Kirk Cameron: The Republic Depends on Us Recapturing the Hearts, Minds of Our Children

Source: Breitbart

The future of the republic depends on those who are willing to recapture the hearts and minds of our children, said actor, director, and author Kirk Cameron during an interview Monday on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

“I believe parents are realizing the most sacred job in the world and the most powerful force for good belongs — wait for it — to parents,” Cameron explained:

That’s why God gives children to moms and dads, not the government. Whoever succeeds in telling children the stories gets to control the future. Dictators know that, patriots know that, liberty loving people understand that. And we can’t outsource parenting to public libraries and public schools. That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’m hitting the road and I’m joining forces with grandparents, with parents, with patriots, concerned Americans, to prayerfully and purposefully take back the hearts and minds of our children. The Republic depends upon it.

His comments come after a massive crowd filled the Indianapolis Public Library’s main branch on December 29 to hear him read his recently published children’s book, As You Grow, Breitbart News reported.

“The library organization initially denied Cameron the opportunity to read the book for its story hour but later caved and allowed the event to happen,” the Breitbart News reported, adding Cameron has criticized libraries that barred him from doing a public reading of his book but offered “drag queen story hours” for children.

As You Grow, teaches young readers about love, joy, and gentleness, according to the BRAVE Books website.

When asked what drove him to use different forms of media to promote positive values about America and his faith, Cameron said, “I’ve got great parents, I’ve got a Bible and a newspaper, and a little bit of history tells me that if good people don’t commit to doing the right thing over the long haul, we lose.”

“History is replete with examples of that and what we have in America is rare and precious, it’s called liberty. It’s called freedom, and that’s what I want to fight for for my kids,” he added.

“If we don’t want to have blood on our hands and be filled with guilty consciouses in our sunset years, we’ve got to do everything we can to plant the seeds of liberty, of faith, and morality, so that our children can have a bright and hopeful future. That’s why I’m doing this,” Cameron concluded.

Why Everything Is The Way It Is

The prevailing view in today’s media, public schools, and surrounding society is that the Bible isn’t true, no educated person believes in God, and science is the key to life’s mysteries. The lie of evolution becomes so deeply implanted that deliverance is increasingly difficult.

The world rejects “God says” and accepts “science says” as the ultimate truth. Few realize that science cannot answer the important questions: why the universe and life exist, and why every child knows the difference between right and wrong and believes that God exists until taught “better.”

Few know what leading scientists admit. Max Planck, father of Quantum Theory, declared: “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.”1 We don’t know what time, space, matter, or energy are—much less the soul and spirit.

Why? cannot be addressed to the universe but only to its Creator. One cannot reason with an earthquake or a hurricane. There is no sympathy in “Nature.” Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger, one of the architects of quantum mechanics, wrote:

The scientific picture of the real world around me is…ghastly silent about all that…really matters to us….It knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity….
Whence came I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question…for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.2

Science knows nothing of truth—only physical facts. Lee Smolin, founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, has said: “When a child asks, ‘What is the world?’ we literally have nothing to tell….”3

The question why? irritates atheists because the maker decides the purpose for whatever is made. Without a Creator, neither the universe nor life has any meaning. Without God, there is no reason for a rose bud or for the dew that makes it shimmer in the morning sun —or for anything else that we hold dear and enjoy, including human existence itself.

Why is everything the way it is? Because God is the way He is. But who is this God? Is he Zeus of the Greeks, Brahman of the Hindus, Allah of Islam? Does it matter? Can’t we just acknowledge a “higher power”? Higher than what? Power? No impersonal “power” could create personal beings. Nor could any “force” conceive and write in words on DNA the directions for constructing and operating all living things.

Atheism leads to numerous absurdities promoted by otherwise intelligent people. Sir Francis Crick, Nobel laureate as co-discoverer of the DNA language, begins his book, The Astonishing Hypothesis:

You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.4

If this is the way the universe made us, why does Crick call it Astonishing? He knows it is contrary to common sense. Yet to cling to his atheism he must persist in such madness. However, most people would firmly object to Crick’s description. Any thinking person knows he weighs choices carefully, experiences joys, sorrows, hopes, ambitions, fears, remorse, and regrets that are very real. But “science says” is a holy mantra that causes every knee to bow—except those who will not worship Baal (1 Ki:19:18
). Biologist Richard Lewontin defiantly boasts:

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.5

Arch atheist and outspoken enemy of God, Richard Dawkins, claims that we are merely vehicles through which “selfish genes” perpetuate themselves. Yet he says genes have no foresight. They do not plan ahead. Genes just are. He also states, “Much as we might wish to believe otherwise, universal love and the welfare of the species…are concepts that simply do not make evolutionary sense.”6 What an admission!

If evolution makes us incapable of true love, morals, or ethics, why do we admire these qualities? How can we be so unnatural, if we are the offspring of nature? Crick and Dawkins seem embarrassed that many of the human qualities that everyone possesses could not have been produced by evolution. We do not think and act like we should if we were evolved from lower creatures.

The language component in the human gene “is identical in every particular to [that in] a snail. [Only] the sequence of building blocks is…different….”7 The organizational genius behind DNA is breathtaking. Using the same four letters for plants, animals, and man, distinction is maintained not only between all kinds of living things but between individuals of each kind. This ingenious arrangement sets bounds which make it impossible for DNA of one kind of life to change into DNA of another kind.

Unquestionably, the DNA language, which is the basis of all life, did not and cannot evolve. The similarity between man’s DNA and that of all animals is no more evidence that man evolved from animals than is the similarity in human and plant DNA evidence that we evolved from plants.

Evolution did not make us. God made us. But atheists cling to evolution as an escape from accountability to God. Darwin’s theory was his revenge against the god he could no longer believe in, the “god” that had allowed his daughter, Annie, to die. Darwinism’s atheism prevents science from knowing why things are as they are. Without God there is no answer to the why for anything. Yet here we are in a vast and awesome universe and common sense cries out for a reason for its existence and ours.

Why is everything the way it is? Only because God, who created it all, is the way He is. And why is God the way He is? Because, unlike the capricious gods of non-Christian religions, God revealed Himself to Moses thus: “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex 3:14). Consistently the Bible’s God declares, “I am the LORD, I change not (Mal:3:6).” God is outside of, and untouched by, the time and change so evident in our world.

Dawkins says, “Genes just are.” No, genes are not self-existent and eternal. They had to have a Maker. God alone has no maker but is the Maker of all: self-existent, uncreated, unchanging, perfect, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. For God to be God, this is who He must be.

Why is everything the way it is? Because God, who made all, is the way He is. Of the newly created universe, we read: “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gn 1:31). Why was everything “good”? Because God who made everything is good: “There is none good but one, that is God” (Mt 19:17).

Even in its present corrupt state, much in the universe is still so beautiful that it thrills and moves us deeply because the God who made it is beautiful. David wrote: “I seek [to] dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord…” (Ps:27:4). We need greater appreciation of God’s beauty!

Why is there some apparent “good” even in a Hitler or a Stalin? Nazi extermination camp guards who had presided over the murder of Jews all day could come home at night, kiss their wives, play with their children, and enjoy listening to Wagner. This is because God, who is good, made man in His image (Gn 1:26,27). Although sin separated all mankind from a holy God, a remnant of the image of God in which we were created remains. Yet everything man touches, even love, is corrupted.

The man who persuades a woman to live with him without marriage tells her, “I love you.” But what he may mean (perhaps unknown even to him) could be, “I love myself, and I want you.” Only too late they may discover that this is what both of them mean by “love.”

Why the blight, rot, and death that taunts us everywhere? This, too, is because God is the way He is. Without God, whose character reveals and condemns it, there would be no sin; and without God’s law written in man’s conscience, there would be no knowledge of sin: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Is 45:7).

How could a good God create evil? The same way the God who is light creates darkness. A person who was born and died in a cave in total darkness would not know he was in the dark until someone shined a light. The light suddenly reveals the darkness for what it is; and God’s holy perfection reveals evil for what it is. The haunting memory of paradise lost lingers elusively in man’s heart. Why must it be this way? Because the God who is good is also holy and just—and man, made in His image, rebelled.

What about eternal torment in the Lake of Fire? That, too, is because God is love and God is just. He created man to live forever in the joy of His love—not as an “extra” but as man’s very life. Those who reject God’s love consign themselves to the eternal torment of a burning thirst for the One who made them for Himself. Heaven will be the eternal satisfaction of the living water flowing “out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rv 22:1). Hell will be eternally dying from burning thirst for God, the horror of fully knowing one’s sin and rebellion, and the realization that one is there only because of rejecting Christ.

“God is love” (1 Jn:4:8,16). Love is the essence of His being. He loves us and wants to forgive us; but He is also holy and just. For God to forgive sinners without the full penalty being paid would contradict His justice and make Him our partner in evil. Christ fully paid that penalty for our sins—but the pardon must be willingly and gladly received. God will not force anyone into heaven.

Atheists scoff, “How could a good God create this evil world? If God can’t stop suffering and death, He is too weak to be God; and if He could but doesn’t, He is a monster unworthy of our trust.” In fact, this is not the world God made but the one we made in rebellion against Him. Don’t blame God for what we have done to His once-perfect world!


Why did God allow man to rebel? That fact, too, is true because “God is love.” We can neither receive and enjoy His love nor love Him in return (or love one another) without the power of choice. Love is from the heart. The ability to say “yes” means nothing without the equal ability to say “no.” Tragically, Adam and Eve, chose to say “no” to God and to follow Satan. The entire universe suffers as a result: “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now…waiting…” (Rom:8:20-23).

Those who reject the truth reject God. Sir David Attenborough, producer of decades of TV programs promoting evolution, argued:

The God you believe in…an all-merciful God created…a parasitic worm…that can live in no other way than in an innocent child’s eyeball [in West Africa]?8

No, that is not the way the universe was at the beginning. And during the millennial reign of Christ, the world will be restored to its original condition, without animals devouring one another, without microbes and parasites preying on other living things: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…the leopard shall lie down with the kid…the calf and the young lion…together; and a little child shall lead them….The lion shall eat straw like the ox…the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD…” (Is 11:6-9).

In Christ alone, and His payment of the penalty for our sins upon the Cross, we find reconciliation to God and ultimate meaning and purpose. “All things were made by him…” (Jn:1:2). O mystery! The babe born in Bethlehem was and forever is “the mighty God, the everlasting Father” (Is 9:6). Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (Jn:10:30).

How can we understand and better know this infinite God? He made us for Himself, and we naturally thirst for Him: “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” (Ps:42:2). Yet those in rebellion foolishly attempt to quench that thirst in earthly possessions, pleasures, and pride. It was to reveal God to man as the only One who could fulfill that inner longing that Jesus, God’s “only begotten” Son (Jn:1:14; 3:16, etc.) was born into this world.

The suffering that Christ endured at men’s hands revealed the evil in all of our hearts. That suffering, which we inflicted upon Him, could not save us. It was the punishment for our sins that Jesus suffered on the Cross under God’s wrath against sin that made it possible for all to be forgiven who believe on Him. It is because He fully paid that penalty in our place that He can say, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn:7:37).

He who was born of a virgin and fully man is also fully God: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col:2:9); who being the brightness of his [God the Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…by himself purged our sins…” (Heb:1:3).

Paul declared, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tm 3:16). Though now we only dimly understand (“we see through a glass darkly [and] know in part”–1 Cor:13:12), we have the glorious promise that the more we by faith look upon, meditate upon, and understand our Lord Jesus Christ, the more clearly we see Him and become like Him: “But we all, with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor:3:18).


The revelation of Christ, for which our souls thirst, thrills us increasingly as we more clearly understand who He is in all His fullness and what He accomplished to reconcile us to Himself. Something of His glorious person is beautifully expressed in Graham Kendrick’s hymn:

Meekness and majesty, manhood and deity,
In perfect harmony—the man who is God;
Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity,
Kneels in humility, and washes our feet.

Father’s pure radiance, perfect in innocence,
Yet learns obedience to death on a cross;
Suffering to give us life,
Conquering through sacrifice—
And as they crucify, prays, “Father, forgive.”

Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible,
Love indestructible in frailty appears;
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly
Lifts our humanity
To the heights of his throne.

Oh, what a mystery—Meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship,
For this is your God,
This is your God!

Dave Hunt, The Berean Call (April 1, 2007)

Endnotes

  1. Max Planck, “The Mystery of Our Being,” in Quantum Questions, ed. Ken Wilbur (Boston: New Science Library, 1984), 153.
  2. Erwin Schrödinger, quoted in Quantum, 81.
  3. Dennis Overbye, “Physics awaits new options as Standard Model idles,” Symmetry, vol 03, issue 06, August 06.
  4. Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1994), 3.
  5. Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons, The New York Review, January 9, 1997, 31.
  6. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press, 30th anniversary edition, 2006), 2.
  7. Dawkins, Selfish, 22.
  8. M. Buchanan, “Wild, Wild Life,” Sydney Morning HeraldThe Guide, March 24, 2003, 6.

Beguiling With Enticing Words

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” (Colossians 2:4)

This Scripture is a perfect representation of those who would try to deceive people into accepting the false paradigm of Darwinian evolution, in which nature serves as an imposter diety magically crafting and molding creatures over millions of years.

The verse contains two very interesting Greek words that occur rarely in the New Testament. The first word of note is only used twice and is the verb paralogizomai, translated here as “beguile.” It was used by the ancient Greeks to denote persuasiveness of speech or the putting forth of a seemingly plausible argument undergirded by dangerously false information. The second time it’s used is in James 1:22 concerning self-deception: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [paralogizomai] your own selves.”

The second Greek word of note is the highly descriptive noun pithanologia, translated as “enticing words,” and is only used in this one place in the New Testament. It’s a combination of the word pithanos, meaning convincing, persuasive, or plausible, with logos, meaning word or account. The Greeks used it to describe arguments made by sophists, who were noted for affirming false scenarios, trying to make them appear true. In modern English we would say “to talk someone into something false.”
 

Paul indicated he had to make this warning concerning deception because he’d just previously declared “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossian 2:2-3). Indeed, all evolutionary deception ultimately steals the glory of Jesus Christ the Creator, “for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (v. 9).

Source: The Berean Call

Faux term ‘Christian nationalist’ used in political warfare

By Jorge Gomez, Op-ed contributor, Christian Post (November 10, 2022), originally published at First Liberty

The label “Christian nationalist” is appearing more frequently and is being used to silence people of faith, according to experts.

Dr. Mark David Hall, an author and professor at George Fox University, recently discussed the history behind the term. He argues that the political Left started using it well over a decade ago “to label Christians who bring their faith into the public square for ends they don’t like.”

National security and intelligence expert Dr. Stephen Coughlin similarly argues the label is part of a politically driven effort to suppress religious opinions that defy modern orthodoxy and Leftist ideology:

“What they did was they created a faux term ‘Christian nationalism,’ and they gave it all these negative attributes and then used that to attack Christians. It’s part of what you call an ‘intersectional line of attack’ in a political warfare model, which is the Maoist insurgency model, which we believe is the premier principal form of Marxism.”

Former congresswoman and current dean of the Regent University School of Government, Michele Bachmann, contends the surge in use is no coincidence, especially so close to a midterm election. She explains:

“It’s all about holding on to power. That’s what it’s about. There’s only one party in power now in the United States, in Washington, D.C. They don’t want to let it go … And what they have seen is the power of the Church, the epicenter of power in the United States. Opposing their agenda is the Church and the principles of the Bible. They don’t like pastors preaching on issues. They don’t like congregants being inspired from the Bible. And so that’s why we’re the target. They want to silence us.”

What exactly does “Christian nationalism” mean? There is no settled definition, but broadly speaking, radicals use “Christian nationalism” to conflate racism, white supremacy and identity, religion, and patriotism. They often add in fascism, theocracy, and authoritarianism.

An attack on religious liberty and America’s founding values

The use of the “Christian nationalist” label contradicts the principles and values of our country. Its perpetual misuse is especially harmful to religious liberty.

Among the many problems is how it demonizes public prayer and virtually any other commonplace religious activity. Whether a political leader or an everyday person, anytime there is a public expression of faith, the term is leveled against them as wanting to establish a Christian theocracy.

In other words, if a citizen exercises their constitutionally protected and inalienable right to religious freedom, that person runs the risk of being labeled a “Christian nationalist.” And once you carry that label, it essentially means you’re a pariah, someone who should be vilified and not allowed to participate in the marketplace or society.

This, of course, is nothing new. As Dr. Coughlin explained, this is a tactic straight out of the Marxist playbook. Whenever a political force wants to wield power and authority, religious people and religious liberty are the first ones on the target list.

Radicals and dictators know fully well that houses of worship and people of faith are the ultimate check on authoritarian power. Their allegiance is not to the government. A free people know their loyalty is to God above all, the true provider and source of our freedoms. If a tyrant succeeds at destroying religious freedom and religious institutions, they can remove the most effective challenge to their rule.

Vilifying the faithful is a timeless tool of authoritarians. Liberally tossing around the “Christian nationalist” label and slapping it on anyone who lives out their faith is a direct attack on religious freedom. Make no mistake. Radicals want to normalize the use of this loaded term to chip away and destroy one of the building blocks of our republic.

Loving God and country

The political Left regularly screams “Christian nationalism” when a person of faith shows patriotism and pride in their country. If you say America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, you’ll quickly be accused of trying to establish a theocracy. But that’s simply not true and is based on a wildly distorted view of our nation’s history.

This use of “Christian nationalism” typically relies on a misguided understanding of the “separation of Church and State,” which radicals interpret to mean that there can be no intersection between religion and government. They claim that any religious expression or influence in the public square cannot be tolerated, because it would violate this strict wall of separation.

Understood in context, however, the “separation of Church and state” does not mean religious exercise or prayer is banned on government property. This phrase doesn’t even appear in the text of the Constitution. The original intent was never to keep religion locked inside the walls of a church or synagogue. Instead, it was to protect houses of worship and religious people from state intrusion and harassment. It’s misleading to argue that government and religion should never, under any circumstances, be mixed together.

Additionally, no matter how much secularists or the political Left deny it, the United States was, in fact, founded by people who valued biblical principles. From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other Founders, an overwhelming majority of them expressed belief in the Divine, a Creator who is the ultimate grantor of our rights and freedoms, as is clearly referenced in the Declaration of Independence. One of the foremost constitutional theorists of the founding generation, John Adams, observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

America’s Founders were a prime example that faith and patriotism are not mutually exclusive. They demonstrated that it’s possible to serve God and be committed to the American constitutional experience — to the cause of liberty, human rights, representative democracy, and the rule of law.

More than two centuries later, a strong majority of Americans still believe in this truth. Pew Research recently found 60% of Americans think the Founders originally intended the U.S. to be a “Christian nation.” However, 52% said the federal government should never declare an official religion. This shows that most people believe in the core principles of the First Amendment. That is, we can freely worship God while also cherishing our system of government.

Being a religious person who also loves their nation does not make one a “Christian nationalist.” Quite the opposite. Someone who serves God and country is embodying the best of America’s traditions. We’re a nation built on religious freedom, which means Christians — and people of any faith — do not have to be forced to choose between loving our republic and loving the One True God.

“Heavy Hatred for Christian Values” In Western Society

Following is from the July 2, 2022 Christian Post (United States).

Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen, prosecuted for voicing her traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality, believes that a “heavy hatred for Christian values” in Western society will cause many Christians to censor themselves for social acceptance.

The former interior minister who has served in Finnish Parliament for nearly three decades was one of several global political figures to speak at the annual International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., this week.

The event aims to increase “the public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement. The summit is led by former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who led similar events at the State Department headquarters during the Trump administration.

In March, Räsänen was cleared of hate speech charges for repeatedly asserting her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But her legal battle continues as the prosecution has appealed the ruling to a higher court.

She spoke with The Christian Post ahead of her participation in a panel discussion at the summit focused on religious freedom in the Western Hemisphere Thursday.  

As she faced a possibility of up to six years imprisonment, the 62-year-old politician attributed her prosecution to Finland becoming a “post-Christian world” where “Christian values are, in fact, a minority.”

“The change has been so fast that it is difficult to understand what is happening,” She said. 

As the wife of a Lutheran pastor and former chair of Finnish Christian Democrats, Räsänen believes Christian values are “targeted” in criminal court as part of the “breaking of the virtue and the challenging of Christian values” that is now “very visible in our societies.”

In Räsänen’s case, she faced hate speech charges over a book she wrote 18 years ago titled Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity and a 2019 tweet taking issue with the Finnish Lutheran Church’s promotion of LGBT “pride month.” She faced a third charge for comments she made on a radio show about homosexuality.

Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was charged with hate speech for publishing Räsänen’s book. 

Räsänen insists that she has no ill will toward homosexuals and suggested that those accusing her of practicing hate speech are the ones dabbling in hatred.

“We all are sinners and we need Jesus. But now, I think there is a heavy hatred against Christian values in our society,” Räsänen said. “If you speak about gender issues — that there are two genders or that marriage belongs to one woman and one man — it arouses hatred against you in our society.”

Räsänen told CP that she “never thought” she would face prosecution for expressing support for “classical Christian doctrines about marriage and sexuality” as she openly discussed her “Christian values” and beliefs about “marriage and sanctity of human life” throughout her time in Parliament.

“Nothing has changed in my faith and in my conviction, but suddenly I was like a criminal because of this hate,” she said. 

“The world has changed,” she concluded. “I think that my conviction has not changed but the world has changed very [quickly] in Finland and I think that also in other Western countries, post-Christian countries.”

Describing the cultural shift as “very alarming,” Räsänen believes Christians must “wake up to see what is going on” because her experience proves that “it is more and more difficult” for Christians to express their faith publicly.

“I’m afraid that this leads to some kind of self-censorship. If you are labeled a conservative Christian, it would hinder your career or your social acceptance,” she stated. “So, these kinds of problems are very topical in Finnish society.”UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

Although she “hoped that the prosecutor would have been satisfied with the acquittal,” she sees her case moving to a higher court as an opportunity “to get a precedent and to get a more heavy guideline for possible further similar cases in Finland and also in Europe.”

She praised her acquittal of hate crime charges by a Helsinki District Court as “a victory for me.” Still, She said a “possible victory from Appeal Court and especially from Supreme Court” is an “even bigger victory for freedom of speech … and freedom of religion” because it would create “legal guidance for other cases.”

“I think that this is all in God’s hands, and I believe in His guidance that there is some meaning that this process continues,” she added.

Räsänen said the ordeal and her platform with the Finnish media provided an opportunity to “hold up the biblical values in public and also testify about Jesus” and give people “the answer to the problem of sin that Jesus has died for all people and that this is the way to salvation.”

Although Finland has a Constitution that “guarantees the freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Räsänen is concerned that “the influence of LGBT ideology is very strong in Finnish society and some kind of woke culture is creating cancel culture in our society and it is narrowing those freedoms.”

Räsänen lamented, “we have now some kind of totalitarian, ideological totalitarianism.” She cited efforts to convince social media companies to censor “hate speech” in the Finnish Parliament and the European Union as examples of this ideology’s emergence.

Räsänen hopes that her remarks at the IRF Summit will “encourage people to use their rights and speak openly,”

“At first, when the trial in January started, [the] prosecutor said that this will not be about [the] Bible,” Räsänen recalled. “She started to ask questions about [the] Bible, about theological issues, she even cited some verses from the Old Testament, and she wanted to show that there is a lot of hate speech in [the] Bible.”

Räsänen maintained that the prosecutor classified the Christian doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin” as “insulting and defaming” because “according to her, you cannot make a distinction between the person’s identity and his actions, so if you condemn the act, you also condemn the human being and regard him inferior.”

She pushed back on this analysis, classifying the idea of “loving the sinner” and “hating the sin” as “the core of Christianity and the message of the Bible.”

“If this is denied, if this kind of speech and teaching is denied, then also the core of Christianity is dead,” she contended.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

The Value of Music

Genesis 4:21
“And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.”

The Bible tells us that the earliest generations of human beings were making music. By the time the eighth generation of man came along, Jubal, a member of that generation was able to make his living providing musical instruments. On the evolutionary side of things, however, musical ability would seem to provide no survival advantage. Yet, the human brain devotes considerable resources to the processing of music.

Our love of music is wired into our brain. Each of our sense organs is important to our enjoyment of music. And each of these organs is linked to its own part of the brain which is responsible for how we experience the music. Parts of the brain are reserved for memory which stores the music. Other parts of the brain are dedicated to trying to understand the entire piece of music, referencing back to parts of the music stored in the memory. Even more interesting is that one need not hear music to activate the various parts of the brain devoted to music. Positron-emission tomography reveals that a person only needs to imagine music for these portions of the brain to become active.

The ability to make or appreciate music offers us no apparent survival value, and therefore, according to evolutionary theory, should not have developed. Yet, our brains, and indeed, all our senses, are designed to make and appreciate music. The obvious message here is that evolution had nothing to do with the formation of human beings. Rather, we were created by God Who loves music, and wants us to praise Him with music.

Prayer: Father, I thank You for the gift of music and the ability to appreciate it. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref: Science Frontiers, No. 141, 5-6/02, “Why Music?”  Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay. (PD)

Source: Creation Moments

Dream Catchers

I recently shared a sermon titled The End Times and The Unsuspecting. The sermon is based on Romans 16: 18 which reads:

[18] For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

The “men” are people trying to deceive Christians into error.  The “unsuspecting” are those Christians who go through life unaware of the demonic snares. 

They are not aware of the spiritual fact that if we have something that belongs to or is dedicated to the devil or his kingdom, he has a legal right to be in the Christian’s home or life. We have, as Paul warns us not to do, “given place to the devil”.  The word “place” means we have given him ground to stand on in our lives.  A “beachhead” may more properly describe it. 

As I was reviewing the PowerPoint, when I reached the section stating that “unsuspecting Christians participate in or have an unhealthy interest in occult practices”, the Holy Spirit impressed me that I needed to add Native American spirituality to the occult practices list.  I had created the list from Deuteronomy 18: 10-14 which contains most of the occult practices God considers an abomination. So, I added it to my notes and made a few comments during the sermon.

I found out later some church members were convicted by the Lord to dispose of their Native American “dream catchers’ hanging over their beds.  Goes to show that only the Lord knows the hearts of His lambs. 

As a follow up, I would like to share a short article on “dream catchers”.   The author is Nanci Des Gerlaise, a Native American Christian woman of Cree First Nation. Nanci’s father and grandfather were both medicine men or shamans; therefore, she has first hand knowledge concerning the occult powers behind Native American spirituality. May your spiritual eyes be opened if you are involved in this snare. God bless you! Carl

Dream Catchers—Those Popular Spidery “Sacred Hoops”

November 21, 2019 by Lighthouse Trails author

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)

Dream catchers—those spidery “sacred hoops” with feathers. They originated with the Ojibwa tribe during the ’60s and ’70s, supposedly to protect a sleeper by “catching” bad dreams or evil spirits. Then they caught on with other tribes and spread through the New Age movement into popular culture. Today, it is not uncommon to see dream catchers in gift and variety stores.  Dream catchers are even used in some public school settings, as the following describes:

Every classroom displayed at least one dreamcatcher—a magical spider web inside a sacred circle. The students explained that dreamcatchers protect them from evil spirits and nightmares by catching the bad dreams but permitting good dreams to pass though the center. According to fourth grade teacher Ms. Preston, the amber crystal in the center of her dreamcatcher meant proper spiritual alignment with the energy of the universe.1

But you can be sure, most of the general public has no idea of the meaning and purpose of dream catchers.

Basically, using a dream catcher in its intended purpose is nothing more than a form of practicing occultism. How can an inanimate object “catch” evil spirits, much less bad dreams? And why attempt to “catch” evil spirits or nightmares when you cannot fight them physically?

Although Native people can sometimes see into the spiritual world of darkness, dream catchers, or anything having to do with the occult, merely attract evil spirits and demonic activity and provide no means of protection from them. Using dream catchers is an open invitation for more spiritual works of darkness.

If you are a born-again Christian, you have a Protector—God Almighty—who stands between us and the evil realm. We need nothing more than Jesus Christ Himself who overcame all works and powers of darkness by His death and resurrection. If we pay attention to God’s Word and not to seducing spirits, we can walk in His freedom from fear.

Ephesians 6:12 says that our battle is not against “flesh and blood,” but is against “principalities,” “powers,” “the rulers of the darkness” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” And in Hebrews, we read:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

(To understand more about Native Spirituality, read Muddy Waters, by Nanci Des Gerlaise).

Notes:
1. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Kjos Ministries, http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/1-globalvillage.html), ch. 1.

Grave Knowledge

If everyone knew what the dead know, the whole world would be worshipping Jesus. Author Unknown

Is There Enough Evidence?

If there be an honest man, who desires to love God and fear Jesus Christ, who will neither slander, nor swear, nor lie, nor commit adultery, nor kill, nor steal, nor avenge himself on his enemies, they presently say of such a one he is a Vaudes, and worthy of death.”

This quote comes from an ancient writing (1100 AD) of the Waldenses entitled the Nobla Leycon (Noble Lesson). The Waldenses are a very ancient branch of the True Church that left the “wreck of primitive Christianity” (Church of Rome) in the 800s AD.

J.A. Wylie in his The History of The Waldenses states, “Rome manifestly was the schismatic, she it was that had abandoned what was once the common faith of Christendom, leaving by that step to all who remained on the old ground the indisputably valid title of the True Church.”

They are today the largest Protestant faith in Italy though the past popes had attempted to exterminate them for over 600 years. This persecution is what the end of the statement “he is a Vaudes, and worthy of death” is referring to.

But enough history!

If I were to be dragged before the Inquisition today, would my conduct and speech produce enough evidence to convict me of being a True Christian?

The Waldenses way of life and speech revealed that they were very different from the contemporary culture they lived in. Can you and I say that about our conduct today? Or do we just say one thing at church and just blend in with the wicked and immoral culture that surrounds us the rest of the time, laughing at the same dirty jokes, looking at the same filthy entertainment, hating and being unforgiving, our cruel and wicked speech revealing our cruel and wicked inner man instead of a Holy Spirit controlled new man in Christ?

The apostle Paul believed in examining yourself to make sure your following Christ’s example in conduct/teaching and not your religious, fleshly, sin nature. That is why he told Timothy to “pay close attention to yourself” (I Timothy 4:16). We should heed his instructions.

Carl

The World and Us

  1. I found this note while reading Luke 16: 13-15 the other day.  As born again believers, the Lord Jesus Christ is to be “Lord” of our lives.  The world system, which is controlled by Satan, is continually trying to impose its value system on us. In James 4:4 the Bible tells us that friendship with the world is hostility toward God. He compares it to a wife or husband having an affair thereby being an adulteress.  James goes on to say that he who wishes to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God.

Sometimes we are so entangled in the affairs of the world that we do not recognize it for what it is. The kingdom of the enemy of God.  May the Holy Spirit show us today if we are in an adulterous affair with some aspect of the world.

In closing, I share Luke 6:46 with you. The scripture that God used to rip the deception off our minds and show us we were lost and bound for hell. The Lord Jesus said “Why do you call me Lord Lord and do not do what I say?

Pay Close Attention To Yourself

Carl

Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger (61-113 AD) was a Roman Magistrate appointed by the emperor Trajan over Bithynia, now in modern Turkey. In 112 AD he wrote the emperor requesting direction on how to handle the many Christians that were brought before him. The English translation of Pliny’s letter and Trajan’s response was published by William Harris, Prof. Em. Middlebury College.

Harris said the Christians were brought daily before Pliny for refusing military service, refusing to worship the Roman emperors and for being members of a strange new and secret religion which although harmless, seemed dangerous to the established Roman way of life. I would add “revenge” to this list because of the change in temple economics due to Christians forsaking the idols.

This is the first documented evidence of the “Christian Problem” in the Roman world.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, Pliny the Elder was his uncle who died trying to rescue people from the Pompeii disaster. Here is the translation from Latin:

Gaius Plinius to the Emperor Trajan

It is for me an important point of responsibility to refer to you as Head of State, things about which I have questions, since you are the person best able to set straight my hesitations and correct my lack of information.

Actually I have never been present at a Examination (cognitio) of Christians, so I do not know what punishment is required or how far it is to be carried out. Nor do I understand the legal grounds for a prosecution, or how stringently it is to be prosecuted. I am not clear about prosecutions in respect to the age of the persons, whether no distinction should be made between the young and the old, and furthermore whether a pardon should be granted in cases of recanting, or if there is no advantage for a person completely ceasing to be a Christian. Or is it the name “Christian” which is prosecutable, even if not involved in criminal actions, or is that “criminality” is automatically attached to the name?

In the meantime, I now handle it this way with those who are turned over to me as Christians. I ask them directly, in person, if they are Christian, I ask a second and third time to be sure, and indicate to them the danger of their situation. If they persist, I order them led dispatched (= executed). I have had no trouble with this, since whatever it was they admitted or professed, I decided that their obstinacy and unyielding inflexibility should be sufficient reason for punishment. Some others who were virtually insane with this cult, but Roman citizens, I sent back to Rome for trial.

As I continue with this handling of the situation, as often happens, the numbers and kinds of incriminations are becoming more widespread. An anonymous List has been brought out which contains the names of a great many persons. I decided to dismiss charges again any on this list who stated that they were now not, nor had ever been Christians, if they repeated after me a prayer of invocation to the Gods, and made an offering of wine and incense to your statue, which I had brought in to the court along with the statues of the Gods, for this purpose. And in addition they were to formally curse Christ, which I understand true Christians will never do.

Other named by the anonymous List said they were Christians, and later changed their statement. Some said that they had been and then stopped, some three years before, some longer, some even twenty years before. All these reverenced your statue and those of the Gods, and cursed Christ. They stated that the sum total of their error or misjudgment, had been coming to a meeting on a given day before dawn, and singing responsively a hymn to Christ as to God, swearing with a holy oath not to commit any crime, never to steal or commit robbery, commit adultery, fail a sworn agreement or refuse to return a sum left in trust. When all this was finished, it was their custom to go their separate ways, and later re-assemble to take food of an ordinary and simple kind. But after my edict which forbids all political Societies, they did in fact give this up.I thought at this point that it was necessary to get information from two slave women, whom they call Deaconesses (ministrae) about the actual truth, by means of torture. I found nothing worthy of blame other than the blind and over-wrought nature of their cult-superstition.

I have therefore postponed further Examinations (cognitiones) and made haste to come to you immediately for consultation. This situation seem to demand serious consultation, especially in view of the large number of people falling into this danger. A great many persons of every age, of every social class, men and women alike, are being brought in to trial, and this seems likely to continue. It is not only the cities, but also the towns and even the country villages which are being infected with this cult-contagion.

It seems possible to check and reverse this direction at this point, for it is quite clear that the Temples of the Gods which have been empty for so long, now begin to be filled again, the sacred rites which had lapsed are now being performed and flesh for sacrificial rites is now sold again at the shops, although for a while nobody would buy it. So it seems reasonable to think that a great many people could be persuaded to reform, IF there were a legal procedure for Repentance.

Emperor Trajan to Pliny:

You have done the right thing, my dear Pliny, in handling the cases of those who were brought to you under the charge of being Christians. But it is not possible to make hard and fast rule with one specific formula. These people must not be searched out, if they are brought before your court and the case against them is proved, they must be punished, but in the case of anyone who states that he is not a Christian and makes it perfectly clear that he is not, by offering prayers to out Gods, such a one is to be pardoned on the grounds of his present repentance, however suspect he may have been in the past. But anonymous lists must not have any place in the court proceedings. They are a terrible example and not at all in keeping with our times.


William Harris
Prof. Em. Middlebury College


Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings

Barna’s Millennial Report Is Shocking, But God Brings Hope

Studying the sobering results of Dr. George Barna’s research, “Millennials in America,” I felt fear for the future of the largest generation in our history.

I listened intently as he shared some of his key findings. Here are some of the startling discoveries:

  • Almost one-half of young adults prefer socialism to capitalism.
  • A foundation of absolute truth has been replaced by relativism with feelings and friends forming one’s worldview.
  • 9 of 10 are syncretists picking a mixture of beliefs from different religions so as not to appear “intolerant.”
  • Being “born again” doesn’t result from repentance and faith in Christ’s sacrificial, substitutionary death and resurrection but refers to being a good person, doing good deeds to merit one’s salvation.
  • Only 28% believe the Bible is the Word of God.
  • The overwhelming majority reject the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator and do not accept the biblical/historical view of scripture, sin, and salvation.

Similar times in Scripture 

Two portions of scripture come to mind when the younger generation drifted dramatically from God.

“That entire generation passed away, and after them grew up a generation who did not know the Lord or the deeds that He had done …” (Judges 2:10).

“Moreover, in those days I also saw Jews who had married the women of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. Half of their children spoke in the language of Ashdod, yet none of them could recognize the language of the Jews” (Neh.13:23-24).

Upon assessing the situation in his day, Nehemiah was definitely not complacent in confronting some of them with righteous anger. He “cursed” … “beat”… and “plucked out the hair”… of those responsible for “doing all this great evil who are behaving unfaithfully against our God …” (Neh.13:25-7).

Scripture does not rejoice over Nehemiah’s actions but does record them! In our day of comfortable, compromising and cowardly Christianity, it’s refreshing to see a leader not being silent and submitting to the fear of man.

A defining moment in my life

Years ago when Obama and LGBTQ activists were aggressively pushing for gay marriage, I partnered with a professional videographer on a biblical instructional video entitled “Is Gay OK?” From a Biblically informed worldview, it addressed questions like “Is a person born gay? Can someone be a Christian and practice homosexuality? Is same-sex marriage allowed by God?” 

I was subsequently let go by the church where I served in leadership for five years being told by the leader to “just go and don’t come back.” Previously he’d warned me in no uncertain terms that to continue the project was a “deal-breaker” and “we don’t want to go there because we could incur death threats.”

A primary reason I worked on the resource video was to help rescue millennials being bombarded by an avalanche of deceitful propaganda on this and other cultural hot button issues. Because many pastors decided to be “seeker sensitive” and play it safe, steering clear of controversy, we now have a generation like in the time of Judges.  “We don’t get into areas like abortion, living together, homosexuality, transgender stuff, voting, elections … you know, anything political.” 

More sobering data

Apart from deception assaulting the younger generation in the area of morality, Dr. Barna’s research reveals chilling beliefs in the realm of spirituality:

  • Two out of three millennials believe they are “Christians,” yet their responses indicate they are not true disciples following Jesus as Lord.
  • Three out of four believe all religious faiths are of equal value.
  • 56% reject the existence of absolute truth.
  • A scant 4% of millennials hold to a biblical worldview regarding God, life, and morality.
  • Only one in four millennials believe they can trust Christian pastors.
  • A high percentage identify themselves as “DONTS” meaning they don’t know or even care if God exists. 

Inspiration from 5 past divine interventions 

Before anyone succumbs to cynicism and pessimism concerning the future of the millennial generation, let’s remind ourselves of God’s sovereign intervention in similar seasons of history where outpourings of His Spirit broke through the darkness.UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

First Great Awakening.  I’ve been to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Jonathan Edwards helped ignite God’s miraculous intervention in the darkest period of the 1700s that resulted in unbelievable societal transformation.

• Azusa Street Revival.  I’ve been to Bonnie Brae Street with revivalist Lou Engle where at the turn of the 20th century a handful of people gathered and soon God poured out His Spirit in an unprecedented way in Los Angeles birthing the Pentecostal movement that today has reached almost a half billion people worldwide!

The Jesus movement. In one of the most turbulent times in America’s history, God rescued me from the 60s “Lost Souls” rock band and swept me into a revolutionary youth-centered Jesus revolution that saw millions of sons and daughters converted and changed by the power of the living God. I joined with Dr. Michael Brown, Mike Bickle, Greg Laurie, Keith Green and others in a Heaven-sent move of God that birthed Calvary Chapel, The Vineyard, contemporary Christian music and a cover story on Time magazine!

Brownsville Revival. Revival broke out in Pensacola, Florida, and providentially God planted me in the midst of a divinely orchestrated move of His Spirit where in a five-year period 2 million came from across the world and 200,000 were converted to the glory of God!

7 Common denominators

Dr. George Barna’s excellent research revealed sobering data. It’s our time to seize the opportunity, remembering God’s sovereignty and the church’s responsibility. Historically we find common denominators to guide us.

1. Passionate and prevailing prayer.

2. Genuine repentance and living lives of happy holiness.

3. Freedom for the Holy Spirit to move in spontaneity under godly oversight. 

4. Rekindling lifestyle evangelism and consistent, compassionate outreach to the lost and those suffering in poverty, persecution, and exploitation.

5. Rediscovering the passionate preaching of the Word of God.

6. Restoring a healthy fear of the Lord through a revelation of divine judgment and experience of Holy Spirit conviction.

7. Most importantly, rekindling the fire of first love zeal and simple devotion to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. 

Here’s the deal: “In the last days it shall be, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).

The time has come — let’s respond and see revival come.

Larry Tomczak is a best-selling author and cultural commentator with over 40 years of trusted ministry experience. His passion is to bring perspective, analysis and insight from a biblical worldview. He loves people and loves awakening them to today’s cultural realities and the responses needed for the bride of Christ—His church—to become influential in all spheres of life once again. He is also a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel.

Source: Christian Post

Rocks and Keys

Former Jesuit priest Peter de Rosa writes, “All the councils of the church from Nicaea in the fourth century to Constance in the fifteenth agree that Christ himself is the only foundation of the church, that is, the Rock on which the church rests…the great Fathers of the church saw no connection between Matthew 16:18 and the pope. Not one of them applies ‘Thou art Peter’ to anyone but Peter. One after another they analyze it: Cyprian, Origen, Cyril, Hilary, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine. They are not exactly Protestants. Not one of them calls the Bishop of Rome a Rock or applies to him specifically the promise of the Keys….[I]t was only in the year 1073 that Pope Gregory VII forbade Catholics to call anyone pope except the bishop of Rome. Before then, many bishops were fondly addressed as ‘pope’ or ‘papa.’…The first Bishop of Rome was not Peter…Eusebius never once spoke of Peter as Bishop of Rome…etc.”

So when did the church at large become the Roman Catholic Church in distinction to the true Christians which it persecuted and killed? There is no single date; it happened gradually. Yet the roots can be traced to Constantine (313-327), who while still Pontifex Maximus as head of the pagan priesthood became de facto head of the Church, was the first to call himself Vicar of Christ, and under whose influence the Church married the world. The paganism of today’s Roman Catholicism entered the church in the fourth century and today’s popes bear Constantine’s three titles: Bishop of Bishops, Pontifex Maximus, and Vicar of Christ.

Source: Dave Hunt’s Facebook Page

Parents Sued California After It Required Aztec Prayer in Public Schools: State Now Agrees to Settlement

By Matthew Vadum January 16, 2022 Updated: January 17, 2022 From Epoch News

(Dear Reader: you cannot make this stuff up. Just unbelievable. The apostle Paul speaking about the spiritual darkness that was upon the whole world before Messiah came, said “…but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. (I Corinthians 10:20) I hope you are looking at our culture with Holy Spirit enlightened eyes. Carl)

California education authorities have agreed to drop a policy encouraging public school students to pray to Aztec gods in response to a lawsuit filed months ago by angry parents.

Among Aztec religious practices were the cutting out of human hearts and the flaying of victims and the wearing of their skin.

Paul Jonna, partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP and special counsel for the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm, said the “Aztec prayers at issue—which seek blessings from and the intercession of these demonic forces—were not being taught as poetry or history.”

Rather, the California State Board of Education’s nearly 900-page Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) “instructed students to chant the prayers for emotional nourishment after a ‘lesson that may be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement may appear to be low.’ The idea was to use them as prayers,” said Jonna, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.

The launch of the ESMC made California “the first state in the nation to offer a statewide ethnic studies model for educators,” the board boasted on March 18, 2021, when the curriculum was adopted.

Epoch Times Photo
The empty hallways of a high school in El Segundo, Calif., on Oct. 29, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

“California’s students have been telling us for years that they need to see themselves and their stories represented in the classroom,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said at the time. “Today’s historic action gives schools the opportunity to uplift the histories and voices of marginalized communities in ways that help our state and nation achieve racial justice and create lasting change.”

The ESMC contained a section on “Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers.” Among these was the In Lak Ech Affirmation, which calls upon five Aztec deities—Tezkatlipoka (God of the Night Sky), Quetzalcoatl (God of the Morning and Evening Star), Huitzilopochtli (God of Sun and War), Xipe Totek (God of Spring), and Hunab Ku (God of the Universe). The pagan prayers address the deities both by name and traditional titles, recognize them as sources of power and knowledge, invoke their assistance, and offer thanks.

According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, even after the settlement, the ESMC “is still deeply rooted in Critical Race Theory (CRT) and critical pedagogy, with a race-based lens and an oppressor-victim dichotomy.” The Aztec chant component demonstrated “the politicized championing of critical consciousness, social justice, transformative resistance, liberation and anti-colonial movements in the state-sanctioned teachings of ethnic studies.”

But Frank Xu, president of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CERF), a nonprofit organization that is one of the plaintiffs, said the settlement gives him hope.

“We are encouraged by this important, hard-fought victory,” Xu said in a statement.

Epoch Times Photo
Students attend an in-person English class in Long Beach, Calif., on March 24, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

“Our state has simply gone too far in attempts to promote fringe ideologies and racial grievance policies, even those that disregard established constitutional principles. Endorsing religious chants in the state curriculum is one glaring example,” he said.

“To improve California public education, we need more people to stand up against preferential treatment programs and racial spoils. At both the state and local levels, we must work together to re-focus on true education!”

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 3 in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, by the Thomas More Society, as previously reported. The plaintiffs argued that the ESMC constituted an impermissible governmental endorsement of the Aztec religion.

According to the legal complaint, the State Board of Education appointed R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, a co-author of the 2019 book “Rethinking Ethnic Studies,” to chair a panel to develop the ESMC. In his book, Cuauhtin “demonstrates an animus towards Christianity and Catholicism—claiming that Christians committed ‘theocide’ (i.e., killing gods) against indigenous tribes.”

Sociocultural anthropologist Alan Sandstrom, an expert in the culture, religion, and rituals of Mesoamerican peoples, told the court the In Lak Ech Affirmation “is a modern creation that borrows elements of the Aztec religion. It would be of no real value in learning about the Aztec people or culture of the past or today.”

California students
Socially distanced and with protective partitions, students work on an art project during class at the Sinaloa Middle School in Novato, Calif., on March 2, 2021. (Haven Daley/AP)

In the settlement agreement, the California authorities didn’t admit wrongdoing but agreed to remove the In Lak Ech Affirmation and the Ashe Affirmation from the Yoruba religion from the ESMC.

Yoruba is “an ancient philosophical concept that is the root of many pagan religions, including Santeria and Haitian vodou or voodoo,” according to the Thomas More Society. It reportedly has 100 million believers worldwide in West Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guyana, and in Caribbean nations.

The settlement provides that the California Department of Education and the board will pay the plaintiffs’ lawyers $100,000, “representing a payment toward Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with the Action.”

Epoch Times Photo
Traditional Aztec dancers prepare to perform at Chicano Park in San Diego on Feb. 3, 2018. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

The two state entities will also issue a public notice to all California school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education about the changed policy, and they agreed not to encourage the use of the two challenged chants in California public schools.

Jonna told The Epoch Times via email that this is “a major victory in the fight to restore sanity in California’s public schools.”

“There is still much work to do—and our team will continue to monitor developments and be prepared to file new lawsuits when necessary.”

The Epoch Times reached out for comment on the settlement to California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the California Department of Education, and the California State Board of Education but didn’t receive a reply from any of them as of press time.

Matthew Vadum, CONTRIBUTOR – Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert in left-wing activism

Dark matter and spiritual light captivate astrophysicists

By Dan Delzell, Christian Post Contributor

The Center for Astrophysics / Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) is an astrophysics research institute founded in 1973 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One thing they do is study dark matter and dark energy. “All the atoms and light in the Universe together make up less than 5% of the total contents of the cosmos. The rest is composed of dark matter and dark energy.”

In the natural realm, dark energy is an invisible mysterious force that “is counteracting gravity to make the universe expand at a greater rate.” In the spiritual realm, man’s sinful nature is an invisible wicked force that corrupts the heart and mind at an expanding rate. The effects of dark energy can be measured in the Universe. For example, “cosmic microwave background measurements show dark energy contributes about 68% of the total energy content of the universe.” 

Likewise, the effects of the sinful nature can be measured as well. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealously, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).

God communicates with us through two books: the book of nature and Scripture. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1,2). “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). 

Astrophysicists, regardless of their spiritual convictions, are constantly immersed in God’s book of nature. And the cosmological discoveries over the past 25 years have convinced many astrophysicists and other scientists that our universe had a highly intelligent causal agent.

In his 2006 book, Many Worlds in One, Alexander Vilenkin wrote, “With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”

Robert Jastrow is an astronomer who founded NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. In his book, God and the Astronomers, Gastric writes, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the Earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover … That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

Paul Wallace wrote a book titled, Love and Quasars: An Astrophysicist Reconciles Faith and Science. One reviewer stated, “Wallace interweaves his own story through seasons of faith and doubt. With candor, he leads us to his own liberating vantage point as a Christian and scientist: the necessity of wonder.”

Werner Heisenberg was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics. He said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.

In order to know God personally, one must know the Messiah. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well” (John 14:6,7). 

While physical laws govern the universe, God established the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21) in the Old Testament to govern His people. And “the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

Jesus said the Holy Spirit “will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin … because men do not believe in me” (John 16:8,9). Read the 10 Commandments every day for a month and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins against God’s perfect Law. You will begin to understand that your sins are by far your biggest problem. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

George Ellis is a South African astrophysicist who was a collaborator on the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems. Ellis stated, “God’s nature is revealed most perfectly in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, who was sent by God to reveal the divine nature, summarized in ‘God is love.’”

In order to receive the love of God into your heart, you will need to bow your knee at the foot of the cross as you confess your sins to God. Trust Jesus to forgive you. And then begin to live for the One who created all things, including “things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:16). This includes dark matter and spiritual light.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). There is still time for you to “come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). But this window of opportunity will not stay open forever. While the Universe continues expanding at a greater rate, the number of minutes you have left to get right with God is shrinking. 

Dark matter and dark energy cannot remove even one of your sins. Jesus, however, can wash away all of your sins and bring you into a beautiful eternal relationship with your Father in Heaven. You see, the path to Paradise was revealed in Christ’s first sermon: “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15).

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

Making Cowards

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” – Abraham Lincoln

Speak up for righteousness in your area of influence while you still have the opportunity before the grave and darkness completely overwhelms our society.

Carl

What I’ve Learned Rescuing My Daughter from Transgender Fantasy

gender, trans

My daughter’s story is no longer novel. Stories like it are occurring in your state, your town, and perhaps even on your street. Gender dysphoria — the incongruence between the mind and the body — moves stealthily and quickly to invade girls and boys alike.

But this isn’t a cautionary tale. It’s a warning.

My daughter was an ultrafeminine girl since birth. She insisted that her room be painted pink, and she refused to wear anything but dresses until third grade. She avoided her older brother’s toys and sports, choosing tea sets and Shopkins, a series of tiny, collectible toys.

Her favorite activity was to slip into my closet and don my few sparkly clothes and shiniest of heels. She rejected sports in favor of art and sewing.

That all abruptly changed when she turned 12. As her body matured into young womanhood, she stopped begging for a bikini and avoided any clothing that accentuated her figure. She hid her breasts under men’s extra-large sweatshirts.

I remembered doing similar things as my body changed, so I didn’t worry at first.

Then, my daughter immersed herself into anime art and cosplaying, the hobby of dressing like fantastical characters. I supported her creative side.

I didn’t know that anime and cosplaying can overwhelm a young mind. I didn’t know that anime and cosplaying involved gender-bending themes and that the community crosses into pedophilic and sexual themes.

I also didn’t know that the older cosplay community groomed the younger cohorts. 

During that same time period, my daughter went through Teen Talk — a Manitoba, Canada-based program that says it provides “youth with accurate, [nonjudgmental] information” on “sexuality, reproductive health, body image, substance use awareness, mental health, issues of diversity, and anti-violence issues” — at her public school.

She came home with a whole new language. She and all her girlfriends discussed their labels — polyamorous, lesbian, pansexual. None of the five girls chose “basic,” their term for a straight girl. 

Now, I was worried.

She distanced herself from her old friends and spent more time online. I checked her phone, but I was not astute enough to know that she had set up “appropriate” fake social media accounts for my viewing.

An older girl showed romantic interest in her. I barred that girl from our home.  I learned later that she had molested my daughter.

When my daughter was in the eighth grade, as a Christmas gift, I took her to SacAnime, an anime convention in Sacramento, California. There, she met a girl three years her senior, but light years more mature. That girl mesmerized my daughter with her edginess or magnanimous personality. 

The older girl went by “they.” After their meeting, my daughter got a boy’s haircut, stopped shaving, and asked for boys’ underwear. My daughter parroted everything about the older teen.

She started making gross TikTok videos, her language became vulgar and she redecorated her room to look like a cave. She self-pierced her nose with one of those bull rings. She broke every family rule. She was morphing into an emo-Goth-vampirelike creature.  She was unrecognizable. Her personality descended into anger and rudeness. 

The summer before ninth grade, she announced that she was transgender. Post-announcement, she began to threaten suicide. She sunk into deep depression.

I managed to get all of her passwords to all of her social media accounts. What I saw was jaw-dropping.  

Almost everyone that she was conversing with was a stranger, except for the SacAnime friend, who sent her a self-made masturbation video. The discussions on the Discord platform online involved fetishistic sexual conversations. Kids were sending each other erotica, including involving incest and pedophilia.

Older girls were instructing younger girls how to sell nude photos of themselves to men for money.

Girls bragged about their different mental illnesses. They talked about which drugs do what. They talked about how they are really boys, not girls. They discussed “top surgery” (that is, having their breasts removed) and “packers” that create a bulge in one’s pants to imply the presence of a penis.

My daughter’s electronic devices were filled with TikTok videos and YouTubers talking about how great they feel now that they had “transitioned.”

There were messages in which strangers told her to kick my head in because I was a “transphobe” for refusing to call her a male name.

I went nuclear. I took the phone and stripped it of all social media — YouTube, Instagram, Discord, Reddit, Pinterest, Twitter. I even blocked her ability to get to the internet. I deleted all of her contacts and changed her phone number.

I sat next to her while she “attended” school online via Zoom. I deleted YouTube from the smart TVs and locked up the remotes. I took every anime book from her room. I threw away all of her costumes. I banned any friend who was even the slightest bit unsavory.

I involved the police about the porn. I printed out the law and informed her that if anyone sent her porn, I would not hesitate to prosecute.

She hated me like an addict hates the person preventing her drug fix. I held my ground, despite the constant verbal abuse.

After going through seven mental health professionals, I found an out-of-state psychiatrist who was willing to examine the causality for my daughter’s sudden trans identity.

I immersed myself in reading everything on the issue, talking to other parents and other professionals. I worked unceasingly to re-create the bond she and I used to share. 

After a year and half of utter hell, my daughter is finally returning to her authentic self — a beautiful, artsy, kind and loving daughter.

I am not sure what the actual ingredients for the magic potion were for alleviating gender dysphoria in my daughter. The formula will vary, but what I did was, after a very brief misstep of using a male name, our family and all of the adults in my child’s life only used her birth name and corresponding pronouns.

We did not permit social transition, although we could not control the school setting. Unbelievably, our local Catholic high school refused to follow our edict. 

As I mentioned previously, we pulled the plug on all social media and her access to anyone other than those persons we vetted. I forced my daughter to listen to specific podcasts on the subject while driving her to school. I printed out stories about female de-transitioners (women who had medicalized, but then regretted their actions and returned to living as a woman) and left them throughout the house. 

I left all of my research out in plain view, including Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail ShrierGender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working With Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults by Susan Evans, and other books.

I followed the advice of Parents for Ethical Care’s podcasts and the book “Desist, Detrans & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Gender Cult” by Maria Keffler.

I worked hard to take back the close relationship my daughter and I had once had. I bit my tongue until it bled. I took her anger and only responded with love or walked away when I knew I would respond poorly.

I caught her in vulnerable moments and hugged her or climbed into her bed. I stopped looking at her as though she were the victim of a scheme or a monster.

I let her know that I would never stop fighting for her. I let her see my posters from the protests I attended. I peppered her with questions that demonstrated the illogic of the gender ideology. I happened to have funny gender-critical memes on my computer when she walked into my office. Most importantly, I held my ground. I refused to accept her delusion with compassion.

I know that I have to continue to be tenacious as the gender ideology has crept into every facet of life. But for now, I can breathe a sigh of relief. 


Originally published at The Daily Signal.   

Charlie Jacobs is the pen name of a California wife and mother of two teenagers. Until recently, she worked part time in a professional capacity, but is now dedicated to educating other parents about how gender ideology can overtake a child.

From Christian Post – December 16, 2021

View From India Church Leader

You feel sorry for us in India because of our great poverty in material things. We who know the Lord in India feel sorry for you in America because of your spiritual poverty. We are praying that you also might come to church with a hunger for God and not merely a hunger to see some form of amusement.

Bakht Singh, Indian Church Leader Quoted in An Asian Harvest – Paul Hattaway – Asia Harvest – Monarch Books, Oxford, England

The Christian Revelation

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrew 1:1-2 NASB)

…it was really the Ruler of all, the Creator of all, the invisible God himself, who from heaven established the truth and the holy, incomprehensible word among men, and fixed it firmly in their hearts. Nor, as one might suppose, did he do this by sending to men some subordinate –an angel, or principality, or one of those who administer earthly affairs, or perhaps one of those to whom the government of things in heaven is entrusted.

Rather, he sent the Designer and Maker of the universe himself, by whom he created the heavens and confined the sea within its own bounds—him whose hidden purposes all the elements of the world faithfully carry out, him from whom the sun has received the measure of the daily rounds that it must keep, him whom the moon obeys when he commands her to shine by night. And whom the stars obey as they follow the course of the moon. He sent him by whom all things have been set in order and distinguished and place in subjection—the heavens and the things that are in the heavens, the earth and the things in the earth, the sea, and the things in the depths and in the realm between;

 God sent him to men.

Now, did he send him, as a human mind might assume, to rule by tyranny, fear, and terror? Far from it! He sent him out of kindness and gentleness, like a king sending his son who is himself a king. He sent him as God; he sent him as man to men. He willed to save man by persuasion, not by compulsion, for compulsion is not God’s way of working. In sending him, God called men, but did not pursue them; he sent him in love, not in judgement. Yet he will indeed send him someday as our Judge, and who shall stand when he appears? …

Do you not see how they are thrown to wild animals to make them deny the Lord, and how they are vanquished? Do you not see that the more of them are punished, the more do others increase? These things do not seem to come from a human power; they are a mighty act of God, they are proofs of his presence.

As a matter of fact, before he came, what man had any knowledge of God at all? Or do you really accept the idle nonsense talked by those plausible philosophers, some of whom asserted that God was fire—the very thing that they are on the point of going to, they call God! —while others claimed that he was water, and others said that he was yet another one of the elements created by God? And yet, if any one of these lines or argument is acceptable, then each and every one of the other creatures could in the same way be shown to be God. No, this is just quackery and deceit practiced by wizards. No man has ever seen God or made him known, but he has manifested himself. And he manifested himself through faith, by which alone it has been made possible for us to see God.

Excerpt from Letter to Diognetus by Quadratus of Asia Minor from his Apology to Hadrian (AD 129?) – Taken from Early Christian Fathers – Translated and Edited by Cyril C. Richardson, Washburn Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1996, Simon & Schuster Publisher(Scripture, two paragraph breaks and bolding added for emphasis)

Was It Six Literal Creation Days?

Exodus 20:11
“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

Many Christians are willing to accept what Genesis has to say about creation with one exception. They don’t want to accept the six days as literal, natural, approximately 24-hour days. Did you know that there are other important portions of Scripture that depend on those six days being literal and normal days?

In Exodus 20:11 the Lord is giving the Ten Commandments to Moses. The Lord is explaining the principle of the Sabbath in this verse. God’s explanation says that man shall work six days and rest on the seventh because God Himself made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. Therefore He blessed the seventh day. This truth is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:13.

Surely no Christian would argue that the Ten Commandments are poetry to be taken figuratively. The Lord is confirming here that His work of creation really occupied six normal days and that He rested on the seventh normal day. If these days were actually long ages, then we should work for six long ages before we take some rest. We can be sure that this is not what the Lord has in mind.

If the Ten Commandments should not be interpreted literally because of this connection with creation, where does that leave us? Surely the creation days, by the Lord’s own confirmation and commandment to us, are literal, natural, approximately 24-hour days!

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You have given us one day out of seven for rest and worship. I thank You for the commandments because they teach me Your will. Most of all, I thank You for Your salvation so that I can look to You and not to my own obedience for assurance of my salvation. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz – Creation Moments

Photo: Nelda F Johnson – Copyrighted

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