Thursday, 18 January 2018

Why do some young people leave the Church? A new study investigates

A national two-year study released this week offers a look at why young people are leaving the Church as early as age 13.

The study was released yesterday by St. Mary’s Press and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University (CARA).

Of those who left the Catholic Church, the median age for doing so was 13 years old, the study found. Seventy-four percent of the 214 former Catholics interviewed said that they decided to leave the Church between the ages of 10 and 20.

“We heard young people describe the beginnings of their questioning and doubts as early as fifth grade, some even younger,” said John Vitek, one of the principal authors of the study.

Peace and progress start with education, Francis says at Chilean university

Speaking to Chilean university students and academics Wednesday, Pope Francis said Catholic educational institutions play a prophetic role in helping future generations tackle problems with an integrated, inclusive approach.

“In our day, the mission entrusted to you is prophetic,” the Pope said Jan. 17 to a crowd of  some 2,400 students and academics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. “You are challenged to generate processes that enlighten contemporary culture by proposing a renewed humanism that eschews every form of reductionism.”

This prophetic role on the part of Catholic universities is a key motive in seeking out “ever new spaces for dialogue rather than confrontation,” he said.

Christ statue in Peru suffers smoke damage

Last weekend, just days before Pope Francis’ visit to Peru, a fire was set that damaged part of Cristo del Pacifico, a 120 foot tall statue located in Lima, the nation’s capital.

According to RPP News, five fire department units responded and put out the fire Jan. 13, which caused noticeable smoke damage to the back part the the statue.

“So far the motive leading to the incident is unknown; but the theory has come up that this may have been done  because of Pope Francis’s upcoming visit,” RPP stated.

Cristo del Pacifico is a 70 feet tall sculpture set on a 50 foot base and can be seen from several areas of the capital. It was dedicated June 29, 2011.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Man Undergoes 167 Gender-Reassignment Surgeries, But Peace Still Eludes Him

Recently I interviewed a person whose experience with gender-change surgeries was so extreme, it gained him entry in the Guinness World Records book for the most gender-reassignment surgeries for an individual person.

Blair Logsdon's story is a cautionary tale for anyone today who is considering the use of cross-gender hormones and gender-change surgery to feel better about themselves.

Logsdon underwent 167 surgeries from 1987 to 2005 in his quest to resolve gender dysphoria with surgery. On a cold, snowy December morning in a Maryland coffee shop, he shared with me his story.

Ear Buddies

The company water cooler, a symbolic gathering post for employee chatter disguised as a refreshment center, has gurgled into a resting place for analog office tools.

I read a brief story about digital chatter in the Jan/Feb edition of The Atlantic.

While reading the story, I could only respond with a deep "Duh!" This is the sentence that evoked my guttural response:

     "Workplace technology is revolutionizing how we communicate in the office."

The horse left that barn many years ago.

Companies discovered open office structures in the 1950s. Walk through any collection of cubicles or divider-free tables and you'll find digital walls guarding the mind-space of knowledge workers. The walls bear striking resemblance to earbuds or, perhaps, headphones.

Should You Be Able to Select Your Child's Sex?

A model and former Miss Great Britain has defended her decision to select the sex of her next baby on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Danielle Lloyd spoke with presenter Emma Barnett about her desire to mother a girl alongside her four boys. Admitting her decision to pursue sex-selection would be seen by some as "a little bit selfish,"  Lloyd expressed her "dream to have a little girl" and how she feels "a bit lonely with having four boys because it's all football and boy stuff." When Lloyd said she "would like to do girly stuff" as well, Barnett challenged this by asking "But what if she's not a girly girl? You can't decide their personality, you can decide their gender, but she could be into football as well." Lloyd admitted this, but said "It's about having a little mini me as well."

65 years after it closed for worship, Bristol church will reopen with a new evangelistic vision

A Bristol city centre church is to open for worship for the first time in 65 years with a mission to engage young and unchurched people.

St Nicholas church has been leased to Bristol City Council and has been used as a museum and tourist information office.

However, this autumn it will reopen under the leadership of Rev Toby Flint, currently serving at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, home of the Alpha course.

What is Jerusalem syndrome?

A Christian tourist from Northern Ireland is missing in the Israeli desert, having left a trail of pages from the Bible behind him, with search teams believing that he may have been suffering from delusions known as 'Jerusalem syndrome'.

So, what is Jerusalem syndrome?

Let's face it: Jerusalem, with its political place as the divided city at the heart of the world's most intractable conflict, and its role as the Holy City for the three monotheistic religions, can be a maddening place to stay, let alone live.


But sadly, for some its maddening nature is literal, as those with either no history of mental illness get swept up delusionally by the atmosphere of the ancient souks, and those with a history of psychological problems have them exacerbated by their trip, with some troubled people making it their mission to visit in the first place.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

This False Gospel Pervades American Culture—But Can Kill Your Soul

"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in ruin and destruction" (1 Tim. 6:9).

How easy it is to desire to be rich. We certainly do not desire to be poor, do we? But here in the Scriptures, Paul issues a sobering warning to Timothy that those who desire to be rich run afoul with all sorts of disaster. I don't know about you, but this causes me to pause and examine my heart because "ruin and destruction" are certainly not part of my long term financial goals.

Threats to Pope Francis on Chile visit next week as three Catholic churches bombed

Three Catholic churches in the Chilean capital of Santiago have been bombed just days before Pope Francis begins his tour of the country.

The perpetrators placed incendiary devices in all three churches, and in one left a direct threat to the Pope, saying the next bombs would be 'in your cassock'.

Chile's outgoing president Michelle Bachelet said the events were 'very strange, because it is not something that can be identified with one specific group', the Catholic Herald reported.

She added: 'What I've been told is that, for example, [when the Pope visited] Colombia, there were groups there with a little sign [in protest]. In a democracy, people can express themselves as long as they do so in a peaceful and appropriate way.'

Although authorities expect some protests over clerical sexual abuse during the Pope's visit, this is the first direct threat of violence.

Google Manipulating Searches of Conservative Sites, Leaving Liberal Sites Alone, Analysis Finds

Evidence continues to mount that the world's most powerful search engine is deliberately manipulating search results they deem objectionable by providing sketchy fact-check reviews of conservative websites while leaving liberal sites untouched.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

China May Soon Rescind its Population Control Policy

For decades, China's population control policies have led to the slaughter of millions of unborn children, promoted a culture of death, aggravated discrimination on the basis of sex and punished parents for having children. But in recent years, that has begun to change.

Between 1979 and 2015, the one-child-per-couple policy was one of the fundamental state policies in China. This policy was enforced through three different methods: abortion, fines and loss of employment. Forced abortions in China have killed approximately 400 million unborn children in the past 40 years, and created an extremely disproportionate sex-ratio—as many families aborted daughters because of a cultural preference for sons. Enormous fines were also imposed on the second or subsequent pregnancies. These fines sometimes amounted to as much as six times the annual household income from the previous year. Cumulatively, the fines brought in the equivalent of over two trillion U.S. dollars to local governments in China. As a result, the China Academy of Social Science has estimated that by the year 2020 China will have 30 million more men than women.

The most effective method of the three punishments was the loss of employment. Most local regulations required local governments and state-owned enterprises to terminate the employment of employees who violated the one-child policy and deprive them of their right to access to social benefits. Private enterprises were encouraged to do so as well, and most complied.

Francis-appointed cardinal: Pope could ‘name a woman cardinal’

In the short span of three weeks, Cardinal Joseph Tobin has made startling statements regarding the role of women within the Catholic Church in a pair of interviews reported in high profile left-leaning publications – The New York Times (NYT) and Jesuit America Magazine.
Nicholas Kristoff kicked off the NYT interview by zeroing in on a favorite term, “gender,” in what amounted to a slight against Catholicism.  “One area where the Catholic Church seems to me antiquated is gender.” Kristoff continued, “If Jesus trusted women like Mary Magdalene, if Phoebe could be a leader of the early church, then why can’t women be priests or cardinals today?”

Has the World Gone Nuts? Christianity and Civility

How do you talk with someone who thinks talking itself is an attack? That's a question that Americans need to ask of our institutions of higher learning. One great way to worsen our already gaping political divisions is to engage in what Internet chatroom denizens call "nutpicking." That is, the deliberate search for the "nuts" on either side of the political aisle to use as unflattering representations of opponents.

It should go without saying that nutpicking is unfair and dishonest. After all, we Christians don't like it when those in the media portray Westboro Baptist members as typical churchgoers. Picking out "nuts" only reinforces false prejudices and makes us less likely to give those we disagree with a fair hearing.

But when it comes to many American college campuses, the nuts seem so plentiful, you practically need a bushel basket—even in the heartland. And they're peddling ideas that directly contradict what education itself should be.

Nebraska governor plans to block federal funds from abortion clinics

Unveiled on Wednesday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts’ new state budget proposal would block federal funds from going to health clinics that provide abortion services.

Ricketts said that the move makes sense because of the values of Nebraska voters.

“Nebraska is a pro-life state, and the state’s budget should reflect those values,” Ricketts said in a statement on Monday.

The governor’s proposal takes advantage of a newly relaxed policy from Congress last year that gives states more leeway in determining the distribution of Title X funds, which are federal funds earmarked for providing family planning and related health services such as contraception.

“Thanks to action by Congress, Nebraska can now take new steps to protect unborn life by ensuring that these dollars are not used to fund abortion,” Ricketts said.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Gender Is Not a Societal Construct, Study Confirms

A recent study authored by John A. Barry of Institute for Women's Health at University College London found that children overwhelmingly chose to play with toys typed to their gender. Boys played with male‐typical toys more than girls did, and girls played with female‐typical toys more than boys did.

The study, "Sex differences in children's toy preferences: A systematic review, meta-regression and meta-analysis," which was published in Infant and Child Development, reviewed 16 studies, from 1980 to 2016, of 787 boys and 813 girls ranging in age from one to eight years.

City hall to review all-ages naked swimming party after petition goes viral

Calgary city council will decide Wednesday whether or not to cancel a private all-ages nude swim party at its Southland Leisure Centre after a petition to stop the event went viral.

CBC reported last Friday that Calgary Nude Recreation rented the city-run recreation center for a “Naked Water Slides and Wave Pool” event on January 14.

But the nudist group encourages children at its gatherings, according to its Meetup page.

“This group is family oriented and kid friendly and open to people of all ages, body types, all genders, sexual orientations, and anyone else in between,” it states.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What Climbing the Social Ladder Does to Your Levels of Compassion

I stopped to look at a particular man the other day. But then I kept walking. I saw him from a distance and kept my eyes on him until I stood before him.

I was walking with a friend and we wanted to get home. We had just gone to church and were busy talking to each other and thinking about food.

He was sitting in front of an affluent shop. He was of an average size, and sat cross-legged with his head hung low – so much so that it nearly sat in his lap. A pile of books was on his right, a blanket on his left.

Fly Jesus: Planes to take 'Jesus loves you' banners around UK festivals this summer

Banners with the message 'Jesus loves every 1 of u' will be flown over the UK this summer, with four pilots from across the country commissioned by Christians especially to target large secular events.

The 'Fly Jesus' initiative will be facilitated by Escalls Methodist Church in Sennen, Cornwall, where the idea also originated of a 'Praise Bus' to follow the Olympic Torch around Britain in 2012.

The new plan is the brainchild of church activist Christine Bonfield, who says she had a vision from God who told her: 'Get a plane, tie a banner with my message on it and fly the length and breadth of the country.'

The estimated cost of the project is £150,000, with four pilots set to fly the banners, which have been ordered from the US, on single-engine planes across the UK starting from the South West, London, Yorkshire and Lancashire over six weeks. Secular festivals will be particularly targeted, along with Cornwall, which sees some 4 million visitors every summer.

Monday, 8 January 2018

How to recognise spiritual abuse: 8 warning signs for churches

Two-thirds of Christians responding to a survey from the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service say they've been the victims of 'spiritual abuse'.

The figure comes with a health warning, partly because the respondents might have been self-selecting – taking the chance to share their stories for the first time – and partly because there's no agreed definition of what spiritual abuse is.

Nevertheless, the study says, there are clear characteristics, including coercion and control, manipulation and pressuring, control through misusing religious texts and providing a 'divine' rationale for behaviour. Often it's church leaders who do this, or people with influence in the church. And it's not all one-sided – church leaders can be abused too.

So how do we recognise spiritual abuse? The study doesn't go into details, but here are some suggestions about what might count as abuse.

Computers Are Not Spirit-Filled

We are surrounded by artificial intelligence.

Though I often question Siri's IQ, I'm quick to acknowledge that something powerful happens when I ask her a question.

Bits and bytes fly from my phone like a carrier pigeon that returns in seconds with an array of answers sans feathers.

There's plenty of discussions these days about the development of computer reasoning. We've learned to program the IQ of computers, and reasoning has advanced quickly as demonstrated by computer chess victories over grandmasters.

Austrian bishop signs statement calling Pope’s reading of Amoris Laetitia ‘alien’ to Catholic faith

Bishop Andreas Laun, Emeritus Auxiliary of Salzburg, Austria, today put his name to the “Profession of Immutable Truths about Sacramental Marriage,” bringing the number of signatories to six bishops and one cardinal, a reliable source confirmed.

On Monday, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, Archbishop Tomash Peta, Metropolitan of Astana, and Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, issued a “public and unequivocal profession of the truth” regarding the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage as a “service of charity in truth” to the Church of today and to the Pope.

400-Year-Old Bible Survived Invasions, Fire and Even Being Used as Toilet Paper

The incredible story of a 400-year-old Bible is set to be told at the National Library of Wales after the sacred book was discovered hidden away in the back of a church.

The leather-bound 1620 Llanwnda Bible survived the invasion of Britain during the 1797 Battle of Fishguard. During the fierce battle, the army of 1,400 French and Irish troops raided St Gwyndaf's Church in the Welsh town of Llanwnda and used pages from the Bible to start a fire.

The Llanwnda Bible was eventually discovered some 200 years later in the 1990s. "The story goes that the book was rediscovered at the back of the church in the 1990s, and nobody realized what it was," said the vicar of the church Sarah Geach, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

This Is the Type of Leadership We Need in the 21st-Century Church

Through the years, I have observed various kinds of leadership styles and methods. Some are effective in certain contexts but greatly limit their reach because of their limited perspective. The purpose of this article is to explore the differences between what I call "lateral" and "vertical" leadership.

By lateral leadership, I am referring to a person who is horizontal in scope and perspective and functions more as a facilitator of vision, ideas and abilities. By vertical leadership, I am referring to a person who is vertical in scope and perspective and has more of a narrow view regarding how to accomplish vision and with whom they will work. Although serving as a lateral leader is more difficult and time-consuming, I am convinced it is the more effective way forward to implement mission for the 21st-century church and marketplace.

Vertical leaders can also be very effective—especially in emergencies and in the short-term. They can be very convincing, dogmatic, entrenched in their own paradigm of doing things and can attract loyal followers to their mission. The question is not whether they are good leaders—the point of this article is the fact that vertical leaders are limiting the scope of their mission because they limit their team to the handful of those who rarely push back at them in the decision-making process. Of course, even lateral leaders have to make the final decision in the event they experience an impasse with their team and cannot reach consensus.

Traits of Lateral Leadership

Standing for Christ in an Age When Atheism Is Fashionable

We live in an age where many question Christianity. It somehow has become fashionable to be an atheist. The mainstream media constantly focus on negative news about Christians. Believers in God are told that they are old-fashioned, outdated and simply out of touch with reality. And many young people struggle, as they don't quite know how to approach this fervent disdain.

This is why it is more important than ever to educate yourself on how to defend the faith, how to rationally and spiritually explain the Christian belief to those who, out of ignorance, think that belief in God belongs to the past. Read The Culture War: How the West Lost its Greatness and get the tools. Remember that atheism is a faith like any other, the belief in "nothing" and the assortment that "the universe is empty." None of them ever went out there to check, so how do they know there is no God, angels or devils out there? They assume based on faith. Atheism is a religion, they strongly believe that "God is dead" and mankind is the only source of light, which is impossible to prove empirically.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

This Ridiculous Fantasy Has Destroyed Too Many Christian Relationships

There is a fantasy in our culture that many Christian singles have purchased, hook, line and sinker. The fantasy is that there is a special person who will unconditionally love you, meet your needs and take responsibility for your entire life. They will rescue you from the worst parts and clean up the messes you have made by personal irresponsibility. The myth is that there is a hero.

Heroes are fictional beings who have special powers and can rescue you anytime. Superman, Batgirl or any league of males and females we have read about when we were kids—certainly there's a superhero for me, right?

Sad to say, I think not. Unfortunately, like Santa Claus, so is the myth of the hero in singleness. The truth of the matter is, there are only imperfect, fallible and sometimes even mean-spirited people, even if they are saved.

These mere mortals have moods, opinions that change, grow in and out of fads, are passionate and dispassionate at the same time. They love God, and they sin. They are disciplined and lazy in different areas and can agree and disagree with you all within a day.

Friday, 22 December 2017

What to do if you’re too ashamed to go to Confession

While Reconciliation is intended to allow Christ’s victory to overcome sin in our lives, what happens when shame over one’s sins is so great that it keeps people away from the sacrament?

The famous Spanish theologian Father José Antonio Fortea discussed this phenomenon, and practical solutions to it, in a blog post.

Famed Celebrity Calls for Witchcraft Intervention in Pregnancy

Chrissy Teigen called for witchcraft to intervene with her pregnancy headaches.

The model is pregnant with her second child with husband John Legend. Legend was recently tapped to play Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!"

Popular pastor Rodney Howard Browne says the occult influences much of Hollywood.

"They sacrifice children at the highest levels in Hollywood. They drink blood of young kids. This is a fact. That's why the next thing to be exposed will be all the pedophilia that is going to come out of Hollywood and come out of Washington, D.C. The human sacrifice and the cannibalism has been going on for years," Browne said in an October sermon.

He continued: "Many of the Hollywood actors that you go see on a screen, what you don't know, they bring a witch, they do a big seance right there on the set, and they worship devils, and they allow devils to come into them before they take the part of what they're going to act. It's a fact, what I am telling you."

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christian movie featuring dress above knee deemed 'ungodly'

A Christian film director has been left frustrated after a faith-based media company refused to promote his new film on the grounds of decency. Dave Christiano, the in-some-circles-legendary director of films including The Pretender, says a Milwaukee-based radio host rejected his latest offering because it featured a female character with a dress cut above the knee. The daily Crosstalk programme, which airs on the Wisconsin-based station Voice of Christian Youth (VCY) said that it would not promote Remember the Goal – Christiano's new athletics-based evangelistic drama – on the grounds that it was 'ungodly'.

In the film, lead actress Allee-Sutton Hethcoat wears a dress which finishes slightly above her knee, while as a sports-based drama, it also features a number of characters in gym kit. On his own website, Christiano says that he pointed out to Jim Schneider, the host of the programme, that a similiar Christian movie, A Thief in the Night – a film still regularly referenced and promoted on Crosstalk – features two female characters with considerably shorter skirts than the one worn by Hethcoat. Schneider allegedly countered that this was different because those women were portraying non-believers, whereas Hethcoat's character is a Christian.

6 False Teachings Bringing Deceptive Darkness Into the Church

Since that very moment in the Garden of Eden when a single bite shattered the harmony of the world, man has tried to make his own way, be his own master, and set up his own kingdom. It's nothing new.

Nevertheless, if we want to be faithful followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this day and age, we must be alert and ready to boldly stand against the spirit of the age that seeks to modify the message of Christ, undermine His power to set us free from sin, repaint Christ's picture to make Him more acceptable to a wayward generation and rewrite the gospel to remove the offense of the cross.

For the last 2,000 years, the church has been plagued with heresy after heresy seeking to tame the gospel, and today is no different. Here are just a few of the popular beliefs in our current culture that threaten to infiltrate the church:

Pope: All of Mass is important – don’t be late!

Pope Francis on Wednesday stressed the importance of getting to Mass on time, noting that every piece is important, especially the opening Sign of the Cross, where we prepare as a community to worship God together.

“It is not a good habit to look at the clock and say: ‘I am in time, I will arrive after the sermon and with this fulfill the commandment,’” the Pope said Dec. 20.

“The Mass begins with the Sign of the Cross, with these introductory rites, because we begin to adore God as a community. And for this reason, it is important to plan to not arrive late, but in advance, to prepare the heart for this rite, for this celebration of the community.”

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Mass in sign language? These Spanish priests celebrate it every week

In the Catholic Church, the spoken language is central to the liturgy: we recite the Nicene Creed as one, we praise the Lord with the Gloria that we sing, and we bow our heads to hear the blessing we receive at the end of Mass.

But there’s a different reality for hearing impaired and deaf Catholics around the world.

Quebec Makes Sex Ed Mandatory at Age 5, Will Teach About Same-Sex Couples in Kindergarten

The Canadian province of Quebec has become the latest to make sex education mandatory for children in all stages of school, starting in kindergarten.

As CBC News reported on Saturday, starting in September 2018 children as young as 5 "will get a brief explanation of the steps involved in making a baby."

Monday, 18 December 2017

Deadly attack on Pakistan Methodist church leaves 8 dead, many wounded

Eight people have died and 44 have been injured at a Methodist church in Pakistan, according to reports from Quetta Sunday morning.

Nine of the injured are in a critical condition, a hospital spokesman said.

The Bethel Memorial Methodist Church was attacked by two suicide bombers who tried to enter the church but were stopped by guards at the entrance

What You Need to Know About the Number of the Beast

If there's one part of the Bible virtually everyone has heard of, it's 666—the "number of the beast." And if there's one thing no one can agree upon, it's what that number stands for. We find the number in Revelation 13:18, "Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast. It is the number of a man. His number is six hundred and sixty-six." The wording here is important: John tells readers that the number needs to be "calculated," which means there must be a hidden meaning behind it. But how do we calculate it?

Friday, 15 December 2017

Keep internet neutral, U.S. bishops say

On Thursday, the Federal Communication Commission voted to repeal net neutrality regulations, which the U.S. bishops have called essential to fair use of the internet by for nonprofits and individuals.

“Without open internet principles which prohibit paid prioritization, we might be forced to pay fees to ensure that our high-bandwidth content receives fair treatment on the internet,” said Bishop Christopher Coyne, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Communications.

“Non-profit communities, both religious and secular, cannot afford to pay to compete with profitable commercialized content.”

Pope Francis warns against 'conversing' with Satan, an 'evil person...more intelligent than us'

Pope Francis has warned against 'conversing' with Satan, describing the 'person' of the Devil as 'more intelligent than us', an evil enemy who will 'turn you upside down'.

'I'm convinced that one must never converse with Satan - if you do that, you'll be lost,' the pontiff told Catholic broadcaster TV2000, according to the Telegraph.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Dr. Mike Evans, Friends of Zion Honor President Trump After Historic Jerusalem Announcement

Last week, President Donald Trump made history by declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital. In fulfilling one of his campaign promises, the proclamation brought joy to many in the evangelical community.

I happened to be in Washington, D.C., the day it happened and caught up with popular speaker and writer Lance Wallnau to discuss the significance of this event. You can listen to it on my Strang Report Podcast. (Lance is always one of my most popular podcast guests.)

The evangelical community showed its appreciation when the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, Dr. Mike Evans, presented President Trump with the Friends of Zion Award in a ceremony at the White House on Monday.

Former priest to serve life for 1960 murder in Texas

Nearly 60 years after Irene Garza disappeared after going to confession in her Texas hometown, the last person who saw her – who was a priest at the time – has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

John Feit, an 85-year-old former priest has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Garza on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1960.

Vatican communications department will soon unveil new website

Pope Francis and his Council of Cardinals met this week to continue discussions on reform of the Roman Curia and unveiled a new communications system for the Secretariat for Communications.

Taking place at the Vatican Dec. 11-13, all members were present for the meetings, apart from Cardinal George Pell. Pope Francis was present except for Wednesday morning during the general audience, as is ordinary.

Fr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, presented the new communications system, including a new website and logos, during the 22nd round of meetings.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

False Religion Rising With 'Robot' Messiah

There's the great falling away Paul the apostle prophesied in 2 Timothy 2; then there's the Way of the Future. Could the two converge?

Way of the Future, a new religion birthed with artificial Intelligence in mind, is setting up church and making news media headlines around the world. NewsweekWiredBloomberg and others are giving this false religion plenty of press.

Anthony Levandowski, the Silicon Valley multimillionaire who developed the robotics team for Uber's self-driving program and Waymo, the self-driving car company Google owns, launched the first AI-based church to propagate a perverted religion.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Block the Leviathan Spirit's Deadly Attacks With This Spiritual Insight

Recently, at a national level, as well as in the church, we have suffered an attack of the Leviathan spirit. Before you get too mystical about all that, understand that Leviathan is a metaphorical reference Scripture draws from the image of a great serpentine sea creature. It describes a spirit that works to twist words and perceptions in order to disrupt and destroy the people of God.

Christian teacher suing Oxfordshire school for suspension after 'misgendering' transgender pupil

A Christian maths teacher suspended by his Oxfordshire school for 'misgendering' a transgender pupil is suing the school on the grounds of religious discrimination.

Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, who teaches maths at an Oxfordshire secondary school, faced a disciplinary hearing and suspension after he called a transgender student who self-identified as male a 'girl'.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Marriage redefined in Australia despite religious freedom fears

A bill passed Thursday in Australia changed the legal definition of marriage from being between “a man and a women” to “between two people.”

The parliamentary vote comes after a two-month postal survey which concluded on Nov. 7, with nearly 80 percent of Australia’s voting eligible population in participation. Of the 12.7 million people who voted, 61 percent voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

The poll was legally non-binding, but it did initiate the introduction of a bill in parliament. Last week the piece of legislation was passed through the upper house Senate, 43-12.

'Christmas Is Illegal,' Says North Carolina Senior Resident

Christmas has always been a festive time of the year for the residents of Lake Ridge Commons, a senior-living community in Wilmington, North Carolina.

"We had door-decorating contests, wrapping-paper covered doors, festive wreaths," resident Leigh Bowser told television station WECT.

But this year, there will be no door-decorating contests or doors covered in wrapping paper or even Christmas wreaths.

7 worst countries to be an atheist named

Army soldiers stand guard at a street in Pakistan, which was cited as one of the seven worst countries to be an atheist.

The seven worst countries to be an atheist have been named in an annual report documenting the persecution of non-believers around the world.

India, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan all actively persecute the non-religious, according to the Freedom of Thought report published this week.

Most Western Europeans No Longer Believe in Heaven and Hell, Survey Finds

A global survey of people's perceptions of major religious beliefs has found that in a number of Western nations a majority of the population no longer believes in Heaven or Hell, even if they profess a belief in God.

A global survey on the perception of people around the world has found that in a number of Western countries, relatively small portions of the population believe in Heaven and Hell, though more believe in God.

Breaking: Three Reported Dead in School Shooting in New Mexico

The Associated Press has reported that at least three people are dead and several others injured in yet another school shooting, this one Thursday morning at Aztec High School in Aztec, New Mexico at approximately 9 a.m. local time.

Fox News reported just after noon ET Thursday that authorities from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said the shooter was "down" but did not provide any further information.

The school, located in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico and near the Navajo Nation about 180 miles north of the capital of Albuquerque, is on lockdown.

Fox News reported that it wasn't immediately clear if the shooting happened inside the school, who was suspected of firing the shots and the condition of the wounded. Law-enforcement officials posted a message on Facebook for people to "avoid the area" while they secured the scene.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Jerusalem church leaders warn Trump of 'irreparable harm' if he changes Holy City's status

Patriarchs and heads of local churches in Jerusalem have written a special letter to Donald Trump pleading with him not to change the 'international' status of the city hours ahead of the President's planned statement recognising it as Israel's capital.

The letter, reported by the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, warned that any 'sudden changes would cause irreparable harm, and comes amid intense speculation that Trump will also announce that the US is to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

'Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm,' the clerics wrote.