Tuesday, 25 February 2020

100 years ago--The birth of false messiah Sun Myung Moon

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, Matthew 24:24a (also Mark 13:22a)

Rev. Sun Myung Moon was born in what is now North Korea on either January 6 or February 25, 1920, and was raised in a Confucianist family who converted to Christianity when he was a child. He was imprisoned in a North Korean labour camp in the late 1940s, but escaped to South Korea in 1950, his internment having hardened him in to a staunch anti-Communist.

In 1954, Rev. Moon formally founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity--popularly known as the Unification Church--in Seoul. He proclaimed that Jesus Christ was divine but no God, and had redeemed man spiritually, but because he hadn't married, had not therefore redeemed man physically. Rev. Moon taught that he and his second wife Hak Ja Han (he had previously been married and divorced) were humanity's "True Parents" who had come to link married families to God; the Unification Church became internationally known for its blessing ceremonies--often referred to as "mass weddings" for married couples.

Rev. Moon moved to the United States in 1971, retaining his South Korean citizenship, and founded numerous front organizations and sponsored conferences featuring high-profile speakers, some of whom claimed unawareness of the true identity of the sponsor. The Unification Church's members, derisively referred to as "Moonies," practiced the doctrine of "heavenly deception," meaning that it was permissible to lie in order to serve the interests of Rev. Moon and the Unification Church.

In 1982, Rev. Moon was convicted of conspiracy and filing false income tax returns in the United States, and served 13 months of an 18-month prison sentence. I remember reading reports at the time of his receiving support during his imprisonment from American evangelical leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, but I don't remember reading that he received support from organizations such as the National Council of Churches, American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. (the denomination that brought you such "Christians" as Tony Campolo and Ron Sider), National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, and Southern Christian Leadership Conference. These groups have never been known for supporting the rights of Bible-believing Christians, which leads this blogger to regard their support for Rev. Moon as very suspicious. Rev. Moon also founded the Washington Times newspaper in 1982, using it to spread his views.

On March 23, 2004, Rev. Moon was honoured by a dozen members of the United States Congress in a ceremony at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, in which he delivered a speech reiterating his claim to be the Messiah. When news about the event was revealed three months later, some of the lawmakers present claimed to have been misled about the true nature of the ceremony when they accepted the invitation.

Rev. Moon appeared to be correct in predicting the eventual fall of Communism, but was very wrong in claiming to be the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ. The true second coming of Christ will occur when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to Earth (see Matthew 24:30-31; Mark 13:26-27; Luke 21:27; Revelation 19:11-21). Rev. Moon died in South Korea on September 3, 2012 at the age of 92; he has been quiet since then, and is most likely still in his grave.

See also my posts:

Evangelicals and Moonies Together? (March 11, 2011)

30 years ago: 2,000 couples participate in Moonie mass wedding in New York (July 3, 2012)

40 years ago: California Court of Appeals rules in favour of Moonies against parents (April 11, 2017)

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Socialist-dominated Portuguese Parliament defies protests and votes to legalize euthanasia

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

Another example of caring and compassionate Socialists, as reported by Morgan Phillips of Fox News, February 20, 2020:

Portuguese lawmakers voted Thursday to legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill people amid protests outside the parliament building.

The vote may add Portugal to the short list of countries that allow such practices, though the country’s conservative president could veto the legislation, sending it back to parliament.


Lawmakers in the 230-seat parliament stated their vote one by one on a series of five proposals -- instead of voting electronically -- a method only used for landmark legislation. Each bill passed by a margin of 28 and 41 votes.

In a similar debate two years ago, lawmakers rejected euthanasia by two votes.

Euthanasia — when a doctor directly administers fatal drugs to a patient — is legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Physician-assisted suicide — where patients administer the lethal drug themselves, under medical supervision — is allowed in a number of U.S. states.

All five bills require that a qualifying patient be over 18 years and not suffering from a mental illness, as well as suffering from “unbearable” pain “without a hope for a cure.”

The country’s governing Socialist Party previously spearheaded efforts to legalize abortion in 2007.

A Socialist lawmaker called those against euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide “radical” during debates.


Thursday, 13 February 2020

Discovery of 2,800-year-old clay jar prompts archaeologists to reconsider ancient Israel's borders

As reported by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz of Breaking Israel News, February 12, 2020 (links in original):

A clay jar discovered in an archaeological dig on the northern border has archaeologists reconsidering their notions of ancient Israel’s borders. All because of the name inscribed on the jar which, like the names of many Jews today, identified the long-dead owner as one who worshiped the God of Israel.

Last year, archaeologists digging at the Abel Beth-Maacah dig in northern Israel discovered a 2,800-year-old jar inscribed with “LeBenayau,” meaning “Belongs to Benayau,” which researchers assume was the name of the owner of the vessel.

Robert Mullins, a professor in the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies at Azusa Pacific University in California who is co-director of excavations at Abel Beth Maacah, explained to Live Science that the name is ‘Yahwistic’, incorporating an abbreviated reference to the God of Israel.

In the north, names mentioning Yahweh generally ended in Hebrew letters that can be translated as ‘yo’ or ‘yau,’” Mullins said in the interview, noting that this implies that the man worshiped ‘Yahweh’, one of the Biblical names of the God of Israel. This is, of course, still true today as many Biblical names are similarly Yahwistic.

If true, this would redraw the map of ancient Israel since historians did not previously believe the Northern Kingdom of Israel extended so far north in the 9-10th Centuries BCE. Abel Beth Maacah was a strategically located border town. The Aramean kingdom with its capital in Damascus lay to the east, the Phoenician city of Tyre was to the west, and the Israelite kingdom, with its capital in Samaria to the south.

In II Kings, the city is listed among those conquered by the king of Assyria.

In the days of King Pekach of Yisrael, King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-bethmaacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor—Gilad, Galilee, the entire region of Naftali; and he deported the inhabitants to Assyria. II Kings 15:29

“If the inscription is from the 8th century BCE. then it’s still important but not a big surprise, because we know that during that period, the Kingdom of Israel reached until [nearby] Dan,” Dr. Eran Arie, curator of the Iron Age and Persian Period at the Israel Museum, told the Times of Israel.

“But if it’s really from the 9th century BCE, it reopens questions on the connection of this area to Israel and may force us to rethink some of our conclusions. This is not a bad thing: it’s always important to adjust our interpretation when new evidence emerges.”

The jar was found with four others, all crushed, in the partially excavated remains of an Iron Age building. Another of the jars contained residue that may come from wine, with a grape pit sitting beside it. Researchers are still studying the jars but they believe that the vessels contained wine.

“[Benayo] may have been a winegrower,” Mullins said, noting that the land around Abel Beth Maacah is ideal for wine production.

The archaeological site, located on the northern border of Israel about one mile south of the town of Metulla, is mentioned in the Bible.

Ben-hadad responded to King Asa’s request; he sent his army commanders against the towns of Yisrael and captured Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naftali. I Kings 15:20

Excavations at Abel Beth Maacah are carried out jointly between Azusa Pacific University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The other two co-directors are Naama Yahalom-Mack and Nava Panitz-Cohen, both researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Interfaith forum in Abu Dhabi celebrates first anniversary of Document of Human Fraternity

This blogger somehow missed hearing of the original event a year ago, but the anniversary hasn't slipped by me. The Antichrist's agenda advances apace, as reported by Ismail Sebugwaawo in the Dubai newspaper Khaleej Times, February 3, 2020:

Abu Dhabi -- Engaging youths in campaigns for unity, intercultural dialogue and denouncing hate speech, and ensuring that schools introduce lessons on tolerance and human values are some of the strategies to ensure that the Human Fraternity document that seeks world peace becomes a reality, according to authorities.

During a media roundtable on Monday, officials from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, an independent body of religious leaders, educational scholars and cultural figures from across the world, said the inaugural Voices of Human Fraternity Forum will be held in Abu Dhabi today. The event is held on the anniversary of the historic Document of Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El Tayyeb, during the Papal visit to the UAE Capital in 2019.

The forum brings together more than 150 students, youth leaders, advocates and educational representatives from around the world to discuss ways to address young people's aspirations for a peaceful future.

Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, general secretary of the Higher Committee, said: "On the anniversary of the Document of Human Fraternity, we want to honour those who are making human fraternity a reality. It is these people who are shaping the future and we need to hear their voices, understand their concerns and engage with their hopes and aspirations if we are to collectively enable a more peaceful future for all."

He noted that the human fraternity document is for everyone seeking good. "It encourages good deeds, denounces evil and promotes peace and intercultural dialogue," said Salam, adding that the committee is actively pursuing a plan to realise the aspirations of the document and is engaged in a number of major initiatives, including advising on the development of an Abrahamic Family House set to be located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. The initiative launched after the signing of the document involves places of worship for three faiths including a synagogue, mosque and a church in one place and the project will be completed in 2022.

"The committee is making strategies on how to introduce lessons about tolerance and human values in schools across the globe. We are also organising workshops involving youths to educate youngsters on the importance of peace and togetherness," said Abdel Salam.

"We shouldn't consider people of other religions or those we disagree with as enemies because we are all one and we should learn to respect and love one another. This is the message youths should spread."

Mohamed Hussein Mahrasawi, president of Al Azhar University, said: "In Egypt, we have conducted various seminars and lectures to promote the human fraternity document which carries great values of peace, tolerance, equal rights for minority groups and respect for each other."

He noted that it's important to educate young people on the values of humanity and peaceful coexistence, empathy, solidarity and the negative effects of hate speech so that "we can become one family".

Officials said the human fraternity document is an absolute confluence of every religion because it calls upon unity and togetherness, advocates for education and goes to as far as dealing with human trafficking and other things that deny people of their human rights like education and living in peace.

The Human Fraternity Committee said it was also engaged in meetings with leaders and projects in vulnerable communities. Most recently, the committee met the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and other senior UN representatives, to discuss the group's future plans. Following the meeting, Guterres agreed to share the Human Fraternity Document with the 194 member states so that they can benefit from the principles and values it sets out.
As reported by Anjana Sankar in the Khaleej Times, February 5, 2020 (bold in original):

The Document on Human Fraternity, signed last year by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, is proof that "what unifies believers is much more than what divides them", the personal secretary to the Pope said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who is also the member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity Council, was speaking on Tuesday at the forum to celebrate the first anniversary of the signing of the historic document on February 4 last year.

"The document is a road map for a better future... to rebuild the torn humanity."

It is hailed as the most important document in human history and a blueprint for collaboration between faiths.

Describing the document as a 'lifeboat', Gaid also said it is a call for all thinkers, philosophers, politicians, leaders, artists, creative people and media to "reinvent the values of peace and witness peaceful coexistence".

Quoting the rich diversity of nationalities living in Abu Dhabi, Gaid said God created a diverse world and true believers will know that all creatures belong to the same source.

"Diversity is there because it is the will of God. To fight against diversity is to go against the will of God."

Gaid said the worship of God without respecting every human being, especially those who are vulnerable, is not real worship.

"Human fraternity is not just a value. It is the main root without which we cannot reach God. It is a reality."

Achieving peace

In his opening remark, Patriarch Bartholomew 1 of Constantinople of the Eastern Orthodox Church spoke about the importance of interreligious dialogue in promoting world peace.

"It is our duty to promote interreligious dialogue because there is no peace in the world without peace among religions. And there is no peace among religions without interreligious dialogue," he said.

The Patriarch raised concerns on how the unprecedented changes and challenges facing the world is spawning a reevaluation of the role of faith. "The acts of fundamentalists support the characterisation and even identification of religion with division and intolerance. So the essential dilemma of humanity nowadays is not between religion and no religion... but what type of religion."

He said the revival of religions should be based on their genuine ability and contributions to reconciliation and solidarity, and that religions can make use of their 'precious spiritual inheritance and philanthropic vision' to promote interreligious dialogue and tolerance.

"In our times, the credibility of religions depends largely on their commitment to interreligious dialogue, peace and solidarity.

"Genuine religion cannot betray earth for the sake of heaven; the present for the sake of future."

He said religions do not absolve humans of their responsibility in the world and for the world, and for true believers, faith is a peaceful approach to resist injustice and work for social cohesion and solidarity. "The solution must be based on projection of human dignity and social justice."
As reported by Wam in the Khaleej Times, February 9, 2020:

Miguel Moratinos, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, has commended the steps taken by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity towards implementing the 'Document on Human Fraternity.' "The document is a blueprint for interfaith harmony and charts the course for promoting a culture of peace, respect of the other and religious pluralism," Moratinos said in a statement on the occasion of the first anniversary of the signing of the document.

The 'Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and living Together' was co-signed in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019, by the Head of Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb.

The top UN official also "reaffirmed his commitment to collaborate with the Higher Committee in implementing the Document on Human Fraternity."
When I see all this emphasis on peace, I'm reminded of this prophecy concerning the Antichrist (emphasis mine):

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. Daniel 8:25

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Rabbi who specializes in eschatology warns against Pope Francis

As reported by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz of Breaking Israel News, February 11, 2020 (links in original):

Historically, the Vatican was no friend to the Jews but its new initiative aligns the Catholic Church with Islam in a one-world religion that may be the biggest threat ever to the Jewish People. A major event to advance the project will take place on the anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel which, according to one rabbi, is fitting since Judaism is the last bastion, entirely incompatible with a New World Order.

At an address to Vatican diplomats last month, Pope Francis announced that the Vatican will be hosting a global event with titled, “Reinventing the Global Compact on Education.”

“A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism,” the Pope said when he first proposed the summit.

A Vatican-backed website to promote the pact added: “Educating young people in fraternity, in learning to overcome divisions and conflicts, promote hospitality, justice and peace: Pope Francis has invited everyone who cares about the education of the young generation to sign a Global Pact, to create a global change of mentality through education.”

The Pope described the need for the global alliance.

“‘Never before has there been such need to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism, and to restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity,’” he said.

The Pope cited the aphorism “It takes a village to raise a child,” explaining its place in his global vision.

“All change, like the epochal change we are now experiencing, calls for a process of education and the creation of an educational village capable of forming a network of open and human relationships,” he said.

“Education is not limited to school and university classrooms,” the Pope said at the address last month. “[It is] principally ensured by strengthening and reinforcing the primary right of the family to educate, and the right of Churches and social communities to support and assist families in raising their children.”

The education initiative is a continuation of the Pope’s global vision as laid out in his Document on the Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The agreement between the two religious leaders was criticized for its stance on the diversity of religions.

“The fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected,” the document read. “As too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.”

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-times author, noted that in many surprising respects, the Vatican is now practically indistinguishable from secularism.

“It used to be that the Catholic Church was the bastion that stood against liberalism in every way, denouncing it as heresy,” Rabbi Winston said. “This was the case for as long as the Vatican could impose its will on its people and influence the rest of the world. That reality has changed because they don’t have that power anymore. Pope Francis is a result of this change. He is a ‘man of the people.’”

Rabbi Winston noted that traditional values in the Catholic Church are indeed changing in ways that would have been inconceivable not so long ago.

“They used to say that secular values and liberalism were bad but when the people changed and liberalism became widespread, the Vatican reversed that position.,” Rabbi Winston said. “How can a religion claim to be from God when a man can decide to change it?”

Rabbi Winston noted that the theme of one-world order as presented by the Pope was presented several times in the Bible.

“Seeing the world as one is how it was in the days before the Tower of Babel,” Rabbi Winston said. “This was when men joined together to take over the world and kick God out.”

Rabbi Winston noted that the counterintuitive mix of secular intellectualism and religion appeared later in Genesis.

“According to Midrash, Esau impressed his father, Isaac, with questions that seemed to relate to religion but were only leveled on the intellectual level. The real intent of the questions was to generate chaos and division. The erev rav (mixed multitude) works this way, by making it appear that their intentions are pure and that they are good people. But their real intent is destructive; to disable truth.”

“The secular present universalism as the source of all brotherhood but it is exactly the opposite. There is more diversity in the world than ever before in human history. To have one way to worship God before Moshiach (Messiah) comes and brings everyone up to speed is not realistic and harmful to anyone who does not conform. The Pope should be smart enough to realize that there are very good reasons for the differences. People are different. This new initiative by the Vatican is classic liberalism in the garb of religion.”

The date of the global educational summit is May 14, precisely 72 years after Israel proclaimed its independence. Rabbi Winston suggested that this could have a deeper meaning, indicating the inherent conflict between the Jewish People and universal religion.

“They can’t get rid of the Jews and what they represent anymore by simply attacking us, which was how it was done for 2,000 years,” Rabbi Winston said. “Are they trying to get rid of the Jews and the Torah by creating one world religion? Anyone who wants a one-world order has to get rid of the Jews because all of human history has proven that the core of Torah Judaism doesn’t change, even, when necessary, and the cost of death. We are still the same people in the same land with the same Torah.”
One lesson, as always, is: never trust a Jesuit. It speaks volumes about the lack of discernment in our time that Rabbi Winston of thirtysix.org has a better idea of what Pope Francis is up to than do many professing Christian "leaders."

Residents of small town in Delaware triumph over ban on nativity scene

An item of apparent good news, for a change; first, the bad news, as reported by the Dover Delaware State News, December 5, 2019 (bold in original):
GEORGETOWN — Unattended displays, such as nativity scenes that sparked debate in Rehoboth Beach, are no longer permitted on The Circle in Georgetown.

A 2019 change in town code regarding The Circle’s usage policy now prohibits standing or unattended structures or displays in the picturesque heart of the town.

“No unattended displays are permitted on The Circle any longer,” said Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick. “It could be anything that is unattended — posters, signs or where somebody comes up and sets up a display or a table and leaves information. It would have to be attended the entire time.”

Town code authorizes the town manager to remove any display that violates this provision.

“Most of it is from a safety standpoint, as we have been seeing more and more winds, stuff blowing out from The Circle in the traffic lane,” Mr. Dvornick said. “Most of it’s for protection and safety.”

During the 2018 Christmas season, a nativity scene was placed in The Circle by the Georgetown Wesleyan Church, Mr. Dvornick said. It was permitted at that time, but, under the revised policy enacted by council earlier this year, is no longer allowed unless it is attended.

About a year ago, controversy arose in Rehoboth Beach when the city ordered the removal of a nativity scene on the Boardwalk Bandstand because it does not permit religious displays on city property.

In late November, more than 150 people, mostly Catholic protesters, assembled outside Rehoboth City Hall to request city officials reverse the ban and allow the display. Rev. William Cocco of St. Edmond Catholic Church asked city commissioners to let the nativity return to its “proper place” at bandstand.

As of Tuesday morning, Mr. Dvornick said there has been no backlash regarding Georgetown’s policy change.
“I’m sure that it’s like anything, that there will be people that support it, people that oppose it and some people that aren’t impacted either way,” he said. “So far, I have not had any feedback.”

Georgetown’s revised code states it “is unlawful for any person to place or maintain an unattended display in The Circle (any item, including a picture, statue, symbol, or similar item, that is intended to serve or be seen as a visual depiction or expression where the person sponsoring or responsible for the placement or maintenance of the display is not in attendance or in close proximity to the item displayed).”

As a result, a person may not affix any poster, sign or other object to trees, monuments, street signs, benches and other objects in The Circe.

Georgetown’s prohibition for unattended displays does not apply to displays placed by the town or other government entities for government purposes or to signs authorized by town code. However, approval of the town manager must be obtained prior to any placement.

Elsewhere in Kent, Sussex

In a sampling of downstate Delaware, municipalities reported they have not encountered any controversy associated with religious displays on government-owned property.

Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson does not recall grappling with an issue like the one Rehoboth Beach saw.
“That has never really come up since I’ve been here. We’ve never had to deal with the issue,” he said. “Certainly, the town understands why other cities take a different approach. We tend to take the ‘more versus less’ approach.”

All displays at Millsboro Town Center are provided by the town, Mr. Hudson noted.

If the town were approached about placing a religious display on town property, Mr. Hudson said he would probably present the request “to council and have town attorney review, especially with it being such a hot potato right now and so sensitive.”

Dagsboro, Seaford, Bridgeville and Ocean View each reported no laws or past problems with religious displays.
“We just have an internal policy that we don’t allow anyone to put any signage on town property, without prior approval,” said Bridgeville Town Manager Jesse Savage. “Since I have been here no one has ever attempted or requested to put that type of display. There is no ordinance, nothing in our code that prevents it or addresses it currently.”

Kent County Levy Court does not a formal policy on religious displays, according to a spokeswoman, who said she was unaware of any related problems arising at county headquarters.

A spokeswoman for Dover wrote in an email the city has or will put up decorations for the upcoming Christmas holiday, such as lights and a Christmas tree, but lacks an official ordinance.

“Living in a diverse community we are fortunate enough to have representation from almost all organizations and churches and have confidence that they depict our community very well as a whole for the City of Dover,” Kay Sass said.

Controversy in Rehoboth

According to Rehoboth Beach Mayor Paul Kuhns, part of the issue with the nativity scene stemmed from a misunderstanding and misinformation.

“Going back to last year there was a miscommunication between the parties as far as being able to put the nativity scene — I think it was the Catholic church that put it up, St. Edmond’s — at the bandstand,” Mayor Kuhns said. “There was a conversation, and the next day the nativity scene just appeared.

“Unfortunately, the group that put up the nativity scene did not get permission and did not get a permit. Because we have a policy about religious displays on public property, we asked them to take it down and it was taken down. A lot of people were up in arms about it last year and certain facts got lost in translation.”

As a follow-up, the city met with local religious leaders in attempts to plan for 2019.

“It turned out they wanted to have the opportunity to share and be inclusive. The only thing that we heard of was that the manger, or this creche, would come up again,” said Mayor Kuhns.

Most of the leaders that met with Rehoboth City Manager Sharon Lynn “really had no inclination to go one way or the other,” according to the mayor.

For the second year in a row, the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce offered to host the nativity scene in front of a building it leases.

“The city manager made that offer from the chamber to St. Edmond’s Church back in October. They did have a protest vigil, very peaceful out in front of city hall a week or so ago,” Mayor Kuhns said. “And again, there has never been any kind of answer coming out of St. Edmond’s to the offer that was made by the chamber that was signed off on by the city.”

“What is interesting is the property that the chamber has offered is right next door to where the creche was placed for probably 12 or 13 years,” he said adding the city offered to stop parking permit in front of the chamber “so it would be very visible as you drive into town on Rehoboth Avenue.”

Before 2018, the display had not been at the bandstand for more than a decade, the mayor said.
“A lot of people have been throwing out the false facts, if you will, about historically of how it’s always been at the bandstand. That is just not the case,” said Mayor Kuhns.

“Factually, the city has never said there can’t be any kind of religious displays in the city of Rehoboth.
“I’m all for it on private property. People are entitled to do whatever they’d like on private property. However, on public property the city needs to remain neutral.”
The town's action sparked an immediate and large negative reaction, as indicated by the following comments:

• So there won’t be any display for any holiday, got it. — Erik Pepper

• Kinda goes beyond holidays, the ordinance says “no standing or unattended structures or displays.” — Brian P Slattery

• It should include political signs. — Chuck Mankin

• Just put it on visible private property. Problem solved. — Tyler Beguiler

• Remember this on Election Day. — Gene Hansen

• Then there shouldn’t be a “Christmas” tree anywhere on pubic property either – after all there is “Christ” in this display!!! — Lynne Bassett Spear Bonfiglio

• Next “In God we Trust” will be erased off money. — Anthony C. Willey Jr.

• Grabbing at straws aren’t we — looking for reasons why we can’t have a nativity scene. Of all the stupid reasons “something might be blown into the street!!” Let’s just tell it like it is: We are catering to the hateful few — Mary Grampp Brown

• People are still acting like this is going to hurt their Christmas. Christmas isn’t being canceled. You’ll still overspend for people you don’t even like. You will still go about your day-to-day life. — Paul Kennedy

• So they’re no longer going to put flags up for Memorial Day? — Monica Prettner

• Overload your homes with Christmas cheer. — Toni Thomas Bergfelder

• And people ask why I moved to Florida. Besides the great weather we have “In God We Trust” on our license plates! — Beth Rosebrooks

• Do a live one. — Tim Shockley

• Other banned under this rule should be Santa house, wreaths, pole decorations, Christmas tree, lights — this can too blow into ongoing traffic since not under constant supervision like the nativity scene. — Robert Ray

• Live nativity scenes are attended. Local churches, lets fill the calender up until Christmas. — Mack Townsend

• The “safety” issue is a coverup! Unattended displays have never been a problem before. The nativity scene has been up for years! It’s the unhinged left that pushed the mayor into a corner where they got their way. He has got no backbone. People need to start standing up for Christ! You deny Him, He will deny you! This is so sad! — Abby Fink

• So, any unattended item should be considered abandoned properly right? — Allen Cramer

• Boycotting the Georgetown celebrations, that is the only way to show this elected officials we are not happy with their decisions, then vote this people out of office. That is our problem today. No one bothers to vote and this idiots hold office for years and start to feel powerful and no longer care what we the people think or want. — Marie Cutillo Thompson

• I say we ban any Delaware official from putting up signs for their reelection campaign. — Reddy Hannum

• But they are still having a parade and the Santa house. Why is Santa OK and Jesus is not? So sad and hypocritical. I will be at the live nativity instead. — Daun Benussi Crane
The residents of Georgetown responded with more than words, as reported by the Delaware State News, December 9, 2019:

GEORGETOWN — Thanks to an avalanche of response and support spurred initially by the Good Ole Boy Foundation, The Circle in the heart of Georgetown will host nativity scene after all.

It will be a live nativity, as unattended displays of any kind on The Circle are now prohibited under a town of Georgetown policy revision approved by council earlier this year.

“It’s a ‘go’ for sure,” said Josh Wharton, Good Ole Boy Foundation spokesman.

Good Ole Boy Foundation member K.C. Conaway, with Dagsboro Church of God’s youth ministry, said, “It is going to be an awesome event from our community. We’ve got an awesome community. It is just one of those things where it is time to come together … and let the community speak for itself.

These are some of the beliefs and traditions that we hold dear.”

So, beginning Wednesday, the game plan is to have the live nativity on The Circle from 6 to 8 p.m. each night through Christmas Eve.

As of Sunday, about a dozen churches from throughout Sussex County had pledged to participate in staging the live nativity. Organizers anticipate participation requests will only grow.

“We thought that we would have enough community support. It seemed like the support was there already and they just needed somebody to take action,” said Mr. Conaway.

The live nativity idea arose after word spread through media and social media last week that unattended displays and structures, such as nativity placed on The Circle previously by the Georgetown Wesleyan Church are prohibited following the town’s revision of The Circle Use Policy. Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick said revision is primarily geared toward public safety and protection.

“We fully understand the decision made by the town of Georgetown, and after hearing the backlash of that decision, we felt our community wanted this … and we accepted that challenge,” said Mr. Wharton.

“It was a matter of just people responding to a difficult decision. We don’t know the circumstances upon which the decision had to made. We are not in their shoes,” Mr. Conaway said. “But we just decided that, ‘Hey, if you can’t do an unattended display, then we can make it attended.’”

Permission has been granted from the town.

“We are really humbled,” said Mr. Conaway. “We are appreciative of the town giving us the opportunity to do this. We had to file a permit and get it approved. We went through the proper chains. We’ve been in communication with town officials and the Georgetown police. We’re just trying to do it the right way.”

The structure – which resembles a typical stable, Mr. Conaway said – was built over the weekend. It will be broken down and totally removed from The Circle after each nativity night.

Some nights may be pending, based on weather. “But we’re going to try to get out there as many nights as we can. So, we’re looking at about 14 nights,” said Mr. Conaway.

Nativity-type clothing and costumes are in the works for participants.

Mr. Conaway emphasized that is not a protest, but an alternative, one that hopefully will bring churches of different denominations and people of all ages, races and nationalities together as participants and nativity audiences.

The GOBF opted to go through the church route for nightly staffing, which is ongoing online.

“We’ve had a lot of churches as far as membership and individuals from churches reach out to us wanting to get involved,” said Mr. Conaway. “We knew this was going to be a pretty massive effort just to try to coordinate everyone being there. So, we decided that we would just try to reach out to churches first, because they can bring a group of people.”

“We are trying to make this an opportunity where we can do something together to benefit the community. You’ve got Methodist church, Baptist church, Pentecostal churches … you’ve got all of these different denominations all coming together,” Mr. Conaway said. “We’re going to have an online signup to kind of organize the masses.”

In keeping with the season in conjunction with the live nativity, the GOBF is promoting the opportunity to give back. Each week, the plan is to feature two “real good organizations in the community,” Mr. Conaway said.

“We figure this is about Baby Jesus, so we’re going to see what we can for do for the Sussex County Pregnancy Care Center, and we’re looking at doing the Sussex County Foster Parent Association,” said Mr. Conaway. “We are asking for people to bring out donations.”

The kinds of donations needed will be posted on the Good Ole Boy Foundation Facebook page, Mr. Conaway said.
Additionally, plans are to include traditional cold-weather holiday refreshments.

“We are hoping to have cookies and hot chocolate,” said Mr. Conaway. “So, if people come by and if they want to drop off a donation, we’ll grant them with a friendly cup of hot chocolate and cookies. It’s a win for the community.”
The live nativity materialized in about seven days.

“It has been about a week birthing the idea,” said Mr. Conaway. “There was a series of phone calls that were made by a group of guys and ladies that sparked this idea. We realized very quickly that this is something that people are very passionate about. We, Good Ole Boys, are here to help our community when we are in need.”
As reported by Glenn Rolfe in the Delaware State News, December 12, 2019 (link in original):

GEORGETOWN – In what is being hailed a spectacular production, the birth of Baby Jesus was brought to life Wednesday evening on The Circle in Georgetown with the first of 14 planned live nativity events.

The live nativity became a reality in less than a week through a massive community effort spurred initially by the Good Ole Boy Foundation.

Local churches with members in costume have pledged to participate in the nativity showings, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each evening through Christmas Eve – weather permitting.

The live nativity comes in response to a recent town of Georgetown code change governing The Circle Use Policy that prohibits all unattended structures and displays, such as the nativity scene that was previously placed on The Circle by a church in Georgetown.

The revision was in the realm of public safety and protection, according to town officials.

The huge stable/manger – which has wheels allowing for easy movement – was built last weekend through Duke’s Lumber and a crew of skilled volunteers.

As a backdrop, the nativity also features the Christmas Star and an angel raised in the heavens above the stable.

There will be free hot chocolate and cookies nightly, plus chances for youngsters to win a special prize each evening.

In the spirit of giving, organizers welcome donations to support the Sussex County Pregnancy Care Center and the Sussex County Foster Parent Association.

For more information and updates, visit the Good Ole Boy Foundation Facebook page.

To sign up for the nativity, visit the newly created website: www.nativityonthecircle.com.
Local Satanists decided to stage their own event, as reported by the Delaware State News, December 13, 2019:

GEORGETOWN — The First State Satanists group has received permission from the town of Georgetown to hold a vigil on The Circle Dec. 21, the same date and time as a live nativity spurred by the Good Ole Boy Foundation.
Georgetown Town Manager Gene Dvornick said he received a “Circle Use Permit” request from the Delaware-based group and it has been reviewed and approved.

First State Satanists, a non-theistic modern satanic group, plan to hold a public candlelight vigil in observance of the winter solstice, the group announced in a press release Friday.

Per the request to the town, First State Satanists plan to have a vigil “celebrating their deeply held religious beliefs and religious diversity in Southern Delaware.”

The First State Satanists’ permit for The Circle was requested for Dec. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. The group’s release lists the time for the winter solstice gathering from 6 to 8 p.m.

The First State Satanists’ vigil would coincide with an ongoing live nativity also planned on The Circle that evening. Nightly presentations began there Wednesday, Dec. 11, and are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 24.

According to the First State Satanists’ release, “the winter solstice, also known as midwinter, has historically been celebrated as the last major feast before the freeze of winter to celebrate the new solar year and is a time of light and bounty. A wide variety of ancient religions have for centuries celebrated holidays marked by midwinter, including Yule and Saturnalia.

This event will serve as an opportunity for the group and the community to come together with love and light on the longest night of the year, in celebration of the longer days to come, the closing of the current year, and the beginning of a new decade.”

The live nativity effort was spurred by the Good Ole Boy Foundation stemming from community reaction to a recent town of Georgetown policy revision that in the realm of public safety and protection prohibits unattended displays and structures on The Circle. In past years, a church had put nativity on The Circle.

In a statement the Good Ole Boy Foundation said it “is proud to have pulled our community together to bring the first ever live nativity scene to the Georgetown circle over the last few days. The community response has been tremendous, and it has been enjoyable to see everyone come out to celebrate the true reason for the season. We certainly understand that other groups with different views have the same right to express their beliefs on public property. We look forward to continuing to bring joy to Delawareans with our display each night through Christmas Eve.”

Mr. Dvornick said both organizations were notified that “should the town receive a request for other events during the same timeframe as your event, after appropriate review, approval may be granted for use of another area of The Circle.”

In both instances, as part of their permits, The Circle is to remain open to the public at all times, not to block any pedestrians, to allow people that want to come up and take pictures of the Christmas tree, walk around the Circle, etc., Mr. Dvornick said.

“It is an open public space,” he said.
I always find it amusing that atheists and Satanists can never come up with anything original of their own, but can only come up with a counterfeit variation of Christian practices.

The nativity presentation turned out to be a success, as reported by Mr. Rolfe, December 25, 2019:

GEORGETOWN – A Sussex County community was united by the presentation of the living nativity on The Circle – a nightly two-week production spurred by the Good Ole Boy Foundation and its outreach network.

“We pray the Living Nativity has blessed your family this Christmas,” the Good Ole Boy Foundation stated in a Dec. 24 posting.

It wrapped up with a candlelight Christmas Eve service.

The overall production drew requests for the live nativity’s return in 2020.

“We’ll just say this: ‘Stay tuned! Something bigger is going to happen next year,” said Good Ole Boy Foundation spokesman Josh Wharton. “We planned this in a week. Give us year.”

“We’ll see how next year plays out, but I’m sure that there is going to be pretty good public cries for us to do something again,” said Good Ole Boy Foundation member K.C. Conaway, who proposed the living nativity idea following community response to a new Georgetown ordinance that prohibited placement of unattended displays, such as a nativity, on The Circle...

...And it far exceeded expectations of organizers.

“The support from the community has been phenomenal,” Mr. Wharton said. “When you go out to public places and you overhear conversations of people talking about it, it really lets you know that you hit home.”

“Our expectations have been blown out of the water,” Mr. Conaway said. “It has just been an incredible showing of the community. And not only that just the different churches, different organizations coming together. Different cultures, different denominations, all coming together for one thing, and that is to celebrate the real reason of season – Jesus Christ.”

“It has been a fantastic event for the community,” said Mr. Wharton. “It is really nice to see our community come together not only for Jesus Christ, but just to come together in general. We live in a time … where we feel as if we have different opinions, we can’t get along. And that is not the case. You might like red, I might like blue, but we can still be friends.”

Mr. Conaway would like to see this effort expand throughout the area.

“Hopefully, some of these other churches, some of these other organizations … we’d love this to offshoot to different towns. Not just us doing it, but other people just kind of seeing the model that we have done and put together,” said Mr. Conaway. “We can have a peaceful time together. We can enjoy each other’s company, meet people that we have not seen in 20 years.”

As expected, one of the largest attended nights for the live nativity was Dec. 21, the same evening a group, First State Satanists, with permission granted by the town, held a candlelight vigil on The Circle in observance of the winter solstice.

“You know what? We love them. And Jesus loves them. We’re going to pray for them,” said Mr. Wharton. “We don’t agree with their message but we 100 percent support them being here. They can do what they want so long as it’s peaceful, just like we can. And that’s why we live in the greatest country in the world – and the greatest county.”

Estimates of 800 to 1,000, attended the Dec. 21 live nativity.

“Seeing this tonight, seeing everybody show up just kind of charges us up to do even more possibly next year,” Mr. Conaway said.

Ironically, this shining chapter in 2019 probably would never have occurred had it not been for the backlash and criticism of Georgetown officials following word of a new town ordinance governing use of The Circle that prohibits unattended display and structures.

A local church, Georgetown Wesleyan Church, had previously placed an unattended creche on The Circle.

As an alternative, Mr. Conaway approached the town with a live nativity proposal and a permit was granted. The GOBF network swung into action, support grew, a plan was put in place and within a few days, it was showtime.

But the plan was to do more than just a live nativity.

Two organizations with connections to infants and young children – Sussex Pregnancy Care Center and Sussex County Foster Parent Association – were designated as recipients of requested donations.

“It’s all about a baby. These last two weeks of December are all about a baby, Baby Jesus, and we wanted to help the babies in our community,” said Mr. Wharton...

...So, come December 2020, Sussex Countians may have an even better reason to stay in Sussex.

“Especially,” said Mr. Conaway, “if you give us a year to plan.”

“Words can’t describe how much this has meant to us,” said Mr. Wharton.

“We never imagined when we started this three weeks ago that we’d have the following and the support and the lives that would be touched through this little act that we’ve done. It was worth every minute when you come out every night and give your time during the holiday season just to show support for the true meaning of the season.”

“So, stayed tuned for next year,” Mr. Wharton added. “Because we can guarantee you it is going to be bigger and better.”
While the result of this seems like good news, there's a danger of the fellowship becoming too broad, and that real Christian churches might become unequally yoked with unbiblical churches, and that the event will become merely a community service event. I pray the Christians of Sussex County, Delaware will exercise discernment in their fellowship and actions.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Liberal religion produces ugliness in various spheres of life, including art

Among the standards done away with by liberalism is a standard of beauty, with the result that ugliness is exalted. If the art resulting from liberal religion is any indication, liberals worship a god of ugliness. Click on the link below to see a photo of the sculpture mentioned in the following article; the United Church of Christ, of which the sculptor was a member, is as apostate a "Christian" denomination as there is.

Forgiven Man

As reported by Phil Anderson of the Topeka Capital-Journal, February 7, 2020:

Over six decades, sculptor Jim Bass lent his artistic talents to dozens of art projects that continue to bear his unique mark across Topeka and the Midwest.

Several of his bronze sculptures stand today at Topeka houses of worship, serving as a lasting legacy for Bass, who died Jan. 10 at his Topeka home at the age of 86.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins Ave., where Bass was a longtime member.

Among Bass’ most prominent pieces of art is a sculpture titled “Forgiven Man,” which stands in the Helen Mettner Courtyard on the southeast side of First Congregational Church, where it was installed in 1986.

Sculptures standing 10 feet tall and weighing more than 350 pounds usually don’t move. But “Forgiven Man” proved to be an exception.

The sculpture was gone for a few months after it was stolen on Oct. 3, 2012. Authorities said at the time that thieves unbolted the sculpture from its pedestal, then moved it to a waiting truck.

Church officials at the time said they believed the thieves had planned to cut it up and sell it for scrap metal. With bronze fetching about 80 cents a pound at the time, Bass surmised the scrap metal would only bring about $300. The sculpture, meanwhile, was valued around $40,000.

Soon after the sculpture was stolen, Bass met with church leaders to try to devise a way to get it back. A $2,000 reward was offered.

A few days later, someone came forward and gave church officials information leading to the sculpture’s discovery on Oct. 11, 2012, in the 7600 block of S.E. Croco Road. The $2,000 reward was paid, no questions asked, and the sculpture was stored for a few months until it could be repaired, then reinstalled.

This time, “Forgiven Man” was welded into place on May 10, 2013, after several men moved the sculpture from the back of a truck to its original location in the Mettner Courtyard.

“It’s on for good,” Bass said that day, looking at “Forgiven Man” as it was standing tall once again atop its pedestal. “Even we won’t be able to get it off.”

Considering all it had been through, “Forgiven Man” was in remarkably good shape, with only a few nicks.

As was typical of Bass, he saw something good in the ordeal, noting there was some significance in “Forgiven Man” being lost but later found.

″ ‘Forgiven Man’ had a little scar on the back of one of his legs,” the Rev. Tobias Schlingensiepen, First Congregational Church’s pastor, said recently. “But like Jim said, ‘Forgiven Man’ should have some scars.”

The sculpture stands as a silent testament to God’s grace and forgiveness to everyone, including those who stole it, Schlingensiepen said the day it was reinstalled.

In late 2019, about three months before he died, Bass presented First Congregational Church with five smaller sculptures that have been placed at various locations inside the church.

“He knew his end was coming,” Schlingensiepen said. “He wanted the church to have them...”

...One of his bronze sculptures, “Sword & Plowshare,” is on the south side of Temple Beth Sholom, Topeka’s Jewish congregation at 4200 S.W. Munson.

Bass also made sculptures for First United Methodist Church, 600 S.W. Topeka Blvd., and for Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb.

He is survived by his partner, Connie Mills, and children Jaminda Bass Holmes and Joren Bass, along with three grandchildren.
The thieves had the right idea; Forgiven Man looks like scrap metal already, and as far as this blogger is concerned, that would have been a better use for the sculpture. Its absence from its pedestal was an example of what Branch Rickey called "addition by subtraction."

Swiss voters, in referendum, back anti-"homophobia" law

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 1:24-32

More evidence that the promotion of homosexuality isn't evidence that God's judgement on a society isn't just coming, but is already underway; the churches are presumably as impotent in Switzerland as they are elsewhere in Europe and in much of what used to be Western civilization. As reported by Agence France-Presse, February 9, 2020:

Switzerland on Sunday voted strongly in favour of a new law against homophobia in a referendum despite opposition from the populist rightwing Swiss People's Party (SVP), according to a projection.

The projection published by GFS Bern polling and research group found that 62 percent had voted in favour of the reform, with a margin of error of three percent.

The new law will widen existing legislation against discrimination or incitement to hatred on ethnic or religious grounds to include sexual orientation.

"This is a historic day," Mathias Reynard, a lawmaker from the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland who initiated the reform, told Swiss channel RTS 1.

"It gives a signal which is magnificent for everyone and for anyone who has been a victim of discrimination," he said.

The change was passed by the Swiss parliament in 2018 but critics, who believe it will end up censoring free speech, had forced a referendum on the issue.

Eric Bertinat, an SVP local lawmaker in Geneva, told AFP before the vote that he believed the law was "part of an LGBT plan to slowly move towards same-sex marriage and medically assisted reproduction" for gay couples.

Marc Frueh, head of the Federal Democratic Union of Switzerland (EDU), a small party based on Christian values, said after the projection: "I accept defeat".

"We will keep a close eye on how the law is implemented by the courts," he told RTS 1.

All of Switzerland's major parties except the SVP, the biggest political force in parliament, support the law.
Rights campaigner Jean-Pierre Sigrist, founder of an association of gay teachers, had said before the referendum that the new law might have stopped him getting beaten up outside a bar in Geneva four decades ago.

"And maybe I would not have been laughed at when I went to the police," the 71-year-old told AFP, adding that he hoped the reform would help to counter a resurgence of intolerance against gay people.

Sigrist said he supported freedom of expression, "but not the freedom to say anything at all".

Under the new law, homophobic comments made in a family setting or among friends would not be criminalised.

But publicly denigrating or discriminating against someone for being gay or inciting hatred against that person in text, speech, images or gestures, would be banned.

The government has said it will still be possible to have opinionated debates on issues such as same-sex marriage, and the new law does not ban jokes -- however off-colour.

"Incitement to hatred needs to reach a certain level of intensity in order to be considered criminal in Switzerland," Alexandre Curchod, a media lawyer, told AFP.

But he admitted that there could be exceptions "if it can be shown that, under the cover of artistic production or joking, someone is in fact engaging in incitement".

Gay rights campaigners were divided over the legislation.

A group called "No to Special Rights!" is opposed, arguing that the gay community does not need special protection.

Switzerland is holding a referendum on a law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan elects openly lesbian bishop

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. II Timothy 3:5

Maybe that should be changed to "Dykocese"--yet another example of increasing Anglican apostasy, as reported by Mark Hicks of The Detroit News, February 8, 2020 (links in original):

Since its formation in 1836, no woman or openly gay priest has ever been elected to lead the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

That changed Saturday, when the Rev. Bonnie Perry was ordained and consecrated as the body’s 11th bishop, overseeing more than 16,000 baptized members across the state.

She succeeds the Right Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs Jr., who had served as the diocese’s first African-American diocesan bishop since 2000 and retired in December, officials said.

While the Chicago transplant recognizes the significance of the milestone and how it offers hope to many faithful, Perry believes she is simply answering a calling.

“What we say in the faith community is: each and every one of us is made in God’s likeness,” Perry said. “If that’s the case, then God’s image and likeness has many different faces.”

As conversations about greater inclusion for women and minorities reverberate nationally and influence Protestant denominations, Perry’s advancement encourages Metro Detroit Episcopalians as a reflection of progressive steps.

“I do believe 2020 is the year of the woman,” said the Rev. Barry Randolph, who leads the Church of the Messiah on Detroit’s east side. “There are women in so many different leadership positions. Women are taking hold and rising to the ranks.”

Perry is the 39th woman bishop in the Episcopal Church, representatives reported. The church has allowed women to become priests and bishops since the late 1970s.

Before lay members and clergy elected her in June to replace Gibbs, the class “marked the first time in the history of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan that the slate of candidates was comprised entirely of women,” officials said in a statement.

Perry noticed other women were elected diocesan or suffragan bishops in the U.S. last year.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” she said. “I think we’re at a point where, by and large, we’re not seen as women priests or bishops — just who we are.”

Growing up in a Marine family, Perry lived across the country before studying at the College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit school in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the 1980s, according to her biography and resumè. She then served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Oakland and Los Angeles, California.

Perry felt called to ministry but the Roman Catholic Church she was raised in does not ordain women. She attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she met her now-wife, Susan Harlow, and was received into the Episcopal Church.

Ordained in 1990, she served three churches in New Jersey before relocating to Chicago with Harlow, who had accepted a seminary faculty position. From 1992-2019, Perry led the city’s All Saints Episcopal Church, which during her tenure grew from a struggling congregation in debt with about 35 attendees to an active community considered among the largest and most active in the local diocese, she said.

Among the programs launched under her leadership: a food pantry that evolved into a nonprofit, Ravenswood Community Services, which according to its website serves hundreds of neighbors each week.

All Saints members have also annually raised thousands of dollars to fund clean water and other service projects in South Sudan; created an anti-violence ministry; and worked with social justice groups, according to Perry and church officials.

A common thread was allowing her congregants to further their God-given gifts and united around “a sense of agency,” Perry said. “We can do things if we come together that are astonishing.”

Perry also was active in the Chicago Consultation, a group of lay people and religious leaders that has worked to boost inclusion of LGBT Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion...

...As part of initial diocesan plans, Perry intends to visit all 77 congregations statewide in her first year in office and meet with members to determine the needs in each as well as their surrounding areas.

One of the largest challenges facing the church today, she said, is forming meaningful connections. “We need to be in our community living out our faith values and hearing people’s stories. Listening to what’s going on in their lives. And beginning in that, we begin to bridge some of the differences and chasms we see in our polarized society these days.”

Another goal is “really looking at structures that perpetuate racial inequality and discrimination,” Perry said. She points to one of her favorite Biblical passages, Isaiah 58:6-7, which mentions the need to “loose the chains of injustice.”

“People in faith are not only called to lament but to act and change those structures,” said Perry, who has taught religious courses as well as contributed to the Huffington Post...
Whatever calling Ms. Perry answered to didn't come from God; and she certainly looks the type.

Russian Orthodox Church commission proposes an end to priestly blessing of weapons of mass destruction

The latest in Russian Orthodox churchianity, as reported by Tom Balmforth of Reuters, February 4, 2020:

MOSCOW - Russian priests should refrain from the practice of blessing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction that can inflict indiscriminate loss of life, according to new guidelines being discussed by the Russian Orthodox Church.

During two decades in power, President Vladimir Putin has aligned himself with the Orthodox Church, which has also developed closer ties with the ministry of defense.

Russian priests have long appeared in images sprinkling holy water on submarines, ballistic missiles, Soyuz space rockets and other pieces of hardware as part of rituals to bless them.

But some of that is set to stop if the church approves a document drawn up by an Orthodox Church commission.

“The blessing of military weapons is not reflected in the tradition of the Orthodox Church and does not correspond to the content of the Rite,” the document, on the Moscow patriarchate’s website, says.

Blessing or sanctifying weapons that can kill an “indefinite number of people” must be excluded from pastoral practice, it says.

The proposals will be discussed until June 1 and the public should also take part in the debate, the church’s Moscow branch said.

In a striking symbol of close defense-church ties in Russia, the armed forces are building their own sprawling cathedral at a military themed park outside Moscow. It is set to be one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Antichrist Ambrose University has theistic evolutionist as guest speaker for its Faith, Life and Learning Days

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said,... Genesis 3:1

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:29-30

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: I Timothy 6:20

Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta is the denominational school for both the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and Church of the Nazarene Canada; it's been heading downward, leftward, and Romeward for years (see the links to my previous posts on Ambrose at the bottom of this post). A new adventure in apostasy for Ambrose is the 2020 edition of Faith, Life and Learning Days; according to their website (bold, links in original):

FAITH, LIFE AND LEARNING

Join us for our Faith, Life and Learning Days on February 12 & 13 as we welcome guest speaker Dr. Darrel Falk* and discuss the topic of faith and science.

Public Lecture: “Evolution, Creation, and the Breath of God" (Airhart Theatre): Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 p.m.

Chapel (Ambrose Gymnasium): Thursday, February 13, 11:15 a.m.

Open Lecture in Dr. Matthew Morris' class “Principles of Evolutionary Biology." (A2212): Thursday, February 13, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

*Darrel Falk is Emeritus Professor of Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego where he has been based since 1988. In 2009, he, along with noted geneticist, Francis Collins and others, founded BioLogos, an organization dedicated to showing the compatibility between mainstream science and the Christian faith. Falk, who began his advanced education with one year at Canadian Nazarene College, a predecessor of Ambrose University, earned a doctorate in genetics from the University of Alberta and followed that with postdoctoral fellowships at the University of British Columbia (in the lab of David Suzuki) and the University of California, Irvine. Besides his extensive writing at the BioLogos website, he is the author of Coming to Peace with Science (InterVarsity Press) and, with Dr. Todd Wood, The Fool and the Heretic: How Two Scientists Moved beyond Labels to a Dialog about Creation and Evolution (Zondervan).
Since I'm suspicious of everything that Ambrose does, it came as no surprise to this blogger to see Dr. Falk's connection with BioLogos, which promotes theistic evolution, i.e., the idea that God created, but did so using evolution. By evolution, they mean macroevolution, the changing of one kind of creature into another kind of creature. I think theistic evolution is worse than "secular" evolution, because it tries to have a foot in both camps. The secular evolutionist believes that God isn't necessary at all in order for evolution to take place, while the believer in creation believes that macroevolution is supported by neither the evidence nor the Bible.

The BioLogos blog has a number of posts by Dr. Falk. I glanced at just one--written when he was president of BioLogos--and that was enough to convince me that he is not a sound teacher, and should not be invited to speak at a Christian school. An abridgement (bold, links in original):

BioLogos and the June 2011 “Christianity Today” Cover Story

The cover story of the June issue of Christianity Today, entitled "The Search for the Historical Adam" (the full article can be viewed here), notes that our website The BioLogos Forum has played a prominent role in moving the discussion surrounding the historical Adam forward and cites various blogs and articles that appear on these pages. We are pleased that a matter deemed so important by us is beginning to play a prominent role in the discussion for the Church as a whole.

As detailed extensively on these pages over the past two years, there is now little doubt that God has created all life forms, including human beings, through an evolutionary process. God could have created in an instant. After all, in the supreme divine act of all time Jesus was raised from the dead—in an instant. However, it now seems certain that this is not the way He chose to create the human body. God’s process was gradual, not instantaneous...

...the data with regard to human creation has been accumulating for 150 years, and the conclusions have been substantiated through a wide variety of scientific disciplines. Astronomy shows that the universe is billions of years old. Geology independently shows that the earth, though a little younger, is also billions of years old. Paleontology poignantly lays out the parade of created life forms and graphically documents the species-changes over hundreds of millions of years. Comparative anatomy and developmental biology show feature after feature in living bodies, each with its distinctive trademark pointing to gradual alteration from that which came before. And, with the sequencing of the human genome, genetics provides the final confirmatory lynch pin. Creation through a gradual process is not a hypothesis that emerges from a peripheral scientific sub-discipline. To show it wrong would involve overturning principles that independently lie at the very core of the findings of most of the natural science disciplines. True, they all together cry out in unison with a loud voice—“Created!” However, they also, in a subtle, but persuasive whisper, add the all-important qualifying phrase—“…slowly and not in an instant!”

The Christianity Today cover story is important because it engages the Church in one of the most important questions of all: was there a historical Adam and Eve? There has been much discussion of this point on these pages and although we strongly encourage ongoing discussion, BioLogos does not take a position on the issue. Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute and a frequent contributor to the BioLogos conversation says ‘yes’ in this BioLogos article, and Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City affirms it in this one. Denis Lamoureux and Peter Enns believe otherwise and have expressed their views here and here, for example. The scientific data are silent on the possibility of a federal headship—two unique individuals singled out by God from all others to enter into relationship with him and to bear his image. Similarly, science is silent on the veracity of the alternative possibility— that the story of Adam and Eve is not a story of two unique individuals. According to this latter view, the story of Adam and Eve is in a very real sense the story of all humankind—we have all sinned and we are all in need of redemption.

These are theological questions, not scientific ones. Science makes it abundantly clear, we believe, that God has created through an evolutionary process and that there was never a time when there were just two individuals on earth. It goes no further though. Beyond that, we are in a different realm, one deeply steeped in the traditions and creeds of the church, and in theology, biblical scholarship, and philosophy...

...The “Federal Headship” model that accepts the scientific findings while at the same time holding to the historicity of a real first couple has not yet been carefully worked out by theologians...

...The purpose of BioLogos is to show that there can be harmony between mainstream science and evangelical Christianity. We are in complete agreement with Richard Ostling (the author of the aforementioned article) and the Editors of Christianity Today that working through the historicity question is of the utmost importance to the Evangelical Church. Within the framework outlined above, it boils down to theology not science, and we urge the Church to reserve judgment for a while. Let’s keep both possibilities before us. Here’s hoping that some of our greatest theological minds will work on the question of what a model based on “Federal Headship” would look like. Here’s also hoping that some of our finest theologians will continue to work on how the view of a non-historical Adam would address some of the issues that puzzle and concern most evangelicals...

...This is an exciting time for the Church because there is much interesting work to be done. Personally, I reserve judgment and I urge that all of us proceed with caution. Let’s see what emerges. Let’s see what our theologians and philosophers come up with, especially those who hold to a historical Adam and Eve...
One of the reasons I believe that the account of the serpent in Genesis 3 is true is because the lies spoken by the serpent are the very lies that are believed today. In the case of BioLogos, the relevant lie is the first one: "Yea, hath God said...?" Dr. Falk and the BioLogos crowd are trying to sow doubt and uncertainty where God's word isn't uncertain. Dr. Falk seems to be trying to have it both ways regarding creation (using words in a way that must please Gordon T. Smith, Ambrose's Jesuit-trained president), but it's apparent that whenever the Bible and "science" disagree, he comes down on the side of "science."

Dr. Falk denies that God created instantaneously. However, in Genesis 1 we repeatedly see the words, "And God said, Let...and it was so." He spoke, and it was. He formed the first man from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), and the first woman from a rib of Adam (Genesis 2:21-22). There's no indication from the account in Genesis that this took a long time.

BioLogos itself is more than a little disingenuous when it "does not take a position" on a historical Adam and Eve. To "not take a position" on an issue on which God's word definitely does take a position is in fact to take a position--of unbelief. That Adam and Eve were the first two people and were actual historical figures is taught not only in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, and was believed and taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. To deny that there was a time when there were just two people on Earth is outright unbelief. Dr. Falk, like the organization he's affiliated with, isn't honest enough to come right out and say that he doesn't believe the Bible's account of creation.

The duplicity of the BioLogos crowd and institutions such as Ambrose University that give them a platform offer more evidence of why Christian parents should conduct a careful examination before sending their children to "Christian" colleges and universities. Ambrose should change the name of its event to "Doubt, Apostasy and Disinformation Days."

See my previous posts on Ambrose University:

Why is an Alliance-Nazarene college named after a Roman Catholic saint? (March 2, 2009)

The Ambrose-contemplative connection (March 4, 2009)

Ambrose University College trains Nazarene pastors using materials from a company with ties to Mormonism (March 6, 2009)

Ambrose University College and "Transformation" (March 6, 2009)

The Outhouse (aka The Shack) in God's house (May 5, 2009)

Ambrose Seminary teaches contemplative spirituality in 2009-2010 (February 24, 2010)

Ambrose University College hires Jesuit-educated contemplative spirituality proponent as its new president (May 30, 2012)

Ambrose University College's "Jazz Day" provides evidence of increasing worldliness in evangelical schools (March 5, 2014)

Antichrist Ambrose University College continues on its downward, leftward, and Romeward course (March 8, 2014)

Antichrist Ambrose University President Gordon T. Smith continues to promote ecumenism and Social Gospel (February 28, 2018)

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Israeli and Sudanese leaders agree to move toward normalization of relations, while Uganda studies moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem

As reported by Jewish News Syndicate, February 3, 2020 (link in original):

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Sudan’s transitional leader, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, while the two were in Uganda on Monday.

During the meeting, which was held at the residence of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the two leaders agreed to gradually normalize ties.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that Sudan is headed in a new positive direction and he expressed his views to the Secretary of State of the United States of America,” Netanyahu’s official Twitter account wrote...

The announcement is a major milestone for Israel and its efforts to expand ties in Africa.

Sudan, which is an Arab-Muslim-majority country that borders Egypt to the south, has long been viewed as a hostile nation towards the Jewish state. However, long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, who the international community regards as a war criminal for his role in the Darfur genocide, was ousted last year, and it appears that the country is seeking modernize, end its international isolation, and establish friendlier ties with foes such as Israel and the United States.

The meeting was purportedly orchestrated by the United Arab Emirates, and that only a “small circle” of top officials in Sudan as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt knew about it ahead of time, the Associated Press reported. Sudan is hoping that by forging warm ties with Israel, it would increase its chances for the U.S. to remove its status as a state-sponsor of terrorism, which it was designated as in 1993. Under al-Bashir, Sudan also forged close ties with Iran and served as a pipeline to supply weapons to Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas. Israel is believed to have been behind airstrikes in Sudan that destroyed a weapons convoy in 2009 and a weapons factory in 2012.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Burhan and invited the Sudanese leader to Washington.

Currently, Sudan is without a president; Burhan heads a transitional 11-person government in Sudan. Democratic elections are scheduled for 2022.

Ahead of his trip on Sunday, Netanyahu spoke of the importance of Africa. Netanyahu has visited the continent five times in the last four years; in 2019, he struck a deal to re-establish ties with Chad, another Muslim-majority central African nation.

“Israel is returning to Africa in a big way; Africa already returned to Israel,” he said. “These are very important ties for diplomacy, for the economy, for security, and more will be revealed.”
As reported by Jewish News Syndicate, February 3, 2020:

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said that his country is considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

“If a friend says, ‘I want your embassy here, rather than there,’ I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. We are studying that,” Museveni said in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Kampala on Monday.

The remark comes amid a visit by Netanyahu to the country’s capital, where Netanyahu also met with Sudan’s transitional leader, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who announced that the two leaders agreed to gradually normalize ties.

“There are two things that we want to very much to achieve, and we discussed in this visit,” Netanyahu said in his press conference with Museveni.

“One is direct flights from Israel to Uganda—direct flights because that will enable our friendship to flourish. And second, I have a simple suggestion that you’ll have time to consider, Mr. President, my friend. You open an embassy in Jerusalem. I’ll open an embassy in Kampala. And we hope to do this in the near future.”

Israel currently does not have an embassy in Uganda; the Israeli ambassador to neighboring Kenya serves as ambassador there. Only two countries currently have an embassy in Jerusalem—the United States and Guatemala—however, a number of other countries have announced their support for such a move.

Netanyahu, who made his fifth visit to Africa in less than four years on Monday, is hoping to increase cooperation with Uganda is fields such as agriculture, education and innovation.

Israeli archaeologists discover pagan temple next to first Jewish Temple near Jersualem

Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days. I Kings 3:2

Aerial photo of the temple at the end of the 2013 excavation. (Israel Antiquities Authority)

As reported by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich of Breaking Israel News, February 4, 2020:

In 2012, a monumental Iron Age-temple complex dating to late 10th-early 9th century BCE was discovered at Tel Moẓa near Jerusalem by archeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The site, identified as the biblical city of Motẓa – within the boundary of the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18: 26) – served as an administrative center for the storage and redistribution of grain.

The dig is the site of the only monumental Iron Age temple excavated in the heart of Judah, according to Shua Kisilevitz and Prof. Oded Lipschits of Tel Aviv University’s Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, principal investigators in the excavation and lead authors of the study that was just published Biblical Archaeology Review after the first analysis of the findings. The Motẓa Expedition Project was led by Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) researchers.

Their new research details the project’s exceptional finds at the site, the area under the earliest floor of the complex, which includes cultic installations and artifacts such as anthropomorphic (having human characteristics). and zoomorphic (having or representing animal forms or gods of the animal form) figurines and a large decorated cult stand.

“Could a monumental temple really exist in the heart of Judah, outside Jerusalem? Did Jerusalem know about it?” wrote doctoral student Kisilevitz. “If so, could this other temple possibly have been part of the Judahite administrative system? The Bible details the religious reforms of King Hezekiah and King Josiah, who consolidated worship practices to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, and eliminated cultic activity beyond its boundaries.”

But the TAU and IAA analysis of the archeological finds and biblical texts “clearly demonstrates that the temple at Motẓa conformed to ancient Near Eastern religious conventions and traditions and biblical depictions of cult places throughout the land. It has become clear that temples such as the one at Motẓa not only could but also must have existed throughout most of the Iron II period as part of the official, royally sanctioned religious construct,” Kisilevitz continued.

“Despite the biblical narratives describing Hezekiah’s and Josiah’s reforms, there were sanctioned temples in Judah in addition to the official temple in Jerusalem,” Lipschits added. “Our discoveries thus far have fundamentally changed the way we understand the religious practices of Judahites.”

In the spring of 2019, the first academic excavation of the site set out to fully unearth and study two cult buildings discovered one on top of the other at Tel Motẓa: The monumental temple complex built in the late 10th-early 9th centuries BCE, and a structure beneath it that has only partially been uncovered, tentatively dated to the 10th century BCE.

The rich collection of cultic artifacts and architectural remains at the site – including human-shaped figurines, horse figurines, a cult stand decorated with a pair of lions or sphinxes, a stone-built altar, a stone-built offering table and a pit filled with ash and animal bones – provides an important opportunity to study the formation of cult and religion in the region at the time and provide a framework for the formation of the Kingdom of Judah.

According to the study, the construction of a central cult location with regulated worship dedicated to this purpose was a natural progression for a growing community. As the site’s function as a granary intensified, a temple was constructed to ensure economic success and to strengthen the control of the local leaders over the community that lived around the economic and cultic center.

The study of the economic function of the site in tandem with its religious function strengthens the idea that a local polity emerged in the Motẓa region in the 10th century BCE, possibly hailing the establishment of a Judahite polity later in the era.

“We suggest that the Tel Motẓa temple was the undertaking of a local group, initially representing several extended families or perhaps villages that banded together to pool their resources and maximize production and yield,” the researchers write. “The rest remains to be discovered.”

The Motẓa Expedition Project will resume excavation at the site in the coming spring. The expedition will comprise a team of 50 participants, including staff and students from TAU, Charles University (Prague) in the Czech Republic, Universität Osnabrück in Germany and the University of California at Los Angeles in the US.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Self-proclaimed expert Tim Cohen identifies Prince Charles as the Antichrist

I missed the February 2, 2020 broadcast of the radio program Coast to Coast AM, but I probably didn't miss much, since there's enough information here to tell me who the Antichrist is (links in original): ;)

In the first half, Christian author, speaker, and teacher, Tim Cohen, joined George Noory to discuss how current events are aligning with biblical 'End Times' prophecy, the identity of the Antichrist, as well as evidence for complex biological life elsewhere in our solar system. He believes the prophesied 7-year-period of the Tribulation may be at hand, which begins with a treaty enforced upon Israel by other nations of the world. Cohen has concluded that the Antichrist, spoken of in prophecy, is none other than Prince Charles. He claims that the royal family has been involved in witchcraft and Druidry over the years, and adopted the image of the red dragon (a symbol of Satan).

Further, Charles' Coat of Arms has an unusual unicorn figure with human eyes, which Cohen correlated with Daniel's prophetic writings about a world government leader associated with a single-horned being. NASA has been lying to the public for a long time, Cohen continued, adding that there is a great deal of fossilized evidence on Mars, right on the planet's surface. These ancient creatures, he explained, were "flash-fossilized" by massive flooding, and because the water quickly dissipated, they were not buried or hidden in the mud. For more, view related images Cohen provided us.
Coast to Coast AM is a show that specializes in paranormal topics. Guests who claim to be Christian are invariably those who are somewhat "off" when it comes to Biblical exegesis, such as Gnostic views of the scriptures (e.g., "Rabbi" Jonathan Cahn), and consultation of extrabiblical sources (e.g., Thomas Horn and Paul McGuire, with their emphasis on the Nephilim).

Tim Cohen makes some pretty bold claims (bold, links in original):

Called by God in 1987 to be "him who has understanding" (Rev 13:18) — while a United States Air Force Academy cadet — Timothy Cohen is today an internationally recognized Christian author, speaker, and teacher. He has researched and written what many are now coming to view as Christendom's foremost prophetic and theological works (Rev 19:10), to include The AntiChrist and a Cup of Tea as well as the Messiah, History, and the Tribulation Period multi-volume series.

Would you like to understand where we are in the timeline of Bible prophecy, without having to guess? In The AntiChrist and a Cup of Tea, Tim Cohen presents the fascinating saga of the British Monarchy's centuries-long endeavor to establish a "New World Order," and gives hard-evidence to suggest the actual identity of the coming AntiChrist. Learn the remarkable truth concerning the "man of sin," the "son of perdition," in The AntiChrist and a Cup of Tea.

Along with The AntiChrist and a Cup of Tea (Rev 13:18), Tim Cohen's forthcoming Messiah, History, and the Tribulation Period series offers a real and deep insight into the prophetic scriptures. Tim's teaching therein represents a genuine paradigm shift in Christian understanding of both The Person and the work of The Messiah — the testimony of Yeshua (Rev 19:10). As such, it illuminates biblical theology and will, over time, redefine the best in Christian understanding and teaching. The saints will understand both the written and living Word of God more deeply and more fully than previously. Within Cohen's volumes, you will see many hidden treasures of God's Word and learn biblical wisdom; you will be taught things that few understand, what some obstinately or ignorantly refuse to investigate or consider, or even perilously choose to ignore — despite the great strength of the evidence. Future theologians and historians will, we believe, come to recognize Cohen's books as the new theological standard in several areas of study. For example, Cohen unveils the first-ever unified school (and theory) of Christian theology, one that encompasses the whole of eschatology and eschatological interpretation — a true Messiah-centered approach called the "Messianic view" — in Messiah, History, and the Tribulation Period. This is well beyond the "scholarship" of today's Christian seminaries and Jewish schools, and yet Tim Cohen makes it biblically testable and easy to grasp. This will change the way you think about and perceive God and Yeshua.

Tim's books are written for all levels of Christianity, from the babe in Christ to the "scholar of scholars." They are clear and easy to follow, yet packed with more information than would typically be found in several times as many pages of other authors' writings.
I admit that I don't keep up with the latest prophecy teachers--this blogger has seen "shooting stars" come and go on the prophecy circuit over the years--but I've never heard of "internationally recognized" Tim Cohen; now, having finally heard of him, I don't recognize him as an expert. Always beware of anyone who claims to have come up with the "first-ever unified school of Christian theology"--which no one else has been able to accomplish in 2,000 years.

I remember when Mary Stewart Relfe identified Anwar Sadat in her book When Your Money Fails (1981)--just before he was assassinated. Before that, it was Henry Kissinger who was the Antichrist; and Charles Taylor kept saying that King Juan Carlos of Spain was the Antichrist. False prophetess Psychic Jeane Dixon prophesied that the Antichrist was born on February 5, 1962--which rules out Prince Charles, who was born on November 14, 1948.

While some characteristics of the Antichrist are given in the Bible, Christians aren't told to be looking for him. Rather, we're to be looking for the coming of the Lord:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3:20 (NIV)

A good book on the subject of false prophecies concerning the end times and correct handling of Bible prophecy is Soothsayers of the Second Advent by William M. Alnor (1989).