How Does Your State Rank in Church Attendance?

A new Gallup poll offers some clues about Americans’ church attendance—and the sizeable difference depending on the state where you live.

Gallup asked 177,030 American adults, “How often do you attend church, synagogue or mosque—at least once a week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom or never?” It ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to how many responded that they attend religious services “at least once a week.”

Residents of Utah are most likely to attend a religious service weekly. According to Gallup, Utah owes its No. 1 ranking to Mormons, who “have the highest religious service attendance of any major religious group in the U.S.”

Utah is followed by Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Residents of Vermont are least likely to attend church weekly, followed by New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington State. Gallup notes that the New England region reports the lowest levels of church attendance in the nation, with Connecticut and Rhode Island not far behind the rest of the region, at Nos. 10 and 17, respectively.

By Kate Scanlon – The Daily Signal –

The Real “Old-Time Religion”

People in the South who are intuitively attuned to its culture and history suspect that what passes for popular, evangelical religion in the region is not precisely what it has been in the past. Besides the fact that the South, like other parts of the country, is slowly giving in to the forces of secularism, those states from Maryland to Texas, and halfway up the Mississippi Valley, exhibit a kind of religion that is less distinguishable now, than earlier in their history, from New York, Minnesota, and California. The Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California, might just as well be in Atlanta. And the seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Community Church will find its imitators in Oklahoma City, Dallas, and New Orleans. The fundamentalist-liberal rift that once plagued Northern mainline Protestantism, now has its mirror image all across the South, especially in the Southern Baptist Convention.

In order to understand what has changed in the South, it is necessary to have clearly in view the kinds of disorders that the religious communities of the South, whether consciously and intentionally or unconsciously and intuitively, resisted. What they rejected at almost every significant point were three movements that had considerable impact in other parts of the country, and especially in the Northeast. These were (1) fundamentalism, (2) Puritanism, and (3) vulgar pantheism. All three of these have enjoyed some success in the United States, but until recently none of them have been favorably received in the South. That is not to say that they did not exist in the South: for each represents a kind of permanent temptation for all people everywhere. But each of them also represents something to which some cultures have developed a degree of resistance. The South has historically been somewhat resistant to the first, more resistant to the second, and until relatively recently almost untouched by the third….

It is worth mentioning that the very fact of the South’s brutal experience of war, and its humiliating defeat, played a part in that section’s resistance of a religious error that has otherwise seemed endemic to the United States. It is the same error to which ancient Israel was so prone: the belief that right religion would always triumph, and defeat is a sign of divine disfavor. This error belongs to the adolescence of religion, but not to its maturity, as the prophets Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, were to teach their people.

Southerners also had to deal with their own defeat and ruin, as well as with the eventual recognition of their own sins—even while the virtues of their oppressors were exaggerated and their sins ignored. Nevertheless, certain virtues can only come prominently into play under conditions that are mostly foreign to the bourgeois comforts of twentieth century America. Flannery O’Conner worried that Southerners were losing this sense of difference and alienation that has something in common with the very idea of holiness. She said once, “The Anguish that most of us have observed for some time now has been caused not by the fact that the South is alienated from the rest of the country, but by the fact that it is not alienated enough, that everyday we are getting more and more like the rest of the country, that we are being forced out, not only of our many sins but of our few virtues.”

By A.J. Conyers – Abbeville Institute –

Sudan Aids Muslim Investors Take Last Piece Of Church Land

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – The Sudanese government today helped Muslim investors take over the remaining property of Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church in Khartoum North, church leaders said.

Riot police on two trucks arrived at the church property at noon and assisted in the seizure of the land by force.

“Over the past year they have aided another Muslim businessman to seize a piece of the land, and today they are taking the only piece of land left for the church,” a church leader who requested anonymity told Morning Star News.

The take-over comes less than a month after the government seized another Christian facility in Khartoum.

The church is appealing to Christians worldwide to pray for them.

“We are asking all of you to pray for our situation in Sudan,” another church leader said. “Oh God, have mercy upon us.”

On Oct. 5, 2013, Sudan’s police and security forces broke through the church fence and beat and arrested Christians in the compound, asserting parts of the property belonged to a Muslim investor accompanying them. As Muslims nearby shouted, “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” plainclothes police ….

Church leaders hold ownership papers to the property and believe any contract surrendering it comes from a government ruse.

Harassment, arrests and persecution of Christians have intensified since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, when President Omar al-Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language.

The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced in April 2013 that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population.

Sudan since 2012 has expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

From the Religious Freedom Coalition –

Florida city spies on churches, demands licenses

A Florida city’s code-enforcement division, which was subject in 2013 to a scathing audit for falsifying inspections, employing unqualified inspectors and failing to clean up nuisance properties, has now decided to go after churches.

The City of Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, has taken the position all churches are required to obtain a “business license” to conduct worship services. It is using city employees to covertly attend services and acquire evidence, including video, “for future court presentation.”

City-code enforcement officer, Gerard A. Coscia – wearing a hoodie – was sent to the Common Ground Church on Feb. 9 to clandestinely film the worship service, reported the Examiner.

The following Sunday, Coscia returned to the church, which meets in the Coffee Grounds Coffee Bar, handed his business card to pastor Mike Olive and told him, “This Sunday is your last Sunday.”

Olive said he had never received a notice from the city for any violation of any local law, and only learned a non-compliance affidavit had been issued when a church employee checked the city website.

“I inspected the property and found the following violations: Business-rental property found without a current City of Lake Worth business license, specifically to operate as a church, or a house of worship,” Coscia wrote in his case narrative….

But Common Grounds Coffee Bar does have a business license, Olive told the Lake Worth Tribune. He should know – he owns the business. And the site is not a church – it’s a coffee shop that leases space to a church every Sunday morning in the same manner other city restaurants and businesses rent their back rooms to neighborhood groups for their meetings. The Common Grounds site has….

By Jay Baggett – WND –

An Electrifying Church Service

What the church world is coming to:

    2015 Church Service

PASTOR: “Praise the Lord!”

CONGREGATION: “Hallelujah!”

PASTOR: “Will everyone please turn on their tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to 1 Corinthians, 13:13.

And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon.”

P-a-u-s-e……

“Now, Let us pray committing this week into God’s hands.

Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God”

S-i-l-e-n-c-e

“As we take our Sunday tithes and offerings, please have your credit and debit cards ready.”

“You can log on to the church Wi-Fi using the password ‘Lord909887.’

The ushers will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the worshipers:

a. Those who prefer to make electronic fund transfers are directed to computers and laptops at the rear of the church.

b. Those who prefer to use iPads can open them.

c. Those who prefer telephone banking, take out your cell phones to transfer your contributions to the church account.

The holy atmosphere of the Church becomes truly electrified as ALL the smart phones, iPads, PCs and laptops beep and flicker!

Final Blessing and Closing Announcements.

a. This week’s ministry cell meetings will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chatting takes place. Please log in and don’t miss out.

b. Thursday’s Bible study will be held live on Skype at 1900hrs GMT. Please don’t miss out.

c. You can follow your Pastor on Twitter this weekend for counselling and prayers.

God bless and have a nice day.

And Jesus wept…..

By Robert McCurry –

PASTORS TO HELP DHS IN ARRESTS AND FEMA DETENTION

MSNBC interviewed a pastor, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO.)[who] clearly stated the purpose of a 2014 meeting was to “equip the pastors with what they need to know about what they can say and not say in the church.” Representative Cleaver stated very clearly that Preachers are being muzzled by the 501(c)(3) regulations being enforced for the Justice Department and the IRS. ———

The fact that FEMA has recruited up to an estimated 28,000 pastors, as a low end estimate, to as many as 100,000 pastors, as a high end estimate, in order to form the clergy response team is very disturbing, not to mention frightening.

The reports of pastoral betrayal are now coming in from multiple sources and there is no denying where this is headed….

As if the Clergy Response Teams are not enough to convince you that your church has been compromised by the non-Christian forces connected to the globalists, then you need to consider the impact of 501c3 regulations and how they limit the preaching of the word of God from the pulpits of America.

MSNBC interviewed a pastor, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO.). Representative Cleaver stated very clearly that Preachers are being muzzled by the 501(c)(3) regulations being enforced for the Justice Department and the IRS. In 2014, Representative Cleaver headed up a meeting with several thousand clergy along with representatives from FEMA, the IRS and Eric Holder. According to Cleaver, the pastors minister to a total of about 10 million Christians.

Cleaver clearly stated that the purpose of the meeting was to “equip the pastors with what they need to know about what they can say and not say in the church…”

If you find this too hard to believe, let the Congressman tell you in his own words what I have just written here. (Video)

Through the 501(c)(3) regulations, DHS and FEMA have made it nearly impossible for your pastor to tell you the truth as to what is coming.

….with regard to the undermining of the church by FEMA/DHS, I interviewed a whistleblower who was a pioneer in the formation of the Clergy Response Team, Pastor Walt Mansfield.

Pastor Mansfield was among the first of the pastors recruited to become a part of the Clergy Response Team. The revelations he conveyed to me about this program had pastors doing a whole lot more than preaching Romans 13. But before going to the disturbing contents of the interview, let’s take a look at relevant legislation which helps to legitimize Pastor Mansfield’s outrageous claims.Pastor Mansfield was recruited to become a member of the Clergy Response Team which would operate under the control of NOVAD and DHS. Mansfield’s revelations about his experiences are stunning and concerning at the same time.

Pastor Mansfield attended several briefings and he could barely believe his ears. He learned of the government’s plan to enact martial law as well as to implement forced population relocations. Mansfield emphasized that when martial law is enacted, the enforcement would be immediate. In other words, family members will be separated from each other and part of the training that the clergy received was how to comfort separated family members.

Pastor Mansfield emphasized that the FEMA/DHS drills were predicated on bioterrorism. The pastors were trained to go to homes were people refused to be relocated by the authorities and their immediate job was to convince the reluctant to willingly go to the relocation camps. Ostensibly, this was to be done in lieu of sending in the SWAT teams.

I asked Mansfield if FEMA camps were real and he stated that much of the clergy training focused around this scenario of pastors operating within the forced relocation centers. The main goal of a pastor assigned to a FEMA camp was to bring order and encourage compliance with DHS requests….

The pastors were forced to sign anon-disclosure.The most interesting and disturbing fact that I learned was the fact that the pastors were told not to quote Scripture. The DHS document which was prepared for the pastors clearly stated that Scripture had been used to “oppress” people in the past and the presenters strongly discouraged its use. Please see the following excerpt from one of the DHS training manuals:

Healing Scripture and Prayer In the Pastoral Crisis Intervention

“During a time of crisis people do go through a “crisis of faith.”

Sometime quick mention of God and scripture may not be helpful. As we all know the Scripture has been used to oppress, dominate and at the same time used for healing and reconciliation- renewing of relationship with God and people. If the pastor senses it is appropriate to use the scripture and prayer, it must carefully be done for healing of victims not to uphold pastoral authority.” (Page 14)

In other words, all legitimate pastoral authority was abrogated by the pastors who participated in the roundup of American citizens.

Also on page 14 of the same training document, pastors were admonished to avoid “Unhealthy God talk….” Specifically pastors are ordered to avoid using references to God when helping people cope with the loss of a loved one:

Pastor Mansfield also revealed that pastors will be issued badges under the Clergy Response Team program. Any pastor not displaying the badge, indicating that they have been trained under these guidelines, will not be permitted into the established and designated “DHS safety zones”. This reminds me of the banishment of religious figures from Plymouth Colony who, in good conscience, refused to go along with some of the extremism of that day. Pastors are absolutely forbidden to publicly to speak about any aspect of the program. If you were to ask your pastor if they are a FEMA trained pastor, they will not likely tell you.

Disturbingly, Pastor Mansfield reiterated several times that the number one job of these pastors is to calm down people and encourage their compliance within the peoples’ new surroundings (i.e. FEMA camps).

Pastor Mansfield also stated that pastors will be utilized as informants. This violates the legal privilege of confidentiality between pastor and church-goer, that is currently recognized by law. All church-goers can no longer trust the sanctity of personal confessions and revelations made to pastors, priests or rabbis. This one illegal act by DHS completely undermines the Christian Church in America….

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Millennial Evangelicals push for full inclusion of LGBT “Christians”

When Pastor Adam Phillips moved across the country with his wife two years ago and planted a new congregation in Portland, Ore., he was heeding the call of his Christian roots, an Evangelical Covenant tradition that today has a primary mission “to reach young people, engage a growing multiethnic population, and develop vibrant local churches that make disciples.”

“Pastor Adam,” as his congregation at Christ Church: Portland calls him, was well suited for such a mission. Young, familiar as much with Tumblr as with theological tomes, and a former director of faith mobilization for the ONE Campaign, the antipoverty group cofounded by U2’s Bono, Mr. Phillips brought a charisma and enthusiasm common to generations of evangelical ministers.

Phillips is also part of a growing movement of young Evangelicals who have come to support the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Christians in the church, including in leadership positions, he says. Though he does not perform same-sex marriages, which are strictly forbidden by his denomination, he has advocated that traditional church teachings on what he has called “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage” be extended to, and expected of, LGBT Christians as well.

Because of these views, he says, in early February, leaders of the Chicago-based Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), a denomination begun by Swedish Pietists in 1885 and which ordained Phillips in 2007, told their church-planting pastor that they would no longer support his ministry. They withdrew their commitment of $150,000 a year for three years.

Across America, many Evangelicals, estimated to be about 25 percent of the US population and a potent political force, have been grappling with the swift-moving cultural changes that have transformed attitudes about LGBT people and have so far made same-sex marriage legal in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

As a group, Evangelicals remain by far those most opposed to same-sex marriage in the United States, a Pew Research poll found last September. But over the past decade, support has nearly doubled among this mostly conservative segment of Christianity. In 2004, 11 percent of white evangelical Protestants expressed support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry. By 2014, a younger generation of Evangelicals had pushed this figure to 21 percent, according to the Pew survey….

As a faith tradition, Evangelicals have defined themselves for centuries with a high view of the integrity and authority of Scripture. In both the Old and New Testaments, most argue, the Bible is clear in its condemnation of same-sex relationships as an affront to the natural, God-ordained order of human sexuality, expressed only within the confines of a marriage between a man and a woman.

“Some people want … [to] take a surgeon’s scalpel to the Word of God,” wrote Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical denomination, in a response to the movement last year. He accuses the movement of trying to reinterpret “what the Bible clearly calls immorality.”

“This is infidelity to the gospel we’ve received,” Mr. Moore continues. “First of all, no one refusing to repent of sin – be it homosexuality or fornication or anything else – will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). This strategy leaves people in condemnation before the Judgment Seat of Christ, without reconciliation and without hope.”

– The Trumpet Online –

THE DECEPTION THREATENING AMERICA’S SURVIVAL: ‘All Lies are Equally True’

George Friedman wrote in his book, Flashpoints that Civilizations are divided into three phases. The first is Barbarism in which people believe the laws and beliefs of their village are the laws of nature. The second is Civilization where people continue to believe in the justice of their ways but harbor openness to the idea that they might not have everything correct. The third is Decadence. It begins the moment people come to believe there is no truth, or that All Lies are Equally True.

Watching the Obama administration flounder around so many things ranging from whether or not to target ISIS to telling Christians not to get on their high horses generates anger and head shaking. These problems bring me to the conclusion that at the highest levels, Washington, D.C. believes All Lies are Equally True. Two pieces of core evidence take me there. First, the Lord hates those who shed innocent blood. Since the early seventies, our nation has shed innocent blood to the tune of 50 million aborted babies. That number is coming home in the form of lost consumers, lost workers, lost intellect, and lost taxpayers. In our coming future, that equates to lost soldiers, lost Marines, and lost men and women defending our nation. In a land where All Lies are Equally True, dismissing a voiceless, faceless baby to oblivion becomes a medical detail in the ethics of convenience.

A second piece of core evidence arrives with our failure to protect innocent blood. If the Lord hates those who shed innocent blood, then he loves those who protect innocent blood. As I write this column, hard, violent, faith filled men are going in harm’s way to rescue women and children from ISIS. While Washington, D.C. wrestles with their amoral ass-inanity trying to figure out how to even respond, rank and file Americans see the correctness of protecting innocent life.

Our Perfumed Princes walk a tortuous maze where All Lies are Equally True. Their disconnect from the American people grows because they cannot understand people who still believe innocent life is precious. The worst part about the decadence of believing All Lies are Equally True is that they do not have to make any decisions because all decisions are wrong. Or Right. Or not necessary. Or maybe will go away.

Rome did not exactly fall. It sort of crumbled until Attila the Hun and his minions took out the last vestiges of an empire that had more than enough wealth to raise a first class Army. The problem with Rome in the 3rd and 4th Century was that it was in the last decadent throes of a nation where All Lies were Equally True. As a result, in the words of Gibbons, rank and file citizens hated their own government more than the barbarians at the gate. Families fled north to escape confiscatory taxation that otherwise swept them into slavery for failure to pay taxes.

The Last Centurion (a nameless man tired of enduring the death of his nation) married a barbarian bride somewhere in central Europe and started over in a feudal landscape. He had to take it back to Barbarian 101… His people believing the laws and beliefs of their village were the laws of nature.

Our nation is different from Rome but our demons are very similar. Like the Romans, we face a rising Moslem civilization that is wiping people, nations, and entire histories into dust. Our own leaders imitate the Emperors by coming from a morally relative place where All Lies are Equally True. They fail to believe the civilizing strengths and great beliefs the founding fathers used to kick start our Republic.

It is ironic that just as the Enlightenment was a war against church and faith, our similar New Age deceivers actively war against believers. That war straddles the courts, community, public school and the boiling pot of weapons confiscation. The mantel of “Right to Life” seems as far down in the bin of mediocrity as the issue of slavery after the 1856 Dred-Scott decision.

Historically, when an empire or nation hits the point of ultimate decadence in which the beliefs that made it great recede into a background where All Lies are Equally True, the nation falls….

By Clearchus – The Clash Daily –

Apostate State Churches: “The Body is a Temple and it Must Be Insured”

In an effort to sign up as many consumers as possible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), the Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to partner with churches and other faith-based groups, even publishing sample church bulletin inserts, flyers, and scripts for announcements, as well as “talking points.” These materials are part of the “Second Sunday & Faith Weekend of Action Toolkit,” which is available on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

From the beginning, HHS has sought to develop partnerships with faith-based organizations to promote the Obamacare. This “toolkit” has been available since 2013. However, the details of these partnerships have largely escaped the attention of the national media. The Second Sunday & Faith Weekend of Action program encourages churches to use the second Sunday of each month during open enrollment to hold informational meetings and sign-up events.

The suggested announcement includes insertion points for the name of the church promoting the event:

The materials also include two full pages of “talking points,” which end with an admonition to churches that “[y]ou are trusted messengers in this community. We hope you share this information with those around you so they can be connected with the care they need.”

Non-profits such as Community Health Connectors have also brought togeather churches and faith-based organizations with government officials for information regarding the ACA, recently even hosting an “off the record” conference call with First Lady Michelle Obama “to discuss how the Affordable Care Act is impacting the lives of your congregation members.”

HHS also offers to make officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) available to speak at church events. The CMS “2nd Sunday HIM [Health Insurance Marketplace] Enrollment for Faith and Community Event” form asks for contact information, desired topics and dates, and an audience profile, including if any “other CMS, HHS, Congressional Members or any other VIP officials expected to attend.”

In at least one case, a marketplace even invoked scripture as part of the enrollment push. In March 2014, D.C. HealthLink, the insurance marketplace for the nation’s capital assigned a theme to their Weekend of Action, “The Body is a Temple and it Must Be Insured,” drawing on I Corinthians 6:19, which says that “your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.”

According to a recent blog post on the HHS website, more than 5,500 faith leaders have “promoted health insurance enrollment within their communities through efforts like the Second Sunday program.” The deadline for open enrollment for 2015 coverage is Sunday, February 15.

– The Trumpet –

Virtual reality a new frontier for religions

Virtual reality technology is going to radically change what it means to attend church in the next fifty years — and maybe much sooner.

While the technology is still in its infancy, however, virtual churches are limited experiments rather than significant outreach efforts – but this will change.

“Numerous persons and groups have developed churches in the virtual world, mainly Second Life,” Rev. Christopher Benek told Hypergrid Business. “I would venture to say that most have been less concerned with true evangelical success and more focused on what their technological exploratory experience may yield in the future.”

Rev. Benek serves at the largest church in the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, the First Prebyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, as the Associate Pastor of Family Ministries and Mission. He is also enrolled at Durham University in England where he is working on a Ph.D. in theology focusing on the intersection of technological futurism and eschatology.

For most traditional churches, virtual reality isn’t even on the horizon, he said.

“But for those of us who tend to be more inclined to the developments of human technology, we are keeping abreast of the important advancements that are occurring in the virtual world,” he said. “Personally, I think that as technology like Oculus Rift becomes more developed, immersive, and available to the general public, we may soon be able to easily develop virtual worship and Christian education experiences. This would be a great asset to the church universal, as it will enable the infirm, homebound, and potentially even the poor to participate from afar regardless of their personal mobility or lack of affordable transportation.”

There are a number of other ways in which churches can benefit by removing physical obstacles to worship, he added.

“Congregants and pastors will be able to visit and pray with greater numbers of people more often,” he said.”Small groups will be able to meet more frequently, even at great distances. The way that we currently do care and discipleship will radically change as will our expectations as to what it means to participate in those aspects of the church.”

….“I think the Church, as well as other religious organizations, would benefit from proceeding further in this direction of virtualizing and even open-sourcing their rituals,” Lincoln Cannon, President of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, told Hypergrid Business. “Imagine authenticating to an neurally immersive online temple in which you participate in the mythological re-enactment, adapting the imagery to your personal spiritual needs, perhaps in concert with or according to the guidance of spiritual friends or authorities. I don’t have a particular platform to recommend, but I do feel a great deal of inspiration from this vision of customizing and revitalizing ritual to such extent that re-enactment transcends itself and actually becomes reification: the expression of salvation mythology itself becomes transfiguration to godhood, and the expression of creation mythology itself instantiates new worlds.”

….The story of LifeChurch.tv in Second Life is told in the book Virtually Sacred – Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life, published in 2014 by Oxford University Press, by Robert Geraci, Professor in the Department of Religion at Manhattan College. Geraci argues that virtual worlds can play the role of sacred spaces, places of power where believers can engage in compelling forms of ritual behavior and form online religious communities.

The book reports that many groups in mainstream religions, including Christianity and Islam, established a virtual presence in Second Life, often bypassing institutional channels and creating grassroots communities instead. These virtual communities are often independent of traditional religious hierarchies, and much more open to inter-faith dialogue and alternative lifestyles….

The chapter “Sacred Second Lives” of Virtually Sacred is dedicated to new, emerging religious movements in Second Life. Perhaps more than established religions, new “native” metaverse religions will be able to take full advantage of the endless possibilities of virtual reality and offer a spiritual home to multitudes of people worldwide, especially those who search spiritual meaning independently, outside the legacy framework of mainstream religions….

Of course everything – even religion – runs on money, and how to finance virtual churches will need to be addressed. Many religious communities are self-sustaining through donations, and that financing model will still be viable. Virtual worlds have built-in payment methods, from the Linden dollar to the Bitcoin-like crypto-currency planned for High Fidelity, so that collecting donations in virtual reality will be even easier than in physical churches.

Besides recovery of survival expenses, it’s well known that religion can be a profitable business as well. Other forms of financing include membership fees, merchandising, pay-only events and virtual adventures, donations from wealthy patrons, and discreet sponsorship – or even blatant in-service advertising if the virtual parishioners are willing to put up with that.

By Giulio Prisco – Hypergrid Business –

Vandals set fire at Florida church, spray-paint ‘Allahu Akbar’

A possible hate crime is under investigation after a fire was set at a Central Florida church, where vandals also spray-painted “Allahu Akbar.”

The incident happened around 3 a.m. Monday at the New Shiloh Christian Church in Melbourne on Sarno Road. About 1,500 members attend the church.

Melbourne police said officers and firefighters discovered the blaze after a fire alarm sounded. Arson was the expected cause, police said.

Fire sprinklers helped contain the flames to a storage unit connected to the 125,000-square-foot building.

The words “Allahu Akbar” were spray-painted on the storage unit. “Allahu Akbar” is an Arabic phrase typically translated as “God is great” and is a common expression used in various contexts.

….”To find something like that in 2015 is unbelievable. It’s just disheartening,” said New Shiloh Christian Church Bishop Jacquelyn Gordon. “They told us that this is definitely a hate crime and that they’re going to patrol our area even more and just look out for us and they thought it was senseless and I feel the same way.”

Police have not confirmed to Local 6[WKMG] that the case is being investigated as a hate crime, but say they are investigating the fire and vandalism as arson and criminal mischief.

“I would just say that everything is being looked at. All avenues are going to be explored. If it meets that criteria, that would be something that would be looked at,” said Lt. Cheryl Trainer.

Police told Local 6 they are hesitant to label the case as a hate crime because they don’t want to alarm the public. They said they will determine if the graffiti was done at the same time as the vandalism and arson to determine if it is, in fact, a hate crime. At this time they are calling it arson and criminal mischief….

By Daniel Dahm – ClickOrlando.com –

The Rise of the “Done with Church” Population

….John had come to a long-considered, thoughtful decision. He said, “I’m just done. I’m done with church.”

John is one in a growing multitude of ex-members. They’re sometimes called the de-churched. They have not abandoned their faith. They have not joined the also-growing legion of those with no religious affiliation–often called the Nones. Rather, John has joined the Dones.

At Group’s recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones. He explained these de-churched were among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations. To an increasing degree, the church is losing its best.

For the church, this phenomenon sets up a growing danger. The very people on whom a church relies for lay leadership, service and financial support, are going away. And the problem is compounded by the fact that younger people in the next generation, the Millennials, are not lining up to refill the emptying pews.

Why are the Dones done? Packard describes several factors in his upcoming book, Church Refugees (Group). Among the reasons: After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all. One of Packard’s interviewees said, “I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do.”

The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn.

Will the Dones return? Not likely, according to the research. They’re done. Packard says it would be more fruitful if churches would focus on not losing these people in the first place. Preventing an exodus is far easier than attempting to convince refugees to return.

Pastors and other ministry leaders would benefit from asking and listening to these long-time members, before they flee. This will require a change of habit. When it comes to listening, church leaders are too often in the habit of fawning over celebrity pastors for answers. It would be far more fruitful to take that time and spend it with real people nearby–existing members. Ask them some good questions, such as:

•Why are you a part of this church?
•What keeps you here?
•Have you ever contemplated stepping away from church? Why or why not?
•How would you describe your relationship with God right now?
•How has your relationship with God changed over the past few years?
•What effect, if any, has our church had on your relationship with God?
•What would need to change here to help you grow more toward Jesus’ call to love God and love others?

….The exodus of the Dones, the rise of the Nones, and the disappearance of the Millennials do not look good for a church afraid to listen.

It’s not too late to start.

By Thom Schultz – Holy Soup –

Church Asks Followers to Submit to Government Totally

A church hosting a law enforcement appreciation sermon asked its followers to pledge their allegiance to government….

According to an anonymous visitor of the Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek, Washington, who provided exclusive photos to Infowars, attendees were ordered to submit to the state without question.

“They had police worship today and last week was military worship where they played clips of American Sniper…” the source said. “They were telling people to basically worship government and worship police no matter what. No mention of police brutality, no mention of the stingray systems grabbing our data…”

The church’s pastor, Dan Kellog, who is also reportedly a police chaplain, used the Romans 13 bible verse to justify his position. As noted by Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson,Romans 13 has long been used by authoritarian regimes to force compliance.

Romans 13 has routinely been cited by tyrants throughout history in an attempt to prevent Christians from opposing their rule, indeed, it was Hitler’s favorite bible verse,” Watson wrote. “Religious groups such as the Catholics in 1930’s Germany also used the verse as an excuse not to rise up against the Nazis when they were still a minority political party.”

….While working with law enforcement to create a safer community is a noble cause, the sermon made no mention of the duty of Americans to oppose and protest unconstitutional legislation and dictates.

The sermon’s content is eerily similar to a 2009 document passed out to churchgoers in Ohio that told Christians to support President Obama due to his status as “God’s minister.”

Since at least 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has used Romans 13 under a FEMA program to train pastors to become literal secret police. Pastors are tasked with teaching their congregations to submit to every government action including forced relocation under martial law.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, pastors operating under the “Clergy Response Team” program were used to quell dissent as police and military carried out unconstitutional gun confiscation.

By Mikael Thalen – Infowars –

Church Freedom and Corporation Sole vs. 501(c)(3) Church

Our goal here at ChurchFreedom.org is to help set America’s Churches FREE from 501(c)(3) and to raise up the next generation of leaders for the Body of Christ.To raise up Christian Leaders that will boldly preach 100% Biblical Truth. No wavering. No fear of backlash, IRS codes, or threats from the government. Just Pure Unfiltered Holy Spirit Empowered God-given fortitude.

We accomplish this by freely helping Christian leaders properly establish or financially reorganize their ministries with both a Church Establishment Affidavit and a Corporation Sole. With these two resources, a Church becomes lawfully immune to both 501(c)(3) political restrictions and current gender identity laws.

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: Take a look at the recent political effects of what happens when Christian Churches are barred from influencing public policy because of restrictive 501(c)(3) laws:

◾Gov’t tells Christian ministers: Perform same-sex weddings or face jail, fines.
◾The City of Houston Texas has demanded that local Churches turn over sermons for examination by the state to see if the Pastors discriminated against LGBTQ individuals.
◾Throughout America, the Internal Revenue Service is intimidating churches and pastors into silence on what Scripture says about candidates and elections.
◾A politically appointed activist Federal Judge has ruled that ALL Christian Pastor’s mandatory housing allowances have been ruled ‘un-constitutional’.
◾Elected Officials in New York have barred Christians from organizing in public schools.
◾In Montana, Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church faced election law charges after a volunteer passed out petitions to place a marriage amendment on the Montana ballot.
◾In Arizona, Pastor Michael Salman of Harvest Christian Fellowship has been jailed for having Church services in his home.
◾In Arizona, Gilbert city officials ordered Oasis of Truth Church to stop meeting or holding Bible studies in its pastor’s private home.
◾Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1064, ‘Religious Freedom Act’ meant to protect Christian corporations from restrictive, ‘Gender Identity Laws’.
◾Over 32 States have adopted anti-discriminatory, “Gender Identity Laws” that restrict incorporations from discriminating against LGBTQ individuals in any form (this includes most 501c3 Churches).
◾California Democratic State Senator, Ricardo Lara introduced SB 323 in an attempt to legally force 501c3 Churches into accepting homosexuals as full members….

The benefits of the Corporation Sole are near limitless compared to every other form of a Church legally organizing itself. Let us explain each one of the benefits in great detail so you have a better understanding for how the Corporation Sole can bring legal deliverance to your ministry as a whole.

Benefit #1 – IT BRINGS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OF SPEECH BACK TO THE CHURCH!: A Church/Ministry that has been properly established with a Statutory Declaration of Church Establishment Affidavit and has organized it’s finances with a Corporation Sole CAN participate and intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office (so long as the office of the Corporation Sole does not). It allows the Church itself (not the Corporation Sole) to influence politics, influence its members who to vote for or against any political candidate running for office and lobby congress.

Now, we’re not suggesting that your Church directly influences politics with a specific message, we want you to be Holy Spirit led in every message that is delivered out of your Church. However, we want your Church to reserve the RIGHT and PRIVILEGE that if the Lord DOES LEAD YOU to speak about public policy that you DO NOT FEAR the IRS attempting to revoke your Churches tax exemption status and that you speak the 100% uncompromising Word of God that the Holy Spirit leads you to say in regards to public policy….

Benefit #2 – Local Cities and Governments Can No Longer Impose Permits, Fines and Penalties to Churches for Helping Feed the Homeless….

Benefit #3 – A Corporation Sole Requires NO BOARD OF TRUSTEES….

Benefit #4 – The Church Is Now MANDATORILY EXEMPTED From Both Taxation and Being Required to File Annual Information Returns to the IRS….

Benefit #5 – NO BY-LAWS OR CHURCH CORPORATE CHARTER….

Benefit #6 – A CORPORATION SOLE CAN ISSUE PROMISSORY NOTES….

Benefit #7 – STATE TAX EXEMPTIONS….

Benefit #8 – TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS….

Benefit #9 – TITLE TO REAL PROPERTY….

Benefit #10 – CLEAR LINE OF SUCCESSION….

Benefit #11 – DOES NOT REQUIRE AN ATTORNEY….

Benefit #12 – THE CORPORATION SOLE ACTS AS A NATURAL PERSON….

There is a possible legal argument to be made that even though a Corporation Sole is registered with a Secretary of State as a corporation, that it in fact has the same rights as individual rights, which supersede corporate law. It is the only known corporation in American law to do this. It is also important to note that this argument has not been used in Federal Court as a defense (because they have not thought to do so).

Learn Everything About the Corporation Sole and How to FREE Christians and the Church from Restrictive 501(c)(3) Laws….

From ChurchFreedom.org –

West Coast “Churches” Becoming Unrecognizable

Like many San Franciscans, overpriced coffee is a considerable portion of my weekly budget. One day in Soma, the industrial district home to many start-ups, I came across a flier advertising a free gift card to Philz, a nearby coffee shop. All that was required was to show up for service at a local church called Epic. I hadn’t been to church in months, and decided to give it a try.

The Bay Area has never been perceived as religious: a 2012 Gallup poll found that fewer than a quarter of residents identify as “very religious” (defined as going to church weekly), as opposed to 40% of the nation as a whole. High salaries have drawn droves of well-educated millennials to the booming tech sector, which correlates with lower religious sentiment. So far afield from the Bible belt, the region is in fact seen as hospitable to all forms of old testament abominations: fornication, paganism – even sodomy.

If you look around, however, you’ll notice a bumper crop of newer Christian ministries that, upon superficial glance, could pass for any other Bay Area start-up: glossy web design, well-curated social accounts and yes, free coffee promotions. County-level statistics substantiate this: numbers from the Association of Religion Data Archives show that several large Protestant denominations have grown in San Francisco County in recent years.

How does one even start a church in the land of $3,000 studio apartments, transient tech workers and rationalist tendencies? The answer lies in a mix of organized efforts by large religious bodies, coupled with messaging that speaks to the tastes, needs and neuroses of ambitious young Bay Area residents.

The Sunday following my flier discovery, I made my way to Epic. The church’s home is in a modest commercial space sharing a street with a marijuana dispensary, a few small tech firms and a homeless encampment.

I grabbed a free bagel and was quickly welcomed by a young pastor named Tim. We were then ushered into the basement, where a three-piece band played a gentle song about keeping promises. Following announcements – Epic would soon be moving to a new, larger venue closer to downtown – lead pastor Ben Pilgreen began a sermon on the idea of resurrection that mixed self-deprecating humor with notes on the ruthlessness of the corporate ladder, as well as occasional asides about processed food: “Have you ever looked at the ingredients in a McRib? What are pig innards?” “You don’t want to know!” called out a scientist in the second row, to rippling laughter.

Pilgreen’s resurrection talk was shrewdly adapted to the worries that would keep any ambitious professional up at night: what happens after a failed project, a faded dream, or even a lost sense of humility following the kind of dizzying financial success that many San Franciscans have sought ever since the tech boom days….

Missionaries sometimes describe a personal call from God to take on the task of launching and growing a ministry, often far from home. But on a practical level, church plants are brought to life through complex systems of financial and logistical support that scale up to the largest religious bodies in the world, like the Southern Baptist Convention. Epic was founded through the 10-10-10 initiative, a Southern Baptist Convention-supported program to plant 10 new churches in the Bay Area in 2010.

Linda Bergquist was the lead Bay Area catalyst for the initiative, helping to guide new pastors through the spiritual and logistical process of starting a church in one of the most expensive and dense metro areas in the country. When I ask her about traits that make a successful planter in the Bay Area, she offers an anecdote about Pilgreen’s group:

“When Ben and his original team came out here for the first time, it was during Obama’s inauguration. The first thing we did was to go down to Civic Center. People were throwing shoes at what I think was a picture of George Bush. Rick Warren came on screen, and people would boo him. It was just so insanely San Francisco. I wanted to watch how Ben and his team related to it, and I hadn’t even told them about Soma … But I asked afterwards, ‘How was it?’ And they really liked being there. They loved it.”

It was this level of comfort with San Francisco’s rebellious spirit, Bergquist told me, that assured her this was the right group to plant in the sometimes bawdySoma district.

Regardless, it should come as little surprise that the challenges of planting a church in San Francisco are less ideological than logistical. “It’s difficult finding a place to rent,” Bergquist says. “And depending on where it is, you’ve got to rethink space – what’s walkable, what’s bikeable, what’s hikeable, knowing transportation lines, knowing whether people have cars – that’s just something you have to get used to.”

Material support is another matter: as 501(c)(3) exempt charities, churches are not bound by financial transparency, but generally benefit from what Bergquist describes as greatly improved support systems from both official denominations and non-denominational missionary groups….

Some planters are even more candid about the necessity of behaving just like any other start-up in the nation’s technology hub. Troy Wilson, the Presbyterian-ordained pastor of The Table, a brand-new ministry now operating out of Hayes Valley, described to me a multi-year solvency plan – that is, achieving 100% revenue derived internally as opposed to outside, private boosters. Churches are the original crowdfunders, as it turns out: “We are starting a corporation – a non-profit corporation, but we have to see it that way.” Presently, Wilson says, most of The Table’s outreach comes in the form of organizing community events like art shows, performances and parties, in the hopes of gradually building a stable congregation through creative enrichment.

This is perhaps the core challenge for start-up churches like Wilson’s: the pace of change, and the transience of the younger demographic. Dani Scoville, program director at a Christian center that ministers to younger adults in the Bay Area, describes a population of “believers moving from community to community based on life stage. You might be in a certain church when you’re single and looking for a partner, and in another when you’re married and looking for a church with a good children’s ministry.”

As for successful ministries in the Bay Area, she muses: “What are the needs and aches of the place we’re living in, and how do we respond to that?” In Scoville’s work, this can include anything from Netflix fasts to making a budget and limiting coffee to manage anxiety.

When raising the issue of how to reach younger Bay Areans, one ministry in particular came up several times: Reality SF, which makes its Sunday home in a middle school auditorium in the Castro district. Reality’s website features a group of shiny young millennials lounging gaily in picturesque Dolores Park (marijuana truffles and beer not pictured). Its teachings, which are published online, address subjects like “re-imagining singleness”, “tech in spirituality” and “wisdom for charity” in a blend of CS Lewis quotes, TED Talk references, and occasional guests from groups like Praxis, a “kingdom-centered” business accelerator.

To borrow the words of one Yelp reviewer, walking into Reality itself feels “like a Decemberists concert”: at least 25% of the congregation is dressed in plaid, and the couple next to me thumbs through Facebook throughout an extended version of John Mark Mcmillan’s How He Loves, which everyone but me seems to know the lyrics to: Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss …

Noting its majority single congregation, Reality’s extracurricular panels offer guidance on Christian dating while mostly avoiding hard-boiled doctrine on issues like homosexuality and premarital sex. Correspondingly, the church also boasts “eat-ups”, classifieds and dozens of community groups, providing an instant friend circle (and maybe more!) for the population of young transplants who find everything they need in San Francisco, except a stable community. Reality’s lead pastor, Dave Lomas, politely declined to be interviewed, but it’s clear that Reality understands its congregation: it accepts tithing in the form ofstock, and reported a budget of $2.3m in 2014.

However you might define the spiritual needs of the modern, hipster-leaning young professional, those may be even more pronounced outside the density of San Francisco’s social environment.

Forty miles south in Palo Alto, I went to C3SV (C3 Silicon Valley), which declares prominently on its website: “Not religious? Neither are we!”

The distinction, says pastor Adam Smallcombe, is in what the government expects of a church and what people are really seeking. Smallcombe, who is originally from Australia, emphasized the “community void” in Silicon Valley: “People are desperate for community. Everyone’s moving in, and tech companies are trying to provide that community as much as possible, so that we all never leave work. But there’s a community and relationships that people are looking for outside – for doing life, and going beyond just attending a service.”…

Smallcombe acknowledges openly that the community he serves – affluent and immersed in opportunity– wants for little. His aim, rather, is to “leverage the optimism” in Silicon Valley to help people find fulfillment in life outside of the corporate ladder. “You rule over Silicon Valley!” one of the pastors urged energetically during the sermon. “It is not in Google’s hands, or Facebook’s hands, or Yahoo!’s hands – the kingdom is in your hands!” After a performance by what I can only describe as a modestly dressed version of the Cheetah Girls, he reminds his congregation to “believe in the tithe”.

Smallcombe aims to shepherd the church fully out of “start-up” mode by 2020, he explains, at which point he hopes to have helped establish hundreds of new C3 ministries across the globe.

Ambitious as this may sound, for some start-up churches, nothing seems out of reach. Provided they meet people where they are – on phones, at Dolores Park, or at work – they can successfully serve the unique, sometimes evasive needs of their communities. Or at the very least, a good cup of coffee.

By Annie Gaus – The Guardian – Via The Trumpet –

PASTORS and AMERICA

America was once known as “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Today, we are neither.

In fact, it is the loss of bravery that has led to our loss of freedom. It’s hard to find anyone who is willing stand up for anything anymore…except for the god-haters. They are boldly standing up all over the stinkin’ place for their demented agenda.

Proverbs tell us that “the righteous are as bold as lions.” Evidently we are not very righteous anymore. Christians have become the easiest pushovers in America…especially our pastors. They will neither do, nor will they allow anything that might rock the boat. I guess that is because they think the church is either a hospital ship or a cruise ship, while the brave men who built this country saw the church as a battleship.

Oh for the good old days when men were brave and America was free.

Has there ever been a time in American history when moral leadership was so lacking?

I am reminded of what George Washington said in his Farewell Address:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

It is the lack of morality that has led to the demise of this nation. No foreign foe was ever capable of destroying this nation, but we have crumbled from within. “Those great pillars”, as Washington stated, have crumbled because we no longer have men who will boldly proclaim the Truth.

Why would we ever expect a politician to stand up for Truth when the men in the pulpit are afraid to do so? Why should we expect politicians to fight to end abortion when the pastors won’t?

“Oh but my pastor speaks out all the time against what is happening in this nation,” I had a woman tell me the other day. “That’s great,” I responded. “But does he ever do anything besides talk about it? Does he ever get his name in the paper for his public stand against the sin ravaging this nation? Do you ever see him out in the streets fighting against the decadence that is destroying the pillars of society? Do you ever see him at school board meetings raising hell with the debauchery and lies being taught to our children? Is there any specific group of citizens that hate him?”

Truth is dangerous. Fighting for it can get dicey. You can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble when you speak truth. Most aren’t willing to go there. Most won’t take the risk. They have convinced themselves that preaching is fighting.

Well, talk is cheap. Preaching ain’t fighting. Flapping one’s jowls at the already converted gives one a false sense of accomplishment, yet signifies nothing.

I am reminded of a story I once heard about President Lincoln. Although my details may be a bit sketchy, the story goes something like this:

It seems that one of President Lincoln’s trusted friends was delivering a message at a local church, and President Lincoln, out of respect for his friend, sneaked in the back just as the sermon was about to begin. The President stayed until the message was concluded and slipped out the same way he entered.

The next morning he had the opportunity to have breakfast with his friend, and the ‘preacher’ inquired about Lincoln’s critique of his sermon. “It was well delivered and filled with enthusiasm,” the President responded. “But it was a failure because not once did you ask your audience to do something great!”

It is time for our pastors to ‘do something great’.

Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion. It is most alive when striving for the souls of men. The outward-living of the Gospel is the most dangerous act that a Christian man can undertake.

Millions have died because of their stand. Millions more will. The current crop of Christian leaders are an affront to the Christ they claim to serve. Our spiritual DNA speaks of the exploits of the unnamed heroes of Hebrews 11, which describes such folks as those “of whom the world was not worthy.”

Can you name ONE ‘man of God’ on the national stage who doesn’t give a rat’s behind about what people think of him? Can you give me one big-name Christian leader who is clearly articulating what is happening to the pillars of religion and morality in this nation?

Over 100 million people will soon have a satanic ritual pumped right into their homes as satan goes mainstream. Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show will be nothing short of a satanic ritual. Has your pastor warned you of this so that you can be aware while attending your church’s Super Bowl party? WATCH.

Can you name ONE ‘religious leader’ who will tell the world that homosexuality is a moral perversion, or will declare that Islam is a lie, and that the followers of the “religion of peace” are on a fast-track to a virgin-less hell, or openly declare that abortion is murder and that those who participate in that sin are spitting in the face of God, or declare that the actions of the current resident of the White House are some of the most un-American, un-Christian fruit in the history of this nation?

Won’t someone openly defy the thievery of the IRS and the Federal Reserve, or declare the obvious fraud of 911, or fight against the government subsidy of sin, or openly and boldly declare that the idea of Grace before repentance can be found nowhere in the Holy Word?

Oh there are thousands ‘preaching,’ but there are shamefully few who are actually willing to do anything. Our nation sits on the precipice. Unthinkable disaster lies just around the corner.

The State is godless. The church is most faithful when it fights against the rules and edicts of godless government. Every problem facing this nation is a moral problem. Every one. Yet not one pastor in 10,000 will stand up and be counted.

Remember this: Satan never preaches about Heaven…he preaches the here and now. He tells you that God is love. Get all you can now. Be happy. Live a full life. Don’t judge anyone. Most of America’s pastors are preaching this same message.

Hell is the church’s business. That is why Jesus said that we are to be salt…and not sugar. Judgment, sin, and personal and collective morality is the church’s business…and business should be booming.

Jesus told us a lot of things. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Take up your cross and follow me. The wicked shall be turned into hell along with all the nations that forget God. He who loves his life shall lose it…

We Christians simply love ourselves too much. Speech is never free. Just ask John the Baptist. Ask his cousin, The Christ. Their willingness to exercise their freedom cost them their lives.

“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” – Patrick Henry.

Read how Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore is holding the line against the God-haters.

Will any pastors fall in line behind him? Will anyone blow the trumpet?

By Coach Dave Daubenmire – NewsWithViews.com

Church websites hacked by group claiming to “love ISIS”

KNOXVILLE (WJHL) – On Thursday if you logged onto Westminster Presbyterian Church’s website you’d see the words “I love ISIS and Jihad”, a violent video, and vulgar language.

The church’s pastor Jim Richter said he woke up this morning to an email on his phone from a church member saying the website had been hacked by what appeared to be ISIS supporters.

“I think it’s terrifying, it’s hostile no matter what you say about it,” Marty Conley, who lives in Johnson City said.

A homepage to a church in East Tennessee, with about 200 members is not the first place you think would be vulnerable to a hack from ISIS.

“I thought that was really strange. You don’t think about that type of thing happening in our area, I mean little town Johnson City, Tennessee,” Conley said.

….He said his team found out his church’s website wasn’t the only one displaying this message.

“They contacted the organization or company that services our website and from them we heard there were a lot of churches apparently and organizations that they serve that by being a web site provider were hacked so it doesn’t appear to be something that is directed at our church,” Richter said….

“I believe that there is a spiritual warfare that goes on I think that there is a real devil and a real Jesus and that there’s an opposition there so I’m not surprised that churches get attacked in a variety of ways and spiritual attacks and I would say this is one of them,” Richter said.

By WJHL ABC Staff – WATE.com –

Liberty Church Project

Last year, I launched the Liberty Church Project. For several years, patriot Christians around the country had corresponded with me about their frustration with not being able to find a patriot pastor or liberty church in their area. Like me, these folks have grown weary with establishment 501(c)(3) churches that refuse to take a stand–and they are desperate to find a patriot church and pastor.

The two biggest reasons why pastors and churches have become either silent and submissive serfs or, in some cases, shills for government propaganda are the egregious misinterpretation of Romans 13 and the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status under which most churches operate. The result is an American church that, for all intents and purposes, is completely incapable of being the “salt” and “light” for our country. These squeamish and compliant churches have left our nation virtually void of moral and spiritual leadership.

As I recently noted in this column: True Christianity has never been associated with, supported by, or underneath Caesar’s (civil government’s) auspices or benevolence. For most of the 2,000+ years of Church history, true believers met in non-state-sanctioned or even underground churches and fellowships. In fact, the Early Church was birthed in a baptism of persecution from both the civil government (Rome) and established religion (Judaism) at the time. Not until the unholy union of the Church and State under Theodosius I (almost 400 years after Christ) did Christians accept official sanction from government. And for many centuries to follow, the official merger of Church and State led to the persecutions and deaths of untold thousands of believers deemed heretics and outlaws because their religious beliefs contradicted those of the official state-sanctioned church.

Even in early America, state-approved denominations and churches were guilty of horrific persecutions against independent-minded Christians who refused to submit to the doctrines and liturgies of state-sanctioned churches. These state-church persecutions ultimately led Roger Williams to found the colony of Rhode Island and John Leland to convince James Madison that religious liberty must be the first in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

After the acceptance of our Bill of Rights, America’s churches enjoyed complete independent status, being answerable only to their Creator and their own conscience. All of that changed in 1954 when then-Senator Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) successfully introduced the Johnson Amendment to the code of the Internal Revenue Service: the now-infamous 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization status for churches. This designation made churches a creature of the state–answerable to the direct dictates of government–even regarding speech and activity.

By accepting 501(c)(3) status, America’s churches have effectively become state-licensed or state-sanctioned organizations. In much the same way that churches in Communist China risk vindictive state sanctions for not complying with state control, so, too, churches in the United States risk vindictive IRS sanctions for not complying with state control.

What is more than interesting is the comparison between the churches in China and the churches in America. In China, Christianity is growing exponentially. In fact, there are now more Christians in China than there are communists. Please carefully read this report:

“Though the Chinese Communist Party is the largest explicitly atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now overshadowed by an estimated 100 million Christians in China. It is no wonder Beijing is nervous and authorities are cracking down on Christian groups.

“Christianity is growing so fast in China that some predict that it will be the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years. By far, the greatest growth is coming outside the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party. Numbers are increasing, rather, in unofficial Protestant ‘house churches’ and in the underground Catholic church.”

Did you get that? Let me repeat it: “By far, the greatest growth is coming OUTSIDE [emphasis added] the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party [state]. Numbers are increasing, rather, in UNOFFICIAL [emphasis added] Protestant ‘house churches’ and in the UNDERGROUND [emphasis added] Catholic church.”

But what do we see happening in the United States? Christianity is waning BIG TIME. On the whole, churches are in steep decline. For the most part, only the entertainment-oriented, circus variety churches are growing. The numbers of Americans professing Christianity in general and expressing loyalty to a specific church or denomination are at historic lows. And the trend for 2015 and beyond is more of the same.

So, what is the difference? Why is Christianity proliferating in China and declining in America? China has an openly atheistic government. For all intents and purposes, the government in Washington, D.C., is equally atheistic. The federal government in D.C. is responsible for virtually every single attack against the expression of the Christian faith at every level of society. It is the federal government that attacks Christian expression in our local public schools. It is the federal government that attacks Christian expression in local governing bodies. It is the federal government that has all but permanently dismantled the expression of Christianity throughout our country’s public institutions. But so does the government in Beijing. Yet, in China, the Church is mushrooming, while in America, the Church is dying. What’s the difference?

The difference is, in China, Christians understand that to be loyal to Christ, they MUST NOT SUBMIT to state-sanction or license. And they are willing to defy Beijing authorities in order to be faithful to that conviction. However, in America, pastors and churches insist that they MUST SUBMIT to state control–even using Romans 13 to justify this preposterous position. Bottom line: state-sanctioned churches in America are withering, while non-state-sanctioned churches in China are mushrooming. There is no doubt that the trend in both countries will continue into and beyond 2015.

Until America’s pastors and churches “see the light” and consciously withdraw themselves from Caesar’s grasp (at whatever cost), Christianity in this country will continue to evaporate.

The Liberty Church Project was born out of the pleas of thousands of believers nationwide who desire to break free from the establishment
501(c)(3)-controlled and misapplied Romans 13-brainwashed churches….

By Chuck Baldwin – Chuck Baldwin Live –

Church worship distractions to avoid

When Americans flock to services across the nation on Sundays and for mid-week Bible studies, the fellowship wouldn’t be complete without the element of worship. Because the worshipping of God is so vital to Christians’ faith, eliminating the distractions that can inhibit one’s praise has been found to be of great importance.

Dr. Chuck Lawless, professor of evangelism and missions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has consulted churches for 15 years, compiling a list of ten distractions commonly encountered inside church sanctuaries across America concerning the music element of worship. After the first listing, Lawless gets more general, giving another ten distractions that take away from the worship experience, listing various components and practices that can divert believers’ attention away from God.

10 distractions from the music side of worship:

Here are Dr. Lawless’ findings, which point out the greatest distractions experienced during worship music at church.

1. Incomprehensible choir or praise team words – Worship was intended to be about communicating a message of praise to God, and when the words are obscured, it inhibits one’s fellowship with God.

2. Unsmiling faces leading worship – It is a privilege to come before God and worship Him. When a worship team’s countenance communicates something different, it detracts from leading the congregation in making a joyful sound unto the Lord.

“Some solemn hymns may not necessitate smiles, but something is lacking in singing about the joy of the Lord when the singer’s facial expression suggests something different,” insists Lawless, who also serves as the dean of graduate studies at SBTS. “We have seen entire praise teams show little expression as they lead worship.”

By Michael F. Haverluck – One News Now –

Welcome To The Matrix: Enslaved By Technology & The Internet

If ever Americans sell their birthright, it will be for the promise of expediency and comfort delivered by way of blazingly fast Internet; cell phone signals that never drop a call; thermostats that keep us at the perfect temperature without our having to raise a finger; and entertainment that can be simultaneously streamed to our TVs, tablets, and cell phones.

Likewise, if ever we find ourselves in bondage, we will have only ourselves to blame for having forged the chains through our own lassitude, laziness, and abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos that render us wholly irrelevant.

Indeed, while most of us are consumed with our selfies and trying to keep up with what our so-called friends are posting on Facebook, the megacorporation Google has been busily partnering with the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, and other governmental agencies to develop a new “human” species, so to speak.

In other words, Google—a neural network that approximates a global brain—is fusing with the human mind in a phenomenon that is called “singularity”; and they’ve hired transhumanist scientist Ray Kurzweil to do just that. Google will know the answer to your question before you have asked it, Kurzweil said. “It will have read every email you will ever have written, every document, every idle thought you’ve ever tapped into a search-engine box. It will know you better than your intimate partner does. Better, perhaps, than even yourself.”

But here’s the catch: the NSA and all other government agencies will also know you better than yourself. As William Binney, one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA said, “The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control.”

Science fiction, thus, has become fact.

We’re fast approaching Philip K. Dick’s vision of the future as depicted in the film Minority Report. There, police agencies apprehend criminals before they can commit a crime; driverless cars populate the highways; and a person’s biometrics are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.

Cue the dawning of the Age of the Internet of Things, in which internet-connected “things” will monitor your home, your health, and your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities regulated, and your life under control and relatively worry-free.

The key word here, however, is control.

In the not-too-distant future, “just about every device you have — and even products like chairs, that you don’t normally expect to see technology in — will be connected and talking to each other.”

By 2018, it is estimated there will be 112 million wearable devices such as smart watches, keeping users connected in real time to their phones, emails, text messages, and the Internet. By 2020, there will be 152 million cars connected to the Internet and 100 million Internet-connected bulbs and lamps. By 2022, there will be 1.1 billion smart meters installed in homes, reporting real-time usage to utility companies and other interested parties.

….I’m not suggesting we all become Luddites. However, we need to be aware of how quickly a helpful device that makes our lives easier can become a harmful weapon that enslaves us.

This was the underlying lesson of The Matrix, the Wachowski siblings’ futuristic thriller about human beings enslaved by autonomous technological beings that call the shots. As Morpheus, one of the characters in The Matrix, explains:

“The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

“What truth?” asks Neo.

Morpheus leans in closer to Neo: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.”

By John W. Whitehead – Western Journalism –

Pastor boasts “I crumpled the kid” with punch

Pastor Eric Dammann speaks in one sermon of a boy named Ben who was “a nice kid, but one of those — he was a real smart aleck. He was a bright kid, which didn’t help things — made him more dangerous.”

When Ben became too much of a “smart aleck” and asked too many questions about God, Dammann says he got violent with him.

“I punched him in the chest as hard as I — I crumpled the kid,” Dammann says, demonstrating his punch. “I leaned over and I said, ‘Ben, when are you going to stop playing games with God?’”

On Reddit Sunday, commenters responded with disgust to Dammann’s sermon.

“That will probably be a moment that this kid looks at as a turning point once he’s an atheist and looking back at his time in the church,” one commenter wrote, echoing many others who said the pastor’s version of Christianity seemed weak and based on fear.

“[H]e was definitely trying to brag about that,” another commenter wrote. “The way he mimics the punch, and the BAM! he emits. Trying to make sure the audience knows he’s a ‘big man’ […] Reminded me of some white trash bully at a school telling a bullying story to his friends.”

Some commenters questioned whether “Ben” was a real person or whether Dammann could have made the whole story up, while others made the case that if Ben is real, his parents should press criminal charges against Dammann.

By Zach Noble – The Blaze –

10 Signs Your Church Has Been Secularized

The Bible teaches that the church is supposed to influence the world as salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16), but instead the church has often been influenced by the world. Ezekiel 22:26 sends a stern rebuke to believers who make no distinction between that which is common and that which is holy (by common we mean worldly things and values) in this article the word secular refers to worldly rather than holy and set apart for God’s purposes:

Truly any congregation that has no distinction from the world is close to extinction! The reason so many evangelical churches have grown so rapidly is not necessarily because of a true spiritual revival but because of cultural accommodation. The following are 10 signs your church has been secularized:

1) They preach only what is popular and avoid what is culturally controversial.

Often secularized pastors stay away from preaching on the standards of biblical morality so as to stay in the societal mainstream and avoid offending visitors. The result is a membership that only hears a partial gospel without the power to renew minds which leaves them as secular saints….

8) The congregation espouses a culture of entertainment more than biblical discipleship.

When the primary objective of a congregation is to attract crowds on Sunday by giving them an “experience” rather than making committed disciples, then they have espoused a culture of entertainment and have been secularized.

9) The congregation espouses a culture of opulent greed and narcissism instead of sacrifice and giving.

If the preaching appeals to the narcissistic desire of using faith for personal affluence more than the biblical call to surrender and sacrifice all for the Lord, then that congregation has been secularized.

10) If Jesus is only presented as a personal Savior rather than Lord of all.

When folks only want Jesus to save them without transforming them, they have been secularized. When Jesus is continually presented in a church only as a personal Savior without the injunction for all people to surrender to His Lordship, then that congregation is focused on individual salvation more than on the glory of God. Secular humanism is all about centering life upon the needs and desires of autonomous humanity without any concern or submission to the Creator God.

By Joseph Mattera – Charisma News –

Survey: Of Regular Church Attenders, Few Tempted To Skip Worship For Football

LifeWay survey results seem to confound the belief of some pastors that cancelling services on game day is in the church’s best interest.

Each football season, weekend game schedules clash with church service times to create a tug-of-war between piety and pastime.

In an effort to compensate, at least a few churches throughout the U.S. abridge, reschedule, or even cancel services set to coincide with particularly popular games.

Ahead of the 2014 Super Bowl, in which the Seattle Seahawks played, one pastor in nearby Edmonds, Wash., explained the rationale behind closing the doors of his church for the corresponding service.

“I think that the main thing behind it is we can’t take ourselves too seriously,” Barry Crane asserted. “This is twice in Seattle Seahawks history that they’ve made it to the Super Bowl. Just because you go to church normally on a Sunday doesn’t mean you’re immune to fun.”

Judging from the results of a recent survey conducted by Christian retailer LifeWay, however, some pastors might be overestimating the appeal of ditching church to watch football.

Churchgoing respondents were asked to reply with four possible answers to the statement, “I would skip a weekly worship service to watch my favorite football team.”

Only five percent stated that they strongly agreed with the statement, while 10 percent expressed partial agreement. The overwhelming majority – 68 percent – strongly disagreed with the idea, an opinion bolstered by 15 percent who somewhat disagreed. Only two percent of those surveyed were not sure how they felt.

By B. Christopher Agee – Western Journalism –

Canadian Mennonites Officiate First Same-Sex ‘Wedding’

Two Mennonite ministers in Canada have officiated the denomination’s first same-sex “wedding,” holding the service publicly in a “church” building in Saskatchewan.

Anita Retzlaff and Patrick Preheim of Nutana Park Mennonite Church officiated the ceremony for Craig Friesen and Matt Weins on Dec. 31, which was held at Osler Mennonite, the childhood congregation of Friesen.

“For us, a wedding is supposed to be a celebration of our commitment to each other in front of our faith communities, our other communities and God,” Friesen told CBC News. “It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t get married in the Mennonite church.”

“Having these examples that someone doesn’t have to choose between their religion and who they’re attracted to, I think that’s important,” Wiens added.

The Mennonite Church in Canada officially opposes same-sex nuptials, but last year, leadership announced that it would allow each congregation to believe as they wish on the subject in order to keep congregations from leaving the denomination.

According to reports, Nutana Park Mennonite began discussing the issue of homosexuality 15 years ago, when some who were involved in the lifestyle urged the congregation to be more accepting. A group was soon formed on how ministers would respond to the issue.

We didn’t want to be asked by a couple and not be able to respond honestly where the congregation is at,” Preheim explained to the Star Phoenix.

The question was turned back to the congregation, and in October 2012, the Nutana bulletin began featuring an “inclusive statement,” which reads, “Nutana Park Mennonite Church welcomes into fellowship and membership all persons who confess faith in Jesus Christ without regard to their race, ethnic background, gender, age, sexual orientation, income, education, ability and other factors that give rise to discrimination and marginalization.”

Then, Retzlaff and Preheim agreed to “wed” Friesen and Weins, a move that was considered to be controversial as the majority of Mennonite ministers in Canada believe that homosexual behavior is a violation of the law of God.

As previously reported, while the Mennonite Church USA is also officially opposed to homosexuality, some have expressed frustration over what they perceive to be a passive attitude toward congregations that affirm the homosexual lifestyle. Last fall, a Mennonite congregation in Ohio voted to leave the Mennonite Church USA in part due to concerns over what it believes is a lack of discipline against those who engage in homosexual behavior.

“We felt that Mennonite Church USA and [our church] were going in different directions concerning scriptural authority and holiness,” Ross Miller, pastor of Hartville Mennonite Church in Lake, told the Mennonite World Review.

He advised that concerns about various aspects grew over a number of years, but when the Mountain States Conference, a division of the Mennonite Church USA, approved the ministerial license of a Colorado woman who identifies as a lesbian, it expedited matters and resulted in a recent vote to part ways.

“We felt there needed to be church discipline, and there hasn’t been,” Miller said, referencing disappointment that the Ohio Conference failed to pass a resolution urging the denomination headquarters to address the Mountain States’ actions, as well as a statement from an executive board member that he felt was less than satisfactory.

By: Heather Clark – Christian News Network –

Lone Wolf Christianity

There’s never been a time when the necessity of church and fellowship has been called into question as much as today. I passed by a table of books one day and saw a title that struck me as odd. The title seemed to insinuate that there was a way to follow Christ without ever meeting together with the church body. To be fair, I haven’t read the book so I could very well have misunderstood it. But I have encountered this attitude many times in social media and in person. The attitude of disillusionment with “established” religion and a kind of contempt towards formalized worship. The mantra is everywhere: “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.”

True… but it is a relationship that includes a religion. And part of this religion is meeting together with a body of believers, sitting under gospel preaching, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. These core things shouldn’t be replaced or seen as unnecessary.

Yes, many churches have been disappointing. There have been schisms, scandals, frauds and embarrassments. But the answer is not to swing to the opposite end of the spectrum, reject church life altogether and adopt a “lone wolf” Christianity. Not only is this completely against scripture (Hebrews 10:24-25), but also it is detrimental to a healthy walk with Christ. When we’re walking this path alone, we’re actually starving ourselves of so many benefits.

It starves us of accountability.

Accountability is a strong word. There seems to be a thin line between living under accountability and living under scrutiny. No one likes to be watched, especially by “church folk.” But let’s face this bit of honesty: we can’t take care of ourselves. One of the root principles of being a Christian is that we understand we are weak. We need accountability. We need brothers and sisters who love us enough to warn us, rebuke us even, when we stray or backslide. This cannot be found anywhere other than a community of Christians in a church.

It starves us of encouragement.

On the flipside, when we are apart from the Body of Christ we are cut off from affirmation and encouragement. We may be doing very well in our walk with Christ, upheld by the grace of God, but the toil and the hardships can still weigh heavily on us, causing discouragement. When we separate ourselves from brothers and sisters in Christ we are separating ourselves from the comfort they can offer, the validation that Christ is sufficient, and the encouragement to stand up and carry on in faith.

It keeps us from witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit among His people and experiencing Christ in the lives of other Christians.

How many times have you seen two people who did not get along finally come together in forgiveness because of Christ? Or fellow Christians finally emerging victorious over a sin that had plagued their lives? When we cut ourselves off from this fellowship, we cut ourselves off from the corporate blessings of the Holy Spirit working among His people.

It starves us of Biblical teaching.

It really isn’t enough to do our own Bible reading and “quiet times.” We need to be taught doctrine from a minister of the gospel. Someone who has dedicated his whole life to studying and expositing the scriptures. In the Bible we never see personal study replace preaching and church attendance. In fact, the Apostle Paul spent most of his life concerned with the welfare and spiritual lives of his fellow preachers. We cannot afford to refrain from sitting under Biblical teaching in church.

It keeps us from sharing our gifts with other Christians and makes us virtually useless in Kingdom work.

“Lone wolf” Christians are at a disadvantage when it comes to exercising their gifts. When we set ourselves apart from the rest of the church we are actually taking ourselves out of the battlefield and working in a place God did not call us to. In military terms, we are disregarding orders. We may be practicing our talents and doing great and good things, but outside of the context of the Body of Christ it is irrelevant. In a body, the eye must remain the eye and do what an eye is supposed to do. If the eye leaves the body, it is useless. In the same way, each member of the Body of Christ is to remain in the Body and accomplish within the Body what they are called to accomplish.

We have to remember something that the cross of Christ accomplished: He abolished the individual. “… you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5 NKJV. We are the bricks and mortar of a house, little parts of a greater whole. Our identity is no longer self, but we have been given a new and greater identity in Christ. We can’t afford to separate ourselves from this “spiritual house.” If we do, we’re just useless stones lying on the ground all by ourselves. Christ died so that we could live in this new identity. We cannot reject it.

By Jordan Chamblee – The Stand –

THE YEAR of SATAN – WHO SHALL LEAD?

I am sick at heart because so many of our faith leaders over the years have turned against God and laid down for Satan. And the sheeple are following them. I know of no other way to put it into words.

Every day in the news there is something more to further paint the picture of a New World Order along with the New World Religion. For those of us who have been following and researching this for some time it is very depressing.

On the last day of the year 2014, we are given the news the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican announce “2017 – Together on the Way”. What this means is they will be using “common liturgical material beginning in 2017.

To say that I have been watching Pope Francis closely since taking his place is Rome is an understatement. I admit, the Pope being a Jesuit threw up warning signals for me and his election raised many questions in my mind, but I had decided to take a watch and see position before making any statements. However, my decision has changed.

I am not here to anger my Catholic friends or any Catholics, but I do however want you to think with an open mind.

I can’t help but remember the day my Catholic sister-in-law went to church with us – a Baptist church. She admitted to me after church that she had felt like she had been missing something in her own church and now she knew what it was. It was the gut of the scriptures was missing rather than having all the pomp and circumstance along with the rituals.

Today’s announcement by the Lutheran Federation was not the first event to catch my eye, but it is certainly important. Having followed the movements toward a New World Order and most certainly the One World Religion (OWR) that is to follow, the one outstanding question would be who will lead the OWR?….

After he was elected, the cover of Time Magazine declared Pope Francis to be the “New World Pope“ and since his election Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he is going to make ecumenical outreach a top priority.

Pope Francis has issued the order to bring all the world’s religions into the Vatican tent, and this front-burner priority is being accomplished at a record pace. Emergent church leaders like Rick Warren, who says that Francis is “our Pope,” and prosperity “preacher” Joel Osteen have been on-board since last year after private meetings with the Pope. But this latest coupe is also a swipe against the very heart of the Protestant’s as well.

Has anyone, anywhere of any denomination asked the members of their churches how they feel about all of this or have they just gone along believing their leaders are good men and women and not FALSE PROPHETS leading their sheep to the slaughter.

This one world religion that they are seeking to establish is diametrically opposed to the Christianity that we find in the Bible. By throwing out Biblical truth for the sake of “friendship between men and women of different religious traditions“, is Pope Francis fundamentally betraying the faith that he claims

By Diane Kepus – News With Views –

2014: The Year of Christian Genocide

The year 2014 saw more global persecution of Christians than any other year in recent history, and can only be compared to the first centuries when Christians were hunted down as criminals in the Roman Empire. The policy of the Emperor Diocletian, in fact, who reigned from 284-305AD, was remarkably similar to that taken by the Islamic State and Boko Haram: “Convert or die.”

A look around the globe reveals an unprecedented pattern of persecution that has shifted from isolated incidents of hostility to a systematic campaign to exterminate Christians in places where they have lived peacefully for centuries.

From the kidnapped school girls and massacres in Nigeria and the displacement of thousands in the Central African Republic, to the believers arrested for having a Bible study in Central Asia, to Meriam Ibrahim being sentenced to death in Sudan, to the ISIS slaughters, to the couple burned alive for blasphemy and hundreds of girls kidnapped in Pakistan, Christians throughout the world saw a major escalation in persecution in 2014.

The Jerusalem Post has spoken of “the religious cleansing of Middle East Christians” and noted that “anti-Christian violence in 2014 saw a transformation from under-told news coverage, to routine reports of radical Islamists seeking to obliterate Christianity’s presence.”

The year 2014 saw more global persecution of Christians than any other year in recent history, and can only be compared to the first centuries when Christians were hunted down as criminals in the Roman Empire. The policy of the Emperor Diocletian, in fact, who reigned from 284-305AD, was remarkably similar to that taken by the Islamic State and Boko Haram: “Convert or die.”

A look around the globe reveals an unprecedented pattern of persecution that has shifted from isolated incidents of hostility to a systematic campaign to exterminate Christians in places where they have lived peacefully for centuries.

From the kidnapped school girls and massacres in Nigeria and the displacement of thousands in the Central African Republic, to the believers arrested for having a Bible study in Central Asia, to Meriam Ibrahim being sentenced to death in Sudan, to the ISIS slaughters, to the couple burned alive for blasphemy and hundreds of girls kidnapped in Pakistan, Christians throughout the world saw a major escalation in persecution in 2014.

The Jerusalem Post has spoken of “the religious cleansing of Middle East Christians” and noted that “anti-Christian violence in 2014 saw a transformation from under-told news coverage, to routine reports of radical Islamists seeking to obliterate Christianity’s presence.”

Things are no better in Syria, where Christians, both clerical and lay, have been the target of continual aggression. Last April 7, assassins broke into the monastery of Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt in Homs, Syria, and shot him twice in the head. Although the priest had been doing humanitarian work nearly fifty years, suddenly in 2014 he was considered a symbol of the “infidel,” as one of a handful of Christians remaining in Homs of the population of eighty thousand Christians that lived there until recently.

With the rise of ISIS, “targeted violence against Christians has escalated.” Syria is undergoing a period of intense “Islamization” and Christians are becoming more exposed in all spheres of life. Many Christians have been abducted, physically abused or killed, and many churches damaged or destroyed. On October 21, jihadists invaded the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad, killing at least 45 people, and harming many more.

In northern Nigeria, the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has undertaken a ruthless program of forced conversions in its attempt to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Boko Haram soldiers storm Christian areas going from home to home demanding that every man convert to Islam. Those who refuse are shot dead on the spot. The radical group, which has proved more than a match for the Nigerian military, has killed as many as 350 Christians in a single week.

Boko Haram has repeatedly beheaded male opponents and forced Christian women to marry them and convert to Islam, and has been responsible for the deaths of at least 4,000 Nigerians in this year alone.

In 2014, China saw some of the most aggressive anti-Christian persecution
since the time of Mao….

By Thomas D. Williams – Breitbart –

Christmas

Christmas. Believe in Christmas or not, like it or not, prepared for it or not, participate in it or not — Christmas is here — again! It is the inevitable, unstoppable, and most popular celebration of the year that comes every December. I recall when I was a child that the Christmas season did not begin until after Thanksgiving and it seemed the mystical December 25th Christmas day would never arrive. Now that I’m older, things have changed. The days, weeks, and months go by ever so quickly, and presto! — Christmas is here again.

Why Christmas? The majority say, “Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.” Why a Christmas season? Most will say, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Really? No, not really–the manger scenes, Christmas carols, and religious activities notwithstanding. Interestingly, Christmas is not a Bible subject or even a Bible Word.

It is a historical fact that the season and day now known as Christmas preceded the birth of Christ by hundreds of years. Christmas was adopted from earlier heathen winter solstice celebrations celebrating the sun, including the Roman festival of Saturnalia celebrated from December the 17th to the 24th; Celtic Yuletide which was a twelve-day long festival of feasting around November/December; the Roman New Year celebrated on January the first when greenery was used to decorate houses in celebration of the birth of the undying sun, and presents were given to children and the poor. The Roman Catholic Church “Christianized” this pagan festival by substituting the birth of Christ for sun worship and named it Mass of Christ. The title was later shortened by the church to Christ-mas. The traditions celebrated at Christmas today were invented by blending together customs from paganism and many different countries.

A brief look at “Christmas in America” :

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, canceled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America’s new constitution. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

Before the ‘Civil War’, the North and South were divided on the issue of Christmas, as well as on the question of slavery. Many Northerners saw sin in the celebration of Christmas; to these people the celebration of Thanksgiving was more appropriate. But in the South, Christmas was an important part of the social season. Not surprisingly, the first three states to make Christmas a legal holiday were in the South: Alabama in 1836, Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838.

In the years after the Civil War, Christmas traditions spread across the country. Children’s books played an important role in spreading the customs of celebrating Christmas, especially the tradition of trimmed trees and gifts delivered by Santa Claus. Sunday school classes encouraged the celebration of Christmas. Women’s magazines were also very important in suggesting ways to decorate for the holidays, as well as how to make these decorations.

By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, America eagerly decorated trees, caroled, baked, and shopped for the Christmas season. Since that time, materialism, media, advertising, and mass marketing has made Christmas what it is today. The traditions that we practice at Christmas today were invented by blending together religious and secular customs from paganism and many different countries.

In 1997, Artist Robert Cenedella drew a painting of a crucified Santa Claus. It was displayed in the window of the New York’s Art Students League and received intense criticism from some religious groups. His drawing was a protest. He attempted to show how Santa Claus had replaced Jesus Christ as the most important personality at Christmas time. Obviously, he was correct.

Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

I like Charles Spurgeon on this subject because he does not fit easily into either of the simple pre-cut molds that tend to dominate those with strong opinions on whether Christians should even acknowledge, much less celebrate Christmas. In one corner you have those who give a resounding “NO” to this question. After all, the Bible does not even hint at celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ annually. Furthermore, Christmas is an adaptation of a pagan festival and “what hath light to do with darkness?” In the other corner are those who seem to think that anything less than an all-out celebration of Christmas—even by those who are not Christians—is an assault on Christianity and one more indication of how godless our culture has become.

Spurgeon’s views are clear that Christmas is not a biblical holiday and so minces no words in criticizing the attempt to equate it with vital Christianity. He sometimes ridicules and chides the observance of Christmas as a “popish festival.” This point of view is what is most often quoted when Spurgeon and Christmas come up. For example, on Sunday morning, December 24, 1871, Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled, “Joy Born at Bethlehem.” He began his sermon with these words:

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it.

Probably the fact is that the “holy” days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December. Nevertheless since, the current of men’s thoughts is led this way just now, and I see no evil in the current itself, I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream, and make use of the fact, which I shall neither justify nor condemn, by endeavoring to lead your thoughts in the same direction. Since it is lawful, and even laudable, to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day in the year, it cannot be in the power of other men’s superstitions to render such a meditation improper for today. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.”

Spurgeon had little patience with his Protestant brethren who made much of the day out of religious devotion. Yet, Spurgeon did not think it some violation of Scripture to utilize the inevitable emphasis of the season to preach the incarnate Christ. So it is easy to find sermons on the birth of Christ that he preached around Christmas time.

In December of 1855 Spurgeon preached on “The Incarnation and Birth of Christ” from Micah 5:2. His opening words were these:

“This is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ. I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Savior Jesus Christ was born on that day and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred. However, I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas-days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt laboring people. Christmas-day is really a boon to us, particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus. We do not wish to be classed with those ‘Who with more care keep holiday the wrong way, than others the right way.'”

In the same vein Spurgeon preached a message on December 25, 1864, entitled, “Mary’s Song,” based on Luke 1:46-47. In it he says:

“Observe, this morning, the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a “Merry Christmas.” Some Christians, who are a little squeamish, do not like the word “merry.” It is a right good old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood and the mirth of manhood in it, it brings before one’s mind the old song of the waits, and the midnight peal of bells, the holly and the blazing log. I love it for its place in that most tender of all parables, where it is written, that, when the long-lost prodigal returned to his father safe and sound, “They began to be merry.” This is the season when we are expected to be happy; and my heart’s desire is, that in the highest and best sense, you who are believers may be “merry.” Mary’s heart was merry within her; but here was the mark of her joy, it was all holy merriment, it was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merriment as worldlings will revel in today and tomorrow, but such merriment as the angels have around the throne, where they sing, “Glory to God in the highest,” while we sing “On earth peace, goodwill towards men.” Such merry hearts have a continual feast. I want you, ye children of the bride-chamber, to possess today and tomorrow, yea, all your days, the high and consecrated bliss of Mary that you may not only read her words, but use them for yourselves, ever experiencing their meaning: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.’”

It has been 150 years since Spurgeon preached these sermons and Christmas continues to be a controversial subject among many Christians; “Should I or should I not observe Christmas?” Spurgeon was wise in concluding that since he could not cancel Christmas, he would avail himself of the opportunity of the season and the day to proclaim the incarnation of Christ.

These sermons also assure us that the building where Spurgeon preached was never decorated with a Christmas tree, holly, mistletoe, and wreaths during the Christmas season to generate a “Christmas spirit.”

Federal judge: “Christmas is both secular and religious”

Christmas has been a federal holiday in America since June 26, 1870. In August, 1998, Cincinnati attorney Richard Ganulin filed suit in U.S. District Court claiming that “Christmas is a religious holiday, and the Congress of the United States is not constitutionally permitted to endorse or aid any religion, purposefully or otherwise, or entanglement between our government and religious beliefs.”

Congress granted Christmas this special status in 1870, following the lead of several state legislatures. It is now one of ten government-sanctioned holidays that include birthday celebrations for Martin Luther King and George Washington, and the recognition of Independence on July 4. Ganulin argued that the establishment of the December 25 date, though, “effectively endorses one set of Christian religious and Christian cultural beliefs…” In dismissing the suit, U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott argued that the Christmas holiday did not violate Ganulin’s right to equal protection under the law. She added that “The court has found legitimate secular purposes for establishing Christmas as a legal public holiday.” When the government decides to recognize Christmas Day as a public holiday, it does no more than accommodate the calendar of public activities to the plain fact that many Americans will expect on that day to spend time visiting with their families, attending religious services, and perhaps enjoying some respite from pre-holiday activities.

Ganulin and his family have the freedom to celebrate, or not celebrate, the religious and secular aspects of the holiday as they see fit,” Dlott added. “The court simply does not believe that declaring Christmas to be a legal public holiday impermissibly imposes Christian beliefs on non-adherents in a way that violates the right to freedom of association.”

Dlott also gave her interpretation of the “Lemon” test from Lemon v. Kurtzman which is used widely in deciding if an action by the government violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. She opined that Christmas “has a valid secular purpose, it does not have the effect of endorsing religion in general or Christianity in particular, and it does not impermissibly cause excessive entanglement between church and state.”

Unwittingly or not, Judge Dlott trivialized both Mr. Ganulin’s case, and her own ruling by including a ditty with her official written decision. It read:

The court will address
Plaintiff’s seasonal confusion
Erroneously believing of Christmas
MERELY a religious intrusion

Whatever the reason
Constitutional or other
Christmas is NOT
An act of Big Brother!

Christmas is about joy
And giving and sharing
It is about the child within us
It is mostly about caring!

One is never jailed
For not having a tree
For not going to church
For not spreading glee!

The court will uphold
Seemingly contradictory causes
Decreeing “The establishment” AND “Santa”
both worthwhile “CLAUS(es)!”

We are all better for Santa
The Easter Bunny too
And maybe the great pumpkin
To name just a few!

An extra day off
Is hardly high treason
It may be spent as you wish
Regardless of reason

The court having read
The lessons of “Lynch”
refuses to play
The role of the Grinch!

There is room in this country
And in all our hearts too
For different convictions
And a day off too!

Christmas is here to stay:

Christmas is not only a federal holiday; it is an irreversible America tradition. Believe in it or not, agree with it or not, participate in it or not — Christmas is here to stay. Many American families view the Christmas season as an important time of the year to come together whether they are Christians or not. Although in recent times Christmas has become highly commercialized, Christmas is a very special time of year and many families have their own ways of celebrating this holiday. May all who know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, rejoice and proclaim:Jesus Christ Is God!

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Matthew 1:23

“Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Galatians 1:3-5

By Robert McCurry – The Wake-Up Herald –

The History of Saint Nicholas: Santa Claus is real!

Actor and filmmaker Kirk Cameron recently invited a former evangelical pastor to TBN to make the case for Santa Claus as Cameron promotes his new film “Saving Christmas,” which seeks to convince Christians who choose not to celebrate the holiday.

Cameron shared a segment of the interview on his Facebook page on Tuesday, in which he spoke with historian William Federer, a former evangelical minister and political candidate. Sporting the Liberty University logo embroidered on his shirt, Cameron invited Federer to outline the history of Saint Nicholas and other items found in his book “There Really Is a Santa Claus: The History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions.”

“You are the Christmas Santa dude!” Cameron said, beaming. “You are the expert to tell us about about the real Santa Claus. … Who is he?”

Federer, a signer of the Manhattan Declaration, an ecumenical document that unites Christians and Catholics to stand together for life and family, then provided background the life of the Turkish bishop Nicholas, who was known to give the poor and inspired the tradition of gift-giving during Christmastime. He explained that after Nicholas died in 343 A.D., his bones were brought to the pope, who built a basilica for his remains, where they are enshrined to this day.

“The Christians moved the bones of St. Nicholas from Myra in Asia Minor over to Bari, Italy in the year 1087 [A.D.],” Federer told Cameron, citing that Muslims were seeking to destroy the bones of the “saints.” “And the pope, Pope Urban II, he builds a cathedral.”

He then explained that gift-giving in the tradition of Nicholas, who had been sainted by the Roman Catholics, soon become so popular among Catholics that it seemed to distract from Jesus, so the icon St. Francis of Assissi (after whom the current pope is named) created the creche, also known as the modern nativity scene.

“And so St. Francis of Assissi said, ‘Look, all this gift-giving is fine, but it’s a distraction from the real reason for the season,’ and so St. Francis of Assissi invented the creche scene—the nativity scene,” Federer outlined. “So, that goes back to the 1200’s and St. Francis of Assissi.”

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“Wow,” Cameron replied in awe.

Federer explained that once the holiday hit Germany, the protestant reformer Martin Luther—a former Roman Catholic monk—did away with the saints days, but the people of Germany liked the gift-giving too much to give up the tradition. And so it continued.

Other Roman Catholic writings confirm Federer’s teachings to Cameron as being accurate.

“In 1087, … Italian merchants obtained the relics of Saint Nicholas, which had been held in a church at Myra, and brought them to the city of Bari, in southern Italy. There, the relics were placed in a great basilica consecrated by Pope Urban II, where they have remained,” writes Catholicism expert Scott Richert. “By the late Middle Ages, Catholics in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands had begun to celebrate his feast day by giving small gifts to young children. On December 5, the children would leave their shoes by the fireplace, and the next morning, they would find small toys and coins in them.”

By Heather Clark – Christian News Network –

I Won’t Take the Mark

Katherine Albrecht…. had undertaken a most important, yet for all I can tell, completely by all others neglected, task of teaching children about the system and mark of the Beast. What a hugely ambitious undertaking! She has done this in the form of a children’s book which comes complete with a certificate of pledge for the child to sign after they have read, or had read to them, her book titled, I Won’t Take the Mark.

In my personal yet brutally honest opinion, this is a stroke of sheer spiritual genius I wish I had come up with before her! But in reality, I’m sure the idea wasn’t hers’ to begin with anyway. And if she’s truly the woman of God I suspect her to be, I believe she would be the first one to tell you that. I simply see the Fingerprints of the Spirit all over this inspired idea. And so Lord willing, I will soon be ordering one of her books to check it out. As the Lord directs me, I will get back to all of you accordingly….

Why haven’t we heard more about this subject in general from the churches? For me, the answer is pretty obvious and, if you’ve been receiving my email messages for any length of time, it should be pretty obvious to you as well. The fact is, that at this particular point on God’s eternal time line, there are certain subjects the 501 (C) (3) corporate (fiction of law, counterfeit) churches will never discuss. The system and mark of the Beast is one of those subjects. Either it will be discussed with certain key “tie in” facts left out – as not to offend the hand that feeds them – or, it will be completely ignored, considered “too close for comfort”.

In 1966, when I was a young convert to Christ at age 16, we were routinely shown at our church youth group and YFC (Youth For Christ) gatherings, films that depicted life in the years to come when the system of the Beast Government would be full fledged, implemented and inextricably in place. Well, my dear sleeping souls, guess what? Those days are here right now… and they’ve only just begin! Makes ya wanna sing, doesn’t it?

By William Raymond – Scanned Retina Resource –

The Grand Inquisitor Planet

Understanding the world is difficult at best. However, knowing how the world works is a task that can be readily recognized. The ability to grasp and admit both functions, is seldom achieved by most souls. Those who accomplish a rare and accurate comprehension of the human condition, appreciate the social conflict that permeates civilized life. Society is an invention to effect dominance. The Grand Inquisitor exacts compliance, for that is his function. Not that it is essential, but because it is ingrained and instinctive.

In The Brothers Karamazov, Fydor Dostoevsky has Ivan Karamazov use his intuition to deliver a psychological view of his internal struggle. “My poem is called ‘The Grand Inquisitor’- an absurd thing, but I want you to hear it.” His encounter bears witness to duel aspects of mankind. On the one hand God is needed, even if He is denied; and if His presence is in dispute, humankind will invent His omnipotence in the form of a civil structure.

Enter the Cardinal Grand Inquisitor:

“But you did not know that as soon as man rejects miracles, he will at once reject God as well, for man seeks not so much God as miracles. And since man himself cannot bear to be left without miracles, he will go and create new miracles for himself, his own miracles this time, and will bow down to the miracles of quacks, or women’s magic, though he be rebellious, heretical, and godless a hundred times over.”

“You did not come down again [from the cross] because, again, you did not want to enslave man by a miracle and thirsted for faith that is free, not miraculous…But here, too, you overestimated mankind, for, of course they are slaves, although they were created rebels.” “I swear, man is created weaker and baser than you thought him!”

The refuge of the Church required an obedience to the Cardinal. The primacy of the Holy See demanded submission to Catholicism, not to God. Organization took precedence over belief. Inquisition as an ecclesiastic tribunal to establish membership in good standing could be valid. However, persecution by authorities to force compliance, as the measure of adherence to their system of earthly order; is abhorrent.

The intellectual Karamazov son, Ivan, explains that faith is not easy to understand. The poem also explains that free will is the single greatest burden placed upon any individual. Freedom, according to Ivan’s poem, is intolerable. “The tragic nihilism of the Grand Inquisitor is, in turn, parodied by Ivan’s devil, the “true” devil. The Grand Inquisitor’s secret is that he does not believe in God, but he is a victim of a terrible love for mankind. His indictment of Christ is that Christ himself does not love man and does not understand him; Christ, in refusing to display his powers through miracle, excludes from the State-as-Church most of humanity. Father Zossima is the mystic, and his mysticism has the psychological power of ridding the peasant (most of humanity) of his burden of freedom; the Grand Inquisitor is the mystic-turned-political figure, the organizer and savior of mankind. Both Zossima and the Grand Inquisitor are altruistic, ruled by love of man”.

Basically the modern day parallel, conforms to a parable that has haunted mankind from his inception. The record is real, even when the homily is ridiculed. The political role of the Christendom Church invested authoritarian reign within bishops, in matters of religious rite. Princes and kings accepted canon law as a prerequisite for their own salvation. Civil governments acknowledged influence from Popes and his cardinals because they validated their legitimacy. Public policy was often confirmed by papal sanctification.

As miracles became optional and mystics were relegated to visions that conformed with public policy, the State gradually assumed the supremacy that was once the province of the Church. The excesses of the Grand Inquisitor became the creed of administration by the temporal regime. Their doctrine was taught as the achievement of the common good. Judgment for defining and attaining that criterion rested in the politic that kept the ruling structure in place. Canon law for the holy faithful was cast aside as civic decree transformed into the religion of the State. No longer was belief required to guide behavior; man made codes, regulations and laws determined the appropriate conduct.

Freedom to reject this formula remains as testimony that the work of achieving altruism necessitates the torments of the Grand Inquisitor. Penalties and methods of discipline have become the sacraments of salvation. Redemption, no longer needed – now requires – only uniformity to consummate the religious dogma of contemporary society.

What lesson can be learned, when Ivan says:

“Why, it’s all nonsense, Alyosha (his father). It’s only a senseless poem of a senseless student, who could never write two lines of verse. Why do you take it so seriously? Surely you don’t suppose I am going straight off to the Jesuits, to join the men who are correcting His work? Good Lord, it’s no business of mine. I told you, all I want is to live on to thirty, and then… dash the cup to the ground!”

“But the little sticky leaves, and the precious tombs, and the blue sky, and the woman you love! How will you live, how will you love them?” Alyosha cried sorrowfully. “With such a hell in your heart and your head, how can you? No, that’s just what you are going away for, to join them… if not, you will kill yourself, you can’t endure it!”

“There is a strength to endure everything,” Ivan said with a cold smile.

“The strength of the Karamazovs — the strength of the Karamazov baseness.”

“To sink into debauchery, to stifle your soul with corruption, yes?”

“Possibly even that… only perhaps till I am thirty I shall escape it, and then-”

“How will you escape it? By what will you escape it? That’s impossible with your ideas.”

“In the Karamazov way, again.” “‘Everything is lawful,’ you mean?

Everything is lawful, is that it?”

The popular culture has adopted the Karamazov ethic and the planet has become the dependency of the Grand Inquisitor. The rejection of God, as a condition to serve man, is the work of the devil. Altruism is torture that accentuates agony. Our human nature is condemned to the anguish of permanent suffering, without the eternal relief from atonement. The State is not a vessel for redemption. No government will offer salvation. And no system of administration can or will be a substitute for submission before the living divine creator.

Faith in God obligates distrust and opposition to profane temporal torturers, who promote a forced punishment, as the reward for authentic fidelity. Love for your fellow man, does not necessitate worship of a secular beast. The miracle of life is not a product of a public program. Miracles are the results of revelation. Our nature is designed to embrace faith, not to fear it or renounce its importance. The Grand Inquisitor brotherhood is doomed, when believers deny the lies and revolt against their rule. You have the freedom – show your faith.

SARTRE – Solitary Purdah –

DHS, FEMA & THE EPA HAVE TAKEN OVER YOUR CHURCH

It is highly likely that your pastor is bought and paid for by DHS or the EPA or some other alphabet soup federal agency. The message of the Bible has been subverted to promote the message of the government.

According to the Washington Post, churches in Prince George County, a Maryland county, are being offered tax breaks for incorporating environmentalism into their sermons. Subsequently, 30 pastors have started preaching ‘green’ ministries to avoid extra taxes. The number of participating pastors is certain to grow as the symbolic globe of the New World Order is replacing the traditional cross….

Last May, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an avowed Lesbian and two homosexual city council members rammed through a non-discrimination ordinance that gave special rights and protections to homosexuals and lesbians. The proposed “bathroom bill” ordinance passed despite vocal opposition by the Houston community, which was led by local churches and pastors. The mayor anticipated that the pastors in her fair city might push back. Subsequently, she demanded copies of their sermon notes and private communications in order to monitor the opposition from the church….

Previously, I have detailed an outright assault on the compromising of the word of God with regard to the government’s manipulation of the tax-exempt status of IRS controlled churches. Specifically, I am speaking about the concept of 501-c-3 tax-exempt churches.

Is your church a friend or foe with regard to your salvation? Is your church is a 501-C-3 tax exempt church? Is your church an agent of the government? If your church leadership does not condemn anything controversial, no matter how antithetical to the word of God, you are not worshiping in a Christian church. If your church is a 501-C-3 tax exempt church, your church is not a church of God….

The modern interpretation of Romans 13 is pure blasphemy. This scripture has been morphed into a doctrine espousing the “Divine Right of Kings” in which God has somehow chosen a king to ruthlessly rule over a people and it is incumbent upon the people to accept their “God-given fate”, The flock are commanded to “…submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” This false interpretation is nothing but a divine coronation of a ruthless, self-serving government and Christians are expected to capitulate and honor the same kind of thievery, lawlessness and murder which inspired Jesus to expel the moneychangers from the Temple.

Many of your 501-C-3 pastors have gone so far as to put on the uniform of the enemy and it is called the Clergy Response Team. The Clergy Response Team falls under the umbrella series of programs known as DHS’ controlled National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NOVAD) which is a non-profit, member organization which shares knowledge and resources throughout a disaster. The organization helps to prepare, respond, recover and to mitigate the damage caused by some unknown disaster presumably which lies in the future of humanity.

Amazingly, NOVAD claims to be a faith-based coalition which is structured as a non-governmental organization and operates on a national scale and is supported by tax dollars funneled to the DHS.

Instantly, Bible believing Christians should smell a rat. Since when, in the modern era, has the federal government ever sponsored organized religion? The answer is not since well before the advent of the atheist activist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who was successful in banning prayer in the public schools in 1963. Then why would the government suddenly fund and support a “faith-based organization” on a national scale? The simple answer is that Homeland Security is seeking to control our churches and ministers, before the impending train wreck comes to fruition inside of America. DHS desperately is seeking to control all Christians through the perversion of Romans 13 and this is one of two cornerstones in this movement designed to control Christian leaders. And this government foothold into the control of our churches begins with accepting the 501-C-3 tax exempt status which gives the government license to control the message and to ultimately pervert the word of God. There can only be one outcome for this kind of training, making the people docile when martial law is rolled out.

If your church is a 501(c)(3) organization, then your church has a significant financial motivation to not truthfully interpret the true message of the Bible. The tax exempt status of being a 501(c)(3) organization is the other cornerstone of this shift away from allegiance to God and towards worshiping our new Savior, the federal government. When was the last time your pastor spoke out against abortion or homosexuality? Unless I missed the fact that God personally rewrote sections of the Bible, your pastor’s failure to stand up to the liberalism of the New World Order should have tipped you off that something was terribly wrong with your church.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

The Church (According To Christ)

From HisHolyChurch.org –

He came preaching the kingdom of God is at hand. To set men free in Spirit and in Truth from the bondage of this world and the next.

This was His good news, the gospel of the Kingdom, that the kingdom of God was at hand to set all men free from the elements of the world so that they may be free souls under God the Father of heaven and earth.

It was a system and a way that was based on faith, hope, and charity and the perfect law of love and liberty. His message was to bring peace and division. It was the salvation of the world.

The kingdom of God is “one form of government”.

How does the Kingdom of God differ from other governments?

What was this thing called the Church?

Was the early Church doing the same things as what we see the modern churches doing?

Jesus appointed a kingdom to His “little flock”, the apostles.

How does that kingdom relate to that early Church?

What was the role or purpose of that Church?

What should it look like and what should it be doing to fulfill its mission?

There are thousands of views and versions as to what the Church is and what it should be doing, but there is only one man who established the Church. The Church was established by Yahushua* the Messiah, a.k.a. Jesus the Christ. Only He can define the purpose and nature of this thing called the Church. It is His Creation, His appointed institution. It is His Holy Church.

Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness

It is up to each of us to strive, seek, and find out what the Church is according to the intent of the one who established it.

How does it relate to us in our lives and in God’s plan for us?

 
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Are Christians Idiots?

From HigherLiberty.com –

When Christ spoke of the Kingdom there was a revolution going on in Judea and the world. The policies and practices of politicians and people had the world on a one way road to social and economic destruction. John the Baptist and Jesus were turning the world upside down. They were shaming the hypocrites who claimed to be following Moses but did not know him nor the God who sent him to free the people.

Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”…

Christians provided for one another in charity and did not participate in the free bread welfare of Rome as we see the Pharisees doing.4 The Pharisees had chosen Caesar’s ways and government as their benefactor. The Christians were not involved in the public affairs of the Pharisees. Christians were involved in public affairs of Christ working daily in the temple.5

The temple in Jerusalem, the same as those of Rome, was the center of their social welfare. With the baptism of John, Christ’s followers, who were eventually called Christians, had opted out of a social welfare system that had snared the people under the authority of Herod’s welfare state.6 Christians had another king, one Jesus, and were standing fast in the liberty of Christ. The persecution of Christians by public magistrates was often based on their refusal to participate in the temple welfare systems of Rome.

The word translated marvelled in Acts is “thaumazo” which is also translated in the Bible as “have in admiration” and “admire.” They were impressed and yet they did not like what they were hearing. Many modern Christians would not want to hear the truth of what the early church was doing either.

 
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Hindus Force Christians To Convert…

By Theodore Shoebat – Shoebat.com –

The Hindu suppression of Christians is intensifying every day. John Dayal, a member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council recently said:


There has been a sharp rise in hate campaigns against Christians by political organizations. …This threat of purging Christians from villages extends from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to now Uttar Pradesh, and to the borders of the national capital of New Delhi

In July, 25 Hindus attacked a church in Sahakarinagar village, beating the pastor and others.

Indian village councils have abolished and outlawed Christian prayer, meetings, and evangelism illegal in 50 towns.

Aneesh Andrews, a Methodist district superintendent, said:


In some places, the passing of the resolution has been followed by attacks on pastors and pulling down of village churches

 
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