Friday, August 18, 2017


What has been the practice of Christians keeping a Sabbath? 

PDF EBook: A Chart by Elder J. F. Coltheart 1954


This chart is the result of several years research and painstaking checking of sources on the part of the compiler. During a recent trip abroad he was able to personally consult old manuscripts and the original sources of many of these quotations in the libraries and museums of Europe and also in Constantinople and the East.

In studying this chart, one is struck by the wonderful way God preserved the knowledge of His holy Sabbath down through the centuries since the days of Jesus. In spite of the fact that in many cases the writings of the martyrs were consigned to the flames or otherwise destroyed, the record of Sabbath-keeping comes down to us either from the parts of their writings that do remain or, as in some cases, even from the records of their enemies.

We read of peoples like the Waldenses, who were noted for their Sabbath-keeping for centuries. They were often called Sabbatati or Insabbati for this reason. Sheltered in the Alps of Italy, France and Switzerland, they defied the edicts of Rome for hundreds of years. The compiler of this chart was privileged to visit these lovely valleys where the descendants of these people still dwell today. Here he was shown some of their early records, as well as their monuments and refuge places during the bitter persecutions. Again we clearly follow the record of whole countries who faithfully clung to the Sabbath of God, like Bohemia, or Scotland, where it was observed until the 12th Century, or Abyssinia, whose peoples observed it until the 17th Century.

The records of the Church of the East thrill our hearts as we see at what early times the peoples of Persia, China, India, etc., heard and accepted the message of the Sabbath of God. With Thomas the disciple preaching the Gospel in India, Philip In Ethiopia, and others elsewhere, It is not difficult to believe Paul's words about the Gospel going to every creature during his day.

Below are just a few of the hundreds of testimonies for the Sabbath that might be given if space permitted. But note that these are not the records of Jews keeping their Sabbath, but of Christians in every century holding aloft the lamp of true Sabbath-keeping.

In Isaiah 58:13 is brought to view a message of Sabbath reform where people are urged to take their "foot from the Sabbath" and cease to trample it down by dishonouring it. Rev. 14 makes it plain that this is a special last day message before the coming of Jesus. But notice the wonderful words of the preceding verse (Isaiah 58:12) "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."

We, in the last days, are called to "raise up the foundations of many generations." Below, it is clearly shown that the Sabbath truth was one of the great "foundations of many generations." "the breath" mentioned in the verse is the same as the one mentioned in Ezek. 22:26,30 (dishonouring the Sabbath of God). lsa. 58: 13, the next two verses, contain wonderful promises to the people who will heed this last-day message of Sabbath-reform and prepare to meet Jesus.

Sanctification is for Sabbathkeepers

 August 18

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.... The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. Exodus 20:8-10.

God has declared in His Word that the seventh day is a sign between Him and His chosen people—a sign of their loyalty....

The seventh day is God's chosen day. He has not left this matter to be remodeled by priest or ruler. It is of too great importance to be left to human judgment. God saw that men would study their own convenience, and choose a day best suited to their inclinations, a day bearing no divine authority; and He has stated plainly that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.

Every man in God's world is under the laws of His government. God has placed the Sabbath in the bosom of the Decalogue, and has made it the criterion of obedience. Through it we may learn of His power, as displayed in His works and His Word....

Men could not place themselves more decidedly in opposition to God's work and to His law than by upholding a day that is without one evidence of sanctity, and professing to worship Him on that day. Those who have corrupted the law by substituting a false sabbath for the holy Sabbath of God, and who compel the observance of this false sabbath, exalt themselves above God, and honor the spurious above the genuine.

Sanctification is claimed by professed Christians who ignore God's holy rest day for a spurious sabbath. But God declares that the sanctification coming from Him is bestowed on those only who honor Him by obeying His commands. The sanctification claimed by those who continue in transgression is a spurious sanctification. Thus the religious world is deceived by the enemy of God and man....

Men have sought out many inventions. They have taken a common day, upon which God has placed no sanctity, and have clothed it with sacred prerogatives. They have declared it to be a holy day, but this does not give it a vestige of sanctity. They dishonor God by accepting human institutions and presenting to the world as the Christian Sabbath a day which has no “Thus saith the Lord” for its authority.

Maranatha, p.238.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pelosi, Booker push for removal of Capitol’s Confederate statues

The Democrats are rejecting Trump’s call to preserve monuments to the defenders of slavery.

There are 10 statues in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection honoring individuals who served in the Confederate army or government.


08/17/2017 11:30 AM EDT

Updated 08/17/2017 03:37 PM EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged Republicans to join her in supporting the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

The nationwide debate over the removal of monuments to the Confederacy is coming to the U.S. Capitol.

While President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the preservation of "our beautiful statues and monuments" honoring Confederates, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) plans to craft legislation that would remove the Capitol's statues lionizing supporters of the slave-holding era and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for their elimination.

Pelosi on Thursday urged Republicans to join her in supporting removal of the Confederate figures from the Capitol, lending new momentum to Booker's effort. Only a few Democrats had previously called for the statues' removal after white supremacists staged a violent rally in Charlottesville over that city's likeness of Robert E. Lee.

“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible," Pelosi said in a statement. "If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker [Paul] Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately."

Congressional GOP leaders have previously stated that decisions on replacing Capitol statues should rest with individual states, and Ryan's office affirmed that stance earlier this week, POLITICO reported. A Ryan spokesman responded to Pelosi's call by reiterating his previous statement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was less adamant than Pelosi, welcoming Booker's proposal but turning the focus back to Trump's recent comments on white supremacist groups.

“President Trump and Steve Bannon are trying to divert attention away from the president’s refusal to unequivocally and full-throatedly denounce white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and other forms of bigotry," Schumer said in a statement. "While it is critical that we work towards the goal of Senator Cory Booker’s legislation, we must continue to denounce and resist President Trump for his reprehensible actions.”

The push to remove the Capitol's Confederate iconography promises toreopen an emotional debate that presents pitfalls for both parties. Public polls suggest that the removal of monuments to the Civil War's losing side divides Americans, even as Trump's response to the white supremacist gathering won support from just 27 percent of respondents in a survey released Wednesday by the Marist Poll and PBS NewsHour.

In the wake of the Charlottesville rally, which left one woman dead and more than a dozen injured, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee in November's election to replace him, have come out in favor of replacing the state's Confederate monuments.

The issue is more complicated for members of Congress, however, thanks to long-standing guidelines that empower state legislatures to select the statues in the Capitol that honor prominent citizens from their states.

Even so, Congress could eliminate all Confederate statues via legislation and Booker said Wednesday night that he would propose that move. "This is just one step," Booker tweeted. "We have much work to do."

Pelosi, who orchestrated the movement of Lee's likeness from Statuary Hall near the Capitol Rotunda to a less prominent spot on the first floor of the building, took a firm stance on Thursday.

“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country," she said.

There are 10 statues in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection honoring individuals who served in the Confederate army or government. Others depict supporters of slavery or the Confederacy, such as former Secretary of State and Sen. John C. Calhoun and Uriah Milton Rose of Arkansas.

"Individuals who were treasonous to the United States, who took up arms against their own country, and inflicted catastrophic death and suffering among US citizens, should not be afforded such a rare honor in this sacred space," Booker said Thursday. "These statues belong in a museum, where they are put in the proper historical context."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill noted Thursday that Ryan has the power to call up a single piece of legislation removing the statues or move them to "a private space in the Capitol out of public view" through the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, a majority of whose members the Speaker selects.

"For Speaker Ryan to hide behind states’ rights to defend the symbols of the Confederacy is as shameful as it is preposterous," Hammill said by email.

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are also backing removal of the Capitol's Confederate statues. A spokeswoman for the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday the group is not presently proposing any legislative solution because GOP leaders back leaving the decisions to individual states.

Portraits of INQUISITION Popes Appear in the House Chamber, Capitol Hill, Washington

Portraits of INQUISITION Popes Appear in the House Chamber, Capitol Hill, Washington

The House of Representatives Chamber (responsible for passing federal laws) is adorned with relief

portraits of famous lawmakers and lawgivers throughout history. Two of those portraits are of Pope Gregory IX and Pope Innocent III. (see here)

We are talking about the United States of America which was built upon people escaping the cruel, suppressive, persecuting power of the Papal Church of Rome. And these two particular Popes are famous for their roles in pursuing Papal supremacy and for leading the murderous Papal inquisitions.

So why do their portraits now adorn the house at Capitol Hill which passes federal laws? Because Bible prophecy revealed that these two “kingdoms” (America and the Vatican) would become “friends”. Revelation 13 reveals that the earth beast (America) would end up causing the world to “worship” the sea beast (Papacy) and to take it’s mark. So of course these two Popes hugely influence the lawmakers in America now. The “spirit” of the persecuting Roman Papal Church lives in the USA!!


Called to Expose (The) Man of Sin

Called to Expose Man of Sin

In the very time in which we live the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118 (1903).

Evangelism, p.233.

Wireless Warfare Exposed - Declassified Military Doc Proves Smart Phones...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Bergoglio) - What the media has hidden from you

Boston Globe's Spotlight team unveils bombshell report on children of Catholic priests

CBS This Morning


Aug 16, 2017 7:33 AM EDT

The Boston Globe's Spotlight team is unveiling a report on what it calls a worldwide and "systemic problem" within the Catholic Church: priests fathering illegitimate children.

Reporter Michael Rezendes, who was depicted in the 2015 Oscar-winning movie "Spotlight," writes thousands of people across the world – "in Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small" – have "strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests." The children say they're often neglected or shamed into silence.

Here's an excerpt from Rezendes' report:

He carried his doubts and disappointment across miles and decades, from childhood to adulthood, and finally at the age of 48 to the kitchen table of a modest house outside of Buffalo. There, he would ask an elderly aunt and uncle to help him answer the question that had troubled him all his life: Why had his father always seemed to dislike him so much?

With his parents already dead, Jim Graham pleaded with his Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Otto to tell him the truth about his family. Finally, Kathryn unfolded a newsletter published by a Catholic religious order and slid it across the table. She jabbed a finger at a picture of a sad, balding figure wearing a priest's clerical collar.

"Only the principals know for sure," she said, "but this may be your father."

Boston Globe

In 2002, Rezendes and the Spotlight team ran more than 600 reports revealing a scandal within the Catholic Church in which hundreds of priests had sexually abused thousands of children over decades and church leaders had covered it up. The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage.

We reached out to Vatican officials for a statement regarding the new reporting on children of priests, but they declined to comment.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Australia Archbishop Rejects Sex-Abuse Exception to the Secrecy of Confession


Archbishop Denis Hart at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 2013. He said he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession. Credit Joe Castro/European Pressphoto Agency

It’s confidential and considered sacred — a conversation strictly between a confessor and priest, never to be divulged. The secrecy of the confessional, a centuries-old sacrament, is taken so seriously that some priests would die before disclosing what has been shared.

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, who as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference represents all Roman Catholic clergy in the country, said Tuesday that he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession.

“The laws in our country and in many other countries recognize the special nature of confession as part of the freedom of religion, which has to be respected,” Archbishop Hart told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

His comments came a day after religious institutions across the country were forced to defend the secrecy of confession after Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a sweep of legislative and policy changes, one of which would require priests who hear about sexual abuse in the confessional to report it to the authorities. The 85 recommendations were aimed at reforming Australia’s criminal justice system to provide a fairer response to sex-abuse victims, the commission said.

“There should be no excuse, protection nor privilege in relation to religious confessions,” the report said. “We heard evidence that perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness again.”

Archbishop Hart responded on Tuesday, saying: “I think priests are men who are very carefully trained. Priests in my diocese in Melbourne are very conscious of the difficulties of the present situation.”

He continued, “We want to be faithful to God and faithful to our vows, but we do want to be responsible citizens, and we’re totally committed to that.”

Though the recommendation, made as part of the commission’s investigation into the church’s handling of sexual abuse allegations in recent decades, has drawn fierce opposition from the church authorities, it’s not the first time the issue has come up. In 2012, when the federal government announced the Royal Commission, the question of priests’ obligation to report any knowledge of child sex abuse to the police was already being discussed.

“Such an obligation would undoubtedly enhance protection of the rights of children,” Prof. Sarah Joseph, director at the Castan Center for Human Rights Law at Monash University in Melbourne, wrote in 2012. “It would also interfere with the freedom of religion of priests if they are compelled to reveal information conveyed during formal ‘confessions.’”

She continued, “In this clash of rights, which should prevail?”

It is not known what will become of the recommendation in the report on criminal justice, which was released just months before the commission is expected to publish its final report on its yearslong inquiry. But on Tuesday, Professor Joseph said legislative change was not out of the question.

“There’s a lot of sentiment on the side of the Royal Commission and a lot of disgust at a lot of the things that are being uncovered,” she said.

The Royal Commission examined abuse accusations in many of Australia’s religious institutions, including those associated with the Anglican Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Judaism. It concluded that 7 percent of Catholic priests in Australia had been accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010.

The Library of Babel - Film, Literature and the New World Order

HOW MEDIA SHAPED THE GENERATIONS: Narcissus Narcosis & The New Age (2017)

REPORT: White Supremacist Leader in Charlottesville Jason Kessler Was Obama Supporter – Occupy Protester

Joshua Caplan Aug 14th, 2017 10:19 am

White supremacist and ‘Unite the Right’ leader, Jason Kessler, was once reportedly a supporter a former President Obama and the Occupy movement.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (an organization that is certainly no friend to Conservatives), Kessler revealed his political transformation around November 2016, the same month then candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election.

Southern Poverty Law Center reports:

Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.

At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

Kessler himself has placed his “red-pilling” around December of 2013 when a PR executive was publicly excoriated for a tasteless Twitter joke about AIDS in Africa.

Regarding the incident, Kessler stated “… so it was just a little race joke, nothing that big of a deal, she didn’t have that many followers, she probably didn’t think anybody was gonna see it,”

Regardless of Kessler’s past politics, the rightward shift in his views was first put on display in November, 2016 when his tirade against Wes Bellamy began.

On Sunday, a violent leftist mob shut down a press conference by white nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler outside of Charlottesville City Hall.

The mob reportedly chased Spencer and Kessler back to their waiting vehicles.

Doug McKelway reported from Charlottesville.

Monday, August 14, 2017

CHINESE BANK RUN May Lead To Bigger Problems! - It's Just The Beginning

Georgetown Jesuit University - A Den of Demons

Tropical Storm Gert forms in the Atlantic

Drums, Dancing and Noise,

August 14

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

The things you have described ... the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.... A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of Satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.... Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles.

No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God....

Men and women, supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit, held meetings in a state of nudity. They talked about holy flesh. They said they were beyond the power of temptation, and they sang, and shouted, and made all manner of noisy demonstrations.... Satan was moulding the work, and sensuality was the result. The cause of God was dishonored. Truth, sacred truth, was leveled in the dust by human agencies....

I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect.

We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan's devices. The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion 

Maranatha, p.234.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Church of Cannabis has arrived in Denver

Mystery Babylon Grows - 1 More Pastor Down

A Brief History of Fake News

Ecumenism, influence-envy, and the real Manichean division

The honest engagement of differences in service to evangelical vigor is not advanced by the systematic misrepresentation of others’ views, by the puerile bullying of bishops, or by indulging in spasms of influence-envy.

August 9, 2017 George Weigel The Dispatch 

(CNS photo)

Defending the indefensible is never pretty. Or so we’re reminded by recent attempts from the portside of the Catholic commentariat to defend the madcap analysis of America’s alleged “ecumenism of hate” that appeared last month in the Italian Catholic journal, La Civiltà Cattolica (edited by the Jesuits of Rome and published after vetting by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See). The more sober-minded defenders admit that the article, jointly authored by Fr. Anthony Spadaro, SJ, and Pastor Marcelo Figueroa, contains errors of fact and tendentious interpretations of recent history – but then go on to suggest that it raises important questions. How, though, are serious questions raised, much less clarified or answered, by falsifications of both history and contemporary reality?

Other defenders of the Spadaro/Figueroa article, less chastened by the self-evident fact that the article would receive a thumping “F” in a freshman religious studies course at any reputable college, have taken the occasion of the article to scrape their various boils and indulge in the very Manichean division of the ecclesial world into children of light and children of darkness the article condemns. One of these boils involves a project I helped launch and in which I’ve been engaged for over two decades: the study group known as “Evangelicals and Catholics Together.”

A post Spadaro-Figueroa editorial in the National Catholic Reporter charged that ECT, as it’s widely known, is a prominent example of “Catholic complicity in the politicization of faith;” that the participants in the original ECT statement, from which the study group takes its name, were on the “outer conservative edges” of their communities “before the landscape fades to irrational extremes;” and that the original statement “ill-served” Catholics, evangelical Protestants, the cause of the Gospel, and the health of American public life. Moreover, the NCR grimly warns “bishops and those who staff their offices” against conceding to “the visions of ideologues in think-tanks and institutes with an absolutist and narrow agenda.” For in doing so (by, presumably, embracing the ECT agenda) these bishops and staff “have squandered their standing and credibility in the wider culture.”

Oh, dear. Where to begin?

ECT is an ongoing project, which has now produced nine joint statements, with a tenth, an explanation of Christianity to its contemporary cultured despisers, coming soon. Five of the first nine—on justification, Scripture, the communion of saints, the universal call to holiness, and the Blessed Virgin Mary—were entirely theological in character and had nothing to do with political controversies. Those that touched on contested issues – the statements on the sanctity of life, on religious freedom, and on marriage—set the discussion of public policy in an explicitly biblical and theological context (as, indeed, did the initial ECT statement the Reporter editorial deplores).

The five theological statements measure up well against similar documents from other ecumenical dialogues of the past half-century; an honest Catholic liberal, Notre Dame’s Lawrence Cunningham, recommended all the ECT statements for “the pertinence of their concerns and the sophistication of their theological argument.” From the very outset of our joint work, ECT participants have made it clear that we speak from and to our various Churches and ecclesial communities, not for them. We have also scrupulously described our differences, with a concern for expressing the “other’s” views accurately.

But don’t just take my word for it. Get the book that collects the first nine ECT documents and explains both the genesis of the project and of each statement: Evangelicals and Catholics Together at Twenty: Vital Statements on Contested Issues, edited by Timothy George and Thomas G. Guarino (Brazos Press). Read it. Then compare what you read with the NCR editorial.

In his June address to the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, appealed for a Church that listens more, “even to those with whom we disagree,” because the honest engagement of differences helps us all “propose the…Gospel in a more persuasive, life-changing way.” True enough. The honest engagement of differences in service to evangelical vigor is not advanced, however, by the systematic misrepresentation of others’ views, by the puerile bullying of bishops, or by indulging in spasms of influence-envy. Moreover, the Nuncio’s welcome appeal to become a Church of missionary disciples—Pope Francis’s “Church permanently in mission”—will only be answered if we see today’s challenging, but evangelically exciting, situation clearly; and such clarity of vision requires something other than lenses ground in the 1970s.

Resurrection Did Not Consecrate Sunday

Married Celebrity Christians Take Center Stage in 'Black Love' Docu-Series

Sponsored by PureFlix Campaign

By Christine Thomasos , CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR | Aug 5, 2017 2:57 PM

(Photo: Courtesy of Omg! Publicity)
DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good release their first book, "The Wait" on February 2, 2016.

Married Christian couples will be the focus of a new OWN docu-series called "Black Love."

The series will explore five celebrity marriages with the goal of answering the age old question: "What is the secret to making a marriage work?"

The couples who will appear on the OWN series include Oscar winner Viola Davis and Julius Tennon; Hollywood power couple Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin; NAACP Image Award-winner Tia Mowry-Hardrict and actor Cory Hardrict; NAACP Image Award-nominee Flex Alexander and Grammy-nominated recording artist Shanice; gospel singer Erica Campbell and music producer Warryn Campbell; and NAACP Image Award nominee Vanessa Bell Calloway and Dr. Anthony Calloway.

The series which debuts on Aug. 29 was created by Codie and Tommy Oliver, husband-and-wife filmmakers who are known for films like "1982."

"Husband-and-wife filmmakers Codie and Tommy Oliver present real, honest, emotional and sometimes cringeworthy love stories from some of the most successful people in business and entertainment as well as everyday couples," according to OWN's description of the series.

Many of the Christian couples who will be featured on the show have spoken about their God-centered unions in the past. One of those people is Viola Davis who previously revealed that she prayed for her husband.

"I asked for a husband who was emotionally available, someone who was older, someone who maybe had a family before," Davis told Essence magazine during an interview in 2013. "I like older men. Someone from the South. Someone who loves God more than he loves himself."

Franklin and Good previously wrote a book about dating, celebacy, and marriage in their book, The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love. In an interview with The Christian Post the Hollywood power couple spoke about how they want their God-centered relationship to be an example and guide other people in love.

For more information about the OWN docu-series, click here.

It's 1984 at Google

David Limbaugh
Posted: Aug 11, 2017 12:01 AM

Google's firing of software engineer James Damore for daring to express politically incorrect ideas in an internal memo is the latest example of the political left's tyrannical propensity to suppress speech, thought and dissent.

Almost as troubling as the left's policing is its apparent obliviousness toward its own hypocrisy and the danger it poses to the liberal exchange of ideas. While constitutional issues may not be involved in the Google case because no state action is involved, moral shaming has become a chilling cudgel in the hands of leftist-dominated institutions.

In his memo, Damore notes that Google's political bias silences dissenting opinion supposedly to shield employees from offensive ideas and protect their psychological safety. "But shaming into silence," writes Damore, "is the antithesis of psychological safety. This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed."

Damore concedes that all people have biases but that open and honest discussion can highlight these biases and help us grow. He says he wrote the memo to encourage such a discussion about Google's biases, a discussion that is being silenced by "the dominant ideology."

Damore opines that both the political left and right have moral biases. "Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases," he says, "but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies."





In his annual address delivered at the 135th Supreme Convention in St. Louis, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced a new initiative to rebuild a town in Iraq destroyed by ISIS.

The new initiative is part of the Order's continuing efforts to help Christians and other minorities who have suffered genocide in the Middle East.

The supreme knight also cited the major accomplishments of the Knights of Columbus, such as the Order’s record levels of charity, with over $177 million in donations and over 75 million hours of volunteer service, growth in membership, and the continued strength of the insurance.

At the opening of his report, the supreme knight officially announced the convention’s theme.

“This year marks our 135th anniversary. We celebrate our anniversary in a city named for a great and saintly Catholic king, a city of missionaries, and a gateway city opening up the promise of a new continent. And, like those early missionaries, we come to St. Louis because, in the words of this year’s convention theme, 'We are convinced of God’s love and power.'"

In a Move Away From Tradition, Cremations Increase

Alfredo Angueira said he was surprised that his mother chose to be cremated, with her remains placed at Woodlawn Cemetery inside this bench.

AUGUST 10, 2017

An envelope was in Carmen Rosa’s desk in her apartment in Co-op City in the Bronx — an envelope that she had instructed her son not to open until after she died. Inside were more instructions, and they left her son, Alfredo Angueira, flabbergasted.

Ms. Rosa, the longtime district manager of Community Board 12 in the Bronx who died in March 2015 at age 69, directed that she was to be cremated and her remains placed at Woodlawn Cemetery. Mr. Angueira called that “a shocker.”

“Never in a million years would I have thought that this is what she would have wanted,” he said, explaining that he had expected her to say she wanted a traditional burial at St. Raymond’s, a Roman Catholic cemetery near the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge where celebrities like Billie Holiday and Frankie Lymon are interred. So are at least four of Ms. Rosa’s relatives, including her mother.

But cremations are quickly becoming the choice for more and more families. And now, for the first time, more Americans are being cremated than having traditional burials, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. The cremation rate in 2016 achieved a milestone, edging past 50 percent to 50.2 percent, up from 48.5 percent in 2015, according to a report issued recently by the funeral directors’ association.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Catholicization of America (Bob Trefz)


RUSSIA: "Anti-missionary" punishments full listing

9 August 2017

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18

More than 180 individuals and communities have been brought to court in the year since "anti-missionary" punishments came into force on 20 July 2016. Forum 18's list of known cases documents the wide range of people and communities across Russia subjected to such punishments.

More than 180 cases to punish individuals and communities for violating Russia's "anti-missionary" restrictions are known to have reached court in the year since they came into force on 20 July 2016. Prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4, and 5 have steadily increased throughout this 12 month period. Activities as diverse as holding prayer meetings in private homes, posting worship times on a religious community's website, and giving a lecture on yoga have all been interpreted by police and prosecutors as "missionary activity", due to the broad definition now enshrined in the Religion Law (see a full analysis at F18News 8 August 2017

Article 5.26, Part 3 punishes "Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label".

Article 5.26, Part 4 punishes "Russians conducting missionary activity". Part 5 punishes "Foreigners conducting missionary activity" (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey

Forum 18 found 181 cases against 129 individuals and 52 religious communities which reached court between 20 July 2016 (when the amendments entered legal force) and 20 July 2017. Of these, 133 resulted in initial convictions, with 130 fines being imposed. Of the foreigners prosecuted, 5 were ordered deported (though one of these had the deportation order overturned on appeal). More than half the regions in Russia have seen at least one prosecution. Russian citizens comprise the majority of defendants (see a full analysis at F18News 8 August 2017

Russia has also imposed this legislation in Crimea, which it occupied in March 2014. Forum 18 found 27 administrative cases in the year of the "anti-missionary" punishments there, resulting in fines in 16 of the cases so far (see F18News 24 July 2017

All prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4 and 5 known to have reached court between 20 July 2016 and 20 July 2017 are listed below, ordered by date of court hearing. The list is based on court decisions and court records seen by Forum 18. For a full analysis, see F18News 8 August 2017


- Known Article 5.26, Part 3 cases ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label")

A fine of 50,000 Roubles (about 6,600 Norwegian Kroner, 710 Euros or 835 US Dollars) represents about six weeks' average wages for those in work or 15 weeks' average state retirement pension.

1) 10 November 2016
Name: Administrative Centre of the New Apostolic Church in Russia
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Donskoi District Magistrate's Court No. 245, Moscow
Circumstances: during Justice Ministry inspection of organisation's documents, it was found that the Centre was not using its full name in its activities, including in its contract with the Beeline phone and internet company, on its audio discs and magazine, and on its website
Appeal: none

2) 10 November 2016
Name: Sharypovo Jehovah's Witness community
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 164, Krasnoyarsk Region
Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness community held a members meeting for Bible study "without specifying its official full name" – monitoring by the inter-district prosecutor's office found that the building's sign read "Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom Hall", rather than "Local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the town of Sharypovo"
Appeal: unsuccessful – 19 December 2016, Sharypovo City Court

3) 10 November 2016
Name: Igor Osipenko
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 164, Krasnoyarsk Region
Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness community chair "committed an administrative offence in the form of inaction, as expressed in the implementation by the local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of activity (a members meeting for Bible study) without specifying its official full name" - monitoring by the inter-district prosecutor's office found that the building's sign read "Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom Hall", rather than "Local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the town of Sharypovo"
Appeal: unsuccessful – 22 December, Sharypovo City Court

4) 24 November 2016
Name: Jehovah's Witness community, Khabarovsk
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Industrial District Magistrate's Court No. 13, Khabarovsk
Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspection of Jehovah's Witness premises on 29 October found lack of signage or other information indicating official name of the organisation; representatives M.Yu. Tridtsatko and S.S. Sergeyev explained that between 2015 and October 2016 the building's facade had been undergoing repairs and argued that organisation carried out no activities during inspection – this was disregarded by judge; prosecution insisted that the sign was absent before repairs
Appeal: unsuccessful – 26 December, Industrial District Court

5) 28 November 2016
Name: Jehovah's Witness community of Zelenogorsk
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Zelenogorsk Magistrate's Court No. 30, Krasnoyarsk Region
Circumstances: FSB security service inspection of Jehovah's Witnesses' religious activities found that they were holding meetings for worship in rented premises without displaying their full official name
Appeal: unsuccessful – 18 January 2017, Zelenogorsk City Court

6) 16 December 2016
Name: Word of Life Pentecostal Church, Samara
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 54, Samara
Circumstances: accused of not displaying full name on religious literature; church argued that literature sold by individual entrepreneur in same premises (local deaf society), who obtained it from separate Pentecostal organisation
Appeal: unsuccessful – 10 March 2017, Soviet District Court, Samara

7) 20 December 2016
Name: Salvation Army
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation and destruction of literature, incl. bibles
Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Vladivostok
Circumstances: a prosecutor's office inspection of the community's premises found books and magazines without a stamp/logo showing the organisation's official full name
Appeal: by prosecution re. destruction order – 30 December, Lenin District Court; but destruction order lifted at request of prosecutor (also requested that literature not be confiscated, but this was denied)

8) 30 December 2016
Name: Vitaly Shmidt, pastor
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of literature
Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 3, Ulyanovsk
Circumstances: Cornerstone Protestant church pastor accused of distributing religious literature without official stamp – the literature was left on a table for members to take as they wished, in the foyer of their rented premises; "anti-extremism" police officer claimed that non-members of the religious organisation were present at the meeting for worship and anyone could have picked up the literature
Appeal: unsuccessful – 8 February 2017, Lenin District Court, Ulyanovsk

9) 12 January 2017
Name: Salvation in Jesus Evangelical Church
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita
Circumstances: community accused of distributing a brochure which did not display the full official name of the organisation
Appeal: sent for re-examination – 31 January 2017, Central District Court; acquitted on retrial – 10 February 2017, Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita

10) 19 January 2017
Name: Faith, Hope, Love Seventh-day Adventist Church
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation (but not destruction) of literature
Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chita
Circumstances: during a planned inspection of legal entities, the church submitted literature and newspapers to the regional Justice Ministry branch as part of information on its missionary activities – this allegedly did not bear the church's official full name or official stamp
Appeal: unsuccessful – 20 February 2017, Central District Court, Chita; supervisory appeal unsuccessful (returned without consideration) – 4 April 2017, Zabaikalsk Regional Court

Protestantism And Contemporary Anthropocentrism: Dialoguing with Tom Regan (1938-2017)

9 August 2017 | Hanz Gutierrez

This year the Christian World commemorates the five-hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, an event that tradition tells us began on October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. At the center of this movement stands Luther’s rediscovery of the Gospel message: human beings do not earn their salvation by doing good works; rather, God freely offers salvation to all who believe. In last month’s column, I considered some protestant theological tenets (e.g. the “Sola Scriptura” principle) that facilitated the emergence and reinforcement of modern “Linear Rationality” as a positive but also an ambivalent sociological event—one that deeply conditions today’s societies and churches and urgently demands a new theological and cultural reformulation.

A third main characteristic of the Reformation is represented by its radical defense of the “Sola Gratia” principle. According to this principle, there is no relationship between any human dimension and God’s redemptive action. The Reformers believed that the Catholic salvation model was a mixture of reliance upon the grace of God and confidence in the merits of one's own works, performed in love. They pejoratively called it legalism. They posited that salvation is entirely embodied in God's gifts (that is, God's act of free grace), dispensed by the Holy Spirit according to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, alone. By upholding this principle, Protestantism corrected two religious anomalies. First, it purified a medieval religion encumbered with numerous intermediary mechanisms that, instead of mediating, ended up drawing God away from people. Second, it facilitated the emergence of a new religion whose strength resided in immediacy between God and the believer, under cover of a new sense of trust and surrender.

But, beyond the undoubted religious benefits which the “Sola Gratia” principle brought and beyond a more inclusive understanding churches and believers might have of it, this principle also provoked an important shift from “Creation” to “Salvation,” introducing a huge cultural revolution. This theological transformation allowed for and paradoxically also facilitated the emergence of Anthropocentrism (the belief that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet). By detaching humanity from its natural cosmological roots and substituting the positive “arbitrariness” of God’s Grace alone, the door was open to the centrality of man himself in the Cosmos. Because God’s Grace finally and specially manifests itself in man’s absolute inwardness, it does not matter that contemporary humanity is not especially interested in “Salvation” but rather in economic, industrial, or technical “Progress”. The detachment from the “Cosmos” (Creation), facilitated by the Reformers’ soteriology (doctrine of salvation), was caught up in an unstoppable, modern trend.

‘Religion Belongs to the Nature of Man,’ Stresses Cardinal Tauran

L’Osservatore Romano Publishes a Reflection of the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue

August 11, 2017

© PHOTO.VA - Osservatore Romano

“Religion Belongs to the Nature of Man,” headlined the Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano on August 9, 2017, which published a reflection of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

For the Cardinal, to “exclude religion from reason is equivalent to amputating man created in the image of God,” and he reminds that “there can’t be disagreement between faith and reason,” echoing ideas of Benedict XVI’s address at Regensburg in September 2006.

“We should be proud of our faith, because it offers a future to humanity,” explains Cardinal Tauran, thus situating the inter-religious dialogue, which “always begins with the profession of one’s own faith, always avoiding syncretism.” “Christianity is not a thought but a fact: God became man.” The dialogue “in truth” is to “promote a world where justice and peace dwell.”

A Violent and Precarious World

The Cardinal from Bordeaux begins with the constant that “we live in a violent world that divides and kills. A precarious world: anything can happen, suffice it to think of the danger that terrorism represents. It’s difficult to foresee what the evolution of the 21st century will be. Many political leaders are looking for ideas and many of our companions in humanity wonder if there is a control room. One wonders if the States will be up to the measure of guaranteeing the security of societies and the safeguarding of Creation.”

Therefore, Cardinal Tauran asks the question: “In this world, can one believe in God? Can one believe in man?” And he answers: “We are in a full paradox.”

And the Cardinal explains: “This world of technology, which only sees the power of what is useful, is also a world in which cultural and religious pluralism, the privatization of religion, the lack of transmission of values and models have made the ‘sacred’ and a certain transcendence come under the spotlights.”

He also notes that “if religious practice, at least in Western societies, is in decline, there is no doubt that one understands increasingly better that one can’t understand today’s world by disregarding religions.”

Violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville (Virginia)

The Washington Post
Joe Heim

32 mins ago

Bands of white nationalists were met by counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. (Reuters)


Bands of white nationalists were met by counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. Bands of white supremacists were met by counterprotesters Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. (Reuters)

© REUTERS/Joshua Roberts A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag as he walks past counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.

CHARLOTTESVILLE -After a morning of violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters, police ordered hundreds of people out of a downtown park - putting an end to a noon rally that hadn’t even begun.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m.

 Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Cornel West.

But fighting broke out way before the noon rally, starting Friday night and then again Saturday morning.

Men in combat gear, some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

A large contingent of Charlottesville and Virginia state police in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee.

A group of three dozen self-described “militia” - men who were wearing full camouflage and were armed with long guns - said they were there to help keep the peace, but they also did not break up the fights.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe had placed the National Guard on standby but they, too, were not in the downtown area where the morning clashes were occurring.

There were vicious clashes on Market Street in front of Emancipation Park, where the rally was to begin at noon. A large contingent of white nationalist rallygoers holding shields and swinging wooden clubs rushed through a line of counterprotesters.

By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right wing rally goers had poured into the small downtown park that is the site of the planned rally.

At about 11:40 a.m., police appeared and ordered everyone to vacate the park. Columns of white nationalists marched out of the park, carrying Confederate flags and Nazi symbols, and headed down Market Street in an odd parade, as counterprotesters lined the sidewalks and shouted epithets and mocked them. At various points along the route, skirmishes broke out and shouting matches ensued.

Charlottesville officials, concerned about crowds and safety issues, had tried to move the rally to a larger park away from the city’s downtown.

But Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer, filed a successful lawsuit against the city that was supported by the Virginia ACLU, saying that his First Amendment rights would be violated by moving the rally.

Tensions began Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists chanted “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!” as they carried torches marched in a parade through the University of Virginia campus.

The fast-paced march was made up almost exclusively of men in their 20s and 30s, though there were some who looked to be in their mid-teens.

Meanwhile, hundreds of counterprotesters packed a church to pray and organize. A small group of counterprotesters clashed with the marchers shortly before 10 p.m. at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the university’s founder.

One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which affected the eyes of a dozen or so marchers. It left them floundering and seeking medical assistance.

Police officers who had been keeping a wary eye on the march jumped in and broke up the fights. The marchers then disbanded, though several remained and were treated by police and medical personnel for the effects of the mace attack. It was not clear if any one was arrested.

The march came on the eve of the Unite the Right rally, a gathering of groups from around the country whose members have said they are being persecuted for being white and that white history in America is being erased.

The Saturday rally was scheduled for noon at Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, home to a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that the city of Charlottesville voted to remove earlier this year. The statue remains in the park pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

Many city leaders and residents have expressed concern about the prospect of violence at Saturday’s event.

Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

The torchlight parade drew sharp condemnations from Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer and U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan.

Sullivan described herself as “deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior”shown by the marchers.

Signer said he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.” He called the chanting procession a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”


Saved To Serve coming to Atlanta, GA. August 25 - 27, 2017

Protestants to Meet Pope to Heal Wound Quickly.{GC24}Trump threatens NKor...


Hillary Clinton's pastor compared her election loss to Jesus' death and resurrection

by Anna Giaritelli | Aug 10, 2017, 4:10 

Hillary Clinton's pastoral adviser urged her to keep her head up following her unexpected Election Day loss in November and compared the election to Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified.

"It is Friday, but Sunday is coming ... This is not the devotional you wish to receive this day. While Good Friday may be the starkest representation of a Friday that we have, life is filled with a lot of Fridays," wrote United Methodist City Society Executive Director the Rev. Bill Shillady in an email to Clinton obtained by CNN. "Friday is the day that it all falls apart and all hope is lost. We all have Fridays. But, as the saying goes, 'Sunday's coming!'"

Faith leaders gather on the eve of 'hate-driven' Unite the Right rally

7 hrs ago

A couple holds each other during a Mass Prayer Service Friday at St. Paul's Memorial in Charlottesville, Va. Dr. Cornell West was the featured speaker at the event. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

Dr. Cornel West was the featured speaker during a Mass Prayer Service Friday at St. Paul's Memorial in Charlottesville, Va. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

Praying during a Mass Prayer Service Friday at St. Paul's Memorial in Charlottesville, Va. Dr. Cornell West was the featured speaker at the event. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

Friday, August 11, 2017

CNN Panelist, Phil Mudd, Says Deep State 'Will Kill' Trump

The 'three-parent baby' fertility doctor needs to stop marketing the procedure, FDA says

On Friday, FDA sent him a letter notifying him of his violations

by Rachel Becker@RA_Becks Aug 5, 2017, 3:05pm EDT

Photo by Eugene Ermolovich (CRMI)/Wikimedia Commons

The doctor who created a genetically modified “three-parent baby” has been reprimanded by the Food and Drug Administration for aggressively marketing the unapproved experimental procedure.

John Zhang, CEO of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, famously combined the DNA of three people to help a mother who was a carrier for a genetic disease conceive an apparently healthy baby boy last year. Now, Zhang and his company are marketing the pricy procedure as the “first proven treatment for certain genetic disorders and a successful solution to age-related infertility.”

However, the FDA does not allow clinical research in people that would involve genetically modifying an embryo. And because Zhang’s technique and the one child it produced are both still in their infancy, we don’t know how well the treatment really works, or if it comes with any unforeseen consequences. On Friday, the FDA posted a letter to Zhang online, informing him that marketing the procedure is illegal, since the FDA hasn’t given him permission to test it in people. The agency asked him to correct his violations, and respond in writing.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Breaking Trump Evangelical advisor Biblical Advice for Trump on Kim Jong...

Guam reacts to North Korea nuclear threat with faith in U.S. military

Chloe Babauta, Pacific (Guam) Daily News

19 hours ago

Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story misstated when the U.S. gained control of Guam.

HAGATNA, Guam — As North Korea threatened a ballistic missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam, residents expressed concern Wednesday.

Tourists enjoy the beach in Guam's capital of Hagatna on July 14, 2017.
Mar-Vic Cagurangan, AFP/Getty Images

"The threat is pretty scary," said Graceful Fiden, 28, of Tumon, Guam. "It's going on further, so we should worry about it."

But, he said, "I believe in the military on Guam, together with the U.S."

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

It's Official: This Is Straight out of Orwell's 1984...

Rising tensions with North Korea

The Catholic Reformation

Posted 20 June 2017

Christian History Institute has released the fourth and final issue in their magazine series on the Reformation. The final issue is on “The catholic reformation”.

From Ignatius of Loyola and the founding of the Jesuits to the Council of Trent’s far-reaching decrees, the church returned to a focus on piety and prayer, often expressed through vibrant art. You’ll find plenty of beautiful art in these pages, alongside the struggle to address abuses, the devastating Thirty Years’ War, and Protestants dividing and immigrating. Christian History Magazineconcludes the four-part series of Reformation issues with a forum on ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Protestants today.

More information

Hillary Wants to Preach

Religion is playing a big role in Clinton’s post-election tour. What does she have to gain from sharing her faith now?

Hillary Clinton speaks at Union Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina, in October 2016.Carlos Barria / Reuters


AUG 6, 2017

Hillary Clinton wants to preach. That’s what she told Bill Shillady, her longtime pastor, at a recent photo shoot for his new book about the daily devotionals he sent her during the 2016 campaign. Scattered bits of reporting suggest that ministry has always been a secret dream of the two-time presidential candidate: Last fall, the former Newsweek editor Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister. She asked him not to write about it, though: “It will make me seem much too pious.” The incident perfectly captures Clinton’s long campaign to modulate—and sometimes obscure—expressions of her faith.

Now, as Clinton works to rehabilitate her public image and figure out the next steps after her brutal November loss, religion is taking a central role. After long months of struggling to persuade Americans that she is trustworthy, authentic, and fundamentally moral, Clinton is lifting up an intimate, closely guarded part of herself. There are no more voters left to lose. In sharing her faith, perhaps Clinton sees something left to win, whether political or personal.

Personality of the Holy Spirit

We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.—Manuscript 66, 1899 (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.).

The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God....

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”—Manuscript 20, 1906.

 Evangelism, p.617.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

" Terrible”: Pope Francis blasts schools teaching transgenderism


Posted at 12:01 pm on August 07, 2017

Update: Or depending on the year. An astute reader saw what I missed — that this is from August 2016. When I got this on e-mail, I missed that it came from exactly a year ago. My apologies, but … it’s still an ongoing topic.

Update, On the other hand … perhaps it’s timelier than we realize. “Transgender day camp welcomes preschoolers“?

Original post follows:


Depending on the week, the media treats the Catholic pontiff as either the voice of sweet reason or the top of a benighted patriarchy intent on taking the world back to the Middle Ages. Guess which narrative will be in play this week? Speaking to a private gathering of Polish bishops for World Youth Day, Pope Francis blasted transgender education in schools:

Speaking to a group of Polish bishops, Pope Francis delivered a harsh critique of teaching children they can choose their gender identity.

“Today, children are taught this at school: that everyone can choose their own sex,” Francis said last week, according to the Catholic Herald and other news organizations that read a Vatican transcript of the closed-door meeting. “God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite.”

Teaching children that they can pick their gender, Francis said, is “terrible.”

Trump’s evangelical advisers want a meeting with Pope Francis over controversial article

Acts of Faith

By Michelle Boorstein

August 7, 2017 at 10:14 PM

Pope Francis listens to President Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24. (Evan Vucci/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s evangelical advisory board is asking Pope Francis for meetings with him and other high-level Vatican officials to discuss “efforts to divide evangelicals and Catholics.”

The request, which was first reported in Time, comes a few weeks after two of Francis’s closest allies published an extremely critical article about the shared political activism of conservative evangelicals and Catholics, saying it has “an ideology of conquest.”

The piece attracted wide attention because of the connection that the authors — an Italian Catholic priest and an Argentine Presbyterian pastor — have to the pope and because of its range: It disparaged everything from conservative evangelicalism and prosperity gospel to the popular idea that the United States is blessed by God. It was published mid-July in the influential Rome-based Jesuit publication La Civilta Cattolica.

It was the latest in a series of rocky back-and-forths between Trump’s circle and the pope’s, over issues including a U.S.-Mexico wall and climate change.

The letter, dated Aug. 3, was signed by Johnnie Moore, a former vice president of Liberty University who now serves as a spokesman for a few dozen evangelicals who informally advise Trump and who represent the faith group seen as having the most regular access to the White House since the election.

People who have been in group meetings at the White House include Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church in Dallas and Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center in Florida.

The La Civilta Cattolica piece set off intense debate. Many Trump critics loved to see Francis’s name attached to a piece that lashed out by name at White House leaders including Steve Bannon, a Catholic, whom it called “a supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics.” Others felt it painted a caricature of American religion, and signaled that the pope and his advisers misunderstand the issues.

Related: Why so many white pro-Trump evangelicals are skeptical of climate change

Asked if the group would take up the criticisms in the Jesuit article, given how close the authors are to Francis, Moore said in an interview that perhaps there is an “understanding gap” at the Vatican.

“I am and a lot of us are genuinely surprised that a pope who has principally a reputation as a bridge builder, if he did know about this, that he’d allow something like this to be published. Whether his bridge-building extends even to those in his own church and the greater church or the extended church that disagree with this piece,” he said.

Only parts of the evangelicals’ letter to the pope were made public.

“It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals. We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement,” Moore wrote.

It was impossible to immediately gauge the impact of the letter, which for some religious leaders was the equivalent of a hot potato.

The archdiocese of Washington, to whom the letter was given, declined to comment, as did the Vatican press office. Various Catholic and evangelicals leaders declined to comment, including the National Association of Evangelicals, on whose board Moore sits.

Denomination has become less and less important to American Christians, and the faith alliances that are more powerful in American life today tend to focus on policy aims. Conservative Catholics and evangelicals work very closely together on things such as opposing gay marriage and advocating for Christian refugees from the Middle East. More progressive Catholics and evangelicals work closely on things such as immigration and health care — both areas where their partnerships have them fighting the Trump White House.

Related: Not naming names, Pope makes appeal “not to create walls, but to build bridges”

Many religious institutional leaders have been sharply critical of Trump, but this is an era when traditional religious institutions have been declining in public influence. The one glaring exception to that has been Pope Francis, with polls regularly showing him among the leaders most respected by Americans. However he also has spurred intense dislike among certain groups of conservatives, particularly those who oppose his view of environmentalism and a limited free market.

Trump won white evangelical voters 80-16 percent over Hillary Clinton, and white Catholic voters 61-37 percent. Nonwhite evangelicals went 72-24 percent for Clinton, while nonwhite Catholics went approximately 67-25 percent for her.

An overwhelming number of white, evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, 81-16 percent, according to exit poll results. Facebook Live host Libby Casey talks to religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey about how Trump appealed to this group and what they expect from him once in office. (The Washington Post)

Clarification: An earlier version of this story failed to note with prominence that Time first published news of the letter from Johnnie Moore to Pope Francis. This post has been updated to make that point earlier and to link to Time’s piece.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

In our opinion: Communities yearn for religious and secular Sabbaths

By Deseret News editorial boardPublished: Aug. 6, 2017 6:05 a.m. Updated: 8 hours ago

Stuart Burford
"While many expressed disappointment in the private company’s decision, what’s remarkable is there are still so many businesses in today’s secularized environment that still shut their doors on Saturday—the Jewish Sabbath—or Sunday."

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A local grocery store long known for keeping its doors closed on Sunday has decided to open in select locations on a day considered sacred within numerous Christian traditions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns this paper.

While many expressed disappointment in the private company’s decision, what’s remarkable is there are many businesses in today’s secularized environment that still shut their doors on Saturday — the Jewish Sabbath — or Sunday.

Private companies are certainly entitled to make these decisions in order to compete for customers. For example, at the media companies like the Deseret News, round-the-clock news coverage demands a certain number of people are working to stay current and relevant and to deliver a morning report to your phone, computer or doorstep on Sunday and Monday. And the sacrifices of our emergency personnel as well as those who care for the infirm or less fortunate allow for others to enjoy this day of respite.

That’s why it’s all the more remarkable when companies put ethical and moral considerations above pure maximization of profits. Those companies should be commended. RC Willey Home Furnishings, for example, famously negotiated with a boss as big as Warren Buffett to keep its doors closed in Utah and elsewhere on Sundays. The famously family-friendly Maddox Ranch House in Perry, Utah, not only stays closed on Sunday but doesn't serve alcohol.

Utah, of course, is a diverse state, and not everyone shares Latter-day Saint values or a religious conception of the Sabbath. Indeed, long gone are most of America’s so-called blue laws — or Sunday laws — that restricted certain activities on Sunday. But that’s not to say that a societal day of rest is no longer needed.

In the famous Supreme Court case McGowan v. Maryland, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in defense of Maryland's "blue law" prohibiting commerce on Sunday.

“The state’s purpose is not merely to provide a one-day-seven work stoppage,” he wrote. "The State seeks to set one day apart from all others as a day of rest, repose, recreation and tranquility — a day which all members of the family and community have the opportunity to spend and enjoy together, a day on which there exists relative quiet and disassociation from the everyday intensity of commercial activities, a day on which people may visit friends and relative who are not available during working days."
We don’t advocate for a return to blue laws. But, in an age of digital devices and constant consumerism, the secular case couldn't be stronger for a day during which society takes a break from earning a buck and buying a widget. Now, more than ever, communities yearn for fellow residents to take one day to look at each other first as friends and fellow human beings before neighbors once again become customers and cashiers come Monday morning.

No one should shame a local grocer for its private business decisions — after all, for the better part of a century they sacrificed to stay closed on Sunday when their competition remained open. What’s more, they are still continuing to stay closed on Sunday in many locations throughout the state.

But, we concur with former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who writes: “The Sabbath is an old but beautiful idea that, in our frantically harried and meaning-starved culture, cries out to be rediscovered and enjoyed by people of all faiths” or, we would add, none at all.