Category: The Church

Pope Francis Endorses Essay Trashing U.S. Conservative Christians

Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.

27 Sep 20197,175

ROME — Pope Francis has publicly endorsed an essay that appeared in 2017 criticizing relations between Evangelicals and Catholics in the United States as an “ecumenism of hate.”

On Thursday, La Civiltà Cattolica journal released the transcript of a meeting between Pope Francis and a group of 24 Jesuits on September 5, 2019, during his recent trip to Mozambique in which the pope suggested that certain Evangelical Protestants in the United States “cannot really be defined as Christian.”

“Two important articles in Civiltà Cattolica have been published in this regard. I recommend them to you. They were written by Father Spadaro and the Argentinean Presbyterian pastor, Marcelo Figueroa. The first article spoke of the ‘ecumenism of hatred.’ The second was on the ‘theology of prosperity,’” the pontiff said.

“Reading them you will see that there are sects that cannot really be defined as Christian. They preach Christ, yes, but their message is not Christian,” the pope said. “It has nothing to do with the preaching of a Lutheran or any other serious evangelical Christianity.”

In the first essay recommended by the pope, the authors, who are both friends of Francis, slammed conservative Christians in the U.S. as ignorant, theocratic, Manichean, war-mongering fanatics.

For the “Evangelical right,” the authors proposed, the panorama of threats to the American way of life “have included modernist spirits, the black civil rights movement, the hippy movement, communism, feminist movements and so on. And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims.”

The authors did not hesitate to suggest that many Evangelicals are southern racists who reject climate change.

“Another interesting aspect is the relationship with creation of these religious groups that are composed mainly of whites from the deep American South,” the article stated. “There is a sort of ‘anesthetic’ with regard to ecological disasters and problems generated by climate change. They profess ‘dominionism’ and consider ecologists as people who are against the Christian faith.”

Throughout the essay, the authors criticize a string of exclusively Republican presidents as being tainted by the teachings of Evangelical Protestantism. The list of those mentioned includes Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and, of course, Donald Trump.

One of the most serious evils of American Evangelical Christians, the article stated, is “the defense of religious liberty,’” which takes the form of “a direct virtual challenge to the secularity of the state.”

The authors went on to denounce the ecumenical alliance between conservative Catholics and Evangelical Christians who align behind certain moral issues in the public square.

“Some who profess themselves to be Catholic express themselves in ways that until recently were unknown in their tradition and using tones much closer to Evangelicals. They are defined as value voters as far as attracting electoral mass support is concerned,” the article asserted.

This poisonous alliance over shared objectives “happens around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values,” the essay claimed, which unite Catholics and Evangelicals in “the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.”

At the time of its publication, the article triggered an avalanche of critical responses denouncing the ignorance and political ill-will underlying the essay.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, for instance, wrote a sharp criticism of the essay, saying that the authors were guilty of “dumbing down and inadequately presenting the nature of Catholic/evangelical cooperation on religious freedom and other key issues.”

“Dismissing today’s attacks on religious liberty as a ‘narrative of fear,’” as the La Civiltà Cattolica article does, Chaput said, “sounds willfully ignorant.”

In his critique of the article, Dr. Samuel Gregg called the article “disturbing,” while lamenting the tacit anti-Americanism and “distinctly amateur grasp of American religious history.”

As Dr. Gregg noted, to describe “Marxism-Leninism, Islamist jihadism, or National Socialism” as evil is not evidence of a Manichaean worldview. “It is simply recognition that some ideas are indeed wicked and lead to many people, even nations, engaging in gravely evil acts.”

Moreover, Gregg wrote, if one looks at statements put together by various scholars and intellectuals involved in movements such as Evangelicals and Catholics Together, “they contain not a shred of theocratic aspiration.”

“The ecumenical discussion between those involved in these endeavors have led over time to genuine fruit in terms of clarification of points in common, removing misconceptions, identifying real doctrinal road-blocks, and identifying areas where practical work to promote the common good can be pursued together,” Gregg observed.

It is not a theocratic nostalgia that leads Evangelical and Catholic Christians in America to make the argument that “unborn human beings are entitled to the same protections from the unjust use of lethal force as any other human being, or that religious liberty is more than just freedom of worship, or that parents are entitled to insist that their children not be subjected to the nonsense of ‘gender theory’ at school,” Gregg added.

The published criticisms of the original article by serious scholars, both Christian and secular, ended up being so numerous they could fill a book. The article was eventually dismissed as simply an embarrassing attempt at political propaganda by overly zealous Italian and Argentinian clerics who were completely out of their depth.

Which could lead one to wonder what Pope Francis could possibly be thinking when he dredges up this ill-begotten essay out of the swamp of oblivion to recommend it as a useful aid for understanding America’s complex religious landscape.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10096

President Trump At United Nations Tells Gathered World Leaders That Human Rights ‘Come From God’ And Not From World Governments

“The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government they come from God,” President Donald Trump said. “This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the first amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.” Trump noted that 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious freedom is in danger or outright banned, and called for the world to end religious persecution and release prisoners held for professing their belief.

by Geoffrey Grider September 23, 2019

President Donald Trump led a United Nations event promoting religious freedom on Monday, reminding world leaders that all rights came from God.

President Trump today had the attention of nearly all the leaders of the free world, and he had a message for each and every one of them. In a stunning rebuke, President Trump reminded his listeners, many of them leaders on nations that persecute Christians, that human rights ‘come from God’ and as such cannot be taken away. Trump went on to say protecting religious freedom was one of his highest priorities. What an incredible polar opposite from the previous president’s constant promotion of Islam and Sharia Law.

“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8 (KJV)

The fact that the United Nations exists, as the end times gathering of all the nations of the world, leaps off the pages of Bible prophecy where God say that His desire is to ‘gather the nations’ and to ‘assemble the kingdoms’, so that He may judge them for their rejection of Him. Think about that the next time you read any story about the UN. They exist as a unified body because God says in the last days all the nations of the world will be ‘gathered together’. Yet another end times prophecy in the ‘completed’ column.

Donald Trump at the United Nations: Human Rights Come from God, Not Government

FROM BREITBART NEWS: “The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government they come from God,” he said. “This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the first amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.”

Trump noted that 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious freedom is in danger or outright banned, and called for the world to end religious persecution and release prisoners held for professing their belief.

“As president, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities and always has been,” Trump said.

The president noted sadly that an estimated 11 Christians are killed every day around the world for following their faith.

“Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions,” he said.

Trump vowed that the United States would always stand for religious freedom, and urged all governments to do the same.

“We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God,” he said.

Trump was introduced at the event by Vice President Mike Pence, who thanked the president for being the first United States president to lead an event on the United Nations on religious freedom.

Pence specifically called out ISIS terrorists, and countries such as Iran, China, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for their abuses against people of different faiths.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10076

The Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council Created By Pope Francis Announces New Chrislam Headquarters Opening In 2022 That Combines A Mosque And Church According To Signed Covenant

The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue. An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.

by Geoffrey Grider September 22, 2019

The United Arab Emirates will build a new synagogue as part of an Chrislam interfaith compound that will also house a mosque and church and is reportedly set to open in 2022.

As far as advancing the end times timeline goes, 2019 has been a banner year for Pope Francis and the coming One World Religion. We told you back in February that the pope has travelled to Abu Dhabi where he met with Sunni Muslim leader Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. There the two men signed a global peace covenant called the Document On Human Fraternity For World Peace.  From that covenant, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was created to implement this end times religious peace treaty. Now that committee has announced that there will be a fancy new headquarters for this endeavor. The shiny, new center of global Chrislam opening in 2022.

“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:15,16 (KJV)

The end times are unfolding before our very eyes, people, things are speeding up very quickly, if you blink you’ll miss it. This is Chrislam, it will be the foundation of the coming One World Religion the Bible says will assemble in the last days. The Catholic Church will call the shots, and Islam will provide the muscle with their tens of millions of jihad warriors, now they will be martyrs for Chrislam under the command of a Roman king. Don’t believe it? You’re watching it.

UAE To Open Chrislam Interfaith Headquarters In 2022

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue.

An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.

 “This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity. It will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as foster peace and harmony in an era that is too often defined by difference,” said Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, senior rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and a Jewish representative of the committee.

The design for the Abrahamic Family House, by the renowned architect David Adjaye, was unveiled during a meeting in New York this week, the second for the committee. According to Gulf News, it will take three years to complete.

The UAE is already home to a synagogue, in Dubai, formed in 2008. Though it receives quiet support from the Emirati authorities, its members have largely kept a low profile. The new state-sanctioned synagogue would mark a significant step forward for public worship of Judaism in the Gulf state.

In May, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the chaplain at New York University, became the first chief rabbi of the Jewish community of the United Arab Emirates.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10070

A Watershed Moment For American Evangelical Christianity – Benny Hinn Has Just Renounced The Prosperity Gospel

September 4, 2019 by Michael Snyder

When you have done things a certain way for almost your entire career, it can be exceedingly difficult to admit that you were wrong.  This is true in any field, but it is especially true for those in the ministry.  So Benny Hinn showed an enormous amount of courage when he completely repudiated the “prosperity gospel” on Monday night during a Facebook Live broadcast.  This represents a 180 degree turn for his ministry, and it could be a watershed moment for American evangelical Christianity as a whole.  For decades, an extreme emphasis on wealth and prosperity has virtually drowned out the message of the cross on Christian television, and this has greatly damaged the evangelical movement.  Having high profile leaders such as Benny Hinn renounce the “prosperity gospel” would do much to heal the damage that has been done, and he should be greatly applauded for his public repentance.

Of course a lot of people out there are going to be skeptical, and that is unfortunate.  Forgiveness is available to everyone no matter what they may have been through in the past, and we should all remember that there is literally nobody alive that is not in need of grace.

In addition, it is important to remember that ministries are always going to need resources in order to fulfill the Great Commission, and believers should always be supporting those ministries that are doing a great job of preaching the gospel.  But the “prosperity gospel” twisted what the Bible says about giving into a message that appealed to the flesh, and Benny Hinn has now completely rejected that message.  The following comes from the Christian Post

Declaring that the “Holy Ghost is just fed up with it,” controversial televangelist Benny Hinn, formerly one of the most aggressive proponents of the prosperity gospel, has for the first time in his career, delivered a full-throated rejection of the practice that made him and his family millions.

The prosperity gospel teaches, among other things, that believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth, and they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the “sowing of seeds” through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.

And Hinn didn’t stop there.

At one point during his Monday night message, he boldly declared that the prosperity gospel is literally making him “sick to my stomach”

He said that “it is an offense to the Lord, it’s an offense to say, ‘Give $1,000.’ I think it’s offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it.”

At one point Hinn asked viewers “Am I shocking you?”

“Giving has become such a gimmick it’s making me sick to my stomach,” he said. “And I’ve been sick for a while too, I just couldn’t say it.”

We definitely need a lot more of that sort of preaching in our churches.

In the end, this could result in Benny Hinn not being invited on Christian television as much.  As we have seen, there have certainly been other prominent Christian ministers that have paid a great price for telling the truth in recent years.  But Hinn is doing what is right for himself, his followers and for the American church as a whole, and that is what matters.

After all this time, Hinn says that the way he views “prosperity” has completely changed.  During his message, he pointed out that the great heroes in the Bible didn’t have lots of wealth

“Did Elijah the prophet have a car? No. Did not even have a bicycle. He had no lack. … Did Jesus drive a car or live in a mansion? No. He had no lack. How about the Apostles? None lacked among them,” Hinn said. “Today, the idea is abundance and palatial homes and cars and bank accounts. The focus is wrong … It’s so wrong.”

Hopefully thousands of other Christian leaders will see what Hinn has done and will follow his lead.  He continues to be highly influential in the evangelical Christian world, and what he just did is likely to send shockwaves all across the country.

It would have been really easy for Hinn to continue to preach the prosperity gospel, because that is what he has done throughout almost his entire career.

But in the final analysis, he was very afraid about what God would say once he got to heaven

Toward the end of the clip the 66-year-old told viewers, “I don’t want to get to heaven and be rebuked. I think it’s time we say it like its: The Gospel is not for sale.”

I understand that this article is highly controversial, and I also understand that many will criticize me for writing it and that many will continue to deeply criticize Benny Hinn for things he has done throughout the course of his ministry.

But it isn’t how we begin the race that matters.

What really matters is how we end the race, and Benny Hinn should be greatly, greatly applauded for setting himself on a new path

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10023

Todd Starnes: Franklin Graham has a warning for Christian ‘influencers’ renouncing their faith

By Todd Starnes | Fox News

Todd Starnes speaks with President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse Franklin Graham about his support for a New Jersey mayor who opposes a law that requires public schools to teach LGBT history.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among so-called Christian “influencers.”

A small, but growing number of people made famous because of their faith are now using their platforms to reject the teachings of Christ.

John Cooper, the lead singer in the rock band Skillet, said it best in a Facebook post: “What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?”

Cooper was expressing his deep concerns about so-called Christian leaders who are openly renouncing their faith and others who are turning their backs on biblical teachings.

 “We are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20-year-old worship singers as our source of truth,” he wrote. “We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.”

Amen, brother! Preach!

“We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom,” he wrote.

Over the past few weeks the Christian community has been rocked by revelations that Joshua Harris, the author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” had renounced his faith. And most recently, Hillsong’s Marty Sampson announced his faith in Christ was on “incredibly shaky ground.”

I asked Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, about this weird trend surrounding Christian leaders and influencers during an interview on my nationally-syndicated radio program.

“They’re in a very dangerous place to be out from under God’s protection,” Graham said during an interview on “The Todd Starnes Radio Show.” “For whatever reason they have decided they’re going to turn their back on God and God standards.”

Graham said he is especially disturbed by Christians who publicly renounce their faith in Christ, citing a warning from the Book of Revelation.

“(God) warns churches that turn their back on him and these young men who have renounced their faith have made it so public,” he said. “Why did they make it so public? I think they just want publicity. Otherwise, why didn’t they just leave their faith and just be quiet about it?”

He wondered if the reason why was so that other Christians might join them and fall away from the teachings of the Bible.

“Shame on them,” Graham said. “You’ll stand before God one day and give an account to Him.”

Cooper, in his Facebook post, pointed out a “common thread” among the leaders and influencers who are saying “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.”

“This is just flatly false,” he wrote. “I just read today in a renowned worship leader’s statement, ‘How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.’ As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

Graham echoed that point during our interview on my radio show.

“I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. I believe every word of the Bible. I do not understand it all but I believe it all,” he said.

We must put our faith in Jesus Christ, not a celebrity influencer. And when we find ourselves facing difficulties in life, we must turn to the Bible instead of self-help books.

“I’m going to keep on doing what I do and I’m going to keep telling people how they can have a relationship with God how they can have their sins forgiven and how it can make and have that hope of heaven one day by putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.”

And that should be our prayer for Christian “influencers” like Mr. Harris and Mr. Sampson – that one day they might truly put their faith and trust in Christ.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10010

Skillet rocker: Stop elevating Christian influencers, learning theology from praise songs

By Jeannie Law, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, August 15, 2019

John Cooper, lead singer of the Christian rock band Skillet, is speaking out and expressing dismay over popular Christian leaders publicly renouncing their faith. 

“Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once ‘faces’ of the faith are falling away. And at the same time, they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?)as they announce that they are leaving the faith,” Cooper wrote in a Facebook post this week.

“I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, ‘I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.’ I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?”

Over the last few weeks, former pastor and best-selling author Joshua Harris announced on social media that he no longer considers himself a Christian, and prolific worship music writer Marty Sampson, known for his extensive work with Hillsong Church, said he was “genuinely losing” his faith.

Cooper made it clear that it’s not his “place” to judge unbelievers but as a follower of Christ, he deemed it necessary to address those within his faith, saying that there must be a measure of “loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God” as Christians.

While not naming names, Cooper warned all Christians to “STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom.” He included himself in the list of people often put up on a pedestal. 

“We are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.”

When it comes to writing songs for Skillet, Cooper — whose band just released a new album, Victorious — told The Christian Post that he has “very close relationships” with his church and that he takes their input seriously.

“We are looked at as a ministry of our church. So they’re very behind us,” Cooper told CP. “It’s not true that I write a song and I give it to them for an OK before I release it but it is the case that sometimes I write something and I say, ‘I don’t know if that’s exactly right and I will look for their input.’

New SAT-7 documentary Sequel of Hope broadcasts Myriam and her family’s message of hope after returning to their hometown of Qaraqosh, Iraq.

“It also is the case if they ever had a problem with something I had written, we’re such good friends and I respect them so much that they would tell me and I would take that very seriously.”

His reason for doing so is because of how unsound some Christain music has become in the church, he explained.

“A lot of Christian people right now, artists are releasing stuff that when I read the lyrics, I’m like, ‘I’m amazed that people have a problem with Skillet lyrics’ when some of the songs that we sing in church today I don’t think are actually accurate,” he stated. “Not to be overly harsh but I am 100% sure that God’s love is absolutely not reckless in any sort of way. I can’t believe we sing it in church, but we do!”

Cooper was referencing the very popular worship song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury, which is sung in many churches all over the United States. 

He explained that the first time he became aware of the song was when his 11-year-old son told him he had been listening to the lyrics of it and after reading the Bible he  could not find anywhere in the Word where it said God’s love was “reckless.” His conversation with his son showed Cooper the importance of proper theology in music.

“I’m not trying to be rude about the song. And I’ve listened to interviews and I get where it’s coming from. I want to be inclusive to people but when people look at Skillet lyrics and they go, ‘I’m not really sure if this is a Christian song? I’m like, ‘Really? And you’re singing the songs you’re singing [in church]?’ 

“My point is, we should have a little bit more trepidation before we just start throwing out stuff in the world,” he told CP.

In his Facebook post, he contended that artists “are good at communicating emotion and feeling” but they “are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine.”

“Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?” he wrote.

Continuing his argument against the recent public announcements of falling away from the faith, Cooper wondered, “[W]hy do people act like ‘being real’ covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier.”

“As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying ‘I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.’ So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.”

The “Legendary” singer also rejected as “flatly false” the claim that no one is addressing hard questions in Christianity.

Sampson of Hillsong had argued in his social media announcement that “no one talks about” contradictions in the Bible, preachers falling, and why God sends people to Hell, among other things.

“The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally,” Cooper argued. “Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

In the end, there’s one thing the Skillet singer finds most shocking:

“As these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their ‘new insight/new truth’ that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say ‘I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others. Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature.”

He continued: “No child is ever born and says ‘I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need.’ Those are Bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the ‘Kingdom of God’ standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus’s teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman.

“[W]ill your ideas of what is ‘good’ be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I’m amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.”

The Tennessee native pleaded with believers to “rediscover” the preeminence and the value of the Word of God. 

“We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion,” he stated. 

“I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10003

The Two Popes & Pietro, The Roman Curia Boss

Published on: July 7, 2019 by RRadmin7 Category:Cynthia Nuara, General Articles

Pietro (Peter, in English) Parolin is the head of the Roman Curia in the Vatican as its secretary of state. He has been called “papabile, a candidate to succeed Francis as pope.” An April 2019 article on the Catholic website, Crux, stated that Pietro Parolin has become “more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” And the new constitution for reforming and governing the Roman Curia would make this obvious. The Crux article ends with “…within the Roman Curia, everyone will now know who’s boss: The Cardinal Secretary of State.”

I will be using Catholic websites in this writing to make the point that there are many Catholics dissatisfied with this pope.

What is this New Catholic Constitution About?

Summary from the Catholic News Agency (CNA) website: Analysis: New Vatican constitution to centralize power in state secretariat:

A long-serving curial official said, “…This is just the total centralization of power in the office of the Secretary of State. Nothing can be done without the pope’s approval, and nothing gets to the pope except through [Cardinal Parolin] – it’s the creation of a vice-regency.”

An archbishop, currently serving in a senior curial role, said, “It is an essentially Soviet model. Lots of meetings, lots of discussion, but in the end the Secretary [of State] decides what will happen.”

Several curial staffers from different departments told CNA that their congregations had returned “pages of suggested revisions,” and expressed deep concerns about the document’s proposed centralization of curial operations…. – source

Summary from Crux: New Vatican doc displays simplified, decentralized curia:

In its new mega-department for evangelization, the feminine genius, it says, must be promoted in the church… as well as for the faithful who, in certain cultures, live in polygamous relationships.

Publication of the document was expected in June, but due to the vast response to the text of over 200 pages, publication is now tentatively set for September. – source

The Vatican’s former Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has strongly criticized it. He said “the teaching of the Faith is being mentioned as merely one random task of the pope among many others, and most importantly, now to be subordinate to his secular duties.” The Cardinal points out in this new constitution a “wrong and deviant use of fundamental notions of Catholic theology…” He warns against a “secularization of the concept of the Church,” as if she is “to be run like an international company” and as if “it is about a balance of power” between a mother company and subsidiaries.

Fr. Thomas Weinandy, a member of the International Theological Commission who was removed as an adviser to the US Conference of Catholic bishops in 2017 after his criticisms of Pope Francis, said there’s “no problem with making Evangelization as the primary pastoral work of the Church,” but not if it means not telling others of the “Mysteries of the Faith.” Without doctrine and moral teaching, “there is no evangelization,” he continued. – source

Those “mysteries of the faith” of the Catholic church are indeed mysteries; for you’ll find lots of doctrines of man in that system, but not many of its beliefs in the Bible. More on that shortly.

Secularizing the Catholic Faith

It sounds like this new constitution, besides giving Peter Parolin power over all the workings of the Catholic church, will increase the Vatican’s focus on trying to join different belief systems to the “Mother Church” as it calls itself.

The Vatican deal with China in September 2018 allows the Communist government to recommend bishops of the Catholic church. Why agree to such a blatant secular compromise?

The agreement states that China will recommend bishops before they’re appointed by the pope, and stipulates that the pope can veto bishops that China recommends, within limits. Francis, as part of the deal, lifted the excommunication of seven bishops who had been appointed by China without papal approval. Also, under the deal, two Vatican-aligned Chinese bishops recognized by the pope have been asked to resign in favor of state-sanctioned prelates. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the Chinese government is only going to select bishops who are loyal to the Communist Party. Meanwhile, the persecution of Chinese Catholics has continued, and of Protestants.

From America Magazine: Cardinal Parolin defends Vatican-China agreement amid criticism:

At the symposium, “Stand Together to Defend International Religious Freedom,” Parolin defended the Vatican-China agreement, saying, “We signed this agreement to help advance religious freedom, to find normalization for the Catholic community there, and then for all other religions to have space and a role to play…” – source

Francis, Parolin and previous popes have shown they’re Marxist, Socialist, or Communist themselves and/or have bowed to countries with those systems, secularizing in order to keep seminaries open and “fatten up the Catholic church.” You can read about this on the Catholic website Tradition in Action.

Catechism #841 states that Muslims worship the same God as the Catholic church; therefore, both Francis and Parolin call them brothers and sisters. But the Muslim god is not the God of the Bible. And then there are the Vatican prayers alongside Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus, and reverence for their precepts and teachings, claiming they “reflect a ray of Truth which enlightens all men.”

At the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the Catholic church declared its attitude to other religions in a document called Nostra Aetate (which means ‘in our time’). Here is an excerpt:

“In her tasks of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations,

[the Church]

considers above all what people have in common and what draws them to fellowship. (n.1) Also, The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. (n.2).”

All this is building towards the one-world religion. No false religion will have a role to play in salvation. Christ is the only way, the truth and the life. No one comes to our Father in heaven except through Him (John 14:6).

The Bible, as we know, tells us in Revelation 17 about “Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots.” (Babylon refers to the root of all false religion.) The woman dressed in purple and scarlet who sits on seven hills is drunk with the blood of the saints (martyrs for Jesus who refuse to bow to false doctrine). This Mother church will be aligned with the Antichrist in the Tribulation until he has finished using her to gain power with his ten-nation confederacy; then he will have her destroyed.

Two Popes at the End of Days?

Speaking of that destruction, Francis’ namesake prophesied centuries ago about the time of the end when two popes are alive, one having stolen the throne from the other – a time when the church of Rome will be destroyed.

We’re not to give extra-biblical prophecy the same credence as the God-inspired Bible. But this prophecy and another that applies here, which will also be discussed, only bear mentioning since they appear as though they’re coming to pass…but only in part! Satan knows Bible prophecy too. What better way to keep people deceived by mixing truth with lies?!

The first prophecy I’m referring to is the one by Francis of Assisi. Some claim this prophecy was made up by dissenting members of the 13th century Franciscan order and attributed to Francis of Assisi. No matter, for it doesn’t deflect from what we see happening today. Keep this in mind, though: when revealing this prophecy, Francis of Assisi still held to the false belief in what he called the true pope and the true church, including Mary worship.

Not long before he died in 1226, Francis of Assisi gathered the members of his order and warned them of great tribulations that would befall the Catholic church in the end of days just before Christ’s return. Here is an excerpt:

“The devils will have unusual power; the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation, a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death. [Two popes alive at the end of days.]

“Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God…

“Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.” – from Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi [London: R. Washbourne, 1882], pp. 248-250.

You can read the entire prophecy here, along with the article on the Catholic website that discusses the two popes in the prophecy and speaks against this pope.

Is Francis a Valid Pope?

Interestingly, rumor has it that the papal throne was usurped from Benedict with help from elitists including Obama and others that wanted the Marxist Bergoglio (Francis) to be pope, who would be in line with their leftist values.

From Gloria.TV: Wikileaks: Clinton, Obama, Soros, Overthrew Pope Benedict in Vatican Coup:

George Soros, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton orchestrated a coup in the Vatican to overthrow the conservative Pope Benedict and replace him with radical leftist Pope Francis, according to a group of Catholic leaders citing evidence from various sources, including WikiLeaks emails. – source

This would make Francis not canonically elected. The canon law of the Catholic church says a pope’s resignation is valid only if he makes the decision in full freedom and without pressure from others.

Supernatural Signs in the Conclave?

I still remember the words of Cardinal Schönborn in speaking about how Francis unexpectedly became pope.

From The Telegraph: Pope Francis elected after supernatural ‘signs’ in the Conclave, says Cardinal:

Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, said the surprise election of Pope Francis came about because of a series of supernatural “signs” in the conclave, including one which he could not speak about. He said he felt two strong signs that Bergoglio (Francis) was “the chosen one.” Cardinal Schönborn went on to say that he’s sure many cardinals “received similar signs during the Conclave.” He said that without such signs, “It wouldn’t have been possible to have this election so soon and so rapidly… It is as if he would say to the world ‘come home, I wait for you.’” – source

The Schism in the Catholic Church Today

Even cardinals are calling for Francis to step down. Is he grooming his cohort in case he steps down OR just wants to focus on other things and allow Parolin to lead the sheep? Or something else. Did Francis usurp the throne from Benedict? Will Pietro, the Roman Curia boss, usurp the throne from Francis? Oh well, let’s move on.

A March 2019 article by Julia Meloni on the Catholic website OnePeterFive, provided some interesting insight. Here is a summary of that article titled,

Cardinal Parolin: The Next Pope?

Last year, Archbishop Viganò alleged that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Francis’s handpicked secretary of state, was complicit with him in covering up the allegations of decades of sexual abuse of minors, seminarians and young priests by Cardinal McCarrick. Despite this, Antonio Socci, a leading conservative Vatican-watcher, says meetings of cardinals about a possible conclave have been taking place, with Parolin as the clear frontrunner.

A year ago, Parolin was named as likely successor to Francis in reports about a “plot against the pope.”

Socci says cardinals once loyal to Francis are so concerned about a schism that they’re planning to appeal to him to step down. Their favored candidate for replacement is understood to be Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Why Parolin?  According to Marco Tosatti, Parolin is a progressive diplomat with ties to what is referred to as the Vatican’s St. Gallen mafia, which wields a lot of power. Other Vatican-watchers call him a clear “reformer” — a “pastor open to dialogue,” in line with Francis’s “winds of change.”

Parolin is said to be a revolutionary without the wild liability of Francis. To stay papabile, he’s been distancing himself from some of the questionable aspects of Francis’s reign. He’s been likened to a fireman, carefully controlling the blazes of this pontificate with his diplomatic prowess.

Parolin supposedly was shipped off to Venezuela after a falling out with Cardinal Bertone, Benedict’s secretary of state. Francis, who spoke positively about Parolin before becoming pope, soon replaced Bertone with Parolin — who began loyally implementing Francis’s will. The pope, in turn, lavished Parolin with power. Francis indulges him, and power has drained from other Vatican departments toward this secretary of state.

It was Parolin who moved to suspend an external audit of the Vatican’s finances.

Cardinal Zen says it’s Parolin who pushed Francis towards the deal with Communist China to allow that government to recommend Catholic bishops, which critics say betrays Chinese Catholics. He calls for Parolin’s resignation over this betrayal. He says Parolin “got rid” of him, and calls Parolin “arrogant and despotic, interested more in diplomatic (worldly) success than in the triumph of the Faith.” In Wikipedia’s article on Parolin, a quote from Cardinal Zen said Parolin “is dangerous.”

Parolin seems alarmingly friendly with cultural Marxists and other worldly elites. In 2018, he was the first Vatican official to ever attend the secretive Bilderberg Meeting, the summit of globalists with an agenda of open borders and a one-world government. Parolin also joined Francis in promoting the U.N.’s menacing globalist agenda. Although Parolin says the agenda must respect life in “all its stages,” pro-life leaders warn that the Vatican’s collaboration with the UN will extend abortion, smuggled into the agenda via coded language on “reproductive health.”

In 2017, Parolin further cemented his revolutionary credentials, asserting that Vatican II initiated an “irreversible” process. He quoted a theologian who boasted: “Absolutely nothing will be as it was before!” Parolin praised the new “seeds” of “synodality” — a term that, under Francis, has become synonymous with permanent revolution.

Parolin is the only whispered-about candidate for pope with any real chance of being elected; he is the smooth revolutionary, the master collaborator with worldly powers.

“I don’t think he has faith. He is just a good diplomat in a very secular, mundane meaning,” Cardinal Zen says of Parolin. – source

Another interesting article from the Catholic website Lifesite News, speaks of Francis’ and Parolin’s promotion of Bishop Robert McElroy in San Diego. “Although McElroy says no clerical “gay subculture” exists in his diocese, he is pro-homosexual, having defended a diocesan employee in a same-sex “marriage,” told priests to embrace “LGBT families,” and has been accused, along with Francis and Parolin, in knowing about ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s serial sexual abuse of seminarians and ignoring the matter.”

Peter, the Roman

Now to the one you may be wondering about since reading the title of this article. I’m sure many of you have heard about Malachy’s prophecy of the popes. He gave the prophecy in Latin, and the name he gave of the last leader of the Catholic church was Petrus Romanus, which translates Peter (Pietro, in Italian) the Roman.

There is also what may contain truth in Malachy’s prophecy, but deception as well. Satan knows about the Mother of Harlots church in Rome described in Revelation, yet this prophecy appears to draw one in with its uncanny accuracy in the descriptions of the popes, including the last pope or one who leads the Catholic church in the Tribulation. There is no mention of the false religious system that it has been and will continue to be.

Terry James said in his book review of Petrus Romanus by Tom Horn and Chris Putnam, “Neither Tom Horn nor Cris Putnam–nor I, as your reviewer of this book—claim that St. Malachy was a God-inspired prophet in the sense of an Old Testament or New Testament prophet. He was not. However, I will tell you without reservation that the little-known and sometimes previously undiscovered facts these researchers have uncovered and constructed into an enthralling picture of the one who will likely be the last pontiff are absolutely spellbinding.”

Hal Lindsey reported on Malachy’s prophecy before Francis became pope. He said, “I’m not saying that this man’s prophecy rises to the same level of detail and accuracy as those in the Bible. However, it does contain some remarkable predictions that seem to have been fulfilled across the centuries and may bear relevance for today.” Hal mentioned that some claim it’s a forgery, but he pointed out that – if it were made up by an anti-Catholic Protestant, how does one explain away the fact that it has been kept under guard in the Vatican archives since it was discovered in 1590? [Some claim the author was Cardinal Girolamo Simoncelli who lived from 1522 to 1605]. Regardless, it can’t be dated any later than 1590 no matter who would have written it.

Malachy, a 12th-century bishop of Armagh in what is now Northern Ireland, purportedly had a vision in which he foresaw all of the popes from the death of Pope Innocent II until the destruction of the church and the return of Christ. It is said that he gave an account of his visions to Pope Innocent II, but the document remained unknown in the secret Vatican Archives until its discovery in 1590.

Malachy was obviously held in high esteem as he was canonized as a saint by Pope Clement III on July 6, 1199, 50 years after his death.

Here is his prophecy of the last leader of the Catholic church:

“In extreme persecution will sit Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus), who will pasture his sheep in tribulations; and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”

In Conclusion:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

This new Catholic constitution is called Praedicate Evangelium (Proclaim the Gospel). Yet Francis criticizes Protestants for evangelizing, or proselytizing, as he put it. But that’s because he doesn’t like the competition. And we don’t accept the man-made doctrines of the Catholic church – at least not those of us who are Bible-believers – and we haven’t joined the broad-way, emergent-divergent so-called “ecumenical” bandwagon that promotes global unity among all religions under the guise of tolerance and cooperation. Many Protestant pastors are guilty of the same thing in these days of apostasy.

The most crucial error among many that the Catholic church teaches is the following:

According to the RCC’s Canon 12, Council of Trent, “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified… let him be accursed.”

Yet, God’s Word tells us that justification/salvation is by faith:

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

From Dave Hunt: “For the Catholic, salvation does not come through personally receiving Christ as Savior but is a lengthy process that begins with baptism and thereafter depends upon one’s continued relationship to the [Catholic] Church. Salvation comes through participation in the sacraments, penance, good works, suffering for one’s sins and the sins of others here and/or in purgatory, indulgences to reduce time in purgatory, and almost endless masses and Rosaries said on one’s behalf even after one’s death. Catholic evangelism is by works, the very antithesis of “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts:20:24). – excerpt fromA Woman Rides the Beast, 1994

This reminds us of what Christ said to the Pharisees and Scribes in Matthew 15:6-9: “…So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God… ‘teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’”

Though the extra-biblical prophecies may contain partial truth concerning certain events we see unfolding before us, there is only one source – the Bible – that has proven to be 100% true. And it tells us of a coming one-world false church and one-world Antichrist government. It speaks of rampant wickedness, wars and rumor of wars, alignment of end-time nations against the Jews who are back in their land of Israel, etc. The wildly insane weather we’re seeing is not climate change; it’s God’s warning to turn back to Him and accept His free pardon.

We brethren can rest in “our Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

We who put our faith in Christ alone for our salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) will be caught up in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52) to meet Jesus in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and escape the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10).

As the late Jack Kelley would say, “We can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9921

Snowflake Christians, Attention! Reality Bites! :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Published on: June 11, 2019 by RRadmin7 Category:General Articles

Excuse me. I say this with love, but necessary firmness. Most of you are easily offended, weak-kneed, overly protected, participation-trophy receiving, pampered, self-centered, worldly minded, narcissistic, phone in your face, spiritually immature, emotion-centered, frankly useless individuals who call themselves a believer in Jesus Christ. I don’t understand you.

You somehow get bent out of shape when a pastor dares stop his service and (gasp) prays for a man who is being pursued by the hounds of hell and demon-possessed individuals who want to see him out of office and at the worst, dead and forgotten, yet humbly stops by without fanfare and bows his head in humbleness, asking for God’s guidance, then leaves as quietly as he came. What gives?

Franklin Graham asked that all Bible-believing Christians would gather together on June 2nd and pray for President Trump. Personally, I never have seen a man who is more hated for no good reason except that he turned the New World Order on its head and prevented the female version of the Antichrist to assume power as the President of the United States.

This action was not his doing alone. Numbers of believers gathered in prayer three years ago for the welfare of this nation which, in all honesty, was headed for the trash heap of history if there was no intervention by Almighty God to do something. Thankfully, He did answer and gave us a man who, while having all the graces of a bull in a china shop, was someone who was at least honest and encouraged Christians and people in general to pray for him.

Mr. Trump has:

  • had ministers in the White House lifting him up in prayer daily and has godly people in his cabinet,
  • has nominated and gotten approved more conservative judges and justices to the bench than any other conservative-leaning leader,
  • has ordered his Department of Health and Human Services to declare that life begins at conception and has, so far, been a champion for the unborn and has lashed out at states who feel that it is their duty to murder the unborn and those babies who have the audacity to survive a medical butcher’s handiwork,
  • has been a supporter of the rights of religious people to practice their faith in public,
  • and has encouraged schools in the U.S. to adopt Bible-centered curricula and teach its principles to students who have as much morality in their souls as does a cornered rattlesnake.

Right now at least, Christians in this country have somewhat of a reprieve. It is when we don’t pray for our leaders and their decisions that lead to persecution and the probability that you’ll have to put your faith to the test, deciding between loyalty to Jesus Christ at the end of a gun, or denial and compromise and earn yourself a reward of eternal punishment. After Donald Trump leaves office, what then?

It’s not a matter of if we’ll be persecuted, but when. We may, in God’s mercy, be translated out of here, but he may put us through the fire and spiritually toughen us up and weed out the wheat from the chaff. Remember this, that the world hates us whether we compromise with them in the name of tolerance or not. The world system is controlled by the devil, who has been trying to kill us or at least make us ineffective for over 2,000 years.

If he can’t physically destroy us, he can use people and events to ruin what testimony we have and make us useless as a means of preaching the gospel and being models of truth and standards in a world of relativism and uncertainty. We have far too many people that are comfortable in the pew and take turns criticizing the pastor or programs that assist in proclaiming the gospel, while allowing a minority of members to finance the programs and pray for the harvest.

As a former pastor, I’ve come to the realization that some sheep have fangs and are really wolves who will not spare the flock, but seek to tear it apart and render it ineffective.

Now, let me get back to the main point of my article. It seems that on June 2nd at McClean Bible Church in Virginia, Pastor David Platt had a guest stop by and request prayer. It was the President. He came in unannounced and without fanfare and bowed his head on stage as Pastor Platt, while surprised to see Mr. Trump, did an excellent job in praying not only for him, but for the welfare of the country as a whole. Afterwards, the President, saying nothing, quietly left and allowed the service to continue.

This church took Romans 13:1-6 and 1 Timothy 2:1-3 to heart and did what was presented in the word of God.

Now here is where it gets interesting.

It seems that some of the membership took offense that Mr. Trump actually had the nerve to set foot inside their church and allow Pastor Platt to pray for him, then quietly leave. Seriously? You mean to tell me that you worship your political philosophy more than interceding for the welfare of the leader of the free world?

There probably would have been no complaints had Mr. Obama come in and bowed his head.

The hard truth is that, ladies and gentlemen of the snowflake mentality, we have an adult in charge of the welfare of the nation now, crudeness and all. He is doing his best to put the political inmates back inside the asylum instead of letting them run rampant like we saw with the last administration, which, in case you’ve forgotten:

  • spied on us and used the IRS to harass conservative institutions, and even had the nerve to audit Billy Graham and his organization,
  • and had an office where you could call in and report your neighbor because he disagreed with Mr. Obama’s policies.
  • Let’s not forget that there was a Christmas ornament on the White House tree that had a picture of Chairman Mao of China, who, for those of you who took revisionist history, murdered more than 60 million of his citizens plus caused chaos in the Cultural Revolution from 1966 until his death ten years later.
  • It was the last administration that championed socialism and its ilk.

The current generation that wasn’t taught real history does not know about the hundreds of people who risked their lives escaping from the “worker’s paradise” of vacation spots like East Berlin and that wall which kept people divided for nearly thirty years and led to numerous deaths by machine-gun fire and vicious guard dogs that tore flesh from bodies.

Yeah, Bulgaria and those other nations behind what Winston Churchill called “the Iron Curtain” were hot spots of independent thought and freedom, weren’t they? Those of you born before 1990 can remember quite plainly what the world was like, and how we could have been killed by a nervous trigger finger on the nuclear button.

Idealists like Bernie “Bolshevik” Sanders and the 29-year-old bartender (who got freaked out with a garbage disposal) named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez preach the benefits of “free stuff” without the consequences. These folks who believe in this secular utopia forget that the government that promises stuff can also take it away. What Sanders and Cortez won’t tell you is that their way of thinking resulted in the death of more than 100 million people in the last century through war, compliance, forced labor, show trials, executions, persecutions, and overall misery that will not leave once it is established as a government.

Just look at Venezuela as a socialist success story. There is nothing but misery, oppression, and death, along with corruption and callousness towards life in general. They were a prosperous nation until someone got it in their head to listen to a military officer named Hugo Chavez who promised them greater equality if they would elect him. What the country got were orders to surrender their firearms, give their possessions to the government on pain of imprisonment or death, and submit to what has become totalitarianism that will never go away short of an intervention by another nation.

This is one reason why we should never trust politicians who promise things but hope you won’t notice that they’re picking your pocket to pay for it.

Thank you, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, for basically causing misery and bloodshed and the rise of godlessness disguised as an economic system that looks good as a philosophy but results in absolute chaos when put into practice, establishing a tyranny that will eventually collapse, but leaves behind a trail of carnage that some idealistic historians wish to overlook and allow the bodies of its victims to rot in the streets. If the government does such a good job of running things, then why are we in debt to the tune of 21 trillion dollars and nothing seems to work? We’ve made a god out of human incompetence and trusted it to operate without a moral compass.

As someone who got his start in the real world of honest work, I was a history and English teacher during the time of the meetings between Ronald Reagan and Michael Gorbachev. It seems that every intellectual was gushing over Mr. Gorbachev’s philosophy of “perestroika” that eased some of the oppressive regulations of Soviet life and allowed some freedom of expression that wouldn’t throw someone into a gulag for disagreeing with the wishes of the Politburo.

He was willing to reduce the number of missiles aimed at Western Europe if Mr. Reagan would do one little thing, and was to drop the idea of a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), mockingly called “Star Wars” by our leftist press (things really haven’t changed in thirty years). SDI was an idea of a counter-offensive defense system that would intercede and destroy the launch and direction of a warhead against the U.S. Reagan sold the idea so well that the Soviets were afraid of it, even though it only existed on paper. It would soon be revealed that the Soviet bear had teeth, but they were rotten and in need of pulling.

For those of you who are still enamored with socialism (yes, even some of you young Christians who believe in social justice), note this. Shortly after Ronald Reagan (who spoke against socialism) left the Presidency, the whole socialist system came crashing down in a matter of months and the blight called the Berlin Wall was torn down, uniting Germany and the establishment of free Eastern European countries that still prosper today. So much for the “worker’s paradise.”

If you ever meet a Russian or person from Eastern Europe, ask them about the “good old days” of oppression and the fear of a knock on the door by the Secret Police, and then talk about the advantages of socialism; and they will tell you plainly that you are out of your freaking mind to even consider it.

I have read reports recently that tell of polls and studies saying that people are getting dumber every year, which is why I believe that a lot of idealistic young people and some adults are buying into the social justice movement and attempting to bring it into the life of the church. To me, it is nothing more than the old Bolshevik promise of “peace, land, and bread,” with a little Jesus thrown in to make it look holy.

In my Russian history class in college, we read of these promises Lenin gave to the Russian people after the Czar was overthrown in 1917. What they got were years of bloody civil war, no right to private property, and no bread in the stores. They traded freedom for government “social justice” and got nothing in return except some seventy-four years of death, tyranny, and misery.

The snowflake mentality I see in society today is fodder for the socialists who promise to take care of them and give them things without the honor and satisfaction of working for it and realizing that they can do better than they think they can, and that mediocrity is unacceptable. They seem to wallow in self-esteem without bothering to care for others or the good of the nation and a free society. It’s pretty frightening, but I’m really not surprised.

This poison is creeping into churches today that have put aside the claims of the exclusiveness of the gospel for programs that build up the individual without challenging them to grow in their faith and get them to take their eyes off themselves and their self-imposed worldview, focusing instead on the fact that our brethren across the world are being slaughtered for their faith.

I ask Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, and the other prosperity preachers a favor. Will you fly your $54,000,000 jet to Nigeria and pick up the victims of Boko Haram, or those believers made homeless by the butchers of ISIS?

Snowflake Christians, I have a favor to ask. Will you quit thinking about what seemingly offends you, grow up, get a pair, and put what faith in the LORD you say you have – to work and get people saved from hell, where there will be no one to care how you feel or whether or not you’re offended by the actions of your pastor – to be obedient to the LORD and abide by what the Scriptures teach?

Yes, I am getting on your backsides and calling on you to quit focusing on the world and your little inconveniences, and demonstrate that the faith you claim to have is not merely empty words.

I am in poor health personally and cannot go to places like I was able to do only a short time ago. For those of you who have been following me this and last year, I am getting weaker as the days progress, and I tire easily. I am starting to feel dull pains where my kidneys are, and I’m content in the reality that what I am doing each week – to write columns to challenge and inspire you to be the kind of Christian our LORD expects of you – is what I am called to do now.

My days of getting behind a pulpit and preaching are past. If I can do any one thing for the glory of God, it would be to say to you in love that you need to quit making your ideology the focus of your life and to be committed to the reality that this world can’t go on much longer.

Your prayers are appreciated for my condition which I gladly bear for the glory of God.

All the ideas and notions we have for improving life here on this sin-soaked world will, in the end and according to Scripture, burn up anyway. Eternity is what’s important.

To the snowflake believers who will get offended by what I have written thus far, I say in love: I really don’t care what you think of me or what I present. What I’m doing is to get you to face reality and realize that it does bite at times. We’re not promised ease in this life – and don’t think for a minute that it will get better. I don’t have to answer to you, Bernie Sanders, Miss Cortez, the politicians, the prosperity preachers, or your attitudes on Judgment Day. Jesus Christ is LORD, not your ideology or feelings.

If you’re not saved, then I implore you to get right with God and repent. I just want to warn you who feel like you’ve been offended. I say again that there are no “safe spaces” in hell, and the cries of the damned will drown out whatever feelings or opinions you have.

Here ends the lesson. Now, make something of yourself and grow up. I know the LORD will appreciate it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9881

The Coming LGBTQ+ ‘Equality Act’ Will Make It Nearly Impossible To Preach The Gospel In Public Or Keep Transgenders Out Of Your Daughter’s Restroom

The Equality Act defies the purpose of anti-discrimination laws. The original Civil Rights Act was enacted to protect African-Americans from being denied access to material goods and services. The Equality Act, by contrast, would be used as a sword to attack people and force them to adopt new ideologies about human sexuality.  This extreme and dangerous legislation would create unprecedented harms to businesses, charities, medical professionals, women and children, and entire families. The writing is on the wall: The Equality Act is anything but equal.

by Geri Ungurean June 4, 2019

The so-called ‘Equality Act’ is nothing more than a set up for Christians.  It is a way for the Left to say “Obey the law or go to jail.”  Very similar to what is happening to Christians all over the world. But our brethren are being killed. We are not there yet.

American Christians think that we are somehow immune from persecution. We are not. This Equality Act may not become law now, but it will one day. We will be placed in jail or re-education camps or worse.

“All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” Matthew 24:8-10 (KJV)

One thing I will say about the Left  – they are persistent in their persecution of Christians and Conservatives.  Just for the record, you can’t be a Christian Liberal.  That is an oxymoron. The Left are frustrated right now.  You see, having Donald Trump in the White House just puts a kink in any and all plans they have in their attempt to squash their perceived enemies.

These people  are unsaved and don’t have the ability to see that they are being used by the wicked one himself – Satan. We should be praying for our government officials every day.

Let’s talk about the Equality Act from Congress.gov

First I will publish a summary of H.R.5:

Shown Here:

Introduced in House (03/13/2019)

Equality Act

This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

The bill expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.

The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity. source

From heritage.org

Most Americans don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or “preferred pronoun” law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them.

Nancy Pelosi delivered Wednesday on her promise to introduce the so-called Equality Act, which would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law. Although that may sound nice in theory, in practice sexual orientation and gender identity policies at the state and local level have caused profound harms to Americans from all walks of life.

How might a sexual orientation and gender identity law on the federal level, as introduced in the House and Senate, affect you and your community? Here are seven ways:

1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

Jack Phillips’ case went all the way to the Supreme Court after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission accused the bakery owner of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation when the self-described cake artist declined to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, but left the law in question, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, intact. Until last week, Phillips was in court again defending himself against the same agency under the same law.

The day after the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a lawyer who identifies as transgender, requested that he create a “gender transition cake.” After Phillips declined, the state Civil Rights Commission found probable cause under the law that the baker had discriminated on the basis of gender identity.

Thankfully, the commission last week dropped the case, and Phillips agreed to drop his own lawsuit accusing the state agency of harassing him for his Christian beliefs. Phillips is just one of many Americans who have lost income because of their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Others cases involve floristsbakersphotographerswedding venue ownersvideographersweb designerscalligraphers, and public servants.

These cases are just the beginning. The same policies used to silence disagreement over marriage can be used to silence disagreement over the biological reality of sex.

Just as a side note, yesterday I called one of the largest Muslim owned bakeries in our area. I asked the woman who answered if they made wedding cakes.  Her answer to me was this “We no longer make wedding cakes.”  I thought to myself that this was wisdom on the part of the owner of the bakery.

2. It would compel speech.

Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming lost his job for something he did not say. A county school board voted unanimously to fire the veteran teacher over the objections of his students after he refused to comply with administrators’ orders to use masculine pronouns in referring to a female student who identifies as transgender.

Vlaming did his best to accommodate the student without violating his religious belief that God created human beings male and female, using the student’s new name and simply refraining from using pronouns altogether.

Unfortunately, the school still considered this a violation of its anti-discrimination policy.

Incidents like these would increase under federal policy proposed in the Equality Act. Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3. It could shut down charities.

Foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers already face challenges under state and local policies on sexual orientation and gender identity. In Philadelphia, just days after the city put out an urgent call for 300 additional families to foster children, the city halted child placements by Catholic Social Services because of the organization’s belief that every child deserves both a mother and a father.

Although same-sex couples have the opportunity to foster children through the state or every other agency in Philadelphia, the city canceled its contract with Catholic Social Services. The agency’s approved foster homes remain available while children languish on the waiting list.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make this situation a national phenomenon, which would spell disaster for the 437,500 children in foster care nationwide. Other charities would be affected, too.

In Anchorage, Alaska, a biological male born Timothy Paul Coyle goes by the name of Samantha Amanda Coyle. On two occasions, Coyle tried to gain access to the city’s Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center, a shelter for homeless, abused, and trafficked women.

In one attempt, authorities said, Coyle was inebriated and had gotten into a fight with a staffer at another shelter, so Hope Center staff paid Coyle’s fare to the emergency room to receive medical attention. Coyle sued the center for “gender identity discrimination.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law could force any social service organization to open up private facilities—including single-sex bathrooms, showers, and sleeping areas—to members of the opposite sex.

4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

Two biological males who identify and compete as women easily defeated all of their female competitors in an event at the Connecticut State Track Championships. Transgender athlete Terry Miller broke the state record in the girls’100-meter dash. Andraya Yearwood, also transgender, took second place.

Selina Soule, a female runner, not only lost to the biological males in the championships but also lost out on valuable opportunities to be seen by college coaches and chosen for scholarships.

Soule said about the 100-meter event: “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would defeat the purpose of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which is supposed to guarantee women equal educational and athletic opportunities.

Under radical gender identity policies, female athletes have sustained gruesome injuries at the hands of male competitors. In high school wrestling, female athletes have forfeited rather than compete against transgender athletes on testosterone. A federal law could set girls’ and women’s sports back permanently at every level.

5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition.

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment. The Obama administration tried to coerce medical professionals into offering transition-affirming therapies through a regulation in the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

That move was stopped in the 11th hour by a federal judge. However, that could all be set back in motion if a national law imposes a nationwide health care mandate regarding gender identity.

Emilie Kao: The Equality Act Would Be the End of Women’s Sports

Emilie Kao discussed the Equality Act and its impact on women’s sports on The Ingraham Angle on May 28, 2019.

6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

The politicization of medicine according to gender ideology will create more conflicts among parents, doctors, and the government. A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would jeopardize parental rights nationwide.

In fact, the current issue of the American Journal of Bioethics includes an article arguing that the state should overrule the parents of transgender children who do not consent to give them puberty-blocking drugs.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

Similar cases are proceeding through the courts with children as young as 6 years old.

Meanwhile, studies show that 80 to 95 percent of children no longer experience gender dysphoria after puberty. Politicizing medicine could have serious consequences for children who are exposed to the unnecessary medical risks of drastic therapies. A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make these cases more common.

7. It would enable sexual assault. 

A complaint under investigation by federal education officials alleges that a boy who identifies as “gender fluid” at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, sexually assaulted Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter in a girls’ restroom. The boy had access to the girls’ restroom because of Decatur City Schools’ transgender restroom policy.

School authorities refused to change the policy even after Thomas reported the assault. Eventually, she decided to remove her daughter from school for the girl’s emotional well-being and physical safety.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents. It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination.

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.

The Equality Act defies the purpose of anti-discrimination laws. The original Civil Rights Act was enacted to protect African-Americans from being denied access to material goods and services. The Equality Act, by contrast, would be used as a sword to attack people and force them to adopt new ideologies about human sexuality.

This extreme and dangerous legislation would create unprecedented harms to businesses, charities, medical professionals, women and children, and entire families. The writing is on the wall: The Equality Act is anything but equal

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9870

Missouri passes “one of the strongest” abortion bills yet in U.S.

May 16, 2019 / 7:34 AM / CBS/AP

Missouri’s Republican-led Senate has passed a wide-ranging bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, acting only hours after Alabama’s governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law. The Missouri bill needs another vote of approval in the GOP-led House before it can go to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who voiced support for an earlier version Wednesday.

It includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week cutoff. Women who receive abortions wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Republican Senate handler Sen. Andrew Koenig described it on Thursday as “one of the strongest” abortion bills yet passed in the U.S.

As CBS News’ Kate Smith has reported, Missouri already has some of the most restrictive abortion access laws in the country. Missourians seeking an abortion are subject to a 72-hour waiting period and only one abortion clinic exist in the state.

Missouri joins a movement of GOP-dominated state legislatures emboldened by the possibility that a more conservative Supreme Court could overturn its landmark ruling legalizing the procedure. Its senators voted only hours after Alabama’s governor signed the most stringent abortion ban in the nation on Wednesday, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

Outnumbered Missouri Senate Democrats launched into an attack on the bill before Republican supporters had a chance to bring it up for debate on the Senate floor.

“So much of this bill is just shaming women into some kind of complacency that says we are vessels of pregnancy rather than understanding that women’s lives all hold different stories,” St. Louis-area Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp said.

Missouri is among a growing number of states where abortion opponents are working with renewed enthusiasm following President Donald Trump’s appointment of more conservative high court justices. Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy. Similar restrictions in North Dakota and Iowa have been struck down in court.

Supporters say the Alabama bill is intentionally designed to conflict with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally in hopes of sparking a court case that might prompt the justices to revisit abortion rights.

Missouri’s bill also includes an outright ban on abortions except in cases of medical emergencies. But unlike Alabama’s, it would kick in only if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

If courts don’t allow Missouri’s proposed eight-week ban to take effect, it includes a ladder of less-restrictive time limits ranging from 14 to 20 weeks. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion up until viability, which is usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

“This is not a piece of legislation that is designed for a challenge,” Missouri’s Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr said. “This is the type of legislation that is designed to withstand a challenge and to actually save lives in our state.”

Republicans and Democrats worked for hours to reach a compromise on the bill, which included an expansion of tax credits for donations to pregnancy resource centers, and waters down other provisions.

The approved version of the wide-ranging bill bans abortions based solely on race, sex or a “prenatal diagnosis, test, or screening indicating Down Syndrome or the potential of Down Syndrome.” It also requires that both parents be notified for a minor to get an abortion, but a change was made after hours of late-night negotiations to remove the requirement when a parent lacks legal or physical custody. Current law requires written consent from only one parent.

Still, some lawmakers on both sides of the debate walked away unhappy.

Democrat Schrupp said even after changes, it’s “an extreme and egregious piece of legislation that puts women’s health at risk.”

“It is outrageous that it has no exemptions for victims of human trafficking, rape or incest,” she said.

Republican Sen. Bob Onder said negotiators went too far to compromise, leaving the bill “a shadow of what it once was.”

“This should be entitled not the ‘Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,'” Onder told colleagues on the Senate floor, “but the ‘Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, sort of kind of only after the minority party and the strongest Planned Parenthood lawyers in the country were done with the bill.'”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9819