Sunday, March 31, 2019

This Colorado sheriff is willing to go to jail rather than enforce a proposed gun law

By Scott McLean and Sara Weisfeldt, CNN

Updated 2:11 AM ET, Sun March 31, 2019

Denver (CNN) -- Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams disagrees so much with a gun bill making its way through the Colorado legislature that he's willing to go to jail rather than enforce it.

"It's a matter of doing what's right," he said.

He's not the only one who feels so strongly.

The controversial "red flag" bill aims to seize guns temporarily from people who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams 

Colorado's state Senate passed the bill Thursday by a single vote, without any Republican support, and the bill is expected to pass the House, possibly this week. With Democratic majorities in both chambers, state Republicans have too few votes to stand in the way.

But more than half of Colorado's 64 counties officially oppose the bill. Many have even declared themselves Second Amendment "sanctuary" counties in protest.

Failure to enforce a court order to seize a person's guns could mean sheriffs being found in contempt. 

A judge could fine them indefinitely, or even send them to jail to force them to comply.

Reams says it's a sacrifice he'd be forced to make.

What is the bill?
Colorado's "extreme risk protection order" bill would allow a family member, a roommate, or law enforcement to petition a judge to take someone's firearms if they are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. 

The push for legislation followed the death of Zack Parrish, the 29-year-old Douglas County sheriff's deputy killed in 2017 by a man with an arsenal of weapons who authorities said had a history of bizarre behavior, including threats to police.

Matthew 24 / Pastor Bill Hughes 03*01*2019

Rubicon, Pastor Bill Hughes, Feb 2, 2019

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Continuing Coups, Kremlin Kontrol & Copyright Crackdown - #NewWorldNextWeek

The Vatican's sweeping new legislation on preventing sexual abuse - ENN ...

Let Him Prey: High-Ranking Jesuits Helped Keep Pedophile Priest Hidden By Peter Jamison

SF Weekly

Wed May 25th, 2011 4:00am


Jesuit priest and former USF professor Donald McGuire with one of his alleged victims in Walnut Creek in 1982.

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

The conservative Catholic family lived on a quiet cul-de-sac in Walnut Creek and took pains to observe the traditions of a church racked by social change. Their lives appeared driven by the famous motivational phrase of Saint Ignatius, “Ad majorem Dei gloriam” — for the greater glory of God. It was the same motto that ostensibly guided the Jesuit priest, Donald McGuire, to whom they turned for spiritual guidance.

Then, in 1993, they learned that McGuire had done unthinkable things with their 16-year-old son, Charles, who traveled with him as his personal assistant. The boy and the priest had allegedly looked at pornographic magazines, masturbated, and taken showers together. The family took this devastating news to an esteemed San Francisco priest, Joseph Fessio, who, like McGuire, had once been a teacher at the University of San Francisco.

Fessio runs the Ignatius Press, a Catholic publishing house based in the Sunset District that is the primary English-language publisher of the pope's writings. He and McGuire shared a reputation for doctrinal orthodoxy. McGuire, for his part, was a cleric of worldwide renown, functioning as adviser and confessor to Mother Teresa. While family members considered reporting the abuse to secular authorities, Fessio urged them to stay quiet until he could confer with Jesuit higher-ups.

Confronted with the allegations, McGuire, a famously manipulative man known both for his charm and periodic rages, denied Charles's accusations or made excuses. His Jesuit bosses in Chicago, where McGuire was technically based, ordered him to undergo a residential treatment program at a psychiatric hospital for priests. In about seven months, McGuire was released and returned to active ministry. He continued to prey on other children for the next nine years.

McGuire, who was officially defrocked by the church in 2008, is serving a federal prison sentence stemming from his acts of child molestation. In 2009, SF Weekly published a story revealing his extensive ties to families and institutions in the Bay Area. But not until last month did newly released court documents in a lawsuit against the Jesuits reveal the full extent to which his colleagues and bosses were aware of his highly questionable relationships with teenage boys.

Despite this knowledge, fellow priests did not report McGuire's behavior outside the Church. In California, that silence may, at times, have amounted to a violation of state law, which requires professionals who work with children to immediately report suspected child abuse to police or child welfare workers.

“It boggles the mind how you could have something so well documented and nobody could act on it,” says Mark, a second Walnut Creek man who asserts he was molested by McGuire and is part of the lawsuit filed in Illinois against the Jesuits' Chicago Province. He joins three others — Charles, George, and Dominick — in the ranks of alleged victims who were abused by McGuire in the Bay Area or reported their abuse to local clergy. Only Mark and Dominick have taken legal action against the church. (SF Weekly is identifying three of the men by pseudonyms because they are victims of childhood sexual abuse whose names have never been made public. The fourth victim has already been identified in federal court proceedings by his real first name, Dominick, though his last name has not been disclosed.)

Pope Francis Is Setting Up The Revelation 13 One World Religion (2019)

Pope to Moroccan authorities: Fanaticism and fundamentalism must be coun...

Pope Francis and Moroccan King sign joint appeal for Jerusalem |


During the first day of the pope's visit to Morocco, the Moroccan king and Pope Francis signed an unexpected but important statement on the special status of Jerusalem.

Both leaders urge respect for “its spiritual significance and its special vocation as a city of peace.”

They ask that the holy city of Jerusalem preserved the “common patrimony of humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions.”

The two assert the city is “as a place of encounter and as a symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue can be cultivated.” Thus, they say it is essential to protect and promote “the spiritual dimension and the particular cultural identity of Jerusalem.”

Finally, the document included the desire for “full freedom of access to the followers of the three monotheistic religions and their right to worship will be guaranteed,” so Jerusalem is home to “a future of peace and fraternity on the earth.”

Joint signing of appeal for Jerusalem by Pope Francis and King Mohammed ...

Friday, March 29, 2019

'Eating' (Documentary)

Religions Use Robots to Connect With the Public

Roboticist Gabriele Trovato designed SanTO, a robot shaped like a figurine of a Catholic saint, to provide comfort and assistance to the elderly.

Deus Ex Machina: Religions Use Robots to Connect With the Public

The 15th century had the printing press. Today, a handful of religious institutions are developing interactive machines to share doctrine and converse with the faithful

Rebecca Heilweil

March 28, 2019 10:20 a.m. ET

Gabriele Trovato is worried about tomorrow. Or at least that’s what he confesses to SanTO, one of his religion-inspired robots. Just shy of 17 inches tall, SanTO resembles those small figurines of saints often found in Catholic homes—except with a computer, microphone, sensors and a facial recognition-enabled camera. As Mr. Trovato touches and speaks to the machine, its deep, echoing voice responds with a Bible quote: “From the Gospel according to Matthew,” it says, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Mr. Trovato, a roboticist and assistant professor at Japan’s Waseda University, designed SanTO to provide comfort and assistance to the elderly. Interactive, social robots like ElliQ, a robot companion for seniors, or Sony’s Aibo robot dog are increasingly seen as a means to alleviate loneliness, entertain and provide information. But they can do better at making users comfortable with the technology, Mr. Trovato said, by incorporating cultural touchstones including religious features. At the same time, a handful of religious institutions are developing robots to converse with visitors and share doctrine. These robots are not meant to replace religious leaders, but they can make religious information more accessible or spur attendance to places of worship. “Religion has evolved through history, from oral tradition to written tradition to press and mass media. So it’s very reasonable to think that AI and robotics will help religion to spread out more,” Mr. Trovato said.

Willow Creek’s crash shows why denominations still matter

March 25, 2019
7 Min Read

By: Tish Harrison Warren


The main campus of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill. The megachurch has been in turmoil since sexual misconduct allegations came to light against its founder, Bill Hybels. Photo courtesy of Global Leadership Summit

(RNS) — It’s become common among some Protestants — and especially evangelicals — to call themselves “Jesus followers.”

Not Christians. Not Baptists or Pentecostals. Not members of the Presbyterian Church in America or the Anglican Communion. Not Wesleyans or Methodists or Lutherans.

Just people following Jesus.

I appreciate the spirit behind the moniker.

Christians want our first loyalty to be to Jesus, not a particular institution or tradition. But I am wary of referring to myself (or anyone else) as simply a “Jesus follower” because no one follows Jesus in some pure, individual way, free of institutional ties or a larger and longer tradition.

I understand the desire to wash our hands of denominations. Linking ourselves to older institutions implicates us in past and present evil, and the damage caused by bickering and splintering within denominations can scarcely be overstated. The 20th-century evangelical rallying cry of “doctrine divides” is, in some sense, self-evidently true.

RELATED: As Willow Creek reels, churches must reckon with how power corrupts

In reaction to the pitfalls of denominations, the mid-20th century birthed the baby boomer phenomenon of the “nondenominational megachurch.” American evangelicalism saw a rising tide of churches that were explicitly or implicitly anti-doctrinal and nontraditional, focused on relevance, extraversion, positivity, attractional style and seeker-sensitivity. Often these churches are helmed by a charismatic male head-pastor.

Eating small amounts of red and processed meats may increase risk of early death

March 27, 2019

Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center

A new study suggests that eating red and processed meats -- even in small amounts -- may increase the risk of death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease.


A new study out of Loma Linda University Health suggests that eating red and processed meats -- even in small amounts -- may increase the risk of death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease.

Saeed Mastour Alshahrani, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, said the research fills an important gap left by previous studies that looked at relatively higher levels of red meat intake and compared them with low intakes.

"A question about the effect of lower levels of intakes compared to no-meat eating remained unanswered," Alshahrani said. "We wanted to take a closer look at the association of low intakes of red and processed meat with all-cause, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer mortality compared to those who didn't eat meat at all."

This study, "Red and Processed Meat and Mortality in a Low Meat Intake Population" is part of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), a prospective cohort study of approximately 96,000 Seventh-day Adventist men and women in the United States and Canada. The principal investigator of AHS-2 is Gary E. Fraser, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Loma Linda University Health.

Adventists are a unique population -- approximately 50 percent are vegetarians, and those who consume meat do so at low levels. This allowed researchers to investigate the effect of low levels of red and processed meat intake compared to zero-intake in a large setting such as the Adventist Health Study.

Malta’s armed forces storm merchant ship taken over by rescued migrants

By Chico Harlan

March 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

Maltese armed forces stand aboard the Turkish oil tanker El Hiblu 1, which was taken over by migrants Thursday. (Rene Rossignaud/AP)

ROME —Maltese armed forces on Thursday stormed a merchant vessel taken over by rescued migrants who were allegedly demanding to be transported to Europe, rather than back to Libya.

In what Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, described as a “sensitive operation on the high seas,” the Maltese special operations team restored control of the tanker and escorted it to port. The migrants on the El Hiblu 1 vessel would be “handed over to police for further investigations,” Malta’s government said in a statement.

Before the operation began, the captain “repeatedly stated that he was not in control of the vessel and that he and his crew were being forced and threatened by a number of migrants to proceed to Malta,” the government statement said.

The situation was a particularly volatile example of tensions in the Mediterranean, where European countries have tightened the door to migrants and curtailed rescue operations on the high seas. Nonetheless, hundreds of migrants every month attempt the journey.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Earth Catastrophe Cycle | IMPACTS

The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict

How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.


MAY 19, 2017

Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty

Two months before he was fired, FBI director James Comey inadvertently revealed something about his theological leanings that may have pointed to his inevitable fallout with President Donald Trump.

In March, Gizmodo reporter Ashley Feinberg followed a string of clues to the Instagram and Twitter accounts of a user named after Reinhold Niebuhr, who she believed to be Comey. Many of the user’s tweets had to do with the FBI, including one linking to a report about a meeting between Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, and a Russian emissary. But what tipped off this particular account was its user name.
Looking to go deeper?

Five Things You Should Know about Reinhold Niebuhr.

While a student at the College of William and Mary, Comey wrote his undergraduate thesis on Niebuhr. The Protestant theologian seems to have left an impression, judging from Comey’s references to him in public speeches and from this apparent pseudonym. Within a few days of Feinberg’s article, the owner shut the accounts down, though not before sending one last tweet that seemed to confirm the identification: a link to—perhaps a job offer to Feinberg—and a quote from the movie Anchorman: “Actually I’m not even mad. That’s Amazing.”

Pennsylvania House Opening Prayer criticized March 25, 2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

We’ve All Just Made Fools of Ourselves — Again

The awful corruption of scandal politics.

By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist
March 25, 2019

Representative Adam Schiff speaking in 2017 about the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into possible ties between the Trump administration and Russia.
Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

“You have a president who, in my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections.” — Beto O’Rourke, presidential candidate
“I think there’s plenty of evidence of collusion and conspiracy in plain sight.” — Adam Schiff, chairman of House Intelligence Committee
“I called [Trump’s] behavior treasonous, which is to betray one’s trust and aid and abet the enemy, and I stand very much by that claim.” — John Brennan, former C.I.A. director
“The biggest scandal in U.S. history is coming into focus. On Friday Rachel Maddow made it clear. Donald Trump conspired with the enemy.” — Rob Reiner, film director

Maybe it’s time to declare a national sabbath. Maybe it’s time to step back from the scandalmongering and assess who we are right now.
Democrats might approach this moment with an attitude of humility and honest self-examination. It’s clear that many Democrats made grievous accusations against the president that are not supported by the evidence. It’s clear that people like Beto O’Rourke and John Brennan owe Donald Trump a public apology. If you call someone a traitor and it turns out you lacked the evidence for that charge, then the only decent thing to do is apologize.

Marvel's First Female Superhero, SJWs Want Captain Marvel To Be Gay

It's Not Enough She's Marvel's First Leading Female Superhero, Now SJWs Want Captain Marvel To Be Gay

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

March 25, 2019

Captain Marvel may be the Marvel Cinematic Universe's biggest female star, but simply commanding her own movie and having no faults or weaknesses to speak of isn't enough for the social justice warriors; Captain Marvel must also openly embrace the LGBT lifestyle.

Comic book and nerd culture site,, has published an extensive dive into the subject on its website, suggesting that "revealing Captain Marvel as gay would be a winning move for Disney, and an important step forward for the MCU."

The piece argues that the MCU should embrace "progressive storytelling" more fully after "Avengers: Endgame," the conclusion to the "Infinity War" saga, and the end of the first generation of Marvel superhero films — and by "progressive storytelling," it's apparent they mean targeting specific quotas rather than genuine inclusiveness. Since Marvel already has successful minority superhero franchises ("Black Panther") and a moderately successful female-led franchise ("Captain Marvel"), it's simply time to check the next box.

"The Brie Larson-helmed film has opened the door for the studio to make an even bigger statement by presenting the new face of the MCU as a straight-up LGBT character," CBR opines. "Why can't the strongest Avenger out there, the one who's leading the new era of Marvel movies, be gay?"

Monday, March 25, 2019

U.S. calls Russia deployment of planes to Venezuela 'reckless escalation'

By Lesley Wroughton and Brian Ellsworth,

•March 25, 2019

FILE PHOTO: An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas

FILE PHOTO: An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

By Lesley Wroughton and Brian Ellsworth

WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Monday accused Russia of "reckless escalation" of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions.

The Russian planes and military personnel arrived outside the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Saturday, according to local media reports, two months after the Trump administration disavowed President Nicolas Maduro.

Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president and demands that Maduro leave power, which Russia has described as a U.S.-backed coup against the socialist government.

"The United States condemns Russia's deployment of military aircraft and personnel to Caracas, which is another contradiction of both Nicolas Maduro's and Russia's calls for non-intervention in Venezuela and is a reckless escalation of the situation," a State Department spokesman said.

The vice president of Venezuela's Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello, confirmed two planes had flown to the country from Russia, but he did not give a reason or say they carried troops.

"The planes from Russia landed in Venezuela because they were authorized by the only government that there is in Venezuela, and it's called the government of Nicolas Maduro," Cabello said in a speech broadcast on state television.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a phone call on Monday that Washington would "not stand idly by" as Russia backed Maduro, who has overseen a dramatic collapse of a once-bustling economy.

However, Pompeo did not say what the United States would do in response to Russian troops.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in 2017 that the "military option" was on the table when it comes to Venezuela, but administration officials have since downplayed talk of armed intervention.

A spokesman for the U.S. military's Southern Command, which oversees U.S. forces in Latin America, said Russia's deployment of troops "directly undercuts the democratic aspirations of the Venezuelan people."

"(Maduro's) former regime, aided and abetted by countries like Russia and Cuba, continues to repress democratic actors in Venezuela," said the spokesman, Armando Hernandez.

The Organization of American States, a Washington-based diplomatic group for hemispheric affairs, in a statement called the presence of Russian military equipment and personnel "a harmful act to Venezuelan sovereignty."

Bloomberg News, citing an unnamed Venezuelan information ministry official, reported that the officials had come to perform maintenance on Russian military equipment that Venezuela had purchased through bilateral accords.

The information ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the presence of the planes or the Bloomberg report.

"Such cynicism on the part of a country like the United States," wrote Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Twitter. "(With) a growing military budget of more than $700 billion, it seeks to interfere with the technical military cooperation programs between Russia and Venezuela."

Russia has warned the United States and neighbors against a military intervention in Venezuela.

The Trump administration has imposed crippling sanctions on Venezuela's crucial oil industry. On Friday it sanctioned its development bank, Bandes, in efforts to choke off financial flows to Maduro's government and called on Venezuelan military leaders to abandon him.

Maduro has denounced the sanctions as U.S. intervention and maintains diplomatic backing from Russia, China and Cuba.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington and Brian Ellsworth in Caracas; Additional reporting by Luc Cohen and Angus Berwick in Caracas, and Phil Stewart in Washington; Editing by Susan Thomas, Tom Brown and Lisa Shumaker)


Pope: Water Shortage One of the ‘Inevitable Consequences of Climate Change’



25 Mar 2019269

Pope Francis tied a lack of water in different parts of the world to global warming Sunday, calling it one of the “inevitable consequences of climate change.”

In his message for World Water Day 2019, the pope called for education of future generations in a greater respect for the environment and a greater awareness of the suffering caused by climate change.

This educational challenge will produce “generations that value and love the resources that our mother the Earth gives us,” he said.

The pontiff also decried the spread of droughts and waterless areas and urged the international community to come to the assistance of those impacted by the phenomenon.

“It may be seen in our days how the aridity of the planet is extending to new regions, and more and more are suffering as a result of the lack of water sources suitable for consumption,” Francis lamented, while calling for “an end to this injustice” and reiterating his conviction that access to clean water is “a fundamental human right.”

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The JFK Assassination - Bill Hughes (Behind the Door pt 2)

EYES ON THE TIMES: The Climate Law & Rise for Climate~ Prophesy Again TV.

World ORT and Pope Francis sign new deal to extend Scholas World Youth Encounter

World ORT and Pope Francis sign new deal to extend Scholas World Youth Encounter

Vatican collaborating with global education network at youth encounter in Mexico to promote education and to encourage a more humane, tolerant and peaceful world.

World ORT|Published: 03.24.19 , 22:55

Pope Francis has met Dario Werthein, World ORT Board of Trustees Chair, and Avi Ganon, World ORT Director General and CEO, to sign an agreement which will see the fourth Scholas World Youth Encounter take place in Mexico City later this year.

The event – which will bring together hundreds students from around the world to share their passion, experience and ideas for a more tolerant and peaceful society – is a joint project between World ORT and the Pope’s Scholas Occurrentes Foundation.

This year’s youth encounter will begin on October 28 in the Mexican capital, running until November 1. It is expected around 60 World ORT students from across the network – including from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Israel – will attend. The theme will be ‘Encounter and Exchange’, with the goal being to generate a framework for 15-to-17-year-olds from different nationalities, religions and socio-economic backgrounds to start a dialogue to promote education and to encourage a more humane, tolerant and peaceful world. Following the meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 21, Dario Werthein said: “We are very excited to work again with Scholas at the World Youth Encounter. We share a common goal, that is to create a collaborative environment and promote lifelong education to achieve the socio-economic development of the young students.” Avi Ganon said: “World ORT is proud to be a link between religions to the next generation.“In addition to our role as pioneers in STEM education, we are pleased to be a leader in promoting universal values such as tolerance between religions and understanding between people.”

North Dakota Senate narrowly votes to repeal Sunday morning shopping ban

HOW THEY VOTED: North Dakota Senate narrowly votes to repeal Sunday morning shopping ban, sending bill to Burgum

By John Hageman on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:31 p.m.

North Dakota Republican Rep. Shannon Roers Jones, right, poses with her dad, Republican Sen. Jim Roers, after her bill repealing the state's Sunday morning shopping ban passed the state Senate Tuesday, March 19, 2019. John Hageman / Forum News Service

BISMARCK — North Dakota senators voted to repeal the state’s ban on Sunday morning shopping Tuesday, March 19, ending a longstanding debate that sharply divided lawmakers on issues of religion and free enterprise.

The Senate supported House Bill 1097 in a 25-21 vote, two months after the House passed it. Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, has already signaled his intent to sign the legislation sweeping away the so-called "blue law,” paving the way for Sunday morning sales later this year.

"It's all about allowing businesses to make the choices that they want to make about whether or not they're going to be open, and it's about the choices that the customers might make on whether or not they really care to shop on that day," said Sen. Judy Lee, R-West Fargo. "You don't have to if you don't want to."

Repeal proponents have noted that the law doesn’t prevent workers from stocking shelves on Sunday mornings while shoppers wait outside store doors. They have argued the “Swiss cheese law” is unfair and outdated.

Restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and other establishments are exempt from the statute that makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate a business before noon on Sunday. Violators of the Sunday closing law face, at most, 30 days in prison and a $1,500 fine.

Russia's war in Ukraine leads to historic split in the Orthodox Church

Sunday Laws Are Imminent!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Standing in Solidarity with Muslims following New Zealand Attack

The Devil's Trio - Part 1 · May 01, 2002

The Devil's Trio - Part 1 · May 01, 2002X
By Elder Lawrence Nelson

In our last two sermons we have discussed two members of the devil’s trio. The first is the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13, which the Bible clearly identifies to be the papacy. The second is the lamb-like, two-horned beast found in the same chapter which is the United States of America, established as a Protestant nation and described as becoming so apostate as to join hands with the papal power of Catholicism.

In this message I will discuss the third member which comprises the devil’s end-time trio which the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy reveal to be spiritualism. The following quotation from Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, p. 451 reveals what we are to expect from this evil, last-day union of the Papacy, apostate Protestantism and spiritualism. “When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return.”

With this sad, heartbreaking introduction, let us pray. Our loving Father, in the name of Jesus we plead for divine guidance as we discuss this third power of spiritualism, which is an intricate member of the devil’s end-time trio. We realize that we are attacking the very dragon himself, which in Thy Word describes Satan as being able to produce wonder-working miracles of deception for the purpose to honor his papal mark of authority – Sunday worship. We plead that Thou wilt awaken Thy sleeping church to this danger. Help each member to become such students of Thy Word, through divine guidance, that we shall be able to resist this deceiving power of Satan and gain victory over his delusions, for we must discern truth from error. This we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let us now turn to the scriptures where we find this third part of the trio – spiritualism – which comprises the devil’s trio. Let us read Revelation 13:13, 14 and Revelation 16: 14, 15. “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

We begin with a question: “What major belief is held in common by the religions of this world (except God’s remnant) which makes it absolutely impossible to resist the power of spiritualism?” – We will find the answer in The Great Controversy p. 551. “The doctrine of natural immortality, first borrowed from the pagan philosophy, and in the darkness of the great apostasy incorporated into the Christian faith, has supplanted the truth, so plainly taught in Scripture that, ‘the dead know not anything.’”

This false doctrine of man’s consciousness in death opens the door for the supposed spirits of the dead to communicate with the living. This becomes a secret channel used by Satan to perform miracles by the impersonation of evil angels to deceive anyone who believes in the immortality of the dead. Inspiration informs us the coming of the Lord is to be preceded by “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.

The apostle John, describing the miracle-working power that will be manifested in the last days declares, “He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.” Revelation 13:13, 14. “No mere impostures are here foretold. Men are deceived by the miracles which Satan’s agents have power to do, not which they pretend to do.” Great Controversy p. 553.

Let us never underestimate what Satan is planning to do with his miracle-working power in this end time for we are told, “That mighty being who could take the world’s Redeemer to an exceedingly high mountain and bring before Him all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them, will present his temptations to men in a manner to pervert the senses of all who are not shielded by divine power.” Great Controversy p. 554. Can you imagine what it will be like when Satan appears as Christ performing unbelievable miracles to prove that he has changed the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday worship and that all must keep Sunday holy – the first day of the week? Have you considered the result? The answer is very obvious. The entire world will be turned against Seventh-day Adventists with satanic zeal to force them to comply or die.

Consider the devil’s preparations that all will accept the manifestations of spiritualism as divine. In Great Controversy p. 556 we read, “Spiritualism, which numbers its converts by hundreds of thousands, yea, by millions, which has made its way into scientific circles, which has invaded churches, and has found favor in legislative bodies, and even in the courts of kings — this mammoth deception is but a revival, in a new disguise, of the witchcraft condemned and prohibited of old.”

I can testify to this by personal knowledge. During the months I spend in Europe while engaged in the General Conference youth work it became evident to me that spiritualism was spreading all through Europe. In Zurich, Switzerland while preparing for the Youth World Congress for all of our young people I was astonished to discover that this city, which for so many years had been a haven of Protestantism, had now become the European center of spiritualism.

Priest stabbed during mass at Montreal’s St. Joseph's Oratory

The Third Temple - Walter Veith

22-Year-Old Chef Opened Her Own Vegan Restaurant In NYC

How Living in a City Can Mess With Your Mental Health

The stresses of city living can leave us feeling isolated, but talking about the experience—and side-effects—can help ease our discomfort. (Ron Jake Roque/Unsplash)

City living takes a high psychological toll, but there are ways to protect your well-being


March 8, 2019 Updated: March 8, 2019

As an urbanite, I enjoy many things about city living, such as walking to quaint, local coffee shops and restaurants, attending cultural events, and meeting people from diverse backgrounds. But even though living in a metropolis can be exciting, there are some downsides.

For instance, heavy traffic makes it challenging for me to socialize with my suburban friends. Additional frustrations include crowded public transportation, noise pollution, and having to pay nearly $15 to see a movie.

These might sound like small annoyances, but studies show that the hustle and bustle of urban life can actually take a toll on our physical and mental health. Here’s what you can do about it.

Mental Toll From City Buzz

While living in a metropolis has its perks, it can take a big toll on our mental health.

Compared to rural residents, researchers have found that urbanites are 21 percent more likely to have anxiety disorders and 39 percent more likely to have mood disorders. A 2017 meta-analysis also found that rates of PTSD, anger management, and generalized anxiety disorder were higher among those living in urban areas.

The same was true for more serious psychological disorders like schizophrenia and paranoia.

So, what’s the explanation? According to psychiatrists, urban living gives the brain a workout, which alters how we cope with stress.

Here’s how it works: The constant stimulation of city life can propel the body into a stressful state, known as the fight-or-flight response. That can make us more vulnerable to mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use. This might help explain why 19.1 percent of Americans live with an anxiety disorder, while 6.7 percent have depression.

City living can also chip away at your psychological immune system, which can be precarious for those with a family history of mental illness. According to psychologists, this environmental stress can increase your risk of developing a psychiatric condition, such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

Even though urban life may lead to emotional distress, shame and stigma can stop young adults from talking about their struggles. This may explain why they feel lonelier than older generations, according to a Cigna study.

What’s more, young adults, especially millennials, often feel burnout—a stressful state of mental and physical exhaustion that can squeeze the joy out of life.

Older generations may view millennials as incompetent adults who shy away from responsibility, but as Anne Helen Peterson wrote for Buzzfeed, millennials have “errand paralysis” and think they should always be working.

For young adults living in cities that never sleep, this belief may be intensified, adding to the psychological hardships of urban dwelling.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern joins Muslim prayers outside Al Noor mosque

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Don Stewart :: Were the Sons of God the Godly Line of Seth?

If the sons of God were not fallen angels but were humans, then we are left with four possible answers as to their identity. They were either: (1) the godly line of Seth (2) ancient rulers or magistrates (3) humans who were demon-possessed (4) a reference to men as opposed to women.

THE Godly Line Of Seth

A popular view sees the sons of God as the godly line of Seth. The daughters of men would be the equivalent to the ungodly line of Cain or other ungodly people. Their sin was the marriage of the holy and unholy line. The evidence for this view is the natural progression in Genesis. In chapter four we have the ungodly line of Cain listed while in chapter five the godly line of Seth is given. In chapter six the two lines intermingle producing ungodliness. The ungodliness was so widespread that God had to judge the world with a Flood. Wayne Grudem observes: 

It is far more likely that the phrase sons of God here (as in Deut. 14:1) refers to people belonging to God and, like God, walking in righteousness (note Gen. 4:26 as introduction to Gen. 5, marking the beginning of Seth's line at the same time as men began to call upon the name of the Lord). In fact, there is an emphasis on sonship as including likeness to one's father in Genesis 5:3. Moreover the text traces the descendants from God through Adam and Seth to many sons in all of chapter 5. The larger purpose of the narrative seems to be to trace the parallel development of the godly (ultimately messianic) line of Seth and the ungodly descendants of the rest of humankind. Therefore, sons of God in Genesis 6:2 are men who are righteous in their imitation of the character of their heavenly Father, and the daughters of men are the ungodly wives whom they marry (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Zondervan, 1994, p. 414)


Those who reject this view argue that the expression sons of God does not seem suitable for the entire line of Seth. It is more likely to refer to believers in the line of Seth rather than the entire line. Some commentators wonder if the mere intermarriage between two lines would be sufficient cause to destroy the entire world with a Flood?

The "trial-errors" that could set Cardinal Pell free - Vatican Connections


by David Nussman • •
March 20, 2019 

Student newspaper releases list of allegedly abusive priests, religious affiliated with Georgetown University

WASHINGTON ( - A student newspaper at Georgetown University published a list of 14 priests and religious credibly accused of abuse, in contrast with the four accused priests named by the university.

Student newspaper The Hoya published on March 15 a list of accused abusers from the school's history. One of the accused abusers on the list is a Dominican sister who held administrative positions at Georgetown in the 1990s and early 2000s. She was accused of abusing a minor in 1982. The other 13 alleged abusers are priests, mostly Jesuits, with various ties to the university — including two men who left priestly ministry.

The article points out that none of the alleged abuse was perpetrated against Georgetown students. It also notes that this list of 14 includes those "credibly or plausibly accused of sexual abuse" (emphasis added) and is much broader than a list of four accused priest cited by the university president in December.

On March 13, Georgetown staff confirmed with The Hoya that all 14 individuals had ties to the university.

One of those listed, Fr. Daniel C. O'Connell, S.J., was listed as a professor emeritus by Georgetown until March 13. The university was first informed about abuse accusations against O'Connell in 2009. He was removed as president of St. Louis University in 1978 when an abuse allegation surfaced but remained active at Jesuit universities for decades.

LifeWay to Close All 170 Christian Stores

The nation’s biggest Christian retail chain ends its brick-and-mortar operations.


MARCH 20, 2019 1:35 PM

Image: LifeWay Christian Resources

Your daily news briefing from the editors of CT:

LifeWay Christian Resources, the largest Christian retail chain in America, plans to close all 170 stores this year and shift its offerings entirely online.

“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner, who is succeeding longtime LifeWay president Thom Rainer.

“LifeWay has developed close connections with the communities where our stores are located, and we have been honored to serve those communities. We will continue serving local congregations as they meet the spiritual needs of their neighbors.”

The Southern Baptist affiliate announced in January initial plans to reduce its locations this year due to declining sales and financial pressures, but ended up deciding it wasn’t viable to keep any stores open past 2019. Rainer said they did all they could to save the stores, which span across 30 states.

“Our retail strategy for the future will be a greater focus on digital channels, which are experiencing strong growth,” Waggoner said in an announcement on Wednesday. The chain will continue online sales through

LifeWay’s store closures come two years after its competitor, Family Christian Resources, shut down all 240 locations in the midst of mounting debt and bankruptcy. Cokesbury Bookstores closed all 38 retail stores in 2013.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Censorship Tightens As Governments Lose Control

by Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 18:40

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Governments have lost control of the narrative that they are in control of events.Everyday I wake up to another instance of outrageous censorship from some ‘social media’ company blocking or banning someone for no apparent reason.

The latest outrage is Twitter banning the account of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange’s mother, Christine.

Australian and New Zealand ISPs have gone bonkers IP blocking sites in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. Sites like Zerohedge have been targeted in the past two weeks for publishing narratives orthogonal to what the governments in the West are comfortable with people consuming.

First it was Facebook, blocking and then unblocking Zerohedge with no apparent reasoning behind it. Now its ISP’s over-reacting to an emotional event ensuring that a good crisis never goes to waste.

And these ISPs are going much farther than just avoiding any potential legal liabilities. They are now openly calling for the platforms themselves — Twitter, Facebook, etc. — be regulated by governments to stop ‘dangerous information’ from reaching the eyeballs of consumers.

And another mask is ripped off revealing the ugly totalitarians underneath.

It begins with legitimizing de-platforming people like Alex Jones and social media companies like Gab. Because some speech is too free. These are people supposedly too fringe to be suffered.

So it’s easy to whip up some public support for censorship of them alongside a one-sided media bombardment of justify their silencing to a large swath of people.

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…?

Evangelicals and Muslims see similarities in faiths and favor closer ties, survey says

March 20, 2019
7 Min Read

By: Aysha Khanayshabkhan

Left: The Assalam Center of Boca Raton, Fla. Right: Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, Conn. Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

(RNS) — As a growing number of evangelical Christian leaders are working to improve Christian-Muslim relations, a new online study finds that more than 3 in 4 U.S. evangelicals say they never or infrequently interact with Muslims.

The national benchmark survey by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding — which conducted online interviews with 500 self-identified Muslims and 500 self-identified evangelicals in early January — suggests that an overlap in religious values between the two faith groups is obscured by a lack of understanding.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, who heads the foundation, said he was surprised at the low number of evangelical Christians — 22 percent — who said they interact with Muslims at least somewhat frequently and that they believe the interaction has fostered better understanding between the groups. In contrast, 53 percent of Muslims said the same for evangelicals.

Graphic courtesy of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

In addition, the poll’s open-ended questions, which weren’t released with the survey results, showed that many evangelicals were disinterested in knowing more about Islam, its practices and holidays, according to FFEU’s polling experts, pointing to an overall lack of engagement.

Said Schneier, “That lack of interest is a real concern and a challenge.”

Among the evangelicals surveyed, most showed low levels of familiarity with basic Islamic terminology. Only half said they were very or somewhat familiar with the holy month of Ramadan — about 3 percent incorrectly identified it as a Jewish term — and 9 percent were familiar with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Muslims tended to show more understanding of Christian terms, with 65 percent surveyed saying they were familiar with Lent and 77 percent saying the same of the Old Testament.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Macron’s Debates Are Over — Yellow Vest Protests Aren’t (HBO)

Cardinal convicted in sex abuse scandal to meet with the pope

By Associated Press

March 18, 2019 | 1:57pm | Updated


French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin arrives for a press conference in central France on March 7. AP

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VATICAN CITY — French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is meeting with the pope after having been convicted by a French court of failing to report a known pedophile priest to police.

Barbarin has said he will resign after becoming the latest high-ranking churchman to fall in the global reckoning over clergy sex abuse and cover-ups. He was scheduled for an audience with Pope Francis on Monday morning.

A court in Lyon ruled March 7 that Barbarin had an obligation to report the Rev. Bernard Preynat to civil authorities, and gave the cardinal a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Preynat is scheduled to be tried on sexual violence charges next year. He has confessed to abusing Boy Scouts in the 1970s and 1980s.

Barbarin’s conviction deepens the crisis facing the Catholic Church’s embattled hierarchy.

Ban of gay clergy divides congregants of United Methodist Church

The vote last month by the church's General Conference has pitted some traditionalists against progressives, sparking fears that the denomination itself could splinter.

The Rev. Roy Grubbs at the Centerport United Methodist Church has heard a range of views from church members. He has had to persuade some to stay to see what comes of the debate. Photo Credit: Heather Walsh 

By Bart Jones Updated March 16, 2019 6:00 AM

A new, tougher ban on gay clergy and same-sex marriage has divided the United Methodist Church so sharply that the denomination is in danger of splintering, something that could tear apart dozens of congregations across Long Island.

The vote by the General Conference is evoking strong feelings on both sides: Traditionalists argue the ban aligns with historical church teaching and values, while progressives see the policy as clearly out of step with the times.

On the Island, there are about 80 Methodist churches attended by several thousand members, the church's New York Conference estimates.

A sampling of local Methodists show they, too, are at odds: Some are sorely disappointed in the church, the nation's third largest with 7 million members, and are struggling with whether to join another denomination or to form a new one. Others are determined to stay and fight the policy, put in place nearly 50 years ago but strengthened just weeks ago by the church's international governing body. Still others support the ban.

“It’s almost like the American Civil War, where brother fought against brother,” said the Rev. Charles Ferrera of the United Methodist Church of Patchogue.

“If I didn’t abide by this, it would be like me going into Yankee Stadium in the Yankee dugout wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt," said Ferrera, who considers himself a traditionalist. “Having said that, I am also very much aware of people who are hurting as a result of that vote. Nobody is excluded in this congregation … regardless of who they are.”

Today, most mainline Protestant denominations such as the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church allow gay ministers and same-sex marriage. And there are Methodist churches more liberal on social issues that defy what the church calls its "Traditional Plan." The policy states homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity.

At a special General Conference last month in St. Louis, progressives lobbied to replace the old policy with one that would have let pastors and regional conferences decide whether to allow gay ministers and same-sex marriage. Conservatives stood their ground, building a coalition of delegates from the southern United States and delegates from Africa, where homosexuality is illegal in many countries.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Churches are opening their doors to businesses in order to survive

March 16, 2019, 11:09 AM

Sunday looks very different from Monday at White Rock United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. During the week, a florist fills out orders next to an artist working on a project. Down the hall, students practice tai chi.

Declining attendance at America's churches -- a persistent trend in recent decades -- has forced some to take a novel approach to keeping their doors open: renting out otherwise empty space during the usually quiet mid-week, CBS News' Omar Villafranca reports.

Larry Duggins heads up the Missional Wisdom Foundation, a group that helps congregations become a place for commerce. "Churches close when they can't get beyond that, unless they have some extraordinary other way to get people to come attend," he said.

Senior pastor Mitchell Boone admits White Rock Methodist needed a miracle to stay open.

"We were spending way too much money to keep the doors open and the lights on and the staff paid and Sunday morning going, and so it was clearly a move out of desperation," Boone said. "We were close to death."

Their prayers were answered when they opened their basement up for business. In addition to creating a mixed workspace for startups to rent, the church reached out to groups in need. An African refugee group that sews bags and other products now rents a room from them.

Leila James, who has been a member of the church for 44 years, said other church members weren't fully sold on the idea of renting out space. But James, the daughter of a preacher, ultimately embraced it.

"I attended the yoga class and I remember one day we got the giggles because we were just enjoying it so much and we thought, 'Well, this is the way church should be. We should be able to have other aspects of our lives here,'" she said.


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Jesuits Discern Way of Proceeding in Venezuela

BY ISN STAFF | March 16, 2019

LIMA, PERU — The Jesuit Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL) hosted Jesuits leaders and lay partners from the region for a seminar meeting on the current situation in Venezuela. The meeting took place at the Universidad Jesuita del Perú, in Lima, Peru where the CPAL offices are based. 

The scene in 2018 at one of the border crossings between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta, Colombia. [George Castellanos/Jesuit Refugee Service]

The seminar was intended to provide space for leaders to identify factors contributing to the political and human rights crisis facing the Venezuelan people and discern the role of the Jesuits amid this reality moving forward. This is not the first time that CPAL has brought Jesuit leaders together to discuss the situation in Venezuela, in April 2018 leaders gathered in Panama City.

According to a statement issued after the seminar, signed by Jesuit Father Roberto Jarmillo, president of CPAL, the Jesuits in the region will seek to respond in three main ways moving forward: 1. Advocate for political solutions that promote human dignity and civil and political rights, particularly for those most vulnerable; 2. Increase support for Venezuelan migrants who seek assistance in countries throughout the region where the Jesuits, their lay partners, and ministries are present; 3. Deepen understanding of the situation in Venezuela through research, publication, and teaching that lead to deeper solidarity with the Venezuelan people.

An English translation of the full statement originally issued in Spanish can be found below.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Life, Liberty & Levin w/ Dr. Peter Pry - EMP Task Force Director (4/22/1...

Ahead of EU elections: what is next for work-free Sunday?

Brussels, 18 February 2019

In view of the EU elections, the European Sunday Alliance discussed with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and electoral candidates the importance of common work-free time and decent working hours. In view of the EU elections, the European Sunday Alliance discussed with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and electoral candidates the importance of common work-free time and decent working hours.

In a time of digitalisation and a rapidly changing world of work, participants agreed that Sunday is of unique value for the social cohesion of our society and the well-being of the citizens.

After an internal workshop session in the morning, the members and supporters of the European Sunday Alliance presented key challenges of their work, and then incurred into a debate with MEPs and EU elections candidates on possible actions for the next five-year mandate of the European Parliament and the EU Commission.

Markus Blümel, coordinator of the Austrian Sunday Alliance, reported that current changes in national legislation were undermining the network's objective of improving the work-life balance of Austrian citizens. He showed that the new law would allow for a maximum working time of 12 hours and presented how the Austrian Sunday Alliance, together with its member organisations and other like-minded actors, organised demonstrations and public actions to oppose the legal revision.

Representing the Croatian Sunday Alliance, Fr. Boze Vuleta ofm outlined how a network of different civil society organisations and social partners have joined forces in the youngest EU Member State and set up the alliance in 2018.

In the following discussion with MEPs Thomas Mann (EPP), Evelyn Regner (S&D), Marijana Petir (EPP) and the EP elections candidate Gabriele Bischoff (S&D), the participants exchanged on the outcomes of the negotiations of the recently agreed EU work-life balance directive and examined next steps towards EU policies that help citizens to find common rest time for recreation and life in society and family.


EC President Juncker in dialogue with EU Bishops

latest press releases
Press Release, 14/03/2019

2019 COMECE Spring Assembly

EC President Juncker in dialogue with EU Bishops

On the occasion of the 2019 COMECE Spring Assembly, EU Bishops received today, Thursday 14 March, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. Together they urged all citizens to engage into the European political debate and vote with responsibility to protect and promote the common good.

The dialogue with the President of the European Commission was an opportunity for Bishops to exchange on the main achievements and remaining priorities of Juncker’s Presidency.

In his contribution, President Juncker stated: "I am a fervent advocate of the social doctrine of the Church. It is one of the most noble teachings of our Church. All of this is part of a doctrine that Europe does not apply often enough. I would like us to rediscover the values and guiding principles of the social teaching of the Church".

European Bishops reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to address the challenges that our continent and our people have to face: digitalisation and technological development, demography, global warming and migration.

They highlighted the need to combine efforts of all people of good will to better serving the common good, placing the human person at the heart of EU public policies.

Days before a possible Brexit and two months ahead of the EU 2019 parliament elections, Bishops recalled EU citizens’ responsibility to exercise their right and fulfil their duty to vote, giving new impulse to the European construction. The electoral results will condition the political decisions impacting on our day to day lives during the next 5 years.

Bishops expressed the need to promote a European context of dialogue in order to discover opportunities behind challenges, proposing effective solutions for the wellbeing of all those living in the European Union.

The meeting between the EU Bishops and President Juncker is a concrete expression of the open, transparent and regular dialogue between EU institutions and Churches in accordance with Article 17 TFEU.


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Photo: © EU, Etienne Ansotte

The World Council of Religious Leaders Condemns the Attacks on the Faithful in New Zealand

News provided by The World Council of Religious Leaders

Mar 15, 2019, 18:05 ET

NEW YORK, March 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Secretary-General of the World Council of Religious Leaders, today issues the following statement:

"Leaders of all religions, creeds and civilizations condemn this horrific attack in New Zealand in the strongest possible terms. It is a crime against people of faith and people of decency and tolerance everywhere in the world.

"Places of worship are sacred gathering areas where people should be able to practice their faith without fearing for their safety.

"There is no place in the civilized world for the violence we saw today. This senseless killing stands in contrast to everything the religious leaders representing Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and other faiths that I work with are trying to foster. Our goals must always be education, tolerance, diversity, and coexistence.

"Addressing this level of extremism requires not just faith-based organization, but also leaders from government, business, media, finance, technology, and other organizations around the world to work together to encourage tolerance overall.

"In partnership with the Muslim World League, which represents the world's 1.8 billion people of Islamic faith, we have recently created the Centre for Responsible Leadership (CRL), to encourage those in a position of power anywhere in the world to commit to a common set of principles that guide their actions and restore responsible decision-making. We call on leaders from all faiths and backgrounds to join us at the United Nations for the Responsible Leaders Summit on May 1 to directly address religious intolerance and how to unite the faithful, among other pressing issues. And it starts with combatting and preventing the types of terrible violence we witnessed today in New Zealand.

"The World Council of Religious Leaders expresses its deepest condolences to the families, friends and communities of the victims."

SOURCE The World Council of Religious Leaders


God's Truth Or Catholic Traditions?

Rep. Cicilline: We Can’t Allow ‘Religious Freedom’ to Be Used to Discriminate Against LGBT

By Dimitri Simes and Alex Madajian | March 15, 2019 | 3:08 PM EDT

On March 13, House and Senate Democrats introduced H.R. 5, the Equality Act, a proposal to expand protections in the 1964 Civil Rights Act to people based on their sex, sexual preference or gender identity.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who is openly gay, said conservatives would "use fear” to stop the legislation and asserted, “we cannot allow claims of religious freedom to be used to discriminate against an LGBT individual.”

At a Capitol Hill press conference alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Cicilline said, “We know that in the weeks ahead conservatives will do everything they can to kill this bill and block progress once again.”

“They’ll make outrageous claims because they know they can only succeed by scaring the American people,” he said. “They’ll claim religion as a basis to discriminate – they use fear because they can’t win the debate on the merits.”

The bill states that it is designed “to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.”

It further says, “Individuals who are LGBT, or are perceived to be LGBT, have been subjected to a history and pattern of persistent, widespread, and pervasive discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity by both private sector and Federal, State, and local government actors, including in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

“An explicit and comprehensive national solution is needed to address such discrimination, including the full range of remedies available under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cardinal George Pell sentenced to 6 years in prison for child sex abuse


Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic cleric worldwide to be convicted of child sex abuse.

March 12, 2019, 8:11 PM ET / Updated March 12, 2019, 10:38 PM ET

By Doha Madani and Associated Press

The most senior Catholic cleric ever to be convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced to six years in prison in Australia on Wednesday morning.

Cardinal George Pell, 77, faced as many as 50 years in prison after being convicted in December for the molestation of two choir boys while he was the archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. Pell must serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.

He will spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.

Pell was convicted for the assault of the 13-year-old boys after he caught them swigging sacramental wine in a rear room of Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral in late 1996.

The jury also found Pell guilty of indecently assaulting one of the boys in a corridor more than a month later.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Widely "Influential" Bible Scholar Desmond Ford Is Dead

11 March 2019 |

Dr. Desmond “Des” Ford went to his rest in Christ today at the age of 90. A pastor in Australia, where he was born and raised, he graduated from Avondale College in 1950 and completed a Master’s degree in systematic theology in 1959 at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary when it was located at Potomac University in Takoma Park, Maryland. In 1961, he earned a PhD from Michigan State University with a dissertation on the rhetorical analysis of Paul’s letters in the New Testament. In 1972 he earned a second PhD from the University of Manchester in England. During his graduate work he continued to be a faculty member at Avondale, where he served as chair of the religion department from 1961 to 1977.

He came to the United States as a visiting professor of religion at Pacific Union College (PUC) from 1977 to 1979. At a local chapter at PUC of the Association of Adventist Forums (AAF), the largest organization of Adventist academics, in 1979 he presented a critique of the traditional Adventist view of Daniel 8:14 and the Investigative Judgment, and controversy erupted throughout the denomination. He was called to the denomination’s General Conference (GC) headquarters in Takoma Park to prepare a paper defending his views, and Bible scholars and denominational executives came together to consider it in the historic 1980 Glacier View Council.

In the aftermath of the Glacier View Council, the denomination’s Australasian Division (now South Pacific Division) withdrew his ministerial credentials and eventually ended his employment within the denomination. In reaction to this outcome, controversy swept across the denomination in the United States and Australia, independent Adventist congregations formed in many places and hundreds of clergy resigned or were forced to leave denominational employ.

Ford continued to be a member of the Adventist Church and was employed by an independent ministry, Good News Unlimited, that supported him in an evangelistic radio broadcast that aimed to “represent the essential truth of the Gospel with no boundaries or limitations.” Ford continued to work with Good News Unlimited as a speaker and writer, even after his retirement late in the year 2000. His vision was to “reach the world for the gospel in all its simplicity and beauty,” and it is evident that due to his efforts, many have come to learn more about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He continued to publish books defending the Sabbath doctrine and the spiritual gifts of Ellen G. White. Throughout his life Ford penned more than 30 books, many of which are still in print.

In a 2016 interview in Spectrum, the journal of AAF, he said that he would like to be remembered “as a ragamuffin from North Queensland [to] whom the Lord taught the gospel and perhaps used to impart it.” Seventh-day Adventist author, church historian, and religion professor Milton Hook wrote Ford’s biography, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, which was published in 2008 by Adventist Today.

Ford was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia on 2 February 1929 to Wilfred Ford and Lillian Simpson. Although professed Anglicans, neither of the parents was very religious. Ford cited Ellen White’s The Great Controversy as a key component in his conversion during his youth, and in September 1946 he was baptized into the Adventist Church. One year later, he enrolled at Avondale College where he met fellow student Gwen Booth, whom he married in 1952. She died after a battle with cancer in 1970, leaving him a young pastor with a daughter Elènne Gwen Ford and sons Paul Wesley Ford and Luke Carey Ford. He would marry Gillian “Gill” Wastell later that same year. She survives him today as both his widow and his literary assistant.

Wrote his widow, Gill, “The staff at the home all told me they had never met anyone so polite, so thankful, so courteous. He had great gifts and abilities but when they were stripped away, the purity and goodness of his soul shone out.”

She added, “He was a man always in a hurry, driven by a mission to serve God and proclaim Christ. He would urge you to take up the work he has laid down. As many of you know, he would say, ‘Meet you here, there or in the air.’ He has gone ahead of us. And the world is a far colder place.”

A new printing of his original 900-plus page manuscript commissioned by the GC in 1980 with updated introductions and annotations was published last year, as announced in Adventist Today here. The biography written by Milton Hook and published by Adventist Todayis also available for order by email from our Membership Services at or call 800.236.3641.

The photo was provided by Good News Unlimited. Adventist Today editorial associate Stefani Leeper assisted with the research for this news report.

Videos Released from Sabbatarian Adventist Dialogue

Adventist Review Online | Videos Released from Sabbatarian Adventist Dialogue


Sunday, March 10, 2019

FDA allows genetically engineered 'Frankenfish' salmon to be imported to US

FDA allows genetically engineered 'Frankenfish' salmon to be imported to US

HTV National Desk

Published 7:28 am CST, Saturday, March 9, 2019

Americans are one step closer to seeing genetically modified salmon at their grocery stores.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it is lifting an import alert that stopped genetically engineered salmon from entering the U.S.

The salmon, called "Frankenfish" by some, won FDA approval in 2015 -- the first approval of a genetically engineered animal intended for food. The FDA, after years of review, had deemed food from the AquaAdvantage Salmon safe to eat in 2015 and said there is no biological difference between these salmon and nongenetically engineered salmon.

But Congress blocked the FDA in 2016 from allowing the fish to be sold in the U.S. until it finalized labeling guidelines to inform consumers the product was genetically engineered. The FDA then went ahead and implemented the import alert.

Congress also passed a law that year directing the Department of Agriculture to set a national mandatory standard for disclosing bioengineered foods. In December, the USDA issued the standard, requiring manufacturers, importers and certain retailers to disclose whether a product was bioengineered using either text, a symbol, a electronic or digital link, and/or a text message.

On Friday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said because of the 2016 law and the USDA's standard, his agency "no longer has the authority to issue labeling guidance."

"However, the FDA believes this Congressional mandate has been satisfied by the USDA's issuance of final regulations implementing that law in late 2018 because the law and regulations require that human food containing GE salmon bear labeling indicating that it is bioengineered," Gottlieb said in a statement.

The FDA will now allow AquaAdvantage salmon eggs, produced by AquaBounty, to be imported to the company's land-based facility in Indiana and raised into salmon for food. The AquaAdvantage salmon grows year-round and grows faster than farm-raised Atlantic salmon.