|Live Services||Are You a Humble Person?; Racing After Endurance|
|Editorial||Are You REALLY Keeping God’s Sabbath?|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||How Are We to Keep the Sabbath? (Part 1)|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Are You a Humble Person?; Racing After Endurance
On September 3, 2016, Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “Are You a Humble Person?,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Racing After Endurance.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
Are You REALLY Keeping God’s Sabbath?
by Norbert Link
With this Update, we will begin to publish several Q&As, discussing the important question pertaining to the manner in which we ought to keep the weekly Sabbath. It is not enough to know about God’s sanctified day; it is also necessary to observe it in the right way. God’s Sabbath was made for MAN (Mark 2:27), and God expects MAN to keep it. The Ten Commandments are still in force and effect, and the Fourth Commandment still reads, “REMEMBER the Sabbath day, to KEEP it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
God’s people know that the Sabbath is the time span from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, even though some misguided religious teachers claim erroneously that the biblical Sabbath is “Sunday.” However, “Sunday” has always been described in the Bible as the “first day of the week,” while the Sabbath has always been identified as the “seventh” or “last day of the week,” when God completed the days of recreation (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:11).
But does God really care whether His Sabbath is kept today? And if He demands that one day is observed in His honor, isn’t it enough to just keep one day (any day) out of seven?
In my recent sermon, “Why Will God Punish America?”, it was explained why God punished Israel and Judah in Old Testament times; and since God does not change and is not a respecter of persons, He will punish the modern descendants of the ancient houses of Israel and Judah for the same reasons. God’s people know that these descendants can be found today in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other English-speaking nations. In addition, God will also punish the ENTIRE world for their disobedience of His Law.
The cause for God’s wrath toward mankind has not changed. Idolatry and the breaking of His Sabbath were and are two of the foremost reasons why God did punish and will punish the ancient and modern houses of Israel and Judah. Of course, other reasons existed and exist as well, showing the perversion and appalling ungodliness of Israel, Judah and the entire world, which are, for example, evidenced by the murder of innocent people (including through abortions of unborn children or the killing of innocent civilians in war); wrong political alliances; elections or appointments of leaders contrary to God’s standards; removing ancient landmarks (by illegally occupying territories); national pride, dishonesty and the spreading of lies; the rejection of God’s Law and His warning of impending disaster; adultery and fornication (including homosexuality and other sexual practices which are not condoned by God); false religions, sorceries and hypocritical religious conduct; and even the consumption of unclean meat.
All these reasons, and many more, were discussed in the above-mentioned sermon, and biblical proof was presented for each of these reasons.
But as mentioned, the violation of the Sabbath was and is a very important cause for God’s punishment. Sadly, most people do not ascribe any relevance to God’s command to keep the Sabbath day holy. Even though God’s people know about this command, some may disobey it in practical application. They might not know HOW to observe it—which activities are permitted on the Sabbath, and which are to be avoided. Some might be too strict, prohibiting activities which God allows; and others may have become too liberal, engaging in activities which they should not participate in.
We hope that you will carefully read our Q&A’s on this very important, but sometimes grossly misunderstood subject, in order to escape God’s punishment for the violation of His Sabbath day.
We begin with a series of articles about the possibility of ten horrifying future wars; (please view our new StandingWatch program, “Fear of Nuclear War”); the horrible brain-washing of a child by a murderous ISIS fanatical mother; the push for a European army; and the incredibly illogical policy of allowing weapons to fall into the hands of terrorists.
We continue reporting on failed trade negotiations between Europe and America; Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policy; and Hillary Clinton’s unusual and highly suspicious “precautions” of “super-deleting” thousands of e-mails.
We speak on Turkey’s new $3 billion bridge and its very divisive name; and report on several countries’ “fight” with Muslim asylum seekers and the rejection of burqas, including Australia, Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and The Netherlands.
We conclude with several examples of unconscionable court decisions in the USA and Germany, pertaining to the nonsense of transgender bathrooms; blatant violations of the rights of parents and ministers; an attack on the separation between church and state; incredible restrictions for teachers; and ridiculous mandatory vaccinations for school children.
This Week in the News
“10 Horrifying Future Wars We Will Live To See”
The website of webmarketshop.com wrote the following on August 26:
“War is one of humanity’s constants. No matter how enlightened we become or how much our technology changes, we’ll still spend our time killing one another. As such, it is inevitable that today’s younger generation will experience war. The only question is when.
“These 10 examples of war could well blow up within the next few years. Some are regional, some are global. Some are small, some are big. The only constant is how horrifying these conflicts could potentially be.
“A China-Russo war over Siberia would be devastating and have only two possible outcomes. Either the Chinese army would decimate Russia or Moscow would unleash nuclear war. Either way, the death toll would be catastrophic…
“After Putin’s annexation of Crimea, Europe has been jumpy about the possibility of war with Russia. According to the former deputy NATO commander, Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff, it’s a virtual certainty… The initial battle for the Baltics alone could kill tens of thousands. Chillingly, Shirreff believes Russia would threaten to launch nukes if NATO tried to intervene, threatening millions of lives…
“This summer, a high-ranking North Korean diplomat in London defected to South Korea. It was just the latest in a string of incidents that point to the imminent collapse of the Kim Jong Un regime. Kim has alienated powerful allies such as China… Cheap smartphone technology has allowed his people to see life on the outside for the first time. Meanwhile, the country is preparing for shortages that could make the 1994 famine look like a stroll in the park. The result could be a revolution unlike anything the DPRK has seen. People could take to the streets, the army could split into warring factions, and all hell could be unleashed…
“ISIS… jihadists will take the fight directly to Europe… France and Belgium would be the main targets, followed by Germany and the UK. No city would be safe. Politicians would be paralyzed. There would be bloodshed and mayhem…
“… hungry, embattled residents of Venezuela could well take up arms. Mass defections from the police and military are possible. Neighboring right-wing governments may stick their oar in, as might left-wing groups like Colombia’s ELN. Such a toxic mix could quickly spiral into utter chaos… If Latin American history is anything to go by, such a move would likely lead to repression and bloodshed on a horrifying scale…
“The Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao was eye-wateringly brutal. Approximately 1.5 million people died. Millions more were tortured and mutilated… China has a long history of peasant rebellions. Mao himself was brought to power in one which killed eight million. A few decades earlier, the Boxer Rebellion led to more than 100,000 deaths. A few decades before that, the Taiping Rebellion killed 20–30 million and possibly as many as 70 million… China is already wracked with 500 protests every day. Every year, around 100,000 riots break out. Leaders are corrupt. The young talk of a new uprising. If the next financial crisis devastates their living standards, we could see another orgy of cataclysmic bloodletting…
“In the 1990s, the world watched in horror as Bosnia disintegrated. Around 100,000 died as civilians were ethnically cleansed from their homelands. The 1995 Dayton Accords stopped the bloodshed by creating two ‘states within a state’: Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Bosniaks and Croats, Republika Srpska for the Serbs. The trouble is the new state was inherently unstable. Divided along ethnic lines, it created a world of increasing tensions, bitter grievances, and desire for vengeance… Ethnic Serbs will hold a referendum on whether to secede from Bosnia. The result of a probable ‘yes’ vote? An unwanted sequel to Bosnia´s horrifying civil war…
“Saudi Arabia got off lightly in the Arab Spring. As dictators fell in Tunisia and Egypt, as Syria burned and Libya imploded, Saudi Arabia´s royals managed to cling to power… conditions in Saudi Arabia are now similar to those preceding the Egyptian revolution. The nation is ready to explode… The minority Shia population is rioting. ISIS is attacking. The war in Yemen is going badly. It’s easy to imagine a revolution springing from this discontent. If it does, it could be another Egypt, another Libya, or another Syria…
“In winter 2008, the world nearly ended. That year, a standoff between Pakistan and India over state-sponsored terrorism nearly escalated into nuclear war. In the end, urgent global diplomacy cooled things down… If things go differently next time, we could see the end of the world. An Indo-Pak nuclear war would see Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi, and Islamabad go up in flames. Tens of millions would perish in an inferno. The nuclear winter would destroy crops across Asia, leading to mass famines. An estimated two billion people could die. So what could trigger such a terrifying conflict? The disputed region of Kashmir, unstable Pakistan becoming a failed state, or Pakistan-linked terror attacks on India. In short, there are too many potential triggers for comfort…
“The only thing scarier than Pakistan and India going toe to toe would be China and the US doing the same. Especially if it was in a conflict that pulled in countries like the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and more. Welcome to the South China Sea, the region most likely to trigger World War III… If this does escalate into a war, all bets are off. The whole world would get involved, and millions would die…”
Christ warned that in these end times, we will hear of wars and rumors of wars, and that nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. The second horseman of the Apocalypse is identified as war, but Christ also says that when we hear of wars and RUMORS of wars, we should not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet (Mark 13:7). Rather, these would be just the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:8).
It is interesting that some of the wars mentioned in the article above will not occur, but that on the other hand, some of the wars which the Bible clearly predicts are not mentioned in the article. Hostile actions which will lead to the beginning of the Great Tribulation and nuclear World War III are European attacks on the USA, the UK and the state of Israel. In addition, the Bible does speak of military confrontations between Europe and Russia, China and other Far Eastern nations.
Horrible Brainwashing of a Child by His Murderous Mother
The Daily Mail wrote on August 27:
“The father of a young boy taken to Syria by his British mother has spoken of his shock at seeing a video which apparently shows his son executing a captured prisoner. The distraught man, who has not seen his son for three years, said the boy was ‘brainwashed’ by his mother, Sally Jones, after being taken by her to join Islamic State. The 47-year-old mother of two, from Chatham, Kent, was declared one of the world’s most wanted terrorists by the UN after she fled to Syria with her youngest son JoJo, then aged 10, in 2013. Now the father believes it may be his son in a chilling propaganda video released on Friday showing five boys murdering a group of captured Kurdish fighters.
“Last night the man, who has asked not to be named to protect his safety, said: ‘He was brilliant, just a normal boy – always chasing bugs, going down the park. I have had to block it out. It’s been hard, we just have to carry on. It’s disgusting he’s been brainwashed.’
“Jones gave birth to JoJo in Kent in 2004 but split from his father shortly afterwards. She then converted to Islam… After their split, Jones married an Islamic radical 25 years her junior, changed JoJo’s name to Hamza, and the three of them fled to Syria…”
These are terrible and inhumane examples of demonically inspired and possessed ISIS murderers and their evil and rotten tactics.
Eastern Europe Pushes Germany for Joint EU Army
The Local wrote on August 26:
“Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe’s post-Brexit future. ‘We must prioritise security, and let’s start by building a common European army,’ Hungary’s rightwing prime minister, Viktor Orban, said at talks with Czech, German, Polish and Slovak leaders… Leftist Czech Premier Bohuslav Sobotka, for his part, said that ‘we should also begin a discussion about creating a common European army.’
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel also supported the idea of stronger security but urged caution on how plans were translated into acts. ‘Security is a fundamental issue… we can do more together in the areas of security and defence,’ she said… In an early response to Britain’s shock vote to exit the EU, Poland’s powerful rightwing leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski called for EU institutional reforms that would forge a confederation of nation states under a president in charge of a powerful common military…
“However, the concept of a common army is a thorny issue within the European Union (EU). All five EU countries at Friday’s Warsaw talks are also members of the 28-member NATO Western defence alliance. But six of the EU’s 27 post-Brexit membership do not belong to NATO: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden.
“EU and NATO ties with Russia plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The Kremlin’s sabre-rattling in the Baltic region has also spooked NATO and EU members there…”
The European Army is destined to become reality.
“Brussels SIX-POINT Plot to Turn Europe into a SUPERSTATE Unveiled”
Express wrote on August 30:
“A FEDERALIST blueprint to turn Europe into a superstate with its own government, army and paramilitary police force has been unveiled by a top Brussels politician. The sinister plot involves sidelining individual countries by removing them from the decision-making process and banning member states from opting out of unpopular policies like the Schengen zone and the Euro.
“It comes as federalists in Brussels look to take advantage of Brexit to force home their long-cherished dream of a United States of Europe… Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the liberals in the European parliament, has launched the six point plan which he hopes to start implementing within six months…
“He also calls for radical reform of the European Commission, which makes Brussels law, to turn it into a ‘small European government’ made up of 12 ministers… And Verhofstadt says the new government should be handed the powers currently exercised by the European Council…
“The proposals are likely to cause fury across the EU as they would effectively neutralise member states’ influence on decision making, taking away their veto and leaving all the power in the hands of Brussels bureaucrats and MEPs.
“Elsewhere in his superstate blueprint the arch-federalist calls for the creation of a European FBI which would have the power to launch police operations in any member state, operating above and beyond the local authorities. And he calls once again for the creation of an EU border force and coastguard to take over control of policing the continent’s frontiers from national governments… To that end Verhofstadt reiterates controversial calls for a European Army which have already been repeatedly made by his boss, Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker, and are believed to be favoured by German leader Angela Merkel.
“The liberal MEP claims that the creation of a Brussels force is the ‘only way’ to defeat Islamic State (ISIS) and convince NATO allies including the US that Europeans are playing their part on the global stage… ‘The only way to protect Europe is to build a strong and united defence… Only a European army with a unity in command will increase our capacity to defend ourselves. Only then will we be capable to defeat ISIS, only then can we stand up to Putin again and only then will we possess a credible alternative for the Americans.’…
“His proposal is likely to cause alarm in a number of countries, including Sweden and Denmark which are not in the Euro and Ireland which is not part of the Schengen free movement zone.
“The veteran MEP says Brussels should end the current system of opt-ins and opt-outs which has created a ‘Europe a la carte’ and blames Britain for being a bulwark against federalisation. And he compares the current situation to an America where California had its own currency or where Florida refused to participate in the FBI, describing the EU as ‘not a real union’.
“Instead, member states should be given an ultimatum to either accept all the terms the Brussels club lays down or leave and become an ‘associate member’ with access only to the single market…”
Placing Weapons in the Hands of Terrorists
Time wrote on August 26:
“The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars since 2001 funneling roughly more than a million assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, and machine guns into Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to fuel lasting conflict there, according to a new report by a London-based nonprofit research and advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.
“At least 949,582 of these small arms were given to security forces in Iraq, and at least 503,328 small arms were given to local forces in Afghanistan, the group said. They called this an ‘under-estimate’ based on the information they were able to acquire.
“If the figures are correct, the US exports amounted to more than one small arm for each member of Afghanistan’s security forces, which totaled roughly 355,000 soldiers, police, and airmen in February 2015, according to a NATO operational update on the force. The number of armaments sent to Iraq also vastly exceeded the current size of that country’s active military and paramilitaries – 209,000, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 2016 Military Balance report.
“Until now, the Pentagon hasn’t published such a tally of its own, so the group’s researchers spent a year scouring multiple databases to arrive at its estimate: a general Pentagon contract list, a government-wide contracting list, and multiple government reports on military spending. They finally calculated that the overall value of the contractually-agreed small arms shipments, just to those two countries, was roughly $2.16 billion.
“U.S. intelligence reports and eyewitnesses have previously said that a significant fraction of the U.S.-financed arms were either lost or stolen, and that many wound up in the hands of forces opposed to US interests, including terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, or ISIS.
“In 2007, for example, the General Accountability Office said the coalition forces in Iraq could not account for 190,000 U.S.-supplied weapons. A July 2014 audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction sharply criticized the Pentagon for not paying adequate attention to the fate of weaponry sent to Afghanistan, citing rampant discrepancies in records of gun serial numbers and other problems. In many instances over the past two years, U.S.-advised forces in those two countries have engaged in protracted clashes with terrorists equipped with captured caches of U.S. small arms, as well as U.S. tanks, artillery, and armored personnel carriers.
“‘There are direct and real consequences,’ said Iain Overton, a veteran investigative journalist who is the group’s director, including ‘a destabilized Middle East.’ He said Americans believe ‘that good guys with guns will get rid of bad buys with guns but that system doesn’t work when you throw guns into lawless, anarchic societies.’…
“The United States is not the only country that provided weapons to Iraq and Afghani forces that went missing over the past fifteen years, and not the only one to have exported weapons that specifically ended up in the hands of terrorists. In 2014, the Center for Public Integrity reported that fighters associated with the Islamic State had acquired or seized weapons from at least 21 countries, including the United States, China, Russia, and several Balkan states.
“‘A significant percentage of these weapons will go into the environment and eventually end up in the hands of the Taliban, ISIS’ and other non-state actors, says Ed Laurance, an expert on armed violence and professor of international policy and development at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. ‘Ammunition comes in, it goes out. Terrorists can get it, civilians can get it… It’s impossible to keep track of [small arms]’ because the environments are so insecure.”
“Negotiations with Americans Have Failed”
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 28:
“Free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have failed, according to Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. After three years of talks, an agreement has yet to be reached. Discussions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been unsuccessful, [Gabriel] said on Sunday… If agreed upon, TTIP would create the world’s largest free trade zone containing 800 million people… Gabriel, who also heads the Social Democrats (SPD), noted that after 14 rounds of talks, the two sides have yet to agree on even one chapter out of the 27 being discussed. One of the reasons given for the breakdown in negotiations was that ‘we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands,’ Gabriel said.
“In contrast to his TTIP stance, Gabriel defended the EU’s free trade agreement with Canada, called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA.)… Many Germans continue to harbor suspicions against the TTIP and CETA… German trade unions and other organizations have called for a massive rally across German cities on September 17 to protest the two trade agreements…”
Trump’s Immigration Policy
Newsmax wrote on August 31:
“Only a few hours after meeting in Mexico City with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Donald Trump announced an immigration plan Wednesday in Arizona anchored by ‘a great wall along the Southern border’ — that Mexico will pay for — a zero-tolerance policy for criminal illegals and no legalization or amnesty for as many as 11 million aliens in the United States… ‘They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall,’ he said…
“Trump also doubled down on many of his previous immigration policies, vowing to create a ‘deportation task force’ within U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement that would include a tripling of enforcement officers and the hiring of 5,000 more border patrol agents.
“He said the new task force would be ‘focused on identifying and quickly removing the dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice, just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice. Maybe, they’ll be able to deport her,’ Trump said.
“The Republican nominee’s long-awaited speech followed a meeting in Mexico City with President Pena Nieto, after which Trump said that he was interested in ‘improving’ NAFTA and that the U.S. had a ‘right … to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders.’
“His remarks also came after more than a year of fiery rhetoric slamming Hispanics and illegal immigrants, vowing to build a wall on the U.S. border — and having Mexico pay for it — and promising to create a ‘deportation force’ to remove more than 11 million aliens from the United States. In recent weeks, however, Trump has been accused of softening his position — though the nominee last week ruled out legalization and amnesty and reiterated his pledge to build the wall.
“The core objective of Trump’s immigration policy was that the United States has the ‘right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us. We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate,’ Trump told supporters…
“Other core elements of Trump’s 10-point plan include ending ICE’s catch-and-release policy for illegals at the border; implementing ‘extreme vetting’; suspending visa applications from countries — Syria and Libya, for instance — where screening is insufficient; and creating a visa tracking system to prevent overstays.
“Trump also plans to create a nationwide e-verify system that would also bar illegals from obtaining public benefits; revoke President Barack Obama’s executive immigration actions; and renegotiate the North American Free-Trade Agreement…
“For the illegals already in the United States, Trump declared that their only option is to return to their native countries and apply for citizenship. ‘Those who leave under this system, they’ll have to apply under the terms and limits that will be applied in the future,’ he said. ‘We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration… Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country…”
Hillary Clinton Didn’t Only Delete Her Emails, She Super Deleted Them
Zero Hedge wrote in August 26:
“South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy appeared on Fox News today and disclosed new details about the Clinton email scandal that seem to indicate intent to destroy evidence… Gowdy reveals that Clinton used ‘BleachBit’ to erase the ‘personal’ emails from her private server.
“For those not familiar with the software, BleachBit is intended to help users delete files in a way to ‘prevent recovery’ and ‘hide traces of files deleted.’ Per the BleachBit website: ‘Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster.’
“During his appearance on Fox, Gowdy clearly indicates that Clinton’s use of BleachBit undermines her claims that she only deleted innocuous ‘personal’ emails from her private server. ‘If she considered them to be personal, then she and her lawyers had those emails deleted. They didn’t just push the delete button… You don’t use BleachBit for yoga emails… When you’re using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.’
“Gowdy also questioned whether Hillary considered ‘Clinton Foundation’ emails to be ‘personal’ and, if not, asked why the FBI’s investigation revealed minimal emails about Foundation-related topics.”
However, as it was pointed out on the Fox Business Channel on August 26, none of this will convince Clinton supporters NOT to vote for Hillary Clinton. Decency and a desire for trustworthiness do not seem to exist in politics; rather, willful ignorance and blindness, illogical reasoning, name-calling, accusations, the ridiculous hope for a human Messiah and other utopian pipe dreams seem to determine the “votes” of the American people in presidential elections.
Clinton, Kaine and Their Abortion Views
LifeNews.com reported on August 29:
“A small group of Catholics protested peacefully on Sunday outside the Catholic Church where Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate attends. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential pick and a U.S. Senator for Virginia, often says he is a Catholic and ‘personally pro-life,’ but his actions show otherwise. Kaine has a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record from Planned Parenthood so far in 2016… One protester’s sign read ‘You can’t be Catholic and pro-abortion,’ while another described him as a ‘CINO,’ or Catholic in name only…
“As LifeNews previously reported, Kaine said he is a ‘strong supporter of Roe v. Wade.’ He also has refused to say whether he would vote to force taxpayers to fund abortions – a goal both for his running mate and the whole Democratic Party. As a U.S. Senator, Kaine voted to allow government funding of abortion providers, and he voted against legislation to require an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state.
“Kaine took his most extreme pro-abortion action yet with his recent co-sponsorship of the so-called ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ (S.217), known to pro-lifers as the ‘Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act.’ This bill would nullify nearly all existing state and federal limitations on regulation of abortion, and prohibit states from enacting meaningful pro-life laws in the future. This revamped version of the long-stalled ‘Freedom of Choice Act’ is a priority of the pro-abortion forces in Washington, D.C.
“Recently, Washington, DC-based Fr. Thomas Petri sent out a series of tweets addressing the Catholic candidate’s pro-abortion views – with one saying Kaine should not present himself for communion in his church. That was after a Catholic bishop admonished Kaine, saying that he can’t reconcile his Catholic faith with abortion.
“His running mate Hillary Clinton’s position is even more extreme. Clinton has said in various interviews that an unborn child just hours before birth has no Constitutional rights. In February, Clinton defended the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure. She also said she wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to pay for abortions, including late-term abortions.”
“How the E.U.’s Ruling on Apple Explains Why Brexit Happened”
The Washington Post wrote on August 30:
“On Tuesday morning, the governing body of the European Union ruled that one of its members, Ireland, had broken its rules by allowing U.S.-based Apple Inc. to pay a tax rate of 1 percent — and sometimes as little as .0005 percent. Ireland’s regular tax rate is 12.5 percent, and E.U. rules state that members can’t give special benefits to individual companies — even the most highly valued company in the world. Under the E.U. ruling, Apple would be required to pay Ireland more than $14.5 billion in back taxes. Both Apple and the Irish government plan to appeal.
“That is a huge amount of money for a small country like Ireland, which suffered terribly after the 2008 financial crisis and required a massive bailout from the E.U… The sum is roughly equal to Ireland’s entire health budget, to put it in perspective.
“Others, however, see the ruling as exactly why Ireland — just like the United Kingdom did with its Brexit vote — needs to leave an interventionist, anti-sovereignty European Union. To put the question a different way: Did Apple, in collusion with the Irish government, rip off the Irish public by arranging a huge tax break? Or did the European Union just undermine Ireland’s economic model and strip the country of its competitive advantage, risking Ireland’s long-term growth?
“Much of the debate across the Irish Sea in Britain during the lead-up to the referendum on E.U. membership in June centered on the idea that bureaucrats with no allegiance to Britain were sitting in Brussels and writing their laws. Proponents of a ‘Brexit’ argued that leaving the E.U. would allow the country to ‘take back control’ of its economy and borders…”
The Telegraph added on August 30:
“Britain could cut corporation tax to attract major international companies under plans being considered by Theresa May after Apple was hit with a record tax bill by Brussels. Downing Street said it would ‘welcome’ Apple to the UK after the European Commission took the extraordinary step of hitting the company with an £11billion fine.”
Istanbul’s New $3 Billion Bridge Has a Very Divisive Name
The Associated Press wrote on August 26:
“Turkey opened one of the world’s largest bridges Friday designed to allow traffic to cross the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia and ease congestion in Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan oversaw a ceremony inaugurating the $3 billion Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, which is touted by its Turko-Italian developers as the world’s broadest suspension bridge at 58.4 meters (192 feet) wide.
“The toll bridge, spanning 1,408 meters (4,620 feet) over the Bosphorus, features 10 lanes, including two rail lines. At 322 meters (1,056 feet), officials say the bridge’s 322-meter (1,056-foot) towers are also the tallest in the world. It becomes Istanbul’s third bridge spanning the strategic strait. ‘This bridge upon which we look with pride will hopefully be a pioneer for many things. … We will be proud of it, you will see. International movies will be filmed here, you will see,’ Erdogan told the audience, among them the king of Bahrain, dignitaries from several other countries and hundreds of citizens.”
The Washington Post wrote on August 27:
“It’s called the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge in honor of the ninth Ottoman emperor, Selim I, a monarch who earned the sobriquet Selim the Grim for his years of military campaigning and severe rule. In 2013, when the name was announced at a groundbreaking ceremony, it sparked a great deal of controversy. Selim I is famed for his conquests to the east in the early 16th century, extending the Ottoman Empire’s dominion over Egypt and the Holy Lands while also pushing against the Safavid Empire in what’s now Iran…
“Selim’s wars had a sectarian dimension. In particular, the emperor is believed to have ordered the slaughter of tens of thousands of Alevis, a minority sect linked to Shiism and steeped in Sufi and rural Anatolian traditions…
“Erdogan… is interested in creating a legacy that perhaps even transcends that of Ataturk and has sought, in ways big and small, to rehabilitate or resurrect Ottoman history to suit his narrative in power. In the wake of last month’s failed coup attempt, the debate over the bridge’s name almost seems quaint…”
Anti-Muslim Party Gains Seats in Australian Parliament
The Star wrote on August 26:
“In a general election last month, many Australians were stunned by the success of One Nation, whose blatantly anti-Muslim policies appealed to many voters who felt threatened by immigration — even in a wealthy country with a far more generous social security net than the United States and few illegal immigrants. The party helmed by Hanson, who is famous in Australia for her fiery red hair and tortured syntax, has emerged with four seats in the finely balanced Senate, where the ruling Liberal-National coalition lacks a majority and is under huge political pressure to speed economic growth. The government is likely to need One Nation to pass laws fought by the Labor Party opposition and the Australian Greens party.
“Negotiating with One Nation could put the prime minister, Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull, in an awkward position. The former Goldman Sachs investment banker is a liberal on many social issues — he is a strong supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, for example — which frequently puts him at odds with the conservative wing of his party…
“Australia is one of the world’s most peaceful and socially harmonious immigrant-driven countries, and terrorist attacks are extremely rare. Nonetheless, cultural and racial differences between the 1.5 per cent of the population who are Muslim and the white Christian majority receive a lot of attention and contribute to a perception among some Australians that they are being overwhelmed by a hostile religion. One Nation plays to those fears. Its policies and rhetoric echo those of Trump and the UK Independence Party, which successfully championed the recent vote to take Britain out of the European Union. ‘Australia for Australians,’ One Nation’s website proclaims.
“The party wants an inquiry into whether Islam is a religion or an ideology, an end to Muslim immigration, a ban on the burqa in public, surveillance in all mosques and Islamic schools, no new mosques and the end of halal certification of food. It is skeptical about global warming…”
Many Asylum Seekers Leave Sweden
The Independent wrote on August 26:
“Sweden used to be one of Europe’s most popular destinations for migrants, with the number of asylum applications doubling between 2014 and 2015 to more than 160,000. A high success rate – 55 per cent of claims were accepted in 2015 – combined with generous welfare benefits for asylum seekers, and a comparatively welcoming population, made the country extremely popular with people fleeing war and persecution, and left the Scandinavian nation with the second highest number of refugees per capita in Europe.
“But for many asylum seekers who arrived during the influx last year, Sweden has proved less of a utopia than they hoped. Many faced a long, cold winter in political limbo, camped out in makeshift accommodation while the state struggled to cope with the large number of new claims. Less than 500 of the 160,000 arrivals have managed to secure jobs… the Swedish Migration Agency, a government department responsible for processing claims, introduced tougher rules at the start of 2016, designed to deter and keep out asylum seekers. New border controls were brought in, as were stricter rules surrounding family reunion. Housing was withdrawn for failed asylum seekers and plans announced to expand immigration detention.
“The Swedish public also appear to… have become more hostile to migrants. A survey released in February showed immigration was the main concern for 40 per cent of Swedes, above worries about failing schools, joblessness and welfare. The change was the biggest opinion swing in the poll’s history. ‘Most Swedes are not racist,’ said Ylva Johansson, the Minister for Employment and Integration. ‘But when there is this special asylum housing when they cannot work, and cannot be part of society this is really a tension. This is a dangerous situation; we have a lot of people in no-man’s land … living outside society.’”
“Sweden’s statistics, however, have to be viewed in the context of less refugees entering Europe overall in 2016 than in 2015. The Balkan route has essentially been closed off by the EU-Turkey deal, which forces migrants to return to Turkey unless they want to claim asylum in Greece, which would stop them travelling onwards to countries in northern Europe…
“2016 has been the deadliest year so far for refugees trying to reach Europe, aid workers have said, telling The Independent in July they are frustrated at moves within the EU to keep more refugees out and to block off entry routes…”
Austria to Germany: Close Your Borders!
The Sunday Express wrote on August 27:
“Austria has launched a blistering attack on Angela Merkel accusing her of trying to stoke more mass migration and ordering her to close Germany’s borders immediately. Vienna’s defence minister Hans Peter Doskozil said the controversial Chancellor was ‘encouraging’ more asylum seekers from the Middle East to flock to Europe in a provocative outburst. The stinging slap down comes amid disintegrating relations between the two neighbours over the migrant crisis, with Austria repeatedly accusing Germany and Mrs Merkel of sparking the refugee chaos.
“Vienna has been locked in a power struggle with Berlin and Brussels over its controversial migration policies, which include limiting the daily number of asylum applications it will process. And Mr Doskozil upped the ante against Mrs Merkel, saying that she must stop repeating her infamous ‘Wir schaffen das’ – ‘We can do this’ – slogan which he said was only encouraging more migrant chaos…
“He added: ‘We will not accept that this encouragement puts Austria into a position that then makes more refugees want to go from Italy via Austria to Germany while Germany closes its borders at the same time. We decided that waving them through is no longer possible, and that is a good thing!’
“Asked what retaliatory measures Austria would take if there was another mass migrant rush for Europe, the defence minister replied that he would effectively seal up Italy by closing the Brenner Pass border between the two countries…
“Europe has been in the grip of a huge migrant crisis over the last 18 months, with more than a million migrants arriving on the continent in 2015 alone. A controversial migrant pact with Turkey has helped reduce numbers flooding into Greece but that is now under severe pressure and could collapse amid deteriorating relations between Brussels and Ankara. As a result many migrant smugglers are now targeting Italy, via Libya, as an alternative route across the Mediterranean. However, this sea crossing is much more perilous and thousands have died at sea over the last 18 months in what aid groups have described as a human tragedy.”
Support for Merkel Has Weakened in Germany
Reuters reported on August 28:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s domestic popularity has declined, a poll showed on Sunday, with 50 percent of Germans against her serving a fourth term in office after a federal election next year. Support for Merkel has weakened after a string of violent attacks on civilians in July, three of which were carried out by asylum seekers. Of those, two were claimed by Islamic State. This has raised opposition to Merkel’s open-door migrant policy, which allowed hundreds of thousands from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere into Germany last year.
“Half of the… people questioned… were against Merkel staying in office beyond the 2017 election, with 42 percent wanting her to remain. In November, the last time Bild am Sonntag commissioned a survey on the issue, 45 percent had been in favor of Merkel serving a fourth term, with 48 percent against.”
Most Germans Against Full Body Veil
Deutsche Welle reported on August 26:
“A large majority of Germans reject the burqa. Some 81 percent of respondents in a representative survey conducted by polling institute Infratest dimap are in favor of banning the Islamic veil, which covers women completely from head to toe, in some public places. More than half of Germans have an even more extreme view – 51 percent were in favor of banning the burqa entirely…
“Amid the renewed debate in Germany, some conservative politicians in the country are calling for a ‘burqa ban.’ State interior ministers of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) want to ban veils like the burqa and the niqab in public places including schools, public authorities, court rooms and in traffic…. The ministers also discussed prohibiting the veils altogether…
“Several Islamic scholars in Germany agree. They say the burqa and the niqab are not required in their religion and believe that the extreme veils hinder integration. Aziz Fooladvand, a Bonn sociologist and Islamic Studies scholar, told DW that facial coverings are common only in very strict interpretations of Sunni Islam, such as that practiced in Saudi Arabia. But in Egypt, for example, wearing a niqab is generally frowned upon. Bassam Tibi, a former professor of international relations at the University of Göttingen, calls himself a ‘European Muslim’ and says that he supports an open, liberal Islam. In an August op-ed for popular German tabloid ‘Bild,’ he wrote that he fully supported a burqa ban…”
Sarkozy for Nationwide Ban of Burqa in France
The Guardian wrote on August 26:
“Nicolas Sarkozy says he will impose a nationwide ban on burkinis if re-elected to the presidency in 2017, positioning himself as a strong defender of French values and tough on immigration… Taking a hard line on the burkini debate that has agitated France over recent weeks, Sarkozy said that the full-body swimwear should be banned from beaches across the country…
“Sarkozy is seeking to win back votes from the far-right FN, whose rising popularity mirrors that of populist politicians in other countries that have appealed to voters concerned about globalisation and immigration, such as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the US and the leaders of Britain’s Brexit campaign…
“For months Sarkozy lagged in opinion polls behind Alain Juppé, the centrist former prime minister, but his popularity, which had already started improving with party sympathisers in June, rose after Islamist attacks on a Bastille Day crowd in Nice and on a priest in Normandy…”
Wilders Announces Severe Restrictions for Muslims in The Netherlands
Politico wrote on August 26:
“The Dutch far-right Freedom Party will run in the country’s parliamentary elections next year on a platform seeking to ban some of the key tenets of Islam, according to a manifesto published by its leader Geert Wilders Thursday. In its five-year plan for 2017-2021, the Freedom Party pledges to reverse the ‘Islamization’ of the Netherlands by implementing measures such as closing mosques and Islamic schools, securing borders, banning the Koran, closing asylum seeker centers, banning Muslim migrants and forbidding women from wearing headscarves.
“Wilders’ party also supports holding a Brexit-style referendum for the Netherlands to leave the European Union. Other promises include more funding for police and defense and eliminating foreign aid. The plan, which is just one page, comes ahead of the next parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 2017… An IPSOS poll predicted this month that the Freedom Party could be the most represented party in the Dutch parliament, snatching 25 to 30 seats, up from the 12 it currently has…”
Incredible Lightning Strike
Time wrote on August 29:
“A single lightning strike is believed to have killed more than 300 reindeer in Norway. A total of 323 reindeer were found dead in the southern part of Norway on the Hardangervidda plateau, a press release from the Norwegian Environment Agency said. Among the 323 killed were 70 calves. An official from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate discovered their carcasses during a routine inspection on Friday.
“Officials said they believe the herd of reindeer was killed by lightning strike as they huddled together during a heavy thunderstorm…”
The Pope’s “Advice” on Climate Change
Breitbart wrote on September 1:
“In his message for the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ Thursday, Pope Francis said that human-induced global warming, as well as a loss of biodiversity are ‘sins’ against God, which must be atoned for…
“Among these [‘atoning actions’] are ‘avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices.’”
Unity Between Catholics and Lutherans?… Not Quite Yet!
Christian News wrote on August 20:
“The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted overwhelmingly last week to approve a declaration of unity with the Roman Catholic Church in an endeavor to ‘enumerate the many points of agreement between Lutherans and Catholics’—a move that some state is contrary to biblical Christianity…
“While this month’s ELCA declaration notes points of agreement between evangelical Lutherans and Roman Catholics, it also outlines several areas where differences remain between the two entities. The document explains that Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation, while Lutherans do not believe that communion is transformed ‘into the [actual] substance of the body and blood of Christ.’ It also notes that Lutherans question the global papacy, which Roman Catholics assert is of the succession of Peter…
“Mike Gendron, a former Roman Catholic who now leads Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, [an] organization dedicated to evangelizing Catholics, said that the ECLA is in error in seeking to find common ground with Roman Catholicism despite… doctrinal disparities.
“‘By seeking unity with the Catholic religion they are departing from the biblical faith of the Reformers,’ he told Christian News Network. “They need to know that there can never be biblical unity between Roman Catholics and denominations which uphold the gospel of God’…
“Gendron said that unity simply for the sake of unity is contrary to the Scriptures… ‘Religious unity is a work of Satan who uses man’s prideful ambitions and biblical ignorance and to unite the world,’ he stated. ‘Those who engage in spiritual enterprises with apostate Roman Catholicism, without confronting their error, give credibility to their heresies’…”
Transgender Bathroom “Rights” Upheld by Bush-Appointed Judge
Newsmax reported on August 26:
“A U.S. judge on Friday blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing a state law requiring transgender people to use single-sex restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder’s order granting a preliminary injunction applies only to the three transgender plaintiffs named in a lawsuit challenging the measure…
“The judge, an appointee of Republican former President George W. Bush, heard oral arguments in the case… Lawyers for Republican Governor Pat McCrory and other Republican lawmakers who support the measure said it offered common-sense protection of state residents’ privacy and safety…
“The U.S. Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the state on behalf of three transgender people, called the law stigmatizing and unconstitutional.
“Bathroom access has become a flashpoint in the legal and cultural battle over transgender rights in the United States. An estimated 0.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as transgender… Debates about which public restroom facilities they and transgender children should use have divided courts, state legislatures and schools.”
Pastors Prohibited to Counsel Minors on “Same-Sex Attractions”
Breitbart wrote on August 23:
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco on August 23 upheld California’s wildly controversial Senate Bill 1172 that bars licensed counselors — including pastors — from assisting youth who want to change or reduce their same-sex attractions. The law also prohibits any counseling that would steer youth away from gender confusion. Pacific Justice Institute filed suit against SB 1172 in 2012…
“Pacific Justice’s lead plaintiff is both a pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who oversees a counseling ministry in his church. Pacific Justice pointed out that the SB 1172 if applied would [be] reaching over the walls of a church to prohibit what could be said during counseling by a pastor who is also a trained marriage and family therapist.
“According to the law, ‘California has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts … … Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age.’
“But the Ninth Circuit today waved away concerns about California interfering with pastors’ religious practice, while also declining to address legal decisions that previously rejected state interference with church counseling.
“Pacific Justice had also pointed out to the court, that dozens of transcript passages from SB 1172’s legislative record show the legislation is meant as a clear and direct attack against conservative religious viewpoints. According to Pacific Justice attorney Kevin Snider, who argued the Ninth Circuit case, ‘The court today simply rewrote legislative history to avoid the uncomfortable reality that the California Legislature unabashedly targeted religious beliefs with this bill.’
“Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented: ‘We are deeply disappointed by today’s ruling because it represents a giant step backwards for religious freedom. A government that can tell a pastor what he can and cannot say during counseling is a government that can tell a pastor what parts of the Bible are off-limits. The court also reminded us today that this law lays the groundwork for further restrictions on parental rights.’
“Pacific Justice is currently reviewing all its options with their clients, including a potential appeal to the Supreme Court.”
California’s law (SB 1172), as applied, is unconstitutional on its face. The attack of the Legislature and the Court system on religious freedom, parental rights and the separation between church and state is unconscionable. Note the next article for another unconditional California law.
“Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against California Vaccination Law for Schoolchildren”
The Los Angeles Times wrote on August 26:
“A federal judge has denied a request for a preliminary injunction against a new law that requires children in California’s public and private schools to be vaccinated unless they have a medical waiver from a licensed doctor. In an order released Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego wrote that state Legislatures have ‘a long history of requiring children to be vaccinated as a condition to school enrollment, and for as many years, both state and federal courts have upheld those requirements against constitutional challenge.’
“In July, a group of parents and advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit asking for the injunction. It is trying to block the California law’s elimination of personal belief exemptions, which previously allowed parents to enroll their children even if they weren’t up-to-date on the full vaccination schedule as published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The wording of the District Court’s decision, as quoted, is historically and legally inaccurate and blatantly misleading. The law in question, only granting exemptions for ill-defined “medical reasons,” seems to be unconstitutional ON ITS FACE. However, to reach the US Supreme Court, even IF they were to uphold the Constitution, will be an expensive, laborious and time-consuming task.
Teacher Convicted for Holding Kids Back After Class
The Local wrote on August 27:
“A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of ‘holding people against their will’ after he made some naughty stay kids back after class. The 50-year-old was ordered by the court to attend classes on how to better deal with difficult children. If he fails to attend the classes, he could face a fine of €1,000, reports Spiegel.
“The reason for Wednesday’s conviction on a count of ‘robbery of freedom’ was the teacher’s decision to make disruptive pupils write out a Wikipedia entry on a musician after class. The pupils were then told to hand in their work one by one, but were not allowed to leave the classroom by the teacher, sat in the doorway with a guitar across his knees…
“According to the law in NRW, teachers are allowed to give pupils detention, but only after notifying parents.”
How Are We to Keep the Sabbath? (Part 1)
True Christians know and have proven for themselves from the pages of the Bible THAT they are still duty-bound today to keep the weekly Sabbath–the time from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset–as it is holy time. But often questions may arise as to HOW to keep the Sabbath. Are there any principles or passages in the Bible which tell us what kind of activities are permitted, and which are prohibited? Are we told how to apply those passages and concepts practically, in an individual situation?
In this new series, we will address many of those questions which have puzzled and perplexed Christians for decades. We will begin with quoting statements which we have made through the years in our literature regarding proper Sabbath observance. In this installment and the next one, we will concentrate primarily on God’s command not to do “work” on the Sabbath; not to pursue our own “pleasure”; not to engage in “business”; and we will discuss whether or not we should eat out in a restaurant on the Sabbath. We will address and answer specific questions which we may not have addressed before in writing.
We stated the following in our Q&A on Mark 2:27-28:
“The Fourth Commandment says very clearly that we are not to do servile or customary work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). As God rested on the seventh day from His ordinary work of creating plants, animals and men, so we are to rest from our ordinary labor and to be spiritually refreshed on the Sabbath.
“Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man. It was God’s gift to man. It was not supposed to be a burden, but a blessing. As God blessed and sanctified for holy use the seventh day (Genesis 2:3), He did so for man, so man will be blessed when he properly keeps and enjoys the seventh day.
“However, the Pharisees at the time of Jesus Christ had made a burden out of the Sabbath… they criticized the disciples of Christ for plucking the heads of grain on the Sabbath, to satisfy their hunger (Mark 2:23-24; Matthew 12:1-2). It was their position that they should rather go hungry than to pluck a few heads of grain, falsely interpreting such conduct as prohibited ‘harvesting.’ …
“Christ placed mercy over strict pharisaical restrictions, pointing out that David ate from the showbread of the [tabernacle], when he was hungry, although it was not ‘lawful’ for him to eat it (Matthew 12:3-4). But Christ did not condemn David for this. He also taught that the priests in the temple had to fulfill their responsibilities on the Sabbath, which—according to pharisaical consequential reasoning–would have been tantamount to ‘breaking’ or ‘profaning’ the Sabbath, but Christ said they were ‘blameless’ in doing so (Matthew 12:5). When today God’s ministers ‘work’ on the Sabbath in preparing and delivering sermons, they are equally blameless and guiltless.
“On the other hand, Christ did not teach that we can violate God’s Sabbath by just trampling it under foot—by working in our jobs to earn a living and by pursuing our own pleasures and hobbies. Isaiah 58:13 states to you (according to the New International Version) that you are to ‘keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day’ and to ‘call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable’ and to ‘honor it by not doing as you please or speaking idle words.’ The Living Bible clarifies that ‘doing as you please’ refers to ‘your own fun and business.’”
We also stated the following in our free booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days“:
“When we keep the Sabbath, it will be noticeable to those with whom we have close relationships—our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Our lack of participation in sports, school or college events that are scheduled on the Sabbath, as well as not going to theaters or working on the Sabbath, will become very obvious, and so these people will come to realize our commitment to God…”
To elaborate at this point, it is obvious that we must not work on the Sabbath to earn money, and if we operate our own business, we need to close it during the Sabbath. This would mean that we could not keep it open for our employees to run the business and keep the money for themselves. The same principle would apply for a business “partnership.” First of all, we would strongly recommend against a business partnership between a Church member and an “unbeliever” who does not believe in the Sabbath. In any event, a Church member could not agree that his partner operates the business on the Sabbath, even if he was to forgo any share of proceeds received on the Sabbath. As a partner, he would still be responsible for the operation of his business on the Sabbath. The situation would be different, if a Church member was an employee and would not work on the Sabbath for the business, even if the business was to stay open on that day.
A related question may arise when Christians rent out their houses or apartments. It is obvious that they cannot demand from their renters to leave the house on Fridays and return on Sundays. Once houses or apartments are rented out, the owners are no longer responsible for the conduct of their renters (as long as it is not illegal). It would be advisable, however, to carefully scrutinize prospective renters to guarantee that they are not engaging in conduct which would have to be rejected by a Church member. One might say that since no profit may be earned on the Sabbath, a landlord could not rent out a house or apartment since the rent would always include the time for the weekly and annual Sabbaths. Therefore, some have suggested that a Church member could or should never rent out a house or apartment, or should never begin to run a motel or a hotel, or if he had done so, to sell such an establishment.
This seems to be too restrictive. We read in the parable about the merciful Samaritan that he took care of the man fallen under the robbers; that he brought him to an inn; and that he paid the innkeeper for weeks (including the Sabbaths), until he returned. We also read that during the time of taxation (which fell apparently during the fall festivals), no room was found in the inn for Mary and Joseph, showing that inns were rented out in Judea, and they would have been rented out for profit. It is up to the individual Church member to determine how to calculate the rent, keeping the Sabbath question in mind, but it would be too restrictive to demand that he could not rent out his house or apartment.
Addressing activities of “pleasure” and “sports,” it would generally be ill advised to attend a birthday party or parties in general on the Sabbath; especially, if the parties involve unconverted family members or unbelieving friends. Even driving to such parties on the Sabbath (although one may attend after the Sabbath) might create a problem, depending on how long one may be on the road. It would always be better to ask for accommodation, explaining to the relatives and friends that the Sabbath was not really the day when one would want to attend, and whether the event could not be held on another day, such as Sunday. But as in so many cases, this would have to be a personal decision, based on the circumstances, the persons involved, and one’s own conscience. We must not neglect the fact, however, that the Sabbath is holy time to be dedicated to God.
This means that we may even have to look much more carefully at weddings and wedding receptions on the Sabbath, for both Church members and non-members (given the enormous work involved for Church members if they need to prepare for those occasions). The same general considerations would apply as discussed above regarding birthday parties and other parties. One would need to ask why one would want to conduct a wedding on the Sabbath in the first place, and if arrangements couldn’t be made to conduct it on a different day. Again, whether one would want to conduct or attend a wedding on the Sabbath would have to be a personal decision, based on the circumstances, the persons involved, and one’s own conscience.
To be clear, we do not say that it would be prohibited spending time together with unconverted parents or family members on the Sabbath, including for coffee or a meal.
Regarding sporting events, it should be obvious that we would not watch a football game, a basketball game or a soccer game on the Sabbath. Neither would we participate in such games; which is not to say that we could not “kick the ball around” for a short while with our children or grandchildren. We would also not go to an amusement park or a sporting event or a theater on the Sabbath, but how would we feel if a Church member would drop off or pick up their unbelieving relatives at an amusement park, a sporting event or a theater on his or her way to or from Church services? First of all, it is not our task to condemn anyone, but in case of a request for counseling, we would need to carefully evaluate the individual circumstances, taking into consideration the family situation and other aspects.
The same is true when a Church member is asked by his parents who are returning from vacation to pick them up at the airport on the Sabbath. Again, it would be advisable to explain to the parents ahead of time that the scheduling of the trip should be made in such a way that the flight does not fall on the Sabbath, but circumstances might have existed when such scheduling was not possible.
It would also be advisable for a Church member not to fly at all on the Sabbath, for any reason, if it can be avoided. Experience has shown that flights on the Sabbath are simply not the best way of keeping the Sabbath (especially considering the time at the airport, including security procedures, before entering or after leaving the plane).
It would not be wrong to view certain TV programs or Internet postings on the Sabbath, which would inform us about world news or which would show us God’s beauty of creation; nor would it be wrong to go to a park for a picnic after Church services, or drive to a beautiful scenery (watching the ocean, a waterfall, a forest etc.).
In the next installment, we will answer the question as to whether it is permissible to eat out in a restaurant on the Sabbath.
(To be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
“God’s Law… or God’s Grace?,” our new booklet, in now posted and has been sent to our printer. Printed copies will be available for those attending the Feast of Tabernacles, and mailings will be done following the Feast to those who are on our mailing list.
“Fear of Nuclear War,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Almost 2,000 years ago, the disciples asked Christ what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the world. Christ warned that there would be wars and rumors of wars prior to His return, and that they would increase in intensity. A website introduced ten scenarios of likely wars with devastating consequences, but they missed completely the ONE nuclear confrontation which will trigger World War III and the Great Tribulation. Why is it important that YOU and your loved ones understand?
“Die Angst vor nuklearem Weltkrieg,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. This covers the same material in German as the English program described above.
“Endzeitprophezeiungen für die 12 Stämme Israels,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon. Title in English: “End-time Prophecies for the 12 Tribes of Israel.”
“Opposites Don’t Attract,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Because of ignorance and uncertainty, thinking that “the law” has been done away with, we have what we have today: people doing as they please, keeping holidays which are not from God, abusing their bodies in ways which are shameful in God’s eyes, giving into sin and deceit, and forsaking God’s specific commands on how to live a Godly life. What does the Bible actually say when it comes to “the law” and in what way are we to do the opposite from what the world in general justifies in their own eyes?
“Holy Sabbath Convocations,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
How are we to observe the Sabbath… especially during Church services? How should our children behave? Why should they even be present in Church services? What should they do during services? Does it make a difference whether we participate in person or over the Internet?
Here are the dates for the 2016 Fall Holy Days:
October 3—Feast of Trumpets
October 12—Day of Atonement
October 17 through October 23—Feast of Tabernacles
October 24—Last Great Day
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
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