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China bans Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in spite of rapid church growth

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China bans Handels Messiah in spite of rapid church growth

When a Government says, ‘you can’t sing that’, that’s a government in fear.” Dr. James White stated on the latest webcast of the Dividing Line.  He was responding to the report that China has banned the singing of Handel’s “Messiah” outside places of worship. With the population of Christians growing at an astonishing rate, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may have reason to be. The Desire to crackdown on certain songs may very well be a indication that the state recognizes that it is on the brink of seismic social change.

From missionaries preaching the Gospel in the 7th century, to the persecutions under Mao Zedeng, China’s relationship with Christianity is a long one. Yet, what’s grabbing the attention of so many isn’t necessarily the past, but China’s future. In 2014, The Telegraph reported that “…by 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world.” Now, that number is expected to swell. As PJ Media reports in their piece:

“In 1980, there were approximately 10 million Christians there. In 2007, that number had climbed to 61.1 million. By 2030, they estimated, there will be 294.6 million Christians – nearly the entire population of the United States.”

The revelation that the officially atheist country is well on its way to becoming the largest Christian nation on earth has caused many state officials some degree of trepidation. The reason is that Christianity is thought to be a subversive religion. The issue for the government is the concern that Christianity could become an opposition political force which the West would manipulate to overthrow the communist government. In the words of President Xi Jinping, China must “…resolutely guard against overseas infiltration via religious means.

In the past, that usually meant suppression of the Church. While Freedom of religion is explicitly written in the Chinese constitution, freedom of assembly is another issue. In fact, according to the Council of Foreign Relations,

“…2014 saw a spike in state repression against house and state-sanctioned churches alike, including a campaign to remove hundreds of rooftop crosses from churches. The government sentenced prominent Christian pastor Zhang Shaojie to twelve years in prison for ‘gathering crowds to disturb the public order.”

These days, those voices in favor of the CCP have said that the state is becoming more tolerant of Christian groups. However, the relationship between the dominant communist party and religion is a tenuous one. The CCP has tried to both discourage and even co-opt Christian groups in the form of the state-sanctioned “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association” and the “Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement“.

The government keeps close tabs on those state-sanctioned churches, even installing cameras in the sanctuaries and monitoring pastors to make sure that they do not preach anything that the CCP would find questionable. As one pastor related to The Telegraph,

 “…State churches often shunned potentially subversive sections of the Bible. The Old Testament book in which the exiled Daniel refuses to obey orders to worship the king rather than his own God is seen as very dangerous.”

For those who are suspicious of the CCP, that has lead to an explosion of underground or, House Churches. It’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of China’s Christians attend a House Church. Christianity Today published a wonderful article  that stated while individual House Churches are much smaller than the state-sanctioned churches and out of the sight of the police, many assume that the government knows about them. They are often harassed and sometimes shut down. Yet, the Christian community is steadfast. The Telegraph quoted a pastor saying:

“They do not trust the church, but they have to tolerate or accept it because the growth is there. The number of Christians is growing – they cannot fight it. They do not want the 70 million Christians to be their enemy.”

It’s of little wonder then, that the Chinese Communist Party is cracking down on Handel’s ‘Messiah’ as they look headlong into a future where there will be an estimated 294.6 million Christians starring back at them, declaring with the lyrics:

“The kingdom of this world;

Is become

The kingdom of our Lord,

And of His Christ

And He shall reign forever and ever…”

Born in West Virginia but raised in Chicago, Misty is a Fellow of the C.S. Lewis Institute and radio broadcaster. She has a passion for history, Christian apologetics, and great food! Misty also has a heart for spreading awareness about multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that claimed the life of her mother in 2013. She also occasionally writes for the Christian apologetics website AClearLens.org

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Culture and Religion

Don’t Ever Let Anyone Mock You For Praying

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Yesterday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, was a tragedy beyond words. As a parent myself, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose a child. It almost sounds trite and overused to express our sympathy and express that the victims and their families remain in our thoughts.

And yes. They remain in our prayers.

One may ask, what can prayers do? Many on the Left question the benefits of prayer and even stoop to mocking it. After all, prayer is just a bunch of words, and represent a fig leaf for us creating real solutions to overcome gun violence.

But condemning prayer and assuming it means nothing misses its value entirely. The concept of prayer, particularly in Jewish philosophy, is recognition of our impotence and lack of control of the world. And that control or power rests, as I and others believe, with God.

Only He can regulate evil.

The great Jewish sage and philosopher Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) states it this way:

“We are told to offer up prayers to G‑d, in order to establish firmly the true principle that G‑d takes notice of our ways, that He can make them successful if we serve Him, or disastrous if we disobey Him; that success and failure are not the result of chance or accident.”

In more banal terms, God does not need our prayers. Prayer is for our own benefit, to acknowledge that we depend on God for everything, from wealth to the food we eat every day.

How much more so for our lives as a whole.

However, it is also true that we do have free will. And the age-old question arrives, how can we exact free will if God controls the world and all its outcomes?

Countless commentaries tackle this question, but I believe that the answer is that we merely possess free will to control ourselves and our own actions. We cannot control the actions of others, because that would impede on their free will. It ultimately lies with each of us to be the most righteous or most evil people we can, or want to, be.

And sadly, but understandably, this is why we cannot control evil, and only God can.

But our power rests in connecting with our Father in Heaven, and beseeching Him for guidance in dealing with life situations and the pervasive evil that exists in our world. And that is through prayer.

Prayer is the closest thing we can do to regulate evil. And by reaching out to God, evil may be eradicated one day. We don’t know, precisely because we cannot control this. But at least, in our darkest hours like those our nation faced yesterday, we can depend on prayer to be the way we shape our outlook on the world. And that is indeed something worth praying for.


Follow Jeremy Frankel on Twitter @frankeljeremy.

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Culture and Religion

The Progressives and the Race Card

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The “race card” has been the left’s longtime weapon against conservatives. It must stop now, or America will be lost forever. Just as with other fallen nations and empires of ancient past.

For many years the left has accused the Republican party, conservatives and moreover, Bible-believing Christians of being racist and wanting to keep America purely Anglo white. Just recently Univision’s equivalent to Walter Cronkite, Jorge Ramos; just made a reviling statement during his appearance on CNN only proving the conservative right about the news media bias in favor of the Democratic Party and their agenda of supporting chain migration.

“They are not proposing immigration reform, they are proposing immigration revenge,” Ramos said. “Because they not only want to help the DACA students but also they want to have a wall, they want more border security, they want to end the so-called chain migration which is family reunification and then the visa lottery.”

However, as the truth gets out about the real history of the American progressives especially those involved in the Democrat party, the true racists proved to be the Democrats themselves. Before Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party which won Dinesh D’Souza four Golden Razzies (which he accepted with honors), the respected Steven Spielberg stayed true to history and showed the open display of racism and the advocacy of slavery that the Democrat party was supporting back in the days of Abraham Lincoln in his namesake 2012 film that Spielberg produced and directed.

In spite of these two films, the race card has been the best weapon that the Democrat progressive leftist to use against people who want to see a cap put on this chain immigration crisis in America. Those who want that cap are so afraid to be seen as bigots and people that hate blacks, Asians, Latinos, etc, etc. If we are going to preserve America and its founding principles we can no longer play defense on this issue. We must play offense, and the above movies I mentioned are a good start to use against the Democrat pravda machine.

I am convinced more than ever that the white progressives are not suffering from “white liberal guilt” nor do they really want to pay penance for own past sins nor the sins of what their movement and political party (the Democrats) has done in the past.

No, they show their true colors when they accuse us of doing what they have done and/or what the Democrats and other progressives of the past have done. History has shown to all of us that they are the racists, xenophobes or what other names they can throw at us hoping that it sticks. The biggest of this bunch at least in the 20th century are Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Wilson abandoned Biblical truth in favor of Darwinism and ushered that into Princeton University when he became president of that respected educational institution. LBJ was always a racist but like smoking the honeybees he knew to give the African-Americans enough money from the taxpayers to keep them quiet and have them vote Democrat for the next 200 years or so when he lost the civil rights fight in the 1960’s. Both were big-time racists and hated the negro citizen with a passion. Lest we forget that Wilson screened the pro-Ku Klux Klan movie “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House when he was POTUS.

As Christians we need to continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the one and true single race…that being the “Human Race.”

God wants all humans to be saved by his son Jesus regardless of skin color or heritage (Mark 16:15). Yeshua did not just die for the Jews (his own people) and the white gentiles. He died for the black, the yellow, the red, the brown etc. etc. The Gospel is the one and only true melting pot while America’s version is a secondary one but based on the principles of the first one. The progressive’s gospel of diversity celebration and co-existence only creates a ‘salad bowl’ which only leads to more division among the citizenry and power-hungry tyrants ready to take control. That control is why they are currying favor among the minorities, and that will not end well for them or any of us who is not a politician or bureaucrat.


This piece was originally published in The Christian Post

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