Tag Archives: Christianity

It’s the end……. as we know it

Liberals Unite

Phyllis Schlafly Warns Gay Marriages Will Wipe Out Christianity
May 12, 2015 by Kimberley Johnson

 

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Gender traitor and destroyer of equality, Phyllis Schlafly, is picking on the gays now.

It wasn’t enough for her to spread lies about what constitutional gender equality would mean for the country decades ago, now she’s complaining that the gay agenda will wipe out Christianity.

In an interview with conservative radio host Chuck Wilder, Schlafly asserted that lawsuits against business owners who refuse to serve members of the LGBT community prove that marriage equality advocates are seeking to “to wipe out the Christian religion.”
Wilder asked, “Have you noticed that only Christian small-businesspeople have been harassed and sued for refusing to participate in same-sex marriages, even though our fast-growing immigrant populations, you know of Muslims, Hindus and other faiths are also opposed to that concept? The use of same-sex marriage to attack Christian businesses but not businesses run by members of other religions demonstrates what is really driving the demand for the new constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

Wilder then asked Schlafly to “Give us the bottom line.”

Schlafly responded. “Well, that is right. They want to wipe out the Christian religion. And most of these other religions do not recognize same-sex marriage. I assume there are some Muslim bakers and photographers and other people who have been harassed, but they’re not being attacked and they’re not being criticized.”

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The Halls are Alive with the the Sound of….. eh?!!!

As Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage approaches, opponents to the potential change have taken to the streets to hand out anti-gay leaflets.

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This leaflet was handed out in Dublin and poses the important question: “Should children be exposed to sounds of sodomy?”
“As the date of the referendum to redefine the Irish Family draws ever closer it is time for christians of conscience to examine the dire consequences for the innocent if homosexuals are given access to the scarament [sic] of marriage.
“Marriage is between one man and one woman. Our legislators are without hte Light of Our Lord. At this very moment the liberal agenda conspires to undermine God’s Word and is drafting law to allow homosexuals to adopt children. Should children be exposed to this beastly obsession with unholy acts? Should the sounds of sodomy echo in the halls of a Christian home?
“In the coming weeks and months lobby your TD. Tell them children should not be exposed to unholy homosexual unions. STOP the adoption legislation. Contacat your TD now.”

 

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Getting down with the kids (praise bands)

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Why Evangelicals Should Love the Pope (copyright The New York Times)

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SundayReview

Why Evangelicals Should Love the Pope
APRIL 4, 2015

ON Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate an event that inspires more than two billion of the faithful with eternal hope. Jesus spoke often about the life to come. Yet he also spoke about God’s will being done here on Earth. How best to live out one’s faith in this world has been a complicated issue throughout Christian history, and it remains so today.

Since the mid-1970s, one dominant strain of cultural engagement among Christian leaders in America has been to warn about God’s judgment on a disobedient, decadent nation. This approach assumes that the main task of the church is to call us back to moral righteousness. Among the most prominent representatives of this kind of Christian cultural engagement is the Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham. Last month the younger Mr. Graham warned that our nation has “turned its back on God.” For nations that do this, he said, the “end is near.” The “tide of immorality has risen to new heights,” Mr. Graham said in 2013, with homosexuality and “all the anti-God people” being the main cause. He has gone so far as to praise the autocrat Vladimir V. Putin for his anti-gay policies.

These beliefs have a theological corollary: It is the duty of Christian leaders to fight on behalf of traditional values and to reprove sin. According to Mr. Graham, “We are locked in a war against the Christian faith.”

But this two-generations-long culture war is not going particularly well. The cultural influence of evangelical Christians is rapidly waning. As one religious leader put it to me: “We used to be the home team. Now we’re the away team.” The response from some Christian leaders, like Mr. Graham, is to ratchet up the condemnatory rhetoric. This has led to greater disaffection, especially among younger evangelicals who find this approach to be brittle, alienating and unforgiving. We are living through a moment of introspection and reconsideration, then, as Christians search for an alternative way to engage the culture that is both faithful and effective.

Enter Pope Francis. For those of us who are part of the evangelical movement, the popular leader of the Roman Catholic Church offers an archetype. He views the role of the church not as a combatant in the culture wars but “as a field hospital after battle.” He has also said, “Without mercy, we have little chance nowadays of becoming part of a world of ‘wounded’ persons in need of understanding, forgiveness and love.”

In 2013, the pope told a young audience in Rio de Janeiro, “Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.” Two weeks ago, Pope Francis did just that, meeting with gay, transgender and H.I.V.-positive prisoners during a visit to Naples.

Pope Francis criticizes the church not for its unwillingness to rebuke sinners but for ignoring the weak and vulnerable. He washed the feet of two women and two Muslims in juvenile detention — the first time a pontiff has included both women and Muslims in the rite. Without changing church doctrine, he has altered how the Catholic Church is seen. These are symbolic acts packed with theological content, reminding us that individuals are infinitely more valuable than moral rules, that failures don’t define us.

Of the two approaches — Franklin versus Francis — the one taken by the pope is not only more popular but also better reflects Christ’s example. Jesus confronted sin, not to be censorious but because it puts us at enmity with God, one another and our true nature. “Go and sin no more” were words meant to produce greater human flourishing. Yet time and again in the Gospels we read about Jesus embracing those denounced by the religious elite of his day.

The authorities were constantly at odds with Jesus because he hung out with the “wrong” people — the despised, the outcast, the ceremonially unclean — and he claimed the authority of God in doing so. Jesus was condemned for being “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” and for consorting with prostitutes. His anger was directed most often against the proud, the hypocritical and the self-righteous. The powerful hated him, while those who were broken flocked to him.

Some of my fellow evangelical Christians may respond by saying they are called to stand against unrighteousness for the good of the whole. But Pope Francis is not reversing the teachings of his church; indeed, Mr. Graham’s and Pope Francis’ views align on matters of marriage and protecting unborn life. The difference has far more to do with tone, animating spirit and emphasis. In the words of the New Testament scholar Richard B. Hays, “What the Bible does say should be heeded carefully, but any ethic that intends to be biblical will seek to get the accents in the right place.”

That is where Mr. Graham and those evangelicals he speaks for have veered off track. He obsesses on some issues while ignoring others, speaks with stridency rather than mercy, and thereby creates a distorted impression of Christianity, one that is at odds with Jesus’ approach.

The award-winning Christian author Philip Yancey once took to asking a question of strangers, when striking up a conversation: “When I say the words ‘evangelical Christian’ what comes to mind?” Mr. Yancey reports that he mostly heard political descriptions — but not once did he hear a description suggestive of grace. This is quite an indictment of a faith in which the concept of grace should be at the very center.

Pope Francis, on the other hand, understands that Jesus’ main mission was to persuade a world in need of God’s love and mercy. If the pontiff speaks of the church primarily as a field hospital, Mr. Graham sees it as a sentencing court.

Steve Hayner, one of the baby boom generation’s most respected evangelical leaders and my spiritual mentor, died earlier this year. The last time I saw him, he told me that the central characteristics of God are love and grace — and that therefore the central mission of Christians is to extend his hand of grace to others. What God has given to us, we owe to others. “If what you’re doing in your life is leading toward reconciliation and redemption,” he once told me, “then you’re most likely headed in the right direction.”

Pope Francis is heading in that direction. There are an awful lot of evangelical Christians ready to follow his lead.

Peter Wehner is a contributing opinion writer and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who served in the last three Republican administrations.

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Religious Principles

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“Religious Freedom” legislation

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Easter – Comment is free – The Guardian view on Easter: David Cameron’s wonky cross Editorial

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David Cameron, fishing for votes, has told an evangelical radio audience that he believes that the message of Easter involves “hard work and responsibility”. So what does he think really happened at the crucifixion? Who were the criminals nailed up on each side of Jesus? Skivers being sanctioned because they had missed their appointments at the job centre? Mr Cameron’s Christianity, as it is displayed in this interview, attempts to offend no one, and the result is an insult to Christianity and to all non-Christians as well.

It’s an insult to non-believers because the vague and fluffy list of virtues – kindness, compassion, and forgiveness as well as hard work and responsibility – have nothing distinctively Christian about them. He might as well have said that he gets his two legs from God. But it is insulting to Christians for exactly the same reason. The point of the Easter story, and especially of the crucifixion, is that none of these virtues is enough to save us. It is absolutely not a story of virtue rewarded and vice punished, but one of virtue scourged and jeered through the streets, abandoned by its friends and tortured in public to death.

Jesus did not really preach hard work, responsibility, or family values. He told his followers to consider the lilies of the field, to have no thought for the morrow, and to leave their father and mother to follow him. He came not to bring peace, but revolt. The Easter story makes even democracy look like an instrument of evil. It is the crowd who demand that Jesus be crucified and Pilate who goes along with them.

What Christianity brought into the world wasn’t compassion, kindness, decency, hard work, or any of the other respectable virtues, real and necessary though they are. It was the extraordinary idea that people have worth in themselves, regardless of their usefulness to others, regardless even of their moral qualities. That is what is meant by the Christian talk of being saved by grace rather than works, and by the Christian assertion that God loves everyone, the malformed, the poor, the disabled and even the foreigner.

The idea that humans are valuable just for being human is, many would say, absurd. We assert it in the face of all the facts of history, and arguably even of biology. This idea entered the world with Christianity, and scandalised both Romans and Greeks, but it is now the common currency of western humanism, and of human rights. It underpinned the building of the welfare state, and its maintenance over the years by millions of people of all faiths and none.

It is also an idea that Mr Cameron’s government has defined itself against. The assaults on social security, on migrants, and even on the teaching of the humanities, are all underpinned by a belief that the essential metric of human worth is their utility, and in practice their usefulness to the rich in particular, because it is the marketplace that provides the only final judgment. There are many Christians in this country who are quite content with that. Surveys show that ordinary Christians are consistently to the right of their clergy on many questions: the clergy runs food banks while the pews are full of people muttering against scroungers who believe that poverty is the fault of the poor.

But the activists have for the most part a much more critical attitude, and it is their activism which has led party leaders to be interviewed by Premier magazine. Even the smallest of the mainline churches have memberships larger than that of the political parties. The Church of England alone has twice as many people in church every Sunday as pay their subscriptions to all the political parties put together. There are at least five million active Christians in England today, and they represent a pool of committed and energetic voters that no party can ignore. They won’t all vote as a bloc, but within the existing blocs they will put in more effort, and perhaps more money, than any other group.

Hence David Cameron’s discovery of his own spiritual side. This newspaper can’t condemn him for that. We can only wish he did it more thoroughly and more often. If he were a better Christian, he might believe in, and he should fear, a judge beyond the market. For the rest of us, this election offers an opportunity to judge both him and his party.

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Bono on Jesus

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“What has Easter got to do with the Church?”

Supermarkets have been accused of pursuing an ‘anti- Christian agenda’ after refusing to sell Easter eggs with a religious message. (article in the Daily Mail)
Some of Britain’s biggest stores are celebrating the most profound event in the Church calendar by offering treats featuring everything from Darth Vader to Postman Pat – but turned down products that mention Jesus.
One chain even asked ‘what has Easter got to do with the Church?’, according to the makers of The Real Easter Egg, which features Christian crosses on the box and contain a leaflet telling the story of the Resurrection.
Now Archbishop of York John Sentamu has stepped in – urging Sainsbury’s, Asda and the Co-op to stock the charity eggs – while former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said he was ‘saddened’ by the three supermarket giants’ decision.
Lord Carey said: ‘The rest are rubbish. These Easter eggs that have nothing to do with Easter, all they are trying to do is get more money out of people. They have no meaning. I think it shows ignorance on the part of these supermarkets.

‘By not offering an alternative to secular Easter eggs they are really undermining the real message of Easter. It saddens me because we are living in a land that is completely losing contact with its religious roots and is out of touch with the Christian message.’

 

 

 

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David Marshall, the head of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, said the supermarkets appeared biased against its ‘proven seller’. He said: ‘We do wonder at times if there is an anti-Christian agenda from some of our supermarkets who just keep turning it down. It is as if some feel Christianity is politically incorrect or the Easter story, which mentions Jesus, might put people off.
‘One buyer asked us what Easter had got to do with the Church, while another simply said, “I don’t think this is a credible product” and asked us to leave.’
The Warrington-based firm has spent five years trying to persuade stores to sell its £4 Christian-themed eggs, which were launched in 2010 with the backing of Archbishop Sentamu.

At first the supermarkets refused, but two years ago, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and the Co-Op bowed to pressure and agreed.
But this year Sainsbury’s and the Co-op have dropped the eggs, blaming poor sales, while Asda has never stocked them. However, the Meaningful Chocolate Company say a million eggs have been sold over the past five years.

‘Poor sales’: Sainsbury’s and Co-op have cited poor sales as the reason they dropped the Eggs, while Asda said it has not be approached by the makers of the egg

Archbishop Sentamu, who has lamented ignorance about Easter after learning that a third of children thought it marked the birthday of the Easter bunny, said yesterday: ‘With a million Real Easter Eggs sold I am delighted that Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose have met the challenge. I call on Sainsbury’s, Asda, and the Co-operative to give their customers the same choice.’
Sainsbury’s said their decision was based on ‘the popularity of ranges in previous years’, with the Co-op also citing ‘poor sales of the Real Easter Egg in previous years’. Asda said it had not been approached this year, a claim disputed by the Meaningful Chocolate Company.

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Mad Pat – evil nonsense (again)


Pat Robertson Says Non-Religious Children Should Be Beaten Until They Respect Christian Beliefs (VIDEO)
Stephen D Foster Jr

In another example demonstrating that Pat Robertson believes in persecuting non-Christians and indoctrinating children, the televangelist openly suggested that parents should beat their kids until they respect Christian beliefs.

During yet another shameful episode of the 700 Club, which runs on Disney-owned channel ABC Family, Robertson received an email from a woman who claimed that her grandson disrespects their Christian faith when they visit their daughter on Christmas and chose not to visit this past year.

“We declined going to our daughter’s house on Christmas this year because there is always an argument, hard feelings etc.,” viewer Karen wrote.

“One grandchild comes high on marijuana, cursing and challenging our faith. I correct him and have told my daughter to ask him to respect our beliefs, but he keeps it up. Our daughter say she is a Christian but will drink too much and offend her daughter and her husband. Were we wrong to not to attend another Christmas that leaves us upset or someone angry? I have” shared my beliefs many times with them and am ridiculed by this grandson and son-in-law.”

Robertson’s immediate solution? Beat the child until he respects Christianity.

“Somebody take that kid to the woodshed and let him understand the blessings of discipline,” Robertson advised befo

re predicting that the kid would end up in prison if a strong male figure didn’t start beating him right away.

“He needs a strong male figure. He’s going to wind up in a correctional institution, and the next thing you know, he’s going to be doing hard time in some prison. And then he would wish he wasn’t such a smart, you know, wise guy. Because he’ll be disciplined in a way that he’ll never forget in some prison… He needs discipline in the worst possible way.”

One solution Pat Robertson conveniently didn’t mention is for Karen to stop bringing up religion at her daughter’s home. She says she has “shared her beliefs many times with them” and admits that it always causes an argument. Well, there’s her problem. Stop trying to force your beliefs upon your daughter’s family and the arguments will probably cease. It’s not that people are offended by someone just because they practice a certain religion, they just tend to get offended when someone tries to force those beliefs onto them. By doing this, Karen is inviting arguments, hard feelings, and ridicule from family members who don’t want to be preached to during a holiday or any other day of the year for that matter.

Robertson’s solution is not only cruel, it constitutes child abuse, which is against the law. Beating a child into respecting a religious belief is the very definition of indoctrination and violates the constitutional rights of the abused.

Robertson’s call for beating kids into religious submission is similar to a Glenn Beck rant from 2013 when he also advocated for parents to physically abuse their kids until they believe in God. Just two years earlier, fundamentalist Christian parents beat their nine kids in the name of God. One child actually died from the abuse. Telling religious extremists to beat their kids is a very dangerous thing to do, and if any religious parents beat their kids like Robertson is advising, he should be charged as an accessory to child abuse.

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