Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, April 02, 2012

How The Secular Media Celebrates Easter

Once upon a time, the main stream media showed respect for Christianity & those who believed that Jesus is the Son of God who died & rose from the dead to save us.
Now the media is so sold out to the demonic "culture of death". That means that their goal is to promote the "culture od death" agenda to destory people, physically as well as spiritually. So when Christmas & Easter approach you can be sure that they will dig out those who want to undermine people's faith. & when they do put up someone who they claim speaks for Christianity, with few exceptions it is someone like John Dominic Crossan from The Jesus Seminar who works to undermine what the Bible teaches rather than upholding the truth found in it.
Well, this year is NO exception.
This 1st one will definitely cause your head to spin like Regan's in The Exorcist. LarryD @ Acts of the Apostasy share the story of Art historian Thomas de Wesselow. 1st of all, the positive, he is convinced the Shroud is real & that it did touch Christ's body. But, brace yourselves, the Cambridge academic insists that the image on the cloth fooled the Apostles into believing Christ had come back to life. Not only that, the Resurrection was in fact an optical illusion. (Art Historian: Image On Turin Shroud Proves Resurrection Didn’t Happen)


 
The 1st & most obvious question is the one that inn't asked by the media & isn't answered. What happenned to the body that should have still been with the shroud if Jesus hadn't rose from the dead? 
Next, how does he explain the repeated appearances that included physically cooking fish etc?  Also, since only Peter & John saw the shroud, how does he explain the other apostles seeing Jesus?
Another question he fails to answer is how over 500 people, most of whom never saw the shroud, saw the resurrected Jesus as well. (1 Corinthians15:6)
Additionally, he does nothing to explain how the image got there, how it was a negative & especially how it has been used to present a 3D image as well.
I can go on & on. Instead, I recommend you check out Larry's piece for more on how far off the beam this guy is.
What is sad is how many people will buy this simply because he presents himself as an expert. & when it comes to art history, he probably is. But that doesn't give him any more authority to make the claims he does than I have to claim that VanGogh didn't paint Starry Night.
Next up we have this attack on the Bible reported by Patrick Archbold. In The Holy Week Hit Pieces Begin he reports on CNN's story about Elaine Pagels' book that looks at what she calls 4 big myths of the Book of Revelation. Not surprizing, she mixes a few truths with the lies.
1st there is the claim that Revelation isn't about the end of the world. That is partially true. Revelation is an example of apocalyptic literature. It uses a lot of symbolism to talk to the circumstances people found themselves in at the time. But it wasn't, as she claims an anti-Roman tract as well as a piece of war propaganda wrapped in one. The message: God would return and destroy the Romans who had destroyed Jerusalem.  Speaking of the book’s author, Pagels claims “His primary target is Rome. He really is deeply angry and grieved at the Jewish war and what happened to his people.” She says that the claim in the book as well as what the Catholic Church (& Christianity as a whole) has taught that the author was St. John or even a Christian are false. She says that he was a devout Jew & mystic exiled on the island of Patmos in present-day Turkey. At least she got the location right.
It gets worse.
But before I go any further, I should say she does have an agenda in all this, even if she won't admit it. Her agenda is simple, to promote gnosticism as authentic Christianity. & as you will see, it is with that goal in mind that she makes the claims she does.
She paints John as aiming a huge part of his attack against Paul & the type of Christianity he was promoting. She paints John as a Messianic Jew & that he hated Paul's "new message". According to Pagels "This new message insisted that gentiles could become followers of Jesus without adopting the requirements of the Torah. It accepted women leaders, and intermarriage with gentiles." Again, notice the truth mixed in with lies. She fails to mention that Paul preached this message wit the approval of the Apostles & that Peter himself preached the same thing. She totally ignores the Council of Jerusalem mentioned in Acts 15 that supported Paul.
She points to 1 of the letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 & 3 as support of this. In this case, where it references the “synagogue of Satan.” (Revelation 3:9) She claims that the synagogue is those who support Paul rather than the actual Jewish synagogue that was attacking the Church in Philadelphia.
The woman leaders bit is interesting as she again takes a bit of liberty with what Revelation actually says in the letters. She says the Jezabel in mentioned in Revelation 2:20 was a woman leader accepted by the Church. One problem, she ignores the description of Jezabel's actions as well as what they mean. " By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols." 1st of all, Pagels ignores the fact that "sexual immorality" in the context it is found harkens back to the Old Testament & unfaithfulness to God by worshipping false gods. That included offering sacrifices & partaking of that food. Again, she ignores the Council of Jerusalem. Part of the decision was to make sure no Christian, whether of Jewish or Gentile  origin, at meat sacrificed to idols. Something that Paul gladly agreed to.
After painting her John as more of a gnostic than an authentic Christian, she points out how there were many 'clashing visions" of Christianity. Yes, there were many clashing visions, but only 1 was the truth. What she doesn't like is the fact that Jesus kept his promise that the Holy Spirit would lead the Church into all the truth. Because of that, her false version of Christianity lost out. Only in a relativistic view of things can there be no absolute truth.
Pagels claim that the gnostic writings are equally valid is a part of this relativistic world view that Papa Benedetto has warned us about time & time again. For gnostics, authentic Christianity won out, not because it was true & the Holy Spirit guided the Church to it, but because gnosticism didn't fit with the agenda of the early Church leaders.
As for 666, she claims that it has nothing to do with end times. She does get 1 thing right. That the early Church would see it as a reference to Nero. But then she gets the rest of it wrong.  She says the writer of Revelation didn’t really intend 666 as the devil’s digits & that it has nothing to do with an end-times antichrist. Sorry, but John clearly saw Nero as an antichrist & has always taught that there will be a final, ultimate Antichrist.  
Finally she tries to paint Revelation as merely one among many & that it was only because St. Athanasius pushed it to promote his own agenda that it finally made it into the Bible. She claims that Athanasius was so fiery that during his 46 years as bishop he was deposed & exiled five times. Of course, it is not surprizing she would misrepresent who St. Athanasius was by leaving out all the facts, in this case why he was deposed. He was deposed by the Arians who were promoting their heretical view of Jesus. Athanasius was so successful that they did all they could to silence him.
Yes, St Athanasius was the 1st person to identify the 27 books of the New Testament that are in use today He did so in his Easter letter from Alexandria, written in 367, usually referred to as his 39th Festal Letter. She fails to mention that Pope Damasus I, in 382, 9 years after St. Athanasius died,
promulgated a list of books which contained a New Testament canon identical to that of Athanasius. Additionally she ignores the synod in Hippo in 393 that repeated Athanasius' & Damasus' New Testament list (without the Epistle to the Hebrews), as well as a synod in Carthage in 397 repeated Athanasius' & Damasus' complete New Testament list.  Of course, since their agenda was the same as Athanasius', proclaiming the truth, not a personal agenda, she conveniently ignores them.
As I said, it is no surprize that the main stream media would do all it can to undermine authentic Christianity. & use whatever means possible. They are the propaganda arm of the "culture of death".
The 'culture of death" is demonic in origin. It is the means by which Satan & he demons are working to bring about not only physical, but ultimately, spiritial death. It is no wonder he wants to do all he can to undermine the means here on Earth by which God proclaims the good news, the Gospel of Life. The gospel that proclaims we can be forgiven of our sins. But not only that, we can live life abundantly here on Earth as well as have eternal life.
So, undermining the Bible as authoritively containing God's Word in written form goes a long way towards stearing people away from life & towards death. By trying to undermine the truth of what the Apostles taught undermines the foundation (Peter the rock) that Jesus built His Church & undermines the authority of the Church to proclaim the truth today, especially when it comes to sin, salvation & abortion.
In the short run, as has happenned throughout history, it may seem that evil is winning. & it is winning some battles. But only because of free will & man's ability to accept or reject the truth. God has fully revealed the truth through Jesus. Satan is doing all he can to keep the truth from mankind. (See The Screwtape Letters for an excellent look at some of the ways Satan does this.) & because of his delusional pride, he thinks he can win by destroying man who was made in the image & likeness of God.
However, in the end, these attempts will fail because they are based on lies, NOT the truth. The Church will not only survive, it will storm the gates of Hell & defeat any & all efforts by Hell to destroy God's Church.
Our responsibility is to proclaim that truth, in season & out of season. We must do so armed with the whole armor of God. Prayer, Scripture, the Sacraments & Sacramentals are the source of strength, grace, wisdom & guidance that will enable us to do so.
Yes, we will continue to see attacks like this, especially at Christmas & Holy Week/Easter. These are the times when we put special emphasis on Jesus as savior. Our responsibility is to respond with the truth. Not everyone will accept it. But some will, by the grace of God & working of the Holy Spirit. Our success will not be measured by numbers, but by how faithfully we have proclaimed the truth, even to the point of death should God so will it.

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