Violence on the Rise

Violence in America is on the rise. This week another school shooting occurred in Florida bringing the year’s mass shooting death toll to 21. There have been eight school shootings in 2018 or just over one per week. With that trend and 45 weeks still to go in the year, what are the leaders of the US doing to deter the next 1, 5 or 45 school shootings? Nothing. The leaders are giving lip service to God while encouraging violence. Let’s look at how.

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Traditions Make Void the Word of God

The Christmas Tree, advent calendar, Christmas stocking, the mistletoe and candle light services are all traditions followed as a way of celebrating the Christmas Holiday.  God’s Word warns that traditions make void the Word of God, therefore, you should stop and ask yourself, “Is God referring to any of my traditions?”  How exactly do traditions make the Word of God “void”?

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Don’t Give Thanks, Seek God

Thanksgiving is not a Holy Day from God.  It is a National Holiday created for the purpose of celebrating war victories.  The Thanksgiving narrative taught today differs greatly from the original presidential proclamations.   The “first Thanksgiving” in 1621, is portrayed as a three-day harvest celebration between the pilgrims and the Native American Indians.  Most accounts neglect to acknowledge what happened next in history when the Indians were massacred and driven from their lands.  This was hardly the start of a period to remember with thankfulness.  The “discovery” of America turned into the start of many wars in a new land.

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Reformation or Re-Branding?

October 31st, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther published his 95-theses document challenging doctrines of the Catholic church.  The importance placed on the practice of selling indulgences, the false security it gave to those who purchased them and the true destination of the collected money offended Luther.

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

Martin Luther’s 2nd These states “This word (“repent”) cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.”  These 35 states “They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges, preach unchristian doctrine.”

Luther greatly missed the mark by not denying the existence of purgatory or the ability of the church to sell indulgences.  He was just alarmed that “Indulgence Preachers” were selling indulgences as a catch-all for anyone and any sin even if there was no remorse or contriteness.  In addition, more importance was placed on selling indulgences than teaching the Catholic church’s interpretation of the Word of God.  Luther’s These 53 states “They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.”

Martin Luther points to the true purpose of indulgences, funding the building of St. Peters Basilica in Rome.  His 86th These states “Again, ‘Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?’”

Basilica of St. Peter – Built with Funds Raised from Indulgences

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Trumps Inauguration Day Oath – His Own Condemnation

Washington DC  On January 20th, the 58th Inauguration Ceremony will take place.  The day is full of traditions, including the swearing in Oath, the primary purpose of the day.  This oath is the point at which Trump swears to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” and “preserve, protect and defend” the US Constitution.

What is an Oath?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary an Oath is a “formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says”.  The Cambridge dictionary defines an Oath as “a serious promise that you will tell the truth or that you will do what you have said.”

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