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One World Religion Takes Hold in AmericaOne World Religion Takes Hold in America
June 4, 2011
Muslims, Christians and Jews will share pulpits across the United States. Mosques and Synagogues have also signed up – to be hosted by Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First On June 26.
For just a day, clergy of all three faiths will read the Old and New Testaments as well as the Koran, together.
Father Pat Earl, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Charlotte, North Carolina said it was a “good thing for the church” and told Catholic News Service that it was good to “publicly recognize the existence of Islam.”
President of Interfaith Alliance, Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, asked churches to get involved to make a statement about pluralism and religious freedom.
“We’re calling upon congregations to say by means of their actions, ‘We come from different traditions, hold different beliefs and engage in different rituals in our churches, mosques and synagogues, have different beliefs yet emphasize religious freedom and search for answers to life’s questions through our respective faiths.’”
He believes the interfaith event will change American’s opinion of Islam.
“It will send a message that Americans respect Muslims and Islam, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general,” he said.
Governments are coming together and now religions are coming together. It seems we are right on schedule to bring in the antichrist “peace-maker.” With the nations and the UN rising against Israel, the false peace is soon to come.
Churches celebrating the unification of religions for peace are deceived. The are being seduced by the antichrist. Jesus said he did not come to bring peace. But the churches gather nonetheless and instead of proclaiming the Gospel for the salvation of souls, they join hands and sing kumbaya. This is exactly what the devil wants. It’s so sneaky and shrewd. And the evil of it appears wonderfully tolerant on the onset. This agenda of joining religions will continue to spread like a brush fire. Soon those who oppose it will be considered “destroyers of peace.” Get ready, followers of Jesus. There is a rocky road ahead.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
FYI-here's the list(50 of them thus far)-
Interfaith marriage: The tale of 'Form B'
Two young kids fall in love and decide to get married and start a family. When their faiths aren't the same, he's required to sign a form saying he'll adhere to her faith. Then they learn there is a 'Form B.'
As the story goes, when my parents were still teens, they started dating, fell in love, and decided to one day get married. That “one day” became sooner than expected when my mother found out she was expecting a baby.
Through the surprise and related concerns, my parents remained dedicated to each other and their goal of marriage and forged on, albeit ahead of schedule, toward their nuptials.
My mother was raised a devout Catholic, and my grandparents insisted that she be married in the Catholic Church. Honoring their wishes, my parents took steps to be married by the priest at St. Hugo’s, my mother’s parish church.
Father Esper, the elderly pastor of mom’s church, guided my parents through premarital counseling, which included the required reading of Anthony Wilhelm’s book “Christ Among Us” and they talked about values of family, raising children, and how to remain faithful to each other and to God.
**And this is exactly what the "religious right" has pushed(and the whole "marriage" conference at the Vatican with Rick Warren and Russell Moore) - "family values".
My Catholic mother and my father, a Christian Scientist, proved worthy of partnership and they completed their counseling in time for a June wedding before my brother’s November arrival.
At the end, Father Esper presented my father with a form to sign, which served as proof of completion of counseling and fulfilled the final step before earning permission to marry in the Catholic Church.
In its essence, the form was an agreement that my father would raise his children to be Catholic.
After carefully reviewing the document, my father told Father Esper that he couldn’t sign it.
Over the course of counseling, Father Esper and my father built a mutual respect for each other – my father felt he could be pretty direct, with all due respect, with the elder priest.
He explained that he could not sign the form in good conscience, since he didn’t know in which specific denomination his children would be raised, only that they would be raised in a Christian home.
My father has told this story throughout the years, from the time my two older brothers and I attended Sunday School (we ended up being raised attending a Christian Science church), until now, as we all have been married and started families of our own.
Today, my oldest brother is married to a Jewish woman, and their daughter is learning the best of both Christian and Jewish faith traditions. My second-oldest brother, who often considers a good surf as sacred as a good sermon, married a Presbyterian, and they are raising their kids in that denomination.
I seem to be the odd one out in the family, having married someone within the same denomination as I was raised, and he is currently serving as a protestant chaplain in the US Navy.
According to this week’s cover story in The Christian Science Monitor on interfaith marriage, my brothers and my parents represent a growing trend, as the number of interfaith marriages in the United States has risen from 20 percent in the 1960s to 40 percent today.
The article points out that interfaith marriages, once considered taboo in many circles, continue to grow in number and acceptance, as couples stay rooted in their faith traditions while incorporating those of a spouse.
According to the cover story, scholars say the phenomenon of not feeling compelled to adopt a spouse’s faith largely coincides with American views of religion as an individual choice, instead of being something that you are born into, which is part of your being, as it is seen in many other parts of the world.
Along with the increase of interfaith marriages across the US is the number of programs supporting families that wish to raise kids with an appreciation and understanding of different religions. According to the cover story, groups like the Interfaith Families Project, outside of Washington, host weekly gatherings for hundreds of individuals, including dozens of families, that include hymns, readings, and prayers pulled from multiple faith traditions.
Backing up to 1974, the options for how to raise kids to appreciate two faiths was not as clear cut.
According to my father, upon hearing his objections, Father Esper paused to absorb my dad’s comments. A few moments later, he nodded to his secretary, who opened up the drawer and pulled out the document that will forever be referred to as “Form B.”
“Form B” stated that my mother and father would raise their children in a Christian home. My father signed the document and less than a month later my parents were married at St. Hugo’s.
As my father has told this story through the years, many of his peers have marveled that there was a second option. Some others who have heard the story have complained that they never thought to ask, they simply signed the form.
The bigger point to my father’s story is not that there was a second form, but rather that he was willing to ask questions, not only of his own faith and my mother’s, but of the constructs of faith within relationships and family. He and my mother admittedly did not have all the answers, but they felt strong enough in their faiths that the right answers would be provided in due time for them and their family.
My parents would go on to raise me and my brothers in a household that regularly attended church and Sunday School, and pulled from their own understanding of their faiths to help teach us lessons about honesty, caring for others, and working for positive change in the world.
And now on any given weekend, you will find my immediate family members remaining faithful at a mass, a church service, or a Shabbat service.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND ARAB PALESTINIAN GROUP REWRITING THE BIBLE TO REMOVE REFERENCES TO ISRAEL
HAVE YOU HEARD THAT THERE IS A NEW VERSION OF OUR BIBLE? BUT THIS VERSION IS UNLIKE ANY PRIOR VERSION OF GOD’S WORD
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2:3 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Palestinian and Sabeel Liberation Theology groups have partnered with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as their main support for this satanic doctrine. And no wonder, the Presbyterian Church in recent years has become rabidly anti-Israel and ferociously pro-LGBT. The name of “Israel” occurs 2566 times in 2,294 verses in the KJV.
This new version blatantly changes God’s Word. Any mention of Israel – gone. Any mention of Jesus being a Jew – gone. The movement which has brought the world a NEW bible, is called Palestinian Liberation Theology. At its heart is hatred for the Jewish people and for Israel. Of course, keeping in line with this hatred, the leaders of this satanic movement have changed Jesus (Yeshua) from being Jewish to being a Palestinian Arab.
If there is one thing that the bible is, it’s a Jewish book from cover to cover. Jesus Christ is called the King of the Jews.
The Jewishness of Jesus is clearly documented in the Word of God – His Jewish lineage is recorded in the books of Matthew and Luke. But remember, the leaders and teachers of the PLT are reading from a new source – their own bible, hence they have made for themselves a new Jesus.
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (KJV)
WHO IS NAIM ATEEK?
An Arab Palestinian Anglican priest is at the forefront of this very evil and satanic movement. I wonder, does he really believe this nonsense, or is it in his desperation to bring the Palestinian people into the spotlight, while cursing Israel as the little Satan? Maybe a little of both, but he is definitely a casualty to the Strong Delusion spoken of in God’s Word.
“However, something new does crop up when someone like the Reverend Dr. Naim Stifan Ateek attempts to revise history. Dr. Ateek is an Arab Palestinian Anglican priest and the founder of Sabeel International Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. He has rewritten the whole story book in the same manner that Catholic, Anglican and Reformed theologies have claimed that the Christian Church is “The New Israel” also called “The Israel of God.” Rewriting history and inventing theology is a popular vocation. Revisionist historians take liberties with facts until they cease to have meaning. Prime examples are the Holocaust denial polemics or current trends to rewrite American history texts.
Ateek has an axe to grind; he needs to advance his Palestinian agenda by displacing Israel. In an effort to push his version of Christian dogma, he rewrites the Bible and fabricates a formidable sounding contemporary social justice ideology. His personal fish story is born fully formed from the caverns of his own vivid imagination. If it weren’t so dangerous, it would be ludicrous.”  source
Another name for this movement is Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology.
“Sabeel (Arabic ‘the way’ and also ‘a channel’ or ‘spring’) Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is a Christian liberation theology organization based in Jerusalem. It was founded by Palestinian Anglican priest, Rev. Naim Ateek, the former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. An official partner of the Presbyterian Church USA, Sabeel has Friends of Sabeel chapters in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.” source
Should it really surprise us that the Presbyterian church is a partner in this? I’m not surprised at all. The other mainline churches who have jumped on this heretical bandwagon are: Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran and even some Evangelical churches in the U.S. have followed suit. I wonder when the Vatican will thrown in their hat?
Brethren, these things sound and indeed are so incredibly evil. But as followers of Yeshua, we should be rejoicing! YES, REJOICE!
God’s Prophetic Word is being fulfilled at breakneck speed! That means that we are close to His Glorious appearing, to take us away from this horrid place! Hallelujah!!
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (KJV)
Walter E. Williams
The Cancer of Multiculturalism
President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, "Lest we get on our high horse and think this (barbarity) is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." Obama went on to explain, "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often (were) justified in the name of Christ." In Obama's mind, Western outrage at Islamic barbarism should be tempered by the remembrance of what Christians did a thousand years ago in the name of Christ. Plus, that outrage should be chastened by our own history of slavery and Jim Crow.
President Obama's vision is that of a man brainwashed through an academic vision of multiculturalism, in which American exceptionalism has no place. It's a vision that has been shaped by a longtime association with people who hate our country, people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Weather Underground leader and Pentagon bomber William Ayers and Ayers' onetime fugitive wife, Bernardine Dohrn. A vision that sees a moral equivalency between what Christians did centuries ago and today's Islamic savagery is quite prevalent in academia. It's part of what's worshipped on most college campuses as diversity and multiculturalism.
College campus idiots — and that includes faculty members and administrators — call for the celebration of and respect for all cultures. In their eyes, it's racist Eurocentrism to think that Western values and culture are superior to others. But that's the height of stupidity. Ask your campus multiculturalist who believes in cultural equivalency: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Sudan and Niger; is that a cultural equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits on women — such as prohibitions on driving, employment, voting and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. Some multiculturalists are members of campus LGBT groups. Ask them to what extent the Muslim culture would tolerate their lifestyle.
At the very heart of multiculturalism is an attack on Christianity. Much of that attack has its roots among hypocrites in the intellectual elite. For example, Duke University sponsored Muslim calls to prayer in the name of promoting "religious pluralism," until external pressures forced it to cancel the practice. Earlier, Duke administrators removed Chick-fil-A as a campus vendor because of CEO Dan Cathy's comments regarding his religious opposition to homosexual marriage. So much for religious pluralism, tolerance and free speech.
Some public school boards have attempted to ban songs containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus or religious Christmas symbols. One school district banned a teacher from using excerpts from historical documents in his classroom because they contained references to God and Christianity. The documents in question were the Declaration of Independence and "The Rights of the Colonists," by Samuel Adams.
Western values are by no means secure. They're under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement; they want to halt progress in order to worship Mother Earth. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any Islamic terrorist or group. Visions of multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society. We stupidly fund them with our tax dollars and generous charitable donations.
Islamists and leftists attack not only Christianity but also free market capitalism. They do so because Christian nations, which have a great measure of economic liberty, have been at the forefront of the struggle for personal liberty and private property rights for centuries. Personal liberty and private property are anathemas to people who want to control our lives. That is part and parcel of the multicultural and diversity movements infecting the Western world.
Boston Clergy Share A Prayer For Snow-Weary City
The winter from hell is bringing people of all faiths together in Boston.
Reverends, rabbis and imams appear in a YouTube video posted Friday by the Temple Israel of Boston called “A message from the clergy of Boston. . .,” directed at those sick of the snow.
“In this winter of record-breaking snow Boston clergy share a prayer. . . and a shovel,” the introduction states, before 13 religious leaders take turns offering words of support from different corners of the city.
Boston has received 99.9 inches of snow this winter, its second-highest total in recorded history. The unprecedented snowfall has devastated public transportation, collapsed dozens of roofs and made life generally miserable for residents stricken with snow fatigue.
“Boston, are you weary?” asks Rev. Jay Williams of Union United Methodist Church.
“Weary of digging out?” says Rev. Burns Stanfield of the Fourth Presbyterian Church in South Boston.
The video asks Boston residents to turn to each other for support and think of those who “don’t have the luxury of snow days” who are having a tough winter.
“We have each other to lend a hand, to share a smile,” the clergy say. “We have each other to tend and befriend.”
“Can I get an Amen?” asks Rev. June Cooper of the City Mission Society of Boston.
The video has more than 7,000 views so far.
List of video participants, in order of appearance:
Reverend Jay Williams, Union United Methodist Church
Rabbi Matt Soffer, Temple Israel of Boston
Reverend Burns Stanfield, Fourth Presbyterian Church South Boston and President of GBIO
Reverend Nancy Taylor, Old South Church
Reverend Dan Smith, First Church Cambridge
Reverend Rosemary Lloyd, First Church Boston
Reverend Sam Lloyd, Trinity Church
Cantor Jodi Sufrin, Temple Beth Elohim
Rabbi Ronne Friedman, Temple Israel of Boston
Suzan M. El-Rayess, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Imam Ismail Fenni, Islamic Society of Boston
Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond, Bethel AME Church
Reverend June Cooper, City Mission Society of Boston
The idea for URI came to California Episcopal Bishop William Swing in 1993, after an invitation by the United Nations to host a large interfaith service in San Francisco, marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. He asked himself, “If the nations of the world are working together for peace through the UN, then where are the world’s religions?”
Through dozens of meetings with world religious leaders, he discovered a thread of competition, a focus on expanding individual denominations, and little institutional commitment to building bridges. But in those at the grassroots of the world’s religions, he found a deep desire for cooperation and peace. From this inspiration, the vision for URI took shape: a supported network connecting people across religions and cultures in the service of peace and justice.
Bishop Swing hired a small staff in San Francisco, led by Executive Director Charles Gibbs. In partnership with Professor David Cooperrider from Social Innovations in Global Management at Case Western University and Dee Hock, developer of VISA and the Chaordic Alliance, they launched a four-year organizational design process that included meetings among hundreds of stakeholders of diverse religions, cultures and disciplines all over the world. What emerged was a group of committed founders who formed the heart of URI’s global community, and a highly regarded, inclusive Charter that provides a unique, grassroots-based structure and a set of principles for action on behalf of the common good. With the signing of this Charter, the global URI organization was born on June 26, 2000.
You are warmly invited to participate in the life of URI and become part of this extraordinary force for peace and justice around the world.
The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.
URI envisions a world at peace, sustained by engaged and interconnected communities committed to respect for diversity, nonviolent resolution of conflict and social, political, economic and environmental justice.
URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world.
We implement our mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of our more than 600 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights.
Cooperation Circles are unique to URI's organizational design. Click here to learn more about URI's charter, structure and history.
New Testament 3, The United Religious Initiative Program
Charles Lawson 48 minutes
New Testament 5, Mystical Religions
Charles Lawson Mar 15, 2015
On International Day, UN chief calls for efforts to 'fill world with happiness'
20 March 2015 – Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, as the Organization kicked-off its global celebrations marking the annual observance of the International Day of Happiness.
“Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek. We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights. We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace,” the Secretary-General said in his message for the Day.
“We want people and planet alike to be blessed with sustainable development, and to be spared the catastrophic impacts of climate change.”
In April 2012, the UN held a high-level meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” at the initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product (GDP).
In July of that year, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in people's lives and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.
As part of its effort to emphasize the importance of happiness in daily life, the UN along with global music streaming service MixRadio has launched the #HappySoundsLike campaign, appealing to the global citizenry “to nominate a song that brings a smile to your face.”
The campaign seeks to seize the power of music and “inspire hope for a better tomorrow” as it encourages people to suggest songs that best represent the feeling of happiness.
Mr. Ban nominated his Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder's song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to the playlist, adding that to him #HappySoundsLike a new climate deal and an agreed set of sustainable development goals, both on the agenda of world leaders for later this year.
Celebrity advocates including Charlize Theron, Lang Lang, Michael Douglas, Angelique Kidjo, along with internationally-acclaimed artists such as James Blunt, Idris Elba, David Guetta, John Legend, Cody Simpson and Pharrell Williams, will also contribute to create the world's happiest playlist, which will be launched today.
“Let us give thanks for what makes us happy,” Mr. Ban stated. “And let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.”
Biblical Histories and the Final Prophecies
New Trend: ‘Radically Inclusive’ Churches That Embrace All Religions And All Lifestyles
If you want as many people to attend your church as possible, why limit yourself to just Christians? All over America, “radically inclusive” churches that embrace all religions and all lifestyles are starting to pop up. Church services that incorporate elements of Hinduism, Islam, native American religions and even Wicca are becoming increasingly common. And even if you don’t believe anything at all, that is okay with these churches too. In fact, as you will see below, one Presbyterian minister in Oregon is even inviting people to “bring their own god” to church. But if these churches don’t really stand for anything at all, what is their purpose? And what does the popularity of these churches say about the future of religion in America?
One such church that has gotten quite a bit of attention lately is led by D.E. Paulk. The son of Earl Paulk, he was once considered to be the “heir apparent” at one of the largest megachurches in America. But these days he leads worship at a church that recognizes “all gods and prophets, including Mohammed“…
The Spirit and Truth Sanctuary, which D.E. founded in 2012, welcomes everyone from Wiccans to atheists, Hindus to Muslims, recognizing all gods and prophets, including Mohammed.
‘[Scandal] has a way of wiping out the things that keep you from being authentic,’ he said.
‘All you have left is who you are. The games are gone… If there was anything I wanted to say I thought would be unacceptable to the church, now is the time to say it.’
After much soul searching, D.E. established his church based around one principle: ‘Christ cannot be, and will not be, restricted to Christianity‘.
Paulk insists that there is “no hell except what one creates with one’s own actions“, and he is very proud of the diverse group of people that currently attends his services…
Today, the church is a rarity on many levels: interfaith, interracial, a mosaic of people deep in the Bible Belt where many churches remain segregated. The church has gay couples, college students, agnostics, some Muslims and even a Wiccan priest. Pictures of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi adorn the walls.
A stained glass window looming over the pulpit captures the spirit of the church. It’s a design that contains a Christian cross, ringed by symbols from Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. In the middle is a dove, which symbolizes the spirit of peace that binds them all together.
A CNN reporter visited one of Paulk’s recent services, and it was definitely far different from what Earl Paulk’s services would have looked like in the old days…
The service then started to feel like a Pentecostal tent-revival but with an unusual twist.
A group of singers took to the stage and opened with a hypnotic Tibetan Buddhist chant that evoked the spirit of compassion: “Om Mani Padme Hum.”
The chant segued into “Shanti, Shanti Om,” a Hindu prayer for peace. Then as the chanting grew louder, the drums and bass kicked in as the singers switched to a Muslim chant about the sovereignty of God: “La ilaha, Il Allah.”
And of course D.E. Paulk is far from alone.
All over America there are ministers that are going out of their way to be more “inclusive”.
As I mentioned above, there is even one Presbyterian minister out in Oregon that wants people to “bring their own god” to church…
A Presbyterian USA minister in Oregon who says that he doesn’t believe in God—and doesn’t require his members to believe either–remarked in a recent article that he is offended by those who assert that he is not a Christian.
“Someone quipped that my congregation is BYOG: Bring Your Own God. I use that and invite people to ‘bring their own God’—or none at all,” wrote John Shuck of Beaverton’s Southminster Presbyterian Church in a guest post for Patheos last week. “While the symbol ‘God’ is part of our cultural tradition, you can take it or leave it or redefine it to your liking.”
Even though Shuck has publicly acknowledged that he does not believe in God, he insists that he is “still a proud minister”, and he gets offended when people try to tell him that he is not a Christian…
Shuck reiterated his unbelief in his article “I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God” on Tuesday, as he asserted that “belief-less Christianity is thriving.”
“We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things,” he wrote. “Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible, the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism.”
But Shuck says that although he rejects the Bible as being literal, and denies the existence of Heaven and Hell, he takes offense when people tell him that he’s not a Christian.
“Even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian,” he stated. “Many liberal or progressive Christians have already let go or de-emphasized belief in Heaven, that the Bible is literally true, that Jesus is supernatural, and that Christianity is the only way. Yet they still practice what they call Christianity.”
Elsewhere in the Northwest, other ministers are trying similar approaches.
Just consider the following excerpt from an article in the New York Times…
Clad in proper Pacific Northwest flannel, toting a flask of “rocket fuel” coffee typical of Starbucks’ home turf, Steven Greenebaum rolled his Prius into a middle school parking lot one Sunday morning last month. Then he set about transforming its cafeteria into a sanctuary and himself into a minister.
He donned vestments adorned with the symbols of nearly a dozen religions. He unfolded a portable bookshelf and set the Koran beside the Hebrew Bible, with both of them near two volumes of the “Humanist Manifesto” and the Sioux wisdom of “Black Elk Speaks.” Candles, stones, bells and flowers adorned the improvised altar.
Some of the congregants began arriving to help. There was Steve Crawford, who had spent his youth in Campus Crusade for Christ, and Gloria Parker, raised Lutheran and married to a Catholic, and Patrick McKenna, who had been brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness and now called himself a pagan.
Other churches are attempting to become more “inclusive” by being willing to embrace alternative lifestyles.
For example, one of the largest evangelical churches in San Francisco has decided to take a new approach to the LBGT community…
Now, San Francisco’s City Church is putting an end to its policy of banning LGBT members who are unwilling or unable to take a vow of celibacy.
What led to the change of heart at City Church? Apparently, Ken Wilson’s book A Letter to My Congregation was a big part of it. Fred Harrell, senior pastor of City Church, feels the mind-changing book “shows great empathy and maturity to model unity and patience with those who are at different places in the conversation, all while dealing honestly with Scripture.”
“Our pastoral practice of demanding life-long ‘celibacy,’ by which we meant that for the rest of your life you would not engage your sexual orientation in any way, was causing obvious harm and has not led to human flourishing,” Harrell wrote in a letter to the church from the elder board. “It’s unfortunate that we used the word ‘celibacy’ to describe a demand placed on others, as in Scripture it is, according to both Jesus and Paul, a special gift or calling by God, not an option for everyone.”
But if people can just “believe whatever they want”, what makes these churches “Christian” at all?
We live in a society in which it has become very trendy to “choose your own path” and in which nobody wants to do anything that might “offend” someone else.
For instance, consider the words that one CNN reporter used to describe her transition from “Christian” to “seeker”…
After years of spiritual reflection and inquiry, I am at a place where I don’t want to feel guilty, hypocritical, judgmental, closed-minded or arrogant. So, where do I stand now — 30 years after “finding God,” questioning my faith, committing sins, seeking hazardous adventure and trying to love life and people to the best of my ability?
I am a “seeker.” A constant seeker within this world, among people and, of course, for spiritual enlightenment of all kind. Because if I did possess the truth — the “final answer” — I am convinced I would spend the rest of my years missing out on the enrichment and surprise of seeking it.
Those are some lovely words.
But it almost sounds as if she is actually afraid of the truth. It is almost as if she does not want to find it, because if she did it might offend someone.
In the final analysis, this CNN reporter is just like so many other Americans. Most people end up believing exactly what they want to believe. And what this CNN reporter wants is to avoid feeling “guilty, hypocritical, judgmental, closed-minded or arrogant”.
Of course there are thousands upon thousands of Christian ministers all over the nation that want the same thing. They never use the word “sin” because they want people to feel good about themselves. And they never talk about anything controversial because they want people to keep coming back and they want the donations to keep rolling in. So they preach messages about how wonderful everyone is and about how God wants to help all of us “achieve our destinies” and make all of us very wealthy.
But meanwhile our nation continues to swirl even farther down the toilet.
In the Scriptures, we were warned that such a day would come…
For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths.
So what do you think about the state of religion in America?
Do you believe that churches are headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Christians are leaving the faith in droves and the trend isn't slowing down
An extensive study done by the Pew Research Center has yielded some fascinating information regarding the trajectory of world religions over the next four decades.
As of 2010, Christianity was the dominant world religion with roughly 2.2 billion adherents and Muslim's were second with about 1.6 billion adherents. If current demographic trends continue however, Islam is expected to catch up to Christianity midway through the 21st century.
Furthermore, people are leaving Christianity in droves. About 106 million Christians are expected to switch affiliation from 2010 to 2050 while only about 40 million people are expected to enter Christianity.
The religiously unaffiliated (athiests, agnostics) are expected to see the largest net gains from switching, adding more than 61 million followers.
In North America, the fastest growing religious groups are Muslims and followers of "other religions" (an umbrella category that includes Baha’is, Jains, Sikhs, Taoists and many smaller faiths). Christianity is expected to decline from 78 percent of the overall population in 2010 to 66 percent in 2050.
Here's what the dominant religious groups in the US are by county:
Unaffiliated religions are expected to rise over that same time from 16 percent of the population to 26 percent. By 2050, the United States will have more Muslims (2.1 percent of pop.) than Jews (1.4 percent).
In South America and the Caribbean, Christianity will see a slight dip over the next four decades, from 90 percent in 2010 t0 89 percent in 2050. Over that same time the religiously unaffiliated population will add 45 million followers increasing from 8 percent of the population in 2010 to 9 percent in 2050.
((Pew Research) ) If the current trends continue beyond 2050 - which is a big if considering unforeseen events that can happen over a 40 year span (war, famine, innovation etc.) - then by the year 2070 the world's population of Muslims would roughly equal that of Christians.
Here are other chief findings from the report:
1. Islam will grow faster than any other religion over the next 40 years.
2. The number of Muslims will equal the number of Christians around the world by 2050.
3. Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
4. The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
5. In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
6. India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
7. In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
8. Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
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