Church

Pistorius Family Prayer Should Be Done in Private

Why does the Pistorius family bow heads in prayer before the trial, in public view?

Times Live:

They could have done that discreetly, as God does not need public displays! He knows what we all need – not want.

Is it not just another method being used to soften the minds of people who realise that Oscar is a spoilt brat, used to getting his own way or else throwing tantrums and threatening people?

It would seem that his temper and his lack of taking responsibility for his actions, has gotten the better of him this time.

Pity someone like Reeva had to die for the world to see that!

 

Church

Pope Benedict: God Told Me To Do It

And missed, he is. The Telegraph reports:

“God told me to do it,” the 86-year-old former pontiff told a friend, six months after his decision to step down shocked the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

God had implanted in his heart the “absolute desire” to resign and to devote himself to a life of prayer and reflection, Benedict told the anonymous confidante, according to Zenit, a Rome-based Catholic news agency.

“It was not because of any type of apparition or phenomenon of that sort,” he said, but instead the result of a “mystical experience” received during “a direct rapport with the Lord”.

He said the more he sees the “charisma” of Pope Francis, his successor, the more he is convinced that it was “the will of God” that he became the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.

Francis, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, has won huge popularity with his down-to-earth and direct style, renouncing many of the trappings of office, visiting a favela slum during his week-long trip to Brazil last month and calling for a “poor Church”.

The conversation between Benedict and the confidante took place in Mater Ecclesiae, the former convent within the walls of the Vatican that has been converted into a retirement home for the German former pope.

Vatican sources confirmed the veracity of the report but declined to reveal the identity of the person that Benedict spoke to.

“The report is reliable, without a doubt, although this is not an official Vatican statement or position,” an insider told The Daily Telegraph.

Benedict surprised the world, including cardinals and close aides within the Vatican, when he unexpectedly announced his intention to resign on Feb 11.

He made the announcement during a gathering of cardinals in the Vatican, choosing to deliver the bombshell in Latin.

Many of the cardinals did not immediately understand what he had said, but the news was picked up by a sharp-eared correspondent from Ansa, the Italian news agency, who happened to be well versed in Latin and landed herself a worldwide scoop.

Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, left the Vatican for the last time as Pope just over two weeks later, flying off in a white helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, a hilltop castle outside Rome used as a papal retreat during the hot summer months.

Pope Francis was elected as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years, and the first from the Americas, during a secret conclave of 115 cardinals in March.

Benedict returned to live in the Vatican in May, saying that he would remain “hidden from the world”, devoting the rest of his life to prayer and theological study…

 

Church

Egypt’s Cruellest Week

The police lieutenant put his boots up on the desk and casually reloaded his machine gun. “The problem is,” he said, nodding at a television that was live-broadcasting the siege of a nearby mosque, “these people are terrorists.”

It was mid-afternoon last Saturday, and for nearly 24 hours, the lieutenant’s colleagues in the police and army had surrounded the al-Fath mosque in central Cairo, inside which were hiding a few hundred supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. On screen, it seemed like it was the soldiers doing the terrorising. But for the lieutenant, the terrorists were the ones on the inside. They had bombs, the policeman said: they deserved what they got. And a mob of locals agreed. “The police and the people,” chanted a crowd that had gathered to lynch the fugitives as they exited the mosque, “are one hand.”

It was a wretched scene – but one that has become familiar in Egypt…

Read on here.

 

Church

15 Biblical Teachings that are Presently Hip to Hate

Via Stand Firm:

15: There is absolute truth about God that is knowable and, in fact, known to all. Certainty about who he is and what is owed to him is not only possible, we have no excuse for the lack of it (Rom 1:18-33)

14: Morality is not relative to ethnic/religious/geographical context: That there is an absolute measure of virtue inscribed by God into every human heart to which all human beings regardless of geographical location or religious education will be held (Rom 2)

13: Human beings are not good (Mark 10:18, Rom 3:10-20, Eph 2:1-4) So bad things Never happen to good people.

12: God knows all things and sees all things and is not surprised by the future (job 37:16, Psalm 139)

11: God is sovereign over human decision and human history and nothing takes place apart from his will (Matt 10:29-30)

10: Natural disaster, illness, death, disease, famine, cruelty…testify not to God’s limited power or his lack of goodness, but to human sin. (Luke 13:1-5)

9: Human beings cannot earn a place in God’s kingdom. (Gal 3:10-14)

8: Salvation involves being rescued by God from the wrath of God (John 3:36).

7. Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and the life and there is no other way to the Father but through faith in him (John 14:6)

6. There is no salvation in any other religion, spirituality, morality, philosophy (Acts 4:12, Matthew 28:18-22, Rom 10:13-17)

5. Hell exists and all who do not repent turn to Christ will be there forever (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20)

4. Justification necessarily involves the imputation of Christ’s righteousness (Phil 3; 2 Cor 5:21)

3. Justifying faith is a gift from God that he is not obligated to give and does not give to all (Eph 1:3-14, Eph 4:1-8, Romans 9)

2. God has established all earthly authorities that exist (Rom 13) including church (Eph 4:9-14) and household authorities (Eph 5:22-33), pastors leading churches, husbands leading families.

1. Christians are called to suffer and take up the cross, not to prosperity, health and wealth. (1 Peter 4:12, Mark 4:34-38)