Sunday Devotional: ‘Fear no one’

Psalm 69:17, 4-5, 8-10

Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I am weary with crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
from looking for my God.
More numerous than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause.
Those who would destroy me are mighty,
my enemies without reason….
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my children,
Because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.

Last year, in 2016, some 90,000 Christians were martyred, making Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world.

Today, with the exception of North Korea (which ranks No. 1), 9 of the 10 most dangerous countries to be a Christian are Muslim. In fact, under severe persecution, Christianity is going extinct in its birthplace, the Middle East. No thanks to Pope Francis, U.S. Catholic bishops have called persecution of Christians in the Middle East nothing less than a genocide.

But it’s not just in North Korea, China, North Africa, and the Middle East that Christians are persecuted. Increasingly, the culture in America is becoming hostile to Christians. See, as examples:

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

And to Christians who are suffering, and as a reminder to ourselves here in America where the light of Christ dims by the day, remember these words of Christ our Lord:

Matthew 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

May the strength and courage and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

The synagogue of Satan

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

The “Synagogue of Satan” subject keeps injecting itself into our discussions, so here is one treatment of the subject.

Bernie Sanders

Personally speaking (in a non-scholarly way), whenever I see Karl Marx, Bernie Sanders, George Soros or some putrid Hollywood mogul, the term, “synagogue of satan,” comes to mind.

The following treatment (which is slightly different than my opinion) can be found at: https://www.gotquestions.org/synagogue-of-Satan.html.


Question: “What is the synagogue of Satan in Revelation?”

Answer: The synagogue of Satan is mentioned twice in Revelation, once in Jesus’ letter to the first-century church in Smyrna and once to the church in Philadelphia. In both cases, the synagogue of Satan is opposed to the mission and message of the church.

To the church in Smyrna, Jesus says, “I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9).

To the church of Philadelphia in Asia Minor, Jesus says, “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9).

In short, the synagogue of Satan was a group of unbelieving Jews who were persecuting Christians. These groups were guilty of slandering the church in Smyrna and opposing the church in Philadelphia in some way.

The majority of the persecution the New Testament church faced came from the Jewish community. Even most of the Roman persecution was an effort to appease the Jewish authorities. This is true of Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus (John 19:1–16) and Paul’s imprisonment by the Roman governors Felix (Acts 24:27) and Festus (Acts 25:16). This pattern held true throughout the Roman world in the first century. As long as Christians were considered a sect of Judaism, they were exempt from the required observance of certain aspects of Roman state religion. However, as Christians were expelled from synagogues and denounced by the Jewish leadership, Rome began to see Christianity as a new religion that did not have these same exemptions. Therefore, Christians outside the protective umbrella of the synagogue were open to Roman persecution.

The synagogue of Satan say they are Jews (the people of God), and they persecute those who believe in Jesus the Messiah (the true people of God). In reality, by rejecting the Jewish Messiah, they have renounced their status as “true” Jews, and that is why Jesus calls them “liars.” This distinction between ethnic Jews and faithful Jews is also seen in Romans 9:6 (“Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel”) and Romans 2:28–29 (“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter”). By their persecution of the true people of God, these unbelieving Jews had become a synagogue of Satan—a gathering of people who were actually following the devil’s priorities.

Both churches are promised victory over the synagogue of Satan. This promise echoes Isaiah 60:14: “The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet.” In the context of Isaiah 60, an oppressed Jerusalem will be vindicated. Those who oppress her will bow down at her feet and will have to admit that she is indeed blessed by God—in the language of Revelation 3:9—that God loves her. But Isaiah 60:14 applied to these Jews and the Church is something of a reversal. In Isaiah 60, the oppressing Gentiles will bow down at the feet of Jews and admit that God loves them. In Revelation 2—3, oppressing Jews will bow down at the feet of the persecuted Church (with a significant population of Gentiles in it) and admit that God loves them. This is a striking role reversal.

Internet searches of “synagogue of Satan” produce quite a few links to sites that claim the “synagogue of Satan” refers to the Jewish people today and that promote all kinds of conspiracy theories about how the Jews run the world. Quite frankly, this is a misinterpretation and misapplication of the verses in Revelation. The synagogue of Satan refers to specific Jewish communities in Smyrna and Philadelphia that were persecuting the church, not to any modern situation. Likewise, no modern situation should be used as an interpretive tool to explain a passage firmly rooted in the first-century Roman world. ❦


Okay people, there’s one opinion.
Let’s have at it. 

 

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Democratic Official Fired for Saying He’s ‘Glad’ Scalise Was Shot

phil montag

Phil Montag cries the “taken out of context” excuse

The demorats did the correct thing, this time. Don’t expect it to become a long-lasting pattern.

From Yahoo: Nebraska Democrats removed party official Phil Montag from his job on Thursday after a recording surfaced of him saying he wishes House Majority Whip Steve Scalise died during a recent attack.

Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire with a rifle on a group of Republican politicians practicing for the Congressional baseball game, striking Scalise and several others. Scalise remains in the hospital with a long recovery ahead after multiple surgeries.

“His whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to f—–g kick people off f—–g health care. I’m glad he got shot,” Montag, the technology’s committee former co-chair, said in the audio recording.

Montag continued: “I wish he was f—–g dead.”

Nebraska Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Kleeb confirmed to FOX 42 News in Nebraska on Thursday it was really Montag’s voice.

“We obviously condemn any kind of violence, whether it’s comments on Facebook or comments in a meeting,” said Kleeb told the Fox affiliate.

Kleeb fired Montag as soon as she heard the recording, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The conversation took place in a private home in Omaha, according to the paper.

When reached by the World-Herald, Montag said, “I did not call for the congressman’s death,” and claimed the tape had been taken out of context.

DCG

California SB 309 bill will authorize a special license plate to fund abortions

It is bad enough that abortion — the deliberate killing of a defenseless, unborn human being — is still legal in America, where Christians are still a majority, though decreasing in numbers by the day.

It is bad enough that our tax dollars still fund abortions, although, God bless him, President Trump has signed a law restoring states’ right to defund Planned Parenthood.

Note: Trump also defunded International Planned Parenthood, by signing an executive order to that effect on his first day of work as President. Ostensibly-conservative carping critics of Trump please note.

Now, in benighted California, the state legislature is poised to pass a bill into law which will authorize a special vehicle license plate, the proceeds of which will fund sterilization and abortions.

The bill is SB 309, with the Orwellian descriptive title of “License Plates: Reproductive Freedom Fund”.

SB 309 is innocuously described as “An act to add Section 5156.9 to the Vehicle Code, relating to license plates,” but it’s so much more — and worse — than that.

Here’s the text of SB 309:

“Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue special license plates, including environmental license plates and specified special environmental design license plates. Under existing law, a state agency is authorized to apply to the DMV to sponsor a special license plate program, and the DMV is required to issue those license plates if the agency meets certain requirements. The DMV is required to charge specified fees for certain services related to the issuance of those plates.
This bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services to apply to sponsor a reproductive freedom license plate program, and would require the DMV to issue the license plates if the State Department of Health Care Services meets certain requirements. The bill would authorize the State Department of Health Care Services to accept and use donated artwork from California artists for the license plate. The bill would require the revenue generated from the license plates, as specified, to be deposited in the California Reproductive Freedom Fund, created by the bill, and to be used, upon appropriation, for the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment program (Family PACT) [administered by the State Department of Health Care Services].”

So what’s the nice-sounding Family PACT program? Here’s its self-description:

“Family PACT is California’s innovative approach to provide comprehensive family planning services to eligible low income (under 200% federal poverty level) men and women. Family PACT serves 1 million income eligible men and women of childbearing age through a network of 2,200 public and private providers. Services include comprehensive education, assistance, and services relating to family planning.”

And what exactly are those “services relating to family planning”?

From the PDF “Family PACT Overview“:

“Client Benefits & Services

Family PACT provides comprehensive family planning services to women and men including all FDA approved forms of contraception, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing with counseling, preconception counseling, male and female sterilization, limited infertility services, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, cancer screening, and HIV screening. Individual client reproductive health education and counseling is an ongoing component of all service.”

Emergency contraception” (EC) is emergency contraception pills, taken after unprotected sex to pregnant pregnancy. EC is a form of abortion by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

The Family PACT program is administered through Family PACT “providers,” among whom are Planned Parenthood clinics, where “family planning” is a synonym for abortion.

Lest there is any remaining doubt that SB 309 will fund abortions, here’s what (the infamous) Ninth Circuit Senior Judge Dorothy Wright Nelson wrote in an opinion:

“the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act . . . requires that licensed pregnancy-related clinics disseminate a notice stating the existence of publicly-funded family-planning services, including contraception and abortion.”

SB 309 was introduced by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, the bill’s author; its coauthor is Assembly member Cristina Garcia.

On May 30, 2017, SB 309 was read a third time in California’s State Senate and passed 28:13. On June 8, 2017, the bill was referred to the State Assembly’s Committee on Transportation. A hearing date is scheduled for tomorrow, June 26. A majority vote is required to pass SB 309.

H/t California Political Review

~Eowyn

Why not? Stephen Colbert Says He’s Considering 2020 Run for President

stephen colbert

Run on that Trump Derangement Syndrome platform Colbert!

Stephen’s got a potty mouth just like other demorat supporters/leaders. And we know how well that’s worked for them

From Hollywood Reporter: Stephen Colbert may have just announced a desire to run for president while appearing on a Russian late-night show Friday during his highly publicized trip to Russia.

The Late Show host, who is in Russia on assignment for his show, appeared on Evening Urgant, a popular Russian late-night program hosted by Ivan Urgant, on Friday.

In a clip posted on the show’s website, Colbert, after taking a few shots of vodka, asks Urgant if he can make an announcement. “OK. I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020, and I thought it would be better to cut out the middle man and just tell the Russians myself,” Colbert said as the crowd applauded. The American host added: “If anyone would like to work on my campaign, in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.”

Taking one last shot of vodka, Colbert toasted, “A strong America, a strong Russia!”

Urgant also made a toast, saying, “I’d like to make a toast to the beautiful country of the USA, which invented the Internet. Thanks to it, we can meddle with US elections.” He went on to support Colbert’s potential presidential run: “To you, Stephen! Good luck! We’ll do everything possible to make sure you get elected.”

Colbert took a brief hiatus from The Late Show on Thursday and Friday to travel to Russia, but will return with a new episode on Monday night.

He tweeted a photo of himself in Russia Thursday in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet stating he did not in fact have any tapes on former FBI director James Comey, despite previously suggesting otherwise.

This is not the first time the late-night host has announced a run for president. In October 2007, Colbert announced his candidacy following public pressure. While many at the time thought his comments were made in jest, he insisted his candidacy was serious — though that was in line with his “Stephen Colbert” alter ego on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report.

He paid the $2,500 fee necessary to be included on the Democratic ballot in South Carolina, but his request was denied. Colbert ultimately dropped his bid on Nov. 5, 2007.

DCG

Lena Dunham Gives Away Her Rescue Dog After Four Years With Him

dunham

Bye, bye Lamby…

If you’ve ever gone to a shelter to adopt an animal, you know the process is intense (in most major cities). You are thoroughly scrutinized about your pet ownership background, your home, and your ability to care for a pet – especially a rescue animal that may have issues. After all, it’s a lifetime commitment. Well, in most cases…

From Yahoo: Lena Dunham has been showing off her two new puppies, Susan and Karen, everywhere from Instagram to the Tonight Show. So her fans were wondering what was up with Lamby, the rescue she adopted in 2013. The Girls alum gave them an answer on Wednesday: She gave away the troubled pup (a four-year old pup?) in March.

“A lot of you have been asking where Lamby is these days since he’s always been the star of my gram and I’ve been posting pics of my poodle girls,” Dunham wrote. “Well, you know honesty is my jam but this one has been really heartbreaking to talk about. But I feel I have to share that last March, after four years of challenging behavior and aggression that could not be treated with training or medication or consistent loving dog ownership, Lamby went to live at an amazing professional facility in Los Angeles @matt_thezendog where an awesome person named @therealdanishay (who is educated in a rescue dog’s specific trauma) loves him so hard.”

“Lamby suffered terrible abuse as a pup that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous to him and others- we needed to be responsible to ourselves, our neighbors and especially our beloved boy. Jack and I will miss him forever but sometimes when you love something you have to let it go (especially when it requires tetanus shots and stitches.)

“Someday I’ll really write about the pain and relief of letting Lamby go off and really be Lamby, biting and peeing in his own mouth and all,” she wrote. “There were so many lessons in it, about forgiving myself and loving with an open palm and giving in to a larger plan. Shout out to @jennikonner for listening to endless hours of Lamby pain, and especially my partner @jackantonoff for loving him even when he ruined floors and couches and our life. Jack knows what Lamby means to me and he let me come to the decision in my own time even when it made his days challenging. Susan & Karen will never be my first loves, but they are fuzzy and hilarious stuffing for the hole Lamby left and we cherish them deeply.”

Dunham adopted Lamby from the Brooklyn animal rescue BARC, and it made headlines at the time as he started showing up on her social media accounts. Oh, and in Vogue magazine spreads. The dog had an Instagram account with 17,500 followers, including fashionable ones like the editor-in-chief of Glamour mag, Cindi Lieve.

Issues arose almost immediately after Dunham brought home the dog, however, which she detailed in a piece for the New Yorker in March 2013. Lamby, which she described as “a golden sausage with the most human eyes I’ve ever seen on a non-human” and “perfect,” didn’t like her boyfriend, Jack Antonoff. The first night the dog, which had three homes before Lena’s, met the musician, he bit him.

“Tears stream down my face. What have I done?” Dunham wrote of having doggie regrets just two months after adopting the pooch. “We had such a nice life. The first real comfort I’ve known in so long. Nights were quiet and sweet, and we slept until whatever o’clock we wanted, then sat on the couch in our underwear and planned the day.” Nonetheless, she vowed to take care of the troubled pup. “‘I’m not going anywhere,’ I tell Lamby,” she wrote.

A year later, Dunham posted a photo on Instagram of her bleeding behind, which Lamby bit. She revealed that it was the second time the dog had bit her. Gawker ran a piece blasting the actress, saying the dog should be taken from her due to insufficient care. She defended her doggie care on social media.

DCG

Senate opens probe into Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch

In his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017, former FBI Director James B. Comey said Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch had tried to shape the way Comey described the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, to “align with” and “mirror” the way Hillary’s campaign was describing the investigation.

Stephen Dinan reports for The Washington Times, June 23, 2017, that Comey told the committee:

“At one point, [Lynch] directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”

Despite his discomfort, Comey said he agreed to the language prescribed by Lynch. Comey also hinted at Lynch’s other behaviors “which I cannot talk about yet” which led to his concerns about Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions. That was one reason why Comey, last year, bucked Justice Department tradition in making public the FBI’s findings on Hillary.

Now, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into exactly Loretta Lynch’s interference in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, the committee’s chairman Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) announced yesterday.

The probe is a bi-partisan undertaking.

Sen. Grassley said in his press release:

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.

In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”  Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t ‘go too far.’

(Note: The Open Society Foundations, formerly the Open Society Institute, is an international grantmaking network founded by George Soros.)

Comey was reportedly concerned that the communication would raise doubts about the investigation’s independence and began discussing plans to announce the end of the Clinton email investigation rather than simply referring it to the Department for a prosecutorial decision. Comey’s extraordinary action to announce the end of the investigation was a break from Justice Department protocol, and was later cited as justification for his removal from the FBI.

In their letters to Benardo, Open Society Foundations’ General Counsel Gail Scovell, Renteria and former Attorney General Lynch, the Senators seek details about the reported communication, copies of any related documents and whether the FBI contacted them to investigate the alleged communication.

The reports come amidst numerous allegations of political inference in controversial and high-profile investigations spanning the current and previous administrations. The Senate Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the FBI and Justice Department and is obliged to oversee any potential misconduct or inappropriate political influence at these agencies.

Full text of the letters can be found at the following links:

~Eowyn