Friday, December 4, 2015

DAWN OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS: Obama, Paradigm Shift, Symbolism, And Precursors To The End Of Christian Dominionism, The White Supremacy Paradigm And The Piscean Age Of Belief - Pope Francis Declares That Christian Fundamentalism Is A Sickness; Euro-Parliament President Says Christians Are No Longer Safe In Europe; Influence Of Churches, Once Dominant, Now Waning In The U.S. South!

Reuters

December 4, 2015 - THE NEW AGE - Is a belief in the strict, literal interpretation of the Bible “a sickness”?  Pope Francis appears to think so.  Just a few days ago, multiple reporters heard Francis describe fundamentalism as “a sickness that is in all religions” – including Christianity. 

Pope Francis Declares That Christian Fundamentalism ‘Is A Sickness’

But precisely what is fundamentalism?  If you go to Google, it is defined as “a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.”  So does Pope Francis really intend to “combat” those that believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible?

I know that this may sound really bizarre to many of you.  But apparently the Pope really said these things.  The following is an excerpt from an article that has been posted on Life Site News
Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions,” Francis said, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, Joshua McElwee, and similarly by other journalists on the plane.  “We Catholics have some — and not some, many — who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.”

“They do evil,” said the pope. “I say this because it is my church.”

We have to combat it,” he said. “Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money.”
But the Pope didn’t stop there.

He went on to blame Christians for starting many wars
“Like everything, there are religious people with values and those without,” he said. “But how many wars … have Christians made? The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?”


Pope Francis

During his papacy, Francis has made it a point to reach out to leaders from all sorts of different religions.

But apparently his “tolerance” does not extend to those that believe that the Bible is actually true.  And this is not the first time that he has said something like this.  Last year, he publicly stated that there is not any room for “fundamentalism” in Christianity…
Following his first visit to the Middle East as pope last month, the pontiff criticized fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism as a form of violence.

“A fundamentalist group, even if it kills no one, even it strikes no one, is violent. The mental structure of fundamentalism is violence in the name of God.”
Sadly, these comments have not gotten the international attention that they deserve.

If the Pope really does not believe that the Bible is literally true, that would explain a lot.  For example, the Bible tells us that we are to reject other gods, but earlier in his papacy Francis authorized “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran” at the Vatican for the first time ever…
For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.
Pope Francis also apparently believes that Christians and Muslims worship the exact same God. - TMIN.


Euro-Parliament Prez: Christians ‘Not Safe In Our Continent’

In a high-level meeting on religious persecution in Brussels, the President of the European Parliament (EP) said that Europe cannot afford to continue ignoring the fate of Christians, who are “clearly the most persecuted group” in the world.

In Wednesday’s meeting, EP President Martin Schulz said that the persecution of Christians is “undervalued” and does not receive enough attention, which has also meant that it “hasn’t been properly addressed.”

Schulz’s concerns were echoed by EP Vice President Antonio Tajani, who warned that Europe sometimes “falls into the temptation of thinking we can ignore this task,” referring to the protection Christians throughout the world who suffer persecution.

Speakers cited the work of Open Doors, a human rights organization that monitors the persecution of Christians, noting that 150 million Christians worldwide suffer torture, rape and arbitrary imprisonment. Christians in Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea and Nigeria are among those hardest hit.

The Open Doors report for 2015 found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

For Islamists, Tajani said, Christians are the new “crusaders” of Europe, and because of Islamic persecution in the Middle East more than 70 percent of Christians have fled Iraq since 2003, with another 700 thousand Christians who have been forced to leave their home in Syria since the outbreak of civil war.

“Each month 200 churches and places of worship in the world are attacked and destroyed. Every day and in every region of the world, there are new cases of persecution against Christians,” said Tajani.

“No religious community is as subject to hatred, violence and systematic aggression as the Christians,” he said.

Tajani suggested that where radicalized religion is the problem, religion can also be the solution. “In the name of religion, we have an obligation to condemn all those who show contempt for life and kill in the name of God,” he said. “Whoever shoots in the name of God, shoot against God.”

Another speaker, auxiliary bishop Jean Kockerols of Brussels, said that the idea that Christians are intruders in certain Muslim-dominated countries must be debunked, since the Christian presence in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent “dates back to centuries before the spread of the Koran.”

“The West must break the silence on the persecution of Christians in the world,” said Tajani, and Europe must promote “a model of society in opposition to religious radicalism and brutal and criminal projects, such as creating an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria and then extending its tentacles into to Libya.”

“It should shake us up,” said Schulz, “that on our continent, Christians are not safe.” - Breitbart.


Influence Of Churches, Once Dominant, Now Waning In South


This photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, shows owner Dee Walker talking to a customer at The Fermenter’s Market at The Rex, a craft beer and wine shop now open on
Sunday after voters in Sylacauga, Ala., decided to legalize alcohol sales on Sunday. The change is part of a broad pattern across the South as churches lose
their grip on a region where they could long set community standards. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Prayers said and the closing hymn sung, tea-drinking churchgoers fill Marble City Grill for Sunday lunch. But hard on their heels comes the afternoon crowd: craft beer-drinking, NFL-watching football fans.

Such a scene would have been impossible just months ago because Sunday alcohol sales were long illegal in Sylacauga, hometown of both the actor who played TV's Gomer Pyle and the white marble used to construct the U.S. Supreme Court building. While the central Alabama city of 12,700 has only one hospital, four public schools and 21 red lights, the chamber of commerce directory lists 78 churches.

Yet few were surprised when residents voted overwhelmingly in September to legalize Sunday alcohol sales. Churches lacked either the heart or influence to stop it.

That shift is part of a broad pattern across the South: Churches are losing their grip on a region where they could long set community standards with a pulpit-pounding sermon or, more subtly, a sideward glance toward someone walking into a liquor store.

In metro Atlanta, youth sports teams regularly practice and play games on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights - times that were strictly off-limits a generation ago because they conflicted with church worship services. In Mississippi, dozens of businesses display anti-discrimination stickers distributed by a gay rights group rather than worry about a church-based backlash.

"It doesn't matter who wants to buy a house," said real estate agent Diana Britt, who drives around Jackson, Mississippi, in a work vehicle decorated with one of the stickers. "If they want to buy a house, I'll sell them a house."

Church-based crusaders against gambling also are on a losing streak as all but two Southern states, Alabama and Mississippi, have lotteries. And, perhaps most tellingly, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center showed 19 percent of Southerners don't identify with any organized religion. That's fewer "nones" than in other regions, but the number is up 6 percentage points in the South since 2007.

The South is still the Bible Belt, and that same Pew survey found that church affiliation remains stronger in the states of the old Confederacy than anywhere else in the United States. Seventy-six percent of Southerners call themselves Christians, and political advertisements often show candidates in or near church. Religious conservatives remain a powerful force in many Southern statehouses.

Still, the same South that often holds itself apart from the rest of the country is becoming more like other U.S. regions when it comes to organized religion, said Jessica Martinez, a senior researcher in religion and public life at Pew.

And while race divides many things in the South, the trend is evident among blacks, whites and Hispanic adults, she said.

"We've seen this sort of broader shift throughout the country as a whole with fewer people identifying as being part of the religious base," she said. "In the South you see a pattern very similar to what we are seeing in other regions."

Thomas Fuller, a religion professor at Baptist-affiliated Samford University near Birmingham, said there's no single reason churches are losing the cultural wallop they once packed. Migration into the region and the Internet are but two factors chipping away at a society that seemed much more isolated just a generation ago, he said.

"The South is not nearly as homogeneous, is far more diverse culturally now than it's ever been," said Fuller. "In a way you're a little hard-pressed now to talk about Southern culture in a singular fashion. It's not nearly as one-dimensional anymore or easy to describe."

In Sylacauga, 45 miles southeast of Birmingham, Mayor Doug Murphree said the push for Sunday alcohol sales was linked to attracting new businesses.

"We're not really trying to promote drinking in Sylacauga. But if you look at a big chain restaurant like Ruby Tuesday or O'Charley's, they're open on Sunday and a big part of their business is alcohol," said the mayor.

Murphree, who attends a Baptist church, said he met with members of the local ministerial association before the citywide vote to explain the city's economic situation and the need for Sunday alcohol sales. Pastors listened, and by and large they didn't preach against it.

"They said they were not going to try to block us," he said.

So now, Marble City Grill can sell alcohol after 1 p.m. on Sunday just two blocks up North Broadway Avenue from the white-columned First Baptist Church of Sylacauga.

"Things have changed," said Julie Smith, who owns the restaurant with her husband. "We've been open 10 years and at first we had people who wouldn't come because we sold alcohol. They come now."

Around corner from the restaurant, Dee Walker said he's attracting a larger crowd every Sunday afternoon at his craft beer and wine shop, The Fermenter's Market at The Rex, named for the old hotel in which it is located.

Walker grew up in neighboring Clay County, the last dry county in Alabama, and recalls the petition drives and fire-and-brimstone sermons anytime someone mentioned legalizing alcohol sales. Southern churches no longer have that kind of influence in many places, Walker said.

"You've got some diminishing populations when it comes to the religious opposition," said Walker, standing behind a bar with 36 taps for craft beer. Walker said his customers include church deacons and elders; a Baptist layman quoted Scripture while drinking a hoppy brown ale on a recent weekday afternoon.

Joe Godfrey, a Southern Baptist minister and head of a group that calls itself "Alabama's Moral Compass," recalls a time when churches were the center of Southern society.

"I can remember when schools looking to schedule an event would call the local churches to see if they had anything ... that might conflict with the school's tentative plans. If so, the school would find a different date to hold their event. That is no longer true," said Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program.

"Today, churches try to find a time to schedule their events when ball teams, schools and civic clubs are not already planning something else," said Godfrey. "Instead of being the 'hub' of the community, churches today are simply one 'spoke' in the wheel of people's lives."

Fuller, the religion professor, said the loss of influence isn't all bad for Southern churches. The idea of churches controlling Southern society is giving way to individuals searching for a deeper faith, he said.

"The fact that you didn't drink, cuss or chew or go with girls who do, didn't dance, didn't do this or that, was far more a litmus test of one's faith and devotion to Christ in a previous day and in many instances in a way that, I think, produced a superficial sort of religion in many respects," he said. "I think there has been some growth and development in outlook." - AP.


 

4 comments:

Mark Lloyd said...

This just proves that America has kicked God out in exchange for booze and sports. You'll find more people at sporting games and less people at church because they don't want to be grown-ups they want to remain non-responsible little boys and girls, meanwhile as they watch these little kids games the whole of society falls down around them and the next thing they know they are in FEMA camps and can't figure out why?? People can't seem to understand that the money they spend on games makes the players rich and keeps themselves poor and distracted to what goes on in the real world. The game of life is the real game and you should be choosing your side as we're in the finals now and time is running off the clock...the false prophet POPE plays for the devil and you are still not aware of the rules of the game. You lose. Quit sending your money to these sports venues and spending your time and effort on kiddie games and get in the real game before it's too late!!

Anonymous said...

Well said. I agree with you wholly.
Pope Francis, you are leading your flock astray.
Our Lord and GOD will deal with you. Harshly.

Mark Leininger said...

It was George, baby Bush who first put the Koran in the White House Library.

Whole armor said...

Time for Catholics to really read the Bible and understand what Jesus said in the gospels. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through Jesus- see John 14.
This pope is the False Prophet spoken of in Revelation. It is getting clearer every day he opens his mouth. Read some of Thomas Horn's books for more information about the "mother" church.