Posts Tagged ‘News and Politics’


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After the SCOTUS decision on Phillips, could the state of Colorado or any other state force a Christian to act against his faith?

According to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the answer would be yes — so long as the Colorado state officials forcing the Christian to act were enforcing a “generally applicable law” and took a “neutral” approach to the person’s religion.

“In Masterpiece, the question was whether Colorado could force a Christian baker to make a customized wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. The baker said this violated both his First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech. Kennedy’s majority opinion did not offer a conclusion on the baker’s free speech claim. But it did make clear that the court believes a state can force a Christian to act against his faith.

“‘The reason and the motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions,’ Kennedy concedes. But then Kennedy says, ‘The court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws.’

“The reason the court reversed Colorado’s action in this specific case was because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not been neutral in its treatment of religions and had showed ‘hostility’ toward the baker’s Christian faith.

“Specifically, the commission had allowed three other bakers to refuse to make cakes that would have featured religious arguments against same-sex marriage, and some of the commissioners had publicly made disparaging remarks about the Christian baker’s religious convictions when they held hearings on his refusal to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Rather than enforcing the law in a neutral way, they had demonstrated bias against a particular religious view.

“‘Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of (the baker’s) religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the state itself would not be a factor in the balance the state sought to reach,’ wrote Kennedy. ‘When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.’

“The court let stand the Colorado law that makes it unlawful to deny someone ‘services’ not only because of their ‘sexual orientation’ but also because of their ‘creed’ — and the possibility this law can be enforced in a way that compels someone to act against their faith.”

So, can a Christian still conduct his business according to his religious convictions? Or can a state force him/her to act against his faith. “Under the standing Supreme Court precedent, it could so long as the law was applied to everyone with what Kennedy calls ‘the neutrality that the Free Exercise Clause requires.’

“We still have a court that believes that under the right circumstances, when done in the correct manner, the government can require Christians to act against their faith.”

This is not what the founders intended. Nor is it clear religious freedom. It is technically tolerance, not freedom. In other words, you can practice your faith so long as the state says so, and if done “correctly,” without open bias the state can force a Christian to violate his conscience.

Justice Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, carefully framed the opinion according to his own point of view. It is patently obvious that he does not believe that the individual has the priority in matters of conscience as the founders of the U.S. Constitution did.

“Protestants will throw their whole influence and strength on the side of the papacy. By a national act enforcing the false sabbath they will give life and vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, reviving her tyranny and oppression of conscience.” Maranatha, 179 (1893), Last Day Events, page 128.


The USA in Bible Prophecy Click on image to read

 

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In the 1950s and 1960s it was easy to argue and even get into fights over differences between Lutherans and Catholics. But today those animosities are long gone. No one is looking for a fight.

Last October 31, Pope Francis and Bishop Mounib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint statement in which Catholics and Lutherans pledged to pursue their dialogue to remove the remaining obstacles that hinder them from reaching full unity. They also stressed their commitment to common witness on behalf of the poor, the needy and the victims of injustice.

The leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has signed the “Declaration on the Way” document. At the heart of it are 32 “statements of agreement” that state where Lutherans and Catholics do not have church-dividing differences on topics about church, ministry and the Eucharist. For example, Lutherans and Catholics believe the same about the real presence of Jesus in Holy Communion.

Agreement No. 30 states: “Lutherans and Catholics agree that in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus Christ himself is present. He is present truly, substantially, as a person, and he is present in his entirety, as Son of God and as a human being.”

Our church doors are not big enough to post the 32 agreements on them; however, the bulletins of Catholic and Lutheran Churches could publish a summary of them to mark the 500th anniversary the week of October 31.

As the march toward full, visible, sacramental unity nears maturity, watch for remaining differences between Catholics and Lutherans to melt away.

“And all the world wondered…” Revelation 13:3.


Who is the Antichrist? Click on image to study the lesson

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“With Bible prophecies of the end times appearing to come to pass before our very eyes, there’s a big one many wonder about. Is the Antichrist alive? Who is he? What is he doing? … Here’s what Graham had to say … The Bible refers to the Antichrist as an evil person of great spiritual power who will appear at the end of the present age … As the name ‘Antichrist’ implies, he will be completely and utterly opposed to Christ and His people … Is the Antichrist alive today? On one hand, the Bible urges us not to speculate about this or become overly anxious about it … The most important fact about the Antichrist, however, is that he will not win.”

This is pretty much what you get from Protestants now regarding the antichrist. Billy Graham not only is unable or unwilling to pinpoint the antichrist, he makes the same mistake that the majority of Protestants and Evangelicals make today. And that is to take the Jesuit line of thinking regarding antichrist. Proposing that the antichrist is one person who would arise in the very last days. And yet the Bible makes it real clear that the antichrist is not one person who will arise in the last days, but a RELIGIOUS SYSTEM which tries to TAKE THE PLACE OF CHRIST, that has been with us for a long time!

This antichrist system is known as the ‘little horn power’ of Daniel 7, the ‘man of sin’ of 2 Thessalonians 2, the ‘sea beast’ of Revelation 13, and ‘Babylon the Great’ of Revelation 17. And these ALL point unmistakenly to the Papal Church of Rome, with that ‘man of sin’, the pope as it’s leader! You see, the word ‘antichrist’ does NOT just mean ‘against’ Christ, as the English word suggests. If you look at the original Greek word, you will see it also means to ‘TAKE THE PLACE’ of Christ. And what religious system on earth has tried to do just that? Roman Catholicism. Just look at what the ‘fathers’ of Protestantism believed:

MARTIN LUTHER – ” For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” (Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196-197)

JOHN CALVIN – “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. .. I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol.3, p.149)

JOHN KNOX – “as for your Roman kirk, as it is now corrupted, and the authority thereof, whereon stands the hope of your victory, I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head thereof, called the pope, to be that man of sin, of whom the apostle speaks.” (John Knox, The History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, p.65)

JOHN WESLEY – “In many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to those titles. He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure.” (John Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon The New Testament, p.216)

CHARLES SPURGEON – “It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name … Popery is contrary to Christ’s Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it.” (Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome)

ELLEN WHITE – “This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of the man of sin foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power – a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will. To secure worldly gains and honors, the church was led to seek the favor and support of the great men of earth; and having thus rejected Christ, she was induced to yield allegiance to the representative of Satan – the bishop of Rome … Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to ‘think to change times and laws. (Daniel 7:25)” (E.G.White, The Great Controversy, pp.49-51)

Many other great men and women, including William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, Philipp Melanchthon, Huldreich Zwingli and the Translators of the King James Bible all proclaimed the antichrist to be the Papal Church of Rome, with the pope as that ‘man of sin’. Sadly, Protestants today have joined hands with that whore of Babylon and have accepted false Jesuit teachings concerning the antichtist to divert people from the truth!

 

Who is the Antichrist? Click on image to study more on the Antichrist

 

Source: https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/66528-billy-graham-answers-is-the-antichrist-roaming-the-earth-as-we-speak


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Wednesday August 9th, 2017

Twitter has rejected a pastor’s request to use the social media site’s advertising platform to promote a tweet highlighting his new book advocating for a traditional Christian belief in marriage.

Craig Stellpflug, a former pastor, paid for Twitter Ads to promote a tweet he posted about his new book titled One Man One Woman: God’s Original Design for Marriage, published by WestBow Press.

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Stellpflug, a retired cancer nutritionist with a pastoral career who now teaches Bible study and Sunday school at Sunrise Baptist Church in Custer, Washington, said he received an email response from Twitter telling him that his tweet “has not been approved for use in your Twitter Ads campaign.”

The tweet in question says, “One Man One Woman is about God’s original design for marriage carried from Adam and Eve in the garden through today.” The tweet also includes a photo of the book and a link to the WestBow Press online bookstore.

The email from Twitter explained that the tweet violated Twitter’s ad policy. “This determination is based on the following Twitter Ads policy: Hate.” Twitter’s policy says that Twitter prohibits “hate content, sensitive topics, and violence globally.” Twitter also lists a number of scenarios in which the policy applies, including “hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.”

“They started promoting it, they took my money,” Stellpflug said. “Then, I get that email that [the] tweet was not approved and that it was determined to be hate.”

Stellpflug said that his book is “definitely not an anti-gay book” and that it is “not about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual movement. In fact, I address different issues — homosexuality, adultery, divorce, pornography and other like issues,” he said. “I don’t give any special weight to homosexuality. I do give tremendous weight to God’s forgiveness, God’s judgment versus our judgment.”

“I suppose if I named my book ‘One Man and Another Man Together in Marriage,’ it would soar past the critics and actually garner praise as some clarion call for peace and unity,” Stellpflug told CP. “My book is not hate! It highlights conservative Christian marriage values — therefore it is ‘hate.’ Have we stooped so low in our country that my freedom of speech is squelched because I promote my Christian beliefs? I’ll tell you where the hate is. It is flaunted against the majority by the few as a tool to promote liberal agendas.”

Stellpflug said he penned another tweet promoting his book and paid Twitter to promote it. Stellpflug did not receive a response to his latest advertising campaign from Twitter administrators before press time.

This is not the first time that Twitter has been accused of rejecting an ad campaign promoting a social conservative value. In June, it was reported that Twitter is not allowing pro-life organizations like Live Action and the Susan B. Anthony List to procure ads that warn against abortion, show unborn baby ultrasounds and fact-check claims from the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

“And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.” Genesis 19:9.

“Likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot…” Luke 17:28.

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Wednesday July 19th, 2017

 

Many Evangelicals have made a mistake when they made a deal with Donald Trump. “Vote for me,” he said, “and I will give you Supreme Court picks and abolish the Johnson Amendment.” Mr. Trump’s “tempting” offer is remarkably like another made two millennia ago… when the devil offered Jesus the power to rule over all the kingdoms of the world with justice and mercy, if only Christ would bow down to the devil. American Christians should not have taken a deal Jesus rejected. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.

Evangelicals want to change America through politics and the courts. They fear the decline of Christianity if the Supreme Court shifts any further to the left, and they want to take it back to the right. So, they have focused on the promises of Mr. Trump to bring conservatives on to the Supreme Court and fashion it in their image.

But if the churches need the Court to save souls and empower faithful witness – both spoken and lived, then they are truly lost. Christ promised a cross and the Holy Spirit, not tax breaks for businesses and a worldly Court to defend Christian beliefs.

It is folly for Evangelicals to place their hope of religious freedom in a man who says he’ll use the government to give them more power. Why do they need more civil power, except to force their will and their beliefs on others? Can’t they preach powerful life-changing sermons and live powerful lives that will change hearts like Jesus did?

And where did this anti-Johnson Amendment stuff come from? In what world do they think it’s a good idea to allow churches to use their tax-deductible tithes and offerings in the support of political candidates and for churches to become openly partisan political operations? Is there a faster way to turn God’s house from a house of prayer into a den of thieves?!

What will this do to the evangelical witness? By accepting Trump’s deal, Evangelicals have traded all they are – their spiritual heritage – for a “mess of pottage.” Yes, that’s right. Evangelicals were the spiritual descendents of the great Reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries. Once compromised by the ecumenical movement (they no longer carry a protestant message), they lost their spiritual birthright and became vulnerable to political temptations of the Trump Presidency.

Mr. Trump will definitely not save the church’s influence in an increasingly secular world. As a politician, the only thing he can do is give them more political power. He cannot restore their moral influence, or morality and Christian decency in America for that matter. Those things are gone forever, except in the lives of faithful souls who live above all the political distractions in the light of Christ’s countenance.

But the age-old question for Christians during times of moral decline is whether they will turn to a strongman for salvation from the liberal left, or keep faith in the One who controls the strongman through meekness, love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. God’s kingdom will come regardless, sooner or later. But what will Evangelicals say when the Lord asks them in whom they trusted in the last days?

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:3 and 4.


Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?Click on image to read this guide.

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Tuesday June 20th, 2017 in

 

Approximately 58 people died (30 confirmed) in a towering inferno as one of London’s high-rise public housing blocks was gutted by fire. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, faced a barrage of criticism for the government’s initial response to the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

May said that the government has begun distributing funds from a $6.4 million (USD) emergency fund created to assist victims of the blaze, and housing officials are conducting safety checks of other public high-rise towers in London. “I have heard the concerns and I have ordered immediate action across the board to help victims’ relatives and the survivors,” May said.

Protesters in London are demanding to know why long-standing fire safety concerns raised by a tenants’ group about the 24 story building, tucked in the city’s ritzy North Kensington neighborhood, had not been addressed. They also expressed anger that the prime minister did not meet with survivors or victims of the fire when she initially visited the neighborhood following the tragedy.

Commander Stuart Cundy, a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police, also said there may have been people in the tower that police are not aware of, which could add to the death toll. “The figure of 58 are those who are missing and that we have to presume are dead,” said Cundy. “It might be that some of those are safe and well but for whatever reason have not reached (out) to let us know. Cundy added that it will take weeks or longer to recover and identify all the dead in the housing block that was devastated. Police said 19 injured in the fire remain hospitalized, including 10 who were in critical condition.

“My heart goes out to those affected,” Cundy said. “As soon as we can, we will locate and recover loved ones.” Cundy said authorities plan to release video and photographs from inside the badly-charred building.

Investigators are trying to figure out why the fire spread so quickly to the top floors especially since the apartment complex underwent a $13 million refurbishment last year that included new thermal cladding to the exterior.

The Grenfell Action Group, the tenants’ organization, had expressed concerns for years about the testing and maintenance of firefighting equipment and blocked emergency access to the site. “All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable,” the group said after the fire broke out, according to the Associated Press. In a blog post written last year, the Grenfell Action Group warned of “dangerous living conditions” in the tower. “It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO.”

KCTMO, the Kensington and Chelsea Management Organization, has managed the building on behalf of local public authorities who own it. The management organization said it was aware of the complaints made by residents, but that it was “too early to speculate what caused the fire and contributed to its spread.”
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip observed a moment of silence to honor the victims. They paid their respects before the start of the annual Trooping the Color procession that marks the observance of the queen’s birthday. The queen said in a statement that she was “profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.”

“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity,” she added. “United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favor, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”

“The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God’s judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.” Prophets and Kings, page 278.

 

The Ultimate DeliveranceClick here on image to read