Faith in the News

For those deep thinkers out there.
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by FredS » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:27 pm

wosbald wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:40 pm
+JMJ+

Hodgson reports his own church, St. Julie’s in Dartmouth, to the White House
Image
[File Photo]

DARTMOUTH — “Stephen, thought you might like to see samples of cards I discovered in a holder at the back of St. Julie’s Church in Dartmouth, MA,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson says in an email to Stephen Miller, the architect of the White House’s immigration policy.

“While attending mass last Sunday, I noticed a holder on a table near the entrance marked, “ICE-Immigration” and noticed the three stacks of colored cards. Trying to determine if this is an isolated situation or a common occurrence in other parish churches,” Hodgson adds. The email is dated Aug. 7, 2017, and was sent at 12:41 p.m. on that date.

In about the time it takes to click the send button for an email, the sheriff notified the White House that his own place of worship was distributing information in immigrants’ native language about their legal rights and also assisting people either directly or indirectly who may not be in the U.S. legally.

This particular email is one of some 74 emails the sheriff sent to Miller and were obtained by the American Civil Liberties Un𝗂on and provided to The Standard-Times.

The Rev. Richard Roy, pastor of St. Julie’s Billiart Parish on Slocum Road in Dartmouth, said the sheriff is a parishioner and he declined to comment.

The pastor said the cards were informational and many people who go to the church speak languages other than English.

“This is just giving them some information on how to behave and conduct themselves if approached by law enforcement,” Roy said.

The cards are gone, he said. They were taken by people. There are no more.

The Fall River Diocese, in a statement, said the dissemination of information is in keeping with their teachings and is part of their mission.

[…]

“Needless to say when I saw it, I was surprised,” the sheriff said.

The sheriff said he reacted as a law enforcement professional. “I thought it was appropriate to make Washington aware when these things were happening,” he said. “If these kinds of things are going on in churches, then we should be aware of it.”

Hodgson praised the dialogue between the Trump White House and local sheriffs.

“People should celebrate the fact that sheriffs in the U.S. have direct access to the President,” he said. “Decisions are not being made in a vacuum. They are made with information from people who have boots on the ground,” he said.

“I’ll never apologize for that (communications he has with the White House). If I saw it at a store or a community center, I would have done the same thing,” he said.
I hate this. HATE it.
WTF is wrong with these people?
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:01 pm

+JMJ+

Intra-Thread Trackback: pg 113


Trump's Redefinition of Jewish Identity That Wasn't [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image

A cautionary tale about a national freak-out over something that never happened

Regular readers of this newsletter know that I have not been sparing in my criticism of President Donald Trump, or his conduct towards Jews. I’ve spent years writing about the anti-Semitism within his ideological circle and evident from his own rhetoric and conduct. These facts remain real concerns. But the danger of a powerful narrative is that it can lead us to shoehorn events into it that don’t actually belong.

That’s what happened yesterday when it was announced that Trump would be signing an executive order to combat anti-Semitism on university campuses. Critics immediately seized on a New York Times report that claimed that the order — whose text it did not cite — would “define Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion.” In short order, “Judaism” began trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. Countless celebrities and commentators claimed that this was an attempt to define Jews as un-American and suggested it was the first step towards deportation or even a Holocaust.

My goal here is not to shame people who were expressing their legitimate heartfelt concerns, which is why I’m not embedding any of those tweets. I just want to explain what really happened, what the executive order actually says, and how we can avoid being taken in by such panics in the future.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:59 am

+JMJ+

Sean Hannity says faith is 'stronger' than ever after leaving Catholic Church over 'institutionalized corruption'
Image
Talk show host Sean Hannity sat down with host of FOX Nation’s Ainsley’s Bible Study and co-host of FOX & Friends, Ainsley Earhardt for an in-depth discussion regarding his faith and religious beliefs. | Fox News

Sean Hannity says faith is 'stronger' than ever after leaving Catholic Church over 'institutionalized corruption'

Popular talk show host Sean Hannity says that despite leaving the Catholic Church due to “institutionalized corruption,” his Christian faith and relationship with God continue to be the source of his peace, security, and fulfillment.

In an interview with Ainsley Earhardt, co-host of FOX & Friends and host of FOX Nation’s "Ainsley’s Bible Study" that will be broadcast online Wednesday, Hannity opens up about his journey to finding God, his current religious beliefs, and why he loves the Christmas season.

The host of "The Sean Hannity Show" revealed in a clip shared with The Christian Post that despite attending Catholic school for 12 years, he is no longer affiliated with the Catholic Church due to “too much institutionalized corruption” that has not been “rectified.” However, Hannity said his faith has “gotten stronger” as he’s “gotten older.”

“I would say I realize more than ever that I not only need, but I want God in my life,” the 57-year-old author said, adding that science reflects the majesty and ingenuity of God.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:33 pm

+JMJ+


► Show Spoiler

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by Cleon » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:46 pm

wosbald wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:33 pm
+JMJ+


► Show Spoiler
Wayne Grudem lost his marbles a while back.
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by tuttle » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:58 am

Cleon wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:46 pm
wosbald wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:33 pm
+JMJ+


► Show Spoiler
Wayne Grudem lost his marbles a while back.
Grudem went crooked during the election. We had a thread about it somewhere.

It's one thing to defend the ethics of voters and another thing to defend the ethics of Trump.
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by Cleon » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:13 am

tuttle wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:58 am
Cleon wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:46 pm
wosbald wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:33 pm
+JMJ+


► Show Spoiler
Wayne Grudem lost his marbles a while back.
Grudem went crooked during the election. We had a thread about it somewhere.

It's one thing to defend the ethics of voters and another thing to defend the ethics of Trump.
He's a hot mess. I'm usually okay taking the good with the bad, but I've sworn him off. I don't read his stuff anymore.
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

"More people need to put their big boy britches on." - JMG

"Dang, a pipe slap." - JimVH

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:04 am


ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:39 pm

+JMJ+

Iran, Mike Pompeo, and the Total Depravity of The Other [Opinion]
Image
Image

Mike Pompeo (U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)

Donald Trump may not be an evangelical Christian, but his administration is filled with evangelicals who have weekly Bible studies together. One such evangelical Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State, said about Iran that “force is the only language they respond to.” When I hear this statement, I don’t just hear crass political speak. Within it is a theological appraisal of human nature. It’s an application of a popular evangelical doctrine of sin: what I have termed the total depravity of the other.

[…]

The problem is when the evangelical imagination merges its doctrine of total depravity in a particular way with its doctrine of election, that God has arbitrarily chosen some people to fill with his grace and accept into heaven. That’s how we get the perverse ideology of the total depravity of the other, which appears to be a major catalyst of the ideologies of white supremacy and American exceptionalism. Humanity is wicked, but God chose me and my people to be his force for good in the world.

It is precisely this perverse combination of total depravity and divine election that produces Christian Zionism, which is not a belief that Jews are good people who will go to heaven, but a belief in the righteousness of God’s choice to elect some and damn others. Because saying, “That’s not fair; Palestinians should have the right not to have their houses randomly bulldozed” is kind of like saying, “That’s not fair. Buddhists and Hindus should be allowed to go to heaven too.”

The two “tough truths” of evangelical theology that it pits against the “That’s not fair” of secular liberalism are God’s arbitrary choice (to pick my people) and the irredeemable evil of people (who haven’t been chosen like me). That’s why evangelicals can promote anti-Semitic stereotypes about a Holocaust survivor like George Soros and also say that the Bible gave the Holy Land to Israel. It’s not about whether Jews are good or deserve nice things. It’s about the authority of God’s choice and Biblical proclamation over against self-evident secular humanist notions of fairness.

Again, many evangelicals put their doctrine together in much less toxic ways. Both total depravity and divine election can be a source of deep personal humility if I understand them strictly in terms of my own personal discipleship and not as a means of speculating about which sides God is picking in global politics. The problem is that the toxic ideology of the total depravity of the other is the version that has risen to the top when evangelical politicians consider how to relate to other countries, especially in the Muslim world.

That’s why it’s become unimaginable to consider what rational goals Iran might have for using nuclear energy or even why Iran’s proxy involvement in regional conflicts makes it a “rogue state” while it’s perfectly understandable for the US to have military bases in dozens of foreign countries and intervene covertly and overtly in other countries’ internal conflicts in every region of the world. How are Iran’s actions in Syria and Iraq any different than US interventions in Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, and just about every other country in Latin America? The difference is that the US is elect and Iran is totally depraved.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:18 pm

wosbald wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:39 pm
+JMJ+

Iran, Mike Pompeo, and the Total Depravity of The Other [Opinion]
Image
Image

Mike Pompeo (U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)

Donald Trump may not be an evangelical Christian, but his administration is filled with evangelicals who have weekly Bible studies together. One such evangelical Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State, said about Iran that “force is the only language they respond to.” When I hear this statement, I don’t just hear crass political speak. Within it is a theological appraisal of human nature. It’s an application of a popular evangelical doctrine of sin: what I have termed the total depravity of the other.

[…]

The problem is when the evangelical imagination merges its doctrine of total depravity in a particular way with its doctrine of election, that God has arbitrarily chosen some people to fill with his grace and accept into heaven. That’s how we get the perverse ideology of the total depravity of the other, which appears to be a major catalyst of the ideologies of white supremacy and American exceptionalism. Humanity is wicked, but God chose me and my people to be his force for good in the world.

It is precisely this perverse combination of total depravity and divine election that produces Christian Zionism, which is not a belief that Jews are good people who will go to heaven, but a belief in the righteousness of God’s choice to elect some and damn others. Because saying, “That’s not fair; Palestinians should have the right not to have their houses randomly bulldozed” is kind of like saying, “That’s not fair. Buddhists and Hindus should be allowed to go to heaven too.”

The two “tough truths” of evangelical theology that it pits against the “That’s not fair” of secular liberalism are God’s arbitrary choice (to pick my people) and the irredeemable evil of people (who haven’t been chosen like me). That’s why evangelicals can promote anti-Semitic stereotypes about a Holocaust survivor like George Soros and also say that the Bible gave the Holy Land to Israel. It’s not about whether Jews are good or deserve nice things. It’s about the authority of God’s choice and Biblical proclamation over against self-evident secular humanist notions of fairness.

Again, many evangelicals put their doctrine together in much less toxic ways. Both total depravity and divine election can be a source of deep personal humility if I understand them strictly in terms of my own personal discipleship and not as a means of speculating about which sides God is picking in global politics. The problem is that the toxic ideology of the total depravity of the other is the version that has risen to the top when evangelical politicians consider how to relate to other countries, especially in the Muslim world.

That’s why it’s become unimaginable to consider what rational goals Iran might have for using nuclear energy or even why Iran’s proxy involvement in regional conflicts makes it a “rogue state” while it’s perfectly understandable for the US to have military bases in dozens of foreign countries and intervene covertly and overtly in other countries’ internal conflicts in every region of the world. How are Iran’s actions in Syria and Iraq any different than US interventions in Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, and just about every other country in Latin America? The difference is that the US is elect and Iran is totally depraved.

[…]
Awesome. It's funny how a man can always bend his religion to match his politics.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by Del » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:29 pm

Stanley76 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:19 pm
Jester wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:41 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:57 am
+JMJ+

Trump is stupid.
I wish I was stupid so I could be a billionaire and marry a super model. :cry:
A very devout Catholic supermodel, even.

I believe Melania is the reason why Trump seems to have undergone some sort of "conversion."
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by Del » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:32 pm

Jester wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:51 am
wosbald wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:33 am
+JMJ+

Paula Michelle White-Cain, better known as Paula White, is an American non-denominational Christian pastor.
Women can't be Baptist pastors.
Why not? Is this a tradition of that denomination, like abstaining from alcohol?

Baptist pastors do not claim to be priests, or to ever stand in persona Christi. I see no reason why women cannot be Protestant ministers.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by Del » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:43 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:18 pm
wosbald wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:39 pm
+JMJ+

Iran, Mike Pompeo, and the Total Depravity of The Other [Opinion]
Image
Image

Mike Pompeo (U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)

Donald Trump may not be an evangelical Christian, but his administration is filled with evangelicals who have weekly Bible studies together. One such evangelical Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State, said about Iran that “force is the only language they respond to.” When I hear this statement, I don’t just hear crass political speak. Within it is a theological appraisal of human nature. It’s an application of a popular evangelical doctrine of sin: what I have termed the total depravity of the other.

[…]

The problem is when the evangelical imagination merges its doctrine of total depravity in a particular way with its doctrine of election, that God has arbitrarily chosen some people to fill with his grace and accept into heaven. That’s how we get the perverse ideology of the total depravity of the other, which appears to be a major catalyst of the ideologies of white supremacy and American exceptionalism. Humanity is wicked, but God chose me and my people to be his force for good in the world.

It is precisely this perverse combination of total depravity and divine election that produces Christian Zionism, which is not a belief that Jews are good people who will go to heaven, but a belief in the righteousness of God’s choice to elect some and damn others. Because saying, “That’s not fair; Palestinians should have the right not to have their houses randomly bulldozed” is kind of like saying, “That’s not fair. Buddhists and Hindus should be allowed to go to heaven too.”

The two “tough truths” of evangelical theology that it pits against the “That’s not fair” of secular liberalism are God’s arbitrary choice (to pick my people) and the irredeemable evil of people (who haven’t been chosen like me). That’s why evangelicals can promote anti-Semitic stereotypes about a Holocaust survivor like George Soros and also say that the Bible gave the Holy Land to Israel. It’s not about whether Jews are good or deserve nice things. It’s about the authority of God’s choice and Biblical proclamation over against self-evident secular humanist notions of fairness.

Again, many evangelicals put their doctrine together in much less toxic ways. Both total depravity and divine election can be a source of deep personal humility if I understand them strictly in terms of my own personal discipleship and not as a means of speculating about which sides God is picking in global politics. The problem is that the toxic ideology of the total depravity of the other is the version that has risen to the top when evangelical politicians consider how to relate to other countries, especially in the Muslim world.

That’s why it’s become unimaginable to consider what rational goals Iran might have for using nuclear energy or even why Iran’s proxy involvement in regional conflicts makes it a “rogue state” while it’s perfectly understandable for the US to have military bases in dozens of foreign countries and intervene covertly and overtly in other countries’ internal conflicts in every region of the world. How are Iran’s actions in Syria and Iraq any different than US interventions in Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, and just about every other country in Latin America? The difference is that the US is elect and Iran is totally depraved.

[…]
Awesome. It's funny how a man can always bend his religion to match his politics.
I was quite stumped as to what sort of person would write such a strange article. Not an Evangelical believer. Surely not a Catholic. Certainly not a Calvinist. Perhaps it is some sort of elitist progressive semi-Christian who is so much smarter than the rest of us.

I found a bio on the author:
About Morgan Guyton

I’m the director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, which is the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. My first book How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes To Toxic Christianity was released by Westminister John Knox in 2016.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by tuttle » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:04 am

Del wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:43 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:18 pm
wosbald wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:39 pm
+JMJ+

Iran, Mike Pompeo, and the Total Depravity of The Other [Opinion]
Image
Image

Mike Pompeo (U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)

Donald Trump may not be an evangelical Christian, but his administration is filled with evangelicals who have weekly Bible studies together. One such evangelical Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State, said about Iran that “force is the only language they respond to.” When I hear this statement, I don’t just hear crass political speak. Within it is a theological appraisal of human nature. It’s an application of a popular evangelical doctrine of sin: what I have termed the total depravity of the other.

[…]

The problem is when the evangelical imagination merges its doctrine of total depravity in a particular way with its doctrine of election, that God has arbitrarily chosen some people to fill with his grace and accept into heaven. That’s how we get the perverse ideology of the total depravity of the other, which appears to be a major catalyst of the ideologies of white supremacy and American exceptionalism. Humanity is wicked, but God chose me and my people to be his force for good in the world.

It is precisely this perverse combination of total depravity and divine election that produces Christian Zionism, which is not a belief that Jews are good people who will go to heaven, but a belief in the righteousness of God’s choice to elect some and damn others. Because saying, “That’s not fair; Palestinians should have the right not to have their houses randomly bulldozed” is kind of like saying, “That’s not fair. Buddhists and Hindus should be allowed to go to heaven too.”

The two “tough truths” of evangelical theology that it pits against the “That’s not fair” of secular liberalism are God’s arbitrary choice (to pick my people) and the irredeemable evil of people (who haven’t been chosen like me). That’s why evangelicals can promote anti-Semitic stereotypes about a Holocaust survivor like George Soros and also say that the Bible gave the Holy Land to Israel. It’s not about whether Jews are good or deserve nice things. It’s about the authority of God’s choice and Biblical proclamation over against self-evident secular humanist notions of fairness.

Again, many evangelicals put their doctrine together in much less toxic ways. Both total depravity and divine election can be a source of deep personal humility if I understand them strictly in terms of my own personal discipleship and not as a means of speculating about which sides God is picking in global politics. The problem is that the toxic ideology of the total depravity of the other is the version that has risen to the top when evangelical politicians consider how to relate to other countries, especially in the Muslim world.

That’s why it’s become unimaginable to consider what rational goals Iran might have for using nuclear energy or even why Iran’s proxy involvement in regional conflicts makes it a “rogue state” while it’s perfectly understandable for the US to have military bases in dozens of foreign countries and intervene covertly and overtly in other countries’ internal conflicts in every region of the world. How are Iran’s actions in Syria and Iraq any different than US interventions in Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, and just about every other country in Latin America? The difference is that the US is elect and Iran is totally depraved.

[…]
Awesome. It's funny how a man can always bend his religion to match his politics.
I was quite stumped as to what sort of person would write such a strange article. Not an Evangelical believer. Surely not a Catholic. Certainly not a Calvinist. Perhaps it is some sort of elitist progressive semi-Christian who is so much smarter than the rest of us.

I found a bio on the author:
About Morgan Guyton

I’m the director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, which is the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. My first book How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes To Toxic Christianity was released by Westminister John Knox in 2016.
It reads like a leftist acting like they understand how believers who espouse total depravity believe total depravity works and misses wide of the mark but miraculously shoehorns it to fit a leftist narrative.

I'm not saying there aren't evangelicals who functionally operate with a US=elect, Other=not elect mindset, but I'd contend they don't even think in those terms, likely because they've either never been introduced to the concept or disbelieve it in general. This is a typical Arminian swipe.
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:10 am

+JMJ+

Last Word: Christian Iran
Image

Ancient History, Ever New

On a dimly lit side street in central Tehran, a bright yellow light shines above a wooden door. Step inside and you might imagine you had left the Islamic Republic. An unveiled woman greets guests and leads them to a spacious dining room, where other women have hung their veils and monteaux at the door. It is early summer, so sleeveless tops reveal bare arms and shoulders. When one patron produces a bottle of Scotch, a waiter brings him a tumbler with ice.

This is one of Tehran’s three Armenian clubs — informal “Islamic-free zones” where Armenian Christians can socialize without the constraints of Islamic law. There are other kinds of Christians in Iran — Assyrians and Chaldeans, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox — but Armenians are the most numerous. It is estimated that there are three hundred thousand of them in Iran. They are allocated five seats in the religious-minorities section of parliament, freely attend services in the six hundred Armenian churches throughout the country, hold observer status on the powerful Guardian Council, and operate their own schools so that their children can be taught in the Armenian language.

Christianity has a long history in Iran. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that Parthians, Persians, and Medes converted to Christianity at Pentecost, and the Parthian kings allowed the new religion to spread throughout the empire. Christians fleeing Roman persecution found a safe haven there. But for the next fifteen hundred years the fortunes of Persian Christians were subject to the political conflicts that swept across Asia. The fourth-century Zoroastrian ruler Shapour II initially allowed religious freedom but then cracked down on both Christians and Jews. In the early centuries of Islamic rule, Christians enjoyed the status of a protected minority, but the Crusades revived old religious tensions. The early Mongol rulers converted to Christianity after they invaded in the thirteenth century, but when later rulers opted for Islam, Christians were again persecuted.

[…]

The main attraction is the cathedral itself, where the beauty of the Armenian religious tradition is revealed in all its glory. At the top of the central dome the creation story is painted in patterns of blue and gold. Winged cherubs, a traditional Armenian motif, decorate the stone columns, and traditional Persian imagery appears in the floral patterns that adorn the entrance ceiling.

The cathedral isn’t the only church in Julfa. Knock on the wooden door of the Church of St. Mary and a caretaker will open it to admit visitors to the inner courtyard. Built by a wealthy silk merchant in the seventeenth century, St. Mary’s was later expanded to accommodate overflow crowds. Then there is the Church of Bethlehem, where the life of Jesus is portrayed in seventy-two wall paintings. The crosses of both churches rise above their central domes to share the skyline with the local minarets.

Many Westerners think of Iran as a theocratic monolith. They would no doubt be surprised to discover Christians of various kinds living there comfortably. Some of these Christian communities are ancient; some arrived more recently, seeking asylum. But even the newcomers now regard Iran as their home. They think of the Shiite majority not as their hosts, but as neighbors with whom they have much in common. For example, Muslim and Christian Iranians are united in their enthusiasm for the recent nuclear deal, which will release their country from stifling economic sanctions. In an interview with the Fides News Agency, Hormoz Aslani Babroudi, director of the Pontifical Missionary Society of Iran, offered his endorsement of the agreement: “Christians, along with all the Iranian people, are rejoicing because their prayers were answered. From now on it will be easier for the world to have a positive view of Iran.” He added, “We do not consider ourselves foreigners but Iranians, and we are proud of it.”

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Del
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Re: Faith in the News

Post by Del » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:04 am

tuttle wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:04 am
Del wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:43 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:18 pm
wosbald wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:39 pm
+JMJ+

Iran, Mike Pompeo, and the Total Depravity of The Other [Opinion]
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Mike Pompeo (U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)

Donald Trump may not be an evangelical Christian, but his administration is filled with evangelicals who have weekly Bible studies together. One such evangelical Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State, said about Iran that “force is the only language they respond to.” When I hear this statement, I don’t just hear crass political speak. Within it is a theological appraisal of human nature. It’s an application of a popular evangelical doctrine of sin: what I have termed the total depravity of the other.

[…]

The problem is when the evangelical imagination merges its doctrine of total depravity in a particular way with its doctrine of election, that God has arbitrarily chosen some people to fill with his grace and accept into heaven. That’s how we get the perverse ideology of the total depravity of the other, which appears to be a major catalyst of the ideologies of white supremacy and American exceptionalism. Humanity is wicked, but God chose me and my people to be his force for good in the world.

It is precisely this perverse combination of total depravity and divine election that produces Christian Zionism, which is not a belief that Jews are good people who will go to heaven, but a belief in the righteousness of God’s choice to elect some and damn others. Because saying, “That’s not fair; Palestinians should have the right not to have their houses randomly bulldozed” is kind of like saying, “That’s not fair. Buddhists and Hindus should be allowed to go to heaven too.”

The two “tough truths” of evangelical theology that it pits against the “That’s not fair” of secular liberalism are God’s arbitrary choice (to pick my people) and the irredeemable evil of people (who haven’t been chosen like me). That’s why evangelicals can promote anti-Semitic stereotypes about a Holocaust survivor like George Soros and also say that the Bible gave the Holy Land to Israel. It’s not about whether Jews are good or deserve nice things. It’s about the authority of God’s choice and Biblical proclamation over against self-evident secular humanist notions of fairness.

Again, many evangelicals put their doctrine together in much less toxic ways. Both total depravity and divine election can be a source of deep personal humility if I understand them strictly in terms of my own personal discipleship and not as a means of speculating about which sides God is picking in global politics. The problem is that the toxic ideology of the total depravity of the other is the version that has risen to the top when evangelical politicians consider how to relate to other countries, especially in the Muslim world.

That’s why it’s become unimaginable to consider what rational goals Iran might have for using nuclear energy or even why Iran’s proxy involvement in regional conflicts makes it a “rogue state” while it’s perfectly understandable for the US to have military bases in dozens of foreign countries and intervene covertly and overtly in other countries’ internal conflicts in every region of the world. How are Iran’s actions in Syria and Iraq any different than US interventions in Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, and just about every other country in Latin America? The difference is that the US is elect and Iran is totally depraved.

[…]
Awesome. It's funny how a man can always bend his religion to match his politics.
I was quite stumped as to what sort of person would write such a strange article. Not an Evangelical believer. Surely not a Catholic. Certainly not a Calvinist. Perhaps it is some sort of elitist progressive semi-Christian who is so much smarter than the rest of us.

I found a bio on the author:
About Morgan Guyton

I’m the director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, which is the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. My first book How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes To Toxic Christianity was released by Westminister John Knox in 2016.
It reads like a leftist acting like they understand how believers who espouse total depravity believe total depravity works and misses wide of the mark but miraculously shoehorns it to fit a leftist narrative.

I'm not saying there aren't evangelicals who functionally operate with a US=elect, Other=not elect mindset, but I'd contend they don't even think in those terms, likely because they've either never been introduced to the concept or disbelieve it in general. This is a typical Arminian swipe.
The "Lefist Christian" (for lack of a better term) is mostly influenced by Marx. He is probably ignorant of this fact. All he knows is that there are dogmatic political truths which are larger than Scripture or the traditional faith of our fathers.

His Jesus would bless homosexual relationships, of course. Instead of making disciples of the nations, He would ignore international borders. Instead of visiting prisoners, He would condemn prisons. He would celebrate abortions. And He would sue Catholic nuns in the Supreme Court to force them to buy birth control.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:16 pm

+JMJ+

Iranian cultural sites include landmarks important to Jews and Christians, too [In-Depth]
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The interior of Vank Cathedral, a 17th century Armenian church in Isfahan, Iran. (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

(RNS) — When President Donald Trump tweeted about the possibility of retaliatory strikes on “52 Iranian sites,” including some that are important to “the Iranian culture,” the world reacted with alarm.

Strikes on cultural sites are considered illegal — some would even say a war crime. The U.S. is a signatory to several international agreements, including the 1954 Hague Convention, which calls on warring parties “to protect cultural property.”

Trump’s own defense secretary, Mark Esper, followed up Monday (Jan. 6) by saying the United States would not target Iranian cultural sites, should Tehran retaliate for America’s targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

But scholars say it’s important to distinguish today’s Iranian leadership from the rich legacy of Persian culture, which predates the rise of Shiite theocracy, Islam, even monotheism.

Iran is part of the cradle of civilization, the place where civilization is understood to have emerged. Its history goes back at least 2,000 years before the rise of Islam. The country, which is about twice the size of Texas, has many religious sites important to Jews and Christians, too.

“It has very significant sites for the Zoroastrian religion, Jewish and Christian communities, and of course Muslims,” said Omid Safi, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern studies at Duke University. Safi grew up in Iran until the age of 15, and he studies Persian mystical literature.

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The Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, Iran. (Photo by Arteen Arakel Lalabekyan/Creative Commons)

Many pointed out that Iran has 22 cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But in addition, a number of its religious landmarks continue to function as places of worship and pilgrimage.

“They’re not just cordoned off but are woven into the fabric of everyday life,” said Seema Golestaneh, assistant professor of Middle East studies at Cornell University.

Golestaneh compared the threat of attacking these sites to "threatening to bomb Notre Dame or the Sistine Chapel."

Thousands of people took to Twitter in the wake of the president’s tweet using the hashtag #IranianCulturalSites to post photos of their favorite Iranian landmarks. Here are five that serve as important religious sites:

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The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan, Iran. (Photo by Zahramoradii/Creative Commons)

[…]

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The Tomb of Daniel in Susa, Iran. (Photo by Meysam Ebrahimi/Creative Commons)

[…]

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The Tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae, Iran. (Photo by Bernd81/Creative Commons)

[…]

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The interior of Vank Cathedral in Isfahan, Iran. (Photo by Bernard Gagnon/Creative Commons)

[…]

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The shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, Iran. (Photo by Iahsan/Creative Commons)

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:19 pm

+JMJ+

An open letter from black church leaders and allies to Christianity Today [In-Depth]
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President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(RNS) — We wanted to write collectively as a diverse group of ministerial leaders, doctorates, lay-persons and people who simply love God to express our sincere gratitude for Christianity Today’s printing of the brilliantly and objectively written article by (the magazine's then Editor-in-Chief) Mark Galli, entitled “Trump Should Be Removed from Office."

We truly respect your organization’s stance on the stated principle “We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum …”

The late Billy Graham, CT’s founder, gave us a loud warning in an article he wrote for Parade Magazine in 1981, when he said: “I don’t want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”

This is what we’re seeing today in 21st century evangelicalism: a broken marriage between a radical faction of the local church and the extreme right-wing faction of the Republican Party.

In a time when an estimated 70% of millennials no longer identify with Christianity and, as indicated in a previous issue, a resounding number of Generation Z’ers are twice as likely to become atheists, we cannot afford to sit back quietly and watch our faith be hijacked by those who are thirsty for political power. If we do, we will quickly develop what is described in the (Old Testament's) Book of Judges, “a generation that knew not the Lord nor the work he has done.”

[…]
Last edited by wosbald on Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by hugodrax » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:39 am

wosbald wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:19 pm
+JMJ+

An open letter from black church leaders and allies to Christianity Today [In-Depth]
Image
President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(RNS) — We wanted to write collectively as a diverse group of ministerial leaders, doctorates, lay-persons and people who simply love God to express our sincere gratitude for Christianity Today’s printing of the brilliantly and objectively written article by (the magazine's then Editor-in-Chief) Mark Galli, entitled “Trump Should Be Removed from Office."

We truly respect your organization’s stance on the stated principle “We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum …”

The late Billy Graham, CT’s founder, gave us a loud warning in an article he wrote for Parade Magazine in 1981, when he said: “I don’t want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”

This is what we’re seeing today in 21st century evangelicalism: a broken marriage between a radical faction of the local church and the extreme right-wing faction of the Republican Party.

In a time when an estimated 70% of millennials no longer identify with Christianity and, as indicated in a previous issue, a resounding number of Generation Z’ers are twice as likely to become atheists, we cannot afford to sit back quietly and watch our faith be hijacked by those who are thirsty for political power. If we do, we will quickly develop what is described in the (Old Testament's) Book of Judges, “a generation that knew not the Lord nor the work he has done.”

[…]
That generation is largely composed of Jesuits.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
—Marcus Aurelius

non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

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Re: Faith in the News

Post by wosbald » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:22 pm

+JMJ+

The Falkirk Center for Faith & Liberty
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The mission of the Falkirk Center at Liberty University is to equip courageous champions to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ, to advance his kingdom and American freedom.

[…]

Bemoaning the rise of leftism is no longer enough, and turning the other cheek in our personal relationships with our neighbors as Jesus taught while abdicating our responsibilities on the cultural battlefield is no longer sufficient. There is too much at stake in the battle for the soul of our nation. Bold, unapologetic action and initiative is needed, which is why we just launched the Falkirk Center, a think tank dedicated to restoring and defending American ideals and Judeo-Christian values in all aspects of life.

Founded by Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Turning Point USA President, Charlie Kirk, the principles of the Falkirk Center transcend generational divides and withstand cultural trends, as we believe they are rooted in compelling, enduring, absolute truths. As the creeds of secularism are proving fragile and unsatisfying to millions of Americans, there has never been a better time to fill this void and amplify these truths.

[…]

Accomplishing this requires more than adding noise to the echo chamber. It requires an army of bold ambassadors equipped with Judeo-Christian and Constitutional knowledge to speak truth to believers and unbelievers alike in every professional field and public forum. This includes Christian leaders and influencers of all ages and backgrounds defending, explaining, and sharing their beliefs on all platforms and sectors of society. That is the function and the moral mission of the Falkirk Center. We will go on offense in the name of Judeo-Christian principles and in the name of exceptional, God-given American liberties.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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