CHRISTIANS CAN NOT COUNSEL TRANSGENDER YOUTH

The recent U.S. Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals calls on the administration to “safeguard LGBTQI+ youth from dangerous practices like so-called ‘conversion therapy’—efforts to suppress or change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” It contends that conversion therapy is a “discredited practice that research indicates can cause significant harm, including higher rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors by LGBTQI+ youth.” Biden also directed the Federal Trade Commission to determine “whether so-called conversion therapy constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and to issue such consumer warnings or notices as may be appropriate.”

In my recent post on SELLING THE TRANSGENDER STORY, I showed a very appealing video that attempts to sell the transgender agenda as a positive step forward whereby we are told that tens of thousands of children out there identify as transgender. We are also told that Ryland and the Whittington family is a typical ‘American family’. As well, we are told that gender and sexuality are different. All three claims are false. If you have not viewed this video can I suggest you do. It was posted five days ago.

God and his commandments have been rejected by the majority of people as they were by the people of Noah’s Day bringing God’s judgement upon them. Jesus warned us that the world would reject God and His values prior to His return. Persecution of active Christians (living out their faith) will be considered just.

Is the church preparing Christians for this escalating persecution?

This is another appealing video selling Ryland’s transgender conversion beginning at age 3.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATES IN NIGERIA

The blood is still there. It’s still spread all over the floor.”

Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications at persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity International (CSI), shared these chilling words while discussing the vile attack on a Nigerian church Sunday that left at least 50 dead.

A police officer stands guard inside the St. Francis Catholic Church, a day after an attack that targeted worshipers in Owo, Nigeria, Monday, June 6, 2022. The gunmen who killed 50 people at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria opened fire on worshippers both inside and outside the building in a coordinated attack before escaping the scene

“It was Pentecost Sunday in Nigeria, so the church was full of people,” Veldkamp said. “According to one report, the gunmen snuck in disguised as worshippers. And then other gunmen arrived on motorcycles from the outside and started shooting from the outside, and then the ones who were already inside the congregation started shooting as well.”

The assailants then reportedly placed bombs on the altar and around the church before detonating them.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, though some reports ponder whether radical Islamic terror groups could be culpable. The location of the attack — in a southwest region of Nigeria — is one of the factors that adds to the “distressing and disturbing” details, as that area is typically peaceful and unaffected by the terror that has gripped portions of northern Nigeria.

“There are a lot of fears that this is going to open up a new chapter in anti-Christian terrorism in Nigeria,” Veldkamp said.

Renewed critique emerged last month after a Muslim mob reportedly fatally stoned Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a 25-year-old Christian college student of Shehu Shagari College of Education was beaten and burned to death in Sokoto Nigeria, Friday, May 13, 2022, by fellow Muslim students after she was accused of making a blasphemous social media post.

ENDURING THROUGH SUFFERING

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13

You cannot view this verse in isolation you need to consider the previous verse first.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.Philippians 4: 11

Philippians 4:13 is not about how one can literally do anything we put our minds to simply because we are in Christ. Paul has a specific context in mind here—and it is not about attaining your personal goals and aspirations, developing a healthy conception of self-worth, nor is it designed to be a coping mechanism to deal with the grit and grime of life. Truthfully, the passage isn’t even about finding the secret of contentment in all things, despite insistence from many that this is the focal point of this passage. This interpretation does have more validity to it due to the following passage.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.Philippians 4:11-12

Paul undoubtedly affirms learning contentment in all circumstances. However, the overarching point of Paul to the Philippians in this passage is not contentment, but one of enduring through suffering, particularly, suffering brought on through no fault of our own.

Job a model of faithfulness in suffering

The Letter to the Philippians is one of Paul’s epistles written from prison, which means that as he pens this letter, he is chained to a Roman guard waiting for his trial before Caesar. In the midst of Paul’s expression of gratitude for their financial support, he takes the opportunity to encourage his people that Christ Himself is the source of all comfort, hope, and faith. The simple reason why Paul encourages them in this manner is they have been appointed, not only to eternal life but to suffer for the sake of Christ, which in particular for them means they will experience the same things Paul has (Philippians 1:29-30). Paul is not only referring to being jailed for Christ’s sake, but to enduring physical persecution (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).

It is in light of this that Paul then ministers to those in Philippi by highlighting the hope of the gospel, the resurrection, and the object of their faith: Jesus Christ. He is all-sufficient and provides for our every need by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible teaches us how to embrace suffering for the glory of Christ because it is the means by which we enter His Kingdom.

Adapted from articles by Grayson Gilbert on Suffering. Click on embrace suffering and you will connect to another great article by Grayson Gilbert.

FINNISH CHRISTIAN LEADERS NOT GUILTY OF HATE CRIME

Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a medical doctor and member of parliament, and Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland who were put on trial for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality were cleared of all charges. I have posted previously about this case and am delighted to be able to report a positive outcome. This is a big win for religious freedom.

The district court in Helsinki has announced its verdict in the trial.  All charges were dismissed. The unanimous, 28-page decision, stated that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts.”  Furthermore, the defendants had sought to “defend the concept of family and marriage between a man and a woman.” Though some people might find that offensive,  “there must be an overriding social reason for interfering with and restricting freedom of expression.

“I am so grateful the court recognized the threat to free speech and ruled in our favour. I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after being acquitted. Although I am grateful for having had this chance to stand up for freedom of speech, I hope that this ruling will help prevent others from having to go through the same ordeal,” said Päivi Räsänen after her victory.

SEISMIC SHIFT IN CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

Afghanistan is now the worst nation in the world for Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA, an organization that tracks global religious maltreatment. The shocking development is undoubtedly the “biggest seismic shift” in decades, as North Korea, the reclusive and oppressive East Asian country, was bumped from the top spot it had occupied for 20 years. “This year’s 2022 World Watch List, is the biggest seismic shift in over 20 years because Afghanistan is now the No. 1 country on the World Watch List, supplanting North Korea,” Open Doors USA CEO David Curry said. Afghanistan has long been embroiled in chaos, but the situation devolved further when the U.S. undertook a chaotic withdrawal last August, a retreat that carried with it serious consequences.

The education of young girls has changed dramatically

“Many people are aware of what’s happened since August in Afghanistan,” Curry said, citing the chaos and uncertainty. “It has emboldened Islamic extremists in other parts of the world. We believe it’s going to have a ripple effect.”  Christians in Afghanistan face intensifying persecution at the hands of the resurgent Taliban, with militants purportedly arresting and possibly seeking to kill believers. Christian women, in particular, are especially vulnerable and are seen as ideological enemies.

Looking at the diverse forms of persecution that exist, Curry noted that there is a “two-front war” against Christianity that can be observed on the “World Watch List.” On one side, there are the tribal-led government forces like the Taliban and on the other are centralized and tech-savvy governments like what is seen in China.

Curry explained why the Chinese government’s actions should be deeply concerning. “Their system and their technology is the greatest threat right now overall in the future of religious expression,” he said, likening the methodical restrictions to a “high tech noose around the neck of expression of faith.”

Curry said the Chinese government has hampered the efforts of almost every church, forcing houses of worship to break into groups and to shut down. Christians are at risk of losing jobs, having travel restricted, and “even worse.” “They have artificial intelligence. They monitor all the video, they monitor the online presence,” he said.

Fortunately, we know how the underground church at the time of Mao grew strong under intense persecution. Believers were totally dependent upon God and miracles abounded as testified by Chinese believers like Brother You in his book The Heavenly Man. As prophesied, persecution increases in these last days before Jesus returns, and those totally committed to God will walk in the power of the Holy Spirit with all the gifts of the Spirit being manifested in their ministry to others.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS INTENSIFIES

March 6th, 2022 China (International Christian Concern) – A Christian woman in China, named Zhou Jinxia was detained for her repeated attempt to share the good news of Jesus Christ with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

Using placards filled with Gospel messages, Zhou regularly stands outside a gated area in Beijing where top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials reside. Last month, she did so to greet President Xi when he returned from the Winter Olympics, leading to her arrest for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Authorities ordered Zhou to return to her hometown of Dalian, where her beef with the government began.

In 2009, local authorities seized and demolished Zhou’s house in Dalian without her consent, later turning it into a city square. According to the group China Aid, Zhou and her family members have spent years seeking justice, only to be detained and lose their jobs.

Religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter explains that Zhou “took seriously [President] Xi’s statements he would fight corruption.” So after his 2013 inauguration, she repeatedly wrote to him about her unjust eviction. Because Xi never replied, Zhou “concluded that no solution to China’s problem would be possible unless [the president and his wife] would receive Jesus in their hearts.”

The Dalian native was sent back to Liaoning province by the police after her action in Beijing. She was subsequently detained. On Feb. 20, Zhou went to Zhongnanhai in Beijing, the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of China, holding up a sign asking Xi Jinping to believe in Jesus.

The police in charge arrested her before Dalian police brought her back to Dalian. She was criminally detained and charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” on February 21. Her family received the notice of her criminal detention from Dalian’s Public Security Bureau’s Xigang Branch on March 1.

According to China Aid, in recent years, Zhou has attempted to share the good news with her Chinese leader more than 50 times. As early as March 2015, Zhou was detained for ten days for her evangelism activities. In March 2016 and March 2018, she was detained again for the same charge.

Beginning October 2020, Zhou has resided in Fengtai district’s Xiaobailou village in Beijing. She actively shares the gospel and is involved in her church. On June 27, 2021, she was driven away by local leaders and police, while her amenities of daily life were confiscated. As someone whose house was forcibly demolished by the government, Zhou is not unfamiliar with the injustice in China.

We need to pray for Zhou Jinxia and the many like her in China and other countries where Christians are persecuted. Moreover, we should ask God to give us the courage to be like her in the face of intense persecution that we will see intensify across the globe in these prophesied “last days” before Jesus returns.

STORY OF MUSLIM CONVERT

(Morning Star News) – Muslim relatives of a Christian evangelist, Malingumu Bruhan on Feb. 6th beat and tied him up to be burned to death after he returned home for a funeral in eastern Uganda, he said.

Despite the fact Uganda is a majority Christian country that affords its citizens religious freedom, there have been some cases in recent years that mirror Bruhan’s ordeal. Despite being 84% Christian, certain pockets of Uganda — particularly the eastern region — are Muslim-dominated.

Malingumu Bruhan, 34, returned to Kaliro District for his grandfather’s funeral in Muhira village, Nawaikoke, and then accepted his uncles’ request to stay and visit, as they said they had not seen him for a long time.

“Subsequently, my uncle accused me of embarrassing the family by holding Christian evangelistic, open-air meetings and debates with Muslims,” Bruhan told Morning Star News. “He accused me of being an infidel by converting to Christianity, and that Allah will reward them in Jannah [garden paradise] if they kill me.”

“He told me that now is the right time for me to receive punishment from Allah, whereby I was going to be burned alive and the birds of the air will enjoy me as their meat,” Bruhan said. “Some men beat me as others gathered firewood, while another was sent for petrol because they wanted to use it to burn me alive.”

”As his uncle was waiting for the fuel, another convert from Islam who had accompanied Bruhan to the funeral came looking for him but was told he was nowhere in the vicinity”, he said. The friend saw Bruhan’s shoe, which had come off as his uncle and others dragged him off.

Malingumu Bruhan was attacked near Nawaikoke, Kaliro District, Uganda on Feb. 6, 2022

“My friend made several phone calls to friends after finding my shoe, they arrived and started searching for me,” he said. “They found me behind the house, tied and with firewood around me. They called the police, which scared the attackers, and they fled.”

Having sustained head injuries, Bruhan was taken to a clinic at Bulumba town, then later transferred to another area undisclosed for security reasons.

An evangelist well-known in Mbale, Iganga, Jinja and Kampala for his public debates with Muslims about Christianity and Islam, Bruhan has survived 11 murder attempts. “By God’s grace I overcame the Muslims’ planned attacks,” Bruhan said.

His Muslim relatives ostracized him in 2017 following his conversion, saying that as an apostate he had brought shame to the family.

“When I was chased, I went on foot, slept in the bush, and survived on wild fruits for two months,” Bruhan said. “I still trust God to heal me and for divine protection for my life. The church has been a comfort to me. Pray for me so that I recover from the head injuries and will be able to continue with the work of sharing Christ with the lost.”

The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

We need to pray for our ex-Muslim brothers and sisters that come under intense persecution, particularly evangelists like Bruhan. You can keep up to date by connecting to Morning Star News and Voice of the Martyrs.

FIGHT! CONTEND! DO BATTLE! FOR THE FAITH

Virtual replicas now exist. As previously posted, Facebook has changed its name to Meta in recognition that the future is in the virtual universe. In the video below, Nelson reveals that China has already shown they have used a replica newsreader for seven months. Think about that for a moment, they (those in control) can create a replica of you and have you say whatever they want.

Meta logo is shown on a device screen Bangkok, Thailand - October 29, 2021: Meta logo is shown on a device screen. Meta is the new corporate name of Facebook. Social media platform will change to Meta to emphasize its metaverse vision. meta universe stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Facebook’s new logo Meta

It (False Prophet) deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.”

Could this be what John is referring to when he talks of the False Prophet making an image of the beast, a virtual image that can speak just as the replica newsreader did?

What about the following verse; until the technology of today – smartphones, how could people from all over the earth see the dead bodies of the two witnesses lying in a street in Jerusalem? It must have been a mystery to John. Although his whole Revelation experience must have been mind blowing.

And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.Revelation 11:9

Same with Daniel: the following end times words he was given truly describe the time we are living in now particularly “knowledge shall be increased“.

Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Daniel 12:4

End times Biblical prophecy is unfolding in our time like never before. Are you prepared for Jesus return? The second last book of the Bible, Jude, tells us what we need to be doing in the last days before Jesus returns. Check it out.

Fight! Contend! Do battle! When apostasy arises, when false teachers emerge, when the truth of God is attacked it is time to fight for the faith. Only believers who are spiritually “in shape” can answer the summons.

Be Prepared to Handle Persecution Like Päivi Räsänen

Christian MP says prosecution for tweeting Bible verse on homosexuality is a ‘privilege’

Finland, Päivi Räsänen

Finnish Parliament Member Päivi Räsänen authored a 2004 booklet on sexual ethics describing marriage as between one man and one woman. She also expressed her views on a 2019 radio show and tweeted church leadership on the matter.

Päivi Räsänen, who was interrogated by police for over 13 hours and questioned on how she interprets the Apostle Paul’s letters in the Bible, will appear in court next Monday over criminal charges for voicing her belief on marriage and sexuality. She faces the possibility of six years in prison for sharing her deeply held biblical beliefs on sexuality and marriage. Räsänen shows amazing courage in saying that it’s “quite a privilege” to be interrogated for her religious beliefs.

“I could never have imagined when I worked as the minister of the interior and was in charge of the police that I would be interrogated and asked that kind of questions in a police station,” the lawmaker who led the Christian Democrats party from 2004 to 2015 said.

She said police also asked her if she was ready to “renounce” her writings. “But I answered that I will stand on what I believe and I will speak about these things and write about these things also in the future because they are a matter of conviction, not only an opinion,” she said. 

“I thought it was quite a privilege to have these kinds of discussions with the police,” Räsänen said in an interview with Alliance Defending Freedom International, a legal nonprofit that specializes in religious freedom cases and is supporting the 62-year-old former interior minister.

“I had many times during these hours the possibility to tell to the police the message of the Gospel, what the Bible teaches about the value of human beings, that all people are created in the image of God and that is why they all are valuable.”

It was like “giving Bible studies to the police,” she remarked.

Persecution of Christians is only going to escalate as the final prophesied tribulation that precedes the rapture of the Saints (trumpet blast at the opening of the seventh seal) and God’s wrath being poured out (Trumpet and Bowl judgements) on the unrepentant, unfold. We need to be prepared to be part of God’s disciples like Päivi Räsänen who will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to all the world.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

BIBLE PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED IN OUR DAY

PROPHESIED ESCALATING CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN THE END TIMES

More than 400 million Christians live in countries that persecute churches — and that persecution is only worsening, according to the leader of a Roman Catholic human rights organization based in Italy.

Iraqi Christians

Alessandro Monteduro, director of ACS-Italia, the Italian chapter of Aid to the Church in Need, told Vatican News in an interview published last week that there were around 416 million Christians who live “in lands of persecution.”

“Unfortunately, all the reports of the charity agencies, but also those reports that involve the states most willing to do so, such as the United States and Great Britain, tell of a tightening of their conditions.”

Monteduro also told Vatican News that in “certain areas of the planet,” such as the continent of Africa, “the suffering of Christian communities is worsening” due to religious intolerance.

“Across Africa, from sub-Saharan Africa to East Africa, there are at least a couple of dozen terrorist organizations that have the ambition, from their point of view, to install caliphates in their territories,” he continued.

He also spoke of violent persecution in India due to local fears that Christian groups are trying to convert Hindus to Christianity, adding that there was “too much indifference to these tragedies.”

Monteduro’s concerns over the rising intolerance of Christianity in Africa were echoed by the ecumenical Christian group Release International and its Persecution Trends 2022 report.

Release International cited multiple African countries, as well as the nations of India and North Korea, as regions that were “of growing concern” for local Christian communities.

In 2021 in Burkina Faso, for example, local Islamic terrorists engaged in a host of attacks on churches, including bombings, school burnings, assaulting places of worship, and murders.

Release International also expressed concern about Afghanistan, which was recently taken over by the Taliban shortly after the U.S. pulled its troops out but left its military equipment.

“In 2022, there is a very real threat of higher levels of violent persecution in Afghanistan,” stated Release International CEO Paul Robinson, as part of the report.

“Our partners tell us that Christians who are unwilling to follow the outward forms of Islam, such as praying at the mosque and saying the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, will stand out more clearly.”

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:9-14