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-Independence Day 2018: Freedom Comes from God

by Dr. D ~ July 4th, 2018

United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

Happy Independence Day 2018.

The following is our traditional message for the 4th of July:

Flags are flying, parades are moving, drinks are flowing, and politicians are speaking today in America.

242 years ago a message was confirmed by representatives of 13 colonies proclaiming their freedom, a freedom that was considered to be derived from God:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Much has been made of the variety of beliefs held by the founders of this country but their words and convictions remain not only on paper but also in the hearts of the people.

Declaration of Independence: The Emphasis Upon God

When it comes to the Declaration of Independence, the words- “by their Creator” were a major part of the message, the subject, and the emphasis.

Many secularists and atheists today want to de-emphasize the role of faith in the founding of this country to the point that many are attempting to actually rewrite history itself. For them, God could have easily been left out of the document with little or no effect.

But in the context of 1776, those words were the whole linchpin of the document and appealed to as the ultimate authority and source for the rights of the Americans to rebel against the King of England.

In the context of the 18th century the Europeans believed that their Kings reigned and ruled ‘by Divine right’ under the authority of God and were His direct representatives. In fact, the King of England was also the head of the church and was supposed to defend the Christian faith against heresy and all enemies. In that cultural context, to rebel against the King was tantamount to rebelling against God the Creator himself.

In the Declaration the founders made it clear that they were not rebelling against God but that the Creator was actually the ultimate authority they were appealing to saying that their ‘rights’ were derived directly from the Creator and not given to them by the King of England or some parchment or Parliament.

It was a radical document at the time and changed the whole course of human history and ‘the Creator’ was part and parcel of the Declaration of Independence and the ultimate authority appealed to in the whole process.            *Top

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-Pope Francis: “They Call Me a Heretic”

by Dr. D ~ May 29th, 2018

Pope Francis

Recently Pope Francis has been criticized by conservatives in his own church for saying that there was no Hell and for blaming God for homosexuality. Earlier this year he actually admitted to a group of Jesuits that some in the church were calling him a heretic. From Politico:

ROME — “They call me a heretic.”

Not the words you’d expect to hear from the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But that’s what Pope Francis told a group of fellow Jesuits in Chile earlier this year, acknowledging the fierce pushback from arch-conservatives in the Vatican.

Celebrated by progressives around the world for his push to update and liberalize aspects of church doctrine, Francis is facing fierce blowback from traditionalists…Opposition has become so heated that some advisers are warning him to tread carefully to avoid a “schism” in the church.

Father Thomas Weinandy, a former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops’ committee on doctrine, has accused Francis of causing “theological anarchy.” …Last fall, more than 200 scholars and priests signed a letter accusing Francis of spreading heresy.  …

And last week, in his most explicit acceptance of homosexuality yet, he told a gay Catholic that God had made him that way and that his sexuality “does not matter.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: None of this is surprising since Francis came from the ‘Liberation Theology’ wing of the South American Catholic church. I wonder what former Pope Benedict, a Catholic conservative, now thinks about his decision to ‘retire’ which ended up paving  the way for the reign of Pope Francis?

This is what happens when church leaders depart from ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’ given to us in the Bible and substitute it for human philosophy along with scientific and political theory and ‘cultural relevance.’

The most telling statement of where this Pope really stands was the official ‘ENCYCLICAL LETTER’ issued by Francis naming ‘climate change’ as the most important and pressing issue facing humanity.  In light of that, some have also been critical of this pope’s lack of emphasis on spreading the ‘Gospel’ of Jesus Christ and his validation of other religions like Islam.

He did early on (2013) issue his ‘EVANGELII GAUDIUM’ ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL IN TODAY’S WORLD and it did call for taking the good news and joy of Jesus Christ to the whole world. However the vast majority of the 51,000 word document was spent on church administration and the calling for a change in the world economy and in particular a condemnation of capitalism (which one would expect coming from a proponent of Marxist Liberation Theology).

Even more problematic for me is this Pope’s accommodation of Muslim leaders in the midst of the greatest persecution against Christians since the first century and the campaigns of the Muslim conqueror Muhammad.

On one hand I really do personally like the man and his loving approach to all people, but so much of his personal belief system seems to be rooted in popular philosophy rather than the Bible. Those calling him a ‘heretic’ do have a point and ‘last days’ prophetic folks are having a field day with his departures from the scriptures and looking for parallels with the end-time world religion represented in the Book of Revelation.

Meanwhile, don’t look for him to get into any kind of ‘official’ trouble with his church. The Vatican officials continue to cover for this pope by claiming that he was misquoted or speaking as an individual and not ‘officially’ as the leader of one billion Christians. Pope Francis will continue to be an interesting world religious figure regardless.               *Top

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-National Day of Prayer 2018

by Dr. D ~ May 3rd, 2018

Today is the National Day of Prayer. Every day is a good time to pray for our nation particularly today. Join thousands across America in prayer for our nation and people, Unity is the theme for this year. Something we really need right now. Here’s a link to the National Day of Prayer website.

2018 NATIONAL PRAYER FOR AMERICA:

Our Dear Heavenly Father, while we come to You in complete humility, we also come to You with boldness in the authoritative name of Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In Jesus’ name, fill us now with Your Holy Spirit and lead us as we pray in Jesus’ name for America.

Oh God, we are burdened for our nation today. We turn from the sins that we have committed against your Word and your Name. We turn away from our contentious words and ways toward one another that has led us to division and polarization. We turn away from our disrespect and lack of dignity toward each other, and we turn away from our continual devaluation of all human life from the womb until death in this world. We also turn away from and refuse to participate in skepticism, criticism, and cynicism in our nation. We turn away from anything that divides us, and we run toward the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the only thing that has the power to unite us together.

Lord, in this critical hour in our nation, we pray for unity in America. Only You can bring unity, harmony, and oneness in America. As your Word calls us in Ephesians 4:3, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”, we ask You to empower us to make every effort to live in unity, to call for unity, and to forward unity in America continually.

We pray for the churches in America to unify in Jesus Christ and to pray as one unified spiritual family for America. May Your Church pray for America passionately, perpetually, privately, and publicly.

We pray for God’s power to unify families, workplaces, communities, and cities in America. By Your Spirit, lead us to forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and unity.

We pray for people of all ethnicities and races in America to come together as one, living in peace and unity together. Oh Lord, because each of us is created in Your image, please give us the courage to stand against all racial and ethnic division, denouncing it as evil and sinful, while simultaneously coming together in unity with all persons knowing this is God’s will for us.

We pray in unity for the security of our nation. We ask You to preserve the United States of America from the forces of evil that are threatening our lives and our future. God, please guard all persons in public and private settings from anyone or anything that desires to harm us or take our lives. Our future is in Your hands.

We agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America. Oh Lord, wake up Your church spiritually and convict Your people to agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily until the next Great Spiritual Awakening occurs in our generation.

Oh God, we stand together upon Your words in Psalm 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony.” Through Jesus’ name and by the Holy Spirit’s power, we pray for all Americans to unify and to live together in unity.

In the mighty and majestic name of Jesus Christ who is the Only Savior and the Only Hope in this world, we pray. Amen.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd

President, National Day of Prayer Task Force
Senior Pastor, Cross Church

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-A Gog of Magog Summit?

by Dr. D ~ April 9th, 2018

Is this the beginning of a Gog of Magog alignment (Ezekiel 38-39)? Last week, Turkey’s President Erdogan met together with Russia’s President Putin and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in a summit to talk over their allied efforts in Syria.

Last year when Putin sold his best anti-aircraft missile system to Turkey we posted about how that was a major historical development that might have Ezekiel 38-39 implications. This summit continues that developing alignment. See what we said last year which is even more poignant now with this recent strategic get together: 

-Turkey and Russia Missile Agreement: Implications for an Ezekiel 38-39 Scenario

And here is an earlier post about the modern countries which might be the equivalent of the ancient ones listed in Ezekiel 38-39:

-Is ‘Gog and Magog’ Beginning to Line Up?

Here are two additional articles which also have Ezekiel implications showing a developing pattern and tendency for the leaders of Turkey and Iran to call for and support a potential attack upon Israel:

-Turkish President Calls On Muslims To Invade Jerusalem and Pushes for a New Caliphate

-Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei Tells His Nation to Prepare for ‘End-Time’ War

*Top

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-Did the Pope Actually Say There’s No Hell?

by Dr. D ~ April 2nd, 2018

Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped)

During Easter week, a Leftist/atheist quoted Pope Francis from a private conversation as saying that there is no Hell, only annihilation for the wicked. After it was quoted in an leftist Italian newspaper- La Repubblica, all heck literally broke out in the international press.

Soon the Vatican officially denied the quote. Nevertheless, the story had legs, particularly since it came  during the Christian Holy Week. Here’s a synopsis of the controversy from the NY Times:

ROME — The Vatican felt obliged this week to reaffirm that Pope Francis believes in a central tenet of Catholicism, that there is a hell.

That odd declaration came after the newspaper La Repubblica published a front-page article on Thursday by an atheist, left-wing and anticlerical giant of Italian journalism, who reported that during a recent meeting the pope had said that hell did not exist.

Bad souls are “not punished,” the journalist, Eugenio Scalfari, 93, reported the pope as saying. “A hell doesn’t exist.” …

But the infernal remarks, especially as the pope prepared for Easter Sunday celebrations, proved too tempting for international tabloids, conservative websites antagonistic to the pope and many others to let go.

<Read the whole article>

Response: The liberal media always looks for ways to embarrass Christians during the holiest week in the Christian calendar. Usually it comes in the form of exposés and documentaries against Jesus and the resurrection. Last week I looked for the newest anti-Christian controversy and this seemed to fit the bill. The Pope contradicting the official teaching of the church begs the question- ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ And when it comes to this Pope and the central doctrines of the church maybe not so much?

Here’s the actual quote translated from Italian into English:

"Scalfari: What happens to that lost soul? Will it be punished? And how? The response of Francis is distinct and clear (netta e chiara): there is no punishment, but the destruction/annihilation of that soul. [The Italian word is annullamento, literally, "turned into nothing", meaning here the same as the more usual Italian word for annihilation, annientamento] All the others will participate in the beatitude of living in the presence of the Father. The souls that are destroyed/annihilated will not take part in that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is finished. And this is the motivation of the Church’s missionary activity: to save the lost. And it is also the reason why Francis is a Jesuit to the end."

But is the quote among ‘friends’ really all that misleading as the Vatican wants us to believe? Universalism and Annihilation have been major tenets of liberal theology for an entire generation and more. They were popular teachings when I was in seminary 35 years ago and Pope Francis is known to be a proponent of, or at the very least in sympathy with, many of the tenets of liberal Liberation Theology. It would not be out of character for such a one with that background to privately suggest that most will be saved (Universalism) accept the really wicked who will probably face annihilation from the Father God of love rather than an eternity of punishment in a fiery Hell.

Would Pope Francis ever make an ‘official’ statement promoting Universalism and Annihilation which are in direct conflict with the Bible and the official teaching of the church? No—never. However, church members would probably be quite surprised with the results if a poll was taken of Catholic priests and nuns in the West along with mainline Protestant pastors and ministers, if they answered truthfully, about their personal beliefs on Heaven, Hell, and/or Universal salvation and Annihilation.                 *Top

 

(Reprinted from ANSWERS For The Faith main page)

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