Saturday, August 19, 2017

Colombia: Meeting Jesus at the Circus

Colombia: Meeting Jesus at the Circus

Clowns, contortionists, illusionists and jugglers are essential to a night of family fun at the circus. But no matter where in Colombia that crowds go to see a Kimbray Family Circus show, attendees can learn about Jesus.

Nov 13, 2005 | Magangue, Colombia | ANN Staff

The Rodriguez family in front the Adventist church in Magangue.

Clowns, contortionists, illusionists and jugglers are essential to a night of family fun at the circus. But no matter where in Colombia that crowds go to see a Kimbray Family Circus show, attendees can learn about Jesus.

If you were present at this circus recently, it could have been a night when two clowns performed the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Biblical story tells of a young man who turns his back on his father to chase good times. When he spends all of his inheritance, his friends desert him, and he returns home to find his father waiting with open arms. After the story is told to a cheering crowd, someone appeals to them to turn to God.

This unique circus is headed by the husband and wife team of Carlos and Belén Rodriguez, and is supported by their children and grandchildren. Belén was the first family member to become a Seventh-day Adventist seven years ago. On Nov. 5, their oldest son Willman, and his wife Elizabeth, were baptized into the church.

“We have usually had many problems in being received by other church members, because they don’t understand how a Christian family could work for a circus,” said Belén.

“I had never heard of a circus operated by church members,” admitted Pastor Abraham Guerrero, evangelism director for the church in the Sabanas’ Zone.

“In our daily church life, we use to think of a circus as something strange to our members. In fact, we usually find shows performing magic and having a music style completely different from what we listen [to] in our churches and even at home,” said Guerrero. But after a trip to see the show Guerrero says he is convinced it is a good tool for evangelism.

Carlos is the illusionist and director for the Kimbray Circus. He explained that after his own baptism a year ago, he and the rest of the family wanted to find ways to use their business to tell others about Jesus.

Now, while the show has the typical elements for a circus such as clowns, contortionists and illusionists, they also play sacred music and the show ends with an invitation to follow God. They also give Bible Studies.

“We would like to know other church members around the world who have our business, and exchange ideas on how to share God’s love with the crowd,” said Rodríguez. “We have heard of ‘creative ways of evangelism’, and we think this one could be a good one. But we would like to get some help, so we may do it much better,” he added.

Though the family is originally from Antioquia in Colombia, they travel all over the country and average about 200 people at each show.


Sound the Note of Alarm

August 19

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6.

In all our ways we should acknowledge God, and He will direct our paths. We should consult His Word with humble hearts, ask His counsel, and give up our will to His. We can do nothing without God. 
There is the highest reason for us to prize the true Sabbath and stand in its defense, for it is the sign which distinguishes the people of God from the world. The commandment that the world makes void is the one to which, for this very reason, God's people will give greater honor. It is when the unbelieving cast contempt upon the Word of God that the faithful Calebs are called for. It is then that they will stand firm at the post of duty, without parade, and without swerving because of reproach. The unbelieving spies stood ready to destroy Caleb. He saw the stones in the hands of those who had brought a false report, but this did not deter him; he had a message, and he would bear it. The same spirit will be manifested today by those who are true to God.  
The psalmist says, “They have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold” (Psalm 119:126, 127). When men press close to the side of Jesus, when Christ is abiding in their hearts by faith, their love for the commandments of God grows stronger in proportion to the contempt which the world heaps upon His holy precepts. It is at this time that the true Sabbath must be brought before the people by both pen and voice. As the fourth commandment and those who observe it are ignored and despised, the faithful feel that it is the time not to hide their faith but to exalt the law of Jehovah by unfurling the banner on which is inscribed the message of the third angel, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 

Let not those who have the truth as it is in Jesus give sanction, even by their silence, to the work of the mystery of iniquity. Let them never cease to sound the note of alarm.... The truth must not be hid, it must not be denied or disguised, but fully avowed, and boldly proclaimed.

Maranatha, p.239

Friday, August 18, 2017


What has been the practice of Christians keeping a Sabbath? 

PDF EBook: A Chart by Elder J. F. Coltheart 1954


This chart is the result of several years research and painstaking checking of sources on the part of the compiler. During a recent trip abroad he was able to personally consult old manuscripts and the original sources of many of these quotations in the libraries and museums of Europe and also in Constantinople and the East.

In studying this chart, one is struck by the wonderful way God preserved the knowledge of His holy Sabbath down through the centuries since the days of Jesus. In spite of the fact that in many cases the writings of the martyrs were consigned to the flames or otherwise destroyed, the record of Sabbath-keeping comes down to us either from the parts of their writings that do remain or, as in some cases, even from the records of their enemies.

We read of peoples like the Waldenses, who were noted for their Sabbath-keeping for centuries. They were often called Sabbatati or Insabbati for this reason. Sheltered in the Alps of Italy, France and Switzerland, they defied the edicts of Rome for hundreds of years. The compiler of this chart was privileged to visit these lovely valleys where the descendants of these people still dwell today. Here he was shown some of their early records, as well as their monuments and refuge places during the bitter persecutions. Again we clearly follow the record of whole countries who faithfully clung to the Sabbath of God, like Bohemia, or Scotland, where it was observed until the 12th Century, or Abyssinia, whose peoples observed it until the 17th Century.

The records of the Church of the East thrill our hearts as we see at what early times the peoples of Persia, China, India, etc., heard and accepted the message of the Sabbath of God. With Thomas the disciple preaching the Gospel in India, Philip In Ethiopia, and others elsewhere, It is not difficult to believe Paul's words about the Gospel going to every creature during his day.

Below are just a few of the hundreds of testimonies for the Sabbath that might be given if space permitted. But note that these are not the records of Jews keeping their Sabbath, but of Christians in every century holding aloft the lamp of true Sabbath-keeping.

In Isaiah 58:13 is brought to view a message of Sabbath reform where people are urged to take their "foot from the Sabbath" and cease to trample it down by dishonouring it. Rev. 14 makes it plain that this is a special last day message before the coming of Jesus. But notice the wonderful words of the preceding verse (Isaiah 58:12) "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."

We, in the last days, are called to "raise up the foundations of many generations." Below, it is clearly shown that the Sabbath truth was one of the great "foundations of many generations." "the breath" mentioned in the verse is the same as the one mentioned in Ezek. 22:26,30 (dishonouring the Sabbath of God). lsa. 58: 13, the next two verses, contain wonderful promises to the people who will heed this last-day message of Sabbath-reform and prepare to meet Jesus.

Sanctification is for Sabbathkeepers

 August 18

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.... The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. Exodus 20:8-10.

God has declared in His Word that the seventh day is a sign between Him and His chosen people—a sign of their loyalty....

The seventh day is God's chosen day. He has not left this matter to be remodeled by priest or ruler. It is of too great importance to be left to human judgment. God saw that men would study their own convenience, and choose a day best suited to their inclinations, a day bearing no divine authority; and He has stated plainly that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.

Every man in God's world is under the laws of His government. God has placed the Sabbath in the bosom of the Decalogue, and has made it the criterion of obedience. Through it we may learn of His power, as displayed in His works and His Word....

Men could not place themselves more decidedly in opposition to God's work and to His law than by upholding a day that is without one evidence of sanctity, and professing to worship Him on that day. Those who have corrupted the law by substituting a false sabbath for the holy Sabbath of God, and who compel the observance of this false sabbath, exalt themselves above God, and honor the spurious above the genuine.

Sanctification is claimed by professed Christians who ignore God's holy rest day for a spurious sabbath. But God declares that the sanctification coming from Him is bestowed on those only who honor Him by obeying His commands. The sanctification claimed by those who continue in transgression is a spurious sanctification. Thus the religious world is deceived by the enemy of God and man....

Men have sought out many inventions. They have taken a common day, upon which God has placed no sanctity, and have clothed it with sacred prerogatives. They have declared it to be a holy day, but this does not give it a vestige of sanctity. They dishonor God by accepting human institutions and presenting to the world as the Christian Sabbath a day which has no “Thus saith the Lord” for its authority.

Maranatha, p.238.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pelosi, Booker push for removal of Capitol’s Confederate statues

The Democrats are rejecting Trump’s call to preserve monuments to the defenders of slavery.

There are 10 statues in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection honoring individuals who served in the Confederate army or government.


08/17/2017 11:30 AM EDT

Updated 08/17/2017 03:37 PM EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged Republicans to join her in supporting the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

The nationwide debate over the removal of monuments to the Confederacy is coming to the U.S. Capitol.

While President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the preservation of "our beautiful statues and monuments" honoring Confederates, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) plans to craft legislation that would remove the Capitol's statues lionizing supporters of the slave-holding era and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for their elimination.

Pelosi on Thursday urged Republicans to join her in supporting removal of the Confederate figures from the Capitol, lending new momentum to Booker's effort. Only a few Democrats had previously called for the statues' removal after white supremacists staged a violent rally in Charlottesville over that city's likeness of Robert E. Lee.

“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible," Pelosi said in a statement. "If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker [Paul] Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately."

Congressional GOP leaders have previously stated that decisions on replacing Capitol statues should rest with individual states, and Ryan's office affirmed that stance earlier this week, POLITICO reported. A Ryan spokesman responded to Pelosi's call by reiterating his previous statement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was less adamant than Pelosi, welcoming Booker's proposal but turning the focus back to Trump's recent comments on white supremacist groups.

“President Trump and Steve Bannon are trying to divert attention away from the president’s refusal to unequivocally and full-throatedly denounce white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and other forms of bigotry," Schumer said in a statement. "While it is critical that we work towards the goal of Senator Cory Booker’s legislation, we must continue to denounce and resist President Trump for his reprehensible actions.”

The push to remove the Capitol's Confederate iconography promises toreopen an emotional debate that presents pitfalls for both parties. Public polls suggest that the removal of monuments to the Civil War's losing side divides Americans, even as Trump's response to the white supremacist gathering won support from just 27 percent of respondents in a survey released Wednesday by the Marist Poll and PBS NewsHour.

In the wake of the Charlottesville rally, which left one woman dead and more than a dozen injured, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee in November's election to replace him, have come out in favor of replacing the state's Confederate monuments.

The issue is more complicated for members of Congress, however, thanks to long-standing guidelines that empower state legislatures to select the statues in the Capitol that honor prominent citizens from their states.

Even so, Congress could eliminate all Confederate statues via legislation and Booker said Wednesday night that he would propose that move. "This is just one step," Booker tweeted. "We have much work to do."

Pelosi, who orchestrated the movement of Lee's likeness from Statuary Hall near the Capitol Rotunda to a less prominent spot on the first floor of the building, took a firm stance on Thursday.

“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country," she said.

There are 10 statues in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection honoring individuals who served in the Confederate army or government. Others depict supporters of slavery or the Confederacy, such as former Secretary of State and Sen. John C. Calhoun and Uriah Milton Rose of Arkansas.

"Individuals who were treasonous to the United States, who took up arms against their own country, and inflicted catastrophic death and suffering among US citizens, should not be afforded such a rare honor in this sacred space," Booker said Thursday. "These statues belong in a museum, where they are put in the proper historical context."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill noted Thursday that Ryan has the power to call up a single piece of legislation removing the statues or move them to "a private space in the Capitol out of public view" through the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, a majority of whose members the Speaker selects.

"For Speaker Ryan to hide behind states’ rights to defend the symbols of the Confederacy is as shameful as it is preposterous," Hammill said by email.

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are also backing removal of the Capitol's Confederate statues. A spokeswoman for the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday the group is not presently proposing any legislative solution because GOP leaders back leaving the decisions to individual states.

Portraits of INQUISITION Popes Appear in the House Chamber, Capitol Hill, Washington

Portraits of INQUISITION Popes Appear in the House Chamber, Capitol Hill, Washington

The House of Representatives Chamber (responsible for passing federal laws) is adorned with relief

portraits of famous lawmakers and lawgivers throughout history. Two of those portraits are of Pope Gregory IX and Pope Innocent III. (see here)

We are talking about the United States of America which was built upon people escaping the cruel, suppressive, persecuting power of the Papal Church of Rome. And these two particular Popes are famous for their roles in pursuing Papal supremacy and for leading the murderous Papal inquisitions.

So why do their portraits now adorn the house at Capitol Hill which passes federal laws? Because Bible prophecy revealed that these two “kingdoms” (America and the Vatican) would become “friends”. Revelation 13 reveals that the earth beast (America) would end up causing the world to “worship” the sea beast (Papacy) and to take it’s mark. So of course these two Popes hugely influence the lawmakers in America now. The “spirit” of the persecuting Roman Papal Church lives in the USA!!


Called to Expose (The) Man of Sin

Called to Expose Man of Sin

In the very time in which we live the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118 (1903).

Evangelism, p.233.

Wireless Warfare Exposed - Declassified Military Doc Proves Smart Phones...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Bergoglio) - What the media has hidden from you

Boston Globe's Spotlight team unveils bombshell report on children of Catholic priests

CBS This Morning


Aug 16, 2017 7:33 AM EDT

The Boston Globe's Spotlight team is unveiling a report on what it calls a worldwide and "systemic problem" within the Catholic Church: priests fathering illegitimate children.

Reporter Michael Rezendes, who was depicted in the 2015 Oscar-winning movie "Spotlight," writes thousands of people across the world – "in Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small" – have "strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests." The children say they're often neglected or shamed into silence.

Here's an excerpt from Rezendes' report:

He carried his doubts and disappointment across miles and decades, from childhood to adulthood, and finally at the age of 48 to the kitchen table of a modest house outside of Buffalo. There, he would ask an elderly aunt and uncle to help him answer the question that had troubled him all his life: Why had his father always seemed to dislike him so much?

With his parents already dead, Jim Graham pleaded with his Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Otto to tell him the truth about his family. Finally, Kathryn unfolded a newsletter published by a Catholic religious order and slid it across the table. She jabbed a finger at a picture of a sad, balding figure wearing a priest's clerical collar.

"Only the principals know for sure," she said, "but this may be your father."

Boston Globe

In 2002, Rezendes and the Spotlight team ran more than 600 reports revealing a scandal within the Catholic Church in which hundreds of priests had sexually abused thousands of children over decades and church leaders had covered it up. The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage.

We reached out to Vatican officials for a statement regarding the new reporting on children of priests, but they declined to comment.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Australia Archbishop Rejects Sex-Abuse Exception to the Secrecy of Confession


Archbishop Denis Hart at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 2013. He said he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession. Credit Joe Castro/European Pressphoto Agency

It’s confidential and considered sacred — a conversation strictly between a confessor and priest, never to be divulged. The secrecy of the confessional, a centuries-old sacrament, is taken so seriously that some priests would die before disclosing what has been shared.

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, who as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference represents all Roman Catholic clergy in the country, said Tuesday that he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession.

“The laws in our country and in many other countries recognize the special nature of confession as part of the freedom of religion, which has to be respected,” Archbishop Hart told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

His comments came a day after religious institutions across the country were forced to defend the secrecy of confession after Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a sweep of legislative and policy changes, one of which would require priests who hear about sexual abuse in the confessional to report it to the authorities. The 85 recommendations were aimed at reforming Australia’s criminal justice system to provide a fairer response to sex-abuse victims, the commission said.

“There should be no excuse, protection nor privilege in relation to religious confessions,” the report said. “We heard evidence that perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness again.”

Archbishop Hart responded on Tuesday, saying: “I think priests are men who are very carefully trained. Priests in my diocese in Melbourne are very conscious of the difficulties of the present situation.”

He continued, “We want to be faithful to God and faithful to our vows, but we do want to be responsible citizens, and we’re totally committed to that.”

Though the recommendation, made as part of the commission’s investigation into the church’s handling of sexual abuse allegations in recent decades, has drawn fierce opposition from the church authorities, it’s not the first time the issue has come up. In 2012, when the federal government announced the Royal Commission, the question of priests’ obligation to report any knowledge of child sex abuse to the police was already being discussed.

“Such an obligation would undoubtedly enhance protection of the rights of children,” Prof. Sarah Joseph, director at the Castan Center for Human Rights Law at Monash University in Melbourne, wrote in 2012. “It would also interfere with the freedom of religion of priests if they are compelled to reveal information conveyed during formal ‘confessions.’”

She continued, “In this clash of rights, which should prevail?”

It is not known what will become of the recommendation in the report on criminal justice, which was released just months before the commission is expected to publish its final report on its yearslong inquiry. But on Tuesday, Professor Joseph said legislative change was not out of the question.

“There’s a lot of sentiment on the side of the Royal Commission and a lot of disgust at a lot of the things that are being uncovered,” she said.

The Royal Commission examined abuse accusations in many of Australia’s religious institutions, including those associated with the Anglican Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Judaism. It concluded that 7 percent of Catholic priests in Australia had been accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010.

The Library of Babel - Film, Literature and the New World Order

HOW MEDIA SHAPED THE GENERATIONS: Narcissus Narcosis & The New Age (2017)

REPORT: White Supremacist Leader in Charlottesville Jason Kessler Was Obama Supporter – Occupy Protester

Joshua Caplan Aug 14th, 2017 10:19 am

White supremacist and ‘Unite the Right’ leader, Jason Kessler, was once reportedly a supporter a former President Obama and the Occupy movement.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (an organization that is certainly no friend to Conservatives), Kessler revealed his political transformation around November 2016, the same month then candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election.

Southern Poverty Law Center reports:

Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.

At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

Kessler himself has placed his “red-pilling” around December of 2013 when a PR executive was publicly excoriated for a tasteless Twitter joke about AIDS in Africa.

Regarding the incident, Kessler stated “… so it was just a little race joke, nothing that big of a deal, she didn’t have that many followers, she probably didn’t think anybody was gonna see it,”

Regardless of Kessler’s past politics, the rightward shift in his views was first put on display in November, 2016 when his tirade against Wes Bellamy began.

On Sunday, a violent leftist mob shut down a press conference by white nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler outside of Charlottesville City Hall.

The mob reportedly chased Spencer and Kessler back to their waiting vehicles.

Doug McKelway reported from Charlottesville.

Monday, August 14, 2017

CHINESE BANK RUN May Lead To Bigger Problems! - It's Just The Beginning

Georgetown Jesuit University - A Den of Demons

Tropical Storm Gert forms in the Atlantic

Drums, Dancing and Noise,

August 14

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

The things you have described ... the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.... A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of Satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.... Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles.

No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God....

Men and women, supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit, held meetings in a state of nudity. They talked about holy flesh. They said they were beyond the power of temptation, and they sang, and shouted, and made all manner of noisy demonstrations.... Satan was moulding the work, and sensuality was the result. The cause of God was dishonored. Truth, sacred truth, was leveled in the dust by human agencies....

I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect.

We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan's devices. The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion 

Maranatha, p.234.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Church of Cannabis has arrived in Denver

Mystery Babylon Grows - 1 More Pastor Down

A Brief History of Fake News

Ecumenism, influence-envy, and the real Manichean division

The honest engagement of differences in service to evangelical vigor is not advanced by the systematic misrepresentation of others’ views, by the puerile bullying of bishops, or by indulging in spasms of influence-envy.

August 9, 2017 George Weigel The Dispatch 

(CNS photo)

Defending the indefensible is never pretty. Or so we’re reminded by recent attempts from the portside of the Catholic commentariat to defend the madcap analysis of America’s alleged “ecumenism of hate” that appeared last month in the Italian Catholic journal, La Civiltà Cattolica (edited by the Jesuits of Rome and published after vetting by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See). The more sober-minded defenders admit that the article, jointly authored by Fr. Anthony Spadaro, SJ, and Pastor Marcelo Figueroa, contains errors of fact and tendentious interpretations of recent history – but then go on to suggest that it raises important questions. How, though, are serious questions raised, much less clarified or answered, by falsifications of both history and contemporary reality?

Other defenders of the Spadaro/Figueroa article, less chastened by the self-evident fact that the article would receive a thumping “F” in a freshman religious studies course at any reputable college, have taken the occasion of the article to scrape their various boils and indulge in the very Manichean division of the ecclesial world into children of light and children of darkness the article condemns. One of these boils involves a project I helped launch and in which I’ve been engaged for over two decades: the study group known as “Evangelicals and Catholics Together.”

A post Spadaro-Figueroa editorial in the National Catholic Reporter charged that ECT, as it’s widely known, is a prominent example of “Catholic complicity in the politicization of faith;” that the participants in the original ECT statement, from which the study group takes its name, were on the “outer conservative edges” of their communities “before the landscape fades to irrational extremes;” and that the original statement “ill-served” Catholics, evangelical Protestants, the cause of the Gospel, and the health of American public life. Moreover, the NCR grimly warns “bishops and those who staff their offices” against conceding to “the visions of ideologues in think-tanks and institutes with an absolutist and narrow agenda.” For in doing so (by, presumably, embracing the ECT agenda) these bishops and staff “have squandered their standing and credibility in the wider culture.”

Oh, dear. Where to begin?

ECT is an ongoing project, which has now produced nine joint statements, with a tenth, an explanation of Christianity to its contemporary cultured despisers, coming soon. Five of the first nine—on justification, Scripture, the communion of saints, the universal call to holiness, and the Blessed Virgin Mary—were entirely theological in character and had nothing to do with political controversies. Those that touched on contested issues – the statements on the sanctity of life, on religious freedom, and on marriage—set the discussion of public policy in an explicitly biblical and theological context (as, indeed, did the initial ECT statement the Reporter editorial deplores).

The five theological statements measure up well against similar documents from other ecumenical dialogues of the past half-century; an honest Catholic liberal, Notre Dame’s Lawrence Cunningham, recommended all the ECT statements for “the pertinence of their concerns and the sophistication of their theological argument.” From the very outset of our joint work, ECT participants have made it clear that we speak from and to our various Churches and ecclesial communities, not for them. We have also scrupulously described our differences, with a concern for expressing the “other’s” views accurately.

But don’t just take my word for it. Get the book that collects the first nine ECT documents and explains both the genesis of the project and of each statement: Evangelicals and Catholics Together at Twenty: Vital Statements on Contested Issues, edited by Timothy George and Thomas G. Guarino (Brazos Press). Read it. Then compare what you read with the NCR editorial.

In his June address to the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, appealed for a Church that listens more, “even to those with whom we disagree,” because the honest engagement of differences helps us all “propose the…Gospel in a more persuasive, life-changing way.” True enough. The honest engagement of differences in service to evangelical vigor is not advanced, however, by the systematic misrepresentation of others’ views, by the puerile bullying of bishops, or by indulging in spasms of influence-envy. Moreover, the Nuncio’s welcome appeal to become a Church of missionary disciples—Pope Francis’s “Church permanently in mission”—will only be answered if we see today’s challenging, but evangelically exciting, situation clearly; and such clarity of vision requires something other than lenses ground in the 1970s.

Resurrection Did Not Consecrate Sunday

Married Celebrity Christians Take Center Stage in 'Black Love' Docu-Series

Sponsored by PureFlix Campaign

By Christine Thomasos , CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR | Aug 5, 2017 2:57 PM

(Photo: Courtesy of Omg! Publicity)
DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good release their first book, "The Wait" on February 2, 2016.

Married Christian couples will be the focus of a new OWN docu-series called "Black Love."

The series will explore five celebrity marriages with the goal of answering the age old question: "What is the secret to making a marriage work?"

The couples who will appear on the OWN series include Oscar winner Viola Davis and Julius Tennon; Hollywood power couple Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin; NAACP Image Award-winner Tia Mowry-Hardrict and actor Cory Hardrict; NAACP Image Award-nominee Flex Alexander and Grammy-nominated recording artist Shanice; gospel singer Erica Campbell and music producer Warryn Campbell; and NAACP Image Award nominee Vanessa Bell Calloway and Dr. Anthony Calloway.

The series which debuts on Aug. 29 was created by Codie and Tommy Oliver, husband-and-wife filmmakers who are known for films like "1982."

"Husband-and-wife filmmakers Codie and Tommy Oliver present real, honest, emotional and sometimes cringeworthy love stories from some of the most successful people in business and entertainment as well as everyday couples," according to OWN's description of the series.

Many of the Christian couples who will be featured on the show have spoken about their God-centered unions in the past. One of those people is Viola Davis who previously revealed that she prayed for her husband.

"I asked for a husband who was emotionally available, someone who was older, someone who maybe had a family before," Davis told Essence magazine during an interview in 2013. "I like older men. Someone from the South. Someone who loves God more than he loves himself."

Franklin and Good previously wrote a book about dating, celebacy, and marriage in their book, The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love. In an interview with The Christian Post the Hollywood power couple spoke about how they want their God-centered relationship to be an example and guide other people in love.

For more information about the OWN docu-series, click here.

It's 1984 at Google

David Limbaugh
Posted: Aug 11, 2017 12:01 AM

Google's firing of software engineer James Damore for daring to express politically incorrect ideas in an internal memo is the latest example of the political left's tyrannical propensity to suppress speech, thought and dissent.

Almost as troubling as the left's policing is its apparent obliviousness toward its own hypocrisy and the danger it poses to the liberal exchange of ideas. While constitutional issues may not be involved in the Google case because no state action is involved, moral shaming has become a chilling cudgel in the hands of leftist-dominated institutions.

In his memo, Damore notes that Google's political bias silences dissenting opinion supposedly to shield employees from offensive ideas and protect their psychological safety. "But shaming into silence," writes Damore, "is the antithesis of psychological safety. This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed."

Damore concedes that all people have biases but that open and honest discussion can highlight these biases and help us grow. He says he wrote the memo to encourage such a discussion about Google's biases, a discussion that is being silenced by "the dominant ideology."

Damore opines that both the political left and right have moral biases. "Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases," he says, "but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies."