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El Paso

A couple console each other near an El Paso Walmart where a mass shooting occurred Saturday.  Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Mass shootings. What are Christians to make of them? But before we answer this question, perhaps we should sharpen the question a bit, asking instead, What are American Christians to make of them?

The obvious motive for my writing on this subject is the report from El Paso, TX, where another mass shooting has left many dead and injured, not to mention many other traumatized by the sinful violence of the event.

If that weren’t enough, I woke up this morning to hear of another mass shooting, this time in nearby Dayton, OH which reportedly has left 9 dead.

Oddly enough, both these shootings in far apart places – Dayton and El Paso are over 1,500 miles apart – both have a personal connection to me. El Paso is the home of several friends of mine from ThornCrown Ministries, while I personally know a man who currently serves as an officer on the Dayton police force. My friends are all safe, but clearly there are many people in both places who have suffered great loss.

The response from the news media and other Second Amendment foes is predictable: Guns are the problem and must be more strictly regulated. The ultimate goal of these people seems to be the complete disarmament of the American people.

As Christians, what are we to say to this? Certainly, in the wake of such tragedies it is tempting to go along with the anti-gun rhetoric. But we must ask, What does the Bible say about the right of private citizens to bear arms? Does Scripture prohibit private citizens from owning weapons, or does it support their doing so?

Another question related to this is what does the Bible say about criminal justice? Does the Bible call for crime punishment or crime prevention? How we answer these questions will serve to guide us as we evaluate the statements we see in the news concerning the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

The short answer to the first question is, yes, the Bible allows for private citizens to own weapons. To the second question, we answer that the Bible calls, not for crime prevention, but for crime punishment.

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Dems show of hands illegal health care benes

All ten Democratic presidential candidates raise their hands to indicate their agreement when asked if their government healthcare plan would cover for undocumented (i.e. illegal) immigrants.  The Democrats have become the party of immigration treason.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)  

Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

    – Deut. 10:19

If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

    – 2 Thess. 3:10

Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants,” asked moderator Savannah Guthrie to the ten assembled Democratic presidential candidates. All ten raised their hands in support.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) regularly lectures Americans on their supposed obligation to provide for foreigners via their tax dollars. One recent example from this organization can be found in a June 26, 2019 press release, where the bishop’s tell us, “Congress has a duty to provide additional funding to address the needs of children in federal custody.”

Another example of the Roman Catholic Church-State’s (RCCS) belief that immigrants, migrants and refugees are entitled to the support of American taxpayers is a letter from Catholic Charities opposing the Trump administration’s proposed rule change that would bar legal immigrants from getting green cards – a green card allows an immigrants to live and work permanently in the US – if they have received certain types of public assistance.

The notion that immigrants – legal and illegal – are entitled to taxpayer support is not limited to Roman Catholics and secular liberal Democrats. Organizations that claim to represent Evangelicals say much the same thing. For example, lest one thing that the USCCB and the liberal Democrats are alone in demanding American citizens be taxed for the benefit of foreigners, the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT) voiced its objections. In their objection, the writers at EIT call for an immigration policy that prioritizes “the unity of the immediate family.” Since, in the eyes of EIT, the public charge law could lead to separation of families, it must be opposed.

In the four examples cited above, there is an assumption, sometimes implicit, at other times explicit, that there is a Christian, or at least a moral, obligation on the part of Americans to be taxed by their government to provide entitlement benefits to foreigners. One will often hear supporters of this view quote the Bible in support. For example, the liberal “Evangelical” organization Sojourners has a page on its website 22 Bible Verses on Welcoming Immigrants. Given Sojourners’ socialist politics, the implication is that, of course, immigrants (legal and illegal), migrants and refugees are entitled to welfare benefits.

But is Christian charity the same thing as government welfare? No, it is not. And if not, then the demands of the USCCB, Catholic Charities, the Democratic presidential candidates, EIT and Sojourners, that American taxpayers pick up the welfare tab for foreign citizens, some of whom are in the country illegally, hold no water.

 

Christian Charity is Not Government Welfare

The conspicuous lack of a welfare state in ancient Israel is a major problem for those, who – as do the Democrats, the RCS and various confused Protestants – demand that American citizens underwrite the cost of so-called entitlements for foreigners.

Israel had no Department of Housing and Urban Development, no EBT cards, and no Medicaid. In short, there was no public dole for anyone – either Israelite or sojourner – to go on.

Now someone may ask, “What about all the verses in the Bible about welcoming the stranger and remembering the orphan and the widow?” Yes, there are quite a few verses to this effect. Here are a few more passages that Sojourners did mention:

  • When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyards, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I am the LORD your God (Lev. 19:9-10).
  • When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the strangers: I am the LORD your God (Lev. 23:22).
  • When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get bit; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for teh stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing (Deut. 24:19-22).

So don’t these verses, all which command the Israelites to leave something of their harvest for the poor and the stranger, justify the welfare state and obligate Americans to support foreigners – whether in the country legally or illegally – with their tax dollars. No, they do not.

One important point to keep in mind is that, while these are commandments of the Lord and violating them was a sin, there were no civil penalties attached to any of these injunctions. The Bible makes a distinction between sins and crimes. The way you can tell the difference is whether civil penalties apply. Stealing was both a sin – it was prohibited in the eighth commandment – and a crime – it was punishable in the law of Moses.

There was no bureaucracy in Israel set up to go around and inspect whether farmers were adhering to the “anti-gleaning laws” found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. There were no fines imposed upon the vineyard owner who gleaned. For him to do so was a sin, but it was not a crime.

Contrast this with the modern welfare state advocated by Democrats, the RCS and confused Protestants. Do American taxpayers have the ability to opt out of paying for these programs. No they do not? Try it sometime and sooner or later you’ll find yourself on the business end of a government gun.

What about hospitals and schools? Hospitals are already required to provide services to all, regardless of immigration status. If they don’t, they will find themselves on the business end of the government gun.

The same goes with schools. The federal government mandates that local school districts provide education to all children, regardless whether they are the children of illegal immigrants. If they don’t, they will find themselves on the business end of a government gun.

Unlike the charity called for in the law of Moses, the modern welfare state is a socialist institution that takes by force the property of one man and gives it to another. This is the nature of government welfare. It is not Christian charity, which is voluntary, but theft.

Another nail in the coffin of the socialists is Paul’s command to the Thessalonians. He wrote, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” There is no command in the Bible for Christians to support those who will not work to support themselves.

With this one command, Paul upends the entire modern welfare state’s notion of entitlement. No man is entitled to the property of another except as punishment for a crime. There is no support in Scripture for entitlement programs – whether for citizens or illegal aliens – that allow one man to live at the expense of another.

Altruism, the idea that need – whether it be the need of a citizen or the need of a legal or illegal immigrant – gives one an entitlement to the property of another, is a concept foreign to the Scriptures.

Christian Charity is Private Charity

Christian charity is always private charity. We can see this is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here was a man who voluntarily gave of his own time and money to help a stranger in need. The Good Samaritan put himself in danger just by attempting the rescue. After all, the brigands who committed the original crime could still be in the area. He inconvenienced himself by diverting from his business trip to take the wounded victim to a town, and then he bore the cost of lodging and care of the man.

This was a private act of charity. No one forced the Good Samaritan to do what he did. And whatever giving was done was given from his own resources, not from government coffers.

As Christians, we are commanded to do our giving voluntarily in the name of Christ. But there is nothing voluntary or in the name of Christ when it comes to the welfare state. Socialism is all brute force. It’s all about the government gun. “Give us your money our we’ll come take it from you,” is the language of the bureaucrat, not the language of Christ.

Conflating Government Welfare with Christian Charity

The dishonesty of the Democrats, the RCS and the confused Protestants at EIT and Sojourners is that they attempt to conflate the notions of government welfare and Christian charity, speaking of them as if there were the same thing.

Christian charity is voluntary, given from one’s own resources and done in the name of Christ. Government welfare in involuntary, takes from the resources of others, and is done in the name of some socialist theorist, Karl Marx for example.

Shifting the Focus

The various socialists mentioned in this post are masters at shifting the focus. They draw your attention to what they want you to see, and leave out those things they don’t want you to think about.

For example, the USCCB and EIT both like to beat their breasts, rend their garments and decry the conditions in migrant detention centers, especially as it affects children. They then follow their cries of outrage with a demand that more taxpayer funds be given to improve conditions in these centers. What they don’t want you to consider, however, is the distinct possibility that making the detention centers nicer than they are just may further incentivize people to do what they shouldn’t be doing in the first place: illegally entering the United States and then falsely applying for asylum as persecuted individuals.

Further, the USCCB, Catholic Charities, EIT and Sojourners don’t want to you start asking whether the massive, unchristian and unconstitutional American welfare state may lie at the root of the migrant crisis in the first place. Ask yourself this, if there were no free goodies for asylum seekers, would there be more of them, or fewer of them? Quite obviously, there would be fewer.

If you’re curious about what sort of benefits are available to asylees and refugees, to the federal government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) website, asylee’s may be eligible to receive, “cash and medical assistance, employment preparation and job placement, and English language training.

But it doesn’t stop with this. What happens if an asylee has a child while in America? That child is automatically considered and American citizen opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the asylee to claim welfare benefits on behalf of the child.

The USCCB, Catholic Charities, the Democrats, EIT and Sojourners don’t want you to think about any this. No. They want to sell you a sob story and then lecture you about your supposed obligation to fork over your hard earned money. After all, it’s what Jesus would do, right?

Nonsense.

The welfare state is immoral and unconstitutional when its limited to Americans. How much more is this the case when foolish presidential candidates and corrupt nominal Christians seek to make the American people foot the welfare bill for all the world?

Closing Thoughts

It is this author’s contention that the conflation of the welfare state with Christian is among the most pernicious lies of the proponents of the mass, nation-breaking migration seen both in Europe and in America.

When immigration patriots say “enough is enough” when it comes to welfare for foreigners, some wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing is always standing at the ready, prepared to lecture them about how the Bible enjoins Christians to “welcome the stranger.” As has been shown above, this is nonsense. There is no command from Christ to put migrants on the public dole. And to say that there is is simply an attempt to guilt Christians into allowing their nations to be overrun by welfare seeking migrant hordes.

Were this to happen, not only would it be disastrous for the citizens of the United States and other capitalist (or at least semi-capitalist) nations, but it would not even good for the migrants in the long run. For if the altruists among the liberals and pseudo Christians get their way, the capitalist nations of the world soon will sink beneath the weight of unlimited welfare demands and end up in the same dire straits as the nations the migrants fled in the first place.

The Bible tells us that the only jobs of the civil magistrate are to punish evil doers and to praise the good. There is no Biblical command for governors to provide housing, education, medical care, food stamps or any of the other accoutrements that the socialists tell us people are entitled to.

The very term “government entitlement” is a lie.

The welfare state is not only unbiblical, it’s also, at least in America, unconstitutional. As such, it is incumbent up the government, not only to not increase benefits for migrants, asylees, refugees and immigrants, but actually to cut them.

It is bad enough that American taxpayers are robbed to provide welfare benefits for their fellow Americans. It is far worse still when Americans are robbed to provide welfare to foreigners, some of whom are in violation of American immigration law.

It is way past time for Americans, in particular American Christians, to demand an end to the great immigration welfare scam.


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Betsy Ross

Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.

    – Leviticus 25:10

Independence Day. July the Fourth. I don’t recall a time when it was anything other than one of my favorite dates on the calendar.

What’s not to like about it? As a kid, it was always a great time. Warm summer days. Family, friends and fireworks. Great stuff.

Oh, and then there was that whole liberty thing. And really, what’s not to love about liberty?

Fast forward forty or so years, and all those things I loved about the Fourth? I still love ’em. But with the passing of time, and growth in knowledge and wisdom, Independence Day has taken on a deeper meaning for me.

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Dem Debate 1_Night 2

Democratic debate night 2, Miami FL, June 27, 2019.  From left to right:  Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Michael Bennet.  Photo. Saul Loeb AFP/ Getty Images.

“I lack the words.” That was my first thought in hearing the remarks of the Democratic presidential candidates last week. From Beto O’Rourke and others babbling in Spanish – are these guys running for President of the United States or President of Mexico? – to lecturing Americans about how horrible they are for not wanting their country invaded by welfare migrants to Bernie Sanders admitting that, yes, he wants to raise taxes on an already over burdened middle class to pay for his big government initiatives of universal single-payer health care and free college for everyone, a more out of touch group of candidates seems hard to imagine.

The message I heard loud and clear from these men and women was this: America, we hate you and want to destroy you.

Generally, I try to steer clear of making overtly partisan remarks on this blog. When discussing politics, my preference is to frame the issue in terms of what the Bible has to say about a particular topic and critique the statements and actions of men based upon the standard of Scripture. I do this, because the problems facing our nation ultimately are not political or economic, but spiritual.

Further, I come from a family of Republicans and I myself have been a Republican and have been all my life. “You hypocrite,” someone may say, “You criticize the Democrats for their shortcomings but fail to see the problems with your own party.” Admittedly, going after the Democrats could be construed this way. But I would say this in my defense, I hardly thing the Republicans are perfect. Far from it. This author has many disagreements with mainstream Republican thought, including some of the policies of the Trump administration.

But what I see from the Democrats that I don’t see from the Republicans is the raw contempt for this country, its people and its institutions – a hatred that I’m even tempted to call demonic – that constantly issues forth from the mouths of various Democratic leading lights. Democrats as a matter of course regularly attack individual liberty, private property, limited government and equality under the law. They cry crocodile tears over the children of illegal immigrants while working overtime to make sure as many American women as possible retain the inalienable right to murder their children. They call their fellow Americans “deplorables” and “bitter clingers” while knowingly advocating policies that are damaging to the legitimate interests of the very people they presume to lecture. They stand for sodomy, socialism, feminism, and cultural Marxism. They can’t wait to take your guns and to give away your hard earned money. They are a party that countenances the use of violence against those with whom they disagree. They are world class experts in political dirty tricks. This is a party so corrupt that several times their activities have forced me to admit that, yes, I indeed have been wrong about them; the Democrats are in reality far more corrupt than I ever thought possible in my wildest imagination.

Not that massive corruption is anything new to the Democrats. They were the party of slavery in the ante-bellum South and the party of Jim Crow afterwards. The Democrats identification with the Confederacy is what in part led Presbyterian minister Samuel Burchard to famously refer to them as the party of “rum, Romanism and rebellion.” Burchard was right in 1884 and his words are still true today. The Democrats rebelled against the Constitution in the 19th century and they are still in rebellion against it the 21st. The 19th century big city political machines – Tammany Hall, for example – were all run by Roman Catholic Democrats.

So what are we to make of the 2019 edition of the Democrats? It seems to me that there are certain broad issues that characterize the party, among them are: Socialism, Environmentalism, Identity Politics, Open Borders and Abortion. All of these are openly at odds with the teaching of Scripture and the provisions found in the US Constitution. Let’s take a look at them.

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McCarrick

Pope Francis embraces then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick during a 2015 visit to the U.S. McCarrick resigned the cardinalate in 2018 before being defrocked.
Jonathan Newton/AP

“The Catholic Church is facing its most serious crisis in 500 years,” wrote Massimo Faggioli in his October 2018 article in Foreign Affairs titled “The Catholic Church’s Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation.”

These are striking words, especially when one considers the publication where the article appeared as well as the author. Foreign Affairs in the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which is without a doubt among the most prestigious and influential foreign policy organizations in the world. It’s membership role reads like a Who’s Who of the rich and famous.

To give you some idea of just how high-powered the CFR’s membership is, here are just a few of the well known names listed on the CFR’s membership page: Condoleezza Rice (former US Secretary of State,, Bill Clinton (form US President), Chelsea Clinton (daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton), Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State), Janet Yellen (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Colin Powell (former US general and Secretary of State), Jerome Powell (current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Peggy Noonan (former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and noted conservative columnist for the Wall Street Journal), George Soros (globalist trouble-maker), Warren Beatty (actor), Elliott Abrams (convicted felon and regime change specialist in the Trump Administration), Stephen G. Breyer (current US Supreme Court justice).

One could go on, but by now it should be clear to the ready that the CFR is no ordinary club. It is among the premier organizations of the globalist elite. Given the status of CFR’s membership, it’s worth paying attention to the articles published in Foreign Affairs, if for no other reason than it’s reflection of what high-level movers and shakers are thinking and talking about.

Among the highlights in Faggioli’s article:

  • “The new wave of sexual abuse revelations in 2018 was disturbing not only because it exposed the persistence of abuse but also because it implicated high level church officials in the abuse and its cover-up.” For example, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, among those implicated in 2018 for his sexual abuse of seminarians, was one of the leaders in the Church’s response to the 2002 sex abuse crisis.
  • Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó wrote an open letter in August 2018 stating that Pope Francis was well aware of McCarrick’s history of abuse but chose to ignore it.
  • Viganó’s letter was openly critical of the “pro-gay ideology” and “homosexual networks” among the Catholic clergy.
  • The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has fueled the current sexual abuse crisis by resisting reform, in much the same way the church’s resistance to reform in the 16th century fueled the Reformation.
  • The uproar created by the sexual abuse scandals has brought to the surface a rift in the church between the conservative-traditionalists and the liberal-progressives
  • This rift could, but likely will not in the short-term, result in a Church schism, with the two camps splitting into separate churches.
  • Former White House Strategist Steve Bannon, conservative-traditionalist Catholic and critic of Pope Francis, is put forth as an example of the split. Bannon, Faggioli notes, has set up the Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy to further conservative thought in the church.

Faggioli’s article, though fairly neutral in tone, can reasonably be seen as an expression of concern by the globalist movers and shakers at the CFR. This should come as no surprise. For, in the opinion of this author, the Roman Church-State is the oldest, wealthiest, and important globalist institution of them all. To the degree that the Roman Church-State is discredited, to that same degree doubt is cast on the entire globalist program favored by the members of the CFR.

A hint of this can been seen in a paragraph from Faggioli’s article that reads,

The Protestant Reformation was the beginning of a process of political nationalization, where the faithful became subjects not only of the church, but also of nations. The rise of the nation state marked the decline of the Roman Catholic political doctrine that held the church’s (specifically the pope’s) legitimacy supreme over that of imperial rulers…

Like the Reformation, which led to the religious breakup of the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V, today’s crisis has geopolitical dimensions.

In this, Faggioli shows that he is keenly aware, in a way many contemporary Protestant’s are not, that the current conflict between Globalism and Nationalism is simply another expression of the conflict between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The globalist New World Order is the geo-political expression of Romanism, whereas those who advocate for national independence (national sovereignty is the more common term) are arguing for the Christian, Biblical system of international relations known as the Westphalian World Order.

Just and Roman Catholicism and Christianity are incompatible, so too are the Romanist New World Order and the Christian Westphalian World Order.

By publishing this Faggioli’s article, the globalists at the CFT are, in the opinion of this author, expressing their concern that, if the Roman Curia can’t put out the fire sparked by the 2018 wave of sexual abuse scandals, the entire globalist program will be put in jeopardy.

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Juncker.PNG

European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

There’s an old joke in politics that says a gaff is defined as when a politician accidently tells the truth. That’s not a bad definition. Generally, those in high office are masters at concealing their true beliefs and motives.

But every now and then, the mask slips. Barak Obama famously accused rural Americans of bitterness and of clinging to their guns and religion.

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Pope in Rome_Pedo

Demonstrator holds up sign in front of Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland, August 2018.  Will Oliver (EFE)

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    – Revelation 18:4

The headline in the Detroit Free Press was as familiar as it was appalling: “5 Catholic priests charged in Michigan sex abuse investigation.” “Does this never end?,” I thought to myself upon reading it. The answer, it would seem, is no.

Indeed, investigations revealing the horrifying scale of the sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church-State have become something of a commonplace in recent years. Time would fail me were I to even attempt to cover, if but briefly, the scandals that have occurred just here in America, let alone try to talk about those in other countries.

As I read through the article – please note, the piece in the Detroit Free Press is, in parts, quite graphic, as it contains language from the affidavits connected with the case; in reading them one is reminded of what the Apostle Paul said to the Ephesians when he wrote to them concerning deeds about which it was shameful even to speak – I kept thinking about the passage in Revelation, where the voice from heaven warns God’s people to come out of Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, that is to say, the Roman Church-State (RCS), “that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.”

But not only did I think about unspeakable wickedness of the RCS, but also about the thunderous silence that emanates from the pulpits of even Bible believing Protestant churches concerning the predations of Rome against the most vulnerable of her people. If you think I’m overstating the case, as yourself this, When was the last time you heard a sermon from the pulpit about Antichrist, about Mystery Babylon, and about the work these tools of Satan are doing right in front of our faces? When was the last time you hear a Protestant minister publicly point out the sins of the Roman Church-State or warn his flock about the dangers of this false church?

The answer, most likely, is never.

Jesus enjoined his disciples to go into all the world and to teach all the things he had taught them. Paul said he was innocent of the blood of all men, because he did not fail to teach the Ephesians the whole counsel of God. Since part of the whole counsel of God is the Bible’s teaching about Antichrist and about Mystery Babylon, when ministers to fail to teach about these topics, or to teach about them falsely, the necessary conclusion is that they – and I’m taking here not about liberal ministers who long ago abandoned any pretense of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but those who would be considered conservative and Bible-believing – are blood guilty for their failure to properly instruct both their congregations and the unbelieving world.

Antichrist is alive and well, and the evil fruits of his evil doctrines are splashed across the headlines all over the internet, yet we Christians remain silent. Why is this? Ignorance is likely one reason. But perhaps more than ignorance, it is out of fear that we remain silent. Fear that we will be rejected. Fear that we will give offense. Fear that me will not hear us and will not like us. Fear of losing our jobs and fear of being censored on the internet. Fear that we will be called haters and intolerant. Fear of being banned from Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.

To all this, Jesus says “Fear not.” It is he who is our king, and it is to him that we owe our allegiance. It is he who warned his disciples not to fear those who could kill the body only, that is to say, other men, but to fear him who can destroy body and soul in hell, that is to say, God.

With this in mind, let us take a closer look at today’s Scripture passage, Revelation 8:4, and see how it relates to the horrible headlines of sex abuse in the Roman Church-State that we so often see.

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