Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Horrifying 'Super Bug' Finally Divulged to the World - By Geri Ungurean - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/04/16/horrifying-super-bug-finally-divulged-world-geri-ungurean/
I remember years ago I had a doctor who refused to give me antibiotics. One year I went to see him four times in three months, complaining of constant coughing, tightness in my chest, difficulty breathing and fever. The fourth time I saw him, he said that he refused to take part in the creation of the "Super Bug." He said that doctors who were over-prescribing antibiotics would be responsible for the dreaded Super Bug.
It was New Year's Eve of that year, after I had seen my GP four times, that I spiked a high fever and could barely walk. My husband rushed me to the ER. When I was finally seen many hours later, the doctor asked me how long I had been sick. I told her that it had been about three months and I had complained to my doctor four times.
The doctor told me that I had walking pneumonia, and she put me on some very strong antibiotics. I improved within a few days.
I did find a different doctor. Although I understood the old doctor's rationale about over-prescribing antibiotics and how that could lead to creating a super bug, I was also concerned that I might somehow become very sick and need help.
Urinary tract infections run in my family. My mother had them frequently; and sadly, so did I when I reached my teens. If the reader has had these infections, they know the pain that comes with them - it's horrible.
An untreated UTI can also lead to sepsis which can be fatal. My husband was very ill years ago, and we had to go to the ER one evening. They finally realized that he had sepsis from a urinary tract infection. They administered antibiotics intravenously. He was able to come home the next day.
The Dreaded Super Bug
Today, as I read the news, I noticed one of the top articles was about a Super Bug which has been shrouded in secrecy for the last few years by the CDC. I imagine that they chose to err on the side of caution (and not truth) for fear that the public would panic. Now, the cat is out of the bag.
Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious.
Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe.
Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa.
Recently C. auris reached New York , New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed "urgent threats."
The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.
"Everything was positive - the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump," said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital's president. "The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive."
auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world's most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections.
For decades, public health experts have warned that the overuse of antibiotics was reducing the effectiveness of drugs that have lengthened life spans by curing bacterial infections once commonly fatal. But lately, there has been an explosion of resistant fungi as well, adding a new and frightening dimension to a phenomenon that is undermining a pillar of modern medicine.
"It's an enormous problem," said Matthew Fisher, a professor of fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who was a co-author of a recent scientific review on the rise of resistant fungi. "We depend on being able to treat those patients with antifungals."
Simply put, fungi, just like bacteria, are evolving defenses to survive modern medicines.
Yet, even as world health leaders have pleaded for more restraint in prescribing antimicrobial drugs to combat bacteria and fungi - convening the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 to manage an emerging crisis - gluttonous overuse of them in hospitals, clinics and farming has continued.
Resistant germs are often called "superbugs," but this is simplistic because they don't typically kill everyone. Instead, they are most lethal to people with immature or compromised immune systems, including newborns and the elderly, smokers, diabetics and people with autoimmune disorders who take steroids that suppress the body's defenses.
Scientists say that unless more effective new medicines are developed and unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs is sharply curbed, risk will spread to healthier populations. A study the British government funded projects that if policies are not put in place to slow the rise of drug resistance, 10 million people could die worldwide of all such infections in 2050, eclipsing the eight million expected to die that year from cancer.
In the United States, two million people contract resistant infections annually, and 23,000 die from them, according to the official C.D.C. estimate. That number was based on 2010 figures; more recent estimates from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine put the death toll at 162,000. Worldwide fatalities from resistant infections are estimated at 700,000.
Antibiotics and antifungals are both essential to combat infections in people, but antibiotics are also used widely to prevent disease in farm animals, and antifungals are also applied to prevent agricultural plants from rotting. Some scientists cite evidence that rampant use of fungicides on crops is contributing to the surge in drug-resistant fungi infecting humans.
Yet, as the problem grows, it is little understood by the public - in part because the very existence of resistant infections is often cloaked in secrecy.
With bacteria and fungi alike, hospitals and local governments are reluctant to disclose outbreaks for fear of being seen as infection hubs. Even the C.D.C., under its agreement with states, is not allowed to make public the location or name of hospitals involved in outbreaks. State governments have in many cases declined to publicly share information beyond acknowledging that they have had cases.
All the while, the germs are easily spread - carried on hands and equipment inside hospitals; ferried on meat and manure-fertilized vegetables from farms; transported across borders by travelers and on exports and imports; and transferred by patients from nursing home to hospital and back.
auris, which infected the man at Mount Sinai, is one of dozens of dangerous bacteria and fungi that have developed resistance. Yet, like most of them, it is a threat that is virtually unknown to the public.
Other prominent strains of the fungus Candida - one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitals - have not developed significant resistance to drugs, but more than 90 percent of C. auris infections are resistant to at least one drug, and 30 percent are resistant to two or more drugs, the C.D.C. said.
Dr. Lynn Sosa, Connecticut's deputy state epidemiologist, said she now saw C. auris as "the top" threat among resistant infections. "It's pretty much unbeatable and difficult to identity," she said.
Nearly half of patients who contract C. auris die within 90 days, according to the C.D.C. Yet, the world's experts have not nailed down where it came from in the first place.
"It is a creature from the black lagoon," said Dr. Tom Chiller, who heads the fungal branch at the C.D.C., which is spearheading a global detective effort to find treatments and stop the spread. "It bubbled up and now it is everywhere."
'No need' to tell the public
In late 2015, Dr. Johanna Rhodes, an infectious disease expert at Imperial College London, got a panicked call from the Royal Brompton Hospital, a British medical center outside London. C. auris had taken root there months earlier, and the hospital couldn't clear it.
"We have no idea where it's coming from. We've never heard of it. It's just spread like wildfire," Dr. Rhodes said she was told. She agreed to help the hospital identify the fungus's genetic profile and clean it from rooms.
Under her direction, hospital workers used a special device to spray aerosolized hydrogen peroxide around a room used for a patient with C. auris, the theory being that the vapor would scour each nook and cranny. They left the device going for a week. Then they put a "settle plate" in the middle of the room with a gel at the bottom that would serve as a place for any surviving microbes to grow, Dr. Rhodes said.
Only one organism grew back. C. auris.
It was spreading, but word of it was not. The hospital, a specialty lung and heart center that draws wealthy patients from the Middle East and around Europe, alerted the British government and told infected patients, but made no public announcement.
"There was no need to put out a news release during the outbreak," said Oliver Wilkinson, a spokesman for the hospital.
This hushed panic is playing out in hospitals around the world. Individual institutions and national, state and local governments have been reluctant to publicize outbreaks of resistant infections, arguing there is no point in scaring patients - or prospective ones.
Dr. Silke Schelenz, Royal Brompton's infectious disease specialist, found the lack of urgency from the government and hospital in the early stages of the outbreak "very, very frustrating."
"They obviously didn't want to lose reputation," Dr. Schelenz said. "It hadn't impacted our surgical outcomes."
By the end of June 2016, a scientific paper reported "an ongoing outbreak of 50 C. auris cases" at Royal Brompton, and the hospital took an extraordinary step: It shut down its I.C.U. for 11 days, moving intensive care patients to another floor, again with no announcement.
Days later, the hospital finally acknowledged to a newspaper that it had a problem. A headline in The Daily Telegraph warned, "Intensive Care Unit Closed After Deadly New Superbug Emerges in the U.K." (Later research said there were eventually 72 total cases, though some patients were only carriers and were not infected by the fungus.)
Yet the issue remained little known internationally, while an even bigger outbreak had begun in Valencia, Spain, at the 992-bed Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe. There, unbeknown to the public or unaffected patients, 372 people were colonized - meaning they had the germ on their body but were not sick with it - and 85 developed bloodstream infections. A paper in the journal Mycoses reported that 41 percent of the infected patients died within 30 days.
A statement from the hospital said it was not necessarily C. auris that killed them. "It is very difficult to discern whether patients die from the pathogen or with it, since they are patients with many underlying diseases and in very serious general condition," the statement said.
As with Royal Brompton, the hospital in Spain did not make any public announcement. It still has not.
One author of the article in Mycoses, a doctor at the hospital, said in an email that the hospital did not want him to speak to journalists because it "is concerned about the public image of the hospital."
The secrecy infuriates patient advocates, who say people have a right to know if there is an outbreak so they can decide whether to go to a hospital, particularly when dealing with a nonurgent matter, like elective surgery.
"Why the heck are we reading about an outbreak almost a year and a half later - and not have it front-page news the day after it happens?" said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a physician in Kentucky and board chairman of Health Watch USA , a nonprofit patient advocacy group. "You wouldn't tolerate this at a restaurant with a food poisoning outbreak."
Health officials say that disclosing outbreaks frightens patients about a situation they can do nothing about, particularly when the risks are unclear.
"It's hard enough with these organisms for health care providers to wrap their heads around it," said Dr. Anna Yaffee, a former C.D.C. outbreak investigator who dealt with resistant infection outbreaks in Kentucky in which the hospitals were not publicly disclosed. "It's really impossible to message to the public."
Officials in London did alert the C.D.C. to the Royal Brompton outbreak while it was occurring. And the C.D.C. realized it needed to get the word to American hospitals. On June 24, 2016, the C.D.C. blasted a nationwide warning to hospitals and medical groups and set up an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to field queries. Dr. Snigdha Vallabhaneni, a key member of the fungal team, expected to get a trickle - "maybe a message every month."
Instead, within weeks, her inbox exploded.
Coming to America
In the United States, 587 cases of people having contracted C. auris have been reported, concentrated with 309 in New York, 104 in New Jersey and 144 in Illinois, according to the C.D.C.
The symptoms - fever, aches and fatigue - are seemingly ordinary, but when a person gets infected, particularly someone already unhealthy, such commonplace symptoms can be fatal.
The earliest known case in the United States involved a woman who arrived at a New York hospital on May 6, 2013, seeking care for respiratory failure. She was 61 and from the United Arab Emirates, and she died a week later after testing positive for the fungus. At the time, the hospital hadn't thought much of it, but three years later, it sent the case to the C.D.C. after reading the agency's June 2016 advisory.
This woman probably was not America's first C. auris patient. She carried a strain different from the South Asian one most common here. It killed a 56-year-old American woman who had traveled to India in March 2017 for elective abdominal surgery; she contracted C. auris and was airlifted back to a hospital in Connecticut that officials will not identify. She was later transferred to a Texas hospital, where she died.
The germ has spread into long-term care facilities. In Chicago, 50 percent of the residents at some nursing homes have tested positive for it, the C.D.C. has reported. The fungus can grow on intravenous lines and ventilators.
Workers who care for patients infected with C. auris worry for their own safety. Dr. Matthew McCarthy, who has treated several C. auris patients at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, described experiencing an unusual fear when treating a 30-year-old man.
"I found myself not wanting to touch the guy," he said. "I didn't want to take it from the guy and bring it to someone else." He did his job and thoroughly examined the patient, but said, "There was an overwhelming feeling of being terrified of accidentally picking it up on a sock or tie or gown."
The role of pesticides?
As the C.D.C. works to limit the spread of drug-resistant C. auris, its investigators have been trying to answer the vexing question: Where in the world did it come from?
The first time doctors encountered C. auris was in the ear of a woman in Japan in 2009 (auris is Latin for ear). It seemed innocuous at the time, a cousin of common, easily treated fungal infections.
Three years later, it appeared in an unusual test result in the lab of Dr. Jacques Meis , a microbiologist in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, who was analyzing a bloodstream infection in 18 patients from four hospitals in India. Soon, new clusters of C. auris seemed to emerge with each passing month in different parts of the world.
The C.D.C. investigators theorized that C. auris started in Asia and spread across the globe. But when the agency compared the entire genome of auris samples from India and Pakistan, Venezuela, South Africa and Japan, it found that its origin was not a single place, and there was not a single auris strain.
The genome sequencing showed that there were four distinctive versions of the fungus, with differences so profound that they suggested that these strains had diverged thousands of years ago and emerged as resistant pathogens from harmless environmental strains in four different places at the same time.
"Somehow, it made a jump almost seemingly simultaneously, and seemed to spread, and it is drug resistant which is really mind-boggling," Dr. Vallabhaneni said.
There are different theories as to what happened with C. auris. Dr. Meis, the Dutch researcher, said he believed that drug-resistant fungi were developing thanks to heavy use of fungicides on crops.
Dr. Meis became intrigued by resistant fungi when he heard about the case of a 63-year-old patient in the Netherlands who died in 2005 from a fungus called Aspergillus. It proved resistant to a front-line antifungal treatment called itraconazole. That drug is a virtual copy of the azole pesticides that are used to dust crops the world over and accounts for more than one-third of all fungicide sales.
A 2013 paper in Plos Pathogens said that it appeared to be no coincidence that drug-resistant Aspergillus was showing up in the environment where the azole fungicides were used. The fungus appeared in 12 percent of Dutch soil samples, for example, but also in "flower beds, compost, leaves, plant seeds, soil samples of tea gardens, paddy fields, hospital surroundings, and aerial samples of hospitals."
Dr. Meis visited the C.D.C. last summer to share research and theorize that the same thing is happening with C. auris, which is also found in the soil: Azoles have created an environment so hostile that the fungi are evolving, with resistant strains surviving.
This is similar to concerns that resistant bacteria are growing because of excessive use of antibiotics in livestock for health and growth promotion. As with antibiotics in farm animals, azoles are used widely on crops.
"On everything - potatoes, beans, wheat, anything you can think of, tomatoes, onions," said Dr. Rhodes, the infectious disease specialist who worked on the London outbreak. "We are driving this with the use of antifungicides on crops."
Dr. Chiller theorizes that C. auris may have benefited from the heavy use of fungicides. His idea is that C. auris actually has existed for thousands of years, hidden in the world's crevices, a not particularly aggressive bug. But as azoles began destroying more prevalent fungi, an opportunity arrived for C. auris to enter the breach, a germ that had the ability to readily resist fungicides now suitable for a world in which fungi less able to resist are under attack.
The mystery of C. auris's emergence remains unsolved, and its origin seems, for the moment, to be less important than stopping its spread.
Resistance and denial
For now, the uncertainty around C. auris has led to a climate of fear, and sometimes denial.
Last spring, Jasmine Cutler, 29, went to visit her 72-year-old father at a hospital in New York City, where he had been admitted because of complications from a surgery the previous month.
When she arrived at his room, she discovered that he had been sitting for at least an hour in a recliner, in his own feces, because no one had come when he had called for help to use the bathroom. Ms. Cutler said it became clear to her that the staff was afraid to touch him because a test had shown that he was carrying C. auris.
"I saw doctors and nurses looking in the window of his room," she said. "My father's not a guinea pig. You're not going to treat him like a freak at a show."
He was eventually discharged and told he no longer carried the fungus. But he declined to be named, saying he feared being associated with the frightening infection.
No Need to Tell the Public??
Well, the CDC has finally come out about Candida Auris:
CDC on Candida Auris <click here to read CDC on Candida Auris
I believe that a health crisis such as this should most definitely be told to the public. I believe that people should have all of the facts, especially if they are going into the hospital for something that is not a life- saving measure. They should have all information so that they can make an informed decision.
Brethren, this is quite alarming. The elderly man who died left his hospital room with C. Auris on EVERY surface - including the ceiling!!
Could our Lord use this in the Tribulation period?
We can only speculate. But something of this magnitude which continues to spread cannot be ruled out as a way that human population may be drastically reduced in the near future!
"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places" (Matthew 24:7).
God knew of Candida auris before the foundations of the earth were laid. NOTHING surprises Him!
As His children, we must trust Him. We should also be given the facts about a germ which doctors do not know how to treat or control - a deadly germ that is spreading across the globe.
How Can I Be Saved?
Israel Watch: Europe Threatens Israel - Jim Fletcher -
People entrenched in their beliefs rarely make wholesale changes in their worldview. Nowhere is this more evident than in the international diplomatic community.
Just as Israel surges with good news, and has a true ally in the White House for perhaps the first time, effete Europeans will not give up on the delusional and dangerous "peace process." At some point, intense pressure will be brought to bear again against the Jewish state.
In a Jerusalem Post report this week, we read about those dallying diplomats that refuse-refuse-to budge on Oslo, surely one of the greatest political failures in all of history.
"The European Union has rejected the idea of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, which would create chaos and violence in the Middle East, its foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
"Such a move would destroy the possibility of a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mogherini said, adding that settlement construction was already making the idea of two-states impossible."
Interesting point there. They already know there are too many Israeli Jewish citizens in Judea and Samaria, so that sets up a very interesting prospect down the road. Mogherini doubled-down:
"'If it is not going to be a two-state solution then it is not going to be a solution.'" The Europeans further show their shaky grasp on reality:
"'Abandoning the two-state solution would bring greater chaos, not only to the Holy Land but also to the entire Middle East,' Mogherini continued. 'The next escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine could easily spiral out of control, and it would have tragic consequences in a region as unstable as today's Middle East.'"
(Just as an aside, I ask the same question I've asked for 25 years: Where is Palestine?)
She referred to keeping the two-state solution viable (was it ever?) as a "first priority."
Honestly, that's chilling. It proves the point that Europe never learned from the
Holocaust and I think never will. They simply dislike Jews.
They also trot-out the "international law" card, which is false
"'The EU will recognize changes to the pre-1967 borders only if and when agreed by the parties, including with regard to Jerusalem,' she said. 'The EU does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over any of the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, in line with international law and with UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 497.'"
She went on to add that five countries on the UN Security Council: the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland, "denounce" the US move to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. One would think such countries would still feel shame for their treatment of European Jewry, but they don't. In particular, Germany and Poland wagging their finger at Israel? Wow, that's brazen.
And France? The country is being burned down by Muslims, with the last vestiges of Christianity being extinguished and all the French can do is criticize/condemn Israel.
Five of the EU countries that sit on the UN Security Council - UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland - have clearly denounced the US move, Mogherini said.
Mogherini went on to claim that border changes cannot be done by force-evidently she failed History 101, because from the dawn of time, that exact mechanism has been employed countless times. And in Israel's case, tiny Israel, the current borders are bare minimum needed for national defense.
I've said before, the first time I drove from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I was astonished at how small the country is. Can you drive across France in 45 minutes? Nope? Do the Poles care about Israel's security?
No, they do not.
Just remember, despite the euphoria pro Israel supporters feel right now for a variety of reasons-and they are justified-a showdown is coming. The forces of evil (some of whom I've mentioned here by name) will not stop until they are forced to stop hurting Israel.
And that will only happen when the Creator returns.
Nearing Midnight: The LGBTQ Agenda Has Won the Culture War: Why Is It Not Satisfied? - Todd Strandberg -
The gay movement has made huge social gains over the past 60 years. In the late 1960's it was illegal in most countries to participate in homosexual acts. Today, being of the LGBTQ bent would go unnoticed, if it wasn't for them still proudly declaring their sexuality.
The LGBTQ folks are still of the impression that they have several steps to go before they achieve equality with straights. In reality, every major barrier has been removed. They can dress up in clothes previously restricted to the oppose sex, they can serve openly in the military, and they now enjoy the same marital rights as heterosexuals.
The lack of any real grievance is the reason why some sexually confused people decided they wanted the right to use the restroom of their choice. A couple of years ago, the LGBTQ lobby was calling for a boycott of states with laws that required people to use restrooms that corresponded to their sex at birth. The whole issue lost momentum and faded when everyone collectively realized the silliness of the whole matter.
Another phony battle that the gay community has been waging is the one with Chick-Fil-A. The fast food company does not have any active opposition to homosexuality. Chick-Fil-A has long backed away from supporting any organization that is remotely anti-gay. The hatred festers because the queer community wants Chick-Fil-A to bend its knee to the gay lifestyle.
San Jose city council members voted unanimously to hang rainbow flags and pink and blue pro-transgender rights flags outside the Chick-fil-A that's scheduled to open inside the San Jose International Airport in May. There have been campaigns around the country, including San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, to try to prevent new Chick-fil-A locations from opening in their communities.
Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, was sued when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on religious grounds. The U.S. Supreme Court gave him a partial victory by saying that Colorado's Civil Rights Commission violated Phillips rights under the First Amendment. Because the court did not rule on the larger issue of whether businesses can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gays and lesbians, it allowed for someone else to sue him over a refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.
It should be clear to anyone with the rational mind, that you don't ask your enemy to bake you a cake. It is just pure vindictiveness to try to compel this man to violate this faith.
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has formally launched a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Buttigieg, who has enjoyed a surge in opinion polls and fundraising in recent weeks as his contrived feud with the vice president has drawn a great deal of media attention.
Buttigieg claims that a 2015 Indiana law signed by Pence allowed businesses to use religious liberty as a defense for hate. He argued the law would allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
"The vice president is entitled to his religious beliefs," Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., said on CNN's "New Day." "My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people," he said.
Buttigieg didn't have any beef with Pence when he was Governor of Indiana. Now that he is running to be the first gay president, Pence and Chick-Fil-A are the enemies of gay rights. Because homosexuality is based on a belief that is contrary to human nature, Buttigieg can't tolerate Christians that hold to biblical truth. The only way to have sexual freedom in America is to silence the voices of all believers who dare to stand against the LGBTQ agenda. The day will soon come when they will get their wish, but instead of paradise, the world will suffer the fate of Sodom.
"It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30).
The False God of Feelings: Mayor Buttigieg's Pro-Gay Christianity - By John Stonestreet -
I've said before on BreakPoint that if your God never tells you to do anything you don't want to do, your god is probably you. If there were an Americanized translation of the Apostle's Creed for today, it would be something like this: "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, who always supports my feelings."
This kind of self-centered faith is epidemic both within the church and without, in conservative congregations and progressive ones.
The most recent case in point is Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana mayor, Pete Buttigieg. At a recent fundraiser, he said of his same-sex "marriage": "[it] has made me a better man [and]...moved me closer to God. If being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far above my pay grade."
He then added, somewhat out-of-the-blue: "That's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."
This was, of course, a political cheap shot. Mike Pence's anti-LGBTQ reputation was secured a long time ago when, as governor of Indiana, he supported religious freedom legislation that sent progressives into hysterics (even though it was a mirror state-level copy of federal legislation that Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy had proposed).
As Mayor Pete and the long list of Democratic presidential contenders gear up for their primaries, they have to pander to their liberal base. And what better way to do that than bashing the guy whose boss you hope to unseat? For his part, Vice-President Pence refused the bait, offering compliments instead for Mayor Pete's years of public service and adding, "He knows me better than that."
But Mayor Pete's comments are worth thinking through, if for no other reason than it would've been unthinkable not that long ago to try to enlist God in support of homosexual relationships. Feelings have become so central to personal identity across our culture, even in religion, that to suggest the Bible, God, the Church, or any other authority has a right to question those feelings is tantamount to heresy.
Buttigieg and authors like Matthew Vines, who wrote the book, "God and the Gay Christian," are in essence saying, "God made me this way--and I know this because He would never ask me to go against my feelings."
Unsurprisingly, the secular press has claimed that this new culturally-conformed Christianity as articulated by Mayor Pete will, of course, win the day. Terry Mattingly at Get Religion noted USA Today's almost "evangelistic tone" in reporting Buttigieg's words, and how they wrote as if the mayor's reading of the Bible is a defensible theological position.
The reality, of course, is that the mayor's quarrel isn't with Mike Pence. His quarrel is with the clear texts of Scripture that both identify what marriage is and what it is for, as well as how homosexual behavior is sinful. His quarrel is with natural law, reflected in the biological roles our bodies play and the universally embraced connection of marriage and procreation, even by societies not influenced by Christian morality. And of course, his quarrel is with 2,000 years of unanimous Christian witness on marriage and sexual morality.
As Everett Piper wrote at the Washington Times in reply to Mayor Pete, we don't get to make up our own version of Christianity. The faith delivered once for all is a faith delivered--it was delivered to the saints. It's a revealed faith. The religions we make up based on our feelings are different religions altogether.
Buttigieg may feel that his same-sex relationship has somehow brought him closer to God, but it has not. "If you love me," Jesus says in John 14:15, "you will keep my commandments." Now, gay people aren't singled out by Jesus' words here, but they are absolutely included.
And to be clear, Mike Pence's feelings on the issue aren't of any more authority than Mayor Pete's feelings. No, this decision was made way above either man's pay grade.
Daily Jot: Invoking Christ for advancing evil - Bill Wilson -
The communist dictator "president" of Venezuela Hugo Chavez diedof cancerin 2013. The UK Telegraph reported in 2013 that Chavez began his third term by raising his right hand and proclaiming, "Fatherland, socialism or death...I swear by Christ, the greatest socialist in history..." As Washington Times Columnist Robert Knight points out in his recent column "Coopting Jesus Christ for Unholy purposes, "Today's Progressives, for example, brazenly misquote the Sermon on the Mount as if it were the first draft of "The Communist Manifesto." They claim that Jesus would back open borders, forced redistribution of wealth, seizure of private property and, most of all, sexual anarchy."
All around the world governments are trying to say their way of governing combined with Christianity equals social justice. In Nicaragua, for example, the communists placed billboards all around the country with their "President" Daniel Ortega's picture on it and the caption: "cristiano, socialista, solidario". Many other countries in Central and South America are following suit. European and African nations are also seeing this type of strategy. Socialists often claim Christianity as socialism based on Acts 4:32, "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."
The difference here is that the early disciples of Christ in Acts voluntarily out of the love of their hearts gave one to another. In Socialism and Communism, government becomes god and distribution of personal property by the state is compulsory. Chapter II. Proletarians and Communists of the Communist Manifesto says, "But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience." The idea of invoking Jesus Christ or God in support of the socialist cause given the truth of its manifesto, is no less than mocking God.
Communists invoke God in order to manipulate Christians into believing that Jesus was a socialist and therefore it is a good deed to accept the government as an instrument of God. Knight writes further: "Democrats have been working hard to spin their version of Jesus...they and their media allies have been working overtime to create a Christ who would bless their leftist politics." Knight gives examples of how democrats proclaim that Christ is the center of their lives, yet disparage the faith and character of those who disagree with their brand of theology-which often includes killing of the preborn, promotion of sexual immorality, and denying the right to express Christ in the public square. Beware of these people.
Daily Devotion: Begin Your Prayers with This - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Come, let us tell of the LORD'S greatness; let us exalt his name together. - Psalm 34:3
When Nehemiah, captive in Babylon, heard the news that the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down, he prayed, "O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer!" (Nehemiah 1:5-6 NLT).
First Nehemiah acknowledged the greatness of God. That is how Jesus taught us to pray, in what is called the Lord's Prayer. He said, "Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-10 NLT).
Before you start giving God your list of requests, first stop and contemplate His glory. When you do, your list will change. As you get a better idea of how big God is, you will realize that He is bigger than your problems. So start by acknowledging the greatness of God.
It's true that prayer changes things, but it's also true that prayer changes you. And sometimes prayer changes you, and then you change things. Consider the way God changed Nehemiah and then Nehemiah changed things.
If you want God to answer your prayer, then you have to be willing to be part of the answer. So don't just pray about a problem. Ask yourself what role you can play in it.
If we learn nothing else from the Book of Nehemiah, we learn this: Whenever we face walls that are falling down in our lives, whether it's in our own lives or in the lives of our family or in our jobs or somewhere else, the first place to go is to God in prayer. The first thing we need to do is to ask God for help.
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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