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HisDaughter
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« on: November 08, 2008, 12:09:39 PM »

Christianity and Islam worship the same God, Muhammad & Jesus reveal same truths? Liberal scholars misrepresent their faiths
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When 138 senior Muslim scholars and clergy tried to establish the common ground between Islam and Christianity last year, they said the very peace of the world hung on the outcome.

On Tuesday, a high-ranking delegation is beginning a rare visit to Rome in an effort to persuade the Pope to endorse what they say are the shared origins and values of the world's two biggest religions.

Their letter, A Common Word, cited passages from the Koran which the scholars said showed that Christianity and Islam worship the same God, and require their respective followers to show each other particular friendship.

The document examined fundamental doctrine and stressed what it said were key similarities - such as the belief in one God and the requirement for believers to "love their neighbours as themselves".

Significantly the letter acknowledged that the Prophet Muhammad was told only the same truths that had already been revealed to Jewish and Christian prophets, including Jesus himself.

After a year using the Islamic principle of seeking consensus, the letter has developed into a "manifesto" and is backed by almost 300 leaders from Sunni, Shi'ite, Sufi and other Muslim traditions.

'Out of hand'

The initiative was welcomed promptly by several Christian leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

The Vatican has, however, responded more cautiously to the prospect of identifying common beliefs.

There has been renewed urgency among Muslim leaders to forge new bonds with Christians since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

A lecture by Pope Benedict quoting a 14th Century Byzantine emperor's accusation that Muhammad encouraged the use of violence in spreading Islam led to a furious reaction among Muslims and contributed to the sense of a widening gap between the religions.

The high-ranking delegation going to Rome includes the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, an Iranian Ayatollah, a Jordanian prince and British converts to Islam.

The Vatican is cautious about the prospect of identifying common beliefs

They are also aiming to work out practical measures for resolving crises in Muslim-Christian relations, such as the angry controversy that followed the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark in 2006.

Dr Ibrahim Kalin, a Turkish scholar who will be among the Muslims who meet the Pope on Thursday, said the dispute about the cartoons showed how important it was to establish regular dialogue.

He said: "Things got out of hand very quickly. A line of communication is needed where we can issue a statement and mobilise resources as a pre-emptive act."

Some of those behind the Common Word initiative believe it has been too easy for radical or extremist Muslims to use the media to promote a distorted view of Islam. One of their principal aims is to create a body that can speak authoritatively for mainstream Islam.

'Agree to disagree'

Although the Pope can speak for about a billion Roman Catholics, Islam has no central authority able to represent its 1.3 billion faithful.

Apart from practical mechanisms to cope with disagreements, the Pope's Muslim visitors are hoping for a measure of agreement on matters of fundamental belief, and for an exchange of reading-lists - each side providing the names of the books that most accurately describe their values and traditions.

They also want to extend the Christian-Muslim conversation to include that other Abrahamic religion, Judaism.

The Pope is on record as seeking dialogue with Muslims, and is reported to favour a franker, more robust, approach. He is likely to have his own priorities, including a discussion of religious freedom.

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams (left) and Grand Mufti of Egypt Dr Ali Gomaa at a conference on A Common Word
A Common Word is backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury

It is a sensitive issue, not least because some Muslim-majority countries forbid conversion, and oppress their Christian minorities.

Last month a formal meeting of Catholic bishops in Rome said the conversation should stress the need for equal rights for women. Some Islamic states - such as Saudi Arabia - limit women's rights.

Other awkward issues could include the need for democracy.

There is plenty that both sides are clear they cannot agree. Muslims regard Jesus as an important prophet, for example, but they do not believe he was crucified.

Another of the big differences between the religions centres on how God is understood.

Ibrahim Kalin says the Christian belief in Jesus as part of a divine trinity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit conflicts with Muslim doctrine.

"The Trinity is currently not accepted by Muslims as explaining the infinity and oneness of God," said Dr Kalin.
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 08:51:23 PM »


Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Eph 5:6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.



Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Rom 16:19  For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 11:43:39 AM »

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Eph 5:6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.



Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Rom 16:19  For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Excellent passages PR.  Thank you!
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 01:44:32 PM »

Hey guys,

I just read Koenig's World Net Daily from November 14th and thought it was very interesting and that this would be a good place to post it - it's long but interesting, as I've never seen him write like this:


...The United States is experiencing a rapid moral decline...Americans are being impacted by inept leadership in Washington...The Dow Jones Industrial Average collapse directly corresponded to this year's Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur...One of the worst seven-day declines in Wall Street history occurred during this year's Days of Awe...

Inside the White House

by Bill Koenig

The US is experiencing a rapid moral slide and a further acceleration into the final days. The outcome of the recent national election will only accederate this.

We are living in a time as spoken in Isaiah 5:20 (KJV): "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"

Americans being impacted by inept leadership in Washington

Sadly, the leadership in Washington, which helped create the crisis our nation is facing on so many fronts, is not qualified to handle the challenges, so that means the times will get more challenging. Their previous actions have created many "unintended consequences" with many more coming in the future.


The world says the US is responsible for the worldwide financial contagion

The world is blaming the US for the worldwide financial contagion; but President Bush, others in his administration, and those on Capitol Hill deny that the subprime fiasco and Wall Street's financial derivatives and futures trading activities were a main reason for the financial catastrophe.

Apparent biblical connections to the US financial contagion

There have been some very interesting possible connections between the state of the US economy, the Jewish fall feasts this year, and the Torah readings of November 1st, 8th and 15th.

(Thanks to Dr. Elliot Snyder of Dallas for the Wall Street and fall feast connections and Pastor Mark Blitz for the Noah/Cheshvan connection to this Saturdays G-20 Summit in Washington and the Torah readings in the synagogues.)

Note from Barbara: These are the same readings the Jews read every year in their synagogues on these dates.

Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) began at sundown on Monday, Sept. 29, and ended at nightfall on Wednesday Oct. 1, 2008

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. As such, it is a time for Jews to review the mistakes they made in the past year and to resolve to make improvements in the upcoming year.

On Rosh Hashanah, Jews listen to the shofar (trumpet) blown during lengthy prayer services, eat holiday meals, and do no work. After repenting for bad deeds through prayers, they symbolically cast off sins through their synagogue ceremony.

Rosh Hashanah is both a solemn and a happy day. It is a time for introspection, asking for forgiveness, giving forgiveness, resolving to do better, remembering God is King and Judge, and praying for a healthy and happy year to come. Those observing the Jewish New Year are solemn in their repentance but happy in their confidence that God is merciful and good.

The stock market crash of 2008

In 2008, Rosh Hashanah began on the evening of Sept. 29, while Yom Kippur began on the evening of Oct. 9.

On Rosh Hashanah eve in the US (Sept 29), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down a record-setting 777.68 points. Israel was already celebrating Rosh Hashanah at the time of the record Dow close.

Dr. Elliot Snyder wrote:

Seven is the number of God, and 777 could represent "Holy, Holy,Holy." This is God's signature, the manner in which the angels praise the Sovereign God in Isaiah 6:3. This is also reflected in 7-Seal, 7-Trumpet and 7-Bowl Judgments, in the events of things to come as outlined in Revelation 6:19! I believe the Rosh Hashanah shofar was a herlalding, proclamation or announcement of God's weighing our nation in the balance beginning at the start of the 10 Days of Awe. The judge is entering the courtroom.

The eyes of the financial world were fixed upon the 777-point drop, the largest one-day point decline in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, although not the largest percentage drop.

Other peculiarities on the opening bell and gavel of 9/29/08 and 9/30/08 for the NYSE

There was an anomaly at the opening bell when there was no opening bell! At 9:30am ET a mechanical bell should have rung. As the CNBC countdown to the opening reached zero, there was puzzlement at the podium as the bearer of the gavel awaited the opening bell in vain. After about a minute, even without the bell, trading began.

The next morning, the bell worked. CNBC had made a big deal over the bell having never failed to ring before; it had failed on the morning on 9/29. On 9/30 the bell worked at 9:30am: however, with the camera fixed upon the podium, there was no one manning the gavel!

Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) began at sundown on Wenesday, Oct 8, and ended at nightfall on Thrusday, Oct. 9.

Yom Kippur, literally "Day of Atonement," is the holiest day of the Jewish year.

After the Israelites alienated God by worshipping the golden calf, Moses ascended Mount Sinai to ask God for forgiveness. While Moses was on the mountain, the Israelites repented by fasting.. On the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei (Yom Kippur), Moses descended Mount Sinai with the second tablets. Thus, on the first Yom Kippur (approximately 3500 years ago), the Israelites succeeded in atoning for their sins and restoring their covenant with God.

Why is Yom Kippur important?

Yom Kippur is observed eight days after Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish New Year). Jews believe that on Rosh HaShanah, God inscribes all of their names in the "books", and on Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed. Yom Kippur is, essentially, the last chance to demonstrate repentance and change God's judgment. On Yom Kippur, one's fate for the coming year is sealed.

Dow falls 678.910

Dr. Elliot Snyder wrote:


On Yom Kippur eve in the US (Oct. 9), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 678.910 (6,7,8,9,10!) The odds of this precise sequence arising are 1:99,999.

Following the 10 Days of Awe, on the Day of Atonement or Judgment, God sent another numerical message through the fall of the stodk market. Specifically, God has judged the nation in accordance with the Noahic law. This is spelled out in the second table of the Ten Commandments - specifically, 6-10* -- by the Dow falling exactly 678.910. As the sun had already set in Jerusalem, God was telling us that we have been weighed in the balance of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. God has spoken for all with eyes to see and ears to hear!

Our nation is not being judged for idolatry, blasphemy or failure in Sabbath observations, but rather for murder, adultery, stealing, lying and covetousness.

Cont'd...






« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 02:57:18 PM by Barbara » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 02:24:39 PM »

Cont'd...

The Days of Awe refers to the ten days between the first two Fall Feasts of Israel, Rosh Hashanah (or the Feast of Trumpets), and Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.

The sound of the trumpet shofar (trumpet) ushering in rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe is a call to a searching of our souls and thorough examination of our thoughts, deeds and intentions for the past year. This begins a time of God's evaluating the life of each member of the House of Israel, culminating on the 10th day with Yom Kippur, that day of final judgment, and hopefully, atonement.

The just verdict was to be pronounced on the Day of Judgment, yom Kippur!

One of the worst seven-day declines in Wall Street history occured during this year's Days of Awe

Chronology - Sept. 29 - Oct. 10


Sept 29.: US House of Representatives rejects mammoth $700 billion bailout plan. Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 777.68. (Rosh Hashanah began that evening; it had already begun in Israel at the close of Wall Street.)

Sept. 30: Wachovia Bank teeters on collapse, starts negotiating with Citiroup for takeover deal.

Oct 1: US Senate adopts massive bailout plan, adding sweeteners to get House acceptance.

Oct. 3: Wells Fargo Bank and the fourth largest US bank, Wachovia Corp., announce merger.

Oct. 3: The largest government intervention in capital markets in US history clears the US House of Representatives, gecoming law with President Bush's signature. The bailout was for $700 billion.

Oct. 6: Responding to global credit fears, the Dow finished below 10,000 for the first time since October 2004. After a day in which stocks dropped as deeply as 9,600, the market rebounded, finishing the day at 9990.47.

Oct. 9: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 678.910 points, or 7.33 percent, at 8,579.19. It's the first time since May 2003 that the Dow traded below 8,600. The steep sell-off capped the Dow and the S&P's biggest seven-day decline since the October 1987 market crash, and the NASDAQ's worst seven-day decline since December 2000. Over the seven days, the Dow shed almost 21 percent and the S&P 500 nearly 22 percent. The steep declines came on the anniversary of the Dow's all-time closing high above 14,000.

"With no visible sign of restoration of normal credit movement, that is shaking investor confidence that the banking system at this point still has a long way to go before it gets fixed," said Frederic Dickson, senior vice president and market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co., in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Oct. 10: The central barometer of the US economy, the DJIA ended one of its worst weeks in history.

--------

Synagogue Bible reading - Nov. 1. - Times of Noah

Gen. 6:9-11:32; Isaiah 54:1 - 55:5, 1 Pet. 3:18 - 22


 - The Bible makes clear that the world was not flooded because of the caprice of some god, but because it had become corrupt, destructive and entirely idolatrous. Moreover, Noah was not arbitrarily saved, but was considered a righteous man, perfect in his generation: Noah walked with God.

 - The earth was repopulated through Noah's three sons (as the founders of the "seventy nations" of the Gentiles - as described in the detailed genealogy of Genesis chapter 10). The descendants of Noah remained a singlepeople group with a single language  for ten generations.

However, they eventually returned to the evil ways of the "sons of Cain" by initing in an idolatrous religion that led them to build a "tower with its top in the heavens." God confounded their evil religion, however, by "confusing their speech" and thereby dispersed the people into the 70 nations of the earth (the abandoned tower was called Babel and is considered by many to be the origin of "Mystery Babylon").

 - Nov. 2 Israel's secular leadership pressured Israeli settlers to leave unauthorized settlements

 - Nov. 2 Shin Bet chief warned extreme-right settlers might carry out political assassination

 - Nov. 2 Israel's government decided on new measures against the illegal Jewish outposts in the West Bank

 - Nov 2 Ehud Barak: Settlers trying to fracture State's authority

 - Nov 4 Ehud Olmert reiterated that he intended to use every day left in office to continue pushing forward with the diplomatic process, saying that Israel's problems were too pressing to wait.

 - Nov 4 Dozens arrived at Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl Cemetery to take part in the civilian memorial ceremony held for slaim Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak spoke of the growing violence within the far right: "Rabin wouldn't have allowed for a reserve officer to have his arm broken and do nothing about it. This simply cannot happen, and it makes no difference whether it emanates from the Left, the Right or the middle."

Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eilezer warned that a political assassination was still possible in today's political climate: "The writing is once again on the wall, this time in bigger letters. The next political assassination is right around the corner," he said.

 - Nov 4: The US selected Barack Obama to be president, a man who says homosexuality isn't a sin, is not opposed to late-term abortion (even infanticide), has questionable domestic and foreign associations, and says that people can be saved through other faiths while calling himself a Christian

 - Nov. 4: Daunting challenges lie ahead for the US economy as it faces the worst financial crisis in decades, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said Tuesday. "We are navigating the mother of all financial storms," Richard W. Fisher, the Dallas Fed's president and chief executive, said at a meeting of the Texas Cattle Feeders Assoc. in Grapevine.

"Despite the efforts of the Fed, the hope that comes with a new presidency and what will hopefully be responsible and carefully calibrated fiscal initiatives from Congress, I believe we have an epic challenge ahead of us," he said.

All told, the assets on the Fed's books now exceed $1.9 trillion, compared with $890 billion at the geginning of this year, Mr. Fisher said. They could grow even more in the coming months to as much as one-fifth of gross domestic product, or GDP, he said. "I would not be surprised to see them aggregate to $3 trillion -- 20 percent of BDP -- by the time we ring in the New Year," he said.

 - Nov. 5 - 6 Major post-election sell-offs on the Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ. Rice left for Israel.

 - Nov. 6: Harvard University sponsored Islamic Finance 101 at the US truasury Department

 - Nov. 6: Rice arrived in Israel for the 24th trip as secretary of state. On Thursday evening she met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, followed by a dinner at the home of US Ambassador James Cunningham in Herzliya with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni

 - Nov. 7: Rice met leading prime ministerial candidates, Liku head Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. She traveled to Ramallah for a meeting with PA officials an flew to Jordan for a meeting with King Abdullah.

Cont'd...
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 04:21:30 PM »

Cont'd...

Synagogue Bible reading Nov. 8 - God instructs Abraham to go to Canaan

Gen. 12:1-17:27 - Isaiah 40:27 - 41:16; Romans 4:1-25

 - Abram left everything behind in response to the promise of divine inheritance gvn by the LORD. As a result of his obedience, the LORD told Abram that he would become the father of a multitude of people, as numerous as the stars in heaven. The LORD then renamed him Abraham and made a covenant to give him the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. The LORD further commanded Abraham and his descendants to be circumcised as a sign of the covenant

 - Nov. 8: Rice flew back Israel on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning took a trip to Jenin to get a first-hand look at the PA's efforts to assert security control there.

 - Nov. 9: The Quartet met in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, on the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. Rice and the Quartet leaders met with Livni and Palestinian Authority negotiator Ahmed Qurei on where the negotiations currently tand. In attendance were UN Secretary Genl. Ban Ki-Moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Quartet Representative Tony Blair

 - Nov 9: This day was the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht -- the nights of Nov. 9-10, 1938, when gangs of Nazi youth roamed through Jewish neighborhoods breaking windows of Jewish businesses and homes, burning synagogues and looting. In all, 101 synagogues and almost 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed. Some 26,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Jews were physically attacked and beaten, and 91 died (Snyder, Louis L. Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. New York: Paragon House, 1989:201).

 - Nov. 10: This day was the 7th anniversary of President Bush declaring to the UN General Assembly that he favored a Palestinian state -- the first time a US president had made that declaration

 - Nov. 11: The Obama-Biden transition team included both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in its non-discrimination policy for applicants for employment in the incoming Obama administration.

Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, said "President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, by explicitly rejecting the bigotry and intolerance of the past, are committing that gay, lesbian and transgender professionals can serve in government without fear of discrimination." (AFA)

 - Nov. 12: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson laid out details for the next stage of the government's financial-market rescue package announcing that he has shelved the original plan to buy troubled mortgage assets while turning his attention to non-bank financial institutions and consumer finance

 - Nov. 12: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia sponsored UN high-level debate on interfaith dialogue. President Bush gave a message on faith. He said freedom is God's gift to every man, woman and child -- and that freedom includes the right of all people to worship as they see fit

 - Nov. 13: Bush discussed financial markets and world economy. He said, "We're facing this challenge together, and we're going to get through it together. The US is determined to show the way back to economic growth and prosperity."

 - Nov. 13: Bush unexpectedly met Livni, Peres: During a brief, unscheduled and warm encounter on Thursday afternoon in NY, Livni told Bush that he had helped advance Israeli-Palestinian peace hopes and congratulated him for standing up to terrorism and extremism

Synagogue Bible reading Nov. 15 - Abraham and Sarah promised a son. Abraham pleaded for Sodom. god destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

Gen. 18:1-22:24; 2 Kings 4:1-37; 2 Peter 2:4-11


 - While the three men were eating, one of them announced that in exactly one year, He would return to them and Sarah would then birth to a son. Sarah, who had been listening from the tent door, heard this and laughed within herself at the suggestion. To this the LORD (disguised as one of the three guests) replied "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son."

 - The three guests then set out from there for Sodom, and Abraham accompanied them to see them off. Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that he shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?" The LORD then explained that He was going to see if the outcry against the wicked citied of Sodom and Gomorrah was true, and if so, was going to pronounce judgment upon it.

 - Abraham then questioned the LORD: "Will you indeed sweep away the righteious with the wicked?" he asked. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" In a profound sequence of hypothetical questions and answers, Abraham asked the LORD whether He would destroy the entire city if 50 righteous dwelt there. No, answered the LORD, not if there were 50 in the city. Well, how about 45? No again, answered the LORD. Abraham began showing some churzpah. What about 40? 30? 20?...10? The LORD then stated that if even ten righteious men were found there, He would spare the city from His wrath, and then went His way

 - Summary: Abraham and Sarah were promised a son. Abraham begged for Sodom. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Isaac was born. Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. God tested Abraham.

Bank Crisis: Special G20 Summit in Washington

The Top 20 global financial powers will meet in Washington on Saturday, Nov 15.

 - Nov. 15 is Cheshvan 17 (on the Jewish calendar), the 17th day of the second month, the very day when Noah's flood began 4,113 years ago (Genesis 7:11). "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

Connecting the Dots - When even the elect are deceived
by Bill Wilson, Daily Jot News Service Senior Analyst

Over a week after the historical presidential elections, Americans are expressing concern and anxiety over what a Barack Hussein Obama presidency will mean. Some are complaining that Obama will open the doors to unimpeded abortions. Others are concerned about Obama's plan for mandatory civil service camps where young people between the ages of 18 and 25 will be forced into military-style civil service and "reeducation" as to what it means to be an American -- Obama style. Still others are upset with using taxpayers' money for massive federal bailouts and the government taking ownership positions in America's most storied industries. Others are alarmed that anti-American voices like former Clinton Administration secretaries of state - Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright -- will be taking strong advisory roles in the Obama administration.

The media now confirms reports that the Obama campaign met with the terrorist group Hamas before the election but told Hamas not to announce the meeting until after the election. And then there is the question of exactly where did all the money come from the Obama raised and how nobody will ever know because he is not subject to the scrutiny of Federal Election Commission guidelines -- Obama did not receive public financing.

Americans wanted change. And change is what they are foing to get. Change was defined all along in the details of what Obama wanted to accomplish. But the public refused to hear. Now that the Obama chief of staff is defining exactly what mandatory civil  service means; the co-chair of the Obama transition team says that Obama will be ready to "rule" on day one; and every big business in America is going to get billions of taxpayer dollars in return for government-held stock, Americans are alarmed. There were warnings all along. But Americans, even American Christians ignored the warnings.

The National Election Pool exit survey showed Obama won 43 percent of voters who say they attend church weekly, eight points higher than 2004 Democratic nominee John F. Kerry. Obama won 57 percent of occasional worshipers, 11 points more than Kerry. Some 54 percent of the Catholic vote supported Obama -- two points higher than Catholic support for President Bush in 2004.

The LA Times cited as an example Christian leaders like Pastor Rick Warren for helping Obama court Christians with appearances at an AIDS conference, a Warren review of Obama's book, and the presidential forum Warren hosted.

Jesus warned in Matthew 24:24 (NKJV), "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 08:36:00 PM »

Hello Sister Barbara,

That was an interesting article.

I'm hoping that most Christians can easily see that things are increasingly evil and insane. We are long past the point of wondering how many people can no longer hear or see. It certainly doesn't appear to be very difficult to deceive masses of people with just about anything. One of the things I've been wondering about recently is how many self-professing Christians are not Christians at all?

Does your state of Salvation determine what you see, hear, discern, and understand? YES - most obviously! In fact, a person's state of Salvation impacts every portion of this short life. Doesn't GOD'S WORD tell us that many things are Spiritually discerned and not understood by the natural man? YES! By the way, the natural man is the old man who is LOST. As Christians we have the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD LIVING in our hearts as a Guide and Comforter. Does the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD help us when we study GOD'S WORD? YES! In fact, all Christians should pray and ask GOD for help in understanding before beginning a Bible Study. Should we really be surprised when many lost people don't understand many portions of the HOLY BIBLE? NO, we shouldn't be surprised at all.

This brings up a big question for all Christians:  how do we view the world? As an analogy, do we look at the world through natural eyes or SPIRITUAL EYES? Christians will be terribly confused if they look at the world through natural eyes. If we are Christians, we do have SPIRITUAL EYES in various states of development. Our physical eyes look completely normal, but are they? I like to think of these things as SPIRITUAL SENSES, and I think this is a Biblical way for Christians to consider vast differences between us and the lost. The biggest difference regards WHO OUR MASTER IS! We all have a MASTER, either the devil or ALMIGHTY GOD! Christians only have SPIRITUAL SENSES because GOD gave them to us and GOD lives within our hearts. Our SPIRITUAL SENSES become stronger and more acute when we become STRONGER IN JESUS CHRIST! GOD gives us the means and instructions to grow STRONGER, and they always involve HIS WORD and SUBMISSION TO HIM! As we grow in the STRENGTH of CHRIST, everything will change for us, mainly because we are no longer the old, natural, LOST man. We have been BORN AGAIN FROM ABOVE and are now the Children of GOD. Please remember that all GOOD THINGS COME FROM GOD, and this certainly includes our STRENGTH IN CHRIST! The STRENGTH belongs to CHRIST, and HE gives it to us a portion at a time according to our yielding and HIS Will. Everything we do and say relates to our YIELDING to GOD. Bluntly, we either yield or we don't in every specific situation.

In conclusions, Christians should have a BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW! We shouldn't look at anything like the lost do. We must remember and understand this. The only way we can help ourselves is to pray, study GOD'S WORD, and yield to GOD'S Will! In the absence of these things, there is no way for Christians to help themselves. We must know and understand that we are already PURCHASED POSSESSIONS OF JESUS CHRIST along our journey through this short life. GOD helps us if we yield and if it's HIS Will. Finally, GOD didn't Promise Christians that this short life would be easy. In fact, HE Promised the opposite. WHY? If we love GOD, the world will hate us. The world hated JESUS CHRIST even when HE went to the CROSS to pay the penalty for our sins in HIS OWN HOLY BODY! If we are REAL Christians, what should we expect in this short life? Don't we know that this world isn't our HOME? Don't we know that our CITIZENSHIP is in HEAVEN?


Love In Christ,
Tom

Philippians 3:7-21 NASB  But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  8  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,  9  and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,  10  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  11  in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  12  Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  13  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  14  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  15  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;  16  however, let us keep living by that same  standard to which we have attained.  17  Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.  18  For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,  19  whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.  20  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;  21  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 11:04:31 AM »

Emergent church leader:
'Gay' OK biblical lifestyle
Cutting-edge Christianity debates:
Should we accept homosexuality?

One of the key leaders of today's most cutting-edge church movement has opened an Internet discussion on the issue of same-sex marriage with the bold proclamation that he believes "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer" individuals can and should live out their sexuality in – and blessed by – the Christian church.

"I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (as least as much as any of us can!)," writes author and church leader Tony Jones, "and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state."

Jones is an author and former youth pastor who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is also the national coordinator of Emergent Village, a loosely-formed friendship of churches that derive their descriptive name from having "emerged" from postmodernism to take the gospel of Jesus Christ into a post-Christian culture.

The "Emergent Church," as these mostly young, community- and mission-driven congregations are collectively known, is criticized by some for being "theologically liberal," praised by others as the best hope for passing the torch of Christianity to future generations.

Discover how immorality is being cleverly sold to Americans in David Kupelian's controversial best seller, "The Marketing of Evil."

In his "The New Christians" blog, Jones opens up a discussion and debate on the issue of homosexuality with his readers and with a fellow theologian/blogger, a self-described political conservative, Rod Dreher.

Jones quotes a former professor of his, who Jones says was active in the civil rights movement:

"Civil rights and abortion will be nothing compared to how the church has to deal with homosexuality," his professor said. "I'm glad it's your generation and not mine who'll have to figure that out."

(Story continues below)

          

In Jones' blog, he tells his personal story as a straight man trying to understand homosexuality: from his mother's assurance that she will love him "no matter whom he loves," to a high school friend who was likely a closet homosexual and who died of AIDS.

Despite recounting his earlier days of arguing that "biblical prohibitions to homosexual sex should be taken seriously," Jones admits his experiences and feelings led him toward a different conclusion.

"And yet," Jones writes, "all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am."

Jones acknowledges that detractors against the somewhat nebulous and hard-to-define Emergent churches will pick up on his statement and repeat a common refrain of criticism.

"'Aha!' my critics will laugh derisively, 'I knew he and his ilk were on a continuous leftward slide!'" Jones admits.

Some of the comments show he was correct in his prediction.

"So, your statement is that you believe this. ... Why do you believe it? Because it seems right to you?" asks a respondent identified as Michael C.

"I suppose if you re-define Biblical Christianity to mean: whatever I believe is biblical Christianity, and there is no outside authority to judge it – then yes it can be in accord. If however you mean biblical Christianity as judged by the Bible, then no it cannot be in accord," Michael C. writes. "I'm sorry to say but these arguments that I've heard from the Emergent movement seem to rely a whole lot more pleading and a lot less on Biblical exegesis (our rule and faith – especially when you say 'biblical' Christianity)."

Other comments, naturally, supported same-sex marriage.

"Gay people exist," writes Public Defender. "Gay families exist. Society cannot stop gay people from having sex or raising families. Why do you want to discourage monogamy and stable homes for these children?"

Fellow blogger and theologian Rod Dreher, whom Jones invited into a "blogalogue" on the subject, summed up his argument this way:

"Emotionally, I'd just as soon say, 'Let everybody marry, it's nothing to me.' I want my gay friends to be happy," writes Dreher. "But truth is not determined by emotion, as I see it, and certainly I find it epistemologically arrogant to assume that an early 21st-century white American bourgeois male can stand in judgment of Scripture and the Church, and the long, long experience of humankind on marriage."
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 01:11:58 AM »

Brothers and Sisters,

It makes me very sad to hear that so many so-called emerging churches are emerging without the Bible - RATHER WITH HUMANISM.

It is completely true that evil humans can do whatever they want to, and they can call the evil good. HOWEVER, this does not address the Changeless Position of GOD and HIS Sure Judgment. These so-called churches aren't churches at all unless they are churches for the devil! Further, they aren't helping people at all - JUST THE OPPOSITE. They're simply trying to make these folks feel better about their SIN and EVIL in this short life. GOD obviously doesn't want HIS Creation to feel good about SIN AND EVIL, and GOD'S Opinion is the ONLY one that matters. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will be their RIGHTEOUS JUDGE for condemnation into the fires of HELL for ETERNITY. The "feel better" false teachers will have a special place in the fires of HELL. If these false teachers had any sense, they would leave the name of the Holy Bible and GOD out of their teaching of humanism.

The full-strength TRUTH is in GOD'S WORD, and that's where we go for the TRUTH. Forget about what men have to say unless it agrees with the HOLY BIBLE. AND, please don't waste your money in buying a gay bible put out by the devil. The new gay bible is NOT a bible - NOR is it GOD'S WORD. In fact, it teaches the opposite of GOD'S WORD and amounts to putting lies in the Holy Mouth of GOD. GOD'S WORD contains something like the following and MUCH MORE on this issue:


Romans 1:22-28 KJV  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Ephesians 4:18-19 KJV  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Ephesians 5:11-12 KJV  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

1 Timothy 1:9-10 KJV  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Jude 1:6-10 KJV  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  8  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.  9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.  10  But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 11:55:16 AM »

Many beliefs, many paths to heaven? Christians swing to Universalism      

usatoday.com

Most American religious believers, including most Christians, say eternal life is not exclusively for those who accept Christ as their savior, a new survey finds.

Of the 65% of people who held this open view of heaven's gates, 80% named at least one non-Christian group — Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists or people with no religion at all — who may also be saved, according to a new survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

This means 52% of Christians do not agree with the doctrines many religions teach, particularly conservative denominations.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, calls the findings "a theological crisis for American evangelicals. They represent at best a misunderstanding of the Gospel and at worst a repudiation of the Gospel."

This survey on salvation is a follow-up to a highly controversial finding in Pew's Religious Landscape survey, released earlier this year. It detailed the religious demographics, beliefs and behavior of 35,000 U.S. adults surveyed in 2007.

Pastors, theologians and Christian commentators complained that the Landscape Survey question on access to eternal life — which 70% said was open to many faiths — was too vague. "Did people mean only other religions that are similar to their own, like Baptists grudgingly admitting Lutherans might go to heaven?" said Pew research fellow Greg Smith.

So Pew revisited the topic in a new survey of 2,905 adults, conducted July 31-Aug. 10, with more specific questions. Smith says the new findings reinforce the original finding that "Americans really are thinking quite broadly."

Christian believers who named at least one non-Christian faith that could lead to salvation included 34% of white evangelicals, even though evangelical doctrine stresses that salvation is possible only through Jesus.

Higher levels of church attendance made some difference, particularly among white evangelical Protestants. But an overall majority (54%) of people who identified with a religion and who said they attend church weekly also said many religions can lead to eternal life. This majority included 37% of white evangelicals, 75% of mainline Protestants and 85% of non-Hispanic white Catholics.

Pew's new survey also found that many Christians (29%) say they are saved by their good actions; 30% say salvation is through belief in Jesus, God or a higher power alone, which is the core teaching of evangelical Protestantism; and 10% say salvation is found through a combination of behavior and belief, a view closer to Catholic teachings.

The number of those who said actions determine who attains heaven, was lowest (11%) for white evangelicals, highest for white Catholics (47%).

The number of people saying theirs is the only faith that can lead to eternal life increased slightly, from 24% to 29%, between 2007 and 2008. The biggest increase was among white evangelical Protestants — up from 37% to 49%.

Overall, the new findings are "an indictment of evangelicalism and evangelical preaching," said Mohler. "The clear Biblical teaching is that Jesus Christ proclaimed himself to be the only way to salvation."

Mohler sees behind the statistics the impact of pluralism and secularism in U.S. society and the challenge of facing family and friends with "an uncomfortable truth."

"We are in an age when we want to tell everyone they are doing just fine. It's extremely uncomfortable to turn to someone and say, 'You will go to hell unless you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus,' " Mohler says.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 11:56:17 AM »

Anglicans Add Hindu Snowmen, Chinese Dragon to Christmas Displays        
christianpost.com

Some Anglican clergy have added a multicultural twist to Christmas decorations, adding Hindu snowmen, a Chinese dragon and a Jewish temple to the lawn where the traditional scene of a baby Jesus, angels, and the three wise men used to be displayed alone.

“We’ve done this as it creates a good opportunity for Christians to meet and hear about the stories of people of other faiths,” said the Rev. Jane Hedges, a canon of Westminster Abbey, according to U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper.

“Christmas is an opportunity for everyone to stop and think and is a great opportunity of the different faiths to talk to one another,” she said. “Wherever you’re coming from there should be something to celebrate at Christmas.”

The Abbey’s canon pointed out that the story of Christ’s birth is included in the Koran, and noted that the Hindu snowmen is meant to convey that Hindus have something to celebrate during Christmas too.

“Strictly speaking, the message of Christmas is about the birth of Christ, but it has a much broader message of peace and goodwill,” said Hedges.

Westminster Abbey will showcase life-size snowmen with turbans and bindi dots on their foreheads that is meant to express that Christmas is not exclusively for Christians.

The Diocese of Liverpool, part of the Church of England, will stage a nativity that features a Chinese dragon and lantern procession.

But the additions to the Christmas landscape have drawn criticism from those who argue that the multicultural effort is undermining the Christian message.

An evangelical leader in England expressed his disapproval of the nativity scene spin.

“People want Christians to celebrate Christmas without compromise,” said the Rev. Rod Thomas, chair of Reform, according to the Telegraph.

“It’s only by doing this that people of other faiths respect what we stand for, not by attempting to introduce something that is sub-Christian.”

Alison Ruoff, a senior member of the Church of England’s ruling council, commented, “Why are they putting such a ridiculous spin on Christmas? It’s a nonsense and makes me really quite cross."

“Christmas is a time for everyone, but the Church needs to be confident in its message,” Ruoff added, “which is that Christ came to save people of all faiths and none.”

The multicultural Christmas displays come as British society has become more secular as well as multi-religious, particularly with the population of Muslims growing rapidly.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England, expressed concern in May about the “considerable spiritual homelessness” in Britain, where people do not feel faith is an option.

Church attendance in England is expected to fall from 3 million to 700,000 in England, and 550,000 to 140,000 in Scotland by 2050, according to Christian Research.

Meanwhile, the study predicts that the number of practicing Muslims will outnumber worshipping Christians in Britain by 2035. By then there will be an estimated 1.96 million active Muslims in Britain, compared with 1.63 million church-going Christians, according to the think tank.
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2008, 10:54:51 PM »

Quote
Most American religious believers, including most Christians, say eternal life is not exclusively for those who accept Christ as their savior, a new survey finds.

HUH?? Huh

There is only one way to heaven. That is through Jesus Christ, all others are only the work of satan.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 06:19:49 PM »

Brothers and Sisters,

We do live in confusing and increasingly difficult times. We also live during a time of many skillful deceivers. False teachers, false prophets, and false messiahs are rising up everywhere. In my opinion, we are seeing the signs of the approaching End Days of this Age of Grace. Things are going to get worse. Many are going to be deceived, but we still have the most powerful and precious GOOD NEWS!

GOOD NEWS!

1:  Romans 3:10 NASB  as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

2:  Romans 3:23  NASB  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

3:  Romans 5:12  NASB  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

4:  Romans 6:23  NASB  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5:  Romans 1:18  NASB  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

6:  Romans 3:20  NASB  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

7:  Romans 3:27  NASB  Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

8:  Romans 5:8-9  NASB  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

9:  Romans 2:4  NASB  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

10:  Romans 3:22  NASB  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

11:  Romans 3:28  NASB  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

12:  Romans 10:9  NASB  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

13:  Romans 4:21  NASB  and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

14:  Romans 4:24 NASB  but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

15:  Romans 5:1  NASB  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

16:  Romans 10:10  NASB  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

17:  Romans 10:13  NASB  for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."


Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2009, 01:58:18 PM »

Many Reject Episcopal Priest with Buddhist Influences

christianpost.com

Unofficial tallies show that an Episcopal priest who practices Zen Buddhist meditation and holds controversial theological views will not likely be consecrated as bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan.

The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester, who was elected during a special diocesan convention earlier this year, needs the consent of a majority of bishops and standing committees from the denomination's dioceses in order to be consecrated.

Although early numbers show Thew Forrester will not receive the required consents to lead the diocese, Forrester told the Episcopal News Service that he will continue to "respect" the 120-day consent period, which ends in July.

Thew Forrester's election in February fired up blogs as the election process, and later his ties with Buddhism and views on Jesus became the center of debate.

He was the lone candidate presented by the search committee at the special convention to succeed James Kelsey, who died in 2007. Many questioned the process of election, especially considering the one candidate who was put forth before delegates devoutly practices Zen Buddhist meditation.

Thew Forrester also received a Buddhist lay ordination. The bishop-elect said Christianity is his only religion but the Buddhist ordination ceremony deepened and confirmed his practice of meditation.

Many in The Episcopal Church have expressed greater concern over Thew Forrester's revisions to The Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer and his views on core Christian doctrines.

The Mining Journal quoted Thew Forrester as once saying, "God does not demand that Jesus be killed ... (W)hat the cross reveals is that even in the face of Roman and human crucifixion, Jesus would not hold back on his embodiment of God's love and would share it with us to the end, even if it meant his own death. And that expression of divine love is redeeming for us."

He has also said, "Sin has little, if anything, to do with being bad. It has everything to do, as far as I can tell, with being blind to our own goodness."

Some diocesan leaders and retired bishops have come out in defense of the bishop-elect.

Responding to criticisms of Thew Forrester's Buddhist meditation, Rustin Kimsey, retired bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon, said, "[W]hen did the way in which we are deepened into the presence of God become a litmus test for being a follower of Jesus Christ?"

"Kevin could not be clearer: he is a Christian who on occasion practices Zen Buddhist meditation," Kimsey stated, according to the Episcopal News Service. "I would think he would be commended for such exploration into a milieu that is known for peace and healing and harmony."

James Tonkowich, president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, however, argued, "The issue is not whether meditation is good, it is what is being meditated on."

"While church leaders may respect other faiths, their vow of Christian ordination has always meant an exclusive commitment to Jesus Christ and the Christian faith."

Earlier this year, an Episcopal priest who claimed to be both Christian and Muslim was defrocked. Ann Holmes Redding was an ordained minister in The Episcopal Church for over two decades.
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2009, 01:59:14 PM »

Gay bishop rejoices in NH's gay marriage vote

google.com

It was tough enough to get New Hampshire's lawmakers and governor to approve gay marriage, but Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson says there's an even tougher job ahead: getting churches to fully embrace gay marriage and gay people.

"What we have to work against is countless centuries of tradition which has judged homosexual people to be an abomination before God," said Robinson, the Episcopal church's only openly gay bishop.

Robinson sat in the front row of the gallery in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, hands clasped at times, praying for lawmakers to push a little green button that indicates a "yes" vote.

In the end, there were 198 green lights to legalize gay marriage, and 176 red ones.

The gallery erupted and Robinson was caught up in a sea of hugs, which continued as he walked through the Statehouse to a rally outside.

"There are a lot of people standing here who, when we grew up, could not have imagined this," Robinson said. "You can't imagine something that is simply impossible. It's happened, in our lifetimes."

But Robinson, who was elected bishop six years ago this month, said more must happen to change attitudes in churches.

"The law says that every church gets to choose what it will do," he said, meaning they can refuse to perform gay marriages. Robinson approves, saying the law protects religious freedom.

"But now we need to be working in our religious institutions to come to this new place about what is God's will about this," Robinson said. "I think a close look at that will reveal God loves all of God's children, not just certain ones, and that's the harder work."

The law spells out that churches, their employees and religious groups cannot be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services.

They were key elements pushed by Gov. John Lynch to win his approval.

But gay marriage opponents said the constitution already provides those protections to religious institutions. They argued the protections should be expanded to cover commercial vendors, such as photographers and caterers. That drew fire from gay marriage supporters who said the state's anti-discrimination laws would be unraveled by allowing people to discriminate at will.

The law goes into effect in January.

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