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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Current events, Human Right

Disproportions in the System

Having a Facebook conversation with someone who goes more on emotion instead of logic has been an interesting thing. I’m about data when I research and write. Despite what the emotional content may be (in this case incarcerated population numbers) I prefer going by the numbers using logic to form my opinion. 

I got my numbers from the Bureau of Prisons which states that the majority of prisoners on hand are white. With black coming in second, latino third, native fourth, and asian last. (https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_race.jsp)

His passion on the subject,and his determination to change my perception, made me decide to dig in and do more research. The numbers fluctuate depending on how the count is done and who does it. This is generally normal. So, I looked up more data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. (https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p19.pdf

Here is the breakdown of their numbers, which are for 2019 totals. There were a total of 1,430,805 prisoners in the system. The majority of those in state facilities at 1,255,689 and 175,116 in the federal system. Men make up 1,322,850 while women make up 107,995. The last decade shows a drop in incarcerated numbers of over 10% in all categories. The numbers of male v females weren’t the topic of discussion. So let’s break down the numbers by race.

Those incarcerated in 2019 (tried and sent) break down as such: federal (158,498) State (1,221,929), Men (1,279,079) Women (101,348), White (422,800) Black (452,800), Hispanic (320,700). 

Based on per capita numbers of per 100,000, the numbers are as follows: Federal (48) State (371), Male (789) Women (61), White (214) Black (1096) Hispanic (525). 

Incarceration rates have dropped as listed over the last decade: Federal (21%) State (16.2%), Men (17.1%) Women (10%), White (12.5%) Black (29%) Hispanic (24.4%).

Depending on where you look, the numbers vary. The BJS does not include the specific numbers for Indeginous or Asian populations like the BOP does. However, both show a lower rate of those to other demographics. 

Looking at the BJS numbers, there are two stories told. The first is that white and black prisoners overall, have about the same numbers of incarcerated with those of the black community slightly higher. But when it is broken down into the per capita ratio, the numbers show a huge difference. 

Taking the current population number (2018 record) of the nearest city to me, Fort Wayne Indiana at 267,633, the totals would be roughly White (approx 500) Black (approx 2500) and Hispanic (approx 1100). 

The breakdown by race in Fort Wayne is listed as: White (73.85%) Black (14.85%) with multi racial and other groups making up the rest. 

There are quite a few factors that go into the arrest and incarceration rates. These would include job availability, education, investments in the varying communities, nature/nurture, etc. And while I will post about these at a later date, the numbers don’t lie. That is why I prefer data to emotion. In this case, the emotion is warranted by minority communities. 

Fort Wayne, like the majority of our cities, needs to do better. Both in equality in sentencing and in programs that aid the black community achieve their goals. Economically, educationally, and within the Criminal Justice system.

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Current events, Human Right, Uncategorized

Numbers may not tell the story

Somewhere in our country, another officer fires his sidearm and kills another person. Most of the time, that story usually refers to a white officer and a black victim. I will not argue the point, that at times it may be necessary for an officer to do so. But one also needs to look at the numbers in respect to police shootings. 

Looking at the numbers however, will not give a full picture of whether there is racism within the ranks of law enforcement. What these numbers will not show are a few things. They will not show incidents such as George Floyd, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html,  or Eric Garner, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/eric-garner-dies-nypd-chokehold, which were killed because of procedures not involving a firearm. They will not include correction officers at any level, such as Damarius Rodriquez, https://www.cbsnews.com/video/mother-of-5-dies-in-jail-amid-alleged-mental-health-episode/#x, or Christopher Howell, https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-lake-correctional-officer-arrested-murder-blunt-trauma-20201113-pmm66kirzbfandetiephmvsbqe-story.html. Through neglect or physical assault, inmates have died at the hands of corrections officers.

They do include such victims as Breanna Taylor, https://www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html, Casey Goodson, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/07/casey-goodson-jr-family-black-ohio-man-shot-dead-white-police-officer, and Daniel Shaver, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OflGwyWcft8

So, let’s break down the numbers. If you look at the overall numbers in total, whites have been shot more by police than any other skin tone. Stats from 2020 (as of November) show the numbers as such: white (370), black (192), hispanic (128), other (21), unknown (153) https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/.  But breaking the numbers down per capita (per 1 million residents) the numbers change dramatically: white (13), black (33), hispanic (25), other (5) https://www.statista.com/statistics/1123070/police-shootings-rate-ethnicity-us/

By age, the largest group shot by law enforcement are 20-39. By gender, it’s male https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/. And the numbers can be broken down into other various demographics. The numbers aren’t fully accurate since the databases rely on reported statistics. The reporting is varied and not required. So the FBI states that the actual numbers are not accurate because of it not being required of each department in the US.

Another issue is that reports submitted will give the official police view of the shooting. So essentially, these reports are not vetted for accuracy in the account but take the department’s official version (which usually means the victim is always at fault). 

The rule for the private citizen is that for a danger to life to occur: the person must be facing the citizen, act in a threatening manner, and have the possibility at that precise moment to end the citizen’s life. So shooting a person not being threatening, no weapon, and/or back turned truly disallows an officer to say he shot because he was in fear of his life. 

While I do not accept the idea of no law enforcement, I do advocate for change within the system. Five points need to be addressed to start the process of fixing the problem:

  • Better vetting of applicants
  • Continued viewing of complaints against officers in areas of assault, judgments of firing a weapon
  • Training in areas of de-escalation and mental health
  • Civilian oversight
  • Proper punishment for improper conduct at all levels

True considerations of the use of metal health professionals in certain situations, negotiators when appropriate, use of a person’s family or friends, etc. All of these can be used to de-escalate a situation before it comes to the use of gunfire. There also needs to be full accountability if an officer fires his weapon. Too many times, and officer has mistook actions and fired without understanding the situation at the time, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mRhmFcjs4M, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwHJL5X97Do

I support law enforcement, but agree that the bad need removed and changes truly need to be made. Especially when it comes to minority communities.

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Current events, immigration, Uncategorized

Is it Time for a EU style North/South America Union?

Being that the nation we now know as the United States has been built to its present form by the diversity of its citizens, the flow of foreign culture, and the need to improve and sustain. After all, foreign films, music, and television have gone on the rise for American consumption, people choose from multiple ethnic foods, and cultural exhibitions and fairs draw huge crowds. So why is it, that the mention of immigration or open borders causes such a backlash?

Immigration is one of those issues that divides, and not only on an ideological basis. Think about it. Bring up immigration to one who has a more conservative ideology. They will explain the need for harsher border controls, the idea that immigrants will steal American jobs, and tax our social initiatives. The funny part is this. After parking his BMW he will do it while wearing clothes not made in America, watching the World Cup and cheering for Brazil and eating pizza, while in the break room of the local Toyota plant.

I have written here about the issue at the border before. How it is a humanitarian crisis and how America is partly responsible due to its actions throughout the western hemisphere. One way to boost the economies, better the healthcare, create a sustainable workforce, and deal with crime and natural disasters is create a North/South American corridor like the EU. A full open borders policy. And yes, it can be done while still allowing national sovereignty for nations involved.

Like the Eu, every member nation will have officials that speak on their behalf during all negotiations, from crime control to trade deals and health initiatives. So lets look at just a few areas that would be improved by a full western open border and union of nations.

First is the most obvious, the border border. Free flow travel and residence capabilities would make it easier for those fleeing violent area (such as cartel issues in places like Juarez). It would allow for easier logistics to and from areas of natural resources need for manufacturing, faster transport ability for perishables, and vacation income for the areas that rely on the influx of money of visitors.

With this style of union, each member nation will have access to innovations that they would not otherwise have. While intellectual property rights would be retained with the person or business, all member nations would have access to it (by proper agreement with the rights holder). Manufacturing would have a continuous pool of labor, raw materials and better chance of financially sound business. It opens the markets for freer movement and would incorporate all socio-economic and geographical areas and peoples.

In the area of health concerns, especially in areas of most need due to natural disasters, pandemic, etc., Aid would be able to isolate problem health issues and areas as well as render aid more effectively and efficiently. It would be easier for international health monitors to work without jurisdictional problems arising.

In the areas of crime, it would be better as well. While there would be jurisdictional lines and boundaries, if crime crosses a border the quicker ability for joint investigation and apprehension would not have hindrances of going through each country’s version of the US State Department. While local lines would not be overstepped, there would be ready and available cooperation between agencies. It would also allow faster, better equipped, and more manned operations for apprehension and elimination of threats (such as cartels or known terrorist organizations). This also allows for a more powerful response for member nations if attacked by outside forces (such as an attack by Russia or China against any member nation).

And open border and western hemisphere union is not only a way to end a humanitarian crisis, it also aids economically, within the criminal justice initiatives, health concern wise, and militarily.

Despite the hope that America will again rise to its once place of prominence on the global stage, what we are seeing is the same every other great national empire has seen. The fading of this nation into the twilight of its global glory to be placed into same category of the British Empire, the Roman Empire, and yes, even the former grandeur of the Russia of the cold war.

Within the next few decades, we see the rise of areas like China and India rise to take positions on the global stage that the US has held since the middle of the 20th century. The go-it-alone, isolationist mentality will do more to harm the nation than it will do to save it. It is time to start seeing the reality of America’s waning prominence and influence and start putting things into place that will not only save this nation but create a western hemisphere alliance that creates aid, crime control, and economic stability.

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Current events, Human Right

Abortion is NOT a Human Right

It has come to my attention, that today (July 17th, 2022) in Huntington Indiana, there is a so called Human Rights rally to defend a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. So, in that, I feel the need to bring some education to those that believe the termination of the unborn is a Human Right.

And to clarify my ability to speak on this, despite being an older white male, I have fought for Human Rights for over 2 decades. Earning my certification in Human Rights Education from the USIDHR. I have supported and worked through various organization such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and currently stand with groups like HIAS, Exodus, among others. Some based within the Christian faith and some that are fully secular. So, let’s begin.

Prior to fertilization, both the egg and he sperm contain half of the genetic coding of a human. Upon fertilization that combination creates a human life. This has been reported and documented as far back as 1974. But to show that, even with updates to modern medicine and research, that this offical declaration has not changed I’ll use more modern declarations. Such as T.W. Sadler’s 2006 declaration in Langman’s Medical Embryology text. It states “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete (sperm) and the female gamete (oocyte) unite to give rise to a zygote”.

It was also stated in the 3rd version of Human Embryology and Teratology, “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte”.

In 2004, the American College of Pediatrics definitively stated that human life begins at conception. Now that I have shown that the unborn is truly a human life by definitive science and not by Christian belief, we can move on from the whole concept of ‘Keep your religion out of my ovaries’ chants and the dis-allowance of science.

Let’s now quickly look at the U.S. legal definition of murder. Under the United States legal code Title 18, Part I, Chpater 51 a it states “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse,child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against achildor children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree.Any other murder is murder in the second degree”.

Now that we have scientifically determined that a fertilized human egg is a living being and legally defined the term murder, logic and law dictates that the unborn human is in fact a life. This is where the Human Rights part comes in.

On December 10, 1948, shortly after the founding of the United Nations, the member nations determined thirty articles of Human Rights that are to guaranteed in response to the Genocide of over eleven million (roughly six million Jews and roughly five million non-Jews) during the Nazi holocaust in the mid Twentieth Century. The Full declaration can be found at UN DOHR.

The Preamble is as follows. “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. 

I will write articles on each of the thirty declarations independently. Each declaration in this declaration is an issue in itself and warrants expounding upon. So lets start with the very first declaration.

The Right to Life

The right to life is the very first because with it, none of the others have a need to exist. The Declaration states this rights as such. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood’. Now, a bit of a note. This was not the original wording. The original wording used the term ‘all men’ instead of ‘all humans’. That wording was changed so that there would be no misunderstanding that these thirty declarations were meant for everyone to be born on this planet during every future generation. The two people credited with this change was Eleanor Roosevelt of the US (widow of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Hansa Mehta of India.

Now, the argument will come, ‘but it says born free’. Yes it does. And to be born, the conceived need to grow to fruition and delivered. And since science has determined that the fertilized oocyte is a living being and the US government has determined that murder is the ending of a life with malice and forethought (containing one but not both of these is a lesser degree of murder known as second degree murder) then logic dictates that the unborn are also protected under this declaration.

So let’s review the four main points of this article so there is no misunderstanding.

  1. Life begins at fertilization
  2. Murder is the taking of life with malice or forethought
  3. All life is protected as a human right as defined by the nations  of the world
  4. Abortion is NOT a Human Right.

Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11

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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

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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Christianity, faith

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

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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Twenty Years Later: A Reflection

As I reflect on the last 20 years, I am more than disheartened and ashamed about what our nation has become. The moment that the first plane hit, what we thought as our worst fear occurred. Attack from the outside. An attack by those that have, for years, screamed “Death to America”. The attack was meant for the three biggest symbols of American Superiority in the world: our financial status, our military strength, and our seat of freedom. Two of those got hit. The latter was saved by brave American citizens that said “not on my watch”. True American domestic heroes lost their lives, along with the innocent that day. But what came from it in the terms of American brotherhood, love of neighbor, and the American Spirit only lasted for a moment.

President Bush did the right thing in going after those that were committed to bring America to her knees. As well as those that aided them. But in doing so, he placed this nation into the same category as those we have always sworn to fight and defeat. He curtailed civil liberty for a sense of protection. Founding father Benjamin Franklin said that a person who gives up civil liberty for security, deserve neither. How prophetic that statement was.

Both Patriot Acts diminished civil liberties. It brought an allowance to the NSA to eavesdrop without warrants on whom they wished, created free speech zones, and allowed some forms of non-allowance of Constitutional protections. All in the name of security. He then allowed the CIA to run black ops detainment, transferred captives to foreign nations for torture, and failed to conform to the Geneva Convention and international law. We have seen this in Abu Grhaib prison and Gitmo. For those who do not know about the Geneva Convention or international law during war: enemy combatants (the enemy) when captured are to be given quarter, treated with human rights, and not tortured. We became that which have always fought.

President Obama fared little better. Promise after promise were broken on the war front. His failure to approval to close Gitmo and transfer those held into any type of court. And because of his judgments and the end of the Iraq war, Al Qaeda came back stronger as the Islamic State. He did keep the promise to eliminate the 9/11 mastermind.

On the home front, he helped the nation weather the financial crash. Many did not agree with how it was done, but by the end of his term, the economy was back on an upswing. A big issue in his administration was domestically. While anti-Islam sentiment started because of 9/11, he also ended up feeling the bite of it. He suffered for two reason from those that opposed him. The first was his name and the fact he was raised in a predominately Muslim nation. But that needs to be placed where it was rightful to do so, his mother’s love for the men she married. The second was the color of his skin. From the beginning of his campaign and through the end of his second term, he face faced some rightful criticism. But he also faced a hatred no other president had. Solely, because of these two things.

In comes President Trump. A businessman that had no business in the top elected position of this nation. His decisions only inflamed the nation. For those on the liberal side of political thought, he placed a ban on all Muslims and Islamic nation from US entry. Including Muslim Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, refugees, etc. He then further inflamed the liberal society by attacking immigrants that weren’t predominately European. Going so far as calling all Latinos as murders, drug dealers and rapists. And yes, while a few may have slipped through the cracks, the majority were seeking what all those that have come to this nation have sought: freedom from fear and death. He even attacked DACA recipients. You know, those that were either born or brought here without proper paperwork through no real choice of their own.

He also inflamed the right. he brought out underlying prejudices and hates that, while always present, were kept dormant for the most part. But his rhetoric of distrust of the minority communities brought to a head, clashes between the left and the right of our society in ways that have not been seen since the civil rights marches. He called members of extreme militias and white power racists good people. Seriously? His four years became more of a dystopian surrealistic nightmare that even George Orwell hadn’t seen coming. His rhetoric (speeches, tweets, etc) had brought back in force, what we as a nation thought was about gone.

I do not condone the extreme riots of places like Ferguson, Seattle, and Minneapolis. Nor do I condone the violence of places like Baltimore. The extremes on both sides were fed one way or the other into becoming what they did. Violent and extreme radical terrorists. Those communities had a reason for their discontent, a desire to see the end of an oppressive system that saw their members getting wrongly executed. And yes, before you crucify me for being ‘woke’ (I’m a realist with a brain and the ability to research), I believe that a person has a right to plead their case in court for any alleged crime. And a non-violent traffic stop or a non-confrontational issue is NOT a reason for someone to lose their life. Different minorities still face oppressive issues that will not be dealt with until two things happen. The first is this, both sides need to learn to shut up and listen to the reasons for discontent. The second is that the violent actions need to cease because the message gets lost in the violence. And while it was starting to rear its head in the Obama administration, that dragon came full force and spewing fire in the Trump administration. Why? Because Trump was, and is, an opportunist that has the ability to read people and play them for his benefit. It worked in business, it worked in television, and the last few years has shown that it worked in politics.

From calling the election as stolen, before the election had even occurred, to the speech that fired up the crowd just before they did the unthinkable. They listened to his rhetoric, used it to boost their own inaccuracies and prejudices and attacked the seat of the political process. Even, at times, calling for Vice President to be brought out to be executed. Like I said, even Orwell didn’t see it this bad. We won’t even talk about his actions and coercion of the masses, or their inability to actually research the science of the pandemic themselves. And we continually fight this ignorance even now.

President Biden, in his first year (so far) has made an error or two. The issues of mandates and vaccinations to curb the virus isn’t once of them. The biggest is without doubt, the ending of the war in Afghanistan. I’ll put this out there, we needed out of that situation. In withdraws, he made the right decision in deciding to leave. How he did it, is properly in question. However, not all of it is his fault. Trump, in his last year of office, negotiated with the enemy Taliban leadership. Going as far as to push other nations into releasing certain key members of the ruling Taliban cadre. He set an inoperable time frame for with draw that Biden had to extend. Yes, mistakes were made. Horrible ones. But, Biden allowed the blame of it all to rest squarely on his shoulders. Something his predecessor never would have done.

The last two decades have brought out the best and the worst in this nation. But the worst has steamrolled the best into a small speck of time. I love my country. And most of the citizenry here are honest, hard working, and generally speaking are honorable. But those that aren’t get the media coverage and the rhetoric. We are better than this. While we still have a way to go on many issues, given the chance, we will get those dealt with as well.

May the souls of those lost on 9/11 and since find the peace they didn’t find on this rock. To the heroes that lived and those that sacrificed all on that dark day 20 years ago……Thank you for showing what the American Spirit is about. For those that fought and those who never made it home, our nation owes you so much for answering the call to duty.

May God once again bless this nation.

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