Teach the Bible in public schools so that students can learn to better understand the world around them

By Chuck Stetson, Chuck Stetson | Fox News

Most of the recent discussions about teaching the Bible in school miss the key points.

First, teaching the Bible in public schools is important for students because, without knowledge of the Bible, students can’t fully understand the English language, English literature, history, art, music or culture. For example, there are over 1,200 documented references to the Bible in Shakespeare’s 36 plays. If you don’t know the Bible, you really can’t understand Shakespeare. You can’t get past the first sentence of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick – “Call me Ishmael” – if you don’t understand who Ishmael was in the Bible.

Of the allusions that a student needs to know for Advanced Placement in English Composition and Literature, approximately two-thirds are Biblical allusions, according to AP Literature and Composition. If you don’t know the Bible, you won’t do well on this part of the Advanced Placement test.

Further, Essentials in Education, which has the only First Amendment Safe textbook for teaching the Bible in public schools, did a national survey of high school English teachers. The results revealed that 96 percent of English teachers believe that young people were disadvantaged when studying English literature if they didn’t know the Bible. At the college level, 39 university English professors supplied an aggregate of 72 books they collectively teach in freshman year that require a knowledge of the Bible.

Second, students in the public schools are kept from religious teaching of the Bible by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1963 when Justice Tom Clark, who wrote the opinion, stated: “It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

We need to shift the conversation on teaching the Bible in public schools to what the students need to learn to better understand the world around them.

Further, there is the consensus document “The Bible & Public Schools, A First Amendment Guide,” which our Bible Literacy Project co-published with the First Amendment Center with endorsements from the National School Boards Association, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association as well as People for the American Way.

Third, in the most recent national survey that we conducted in May 2017, 80 percent of Americans wanted the Bible taught in public schools. However, we know from other surveys that only about 8 percent of public schools do so. Since Bible courses are almost all electives, where only about 25 percent of a class might take the course, the reach is 2 percent. Given that 80 percent of Americans want the Bible taught and only 2 percent are taught this is an eye -opening disconnect.

Fourth, given the lack of responsiveness of public schools to the documented needs of the students, legislation to encourage the teaching of the Bible academically in public schools has been enormously helpful in several regards. While schools, for the most part, ignore it, the legislation does provide protection for the school teachers who want to do what is right for students. It also encourages parents to ask the schools to do what is right for their students.

We have led that effort on a bipartisan basis from an academic point of view, starting with the state of Georgia passing legislation to encourage the teaching of the Bible academically in 2006, followed by South Carolina and Texas in 2007, Tennessee in 2008, Oklahoma in 2010, South Dakota and Arizona in 2012, Arkansas in 2013 and Kentucky in 2013.

We need to shift the conversation on teaching the Bible in public schools to what the students need to learn to better understand the world around them. Our textbook, “The Bible and Its Influence,” is currently being taught in 650 high schools in 45 states and has a ten percent market share in six states. It is the dominant textbook and, as noted above, the only First Amendment Safe one. We need all schools to focus on this. We are beginning to get a lot more momentum now and believe that we are not too far away from reaching a tipping point where instead of teachers and schools having to find a reason to teach the Bible academically, they will soon have to find a reason not to teach it. (Click to Source)

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A Memorial

For the Jewish people, Passover is a day of remembrance of the exodus from Egypt, but disciples of Yeshua have another important aspect of Passover to remember.

Portion Summary

The sixteenth reading from the Torah is named Beshalach(בשלח), which means “When he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which can be literally translated to say, “And it happened when Pharaoh sent out the people.” This is also the Shabbat reading when Passover coincides with the weekly Shabbat. The reading tells the adventures of the Israelites as they leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea, receive miraculous provision in the wilderness and face their first battle.

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Pesach (פסח | Passover)
  • Torah: Exodus 12:21-51
  • Haftarah: Joshua 3:5-7, 5:2-6:1, 6:27
  • Gospel: John 19:31-20:1

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Exodus 13:17 | The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
    • Exodus 14:1 | Crossing the Red Sea
    • Exodus 14:26 | The Pursuers Drowned
    • Exodus 15:1 | The Song of Moses
    • Exodus 15:20 | The Song of Miriam
    • Exodus 15:22 | Bitter Water Made Sweet
    • Exodus 16:1 | Bread from Heaven
    • Exodus 17:1 | Water from the Rock
    • Exodus 17:8 | Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated
  • PROPHETS
    • Jdg 4:1 | Deborah and Barak
    • Jdg 5:1 | The Song of Deborah

Portion Summary

The sixteenth reading from the Torah is named Beshalach(בשלח), which means “When he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which can be literally translated to say, “And it happened when Pharaoh sent out the people.” This is also the Shabbat reading when Passover coincides with the weekly Shabbat. The reading tells the adventures of the Israelites as they leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea, receive miraculous provision in the wilderness and face their first battle.


Fourteen hundred years after the exodus from Egypt, Yeshua went to Jerusalem with His disciples to keep the appointed time of Passover. He and His disciples had been to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover many times, but this time, as they neared Jerusalem, Yeshua said, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover” (Matthew 26:18). He knew that He was going to fulfill the appointed time in a marvelous and unexpected way.

The Torah instructs the Jewish people to keep the first day of Passover as a “memorial” of the exodus from Egypt. It works as one of God’s reminders. God rescued Israel from Egypt and told the people to keep the festival as an appointed time and a remembrance of their salvation.

Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)

The Master kept the seder meal with His disciples in Jerusalem. He took the unleavened bread and the customary Passover cup and instructed His disciples to do so henceforth in remembrance of Him. On the day of the sacrifice, He became a spiritual sacrifice—Israel’s Passover lamb. At the appointed time for the Jewish people to sacrifice their Passover lambs in remembrance of the nation’s salvation from Egypt, Yeshua went to the cross.

When believers keep Passover, we have two things to remember. We remember the historic salvation from Egypt as the Torah commands us, but we also remember the salvation granted to us through the sacrifice of Yeshua. The two remembrances are not mutually exclusive. They naturally complement one another.

Every year we keep Passover in remembrance of Yeshua. Messiah Himself told us to do so: “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (Luke 22:19). Did He have in mind only the breaking bread and a sip from the fruit of the vine? No. He spoke within the specific context of Passover. The commandment to do “this” in remembrance of Yeshua refers to the Passover Seder meal. It is not one cup but the traditional cups of Passover. It is not any bread; it is the unleavened matzah bread of Passover. What could be more appropriate for a disciple of Yeshua to do than to keep the festival of Passover in remembrance of Him, just as He told His disciples? (Click to Source)

This Easter Sunday, it’s time to tell the truth about the global war on Christianity (and the rise of Satanism)

Sunday, April 21, 2019 by: Mike Adams

(Natural News) In case you haven’t heard, Christian churches are being bombed all over the world today by radical Islamic terrorists. In Sri Lanka alone, there are 207 Christians reported dead so far and 450+ injured in just one day. This is just days after the burning down of Notre Dame in France, a fire that the media has gone to desperate lengths to report was not set on purpose by Islamic terrorists. (They are now blaming a computer glitch, if you can believe that.)

Across the Middle East, in places like Syria, Christians are being persecuted by the hundreds of thousands. They are killed, tortured and run out of their own homes and countries. Even in places like the Philippines, Islamic terrorists have seized entire islands and targeted Christians for slaughter. As stated by The Gatestone Institute International Policy Council:

The new terrorism in the Philippines is not merely inspired by political or territorial grievances, real or imagined, but rather is imbued with intrinsic hate for the “other” — for the “infidel.” In May 2017, in the city of Marawi, a civilian bus was stopped by jihadis; when 9 passengers were discovered to be Christian — apparently because they were not able to quote the Koran — they were tied together and shot dead, execution style. The jihadis who took over Marawi during the uprising forced women into sex-slavery and ordered Christian men embrace Islam or be used as human shields against the Philippine Army.

In the United States, Christians are being systematically de-platformed off all social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, all of which are now dominated by Satanists who despise Christianity. At the same time, every single Democrat running for president in 2020 has a record of attacking Christianity and either directly or indirectly supporting the silencing of Christians and Christian principles.

Christianity is under attack like never before, all across our world. Yet the left-wing media pretends it isn’t happening. Instead, they claim it is gays, minorities or Muslims who are under attack, and that same media now essentially equates belief in God with “white supremacist” beliefs.

There is a global war on Christianity, and those who are waging it are quite literally the minions of Satan

It’s time to call out the satanists wherever they are found across society: Running universities, media organizations and deep state bureaucracies. Satanism is endemic in Hollywood and the music industry, and Netflix has even been overtaken by Satanism as is now abundantly clear with its hiring of Satanists as “consultants” for its popular “Sabrina” show that features a “teenage witch” who worships the devil to gain power in modern society.

As LifeSiteNews.com reports:

In [the Netflix show], the Sabrina character is called to sign her name in the Book of the Beast. There are demons. Evil spells. Orgies. The show is so satanic in its feel that the Satanic Temple itself is talking about taking legal action against the program for allegedly appropriating the copyrighted monument design of its goat deity Baphomet.

Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg agrees. “The dark, occult-ish elements in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ provide reason enough for parents to keep their children, including teens, far away from this show,” Sprigg told Fox News. “The show has gone over the top in depicting an actual orgy on screen, and if they think having the teen participants keep their underwear on makes it all right, the writers and producers need to think again. This content is not appropriate for anyone, but especially not for the teen audience it targets.”

Beyond just Netflix, all the big tech giants are run by Satanists, too. Wikipedia, for example, relentlessly attacks Christianity (and natural medicine, by the way) while allowing pro-Satanism content to dominate its pages. It was founded by Jimmy Wales, a former “porn king” who uses the power of Wikipedia to bury his own past while allowing the platform to function as a smear engine for pastors, healers and journalists who promote GOOD instead of evil.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, is steeped in evil, demonstrating fascist tendencies in every decision he makes regarding the de-platforming of targeted channels. Those banned from Twitter include people who quote Mother Theresa or Bible scripture. Jack Dorsey personally oversees many of these bans, carrying out literal orders from Satan to silence those who share the word of God.

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com bans books and movies that tell people the truth about vaccines, America, God and more. But the same online retailer openly sells satanic books with chapters on “teenage Satanists” and “animal sacrifice.” As reported by Natural News:

Amazon is happily selling books that promote Satanism, including a book titled, “Satanism: A Beginner’s Guide to the Religious Worship of Satan and Demons Volume I: Philosophy,” published by “Devil’s Mark Publishing.” You can see the book at this Amazon.com link.

Google is also pro-Islam and anti-Christian, as is abundantly clear by Google’s celebration of Islamic holidays and its suppression of Christian websites, videos and content. The people who work at Google hate the very idea of God, with many of them (like Rey Kurzweil) believing that machines are God and hoping to one day merge with those machines by claiming to be able to upload their souls to computer chips (transhumanism).

According to all the dominant tech giants today, even the word “Christmas” is “hate speech.” All the tech giants use the Southern Poverty Law Center — an anti-Christian, left-wing hate group — as the arbiter of “hate.” And the SPLC hates God, Christianity and America.

Planned Parenthood, Satanism and the abortion industry

The entire abortion industry functions largely as a child sacrifice temple, allowing worshipers of Satanism to carry out demonic rituals under the cover of “women’s health.” Many Planned Parenthood workers are practicing Satanists, and they pray to Satan as part of their child murder rituals.

One Planned Parenthood director recently admitted to running “a Satanic pedophile ring.” As Newspunch.com reports:

A former Planned Parenthood director has admitted that the organization is really a front for a Satanic pedophile ring in which abortions are seen as ‘demonic rituals.’  In an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation, Ramona Trevino revealed that staff members have quotas for abortions so that they can use the aborted fetuses for sick Satanic rituals.

The desire to murder babies in the name of Satan is so prevalent among Leftists / Democrats that the Governor of North Carolina just vetoed a bill that would require health care for babies born alive after failed abortions. You can almost hear Gov. Roy Cooper screaming, “Let them DIE!” as he licks his lips to lap up the blood of children murdered in the name of Satan.

A short list of the institutions which are now run by Satanists who despise God and Christ

Satanism has invaded and infected nearly every institution in modern society:

  • The Democrat party and ALL Democrats running for president.
  • Hollywood, Netflix, Amazon Prime and all of the dominant streaming content producers.
  • The pop culture music industry.
  • Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and all the tech giants.
  • Modern medicine, which feeds on baby parts while pushing vaccines that contain aborted human fetal tissue (turning every vaccine into a cannibalism blood ritual).
  • The Vatican and the Pope, who is a direct servant of Satan.
  • The LGBTQ activist community, which pushes pedophilia and the destruction of the Church because the Church teaches that homosexuality is unclean. (But don’t you dare mention the epidemic of anal cancer that’s spreading across the LGBT community like wildfire.)
  • Every level of government, from local city councils to the federal deep state in Washington D.C.
  • The children’s books industry, including the Harry Potter series.
  • The global banking cartels, which are all owned and run by pedophiles and child blood harvesters.
  • The institution of “science,” which has become fanatical in its push to vaccine children with the blood of other children. (Vaccines contain WI-38 and MRC-5 cell lines, which are derived from aborted human babies, as is admitted by this CDC official document).
  • Universities and public schools.
  • The open borders advocates who need the borders to stay open so they can continue to traffic human children who are used as sex slaves and child sacrifice rituals by wealthy Democrat donors (and other sickos, like tech elitists and science “skeptics” who push medical child abuse).

What you can do to stay informed and defend the Word of God

Too many churches in America are teaching watered-down scripture that’s afraid to teach the real word of God. If you want to hear a Christian pastor who isn’t afraid to discuss Revelation, the End Times and the attacks on Christianity, connect with Discover Ministries out of Australia, run by pastor Steve Cioccolanti.

Cioccolanti preaches what nearly all U.S. pastors are afraid to say.

His Brighteon video channel is found at this link.

There are also many courageous Christian video channels on Brighteon.com, the free speech alternative to YouTube.

Note to Cioccolanti’s staff: Please upload more videos to Brighteon.com so that we can share them.

Make no mistake: Modern human civilization has been overtaken by demonic forces who are at war with God and humanity. At least half the population has now been overtaken by demonic influence (probably much more) and are actively working to destroy human life (babies, etc.), individual liberty, national sovereignty, all white people, all Christians, etc. Every person who promotes infanticide and post-birth abortion, for example, is an actual demon in human form. They are quite literally no longer human. They are demons pretending to be human.

Watch my all-important Counterthink episode to learn the full truth about “demons in human form.”

Be prepared, both physically and spiritually. According to some, we have already entered “End Times” scenarios, and we are watching the rise of the demonic Left and soon, the Antichrist. This Antichrist will pretend to be a global messiah who promises to heal the world and end war and conflict. In truth, he is the embodiment of Lucifer, and he will deceive billions into following him as he leads humanity toward destruction.

Even most Christians will be fooled and will surrender their souls to his influence.

Watch for more signs of the emerging Mark of the Beast, the global persecution of Christians and the rise of global government. These are all signs that the end game is approaching. (Click to Source)

Federal opioid pill bust reveals doctors trading pills for sex, dentists pulling good teeth

Terry DeMio, Cincinnati EnquirerPublished 5:35 p.m. ET April 19, 2019

CINCINNATI – They were medical professionals but they traded prescription pain pills for sex, prosecutors say. Others let untrained office workers examine patients, leaving a blank prescription pad at the clinic, their indictments reveal.

One dentist extracted the healthy teeth of patients as an excuse to give them painkillers, the feds say. Two of the prescribers charged in this week’s federal opioid sweep caused the deaths of five patients because of overprescribing, court papers show.

All of the 60 doctors, nurse practitioners, office staff, pharmacists and dentists charged in an Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioids Strike Force investigation face felonies for prescribing opioids when they shouldn’t.

The accusations in some of the indictments go beyond making money off people with addiction disease or acting to obtain drugs to feed their own addictions.

For example, Dr. Thomas Ballard III is accused of giving pain pills to people in exchange for sex and prescribing opioids to at least one pregnant woman, who died.

Court documents say Ballard, of Ballard Clinic-Family Practice in Jackson, Tennessee, didn’t monitor his patients for addiction as required. He also prescribed the deadly combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, a sedative, despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA warnings. He was charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting, as well as unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances.

Combining opioids and benzodiazepines, which are sedatives often prescribed for anxiety disorder or depression, is deadly. In 2016, the CDC issued new guidelines recommending that clinicians avoid prescribing the two kinds of medications together.

Ballard’s case wasn’t the only drugs-for-sex case in Jackson.

The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force announced that they have charged 60 individuals, including 53 medical professionals, with crimes related to illegal distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics. Albert Cesare, acesare@enquirer.com

 

\There was also Jeffrey Young, the self-nicknamed “Rock Doc,” who actually is a nurse practitioner, accused of trading opioids for sex.

A federal grand jury indictment says that Young prescribed about a half-million hydrocodone pills, 300,000 oxycodone pills, 1,500 fentanyl patches and 600,000 benzodiazepine pills over three years. His supervisors, Dr. Alexander Alperovich and Dr. Andrew Rudin, were also indicted.

Young even had a radio show about his clinic at one point.

In Kentucky, there was an absent doctor. Dr. Mohammed A.H. Mazumder of Prestonsburg, owned Appalachian Primary Care in Prestonsburg. A federal indictment says he told his employees, who weren’t doctors, to receive patients at the clinic when he wasn’t there. The indictment says that a medical technician evaluated patients, then two receptionists called pharmacies with prescription orders for pain pills and other drugs under Mazumder’s name. The clinic billed Medicare and Medicaid, as if Mazumber had done the job.

Dr. Denver Tackett ran a dental clinic in McDowell, Kentucky. An indictment accuses him of prescribing oxycodone and hydrocodone that were not reasonable for the treatment of patient’s illness or injury. He also is accused of pulling teeth out of six patients from 2016 to 2018 who had no need for extractions, as well as submitting claims to Medicare and Medicide for procedures he did not perform.

Tanya Mentzer, an office manager at a family medicine clinic in the city of Hoover, Alabama, also faces federal charges. She had no medical education, license or medical experience, say the feds, but she is accused of distributing and dispensing controlled substances illegally to gain money.

The indictment claims that she and co-conspirators operated their business as “a pill mill, frequently providing dangerous, addictive, powerful opioid cocktails” for no medical reason. (In this indictment, the co-conspirators are unnamed.) The clinic was often open at odd hours, including after midnight, the feds say.

Also in Alabama, Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turnerof Choice Medicine Clinic near Huntsville, is accused of prescribing excessive amounts of drugs, giving patients as many as 15 pills a day and leaving blank forms to be filled out by staff when she wasn’t at the clinic. She was the sole physician at the clinic, the indictment says.

Dr. Darrell Rinert, an internist with a license to practice in Tennessee, is accused in a federal grand jury indictment of causing the deaths of four people, after prescribing them hydrocodone repeatedly from 2014-2016. An indictment claims that Rinert routinely prescribed “highly addictive opioids” including morphine sulfate, hydrocodone, oxycodone and dextroamphetamine for patients without a legitimate medical reason.

The state medical board suspended him in November 2018 through May 2019, when his license will expire.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr released a statement calling the investigation “outstanding.” He added, “The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said stopping the illegal sales of opioid prescriptions is a crucial goal for President Donald Trump.

Azar also referred to the operation’s first-of-its-kind effort to get treatment to the patients left behind.

“It is also vital that Americans struggling with addiction have access to treatment and that patients who need pain treatment do not see their care disrupted, which is why federal and local public health authorities have coordinated to ensure these needs are met in the wake of this enforcement operation,” he said. (Click to Source)

More: See the full list of those indicted.

Sri Lanka attacks: More than 200 killed as churches and hotels targeted

At least 207 people have been killed and 450 hurt in explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, police say.

Eight blasts were reported, including at three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district during Easter services.

The Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand luxury hotels, all in the capital, were also targeted.

A curfew has been put in place “until further notice” and social media networks have been temporarily blocked.

It remains unclear who carried out the attacks, but reports say 13 people have so far been arrested.

Late on Sunday, the country’s air force said an improvised explosive device had been found, and disposed of, close to Colombo’s main airport.

“A PVC pipe which was six feet in length containing explosives in it was discovered,” spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told local media.

It comes as the country’s prime minister admitted there may have been prior intelligence about the attacks.

Officials says 36 foreign nationals are thought to be among the dead, including 25 yet to be identified.

How did the attacks unfold?

The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45 (03:15 GMT) local time – with six blasts reported close together at churches and luxury hotels.

Map showing locations of attacks
Presentational white space

St Sebastian’s church in Negombo was severely damaged in one explosion, with dozens killed at the site.

Images from inside showed blood on the pews and the building’s ceiling shattered.

There were also heavy casualties at the site of the first blast in St Anthony’s, a hugely popular shrine in Kochchikade, a district of Colombo.

Robert Tyler, who has lived in Sri Lanka for six years, told the BBC that at least two of the hotels appeared to have had their restaurants targeted at a busy time for breakfast.

Two further explosions were reported as police tried to find those involved. One blast hit near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo, and an eighth was reported near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid, killing three officers.

The government has said most of the attacks are thought to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

A general view of the empty streets after the Sri Lanka Police curfewImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe streets of Colombo were far quieter than usual as the curfew came in

Who are the victims?

The vast majority of those killed are thought to be Sri Lankan nationals, including dozens who were attending Easter church services.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says five British people – including two with joint US citizenship – are among the dead. The US State Department has said “several” Americans have been killed.

Three Danish citizens, two Turkish nationals and one person from the Netherlands were also killed, their governments have confirmed.

Sri Lankan officials say three Indian nationals and one Portuguese citizen are also among the dead.

They say 25 more fatalities at a Colombo mortuary are also thought to be international citizens awaiting identification.

Airlines have said people are still able to travel to the airport under the curfew if they produce their boarding pass and identification at checkpoints.

Travellers are being advised to arrive at the airport four hours before their scheduled flight time.

A bomb goes off as Special Task Force personnel raid a home near Dematagoda in ColomboImage copyrightAFP
Image captionA bomb goes off as Special Task Force personnel raid a home near Dematagoda in Colombo

What have officials said?

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the media on Sunday evening.

During the briefing, he referred to allegations that officials had been in possession of intelligence suggesting an impending attack.

“We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken. Neither I nor the Ministers were kept informed,” he said.

“For now the priority is to apprehend the attackers,” he added.

Pope Francis, in his traditional Urbi et Orbi speech at the Vatican, condemned the attacks as “such cruel violence” targeting Christians celebrating Easter.

Blast damage at the Shangri-La hotel in ColomboImage copyrightAFP
Image captionBlast damage at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said he is “outraged” by the attacks, and hopes the perpetrators will be “swiftly brought to justice”.

Cardinal Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Ranjith, told the BBC: “It’s a very difficult and a very sad situation for all of us because we never expected such a thing to happen and especially on Easter Sunday.”

UK PM Theresa May tweeted condolences, saying the “acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling”.

US President Donald Trump tweeted “heartfelt condolences” for the “horrible terrorist attacks”.

Media caption Archbishop of Colombo: ”A very, very sad day for all of us”

What’s Sri Lanka’s recent history?

Sunday’s attacks are the deadliest seen in Sri Lanka since the end of the country’s civil war in 2009.

The civil war ended with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, who had fought for 26 years for an independent homeland for the minority ethnic Tamils. The war is thought to have killed between 70,000 and 80,000 people.

The nation has seen some sporadic violence since. In March 2018 a state of emergency was declared after members of the majority Buddhist Sinhala community attacked mosques and Muslim-owned properties.

 

A statue of the Virgin Mary broken in St Anthony's ShrineImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionA statue of the Virgin Mary, broken in St Anthony’s Shrine

Religion in Sri Lanka

Theravada Buddhism is Sri Lanka’s biggest religious group, making up about 70.2% of the population, according to the most recent census.

It is the religion of Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority. It is given primary place in the country’s laws and is singled out in the constitution.

Hindus and Muslims make up 12.6% and 9.7% of the population respectively.

Sri Lanka is also home to about 1.5 million Christians, according to the 2012 census, the vast majority of them Roman Catholic. (Click to Source)

Nigeria: Muslims massacre 17 Christians after baby dedication, including the child’s mother

 

These incidents are really happening, and they’re happening more and more frequently. In the West, meanwhile, those who speak about them are vilified as “Islamophobes” and steadily defamed, deplatformed, and silenced. Silencing news of such incidents, however, will not prevent them from happening, even, eventually, in the U.S.

“Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Massacre Christians after Baby Dedication in Nigeria,” Morning Star News, April 18, 2019:

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 17 Christians who had gathered after a baby dedication at a church in central Nigeria, including the mother of the child, sources said.

Safaratu John Kabiru Ali, the mother of the baby, was slain in the attack on Sunday (April 14) in Konshu-Numa village, in Nasarawa state’s Akwanga County, which also took the lives of people ranging in age from 10 to 80. The baby’s father, John Kabiru Ali, was shot and is in critical condition, sources said. He is receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, in Nasarawa state.

The attack took place at about 7 p.m. as Christians in the predominantly Christian community gathered to eat after the child was dedicated that morning at the Ruhaniya Baptist Church in the village.

The massacred Christians were buried on Wednesday (April 17) after a funeral service at the Baptist church.

A resident of Akwanga town who lost relatives in the shooting, Jacob Tantse, told Morning Star News that 17 Christians were killed, including 10 members of the Ruhaniya Baptist Church, five members of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), one member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), and a musician playing for guests.

Tantse identified those killed as Ali Nkene, 80; Gode Kako, 13; Afiniki Kako, 10; Matthew Emmanuel, 28; Tafiya Baya, 17; Sarakuna Haruna, 21; Amos Julius, 60; Mary Amos, 40; Sunday Adebayo John, 21; Talatu Mada, 40; Saratu Kabiru John, 21; Justina Barrau, 60; Simon Anfani, 37; Kadon Sule, 20; Ayuba Bulus, 11; Haruna Bawa, 22; and the musician, Samame Andaha, 28.

He also said eight Christians, including the host of the event, John Kabiru Ali, were wounded in the attack.

“They include members of the various congregations of the Baptist, Catholic, and ERCC churches,” Tantse said…. (Click to Source)

The Feasts of the Lord – Leviticus 23

Leviticus 23:1-44

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord‘s passover.

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.

17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord.

19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.

35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:

38 Beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.

39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.

41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

(Leviticus 23:1-44King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

The Blood of the Lamb Has Power

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)April 21, 2019

 

Jesus came as one blood sacrifice, and the blood of this Lamb has power. Power to cleanse, power to heal, and millions upon millions around the world have experienced the glory and the power of this cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

We serve the living Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Ask the Holy Spirit to come and speak to your heart in that still, small voice. If you don’t know Christ, that’s what Easter is all about. I want you to take a step as the prodigal son did: he walked back to the father.

First of all, I want you to know that there’s no sin that anyone has ever committed that’s so horrible or so wicked that it can’t be forgiven. God doesn’t turn anybody down. Secondly, I ask you—once you’ve confessed your sins and believed in the cleansing power of Jesus Christ’s blood—don’t go back to them. Give them over, and don’t let the devil haunt you with them because those sins are under the blood of Christ.

Some of you live in condemnation. You live in fear. Believe that this lamb was slain for you, and your sin was laid on his shoulder. He carried your sin, and he paid the price for that, and there’s nothing you can do to work it through. So, right now, just lay it down. Then when these thoughts come back to hound you, say, “Jesus is my righteousness. Christ is my righteousness. Christ is my righteousness.”

When Satan comes and lies to you, when he tells you that you still have some devil in you or whatever he says. Right now, just say back: “Christ is my righteousness.”

Say it right now. “Christ is my righteousness.”

Glory be to God. He is our righteousness. We deserved hell, and he gave us heaven because we trust in him.

I want you to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart if you’ve drifted from him and want to come back to his love and grace on this Easter. The Bible says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved. I believe that. I believe that with all my heart. (Click to Source)

Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Exodus 20:14 – April 21, 2019

Exodus 20:1-26

 And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

22 And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

(Exodus 20:1-26King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

Facing the Enemy with Courage

Nicky Cruz – April 20, 2019

 

Whether we believe it or not, it is a fact that Satan is on a mission — a mission as simple as it is single-minded. He is out to steal our passion and he is determined to accomplish it. Imagine how effective he can be if he can carry out this one task — this one pursuit. This one thing he desperately needs to achieve.

If Satan can steal our passion, take away our excitement for Jesus, keep us from getting caught up in thoughts of winning souls and reach the world for Christ, he can effectively keep his dominion on earth intact. He knows that truth, and he works with every fiber of his being to see it happen. In far too many ways he is succeeding.

Too often Christians fret and complain about the future; they cry and moan about Satan’s many victories in the world, how he is winning so many battles and gaining so much momentum in this country, as well as around the world. They talk as if Satan is destined to win. “We’re losing our kids to the culture,” they say. “Our churches are dying in numbers, and our society is growing more evil by the day.” I see it myself but I know that when Satan is winning, it is because the people of God are cowering in retreat instead of standing up and facing the enemy with courage. They are giving up too easily. The Word of God tells us, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).

I long to see a day when Christians stand shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, in this war with Satan and finally draw a line in the sand, right in the middle of his path. You can be a part of this army of soldiers rising up against Satan in this day. Let your heart be ignited by the Holy Spirit and become a warrior in this huge battle for God. The war is being waged, so take up your sword and find your place within his ranks! (Click to Source)

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.  

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