in need, but share everything with your your brother, and do not say that anything is your own.n  For if you all share in the heavenly things, how much more in earthly things? Do not relax your control over your son or your daughter, but from their youth teach them the fear of God. Do not give a command in your anger to your servant, who trusts in the same God, lest he ceases to fear the God who is over both of you. For he does not call men according to worldly status, but he comes to those whom the Spirit has prepared. And you who are servants, be obedient to your masters as to God, in respect and fear.o Hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to the Lord. Never forsake the Lord’s commandments. But you shall guard the things which you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.p Confess your sins in church, and do not go to prayer with a guilty conscience. This is the Way of Life.

THE WAY OF DEATH

BuT the way of death is this. First of all, it is evil and full of curses: murder, adultery, lust, promiscuity, theft, idolatry, magical arts, witchcraft, robbery, false testimony, hypocrisy, duplicity, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, greed, foul language, jealousy, arrogance, pride, and boasting.q Persecutors of good men, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing the reward of righteousness, not adhering to the good  nor to good judgment, alert to evil rather than to good; neither gentle nor patient; loving worthless things,s  pursuing a reward, not having mercy on the poor, not working for the downtrodden, not recognizing the God who made them, murderers of children, corrupters of God’s creation, turning away from the needy, oppressing the aficted, advocates of the rich, unjust judges of the poor—sinful in every way! May you be delivered, my children, from all these things.

CONCLUSION

Beware, lest anyone lead you astray from this way of righteousness, for he teaches apart from God. For if you can bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you cannot, do as much as you can.

Corresponding Scriptures to the first chapter:

a Jer. 21:8; Mat. 7:13. b Lev. 19:18; Mat. 22:37-39. c Mat. 7:12. d Luke 6:28; Mat. 5:44. e Luke 6:27-28; Mat. 5:44. f Luke 6:32. g Luke 6:33; Mat. 5:46-47. h Luke 6:27; Mat. 5:44. i 1 Pet. 3:13. j 1 Pet. 2:11. k Mat. 5:39; Luke 6:29. l Mat. 5:48, 19:21. m Mat. 5:41. n Mat. 5:40. o Mat. 5:42; Luke 6:30. p Luke 6:30. q Mat. 5:39. r Luke 6:30; Mat. 5:42. s Mat. 5:25, 18:34; Luke 12:58. t Exod. 20:15(13). u Exod. 20:13(14). v Lit. “You shall not corrupt boys.” w Deut. 23:17. x Exod. 20:14(15). y Deut. 18:10.

z Deut. 18:10. n Mat. 5:40. o Mat. 5:42; Luke 6:30. p Luke 6:30. q Mat. 5:39. r Luke 6:30; Mat. 5:42. s Mat. 5:25, 18:34; Luke 12:58. t Exod. 20:15(13). u Exod. 20:13(14). v Lit. “You shall not corrupt boys.” w Deut. 23:17. x Exod. 20:14(15). y Deut. 18:10. i Ps. 37:11; Mat. 5:5. j Isa. 66:2. k Rom. 12:16; Jas. 2:2-3. l Heb. 13:7. m Deut. 1:16-17; Prov. 31:9.

n Acts 4:32. o Eph. 6:1-9; Col. 3:18–4:1. p Deut. 4:2, 12:32. q Mat. 15:19; Rom. 1:29; Gal. 5:20. r Rom. 12:9. s Ps. 4:2; Isa. 1:23. t Epistle of Barnabas 19:8.

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

A Personal Reflection

Having taken a sabbatical prior to Lent, I realized that the call of God was stronger. So I threw myself into Lent, giving up social media and television to focus on reading and studying. It led me to start a diploma course in Divinity studies and strengthened my desire to be in God’s Holy Scriptures.

While I attend Catholic mass and am a confirmed Roman Catholic, the readings and studies have drawn me closer to my Evangelical roots. I was washed by the blood of Christ in 1996 as a Seventh Day Adventist. I was confirmed Catholic in 1999. But for almost 20 years did not attend mass on a regular basis. Because of rules of the church, I was not allowed to take Eucharist. So for that 20 years, I went to various churches.

Since 2019, I was allowed to receive Eucharist again, but from time to time felt the need to step away from the building of the church but not my faith. So I since that time, I have taken a few personal sabbaticals to immerse myself into scripture and prayer.

That leads me to today. At Easter, me and some of my children went to the local Methodist church that my daughter attends. My 22 year old son was to go but had been placed in the hospital with a life threatening issue. At that point, I did what I could do. I opened up payer warriors from everywhere and everyone I could. Having seen the power of miraculous healing before (during my Evangelical years) I knew it was the only way to fix the situation.

My son was born with a congenital heart defect where he was born without the main pump chamber of the heart. He had various surgeries that remedied it but still lives with complications at times. This night, he was admitted for a saddle embolism and clots in the lungs, A saddle embolism is a massive clot that blocks the aortic entry into both lungs.

I knew that only God Himself could deal with the problem. He was transferred to another hospital where he had his surgeries and was the place his cardiologist was. When they took more x-rays and another CT scan the next day, the prayer had worked. There was no sign that he had ever had the clots or embolism. The doctors could not explain it. There was nothing there. He went from an 80% chance of death to a full removal of all clots and the embolism. There will be nobody that will ever tell me it was not a healing of Divine intervention.

That week, he asked something he had never asked. He wanted to go to church that next Sunday. So, we found a church but something led me to take him to one that I had been to a couple times a few years ago. It is a Pentecostal church. We went.

Another prayer was answered this last Sunday. My son, an avowed Odinist was touched and made the altar call. We were both crying. Me from happiness and him from finally understanding God’s love and forgiveness. Why we went there and not my normal Catholic church or the church we had decided on was because at that time on that day, God was going to deliver my son’s soul only a week after delivering his physical need.

Those two acts by Christ Jesus and the pull on me to go back to the well, so to speak, have led me to a point of not only reaffirming my faith in God through the power of Christ’s cleansing blood, but has started to rekindle that fire I once had inside me.

Praise be to God, in Christ, through the Holy Ghost.

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From the Darkness

I needed some time to contemplate my life and faith. I was raised with protestant parents, saved in a protestant church but became Roman Catholic in the last year of the 20th century. Since then, there have been times when I have stepped from the church to get air so to speak. But this was different.

Catholics, and maybe protestants as well, have a period known as the dark night of the soul. My definition and tradition, this is where one thinks God has stepped from your life and you seek Him in earnestness. The fall of 2021 was mine.

I had gotten back into my faith fully in the last couple of years after issues that affected me and ended the family unit I had known for 20 years. At that time, the stress had caused my health to falter and my spirit to cry out. For the first time since being a Catholic, I hit my knees, wept, and prayed. It led me into my Catholic Christian faith unlike before.

But for some reason, this fall had played havoc within my mind and spirit and I needed to refresh, think, and clear the cobwebs. So, while not leaving my faith, I stepped away from the building that had become my church home. I had only planned on it being about a month. What it led to was something I had not really expected.

What it led me to, instead of free wheeling life and secular enjoyment, was deeper. It led me to deeper scriptural study. Instead of just one translation, I started using multiple including translations like the King James, New American, and New International. But it also included the Stone edition Tanach and the Douay-Rheims. In the mix of these, I started finding new influence and messages that hit my spirit and mind. It called me to self examination. This then led to a deeper prayer life. And to deeper study.

For all of this time, I had attended a Methodist church with a couple of my children and found that, like the Catholic faith, believed not in only a bread and juice remembrance of the last supper of Christ and His apostles, but in the beautiful truth of the words of Christ himself when He spoke “This is My body…and this is My blood”.

This self imposed sabbatical and longing search went beyond the month I had expected and lasted until the 3rd week of Dec this year. A former priest had passed and I went to his viewing, out of the respect that I had for him. As I stepped into the first parish I ever attended, and my Catholic home for most of my time in the faith, the noise and chaos faded away. There is that sanctuary, among the scent of the decades of incense and visuals of the life of Christ and the saints, that small still voice came. Not like a voice or whisper, but something more distant yet comforting. Only 2 words, “you’re home”.

This, the 4th Sunday of Advent, I returned to the little parish I had stepped out of months ago. As I sat there, taking in the visuals of Advent and the liturgical music and homily, I found myself with an inner peace that I had not had in awhile. Like someone who had left home and traveled the world, only to return to the place he was raised, I had indeed come home. That type of peace can only truly be found in a home.

During my 50 plus years I have been protestant and Catholic, Christian and pagan. During my walks outside of the faith of Christ, the pagan pantheons never answered, spoke, or given me any divine inspiration. And of my 25 years as a Christian, first as a protestant Christian and now as Roman Catholic Christian, this is the first encounter with that small still voice.

While the pagan pantheons are once again raising their heads, and yes infighting between Christians and the Pope himself having and promoting heretical ideas, have I seen for myself that one light and hope in this world of darkness. An old country tradition is to leave a candle lit in a window to guide home those that wander off from the homestead. Mine was the only light brighter than a million suns. When others have dimmed and gone out, this light will shine for an eternity.

The revelation of the Apocalypse witness and recorded by St. John on Patmos said that the Light of God will be so bright in Heaven and the new Jerusalem that there will be no need of a physical sun. That is the light that leads me, that calls me, and the comforts me.

What I thought was to be only a few weeks brought me back at a perfect time for a new beginning. What a better place and time to start a new and refreshed path than at a little cave hewn out as a place of birth for beginning of our Salvation. To behold the One that created the whole of everything and yet started His human life the way we all do.

May God the Father always guide you, bring you unto Himself through Christ the Lord, endow you with the Holy Spirit in wisdom and guidance, and comfort you on your journey through this temporary landscape of life.

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THE DEVIL EXISTS, SIN IS REAL, AND HELL IS HOT

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul (Ezekiel 3:18-21).

This message will result in mostly hate mail and condemnation. Not only from society as a whole, but from the Body of Christ as it is today. I work with social media and writing to put forth the word of God as is the commission of every believer to do. And as I look around our nation and the globe, I see the church losing souls. Even its own. We, as a society have come to the point spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20). And the reason we have reached this point in the global society is failure and compromise for those that call themselves Christian. But by their words and actions, this is in name only.

The whole reason behind the CRUCIFIXION was and is the need for REDEMPTION through CHRIST JESUS. For the wages of SIN is DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). This is the part of the Gospel message that has been lost. Those claiming to be the children of the Most High and redeemed through the blood of Jesus, preach and teach that God loves everyone and only judges the heart. And yes, God does love everyone. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17). 

Sin is real. No matter what people think, it exists. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1John 1:8).We see homosexuality and transgenderism in the pulpit. Both of these are an abomination (SIN) to God. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet ( Romans 1:24-27).

The Holy Scriptures say what type of activity is a way to hell. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1: 28-32). You shall not permit a sorceress to live (Exodus 22:18). Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am theLordyour God (Leviticus 19:31). And other actions.

These are the three things the Devil (Satan, Lucifer) has made men believe. That he doesn’t exist. God won’t send people to a lasting death. And nothing is sin. So let us break these into verse points.

The Devil does exist. WRONG. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

There is no eternal death. WRONG. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Revelation 20:14).

There is no sin. WRONG.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:8-9).

The real problem with this whole scenario is that it are preachers, teachers, and the amen pew sitters. They try, now, to be friends with the world so they are not accused of hating people. They speak blasphemy so that they can fill the churches and coffers and receive pats on the back. And most of all, make sure that those of the world no longer hate them. But Christ told us what true believers would go through. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15:18).But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up againsttheirparents, and cause them to be put to death.And ye shall be hated of allmenfor my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:19).

And he also said he wasn’t here to bring peace.Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.And a man’s foesshall bethey of his own household.He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:32-39).

And even though we have Christ as our Savior, we are not so perfect that we don’t need to still hit an altar or our knees and seek forgiveness. We are only different because we have already been saved by grace. But now the church is leading people away from understanding the need for grace. The need for salvation through the blood stained cross of Christ.

It is time to start speaking loud to the world. THE DEVIL IS REAL, HELL IS REAL, SIN IS REAL, AND THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO BE SAVED FROM THE SECOND DEATH IN HELL.

The message we are to give is that Christ died to cover the sins of all that seek Him and the salvation He offers. His is the only way to God and eternal life in heaven. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved. And in no other is the great salvation to be found; for, in fact, there is no second name under Heaven that has been given among men through which we are to be saved (Acts 4:12).Remember this, if nothing else. For those of us that have the saving grace of Christ, a sinner is going to die in his sin if there is no going to Christ. So the question we need to ask ourselves is this. Are we willing for their blood to be on our hands because we either didn’t say anything or we twisted scripture and lied to them.

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Commandment 5: Parent/Child

Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which HaShem thy G-d giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12 Tanach).

The 5th commandment is the only commandment with a promise from God. That promise is a longer life for those who honor their parents. The biblical definition of honor is showing esteem for one deserving of respect, attention, or obedience. Now, the commandment does not mean to honor at all times. There are rules that the bible speaks of about the parent/child relationship.

Child Towards Parent

Ephesians reiterate the 5th commandment. Reminds the child of the promise that comes with obeying of the commandment. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:“that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

In Proverbs we see how a child is suppose to to react to the words of the parents. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck (Proverbs 1:8-9). 

In these couple of verse, we see how children are to honor their parents. In modern times we call it respect. We can see how, today, many children either were not taught to respect their parents or that they care more for how they believe they are better than past generations and deserve to act like barbarians.

BUT, the scriptures gives us more verses toward how parents are to raise their children than how children are to respect their parents. Looking into these verses, it may be possible to see why the younger generation acts with such disrespect.

Parents Towards the Child

Proverbs tells the parent how raising their child(ren) is to be done as far as proper ways to be. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Deuteronomy tells us what that proper way is.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deut 6:6-7).I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 1:4).

When reared and taught through the scriptures of God, we find that children will understand where their true peace comes from and who will actually be teaching. And that the parent is just a vessel that is used for that teaching.All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace (Isaiah 54:13).

A parent is told how to treat and correct their child(ren). Because along with training and teaching does comes a form of chastisement.  Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad (Proverbs 29:17). But the parent is also warned how to NOT chastise and treat a child. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged (Colossians 3:21).

Summing It Up

Children are to honor their parents. But in turn, God expects parents to do right by their children. With that, I’ll leave you with these verses.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him (Psalm 127:3).

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children (Proverbs 17:6).If you haven’t asked for Christ to be the Lord of your life, take time and do it now. Time is running out to be able to be saved. Tomorrow is never promised to any of us.

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Why the World Mocks God

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10

When one looks around today, we see every evil deed spoke about in the Holy Scriptures. Both old and new testaments show what constitutes evil in God’s eyes, the only definition allowable. And until our society (globally) became woke in to many areas, these positions and thoughts of evil were preached against by the pulpits of our nations.

What comes next in the article will make people mad and bring with it vehement attitudes. Most will be from the non-Christian society in our nation. But what will be worse is that it will also come from those that say they follow Jesus Christ. The mindset of the American Christian Church has become one of including the allowance of sin, even within the confines of the church. This is not to say that certain people or groups are not allowed to come to God. Nor do they have to be perfect. But what does need to occur is this. They have to be told the truth of God. Does God love everyone and want them to turn to him. Of course. Did Jesus deny a person’s coming to Him because of their sin. No. That’s the reason He came, died, and rose from the grave, so that we would have a means by which to make sure our souls are saved from sin.

Never once in Scripture did Jesus say, be saved and continue in your sin. He said Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee (John 5:14). She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (John 8:11).So by allowing sin to reign, these ‘Christians’ defy and deny the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. For a person who claims salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ but continue to sin, there is no more hope.For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26). This doesn’t mean that if a truly repentant sinner does fall that there is no hope. Mankind isn’t perfect so we do make mistakes. But it is expected to ask for forgiveness and strength. What the verse means is that you sin by choice after being saved, the sacrifice is not enough to cover it.

A gay preacher is loved by God. However, God does not approve of the sin. And since the preacher has claimed to be saved through the blood, he/she must seek forgiveness not continue in the sin. And yes, being any part of the LGTBQ+ community, engaging in the acts, and either not seeking forgiveness or continuing in the sin by choice is a sin. I know lovely people that are within this community, and I love the people, but have no option but to call the sinful act what it is…A SIN. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 9-10). Also included are cross-dressers The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 22:5)

The reason God gave us a moral code in the 10 Commandments was to help us understand that God loves us. The punishment that comes from sin without repentance is seen in how we raise our own children and deal with the criminal element. Why? Because like a parent, God chastises those who choose not to follow moral codes, laws, rules, whatever name you chose to give them. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).

  It needs repented for and turned from. I will not turn my back on those that sin, but I will tell them it needs fixed. And for those in the LGTBQ+ community, God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you genetically what you are, male or female. The rest of the gender discussion is one of a sin sickness not a mental health issue or crossed wires in the brain. To say it is either of those things is strictly the devil playing games and stealing souls.

We are to pull ourselves out of the ways of the world. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).So when preachers are seen and heard saying things like, God looks on the heart, that statement is only right up to a point of understanding and redemption. The only time that the sin is not looked at is when a person is saved through grace and turns from the sinful nature of the world. A person who does not understand because he/she has not been taught will be looked at with that in mind at judgment. But for those that know and still refuse to turn from their sin will be judged according to that choice.

Romans chapters 2-4 tell us we are not to judge whether a person is good or bad. We are to show them the path to Christ and the need for redemption. No man has the ability of say this one will go to heaven or that one will go to judgment of the damned. We are to preach Christ crucified and risen. We are to lead the non-believer (and in today’s society the believer as well) to understand that God has said in the Scriptures what actions will not make it to judgment of the saved. A person can only no what sin is by biblical description. The knowing of the sin brings with it the understanding for the need of Christ’s redemptive power.

How will those that do not believe learn form those that teach error and blasphemy? Those that preach the Gospel message are warned against teaching false doctrines. 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). Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them (Ephesians 5:11).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 (Galatians 1:6-9).

In this woke wilderness, we are searching for ways to make things better. Here’s the best way to do so. Read the bible, repent from sin, and follow Christ. We are told how to make things the way we should, without sending our nation into a tailspin of no return. We are told how to conduct business. We are told how to treat people. We are told how to raise our families. And we are told what it takes to make that trip into a heavenly home at His coming.

If you haven’t made that choice to follow Christ as a believer and follower, OR you have but still live with sin you refuse to give up and turn from, NOW IS THE TIME. Jesus Christ is coming back in all His glory. And it will be soon. When that time comes, it will be too late. Please consider your eternal future. It only takes a moment to make that choice to be covered by the soul cleansing blood of Jesus.

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Commandment 4: The Sabbath

Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Sabbath to Hashem, your God; you shall not do any work-you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animal, and your convert within your gates- for in six days Hashem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, Hashem blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it. (Exodus 20:8-11 from the Tanach, Stone Edition).

This commandment is the only one of the ten, given on Sinai and expounded on by Jesus, that the majority of the Christian world does not follow. This article will have three sections. The first will be examples from the Old Testament (Tanach) that show where it originated and why it is important.

The second section will be from the New Testament and show how important the commandments are. It will use the Gospels, Letters, and Revelation to show the importance of keeping all the commandments by those professing faith in Christ.

The third will be historical looks on the changing from Sabbath worship to Sunday worship. It will use writings of main denominations of Christianity. And it will look at how the Roman Catholic church looks at the ability and reason for the change and their views on the biblical Sabbath.

This debate of Sabbath v Sunday will probably be debated through Christendom until the second coming of Christ. But this article will show the biblical (not man’s interpretation) of God’s Holy determination of the day of worship.

Old Testament Views

The heaven and the earth were finished, and all their array. On the seventh day God finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done (Genesis 2:1-3). The first book of Moses shows us why the day is sacred, and the day of holy rest. It was the only day sanctified by God himself. Six days God worked creating everything. He took the seventh day and sanctified it as a rest day. When God brought the Israelites from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, he made it clear in his commandments that because he sanctified it at creation, they were to keep it sanctified in their faith. It was retold to them in Deuteronomy 5:12-14 & Leviticus 23:3.

We learn in Numbers that the Sabbath rest also was extended to gentiles and had penalties for breaking its observance. But the person, be he citizen or stranger, who acts defiantly reviles the LORD; that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has spurned the word of the LORD and violated His commandment, that person shall be cut off—he bears his guilt. Once, when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they came upon a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. Those who found him as he was gathering wood brought him before Moses, Aaron, and the whole community. He was placed in custody, for it had not been specified what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death: the whole community shall pelt him with stones outside the camp (Numbers 15:32-36).

New Testament Views

The Gospels tell us of the important parts of Christ’s life and ministry. Such things as his birth, miracles, baptism, death, and most important of all, his resurrection. Being brought up in the Jewish faith, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath.He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom (Luke 4:16). At a few points, the Pharisees asked why he would profane the Sabbath by doing healings and getting food to eat from the fields. He gave them a couple different answers like reminding them of God’s compassion (healings) and of David eating food meant for the priests (gathering food).

But he also expounded on the Sabbath as a hallowed day. Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28).There are theologians who will say that this proves that Jesus, while reverencing the day hallowed by God, that because he is the Lord of the Sabbath, he changed its meaning and importance. Two issues arise from this perspective. The first being, he never said it was open to interpretation or that it didn’t need to still be followed. The second issue comes from the understand that he was God in the flesh “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:1-4,14)” and that God never changes Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Matthew 13:8).So saying Jesus was indicating that the validity of the sanctity of the Sabbath was no longer important, is saying that Matthew 13:8 is a lie. Since the scriptures tell us AllScripture isGod-breathedandis usefulforinstruction,forconviction,forcorrection,and fortraininginrighteousness,so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17), that would be the same as calling God himself a liar.

We find in Acts and in various letters by the apostles that they followed the Sabbath as the holy day.And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures (Acts 17:2). And Paul said Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). We also see that those gentiles seeking to hear of Jesus observed the Sabbath because it is when Paul and other disciples preached to them. So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them,persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God (Acts 13:42-44).

In many places of the New Testament, Jesus tells his followers what it takes to be saved and earn eternal life.If yekeepmy commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love (John 15:1). If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, andkeepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:15, 21).

In Revelation we are told through John’s writing are those that will see eternal life with God. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, whichkeepthe commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17). Here is the patience of the saints: here are they thatkeepthe commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12).These few verses, as well as others, should make it important to understand that the commandments and faith in Christ are needed to make it to a heavenly reward of eternal life.

History of Change

The bible prophesied the change of times and laws. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (Daniel 7:25). There is only one commandment that is also a time. The fourth commandment (law) is the command for Sabbath (time) holiness. Let look to see where that change came from.

The Catholic Catechism states in Part 3 Section 2 Chapter 1 Article 3 Subsection 2 Line 2174Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.” Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead”. What is interesting is that they use the pagan vernacular “the day of the sun”. They also say they celebrate for two reasons. Christ rising from the dead on the first day AND God’s “separation of light and dark” on the first day of creation.

Since the Bible writers didn’t say that God the father or God the Son (Jesus) changed the rules of the fourth commandment, it has to be understood that the Catholic Church got that ability from somewhere. The church tells us where that power came from. “ “All power is given Me in heaven and on earth; as the Father sent Me so I also send you,” said our Divine Lord in giving His tremendous commission to His Apostles. “He that heareth you heareth Me.” We have in the authoritative voice of the Church the voice of Christ Himself.The Church is above the Bible; and this transference of Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday is proof positive of that fact.Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third – Protestant Fourth – Commandment of God. As the Rev. Mr. Smith rightly points out: “The Jewish Sabbath is not Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Christians are all wrong in speaking of the Sabbath as Sunday.” The Christians who so speak are “Bible Christians,” those who make the Bible the sole rule of Faith; and the Bible is silent on Sunday observance, it speaks only of Sabbath observance. The Lord’s Day – Dies Dominica – is the term used always in the Missal and the Breviary. It occurs in the Bible once (Apoc. 1.10;) in Acts xx. 7 and 1 Cor. xvi., 2 there is a reference to “the first day of the week;” but in none of these is there the remotest intimation that henceforth the first day is to take the place of the seventh. That is the crux of the whole question, what authority does the Bible give for the change? And that difficulty Mr. Smith and his critics, though pious and effusive and vaguely eloquent about many things, have each and all sedulously evaded.

    If affects very materially and very intimately the question of the proper observance of the Lord’s Day.

    In the first centuries the obligation of rest from work remained somewhat indefinite. The Council of Laodicea, held at the end of the fourth century, was content to prescribe that on the Lord’s Day the faithful were to abstain from work as far as possible. At the beginning of the sixth century St. Cesarius and others showed an inclination – very familiar to us – to apply the law of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday. But the Council of Orleans in 538 reprobated this tendency as Jewish and non-Christian.

    Thus by the same Divine authority, in virtue of which she did away with the Jewish Sabbath and substituted therefor the Christian Sunday, the Catholic Church legislated as to how the Lord’s Day should be observed.

    Due to the exaggerated importance given the Bible after the Reformation and to the influence of Puritanism, the Lord’s Day in England and still more in Scotland began to take on all the rigorism of the Jewish Sabbath. That heritage, though somewhat softened, we still have with us. A game of ball where participants and spectators enjoy health-giving rest and recreation in the open air is “desecration of the Sabbath.” The swimming pool controversy is another good example.

   We would not be misunderstood. With much of the activity of the Sabbatarians we are in sympathy. Their insistence on a day of rest being given all workers is admirable. But their muddle-headed confusion of the Lord’s Day with the Jewish Sabbath – against which the Rev. Mr. Smith so vigorously protests – finds no sympathy amongst the Catholics who receive the Lord’s Day itself as well as its mode of observance from the Church and not from the Bible(Saturday, September 1st, 1923 edition of The Catholic Record of London, Ontario, Canada, Volume XLV, #2342 and appeared on page 4http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/c-record.htm).

The Bible does not say that God or Christ (or the Apostles through leading of the Holy Spirit) changed the day of worship or said that the commandment was void. The Catholic Church admits that they changed it and call those that worship on the day set aside by God are ‘B ible Christians’. So do you follow traditions set by man or are you a “Bible Christian”?

Jesus called out the Pharisees of his day. But he is also talking to the Pharisees of our day.

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition (Mark 7:6-9)

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Commandment 3: Lord’s name

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”  (Exodus 20:7)

For many, even in the church, take this to mean not to swear using God’s name in any form. But it goes beyond that. The term vain means producing no result or worthless. The term in vain means using without the proper respect, abuse, misuse, perverted or changing the inherent purpose or function of something. Understanding the meanings of both the word and phrase bring this passage, and the Commandment into a new light.

It is understood that any form of the Lord’s name is not to be used in cursing. The simplicity of this command can even be understood to not say things like ‘oh my God’, ‘dear Lord’, or ‘sweet Jesus’. These common expressions are usually said in disgust, amazement, or surprise. While they may seem harmless, they violate this command.

But it can also be seen in other areas of speech. Things like swearing by God in a statement or trial swearing in is allowable, as long as the intent is in praise, worship, or other things allowable. You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name (Deut 6:13). But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped (Psa 63:11). Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it (Matt 23:20).

There are also warnings that many do not see as a relation to the commandment. But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation (James 5:12).Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil (Matt 5:33-37).And You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am theLord (Lev 19:12).

Billy Graham answered the question like this, “Perhaps most people don’t think about it when they curse or use God’s name—but that’s the problem! God is far too important to treat casually or as if He doesn’t matter.” John Wesley commented this in his exhortations on scripture, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain — Supposing that, having taken Jehovah for their God, they would make mention of his name, this command gives a caution not to mention it in vain, and it is still as needful as ever. We take God’s name in vain, First, By hypocrisy, making profession of God’s name, but not living up to that profession. Secondly, By covenant breaking. If we make promises to God, and perform not to the Lord our vows, we take his name in vain. Thirdly, By rash swearing, mentioning the name of God, or any of his attributes, in the form of an oath, without any just occasion for it, but to no purpose, or to no good purpose. Fourthly, By false-swearing, which some think is chiefly intended in the letter of the commandment. Fifthly, By using the name of God lightly and carelessly. The profanation of the form of devotion is forbidden, as well as the profanation of the forms of swearing; as also, the profanation of any of those things whereby God makes himself known.

For the Lord will not hold him guiltless — Magistrates that punish other offences, may not think themselves concerned to take notice of this; but God, who is jealous for his honour, will not connive at it. The sinner may perhaps hold himself guiltless, and think there is no harm in it; to obviate which suggestion, the threatening is thus expressed, God will not hold him guiltless – But more is implied, that God will himself be the avenger of those that take his name in vain; and they will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

Charles Finney said this, “The true spirit of this commandment: It requires a feeling of the utmost holy awe, reverence, love, and respect for God. The happiness of the universe depends on their virtue. Their virtue consists in obedience to God; and their obedience to God depends upon the light in which they regard Him. Therefore, the highest good of the universe demands that God should respect His name, and never suffer it to be trifled with”.

Let us remember the words of Matthew’s Gospel,I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Matt 12:36-37).For those not yet saved by the blood of Christ, now is the time for redemption. All it takes is a simple sinner’s prayer. Such as the one from the parable of the Pharisee and the sinner “Lord, forgive me a sinner”. For those that walk in God’s light and Christ’s grace, we all slip from time to time. We are not yet perfected. Even we need to hit the altar and ask for forgiveness.

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But For Grace, There Go I

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited (Romans 12:16).

Today, the pastor did a switch of sermon. I don’t know if he was led by the Holy Spirit to do so or if he had seen something from one congregants that caused it. But it was a message that was needed. Not just today, not just our church. But by the body of Christ globally.

You see churches like Westboro Baptist, evangelical churches, and others today forgetting that they were sinners at one point. They seem to have forgotten that they had a calling to kneel at the altar rail and ask for forgiveness. That they are still not worthy of grace but are given that grace because of the love of God through the death and resurrection of Christ.

Somewhere along the line, they forgot about hating the sin and loving the sinner. Members of the church as a whole have gotten to a point where they condemn a person instead of simply explaining sin and redemption through the shed blood of Christ. Or like my grandmother would have said in her sweet southern/midwestern mixed Ozarks voice, you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.

The passage for his message was Matthew 20: 1-16. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing.About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius.So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.

He reminded us that, like the ones who had worked all day, those that have been in the faith for a long time, tend to forget that the redemption of Christ’s blood covers everybody who asks. He reminded us that it has the same exact value for those that came to that altar 50 years ago as well as those that hit the altar yesterday or have yet to hit it. He could have just as easily used the verse of the Pharisee and the sinner. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14).

Having spoke with him after service, I told him that switching a message to one that calls the faithful to account is very seldom welcomed. The Pharisees had grown so pompous, that they ran their Messiah ragged and eventually to the Cross because of their inflated self-worth. Many Christians today have that same self inflation. But this pastor had an inspiration to remind them that their time in God’s service doesn’t equate for more love than new Christians or even those who yet have the calling to come to the Savior.

After his message, he did something I have never seen a pastor do in the 51 years I have been alive and the 40 plus years I have been going to services. He went and knelt at the altar while the final hymn was sung. I found it amazing that even a pastor realized he still isn’t perfect. Many congregants in all denominations need to see his example and remember the old adage, ‘but for the grace of God, there go I’.

I understand that this may not seem like much to most. But seeing how the pulpits have become compromised and even desecrated by soft wording and no fire by the pastors, a person doesn’t need to look hard to see why our neighborhoods, towns, nations, and world are in the position that they are in.

This pastor doesn’t preach with the flair or flame of men like Billy Sunday or Billy Graham. But he speaks with the humility and humbleness of a saint. He allows the words to be like arrows of the Holy Spirit. May this man’s ministry be blessed and a blessing, calling even the saved to repentance. Because no matter how long ago you knelt at that altar, tears of regret flowing down your cheeks, and asked for Christ to be the master of your life, we all still need repentance and the renewing of Christ’s saving grace.

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Christianity, faith

Chasing Dragons

A song released in 2016 is a huge Tik Tok trend tune. The title of this song is Suga Boom Boom. Part of the song says “Suga Boom Boom, I’m chasing dragons, this dragon’s got my hands. Suga Boom Boom, I’m robbing people but I’m an honest man”. The song goes on to talk about being on parole. But when you look at just the first couple lines, it shows the oldest war in human history, God and Satan. And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne (Revelation 12:1-5).

So what this song does, without knowing it, tells the plight of man. In this case, man is chasing the dragon (Satan). To understand this, one needs to understand original sin. Although not a popular topic today, original sin is inherent in all sin the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And because of that inherent sin, man is evil and following Satan’s path.For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17).

Today, many people who claim to follow Christ have forgotten His teachings. They say, don’t judge. And in a way they are right. A Christian isn’t to judge the heart of a person, but they are to watch a person’s actions and determine how the person acts, within righteousness or evil. Men like Joel Olsteen preach God’s love. They do forget that love of a parent comes with chastisement. These are false teachers and prophets. And we are warned against them. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:28-30). The ones who fit this description are preachers like the prosperity preachers and preachers who only preach love or say you can get to God ONLY because you are a good person with a good heart.

But, there is true hope in this world. You don’t find it through politics. You don’t find it through any misguided gospel. You find it only through the blood stained cross of Jesus Christ. No man on this rock is, or has been, perfect but God in the flesh, Jesus. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens (Hebrews 7:26). For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10).

So here is the question one must ask. Are you going to continue to chase the dragon? Or are you going have faith to ask Jesus Christ to free you from the burdens of sin? Only one leads to Eternity in Heaven.The other leads to destruction. You can be free from original sin through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

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Christianity, faith

When Salt Has No Flavor

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:13 

The church is called the salt of the earth. A Catholic professor does podcasts and videos quite often. He ends all of his broadcasts with ‘you are the salt of the earth and a light to the world. Go out and be salty’. He says the last line because salt does 2 things. It seasons the bland and heals. If you have every worked in meat processing, by most stations there is a box of cure salt. If you cut yourself, you put your hand in the salt. Yes it burns, but it also heals the wound. Our salt, the Testimony of Christ, burns old wounds and impurities. But it also leads one to healing through the redemptive power of Christ.

The reason that the world has embraced the church, is because it has lost its spice. It has forgotten that we Christians are not to be friends with the world. Our mission is to bring the lost to Christ. So many times I hear people say “I led someone to the Lord”. No you didn’t. You may have gave someone the road map but the Holy Spirit was who led that person to the foot of the cross. We, as Christians do nothing more than plant the seed. The Holy Spirit does the rest. But the church today can’t even show someone the road map to the Cross. We have lost our flavor.

You hear in this times, we have to except people as they are because God looks at the heart. Yes God does look at the heart. And unless that person has come to Christ, the heart has not been washed clean. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).Being a good person doesn’t cut it. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).

We, the Church, are not to make people happen in their sins. The Bible (remember that book that was written through the Holy Spirit by men) tells us who will make it to Heaven and who won’t. Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). And yet, the modern church can be seen supporting these things in their own congregations. They have become the world. The only difference in these congregations is that they preach only the love of Christ. They don’t tell the members of the world that they need to seek Christ and REPENT.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:46-48)I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21)

Yes, the love of Christ must be taught. But the message wasn’t ‘God loves you so everything is ok’. The message is repent and be saved.Now, that doesn’t mean blood bought Christians won’t mess up. We aren’t perfect. Even Christians need to repent.Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place (Revelation 2:5)

Christ told John at Patmos who would make it to heaven. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12). The faith of Jesus is repentance and the saving grace of Christ through the Cross. Without it, there is no hope of salvation.

The church today is being given the same warning as those of Israel in His time. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27).

Church, quit playing fast and loose with the edicts of God. Time is running out and those you say you love from the world will die in their sins because the church has lost its salty flavor. The warnings to the church are clear. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:1-7). But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).Members of the Bride of Christ, the Church, we more than the world need repentance. We have let false thinking invade our doctrines. We have become tasteless in our giving of the message of SIN, REPENTANCE, and HOPE IN CHRIST. The Church preaches a different Gospel and will be held accountable at judgment. Better to make members of the world hate us than to lose our place in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

Ghosts, Spirits, and Demons, OH MY!

Over the last few decades, ghost hunting has been a huge event worldwide. Shows like Ghost Hunters have elevated it to the point groups around the country have formed. I will admit, I like going out from time to time when something feels off. However, despite what is thought, is not actually the case.

I will not say that entities do not exist. They do and there has been quite a bit of evidence scientifically. The issue is not whether or not there are entities, the issue is what is actually being found. Whether the evidence is caught on video, in an EVP, a ghost box, through a Ouija board/witch board, or even through the medium you visited in New Orleans, it is not your dear granny, the lady that died mysteriously, or Johnny Cash. What you are capturing is demonic.

The Bible gives clear instruction on the dead in many places. And in revealing the scriptures, it will also bring to view the idea that death does not immediately mean Heaven  or Hell for the recently departed. And as you know, most preachers when giving the funeral services, more than not he will say that Mr. So and So is now in heaven. You never hear they went to hell, no matter how evil the person was. Nor do they go to a place of limbo (Purgatory for Catholics) to be cleansed of any remaining sin that was not bad enough to go to Hell. And Hell itself will be dealt with in another article.

The writers of the Old Testament tells us that the dead have no knowledge, memory, or ability. For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks? (Psalms 6:5). Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? (Psalms 88:12). Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah. Will Your loving kindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon? (Psalms 88:10-11). The dead do not praise the Lord, Nor do any who go down into silence; (Psalms 115:17).

In other Old Testament books we find more writings of the dead. For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten (Eccl 9:5). Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going (Eccl 9:10). 

Other scriptures in the Old Testament speak of death as sleep. But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age (Daniel 12:13). And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).

The bible makes it clear that a person dies, that is it it until the resurrection of the dead. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:19).Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead (Isaiah 26:19). And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (1st Thess 4:16).

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6).

Now, there are two terms, Sheol (Hebrew) from the Old Testament and Hades (Greek) from the New Testament. Both of these terms simply mean the grave. So all that die are headed to Sheol/Hades. It is that 6×6 hole in the ground.

The Bible is clear that the dead are just that, DEAD, until the resurrection. Now, you hear this verse often, Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (Eccl 12:7). Most think that when term spirit is used in this verse, that is the person’s essence (being) going to Heaven. This can’t be the way the term means because it does not differentiate saved and non-saved. That would mean that all go to Heaven, and we know by Scripture that only those who believe in Christ and follow His commandments are saved and go to Heaven. The spirit spoke of here is strictly the breathe of life, Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

Since ghosts and haunts are not those that have passed, what are they? They are demons, or more correctly, Lucifer (Satan) and the third of the angels that followed him. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (6:12). Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:8-10). Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time (Rev 12:12).And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him (Rev 12:9).

So the next time you hear that disembodied voice that sounds like a loved one, a friend, someone you don’t know from the past, or Michael Jackson remember that the dead are dead until resurrection and that they know nothing because their is no type of life within or from them, pray to the Lord for aid and send the entity from you pleading the blood of Christ. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

Commandment 2: No Graven Images

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6 (NIV)

While most know the first part of this commandment but don’t go on to read the second part. This has led to various concepts of the verses and the commandment. The Amish have no images (pictures, faced dolls, statuary, etc) because they believe that these can lead to false worship and ego. But then you have the Catholic Church which allow it in certain ways.

The Catholic Church has combined the 1st and 2nd commandments and split the 10th commandment into two commandments. This allows them the use of statuary in private and parish worship. So in this concept, we will look at how not every man made image is an idol or god and how some are within Christendom.

The first part of the commandment leads directly into the second part. What makes a man made image a sin is the person’s giving it adoration given only to God. So the pictures of your kids, a concert poster, an star’s autographed picture, the garden gnome are NOT what the commandment is referring to. These are just images UNLESS you bow down to them and give them the adoration and praise allowed only to God.

The Catholic Church has statuary, prints, reliefs, etc that correspond to those they deem saints, the blessed mother of Christ, the walk to the cross, etc. What makes them sin is the prayers and adoration given them. The catechism states that worship is given only to God (which is true). The part that is in defiance of the 2nd commandment is giving prayers to the saints that these statues and prints that represent them. No where in the Holy Scriptures does it say to pray to the dead (which the saints and mother of Christ are).

It actually says not to pray to them because they can’t hear prayer. For the living know that they will die,but the dead know nothing;they have no further reward,and even their name is forgotten.Their love, their hateand their jealousy have long since vanished;never again will they have a partin anything that happens under the sun. Eccl 9:5-6 (NIV)

Now, they will bring up Moses and the making of the image of a serpent. But as you will see, that image was ordered by God and not worshiped, but only looked upon.  They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. Numbers 21:4-9 (NIV). Jesus later told what this action actually was.Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. John 3:14 (NIV).Prayer is a form of worship (https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com/blog/prayer-is-an-act-of-worship/). Worship is to God alone. So not matter what you pray to or worship, if it is NOT God alone it is a violation of the commandment of God. This would include pagan gods and deities. As well as the saints, the mother of Jesus, and any image of them.

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Christianity, faith

The Commandments: No Other Gods

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3

This verse starts what are known as the 10 commandments of God. Given to Moses on Mt. Sinai after being brought out  of Egyptian captivity and going across the Red Sea. But what is the meaning of this verse? Many believe it says that only God Jehovah is the only god. But as you go down through history, there are three types of gods that can be seen in this quote.

The definition of a god is simply something a person worships. There are three classifications to this: spiritual gods, men who are seen as gods, and inanimate objects. All three will be discussed and to show why the GOD of the Abrahamic faiths is the one that is the one true God.

Spiritual Gods

Spiritual gods in this article are referring to the multitude of pantheon gods of bygone cultures and civilizations. I will not say that this entities had no abilities. The bible proves they did at some point. After all, the bible tells us in Exodus that the priests (magicians) of the the Pharaoh could perform certain things like Moses and Aaron. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.” (Exodus 7:8-13)

The actions of Aaron’s ‘serpent’ show that God Jehovah was superior. Later, when it was time for the Israelites to leave God used some of the Egyptian gods to plague the Egyptians and proved He alone was almighty. (http://www.stat.rice.edu/~dobelman/Dinotech/10_Eqyptian_gods_10_Plagues.pdf) Look through Exodus 7:1-12:36 and study the hyperlinked pdf.

Then we move to areas like Babylon. Where there gods were put to the test. So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel.And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it.And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.”And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made.And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down.Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,”and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed.And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.”And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time.And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.” (1 Kings 18:20-40)

As we move through the points of history, the gods and goddesses of every pantheon have fallen. From Medo-Persian and Roman of the ancient world to Celtic, Viking/German, African, and Meso-American. In the end, all of these pantheons fell to the Judeo-Christian God. And were left buried in antiquity until modern times. Now these pantheons are making a comeback. But like then, they will again fall.

Here’s where these false gods came from. They created nothing. They can’t save the soul of their believer. And they must bow down and forfeit to the one true God because they came from him. They are nothing more than the fallen that sided with Lucifer against the Creator himself. Because of lust of self and power, Lucifer and one third of the angels were cast from heaven. Where did they go? Here. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15). Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Men who place themselves as gods

Throughout man’s history, there are men who have placed themselves as god on earth. Pharaoh was believed to be the sun god Ra walking on earth. In more modern times, people like Jim Jones and David Koresh have led followers to their deaths with these claims. Most of these are demigods of man’s making. Take how people flocked and followed to Donald Trump over the last few years. They have been blinded by his words and emotional influence. Much like men throughout history: Julius Caesar, Adolph Hitler, and quite a few television evangelists/prosperity preachers (such as Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland). But one seems to be set above all others. The Pope of Roman Catholicism. Over his reign, the pope has commanded countries who bowed, armies who fought (inquisitions and crusades), and placed himself as god on earth.

The Catholic church believes they have the ability to forgive sin, According to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” confession involves either “venial” (minor sins) which are confessed to God and “mortal” (major sins) which must be confessed through a priest. This means the priest (or above) acts as mediator between man and God. But we are told in Scripture that not understanding that Jesus was God in flesh (John 1:1-14) they made the statement Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” (Luke 5:21). The Catholic also tends to forget that there is only one mediator between man and God, and the priest is not it.For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

In Pope Leo XIII’s 1885 Encyclical ‘The Reunion of Christendom’ he states, “the pope holds upon this earth the place of Almighty God”. His title is, besides Pope and Bishop of Rome, is Vicarious Filii Dei ‘Vicar (replacement or agent) of God on Earth’. So, by the Church’s own admission, the seat of the papacy is the thrown of a man that is seen as a god. The power and influence of the papacy have grown majorly, especially since the Francis became Pope. We see the spiritual and political influence this man has throughout the world.

Inanimate objects

Everything else that can be worshiped falls within this category. Money, power, and position are the main points of this category. This are tangibles that man seeks for. Now, these things may be needed (try buying groceries without financial ability or having a business operate without a person in the lead). BUT when the desire for these become the main component of one’s life and ambition, that is when they become a god to that person. For these things when they reach that level of importance, mankind has killed, cheated, lied, warred, and stolen to get them. They have taken precedents over his soul and his compassion for his fellowman.

Conclusion

There is one reason that the first commandment is what it is. With all of these categories of false gods, we need reminded that there is only one God over all. He is the Creator of all things. He is the spoken word that became flesh in Jesus the Christ. HE IS GOD ALONE. Because we fell for the great satan, the liar and deceiver, the once great Lucifer, we need to be reminded who our Father really is.

Take a moment and ask the Father, the one true God to help you always remember who He is and to have the strength through him to turn away from these false gods. We all need that repentance and forgiveness. As an earthly parent may chastise his children, he will also have their back when they need him. How much greater will the Father that created all protect His children. As time draws near to the end of all things and the return of Christ the King, please remember who the true God is, and seek His protection and salvation.

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Today’s Preacher are Cowards

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5

America has gone from the Great Awakening to Woke generation. And the one entity that, up until the last few decades has turned to apostasy. The church was the guardian of morality and the American conscience. The church pews are full of those that ask ‘why is there no revival’ while subverting, demonizing, and denying the edicts of our Creator. Like my grandmother used to say ‘you can’t guard the hen house by letting in the fox’, which is exactly what the men behind the pulpit has done.

The first Great Awakening during the Colonial Era of our nation was brought into a complacent church. Men like George Whitfield, who had a voice that Ben Franklin said he could hear a half mile away. And probably the greatest preacher of that revival time, Jonathan Edwards. He preached a sermon that came to be know as the greatest sermon ever given. It was called ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’. It was based on the scripture of Deuteronomy 32:35 “Their foot shall slide in due time”. (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/sermons.sinners.html)

The first Great Awakening had 5 major points of discussion:

  • All people are born sinners
  • Sin without salvation will send a person to hell
  • All people can be saved if they confess their sins to God, seek forgiveness and accept God’s grace
  • All people can have a direct and emotional connection with God
  • Religion should not be formal and institutionalized, but rather casual and personal

(https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/great-awakening)

The second Great Awakening came post American Revolution and lasted until about 1830. It brought with it Camp Meeting. In 1802 Kentucky the camp meeting counted 20,000. (https://www.ushistory.org/us/22c.asp) The best known concept to come from this revival movement was the concept that freewill prevailed. The idea that one could choose to be saved, and salvation was for everyone. It also had greater roles for women and the black community.

It was at this time, men like Charles Finney found his salvation. In 1821 he said he was going to the woods in New York to determine the reality of his soul’s salvation. He is quoted as saying “I will give my heart to God or I never will come down from there”.  In 1824 he was ordained. He had a unique way of reaching those that heard him and a message that didn’t tickle the ears. Ending one of his sermons he told the listeners, “You who have made up your minds to become Christians, and will give your pledge to make your peace with God immediately, should rise up”. The congregation sat still. His reply was “You have rejected Christ and his gospel”. This made the congregation, and the community angry. To the point of anger, the next evening a gentleman was intent upon killing him.

The next evening he preached again. This time, those present at the end of the message stood up to give their pledge. While others fell down groaning and bellowing. Sorrow for their sins and the understood need for repentance took over the congregation. (https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/evangelistsandapologists/charles-finney.html).

Other great revivals have hit our nation when needed through the ages since then.

  • The Great Prayer Meeting Revival 1857 (at least 1 million were converted)
  • Civil War Revival (an estimated 300,000 converted, both USA and CSA)
  • The Urban Revivals  1875-1885 (DL Moody saw the conversion of hundreds of thousands)
  • The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 came to America (Billy Sunday preached to the conversion of at least a million)
  • Azusa Street 1906 started as a home prayer service (lasted for 3 straight years, everyday all day and night)
  • From WW2 to the 90s , America saw great preachers like Henry Blackaby, William Branham, and Billy Graham.

These men (and women) planted the seeds that converted millions in the US alone. They preached the recognition of sin and need for salvation through Christ. The bible was their only used material. God said it, the writer’s wrote it, so these preachers preached it. They gave no quarter and did not worry themselves about what people thought  about them or their message. They understood that God’s message of sin and repentance was like a sword, not cotton candy.

Today we have weak preachers that seek to fill the pews and not offend. They want to be liked not hated. They want to be seen as friend to the masses not the continuance of the Apostles. Because of the loss of power in the pulpit message and compromise of the Word of God, Christian churches have become social clubs where sin and repentance is not discussed, and the love of God requires nothing but to be kind. And we are warned of these types of preachers. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’. (2 Timothy 3:5)

The men praised today and almost worshiped are men like Kenneth Copeland, Joel Olsteen, and Creflo Dollar. These types are called prosperity preachers. Their message is simple. If you are not healthy and wealthy you lack faith. If people hate you, you are preaching wrong. Send us your money as a seed (many have lost all they have to these charlatans) and God will bless you. No call to repentance, no calling out of sin, and no need to go into the prayer closet.

Churches today allow homosexuality to flourish because the rules of God’s morality does not matter, just love each other. Go ahead and commit abortion because the command to not kill (murder) does not apply, just be nice. The use the verses that say do not judge and sliver in the eye to justify a weak worldly message. They care more about tickling the ear than the state of the soul.

Of course Christians are not perfect. However many claim to be so or have given in to the concept is love is all that matters. A true Christian will search his /her heart, see where the sin is, repent, ask for forgiveness and grace from God. A person who only claims to be a Christian says there is no need to because “God loves me and I said one time I believe so I’m good to go”.

Christ and the apostles answered this question. If you love me, you will keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). ‘Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.’ (John 14:21). I am amazed how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–‘ (Gal 1:6). ‘But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea’ (Matthew 18:6).

Today we are seeing the Church of Laodicea. To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 3:14-22).

The church is ineffective because it is dead. It is dead because it has compromised the teachings of the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus the Christ himself. This compromise has happened because of the weakness of the message from the pulpit. The message is weak because those preaching have decided that being popular is more important than the souls of the sheep they are suppose to tend. In nations of Africa and the Middle East, Christians die for their unwavering faith in the the message of Christ. The apostles were jailed, beat, killed, and banished for their faith in Christ. In America, these preachers fear mocking and ridicule. Imagine what will happen when Christ makes his glorious return and sees the church in America.

‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!…’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

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THE NATION THAT FORGETS GOD

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah  (Psalms 9:17-20) 

George Washington in his farewell address stated the morality and religious principle are required for a government to operate properly https://www.vindicatingthefounders.com/library/washington-farewell-address.html. Men like William Blackstone, Noah Webster, the authors of our pre-Revolution papers made it clear, the course of our nation’s laws and morality were to be based within the Holy Scriptures https://www1.cbn.com/biblestudy/judge-moore-the-founding-fathers-and-the-ten-commandments. Not the Koran, not philosophy, but the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus the Christ.

Over the past decades, this nation has forgotten who gives it strength. While the military is one of the best globally, our strength did not come from it. While our economy was once the lead of financial circles our the world, that was not what gave us our strength and position. While we were the beacon of hope for the oppressed, the lowly, those seeking a better life, it was not because of the above mentioned reasons. Yes, they played into the reason, but were not the underlying cause of our hope or theirs.

The main reason was because of our laws, compassion, and moral compass in the world. The Scopes Monkey Trial (as it was named) started the slide from grace for the nation. An Arkansas trial solidified the ability to teach beyond Creation, the alternate view of Evolution https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/monkey-trial-begins . Then came the removal of prayer and the Holy Scripture from schools https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/education-expert-removing-bible-prayer-public-schools-has-caused-decline.

In 1948, multitudes of nations stepped into the UN and signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt signed for the US. The first Human Right is the Right to Life. God already knew this, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5A). For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from youwhen I was made in the secret place,when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed body;all the days ordained for me were written in your bookbefore one of them came to be” (Psalms 139:13-16). But in 1973, a landmark case (Roe vs Wade) disallowed that primary right for human life https://www.britannica.com/event/Roe-v-Wade.

While different aspects of the LGTBQ+ community has existed (illegally) in this nation since it’s founding, the 20th Century brought with it a change for this specific community. From the 1973 decision by the APA to remove homosexuality from its mental defect list to the 2015 case that stated homosexual marriages were protected https://www.lgbtqhistory.org/lgbt-rights-timeline-in-american-history/. These actions, as all of those in support of LGTBQ+, defy the will and laws of God. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26-27).

Since the turning away from the Holy Scripture and faith in God, the divorce rate in rate in America (tied with Gibraltar) ranks as the world’s highest https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/divorce-rates-by-country and crime (while not at its 1990s peak) is increasing in many categories including homicide https://www.bbc.com/news/57581270. The elected of our nation fight over helping other (needy, disabled, homeless, imprisoned, immigrants) but have no qualms about allowing the greed of men run business, finance, industry.

With these, we wonder why out nation has been under attack, the economic failures, as well as the ultra progressive movements and the ultra right movements pulling the nation farther apart. A president and House Speaker who claim to be Catholic Christian but support the murder of innocents at will and national immorality. And worse is a church that has, in the majority of cases, used the preaching of God’s love for man in salvation through His Son, Jesus the Christ’s death and resurrection to welcome all so as not to seem combative or judgmental towards society.

Christians are by no means perfect, as we are sinful man saved through grace not being yet transformed to the full glory of God. But like the Church of Laodicea, the church of today has become lukewarm. To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:14-22).

I will be the first to admit I am imperfect and only a sinner saved by the grace of God by the shed blood of Jesus. But there comes a point when even the those like me, not close to perfect but trying, have the need to say to the people of the nation….

***REPENT***

“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it”.

Jeremiah 18:7-8

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