Today is the Memorial of Lady of Lourdes.
From Franciscan Media, The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.”
During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.
Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.
Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and healing, but even more of faith. Church authorities have recognized over 60 miraculous cures, although there have probably been many more. To people of faith this is not surprising. It is a continuation of Jesus’ healing miracles—now performed at the intercession of his mother. Some would say that the greater miracles are hidden. Many who visit Lourdes return home with renewed faith and a readiness to serve God in their needy brothers and sisters.
There still may be people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes. Perhaps the best that can be said to them are the words that introduce the film The Song of Bernadette: “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”
Our Lady of Lourdes if the Patron Saint of: Bodily Ills
From my book TRIBULATION by G.R. MILLER
Chapter 4 - The Second Tribulation Angels and Demons: July 2007–March 2011
On June 9, 2009, the kids’ mom had summer custody, yet she was driving them to her parents’ house in Port Arthur, Texas because she was flying to Spain the next day. She told me that her “beau” (who was really her husband) had to go to Spain to deal with probate of his parents’ estate.
In my home in Cypress, there is a nook at the end of the foyer leading into the family room. The picture below is a direct view from the family room. You can’t see her, Our Lady of Lourdes, from the front door because she is hidden (see Rev. 12:5–6). I’d been planning to find a Virgin Mary statue to put there, and I found this one online from marianland.com. I bought a thirty-six-inch Our Lady of Lourdes statue at 4:14 p.m. CST on June 9, 2009.
The phone rang at about six o’clock. It was my ex-wife’s older sister, and she started telling me a sanitized version of my ex-wife and my kids being in an accident. This woman is a physician’s assistant and she was in the ER helping a physician and other assistants, when the kids were brought in. She told me that everything was okay, but then added, “Jesus was in the car with them.” I wondered what she meant.
I didn’t realize how bad it had been until I got to Port Arthur the next day, where they were staying. Seeing your three small kids beaten up is gut wrenching. I asked whether the children would get additional care. Their mom should have cancelled her trip to Spain, but she said that their grandmother (her mom) would take them to the doctor for follow-up. I was shocked that my ex-wife left them.
My ex-wife had turned in front of an oncoming pickup truck and sustained a broadside impact. She was driving a large SUV, which was very fortunate. The vehicle rolled three times and was upside down when it came to a stop. The kids could not all unbuckle themselves; therefore, people at the scene helped them out of the vehicle.
The bottom line is this: On June 9, 2009, I bought the Our Lady of the Lourdes statute at 4:14 p.m., and 53 minutes later, at 5:07 p.m., the SUV was rolling and Jesus Christ was in the car with them. Never doubt the grace and the goodness of Almighty God. Miracles do happen and this was a miracle.
She follows me wherever I go. She gives me WISDOM. She gives me SERENITY.
She saved my children.
- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
God grant me the SERENITY
to accept the things I cannot change;
COURAGE to change the things I can;
and WISDOM to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Readings for the Memorial of
Our Lady of Lourdes
From the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Concede, misericors Deus, fragilitati nostrae praesidium, ut, qui immaculatae Dei Genetricis memoriam agimus, intercessionis eius auxilio, a nostris iniquitatibus resurgamus.
Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness,
that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God,
may, with the help of her intercession,
rise up from our iniquities.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
FIRST READING Isaiah 66:10-14c
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
Exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
That you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like
an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
The LORD's power shall be known to his servants.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Judith 13:18bcde,19
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth; and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
ALLELUIA See Luke 1:45
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary,
who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled
GOSPEL John 2:1-11
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
"They have no wine."
And Jesus said to her,
"Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants,
"Do whatever he tells you."
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
"Fill the jars with water."
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
"Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter."
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
(although they who had drawn the water knew),
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
"Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now."
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.
I'm a numbers guy. Not currency, just signs. It has to do with the fact that I'm an engineer. I was born at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday, October 2nd, 1960 A.D. (Anno Domini which is Latin for the Year of Our Lord) and October 2nd, 5721 A.M. (Anno Mundi which is Latin for "in the year of the world) corresponding to dating the earth based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Old Testament genealogy. Basically, the Jews believe that earth was created 3,761 years before Christ and each year on Rosh Hashanah, Jews calculate the new year as 3,761 + Anno Domini. This week, Rosh Hashanah begins at 18:37 (sundown) on Sunday, October 2nd and the year will be 5777. Shabbat Shuvah refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Only one Shabbat can occur between these dates. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means "Return!" Shabbat Shuva begins at 18:29 (sundown) on Fri, 07 October 2016.
I was born to a father named Raymond, who was a carpenter and to a beautiful mother named Virginia (nicknamed “Gina”, which was pronounced “Jenna”). The venue of this “Blessed Event” was in the maternity ward of a hospital named after The Patron Saint of the Universal Church, “Prudent Guardian of the Holy Family, and Protector of God’s Holy Church”, Saint Joseph.
I started going to the Catholic Church regularly on Christmas Eve, 2009 and I try to attend Mass every Sunday since moving to Brooklyn, either at a Parish that I've found near our home or via online streaming at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan. My oldest son attends Mass with me. St. Patrick's is "America's Parish Church" and has 2 of the best homilists in America: Msgr. Robert T. Ritchie and Timothy Cardinal Dolan. I tune in every Sunday "to get a message" after the first two readings and the Gospel reading, and I think about that message all week until the following Sunday. It was for "the message" that I decided to buy a 1960 Roman Missal on-line. I even bought 2 just to make sure they were no discrepancies between. (Call me "Doubting Thomas").
I was truly moved.
In the case of these readings, there wasn't a Pauline Epistle, only the 1st (Old Testament) and Gospel but enough to get 2 sound messages which read as follows in the New American Bible:
Exodus 23:20-23 Reward of Fidelity. 20See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21Be attentive to him and obey him. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority is within him.* 22If you obey him and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out.
*In this case, "My authority is within him": literally means, “My name is within him.”
The Gospel According to St. Matthew 18:1-10
The Greatest in the Kingdom. 1At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2He called a child over, placed it in their midst, 3 and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
Temptations to Sin. 6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 8 If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep. 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
Now watch this commercial and reread the Scripture above.
So now we come to next Sunday, October 2, 2016 A.D., 5777 A.M. The 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Rosh Hashanah begins. A new year. A "day [of] shouting/blasting", sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. What will the message be? For Catholics, it will be based on the first two readings and the Gospel:
Reading 1 from the Prophetic Book of Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4
Habakkuk’s First Complaint
1:2-3 2How long, O LORD, must I cry for help and you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” and you do not intervene? 3Why do you let me see iniquity? why do you simply gaze at evil? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and discord.
2:2-4 2Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision; Make it plain upon tablets, so that the one who reads it may run. 3For the vision is a witness for the appointed time, a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. 4See, the rash have no integrity; but the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live.*
* [2:4] The just one who is righteous because of faith shall live: the faithful survive the impending doom because they trust in God’s justice and wait patiently for God to carry it out. Several New Testament passages cite these words (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; cf. Heb 10:38) to confirm the teaching that people receive justification and supernatural life through faith in Christ.
Reading 2 from St. Paul's 2nd Letter to Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
The Gifts Timothy Has Received. 6For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. 8So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. 13Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.
The Gospel According to St. Luke 17:5-10
Saying of Faith. 5And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to [this] mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Attitude of a Servant. 7“Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? 8Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? 9Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? 10So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”
Now watch this clip from FRONTLINE -the Night President Obama Took On Donald Trump | The Choice 2016 |, particularly Trump surrogate Omarosa Manigault saying; "Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”
2Thes.2:8-12 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord [Jesus] will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming, 9the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie, 10and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. 11Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, 12that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.
And now ask yourself how will Donald Trump handle world leaders who criticize him?
Here are some of the things Donald Trump has said about nuclear weapons:
Trump said he might use nuclear weapons and questioned why we would make them if we wouldn’t use them.
Trump said he was open to nuking Europe because it’s a “big place”
Trump said that “you want to be unpredictable” with nuclear weapons
Trump reiterated that it was important to be “unpredictable” with nuclear weapons
Trump said he wasn’t that worried about more countries getting nukes since “it’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them”
Trump had no idea what the “nuclear triad” was
Trump started talking about nuclear weapons in Pakistan and made no sense at all
Trump said he’d be OK with a nuclear arms race in Asia
The time he said it didn’t matter if Saudi Arabia acquired nuclear weapons because “it’s going to happen anyway”
Mr. Trump, you would be better served "bowing out" rather than waiting for any true Christian, Jew or Muslim to bow down before you. We're With the Almighty God and I'm Also With Her.
I'll be looking for a sign on Sunday. Hopefully from a Guardian Angel or 3.
Dan. 8:15-19 15While I, Daniel, sought the meaning of the vision I had seen, one who looked like a man stood before me, 16and on the Ulai I heard a human voice that cried out, “Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.” 17When he came near where I was standing, I fell prostrate in terror. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision refers to the end time.”* 18As he spoke to me, I fell forward unconscious; he touched me and made me stand up. 19“I will show you,” he said, “what is to happen in the last days of wrath; for it is for the appointed time of the end.
* [8:17] The end time: the time when God sits in judgment on the wicked (v. 19).
Tb. 5:10-11 Tobiah went out to summon him, saying, “Young man, my father is calling for you.” When Raphael** entered the house, Tobit greeted him first. He replied, “Joyful greetings to you!” Tobit answered, “What joy is left for me? Here I am, a blind man who cannot see the light of heaven, but must remain in darkness, like the dead who no longer see the light! Though alive, I am among the dead. I can hear people’s voices, but I do not see them.” The young man said, “Take courage! God’s healing is near; so take courage!” Tobit then said: “My son Tobiah wants to go to Media. Can you go with him to show him the way? I will pay you your wages, brother.” He answered: “Yes, I will go with him, and I know all the routes. I have often traveled to Media and crossed all its plains so I know well the mountains and all its roads.”
* [3:8] Asmodeus: in Persian aeshma daeva, “demon of wrath,” adopted into Aramaic with the sense of “the Destroyer.” It will be subdued (8:3) by Raphael (v. 17), whose name means “God has healed.”
* [12:12] Raphael is one of the seven Angels of the Presence, specially designated intercessors who present prayers to God. Angelology was developing in this period. The names of two other of these seven angels are given in the Bible: Gabriel (Dn 8:16; 9:21; Lk 1:19, 26) and Michael (Dn 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev 12:7). See 1 Enoch for the names of the rest.
Dan. 12:1 1“At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since the nation began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.*
* [10:21] The book of truth: a heavenly book in which future events are already recorded; cf. 7:10; 12:1.
1942 - 2016
In Heaven this morning sits the Almighty God, the All-Knowing One, having light conversation and brunch with a Catholic and a Jew. The Jew is a storyteller and the Catholic is a teacher. The meal is the "bread of eternal life" and "life-giving water". It's an outdoor restaurant with a beautiful polished mahogany table in a what looks like a never-ending garden of bright green, interspersed with wildflowers of every color. The scenery resembles a Michelangelo painting ... the paint still wet. On every horizon is a high wall. The wall is constructed of jasper, and its foundations are decorated with every precious stone. The wall's gates are pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl and throughout the garden, the roads are pure gold, transparent as glass. The wall is not one of segregation, rather one of welcoming for those who wish to enter and stay. The maitre d at the restaurant is named Peter. He welcomes each new patron with a sign of peace and a simple menu. A man named Paul, a convincing server, walks from table to table taking orders, extolling the health benefits of the bread and water meal. After each meal, a latino busboy named Jesus cleanses each table and washes the patrons' feet before they leave the restaurant and spend the rest of the day strolling through the bright garden. In this world, there is no sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God provides it light.
While sitting at God's table, The Catholic and the Jew begin telling Him the story of a great champion, not just of physical prowess, but also of mental and spiritual greatness. Much like when Christ disguised Himself to Cleopas to hear a description of His own life story while walking down a road toward a village called Emmaus, God listens intently to the story about the man whom He's known from before his birth, while patiently awaiting his arrival. The true story of this champion was not of the accomplishments of one man, rather the trinity of love between 3. One without the other 2 may very well have lived in obscurity, but the 3 together taught the world about the love of fellow man, love of family, humor in conflict, the righteousness of objecting to racism and war and Faith in God, even when they participated in a sport considered so brutal.
The respect between the 3 was immeasurable and many times comical. The Jew once remarked about the Catholic, "If I had a son who wanted to be a fighter and I couldn't talk him out of it, the only man I would let train him [would be the Catholic]". The Catholic and the "Champion" never had a written contract, only a handshake. The Jew, a loquacious attorney and grandson of a Rabbi, once remarked that the "Champion" was being truculent. His intended target responded with; “Whatever truculent means, if that’s good, I’m that.”
The conversation at the table is interrupted by a booming knock at one of the gates. A voice shouts "The Champ is Here and I'm Home". Peter answers the knock and invites him in, and through the gate walks a Muslim man: The "Champion" described to God by the Catholic and the Jew. The smile on his face and the white robe he's wearing brighten the sky. This robe too says "Everlast". No longer is his appearance marred by years of physical punishment. His youth beams. His eyes twinkle like the stars. He introduces himself to the All-Knowing One, then tearfully hugs the Catholic and the Jew. God wipes away their tears, because there is no more death or mourning, wailing or pain.
The waiter named Paul sits down and tells the Muslim man of their commonality while they were on earth ... they were both fighters for the greatness of God. Paul borrows the book from the All-Knowing One, and and opens it to the 1st letter he (Paul) wrote to the people of Corinth. It's titled "All Things to All”.
Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win over those under the law. To those outside the law I became like one outside the law—though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ—to win over those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it. Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
This Muslim tells of not fighting for perishable crowns but for the dignity of all men. Because of his country's inequality, he discarded in a river a perishable crown in the form of a gold medal he received standing on the top tier of an olympic podium. He was a champion for all people. In a 1996 CBS 60 Minutes News interview with the champion, it tells the tale of this Muslim who spends time signing several hundred autographs for free, even though he suffers from the debilitating effects of Parkinson's syndrome. When asked about it afterwards, he whispers; "I'm just trying to get to Heaven." His wife remarks that "he feels that everything he did prior to now was to prepare him for where he is now in life. He is very much more a spiritual being. He is very aware of his time here on Earth. And he has sort of planned the rest of his life to do things so that he is assured a place in heaven."
In the Book of Revelation God says; I bring with me the recompense [reward or repayment] I will give to each according to his deeds.
In the 2nd Book of the Quran, Al-Baqara, it says; Truly those who do evil and are surrounded by their sins will be the inhabitants of the Fire, there to remain, while those who believe and do good deeds will be the inhabitants of the Garden, there to remain.
Champ, may you rest in peace in the loving arms of the Almighty God in the Garden of Heaven.
The real message of the this champion's death is not about the loss of one great man nor the losses of 3 great men, rather its the love that God instilled in them for each other, regardless of their differences in life and in Faith. Christ said the greatest commandment is; “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The Jew - "The Storyteller"
The Catholic - "The Teacher"
The Muslim - "The Champion"
This blog is dedicated to Monsignor Robert T. Ritchie of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Midtown Manhattan. Without your Homily this morning inspired by the Gospel Lk.7:11-17, I would not have had the inspiration to write this blog. You will always be my favorite Homilist. God Bless You.
What is an Evangelical?
I define Evangelical from the word Evangelists who were the 4 who preached the Gospel or Good News of the life of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.
St. Mark, St. Luke, St. Matthew and St. John, symbolically in the Book of Revelation, are the four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion (noblest), the second was like a calf (strongest), the third had a face like that of a human being (wisest), and the fourth looked like an eagle (swiftest) in flight. The common theme is the "Good News", salvation and eternal life.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, "America's Parish Church" has memorialized the 4 Evangelists with stained glass. And thus the segue into the subject of Evangelicals and how they relate to the Book of Revelation.
The Church of Sardis:
Revelation 3:1-6 To Sardis. 1“To the angel of the church in Sardis, write this: “‘The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: “I know your works, that YOU HAVE THE REPUTATION OF BEING ALIVE, BUT YOU ARE DEAD. 2BE WATCHFUL AND STRENGTHEN WHAT IS LEFT, WHICH IS GOING TO DIE, FOR I HAVE NOT FOUND YOUR WORKS COMPLETE IN THE SIGHT OF MY GOD. 3Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you. 4However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy. 5“‘“The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels.6“‘“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
From my book Tribulation by G.R. Miller, I discuss my opinion of how the Evangelical community deals with political pressure from both parties but predominately from the far right. Excerpts are as follows:
The Church in Sardis are denominational offshoots of the four first branches of the Protestant Reformation. These churches and their further denominational offshoots include, but are not limited to Puritans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, United Church of Christ, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Pentecostals, Swiss Brethren, Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, Quakers, and Moravian Brethren. Several of these churches, at one time or another, have been defined as “Evangelical Christians.”
“The reputation of being alive, but you are dead”: You’ve gone from your pulpits and your pews being alive with the Word of God, to now dead with the words of politicians, both Republicans and Democrats. You’ve gone from being revivalists to politicos. You challenge the very laws that prohibit you from endorsing candidates, being political action committees or lobbyists, while maintaining your 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
If I want a political message on the Sabbath, I’ll watch the Sunday morning talk shows, but I will not seek it in a House of Prayer. These are the reasons I left the Baptist church. Many have left and have gone on to nondenominational churches to get away from politics and get back to the Word of God.
Liberty University advertises itself as an accredited EVANGELICAL liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, including a law school, medical school, and school of divinity.
Is Liberty University an EVANGELICAL institution? ... No. It's the Church of Sardis of modern day. Why? Because Jerry Falwell Jr. has supported Donald Trump for President of the United States of America and Jerry Falwell Jr. and by doing that, does not satisfy the EVANGELICAL requisites CAPITALIZED above:
This is what Falwell said to the Washington Post regarding, "Some theologians believe that Jesus would call on Christians to put down their weapons in the face of violence." Falwell referenced the story from the gospels of Jesus chasing money changers out of the temple with a whip. Falwell quoted; “Jesus said ‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,’ and part of that was to go to war, protecting whatever nation was under control of the king,” “I wouldn’t agree with any interpretation of Scripture that was used to say that a man or a woman shouldn’t protect their families.”
The story of the Cleansing of the Temple (Mark11:15-19) is quite different than the story of Paying Taxes to the Emperor (Matthew 22:15-22)
Mark.11:15-19 Cleansing of the Temple. 15They came to Jerusalem,e and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 16He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area. 17Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’? But you have made it a den of thieves.” 18The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19When evening came, they went out of the city. Where in this Scripture does it talk about "protecting whatever nation was under control of the king,” ? If anything, the Evangelical community has allowed the Right wing politicians and the NRA Masters to turn the church into a "Den of Thieves" by preaching this hateful rhetoric.
Matthew 22:15-22 Paying Taxes to the Emperor. 15 Then the Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap him in speech. 16They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. 17 Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” 18Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. 20He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” 21* They replied, “Caesar’s.”* At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 22When they heard this they were amazed, and leaving him they went away.
The USCCB says that means;
* [22:21] Caesar’s: the emperor Tiberius (A.D. 14–37). Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those who willingly use the coin that is Caesar’s should repay him in kind. The answer avoids taking sides in the question of the lawfulness of the tax. To God what belongs to God: Jesus raises the debate to a new level. Those who have hypocritically asked about tax in respect to its relation to the law of God should be concerned rather with repaying God with the good deeds that are his due; cf. Mt 21:41, 43.
I don't think asking the students to get gun permits for the sake of targeting Muslims qualifies as "GOOD DEEDS". I don't think what Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., Rev. Franklin Graham, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott, and other right wingnuts are doing trying to "gin up" a "holy war" with Islam qualifies as GOOD DEEDS!!!
Is Donald Trump an Evangelical? ... Absolutely not! Donald Trump is a DECEIVER! ... A DECEIVING POWER SENT BY GOD!
Biblically and moreover apocalyptically, he's best described as follows:
Revelation 6:7-8 7When he broke open the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, “Come forward.” 8I looked, and there was a pale green* horse. Its rider was named DEATH, AND HADES ACCOMPANIED HIM. THEY were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth.
* Pale green in this case is a symbol of death and decay.
2Thessalonians 2:1-12 Christ and the Lawless One. 1We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him, 2not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god— 5do you not recall that while I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord [Jesus] will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming, 9the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie, 10and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. 11THEREFORE, GOD IS SENDING THEM A DECEIVING POWER SO THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE THE LIE, 12THAT ALL WHO HAVE NOT BELIEVED THE TRUTH BUT HAVE APPROVED WRONGDOING MAY BE CONDEMNED.
It's Judgement Day for you and your followers Mr. Trump and thanks to one of my favorite journalists, Rachel Maddow, she's compiled a litany of your anti-christian remarks and behavior:
Regarding your comments against Pope Francis for his remarks against your "wall" and immigrants at our southern border, I respond with the following Scripture from both the Old Testament and New Testament:
Exodus 23:9 9You shall not oppress a resident alien; you well know how it feels to be an alien, since you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 22:20-23 20You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt. 21You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. 22If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely listen to their cry. 23My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.
Leviticus 19:33 – 34 33When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one. 34You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God.
1John3:17 If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?
Matthew 25:31-46 The Judgment of the Nations. 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Mt. 6:24 God and Money. 24 No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Mt. 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
Pope Francis didn't judge your heart, but God and the Lamb eventually will, and right now they see a lot of darkness in there. Catholics and Protestants worship the same God and His Son. Protestants are mere branches and denominational offshoots from Catholicism and your rhetoric is designed to deceive and divide. Remember what Christ said and Pres. Lincoln referred to in Mark 3:24-30: 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. 27But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. 28Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. 29But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” 30For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Regarding Trump's disdain for Muslims:
Genesis 16:10-12 10I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the LORD’s angel, “that they will be too many to count.” 11Then the LORD’s angel said to her: “You are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael,* For the LORD has heeded your affliction.
* [16:11] Ishmael: in Hebrew the name means “God has heard.” It is the same Hebrew verb that is translated “heeded” in the next clause. In other ancient Near Eastern texts, the name commemorated the divine answer to the parents’ prayer to have a child, but here it is broadened to mean that God has “heard” Hagar’s plight. In vv. 13–14, the verb “to see” is similarly broadened to describe God’s special care for those in need.
Genesis 17:20 Now as for Ishmael, I will heed you: I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.
Genesis 21:12-13,17-21 12But God said to Abraham: Do not be distressed about the boy or about your slave woman. Obey Sarah, no matter what she asks of you; for it is through Isaac that descendants will bear your name. 13As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, since he too is your offspring. 17God heard the boy’s voice, and God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven: “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not fear; God has heard the boy’s voice in this plight of his. 18Get up, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and then let the boy drink. 20God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert bowman. 21He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
* [21:13] I will make a nation of him also: Ishmael’s descendants are named in 25:12–18.
Genesis 25:12-18 Descendants of Ishmael. 12 These are the descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s slave, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, listed in the order of their birth: Ishmael’s firstborn Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16These are the sons of Ishmael, their names by their villages and encampments; twelve chieftains of as many tribal groups. 17The span of Ishmael’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. After he had breathed his last and died, he was gathered to his people. 18The Ishmaelites ranged from Havilah, by Shur, which is on the border of Egypt, all the way to Asshur; and they pitched camp* alongside their various kindred.
* [25:18] Pitched camp: lit., “fell”; the same Hebrew verb is used in Jgs 7:12 in regard to the hostile encampment of desert tribes. The present passage shows the fulfillment of the prediction contained in Gn 16:12.
What Trump supporters don't realize is that he's figuratively "cut from same cloth" as ISIL. He's cut from the same cloth as Adolph Hitler. He relies on hate and fear to project his message: In his case to divide the world to create his vision of racial purity and in ISIL's case to divide the world to create their vision of racial purity. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable people caught in the middle of this are peaceful Muslims. And that's the desired end game. Trump, his supporters and evangelicals such as Rev. Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr. want a holy war against Muslims and carry that on to any immigrant that they deem undesirable. ISIL wants a holy war against anyone who disagrees with their ideology of being the chosen to establish the caliphate. In ISIL's case they deem the caliphate to encompass the Levant which is Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, and Cyprus. Will hatred and fear win and as a result of Trump's rhetoric, people will long for that great war at Megiddo in which Judeo-Christians, as they interpret Revelation 16:12-16, will battle Islam:
Revelation 16:12-16 12The sixth angel emptied his bowl on the great river Euphrates. Its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East. 13I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. 14These were demonic spirits who performed signs. They went out to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle on the great day of God the almighty. 15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief.”* Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his clothes ready, so that he may not go naked and people see him exposed.) 16They then assembled the kings in the place that is named Armageddon* in Hebrew.
* [16:16] Armageddon: in Hebrew, this means “Mountain of Megiddo.” Since Megiddo was the scene of many decisive battles in antiquity (Jgs 5:19–20; 2 Kgs 9:27; 2 Chr 35:20–24), the town became the symbol of the final disastrous rout of the forces of evil.
Trump, his supporters, and others who discriminate against Muslims are all false prophets guided by Satan.
* [14:10–11] The wine of God’s fury: image taken from Is 51:17; Jer 25:15–16; 49:12; 51:7; Ez 23:31–34. Eternal punishment in the fiery pool of burning sulfur (or “fire and brimstone”; cf. Gn 19:24) is also reserved for the Devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Rev 19:20; 20:10; 21:8).
In the 14th book Surat Ibrahim (Abraham) of the Quran, it addresses ISIL's abhorrent behavior from Satan vs the peaceful behavior from God for the vast majority of Muslims.
14:22-23. "22.When everything has been decided, Satan will say, 'God gave you a true promise. I too made promises but they were false ones: I had no power over you except to call you, and you responded to my call, so do not blame me; blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I reject the way you associated me with God before.' A bitter torment awaits such wrongdoers,23. but those who believed and did good deeds will be brought into Gardens graced with flowing streams, there to remain with their Lord's permission: their greeting there is 'Peace’.
Matthew 12:26 And if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?
Luke 11:18 And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
Mark 3:26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.
Peace and goodness will ultimately prevail:
1John4:20-21 20If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Isaiah 2:2-5 Zion, the Royal City of God 2 In days to come, The mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it. 3Many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and set terms for many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another,nor shall they train for war again. 5 House of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!
Let's look at 4 of the other current hot-button issues in this country and relate them to Scripture.
1) Degrading Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act
Leviticus 19:14 You shall not insult the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD
* [19:14] In Dt 27:18 a curse falls on the head of the one who misleads the blind.
Leviticus 19:32 32Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the old, and fear your God. I am the LORD.
Wisdom 2:10-20 10Let us oppress the righteous poor; let us neither spare the widow nor revere the aged for hair grown white with time. 11But let our strength be our norm of righteousness; for weakness proves itself useless. 12* Let us lie in wait for the righteous one, because he is annoying to us; he opposes our actions, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law* and charges us with violations of our training.13He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. 14To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, 15Because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. 16He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the righteous and boasts that God is his Father. 17Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him in the end. 18For if the righteous one is the son of God, God will help him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. 19With violence and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. 20Let us condemn him to a shameful death;for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
* [2:1–20] In this speech the wicked deny survival after death and indeed invite death by their evil deeds.
* [2:12–5:23] From 2:12 to 5:23 the author draws heavily on Is 52–62, setting forth his teaching in a series of characters or types taken from Isaiah and embellished with additional details from other texts. The description of the “righteous one” in 2:12–20 seems to undergird the New Testament passion narrative.
* [2:12] Law: the law of Moses; “training” has the same meaning.
1Timothy 6:17-19 Right Use of Wealth.* 17Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 18Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, 19thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.
* [6:17–19] Timothy is directed to instruct the rich, advising them to make good use of their wealth by aiding the poor.
2) Not increasing the minimum wage
Leviticus 19:13You shall not exploit your neighbor. You shall not commit robbery. You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your laborer.
James 5:1-6 Warning to the Rich.* 1Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. 2Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, 3your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. 4Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one;f he offers you no resistance.*
* [5:1–6] Continuing with the theme of the transitory character of life on earth, the author points out the impending ruin of the godless. He denounces the unjust rich, whose victims cry to heaven for judgment on their exploiters (Jas 5:4–6). The decay and corrosion of the costly garments and metals, which symbolize wealth, prove them worthless and portend the destruction of their possessors (Jas 5:2–3).
* [5:6] The author does not have in mind any specific crime in his readers’ communities but rather echoes the Old Testament theme of the harsh oppression of the righteous poor (see Prv 1:11; Wis 2:10, 12, 20)
3)Progressive Tax System
Luke 21:1-4 The Poor Widow’s Contribution.* 1 When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury 2and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. 3He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; 4for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”
* [21:1–4] The widow is another example of the poor ones in this gospel whose detachment from material possessions and dependence on God leads to their blessedness (Lk 6:20). Her simple offering provides a striking contrast to the pride and pretentiousness of the scribes denounced in the preceding section (Lk 20:45–47). The story is taken from Mk 12:41–44.
4)Denying climate change.
Deuteronomy 29:21-28 Punishment for Idolatry. 21 Future generations, your descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigners who will come here from distant lands, when they see the calamities of this land and the ills the LORD has inflicted upon it— 22all its soil burned out by sulphur and salt, unsown and unfruitful, without a blade of grass, like the catastrophe of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his furious wrath— 23l they and all the nations will ask, “Why has the LORD dealt thus with this land? Why this great outburst of wrath?” 24And they will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, which he had made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, 25and they went and served other gods and bowed down to them, gods whom they did not know and whom he had not apportioned to them. 26 So the anger of the LORD flared up against this land and brought on it every curse written in this book. 27The LORD uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them out into another land, as they are today.” 28The hidden things* belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, to observe all the words of this law.
* [29:28] The hidden things: probably the events of the future. The revealed things: the covenant and its provisions, including the sanctions of blessing and curse. This aphorism may mean: leave “hidden things” to God; what matters is to keep the law.
Isaiah prophecied that man would greatly suffer from his own reluctance to practice good stewardship of the earth. You can find this in Isaiah 24:1-23 entitled Judgment upon the World and the Lord’s Enthronement on Mount Zion http://www.usccb.org/bible/isaiah/24.
The first 6 verses read: 1See! The LORD is about to empty the earth and lay it waste; he will twist its surface, and scatter its inhabitants: 2People and priest shall fare alike: servant and master, Maid and mistress, buyer and seller, Lender and borrower, creditor and debtor. 3The earth shall be utterly laid waste, utterly stripped, for the LORD has decreed this word. 4The earth mourns and fades, the world languishes and fades; both heaven and earth languish. 5The earth is polluted because of its inhabitants, for they have transgressed laws, violated statutes, broken the ancient covenant.* 6Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants pay for their guilt; Therefore they who dwell on earth have dwindled, and only a few are left.
* [24:5] Ancient covenant: God’s commandments to all humankind (cf. Gn 9:4–6). The Noahic Covenant.
That's the Scriptural basis of Pope Francis comment; “Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!"
Sweetheart, you were right: “If Donald Trump becomes president, that will be the end of the world”. This blog is dedicated to you.
Today is my son's 17th birthday. My son is named John after his Great-Great-Grandfather and his Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. My son has Autism. My son is my hero and this blog is dedicated to him ... and to Him for giving me such a Great son ... and 2 other Great children. Regardless of where I am financially when I die, I've been blessed.
From today's Washington Post Wonkblogger Emily Badger:
President Obama on how Fox News teaches the middle class to demonize the poor
If we're being totally honest about why we haven't found more political will to attack poverty in the U.S., the obstacle isn't mere apathy. It's not simply that we don't prioritize the poor, or devote enough money to lifting them up, or demand of our politicians that they talk about poverty more often. Those would be problems of ambivalence — of not caring enough.
In reality, the hurdle is higher than that: Much of our political rhetoric doesn't simply disregard the poor, it actively disdains them. It treats them as takers, freeloaders, deadbeats. As morally weak and gleefully dependent. And like many narratives that are true in the rare anecdote but false on the whole, this one requires a whole lot of breathless storytelling.
"There’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been 'who are you mad at if you’re struggling, if you’re working but you don’t seem to be getting ahead?'" President Obama said Tuesday at a summit on poverty hosted by Georgetown's Initiative on Catholic Thought and Social Life. "Over the last 40 years, I think there's been an effort to either make folks be mad at folks at the top, or be mad at folks at the bottom."
The latter strategy has been remarkably potent of late.
"I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges — leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving — got traction," Obama said. "Look, it’s still being propagated. If you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. 'I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone, whatever.' And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up."
This is a specific jab at Fox News (Obama also went on to indict the media at large). But his point is larger than a political potshot at the network. There's a deep tradition in America of agitating those who aren't well-off against people who have it even worse (picture poor whites in the pre-Civil Rights South directing their ire at blacks who had even less).
The reality is that we'd all be better off — the middle-class included — if poor communities had more opportunity, if poor children didn't grow up to need food stamps, if poor men had the kind of work that enabled them to be stable fathers. In the long run, alleviating poverty (through, say, investment in early childhood education) is actually cheaper than paying for all of its products (in teens who enter the costly criminal justice system, or families who rely on emergency-room care). And that's good for anyone who's a taxpayer and wants their money well-spent.
That is, for the most part, not the conversation we're having while we argue about what poor people buy with food stamps or how the safety net makes them lazy. We fight instead about whether the poor even deserve aid and not what smart programs delivering it should look like. We'll never get to the second question if so many of us are still fuming over the first one. Obama is right to wonder aloud about who keeps posing it, hinting over and over that the answer — do the poor even deserve our help? — is "no."
And now the Biblical Commentary:
While Fox News holds a divinity contest at Liberty University to anoint the Republican presidential candidate who represents themselves as the most extremely, vehemently, outrageously, and overwhelmingly evangelical Christian, Rupert Murdoch is secretly trying to copyright the Holy Bible so he can discard the Top 7 Foxnews-most-disdained Scriptures that he feels are counterintuitive, counterproductive or just plain irrelevant with today's SWAGR (So We All Get Rich) ideology:
Mt.19:16-30 Rich Young Man
Mk.11:15-19 Cleansing of the Temple
Lk.19:1-10 Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Lk.21:1-4 The Poor Widow’s Contribution
1Tim6:17-19 Right Use of Wealth
Jas5:1-6 Warning to the Rich
This coincides with Fox News' anti-christian message from those who carry a yellow flag with a serpent on it. Their "FINAL SOLUTION" is: 1) Degrading Social Security, Medicare and Welfare, 2) Not increasing the minimum wage, 3)Not expanding Medicaid, 4)Trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, 5)Fighting Immigration Reform, 6)Denying climate change, and 7) Ultimately driving out, with poverty or death, those that they deem to be undesirable or inferior. From the Old Testament through the Epistles, God tells us 9 times to love thy neighbor as thyself; however, the GOP lives on a plain that's the polar opposite to God's wishes. The same plain that existed in 20th century B.C. Genesis 19:23-25
But all is not lost since the 7th Scripture is so prophetic and so powerful that Rupert breaks out in boils and sores when he reads or hears it (See 2Thes.2:1-17). He's currently working with NewsCorp HR to develop a new policy forbidding his employees from uttering or writing the words "Pope Francis", "Holy Father", "Holy Orders", "St. Peter", "Pontif", "pontificate", "@pontifex", "Vicar of Christ", "climate change", "global warming", "St. Paul of Tarsus", "greed" (unless used in a positive context), "Judgement" (we'll just refer to that as a "performance review"...nobody takes those seriously) and worst of all, "idolatry". Violation of this edict will result in a scourging at the soon-to-be-erected pillar outside the NewsCorp building at 47th and 6th in Midtown.
The 7th Scripture I refer to is:
2Tim3:1-5 The Dangers of the Last Days. 1But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. 2People will be SELF-CENTERED and LOVERS OF MONEY, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, 3callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, HATING WHAT IS GOOD, 4traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5as they MAKE A PRETENSE FOR RELIGION BUT DENY ITS POWER. REJECT THEM.
I think we're there people ... Just to be on the safe side, repent (1Jn1:9-10), humble yourself before the Lord and give Him glory (Lk.9:23), and help the poor (Jas.2:17).
Mt.19:21-22 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect,* go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
* [19:21] If you wish to be perfect: to be perfect is demanded of all Christians; see Mt 5:48. In the case of this man, it involves selling his possessions and giving to the poor; only so can he follow Jesus.
Are you the sad or the happy "young man”? It's probably a good time for a little self-reflection because God tells us 6 times that He will come like “a thief in the night” and He means it: Mt.24:42-44, Lk.12:39-40, 1Thes5:1-3, 2Ptr3:8-10, Rev.3:3, Rev.16:15.
Rev.6:3-4 3When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, “Come forward.” 4 Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword.
From the Dailysignal.com http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/05/flashback-president-george-w-bush-warned-happen-u-s-withdrew-iraq-early/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social
"The Heritage Foundation and Fox News are nothing more than a couple of congenital liars with absolutely no journalistic integrity. Bush made the call on the Iraqi pullout to be in 2011 per the Media Matters link below."
A Prophet. Former United States National Security Advisor Gen. Brent Scowcroft. August 4, 2002: Scowcroft Warns That Invading Iraq Could Destabilize the Middle East, Scowcroft, a Bush foreign affairs adviser who had been marginalized and scorned by administration neoconservatives appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to make his case that the US should not invade Iraq. Scowcroft, with the blessing of his friend and patron George H. W. Bush, went on a one-man media blitz, appearing on Fox News and the BBC to argue his position. The administration’s other high-profile centrists, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, refused to publicly disagree with the administration’s push for war. Scowcroft warned that a unilateral invasion of Iraq could destabilize the Middle East and undermine efforts to defeat international anti-American militant groups. He said: "It’s a matter of setting your priorities. There’s no question that Saddam is a problem. He has already launched two wars and spent all the resources he can working on his military. But the president has announced that terrorism is our number one focus. Saddam [Hussein] is a problem, but he’s not a problem because of terrorism. I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the war on terror.”
You Neocons opened up Pandora's Box basically for the sake of oil: The Wine of God's Fury.
Rev.14:9-13 9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, “Anyone who worships the beast [oil companies] or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, 10will also drink the wine of God’s fury, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. 11The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.” 12Here is what sustains the holy ones who keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus. 13 I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” said the Spirit, “let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.”
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aspires to bring most of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control beginning with territory in the Levant region which includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey.
Rev. 9:13-16 The Sixth Trumpet.* 13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the [four] horns of the gold altar before God, 14telling the sixth angel who held the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the banks of the great river Euphrates.” 15So the four angels were released, who were prepared for this hour, day, month, and year to kill a third of the human race. 16The number of cavalry troops was two hundred million; I heard their number.
* [9:13–21] The sixth trumpet heralds a woe representing another diabolical attack symbolized by an invasion by the Parthians living east of the Euphrates; see note on Rev 6:2. [ISIS is currently congregated east of the Euphrates, between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in both Syria and Iraq]
The four countries along the Euphrates are Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Their combined populations in 2008 were 197,000,000. In 2011, their combined populations were 202,000,000. In 2013, their combined populations were 214,000,000.
Rev.16:12-16 12The sixth angel emptied his bowl on the great river Euphrates. Its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East.* 13I saw three unclean spirits like frogs* come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. 14These were demonic spirits who performed signs. They went out to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle on the great day of God the almighty. 15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief.”* Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his clothes ready, so that he may not go naked and people see him exposed.) 16They then assembled the kings in the place that is named Armageddon* in Hebrew.
* [16:12] The kings of the East: Parthians; see notes on Rev 6:2 and Rev 17:12–13. East: literally, “rising of the sun,” as in Rev 7:2.
* [16:13] Frogs: possibly an allusion to the second Egyptian plague (Ex 7:25–8:11). The false prophet: identified with the two-horned second beast (Rev 13:11–18 and the note there).
* [16:15] Like a thief: as in Rev 3:3 (cf. Mt 24:42–44; 1 Thes 5:2). Blessed: see note on Rev 1:3.
* [16:16] Armageddon: in Hebrew, this means “Mountain of Megiddo.” Since Megiddo was the scene of many decisive battles in antiquity (Jgs 5:19–20; 2 Kgs 9:27; 2 Chr 35:20–24), the town became the symbol of the final disastrous rout of the forces of evil.
Per a NY Times article in 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/world/middle east/14euphrates.html), the Euphrates River has been drying up due to drought in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, misuse for years by Iraq and its farmers and 2 Wars in Iraq.
Rev. 17:12-18 12The ten horns that you saw represent ten kings who have not yet been crowned;* they will receive royal authority along with the beast for one hour. 13They are of one mind and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14They will fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and king of kings, and those with him are called, chosen, and faithful.” 15Then he said to me, “The waters that you saw where the harlot lives represent large numbers of peoples, nations, and tongues. 16The ten horns* that you saw and the beast will hate the harlot; they will leave her desolate and naked; they will eat her flesh and consume her with fire. 17For God has put it into their minds to carry out his purpose and to make them come to an agreement to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are accomplished. 18The woman whom you saw represents the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.”
* [17:12–13] Ten kings who have not yet been crowned: perhaps Parthian satraps who are to accompany the revived Nero (the beast) in his march on Rome to regain power; see note on Rev 13:3. In Rev 19:11–21, the Lamb and his companions will conquer them.
* [17:16–18] The ten horns: the ten pagan kings (Rev 17:12) who unwittingly fulfill God’s will against harlot Rome, the great city; cf. Ez 16:37.
Islam is the largest religion in 9 of the 12 OPEC nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Iraq, Algeria, Nigeria, and Libya. Angola’s majority religion is composed of indigenous beliefs followed by the Roman Catholic faith. The largest religion in Ecuador and Venezuela is the Roman Catholic Church.
The Biblical Notes above are by no means an indictment of neither Islam nor a reference to it as pagan. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are Abrahamic and worship the same God.
As it says in the Quran سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #96:
Thou wilt indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life,-even more than the idolaters: Each one of them wishes He could be given a life of a thousand years: But the grant of such life will not save him from (due) punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do.[i]
And it says in both the Bible and the Torah, Numbers 11:33-34:
33But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it could be chewed, the LORD’s wrath flared up against the people, and the LORD struck them with a very great plague. 34So that place was named Kibroth-hattaavah,* because it was there that the greedy people were buried.
* [11:34] Kibroth-hattaavah: means “graves of greed.”
But what will happen to the OPEC nations (particularly based on their location) when natural gas, nuclear energy and renewable energy displaces oil and coal? ... thought provoking.
For all those who have been slaughtered by ISIS:
Rev.6:9-10 9When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God. 10They cried out in a loud voice, “How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” 11Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the number was filled of their fellow servants and brothers who were going to be killed as they had been.
Now we have to go kill these monsters who were spawned by the Republicans.
Catholic Catechism 2265: Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.
This is why I continually refer to the Tea Party as the 4th Seal:
Rev.6:7-8 7When he broke open the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, “Come forward.” 8I looked, and there was a pale green* horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth.
* [6:8] Pale green: symbol of death and decay; cf. Ez 14:21. [The Tea Party]
[Multiple wars around the globe. Climate-change-driven drought, raising food prices. Ebola in Africa and the U.S.] Rev.13:1-18 The Beasts of the earth: Oil and coal companies. See http://tribulation7.weebly.com/blog My 19th Blog: The Literal and Symbolic Views of the 1st Beast [antichrist], the 2nd Beast [false prophet], and the Harlot [the port city of 7 hills and 7 heads] Parts 1-7
This all started on Aug. 2, 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait ... one man killing his fellow man, both the descendants of Abraham (Gen.17:20) in the Biblical land of Babylon and the Garden of Eden (Gen.2:10-14), all for the sake of oil: The Wine of God's Fury. It was on this date that the 1st Seal was broken open.
Rev.6:1-2 1 Then I watched while the Lamb broke open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures cry out in a voice like thunder, “Come forward.” 2 I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories.
Nm.35:33 You will not pollute the land where you live. For bloodshed pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for the blood shed on it except through the blood of the one who shed it.
It's all starting to link together.
1610 Cecco del Caravaggio Christ expulses money changers anagoria
Mark 11:17 Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’? But you have made it a den of thieves.”
Mt. 6:24 [Jesus said] “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Per the NAB biblical notes: Mammon being an Aramaic word meaning wealth or property.
Many people don’t know that St. Peter was made the leader of the church (see Mt. 16:18) and was the first Pope of the Catholic Church. The other eleven apostles were made the first bishops of the Church. This is known as the sacrament of Holy Orders and is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time.
1Ptr 1:17-19 17Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, 18realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold 19but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.
Mt. 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
The proverbial “gates” surrounding a street named “Wall” appear to be attempting to “close in upon the church of Jesus”.
We are in the 14th month since Pope Francis papacy began on March 3, 2013. He “hit the ground running” as soon as Fumata bianca in the Sistine Chapel. His first orders of business appeared to show the world that he was a reformer rather than the chief enforcer of ancient church doctrine. Within one month he formed a group of eight cardinals from around the world to “advise him on the government of the universal church” and “to study a project of revision” of a document from John Paul II on the Roman Curia.
The Pope’s 1st orders of business were controversial to say the least:
In late November 2013 the Washington Post published an article “Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economic theories in a critique of inequality, The Pontiff disparaged the “idolatry of money” and warned that it would lead to “a new tyranny.” The comments were from “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), a 50,000-word statement that calls for church reform and castigates elements of modern capitalism. I say the new tyranny has been evident since the Koch Brothers created The Heritage Foundation and Americans For Prosperity for the purpose of promoting Tea Party candidates and a far right conservative agenda.
What surprised several readers, including me, was when the Pope specifically targeted ‘trickle down’ economics and said; “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis wrote in the papal statement. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
Immediately after the release of “Evangelii Gaudium“, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh “anointed” the Pope as a Marxist. As usual, Rush Limbaugh said many things, most notably :
Pope Francis response was emblematic of a devout Christian, particularly a Jesuit priest saying “Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended … there is nothing in the exhortation that cannot be found in the social doctrine of the church.” … In Latin, “responsum a castitate”.
In an act symbolizing the Wall Street Journal’s total disrespect for this outspoken leader of the Catholic Church, they published a Paul H. Rubin article on Christmas Day 2013, which accused the Pope of demonizing the free markets. Mr. Rubin is professor of economics at Emory University and past president of the Southern Economic Association. His article was adapted from his presidential address on Nov. 13, 2013. Rubin took the opening shot, referring to “Evangelii Gaudium” as a “manifesto” rather than as an encyclical reaffirming “The Joy of the Gospel”.
What Rubin did was merely write an anti-Christian diatribe. Keep in mind, there are plenty of wealthy Christians who read the Wall Street Journal and have investments. Many of those are Catholic and acknowledge the Papal Father as the head of the Church, but their foremost investment is in the Word of God. Cases in point are the Ave Maria Rising Dividend Funds, which are designed specifically for serious long-term investors who want to practice morally responsible investing (MRI). MRI entails looking for what are believed to be financially sound investments in companies that do not violate core teachings of the Catholic Church. The core teachings of Judeo-Christians involve “loving your neighbor as yourself”. God so wanted to emphasize that point, in “the Spirit of ‘cooperation’”, that He said it 9 times, 2 of which go all the way back to Mosaic Law: Leviticus 19:18, 34, Matthew 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8. In Rubin’s own words; “This discussion may seem semantic, but Words have Meaning and Power.” The aforementioned Scripture’s fundamental Meaning and Power is “Love Your Neighbor”. In the article, Rubin’s statistics are limited to “a sample of nine introductory economics textbooks [contain the word] ‘competition’ … an average of eight times as often as ‘cooperation.’ It’s no wonder that competition comes to mind when society thinks of the economy.”
These are statistics from the New American Bible, which is the official Bible of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). I’m sure Pope Francis has a copy. In a soft-copy sample from 73 Biblical Books and 1722 pages, including the biblical notes and readings, the word “idolatry” is used 52 times, “idolatrous” 19 times, “greed” 90 times, “hypocrite” 33 times, and “hypocrisy” 14 times. These are not new Words and are not used in a positive sense but are Words which have much Meaning and Power.
Pope Francis’ remarks repeat the Spirit and the teachings from the Gospels and Epistles. Some examples are:
Mt.19:16-30 Rich Young Man
Mk.11:15-19 Cleansing of the Temple
Lk.19:1-10 Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Lk.21:1-4 The Poor Widow’s Contribution
Rom.1: 18-22 Punishment of Idolaters
1Tim6:17-19 Right Use of Wealth
Jas5:1-6 Warning to the Rich
And then comes the test of the “2 masters”.
Unfortunately, the Catholic Church in the United States will always struggle with change because, regardless of confliction, it will sometimes feel that it must satisfy 2 masters. Its financial survival comes from charity; therefore, it will always be subject to “mammon”. The question here is did the New York Archdiocese stand up to Wall Street charity when the “jewel” of the ecclesiastical province of New York needed a “facelift” or did they challenge the Pope, and the majority of Catholics (who strongly believe in the Gospels and Epistles) rather than challenging the benefactors?
An article by CNBC written in late December 2013, detailed a potential 7-figure unnamed investor who took exception to many of the above noted statements of Pope Francis and this unnamed investor used his financial leverage to question Pope Francis comments through Ken Langone a billionaire spearheading the $180,000,000 restoration of St. Francis Cathedral and the investor known for founding Home Depot. Langone passed the unnamed investors remarks to Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.
Langone said to Dolan; ‘Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities. Rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country,’ (Remember this remark, when reading the below discussion of yesterday’s New York Times article)
Dolan, being a seasoned “diplomat” in Vatican politics, told CNBC that he had heard from Langone and said, ” ‘Well, Ken, that would be a misunderstanding of the Holy Father’s message. The pope loves poor people. He also loves rich people.’ … So I said, ‘Ken, thanks for bringing it to my attention. We’ve gotta correct to make sure this gentleman understands the Holy Father’s message properly.’ And then I think he’s gonna say, ‘Oh, OK. If that’s the case, count me in for St. Patrick’s Cathedral.’ “
Langone, who describes himself as a devout Catholic who prays every morning, said he has told the cardinal that “you get more with honey than with vinegar.” He said he also wants to make clear that wealthy Americans are some of the biggest donors in the world.
“There is no nation on earth that is so forthcoming, so giving,” he said, adding that he hopes the pope can “celebrate a positive point of view rather than focusing on the negative.”
Yesterday’s New York Times published an article, The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest by David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy. It confirmed what economists have been saying and what Pope Francis referred to in his denunciation of ‘trickle-down’ economic theories. When globally comparing the incomes of the wealthy vs. lower- and middle-income tiers, the numbers suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.  Notable points from the report:
Where’s the honey in this Times article Mr. Langone? It looks like the wealthy in the U.S. are feeding the middle and lower classes a steady diet of barley and “wine mixed with gall”. This article both confirms Pope Francis’ concerns of income inequality, particularly in the U.S., and that the Obama Administration is attempting to reconcile several of these issues.
Christ did talk about cleansing the temple, but He wasn’t referring to a pressure washer and some “elbow grease”. Quite the opposite, as He exclaimed in
Mk.11:17 Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written*: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’? But you have made it a den of thieves.”
*It was written in Is.56:7.
God cares not if the interior and exterior walls in His House are a bit dingy, rather He cares about what goes on at the altar and ends up in the pews.
In the case of the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, I hope Pope Francis did not end up being subject to the very evil he disdains and as a result of that, “the thieves got away with the house”.
In Luke 12:13-15, Saying against Greed, He [Jesus] said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
But Jesus recognized and Pope Francis recognizes both the evil of greed and the good deeds from some of the rich:
In Lk.19:1-10, Zacchaeus the Tax Collector, it reads; 1He [Jesus] came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. 2Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, 3was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. 5When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” 6And he came down quickly and received him with joy. 7When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” 8But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
History repeats itself. The Giving Pledge founded by Bill Gates and wife Melinda, together with Warren Buffett, came up with the idea to get America’s wealthiest families to give away at least 50% of their wealth during their lifetimes, or upon their deaths, and write a letter explaining why. The campaign specifically focuses on billionaires (or those who would be billionaires if not for their philanthropy). As of February 2014, 122 billionaire or former billionaire individuals and couples have signed the pledge, which is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract.
In the history of biblical good deeds, the one that I think of most often were the actions of a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph. He was a member of Sanhedrin (the same Jewish Council that condemned Jesus to death), but secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews. After the death of Jesus, Joseph asked Pontius Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus from the Cross and Pilate permitted it. Joseph and a Pharisee (Jewish leader) named Nicodemus took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. In the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was Joseph’s new tomb, so they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.
Both Joseph and Nicodemus risked not only their wealth and prestige, but also their lives to give the Messiah a proper burial.
St. Paul knew well the struggles of the poor and wrote to his companion Timothy about the Right Use of Wealth:
1Tim6:17-19 *17Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 18Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, 19thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.
* [6:17–19] Timothy is directed to instruct the rich, advising them to make good use of their wealth by aiding the poor.
My 7:00 p.m. Sunday evening ritual is watching the CBS News Show, 60 Minutes. It’s an old addiction going back to the Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, and Andy Rooney days. Last Sunday night was a repeat of a previous episode about the Robin Hood Foundation which was founded by Paul Tudor Jones II, also founder of Tudor Investment Corporation, a private asset management company and hedge fund. The Robin Hood Foundation is New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, and since 1988 has focused on finding, funding, and creating programs and schools that generate meaningful results for families in New York’s poorest neighborhoods. Since its founding, Robin Hood has distributed more than $1.45 billion in grants and initiatives to hundreds of New York City-based soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools, job training programs, and other vital services that give New York’s neediest citizens the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and their families. In addition, Robin Hood’s board of directors pays all administrative, fundraising and evaluation costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to organizations helping New Yorkers in need. Seth Meyers, former SNL member and now talk show host, was the emcee at a previous fundraising venue and remarked to those in attendance; “its like the 1% has its own 1%”. He was probably correct. In the Spirit of Zacchaeus and St. Timothy, The Giving Pledge and The Robin Hood Foundation realize the plight of the poor and they do good deeds to help them. (Ref. Revelation 22:12. Good deeds also include faith and repentance.)
Reuters reported in late January 2014 that Pope Francis is currently writing an encyclical on the environment. Earlier that month in his so-called “state of the world” address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, he said, “God always forgives, we sometimes forgive, but when nature – creation – is mistreated, she never forgives.” His statement echoes what the Prophet Isaiah wrote approximately 2,800 years ago regarding the environment:
Is. 24:3-6 “3The earth shall be utterly laid waste, utterly stripped, for the LORD has decreed this word. 4The earth mourns and fades, the world languishes and fades; both heaven and earth languish. 5The earth is polluted because of its inhabitants, for they have transgressed laws, violated statutes,broken the ancient covenant.* 6Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants pay for their guilt; Therefore they who dwell on earth have dwindled, and only a few are left.
* [24:5] Ancient covenant: God’s commandments to all humankind (cf. Gn 9:4–6). The Noahic Covenant.
This is the same Prophet Isaiah that in the 8th century B.C. accurately predicted the coming, persecution and death of Christ in Isaiah Chapter 53.
I pray that Pope Francis, like me, sees the relationship between our declining environment and St. John’s visions in the Book of Revelation.  On this issue of climate change, the Pope must again loudly speak the truth so as to drown-out the shrill voices of hatred from the “far right”, who will again attack him.
Is.17:13 But God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far away, Driven like chaff on the mountains before a wind, like tumbleweed before a storm.
Pope Francis is a Jesuit and he’s inherently doing his job: Remember St. Peter, upon this rock I will build my church.
 Rev. 6:6 Barley: food of the poor (Jn 6:9, 13; cf. 2 Kgs 7:1, 16, 18); it was also used to feed animals; cf. 1 Kgs 5:8.
 Mt.27:34 Wine…mixed with gall: cf. Mk 15:23 where the drink is “wine drugged with myrrh,” a narcotic. Matthew’s text is probably an inexact allusion to Ps 69:22. That psalm belongs to the class called the individual lament, in which a persecuted just man prays for deliverance in the midst of great suffering and also expresses confidence that his prayer will be heard. That theme of the suffering Just One is frequently applied to the sufferings of Jesus in the passion narratives.
This week, Pastor John Hagee quoted The Book of Genesis which says God uses the sun, moon, and stars for signs and seasons. Examples can be found throughout the Bible. According to Pastor Hagee, God is getting ready… to speak this way once again.
“I believe that in these next two years, we’re going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world,” he predicted.
The story was reported by CBN News and you can read it on this link: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2014/February/Divine-Sign-for-Israel-Hagee-Explains-Blood-Moons/
In case you don’t know who is Pastor John Hagee, he is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational megachurch with more than 20,000 active members.
In his 2005 book Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World, Hagee interprets the Bible to predict that Russia and the Islamic states will invade Israel and will be destroyed by God. This will cause the antichrist, the head of the European Union, to create a confrontation over Israel between China and the West. The book echoes predictions made in The Late, Great Planet Earth, the best-selling 1970 book co-authored by Hal Lindsey and Carole C. Carlson. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagee)
That’s a bit different than my book TRIBULATION. The antichrist, also known as “the beast” is described in Rev. 13:1-2 as: 1Then I saw a beast come out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads; on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads blasphemous name[s]. 2The beast I saw was like a leopard, but it had feet like a bear’s, and its mouth was like the mouth of a lion…
The reader can see my illustrations, with descriptions of the 1st and 2nd beasts at the following link: http://www.tribulation7.com/illustrations.html
I say the beast is an oil rig which symbolizes the oil companies and that’s a far cry from the “head of the European Union”
In 2007, Hagee stated that he does not believe in global warming, and he also said that he sees the Kyoto Protocol as a conspiracy aimed at manipulating the U.S. economy. Also, Hagee has condemned the Evangelical Climate Initiative, an initiative “signed by 86 evangelical leaders acknowledging the seriousness of global warming and pledging to press for legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagee) Many other Judeo-Christians do believe in climate change. The National Religious Partnership For The Environment has sent several letters to President Obama emphasizing the seriousness of climate change and its threat to our civilization. The National Religious Partnership For The Environment is comprised of:
I wonder if Pastor Hagee knows that his beloved state of Israel is a participant in the Kyoto Protocol or if Hagee is discounting our sins from Isaiah Ch. 24 which are resulting in climate change. Is Pastor Hagee open-minded enough, based on the descriptions in Rev.8:8-9 (the 2nd Trumpet – Deepwater Horizon Disaster) and Rev. 16:8-9 (the 4th Bowl – Global Warming) to see that these respective events have occurred or are occurring as we speak.
In the CBN article, Hagee spends a lot of time directing his latest prophecy to some place between the Old Testament and his own personal visions. In the article, he does make one reference to the Book of Revelation where it ‘says that during the Great Tribulation, “the moon will become like blood.”‘ What he’s referring to is the 6th of 7 seals described in Rev. 6:12-14 which reads; 12 Then I watched while he broke open the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; the sun turned as black as dark sackcloth and the whole moon became like blood. 13The stars in the sky fell to the earth like unripe figs shaken loose from the tree in a strong wind. 14Then the sky was divided like a torn scroll curling up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
The biblical notes of the New American Bible discuss this particular scripture and go on to say that its a “symbolic rather than literal description of the cosmic upheavals attending the day of the Lord when the martyrs’ prayer for vindication (Rev 6:10) would be answered; cf. Am 8:8–9; Is 34:4; 50:3; Jl 2:10; 3:3–4; Mt 24:4–36; Mk 13:5–37; Lk 21:8–36.” As you can see, it uses a lot of both Old Testament and New Testament scripture as its basis.
What Pastor Hagee may or may not realize and probably wouldn’t agree with, is that the 6th Seal has already occurred. The reader can check the following facts:
A 6.5 Earthquake occurred in Iran on 12/20/10 @ 12:41p.m. CST. A Lunar eclipse “the whole moon became like blood” occurred on 12/21/10 @ 1:41 a.m. CST, exactly 13 hrs. (Rev.1:3) after the 6.5 Earthquake. A Geminid Meteor Shower occurred 12/13/10 and an Ursids Meteor Shower on 12/21/10, from my book TRIBULATION by G.R. MILLER.
Rev. 1:3 reads “Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.”
Regarding “every mountain and island was moved from its place”, read the following NASA article: Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis
Lk21:25 which is titled The Coming of the Son of Man says “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
The Fukushimi earthquake and tsunami occured on Mar. 11, 2011. The “Supermoon” rises on Mar. 18, 2011: which was the biggest full moon in 18 Years.
The 6th Seal may or may not be part of “The Tribulation” which is best described in Mt. 24:15-31, Lk.21:7-28, 2Thes.2:1-17, 2Tim3:1-9, 2Ptr.3:8-10, Rev. Chapter’s 8-11 & 13-19.
As you read the Hagee article, you see a continuing tone from the pastor regarding Israel and its neighbors and a potential nuclear threat.
Hagee says; The blood moons of 2014 and 2015 are poised to appear as Iran works toward nuclear weapons and Israel’s neighbors, Egypt and Syria, are in chaos.“The only reason that Iran will not acquire a nuclear bomb will be that Israel chooses a military solution to that crisis,” Hagee told CBN News. Hagee appears to be salivating over his prophecy of Armageddon occurring in the next 2 years, I assume on Mountain of Megiddo as described in Rev. 16:16.
“I believe that if that happens, it will start a series of events that will change the course of world history,” he said. “If Israel does not, then it will still change the course of world history.”
Hagee has been warning of the Iranian nuclear threat through his work with Christians United for Israel, which he founded in 2006. It is now the largest pro-Israel organization in America, with some 1.3 million members.
Personally, I do my best to quote scripture regarding our obligation to protect Israel.
Psalm 98:1 says: A psalm. I Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done marvelous deeds. His right hand and holy arm have won the victory.
The NAB biblical notes for Psalm 98:1 say: Marvelous deeds…victory: the conquest of all threats to the peaceful existence of Israel, depicted in the Psalms variously as a cosmic force such as sea, or nations bent on Israel’s destruction, or evildoers seemingly triumphant. His right hand and holy arm: God is pictured as a powerful warrior.
My thoughts are: “His right hand and holy arm” are the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.
Mark 16:19, The Ascension of Jesus, says So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. In Rev. 17-14 it says; “They will fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and king of kings, and those with him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
Israel has the Leviathon Gas Field, which contains roughly 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is the largest gas field to have been discovered in the past decade. It was discovered in 2010, about a year after the discovery of the Tamar field, which, together with Tamar Southwest reservoir, contains roughly 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The Leviathan reservoir is expected to be the largest infrastructure project in Israel’s history. Last week, on Feb. 7th, Australia’s Woodside acquired a 25% stake in the Leviathon Gas Field for $2.7 billion. (Source: http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.573015)
Just a quick note: the name Leviathon is referenced in Isaiah 27:1 where scripture titled The Judgment and Deliverance of Israel says: On that day, The LORD will punish with his sword that is cruel, great, and strong, Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the coiled serpent; he will slay the dragon* in the sea.a
From the NAB Biblical Notes,
“*” referencing Leviathan…dragon: the description of Leviathan is almost identical to a passage from a much earlier Ugaritic text. The sea dragon became a symbol of the forces of evil which God vanquishes even as he overcame primeval chaos; cf. notes on 30:7; 51:9–10; Jb 3:8; 7:12; no power can challenge God. Leviathan is even spoken of playfully in Ps 104:26.
“a” referencing Old Testament scripture Jb 40:25–32; Ps 74:12–14; Ez 32:2.
Dragon is the description used throughout the Book of Revelation referring to Satan. From Rev. 12:13-18; 13When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year. [3 1/2 years is the length of the Tribulation]. 15The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. 16But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth. 17Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. 18It took its position on the sand of the sea.
Maybe now some open-minded readers can see my view of the “the beast” as an oil rig, symbolizing an oil company. As it says in Rev. 13:2 “To it [the beast] the dragon gave its own power and throne, along with great authority.” In this case the authority to market “the dragon”. Some where in all that is the sign of the beast as described in Rev. 13:16-18…a numbered stock certificate? a gasoline credit card? I’m open to other suggestions.
Natural gas is being used to displace petroleum and coal to reduce CO2 emissions and global warming; therefore, I see a plausible conflict between Israel and the OPEC nations in the Middle East and Northern Africa, due to sheer competition, (which could significantly drive down the price of oil) or especially if Israel starts mass exporting LNG (liquified natural gas) to nations currently importing petroleum and coal as their primary energy sources.
We’re already seeing Saudi Arabian concerns about lifting sanctions on Iran: Iran would then put more oil on the world market driving down the price. Follow my logic. Congressional Doves —>Lift Iranian sanctions if they agree to stop their nuclear weapons program —> More oil on the world market driving down the price of oil; thereby, diminishing the economics of projects like Keystone XL. The inverse of that logic we’re seeing: Congressional Hawks —–> Continued and additional sanctions on Iran regardless of Iranian compliance with eliminating its nuclear weapons program —-> No additional oil from Iran on the world market —-> Oil prices stay high —> Projects like Keystone XL still have an acceptable rate of return. Sound plausible?
Several of my references to scripture above could segue to Rev. Chapter 7 The 144,000 Sealed, Chapters 8 and 9 The Trumpets, Chapter 14 The Lamb’s Companion’s, Chapter 15 and 16 The Seven Plagues and Seven Bowls, and Part V of the Revelation (Chapters 17 – 20) The Punishment of Babylon and the Destruction of Pagan Nations. I’ll write about that later.
God’s message is clear: Protect Israel from any threat to their peace, be it Iran or any other country; however I say we MUST go through the peace process between Iran and Israel, regardless of the shrill false prophesies of the “John Hagee’s” of the world.
From the January 24, 2014 New York Times article: Pipeline Fight Lifts Environmental Movement by Sarah Wheaton
Please read my 8th & 13th blogs http://www.tribulation7.com/blog/ The oil/coal industries and GOP want new jobs via a new pipeline of which pipeline construction, for new and existing pipelines, goes on daily in the U.S. and Canada. It’s not a novel idea to create jobs with new pipelines. It’s a bad idea to create jobs with new pipelines to carry heavy oil from the oil sands of Alberta into the U.S., especially if carbon taxes are on the horizon, which they hopefully are and will be implemented sooner rather than later.
You want jobs oil/coal/GOP? Keystone XL is a “drop in the bucket” compared to the jobs created by the displacement and divestiture of oil/coal for natural gas: Converting petroleum pipelines to natural gas pipelines requires recertification of every petroleum pipeline converted, as well as expanding the natural gas pipeline infrastructure to accommodate increased usage…that’s lots of jobs.
Increased E/P for natural gas…that’s lots of jobs.
Building gas processing & NGL fractionation facilities to separate natural gas from natural gas liquids and then to separate the natural gas liquids to the fundamental lower-carbon-hydrogen compounds of ethane, propane, butane, natural gasoline and variants of. These “light” hydrocarbons provide crop drying for agriculture, feedstocks for petrochemicals, industrial uses, and home heating fuel…that’s lots of jobs.
Adding import and export facilities for liquified natural gas ….that’s lots of jobs.
Converting coal and oil fired power plants and home heating systems worldwide to natural gas….that’s lots of jobs.
With stricter emission standards, adding BACT (Best Available Control Technology) for Air Quality systems in power plants, which have been “grandfathered” on emissions limits …. that’s lots of jobs.
And last but not least, retrofitting existing automotive engines and creating new automotive engines that are powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), H2 fuel cells, and electricity, as well as building the fueling stations to power these engines….that’s lots of jobs.
I’ve just said “that’s lots of jobs” 7 times.
These aren’t just lots of construction and manufacturing jobs. .. They’re R&D, engineering, design, procurement, construction, manufacturing, maintenance, operations and all of the G&A support required….that’s a lot of jobs which also slow down climate change. It will be the next “industrial revolution”‘, all the while including the expansion of renewable energy on a parallel path. The “end game” being a “stay-in-business” project for the sanctity of the earth that God provided us: see Gen.9:12. So the next time you hear oil/coal/GOP crow about needed jobs, you’ll hopefully see the light: Is.24:5-6
I keep getting tweets from and promoted by ExxonMobil saying “N. America to shift from a net importer to a net exporter of #natgas by 2020. More info like this at http://www.exxonmobil.com/quiz #EnergyQuiz“
I can’t figure out if they’re thumbing their collective noses at me or trying to appease me since I’m one of their biggest critics. Based on my above prose, I’m thinking “thumb nosing”…My response tweet was; “Pretty presumptuous considering u have no idea how much oil/coal will b displaced by Nat. gas or maybe you’ll just control that?” The bottom line being if we make the expanded use of domestic natural gas a national priority to slow climate change, then our domestic consumption increases, leaving less, if any, to export. ExxonMobil’s tweet “showed their hand”.
I found Isaiah Chapter 24 by word searching “pollute” in the New American Bible. Verses 5 and 6 read as follows:
5The earth is polluted because of its
for they have transgressed laws,
broken the ancient covenant.
6Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants pay for their
Therefore they who dwell on earth have
and only a few are left.
The “ancient covenant” in this case is the covenant between God and Noah in Genesis 9:5 and God said:
“Indeed for your own lifeblood I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from a human being, each one for the blood of another, I will demand an accounting for human life.
When you continue to read Isaiah verses 7 through 23, its quite sobering. If you’re looking for legitimacy of the prophet Isaiah, look no farther than Is. Chapter 53 where he accurately predicted the coming and the life of Jesus Christ…Approximately 800 years before His coming.
Few people at ExxonMobil want to DEAL with Isaiah 24, as was evidenced by the their shareholder’s meeting on May 29, 2013. Rex Tillerson asked “What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?” He tried to say that poverty reduction would be more difficult if ExxonMobil set goals to reduce emissions from its products and operations. Rex T. evidently did a good sales job, for approximately three fourths of shareholders agreed with him. Last year, Rex said “”We have spent our entire existence adapting…We’ll adapt.” “It’s an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution.” So evidently now, laissez-faire acceptance of doom has outweighed adaptation. The latest from Rex to the City Club of Cleveland, he said that Climate change is a serious and complex problem that society may not be able to fix and will just have to deal with and further “I view it as a risk management problem”. This time, Rex again says; DEAL with it. One of the most important steps in risk management is RCA (Root Cause Analysis). One of the primary causes of climate change are CO2 emissions and the resulting risk management should be to take steps to manage (diminish) these emissions at their source. As noted above, Rex T. and the majority of ExxonMobil shareholders are unwilling to do that. What Rex is unwilling to admit is that we can displace petroleum and coal with natural gas, nuclear power and renewable energy, on a strategic basis, without any negative effect on poverty reduction.
One of the ironies of all this is Rex and I are both Civil Engineering majors from the University of Texas-Austin. I managed the engineering, procurement and construction of two facilities in Louisiana where ExxonMobil was an equity partner. As ExxonMobil said, my employer could build the facilities timelier and more cost effective and just as safe as they could. Rex graduated from UT in 1975 and me in 1983. Rex received the 2006 Distinguished Engineering Graduate award and is trying to kill the planet. I’m a “Messenger” writer (some would call a prophet) and I’m trying to save the planet, both physically and spiritually.
The proverbial fox (oil/coal/GOP) is not only guarding the henhouse, its controlling the message and feeding you a lot of “malarkey”.
I’m trying to find a traditional publisher to publish a revised version of my book. Last month, I emailed a well-known traditional Christian publisher, inquiring about interest in my book. They basically responded that if I revised my book to a futurist message, rather than a preterist / futurist message, I might find a traditional publisher interested in the book. Those aren’t the revisions that I quite had in mind. In Revelation 22:18-19, God reminds us of the consequences of exercising “artistic license” to his divine message.
Preterist or preterition, in the case of the Book of Revelation, meaning “The act of passing, or going past; the state of being past.” Past the start of the Parousia…meaning the “clock is ticking”.
Rev. 16:1, 8-9
The Seven Bowls. 1I heard a loud voice speaking from the temple to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s fury upon the earth.” 8The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun. It was given the power to burn people with fire. 9People were burned by the scorching heat and blasphemed the name of God who had power over these plagues, but they did not repent or give him glory.
God’s Fury being the end of the Mesozoic era, 65 million years ago, and the destruction of all non-avian dinosaurs. The contents of the “bowl” being petroleum, or the “Wine of God’s Fury”. Re: Revelation 14:10-12
Lest we forget biblical history, albeit used symbolically: From Genesis 14:10 , ”Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah fled, they fell into these, while the rest fled to the mountains.” Ultimately, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, four of the five “Cities of the Plain” were completely consumed by fire and brimstone, as a result of Divine Judgement for what amounted to impenitent sins of all kinds.
In this case, the leaders were mired in the “tar pits” while the rest of the population took to the “high ground”.
WHEN AND WHERE DO WE DRAW THE RED LINE ON CLIMATE CHANGE? WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED FROM THE PROPHET ISAIAH - PART 3
There are notable people and groups who are taking climate change quite seriously:
On World Environment Day, Pope Francis asked the tough questions: What does cultivating and caring for the earth mean? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we exploiting and neglecting it?
The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) began pleading for Dialogue Prudence and the Common Good when addressing Climate Change as far back as June 15, 2001. Most recently the USCCB sent letters to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) expressing the urgent and necessary measures required to address climate change. They cite evidence, which continues to point toward significant damaging impacts from climate related events in the United States, across the globe, and particularly for the poorest developing countries. Some poor nations and small island states already experience these impacts as a matter of survival for their people and cultures. This is quite opposite to what Rex Tillerson said above about “poverty reduction [being more] difficult if ExxonMobil set goals to reduce emissions from its products and operations.” Trust me Rex, the Christian and Jewish communities addressing these issues know “a bit more” than you about poverty.
In a letter to President Obama, The National Religious Partnership For The Environment also emphasized the issue of poor nations and small island states experiencing these impacts as a matter of survival for their people and cultures. President Obama is now scheduled to lay out a Climate Change Plan on June 25th.  Since Climate Change was noted as a top priority in his inaugural address, such a plan is promising. Now we’ll get to see how much resistance the plan gets from the Tea Party, neo-conservatives and other climate deniers.
President Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 8, 2013. The only Climate-Change-related concession the Chinese were willing to make was reduction of hydrofluorocarbons, a potent greenhouse gas used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and industrial applications. China is the biggest polluter in the world and the United States is second. Since WE have the majority of issues to address, WE should be taking the lead roles in Climate Change reduction…You lead by example.
Former President Bill Clinton has shown a longstanding commitment to the environment. The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) is implementing programs that create and advance solutions to the root causes of climate change – while also helping to reduce our reliance on oil, saving money for individuals and governments, creating jobs, and growing economies.
Former Vice-President Al Gore continues the good fight against Climate Change. His efforts resulted in a co-award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. 
Secretary of State John Kerry has called Climate Change a “life-threatening” issue and that the United States must play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. He noted that “the fastest growing sector of our economy is clean energy,” [and] “It’s [also] a job creator.” Kerry is meeting with officials from India today and will urge them to curb emissions that contribute to global warming and ease barriers to U.S. business and investment in the world’s largest democracy that is viewed as a counterweight to China.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing to spend $20 billion to deal with Climate-Change-related exposure to New York City. The basis of these expenditures is a Risk Management plan based on 250 specific recommendations to further fortify the city against climate events. The plan proposes a variety of solutions, from the predictable (widened beaches and amended building codes) to the bold (building a sustainable island on the East side of lower Manhattan to shield the city from extreme weather, just as Battery Park City mitigated the damage on Manhattan’s West side.)
Upon rerecording the aforementioned record CO2 level, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change issued statement calling “for a greatly stepped-up response to climate change by all parts of society.”
The positive actions of the Catholic Church, especially Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Francis I and the USCCB, begs the question, what more can all people of Faith do to bring attention to Climate Change and the threat to our civilization. I’d like to note that The National Religious Partnership For The Environment discussed above, is comprised of:
God said: This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations.
Don’t deny the power of prayer in dealing with Climate Change. If churches and synagogues are at a crossroads in their ministries and “drunk with the fear” of accepting Climate Change, then reread Isaiah Chapter 24 and it will “sober you up”. Then reread this blog and the quoted Scripture. You should be able to see how everything starts linking together, just like a chain of hydrogen and carbon, which make up Hydrocarbons.
History says that I’ll have to endure some attempt at silencing my soul, which will probably be an attempt to “kill” my credibility. The attempt will come from those who have been rebuked by my prose and rebuked by the Word of God. In 33 A.D. there was a teacher, who was also a messenger, on the streets of Judea who asked a harassing crowd, (John 7:19-20):
19Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” 20The crowd answered, “You are possessed! Who is trying to kill you?”
This “teacher” was later scourged and crucified for our salvation. I do not worry of any impending doom to my reputation. Writing TRIBULATION was my “reward” from God (Daniel 12:13). But I know my reward is conditional, based on my Faith in Him. As an “unknown author” said in Hebrews 13:5-8;
5Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” 6Thus we may say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper, [and] I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” 7Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God didn’t give Jesus Christ the desire to judge or condemn, rather to save. In the Revelation, God gives the Second Coming the ability to “destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 1:8, 1:18, 11:18.
There’s an old saying that goes; “The ship is sinking and you’re straightening the deck chairs”. There’s another old saying: “Desperate times call for desperate measures”.
Climate Change is THE biggest threat to our civilization.
WE MUST DEAL WITH IT
From NASA website: http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators#co2CLIMATE CHANGE
Rev. 16:8-9 8The fourth angel poured out his bowl (one of the seven bowls of God’s fury poured on the earth) on the sun. It was given the power to burn people with fire. 9People were burned by the scorching heat and blasphemed the name of God who had power over these plagues, but they did not repent or give him glory.
Is. 24:5-6 5The earth is polluted because of its inhabitants, for they have transgressed laws, violated statutes, broken the ancient covenant.* 6Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants pay for their guilt; Therefore they who dwell on earth have dwindled, and only a few are left.
*“ancient covenant” is defined in the NAB biblical notes as “God’s commandments to all humankind (cf. Gn 9:4–6).” or the Noahic Covenant.
Nm 35:33 You will not pollute the land where you live. For bloodshed pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for the blood shed on it except through the blood of the one who shed it. 34Do not defile the land in which you live and in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the Israelites.
Hos 4:2–3 2Swearing, lying, murder, stealing and adultery break out; bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3Therefore the land dries up, and everything that dwells in it languishes: The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and even the fish of the sea perish.
Author G.R. Miller, utilizing his engineering and project management experiences in the fossil fuels energy sectors and guidance from God, takes a pragmatic approach of part preterism, part symbolism and part literalism in decoding the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He exhibits a Climate Change connection through scripture, commentary and illustrations.