Church Sparks Controversy After Holding ‘Inclusive’ Joint Birthday Celebration for Jesus, Muhammad

A Church of England church in London has been criticized after holding a joint birthday celebration for Jesus and Muhammad in an effort to be “inclusive.”

The “Milad, Advent and Christmas Celebration” took place on Sunday at All Saints Church in Kingston upon Thames earlier this month, according to Premier.

An Islamic prayer was recited and a birthday cake was cut during the hour-long celebration, which was advertised as an event “marking the birthday of Prophet Mohammed and looking forward to the birthday of Jesus.”

The church organized the event alongside the Kingston Inter-Faith Forum and the South London Inter-Faith Group, notes the outlet.

Prominent Christian blogger Archbishop Cranmer criticized the church for “rejoicing in both, eulogizing both, solemnizing both, glorifying both, honoring both” and questioned this “sensitively missional” approach, saying that exalting Muhammad in churches suggests that Muhammad is greater than Jesus.

“Every time a church accords Muhammad the epithet ‘Prophet’, they are rejecting the crucifixion, denying the resurrection of Christ, and refuting that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, for Muhammad denied all of these foundational tenets of the Christian faith.”

However, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwark defended the event, saying it “enabled Christians, Muslims and others to meet together in order to promote better understanding, conversation, and relationships.

“It was not a service and the event broke no Canon law.”

Earlier this year, a passage from the Koran denying that Jesus is the Son of God was read during a service at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, prompting one of the queen’s chaplains, Rev. Gavin Ashenden, to step down from his position.

“Because I think it a higher and more compelling duty to speak out on behalf of the faith, than to retain a public honor which precludes me doing so at this time, I resigned my post,” he explained at the time.

Ashenden felt compelled to speak out against the Quran reading, which he considered to be “a fairly serious error.”

“To have a reading from the Koran at that point was a fairly serious error for the Christian worshipping community, but to choose the reading they chose doubled the error,” he told BBC Radio 4 in an interview. “Of all passages you might have read likely to cause offence, that was one of the most problematic.”

In a letter he wrote for The Times, he also demanded that the church apologize to Christians who are enduring intense persecution from Muslims.

“The problem with what happened in Glasgow was that although it was presented as a way of building bridges and a way of educating people it was done badly in the wrong way in the wrong place in the wrong context.,” he said. “It should not happen in the holy Eucharist and particularly a Eucharist whose main intention is to celebrate Christ the word made flesh come into the world.”

Source:
https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/71703/20171208/church-sparks-controversy-holding-inclusive-joint-birthday-celebration-jesus-muhammad.htm

Toronto Raptors’ Jeremy Lin Reflects on Importance of Prayer Amid NBA Playoffs

Toronto Raptors point guard Jeremy Lin has reflected on power and importance of prayer, explaining that prayer “acknowledges that He is God and we are not,” “brings necessary humble surrender into our lives,” and “intimacy in our relationship with God.”

In a recent email sent to his prayer group, the 30-year-old athlete said he wanted share “something that’s been on my heart.”

“The one thing I’ve been reminded of recently is that prayer is more for us than for God,” he said. “God’s all-powerful and doesn’t ‘need’ our prayers, but He really appreciates when we pray.”

Lin admitted that after he prays, he sometimes feels like he’s done God and others a favor by praying. But in reality, prayer affects the individual more than it impacts God.

“It acknowledges that He is God and we are not, it brings necessary humble surrender into our lives and it simply brings intimacy in our relationship with God,” Lin said, adding: “For real that’s a trip if you really think about it — we can communicate with the creator of this universe whenever we want!”

“At the end of the day, God wants loving relationship and prayer fosters that! Reminding myself that prayer is for me and not for God has given me a different perspective,” he shared.

The former Brooklyn Net quoted an anonymous person who once told him, “I don’t have a specific answer to my prayers, but I have noticed God answering me in a different way I expected; He’s promoting change in me. And maybe that’s the greater miracle in praying, God might not only shift our circumstances, but also shift ourselves, our perspective, and our heart.”

“Very well-said,” the NBA star added. “Hope that encourages you and I to continue being faithful in prayer.”

Previously, Lin challenged fellow Christians to commit to praying daily until the end of the NBA playoffs.

“I’ve been heavily challenged personally to pray more often and more boldly. So that’s why I decided to start a prayer movement with whoever will pray alongside me during the 2019 NBA Playoffs.”

Lin acknowledged that most people are probably thinking, “Jeremy just wants us all to pray that the Raptors win a championship.”

“Yes and no,” he admitted. “Yes because my selfish flesh really really really wants that. But no because recently I’ve been learning to put God’s kingdom above mine. In fact, as a follower of Him, I should be fully devoted to building God’s kingdom.”

“In all honesty, I don’t know if I’ll even play, how much I’ll play, how many games we will win or how far we will go,” he continued. “But I will fight to be a faithful steward with whatever God gives me – and right now, that’s my heart to pray and for the 11,191 (and counting) prayer warriors that I can encourage to pray with me.”

In 2014, Lin introduced the prayer group to fans which sends an email of prayers to those who subscribe on his website. In a later interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lin said his spiritual life is a big part of his game, though he had to learn to surrender everything to God in order to find peace on the court.

“When I was a rookie, I put myself through mental torment,” he admitted. “I can’t do that anymore. So now I’m just growing more as a person spiritually and just learning to surrender it all. It gives me a lot of peace, man.”

Source:
https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/71981/20190516/toronto-raptors-jeremy-lin-reflects-importance-prayer-amid-nba-playoffs.htm

BILLIONAIRE DEMOCRAT DONOR AND CLINTON ALLY ACCUSED OF SEX-TRAFFICKING UNDERAGE GIRLS

After following the Jeffrey Epstein story for a few days, I decided to write about it. In a nutshell, a billionaire Democrat donor with connections to Bill Clinton and other Democrat elites was accused of sex-trafficking underage girls. I think this story reveals the heart of the Democrat party, and why they are so focused on separating daughters from fathers, and destroying marriage.

Here is the latest from Fox News:

Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

[…][Epstein] allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on “Orgy Island,” an estate on Epstein’s 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[…]Police in Palm Beach, Fla., launched a year-long investigation in 2005 into Epstein after parents of a 14-year-old girl said their daughter was sexually abused by him. Police interviewed dozens of witnesses, confiscated his trash, performed surveillance and searched his Palm Beach mansion, ultimately identifying 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who they said were sexually abused by Epstein.

[…]One victim, in sworn deposition testimony, said Epstein began sexually assaulting her when she was 13 years old and molested her on more than 50 occasions over the next three years.

So the most important point to make is that Jeffrey Epstein made many, many donations to Democrat politicians and the Democrat party.

OpenSecrets.org, which tracks political donations, explains:

From 1989 up until 2003, Epstein donated more than $139,000 to Democratic federal candidates and committees and over $18,000 to Republican candidates and groups, according to data from OpenSecrets. Notable recipients include former President Bill Clinton and former Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican. In 2003, a couple of years before a full-scale investigation into the allegations of sexual exploitation of underage girls, his political giving abruptly stopped.

From 1999 to 2003, Epstein donated $77,000 to Democrats John Kerry, Richard Gephardt, Chris Dodd, and other high-profile politicians and committees. Dodd received a $1,000 contribution from Epstein during his reelection campaign in 2003, however, the contribution was returned in 2006.

After a hiatus in political giving during the investigations into his sexual abuse, Epstein gave to independent Connecticut House candidate Gwendolyn Beck in 2014 and U.S. Virgin Islands Democratic Delegate Stacey Plaskett both in 2016 and the most recent midterms (Epstein owns a private island in the Virgin Islands called Little Saint James).

Most recently, Epstein contributed $10,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in October 2018.

Keep in mind that this isn’t the first Democrat mega-donor who has been accused of behavior like this. You just have to take a trip to Hollywood to see many, many wealthy Democrats who have been accused of similar things… and worse. Yet we (not me) keep buying their movies.

The key to the Democrat party
So, now I want to say something about what this means about the Democrat party as a whole.

My view of the Democrat party is that their top priority is abortion. And this support for abortion is the key to all their other policies.

Think about what would have happened if Jeffrey Epstein or Bill Clinton got a young underage prostitute pregnant. They would want to escape the judgement of those nasty Christians, and they would want to avoid having their fun-seeking impacted by the need to provide for the child. And that’s why the Democrats support abortion. Their number one goal is to destroy anything that interferes with their desire to have recreational sex.

Now you might say, well, their plan won’t work, because we have the institution of marriage, so that girls are being raised by their biological fathers. And the churches will teach women to be chaste, and to prioritize marriage and children. But the Democrats have a plan to get the fathers out of the homes, and reduce the influence of Christianity on young women.

First, they push feminism, which results in women denouncing chastity, marriage and traditional male roles as “sexist”. So, instead of women choosing men who are traditional, they choose what their eyes can see: hot bad boys. Second, they destroy marriage with no-fault divorce, single mother welfare, etc. This gets the biological fathers out of the homes, and away from the daughters, so that the Democrat elites can farm plenty of underage women for their sex-trafficking. Third, they normalize premarital sex in the schools, by having abortion providers come in to teach women all about “sex education”. Fourth, they make contraceptives and abortions taxpayer-funded healthcare, so that premarital sex is free. Fifth, they have Hollywood remove every last vestige of normal romantic relationships, marriage and parenting from movies.

Their policies allow them to farm fatherless women who can then be raped, assaulted and abused by powerful men. And then there is a cultural push to shame people with traditional values, so that no one can judge them as morally wrong. In Christianity, each woman is made in the image of God, to know God in a personal relationship. It’s the job of Christian men to treat women as sisters, helping them to grow stronger, wiser and holier. But that’s not the view of women held by secular leftist men. They believe that the strong have a right to exploit the weak, in order to satisfy their selfish desires. For them, it’s survival of the fittest, and life ends at the grave – so have all the fun you can, and who cares who gets hurt?

And the powerful men have female allies. Epstein had women helping him to find his victims. And remember how Hillary Clinton defended her husband from credible accusations of rape and sexual assault, and the feminist left nearly elected her President. Some women willingly assist Democrat men, because they want the help of these powerful men in achieving their own ambitions.

That’s the Democrat party in a nutshell. All the other policies that sound so nice, (e.g. – amnesty for millions of low-skilled illegal immigrants, raising the minimum wage, etc.), are just vote-buying schemes to get what they really want: sex-trafficking of underage girls, with abortion on demand (including infanticide) to get them out of trouble if there are any “issues”. Issues = unborn babies.

If you really want to understand the true nature of the Democrat party, then look to the leaders. The adulterers, the divorcers, the pedophiles, the rapists, the sex-traffickers, etc. That’s their real priority. The rest is just a smokescreen.

Source
https://winteryknight.com/

IS THE BIG BANG COSMOLOGY A THEISTIC OR ATHEISTIC THEORY OF COSMIC ORIGINS?

Dr. Michael Strauss is a practicing particle physics employed as a professor at University of Oklahoma. He does research in particle physics at CERN, a large hadron collider. It’s safe to assume that he knows something about experimental physics.

Here’s what he writes about Christians and the Big Bang at his new blog:

When my children were young, I would often drive to the home of the person babysitting my kids, usually a young teenage girl, pick her up, then drive her back to my house. In the car I would ask questions about her interests or her school. In addition, I would sometimes ask a question that intrigued me since I am a scientist and a Christian, “Do you think the Big Bang is a theistic theory or an atheistic theory?” Now that question is not on most people’s list of babysitter interview questions, but I was interested to know their answer even though it would not affect their monetary tip. Every time I asked this question I always got the same answer, that the Big Bang is an atheistic theory. This is just one example of the fact that many kids growing up in an evangelical church environment have the perception that the Big Bang is an idea which removes God as the creator. It seems that many Christians may disdain the Big Bang.

Subsequent conversations with people of all ages have shown me that many individuals (1) don’t really understand what the Big Bang is, (2) don’t know the scientific evidence for the Big Bang, and (3) don’t comprehend the theistic significance of the Big Bang. So let’s explore these ideas a little bit.

Here is his overview of the scientific evidence for the Big Bang:

There are three primary observations that are best explained by the Big Bang. First, the universe is expanding so that it must have had a beginning of expansion in the past. Second, because the universe was once very hot, we can still see the remnants of that heat in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. The latest measurements of the CMB spectrum made by the Planck satellite (shown above) agrees almost perfectly with theoretical calculations using the standard Big Bang cosmological model (see the plot at the end of this post). Third, the theory predicts the amount of primordial light elements that should have been created in the first few minutes of the Big Bang, like hydrogen and helium. Again the observations and the theoretical calculations align almost exactly. A few other observations are supported by Big Bang predictions, like the distribution of galaxies and primordial gas. The agreement between what we measure and what is expected from a Big Bang is so remarkable that just about all scientists accept the Big Bang as the origin of our universe, despite its implication that the universe had a beginning.

Does this scientific evidence support theism, or atheism?

Because we don’t have any observations that tell us exactly what happened “in the beginning” of our universe, we can only speculate. But let me point out the obvious. All of the observations we do have, and all the theoretical calculations, and even some projective calculations like the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem… give credence to the conclusion that all of the space, time, matter, and energy of this universe had a beginning. The Big Bang is a misnomer for it is not some kind of explosion since there was nothing that existed to explode. It is the origin of the universe. So if this universe had a beginning, then the cause of the universe can not be a part of the universe. The cause must be transcendent, like the Christian idea of God. Is the fact that all the evidence points to our universe having a transcendent cause proof for God? No, but it is extremely powerful evidence. If one hundred years ago you had predicted that scientists would obtain unambiguous evidence about the history of the universe for 13.8 billion years, all of its lifetime except the first fraction of a second, and that all of the evidence would point to an actual beginning consistent with a transcendent cause, I don’t think anyone would have taken you seriously. But that is exactly what has happened. Theists could not have outlined a better scenario to support theism. The scientific facts are completely consistent with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

I know how I account for this scientific discovery in my worldview: a non-physical mind that existed eternally created the physical universe at time t=0. But how do atheists, who can only explain the world by appealing to matter, explain the origin of matter itself?

What about a theoretical physicist, like Lawrence Krauss? Well, he just redefines the nothing that causally preceded the origin of the universe so that it is actually something. Pure speculation, and it goes against the experimental scientific evidence we have. Exactly what you’d expect from a man who wrote a book about “the physics of Star Trek”.

Each of us has to come to terms with this scientific evidence. What could have caused the beginning of the universe? It can’t be matter, because this was the beginning of all the matter in the universe. It has to be a mind.

Although most theists have no problem with this scientific evidence, atheists really hate it. When I tell them about this evidence, they tell me that in a few years or decades, all the evidence for a beginning we have now will have gone away. “How do you know that?” I ask. We have faith” they reply. I don’t think anyone should deny the objective reality we all share just because it’s what they want to believe.

Source
https://winteryknight.com/