To Taste Tyranny, All One Needs Is One Tyrant

February 1, 2021
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In the title, I tried to parallel the famous quote by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his The Gulag Archipelago. The book is full of quotes that apply today in our rush toward full totalitarian rule, all accomplished by a so-called virus (one of billions on a healthy human) that we can’t even isolate.

In Canada, we have many examples of want-to-be tyrants. We can start with the prime minister Justin Trudeau. Take any of the provincial and territorial premiers. National and provincial Health Officers qualify. Even the police are potential tyrants. Politicians are drafting legislation to make opinions that oppose government ideology “domestic terrorists.” Here’s what happened to those innocents in Russia.

If we don’t take action, this will be the destiny of Canadians. Government and its agencies are already harassing and committing crimes against Christians, ignoring our Constitutional freedoms. Yes, under cover of darkness, police handing out $880 tickets for going to church!

But some Christians are taking action against tyranny. Take a look here. Let’s do it together.

I close with one final quote from the Gulag, in which we find the famous quote “We didn’t love freedom enough.”


Johannes Kepler’s Witch & Other Troubles

November 19, 2020
Johannes Kepler 1610.jpg
Johannes Kepler

It’s 390 years since the death of Johannes Kepler, the Lutheran Christian astronomer, who died November 17, 1630.

Kepler was an extraordinary Christian who saw God’s harmony in the planets and the universe. In his search for God in the heavens, he said that God gave him the laws of planetary motion for which he is remembered in science.

Although he was not a healthy person, and was disfigured by smallpox when a child, he believed in God and suffered through the religious Thirty Years War, a war between Christian sects.

This religious war had generals and armies on both sides. The victors cut off the heads of the vanquished and nailed the sculls to posts in the beautiful city of Prague for the citizens to view and remind them that one Christian religion was better than the other. Kepler took no sides, he wanted all Christians to work in harmony. In my mind, Kepler was closer to being a saint than any other person during his time.

I thought about it: why would Christians fight so hard? Well, they were barbarians and under the rule of Roman emperors. Some had converted to Christianity but they were still barbarians as Edward Gibbon noted in his Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire.

For a fascinating history of the life of this awesome Christian astronomer, find the book Kepler’s Witch by James A. Connor, who calls Kepler the “Protestant Galileo, a neglected hero of science and faith.” You won’t be disappointed.


John MacArthur’s CA Church Announces It Will Not Submit To Gov. Newsom’s Ban On Indoor Church Services

July 26, 2020
Original source: Activist Mommy
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Grace Community Church, led by Pastor John MacArthur, announced this week that it will not submit to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to halt indoor church services, declaring that “Christ, Not Caesar, is head of the church.”

The church’s declaration follows Gov. Newsom’s recent announcement that all indoor and in-home religious gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, fitness centers, hair salons, and barbershops in at least 32 counties must cease operations.

On Friday, MacArthur stated in a church blog post that the church in Sun Valley would continue worshiping in person.

MacArthur writes:

Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:225:23Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings—sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15Revelation 17:1419:16). Grace Community Church has always stood immovably on those biblical principles. As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.

While MacArthur acknowledges that texts such as Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 demonstrate the authority granted by God of civil government, he argues that “government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.”

“Therefore, in response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely,” MacArthur goes on, “we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services.”

“The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church,” MacArthur writes. “Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both.”

He also argued that because the church is by nature an assembly, any restrictions goes against the nature of the church “in principle.”

“As government policy moves further away from biblical principles, and as legal and political pressures against the church intensify, we must recognize that the Lord may be using these pressures as means of purging to reveal the true church,” MacArthur continues. “Succumbing to governmental overreach may cause churches to remain closed indefinitely. How can the true church of Jesus Christ distinguish herself in such a hostile climate? There is only one way: bold allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“We said from the very start that our voluntary compliance was subject to change if the restrictions dragged on beyond the stated goal, or politicians unduly intruded into church affairs, or if health officials added restrictions that would to attempt to undermine the church’s mission,” MacArthur goes on, explaining the departure from Grace Community Church’s previous stance on complying with orders to shut down. “We simply took the early opportunity to support the concerns of health officials and accommodate the same concerns among our church members, out of a desire to act in an abundance of care and reasonableness (Philippians 4:5).”

“But we are now more than twenty weeks into the unrelieved restrictions,” MacArthur declares, highlighting the importance of the church to believers and the community. “It is apparent that those original projections of death were wrong and the virus is nowhere near as dangerous as originally feared. Still, roughly forty percent of the year has passed with our church essentially unable to gather in a normal way. Pastors’ ability to shepherd their flocks has been severely curtailed. The unity and influence of the church has been threatened. Opportunities for believers to serve and minister to one another have been missed. And the suffering of Christians who are troubled, fearful, distressed, infirm, or otherwise in urgent need of fellowship and encouragement has been magnified beyond anything that could reasonably be considered just or necessary.”

MacArthur points to the cancelation of events as far ahead as 2021, which he marks as a harbinger that “officials are preparing to keep restrictions in place into next year and beyond.”

“That forces churches to choose between the clear command of our Lord and the government officials,” he concludes. “Therefore, following the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, we gladly choose to obey Him.”

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In Search of the Lost Gospels

January 24, 2020

BY 

This article was published in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 8 No 3 (June 2014)

Slowly the public has learned that the Gospels in the Bible are not the only ones that were written. Some of these other half-forgotten texts have survived in whole or in part; some have vanished, known only by their names and, perhaps, by a few quotations in the works of other writers. Of some of them we do not even know the names.

Were these Gospels suppressed and kept secret because they contain knowledge about Jesus that the established church did not like? Do they tell us any more about the life of Jesus than do the texts in the Bible? Is there any value to them at all?

To try to answer these questions, it may be best to start by defining just what a Gospel is. The English word is a translation (via the Latin evangelium) of the Greek word euaggelion (euangelion), meaning “good message” or “good news.” The original word in Old English, godspell, or “good tale,” had much the same meaning.

Thus a Gospel is an attempt to convey the “good news” about Jesus Christ. It presents his teachings and as much of his life as is relevant to those teachings. It is not a biography. The genre of biography was known in the ancient world, but the Gospels do not try to fit into it. Hence we know very little about the life of Jesus apart from his public ministry.

The Gospels all share another striking feature. None of them – or, for that matter, any of the texts in the Bible – were written by anyone that knew Jesus personally. Nor do they claim to be. The Gospel of John has a curious statement at the end: “This is the beloved disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). This verse seems to start by saying that this Gospel was written by Jesus’s mysterious “beloved disciple” (usually identified with John), but then it says, “we know that his testimony is true.” No one who had been an eyewitness to Jesus’s life, or who had written the text himself, would have any reason to say this. The other Gospels are even more elusive about their connection to their subject. They were written by people who knew of Jesus only at second or third hand. It’s useful to remember this fact when looking at Gospels of any kind.

In order to piece through the enormous amount of scholarship that the Gospels have inspired, we might start with some basic hypotheses that are accepted by most reputable (i.e., non-fundamentalist) scholars, although they are little known to the public.

Read more here:

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

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The Deep Christian Faith of Tchaikovsky, Russia’s Greatest Composer

November 7, 2019

I listen to Tchaikovsky in my car every day, and it lifts my spirit. mw

Source

Every year, in the Church of Joy of All Who Sorrow on Bolshaya Ordynka, before and on the day of the namesake feast, the All-Night Vigil and the Divine Liturgy are celebrated to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

No one can say exactly how music affects a person’s faith: it’s all very subjective. However, I remember a story that I read somewhere about a female musician who was very vocal in her opposition to the restitution of the building of a church that had been closed during the Soviet era and in which the city orchestra was housed. The building was returned to the Church, and everything calmed down, but after a while the woman turned to the priest and asked him to listen to her confession and to give her communion for the first time. She said that she owed her conversion to faith to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, or rather, to the finale of his Sixth Symphony.

<figcaption>The Church of Joy of All Who Sorrow on Bolshaya Ordynka</figcaption>
The Church of Joy of All Who Sorrow on Bolshaya Ordynka

At one point, she noticed the colloquial tone of the composer’s musical phrases, and she was amazed to hear the following phrases behind the main melody of the finale of the symphony: “Have mercy on me. Have mercy on me. Have mercy, mercy, forgiveness and mercy…”

It is a well-known fact that Tchaikovsky was born into an Orthodox family, and that his heavenly patron was Apostle Peter. However, when his mother died, his attitude towards religion changes, he lapses, and speaks ironically about all matters related to faith and church life. Everything changes after his failed marriage, and Pyotr Ilyich returns to seeking God. In his letters to his friend N. F. von Meck, he expresses his religious convictions of that time, which are contradictory, as is usually the case with those people who are looking for their lost inner support, who respect the believers and love the Church, but do not regard themselves as Christians.

At one point, she noticed the colloquial tone of the composer’s musical phrases, and she was amazed to hear the following phrases behind the main melody of the finale of the symphony: “Have mercy on me. Have mercy on me. Have mercy, mercy, forgiveness and mercy…”

It is a well-known fact that Tchaikovsky was born into an Orthodox family, and that his heavenly patron was Apostle Peter. However, when his mother died, his attitude towards religion changes, he lapses, and speaks ironically about all matters related to faith and church life. Everything changes after his failed marriage, and Pyotr Ilyich returns to seeking God. In his letters to his friend N. F. von Meck, he expresses his religious convictions of that time, which are contradictory, as is usually the case with those people who are looking for their lost inner support, who respect the believers and love the Church, but do not regard themselves as Christians.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

His return to the faith and thoughts about God affects the work of Tchaikovsky, and he writes his first spiritual piece, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, followed by All-Night Vigil. His unbelief was soon shattered by the death of his close friend N. Rubinstein, and Pyotr Ilyich writes in his letter to von Meck:

“I often pray to Him with tears (where is He, who is He? – I don’t know, but I know that He exists) and ask Him to give me humility and love, I ask Him to forgive me and instruct me, and most importantly, I sweetly say to Him, “Lord, may Your will be done”, for I know that His will is holy. […] I want to love God always, both when He sends me happiness and when the trials come. For there must be a kingdom of eternal happiness somewhere, to which we aspire in vain on earth. There will come an hour when all the questions that are beyond our grasp will be resolved and when we will understand why God finds it necessary to send us trials. I want to believe that there is a future life.”

Tchaikovsky approaches the last stage of his creative activity in a very different mood: his need for repentance and atonement of sin is growing. This may have caused the composer’s rapid spiritual growth in the 1880s and 1890s.

For Tchaikovsky, the period from 1885 until the end of his life is associated with particularly frequent visits to church. He usually marks Saturdays and Sundays in his diaries next to the dates and also writes that he attended the All-Night Vigil and went to the Divine Liturgy.

It is well-known that in the last years of his life Tchaikovsky begins his scores with “Lord bless me” and ends them with gratitude to God: “Lord, thank you! Today, on March 24, I finished the drafts completely! (referring to the drafts of the Sixth Symphony); “Thank God. I finished my opera, having started it on January 19/31 at 6:30 a.m. March 3/15” (drafts of the opera “Queen of Spades”); “Glory and gratitude to God!” (drafts of the ballet “Sleeping Beauty”), etc. There is also a record in his diary: “After a prayer, I started the instrumentation”.

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Finally, on the verge of his own death, Tchaikovsky creates his Sixth Symphony, in which he reflects on tragic questions and doubts, hopes and insights, happy moments, losses, distress and sad reconciliation of his entire life.

The composer died nine days after the premiere of the symphony, on the 6th of November, the feast day of the Joy of All Who Sorrow icon.


I Will Never Meet My Maker

September 15, 2019

This poem was on Michael Walsh’s blog website. I think you’ll like it. (Scroll down almost to the bottom of the web page.)

i-will-never-meet-my-maker.jpg


Russian Faith: Christian Renaissance

August 29, 2019

I received this information in an email and decided it is worth passing along. MW

As the senior editor of of the Russian Faith news website, I have joined forces with a great team of dedicated people, working hard to bring you breaking stories, conservative Christian teaching, English subtitles for Christian videos, and Christian missionary adventures from across the globe

Rostov the Great — hometown for Russian Faith There are lots of websites out there, so it’s a fair question: “What makes Russian Faith unique?” What do we have to offer, that not everyone else does? What are the special things that you can only find here?

To make sure you don’t miss out on the great resources that can only be found on Russian Faith, you can savor the following samples . . .

Breaking News — Stories you hear first from us, such as:

English Subtitles for Christian Films — Russian Faith works hard creating new subtitles, so you don’t miss out on great films like these:

Honest Social Commentary — Where else can you find articles that are more powerful, hard-hitting, and relevant?

High Quality Videos — At Russian Faith, we help bring you great videos like these:

We Bring Traditional Christian Values to the World, in SIX LANGUAGES —

It is not easy to find a website with this specific focus, operating on this type of scale. Honestly, who else is doing this sort of work? — If you want to see this kind of material, and reach this many people around the world, where else can you go?

Thanks to your support, I am able to personally interact with people in Russia and around the world, helping pave the way for devout Christian families who are seeking a new life in Russia. For example:

This autumn, we want to keep Russian Faith running strong, continuing to bring you great articles, videos, and movies. And of course our faithful workers need to feed their wives and children. That’s why we all need to pull together and support this noble cause. Please DONATE NOW, and help us as we work to make Russian Faith better than ever!

Russian Faith is not owned by some big media company, and is not supported by some rich patron. So your donations won’t disappear into the black hole of some ominous corporate ledger. Instead, your donations will help us keep great people on staff like Geraldo Silva, who has done amazing work building up the Portuguese and Spanish pages for Russian Faith.

Your faithful donations will also help support my wife and eight children, as we build our new lives in Russia, and help other families to do the same.

The Gleason Family

Geraldo and Karen Even before I wrote this letter, I noticed that generous people have already donated $1628 over the past couple weeks, getting us up to 23% of our goal. This is very encouraging, to see so many people giving without even being asked!

And now, I am reaching out, humbly asking for your continued support. I look forward to seeing our goal hit 100%, so that we can keep operations running at full strength for the rest of the year. By donating to this noble cause, you are helping with this amazing work, and you become a part of this incredible story. I have said it before, and I will say it again: We can’t do it without you. Your faithful donations are what keep us going. There are only three weeks left in this fundraiser, so please, DONATE NOW.

And in advance, I want to say “Thank you”, from the bottom of my heart! Your donation makes a difference, and it is appreciated.

in Christ,
Fr. Joseph Gleason
Senior Editor


Jean Vanier reflects on a life devoted to people with disabilities

May 16, 2019

It’s very difficult to find something I like on Canada’s taxpayer-funded CBC Radio, with its usual programming of NWO material. However, this interview is very inspirational. Jean Vanier, son of Canada’s former Governor General, Georges Vanier, passed away May 7, 2019. Listen to the full interview 53:59 minutes.

 


Syria: Russian worshippers visit ancient Orthodox monastery in Maaloula

April 19, 2019

Source: https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/1118945629517099009

As Obama “mourns” the loss of one iconic Cathedral, remember that this is the same man who armed Al-Qaeda terrorists that attacked, looted and destroyed the churches and monasteries of ’s Maaloula, one of the oldest Christian towns in the world.

 


Supporting family values is not fascism, it’s caring for humanity – World Congress of Families envoy

April 9, 2019
First reported here, excerpt below:
Supporting family values is not fascism, it’s caring for humanity – World Congress of Families envoy
© Reuters / Ilya Naymushin
Standing strong for traditional family values is not fascism, as the mainstream media often insinuates, but merely a concern for the future of humanity, Aleksey Komov, of the World Congress of Families (WCF), has told RT.

Liberal media, spurred on by hate-mongering “watchdogs” like the Southern Poverty Law Center, have lost their collective mind over the 13th WCF meeting that took place in Verona, Italy in late March, labeling the attendees “far-right” and “neo-Nazis” who attack women and roll back the rights of sexual minorities.


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