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CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH

Health officials say Christian beliefs ‘incompatible with human dignity’

December 6, 2021 — WND.com reports: “Officials for the North Bristol National Health Service Trust in the United Kingdom are claiming the Christian beliefs of a former employee are ‘incompatible with human dignity,’ especially when they touch on Islam and marriage.

The claims arise as part of their defense against a lawsuit brought on behalf of Brian Walker, 66, who has alleged discrimination, victimization and harassment on the part of NHS officials who say his Christian faith fails to qualify as religious or philosophical beliefs under the Equality Act.

Christian Concern is reporting on the case brought by the Christian Legal Center against the health officials for constructive dismissal when Walker resigned because of a ‘totalitarian’ investigation of him.

Health officials treated Walker as a ‘terrorist,’ the report explained, forcing him out of work even though he was pressured by the need to support his disabled children…”  (Christianity incompatible with human dignity?  What utter nonsense.  Christianity teaches the Imago Dei – that man is created in the image of God: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them – Genesis 1:27.  Theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff makes the case that the idea of human rights came from Christian reflection on the core belief that God created humans in His image, or the “Imago Dei.” This is a central Christian tenet that means every person has worth and dignity as image-bearers of God.)

Most Americans, Many Christians Don’t Believe Jesus Existed before Being Born

December 13, 2021 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “A new study from Lifeway Research found that most Americans believe that Jesus was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, but less than half believe that Jesus existed prior to being born on that first Christmas.

‘Most Americans consider Jesus’ birth a historical fact,’ said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. ‘It can be easy to only evaluate Jesus like you would any other historical figure—thinking about when He lived and what He did. However, the Bible also describes Jesus in a way that one must evaluate who you believe He was. Most Americans believe His origin was from God the Father, but half as many believe He existed before His birth.’

According to Christianity Today, Most Americans (80 percent) agree Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Father, while 10 percent disagree and 10 percent aren’t sure.

However, the study also found that many Americans are not sure if Jesus existed before his birth or are unsure about the Trinity. About 40 percent said God’s son existed before the birth in Bethlehem, and about 32 percent said they disagreed with that. About 28 percent said they weren’t sure…”  (…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? – Luke 18:8.  The article, and the one that follows,  makes one wonder what the answer to that question would be.  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. – Amos 8:11-12.

Thankfully, God always has a faithful remnant.  In I Kings 19 following the victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah fled to the wilderness after hearing a threat from Jezebel.  We read: …he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.  And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.  And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.  And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.  And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.  And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?  And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:  And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?  And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:  And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.  And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.  Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. – I Kings 19:4-18 [Emphasis mine].  Thank God for His faithful remnant.  See the next report.)

The Number of Americans Who Identify as Christian Has Fallen

December 21, 2021 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “A new Pew Research study found that the number of American Christians has fallen to 63 percent.

In 2007, about 78 percent of U.S. adults said they identified as Christian.

Those who identified as religiously unaffiliated jumped from 16 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2021.

While Christians once outnumbered religious ‘nones’ 5 to 1, ‘Christians now outnumber religious ‘nones’ by a ratio of a little more than 2-to-1,’ the report stated.

The percentage of Americans who identify as Catholic has fallen from 24 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2021. The steepest fall, however, came from Protestantism, which fell from 52 percent to 40 percent…”

30 million Christians in danger as ‘anti-Christian hysteria’ sweeps world’s 2nd largest country

December 23, 2021 — WND.com reports: “Persecution against Christians is on the rise in India — with Christians suffering communal boycotts, physical abuse and legal harassment.

Empowered by vaguely-defined state anti-conversion laws, anti-Christian mobs in many parts of the country scour through villages, seeking Christians to harm, churches to storm, Christian schools to attack and Christian literature to burn, according to a Wednesday report from the New York Times.

‘Christians are being suppressed, discriminated against and persecuted at rising levels like never before in India,’ International Christian Concern advocacy director Matias Perttula told the outlet. ‘And the attackers run free, every time.’

In some cases, according to the Times, authorities assist in these anti-Christian attacks…”  (Great persecution will soon overtake most Christians in a majority of the world.  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Matthew 5:10 – 12; If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. – John 15:18 – 21; …When he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.  — Revelation 6:9; …I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. – Revelation 20:4; and Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. – Revelation 2:10.  See the next report.)

Report: Anti-Christian Hate Crimes in Europe Jump by 70% in One Year

December 10, 2021 — Breitbart.com reports: “A Christian persecution watchdog group released a major report this week chronicling a disturbing spike in anti-Christian hate crimes in Europe.

The Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance against Christians in Europe (OIDAC) revealed that hate crimes targeting Christians in Europe rose by a startling 70 percent between 2019 and 2020, with the highest frequency occurring in France and Germany.

OIDAC’s ‘Top 5 – Report 2019/2020,’ the product of two years of research, was issued to mark the International Day of Human Rights celebrated on December 10. The report shows ‘a multitude of incidents and examples of hate crimes as vandalism of churches and other threats to religious freedom in five European countries where it identified the most severe challenges for Christians.’…”

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