Category: The Church

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

CHRISLAM UPDATE: Pope Francis Wishes A Very Happy Ramadan To ‘Our Muslim Brothers And Sisters’ As The Vatican Embrace Of Islam Grows Deeper

The Vatican has sent a special message to all the world’s Muslims, wishing them “a peaceful and fruitful celebration of Ramadan.” “We Muslims and Christians are called to open ourselves to others, knowing and recognizing them as brothers and sisters,” the text states. “In this way, we can tear down walls raised out of fear and ignorance and seek together to build bridges of friendship that are fundamental for the good of all humanity.”

by Geoffrey Grider May 13, 2019

The endearing use of the phrase “brothers and sisters” invokes a vision of harmony and peace together. This is not the case between Muslims and Christians globally. This is Chrislam.

If I call someone who is not my biological sibling my ‘brother or sister’ what exactly am I saying? Well, with the use of that term, I am acknowledging that that person and myself share an overwhelming and fundamental agreement about the major issues in life. The bible tells us that two people cannot ‘walk together’ through life unless there be in agreement with each other, as we see in the bible verse below.  And when we read the entire chapter from which that verse is taken, we see that verse is used as a rebuke, which is exactly how I am using it here.

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3 (KJV)

Pope Francis continues his full court press of wooing the Muslims and Islam into the folds of the Roman Catholic tent as he builds the One World Religion that Revelation 13, 17 and 18 tells us the Roman pontiff will do. As we have long said, just as Rome used the armies of Spain to enforce the demonic Spanish Inquisition for nearly 300 years, so will Rome now seek to use the armies of Islamic jihad to promote the Roman Catholic harlot at the point of a sword. You may not know much bible, you may not believe in bible prophecy, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are watching it come to life before your very eyes. The pope is effectively using false teachers like Rick Warren to advance his cause.

Pope Francis is not merely a ‘defender of Islam’, he is a promoter of Islam and by extension Sharia Law. He has been working on this partnership and it soon will be completed, when it is, look out. Rome will once again have an army, and at that point they will quit pretending to be a lamb, and go right back to being the ‘roaring lion’ who only comes to seek, kill and destroy. Pope Francis and his Roman religion is creating Chrislam, the merger of counterfeit Christianity and Islam, and he is doing it with impunity. He knows that ‘now is his hour’ and that the ‘power of darkness’ will continue to propel him forward. That’s how he can look on Muslims who practice Sharia Law and preach hatred of the Jews and Israel as ‘brothers and sisters’ because he is one of them.

Vatican issues a happy Ramadan to all “Muslim brothers and sisters”

FROM JIHAD WATCH: Too many Christians live under the worst conditions in Islamic countries, as they endure violent persecution daily under the Sharia. The Pope of Islam is living a lie and promoting the same. Ongoing, he has abandoned persecuted Christians, and also persecuted other minority groups including minority Muslim groups and other victims of jihad. He has also turned a blind eye to Islamic supremacist assaults and jihad attacks in Western countries as a result of open door immigration.

His pursuit of dialogue has never included the demand that Islamic leaders and adherents accept religious freedoms, and the equality of other faiths and human beings regardless of gender and personal identity. The Pope does not promote a two way street in his so-called advancement of “dialogue”.  His expectation is that Christians must embrace “dialogue”, “diversity” and “tolerance” of everyone—including jihadists– but he has no such message and expectation of Muslims.

The Pope has also declared Rome to be a “city of bridges, never walls!,” and further stated that  “Jesus demands” we take in Muslim migrants. Meanwhile, he lives in a walled city within Rome, surrounded by security, and he is not taking in any migrants himself. 

ConverselyCardinal Robert Sarah  — prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — compared “the modern influx of Muslim migrants to the invasions of barbarian tribes that ultimately brought down the Roman Empire in a.d. 475.” Sarah also warned that “it is a false exegesis [interpretation of scriptural text] to use the Word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these rifts.”

For the Pope’s trip to Morocco, Vatican media promotions abandoned the traditional papal insignia and replaced it with the cross and the crescent; and the crescent did not appear “alongside the cross, as if a companion to it. Rather, the Islamic symbol encircles the Christian one” symbolizing a kind of submission to Islam.  In Islamic law, Muslim lives are explicitly worth more than those of non-Muslims. The Shafi’i Sharia manual Reliance of the Traveller dictates: “The indemnity for the death or injury of a woman is one-half the indemnity paid for a man. The indemnity paid for a Jew or Christian is one-third the indemnity paid for a Muslim. The indemnity paid for a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth that of a Muslim.” (o4.9) Sikhs rank even lower, as they are not People of the Book.  The Pope addresses none of this.

Pope Francis has accurately been hailed  the “defender of Islam”. As Robert Spencer rightly notes:

Pope Francis is not only disastrously wrongheaded about an obvious fact that is reinforced by every day’s headlines; he is also deceiving and misleading his people about a matter of utmost importance, and keeping them ignorant and complacent about a growing and advancing threat. source

“Vatican Pope Francis Wishes Happy Ramadan to ‘Muslim Brothers and Sisters’

The Vatican has sent a special message to all the world’s Muslims, wishing them “a peaceful and fruitful celebration of Ramadan.” The month of Ramadan, which began this year on May 5, is “a month for strengthening the spiritual bonds we share in Muslim-Christian friendship,” reads the message from the Vatican’s office of interreligious dialogue bearing the title “Christians and Muslims: Promoting Universal Fraternity.”

“We Muslims and Christians are called to open ourselves to others, knowing and recognizing them as brothers and sisters,” the text states. “In this way, we can tear down walls raised out of fear and ignorance and seek together to build bridges of friendship that are fundamental for the good of all humanity.”

“We thus cultivate in our families and in our political, civil and religious institutions, a new way of life where violence is rejected, and the human person respected,” reads the message, which bears the signature of Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Our religions invite us to “remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to re-establish wisdom, justice and love,” the text says, citing a joint declaration signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmed a-Tayyeb in Abu Dhabi this past February.

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH: THE END TIMES ‘UNIVERSAL PEACE DOCUMENT’ POPE FRANCIS SIGNED WITH ISLAMIC LEADER MAKES NO REFERENCE OF ANY KIND TO JESUS CHRIST OR THE BIBLE

That same declaration brought down heavy criticism on the pope particularly due to the assertion that the plurality and diversity of religions “are willed by God in His wisdom,” just as God wills a plurality of colors, sexes, races, and languages.

A number of Catholic theologians raised objections to the statement, insisting that it seemed to suggest that either God actively wills error, or that all religions are equally valid paths to God. The existence of a variety of colors, races, and languages in humanity is very different from a variety of contradictory claims about God’s identity and way of acting, they said.

In early April, Francis walked back the earlier statement, clarifying that in reality God only permits the existence of many religions without actively willing it. The Vatican’s Ramadan message steers clear of such theological swampland.

“We are encouraged, therefore, to continue advancing the culture of dialogue as a means of cooperation and as a method of growing in knowledge of one another,” the message says.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9810

Iran’s Intelligence Minister Admits Christianity is Spreading in ‘Parts’ of His Country

05-05-2019

Steve Warren

Iran’s intelligence minister has admitted publicly for the first time that Christianity is spreading throughout Iran.

Iranwire.com reports Mahmoud Alavi, the Islamic Republic’s intelligence minister, was giving a speech in front of several Shia Muslim clerics when he announced “Christianity is spreading in “parts” of Iran.”  

In an apparent attempt to make light of the people are converting, Alavi said: “These converts are ordinary people whose jobs are selling sandwiches or similar things.”

The intelligence minister also told the clerics to quit bickering among themselves. 

“We had no choice but to summon them to ask them why they were converting,” said Alavi told the assembled group. “Some of them said they were looking for a religion that gives them peace. We told them that Islam is the religion of brotherhood and peace. They responded by saying that: ‘All the time we see Muslim clerics and those who preach from the pulpit talk against each other. If Islam is the religion of cordiality, then before anything else, there must be cordiality and peace among the clerics themselves.”

“It is not the job of the intelligence community to find the roots of these conversions from Islam. But it’s happening right before our eyes,” he added.

Iran is known for its mounting persecution of Christians.  The Islamic Republic is listed as number 9 among the world’s top persecutors of Christians, according to Open Doors USA. Christians in Iran are forbidden from sharing their faith with non-Christians. Consequently, church services in Persian (Iran’s national language) are not allowed. 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9795

31 Prominent Catholic Theologians And Clergy Accuse Pope Francis Of Heresy, Issues Call For Him To Repent Or Vacate The Papal Throne

The 20-page document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has “effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church,” especially in light of his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The authors of the open letter state in a summary of their letter that it has now become clear that Pope Francis is aware of his own positions contrary to the faith and that the time has come to go a “stage further” by claiming that Pope Francis is “guilty of the crime of heresy.”

by Geoffrey Grider May 1, 2019

Prominent Catholic clergymen and scholars including Fr. Aidan Nichols, one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, have issued an open letter accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy.

The Roman Catholic Church is not the Church that Jesus started, but to unsaved lost people it kind of looks and sounds like it. Kind of. Well, maybe a little? OK, not at all, but you get what I mean. The Roman counterfeit fools a lot of people because of its outer veneer of religiosity. But even within those parameters, the papacy of Pope Francis is making a lot of high-level Catholics pretty mad. Why? Let’s take a look and see.

“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. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” Revelation 18:4-6 (KJV)

Over just the past few years, and in no particular order, Pope Francis has signed an interfaith covenant with the leader of Sunni Islam, held a secret backdoor meeting with the president of the Mormon cult and blessed their new temple in Rome, told a famous international photographer that he, Francis, was the Devil, has taken unprecendented steps to pull the LGBTQ+P for pedophile into the Catholic Church, and the endless list goes on. Endlessly.

But I have a news flash for this band of 31 Catholic theologians that might surprise them, and why they might want to retract their demands that Pope Francis stop all his religious shenanigans. Francis is only doing what the bible says the last pope in the end times is supposed to do. The bible says that there will be a One World Religion in Revelation 13, and Pope Francis is taking steps to make that happen. The bible says in Revelation 13, 17 and 18, that there will be a One World Government over which the king of Vatican City will rule the world, albeit for a short time, and Pope Francis is working to bring that to pass as well.

So if these ‘high-ranking’ theologians knew anything about the bible, what they would be doing is getting saved, leaving the Roman Catholic counterfeit, and prepare to leave this world in the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church. Flight #777 on Titus213 Airlines is now boarding.! Ahh…you look at life just a little differently when you’re a bible believer. I’ll take that over being a ‘high-ranking theologian’ any day.

Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

FROM LIFE SITE NEWS: They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime. The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis’ embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church’s faith and morals.

“We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church,” the authors state. The open letter is available in DutchItalianGermanFrench, and Spanish.

Among the signatories are well-respected scholars such as Father Thomas Crean, Fr. John Hunwicke, Professor John Rist, Dr. Anna Silvas, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, and Dr. John Lamont. The text is dated “Easter Week” and appears on the traditional Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena, a saint who counseled and admonished several popes in her time.

The 20-page document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has “effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church,” especially in light of his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

what-catholic-church-really-teaches-roman-vatican-cult

The authors of the open letter state in a summary of their letter (read below) that it has now become clear that Pope Francis is aware of his own positions contrary to the faith and that the time has come to go a “stage further” by claiming that Pope Francis is “guilty of the crime of heresy.”

“We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied,” the authors state.

They clarify that they are not claiming Pope Francis has “denied truths of the faith in pronouncements that satisfy the conditions for an infallible papal teaching.”

“We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit,” they state. In light of this situation, the authors call upon the bishops of the Church to take action since a “heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil.”

For this reason, the authors “respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’). The bishops can do this, the writers suggest, “by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.”

The authors first present in detail – and with theological references to substantiate their claims – the different positions against the faith Pope Francis has shown himself to hold, propagate, or support, including “seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth.”

One of the heresies the authors accuse Pope Francis of committing is expressed in the following proposition: “A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.” Many of these heretical statements touch on questions of marriage and the family and are to be found in Amoris Laetitia, but there is also a new claim made by Pope Francis in 2019 – namely, that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God” – that is listed in the open letter.

In one section of the open letter, the authors list the many prelates as well as lay people, who, despite openly dissenting from Catholic doctrine and morals — either by word or by deed — have been by Pope Francis either publicly praised (such as Emma Bonino) or raised to influential positions (such as Cardinal Oscar Rodrigez Maradiaga). On this list are names such as Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, and Bishop Juan Barros.

The fact that Pope Francis never responded to the dubia (questions) concerning Amoris Laetitia published by Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller, and Raymond Burke is mentioned. Moreover, the authors point out that Pope Francis has changed the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life to such an extent that orthodox Catholic experts have been replaced by heterodox experts, such as Father Maurizio Chiodi.

Addressing the bishops of the world – among whom are to be found all the present 222 cardinals – the authors of the open letter express their gratitude toward those bishops who have defended Catholic doctrine by their own personal witnesses.

“We recognise with gratitude that some among you have reaffirmed the truths contrary to the heresies which we have listed, or else have warned of serious dangers threatening the Church in this pontificate,” they state. Here, the dubia cardinals, but also Cardinal Willem Eijk, are mentioned. The authors also thank Cardinal Gerhard Müller for his Manifesto of Faith.

The authors believe, however, that at this time in history, six years into the Francis pontificate, more is needed, namely a more direct and authoritative approach. They recognize their own limits when they tell the bishops: “Despite the evidence that we have put forward in this letter, we recognise that it does not belong to us to declare the pope guilty of the delict of heresy in a way that would have canonical consequences for Catholics.”

“We therefore appeal to you as our spiritual fathers, vicars of Christ within your own jurisdictions and not vicars of the Roman pontiff, publicly to admonish Pope Francis to abjure the heresies that he has professed. Even prescinding from the question of his personal adherence to these heretical beliefs, the Pope’s behaviour in regard to the seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth, mentioned at the beginning of this Letter, justifies the accusation of the delict of heresy. It is beyond a doubt that he promotes and spreads heretical views on these points. Promoting and spreading heresy provides sufficient grounds in itself for an accusation of the delict of heresy. There is, therefore, superabundant reason for the bishops to take the accusation of heresy seriously and to try to remedy the situation,” they state.

The authors make it clear that it is up to the bishops to take action and that they do not need a majority among the bishops to do so.

“Since Pope Francis has manifested heresy by his actions as well as by his words, any abjuration must involve repudiating and reversing these actions, including his nomination of bishops and cardinals who have supported these heresies by their words or actions. Such an admonition is a duty of fraternal charity to the Pope, as well as a duty to the Church,” they state.

“If – which God forbid! – Pope Francis does not bear the fruit of true repentance in response to these admonitions, we request that you carry out your duty of office to declare that he has committed the canonical delict of heresy and that he must suffer the canonical consequences of this crime,” they add.

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH: THE END TIMES ‘UNIVERSAL PEACE DOCUMENT’ POPE FRANCIS SIGNED WITH ISLAMIC LEADER MAKES NO REFERENCE OF ANY KIND TO JESUS CHRIST OR THE BIBLE

Thus, the authors state, “these actions do not need to be taken by all the bishops of the Catholic Church, or even by a majority of them. A substantial and representative part of the faithful bishops of the Church would have the power to take these actions.”

The full 20-page document may be read here. A select bibliography to support the case made in the open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church about Pope Francis’ heresies may be read here.

A petition launched by the organizers of the open letter to support their initiative can be found here.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9785

One church, two popes: why Catholicism is in crisis this Easter

Peter Stanford

Pope Francis the reformer is being challenged by his conservative predecessor – who now has a far-right backing including Steve Bannon

Sat 20 Apr 2019 03.00 EDT Last modified on Sat 20 Apr 2019 03.37 EDT

In his pre-Easter address to pilgrims gathering in Rome, Pope Francis highlighted Jesus’s words as he died on the cross on the first Good Friday: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” We all, the Argentinian pontiff stressed, need to find the courage to forgive those who have wronged us.

Those remarks sparked speculation about who exactly Francis was struggling to forgive. Top of most lists in Rome this Easter is his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who decided in 2013 to break with 600 years of work-unto-death papal tradition and retire. This opened Catholicism’s door to the breath of fresh air that is Francis. And, for the past six years, as the winds of change have blown through the church, Benedict has by and large kept a respectful silence, ignoring the ever louder pleas of traditionalist Catholics who want the 92-year-old to join them in opposing Francis’s reform agenda.

That changed earlier this month, when Benedict published a 6,000-word article in a German magazine. It made headlines by blaming the clerical abuse scandal on the moral relativism of the 1960s sexual revolution, and the “homosexual cliques” that allowed this “lawlessness” to infect seminaries. It is a line of argument that directly – and, conservative cardinals insist, pointedly – contradicts all Francis’s efforts (including a summit of world bishops in the Vatican in February) to tackle the damage done by paedophile priests by pointing the finger at a dominant culture within the church; a culture that encourages priests and bishops to operate as if they are above the moral guidelines they preach, and regard themselves as beyond the sanction of civil courts.

Neither explanation has convinced some lifelong Catholics who, as a result this Easter, will stay away from church services. The Francis version at least has the virtue of not flying in the face of all contemporary research, which doesn’t conflate sexual attraction between consenting adults of the same gender with the brutal and systematic violation of children.

But what Benedict’s intervention – and apparent rebuke of his successor – mostly lays bare is how hard it is proving for an absolute monarchy like the Catholic church to operate when it has not one, but two living popes. Indeed it explains why, for six centuries, papal retirement was regarded as not an option.

Perhaps if Francis and Benedict were of like mind, it might just work, but for all their posing as good neighbours (the emeritus pope lives within the grounds of the Vatican), the two of them represent opposite poles of Catholicism. Where Francis wants to work with the modern world, Benedict sees the church as immovable. Where Francis was a pastoral figure and “outsider” throughout his clerical career before his election, Benedict was a dusty academic and Vatican “insider”. And where Francis believes he inherited a church in crisis (and not just over clerical abuse), Benedict is convinced that he and his predecessor John Paul II had settled all the outstanding questions about its future in perpetuity (eg restating the ban on female priests).

That chasm between the two popes is not just an administrative matter for them to manage with as good a grace as possible (and the normally relaxed Francis was looking pretty on edge when he paid a birthday visit to Benedict earlier this month). There is a small but vocal minority of ultra-conservative Catholics who are doing their damnedest to tempt Benedict out of purdah so he can lead their attack on Francis.

These traditionalist figures, who congregate round retired cardinal Raymond Burke, (sacked from his Vatican job by Francis), have their own websites and journals, especially in the United States. They look on in horror, and not just at Francis’s drive to relegate sexual morality down the list of priorities for his church. Their social conservatism is matched by political concerns. Where Francis is prophetically pro-refugee, pro-environment and pro-global cooperation, this wing of the church most emphatically is not.

The ramifications go far beyond the fraught politics of Catholicism. There are two more prominent figures the pope might have had in mind when he was recommending forgiveness this Easter: former Donald Trump right-hand man Steve Bannon, and Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini. Both men are cradle Catholics, so much so that Salvini recently tried to pass legislation to put crucifixes in all public spaces in Italy. The Vatican fiercely resisted this suggestion, believing it to be a transparent ruse to turn a religious symbol into a party political vote-winner.

Bannon has long made plain that he regards the current leader of his church as akin to an enemy. “He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,” he tells NBC in a broadcast interview this Easter. “This is the problem … He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”

Populism and nationalism, the pope has warned, is what brought the continent Adolf Hitler. “Fear can drive you crazy,” he said on a recent trip to Panama.

“But you can go round Europe and it’s [populism] catching fire,” objects Bannon on NBC. “The pope is just wrong.”

There is a profound irony here, because Bannon is the sort of ultra-traditionalist Catholic who, when Benedict John Paul II was in charge of the show, was fond of telling more liberal Catholics (who every survey shows represent the majority of Church members in the developed world) to stop their complaining and do as they were told by the successor of Saint Peter, who Jesus handpicked for leadership. Under Francis, though, Bannon is getting a dose of his own medicine. And spitting it out.

No longer welcome in the White House, Bannon has come to Europe to stir up the far right. And that includes Catholic traditionalists, whom he courts through his links with the Dignitatis Humanae religious institute outside Rome, of which he is patron and Cardinal Burke the president.

Salvini is one of Bannon’s closest allies and is leading the Italian government’s clampdown on migrants. So strongly does he object to Francis’s championing of the rights and human dignity of the same migrants, that Salvini has even appeared in public brandishing a T-shirt with the slogan, “Benedict is my Pope”.

This is a new take on the “birther” slur that Bannon and Trump directed at Barack Obama, making up tales of him not being born in the US to claim he wasn’t really the president. Now Francis’s legitimacy is being undermined by the suggestion that Benedict didn’t have the right to retire and so remains the true pope.

Knowing that such nonsense is being pedalled publicly, you cannot help but speculate what Benedict intended by publishing his letter earlier this month. Was he signalling that he was throwing his lot in with the Francis-haters as they have been urging him to do? Or was it rather the small conservative circle around this frail, elderly, ailing pontiff who were using his name to fight their own battles?

Whatever the truth, no one can be in any doubt this Easter that there are two rival camps, if not yet rival popes, fighting it out for ultimate power at God’s business address on Earth.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9759

Sri Lanka on edge after local Islamic militant group blamed for Easter Sunday attacks: report

By Bradford Betz | Fox News

Sri Lanka took drastic steps Monday to crack down on new potential terror threats by blocking social media and arresting more than a dozen after a series of suicide bombings allegedly carried out by a domestic radical Islamic group ripped through its capital on Easter Sunday.

The country’s health minister said the attacks, which killed at least 290 and injured more than 500, were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a local militant group named National Thowheek Jaamath. Experts cited by The New York Times said the group promotes an Islamic terrorist ideology. Police said 13 suspects in connection with the bombings have been arrested.

“These attacks appear to be quite different and look as if they came right out of the ISIS, Al Qaeda, global militant jihadist playbook, as these are attacks fomenting religious hatred by attacking multiple churches on a high religious holiday,” Anne Speckhard, the director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, told the Times.

All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but authorities suspect foreign links, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference.

Six nearly simultaneous blasts took place in the morning at the shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo, as well as at two churches outside Colombo. Two more blasts occurred a few hours later outside Colombo — one at a guesthouse, the other near an overpass.

A government forensic crime investigator said an analysis of the attacker’s body parts indicated they were suicide bombers. He said a single bomber carried out most of the attacks, with two at Colombo’s Shangri-La Hotel.

Officials on Monday said that Sri Lankan police investigating the bombings are examining reports that intelligence agencies had warnings of possible attacks. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the international agencies warned of the attacks several times starting April 4.

Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando tweeted, “Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence. Therefore there was a delay in action. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.” He added that his father had heard of a possible attack and had warned him not to enter popular churches.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible.

Authorities on Monday lifted a curfew that had been imposed but kept social media block so as to curtail the spread of false information and ease tension in the country of more than 22 million people.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9744

Secret Underground Church Started By James The Half-Brother Of Jesus Discovered In Jerusalem On Mount Zion

The 21st century keepers of this 2,000-year old church are certain it was started by the half-brother of Jesus, James. Jewish Christians were under heavy persecution from the Roman Empire in the days before Rome created the Catholic Church. The other early Christian church from around 300 AD has tile mosaics on the floors illustrating scenes from the book of Revelation.

by Geoffrey Grider March 18, 2019

There are two notable men named James we read about in the New Testament. There was James Zebedee, the brother of John, who the Bible refers to as the “sons of thunder”. The ‘other’ James is the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Himself.

Recently, I came across these amazing videos of archaeological discoveries dating back to the First Century AD, showing what is purported to be perhaps the very first Christian church in Jerusalem, one that was started by James, the half-brother of Jesus. Not to be confused with James, the brother of John, who wrote the book of James that bears his name.

“Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” Galatians 1:18,19 (KJV)

I present these videos to you for your viewing pleasure, and hope that you will all check them out by comparing them with scripture to see if they match up with the biblical timeline. I am by no means a biblical archaeologist, but I have watched them many times and remain fascinated by what they show.

Secret Church From First Century Discovered On Mt. Zion

The 21st century keepers of this 2,000-year old church are certain it was started by the half-brother of Jesus, James. Jewish Christians were under heavy persecution from the Roman Empire in the days before Rome created the Catholic Church

Amazing Discovery Shows Scenes From Book Of Revelation

This one really sent chills down my spine, an early Christian church from around 300 AD that has tile mosaics on the floors illustrating scenes from the book of Revelation. 

The Two Men Named James

FUN FACTS: There are two notable men named James we read about in the New Testament. There was James Zebedee, the brother of John, that the Bible refers to as the “sons of thunder”. Along with the apostle Peter, this trio was blessed to be allowed to witness some amazing things.

“And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:” Mark 3:17 (KJV)

Peter, James and John were there in the ‘inner circle’ in Matthew 17 where they witnessed the miracle on the Mount of Transfiguration, and listened in rapturous wonder as Jesus told them of the last days and the end of the world in Mark 13 and Matthew 24.

“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” Galatians 2:9 (KJV)

The ‘other’ James is the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Himself, and he was used mightily as well. James was personally acquainted with and sought out by the apostle Paul at the start of his ministry as recorded in Galatians, and later was the chair of the Council At Jerusalem in Acts 15 where Paul’s gospel of the grace of God was formally adopted by the church leaders.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9695

Another Kind of Religious Leader Must Arise

Shane Idleman | Contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com | Tuesday, February 26, 2019

As I’ve stated before: With rapid-fire changes within a culture saturated by political correctness and relativism, we are inclined to ask if there is any hope for America. If we continue down this slippery slope, there is little hope. Apart from a national spiritual awakening, it will be difficult to turn the Titanic around—the vessel has been struck; what’s inside is spilling out. But if God brings revival…if we once again set our hearts and minds on Him…there is tremendous hope. Revival means to awaken, restore, renew, or repair. In churches across America, crowd appeal and pleasing the masses tends to be the goal rather than calling out destructive lifestyles, which can result in revival and renewal.

A.W. Tozer in an article entitled, Prophetic Preaching, hit the nail on the head when he wrote this, decades ago: “If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher.”

Tozer also said, “The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.”

He concludes, “Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.”

Those who have been called to preach, much like the prophets in the Old Testament, will confront compromise, condemn moral digression, and powerfully denounce sin in the hope of reconciling man to God—they speak the truth in love. The world, and carnal Christians, despise them because they challenge the sin they enjoy.

Preachers will ruffle feathers and step on toes from time-to-time, but it should be the result of the truth being spoken in love verses the preacher having an arrogant and judgmental heart. In a sense, a preacher is called to break the heart, a pastor to mend it; one concentrates on repentance, the other restoration. Although there can be a mixture of both preacher and teacher in a person, there is often a clear difference. Pastors (and teachers) aim for the mind; preachers aim for the heart, will, and emotions—to stir and to convict. Often…

The pastor builds—the preacher tears.

The pastor counsels—the preacher convicts.

The pastor rejoices—the preacher weeps.

The pastor plants—the preacher uproots.

The pastor teaches—the preacher preaches.

The pastor mends—the preacher breaks.

The pastor is full of hope—the preacher is full of fire.

The pastor loves to listen—the preacher needs to speak.

The pastor sees the good in others—the preacher sees the depravity in man.

The pastor desires to be among the people—the preacher desires to be alone with God.

As the famous Puritan Richard Baxter said, “I preach as a dying man to dying men”… as a dying man to a dying nation. The church, and our nation, desperately needs to hear “the voice crying in the wilderness” to awaken, convict, and restore.

All pastors should ask, “Does the world love the way we ‘do church’?” Do they appreciate that your church never challenges, or calls things into question? Do they like the fact that your church never makes them feel uncomfortable or offended? Are they grateful that you never discuss controversial issues? If so, you may want to reconsider Jesus’ words that true disciples will be hated by the world because they speak the truth, not because they avoid it.

Leonard Ravenhill, in Why Revival Tarries, wrote, “God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown of the nation and the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi, and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness. Such a man is likely to be drastic and radical; the curious crowd that gathers to watch him will soon brand him as extreme, fanatical, and negative…and, in a sense, they are right…for he cannot turn off the burden of the Holy Ghost.”

I pray that God would raise up many humble preachers—men who allow God to shape their sermons and penetrate their hearts to bring America, and the world, to her knees.

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