Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The word "Christian" in ads banned by You Tube

This was in the news a few months ago and I have been waiting to see if You Tube issued a response. Seeing none, I will go ahead and post it. From premier.org.uk,

"Chad Robichaux, founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation - a charity providing support and discipleship to those suffering from wartime trauma, was told he could not use the label 'Christian' to boost his advert on the Google owned platform as it violated the site's advertising policy."
"We ran a YouTube ad for our veterans ministry outreach for those in need & it was denied for the word 'Christian'". 
"The YouTube team responded to Mr Robichaux's tweets, maintaining that targeting users based on their religion was in breach of their advertising policy but that adverts can include the term 'Christian' in them and still hope to reach a Christian audience."
"We know that religious beliefs are personal, so we don't allow advertisers to target users on the basis of religion. Beyond that, we don't have policies against advertising that includes religious terms like 'Christian'".
"Mr Robichaux has called out the tech giant for religious discrimination, saying that he posted the same ad with a target label of 'Muslim' and was not asked to take it down."
"We ran the exact same ad with the keyword 'Muslim' it was approved but 'Christian' was not. Additionally, we've ran ads with the keyword 'Christian' for years. This year alone we had 150,000 impressions on that word in our ads. As per your support line this is a new restriction"
I have no doubt that the social media and mainstream media providers are working to promote non-Christian values, and they are actively suppressing any Christian message.

As Marshall McLuhan's book title says, the Medium is the Massage.

How does that rub you?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Endurance

In this Sunday's Gospel reading Luke 21:5-19, Jesus predicts the future calamities that will befall Jerusalem and his followers.
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’ They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!”* and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.
‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.
 All of those words came to pass, and some of them are still happening to Christians around the world. Here in the United States we are seeing milder degrees of persecution by social media, social justice warriors, the courts, and legislation.

Jesus' final recommendation for endurance is what we need to practice and teach to a generation that may have limited attention spans, little patience, and a lack of willingness to stand firm in Faith.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bless Their Hearts: Episcopalians and Their Problem with the "J" Word

The Episcopal organization used to get its money from its dioceses, but given the decline in membership and the resultant drop in revenue from the cash strapped dioceses, 815 is going directly to the people in its plea for cash. They mailed me a colorful request called "Bless 2019 Annual Appeal" that was full of personal stories on why people feel blessed to be an Episcopalian. Sadly, there is not a single mention of the name "Jesus" anywhere to be found in those pages. I believe this is a common problem for Episcopalians, they just can't make themselves use the "J" word. The word "Christ" made it in there once, but that must have been missed by the editor.

I took a few pictures of the mailing in case you didn't get one.






Instead of sending it back, I chose to recycle their mailing to the birdcage.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Problems With the Revised Common Lectionary: Satan Gets the Ax in 2 Thessalonians, a Wicked Deception Indeed

This Sunday's reading from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5,13-17 is yet another example of the lectionary editors presenting the slumbering masses in the pews with a less than complete story. The result of their cuts is a lesson that minimizes the very real presence of Satan and his methods. I have shaded the missing verses in red.
"As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you?"
Paul does not name the "lawless one", but I assume he is referring to the Emperor Nero who set himself up as God around the time of Paul's writing this letter and who possibly was the person who condemned Paul to death.

And now for the missing verses,
 "And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned."
There are two things in those verses that the lectionary editors may have thought to be problematic. First, the notion of Jesus destroying and annihilating anyone goes completely against the modern narrative in which Jesus is seen as something of a sweet and gentle flower child.
Second, the real evil one, Satan, cannot be discussed in front of the typical Sunday pewsitters because he is not something they believe in anymore.

The Sunday lesson concludes with this benign sounding exhortation,
"But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word."
I see the workings of Satan when we get presented with a highly edited version of what the Bible actually says. Satan getting written out of the Sunday lectionary reading is an example of how he infiltrates the Church through wicked deception

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

More Genders Than Colors In The Rainbow

From the Scottish Sun comes the news that in their next census, "Scots face ‘baffling’ list of 21 sexualities to choose from in 2021 census including gynephilic and skoliosexual". Interestingly, the list does not include "Transexual" or "Lesbian" while both "Heterosexual" and "Straight" appear. This creates more genders than the rainbow flag can possibly represent. Here is the list,

  1. ANDROPHILIC Person of any gender who loves men or who is sexually attracted to men
  2. ANDROSEXUAL Person who has sexual feelings towards masculinity
  3. ASEXUAL Doesn’t experience sexual attraction
  4. BICURIOUS Interested in sexual experience with same sex
  5. BISEXUAL Attracted to both men and women
  6. DEMIROMANTIC Only experiences romantic attraction after developing emotional connection beforehand
  7. DEMISEXUAL Doesn’t exper­ience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone
  8. FLUID Person who experiences changes in their sexual orientation
  9. GAY Sexually attracted to members of the same sex
  10. GYNEPHILIC Person of any gender who is sexually attracted to women or to femininity
  11. GYNESEXUAL Attracted to females or female body parts, regardless of whether that person identifies as female
  12. HOMOSEXUAL Sexually attracted to members of the same sex
  13. HETEROSEXUAL Sexually attracted to the opposite sex
  14. LESBIAN Woman who is sexually attracted to other women
  15. PANSEXUAL Attracted to all gender identities
  16. POLYSEXUAL Sexually and/or rom­antically attracted to many genders
  17. QUEER Sexual and gender min­orities who aren’t heterosexual or are not cisgender
  18. QUESTIONING Person who may be unsure, still exploring and concern­ed about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons
  19. SKOLIOSEXUAL A person who is attracted to people who are transgender or nonbinary
  20. STRAIGHT Sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex
  21. UNSURE Someone who is not sure of their sexuality

Those crazy Scots...


Sunday, November 03, 2019

Only Half?

In this Sunday's reading from Luke 19:1-10 Jesus invites himself to Zacchaeus' house,
He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’
Zacchaeus the chief tax collector promised to give half of his possessions to the poor and salvation came to his house.

Only half?

Remember what was asked of the rich young man in Matthew 19: 21-22,
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
With the current Democratic party candidates proposing higher tax rates than 50% if elected, and Jesus' greater demand from the rich young man, I think Zacchaeus got off easy.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

We Admit That We Are Not Worthy: Did Joe?

This past Sunday former Vice President of the United States and current Presidential hopeful Joe Biden was denied Communion by a brave Roman Catholic priest in Florence South Carolina because of Biden's pro-abortion position. The priest will catch some flak as I heard from one Fox and Friends host Tuesday morning who said in effect that none of us would be worthy to receive Communion if the priest were to be consistent.

Consistent with what? A think the priest would be acting consistently if Biden had not first received the Sacrament of Penance and sacramental confession.

Regarding this, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says,
"As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all."
We Anglicans confess our sins as part of our worship services and are made fully aware of our unworthiness to receive Communion when we pray the prayer of humble access,

The prayer of humble access (Anglican Standard Text):
We do not presume to come to this your table, O merciful Lord,trusting in our own righteousness,but in your abundant and great mercies.We are not worthy so much as to gather upthe crumbs under your table;but you are the same Lordwhose character is always to have mercy.Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ,and to drink his blood,that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body,and our souls washed through his most precious blood,and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen. 
Many Roman Catholics also briefly acknowledge their unworthiness depending on which Eucharistic prayer is followed.

Did Joe?

I hope so.

Let us pray that he abandon his support of abortion and join the rest of us unworthy folk at the communion rail.