Religion

Ancient mug workshop found near site of Jesus wine miracle

Israeli archeologists on Thursday unveiled a 2,000-year-old workshop for making stone vessels similar to those Jesus is believed to have used to miraculously turn water into wine. Located near the Galilee village of Reineh in northern Israel, the site is walking distance from Cana, the site of a wedding where the Gospel of John says Jesus performed the miracle, his first. The workshop and an adjoining quarry were discovered by chance during the construction of an access road for a new sports centre, excavation director Yonatan Adler said. Since the discovery two months ago, Adler and his team have uncovered fragments of chalkstone mugs and bowls along with thousands of cylindrical chalk cores discarded in the process of hollowing out the vessels with a lathe. They are typical of a period from the second half of the first century BC to the middle of the first century AD. Jews of the period used stoneware for reasons of religious observance, Adler said. “According to ancient Jewish ritual law, vessels made of pottery are easily made impure and must be broken. Stone, on the other hand, was thought to be a material which can never become ritually impure,” he said. That practice was noted in John’s New Testament account of the Cana wedding, which described larger vessels: “There were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews.” “So far at this site we haven’t found production of these large jars,” Adler said. “But presumably the stone jars that would have been used at Cana would have been produced at a site like this, probably in the area.” He said that prior to the Reineh excavation two similar sites had been excavated, both near Jerusalem. “What’s exciting here is that for the first time we have physical evidence of production of stone vessels here in Galilee,” he said. “There has always been a question amongst scholars regarding the nature of Judaism in Galilee,” something particularly important when studying early Christianity, he said. “The question is, who are these people that are living in Galilee?”

Fascinating!!   🙂

Archaeological find in Jerusalem ‘proves Bible passage is historically true’

Archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem have found burned artifacts dating from 2,600 years ago – which prove that a passage in the Bible is true. Researchers uncovered charred wood, grape seeds, fish scales, bones and pottery while digging in the City of David in Jerusalem. The find provides evidence that the Babylonians ‘burned all the houses of Jerusalem’, described in the book of Jeremiah. Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority found the artifacts beneath layers of rock in the City of David – along with jars with seals which enabled the researchers to date the artifacts. ‘These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period,’ said Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘Used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.’ The fire damage can be dated to 2,600 years ago – which ties with events described in the Bible. The book of Jeremiah says, ‘Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire.’

Fascinating!!  To see the video, click on the text above.   🙂

CNN cuts ties with Reza Aslan following anti-Trump tweets

CNN has parted ways with “Believer” host Reza Aslan less than a week after the religious scholar came under fire for a series of heated tweets he made about President Trump. “CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series ‘Believer with Reza Aslan’ (season two),” a CNN rep told Fox News. “We wish Reza and his production team all the best.” Aslan responded, “Obviously I am very disappointed in this decision. ‘Believer’ means a great deal to me and to the countless viewers it’s reached. Its message of religious tolerance and exploration is extremely important right now.” Aslan’s tweets came after Trump’s June 3 remarks regarding the terrorist attacks in London, calling Trump an “embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency” and a “piece of s–t.” He later apologized for his language. Aslan’s CNN show faced controversy earlier this year when the 45-year-old ate a human brain with a Hindu cannibalistic sect in an episode that aired in March. “Believer” was meant to explore a variety of faith-based groups around the world. But his exploration of the cannibalistic sect in India had many people up in arms over what they saw is a misrepresentation of Hinduism. He apologized on Facebook saying at the time he made it clear on the show that the Aghoris are an “extreme Hindu sect” and “are not representative of Hinduism.” CNN also recently cut ties with Kathy Griffin after the comedian posed with a bloodied Trump mask for a photo shoot. Griffin had previously co-hosted the network’s New Years Eve broadcast alongside Anderson Cooper.

When the story of Reza calling Trump a “piece of sh_t” broke, we called on CNN to fire that unprofessional loser.  Maybe they heard us.    Regardless, it was the right call.  So, we give credit where credit is due…even if they made that decision under pressure.  🙂

Starnes: Bernie Sanders attacks Trump nominee for following teachings of Christ

First they came for the wedding planners and the bakers. Then they came for the Catholic farmers and the Baptist high school valedictorians. And now, the secularists are coming after the evangelical public servants. On Wednesday, Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was viciously attacked by Sen. Bernie Sanders over his Christian faith. Sen. Sanders deemed Vought unsuitable for office because he believes that salvation is found alone through Jesus Christ. He said someone with that kind of a religious belief system is “really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.” Sen. James Lankford warned that Sander’s comments “dangerously close to crossing a clear constitutional line for how we evaluate qualifications for public service.” “The First Amendment is crystal clear that the federal government must protect every American’s right to the peaceful and free exercise of religion,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “We cannot say we have the free exercise of religion and also require people to practice their faith only in a way that government officials prefer.” The Vermont senator’s comments brought strong condemnation from Christians across the nation – including Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “Senator Sanders is taking the Obama era’s religious hostility and putting it on steroids,” Perkins said. Thousands have signed a Family Research Council petition demanding Sanders apologize for his outburst of religious bigotry. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas (and a Fox News contributor), said that there are only two choices for the senator: “Apologize to the country for his foolhardy attempt to introduce an unconstitutional litmus test that would exclude 41 percent of the country, or resign.” The controversy stems from an article Vought wrote in 2016 defending his alma mater, Wheaton College. In that article, he described Islam as a “deficient theology.” “This is a fundamental problem,” he wrote in The Resurgent. “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.” Sanders confronted Vought during the congressional hearing. To read a transcript of the exchange been Sen. Sanders and Russell Vought, click here.

Wow..  You really can’t make this stuff up, folks..  We all know how much of a lunatic, crazy ol’ Bernie is.  But, now we can add the adjective bigot to the list.  Isn’t ironic how the left is also preaching how we all need to be more “tolerant”..  But, when it comes to Christians, the left is VERY intolerant..  If you’re a Christian, you can’t have a job in government.  That is essentially what Bernie is suggesting.  So what if he this guy thinks Islam is a “deficient theology” (which, by the way, it is).  Who cares?  That has NOTHING to do with the time of day, or the job for which he is being considered.  Oh.. and what about that First Amendment to the Constitution?  Christians (who make up over 70% of Americans, according to the last census) are entitled to it’s protections.  Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) was more than right to slam Bernie for hiss outrageous questions and bigoted grandstanding.  Unreal..

Val Kilmer Credits Christian Science Faith for Helping to Cure His Cancer

Val Kilmer credits love and his Christian Science faith for helping him successfully beat cancer. Page Six pointed out that in a Reddit AMA on Tuesday, one user asked the actor and devout Christian Scientist: “What would you want fans to know about having, and beating, the Big C.?” “I am very grateful for all the prayers and good thoughts from around the world,” the 57-year-old Heat star replied. “People that know I am a Christian Scientist make the assumption that I have somehow endangered myself. But many many people have been healed by prayer throughout recorded history. And many many people have died by whatever was modern medicine.” Kilmer said that multiple doctors prayed for him while he was in the hospital and he even spoke to the inventor of the defibrillator, Dr. Bernard Lowen. Kilmer recounted his conversation with Lowen, saying, “He started to weep without his voice wavering and he leaned into me and said, ‘Fluff their pillow. That what I tell all the interns. LOVE. Love heals. More than any other skills, I urge them to LOVE the life they are entrusted to save.’ Well that’s what is at the heart of Mrs. Eddy’s understanding of the teachings of Jesus.” Kilmer revealed his battle with cancer in a previous Reddit AMA when one user asked him about actor Michael Douglas’ claim that he was battling a terminal form of the illness. “He was probably trying to help me cause press probably asked where I was these days, and I did have a healing of cancer, but my tongue is still swollen altho healing all the time,” Kilmer replied then. “Because I don’t sound my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather.”

Glad to hear Val is on the mend.  As someone who was raised in “CS,” I respect his putting that out there like that.  It takes guts to do that.  We wish Val a complete, and thorough “healing.”

VP Pence says ISIS is guilty of genocide against Christians

The Trump administration is raising alarms about the Islamic State committing genocide against Christians, a conclusion that President Obama’s team reached reluctantly only last year. In a speech Thursday that didn’t receive much press attention in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence told the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians that atrocities are being committed against Christians across the Middle East, from Egypt to Syria to Iraq. “The practitioners of terror harbor a special hatred for the followers of Christ, and none more so than the barbarians known as ISIS,” Mr. Pence said. “That brutal regime shows a savagery, frankly, unseen in the Middle East since the Middle Ages. And I believe ISIS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith, and it is time the world called it by name.” The vice president also said President Trump won’t stand for the persecution of Christians. “He’s made it clear that America will stand by followers of Christ in this hour of need,” Mr. Pence said. “Our administration is fully committed in bringing relief and comfort to believers not only across the Middle East but across the world. This president knows the terrorists will not stop until we stop them. And under President Donald Trump, we will stop them.” In his first speech to the U.S. Central Command, in February, Mr. Trump said the Islamic State “is on a campaign of genocide.” The president decided this week to send arms to Syrian Kurds fighting the extremist group, as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces continue to wage a battle against the Islamic State around Mosul. Last year, after the House passed a measure requiring the State Department to make a determination by a deadline, then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the Islamic State was guilty of genocide against various groups in territories under its control. Mr. Pence said the Christian faith “is under siege” around the world. “Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ,” he said. “In more than 100 countries spread to every corner of the globe — from Iran to Eritrea, Nigeria to North Korea — over 215 million Christians confront intimidation, imprisonment, forced conversion, abuse, assault, or worse, for holding to the truths of the Gospel.” The vice president said Mr. Trump “sees these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred — hatred for the Gospel of Christ.” He said Mr. Trump also knows who is committing the crimes. “He calls them by name — radical Islamic terrorists,” Mr. Pence said to applause. “From al Qaeda to al Shabaab, from Boko Haram to the Taliban, these extremist groups seek to stamp out all religions that are not their own, or even a version of their own that they approve. And believers from every background have suffered grievously at their hands.”

Agreed…  Thank God we have a President and VP who are willing to actually call out these animals for who and what they are.  Our last President was too weak to call it for what it was….probably because deep down that limp-wristed, metrosexual, agenda-driven, man-child realized he was largely to blame for the creation of ISIS, which has committed these unspeakable atrocities against Christians in Iraq, Syria, Libya..and elsewhere.

Christian persecution: How many are being killed, where they are being killed

This past Palm Sunday was a dark day in Egypt. Suicide bombings at two Coptic Christian churches, one in Alexandria and the other in Tanta left 45 people dead and many more wounded. Although there has been an uptick in violence against Christians in the region, Egypt is hardly alone in a long list of countries — many in the Middle East — that are violently hostile towards Christians. A list generated by Open Doors USA, a nonprofit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians, shows the Middle East accounts for a majority of countries ranked in the top 10 for extreme persecution of Christians. In order, the countries are as follows: 1. North Korea 2. Somalia 3. Afghanistan 4. Pakistan 5. Sudan 6. Syria 7. Iraq 8. Iran 9. Yemen 10. Eritrea Egypt ranks No. 21. According to the Christian advocacy group, one in 12 Christians today experiences high, very high or extreme persecution for their faith. Nearly 215 million Christians face high persecution, with 100 million of those living in Asia. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year. From Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016, Open Doors documented as many as 1,207 Christians who were killed around the globe for faith-related reasons during the 2017 list’s reporting period. This is a conservative estimate since it only includes documented cases and does not include statistics from North Korea and large areas of Iraq and Syria.

Some sobering data on this Easter..  To read the rest, click on the text above.