I found this on the internet, by ‘The Thinking Atheist’…..I only wish we had more ‘Thinking Christians’ like this guy! Although he might not like me saying it and many others will not like me saying it….but this guy’s message is more Christlike than so much of the garbage, that is promoted by “Mindless Christians”! Thank you Mr. Atheist…Live loved!
Here are two wonderful presentations of, ‘A Beautiful Gospel’!
Brian Zahnd and Brad Jersak both show through this simple approach/telling, how we Christians have too often made the ‘Good News’ not so good..but then they show/tell it as it is..the greatest news of all! A Beautiful Gospel indeed!
I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write a blog for quite a while but still write the occasional note here and there. These notes are often a cathartic release valve for me, expressing something of my deeper thoughts and feelings. The following note which I wrote this week expresses the weariness of my heart over the constant barrage of hate filled videos, ministries and remarks I come across daily aimed at the Roman Catholic Church and in particular at Pope Francis. At the Community Eucharist yesterday the Gospel spoke to us of the Beatitudes, the last two read, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
It seems to me that when I read articles or watch the many videos that falsely speak all kinds of evil against the Roman Catholic Church and against the Pope, the words of Jesus on that mountainside resound with poignant clarity!
Br. Michael Daly. CJ
November 2nd. 2013
I am tired of reading the excrement that comes out of so many so-called Christians ministers and ministries that seem to spend their entire lives attacking the Roman Catholic Church or the Pope in person.
I am tired of the same old rhetoric which is as old as the devil and the spawn of his heart.
I am tired of the uneducated nonsense of some religious persons and establishments that spend their entire days in denigrating the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope.
I am tired of listening to so many evangelists who preach another gospel.
I am tired of listening to so many American and British fundamentalists who know nothing of the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ but speak in his name which they sully without any repentance.
I am tired of those so-called evangelists who curse Pope Francis with their religious zeal and instead of seeing the good see only darkness…they have eyes but they refuse to see and ears but refuse to hear.
I am tired of the constant garbage we find on Youtube and other media which perpetuates the lie.
I am tired of these so-called teachers who are blind men leading others astray and worse into the pit of hell.
I am tired of this old religious Pharisee-ism that is totally void of the Spirit of God but full of the hate, murder, deceit and lies of the devil.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
On April 12th 2013 Richard Francis Xavier Manning known to us as Brennan Manning, was caught up into the furious longing of his Abba. He was a man who had struggled all his life with his humanity. “When I am honest, I admit that I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt. I hope and I get discouraged. I love and I have. I feel bad about feeling good. I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games.”
When ambushed by Jesus, Brennan’s life though broken in many ways was caught up into what he called the furious longing of God. He knew that Jesus not only loved him, but liked him. Saved by grace and called to preach grace, he never stopped, though at times crushed by the impostor he had wrestled with from his youth, he pressed on because he was caught up in the love of his Abba. For those of us who have found ourselves broken, dirty, messed up, ragamuffin’s, outcasts, prodigals wrestling daily with sin, hoping against hope that God would still love us, Brennan would resound with the heart of God and take you again and again to the feet of Jesus.
“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said ‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy burdened’, He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged and disheartened along the way.” Brennan knew this from experience and he wanted to pass on what he had received from the Lord, “…..I have received from the Lord Jesus….His unconditional acceptance of me as I am, not as I should be. He loves me whether in a state of grace or disgrace, whether I live up to the lofty expectations of His gospel or I don’t. He comes to me where I live and loves me AS I AM….Will we let the healing power of the risen Jesus flow through us to reach and touch others, so that they may dream and fight and bear and run where the brave dare not go?”
In his book the ‘Signature of God’, Manning wrote of a dream he had of the last judgement and how he was there with a multitude of people and famous personalities, his name is called and he writes; “I hear my name: “Brennan.” As I step forward, like a bell sounding deep within my soul, I hear the words of the poet T. S. Eliot, “O my soul, be prepared to meet him who knows how ask question”
The Man looks directly at me and then looks through all my bluff and pious rhetoric, through the content of my books and sermons, through all the minimizing and justifying of my lifestyle. For the first time in my life, I am seen and known as I really am.
Trembling, I ask, “What is my judgement, Lord?”
He hands me the Book. The word I spoke has already judged you.” A long pause…then he smiles. I walk up to him and touch his face. He takes my hand and we go home.”
Brennan has now gone home to his Lord, to his Abba and yet his writing and thoughts will continue to encourage, edify and comfort all who are seeking a true and living relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ will return in glory. Every man who has ever drawn breath will be appraised, evaluated and measured solely in terms of their relationship with the Carpenter of Nazareth. This is the realm of the really Real…..The eschatological lordship of Jesus Christ and his primacy in the created order (see Ephesians 1:9-10) are at the very heart of the Gospel proclamation. This is reality.
If I ask myself, “What am I doing walking around this planet? Why do I exist?” as a disciple of Jesus I must answer, “For the sake of Christ.” If the angels ask, it is the same answer. “We exist for the sake of Jesus Christ.” If the entire universe were suddenly to become articulate, from north to south and east to west, it would cry out in chorus, “We exist for the sake of Jesus Christ!” The name of Jesus would issue from the seas and mountains and valleys, it would be tapped out by the pattering rain. It would be written in the skies by lightning. The storms would roar the name “Jesus Christ, God hero!” and the mountains would echo back. The sun on its westward march through the heavens would chant a thunderous hymn. “The whole universe is full of Christ!”
This is the Apostle Paul’s vision of creation, his Christocentric concept of the universe. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1: 15 – 16)
If there is any priority in the personal or professional life of a Christian more important than the lordship of Jesus Christ, he or she is disqualified as a witness to the gospel. Since that glorious morning when Jesus burst the bonds of death and the messianic era erupted into history, there has never been a new agenda, new priorities, and a revolutionary hierarchy of values.
The Nazarene Carpenter did not simply refine Aristotelian ethics; he did not
merely reorder Old Testament spirituality; he did not simply renovate the old creation. He initiated a revolution. We must renounce all that we possess, not just most of it (see Luke 14:33). We must give up the old way of life, not just correct some aberrations in it (see Ephesians 4:22). We are to be an altogether new creation, not simply a refurbished version of it (see Galatians 6:15). We are to be transformed from one glory to another, even into the very image of the Lord – transparent (see 2 Corinthians 3:18). Our minds are to be renewed by a spiritual revolution (see Ephesians 4:23).
The primal sin, of course is to go on acting like it never happened, basing our lives on pop religion and the power of positive thinking, trendy spiritualities and power politics, rather than on the Sermon on the Mount and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
With Manning, “I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behaviour or desire of mine that he will not condone. I want a relationship with the Abba of Jesus, who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible, and unwieldy Mystery.”
Remembering Brennan Manning !934 – 2013
Michael Daly, CJ
April 13th 2013
Since Pope Francis has taken office in the Vatican I have seen a number of anti-catholic blogs, which are full of the vitriolic and deadly poison of the great serpent. Pope Francis is a member of the Religious Order, the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, and it seems that many (so called Christian) anti-catholic bloggers desire to propagate the most absurd and defamatory lies about them and the Roman Catholic Church. There are a number of YouTube video’s too, telling the same lies and propagating the same hatred, bigotry and discord. To my mind this puts them in the camp of the ‘Accuser of the Brethren’.
One of the most extreme, (dare I say diabolical) and libellous rants I read recently has to do with the suggestion that Jesuit’s take an oath that in part states, “when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, burn, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up their stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race.” Unbelievable you may well say! Read more about this at http://www.victorclaveau.com/htm_html/Anti-Catholicism/jesuit_oath_debunked.htm
Unfortunately these lies have been made viral through the internet (just a brief search on Google will show you how widespread this is) and sadly Christians of all persuasions have been, and are being, infected with this insidious toxin. Not so long ago Jack T Chick distributed tracts that were full of this venomous poison and stories spread amongst many Protestant churches and fellowships. A guy named Alberto Rivera (who falsely claimed to have been a Jesuit priest before becoming a fundamentalist Protestant), seemingly gave fuel to Chick’s fantasies. Rivera even went so far to state that Islam was founded by the Jesuit’s, which shows that he not only was deluded but that he had no comprehension of history, as Islam was founded in the 7th Century whilst the Society of Jesus was founded in the 16th century. Rivera also claimed things like, the Vatican was behind the Freemasons, and that the Jesuit’s caused World War I and II, and were also responsible for the assassination of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. He called the Pope the Antichrist and the Roman Catholic Church the Whore of Babylon.
What saddens me is that these blind bloggers, go from worse to worse leading many into the cesspit of their delusions. I personally know a man who makes his living spreading this diabolical nonsense in the name of truth. I confronted him once on his warped view of Roman Catholic teaching on Mary, the mother of Jesus. Although I showed him the clear teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, codified in the documents of Vatican II, which clearly and concisely sets out Roman Catholic thought in regard to the virgin Mary, he blindly ignored the evidence before him and so continues today to live deceived, and sadly deceiving others.
The Jesuit’s are like any other Religious Order; they have their fair share of loose-canons just as any religious or secular community does. There are good and bad Jesuit’s, just as there are good and bad people everywhere. Just being a Jesuit or a Franciscan, or a Catholic or a Baptist, or a Pentecostal, etc, gives no guarantee that all is sound. However, when it comes to the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jesuit’s are true Christian believers. They are part of the Bride of Christ, whether I…or you…like it or not!
AMDG – For the Greater Glory of God
21st March 2013
……as a Pastor I seek to enable the flock in my care encouraging them to live in the freedom of Christ, but too often I see Pastors, Priests and Leaders, placing burdens on the flock in their care, and binding them up and imprisoning them. These shepherds seek to control and manipulate the flock …..People are looking for God, and they hope that the church, fellowship or Community will be that place to find Him, as it claims to have God and the truth. Unfortunately, what happens is that they find a fellowship which they believe will help them find God. What they find however is a system that gives them more work to do in order to be “close” to or to “go deeper” with God.
When leaders put more burdens and expectations upon the flock, then we need to stand up and speak out. When leaders twist scriptures around to fit their agendas. When leaders ask for more money to do God’s work. When they expect more giving, more input, more output, more of anything… beware!!
As we read in Matthew 21, when Jesus enters the temple, he overturns the tables with money piling up, he makes a whip and drives out those peddlers of money orientated religion. So much of what I see in the Church today is bound in with the false teaching of prosperity preachers, who peddle their gospel at the expense of the poor and downtrodden.
If you find yourself in a church, fellowship or Community where the leaders put expectations upon you whilst feeding their ego’s and not your spirit, soul and body….building their kingdoms but not the Kingdom of God….loving you with words, but failing to be loving shepherds after our master’s example, who would leave ninety-nine in search of one lost sheep….placing expectations upon your shoulders which are millstones around your neck…..don’t listen to them! They are door closers who deceive themselves into believing they are door openers. They shut off the kingdom of heaven.
“Spiritually abusive systems do not shut people out from synagogues, temples—or, in our Christian context, from churches, fellowships or religious communities. On the contrary, systems like this spend great energy trying to get people to come. Consequently, people may first experience fellowship and a sense of being “right with God.” But in the context of a false authority, increasing loads, external performance, and religious pride, it is unlikely that the experience of joyful liberty under God’s reign will continue. Consider this: Is it possible to grow up in the church, do all the “do’s,” don’t do the “don’ts,” know all the doctrine—and still not enter into the Kingdom? What a tragedy to spend a lifetime around religion and never to have experienced the reality of Christ alive in and among us! Such is the danger in a spiritually abusive system. We dare not minimize this. We must all examine whether we are offering people life in the Spirit only to substitute something far less when they have accepted the invitation.”
The following was first posted in October 2008……
I am getting ready for some youngsters to come knocking on my door on the 31st asking for a trick or treat. It seems we in England (as well as many other countries) have taken on this unusual practice from the USA, where they dress up in grotesque costumes and try to scare the hell out of one another. I don’t fully understand where this all came from, especially as they are celebrating an ancient Christian vigil, (All Hallows Even) which was meant to give thanks to God and remember the saints in glory? It is possible that a celebration spilled over from England where they celebrated the notorious Gun Powder Plot with festivities and gruesome parades where some Protestants would put on masks and go to Catholic homes to scare those in them to giving them something. I think, with a mixture of cultures and a sectarian hatred of Catholicism and the desire to party, this celebration developed.
The use of pumpkins was just part of ancient Celtic harvest festivities and nothing more sinister. The development of witches and devils came out of people’s imaginations and the treasury of their own hearts rather than having Occult or Satanic origins. (I do not doubt Satan can use these things!)
So, should Christians be involved in the celebration of Halloween?
Only in so far as it gives us an opportunity to proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to a dark world.
When those young tick or treat callers knock on your door, welcome them and explain what this celebration is actually about. ‘All Hallows Even’, calls us to give thanks to God. It is still a night where those in the Roman Catholic Church prepare for ‘All Saints day’ (which was for many years celebrated on 1st November}, which for them is a celebration of those holy men and women who have died and are now in heaven with God. More than this it gives the Church an opportunity of proclaiming the Excellencies of Christ Jesus.
Why not get hold of a few booklets of the Gospel of John, or similar, and give these out with a sweet or two. Let us use this night to proclaim the Light of the World and show to the lost the way of salvation.
Do all for the glory of God!
Michael Daly. CJ