A Road to Nowhere

Stephen P. White: If Cardinal Robert McElroy has his way, we’ll be left with a vision of Christian life which lacks any hint of the freshness of the Gospel.


Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego has penned a lengthy reflection (available hereon how the synodal process might address the exclusion of certain categories of people. The essay covers a lot of ground, but the bulk of it is concerned with the questions of how to address, “the exclusion of divorced and remarried and L.G.B.T. Catholics, particularly on the issue of participation in the Eucharist.”

Reading the essay, I couldn’t help but think of H. Richard Niebuhr’s famous line: “A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” Which is to say: this was in no way an edifying document.

Where to begin?

While pastoral in tone, the essay deals almost entirely in abstractions. Concrete acts by particular moral agents simply don’t register. Exclusion is treated not as a consequence of sin, but as something inflicted upon sinners by the Church. Sin is not what divides us; the Church’s hang-ups about sin do.

So we read, for example, “[T]he exclusion of men and women because of their marital status or their sexual orientation/activity is pre-eminently a pastoral question, not a doctrinal one.”

The Church has gone to great lengths to insist that no one is excluded from receiving the Eucharist because of sexual orientation, which Cardinal McElroy surely knows. But even as he attempts to collapse the distinction between sinner and sin, McElroy draws a bright line between the moral life and our relationship with God, just as he does between pastoral and doctrinal matters. He writes:

The heart of Christian discipleship is a relationship with God the Father, Son and Spirit rooted in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church has a hierarchy of truths that flow from this fundamental kerygma. Sexual activity, while profound, does not lie at the heart of this hierarchy. Yet in pastoral practice we have placed it at the very center of our structures of exclusion from the Eucharist. This should change.

It is true that sexual morality is not at the heart of the hierarchy of truths of the faith in precisely the limited sense that no moral teaching of the Church is at the heart.

Of course, the reason God gives us the moral law is precisely to guide us toward those actions and habits that bring us closer to Him and to our neighbor, and to avoid those actions that impede, damage, and destroy those same relationships.

This is why Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And why, shortly before equating lust with adultery, he gave his disciples this warning:

Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The actual words of the Scripture stand in jarring contrast to the disjointed view of doctrine and pastoral concerns, as Cardinal McElroy presents them. Curiously, the essay’s only reference to Scripture, such as it is, is to the title of a Synod document which is taken from Isaiah: “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.” Not incidentally, Scripture scholars say this really refers, not to “inclusion,” but the territorial expansion of Israel, i.e., conquest.

For his part, the Cardinal is concerned that the Church places too much emphasis today on sexual morality. Were it not for the utter collapse of marriage in the West, the malformation and perversion of a whole generation of young people through pornography, the daily reminders that our gnostic culture promotes a view of the human person which renders the body meaningless and the Incarnation incoherent, and the Church’s own decades of failure to adequately address sexual abuse, he might have a point.

Cardinal McElroy has often expressed concern about polarization in the Church and has long been a critic of various notions of individual autonomy that mark American culture. Yet when it comes to reception of the Eucharist, that most inextricably communal reality in Christian life, McElroy stakes out a maximalist view of individual conscience: “While Catholic teaching must play a critical role in the decision making of believers, it is conscience that has the privileged place. Categorical exclusions undermine that privilege precisely because they cannot encompass the inner conversation between women and men and their God.”

As I’ve written before, nowhere is the individualist strain in American Catholicism more manifest than in the ubiquitous belief that reception of the Holy Eucharist is a private matter rather than a fundamentally ecclesial reality. Here we see it from Cardinal McElroy in its starkest form.

So diminished is the ecclesial dimension of the Eucharist in favor of private conscience, that one could easily miss McElroy’s call for open communion: “[T]he church must embrace a eucharistic theology that effectively invites all of the baptized to the table of the Lord. . .”

Unsurprisingly, the very thing Christ died to save us from – sin – barely registers in the Cardinal’s essay. Nor do we read anything about that beautiful Sacrament by which Christ offers us a remedy for even the gravest of sins. In some 3,000 words on the pastoral urgency for inclusion, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not mentioned even once.

Sin, mercy, conversion, redemption: all these dissolve into flaccid platitudes about inclusion, listening, dialogue. Behind this fog of abstractions and platitudes, the fundamental drama of salvation – the very substance of the Good News – is obscured.

What we’re left with is a vision of Christian life which lacks any hint of the freshness of the Gospel. If that’s the path the synod takes, it will be a path to nowhere. And all of us, not least those in the difficult pastoral circumstances Cardinal McElroy is so genuinely and admirably concerned about, will be the worse for it.

You may also enjoy:

Robert Royal’s Dear Bishops: Clear Your Minds of Cant – and Can’t

Brad Miner’s Homosexuality in Scripture

AUTHOR

Stephen P. White

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Repentance for Sin and Sacramental Absolution

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.: We need evermore deeply to repent of our sins, confess them humbly, and resolve more ardently never to commit them again.


It’s been widely reported that Pope Francis told seminarians from Barcelona, Spain, in an unscripted talk, that they must not “be clerical, to forgive everything.”  Such must be the case even “if we see that there is no intention to repent, we must forgive all.”  In denying “absolution” to someone who is unrepentant, “we become a vehicle for an evil, unjust, and moralistic judgment.”  Priests who withhold absolution to the unrepentant are “delinquents.”

At one point, Francis referred to such priests, whom he finds detestable, in a crude and obscene manner. (For an example of the reporting, click here.)

The scenario, as portrayed by Francis, of an unrepentant sinner going to Confession is extremely rare.  It does, nonetheless, pose an important doctrinal issue.

The sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation is a sacrament of God’s mercy.  Although baptism cleanses the faithful from all sin, it is readily evident that we continue to sin, and sometimes we may commit mortal sins, which separate us from God.  To obtain God’s merciful forgiveness for such serious sins, we are obliged to confess our sins within the sacrament of Penance.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of the Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace.” (¶ 1446).  God’s mercy is always present within the sacrament of Reconciliation.

That being said, there is, nonetheless, a prerequisite condition on the part of the sinner for obtaining God’s merciful pardon – the need for sorrowful repentance and the desire not to sin again.  Quoting the Council of Trent, the Catechism declares: “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place.  Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again’” (¶1451).  Moreover, The Code of Canon Law states that, for penitents to receive “the saving remedy of the sacrament of penance, they must be so disposed that, repudiating the sins they have committed and having the purpose of amending their lives, they turn back to God.” (Canon 987)

Pope Francis’s impromptu declaration that absolution should be given even to those who are unrepentant is absolutely contrary to the Church’s living apostolic tradition, one that is found in the Catechism, and has been defined by the Council of Trent and enshrined in Canon Law.

The question can, nonetheless, be asked: Why is repentance (and the intention not to sin again) necessary for receiving sacramental absolution by the ministry of the priest?  Is there an intrinsic inter-relationship between repentance and absolution?  Or is the need for repentance merely an arbitrary law instituted by the Church, and so not essential to receiving sacramental absolution?

Pope Francis, it would seem, affirms the latter.

If a person were not sorry for his/her sins, it would seem obvious that sacramental absolution could not be given.  The desire for sacramental absolution implies and presupposes that penitents recognize that they have sinned and now wish that God, in his compassionate mercy, will forgive them.

God’s merciful forgiveness is ever-present within the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the priest is ever-willing to absolve sins, most of all, mortal sins.  Yet, it is sacramentally impossible to obtain God’s loving and merciful forgiveness, if one is not repentant for the sins committed.

While Francis may want to be merciful by suggesting that unrepentant sin be absolved, he is, nonetheless, morally “delinquent,” since the person continues to remain guilty of the sins that he or she committed.  Such is particularly the case, if one is in mortal sin.  Thus, the pope’s exhortation is pastorally irresponsible and could be spiritually deadly, for unrepentant persons may think they were absolved when, in fact, they were not.

The Scriptures bear witness to the obligatory relationship between repentance and forgiveness.  Mark’s Gospel tells us that after John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk. 14-15)  Repentance is requisite for entering into God’s kingdom, for it is a kingdom of God’s merciful forgiveness and the source of a holy life.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus narrates the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The younger son asks for his share of his father’s inheritance.  Having received it, he goes off into a far country where he lives a profligate sinful life.  When he came to his senses, he realizes that he needs to repent and return to his father, “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him. ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.’” (Lk. 15:18)

Upon seeing his son at a distance, the merciful father rushes out to greet him, and lovingly, with rejoicing, takes him back into his household.  Yes, the father was merciful, but the father could only manifest his mercy when his delinquent son returned to him in repentance.  If he had not returned, the father would have never been able to enact his ever-compassionate mercy.

The same is true with regard to God our Father.  Unless we return to him in repentance, he is incapable of enacting his merciful pardon by means of the sacrament of forgiveness.  Pope Francis, by separating the human act of repentance from the divine act of forgiveness, has made God’s mercy null and void.

In light of all of the above, the lesson for all of us is that we need evermore deeply to repent of our sins, confess them humbly, and resolve more ardently never to commit them again.  In so doing, the sacramental absolution of the priest will marvelously manifest to us the ever-present abundant mercy of God the Father, made visible in Jesus Christ his Son, and sealed in the love of the Holy Spirit.

You may also enjoy:

David W. Fagerberg’s A Good Death

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek’s Without ‘Metanoia’ We Perish

AUTHOR

Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, a prolific writer and one of the most prominent living theologians, is a former member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. His newest book is the third volume of Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Gospel of John: The Book of Glory and the Passion and Resurrection Narratives

Christian Charity Worker in Malta Prosecuted for Sharing Testimony About Rejecting Homosexuality

A Christian charity worker in Malta faces prosecution for sharing his personal testimony about rejecting homosexual activity on the radio.

Matthew Grech, 33, a trustee of the Christian nonprofit Core Issues Trust, will face trial on Feb. 3, 2023, at the Court of Magistrates in Valetta, along with the presenters of a media outlet, PMnews Malta. Prosecutors claim Grech and the presenters violated Chapter 567, a Maltese law banning “conversion practices.”

Grech told The Daily Signal that Maltese authorities are targeting “ANY DISSENTING OPINION about LGBT” issues, threatening free speech in the name of suppressing “conversion therapy.” He insisted that “there is no proof that people are being forced to ‘become straight’ anywhere on the island” of Malta, which became the first European country to ban “conversion therapy” in 2016.

“You advertised conversion practices and this breaking article 3 (a) (iii) of Chapter 567 of Maltese laws,” the police wrote in a summons on June 29, 2022. The police wrote that Grech violated the law on April 6, 2022. The law defines “conversion practices” as “any treatment, practice or sustained effort that aims to change, repress and, or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression.”

Grech did not advertise any form of “conversion therapy” on that date, according to the transcript. Rather, he told his personal story and advocated for a therapist’s freedom to counsel clients as they would direct, without government intervention.

Grech said he was confused about sexuality during his teenage years, and he started a same-sex relationship when he moved to London, keeping that relationship secret from his family. “When I was in London, a woman came up to me and began to share the gospel with me, and she started telling me about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross,” he said. “I went into a church, and I can say that I loved it. I felt accepted. I felt loved.”

“Jesus consumed my life,” he added. “His presence brought a freedom, a freedom that I never had, joy and continuous peace in my life.” He read the Bible and saw clear condemnations of homosexual activity. “This is the basic gospel, that one needs to repent from sin, and homosexuality is not the only sin.”

Then Grech spoke out against the law banning “conversion therapy.” He noted certain forms of therapy to address underlying trauma that may, as a byproduct, deal with some unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

“Many forms of therapy involve that you control one aspect of yourself,” he said. “To control yourself is not a bad thing, to an extent. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit from a biblical perspective is self-control.”

“Many times, they discover that when someone helps them overcome trauma and pain that was behind their homosexual attractions, or their transgenderism… they find that they no longer look at the same-sex in the same way,” he explained. “Nobody said to them, ‘If you do this, or hear this, or stop doing this, you will become straight…’ These were genuinely in emotional crisis and looked for help.”

Grech laid out the police’s claim against him. According to policeman Neil Farrugia, and confirmed by Inspector Roderick Attard, who wrote the summons, PMnews Malta published on its website and Facebook page an advertisement for the interview regarding “conversion practices.” The news outlet went on to broadcast the interview on April 6 on Facebook Live, where the presenters introduced Grech as secretary general of the Christian conservative political party ABBA and a representative of International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC), which the police characterized as a group promoting and providing “conversion practices.” (Grech does work with IFTCC, though he disputes the characterization.)

Police also claim Grech advertised “conversion practices” and promoted their efficacy. “They claim that both the programme as well as the ‘advert’ come against provisions of article 3aiii of Chapter 567 in Maltese law,” he told The Daily Signal. Authorities are also charging the presenters for providing a platform for the “advertisement.”

“Evidence clearly shows that Matthew Grech did not violate the statute,” Jeanise Dalli, Grech’s attorney, told The Daily Signal. She also claimed that “this prosecution undermines Matthew’s freedoms under Malta’s constitution and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, particularly his Fundamental Human Right to freedom of expression and his Fundamental Human Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” The Christian Legal Centre is also assisting in Grech’s defense.

Grech said Malta’s legislature began working on an amendment for the law on Monday. He said the amendment “will aim to redefine the advertising clause of the law to include the publishing, advertising, displaying, distributing, referral and circulation of any material promoting the practice. This is very concerning for all Christians in Malta, as it is clear that what they are after is ANY DISSENTING OPINION about LGBT.”

Even if the legislature expands the law, this will not affect Grech’s case, Dalli said, since Maltese criminal law cannot be applied retroactively.

Grech also noted that the government’s move to amend the law comes shortly after Grech’s pastor reported to the police a satirist who posted on Facebook that Grech’s church, River of Love, should be carpet-bombed. The satirist also compared the church to the Islamic State (ISIS).

Maltese police declined to comment on this story for The Daily Signal. The attorney general’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

This article was originally published by The Daily Signal.

AUTHOR

Tyler O’Neil

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Saudi Journalists: We Must Promote A Modernized Shari’a That Reflects The True Spirit Of Islam As An Answer To The Extremist Model Presented By The Taliban

A number of articles recently published in the Saudi press criticize the extremist model promoted by the Taliban in Afghanistan and by ISIS and the movements of political Islam. This model, they argue, does not reflect the true spirit of Islam and is based on a misguided implementation of the Islamic shari’a. It results from decades of indoctrination that promoted Islamic jurisprudence suited to past eras, before the age of progress and prosperity in the Muslim world. The articles add that the extremism of these movements reflects an “ideological crisis” in Islam, and that there is therefore an urgent need to enact reforms in order adapt the Islamic shari’a to the modern age and foster a spirit of tolerance and love of life.

The following are translated excerpts from these articles.

Saudi Journalist: The Taliban’s Islamic State Model Only Oppresses Women And Produces Jihad Fighters

In a sarcastic article in the daily ‘Okaz, columnist ‘Abdallah Bin Bakhit writes that ISIS, the Taliban and the organizations of political Islam espouse a misguided model of the Islamic state that, instead of promoting progress, only oppresses women and produces jihad fighters. This model, he adds, is the result of the extremist ideas that have been promoted by preachers in the Muslim world for decades. This, he says, is why Al-Azhar, the supreme religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, refrained from accusing ISIS of heresy. If it did, it would have been forced to direct the same accusation at many other movements and preachers.

Bin Bakhit wrote: “I was glad when Al-Azhar refused to accuse ISIS of heresy. Many intellectuals protested and condemned this [decision], and some even accused this venerable religious university of hatching conspiracies. [But] if we consider the issue in depth, we will see that Al-Azhar took the right decision. It did not find anything in the conduct of ISIS that justified accusing it of heresy. All the decisions taken [by ISIS] and all their actions on the ground conform to the religious rulings we have constantly been hearing about for 40 years. Al-Azhar refrained from accusing ISIS of heresy because this would have meant directing the same accusation at all those who took to the pulpits to preach Islam in the era of the Islamic Awakening that spread through the Arab countries [in the late 20th century]. ISIS realized the vision of the [Islamic Awakening] movement in practice and to the letter. They implemented everything they learned from the books of tradition and everything they heard from the senior clerics. Their problem was that they implemented it too soon. They announced [their state] before they had the necessary strength, and the world pounced on them and defeated them. Nobody wants to remain on the losing side, [so] our honorable clerics distanced themselves from [ISIS], although before this they used to provide [ISIS] with funds and fighters and pray for it with all their hearts.

“I was not among those who yearned for the complete disappearance of ISIS. I wanted the world to provide it with territory to establish a state that would implement the shari’a, [the kind of state] that all the organizations of political Islam have promised [to establish] and which all the Muslim peoples have been yearning for. Whenever one of our honorable preachers is asked why the Muslim states are not leading the world, he ascribes this to the fact that we are not implementing the true Islam. Thankfully, the world continues to turn and the dream is now about to come true, because, after the world deprived ISIS of the honor of implementing the shari’a, history gave us the Taliban to perform this duty… Let’s wait and see how they implement the shari’a and how this affects the development, prosperity and welfare of the Afghan people and guides the entire world to the right path.

“The Taliban has [already] uprooted women from the universities. This is the first glimmer of the Afghans’ success. Women have no place in the university and in the job market. Keeping them at home will officially transform them into [perfect mothers] to raise the coming  generations. A woman does not need to study at all, because she has nobler and more important roles, chief of which is to obey her husband, fill his heart with joy, preserve his wealth, keep anyone from entering his home without his permission, including her own parents, and refrain from giving alms without his consent. She must not take a single step outside the home without his permission, and she must dress only according to his taste and wishes. [The home] is her realm, where she sits enthroned, tall and proud, and one of her main roles, for which she was created and which suits her natural inclinations, is to care for [her husband’s] children. Her male children will become sources of creativity, production and invention, and constitute the exclusive circle from which jihad fighters and officers in the religious police [are selected]. The world is waiting [to see] the Afghans’ successful attempts at producing missiles, planes, computers, semiconductors and everything that leads to progress and [develops] culture, after the plotters deprived ISIS of the opportunity to do so.”

Read The Full Report

EDITORS NOTE: This MEMRI report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Muslim BBC Broadcaster Screams ‘Death to Israel’

Mayssaa Abdul Khalek is another in a long string of antisemitic BBC reporters. Apparently for the BBC, Jew-hatred in a “journalist” is not a bug, it’s a feature.

BBC broadcaster in ‘death to Israel’ rant

by David Rose, The JC, January 19, 2023:

A journalist hired by the BBC has ranted “death to Israel” on social media and described it as “occupied Palestine” live on air, the JC can reveal.

Regular BBC Arabic contributor Mayssaa Abdul Khalek, a Lebanon-based reporter, also called on Arab states to attack Israel on Twitter, alongside links to her broadcasts for the corporation.

The disclosure comes despite a JC campaign which has revealed a catalogue of anti-Israel bias in BBC broadcasts and has led to the establishment of parliamentary inquiry due to start later this year.

In a live report, Ms Khalek, who describes herself as a “BBC Arabic co-host”, described a Hezbollah rocket attack on northern Israel as an attack on “occupied Palestine”.

Khalek’s tweet in which she sends a ‘message to the Israeli enemy’

Three rockets had been launched against the Israeli border town of Metula, which she then called “an imperialist colony”.

The town is located at Israel’s northernmost point, inside the internationally-recognised 1967 border with Lebanon.

During the 2006 Lebanon war, the town’s population was forced to flee as it was bombarded by Hezbollah rockets.

During a live report in May 2021, Ms Khalek described how a Lebanese man had died, saying, “he and a group of youths were hit by RPGs that Israeli military shot at them during their attempt to cross the border fence in front of the imperialist colony of Metula”.

Without interruption by the presenter interviewing her, she went on:
“These events also come after three rockets were launched yesterday from South Lebanon towards occupied Palestine.”

She also used the phrase “occupied Palestinian territories” to describe Israel in a tweet linked to the same broadcast, which contravenes BBC guidelines. Last week, after she was contacted by the JC, the post was deleted.

Ms Khalek has used the social media account to publicise 30 broadcasts she has made for the BBC, alongside anti-Israeli material.

In March last year, she liked a tweet commemorating Diaa Hamarsheh, a terrorist who died in a gun battle after killing a rabbi, a policemen and three civilians in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.

Then in November she described “the enemy, Israel” alongside photographs of a Palestinian rally and a teenager holding up a sweatshirt with the slogan “Freedom for Palestine”.

A December 2017 post under a photo of the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir read: “The Arabs are in a deep slumber… Confronting Israel was limited to statements of denunciation that do not make us fat, do not satisfy our hunger, and do not restore our Jerusalem to us.”

A post on the Syrian war in February 2016 began with the phrase “Death to Israel”. It went on: “Is it your business to resist the Arab countries or Israel? Oh, sorry, Israel is an ally of your friend Russia, and they coordinate in the Syrian war.”…

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Ways to Defeat Islamic Jihadism

This is an urgent call to all free people to rise and defeat the Islamic Jihadists who are marching under the banner of the Qur’an to subdue all non-Muslims.

It is imperative that the values and the way of life of civilized people be protected against the assault of Jihadists’ savagery born from the primitive culture of long-ago Arabia. There is nothing to negotiate here. Nothing to compromise, for the Jihadists, are on a non-negotiable campaign against Allah. The goal of this mission from Allah is the eradication of just about everything that falls under the rubric of human rights.

It takes every free human to do his or her share in defeating Jihadism.

Below is a partial list of what can be done.

  • You don’t have to take up arms and go around killing the Jihadists. That’s the Jihadists’ way of dealing with us and anyone they don’t approve of. Decent humans value life, even the life of a Jihadist. By contrast, the Jihadists have no compunctions about amputating limbs, stoning, beheading, and hanging people even en mass. The brutal mullahs ruling the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomed the new year by hanging thirteen people, one of them the mother of two young children. We need to dry up their sources of support and beat them in the battle of ideas. We need to show them the fallacy and danger of their pathological belief.
  • Fight to end the deadly practice of political correctness. Truth, only naked truth, can set us free. And freedom is our greatest gift in life. Life without freedom is death disguised as life. Remember Patrick Henry’s cry: Give me liberty or give me death. We must fight for life, liberty, and freedom.
  • Demand that politicians, Islamic apologists, and paid-for media do not abuse freedom by lying about Islam. When these people portray Islam as a peaceful religion, they lie through their teeth. Just take a quick look at Islam’s history as well as what is happening today in the Islamic lands. Islam is not a religion of peace and it has never been. Islam is violent, oppressive, racist, and irrational at its very core. It is treachery for people to present it as otherwise, either out of ignorance or because of their own personal reasons.
  • Challenge your leftist professors who Islamic front organizations may retain to trumpet Islam’s virtues. Demand transparency from hired lobbyists and the liberal mainstream media. Sadly, a percentage of people in Western Democracies are born alienated. These people seem to a have congenital hatred of their own societies; they ally themselves with any and all people and forces that aim to destroy our cherished way of life, and they live by the motto: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They eagerly join forces with the Saddam Hussein and Hugo Chavez of the world.
  • Demand that Islamic literature, including the hate and violence manual called the Qur’an, be purged of all violence and hate spewed toward non-Muslims. Is it too much to ask that non-Muslims not be targeted for hate by the so-called sacred religious text? What kind of religion is this? Religion is supposed to bring people together and not put them at each others’ throats. The Muslims must be made to understand that and they must reciprocate the tolerance that the non-Muslims voluntarily afford them.
  • Do not allow any special privileges whatsoever to be granted to Muslims. Demand that all Muslims have their first and foremost loyalty to the United States and its Constitution and not to the Islamic Ummah, the Qur’an, and the shariah law. Europe is rapidly buckling under the pressure of Islamism. Just a couple of examples: Germany has legalized polygamy to placate Muslim men, and Italy is forced to plan separate beaches for Muslim women.
  • Demand that none of the barbaric provisions of Islamic sharia be practiced. Just because a woman is born into a Muslim family, that shouldn’t force her to lead a subservient life to a man, for example. All family matters and disputes, without exceptions, must be adjudicated according to the civil laws of the country.
  • A Muslim is, first and foremost, an Ummahist, a citizen of international Islam. So, when a Muslim takes the United States Pledge of Allegiance, he is either ignorant of the implications of his pledge or is lying willfully. Sadly enough, taqiyya (lying, or dissimulation) is not only condoned but is also recommended to the Muslims in their scripture. Hence, a Muslim can and would lie without any compunctions, whenever it is expedient.
  • Require that many recent arrival Muslims be carefully vetted for their terrorism and Jihadist backgrounds and beliefs. Many recent arrivals from places such as Somalia, Iraq, and Pakistan come as refugees and bring with them their pathological anti-American system of belief. It is criminal to admit these refugees without demanding that they completely renounce their allegiance to the hate dogma of Islam. Those diehard devotees of Islam should make any of the eighteen or so Islamic countries home, rather than invade the secular societies and aim to subvert them.
  • Demand that Muslims, without the least reservation, adhere to the provisions of human rights. Muslims, by belief and practice, are the most blatant violators of human rights. We hardly need to detail here Muslims’ systemic cruel treatment of the unbelievers, women of all persuasions, and any and all minorities across the board. To Muslims, human rights have a different meaning, and their protective provisions are reserved strictly, primarily for Muslim men.
  • Go and talk to Muslims, particularly the young and the better educated, about the horror and the fallacy of a primitive belief that has been handed down to them through an accident of birth. Show them the magnificence of freedom, in all its forms; the indispensability of tolerance for all; and, the futility of clinging to an obsolete hodge-podge of delusional ideology. The onus is clearly on the Muslims to prove the validity, utility, and sanctity of the belief they intend to impose on all of us.
  • As for democracy, our cherished way of life, Muslims have no use for it at all. Muslims believe that Allah’s rule must govern the world in the form of a Caliphate: a theocracy. Making a mockery of democracy, subverting its working, and ignoring its provisions is a Muslim’s way of falsifying what he already believes to be a sinful and false system of governance invented by the infidels. The reason, if you can, with the Muslims is that their belief is an outright rejection of the greatest gift of life: Freedom.
  • Support financially and in every other legal way those individuals and organizations that are fighting the Jihadists’ relentless encroachment. Many European countries are already on the verge of capitulation to the Islamists. The Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, confidently proclaimed recently that Europe will be Islamic in a dozen years. He has good reason to say that. Muslims are forming states within states in much of European towns and cities. In Britain, for instance, non-Muslims are in serious danger of entering Muslim neighborhoods.

In conclusion

Folks, get off your duff. Stop saying, “let the FBI do it.” Neither FBI the agency nor the “NSA, or DHS” can do it by themselves.

This is a battle for survival that every one of us can help wage.

Let’s get on with it before, if not you, then your children and grandchildren end up under the barbaric rule of the

©Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: 38 PEOPLE ON THE FBI’S TERROR WATCH LIST CAPTURED AT SOUTHERN BORDER SINCE OCTOBER

Domestic Genocide in Iran

The world’s most notorious state exponent of anti-Semitism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is on a path to uproot, not only all that is perceived as civilized but to annihilate the greatest threat to its existence, the Iranian people. The mullahs and their mercenaries are wasting precious human life in order to maintain their power by terrorizing the population.

The Iranian people are simply hopeless and helpless. Even the UN does not come to their rescue. From its past performance, rather than its absence of performance, we know that the UN watchdog is a true disgrace to dogs since all it does is eat, sleep and look the other way. Furthermore, the dog has no teeth. The vet had to pull all its teeth before the dog became acceptable to the crafty cats that constitute the UN itself.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a unique creature—it is best described as a Theocratic Aristocracy. The “divinely ordained” rulers maintain power through an elaborate patronage system. Lucrative positions, contracts, and valued privileges are distributed by patronage. The result is that the ruling Mullahs enjoy a significant number of supporters in all strata of society—the civil service, the military, the powerful Revolutionary Guards, (IRGC), and the hooligans and thugs who are ready to unleash their vicious attacks on anyone or group that dares to challenge the in-charge men of Allah. The illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a quisling entity that has betrayed its people, its tradition, and its glorious pre-Islamic achievements, and is incessantly working against Iran’s national interest.

Under the stranglehold and machinations of the Mullahs, Iran has been transformed, in less than three decades, to the lead perpetrator of all that is abhorrent to humanity. The supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, like his predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, whose callous disregard for human life was matched only by his consuming paranoia, allegedly has issued a decree to hang Iranian dissidents publicly in all the towns and villages with a population that exceeds 1000 people. For Ayatollah Khamenei, the dissident viewpoints represent an unacceptable threat. Anyone found questioning the Sharia Law — and many hundreds of thousands were — had to be “weeded out.” The Islamic Republic is on a mission to end human life in Iran. Mass public hangings, as well as secret executions in prisons, are routine in the tyrannical Islamic Republic of Iran. Recently Majid Kavousifar, 28, and his nephew, Hossein Kavousifar, 24, were hanged for the alleged murder of a hardline judge, Hassan Moghaddas, who also was a deputy prosecutor and head of the “guidance” court in Tehran and notorious for jailing and condemning to death political dissidents. The victims were hanged from cranes and hoisted high above one of Tehran’s busiest thoroughfares. This “judge” had repeatedly bragged publicly that he often issued a death verdict without even examining the charges against the individual.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has the dubious distinction of executing more children, those under the age of 18, than any other country in the world. Such is the plight of the Iranian people.

Iran’s ruling Mullahs are clustered around major factions such as the conservatives, the moderates, and the so-called reformists. Yet, the differences among these factions are tactical rather than strategic. One and all share the same overarching goal of defeating the “Crusader-Zionists” by any and all methods possible, bringing about the “end of the world” Armageddon, and thereby creating the requisite conditions for the appearance of the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi, to assume his rule of the world. What is the likelihood that the ruling Mullahs will actually use the bomb, you may ask? If they remain in power long enough to have it, they are very likely to use it, in one form or another, you are told. At the very least, they will use the bomb for blackmail and intimidation in the region. How can you help to prevent this catastrophe from happening, you may ask?

Support the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom, by at least petitioning, you are told. [As for Majid and Hossein Kavousifar, they left Iran for Abu Dhabi following the assassination of the murderous judge, Hassan Moghaddas, and apparently, they both took refuge in the U.S. Embassy where they had applied for U.S. asylum. We have no information as to why they were handed over to the Islamic Republic authorities when they were aware that they would definitely be facing execution.

We hope that the US State Department can give us more information. In order to achieve total control, the Islamic Republic and its lackeys spawned a series of immense internal purges — beginning in 1988 and known as the “Massacre of Political Prisoners of 1988”– and have intensified their domestic terror in recent months and weeks. A society that is intense in its struggle for change has a flip side to its idealism: intolerance. This totalitarian regime sees enemies everywhere, enemies who want to destroy the Islamic Revolution and diminish the results of its hard work of creating an Islamic utopia in the land of Cyrus the Great. The regime seems to be panicking with hyper-suspiciousness. They have installed watchdogs in schools, universities, factories, and all offices across the country, and are urged to be vigilant against sabotage, against those who crave freedom and democracy. Many innocent Iranians are being victimized, and the saying has gone around that “when you chop wood, the chips fly.” As with Khamenei, it was believed that some who were innocent would have to be victimized if all of the guilty were to be apprehended.

In fact, they stigmatize, victimize and murder people without any due process of law. On the slightest suspicion, they arrest, convict, and execute. Few people would deny any longer that Islam and its variants mean, in practice, bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal actions, forced ‘hijabs”, fatal deportations, extrajudicial executions, show trials, and genocide. It is a widespread plague upon humanity, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the greatest threats to the stability of the civilized world and humanity at large. It continues to impose this horrendous ideology called Islam on the Iranian population.

The world must file legal charges against the leaders of the Islamic Republic’s wanton violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: for their crimes against humanity and genocidal actions against religious and political groups; for support of international terrorism; for demolition of sacred sites and cemeteries; for rape, torture, and summary executions of prisoners of conscience; for forgery of documents; for acts of blackmail and fraud; and for much more. To those misguided advocates of negotiation with the mullahs, beware. The mullahs are on an Allah-mandated mission. They are intoxicated with petrodollars and aim to settle for nothing less than complete domination of the world under the Islamic Ummah. It is precisely for this reason that they consider America and the West as “Ofooli,” setting-dying system, while they believe their Islamism is “Tolooi,” rising-living order. They are in no mood to negotiate for anything less than the total surrender of democracy, the very anathema to Islamism. This is only one reason, but perhaps, one of the greatest reasons, for fostering democracy.

In short, we have an excellent opportunity to topple these parasitic terrorists once and for all. History will judge us all. At Munich, Chamberlain got an international agreement that Hitler should have the Sudetenland in exchange for Germany making no further demands for land in Europe. Chamberlain said it was ‘Peace for our time’. Hitler said he had ‘No more territorial demands to make in Europe. Neville Chamberlain, appeasement (1938) Hitler, our European allies, and the United States, are doing the same with the ayatollahs. [I really like to know how these people become National Security Advisors)?

©Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners

RELATED VIDEO: In Search Of Cyrus The Great – by www.spentaproductions.com.

The Making of and Dealing with Jihadists

Bewildered by what fanatic Muslims do, some conclude that Muslims are brainwashed. Otherwise, how can their totally illogical belief system and barbaric behavior be explained? But the notion of “brainwashing” that is bandied about is the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies such as the Manchurian Candidate.
The human person arrives in this world with his brain already washed in the sense of being what John Lock called tabula rasa, a clean slate—ready for an experience to imprint its script on it. John Lock was only partly correct. The brain also arrives with numerous predispositions already in place. It is a combination of life’s influences and a person’s own decisions that determine which of these dispositions develop and which ones fail. It is through this process that a unique human being is formed.

Many animals come with already in-place programs that automatically run much of their lives. Birds’ migration, mating courtship, and thousands of other complex behaviors are instances of this type of specific programming. A catchword for this type of behavior is “instinct.” As a general rule, the higher the organism the less is its rigid pre-programs and the greater its latitude to exercise choices.

Making choices depends on what there is to choose from and to what extent a given choice appeals to the person. And the human newborn enters the arena of life without the means of being other than a passive recipient of “things” already chosen for him.

It is like the old joke by Henry Ford who reportedly told his customers that they could have the choice of color for their car as long as it is black. Things are almost as bleak for the new arrival. He didn’t have a say in choosing his parents, his socio-economic condition, his environment of birth, and much more. All are already in place and he is to start in life from the context of his birth.

The development of a newborn in any family is influenced by many factors, among them how hands-on the parents are; how religious they are, and how severely they micromanage him in an attempt to make him not only a good person but also a person better-one than they themselves.

Parents tend to live vicariously through their children by programming them, the best they can so that they become or achieve much of what they had failed to become or accomplish. This attitude covers all areas of life such as giving the child the education they didn’t have, helping him with fame and fortune, nurturing him to become a top-notch athlete, and so forth.

It is a fact that early influences play a cardinal role in shaping a person. For this reason, for instance, the overwhelming majority of Muslims have been born into Muslim families, Catholics into Catholic families, Hindus into Hindu families, and so on. It is also a fact that the degree of religiosity ranges from mild to strong, with most people falling somewhere between the two extremes.

Interestingly, two siblings raised by the same set of parents under the same influences may end up at the opposite extremes in their religious views and practices. Here, the human dynamic of freedom of choice comes into play and steers one to one extreme and the other to the other extreme. Occasional extreme deviations notwithstanding, the great majority of siblings of a given family end up with various degrees of that family’s overall religious and other values. The same general principle of subscribing to a set of common values exists in all human groupings, in some cases with broad flexibility and inclusiveness while in others with rigidity and exclusivity.

In order to enjoy the privileges of belonging to a group, the person must also pay his dues of membership.

The very young human faces, beginning with the minute he can make some sense of the world, a bewildering array of mysteries, challenges, and enticements. There are questions at every step, fears, and hopes entangled with the need to survive and possibly thrive.

Who am I? What is this world all about? What’s the purpose? What am I supposed to do and how? Where am I headed? People die. Where do they go? And on and on and on. The information booths available to him in the fairground of life provide him with answers that may help relieve his innate existentialistic anxiety. And it is here that religion plays a critical role and holds a great appeal. Religion provides a surefire answer to those who are willing to take it on faith.

And Islam is a powerful magnet for the masses that are unable to deal with the uncertainties of life and death on their own. It is from this population, many already thoroughly indoctrinated from birth, that the majority of diehard jihadists emerge.

It is the bargain the jihadist makes. He surrenders totally to the religion of surrender in exchange for blanket security. Islam gives him all the answers he really seeks for dealing with this world and promises him a lush and eternal paradise of Allah once he leaves it. And leaving this world in perfect submission as the foot-soldier of the paradise’s creator gives the faithful unimaginably glorious sensual eternal reward in his next life. It’s a bargain that some buy in whole, some in part, and some refuse and seek other means of dealing with their questions and the unrelenting existentialistic anxiety.

The great majority of jihadists emanate from the ranks of those born into the religion of Islam, simply because they are the ones who are most thoroughly indoctrinated and influenced by the Islamic dogma in their most receptive early years. Yet, there are others who embrace Islam in adulthood, on their own and enlist themselves as devoted jihadists for the same rewards that Islam offers them.

Islam has a great advantage of the first call on the new arrival. It is an omnipresent system with masses of believers, mosques, madrasahs, and a host of other social and economic organizations that overpower the person and steer him into the same fold; it is a sea of people who seem to know what they are all about, what life and death are all about, and what one must also do.

Within this sea of surging humanity composed of some 1.5 billion Muslims, each individual believer—a drop—through a combination of choice and forces beyond his control, ends up in one of its many waves. It is the jihadist wave that is highly attractive to the deeply indoctrinated and poorly adjusted in dealing rationally and independently with life. Here, he finds the iron-clad perfect solution to his anxieties and perplexities.

To a jihadist, death is nothing more than casting off a shell of the worthless earthly existence and donning the suit for winging joyously to the life of bliss promised by none other than Allah’s beloved final emissary, Muhammad.

The eradication of jihadism is a daunting task since Islam is a virulent persistent pandemic disease. Massive education efforts, combined with a resolute confrontation of all sources and people that support and promote this deadly philosophy, hold the best promise of dealing effectively with this affliction of humanity.

In addition to the family, places such as mosques and madrasahs, Islamic associations and charitable organizations, prisons, and the like are incubators for jihadists. Massive efforts are required, on the one hand, to drain the breeding swamps of the Islamic virus, while on the other hand helping Muslims adopt an alternative perspective of life that addresses their perplexities and offers a degree of comfort that religions dispense without pitting one segment of humanity against another.

In the monumental task of dealing with jihadism, every individual, group, and government must combine their resources and energies to prevail. The destiny of civilized life hangs in the balance. It is an unpardonable act of shirking responsibility for anyone to adopt the attitude of “let George do it.” George is you. George is I. George is every enlightened human being and organization that values human liberty and dignity.

©Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: UK: Teen converts to Islam, plots jihad massacres in London

The Failure of the Church and Her Shepherds

“In such a fearful world, we need a fearless church.” —  C. S. Lewis

“I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.” —  Charles Spurgeon

“That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors.” — Charles Spurgeon

“We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of authorities than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s behest when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.” —Martin Niemöller


Our Holy Day celebrations are over for another year.  Several days were spent preparing feasts and watching 1940s movies…all of which were without violence or expletives, and had such wonderful moral themes.  Top Gun Maverick was rented for one evening and was a throwback to those good old movies.

Now we welcome a new year, hoping and praying that it will be better than the last few.  Having just looked through our Christmas cards once again, my eyes welled up with tears for the many friends and family who are no longer with us.  As I addressed cards this year, I noticed how many names had been crossed out as I’ve aged. Just today I found we’d lost another family member in January of 2022. My sweet maternal grandma once said to me that the worst thing about growing old was losing family and friends.  How right she was!

Our Judeo-Christian culture centers around the worship of our Creator.  Church is an integral part of our Christian faith.  Synagogues and churches are both houses of prayer, worship and study.  In my youth, some of my best friends were children whose families were orthodox Jews.  They went to shul on Saturday and we went to church Sunday.  I remember being astounded that they had Sunday School and they also attended one other day of the week.  Christians have Sunday School as well, and many churches also have a Wednesday worship and Bible studies.

As a child, I never missed Sunday School or church with my grandparents or my mom. Attendance continued throughout my adult life until the recent past.

As I age, I seem to weep more often.  My country is rotting from the inside; she is disintegrating before my eyes attacked by dystopian tyrants bent on demonic control of the world.  I keep asking, “Where are the shepherds, the pastors, the men of the cloth who are to guide and nurture the sheep?”

Silence.

Times have changed

Steve Bonta’s 2000 article, Liberty and the Chains of Virtue was reprinted in the December 26th, 2022 New American Magazine.  The subtitle states, “The Founding Fathers clearly understood that only a citizenry educated in morality and willingly bound by the self-forged chains of virtue can remain free of the chains of tyranny.”  It is a brilliant article regarding our roots, the faith of the founders, religion and the republic and the role of education.

Bonta ends the article with this sentence, “Each generation of Americans must relearn the lessons of the past; each must build on the example set by the Founders to keep fertile the soil of public virtue in which the seeds of freedom are sown anew in every age.”

America’s education was infiltrated by the enemies of freedom in the 1930s. Parents would plant the seeds of faith and morality in their young, then send them off to public schools only to have the sprouting plants of righteousness radically wilt and die.

The Supreme Court removed prayer from government run schools in 1962. The Ten commandments were removed in 1980.  Dr. Cathy Burn’s book, Billy Graham and His Friends, exposes the truth of one of America’s most famous 20th century preachers.  Many have questioned Graham’s connection with the National and World Council of Churches as well as the ecumenical movement and for good reason.

On page 247, Dr. Burns’ writes:

“A 1972 World Council of Church ‘Salvation Today’ Conference in Bangkok published a series of essays by such Marxist authors as Julius Nyerere, Roger Garaudy and Ignazio Silone.  One essay told how to substitute Mao’s Little Red Book for the Bible.”  This essay reminds me somewhat of a quotation from Billy Graham which appeared in a Tokyo newspaper.

“In the May 28, 1973 Mainichi Daily News, published in Tokyo, Graham declared, ‘I think communism’s appeal to youth is its structure and promise of a future utopia.  Mao Tse-tung’s eight precepts are basically the same as the Ten Commandments.  In fact, if we can’t have the Ten Commandments read in our schools, I’ll settle for Mao’s precepts.’”

And that was half a century ago.

Denying the Ten Commandments

Andy Stanley, son of Southern Baptist Pastor Charles Stanley, claims the Ten Commandments are from the Old Covenant and Christians are not bound to obey any of them. He believes they don’t apply to Christians today.  Stanley certainly opens a vile can of worms with this statement.  The Ten Commandments are a portion of the 613 laws given by Moses.  One wonders if Andy Stanley has actually studied the New Testament Words of Jesus (Yeshua Hamashiach) and St. Paul.

Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament.  They are Christ’s Laws, which match nine of the Creator’s Ten Commandments given to Moses.  They are God’s Laws for humanity.

If Stanley chucks the law, then he has no basis for calling sinners to repentance, because sin is transgressing God’s law (1 John 3:4).

And not all of the Ten Commandments fit into Christ’s command to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  The Lord said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me; Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; Honor thy father and thy mother.

Jesus of Nazareth instructs us with His commandments, the Ten Commandments of God given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

Only one commandment is missing in the New Testament, the Fourth Commandment, to honor the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy.  Christians are taught that every day is a Holy Day unto the Lord.  We know that whichever day we choose to gather together to worship is the Lord’s Day, whether it be Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday or any other day of the week.

Many Christians choose Saturday worship as the Torah states in Exodus 20:10 where the Lord’s Law states the seventh day of the week is a Day of Rest and worship.

After Jesus’ Resurrection, Sunday was held sacred as the Lord’s day in remembrance of His Resurrection on that day (see Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). From that time on, His followers observed the first day of the week as their Sabbath.

However, we are all free to choose.

Decay

Few families take their children to church, fewer even attend.  A majority of our churches have been infiltrated with false doctrines, and cultural mores that fall drastically distant from the instructions in our Manufacturer’s Handbook.

Women lead as pastors, sometimes married couples are the pastors together, and more often than we know, many pastors are openly homosexual or lesbian and are accepted in the church, despite the teachings in Leviticus, the third Book of the Torah, and the New Testament’s Book of Romans.  Doctrinal beliefs are widely varied rather than having sound articles of faith throughout.

In one of the largest Christian denominations, Zelda Caldwell of the Catholic News Agency writes, “One of the newest members of the Pontifical Academy for Life appointed by Pope Francis is an outspoken advocate of abortion rights, having recently shared her opposition to the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Twitter.”

Shocking?  Yes!

I watched as the denomination I was raised in fell away from Biblical truth and adopted the rot of secular socialism that has infiltrated every facet of society.  Our elected politicians openly deny America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and show their support for those who flaunt their immorality in God’s face.

According to a Christian Post article, The American Worldview Inventory 2022 examined more than three dozen beliefs held by pastors. Researchers found that in addition to believing that people can merit salvation based solely on their good works, one-third or more of senior pastors surveyed also believe the Holy Spirit is not a person but rather “a symbol of God’s power.” Others said that moral truth is subjective; sexual relations between two unmarried people who love each other is “morally acceptable” and biblical teaching on abortion is “ambiguous.”

At least a third of those surveyed also said they believe “socialism is preferable to capitalism and that allowing property ownership facilitates economic injustice,” which researchers say could point to the “increase of cultural and political influence into the church.”

That, my friends, is the core of Marxism.

Nearly 40% of these pastors do not have a Biblical world view, and 38% didn’t answer in the affirmative that human life is sacred.  They didn’t even believe that having faith in God is the reason for salvation.  They stated that having faith is important, but in whom or what apparently is not.

Evangelical Survey

On October 9th, 2022, Pastor John MacArthur preached a sermon on “The State of Theology.  It concerned a survey about evangelicals.  What he exposed showed defection from the truth of those who are to shepherd the flock.  They have become heretics and apostates.

MacArthur went on to explain that most people who claim they are evangelicals don’t even know the definition of the word…

  1. They believe the Bible.
  2. They believe Jesus.
  3. They believe the Gospel.
  4. They believe they were responsible to communicate the Gospel to others.

The answers to a few of the survey questions to evangelicals and pastors were shocking and disheartening and proof that the serpent has actively infiltrated the church.

  1. 50% believe God changes and adapts, despite the fact that both Old and New Testaments teach that God never changes. Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; I Timothy 1:17.
  2. 65% agree that everyone is born innocent in the eyes of God. Innocence ended in the Garden of Eden. We are all born with a sinful nature.  Ecclesiastes 7:20; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; Romans 5:12.
  3. The core of Christian faith is the confession of sins and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior/Messiah, but 30% of pastors didn’t answer this in the affirmative.
  4. 55% of evangelicals agreed the Bible is not literally true. Ps. 119:160; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15.

The bottom line for salvation is faith…it is faith alone that guarantees the Lord and His heavenly kingdom.  The Old Testament saints were all saved by what?  Faith alone in our Creator.

For those of us who believe on Messiah Jesus, He is our Savior…the final perfect Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins.  He is a Jew, from the Tribe of Judah.  He came, not for gentiles, but for His fellow Jews. Gentiles were grafted into the olive tree because like the Canaanite, Rahab, we believed on the One True God.

The story of Rahab’s faith is in the Book of Joshua 2:1-24.  Rahab hid Joshua’s spies and told them she knew that the Lord was with them.  She said, “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

Every book in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments are written by Jews, save one, the New Testament Book of Luke, the physician.  All the apostles were Jewish. Our Creator engraved Israel in the palms of His Hands, (Isaiah 49:16). So, if you hate the Jews, you literally hate God, Jesus and the entire Bible.

Traditional or Contemporary Worship

In a recent conversation with a friend, we talked about the modern music in today’s church worship. Both of us concluded that the loud heavy metal rock music may carry with it evil spirits.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are modern praise songs that are so lovely.  Because He Lives by Bill Gaither is a beautiful modern hymn.  And there are numerous Christian bands who perform wonderful songs of praise and jazz them up a tiny bit. Worship is the Holy ground of the Lord.

I’ll never forget what my daughter’s husband, who was from Persia, said to me.  They were married in the church and we adored him.  The one comment Joe made to me stilled my heart.  He said it disturbed him to see people gather in the sanctuary, chatting with friends, the children running around and the noise of folks getting seated and calling out to others.  He felt that worship in the sanctuary was a Holy Place of God and that there should have been more reverence.  He was right.

In our former church, traditional worship followed an historic liturgy and included hymns, choir pieces, handbells, piano, and organ. The beautiful hymns of old, Rock of Ages, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Nearer My God to Thee, Jehovah Let me Now Adore Thee, and so many more were sung in worship throughout the year.  I can hear the music and my mother’s beautiful voice lifted in praise, a voice I failed to inherit.  Those hymns were prayers to our Creator, to His wonderful gifts to those who believe and to our living and risen Messiah.  Many of them I know by heart.

But now the church has changed.  Should those of us who were raised with these marvelous songs of praise wish to attend the traditional worship service, we must rise early to be at church by 8 a.m.  Most who were raised in the traditional services are now elderly and many no longer attend because of the time.

The blended worship is a mix of historic, traditional, contemporary, and global expressions of worship. Just what are “global expressions of worship?” They claim this service is a “mosaic” of several different worship styles.  It occurs at 9:30 a.m.

The contemporary service is at 11:30 and led by a praise band, using a variety of instruments. The music is either printed in the bulletin or is flashed on a screen.  The words are repetitious mantras, not the Holy Praise and Prayers of the past. Many have left the church believing Matthew 6:7 tells us, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Friends of mine tell me they arrive late to worship to avoid the loud rock band music.

Drums, guitars, and electronic keyboards using synthesizers and digital pianos are common. It’s loud. There are scriptural reasons the “rock beat” is evil in any form.

King David made a joyful noise unto the Lord, Psalm 100:1-5; 2 Samuel 6:13-15. This was right before King David and all the house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet, the shofar.

Today’s pastors will tell you the music attracts the young people and then they will hear the truth of God’s Word.  But are they being fed the meat of the Word, or milk and Pablum?  (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Founding Era Sermons

In the early days of our country, the pastors tied liberty and freedom to faith in the One True Lord and Creator, Jehovah. There are hundreds of thousands of founding era sermons; the core of every sermon is the same. Religion, liberty and freedom were intermingled in every homily.

In 1798, Timothy White preached on “The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis.”  Within his long address, he stated, Religion and Liberty are the two great objects of defensive war. Conjoined, they unite all the feelings, and call forth all the energies, of man. In defense of them, nations contend with the spirit of the Maccabees; “one will chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.”

In 1800, John Smalley gave a sermon on “The Evils of a Weak Government.”

In this historic sermon, Pastor Smalley stated, When the makers or judges of laws, are themselves notorious breakers of them, or of the laws of heaven, government will necessarily fall into contempt. It is also to be observed, that advancing to posts of honor, men of loose principles and morals, gives reputation to licentiousness, and stamps it as the current fashion. Their example will encourage evil doers, more than all the punishments they are likely to inflict, will be a terror to them. “The wicked walk on every side when the vilest men are exalted.”

Conclusion

In the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 23, the Prophet is speaking to the unrighteous rulers of Judah, the leaders of the Nation who are responsible for the calamity.  He writes, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Saith the Lord.

The image for leadership in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is that of a shepherd.  God often reveals Himself as a shepherd to His people Israel (Genesis 48:15; Numbers 27:15-20; Psalms 23; Psalms 77:20; Mark 6:34).  In many ways, this reflects God’s character.  Shepherds in the church must remember that they are under-shepherds to the flock under the supreme headship of the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). The implications for this are significant.

Our country’s Judeo-Christian culture was born in blood.  The battle for liberty and freedom continued for seven long years.  We were blessed.

Our nation has fallen from grace because we’ve left our first love and failed to learn the lessons of our past to keep fertile the soil of public virtue in which the seeds of freedom are sown anew in every age.

In the Book of Ephesians 6:12, St. Paul tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

 

Life, By the Numbers, Revisited

Note: This column first appeared on January 24, 2020, before the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson last year, which reversed the Court’s finding in Roe v. Wade that there was a federal right to abortion – and returned questions about abortion to the individual States. Three years later, as the debates continue in many States, there is still a refusal to come to grips with the stark numbers indicated below. And as the national Pro-Life March takes place in Washington D.C. today, the World Economic Forum (currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland) seems to take it for granted that global access to abortion is an integral part of a better human future – though better for whom and at what moral cost doesn’t enter into the economic calculus.   


Robert Royal: Despite the pro-life victory in Dobbs, and as we march in Washington today, we need to redouble efforts to end modernity’s murderous, sinister, anti-life ideologies.

As a thought experiment, let’s assume something I would never accuse TCT readers of being: that you are materialist and utilitarian. You believe that “the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” in tangible, physical measures, is the pre-eminent moral principle. What might you have to consider today, when hundreds of thousands of Americans will be marching to protect life in the womb? (And people in various countries conduct their own pro-life marches?)

Well, to begin with, though all such numbers are a bit uncertain, roughly 55 million people die, globally, every year. And numerous public health organizations intensely scrutinize the slightest increase or decrease in mortality, in a laudable effort to identify what factors may be harming or helping the health of diverse peoples around the world.

That number does not include the number of babies killed by elective abortions, however, which at one time would have been thought a rare, emergency measure. The Guttmacher Institute, an advocate for abortion, estimates that there are roughly 56 million abortions around the world every year. So allowing for the statistical uncertainties, we can say in broad terms that as many innocents are slaughtered every year in the womb as there are deaths from all other causes in the entire world.

That’s the kind of mayhem you associate with murderous ideologies like Nazism and Communism, not “reproductive health.”

Because of an ill-advised accord with China, the Vatican refrains from speaking about that government’s persecution, brainwashing, organ harvesting, and interference with the internal life of religious groups, including Catholics. But how about the more than 300 million abortions there since the 1970s, many forced – a number about equal to the entire population of the United States?

Or the more than 60 million abortions in America since Roe v. Wade? That’s more or less the population of the United Kingdom or France or Italy; much larger than Spain; a figure close to the populations of Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, and Poland combined.

Would even a materialist/utilitarian believe that such prodigal slaughter of the innocents has not and will not have enormous consequences?

At their annual meeting last November [2019], the American bishops, recognizing the moral questions in play during this year’s presidential campaign, tangled over whether abortion was the “pre-eminent” issue.

Or not.

Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich and San Diego’s Bishop McElroy, staunch partisans of Pope Francis, argued that the pontiff considers other life issues equally urgent. Nonetheless, two-thirds of the bishops voted to keep abortion “pre-eminent.”

Couldn’t the bishops, or at least some bishop, somewhere, do a little painting by the numbers? And speak out about the enormity that goes on unnoticed in the world, year after year now. Indeed, there’s a creepy current in international bodies seeking to define this slaughter as a universal human right.

The controversy among the bishops was cast in the media as the usual debate over Pope Francis. But Francis is not, as we have learned, in entire agreement with his champions.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who heads the USCCB’s Committee for Pro-Life Activities, met just a few days ago with the pope, along with other Midwestern bishops on their scheduled ad limina visits. He asked whether abortion is pre-eminent. Francis replied, “Of course, it is. It’s the most fundamental right. . . .This is not first a religious issue; it’s a human-rights issue.”

Francis is notorious for saying one thing to one group and the opposite to another. And as Archbishop Viganò has documented recently, we can’t be sure how much he’s permitted to know by those around him. So it may very well be that he wasn’t aware that “pre-eminent” is a term that, in America, is also a tripwire.

Many of us have suspected, going all the way back to then-Cardinal McCarrick’s misrepresentation of Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 letter to the American bishops, that efforts to make abortion just one of many “life” issues is really an effort to preserve the “political viability” of pro-choice Catholic politicians, almost all Democrats.

Still, Francis has, at least in one mood, spoken of abortion as “hiring a hit man” to solve a problem. He has not, however, shown anything like the urgency towards the tens of millions of deaths via abortion that he has towards the much smaller numbers of refugees, illegals, etc. who die every year.

The world desperately needs a sense of proportion about the evils we experience. For example, officials of various stripes warn against “hate crimes,” which, from their rhetoric, you might think constitute a vast epidemic, threatening the moral tone and very existence of civic life, especially in the “age of Trump,” who somehow is blamed for them, even though they largely predate his presidency.

Numbers? The FBI says in 2018 there was a “bump up” in incidents against Hispanics – from 430 to 485. Muslims? 270 – the fewest, by the way, since 2014.

Numbers, of course – even if minuscule – are not the only factor worth considering. Every human life is infinitely valuable, and injustice of any kind must constantly be fought. Catholics and other Christians realize this – quite contrary to the anti-Christian slurs, pro-life Christians seek to preserve all human life – from conception to natural death.

Still, numbers cannot be ignored. If millions, tens of millions, were dying crossing into America at the Rio Grande, or into Europe across the Mediterranean, or from the Middle East to refuge in Europe, there would be non-stop outrage around the globe – and rightly so.

So if the Catholic Church and others believe that abortion is the destruction of innocent human life, why do many – even within the Church – treat it like just one in a list of problems, and often far down the list?

The world looks at that relative passivity and asks, with some justice: So do these pro-lifers really think abortion takes a human life?

We do, of course. And as we march in Washington today and engage in other pro-life activities throughout the year, we all need to redouble efforts, both to defend the millions who are dying and to dispel yet another of modernity’s murderous, sinister, anti-life – and unrecognized – ideologies.

AUTHOR

Robert Royal

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent books are Columbus and the Crisis of the West and A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Pope Urges Christians Not to Try to Convert Nonbelievers

Speaking to crowds gathered in the Vatican for his weekly general audience on WednesdayPope Francis said trying to convince someone to become a Christian is a “pagan” activity unworthy of followers of Christ.

“To evangelize is not to proselytize,” the pope said. “To proselytize is something pagan, it is neither religious nor evangelical.”

“This is not about proselytism, as I said, so that others become ‘one of us’ – no, this is not Christian,” he added. “It is about loving so that they might be happy children of God.”

“You know your contemporaries, you know that many are alone, that many do not know Jesus,” Francis told young people gathered for a national Catholic youth conference in 2019. “Go, go and bring the Lord, go and fill your environments, even the digital, but not of convictions, not to convince, not to proselytize, but to witness to the tenderness and mercy of Jesus.”

The following month, the pope told a group of Christian high school students that a Christian should never try to convince others of the truth of Christianity but should simply give a testimony of consistency and wait for others to ask about the faith, he proposed.

“You must be consistent with your faith,” he said. “It never occurred to me (and nor should it) to say to a boy or a girl: ‘You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come, be converted!’ You be consistent with your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature. We are not living in the times of the crusades.

“The last thing I should do is to try to convince an unbeliever. Never… The gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism,” he continued. “If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism.”

For a dissenting view, see Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”


Pope Francis

Calls on America to welcome illegal immigrants fleeing persecution in their homelands

Characterizes capitalism as an economic system “where the powerful feed upon the powerless,” and which leads inevitably to “the greedy exploitation of environmental resources”

Asserts that the “inequality” inherent in capitalist economies constitutes “the root of social ills” and “eventually engenders … violence”

Believes that “the bulk of global warming” is due to “the great concentration of greenhouse gases” generated by “human action”

Opposes the death penalty and life-in-prison

To learn more about Pope Frances click here.

RELATED VIDEO: KGB’s Infiltration of the Catholic Church

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Faith in Dark Times

The article below by Bill Muehlenberg was sent to me today by a member of an intelligence network to which I have belonged for over ten years. Not only is the article timely and worthy of your reading, but I wanted to share that there are far more members of law enforcement, intelligence and threat assessment specialists, security professionals and protection agents who are Christians than the public might imagine. It was never easy to be in law enforcement, but the present is far more tenuous and fraught with danger. From the moment one checks “in-service” for his/her shift the pressure is there, the threat is there, the discord and possible dark times are there. As Bill Muehlenberg writes so clearly, God is still in control, He is still on the job, He sees everything – even in times of political and social turmoil and despair.

To all who swear to Serve and Protect, know that prayers truly are being offered for your protection and guidance. While the world is clearly slipping away the Lord of lords and King of kings is not! He is “in-service” working right along side of all of us regardless of our mission or standing.

To all others reading Bill Muehlenberg’s article, stand firm yourself. Look UP and not merely concentrate on the surrounding political and social turmoil. The Lord is very much still in control. While He may appear silent, do not confuse His silence with non-attentive, non-caring, non-involved. There is not even a sparrow that falls in the middle of the night, in the middle of a forest the Lord doesn’t see and had already known would fall. His perfect plan is coming into fruition. Give thanks in all things, not for all things but in all things.


Faith in Dark Times

By Bill Muehlenberg

God is still there, even in times of political turmoil and despair:

It is times like this when many Christians might be really struggling. A horrific election result is just the icing on the cake of a woke, secular left blitzkrieg which is overwhelming not just Victoria and Australia, but all of the West. It seems like one ugly anti-Christian agenda item after another is being implemented, and the war of faith, freedom and family is in the final stages.  With all this going on many believers can be very discouraged and disillusioned. I know I am. We naturally ask where is God, why he seems to be silent, why our prayers are not being answered, and so on. Why is this all happening? Why does not God intervene?

Many believers throughout the centuries have asked these sorts of questions and wondered about these kinds of matters. It can be any number of things that produces such questioning: the death of a loved one, losing your job, coming down with cancer, or getting a divorce. And nationally we can also ask questions about all sorts of things: invasion, civil war, depressions, treason, national disasters, corrupt politicians and so on.

Here in Victoria having another heart-wrenching election result is one of those big ticket items. It is certainly more serious than when your fave sporting team loses, but less serious than being invaded, as in Ukraine. In my short election piece I penned late last night, I mentioned how when God judged rebellious Israel, it was not just those deserving of such punishment who suffered.

It was also the godly remnant, including some of God’s choice prophets. They too experienced the destruction of Jerusalem by the evil Babylonians, and many of them were carried away into Babylonian exile as well. They suffered right along with all the others.  They could easily have been asking similar sorts of questions: ‘Why Lord?’ Of course they did know that the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was God’s judgment on a rebellious and sinful people, and they heavily grieved about all that. But they also had to undergo these horrible experiences themselves, being exiled from home and dragged off to a strange land.  But they also knew that their time there would not be permanent, and that God would bring them back home one day. Not only that, but God would judge Babylon, the very nation that had been his instrument of judgement upon Israel in the first place. They had all this by prophetic revelation. Things differ today.

When we see one electoral defeat after another, with secular left parties bent on doing so much great harm to faith, family and freedom, we do not have that same prophetic word. Another four years of Labor here in Victoria may well destroy it. And one Liberal MP says it is quite likely it will be at least ten more years before Labor finally gets booted out. I do not think Victoria can last that long. But again, we do not have the divine word on all this, so we can only guess about how things will pan out.  So all we can do is grieve, and ask questions, and plead with God, and hope that some sort of miracle happens. We can repent, individually, and on behalf of a sleeping and often spiritually inert church, and ask for God’s mercy. The fate of the state is often to a large extent dependent on the fate of the church.

If the church was being all it was meant to be under God, things may well have turned out differently. So we as Christians must begin on our faces before God, confessing our own sins and seeking his favour. But many would rightly be asking right now if all that we have been going through of late is not the judgment of God on this state and on this nation – not just on the pagan populace, but on the church as well.

There is much here to think about and pray about. But I know that many believers and conservatives went to bed last night with very heavy hearts, with real grief, and with plenty of questions. I certainly did. A bit past midnight as I headed off to bed I flipped over the page on my daily Bible verse calendar thingee, and it was interesting what I found. The verse for Sunday was the very familiar passage from Romans 8:28.  It says this: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I thought it was quite interesting that the last thing I saw before heading to bed and a long night of tossing and turning was this verse. Indeed, in yesterday morning’s daily reading I was also in Romans 8.

So I took it as an indication that God may have been seeking to speak to me and comfort me. And what better verse to do this with than this one. It is such a familiar passage that we tend to take it for granted. But it is a marvellous text indeed, and it is worth offering a bit of commentary on. James Montgomery Boice reminds us that the ‘good’ discussed here has to do with being conformed to the image of Christ:

That is an obvious good. It is impossible to think of a higher good for human beings, to be like one’s Maker. Pastor Ray Stedman rightly calls this “what life is all about.” But at the same time, seeing this allows us to see other not so obviously good things within the greater purpose. We can see how sickness, suffering, persecution, grief, or other ills can be used by God for this good end….

Are the things used in our lives by God for this good end necessarily good in themselves or only in their effect? The answer is the latter. In other words, this text does not teach that sickness, suffering, persecution, grief, or any other such thing is itself good. On the contrary, these things are evils. Hatred is not love. Death is not life. Grief is not joy. The world is filled with evil. But what the text teaches—and this is important—is that God uses these things (and others) to effect his own good ends for his people. God brings good out of the evil, and the good, as we saw, is our conformity to the character of Jesus Christ.

Romans: Righteousness from Heaven
(Preaching the Word) by Hughes, R. Kent (Author)

  1. Kent Hughes makes these remarks:

Romans 8:28 does not mean, as is commonly thought, that “everything will turn out okay in this life.” It means, rather, that everything will work out for our ultimate good. These words have our eternal rather than our temporal good in mind. Bishop Anders Nygren writes:

“Just as the present aeon is to be followed by eternity, it has already been preceded by an eternity. Only when we see our present existence set in God’s activity, which goes from eternity to eternity, do we get it in right perspective. Then man comes to see that everything that comes to the Christian in this life—and consequently the sufferings of the present too—must work together for good to him.”

And R. C. Sproul offers this comment:

What we get from Romans 8:28 is this: in the short run each of us is visited at some point by tragedy. We are actors in the theater of the tragic. Tragedies are on our minds every day, but what Romans 8:28 teaches is that ultimately – not proximately but ultimately – there are no tragedies for the Christian. Tragedy now is a blessing later. In every tragedy we experience, God is working with it, molding it and shaping it, for our eternal blessedness. The tragic is ephemeral and temporary. It is in the world but never permanent.

Sure, it will be quite difficult for us to understand how yet another term in office with one of the most corrupt, evil and anti-Christian politicians in Australian history can be viewed as good. But Paul is talking about goods for the believer. And for the long haul it may be a very real bad thing for the state and the nation, but God can still use it to achieve his purposes in our lives and beyond.  And this is where faith comes into play. It sure does not look like anything good can come out of this disastrous political mess. But we are not God and we have no full idea as to what he is up to. But we do know that he is too wise to make a mistake, and too loving to be unkind.

So that means we CAN trust him, and we can cast all our cares upon him. Things are looking very grim right now, but Jesus is still on the throne, and he is still working out his purposes in our lives and in the nations. That is what gives us hope and that is what helps us to persevere.

About Bill Muehlenberg’s Culture Watch

We live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values, the decline of civility, the denial of truth and the elevation of unreason. Many people are asking, “Where is our culture heading?” This website is devoted to exploring the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. It offers reflection and commentary drawing upon the wealth of wisdom found in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It offers reflective and incisive commentary on a wide range of issues, helping to sort through the maze of competing opinions, worldviews, ideologies and value systems. It will discuss critically and soberly where our culture is heading. Happy reading!
https://billmuehlenberg.com/

©Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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“Amazing Grace” and the Abolition of Slavery

This month, January 2023, marks the 250th anniversary of the classic hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

The Museum of the Bible writes: “It was January 1, 1773. John Newton led his congregation down the road from the parish church in Olney, England, to Lord Dartmouth’s Great Hall to sing…and the hymn he wrote for this day was special. It spoke of his conversion, of his self-proclaimed wretchedness, and of the saving power of God’s grace. Since then, the words of ‘Amazing Grace’ have struck a chord with millions across cultures and generations, and its popularity has never wavered.”

The museum based in D.C. now has a section dedicated to the anniversary of this amazing hymn.

In the hymn, John Newton, a former slave-trader now converted, indeed describes himself as a “wretch,” who was amazed that God would extend His grace to one such as he.

He became a minister after his conversion, and one day, a politician came to visit him for personal guidance. That man was William Wilberforce, who had recently been converted to faith in Jesus.

Everybody should know who William Wilberforce was—perhaps the greatest Christian statesman of all time.

He was a longtime Member of Parliament, who worked tirelessly (with a group of like-minded associates that became known as “The Clapham Sect”) to end the slave trade of the British Empire and then to free all the slaves therein. By the time of his death in 1833, Wilberforce was successful. But it took him about half a century.

Author Dr. Os Guinness once said, “When Wilberforce died, he was described as ‘the George Washington of humanity.’”

William Wilberforce was born in 1759 and inherited considerable wealth which placed him among the landed nobility of England. He was indeed a polished gentleman, and he first ran for Parliament and won at the age of 21.

But not until his conversion a few years later did he begin to take life seriously.

After committing his life to Christ, he briefly dallied with the idea of leaving politics to serve God. But John Newton counseled Wilberforce to stay and let God use him in politics. Newton declared, “The Lord has raised you up to the good of his church and for the good of the nation.”

I shudder to think about someone like Wilberforce seeking guidance today among some modern ministers, who might easily convince him that Christians and politics shouldn’t mix. But John Calvin Coolidge, an often-overlooked president, once said, “If good men don’t hold office, bad men will.”

Soon after meeting with Rev. Newton, God put it on Wilberforce’s heart to fight against slavery. Working to uproot it was a daunting task because the slave trade brought enormous wealth to those involved.

After much prayer, Wilberforce felt that this indeed was the very voice of God speaking to him, calling him to this important mission. He was also concerned by the godless immorality of the age. In 1787, he wrote in his diary: “Almighty God has set before me two great objectives, the abolition of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” (“Manners” would be comparable to “morals” in modern parlance.)

In an interview I once did with the late Chuck Colson, prison reformer and Wilberforce admirer, he told me: “[Wilberforce] stood up on the floor of the Parliament influenced by his new Christian conviction, took a stand that was enormously unpopular because all of the vested interest opposed him, including the government, and for 20 years he waged that battle.”

Kevin Belmonte, author of William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity, observes, “Wilberforce had to travel with an armed bodyguard.” But Wilberforce persevered—despite whatever personal cost he must pay.

Colson said, “One day in 1807 in a February snowstorm, the votes were cast to abolish the slave trade. While members of Parliament were jumping up and down for joy, they looked over and there was Wilberforce, head bowed at his desk, praying, thanking God for what He had done.”

But Wilberforce wasn’t finished. He then set out to emancipate the slaves, who, even after this vote, were still in chains throughout the British Empire. This was a battle to last for another 25 years.

Because of health problems, he had to resign in Parliament in 1825, but the movement he began to free all of the slaves in the British Empire continued without his direct involvement—and when he was already on his death bed, in 1833, he received word that the Parliament decided to free all of the 800,000 slaves throughout the British Empire.

Wilberforce is a great example of what Jesus can do through those fully committed to Him in whatever position in which He has placed them—when God’s “amazing grace” gets ahold of a life wholly committed to Him.

©Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.

WATCH: Man Wearing ‘Jesus Saves’ Shirt Kicked Out of Mall of America in Minnesota

The guard: “We’ve had guests come up saying that they’ve been offended by your shirt…

There is a very large Somali Muslim population….they’re ‘offended.’

Man Wearing “Jesus Saves” Shirt Kicked Out of Mall of America in Minnesota (Video)

By Anthony Scott, TPG, January 16, 2023 at 4:33pm

A man who was wearing a t-shirt that read “Jesus Saves” was reportedly kicked out of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota for his shirt being too offensive for others.

Footage of the incident went viral and shows security officers telling the man wearing the green “Jesus Saves” shirt that his shirt was “offending” other shoppers in the mall.

The security would continue to tell the man he either had to remove his shirt or leave the mall.

The back of the man’s shirt read “Jesus is the only way” and had the word “coexist” crossed out.

According to Blaze, the video first emerged on Facebook on January 7th and has been making its way around the web ever since.

In the video, the officers were quoted saying, “Jesus is associated with religion, and it’s offending people.”

The man would respond, “I didn’t speak… I didn’t say anything. I just went to Macy’s.”

Many users on Twitter were shocked this occurred in the United States:

https://twitter.com/Kingjewell8/status/1614922308501520384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1614922308501520384%7Ctwgr%5E9abb8f6ba779ff6541791e7a7807fe3de3854984%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fgellerreport.com%2F2023%2F01%2Fwatch-man-wearing-jesus-saves-shirt-kicked-out-of-mall-of-america-in-minnesota.html%2F

AUTHOR

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

German-Egyptian Scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad: Islam Was Born With The Seed Of Civil War And Has Failed To Come Up With A Plan For Coexistence

The Shari’a Is Dwindling, And What Is Left Of It Is The Hijab And Sex! 


German-Egyptian scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad said in an interview that was posted to the Brother Rachid TV channel on YouTube on November 17, 2022 that Islam has been “distorted” from the beginning and that countries that implement shari’a law such as Afghanistan, ISIS, Iran, and the Boko Haram have failed to produce ideal societies. He also said that the Gulf countries are abandoning shari’a law because it is incompatible with their economic interests, and he said that in the modern world, shari’a law has been reduced to the subjects of sexuality and hijabs because there is no longer a slave trade. 

For more about Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 89558870742172297188712370726960675967276651, and 6112.

View the clip of German-Egyptian scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad:

Islam Failed To Come Up With A Program For Coexistence Between Nations

Hamed Abdel-Samad:

“Islam was born distorted. I’m sorry but for some, this might be difficult to hear. Islam was born with the seed of civil wars in it.

[…]

“It put forward great slogans, but failed to come up with a program for coexistence between nations.

Implementing Shari’a Law Has Not Produced Ideal Societies; The Gulf States Once Championed Shari’a, But Now They Know It Does Not Serve Their Economic Interests

“Afghanistan implements shari’a law with all its punishments. ISIS also implemented the Islamic shari’a when it founded its state in Mosul. Boko Haram partially implements the Islamic shari’a law. Iran also implements the shari’a. What have these nations produced for us? Have they produced ideal societies? On the contrary, the Gulf states that came up with the idea of implementing the shari’a and the Islamic punishments are now shedding the shari’a, because they know that their economic interests do not go hand in hand with the life of the Middle Ages and the chopping off of limbs.”

Read The Full Report

©MEMRI 2023. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Islamic Republic of Iran: Leading imam says drought has come because women aren’t wearing hijab