For practicing Catholics, Lent is the time of year when, for 40 days and 40 nights prior to Easter Sunday, you “give up” or stop doing something you enjoy doing, such as watching TV or eating sweets. In many instances, the activity you give up for Lent is a ‘bad habit’ that you want to quit anyway, like smoking cigarettes or overeating.
Why, then, do you only temporarily ‘give up’ something that you shouldn’t be doing in the first place? What is the benefit of giving it up for only five and a half weeks?
When questioned about Lent, Catholics explain that they ‘give up’ things for a certain time every year because it is traditional to do so. They also cite the importance of self-restraint and self-sacrifice in developing good character. For Catholics, Lent is essentially just a symbolic gesture of self-restraint and sacrifice as well as a sign of obedience to the pope.
But what does God think of Lent?
Not surprisingly, he’s not a fan. In Hosea, he states “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus reiterates this position in Matthew, and Isaiah (58) explains in stark detail precisely what God means by fasting, including the consequences of ‘false’ and genuine fasting.
Jesus also advised us NOT to look like we’re fasting when we fast, stating that our fasting should be between us and God, and should not be announced or even visible to the world. This is similar to his advice to pray in private and to give alms (charity) anonymously by not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
Lent is basically just a public display of piety. On Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the 40-day “Lenten season”, observant Catholics receive a cross-mark of ashes on their foreheads from the priest. This is supposed to represent, again symbolically, their repentance of, say, eating too many Snickers bars. The ashen cross also serves as a public declaration that for at least the next 40 days and nights, they’ll do their level best to abstain from eating Snickers bars (or smoking cigarettes or whatever). That the highly visible black smudge on the forehead goes against Jesus’ clear advice not to show the world that you’re fasting, should not be a surprise to anyone.
I have a real problem with Lent, just like I have a real problem with most things Catholic. My understanding is that Lent was initially supposed to represent the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus spent fasting in the desert prior to starting his Earthly ministry. During this time, he was tempted by the devil and overcame each temptation by a rebuttal based on the true interpretation of scripture.
The Catholic organization should take a page from Jesus’ book. He wasn’t out there in the desert to kick a bad habit or give something up for the sake of giving it up – he was being tested to show that even under circumstances of extreme physical and psychological duress, he was able to do God’s will, combat the devil’s insidious attacks, and withstand temptations with God’s help. He was using fasting as a form of training and preparation for the spiritual and physical rigors of his ministry work, which he could successfully accomplish only with God’s help.
Yes, I bolded those three little words so you can see what’s important here. Yet again, Jesus was showing us that we can do the seeming impossible (i.e., withstand and outsmart the very Devil, even though we’re nearing the end of our physical and mental reserves) with God’s help.
Jesus’ time in the desert wasn’t about self-sacrifice or any other kind of sacrifice. It was about leaning on God for all our needs, both physical and spiritual. In contrast, Lent focuses on self-sacrifice and leaning on one’s personal resolve to ‘give up’ something. This, I suppose, is meant to impress God in some way or win you spiritual brownie points, but I’m not buying it and scripture doesn’t support it. And it has nothing to do with Jesus’ time in the desert.
Fasts occur throughout the Old Testament. Typically, a fast is called in order to defer God’s wrath, such as when all the residents of Nineveh (including the cattle) successfully fasted to prevent the destruction of their city that was scheduled to occur within 40 days (see Jonah). Judaism also features specific fasting days, but they are at most a 24-hour period. A fast where you just randomly ‘give up’ something for 40 days and 40 nights has no basis in scripture at all, and is yet another example of what Jesus called “doctrines of man” masquerading as religion (which itself is a cheap knock-off of faith). Catholicism is mostly doctrines of man propped up on a base of demon worship, and Lent is its big red flag.
So what about fasting?
In this, as in everything else, we are to follow Jesus’ example and do God’s will. When God wants you to fast, he’ll not only let you know, he’ll give you the strength to do it. And it will be for a genuine purpose (like Jesus in the desert), not for some contrived hogwash like Lent.
One of Jesus’ best features was his quiet authority. He didn’t ask for notoriety; he cautioned nearly everyone he miraculously healed not to tell anyone what he’d done for them. He wasn’t looking for applause or approval; he was merely doing his job.
People listened to him and responded to him not because he was loud or demanded prime-time coverage, but because he spoke the truth, and truth resonates in all souls. Even the soldiers who came to arrest him (John 7: 45-46) were captivated by the truth he spoke, and attributed his ability to convey the truth as a sign that he was sent by God.
Every human being craves truth.
Some crave it openly; some crave it secretly; and some aren’t even aware they crave it, the lust for truth is so much a part of who they are.
Knowledge is not truth, because all knowledge (except that related to truth) is premised on assumptions and hypotheses, most of which are ultimately discredited. We only need to look to the history of scientific discoveries to see that.
- Truth cannot change.
- Truth is instantly recognizable.
- Truth feels like home.
But truth is not an abstract concept or a ‘thing’ – it’s a person.
Truth is God.
So when we speak the truth, we are speaking God’s language. When we search for the truth, we are searching for God. When we crave the truth above all else, we are craving God’s presence in our lives.
And when we fight for the truth, we are part of God’s eternal army of truth soldiers, the head of which is Jesus.
Never stop fighting. Never give up. Never surrender.
There is no life outside of truth.
Instead of asking “What is truth?”, Pilate (John 18:38) should have asked: “Who is truth?”
Then he would have gotten his answer:
God and organized religion have nothing to do with each other. The truth is – all organized religions worship demons, not God.
The God whom I, as a converted atheist, have come to know and love and trust and lean on is NOTHING like the God portrayed in mainstream Christianity, Islam or Judaism. The God I know as the one and only God is my dad first and foremost.
God doesn’t want to be worshiped. He’s invited us to have a father/child relationship with him, like Jesus had while he was on Earth and continues to have in heaven. Paul called Jesus the first-born among many, and we as born-agains become Jesus’ siblings by default.
Religion is so fake and cloying, it makes my skin crawl. I love God and follow Jesus, but I loathe mainstream Christianity. Roman Catholicism is particularly loathsome. It’s hard to take people seriously who claim to be church leaders when none of them – not one – is actually born again. Oh, they claim “by baptism” to be born again, but they have no clue what they’re talking about; they’re just repeating what they’ve been told. Not one pope has been born again. How can you lead a church of billions if you have no idea whatsoever what you’re talking about? I guess that’s why popes wear the fancy dresses and hats – to distract people’s attention so that their blatant ignorance on all things related to God will not be noticed.
As an atheist, I got that same skin-crawling feeling from religious types as I do now as a born-again. I felt they were playing some kind of lame game that I refused to be drawn into. The sad thing is – I rejected God because I lumped him in the same category as organized religion. I didn’t realize at the time that God has nothing to do with religion. This confusion is mainly due to religion’s co-opting of God as their mascot. But the God of religion is not really God.
All religions are fascist ideologies whose ultimate aim is to brainwash you into giving them your free will and Earthly wealth. Jesus said that you cannot serve God and mammon; from that alone, we can see that God and religion are not the same.
As an out-of-control, hyper-emotional, self-destructive atheist, I wish someone had sat me down and said: Look, Charlotte – God can help you with all your problems. I know how you feel about religion, but God and religion are not the same thing. God wants to be your dad, your perfect dad. All you have to do is choose to forgive whoever’s hurt you. That’s the deal. Pretty simple, huh? You don’t have to feel the forgiveness, you just have to choose to forgive. God will do the rest. If you want the pain to stop, choose to forgive. If you want to live a pain-free life, choose to forgive over and over and over again. Make it your life’s philosophy. God will help you with that. He’s always waiting for you to ask for his help. He’s waiting right now. He’s here, and he’s waiting for you to ask for his help. He won’t help you unless you ask him, because he respects your free will. He would never force his help on you, because he respects your free will. No-one else can help you like God and no-one else loves you like God. He knows everything and I mean EVERYTHING about you, and he still loves you. And he will never leave you, unless you want him to. But once you get to know him, you’ll never want him to go, and you’ll wonder what took you so long to ask for his help.
David Crowley, the 29-year-old writer, producer, director, editor, VFX artist and composer for the controversial film project “Gray State”, was found dead with his wife and five-year-old daughter. The police state that it is an “apparent murder-suicide”, without providing any details about who actually did the killing. Here is the trailer for the film:
I hope a full investigation is made into the deaths, but I doubt there will be one. It sounds to me like a hit, an assassination, or what we conspiracy buffs like to call “a suiciding” to silence a truth-teller before he became too dangerous (meaning, before he was in a position to wake too many people up to the truth about the NWO). Most of these types of assassinations are framed to appear either as suicides or as murder-suicides. In every instance, without exception, there is NO history of depression, and the murdered individual is on the brink of a break-out that would take his or her truth-telling to the next level. PRAY THAT SOMEONE WITH THE SAME COURAGE, FOCUS, INTEGRITY AND VISION AS CROWLEY WILL CONTINUE WITH THE PROJECT, so that the movie will be made.
This movie must be made.
Obvious suicidings such as this one are done to send a warning message to others that the same fate awaits them if they continue exposing the NWO. But how cold and far removed from God the humans who perpetrated this crime must be, to have killed a five-year-old little girl. We must pray for the killers, even as we expose and condemn their acts.
News like this makes us sad for a moment, but then strengthens us to continue fighting for truth. The world is under Satan, as Jesus told us, but we need not be. The truth is always stronger than lies, but it needs to be shouted from the rooftop at high noon, not whispered in the darkness at midnight. Let us continue to shout, and in this way honor and carry on the work of truth-tellers who have suffered at the hands of Satan’s minions.
What these emissaries of hell don’t seem to realize is that the more of us they kill, the stronger become those truth-tellers still standing.
Pray for those who suffer under the children of the Father of Lies, and pray also for those wayward, suffering children.
Love your enemies,
BUT NEVER GIVE IN TO THEM.
Below are some links to recent interviews with David Crowley. As you’ll see, Crowley was articulate, passionate, intelligent, good-looking, young, vibrant, brave, balanced, profoundly gifted as a script-writer and artistic director, and heavily invested in exposing the NWO.
He was a true potential visionary and leader for this generation. People would have believed his movie.
That’s why he was killed.
Jesus was not, is not, and never will be God. This is made crystal clear in the New Testament. Jesus referred to himself as “son of man”, meaning “prophet”, and also as the one who was to come, meaning the Messiah. His disciples and followers, both before and after his crucifixion, never considered him to be God. Why, then, is mainstream Christianity now defined as a belief in Jesus as God incarnate?
Then simple answer is, as Jesus would say, to keep out those who are trying to enter.
If Jesus were God, then the fact of his sinless life would not be exemplary, since God is God and can do anything and everything, including living a sinless life. If Jesus were God, then his constant reference to his relationship with “the Father” would be very strange indeed. Jesus claimed that the Father was greater than him; Jesus claimed that he always did the will of the Father; Jesus claimed that he was going home to the Father; Jesus publicly prayed to the Father and the Father occasionally audibly responded; and Jesus deferred to the Father in all things. Jesus very clearly considered God to be his Father and his Father to be someone who was fully separate and autonomous from him. Certainly, God and Jesus were very close, but they were nevertheless two very distinct persons.
This is how I see it. Jesus came to pay off the spiritual debt of Original Sin. He did that by sacrificing himself as an unblemished (sinless) “lamb”, willingly suffering for sins he did not commit. Jesus was able to live a sinless life because he always did God’s will, meaning that he always asked and took God’s advice. In paying off the debt by accepting to be crucified, Jesus opened the door for his followers to have the same relationship with God as he had. His sacrifice both paid the debt and healed the breach of Original Sin. Because of Jesus’ work, we can have a close relationship with God, like Adam had before the fall, and like Jesus was able to have, being sinless.
Having a close relationship with God is crucial if we are to make it all the way back to heaven. Jesus showed us how to get to heaven and enabled us to get there, but it’s still up to use to make the right choices in life, the way he made the right choices, and to keep making those choices right to our dying breath. If Jesus were God, we would expect him always to make the right choices (he’s perfect, after all), but he wouldn’t be much of an example for us humans. It’s critical that we understand the essential humanity of Jesus, because only as a human can Jesus serve as our “ensample”, as Paul called him. Jesus was not divine; Jesus was not God. Rather, Jesus was fully human and suffused with God’s spirit, in the same way we are, as born-agains.
Then where did this erroneous notion of Jesus being God come from?
I’d suggest it came from people who don’t know God as their Dad and don’t follow Jesus. I’m referring, of course, to the mainstream church that grew into Roman Catholicism and other orthodox offshoots, and from there poisoned all manifestations of “Christianity” to this day. Catholicism was first and foremost a worldly power whose interest was control of people and their wealth. It still is. Jesus tells us that the world is under Satan, so it stands to reason that those organizations that wield control in the world are emissaries of Satan, including Catholicism.
Of course, it would be in Satan’s interest to keep people out of heaven who are trying to enter. By framing Jesus as God, we have a different relationship with Jesus. We don’t see him as “one of us who made it”, but as a divine being who is entirely different from us, superior to us. Paul called Jesus the firstborn among many, meaning he was our big brother spiritually. This is how we must see him, as our older sibling who set a good example for us, as older siblings are inclined to do.
People who call Jesus “divine” or God don’t know God and don’t know Jesus. We need to hold onto the essential humanity of Jesus, because the essential humanity is what makes Jesus’ accomplishments ‘doable’ for us.
Jesus was not, is not, and never will be God. He was supernaturally conceived (scripture foretold that he would be born of a virgin, and so he was), but if DNA tests were available at that time, I am 100% certain they would have shown Jesus to be Joseph’s son. Physically, Jesus shared the DNA of his mother, Mary, and his father, Joseph. But his spiritual DNA (if you want to call it that) showed that God was his father, just as our spiritual DNA, as born-agains, likewise shows us to be God’s offspring.
God was Jesus’ spiritual (heavenly) father, not his Earthly father. Joseph was his Earthly father. This was the miracle of his virgin birth – not only that a virgin could conceive, but that the child born of this miraculous conception was fully the child of both Earthly parents, and thus fully human.
The essential humanity of Jesus must not be thrown away in favor of a fairy-tale myth that serves no purpose but to separate us from Jesus and God, and to undermine Jesus’ accomplishments. We can be like Jesus, who was fully human, just as some day we can be where Jesus is – with the angels in God’s heavenly kingdom. Yes, we mere humans can do all that, with God’s help. Jesus proved it. He’s our example. You don’t have to be divine to get to heaven, but you do need divine help.
A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar…. The priest orders red wine, the rabbi orders kosher wine, and the imam orders everyone who will not convert to Islam to be beheaded.
The priest actually ordered a beer. **********
Jesus is acknowledged in Islam, but only as a prophet. Jesus’ mother, Mary, is also acknowledged, but in Islamic lore she remains a virgin to her death. I found this out the hard way from an immigrant Muslim taxi driver in Halifax who informed me that the female name “Mariam”, which is popular among Muslim women, is a nod to the Virgin Mary. I commented jokingly that Mary might have been a virgin at Jesus’ birth, but she didn’t stay a virgin. Scripture tells us she “knew” Joseph after Jesus was born. I can still see the look the cab driver sent me through the rearview mirror. I felt impaled. He took my cab fare but didn’t respond either to my “thank you” or “good-bye”.
Religious disinformation is nothing new. Neither is the fanaticism that grows up in support of the disinformation. Genuine Christians who refused to bow down to papal lies during the centuries-long Inquisition were either tortured until they ‘repented’ or died, or were killed outright. Today, Islamic fanatics are reviving the Inquisition, with a decided Islamic twist – instead of torturing to extract a ‘confession’ and conversion, they simply behead non-Muslims.
As followers of Jesus, we need to closely monitor the shift from papal persecutors to Islamic persecutors. Islamic adherents have already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people who identified as Christians in the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, India and China. Now, through rampant immigration, Islamic (sharia) law is being instituted in Muslim communities in the West, so it is just a matter of time before the beheadings start here as well. Do what you can to oppose the institution of sharia law in the West, but if it is established nonetheless (which it likely will be), be prepared to leave on short notice.
“The introduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements globally, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare. Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia, Africa and Europe recognize sharia and use it as the basis for divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population. In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.”
At the same time that sharia is spreading like a cancer, a massive misinformation campaign is underway to declare the “God” of the world’s three monotheistic religions to be one and the same. Nothing could be further from the truth, but it doesn’t stop people from falling for the lie, or for killing for it. Those who kill on behalf of Islam claim to be doing God’s will. If the lie of “three religions, one God” gains enough adherents and sharia is successfully installed as the law in formerly Christian lands, those who oppose it will then become Public Enemy #1. That would be us. Get informed, and be prepared.
Standing your ground as a Christian doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t flee persecution. Fleeing persecution is a time-honored tradition of true believers. Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus. When they came back from Egypt, they moved to a part of the country where Herod’s successor wouldn’t have authority over them. Jesus himself, throughout his ministry, moved from town to town and avoided certain areas where he knew the Jews were out to kill him. We are to follow Jesus’ example in everything we do, so stand your spiritual ground as a Christian – and run!
NOWHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES IT ADVISE BELIEVERS TO REMAIN WHERE THEY ARE BEING PERSECUTED.
When Jesus knew his time had come, he willingly went to Jerusalem. When Paul knew his time had come, he willingly went to Rome. Otherwise, Jesus and Paul fled from or avoided areas where they knew their lives were in danger. In stark contrast, when they knew their time had come, Jesus and Paul boldly went to their persecutors rather than have their persecutors hunt them down.
Followers of Jesus will always suffer persecution. Our job is to pray for those who persecute us, and then get the heck out of Dodge. Jesus is nothing if not pragmatic in his approach to survival. Don’t fight your persecutors – flee from them, and pray for them.
Some notable flights from persecution:
- The Exodus (Hebrews fleeing Egypt)
- David (before he was king) fleeing from Saul
- Early Christians fleeing everyone
- True Christians (born-agains) in the Middle Ages fleeing the Roman Catholic Inquisition
In response to current widespread persecution of “non-believers” (that is, non-Muslims) in perpetually war-torn countries such as Iraq and Syria, some men who call themselves Christians have organized “Christian militias” and vow to fight and kill to retain their ancestral land. This is not what Jesus would have done; Jesus said: Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Jesus told us to abide by the Ten Commandments, including “Thou shallt not kill.” There is no such thing as a “Christian militia”, if fighting and killing is involved.
Christians who are being persecuted need to flee. Standing and fighting (i.e., killing people) is going against God’s will. It’s your spiritual ground you need to stand, not the ground under your feet.
God loves us all the same. Yes, we know that, but do we really know that?
God loves born-agains. God loves atheists.
God loves me the same now as a born-again as when I was an atheist.
God loves me the same as he loves Jesus.
God loves Jesus the same as he loves Satan.
God loves us all the same.
The difference is in our choosing to love God back. When you love God, you give your will for him to work through you, so he does. When you don’t love God, you don’t permit him to work through you, so he doesn’t.
God respects our free will. He doesn’t always agree with our choices, but he respects our right to choose. He gave us that right, and he honors it. Choosing wisely means following God’s advice. He’ll never force you, but he will vigorously advise you. He doesn’t leave you guessing as to which choice is the right one. He always makes sure that the right choice is clear to you. God will NEVER trick you into making the wrong choice.
God loves us all the same. Remember that, and pray for those who hate you. My grandmother and countless strangers prayed for me.
Consider Jesus: He lived his whole life on Earth misunderstood. His family mocked him; the leaders of the Jewish nation he had come to save reviled him and ultimately plotted his murder; and his own followers betrayed and deserted him. He alone persisted, to his final tortured breath, in the certain belief that he was God’s “suffering servant”, the Christ, the one sent to redeem fallen mankind.
This is faith; Jesus’ entire life was a test of his faith. While everyone around him operated on assumptions derived from the witness of their senses, thinking as man thinks, Jesus relied on faith. His faith was unshakable because it was rooted in his trust in God, not in anything or anyone else. It was a deeply personal one-on-one relationship which alone endured to the end. Had Jesus hearkened to his family or his religious leaders or his followers or to outward appearances or even to John the Baptist when he expressed his doubts about Jesus being the Messiah, he would not have made it. Who would have thought that God would send such a humble man of questionable birth and little material means as his Messiah? And his disciples – such a rag-tag motley group of “sinners”! From the outside looking in, no-one, unless granted by God, could possibly grasp that Jesus was who he said he was, yet from the inside looking out, through the eyes of faith, Jesus was the perfect fit.
Then, as now, there is so much misrepresentation of who and what Jesus was and is, so much nonsense masquerading as knowledge and teachings. Jesus is the one and only Messiah, the one who was to come, God’s Christ. While on Earth, he was fully human, though increasingly suffused with God’s spirit. His faith was greater than any human’s either before or after him, which is why he was the chosen one of God. Being all-powerful, God can work in whatever way he wants, but he chooses faith as his means. Faith engenders an ever-growing desire to submit one’s will entirely to God, to do only the Father’s will, as Jesus did. The greater the faith grows, the greater the desire to submit to God; the greater the submission, the greater the faith, and so on.
Jesus was a human being; he wasn’t God. Fully human, he was also the fullest expression of the manifestation of God’s spirit in a human being, and so God’s spirit worked through him more powerfully than through anyone else either before or after him.
But Jesus wasn’t God.
Jesus often spoke as God in the first person, as did many if not all “sons of man” – that is, prophets – before him. So although Jesus was not God, he could still speak with the authority of God, as it was indeed God speaking through him. Jesus was sinless not because God prevented him from sinning but because he chose not to sin. His did this of his own free will. Any one of us could also have become the Messiah, had we also always chosen to do the will of the Father, but only Jesus consistently chose God’s way. That’s what made him worthy to be the Christ. He wasn’t born the Christ, he became the Christ through his own free will.
This distinction – that Jesus was not God and that he became the Christ of his own free will – is incredibly important in shaping our relationships with God and Jesus. We are not to worship Jesus, but to follow him. We are to worship God as our Father, as Jesus did and also advised us to do. We are to strive to have the same relationship with God as Jesus had, where God’s spirit united them as “one” through an aligning of their wills. Jesus prayed for his followers to have this same relationship with God as he had, and Jesus always got what he prayed for.
Jesus was sinless because he always chose to do God’s will. In other words, he always chose life. He made mistakes, but he didn’t sin. There’s a huge difference between making mistakes and sinning. Jesus relied as much as humanly possible on faith, not on himself or other people or institutions or ideologies. Relying on faith means putting yourself as much as humanly possible into God’s hands and letting God’s spirit work through you. The more you put yourself into God’s hands by living by faith, the greater your faith grows and the more God’s spirit can work through you. That Jesus managed to make it all the way through his life, to his last breath, without sinning once, is by far the greatest human achievement of all time.
None of us know for sure who’s going to make it to heaven. We can do our part, following Jesus’ example in everything we do and say and think, but ultimately it’s God’s decision about who makes it to heaven and who goes to hell.
For those who do make it to heaven, there’s no more pain, no more fear, no more death, no more ugliness, inside or out, and no more bad memories or regrets.
So what about those who don’t make it to heaven? If we make it to heaven, won’t it make us sad when we remember those who didn’t make it?
I asked God about this, because it bothered me. How could I be happy in heaven knowing someone I loved was in hell? If there are no tears in heaven (except maybe happy ones), how do people there deal with remembering their loved ones who ended up in hell?
The simple answer is: They don’t have to deal with it because they don’t remember anyone who didn’t make it to heaven. The memory of those people is completely erased from their minds, as if they’d never lived at all. Those in heaven only remember good things. Do you mourn or miss someone you never knew or never heard of? Of course not. Then neither, if you make it to heaven, will you mourn or miss those who go to hell.
In contrast, those who end up in hell never stop remembering all the horrible things they did, all the people they hurt, and all they forfeited by choosing the devil’s way rather than God’s. Over and over again, they relive the pain they caused other people.
In hell, pain never ends.