Religion

Louisiana televangelist seeks donations for $54M private jet: report

A Louisiana-based televangelist is asking his followers to donate money for a $54 million jet that can “go anywhere in the world in one stop,” The Times-Picayune reported. Jesse Duplantis, 68, a Christian minister based in Destrehan, about 25 miles east of New Orleans, says his ministry has paid cash for three private jets. “You know I’ve owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord,” Duplantis says in a video posted to his ministries’ website. Duplantis is now reportedly seeking the funds for a Dassault Falcon 7X, worth $54 million. The problem with the previous jets, he says, is that they require multiple stops to refuel. But flying the Falcon 7X, Duplantis says, will allow him to save money and not pay “those exorbitant prices with jet fuel all over the world.” “I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” Duplantis says in the video, “He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.” Duplantis’ video comes after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland in Texas, purchased the Gulfstream V jet for $36 million. Both televangelists defended their use of private jets during a joint appearance on Copeland’s program, saying that commercial airlines are filled with “a bunch of demons” that get in the way of their busy schedules.

Yeah…lowly “demon” peasants like you and me who can’t afford a personal jet and have to actually travel commercial.  He Jesse..  Here’s a thought..  If Jesus were alive today, he’d probably whip your self-righteous, arrogant, entitlement-minded, elitist butt like he did the “money changers”…and tell you to go were the “sinners” are in coach on a commercial airline.  What a tool..  The idiots who actually follow guys like this, and worse..who give him money for his gluttony, deserve to be conned.

University event aims to combat ‘Christian Privilege’

Just four days after Easter, George Washington University will host a training session for students and faculty that teaches that Christians — especially white ones — “receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.” The April 5 diversity workshop is titled “Christian Privilege: But Our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!” Hosted by the university’s Multicultural Student Services Center, the event will teach that Christians enjoy a privileged, easier life than their non-Christian counterparts, and that Christians possess “built-in advantages” today, according to its online description. The workshop will also discuss how Christians receive “unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.” The “Christian Privilege” workshop is one of 15 “free training opportunities” offered through the center to “equip students and staff with the necessary skills to promote diversity and inclusion in the different environments,” according to its website. Other workshops offered through the center focus on “heteroesexual privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “abled-bodied privilege,” “socio-economic privilege,” “unconscious bias,” and more. Efforts by The College Fix to reach a campus spokesperson, the multicultural center and the host of the Christian privilege workshop were to no avail Monday afternoon. The Christian privilege event aims to make people aware of the privileges that Christians have and “what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically,” the event description states. Furthermore, the event will try to educate those of the “role of denial when it comes to white privilege” and the difference between “equality and equity.” By the end of the training, the organizers want participants to be able to name “at least three examples of Christian privilege” and “at least three ways to be an ally with a non-Christian person,” the website states. Organizers also want the participants to be able to describe words like: “privilege, Christian privilege, denial, quality, equity, Christianity, bias, unconscious bias, micro-aggression, ally,” the website states. The workshop will last 90 minutes and will feature a PowerPoint presentation and Q&A. It will be hosted by Timothy Kane, the interim associate director for inclusion initiatives at George Washington University, according to his biography page. As interim associate director, Kane works to expand the diversity and inclusion efforts at GWU, specifically the LGBT community. He did not respond Monday to a request for comment. Kane, who has a master’s degree in divinity and theology, is “dedicated to ensuring that all types of diversity at GW are celebrated and meant to feel included in campus culture and student life.” Being a “proud gay member of the LGBT community” at the university, he hopes to “promote this kind of solidarity amongst the LGBT community, and work towards celebrating the richness of diversity here at GW,” his online bio states. Kane also hosts the “heterosexual privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “abled-body privilege,” and “socioeconomic privilege” workshops. White privilege is a specific focus in each of these training sessions, according to the multicultural center’s website.

Wow..  You really can’t make this stuff up, folks..  Be afraid.  This is the kind of crap that is taking over our so-called institutions of higher learning….and is the kind of politically correct psychobabble that is destroying the soul of our country.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a niece who barks out phrases like “microaggression” at me and others when she hears things that don’t comport to this liberal indoctrination she’s been fed.

6 Christian Communities that Can’t Practice Their Religion Freely This Easter

As Christians around the world prepare to observe the holy weekend of Easter, many will be asked at their services to pray for the persecuted around the world. After years of advocacy groups raising awareness, the plight of the Christians of the Middle East, particularly in the former Islamic State territories, has become common knowledge among American Christians. Yet they are far from the only group that will celebrate Easter this year in defiance of state persecution, mob violence, and repressive cultural norms imposed by groups threatened by the spread of the Christian faith. Click here for a list of six countries where Christians struggle to practice their faith freely against systematic institutional and cultural pressure.

And this is nowhere near the full list.  It doesn’t even mention N. Korea, where the practice of Christianity is punishable by death.

Pope Francis: ‘There Is No Hell’

In another interview with his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.” This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul. The interview between Scalfari and the Pope was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica. The relevant section on Hell was translated by the highly respected web log, Rorate Caeli. The interview is headlined, “The Pope: It is an honor to be called revolutionary.” (Il Papa: “È un onore essere chiamato rivoluzionario.”) Scalfari says to the Pope, “Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?” Pope Francis says, “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.” (1035) The Catechism further states, “The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: ‘Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.’ “Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where ‘men will weep and gnash their teeth.'” Pope Benedict XVI said in a 2007 sermon, “Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in Heaven and that Hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love.” As for the human soul, the Catholic Church teaches that it is eternal, immortal in countless places throughout the Catechism. One instance, “Endowed with ‘a spiritual and immortal’ soul, the human person is ‘the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake.’ From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.” (1703) * In a statement released on Mar. 29, after Scalfari’s report garnered worldwide attention, the Vatican said: “The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without however giving him any interviews. What is reported by the author in today’s article [in La Repubblica] is the result of his reconstruction, in which the textual words pronounced by the Pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”

Fascinating!  I’m not Catholic.   But, I’m sure there are many out there wondering…  “Sooo..  Did the Pope say there is no hell, or didn’t he?”

Analysis: Pelosi Invokes Catholic Faith to Defend Illegals, But Not to Protect Unborn, Nuns

Wednesday, during her House filibuster in support of protecting people illegally in the U.S., particular minors (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA”), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invoked her Catholic faith: “Maybe I should bring my rosary blessed by the pope… his holiness, Pope Francis, or the one before that, Benedict,” she added. “I have the honor and privilege of receiving rosaries blessed by several popes in my lifetime.” She goes on to quote Pope Benedict and Saint Augustine on just government and the dangers of power. But, Pelosi has a long history of rejecting Catholic Church doctrine when it comes to issues like abortion and protection of the unborn. Pelosi has been repeatedly rebuked by bishops, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic groups like the Catholic League for her pro-abortion stance. She has returned fire, calling bishops “lobbyists” – because they opposed an Obamacare mandate that violates Catholic teaching – and she has taken on nuns (The Little Sisters of the Poor) who sued to protect their religious freedom. Pelosi isn’t the only professed Catholic member of Congress to be publicly rebuked by Catholic clergy for supporting abortion. After 14 senators claiming to be Catholic voted against a bill to ban late-term abortion, Father Dwight Longnecker called on bishops across the nation to publicly inform those senators that they have excommunicated themselves.Wednesday, during her House filibuster in support of protecting people illegally in the U.S., particular minors (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA”), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invoked her Catholic faith: “Maybe I should bring my rosary blessed by the pope… his holiness, Pope Francis, or the one before that, Benedict,” she added. “I have the honor and privilege of receiving rosaries blessed by several popes in my lifetime.” She goes on to quote Pope Benedict and Saint Augustine on just government and the dangers of power. But, Pelosi has a long history of rejecting Catholic Church doctrine when it comes to issues like abortion and protection of the unborn. Pelosi has been repeatedly rebuked by bishops, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic groups like the Catholic League for her pro-abortion stance. She has returned fire, calling bishops “lobbyists” – because they opposed an Obamacare mandate that violates Catholic teaching – and she has taken on nuns (The Little Sisters of the Poor) who sued to protect their religious freedom. Pelosi isn’t the only professed Catholic member of Congress to be publicly rebuked by Catholic clergy for supporting abortion. After 14 senators claiming to be Catholic voted against a bill to ban late-term abortion, Father Dwight Longnecker called on bishops across the nation to publicly inform those senators that they have excommunicated themselves.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is a nauseating, self-righteous, self-serving hypocrite cherry picks where her alleged faith serves her political needs, and when it doesn’t.  Kudos to author Craig Bannister for correctly calling her out.  And hey..  if only she stood in heels for 8 hours in defense of actual U.S. citizens, instead of illegal aliens, we might be inclined to overlook her brazen hypocrisy.  For more, click on the text above.  Excellent!   🙂

 

Dead Sea Scrolls discovery: Obscure fragments deciphered

One of the last two parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls has finally been translated, thanks to researchers at the University of Haifa. Dr. Eshbal Ratson and Prof. Jonathan Ben-Dov of the Department of Bible Studies managed to put together 60 tiny fragments over more than a year, obtaining fresh insight into a festival that marked the changing of the seasons. First discovered in a cave in Qumran in 1947, there are 900 scrolls which make up the Dead Sea Scrolls; together, the collection is considered to be the oldest copy of the Bible in known existence, thought to have been created around the 4th century B.C. The majority of the scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956, and have since been restored and published. Also included in the newly discovered fragment is a part that deals with the 364-day calendar, celebrated by the ancient Judean Desert sect. It’s unclear who created the Dead Sea Scrolls, but some researchers have suggested a group known as the Essenes are responsible. The Essenes existed from the 2nd century B.C. to the 1st century A.D. The festivals that were used to celebrate the changing of seasons include the festival of New Wheat, New Wine and New Oil, related to the Jewish festival of Shavuot. According to the calendar, the wheat festival took place 50 days after the Shabbat that followed Passover. Fifty days later, the wine harvest festival came and 50 days after that was the oil harvest festival. The scroll also said there was a special day for the changing of the seasons, known as Tekufah, which in Hebrew translates to “period.” “This term is familiar from the later Rabbinical literature and from mosaics dating to the Talmudic period, and we could have assumed that it would also be used with this meaning in the scrolls, but this is the first time it has been revealed,” Dr. Ratson and Prof. Ben-Dov explained in a press release. “The lunar calendar, which Judaism follows to this day, requires a large number of human decisions,” the researchers added. “People must look at the stars and moon and report on their observations, and someone must be empowered to decide on the new month and the application of leap years. By contrast, the 364-day calendar was perfect. Because this number can be divided into four and seven, special occasions always fall on the same day,” they wrote. Interestingly enough, Dr. Ratson and Prof. Ben-Dov were able to decipher the code from annotations made in the margins, by correcting omissions from the original author. “What’s nice is that these comments were hints that helped me figure out the puzzle — they showed me how to assemble the scroll,” Dr. Ratzon said in an interview with Haaretz.

Fascinating!!   🙂

Ancient forbidden Christian text of Jesus’ ‘secret teachings’ to his ‘brother’ found

Biblical scholars have discovered the first-known original Greek copy of an ancient forbidden Christian text that purportedly describes Jesus’ secret teachings to his “brother” James, an early leader of the Church. Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau, religious studies scholars at The University of Texas at Austin, located the rare text in Oxford University archives earlier this year. The experts found several fifth- or sixth-century A.D. Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James, one of the books from an ancient collection known as the Nag Hammadi library. Previously, the text was thought to be preserved only via translations in the Egyptian Coptic language. Only a small number of texts from the Nag Hammadi library, a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books discovered in Egypt in 1945, have been found in Greek, their original language of composition. Also known as the “Gnostic Gospels,” the books are seen as key documents for understanding Gnosticism, an ancient belief system. The First Apocalypse of James, like the other books in the Nag Hammadi library, was deemed heretical or forbidden by the church because it fell outside of the fourth-century religious boundaries that defined the 27-book New Testament. Experts were thrilled by the discovery of the ancient fragments, which are owned by the Egypt Exploration Society. “To say that we were excited once we realized what we’d found is an understatement,” said Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies, in a statement. “We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.” The document is said to describe Jesus’ secret teachings to his “brother” James. Details of the “heavenly realm” and future events, such as James’ inevitable death, are revealed, according to The University of Texas at Austin. “The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’ life and ministry,” Smith added. There are a number of interpretations of references to Jesus’ siblings in biblical texts. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark, for example, refer to Jesus’ brothers, including James. James, also known as “James the Just” was a leader of the early church – one interpretation of “brother” may thus be a close spiritual relationship as opposed to a fraternal biological link. The First Apocalypse of James describes James as not Jesus’ brother “materially.” Other interpretations describe James as Jesus’ step-brother or cousin. The manuscript, which uses neat, uniform handwriting and words separated into syllables, was probably a teacher’s model used to help students read and write, according to the experts. “The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots. Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts,” said Landau, a lecturer in the UT Austin Department of Religious Studies, in the statement. Landau notes that the teacher who produced the manuscript likely “had a particular affinity for the text.” The document, he explains, appears to be a complete copy of the forbidden ancient text.

Fascinating!!    🙂