The Precipitous Decline Of Christian England

Church Decline in England Crumbling by Michael Brown -
A British hotel replaces the in-room Gideon Bibles with copies of Fifty Shades of Grey (aka Mommy porn). A Christian organization is banned by the Advertising Standards Authority from announcing that God can heal sickness today. And a recent poll indicates that only 37% of people in England say they have always believed in God, as opposed to 81% of Americans. Christian England, what has become of you?

The hotel in question was the Damson Dene Hotel in Cumbria, Northwest England, and the idea to replace the Bibles with the racy novel came earlier this month from Wayne Bartholomew, general manager of the hotel and “reportedly a choir member at his local church.” (One wonders what kind of church Mr. Bartholomew attends.) [Read more...]

Bible-era Earthquake Confirms Year of Jesus’ Crucifixion

Jesus Crucifixion Earthquake confirms yearby Jennifer Viegas -
Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was crucified on Friday April 3, 33 A.D.

The latest investigation, reported in the journal International Geology Review, focused on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, located 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion:

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (Matthew 27:50-52)

[Read more...]

Progressive Inhumanity, Part Two: The State against the Churches

The State against the Churches Christian Persecution by Anthony Esolen -
A small town in Vermont has recently been ordered to cease its immemorial tradition of opening meetings with a prayer.
The order came from a judge who does not live near. A public school in the city where I am writing these words has banners hanging from its gymnasium ceiling, one of which featured a prayer written by a student of the school many decades ago. It has been removed, also by order of a distant judge. Since the citizens of the town and the school district no longer govern themselves but have become dependent upon regular infusions of green federal blood, they could not reply, “You and whose army?” The prayer and the banner are gone.

We Catholics hold that man, unique among creatures on earth, finds his fulfillment only in what transcends him. He will not compose symphonies in honor of a good housing market. He does not whistle an air for low inflation. He will pen poetry born of love, but if the object of his love is a Clodia rather than a Beatrice, even his love poetry will degenerate into satire and cynicism. Man is made for God. [Read more...]

What the Bible Teaches About Capitalism

Ten Commandments envy corrosive shall not covetby Aryeh Spero -
As the Ten Commandments instruct, envy is corrosive to the individual and to those societies that embrace it.

More than any other nation, the United States was founded on broad themes of morality rooted in a specific religious perspective. We call this the Judeo-Christian ethos, and within it resides a ringing endorsement of capitalism as a moral endeavor.

Regarding mankind, no theme is more salient in the Bible than the morality of personal responsibility, for it is through this that man cultivates the inner development leading to his own growth, good citizenship and happiness. The entitlement/welfare state is a paradigm that undermines that noble goal.

The Bible’s proclamation that “Six days shall ye work” is its recognition that on a day-to-day basis work is the engine that brings about man’s inner state of personal responsibility. Work develops the qualities of accountability and urgency, including the need for comity with others as a means for the accomplishment of tasks. With work, he becomes imbued with the knowledge that he is to be productive and that his well-being is not an entitlement. And work keeps him away from the idleness that Proverbs warns leads inevitably to actions and attitudes injurious to himself and those around him. [Read more...]

Fr. Bakas: Jesus and the Geese at Christmas

Jesus Christ Saves Humanity, Geese Parable by Fr. John S. Bakas -
I teach one class per semester at the Loyola Marymount University School of Theology. In the fall I teach a course on Orthodox Christian Spirituality. I start and end my class with prayer since prayer is the essence of Orthodox spirituality.

I don’t insist that anyone pray along with me, but I do insist that all stand as a sign of respect. I have professed atheists in class as well as Christians of various denominations, Jews and Moslems. Moslems in particular have difficulty understanding not only the Holy Trinity, but the idea of Jesus Christ as the eternal uncreated Incarnate Son of God and the second person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ came into the world as God-Man (Theantropos) to save humanity from death by He Himself suffering death and being resurrected from the dead. Because He became one of us, we too may conquer death through Him and be reconciled to God the Father. Jesus Christ, I tell them, assumed the whole of man; for what is not assumed cannot be saved, whereas what is united with God is saved. [Read more...]

How to defend your children against pro-gay lessons in the classroom

How to Defend Children in Classroom against Gay Agenda by John-Henry Westen -
As young people across North America head back to school next week parents need to attend to more than just making sure the back-to-school clothes and utensils are in place. There is an unprecedented attack on morals coming from the school.

Particularly in the area of sexuality, so-called public morality has moved outside of the realm of life-and-family-affirming principles to such an extent that a veritable anti-morality is being fed to our children. And this year there is a concerted effort to restrict parents from countering the efforts of the school to promote this anti-morality.

Both in California and Ontario pro-homosexual curricula are to be introduced into public schools forbidding parents from opting their children out from such instruction.  Even where parent opt-outs are permitted, however, some schools have resorted to instructing students to keep secret from their parents sexuality discussions held in the school. [Read more...]

Humility, Prudence, and Earth Day

John Couretas

John Couretas

by John Couretas

At a World Council of Churches conference last year on the French-Swiss border, much was made of the “likelihood of mass population displacement” driven by climate change and the mass migration of people fleeing zones inundated by rising seas. While the WCC acknowledged that “there are no solid estimates” about the likely numbers of what it called climate refugees, that didn’t stop assembled experts from throwing out some guesses: 20 million, hundreds of millions, or 1 billion people.

The WCC bemoaned the fact that international bodies looking at the impending climate refugee crisis were not taking it seriously and, despite its own admission that the numbers of refugees were impossible to predict, called on these same international bodies to “put forward a credible alternative.” [Read more...]

Christians in a Post-Welfare State World

Christians in Post-Welfare World by Samuel Gregg -

As the debt-crisis continues to shake America’s and Europe’s economies, Christians of all confessions find themselves in the unaccustomed position of debating the morality and economics of deficits and how to overcome them.

At present, these are important discussions. But frankly they’re nothing compared to the debate that has yet to come. And the question is this: How should Christians realize their obligations to the poor in a post-welfare state world?

However the debt-crisis unfolds, the Social Democratic/progressive dream of a welfare state that would substantially resolve questions of poverty has clearly run its course. It will end in a fiscal Armageddon when the bills can’t be paid, or (and miracles have been known to happen) when political leaders begin dismantling the Leviathans of state-welfare to avert financial disaster. [Read more...]

Unfit to Foster, Christianity an ‘Infection?’

Owen and Eunice Johns

Owen and Eunice Johns

by Chuck Colson -
For 15 years, Owen and Eunice Johns served as foster parents to British children. Social workers praised them as “kind and hospitable people” who “respond sensitively to” children.

But London’s High Court has just ruled that the Johnses are unfit to foster.

The reason: The Johnses are devout Christians, and their views about homosexuality may harm the children in their care. This opinion echoes that Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, which, according to the Daily Mail, claimed foster children risked becoming “infected” by the Johnses’ Christian beliefs.

The case came about when the Johnses re-applied to the Derby City Council to foster children after taking a break. But instead of welcoming them back with open arms, social workers expressed concern that the couple’s beliefs were in violation of the new Equality Act Regulations, which protect the rights of homosexuals. [Read more...]

The Reasonableness of Christianity

Jesus Christ - Lord God and Saviorby Jack Kerwick -
Contrary to atheistic boilerplate, Christianity is anything but a crutch for the weak minded and timid hearted. Christians have gone to great lengths over the centuries to show that, while reason is no substitute for faith, and while it can never occupy anything other than a subordinate position with respect to the latter, reason can indeed establish at least the probability of God’s existence. Some Christians have gone further than this to argue that God’s existence is rationally demonstrable – that is, that it can be established with certainty by reason alone.

St. Anselm, the eleventh century bishop of Canterbury, is famous for his “ontological proof” for God. Anselm tried to show that there was no way that God can’t exist. The idea of God, Anselm reasoned, is the idea of a being “than which none greater can be conceived.” When the atheist and the theist deny and affirm God’s existence respectively, it is this idea that they have in mind. But since it is better for a being to have existence than for it to lack it, and since God is, by definition, the best, the conclusion is inescapable: God necessarily exists. It is no more possible, logically, to affirm the idea of God while simultaneously denying His real existence than it is possible to affirm the definition of a “bachelor” while denying that a bachelor is an unmarried man. [Read more...]

The ‘Small’ God Who Brought Heaven Down to Earth

Rev. Robert A. Sirico

Rev. Robert A. Sirico

12/23/2010 – Rev. Robert A. Sirico -

That the eternal God should deign to co-mingle in time and space with humanity does tell us something, not about the ‘smallness’ of God, but about the inestimable dignity of the human person who is created in the image of the Lord of History. Thus it tells us about the importance of human history to eternity; of the relation of the visible world to the invisible one; and of the way the mortal life we each live here and now determines our immortal destiny. [...]

Some years ago I found myself at a fashionable dinner party in Los Angeles where the lamb was roasted to perfection, and the deep, rich red Australian wine complimented it to a tee. The conversation around the dinner table was likewise high-minded and it did not take this largely secular gathering very long to turn their attention to the Christian sitting in their midst. With all the graciousness and condescension she could muster, my dining companion turned to me and said, “I am not a believer, of course, but I have long admired your Church’s care for the poor and suffering and the generosity and effectiveness of your social agencies who tend to human needs without regard to the belief or non-belief of the recipient.” [Read more...]

Finding a Church

Orthodox Church 12/5/2010 – Vasko Kohlmayer -

As we are entering this holiday season at this time of turmoil and uncertainty, scores of spiritual seekers will visit Christian places of worship in search of hope, solace, and love.

Most of them are bound to encounter the same problem Robin did last year: How does one know which church to choose given the great variety that exists among them? There are churches, for instance, where priests in swishing white robes lead tightly structured services that revolve around prescribed rituals. On the other hand, there are churches where meetings are informal, free-flowing, and emotionally supercharged. And then there are churches where jeans-clad pastors read from and expound on the Bible for hours on end.

So how does one know which church to pick? How is a seeker to determine which ones reflect the truth of the Christian faith? [Read more...]

Knowing God, Crucial to Living as a Christian

Knowing God Packer
Eminent Christian theologian J.I. Packer’s best known book is Knowing God. In the book he emphasizes that a lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian’s existence. According to Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern skepticism and have joined the gigantic conspiracy of misdirection by failing to put first things first.

11/30/2010 – Chuck Colson -

According to Packer, studying the nature and character of God isn’t, as many Christians suppose, abstract and theoretical, but, instead, the most practical project we can undertake. This knowledge is crucial to living as a Christian.

In fact, attempting to live the Christian life without this knowledge isn’t only foolish, it’s a kind of self-cruelty—denying ourselves the riches of our own faith. [Read more...]

What the Popes Have to Say About Socialism

TFP.org | by Gustavo Solimeo | 2/24/2010

Anyone who examines the ideology of socialism will see the contrast between the socialist doctrine and the doctrine of the Church. All the same, it is not out of place to review the condemnation of the popes starting with Pius IX and ending with Benedict XVI. Thus, we present what the popes have to say about socialism as they condemn the socialist doctrine thoroughly and entirely. This is not a comprehensive compilation, but just some samples.

Pope_Pius_IX.jpg
PIUS IX (1846-1878):
“Overthrow [of] the entire order of human affairs”
“You are aware indeed, that the goal of this most iniquitous plot is to drive people to overthrow the entire order of human affairs and to draw them over to the wicked theories of this Socialism and Communism, by confusing them with perverted teachings.” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, December 8, 1849)

LEO XIII (1878-1903):
Hideous monster
“…communism, socialism, nihilism, hideous deformities of the civil society of men and almost its ruin.” (Encyclical Diuturnum, June 29, 1881)

Ruin of all institutions
“… For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists” (Encyclical Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884, n. 27).

[Read more...]

Liberal Narcissism and Anti-Christian Phobia

American Thinker | by Deborah C. Tyler | 4/11/2010

Americans have always expected national television broadcasters to steer clear of degrading epithets. On April 14, 2009, CNN’s Anderson Cooper established a new low in television journalism when he labeled millions of Americans in the Tea Party movement with a vulgar sexual term. Other mainstream media journalists and personalities gleefully followed suit. There was no outcry from the “anti-hate community.” Many liberals do not merely tolerate contumelies against conservatives, but they delight in them.

In the years after World War II, psychologists (many of whom were European Jews who had escaped Nazism) intensively studied how fascist and authoritarian states could bring ordinary people to commit extraordinary crimes against minorities. [Read more...]