Category: The Church

Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year” – and that means that over 100 will die this week

November 27, 2018 by Michael Snyder

America is littered with thousands upon thousands of church buildings that aren’t being used anymore.  As you will see below, between 6,000 and 10,000 churches are dying in the United States every single year, and that means that more than 100 will die this week alone.  And of course thousands of others are on life support.  All over the country this weekend, small handfuls of people will gather in huge buildings which once boasted very large congregations.  At one time, America was widely considered to be “a Christian nation”, but that really isn’t true anymore.  As an excellent article in The Atlantic has noted, even though most Americans still consider themselves to be “Christian”, the numbers are telling us a very different story…

Many of our nation’s churches can no longer afford to maintain their structures—6,000 to 10,000 churches die each year in America—and that number will likely grow. Though more than 70 percent of our citizens still claim to be Christian, congregational participation is less central to many Americans’ faith than it once was. Most denominations are declining as a share of the overall population, and donations to congregations have been falling for decades. Meanwhile, religiously unaffiliated Americans, nicknamed the “nones,” are growing as a share of the U.S. population.

In fact, the “nones” have risen from just 6 percent of the population in 1991 to 25 percent today.  That makes them the single largest “religious group” in the United States.

Today, less than 20 percent of all Americans attend church on a regular basis.  As a result, churches are dying in very large numbers, and this is a trend that appears to be accelerating.  According to Thom S. Rainer of Lifeway, when you break the numbers down it means that “around 100-200 churches will close this week”…

Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year. That means around 100-200 churches will close this week. The pace will accelerate unless our congregations make some dramatic changes.

Any institution needs resources in order to survive, and churches are not any different.

As attendance has declined, so has giving, and at this point the percentage of charity donations going to religious institutions is at an all-time low

Religious institutions are still the single biggest recipients of overall charity donations, according to the 2015 survey by the Giving USA Foundation. About 32 percent — $119.3 billion — of a total of $373.25 billion Americans gave to charities went to churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.

But that is down from about 50 percent since 1990, according to Rick Dunham, vice chairman of Giving USA, and the percentage has been “in steady decline for some time.”

So when churches die, what happens to their buildings?

Well, some are torn down, some are renovated for residential or business purposes, and some are being put to other uses

A large number of abandoned churches have become wineries or breweries or bars. Others have been converted into hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs. A few have been transformed into entertainment venues, such as an indoor playground for children, a laser-tag arena, or a skate park.

A similar thing is happening in Europe, only on a much greater scale.  Over there, hundreds of churches have been transformed into Islamic mosques, and this has generated quite a bit of controversy.

As I discussed in my article about demographic trends, we are witnessing societal change happen at a pace that would have been absolutely unthinkable a couple of generations ago.

This is especially true for our young people.  If you go back to 1986, just 10 percent of all young adults were “religiously unaffiliated”, but now that number has jumped all the way to 39 percent

Today, nearly four in ten (39%) young adults (ages 18-29) are religiously unaffiliated—three times the unaffiliated rate (13%) among seniors (ages 65 and older). While previous generations were also more likely to be religiously unaffiliated in their twenties, young adults today are nearly four times as likely as young adults a generation ago to identify as religiously unaffiliated. In 1986, for example, only 10% of young adults claimed no religious affiliation.

That makes young adults the single largest group of “nones” in the entire country.  We are living at a time when there is a mass exodus from the Christian faith in America, and it is likely going to take something quite dramatic to reverse that trend.

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are about half as likely to attend religious services on a weekly basis as the oldest Americans are.

Church attendance is simply not as important to Americans as it once was.  In the old days, churches were central hubs where you got to know your neighbors and important events were commemorated.  But now churches sit idle and empty most of the time, and attendance on Sunday mornings is depressingly low in most cases.

When I was growing up, my parents made sure that we were in church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and sometimes even on Wednesday evening.  But today, most churches don’t even have Sunday evening or midweek services because nobody would show up.

Our entire society, including our system of government, was birthed out of a culture of Bible-believing Christians.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Dr. Mark David Hall

In 1776, every European American, with the exception of about 2,500 Jews, identified himself or herself as a Christian. Moreover, approximately 98 percent of the colonists were Protestants, with the remaining 1.9 percent being Roman Catholics.

Not only did early Americans identify themselves as Christians, but nearly all of them regularly attended church.

Now our society is moving very rapidly in the exact opposite direction, and many believe that this has tremendous implications for the future of our nation.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9488

The Vatican is preparing for the Pope’s resignation in February 2019 and US Bishops are disgusted!

14 novembre 2018 adm-zagami

Article by Leo Lyon Zagami 

The Vatican is under profound scrutiny and criticism after Monday’s shock announcement that they requested the U.S. Catholic Bishops to delay voting on new standards for survivors of sexual abuse and bishop accountability. The US Bishops, who were attending the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, were indeed surprised by the decision, and expressed a mixture of disappointment, acceptance, and frustration about the news. Angry victims and activists fromBishopAccountability.org, which compiles data on clergy abuse in the church, were present in Baltimore outside the hotel where the Conference of US Catholic Bishops took place, and became increasingly frustrated, some shouting in despair that this was “totally unacceptable!!”

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, two survivors of clerical sexual abuse spoke to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops about their own personal experiences and their hopes for the future of the Church.  One survivor, Luis Torres, even asked the US bishops in a touching testimony, to make changes to ecclesial policies and culture that might ensure that sexual abuse or coercion by anyone in the Church, including bishops, is put to an end. “I ask,”he pled, “that you inspire me and our community to faith and hope through your courage and your action, which is needed right now. Not in three months. Not in six months. Yesterday.”

Yes, the victim said “yesterday”, not today, showing profound frustration, but Pope Francis doesn’t care about the victims of pedophilia, or the future of the Church in the United States, he really only cares about his own future. In September 2018, Pope Francis convened all the Episcopal Conferences worldwide for a general meeting to take place in Rome in February 2019, to discuss the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. It seems the Argentinian Pope wants to impose his own view before leaving office, not tolerating any further interference from the US Catholic Bishops.

For this reason, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US bishops’ conference, was forced to communicate with American bishops, telling them that they will not vote on the two key proposals which were expected to form the basis for the US Catholic Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis. They will simply have to wait until February 2019, another delay to facilitate the ongoing cover-up of the many crimes commited in the US by the Catholic Church, involved, as we all know by now, in Satanism and sexual abuse of minors on a scale never seen before.

Never mind if DiNardo said that the U.S. bishops remain committed to their proposals,

the US bishops’ general assembly meeting in Baltimore will conclude today amongst profound disappointment by US Catholics, and even part of the clergy aside from Pope Francis’ loyalists like Cardinal Blase Cupich.

The meeting with the Pope in Rome will take place in the Vatican from 21st to the 24th of February 2019, exactly 6 years after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and during this occasion some trusted sources say Pope Francis will announce his own resignation,  conveniently issuing a papal conclave for all present entitled to vote.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9483

The Time That Pope Francis In St. Peter’s Square At The Vatican Declared To The Entire World That Lucifer Is The God Of The Catholic Church

What was so special about this ceremony to go to all that expense and trouble? What was it that the pope needed the entire world to watch? As it turns out, Pope Francis was about to declare that Lucifer is the Morning Star, a title that the Bible gives to Jesus Christ alone. The pope was telling all the world that Lucifer is God! The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet‘, or ‘Easter Proclamation’.

 

by Geoffrey Grider November 16, 2018

The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet’, or ‘Easter Proclamation’. The problem starts in the wording of the prayer itself.

On April 27th, 2014, Pope Francis held a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican to induct two former popes into sainthood. Catholic sainthood ceremonies are fairly standard procedures, and happen quite often. But on this particular occasion, Pope Francis wanted it broadcast around the world in 3D, HF and 3K.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Isaiah 14:12 (KJV)

What was so special about this sainthood ceremony to go to all that expense and trouble? What was it that the pope needed the entire world to watch? As it turns out, Pope Francis was about to declare that Lucifer is the Morning Star, a title that the Bible gives to Jesus Christ alone. The pope was telling all the world that Lucifer is God of the Catholic Church.

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16 (KJV)

The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet‘, or ‘Easter Proclamation’. The problem starts in the wording of the prayer itself. As you can see below, twice the name of Lucifer is mentioned as you can clearly see in both the Latin and English versions. The name of Jesus is not mentioned at all.

  • THE EXSULTET IN LATIN: Flammas eius Lucifer matutinus invéniat: ille, inquam, Lucifer, qui nescit occásum. Christus Fílius tuus, qui, regréssus ab ínferis, humáno géneri serénus illúxit, et vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum.
  • THE EXSULTET IN ENGLISH: May this flame be found still burning, by the Morning Star: the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns forever and ever.

In the Bible, the name Lucifer appears only one time, in Isaiah 14. It is the proper name of a created being who fell from grace and as such was renamed Satan. The word ‘Lucifer’ means ‘light bearer’ and the word Satan means ‘adversary’. But they are both proper names of the same person, otherwise known as the Devil. The word ‘Lucifer’ is never used as anything else but as a name for the Devil.

When the Antichrist shows up during the time of Jacob’s trouble, he will fool people into thinking that he is actually the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Antichrist has the title of messiah, ‘christos’, built right in his name, he is just a false messiah. But this is exactly who is being sung about in the Exsultet prayer at the Vatican, it has nothing to do with the real Messiah, Jesus.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24 (KJV)

Jesus doesn’t have a last name, the word ‘Christ’ meaning ‘Messiah’ is His title. There is only one Jesus, but the Bible tells us there is more than one messiah, more than one christ. The Exsultet, which in its full version is quite lengthy, never mentions the name of Jesus one single time. It only uses the name ‘Christ’, which as you can see in the Bible can mean either Jesus or the Antichrist, depending on the context.

What is the context of the Exsultet? Well, the only proper name that is mentioned in the Exsultet is the name of Lucifer, and it declares that ‘Lucifer the Morning Star’ is the Son of God. But Lucifer is not the Morning Star, Jesus is. If the writers of the Exsultet had wanted to write a song about Jesus being the Morning Star, they could easily have done that, but they didn’t. They gave that honor to Lucifer, who is the Devil and Satan. Every time the Exsultet is sung in a Catholic Church it is praising the name of Lucifer, not Jesus!

The NIV ‘bible’ also calls Lucifer the ‘Morning Star’, but deletes his name in order to fool you:

Don’t bother looking for the name of ‘Lucifer’ in the ‘not inspired version’ of that non-bible commonly called the NIV. They removed it right around the same time they also removed all 75 references to the prophecy marker word ‘selah‘. Why don’t the NIV blasphemers want you to know about the name of Lucifer? Because they’re busy disguising him so you think that he, the Devil, is the ‘Morning Star’.

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” Isaiah 14:12 (NIV)

Interestingly, Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers who have the same Father, God. I wonder where Joseph Smith got that idea from? Who else worships Lucifer as the ‘light bearer’ of the world? Freemason do that, don’t you know? Hmm, I wonder where they could have got that idea from. Well, you know what they say about ‘birds of a feather’, they sure do

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9460

A Defiant Pope Francis Refers To Victims Of Catholic Priest Sexual Assault As ‘Accusers’ And Calls On Bishops To ‘Protect Our Mother’ Church

Addressing the closing session of a synod of bishops at the Vatican on Saturday, the pope repeated warnings he has made in recent weeks against the “Great Accuser,” or the devil, who “in this moment is accusing us strongly, and this accusation becomes persecution,” and who seeks to “soil the church.” “This is the moment to defend our mother” the church, said the pope, in remarks unlikely to mollify critics who say he has failed to recognize the hierarchy’s responsibility for the abuse crisis. “The accuser is attacking our mother through us, and no one touches our mother.”

by Geoffrey Grider October 28, 2018

Pope Francis told a gathering of bishops from around the world that the Catholic Church is being persecuted through accusations—an apparent allusion to clerical sex-abuse scandals that have undermined the credibility of the papacy and church hierarchy over the course of this year.

If you’re waiting for Pope Francis to to do anything at all to make things right for the tens of thousands of Catholics who have been raped and molested by pedophile Catholic priests, I have news for you. It will never, ever happen. In fact, over the weekend, Francis called the people who were raped by pedophile priests ‘accusers’ who are in the same class as the Devil. Let that thought sink in for just a moment or two.

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:4,5 (KJV)

He went on to call the bishops to ‘protect our mother’ referring of course to the ‘mother’ harlot Catholic Church that is so graphically detailed in Revelation 17 and 18 of your King James Bible. Interestingly, the Bible never refers to the Church that Jesus shed His blood for as a ‘mother’, and Jesus never referred to Mary as ‘mother’ either.

“Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:47-50 (KJV)

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Addressing the closing session of a synod of bishops at the Vatican on Saturday, the pope repeated warnings he has made in recent weeks against the “Great Accuser,” or the devil, who “in this moment is accusing us strongly, and this accusation becomes persecution,” and who seeks to “soil the church.”

“This is the moment to defend our mother” the church, said the pope, in remarks unlikely to mollify critics who say he has failed to recognize the hierarchy’s responsibility for the abuse crisis. “The accuser is attacking our mother through us, and no one touches our mother.”

Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal escalates amid accusations of cover-up

There are growing questions over what Pope Francis knew concerning abuse allegations. A former Vatican official, Archbishop Vigano, has demanded the pope resign. Now, a group of Catholic women are writing to the pope demanding answers.

In a twist on the usual protocol at such gatherings, more than 30 lay Catholics below the age of 30 years attended the sessions, where they enlivened the atmosphere by clapping and cheering during some of the speeches.

A published agenda for the meeting made only passing reference to sex abuse, but after months of scandals in the U.S., Latin America and Australia—and the claim by a former Vatican diplomat that Pope Francis himself had ignored sexual misconduct by a U.S. cardinal—the subject inevitably loomed over the proceedings.

Bishops frequently addressed clerical sex abuse during the first week of the month long synod, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Ireland told reporters on Friday.

The 60-page final document, released late Saturday, devoted two paragraphs to the subject of abuse, calling for “rigorous measures of prevention,” starting with the selection and education of clergy and other church employees. Quoting Pope Francis, the document lays much of the blame for sex abuse on “clericalism,” or an excessive deference to the church’s hierarchy.

The final document is “frankly inadequate and disappointing on the abuse matter,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a member of the council that organized the synod, said in an email. “There’s very little sense of heartfelt apology in the text.”

The archbishop, who had previously called on the pope to cancel the gathering because of the sex-abuse crisis, said Saturday that “church leaders outside the United States and a few other countries dealing with the problem clearly don’t understand its scope and gravity.”

Netanyahu, Israeli officials make one-day visit to Oman

By JNS October 28, 2018 , 4:13 pm

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret one-day trip to Oman on Friday, where he met with the ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has led his country for nearly 50 years.

It is the first trip made by an Israeli prime minister since Shimon Peres in 1996.

Accompanying Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were National Security Adviser and National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat; Mossad director Yossi Cohen; the head of the Prime Minister’s staff, Yoav Horowitz; the director of the Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem; and Brig.-Gen. Avi Bluth, the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary.

Among the issues discussed were how to advance the Middle East peace process, along with several matters of common interest, according to the prime minister’s office.

The visit is a crucial step in expanding relationships with the region’s players while “leveraging Israel’s advantages in security, technology and economic matters,” according to Netanyahu’s office.

“We always thought that if we solved the Palestinian problem, it would open up the doors to peace with the broader Arab world. And that’s certainly true, if you could do it,” said Netanyahu.

“But it may mean that equally true and perhaps even truer is that if you open up to the Arab world and you normalize relations with them,” he continued, “it will open the door for an eventual reconciliation and peace with the Palestinians.”

A 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa’id dynasty, the sultan came to power in a palace coup in 1970, making him the longest-serving Arab leader to date.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9437

Why Was The Papal Audience Hall Building At The Vatican Constructed In The Shape Of A Giant Reptile?

Commissioned by Pope Paul VI in 1963, the Papal Audience Hall in Vatican City was inaugurated in 1971. But it doesn’t take you long to realize the whole thing, inside and outside, is a giant reptile. When the pope stands and addresses his audience, he speaks from the snake’s mouth. How is that for symbolism?

by Geoffrey Grider October 10, 2018

The Pope’s Audience Hall building at the Vatican was designed to look exactly like a giant reptile inside and out. When the pope addresses an audience there the effect is that he is speaking from the mouth of a giant reptile. Why on earth would he want to do that?

Let me just start this by saying that, no, I am not signed off on just about any of the various reptilian incursion conspiracy theories floating around the Internet. Most of them are quite silly, though usually amusing. But if you want to talk Bible, where there is a real reptile that presents itself as a dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns, now I’m interested.

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:3-5 (KJV)

And as fate would have it, that dragon, that ‘scarlet coloured beast’ of Bible prophecy is 100% connected with the Vatican, the pope and the Catholic Church. With that in mind, the fact that the Vatican created a building in the shaped of a giant reptile and the pope gives speeches from the beast’s mouth is off-the-charts interesting.

Let’s start with the history and construction of the Papal Audience Hall

FROM ARCVISION PRIZE: Commissioned by Pope Paul VI in 1963, the Papal Audience Hall in Vatican City was inaugurated in 1971. Shortly thereafter both the hall and the architect achieved such a worldwide fame that the auditorium came to be called familiarly Aula Nervi. It is one of the last great works of Pier Luigi Nervi, an engineer by training as well as a skilled entrepreneur and unsurpassed interpreter of cement as form and structure for architectural and infrastructural works where it is impossible to distinguish the design project from structural computation.

The complex is located near St. Peter’s Basilica in an area between Italy and Vatican City. The large auditorium, which can accommodate up to twelve thousands people is covered by a double curving parabolic vault that, thanks to its slender bearing structures, makes the big vault as suspended in air and powered by invisible anti-gravity forces.

In order to facilitate the view of the papal throne, even the floor has a double convex curvature. A refined and innovative system for air circulation was installed, consisting of nine channels and placed under the floor, to dissipate the intense heat output of the communication equipment like the lighting systems of TV cameras. The auditorium was built with extensive use of reinforced concrete and a special concrete mix with white marble dust and grit provided by Italcementi. It is characterized by special brightness, both for the ellipsoidal glass wall (built by John Hajnal) and for the vault consisting of variable length corrugated structures and large openings creating an extraordinary luminescent plot. READ MORE

Now let’s look at how dark and sinister the whole thing is

Have a look at the image below and compare its shape to the image of a snake beside it. Note the overall shape — wide back, narrow, rounded front, eyes in the middle, nostril at the front, and curved top. So even from the outside and viewed from the sky, the entire building is a dead-ringer for a snake’s head.

The Papal Audience Hall in Vatican City as viewed from the sky and compared with a reptile.

When the building is viewed from the inside, the unmistakable resemblance to a reptile hits you like a ton of bricks. A ton of dark, evil and very sinister bricks.

The Papal Audience Hall in Vatican City as viewed from the inside and compared to a reptile.

Just when you thought it couldn’t possible get much worse, it does. Way worse. Right behind the pope’s throne, they installed a statue created by Pericle Fazzini in 1977 that purports to show Jesus Christ rising up from an ‘atomic apocalypse’, and looking for all the world like a scene from ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ zombie movie. And if you look closely at the top of the “Jesus” head, you will see something quite interesting indeed.

The demonic and massive statue of Jesus turning into a reptile by Pericle Fazzini

You will notice that the “head of Jesus” has his hair blowing in the breeze or some such thing, but if you look closer it is more than that. The head of Jesus is turning into…(anyone care to hazard a guess here?)…a reptile. What is the importance of that? Well, you read this verse and then you tell me what it means.

“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:14,15 (KJV)

In the Bible, Satan is pictured as a reptile who will have a coming war with King Jesus at the Battle of Armageddon at the Second Coming. Revelation shows us that the Genesis serpent had an ‘upgrade’ along the way and now is a giant, red-headed multi-headed dragon, though still a reptile.

The disgusting statue by Fazzini, mocking entitled ‘The Resurrection‘, actually shows Jesus Christ becoming a reptile, and thus re-writing the biblical prophecy made by God that Satan loses to Jesus at the Second Coming. And just to further drive the point home, the exact height of the abomination is exactly 66 feet.

Pope Francis In Poland Tells World Famous Photographer ‘I Am The Devil’ Then Laughs It Off

This is where Satan’s seat is

Take a good look at this video and all these photos, and really meditate on what you are seeing. You are seeing a building called the Papal Audience Hall, in the undeniable shape of a serpent, from which the pope addresses his followers from a ‘throne’ place in front of a demonic imaging of Jesus turning into a reptile.

“I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” Revelation 2:13 (KJV)

Congratulations! Now you’ve figured out where Satan’s Seat is, who it is that sits on that seat, and what organization he is the leader of. Readers and believers of the King James Bible have had this ‘newsflash’ well in hand since 1611.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9419

Cardinal raises question: Is Pope Francis part of Church’s ‘final trial’?

UTRECHT, Netherlands, May 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Dutch cardinal has said that Pope Francis’ failure to uphold the Church’s authentic faith makes him think of the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s prophecy of a “final trial” for the Church before the second coming of Christ.

Cardinal Willem Eijk, 64, the Archbishop of Utrecht, made the startling comment in an article published today at the National Catholic Register.

Eijk, who was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, got his medical degree before ordination to the priesthood and went on to complete three PhDs in medicine, philosophy and theology.

In the article, the Cardinal laments Pope Francis’ failure to bring clarity on the question of intercommunion with Protestants during last week’s meeting at the Vatican with German bishops. The Pope told the German bishops to obtain unanimous approval on the issue, but, says Cardinal Eijk, he should have simply reminded them of the Church’s clear doctrine and practice.

“By failing to create clarity, great confusion is created among the faithful and the unity of the Church is endangered,” he said.

“Observing that the bishops and, above all, the Successor of Peter fail to maintain and transmit faithfully and in unity the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, I cannot help but think of Article 675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” he wrote.

That article of the Catechism, which he quoted in full, warns of a trial that will “shake the faith of many believers.” It prophesies a persecution that will “unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.”

Cardinal Eijk warned publicly last year that by failing to clarify Church teaching over divorce and remarriage, Pope Francis was “fracturing” the Church.

He is not the first Cardinal to recognize the confusion in the Church caused by Pope Francis as a sign of the end times. At the Rome Life Forum last year, the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra spoke of the confusion in the Church around marriage and the family as the fulfillment of a prophecy he received.

In a letter Cardinal Caffarra received from Sr. Lucia, the Fatima visionary wrote that the “final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Do not be afraid, (she added), because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.”

That final battle, he said at the Rome Life Forum, “is being fulfilled today.”

Cardinal Burke too has identified the confusion and error in the Catholic Church under Pope Francis with the end times. “One may have the feeling that the Church gives the appearance of being unwilling to obey the mandates of Our Lord,” Cardinal Burke said in an interview with the Catholic Herald in November. “Then perhaps we have arrived at the End Times.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9411

In Bold Marketing Move, The Mormon Church Will No Longer Be Using The Name ‘Mormon’ In Effort To Rebrand Cult Image

Church President Russell M. Nelson announced guidelines in August requesting that people stop using “Mormon” or “LDS” as substitutes for the church’s full name. He said “Latter-day Saints” was acceptable shorthand. The term Mormon comes from the church’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, which followers believe is based on the record keeping of an ancient prophet named Mormon.

by Geoffrey Grider October 5, 2018

The term Mormon comes from the church’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, which followers believe is based on the record keeping of an ancient prophet named Mormon.

When someone says the word ‘Mormon’, what’s the first image that comes to mind? If you’re honest, you think of two young men on bicycles, wearing white shirts and ties, with backpacks, going from door to door to ‘spread the word’ about the religion of Joseph Smith. You may also think of Mitt Romney and the ‘magic underwear‘, the ‘magic stone‘ and cans of Coke with a red line through them. And that whole ‘Satan and Jesus are brothers‘ thing can really be off putting to some people.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8 (KJV)

So the powers that be at Mormon Inc decided that a name change might just be the thing to make them appear less like a cult and more like a legitimate denomination of Christianity.

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: The world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be singing the same tune but under a new name. The choir was renamed Friday to strip out the word Mormon in a move aimed at ending shorthand names for the religion that have been used for generations by church members and others.

The singers will now be called the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement . It’s a nod to the home of the choir for the last 150 years, the Tabernacle, located on church grounds known as Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City.

The group had been known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir since 1929, when it began broadcasting a weekly radio program to a wide audience.

What the Mormon Church does not want  you to know…until after you join

Like all cults, the Mormon Church has a lot of wacky doctrine not found anywhere in the Bible, and they do their very best to keep it from prospective new members until they can “ease them” into it. This video will get you up to speed on what Mormons really teach and actually believe.

Church President Russell M. Nelson announced guidelines in August requesting that people stop using “Mormon” or “LDS” as substitutes for the church’s full name. He said “Latter-day Saints” was acceptable shorthand. The faith holds that the full church name was given by revelation from God to founder Joseph Smith in 1838.

The term Mormon comes from the church’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, which followers believe is based on the record keeping of an ancient prophet named Mormon. A church webpage that was up before Nelson’s announcement described the term Mormon as an “unofficial but inoffensive nickname for members.

But Nelson in his August statement urged people not to use Mormon or LDS. The “Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church,” he said.

Speaking later in Canada, Nelson acknowledged that it would be a “challenge to undo tradition of more than 100 years” but said the name of the faith is “not negotiable,” according to a video posted on a church website. He said church members need to use the proper name if they want outsiders to use it.

“We’re not changing names. We’re correcting a name,” Nelson said. “Some marketers change names hoping to be more successful — that’s not our point. We’re correcting an error that’s crept in over the ages.”

In a different video from the trip, Nelson said, “It’s not Mormon’s church, it’s not Moses’ church, it’s the church of Jesus Christ.”

Some Mormons do not realize that their temple Endowment ceremony was copied directly from occultic rites in Freemasonry.

The name change will be a big effort for the Utah-based faith that counts 16 million members worldwide. The renaming of the choir is the first step with many changes still to come. The church still uses Mormon in its Twitter handle.

The faith’s presidents are considered prophets who lead through revelations from God. Nelson, 94, ascended to the post in January after the previous president died.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9409

China’s Pastors Take Their Stand: Jesus Is Lord

Eric Metaxas, Stan Guthrie

I want you to meet some brave Christian leaders pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

When thinking of the golden age of the Church, many of us hearken back to the book of Acts, when Peter and John stood up to the religious authorities, who told them to be silent about Jesus the risen Messiah. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God,” they answered, “you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” Then they prayed for boldness, and the Church exploded across much of the ancient world.

But there’s a golden age for the church going on right now—with the same kind of courage, persecution, and Spirit-empowered growth. Where is it? In communist China.

World missions historians tell us that when all the foreign missionaries were kicked out of Mao’s China a few years after the Second World War, there were probably no more than 3 million believers in Jesus Christ in the whole, vast nation. But today, seven decades later, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life counts 67 million Christians of all kinds—35 million independent Protestants, 23 million Protestants in government-sanctioned churches, and 9 million Catholics. Other estimates go even higher.

Whatever the true number is, it’s almost as many as there are members of the Communist Party! Maybe that’s why the government is cracking down on Christians. According to Christianity Today and other news outlets, Under President Xi Jinping, China’s government has been tightening its grip on religious affairs.

In February, regulations aimed at religious groups have brought increased pressure on churches to be “Chinese” culturally and to submit to the authority of the Communist Party. Churches are being told to burn their crosses and replace them with Chinese flags and to display slogans praising the Communist Party. Some are being forced to join the government-sanctioned churches and permit video surveillance of their services.

Meanwhile, in Jiangxi province, authorities have forced at least 40 churches to display banners forbidding foreigners from preaching and anyone under 18 from attending. In August, they even published new rules stating, “Party members who have religious belief should have strengthened through education.”

In the spirit of Peter and John, a group of at least 250 Chinese pastors has publicly signed a joint statement opposing the new regulations. In the statement they declare that Jesus is Lord of all, offering eternal life to anyone who will repent and believe in Him.

But they also say, in a challenge to the Chinese communists, “God hates all attempts to suppress human souls and all acts of persecution against the Christian church, and he will condemn and judge them with righteous judgment.”

Then, like Peter and John, they pledge obedience not to the earthly authorities but to King Jesus, no matter what. “We declare that in matters of external conduct, churches are willing to accept lawful oversight by civil administration or other government departments as other social organizations do. But under no circumstances will we lead our churches to join a religious organization controlled by the government, to register with the religious administration department, or to accept any kind of affiliation.”

They close their incredible joint statement with the bracing yet sobering words, “For the sake of the gospel, we are prepared to bear all losses—even the loss of our freedom and our lives.”

Friends, is it any wonder that the church in China has grown, and continues to grow? What we’re seeing before our eyes is the golden age of the church in China. How can we not pray for these wonderful brothers and sisters? And more than that, how can we not emulate their costly faithfulness in our own little corner of God’s world?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9391

Pope Francis In Poland Tells World Famous Photographer ‘I Am The Devil’ Then Laughs It Off

 

Greeting journalists Saturday en route to Lithuania, Pope Francis was given a book about the former pope by Polish photographer Grzegorz Galazka. Receiving the large book with a beaming John Paul on the cover, Francis quipped: “Pope John Paul II was a saint, I am the devil.”

by Geoffrey Grider September 22, 2018

Pope Francis has acknowledged that his reputation pales a bit compared to St. John Paul II — at least as far as Poles are concerned.

Pope Francis made a very interesting ‘joke’ today while in Poland meeting and greeting his worshippers. He was talking with a famous photographer who had done a book on Pope John Paul II, and he made an incredible comparison between himself and John Paul.

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13,14 (KJV)

His exacts words were ‘Pope John Paul II was a saint, I am the devil.” Let that sink in for a moment. The man who claims to be the ‘vicar of Christ‘, the physical embodiment of Jesus Christ on this earth, said that he was not ‘a devil’ but said that he was THE Devil. Is that funny to you?

FROM SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: Greeting journalists Saturday en route to Lithuania, Pope Francis was given a book about the former pope by Polish photographer Grzegorz Galazka. Receiving the large book with a beaming John Paul on the cover, Francis quipped: “Pope John Paul II was a saint, I am the devil.”

Laughing, Galazka immediately corrected him: “No, you are both saints! You are both saints!”

Francis’ quip appeared to acknowledge that he has his detractors, particularly among conservative Catholics who long for the more doctrinaire papacies of John Paul and Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

The criticism of Pope Francis by conservatives has grown more vocal recently amid the church’s sex abuse scandals and the distress over his opening to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion.

Isn’t the Devil the arch-enemy of God, isn’t the Devil the most disgusting creature in existence? The Bible tells us that the Devil is a liar, a murderer, someone in whom there is NO truth of any kind. Why on EARTH would anyone ever say that they were the Devil, much less someone who claims he is God’s hand picked representative?

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 (KJV)

Just a joke, you say? Just a little Vatican humor, eh? Well, maybe so but consider the following.

So when Francis declared quite plainly today that he was “the Devil”, it may just be the truest thing he has ever said. But please don’t take my word for it, click on the links I gave you in the bullet point list and decide for yourselves.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9385

Chinese officials burn bibles, close churches, force Christian to denounce faith amid ‘escalating’ crackdown

By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News

In this Tuesday, March 27, 2018, photo, Catholic religious paintings and figures are displayed behind bars at an underground Catholic church in Jiexi county in south China’s Guangdong province. A group that monitors Christianity in China says the government is ratcheting up a crackdown on congregations in Beijing and several Chinese provinces, destroying crosses, burning Bibles and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith.  (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The Chinese government is destroying cross, burning bibles, closing churches and forcing Christian believers to sign papers renouncing their faith as the crackdown on religious congregations in Beijing and several provinces intensifies.

The suppression of religious freedoms comes as an official government campaign to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist party and removing any potential challenge to the party’s power in the country.

“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” Bob Fu of China Aid, said.

“The situation for Chinese #Christians becomes more dire by the day. We are working tirelessly to put maximum pressure on China stop the persecution,” Jay Sekulow, President Trump attorney and Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), wrote in a tweet.

The persecution of Christians in China is nothing new. A report by the watchdog group Freedom House found that Christians and other religious groups in China have been persecuted since 2012, Fox News reported.

A third of all religious believers in China who belong to a faith group were also found to face “high” to “very high” levels of persecution, which ranges from bureaucratic harassment and economic exploitation to harsh prison terms and even violence, the report said.

But experts and activists say the Chinese government is now waging the most severe suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedoms were granted by the Chinese constitution in 1982.

The escalating anti-Christian campaign coincides with President Xi Jinping recent consolidation of power that made him the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, the notorious communist leader responsible for millions of deaths.

Activists reportedly filmed footage of what appeared to be piles of burning bibles and forms declaring that the signatories had rejected their faith. The authorities allegedly forced the believers to sign the forms or risk being expelled from school or loosing welfare benefits.

A Christian Pastor in the Henan city of Nanyang, whose name was identified out of fear of retaliation by the authorities, reportedly confirmed that crosses, bibles and furniture were burned during a raid on his church on Sept. 5. He added that local authorities were in discussions with the church about reforming it, but no agreement had been reached.

According to Chinese laws, religious believers are allowed to worship only in government-sanctioned congregations. But many millions of Christians belong to underground or house churches that ignore government regulations.

Officials reportedly disputed the allegations raised by Christians, saying authorities respect religious freedom.

The anti-religion campaign affected not only Christian denominations. Around 1 million Uighurs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the country’s northwest have been detained in indoctrination camps where they are forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party.

The Chinese government denied setting up the camps for indoctrination, but stressed the importance to tackle extremism.

China has an around 38 million Protestants, and some have predicted that the country will have the world’s largest Christian population in a few decades.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9375