A few weeks ago, in my “New religiongeschichtliche Schule” post, Hypatia made an observation that prompted this post. She observed that many people think that Jesus appeared at the time he did because God had devised a world in which the Gospel could spread rapidly and far and wide:
Christianity could not have arisen except out of the Jewish scriptures. Nor, I learned in my Bible class, could it have spread across the globe if it hadn’t arisen within the far-flung empire of Rome. That period was “ the fullness of time”.
I absolutely agree with this thinking, and want to make a few observations on point.
How long has it been since you saw any news or discussion about the global persecution of Christians? (I mean, besides my posts.) The churches are under attack all over the world, with dozens or sometimes hundreds killed monthly. This carnage goes unnoticed by American mass media. In fact, American mass media seem determined to keep this information hidden. American Christians are not acting to help Christians around the world because they do not know the extent of the plight.
Other religious minorities experience persecution. This also gets neglected by the purveyors of “news.” But the one clear thing about religious persecution is, it mostly affects Christians, and it is overwhelmingly attributable to Muslims and Communists.
In recognition of the extents of religious persecution, the United Nations declared August 22, 2019 to be an “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.”
This post is a follow-up to my Ramadan Bombathon and June posts about Muslim jihad in Africa. This is a story of great violence wrought by jihadiis in a dozen countries. This violence is a continuation of centuries of violence along the edges of Muslim lands, but the scene in Africa has become increasingly deadly in the years since the 9/11 attacks on America in 2001. That event seemed to precipitate fresh infusions of cash from oil-rich Arabs, who gave support to Wahhabi madrassas that taught violent jihad, and who gave money for purchase of black market small arms to give to jihadiis all over the world.
Below I am simply listing incidents of violent jihad in Africa that made it to Christian niche media in the weeks since my post in mid-June. There were undoubtedly additional acts of violence that went unreported. None of this made it into mass media journalism in America, so all of it is probably news to y’all.... [Read More]
“Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me!”
This is to provide a Christian view of angels and demons. Angels and demons are created spiritual beings, created by God before He created the world. They all were angels when they were created. God made them in kinds, so that there are angels, archangels, seraphim, cherubim, and other kinds of angels.
Before we go any further I need to note that I am writing for a group that includes several materialists who think this entire topic is fictional. I chose to write because I have seen several recent references to demons and occult subjects. Also because there are lots of goofy things going around media and the internet about angels and demons, I thought it appropriate and reasonable to provide a little bit of clarity regarding the orthodox Christian basics regarding spiritual beings. With Americans increasingly embracing a roll-your-own approach to religion, more and more of our people are vulnerable both to shallow superstitions and to really dark spiritual forces.
Religionsgeschichtliche Schule is a term that has dominated the study of Christianity in academic circles for 150 years. It is translated from the German as “History of Religions School.” In this case it means ‘school of thought’ rather than a physical place, and is a reference to a group of influential scholars. They are important because most of their core ideas are still going strong on the internet and are currently taught in the Religious Studies Departments of many universities.
A number of bad ideas got their start with the religionsgeschichtliche Schule, including “Pagan origins” of Bible stories and the idea that the divinity of Jesus developed late in the history of the Christian movement.
A colloquium was held at the University of Edinburgh a few weeks ago, titled “Varieties of Theism in Antiquity,” and amounted to a series of new scholarly papers presented by a group of academics who celebrate the countervailing views that have debunked the ideas of the original religionsgeschichtliche Schule.
Last year I wrote a dozen posts to report on the assaults by mass media on Evangelical Christians. I cited the many hatchet-job articles and a representative handful (out of many dozens) of editorials from mass media to document their collective attempt to suppress Trump voters and boost Democrat prospects in the 2018 midterm elections. Things quieted down after Christmas, but then heated up over abortion when a number of red states were working on bills to restrict abortion. The focus stayed on Culture of Death issues all spring, with a few occasional bursts of Catholic-bashing thrown in.
But now I see signs of a renewed energy in media attacks on Evangelicals. This looks like the ramp-up to 2020 campaigning. I am not alleging any conspiracy. All I am pointing out is that journalists as a group hate President Trump and hate the voters who put him in office. Since they are overwhelmingly irreligious, they neither understand nor wish to understand the concerns of Christians. ... [Read More]
Milo Yiannopoulos has a well-deserved and hard-earned reputation as a controversialist, inciter of outrage, and offender of all the right people. His acid wit and mockery of those amply deserving it causes some to dismiss what he says when he’s deadly serious about something, as he is in this impassioned book about the deep corruption in the Roman Catholic church and its seeming abandonment of its historic mission as a bastion of the Christian values which made the West the West. It is an earnest plea for a new religious revival, from the bottom up, to rid the Church of its ageing, social justice indoctrinated hierarchy which, if not entirely homosexual, has tolerated widespread infiltration of the priesthood by sexually active homosexual men who have indulged their attraction to underage (but almost always post-pubescent) boys, and has been complicit in covering up these scandals and allowing egregious offenders to escape discipline and continue their predatory behaviour for many years.
Ever since emerging as a public figure, Yiannopoulos has had a target on his back. A young, handsome (he may prefer “fabulous”), literate, well-spoken, quick-witted, funny, flaming homosexual, Roman Catholic, libertarian-conservative, pro-Brexit, pro-Trump, prolific author and speaker who can fill auditoriums on college campuses and simultaneously entertain and educate his audiences, willing to debate the most vociferous of opponents, and who has the slaver Left’s number and is aware of their vulnerability just at what they imagined was the moment of triumph, is the stuff of nightmares to those who count on ignorant legions of dim followers capable of little more than chanting rhyming slogans and littering. He had to be silenced, and to a large extent, he has been. But, like the Terminator, he’s back, and he’s aiming higher: for the Vatican.... [Read More]
Which is to say, is there any real meaning to our understanding of how people ought to behave? We talk a lot about right and wrong, or about good and evil. This Question 3 is to explore the spiritual question of sin v. righteousness. Are our ideas about how people ought to behave just conceptual? Is there any reality to the concept of sin? Are there any real spiritual consequences, other than logical life consequences, involved with sin?
Before we get very far with this, we have to have a definition for what we mean by “sin.” It is clear that there are Ratburghers who think of “sin” as a personal shortcoming, like a lack of musical talent or poor eyesight or weak willpower. However, I mean something very different. Here is a dictionary definition:
an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
Ramadan ended on June 3rd this year. I posted with the overview the following week. There has been no abatement of murder and destruction. In fact, the pace of killing seems to be increasing.
This will not be reported in American mass media. Conservative niche media will only take notice of the most horrifying crimes. The murders of hundreds of Africans is only noted by Christian niche media. Most of the victims are Christians, of course, though plenty of Pagans are murdered by Muslims as well. Every now and then Muslims are killed in reprisals, and that is ten times as likely to get reported in western mass media as other violence.... [Read More]
Iranian Shiites held a rally to celebrate Al-Quds Day.
“Many people from across the community and across the Muslim world at large have been swept away by the tide of American patriotism. They are proud of America, its freedom, its democracy, free speech, freedom of religion… At the same time, they look down upon the Islamic countries from the high horse of American exceptionalism. How these countries are backwards, corrupt, unorganized, and you have heard more… For that I would like to call the attention of those individuals – however they might hear this – that the amenities and luxuries that they are enjoying in this country are attained at the expense of the rest of the world.... [Read More]