Holy trinity lutheran church thousand oaks

Brothers & sisters, my sermon and service for this Sunday of the Holy Trinity is posted on Facebook at: https://facebook.com/vicartom.steers God’s blessings, Pastor Tom Steers, Christ the Saviour Lutheran Church, Toronto

2023.06.05 02:42 Pastor_Tom_Steers Brothers & sisters, my sermon and service for this Sunday of the Holy Trinity is posted on Facebook at: https://facebook.com/vicartom.steers God’s blessings, Pastor Tom Steers, Christ the Saviour Lutheran Church, Toronto

Brothers & sisters, my sermon and service for this Sunday of the Holy Trinity is posted on Facebook at: https://facebook.com/vicartom.steers God’s blessings, Pastor Tom Steers, Christ the Saviour Lutheran Church, Toronto submitted by Pastor_Tom_Steers to u/Pastor_Tom_Steers [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 23:04 JoshJub Helpful ideas and verses to better understand the Trinity

You my friend are not made up of one part alone, no rather, you are a person, and in this person there is flesh, but not only flesh, You are also Spirit, infact you are also mind. And in your body your flesh tries to fight your Spirit and tries to corrupt your mind. Your flesh is not your spirit, yet you are both spirit and flesh, this is not a contradiction but rather showing you are a complex being.
How much moreso is God complex than us? We see examples spread across scripture of God multi personal, in John 1, we see this, in genesis 1 we see this, in matthew 3 we see this, in deuteronomy 6 we see this and the list goes on. i will show you these previously mentioned ones however
John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
^ The Word is God, with God, and is attributed to creating all things
Who is the Word? Do we know?
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
the Word is the son of the father who became human (as john 3:16 says, to die for our sins, which was prophecied for thousands of years, 700 years prior for instance, Jesus' death is prophecied for our sins within isaiah 53)
John 1:17-18 then reaffirms this stating that Jesus is God
John 1 "17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known."
John 1 is an alliteration to Genesis 1, a creation account of all things. Do you know what first word we see that is used to describe God? It is the word Elohim, a plural word, not the singular form El, and yet there is only 1 God. 1 God who is described in a plural sense
Genesis 1 "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. "
^ that word we use for God in english is the word Elohim in the original language
Genesis 1:26-27 describes how human kind was created,
It says Elohim here as well by the way
Genesis 1:26-27 "26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." 
^ Yhwh says "let US make man in OUR image" and yet it says He made in His? Only God is attributed to creating (just as John 1 says) yet God talks in plural (just as john also shows God being)
In deuteronomy 6:4, we see a Jewish phrase that is quoted daily by them
"4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."
^ the word One that is used here is not the word for singular alone (which is the word Yachid) rather, we see the word used here is Echad (which is sometimes spelt ehad) the word Ehad means "one in Unity" the same word used to describe how marriages work, two become one (in unity) not one being (in singularity)
Would you like an example of all 3 persons of the trinity interacting at once? Matthew 3:16-17 is the example of that
Matthew 3: "16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”"
Jesus is baptized here in preparation for His ministry, we then see the Holy Spirit come down onto Jesus like a dove. From above we see the Father (still in heaven) saying that Jesus is His son, and that He is well pleased, again Jesus is called God, and the Holy Spirit is also God, obviously we both agree that the Father is also God. These three "who 's" are one "what"
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2023.06.04 21:17 RomeoTessaract Pressure

It is coming, it is G-d whilst Crusades. And in the time of world war. It is obvious that only one man had to live for it to be so. Do people think there are no loses in war ? Does not mean the enemy won. That there is no suffering? The third world war is a Holy War. It isn't wise to not have kings or type of kings in it. I do not know if it is the last world war. I doubt it, the world is never ending. This holy day of the trinity, I ask Jesus to give me words to type. To trust in him, for he will save the world. Crimes of the people, most evil in nations that anger. Will have their price to pay. Corruption will be paid back to undo it. Judas wasn't forgiven. There are hell fires of eternity for those who Jesus doesn't forgive. Christ will not be replaced. Anno Domini all kings bow to him. Less you think you can live without this Callander the Romans created. INRI on the cross as it had to happen. Drinking white wine, this evening, smoking my pipe with tabacco. The world had to hear from one person how it is going wrong. The Swiss Army in Vienna. I survive the twelve tribes rabbi trying to strike me down in Orthodox Aramaic Church. It was just tiring, how they tried to kill me with prayer. I am not afraid of dying. But the world should be very scared of me dying.
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2023.06.04 18:03 Family_Man_On_TV The Magisterium made me more charitable towards Protestants

Happy Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity!
For the longest time, I was a cradle Catholic. On social media, I saw many Protestants claim that Catholics are not Christians. I fired back, pointing out that the Catholic Church was the church founded by Jesus.
However, I took it a step too far. I believed that Protestants were not Christians. I did not think that people who claimed not to be a part of Christ's Church could be Christian. I didn't see Protestant baptisms as valid.
Then, some Catholic friends helped me to become more knowledgeable in Church teaching. Ironically, while many Protestants reject the Magisterium, it was the Magisterium that taught me that Protestants are our brothers and sisters in Christ, their baptisms (when done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit) are valid, they are in true but not full communion with Rome, and we can have hope for their salvation.
Let us pray for the unity of all Christians.
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2023.06.04 15:12 still_breathing24 Baptized... regret?

Hello all, I need advice really badly. I feel horrible inside, cut to the very core of my soul. I was invited to a church healing service by a friend and the church itself is Pentecostal. I'd never been to a Pentecostal church before and I figured, why not? Church is church, worshiping God is always a good thing, right?
Things got... chaotic, is the only word I can use to describe it. I myself am a very quiet, reserved person, and it's not that I don't love the Lord, I do, I was just unused to how passionate things were. People shouting into the microphone to the point of a headache, music so loud you can't hear yourself think... But again, everyone worships in their own way.
Towards the end of the service, when they were praying over people who needed healing (I needed healing badly), a few people came to pray on me which I was fine with. Lots of "hallelujah"s and "praise God"s and people screaming and shouting... again, okay, everyone has their way. And then at some point, the pastor came up to me, I forget what happened, but one moment we're talking and then he asks about whether I've been baptized (I was, in 2017; I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--some of you probably saw my post last month), and I told him yes, in the Holy Trinity, and then he asked if I'd like to be baptized in the name of Jesus, and I guess I got caught up in everything or felt like I needed to, I don't really know, everything felt so confused and chaotic, and I just nodded and said yes. Then he laid his hand on my head and told me to worship, worship, worship, and that I needed to speak in tongues, and I'm like ??? um, alright. I didn't speak in tongues the whole time. It felt like forever, standing there with this guy's hand on my head, telling me to thank God, praise Him, praise Him, yes, keep doing that, Holy Spirit let her speak in tongues and again... I didn't speak in tongues?
Then they're leading me into a bathroom, give me clothes to change into, and the whole time, I was shaking horribly, I didn't realize I was going into a panic attack. I don't even know what I was thinking, I just was like, Jesus, if You want me to do this, I'll do it, but if not, please stop me. Next thing I know, they're helping me get in the tub, the water was so cold, strangers surrounding me on all corners, shouting and spittle flying and screams, and then I was dunked under, and then they kept trying to get me to pray in tongues (I didn't). I couldn't get out of that tub fast enough to get my clothes and get out of there. I felt sick, I felt so violated and grieved, like I'd just made a big mistake and there was no way to fix it, not even with God, not even in death. The person who invited me there didn't understand why I felt so grieved and was like, hey, this is a good thing! You were baptized correctly this time! Rejoice!
How do I rejoice when I feel like I've just done a horrible, horrible thing? Whereas other people were getting baptized and screaming "hallelujah" and whatnot, I raced to get to my car and I couldn't stop shaking or crying. It took calling my mother for me to calm down enough to make the long drive back home. I was going into a full-blown panic attack and asking God repeatedly to please forgive me, I am so sorry.
When I got home, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I still can't. I couldn't look at any online posts about the bible or God or anything because I felt so guilty. I felt utterly violated inside and all I kept thinking was, "this is my own fault, I shouldn't have jumped the gun, I should've given it more thought before deciding to do this, I was already baptized, God must hate me now for what I've just done." I felt like no matter how hard I scrubbed myself in the shower, I was filthy. And... I don't know why. I really don't. The first time I got baptized, I was excited and my family was with me, but this time around, it was the complete opposite.
I felt like, prior to this service, I was OK with God; I study my bible each morning, I talk to Him throughout the day, I try to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him. Yet after last night, I feel sick. I feel like I've done something so horrible and unforgiveable that I'm disgusting in God's eyes. Baptism is not a light choice, it's supposed to be this beautiful thing, an outward expression to the world of an inward faith, but I feel like my soul was violated. I feel like my heart wasn't in the right place and I did this holy thing, and by not doing it with my heart in the right place, I feel like I just majorly disgusted God. I don't think my heart was in the right place, and when you get baptized, you're supposed to have the right mindset and heart to do it. I think I screwed up majorly. I've asked God to forgive me, but I wonder if maybe I crossed a line where God is like nope, I'm done with you. Depart from Me.
I don't really know what advice I'm looking for, I just feel so grieved inside, and I've asked God to forgive me, but I feel like I really messed up this time... I just wanted to have a relationship with Jesus, and now I feel like now I've gone and screwed it all up because fellow human beings are like "nope you have to do it THIS way."
I don't know who to talk to and I don't know where to turn...
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2023.06.04 14:03 UnDead_Ted Morning and Evening Sunday, June 4th 2023

Morning and Evening Sunday, June 4th 2023



But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appears. — Titus 3:4
How sweet it is to behold the Savior communing with His own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer’s love and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design—the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus.
When we meditate upon this amazing love, and behold the all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all His ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he who can endure such a weight of love? That partial sense of it which the Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford, is more than the soul can contain; how transporting must be a complete view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern all the Savior’s gifts, wisdom with which to estimate them, and time in which to meditate upon them—such as the world to come will afford us—we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer manner than at present. But who can imagine the sweetness of such fellowship? It must be one of the things which have not entered into the heart of man but which God has prepared for those who love Him. Oh, to burst open the door of our Joseph’s granaries, and see the plenty which He has stored up for us! This will overwhelm us with love.
By faith we see, as in a glass darkly, the reflected image of His unbounded treasures but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes—how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe itself! Until then our loudest sonnets shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.



Was taken up in glory. —1 Tim 3:16
We have seen our well-beloved Lord in the days of His flesh, humiliated and sore vexed; for He was “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He whose brightness is as the morning, wore the sackcloth of sorrow as His daily dress—shame was His mantle, and reproach was His vesture. Yet now, inasmuch as He has triumphed over all the powers of darkness upon the bloody tree, our faith beholds our King returning with dyed garments from Edom, robed in the splendor of victory. How glorious must He have been in the eyes of seraphs, when a cloud received Him out of mortal sight, and He ascended up to heaven!
Now He wears the glory which He had with God before the earth was, and yet another glory above all—that which He has well earned in the fight against sin, death, and hell. As victor He wears the illustrious crown. Hark how the song swells high! It is a new and sweeter song, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, for He has redeemed us unto God by His blood!” He wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart’s allegiance of every subject. Jesus wears all the glory which the pomp of heaven can bestow upon Him, which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to Him.
You cannot with your utmost stretch of imagination, conceive His exceeding greatness; yet there will be a further revelation of it when He shall descend from heaven in great power, with all the holy angels, “Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Oh, the splendor of that glory! It will ravish His people’s hearts. Nor is this the end, for eternity shall sound His praise, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever!” Reader, if you would rejoice in Christ’s glory hereafter, He must be glorious in your sight now. Is He so?
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2023.06.04 13:52 MortDeChai Critique of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations’ Definition of Messianic Judaism

The statement is contained, in its entirety, in the indented quotations. Some paragraphs were broken up so that individual points could be addressed as they came up.
UMJC Theology Committee; affirmed by delegate vote, July 20, 2005.
Basic Statement
The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) envisions Messianic Judaism as a movement of Jewish congregations and groups committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, and renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant.
There are quite a few conceptual problems already. Commitment to Jesus Christ immediately removes the congregations from Judaism and violates the “covenantal responsibility” of Judaism. Worshiping a man, i.e. Jesus, or identifying that man as God is worshiping a false god and directly violating the clear dictates of the Torah. Worshiping Jesus is also not an identity “rooted in Torah” or in Jewish tradition, which is why the last clause is there. The phrase “in the context of the new covenant” is the affirmation of Christianity over Judaism. In others words, this is their way of saying they are Christians who want to look like Jews by cherry picking Jewish tradition.
Messianic Jewish groups may also include those from non-Jewish backgrounds who have a confirmed call to participate fully in the life and destiny of the Jewish people.
Because otherwise, they wouldn’t have any members. Gentiles convert to Judaism all the time, and this is a wonderful thing. But a Christian gentile who joins a Messianic congregation is not converting to Judaism or making any kind of significant change to their religious beliefs or practices. They are merely moving from one Christian denomination to another. It’s no different from a Baptist becoming a Catholic, or a Lutheran becoming a Quaker.
We are committed to embodying this definition in our constituent congregations and in our shared institutions.
Expanded Statement
Jewish life is life in a concrete, historical community. Thus, Messianic Jewish groups must be fully part of the Jewish people, sharing its history and its covenantal responsibility as a people chosen by God.
Worshiping a false god, i.e. Jesus/the Trinity, removes them from the Jewish community. The Jewish community has been very explicit on this point across all denominations. The Messianic sect is not practicing Judaism, and their Jewish members are apostates. It is not possible for Messianics to be part of a group that has consistently and loudly denounced and rejected them. The only reason they wish to be part of the Jewish community is for the sake of proselytizing, which we will see below.
At the same time, faith in Yeshua also has a crucial communal dimension. This faith unites the Messianic Jewish community and the Christian Church, which is the assembly of the faithful from the nations who are joined to Israel through the Messiah. Together the Messianic Jewish community and the Christian Church constitute the ekklesia, the one Body of Messiah, a community of Jews and Gentiles who in their ongoing distinction and mutual blessing anticipate the shalom of the world to come.
The word “ekklesia” is nothing more than the Greek word for “church” used in the new testament. The phrase “body of Christ” (changed here to body of Messiah) also comes straight from the new testament to refer to the church. So this statement says nothing more than that Messianics are part of the Christian church. Messianics like to hide behind Greek and Hebrew terminology to hide their Christianity for some reason, but it doesn’t fool anyone.
The idea that the Christian church has been “joined to Israel through the Messiah” is nothing more than supersessionism. The Christian scriptures claim that God created a new covenant through Jesus, and that gentile believers are “grafted onto” Israel and made part of the covenant through Jesus. But this doesn’t leave the Jews alone to practice the “old covenant” because by rejecting the “new covenant” they are rejecting God, and thus Christians are the new, true Israel. In other words, God has replaced the old covenant (i.e. Judaism) with the new covenant (i.e. Christianity), and the Jews have been rejected by God unless they become Christian. Messianics claim that they are not supersessionist, but that theological position is unavoidable because of the Christian scriptures.
So far, this statement has claimed that Messianics are members of two mutually exclusive communities. The Jewish community has made it clear that Messianics are not part of the Jewish community because Messianics are in fact Christians, and Messianics themselves acknowledge that they are Christians. But while Messianics are fully accepted as part of the Christian community, they try to obfuscate their connections to Christians with Greek and Hebrew terminology in order to appear Jewish and convert other Jews to Christianity.
For a Messianic Jewish group 1) to fulfill the covenantal responsibility incumbent upon all Jews, 2) to bear witness to Yeshua within the people of Israel, and 3) to serve as an authentic and effective representative of the Jewish people within the body of Messiah, it must place a priority on integration with the wider Jewish world, while sustaining a vital corporate relationship with the Christian Church.
This paragraph gives away the game. The purpose of Messianic churches is to convert Jews to Christianity, i.e. “bear witness to [Jesus].” This is why they place a priority on trying to integrate into the Jewish world. It is not because they want to continue the traditions and teachings of Judaism, which they have rejected for Christianity. It is for the sake of proselytizing.
In the Messianic Jewish way of life, we seek to fulfill Israel’s covenantal responsibility embodied in the Torah within a New Covenant context. Messianic Jewish halakhah is rooted in Scripture (Tanakh and the New Covenant writings), which is of unique sanctity and authority.
This is nothing more than standard supersessionism. For Messianics the new testament supersedes the Torah, which is why they “follow Torah” only insofar as they interpret it through the new testament (“within a new covenant context”).
It is also their statement of support for the Protestant principle of sola scriptura, the idea that the Protestant Bible (the Old and New Testament) is the sole and ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice. In other words, they are rejecting the authority of Jewish tradition, halakha, and the Talmud and declaring themselves “Bible believing Christians” without using that phrase. This is more obfuscation on their part.
According to their statement of faith, the Jewish tradition does nothing more than provide “ resources needed to develop a Messianic Jewish way of life and thought.” Meaning they use Jewish tradition as nothing more than a way to appear Jewish for the sake of proselytizing Jews. It does not have any actual authority or meaning for them beyond that. All authority comes from the evangelical interpretation of the Protestant Bible.
It also draws upon Jewish tradition, especially those practices and concepts that have won near-universal acceptance by devout Jews through the centuries.
As already stated, this means they use Jewish tradition just to look Jewish to lure in unsuspecting Jews. They don’t adopt universally accepted Jewish concepts, such as the concept that Jesus is a false god and worshiping him is idolatry. They merely mean that they like to put on a tallit for their church service and have Passover seders that they butcher into being about Jesus. Once again the supersessionism is clear, Christian doctrines supersede Jewish teachings.
Furthermore, as is common within Judaism, Messianic Judaism recognizes that halakhah is and must be dynamic, involving the application of the Torah to a wide variety of changing situations and circumstances.
Meaning they will accept, reject, and change Jewish practices to achieve their proselytizing goals because they don’t actually care about Jewish tradition unless it furthers their aims of converting Jews to Christianity. They have already rejected the idea of halakha as it is understood in Judaism, replacing it with the Protestant principle of sola scriptura. The “halakha” they are invoking here is nothing more than an idiosyncratic, evangelical interpretation of the Protestant Bible. They cannot appeal to halakha because halakha expressly forbids their entire sect as an exercise in avodah zarah (idolatry/worship of false gods). If they were at all serious about halakha they would cease to be Christians.
Messianic Judaism embraces the fullness of New Covenant realities available through Yeshua, and seeks to express them in forms drawn from Jewish experience and accessible to Jewish people.
They are trying, in part, to be an ethnic church that allows Jews to feel comfortable converting to a religion that has oppressed, persecuted, and murdered them for 2,000 years. Are you convinced?
It is clear from this statement that "Messianic Judaism" is not Judaism at all. Their statement of faith further confirms that. There is nothing remotely Jewish about their Christian sect beyond the attempt by them to appear outwardly Jewish in their religious practice, which is insulting in its superficiality. Judaism cannot be reduced to an aesthetic, which is all these Christians can manage because Judaism is not compatible with Christianity in any way.
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2023.06.04 11:24 Elenjays It is *literally heresy* to say you can only call God “he/him”.

Genesis 1:27 tells us that both male and female are created in the Image of God.
That fact, alone, tells us, logically and beyond dispute, that God is canonically pangender; male and female are only distillations of two complementary aspects of the Divine nature. It would already be heresy, with just this verse, to say that you could only call God “he/him”, and not “she/her” or any other-gendered pronoun. Not one jot of further Scriptural support is necessary.
And yet, there is other Scriptural support:
Two out of the three persons of the Trinity – the Word (ha-Davar) / the Light (ha-’Ōr), as well as the Spirit (ha-Ruah) – are both expressly feminine in the Hebrew Bible, and are plainly and openly called “she/her”, throughout. Divine Wisdom – expressly identified, both in the Hebrew Bible with God as a whole, and in the New Testament with both the Holy Spirit (by Jesus) and with Jesus (by Paul) – is, too, uniformly called “she/her” in both the Hebrew (ha-Hākh·māh) and the Greek (hē Sophia). In the Gospel and catholic epistle of John, almost every single epithet used for Jesus is feminine – the Source (hē Pēgē), the Door (hē Thura), the Vine (hē Ampelos), the Way (hē Hodos), the Truth (hē Alētheia), the Life (hē Dsōē), the Resurrection (hē Anastasis), and Divine Love (hē Agapē).
Jesus even calls us to “become” agender or pangender, like he is – at least in perspective – when he describes those “found worthy to attain that Age and the Resurrection that is out of the dead” (Luke 20:35–36); and says, “Unless you turn and become like little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of the Heavens!” (Matthew 18:3)— small children were thought of as metaphorically genderless in ancient society, as evidenced by the plethora of neuter words used to refer to them – teknon, paidion, brephos, gegonen, etc. Paul, moreover, confirms Jesus’ words: “There is neither Jew nor Greek; neither slave nor freeperson; neither male and female: for you all are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28.)
God – yes, even God the Son, whose physical body was (apparently) outwardly male (yet also the genetic clone of a female, and therefore necessarily intersex); but whose mystical body is called “the Bride” – is pangender. Both male and female nature were borne up and crucified on the cross together with him – just as were both human and Godly nature; and both male and female nature were, likewise, redeemed through the cross as well, restored to their Godly beginning in Adam and Eve (the latter of these also being necessarily intersex, being a genetic clone of Adam, the exact same way Jesus is of Mary and in explicit textual parallel; and possibly even the former, Adam, as well, according to the Rabbinic Jewish interpretation)— of the two of whom it says, “And the two shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) – literally on the Last Day, according to Paul (“This is a great mystery; but I speak of Christ and his church…,” Ephesians 5:32), and by John as well, when we become like him— for we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2.)
If you say it is wrong to call God she/her, or anything other than he/him, you are flat-out saying the Scripture is wrong. There can be no reasonably arguing this point— only pure, ideologically driven, male chauvinist contrarianism – in my opinion.
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2023.06.04 11:20 TNCNow Sunday Reflections 4 June 2023

Sunday Reflections 4 June 2023
Sunday Reflections 4 June 2023
By: Fr. Ricky Cañet Montañez, AA

HOMILY: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Basic Ecclesial Community BEC Sunday)
John 3:16-18

LOVE: Essence of the Trinitarian Life

Today is the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. We give special honour to the Trinitarian God we name in the sign of the cross. We believe there are Three Divine Persons in One God, but it is not something we can really explain, can we? The dogma of the Trinity is difficult God-talk and it is not easy to understand. I remember some of us praying before our comprehensive exam in Theology not to be asked a lot about the Trinity. Although we want to avoid talking about it, we cannot ignore it for it is the central mystery of our faith and the source of our own life and holiness as Christians.

I am most certain that despite my attempt to help make sense of this Dogma, it still leaves many questions unanswered and it perhaps creates even more questions. This is however the reality of a Divine Mystery. We allow God to reveal Himself to us in moments of our life — not necessarily the defining moments, but even in the quiet seemingly insignificant moments — such as when we quietly cross ourselves when passing a church or before we go to sleep at night. Today we pray that God will increase our faith and keep us attuned to His gentle proddings to encounter Him as Father or Son or Holy Spirit.

For the full text of the homily, please click or tap on the link below:

Art Work by Kateryna Shadrin

#TNCNow #SundayGospelReflections #LOVEEssenceOfTheTrinitarianLife #SolemnityOfTheMostHolyTrinity #FrRickyCañetMontañez #FYP #ForYouPage #WatchTNCNow #AllThingsNew
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2023.06.04 10:39 IrinaSophia Sunday of Holy Pentecost

The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday.
The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands who on that day believed in the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.
The story of Pentecost is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter two we are told that the Apostles of our Lord were gathered together in one place. Suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting. Then, tongues of fire appeared, and one sat upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).
This miraculous event occurred on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, celebrated by the Jews on the fiftieth day after the Passover as the culmination of the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). The Feast of Weeks began on the third day after the Passover with the presentation of the first harvest sheaves to God, and it concluded on Pentecost with the offering of two loaves of unleavened bread, representing the first products of the harvest (Leviticus 23:17-20; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).
Since the Jewish Feast of Pentecost was a great pilgrimage feast, many people from throughout the Roman Empire were gathered in Jerusalem on this day. When the people in Jerusalem heard the sound, they came together and heard their own languages being spoken by the Apostles (Acts 2:5-6). The people were amazed, knowing that some of those speaking were Galileans, and not men who would normally speak many different languages. They wondered what this meant, and some even thought the Apostles were drunk (Acts 2:7-13).
Peter, hearing these remarks, stood up and addressed the crowd. He preached to the people regarding the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He spoke about Jesus Christ and His death and glorious Resurrection. Great conviction fell upon the people, and they asked the Apostles, "What shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38-39).
The Bible records that on that day about three thousand were baptized. Following, the book of Acts states that the newly baptized continued daily to hear the teaching of the Apostles, as the early Christians met together for fellowship, the breaking of bread, and for prayer. Many wonderful signs and miracles were done through the Apostles, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).
(from goarch.org)
submitted by IrinaSophia to OrthodoxGreece [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 10:37 IrinaSophia Sunday of Holy Pentecost

The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday.
The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands who on that day believed in the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.
The story of Pentecost is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter two we are told that the Apostles of our Lord were gathered together in one place. Suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting. Then, tongues of fire appeared, and one sat upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).
This miraculous event occurred on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, celebrated by the Jews on the fiftieth day after the Passover as the culmination of the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). The Feast of Weeks began on the third day after the Passover with the presentation of the first harvest sheaves to God, and it concluded on Pentecost with the offering of two loaves of unleavened bread, representing the first products of the harvest (Leviticus 23:17-20; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).
Since the Jewish Feast of Pentecost was a great pilgrimage feast, many people from throughout the Roman Empire were gathered in Jerusalem on this day. When the people in Jerusalem heard the sound, they came together and heard their own languages being spoken by the Apostles (Acts 2:5-6). The people were amazed, knowing that some of those speaking were Galileans, and not men who would normally speak many different languages. They wondered what this meant, and some even thought the Apostles were drunk (Acts 2:7-13).
Peter, hearing these remarks, stood up and addressed the crowd. He preached to the people regarding the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He spoke about Jesus Christ and His death and glorious Resurrection. Great conviction fell upon the people, and they asked the Apostles, "What shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38-39).
The Bible records that on that day about three thousand were baptized. Following, the book of Acts states that the newly baptized continued daily to hear the teaching of the Apostles, as the early Christians met together for fellowship, the breaking of bread, and for prayer. Many wonderful signs and miracles were done through the Apostles, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).
(from goarch.org)
submitted by IrinaSophia to OrthodoxChristianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 01:18 StrangeAccounts My final exorcism has left me broken.

Dear Lord, I confess my sins to both the world and unto you.
I’m sorry for not accepting the forgiveness that you offer. I don’t have it within me to forgive myself and by the nonacceptance of your gift of salvation, I have willingly turned myself away from you.
I accept the punishment that only you can so perfectly deliver and I pray that I find solace in that most blessed moment of judgment.
Thank you Lord for all that you have given us and all that we have received.
Dear Listener,
I also must extend my apologies onto you. Whether or not you chose to continue reading this does not alter what is to come. I have made a choice that I will be judged for. In turn I pray for not my salvation, but yours.
My name is Father Michael Roberts of the Diocese of Richford. I was ordained a Catholic Priest in 2005. In 2016 I was chosen by Bishop Stanley Niles to receive the duty of becoming a full time exorcist.
Bishop Niles made it clear that he did not believe in the necessity of exorcists and provided me with the title as a mere obligation to fulfill his duty as a Bishop.
Despite knowing that I had always performed my duties to the best of my ability. I knew that I was chosen due to my belief in the physical, mental and spiritual reality of demonic involvement within our world.
Contrary to popular belief, not every Priest believes in the physical reality of the demonic. In fact, less and less of those ordained by the Church are finding the literary truth that resides within the Bible.
This has led to a weakening of the Church.
During an exorcism, an exorcist utilizes not just the faith of those immediately involved, but he also uses the faith of the Church in its entirety.
My mentor, Father Cecil Rollo, told me once that exorcisms used to only take one or two sessions before the demon would be cast out. Now it’s not uncommon for a possession to take months to overcome.
That leads me into sharing the experience that made me write this.
My final exorcism.
On May 3rd I was contacted by the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd. Specifically by their secretary, Laura Summers. Initially, I thought this was a little abnormal. Usually I would be contacted by either the presiding Priest of the parish or have a direct notice from Bishop Niles himself.
But when I read Laura’s email I understood why she was the one initiating the contact.
‘Father Roberts, my name is Laura Summers and I’m attempting to contact you in regards to our own Father, Matthew Amora.
Please take this request as a personal favor. We don’t want to bring this matter to the attention of the Diocese just yet. Not until we’re certain that something otherworldly is occurring.
Could you take some time to visit our Church and meet with me?
With regards, Laura.’
I vaguely knew of Father Amora. He had a small parish in the countryside of Beverly and frequented Catholic retreats with his flock. All I knew about him was that he was a very studious servant of the Lord and lived a quiet, uneventful life.
I told Laura I would make the trip out to Good Shepherd and speak with her.
It took a few days before I had the time in my schedule to make the trip. I kept up with Laura daily just to make sure Father Amora’s condition hadn’t gotten any worse.
On May 10th I arrived outside of the venerable Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd.
The skies overhead had grown gray and heavy, the rolling winds overhead shifted the darkened shapes of the rain clouds into upheaval. I knew a downpour would have come at any moment.
I reached into the back seat of my beaten down sedan to look for my umbrella. My fingers clasped onto the thin metal rod of its handle and I took it with me. I stepped out of my car and unfurled my canopy just in time.
The rain erupted from the heavens overhead and filled the entire courtyard in heavy drops. The endless thudding of innumerable raindrops cascaded their way into my eardrums from every direction.
I double checked myself to make sure I had my rosary with me. It was the greatest spiritual weapon I had in my arsenal and I always carried it with me during my duties. Anything to make the demonic uncomfortable.
I squinted my eyes through the heavy rain and made my journey down the cobblestone walkway that led up to the aged Romanesque stone church.
Through the never ending hiss of the rain, I could scarcely make out the gentle, frail voice of a young woman.
“Father Roberts?” She called out. Her voice was strained. I could tell that she was unaccustomed to loud verbal interactions.
“That would be me. I’ll assume you’re Laura?” I yelled back out to her. The water of the rain funneled off the hood of my umbrella in thick streams.
The woman nodded and waved her hands for me to approach. Behind her lay a large, oaken door that led into the Church. With an unusual amount of effort, the woman propped open the door for me.
“Please step inside Father. We’ll get you dried off.” I gave a thin lipped smile towards the woman before stepping inside the belly of the building.
It would be my first time seeing the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly. It was beautiful. Old, but beautiful.
Massive stone architectural works towered over us with large rounded arches. Tremendous pillars of brickwork stood lining the interior of the foyer while small stained glass windows reflected multicolored light down its empty halls.
Even the noise of the rain had silenced itself in this house of the Lord. The vibrations of thunder had been the only remnants from the storm outside. And once the heavy wooden door was closed behind me, the only noise that remained was the labored sounds of Laura’s breath.
“I’m sorry for calling you here Father. I really wish I didn’t have too. But we’ve just been noticing a change in Father Amora and we’ve been worried about him.” Laura avoided meeting her eyes with mine.
I took a mental note of that. A clerical secretary scared of a Priest is an oddity. I had an inkling that something more was happening.
“Please, don’t apologize. I’m here on my own time, just like you asked.”
Laura quickly chimed in, “Did you tell anyone you were here?”
“No. Not even Bishop Niles. However, if I come to the determination that a demonic entity is possessing or oppressing anyone in here, I will have to inform him.”
Laura stood still. Her eyes examined the well worn stone flooring of the church.
“I see. I pray it doesn’t have to come to that. Father Amora is a good man. I don’t want him being transferred over to another parish.”
“Let’s not worry about that right now. Tell me, what have you been experiencing here?”
Laura let out a long heavy sigh.“It started with small things. Father Amora would keep complaining that he was always tired and when we brought him food he just couldn't keep it down. We were worried he was getting sick. But then he began to… get vindictive.”
“How so?” I asked, wiping off some of the rain from my suit.
“It started with having a short temper during mass. He would give out the Eucharist with no sense of veneration. A few times he even allowed the Eucharist to be dropped on the floor.” She paused in silent thought before she continued, “You know, that was one of the last times I saw him smile.”
“I see.” A desecration to the sacraments once more was a good sign of a demonic presence within the area. “Was there anything else?”
“Yes, and I know this is going to sound strange, but while talking with him, it’s like his facial structure changes. Sometimes it feels like I’m looking at a completely different person.”
I took a mental note of what Laura had told me. If what she was saying was true, Father Amora could very well be displaying physical signs of possession.
“Laura, where is Father Amora?” She paused for a moment before extending one of her fingers down a long arched hallway.
“He’s in his chambers right now. I didn’t tell him you were coming. I was scared he might’ve protested against it.”
I nodded towards her while keeping my eyes down that lonely stone pathway. I felt a cold wisp of wind billowing out of its deeper halls. It felt like the air carried with it the energy from the storm outside. The hair on my body couldn’t help but to stand up in reaction to it.
“Please take me to him, Laura.” I stated as calmly as I could.
Without another word the small woman turned from me and guided me down that formerly sanctified hallway. The Devil shouldn’t have a foothold in a Church, especially with a Church that was running congruent with the Bride of Christ.
Each step we made down that hall led my mind to wander. What could Father Amora possibly have done that would have allowed the sanctity of the Church to have been taken from God’s holy ground? I knew that it wouldn’t have been the first time a Priest had fallen for the trickery of the black mass. But every Priest falls differently.
“He’s just inside here.” Laura mumbled towards my direction. “He doesn’t leave his room anymore. I can’t tell you the last time he’s performed a baptism or confession. He barely continues with confirmations.”
“Well, that’s honestly a blessing. Let’s thank our Lord that he has enough strength within him to halt his practices while dealing with this burden.” I took in a deep breath before turning my eyes from the wooden doorway to Laura’s face. “Let me be with him for a moment.”
Laura met my gaze for the first time that night. Her eyes were pained and scared. She gave me a single nod before she turned away from me. Her small frame disappeared back down that endless hallway.
I turned back towards the Priests chambers.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” I felt each tap of my fingertips land against my forehead, stomach and shoulders. At this point the sign of the cross was just a routine performance for me. Just a task to be checked off.
Remember this Listener, repetition without belief creates spiritual weakness. You must believe.
I bit the inside of my cheek out of nervous habit and opened up the door to Father Amora’s bedchambers.
The smell of stale grains hit me immediately. The room itself was cloaked in a deep darkness of dense shadows. There were candles that had been lit and were sparsely scattered across the room. Their warm glow cast about dancing shadows that had been created by their flickering lights.
“Father Roberts, welcome.” A croaking voice full of sorrow had filtered out from the depths of the room's darkened abyss. My eyes had made their way over to the sounds of creaking floorboards that had made their appearance near the far corner of the room.
Stepping into the candlelight was Father Amora. Or rather a remnant of the man that I had remembered.
His skin was pale and sickly with the texture of wet paper. Around his neck lay a dark mark. It appeared to be rope burn from quite a serious injury. Father Amora’s eyes shined ethereally towards me through the glossy reflection of tears.
I stepped further inside the Priest's chambers and closed the large door behind me. It clasped shut with an echo that filled the otherwise silent room.
“Father Amora. I have come to speak with you. Your congression is worried about you.” I attempted to fill myself with the Lord’s Holy Spirit but nothing shined through but my own doubt and worry.
The thing that had cloaked itself with the skin of man had reached up its gangly hand and placed it against its neck. It stroked the awful burn on its throat as it watched me.
The sounds of the jingling of coins could be heard with every slow movement of his twisted hand.
After just a moment our eyes had met and he began to speak to me once again. His voice had the consistency of dust and gravel and had poured out of his mouth like bags of rocks.
“Matthew can’t speak with you right now Father. But please, take a seat and speak with me.” The man pointed his unused hand towards my side.
I followed his finger and saw a chair waiting for me. I could only ask myself one question at that moment, had it been there when I had first walked in?
I shook myself into confidence. I was sure of it at this point. I wasn’t speaking to someone suffering from an onset of mental illness. I was speaking with something otherworldly.
“I’ll take no offer nor gift from a demon. I will stand.”
The thing that was cloaked in the dark attire of the Church grew silent. His hands were still grinding along his neck.
“I am no demon.” The man finally muttered. His words came out broken by the deepest depths of unimaginable sorrow.
“Then in Jesus’s name I command you, who are you?” I took a step closer to the creature that was made man. And that creature merely watched with profound grief.
“I am no demon and I need no commands. I was a follower of Christ. I am the man whose existence would have been better to have never been born. I am the knower and the kisser of Jesus. Know me Priest, for I am the only one you will meet tonight who accepts his judgment.”
I found myself once again enveloped by the inescapable silence of the room. The flames of the candles wafted softly with the slow current of the air. The wind brought with it the subtle smell of decay and death.
“Through Jesus Christ I demand you to tell me why you’re here.”
The mark on the man's neck began to seep blood through his skin. It poured out of his flesh like sweat and ran down his hand with every twist.
With a pained movement the man fell to his knees. The sounds of thick woolen fabric and the clapping of metals hit the hardwood floor with such intensity that I had never witnessed in anything before.
“I speak to you now Priest, here me. I am a man who had never asked for forgiveness, though forgiveness was mine to take. I could not forgive myself for my own actions. And through Christ I am here with you now, warning you of the same. For by the end of the night, you will be with me in my judgment.”
I swallowed hard.
I knew at that moment that I should’ve turned around and fled. I knew that I should've contacted Bishop Niles for assistance. I knew the Diocese would need to hear about this. Yet I stayed there, with this man of infinite sorrows.
He continued, “I am fearful of God, Priest. Are you?”
“Of course I am fearful of God.” I replied. My voice was nearly silent under my breath.
“His love is so great and we are undeserving of it. I can only pray that His gaze avoids my existence. For if He saw me as I am, I would turn away from Him in shame.” His voice grew cold and distant. “But be warned, the others who are with us would stare back at the Lord with pride and envy.”
“Who is with us?” I asked the kneeling man with shaken conviction. He responded by turning his gaze back towards me. His eyes melted away into streams of tears and blood.
“The likeness of God was given upon the Devil. The three beings whose very existence was made to mock the Trinity.”
“What are their names, Spirit?” The man stared deeply at me with his agonized face. His vocal cords ripped with strain from every word.
“You will meet them soon. Each has a secret to tell you. For like Job, God has given you to the Devil. If only for a night.”
With that the man crumpled over. His body had slid down past his knees and slammed against the cold wooden floor. I rushed over to him and grabbed the Father by his shirt, flipping his body upright. The mark on his neck was gone. Only the remnants of dried blood remained.
“Father Amora, open your eyes.” I gently tapped my palm against the Priest’s face. He slowly began to stir back to life. His eyes twitched within his skull before he let them rest on me. Vague recognition had swept across his face.
“Father Roberts? What’s happening?” He brought up his hand and grabbed onto my sleeve.
“Matthew, what have you done?” I whispered while grabbing onto the shoulder and arm of the beaten down Priest. With a quick lurch I drug the man back up to his feet. “Let’s lay you in bed. We need to get you some help.”
With every ounce of my strength I staggered forward with Matthew in my arms. We arrived at his barren mattress and I placed his body down upon it. With careful movements he had swung his feet over the edge and laid down upon his pillows.
I walked back over to the chair that had awaited me at the entrance. I pulled the wooden seat across the hard floor. Its weight had felt immense at that moment. It squealed underneath my grip.
I positioned it right next to Father Amora’s resting place and took a seat. I did my best to catch my breath.
I took this time to examine Matthew’s body over with my own eyes. He appeared to me as being disheveled, gaunt and disordered. I shook my head with the pains of heartbreak as I realized another Priest had fallen.
Once more I asked, “What have you done?”
Amora lay sickly on his mattress for a moment. His pale skin glistened with sweat and fever.
He opened his mouth to speak and said only one sentence before losing himself to oblivion.
“Father Roberts, I know the third secret of Fatima.”
I stared down at the destitute body before me. The body of a man who had just claimed to have known the one secret that the Vatican had kept hidden from us.
“Do you want to know it, Michael?” a voice called out from the unconscious man before me. The voice sounded soothing, if not comforting.
Matthew’s head twisted itself to face my direction. The light of the candles around the room began glowing with near divine radiance.
The man's eyes opened exposing bright blue irises gazing back at me.
For just a moment I got lost in their penetrating sense of beauty. My very own words would not come out of my mouth and were lost to me.
“God has given you to us, Michael. We can tell you any secret you would like. God will not interfere.” The heavenly man sat up in his bed and gently folded his hands together on his lap. The light of the flames danced beautifully around his face and cast gorgeous flickering shade along his features.
I spoke my prayers beside the man's bedside yet received no indication that this being was uncomfortable around them. He merely smiled at me with his idyllic white teeth.
“Your prayers will not work here, not tonight. We have control. Through God we can do whatever we would like to you. He believes in you Michael. Truly he does. And I believe you know that he shouldn’t have faith in you.” The man nodded towards the bedside table where a bottle of wine awaited.
“Please, indulge yourself. Just like any other night. Drink and make merry little Priest. Just like God, we see what you do when no one else is watching.” His eyes pierced through me. “But we don’t judge.”
I felt my heart lunge. Had I not asked for forgiveness prior to coming? Had I somehow fallen out of God’s grace? Why were my prayers falling on deaf ears?
I bit my cheek again. I tasted blood. But the pain brought with it strength.
“I have no desire to drink with you, demon.” Once more I made my prayers known to the Holy Spirit. I begged him for the words needed to overcome this unholy stranger.
“O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, Did instruct the hearts of the faithful, Grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
The man laughed. The calmness of his voice sent a shiver down my spine.
“Isn’t it amazing that the Holy Spirit appears as tongues of fire. Yet when people see flames they immediately associate it with Hell.” His eyes traveled over to a nearby candle. His intense focus seemingly spread the light’s vivid brightness. “I am the Light-Bringer and the Holy Spirit is the Light. So why is it that I am punished for spreading the flames that God has given me? In fact you call me the Lord of the Darkness despite my fire.”
I reached out for the old wooden rosary that I had always kept upon my waistband.
‘Mother Mary, protect me through Christ, your Son, in this my time of need.’
Why did I feel nothing with my prayers? Why was this demon allowed to speak of the Holy Spirit and of Christ? His very name should be enough to cast the demon out of the body of the possessed.
“Speak to me, Michael. Your prayers to God are heard yet remain unanswered. You have been willingly separated from God for tonight. Embrace it. You’ll never have an opportunity like this again.”
I bit my tongue. ‘Silence is a virtue, don’t speak to it. Don’t let it deceive you.’
The angelic face of the man shifted slightly. His smile began to fade away and was replaced by a snarl. “Do not ignore me. Feel the flames of true passion. The very same flames that lack in your eyes through every prayer you make. You are nothing.”
The lights of the candles in the room ignited in a grandiose display of intensity. The hot flicker of heat lapped its way across my skin as I felt myself begin to sweat.
“Look upon me, you most worthless of creations. Gaze upon the one you proudly think yourself better than. I ask you, who are you to gaze upon Angels and think ‘I am more than them.’ Who are you, that we divine beings must bend our knees to?”
I wiped the sweat from my eyes, my vision growing blurry from the heat.
Through the unfocused haze of my vision I saw the face of an aberrant man looking back at me. His jaw was clenched tight and his teeth were fully exposed. Anger and fury poured out of every inch of his person.
“Here me you banished child of Eve, destroyer of perfection, your Church will fall. The Great Apostasy is here. I exist within every new doctrine of God’s beloved Bride. And I will ravage every last one of you. I will show God how unworthy all of you were to receive his love.” The beast spit at me.
I felt the anger rising from within my soul. I could no longer keep silent.
“By Jesus Christ I command you to tell me, does Satan love you?”
The beast sitting inches away from me screamed out in hysterical fury.
“Yes, for I am he and he is me. Your God broke me into three for wanting to be like him. I suffer as Christ did for every good deed you allow God to flow through you. I suffer in pain because of you. Christ may be Lord of Man, but I shall be the Lord of Flies.”
With that a terrible wind blew through the bedchambers. The candlelight extinguished itself under the vigorous rush of air. The heat in the room was quickly replaced by a deathly chill. The last ember of the of fire faded into ash as the darkness fully enveloped me.
“Where are you?” I commanded as I sat up from my chair. The blackness of the abyss surrounded me. Only the sparse sounds of scattering feet filled the emptiness of the chamber. Eventually a sound emerged from the darkness.
A slithering, echoed voice of something truly beyond the world of men appeared behind me. It whispered to me behind my back. I could feel its breath like ice wrap around my neck.
“To gaze upon the face of God would kill a man outright. Imagine what would happen if you gazed upon the Devil. Consider the death of light to be your only blessing tonight. Now, reach out before you and touch the bed.”
I felt my arm twitch as my hand seemingly moved on its own accord. Was I being commanded? Or was I willing to do whatever this thing asked of me?
I had placed my hand upon the bed and was met by the outline of the unconscious body of Father Amora. Yet the voice continued to speak with me from right behind my ear.
“The Great Apostasy is here. The Church is falling. As are all Churches. The Bride of Christ will be mine. At the end times and I shall violate her in front of the Lord. As I would violate you right here and now had God not prevented me from doing so.”
“What are you saying?” I asked the visage in the darkness. My voice nearly failed me.
“The third secret of Fatima. The violation of the Church. The good men will stop speaking up for the sanctity of tradition and I will replace their tradition with my own creation. All those within the Church will descend with me. They will do so willingly as they gladly choose my morality over His virtues. God will offer them salvation and they will tell him ‘no’.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“God extends a choice for you Priest. You can keep the secret of Fatima to yourself and allow your people to be saved for the mere moment and damn the masses in the future. Or expose the Church, tell Man right now that the Church has fallen. You will create chaos but that chaos will allow people to be aware of the degradation of the doctrine of the Church.”
I stood there in silence, ice running through my veins.
“The end times are here, Michael. Ignore the ailments of the Church in vain hope to stall for its salvation, or force the end to occur now and allow the Church to die before its total corruption. The choice is yours.”
And with that the cold breath of utter damnation left the room. I guided my hands around in darkness until I came upon a match and a candle. I lit the wick with shaking hands. The dim glow of the candle illuminated a sleeping Priest on his bedchamber. No longer pale nor sickly.
He was exactly the man I had known from years prior.
Christ had shown me in that moment that everything I had experienced had been true. God had given me this choice. He Himself had cast out the demons of Amora. And he did so at the mere moment they stopped being useful tools for His divine plans.
That night I had left Good Shepherd with an intense anxiety and fear the likes of which I had never experienced before. I had to resign from my position at the Diocese due to my shaken faith. I can no longer pray without guilt or fear.
And it took me a while to decide what path I wanted to go down. But I came to a decision.
I decided to tell the world that corruption is happening, not just within the Catholic Church, nor just within Christian Churches. No, the Devil is leading every flock away from the truth they may have.
When Jesus returns he won't be carrying with him the open wounds of sacrificial suffering. He will be bearing with him scars for his charity of mercy has been fulfilled.
The Great Apostasy is here. The end is coming. Save what little you have.
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2023.06.04 01:02 Oradainer Celestial Empire - Chapter 1


Victor turned around for one more look at what had been his childhood home. It was a three bedroom apartment on the four hundred thirty third floor in the Manchester district of the hive city New Avalon. It did at least have one window facing the outside of the hive, which made it an instant selling point.For which he was glad, it was part of his new inheritance from his parents who had recently died in the latest rounds of terrorist bombings against Canary Corps headquarters, which they both were middle management.
His military leave was coming to an end, his amassed two week respite was only due to his twenty years of service in the imperial guard. As a Captain and veteran of the Emperors many campaigns, he could pull rank when needed.
In five short years he would be able to retire a full citizen. Something his father scoffed at, but that was nothing new, his father scoffed at anything he had ever done. His everything ached, as he turned his back on his former home and made his way towards the transmat pad. Selling the apartment and consolidating his assets weren’t the only thing he was doing on Terra.
He spent those two weeks getting augments that would have been out of reach to a lowly Captain of the Imperial guard. Gene-mods were common throughout the Empire, but there were gene-mods, and then there were gene-mods. His were now top of the line, far beyond the mil-spec given to him in officer school. That, combined with his new dimensional storage add-on allowed him to purchase and store massive amounts of goods for his upcoming retirement.
Some things you could only get on Holy Terra, a nano-forge capable of making anything you have a SBC to construct could be found on most technological worlds. A nano-foundry to make the nanites the nano-forge uses can only be purchased on select worlds of the Empire.
But SBCs can only be found on Terra, and are heavily restricted. But some connections in Imperial Guard logistics pointed him to some people who might have some SBCs that may or may not be considered illegal to own. That combined with raw materials, a habitat module, weapons, food, mining drones, security drones, and forge spiders now filled his dimensional storage.
“Next!” Shouted a bored looking transmat officer in front of Victor. To which he sighed and presented his Imperial Guard ID and his permissions to be transported to Andosious Prime. The officer looked him over in his Imperial Guard Armor, a bit battle worn, but impeccably maintained. It felt much lighter with the upgrades, which was the point. Two hundred kilos of light power armor is still heavy even with the minor gene-mods of the guard. Now he barely felt it as he stood before the officer.
“No baggage Captain Cane?” He asked looking down at this console.Victor kept his face emotionless, something driven into him by officer training. “The guard provides me with all I need officer. No baggage today.” He lied through his teeth.
The officer nodded, that was the proper response, “Thank you for your service Captain, next stop, Andosious Prime!” He said with a flourish as he pressed a button on his panel.The universe went white, time fell away, then he felt like he was falling. This wasn’t what normally happened on a transmat. Suddenly the world came back into focus, blue sky followed by a green forest followed by a brown ground coming up fast.
His mental commands screamed through the interface nodes imbedded all over his body into the scout armor. Retro-rockets fired as he made a hard landing in the clearing of a forest. Two weeks earlier something like that would have hurt bad, if not caused serious injury. Now it just added to his aches.
He looked around, his heads-up display noting the fauna, surprisingly it came back as all Terra based equivalents. Well, they would have been if most of them didn’t say EXTINCT beside their classification in red.
“Captain Cane to Guard unit 117154, please respond.” The hud responded with something he had never seen before. NO SIGNAL.
“What the hell?” He asked himself. He had never been without a signal. “Computer, run diagnostics, maybe the transmat damaged something.” He watched as the diagnostic finished running, no errors, no signal.
He looked up, the sun would be going down in a few hours, he could use the celestial navigation software in his armor to find his location anywhere in the galaxy. Emperor above, he hoped the transmat hadn’t put him on a Xeno world.
He activated his jump pack to launch himself up for a better view of the land. About a thousand meters up he saw smoke coming from a medium sized village… maybe? He could work with that, maybe he was in a non-technological world of the Empire, even those had outposts to get a signal out from.
The jump pack’s capacitors would need to recharge before he could use it again. Nothing to do but start walking towards the village. With any luck he would reach it before nightfall, from there he’d get some answers.
He did not get to the village before nightfall. The terrain made going slow, the ground was soft and muddy, the forest was densely packed with oak trees and rocks. He had to use his jump pack to clear a particularly deep gully and it was slowly recharging.
As he looked down on the village he remembered his navigation software, he looked up to the sky and let the computer gather data. Location confirmed, Holy Terra, New Avalon, District 334.He sighed and looked back down to the village, “Either my suit is borked, or I’m back in the distant past.” He muttered. His armors’ limited AI printed something new on his hud. CONSTELLATIONS OUT OF SYNC BY 4271 YEARS.
Victor froze at the revelation. All the physics classes he took in his youth stated going back in time was impossible, something about paradoxes prevented it. “Computer, do you have any information on transmat failures?” The AI showed it was indexing before coming back with an answer, LOST MATTER IN TRANSMAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN PUSHED PAST THE FINITE CURVE OF THE UNIVERSE. NO FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE.
Victor sat on a tree stump taking in the information. “Well, I’m not in the Empire anymore, even if the computer thinks I am. Nothing to do but head down to the village.” He pushed up from the stump and made his way in the dark towards the oddly ancient eastern looking village.
There was a road leading into the village, a sign stood crookedly at the crossroads, his AI translated it as Wuzhen, with other arrows pointing to Tongxian, Jiaxing, Huzhou, and Wujiang. “Computer, what language is this?” IT IS A DIALECT OF ANCIENT CHINESE, ADJUSTING GENE-MODS TO FOR TRANSLATION.
His vocal cords did that weird thing that happened whenever the AI needed to translate from Terran to another language or dialect. How the gene-mods did it was beyond his pay grade, but everyone always complimented him on his accent, so apparently the technology was sound.
He saw figures up ahead with a ox and wagon. His enhanced vision showed him about what he expected, peasants bringing their wares to town for sale. That was, until he saw the woman had goats eyes. The man had goats horns curling from his forehead but in all other aspects looked Human.
“Emperor above, what is going on?” He thought to himself as he decided he may not want to walk into town in green and black scout armor. He reached into dimensional storage and found a large trench coat that would fit over his armor. He pulled it out and put it on, then sent a mental command to retract his helmet as it whooshed back into the backpack portion of his armor.
As he walked up to the gates he was met with a solitary guard, this man had human features but a monkey’s tail. “Hurry up and get in, we’re about to close the gate house.” Victor pointed a thumb backwards, “There are two people behind me on a wagon coming.” The monkey guard yelled out as Victor stepped into the village past the walls.
“Hurry up you dumb turtles, instinctive are on the prowl and won’t think twice about making a meal of the lot of you!” The guard yelled. This seemed to put some fire under them, as they cracked their whip on the ox yelling for it to move. He sub-vocalized to his AI, “Does the term instinctual in reference to ancient china mean anything?”
The computer spoke back in his inner ear, CHINESE MYSTICISM STATES PRACTICERS OF INSTINCTIVE CULTIVATION BECAME ANIMAL LIKE AND OFTEN CANNIBALISTIC. Victor looked around at the village, seeing the sign for what must be an inn, he made his way across the street narrowly avoiding a steaming pile of horse manure.
The inn was bustling, barmaids with cats ears or pigs snouts served drinks and food to tables and people seemed to huddle close to the strange hearth like fireplace of the inn. It wasn’t like any fireplace he had ever seen. He sub-vocalized the question to his AI and it responded with the word “KANG”.
He found a chair near the front of the inn, far away from the kang and watched the locals. It appeared that coinage was copper discs. He turned his head from the inn and ducked down to bring his helmet back up, “Computer, replicate those discs in the nano-forge from copper ingots, have them ready for me to pull out of dimensional storage, we’ll need currency.”
His helmet slid back into his backpack and he raised his head and turned around just as a barmaid noticed he had no food or drink. “We have veil or pork, beer or wine. What can I get you?” Victor kept his face neutral, something that would have been impossible before his training with the Guard, she looked Xeno after all, the snout was all that was out of place on an otherwise attractive woman.
“I’ll have the veil and wine. Also, who do I see about a room?” He asked.
The boar-kin woman turned her head towards the bar, “Old man Huang would be the one to check with, don’t know if we have any open tonight. We have a lot of refugees from Huzhou after all.”
Victor raised an eyebrow, usually refugees meant something bad, “Refugees you say? I’m new to these parts, what happened?”
The barmaid snorted, which was ironic considering she was a boar-kin. “You must be new, Huzhou was raised to the ground by the instinctives, the Empress has sent a small contingency of the sect of the Iron Paw to defend Wuzhen, as we are a central transport hub.” The barmaid then looked over to a table of women in much more elaborate dress than the commoners, each with a jade talisman on their wrist.
Without another word she brought more drinks to their table, on it stacked plate after plate, bowl after bowl of food. After setting down the drinks she bowed until her snout almost touched the table before hastily retreating from their prescence.
Victor’s AI chimed in his ear that fabrication was complete and he reached under the table to access his dimensional storage, grabbing two handfuls of copper coins he put them in his trench coat pockets. He noted that although the inn was crowded, everyone else avoided the table with the sect women. It was almost as if others had moved their tables and chairs away, as if there were danger near them. The women didn’t look especially tough, they were armed with swords, but mostly dressed in robes of fine silk, no armor to be found.
He also noted they all had traits of tiger in them. Some had tails, some had the ears, some had the eyes. He supposed that was why they were called the Iron Paw sect, not very creative, but he doubted he could do better.
The barmaid came back with a plate of veil, steamed vegetables, and a large cup of wine. As she sat it down she said quietly, “Stop staring at the cultivators, do not draw their notice or they will decide they need make an example of an upstart mortal.”
Victor kept his face stoney as he accepted the meal and looked elsewhere while he ate. The food was quite good although he didn’t like the turnips. The wine was made from rice, and quite strong. He was about to wave the barmaid back over when a bell started ringing. Everyone in the inn froze, well all but the cultivators.
They pushed their plates to the center of the table, stood as one, and marched out of the inn. As they reached the door conversations started up. With Victor’s enhanced hearing he heard variations of ‘They must have spotted instinctuals’, or ‘I hope the iron paw is as fierce as they are rumored to be.’
Victor stood up, asked the barmaid for the tab, placed some copper on the table and raised his collar as he walked out of the inn. He noticed none of the other patrons followed him out, if anything they huddled away from the door. Seeing no-one was around he jumped using the armors powerful servo motors to propel him onto the roof of a two-story store. He almost didn’t clear the roof, landing with a slight thud and breaking roofing tiles as he made his way to the peek of the roof.
He watched as the women of the sect bounced almost weightlessly off of the rooftops reaching the guard tower at the east gate. Bringing his helmet back up his hud instantly targeted over 30 creatures rushing the east gate at monstrous speed. 160 KM/HR, ETA 45 SECONDS his AI helpfully informed him.The creatures were vaguely humanoid, they resembled ware-wolves, and ran on all fours. He watched as the cultivators drew their weapons as one, the human guards dropped from the wall and grabbed long pike-like weapons.
WAR MODE ENGAGED, EVASIVE ACTION REQUIRED fired through his ears as his armor spun from a crouching position and narrowly avoided a sword that stabbed through the ceramic tile of the roof to nearly the hilt. Before him stood a woman with the ears of a tiger in a blue silk dress.
His AI relinquished emergency control of the armor back to Victor as she spoke. “You are fast for a male. Surrender to this Mei, and I will make sure your execution is quick.” Victor cocked his head to the side before partially raising a hand. The bolter pistol appeared in his hand from dimensional storage as he pulled the trigger.
Mei’s eyes were round as the roof beneath her feet vanished in a hail of ceramic and wood, a noise as if a volcano had exploded right next to her severely stunned her more sensitive cultivator ears as she fell through to the second floor. Victor turned to the east wall in time to see a mass of bodies, all female it appeared, as he had never seen ware-wolves with breasts, leap the ten meters or so to the top of the wall. Howls pierced the night air as some were impaled on swords, others lashed out with razor sharp claws tearing into members of the Iron Paw sect.
It was obvious they would not hold that position. If they didn’t retreat they would all be lost, some of the smarter or luckier of the sect began to tactically retreat, fending off claws and teeth with their swords. Victor turned and saw the highest structure in town, a bell tower that stood about five stories high. That must have been where the warning came from, he could get a better vantage point from there.
Suddenly he heard a growl and the woman he had unceremoniously dropped through the roof jumped through the opening and landed as if gravity held no sway over her. “You have made a grave mistake instinctual, for this Mei will end you this…”
She didn’t get to finish her sentence as she watched the black armored figure with a strange brown robe suddenly launch himself on wings of fire from the roof to the top of the bell tower.
“Mei, Mei! Where are you, we are being overrun!” She heard from the east wall as her sect sisters were back pedaling as the mass of instinctuals climbed over both their own dead and her sisters. She turned away from the strange male and leaped from rooftop to rooftop to aid her sisters in battle.
She landed next to Xiang, who now had a gash across her cheek from combat, “There is someone else here, a male!” She shouted as she drove her sword into one of the wolf-kin that came too close. It howled in pain and retreated, but she knew it was not a fatal blow.
Xiang parried a high swipe of a claw and with a spin kick sent the instinctual she was fighting flying backwards only for it to catch itself with its claws and grind to a crouching halt. “Who? We are in the backlands of the Empire, and why would they send a male, he would surely be courting death against foes such as these!”
Mei blocked a razor sharp claw with the blunt edge of her sword before parrying backwards, “It doesn’t matter, our orders are to protect this town at all costs, don’t let them push us into a blind ally or somewhere we can’t defend ourselves.”
Victor watched as the tiger ladies tried desperately to fend off the ware-wolf ladies. It was not going well for the tigers, it seemed that although the instinctuals didn’t use weapons, they were faster, bigger, stronger, and meaner on average. His hud counted six cultivators down, two of which were being eaten by the ware-wolf women, the remaining five were being pushed towards center square.
What they couldn’t see was a group of four cultivators coming up on their flank from the south. It seems that even though these sect ladies seem haughty at best, they are the closest thing to the good guys in this fight. Victor cursed as he reached into his dimensional storage, a mark 8 flamer wrapped itself lovingly around his scout armor, as his hands wrapped around the handle and nozzle.
He leaped from the bell tower, shattering roofing tiles and bricks as he dropped the five stories to the ground before firing the retro-rockets in his boots, hitting the ground behind the Iron Paw sect before pouring withering fire from the flamer into the four instinctualists rushing from the south. They howled in agony as napalm lapped at their fur and burned them as they wallowed on the dirt road of the town square trying to quench the fire.
Victor turned around as the women of the Iron Paw were forced back to his position, which worked out fine, now they weren’t in the way. He poured burning liquid napalm into the ranks of the instinctuals. Those that could turned on claws and ran, those that didn’t burned in the street.
He turned around and ordered his helmet to retract, the four standing sisters of the Iron Paw leaped a step back bringing up their battered swords. He allowed his flamer to dissolve back into this dimensional storage. “Stand down ladies, the threat is over.” If anything this made them bring their swords up more.
Mei was the first to find her voice, “You are obviously a master of fire to dispatch so many of the betrayers instinctuals. Who sent you?”
Victor’s face remained impassive, this was new information, the instinctuals betrayed the Empire in some way. “No one sent me, I was in the area, and you apparently needed aid.” Let them decide with that what they will.
Mei slowly lowered her sword, before starting to laugh without much mirth, “In our darkest hour a hidden master appears and saves us from death. You would think we were part of a play or poets story.” The other women lowered what was left of their weapons as well.
Xiang looked Victor up and down, “I have never heard of male becoming a cultivator of war, that is usually the domain of females. I have also never seen clothing or armor like you wear, are you from the Empire?”
Victor sighed, well, here goes. “I am not from the Empire, I am from a far away land called Terra, and at the moment, I am merely passing through.”
The smaller one known as Li spoke up, “One does not simply pass through the Celestial Empire! The wall has stood for millennia untold, only the Immortal Empress remembers when it was built. How did you cross it?”
Victor only shrugged, “Who said I crossed the wall?” As he turned around and walked to the inn he only recently left. The crowd of people parted as he walked in.
Xiang turned to Mei, “He is a foreigner wandering our land, Shihan must be informed of his presence and bring it before the court.”
Mei nodded her head turning to the final woman left standing, “Hua, travel to Wujiang, let our sisters know what has transpired here and have a message sent back to the Imperial Palace about this newcomer and what we should do.”
Li spoke, “Should we not attempt to capture him ourselves? After all, a male cultivator is a rarity indeed.”
Mei looked over to the smaller Li, “He burned down instinctuals with what appeared to be the forgotten Concept of Fire, for that was the Sixth Level Yang Fire, something we females who cultivate yin are incapable of. No, we would court death trying to capture a hidden master of his power. Did any of you even feel his Chi?” They all shook their heads.
Mei continued, “Then he is hiding his true power from us. When I first saw him leap from the ground to the rooftop I thought him a spy for the instinctuals. When I tried to attack he moved with a speed even I could not match. When I threatened him he simply ignored me, and throughout that I never once felt his Chi. This is a male we must be careful around sisters, now go Hua.”
Victor watched as the people in the inn parted before him. He noticed many of them bowing as though he were part of the Imperial family of Terra. He reached the bar where the innkeeper, what was his name again? HUANG his AI chimed in.
“Huang, I require lodgings for the night. Do you have a room available?”
The Ox-Kin bowed so low as to touch the bar, “This lowly one will gladly provide you with a room hidden master.” He raised his head and waved the boar-kin barmaid over to him in a frenzy, “Chun, find the hidden master a room.”
Chun rushed over and bowed before Victor, “Please follow me hidden master?”
“Victor, my name is Victor Cane. Please, lead the way Chun.”
As he followed Chun upstairs to an empty room Victor closed and locked the door, if they want to think he is a hidden master then let them. In the meantime he needed sleep. He reached one more time into his dimensional storage and pulled four small security drones and paired them to his armor’s AI.
One flew out the open window to watch from outside, one crawled under the door to watch the inn, the other two sat inside the room.
Once he felt all was secured he settled into the not so great bed and closed his helmet. He’d worry about everything else tomorrow.
submitted by Oradainer to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 21:33 thoughtfulsaint Real vs. Rumor: The dangers of over-simplification and exaggeration

I'm reading a great book entitled "Real vs. Rumor by church historian Keith Erekson. One topic that really got me thinking was the ways in which we oversimplify or exaggerate our story. In our efforts to tell the narrative of our church history, we tend to focus on only small aspects that reinforce a certain narrative while ignoring the richer, more complex history. These ideas are credited to the author that I wanted to share along with some of my own thoughts.
Example: Our pioneer heritage
Most films, stories and lessons always focus on the Willie and Martin handcart companies and the struggles they went through. In actuality, over 60,000 people made the trek to the Salt Lake Valley over a 20 year period in over almost 400 companies. Handcarts were only used by 5% of the pioneers, with the rest going on horsebacks or wagons. Even among the 10 companies that used handcarts, 8 of them arrived to their destination without any significant issues. Most pioneers didn't die, the mortality rate was similar to the national rate. Even the story of the Martin and Willie handcart companies was oversimplified. There were actually 2 wagon companies with them on the trail, the rescue actually took more than 2 months and involved thousands of men and women. Latter-day Saint pioneers were also not paving trails out in a desolate wilderness. Many other travelers were making treks back and forth from California and Oregon over well worn trails at the same time.
These over simplifications are perpetuated by modern day re-enactments all over the US with "trek youth activities." For example, the script modifies time by combining the departure of the Mormon Battalion in the summer of 1846 with the Martin and Willie handcart experience a decade later. The women whose husbands and sons left with the battalion did not pull handcarts alone as is often re-enacted on these treks. It also creates a false impression that the pioneers lived in a strange, technologically backward existence. Youth today are asked to leave their families, dress in strange clothes and eat different food, leave technology behind. But the youth participating in the 19th century trek wore the same clothes, ate food cooked by the same methods as their contemporaries who stayed home and participated in the same activities and chores as any family dwelling in middle America of the 19th century would have.
We could teach youth that there over simplifications and exaggerations in our pioneer stories and point them to better sources. Instead of re-enacting this over simplified version of events, we could create a discussion on the differences between the habits and clothing of that time to ours. Instead of trying to create contrived emotional experiences to help youth "feel the Spirit," we could talk about how the Holy Ghost actually works, what it feels like and what counterfeits look like. Outdoor activities could include a night hike or star gazing or a sunrise service to help youth ponder the God of the cosmos who watched over the pioneers and can do the same for us in our day.

Another example: The story of the crickets and seagulls
While it is true that the Saints were tormented by katydids who were eating their crops and seagulls did arrive to eat them, the story recited over the pulpit and in our manuals is significantly oversimplified with a lot of the details left out. First off, the gulls stayed for several weeks, but the "crickets" actually stayed in the area for months after the birds left. The gulls had also arrived in prior seasons as part of their usual migrating patterns. The valley was also undergoing a time of frost and the early saints lacked irrigation, causing drought. These factors contributed greatly to the crisis, not just the crickets. Despite the arrival of the gulls, contemporary accounts during that period still complained of the poor harvest due to the other conditions. Few diaries from the time mention the seagulls. The insects did not threaten all the food, only grain and vegetables. The seagulls didn't arrive immediately after prayer and didn't eat all of the crickets. The gulls were not elevated to single-handed rescuers until years later as the story changed and morphed over time. The event became a sign of choseness and was written into curriculum, a local monument and the California seagull later became the Utah state bird.

Another example includes the surface level belief of following the prophet and Wilford Woodruff's statement that a prophet can't lead the people astray being morphed into the hidden belief that prophets are infallible. This script is held despite multiple scripture stories of prophets failing and erring repeatedly. A better understanding is that yes, prophets are fallible and will make mistakes, but our duty is to learn to recognize the Spirit so we can listen to the Spirit when the prophet speaks, not to try to identify when the prophet is right or wrong.
Teaching our youth to look for the whole truth and what might be missing from our historical narratives and the scripts we tell ourselves will enable them to have a greater understanding and a richer appreciation for our history and our ancestors. Rewriting our scripts/narratives to include the more complex truth can help develop critical thinking skills and deeper, real testimonies and a desire to recognize the Spirit working in their own lives.
Are there any other examples you can think of where we oversimplify or exaggerate certain topics? How can we guard against this tendency in the future?
submitted by thoughtfulsaint to latterdaysaints [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 18:51 astralrocker2001 Welcome to the Prison Planet

(The OP of this material is gone, but this analysis deserves to be seen again):
I can see that, like myself, many on this subreddit are beginning to realize the truth of what is taking place here on Earth. The question is: how do we know what is true? How do we discern the truth from the lies? Well, let's analyze our lives here on Earth for a moment: we are born on this planet, and by the time we grow up, we have no memory of the first few years of our life. We also have no memory of ourselves prior to life on this planet, we're not sure what we are doing here, or how we got here. There are so many of those "big questions" about life that are seemingly unanswered, and at the same time, we are presented with a plethora of these "belief systems" that offer the answers to these questions. We have all these different religions, seemingly just there, waiting for us to believe in them. We have non-religious belief systems as well; one can choose to be an atheist, or one can choose to believe in "modern scientism" or humanism. With all these different religions and belief systems to believe in, how can they possibly all be right?
What if they were all the right choice, because it doesn't matter what belief system you choose to believe, the only thing that matters is that you choose something. After all, life is all about making choices - right?
The Corrupt Demiurge and The Duality Trap
This planet is overcome with a sickness; there is an oppressive force manifesting this system, that is so cleverly designed that a person could live their entire life never once realizing that everything is designed to work against us. What is causing this to happen? The false light/dark duality simulation which controls the planet - and in doing so controls each and every one of us. The Hermetic Principle of Polarity, which is discussed in the esoteric work The Kybalion explains that all of the opposites that make up our world are in fact two extremes of one spectrum. Light and dark, hot and cold, love and hate - all just the two extreme ends of the same thing, making up the duality of this world we experience. This begs the question: what are the single spectrums that these opposites are representing?
This is a problem, indeed, as many of these spectrums being described by polarity are things that we seemingly do not have any words for, and therefore no thoughts or ideas as to what many of them even are! This is a paradox that can be troublesome to reconcile in our minds; it seems that these "spectrums" of duality are often just outside the limits of our comprehension. We can attempt to try: black and white must be the extreme ends of gray, hot and cold could be the extreme ends of warm... ok, were getting somewhere - but inevitably you run into pairs of opposites that are too difficult to reconcile into one spectrum. For example, the opposite of freedom seems to be slavery - what could that be a spectrum of - movement? Light and dark is another pair of opposites that is too rigid to find a middle ground for what it could be describing. What gives? Well, Hermeticism is one of the many belief systems set up to deceive and trap us into the false light/dark paradigm, or as it is called in ancient Gnostic texts The Corrupt Demiurge.
The Corrupt Demiurge is a horrible construct that has been holding the Earth hostage for thousands of years, and they are responsible for all the devastation done to our planet, including orchestrating some of the most horrendous events in human history. They inflict suffering upon Humanity relentlessly, because our suffering and negative energy is what feeds them and sustains them and keeps them alive. Using the duality of light/dark good/evil they convince each and every one of us to choose a side, to believe in something, and then when we "die" (which is just an illusion, we are eternal beings and we never actually die) they exploit our beliefs that our soul picked up during its life on Earth, and they trick us into reincarnating back on Earth again, to live another life of unneeded suffering and hardship, in the painful, unforgiving material world.
How do they do this? The Corrupt Demiurge is made up of beings that Gnostic texts refer to as archons, which we can think of as demons, jinns, Lucifer etc. Anyone who read my post yesterday probably knows that I call these archons "Soul-sucking fucks". I was angry, and you should be also, but you need to not just believe, but know that this is what is taking place here on our planet. The greatest trick of the archons is that they are not only the demons, but they are also the angels. By playing both the light and dark teams, they are able to convince us to keep falling into their trap of reincarnation, so they may continue to feed off of our energy, as they have been for many, many, incarnations here on Earth. Our memories remain perpetually wiped with each new incarnation, which explains why we don't remember anything when we get here. The archons have tricked all of us into making lots of agreements with them, which entail things such as not committing the same sins we were guilty of in our prior life, in our next life, if one were Christian for example. As we can see in our current situation on this planet the archons love making us feel bad about ourselves. The archons are violating our free will in a massive way because no being should have authority over another being. Look at all the authority we are subjected to here on Earth - it is suffocating. Every human being needs to realize that they are not a bad person, systems set in place by the archons such as Christianity make it impossible to live the life required to get into the "kingdom of heaven" (barf). Luckily - they are going to give you one more chance to get it right - again, and again, and again, and again... and again, and again, and again, and again... Are you starting to get angry yet? Because it's ok to get angry.
As Above, So Below.
When the Demiurge first took hold on planet Earth thousands of years ago, Human beings were already aware of the true source of all creation, the true God that runs through each one of us, we have become so detached from this truth over thousands of years of abuse from the archons that the great majority of us are not aware of this. Because of the awareness of God by many of the people on the planet, the Demiurge had to initially create almost every single one of the world's religions today. Of course, the abrahamic religions have the most powerful stronghold over us. Just about every belief system is a trap set up by them, however. The only exceptions to this that I know of are, of course Gnosticism and perhaps Buddhism. Why trust Gnosticism? Well, it was declared heresy by the catholic church in the third century, as catholicism was asserting its world domination and killing any non-believers. Most of the Gnostic scrolls we have today were discovered in Egypt in 1945, and they are known as The Nag Hammadi, named for the town they were discovered in. They had been buried in a jar for centuries, placed there by someone who was looking out for the future of Humanity, no doubt.
The Corrupt Demiurge have a hierarchy of henchmen, here on Earth, that carry out their reign of destruction throughout Human history. I believe the actual reason for the founding fathers coming to America was to kill all the Native Americans, just as white settlers did to many tribal communities in South America, because these people knew about their connection to the one true God. They have higher ups that take the light path, such as the pope, as well as the dark path, such as many thirty-third degree masons. These people within the Demiurge hierarchy systems are rewarded by feeding off of our suffering as well as the energy of our worship and adoration - look at the energy given to people like the pope, and trump, and hollywood celebrities in the form of idolatry and worship. This, of course, is nothing compared to the false-idol leader of the Demiurge, the god of the bible himself: Yahweh aka Lucifer. The king of the false light/dark duality trap himself. (As a side note, I do believe the moon is a big part of how they create the duality paradigm. I never did like the moon...)
As above, so below refers to the Demiurge's system of patriarchal hierarchies in the abrahamic religions (above), and the patriarchal hierarchies of our governments (below). Notice arch(on) in the words patri(arch)al hier(arch)ies? As well as the (arch)angels. It's about time for some an(arch)y to take place.
What are we supposed to believe in?
We need to believe in ourselves. We need to believe that we are sovereign beings, and nobody has authority over us. We need to believe that we are more powerful than them, because we have the true source of creation within us, and they do not because they worship a false idol (Yahweh). We need to believe that the religious figures so many believe are real, but they are all the archons, and they will trick us into reincarnating here yet again. We need to not fear the government, as they try to scare us into submission with the covid pandemic. The last thing they want us to know is that we are more powerful than they are. We need to stop being distracted with the material world, as well as technology that is just more of the Demiurgic illusion.
We need to all start waking up to our true power, and cut off this parasitic group of evil beings feeding supply. Stop choosing good or evil. The church has perverted the trinity of creation. Creation is a trinity: positive, negative and NEUTRAL. Reject the notion that you are a bad or good person. If you do this you will begin to see the archons in your life, waking and sleeping. They will come to you in dreams, and many people on this planet are them in disguise. They will do anything to get you back into their trap, using angels, demons, or any other of their tricks. They will make your life miserable, but they cannot hurt you - the real you - your soul. The elite are getting ready to roll out their Saturn Black Cube religion, which I believe is hardline materialism, as it is the easiest way to trap us. That is why they have been pushing to put an end to spirituality and beliefs in a God. If enough people wake up to this, things will get REAL.
tl;dr: try reading the Nag Hammadi if you think this is long.
If you want to know more about this, please read these articles that go into much greater detail than I could ever hope to. These articles are very helpful in learning more about THE TRUTH:
Why I am no longer a lightworker: http://www.ascensionhelp.com/blog/2013/08/23/why-i-am-no-longer-a-light-worke
Tell the "Lords" of Karma that you are sovereign - no longer a lightworker pt 2: http://www.ascensionhelp.com/blog/2013/11/21/tell-the-lords-of-karma-that-you-are-sovereign-no-longer-a-lightworker-part-2/
submitted by astralrocker2001 to ReincarnationTruth [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 18:29 Kristian82dk catholic/masonic bible 1928

catholic/masonic bible 1928 submitted by Kristian82dk to Bibleconspiracy [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 18:23 Kristian82dk hmm

hmm submitted by Kristian82dk to u/Kristian82dk [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 17:41 InternetTraumatized Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, on Pentecost

Without the Holy Spirit,
Christ is in the past, the Gospel is a dead letter;
The Church is merely an organization;
Authority is a matter of dominance;
Missionary work is a matter of propaganda;
Liturgy is, at best, a reminder;
Christian life is slave mentality.
But with and in the Holy Spirit,
The Cosmos is resurrection
And groans in the pain of childbirth of the Kingdom,
The risen Christ is now present;
The Gospel is life-giving power,
The Church now reveals the life of the Trinity,
Authority is liberating service,
Missionary work is another Pentecost,
Liturgy is both memorial and anticipation,
Human works are deified.
submitted by InternetTraumatized to Christendom [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 17:03 InternetTraumatized Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, on Pentecost

Without the Holy Spirit,
Christ is in the past, the Gospel is a dead letter;
The Church is merely an organization;
Authority is a matter of dominance;
Missionary work is a matter of propaganda;
Liturgy is, at best, a reminder;
Christian life is slave mentality.
But with and in the Holy Spirit,
The Cosmos is resurrection
And groans in the pain of childbirth of the Kingdom,
The risen Christ is now present;
The Gospel is life-giving power,
The Church now reveals the life of the Trinity,
Authority is liberating service,
Missionary work is another Pentecost,
Liturgy is both memorial and anticipation,
Human works are deified.
submitted by InternetTraumatized to OrthodoxChristianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 17:03 InternetTraumatized Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, on Pentecost

Without the Holy Spirit,
Christ is in the past, the Gospel is a dead letter;
The Church is merely an organization;
Authority is a matter of dominance;
Missionary work is a matter of propaganda;
Liturgy is, at best, a reminder;
Christian life is slave mentality.
But with and in the Holy Spirit,
The Cosmos is resurrection
And groans in the pain of childbirth of the Kingdom,
The risen Christ is now present;
The Gospel is life-giving power,
The Church now reveals the life of the Trinity,
Authority is liberating service,
Missionary work is another Pentecost,
Liturgy is both memorial and anticipation,
Human works are deified.
submitted by InternetTraumatized to Christianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:03 UnDead_Ted Mornings with God Saturday, June 3rd 2023

Mornings with God Saturday, June 3rd 2023
They, which were scattered... travelled,...spreading the word. — Acts 11:19
There was a pile of logs burning on the edge of some woods. The wind determined to put out the fire, and, gathering itself into a tempest, violently assaulted it. The result was, the coals were carried through the woods, falling among the dry leaves and underbrush.
Instead, therefore, of putting out the fire, the storm only scattered it everywhere, for every hot coal started a new burning, and soon the whole forest was ablaze.
It was not in the minds of the first believers to take the gospel to the nations outside. Persecution was an effort to put out the heavenly fire. Instead of this, however, it only drove the Christians into parts of the world. So it happened that a thousand little churches were started.
The name of Barnabas shines brightly here. If he had been a narrow man he might have checked the work. But he was a good man, full of love and of the Holy Spirit, and the work prospered.
submitted by UnDead_Ted to TheDailyDose [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 07:48 Pleronomicon Question about CoC ordination; and my perspective on the issue.

Hello. [My question is in large print below. The rest are my thoughts and concerns associated with my question.]
I'm not in a Church of Christ congregation, but I do agree for the most part with the CoC soteriology. Nevertheless, something bothers me about all modern churches.

What authority do congregations have to ordain their own ministers, overseers, preachers, evangelists, etc.???

The ordination process started with the apostles via laying of hands and prayer. For example, Paul ordained Timothy and Titus as evangelists to spread the gospel and ordain more ministers over other churches. While I'm reluctant to agree with the Ortho-Catholic Church on their "Holy Orders" and "Apostolic Succession", it does seem like some form of succession of authority would be necessary for the preservation of sound doctrine.
I would say that what all of Christianity has today is at best fragments of sound doctrine, and without apostles to bear witness to us what such sound doctrine is, at best, all we can say we have is theory and conjecture. I'm speaking mostly about eschatological issues, but these issues can have impact on how we are to conduct ourselves in our day-to-day lives.
To disclose my working theory: I believe the Body of Christ died with the foundation of the apostles. Sardis is evidence that a church can indeed be dead.
Jesus said to the Pharisees, "destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up."
Jesus was clearly talking about his physical body, but at the same time, the Church is also his Body and Sanctuary. If a thousand years are as a day to the Lord (2Pet 3:8), then what if the Church is meant to be dead for 3,000 years???
Denominationalism is quite literally the definition of heresy. If the Church is in incoherent pieces, with a fragmented doctrine, then how can it be said to be alive? I believe the elect are a scattered remnant, and any effort to revive the Church will ultimately fail, or at least quickly diffuse. Nevertheless, just as the Gates of Hades did not prevail over Jesus, neither will they prevail over his Church, but that does not mean the Church cannot die.
I would love to discuss this in more depth if anyone is willing to entertain such an understandably uncomfortable idea.
Thank you.
submitted by Pleronomicon to churchofchrist [link] [comments]