Trench’s proposed rules for choosing the antichrist

starmason

Facebook seems to be a never-ending source of both amusement and frustration for me. I used to block people who would post something completely ludicrous. Now I use it to see what bullcrap is being posted and being passed off as fact.

Today one of my Facebook friends posted a link to an article from an end times conspiracy website. The article was about Pope Francis and how something he said in a sermon was some kind of secret code for all Catholics to eat babies or something. The actual subject of the article is immaterial because what I want to focus on is that at the end of the article it basically states “We’re calling it right now. Pope Francis is the antichrist.” The same Pope Francis who has eschewed the financial trappings that many of his predecessors embraced. The same Pope Francis who has preached nothing but peace and love among all religions since being elected to his position. The same man who drives around in a used 1984 Renault. It’s kind of hard to take a website like that seriously when they claim that the Super Bowl was filled with hidden Illuminati propaganda. More than likely Pope Francis is not the first person they’ve claimed to be the antichrist. I’m sure if I dug deep enough they probably also accused President Obama, Peyton Manning and Justin Bieber of being the antichrist although they nay be right on that last one.

So I am officially imposing a rule on antichrist accusations right now. From now on you only get one so make it count. If you say that Pope Francis is the antichrist and it turns out that you’re wrong, you’re done. No more antichrist guessing for you.

Also here’s a fun game to play if you know someone like that. If they say that so and so is the antichrist bet them $1000 that they’re wrong. Tell them that if they’re so sure that they know who the antichrist is then they’ll have no problem putting their money where their mouth is.

Lastly as an aside before you go bashing all religions in the comments I am a religious man but what I’m not is a fundamentalist asshat who hides behind their faith in order to spread hate and ignorance.

Low Mass of the Dawn

Little-known Mass celebrated in Phila:

I thought this was an interesting article about a Christmas Mass that I never heard of called the Low Mass of the Dawn or the Shepherds’ Mass. Basically it’s just a stripped down low-key mass without all the hippy songs and lifeless repetition from the congregation. Just the Liturgy.

If the Catholic Church had more services like that and less Vatican II stuff I might actually consider returning to the fold.

Low Mass of the Dawn would also be a cool album name.

Atheist lawyer doesn’t know much about law

Lawsuit would challenge oath, invocation:

Everyone’s favorite militant atheist is back in the news again. You may remember Michael Newdow from some years ago when he tried to get the phrase ‘under God’ removed from the Pledge of Allegiance citing his daughter was offended by it. Then it turned out that not only did he not have custody of his daughter but his daughter was a practicing Christian.

Well he’s back and now he’s going after…wait a sec…is this correct…he’s going after Barack Obama?

Michael Newdow believes references to God or religion are unconstitutional. He wants to remove the phrase “so help me God” from the oath of office and block the invocation prayer from Pastor Rick Warren.

At least he’s non-partisan. But again I have to ask all those wishing to do away with all the references to God exactly what religion is being endorsed by the government? Would that be Judaism, Islam, or one of the many variants of Christianity? And how are any of these words endorsing a state religion. There is no Church of America like there is a Church of England.

For someone who is supposed to be a lawyer Mr. Newdow doesn’t seem too bright.

Trench expounds on Christmas

This story actually happened last week and really didn’t garner that much attention but It gives me a chance to educate everyone on the sham that is Christmas.

Anyway it seems that some people with pre-wadded panties at UNC-Chapel Hill got their noses bent because the school library had a tradition of displaying Christmas trees. They said they were offended at the ‘Christian’ display. Which of course resulted in the Christians being offended over the heathens being offended. Now let this Christian set everyone straight.

Both sides are 100% wrong.

How is that possible you ask? Well, there’s more than two sides of a story. In this case there’s my side, or as I like to call it…the truth.

Either side who thinks a Christmas tree is a Christian symbol is dead wrong. The decorating of trees was originally a Pagan practice. After the Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity the Empire sought to stomp out other religions. Christmas came about when the Empire decided to celebrate Christ’s birth rather than the Pagan winter celebration so they co-opted may of their winter traditions into Christmas.

Speaking of Constantine and Christ’s birth, Christ was not born on December 25th. Again the Pagan winter festival was co-opted. One theory even states that December 25th was Constantine’s birthday. Early Christians celebrated the baptism of Jesus on January 6th on the feast of the Epiphany.

So basically Christians who celebrate Christmas are basically celebrating a Pagan festival, or the birthday of Constantine. Take your pick.

On the other hand if you’re faithless and you exchange presents with someone on December 25th you really shouldn’t call it Christmas. Say happy winter solstice or something like that since the word Christmas is from Middle English and means Christ’s Mass.

After the reformation some Christian faith’s didn’t even celebrate Christmas and Easter was considered the high holy day of Christianity since it was the Resurrection of Christ.

So in conclusion Christmas sucks, I hate it, bah humbug, and I wished the Grinch had killed the Whos.

freakin

As always it was your pleasure.

Is Obama the antichrist?

Link

Back during the 2004 election I joked that John Kerry and John Edwards were antichrists.

I was going to make one about Senator Obama but he doesn’t look like anyone from a horror movie.

Since I was raised Roman Catholic I don’t believe in the end times or the Rapture so I don’t put too much stock into an antichrist. So do I think Senator Obama is the antichrist? Not in the least though. Even though he does fit that false messiah description. I don’t think Senator Obama did that on purpose but the Kool-Aid drinking sect of his supporters have.

Remember kids, not everyone on the right is religious and not all of us that are religious are nutbags.

Jesuits to Elect a New ‘Black Pope’

Link

I just thought this was an interesting article on how the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church elects its new leader known colloquially as The Black Pope. I’m sort of fascinated on the inner workings of the Catholic Church and how much there is I don’t know about it even though I was a devout Catholic for most of my life.

I would actually like to strike up a friendship with a Catholic priest if any of them are readers of mine.

Of God and the Psychopath

The Columbine Diaries: Old Wounds … New Passions:

I’m usually not to one to force my religious beliefs on others but I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Christian. And by Christian I mean one who tries to follow in the teachings of Christ and believes that Christ is the son of God. Not, “bible-beating zealot who thinks you’re going to hell because you don’t believe in the same things I do”. Now having said that let me share this article with you about a youth pastor from Littleton, Colorado…

I was a youth pastor in Littleton with a youth group made up primarily of Columbine students. In fact, for a time the Bernall family attended our church and Cassie attended some of our meetings. I had made an appointment to meet a student on the Columbine campus for lunch on April 20th, but that morning I woke up feeling very sick and decided to stay home. At 11:30 I got a phone call from one of my interns who was sobbing and urging me to turn on the television.

At first the images struck me as a fire at the school, but within seconds the cold hard reality of what was really going on sunk in to my conscious mind.

The unthinkable was happening. If you were old enough to remember that day, you know what I’m talking about. A quiet suburban neighborhood was transformed into a war zone, except instead of soldiers being shot, there were innocent teens going through hell on earth.

Over the next several months I met with each of my students who were there to let them pour out their anger and grief, and somehow try to answer the unanswerable question of why God would allow this to happen.

Now seven years later the old wounds are reopened with the release of over 900 pages of documents from the killers. Inside you’ll find what you probably expected…angst, hate, vitriolic diatribes, and even a glimpse into the thinking patterns of a psychopath and a depressive.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t excited about the release of these diaries, I don’t enjoy reliving the feelings of that day. Yet as I have processed things the past few days, I was given an insight that hadn’t occurred to me before.

Perhaps sometimes when old wounds are opened, new passion is born. And that is the case with me today. I work with a ministry that is trying to reach every teen in America with the life changing message of the gospel, and we believe with all our hearts that the message of Christ is the answer to violence in the schools.

One of saddest entries in these diaries is from one of the killers who hoped to find peace in the afterlife. The tragedy of that is that the peace he sought was available to him in this life, and perhaps if he would have found it, 15 families would still have their loved ones. Our hope and prayer is that God will take the calamity and heartbreak of Columbine and use it to reach thousands, even millions of anger ridden students who may simply be looking for peace.

Say what you will about religion but maybe if Harris and Klebold had a little more “Thou shalt not kill” in their lives we wouldn’t even be discussing this.

06/06/06

6.6.6: Tuesday is June 6, 2006:

I normally don’t inflict my religious views on people but since “666” has been in the news lately I’d thought I’d share this article with you. This is especially for people who think that the Book of Revelations was written by the Apostle John and that it foretells the Apocalypse…

Most modern scholars attribute the writing of the book of Revelation to John of Patmos. He is said to have received visions on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, most likely around 90 A.D., that make up the book’s contents.

The Roman emperor Nero, who ruled from 54 to his suicide in 68 A.D., persecuted Christians in horrific ways that were likely to be remembered only a couple of generations later when John may have been writing Revelation. It was under Nero that both St. Peter and St. Paul are traditionally thought to have been martyred in Rome.

Domitian, the emperor from 81-96 A.D., during John’s time in Patmos, “was the first one to take emperor worship seriously,” said the Rev. Dan Doriani, pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton and former chair of the New Testament department at Covenant Seminary. “Since Christians were not worshipping him, they were liable for persecution.”

“Said Frank Flinn, an adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University, “Nero conducted the first systematic persecution of both Jews and Christians and is clearly identified with the real beast of Revelation.”

“Back then there were no separate symbols for numerical values,” said the Rev. Louis A. Brighton, a professor of New Testament interpretation at Concordia Seminary. So letters did double-duty as numbers. The Hebrew consonants that spelled out “Nero Caesar,” in the Greek form of the name, add up to 666. (Transliterated into the Latin form of Nero Caesar, the numbers add up to 616.)

John was a Christian prophet of Jewish origin who was possibly living in self-imposed exile in a cave in Patmos. He wrote his vision in letters to a group of seven Christian churches in western Asia Minor, now Turkey – communities he clearly knew well.

In the first verse, John introduces his book as an apokalypsis, or revelation, a term that has come to define the literary genre – a narrative, told in the first person, that includes visions of the future. The book of Revelation is sometimes called “The Revelation to John” or “The Apocalypse of John.”

Brown said apocalypses are most often addressed to people living in times of suffering and persecution – times so desperate they are seen as the embodiment of supreme evil.

He said the modern misuse of Revelation “is based on the misunderstanding that the message is primarily addressed to Christians of our time if they can decode the author’s symbols. Rather, the meaning of the symbolism must be judged from the viewpoint of the 1st-century (churches)” which received John’s letters.

Revelation is so full of symbolism that nearly anything can be read from it. At one time or another, Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Rasputin, Torquemada and Osama bin Laden have all been considered the antichrist.

But here, Tuesday is likely to be just another day – especially since the Gregorian calendar was not adopted by most of Christendom until 1500 years after Revelation was written.

So lighten up folks. It’s history not Armageddon.